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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...
28 Aug
The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai said visitors to the second edition of the Bharat Diamond Week at the bourse, to take place from October 8 to 10, will benefit from competitive pre-Diwali prices. The BDB is expanding the scale of the polished diamond fair following the success of the first edition held from April 23-25 where in excess of 1,000 visitors from India and across the world did business with 100 Indian exhibitors of polished goods.  Bharat Diamond Bourse Vice-President Mehul Shah, who heads the Bharat Diamond Week project, said, “Since India is a huge manufacturing hub and the show is being held before Diwali, prices will be very competitive. Those buyers looking for pre-Diwali bargains will find it a highly attractive time to visit the show. With the Diwali festival...
27 Aug
Geena Tok
Danish jewellery brand PANDORA has appointed Nike veteran Geena Tok to head its China business. One of her main tasks is to counter the grey market in the country, that is seriously impacting its business with imports from other countries being sold online. PANDORA has 200 retail outlets and 1,400 personnel in China, which it sees as a major market for its product, accounting for 12 percent of its overall sales and offering huge growth prospects. But due to the grey market, it lowered its Chinese retail prices on average by 15 percent last month. Tok will join the company in September, having spent 17 years with Nike in the US, Thailand, India and most recently, China. She replaces Anthony Asinas, who will now head the company’s Hong Kong and Macau...
24 Aug
ALROSA Chief Executive Sergey Ivanov
ALROSA’s revenue for the first six months of 2018 increased 8 percent  to  RUB 168 billion ($2.48 billion) in a year-on-year comparison with 2017. Net profit for the period grew 19 percent to RUB 58.3 billion ($860 million) while EBITDA (earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the period grew 22 percent to EUB 89.1 billion ($1.3 billion).  The second quarter of this year, however, saw revenue decrease 25 percent from the first quarter to RUB 72 billion ($1.06 billion), mainly due to a 32 percent drop in sales when compared with the high numbers in the first quarter. Average selling prices, however, drove a 2 percent revenue growth in a year-on-year comparison. Chief Executive Sergey Ivanov commented, "The...
24 Aug
ALROSA announced it will auction special size rough diamonds (over 10.8 carats) in Vladivostok from August 27 to September 12. The assortment on offer includes 129 gem-quality rough diamonds with the total weight of 2,312 carats. The company has invited 76 firms from Russia, Israel, Belgium,India, Hong Kong, the UAE and the US to participate in the auction. The results will be announced on September 13. "Since it was set up in 2016, our branch in Vladivostok has established itself as a reliable trading platform. Every auction is attended by clients not only from Russia and nearby Asian countries, but also from Europe and the US. Since the beginning of the year, we have conducted two auctions and already received more than $30 million in sales revenue from the Vladivostok centre," said...
23 Aug
Katharine Domyan
Jewellery from the estate of Katherine Domyan, the internationally famed two-time Olympic swimming gold medal winner, estimated collectively at between $2.1- and $3.15 million dollars, will go under the hammer at Bonhams New York this September. More than 60 pieces of jewellery, including some by Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and David Webb, dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s form part of the collection which was purchased by Katherine and her husband Arpad throughout their 56-year marriage as they travelled between New York, Beverly Hills, Paris and the South of France. Born in Budapest, Hungary, to two-time Olympic champion water polo player Marton Homonnai and Hungarian swimming champion Katalin Szoke, it was no surprise that...
22 Aug
With fewer than eight weeks to go to the opening of the 2018 CIBJO Congress in Bogotá, Colombia, on October 15, the second of the CIBJO commissions' Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission, headed by Huw Daniel, the report examines the influence on the sector by outside forces, be they political, regulatory or the result of decisions by the International Standards Organisation. "Unlike diamonds and other gemstones, where prices are almost exclusively a function of supply and demand in the jewellery markets, precious metals are also safe haven assets, and as such are subject to forces that simultaneously are driven by both psychology and economics," writes Daniel. The special report specifically looks at the difficulties encountered in predicting...
21 Aug
Rio Tinto today celebrated the opening of a fourth diamond pipe, known as A21, at the remote subarctic Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada.  The new open pit pipe will provide an important source of incremental supply over the next four years to sustain production levels at the Rio Tinto operated mine.  Northwest Territories Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Wally Schumann was guest of honour at the celebration attended by indigenous community representatives, joint venture partners and Rio Tinto employees.  The A21 pipe is located adjacent to Diavik’s existing mining operations at Lac de Gras. First ore was delivered in March and the pit is expected to be at full production during the fourth quarter of 2018, following a four year construction period and...
21 Aug
Sarine Technologies Ltd announced it has entered into an agreement with Clara Diamond Solutions Corporation, a subsidiary of Lucara Diamond Corp. to roll out a digital rough diamond spot sales platform. The rough diamond industry handles some $14 billion worth of stones annually. An estimated 90 percent of diamonds are sold in "boxes", typically to pre-approved major polishers, who may or may not also be major retailers. Buyers or Sightholders are allocated these boxes of rough diamonds and sell the stones they do not want into the secondary market by way of brokers. Sometimes the Sightholders get many stones that closely match their actual current needs, but sometimes just a few and need to buy more in the secondary market themselves. Ultimately what Clara is proposing is that buyers don...
21 Aug
The Kimberley Ekapa diamond mine in South Africa
Koin International Tenders announced that production from the Kimberley Ekapa Mine in South Africa, which was previously a part of Petra and sold in South Africa, is now going to be part of its rough diamond auction stable and sold in Antwerp via regular tenders. Koin said an initial sale of over 66,000 carats of 3-grainers down as well as single stones larger than 10.8 carats will be on offer. Viewings for  the 10.8+ size goods began on August 20 and will run through September 5, overlapping with run-of-mine production from the 28 August 28  to September 7. In addition, the sale will include the productions of Calendula, Diamcor, Klipspringer, Angola F2M, Mbuji-Mayi and fancy colour assortments.
20 Aug
GIA alumni and instructors with Nirupa Bhatt (centre) at themeet-and-greet event
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) India plans to conduct gemological and professional development seminars across India to strengthen its alumni network, said GIA Managing Director for India & the Middle East Nirupa Bhatt. Bhatt was commenting on the strong response to a ‘meet-and-greet’ event that was hosted at the GIA booth during the recently-concluded India International Jewellery Show (IIJS). She noted, “I’m excited that this event has received participation in great numbers from all parts of India. Many alumni expressed the value of GIA credentials and how they add recognition and credibility to their careers and businesses.” She added, “The success of the event is...

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