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Thank TGB it’s (Black) Friday – Are you Prepared for Cyber Monday?!

Welcome to this week’s fabulous issue of the thank it’s Black Friday newsletter. Much has happened this week, it turns out that Imelda Marcos’s jewellery far outshone her shoe addiction, J-Lo rocked the American Music awards but the jewellery award has to go to Alanis Morrisette. We have the latest reports from the Hatton Garden Jewellery Heist trail and the news on Basil, the thief that got away.

Take a 5 minute breather away from the madness that is Black Friday and read all about the industry’s biggest news stories this week!


The best pieces of jewellery start with a stone, so stop and stare at some of our drool-worthy stones on

Is your business ready for Cyber Monday?

Don’t put your feet up yet, Black Friday may be almost over, but Cyber Monday is days away and spending on this day is just as prolific by consumers. There are many blogs out there advising consumers on how to bag the best deals on Cyber Monday, but not much advice for the retailer, especially on how to survive and get the best out of this copious spending frenzy. But don’t panic, here are our tops tips for to survive intact.

1. Make sure your website can cope with the extra traffic. Last year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, roughly 18% of browsers were on mobile devices and 13% of purchases were made by mobile devices. This represents a 70% increase in mobile device traffic and a 96% increase in mobile device purchases versus 2011. Mobile shopping, which has grown in popularity this year too, will be even bigger this year, so not only do you need to make sure that your site can cope with the extra traffic but that your site is smart phone friendly.

2. Remind your customers that you are there. This weekend, send an anticipation email to all your customers past and present and remind them that your Cyber Monday sale is coming, you have time!

3. Have your landing page ready. On Cyber Monday people will expect a certain amount of delay and slow internet browsing, but beware because we have become an impatient society and consumers won’t wait for long before moving to a competitor’s site – so make sure you have a landing page ready.

4. It doesn’t have to end on Monday. If you want to extend your sale you can send an email either this weekend telling people that the Cyber sale is extended a few extra days or you can even send an email on Monday evening telling people that your sale continues.

What Caught My Eye this Week, and top of the Christmas list

Stephen Webster’s amazing trio of Fly By Night rings in white and rose gold, set with diamonds, pink opal and hematite Crystal Haze.

Faberge does it again, swoon over this amazing and exquisite ruby and diamond cuff, which can be seen at Official Jewellery Arabia show in Bahrain this week.

What Happened

The American Music Awards Jewellery

What a great party night in LA, with Jenifer Lopez killing it as a first time host. There were duets featuring the likes of Alanis Morissette and Demi Lovato, but the show’s finale was the hit of the night, as Justin Bieber closed with three songs, including one of which he danced in the rain. And at the time of publication Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor were still kissing….. But the real stars of the evening were the magnificent jewels worn by the stars in attendance. There seemed to be no end to the diamonds, emeralds, rubies and blue sapphires that appeared in all manner of jewellery from huge drop earrings to colourful cocktail rings, stacking rings and ear climbers. It was the jewels that really stole the show.

My favourite jewellery ensemble of them all came from Alanis Morrisette, whose pieces seemed to sum up the best jewellery fashion of 2015, from her ruby and diamond cluster climbersr3 from Leticia Linton to her white diamond Butani bracelet and handcuff.

Imelda Marcos Jewellery reappraised for auction

Imelda Marcos, famous for her huge collection of shoes, also had another hoard of jewellery.
The jewellery, comprising three sets seized in various locations, was valued at $5m to $7m when it was last appraised in 1988 and 1991. The collection was being appraised by the Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses this week before the government decided whether to auction it, he said, calling the collection a physical manifestation of excesses during the Marcos regime while many Filipinos suffered in poverty.

David Warren, who headed the team that inspected the jewellery for Christie’s said, “If I didn’t know where the collection came from, I would probably say it could have come from a royal person,” adding that the extensive collection included very rare and exceptional pieces. Also included in the hoard is a 25-carat Indian pink diamond, probably cut in the 18th century and worth at least $5m, which was discovered to be part of the collection. It was previously listed as crystal and may have not been shown to appraisers, Warren said. Marcos’s briolette-cut or barrel-shaped pink diamond is from India’s famous Golconda region, which produced rare finds such as the Hope diamond and a 500-carat diamond that is part of the British crown jewels.

Hatton Garden Heist the Biggest in English History

The Hatton Garden Heist Trail continues, with the latest details being uncovered, from ‘Forensics for Dummies’ books being found, to the leaders having old fashioned gang names. With much of the evidence for the trail coming from mobile and landline telephone data, and that the burglars had left no “forensic trace”

The trial continues at Woolwich Crown Court, here is what the jury has been told so far:

  1. The heist was planned on Friday nights in the local pub
  2. The estimated amount of jewels and precious metals that was stolen over Easter weekend in London’s jewellery quarter has added up £14m
  3. The jury has also been shown evidence the search for suitable equipment to carry out the heist might have started up to four years ago
  4. The thieves bored a hole 20in (51cm) deep, 10in (25cm) high and 18in (46cm) wide through a wall at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company
  5. Once inside, the men used the lift shaft to access the basement, disabled the alarm and drilled into the vault wall. Inside the vault, raiders ransacked safety deposit boxes used by traders of jewellery, precious stones and precious metals
  6. Jurors were shown CCTV footage of men arriving in a white van, and from it unloading various tools, bags, metal joists and wheelie bins. They heard that while at Hatton Garden, the men used walkie-talkies to communicate, and their mobile phones were in “radio silence”

Prosecutor Philip Evans told jurors “this offence was to be the largest burglary in English legal history”. Further adding that “at best” about one third of the property had been recovered and that was mostly lower-value goods.

Three men deny cornspiracy to commit burglary. A fourth denies conspiracy to conceal or transfer criminal property.

Defendants and charges

Carl Wood, 58, of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property

William Lincoln, 60, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property

Jon Harbinson, 42, of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property

Hugh Doyle, 48, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield: Charged with conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property and faces an alternative charge of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property

There is one member of the heist gang still at large. An elusive red-haired man, known only as Basil, let the thieves into a building in the heart of London’s jewellery district before they made off with almost £14 million of jewellery, gold, cash and other valuables, prosecutors revealed.

The Trial continues …………………………………….

Jewellery Stock piling up in India

The recent attack on Paris by Islamic State jihadists has caused considerable worry among Indian diamond traders, with jewellery stock piling up among retailers as people aren’t interested in buying such stuff in the face of high alert at malls and shopping centres.

With mounting stocks, both at the retail and wholesale-end, Indian diamond traders are worried that the upcoming VicenzaOro Show in January in Italy may turn out to be damp squib.
Talking to ET, Praveen Shankar Pandya, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said, “Europe has been on high alert since the terror strikes. People are not venturing out to malls and shops which is affecting sales. With less than six weeks for Christmas, this is the most crucial time for buying diamond jewellery. And it will impact Indian gem and jewellery exports.”

Export of gem and jewellery to Europe has not seen much improvement this year though the US market has shown signs of recovery. The ISIS attack comes at a time when the Indian diamond trade was hoping to do some good business in the region, helped by a lower inventory.

Jewellery sales during these five weeks contribute nearly 40% to annual sales.

“Jewellery export orders are around 75% of the normal offtake. The US has shown little signs of recovery and orders from the rest of the world are not robust,” Pandya explained.

What the autumn statement budget means for your customers

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was a surprise package indeed; it included none of the drastic cuts and doom we were expecting, although as usual there were a few stings in the tail! Already it has been hailed as a political rather than an economic budget, specifically designed to spread the feel good factor among the spending masses, thus giving the economy and the consumer the confidence boost that is so desperately needed.

So what does this mean for you, the business owner? Especially those businesses that mostly sell luxury products to high end customers? Perhaps more than you think. Tax credits were not cut, pensions will rise for pensioners too and more money for transport too. While this may not directly affect the customers who buy luxury products, the budget has been seen largely as a positive one, and that feeling positivity will spread right across the board, and most importantly increase consumer confidence in the economy, which in the past has meant that consumers are more willing to loosen the purse strings and start to spend, spend and spend again. We can only hope!

December Birthstone

With every month that passes birthstones are becoming more and more popular, with both celebrities and shoppers on the high street. It is also worth noting that birthstones are not only bought and worn to represent the wearers birthday month, but rather to represent the month or a special event within the month. This gives the seller a much wider range of gems to sell to each customer, rather than wearing their birthstone for 12 months of the year, the birthstone can be changed every month to represent that month.

December’s birthstones are blue Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise, these stunning blue stones perfectly reflect the frigid cold icy spark of winter. The stones when worn represent a peaceful happy life that is filled with good fortune. Ancient practitioners believed that turquoise would actually change colour when the wearer was ill or in danger.

Some people believe in the old wives tale that it’s bad luck to wear another birthstone other than your own. This myth is easily defunct by telling them that if that was true nobody would wear a diamond – which is one of the birthstones for April!

Company News

I hope you are enjoying my weekly updates. Please hit return and tell me if you are, it really helps me when I get feedback.

Other things I do that you might like are posts on twitter and Facebook, which you should follow now. I also have a great website packed with fantastic coloured gems and coloured diamonds. Please take a look.

Have a fantastic weekend and remember – By working together our industry will get stronger.

Best regards

Thank TGB It’s Friday – Are You Ready for Black Friday?

Hello and welcome to this week’s unmissable issue of thank it’s Friday newsletter. The countdown is now on – from here it is just 7 days till that most bonkers of shopping bonanzas, Black Friday. How swiftly this shopping day has taken over all others for spending madness – other good news from initial surveys from this year is that luxury goods, especially jewellery, will take the most of that spending percentage. So just to make sure that you and your business don’t miss out on maximising your selling potential, we have included 5 top tips for Black Friday Sales here in this newsletter.

As many bespoke pieces of jewellery will be ordered next weekend too as special Christmas gifts, here are our favourite gems from for you to peruse over and get your creative juices flowing.

Black Friday Bonanza!

Black Friday predictions are in. Analysts have confirmed that this year’s Black Friday’s sales will surpass £1 billion. And the even better news? Much of that spending will be on luxury goods, especially jewellery.

