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

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


Our Favourite Watches from Baselworld 2015

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

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

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

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

Chopard LUC 1963 Tourbillon – a true classic…

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

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

Rolex lady Datejust Pearlmaster – Rolex never disappoints…

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

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

In The News…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Summit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diamond Squad’s Agim De Bruycker Charged

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

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

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

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

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

Date for the Diary

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

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


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


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


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


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

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Savage Beauty

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


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

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

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

Things this week that made me go ahhhhh

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

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

Date for the Diary

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





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

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

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

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

In The News…

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

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

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

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

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

Breitling Flies into the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

Average engagement ring spend inches closer to $6K

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

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

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

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Paris Fashion Week, the Apple Watch and More

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday newsletter. Spring has finally sprung which can only mean one thing – BaselWorld is just around to the corner! In this week’s newsletter we have the best picks from the most outlandish fashion week – Paris, the latest news, and the Apple Watch. So put the kettle on and take 5…


Paris Fashion Week!

Out of all the fashion weeks Paris is perhaps the most anticipated, because this is where the creativity hits a crescendo, and this season it surpassed expectations. The jewellery used on the catwalks went from mildly crazy to full on fearless bonkers – this is what happens when creative minds truly let go, and it was fantastic. Think dark romance, punk, and androgynous and you have the perfect mash of the fall/winter looks at Paris fashion week. As the consumers of today are constantly in search of distinct and unparalleled jewellery this show may just get the creative juices flowing.

Our favourites…

Face jewellery!

Givenchy, it seems really wanted to make that all important impact. With face jewellery, specifically, the oversized faux facial piercings for both men and women, the scene was officially stolen for the evening. Creative Director Riccardo Tisci cited “Victorian Cholas” as his inspiration for fall, allowing him to mix his signature hard edge gothic, dark romance with pops of Latin street culture that he has long admired. He covered the models’ faces with glued-on jewels, complete with large nose rings on each nostril that make the door-knocker septum rings he showed up with a few years back look quite tame in comparison.

Badges and Brooches

The same style and size badges adorned both the men and women as Paris fashion week, which were especially prolific at the Saint Laurent show. However, even though the jewellery here might be androgynous, when worn by a woman it’s called a brooch and a man a badge.

Tie Pins

This trend has been a slow burner for the last few seasons – however the trend was quite prolific at this seasons show, especially at the Versace show – so be prepared customers will be asking for them.

Safety Pins

Louis Vuitton showed us safety pins. Worn in the nose, aka savage style, in the eyebrow or in the more socially acceptable earlobe. Oh yes Punk is very defiantly back.

Technology Versus Beautifully Engineered Luxury

The Apple Watch is about to hit the streets – yep, not the iWatch

Apple has now finalised all the details including Apple Watch release date and UK price information.

The announcement was made at the Spring Forward event a few days ago, which was attended by analysts and media and took place in San Francisco. The event shed light on the exact release date for the Apple Watch, as well as the final pricing structure for the various different models on offer. In a nutshell it will be priced from £299 – to the special edition £8,000, with availability from 24th April worldwide.

See our latest blog for our further thoughts on the new product and what this might mean for luxury wrist-wear.

Read more: The Apple Watch – Technology versus Beautifully Engineered Luxury

Date for the Diary

Baselworld – 19th – 26th March. Baselworld is the most important marketplace and trendsetting show for the world’s watch and jewellery industry. Baselworld distinguishes itself as the only show that regroups all the key players from watchmakers to jewellers, from diamonds, pearls and gemstones dealers through to machines and supply industry.

In The News…

Motorway thieves steal French jewels

Armed thieves have seized a reported €9m (£6m; $9.5m) worth of jewels from two armoured lorries at a French motorway toll booth. As many as 15 hooded attackers seized the vehicles at about midnight on Tuesday on the A6 motorway at Avallon, 220km (140 miles) south-east of Paris.

The drivers were said to be unhurt and the lorries were later found abandoned some distance away.

The gang is reported to have fled in the direction of Paris.

