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De Beers Now Valuing, Buying Diamond Trade-Ins

(Aug 19, ‘14, JCK Online)
The new De Beers is many things: a miner, marketer, retailer, and brand owner. Now it also may become a secondhand diamond dealer.

The gem giant has launched the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV), a New York City–based lab meant to handle off-the-street diamond buying for retailers.

“All the research we have done indicates that the consumer experience with secondhand diamonds isn’t that good at the moment,” says De Beers spokesperson Lynette Gould.

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What jewelers can learn from crimes in California

(Aug 25, ‘14, National Jeweler)
Crime is an ever-present threat to jewelers throughout the country, but California jewelers are having a particularly active year.

In jewelry crime driven by organized crews, it’s not uncommon to see a recurrence of similar losses in a single geographic area or even to see specific types of crime scenarios move from one geographic area of to another as the perpetrators attempt to outpace law enforcement authorities. Jewelers especially in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco have witnessed an increase in criminal activity this year.

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Retailers Warned of Hacking Software

(Aug 25, ‘14, JCK Online)
The Department of Homeland Security has advised retailers to check their POS systems for a malicious hacking software called Backoff.

The software allows hackers to collect credit card payment data from cash register systems.

The program was first discovered in August 2013 but has not been detectable by antivirus software until now. The Secret Service estimates that 1,000 businesses may be affected.

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Purple Orchid diamond worth $4 million

(Sep 2, ‘14, Israel21c.Org)
A rare Purple Orchid diamond, weighing 3.37 carats and worth $4 million, is to be unveiled this month by Leibish & Co. of Ramat Gan, seat of Israel’s diamond exchange.

According to the purveyor of colored diamonds and colored diamond jewelry, purple diamonds of this color and clarity almost never appear in nature. This particular gemstone came from a mine in South Africa, one of the only mines where purple diamonds can be found in the world.

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New technology grades symmetry of diamonds

(Sep 3, ‘14, National Jeweler)
Kfar Saba, Israel–Challenged to provide a solution for Tiffany & Co., Sarine Technologies has developed a system that grades round and fancy-shaped polished diamonds to determine the stones’ symmetry and proportions, technology that will be available to other companies in the industry.

Called DiaMension Axiom, the automated system uses microscopic magnification and advanced video imagery analysis to grade a polish diamond’s facet symmetry, Sarine said, a feature that typically is evaluated manually by gemologists using microscopes.

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Bonhams to Auction the Duke of Windsor’s Diamond Frog

(Sep 4, ‘14, JCK Online)
Bonhams has announced that its autumn Fine Jewellery Sale will take place Sept. 17 at the auction house’s new headquarters on London’s Bond Street.

The most valuable piece of the sale is a diamond riviére necklace made of 40 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 76 cts. in total. It is estimated at £250,000-£400,000 ($412,380–$660,250).

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Ring Cam Captures the Big Moment

(Aug 4, ‘14, JCK Online)
It’s the moment that this industry is built on. The moment that has spurred countless jewelry commercials. The moment when the woman receives her engagement ring and—hopefully—cries and says yes.

Now, a group of Michigan entrepreneurs has invented a product that captures that instant forever: the Ring Cam, a jewelry box with a small camera installed, so that the reaction to the proposal can be saved, memorialized, and even posted on Facebook.

The product started as a design project at Hope College. One of the participants came up with the idea after a friend got engaged.

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Pandora debuts Hearts of Today to support charities

(Aug 4, ‘14, National Jeweler)
Columbia, Md.–Pandora is launching a new initiative to celebrate the women around the world who work to improve the lives of women and children in their communities.

The Hearts of Today program launched in the United States on July 28 to give Pandora the chance to support a number of charitable causes important to women to help make changes needed for the future.

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Diamond sticker shock shaves Blue Nile earnings

(Aug 5, ‘14, The Seattle Times)
High prices for diamonds bit into Blue Nile’s revenues and earnings, prompting the Seattle-based online jewelry retailer to reduce its profit margin on some diamonds in order to spur more sales.

Sales of engagement jewelry in the U.S. fell 4.6 percent to $60.9 million in the quarter ended in June from the same period a year ago. Executives attributed the decline to sticker shock, as the cost of small-sized diamonds rose by double-digit percentages from last year.

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De Beers expanding rough customer base

(Aug 6, ‘14, National Jeweler)
London–Beginning in March 2015, companies that are not De Beers sightholders will have the opportunity to compete for the rough diamonds that weren’t offered to, or refused by, sightholders, and will be known as “accredited buyers.”

Accredited buyers will have the chance to purchase ex-plan: rough that falls outside of the intention to offer (ITO), the 12-month forecast of what De Beers intends to offer each sightholder based on the size, clarity, etc. of diamonds they normally need. De Beers said it expects to have an “enlarged pool” of ex-plan availability in the next contract period, as it makes more rough available through this channel to give different diamond companies, not just sightholders, the ability to show demand for its diamonds.

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