French Association of Gemmology

The French Association of Gemmology – Speaker Line-up for 18th Gemmological Symposium

The Association Française de Gemmologie (the French Association of Gemmology) has released information about the subjects to be addressed by the rest of the high-level speakers at the 18th Paris Gemmological Rendez Vous.

The prestigious annual gems symposium will take place on September 9, 2019, at: l’ASIEM, 6 rue Albert de Lapparent, Paris, France.

This is the speakers list:

Jim Pounds, Executive Vice-President Diamonds, Dominion Diamond Mines, will be speaking on the subject of Canadian Diamonds – Mining and Marketing Canadian Brilliance.

“I will speak to the history of diamonds in Canada and which aspects of these diamonds make them unique when compared to production from the rest of the world and what makes them so marketable. I will also cover the challenges of business stewardship in a pristine, but climatically hostile, environment and the synergies we have enjoyed as we work with the local communities on socially significant sustainable development projects.”

Martin Rapaport, Chairman, Rapaport, will give a presentation on: The State of the Diamond Industry – The Synthetic Diamond Challenge. “Synthetic Diamonds are disrupting the fundamentals of the diamond industry. Competition against expensive diamonds and brands will be limited as synthetic production skyrockets and prices plummet. The real issue is the long-term damage to consumer confidence and the unique position of natural diamonds as the ultimate symbol of emotional and financial security. Simply put, synthetic
diamond producers are trying to steal the diamond dream. What should we do about it? How can we enhance the value of natural diamonds?”

Peter Karakchiev, Head of the International Relations Department, ALROSA, will give a talk entitled: The Diamond Story of ALROSA. “I am planning to give a short overview of ALROSA and its operations, then to speak more broadly about its CSR practices touching upon corporate standards and ultilateral industry cooperation, to discuss the importance of diamond provenance claims and trace-ability. At the end I would also like to give a quick and brief overview of the research carried out by Trucost, named Total Clarity, which shines a light on the global impact of modern diamond mining on the workforce, communities and planet.”

Eddy Vleeschdraeger, Director at the Scientific and Technical Research Center for Diamonds (WTOCD – Belgium), and author of the book Hardness 10, will talk on the topic of Evolution and revolution of diamond cutting. “For over 500 years, the basic technique of Louis de Berquem has not advanced. Today, with Fenix, we have the real revolution of the
21st century.

The job of diamond cutter will never be the same. It is the end of the cutting schools or long basic courses.”

Feriel Zerouki, Senior Vice-President of International Relations and Ethical Initiatives, De Beers, will speak on: GemFair, a De Beers Group initiative supporting the formalisation of the ASM sector. “GemFair is an innovative pilot project that aims to create a secure, transparent route to market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined
diamonds. The overarching aim is to help foster the sector’s development as a credible and trusted source of diamond supply. By providing artisanal and small-scale miners with
access to De Beers’ industry-leading distribution channel, offering fair prices and working with artisanal and small-scale miners to improve their working standards, GemFair hopes
to improve livelihoods and working conditions for miners participating in the initiative.”

Other speakers, previously announced, are:

Alan Bronstein, President of the Natural Color Diamond Association; Aurélien Delaunay, director of the French Laboratory Of Gemmology (LFG); David Fisher, Principal Scientist, De Beers Technology; Richard Duffy, CEO of Petra Diamonds and Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council.

The moderator of the symposium is Didier Giard, President of the French Association of Gemmology and a member of the French Academy of Overseas Sciences. “We will be taking
a comprehensive look at diamonds,” said Giard. “During a period of volatility and when the natural diamond industry is facing so many challenges, including from synthetics and an
uncertain international market, we are delighted that such leading members of the diamond industry will be giving us informed considered views, backed by years of experience.

“This is a one-day event (9.15 am to 6.00 pm) that will give the audience plenty of food for thought, from diamond mining, the current state of the market, and coloured diamonds to
the scientific, gemmological and historical aspects of natural diamonds.

I would urge members of the trade to register as soon as possible in order to secure a place at the symposium since there are a limited number of places available. The symposium will have simultaneous French and English translation.”

To register, please send a mail to:
For further information, contact Didier Giard at:


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