The thieves were said to have waited for the security vehicles at the Avallon toll booth south-east of Auxerre, spraying some form of gas at the drivers when they arrived.

Local reports said the lorries had been carrying a consignment of diamonds, other jewels and works of art between Paris and the eastern city of Besancon.

There have been a number of high-profile jewellery heists in France in recent years, most notably the theft of more than €92m (£65m; $100m) during two separate raids on a Harry Winston store in Paris.

Polished Diamond Prices Dip

According to the Rapaport’s RapNet Diamond index, polished diamond prices have continued to slip in February though the market did see a bit of a lift for 1 carat stones. The RapNet Diamond Index for 1ct laboratory-graded diamonds increased 1 percent last month while the index fell 1 percent for 0.30ct and 0.50ct diamonds and dropped 0.5 percent for 3ct stones.

All told, 1ct diamond prices have risen 0.6 percent year-to-date, while prices for 0.30 and 0.50ct diamonds are down 2 percent and the index for 3ct diamonds has dropped 0.5 percent.

Adding to the uncertainty were slumping demand in Russia and the Middle East due to falling ruble and oil prices, respectively, and weakening demand in China because of the government’s campaign against corruption and conspicuous consumption.

De Beers to talk about synthetic diamonds at Basel

Three leading research scientists from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and De Beers Technologies UK will speak about lab-grown (synthetic) diamonds during GIA GemFest Basel in Switzerland later this month. They will be covering the latest research on synthetic diamonds and their identification, as well as how GIA and De Beers are facing the challenges brought on by potential non-disclosure. A question-and-answer session will immediately follow.

Blue Nile Arrives in India

Another big player is investing in the rapidly growing Indian market. PC Jeweller Limited has signed an exclusive collaboration agreement with Blue Nile, the U.S.- based online jeweller. The objective of the collaboration is to evaluate the Indian market for potential online jewellery sales on a long term basis. This collaboration is a stepping stone towards potential strategic partnership between Blue Nile and PC Jeweller.

Jaguar and Bremont Announce Two New Wristwatches Celebrating the Iconic E-Type Sports Car

Jaguar and Bremont announced the launch of two new watches themed on the iconic Jaguar E-type sports car. The two British firms are enhancing their long-term partnership following the creation of six Bremont chronometers which complement each of the six ‘continuation’ lightweight E-type sports racing cars. The new watches feature design inspired by the Jaguar E-type sports car, which at its 1961 launch was not only the fastest production car in the world but – according to Enzo Ferrari – the most beautiful. The result is a pair of watches which subtly relay some of the codes of the E-type, but which are also easy to recognise as having been created with the car in mind. They simply look absolutely right when you wear them in the driving seat – almost as if they had been designed alongside the car back in the ’60s.

Greensboro Jewellery Store Owner Charged With Switching Jewels

The owner of Custom Jewellers Gallery in Greensboro is facing charges after police said he switched real gems with fake ones.

The victim was Peggie Rorie, a former employee of Custom Jewelers Gallery. WFMY News 2’s Morgan Hightower spoke with Rorie’s daughter who said after her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she asked Pietrantozzi to help sell some of her jewellery. Rorie needed to find money to pay for medical bills. Included in the collection of jewellery Rorie wanted to sell was a diamond and emerald ring. The total carat weight was nearly 4ct and had an estimated value of $30-50,000, according to police.

Rorie died in January. The 80-year-old’s daughter says after getting her mother’s ring back from Custom Jewellers, she took it to another jewellery store to be appraised. It was then she learned the diamond had been replaced with a stone called Moissanite and the emeralds were replaced with a “green stone”. Pietrantozzi is charged with one count of Embezzlement Prop. Rec. by Virtue of Office/Employment and one count of Exploitation of Elder Adult or Disabled Adult, both felonies.

Detective Cody St. Pierre told WFMY at this point in his investigation, he has not identified any other victims. Police are still trying to track down her gems.

