Industry News Round up…

IGI offering free synthetics screening to DMIA, DDC

(Jan 15 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–In light of industry concerns over the possible mixing of lab-grown diamonds with natural stones, the International Gemological Institute is offering free screenings of up to 100 diamonds to all members of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America and the Diamond Dealers Club.

The screenings will be offered only for a limited time and will take place at the IGI’s New York lab, located in The French Building at 551 Fifth Ave. The lab uses advanced equipment, including De Beers’ DiamondSure and DiamondView machines, to detect lab-grown diamonds.

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Number of weddings to rise slightly in 2014

Here comes … an increase in the number of weddings in 2014, which could mean sales of more bridal sets, such as this platinum set from Ritani, for jewelers.

(Jan 15 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–Researchers predict the number of weddings in the United States will increase 2 percent in 2014 due to a small increase in the total marrying age population combined with a marginal rise in the proportion of couples choosing to wed.

London-based economist Tim Jackson, chief executive of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute (JIRI), the company founded by longtime industry analyst Ken Gassman, forecasts 2.2 million marriages in 2014, up from 2.15 million in 2013.

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Charles Garnier launches new silver collection

(Jan 21 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Los Angeles–Silver jewelry designer and manufacturer Charles Garnier Paris has introduced the Britannia 958 Heritage Collection, a line featuring pieces made with the company’s proprietary manufacturing process that will debut next month at Centurion.

Created through the unique process, the silver is more pure than sterling and undergoes an exclusive refinement process that produces a metal that is stronger and longer lasting, according to the company.

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Drop Earrings and Big Rings Dazzle at the Grammys

Earrings by Kimberly McDonald worn by Miranda Lambert to the Grammys

(Jan 28 ‘14, Jennifer Heebner, JCK Online)
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards were entertaining for many reasons: Beyonce and Jay Z’s duet, Taylor Swift’s reaction to the news that she lost the Album of the Year award to Daft Punk, Pharrell William’s Canadian Mountie hat, and, of course, the jewelry worn by stars to the affair. In fact, the jewelry selections on display that night were good—really good!

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Art Deco, Yellow Gold, and Geometry Took Jewelry Honors at the Golden Globe Awards

Jennifer Lawrence in Neil Lane Art Deco platinum jewelry

(Jan 13 ‘14, Jennifer Heebner, JCK Online)
It may be safe to say that the jewelry Twitterverse (#globejewelry was the hashtag of choice) was relatively pleased with the jewelry worn on the red carpet last night at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards. To be sure, a variety of looks were evident.

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Raymond Weil dies at 87

(Jan 28 ‘14, The Telegraph)
Raymond Weil passed away on Monday in the city of Calvin at the age of 87. A short statement of the brand’s website today reads:

“It’s with great sadness and emotion that the Raymond Weil family and brand announce the loss of our founder, Mr Raymond Weil, who passed away peacefully. Mr Raymond Weil’s independent mind and kindness will continue to inspire us every day”

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Lucapa Recovers 95-Ct. Diamond at Lulo

(Jan 28 ‘14, Diamonds.net)
RAPAPORT… Lucapa Diamond Company recovered a 95.45-carat, type IIa diamond from its Lulo diamond concession in Angola.

The diamond has an irregular equant shape and is the second largest diamond recovered at Lulo, compared to a 131.40-carat diamond recovered in 2012. Both large diamonds were type IIa, which are considered the rarest category of diamonds in the world.

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Rare Blue Diamond found in South Africa's Cullinan mine

The "exceptional" 29.6 carat blue diamond is the latest rare stone to be found in the Cullinan mine

(Jan 21 ‘14, BBC News)
A rare blue diamond has been discovered in a mine in South Africa.

The 29.6-carat stone was recovered by Petra Diamonds at its Cullinan mine, about 40km (25 miles) north-east of Pretoria.

“This stone is one of the most exceptional stones recovered at Cullinan during Petra’s operation of the mine,” the company said.

Petra unearthed a 25.5 carat blue diamond which sold for $16.9m (£10.3m) in 2013.

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15 Diamonds That Made Headlines in 2013

(Dec 20 ‘13, BBC News)
In 2013, diamonds were everyone’s best friend. Check out 15 of the most jaw-dropping, wondrous, luminescent, and headline-grabbing diamonds this year had to offer.

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Gold and diamond infused soap is 'world's most expensive'

(Jan 3 ‘14, BBC News)
A bar of soap produced by a family-run business in Lebanon might make you think twice about washing too often.

