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Thank TGB it’s Friday – Well-Heeled in Cannes

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday newsletter. This week we have been in glamour overdrive mode as we have watched truly amazing jewellery being showcased on celebrities at the Cannes Film festival. Much of it was by Chopard of course – with no less than 68 new pieces being showcased on various celebrities. Also worth noting; where many of the celebrities at the Met Ball chose blue sapphire in their jewellery, in Cannes the stone of choice has been emerald, and big emeralds at that. The jewellery style witnessed so far has been a mix of statement jewels with very large coloured stones as a centre piece, jewel encrusted cuffs, stacking rings and vintage.

Celebrity Jewellery at the Cannes Film Festival

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more glamorous than the Met Ball, the Cannes Film Festival arrives and sets the glamour bar even higher. In between the drama of ladies being turned away for not wearing high heels at a few of the festival’s shows, coloured diamonds, big emeralds and Cartier and Chopard jewellery dominated the red carpet’s glamour fest. Images are still coming in, but a few favourites so far include:

Kendall Jenner looked amazing in Chopard diamond encrusted cuff and matching collar necklace

Emily Blunt – the consummate of British cool didn’t disappoint as she sauntered down the carpet wearing amazing and very large, drop emerald earrings by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie at the Sicario premiere

Also at the Sicario premiere, Adriana Lima wore a Chopard pair of 59-carat briolette-cut emerald earrings with white diamonds from the Copacabana collection, with a complimenting 78-carat white diamond bracelet and 10-carat white diamond heart ring by Chopard.

Jane Fonda even managed to get away with that full on bonkers dress by donning an amazing ceremonial Cartier diamond necklace with a spectacular 15.29-carat oval Mozambique ruby as a centrepiece. The ruby is remarkable for both its size and the purity of its crystal.

Petra Nemcova arrived at the Two Days One Night Premiere wearing stunning Chopard jewels.

What Happened

Hatton Garden raid, the latest

Eight men have been charged with plotting the Hatton Garden jewellery heist, Scotland Yard has said.

Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad charged the men, aged between 48 and 76, with conspiracy to burgle on Wednesday evening. They have been remanded in custody to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

A ninth man who was also arrested has been released on bail pending further enquiries, police said. It comes after nine suspects were detained on Tuesday following police raids on 12 properties in the London and Kent areas.

MJSA Announces Winners of 2015 Vision Awards Competition

MJSA has announced the winners of its 2015 Vision Awards Competition. Created to recognise outstanding achievements in the design, manufacture, and sale of jewellery, this year’s awards go to eight designers in seven categories. Here are the top winners – the use of coloured gemstones and the mingling of yellow and white gold in these pieces really makes them stand out, and will certainly be upheld as design inspiration for other design houses over the next year. For a full list of winners in each category see

Professional Division (4+ Years in Business)

First Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neely Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, California, for his Oceana pendant. The pendant features a 32.86 carat aquamarine (cut by Stephen Avery) and “Spectra” gold that transforms seamlessly through seven shades, from yellow to white.

Second Place: Annie Koenig, Annie K Jewelry, Louisville, Kentucky, for her Diamond Wave earrings, which feature curved strips of 14k yellow and white gold that naturally rotate as they are worn.

Professional Division (1-3 Years in Business)

First Place: Baiyang Qiu, BQ Jewelry, Milpitas, California, for a pair of hand-fabricated earrings featuring 4mm rubies bezel-set in 18k yellow wire constructions.

Kimberley Mines may not have to close

The De Beers Group of Companies today announced its intention to explore the extension of the operating life of mine of its Kimberley Mines Tailings Operation beyond 2018 by placing the mine on the market. The Company has been investigating ways to extend the economic life of its tailings-based mining operation in Kimberley. In the past decade the mine has taken steps to sustain the operation and succeeded in maintaining production in economically challenging times.

Phillip Barton, CEO of De Beers Consolidated Mines, stated: “It is encouraging that our work, to date, in considering all options, has shown that Kimberley Mines may not have to close in the near future. We are liaising with directly affected stakeholders outlining feasible options to extend the potential of the mine and its assets. We are engaging fully with employees, union representatives, and with government at national and other levels; most importantly with the Northern Cape government and the Municipality. The asset has a superb team of managers and operators, and we are keen to offer the mine as a going concern to facilitate a greater degree of job security. The mine is De Beers’ second largest producer in South Africa with production in2014 of 722,000 carats. With an appropriate operator, this asset has potential into the next decade.”

Rejoice! You can now shop by text

Nordstrom leaves no stone unturned when it comes to selling by rolling out a shop by text programme. The company actually established texting with personal shoppers last year, but has now rolled out curbside pickup via text earlier this month. It’s all very simple too, all customers need to do to make purchases via their phone is a simple text to the company sales department simply saying “buy.” Customers are even using this for high ticket items such as luxury jewellery.

The initiative, called TextStyle, relies on Next, a secure, private program that the Nordstrom personal shoppers use to communicate with their clients, so customers who want to opt in on TextStyle have to sign up for a Next texting account. Once that’s out of the way, Nordstrom salespeople and customers can text images of products back and forth. If customers see something they like, they can text “buy” (along with a unique code) to the salesperson and the transaction will be handled with the information in the customer’s account.

“TextStyle is an important step forward in our continued efforts to develop ways to serve customers on their terms,” Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores, said in a statement. “For customers who prefer text messaging, TextStyle is a way for our salespeople to provide a personalized styling experience and for customers to view and buy seamlessly with the convenience and simplicity of a text message, wherever and whenever they like.”

Are we going to see $1,000-Per-Ounce Platinum?

According to a new survey from Thomson Reuters on Platinum and Palladium, the price of platinum is currently experiencing a bearish trend and could test the $1,000-per-ounce benchmark this year. However the price has actually stayed above the $1,000 level since February 2009. “We would not be surprised if platinum tested $1,000 this year,” said the survey, noting that “from a technical perspective it is currently in a short-term bearish trend that is projected to end at $1,000.” It notes supply will likely ramp up, projecting a 22 percent jump in South Africa’s mine production and 10 percent rise in auto catalyst scrap. The survey estimated that platinum-jewellery fabrication slipped 3 percent in 2014, due to the weakness in once-booming markets such as China. However, platinum-jewellery demand logged a 3 percent gain in North America last year, due to the strengthening economy and better-priced items.
The report then projected the overall jewellery demand to rise 4 percent. Which is a little confusing as according to the Platinum Guild’s International retail barometer released in April platinum jewellery sales in the U.S rose by 8 percent already, and the year before in 2013 the same report said platinum jewellery sales were up by 11%!

Gold Demand Trends Q1 2015

According to the latest WGC report, looking at first quarter gold trends, world gold demand fell 1% in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2014. The report said that total demand at the start of the year fell to 1,079 tonnes, down from 1,089 tonnes recorded in the previous year. Such a stark contrast from a few years ago perhaps demonstrates that the gold market is finding some stability.

Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research with the WGC said, “This contrast between the global picture and the more granular demand data clearly demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of the gold market. The numerous and varying roles that gold plays means it responds to different cues in different ways,” Looking at regional demand, India saw a considerable shift in gold consumption as demand increased 15% compared to the first quarter of 2014. The increase in Indian demand came after the government removed import restrictions at the end of the year, and also sue to the economic growth the region is experiencing.

While there was renewed interest in the yellow metal in India, another important region, China, saw a 7% decline. However, Artigas added that the decline should be taken into perspective as demand was strong in China at the start of 2014, is skewing the year-over-year comparison. “If you look at the five-year trend, Chinese demand is still very positive,” he said. Artigas also added that gold investment in China has also had to complete with increased investment flows into a red-hot equity market.

Another bright spot for the gold market is the jewellery sector, especially in the U.S., which saw growth of around 4%. The WGC said that U.S. jewellery demand rose year-over-year for the third consecutive increase. The report also noted that jewellery demand in the United Kingdom also saw a 4% increase in the first quarter.

Date for the Diary

JCK Las Vegas Show May 29 – June 1, 2015 | Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino | Las Vegas, NV

The industry is about to converge on Sin City, so the question is, are you ready for Vegas?

JCK Las Vegas is billed as the leading jewellery event in North America. It’s open to all jewellery professionals, from sellers to buyers, to designers and educators, everybody it seems will be there. This year, the industry will gather to see what latest awe-inspiring domestic and international designers have to offer, the latest and future most sought after trends will be showcased, all in a safe and secure environment. It’s not simply a viewing show. This industry event combines a plethora of networking events and complimentary education sessions with the industry’s broadest selection of finished jewellery, gems, and timepieces.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Another Record Setting Auction

Welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday newsletter. This was the week that we witnessed the record breaking Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale. At the end Sotheby’s stated that “The market for coloured diamonds and precious gemstones has never been stronger, and pink diamonds rank among the rarest of all.” The demand for coloured diamonds is certainly showing no signs of slowing down, and by the evidence of this latest auction pearls are not far behind. The estimates were smashed, 6 records were broken and the Duchess of Roxburghe jewellery estimates were not only doubled but in some case quadrupled.

The Sotheby’s Results!

Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on Tuesday achieved more than CHF 149.9 million.

Sunrise Ruby Superb and extremely rare ruby and diamond ring, Cartier Set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 25.59 carats, between shield-shaped diamonds weighing 2.47 and 2.70 carats, signed Cartier, numbered, French assay and maker's marks, size 54, case signed Cartier.

It is the highest ever total for a various owner jewellery auction, with 93.5 percent of the 484 lots sold. Records were broken throughout the sale including The “Sunrise Ruby” an exceptional and immeasurably rare 25.59 carat Burmese stone more than doubling the pre-sale estimate and finally selling for CHF 28,250,000, a world record for a Ruby at auction as well as for any jewel by Cartier.

