Industry News Round up…

New Fashionable Smart Ring Notifies You of Phone Calls, Messages

Ringly launch collection (Courtesy Ringly)

(Jun 10, ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Ringly, an 18k gold-plated smart ring that “talks” to the user about messages on her smartphone, is now being pre-sold on the Internet.

While there has been talk of other smart rings, the Ringly is notable because it was founded by a former eBay exec and has received $1 million in capital funding.

Read more »

Gemfields First Ruby Auction Achieves $34M

(Jun 18, ‘14, Deena Taylor, Diamonds.net)
RAPAPORT… Gemfields Plc reported that its inaugural auction of ruby and corundum from its 75 percent owned Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique achieved $33.5 million or an average $18.43 per carat. The auction took place in Singapore on June 12 to 17 and was 92 percent sold by lot.

The company noted that 55 companies, many of which attend Gemfields’ emerald auctions, placed bids on the lots. Buyers were present from Thailand, the U.S., India, Germany and Israel.

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Diamond leaders form body to handle industry issues

(Jun 18, ‘14, National Jeweler)
Antwerp, Belgium–The heads of four of the jewelry and diamond industry’s leading international representative organizations have established a joint consultative committee called “The Presidents Forum.”

Established at a meeting held Tuesday during the 36th World Diamond Congress in Antwerp, the forum will be comprised of the presidents of each of the four forming organizations: CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation; the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; the International Diamond Manufacturers Association; and the World Diamond Council.

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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. (Photo: BBC News)

(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.

Read more »

Jeweler admits to selling fakes for last 16 years

(May 13, ‘14, Brecken Branstrator, National Jeweler)
Williamsville, N.Y.–The New York jeweler charged with misrepresenting diamond simulants as the real thing pleaded guilty Friday to the charges brought against him, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

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Online Might Be Taking Over Retail. But Not Necessarily Jewelry (for Now)

(May 9, ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Business Insider just came out with a slide show featuring a bunch of scary-sounding charts demonstrating the growth of e-commerce. “Let’s face it, the old retail model is dying fast,” it begins. “Hundreds of stores are closing, because sales are tanking.” It declares that e-commerce is driving nearly all U.S. retail growth.

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Gold Prices May Fall to 4-Year Low This Year: Report

(May 7, ‘14, NDTV.com)
Gold prices have probably peaked this year and could sink to their lowest since 2010 at $1,100 an ounce as the US economic recovery gathers pace, consultancy Metals Focus said on Wednesday.

Weakness is likely to set in after an impressive start to the year, it said, when gold rallied to six-month highs. But a replay of last year’s 28 per cent plunge, triggered by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering of extraordinary stimulus measures, is not on the cards.

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Gold May Fall to $1,100, Forecast Says

(May 8, ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The coming year will likely bring more downward motion for gold and silver prices, with the price of gold possibly falling to $1,100, according to the Gold and Silver Mining Focus published by Metals Focus.

Read more »

Swatch Takes Legal Aim at Apple Trademark

(May 5, ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Apple has not yet entered the watch business—though signs say it will—but it already has a powerful intra-industry opponent: Swatch.

The Swiss watchmaker plans to fight any registration of the term iWatch, complaining that it is too similar to its trademarked name iSwatch, a spokeswoman confirmed.

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28-Carat Kashmir Sapphire Sells for $5 Million, Sets Auction Record
28.18-carat Kashmir sapphire ring. Courtesy Forbes

28.18-carat Kashmir sapphire ring. Courtesy Forbes

(April 30 ‘14, Anthony DeMarco, Forbes)
A 28.18-carat square emerald-cut Kashmir sapphire sold for nearly $5.1 million. It achieved $180,731 per carat, setting a world auction record of a price per carat of a sapphire. The untreated gem on a ring is framed by 32 tapered baguette diamonds with a mounting by Oscar Heyman & Brothers. It is described by the American Gemological Laboratories as “a gem of singular importance.” The proceeds of the sale will go toward charity, according to the auction house.

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6.19 Carat White Diamond Found in Crater of Diamonds State Park

David Anderson's white diamond. Courtesy Arkansas State Parks

(April 17 ‘14, Logan Sachon, JCK Online)
A man has found a 6.19 ct. white diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark.

