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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.

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 – The week that saw a New York judge rule against William Goldberg Diamond Corp


Hello and welcome to this week’s issue of Thank TheGembank.com it’s Friday. With one week to Black Friday, the start of the crazy buying season, are you ready to welcome customers to your stores? Do you have the proverbial hook to hand to make you stand out to potential customers? I have other stories to regale you with from our industry over the past 7 days – so relax for a minute and enjoy this week’s fabulous newsletter.

In this issue;
William Goldberg Loses Stolen-Diamond Case
The best ways to handle online complaints
‘Blue Belle’ rings in record sale for Christie’s
Index tracking fancy colour diamond prices launched
Record sale lands famous ruby back in Graff hands
Bonhams to Auction Collection of 16 Flawless Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
A plan for attracting customers on Black Friday
Company News


William Goldberg Loses Stolen-Diamond Case
A New York federal court judge has ruled that a local couple can keep a 7.35ct pear shape diamond, even though it was garnered illegally from William Goldberg Diamond Corp.

According to an opinion issued on 17 November by Judge Shira Scheindlin, the Goldberg company consigned the stone to celebrity stylist Derek Khan in February 2003 for use in fashion shoots. When the diamond was not returned after the customary few days, Goldberg filed a police report and notified GIA, the opinion said. Khan later went to jail for pawning $1.5m in jewellery he borrowed for shoots. The stone was pawned and cut from 7.44ct to 7.35ct. It changed hands a few times and was eventually taken to the Gemological Institute of America for appraisal. The GIA immediately flagged it as stolen and kept it while ownership was determined. In June 2013, the couple sued for the return of the diamond.

The case eventually came down to the issue of whether Khan met the legal definition of merchant. Scheindlin ruled that because Khan had an ‘aesthetic” knowledge of the diamonds, he could pass title to them. In her opinion, Scheindlin admitted that the case’s outcome was not entirely satisfactory. ‘It is undisputed that plaintiffs came into the possession of the diamond innocently,” she wrote. ‘And it is also clear… [Goldberg] will be left to bear an unfortunate liability. Such is the nature of a case like this, where the true perpetrator—Khan—is beyond the court’s grasp.” Ben Kinzler, Goldberg’s co-counsel on the case, says his client is ‘understandably upset” by the ruling and is considering an appeal. He argues the ruling imperils all consignment transactions.

Read more: William Goldberg Loses Stolen-Diamond Case [top]


The best ways to handle online complaints
Brian Douglas, a manager at Reputations.biz, has given his tips on how retailers can best handle online complaints, whether they are legitimate or not.

He suggests to be proactive and ask customers if they are happy to leave a positive review, this way if there is a negative review it is buried within positivity. And when a negative review does appear, reply to the review, this shows you care about customer service. When a negative review does get posted – give yourself time to cool off before you respond. Address the complaint, but be sure to take this opportunity to highlight something positive about your company as well. If a false review is posted – firstly report it to the site, they may just remove it without you having to do anything further about it. Oftentimes, however, the review will remain. In these cases you should publicly explain why the review is false or misleading. As with other negative reviews, be sure to keep your composure and more often than not potential customers will identify it as fake.

For more tips see: The best ways to handle online complaints [top]


‘Blue Belle’ rings in record sale for Christie’s
Christie’s recent Magnificent Jewels sale set a new world record for a jewellery auction at $150.2m, led by a 392.52ct sapphire that was a record-setter itself.

Called the “Blue Belle of Asia” and set in a diamond necklace, the cushion cut Ceylon sapphire realized $17.3m, or $44,063 per carat. Its sale established a new world record price for a sapphire at auction.

Top lots of the sale also included a pair of fancy vivid pink and fancy vivid blue diamond ear pendants purchased by Laurence Graff of Graff Diamonds for $15.8m, a kite shape brilliant cut fancy pink VS2 diamond that sold for $6.1m and an oval Burmese ruby weighing 23.66ct set in a ring by Cartier that garnered $6m.

The total of the Magnificent Jewels sale, combined with those of the Patek Philippe 175 and the Important Watches sale, closed Christie’s 2014 fall sale week with a grand total of $185m, the highest since the first Christie’s auction in Geneva in 1969, the action house said.

Read more: ‘Blue Belle’ rings in record sale for Christie’s [top]


Index tracking fancy colour diamond prices launched
A new global organization launched on Wednesday that will focus on tracking prices and supporting sales of fancy colour diamonds; particularly yellow, pink and blue stones.

Initiated by third-generation diamantaire Eden Rachminov, managing owner of Rachminov Diamonds and author of The Fancy Colour Diamond Book, the Fancy Colour Research Foundation, or FCRF, is a non-profit global membership organization. The focus of the organization is primarily the commercial side of coloured diamonds, the pricing and selling, and not the gemmology.

Rachminov said one of the main tools the FCRF offers it members is the Fancy Colour Diamond Index, a chart tracking the prices of blue, yellow and pink diamonds that dates back to January 2005. Though a general version of the index is visible on the organization’s website, members have access to secure area of the site that contains more detailed data.

He said the index is designed to provide objective, historic pricing information to retailers when deciding whether to buy a certain colour diamond or just take it on memo.

Read more: Index tracking fancy color diamond prices launched [top]


Record sale lands famous ruby back in Graff hands
Laurence Graff purchased the 8.62ct ‘Graff ruby” for a second time at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, paying $8.6m and setting a new world auction record price for a ruby.

In addition, the sale also raised the price per carat record for a ruby to $997,727.