The days of waiting until Boxing Day for the best shopping deals are a thing of the past, UK shoppers splashed out over £810 million on Black Friday in 2014. Websites were crashing and people were fighting in the aisles, and this year its set to be bigger than ever. Sales over the 24 hour period are forecasted to surpass £1 billion pounds for the first time ever in UK history. Ebay said it anticipates 9m people in the U.K will visit its website on Black Friday, buying 25 items every second.

To put that in perspective it means that £11,574 will be spent every second

It’s not just Black Friday; Experian and IMRG are expecting a surge on all the popular spending days this winter. Award-winning digital agency Pulse, who have released this prediction, warns that businesses who want to maximise online sales and digital marketing during the 2015 season need to act immediately. Managing director Jackie Jeffs said: “UK retailers need to make sure that their website can handle the spike in traffic, or they risk becoming a casualty of their own successful marketing campaign. On occasions like Black Friday, shoppers are in a hurry and there are plenty of deals for them to move on to. Last year 42% of Black Friday online purchases didn’t come from a desktop computer, so having a website that will work on all devices, including a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone is now essential for any size business that hopes to succeed.”


Only a few days away, is your shop or website ready for what could be the biggest spending spike of the year? Don’t forget the spike will happen again if you are online on cyber Monday too – which is just a few days post Black Friday on 27 November.

Is your business ready for the potential biggest sales day of the year? Asda is famously washing their hands of Black Friday this year, but many smaller businesses are not able to do that. Besides, many are questioning Asda’s sanity for taking a bow out of what has swiftly become retails biggest spending weekend of the year.

1. Limit your Black Friday offers – Yes there is always the temptation to join the frenzy and slash prices left right and centre but you don’t want to end up looking like a discount store, or even worse – desperate! Better to choose a cross a range of items to ensure you target a wider customer demographic, it may be more practical to consider a limited range of products, so that you are still participating but it’s unlikely to impact too many of your product lines and promotions.

2. Evaluate IT, store and logistics requirements ahead of time. Managing the influx of demand during promotions like Black Friday is essential to the smooth running of the campaign, so ensure you have fully evaluated your online and offline IT requirements ahead of time. In other words, make sure your website can handle the spark in traffic, as customers on a spending spree will not wait around for your website to catch up. And if you have a bricks and mortar store, make sure you and your staff are well prepared with swift availability for any stock where you have reduced prices – again the customer will not wait around in the worry that they miss a bargain elsewhere.

3. Keep customers informed. Managing customer expectations can be the difference between a good experience and a negative one, even if you can’t avoid IT downtime or delivery delays. If customers are kept informed and feel that you’ve done everything possible for them to bag that timely bargain, then they are far likely to feel disappointed or let down by the service.

4. Ensure your marketing extends beyond just Black Friday. Keeping your customers engaged throughout the year is key to sustaining sales, so make sure that you don’t put all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to Black Friday. Keep them engaged, interested and inspired with regularly communications, loyalty incentives and special promotions that will entice them to shop with you all year round.
5. Don’t forget the all-important add on sales, sometimes the simple question, “Do you have everything you need for your presents today?” this simple question can jog a memory in the customer – and hopefully the forgotten present is jewellery!

If handled appropriately and in keeping with your current provisions and ability to maintain the required level of service during peak times, Black Friday 2015 does stand to provide a positive experience for retailers and customers alike.

What Happened

Game Set and Match for Lucara

A tennis ball sized 1,111 carat gem-quality diamond, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond cut into the British Crown jewels, has been unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. in Botswana.

The Type-IIa stone is just a touch smaller than a tennis ball, making it the largest diamond discovery for more than 100 years according to Vancouver-based Lucara. It was recovered by machines at the south lobe of Karowe mine in central Botswana, the company said in a statement. “The significance of the recovery of a gem-quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century and the continued recovery of high-quality stones from the south lobe, cannot be overstated,” William Lamb, chief executive officer of Lucara, said in the statement.

Edward Sterck, a London-based analyst at BMO Capital Markets said, “It is almost impossible to estimate a value for such an extraordinary stone given that a valuation is highly dependent on the colour, clarity and cutting and polishing characteristics,”

The biggest diamond discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in the Crown Jewels of Great Britain.

Lucara also said it found two white diamonds weighing 813 carats and 374 carats before cleaning at the same mine.

Date for the Diary – Sotheby’s Fine Jewels Auction 1 December

After the recent Magnificent Jewels auction results, where the stunning 2.03 carat internally flawless vivid blue cushion cut diamond fetched $48.5 million, earning it a place in the record books as the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction, we are counting down the days till the Sotheby’s Fine Jewels auction in a few weeks. And while we wait there are plenty of lots to wish for a dream over.

One European collection being offered in the Fine Jewels sale on 1 December affords a rare glimpse into the House of Boivin’s unique approach to jewellery. René Boivin founded the House of Boivin in the 1890s. Establishing himself under his own name gave him the freedom to push the limits on conventional ideas of jewellery, embracing semi-precious stones over precious and setting them in adventurous new forms.

After Boivin’s death in 1917, his wife Jeanne continued his name and designs into the 20th century. It was under Jeanne’s tutelage that another iconic jeweller, Suzanne Belperron, was encouraged to follow and develop her own distinctive style. During Belperron’s time at the House of Boivin, she sustained his daring aesthetics and imaginative use of stones and colours. Later, under her own name, Belperron created jewels influenced by her time at Boivin, where her style became her signature.

Our favourite picks:

Aquamarine and diamond bangle, René Boivin, 1937

This bangle from the House of Boivin shows a unique approach to jewellery. A stunning aquamarine and diamond bangle fuses semi-precious aquamarines into a wholly modernistic and refreshingly bold style. The bangle is visually and stylistically adventurous; especially considering it was created in 1937.

Estimate 100,000 — 150,000 GBP

Opal, sapphire, ruby and diamond pendent necklace, ‘Elephant’, René Boivin, 1939

Another Boivin masterpiece of beautiful bonkersness! Depicting an elephant, decorated to the front with cabochon opals, sapphires and circular-cut rubies, marquise-shaped, baguette and circular-cut diamonds, to a fancy link chain, length approximately 790mm, French assay and maker’s marks.

Estimate 33,000 — 38,000 GBP

Sapphire and diamond brooch/pendant, late 19th century

Claw-set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 5.07 carats within a double frame of circular-cut diamonds, brooch fitting detachable, hinged pendant bail.

Estimate 130,000 — 180,000 GBP

He’s Such a Gem

Leonardo Decaprio hands Naomi Campbell a pardon over her blood diamonds

In 2010 Naomi Campbell publically admitted, at the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor in The Hague, that had received ‘dirty rocks’ – better known as blood diamonds, because they are mined in war zones and traded for arms – from the former Liberian leader.

Not her most shining moment, and this comment has seen the ex supermodel hounded ever since by anti- campaigners.

It has been reported that Leo personally asked Naomi to auction a huge Graff diamond at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s second annual gala held at a private villa in St Tropez last week. The move is said to have raised eyebrows among the audience, who were aware of Leo’s intense interest in the human cost of blood diamonds since he spent time in Sierra Leone researching for his role in the 2006 film Blood Diamond.

Sources reported that Dicaprio saw this as an opportunity to publically recognise Naomi for her charitable works rather than the tainted gift she received from Taylor. She has supported Leo’s foundation since its inception in 1998.

The model was introduced on to the stage by Sylvester Stallone and then encouraged a mystery Russian bidder among the audience to part with £250,000 for a 5.43 carat diamond ring.

Move over, Movado are jumping on the bandwagon

Luxury watch retailer Movado Group Inc. have decided that now is the time to jump into the smartwatch market having collaborated with two Silicon Valley giants, Fullpower Technologies, Inc.

Despite the incredible competition that this market already holds from heavyweights such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Pebble, the announcement was so well received by investors that the shares jumped 5.8% on the same day of trading.

These collaborations have allowed Movado to develop two separate ranges of smartwatches, Movado Motion and BOLD Motion. Movado has used the technology from Fullpower for its Swiss timepieces to offer the Movado Motion line, while, HP’s technological prowess has been deployed to create the BOLD Motion range.
The watches are compatible with both iOS and Android devices and function using apps that have been specifically designed for them. Both ranges of smartwatches have a slew of features including trackers for sleep and activity patterns among others. The basic versions of Movado Motion and BOLD Motion are priced from $995 and $695 respectively.

Perhaps the market will stretch further still as more companies sign up as, according to a September 2015 IDC report, the wearable market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22.9% over the next 5 years, bringing the global units sold to about 173.4 million by 2019.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. The website is regularly updated, we now offer clearer images, more images per stone and we have priced everything showing. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend

Thank TGB It’s Friday – What do you buy the daughter who has everything????

Hello and welcome to this week’s fantastic thank it’s Friday newsletter! In this issue we gaze at the imagination inspiring gemstones that has on offer. We talk about the enviable spending spree by one property tycoon, and report that other tycoons are attempting to sue the Queen. We have news on watches that have been to the moon the latest smart watch, and China’s singles day spendathon!

What’s going on in your business? Do you have a story that you want to shout about? Or a news piece that you with us to investigate further? Don’t keep it to yourself, Email, Facebook or Tweet us, and tell us about it.

For now, take 5 minutes put your feet up, and let us regale you with our favourite industry stories from the past week


Harry Winston once said, “Some jewels glamorise women, and some women glamorise jewels” He also said, that all his designs, “start with the right stone.” And who are we to argue? So, take a leaf out of Mr Winston’s book, and get your creative juices flowing, so you can add that extra special sparkle to your pieces let, the help you find the “right” stone, so you can glamorise your own jewellery designs.

Magnificent Jewels Auction results

Fancy coloured diamonds are still breaking records as the latest Magnificent Jewels auction results prove. A Hong Kong property tycoon went on a spending spree this week that would make even billionaires blush, and all for his very lucky 7 year old daughter.

Property tycoon Joseph Lau spent a record $48.4m buying a 12.03-carat diamond dubbed “Blue Moon” for his seven-year-old daughter in an auction in Geneva, which he immediately renamed “Blue Moon of Josephine” after his daughter.

The Blue Moon was bought 24 hours after he spent $28.5m buying a rare 16.08-carat pink diamond – the largest of its kind to ever go under the hammer – from rival auction house Christie’s, which again he immediately renamed, this time to “Sweet Josephine”.

