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Thank TGB it’ s Friday – The Week that Eva Mendes said yes with a giant emerald

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank TheGemBank.com it’s Friday newsletter. As you will have noticed we’ve had a short hiatus, but rest on our laurels we have not. Nay, we’ve had a busy summer, attending trade shows and searching out stunning coloured gemstones and diamonds all over the world.

So to the newsletter, we have celebrity gossip, we oohed and ahhed over an Oscar Heyman brooch, all the while keeping a close eye on industry happenings around the world; Gemfields are eyeing India for expansion and True North will shortly the first ethically sourced commercial ruby mining operation.

We’re really looking forward the IJL fair on the 6-8th of September, will you be there? There’s still time to sign up, you will find us at stand C120. So don’t be shy pop over and say hello.

Enjoy

Gossip

Has Eva Mendes Finally said Yes to Ryan Gosling?

Eva Mendes has been seen recently sporting a stunning gold and emerald ring sparking rumours that she has become engaged to Ryan Gosling. However the notoriously private couple have yet to officially announce their engagement so another possibility, for this amazing rock, is that it could be a “push” present as the colour is surely a nod to her daughter with Ryan Gosling, who is called Esmeralda, the Spanish word for emerald. Whatever the reason may be, this recent celebrity endorsement of stunning emeralds is bound to add to the demand of emeralds in jewellery.

What Caught my Eye This week

The Brooch is back and Oscar Heyman jewellery has produced their own stunning stand out piece to add to the very on-trend brooch revival Platinum ruby diamond invisibly set flower brooch www.oscarheyman.com.

Feature

Coloured Stones Come into Favour

While diamonds are timeless, there is a rising trend for colourful alternatives – and rarity is increasing the price tag. A clear, sparkling diamond is engrained in the minds of many women around the world as being the symbol of everlasting love, while for some men it is the requisite token bought to signify a proposal of marriage. For decades, diamonds dominated the market for fine jewellery, particularly for engagement rings, and while they remain emblematic of luxury and perpetuity – a new trend is emerging. Coloured gemstones are back in vogue, with more jewellery pieces set with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and amethysts emerging as worldwide demand increases by the year. “Following a few decades of domination by the clear stone, the coloured gemstone revolution is most definitely back”, says Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, the world’s largest producer of precious stones, which has seen first-hand the marked increase in jewellery and luxury good purchases (see Figs. 1 and 2). The cause of this growing inclination can be attributed to many reasons, including a desire to wear something unique, along with macroeconomic themes within both traditional and emerging markets. “The average consumer is reluctant or unable to spend freely on jewellery, so they are turning to coloured stones, which can offer bigger looks for less money”, says Russell Shor, Senior Industry Analyst for the Gemological Institute of America. To say that this is a new interest would be incorrect for rubies, emeralds and sapphires have been worn by many for centuries. But regardless of this historic love affair with coloured gemstones, there was a period recently in which they were overlooked by individuals and jewellery makers, as a lack of understanding of their value and low confidence in the sellers themselves put buyers off.

Despite this relatively short blip, there has been a significant turnaround – demand is driving this upswing as more people are choosing colourful, distinctive jewellery designs over the more conservative styles of the 1980s and 1990s.

Global economic trends also support this development, as people in the West are choosing to spend less on fine jewellery – but still want to wear something bold, while more individuals in emerging markets can splurge on long-coveted luxury items. Investors from all corners of the planet are also splashing out in the market, lured by the impressive returns for coloured gemstones, making them a smart addition to financial portfolios.

www.worldfinance.com

Date for the Diary

The 60th International Jewellery London – September 6, 7 & 8

Are you joining us at the UK’s premier jewellery show, the International Jewellery London next month? The 7 product areas of the show floor span the whole jewellery industry from product conception to product point of sale thus providing the perfect opportunity for visitors to meet with the largest selection of jewellery exhibitors in the UK and browse thousands of new products just before Christmas. We’ll be at stand C120, come and see us we love to chat and show off our stunning selection of rubies, sapphires, natural coloured diamonds, matched pairs and coloured diamond melee.

What Happened

Gemfields Eyes India for Major Market Expansion

Gemfields Plc is robust on its plans for India. The company’s plans include implementing an educational campaign to create awareness about natural gemstones in India; make Jaipur as a global sourcing hub; train the retailers and create educational platform for consumers as well.

While addressing the media at a round table meet Dev Shetty, Chief Operating Officer – Gemfields Plc said “India has been a key market for Gemfields and will continue to be one of our main focus regions in the coming year. The research was commissioned to better understand the gemstones category in India along and gain further awareness of the size of the market, consumer trends in jewellery buying and the category purchase factors. The report provides comprehensive insights and analysis that will help Gemfields build a branding and communication strategy for coloured gemstones in the Indian market.” He added “At present in India, we enjoy 20 per cent of the market share of coloured gemstones. We are looking at increasing it to 30 per cent in 3-5 years.” In India, there is a need to train retailers about coloured gemstones, about grading and resale value so that they will be able to do a better business, he said.

Of the total jewellery industry in the country, whose size stands at US $40 billion, the coloured gems stones constitute about 1 per cent, he said. “So in order to increase this market share we are planning to build a brand to sell the gemstones. We also want to make the consumers aware about the benefits of certification and establish transparency that will lead to consumer confidence,” he added.

While discussing company’s expansion plans in India, Dev Shetty talked about the company’s interest in mining of gemstones in India but refused to divulge details about the proposed location of mine. He said “Currently, talks are on with the concerned state governments. Since the talks have been initiated three years ago, Gemfields has acquired mines in Mozambique and Ethiopia. However, there has been no progress on the project in India.”

“If government decides to opt for the auction route for precious gemstones like it does for the other minerals. We may have to give up on plans of mining in India,” he added further.

The company had conducted a research project in collaboration with Drshti Strategic Research Services Pvt. Ltd, in order to understand attitudes towards colour gemstones in India.

Rise in popularity for Indonesian Gemstones

Of late gemstones have become a booming business in Indonesia. And within Indonesia is a little town called Garut, which is famous for its gemstones of many colours. Miners here work for a landowner named Abah Endong, the miners spend up to 10 hours a day inside one of 16 man-made caves, with depths ranging from five meters to 60 meters beneath the ground.

Gemstone expert Iskandar Husein is the secretary general of the Association of Indonesian Traders of Gold and Precious Stones. He says gemstones are also popular because anyone in the country can dig for them and then sell them for a profit. But some standardization protocols may help.

“I think that we need to apply international standards to our gemstones. This will make it easier to promote them and to provide people with their estimated values. Until now, the prices of our gemstones are still fluctuating,” Husein said.

Besides the domestic market, international collectors are also keen, notably from Japan and South Korea. Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry recently said that the daily transaction value of gemstones in Jakarta alone reaches up to half-a-million US dollars.

Lucara’s On a Roll

Lucara Diamond Corp, at their mine in Karowe in Botswana have unearthed some pretty astonishing diamonds over the past few weeks. The biggest of them all is the Type IIa, 336-carat diamond, according to a company announcement. In addition, they have also unearthed three exceptional diamonds last week, weighing 184 carats, 94 carats and 86 carats. A 12-carat diamond was also recovered; its colour will be confirmed post cleaning but it looks pale pink.

Please credit www.lucaradiamond.com underneath the image

Eldorado Gold Victory

A top court in Greece has awarded a small but important victory to Canada’s Eldorado Gold, ruling that the argument used by the energy and environment minister to revoke the company’s permits is invalid. However this silver lining has a cloud because the verdict doesn’t allow the company to resume activities in Halkidiki, northern Greece.

According to Reuters, last week, the country’s energy and environment minister ordered Eldorado to suspend work at its gold and copper Skouries mine, alleging the firm had violated contractual terms.

As a result, the Vancouver-based miner left about 2,000 employees temporarily out of work, triggering some massive demonstrations. The mine has been a bone of contention ever since Hellenic Gold was granted approval to mine in the northern peninsula, back in 2011.

Some claim the operation, owned 95% by Eldorado, may hurt tourism and the environment, while others believe it is good news for Greece, as it will generate new jobs and bring hundreds of millions into the struggling economy.

True North Aims to become world’s leading Gemstone producer

True North Gems Inc. have announced that it has signed a share purchase and option agreement with Greenland Venture to under purchase 5,722,940 issued A-shares of the Company’s operating subsidiary in Greenland, True North Gems, from True North for a purchase price of US$4,000,000. The Purchased Shares represent 7% of the issued and outstanding shares of TNGG.

This sale means that True North will have the resources for transition into the production phase of the Aappaluttoq Ruby Project. With this funding arrangement, the Company will be able to deliver on its vision of becoming one of the world’s leading coloured gemstone production and exploration companies.

Construction began on the project in October 2014. The mine will be the first ethically sourced commercial ruby mining operation.

De Beers Diamonds are for Christmas

De Beers are heavily investing in this Christmas season in promoting and advertising to boost their sales after a worrisome recent decline in demand for diamonds in major markets, including the US and China.

De Beers chief executive Philippe Mellier, said: ‘This will help to stimulate downstream demand for polished diamonds and create renewed momentum in the diamond sector at a crucial point in the year.’ The campaign will be run alongside its ‘A Diamond is Forever’ holiday campaign that it uses to promote its other retail brand Forevermark.

To further weather the crisis Anglo American-controlled De Beers also cut its rough-diamond production target twice this year, and have also reduced prices at its current sale in Botswana by nearly 10pc. According to Bloomberg, the industry’s issues have largely been caused by lower demand from shoppers in countries including China which has led to retailers and jewellers buying less stock.

