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Thank TGB it’s Friday – Red Carpets and Fashion Weeks

The week that saw Fashion Weeks collide with the Oscars – giving us an array of boldly coloured and fearless jewellery to look forward to seeing in the mainstream in the coming weeks and months.

Hello and welcome to this week’s, very glamorous, Thank theGembank.com It’s Friday newsletter. It’s been a week of Fashion Week runways and award trodden red carpets – where the glitterati are at their tantrum and tiara best. If you thought the statement necklace was on trend already then hold on to your hat, because from here on in, they are only going to get bigger, bolder and more colourful. The LBD while wearing one of these necklaces will never be boring again! But it wasn’t only the year of the mahoosive necklace, bold as brass cocktail rings and chandelier earrings and ear cuffs were all over the carpet and runways this year too, and they were just the opening act. Let us not forget the pearls and gems of every colour, from the return of monochrome to cool ice blue, from jade green to pale pink and bold red – it seems that the dress has been bought or borrowed, once the evenings jewellery has been chosen – no longer are you searching for the perfect shoe to match the dress but the entire outfit to match the statement necklace!

The Oscars



1, The aforementioned Scarlett Johansson wowed everyone with her showstopper of a necklace, at this point she still isn’t saying what designer created this necklace but rumour has it that it is not emerald, but a Swarovski crystal embroidered collar. She teamed this with very on trend mismatched gold and emerald earrings and ear cuffs.

2, Margot Robbie, remember her from Neighbours? She looked effortlessly chic while showcasing a striking, 18K yellow gold Van Cleef and Arpels necklace, known as the Zip Antique, which apparently holds a price tag of $1.5million. Van Cleef and Arpels revealed that the piece took 800 hours to painstakingly craft at their Paris atelier after the Duchess of Windsor, formerly Mrs Wallis Simpson, commissioned them in 1938.

3, Jennifer Hudson – those earrings. Jennifer tweeted on Wednesday thanking Lorraine Schwartz jewellery, jeweller for many of the evening’s glitterati, for the stunning earrings, which are a perfect mix of vintage styling with statement size earrings.

4, Felicity Jones may not have won an Oscar, but she absolutely nailed the glamorous style in her dove grey Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown which was embellished in grey pearls with beautiful matching chic Van Cleef & Arpels 18K white and yellow diamond earrings set in white gold, paired with a “snowflake” diamond and platinum bracelet. A yellow gold and diamond minaudiere was the finishing touch.

5, Let us also not forget the gentlemen who also trotted down the red carpet – in past years it has been their watches that have caught the lime light – however this year, quite surprisingly it was a different embellishment that seems to be the new craze – say hello to the “man brooch”. These very on-trend men include Common, in a sleek black Prada tux and floral diamond brooch, and Kevin Hart, in a white Lanvin tux accented with a safety-pin-like brooch. Jared Leto wore a lilac Givenchy tux and baby pink floral Fred Leighton brooch. Terrence Howard wore a large stone brooch and Questlove wore a bold, graphic, red heart-shaped brooch.

And so to the Fashion Weeks

In past years, the trickle effect of seeing designs leave the catwalk and appear on the high-street has taken anything from 6 months to a year. However now in 2015, perhaps due to the speed that information gets passed with the use of the web and social media and good old consumer demand, the times from catwalk to high-street has been cut down to a matter of weeks, and in a few cases days. We have entered the age where people want next season – now. The designs we have seen over the past few weeks, at the fashion shows have already appeared at Wednesday evenings Brit awards and at the Oscars. This gives the jewellery industries designers little time to digest the latest themes and creations – what the consumer wants they must find, lest they go on to find their jewellery desires elsewhere. This is where www.thegembank.com can help – we already have a full array of stones in every colour shape and size available, which cuts the time from inception to creation down considerably so you can keep up with the high demands of the 2015 consumer.

The last few weeks have shown us pendants, stacking bracelets, rings and necklaces, vintage styling, pearls, big and bold coloured gemstones, rose gold statement necklaces and choker necklaces – to name but a few. The overall feel to this past week’s catwalk jewellery is fearless colourful romance. Androgynous fashion for both clothes and jewellery is also very big news. No, this isn’t exactly new but this movement took another step forward this year and looks not only to continue, but is fast becoming mainstream as shown by Givenchy, Gucci, YSL and Dior to name but a few.

Here are our favourites

A new chapter begins at Oscar de la Renta with the British designer Peter Copping making his debut as creative director. His earrings and necklaces were colourful, massive and bold.
Nina Ricci continued with the trend of mismatched drop earrings made from mixed materials, such as crystals, wires, stones and pearls. Not a single model wore a matching pair of earrings, and something tells me that this unconventional pairing will be a big trend for the next few seasons at least.


Lanvin – their pieces have put a bold foot forward for the past few years now and this latest fashion week didn’t disappoint. The offering this time was plate sized brass necklaces and statement cuffs for this autumn winter trend. This trend was also mirrored by Tom Ford – whose shows did wane a few seasons ago – but from September 2014 and now this latest fashion show the Ford look is defiantly back – again, darker coloured metals like aged brass and copper with large single stones were used to create a bold and striking effect. This jewellery is not for the faint hearted.

Christian Dior’s Paris show adored the ladies with sticking and very prominent chokers woven in silver, and for the gentleman the man brooch made the tuxedo accessible and wearable for all occasions

Givenchy was by far my favourite of all the shows this month – Riccardo Tisci’s gothic romanticism led the audience down a distinctly darker path. This time, it was glittering crimson as Tisci brought his cabinet of curiosities to life with skulls and skin covered in pearls. This affair was showmanship and theatre at its absolute best and many trends will follow – so look closely. www.givenchy.com

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 www.thegembank.com 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 – Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday, and Happy Chinese New Year!

I have been reading and researching recently about the creative process and what comes first, inspiration is at the very top of that list. But as a creative myself I am aware that sometimes waiting and searching for inspiration can be frustrating – especially when you have to be creative to a deadline. But this is where we at International Gemstones Ltd can help. As all the great pieces of jewellery start with a stone, we have the most beautiful gems that can do no other than inspire you and spark your imagination. So next time you are looking to create a piece of jewellery, give theGembank.com a visit so you can let your creative imagination run wild with endless colourful possibilities.