Top of the lot was the aforementioned Sunrise Ruby, which has the rare grading of pigeon’s blood colour. This was hotly contested over by two private collectors bidding by telephone, Sotheby’s auction house said, declining to name the eventual buyer. Sotheby’s international jewellery division chairman David Bennett said it was a “new record price for a ruby” as he brought down the hammer to applause. Mr Bennett later told reporters:

“It becomes the most expensive coloured gemstone that is not a diamond. It completely mesmerised me, in a sense for me it is the stone of my [40 year] career, it’s just a magical stone.”

Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond EarringsEach set with a step-cut sapphire weighing 15.77 and 16.90 carats, within a semi circle of pear- and marquise-shaped diamonds weighing a total of approximately 21.54 carats, signed Cartier, numbered, French assay marks, case stamped Cartier

Kashmir Sapphire BroochMagnificent sapphire and diamond brooch, Cartier Set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 30.23 carats, amongst pear- and marquise-shaped diamonds weighing a total of approximately 42.35 carats, signed Cartier, numbered, French assay and partial maker's marks, case stamped Cartier.

Also from the same private collection a further three amazing modern pieces by Cartier achieved outstanding results with a 30.23 carat sapphire from Kashmir achieving CHF 5,738,000, a new record price for a Kashmir sapphire jewel and a pair of elegant sapphire and diamond earrings, made with two exceptional Burmese Mogok sapphires, which achieved CHF 3,190,000, a new record for a pair of Burmese sapphire earrings.

But it wasn’t just Cartier that made the records break. A historic pink diamond, originally slated as the auctions top lot, fetched 14.8 million Swiss francs ($15.94 million). As the story goes the 8.72 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond may have been owned by Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon I. “The exquisite 8.72 carat stone only recently resurfaced, having been kept in a bank vault since the 1940s,” Sotheby’s said. Neither the seller nor the buyer, a man bidding in the centre of the room, were identified.

Record Breaking Pearls

A rare natural pearl necklace, composed of two graduated rows strung with a total of 78 pearls, soared to 6.5 million Swiss francs ($8.6 million). It was nearly double the previous world record.

Another auction highlight was the collection of 17 items of jewellery, including no less than 5 tiaras, from the estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, whose godmother and name sake was the infamous jewel loving Queen Mary. The Duchess of Roxburghe was the last Downton era Duchess and her very romantic and stunning collection of jewels lifted a curtain to the past, the fashionable dinners, the coming out balls and court appearances to which all these jewels were worn spring to mind.

The Highlights Included…

Ruby and diamond bracelet

Composed of a rosette between tapered foliate shoulders, set throughout with cushion-shaped rubies and diamonds, length approximately 190mm, a few diamonds deficient, centre detachable and may be worn as a brooch or pendant together with a detachable brooch fitting, the reverse of the central motif inscribed “in memoriam, my beloved grandmother Sara Cohen, died 12th Feb. y 1879″. Estimated at 59,000 — 79,000 CHF LOT SOLD. 274,000 CHF

Diamond tiara/necklace, last quarter of the 19th century

Composed of fleurs de lys and confronting scroll motifs, swing-set with a graduated row of twenty pear-shaped diamonds, on a band composed of lozenge and trefoil motifs, set throughout with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, several small stones deficient, length of necklace approximately 485mm, inner circumference of tiara frame approximately 430mm, the tiara detaches to form a necklace and a bandeau, the bandeau detachable into two sections of approximately 310mm and 145mm. Estimated at 295,000 — 495,000 CHF LOT SOLD. 790,000 CHF

Natural pearl and diamond double clip brooch, Cartier, circa 1935

Composed of a pair of shield-shaped plaques of geometric design, set with circular, single-cut and baguette diamonds, framing a central detachable motif accented with three brownish grey natural pearls, one button shaped, and two round to roundish, measuring approximately 10.05 x 10.10 x 9.90mm, 9.60 x 9.80mm and 9.65 x 10.25mm, and baguette diamonds. Estimated 49,000 — 69,000 CHF LOT SOLD. 334,000 CHF

Also in the News

Mystery Diamond Colour Treatment

Approximately 500 colourless to near-colourless diamonds submitted primarily to GIA’s grading laboratory in Ramat Gan, Israel, were potentially subjected to an undisclosed temporary treatment.

The GIA believes that the treatment temporarily masks the body colour of the diamond, resulting in a colour grade that can be up to three grades higher than its actual grade.

The GIA became concerned when a client sent one stone back, and it had reverted to its true colour.
Spokesman for the GIA Stephen Morisseau said “We reasonably believe these stones were treated in some way. We don’t know what the treatment is. We are actively researching it.” The Institute has terminated client agreements with the companies that submitted the diamonds in question and has notified appropriate trade bodies. The report numbers of the potentially treated stones are posted on GIA’s website.
The WFDB were very quick to post their response to this stating “This is clearly unlawful behaviour. We will have no tolerance whatsoever for this type of alleged illegal activity. It is crucial that this kind of unlawful action is stamped out. We are pleased that the GIA has publicised this development so that diamantaires can be on their guard, and that the IDE is moving firmly in order to deal with this issue with the utmost seriousness. Our industry must come together to counter such activity, both for the good of our members and for the end-consumer who is always uppermost in our minds,”

GIA Notifies Trade of Potential Undisclosed Diamond Treatment

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The week that Beyonce wore THAT dress at the Met Gala

Hello and welcome to this week’s issue of Thank it’s Friday newsletter. If you have customers in America, now is the time to tout your wares as it’s Mother’s Day next Sunday over there, and a 1/3 of presents are predicted to be jewellery! Lots happened this week, the biggest event being the Met Gala. This year the glitterati hit the red carpet in tumult of coloured gemstones of every shape and size – blue sapphire was the most popular but every colour from opal to brown diamond was used to great effect in the most exquisite pieces of jewellery. A woman from Arkansas said a prayer asking for a diamond – and she received one! And the Russians found a yellowish 76.07 carat diamond in the Alrosa mine.


What Caught my Eye


The stand out moment for me this week was my latest visit to Harrods fine jewellery department – a place that never fails to capture my imagination. This time while I was meandering through the fabulous jewellery collections, I came across the animal collection at Boucheron. The meticulous creativity and the vibrancy that has been created within every piece within this animal collection is simply arresting, and surely cannot help but bring a smile to anyone’s lips. As for me, this collection literally stopped me in my tracks. Tourmaline, black, blue and yellow sapphires, emeralds, brown and yellow diamonds, pink quartz and amethysts are just a few of the coloured gemstones that have been used to colour and beautifully depict this wearable menagerie. My favourites are:


Ring set with pavé round tsavorites, blue, pink and yellow sapphires and two rubies, in blackened white gold.

Ring set with brown and yellow diamonds, a sapphire and two emeralds in white gold.


Ring set with pavé amethysts, cabochon amethysts, sapphires and diamonds, in white gold

Collection A Collection of Animals

Date for the Diary

The Antiquorum Auction 10 May – Geneva, Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Antiquorum Auctioneers holds approximately 10 watch auctions a year in Geneva, New York and Hong Kong, in addition to thematic sales and charity auctions.

The highlights of the auction are;

Vaucheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Skeleton is a limited edition made in 18-karat pink gold in 2006. Estimate $214,000.

Paul Newman’s Rolex, originally sold by Tiffany & Co. Made in 1969, the stainless steel wristwatch features round button chronograph, registers and a tachometer. Only two other examples of this timepiece have surfaced on the market in the past 15 years, adding to its rarity. Estimate $321,000.

This ultra-complicated Louis Audemars for Leroy watch features 11 complications and in 1920 was presented by King Alphonse XIII of Spain to Vincente Santamaria De Paredes, a Spanish lawyer and politician, as a reward for his services. Offered for the first time at auction, the two-time zone 18-karat yellow gold pocket watch estimate of about $267,500.

What Happened

The Met Gala Ball

Sapphires where the stone of choice it seems for this year’s Met Gala. From drop earrings, to statement dragonfly rings to sapphire chokers. Picture the scene – red carpet – check, scantily clad celebs – check, and many many sparkling jewels – check check!

Emily Blunt looked classic as usual with diamond and sapphire Anna Hu earrings paired perfectly with her custom blue and grey Prada gown and cape.

Alicia Keys wore blue sapphire drop earrings, but what really made me blue with envy was her fabulous sapphire encrusted dragonfly ring.

Chloe Sevigny – the indie start was another stand out jewellery report with her gorgeous black Cartier choker with a large sapphire in the centre surrounded by white diamonds.

One of the few who wasn’t sporting a sapphire but every other colour rhinestone was Queen Bey. Her jewellery is what everybody will remember this year. Beyoncé – as we have now seen her in pretty much all her glory, arrived at the Manhattan show in a stunning Givenchy Haute Couture number from designer Riccardo Tisci. The transparent cloth was dripping in jewels from Lorraine Schwartz. The peek-a-boo dress glittered head to trailing on the floor with pink, yellow, green and clear rhinestones.

Diamond worth $430,000 found in Russia

A diamond weighing 76.07 carats was mined by Russia’s Alrosa, one of the world’s largest producers of diamonds. The big diamond, found in the Russian republic of Yakutia, has been dubbed “70 years since Victory in the Great Patriotic war – referring to the conflict between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany – as a tribute to the anniversary of the defeat of Hitler, which will be celebrated in Moscow on May 9.

The diamond has been described as transparent with a yellowish tinge and has in the form of an octahedron. The crystal has small inclusions of olivine in the peripheral part and a discoid crack filled with graphite-sulfide composition on its surface. And Despite diamonds of this size being extremely rare, this is the fourth big stone found in the Yubileynaya diamond field in the last two years.

Alrosa have not confirmed when the diamond will actually go to auction, but they have estimated its auction value at over $430,000.

Alrosa accounts for about 25 percent of world diamond production and 95% of all diamonds mined in Russia. It operates in the republic of Yakutia and the Arkhangelsk region.

More Industry Shrinkage?

