The colored gemstone industry must have the respect of the public and the jewelry industry. To protect this respect, the International Colored Gemstone Association members must develop and maintain the highest possible ethical standards in their business transactions.
Members of the International Colored Gemstone Association will, at all times, protect the welfare of their clients and all parties involved, represent the products in an honest manner, promote natural colored gemstones in a positive way, and strive to enhance the high degree of professionalism existing within the industry.
Members will respect and defend the role of the International Colored Gemstone Association within the jewelry industry. Our high degree of cooperation within the trade will be the foundation for building unity and success.
Members agree to adhere to the ethical standards and principles of this Association, while complying with national and international law.
Moreover, all members are expected to maintain the highest possible standards, even in those cases not specifically addressed by this Code of Ethics.
The International Colored Gemstone Association is an organization of individual dealers engaged in the marketing of natural colored gemstones;
Members of the International Colored Gemstone Association adhere to the highest standards of professionalism in our industry;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT,
We the members of the International Colored Gemstone Association signify our bond to these professional standards through adoption and adherence to this Code of Ethics
For the purpose of promoting the colored gemstone industry, maintaining and enhancing technical and professional expertise; and
Commensurate with individual freedom to conduct business in a fair and equitable manner;
This Code of Ethics represents the guiding principles that govern the conduct of our individual members:
SECTION 1 – GENERAL GUIDELINES
A. All members of ICA shall respect human rights and democratic institutions.
B. All members of ICA shall treat their employees with respect and dignity and provide a safe and healthy working environment.
C. ICA members shall not be engaged in child labor or any other unethical labor practice.
D. All members of ICA shall respect and comply with applicable international and national law, e.g. national and international anti-money-laundering law.
E. All members of ICA shall pay fair and reasonable wages to their workers, which will in no case be lower than the minimum wage that is required by local law.
F. ICA will engage in activities that will help raise standards of health, education and social environment for all nations, especially those nations where colored gemstones are being mined or processed.
G. ICA will engage in programs that will help preserve the earth’s resources, especially in countries where colored gemstones are being mined.
H. It is the duty of every ICA member to protect the industry and their clients against fraud, misrepresentation, and unethical practices in gemstone transactions and avoid exaggeration and concealment of any pertinent facts. Each member should endeavor to eliminate any practices which could be damaging to the industry or bring discredit to the trade.
I. Members must adhere to all national laws in their countries, insofar as they apply to the gemstone and jewelry industries.
J. No ICA member should in any way defame, criticize, undermine, or take unfair advantage of another person or firm’s reputation or merchandise in order to promote and sell his/her own merchandise.
K. Merchandise should not be misrepresented as to its nature, authenticity, treatment, and/or origin.
L. Members shall not indulge in what are commonly known as “sharp practices” which, while designed to come within the letter of the law have the effect of deceiving prospective purchasers.
M. Colored gemstones should be promoted and sold on the basis of their aesthetic beauty and merit.
SECTION 2 – FISCAL GUIDELINES
A. All terms on invoices should be considered cash on receipt unless otherwise stated in writing.
B. All financial obligations must be met on time.
C. All senders must arrange full insurance on any merchandise they do not own via any carrier unless otherwise agreed.
D. When acting as an agent, the member shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on any transaction made for the owner, without the owner’s knowledge and consent.
SECTION 3 – MEMORANDUMS AND CONSIGNMENTS
A. The consignor shall not unreasonably refuse to issue a bill of sale, providing that the consignee is in compliance with the memorandum.
B. If the consignor demands that the merchandise be returned upon expiration of the agreed time period on the memorandum, the consignee shall have the option of sending payment in full or returning the merchandise within one regular working day. Upon receipt of payment the consignor shall issue a bill of sale.
C. All members must be fully insured and are responsible for merchandise received on memorandum. If not, the member must inform the consignor in writing, and must cooperate in obtaining adequate insurance prior to receipt of the merchandise. The consignor may agree, in writing, to issue the memorandum stating that he has full knowledge that consignee does not have proper insurance.
D. Any gemstone or lot of gemstones taken on memorandum, if returned, must be intact unless consignor agrees to modifications in writing.
SECTION 4 – ADVERTISING GUIDELINES
A. Members shall not advertise in contradiction with the rules established by this Association, and the laws of their respective countries.
B. The name of the International Colored Gemstone Association, the initials ICA, the official Association logo and/or slogan, must not be used in such a way that they have the effect of implying an official Association endorsement of the merchandise or product advertised.
SECTION 5 – USAGE OF PERSONAL CERTIFICATES
A. Members of ICA shall not engage in the practice of issuing personal certificates regarding quality, purity of color, clarify and/or value of a gemstone for the purpose of promoting sales.
SECTION 6 - DUE DILIGENCE
A. Each ICA member shall conduct reasonable and customary due diligence when purchasing, selling, exchanging, representing, marketing, and disclosing gemstones and other jewelry. Such due diligence shall include, by way of example and not by way of limitation, requesting in writing from the member’s suppliers and vendors, full written disclosure of any known treatments and enhancements of each gemstone.
B. If an ICA member is bringing to the marketplace any new, unknown or questionable material, it is highly recommended that such due diligence include submitting such material to a reputable laboratory for detailed analysis, which shall be contained in a written report issued to the member.
C. To the best of their ability, Members shall determine that the gem materials are a) mined responsibly with a concern for protecting and restoring the environment, b) not sourced or processed using child labor or in violation of local laws, c) processed with efforts to protect the health of all workers including miners, cutters and jewelers, and d) obtained legally, not in association with smuggling or supporting illegal activities.
D. Seller has no actual knowledge or other reason to believe that the "gem materials" herein were not imported or traded through sources committed to honoring all applicable laws and regulations of both the US and their source country. Seller believes based on actual knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier/exporter that the proceeds from sale of the "gem materials" herein were used for legitimate purposes.
SECTION 7 – ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
A. In the event of a controversy or claim between members, the members shall submit, in writing, the dispute to the Grievance Committee, and if grievance is not settled it will be submitted to the Arbitration Committee.
1. If a member is charged by the Executive Committee with unethical practices or is asked to present evidence to any disciplinary proceeding or investigation, he/she shall place all pertinent facts before the ICA Arbitration Committee.
2. Upon determination and final judgment of the Board of Directors for expulsion of a member, such determination shall be communicated to every ICA member.