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26 Feb
The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF announced the launch of GemTrack, a new service for the middle of the process chain, that enables the providing of an expert scientific opinion linking a cut gemstone to the rough stone from which it originated. While the SSEF emerald “Paternity Test” system along with a blockchain tracking system has been trialled in 2017 by coloured gemstone miner Gemfields and has recently been adopted by Fura, the GemTrack system allows the middle market in the process chain to adopt a customer assurance technology. The service involves the combination of crystallographic, structural, chemical and microscopic analyses, which allow for a detailed and potentially unique characterisation and fingerprinting of a rough stone. These same features can later be later be...
26 Feb
ALROSA announced that it earned $8.3 million from an international auction for special size rough diamonds (over 10.8 carats) in Dubai. The company said it sold 121 rough diamonds with total weight of 1,950 carats. Firms from the UAE, India, Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, Russia and the US participated in the auction, with 31 firms placing winning bids. ALROSA United Sales Organisation (USO) Director Evgeny Agureev commented, “ALROSA and Dubai have a longstanding partnership. Since 2014, we have been cooperating with the Dubai Diamond Exchange on industry issues; we have our trading company here, where we regularly hold auctions.” He added, “This year, we decided to increase the number of auctions in Dubai to five, because we see stable demand, including from local firms.” In 2018, ALROSA...
25 Feb
After a disappointing holiday season that saw lower than expected sales coupled with higher than anticipated credit costs, Signet Jewelers has made a voluntary separation offer to its 3,400 corporate staff as it strives to continue with its three-year turnaround plan. Signet, the parent group of the Zales, Jared’s, Kay Jewelers and Piercing Pagoda jewellery brands that collectively account for 3,500 retail stores, has said that the offer is to district manager-level employees and above who have been with the company at least two years. Chief People Officer Mary Liz Finn said in a memo to employess, ”Our high-production areas of distribution, manufacturing, customer care and security are not eligible for the program.” If not enough voluntary separations are forthcoming by Signet’s March 25...
22 Feb
Gemfields' new sort house at its Montepuez ruby mine
Coloured gemstone miner Gemfields today unveiled a new ruby sort house at its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. The $15 million sort house, which the company says is the first of its kind in the coloured gemstone industry, will be on a par with the best diamond facilities in the world. The facility itself will raise production levels significantly. It works by using the natural properties of rubies as a means of automated sorting. The process starts with washing of the raw material, before passing it under ultra-violet (UV) light. Rubies naturally fluoresce under UV light, meaning optical sorters can detect the fluorescence and employ blasts of air to direct individual rubies to separate channels for further...
22 Feb
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver
Wholesale prices for lab-grown diamonds have fallen by up to 60 percent since De Beers began selling synthetic stones for jewellery with its Lightbox brand in September, CEO Bruce Cleaver told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. He said the slide would continue as improved technology increases the quality and volume of lab-grown diamonds. Lightbox projects selling 20,000 carats of synthetic diamonds by the end of 2019, but once De Beers’ own factory in the US state of Oregon goes fully operational in 2020, its output will be more than half a million carats of synthetic rough a year. "The margins that were out there are not sustainable," is quoted as saying. "I like to compare it to a flat screen TV. The first ones were very expensive...
21 Feb
De Beers announced its preliminary financial results for 2018, reporting that though total revenue increased to $6.1 billion, up 4 percent from 2017’s $5.8 billion, underlying earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) had decreased 13 percent to $1.25 billion from 2017’s $1.44 billion. The company said that although current economic forecasts remain positive, the outlook for 2019 global diamond jewellery consumer demand faces a number of headwinds, including the risk of a potential intensification of US-China trade tensions, the Chinese government’s ability to rebalance economic growth towards consumption, and further exchange rate volatility. De Beers said that while unit costs and upstream profit margins were maintained, it undertook incremental expenditure on a...
21 Feb
Incoming Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik
Danish mass-market jewellery brand Pandora, which recently appointed Alexander Lacik, the current CEO of Britax Ltd., the British manufacturer of childcare products including car seats, strollers, and high chairs, as its new CEO, has determined that the major reason for the poor performance that led to the departure of CEO Anders Colding Friis is internal. Lacik may only join by September but Pandora has already launched a two-year turnaround plan aimed at correcting those internal issues under the joint caretaker leadership of CFO Anders Boyer and COO Jeremy Schwartz, who had been brought in from The Body Shop. Pandora shares, which had dropped almost 90 percent after a profit warning that led to the former CEO’s exit, surged...
20 Feb
An 88.22-carat D, IF Type IIa oval cut diamond will headline Sotheby’s spring Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction in Hong Kong, slated for April 2. The diamond, cut from a 242-carat rough that was discovered in Botswana’s Jwaneng mine, carries a pre-sale estimate of between $11.2- and $12.7 million. According to Sotheby’s, the diamond is one of only three oval diamonds over 50 carats that have been offered at auction. The April 2 auction will also feature an emerald and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels alongside a specially curated collection of coloured gemstones and coloured diamonds of exceptional quality, Sotheby’s said.
18 Feb
Coloured gemstone producer Gemfields launched its #EveryPieceUnique promotional campaign in India with an installation at Mumbai’s High Street Phoenix mall over February 16 and 17. The campaign targets consumer engagement by offering visitors the chance to win a pair of earrings set with Gemfields Mozambican rubies, by posting a picture of the installation on social media.  The installation showcased Gemfields’ half emerald and half ruby faceted female form, a rhino sculpture and a depiction of a flowering African baobab tree. The installation features Gemfields’ key campaign messages of transparency, a commitment to conservation and the company’s efforts to mitigate the impact of mining on the environment.
