General Terms and Conditions Gübelin Gem Lab Hong Kong
These General Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) are applicable to all customers (the “Customers” and each, individually, a “Customer”) of Gubelin Gem Lab Ltd. (“Gubelin”), a Hong Kong company limited by shares for gemmological analyses or similar services (the “Services”).
2. Transportation and Insurance
All diamonds, gemstones, pearls, jewellery and other items (“Gemstones”) may be delivered to Gubelin in Hong Kong at Customer’s risk via courier service or registered mail or other means of transport at the election of Customer. Any and all Gemstones sent to Gubelin shall be insured by Customer to their full value, such insurance covering the delivery to Gubelin, the time period during which the Gemstones are at the laboratory and the return of such Gemstones by Gubelin to Custom-er. Customer is solely responsible for and shall arrange the completion of all formalities with respect to the import and export of Gemstones into and out of Hong Kong and the payment of all import and other duties. Gubelin shall not accept any Gemstones for which import, export and customs formalities have not been completed.
3. Fees and Conditions of Payment
The fees for Gubelin’s services shall be governed by Gubelin’s pricing schedule in effect at the time of the placement and acceptance of any order. The pricing schedule shall be provided to Customers upon request. Invoices for services rendered become due with the completion of the services and shall be paid by wire transfer within 30 days of the invoice date to the following account of Gubelin:
|Beneficiary Bank Name:||HSBC Hong Kong|
|Beneficiary Bank Address:||1 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong|
|Beneficiary Bank Code:||004 (for local payment)|
|SWIFT-Code:||HSBCHKHHHKH (for telegraphic transfers)|
|Account No.:||808-766265-838 (for multi currency)|
|Account Name:||Gubelin Gem Lab Ltd.|
Gubelin reserves the right to demand payment prior to delivery of any Gemmological Reports (“Re-ports”). New customers are required to provide payment in advance of the performance of any work.
4. Delivery Deadlines
Gubelin does not guarantee the performance of the Services by any specific date. Orders will, how-ever, under normal circumstances be completed by Gubelin within 5 business days after the receipt of the order. If this is not possible, Gubelin will inform the Customer.
5. Scope of Services and Report
Gubelin shall deliver to Customer a Report reflecting the results of Gubelin’s examination of the Gemstones provided to Gubelin.
Only the original Report shall be considered by the Customer as representing the results obtained by Gubelin during its examination. The signatures featured in the Report may be facsimiles. Such facsimile signatures have no effect on the validity of the Report. Gubelin staff whose signatures are featured in the Report have personally examined the item and /or reviewed the analytical data relat-ing to the item, as obtained by other Gubelin staff. Photographs of Gemstones serve solely as a rep-resentation of the examined Gemstones and may differ in appearance from the original Gemstones.
The results contained in the Report shall be limited to a selection of identified characteristics, which were ascertained during the examination of the Gemstones in accordance with the scientific standards current at the time of the examination. It is possible that a later re-examination of the Gemstones may lead to different results, should the applicable scientific standards for the examina-tion change subsequent to the examination of the Gemstones by Gubelin.
Voluntary disclosure of client’s name: upon specific request by the client, Gübelin adds a comment on the Report disclosing the name of the client who presented the stone to Gübelin for testing. The mention of the client’s name on the report does not imply any evidence regarding the ownership of the stone, nor does it provide any reliable information on the possible provenance or supply chain of the stone.
6. Verbal Opinion and GemCard
For some gemstones a preliminary verbal opinion is possible based on a short analysis. This so- called “Verbal” is a non-binding, non-committal and informal opinion of the gemmologist on a very limited basis of analytical indications. If the client requests a Verbal, Gubelin contacts the client before performing the full analysis, giving the client the option of stopping the analytical process, based on this preliminary information. The Verbal might differ from the final result on the Report. In such a case, the standard price for the full service will be charged. Gubelin is not always in the position to give a Verbal on an item. The client is obliged to pay the cost for the Verbal service, re-gardless of the completeness and accuracy of this preliminary information. The Gubelin GemCard is a preliminary, informal, incomplete and non-binding conclusion of the analysis performed on a client item and is handed out to the client on paper, filled in handwriting by a Gubelin Gem Lab employee. The GemCard is only handed out personally on OPT or fairs and is not sent to the client, neither in hard copy nor electronically. The GemCard contains limited information on the conclu-sion of the analysis performed on the item and does not replace the formal Gubelin Gem Lab Report, which is the only fully reliable report document. The GemCard is not subjected to the standard quality control procedure performed on Reports and thus, information on the GemCard might differ from the information stated on the later issued Report. The Gubelin Gem Lab strongly discourages from concluding any non-reversible deals solely on the basis of the GemCard.
