Seeing Red at the World Ruby Forum 2017
The first World Ruby Forum recently concluded in Bangkok, Thailand, with great praise and a focus on rubies from around the world.
By Ioannis Alexandris
Following nearly two years of discussions and planning, the World Ruby Forum 2017 came to fruition on November 4, 2017 and featured worldrenowned speakers on the red gems. The Forum’s organizing commitee was made up of delegates from Thailand’s Department of Trade Promotion (DITP), the Gem & Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT), the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS), the Jewelry Trade Center (JTC) and the Association Française de Gemmologie (AFG).
The event was opened by Apiradi Tantraporn, Minister of Commerce, followed by reports on the Forum by Duangkamol Jiambutr, Director of GIT, and Henry Ho, Chairman Emeritus of AIGS.
AFG President, Didier Giard, spoke on the color red and its significance throughout history in gems and jewelry. A major ruby miner, Gemfields, was represented by CEO, Sean Gilbertson, who gave an overview of the large-scale miner’s operations, including the pipeline that gems follow from mine to rough auction. He also talked about the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in regard to the miners, their families, the communities and the environment.
Nay Win Tun, Chairman of the Dragon Ruby group, emphasized the importance and beauty of rubies in Myanmar. Ruby Dragon is one of the biggest miners in the country and the top tax-paying company in the sector. He explained how the narrow vertical shaft of 300 meters deep into the ground spreads out into a series of connecting underground tunnels, where small equipment can be used.
Moving to African rubies, Cedric Simonet, Chairman of the Kenya Chamber of Mines, discussed ruby deposits in the central and eastern regions of Africa with an overiew of the present mining situation. A broad view of the amphibole deposits of rubies from nations such as Greenland, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Tanzania was presented by Vincent Pardieu. He also mentioned that the Greenland ruby deposit is believed to be the oldest on Earth.
CSR was also on the agenda in the talk by CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. He insisted that the industry must take the lead in CSR and create a framework that enables artisanal miners to be legitimately involved in the industry, rather than the current situation that sometimes causes them to act in an illegal manner.