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 ...
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.
Sales of jewelry in the U.S. during the holiday season jumped 5.9%, largely driven by last-minute sales, with December 23 approaching Black Friday in terms of single-day spending, reports Mastercard SpendingPulse. They report that holiday sales increased 4.9 percent this year, setting a new record for dollars spent. This is the largest year-over-year increase since 2011 and a further indication of consumer confidence. Online shopping also saw large gains of 18.1 percent compared to 2016, boosted by a late season rally.
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.
Jewelers of America (JA) released the results of their US “Fine Jewelry Industry Consumer and Retail Market Study” conducted by Provoke Insights. The study surveyed two groups, the retailers and the consumers, and Michelle Graff listed some of the key findings.
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.
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.
Since 2012, CVD synthetic diamonds have been tested and identified by National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC) in Beijing, typically in sizes above 0.20 ct. Since 2015, a large number of melee-size colorless and near-colorless synthetic diamonds have been detected in daily screenings at NGTC labs.
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.
Musician John Mayer decided to make a splash to celebrate his 40th birthday on October 16. GQ's Max Berlinger writes: "To mark the occasion, Mayer commissioned a particularly ridiculous piece from L.A.-based jeweler to the stars Ben Baller of If & Co. Now, Mayer is no stranger to a lavish jewelry purchase—he's got Patek Philippe watches worth more than most cars—but this time around he really outdid himself. How?
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.
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.
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.
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.
“People have long bought flashy items because they made them feel good. Now some say those same items make them feel icky,” wrote JCK’s Rob Bates. According to a recent New York Times article a percentage of affluent consumers are moving away from the ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’ stereotype. Some even consider their wealth a burden, going as far as hiding the price tag of their recent purchases.
Richemont, the second largest luxury goods company in the world, announced sales had jumped during the April-to-August period as a result of Asia's strong performance.
According to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group, the shifting dynamic of women’s expanding roles in society and changing perceptions of femininity are creating new motivations of diamond jewelry acquisition. Social and economic changes have expanded the symbolism of diamond jewelry, women are now more empowered which has led to record levels of self-purchase, as well as the establishment of a new consumer type.
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.
Costco owes Tiffany & Co. more than $19 million for selling 2,500 generic diamond rings falsely identified as "Tiffany" rings, a federal judge ruled Monday. Judge Swan ruled in favor of Tiffany, saying the brand was entitled to $11.1 million as profits for trademark infringement, plus interest, as well as an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages, which had been awarded by a jury in October. Costco was also permanently prohibited from using “Tiffany” as a stand-alone term when selling its products.
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.
Rio Tinto created a signature piece of jewelry featuring champagne and cognac diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine, which they havee showcased in New York in celebration of their unique Australian provenance and the diamond ties that bind Australia and the US. The Origins of Argyle statement necklace features more than 45 carats of cascading champagne and cognac diamonds and a 3.55 carat white diamond from the Argyle diamond mine.
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 £750,000 ($980,000) ring was found missing from its proper location by British Museum staff in August 2011. It was not on public display at the time.
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.
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.
Dominion Diamond Corporation has announced that La Pierre Précieuse Inc. from Montreal, Quebec is the winner of the 2017 CanadaMark Jewellery Competition award. The competition honors jewelry pieces with the highest level of creativity and excellence in quality and style, showcasing CanadaMark certified diamonds. The winning pendant features a 0.40 carat, round brilliant CanadaMark certified stone centered in a warm rose gold maple leaf setting with a Canadian maple wood background.
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?
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.