Since the conclusion of the 2011 CIBJO Congress in Portugal, the group's pearl commission has continued discussions on what defines clear and unambiguous terminology when using the word "pearl." Kenneth Scarratt, the president of the CIBJO's pearl commission, also felt that discourse reach a stage at which it needed to include key industry players who normally do not attend CIBJO congresses, but who recognize the importance of the commission's role and the centrality of the CIBJO Pearl Book. By lack of any ISO standard, that book is in all practical terms the industry's standard for pearl nomenclature.
Given how dialog advanced after the original meeting, pearl industry players were invited to attend an extraordinary pearl commission session in September at the Hong Kong show in which many natural pearl dealers, pearl fishers, as well as cultured pearl producers, dealers, retailers and auction houses attended.
The Hong Kong session addressed Clause 4.2.7 of the CIBJO Pearl Book and in particular the use of the term "pearl" in book's latest draft. Two schools of thought emerged and were put forward for consideration in wording Clause 4.2.7. Scarratt produced a report detailing these findings in preparation for the commission's Vicenza meeting in two weeks. Read the full report as a PDF.