Events & Awards

IAC’s Gold and Diamond Conference to Focus on ‘Expanding Horizons’

Events & AwardsJul 10, 2024

IAC’s Gold and Diamond Conference to Focus on ‘Expanding Horizons’

The 14th annual conference will host panels on cross-sector collaboration, industry sanctions, and more.

Matturi Fine Jewelry totem jewel
A jewel from Matturi Fine Jewelry. Creative Director Satta Matturi will be one of several speakers at IAC’s upcoming Gold and Diamond Conference.
New York—Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC) will host its 14th annual Gold and Diamond Conference in New York City next week.

IAC will hold the event at the Bohemian National Hall from July 16-17.

There will be a welcome reception on July 15 by Heritage Auctions at 445 Park Ave with remarks by Roberta Kramer, vice president of strategy and business development at Heritage Auctions.

The theme of the conference is “Expanding Horizons,” with a focus on sharing perspectives and encouraging collaborative efforts within the gold, diamond, and jewelry sectors.

The conference will tackle the practicalities of making positive changes in the mining and jewelry sectors, said IAC, and address global challenges, including climate change, gender inequality, and the socioeconomic realities of mining communities.

The sessions begin on July 16, following opening remarks by Lisa Koenigsberg, the president and founder of IAC.

“Through fostering dialogue, sharing knowledge, and driving progress in ways that benefit both our industry and the world, we broaden our horizons, understanding countries and hemispheres to be interconnected in ways that we have not previously,” said Koenigsberg.

“We also recognize cultural heritage as a key natural resource to be protected and as an active element in shaping the future. I am filled with anticipation about the progress to be made this year, exciting in and of itself and as a foundation for IAC’s ongoing exploration."

Koenigsberg will also moderate the opening panel, titled “Cross-Industry Convergence and Collaboration,” about the challenges of collaborating across sectors in the jewelry industry.

The panelists are:
Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO;
Satta Matturi, creative director of Matturi Fine Jewellery;
John Mulligan, director and climate lead of the World Gold Council, and the president of the
Sustainable Development Commission at CIBJO; and
Iris Van der Veken, executive director of the Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030.

“We welcome the opportunities this offers to engage and exchange ideas with jewelry sector leaders to explore how, together, we might address key industry challenges and ensure we make positive contributions to our shared sustainability goals,” said Mulligan.

Mmetla Masire, CEO of Okavango Diamond Company, will then present “Diamonds in Botswana,” focusing on the uniqueness of Botswana’s diamond industry.

Topics of discussion will include retaining value in producer countries, government policies and regulations, and value chain participation.

Next, Brecken Branstrator, editor-in-chief of Gemworld, will moderate “Comparative Approaches to Retaining Greater Value in Producing Countries,” which will dive into the different strategies countries have used to retain more value from their natural resources.

The panelists include:
Avi Levy, former president of IGI North America;
Douglas Neves, CEO of Cruzeiro Mine;
Marcelo Ribeiro, CEO of Belmont Emerald Mines; and
Mmetla Masire.

After lunch, attendees can sit in on “Gold: Single Mine, Single Source – A Closer Look,” which will discuss the complexities and benefits of sourcing gold from a single mine.

Topics of discussion include traceability and sustainability advantages of single-source gold, ethical implications, and how these practices can enhance transparency and consumer trust in the jewelry industry.

The panelists include:
Charlie Betts, group managing director of The Betts Group;
Emefa Cole, goldsmith and curator of the Jewellery of the Diaspora in the Victoria & Albert Museum;
Tony Maietta, product engineering and relationship development at C & J Fine Jewelry Matters; and
Satta Matturi.

Rob Bates, news editor at JCK, will moderate a panel on sourcing, titled “Origin, Source, and Provenance,” discussing the significance of the origin and provenance of materials in the jewelry industry.

