Last week at the Kimberley Process Intersessional meeting in Antwerp, during the Special Forum, "Innovation and Technology: State-of-the-art in the rough diamond trade", Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director at Gübelin Gem Lab gave a presentation on the company's 'Emerald Paternity Test'.
Calling financial year 2018 a "year of recovery", leading jewelry retail group Chow Tai Fook, a bellweather for China's jewelry landscape, reaped the benefits of the retail market in Greater China regaining its upward momentum, leading to a vibrant performance for the group. Chow Tai Fook’s sales and profit rose during the fiscal year in the rising Chinese market, with the retail sector also noting increased tourism to Hong Kong as having a positive impact on sales.
This past Monday, the JCK Las Vegas show and jewelry week surrounding it came to its conclusion with steady trading reflecting a confident US market, despite a significant dip in the number of exhibitors and foot traffic at the various shows. The exhibitors and organizers acknowledged the decline of visitors, but were adamant that those attending the events headed out to the desert with a greater sense of purpose than in prior years, as buyers were looking for specific goods and exhibitors were maintaining existing relationships.
Signet Jewelers recorded a $77.2 million (5.5%) increase in overall sales during the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2018 (Q1 fiscal 2019), yet profits tumbled as the retail group reported a net loss of $496.6 million in the quarter, compared with a profit of $78.5 million in the year-earlier period due to a non-cash impairment related to the credit-outsourcing transition and restructuring charges.
Signet Jewelers, called "the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry" and owns Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, will become the first retailer to join De Beers' diamond blockchain pilot program for tracking a diamond’s journey digitally from mine to retail. Launched in January 2018 following a successful proof-of-concept trial, the platform, called Tracr, is billed a comprehensive mine-to-customer traceability solution for the entire diamond industry. The pilot project involves a small group of industry participants - five leading diamond manufacturers
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced a series of senior appointments to its Board of Directors as the organisation continues to strengthen its position as the jewellery industry’s foremost standards setting and certification body. The appointments were announced at the RJC’s Annual General Meeting in Moscow on Thursday, 17 May.
The three newly appointed Officers of the Board of Directors are:
The world's most recognized diamond grading institution, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is launching a pilot program together with leading jewerly retailer, Chow Tai Fook which will use blockchain technology to deliver secure, digital diamond grading reports to consumers for the first time.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) yesterday reported its financial results for the three months (Q1) ended April 30, 2018, which saw worldwide net sales increase 15% to $1.0 billion, led by gains in North America and Asia. As a result of broad-based sales growth, comparable sales increased 10%. Profits soared 53 percent, to $142 million, as shares jumped as much as 17 percent to $119.60 in New York trading, an all-time intraday high and the biggest one-day leap in almost a decade.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from De Beers Group, has announced the launch of Libert’aime by Forevermark, a new flagship store at HKRI Taikoo Hui in Shanghai, the Group writes in a press release. The opening marks the 1,000th Forevermark store in China, and comes as the brand celebrates its 10-year anniversary in the country.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has conducted a survey of 2,011 US adults about their attitude toward synthetic diamonds, finding a clear majority of Americans do not consider diamonds created in a factory ('synthetic' or 'laboratory-grown') as 'real' diamonds (see the full survey results here).
De Beers Group today announced it has provisionally sold $550 million of rough diamonds for the fourth sales cycle of 2018 (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales), against a backdrop of what has been called "record demand". De Beers published last week a report stating that diamond jewelry demand rose to a record $82bn globally in 2017 after several years of stagnation.
In celebration of the launch of its spring campaign, "Believe In Dreams", as well as their largest new jewelry collection in nearly a decade, “Tiffany Paper Flowers”, Tiffany and Co. has transformed its corner of New York City with its iconic blue hue. Tiffany & Co's marketing blitz took a New York icon, the city's famed yellow cabs, and painted them with the brand's trademark robin's egg blue.