Are you in the mood for colour? Let’s start with a few beautifully coloured pieces that especially appealed to my magpie senses this week:

HENRI PICQ gem set and diamond brooch, 1920s Estimate £3,000–5,000 – with India as its inspiration this stunning ‘Tutti Frutti’ designed gem set and diamond brooch was created in the 1920s and bears the hallmarks of Henri Picq, a workshop in Paris that crafted many ‘Tutti Frutti’ pieces for Cartier. It goes under the hammer on 18th March at Sotheby’s London Fine Jewels sale.

www.sothebys.com

It was Valentine’s Day last weekend and I spied this stunning swoon worthy heart shaped Robert Procop ring. This is the jeweller who collaborated with Brad Pitt on Angelina Jolie’s engagement ring, he has been creating stunning one-off pieces of jewellery for celebrities, royalty, and international heads of state for decades. Procop, a former CEO for Asprey & Garrard, has locations in Beverly Hills, Geneva, and Hong Kong. Procop’s collections feature rare diamonds and coloured stones in classic and contemporary designs. He never fails to produce a show stopper

www.robertprocop.com

Babette Shennan never fails to impress and this is my favourite ring from her Ginkgo collection. Called the Rubellite Ginkgo Ring, everything about this ring is stunning and is very on trend. She has used 18 karat rose gold, with an antique finish and pink diamonds which complements the rose gold to perfection.

www.babetteshennan.com

What a Sparkler

Never knowingly understated Lady Gaga has been proudly showing off her heart-shaped diamond engagement ring on Monday after accepting her boyfriend Taylor Kinney’s marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day. Lorraine Schwartz has now confirmed that she designed the ring, but declined to share its price or weight. She did say, however, that “the stone is big and quite beautiful, and actually more expensive than some of the estimates I have read” and that “it’s a challenge to get an excellent heart shape with perfections—the shoulders of the gem have to be totally symmetrical. Lady Gaga’s is all that.” Unsubstantiated rumour has it that the ring cost upwards of $500,000, we may never know. But I can’t wait to see what she will wear for a wedding dress…

The Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond

Brace yourself for this diamond – set to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s in their Magnificent Jewels Auction on 21st April in New York. This giant diamond is weighing in at 100.20ct and it’s a D colour, Internally Flawless, type IIa. It is the largest classic emerald cut ever sold at auction and the estimate is a jaw crashing $19,000,000-25,000,000!

www.sothebys.com

De Beers set to continue as Anglo’s brightest shining performer

Up 36%, De Beers Group’s $1.4 billion operating profit made it the second most successful Anglo American subsidiary for the year ended December 31 2014.

Now with sales revenue up 11% to $7.1 billion from the previous year, diamond production up 5% to 32.6 million carats, and demand expected to increase, De Beers looks set to strengthen its 33% foothold in the industry with a massive capital expenditure programme. High demand is set to continue too, particularly from China and, to a lesser but growing extent, the US. Goldman Sachs expects global natural supply to increase at an average rate of 5.2% between now and 2017. Meanwhile, all De Beers’ revenue is in dollars while its costs are in currencies from its mining operations in Southern Africa and Canada, where exchange rates depreciated by almost 10% on average over the past year. Oil prices have been a significant impact on profitability, mostly because of the increase in consumers’ disposable income: 99% demand for diamonds is for jewellery, which is end-consumer-driven, in comparison with demand for gold and platinum, for example, for which only 48% and 33% is for jewellery.

www.debeersgroup.com

From Russia with Synthetics

Russian lab-grown diamond manufacturer New Diamond Technology says it has grown a 5.11ct K SI diamond, which it bills as the largest man-made polished near-colourless stone ever produced. Speculation of this diamond is already rife – experts in the diamond growing field are expressing concerns on how reputable the stone’s production is and note the reported colour and clarity could be a hard sell commercially. Khikhinashvili has declined to confirm how the prices of his product compare to natural diamonds, but did say that they are “more affordable.” And also points out that they have sold to customers in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Read more: Company Claims to Have Produced 5 Carat Synthetic Diamond

IIJS – Starts Today!

The India International Jewellery Show starts today – 20th February and is KEY to India’s gem & jewellery industry. India has long been offering inspiration for jewellery design in terms of glorious colour and intricate settings, and the IIJS which is the biggest jewellery trade fair that India has is the best place to see India’s colourful gemstones come to life. This is the show at which jewellers, big and small, focus on the product alone – the new styles and collections, the price points, what’s trending and in demand. Being compact in size, the show offers an opportunity to have in-depth discussions with India’s best manufacturers and meet many new suppliers.

www.iijs.org

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 www.thegembank.com 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 – Hot colours, Hearts and Androgynous Gems

Hello and welcome to this week’s issue of Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday. We’re only just back from this year’s amazing Tucson Gem and Mineral show. This year it was all about colour, where every Gem, Mineral, Fossil, Jewellery, and Bead show held every hue of every colour of the rainbow. Like so many others who attended the show, if we learnt anything this year it was that colour is in its element in our industry.

So, just to get us all in the mood for looking and thinking about stunning coloured gems, here are a few of my favourite treasure finds this week. Enjoy:

Behold this stunning emerald ring by Tiffany & Co which will be auctioned in London next month by Sotheby’s. Early 20th century, Est. £20,000-30,000.

And this, gold, lapis lazuli, emerald and enamel necklace, with hammered gold beads and decorated with scrollwork motifs, is another Tiffany & Co creation which went under the hammer for US $37,500 last week.

And if you have any drool left finally check out this stunning handmade watch by Faberge. This version is Anastasia green, set with internally flawless emeralds in a yellow gold crown. The golden shimmer of the dial is created by expert guilloché engraving, overlaid with hand applied enamel. The green satin strap is fastened with a yellow gold butterfly buckle embellished with a diamond. Recently seen upon the wrist of Mila Kunis– that gal has got taste – but having said that, coloured gemmed watches with matching straps are becoming quite the thang among the Hollywood fashionistas. It won’t be long until the usual trickle-down effect happens with this style.

www.sothebys.com/en/auctions.html

www.faberge.com [top]

Hearts at the ready

Yes it’s Valentine’s Weekend, whether personally you buy into this Hallmark holiday or not, statistics say that Valentine’s year on year is getting bigger and bigger, and with more and more couples choosing to tie the knot this is a selling weekend not to be missed. Valentine’s is one of the biggest dates on the calendar for couples to get engaged so expect to see lots of happy loved up faces to be pressed against the shop window while perusing your wares. Now is the perfect time to promote bespoke jewellery services, where an engagement ring no longer has to be a white diamond solitaire, or even a diamond for that matter – there are so many stunning coloured gemstones that the imagination can really be set free.

And so to the latest and most exciting news reports from our industry…


Is there such a thing as an ‘androgynous’ gemstone?

Pantone Colour Institute has named the 10 shades that will be standouts in the fashion, design and technology worlds this autumn. Released to coincide with New York Fashion Week, the PANTONE Fashion Colour Report features the top 10 colours for women’s and men’s fashion for autumn/ winter 2015.

The top colours for men’s and women’s fashion for Fall 2015 are:
Desert Sage, Stormy Weather, Oak Buff, Dried Herb, Marsala, Biscay Bay, Cadmium Orange, Cashmere Rose, Reflecting Pond and Amethyst Orchid. The list reads like a poetic sensory overload, basically the colours range from greens and greys to a few pastels – with an orange tone thrown into the mix – Pantone seem to be hedging their bets with this prediction.

“Juxtaposition of colour from opposite sides of the spectrum emphasizes poise and confidence on the runway,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. “The Fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colours that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across men’s and women’s fashion; it is the first time we are seeing a truly unisex colour palette.”

But I ask you can a gemstone really be androgynous? I can’t really see the delicately pastel hued stones be associated with anything other than feminine styled jewellery. However having said that, with all the coloured stones that are being used in jewellery of late, I am almost wanting and waiting to stand corrected.