Added to this the sector has also been hit by the liquidity problems of the middle men – the traders, cutters and polishers – who buy and sell diamonds after one of the major banks which specialised in financing their purchases pulled out last year.

Mwana Return to Diamonds

Pan African mining group Mwana Africa said it would restart underground mining at its Klipspringer diamond mine in South Africa and evaluate the viability of reprocessing residues at the mine after gold production from Zimbabwe stagnated. Overall profit for the year to March fell sharply from $50 million (R636m) to $7m, underlining a difficult year with low gold and nickel prices.

“The past year has proved to be particularly challenging for the Mwana Group as a whole as the prices of our two principal products, gold and nickel, weakened and have continued to fall since the financial year-end,” Mwana Africa executive chairman Yat Hoi Ning said.

This has prompted Mwana Africa to focus on its diamond project in South Africa, the Klipspringer mine. The company said the recovery of diamonds at the Klipspringer residue treatment joint venture had reached planned capacity, although the capacity was below anticipations.

“Consideration is now being given to the reprocessing of coarser tailings,” it said.

Current projects to “recover fine diamonds from old slimes residues” had continued although the company said the resource from slimes was limited, hence the move to reprocess other residues.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying our weekly updates. We are currently revamping our website to bring you even more stones and resources in a more attractive site, whether you log in through your PC or your smartphone. In the meantime you can still see our current site and up to date stock at www.thegembank.com.

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 that Apples were left to rot

Hello and welcome to another fabulous edition of Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday newsletter. While the tennis has been on and we have been coveting fresh strawberries and Pimms, much has been happening in our industry; from Lab-Grown Diamond Manufacturer Scio posting financial woes, to Apple Watches being left on the shelves and lastly to beautiful rubies stepping out in the latest styles.

So with Wimbledon on mute let us regale you with the latest goings on in our industry

Enjoy!

Apple Watch Sales Plunge 90%

Sales of the new Apple Watch have plunged by 90% since the opening week, according to a new market-research report.

Apple has been selling fewer than 20,000 watches a day in the U.S. since the initial surge in April, and on some days fewer than 10,000, according to data from Palo Alto, California-based Slice Intelligence. That is a sharp decline from the week of the April 10 launch, when Apple sold about 1.5 million watches, or an average of about 200,000 a day, Slice estimates. Furthermore, two-thirds of the watches sold so far have been the lower-profit “Sport” version, whose price starts at $349, according to Slice, rather than the costlier and more advanced models that start at $549.

In an ambitious bid for the luxury market, Apple unveiled a gold “Edition” model priced at $10,000 or more. So far, fewer than 2,000 of those have been sold in the U.S., Slice contends.

Slice bases its research on electronic receipts sent to millions of email addresses following purchases. The company conducts market research on behalf of consumer-goods companies, among others, many of them in the Fortune 500.

The Apple Watch is the first completely new product the company has created and launched since the death of its visionary founder, Steve Jobs, in 2011. How well the watch fares may be one measure of how well Apple may be able to maintain the standards of excellence in innovation, marketing and production it achieved under Jobs. Investors are used to seeing new products, such as the iPhone and iPad, fly off the shelves as soon as they are launched.

It’s early days yet on the Apple Watch, but investors may have reason to be cautious.

www.slice.com

Madagascans Mining for Sapphires

They are doing so using plastic bags for much needed breathing apparatus while workers search in desperation for sapphires in southern Madagascar 20 metres underground. The discovery of sapphires more than a decade ago in this region caused a huge rush. Over the years, tens of thousands of miners have descended on the area to seek their fortunes, turning sleepy villages into boom towns. However then and now there is little control or regulation; and the mining equipment is basic at best, and the safety of the miners themselves is non-existent, leaving this local industry rife with corruption.

Even the authorities admit that they need to find a way to manage the area’s gemstone industry, as the coup in 2009 which ousted President Marc Ravalomanana from the presidency all but destroyed all regulations in the mining industry. Never the less the high quality of the sapphires found, and despite all the dangers, men have been mining in this region of Mino in southern Madagascar. Gemstone dealers from Sri Lanka and Thailand control the mining in the area, but both miners and dealers say that the stones found are getting smaller and fewer.

On the upside, the authorities, perhaps due to international condemnation, have promised new mining loans will solve many regulatory problems and increase GDP by 2% next year.

In the meantime local miners will keep on risking their lives every day trying to find the gemstone that will give them a better future.

‘Only Watch’ Auction

The 6th edition of the biennial charity auction of unique timepieces, sold for the benefit of research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, will take place in November 2015 in Geneva. Some forty brands have already confirmed their participation in Only Watch 2015, who are generously offering one-of-a-kind timepieces for this year’s auction.

A few of our favourites

Van Cleef & Arpels has created a unique Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs timepiece, illustrating the brand’s vision of travel and their lasting ties with Monaco. A complication piece with dual time zone function, it pays tribute to the Principality with its dial displaying a radiant

Mediterranean blue with a piqué motif at its centre. Crafted with the brand’s “Poetry of Time” philosophy, it celebrates the beauty of the moment and the promise of distant, fairer horizons. More about this watch at http://bit.ly/1Mhoqvt

The Harry Winston Ocean Dual Time Retrograde Only Watch is a unique timepiece created for the Only Watch 2015 charity auction. Anodized with Harry Winston’s signature blue colour, the inspiration behind its open worked dial is the Shuriken four-point star. More about this watch at http://bit.ly/1CokCbv

Zenith Watches generously donated a unique El Primero Striking 10th Chronograph watch – the “Lightweight” Tribute to the Rolling Stones. The legendary The Rolling Stones band has been a partner with Zenith since 2014. More about this timepiece here: http://bit.ly/1NL0wtn

http://www.onlywatch.com/press-releases/

The King of Gems is back in Vogue

Ruby jewellery is very in vogue. It is harder than any natural gemstone except diamond, which means a ruby is durable enough for everyday wear. Fine-quality rubies are extremely rare, and the colour of the gem is most important to its value. The most prized colour is a medium or medium dark vivid red or slightly purplish red.

The Victorians had a profound love affair with this amazing jewel, whose style has been prolific once again due to the resurgence of vintage and vintage style jewellery.

But now the ruby is donning luxury pieces with modern styling or many jewellery design houses. One such house is Georg Jensen, who announced in late June their partnership with Gemfields for a ruby and emerald collection.

The collection was created by Vivianna Torun, designer of some of Georg Jensen’s most iconic jewellery pieces, and includes the Runa Necklaces, the first high-jewellery pieces created by the house that feature a cascade of large emerald gemstones set in gold.

Also included in the collection is a reincarnation of Torun’s Dew Drop necklace and matching earrings re-imagined in rose gold with Gemfields Mozambican rubies.

From the Dune collection, Georg Jensen is offering a sculpted bangle and ring crafted in rose gold and accented with Gemfields’ rubies. “It’s exciting for Gemfields to continue our spirit of collaboration with a brand like Georg Jensen, which approaches fine jewellery from an innovative design perspective,” said Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle.

“We especially look forward to seeing our new Mozambican rubies brought to life and hope this partnership will continue to generate awareness for our fair-market coloured gemstones.”

“We are proud to partner with Gemfields, a brand that is passionately committed to transparency as well as environmental and social responsibility,” said David Chu, CEO of Georg Jensen. “This collection marks a real turning point in the evolution of Georg Jensen.”

The two sides said they would continue their collaboration with the creation of a collection of unique high-end pieces featuring Gemfields’ rubies and emeralds of an exceptional size and quality.

The limited-edition collection will be available exclusively at the Georg Jensen flagship boutiques.

www.georgjensen.com

Indian diamond industry delays ban on rough diamonds

Leaders of Indian diamond industry have deferred on the decision to ban the import of rough diamonds for a time being and have unanimously decided to form a 15-member committee from the trade to find long term solution to the ongoing situation in the industry. The step is taken to protect the interest of the thousands of diamond artisans in Surat and Gujarat.

Around 200 diamantaires including rough diamond dealers, diamond company owners and members from the Mumbai and Surat diamond association met at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) on Tuesday to discuss the current market situation and take corrective measures.

A committee having people from the industry including GJEPC, Surat Diamond Association (SDA) and the Mumbai Diamond Manufacturers’ Association (MDMA) will be formed to initiate dialogues with the diamond mining companies and the Indian bankers. The delegation will meet the diamond miners and the banks to review the situation and increase bank financing. Also, the delegation will meet the Central and State government to address the policy measures.

The situation will be monitored by the committee members for a month or two and that appropriate decision will be taken on banning the rough diamond imports.

The industry feels that collective efforts need to be taken to address the problems like diversification of funds to other businesses by some of the companies; profitability crunch due to low demand and stock hangover of polished inventory; bankruptcies, which have affected the availability of Bank Finance & eroded the Credibility of the industry; increased Rough prices and absence of discipline in purchase of rough inventory; un-disclosed mixing of synthetic / lab grown diamonds.

Lab-Grown Diamond Manufacturer Scio Posts Loss

The Greenville, S.C.–based company reported a $4.4 million loss for fiscal year 2015, slightly lower than the prior year’s $4.9 million loss. Revenue for the year totalled $726,193, a 48 percent fall from last year’s $1.41 million. Carat production increased 71 percent, and the average crystal size more than doubled, the company said, without getting more specific.