7. Origin of Gemstones
A professional opinion regarding the probable geographic origin of a Gemstone may be given when-ever possible and upon request by the Customer. Information concerning the geographic origin of a Gemstone is based on comparisons of internal characteristics, physical and chemical characteristics with the characteristics of reference stones of known identity, the results of continuing scientific research of Gubelin and published gemmological findings. Gubelin’s opinion concerning geograph-ical origin of a Gemstone is not an expression of an opinion concerning the quality or value of the examined Gemstone. Designations of geographic origin are expressions of opinion based on known facts and scientific observation but Gubelin makes no warranty whatsoever regarding the actual origin of any Gemstone. The combination of data may not, in all instances, provide the necessary basis for an origin determination. When such case arises, the lab does not comment as to the origin of the gemstone.
8. Explanations with Respect to the Treatment and Handling of Gemstones
In accordance with internationally accepted standards, Gubelin may not mention all types of treat-ments that may have been applied to or used with respect to the Gemstones under examination. The fact that a particular method or treatment is not specifically mentioned in a Report does not mean that such treatments or methods were not used with respect to the particular Gemstone. Any remarks concerning the presence or absence of any treatment type or method are solely the expres-sion of the findings made by Gubelin.
9. Identification, Grading and Treatment of Diamonds
Gubelin only grades diamonds which have been determined to be natural. Synthetic diamonds will be identified as such but will not be graded by quality grades. Symbols used in cut sketches show the approximate size, type, number and location of internal and external characteristics of the examined diamond. If significant characteristics are present, smaller external characteristics as well as minute inclusions may not be included in the sketch. Enhancements to the clarity or coloration of a natural diamond will be mentioned in the Report. However, its quality will not necessarily be graded.
Gubelin notes that certain treatment methods used on diamonds are difficult to detect or can only be detected under very specific circumstances. Accordingly, Gubelin makes no warranty whatsoever that the analysis performed by Gubelin has revealed all treatments to which a diamond has been subjected.
10. Analysis of Precious Metals
On demand of the customer precious metals are analysed by LA-ICP-MS (see below). Gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), rhodium (Rh), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), tin (Sn), arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) are quantitatively ana-lysed. The precious metal alloys are classified according to guidelines proposed by the “Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals” (Annexes I and II), which is adopted by the “Confederation International de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfevrerie, des Diamants, Perles et Pierres” (CIBJO).
11. Scientific Research
All data, including but not limited to gemmological, geological or chemical data, which is gathered during the analysis of any Gemstones remains the sole property of Gubelin and may be freely used for scientific or commercial research purposes by Gubelin.
12. Acceptance of Services
Orders processed by Gubelin shall be examined by the Customer within five (5) business days beginning on the date of delivery to the Customer. The Services and Gubelin’s work products shall be deemed to be accepted unless a written notice describing the deficiency is received by Gubelin within the applicable time period set forth above.
The analyses that Gubelin applies include non-destructive and, if required, quasi non-destructive analytical methods, such as Laser Ablation - Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). This method evaporates minute amounts from the girdle (whenever possible) by means of a laser beam. The LA-ICP-MS analysis creates a small pit with a diameter of, typically, 0.08 mm and a depth of approximately 0.005 – 0.010 mm. These pits are hardly visible by 10x magnification, and the loss of weight is below 0.001 ct and can thus not be detected by any gemmological weight balance. The LA-ICP-MS analysis does not affect the quality or visual appearance of the gemstone.
13. Affiliated Companies, Subcontractors and other Auxiliaries
The Customer agrees to Gubelin having works, including, but not limited to handling, testing, ana-lysing, unmounting and mounting of the Gemstone, done by affiliated companies, subcontractors or other auxiliaries. Furthermore, the Customer agrees that regardless of the place of submission of the stone, the service or parts of the service might be carried out by other Gübelin Gem Lab facilities. This implies the acceptance of the shipment of items by professional shipping companies.
Client herewith commissions Gubelin to carry out unmounting / remounting services. Client accepts after signature of this agreement that Gubelin is not liable for any damage which might occur to the gemstones, pearls or jewellery during the unmounting or remounting process. All risk of potential damage to the gemstones, pearls or jewellery is borne exclusively by the client.
