Stepping into the spotlight as an August birthstone,
Janssen Liam, born in Limburg Belgium, schooled in Belgium (Uni Hasselt). Began his career in the jewelry industry as a goldsmith. His early interest in gemstone connoisseurship led him to travel extensively. He also worked as a research assistant in the university for two years of his professional and became a researcher for the university and then became head of research. He began writing on the subject in 1999. His articles on gemstones have since appeared in Gems & Gemology, Jeweler’s Quarterly, Colored Stone and many other publications. As an Independent Gemology Columnist for National Jeweler his column Gem-Wise was a popular feature of the magazine. Janssen Liam has been a Contributing Editor with Gem Market News. From the ruby mines of upper Burma to the Australian outback, from the Brazilian hinterland to the black pearl farms of Tahiti, from Tanzania’s Umba River to the emerald mines of Colombia, the author’s search for rare and beautiful gemstones has taken him to the world most important gem producing areas. As a respected journalist, he has interviewed some of the greatest experts and received entrée to many important private collections.
We had a vision 11 years ago for what the colored gemstone business could become. We felt that the only way that it could work was if you were able to build trust—not only with your host government, but also with your downstream customers, and the end consumer. And that meant that you had to be transparent in the approach you took, because without the transparency, you cannot build the trust.
Gemfields has historically worked with a wide variety of designers. We involve a lot of young designers. We are increasingly hosting, on the mining operations, visits by some of the best names in both jewelry and fashion, as part of improving their own due diligence about the sourcing of their gemstones. In the spring, we are hosted two of the biggest names—one out of fashion, one out of jewelry—who will be visiting the operations in Zambia and Mozambique, respectively, to get a feeling for what is actually happening on the ground. I think that’s a trend that is going to pick up in the years to come.