Archive

  • Sales in the luxury brand's fiscal third quarter ending December 31 declined by 4% at constant exchange rates but rose by 3% at actual rates as the weaker euro compensated for lower tourist numbers in Europe following November’s terrorist attacks in Paris, a favored destination for luxury shoppers. Jewelry continued to enjoy growth across most regions and product categories, partly compensating weak demand for watches, the firm added. Richemont owns the Cartier jewelry brand as well as watchmakers including Piaget and IWC.

  • Record-breaking sales of colored diamonds at auctions earlier this month and the discovery of a 1,111-carat stone in Botswana which grabbed worldwide attention contrast sharply with sharp declines in share prices of publicly traded firms dealing with everyday diamonds, the Financial Times reports.

  • Rough diamond prices are undoubtedly much too high and manufacturers are struggling to sell polished as buyers are unwilling to pay, writes Vinod Kuriyan. This is mainly due to diamond miners being concerned only with their bottom lines and has weakened and destabilized the diamond production pipeline. But calls for an immediate reduction of 30 and 50 percent in rough prices is "a hasty, unthought-out and counterproductive step. It will immediately result in huge losses for the diamond processing industry running into the billions of dollars.

  • The FEEG said it is launching the new website in a bid to raise knowledge of its qualification and to enhance cooperation between centers across Europe.

  • According to Bain & Company's 2015 "Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study", the overall luxury industry surpassed €1 trillion in retail sales value in 2015. Meanwhile, aided by global currency fluctuations and continued jet-setting of "borderless consumers," the personal luxury goods market, including jewelry, ballooned to €253 billion. This represents 13% growth at current exchange rates, while real growth slowed significantly to 1-2%.

  • Back on May 20, the European parliament issued a surprising vote in favor of enforcing an obligatory monitoring system for the whole supply chain of conflict minerals, affecting 800,000 European companies. The measure entails that European gold, tantalum (the material that makes mobile phones vibrate), tungsten and tin imports from conflict zones will be subjected to tougher surveillance procedures.

  • Although China has cut interest rates and reduced the level of reserves banks are required to hold to combat the country's slowing economy, it is not clear that the actions will be sufficient to boost growth, writes the New York Times. It is the sixth time the bank has cut rates since November. The government announced last week that the economy grew at 6.9 percent in the third quarter, its slowest quarterly pace since 2009, but some independent analysts believe the actual growth rate is probably lower than the government’s estimate.

  • September was the third month this year to show a "marked decline" in watch exports after May and July, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry Swiss reported. Exports slumped in United States, with the worst monthly downturn in five years. "This negative change [in sales overall] has spread to other, hitherto more robust Asian markets, and casts something of a shadow over prospects for the year 2015."

  • Although consumer demand across the European Community generally is patchy, consumer confidence in the United Kingdom hit a four-year high in the third quarter of this year despite volatility in global financial markets during the three-month period, according to the latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker. The quarterly survey, which gathers the views of 3,000 consumers in Britain, found that consumer confidence climbed by 2%.

  • Luxury goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE  reported that its third-quarter revenue rose 16 percent as it benefited from a weak euro and strong sales at its wine and spirits division which outweighed slowing growth at its fashion business.

  • "Do consumers think that diamonds are really rare? No. The quicker we understand this, the faster the market for diamonds will recover," explains diamond jewelry veteran Ayalla Joseph. "Then why do women still love diamonds? Why has the slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’ captured the hearts and wallets of millions? We know they are so not rare. So what is it? The answer lies in the fact that they have no function whatsoever other than to prove a man’s love or a woman’s worth. It really is that simple."

  • Last Monday, the Zimbabwean government and the European Union signed a €89 million package of agreements for health, agriculture and institution building in the country). At the signing ceremony, Head of EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, said EU member states are engaging with Zimbabwe not only in through aid but also increasingly through trade and investment.

  • On Tuesday, Platinum futures in New York have fallen to levels last seen during the global financial crisis of 2008 due to investor concerns triggered by the fallout from a cheating scandal at Volkswagen. Platinum, which is widely used in the jewelry industry, for delivery in January dropped more than $20 or 2.5% and fell below $900 an ounce. That price level was last seen in October 2008 as the global financial crisis was at its height.

