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White diamond sells for record $27.3m in Hong Kong

(Oct 7, ‘13, BBC News)
A white diamond the size of a small egg has sold for $30.8m (£19.1m) at an auction in Hong Kong.

A phone bidder bought the 118-carat rock, edging out a previous price record for a white diamond of $26.7m.

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Why Retailers Like De Beers’ Recycled Diamond Program

(Oct 15, ‘14, JCK Online)
At the De Beers forum at this year’s JCK Las Vegas show, CEO Philippe Mellier surprised attendees by declaring that one of the industry’s biggest problems was diamond trade-ins. When consumers receive low prices for their used gems, he pronounced, that adds to a low opinion of the product.

Just two months later, De Beers launched the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV), which is nothing less than an attempt to reinvent diamond buying. The service is built around a New York City lab that will value trade-ins for retailers. So far, it’s signed up four jewelers, representing 14 stores—R.F. Moeller, the three-store chain in Minneapolis; two out of nine Rogers Jewelers stores; some Reeds stores; and Padis Gems, San Francisco—in what it stresses is only a pilot project.

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TAG Heuer to develop smartwatch

(Sep 16, ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–The head of LVMH’s watch division allegedly told a Swiss newspaper that TAG Heuer has plans to launch its own smartwatch, but that it must be original and different from Apple Watch.

Reuters reported Sunday that Jean-Claude Biver told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, “We want to launch a smartwatch at TAG Heuer, but it must not copy the Apple Watch. We cannot afford to just follow in somebody else’s footsteps.”

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Sea-Dweller of famous ocean lover for sale

(Sep 17, ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–One of the earliest-known Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665 watches that belonged to filmmaker and oceanographer Philippe Cousteau is expected to fetch up to $150,000 when it hits the auction block at Antiquorum Auctioneers later this month.

Cousteau is the son of Jacques Cousteau, a French naval officer, conservationist, scientist, author and researcher who studied the ocean and forms of life in water. Philippe Cousteau was the lead photographer on many of his father’s expeditions, wearing the Sea-Dweller timepiece for 10 years before giving it to his close friend, Thomas Horton.

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Gemfields enters Sri Lankan JV

(Sep 15, ‘14, Digital Look)
British miner Gemfields has announced it has entered a joint venture with East West Gem Investments (EWGI), as the group seeks to extend its network in Sri Lanka.

Gemfields has acquired 75% operating interest in 16 exploration licences, covering a range of minerals, for about $0.4m and under the agreement Jersey-based EWGI will hold 25% of three Sri Lankan-based subsidiaries.

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In NY, Sotheby’s to sell jewels of a Mellon

(Sep 15, ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–Jewelry that once belonged to Rachel Lambert Mellon, a horticulturalist and art collector who died earlier this year at the age of 103, will hit the auction block at Sotheby’s in November, including a fancy vivid blue diamond estimated to garner up to $15 million.

Mellon’s collection of jewels and objects of vertu, small objects created from precious materials used as works of art or that have a practical purpose, will be offered Nov. 20 and 21 at Sotheby’s New York.

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Worldwide Diamond Jewelry Sales Hit $79 Billion, as Rough Shortage Looms

(Sep 16, ‘14, JCK Online)
Global diamond jewelry sales hit a record $79 billion in 2013, as the market faces a coming rough shortage, according to De Beers’ inaugural Diamond Insight Report.

The report said that U.S. sales rose 7 percent last year, while sales in India and China grew 12 percent. According to the report, one in six U.S. diamond jewelry sales were made online in 2013—about 17 percent. In China, about a quarter of diamond jewelry purchases are made on the Internet.

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Lesotho mine yields 23-carat pink diamond

(Sep 17, ‘14, National Jeweler)
London–Storm Mountain Diamonds unearthed a 23.82-carat pink diamond from its Kao mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and said it will put the stone up for sale this month.

Dubbed the “Lesotho Storm,” Fusion/Hennig Tenders will offer the diamond for sale in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Antwerp between Sept. 21 and Oct. 7. Storm Mountain Diamonds did not respond when asked for an estimated sale price for the stone.

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122 Carat Blue Fetches $27 Million, Doesn’t Set Record

(Sep 16, ‘14, JCK Online)
The 122.52 ct. blue diamond rough found in June—one of the most significant gem finds in recent years—has been sold for $27.6 million, far below the record price some were expecting.

That price works out to a $225,269 a carat.

Petra Diamonds, which found the gem at its Cullinan mine in South Africa, sold it to a partnership comprising an anonymous polisher, which owns 85 percent, and Petra, which owns the rest.

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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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