Archive

  • Signet Jewelers, which claims to be "the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry," is asking its employees in Akron, Ohio and Dallas, Texas to apply for "voluntary buyouts". The buyout program was communicated to all Akron employees (2,600) and 780 in Dallas in a series of staff memos issued a week ago. The announcement came as Signet, which operates more than 3,500 stores including Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Piercing Pagoda, tries to cut costs as part of its “Path to Brilliance” business plan, spokesman David Bouffard said. 

  • BV Schmuck & Uhren (BVSU) has become the first German jewelry trade association to become a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The association, which was founded in 1947 and represents nearly 170 medium-sized companies at the national, European and international levels, announced its decision at the recently concluded Inhorgenta Munich show. 

  • The average expenditure on an engagement ring in the U.S. stayed flat in 2018 at $3,388, fitting the new pattern of economizing on the big day and a slight shift away from including an engagement ring, according to a survey from The Wedding Report. The survey concluded that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. declined by 4%, from $25,764 in 2017 to $24,723 in 2018.

  • Americans are expected to spend a record amount on Valentine’s Day this year despite a years-long decrease in the percentage of people celebrating the holiday, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Of the estimated $20.7 billion the NRF expects US consumers to spend on the holiday, almost $4 billion will be on jewelry, putting it at the top of the list, despite the fact that only 18% of people surveyed are planning to gift jewelry (26% men, 9% women).

  • Dutch Diamond Technologies (DD) has created the world’s first ring that is entirely made from a lab-grown diamond. ‘Project D’, DD’s name for the ring, took a year to manufacture and was created in honour of the company’s 10th anniversary. For grading this unique piece of jewelry, DD turned to HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading authority in diamond grading, writes the grading lab in a press release.

  • The South Korean government, following years of negotiations with the Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE), has abolished the special 26% Individual Consumption Tax (ICT) on imports of loose polished diamonds exceding KRW 5,000,000 ($4,460), leaving in place only the simplified rate of 5% import tax and 10% VAT which already applied to all imports. KDE President Nam Chang-Soo said, "We hope that the abolition of the tax will have a very positive effect on diamond jewelry sales in South Korea."

  • RapNet, a member of the Rapaport Group of Companies and the world’s largest diamond trading network, will be introducing jewelry into its global trading network, as announced yesterday in a press release. RapNet members can now upload jewelry images and data, perform detailed searches, and directly trade jewelry with each other without any fees or commissions. There are no additional fees to use this service.

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded revenue of €46.8 billion in 2018, an increase of 10% over the previous year. LVMH's results have upset prevailing wisdom about the health of China’s shoppers with its latest results. The luxury bellwether, which owns some of the world’s most valuable brands including Christian Dior and Givenchy, said Tuesday that demand from Chinese consumers strengthened in the three months through December, defying analysts' expectations for a decline in luxury spending.

  • Charterhouse-backed Siaci Saint Honore (SSH), a leading France-based insurance brokerage and consulting firm with a strength in jewelry insurance, and Lloyd's coverholder Driesassur, the Belgium-based global market leader for insurances for the diamond trade and a jewelry and fine art insurance specialist, have agreed to join forces.

  • Signet Jewelers, the United States' largest retailer of diamond jewelry, announced its same-store sales fell 1.3% to $1.84 billion during the "Holiday Season" (the 9 weeks ended January 5, 2019) as the company failed to get enough demand from its legacy product lines and enough traffic in their stores during key weeks in December. For the current quarter ending Feb. 2, it now expects same-store sales to be down 1.6% to $2.5%.

  • One of the bellwether jewelry brands and the largest jeweler in China, Chow Tai Fook, has reported that same-store-sales of gem-set jewelry in Q4 2018 declined by 5% in mainland China and 8% in Hong Kong and Macau “amid an uncertain macroeconomic environment.” This marks the first quarterly decline in two years for the company despite China’s lowering of its jewelry import tax by an average of 20.7 percent last summer, which was expected to bolster sales.

  • Tiffany & Co. has announced that, effective immediately, it will begin sharing with consumers the provenance (country of origin) of its diamonds weighing 0.18 cts. and up. This "Diamond Source Initiative", which Tiffany's calls "a significant step for diamond transparency," will go further than current industry standards, and responds to increasing consumer demand to know they are making responsible purchases.

  • The parade of stars at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards dazzled a global audience with some astounding diamond jewels. Statement necklaces stole the show, with stunning earrings, stacks of bejeweled bangles, emeralds, rubies and other colored gemstones shining in their supporting role.

  • According to its latest market research report (Q3 2018) on the global luxury and jewelry sectors, Russian diamond miner Alrosa says that global jewelry sales rose by 4% in Q3. North America, the largest diamond jewelry market, showed a 4% sales increase in Q3 compared to the same period last year. According to key retailers, stable growth was driven by increased demand from the local population.