The latest statistics from the Jewellers Board of Trade are showing that the industry shrinkage recorded in 2014 has continued into the first quarter of this year.

The JBT’s first quarter statistics continue a trend that began in 2014 and one that JBT President Dione Kenyon said they are seeing continue into the second quarter. “The trend is this: The jewellery industry in the U.S. and Canada is shrinking in size, with many discouraged by a still-sluggish economy, the difficulty of doing business today and with many family-owned institutions lacking a new generation waiting in the wings to take over the business.” Overall, the JBT’s total listings for the first quarter totalled 29,678, down nearly 3 percent from the same time last year.

Well-known names that announced their exit from the industry in the first quarter include Fragments, the showroom and retail store Janet Goldman opened in New York City’s SoHo neighbourhood 30 years ago, and Samuel Gordon Jewellers in Oklahoma City, a 111-year-old business.

Americans are dropping the big bucks for Mother’s Day this year.

For those who have customers over in the US, good news, Mother’s Day is celebrated there on the second Sunday of May and this year’s sales for it are reported to be bigger than ever.

Americans are expected to spend an average of $173 on their mother this year, up $10 from last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2015 Mother’s Day Spending Survey. That’s the highest amount in the survey’s 12-year history. Here’s what’s on the gift-giving list:

Nearly everyone who celebrates (80 percent) buys a card

More than half (67 percent) will buy flowers

A third (34 percent) will splurge on jewellery

Spending on jewellery is expected to hit $4.3 billion, that’s up $700 million from last year and a new high for this survey.

Can a prayer for diamonds actually turn up a gem?

A Woman Finds 3.69 carat White Diamond at Arkansas State Park, and named it ‘Hallelujah Diamond’

According to the state part service, Suzie Clark who found the stone prayed to find a diamond, saying “Are you going to bless me and let me find a diamond today?” Soon after, Clark, who is from Evening Shade, Arkansas, saw a 3.69 carat white, teardrop-shaped diamond in the ploughed field. Inspired by her prayer, Clark named it the Hallelujah Diamond. She plans to keep it.

The diamond, which is the largest found at the park so far this year, is about the size of a pinto bean, says park interpreter Waymon Cox. “And it’s the largest one found since April 16, 2014, when a 6.19 carat white diamond, named the Limitless Diamond, was found at the park,” he said, according to a park press release.

It’s the 122nd diamond found at Crater of Diamonds this year. Visitors get to keep what they find at the state park’s 37.5-acre search field, which is named for an ancient eruption that scattered the area with gems. The area, which became a state park in 1972, is the only public site in the world where — for a small fee — anyone can dig for diamonds and keep them.

It’s not clear how much the diamond is worth, and park officials aren’t trained to appraise them, according to the park website. But Oklahoman Tara Clymer sold a 3.85 carat diamond she found at the park last year for $20,000.

Park staff regularly plough the area to bring more diamonds to the surface for visitors to discover.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Fine Jewellery going to Auction

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday fabulous newsletter. Is it really the 1 May already – how has this happened? We seem to be galloping through the year. Much has happened this week, news about the Tag Heur Smartwatch, Christie’s firing back at the Elizabeth Taylor trust and beautiful coloured gemstones fit for royalty coming up in Sotheby’s Geneva 12 May Magnificent Jewels sale – oh and some conflicting evidence on global jewellery spend.

While doing my research this week on jewellery industry news and happenings, I came across this quote, it’s inspiration to anyone who loves and works with coloured gemstones, “A coloured diamond is a touchstone of the universe, a little something God created that man can’t always find…they are the last frontier of collectable.” – R. Winston 1986.


What Caught my Eye

The new Harry Winston Midnight Diamond Second watch collection. All the watches in this collection are beautifully designed and expertly crafted. All are worthy of a closer inspection drool, one would expect nothing less from the house of Harry Winston after all. However this particular watch really caught my eye. Not only is it set in supremely trendy 18k rose gold but it has a sapphire crystal case-back. It has a champagne rose toned dial, sunray satin-brushed finish and a flower motif seconds indicator. And to really get the bling juices flowing , the case is set with 91 diamonds of 0.98ct and the dial itself is set with 9 diamonds of 0.01ct and the hands are set with a further 3 diamonds – and yet even with all the diamonds somehow this watch still remains not too ostentatious!

What Happened

Tag Heur Smartwatch for sell for £905

If you’re looking forward to picking up the first smartwatch from a major Swiss watchmaker, it’s going to cost you. Tag Heuer will start selling its upcoming smartwatch for £905 or $1,400 USD. The price isn’t that outlandish in context — the smartwatch is reportedly based on the Tag Heuer Carrera, which starts around $1,500. While they are keeping their mouths closed on the details, what intel has been released is that, it will run Android Wear, and will be available in October or November.

According to CEO Jean-Claude Biver, the upcoming smartwatch will last 40 hours, which surpasses the Apple Watch and every Android Wear smartwatch on the market. Speaking to Bloomberg, Biver said he’s rooting for Apple to sell a ton of Apple Watches, which he believes will get people interested in Tag Heuer. “The more they sell, the more a few people will want something different and come to Tag Heuer.”

Christie’s Fight Back

Christie’s has fired back at Elizabeth Taylor’s trust, with the auction house claiming it’s owed nearly $8 million from the aborted sale of one of the late actress’ diamond necklaces.

The trouble began when a buyer backed out of an $8.8 million deal to purchase Taylor’s Taj Mahal necklace (gifted to her by Richard Burton) at a 2011 auction. But the auction house pre-paid the trust ahead of receiving money from the buyer, who cancelled the sale.

Now Christie’s wants its money back. Taylor’s trust claims in a lawsuit that Christie’s is withholding millions of dollars from other auctioned items until the company receives the money from the Taj Mahal necklace. Collectively, the late Hollywood legend’s items sold for $183.5 million during its auction.

When asked about the lawsuit, Christie’s said “Christie’s was pleased to create a landmark auction event on behalf of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust that produced over $183.5 million in proceeds for the beneficiaries of the trust — the friends and family of Elizabeth Taylor. This suit stems from Christie’s seeking the return of a small portion of these proceeds due to the cancellation of a single item from that sale, and Christie’s looks forward to a speedy resolution of this matter.”

The case may hinge on whether Christie’s faced any liability for the aborted sale. The trust argues that the auction’s upper case heading merely calls the piece “Indian” and did not mention any Moghul origins. It says that Christie’s warranty stipulates that “only upper case type indicates what is being warranted by Christie’s. Christie’s warranty does not apply to the supplemental material, which appears below the upper case type headings of each lot, and Christie’s is not responsible for errors or omissions in such material.”

Conflicting Reports on Jewellery Spend

The latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department is in and it shows continued softness in jewellery sales in the U.S. market. However, Mastercard Data released recently shows the sales figures being up 25 months in a row – who to believe?

According to the U.S Commerce Department sales in February totalled $6.3 billion, which is down 0.2 percent when compared with February 2014. This marks the fifth consecutive month of “weak” demand in the world’s largest market for jewellery, industry analyst Ken Gassman said in his latest sales update. Furthermore they go on the say that for specialty jewellers, the decline has been more marked. Sales fell 4 percent in October, 6 percent in November, 4 percent in December, 6 percent in January and 5 percent in February.

However, Mastercard paints a much rosier picture. In its analysis of credit card data it has found jewellery spending has increased each month for 25 consecutive months.

The data was presented at the Global Retailing Conference in Tucson, Ariz., on 23 April, The Washington Post reports. The average fine jewellery purchase price is $2,400, according to the data.

Who to believe? Different opinions can be deemed from any set of results, in this case while both Mastercard and US Commerce both present compelling arguments they are looking at different data keys. However, I’m inclined to believe the data on the jewellery industry that has actually been analysed by those within the diamond industry. DeBeers released their own report a few weeks ago, which we reported on here 2 weeks ago. Their group analysis showed that the global demand for diamond jewellery grew by three per cent in 2014, rising to a new $81 billion high. The data also showed that there was positive growth in consumer demand for diamond jewellery in local currency terms in 2014 across all the top five diamond markets, which between them account for about 75 per cent of global demand.

Global Diamond Jewellery Demand Up 3% in 2014 tO New $81BN High

Date for the Diary

Sotheby’s Geneva May 12, 2015 Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale

Historic Pink Diamond Leads Sotheby’s Geneva 12 May Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale.

Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale coming up on 12 May promises to be an exciting and memorable event, especially for coloured gemstones and pearls, going by the impressive array of jewels and jewellery lined up for the auction. May’s auction is being led by its top lot – a historic and exceptional 8.72-carat, cushion brilliant-cut, VS2-clarity, fancy vivid pink diamond mounted on a ring (Lot 460). Believed to have been in the collection of jewels owned by Princes Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon I, relative of King George III and the Tsar of Russia. Other jewels with noble provenance include several pieces from the collection of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe (lots 481-497), including three impressive tiaras.

The auction also features a private collection of four superb jewels by Cartier, including the 25.59-carat “Sunrise Ruby” ring and the 30.23-carat Kashmir sapphire brooch. Apart from historic and antique jewels, the auction also features an array of contemporary jewels incorporating rare coloured and colourless diamonds, rare coloured gemstones, natural pearls as well as signed jewels from reputed designers and jewellery houses such as Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari, Schlumberger and Belperron.

The Historic Pink, Magnificent Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond Ring is set with an 8.72-carat, cushion brilliant-cut, fancy vivid pink diamond as centrepiece, flanked by two cushion brilliant-cut, colourless diamonds, weighing 1.09 and 1.12 carats. Estimate $18 million.

The next highlight of the sale is Cartier’s “Sunrise Ruby” ring. One of the four superb jewels by Cartier from a private collection, the property of a Lady. The lot titled “The Sunrise Ruby, a Superb and Extremely Rare Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Cartier” incorporating a 25.59-carat, cushion-cut pigeon blood red Burma ruby as its centrepiece – the rarest hue for a ruby – flanked by shield-shaped colourless diamonds weighing 2.47 and 2.70 carats. It also has an expected estimate of $18 million.