Read more: Record sale lands famous ruby back in Graff hands[top]


Bonhams to Auction Collection of 16 Flawless Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
Bonhams will auction a rare collection of 16 flawless hearts and arrows diamonds on 26 November in Hong Kong. The collection features 16 D colour, internally flawless brilliant-cut diamonds, which weigh a total of 39.98ct. Each diamond ranges from 1.16ct to 4.49ct. Hearts and arrows refers to the symmetrical light pattern produced from precision cut round diamonds.

The collection, which will be sold complete, is estimated at $2.25-$2.5m. ‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this magnificent collection of hearts and arrows diamonds to Hong Kong,” said Graeme Thompson, director of jewellery for Bonhams Asia. ‘As far as I know, only three similar collections of diamonds have been offered at auction worldwide in the past 7 to 10 years, so this is a chance not to be missed by all diamond buyers and collectors.”

Read more: Bonhams to Auction Collection of 16 Flawless Hearts and Arrows Diamonds[top]


A plan for attracting customers on Black Friday
Black Friday is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In recent years, most major retailers have opened very early and offered promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales. This day has been around state side for many years – however it is now jumped the pond and is gaining notoriety over here in the U.K. On Black Friday here, most people will have already received their November pay packet and are ready to hit the stores, and in the last few years, they arrive expecting huge discounts.

The recipe for sales success these days is perhaps not to compete head on with the big stores, but compete by offering something different, bespoke customer service and the personal touch that only the smaller independent businesses are able to offer.

One jeweller in America is rewarding customers who spend a minimum of $1,399 with a GoPro Hero4 Silver, a popular high-definition camera that is ‘anticipated to be one of the hottest gifts of the upcoming holiday season,”

A bit extreme perhaps, and maybe a little costly for the retailer. However what it does, is single this particular store out to the consumers, and attracts attention. Which can’t be a bad thing.

Read more: A plan for pulling in customers on Black Friday[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 – The week that saw a superstar watch break its own record!


Hello and welcome to yet another fabulous issue of Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday. What a week it has been, from supercomplication watches selling at a record breaking price – for a second time, to a jewellery heist. Although the likelihood of this happening is small, it does serve as a warning as jewellery stores do traditionally carry more products at this time of year. Also pear shaped diamonds are very much in vogue and discovering that out of the garnet family green is king – now all we need is a pear shaped green garnet!

Enjoy!

In this issue;
Superstar! The Holy Grail of Watches Scores $24 Million, New World Record
47th Street Blockaded in Aftermath of Stunning Midday Heist
Marquise and pear-shaped diamonds are back in vogue
Pandora Cashes in on Upturn in the Jewellery Market
How to sell online, legally
Rapaport Calls Diamond Overgrading “Significant Threat” to Industry
Green garnets lead the way
Company News


Superstar! The Holy Grail of Watches Scores $24 Million, New World Record
The Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication, dubbed the “world’s most famous watch,” scored $24m (23.2m CHF) at Sotheby’s November 11th Important Watch auction in Geneva, thus breaking its own record which it has held since 1999 when it went under the hammer for $11m.

The Supercomplication has been called the holy grail of watches, in part because of its fabled and quite complicated history. It was created as the result of a 1925 “contest” between two watch collectors, New York City banking magnate Henry Graves Jr. and automaker James Ward Packard, to see who could create the most complicated watch. Eight years later, at the height of the Depression, Patek Philippe delivered to Graves the final product, which claimed the title of the most complicated watch in the world for 56 years, when another Patek Philippe watch, fashioned in part by a computer, finally topped it with 33 complications – and is still considered the most complicated watch ever built by hand.

The science bit – The 14k gold watch comprises 900 individual parts and boasts 24 complications (features other than time), including a perpetual calendar that extends to the year 2100, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, a stopwatch for hours and minutes, an alarm, a map of the sky over Graves’ New York City apartment, and chimes that sound like Big Ben.

Read more: Superstar! The Holy Grail of Watches Scores $24 Million, New World Record [top]


47th Street Blockaded in Aftermath of Stunning Midday Heist
A brazen daytime theft involving an armed robber posing as a deliveryman caused New York City’s 47th Street Diamond District to be closed off for several hours yesterday, as a SWAT team descended on the street to hunt down the suspects. According to a statement from the New York City Police Dept, at 2:30p.m on Wednesday 12 November a man disguised as a delivery person was buzzed into a jewellery store on the 8th floor of 23 W. 47th St. and pulled out a gun. He then demanded jewellery from the store’s safe. Four employees were complying when a fifth employee, a 56-year-old man, entered and was hit with a gun, causing a minor laceration. The armed man and a lookout soon fled with an undetermined amount of jewellery and money.

Following the incident, police closed off 47th Street, residents of 23 W. 47th were evacuated, and workers were told not to leave their buildings. Witnesses report seeing SWAT team members and snipers on building roofs, though rumours of a hostage situation appear to be inaccurate.

Read more: 47th Street Blockaded in Aftermath of Stunning Midday Heist [top]


Marquise and pear-shaped diamonds are back in vogue
Marquise and pear-shaped diamonds are surging in popularity once again, as a new generation of brides give these long-stalled cuts a second look. Once thought of as the bridal baubles of the older generations, brands are presenting marquises and pear-shaped diamonds so that the consumers of today see them in a new light. Combining them with other hot trends like coloured stones and halo settings and setting them in an east-west style, meaning they sit on the hand horizontally instead of vertically. Both marquise-cut and pear-shaped diamonds are great aspirational diamonds for consumers who might consider themselves more fashion-forward or trendy. As is the case for many trends in fashion and accessories, celebrities also are pushing these shapes to the forefront. Actress Katherine Heigl, fashion designer and singer Victoria Beckham, singer Christina Milian, actress Elisha Cuthbert and many others have rocked the shapes back in recent years, and consumers have noticed.