A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Lau confirmed the two purchases. “The first was the pink one, ‘Sweet Josephine’, and the second one was the ‘Blue Moon of Josephine’,” she said.

David Bennett, the head of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, said the “Blue Moon” sale broke several records and made the gemstone the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.

0.12 ct Gray-Blue Round Brilliant Diamond

0.11 ct Purplish Pink Round Brilliant Diamond

India Sues the Queen!

It has been said that whoever owned the Koh-I-Noor ruled the world. And now it seems that a few Indian business tycoons, want to take back the gift, (although actual bond style, sinister world ruling tendencies is yet to reported about said tycoons) that was awarded to Queen Victoria during the Great Exhibition of 1851 which was eventually set into the Imperial State Crown.

Since 1911 it has been incorporated into crowns worn by the female consort, including the late Queen Mother, who wore it at the coronation of George VI in 1937 and her daughter’s coronation in 1953.
But who really owns it? And can a gift be taken back? Over the years both India and Pakistan have laid claim to the priceless jewel. The first request for its restoration came from Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1976.

Like all famous stones, this one’s history holds a story, but this stone’s tale is more than a little ominous. The 186-carat gem, whose name means Mountain of Light in Persian, was mined in India around 1100. It carries a curse lethal to male owners and “only God or a woman can wear it with impunity”. After a blood-soaked history in which several of its male owners were violently dethroned.

Defining Pigeon Blood

The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) and Gübelin Gem Lab have announced that they now have a set of agreed standards in place, to categorise the criteria to denote the terms pigeon blood red and royal blue in reference to rubies and sapphires.

Although the labs conducted their criteria terms independently of each other, when they compared each other’s they found them to be similar enough to define one industry standard of criteria. The new standards for pigeon blood red rubies and royal blue sapphires are based on colour and quality. To qualify for the term, the colour must be “intense, saturated, and homogenous,” and the stones must not have undergone any modification of colour or clarity.

“By applying these harmonized standards, it is the aim of SSEF and Gübelin Gem Lab to provide the trade with unified and consistent guidelines for the use of these historically significant terms,” said Michael Krzemnicki, director of SSEF.

“Clearly, such stringent sets of criteria implies that only a very small percentage of rubies and sapphires qualify,” said Daniel Nyfeler, managing director of the Gübelin Gem Lab. “This is in line with the experience and belief of both Gübelin and SSEF that historically only exceptional rubies and sapphires were attributed these quality terms.”

The standards are available in full at

One of our own Pigeons Blood Rubies

The best Place for Social Media Marketing

Public Relations professional says that Pinterest and Instagram are best for your social media marketing budget. In a column exclusive to National Jeweler, public relations professional Lilian Raji addresses questions about PR and marketing.

Pinterest and Instagram have proven to be the better money-makers. And when it comes to this business we’re in, this jewellery business of ours, the right picture of the right jewellery can inspire a thousand women to wage war against their fiduciary obligation to their savings account.

Between the two, however, Pinterest users are older and wealthier. And while Instagram is great for inspiring impulse purchases, Pinterest attracts users who are pinning away with purpose.
There are legions of women who use Pinterest to fully plan their weddings, down to their dream wedding and engagement rings and their ultimate wedding jewellery, for themselves, their fiancés, and their entire bridal party.

And what about Twitter?

Eh. Most people aren’t thinking about shopping when they’re on Twitter. They’re thinking about the next 140-character rant they hope will be retweeted.

Save Facebook for building relationships and engagement with your existing customers. Ditto for Twitter.

Invest in Pinterest, and anything leftover in your budget, put towards Instagram.

Fly Me to the Moon

The Omega Speedmaster, the watch that accompanied Captain Ron Evans, one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon aboard Apollo 17 — a unique opportunity for collectors to own a flown Speedmaster from the Apollo missions.

After 301 hours and 51 minutes in space, Evans and his crewmates returned to Earth on 19 December 1972. The Command Module landed in the Pacific Ocean, some four miles from the designated the recovery ship — the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, the aircraft carrier on which Evans had served four tours of duty. Fifty-two minutes after landing, Evans, Cernan and Schmitt were safely on board, having been retrieved by a recovery helicopter.

Once back on terra firma, Ron Evans took a portable hand engraving tool and inscribed the Speedmaster watch, and the black metal attachment used in the experiment. On the reverse of the watch, he etched ‘FLOWN IN C.S.M. TO THE MOON’ and ‘APOLLO 17’ and his signature. On the edge of the watch he engraved ‘HEAT FLOW EXPR’ and ‘6-19 DEC 1972’. In addition, he etched directly on the metal piece that it was ‘glued to OMEGA watch’ for the experiment.

Tag Heur offers plan B

The latest on the smart watch bandwagon – even though a recent survey reveals that less than 8% of the people that know about smart watches actually wear one – is Tag Heur. But even if Tag is a little late to the party with this watch, it was definitely worth the wait. And this watch does offer what others don’t – it’s for the android user, using Android Wear operating system. Thus offering an alternative smart watch, because other smart watches are for consumers who use the iphone IOS system.

At the unveiling of the watch, The Tag Heuer CEO explained why they have created a smart watch by insisting that his company “cannot lose the wrist” to other smartwatch manufacturers.

The device is modelled on the company’s Carrera family of timepieces and comes with three digital watch faces not legally available to other Android models.

When in time mode, the display always shows its digital hands and hour markers – unlike many other models that turn off the screen to save power – and the built-in lithium battery is said to last a day between charges.

Owners are offered a range of sports-themed exclusive apps, including golf, motor-racing and trail walking-focused titles, as well as software available to other Android Wear models.

In an unusual pitch, the company said that buyers will be able to exchange the titanium-cased device for a mechanical counterpart after two years if they pay an additional fee of $1,500. Which is an excellent idea, as this may attract more buyers to the watch as offering this choice is making the watch future proof, because everybody knows that this technology will only be in fashion until the next tech idea comes along.

However, its use of Google’s OS could limit its appeal. “It will only work with iOS handsets to a limited extent – to show messages and do basic things – but as soon as you want to add additional apps from the Android Wear store, you need to be on the Android platform,” said Alexander Linz, from the Watch-Insider news site. “That’s a big disadvantage because a lot of people who buy luxury products use iPhones and not Android technology.”

Clear Marketing Needed to Drive Sales of Smartwatches

CCS Insight survey shows 75% of consumers are aware of smartwatches, but less than 8% own and use them.

Tech analyst firm CCS Insight has called on the consumer electronics industry to better articulate the benefits of smartwatches and wearable devices to the public if they are to survive the hype surrounding wearable technology.

The research included a survey of 4,000 people in the UK, the US, China and Brazil on their perceptions of wearable technology including usage patterns, awareness and current ownership. It reveals that a lack of consumer understanding is contributing to poor sales and low usage of wearable devices to date.

Of those surveyed, an impressive 75% are aware of smartwatches and fitness trackers signalling strong potential for the segment. However this is currently not being translated into meaningful ownership and usage. Only 5% of people CCS Insight surveyed own and use a fitness tracker, with smartwatches lagging slightly behind at just 3%.

Key findings of the survey are included below.

Awareness of wearables is high, but few have bought or used one.

In the UK and the US, 75% of respondents are aware of smartwatches, compared with 63% in CCS Insight’s 2013 survey. But only 3% of people own and use one, while 2% own one but no longer use it.

In the UK and the US, 75% of respondents are aware of fitness trackers, an increase on the 54% who said they were aware of them in CCS Insight’s 2013 survey. But only 6% are using them, while 7% own one but no longer use it.

People don’t understand the benefits of smartwatches

The top reasons for not purchasing a smartwatch were that people don’t see the point (cited by 34%) and high prices (mentioned by 29%).

Those planning to get a smartwatch say they will do so because they are interested in technology (50%) and some of the functions appeal to them (49%).

For full survey results visit For full survey results visit

China is still spending

Move over Black Friday and Cyber Saturday, there is another big selling holiday; Singles Day. It’s the biggest holiday that you have never heard of. Why? Because, so far, it’s celebrated only in China and is their anti-Valentines day holiday for, you guessed it, single people.

This year, shoppers spent more than $9bn (£6bn) in the first 12 hours of China’s Singles’ Day sales, topping last year’s total for the world’s biggest online shopping day.

Total gross merchandise volume, a measure of sales, matched the 2014 Singles’ Day figure of $9.3bn just after midday, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said. “The 2015 sale has eclipsed last year’s final results in a little over half the time,” it said.

Before the event, Alibaba’s chief executive Daniel Zhang said “the whole world will witness the power of Chinese consumption” on Singles’ Day on Wednesday 11 November. It is not a traditional Chinese festival but Alibaba has been pushing it since 2009, first marketing it as an “anti-Valentine’s Day” – 11/11 being a date heavy on ones – with hefty discounts to lure the country’s singletons and price-sensitive buyers.

Good news at the very least to those who wish to sell to China, as these spending figures give a glimmer of hope that the current Chinese economic crisis may soon come to an end. Time will tell.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. The website is regularly updated, we now offer clearer images, more images per stone and we have priced everything showing. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend

Thank TGB It’s Friday – The Week of the GIA Hacking Scandal

Hello and welcome to this week’s issue of Thank its Friday newsletter. The fireworks have stopped (just about) and Guy Fawkes is turned ash once again. Silly season has officially begun. From here on in, day by day, shopping days are only going to get busier and busier. This of course for those in the industry is a good thing, the trend for holiday spend has increased year on year for the past 3 years and initial reports are suggesting that this year is going to be no different.

Are you ready to cash in on the biggest time of the year? From window dressing to impress, to promoting your services to current and potential customers. If you start straight away there are many things that you can do to help you get a jump on your competition and bring in the shoppers.

The best way to prepare? Vision and goal setting, yes this is a much used phrase, and many see it as business rhetoric. If you have not used this technique before, I urge you to do so now, because the reason why this phrase is so overly used, is because the technique actually works. Vision and goal setting can used over a week, a month, a year even to five years. The timescale is up to you and what suits your business. In this case, the time scale is 7 Saturdays left until Christmas. Scary hey? But if you start now, choose your vision and set your goals for the next few months, the daunting task of maximising the sales potential for Christmas will become clear, and the steps to get there organised and disciplined.