  • HRD Antwerp, a European leading authority in diamond certification, has entered a partnership with Dubai-based jewellery retailer Stargems Group to certify their entire jewelry inventory through the establishment of a diamond jewelry grading lab. This cooperation will ultimately ensure the transparency and authenticity of each jewelry piece, HRD Antwerp announced today in a statement.

  • Signet Jewelers' online diamond bridal jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com has officially opened its new concept retail store in Georgetown, Washington DC. The brick-and-mortar location is a first for the online retailer, and is intended to lure and engage consumers by encouraging them to interact with the product as well as their staff. The initiative launches Signet's effort to draw traffic to their digital platform while tapping into the "immersive" experiential aspect shopping, a combination favored particularly by the younger generations. 

  • A ring made by Bulgari and set with fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 8.08 carats was sold for $18,312,500 at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction, beating its presale estimate of $13 million to $18 million. The cushion-cut Type IIb Fancy Vivid Blue of natural color, VS2 clarity garnered $2.27 million per carat, and was the top lot at the Magnificent Jewels auction, which totaled $69,225,750 and also included a rare, 15.56-carat heart-shaped pink diamond set in a pendant, selling for $9,537,500.

  • 53 million Americans plan to buy a diamond between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. 21% (1-in-5) Americans plan to purchase a diamond between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, with men and millennials among the most likely to be in the market for a diamond this holiday season. 35% of millennials plan to purchase a diamond, and more than 1-in-10 plan to buy a diamond engagement ring (13%), while 27% of men plan to purchase a diamond and 11% plan to buy an engagement ring.

    - Diamond Producers Association, findings from a recent survey.

  • Tiffany & Co's worldwide net sales increased 4% to $1.0 billion in the third quarter, with higher spending by local customers noted across the board, but a decline in purchases by Chinese tourists in the United States and Hong Kong put a dent in the jeweler’s Q3 results. The stock market took notice, as shares of Tiffany & Co. plunged 12 percent following their publication of the results, as industry analysts had been anticipating better results.

  • The 24-carat pear-shaped, fancy yellow Moon of Baroda diamond famed for its association with Marilyn Monroe sold for $1.3 million at the Christie’s Hong Kong jewelry auction on Tuesday, easily beating estimates of $500,000 to $750,000.

  • Independent diamond industry analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky, proprietor of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, takes an in-depth look at developments in the laboratory-grown diamond market in his latest contribution to the discussion, "2018: The Year of the Lab-created Diamond". Here he focuses on the impact (or current lack thereof) that De Beers launch of its Lightbox lab-grown diamond line (announced late May 2018, first available late September 2018) has had on the pricing of laboratory-grown goods.

  • A diamond jewelry manufacturer from Antwerp, Giovanni Daems, is the first to develop a new, patented technology for a fully-automated diamond setting machine, which it unveiled this week at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

  • Jewelry maker Pandora, known for its charm bracelets, reported Tuesday that Q3 sales in the U.S. fell 12% year-over-year to $153.2 million (DKK 1 billion), while  worldwide revenue decreased 3% in local currency to $765.8 million (DKK 5 billion). The "unsatisfactory" results prompted the company to reduce its sales and profit margin guidance for this year following revenue declines in consecutive quarters, and is now saying it expected sales in local currencies to increase by between 4 and 7 percent this year, compared with the 7-10 percent it previously projected.

  • Richline Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, announced that it is partnering with both JCPenney and Macy’s to introduce its new jewelry brand, Grown With Love, Lab Grown Diamonds this holiday season. As JCK reports, the line will include fashion as well as bridal components. "The Macy’s line will include stones up to 3 cts., while the J.C. Penney line tops off at around 1.5 cts.

  • An interim order regarding the liquidations sales of 142 stores that Sears plans to close as part of its bankruptcy reorganization recognizes the ownership rights of vendors that have supplied merchandise to the retailer on memo. Those vendors, which include diamond manufacturer Rosy Blue and jewelry supplier Vijay Gold Designs, objected to Sears' plans to close the stores because the stores held goods supplied by the vendors on consignment and believed Sears would to sell their merchandise “whether they own it or not.”

  • Rosy Blue and Vijay Gold Designs, two of Sears Holdings Corp.'s prominent jewelry suppliers, have challenged the retailer's plans to liquidate 142 stores in bankruptcy, saying some of the inventory they have furnished to Sears was on consignment. On October 15, Sears - once an innovative icon of the retail industry - filed for Chapter 11 in New York federal court to provide restructuring and financial relief for the organization.

  • The 2018 World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) Congress held last week in Bogotá, Colombia featured a strong focus on responsible sourcing in the jewelry industry. This included the introduction of a Responsible Sourcing Guidance document, which will serve as a reference for responsible sourcing practices developed and applied by industry organizations and commercial bodies worldwide and will come to have the status of a CIBJO Book. To oversee the process, a Responsible Sourcing Commission was established.