The complete report is available at www.pantone.com/fall2015

Changes afoot in Zimbabwe Mining

CIVIL society groups have challenged the government to be tough on diamond firms operating in Marange, saying they have not done enough to help develop surrounding areas. This came out during a meeting held last week between Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) operating in Manicaland province and new Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene. NGO’s in the extractive sector told Chimene that government has been “too lenient with diamond mining firms for too long a time”. Chimene conceded that she was also not impressed with the manner in which the diamond miners have been operating in the province, and has promised to deal with the problem.

Read more: Zimbabwe: Be Tough With Diamond Miners, Civic Society Urge Government [top]

True North Gems Appoints Hayley Henning as Vice President for Marketing and Development

True North Gems Inc. was pleased to announce that Hayley Henning has been appointed V.P. for Marketing and Development.

“It is an exciting time in the coloured gemstone industry as True North Gems moves toward sustainable multi-year production of the first Arctic source of ruby and pink sapphires. I’m thrilled to be a part of this incredible project and look forward to contributing my depth of experience and knowledge to introduce these gems to the international market,” says Hayley Henning.

Ms. Henning strengthens the Company with twenty years of marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) experience in the gemstone and jewellery industry. Her career highlights include her role for the last several years as Executive Director of the Tanzanite Foundation.

Read more: True North Gems Appoints Hayley Henning As Vice President for Marketing and Development [top]

Diva Design Competition Winners Announced

The Women’s Jewellery Association has named the winners of its 2015 Diva Design competition.

There are two categories, and this year’s theme was, “Transformation”. The first is the Dazzle Diva Awards, which showcase jewellery design in drawing, rendering or photography but do not require the entrant to manufacture the piece.

The second category is the Gem Diva Awards, a WJA-sponsored category of the American Gem Trade Association’s Spectrum Awards. This award honours women designers and their specific accomplishments with finished jewellery that showcases the best in coloured gemstone design.

Out of the winners here are our favourites:

Elizabeth Garvin’s 18-karat gold and sterling silver “Jewel” ring, won the daywear category, which features a stunning Rock of Gibraltar size 24.6ct green amethyst accented with diamonds.

Maria Canale’s platinum and 20-karat pink-gold bracelet won the Evening category. With multi-coloured natural spinel and white and pink diamonds, this bracelet is stunning. And the mix of colours in this piece is very on trend for spring/summer 2015.

Read more: DIVA Design Competition 2015 [top]

The Plot Thickens

Reports From Former EGL International Are “Counterfeits,” Says EGL Network

The back story: On 25 November 2014, the license agreement with the gemological laboratory operated by Mr. Guy Benhamou, a former EGL laboratory that also uses the name EGL International, was revoked and cancelled. The lab was not authorized to issue certificates bearing the EGL trademark in any form. Furthermore, any certificate issued by this lab is therefore a counterfeit report.

Pretty damming stuff. So the EGL then appointed Menahem Sevdermish as its new global manager, he reported that EGL International would soon be shutting down. Crisis avoided – however, that didn’t happen and now they have said the initial revoke was deceitful. In a statement Benhamou said “Our company has a long-term franchise agreement with EGL International to issue certificates in its name up until the year 2020 (with an option to extend the agreement for ten more years),” and continued “Our company has met and continues to meet all the financial and professional franchise terms and conditions.”

“These groups which attempt to harass us incessantly have failed in all their attempts,” it said. “[They] have realized that our laboratory is the most reliable and professional in the eyes of our all our clients.”

But here is the really interesting bit; the statement made by EGL said that no court case has been filed to dissolve the lab. So who knows what’s going on, but what you can be certain of, is that there will definitely be more on this battle in the coming weeks and months.

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 www.thegembank.com 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.

Happy Valentine’s!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Tucson Show Special

Colour colour everywhere, and not a dull shade in sight

Hello to you all, from the Tucson Gem and Mineral show. It’s that time of year again when Arizona opens its doors and invites buyers and sellers of gems and minerals from all over the world to display their wares for nearly an entire month of shows in different locations all over the city of Tucson.

International Gemstones Ltd are here, of course – where else would we be, other than in the middle of this stunning spectacle and explosion of colour in the world’s biggest treasure hunt? Never before has it been more prevalent that the age of the white diamond dominating the jewellery industry, which it has done for the past half century, is finally over. There are splashes of coloured gemstones with varying intensity all around us. From emeralds, rubies and sapphires to turquoise, lapis, coral and tourmaline —the vogue to have colour in jewellery is ubiquitous – and of course the possibilities for design using them are endless.

Just to whet your appetite. Here are just a handful of exhibitors who have caught our attention with their colourful and drool-worthy designs.

Babbette Shennan, an emerging designer, is but one of the fine jewellery designers showing here that unabashedly uses colour to create stunning but wearable pieces of jewellery – from tourmaline carved petals – to using a rainbow of coloured gemstones in one piece.

www.babetteshennan.com

Lorretta Castoro, Lorretta’s designs are undeniably a feast for the eyes. She has long been an expert in coloured gemstones which are used in nearly every piece of jewellery to express her stories in jewellery. As Loretta herself says “In my designs, the gems are the star. Each gemstone reflects the personality, the mood and style of the individual collector. I search the world for the finest and most interesting gems together with design techniques to create jewels which tell a story.” And what a story – check out her kiss me lips, it is nearly Valentine’s Day after all!

www.lorettacastoro.com

Sophia by Design, Sophia designs just for women, mixes influences from around the world and is known for classic but highly fashionable designs. She is also known for using and mixing materials from leather to rose gold and of course for using the most beautiful coloured gems to create stunning collections.

www.sophiabydesign.com

Shy Creation, is famous for creating irresistible and ultra-feminine designs using coloured gemstones. This ring below consists of 0.27ct of round brilliant diamonds surrounding 3.35ct of green amazonite on solid 14k gold. It can also be made using amethyst, smoky topaz and white topaz centre stones.

www.shycreation.com

Audrius Krulis, describes his jewellery as sculptures on a microscopic scale. He epitomises cool, his rings and bracelets are a personal favourite – his mix of coloured gemstones with differing metals can do no other than inspire all those who see them.

www.audriuskrulis.com

www.audriuskrulis.com/rings

Oriental Gemco, came into existence in 1972, in a small workshop in the heart of the jewellery district in India called Johari bazar. Their designs are a real smorgasbord of colour with influences of exotic far eastern design. Their collections never fail to deliver the latest cutting edge design creations and their booth is definitely worth a meander past.

www.orientalgemco.com

The most famous and successful of jewellery designers start with a stone. Let TheGemBank.com’s gemstones spark and colour your imagination. Come and see us to say hello, and to gain inspiration from our stunning array of gemstones of every size shape and colour. Our booth is 2110, we are here and waiting to chat to you.

Have a great weekend.

Thank the Gembank it’s Friday – SIHH 2015 Special

Watches Watches Watches

Welcome to this week’s issue of Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday, the week that saw craftsmanship and design meet luxury at the oh so very exclusive SIHH 2015, the world’s most elegant watch fair.

Enjoy!

Salon International de Haute Horlogerie – SIHH
The 25th annual Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is arguably the world’s most exclusive luxury watch fair. Yes, it is billed as an exhibition, but the theatre in the design, of the watches and the event itself is prevalent on all levels. But don’t let the showmanship mask the true intentions of this event – this is business at the highest level for the watch industry, and it is very, very serious. 16 brands display their latest wares at the invite-only event — from widely recognized names like Montblanc and Cartier, to the more rarefied grandes dames of fine watchmaking like Audemars Piguet and Piaget.

