Independent analyst and consultant on diamonds and the mining industry, and publisher of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky has published a wide-ranging article comprised of quick diamond-industry stats and trends: "2018 Global Diamond Industry Primer". Here he lays out the current situation and developments as we bring the 2017 diamond year to a close, and identifies what to look out for in the year ahead.
Vrai & Oro, the jewelry designer owned by laboratory-grown diamond producer Diamond Foundry, has closed its Los Angeles retail store after only six months. Despite several articles by the likes of Vogue announcing their partnership, and The Hollywood Reporter dropping Hollywood names like headliner Leonardo DiCaprio, the designer has come to the conclusion, "that retail is a true challenge." The Los Angeles fine jewelry label, which was purchased by Diamond Foundry in November of last year, opened a store in downtown L.A. at the ROW DTLA shopping center last August.
This debate shows the need for the industry to demonstrate the value of its products. The link between a diamond and love is clear and well-established. But while consumers don’t think twice about buying $300 sneakers, or $1,000 handbags, they regularly balk at spending a few thousand dollars on engagement rings. And yet, it takes a lot of painstaking craft to make a ring (of the non-$25 variety). It also takes a lot of effort and money to get diamonds out of the ground. Plus, consumers are buying a product that is intended to hold its value and truly last forever ... it’s clear, many consumers don’t know all that. Perhaps that’s something the industry can think about how to rectify in the year ahead.
- JCK's Rob Bates addresses the stormy internet debate about Kay Jewelers' $24.99 diamond ring
Leading Chinese jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook reported a 5% year-on-year increase in same store sales (SSS) for the three-month period ended December 31, 2017 (Q3 FY2018) in its key markets of Mainland China and Hong Kong & Macau, reflecting solidification of the recovery in demand and increasing points of sale. Overall retail sales value in Hong Kong and Macau was flat year-on-year for the third quarter, but recorded 12% growth in Mainland China.
Signet's total sales for the 9 weeks ended December 30, 2017 (“Holiday Season”) were $1,881.7 million, down $59.2 million or 3.1%, compared to $1,940.9 million in the prior year, the group announced in a press release today. Same Store Sales (SSS) decreased 5.3%. Sales declines were primarily driven by weakness in the Sterling division (Kay, Jared, R2Net and Regional brands), impacted predominantly by the credit outsourcing transition* which accounted for approximately two-thirds of the decrease. R2Net was the best performer in the division, increasing sales 38.6% to $50.6 million.
Moda Operandi, the American online luxury retailer originally founded in 2011 as a platform to provide consumers access to full collections straight from the runway, has just received a brand-new influx of cash. Billionaire entrepreneur and executive director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Adrian Cheng and Apax Digital co-led its latest round of funding, which totals a massive $165 million in growth capital. That number doubles Moda Operandi's total funding, which had reached more than $130 million as of its Series E round in February 2015.
A "superb twin-stone colored diamond ring by Graff" soared past its $6,500,000 - $8,500,000 estimate to earn $12,575,000 at hammer time yesterday during Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale. The remarkable sale comes just a day after another blue diamond fetched $15.1 million at Sotheby's New York auction.
A 5.69-carat fancy vivid blue diamond fetched $15.1 million at Sotheby’s New York yesterday, making it the top lot of the day and confirming once again that purchasers are willing to pay top dollar for blue diamonds that carry the ultra-rare “fancy vivid” classification. The hammer price, which is equivalent to $2.66 million per carat, came in slightly above the pre-sale high estimate of $15 million. The emerald-cut gem, which is set in a platinum ring and flanked by two baguette-shaped diamonds, has a VVS1 clarity grade.
Angolan state-owned diamond company Sodiam will divest a stake in Geneva-based jewelry maker De Grisogono - a Swiss firm controlled by the husband of the billionaire daughter (Isabel) of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos - for “reasons of public interest and legality,” report Henrique Almeida and Candido Mendes for Bloomberg Markets. The move comes, the journalists write, as Angola’s new leader, President Joao Lourenco, untangles the country from the business interests of his predecessor’s family.
Tiffany & Co. saw its worldwide net sales increase 3% to $976 million in the third quarter for the three months ended October 31, 2017, while comparable store sales declined 1%. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, their comps held steady. Their net earnings increased 5% to $100 million from $95 million. The uptick in net sales was driven by a 15% rise in the Asia-Pacific region, to $283 million, as strong growth in mainland China contrasted with declines in most other countries, which the jeweler attributed largely to lower Chinese tourist spending.
