2012 CIBJO Congress opens in Vicenza, Italy

The 2012 CIBJO Congress got underway this morning, with about 143 delegates from around the world traveling in for the event, which will be held over the coming four days, May 17-20, in the northern Italian jewellery centre of Vicenza.

The annual congress is the forum at which meet the General Assembly and the various commissions of the World Jewellery Confederation, and is the venue where amendments can be made to the organization’s definitive sets of industry standards and nomenclature, known globally as the Blue Books.

The congress  is being hosted by the Fiera di Vicenza, one of Italy’s most important trade fair companies and the organiser of the VinenzaOro series of jewellery trade shows. it is being held in an exhibition hall pavilion, which has been custom-built for the event.

While the formal proceedings began today, commission steering committees have been meeting for two days already, as delegates put the final touches to proposals for changes in the Diamond, Coloured Stone, Pearl, Precious Metals and Gemmology Blue Books, which will be presented during the congress.

The official opening ceremony of the congress took place during the afternoon, with the Prefect of Vicenza, Melchiorre Fallica, welcoming the overseas visitors to the city and delivering a keynote address.

In his address to the congress, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, compared the work of the jewellery industry to the Italian Renaissance 700 years ago.

“The release of the human spirit has been a central factor in my country’s character and culture, and in fact is the basic foundation stone of what we proudly refer to as Italian design. But it is also the essence of what we all do in the jewellery industry, for we are a community of individuals that take the most precious of natural resources, and then elevate their net worth by injecting our imagination and creative skills. It is our way of communing with the angels,” he said.

A featured event during the opening session was a presentation by  Fulvio Peppucci of the  Bain & Company office in Milan, which each year publishes the carefully watched “Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study.” During the presentation he focussed specifically on trends and developments in both the fine jewellery and custom jewellery markets.

The opening session closed with a panel discussion which looked at the future of the jewellery industry. It was led by Michael Hayman of Seven Hills in the United Kingdom.

This evening, CIBJO Congress participants will gather at the Piazza dei Signori for the the congress Gala Dinner. A highlight of the event will be the drive past of the Mille Miglia, which is a rally through Italy of more than 1,000 classical sports cars.

Photo Caption: The opening session of the 2012 CIBJO Congress.