  • Global diamond jewelry sales increased by 3% last year and for the first time ever exceeded $80 billion, De Beers said in its 2014 Diamond Insight Report. Meanwhile, rough diamond sales increased by 12% to more than $20 billion.  The Reports looks at global consumer demand and the trends behind it, the rough diamond pipeline and new projects, India’s consumer market and the drivers of its transformation in the last two decades and its main growth opportunities for diamonds in the future.

  • Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co. has set itself a range of targets for the coming years. These include improving customer experience, increasing store space by 2-3 percent every year, mid to high single-digit sales growth, higher operating margins and doubling earnings growth over the long-term.

  • Most sizes of round diamonds saw price changes this week, particularly stones of 0.3 and 0.7 carats, with diamonds of 5 carats and larger being the only category to see price rises, IDEX Online reported in its weekly round-up of price changes. Meanwhile, fancy-shape diamond prices were positive overall, with price declines in just a few categories.

  • The European Parliament (EP) wishes to introduce greater protection for the geographical indications of non-agricultural artisanal products in order to protect their authenticity and reinforce consumer confidence. Currently there are no European regulations to protect these products against counterfeiting or unfair commercial practices. Geographical indications only exist at the EU level for agricultural products. The EP now wants the European Commission to draft a legislative proposal to change that. Furthermore, geographical indications would provide more jobs in certain industries. 

  • Industry analyst Ehud Laniado provides a detailed examination of the polished diamond production process and, not surprisingly, finds that manufacturers' margins are close to zero, if not actually negative. "As I have said repeatedly, the fundamentals of the diamond industry must change to drive profit. The aforesaid proves that rough diamonds are not priced to allow profit for the diamond pipeline midstream. High rough diamond prices push polished diamonds to retail at a high price without assurance that consumer demand exists at that pricing level.

  • With the Hong Kong Gems and Jewellery Fair due to kick off on Wednesday (September 16), all eyes are focused on the show, one of the major events on the global industry's calendar. Expectations are low and some dealers will not attend the fair due to its timing right after the Jewish New Year holiday and Jain holidays. Demand for polished goods for the Chinese wedding market is seen as stable, while luxury items continue to see low orders due to weakness in the country's economy and the recent battering suffered by the Shanghai stock market.

  • Polished diamond prices dropped further last month, with the sharp declines seen in financial markets worldwide during August not helping sentiment and slashing discretionary spending. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat laboratory-graded diamonds fell 0.9 percent, while for 0.30-carat diamonds there was a 1.7 percent drop, and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds decreased by 1.9 percent. In bigger stones, RAPI for 3-carat diamonds dropped by 1.5 percent during the month.

  • Worldwide demand for platinum jewelry fell 11% on the quarter in the second quarter of this year, according to the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) in its latest quarterly update. The reduced demand was seen across the world despite the lower price of platinum. Demand was slower in China in Q2 from Q1 partly as a result of the New Year sales that took place in the first months of the year, but also because of lower jewelry store sales.

  • Organizers of the first Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference held in Athens in June say the event was so successful that a second conference is being planned for May 2016 in Valencia, Spain. The conference in Athens was organized by the Athens Independent Gemological Lab (IGL) and the CGL-GRS Swiss Canadian Gemlab.

  • Round diamonds below 0.9 carats in weight saw significant price movement to the negative, while items above that weight were more positive, according to IDEX's weekly price round-up. There was a brighter story for prices of fancy cut diamonds, however, particularly for diamonds weighing 0.3-3.99 carats in the medium to better color range. There were price declines for stones in the 4-4.99 carats range, especially in higher colors.

  • With demand for polished diamonds weak around the world, and stable at best in the United States, the organizers of the 33rd edition of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair forecast only very minor increases in exhibitor and visitor/buyer numbers. UBM Asia says it expects around 3,700 companies and 60,000 visitors/buyers to take part in the September 16-20 show for loose diamond exhibitors at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), and the September 18-22 show for finished jewelry at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

  • With the Shanghai stock market battered again on Monday, the effect is being felt around the world with the Australian bourse losing losing $20 billion within an hour of opening on Monday and European exchanges expected to decline following the biggest decline for several years on Wall Street on Friday as the slowdown in the Chinese economy causes fears around the globe.

  • The Swiss watch industry reported a 9.3% drop on the year in exports last month to $1.95 billion, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The export figures were particularly hit by Asian markets, with sales in Asia plunging by 21.4%. The decline in sales to China was 39.6%, in the United Arab Emirates sales dropped 29.8%, and in South Korea they were 19.7% lower. Meanwhile sales to the U.S. were stable, and exports to Europe "continued to gather momentum, led by astonishing progress in France.