5 Top Tips and ideas to get your seasonal marketing plan off on the right foot

Window dressing

Whether you have a physical shop front or online business – dressing your window or front website page, to attract potential customers is all important for this season, and can be a major tool in increasing your sales. A good shop window will stop customers in their tracks. A cleverly designed shop window will bring you new clients, enhance the image and brand of your business, promote customer loyalty, and can lead the customer’s eye direct to the products that you want to sell above others.

Market Research

The best way to find out what your customers want is to ask them. If you invite your best customers in for an after-hours party – with a free glass of bubbly perhaps, you can pick their brains about what they purchased last year. Which of your items make good gifts? Are there products they wish you carried that you don’t? What price ranges are they looking for? What is their average Christmas budget? This type of event puts you in the forefront of your customers minds, and makes them feel important to you – thus making your business more favourable to any Christmas spend they may have!

A follow on from this style of event – especially if it is held sooner rather than later is that – according to surveys – is that 54% of businesses get most of their customers by word-of-mouth. An average customer, after a positive experience with a business, will recruit three other customers during the time they do business with you. Someone endorsing your business to someone else is a very powerful marketing tool.

Get your Staff involved

Christmas is a time to have fun, and you should try and make sure you bring some of this fun into the work place. Your staff can make a big difference to the success of your business over Christmas, they are the first point and sometimes the only point of contact for your customers. Getting your staff excited for Christmas will reflect in their attitudes when serving customers, ultimately making your store an enjoyable place to shop. And if your customers are enjoying the shopping experience with you, they are likely to spend more and tell other people about it.


Even if you don’t advertise throughout the year – advertising your business during the next few months is an excellent way of maximising your sales potential and by getting to the forefront of your customers minds. It’s very important to note here that nobody who buys advertising space, either online or in print, pays the full price quoted. Haggling for the lowest price for advertising space is expected. And, with any advertising space you buy always ask for free editorial to go with it. Many sites and publications will also create your advert and editorial for you for free too!

Bespoke Service

Do you offer a bespoke service? Either from creating a piece from scratch or restore old pieces of jewellery by replacing and changing the stones? If so now is the time to really promote this service to old and news customers alike. Bespoke jewellery and updating jewellery with new stones is an ever increasing trend as consumers are continually searching for a way to own jewellery that is not only one off, but special to themselves as individuals. Jewellery containing birthstones is also increasing in popularity. The beauty of using Birthstones in jewellery is that there is a stone for every month that can match almost any customers budget – so by combining the bespoke service with the ability to provide beautifully coloured birthstones for your customers is a great way to really maximise your sales potential not for the Christmas season.

What Caught My Eye

The Jimmy Choo Shoe

Move over Cinderella whose glass slippers are so passé. Jimmy Choo earlier this year, created a New glass slipper called a ‘crystal cluster’ which has been hand embroidered to the toe of the upper shoe with no less than 7000 crystals and 46 embroidered stones fixed to the upper of the shoe. The perfect Christmas present for any would be princess.

Priced at $4,595

What Happened

GIA a victim of Hacking

The Gemological Institute of America has invalidated 1,042 grading reports issued by its grading lab, as they bear grades that were altered after its system was accessed without authorization by former employees of its database support contractor, Tata Consultancy Services.

Since the story broke, the GIA have published a list of names and suspended India’s Gems and suspended the accounts of 19 firms implicated in the alleged computer hacking scheme, of which 14 units were based in Surat or Mumbai Jewellery. A full and up to date list of the names can be found at the GIA website

As many of the firms implicated in the hacking are from India, the Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) have formed a joint committee to investigate the alteration of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond grading reports.

The GJEPC has appointed three trade members to carry out a probe and gather evidence, the newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying. The team will be talking to various groups, including senior management at the GIA and Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), a contractor that supports the grading lab.

More Pearls Please

At the Tucson gem show at the beginning of the year, it was clear that prices of white freshwater pearls were significantly higher than in years past. Pearlers are suggesting that Asian consumers are the reason. After driving up prices of South Sea and Tahitian pearls, buyers in the Far East began snapping up akoyas and freshwaters, pushing that market to previously unseen heights.

The demand is at such a fever for pearls that supply simply cannot keep up. “Now prices are pretty crazy here,” said Anil Maloo, founder and president of Baggins in Los Angeles. The prices for both cultured and freshwater pearls, in particular white, have experienced a sharp price rise due in part from the high demand from China. American dealers are now really struggling to source inventory and are paying premiums of up to 30 percent for superior-grade pearls. “Domestic China is consuming more pearls than they export,” says Michael Hakimian, CEO of Yoko London. “We’re expecting a huge price hike as we get closer to the Chinese New Year.”

Do Synthetic Diamonds Pose a Threat?

Rapaport have published an interesting blog this week on synthetic diamonds, asking if they do indeed pose a threat to our industry. We have discussed this issue on many occasions before, however, the simple fact is that synthetic diamonds are still being created, and the figures of those creations are rising, so this subject as a discussion is far from over. Of course lab grown diamonds are no new thing. In the 1950s, research scientists at GE began developing near-gemstone quality synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes using an ultra-high pressure system called the ‘diamond press.’ In 1982, Sumitomo Electric synthesized a 1.20 carat single crystal diamond, one of the world’s largest man-made stones at the time.

However, companies are now touting their upgraded synthetic diamonds to the consumer, furthermore, those same companies are striving to “Wow” the consumer and industry alike with producing better and bigger diamonds than before. Four months ago, we reported that the world’s largest synthetic diamond had been unveiled by Pure Grown Diamonds, the US-based synthetic diamond company formerly known as Gemesis, who claimed it has broken the record for the world’s largest lab-created diamond. The company’s latest record-setter is a 3-carat, K coloured round brilliant-cut synthetic diamond, with SI1 clarity.

Rapaport goes further and suggests that synthetic diamonds are a good thing. As their existence will for the industry to be more transparent in its supply chain and they are a product category that will increase industry profits. And now much better screening has been developed to more easily differentiate between lab and mined diamonds for better clarity for both jeweller and consumer.

The most important answer to the threat, is the consumer themselves and if they are willing to accept a synthetic diamond over a mined diamond. So far, on mass consumers are saying no – although the companies growing the synthetic diamonds beg to differ. Simply put the synthetic diamond does not represent the romance that a million year old mined diamond does and never will.

The time has passed to ignore and hope the synthetic diamond will go away – that ship has sailed. No, the industry needs to promote mined diamonds over synthetic diamonds at every opportunity.

But this should be an easy sell. After all, what better way to represent eternity than the most recognisable symbol of love than a stone that has been created over millennia? Why would a consumer want to wear a synthetic stone that is in abundance over an expensive, authentic and scarce diamond that shows how unique an individual the wearer is?

Rapaport concludes its report with this, “Consumers subconsciously empower diamonds with symbolic values that they then project onto themselves and each other. “You are special, unique and rare,” communicates the diamond to the woman. The gift of commitment is the expensive diamond because she is worth more than money. Real Love = Real Diamonds™ says it all.”

Emerald Engagement Ring poised for a comeback

According to Town and Country magazine, the emerald engagement ring is poised for a revival, as more and more brides are choosing to veer from the traditional in favour of a little colour and style. In actual fact their popularity has been in steep rise for the past 5 years. The proof is irrefutable that these stunning stones are once again being sought after by the top jewellery design houses. From Harry Winston to Cartier to Oscar Heyman, all the top jewellers are creating stunning engagement rings. Emeralds have been back in fashion for use in jewellery for a few years, however, now more and more engagement rings have an emerald as its centre piece.

Designer Anita Ko, commented, “Today’s bride is looking for something timeless with a twist; something extraordinary that still embodies her distinct sense of style.”

Emerald as a gemstone symbolizes love, intelligence and eloquence. It represents hope, rebirth, faithfulness and continuity. During the time of the Romans, it was believed that an emerald stone soothes the soul.

Thank TGB It’s Friday – Have a Spook-tacular Halloween!

Hello and welcome to this week’s fantastic issue of Thank it’s Friday newsletter. From here on in all shopping days are pointing towards the biggest selling time of the year, last year there was a predicted sales rise by 4% which was more than exceeded, especially in the luxury goods sector, and this year predicted sales are to rise once again. So take five minutes to relax, see it as the spooky calm before the crazy shopping storm and let us regale you with the choicest picks of this week’s industry news and happenings.


What Caught My Eye

I love this holiday, and year on year it gets bigger and bigger, more frivolous and silly than the last. No longer is this holiday just for the kids. Now, no matter your age or gender, indulging in this spook-tacular day in some manner is almost a given. Never before have creepy crawlies and long legged thingies been so stylish and on trend. And with everybody getting in on the action, it is little wonder that the designers and creators of fine jewellery have let their imaginations run wild and produced amazing and frightfully spine chilling pieces? The colours used in these spooky pieces are amazing, from rubies and emeralds to chocolate and black diamonds.

Top Trend – Skulls

Skulls are gaining in popularity once more, especially with the huge surge in popularity in the western hemisphere of ‘Day of the Dead’ style jewellery and costumes. This is a different holiday than Halloween, but it happens to be celebrated on 1 and 2 November, but because of its ties with honouring the deceased it has been seized upon in western popular culture.

Just in case this trend has yet to catch your attention, here is a little bit of background. Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. For those in the industry this trend is bound to capture the imagination as its use of colours and flamboyant style has endless possibilities for design.

Pamela Froman – Pamela actually created this in her last year of study a few years ago. This piece is truly exquisite and exciting

Fiona Kruger – Day of the Dead watch

Goldex Fine Jewellery – Day of the Dead full skeleton

Dior Skull pendant

Of course it’s not just skulls; skeletons, spiders and pumpkins will always be favourites this holiday – think gothic and go bold!

My favourites are;

Michelle Ong – stunning pumpkin

Zanetti snake Pendant

1890’s Spider Brooch

What Else caught my eye!