From this spectacular event we now know the watch styles that will be most in vogue for the whole of 2015. First of all, gold is back, and not just the “safe” white gold — rose gold, yellow gold and two-tone watches were aplenty, showing that what goes around truly does come back. Watches are getting smaller again, with a few exceptions – Panerai. If you take away the “novelty” watches, it’s obvious that classic design has also made a return, and not just “heritage” inspired, but design codes that have stood the test of time. Last year it was very much a divers and sports watches conventions, but those specimens have been replaced with classic complications. Globes seemed to be everywhere, used in innovative ways to show world times and day and night.

All the watches were spectacular – here are a few favourites

Cartier Rotonde Annual Calendar
Always utterly classical the Rotonde does not disappoint. The Rotonde makes use of Cartier’s well-known round case with pointy spinel-tipped crown combined with that iconic (yes, we can use that word here) Roman numeral dial. The days of the week are indicated in apertures around the perimeter of the dial, with the current day underlined in red. An oversized double-digit date window sits at 12:00 and the month is indicated in an aperture at the bottom of the dial. The overall design gives the watch a depth and three-dimensionality while remaining utterly classical.

Montblanc’s Orbis Terrarum
Montblanc’s 2015 watch launches were all about mechanical complications and travel… in all its forms. The Orbis Terrarum is a twist on the standard world timer, which shows the time in all time zones around the globe. In addition to this function, a two-level centre disc indicates day and night in an intuitive visual way. On the upper level, the Northern Hemisphere is shown with the oceans in blue and the continental landmasses clear.

Panerai Mare Nostrum Titanio
Panerai, always known for their large watches, was this year’s noticeable exception to the rule of watches getting smaller. This is a homage to the original chronograph designed for Italian naval deck officers in WW2 – named the Mare Nostrum. This beautiful elementally designed watch is a dinner plate for the wrist at 52mm across with a wide blank bezel. This will be supremely popular and not just with giant-wristed men.

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph
The polar opposite to the Panerai – the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph is a study in minimalistic design and the world’s thinnest mechanical flyback chronograph at 8.25mm in height. The dial is a stark white expanse punctuated by simple stick markers and hands that look like they were drawn on with a single stroke of a pen. One counter tallies elapsed minutes and the other is the watch’s running seconds display. A third subdial is proof that Piaget really overachieved with the Altiplano; a second time zone display adds practical functionality without jeopardizing its svelteness.

IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
The Portugieser Annual Calendar for me sums up the key styles that have emerged in this trade show; classic design, multi windows set in a gold bezel. This very chic watch has three windows at 12 o’clock showing the date, month and day, and is powered by the new automatic IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre, which has a seven-day power reserve. It’s a hugely important watch, partly because it’s one of a family of genre-defining watches, and partly because of that movement – expect a lot more of the same from IWC in years to come. Note the name change, too – no longer Portuguese, but Portugieser. It’s not particularly romantic, but much of this is to with trademarking and protecting a valuable asset. Understandable really.

Read more: The Best Watches of SIHH 2015

Read more: Montblanc at the SIHH 2015 [top]

Dazzling Timepieces for Women were unveiled

Richard Mille
Richard Mille pulls out all the stops with the incredible new RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur for women. Much like many other Richard Mille watches it features a very unusual complication that you wouldn’t usually find in horology, their watches are much like modern art, but wearable and with very complex movements. This example is a supremely eye-catching timepiece, inspired by nature’s hearty magnolia, goes way beyond a pretty face. While at first glance the watch depicts a stunning gemstone-set magnolia motif, a close up look demonstrates unparalleled technical prowess. The flower is made of 5 hand crafted gold petals, which open up every 5 minutes to reveal the beautiful tourbillon escapement. Only 30 of these will be made and the price tag will be somewhere in the 6 figure area.

Astral Inspirations from Jaeger-LeCoultre
Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre wished to share its fascination for the heavens above us. Astral Inspirations is designed and developed a new model for its iconic feminine line. It has chosen to equip it with moon phases, a traditional watchmaking complication that finds a new form of aesthetic expression in the Rendez-Vous Moon. Moon phases play the starring role, the display vividly reveals the creative freedom that drives the Grande Maison. Jaeger-LeCoultre has opted to provide two versions of this new model, in 36 and 39 mm diameters. They share several characteristics, including the mother-of-pearl moon disc studded with constellations and sprinkled with cabochons representing the stars. Both versions come on a blue satin strap.

Read more: Two Dazzling Timepieces for Women Unveiled at SIHH 2015

Read more: Richard Mille [top]

The show stopping watch – Greubel Forsey GMT Black
There were a few contenders for this title, however Greubel Forsey GMT Black, for me stands out the most. Not only for its extreme masculine design – fitting for batman and other suitably dark superheroes, but for the sheer ambition and execution of design. The case of the Greubel Forsey GMT Black is made of titanium and treated with vacuum-deposited ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon), which gives the timepiece not only its sleek, deep black look but also a surface hardness substantially harder than that of natural titanium. A black treatment is also applied to the mainplate and bridges of the movement, in-house Caliber GF05, making for a more restrained colour palette intended to bring out the contrast of the textures and hand-finishes on various parts of the movement. Only 22 pieces of the GMT Black will be produced.

Read more: SIHH 2015 Preview: The 5 Most Anticipated New Watches of 2015 [top]

To Tucson and Beyond
It’s the Tucson GJX gem show next week, and we’re really looking forward to it! Come and join us to see our wide range of unheated and heated rubies and sapphires, as well as our beautiful collection of natural coloured diamonds, at the Premier Pavilion, Booth 2110. But if you can’t wait, and why should you, visit us here www.TheGemBank.com. See you there!

The Elephant in the Room

The Swiss Currency Cap

Over the past week we have delighted in the magnificent timepieces that were shown at SIHH. There was however an Elephant in the trade show room – the Swiss currency cap, or now the lack of it. The reaction to this bold move by the Swiss National Bank has caused more than a stir. Naturally, the Swiss Watch industry met this news with, shock, horror and downright anger. What are the Swiss National Bank thinking?!!! But hang on, The Swiss Bank has a well-earned, extremely positive reputation with money, how they handle it and the decisions they make with it. So shouldn’t we trust them now? Or have they lost their heads – time will only tell. But I am in a mind to trust that in the long term, no matter if it’s not clear right here and now, that the holders of the Swiss national purse probably know what they are doing.

To read the report on The Elephant in the Room please click here: The Elephant in the Room

The Swiss Currency Cap

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 www.thegembank.com 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.

SIHH 2015 – The Most Opulent Trade Show You’ve Never Heard Of

SIHH 2015 – the most opulent trade show you’ve never heard of.