Read more: Marquise and pear-shaped diamonds are back in vogue [top]


Pandora Cashes in on Upturn in the Jewellery Market
If we needed any more proof that there is not only an upturn in the global economy but more importantly – for us anyway – in the upturn in the jewellery industry, here it is. In the third quarter of this year, Pandora reported that sales rose by 26 percent globally to $478m year-over-year. Its U.S. sales increased by 15 percent (14 percent in local currency) from $122.3m to $140.7m. Revenue from rings have also increased significantly year-over-year.

In order to maximise on their rising profits Pandora announced in August that it was buying the 27 concept stores owned and operated by Hannoush Jewellers for $28m. The company said it was “refreshing the network” in the Northeastern U.S. due to slumping sales. This week the company has stated that its Pandora will open an even greater number of concept stores than originally planned this year with a particular emphasis on company-owned and -operated stores.

Read more: At Pandora, focus continues to shift inward [top]


How to sell online, legally
The Jewellers Vigilance Committee has released a legal compliance guide designed to help designers, jewellers and anyone else who engages in e-commerce at either the retail or wholesale level. Called “Guide to Selling Jewellery in the 21st Century: Legal Compliance for Designers, Independent Jewellers and Online Sellers”.

The handbook includes information on a number of topics germane to helping independent jewellers protect themselves. The guide also contains information about FTC guidelines for advertising online, implementing anti-money laundering laws that apply to many jewellers, and understanding the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties.

Read more: How to sell online, legally[top]


Rapaport Calls Diamond Overgrading “Significant Threat” to Industry
Rapaport Group chairman Martin Rapaport has called the over grading of diamonds by certain labs a “significant threat” to the industry that could lead to angry customers demanding refunds from jewellers.

He warned that retailers that sell over graded diamonds “best be prepared to buy them back or go out of business.… You should also consider that even if you agree to buy back the diamonds from consumers, an enterprising lawyer might still claim that you defrauded clients by not providing full disclosure of quality and subject you to a lawsuit demanding triple damages.”

Rapaport also lambasted a statement from EGL International (which he accused of overgrading), in which EGL said that no single internationally accepted diamond-grading standard exists. He called it an attack on the “foundation of our industry.”

“According to them, it’s okay to call an N colour a G colour, since anybody can say anything they want in a world with no standards,” he said. “If we can’t differentiate quality, we can’t differentiate price, and this will result in a collapse of diamond prices.” He accused leading trade organizations of “turning a blind eye” to the problem and urged them to expel members who sell diamonds that use the GIA terminology but don’t follow GIA standards

Read more: Honest Grading (PDF)[top]


Green garnets lead the way
Green is everywhere at the moment – everywhere you look up and down the high-street, to couture clothing and jewellery – green is bang on trend. The Garnet gemstone is also getting more and more popular. So it is little surprise that green garnets are leading the way, even ahead of the traditional red shades for garnets.

Today, most garnets on the market are sourced from African countries, but some also come from India, Russia and Central and South America. While pricing and supply trends depend completely on the variety of garnet, prices are rising across the board for most shades of garnet as they become harder to get.

Demantoid garnets (green shades) are the most expensive kind of garnet currently on the market, according to the International Coloured Gemstone Association. They’re in demand both because of their rarity and exceptional colour and luminosity. These stones can range in colour from a slightly yellowish-green to a brownish-green with a golden glow. Demantoid garnets usually are small, rarely exceeding 1 carat and, thereby, most often used as smaller stones in finished jewellery.

They also are special because they are one of only a few cases where an inclusion increases the value of the stone. The appearance of a horsetail inclusion, named for the golden-brown crystal threads of chrysotile that run through the gem and appear as one, makes the stone one of the rarest in the world and greatly can increase what a collector would be willing to pay

Read more: Rocks On: Green garnets lead the way[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 – 7 November 2014


Hello and welcome to this week’s fabulous edition of the Thank TheGembank.com it’s Friday. As I type, the Guy Fawkes fireworks have finally stopped screaming, thus heralding the beginning of the silly season. Any second now twinkling lights will adorn every shop window. This, my friends, may be the quietest Friday we will have in a good few months (hopefully). But this is good news, as this season promises to be a profitable one, as yet another survey and body of experts predict far higher spending on last year, for luxury goods and in particular the jewellery industry. So sit back and enjoy the last bit of quiet, and have a read of the best and most interesting stories from our industry this week.
Enjoy!

In this issue;
Further Proof that the Holiday Season is looking Bright for the Jewellery Industry
Victoria’s Secret Unveils Fantasy Bra
De Beers are ‘changing with the times’
Mining company cuts world’s largest csarite
GIA to Suspend Sealing Service
104ct D Flawless Unveiled by Chow Tai Fook
Company News


Further Proof that the Holiday Season is looking Bright for the Jewellery Industry
According to a new survey of affluent customers by Time Inc. and market research firm YouGov, this Holiday Season is set to be the strongest since the recession.

Already there have been two reports that the jewellery industry should be up in sales by 4% this year. Now this latest survey is offering further proof that consumers are willing to spend their money on luxury products once again.

