09 May
Nirav Modi
Fugitive Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi, who along with his uncle Mehul Choksi is an accused in the nearly $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, was on Wednesday denied bail for the third time by London’s Westminster Magistrates Court Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot. He was denied bail despite an offer from his defence team to double the bail security to £2 million ($2.6 million). Modi’s defence counsel, Barrister Clare Montgomery told the magistrate that conditions at the Wandsworth prison where Modi is currently incarcerated are ‘unliveable’ and that he was willing to abide by any conditions the court chose to impose, including staying under a 24-hour curfew in his flat. However, the judge was not convinced, observing that doubling the bail...
08 May
The Almas Tower in Dubai
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) announced that it will host the first-ever rough laboratory-grown diamonds tender at its Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) in the Almas Tower, Dubai. The auction will feature 50,000 carats in 55 parcels of chemical vapour deposition (CVD) rough diamonds. The DMCC said that the tender is in line with its strategy to attract, facilitate and drive new trade flows through Dubai. The tender is being organised and managed by Hong Kong-based diamond traders Tony’s Auction World with viewings in taking place from May 11 to 13. The DMCC said that as a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the DDE is subject to all the organisation’s laws and must be compliant with its stringent regulations....
08 May
Caryl Capeci
Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group announced it had appointed Caryl Capeci as CEO of its newly-set-up Chow Tai Fook North America (CTFNA) business hub in Boston. CTFNA is positioned to be a single source wholesaler by delivering products, services and know-how especially on technological innovations that help drive profitability and strengthen jewellery retail businesses in the North American market. CTFNA is currently home to diamond jewellery brands, Hearts On Fire and Mémoire. It will offer customised, specialty collections in the diamond and fine jewellery segments, as well as private label offerings, to address the evolving needs of jewellery consumers. "As we celebrate our 90th anniversary, we look forward to making further...
08 May
Pandora's manufacturing plant in Thailand
Mass-market jewellery maker Pandora reported revenue of DKK4.8 billion ($720 million) for the first quarter of 2019. This reflects a 10 percent drop in like-for-like growth impelled by lower traffic in physical stores and a 12 percent drop in organic growth that reflects a decrease in wholesaler inventories partly driven by reduced sell-in packages. Pandora said that its pre-tax margin, excluding restructuring costs, was 22.5 percent. The company also said that as part of its turnaround initiative, called Programme NOW, 1,200 employees would be let go from its Thailand operations, while 50 low-margin stores would be closed on lease expiry. The staff reductions come on top of the 397 personnel let go in August last year...
07 May
The Ana Maria pearl is set as the detachable drop of a broochthat contains a hidden Audemars Piguet watch.
The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has successfully age-dated the historic Ana Maria pearl using a radiocarbon (14C) procedure, to between the 16th and mid-17th century CE. The result fits the documented historic provenance of the pearl, once owned by Ana María de Sevilla y Villanueva, XIV Marquise of Camarasa (1828-1861). The pearl is presumed to have been discovered during the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the 16th century. According to Christie’s Geneva jewellery expert Marc Lunel, this is the first time that the 14C procedure has been used on a historic natural pearl. The Ana Maria pearl is a slightly baroque drop-shaped natural saltwater pearl...
06 May
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that her long-time partner Clarke Gayford proposed to her after she was spotted wearing what has been described as an ‘understated’ two-diamond ring in either platinum or white gold. New Zealand jewellers had speculated that given its old-world look, the ring might be an heirloom piece and the Prime Minister confirmed at a news conference that ring had belonged Gayford’s grandmother. She said she was wearing the ring on her middle finger because it did not fit on her ring finger. Prime Minister Ardern is the second head of government (after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto) to have given birth while in office. Gayford has taken on the role of stay-at-home dad for their tenth-month-old daughter Neve.
06 May
The Rio Tinto-owned Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, that is slated for closure next year, racked up a pre-tax loss of $89.9 million (A$128.6 million) in 2018, despite revenue of $259 million (A$370.6 million) that was 26 percent higher than in 2017 and cash flow of $103.8 million (A$148.4 million), that was double what it reported the previous year, according to Australia’s Financial Review. The loss is chalked up mainly to the $101.7 million (A$145.4 million) non-cash expense related to the closure of the mine. The Argyle mine processed 10 per cent more ore than it did in 2017, but produced 18 per cent fewer diamonds. Higher sales volumes, impelled by a stronger US economy and higher prices for the mine’s iconic pink diamonds helped generate the higher revenue. Argyle has...
03 May
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA), released its first independent research report on members' impact on local communities, employees and the environment. Among other things, the report shows that despite claims to the contrary, naturally mined diamonds have a per-carat carbon footprint that is just one-third that of a similar lab-grown diamond. The report, authored by the consultancy Trucost, and titled The Socioeconomic and Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Diamond Mining, is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of the contributions of DPA members, examining socioeconomic and environmental benefits and impacts. Key findings of the report are: Salaries and wages paid by DPA members created $3.9 billion in direct and indirect benefits. DPA members employ 77,000 people in their...
01 May
A 17.43-carat Kashmir sapphire ring sold for £723,062 ($945,000), a price that equates to $53,956 per carat, at Bonhams London Jewels sale on April 30. Dating from the late 19th to early 20th century, the cushion-shaped sapphire was formerly owned by a European noble family.  It was the first time it had appeared at auction, attracting interest from multiple bidders, before it eventually sold to a telephone buyer, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £300,000-£400,000 ($392,000-$523,000). The second highest performing lot was a diamond and sapphire transformable necklace by Spanish jeweller Grassy. Dated circa 1935 and featuring a 34.59-carat Sri Lankan unheated sapphire, the necklace sold for £287,562 ($376,000) against its pre-sale estimate of £120,000-£180,000 ($157,000-$235,000).  ...