Infused with gold and diamond powder, a single bar of Qatar soap costs $2,800 (£1,700; 2,050 euros).

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Antwerp Diamond Bank sold to Chinese company

(Dec 20 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Brussels–KBC announced Thursday that Shanghai-based Yinren Group has acquired its subsidiary Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB), one of the leading financers of the diamond trade, for an undisclosed sum.

According to a statement from KBC, Yinren Group already has interest in the diamond industry, as well as real estate and international trade. Its operations are located in mainland China, Hong Kong and Brazil.

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Market Comments 1/2/2014

(Jan 2 ‘14, Diamonds.net)
Diamond prices firm in December as difficult year ends on a positive note. 2013 RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 0.30ct. +10.1%, 0.50ct. -0.7%, 1ct. -4.5%, 3ct. -4%, Rapaport Melee Index (RMI) +3.6%. Markets quiet with improved sentiment after positive U.S. holidays and record stock market year-end close. Expectations rise for Chinese New Year despite cautious economic outlook. Far East gold demand strong as prices plunge 28% in 2013. Indian diamond manufacturing below capacity with tight liquidity. Rough trading stable but manufacturers expected to restrain buying as bank credit tightens.

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Lucapa Diamond Recovers 32-Carat Stone at Lulo

(Jan 3 ‘14, Diamonds.net)
RAPAPORT… Lucapa Diamond Company Ltd. recovered a 32.20-carat, D, type IIa rough diamond from the Lulo concession in Angola. The diamond was produced from bulk sampling and is the largest recovered by Lucapa through its new dense media separation (DM5) plant, which was commissioned in November.

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Christie's Concludes 2013 Watch Auction Season With $12.9 Million Sale

The top lot, a stainless steel Rolex, Reference 8171 “Padellone,” which sold for $1,145,000 (photo courtesy of Christie's)

(Dec 18 ‘13, JCK Online)
The 2013 watch auction season came to a close Dec. 17 at Christie’s New York with a $12.9 million sale led by a record-breaking Rolex.

Known as Reference 8171 “Padellone,” the 1953 model—a stainless steel and diamond-set automatic triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone silver dial—sold for $1,145,000, setting a new world auction record for the reference and quadrupling its pre-sale estimate of $250,000–$350,000.

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2014: Growth Potential

(Jan 3 ‘14, Diamonds.net)
RAPAPORT… The mood in the diamond industry has already improved in 2014. Initial reports suggest the Christmas season was better than expected for the diamond trade and the U.S. appears inclined toward growth again. Of course, no one expects the diamond market to boom in the year ahead, but there is a sense that dealers and manufacturers will be more aggressive to ensure that they make money in 2014.

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Antwerp Unveils "World's Most Expensive Shoes"

(Dec 4 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Antwerp may have taken luxury footwear to a whole new level.

On Dec. 4, industry group Antwerp World Diamond Centre unveiled what it’s billing as the “World’s Most Expensive Shoes,” boots covered in diamonds totaling 1,550 cts.

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Global Gold Jewelry Demand -15% to $21M

(Nov 29 ‘13, Jeff Miller, Diamonds.net)
RAPAPORT… Global gold demand for jewelry by value fell 15 percent year on year to $20.75 billion in the third quarter that ended on September 30, according to provisional calculations by the World Gold Council. The decrease was price related since gold demand for jewelry by weight increased 5 percent to 486.7 tonnes, reaching the highest level to be achieve for the third quarter since 2010. The average weighted price of gold for the third quarter fell 20 percent year on year to $1,326.30 per ounce. The World Gold Council noted, however, that year-to-date gold jewelry demand is up 6 percent by value to $77.3 billion.

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Swiss watchmaking in October 2013: continued growth and high value

(Nov 25 ‘13, HH Magazine)
In line with previous months, watch exports continued to perform well in October. Their value was maintained at a high level thanks to growth of 1.1%. Indeed the figures indicate the best month ever recorded by the sector, with a result of 2.2 billion francs.

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Gemfields Thinks Mine Could Supply 20% of Global Ruby Demand

(Nov 21 ‘13, JCK Online)
Having built its reputation on Zambian emeralds, Gemfields Plc, the London-based colored stone miner, is seeing red—for rubies.

The company has set its sights on Mozambique, where it owns a majority stake in a mine that it hopes could supply up to a fifth of global ruby demand, according to a report in Bloomberg.

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Forevermark Debuts Exceptional Diamond Collection Image

The Forevermark Exceptional Diamond Collection image

(Nov 22 ‘13, JCK Online)
Forevermark recently unveiled the image that will represent its Exceptional Diamond Collection in local and national advertising and marketing campaigns.

