Archive

  • In what can only be described as a victory for laboratory-grown diamond producers, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dropped the word 'natural' from its definition of a diamond, essentially redefining 'diamond' to include non-mined gemstones, as part its new guides for the jewelry industry. It further gives additional leeway to existing standards regarding the description of lab-grown diamonds (and metal alloys), and has dropped 'synthetic' as an appropriate descriptor of lab-grown diamonds except under certain circumstances.

  • Last week, the United States' Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing states to collect sales tax from online retailers even when a retailer has no physical presence in that state, sending shock waves and uncertainty across the retail landscape. States argued they were losing out on billions of dollars worth of online sales taxes annually as a result of the precedent set by  a 1992 court decision, Quill Corp vs. North Dakota; the new Wayfair v.

  • Many women (and men) dream of the moment their partner will get down on one knee and ask the big question with the little box – but what if it’s not the ring you’ve been dreaming of? Helzberg Diamonds just thought of the perfect solution, the Will You? ring—a $50 “ring before the ring” that marks the proposal, but not the actual engagement.

  • 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.

  • The executive director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), Marie-Chantal Kaninda on May 31 addressed U.S. State Department officials and civil society members on the topic of responsible diamond sourcing and the Kimberley Process (KP). This is the first time that the WDC presented to the U.S. State Department and supports the WDC’s strategy to raise awareness for, and encourage participation in, efforts to combat conflict diamonds.

  • Global consumer demand for diamond jewelry hit a new all-time high in 2017, climbing to US$82 billion, a two percent increase on the previous year, according to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group. The US was the main driver of growth for the fourth consecutive year, De Beers writes, where positive macroeconomics and strong consumer confidence - which recently hit an 18-year high - saw demand for diamond jewelry increase four percent to $43 billion, representing more than half of total global demand.

  • 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.

  • The trade is facing its #MeToo moment after stories of degrading behavior emerge. In her blog and trade journal Barbara Palumbo, who has spent 30 years in the jewelry and watch industry, wrote about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the industry — “Women deal with this literally every single day in our industry”.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A US court last Thursday passed an interim order that prevents creditors from collecting debt from Nirav Modi-owned Firestar Diamond Inc (FDI) and its affiliates after it filed for bankruptcy. Modi, who is being investigated for illegal transfer of nearly $2 billion from Punjab National Bank, has a majority stake in Firestar Diamond and its other sister companies through his other companies. FDI filed the Chapter 11 voluntary petition in the New York Southern Bankruptcy Court last week, and the bankruptcy court said that the filing of case imposed an automatic stay against most collection a

  • "The [jewelry] industry has seen 20 smash-and-grab robberies in jewelry stores since October, as a troubling trend that began in the Midwest has now spread to other areas of the country", writes Rob Bates of JCK. According to Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) president John Kennedy, “The frequency and the number of these crimes are growing and growing. We think it’s very dangerous.

  • WD Lab Grown Diamonds, based in Maryland in the US, has announced the creation a 6-carat round laboratory-grown diamond, which it says, "now stands as the world's only known lab-made CVD diamond of its size and shape." The company says the large synthetic diamond, made using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technology, was "grown in just a few months, as opposed to the millions of years it takes to form a diamond in nature." The company's facility, located just outside Washington, DC, produces synthetic diamonds for the jewelry market as well f

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.