Archive

  • 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.

  • The U.S. sanctioned Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, one of the biggest individual mining and diamond investors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in what it calls a clampdown on human-rights abusers and corrupt actors, write Thomas Biesheuvel, Mark Burton, and William Clowes for Bloomberg Politics. The U.S. Treasury said Gertler has used his close relationship with the country’s president, Joseph Kabila, to amass a fortune through corrupt and opaque deals.

  • According to The National Jeweler, a Delaware judge this week has dismissed the Chapter 11 cases Exelco NV and its subsidiaries filed in the Delaware (US) Bankruptcy Court, ruling that the cases should be heard in Belgium. U.S.

  • 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.

  • The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) launched its new “Real is Rare” advertising last night (Nov. 16) on the 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards on Univision. The second phase of trhe campaign focuses on real, intimate moments within relationships. “The Reveal” is one of two new videos presenting a modern take on love and diamonds.

  • As Bloomberg first reported last week, Exelco North America, the local branch of the prominent Belgian diamond company Exelco NV, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. in an apparent attempt to prevent KBC Bank from liquidating the company's assests. Back in June, Belgian bank KBC Group NV seized assets from Exelco in an attempt to recover unpaid loans, according to court documents.

  • On September 27, ALROSA President Sergey Ivanov held a meeting with representatives of U.S. diamond industry: the President of U.S.

  • 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.

  • Alrosa’s President, Sergey Ivanov, has joined the board of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), the Russian miner announced on Monday. Ivanov will replace the position vacated by the former Alrosa VP, Andrey Polyakov, before he left the company.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Women’s Jewelry Association’s mission is to help women in the diamond, jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally through networking, education, leadership and the provision of member services. Programs include grants, interactive workshops, mentorship programs and awards of excellence. The Diamond Loupe had the opportunity to sit down with Ayelet Lerner, one of the women involved with setting up the WJA chapter in Antwerp.

    The Diamond Loupe: Tell us a little bit about yourself in the business.

  • 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.

  • Thursday June 8, the US House of Representatives approved legislation to erase a number of core financial regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, as Republicans moved a step closer to delivering on their promises to eliminate rules that they claim have strangled small businesses and stagnated the economy, writes the New York Times.

  • 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.

  • According to the Diamond Empowerment Fund their new millennial oriented campaign ‘Diamonds do Good’ had reached three million consumers within their target group. The strategy to spread the word on the campaign includes a revamped website, a targeted media plan which is shared on Hulu, Pandora and YouTube, and an online influencer strategy. DEF said the message of ‘Diamonds Do Good’ is resonating with consumers.

  • The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) launched a new service which tracks the origin of a selection of polished diamonds, which offers retailers a new method of being able to uncover a stone’s history. Since the project is only two years in development, GIA's M2M™ (Mine to Market) program is restricted and is not yet able to provide a complete solution to determining a diamond’s provenance. “If you just gave me any polished diamond, I can’t tell you what mine it came from,” says Matt Crimmin, GIA’s vice president of laboratory operations. 

  • 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.”

  • According to government data for the month of March, polished imports to the US dropped 3% to $1.99 billion, or 10% to 970,953 cts in volume. Average price per carat rose 8% to $2,045.

    US polished exports grew 7% to $1.58 billion, leaving net polished imports 28% lower at $402 million. January through to March, imports of polished goods slid 11% to $2.45 billion, with polished exports declining 3% to $4.58 billion.

  • Chow Tai Fook has partnered with luxury travel retailer DFS Group, a subsidiary of LVMH, to open its second boutique in the United States on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Hong Kong-based jeweler’s branded store will launch in T Galleria by DFS in the heart of Honolulu and close to the iconic Waikiki Beach. T Galleria by DFS is a prime shopping destination for travellers seeking leading international luxury brands; Hawaii is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination, with jewelry fast becoming a key retail category for travellers to the islands.

  • The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced their intention to spur demand in the third largest diamond market, India, by launching their “Real is Rare” slogan in September. The DPA - an international alliance of the world’s leading diamond mining companies whose mission is to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds, and the diamond industry - initially launched its “Real is Rare” campaign in the U.S. in 2016.

  • Fun fact: Retail trade lost more jobs in the past 2 months than coal mining lost in the past 20 years.

    Economist Paul Krugman responding to Bloomberg article, "America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever"

  • American’s have a positive view of the current economic condition leading consumer confidence to reportedly reach the highest level in over 16 years. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index jumped by more than 100 since February, indicating an improvement for the second consecutive month. It also eclipsed economists’ estimates of 114.

  • Jewelry designers have anxiously waited for the results of JCK’s annual Jewelers’ Choice Awards. The coveted spot not only leaves one designer as a winner, but also international exposure as the winning piece is featured on the March-April issue of JCK’s magazine. Although many introduced a design for the competition, there could be only one winner; Shy Creation, an LA-based brand founded by chief designer Shy Dayan.

  • Every marketeer has spent countless hours strategizing on how to target millennials, which has led them to neglect an important audience: introducing the Midult. Paula De Luca, creative director of trend forecasting company Trendvision, defines the midult as a women between the ages of 35 and 55 who has spending power – in other words, a Generation X female, born between 1960 and 1980. Following millennials and baby boomers, Gen X is the third largest generation in America, making up 25% of the 60 million adults in the U.S. 