David Anderson has named the diamond, which he found in the East Drain area of the park, the Limitless Diamond in honor of the religious charity Speed the Light. He plans to give all proceeds from the sale of the diamond to the organization.

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Christie's to Hold Spring Jewels Online Sale

(May 4 ‘14, Albert Robinson, IDEX Online)
Auctioneer Christie’s will be holding a sale called Spring Jewels, an online-only auction of contemporary jewelry and watches by luxury brands such as Bulgari, Chanel, Cartier, Rolex and Tiffany late this month.

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Orangy pink diamond sells for $6M at Sotheby's

(April 30 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–A 15.23-carat fancy intense orangy pink diamond garnered $6.1 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale Tuesday in New York, coming in at the low end of its pre-sale estimate.

Set in a platinum ring, the cushion-cut VS2 diamond is accented by 0.75 carats of round diamonds. The lot’s anticipated sale price was $6 million to $7 million.

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Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels to Feature Graff Vivid Yellow

(May 4 ‘14, Albert Robenson)
The Graff Vivid Yellow, a daffodil yellow diamond weighing 100.09 carats, is set to be one of the highlights of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction to be held on May 13.

The diamond is among the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds in the world.

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Jadeite necklace sets 2 world auction records

(April 10 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Hong Kong–A jadeite bead necklace with a Cartier clasp sold for $27.4 million at Sotheby’s Monday, smashing its pre-sale high estimate of $12 million and setting a new world record for any jadeite jewelry and Cartier jewel sold at auction.

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First quarter sales climb for LVMH

(April 10 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Paris–Sales in the United States were strong in the first quarter for LVMH, with the luxury goods conglomerate’s company-owned watch and jewelry boutiques performing particularly well.

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217-Gram Single Crystal of Gold Identified As World's Largest

Courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory

(April 10 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
It weighs 217.78 grams and is the size of a golf ball—and scientists are calling it the largest single-crystal piece of gold ever found.

The New Mexico–based Los Alamos National Laboratory, which studied and announced the find, estimates the piece’s value is $10,000—but given how big it is, it could fetch as much as $1.5 million.

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Graff Unveils $55 Million Hallucination: "Most Valuable Watch Ever Created"

The Hallucination (Courtesy of Graff)

(March 27 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Think your new Rolex is snazzy? Get a load of this.

For its debut at Baselworld, Graff Diamonds made a splash by unveiling the Hallucination, a candy-colored diamond timepiece it’s billing as “the most valuable watch ever created.”

It carries a $55 million price tag.

Read more »

Sotheby’s to Auction 100.9 Carat Fancy Vivid Yellow
The Graff Vivid Yellow (Courtesy of Sotheby's)

The Graff Vivid Yellow (Courtesy of Sotheby's)

(April 7 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
On May 13, Sotheby’s Geneva will auction the 100.9 ct. Graff Vivid Yellow, considered among the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds in the world.

The stone, named for famed London diamond collector Laurence Graff, is described by the auction house as “of exceptional beauty and extraordinary fire and brilliance” with a “sensational daffodil yellow” color.

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Groupon Says It's Selling Engagement Rings at $10,000 Discount

(April 8 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Buying an engagement ring on Groupon may not be the height of romance-though it may be hard for grooms to turn down the group-deal company’s offer of a princess-cut ring at a purported $10,000 discount.

The Chicago-based e-tailer recently rolled out a Wedding Shop featuring jewelry and engagement rings.

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$33 Million Fabergé Egg Found at Flea Market

The Third Lost Imperial Egg. (Courtesy Wartski )

(March 20 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
A Midwest metal dealer who bought a gold item at an antiques mart that he intended to melt down for scrap was shocked to discover it was a rare Fabergé egg worth a reported $33 million.

The man paid $14,000 for the item, Kieran McCarthy, director of London antique dealer Wartski, tells JCK, and intended to sell it for a quick $15,000.

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Apple accused of ripping off famous Swiss clock design

(Sep 20 ‘12, Josh Lowensohn, Cnet.com)
The new look of Apple’s clock app on the iPad that came alongside iOS 6 yesterday is ruffling some feathers abroad.