“We knew this would be a challenging year, but we’ve met all of our milestones with one exception,” said CEO Gerald McGuire in a statement. “We had planned on revenue from our retail channel development efforts to start materializing sooner than it did. Our customers needed more time to develop their own plans to market lab-grown diamonds.” The future also looks bleak for the company as it has also reported expected future losses, and if it doesn’t acquire additional funding, it will cease to function as a going concern.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. his week we have added new fancy sapphires to our online stock, with 360o videos to see a stone without leaving your chair! There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Week That Janet Jackson stepped into the Luxury Jewellery Arena

Hello and welcome to this week’s fantastic Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday newsletter. Under the sweltering heat this week much jewellery industry news has emerged, from Janet Jackson announcing her own luxury Jewellery collection, to fake diamonds being swapped for real ones at the Hong Kong Gem and Jewellery Fair. To the world’s first online diamond exchange being launched this September, to the announcement that more women than ever before are buying their own luxury jewellery. It’s all here and more, so pour yourself an iced drink and escape the heat for 5 minutes while we regale you with this week’s top industry happenings.

Enjoy!

Janet Jackson Announces Diamond Jewellery Collection

Ever the business woman, Janet Jackson has announced her latest venture – luxury jewellery. The singer announced on Tuesday that she is coming out with her very own diamond jewellery line called the Janet Jackson Unbreakable Diamonds Collection. – which incidentally just happens to be the name of Janet’s latest album, Unbreakable.

Entertainment Tonight exclusively broke the news about the collection, which Jackson had already debuted at the BET Awards over the previous weekend. When the 49-year-old artist accepted her Ultimate Icon Award at the show, she donned a couple of her own designs. She wore a 25-carat heart shaped necklace that values at $2 million and a 13-carat ring which retails at $500,000.

She will reportedly wear pieces from Unbreakable Diamonds during her upcoming world tour, which begins 31 August.

Janet Jackson Unbreakable Diamonds will be available through www.paulrapsny.com.

Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair Hit by Multiple Thefts

The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, held from June 25-28, 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, was hit by a string of thefts. According to reports, 15 incidents occurred over the 4-day event; in most cases, the thieves were able to walk away with the loot.

According to reports, most incidents involved the swapping of the stolen diamonds with fake ones. In one case, a whole case was stolen. The total goods stolen were valued at approximately $900,000. Two thieves were caught in the act and handed over to local police.

This is not the first UBM-organized show to be marred by an array of thefts. At the Hong Kong Show in November, two local women tried to steal from the Israeli booths. Both attempts failed.

The security officer of the Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) on site reported that the Israeli pavilion was also hit by thefts. These occurred mainly on the opening day of the show, within the three first hours, which suggests coordination. All incidents involved the swapping of the stolen diamonds with fake ones.

The Online Experience

First Class Watches, who are an official UK retailer for more than 60 watch brands of traditional and designer watches, was recently selected to join the Google Certified Shops program.

As more and more commerce is conducted online it is only a matter of time before the luxury goods market also delves deeper into the foray. It is worth noting then that there are certifications, such as the Google Shops program, that consumers are looking for as extra assurance when shopping on line.

The Google Shops program is there to help consumers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience, the Google Certified Shops badge is awarded to ecommerce sites that demonstrate a track record of ontime shipping and excellent customer service.

As an added benefit, when a shopper makes a purchase at a Google Certified Shops, they have the option to select free purchase protection from Google. Then in the unlikely event of an issue with their purchase, they can request Google’s help. As part of this, Google offers up to £1,000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases. Google Certified Shops is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. The program helps online stores like First Class Watches attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites.

www.google.co.uk/certifiedshops

World’s First Diamond Exchange Set to go Live

The Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange Pte Ltd announced on Wednesday 1st June, that it will launch the world’s first commodities exchange in physically settled diamonds in Singapore. The exchange is targeted to go live in September 2015.

The SdiX said in a statement that the platform will utilise proven exchange technology to create a new marketplace for the global diamond trade. The platform is designed to deliver price transparency and liquidity to the diamond market through a real-time price discovery mechanism, allowing diamonds to be traded as a commodity, thus enabling the creation of a new asset class, it added.

Mr Alain Vandenborre, Executive Chairman, Founder and controlling shareholder of SDiX, said: “SDiX is a fully electronic spot commodity exchange which we developed over the past two years and designed to deliver price transparency and liquidity to the market. It will provide a self-regulated marketplace for both diamond and financial traders as well as accredited investors to acquire stones at a market price that is driven by real time transactional data.

“This will result in the homogenization of diamonds, simplifying the manner in which they are valued and hence allowing them to be traded as a commodity.”

Everledger Is Using Blockchain To Combat Fraud, Starting With Diamonds

The London-based Everledger is using it’s Blockchain to help combat fraud – and they have chosen diamonds as their first target. However there is a view to expanding into all sorts of luxury goods — such as high end watches, designer handbags and fine art — so basically high value items whose provenance might otherwise be reliant on paper certificates and receipts that can easily be lost or tampered with. The blockchain is a distributed public ledger for tracking provenance in a way that’s more robust and accessible than a paper trail.

Of course individual diamonds can’t be immutably connected to that immutable digital ledger — given there is always the possibility for stones to be cut or reshaped, and for serialized IDs to be ground off. But Everledger digitizes a host of data points about each stone to create a multi-layered digital fingerprint.

For example, if you have a 5 carat diamond, not only is the serial number that’s inscribed on the stone captured, but additional information like the 40 metadata points that make up the diamond. The laboratory houses inspect the stone, they effectively digitize each diamond, all of the angles and the cuts and the pavilions and all of the crown. Once all this extra information is gathered all of it is put into the blockchain.

At this point Everledger is focusing on getting diamond pipeline producers and major insurers adopting its system. This slice as a very consolidated market, with hundreds not thousands of companies in play, so it’s quite achievable to elbow in and start generating revenue with its blockchain-based diamond fraud detection system. Albeit, there’s obviously a network effect for Everledger to prove its worth — based on getting enough stones on its books.

It now has some 280,000 diamonds digitized and embedded into the blockchain (it’s working its way through 850,000 diamonds submitted so far for adding to its ledger), and has all the major certificate houses signed up, plus four of the major London-based insurance companies. Everledger is also in discussion with police, Interpol and Europol who are also interested in what the tech offers — from a crime detection and prevention point of view.

The incentive for insurance companies to get involved is to reduce claims fraud and also recoup costs associated with paying out claims. “There’s really interesting economics around that because the insurance companies as they pay out these claims are actually the rightful owner of these diamonds because they paid the claim out and the title of that diamond ultimately sits with the insurance company,” says Leanne Kemp founder and CEO. “So it’s actually the insurance company’s property that we will recover. Diamonds don’t depreciate in value; quite the opposite. So a stolen stone that’s recovered even years hence would still be an asset to its insurance company owner. ”

A third target is big online retail marketplaces where people might try to offload stolen or counterfeit goods. Although diamonds are its starting point, Everledger is not intending to stick solely with diamonds forever. As noted earlier, it’s grand aim is to be a provenance platform for a variety of high value and luxury goods. Here again, this push is aimed at meshing with the needs of online ecommerce marketplaces which are under pressure to spot counterfeit or stolen goods being hawked on their own platforms.

www.everledger.io

Kimberley Diamonds restarts operations at Botswana Lerala mine

Kimberley Diamonds Limited (ASX:KDL) is going ahead with the re-commissioning of its Lerala Diamond project in Botswana, which was placed on care and maintenance in July 2012 by former owner Mantle Diamonds. The company’s board also decided to defer the development of its Ellendale mine, after failing to secure a price increase from one of its largest customers. Meanwhile it will continue to focus on Lerala, which is expected to produce 400,000 carats of diamonds per year once it reaches full capacity.

Kimberley Diamonds secured a A$10-million loan from China-based auction house Zhejiang Huitong Auction to use for the re-commissioning of the mine in Botswana. The ASX-listed company has received the first A$5-million of the loan and will receive the balance by the end of July.

Kimberley Diamonds MD Noel Halgreen said on Tuesday that the funding would allow the company to immediately take key steps towards the re-commissioning of the Lerala diamond mine, which, once reopened, would provide a significant revenue stream. He added that Kimberley Diamonds was in discussions with third parties to raise another A$5-million, which it would need to complete the re-commissioning of the mine. Mantle Diamonds, which Kimberley Diamonds bought in 2014, operated the Lerala mine between February and July 2012, producing 73 403 carats. The Lerala mine is about 34 km north of the Martin’s Drift border post with South Africa and comprises five diamond ferous pipes, totalling 6.66 ha in size. De Beers discovered the kimberlites in the early 1990s. The world’s largest diamond mine in terms of total value produced annually, De Beers’ Orapa, is located in Botswana.

Last month the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Botswana’s economy grew at a faster pace in 2013 thanks to an improved performance of its mining sector, driven mainly by a rebound in diamond exports.

Rio Tinto Says Wobble in the Diamond Demand Won’t last

Wobbly Asian diamond demand that has been dragging down prices of the gemstones won’t last, with rising affluence in China and a dearth of new discoveries pointing to a dazzling outlook over the longer run, said Alan Davies, diamonds chief executive for Rio Tinto PLC.

While global diamond demand isn’t as dependent on China as other precious commodities such as gold, the country and its expanding middle class is behind a large part of the industry’s growth forecasts. “We are very comfortable with our diamonds business: We love it and it is generating good cash flow,” Mr. Davies said last Friday. “Over time, the new supply coming onto the market is going down, and demand is going up, so conditions are very supportive over the coming decade.”

A shifting trend toward diamonds as part of the betrothal process in China, India and Japan has boosted demand, and is expected to gain further momentum, said Mr. Davies. He said interest in unique stones was also strong.

Rio Tinto Friday launched an annual tender process of rare pink and red diamonds from its Argyle mine in Australia. Mr. Davies said the quality of the stones and a voracious appetite world-wide for scarce gemstones might result in record sales for the collection of 65 diamonds, for which bids will close in October. “I think this year will be the most valuable tender we have ever had,” he said, declining to provide a value on the previous year’s sales, citing confidentiality. Argyle produces more than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds.