Magnificent Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, by Cartier – is another jewel from the collection of four superb jewels by Cartier, the property of a Lady. The centrepiece of this crescent-shaped brooch is a 30.23-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire, highlighted by pear and marquise-cut diamonds forming the crescent. The total weight of the diamonds is 42.35 carats. Two lab reports by SSEF and GGL certify the Kashmir origin of the sapphire with no indications of heat enhancement. Twelve GIA reports certify the colour and clarity of the diamonds, which are mostly D-colour and internally flawless. Estimate $6 million.

Apart from the Historic Pink Diamond other coloured diamond highlights of the sale include lots 425 and 480. Lot 425 is an “Impressive Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring” with a pre-sale estimate of US$1.6-2.2 million. The centrepiece of this ring is a cushion-cut, VS2-clarity, fancy yellow diamond weighing 53.17 carats, flanked by two triangular diamonds on the shoulders. A GIA report certifies that the diamond is fancy yellow, natural colour and VS2-clarity.

“Very Fine Sapphire and Diamond Ring” is set with a 10.96-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire as centrepiece, flanked by two half-moon shaped diamonds on its shoulders. Two lab reports by SSEF and GGL certify that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating. Estimate $1.6 million.

Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace, by Cartier. The necklace from a European Private Collection is composed of two graduated strands of natural pearls varying in diameter from 7.45 mm – 13.95 mm. The clasp of the necklace is set with a central marquise-cut diamond weighing 4.39 carats, surrounded by a row of round brilliant-cut diamonds. Estimate $5 million.

Impressive fancy yellow diamond ring

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Flawless 100ct Diamond Sells for over $22 million

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday fabulous newsletter. It’s been a big week for diamonds, finding them, selling them – mostly large ones and not all white. The fabulous Maitres Du Temps new watch range has very much caught my eye this week, not only because of its stunning design but because it’s an entirely new horological concept. We also have news on coloured gemstones and why we need more on them in our lives! So while away in the sunshine for a few minutes and enjoy this week’s issue of Thank it’s Friday Newsletter

What caught my eye this week…

Maitres Du Temps have unveiled their new watch range – Chapter Three…wow

Maitres du Temps is a story of unparalleled innovation in the art of watchmaking.

In case this watch company is new to you, Maitres du Temps was founded in 2005. It’s not so much a new watch company but an entirely new horological concept. Maitres Du Temps pride themselves on bringing groups of master watchmakers together to develop beautiful and exclusive timepieces.

Their new collection, Mystery, Suspense, Surprise-terms more often associated with Alfred Hitchcock movies than haute horlogerie-until now. Until the beguiling Chapter Three Reveal by Maîtres du Temps.

Described as the perfect watch for the well-heeled globetrotter it features the following: time, date, moon phase, a second time zone, and a day/night indicator-to avoid calling home at 3am instead of 3pm. However, while all these indications are useful when traveling, they are not all necessary all the time, and an uncluttered dial is a more refined dial.

Independent Master Watchmakers Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler have created a stunning timepiece that displays hours, minutes, seconds, date, and phase of the moon, all set on a sumptuous guilloche dial in an elegant round case. But that’s not all, and this is where Mystery, Suspense, and Surprise come in: Voutilainen and Strehler have also kept a couple of intimate secrets in reserve, to be revealed, and perhaps even shared, only at the owner’s pleasure. A pusher set into the crown lowers two secret panels in the dial to reveal two more hitherto concealed indications: a second time zone indicator (also known as a GMT) and a day/night indicator, both displayed on Maîtres du Temps’ signature rollers. Elegant sophistication has never looked so good.

Solid 18K gold hands and large Roman numeral hour indices are exquisitely and legibly juxtaposed against the majestic dial, which is finely engraved with a radiating sunray pattern.

What Happened

Flawless 100-carat diamond sells for over $22 million

A “perfect” 100-carat diamond in a classic emerald cut sold for just over $22 million at auction on Tuesday.

The internally flawless D colour stone is the only classic emerald-cut white diamond of the highest colour and clarity and over 100 carats to come to auction, according to Sotheby’s. The final price on Tuesday night was $22,090,000, including the buyer’s premium. The presale estimate had been between $19 million and $25 million. The diamond was mined in southern Africa within the last 10 years and weighed over 200 carats before it was cut and polished, the auction house said.

Only five “perfect” diamonds over 100 carats have sold at auction in the last 25 years, with a 118-carat oval-cut stone fetching $30.6 million at Sotheby’s in 2013. It set a record for a white diamond. The record for any jewel is $46 million for a 24.78-carat emerald-cut pink diamond, set at Sotheby’s in 2010.

The seller wished to remain anonymous. The buyer was also anonymous, and the winning bid came in over the phone.

Lucara Diamond unearths 342-carat rock at its mine in Botswana

Canada’s Lucara Diamond mine has added to the excitement of huge gems being found this month by announcing it has unearthed a 341.90ct gem quality diamond from its Karowe mine in Botswana. The “exceptional colour and clarity” stone, said the Vancouver-based firm, was recovered while processing fragmental kimberlite from the central and south lobe interface of the mine, located in the central district of the southern African country. According to Lucara, this Type IIa diamond will be sold along with two other greater than 100 carat diamonds, also recovered at Karowe.

The miner also said that timing of the sale of these diamonds is still to be determined.

Last year, the company sold a 203-carat diamond for $8.2 million; three weeks after Gem Diamonds sold a 198-carat stone from its Lesotho mine for $10.6 million. A bit earlier, a 123-carat gem from South Africa got Petra Diamonds $27.6 million.

In addition to the Karowe mine, the Africa-focused diamond miner holds 75% of the Mothae project in Lesotho.

De Beers Cuts Diamond Production Goal for 2015 as Demand Weakens

De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer, cut its output target for the year as demand for the gems weakens and prices fell for a second quarter.

De Beers, a unit of Anglo American Plc, said that “in light of current trading conditions” it would produce 30 million to 32 million carats this year compared with an earlier target of as much as 34 million carats. “The lower guidance may be indicative of Anglo deferring sales this quarter due to weaker rough prices,” said Paul Gait, a mining analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. in London.

Rough diamond prices fell 1.2 percent in the first quarter, according to data from UK based WWW International Diamond Consultants, after a 6.9 percent drop in the last three months of 2014, the biggest quarterly decline in more than two years as the industry was hit by a credit squeeze. The lending drought followed a decision by KBC Groep NV to wind down its Antwerp Diamond Bank unit, a source of finance for 80 years to the network of companies that trade and process the stones in the Belgian port city. ABN Amro Bank NV and Standard Chartered Plc also curbed funding for gem buying after double-digit price gains for diamonds in four of the past six years.

De Beers failed to sell 30 percent of the diamonds it offered at its March sale, known as a sight, according to trade publication Rapaport.

Gemfields hails ‘overwhelming’ response to latest ruby auction

Virtually all of the rubies on offer at Gemfields’ latest auction in Jaipur were snapped up, generating US $16.1m in revenue. The third auction of rubies from Gemfields’ 75%-owned at Montepuez in Mozambique was predominantly of lower quality material. The company said that 3.99 of the 4.03 million of carats on offer were bought at an average value of US $4.03 a carat.

To put that into context, in its end-March quarterly production update, total ruby and corundum extracted from the Montepuez since the commencement of bulk sampling worked out at a unit cost of around US $1.90 per carat.

The Jaipur auction was also used to offer traded rough emeralds from Zambia and Brazil sourced by Gemfields on the open market, as opposed to those extracted from its own mines. This material generated US $1.6 million of gross revenues over and above the auction revenues from ruby and corundum. Gemfields’ 21 auctions of rough gems produced at Kagem and Montepuez have now generated US$418 million in total revenues. The next Gemfields auction will be of predominantly higher quality ruby and corundum from Montepuez and is presently expected to take place before 30 June 2015.

“This week’s Jaipur auction has witnessed the next step in the evolution of the Montepuez ruby deposit’s deep-seated and positive impact on the global ruby market,” said Ian Harebottle, the chief executive officer of Gemfields. “Customer response in the Jaipur market, where this was the first ever offering of such a considerable volume of non-domestic rough ruby, has been overwhelming, as can be seen in the excellent auction results,” he added. “We again extend our gratitude to Mwiriti, our 25% partners in the Montepuez deposit, and to the Mozambican government, with whom we continue to work to address the illegal ingress across Mozambique’s borders of foreign citizens seeking to profit from the Montepuez deposit,” Harebottle said.

Borsheims Celebrates Berkshire Hathaway’s 50th Anniversary with 50 carat Fancy Yellow Diamond

The ring features a 50.02 carat natural fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond from Rahaminov Diamonds. The retail price for the ring is $2.3 million, but Berkshire Hathaway shareholders can get the ring for $1,725,000. Berkshire Hathaway was actually founded in 1839 as a textile company in Rhode Island, but Buffett Partnership Ltd., owned by Warren Buffett, bought and took control of the company in 1965. It is that anniversary that Borsheims is celebrating with the diamond.

The company’s annual shareholder meeting takes place May 2 in Omaha, Neb., and shareholders are invited to visit (and buy) the ring at the Borsheims flagship store in Omaha. Buffett has historically takes a turn behind the counter at the jewelry store during the shareholder weekend, but he announced in March that he will no longer sell jewels during the event.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Power of Pink

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of the Thank it’s Friday newsletter. We have news from Christie’s latest Magnificent Jewel auction, the Hatton Garden Heist and pink diamonds appearing on gold coins!


What caught my eye this week…

In next week’s Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale there is the most stunning brooch, made by Oscar Heyman for Marcus & Co. Designed as an orchid, the central petal decorated with calibré-cut rubies, accented by round diamonds of yellow hue weighing approximately 2.25 carats, the outer petals set with round diamonds weighing approximately 16.00 carats. It is estimated at US $45,000-65,000.

