There was a 35% jump in US jewelry business discontinuances in the first quarter, Rapaport reported citing Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) figures. Of the 380 companies that exited the business, the largest number was those that “ceased-operations”, meaning firms closing down for reasons other than financial difficulty or consolidation. This category of closures jumped 34% to 323. Meanwhile, consolidations, including sales and mergers of jewelry firms, more than doubled to 53. A bright spot in the figures was a 75% fall in the number of bankruptcies to just four. However, data regarding new entrants to the industry dropped 12% to 73.