Signet CEO Virginia 'Gina' Drosos recently spoke with Yahoo Finance about digital marketing and millennials, providing some candid perspectives about the thought process of the retail giant. Perhaps her most ringing comment, however, was about laboratory-grown diamonds.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the diamond marketing organization Diamond Producers Association (DPA), spoke with Melissa Smet of De Belgische Diamantnijverheid, the quarterly magazine of the Syndicate of the Belgian Diamond Industry (SBD), about the mission, current progress and future plans of the DPA, as well as some key industry issues. The DPA set up shop and was launched in 2016, but their first real year of investment was 2017, and they invested about $57 million on generic marketing.
JCK’s Rob Bates took a closer look at Amazon’s vetting process for its jewelry sellers. He spoke to Kristin Cherry Jackson, who recently joined 21C Jewelry Solutions consultancy, following her senior position at Amazon.
ALROSA has introduced its long anticipated commercial detector for identifying natural and synthetic polished diamonds - the ALROSA Diamond Inspector, first introduced in 2016. The Company expects that its relatively low price ($9,900) and high accuracy will allow the detector to be in demand in Russia as well as abroad. "It will help fight unscrupulous suppliers who mix synthetic stones grown in the laboratory with diamonds of natural origin", the companys says.
Following its successful 2017, with 19% growth globally, and a solid start to 2018, De Beers has announced it plans to grow its presence of its Forevermark brand on the European market. Starting in Germany, where Forevermark will enter the market for the first time after signing with an exclusive licensee partner, De Beers is in advanced-stage discussions with potential partners in France and Italy. In Germany, Forevermark is partnering with Heinz Mayer, an Idar-Oberstein-based diamond jewelry specialist.
Tiffany & Co. reported that its global net sales for FY 2017 (ended January 31, 2018) increased 4% to $4.2 billion, reflecting sales growth in most regions - particularly in the U.S. and China. However, its comparable store sales remained flat for the year despite 9% sales growth in the fourth quarter (Q4). During Q4, on a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales rose 6% and comparable store sales were 1% above the prior year, falling short of estimates of a 2.7% gain.
Signet Jewelers same store sales declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter and declined 5.3% in full year fiscal ended February 3, 2018, the company announces at the conclusion of a self-described "challenging year". At the same time they announced two additions to its Board of Directors, appointing Sharon L. McCollam and Nancy A. Reardon as Independent Directors effective March 13, 2018.
Grant Mobley, a gemologist and director at Pluczenik gave Harper's Bazaar a primer concerning the distinctiveness of diamonds as compared to laboratory-grown products.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and CARAT+ today announced the inaugural edition of Hack4Diamonds, the first ever ‘hackathon’ in the diamond industry, taking place from May 4 to May 6 in collaboration with Junction and with the support of CARAT+ (see press release in annex).
Helzberg Diamonds has announced a "focused effort on innovating its marketing strategies," naming Ellen Junger as its new chief marketing officer and Carmichael Lynch its new advertising agency of record. Junger previously served as chief customer and marketing officer role for Payless ShoeShource.
Dharmanandan Diamonds (DDPL), a Mumbai-based manufacturer, has partnered with technology company Everledger to place its diamond-tracking data onto the technology company's diamond blockchain platform, which it launched in 2015. The "Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol" integrates Dharmanandan's Diamond Time-Lapse initiative, which tracks a stone’s journey from rough to retail, onto its proprietary diamond traceability blockchain platform to set a diamond's provenance into (digital) stone.
Sergey Ivanov (37), the young CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the world’s largest diamond miner, ALROSA, was in Antwerp for the company’s annual meeting with its 56 long-term clients. ALROSA is a traditional company in a traditional business, and still evokes the reputation of a state-owned giant despite the partial privatization (currently 34%) of the company a few years ago.