An incredibly rare 14.93-carat Fancy Vivid VVS1 pink diamond, which Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery at Christie’s, described as the "Picasso of the Pink Diamond world," sold for $31,861,000 (HKD 250 million), or approximately $2.13 million per carat, at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong auction on November 28. The diamond, referred to as The Pink Promise Diamond, is an oval-shaped fancy vivid pink Type IIa diamond, weighing approximately 14.93 carats, set within a circular-cut diamond surround, gallery and hoop. Its Fancy Vivid Pink color (as opposed to Fancy Intense Pink) is a designation given by the GIA and represents the most prized color grading in a pink diamond.
Signet Jewelers announced its results for the 13 weeks ended October 28, 2017 (Q3 Fiscal 2018): total sales were $1,156.9 million, down $29.3 million or 2.5%, compared to a decrease also of 2.5% in the 13 weeks ended October 29, 2016. The retailer's same-store sales ("SSS") were down 5.0%, including an estimated 120 basis point negative impact that they attributed to weather-related incidents (read, hurricanes) and systems and process disruptions associated with outsourcing the credit portfolio.
According to a survey of more than 14,000 engaged or recently married individuals undertaken for the 2017 Jewelry & Engagement Study by popular wedding planner The Knot, the average spend on engagement rings is $6,351, up 25 percent from 2011 ($5,095). Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) grooms report spending more than planned on the engagement ring.
Two leading Hong Kong-based jewelry retailers, Chow Tai Fook and Luk Fook, delivered strong results in the second quarter of their respective financial years ending September 30 2017, signalling the sustained recovery of the Greater China market after a prolonged slump. Chow Tai Fook reported a 15% increase in retail sales in Mainland China and a 12% rise in Hong Kong and Macau compared to the same period a year ago. Luk Fook, reporting only same-store sales (SSS), reported 17% growth year on year, including a 16% increase in gem-set jewelry.
A legendary 19.07 carat pink diamond of historic Royal French provenance will be offered for sale at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on 14 November 2017, the auction house reports in a press release. The magnificent stone has been in the collection of four kings, four queens, two emperors and two empresses, starting with the Sun King, Louis XIV. It is one of France’s most storied gems, with three centuries of royal provenance.
The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), considered the UK’s leading jewelry association, has appointed Simon Forrester as its new CEO, replacing Michael Rawlinson, who resigned from the NAJ in May. Forrester will assume his new role after spending seven and a half years as chief executive of the British Pest Control Association. Forrester has previously won the award of Trade Association Chief Executive of the Year in 2016 and, under his leadership, The British Pest Control Association received several awards and nominations.
High jewelry houses are increasingly going straight to the source to acquire rough diamonds that they will turn into their beautiful creations, writes Ming Liu in a feature for CNN. Typically, the larger category of rough diamonds are obtained by specialist diamond cutters and polishers who analyze each stone to determine the ideal cut in which to shape them, and only after this process are the polished gems usually presented to high jewelry houses.
In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.
India's jewelry sector can breathe a little easier after Friday's announcement of the removal of gems and jewelry from the scope of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, writes The Hindu Business Line. The sector has been hit hard by the dual impact of demonetisation and the Goods and Sales Tax (GST). Following the move, jewelers no longer need to verify the identity of their clients by a KYC process for every transaction of Rs. 50,000 ($765) or more made through a single or multiple transactions.
A "Very Rare and Impressive Ruby and Diamond Ring", designed by Bhagat, stole the show at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale last week, selling for $10.5 million (HKD 81.7 million), or $788,296 per carat, while a rare blue diamond ring estimated at $7 to $9.6 million failed to achieve its reserve price. The ruby and diamond ring is set with an oval ruby weighing 13.26 carats, embellished with two rose-cut diamonds on the side and diamond-set prongs; the diamonds weighing approximately 10.50 carats in total, mounted in platinum.
At the start of Positive Week, an initiative run by Positive Luxury to encourage environmental practises in business, Jo Blake, head of communications at De Beers' brand Forevermark, argued that the regulations that govern diamond mining allow the practice to be more eco-friendly and sustainable than synthetic diamonds, which are hardly regulated at all. “The [synthetics] industry is not particularly regulated in comparison to the natural diamond mining," she said.