Jim Taylor, vice chairman of YouGov, has given several reasons why jewellers should expect a quite-merry Christmas, from customers no longer feeling shame when they spend to consumers buying themselves gifts all on the increase. He also went on to speculate that consumers are buying jewellery as it is perceived as a strong asset but then he does add that the price of gold has fallen – which is a little contradictory, and consumers buying watches because they need to tell the time! However, no matter the reason why consumers are buying luxury jewellery, the surveys and figures from this year so far certainly prove that the purse strings have been loosed once again – long may it continue.

Read more: 7 Reasons This Holiday Will Be Great for Jewelers [top]


Victoria’s Secret Unveils Fantasy Bra
Wondering what to get the girl who has everything this year? Every year before its fashion show, Victoria’s Secret unveils a gem-adorned “Fantasy Bra,” many times created in collaboration with renowned jeweller Mouawad. For 2014 the company has announced that for the first time it is doubling up on the fantasy by having had two Dream Angels Fantasy Bras crafted.

Both are valued at $2m each and are adorned with more than 16,000 gems. Accompanying the bras are arm, leg, stomach and neck pieces of fine gemstones strung together on 18-karat gold chains. Each brazier is handset with rubies, diamonds, and blue and light blue sapphires. Last year’s bra was adorned with more than 4,200 precious gemstones including rubies, diamonds and yellow sapphires and a 52ct pear-shaped ruby, valued at $10m.

Read more: Victoria’s Secret commissions two $2m fantasy bras to be worn by Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio at London show [top]


De Beers are ‘changing with the times’
A little more than a week ago, a cloud hung over the diamond industry in a row over surveys looking too deeply into business. So in a refreshing and positive change this week De Beers executives gave Anglo American PLC investors an overview of its diamond business, highlighting financial transparency, supply-demand dynamics and the company’s beliefs in brands.

De Beers said today’s consumer has a growing desire for both ethical sourcing and branded diamonds. According to the Diamond Insight Reports, in 2013 36 percent of U.S. consumers reported buying a branded diamond, up from 22 percent in 2011 and 7 percent in 2002.

As De Beers has done for years, Monday’s presentation also stressed the anticipated supply-demand gap for diamonds in the future, as no new major mines come online and demand grows due to the middle class of emerging markets. Finance Director Gareth Mostyn said that De Beers believes there is “a very positive outlook for the industry” and noted that long-term, diamond prices have had to recover from the hit they took in 2008 and 2009.

Read more: De Beers is ‘changing with the times’ [top]


Mining company cuts world’s largest csarite
Milenyum Mining has discovered and faceted the largest known csarite in the world, a 121.65ct pear-shaped stone that it expects to retail for close to $1m.

The gemstone was cut recently from an approximately 430 gram (2,150ct) piece of rough found in the world’s only known csarite mine, located in the Anatolian mountains of Turkey. Prior to this the largest known faceted csarite stone was an 88.49ct pear-shaped gem that won a Cutting Edge award in last year’s American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Awards. The only other csarite stones of a similar size have been cabochon gems that exhibited cat’s eye and colour change effects.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Milenyum two trademarks for csarite; one for the name “csarite,” allowing for greater consumer recognition for the stone, and approval to trademark the tagline “Csarite: Rare. Natural. Exquisite.”

Read more: Mining co. cuts world’s largest csarite [top]


GIA to Suspend Sealing Service
The Gemological Institute of America’s lab has begun an investigation and suspended its diamond sealing service after it spotted a sealed diamond, the report of which didn’t match the stone. Diamond sealing, which involves putting the gem in a secure tamper-resistant package—is an additional service offered by the lab, generally for the investment market. Only one-tenth of one percent of the stones that the lab grades are sealed, says spokesman Stephen Morisseau.

When GIA was recently asked to double-check a sealed stone, it discovered that the gem did not match the grades and description on the accompanying label. GIA has enlisted a corporate investigator to examine the situation. A statement adds clients with concerns about whether a sealed diamond matches the grade can submit their packets for a check to GIA free of charge. The lab has also suspended its duplicate report service, which clients use to replace lost or stolen reports. The lab also offers Report Check, which shows grades online and allows clients to print PDFs of their reports, and some say it’s now redundant.

“There have been instances where stones have not matched the duplicate reports,” Morisseau says. “But that is not related to this sealing issue. The driver of suspending the duplicate reports is Report Check.”

Morisseau says no decision has been made as to whether the two services will be reinstated.

Read more: Mislabeled Diamond Causes GIA to Suspend Sealing Service[top]


104ct D Flawless Unveiled by Chow Tai Fook
Chow Tai Fook will unveil a 104ct D colour internally flawless round brilliant cut diamond on 28 November in celebration of its 85th anniversary.

The diamond is certified by Forevermark and was cut from the Cullinan Heritage, a 507.55ct type IIA diamond from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. Chow Tai Fook purchased the diamond at auction in 2010 for $35.3m, a record price for a rough diamond. The diamond, called the Cullinan Heritage 1, will be showcased alongside other diamonds cut from the Cullinan Heritage in a “masterwork uniquely designed for Chow Tai Fook by a world-renowned jewellery artist,” the company shared. The company has not yet shared estimated value of the diamond or the specs for the final piece of jewellery.

Read more: 104 Carat D Flawless Unveiled by Chow Tai Fook[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 – 31 October 2014


Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank TheGemBank.com it’s Friday newsletter. It’s been a busy week in our industry from the sale of giant white diamonds, to a boycott over surveys, to pink diamonds enjoying their highest yield in 30 years. As all shopping days are pointing towards Christmas I have included some customer wooing ideas – all to help make sure this year’s sales match the predicted 4% rise on last year’s silly season. So let us not procrastinate further, and let me update you with the choicest news pieces from the last 7 days.