Oscar Heyman is a family run company of the last 3 generations. The founding brothers, having trained in Fabergé, left Eastern Europe for New York in 1906. And now over 100 years later Oscar Heyman are still creating exquisite and finely crafted jewellery, which is a perfect mix of modern and classic design, each piece can be worn for a lifetime. Not only do they use diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, they also create pieces using esoteric gemstones with equally glamorous appeal, including alexandrite, chrysoberyl, opals, aquamarines, star rubies and star sapphires. Their 2014 catalogue is enough to make even the most stoic of hearts flutter with excitement.

2014 Oscar Heyman Catalogue

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Sale, the top lots!

As always colour was very, very popular. All told, Christie’s 14th April sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York totalled $41.9 million, and was 77 % sold both by lot and by value.

The Power of Pink

An extraordinary 34.65ct Fancy Intense Pink diamond set a new record high, selling for $39,323,750 (£25,560,438 / €29,886,050) with premium, or $1,135,000 per carat. The diamond – a cushion-cut sparkler that originated from the ancient Golconda mines in South Central India — was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone.

The sale price represents a new record for any jewel sold at Christie’s, surpassing the previous house record of $24.3 million set in December 2008 with the sale of the Wittelsbach Diamond.

A Special String of Pearls

A four-strand natural coloured pearl necklace set a world auction record when it sold for just over $5 million USD.

Boasting pearls measuring in size from 4.90mm to 12.65mm, with over 289 coloured pearls with highly attractive rosé, green or purple overtones and very fine orient. The necklace was purchased by a private buyer from Asia and is now the most expensive natural coloured pearl necklace ever bought at auction.

Graff Diamonds had two of its pieces sell among the top 10 lots. A pear-shaped D-colour potentially internally flawless diamond pendant of 25.49 carats was the third highest lot of the sale, reaching more than $3.4 million, $134,000 per carat; and a cushion-cut D-colour potentially internally flawless diamond of 11.03 carats sold for more than $1.3 million, $120,000 per carat.

JAR’s pair of emerald, diamond and coloured diamond ear clips sold for $845,000, smashing its $350,000 estimate. It was the ninth highest selling lot of the auction. One designed as a pavé-set emerald and black diamond shield, centering upon a cushion-cut diamond, weighing approximately 8.50 carats, the other as a pavé-set diamond and black diamond shield, centering upon a cushion-cut emerald, weighing approximately 11.24 carats, mounted in silver and 18k gold, 1994, with French assay marks and maker’s marks, in a JAR pink leather case, accompanied by a Special Edition JAR book made for lenders to The Jewels of JAR, Paris exhibition, Somerset House, London, 2002-2003 Signed JAR, Paris

Property of a Lady

Set with a cut-cornered rectangular-cut fancy intense purplish pink diamond, weighing approximately 5.29 carats, flanked on either side by a half moon-cut diamond, mounted in platinum set into a ring sold for $5.8 million, or just more than $1 million per carat, making it the top lot of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale. It was purchased by a member of the U.S. trade, the auction house said.

New York Magnificent Jewels and the Princie Diamond

What Happened

Argyle Pink Diamond adorns Kimberley Sunset gold coin

Pink diamonds are the epitome of luxury and elegance. They are the rarest, and arguably the most special out of all the coloured diamond diamonds. So it is unsurprising that pink diamonds are amongst the most sought after coloured gem. Because of their arresting quality they are the perfect choice when creating luxurious jewellery. Not only are they very much sought after by consumers; they make an undeniably stunning impact no matter what the size or cut, thus making the pink diamond the perfect choice when creating the most exquisite jewellery.

Pink diamonds have been found in Brazil, India and Russia, however 90% of them are found in just one mine in Australia, the Argyle mine. The popularity of pink diamonds has continued to grow over the years especially with the increase in celebrity endorsement. However, the rarity and popularity means that they demand a premium. To give you an idea of how much you could expect to pay, an Argyle Pink diamond can cost an average of 20 times more than an equivalent sized white diamond.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the limited edition Perth Mint coins that are being released are in exceedingly high demand. Struck by The Perth Mint from 22-carat (91.67%) pink gold in proof quality, the coin contains 2oz of pure gold and an Argyle pink diamond of between 0.035 and 0.040 carats. The coin is struck on concave surfaces to ensure the optimum flow of the 220-carat pink gold. One side depicts a boab tree – a tree synonymous with the world renowned landscape of the Kimberley in Western Australia and embellished with a magnificent Pink Diamond from the region. The coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the monetary denomination.

The Perth Mint will issue no more than 440 of the Kimberley Sunset 2015 2oz Pink Gold Proof High Relief Coin in this packaging, from a maximum mintage of 500.

It is priced at AUS $8,072.73.

Hatton Garden jewel heist, the plot thickens

It has become increasing clear over the past few days that there was a high level of sophisticated planning in this jewellery heist. The seven-storey building is home to many businesses, and breaking into the target area of the vault will have taken at least a day.

One of the last big robberies to attract news coverage on a similar scale was the £53m Securitas raid in Kent in 2006. In that case, arrests followed fairly quickly.

In the Hatton Garden raid, it is still far from clear who might have done it – speculation ranges from an Eastern European gang to east London thieves.

Also unclear is exactly what was stolen and how the thieves concealed their actions in such a busy urban area. The other topic of intense speculation is what they might have done with the stolen gems – are they still in the UK or already en route elsewhere?

The latest from the police investigating the deposit box theft is that they have ruled out a link with the theft of drills from a building nearby. Two Hilti drills were reported stolen from a building site on Fetter Lane, in the City of London. Scotland Yard said they were not the tools recovered from the crime scene. Police said they were still in the process of identifying and contacting the owners of 56 boxes that were broken into during the heist and could not yet put a value on the amount stolen. A review is ongoing into why police did not respond when an intruder alarm went off at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company on Good Friday.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Week of the Hatton Garden Jewellery Heist

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday newsletter. I hope you all had a fantastic Easter Break. We kick off this week’s newsletter with news of possibly one of the biggest, most brazen jewellery heists ever, which may have lasted the full bank holiday break!


Hatton Garden Jewel Heist

As many as 70 deposit boxes were opened during a raid in London’s jewellery quarter. Burglars may have been there for four days opening and sorting through boxes.

Burglars gained entry to Hatton Garden Safe Deposit over the Easter weekend. Scotland Yard was alerted on Tuesday. Hundreds of boxes of dealers’ jewellery and watches were broken into in the raid, in the exclusive part of London, home to the capital’s most prestigious jewellery firms.

According to a source, a rear wall was knocked through over the bank holiday weekend, causing alarms to sound. A security guard checked the building, the source added, but the front doors appeared intact, which may have allowed the thieves to continue unhindered for an extended period of time.

Police said the thieves used specialist cutting equipment to slice through heavy duty material in the raid. Officers said a “slow and painstaking process” of forensically examining the scene was under way.

Gem industry expert James Riley said most businesses storing items would be insured but individuals may not. “If you can’t afford your jewellery insurance you put it in a safety deposit box which is going to cost you between £300 to £400 a year and you know it is the most secure place you can put it as your insurance company would be very happy with you putting it there,” he said. The amount of money and the goods that are taken is never fully revealed… and there’s a good chance that not everybody would declare.

Ex-Flying Squad chief Roy Ramm has said he “would not be surprised” if the jewellery stolen during the raid was worth as much as £200m.

Norman Bean, who had a diamond ring and bracelets stored at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit, said he was told the burglars accessed the vault via a lift shaft.

“They went down the lift shaft, made a big hole in the wall, got into the safe deposit and I think they drilled into the boxes. They could have been there all weekend, who knows? It’s a disgrace, it’s like something out of a film,” added Mr Bean.

Could this be another Pink Panther jewellery heist? This group of unknowns have been put at the top of the suspect list for the 7 million raid in France last month. As always where the Pink Panthers have a suspected involvement the robbery has been perfectly executed, it’s a possible inside job and the robbers make a very clean getaway.

De Beers aims for 4,000 retail stores by 2020

Forevermark CEO Lussier says the plan marks a shift in strategy to investing more in promoting the firm’s own brands.

De Beers SA, the world’s biggest producer of rough diamonds, plans to more than double the size of its retail network under the Forevermark brand name to 4,000 stores by 2020 from about 1,600 now, according to Forevermark chief executive Stephen Lussier.

The plan by De Beers, with sales of $6.7 billion in 2014, to expand its retail chain marks a shift in strategy to investing more in promoting and building its own brands, Lussier said. “We want to create strong diamond brands that can compete with themselves. Since 2004-2005, this basic strategy had been aligned to promote our own brand, but it is being implemented recently,” he added. The plan comes at a time De Beers is changing the way it sells most of its diamonds.

The centre’s primary purpose is to select and inscribe Forevermark diamonds with a unique serial number that symbolizes Forevermark’s promise of quality. It has a capacity to process $500 million worth of diamonds annually.

De Beers may also open a rough diamond auction-cum-sales office in Mumbai once India puts in place enabling guidelines for duty-free zones, according to Philippe Mellier, CEO, De Beers Group, who gave no details.

Counterfeit watches and jewellery are the new counterfeit handbags

The watch and jewellery category achieved a dubious distinction in 2014—it topped the list of most-seized counterfeit items by value, unseating long time champ handbags and wallets.

Every year, the U.S Customs and Border Protection process about 24 million commercial cargo shipments arriving via sea and land and another 250 million international and express mail parcels. In all those arrivals they have to filter out the knockoffs from the genuine articles. Inevitably some get through, but plenty don’t. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized $375 million worth of fake watches and jewellery in 2014, representing nearly one-third of the overall $1.2 billion in phony goods seized by the CBP. Values are calculated based on manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. The origin of these products has not changed—some 63 percent of counterfeits by retail price came from China, followed by nearby Hong Kong, with 25 percent. Canada came in a surprising third with 1 percent; the country didn’t even rank in 2013.

