As the founder of Adin Antique Jewellery, a renowned jewellery shop based in Antwerp, Elkan Wijnberg has long been aware of the need for traders to obtain independent, expert certification for any gemstones, diamonds, jewellery or watches they wish to sell. However, in an industry where presentation and style often take precedence over value for money, this service is usually very expensive.
Elkan wanted to set up a very different kind of certification company. He saw a gap in the market that could be filled by applying an honest and open approach to certification fees. With IJGC, he has created a company that is set to buck the current certification trend.
Inspired by the business model used by budget airlines, Elkan put his mind to creating a budget certification company, which would provide all the essentials of certification at the lowest possible price. After all, the success of budget airlines has proven that value for money does not mean compromising on essentials. Safety, reliability, security and expertise are not affected and of course, the basic service remains the same: Budget airlines still transport their passengers safely and reliably from A to B. Budget certification still provides authentication of an item by an independent expert.
When booking a flight with a budget airline, customers know in advance that non-essential luxuries such as extra leg-room or baggage allowance will incur an additional charge. IJGC has taken this open and honest approach on board and is committed to transparent communication with its own customers. IJGC ensures its customers are fully aware of what items are eligible for budget certification from the outset and how much the examination of each item is likely to cost. IJGC has even gone so far as to devise a Gem Acceptance Table for their customers to use as a guide when compiling a batch of items for submission. This collaborative and transparent approach can save both parties time and money. Basic certification is charged at a low, fixed price and optional extras that add real value to the service can be purchased separately.
With online gemstone and jewellery trading becoming increasingly common, reliable, professional certification is not only essential to prove an item’s quality and authenticity, it must also be available at the click of a button. Therefore, with its customers in mind, IJGC has developed a time-saving tool in the form of our optional digital package. This optional extra includes standardised photos and report information in digital format.
With this digital package, it has never been easier to list and sell gemstones, diamonds, jewellery or watches online. Furthermore, if you order the digital package at the same time as submitting your items for certification, it costs just 50% of the standard digital package price, thus saving you a lot of time for very little money.
IJGC’S CORE VALUES
So how has IJGC managed to reduce the cost of certification?
We charge a fixed fee for the time required to perform a thorough examination, irrespective of the value of the item or the size of the stone.
We’ve paired the service back to its essential elements in terms of the tests we carry out and the information we provide.
We preclude items that require a more extensive examination process.
We work in large batches of over 20 items, specifically concerning our gemstone certification service.
These measures serve to reduce the amount of time required to identify all the items in a batch and to provide reliable certification for each individual item.
We also refuse to make any claims that cannot be substantiated. Anyone working in the industry will know that with some items it is not possible to arrive at a definitive end conclusion. Consequently, every item we receive goes through preliminary screening following registration in our system, so that its eligibility for budget certification can be verified. Our work is also governed by a duty of best efforts (as opposed to a duty of results), which means we are legally entitled to return any ineligible items without certification. Moreover, we believe we have a moral obligation to do so if we cannot conduct a conclusive examination. But, we do try to limit the number of ineligible items we receive, by working in partnership with our customers and encouraging them to use the Gem Acceptance Table to compile their batch.
With a view to further reducing certification fees, we then considered the additional costs associated with providing the results of the examination. This usually involves producing a fancy, printed report and a luxury presentation box, but we’ve developed an equally-attractive yet secure, low-cost and ecologically sound solution: the IJGC-SecurCase.
The IJGC-SecurCase is a beautiful, tamper-proof, presentation box which provides a 360° view of the item it contains and also serves as your report of authenticity. All the information you need is available at a glance on the label used to secure and seal the box. The bespoke IJGC-SecurCase is more environmentally friendly than traditional certification because the report is provided as an online document. You simply use the report number and QR code printed on your IJGC-SecurCase to view your e-report online, which you can then choose to print if you wish. Our service is secure, efficient and won’t cost the earth: we’ll look after your product, your planet and your profit margins.
Mr Elkan Wijnberg is the chief expert of our jewellery, watches and diamonds department.
Elkan Wijnberg is a master goldsmith. He founded the Adin Fine and Antique Jewellery firm in 1983 in which he specialised in buying and selling antique jewellery. Since then, Adin has become widely known and respected for its professionalism and knowledge of antique jewellery.
Elkan Wijnberg can describe and date detailed items of jewellery from the 16th century onwards.
An Jonckers’ unending fascination with small precious objects is her main motivation for being involved in the jewellery and gemstones sector on as many levels as possible. An has followed an inspirational path, developing her artistic approach and vision throughout her higher education and achieving a Masters in Jewellery Design and Goldsmithing from PXL-MAD in Hasselt.
