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12 Sep
Jonathan Kendall with Sun Fengmin
The De Beers-owned International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) announced that it will partner with the National Gemstone Testing Centre (NGTC), China’s leading authority in the testing and inspection of gems and jewellery, to extend the accessibility of IIDGR’s diamond education courses to students in China. The partnership will officially launch in early 2019 with students being able to undertake IIDGR’s education courses via a mix of online training, as well as laboratory-based workshops. Courses will be delivered by local tutors in the local language, in partnership with IIDGR’s diamond education experts. Teaching subjects will include: Understanding the diamond pipeline from start to finish to allow...
12 Sep
Slightly purplish zone in a Mozambique ruby
The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) has said it has worked on techniques to detect rubies from the Montepuez deposit in Mozambique that have been heat-treated at temperatures under 1,000℃. Only a few of these rubies display the characteristics of heat treatment that help gemologists detect them. An SSEF press release noted that since their discovery in early 2009, the ruby deposits near Montepuez in Mozambique have produced an impressive number of exceptional-quality stones, including iconic gems such as the Rhino Ruby (22.04 carats), the Scarlet Drop (15.95 carats) and the Eyes of the Dragon (a pair of rubies weighing 11.23 and 10.70 carats), all of which the lab has analysed. But from the very beginning, there has...
11 Sep
De Beers announced that it had provisionally sold $505 million worth of rough diamonds in its seventh sales cycle of this year. This compares with the $507 million actually sold in the seventh sales cycle of 2017. De Beers also said that its actual sales figures for the sixth cycle this year now stand at $533 million.  De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said, “De Beers Group provided Sightholders with the opportunity to re-phase the allocation of some smaller, lower value rough diamonds. Demand remains stable ahead of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.” Cleaver was referring to the fact that De Beers had allowed Sightholders to leave smaller and lower value goods on the table during the sixth sales cycle.
10 Sep
ALROSA reported that it sold rough diamonds worth $283.2 million in August this year. It also sold $11.7 million in polished, achieving a total of $294.9 million in sales for the month — a 14 percent growth in a year-on-year comparison. The Russian miner said its rough diamond sales total for January-August 2018 stood at $3.26 billion, while it also sold $67 million in polished over the period. “Despite the traditional August market slowdown, sales of both rough and polished diamonds were much higher than a year before. Positive trends in diamond jewellery sales, observed since the beginning of the year, have contributed to stable demand for almost the entire range of our products, especially for high-price rough diamonds,” said ALROSA Deputy CEO for Sales Yury Okoemov. He added, “...
10 Sep
Jerome Lambert
Luxury group Richemont has appointed Jerome Lambert, till now the group’s chief operating officer, as the new CEO. He is tasked with transitioning the group’s brands, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblance and Dunhill into the digital arena. Richemont had done away with the CEO role six months ago when Richard Lepeu retired. Chairman Johann Rupert managed the group through a senior executive committee. Observers said that now, with the group showing a 10 percent rise in sales over the five months to August 31, particularly in Asia Pacific and the Americas, Rupert feels confident enough to hand over the reins to a CEO. The group’s watch lines are reportedly the focus of a drive to develop a digital...
06 Sep
The World Diamond Council (WDC) is encouraging stakeholders to review the System of Warranties (SoW) during its public review period, which began on June 5 and ends on October 1.  The WDC said this review period is intended to help industry participants better implement and demonstrate commitment to responsible sourcing when buying or selling rough and polished diamonds.  “Public review of the SoW is crucial to ensuring a transparent process as we continue to uphold our promise to customers that they can trust that the diamonds they purchase have been sourced responsibly,” said WDC President Stephane Fischler. “We look forward to receiving comments from our stakeholders that reflect our commitment to upholding the integrity in the global diamond supply chain.”  The SoW reforms establish a...