When judged by number of seizures, apparel and accessories came in first, and watches and jewellery ranked sixth.

The value of seized watches and jewellery actually fell last year, compared to the $502 million seized in 2013, when the category represented 29 percent of the overall total. (Handbag and wallet seizures bested it that year, totalling $700 million.) The numbers reflect a 30 percent drop in the overall value of CBP seizures in 2014. Even so, this was the CBP’s third busiest year for seizures since 2005.

Running out of minable gold

According to Goldman Sachs, the world has about 20 years’ worth each of known minable reserves of gold GCJ5, -0.63% diamonds and zinc. Platinum PLJ5, +0.19%copper HGK5, +0.37% and nickel reserves only have about 40 years or less left.

“The combination of very low concentrations of metals in the Earth’s crust, and very few high-quality deposits, means some things are truly scarce,” Eugene King, European metals and mining analyst at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a recent research note.

“Gold has been used as a measure of wealth for more than 4,000 years, as the ancient Egyptians soon worked out that gold was not only shiny and heavy, but rare,” he said.

All told, their “relatively scarcity and the market’s belief that new discoveries will be limited, is what drives the price of these super-rare commodities,” King said.

Making gold rarer still, production of gold may also hit a peak this year.

“Peak gold is not a new concept at all,” said Peter Grant, an analyst at precious-metals dealer USAGOLD. “Mining output has been fairly flat for years, but new discoveries of gold have been falling rapidly.”

Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale 21st April

More news from the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewel sale. Overall, Sotheby’s April 21 sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York is estimated to achieve in excess of $50 million. The 350-lot sale includes coloured diamonds, Art Deco jewels, Kashmir sapphires and pieces with provenance.

Leading the show – 100.20ct perfect diamond

Sotheby’s has unveiled a diamond unlike any offered before. The ultimate object of natural beauty. Exceedingly rare, this 100.20ct perfect diamond is as much a masterpiece of human skill and artistry as it is a miracle of nature – this spectacular gem has everything one could ever want in a diamond. The current owner of the 100ct emerald-cut diamond spent an entire year studying, cutting and polishing the rough to create the “perfect” stone. The estimate is US $25 million.

18 Karat Gold, Citrine, Diamond and Sapphire Necklace and Earclips

The necklace set with 19 oval-shaped citrines weighing approximately 60.00 carats, accented by round and baguette diamonds weighing approximately 42.00 carats, further set with cabochon sapphires, length 16 inches; together with earclips of similar design, set with oval-shaped citrines weighing approximately 6.50 carats, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 5.00 carats, further set with cabochon sapphires; total gross weight approximately 99 dwts. Estimate US $30,000-50,000.

Platinum, 18 Karat Gold, Ruby, Diamond and Coloured Diamond Orchid Brooch, Marcus & Co.

Designed as an orchid, the central petal decorated with calibré-cut rubies, accented by round diamonds of yellow hue weighing approximately 2.25 carats, the outer petals set with round diamonds weighing approximately 16.00 carats, signed Marcus & Co.; circa 1940. Estimate US $45,000-65,000.

Platinum, Padparadscha Sapphire and Diamond Ring, Cartier

Centering a square-cut padparadscha sapphire weighing approximately 13.10 carats, accented by single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 0.25 carat, size 5¾, signed Cartier. Estimate US $125,000-150,000.

What caught my eye this week

The Sale of Hollywood History

This story caught my eye this week, as it was full of the most exquisite and elegant pieces of jewellery, and all owned by one of Hollywood’s most loved legends

With her sultry voice and seductive looks, Lauren Bacall epitomised the elegance and taste of Hollywood. Now her beloved collection of jewellery went under the hammer at Bonhams New York on 31 March and 1 April, providing collectors the opportunity to inherit some of its previous owner’s movie-star glamor. The sale was a huge success fetching $503,625, with many of the items selling well above their high estimates.

The selection of the late actress’s jewellery, comprising more than 30 pieces, will form a section of the extensive 700-lot auction of her estate: The Lauren Bacall Collection. The sale has been hailed as an exceptional event by experts and collectors alike. Some of the most significant pieces from Bacall’s collection will feature: several pieces by the legendary Jean Schlumberger, as well as the jewellery worn when she collected her Academy Award for lifetime contribution to film in 2009, will be offered.

The pieces designed by the French designer, Jean Schlumberger, were some of Bacall’s favourites – and she was in good company. Schlumberger’s other clients included Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Gloria Vanderbilt and Babe Paley. Schlumberger’s designs were inspired by nature and sea life, and he created whimsical pieces in a variety of unexpectedly juxtaposed materials, such as gold, turquoise, amethyst and enamel.

The stand out pieces for me:

Jean Schlumberger Ropework Bracelets

Two 18k yellow gold ropework bracelets with pre-sale estimates of $5,000-7,000 and $6,000-$9,000. The actress was frequently pictured wearing the bracelets together, layered on the same wrist.

Jean Schlumberger Amethyst and Turquoise Ring

18k yellow gold, diamond, amethyst and turquoise ring designed by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. It has a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-12,000

Jean Schlumberger Blue Enamel Bangle

18k yellow gold and blue enamel bangle bracelet with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Colour Creativity Community

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Thank TGB I’ts Friday – Coloured Gemstones are the Port in the Storm

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday fabulous newsletter, full of the latest news and eye popping jewellery that caught my attention this week. See also our blog Port in the Perfect Storm.

Enjoy the chocolaty bank holiday!

What caught my eye this week?
Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie’s emerald Turandot Lily necklace, pavé set with diamonds – simply breathtaking

Nikos Koulis’ contemporary engagement ring using black enamel with a central emerald, diamonds and pavé emeralds around the double band – I love the use of black enamel, which only enhances the stunning central emerald.

Roberto Coin’s Giardino ring with 258 pink sapphires (10.54cts) – This unbelievably stunning ring by Roberto Coin encompasses the three strong jewellery trends at Baselworld this year – flowers, rose gold and rubies

Jimmy Fallon Presents Father-In-Law with Bremont Watch on Tonight Show

Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show presented his father-in-law, Marine Corps veteran William H. Juvonen, with a commemorative Bremont watch during Tuesday’s show.

The Bremont MBI was designed and tested in partnership with British Aviation company Martin Baker and is only available to people who have ejected from planes with Martin Baker ejection seats. The watch features a distinct red aluminium barrel and is protected by an anti-magnetic Faraday cage and anti-shock case mount.

Fallon told the audience that his discovery of the watch happened last summer in London. He was drawn into the Bremont store by the sight of an ejection seat in the window, and after talking to the salesperson, and later his wife, he realized that his own father-in-law had ejected from a Martin Baker seat in 1961.

The MBI watch collaboration came about when Andrew Martin of Martin Baker contacted Bremont in 2008 with the idea to create a watch that had been through the same testing as the seats that had saved so many lives. “Martin Baker ejection seats have saved 7,500 lives to date,” Nick English tells JCK. “It’s become a really elite club, and it’s really quite special.” As Fallon mentioned on the show, there is already a Tie Club for survivors (Fallon’s father-in-law’s Tie Club number: 228), but Bremont wanted to create a watch they could also buy.

Though the MBI is only available to survivors of airplane ejections in Martin Baker seats, two other versions of the watch—notably without the red aluminium barrel—are available for retail purchase, the MBII and MBIII. “It’s become a bit of an iconic watch in the aviation industry,” he says. The retail price of the MBII is $4,500. Martin Baker subsidizes a portion of the price of the MBI for survivors.

Jimmy Fallon Gives Father-In-Law Bremont MB1 Live On The Tonight Show

Baselworld Business – The Perfect Storm
The world’s turmoil has begun to catch up with the superrich, who comprise most of the demand for the top gemstones, diamonds and designer jewellery pieces offered at BaselWorld 2015.

The phrase “perfect storm” has been used to describe a confluence of events. In the past, many rarefied goods would find buyers at BaselWorld, typically a crossroads for the global wealthy, many from Russia, the Middle East and China. However, the Russian ruble has lost 40% of its value since last year’s show; oil prices have nosedived; the Chinese economy is showing signs of strain and the Euro has weakened about 30% against the Swiss Franc and U.S. Dollar, raising the prices of already costly items even higher.

Banks also have forced diamond manufacturers to sharply curtail or end the memo programs, which they traditionally used to conduct a majority of their business with retailers, especially in the U.S. With rough prices still higher than comparable polished for many sizes and qualities of goods, manufacturers are unable to build up cash reserves to compensate for the diminished credit. And, finally, the banks themselves are under strong regulatory pressure to restrict credit to clients who, in their opinion, cannot meet transparent dealing standards.

There is however a port in the perfect storm; coloured gemstones. Bold colours are coming into fashion and demand for emerald, peridot, sapphire and tanzanite pieces, as well as tutti-fruitti styles, was quite strong. – to read our blog, Port in the Storm click here.

‘Perfect Storms’ Cloud BaselWorld Business

In The News…

Millennials spend more on jewellery than any other age group

A report released by Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data reveals that for the first time, millennials have spent more than any other age group on fine jewellery. In the last year, the age group between 25 and 34 spent 28% more on fine jewellery than the average household. They aren’t the only youngsters to change their buying habits: consumers under the age of 25 increased their expenditure on jewellery 100% between 2003 and 2013.

Thanks in part to this increased demand, jewellery sales in the past year have risen 1.4%, with fine jewellery sales in the US, the world’s largest market for fine jewellery, totalling $68.8 billion in 2014. Watches have been a particular success story, with sales increasing 7.7%, to $9.13 billion. The average fine jewellery expenditure hit a record $434 per household, and with watches taken into account, it rose to $612 per household.

While consumers are buying more jewellery than ever, they are spending less on each piece. They are also changing when and where they buy their jewellery, with specialty jewellers losing some of their market share and sales at online retailers increasing.

