17 Aug
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced that its Asian Summit/Executive Committee meeting is set to be well attended, and will feature a wide range of representatives. The meetings take place in Vladivostok, Russia, on August 26-27, and are hosted by the Moscow Diamond Bourse (MDB). Russian diamond miner ALROSA is sponsoring the meetings in the Far Eastern city which is becoming increasingly important as a base for diamond sales. Presidents from bourses in the region will be attending the Asian summit, which is seen as a more intimate setting for the discussion of issues pertaining to diamond exchanges in that part of the world. Meanwhile, members of the WFDB Executive Committee from across the world will be attending the meeting in preparation for the World Diamond...
17 Aug
ALROSA announced it will hold an auction for the sale of special size rough diamonds (weighing over 10.8 carats) in Israel between August 19 and September 6. The company will auction 202 gem-quality rough diamonds with the total weight of 3,165 carats. About 100 companies from Israel, Belgium, India, Hong Kong and Russia were invited to participate in the auction. Evgeny Agureev, Director of ALROSA’s sales arm, the United Selling Organisation (USO), observed, ”The end of summer is traditionally a good time for auctions — the demand for rough diamonds is growing. It is also great for Israel, where our goods are always in demand and most local companies specialise in large-size rough diamonds.”  Agureev added that considering all these factors, ALROSA had changed its plans and increased the...
17 Aug
De Beers blockchain platform Tracr announced the appointment of Jim Duffy as General Manager to lead the next phase of its development. Duffy joins Tracr as the platform starts to build greater scale, with more than $100 million worth of rough diamonds having been registered on the platform since the launch of the pilot in January 2018. Prior to this, he led several tech start-ups and has worked both in large multinational technology companies and in the financial sector. A De Beers release said Duffy will be responsible for further development and scaling of the platform and leading a team of world-class diamond industry and technology experts. He will oversee all operational and commercial aspects of the venture, driving its go-to-market strategy and engagement with stakeholders. De...
17 Aug
ALROSA has tested a system for payment in Russian rubles for its overseas rough diamond clients. The trial involved clients from China and India and ALROSA is evaluating the system to see whether it could be implemented in future. The trial involved both auction sales as well as long-term-contract clients. A Chinese company that successfully bid for some rough diamonds at the ALROSA special size (+10.8 carats) rough auction in Hong Kong, paid for them in rubles through the Russian VTB bank branch in Shanghai. An Indian long-term-contract client paid for a scheduled rough diamond sale under contract by transferring rubles from its account in another Russian bank into ALROSA’s account.  According to Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organisation, ALROSA’s sales arm, payment...
16 Aug
The looted safe from the breached sort-house
Coloured gemstone producer Gemfields said in a press release that an armed mob breached the gemstone sort-house at emerald mining site of the Web Gemstone Mining plc (WGM) in Ethiopia on July 31, broke open its safe and looted the emeralds that were in it along with all the sort-house equipment and instruments. Gemfields holds a 75 percent interest in WGM. WGM’s residential camp was also ransacked by the mob. Police at the site first attempted to resist the invasion but were overwhelmed and later abandoned the site. Some of the mob were injured in the process of breaching the sort-house that had been constructed from 40-foot shipping containers. Gemfields had previously said that the emerald bulk‐sampling operations of...
16 Aug
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) said that the recent decision by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expanding the definition of diamonds to include synthetic, or lab-grown diamonds could have a big impact on the artisanal market in the near future. The DDI said in a press release that though the growth of synthetic diamonds could impact big producers, experts think it will mostly affect the artisanal market. For thousands of artisanal miners in diamond-producing countries in Africa, it could mean a huge dent in their livelihood. Lab-grown diamond producers are touting their stones as ethical and environmentally-friendly, the DDI said, but for those who haven't had the chance to read about it, this is exactly what the Maendeleo Diamond Standards are all about. It voiced the...
16 Aug
Coloured gemstone producer Fura Gems, which has emerald and ruby assets in Colombia and Mozambique respectively, announced a private placement of 25 million common shares at a price of C$0.40 (US$0.31) each for total proceeds of C$10 million (US$7.62 million). The net proceeds of the offering will be used: To complete the merger of its Mozambique ruby assets with Mustang Resources Ltd. and Regius Resources Group Ltd. To complete the acquisition of another ruby prospecting licence in Mozambique. For general corporate purposes. Fura said the offer is expected to close on or about August 24 and remains subject to a number of conditions including the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals along with the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
14 Aug
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) announced that registration has opened for the 2018 World Diamond Congress. The biannual meeting of the WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) will take place in Mumbai from October 23 to 25.  WFDB President Ernie Blom said, “I am delighted that a dedicated website has been created for the World Diamond Congress by the Bharat Diamond Bourse which has agreed to host the 2018 Congress. It is critical that everyone planning to attend the Congress carries out the registration process, including hotel accommodation, as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.” He added, “We have faced a number of deep-seated changes and challenges this year, so it's vital that the industry comes together to discuss them. It will be...
14 Aug
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal (centre) speaks to the mediaalong with Vice Chairman Colin Shah (right) and ExecutiveDirector Sabyasachi Ray.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), which runs the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) said this year’s edition, which wrapped up on August 13, logged 40,000 visitors, the highest number in the show’s history. The 2018 edition was also the largest version to date, with an additional 10,800 square metres of space facilitating the addition of a whole new exhibition hall and providing room for more than 1,300 exhibitors. “It wasn’t just a large show,” said GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal, who met the press on the show’s last day, “everybody made a big effort and there were better product mixes and better...