The image is meant to show the diamond’s rough-to-polished transformation—a backstory that the brand plays up in this ultra-luxe line. Each Exceptional Diamond comes with a custom “Journey Booklet” documenting the stone’s origin and evolution.

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Mobile Marketing and a Streamlined Consumer Experience Dominate PSFK's "Future of Retail" Conference

(Nov 26 ‘13, JCK Online)
Brand consulting firm PSFK specializes in tracking retail’s forward motion by amassing intel for big companies on everything from sweeping trends (such as showrooming) to on-the-verge apps and in-store gadgetry.

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Christie's Hong Kong Sets Asia's Jewelry Auction Record

Another big Burmese ruby sale: This Burmese ruby and diamond Flora necklace by Bulgari earned $3.79 million. CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2011

(Nov 26 ‘13, JCK Online)
On Nov. 26, Christie’s Hong Kong sold $111,337,808 million in jewelry—the highest-ever total for a jewelry auction in Asia.

With 309 lots offered, the fall Magnificent Jewels sale sold 86 percent by lot and 91 percent by value. Four pieces broke the $5 million mark, and 27 earned more than $1 million.

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The Cheapside Hoard: London's Lost Jewels


(Until Apr 27 ‘14, Musuem of London)
This October, the Museum of London will open a major new exhibition investigating the secrets of the Cheapside Hoard. This extraordinary and priceless treasure of late 16th and early 17th century jewels and gemstones – displayed in its entirety for the first time in over a century – was discovered in 1912, buried in a cellar on Cheapside in the City of London.

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Breathtaking Jewels by JAR on View at Metropolitan Museum

Multicolored Handkerchief earrings, 2011, with sapphires, demantoid and other garnets, zircons, tourmalines, emeralds, rubies, fire opals, spinels, beryls, diamond, platinum, silver and gold. Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris.


(Nov 27 ‘13, ICA)
No retrospective of any contemporary artist of gems has ever been featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, until now. Through March 9, 2014, the Museum displays more than 400 works by renowned jewelry designer Joel A. Rosenthal, who are better known by his initials JAR. The exhibition is the first retrospective in the United States of his work.

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Which Is Better For Retail Sales, Online Or Offline Customer Engagement?

(Dec 3 ‘13, Lisa Arthur, Forbes)
Now that online sales are growing at approximately 10 times the rate of brick and mortar, it comes as no surprise when savvy retailers like Macy’s start beefing up their e-commerce capabilities. Recently though, I’ve heard that online retailers may be moving in exactly the opposite direction: They’re planning to open offline brick-and-mortar stores. What’s going on?

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Online sales rise 16pc as 'Black Friday' boosts retailers

Amazon has warehouses in the UK and employs 15,000 people but diverts its UK sales to Luxembourg Photo: Alamy

(Dec 3 ‘13, Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph)
A 16pc rise in online sales in November, supported by shoppers hunting for discounts on Black Friday, has boosted British retailers battling against cautious consumer spending.

UK retail sales increased by 0.6pc on a like-for-like basis and 2.3pc in total in November compared to the same month last year, with more than half of the growth in non-food sales coming from online shopping, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG’s monthly survey.

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Thanksgiving Day Internet Sales up 20% on Year

(Dec 1 ‘13, IDEX Online)
IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark reported that U.S. online retail sales jumped close to 20 percent on the year on Thanksgiving Day, with the average order value being $127.59.

The firm, which monitors traffic and sales for 800 retail websites, said that traffic from mobile devices surged 32 percent from Thanksgiving Day last year and generated almost 43 percent of total traffic. Meanwhile, sales via mobile devices accounted for nearly 26 percent of online sales, a rise of 49 percent from last year.

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IN DEPTH: Fine gemstones at auction

(Nov 1 ‘13, Professional Jeweller)
In April this year the hammer fell on a fancy deep-blue diamond put up for auction at Bonhams in London. The selling price for this 5.30ct stone? £6.2 million.

This diamond, with its bright blue hue, hit a world record price per carat for any blue diamond at auction and continued the pace for what has been a whirlwind year for coloured gemstones and diamonds at auction.

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100,000 Fairtrade wedding rings objective for 2014

Fairtrade International is teaming with British manufacturers to drive Faitrade wedding ring sales in 2014

(Nov 5 ‘13, Professional Jeweller)
Fairtrade International has announced plans to improve the availability of Fairtrade gold wedding rings in a bid to boost sales, with hopes of the number sold hitting 100,000 in the UK next year.