Gasp with delight at these most stunning of watches, created by the master horologer Jacob & Co

The Jacob & Co. Brilliant Skeleton Baguette

These amazingly colourful watches are available in a limited edition of 101 individually numbered watches. There are 269 show stopping baguette gemstones adorning the case of every watch, crown and buckle. The movement is an open-work skeleton which is as captivating as it is brilliant, showing the meticulous skill of the maker. Each one is made with a precious gemstone and has an alligator leather strap. The options are; white diamonds with black strap, rubies with green strap, orange sapphires with brown strap, blue sapphires with white strap, pinks sapphires with green strap, tsavorites with brown strap.

What Caught My Eye

Hatton Garden jewellery raid: Property ‘recovered’ in cemetery search

In another extra ordinary twist to the Hatton Garden burglary story, some of the stolen goods have already been previously recovered but police seemed to have hit a stumbling block. That was until last week, when Danny Jones, the youngest of the thieves who has pleaded guilty in the Hatton Garden heist, contacted the police. Danny, probably in a bid to curry favour before his trial for the heist this November, told the police that he was willing to show them the location of some of the stolen goods, which were buried at a north London cemetery. Which after a quick search, they uncovered a proportion of the goods stolen.

Jewellery, cash and other items valued at up to £20m were taken in the burglary over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, with many millions worth of goods stolen still missing.

Petra in talks with the banks

Petra Diamonds has lost its sparkle after the company reported falling prices and said it was in talks with its bankers about debt covenants.

Following the news, its shares have fallen 6.65p or more than 8% to 73.8p.

“Thanks to mining, me and my family have a good home and food on the table every day”, says Alexander Nina, President of the Cooperative “15 de Agosto” in the Irupana Municipality of La Paz, Bolivia. “My expectations with certification are to improve our mining activities and the place we live. We now have more possibilities to support the community and open a health center.” 15 de Agosto is currently the only Fairmined certified organization in Bolivia.

It reported no revenues in the first quarter, with its first diamond sale of the financial year not until October. The sale yielded $68.9m but amid oversupply of polished stones and a slowdown in Chinese demand, Petra said diamond prices were down 8.8% in dollar terms compared to the previous quarter. The weakening of the rand helped mitigate the effect of lower dollar prices.

Production during the quarter rose 1% to a record 842.796 carats, and the company said it was on track to meet its full year targets.

The company has $306m of debt, up from $171m in June and it said, “Petra has initiated discussions with its bankers to ensure than its senior lender covenants are appropriate for the business and will update shareholders in that regard in the near future.”

Shocking Reports of low grade diamonds altered

Hundreds of diamond consumers in India and have been fleeced by a few diamantaires altering the gemological reports of low grade diamonds, in order to increase their profits.

The world’s reputed Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has invalidated grading reports for 1,042 diamonds submitted in India after an outside party gained unauthorized remote access to its grading information database. Gemological laboratories issue certifications with details of the size, colour, grade, cut and size of diamonds. American Gem Society (AGS) says the highest possible grade is zero and that 10 is the lowest for a diamond. So, a diamond with a colour grade of 3 has less colour than a diamond with a colour grade of 5.

Would such an alteration make a difference? Yes. Imagine a colour grade of 5 diamond costs $3,000 per carat, upgrading the colour grade at 3 increases its value by more than $5,000, thus giving a $2k clear profit. GIA has publicised a list of invalidated diamond reports and requested their owners to return the diamonds for re-examination.

GIA in a release stated that an investigation in conjunction with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) contractor that supports GIA database-unearthed the discrepancies. The investigation revealed that an outside party had altered the grading information for 1,042 diamonds examined by GIA. The individuals, acting at the behest of other parties unrelated to GIA or TCS, gained unauthorised remote access to alter grades before reports were printed and sent to clients, stated GIA.

GIA and TCS have made the results of their investigation known to law enforcement agencies in India that are now investigating the matter. GJEPC regional chairman Dinesh Navadiya said, “They have cheated diamond consumers in India and abroad by altering the diamond grades in the reports. We demand strict action against those involved in the scam.”

High tech Pearls

Seems that everything can be high tech these days – even the pearl has now had the gizmo treatment. Pearls have been the mainstay for fashionistas for a while, and Galatea Jewellery has just taken the humble pearl, and placed it firmly into the “smart world.”

Chi Huynh, in his latest invention in conjunction with Galatea Jewellery – patent pending – is called the Momento Pearl. So where does the “tech” come in? Huynh has inserted a tiny chip within a cultured pearl. When you use it in combination with the Galatea Jewellery App, you can upload voice and text messages, images and web links. Simply tap the pearl against an Android phone to hear the voice message and see what you’ve uploaded.

But Huynh didn’t stop there, he has also patented a cultured pearl with a coloured stone bead inside. The coloured bead is revealed when the pearl’s exterior is carved. Hand-carving pearls have always been a hallmark of Huynh’s Galatea jewellery designs. More than 75 percent of the company’s jewellery use carved pearls rather than the more traditional smooth-surfaced pearls. Normally, pearls are valued for their colour, lustre (the “shine” on its exterior), uniform and blemish-free surface. Huynh revolutionized traditional beliefs about cultured pearls, calling his carved pearls, “Pearls without Boundaries.”

Mustang explores rubies in Mozambique

Australian mining company Mustang Resources is planning to purchase an 80% stake in Montepuez Australian Minerals. With this purchase Mustang Resources now controls 64%, 56% and 56% in three licenses to mine rubies, which together account for 15,800 hectares in the Montepuez region of Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.

Under the contract, Mustang Resources has committed to make an initial payment of US$1.5 million, with US$150,000 in cash and the remainder in the company’s own shares. The contract involves an additional payment of US$2 million once 500 carats of rubies have been extracted and another US$2.5 million, of which US$750,000 will be in cash, after 10,000 carats are extracted. The extraction of 50,000 carats of rubies will require the company to make a payment of another US$3 million, of which US$2 million will be in cash.

This transaction depends on a number of conditions, including the completion of an evaluation study and an independent report, shareholder approval and obtaining the necessary capital.

In a statement issued in Perth this week, Mustang Resources, a company listed on the Sydney Stock Exchange, said the three exploration licenses are located in the same region where British company Gemfields explores one of the most important ruby deposits in the world.

November Birthstone

Birthstone jewellery is the perfect way to celebrate your birth and the birth of your loved ones, especially your children, November’s birthstones are beautiful Topaz and stunning Citrine, both stones perfectly reflecting the colouring of the autumn season.

Birthstone jewellery has really taken off in the past few years, and the trend only seems to be growing, as more customers are asking to have coloured stones within their jewellery.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying our weekly updates. We are continually adding new stock to our website, in particular have you seen our new range of matched gemstone pairs? There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB It’s Friday – The Rise of Men’s Jewellery

Hello and welcome to this week’s amazing issue of thank it’s Friday.

What Caught My Eye

The Forgotten Customer – The rise of men’s jewellery

There is a forgotten customer in jewellery shops across the globe, men. Yes, we already know that many men will venture into jewellery stores this silly season looking to buy jewellery or a luxury watch for their female partners. But consider this – the sale of men’s jewellery is on the rise. Not just because gay marriage has been legalised, but right across all sectors of society, more and more men are once again enjoying wearing jewellery.

So don’t ignore this forgotten customer, as the sales potential here is very much on the rise. Forget the cheesy 70’s fashion of a gold medallion worn against a hairy chest, and replace it with images of footballers, race car drivers, R&B stars and ice cool Hollywood celebrities wearing every style of jewellery imaginable. And most of all? Embrace this very on vogue revenue stream.

On a recent trip abroad I noticed the increasing popularity of jewellery for men in many a high street jeweller’s window. Yes the glitterati have been donning the jewels for quite some time now, and this trend at last is starting to trickle down to high street level. I asked a few jewellers why they thought that men’s diamond jewellery is becoming more popular, fashion was the top answer, but also the flaunting of wealth, and more and more customers are seeing the purchase of diamonds – especially coloured diamonds, as an investment. My personal assessment is this – that wearing of jewellery across the sexes has become more and more acceptable. And as we venture further into an age of androgynous fashion and social living, jewellery worn by men will become more and more popular.

But don’t just take my word for it, further evidence of this trend, released earlier this year, is the Google Global Search Summary for Men’s Jewellery Products. The chart below was provided by Karus Chains.

Men and jewellery wearing seems to split the camps, especially in the UK it seems with certain magazines such as GQ being quite scornful in the past of this trend. However, in recent months many of the male models appearing in their fashion shoots are wearing jewellery – and diamond jewellery at that. With celebrities such as Pharrell, who seems to sport a new piece of chocolate, blue or yellow coloured diamond jewellery almost every week, Lewis Hamilton who wears whopping diamond earring in both ears and the super cool Samuel L Jackson wearing a very eye-catching crown ring on his little finger, is it little wonder that trend has become so main stream?

So this Christmas, don’t forget the huge selling potential of “The forgotten customer”. They may not only be shopping for their partners but for themselves too. Women too will be more open to buying not only a luxury watch for their other half but a ring, a bracelet or earring too.

Harry Winston – Histoire de Tourbillon 6

Brace yourself for this latest watch from Harry Winston, it’s so mind bogglingly beautiful it may actually take your breath away,

Histoire de Tourbillon 6’s HW4701 caliber is the most complex in the Histoire de Tourbillon series. A genuine first in the history of horology, it combines two independent hour indications: one regulated by a tri-axial tourbillon and the other by a karussel. Both karrusel and tourbillon operate in a similar manner and feature the same exceptional precision-rating qualities. The impressive white gold case is designed to fit the contours and accompany the technical constraints of a movement distinguished by its unique complexity and construction. The price, a breath stealing $722,900.

What Happened

Polished diamond exports fall 14%
The Times of India have reported that polished diamond exports have fallen by a staggering 14% in polished diamond exports at $10.42 billion and rough diamond imports decreased by 26 per cent at $6.95 billion in the first six months of the current financial year compared to the same period in the previous year.

However, September did bring nervousness in the diamond market with polished diamond exports falling by 28% at $1.92 billion compared to the same month in the previous year, signalling tough days for the Surat diamond industry.

Even gold jewellery exports did not fare well in the first six months of the current financial year. The exports stood at US$ 3.81 billion, registering a decline of 23.1% over the comparative figures of US$ 4.96 billion in the same period last year.

Rio Tinto Make the Cut

Recent reports from Rio Tinto are suggesting that they plan on making a cut to its production of diamonds this year to focus their efforts on the more affordable jewellery market that is still strong in China – which is the mine’s second largest market after the US.