The panelists include:

David Block, CEO of Sarine;
Sara Yood, CEO and general counsel at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee;
Mark Hanna, CMO of Richline Group;
Adriano Mol, Head of the Center for Gemstone and Jewelry Design at the University of Minas Gerais State; and
Ruby Stocklin-Weinberg, program manager of GemFair at De Beers.

Brad Brooks-Rubin, senior advisor in the Office of the Sanctions Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State, will host “The State and Sanctions” to provide an update on the U.S.’s current stance on “problematic” sources and materials, including diamonds and gold.

Brooks-Rubin will also discuss the implications of sanctions on the jewelry industry and the measures taken to ensure compliance with international standards.

Bates will moderate an additional session titled “Current State of the Diamond Market.”

Panelists include:
Olivia Landau, founder and CEO of The Clear Cut;
Matt Schamroth, partner at M. Schamroth & Sons;
Ronnie VanderLinden, president of Diamex Inc. and vice president of the World Diamond Council); and
Amish Shah, founder and CEO of Altr.

The first day of the conference will end with an awards presentation and reception.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Koenigsberg will kick off day two with additional opening remarks.

The first session will be “Looking Beyond Net Zero – Climate Change Actions and the Just Transition,” moderated by Mulligan.

The panelists include:
Stewart Bailey, chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer at AngloGold Ashanti;
Shari Gittleman, senior director of external relations at Newmont Mining Corporation;
Mark Hanna; and
Iris Van der Veken.

Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities of climate action from the perspectives of developing economies and emerging markets.

Next up is “Cultural Heritage and Artistic Practice, Provenance and Repatriation,” moderated by Andrew Russeth of ArtNet, discussing the intersection of cultural heritage, artistic practice, provenance, and repatriation.

The panelists include:
Emefa Cole;
Cristina Echevarria; artisanal mining specialist and co-founder of the Alliance for Responsible Mining;
Satta Matturi; and
Lucian Simmons, head of provenance research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Edward Bickham, senior adviser at the World Gold Council, will lead a session titled “Responsible Sourcing and Supply Chain Due Diligence.”

The panel will discuss what good practices are in supply chains that bring jewelry materials to market, current regulations and guidance, and what is shaping due diligence in current supply chains.

The panelists include:
Louis Marechal, senior advisor of minerals and extractives at the Centre for Responsible Business Conduct and the directorate for financial and enterprise affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development;
Brad Brooks-Rubin; and
Ruby Stocklin-Weinberg

Bickham will also moderate a session on human and labor rights and another session about artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), titled “ASM – How do we identify and fund enduring and scalable solutions?”

The panelists include:

Stewart Bailey ;
Pete Chirico of the USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center;
Giorgio di Tomi, a professor at the Polytechnic School and director of the Research Center for Responsible Mining at the University of São Paolo;
Rachel Perks, senior mining specialist at the World Bank; and
Roger Tissot, executive director of the Artisanal Gold Mining Council.

Next up is “Training for the Future: A Conversation,” which will focus on how to train the next generation of jewelers and industry leaders.

The panelists include:

Karen Smith, metalsmith and founder of We Wield the Hammer;
Lorraine West, the designer behind Lorraine West Jewelry and a member of the Black in Jewelry Coalition; and
Longo Mulaisho-Zinsner, founder and president of JGAA Jewellery and Gemstone Association of Africa.

“At IAC’s conference, there’s a wealth of discovery and inspiration to tap into pertaining to sustainability, Fair Trade gold and diamond mining, design, education, inclusion, and so much more,” said West.

“Let’s take the knowledge we’ll gain and spread it all over the world to make the luxury jewelry and watch industries more equitable and integral for the next generation.”

Next is “Jewelry for Gentlemen,” a session about the growing market for men’s jewelry.

The panelists include:
Eric Laker, owner of Lashbrook;
Grant Mobley, jewelry and watch editor at the Natural Diamond Council; and
Frank Everett, senior vice president and vice chairman of Jewelry Americas at Sotheby's New York.

For more information or to register, visit the conference’s EventBrite page.

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