The World Jewellery Confederation Pays Tribute to Vice President Roland Naftule, 1937-2023

The World Jewellery Confederation Pays Tribute to Vice President Roland Naftule, 1937-2023

Roland Naftule, CIBJO Vice President, who passed away on April 1, 2023, at age 85.

Roland Naftule, CIBJO Vice President, who passed absent on April 1, 2023, at age 85.

(Push Launch) MILAN, ITALY — The World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO) honors the memory and legacy of its Vice President, Roland Naftule, who passed away peacefully at age 85 on April 1, 2023, in San Diego, California, surrounded by his loving household.

There are number of if any persons in the jewellery and gemstone globe who devoted them selves much more selflessly to the benefit and company of the field as did Roland. For much more than two a long time, as President of CIBJO’s Sector A, he oversaw the planning, updating and routine maintenance of the association’s Blue Ebook series – the world’s most broadly followed established of expectations and terminology, which offer a prevalent language and frames of reference for the market, acting as a foundational bastion for customer self esteem. As such, his perform, dedication and knowledge will keep on to provide industry gurus and their purchasers for numerous many years to occur.

Roland was born in Switzerland in 1937, into a family that was cutting and sprucing gemstones for higher-conclusion observe makers in Geneva. His grandfather, Leon Naftule, a jeweler, proven a lapidary in 1926 just after turning out to be fascinated with colored gemstones. He was joined by his 3 sons, and the household business, Naftule Fils, became a mainstay of the Swiss marketplace.

In 1952, the eldest of Leon’s sons, Jean, expanded the small business to the United States, opening NAFCO Gems in New York. He was joined by his 19-12 months-aged son, Roland, who started his job promoting gemstones, touring about the city’s boroughs and nearby towns. 10 years afterwards, the household expanded into tough creation, turning into included in mining ventures in Tanzania, producing an array of distinctive gems.


Roland Naftule was passionate about public service in the jewellery industry, dedicating years of his life to CIBJO and other industry associations, several of which he among their founders.

Roland Naftule was passionate about community services in the jewelry industry, dedicating yrs of his lifestyle to CIBJO and other business associations, quite a few of which he amongst their founders.

By 1968 Roland had developed NAFCO Gems into a nationwide procedure, traveling overseas to invest in tough and unfastened gemstones for sale in both the American and European markets. A cutting factory was opened in Shannon, Ireland, in 1969, and in 1976 he transferred the firm headquarters to Scottsdale, Arizona, opening an added lapidary in Phoenix.

With the organization flourishing and his daughters joining the organization, Roland began nurturing a different like, which quickly grew into a passion – community provider. He was a single of the founding organizers of the American Gem Trade Affiliation (AGTA), and served as its President from 1983 by 1985. He also was Chairman of AGTA’s Field Rules Committee for 12 several years, and for two a long time served on the Board of Governors of the AGTA Gemological Testing Heart.

In 1984, Roland was a founding organizer of the Global Colored Stone Association (ICA), initial serving as Chairman of its organizing committee and then as its Founding President from 1985 by way of 1989.

In 1989 he was the founding organizer and 1st Chairman of the Gemstone Marketplace & Laboratory Convention (GILC), which is dedicated to harmonizing terminology supplied on studies by foremost gemological laboratories.

Roland was elected to the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of The united states (GIA) in 2001, and served the human body for 12 years. He was also Chairman of the GIA’s colored gemstone advisory and museum committees.

Becoming a member of CIBJO as a U.S. consultant, Roland held a range of roles over a interval of about a quarter of a century, amongst them Vice President, Sector A President, member of the Board of Administrators, Executive Committee and President’s Council, and President and Vice President of the Colored Stone Fee.

His presence on every CIBJO system was substantial, but it was quite possibly as Sector A President the place his mark on the gem and jewellery market will be the most indelible. Expanding the sector’s scope of activity from diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls, to incorporate valuable corals and gemological laboratories, he oversaw a consistently expanding and performing company that provides with each other gemologists, gem specialists, teachers and field leaders. Its get the job done sorts the basis of standards adopted across the world, and are ensconced into several nationwide guidelines and laws, and are approved by courts that adjudicate disputes in a variety of nations. Throughout his phrase in workplace, two ISO requirements related to jewelry were being adopted by the Global Business for Standardization, largely dependent on do the job finished inside of the CIBJO Diamond Fee, beneath Roland’s supervision and management.

Forever Young. Roland Naftule on the dance floor with his wife Fabienne, during the CIBJO Congress in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, in May 2015.

For good Younger. Roland Naftule on the dance flooring with his spouse Fabienne, in the course of the CIBJO Congress in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, in May well 2015.

“The term ‘an marketplace giant’ is often about-made use of, but in Roland’s case it is an understatement,” explained CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. “His contribution to our community is immense, beginning with coloured gemstones, his initial adore, but spreading to just about every side and corner of what we do. He stood at my facet for each yr of my presidency, and what has been accomplished around the full period of time is to his credit score as perfectly. I mourn the loss not only of a mentor, advisor and confidant, but of a near individual mate, who was extra of a brother.”

“But it is challenging to relate to Roland in unhappiness,” the CIBJO President ongoing. “For not only was he the personification of field professionalism and integrity, but he also represented the pleasure for life and magnificence that is inherent in our group. For lots of of us, the most lengthy-lasting recollections will not be the lots of hours we invested in discussion and deliberation, but somewhat from the stop of the day, when we peaceful and the band begun enjoying. Then, Roland was very first on the dance floor, and certainly the most gifted of us all. 12 months in year out, he was ‘forever youthful.’”

Roland is survived by his spouse Fabienne, his daughters Myriam and Stephanie, and their family members. CIBJO shares in their decline and hopes that his memory will eternally be a blessing.