There has been a large climb in the purchasing of fashion jewellery in China costing between $300 to $1000. This is perfect news for Rio’s Argyle mine as it produces smaller diamonds for the market.

Alan Davies, who heads up Rio’s diamonds and minerals division, predicts the fashion jewellery segment will be “quite resilient” over the next nine months, buoyed by the rising incomes of China’s middle-class, but he concedes the higher quality bridal category is “doing it tough”. Demand for diamonds and other luxury goods has been hit in China because of the slowing economy and as consumers eschew lavish displays of wealth amid a government crackdown on corruption and expensive gift-giving. “What we are seeing is a little bit of inventory build up in that bridal category and that’s going to take some time to clear the market,” Mr Davies said this week in Beijing. He expects it will take up until the end of next year to “clear through” and in the meantime, said Rio is looking to cut costs.

The miner announced on Friday it would “pause final product processing in the fourth quarter at Argyle in light of current market conditions” and now expected to produce 18 million carats of diamonds this year, down from its previous estimate of 20 million.

Responsible Mines

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and the Swiss watch and jewellery manufacturer Chopard have announced that six new mines in Bolivia and Colombia have reached Fairmined Certification thanks to a joint project between the two partners.

As part of their long term CSR strategy “The Journey to Sustainable Luxury” Chopard has financially supported the mining organisations in reaching Fairmined Certification as well as sourcing Fairmined Gold from other Fairmined certified mines for various jewellery and watch creations and the famous Palme d’Or of the Cannes Film Festival. The Fairmined Certification System was developed by ARM to support the transformation of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) into a social and environmentally responsible activity that creates positive impact in mining communities. By attaining Fairmined certification, the six new mines are proving to the world that responsible artisanal mining is possible and that it provides a genuine opportunity for artisanal mining communities around the world.

“Thanks to mining, me and my family have a good home and food on the table every day”, says Alexander Nina, President of the Cooperative “15 de Agosto” in the Irupana Municipality of La Paz, Bolivia. “My expectations with certification are to improve our mining activities and the place we live. We now have more possibilities to support the community and open a health center.” 15 de Agosto is currently the only Fairmined certified organization in Bolivia.

It is ARM’s local ally Cumbre del Sajama that has provided the Bolivian cooperative with training in subjects like health and safety and mercury reduction to meet the requirements of the Fairmined Standard. In Colombia, five micro enterprises of the Coodmilla Cooperative in La Llanada, Nariño are just as proud to be exporters of Fairmined Gold. “Fairmined Certification was a goal to achieve to show others that with hard work and dedication we can generate recognition for our work in artisanal mining”. Said Paul Guerrero, one of the five owners of the newly certified mines in La Llanada.

The newly certified mining organisations are exporting their gold through the Fairmined authorised refiners PX Precinox and S&P Trading. There are now 10 certified Fairmined organisations in Bolivia, Colombia, Mongolia and Peru and over 80 businesses worldwide that have signed up to use Fairmined Gold in their products. The collaboration between ARM and Chopard is part of a larger project that ARM is implementing in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru thanks to the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Dates for the Diary

Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction

On 10 November, Christie’s is thinking pink and putting the largest cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever to be offered at auction under the hammer. With an estimated value of US$23-28 million, the 16.08-carat stone is to be one of several pieces featured in the inaugural Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva.

The diamond is set in a ring, and is surrounded by a double row of pavé white diamonds, highlighting the main stone, with a third row of small pink diamonds underneath. The band is comprised of small circular-cut white diamonds set in platinum — a delight for both the serious diamond connoisseur and those seeking a stand-out addition to their jewellery collection.

JA New York – October 25-27, 2015

Only a few days left as the final opportunity to fill your inventory before the holiday season starts, the JA New York show is held for two days at the end of October. The event is cash and carry so there is no need to worry about problems with shipping as you can take everything with you on the day if you prefer. You will find the most current selection of fine jewellery, timepieces and gifts to stock your cases just in time for silly season.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. The website is regularly updated, we now offer clearer images, more images per stone and we have priced everything showing. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB It’ s Friday – The Week we Celebrate Engagement Season

Hello and welcome to this week’s issue of Thank it’s Friday newsletter. We’ve gone all romantic here looking at engagement rings, as in the next few weeks it will be officially engagement season. Over the next 3 months, from November to January, 43% of the year’s engagements will be taking place, and of those three months Christmas and New Year will be the hottest times for popping the question. So in honour of the oh so romantic times ahead, we thought we would explore the top engagement ring styles are for this year and next.

The one thing that ties all engagement rings together, no matter the style, price, colour stone or precious metal used – is that they are to be worn every day. This is not something to be bought as the latest fashion accessory or style must have. The engagement ring is to be worn by the wearer every day for the rest of their lives and should be an extension of their personality.


The Stackable Ring

Stacking rings are very on trend at the moment – they are versatile and look good no matter what colour stone is used in them. They are very practical too, not just for the wearer as their wedding ring and future eternity ring can also be a stackable ring – but for the jeweller from whom it is being purchased from too, because the future stackable rings from the wedding band, eternity and special anniversary stackable rings can then be sold too.

THE Open Shank

The open shank is having its moment. Perhaps because this particular design and style has been seen on many a celebrity engagement finger, and it’s getting more and more popular. The fluid design of an open shank suggests movement and distinction and is undeniably flattering to any wearer.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

The “Duchess” effect. As soon as the engagement between Kate Middleton and Prince William was announced and the stunning sapphire ring that once belonged to Princes Diana was revealed, this style overnight became on vogue. And as the popularity of this royal couple only continues so will this beautifully designed ring.

The Timeless Classic – the diamond solitaire

The diamond solitaire is a timeless classic because it is stunning in its simplicity. However more and more people are moving away from the white diamond as the centre piece. Celebrities have been opting for a yellow diamond for the solitaire, but this style would look amazing with any colour stone. As more and more people are once again choosing to wear their birthstone in their jewellery this is the perfect design to match any coloured stone in.

The Vintage Ring

This style can be true vintage or vintage style. The most popular vintage styled engagement rings are Victorian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau. The stones used in these rings are invariably coloured gemstones, rubies sapphires and emeralds and opals and moonstones as more and more people are moving away from the white diamond. A mix of metals are also prevalent in these designs.

Men’s Engagement Rings

More and more men are wearing an engagement ring, because of same-sex marriage and the rise of women proposing to their partner, the man’s engagement ring is becoming very popular. This style typically is of a more simple design of a band with a simple stones set within the band – black diamonds are currently very popular with men.

Bespoke Engagement Rings

More and more couples are looking for something that little bit different, and bespoke engagement rings are becoming more popular because of it. This is where the designer and customer can let their imagination run wild. Coloured gemstones and birthstones are very popular in bespoke designs as is the mixing of metals, the ring can be as individual as its wearer. As always when starting to think about what ring to design or buy the process starts with the stone – if you find the right stone then the inspiration can flow from there. Speak to us here at so we can aid you and your customer on their journey to choosing the right stone at the right budget for them.

A Date for the Diary

JA New York – October 25-27, 2015

Billed as the final opportunity to fill your inventory before the holiday season starts, the JA New York show is held for two days at the end of October. The event is cash and carry so there is no need to worry about problems with shipping as you can take everything with you on the day if you prefer. You will find the most current selection of fine jewellery, timepieces and gifts to stock your cases just in time for silly season.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. If you are looking for that special stone for the perfect engagement ring, or helping others realise their dream sign of commitment then head over to for all the inspiration you could need, whether it is traditional blue sapphires, rubies or matched white diamonds to set the piece off.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Don’t forget the essentials this Christmas.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB It’ s Friday – The week that a once in a lifetime moon watch comes up for sale

Hello and welcome to this week’s marvellous issue of Thank it’s Friday newsletter. It’s been a busy week, from records being smashed at the Hong Kong Sotheby’s auction to Colonel David Scott deciding to sell the watch he wore on the moon. Apple searches to expand the capability of jewellery – specifically rings, and platinum prices have taken a tumble all due to diesel catalysts. There have been conflicting reports on the long term success of the Kimberly process too, and some worrisome figures released by Amnesty International for the stockpiling of conflict diamonds.


What caught my eye this week

Jessica Chastian’s earrings at the premier of The Martian’ in London last week. Wow, I am green with envy for these amazing jaw dropping, immensely huge emerald earrings by Piaget.

Bulova Moon Watch for sale

Fancy owning your very own Bulova chronograph that’s visted the moon? This could genuinely be a once in a lifetime chance as all watches given to NASA astronauts will forever be the property of the American government.

This watch, A Bulova lunar watch, although it has visited the moon, wasn’t NASA issued, so this one of a kind watch can and will be sold, the guide price? $1 million, but already it is expected to far exceed that.

As legend tells it, astronaut Colonel David Scott stepped out onto the surface of the moon wearing the watch in 1971, which bears the scars from the trip. Colonel Scott received his NASA Omega watch along with the rest of the crew, however they were spending longer on the surface of the moon than any previous mission. Scott knew it was even more important to have an accurate measure of time, so to be certain the crew did not run short of oxygen, water and battery power he decided to wear his own watch alongside the Omega, as a backup.

Now, at the age of 83, Scott, who was the 7th man to walk on the moon, has decided to sell his watch. He has also written a letter confirming its background story and mission use.

The hammer will fall on this watch at Bonhams October 22nd

Apple are looking to put a ring on it

Apple’s wearable technology may be about to expand into smart jewellery. According to their new patent, “A user controls an external electronic device with a finger-ring-mounted touchscreen that includes a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and rechargeable power source; the ring is worn on a first finger receives an input from a second finger, selects one of a plurality of touch events associated with the input, and wirelessly transmits a command associated with the touch event to the external electronic device.”

While this ring may not see the light of day, as so many patented ideas don’t, Apple are being quite clever in cornering the technology, because if they don’t eventually release a smart ring – somebody is bound to!

Imagine a future while wearing one of these smart rings, where a simple high five to one of your children, could turn on your music and accidentally order a week’s groceries.

Joking aside – this could have many positive outcomes too, e.g. the disability sector – experts are already suggesting that if the ring is worn while writing, it could pick up the text and translate into words – thus making spoken communication much easier – or it could even translate from one language to another. Pen and paper wouldn’t be required you could simply “pretend” to write for the ring to pick up the motion.