With marriage rates falling and divorce rates climbing, the diamond industry is facing a challenge to win over Chinese millennial consumers, Ruonan Zheng writes for Jing Daily.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA teamed up with GfK (Growth from Knowledge), consumer research company, to examine the purchasing trends among diamond consumers. The US is the world’s largest consumer market of diamond jewelry, and China is the most rapidly growing market, and the study shows why. The research was conducted in the autumn of 2017, surveying more than four thousand people from the US and China who had bought or received diamond jewelry as a gift within the last 12 months, and targeting men and women aged 25 to 55 years with average or above average income.
Nine of the leading diamond industry organizations and jewelry associations have jointly released the Diamond Terminology Guideline, containing recommendations for describing diamonds and synthetic diamonds, announced the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and CIBJO the World Jewellery Confederation in a press release. The Guideline, based on ISO standards and the CIBJO Diamond Blue Book, is intended to set the universal standard for communicating about diamonds and their laboratory-grown counterparts.
The Belgian Embassy in Tokyo was the setting for the launch of a new initiative to bring certified, Antwerp-sourced diamonds to the Japanese retail market under the quality label: "Diamonds & Antwerp" (DnA).
Brisbane-based retail jeweler Michael Hill has announced, "The complete exit of the loss-making retail operations in the US" as part of a set of strategic actions across its global retail network. The company, which "entered the U.S.
According to an interview with Diamond Producers Association (DPA) CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr, the Antwerp-based category marketing organization set up by seven leading diamond mining companies (ALROSA, De Beers, Dominion Diamond, Gem Diamonds, Lucara Diamond, Petra Diamonds and Rio Tinto) in 2015 expects to have $70 million to spend in 2018, up from $57 million in 2017. Having focused mainly on the U.S.
Tiffany & Co.'s worldwide net sales increased 8% to $1.05 billion in the two months of the holiday period ended December 31, 2017 due to growth across regions and product categories, and comparable store sales rose 5%, the jeweler announced in a press release. On a constant-exchange-rate basis that excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars, worldwide net sales rose 6% with comparable store sales up 3%. The growh was fueled by higher sales of fine jewelry, watches, and a new home and accessories collection.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund has announced the recipients of its 2018 ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards, to be presented at the D.E.F.
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.
De Beers Group today announced it is progressing development of the first blockchain technology initiative to span the diamond value chain and provide a single, tamper-proof and permanent digital record for every diamond registered on the platform. The initiative will underpin confidence in diamonds and the diamond industry by ensuring that all registered diamonds are conflict-free and natural, while also enhancing efficiency across the sector, the company said in a statement.
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.
As the calendar turned on the new year, the European Union took over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds. Under the leadership of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, the EU will head this international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. The EU emphasized that its tenure would be guided by the principles of sustainability, inclusiveness, responsibility and dialogue.
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.
In their attempt to position synthetics as responsible alternatives to diamonds, many manufacturers have been propagating misleading, outdated, and inaccurate information about the diamond industry. This information ignores the significant changes which have occurred in the diamond sector over the past 15 years.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of Diamond Producers Association
Bain & Company, together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has published their seventh annual report on the global diamond industry, "The enduring story in a changing world", covering industry developments in 2016 and the first half of 2017 as well as the challenges the industry faces and how it is turning them into opportunities. Their report looks at key issues along the value chain, from rough-diamond production and sales, to midstream performance and global diamond jewelry demand in major markets.
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.
Recognizing the crucial issue of confidence in the diamond industry and the changing expectations across the value chain, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver today announced the company has been investing in a blockchain platform to create, "the first traceability platform to span the entire diamond value chain". Consumer expectations regarding the level of confidence "that a diamond has been responsibly sourced, confidence in its value and confidence that it is the real thing", is obviously on the rise.