18 Feb
Richard Duffy
Petra Diamonds Limited announced that Richard Duffy would take over as CEO from Johan Dippenaar while reporting a 10 percent increase in production to 2.02 million carats and a 15 percent increase in sales to 1.74 million carats, in its unaudited interim results for the six months to December 31, 2018. Revenue for the period was $207.1 million, up from the $191.8 million during the same period the previous year. The results exclude the Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture and Helam Mining, both of which were sold by December 5 and 6 respectively. Full year production guidance has been maintained at between 3.8  and  4 million carats. Outoing CEO Dippenaar commented, “As we have also communicated today, these are the last results that I will be...
14 Feb
Mitali Kikani, who won the Brooches or Pins category,picks up her award
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) held the presentation ceremony of its Artisan Jewellery Design Awards 2019 jewellery design competition on Wednesday in Mumbai. The event also featured the official release of the GJEPC-sponsored AATMAN - Inspirations 2020 jewellery trend forecasting book put together by luxury industry analysts from The Futurist’s group led by Paola De Luca. Sponsored by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and co-sponsored by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), the design competition is aimed at recognising and rewarding India’s best jewellery design talent. Speaking on the occasion, GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal reiterated the need for the...
14 Feb
The Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) said that after a successful pilot last year, it will again hold an auction of special stones at the HKTDC’s Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show in Hong Kong. The auction will be held at IDI’s Israel Diamond Pavilion, which this year will host 58 companies. The goods will be on view and bids may be placed between February 26 and 28. Progress on the bidding will be shown on screens located within the pavilion.  The IDI said Israeli exhibitors will be presenting diamonds especially suited to Asian markets, with several companies showing very large and important stones and fancy coloured diamonds. Moreover, many of the exhibitors will also be showing specially designed pieces of diamond jewellery. As it did last year, the IDI said the...
13 Feb
ALROSA held a media preview of a collection of large coloured polished diamonds, including unique pink, bright yellow and pink purple gems. The star of the show was a pink oval diamond weighing 14.83 carats — the largest pink diamond in the history of Russia, ALROSA said. The rough it was cut and polished from was mined in 2017 at the Ebelyakh deposit in Yakutia. The largest pink diamond mined by ALROSA prior to the recovery of this stone was 3.86 carats. “Pink diamonds along with the blue ones are considered to be the rarest and most precious of all, and the size and clarity of this specimen makes it one of the best to be discovered anywhere in the world in recent years. I am sure that this diamond will be the most expensive in the history of Russia’s gem cutting industry,” said ALROSA...
13 Feb
Paola De Luca presents an overview to begin the event
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), held its annual Design Inspirations trend forecasting and knowledge sharing forum at the venue of the ongoing IIJS Signature trade show on Tuesday. GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agrawal noted that while the country boasted a rich heritage in jewellery, the global marketplace was evolving rapidly and the Indian industry had to absorb new learning and get as many insights into global emerging trends as possible in order to compete and thrive. The event was kicked off with an overview from trend forecaster  Paola De Luca, who heads The Futurist Ltd and has been the main speaker at the Design Inspiration series over the years. “The future starts now,” she said.  GIA...
13 Feb
The All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) held the grand finale of the 8th edition of its National Jewellery Awards (NJA) in Mumbai on Tuesday. This year’s event honoured winners in 16 categories, including three for excellence, five for stores, three for designers and artisans and a student of the year award. Additionally, there were awards for corporate social responsibility and women’s entrepreneurship. GJC Chairman Anantha Padmanabhan commented,“We were overwhelmed to receive over 850 entries despite a challenging and volatile business environment. This shows the indomitable spirit of Indian jewellers.” Vice Chairman Shaankar Sen noted that the awards were a tribute to the talent and craftsmanship of the country’s “Make in India’ artisans, manufacturers and designers. He...
12 Feb
ALROSA announced it had sold $278.2 million worth of rough diamonds along with $3.4 million in polished in January this year. Company Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov commented, ”In January, market activity was lower than usual. After active restocking by the midstream in December 2018 (December sales were up 20 percent in a quarter-on-quarter comparison and up 46 percent year on year), January sales came lower. Sales in the diamond market are always cyclical, and apparently, we are seeing the expected correction after the peak values in previous periods.”
12 Feb
Applying physical tracers to Fura's emerald samplesfrom the Coscuez mine
Coloured gemstone miner Fura Gems Inc. announced that it has launched a pilot of the Provenance Proof Blockchain for the coloured gemstone industry, which has been developed by the Gübelin Gem Lab in association with technology company Everledger, for emeralds from its Coscuez mine in Colombia. The blockchain system, first announced in 2017, can be used in conjunction with the Gübelin Gem Lab’s Emerald Paternity Test, for which DNA-based nanoparticles that are applied to a rough emerald at the mine, act as tracers carrying information regarding provenance from the mine to the market. It has been trialled by Gemfields for its Zambian emeralds. Gübelin has now formally opened the system to the...
11 Feb
The trading floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange
A gang of thieves suspected of carrying out a diamond theft during the International Diamond Week (IDWI) at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) at the end of January, were arrested a few hours after the theft. This was after the IDE’s security team immediately alerted the police and supplied a picture of one of the suspects. The gang of nine, who are suspected of stealing a suitcase containing diamonds worth tens of thousands of dollars from the IDE trading floor, were arrested the same day at the Israel-Egypt border by Israel Police and Border Control, before they were able to leave the country. IDE President Yoram Dvash said, "The rapid arrest of the suspects was facilitated by our immediate cooperation with the...

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