This week Geneva played host to the 25th annual Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first major event of the year for the wristwatch industry. This is the first glimpse of the watches that will be in fashion in 2015. Only 16 brands show at the invitation-only event, the 13 owned by luxury conglomerate Richemont and three high-end independent brands that opt for the gentility of SIHH over the Baselworld show that takes place each March. There are literally hundreds of watches unveiled at SIHH in a matter of days. A real smorgasbord for the collectors eye, from the simply divine and understated creations from Lange & Sohne and Cartier – to vintage from Panerai and the supremely eye catching creations from Greubel Forsey. The entire show from the food served, the décor within, to the ball gowns worn by some of the women working at the show, is all designed to leave an impression of the highest opulence, luxury and exclusivity when you think back upon this event.

cartier cle de cartier greubel forsey GMT black montblanc heritage spirit orbis terrarum

Thank TGB It’s Friday – The Week That Saw Fantastic Coloured Diamond Results at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Sale


Hello and welcome to this, the last amazing Thank TheGembank.com it’s Friday newsletter before the Christmas hols. Ahh but don’t relax yet – tomorrow is Super Saturday, the busiest shopping day of the year. After which, there is a further four days of crazed consumer shopping to sell on. So, plenty of business still to grab – and what do most gentlemen buy at the last minute? Other than perfume, it’s jewellery!

Enjoy!

In this issue;
Coloured Diamonds had a solid performance in Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale
Diamonds are forever but here and now coloured gemstones are cutting edge
Tips for having a safe trunk show
Yelp Introduces App for Business Owners
Rouble’s woes may effect trade
Grading report class action is coming
Company News


Coloured Diamonds had a solid performance in Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale
Top of the lot was a pear shaped, D colour, VVS1 diamond weighing 89.23ct, sold for more than $11m at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale held last Wednesday in New York.

The auction totalled more than $66.6m, selling 75 percent by lot and 85 percent by value.

Coloured diamonds had a solid performance in the sale, with a number making their way into the top 10 lots, including a pair of pear shaped fancy light yellow diamond ear pendants (weighing 52.88 and 51.46ct) that more than doubled their pre-sale low estimate when they went for $5.4m. A coloured diamond suite by Middle Eastern jeweller Jahan weighing more than 593.61ct garnered $4.6m, an oval cut fancy light pink 21.30ct Golconda diamond sold for $4.3m and an oval cut 1.42ct fancy red diamond went for $1.5m per carat. In addition, a marquise cut fancy brownish pink 14.28ct diamond sold for $2m, as did a rectangular cut fancy blue diamond.

Rounding out the top 10 lots of the sale were a D colour, VVS1, 32.32ct Bulgari diamond ring ($4.1m); a D colour, VS1 diamond weighing 32.72ct ($2.4m) and a single strand natural pearl and diamond necklace ($1.8m).

The Magnificent Jewels sale brings the 2014 total for jewellery sales at Christie’s Americas to $188m.

Read more: The top 10 lots from Christie’s most recent sale [top]


Diamonds are forever but here and now coloured gemstones are cutting edge
The market for coloured stones is on fire, with record prices being achieved for rubies and sapphires. At its latest ruby auction in Singapore, Gemfields achieved an average price per carat of $689 (£438), with total sales of $43.3m from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique. Both figures were records for the London-listed miner and luxury goods specialist.

Diamonds may be forever but there is nothing new about the appeal of coloured gemstones, which were worn by Wallis Simpson and are favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge, who wears the 12ct Ceylon sapphire engagement ring once owned by Diana, Princess of Wales. What is new is that demand for coloured gemstones rising exponentially, especially in the world’s largest economy. Demand is also rising as the world’s middle classes swell.

Recent trends can be seen at the world’s most exclusive jewellers. Earlier this year Cartier showcased its royal collection at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, featuring a necklace with a 15.29ct oval shaped ruby from Mozambique. The collection also included pearls, emeralds and sapphires.

Read more: Diamonds are forever but here and now coloured gemstones are cutting edge [top]

Tips for having a safe trunk show
Trunk shows are a good way to showcase goods from a particular designer, or designers, to a motivated customer base. But getting those motivated customers into the store means advertising, which anyone, including criminals, can see. David Sexton, the vice president of loss prevention consulting at Jewelers Mutual; Itay Hendel, the CEO of ISPS, a global jewellery security training and risk prevention firm; and Jewelers UnBlocked President and CEO Patricia Low have offered some great tips for trunk show safety during the holiday season and year-round. From basic advice to keeping vigilant at all times in every step of the process to shipping the jewellery direct to the vendor via an armoured car. They also advise on the best thing to do if the merchandise can’t be delivered in advance. There are extra safety tips too, from using the store owner’s safe or vault for overnight storage, to informing the local police that there will be designers/vendors visiting and being specific about the threats that robbery gangs pose.

To read all of the advice see: 8 tips for having a safe trunk show [top]


Yelp Introduces App for Business Owners
As reviews can make or break a business, Yelp is releasing a new app for business owners, with push notifications for reviews giving the business owner to react Yelp says that their new app is designed to help keep business owners in touch with customers and to make it easier to keep tabs on their Yelp reviews. Previously business owners had to visit Yelp through a web browser to check their reviews and message reviewers. “Consumers are now sending an average of 55,000 messages each month to businesses through our free Message the Business tool. With more than 64 percent of Yelp searches taking place on mobile and 73 million monthly unique visitors using Yelp via their mobile device as of Q3 2014, it’s clear there’s a demand to conduct these conversations on the go,” a news release from Yelp stated. The new app is now available on Android and iOS.

Read more: Yelp.co.uk[top]


Rouble’s woes may effect trade
Russia is planning new measures to stabilise the Rouble to try to stem its recent slump against the dollar. However due to cheaper oil prices and international sanctions against the country, the Rouble is dangerously low against the dollar, and looks to remain that way even with the planned extra measures to stop the freefall of the currency. What this means is that because of their weaker currency they will have to pay much higher against all other countries to import goods than they have in the past. To compound the trading problem, there are reports coming from Russian businesses stating that there is a very strong Russian feeling, which is being heavily pushed by Putin, to only buy Russian goods. Until their currency stabilises and the crisis passes, trading from outside may become difficult at best and impossible at worst.

Read more: Russia plans new measures to stabilise the rouble [top]


Grading report class action is coming
Early in 2015, a class-action lawsuit will be filed against EGL International and “major retailers” charging that the lab systematically over-graded diamonds that the retailers then knowingly sold to consumers.

Nashville, Tennessee-based attorney Brian Cummings said Monday that the suit will be filed within the next 60 days by a “major national plaintiffs’ class-action firm,” which he is not yet authorized to name because the firm is still working on the case.

News of a pending major class action against EGL International and large retailers in the United States is the latest blow to the EGL International brand, which will cease to exist shortly.

Cummings said the goal of the lawsuit is two-fold: to shine a light on the “fraudulent practice” of selling over-graded diamonds and to recover money for consumers who might have been defrauded when they bought these diamonds.

Cummings added that while he would be involved in some aspect of the class action, his exact role is unclear at this time.