Enjoy!

In this issue;
7 More Diamond Organisations Boycott WDC’s Antwerp Meeting
Highest Yield in 30 years for Pink Diamonds
Seasonal Windows
101ct diamond sells for $5m at Christie’s
Diamond grower producing 2ct, E colour stones
Fun events to engage clients this holiday season
Another holiday sales forecast comes in at 4 percent
Company News


7 More Diamond Organisations Boycott WDC’s Antwerp Meeting
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), together with seven other major diamond industry umbrella organizations, announced on Tuesday that it is withdrawing its participation in the upcoming World Diamond Council Annual General Meeting that is to take place later this week, starting on October 28 in Antwerp, Belgium. Why the withdrawal? Their stated reasoning, delivered via signed letter, has cited the leadership’s decision to authorize Antwerp consultants Gemdax to conduct a survey of WDC members on the “various ethical, legal, and financial challenges facing the Kimberley Process.” Regardless of the angle that this statement is looked at, it appears that these umbrella organisations did not take kindly to being investigated in any way. All this kafuffle over a survey? What on earth are they trying to hide? Surely everybody is as keen to uphold the Kimberly Process, aren’t they?…

While any good manager should make sure everybody is on board with decisions such as a survey of business practices. It is pertinent to also point out that those involved in this boycott did not support the faction now in power or that there was similar finger-pointing in the last three intra-industry skirmishes.

Read more: WFDB & 7 More Diamond Organisations Boycott WDC’S Antwerp Meeting

Read more: The Diamond Industry Embarrasses Itself Again [top]


Highest Yield in 30 years for Pink Diamonds
Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, which closed bids on 8 October, was the most successful since the tender’s founding in 1984. Rio Tinto keeps bid prices confidential, but it did reveal that overall prices for the Argyle mine’s signature pink diamonds have more than tripled since 2000. The most valuable diamond from the tender is the Argyle Cardinal, a 1.21ct radiant cut fancy red, one of only 13 fancy reds ever offered at the tender. It was sold to Australia’s Glenn Bakkar Jewels for an undisclosed amount.

Read more: Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender Yields Highest Results in 30-Year History [top]


Seasonal Windows
If you are wondering if you should dress your window to attract customers this Christmas – the answer is an emphatic yes. Figures show that if you get your shop window dressed to impress your target customer, it will increase your store foot traffic, and help to close the sale. But like any Hollywood stylist you have to work on the look, it has to be on trend and designed with your own type of consumer in mind. Because when the look is correct it makes for a more enjoyable shopping experience and will encourage consumers to spend.

Big-box stores have design armies to festoon their buildings in sparkly splendour. But many overtaxed small retailers rely on dated, generic decorations, instead of seizing an opportunity to thrill shoppers’ senses. But not everybody has access to personal window dressers, but the good news is that there are lots of on trend Christmas looks this year, and as long as it is modern and elegant you can’t go far wrong: Metallics, are very on trend – as long as you run with a single metallic throughout the entire display. Vintage is also very in vogue, either chic or kitsch.

The golden rule is that decorations, no matter which style you go for, must be in tip top condition. Frayed bows, balding tinsel and scratched baubles will not win the sale!

For more ideas of designs and looks to go for visit: 2014 Holiday Survival Guide: How to Best Decorate Your Store for the Holidays [top]


101ct diamond sells for $5m at Christie’s
A cushion cut, L colour, VS2 diamond weighing 101.36ct sold for $5 million, or $49,100 per carat, during Christie’s Important Jewels auction held last Wednesday. The auction house’s sale, which took place in New York, totalled $33.7m. It was only 75 percent sold by lot and 77 percent sold by value. The second highest-grossing lot was a rectangular and circular cut, K colour faint brown VVS1 diamond pendant weighing 81.38ct, which garnered $3.2m.

Read more: 101-carat diamond sells for $5M at Christie’s [top]


Diamond grower producing 2ct, E colour stones
A lab-grown diamond company announced on Monday that it is now producing high-quality 2ct diamonds and expects to be growing 3ct stones by early 2015.

The International Gemological Institute has certified both a round brilliant, 2.03ct E, VS2 and a 2.21ct princess cut E, SI2 stone from Washington Diamonds Corp., the company said.

These are not the largest lab-grown diamonds ever produced; Pure Grown Diamonds (formerly Gemesis) claims to hold that honour following its production of a 3ct diamond this summer. But that stone has a lower colour, K, and clarity, SI1, than the new 2ct diamonds Washington Diamonds said it is producing.

Read more: Diamond grower producing 2-carat, E color stones[top]


Fun events to engage clients this holiday season
As the most important sales time of the year, the holiday season is crucial for pulling customers in and interacting with them in order to generate sales.

Innovative, intriguing events can not only attract new customers and bring in existing customers by reinforcing brand loyalty, but engage them in a way that will keep the store front of mind. Open evenings, where you can get your customers into the Christmas spirit with a bit of mulled wine or a glass of Prosecco. Private Shopping events – old and potential customers can receive invitations to private buying evenings. By making your customers old and new feel valued as individuals promotes strong brand loyalty, and encourages them to spend with you over your competitors.

For more customer wooing ideas: 5 fun events to engage clients this holiday season[top]


Another holiday sales forecast comes in at 4 percent
Synchrony Financial is the latest organization to release its forecast for the holiday season, and it predicts single-digit growth in the same range as the NRF and Deloitte.