The initiative, led by ethical campaigner and Fairtrade gold and precious metals co-ordinator Greg Valerio, will work with leading UK wedding ring manufacturers to try to boost the number of weddings and civil partnerships sealed with Fairtrade rings to 50,000 in 2014.

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WFDB Calls Synthetic Nondisclosure "Fraud"

(Oct 28 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses announced a zero-tolerance policy toward companies that do not disclose they are selling synthetic diamonds.

The declaration comes amid increased reports of synthetic melee mixed with natural.

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World's Largest Paraiba Tourmaline Unveiled

The Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba necklace

(Oct 28 ‘13, Christie Craft, JCK Online)
Joining the ranks of the Logan Sapphire, Hope Diamond, Alan Caplan Ruby, and the Cullinan Diamond comes the Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba, a 191.87 ct. Paraiba tourmaline necklace. Measuring 36.44 mm by 33.75 mm by 21.85 mm, the stone is said to be worth between $25 million and $125 million, according to published reports.

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Tiara, pearl lots to top Christie's London sale

Christie’s will offer a selection of tiaras in its upcoming Important Jewels sale, including this example from the mid-19th century, which also can be worn as a necklace.

(Nov 4 ‘13, National Jeweler)
London–A mid-19th century diamond tiara is expected to sell for nearly $400,000 at Christie’s sale of Important Jewels, slated for Nov. 27 in London.

Tiaras of the mid-19th century generally were designed with abundant sprays of scrolling floral and foliate motifs, as well as openwork bands to be worn above the brow or over the chignon (hairstyle at the nape of the neck) on the back of the head, Christie’s said.

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Breguet pocket watch to sell for as much as $1.1M

This pocket watch is said to be a prime example of the “creative genius” of legendary watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet.

(Nov 4 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Geneva–Sotheby’s upcoming watch auction will celebrate the legacy of horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet and include the sale of a highly complex and rare pocket watch.

On Nov. 12 in Geneva, Sotheby’s will offer an extra flat pair cased gold half-quarter repeating pocket watch with equation of time, power reserve, indication calendar and moon phase based on chronometer principles from Breguet.

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Biggest Jewelry Heist In Spain's History, To The Tune Of $31Million, Nets 17 Arrests

(Oct 18 ‘13, Fox News Latino)
Seventeen people were arrested as suspects in the biggest jewelry heist in Spain’s history, the December 2012 theft in Madrid of wristwatches valued at more than 23 million euros ($31.4 million), police said Thursday.

Among those arrested is a known thief, Ismael A.V., alias “The Troll,” who is considered to be the architect of the heist.

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Rio Tinto pink diamonds fetch record prices

(Oct 14 ‘13, Channel News Asia)
The annual sale of Rio Tinto’s rare pink-hued diamonds attracted unprecedented interest with at least two of the stones fetching record prices of over $2 million, the mining giant said Monday.

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Trendy silver picks for the holidays

(Oct 16 ‘13, National Jeweler)
New York–With the holiday shopping season approaching, many jewelers are preparing to round out their inventories with pieces perfect for gifting.

Pre-holiday surveys are showing that consumers are ready to spend but still will seek out deals, meaning jewelers not only need to offer promotions but also carry price-point friendly jewelry, keeping in mind shoppers’ budgets this holiday season.

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118 Carat D Flawless Diamond Sets Record, But Big Blue Fails to Sell at Auction

The Greatest White Diamond Ever

(Oct 7 ‘13, JCK Online)
The 118 ct. D Flawless oval sold for $238.7 million in Hong Kong dollars (approximately $30.6 million U.S.) at its Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction on Oct. 7, setting a new record for a white diamond.

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What Sightholders Really Think About De Beers' Move to Botswana

(Oct 15 ‘13, JCK Online)
October marked “the end of an era” at De Beers, as it closed the book on 80 years of holding its sights in London. And now, we turn the page to a new era: November brings the first allocation held at De Beers’ new sorting center in Gaborone, Botswana.

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Synthetic, Lab-Grown Diamonds Being Mixed With Natural Parcels of Melee, Pointers

(Oct 17 ‘13, Diamonds.net)
TRADE ALERT: Buyers Beware. Persistent reports that large amounts of synthetic lab grown diamonds are being mixed with natural diamonds in parcels of melee and pointers. Know your supplier and insist phrase “natural, untreated diamonds” be included on all invoices.