Platinum Prices drop due to VW diesel dupe

Who could have missed last week’s biggest and latest corporate scandal when news hit that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The German car giant has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US. But how has this news rebated onto our own industry and more specifically effected the selling price of Platinum? Because platinum is used to make diesel catalysts! Compared to this time last year, its price has dropped by nearly 30%. In August 2011, the metal’s price hit $1,912 an ounce. However it is worth noting that none of the precious metals are faring as well this year compared to last year.

So perhaps we are jumping the gun somewhat in this surmisation, but it is worth noting that corporate scandals, especially ones on a scale as big as the VW scandal, almost always make the markets twitchy and any sector even marginally involved, in this case platinum, will always feel the backlash. Good news is that if this is the reason for the slump, it won’t take long for buyers’ confidence to be restored and the price to stabilise.

Record Prices at Hong Kong Auction

A string of natural grey pearls and a Kashmir sapphire broke world records at an auction in Hong Kong, auctioneers Sotheby’s say.

A rare grey pearl necklace that once belonged to a British aristocrat sold for HK$41m (US $5.3m; £3.5m).

Meanwhile, a 27.68-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring, The Jewel of Kashmir, sold for HK$52.28m.

Both pieces of jewellery were bought by Hong Kong collectors on Wednesday, Sotheby’s announced.

The string of pearls was part of the collection of Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson, famous for her collection of art and furniture as well as jewellery.

The previous world auction record for a natural grey pearl necklace was set in London in 2012 when the Cowdray Pearls sold for $3.35m.

Conflicting Reports on the success of the Kimberley Process

A program involving more than 80 countries to stem the flow of diamonds trafficked by armed movements is succeeding in stopping the revenue from sales of the gems being used to stoke violence, World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher has stated.

The 12-year-old Kimberley Process has taken “more than 99 percent” of so-called conflict diamonds off the market, Asscher said in an interview from Vienna on Monday. He rejected a report by London-based Amnesty International last month that said diamond trafficking was helping to fuel violence in the Central African Republic.

“The diamond council gladly re-invites Amnesty to participate and join us and the civil society coalition looking into aspects of CAR and the whole Kimberley Process,” he said.

The Kimberley Process was formed in 2003 to halt the outflow of precious stones from conflict zones. It’s banned diamonds leaving the Central African Republic, the only country among 22 producers to be blacklisted. Asscher, who also runs Royal Asscher Diamond Co. of the Netherlands, said the industry has cracked down on illicit diamonds by using digital technology that can trace their origin.

However, Amnesty disagrees. They have stated that traders who have bought diamonds in the Central African Republic worth “several million dollars” failed to inquire if the beneficiaries are armed groups who carry out executions, rape and looting. Local companies could soon begin exporting stockpiled gems that may have been mined by child labourers and avoided taxes, it said.

“Our report was a damning indictment of the Kimberley Process and its failure over a number of years to address human rights abuses and other illegal and unethical practices in the diamond trade,” Lucy Graham, a legal adviser at Amnesty, said on Tuesday in an e-mailed response to questions. She called for stricter laws to require diamond companies to investigate their supply chains and publicly show what they have done.

Amnesty warns of conflict diamond stockpile in Central Africa

Furthermore Amnesty International called on the Central African Republic to confiscate and sell diamonds amassed by traders worth millions that could be fuelling militia violence and child labour.

Amnesty states that huge stockpiles have been amassed of possible conflict diamonds. The worry is that these diamonds could find their way to the global market when a ban on exports from the country is lifted. Researchers also documented a string of human rights abuses in CAR diamond mines, with children as young as 11 working in hazardous conditions, carrying out “backbreaking work for very little money”.

The ban will be partially lifted once the government meets conditions set in July 2015 by the Kimberley Process. However, trade in diamonds has continued despite the ban, with thousands of small artisanal miners selling to traders who sell on to export companies in Bangui, according to the report.

Militias responsible for ongoing sectarian violence could be profiting from the sales due to inadequate checks by diamond firms, the rights group warned.

The UN estimates that 140,000 carats of diamonds have been smuggled out since mid-2013.

“The government should confiscate any blood diamonds, sell them and use the money for the public benefit,” said Lucy Graham, a legal adviser for Amnesty and author of the report. “The people of CAR have a right to profit from their own natural resources,” she said.

Gemfields profits slump 27 % despite a 7% price rise

Gemfields revenue rose 7 per cent to £111.8million but pre-tax profit for the year to July tarnished and fell 27.4 per cent to £17.2million. The shares as a result of this report have slumped considerably.

However, let us not jump on the scaremongering bandwagon, yes profits are down but Gemfields have been expanding this year at the rate of knots. Gemfields’ chief executive Ian Harebottle said it still had a long way to go before it was the equivalent of ‘Richard Branson’ but said demand for coloured gemstones remains strong and argued that its six auction results during the year demonstrated steady growth. He went on to say that the company’s full-year results reflect what’s been a phenomenal year of growth for the business. The miner said it had either met or exceeded production guidance at its Kagem emerald and Montepuez ruby operations, with record prices achieved at the six auctions held during the period.

Costs increased and pre-tax profits were lower, but Harebottle puts this down to a “quadrupling of the size and growth of the company.”

Subsequently, the diamond was thoroughly analysed using various spectroscopic techniques. DiamondView imaging was executed to analyse the growth structure of the diamond. This examination can give more information about the growing environment of the diamond. The pavilion of the analysed stone showed a layered growth structure, which is very characteristic for CVD lab-grown diamonds.

A Date for the Diary

JA New York – October 25-27, 2015

Billed as the final opportunity to fill your inventory before the holiday season starts, the JA New York show is held for two days at the end of October. The event is cash and carry so there is no need to worry about problems with shipping as you can take everything with you on the day if you prefer. You will find the most current selection of fine jewellery, timepieces and gifts to stock your cases just in time for silly season.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates. The new website is still in development but you will be the first to hear when it is ready! In the meantime we have added our newest range of matched white diamond pairs – you can still go to to see our online stock and sign in for your trade discount.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Fashion Week Special

Hello and welcome to this week’s issue of Thank it’s Friday newsletter, and hello autumn. Don’t let this unseasonably warm weather lure you into thinking silly season is a distant event on the horizon. Christmas is only 12 shopping Saturdays away – and statistics show that 30% of Christmas shopping is bought in October.

What a few weeks of fashion we have witnessed from the catwalks of Milan, London, Paris and New York, the jewellery has been boundary pushing, intriguing and inspiring. The trends rather than being new are evolving from what we are already witnessing, they are bigger perhaps; the fashion for stacking is even more in vogue and beautiful vintage is still very much sought after. Coloured gemstones have also been very prevalent on both the catwalks and the Paris Opera Gala – this fashion for colour is firmly re-establishing itself as not something new anymore but mainstream.

What Happened

Fashion Week, that’s what happened!

The future looks for Spring Summer 2016 are gold, vintage, bold, colourful and asymmetric, which is pretty much a continuation of the styles that we are already emerging for this coming autumn/winter. Stacking rings have been joined by stacking bangles – worn in multiple styles and colour, huge, huge hoop earrings and pearls – definitely don’t forget those, they will be huge stars over the next few seasons – worn in the usual way, and it seems stuck to the face. Floral is also making a comeback – which reintroduces delicate jewellery designs – but don’t mistake delicate for small, this floral trend is no shrinking violet – as in the past few seasons jewellery is pushing the boundaries. Brooches for both men and women – but mostly women is still very much on trend too.

A Night at the Opera

In the midst of the fashion weeks, there was another eagerly anticipated event – the opening gala for the new season of the Paris Opera Ballet. The dress code was black tie and long evening gowns – the adornments were wonderfully glamorous and very large, from Natalie Portman in stunning large drop black and white diamond earrings, to Ulla Parker in THAT NECKLACE the jewellery was statement packed.

Liv Tyler Shows off engagement ring

NO official confirmation yet of the engagement – however the stunning huge diamond ring is in full view when Liv Tyler posted a selfie of her hand with the new ring worn on her engagement finger in full view.

In the news

Opportunity Knocks India

De Beers sees growth opportunity for diamond industry in India.

In a recect report by De Beers, India is proven to be where the biggest opportunites lie for the diamond industry.

India’s diamond consumer market has achieved almost uninterrupted growth over last 20 years, and is now one of the world’s largest consumer markets, states the report. In India, retail landscape is changing. Chains are set to grow in significance and lead the way in online development, both as a sales channel and as a means of researching future purchases. Brands are becoming increasingly important for Indian consumers as reassurance of quality and authenticity. Further, the report adds that 75 million new Indian households are expected to see income rise above US$5000-6000 in the decade, contributing to growing diamond demand.

Global diamond jewellery demand rose 3 per cent to exceed US$80 billion for the first time in 2014 – representing the 5th year of consecutive growth since the global recession – while global rough diamond production rose 6 per cent to US$19 billion, says the report.

Consumer demand in 2014 grew in each of the top 5 diamond consuming markets – the U.S., China, Japan, India and the Gulf – which account for 75 per cent of global demand. The strength of the U.S. dollar suppressed further global growth, which at constant exchange rates amounted to almost 5 per cent.

2015 has shown many challenges to the industry, however, the report points to this being short lived and the future holding excellent prospects.

Pink Diamond the size of a pound coin is going under Christie’s Hammer

A pink diamond the size of a pound coin is being put up for auction by Christie’s International for an estimated $28m (£18.3m). The stone, which was bought 20 years ago for $10m, is expected to break sales records when bidding begins in Geneva on 10 November.

Christie’s says only four other similarly shaped and sized diamonds have been sold at auction in 250 years. The 16.08 carat gem, specifically a cushion cut fancy vivid pink diamond, is the largest of its kind to be auctioned. “Fancy vivid” refers to the intense shade of pink and is the highest colour ranking a diamond can be given. “This is the Rolls Royce of diamonds,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s head of jewellery. “Every major royal collection in the world has a pink diamond and this is the one of the largest to come up for auction.” The gem is cut in a cushion shape and set in a ring, which may increase its desirability for some, but is not expected to affect the value. “There is interest in these not only as treasures to wear and enjoy, but also as investments that will increase in value,” said Melvyn Kirtley, chief gemmologist for luxury jewellery brand company Tiffany & Co. The diamond’s seller has seen their investment more than double in value over the time they have held it. “For investors worried about where we are going to go in the investment world this is a stable form of value,” said Mr Kadakia. Christie’s priced the stone between $23m-$28m with the intention of attracting collectors, traders and investors. Mr Kadakia said he expects the price could go higher.