Synchrony (formerly GE Capital Retail Finance) said on Thursday that it expects holiday sales to grow 3.5 percent year-over-year, an estimate that is line with the 10-year historical average of 3 percent.

The company said its 2014 forecast is based on a number of factors, including the unemployment rate, gas prices–which are down–and private residential construction. It said that a steadying labour market, long-term strength in key economic indicators of personal consumption expenditures, consumer credit and residential construction are creating an environment conducive to boosting retail sales.

Deloitte cited similar positive factors when it released its holiday sales prediction in September, forecasting that sales will grow between 4 and 4.5 percent.

Read more: Another holiday sales forecast comes in at 4 percent[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 cover, or a person of interest to the industry that we could interview, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

If Christmas is represented by any colour it has to be red, so we’ve put together a selection of our juiciest rubies. To see more click here

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend. [top]

Thank TGB It’s Friday – 24 October 2014


Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank TheGemBank.com it’s Friday newsletter. I hope you have all had a successful week and the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo hasn’t blown you away. As always, much has happened this week in our industry from court rulings, to platinum value going back up, and Graff selling its pigeon blood Ruby next month. I have picked the best industry stories to regale you with, so take five and put your feet up and Read all about it!

In this issue;
Ebola outbreak affecting the Jewellery Industry
Good News for Platinum in 2015
There’s Money in Pigeon Blood
U.K Court Ruling to Block Counterfeit Sales
How jewellers can use social media safely
Company News


Ebola outbreak affecting the Jewellery Industry
Barely a bulletin goes by without a report on the latest with the Ebola crisis. But is this affecting our industry and if so, how? West Africa is a significant source of diamonds, and the artisanal miners in the affected countries produce (depending on the estimates) about 1% of the world’s diamonds by value. That is perhaps not statistically significant, but it’s still a good deal of diamonds—and diamond mining in West Africa involves a good deal of people. Mining has for the moment not ceased, however naturally it has considerably decreased, especially in Sierra Leone. Here the diamond industry is second only to agriculture in terms of the country’s work force. Mining here depends on the partnership along a chain that has established trust (diggers, landowners, buyers/dealers, etc.). The interdependence of these business partners is so important that any break in the chain causes significant impact on the whole sector.

To read Babar Turay’s – an experienced ecologist who has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and Estelle Levin Ltd – interview about the disease and how it’s affected the diamond sector in Sierra Leone click here A Firsthand Look at the Ebola Crisis and the Diamond Industry

Good News for Platinum in 2015
Earlier this month the white metal hit its low for the year, plummeting to $1,229 on the London PM fix. However you can’t keep a good metal down and analysts are predicting that not only will the price rise in 2015, but it will see a steady growth along with the anticipated increase in jewellery demand.

In 2015 Thomson Reuters are forecasting an average annual price of $1,475 for platinum, in line with a poll of 23 analysts conducted by Reuters that forecasts platinum to average $1,477.50 an ounce next year. That is up slightly from $1,424 this year. That same poll also predicts a rise in palladium prices in 2015, which were volatile this year, peaking above $900 an ounce before sinking as low as $725 in intraday trading. The metal is expected to average $890 an ounce in 2015, according to the analysts’ poll. Leyland said the Thomson Reuters palladium forecast for 2015 is $950 an ounce.

Philip Newman, a founding partner of London-based consultancy Metals Focus, said one aspect of the U.S. market that has helped independent jewellers with platinum sales specifically is more major retailers (with bigger advertising budgets) stocking platinum jewellery and marketing it. This advertising generates consumer recognition that trickles down to independent jewellers. In addition, the improved economy has meant better sell-through on platinum pieces. This in turn means more jewellers are stocking platinum in their cases, enabling customers to purchase pieces on the spot rather than having to order and wait for it.

Read more: Platinum to average $1477 in 2015 [top]


There’s Money in Pigeon Blood
The Pigeon Blood coloured Graff Ruby is going under the hammer at Sotheby’s in Geneva next month. And they are already anticipating that the 8.62-carat pigeon’s blood “Graff ruby,” one of the finest privately owned rubies in the world, will sell for as much as $9m.

Sotheby’s 12 November sale of “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” brings together a group of exceptional jewels and gems from the collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis as well as pieces with a noble provenance. Also highlighting the sale are a 14.45ct Burmese ruby and diamond ring, a 100.85ct diamond ring, and a 16.37ct diamond ring from Graff.

There are also two coloured diamonds included in the top lots–which have been selling for record amounts in international jewellery auctions over the past few years – due to the rise in global demand for coloured gems – including a fancy intense 3.16ct blue diamond ring and a fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring of 4.53 carats. Watch this space for a report next month on what these beautiful pieces went for.

Read more: ‘Graff ruby’ expected to sell for $6M-$9M [top]


U.K. Court Ruling to Block Counterfeit Sales
Brand owners Cartier can force Internet service providers to block websites that sell counterfeits, the English High Court of Justice ruled on 17 October, responding to a legal challenge from Cartier.

In the case, Cartier owner Richemont asked five leading U.K. Internet service providers to block sites that allegedly sell counterfeit Cartier goods. The ISPs argued that this would mean additional costs for them—given it affects as many as 40,000 sites—and that they were just “intermediaries” that don’t do business with the sites in question. In his ruling, Justice Richard Arnold said that removing these sites should be looked at as “cost of doing business,” and the ISPs already have the technology to block sites. He added that a past case against eBay affirmed that intermediaries bear responsibility for trademark infringement. This is of course fantastic news for the luxury brand industry as the sale of counterfeit goods, especially luxury counterfeit goods damages our industry on many levels. However, the downside is due to the vastness of the internet and the shrewdness of the criminals behind the sales, this will be an extremely difficult law to police. Still, it is a step in the right direction.