05 Sep
India will overtake the US in the consumption of fine jewellery by the end of 2018, according to a report by market research firm Euromonitor International. The Indian fine jewellery market is projected at being worth $62.8 billion by the end of this year, $4 billion more than the $58.6 billion projected for the US. China will continue to be the biggest fine jewellery market, projected to grow to $92 billion by the end of the year — a nearly $6 billion jump from its $86.3 billion worth at the end of 2017. The report says the US fine jewellery market has grown by 12 percent over the last five years from the $52.2 billion value in 2014, but the Indian market jumped a whopping 74 percent over the same period from its $36.1 billion value in 2014. During this same period, the Chinese market...
05 Sep
ALROSA put 163 gem-quality rough diamonds with total weight of 2,615 carats, that include 26 fancy yellow stones, up for auction in Hong Kong. The auction kicked off on September 3 and will run through the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which runs September 12 to 16, with the results being announced on September 20. ALROSA said 77 companies from Russia, Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel, India, China and the UAE have been invited to participate in the auction. Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organisation, ALROSA’s sales arm, commented, ”The timing of our September auction intersects with one of the largest jewellery exhibition, which annually attracts tens of thousands visitors from all over the world. We invited about 80 companies to participate in the auction, but this list...
05 Sep
Private equity firm Epiris announced that it has acquired London-headquartered global auction house Bonhams through its Epiris Fund II for undisclosed financial terms. Founded in 1793, Bonhams is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The business holds more than 250 sales a year at its flagship sale-rooms, which include London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. In 2017, Bonhams sold more than 50,000 lots, generating over £450 million ($577 million) of hammer sales. Bonhams will continue to be led by CEO Matthew Girling along with CFO Jonathan Fairhurst. They will now be joined by Bruno Vinciguerra, who will be Executive Chairman. Vinciguerra served for eight years as COO at Sotheby’s, and before that held senior...
03 Sep
The JCK Las Vegas trade show’s management has announced that the 2019 edition of the show will run from May 31 through June 3 at The Venetian hotel’s Sands Expo centre. The overlapping Luxury show will be open to invitees only from May 29 to 30. It will be open to all JCK attendees from May 31 through June 3. “We have invested a lot of time and resources to gather feedback from our customers,” said JCK Senior Vice President Yancy Weinrich. She added that customer feedback had led to a return to The Venetian and Sands Expo as well as the traditional date pattern. “We have spent the past few months negotiating to secure these dates. We are thrilled to be able to deliver, and are as excited as ever for the show. While it marks the return to our roots, it is also a fresh beginning,” she said.
31 Aug
Signet Jewelers Limited announced its second quarter results for fiscal 2019, reporting revenue of $1.4 billion for the period. Same store sales rose 1.7 percent compared to the second quarter of the previous year. Same-store sales were bolstered by strong performance at Zales and Piercing Pagoda. They increased 2.1 percent in North America, bolstered by the impact of initiatives across banners to increase newness and refocus the company’s product assortment. Bridal and fashion sales increased in the quarter, benefiting from a greater percentage of newness in the core product assortment and higher clearance sales. The company has raised its same store sales guidance for the year from a 1.5-percent drop to flat parity with the previous year. Chief Executive Virginia C. Drosos commented, “...
31 Aug
ALROSA stated in a press release that a Kimberley Process (KP) delegation conducted a review visit to Russia on August 25-30 to check the system of mining, accounting, implementation and control of operations with rough diamonds, and to assess their compliance with the minimum requirements of the KP Certification Scheme. The delegation was led by Angola and included representatives of Botswana, EU, UAE, South Africa, and KP observers — the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the Civil Society Coalition (CSC). The KP delegation visited ALROSA's facilities including the United Selling Organization (USO) in Moscow, the production site of PJSC Severalmaz and the diamond sorting center in Arkhangelsk. In addition, the delegation visited recently opened facilities that did not exist at the time of...