In a report in Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (by way of Macrumors), the Swiss Federal Railway service, or SBB, has taken offense to the app’s design, to which it says it owns the trademark.

Apple's iOS6 clock and an official SBB watch from Mondaine

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Fossil to Introduce Google-Powered Smartwatch This Year

(March 19 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The smartwatch revolution may be one step closer to reality.

The Fossil Group will release a smartwatch using Google’s Android platform later this year, according to an announcement on the tech giant’s blog.

The news came as Google revealed its new mobile technology platform “Android Wear”—which it plans to kick off with watches, since they are “the most familiar wearable.” Fossil was the only watch or fashion brand mentioned in the announcement.

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Sales of Elephant Ivory Now Prohibited

(March 14 ‘14, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The White House has introduced new measures that effectively ban any commercial trade of elephant ivory in the United States, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee announced.

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2.89 Carat White Diamond Found at Crater of Diamonds

Brandon Kalenda holding his 2.89-carat Jax Diamond.

(March 11 ‘14, JCK Online)
Maybe reality TV is good for something after all.

A Louisiana resident found a 2.89 ct. white diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark., after his mother-in-law urged a visit after seeing it on a reality show.

Read more »

Ivory Coast to Urge UN to Lift Diamond Export BAN

(March 6 ‘14, DIB Online)
Ivory Coast will appeal to the United Nations to lift its ban on the country’s rough diamond exports next month, reports Reuters, citing an unnamed government official.

Last year, the UN Security Council said it would review the export ban in line with the Ivory Coast’s progress towards compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). At its November plenary in Johannesburg, the KPCS recognized that Ivory Coast had, indeed, fulfilled the KPCS minimum requirements “as possibly could be achieved under the UN embargo.”

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True North wins 30-year license for Aappaluttoq Ruby Deposit in Greenland

The exploitation licence will become officially effective on March 10.

(March 3 ‘14, Mourad Haroutunian, Proactive Investors)
True North Gems Inc. (CVE:TGX), which explores and develops North American colored gemstone deposits, advanced to the highest in more than three years after winning an exclusive 30-Year mining licence for the Aappaluttoq ruby deposit in Greenland.

True North jumped 29 percent to 15.5 Canadian cents at 12:51 p.m. after reaching 16 Canadian cents, the highest intraday level since December 2010.

Read more »

Metal supplier introduces 3D printer for jewelry

This bangle was designed by Towe Norlen of Towe Jewels and produced through the direct metal laser sintering process using the 3D printer at Cooksongold.

(March 12 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–U.K.-based Cooksongold, a global supplier of fabricated precious metals, has announced a strategic partnership with consultancy firm A3DM Technologies to bring the 3D printing of precious metals to customers in North America.

The new partnership debuted at this year’s MJSA Expo New York, which concluded Tuesday.

Read more »

Large rough stones net $13M for Gem Diamonds

This 162.02-carat rough diamond from a mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho sold for $68,687 per carat at the Gem Diamonds tender held last month.

(March 5 ‘14, National Jeweler)
London—The 162.02-carat and 161.31-carat diamonds recovered by Gem Diamonds Ltd. in January sold for a total of $13.5 million at the miner’s February tender.

London-based Gem Diamonds announced Wednesday that the larger stone, the type II 162.02-carat diamond, went for $11.1 million, or $68,687 per carat, while the smaller 161.31-carat, type I stone sold for $2.4 million, or $14,636 per carat.

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Hedge fund sues five banks over gold 'manipulation'

(March 11 ‘14, Madison Marriage, Financial Times)
Barclays, HSBC, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia are being sued by US hedge fund AIS Capital over allegations that the banks manipulated the gold price.

A Washington-based law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of AIS Capital Management against the five banks on Monday.

Read more »

California couple finds $10 million in buried treasure while walking dog

A can containing 19th century gold coins is shown in this undated handout photo courtesy of Kagin's, Inc.

(Feb 26 ‘14, Dan Whitcomb, Reuters)
A trove of rare Gold Rush-era coins unearthed in California last year by a couple as they walked their dog may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States, worth more than $10 million, a currency firm representing the pair said on Tuesday.