A massive emerald-cut diamond fashioned from Lucapa Diamond's 404 carat rough stone - the largest rough diamond ever recovered in Angola - will go under the hammer on November 14 at Christie’s in Geneva. "Set into an asymmetric necklace designed by de GRISOGONO, this 163.41 carat, flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond is the largest ever to come to auction", reads the press release from the auction house. In February 2016, Lucapa Diamond Company announced the discovery of the biggest recorded diamond in Angola, confirmed as a Type IIa D-color gem-quality stone.
The CIBJO European Jewellery Guild, a new body of leading associations from across the continent, has been formally established within the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) to advocate for the common interests of European based participants in the jewelry and gemstone industries, and to represent them in contacts with officials, departments and agencies of the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council. The new body held its inaugural meeting on September 23 at the VICENZAORO jewellery show in Vicenza, Italy.
Magnificent diamonds, Kashmir sapphires, Colombian emeralds and signed jewelry all feature in Bonhams New York Fine Jewelry sale this September with 180 lots set to go under the hammer. "A Superb Diamond Ring" will be leading the sale. The 16.90 carats step-cut diamond is set with round brilliant-cut diamond shoulders and is estimated at $1,600,000-2,200,000. The diamond is certified as D color, Internally Flawless and classified as Type IIa, meaning that it has been recognized as the most chemically pure and with exceptional optical transparency.
An increase in wholesale sales of diamonds, strong growth in e-commerce sales and new store openings help Tiffany & Co. beat earnings estimates despite the fact that same-store sales declined for the seventh straight quarter. For the second quarter (ended July 31, 2017), the renowned luxury retailer reported a 9% rise in net income to $115 million, up from $105.7 million during the same period a year earlier, on net sales of $960 million. Analysts had expected the company to earn revenue of $930.3 million.
Signet's total sales for the Second Quarter of fiscal 2018 were $1.4 billion, up $26.2 million or 1.9%, compared to a decrease of 2.6% in the 13 weeks ended July 30, 2016 (Q2 2017). However, the jeweler’s first-half sales fell 5% to $2.8 billion, with profit sliding 25% to $171.9 million. The company also announced that it has agreed to acquire R2Net for $328 million in an all cash transaction.
KRC Research conducted an online survey on behalf of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) regarding US millennial women’s views on luxury goods. The results highlighted three major trends: Long term value both financially and emotionally, Pride in legitimacy of the goods purchased and the expression of self-confidence.
Chow Tai Fook launched CHOW TAI FOOK T MARK, a new jewelry brand with diamonds exclusively from their ‘T Mark’ collection. Each stone is inscribed with the brands patented technology enabling customers to track the stones journey from sourcing - processing, cutting, polishing, authentication, design - to production.
Signet Jewelers Limited has been recognized for its corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts by being named as a component of the FTSE4Good US and Global Indices in 2017. Signet joins this group of other publicly traded companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. “Signet is proud of our commitment to reducing our energy consumption and raising our efficiency levels across our business.
Following publication of their Q2 Interim Results, shares in Pandora, the Danish maker of charm bracelets, slumped 8 percent "after the company missed analyst expectations for revenue and profits in the second quarter", writes Financial Times, adding that this makes it currently, "the worst performing stock in Europe." Despite revenue improving 12% to $767 million (DKr 4.83 billion) in the second quarter, it fell well shy of analysts’ expectations of $780 million (DKr4.91bn.
Tiffany & Co. launched their fall advertising campaign, “There’s Only You”, a celebration of personal style and individuality with the faces of the campaign being 6 individuals with various backgrounds in the creative fields. The pieces in the campaign are a combination of past and present, classic Tiffany as well as pieces from the new Tiffany HardWear line.
Jewelers of America has elected Pittsburgh jeweler John Henne, president of Pittsburgh-based Henne Jewelers, as its next board chairman, succeeding Ryan Berg. Henne has managed Henne Jewelers, which his great-grandfather opened in 1887, since 1998. He oversees all aspects of the business, including diamond procurement, accounting, sales and marketing. JA President and CEO David J.
The Women's Jewelry Association revealed the 2017 winners of its Awards for Excellence at a gala in New York earlier this week, reports Ashley Davis for National Jeweler. The Design award went to Wendy Brandes, a former journalist and award-winning designer of fine jewelry inspired by women's history and pop culture. Betty Sue King, owner of King’s Ransom, was honored with the award for excellence for a Manufacturer, Dealer, Supplier. “The WJA has no glass ceiling,” she said.