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The Colored Diamond Boom

(Oct 18 ‘13, Avi Krawitz, Diamonds.net)
Fancy colored diamond prices are showing significant gains in 2013 while other goods struggle along. As a result, the various auctions and tenders held in the past two weeks continued to set records, headlining the strength of the colored diamond market with both dealers and private buyers driving up prices.

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Biggest Orange Diamond May Fetch $20 Million at Auction

"The Orange," the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world. The VS1 clarity pear-shaped diamond of 14.82 carats is estimated at $17 million to $20 million. Source: 2013 Christie's Images Ltd. via Bloomb

(Oct 9 ‘13, Katya Kazakina, Bloomberg)
A pear-shaped, vivid orange diamond could fetch as much as $20 million, or $1.3 million per carat, at Christie’s next month.

The auction house will offer the 14.82-carat stone, the largest known orange diamond in the world, in its Geneva sale on Nov. 12. The following day, Sotheby’s (BID) will auction a vivid pink diamond valued at more than $60 million.

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'Diamond rain' falls on Saturn and Jupiter

Diamond rain could be "the most common precipitation in the Solar System" the authors say

(Oct 14 ‘13, James Morgan, BBC News)
Diamonds big enough to be worn by Hollywood film stars could be raining down on Saturn and Jupiter, US scientists have calculated.

New atmospheric data for the gas giants indicates that carbon is abundant in its dazzling crystal form, they say.

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Pink diamond sells for $6.3M at Christie's

(Oct 17 ‘13, Natinoal Jeweler)
New York–An 8.77-carat rectangular-cut fancy intense pink diamond sold for $6.3 million at Christie’s, making it the top lot of the Magnificent Jewels sale held earlier this week.

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Kardashian Ring Fetches $750,000 at $46 Million Christie’s Auction

(Oct 16 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The 20 ct. t.w. engagement ring Kim Kardashian received from former husband Kris Humphries fetched $749,000 at Christie’s New York on Oct. 15—above its $300,000 to $500,000 estimate, although below its $2 million reported value.

The buyer was not named.

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Poll: Most Men Might Wear a Man-gagement Ring

(Sep 20 ‘13, Jennifer Heebner, JCK Online)
The findings of Engagement 101’s new 2013 Just-Engaged Couple Survey reveal a lot about the newly married, including that 71 percent of men “would be open to wearing an engagement ring for guys,” called a man-gagement ring.

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Legendary watchmaker Dominique Loiseau dies

Dominique Loiseau (Photo: National Jeweler)

(Sep 19 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Saint-Prex, Switzerland–Dominique Loiseau, a Swiss/French watchmaker whose master works included the Blancpain 1735 and the Alpha-Omega automaton, has died.

He was 64 and had been in bad health for some time.

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Venture Plans to Mass-Produce Diamonds in China

(Sep 19 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The joint venture was said to be with “two partners who bring more than 75 years collective experience in the gemstone industry.” The partners were not named in the release. Scio CEO Michael McMahon was unavailable for comment at press time.

The facility will produce approximately 48,000 carats of synthetic rough a year, a release said. It did not specify what colors or sizes would be produced.

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Great Retail Expectations: What Does the Future Hold for Jewelers?

(Sep 29 ‘13, Emili Vesilind, JCK Online)
The jewelry business is often maligned for lagging a few steps behind the larger retail industry when it comes to incorporating new technologies, customer experiences, and best practices. But among the global companies flirting most heavily with cutting-edge advances in retail are, in fact, some of the most established jewelry and watch brands. For our annual Future of Retail issue, we cast our net wide—poring over innovations that not only are on the cusp but also seem poised to become ubiquitous in the industry in the near future. What follows is a clutch of educated predictions on how the future will influence and alter the fine jewelry store.

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Paris: Jewellery Stolen In Casty Shop Raid

Three heists took place in the city of Cannes earlier this year (Photo: Sky News)

(Sep 9 ‘13, Sky News)
Four men drove a 4×4 through the front window of the store on Rue de Castiglione, before making off with the jewellery and watches.

They then set fire to the vehicle before fleeing in another car.

Forensic policemen are examining the Casty store in the central first district of the capital, home to numerous jewellery shops.

The heist near Place Vendome is the latest to hit France after a spate of high-profile robberies in the southern resort of Cannes.

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Gold Price Will Stay Up Due to Syrian Crisis, Says Goldman Sachs

(Sep 3 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The unrest in Syria should keep the price of gold close to the $1,400 mark for most of the rest of the year, according to a new analyst note by Goldman Sachs.

The investment bank raised its second half gold forecast to $1,388, a stark jump from its previous $1,300 estimate, The Economic Times reports.

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