The 1,400 gold pieces, dating to the mid- to late 1800s and still in nearly mint condition, were discovered buried in eight decaying metal cans on the couple’s land last April, said coin expert David McCarthy of currency firm Kagin’s.

Read more »

Consumer sentiment on current economy best since '08

(Feb 26 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–Though Nielsen research shows that their confidence retreated slightly in February, consumers overall are feeling more upbeat than they have in nearly six years.

On Tuesday, The Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence Index for February, a monthly survey gauging consumer sentiment conducted by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics on what consumers buy and watch.

Read more »

Platinum Patek sells for $800K in Hong Kong

This platinum Patek Philippe Ref. 5207, the top lot of Antiquorum’s recent auction, sold along with its certificate of origin, additional platinum case back, setting pin and technical and instructional documents.

(Feb 26 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Hong Kong–A platinum Patek Philippe Ref. 5207 tourbillon minute-repeater with a perpetual calendar sold for $807,845 at Antiquorum’s auction held Saturday, the highest-grossing lot of the sale.

The rare timepiece, which also features moon phases and a honey gold-colored dial, surpassed the auction’s anticipated top lot, a rare and limited-edition Patek Philippe Ref. 5004A.

Read more »

Israeli Bourse Bans Synthetics From Trading Floor

(Feb 25 ‘14, JCK Online)
In a sign of the ongoing tension between the natural and lab-grown diamond sectors, the Israeli Diamond Exchange has banned man-made diamonds from its trading floor.

The decision to forbid trading of created stones on the bourse floor was made in late December, says spokeswoman Sharon Gefen. She adds that while exchange members are free to trade in lab-grown diamonds outside the bourse, they must commit to full disclosure or face suspension.

Read more »

Trends from Tucson: Cool colors dominate

This 14-karat white gold ring by Drukker Designs featuring color-gradient tourmalines and diamonds ($500) was among the pieces showcased at GemFair Tucson 2014, which took place Feb. 4 to 9.

(Feb 25 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Tucson–Perhaps one of the best indicators of what’s to come in the year, even years, ahead for fine gemstone jewelry are the trends that pop up during them gem shows that take over Tucson every February.

This year, colors on the cooler end of the spectrum seemed most popular, and a few stones were moving beyond their most well-known shades to show their versatility.

Read more »

Two 160-Plus Carat Diamonds Found at Mine

Gem Diamonds.

(Feb 13 ‘14, JCK Online)
When a mine unearths one 160-plus ct. diamond, that is a rare and welcome event. But Gem Diamonds recently hit the double jackpot by finding two.

At the end of January, the London-based miner discovered a 162.06 ct. Type II diamond and a 161.74 ct. Type I diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

Read more »

Petra's big blue diamond goes for $25M
South African company Golden Yellow Diamonds purchased Petra Diamonds' 29.6-carat blue diamond on Friday for $25.6 million, or $862,780 per carat. Petra described the stone, which was found last month, as "exceptional."

South African company Golden Yellow Diamonds purchased Petra Diamonds' 29.6-carat blue diamond on Friday for $25.6 million, or $862,780 per carat. Petra described the stone, which was found last month, as "exceptional."

(Feb 14 ‘14, National Jeweler)
London–Petra Diamonds announced Friday that it has sold the 29.6-carat rough blue diamond it uncovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa last month.

South African company Golden Yellow Diamonds for Cora International NY purchased the stone for $25.6 million, or $862,780 per carat.

Read more »

Gold market breaches 'covered up'

Kaloti is currently building the biggest refinery in the world in Dubai


(Feb 25 ‘14, BBC News)
Dubai’s biggest gold refiner committed serious breaches of the rules designed to stop gold mined in conflict zones from entering the global supply chain, a whistleblower has revealed.

Amjad Rihan led an Ernst & Young team that audited Kaloti and found it was failing to carry out the proper checks.

But after he told the Dubai regulator, it changed its audit procedures. He said that allowed details of the most serious findings to be covered up, with Ernst & Young turning a blind eye.

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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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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).

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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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