  • Tiffany & Co. today (March 17) reported its financial results for the full year and the three months (fourth quarter) ended January 31, 2017, which were consistent with its previously issued guidance for the 2016 fiscal year. Worldwide net sales declined 3% in the year and rose 1% in the fourth quarter, while in both periods higher gross margins countered growth in operating expenses. Net earnings per diluted share declined 1% in the full year and 2% in the fourth quarter. The company generated more than $700 million of cash flow from operating activities in the full year. 

  • Citing figures from Jewelers Security Alliance, National Jeweler reports that jewelry crime rose 6 percent year-over-year in 2016, to 1,245 reported crimes committed against U.S. jewelry firms, compared with 1,177 in 2015. The losses in dollar terms were roughly equivalent, increasing approximately 5% to $72.4 million. Michelle Graff notes there were a total of six industry homicides in 2016 - five jewelers and one traveling salesman - up from two in 2015, while jewelers killed five robbers, up from three in 2015.

  • Sales at specialty jewelry stores in the U.S. grew 3.8 percent to $31.43 billion in 2016 following a sharp rise in December, according to data from the the U.S. Census Bureau. December sales jumped 7 percent to $6.21 billion from $5.81 billion in December 2015, the provisional figures showed. To give an indication of the impact of December sales on overall jewelry sales, the monthly sales average for the 11 months before December was $2.29 billion, meaning that December sales represented a 170% rise over the 11 months prior.

  • Hundreds of former employees of Sterling Jewelers, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate owned by Signet - the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the US, UK and Canada, with about 3,600 stores under brand names such as Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry - claim that its chief executive and other company leaders presided over a corporate culture that fostered rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, according to arbitration documents obtained by

  • Tiffany & Co. announced it would appoint three new independent directors to join its board of directors, making a total of 13 members. Roger Farah, James Lillie and Francesco Trapani will join the board as part of an agreement between Tiffany and stakeholders Jana Partners. “We are excited to be adding such distinguished directors to our Board as part of our ongoing process to refresh the Board, and we are pleased to have worked cooperatively with JANA Partners to have met our objective,” says Chairman Michael Kowalski.

  • The la Gloria, an 887 ct. museum-quality stone which is believed to be the largest Muzo rough emerald in North America, is to be auctioned by Guernsey’s on April 25 in New York City. The La Gloria and 17 smaller rough emeralds discovered from the wreck of Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, are all from the collection of noted emerald authority Manuel Marcial de Gomar. “It’s very rare for an auction to spotlight emeralds,” says Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s.

  • De Grisogono, a Geneva-based high-end jeweler, has entered a partnership with Jewelers DLK for its American operations in an effort to further develop the brand’s presence in the U.S. The partnership with DLK, owned by David and Lisa Klein, will enable the brand to further develop their precious stones, haute-jewelry collections and move away from being a brand that is reputed solely for having bought some of the world’s largest rough diamonds. De Grisogono USA will be managed by the Kleins, the Geneva-based company said on Friday.

  • 179-year-old Tiffany & Co. has made headlines recently, launching a new ad campaign featuring Lady Gaga - who rocked the Super Bowl halftime show - and quietly dropping CEO Frederic Cumenal.  Cumenal was let go due to his inability to turn around the dropping sales figures since taking over in April 2015.

  • Tiffany & Co.’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederic Cumenal, has decided to step down from his post. The Board of Directors is actively searching for a successor, but until then, former CEO Michael J. Kowalski will serve as Interim CEO while continuing as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In a statement, the company said the decision was based on its disappointing financial results and that the brand needed to improve its performance.

  • Tiffany & Co. has announced it will run its first-ever Super Bowl commercial this year, and has selected Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) to star. As Roberta Naas writes for Forbes, the commercial is a 60-second spot wherein Lady Gaga will promote a new collection of jewelry - Tiffany HardWear - that will launch in spring. The commercial is scheduled to air during Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5, before the halftime show. Lady Gaga is also this year's Super Bowl halftime performer. The ad will be seen in 10 markets across the country.

  • "Last year, 1,669 jewelry businesses (including manufacturers and wholesalers) ceased operations in the United States, a 50 percent jump from 2015, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade", writes JCK's Rob Bates. In total, the number of jewelry businesses fell by 6%. He notes that a surprisingly large number of businesses closed their doors in the fourth quarter, traditionally a time when the trade is in full swing. Bates provides the gory details: 1,269 U.S.

  • While it is early days for an already turbulent and unpredictable Trump administration, news that the White House has floated the idea of introducing a border tax on imports from Mexico is likely causing anxiety among retailers that rely on such imports.

  • Jewelry manufacturer Samuel Aaron Inc. plans to shut down its operations in Mount Vernon, NY, with 42 jobs to be cut, reports Instoremag.com. Citing the Journal News, which in turn cites a filing with the state Department of Labor, the layoffs are slated to start April 12, with the closure of the plant set for later that month. Samuel Aaron produces DiamonLuxe simulated gemstone jewelry along with other products. Instoremag writes that Samuel Aaron, which has several hundred employees worldwide, is part of the Aaron Group.

  • Mbada Diamonds could have denied Zimbabwe of millions of dollars in revenue by under-declaring its diamond sales over the years after it emerged that its average price per carat was about three times lower than that of other firms extracting gems from Chiadzwa, writes The Herald.