Industry News Round up…

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,
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,
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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Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear: The Perfect Match

(Sep 24 ‘13, Alex, Samsung)
Together, the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear go hand in hand to make staying in touch effortless, as well as making it easy to capture and enjoy all the memorable moments that happen unexpectedly.

Read on to find out more about these groundbreaking devices and how they work together.

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12 Carat Blue Diamond Found in Lesotho

(Sep 30 ‘13, JCK Online)
Blue diamonds are among the rarest diamonds out there, and a mine in Lesotho just hit the jackpot with the discovery of a 12 ct. one.

On Sept. 30, Gem Diamonds’ Letšeng mine discovered not only the 12 ct. blue, but an 83.9 ct. white described as “exceptional quality.” The mine’s statement did not comment on the blue stone’s quality.

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'Perfect' white diamond goes under the hammer at Sotheby's

Photo courtesy of The Times

(Sep 20 ‘13, The Times)
It has taken two years to weigh, polish and cut. Now the “world’s most perfect diamond” could be yours — for $35 million.

The 118-carat white diamond is being auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong next month with an estimate of $28-$35 million (£17.5-£22 million). Sotheby’s believes that it could smash the estimate and, with it, the record for a diamond at auction of $27 million.

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Diamond to be sold by Sotheby's at record price of $60m

(Sep 25 ‘13, BBC News)
It says the oval-cut stone – the “Pink Star” – will become the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.

Sotheby’s David Bennett says the diamond belongs in “the ranks of the earth’s greatest natural treasures”.

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Chronicle Wanted Notice

Astronomical clock, Royal Collection Trust. © DR

Astronomical Clock, Royal Collection Trust. © DR

(Oct 03 ‘13, Pierre Maillard, World Tempus)
This little job offer caught our attention. Employer: The Royal Collection Trust. Workplace: Buckingham Palace. Starting salary: “£31,200 per annum” for a 37.5-hour week. Type of contract: Standard. Accommodation available? No! Mandatory requirements: Possess a qualification in Horology to BHI (British Horological Institute) final grade standard or equivalent. Also hold a full, UK driving license and be able to work flexibly including early mornings, weekends and travelling to other residences.

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Mobile Now Trumps Desktop for E-Commerce, Says Survey

(Oct 2 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
More consumers are interacting with retailers though their phones and tablets than through desktop computers, according to a new survey from

The report found that more than half (55 percent) of all retail-related Internet time originated on smartphones and tablet devices. Just 45 percent came from desktop devices.

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Mont Blanc climber finds £205,000 worth of Indian jewels on glacier

The Mont Blanc gem find was made on the Bosson glacier, which has often spewed to the surface 'all sorts of remnants' from the Air India crashes. Photograph: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP

(Sep 26 ‘13, Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian)
It was an unexpected find for the young French alpinist as he approached the summit of Mont Blanc. Poking out of the ice and snow on the shoulder of western Europe’s highest mountain was a metal box containing precious gems – including emeralds, rubies and sapphires – worth hundreds of thousands of euros that had lain hidden for about 50 years.

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Pink diamond expected to sell for $60M plus

The Pink Star is a 59.60-carat Type IIa internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that is expected to sell for upwards of $60 million at Sotheby's Geneva in November.

(Sep 26 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Geneva–The auction of the latest potentially record-setting stone was announced Wednesday, with Sotheby’s Geneva set to sell a 59.60-carat pink diamond that could shatter the current world record for any gemstone sold at auction.

The auction house is calling “The Pink Star,” an oval-cut diamond that is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, “the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.” It will be part of Sotheby’s Nov. 13 auction in Geneva.

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Customs Officials Seize $1.2 Million in Counterfeit Watches

Counterfeit watches seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

(August 28 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
The 215 pieces, which had arrived from China via air cargo, would be worth $1.25 million if sold as genuine at suggested retail prices, the CBP said.

CBP officers discovered the counterfeit merchandise after inspecting the shipment manifested as “watches,” with a declared value of $173 and weighing 68 pounds.

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How Should We Think-and Talk-About Synthetic Diamonds?

(August 21 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
Last week’s post on lab-grown diamonds elicited a storm of comments-some of which went over well-trodden ground, such as whether “synthetic” is a valid term. The debate at times got a little heated and divisive-which is unfortunate and really kind of pointless, because someday the natural and synthetic markets will have to coexist.

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Blue Nile Customers Regularly Buy $100,000 Diamonds Via Phones, Says CEO

(August 22 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
While the Seattle-based e-tailer has talked about making big sales via its phone app before, Kanter told Motley Fool they are becoming increasingly common.

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Tiffany's sales in the Americas 'remain soft'

(August 28 ‘13, National Jeweler)
New York–Executives for Tiffany & Co. said they were “very satisfied” with their second quarter results in all regions of the world except the Americas, where sales still are “soft.”

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Sotheby's selling 19-carat Harry Winston diamond

(August 27 ‘13, National Jeweler)
New York–Pieces from French designers as well as a 19.51-carat diamond ring from Harry Winston will be among the highlights of Sotheby’s next Important Jewels sale, scheduled for Sept. 24 in New York.

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Christie's attracts Asian bidders

(September 2 ‘13, BBC)
The auction house Christie’s, which is famous for art, jewellery and memorabilia, is starting to hold sales online.