Statistics from the jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) show that the trend of increasing of business closures in the North American jewelry industry continued in the second quarter of 2017, but at a slower pace than previously, reports JCK's Rob Bates. In fact, there were 48% fewer closures in Q2 2017 than Q2 2016, from 475 to to 245 closures in the period. As Bates clarifes though, "the consolidation trend hasn’t totally reversed itself: The number of jewelry companies is still shrinking. In June, the JBT recorded 27,706 businesses.
Signet Jewelers Limited today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Virginia "Gina" C. Drosos, who has served as an independent director of the Company’s Board since 2012, as the new Chief Executive Officer of Signet, effective August 1, 2017. She is taking over the reins from Mark Light, who has served as CEO of Signet since 2014; he decided to retire after more than 35 years with the company due to health reasons, the company said in a statement.
Trade-focused VicenzaOro Dubai has merged with consumer-friendly Dubai International Jewellery Week to create the region’s only B2B and B2C jewelry event, reports Professional Jeweller. The VOD Dubai International Jewellery Show, as the event will be called, is to take place November 15-18 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The intention is to bring together entire the global jewelry industry chain - from international trade organizations and chambers of commerce, to wholesalers, manufacturers, traders, retailers and end consumers.
Chow Tai Fook continued its upward sales trend during Q1 2017 (three months ended June 30), as retail sales increased 17% in value in Mainland China and 7% in Hong Kong and Macau. After 12 consecutive quarters (3 years) of same store sales decline in Hong Kong and Macau, dating back to Q4 2014, the Hong Kong-based jeweler has now experienced growth for the second quarter in a row. Same-store sales growth in the two regions amounted to 11% and 5%, respectively.
Tiffany & Co. announcd Thursday that it has named veteran luxury industry executive Alessandro Bogliolo as its next chief executive officer. Bogliolo most recently served four years as the chief executive of apparel and accessories company Diesel, and his resume includes 16 years at luxury jeweler, Bulgari, including in the roles of chief operating officer and executive VP of Jewelry, Watches & Accessories.
The market for recycled diamonds has grown substantially in the last decade following the financial crash of 2008, and though it is hard to guage the market as a whole due the less-than-transparent avenues through which they are bought and sold, estimates are that the trade in recycled diamonds is now worth between five and ten percent of the global market - or approximately $1 billion - and is expanding. Abraham Dayan, writing for Rough-Polished, looks at some of the players in this growing market, the advantages it provides for manufacturers in need of affordable supply and retai
In his latest blog post, "A Market in Chaos", diamond industry researcher and analyst Edahn Golan examines the disconnect between the rising trend of lower price point/smaller-diamond jewelry and the willingness of manufacturers to pay more for the rough to produce it. He starts with trends in the consumer jewelry market - because this is the ultimate determining factor for the diamond market - that are demonstrating a distinct shift towards lower value goods. Drawing on his impressions from the JCK Las Vegas show, Golan writes, "The trend of smaller diamonds stood out.
Jeweller Harry Winston purchased the "Rockefeller Emerald", a flawless 18.04-carat Colombian emerald, for more than $5.5 million at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction.
Arriving at Antwerp’s splendid 19th century Central Station, with its marble staircases, iron and glass vaulted ceiling and gilded details, shoppers visiting Antwerp are filled with high expectations about the jewelry boutiques awaiting them in the world’s diamond capital. For years these expectations were quickly dashed, as consumers were confronted with myriad uninviting and less-than-reputable jewelry shops once they left the station. Where to turn?
Much to the relief of the gold jewelry and diamond processing industry, the government has made some changes to the previously announced goods and services tax (GST) rate structure, slashing the applicable rate from 18% to 5% for certain categories of goods and services - and importantly, manufacturing - related to the gem and jewelry industry. The Council’s earlier decision of 18% was met with much discontent among jewelry manufacturers, who called it impractical and likely to cause immense job losses, as well as increasing the burden on the end consumer. The new tax kicks in from July 1.
Ashley Davis of National Jeweler reports from JCK Las Vegas on the findings of a survey conducted by WeddingWire, an online wedding marketplace: essentially there seems to be a disconnect between the buyer and the receiver regarding the criteria modern couples use to shop for engagement rings. The proposer’s main concern is the quality of the stone, as the focus is on enduring value; the receiver valued the design and setting above all else, with quality and size ranking fifth and sixth respectively.