Women are no longer waiting for men to shower them with gems

Who buys the jewellery? It’s a new indicator of who-wears-the-pants in a household. Jewellery has traditionally been something gifted to women and even now that view holds strong: at a recent Business of Luxury summit, Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont (whose group includes Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels) talked about fine jewellery as something a man might want to give his wife or mistress. But many women have given up waiting for baubles and are gleefully buying jewellery for themselves – for the fun of it, for investment purposes, as divorce presents, or as a beautiful way to squander their bonuses.

A recent study by Mintel showed that more than half the 2,000 women surveyed bought jewellery simply to treat themselves – admittedly this group, dubbed the “Just Becausers”, were predominantly professionals aged 45 and over, with a disposable household income of more than 90,000, but still. Now not only are they buying it for themselves but they are doing so at auction, which traditionally has been the stronghold of male trade buyers.

This news comes from Bonhams, the auction house, which sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international auction house and reports that at its most recent jewellery sales in Knightsbridge, London, half the buyers were women. The trend is global; in the US, Bonhams expects one-third of its jewellery buyers this year to be female, while in Hong Kong, the figure is already 41%. The numbers are increasing year on year, according to Jean Ghika, head of the Bonhams jewellery team for Europe.

“More people see auctions as a good way to buy vintage, one-off jewellery and we’ve seen a big increase in female buyers who are buying jewellery for themselves,” she says. “These are career women who have successful jobs, who have their own money and are happy to choose their own jewellery with it – sometimes they are spending their bonus on a tangible asset, sometimes they are just treating themselves.”

http://europe.newsweek.com

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our website too. The website is regularly updated, we offer clearer images, more images per stone and we have priced everything showing. We are also now starting to add 360⁰ videos so that you can see all aspects of a stone without leaving your office! There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Week that Gemfields lost a little of its lustre

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday newsletter. Such an awful lot has happened this week, from ancient royal corpses turning up adorned in better jewellery than most glitterati, to De Beers almost nearly closing a huge deal with the Namibian government. From the United Arab Emirates proposing new laws to protect its pearls to a 3D printer creating gold plated headphones – it’s all here, and much more in this week’s newsletter

Enjoy!

Gemfields loses some of its lustre

Gemfields shares fell 6.7% to 59.5p on Wednesday, due to the mediocre results at a recent ruby auction. But, from an investor’s point of view this dip looks to be temporary as ruby prices still remain high.

Gemfields, who also the jewellery brand Faberge, said a sale of high-quality rubies in Singapore over the weekend raised $29.3m (£18.5m) at an average price of $617 per carat. The market was disappointed, as it had been expecting about $40m, in line with a ruby auction last year that raised $43.3m at an average price of $689 per carat. The market was also concerned by the weaker demand, with only 61% of the lots being sold, down from 85% in the December auction.

The lower revenues at the company, which has a June year end, saw broker Peel Hunt cut its target for full-year pre-tax profits from $41m to $31.9m. Market consensus only a few months ago was for pre-tax profits of $53.5m to the end of June.

The weaker demand and lower prices for gemstones are a setback, but the company has made good progress this year. The Montepuez and Kagem mines are still in the early stages of development and will steadily increase production in the future.

The creation of coloured gemstone auctions in international hubs such as Singapore has also created a route to market for the mining group. Gemfields made $154m through six separate auctions in the current financial year. Meanwhile, Faberge has enjoyed an improved performance since coming under the control of Gemfields in 2013.

The shares in Aim-listed Gemfields are clearly high risk, and are highly rated, with earnings per share expected to slump to 0.5p to June 2015. However, the company is expected to bounce back next year, with market consensus for pre-tax profits of $50.8m, giving 3p in earnings per share, to June 2016.

www.gemfields.co.uk

Mila Kunis steps out in Faberge for London jewellery event

Actress Mila Kunis, who is the global ambassador for Gemfields, attended a short film preview celebrating Gemfileds’ Mozambican rubies at the Corinthia Hotel, London this week. Kunis was reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood as she wore a simple plunging white Antonio Berardi dress with button detailing teamed beautifully with Fabergé ruby jewellery, including the Regalia Bracelet which features 126 rubies.

A 2,500 Year Old Corpse Found with a 1.25 Pound Gold Necklace

The body of what is thought to be as a Celtic prince or princess has been uncovered on a tomb in France, adorned with a 1.25 lb. gold necklace. The tomb, which dates from the fifth century B.C., was discovered in Lavau, a village near Troyes by a team from the National Archaeological Research Institute. Along with the gold necklace, the corpse was also found adorned with gold bracelets and amber stones that are thought of to be part of another necklace or a headpiece. Found also on the tomb were a wine jug with gold inlay, a large bronze cauldron, and a chariot, which is why the archaeologists who discovered the tomb believe the corpse to be of royalty.

Namibian Government Close to deal with De Beers

The Namibian government and De Beers are ready to sign a new sales agreement, President Hage Geingob and CEO of De Beers Group, Philippe Mellier said yesterday. Geingob said the government was ‘happy’ with its relationship with De Beers but refused to say when the two parties will sign the agreement. “We will invite you,” the President said responding to a question by The Namibian.

“We are confident about the future,” Mellier said. He said the next phase of the lengthy negotiations, which have been going on for over two years, was the signing of the new sales agreement. Like Geingob, Mellier did not want to say when the agreement will be signed.

Mellier said the current diamond deal was ‘working well’ for both parties. “We have dozens of years of production left at sea,” he said on marine-based operations in the Atlantic Ocean. “It’s a good business for all of us,” he added. By his estimation, marine diamond mining could last for up to 50 years. Commenting on the diamond market, Mellier said after a downturn as a result of the world economic crisis, demand for diamonds is picking up around the world, although he said buying patterns have changed.

Government and De Beers each owns 50% of diamond producer Namdeb Holdings, the land-based and marine project, which operates mostly from Oranjemund. The current agreement allows for 10% of diamonds to be supplied to local factories but Cabinet wants a new deal that is currently being negotiated to allow for the supply of between 25% and 30%. “A window on the market to enable government to buy a meaningful portion of Namdeb Holdings’ rough diamonds to sell them through alternative channels, the statement said. Cabinet said it wants the entire ranges of special stones to be available for sale and manufacturing in Namibia.

The statement said Namibia wants to protect Namdeb “by reducing or eliminating disproportional risks in the agreement, such as the ‘delivery entitlement’ clause”. In 2014, Namdeb Holdings produced a total of 1.8 million carats of diamonds, of which 1.2 million were produced by Debmarine Namibia. This is the largest annual production recorded to date by Debmarine Namibia, breaking the production record for the third year in a row. Namdeb’s production also increased in 2014 and produced a total of 612 265 carats, against a budget of 570 427 carats. The improved production performance by Namdeb was attributed to favourable exchange rates and diamond prices in 2014 as well as continuous reinvestments made by the company.

Los Angeles Police announced last Thursday that they have made 10 arrests, five of them juveniles, in a coordinated, swiftly executed smash-and-grab takeover robbery of a Koreatown jewellery store.

The robbery occurred about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Cross Jewellery store inside the Korean Town Center Mall in the 900 block of Western Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

When officers arrived at the scene, the suspects had fled in a getaway van, but investigators learned that about nine of them, armed with handguns and sledge hammers, had overpowered store employees and stole several hundred expensive designer watches, police said. “After overpowering employees and holding them at gunpoint, the suspects proceeded to smash the display cases with the sledge hammers and removed the watches,” according to an LAPD statement. “Within a couple of minutes the suspects were done with their operation and exited the store to a waiting getaway van.”

Police called it “a well-planned, coordinated and practiced operation.”

The investigation led detectives to a number of locations in Los Angeles and nearby cities, police said.

“Olympic area officers were able to take two suspects into custody in the City of Covina after a GPS tracking device embedded in the watches was tracked to a vehicle that was on the move in that city,” according to the LAPD.

Detectives then identified several other possible suspect locations and overnight arrested eight more suspects, five of them juveniles, police said.

They also recovered three firearms, a number of sledge hammers and several hundred watches stolen during the robbery, according to the LAPD.

Gemstone craze could cause landslides in Wonogiri

Miners in search of fire opal. are conducting uncontrolled major excavations in hills in a protected area in Wonogiri regency, Central Java, which may trigger landslides. One of the main mine sites that are being hit is only 60 kilometres south of the densely populated Wonogiri city.

Miners have been crudely digging with crowbars, chisels and sledgehammers after climbing to the digging point by means of bamboo ladders, in a fevered attempt to locate the very much in demand fire opal – which is known locally as brajad api which originates in Wonogiri. Fire Opal has been seeing a jump in demand recently as it has become very much sought after by gemstone collectors and enthusiasts.

“The protected forest at Manggal Hill has been damaged, especially due to large excavations on the slope. If this is tolerated, landslides could occur at any time on Manggal Hill,” said Surakarta Perhutani deputy administrative head Jhoni Andarhadi recently.

A local fire opal miner said, while showing off a stone the size of an adults thumb nail, “After being polished and turned into a ring like this, it could fetch at least Rp 2 million [US$150],”

Mining in this area is illegal and under the authority of the Surakara forest management. However, Wonogiri Regent Danar Rahmanto appears to have allowed the mining of fire opal in the area. Danar says he wants the local community to benefit from the area’s economic potential in both the upstream and downstream sector. The administration, said Danar, was pushing for the establishment of a village-run enterprise that would later process gemstones and to which miners could directly sell their yields. “It’s wrong if some accuse me of wishing to monopolize the fire opal business. Everything will be managed by a regional enterprise. The idea is aimed at spurring the community-based economy, so the enterprise can benefit the people both upstream and downstream,” said Danar, adding that currently miners sold crude fire opal to traders from outside the area. “Everyone can benefit from the existence of the [local] enterprise, that’s what I meant,” said Danar, who is also a gemstone collector.