Purchases are taking place throughout the year, rather than being concentrated during the holiday season. In 2014, sales around Christmas dropped 1.2%, though it still remained the main jewellery-selling time. “The US Jewellery State of the Market Report contains precious data never before seen in the diamond industry, including detailed demographic breakdowns of who is buying what and for how much. It proves that millennials, today’s 20-35 year olds, are driving consumer demand for diamond jewellery in a way that is different from their parents. They are spending more and buying less in a market that is sometimes overwhelmed with product choice,” says Edahn Golan, global diamond consultant and author of the report.

Rocks On: Jadeite prices up, even as US ban goes on

Platinum and 18-karat gold art deco brooch with jadeite plaques carved as a pair

While the story of a challenging supply isn’t unusual to anyone familiar with the coloured gemstone world, fine jadeite has a particularly rare story to tell.

With a ban currently in place that prohibits the import of jadeite mined in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) to the United States, American gem dealers must work with what they’ve already got or explore new avenues. And while many in the gemstone trade object to the ban, saying it hurts small-scale miners and dealers and does little to disrupt the junta, it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime in the near future. President Barack Obama has lifted some of the sanctions against Myanmar during his presidency, but a few remain, including the ban on the import of jadeite.

For many, this has meant either entering the estate and vintage jewellery market to find old pieces of jadeite already in the country or working from an inventory that they built up before the ban was enacted. Meanwhile, the prices for fine jadeite of all colours have all been moving in the same direction–upward, without much chance of slowing unless something changes in supply soon.

The supply side

As far as sources of fine jadeite go, Myanmar is pretty much it. Though there are a few other countries mining it, the material coming from elsewhere rarely is gem material that can be used in fine jewellery, leaving few options for jadeite suppliers.

Roland Schluessel of gem dealer Pillar & Stone said that though they are working mostly off the jadeite inventory they were able to build before the ban, they are open to buying high-quality estate pieces if they can find it.

In addition to the ban creating problems for American dealers, there’s also the added concern in the jadeite market about how long the mines in Myanmar will last and what kind of supply will be left in the next decade or two, Mason said, driving prices up even more.

China’s buying power

Accounting for the same quality factors across the board, fine green jadeite is almost always the most expensive. After that, both lavender jade and ice jade, which is colourless and can have an adularescence similar to moonstone, are becoming very popular and have been increasing in price. Red jade also has been gaining awareness and popularity over the last five to six years.

So, despite the higher price tags, fine green jadeite continues to be coveted. It is even seeing record prices at auction these days. Last April, a jadeite bead necklace with a Cartier clasp sold for $27.4 million at Sotheby’s, crushing its pre-sale high estimate of $12 million and setting a new world record for any jadeite jewellery and Cartier jewel sold at auction.

Jewellery Industry Summit Planned for August

A first-ever summit on ethical issues in the jewellery industry will take place this August in Chicago.

Organizers say the Jewellery Industry Summit, which will include panels and be run with the help of a facilitator, will tackle issues including responsible sourcing for the diamond, metal, and gemstone industries. The discussion will also include representatives from governments, NGOs, and financial institutions—three institutions that have often looked at the industry quite sceptically.

The program will include education on current challenges in all sectors of the industry, information on supply chain integrity systems already in place, and a review of current expectations of government regulators, banks that finance the industry and consumers regarding responsible business practices.

The goal of the summit is to provide an open discussion regarding challenges and opportunities in the jewellery industry and to foster better support for all sectors of the supply chain. Voluntary actions to achieve best practices will be addressed. After the summit, tools can be developed to assist industry members to set goals and achieve improvement in meeting the goals developed by consensus. A positive result of the widely attended and public forum will be to demonstrate to governments, civil society, to the banking community and to consumers that the industry is pro-actively engaging in creating a positive environment to benefit everyone in the supply chain and is doing so in a manner that allows access for all companies to voluntarily engage at all levels.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. The website is regularly updated, this week we have been adding more of our sapphire stock to our online catalogue. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Basel Watches and Magnificent Jewels

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday newsletter – we have our favourite watch pickings from Baselworld. Also in the news, will the real owner of the Princie Diamond please stand up and Diamond Squad’s Agim De Bruycker being charged for diamond fraud! For a date for your diary we have a glance at the upcoming Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale on 6th April in Hong Kong.


Our Favourite Watches from Baselworld 2015

There was much talk of the Apple Watch at this year’s Baselworld. Will it or won’t it have an effect on the luxury watch market? The carefully coordinated responses from some of the biggest watch brands  - the answer of course can only be , pardon the pun – watch this space. But even with this apple shaped cloud hanging in the room it’s clear that the main watch brands are not deterred in the slightest, as they unveiled their own show stoppers…

Graff Diamond’s Mastergraff Grand Date Dual Time Tourbillon – something for the weekend?

The Graff Diamond MasterGraff Grand Date Dual Time Tourbillon combines three magnificent complications – a flying tourbillon, dual time function and grand date which features an instantaneous date change at midnight.

“The Diamond MasterGraff Grand Date Dual Time Tourbillon is a truly iconic timepiece, combining the craft and skill of our gem-setting experience, with haute horology and the finest Swiss complications,” commented Michel Pitteloud, Chief Executive Officer at Graff Luxury Watches.

Chopard LUC 1963 Tourbillon – a true classic…

The beautiful Chopard LUC 1963 Tourbillon, based on the shape of the pocket watches that made the watchmaker famous. The watch is 40mm and has an 18 karat rose gold case. It features two noticeable features. The first is the dial; it is crafted in accordance with the traditional Grand Feu enamelling technique and is composed of a plate dusted with enamel powder and then fired at high temperature (900°C), hence the French term Grand Feu (literally ‘great fire’). The manual, artisan-style operation is repeated several times and always implies the risk of damaging the dial.

The latter is then hand-polished to erase the micro-bubbles formed on its surface. Finally, a last firing of a transparent enamel coating called fondant or glazing gives a unique brilliance.

Rolex lady Datejust Pearlmaster – Rolex never disappoints…

Rolex introduced three exceptional new versions of the iconic Oyster Collection watches. The new Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster comes in a new 39 mm size. These 18 karat yellow and white gold models masterfully combine Rolex’s watchmaking art with the captivating natural charms of gold and coloured gemstones.

These three models with bezels set with fancy pink, fancy green and fancy orange sapphires are offered with coloured dials featuring a diamond-set numbers 6 and 9, or in versions with fully paved dials and diamond-set bracelets.

In The News…

Can the real owner of the Princie Diamond please stand up?!

The heirs of an Italian senator are suing Christie’s International Plc over the sale of a rare diamond valued at more than $40 million that they say was stolen.

The heirs’ case centres around their belief that Christie’s failed to investigate the rightful ownership of the “Princie Diamond” before auctioning it off in 2013.  Christie’s have rejected the accusation, blaming the family for fighting over an inheritance.

The 34.65ct diamond, mined more than 300 years ago in India and named after a prince, is maybe the most famous and illustrious pink diamond in the world, according to the complaint.

The ownership dispute began after Angiolillo’s second wife died in 2009. The senator’s heirs asked her son to return the diamond and other gems, which his wife was allowed to hold following his death in 1973. They were told she didn’t have the gems, according to the complaint.

They said they contacted the auction house and asked it to investigate the diamond’s origin. Christie’s refused, saying the ownership of the diamond was properly transferred under Swiss law, and allowed the sale to go ahead, collecting a $3.8 million commission, according to the complaint.

“New York law provides that once there is a ‘thief,’ an involuntary transfer, or the property is lost in the chain of title, no one can take good title,” the heirs said in the complaint.

Christie’s said in a statement that the suit “stems from a long-standing and highly contentious inheritance dispute among the members of an Italian family.”

Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Summit

The jewellery industry community has announced “The Jewellery Industry Summit,” an open forum to discuss sustainability and responsible sourcing. The goal of the event is to create awareness of supply chain challenges and develop tools to mutually benefit the jewellery industry and create business opportunities and new sources of value for suppliers and the consumer.

The summit will be an interactive and facilitated discussion about industry issues pertaining to business practices and the supply chain with the goal of ensuring that the jewellery industry will thrive.

“Our community of individuals from all sectors in the jewellery industry seeks at the summit to develop a shared vision to meet the challenges, to sustain our business and to improve the supply chain for our products, the goal of the summit is to discuss challenges and opportunities in the jewellery industry that can better support everyone in the supply chain.”

Participants will include members from the diamond, coloured gem and precious metal industries, trade associations and financial institutions.

Global Diamond Jewellery Demand Up 3% in 2014 to New $81bn High

Global demand for diamond jewellery grew by 3% in 2014, rising to a new $81 billion high, according to industry insight data published recently by the De Beers Group. The analysis showed that, in the US, the world’s largest market for diamond jewellery sales, growth remained strong, increasing by 7% on 2013. China was also a significant driver of global growth, with demand increasing 6% in 2014. The Indian market also saw growth of 3%.  De Beers’ surveys show that the outlook for diamond jewellery sales growth in 2015 is positive across all main markets as retailers anticipate another year of growing consumer demand. Optimism among jewellery retailers is highest in the US and India, while growth in China is expected to pick up after the Chinese New Year. As the number of middle class households in the major consumer markets is set to grow by hundreds of millions in the years ahead, the medium to long term prospects for the diamond industry are also exceptionally strong if the right investments continue to be made across the value chain.

Diamond Squad’s Agim De Bruycker Charged

Agim De Bruycker has been arrested and charged with money laundering after the discovery of diamonds and gold worth €50,000 ($55,000) in his home last week.

According to reports in the Belgian press, the commissioner declined to explain how he had obtained the large amount of diamonds and gold. The Het Laatste Nieuws said suspicions about De Bruycker were raised after he bought a new villa and a luxury Range Rover.