However, in addition to design and creation, An craved a deeper understanding of all the different areas in the world of jewellery. It was mainly thanks to An’s thirst for knowledge about the history, craft and valuation of jewellery that, in 2015, she was given the opportunity to start work as a freelancer at Adin Vintage & Estate Jewellery in Antwerp. As a member of a select team, An has a great deal of experience in buying and selling antique jewellery both face-to-face and online and has a wide range of skills covering the full spectrum from marketing communication and customer service to authentication.
The pursuit of her lifelong passion for gemstones ultimately led An to be awarded the FEEG diploma in 2017, an internationally recognised gemmology qualification that acknowledges her skills in and knowledge of gemmology. Working as COO for IJGC, An has found the perfect balance between fulfilling her heart’s desire and developing her skills on several levels within the field.
DOCTOR IN GEMMOLOGY & MINERALOGY, GEMMOLOGICAL CONSULTANT
Dr. Lore Kiefert is a gemmologist with over 25 years working experience in several gemmological laboratories.
Dr. Kiefert was first exposed to gemmology when she started studying Mineralogy in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1981 and completed her Master’s thesis on the origin of sapphires in 1987. Not long after, she moved to Australia. There she pursued a different field of research: Mineralogical and Chemical Composition of Desert Dust. This work earned her a PhD in 1996.
Leaving Australia for Switzerland in 1994, Dr. Kiefert joined the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute as Deputy Director and later became Director of the Coloured Stones Department. During her time at the SSEF, in 1998, she completed her FGA Diploma. In 2005, Dr. Kiefert moved to New York to head the AGTA Gemmological Testing Center as Laboratory Director. Later, in October 2009, Dr. Kiefert returned to Switzerland to join the Gubelin Gem Lab as Chief Gemmologist where she retired in September 2020 to open up her own consulting company in gemmology.
Currently, Dr. Kiefert is also partnering with the German Diamond Institut Foundation (DDI Pforzheim), in conducting reports for coloured gemstones and diamonds, as well as giving classes about coloured gemstones. Besides that, she offers specialised services for gem dealers and gemmological laboratories.
Eduard Van Der Geest was preceded in the diamond industry by his great grandfather, a diamantair in Amsterdam. Eduard graduated 1981 in Business and Manufacturing of Jewellery and Watchmaking, from the Polytechnic College of Schoonhoven, The Netherlands. Furthermore, he qualified as a gemmologist at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain based in London.
In 1981, Eduard started to work for Carimati Jewelers, one of New York’s most exclusive, high end jewellers of that time. At Carimati, Eduard rapidly learned the various facets of the business, forging life-long relationships with jewelry ateliers and gem dealers, while fueling his passion and eye for the most rare and magnificent gemstones in the world. This passion coupled with a keen understanding of the most discerning client in the world brought Eduard to Harry Winston in 1985.
During his 18 years at Harry Winston, Eduard was instrumental in helping expanding Harry Winston’s business not only in the US, but also in the Far East, namely Japan, Hong Kong and South East Asia. He was Director of Sales from 1988 until his departure in 2002. In addition, Eduard created and executed many first-time exhibitions for Harry Winston, bolstering sales and growing brand awareness.
In 2002 Eduard joined the Graff Company as Director of Sales, where he works very closely with Graff’s CEO Henri Barguirdjian in expanding the success and growth of Graff Diamonds in the US and beyond, acting as GRAFF’s worldwide representative at selling exhibitions including: TEFAF, Monaco, annual SAG Awards and St. Barth’s. Needless to say that Eduard Van Der Geest has become a valuable vessel of knowledge and understanding regarding the needs, values and norms in the gemstones and jewellery trade worldwide.
Dr W. Dullaert (°1974) is a professor of Supply Chain Logistics at the VU University Amsterdam where he is head of the logistics department.
In 2014, he was appointed program director for the bachelor of Business Administration program at the School of Businessand Economics, where he also lectures in supply chain and operations management.
His research activities focus on the (re) design of production and distribution systems, tactical and operational distribution problems, and cooperation strategies in logistics, for which he has acquired national and EU funding.
His research has appeared in journals such as Transportation Research E, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Transportation Science, European Journal of Operational Research, and Computers & OR.
Marc Bahlmann studies how startups identify and obtain valuable knowledge and technologies in the global knowledge landscape.
His current focus in this area is on the role of startups’ geographic network configuration and their participation in both local and non-local networks, in order to gain a better understanding of how external knowledge sourcing translates into innovative performance.
He also studies startups’ venture capital portfolios and how startups can be matched with VCs.
His research has been published in the Journal of Economic Geography (Oxford Univ. Press), Industrial & Corporate Change (Oxford Univ. Press), and Industry & Innovation (Routledge) and others.
After 40 years of experience, Hans van Schilt and his company were at the forefront of the international spice trade, leading the global distribution of spices.
In the mid-eighties, Hans van Schilt founded the first and only brokerage firm to anticipate on the changing spice market in terms of tightening margins and the increasing demand for quality-controlled goods and supply according to strict product specifications. At a certain point, his company dominated much of the global pepper trade.
