In an extraordinary meeting of the CIBJO Pearl Commission held in Hong Kong last September, a prestigious group of individuals with intimate involvement within the natural and cultured pearl industries, including producers, wholesalers, retailers, auction houses and gemmologists, discussed and shared their views on the use of the term "pearl" in a manner that will help avoid confusion or misrepresentation throughout the supply pipeline of pearls and in particular among consumers.
Ken Scarratt, president of the CIBJO Pearl Commission, who had called for the meeting, said that the Commission's goal was "to glean sufficient and valid opinions to allow the CIBJO Pearl Book to stipulate how to use the unqualified word 'pearl' in various scenarios."
"Given the wide and varied use of the term "pearl" within the English language, inevitably discussions within CIBJO have generated differing opinions on its 'proper' usage," Scarratt noted. "Therefore, my colleague [Pearl Commission VP] Shigeru Akamatsu and I felt that the Pearl Commission needed to broaden its consultation circle regarding this particular issue before a valid and lasting resolution could be reached."
"The CIBJO Pearl Commission and its Steering Committee are committed to the production of meaningful standards of nomenclature that describe natural and cultured pearls as well as pearl imitations or simulants," Scarratt explained. "Evidence of this commitment is found within the pages of the current CIBJO Pearl Book, the contents of which reflect many discussions with industry professionals during CIBJO's annual Congresses as well as occasional meetings and discussions in between," he added.
The CIBJO Pearl Commission president stated that CIBJO was very grateful that such an "impressive array of attending industry experts deemed the issue important enough to devote their time to the highly productive discussions that took place at the meeting, as well as prior electronic and personal discussions with pearl industry members who were not able to be in Hong Kong."
Scarratt concluded that following the Hong Kong event, he felt that sufficient discussion had taken place to allow for a workable resolution that would meet the needs of all elements of the industry as well as of the consumer. Following further discussions within the CIBJO Board of Directors, the resolution will be available within an updated version of the Pearl Book shortly.
Participants in the extraordinary CIBJO Pearl Commission meeting were, among others:
Rudolf Biehler, Jacques Branellec, Jacques Christophe Branellec, Gordon Berner, Andrea Broggian, Pierre Fallourd, Patrick Fluckiger, M I Jabir, Karnil Jhaveri, Milan Jhaveri, Purvesh Jhaveri, Jeanne LeCourt, Salih Maricar, Syed M. Maricar, Syed Ahmed Maricar, Tom Moses, Jack Ogden, Nick Paspaley, James L. Peach Sr, Elfriede Schwarzer, Alex Vock, and Flora Wong.
Several individual industry experts were unable to attend but proffered their opinions in writing, these were Francois Curiel, David Warren, Matthew Girling, and Bill Larson. Other opinions had been gained over the prior period from Pierre Akkelian, Mei Giam, Gina Latendresse, Ali Safar, Margherita Superchi, and Peter Truman.