Home       Technology / Education       Events & News       Archives       Designs
Transforming the Colored Gemstone Sector Through High-Quality Grading & Education

Omar Wahid Hatta
CEO - ICA | GemLab
In this exclusive Mr. Omar Wahid Hatta, CEO - IICA | GemLab talks about the important factors that are responsible for the growth of ICA | Gemlab. He also opines on the importance of origin report concerning the business of colored gemstones. Excerpts:

ICA | GEMLAB has been a pioneer in colored gemstone grading and certification. In brief, tell us about some of the important factors that has contributed to the success of ICA | GemLab including the lab’s technically sound resource and cutting edge technology?

Credibility, innovation, and accessibility. From these core principles, we grew and continue to grow into an institution with eyes set for the future.

The majority of the growth of ICA | GemLab is accredited to credibility. We have a principle knowledge base of colored gemstones - with over 40 origins. Thanks to this, we are able to identify and determine a wide range of colored gemstones.

ICA | GemLab currently holds industry standard equipment such as the EDXRF and UVvisIR and highly efficient equipment such as the LA-ICP-MS. We have all the resources we need to determine and test any colored gemstone. With the combined experience of 65+ years of gemological knowledge, our team combines our database with analytical support to Omar Wahid Hatta produce results that cater to the industry. The search to increase our knowledge base will continue as new deposits and mines are discovered every year. We already have plans to visit more deposits and origins in the following year. Furthermore, we have chosen to specialize in one sector of the jewelry industry, this specialization on colored gemstones allows us to ensure quality and focus with our work.

Innovation plays a big role behind our business development. Understanding the growth trend of contemporary businesses, utilizing the digital advancements, as well as leading the industry by creating a selfless product that grows the entire industry. We have spent the past year developing a large-scale application that focuses on the transition of traditional trading methods to digital trading. With our new interactive digital reports, inventory management, and application programming interface, we can provide businesses with self-management systems. With many digital implementations to come, we create a digital environment for the Asian colored gemstone industry. For all that we do, we make sure that our services and digital advancements have a place in a traditional industry. Helping the industry to grow is our goal.

Accessibility, one of the things I’ve noticed stepping into this industry is the lack of access. Our goal at ICA | GemLab is to provide opportunities for newcomers to learn, to trade, and to understand gemstones as a whole. Giving them access for information, giving dealers and sellers access for quicker trading, giving the industry a platform to look for new leads, and creating a system of trust. Access is what the industry lacks, and access is what we will provide.

‘Origin reports’ are gaining prominence in the current gemstone environment. Tell us something about the ‘Origin report’ evaluated by ICA | GemLab and its importance to the gemstone sector?

The Origin report is produced through the combination of analytical & chemical composition with the technical experience of inclusion image matching. Taking in the internal world of gemstones and using its distinctive qualities to differentiate from difference deposits and sources. Commonly, the origin affects the value and worth of many gemstones. Partially due to historical implication and scarcity, some gemstones with equal weight & color can receive a staggering 1000% price increase due to its source. Geologically speaking, the origin of a gemstone and its respective chemical fingerprint directly relates to the appearance and saturation of the gem. It can be quite interesting to see the chemistry behind each sought after gemstone color.

Security is one of the main concerns when a stone is sent to any lab for grading purpose. Please explain the securitization process of ICA | GemLab and its importance to the customers.

Security is a large concern for this industry. We work closely with Malca-Amit to ensure a safe and secure transportation. At our laboratory, we have a system to store client’s gemstones and jewelry within a safe inside a safe. The double locking method with a third security measure provided by AngloEast Group as well as limited access to our safety box; we can assure the safekeeping of any gemstone. It is important to us to go beyond the industry standard in the protection of our clients’ precious goods as well as our own database. Security has been and always will be the number 1 priority for any gemological laboratory. Our customers appreciate the extra mile we go in ensuring the safety of their jewels.

What are the future expansion plans of ICA | GemLab?

In conjunction with our Grand Opening Gala during the ICA Congress this year in Bangkok, ICA | GemLab is proud to announce that we will be the World’s First E-GemLab - while there are others that issue electronic reports only as a secondary reference, our digital reports can and will stand alone.

Focussing on digital solutions, accessibility, and creating platforms for everyone involved, we believe a gemological laboratory holds a large amount power within this industry. We are the stepping stone for any gemstone ready for trade. We aim to use our stance as a gem lab to create awareness and accessibility for new comers, evolve methods of trading and interaction, and provide solutions for businesses to aid in organization. Most importantly, we will lead this industry into a paperless industry. If we provide free gemstone education to the masses, then we open doors for newcomers. If newcomers come into the trade, the industry will benefit from a fresh pair of eyes as well as another trader. Access is the most important value our company holds. Access to in formation and knowledge. Access for supplier and customers. And of course, access for your gemological reports. Digital implementation and updates is the best way to gain access for any businesses. During September and October, ICA | GemLab will announce our beta launch of the ‘GemCert’ application - featuring an interactive gemological report, inventory and showroom management, educational database, and a platform for lead acquisition. Our next step focuses on B2B, providing solutions for businesses to lead into e-commerce, in-house organization and control, as well as full transparency of GemLab services. We will provide the industry an avenue to grow and evolve into the digital age. A pathway to lead newcomers in. And help businesses to grow and efficiently manage their precious goods.

Lastly, you are one of the sponsors for the upcoming ICA CONGRESS this year. Please do tell us how important this event is for the worldwide gemstone industry and for your organization?

ICA | GemLab holds a significant role during the ICA Congress. On the last day, the 15th of October, ICA | GemLab will hold its Gala Grand Opening Party in cooperation with ICA Congress. Through this Gala, ICA | GemLab will reveal future developments and announce the future plans of the ‘GemCert’ mobile application. An estimated 500 attendees will participate in this event and there will be a visual & sound art installation inspired by the internal world of colored gemstones, ruby inspired fashion show and auction, and Michelin chef catering. It is a gala to pay respect to colored gemstones.

This event, as the third Thai Congress, will be the biggest ICA Congress as of yet. The congress is designed to be a platform for business social interactions, to look for new opportunities, updated with new gemological findings, while paying respect to Thailand as the heart and center point for colored gemstone trading. As a derivative of the ICA, ICA | GemLab aims to spread the philosophy of ICA: the education and respect for colored gemstones. With a large scale gathering event such as the congress, individuals from more than 50 different countries will be gathering with one thing in mind: gems. With opportunities for business development and updates on current gemology findings, the congress is a good mixture of social life & business. The congress is an open source of opportunity for anyone joining in. We, as ICA | GemLab, will use the ICA Congress to announce our position and stance within the industry in representation of the ICA.