Read more: Richemont scores win over online counterfeiters [top]


How jewellers can use social media safely
On Monday, Jewellers Mutual’s loss prevention team hosted “Social Media: Opportunities and Perils for Jewellers,” a webinar designed to teach jewellers how to use social media to their advantage without making their store a target for criminals. As social media is expanding daily – it would be almost impossible to be present on them all. There are also a few factors in deciding which site would be best for each individual jeweller. Here are the main sites – they all have their own niche in the market so all there is left to do is choose which portal is most beneficial for you.

Facebook
This is still the leader – on here you can put images, video and quite a bit of text in each post. However, there have been many hacking issues with this, but it is something the company are continually working on.

Instagram
This network is becoming extremely popular, and is an amazing opportunity to share high res images of your products. Most users are between the ages of 18 and 29, Instagram can be a great place to target the bridal customer. Instagram posts can be used to start conversations that will engage existing customers as well as bring in new customers and clients.

Hashtags, in which keywords are followed by the pound sign–as in #bridaljewelry–can make categories searchable to users who want to find certain products or categories.

Pinterest
Another image site, but less interactive. Pinterest comes organically because of actions such as re-pins, likes and comments, it provides an opportunity for businesses to get involved in photo and product sharing without having to spend too much time on building up the brand’s presence.

Twitter
A personal favourite, Twitter really provides the opportunity to build relationships with clients with its direct interactions and short, to-the-point messages. Used correctly, it provides a great way to build a following and give clients direct access to a business or brand.

And with hashtags and keywords also extremely important on Twitter, categories and trends also provide the opportunity for users to search exactly what they’re looking for and for businesses to have a way to put themselves in front of the right audience.

Read more: How jewelers can use social media safely[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 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. [top]

Thank TGB It’s Friday – 17 October 2014


Hello, and welcome to the Thank the Gembank it’s Friday Newsletter. Are you excited and ready for the silly season? Most City centre Christmas lights will get switched on within the first week of November. Because like it or not as soon as the fireworks cease on Bonfire night, which is only a few weeks away, the start of the Christmas buying season has been proclaimed. It’s what Guy Fawkes would have wanted. By now many of us in the industry are preparing to put our November-December marketing plans into action. Forecasts for consumer spending look to be look very positive this year, so it may be a very merry Christmas after all!

In this issue;
De Beers’ Recycled Diamond Program
It’s Been a Big Week at the Auctions
White diamond sells for record $27.3m in Hong Kong
Vivid pink diamond reaches record price at Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auctions Patek Philippe Watch for $740,000
Holiday Sales Forecasts are Looking Positive
PWC’s key points to being competitive this holiday season
Blue Nile app Lets Shoppers Virtually Try on Rings
Company News


De Beers’ Recycled Diamond Program
De Beers’ recycled diamond deal – an idea which wasn’t initially well received – has proved to be popular with retailers. The service is built around a New York City lab that will value trade-ins for retailers. Although the programme is only in its infancy so far, it has already signed up four jewellers, representing 14 stores-R.F. Moeller, the three-store chain in Minneapolis; two out of nine Rogers Jewellers stores; some Reeds stores; and Padis Gems of San Francisco.

The service’s popularity stems from the fact that although the price offered to the seller of the diamond is still at wholesale price De Beers, through this unique service, are offering “the highest possible price” on the secondary, wholesale market.

If the program works, the retailers will have two advantages. While the retailer will make less on the diamond than if he or she bought it for stock and then sold it at retail (with every piece De Beers buys, it remits a small markup to the retailer), their payment will be both faster and guaranteed. Moreover, if the store consistently pays the top price for its diamonds, that should bring in more sellers and more traffic.

Read more: Why Retailers Like De Beers’ Recycled Diamond Program [top]


It’s Been a Big Week at the Auctions
It was a busy week at the auction houses as an internally flawless vivid pink diamond set an auction record at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. In Bonhams, New York, Burmese rubies and pearls shared centre stage and in watches, Patek Philippe timepieces took the top seven spots at a Hong Kong sale.

Here are the highlights:


White diamond sells for record $27.3m in Hong Kong
A white diamond the size of a small egg has sold for $30.8m (£19.1m) at an auction in Hong Kong. A phone bidder bought the 118ct rock, edging out a previous price record for a white diamond of $26.7m. Hong Kong has quickly become one of the world’s biggest auction hubs thanks to rising numbers of wealthy collectors from mainland China and other Asian countries.

Read more: White diamond sells for record $27.3m in Hong Kong [top]


Vivid pink diamond reaches record price at Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s said that its Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong on 7 October resulted in a world auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond when an 8.41ct internally flawless pink diamond sold for nearly $17.8m. The purple-pink gem also is a type IIa diamond, among the most chemically pure with exceptional optical transparency, according to the auction house. The previous world auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond and record price per carat for a pink diamond were both achieved by a 5ct fancy vivid pink diamond that sold for more than $10.7m, or $2.15m per carat in Hong Kong in November 2009.

Read more: Vivid pink diamond sells for record $17.8 million [top]


Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auctions Patek Philippe Watch for $740,000
Sotheby’s Important Watches Sale in Hong Kong on October 8 was more successful than even the auction house imagined, with Patek Philippe watches taking the top seven spots in timepiece sales bringing millions of dollars in sales. The most expensive being the diamond and platinum wristwatch with a perpetual calendar, which sold for more than $740,000. Among the top watches sold at the important auction was a pink gold watch with a minute repeating calendar that features qualities such as a retrograde date and moon phase feature. This watch was auctioned for $697,436.