A similar shaped and coloured diamond sold for more than $2m per carat in 2009.

Backes & Strauss Unveils Princess Royal Emerald Green Watch

Backes & Strauss has unveiled the Piccadilly Princess Royal Emerald Green, an emerald-encrusted bespoke watch that is part of its ongoing collaboration with Gemfields.

The spectacular timepiece is the third in a series of five watches designed to commemorate the 225th anniversary of Backes & Strauss. The Piccadilly Princess Royal Emerald Green features 245 emeralds, sourced from Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia. The stones, which feature 10 different cuts, total 31.91 cts.

“A shared dedication to environmental and human rights responsibility along with commitment to high-quality cut and polished stones are what have encouraged us to continue a partnership and create another masterpiece with Gemfields,” said Backes & Strauss CEO Vartkess Knadjian.

Large CVD lab-grown diamonds on the rise
A 3.09 ct CVD lab-grown diamond was recently examined at HRD Antwerp. It is the first time that a CVD synthetic diamond of this size has been encountered at the lab. CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) is a technique where diamonds are grown in a specially developed growing chamber using a carbon rich gas. Due to chemical reactions, the diamond is formed layer by layer on top of a diamond substrate. This layered growth will result in a rough diamond that looks like a plate. Colourless CVD lab-grown diamonds are grown without the presence of nitrogen. The resulting diamond will therefore always be a type IIa or type IIb diamond (no nitrogen detectable with infrared spectroscopy).

The CVD lab-grown diamond encountered at the HRD Antwerp diamond lab has a brilliant cut (measurements: 9.36 – 9.42 mm x 5.76 mm), a colour grade Slightly Tinted White (I ecg) and fluorescence nil. Microscopic examination revealed the presence of several pinpoint inclusions resulting in the clarity grade VS2. Analysis of the stone with crossed polarization indicated a pattern which is rather similar to the tatami pattern that is characteristic of natural type IIa diamonds.

Both D-screen and Alpha Diamond Analyzer, two screening instruments developed by HRD Antwerp to distinguish possible lab-grown or HPHT treated diamonds from natural diamonds, indicated that the stone needed further testing. Alpha Diamond Analyzer confirmed that the stone is a type IIa diamond and therefore potentially lab-grown or HPHT treated.

Subsequently, the diamond was thoroughly analysed using various spectroscopic techniques. DiamondView imaging was executed to analyse the growth structure of the diamond. This examination can give more information about the growing environment of the diamond. The pavilion of the analysed stone showed a layered growth structure, which is very characteristic for CVD lab-grown diamonds.

Gemfields mine in Zambia richer than initially thought

Gemfields last week published an independent report by consultancy firm SRK, which shows the Kagem mine in Zambia is set to produce 1.10 billion carats over a 25 year mine life, which is more than initially anticipated.

The company said the total amount of indicated and inferred mineral resource at the emerald mine, 75% owned by Gemfields, is now estimated at 1.8bn carats worth of the green gemstone and beryl.

According to SRK, the company needs to spend $84 million over the first four years of the project, and a total of $516million over Kagem mine’s life to create an operation that will initially process around 90,000 tonnes of ore per year. By 2018 output would ramp up to 180,000 tonnes per year, as it will add the Fibolele pit to the project.

Over its mine life, Kagem is now expected to produce 44.7 million carats per year on average. Gemfields said it would continue exploring the asset “over the next few years” to determine the further resource potential. “As I have said on many occasions over the past few years, this operation has a bright future, is still maturing as an established producer, with much more yet to come,” said Chief Executive Ian Harebottle.

Hope Spinel Makes Auction History

The Hope Spinel set a new world record at Bonhams September 24 Fine Jewellery sale in London. It sold for £962,500 (US$ 1,470,724).

The historically significant 50 carat octagonal step-cut spinel, known as the Hope Spinel, set a new world record at Bonhams’ fine jewellery sale in London when it sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £962,500 last week.

Jean Ghika, the head of jewellery for Bonhams suggests that this could mean the resurgence of a gemstone that few have actually heard of – until last week of course. “There’s been a bit of a sea change with the perception of spinel, A lot of people, as far back as 200 years ago, didn’t know they even existed.”

Until 1783, spinel was often confused for ruby, and many of the best examples of spinel have been found in the same geographic regions where rubies are mined. Historically, the largest spinels were sourced from the Kuh-i-Lai mines of Tajikistan, which are no longer accessible.

The Hope has an illustrious past. It’s named for Henry Philip Hope, a 19th century collector from wealthy family of merchant bankers. His collection of rare jewels is one of the world’s most famous, and includes the Hope Diamond, a 45 carat blue diamond that once belonged to Louis XIV and now resides at the Smithsonian, and the Hope Pearl, one of the largest-known natural pearls.

According to Bonhams, Hope kept the most valuable stones together in one drawer, and among them was the Spinel.

And on December 5, Bonhams will sell four lots featuring spinel in its London Fine Jewellery sale, including a pink-orange example and a necklace with a series of pink coloured stones.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates. The new website is still in development but you will be the first to hear when it is ready! In the meantime we have added our newest range of matched white diamond pairs – you can still go to to see our online stock and sign in for your trade discount.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB It’s Friday – HongKong September Jewellery Gem Fair

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank TheGembank it’s Friday newsletter. This week’s news is all about the Hong Kong September Jewellery Gem fair – yes it was extremely busy, as was expected but also the sales as a whole at the show was not so prolific as you would expect this time of year – which points to further proof of the effects of the Chinese economic slow down. See below the top ten things about this year’s show that stood out the most for us.

Don’t forget, this newsletter is for you. Do you have a story or an industry issue that you would like us to cover? Perhaps you are releasing a new collection – we would love to see it and review it. So don’t keep your news to yourself, get in touch and tell us about it – we love to chat.


10 Highlights of the Hong Kong September Jewellery Gem Fair

The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair has now come to a close, and with a softening of global diamond prices this quarter, as De Beers and Alrosa have reduced prices, coupled with a slowdown in the Chinese economy expectations were not as high this year for exhibitors and visitors alike. However the show was better for some than some predicted, with More than 3,700 exhibitors from 50 countries are taking part in the two Hong Kong-based trade events. The winners this year where undoubtedly the buyers, as they were on a stronger footing to haggle and hunt for deals.

She is thought to have swallowed it in order to smuggle it out of the country. However, she was caught on security cameras at the fair and later arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The Highlights

1. Two robberies were foiled at the show as security was tighter than it had ever been.

On the opening day of the show approximately £40,000 worth of goods, a necklace and two bags of pearls were targeted for theft. However, due to the much tightening of security this year, where all visitors were required to produce a valid photo identity document for verification before entering the show The attempted thefts occurred within hours of the show’s opening in Lantau on September 16, with staff spotting a female visitor stealing from a booth. A police spokesman said: “Officers on site intercepted the woman and recovered the stolen property. The 23-year-old woman was arrested for theft.”

2. There were fewer Chinese private buyers as they hold on to what’s left of their money.

The slowdown in the Chinese market was more prevalent than ever as there were far fewer private Chinese buyers present at the show.

3. The show was disappointing but not catastrophic, which actually left people positive.

The show, viewed by many as an early indicator of fourth-quarter market conditions has been disappointing, however not nearly as bad a predicted which has left people with confident that the next quarter may not be a clear cut as previously predicted.

4. Prices are softer in all areas of the market, but the biggest discount is in semi precious, as demand from China has tailed off significantly.

Semi precious stones have lost a little lustre with the Chinese buyers this year. Sapphires and Rubies are moving slow but were still selling if a cheaper deal was struck. However for gemstones such as tourmaline, rubellite, the prices have to be significantly lowered if any sale was to occur at all, and sometimes not even then.

5. Gemfields grip on the ruby and emerald market was felt ever stronger, as suppliers proudly displayed plaques showing they are preferred partners.

British mining firm Gemfields, who have very recently expanded their international footprint by acquiring controlling interests in two emerald projects with operations and prospects in Colombia, had a very strong presence at the show. More and more suppliers of the world’s leading producer of ethically-sourced rare coloured gemstones were proudly showing that they are preferred partners with the mining company.

6. Buyers looking for goods only as per their demand, no stocking.

Whether it’s a case of less money to deal with or buyers being more savvy and only purchasing what they know for sure they can shift over the next season whatever the reason, very little back stock was purchased.

7. It was a buyers show

Softening of prices, some loss of confidence in the markets made for a buyers’ market at the show this year, great deals were made by those who were in attendance solely to purchase goods.

8. Show has few new CVD (Lab Grown Diamonds ) producers from Russia and Hong Kong

9. Two CVD detecting machines unveiled, one from HRD known as M-Screen and other from Dharmanandan Research Centre

A few cases of mixing synthetic diamonds with natural ones has rattled the diamond industry and consumers. These two machines will now make it quicker and easier to verify, detect synthetic from natural diamonds. The M-Screen automatically feeds, screens and sorts round brilliant diamonds at a super speed of minimum two diamonds per second or 7.200 per hour. City-based Dharmanandan Research Centre (DRC-Techno), a technical research arm of Dharmanandan Diamonds Private Ltd, has designed a ‘Made in Surat’ synthetic diamond detector that can identify synthetic diamonds in few seconds and issue on-the-spot report.

10. Visitor Attendance figures were up!

Date for the Diary

JA New York – October 25-27, 2015

Billed as the final opportunity to fill your inventory before the holiday season starts, the JA New York show is held for two days at the end of October. The event is cash and carry so there is no need to worry about problems with shipping as you can take everything with you on the day if you prefer. You will find the most current selection of fine jewellery, timepieces and gifts to stock your cases just in time for silly season. See you there!

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our new website too. The website is regularly updated, we now offer clearer images, more images per stone and we have priced everything showing. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

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