While jewellery is a luxury product and non-essential to those who purchase it, the jewellery and gemstone sectors are industries that are essential to the economic and social development of economies and communities around the world, a top Cibjo official said recently.

Speaking at the 15th Rendez-Vous Gemmologiques de Paris, Cibjo President Gaetano Cavalieri said the industry and the revenue generated by the jewellery sector are critical to the economic fortunes of many countries around the world, and “especially those where diamonds, gemstones and precious metals are mined.”

“In those places, it is able to create sustainable economic opportunities, which in turn promote and support positive social development,” Cavalieri said. “Jewellery, which is typically classed as a luxury product, is to many people symbolic of conspicuous consumption. However, if we would be able to instil in the public consciousness the understanding that, when you purchase an item of jewellery, you also are contributing to the economic well-being and social advancement of people living in underdeveloped areas, then the significance of buying and receiving jewellery is elevated – from one of purely personal value to one with societal value as well.”

The gathering, which was hosted by the Association Française de Gemmologie, and moderated by its president, Didier Giard, selected this year to review gemstone mines and mining districts around the world, considering the ethics of sustainable development of mining territories and their populations.

During the afternoon session, Cavalieri participated in a panel discussion about traceability, ethics, and the sustainable development of mines and mining districts. The other panellists were Charles Chaussepied, a Piaget director and the former chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council; Bertrand Pancher, a member of the French Parliament; Jack Cunningham, Group Sustainability Manager at Gemfields; and Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, CEO of Boucheron.

Pancher presented a medal to Cavalieri on behalf of the French National Assembly, in honour of his contribution to the international jewellery industry, and in particular for the key role that he has played in advancing the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility in the jewellery business.

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