Company News

I hope you are enjoying not only our weekly updates but our new website too. New items have been recently added to our online stock, including certificated diamonds and matching pairs. There is a retail price if you have not registered, but registered companies will get a discounted trade price. Go to to see what we’ve done.

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Fine Jewels Coming to Auction

Hello and welcome to this week’s Thank it’s Friday – we have dates for the diary, trend news from the super cool hipster Brit awards last week and the latest news stories to regale you with.


Date for the Diary

Sotheby’s Fine Jewellery Auction 18th March

Sothebys Fine Jewels AuctionThe much anticipated Sotheby’s Fine Jewellery Auction is being held in a few weeks time. This will be Sotheby’s second jewellery auction of the year in London. The Fine Jewels sale offers a myriad of stunning pieces totalling 289 lots that span from the 18th century to the present day. Vintage diamonds rings and 19th century jewels are aplenty in the sale, while other notable highlights include late Art Deco diamond bracelets and brooches in iconic geometric designs from the period.

Some of our favourites such as the 1920’s Gem set and Diamond Brooch have already been detailed in last week’s newsletter. But just to whet your appetite a little bit more, here are a few more delectable pieces that stood out for us that should get the bidders digging deep into their pockets.

  1. Emerald and Diamond Brooch-Pendant, late 19th century estimated between £12,000-15,000. As seen on so many celebrities in the past few months, both male and female, the brooch is making a big comeback and the mix of these stunning emeralds which are so popular make this particular brooch really stand out from the crowd.

  2. Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet of Geometric design, set with calibré-cut sapphires and brilliant-cut diamonds, estimated £4,000-5,000. The vintage style of this bracelet should get the paddles waving wildly.

  3. Gem Set and Diamond Brooch Cartier 1940sCartier 1940’s Gem Set and Diamond Brooch, estimate £6,000-8,000. Animals in jewellery are very popular right now and this is a stunning example. Designed as a fox, set with variously cut citrines, pear-shaped emeralds and a trapeze-shaped sapphire, the tail accented with single-cut diamonds.

  4. Diamond and Seed Pearl cocktail watch, Cartier, circa 1910 estimated £4,000-6,000. Vintage Cartier never goes out of fashion and with the added pearls, which are very on trend, this is a lot to look out for as I suspect it will be very popular indeed.

Trend Alert

The Brits!

This year’s Brit awards will undoubtedly be remembered for Madonna falling backwards off the stage and Kanye West’s childish swear-athon resulting in the most muted song ever performed at the Brits – quite some accolade for one of the biggest events on the musical calendar. I however, was as usual, more concerned with the jewellery that adorned the nominees and audience members. As this event is known as the epitome of cool, where whatever is worn is keenly followed by all who want to be bang on trend. From coloured gemstones and pearls – to rose gold and crystals, the one trend that was worn by almost every single female in attendance was wearing rings – on almost every finger. And the very popular stone was the beautiful and versatile moonstone.


Well this isn’t exactly new – as moonstones have been very fashionable for a few years now. But the stone is experiencing a resurgence once again – as the glitterati are finally wearing them too. And with the trend for wearing multiple rings, and stacking rings continues, moonstones were a popular choice.

Janelle Monae wore an urchin signet ring by British designer Michelle Oh Jewellery, in silver featuring a rainbow moonstone.

Ellie Goulding – in her first outfit of the evening also wore multiple rings – some of which were moonstone – although she has not yet confirmed which jewellery designers she wore. It is rumoured however that some of her rings were high street as she is known for mixing couture and high street brands.

Rings on every finger
As well as Janelle Monae and Ellie Goulding there were many other stars who wore this very cool and hipster trend; to name just a few more Rita Ora, Cara-Delevingne and London urbanite fka-twigs- who wore a ring on every finger in her first outfit of the evening and once changed she held the award for the most amazing statement necklace of the evening!

In the News – Diamond Heists and Disputes

Six mainland Chinese women held after HK $1.5m diamond theft at Hong Kong jewellery show

Thieves from mainland China managed to elude heavy security and stole two 3ct diamonds, worth about HK $1.5 million by swapping the gems with fakes just an hour after Hong Kong’s biggest international jewellery show opened at the airport last week.