Last week, the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange and Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange, subsidiaries of Guangdong Assets & Equity Exchange Group, held a series of annual meetings around the theme of “Belt & Road, Hand in Hand — International Jewelry & Diamond Conference 2017". China's Belt and Road Initiative, roughly defined, is a development campaign through which China wants to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and beyond by building massive amounts of infrastructure connecting it to countries around the globe.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Edward Johnson as director of business development to help expand its expertise and drive growth for the organization. Johnson will focus his efforts around developing strategies to drive membership engagement and strengthen the RJC’s relationships with key stakeholders. His role will be integral to evaluating new opportunities for growth and expansion into niche markets, as well as expanding the RJC globally, focusing particularly on Greater China, India and the USA.
The latest fraudulent twist on the synthetic diamond landscape has profound implications for the efforts to keep natural and synthetic diamonds separate, if the incident in question is not an isolated one. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently recieved a round brilliant cut diamond (image, left) submitted for an updated diamond grading report. Its girdle was inscribed with an actual GIA report number (image, right), identifying the stone as a natural, untreated diamond. After testing, however, it turned out that the newly submitted diamond was an HPHT-grown synthetic diamond.
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.
The African Diamond Conference (ADC), a joint initiative of Belgium's Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), took place yesterday at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. With nearly 400 in attendance, the ADC featured a broad range of speakers from across the entire diamond pipeline - from mine to finger - as well as diamond industry stakeholders.
According to a new report from consultancy Bain & Co., after stalling in 2016, revenues from personal luxury goods are set to rise 6 percent in 2017 to 262 billion euros ($308 billion), thanks to thriving demand from Chinese and Millennial shoppers, writes Reuters. Earlier projections were for a growth rate of 2 to 4 percent, but as Bain opens its summary statement, "Luxury is back in fashion.
HRD Antwerp today launched its new diamond ID CARD: a highly affordable grading report for diamonds that weigh between 0.08 and 0.998 carats. "With this new product, we aim to bring a comprehensive solution to one of the diamond market’s main current challenges: ensuring confidence in small-sized diamonds," says Michel Janssens, CEO of HRD Antwerp.
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.
Next week, on October 26, HRD Antwerp is planning to launch a brand new product that it says will be a revolutionary concept on the diamond grading landscape, the HRD Antwerp diamond ID Card for diamonds smaller than 1 carat. While the details have yet to be released, HRD Antwerp says their new product will help keep the European gemological lab at the cutting edge of diamond grading technology.
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.
Diamond industry analyst Ehud Laniado takes a helpful look at the, "trends, anomalies and problems in the wholesale sector of the diamond market" as we approach the holiday season. As anticipated, demand is rising, but changes in the nature of that demand are causing some concern; in particular, the steady shift to lower-priced goods, lower peaks in demand and an overall decline in polished prices.
Last week, a delegation of leading jewelers and diamond traders from across Europe spent three days getting acquainted with their counterparts in Antwerp, enjoying a behind-the-scenes look at the diamond capital and doing business at high-level networking events.
I’m not here to throw mud at the Diamond Producers Association or its efforts. What they do is great and very much needed. However, I do want to suggest that we need to go beyond general promotion. The augmenting campaigns, those that create a specific desire followed by a specific action, is the kind of marketing we are missing today.
- Edahn Golan highlights need for diamond marketing, wonders if DPA getting consumers into stores.
JCK's Rob Bates writes about a recent anti-money laundering compliance oversight that cost Richmont - through one of its Cartier stores - $384,000 in a settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). "On four separate occasions between 2010 and 2011, an individual purchased jewelry from Cartier boutiques in California and Nevada", but the Cartier shops involved neglected to identify the company to which the jewelry was shipped - Shuen Wai Holdings Limited in Hong Kong - as being on the blocked list.
Boosting confidence in the diamond trade by overcoming the last great hurdle of guaranteed provenance is no small task, but the daunting scale of the job at hand has not deterred Leanne Kemp, CEO and founder of British tech start-up Everledger. Combining the blockchain technology underpinning Bitcoin with HD photography and specialized applications, the company records 40 metadata points to create a unique thumbprint of each stone.
“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.
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.