It is also the first company of its kind to be granted a license to operate independently in mainland China.

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Goldman Sachs raises H2 2013 gold price forecast

Goldman raised its second-half 2013 gold price forecast to $1,388 from $1,300 an ounce but maintained its medium- and long-term price forecasts.

(September 3 ‘13, The Economic Times)
Goldman Sachs raised its second-half 2013 gold price forecast to $1,388 from $1,300 an ounce on recent price activity but maintained its medium- and long-term price forecasts

“We believe the recent uptick is a result of investors positioning themselves for an increase in inflation rates and speculation regarding a potential military strike on Syria,” the bank said in an equity research note dated Sept 2.

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Priceless gems pomp up Proms

Joyce DiDonato will sing at the Last Night of the Proms wearing jewellery from Chopard (Getty)

(September 1 ‘13, The Sunday Times)
The audience will be there for her voice, but when Joyce DiDonato, the American mezzo-soprano, takes to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, they might easily be forgiven for being equally transfixed by her appearance.

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Beyonce flashes gold vampire grill: Celebrity teeth makeovers


(August 6 ‘13, NY Daily News)
Leave it to Queen Bey to make a bedazzled set of fangs look good! Showing off a look on her Tumblr blog that can only be described as vampire chic, Beyonce flashed her pearly whites to the camera, revealing a glittering gold grill that peeked out along her bottom row of teeth.

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$1.3 million reward offered in wake of Cannes jewel heist

(August 7 ‘13, Henry Austin, NBC News)
A $1.3 million reward was offered Tuesday after diamonds and jewels were stolen in what is believed to be the world’s biggest heist.

A masked gunman made off with an estimated $136 million worth of gems from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes, France, during the audacious daytime raid on July 28.

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Carlton Cannes jewellery heist bears hallmarks of Pink Panther gang

Police examine the crime scene at the Carlton Cannes jewellery, after it was raided on 28 July. Photograph: Bebert Bruno/SIPA/Rex Features

(August 2 ‘13, Kim Willsher, The Guardian)
In a scene worthy of George Clooney’s screen alter-ego, the gentleman thief Danny Ocean, a robber threatens to blow up a high-end jewellery store on La Croisette in Cannes with a hand-grenade. While his accomplice points a gun at staff, the robber fills a sport holdall with expensive watches and heads for the door. Suddenly, he stops and turns. “Desolé,” he says to the terrified sales staff, “C’est la crise.” (Sorry, it’s the economic crisis).

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Pandora’s US sales up 56% in Q2

(August 14 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Copenhagen, Denmark–Pandora reported Tuesday that continued strength in the U.S. market is driving its sales in the Americas, with U.S. revenues climbing more than 50 percent in the second quarter.

U.S. sales increased from $92.6 million in the second quarter 2012 to $142.5 million in the second quarter 2013, a 56 percent jump. Pandora said the Mother’s Day holiday was strong and that both core and new products, including its silver bangle bracelet, are selling well.

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Obama again renews ban on Burmese rubies

(August 9 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Washington–Despite some democratic progress in Myanmar (formerly Burma)–and reports that perhaps the import sanctions on gemstones may be lifted–President Barack Obama has extended the ban on Burmese rubies and jade.

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NY lab reports finding more undisclosed synthetics

(August 12 ‘13, National Jeweler)
New York–The Analytical Gemology & Jewelry Laboratory (AG&J), the same lab that reported the discovery of a parcel of 243 undisclosed lab-grown yellow melee diamonds, is warning the industry that it recently found synthetic brown melee mixed in a batch submitted as natural.

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Lab Finds New Batch of Undisclosed Synthetics

(August 12 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
AG&J said the parcel, purchased on the Mumbai open market in July, consisted of 18 diamonds (17 rounds and one marquise), weighing a total of 6 carats, ranging in size from 0.14-0.635mm, with colors ranging from F to Grey, and clarities from VVS to SI. The New York City-based lab determined that 13 of the diamonds were synthetic, produced with the CVD method, and then treated with HPHT.

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Diamonds lose their sparkle, as women choose colour

Sapphires have rivalled diamonds since the Duchess of Cambridge wore Diana's engagement ring

(July 30 ‘13, Brian Milligan, BBC News)
Over the past eight years, the price of rubies and sapphires appears to have increased faster than that of diamonds.

Coloured stones are, of course, much more affordable than their pricier, harder, relatives.

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Apple Smartwatch Could Steal Some Watch Business, Study Finds

(August 14 ‘13, Rob Bates, JCK Online)
If Apple releases a so-called smartwatch, it might take market share from the traditional watch business, according to a new study from the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of those who wear a watch regularly would be likely to switch to the proposed iWatch.
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7.5 Carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond To Be Sold at Sotheby's

The Premier Blue, a 7.59 ct. fancy vivid blue diamond, will be sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong in October.(August 19 ‘13, JCK Online)A rare 7.59 ct. fancy vivid blue diamond is expected to fetch a world record per-carat price at Sotheby’s Oct. 7 Magnificent Jewels auction in Hong Kong.

The internally flawless Premier Blue is the largest round brilliant fancy vivid blue diamond ever graded by GIA.

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Hong Kong fair splits into 2 shows

(July 16 ‘13, National Jeweler)
Hong Kong–The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show will be divided into two venues starting with the March 2014 show, HKTDC organizers said.

The shows will be the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show.

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