10 Aug
Outgoing PANDORA CEO Anders Colding Friis
Mass-market jewellery brand PANDORA’s Chief Executive Officer Anders Colding Friis will leave the company at the end of the month after the company lost $1 billion, or almost a quarter of its market value in the wake of a profit warning. PANDORA has hired Jeremy Schwartz from The Body Shop to take joint charge as Chief Operating Officer along with Chief Financial Officer Anders Boyer until a new CEO is found. PANDORA, which has 2,500 stores in 100 countries, said it was grappling with a range of problems including rising costs and weaker than expected sales of its charm bracelets. Colding Friis, who had reset the company’s targets in January this year to what he said were more realistic levels, said that even the new...
09 Aug
At the IIJS 2018 inaugural ceremony are (from left): GJEPCChairman Pramod Agarwal, GIA Managing Director for India the Middle East Nirupa Bhatt, GJEPC Vice Chairman ColinShah, GJEPC Gold & Other Precious Metal Jewellery PanelConvener Shailesh Sangani,GJEPC Executive DirectorSabyasachi Ray and CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri.
The 35th edition of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), kicked off in Mumbai today. The show has undergone a physical expansion with the addition of another 10,800 square metres in the new Hall 7 and features over 1,300 exhibitors. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), which manages the show, said it anticipated 35,000 visitors this year  from over 800 cities in India and more than 80 other countries....
09 Aug
ALROSA reported that its cutting and polishing division, DIAMONDS ALROSA, sold 111 polished diamond weighing a total of 308.97 carats for $1.5 million at its first tendered sale after the reopening of the company’s New York office. Companies from Belgium, India, Israel and the US, participated in the tender. "We brought polished diamonds of various cuts, weighing from 2 to 6 carats to New York. We were pleased to see great interest from American buyers, especially given the fact that this was our first tender in the US after a long break. We also succeeded in attracting new clients, and by the end of this year, we hope to hold one more tender, where we will bring a more interesting assortment", said DIAMONDS ALROSA Director Pavel Vinikhin. The ALROSA office in New York was opened in 2006...
08 Aug
PANDORA's manufacturing plant in Thailand
Mass-market jewellery brand PANDORA announced it will cut 397 jobs -- 218 of them in Thailand -- as it reorganises to streamline its manufacturing and boost sagging sales and profitability, particularly in key markets like the US. The brand, which had a disappointing 2017, had acknowledged at an investor meeting early this year that its product line was repetitive and didn’t offer customers anything fresh. Chief Executive Anders Colding Friis promised change and a revamped strategy. He told investors that PANDORA would cut product development time and get new offerings faster to market. He added that the company aims to launch 800 products in 2022 as against the 400 that were brought to market last year. He also said that...
07 Aug
ALROSA’s Board has approved a financial policy that allows the diamond miner to pay out dividends twice a year. It also recommended that the company pay its shareholders an interim dividend of at least RUB 5.93 ($0.09) per share for the first six months of this year. The company will use its free cash flow -- the operating cash flow net of capital expenditure -- as a new basis for calculating dividend payments. The dividend payment will be guided by the net debt to EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) ratio. This ratio shows how many years it would take for a company to pay back its debt if net debt and EBITDA are held constant. If a company has more cash than debt, the ratio can be negative. ALROSA’s board has recommended that if the ratio is indeed in...
07 Aug
GIA's  Zbrush software allows jewellery designers to digitally sculpt theircreations and create stone settings using GIA-developed digital brushes.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced it has $2 million in scholarships available for established and aspiring gem and jewellery professionals for 2019. Those interested in GIA gemology and jewellery manufacturing arts programs, distance education courses and lab classes can apply for scholarships offered in the application cycle opened on August 1. All applications are due by September 30. GIA said it has awarded more than $8 million in scholarships to more than 1,500 students globally since 2014. “With changing consumer trends and technological advancements in the industry, it is now more important...
06 Aug
René Kamm
MCH Group, which owns and operates the Baselworld trade show in Basel, Switzerland, announced that its CEO René Kamm is stepping down after nearly 20 years at the helm. The group said that move comes after its Supervisory Board and Kamm “reached a joint and mutual conclusion that the time has come for a change in the operational leadership of MCH Group in view of the fundamental transformation phase in business operations.” Board Chairman Ulrich Vischer will assume operational leadership of the group, with Kamm remaining to provide advice should the need arise during the transition period until a successor is appointed. The MCH Group is now going through an uncertain phase after the Swatch Group, the single largest participant at the Baselworld show,...
06 Aug
Coloured gemstone producer Gemfields announced that it had realised revenue of $10.89 million from an auction of predominantly commercial quality rough emerald, held in Lusaka, Zambia from July 30 to August 2 last. The emeralds were extracted by Kagem Mining Ltd in Zambia, which is 75 percent owned by Gemfields and 25 percent by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia. Of the 21 lots offered, 17 (81 percent) were sold at an average price of $4.21 per carat. Fully 90 percent of the carats offered were sold. Twenty-two companies participated in the auction. The specific auction mix and the exact quality of the lots offered at each auction vary in characteristics such as size, colour and clarity on account of variations in mined production and market demand. Therefore, the results...
03 Aug
The third edition of a platinum jewellery promotional effort by the Platinum Guild International (PGI) India called the ‘Season of Love’, which ran from May 16 through June 17 last, has concluded with great success, registering retail sales growth of 70 percent, the PGI said. According to the PGI, there was also a whopping 75 percent increase in retailers who participated in the campaign, which featured a digital outreach along with direct mailers, outdoor advertising and store-initiated consumer previews. Prizes for consumers were also on offer, including romantic holidays and five-star dinner experiences. A grand prize gives the winner ₹300,000 ($4,373) worth of platinum Evara jewellery. Speaking about the campaign Orra CEO Vijay Jain said, “The Season of Love has been a very rewarding...

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