As with most business giants, van Schilt’s familiarity with the trade grew gradually. His first job was in his father’s local spice company in Amsterdam, where years of valuable knowledge were passed on to him. By the time he was in his late twenties, van Schilt was ready to take over his father’s business and to implement new and insightful changes that would meet the needs of his clientele.
His superior product expertise and risk management also opened the door to other companies who were in need of more sustainable farming relationships and on-site dealing, which is exactly the hands-on approach with which Hans grew up. He therefore travelled all around the globe on behalf of other companies, sourcing and acquiring spices from every corner of the world.
The evolution Hans van Schilt went through, from working for the local family business to his successes and his ability to overcome obstacles on a global scale, makes him a priceless sounding board for any company.
Hans Kan is founding partner & creative director of KAN, a multidisciplinary design agency specialised in branding and experience design. At KAN, a team of some twenty designers work for both local as well as international clients in various sectors.
As creative director, Hans is responsible for the strategic & creative quality across all projects, as well as day-to-day management. Having founded the office in 1987, he can rely on more than 35 years of experience in branding, (digital) product design and design management. KAN has offices in Antwerp & New York.
Gemstones have an undeniable timeless beauty that inspires awe and wonder; and (for man and magpies alike) a strong desire to possess them. These natural treasures, formed below the earth’s crust millions of years ago, cover a full spectrum of colour and come in a wide range of different hues. The fact that precious gems are often as valuable as they are beautiful has encouraged people to collect, gift and trade them for centuries. However, when trading in gemstones, people need to have confidence in their quality and identity. A report is the only way to prove a gemstone’s identity and authenticity. Reliable certification, issued by an independent, expert gemmologist is therefore essential for buyers and sellers alike.
A gemmologist can identify a gemstone and evaluate characteristics such as clarity, colour, quality, rarity and cut. By conducting specific tests, a gemmologist can determine whether a stone has been treated using heat or chemicals and whether its properties are derived naturally or created in a lab. Nowadays, specific expertise and the knowledge required to interpret a gem’s characteristics are more necessary than ever to determine a gem’s identity reliably.
Certification has been a lucrative business for some time, with many companies charging over the odds for unnecessary extras. But, IJGC may well be as unique as the gemstones we examine. We aim to make certification as affordable as possible and we have taken the necessary steps to achieve this. Inspired by the fair and open approach to pricing used by budget airlines we have taken measures to create a budget certification service.
- We work with batches of over 20 gemstones.
- We charge a set price based on the amount of work required rather than the size of the stone.
- Our pricing structure is transparent from the outset; and
- Our budget service covers the essential elements of certification, namely identification.
However, it is a well-known fact within our sector that a definitive end conclusion regarding all aspects of a gem’s identity, specifically whether it is natural or synthetic and whether it has been treated cannot always be reached within a reasonable time limit. To guarantee the reliability of our service, IJGC will not make any statements that cannot be fully supported. We therefore only accept gemstones that can be assessed thoroughly and conclusively within the timeframe permissible for budget certification. If it won’t be possible to reach a definitive conclusion within this timeframe, we believe it is our moral duty to return the gemstone in question without certification. However, we will always provide reasons for a gem’s refusal. Consequently, our work is governed by a duty of efforts rather than a duty of results, which gives us a legal entitlement to fulfil our moral obligation.
To ensure our customers have a clear idea of what gemstones are and are not eligible for budget certification prior to submission, we have also drawn up our own Gem Acceptance Table, which customers can use to compile their batch. This limits the number of gemstones we must return without certification following the initial screening and registration process. This cooperative approach also helps our customers to avoid paying administration fees for ineligible stones.
Furthermore, we’ve designed the IJGC-SecurCase, with our customers in mind. It provides a 360° view of the stone so this understated presentation box won’t detract from the beauty of the gem. And, with the report number and QR code printed on the tamper-proof labels used to seal the box, the SecurCase doubles as the report; making it both practical and secure. Reducing documentation in this way, serves to reduce costs and it’s kinder to the environment.
Identification of each gem is conducted in our own laboratory under the guidance and supervision of expert gemmologist Eddy Vleeschdrager who has over 50 years’ experience working with diamonds and precious stones. Working alongside jewellery expert Elkan Wijnberg, you’d be hard-pushed to find a team with a higher level of skill or a greater depth of knowledge in the gemstones and jewellery sector.
You will find this number on the label on the left side of the IJGC-SecurCase. The report number is above the security code and should be entered in its entirety.
For example: 12345-12345 including the dash.
We are sorry but the number entered is not a valid report id
INVALID REPORT NR
It is possible that your report is not ready yet, please try again later.
Invalid Cerificate Number, format : 12345-12345
Explanation coming soon....
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