Fire opal mining, according to Danar, has become a new mainstay for small entrepreneurs in Wonogiri. The beauty of fire opal purportedly outshone gemstones of the same ilk from Mexico and Tanzania, he added.

UAE proposes laws to protect pearls

The Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates has expressed concern recently over the protection of pearls, or lack thereof. Peals are one of the most important national treasures of the United Arab Emirates. The 40-member FNC house has just proposed laws to protect treasured pearls along with marine life with a motto that the UAE waters remain solely for the nation.

Dr. Rashid bin Fahad, the Minister of Environment and Water, stressed that exploitation of aquatic resources is a highly important issue for the nation and they are by all means working on insuring that UAE’s waters are protected from those who misuse it. “We humans are no different from the equipment used in the waters and thus we should leave the job to specialized professionals,” he says. “The Ministry of Water and Environment are one of the organizations who look at these cases seriously and we also take feedback very seriously,” Bin Fahad declared. “We work in coordination with other organizations, which are also in charge of preserving, protecting and developing our waters,” he added.

Gold-plated 3D printed headphones

The Chicago-based company V-MODA, has jumped on the 3D printing bandwagon and produced probably one of the most luxurious line of headphones you can ever find, with models such as the M-100 Crossfade and XS Series.

Not only are these headphones gold-plated, but they are made using their state-of-the-art “Forg3D” technology that allows for customers to personalize their purchases. The designs can be thoroughly unique as the company aims to allow users to upload their own art. Options range from Sterling Silver which would set you back about $430 per earphone cup to $650 for over-ear shield kits; Solid Gold at $4,000-5,500 for on-ear additions and $9,000-12,800 for over-ear; and even Platinum for $12,000-16,000 for on-ear ranging to $27,000-40,000 for the over-ear series.

Pretty in Pink

Whether you love it or hate it, pink has been making a major comeback on the catwalk and on the high street this season. From super striking magenta tones for a bold, fashion-forward aesthetically fantastically feminine pink blush and pastels hues for a more traditional romantic look. Pink jewellery accessories and rose gold have been really packing a punch of late. From pink bejewelled purses and handbags, to watches in rose gold in anything from high street to luxury brands – everything just looks so pretty when it’s pink. For pink jewellery, anything pink will do from pink diamonds to rose quartz, from pink sapphires to watermelon tourmaline, pearls with pink hues to pale rubies; as long as it’s pink it will be highly sought after this season.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Week that BJA and NAG agreed to marry

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday. It’s a big sales weekend this week, as wives and grown up children go out in search for that perfect present for Father’s Day. Tie pins, men’s brooches and watches are perfect gifts to give on Father’s Day, it is the jeweller’s duty this weekend to help dads everywhere to avoid the dreaded panic purchase of the comedy sock.

So put your feet up for 5 minutes, take time out before the panic buying begins, and let us regale you with the biggest stories from our industry this week.

Enjoy!

BJA NAG Unification

Members of the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) and the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) have voted in favour of combining the two bodies to form a single National Association of Jewellers (NAJ).

The decision was made at Goldsmiths’ Fair this week as part of the NAG’s AGM.

NAG members voted to become part of the British Allied Trades Foundation by 129 to 10. The association aims to exist to develop increased consumer confidence in the purchase of jewellery – which ultimately will be of significant benefit across the combined membership. It is determined to create a strong brand identity that will be recognised by the consumer as a mark of excellence, supported by a robust Code of Practice that all members will be expected to abide by or risk sanction. The National Association of Jewellers is designed to be the UK’s leading jewellery association in supporting and promoting a professional, vibrant, and growing jewellery industry. They will do this through the promotion of the integrity and professionalism of members, by providing education, training and support and by representing and promoting our members’ interests. The proposed merger is the first step on the path to achieve the association’s long term ambitions and objectives.

The benefits of the unification, they say, is through one voice there will be increased Influence for the industry – furthermore a united Association who represents over 2,000 businesses, would have a coherent and powerful voice to lobby government and third sector stakeholders on matters of concern to the industry, which will reduce confusion between bodies, carry more weight and be more effective at delivering results. The association will follow a robust Code of Practice that binds the membership to adhere to professional business standards, increasing consumer confidence to buy from an NAJ member.

They go on to state that the unification will provide a better geographical coverage for members, thus providing better services & better cooperation and communication across the whole supply chain. They also plan to have a greater engagement with consumers promoting the joy of buying and owning jewellery, creating greater confidence in the purchase of jewellery from NAJ members. A single, revitalised trade association will appeal to a wider and larger number of companies in the jewellery trade, resulting in increased membership.

The only question left is why they haven’t done this before now? Yes they are different legal entities but as they have proven with this vote, anything can be overcome with cooperation and drive to succeed.

For further details on this and how it will benefit members and the jewellery industry as a whole visit http://www.jewellers-online.org/

India Online

India is one of the world’s top Jewellery markets. A new trend is however emerging within the market as more and more Indians are ordering jewellery from online retailers. Physically buying jewellery is part of the experience from many consumers, and this is something online retailers can’t get away from. However a way around this problem has emerged, small displaced stores are now being set up where buyers can see the type of products that they can buy online, retailers are saying that this is gaining the confidence of the consumer and sales have been increasing because of it. So who is buying? Young people, people who are newly married and who are more internet savvy than their parents. This demographic is worth noting to all retailers who might want to enter this fast growing market as India has an unrivalled youth demographic: 65% of its population is 35 or under. By 2020 India will be the youngest country in the world.

Blue Stone – India’s top online jewellery store have already jumped on this huge selling opportunity, they say that online sales are steadily growing, that India’s youth are not just buying handbags and shoes online but jewellery too.

Still, it’s only jewellery at the cheaper end that is mostly sold online, not only in India but the rest of the world. However it is deemed that in time, as people are more comfortable making online purchases, and spending more money on something they haven’t physically seen the market for luxury jewellery online sales will inevitably grow.

So are we about to witness a seismic shift in how the very personal purchase of jewellery is sold?

Brazil police dismantle illegal mining of tourmaline

Police in Brazil have uncovered a multi-million pound scheme to illegally mine and export Paraiba tourmaline, one of the world’s most valuable gemstones.

Six people have been arrested so far, although two of them have escaped, with assets worth up to £10 million being seized, after an investigation into a criminal organisation illegally mining Paraiba tourmaline.

The rare, vivid blue gemstone, was first found in the north-eastern state of Paraiba in the 1980s and can fetch up to £65,000 (US$100,000) per carat (0.2g). The stone has been used by international designer jewellers including Dior and Tiffany.

“The result of the first intercepted conversations confirmed all previously collected information and revealed in detail the whole system adopted by the criminal organisation, proving the many crimes committed by those investigated, from the illegal extraction of the mineral to the money laundering of the resources accrued with gem sales,” federal prosecutors said.

Investigators said the stones were illegally mined from São José da Batalha in Paraiba, taken to the city of Parelhas in the neighbouring state of Rio Grande do Norte where they were illegally licensed, and then sent to Minas Gerais to be polished and sold abroad.

Prosecutors won suspension orders against companies Parazul Mineração and Paraiba Tourmaline Mineração to halt mining while the investigation continues.

The largest ever Paraiba tourmaline found was a 191.87ct stone named the Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba and was valued at as much as £80 million.

Prosecutors said companies had illegally profited from the gem, found in an impoverished region where a quarter of the population earn less than £15 a month.

“The stones that are displayed at luxurious events for celebrities and international tycoons, which are rented by Hollywood actresses to parade on the Oscar red carpet, should also provide the inhabitants of São José da Batalha and Salgadinho social progress, enabling better conditions of life, basic fundamental rights for the development of human beings, as proclaimed by the constitution and by international treaties,” said prosecutor João Raphael Lima.

Gemstones to bolster Zambia Economy

Benedict Tembo of the Lusaka government says the country has a huge potential to develop a gemstone industry that can be source of employment, foreign exchange earnings as well as economic growth and development. “The gemstones industry is, in this connection, an important contributor to the government’s economic diversification programme,”

In a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Stephen Mwansa, Ms Kapata said that the government is pleased that a local company, Jewel of Africa, has established itself in the international gemstone industry. She said the Jewel of Africa’s waterfall exhibition will bring into light the natural beauty of the gemstones that Zambia has and the intricate designs that are locally hand manufactured by master jewellers and designed by Rashmi Sharma. “It is wonderful to see such beautiful jewellery made here in Zambia by Zambians,” Ms Kapata said.

She said apart from Zambia having the best emeralds, the country also boasts of vast gemstones across the country such as aquamarine and garnet from Eastern Province, amethyst from Solwezi and Mkushi and tourmaline from Northern Province.

The Jewel of Africa is renowned for its bespoke exquisite gem-set jewellery which uses Zambia’s most valuable gemstones including emerald, aquamarine, tourmaline, amethyst and citrine to name a few. Each gem is set in yellow and white gold according to your taste. We source our gem in conflict-free areas and guarantee the highest level of ethical trading.

Petra Diamond Warning

Shares in Petra Diamonds dived 17.3p to 153p in early trading as the precious gem miner saw shares fall more than 10pc. A warning has been issued by Petra Diamonds that revenue will fall short of expectations after smaller diamonds from older parts of its mines reduce prices. The South African diamond miner now expects to achieve about $430m (£280m) in the year to the end of June, $40m less than the $472m achieved last year.