  • While many have been rushing to write off the euro, given the sovereign debt problems affecting several members of the eurozone in recent years and the ongoing turmoil regarding Greece, a leading analyst, Peter Schiff, points out that the single currency has survived for 16 years despite claims on many occasions that it would sink.

  • Professor Heiner Evanschitzky, Chair of Marketing at Aston University in Birmingham, says: “Amazon has had an incredible 20 years, and already has a legacy as one of the disruptive innovators that set the standard for online retailing and changed the face of the industry, as well as consumer shopping habits, forever.

  • India's diamond cutting and polishing center is seeing an "unprecedented" decline, says Surat Diamond Association President Dinesh Navadia. "This happens quite a time, but after three or four months, the situation usually improves. This time, the crisis has lasted for a long time," he said, adding that rumors that diamond firms are about to go bust are making the situation even worse.

  • The US economy has rebounded after a winter freeze-over, with firms adding more than 200,000 jobs a month, and consumer confidence at a post-recession high leading people to spend more. The American economy is forecast to expand by close to 3% in the second quarter after a 0.2% decline in the first three months of the year, according to a MarketWatch survey of economists.

  • Panicking Greeks are buying everything from jewelry to fridges in order to have tangible assets in case their country exits the eurozone and financial chaos ensues.
    One jeweler describes how he turned doan an offer from a customer to buy more than $1 million of jewels, preferring to hold on to the jewelry than have the money in a Greek bank.

  • European Union foreign ministers on Monday extended sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2016, the EU Council said in a statement. Permanent representatives of EU member states had approved the extension of the sanctions for six months at a meeting on June 17. The sanctions, sparked by Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict and its annexation of the Crimea region, do not apply to the country's diamond trade.

  • Companies from China and Hong Kong posted the fastest growth in luxury sales in 2013, according to the 2015 Global Powers of Luxury Goods report by global business consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd was among the top five biggest luxury brands in 2013, beating many European and US concerns.

  • Diamond trading activity slow, reports Diamonds.net, with prices of polished under pressure as a result of slow demand. However, there is higher demand for caraters due to good American demand, but higher-make stones in the 0.30-0.40 range are weak as Chinese demand remains poor as a result of fears that some Chinese firms are not making payments.

  • According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the proposed EU legislation on conflict minerals tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold (3TG), will include the implementation of a so-called ‚white list’, naming smelters that do not use conflict minerals to produce their intermediate products sold in the EU. Whereas the US Dodd-Frank legislation focused on smelters and downstream companies, the latter generally far removed from upstream activities, the EU proposal shifts the focus on middlemen in the supply chain, believing this will add pressure to the upstream segments, the miners and traders.

  • Leaders of seven of the world's most powerful economies – the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan – along with the European Union will debate extending the sanctions at the body's June 7-8 summit in Germany.

  • The JCK Show Las Vegas met the low expectations of the diamond trade, with suppliers of polished diamonds reassured about the strength and stability of the U.S. market despite far from impressive sales and a constant demand for deeper discounts. Dealers and jewelers left Vegas in a relatively positive mood having done some business. Furthermore: "The industry seems to recognize that it can no longer take its position for granted and is slowly becoming more proactive to raise consumer interest."

  • [Angolan journalist and human rights activist Raphael Marques’ case] comes just days after the European Parliament made history by voting in favour of a strong, binding law to tackle the deadly trade in conflict minerals. If this law comes into effect, it would put Europe at the forefront of global efforts to clean up the minerals trade and encourage businesses to source minerals in a way that benefits local communities, not armed groups.

  • The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for jewelry dropped 3.3 percent on the year in April, which was the lowest reading since December. The decline was much larger than for the nation's overall CPI which showed a decrease of just 0.2%. Prices for diamonds and precious metals saw widespread declines last month, while the CPI for watches increased.

  • Revenue at luxury goods firm Richemont rose by 3.9 percent on the year to $11.5 billion (10.4 billion euros) in the year that ended on March 31, with revenue in the firm's retail division increasing by 4.1 percent to $6 billion (5.44 billion euros). The group's jewelry maisons, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Giampiero Bodino, experienced a "challenging environment," but nevertheless managed to post a rise in sales of 4 percent to $6.2 billion (5.66 billion euros). However, the group's profit figure slumped 35.5 percent to $1.5 billion (1.33 billion euros).