Gubelin assures that the unmounting / remounting services are conducted by experienced and trained professionals only.
14. Warranty and Liability
Gubelin shall not be liable under any circumstances to Customer or any other person if (a) the Services or work products prepared in connection with the Services are not used for the intended purpose; (b) any Report prepared by Gubelin was subsequently modified without Gubelin’s written consent or (c) the Customer should not have disclosed to Gubelin all material facts known to the Customer with respect to the Gemstone analysed.
EXCEPT FOR THE WARRANTIES SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION 14, GUBELIN MAKES NO OTHER WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE SER-VICES BY GUBELIN OR ANY OF ITS AGENTS OR SUBCONTRACTORS. ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED AND DECLINED.
CUSTOMER MAY NOT BRING ANY ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH ANY TRANSACTION COVERED BY THESE TERMS UNLESS SUCH ACTION IS COMMENCED WITHIN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE CAUSE OF ACTION HAS ACCRUED.
THE LIABILITY OF GUBELIN HEREUNDER IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO DIRECT DAM-AGES DUE TO GROSS NEGLIGENCE AND WILLFUL BEHAVIOUR INCURRED WITH RE-SPECT TO THE SERVICES BY GUBELIN. IN NO EVENT SHALL GUBELIN BE LIABLE TO ANY PERSON FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF PROFITS OR GOODWILL, OR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED, WHETHER PURSUANT TO A CLAIM IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE AND WHETHER IN AN ACTION FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR OTHERWISE.
GUBELIN IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO THE GEMSTONE DUE TO NEGLIGENT OR WILLFUL BEHAVIOUR OF A SUBCONTRACTOR OR OTHER AUXILIARY (pursuant to #13).
15. Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Rights
All Gubelin’s patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trade names, trademarks, service marks, proprie-tary materials, methods, processes, know-how or other intellectual property and all improvements to any of the foregoing (collectively “Gubelin Property”) used in connection with the Services shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Gubelin, and Customer’s rights to use such Gubelin Prop-erty shall be limited to those permitted by these Terms. Any Gubelin Property or improvements thereto which are used, improved, modified or developed by Gubelin at any time shall be the sole and exclusive property of Gubelin. Gubelin hereby grants the Customer a royalty-free, non-transferable, non-exclusive license to use Gubelin Property solely in connection with the use of any Report created as part of the Services.
The Customer agrees that Gubelin may publish photos of the gemstone for which Gubelin has pre-pared a report in its folders, brochures, other publications and on its website, provided, however, that the identity of the owner of the gemstone is not mentioned.
16. Payment Default.
If Customer fails to pay any invoice for Services provided by Gubelin in whole or in part on or before the date required, Customer shall pay interest to Gubelin at the rate of five (5) percent per year. The specification or charging of interest shall not be deemed an agreement to extend credit. If a Customer fails to pay any invoice for services provided by Gubelin in whole or in part for more than thirty (30) days, Gubelin may refuse to complete orders which have been, or will be, placed with Gubelin until such outstanding amounts and any interest on such outstanding amounts owing to Gubelin have been paid in full. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Gubelin shall be entitled all other available rem-edies at law or in equity.
17. Governing Law and Jurisdiction; Place of Performance
THE CONSTRUCTION AND VALIDITY OF THESE TERMS SHALL BE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF HONG KONG, REGARDLESS OF WHERE ANY ORDER WAS PLACED OR FILED, THE PLACE OF PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICES OR DELIVERY OF REPORTS OR WHERE ANY OTHER ACT OR PERFORMANCE OCCURRED.
THE CUSTOMER AGREES TO THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS LO-CATED IN HONG KONG, WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL DISPUTES ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SERVICES RENDERED BY GUBELIN.
Gubelin may change, revise, amend or modify these Terms from time to time. Gubelin shall pro-vide Customers with written notice of any such changes, revisions, amendments or modifications, provided, however, that any such changes, revisions, amendments or modifications shall become effective without any further action by any party and that they shall not apply to any orders placed and accepted prior to the effective date of such changes, revisions, amendments or modifications.
19. Entire Agreement; Modifications or Waivers
These Terms shall be the complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersede any oral or written communications, under-standings, acknowledgements or representations or agreements relating thereto.
© Gubelin Gem Lab Ltd.
Room 1005, 10/F, China Building,
29 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong