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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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