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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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Gemfields unveils 40-carat ruby from Mozambique

(Dec 3 ‘14, National Jeweler)
London–Gemstone miner Gemfields discovered a 40.23-carat ruby–which it has called “one of the most important rubies unearthed in recent times”–at its Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique.

The Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland has appraised the piece of rough ahead of Gemfields’ December auction in Singapore, with Gübelin Managing Director Daniel Nyfeler noting in a statement that, “Although difficult to judge in the rough state, the transparency and color of the crystal indicate an important gemstone might be cut from this piece of rough. We are looking forward to following the development of this remarkable rough from its current state to a cut gem.”

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Kiran Gems invests in girls’ education in India

(Nov 20 ‘14, National Jeweler)
Mumbai–Diamond manufacturer Kiran Gems is partnering with the Smile Foundation to bring quality education to underprivileged children in India through the Mission Education program.

The collaboration will begin with the support of 100 girls across the country. Kiran will be investing in their education and healthcare for the coming academic session.

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JSA Warns of Fraudsters Impersonating Jewelry Vendors

(Nov 24 ‘14, JCK Online)
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance is warning the industry of a new seemingly sophisticated con in which jewelry companies are asked to send payments meant for vendors to fraudulent bank accounts.

The New York City–based security group says that it’s received two reports in the last month in which jewelry companies received startlingly on-target communications from vendors informing them of changes in their bank accounts. But when the principals checked with the vendors, they found the vendors had nothing to do with them.

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Gold fashion jewelry leads the way for Tiffany

(Nov 25 ‘14, National Jeweler)
New York–While results were mixed for Tiffany & Co. globally, sales in the U.S. market were relatively strong, led by consumer demand for fashion jewelry in karat gold.

The New York-based retailer reported Tuesday that same-store sales in the Americas rose 11 percent year-over-year in the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Total sales also increased 11 percent on a constant exchange rate basis, reaching $459 million.

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Gold Demand Trends Q3 2014

(Nov 13 ‘14, World Gold Council)
Gold demand totalled 929t in the third quarter, which proved to be a generally subdued quarter for the gold market. Jewellery demand softened by 4% year-on-year, but the comparison continues to be heavily influenced by the events in 2013. Longer term analysis shows a jewellery market in good health. Investment demand posted a 6% increase, reaching 204t, although a stable price caused investors to hold back. Central Banks added a further 92.8t to their coffers. Supply was down 7% in Q3; the volume of recycled gold continuing to shrink.

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