Read more: Attorney: Grading report class action is coming[top]


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 www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

I hope you are enjoying our newsletter. If you have anything that you would like us to publicise,or 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 – When the Jewellery Industry Lost One of It’s Most Celebrated Designers


Hello and welcome to this week’s fantabulous issue of Thank TheGembank.com it’s Friday. It’s a busy week for everybody as we are now right in the thick of the silly season. As always our industry has had a week of diverse and noteworthy reports, from Gemfields selling their whooper of a ruby and choosing to support anti rhino-poaching aircraft with a portion of the proceeds, to Apple in search of luxury sales people to add a perceived prestige to their iwatch, to the sad and shocking news that Scott Kay, one of the industry’s most celebrated and trailblazing jewellery designers died.

So put the kettle on and put your feet up for five minutes before the silly season shoppers call upon you once again.

Enjoy!

In this issue;
Renowned Designer Scott Kay Dies
Marsala named hue of the year
Apple Looking for Fashion and Luxury Salespeople to Sell Watch
Ruby dubbed the ‘Rhino’ sells for undisclosed sum
Polished diamond prices continue 8-month slide
Jewelers Mutual to donate to children for holidays
Company News


Renowned Designer Scott Kay Dies
Scott Kay, one of the most prominent and celebrated designers in the jewellery business, died of a heart attack on 4 December. He was 57.

The shocking and untimely death of the trailblazing designer comes at a time when his three-decades-old company was reinvigorating itself. It had hired a CEO and was beefing up its C-suite with an impressive roster of industry talent. Kay had moved up to company chairman, hoping to concentrate on designing and had hinted at other major announcements. Kay’s success as a famed and widely honoured celebrity jeweller, often credited with resurrecting platinum, contrasted with his troubled upbringing in Brooklyn, as the son of alcoholic mother and absent father. Kay’s outspoken, sometimes swaggering persona—his company (and personal) motto was “never compromise”—stood in contrast to the delicacy of his art. His pieces were distinguished by an attention to often-minute detail as well as extremely personal spiritual and religious themes. His profile was raised considerably when celebrities embraced his vision, and his creations found their way to Gwyneth Paltrow, Heidi Klum, Salma Hayek and Michael Jackson. Industry honours include being chosen to design the first De Beers Millennium diamond, acting as spokesman for palladium and the World Gold Council, and being the first jewellery designer ever featured on the cover of Vogue Gioiello. In July he said he was working on a book about two topics that meant a lot to him—faith and family. But his devotion to his craft burned as hot as ever. When asked what he would do if he wasn’t a jewellery designer, he said, “Probably still walking around with that lug nut in my pocket.

Read more: Renowned Designer Scott Kay Dies [top]


Marsala named hue of the year
“Marsala”, a robust and earthy wine red, is Pantone’s 2015 Colour of the Year, the colour institute announced Thursday morning. “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty-yet-stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. Ultimately, Pantone says, its colour of the year influences product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, and in product packaging and graphic design. From a UK fashion point of view, this colour of the year should come as no surprise – only the name Marsala is a bit left field as all the fashion houses are naming this hue Oxblood. But whatever you call it – Marsala, Oxblood or good old fashioned, maroon; this colour is in every high-street store and it looks to stay that way for the rest of autumn winter season

Read more: Wine red shade named hue of the year for 2015 [top]


Apple Looking for Fashion and Luxury Salespeople to Sell iWatch
The clever people at Apple strike again. They are now searching for fashion and luxury sales people to sell their upcoming iwatch. Six months ago Patrick Pruniaux, vice president for sales at luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer, jumped ship to join Apple. He went to help bring the iwatch to market and make its image appear more a luxury watch than an expensive wrist gadget. Now with the iwatch launch so close, they are determined to further the “Luxury Watch” stamp by having experienced luxury sales people to sell it.

Read more: Apple Looking for Fashion and Luxury Salespeople to Sell Watch [top]


Ruby dubbed the ‘Rhino’ sells for undisclosed sum
The Gemfields’ auction of predominantly higher-quality rough rubies from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique totalled $43.3m, a record total for the company propelled by the sale of a big, rare ruby it recently found. The auction, which took place last week in Singapore also realized a $689 per-carat price, also a record for Gemfields. The sale was 74 percent sold by weight and 97 percent sold by value, with a total of 50 companies bidding. Because it was focused on higher-quality rubies, all lots offered were untreated, unlike the first ruby auction this summer when Gemfields offered both untreated and treated material. At the sale, Gemfields found a buyer for the 40.23ct rough ruby it recently uncovered and has dubbed the “Rhino Ruby” for an undisclosed amount. To recognize the successful sale of the gemstone, Gemfields said that it will support the anti rhino-poaching aircraft operated by Game Reserves United by covering a significant portion of its flying costs for the 2015 calendar year. Gemfields also used the auction to debut changes to its grading system for rough rubies. Additional grades were introduced to provide finer characterization of colour tones and clarity according to a company spokesperson, which were “widely acclaimed by auction participants,” Gemfields said.

Read more: Ruby dubbed the ‘Rhino’ sells for undisclosed sum[top]


Polished diamond prices continue 8-month slide
Prices for 1ct and 3ct stones were down about 2 percent in November as suppliers, strapped by a lack of liquidity, lowered prices in an effort to generate cash. Prices of 0.30ct and 0.50ct diamonds also fell approximately 2 percent month-over-month, according to the RapNet Diamond Index for November. Year-to-date, prices of 0.30ct stones have fallen 3 percent while 1ct polished prices have declined 8 percent and 3ct diamond prices 5 percent. The only diamonds on the RapNet Diamond Index to show any price appreciation this year have been half-carat stones. Prices have risen 2 percent year-to-date for these goods.

According to Rapaport’s monthly report, “Lower Prices,” diamond dealer and manufacturer sentiment remains “weak.” Though US demand is stable, it is subdued in Far East markets due to economic and political uncertainties. Polished inventory levels remain high. Profit margins are being squeezed as polished prices have been sliding since April, but the cost of rough has remained relatively steady. The report also noted that the holiday shopping season started on a “disappointing note,” with declining general retail sales over the Thanksgiving weekend and “important” shifts in consumer behaviour. More people are avoiding the madness of Black Friday weekend and others are purchasing online.

Read more: Polished diamond prices continue 8-month slide [top]


Jewelers Mutual to donate to children for holidays
For the fourth year in a row, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will partner with Sarah’s Hope Jewellery and Jewellers for Children to give to children in need through its “Hope for the Holidays” sweepstakes. Jewelers Mutual is giving the public the chance to vote among three options for their favourite children’s charity among from now through to 19 December. The three charities chosen to be in the sweepstakes are Make-A-Wish America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association. Each charity will receive a donation from Jewelers Mutual. The organization with the most votes at the end of the period also will receive a $1,000 donation, and the other two will receive a $500 donation each.

Read more: Jewelers Mutual to donate to children for holidays[top]

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 www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

If you have anything that you would like us to publicise,or 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 – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Autumn Statement


Hello and welcome to this week’s fantastic issue of Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday. What a week it has been, and mostly good news. Jewellery sold well – if not very cheaply in some cases – in the Black Friday weekend and small businesses were given good news in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement. The plot thickens for the grading of diamonds by the closing of EGL; of course they didn’t totally back down, but that would be far too easy. Gemfields unearthed a whopper of a ruby, and platinum is under the legal eye for possible price fixing by the banks!

So put your feet up and take a quick breather before the Saturday, when silly season shoppers descend again.

