Guild of Philippine Jewellers, Inc. - History

On May 1986, GPJI was conceptualized by five jewelers: Ma. Luisa D. Unson, Antonio Marco, Shirley Yap, Edilberto Bravo and Ronald L. Velayo as suggested by Mina Gabor, then head of the Center for International Trade, Expositions or CITEM. The said group of jewelers was advised to organize themselves in order to address the growing needs of the sector, and to recognize the potential of the industry to become one of the major contributors to the economy of the country.

The group appealed for fair taxations and a law that could protect them from unlawful practices. It was also at this time that the number of jewelers was growing. So, on May 3, 1986, the Guild was officially established as it registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC.

In 2011, GPJI celebrated its Silver Anniversary! In the span of 25 years, it has offered significant services to its members, organized events, and played a major role in the development of the jewelry industry, since its inception:

  • In 1986, the Guild published its first issue of Magaaalahas, the association’s official newsletter. A year after, when the Guild started to pick up, it organized its First jewelry show – First Jewelry Market – on May 15, 1987 at the Manila Peninsula Hotel Makati.
  • GPJI became a member industry association of Philexport in 1993
  • Antwerp Diamond High Council of Belgium conducted seminar for local jewelers in February 16-18, 1993
  • GPJI members for the first time bought gold officially from September in 1993 from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas when BSP officials made it easier for GPJI members to buy gold from the agency just by showing their GPJI ID.
  • Jewelry was selected one of the 14 Export Winners by Department Trade and Industry and appointment by the Export Development Council (EDC) of Antonio Marco as Export Champion in 1994
  • GPJI members win in 1994 for the first time in the Diamonds International Awards Design competition organized by De Beers which is the largest and most prestigious diamond design competition in the world. They are Jul B. Dizon and Gina de Dios whose winning piece was interpreted by Fe S. Panlilio Jewellers
  • Inauguration of San Eligius Jewellery Training Center joint project of the Guild of Philippine Jewellers, Inc. and Cottage Industry Technology Center. Then Senator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Community Development fund financed the procurement of equipment for the Center on November 14, 1995
  • GPJI wins cases vs. Bureau of Internal Revenue in 1995 at the Pasig Regional Trial Court upholding GPJI’s contention that the 20% excise tax and high import duties on loose gems and pearls are “oppressive, confiscatory, onerous and burdensome, and in effect killing the local jewelry manufacturing industry.”
  • Pearl declared as National Gem by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1996 through Presidential Proclamation No. 905.
  • Israel Diamond Institute conducted Seminar for Philippine Diamond Buyers and Jewelers, at the Hotel Mandarin Oriental Manila on February 26, 1997
  • GPJI organized 2nd Philippine Jewelry Conference on November 27, 1997
  • Kayamanan book, “Hiyas, Philippine Jewellery Heritage” published by GPJI off the press on December 1997
  • “JEWELRY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1998”, R.A. 8502 was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on February 13, 1998
  • Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the R. A. 8502 was approved and signed by DTI Secretary Cesar B. Baustista on June 18, 1998
  • Board of Investments approved GPJI accreditation under R.A. 8502, August 6, 1998
  • First Jewelry Design Competition organized by GPJI – December 1998
  • First International Jewelry Show in the Philippines – December 10-13, 1998, World Trade Center
  • GIA Diamond Grading Class at the Philippine Trade Training Center on May 17-21, 1999
  • World Gold Council officials visit Manila - May 25, 2000
  • Participated for the first time at the OROGEMMA International Exhibition of Gold and Jewelry at the Vicenza Trade Exhibition Center in Vicenza, Italy in 2001
  • GPJI latest Amended By-Laws certified by the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 15, 2002
  • Magaaalahas came out in color for the first time in its December 2002 issue
  • First Jewelry Show in Rockwell Power Plant Mall in Makati City from November 15-21, 2002
  • Confederation of Philippine Jewellers, Inc. registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 30, 2003. Member associations who signed up include GPJI, JIA, Association of Fine Jewelry Exporters and Manufacturers (AFJEMP), Bantay Goldsmith Association (BGA), Baguio Silver Gallery Inc.(BSGI) and the Mindanao United Jewelers Association, Inc.(MUJAI)
  • First Philippine Jewelry Forum at Dusit Hotel NIkko, August 8, 2003
  • Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. 8502 was finally signed on May 6, 2004 at the Board of Investments by concerned government agencies as Joint DTI-DOF-BOC-BIR-Administrative order No. 01 Series of 2004
  • Establishment of Philippine Assaying and Hallmarking Laboaratory Project was approved in November 2009 in the amount P3,355,000 through Export Promotion Fund by EDC-DTI.
  • Inauguration of Philippine Assaying and Hallmarking Office in CITC on April 19, 2010
  • Participated in a jewelry show with the exhibition of the finalists’ pieces from the Hiyas Jewellery Design Competiton for Philippine Jewelry at Goldschmieddhaus in Hanau, Germany in July-August 2009
  • GPJI helped preserved section 3 of RA 8502, Jewelry Industry Act by opposing for its repeal in the proposed House Bill 5241: “An Act Rationalizing the Grant and Administration of Fiscal And Non-Fiscal Incentives, And For Other Purposes” on May 20,2008
  • Launched Hiyas Design Competition as official name of Guild’s thematic jewelry design competition on August 19, 2010
  • First held awarding night of the jewelry design competition in public with a fashion show on August 19, 2010 in Greenbelt 5, Ayala, Makati City