According to police the four females, aged from 25 to 35, were probably part of a gang which came to the city to raid the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show at the Asia World-Expo. They have now been arrested but only one of the two diamonds was recovered. The other gem, valued at about HK $500,000, is still missing.

Two of the well-dressed women posed as clients. They asked staff to show them a 3ct diamond at one of the booths at 11.15am.

Despite the heavy security, which is stepped up year on year at these events, theft here it seems is quite common place. Only last week, three Chinese men were arrested on suspicion of stealing a 5ct diamond, worth about 1.2 million bhat ($36,864) from the 55th Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair.

Hong Kong broker vanishes with diamonds

The Indian diamond industry suffered a major blow on Monday after a Hong Kong-based diamond broker disappeared with polished diamonds worth Rs 100 crore belonging to a Mumbai-based diamond company.

The diamond broker hailed from Saurashtra. The Mumbai-based diamond company had sent a polished diamond parcel to Hong Kong after the broker promised to sell it to a party based in China. Talking to TOI from Hong Kong, a diamond industry leader said, “The broker has disappeared from the market after shutting down his office.”

In the one month, the Indian diamond industry has witnessed defaults amounting to over Rs 350 crore. “The diamond industry is passing through a tough phase due to dwindling demand for polished diamonds from the USA, China and Hong Kong. The industry is basing its hope on the success of the Hong Kong Jewellery Show that started from March 2,” said an office-bearer from Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Taj Mahal diamond dispute

Elizabeth Taylor’s estate and Christie’s have entered a legal battle over the $8 million Taj Mahal diamond. Elizabeth Taylor’s estate is suing Christie’s, the auction house, over the $8.8 million (£5.7 million) sale of the “Taj Mahal” diamond, a gift to the late actress from Richard Burton on her 40th birthday. The Taj Mahal was sold by Christie’s along with the rest of Taylor’s jewels and wardrobe in New York following her death in 2011. The collection, which was dubbed the “Crown Jewels of Hollywood,” broke all expectations and brought in $183.5 million to benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. But the trustees of her estate have now filed a complaint alleging breach of contract. They claim the anonymous buyer of the Taj Mahal diamond returned it months after the sale saying it had not, as they had believed, once belonged to the wife of a 17th century Mughal emperor. According to the complaint the auction house had only ever stated that the diamond was of Indian origin. But it still agreed to cancel the sale. Christie’s then requested that the estate return the proceeds of the sale.

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger, and nobody gets left behind.

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

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

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

The Oscars

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

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

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

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

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

And so to the Fashion Weeks

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

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

Here are our favourites

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

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

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

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

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a Sparkler

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

The Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond

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

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

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

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

From Russia with Synthetics

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

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

IIJS – Starts Today!

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

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend

Thank TGB it’s Friday – Hot colours, Hearts and Androgynous Gems

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

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

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

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

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

Hearts at the ready

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The complete report is available at

Changes afoot in Zimbabwe Mining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diva Design Competition Winners Announced

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

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

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

Out of the winners here are our favourites:

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

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

Read more: DIVA Design Competition 2015 [top]

The Plot Thickens

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

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

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

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

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

Company News

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Happy Valentine’s!

Thank TGB it’s Friday – The Tucson Show Special

Colour colour everywhere, and not a dull shade in sight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend.

Thank the Gembank it’s Friday – SIHH 2015 Special

Watches Watches Watches

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


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

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

All the watches were spectacular – here are a few favourites

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

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

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

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

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

Read more: The Best Watches of SIHH 2015

Read more: Montblanc at the SIHH 2015 [top]

Dazzling Timepieces for Women were unveiled

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

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

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

Read more: Richard Mille [top]

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

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

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

The Elephant in the Room

The Swiss Currency Cap

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

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

The Swiss Currency Cap

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

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

By working together our industry will get stronger.

Have a great weekend.

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

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

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

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

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