User Avatar


IGDA Announces New President

Marty Hurwitz
Marty HurwitzPublished on December 20, 2022

Joanna Park-Tonks of Chelsea Rocks will succeed Dick Garard as of 1 January 2023

Joanna Park-Tonks

The International Grown Diamond Association, (IGDA) has appointed Joanna Park-Tonks of Chelsea Rocks as the new President as of 1st January 2023. Louis Price, chief operating officer of M. Geller, will serve as vice president as of the same date.

This follows the long and successful tenure by IGDA founder, Dick Garard, who, most significantly lobbied for the ruling in 2018, in which the Federal Trade Commission decried that laboratory grown diamonds should be legally classified as diamonds along with their natural counterparts, since they

“…share the same essential gemological, atomic, chemical and visual qualities.”

The IGDA will continue to be based in Garard’s Morrisville, N.C., office, and Mr. Garard will continue on to serve on its board.

Joanna Park-Tonks has more than 20 years’ experience in the diamond industry with De Beers, Central Selling Organisation in London and The Diamond Information Centre Milan and she also held a variety of management positions with the global consultancy Accenture. Prior to this, Joanna was engaged by the jewellery department at Christie’s Auction House, London.

A passionate advocate for the created diamond segment, which Joanna construes as the equal counterpart to mined diamonds and she is keen to promote “…the fair, honest and accurate dissemination of information and promotion about laboratory grown diamonds. We might construe them as the “Fifth C” in diamond marketing, promoting consumer choice about the different diamond categories and their respective benefits as they are applicable to varying consumer lifestyle, budgets and taste”.

Furthermore, she is keen to promote equitable dialogue between the created and mined diamond parts of the diamond industry and further enhancing the luxury cachet of diamonds in general as the ultimate example of Veblen goods.

Joanna holds a BA Honours degree in Combined Arts and Management from Castle, University of Durham, UK. She is also recipient of the Peter Kirk European Scholarship. Joanna speaks English, German, French and Italian and in her spare time supports Guide Dogs for the Blind, a passion close to her heart given the visual language of jewellery and the gift of sight.

THE MVEye Subscription Plans

Lab-Grown Diamond Market Intel Report

$59 /month

THE MVEye Newsletter

Get occasional updates from THE MVEye in your inbox