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Jewelers Mutual to donate to children for holidays

(Dec 05 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Neenah, Wis.–For the fourth year in a row, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will partner with Sarah’s Hope Jewelry and Jewelers for Children to give to children in need through its “Hope for the Holidays” sweepstakes.

Jewelers Mutual is giving the public the chance to vote among three options for their favorite children’s charity among from now through Dec. 19. The three charities chosen to be in the sweepstakes are: Make-A-Wish America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association.

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Polished diamond prices continue 8-month slide

(Dec 10 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–Prices for 1-carat and 3-carat stones were down about 2 percent in November as suppliers, strapped by a lack of liquidity, lowered prices in an effort to generate cash.

Prices of 0.30-carat and 0.50-carat diamonds also fell approximately 2 percent month-over-month, according to the RapNet Diamond Index for November.

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Ruby dubbed the ‘Rhino’ sells for undisclosed sum

(Dec 10 ‘14, National Jeweler)
London–Gemfields’ auction of predominantly higher-quality rough rubies from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique totaled $43.3 million, a record total for the company propelled by the sale of a big, rare ruby it recently found.

The auction, which took place Dec. 3 to 8 in Singapore, also realized a $689 per-carat price, also a record for Gemfields.

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Apple Looking for Fashion and Luxury Salespeople to Sell Watch

(Dec 10 ‘14, JCK Online)
Working at a jewelry store doesn’t seem like preparation to work for Apple, but now it might be.

Apple is recruiting retail salespeople with a fashion or luxury background to sell its new Apple Watch, according to a report in 9to5 Mac, which quotes internal hiring documents.

The current head of the Apple stores, Angela Ahrendts, has both a fashion and luxury background, having served as CEO of Burberry.

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Wine red shade named hue of the year for 2015

(Dec 4 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Carlstadt, N.J.–“Marsala,” a robust and earthy wine red, is Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, the color institute announced Thursday morning.

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty-yet-stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

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Renowned Designer Scott Kay Dies

(Dec 5 ‘14, JCK Online)
Scott Kay, one of the most prominent and celebrated designers in the jewelry business, died of a heart attack on Dec. 4. He was 57.

He is survived by his three children and Regina, his wife of nearly 30 years.

The shocking and untimely death of the trailblazing designer comes at a time when his three-decades-old company was reinvigorating itself. It had hired a CEO and was beefing up its C-suite with an impressive roster of industry talent. Kay had moved up to company chairman, hoping to concentrate on designing and had hinted of other major announcements.

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EGL Int’l Shutting Down as Network Reorganizes

(Dec 3 ‘14, JCK Online)
EGL International, the lab that has become a flash point in the dispute over diamond grading, is shutting down, says Menahem Sevdermish, the EGL network’s new global manager.

The Ramat Gan, Israel–based lab will “soon cease to exist,” Sevdermish says, with the “International” brand name being phased out.

EGL International CEO Guy Benhamou did not return a request for comment at press time.

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Platinum Price Rigged, Jewelry Manufacturer Charges

(Dec 1 ‘14, JCK Online)
A Florida jewelry manufacturer is serving as the plaintiff for a class-action suit that claims the prices of platinum and palladium have been manipulated to enrich certain banks and dealers.

In a complaint filed Nov. 25 in New York federal court, Sarasota-based Modern Settings charges that the three banks and one metals dealer that set the prices via twice-daily teleconferences have used the process for their own ends.

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Jewelry Most Heavily Discounted Category on Black Friday, Survey Says

(Nov 26 ‘14, JCK Online)
We’re, uh, No. 1.

In an effort to sniff out the best deals on Black Friday, personal finance site WalletHub combed through 22 mass-merchant circulars. It will not shock JCK readers that jewelry was the most heavily discounted category, with an average 58 percent price cut.

The books, movies, and music category came in second. But those products are under siege from streaming and other digitial formats. With jewelry likely headed for a good holiday, what’s our excuse?

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At the start of the season, fine jewelry shines

(Dec 1 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–On a weekend usually overshadowed by big-box frenzy, fine jewelry held its own in the days following–or, in some cases, on–Thanksgiving.

On Monday morning, independent jewelers generally reported a surprisingly strong Black Friday weekend, led by sales of diamond goods and luxury watches. Neiman Marcus reported strength in fine jewelry sales as well, as did Dallas department store Stanley Korshak.

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