Thai Dealers Agree to Disclose Corundum Treatment

February 20, 2003

Thai Dealers Agree to Disclose Corundum Treatment

A group of Thai gem dealers formally agreed to disclose the use of beryllium to enhance color in corundum at a Feb. 19 meeting of the Chanthaburi Gem & Jewelry Association. Members who fail to adhere to the new disclosure system will be expelled from CGA, it was unanimously decided.

Gem traders have been wary of non-disclosure of the new beryllium treatment for a year and the market for yellow, orange and orange-pink sapphires from Thailand has been hurt by the controversy. Non-disclosure is significant, according to dealers, because researchers say up to 90% of all sapphires can be affected by beryllium.

The 60 association members present unanimously agreed:

  • Chrysoberyl is intentionally added to the crucible during the new heat treatment to enhance color in corundum.
  • All association members are obligated to disclose and differentiate the new treatment when selling to customers.
  • Coinciding with the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, beginning Feb. 24, all CGA members will adopt a strictly regulated disclosure system for use in all customer transactions regarding the new treatment.

To further increase awareness, transparency and accountability, CGA opened a new office within walking distance of the local gem market. A list of all members will be available from the office as well as on CGA's Web site. "In effect, those heaters and dealers who fail to respect the new regulations will not receive the approval of the CGA," says Adisak Thawornwiriyanont, president of CGA.

CGA says all disclosure disputes should be brought to the immediate attention of its disclosure committee, which will resolve disputes and take appropriate action towards respective members.

    CGA's new disclosure system uses intitials to denote:
    N – Natural unheated corundum.
    E – Thermal enhancement.
    A – Thermal enhancement of corundum together with other minerals in an environment that allows inducing of beryllium and other elements into corundum.
    T – Treatments.
CGA issued a statement saying the new disclosure system and the introduction of a strict code of professional and ethical standards will create a powerful branding opportunity. "As exemplified by the new disclosure system, the CGA's renewed commitment to professionalism will ensure consumer confidence and firmly position Chanthaburi as a reliable and credible source for ruby and sapphire," says Don Kogen, CEO of Krogen will act as a CGA ambassador and information conduit between the association and international trade associations, industry leaders, laboratories and media.

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