The miner owns and operates the Cullinan diamond mine, which produced the First Star of Africa, a diamond mounted at the top of the Sovereign’s Sceptre on display in the crown jewels. The production target of about 3.2m carats of diamonds for the year remains unchanged, but the company said that mining older parts of its Cullinan and Finsch mines was yielding smaller diamonds that were fetching lower prices when sold.

Petra is embarking on huge expansion of its mines to extend their life, and expects the new sections to start producing larger diamonds by the end of this year.

www.petradiamonds.com

Is Romance Lab Grown?

This week The Daily Telegraph posed a question, “Is it OK to propose with a lab-grown “fake” diamond?’

The important word in this question is “fake”; no matter how many times in how many different ways lab grown diamonds are shown to the real thing – society at large – or at the very least journalists, believe that they are fake.

But why do we think like this? After all Lab-grown diamonds have the same colour, clarity and composition as the real deal, and they can cost up to 50 per cent less. Lab grown diamonds are created in 6-10 weeks by blasting carbon fragments with chemicals, gases and heat to replicate the natural development of a diamond. But maybe that’s just it – the problem in a nutshell, is that they are grown in a manufactured environment really quickly.

The word “diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adams.” The Greeks thought them to be tears from the Gods. Diamonds are often said to be a girl’s best friend. They have adorned kings, queens, and movie stars, they dazzle us all by their beauty and when fashioned into an engagement or eternity ring the diamond becomes a symbol of love, romance and commitment. Diamonds come in an array of differing colours, they forged over thousands of years, miles beneath the earth. No matter the colour they are a symbol of eternity and strength, does this symbolism really carry over to something that has been created in 6-10 weeks?

Lab-grown diamonds do have a strong selling point in that they are conflict free and sustainable. But the biggest selling point, no matter how far P.R. companies go to try and hide, it is that they are cheaper.

Robert Cliff of Robert Cliff Master Jewellers in Sydney only deals with real diamonds but admits the lab-grown diamonds have come a long way. “Once upon a time I could spot a faux diamond from across the room but with today’s lab-grown diamonds you need a jewellers’ loupe to pick them,” says Cliff. “Whilst I can understand why someone might appreciate an artificially grown gem, the romance of a real diamond is ingrained. The wearer of that diamond knows it’s the real deal. There’s no need for little white lies. As they say, diamonds are a girl’s best friend — not fake ones.”

If a cheaper option is required when searching for that perfect stone for an engagement ring – why not chose a different stone altogether. Diamonds and fancy coloured diamonds are stunningly beautiful but so are sapphires, emeralds and rubies. More and more people are turning away from the simple white diamond for their engagement ring and choosing a more interesting coloured stone instead. Or how about opal, tanzanite or lapis lazuli to name but a few – so many options in every colour of the rainbow, there is no need to go fake, consumers just need to be educated as to what’s on offer, of the stunning pieces that can be created with a different coloured stone. And it’s up to us to educate them and make engagement rings colourful.

Company News

If you would like to help your customers see the wide range of alternatives to white diamonds (whether natural or lab-grown) why not take a look at our website? It is regularly updated, we now offer clearer images, more images per stone and we have priced everything showing. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Week that Gemfields sparkled with a rare rubies find

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday newsletter. This week the Tony Awards sparkled with stunning diamonds, emeralds and blue sapphires while many of the glitterati opted to wear jewellery from emerging jewellery designers. Gemfields managed to find a matching pair of rubies and Australia is about to sell the most valuable jewel ever at an Australian auction – a rare Argyle pink diamond expected to sell for up to $1.4million! Zara Philip’s takes her love of all things horsey and launches her own equestrian jewellery range. There’s more wearable tech – in the form of an engagement ring, which on closer inspection is more than a little creepy.

Enjoy!

What Happened

The Tony Awards

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known informally as the Tony Awards, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The 69th of which were held a few days ago on June 7th. This year diamonds were king at the famous black tie event.

To see who wore what – Diamonds Dominated the Red Carpet at the 2015 Tony Awards

Equestrian Inspiration

Zara Philips, in collaboration with jewellery designer John Calleija, has created an equestrian inspired jewellery range which is set to officially launch later this month.

Zara, who has been a long time fan of John Calleija and has often been spotted wearing his pieces said,” ‘I am no jewellery designer but I have had a great time working on this with Calleija, and I hope everyone enjoys the collection as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.’

The range comprises the Saddle Suite – a line of saddle-shaped rings, earrings and pendants, and the Coronet Suite, which represents the band on a horse’s hoof.

The price list of each piece is yet to be revealed, but the items will not be cheap, as each piece is hand-finished in platinum or white, yellow or rose gold, and set with white diamonds.

Interactive Diamond Ring

Just when you were wondering ‘whatever next?’ along comes an interactive diamond ring, designed by Galatea Jewellery. Momento Diamond engagement rings that can hold wedding vows, special pictures from that day, texts and web links – apparently all to promote the fidelity of the wearer! A little creepy.

“This is a ring with an extraordinary, hidden difference,” says Chi Huynh, Momento’s creator and Galatea’s owner and creative director. “Imagine being able to wear a ring that will hold your wedding vows, the pictures of your marriage and words of love. This is a ring that will live on forever in the hearts and minds of the bride and her groom.”

With Momento NFC technology inside every Momento Diamond ring, it can contain memories that are stored, saved and played back with the touch of the jewellery to an Android phone. The Momento Diamond ring collection will be available in retail stores in autumn 2015.

Emerald and ruby miner Gemfields sparkles on rare rubies find

Emerald and ruby miner Gemfields, which counts Hollywood actress Mila Kunis among its ambassadors, has discovered a rare pair of matching rubies from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique.

The 45 carat stones will form part of Gemfields’ auction in Singapore next week. And hopes are high. The coloured gemstone market is booming and breaking records. Sotheby’s in Geneva recently sold a 25.59 carat Burmese ruby for $30.3 million. That makes it the most expensive ruby ever sold at auction and the $1.2 million per carat achieved is a record.

“The discovery highlights scope for special stones from MRM [Montepuez] that can transform earnings,” says Investec Securities. “We note the previous (and maiden) high quality ruby auction generated $43.3 million in December and we hope to see this figure exceeded following next week’s auction, particularly with these two matching stones included.”

And it should. The 340 square kilometre Montepuez deposit yielded the 40 carat “Rhino Ruby” last year, and Mozambican rubies display the legendary “pigeon blood” colour previously reserved for rubies from Burma.

Green Diamonds are risky business for U.S. Traders

Diamond wholesalers and traders were dismayed to hear recently that even if a green diamond were certified to be Kimberley Process compliant, if the stone originated from Zimbabwe – where many green diamonds come from – the stone would still be in violation of U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe. The Natural Colour Diamond Association (NCDIA) and the Jewellers Vigilance Committee (JVC) held a seminar in New York City to answer queries about what diamantaires can do to acquire green diamonds without running afoul of U.S. law.

Zimbabwe probably accounts for 50 percent of green diamond production globally, if not more, estimated Tom Gelb, the educational director at the NCDIA. Despite many Zimbabwe mines becoming increasingly Kimberley Process compliant, existing diamond trading sanctions on the country by the U.S. mean that the diamonds cannot legally enter the country, said Cecilia Gardner, the president of JVC.

The best way a trader can be protected when dealing with green diamonds, according to Gardner, is to ask for a certificate stating whether the stone is Kimberley Process compliant and its origins. When trading polished green diamonds, traders should ask for a warranty stating that the stone was Kimberley Process compliant in its rough form and for verification of its origins. If the diamond was sourced from Zimbabwe, it is best not to deal with it, and ignorance of the law would not protect the trader, said Gardner.

Africa’s diamonds come at high price in blood and sweat

The Image, By AFP, is of miners working on the diamonds mine of Banengbele, 10 km south of Boda, on May 22, 2015 in Central African Republic. The country no longer exports diamond since the overthrow of Central African President Francois Bozize in March 2013 and the country’s suspension from the Kimberley process. The country was producing 300,000 carats per year before the crisis; today the production is around 70,000.

They all share the same desperate hope – that one day they will find a diamond that will change their miserable lives forever. The mine at Banengbele is one of many in the region where groups of diggers – or “Nagbata” as they are called – toil like ants with shovels and spades for the equivalent of three dollars a day.

The owner of the mine takes a cut of that for food, with many of the miners supplementing their meagre rations with bush meat like snake caught in the surrounding jungle. Conditions in the camp are grim. Four men sleep in a makeshift shelter no more than 1.5 metres wide (five feet) made of sticks, plastic sheeting and a mosquito net.

After long days of back-breaking labour in terrible heat, many numb themselves with cannabis and palm wine.

“We work hard. I ache all over,” said Jean Bruno Sembia.

Widow Huguette Zonki had no choice but to follow the miners into the bush to feed her four children.

“I have to survive somehow,” she said holding her baby, whose head was covered in pustules. “My husband was killed in the war. I earn three euros (dollars) a day cooking for the men and I spend between five days and a month at a time out here in the camp.”

For more on this story – C.Africa’s diamonds come at high price in blood and sweat

Rare Argyle pink diamond expected to sell for up to $1.4 million

Could this be the most valuable jewel offered at an Australian auction?

According to Mossgreen Armadale’s Head of Jewellery Patti Sedgwick, it is.

The rare Argyle pink diamond is set to go under the hammer on 16th June, when it is expected to sell for up to $1.4 million. It has drawn interest from local and overseas buyers and investors. Mossgreen marketing manager Nicole Kenning said the stone would likely remain intact, thanks to its special characteristics.