Enjoy!

In this issue;
Autumn Statement for Business Owners
Gemfields unveils 40ct ruby from Mozambique
Black Friday Not so Bleak for Jewellers
Jewellery Most Heavily Discounted Category on Black Friday
Platinum Price Rigged, Jewellery Manufacturer Charges
EGL Shuts down, for now…
Company News


Autumn Statement for Business Owners
It has long been known that small businesses are the cornerstone of Britain’s economy, they are vital for the creation of employment and driving economic growth. As the economy is starting to recover, this year’s Autumn Statement was eagerly awaited by many of those small business owners, as help is needed to prevent stagnation.
In the few hours after The Autumn Statement – which is also known as the pre budget report, the initial reaction has been a cautious one by small business owners, retailers and manufacturers, to George Osborne’s plans to review of the structure of business rates, which have been blamed for holding back growth. After at least two years of pressure for reform of the rates, which are calculated on the rental value of the property a company uses, the government said it would have new proposals ready in time for the budget in 2016, with interim findings to come in a year’s time.

Businesses called on the government to use the review to bring in meaningful change to the current system which is accused of unfairly benefiting online retailers that do not need valuable high street premises and discouraging manufacturers from investing in new equipment for fear of increased business rates.

Small business rates relief will be doubled for another year to give high-street shops a £1,500 discount on business rates. The chancellor said the move will affect around 500,000 small companies in the UK. The government has also confirmed that they will launch a full review into the tax – however, no actual timescale has been promised for this so watch this space, as it is believed that much more is required to secure the growth of small business in coming years.

For full Autumn Statement coverage: www.bbc.co.uk [top]


Gemfields unveils 40ct ruby from Mozambique
Gemstone miner Gemfields discovered a 40.23ct ruby, which it has called “one of the most important rubies unearthed in recent times”, at its Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique. The coloured gemstone miner, which also owns the largest emerald mine in the world at Kagem in Zambia, said it expected the ruby to be sold at auction in Singapore next month, its second ruby auction of the year. Ian Harebottle, the chief executive of Gemfields, said: “As an African by birth and at heart, I am exceedingly proud that possibly one of the finest rubies to have been discovered in recent generations has been unearthed from African soil.” Gem dealer and AGTA board of directors member Jeff Bilgore added, “It’s a very rare rough gemstone, and it’s a fantastic discovery,” noting that, due to the rarity of rubies, the discovery of a 40ct ruby is comparable to finding a 100ct rough diamond or more.

He also said however that origin has a lot to do with value. Though it is a good discovery, a Mozambican ruby still doesn’t carry the same value as a Burmese ruby.

Read more: Gemfields unveils 40-carat ruby from Mozambique [top]


Black Friday Not so Bleak for Jewellers
On a weekend usually overshadowed by big-box frenzy, fine jewellery held its own in the days following, or in some cases, on Thanksgiving.
On Monday 1 December, independent jewellers generally reported a surprisingly strong Black Friday weekend, led by sales of diamond goods and luxury watches. Neiman Marcus reported strength in fine jewellery sales as well, as did Dallas department store Stanley Korshak.

Fine jewellery’s success came despite reports of lower overall sales as online retailers and early discounting diminished weekend traffic for big brick-and-mortar stores and markdowns continued to cut into profit margins.

Read more: At the start of the season, fine jewelry shines [top]


Jewellery Most Heavily Discounted Category on Black Friday
In an effort to sniff out the best deals on Black Friday, personal finance site WalletHub combed through 22 mass-merchant circulars. What they found is that jewellery was the most heavily discounted category, with an average 58 percent price cut. Kmart’s circulars trumpeted the steepest jewellery discounts—an average of 78.75 percent. Meijer followed closely with an average 78.67 percent discount. Kohl’s touted the lowest cuts, slashing jewellery items by a mere 24 percent. Is this a good or bad thing for long term forecasts for the sale of jewellery, and with some stores discounting so heavily will it damage consumers view that jewellery is a luxury item? Let us not forget the small jewellery traders who simply cannot compete with these discounted prices. One thing is for sure though– while customers are literally scrambling over each other in a post-apocalyptic style race to loot, this trend for discounting will only continue – because for some retailers this works!

Read more: Jewelry Most Heavily Discounted Category on Black Friday, Survey Says [top]


Platinum Price Rigged, Jewellery Manufacturer Charges
A Florida jewellery manufacturer is serving as the plaintiff for a class-action suit that claims the prices of platinum and palladium have been manipulated to enrich certain banks and dealers. In a complaint filed on November in a New York federal court, Sarasota-based Modern Settings charges that the three banks and one metals dealer that set the prices via twice-daily teleconferences have used the process for their own ends. “By their very design, the platinum and palladium fixings give the defendants the opportunity to collusively discuss and/or signal desired non-competitive price moves, while the rest of the market is left in the dark,” says the suit, which targets teleconference participants Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Standard Bank, and BASF Metals Ltd. The filing alleges the defendants colluded with their in-house trading desks “to ensure that platinum and palladium prices moved in a certain, non-competitive direction”; shared non-public customer information; and concocted “spoof” orders that they had no intention of executing to fool the market. Its analysis of platinum and palladium prices found numerous anomalies that are “suggestive of price artificiality,” it says.

The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Read more: Platinum Price Rigged, Jewelry Manufacturer Charges[top]


EGL Shuts down, for now…
EGL International, the lab that became a flash point in the dispute over diamond grading, is shutting down, says Menahem Sevdermish, the EGL network’s new global manager.
The Ramat Gan, Israel–based lab will “soon cease to exist,” Sevdermish says, with the “International” brand name being phased out. Sevdermish was recently appointed the European Gemological Laboratory network’s global manager, said “Grading will all be controlled. There will be one type of certificate, not 10 types. All the labs will be under one umbrella. We will make sure all the masters are the same, and we will train and fine-tune each laboratory.” But he stresses the grading will be done to EGL’s traditional standards, not necessarily GIA’s. “EGL was always my passion, it is my baby. I always admired Guy Margel. If there was abuse, I’m going to clean it up and make sure the EGL name is one you can be proud of.”

Read more: EGL Int’l Shutting Down as Network Reorganizes[top]


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 www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

If you have anything that you would like us to publicise,or 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 – Whopping Blue Diamond Break All The Records


Hello and welcome to this week’s exciting issue of Thank TheGemBank.com it’s Friday. What a week it has been, and mostly good news – if you discount that pesky fraud story – but forewarned is forearmed as they say! This week saw an enormous blue diamond cause a buying frenzy ending up breaking all records. What perhaps is most compelling about this report, is that not just a few people were trying to buy this beautiful diamond, which is what has happened in the past, but several people fighting to buy, another indicator that the global economy is on the up? It’s good news for gold too – as official global figures say that gold jewellery is still very popular and looks to rise too. For these stories, and a few more of this week’s juiciest tales read on…

Remember if there’s anything last minute you need for your customers this holiday season in Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald or Coloured diamond, GIVE US A CALL or go to our website www.thegembank.com

Enjoy!