Hong-Kong based Chow Tai Fook jewelry Group, China's largest jeweler by market value, reports a 3.9% growth in net profit for the financial year which ended March 31, 2017, indicating a return to profit following a sales decline in Hong Kong and Macau, dating back to Q4 2014. The company told the media that although they had seen a stronger second half, a full-fledged recovery was still some time away.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), a De Beers Group company, has entered a partnership with one of Japan’s leading bridal jewelry retailers, I-PRIMO, to provide polished diamond grading reports. The reports will provide assurance to I-PRIMO customers that their diamonds meet the retailer’s strict quality standards, writes De Beers in a press release. I-PRIMO only uses loose diamonds that have been graded as ‘excellent’ for engagement rings and all melee diamonds must meet ‘Heart & Cupid’ grading standards.
Online diamond and jewelry retailer Blue Nile has appointed Jason Goldberger, former chief digital officer and president of Target.com, as its new president and CEO, replacing Harvey Kanter, who will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors and continue to play an important role in the strategic direction of the company. "Goldberger brings to Blue Nile more than 20 years of executive leadership in merchandising, digital innovation, marketing, and product management across leading online retail organizations including Target, Gilt Groupe, Hayneedle, and Amazon.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) on June 6 debuted at JCK Las Vegas a print, out-of-home, and digital display campaign extension, complementing the successful “Real Is Rare” TV and digital videos that were released in October 2016. Starting in July, the new ads will appear in weekly and monthly magazines across several verticals, including bridal, lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment.
A ring that was originally purchased in the 1980s from a car boot sale for £10 ($13) under the assumption that it was a decorative costume jewel, today went under the hammer at Sotheby's Fine Jewels auction in London for $700,000 (£540,000), hammer price. It was only in the past few months that the owner decided to see if the ring had any value and asked Sotheby's to appraise it.
As part of a mine-to-consumer deal, R2Net, which owns JamesAllen.com, and Dominion Diamond Corporation have signed an agreement to market and brand CanadaMark® certified diamonds. JamesAllen.com will be the exclusive online retailer of CanadaMark certified diamonds; brick-and-mortar retailers will be able to sell the diamonds, but will not be allowed sell them online, giving James Allen "a significant advantage", according to JCK's Rob Bates.
In their recent addition to the Diamond Insight reports focusing on diamond jewelry demand and emerging trends, De Beers said it expected single women's acquisitions and spend to increase in 2017, leading to an increase in self-purchasing in non-bridal, discretionary jewelry categories, driving incremental demand above and beyond the fundamental driver of demand, namely, bridal diamond jewelry.
According to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group, "U.S. Diamond Jewelry Demand Hits US$41 Billion High", total diamond jewelry demand from US consumers increased 4.4 per cent in 2016 to exceed US$40 billion for the first time. While slower US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017 is likely to have impacted diamond jewelry demand in the short term, the US has recorded five years of consecutive demand growth. US consumers now account for roughly half of all diamond jewellery purchases globally – a level not seen since before the financial crisis.
The lastest disruptive online diamond sales platform, a "reverse auction site" startup called Legemdary, purports to serve the interests of diamond buyers and wholesalers by cutting out retailers altogether, writes Rachelle Bergstein for Forbes, introducing the company to a global audience. Legemdary calls itself the only straight to wholesale online diamond marketplace, connecting prospective engagement ring buyers directly with wholesalers who bid to supply the consumers' needs.
Christie's Hong Kong yesterday auctioned off the famous 'Jonker No. 5' diamond for $5.3 million, soundly beating the pre-sale estimate of $2.2 million to $3.6 million. The 'Jonker No. 5' is part of a legendary collection of 13 stones fashioned from one of the most famous diamonds in history: the 726-carat piece of rough discovered by Jacob Jonker in South Africa in 1934, which at the time was said to be the fourth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered. The Type IIa stone is D color, VVS2 clarity, rectangular-cut and weighs 25.27 cts.
Debra LaBudde launched Memo, an ecommerce site that specializes in fine jewelry. The name of the brand refers to the consignment practices within the jewelry and diamond industry, wich served as the inspiration for her concept. LaBudde noticed there was an untapped market for fine jewelry, “(I saw) an interesting opportunity in the marketplace that, in my mind, hasn’t been well served, and that ultimately could create a larger market.”