“It’s rare for a pink diamond to be round and brilliant cut, like this one is, because of the wastage which occurs when a round diamond is cut,” she said. “It’s also rare for a pink diamond to be of one carat or more – this one is 1.17 carat and is also exceptional in its deep, purplish-pink colour.” The 1PP grade diamond was one of only 55 stones in the 2010 Argyle pink diamond tender, a process whereby the company releases up to 60 of the best stones from its mine in the remote Kimberleys to the world’s top diamond dealers. Based on current production, it is estimated that less than 250 high-quality gemstones remain in the mine.

Indian Diamond Processing gets Hi –Tech

The Union ministry of commerce and industries in India, has given an in-principle approval for setting up a common facility centre (CFC) in Ahmedabad, Amreli, Visnagar and Palanpur. The centre will be equipped with modern equipment for polishing diamonds, thus giving the small and medium diamond manufacturers in Gujarat the ability to increase their output.

Industry sources said the small to medium diamond manufacturers other than in Surat are lagging behind when it comes to processing diamonds using hi-tech machines. Small players are not in a position to invest lakhs of rupees for installing modern technology for diamond polishing and jewellery making. “Diamond units operating in small centres across the state are using old and outdated technology, which was used in Surat 15 years ago. The productivity and quality of work is compromised. Through the common facility centres we want to provide a platform to diamond manufacturers to make use of modern technology and increase their productivity at par with global standards,” executive director, GJEPC, Sabhyasachi Ray said. Chandrakant Sanghavi, regional director of GJEPC, said, “The common facility centres will provide all the facilities to small diamond manufacturers such as planning of rough diamonds, laser marking, computer-aided design (CAD) for jewellery making etc. on job work basis.”

Trend Alert

The June Pearl

Consumers don’t have to have a birthday in June to enjoy pearl jewellery because the pearl is very much back in style. Pearls recently emerged back onto the scene at Chanel’s spring 2014 show when Karl Lagerfeld sent those enormous traffic stopping pearls down the runway. That same season, Oscar de la Renta adorned sheer, cream-and-gold booties with dainty pearls and Simone Rocha sent an array of pearl styles down her runway. And it looks like the pearl will continue to reign supreme this summer and into autumn winter, as it appeared on many a spring runway, notably Lanvin, who wove Moroccan style with natural peals beautifully.

Pearls possess a uniquely delicate translucence and lustre that place them among the most highly valued of gemstones. The colour of the pearl depends very much on the species of mollusc that produced it, and its environment. White is perhaps the best-known and most common colour. However, pearls also come in delicate shades of black, cream, grey, blue, yellow, lavender, green, and mauve.

Coincidentally the pearl is our Gem of the Month for June – see more about its history here – June Gem of the Month – Pearl!

A Sea of Green

Another colour direction for summer 2015 is green, the fashion world is calling this particular colour trend “jewel green” – apt for our industry hey? Emerald green has been a high fashion trend for a few years now, and this summer “jewel green” has risen up a notch further. Emeralds were worn by everybody who is anybody, at the 2015 Oscars and now that trend has trickled all the way down to high street level. It’s not just emeralds that are hot in demand but green sapphires, green diamonds, peridot, tourmaline, opal and jade are all high in demand. Vintage styled jewellery, which is still extremely high in demand, mostly holds a coloured gemstone – and more often than not, if it’s not a red sapphire then it’s a green gemstone. Fashion reports say that green will remain strong in the coming seasons with olive green turning up in the mix for autumn onwards.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The week where Pinterest became a sellers’ market

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday newsletter. Is that blue sky I see? Yes it surely is – which makes the fact that I have had 7 invites this morning alone to view Christmas 2015 collections quite depressing. While it is ridiculously early for any consumer to think about Christmas, it does go to show that many of the very large stores have already moved past the summer and are getting themselves prepared for the biggest money making season of them all. However, for now it is summer, and consumers don’t want to think about chilly weather but rather to what they will be wearing for summer instead. Gemstones coloured every hue of blue and boho chic emboldened with red, brown and yellow stones are this summer’s must have jewellery.

So take a 5 minute break in the sunshine and enjoy this week’s Thank theGembank.com newsletter.

Enjoy!

What caught my eye this week:

The Stephen Webster Plumage two finger ring

From the Magnipheasant collection. This unbelievably stunning and unique 18k white gold two fingered ring holds marquise cut rubies, fire opals, yellow sapphires and black diamond pave. This particular design is more than a mere nod to this summer’s boho trend.

Stephen Webster Jewellery is a London based luxury jewellery house which has been internationally heralded for its exquisite and cutting edge designs. Stephen Webster, who bares more than a passing resemblance to Bob Dylan, is the founder and creative director, who takes his inspiration from music, fashion, literature and art to produce contemporary, bold and glamorous collections.

Blue of course is extremely fashionable too – so these earrings, also by Stephen Webster which feature a pear cut quartz turquoise at the centre framed by scattered tanzanite, amethyst, and blue topaz stones fashioned in 18K white gold are perfect addition to anyone’s fine jewellery collection this summer. Webster’s use of bold coloured gemstones and cutting edge designs right across his jewellery range impresses not so much bling but a hard edged rock ‘n’ roll vibe. It is little wonder that he is so sort after by the “cooler” glitterati for their jewellery.

http://stephenwebster.com/

What Happened


Yellow is the new white

Los Angeles Lakers’ player Nick Young proposes with an 8.15-carat fancy yellow diamond
Further proof that yellow diamonds are the new classic happened this week when the Los Angeles Lakers’ player Nick Young popped the question to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea on Monday, with a giant 10.43-carat diamond ring reported to be worth $500,000.

The ring has an 8.15-carat fancy intense yellow cushion cut centre stone along with 2.28-carat white diamonds, the Daily Mail reported. After the proposal, Azalea posted a picture of the ring along with photos of the newly-engaged couple flaunting the precious piece of jewellery. She referred to the proposal as the “happiest day” and added “Love you @swaggyp1″ as the photo’s caption.
Celebrity jeweller Jason Arasheben — CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills — who made the ring, said that the Lakers star was quite particular to what he wanted, and spent a considerable amount of time visiting the jeweller.

Mayweather Spending Spree

Speaking of celebrity and their love of diamonds. After Floyd Mayweather earned a reported $150 million for his recent rumble with Manny Pacquiao – it’s been reported that last weekend he spent a small proportion of his winnings – $500 in a few hours – on his second favourite pastime – luxury shopping. And in last weekend’s spree all the money was spent on luxury watches and diamonds. Clearly he needed to up his bling to match last month’s purchase of a $150k Hermes crocodile bag.
According to the NY Post, Mayweather and his entourage visited a couple of shops on Saturday afternoon, one of which was a small kiosk called Flawless at the corner of 6th Avenue. Sources told the Post that the boxer dropped “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on watches at the location, which he has visited for the past eight years to buy, trade, and upgrade pieces. Soon after, Mayweather and Co headed to Pristine Jewellers NYC, where he showed up with a handwritten shopping list, which included a Cuban-link yellow-gold necklace for $35,000 and a diamond chain for $55,000.

Mayweather’s reputation of extravagant spending on luxury products goes before him. I can hardly wait to see where next month’s spree will take him!

Buyable Pins!

Shopping is coming to Pinterest. The visual bookmarking site on Tuesday said it planned to launch the “buyable pin,” an addition that would turn some of the service’s 50 billion images posted by users into a shopping catalogue.

A blue price tag with a posted image—known as a pin—would mean users can buy it directly via Pinterest. The move answers one of the top demands of Pinterest users, who tend to browse the service in search of products but must do further hunting to actually purchase them.

Will its “Buy Button” work better than Twitter’s and Facebook’s version? Pinterest has already offered a slew of paid advertising units. Pinterest have said that they have had many of their customers frequently asking to be able to buy from the site. So now the platform has answered by tapping into the “Buy Button” for further revenue generation opportunities. Adding buyable pins may well be a game changer for the five-year-old company, which investors have valued at $11 billion, as it seeks to keep expanding its user base and rev up its revenue engine to compete with Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and other social-media rivals.

www.pinterest.com

GIA closing in on the mystery of Colour Treatment Case

The GIA is close to working out what the mystery treatment was. aimed at temporarily improving the colour of some 500 diamonds submitted for the most part to its Israel lab, GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques said at the annual Rapaport conference on grading standards on May 31. Phil Yantzer, vice president of GIA’s Carlsbad lab services, said: “We know what is being done, but we don’t know how it is being done.” Most of the stones were “off-colour,” however since such diamonds are common, that didn’t raise an alarm. He declined comment on whether it was a coating, saying that GIA graders regularly check for coatings.

Jacques further stated that reports should not be called “certificates,” as “that is not what they are.” But she argued that labs should follow the same standard, and when labs follow their own standards, that needs to be disclosed to the consumer.

“Truth is always the best way to go,” said Rapaport chairman Martin Rapaport. “Diamond trading is subjective, but just because of that you can’t call anything what you want. There is a standard, and you can move a little bit to the right to the left. Legitimate diamond grading labs should be within one grade of what the GIA says.”

Lab-Grown Fancy Pinks to be sold by Helzberg

According to the announcement, Scio’s lab-grown diamonds are now being tested in a national marketing program through Helzberg Diamonds, the fourth largest jewellery retailer in the U.S.
Laboratory grown diamond producer Scio Diamond Technology Corporation (Scio) has announced that its lab-grown pink diamonds, certified by the International Gemological Institute (IGI), are now available as finished gemstones.

Scio Diamond produces lab-grown rough diamonds (both colourless and fancy gem colours in pink and yellow) in the three to five carat size, which are then processed, cut and polished by Renaissance Diamonds Inc. The two companies then sell the finished diamonds, in sizes from half-a-carat to two carat and larger, to retailers through a joint venture, Renaissance Created Diamonds.