In this issue;
9.75 Carat Blue Fetches $3.3 Million a Carat, Sets All-Time Record
More positive news for silly season sales
$5 Million Red Diamond Sets World Auction Record
Diamond pop-up shop for Cyber Monday
Consumer love of gold has not waned
Gold fashion jewellery leads the way for Tiffany
JSA Warns of Fraudsters Impersonating Jewellery Vendors
Kiran Gems invests in girls’ education in India
Company News


9.75 Carat Blue Fetches $3.3 Million a Carat, Sets All-Time Record
November 20th saw records broken when a whopping, 9.75 ct. fancy vivid blue pear-shape fetched $3.3 million a carat at the Sotheby’s New York auction, setting a new high-water per-carat price for any diamond. That price tops by a full $1 million the per-carat record set just one year ago, when a 14.82 ct. fancy vivid orange scored $2.3 million a carat ($35.3 million total) at a Christie’s Geneva auction.

The stone’s final price—$32.6 million—also set a record for the most expensive blue diamond ever, topping the celebrated Wittelsbach-Graff, which fetched $24.3 million in 2008.

The price was achieved after a frenzied 20 minutes of bidding, with seven prospective buyers. The winner was a Hong Kong collector, who dubbed it the Zoe Diamond. Sotheby’s did not provide further details on why that name was chosen.

Read more: 9.75 Carat Blue Fetches $3.3 Million a Carat, Sets All-Time Record [top]

More positive news for silly season sales
Comscore Inc. is predicting double-digit gains for online spending this holiday, the digital metrics firm notes that wage stagnation and lack of discretionary income among the middle class could weigh on the season. Data released by the company Tuesday 25th November showed that total online retail spending is forecast to reach $61.1 billion during the two-month period, a 16 year increase as compared with last year.

Purchasing from a desktop computer in November and December is expected to climb 14 percent from last year to reach $53.2 billion, while mobile purchases are predicted to account for the remaining $7.9 billion, or 13 percent, of the total spend.

Also on Tuesday 25th November, Comscore released it estimates for third quarter spending this year, with purchases from desktop computers rising 13 percent year-over-year to $53.9 billion total. This marks the 20th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth and the 16th straight quarter of double-digit growth, the firm said. Mobile spending in the third quarter, accounting for purchases on smartphones and tablets, was up 17 percent compared with the prior-year period to hit $60.6 billion.

Read more: Online spending to reach $61B this holiday season [top]

$5 Million Red Diamond Sets World Auction Record
A heart-shape fancy red diamond ring by Moussaieff set a world auction record at Christie’s Hong Kong on Wednesday 26th. The 2.09 ct. ring sold for $5,095,872 ($2.44 million per carat) to a private Asian investor.

“Coloured stones and coloured diamonds were keenly sought by private collectors and members of the international trade at Christie’s Hong Kong,” said Vickie Sek, deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia and director of Christie’s jewellery and jadeite department. “One of the finest red diamonds ever offered for sale achieved a world record price of well over $2 million per carat. It is also the most expensive red diamond ever sold at auction.”

Read more: $5 Million Red Diamond Sets World Auction Record [top]

Diamond pop-up shop for Cyber Monday
Ramat Gan, Israel–The Israel Diamond Institute announced Monday that it will launch a direct-to-consumer, pop-up sales platform for loose diamonds and diamond jewellery on December 1st, the day known as Cyber Monday because of the high volume of online shopping.

The pop-up “mini-site” will be up through the end of December to allow various diamond companies the chance to sell directly to consumers for the entire month, IDI said. It will offer considerably discounted goods from a number of top Israeli diamond companies, ranging from 4 percent to 33 percent off, with list prices from $995 to $211,200.

Last year, the Israel Diamond Institute launched a Cyber Monday business-to-consumer pilot program to offer goods from a small group of companies and expanded it through the end of December after it received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Read more: IDI reviving diamond pop-up shop for Cyber Monday [top]

Consumer love of gold has not waned
U.S. demand for gold jewellery rose again in the third quarter, hitting its highest level in five years.

This is according to figures from the most recent quarterly report released by the World Gold Council, which shows that gold demand was, in fact, up 4 percent year-over-year in the United States. According to the Gold Demand Trends report, the United States seems to be coming back into focus as leading market force for gold jewellery with Indian jewellery surging forward too.

There has been a rise of 4 percent to 34 tons, which is seven quarters in a row of recovery. This is another clear indicator that a recovery, is definitely underway. Hopefully this will be felt at every level before long as consumer confidence grows, historically jewellery demand increases right along with it.

Read more: Gold Demand Trends Q3 2014[top]

Gold fashion jewellery leads the way for Tiffany
While results were mixed for Tiffany & Co. globally, sales in the U.S. market were relatively strong, led by consumer demand for fashion jewellery in karat gold.

The New York-based retailer reported last Tuesday that same-store sales in the Americas rose 11 percent year-over-year in the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Total sales also increased 11 percent on a constant exchange rate basis, reaching $459 million. Stronger demand for gold fashion jewellery drove sales while entry-level price-point silver sales slumped, Tiffany said. “It’s worth noting that gold jewellery is performing especially well,” Mark Aaron, vice president of investor relations, said during the company’s earnings call Tuesday morning, noting particular success with both the new “T” and Atlas collections.

Read more: Gold fashion jewelry leads the way for Tiffany[top]

JSA Warns of Fraudsters Impersonating Jewellery Vendors
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance is warning the industry of a new seemingly sophisticated con in which jewellery companies are asked to send payments meant for vendors to fraudulent bank accounts.

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

In the first instance, a diamond company received an email from a vendor’s standard address specifying a new bank account to send wire transfers. Since it was a bank holiday, the manufacturer didn’t sent any payments, and when a company principal talked to the company the next day he found the company never sent the message.

In the second, a jewellery manufacturer received a letter from a vendor on company letterhead, advising payments should be sent to a new “brother company account in the USA.” The obscurity of the bank made the manufacturer suspicious—rightly so, as the message was a clever fake. In both cases, the companies escaped losses. But JSA president John Kennedy says what was most notable about the attempted fraud was how convincing both the letter and the email were. “The paperwork was perfect,” he says. “Someone must have gotten hold of the format and signature of the company they pretended to be.” Kennedy says he has no idea if the two attempts were connected, but notes that they occurred quite close together and involved different communication methods. The lesson, he concludes, is to double-check such requests with your vendors.

Read more: JSA Warns of Fraudsters Impersonating Jewelry Vendors[top]

Kiran Gems invests in girls’ education in India
Mumbai–Diamond manufacturer Kiran Gems is partnering with the Smile Foundation to bring quality education to underprivileged children in India through the Mission Education program. The collaboration will begin with the support of 100 girls across the country. Kiran will be investing in their education and healthcare for the coming academic session. The company said that it keeps these two initiatives as top priorities among the social work that it takes part in on a regular basis, and this partnership expands its support of female education across the country. Kiran is involved in a number of other programs directed toward the same cause.

The Smile Foundation is a development organization that reaches more than 300,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through 172 welfare projects dealing with things such as education, healthcare, youth employment and women empowerment.

The Mission Education has reached more than 200,000 children so far with its programs to provide basic education and health care to children.

Read more: Kiran Gems invests in girls’ education in India[top]


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 www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

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