The commissioner, who has been part of the Diamond Squad since it was established in 2000, has been involved in a number of high-profile investigations in Belgium, including the recent HSBC tax evasion banking scandal.

However, the paper also said that this is not the first incident involving the Diamond Unit. In one such incident, the Lion’s Diamond company claimed that confiscated diamonds worth $1.6 million disappeared during an investigation into conflict diamonds. When the company was acquitted of the charges, the diamonds they received in return were not the same as those that were taken in evidence.

De Standaard also said that according to police and justice sources, the fall of De Bruycker will have significant consequences for the fight against fraud in the diamond industry. “This signifies the death blow,” the paper quoted one prosecutor as saying.

Date for the Diary

Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale on 6th April in Hong Kong.

For the ultimate connoisseurs and collectors, this latest Magnificent Jewels sale to be held by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong is promising to be a spectacular event. Extensive collections of marvellous rare endowments of nature ranging from coloured diamonds of impressive sizes and incredible shades to impeccable gemstones from illustrious mines. It is set to feature a 77.77ct fancy vivid yellow diamond and a 4.57ct internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond. Highlights from the jadeite jewellery sale include a rare jadeite bead necklace and a pair of attractively matching jadeite bangles. Unique creations from the House of Bulgari, Marina B and other world-renowned maisons, be it opulent or whimsical, are also set to charm every heart.


Stunning vintage styled rings are always popular and this is an amazing example. Centring on a star ruby weighing 9.13ct, to a surround set with tapered baguette diamonds together weighing approximately 2.20ct, mounted in platinum. Estimate HKD 160,000-200,000.


As brooch wearing is the very in-thing this particular piece should cause quite a stir, especially as this colour blue is also very on trend for the coming season. Modelled as two lovebirds perching on a branch, the body of each is set with an oval cabochon turquoise, embellished by brilliant-cut diamonds together weighing approximately 2.95ct, accented by onyx-set eyes, mounted in 18 karat yellow gold and platinum and signed. Estimate HKD 48,000-60,000.


Of floral motif, set with clusters of variously-shaped pink sapphires and rose-cut diamonds, the pink sapphires and diamonds together weighing approximately 147.90 and 51.50 carats respectively, mounted in 18 karat white gold, length approximately 440mm. Estimated HKD 500,000-600,000.


As it’s the Hong Kong Sotheby’s auction beautiful jadeite pieces are in plentiful supply. This particular piece is my absolute favourite. Set with three translucent lozenge-shaped jadeite plaques of deep emerald green colour, embellished by variously-shaped diamonds together weighing approximately 8.20ct, mounted in 18 karat white gold, length approximately 410mm. The jadeite plaques are approximately 34.30 x 12.95 x 2.15mm to 33.96 x 12.85 x 2.17mm. Estimate HKD 320,000-380,000.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our ever-developing website too. The prices shown are retail prices; however you can register online and sign in for trade discounted prices. This week new certificated diamonds and even better images have been added – take a look at to see the full range.

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 – Savage Beauty

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday! The week that saw Savage Beauty take over the Victorian and Albert museum and the opening of Baselworld, the show that tells us what we will be wearing tomorrow, and much more.


Savage Beauty – Shaun Leane Remembers Alexander McQueen
14 March – 2 August 2015. The V&A are celebrating the extraordinary creative talent of one of the most innovative designers of recent times, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is the first and largest retrospective of McQueen’s work to be presented in Europe.

As Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty opened last weekend at the V&A, it made a poignant moment in time for British jewellery designer Shaun Leane. A long-time collaborator of Lee McQueen, Leane created pieces for the Alexander McQueen catwalk that will have a special place in the famed “cabinet of curiosities” of the hotly anticipated exhibition – the daring and experimental nature of which he attributes to the late designer’s encouragement.

“Lee was a genius. His thought process was so unique – you had to work with him for years to understand it,” Leane said. “Once you were on his wavelength that’s when beauty was created. It was a truly unique and creative experience which gave me the platform to push the boundaries of jewellery design, allowing me to grow to be the designer I am today.”

Things this week that made me go ahhhhh

Baselworld, the show that unveils the trends of tomorrow is once again a hub of beautiful design and creativity. Already lots of exciting news reports have come to light. This in particular caught my eye, The Linde Werdelin’s new rendition of their forward-thinking SpidoLite sports watch. This extremely impressive, very masculine and rugged looking timepiece is a high-tech creation has been designed to withstand extreme shock and the harshest of climates. It looks pretty amazing too!

Van Cleef & Arpels is a design house that never ceases to cause wonder for me. This particular piece mixes two of the Maison’s traditions, exceptional stones and the influence of the Orient. The stunning necklace is created in white gold and set with pear and cushion cut Mozambican Rubies, round, pear and baguette-cut diamonds. A simply stunning work of art, I’m sure you will agree.

Date for the Diary

April 2014 – Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in New York





Featuring more than 300 jewels, the sale will be led by an outstanding four-strand natural coloured saltwater pearl necklace. Black pearls count amongst the most rare of natural gems. Much scarcer than their white counterparts, they represent beauty of the highest order. Very few black and gray pearl necklaces have been offered for sale in the past fifty years, the most famous in comparison being The Nina Dyer Black Pearl Necklace, first sold at Christie’s Geneva in May 1969 and more recently, The Cowdray Pearls sold at Christie’s London in June 2012. The auction is expected to achieve in excess of US$40 million.

Coloured and colourless diamonds and rare gemstones will also be part of the auction, including a 5.29ct fancy intense purplish-pink diamond that could garner between $3.5 million and $5 million. A round cut fancy gray-blue diamond weighing 5.04ct is expected to sell for up to $2.5 million.

Signed jewels also will be offered at the sale, among them a sapphire and diamond necklace by Graff that could achieve up to $350,000 and a pair of emerald, diamond and coloured diamond ear clips by JAR that also have a pre-sale estimate of $350,000. Pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston are included in the auction as well.

Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Christie’s Jewellery, commented: “After a record-breaking year in 2014 in which Christie’s Jewellery department realized an unprecedented $754.7 million in sales, we are proud to begin the jewellery auction season with this exceptional sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York. The auction on April 14 is comprised of superior quality diamonds, rare coloured gemstones, and natural pearls that present collectors remarkable opportunities to acquire one-of-a-kind rare jewels.”

In The News…

Argos trials 3D-printed jewellery
Argos is exploring how to bring 3D printing into the mainstream, trialling a new range of jewellery which customers can design themselves. They are planning to launch a dedicated site featuring customisable rings, bracelets, pendants, cufflinks and earrings made either of gold plated metal or silver. Shoppers can choose a piece of jewellery, then pick the metal, design and size, with accessories costing anywhere between £50 and £220. With a promised delivery within 21 days of ordering.

One potential issue is that Argos isn’t allowing cancellations, exchanges or refunds except where there is something wrong with the product. That means customers will need to be absolutely happy with their purchase before they physically see it or try it on. It also isn’t clear how customers are intended to find the dedicated jewellery site, with no obvious links from the main Argos website. The retailer has not yet responded to a request for clarification.

Swarovski to Introduce Fine Jewellery
Swarovski has announced that it is celebrating the brand’s 120th anniversary by launching a fine jewellery line. The collection will include diamonds, rather than the brand’s crystals within the designs. The collection will range from $125 to $1,450 and hit select Swarovski stores on 1 June.

The fine jewellery collection includes 60 pieces made of sterling silver, 14-karat gold and 14-karat rose gold. The line was inspired by the Alps, where the brand first started back in 1985. Susan Popper, the newly appointed head of fine jewellery said, “Moving into a new segment, we wanted to craft an offering that makes sense to the fine jewellery purchaser and, at the same time, remained true to the DNA of our brand. We drew upon water and nature, which are key pillars of our brand.”

Last year, Swarovski sold some fine jewellery in select North American boutiques from April through June. Popper indicated that the test was lucrative. “We saw a customer buying both the fashion and fine jewellery at once, which affirms that we’re fitting their jewellery needs,” she said.

Breitling Flies into the Future

Smart watches are such a hot topic at the moment. Where I don’t believe the smart watch alone is the future, perhaps a fusion of high end watch craftsmanship with the latest technology might just be the answer. Breitling, as they say the watch for professionals, has reinvented the connected watch and created a chronograph wristwatch that can connect with a smartphone.

Called the Caliber B55 Connected, the two-way communication between the chronograph and the smartphone “enables the two instruments to form a perfectly complementary pair in which each is used for what it does best,” Breitling said.

The brand said that since the main assets of a smartphone are its screen and ergonomic interface, B55 wearers can use their phone to perform certain adjustments on the watch, like time-setting, time zones, alarms, display and operating parameters such as night mode.

Users also can upload the results of various measurements such as flight times from the chronograph to the smartphone, allowing them to store the information, share it or read it more easily.

The B55 Connected is also the “ultimate pilot’s instrument,” according to Breitling, as it boasts a range of innovative functions including an electric tachometer, a countdown/count up system and an aviation-oriented “chrono flight” device that can record flight times while memorizing the takeoff time, landing time and date.

“The chronograph remains the absolute master and the connection with the smartphone is primarily designed to improve its user friendliness,” Breitling said.

Average engagement ring spend inches closer to $6K

The average amount that couples are spending on their weddings went up in 2014, And the trend of personalization that has taken the fine jewellery industry by storm which has seen an increase in what couples are willing to pay for engagement rings, which increased from $5,598 in 2013 to $5,855 last year, according to a survey from The Knot.

The wedding website’s most recent Real Weddings survey shows that the average cost of a wedding across the country now is at $31,213.

The Knot surveyed approximately 16,000 brides and grooms that were married between 1 January and 31 December 2014. This was the site’s eighth Real Weddings report.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our constantly evolving website also. This week we have given our matched diamond pairs a spring clean so that you can see more clearly how they can accompany your designs. We have also added to our already large fancy coloured diamond collection. Don’t take our word for it however, visit to see for yourself.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

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