“We want to provide consumers with a choice in selecting diamonds that satisfy their preferences and needs, our superior cutting, polishing and finishing turns Scio Diamond’s high-purity lab-grown rough diamonds into rare and beautiful gems for jewellery,” noted Neil Koppel, president and CEO, Renaissance Diamonds, Inc. “The scarcity and exorbitant cost of mined fancy colour diamonds have placed them out of reach for many consumers. Now they can own the diamond of their dreams at a fraction of the cost.” Explained Gerald McGuire, CEO, Scio Diamond. “Our highly controlled laboratory setting produces brilliant gems for fine jewellery, so lab-grown diamonds are a new option for today’s savvy shopper.”

www.sciodiamond.com

Trend Alert


It’s a Bohemian Summer

The 70’s Boho vibe is back, and it’s not just kimonos with fringing and embellishments but jewellery too this summer. Boho chic comes around every so often and makes a fashion statement, this year it’s an unusual blend of hippy meets high end chic. A huge strength for the boho style is that it is very distinctive. Boho jewellery is everywhere at every price level. Brands including Vanessa Arizaga, Bex Rox and Sveva have already implemented the trend in their designs using raw stones, beads and feathers. The most prevalent coloured stones for this look are red, brown and yellow.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Gem Bank comes to EPHJ

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com it’s Friday Newsletter. It’s been another busy week with lots of news to report. Alosa Mia Mine has unearthed a second enormous diamond this month, Amazon is preparing a not so stealthy take-over of Etsy and Medieval Pendant was saved from the scrapheap by a sharp eyed jeweller. The EPHJ show is next for our diary then it’s the Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale on the 22nd June, which is chock a block full of coloured diamonds!

Enjoy!

Date for the Diary

EPHJ show

The EPHJ Trade fair for watchmaking and jewellery is taking place from Tuesday, 2nd June to Friday, 5th June 2015 in Geneva.

EPHJ, dubbed by some as the user- friendly show, is an annual international show designed by and for professional watch and jewellery makers. It brings together the entire international profession represented by the trades and enterprises upstream and downstream from the finished product: design, raw materials, machines, control devices, components, packaging etc. EPHJ is held in conjunction with the trade fair for microtechnologies EPMT. In short everything you need for your industry under one roof.

Every year EPHJ gets bigger and bigger, but it has never lost the remarkable ambience that sets it apart from other shows. Here the exhibitors don’t seem to vie for position or see who can sell the most. It’s more of a user-friendly occasion where they try to establish better relations with their clients, meet their needs and solve their problems. Total cooperation between exhibitors and visitors seems to be the by-word.

Are you coming? We, as Major Trading Ltd, will be at booth L63. Please feel free to pop over and say hello, and let us show you how working with coloured gemstones can aid you and your business.

Colured Diamonds Lead the show at Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale

New York June 22, Bonhams will be having its Fine Jewellery sale. The top lot is a diamond rivière necklace featuring 70 cts. t.w. of round brilliant-cut diamonds, estimated to go for $1.4–$1.8 million.

Once again coloured gemstones are stealing the show. Susan Abeles, US head of jewellery at Bonhams, comments on the desirability of colourful jewels, “This sale is packed with beautiful coloured stones and important pieces of wearable jewellery that have, time and time again, proven their worth in the saleroom.”

Strong examples of coloured gemstones include:

  • A brilliant and saturated Imperial topaz and diamond pendant brooch from the belle epoque era estimate ($6,000-9,000).
  • An important 25 carat sapphire and diamond ring (est. $400,000-500,000) by M. Gerard, a famous French jewellery house known for its superior craftsmanship and superb gemstones. The richly coloured crystal sapphire’s unusual octagonal cut makes this a very rare find. The sapphire is flanked by triangular-cut diamonds and is mounted in 18k gold.
  • A fancy coloured diamond and sapphire ring (est. $40,000-60,000) designed as a pavé-set diamond with a geometric plaque. The plaque centers a lozenge brilliant-cut light gray-blue coloured diamond weighing 0.92 carat with a calibré-cut sapphire surround.
  • A brilliant and saturated Imperial topaz and diamond pendant brooch from the belle époque era brings a bright splash of colour to the sale ($6,000-9,000).
  • A pair of ruby and diamond ear clips by Cartier (est. $10,000-15,000) and an 18K yellow gold and ruby bracelet by Tiffany (est. $5,000-7,000) can be worn during the day.

www.bonhams.com/press_release/19248/

What Happened

Diamond Miners Agree to Form Diamond Producers Association

Seven of the world’s leading diamond mining companies today announced their commitment to form the Diamond Producers Association (DPA). The founding members – ALROSA, De Beers, Rio Tinto, Dominion Diamond Corporation, Lucara Diamond Corporation, Petra Diamonds Ltd, and Gem Diamonds Ltd will work together to support the development of the diamond sector.

The DPA is the first ever international representative organization to be formed by some of the leading diamond producers, with a corporate registration in London, England. The main idea behind this move is to maintain and enhance consumer demand and to repair consumer confidence in diamonds. The remit includes; providing a reliable source of industry information, including trade and consumer research. To act as the unified voice of the diamond producers and Communicating the role and contribution of diamond producers to the diamond sector and broader society; and perhaps most importantly to share best practices in health and safety, licence to operate, supply chain integrity and environment management.

www.debeersgroup.com

Medieval Pendant Saved from the Scrapheap!

A 500-year-old pendant worth more than £13,000 was saved from being sold as scrap gold after a jeweller recognised its value.

The jewellery, dating from 1450-1500, was found more than 30 years ago in a garden in Dorton, Buckinghamshire. The owner had no idea of its value until trying to sell the pendant, when experts identified it as medieval. Buckinghamshire County Museum, obtained the whole £13,000 to buy the piece via grants from the Headley Trust, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Patrons of the Museum. Museum spokesman Brett Thorn said that the pendant which depicts a man in bishop’s robes, probably Thomas Becket, and the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is an “extremely rare” and a “beautiful and fascinating little piece of Bucks heritage. Apart from the incredible level of skill of the craftsman who made it, it also tells us something about how important religion was to the lives of the people at that time,” he said. “To realise the fact that they would invest so much time and wealth in a tiny souvenir which no-one else would ever see, perhaps hoping for a miraculous cure, helps us understand them better.”

After its age was confirmed, the British Museum said it could be sold privately as it was found before the 1996 Treasure Act was passed.

www.bbc.co.uk/news

Tiffany earnings revenue top estimates

Tiffany on Wednesday delivered quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, which caused the share price to jump 11.5% to its highest point since January.

However, those expectations where quite low to begin with as company profits have dipped in the past 18 months. The share price dropped sharply in January after Tiffany reported on less very disappointing results after the holiday period in 2014, which sent its share price sinking almost 18.5%. The company’s net income fell to $104.9 million, or 81 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 30 from $125.6 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier.

Tiffany has proportioned some of the blame of its revenue fall to $962.4 million from $1.07 billion a year ago, to the strengthening of the US dollar. They say the stronger US dollar has been discouraging tourists from spending money and reducing the value of overseas sales. Analysts expected the retailer to report earnings of 70 cents per share on $919 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

This report does hold a sliver of silver in its otherwise dark cloud. While revenue fell year over year, Ike Boruchow, senior research analyst at Sterne Agee, noted that Tiffany beat expectations in every geographic region. He singled out its business in Europe as a bright spot.

www.tiffany.com

Etsy braces for inevitable Amazon Attack

Etsy, the online market place for the global creative community, to sell hand-made bespoke pieces, has had a rough time since going public in April. Now they are vulnerable for attack – and reports so far suggest that Amazon are creating their own – Handmade market place. Reports are of invites which have been sent in the past few days from Amazon to Etsy sellers inviting them to sign up for Handmade. Though there were no specifics in the invite email in terms of timing or fees, it’s clear Amazon is headed towards Etsy territory.

It looks like jewellery might be a focus at the new Amazon Homemade site. As they seem to asking Jewellery sellers, more specific questions over other sellers. On the “Handmade at Amazon Artisan Interest Form” they ask pointed questions to those who sell jewellery to be more specific about what they will be selling, charms, bracelets earrings.

At the time of reporting this both Etsy and Amazon have declined to comment.

Alrosa does it again

For the second time in a matter of weeks, Russia-owned diamond miner Alrosa has unveiled a second significant diamond. This latest diamond is said to be a 78.02ct diamond from its Mir underground mine, estimated to be worth more than $600,000 if put on auction.

The stone, measuring 28.5 х 28.4 х 24.2 mm, has a regular shape with minor technogenic damages on two tops and small inclusions, experts from the company’s Diamond Sorting Centre said in an e-mailed statement.

Trend Alert

Blue is the colour for summer

The trend for summer is crystal clear. From pale azure to the more vibrant shades. Blue gemstones were loved and worshiped by both the Egyptians and ancient Greeks as the colour of the gods, the blue shades for summer include electric, powder and navy. A sea of blue from costume jewellery to fine jewellery is everywhere, from topaz to sapphire. So maybe it’s time to start practicing the cerulean monologue from The Devil Wears Prada – because you are going to need it!

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend!

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

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank theGembank.com 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 http://www.mjsa.org/about_mjsa/mjsa_news

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.”

www.debeersgroup.com

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 Nordstrom.com 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.”

http://shop.nordstrom.com/

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%!

http://financial.thomsonreuters.com/en/resources/articles/gfms.html

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.

http://www.gold.org/supply-and-demand/gold-demand-trends

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Another Record Setting Auction

Welcome to this week’s Thank theGemBank.com 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 www.thegembank.com to see what we’ve done.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

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