  • The GIA has announced that Chinese retailer LAELIM Jewelry and Belgian diamond manufacturer IGC Group will pilot GIA’s M2M (Mine to Market) program, which allows for complete transparency and traceability of diamonds along the value chain, writes GIA in a press release. This is one of the first instances where a manufacturer and retailer implemented the M2M program in partnership, and LAELIM is the first retailer in China to participate.

  • Chow Tai Fook has announced its partnership with native New York designer Vera Wang on a fine jewelry collection launching October 19, 2018 in Mainland China. "Bringing together the foremost Chinese-American designer in the fashion industry and the renowned fine jewelry company in Greater China," the announcement reads, the new collection will "cater to the modern Chinese bride, who has begun to incorporate diamond jewelry into traditional engagements," moving beyond the traditional gold and jade usually worn by brides in China.

  • The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced that Andrew Bone will be stepping down as its Executive Director, effective 27 March 2019. Andrew Bone has been Executive Director since the spring of 2015. Under his leadership, RJC membership doubled and the organization laid the foundations for sustainable growth in the future, the RJC said in a statement.

  • Having set our sights on a half-carat white solitaire pendant set in a silver necklace for $500, today we received an e-mail informing us we can place our order tomorrow (Thursday). Lightbox - De Beers' lab-grown diamond jewelry line - which has sparked outcry, applause, debate, and concern throughout the diamond world (natural as well as synthetic) will finally make its debut after a heated summer. The line as it now stands consists of pastel pink, white and baby-blue lab-grown studs and pendants, priced from $200 for a quarter carat to $800 for one carat, not including the setting.

  • Amazon's filing for a trademark, "For Keeps by Amazon", makes it appear likely that the e-tail giant might be on the verge of launching a new jewelry brand. According to a filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office on September 19, the patent is for “online retail sales of jewelry, namely precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith." 

  • Russian diamond miner ALROSA recently published the results of its global luxury and jewelry market research, showing that the average global growth rate for decorative jewelry in Q2 2018 was approximately 5% higher than during the same period last year. Sales increased in all of the world's key regions, except for India. The most notable increase came from the Asia Pacific region, where sales increased by 17%. The positive dynamics resulted from the continuing expansion of various local players, made possible by the strong demand for diamond-based jewelry in continental China.

  • Famed jeweler Tiffany & Co. has lifted the veil on the company’s upcoming jewelry collection, Tiffany True, its first new engagement line in nearly a decade. The newly designed engagement ring at the core of the collection features a new cut of diamond, and its setting is designed so that its four link sides create a basket for the ring, allowing it to sit lower on the finger for a more modern feel.“Tiffany has symbolized the ultimate in love and commitment since 1886 with the invention of the original Tiffany Setting.

  • We don’t have any idea to develop lab-grown diamonds at this moment because we don’t see any market for it right now. Chow Tai Fook is a jewelry brand as well as a diamond brand, and our brand value is authenticity, so we have to live up to that. It’s important to understand that Chinese consumers value natural as real, and there’s no grey area in China when it comes to man-made diamonds.

    - Kent Wong, managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, from an interview with Avi Krawitz, Rapaport News.

  • The Millennial and Gen Z generations combined accounted for two-thirds of global diamond jewelry sales in 2017, as diamond jewelry demand reached a new record high of US$82 billion, according to data published today by De Beers Group in its latest Diamond Insight Report.

  • Leading Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook is the latest company to turn to blockchain technology to enable its customers to know the origin and authenticity of the diamonds they are buying.

  • Rio Tinto’s iconic Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is being showcased to connoisseurs and collectors from across Asia in Hong Kong; the miner has also unveiled a one-of-a-kind pink diamond and emerald necklace during a world exclusive preview in Hong Kong. Headlining the 2018 collection of 63 pink, red and violet diamonds is The Argyle Muse, a 2.28 carat polished oval diamond, the largest purplish red diamond ever offered at Tender. Rio expects it will be highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs from Asia where the colour red is highly symbolic.

  • Billed as a "Great opportunity for retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and deal-makers!', the bankruptcty trustee of Firestar Diamond, Inc. and Fantasy, Inc. is liquidating the inventory and intellectual property of Firestar and Fantasy, including diamond and jewelry inventories as well as their patents, trademarks and associated jewelry. These companies manufactured and supplied fine diamond jewelry to the largest and most significant retailers and online sellers in the US and globally, but will disappear following the liquidation sales.

  • From the Martian Pink from the Perfect Pink, the Sweet Josephine to the Pink Promise, Christie’s jewelry specialist Marie-Cécile Cisamolo tells the stories of the ten most prized pink diamonds the auction house has ever sold. Prices for top-quality, large pink diamonds have increased exponentially in recent years, driven by collector demand and increasingly limited supply. Pink diamonds gain their highly desirable color as a result of a rare, naturally occurring slippage of the crystal lattice in the stone while it is forming deep within the Earth’s crust.