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By involving more pearl market players in nomenclature discussions the Pearl Commission increases its efforts toward setting global standards | Print | MILAN, ITALY: February 14, 2011 – The Pearl Commission of CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, has released its special report ahead of the 2011 CIBJO Congress, which will commence on March 14 in Porto, Portugal. In the report, the commission reviewed a number of proposals for amendments to the Pearl Blue Book, in an effort to continue CIBJO's efforts to advance and help the document grow into a truly international standard for both the understanding of natural and cultured pearls.
The report also talks about the formation of a Technical Pearl Commission under the auspices of the Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC) in response to concerns expressed by Bahrain delegates during the 2010 Congress regarding the criteria that are used for the identification of natural pearls. Members of LMHC met in Bahrain in early June 2010 where most of the issues were addressed and resolved.
Among the numerous suggested edits that came out of discussions was that while it is recognized that the use of "the word 'pearl' alone only describes a natural pearl" (clause 4.2.7, that has been part of the CIBJO rules for many decades) modern usage dictates that that it should always be qualified with either 'natural', 'cultured' or imitation; thus reducing any possible ambiguity, particularly among the buying public. This issue is somewhat controversial and should provide an interesting exchange of conversations at the congress in Porto.
Another edit is the addition of Trade Codes for Modifications and Treatments and those pearls that require Special Care - which are for use within the trade only. This follows the usage of similar codes in the CIBJO Gemstone Book. In other clauses, recommendations are made to internationalize the content by bringing in descriptions of localized practices.
Additionally, an important addition to the clauses is a normative reference to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The CIBJO Pearl Commission will meet at the 2011 CIBJO Congress in Porto, Portugal, on Monday, March 14, from 17:30 to 19:00, at the Hotel Pal?cio do Freixo. For additional information about the congress click here.
Click here to download a complete copy of the CIBJO Pearl Commission Special Report.

Photo: Shell and natural pearls from the silverlipped pearl oyster Pinctada maxima courtesy of SSEF - Swiss Gemmological Institute, Basel Switzerland