01 May
Having had three successful years, Platinum Guild International (PGI) India has announced that the fourth edition of its Platinum Season of Love campaign will run from May 17 to June 16 this year. The Platinum Season of Love initiative offers consumers incentives and rewards for the purchase of platinum jewellery. This year, every consumer who purchases platinum jewellery will be eligible to participate in a contest by sharing the story of their platinum purchase. The grand-prize winner of this contest will win a platinum Evara jewellery voucher worth ₹200,000 ($2,876). Among other rewards are 10 platinum jewellery vouchers worth ₹50,000 ($720) each and 20 platinum jewellery vouchers worth ₹15,000 ($215) each. PGI India said that the initiative has grown with each of its editions to...
30 Apr
Luxury brand Fabergé, which is owned by coloured gemstone producer Gemfields, has unveiled the Lady Libertine I wristwatch that features carved rough emeralds on its face along with cut and polished stones, highlighting the product from its Kagem emerald mine in Zambia. Gemfields said the hand-carved rough emerald, represents the regions rivers, with the banks outlined in fine gold filigree and the land brought to life by cut and polished emeralds and diamonds, depicting the light play over the African landscape. The result is framed in an 18 karat rose gold case with 1.84 carats of brilliant cut diamonds adorning the bezel. The wristwatch has been displayed with the Inkalamu (Lion) emerald, a high quality 5,655-carat (1.13 kg) rough emerald unearthed at the Kagem mine (pictured here). “...
30 Apr
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) said is enhancing its ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) program in order to comply with applicable laws, regulations and best practices. All new and current laboratory clients will be required to confirm the identity and ownership of their businesses, and to provide identifying information for all authorised representatives conducting business with GIA on their behalf. The GIA said in a press release that these requirements are recognised globally and are not unique to GIA. “GIA will only conduct business with reputable customers, suppliers and other third parties involved in legitimate business activities whose funds are derived from legitimate sources,” said GIA Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer Elizabeth Keating. She added, “As a global institute...
29 Apr
ALROSA said it had realised $9.65 million from the auction at its Vladivostok centre, of ‘special size’ (larger than 10.8 carats) rough diamonds. The auction ran from April 8 to 19 and saw 29 companies from Belgium, India, Israel, the UAE, the US, Hong Kong and Russia participating. A total of 150 diamonds with a combined weight of 2,481.9 carats were presented. Of these, 121 stones weighing a combined 2,030.32 carats were sold. There were two especially large diamonds sold — one weighing 58.92 and the other 41.48 carats. “This diamond auction again showed decent results. We selected stones of good colour and quality, and got high revenues of nearly $10 million. This is a good result, and we plan to further develop our sales here,” said ALROSA United Selling Organisation Director Evgeny...
29 Apr
The three-day India, SAARC  and Middle East Buyer-Seller Meet organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) kicked off in Chennai on Sunday. The event features one-on-one meetings between 31 participating Indian jewellery manufacturers and 78 buyers from all over the world over the first two days and an open exhibition on the third. GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agrawal commented that the event is an effort to further improve the Indian industry’s trade relationships and business. “Indian manufacturers have been investing in technology and manpower to create jewellery that is being sold across international markets,” the GJEPC Chairman said.  The event is one of many by the GJEPC, that integrates and focusses the otherwise scattered promotion and sales efforts of the...
26 Apr
ALROSA announced that it had realised $8.91 million from its just concluded auction of ‘special size’ (larger than 10.8 carats) rough diamonds in Dubai. The company said that 109 out of 122 auction lots were sold. There were two especially large diamonds sold — one of 51.13 carats and the other 47.59 carats. A total of 56 companies from Belgium, India, Israel, the UAE, the US, Hong Kong and Russia participated in the auction. "This is our second diamond auction in Dubai this year. Beyond all doubt, this trading platform is successful. This time, the total weight of diamonds sold was more than 1,840 carats. We are going to hold three more auctions here this year and expect the same, consistently high results," said ALROSA United Selling Organisation Director Evgeny Agureev.
25 Apr
De Beers reported that its rough diamond sales volumes in the first quarter of 2019 stood at 7.5 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sales cycles compared with 8.8 million carats (8.4 million carats on a consolidated basis) in Q1 2018 — a drop of 14.8 percent. The company said this was due to overall demand for low value rough diamonds remaining subdued in the quarter. De Beers’ overall rough diamond production in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by 8 percent to 7.9 million carats, driven by a reduction at De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) in South Africa. DBCM production reduced by 65 per cent to 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes at Venetia as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground. Voorspoed was placed onto care and...
25 Apr
Senior officials of the World Diamond Council (WDC) have provided an overview of the organisation's revised System of Warranties (SoW), during two sessions on April 24 at the 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. During the briefings, WDC President Stephane Fischler described the revised SoW as an "essential building block" for participants in the diamond supply chain towards implementing the OECD's due diligence guidance for minerals from high-risk areas. The first of the sessions was a side event organised with the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), at which the WDC presented its revised SoW and RJC explained its new Code of Practices. The second was a deep-dive session that was part of the OECD...
25 Apr
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) on Wednesday launched the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS), an innovative certification system that enables an ethical production of diamonds by artisanal and small-scale mining operations, through the adoption of standards and best practices. "Standards provide credible assurances to consumers and they are long overdue for the Artisanal and Small scale Diamond Mining (ASDM) sector," said DDI Executive Director Dorothee Gizenga. "MDS enables commercial entities to ethically source diamonds from artisanal and small-scale operations, while also supporting miners and their communities to ensure their inclusion in a broader system of responsible supply chains.” The MDS are made of eight specific principles covering legality, consent and community...

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