Sotheby’s is naturally now excitedly looking forward now to November when the auction house holds their annual Geneva sale, in which they will also bring back some of the most iconic watches of all time – watch this space as more records are bound to be broken.

Read more: Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auctions Patek Philippe Watch for $740,000[top]


Holiday Sales Forecasts are Looking Positive
The most recent holiday sales forecast, the National Retail Federation, predicts that consumers will spend 4% more this November and December than they did last year. Obviously this is just a prediction but perhaps we can get a little excited as the NRF was almost exactly on the button last year with their forecast of holiday sales increasing by 3.9% and finally coming in at 3.8%!

The NRF isnt the only organization to predict a 4% increase in spending this season; consulting and financial advisory firm Deloitte said last month it expects holiday sales to climb between 4 and 4.5% over last year and online sales to increase as much as 14%.

The NRF bases its sales forecast on an economic model that utilizes several indicators, among them consumer credit, disposable personal income and monthly retail sales releases.

Read more: Jewelers weigh in ’solid’ holiday growth prediction[top]


PWC’s key points to being competitive this holiday season
To effectively compete during the holiday season this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers created a list of eight strategies that retailers should implement to meet the increasing demands for today’s consumer.

  1. “Shout out” the holiday banner promise, the company said, to make sure the consumers know what role the store can play in their overall shopping experience. Repeatedly changing marketing and merchandising strategies confuses shoppers.
  2. Invest in the in-store experience to set the store apart from other retailers. Shoppers are looking for easy in-store navigation, knowledgeable associates, merchandising innovation and in-stock visibility.
  3. The omni-channel shopping experience should at least be comparable to what’s currently being seen in the market now.
  4. Deals are critical for driving traffic into the store.
  5. Ensure that marketing and merchandising personalizes all shopper communications. “More is not better. Personal relevance is,” the company said.
  6. Whenever possible, give increased attention to the most loyal shoppers.
  7. Cyber security should be a high priority to ensure that shoppers’ confidential information is protected. “Shoppers will not tolerate another season of privacy invasion,” PWC said.
  8. Create a winning strategy for the holiday season, and align the entire organization around that.

Read more: 8 keys to being competitive this holiday season[top]


Blue Nile app Lets Shoppers Virtually Try on Rings
As most people own smart phones these days – this app, which technically could be created by anyone in the trade – is quite a good idea. Yes most consumers who are purchasing jewellery over £100 prefer to do it in a bricks and mortar store. However, it would be remise to ignore those few percent of consumers who are prepared to spend sizable cash in online jewellery purchases. And as time goes on, and online sales increase, this app may just be the answer in swaying customers to buying from you over a competitor. Blue Nile’s new mobile application lets users select a custom ring from the Dream Box feature and then try it on via augmented reality once they snap a photo of their hand. From there, they can share it on Facebook or Twitter or send the image via text or email.

The app also includes a “Build Your Own Ring” section to allow shoppers to customize their ring from seven different categories and hundreds of styles. They can use the augmented reality feature in this part of the app to try on the ring they have created.

Read more: Blue Nile app lets shoppers virtually try on rings [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 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. [top]

Thank TGB It’s Friday – 3 October 2014

Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 Jewellery Roundup

Even though the leaves on the trees are turning gold outside, the fashion world has already spoken, and forecasted the trends for the sunny days of Spring/Summer 2015. But before you read on and find out what jewellery styles we will be wearing next year – leave all thoughts of minimalism at the door.

The two hottest jewellery trends that kept jumping out, be it in New York, London, Paris or Milan, were black diamonds and pearls, sometimes together on the same piece, but more often they took centre stage within their own jewellery creation. Other than that, it’s really quite simple, whatever style your jewellery takes you, BIG is definitely in. Whether it’s a statement necklace, earrings or cocktail rings worn in multitude, all are made with a healthy overdose of bronze, silver, gold, copper, brass, chains and wired forms. Overall the lavish jewellery on the catwalks these past weeks were rather breath-taking.

Gemstones, have been tipped to continue their rise in popularity, which makes larger but affordable glitzy statement pieces much easier to make and for the consumer – to buy. In some cases the hues are kept monochromatic, tone-on-tone. Inspiration has been taken from Asian, Chinese, Persian and African designs, the mix of materials and textures of crystals, pearls, and chains create decadent, rich and lavish, large pieces – executing a nostalgia of opulence from the past into modern day grandeur.

Vintage was also used by many designers, specifically Victoriana and Baroque in design. The jewellery in these styles showed movement, lightness, fragility but strength. There were large gold cuffs cut to look like lace. Different vintage pieces collected together and redesigned to give a more sophisticated look as well as height and size to each piece. Pearls, gemstones of every colour, but mostly purples, vibrant greens and pale blues. Knuckle high rings with matching cuffs for each wrist.

There was also more than a hint of the return of 1990’s jewellery fashion, with the re-run of body piercings, both fake and real, belly rings with large coloured gemstones. Large pendants, but this time around it’s not just for necklaces, but for bracelets and anklets too. Even padlocks are making a come-back – on necklaces, earrings and rings. Super large, single earrings – not always worn on the lobe.

So the rule of 2014 seems to be continuing on into 2015 Spring/Summer, more is more and bigger is always better!

See our latest Fashion Week article on our blog at Fashion Week Jewellery Trends Autumn/Winter 2014

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