The 2015 Congress of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) ended on Tuesday, with ICA President Banjamin Hackman praising organizers for creating an exceptional event.

The third day of the biennial Congress, the 16th held by the world's leading colored gemstone industry organization, again provided a wide range of presentations and discussion points.

The day started with a speech by American Gem Trade Association President Ruben Bindra on transparency in the supply chain and ethical practices, and was followed by journalist Cynthia Unninayar on trends this year in designer jewelry, gems and fashion.

The panel discussion at the end of the final day of the ICA Congress.

BeCarla Pinheiro, from the Jewelers and Watchmakers Association of Rio State, gave a review of the South American gem and jewelry sector with a focus on Brazil as a major gemstone producer and consumer.

Following Pinheiro, former ICA President Andrew Cody provided an entertaining review of the opal industry in Australia and his career in buying, manufacturing and selling opals.

A major aim of the ICA for the Congress was to encourage younger members of the global colored gemstone and jewelry industry to attend.

Sinan Muhammed Muslim Salahudeen from Sri Lanka gave his views on the impact that the younger generation can have on the trade.

The Congress concluded with a panel discussion which reviewed some of the themes that had been raised during the gathering.

These included the issue of attempting to bring about harmonization among the major laboratories regarding colors, such as Pigeon's Blood Red and Royal Blue.

Speakers concluded that although it was a worthy aim, it was unlikely to come about in the near future.

Another issue that was raised was that of how Sri Lanka could realize its aim of $1 billion in sales of gemstones. Meanwhile, it was asked if technology was harming or helping the colored gemstone and jewelry industry. It was suggested that advanced technology was creating an oversupply and thus lower prices.

However, all those who responded said that there was no doubt that the use of technology was positive, by helping to produce fine quality stones, higher yields, and speeding up production. It is not possible to open up new markets without a large supply of goods, some speakers commented.

Another major issue that was debated was that of disclosure. There was widespread agreement that disclosure was vital to ensure consumer confidence and a rise in sales.

The retail sector needs to be more proactive in providing details about the gemstone jewelry it is offering for sale since that would put consumers at ease and enable them to make informed purchasing decisions.

Platinum Sponsor for The ICA Congress, Colombo, Sri Lanka