31 Aug
A 5.03-carat fancy pink diamond will headline Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale on September 26. The square-cut, VS1-clarity stone is estimated at between £600,000 and £800,000 ($781,000 and $1.04 million). Bonhams UK Director of Jewellery Emily Barber said, “This pink diamond, offered at auction for the first time, possesses an exceptional combination of characteristics. It is extremely unusual to find a pure pink diamond, of even saturation, with no secondary component colours, weighing over 5 carats.” Bonhams will also be offering a fancy-coloured diamond three-stone ring, circa 1910, for sale.  The central old brilliant-cut fancy blue diamond, weighing 0.95 carat, is set between fancy yellow-orange marquise-cut diamonds, weighing 0.51 and 0.56 carats, and is estimated at between £80,...
31 Aug
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has launched a diamond anti-smuggling initiative for border communities in the Mano River Union region of West Africa. Participants of a workshop are being trained to create awareness and sensitise members of border communities about diamond smuggling. The free flow of diamonds across borders is illegal, but unfortunately not everyone knows that fact. The significant artisanal diamond mining in these countries, most of it being informal, makes controlling production and trade of diamonds difficult, to the detriment of the national economies and potential development for the mining communities. The first phase of the program involved a pilot project in Guinea. The pilot was a success with and now the initiative has evolved to the other countries of...
29 Aug
Hong Kong-listed jewellery retailer Chow Sang Sang Holdings International reported a 54 percent increase in net profits for the first half of 2018 (ending June 30) at HK$606 million (US$77.2 million). Revenue rose 19 percent to HK$9.56 billion (US$1.22 billion), with income from jewellery sales alone rising 23 percent to HK$8.65 billion (US$1.1 billion). The company cautioned that the escalating Sino-US trade war and rising interest rates could adversely impact second half performance, but added that it would maintain its target of opening 50 new stores this year. The company commented that despite the trade war and increasing volatility of equity markets, consumer sentiment seemed to be holding up. Mainland visitors to Hong Kong registered an increase of 12.7 percent for the first five...
29 Aug
Michael Hill Jeweller, headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, has experienced an 86 percent drop in its annual profit for the financial year ending June 30, after exiting the US market and shutting 24 of its 30 Emma & Roe brand outlets. The market exit and Emma & Roe closures cost it A$34 million (US$24.85 million) during the past year. The group’s revenue for the fiscal year rose 4.4 percent to A$575.5 million (US$420.63 million), earnings before interest and tax were down 19.5 percent at A$50.1 million (US$36.62 million), while profit plunged 85.9 percent from A$32.6 million (US$23.83 million) a year ago to A$4.6 million (US$3.36 million). The company however, reported a 28.9 percent reduction in net debt to A$28 million (US$20.46 million) from the A$39.4 million (US$28.79...
29 Aug
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) passed a resolution at its recently concluded Asian Summit & Executive Committee meeting held in Vladivostok, reiterating that despite the recent ruling of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the WFDB would only support the definition of a diamond agreed upon last year by the WFDB, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), the World Jewellery Confederation CIBJO, the International Diamond Council and the International Standards Organisation (ISO). WFDB President Ernie Blom stated, "We repeated our stance that the only definition of a diamond that we support is the one agreed upon last year by the WFDB, IDMA, CIBJO, the International Diamond Council and the International Standards Organisation. The ISO definition of a...
28 Aug
Sarine Technologies Ltd announced that it has opened a new service centre for Sarine Profile diamond reports in Tokyo, servicing retailers and the polished diamond trade in Japan.  The new service centre has been opened in cooperation with a veteran local partner in Tokyo, who will provide the necessary infrastructure and manpower. The Sarine Profile reports will include all the various assessments, imaging, and documentation parameters, including light performance grading, Hearts and Arrows analysis, cut grading, Sarine Loupe imaging, along with Sarine’s Diamond Journey, which tracks the diamond’s story from original rough to polished diamond.  Sarine decided to open the service centre in response to the growing demand for Sarine Profile reports in the Japanese retail market. The company...

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