Archive

  • Watches of Switzerland went public on the London Stock Exchange last week, enjoying a better-than-expected debut. Shares are set to openly trade days after conditional trading started for the UK’s dominant luxury watch retailer. Watches of Switzerland (WoS) is owned by US private equity company Apollo Global Management and is the top UK seller of luxury timepiece brands like Rolex and Mayors. Under the leadership of chief executive officer (CEO), Brian Duffy, WoS’s sales have grown to make up 35% of luxury watch sales in the UK.

  • After a small rise in January, export growth in the watch industry gained momentum in February, according to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The industry exported goods worth the equivalent of CHF 1.8 billion francs ($1.8 billion), up 3.4% from February 2018. However, a 58 percent surge in shipments to the U.K. in February accounted for 80% of the increase worldwide and is explained by stockpiling ahead of Brexit. In the first two months of the year, the U.K. imported 242 million Swiss francs ($242 million) of timepieces from Switzerland.

  • In an open letter to diamond traders, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office addresses the possibility that the UK will temporarily be unable to import and export rough diamonds if the nation leaves the European Union without an exit deal. At the moment, UK traders can trade in rough diamonds within the EU and to countries in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which regulates the international trade in rough diamonds. The EU is a participant of the Kimberley Process (KP) and acts on behalf of the UK.

  • India has been informed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it can initiate extradition proceedings against Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi even though his exact whereabouts remain uncertain, a senior Indian official said today. According to Indian daily The Times of India, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun the process of filing an extradition request for Modi, which will then have to be approved by the UK Home Office following which an extradition warrant can be issued.

  • The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), considered the UK’s leading jewelry association, has appointed Simon Forrester as its new CEO, replacing Michael Rawlinson, who resigned from the NAJ in May. Forrester will assume his new role after spending seven and a half years as chief executive of the British Pest Control Association. Forrester has previously won the award of Trade Association Chief Executive of the Year in 2016 and, under his leadership, The British Pest Control Association received several awards and nominations.

  • 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.

  • The £750,000 ($980,000) ring was found missing from its proper location by British Museum staff in August 2011. It was not on public display at the time.

  • Harrods, the luxury department store in Knightsbridge, unveiled a hidden treasure, a 228.31-carat diamond. The pear-shape diamond has been graded a G color, VS1-clarity stone by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

    Chief merchant at Harrods, Helen David, said: “We are thrilled to unveil one of the world’s rarest diamonds, the so-called 'Harrods Diamond', named after the iconic Knightsbridge store."  

  • London's Hatton Garden jewelers are planning a potential move away from the famous quarter to establish a new centre in suburban London, writes the Evening Standard. "Industry leaders are discussing the creation of a 'new Hatton Garden' as jewelers face being forced out of their historic Farringdon home by rising rents." ES's Tom Powell says that Victoria McKay, COO of the London Diamond Bourse, told ES the district’s businesses agreed they must begin looking at potential new homes in cheaper locations. Ms.

  • Signet Jewelers, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, reports its same store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 (ended October 29) fell 2.0%, while total sales fell $30.2 million to $1.2 billion, a 2.5% decline. Nonetheless, the results outstripped the company’s own guidance of a 3 to 5 percent decline. As Mark Light, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers said, “We expected challenging market conditions to result in a sales decline.

  • The Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) will launch a U.K. chapter in London to facilitate networking among members of the trade and increase the public’s awareness about colored stones, writes Rapaport News. “Whilst the public is increasingly knowledgeable about white diamonds, there is still a lack of reliable information about natural-color diamonds,” the NCDIA said. “The NCDIA seeks to address this by disseminating the most up-to-date gemological information to their members and supplying them with trustworthy marketing and promotional tools.” The first U.K.

  • The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of The De Beers Group, has announced the agreement of a partnership with the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) for its diamond grading service in the UK, whereby NAJ members will benefit from preferential terms when they submit diamonds to the IIDGR’s UK lab for diamond grading, according to a De Beers press release. Commenting on the partnership, Jonathan Kendall, President, IIDGR, said: “Working with bodies such as the NAJ, IIDGR hopes to bring consistency, accuracy and in

  • Gold hit its highest in more than two years on Wednesday as a drop in stock markets and a slide in some bond yields to record lows after Britain's vote to leave the European Union prompted investors to seek out bullion as a haven from risk, reported multiple sources.

  • Press Release: The De Beers Group of Companies today announced that polished diamonds with grading reports from its International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) can now be listed on the RapNet polished diamond trading platform. Polished diamond traders will now be able to list, filter and search for polished diamonds with IIDGR grading reports on RapNet.

  • De Beers, the world’s largest diamond company, is to leave its London headquarters after almost a century, as parent company Anglo American trims costs, reports Bloomberg. About 300 staff were told on Friday that they would be leaving 17 Charterhouse Street, from where De Beers once controlled the flow of diamonds around the world. Charterhouse Street became the centre of De Beers’ empire – and therefore the global diamond trade – in the early 1930s. The building no longer holds the company sights, which moved to Botswana in November 2013.

  • The Indian government says it will make every effort to bring back the 106-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is part of the British crown jewels, only days after its solicitor general told the supreme court it would not request their return, writes The Guardian.

  • The femous Koh-i-Noor diamond that is part of Queen Elizabeth's crown was given to Britain and not stolen, India's government told the Supreme Court on Monday, which is hearing a suit seeking its return, writes India's Khaleej Times. The 105-carat Koh-i-Noor gem, which came into British hands during the colonial era, is the subject of a historic ownership dispute and has been claimed by at least four countries including India.

  • The percentage split of total UK online sales in the fourth quarter was 49% for desktops/laptops, 33% for tablets and 18% for smartphones. Meanwhile, visits to retail websites via mobile devices accounted for 66% of traffic in the fourth quarter, compared with 53% in the fourth quarter last year, Professional Jeweller magazine reported. While sales growth using smartphones increased sharply in 2015, growth via tablets reached a record low in December 2015, according to data from IMRG and consultancy firm Capgemini.

  • News outlets in Pakistan are reporting that after some 800 letters from lawyer Javed Iqbal Jaffery and a rejected petition last December, the Lahore High Court (LHC) accepted on Monday a petition calling for the British Queen to hand over the famous 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond to Pakistan. Jaffery argued in his petition that the Koh-i-Noor actually belongs to Pakistan as the gem hailed from the territory that became Pakistan in the aftermath of the historic partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

  • Paragon Diamonds' shares will likely be delisted since a conclusion about financing talks for operations in Lesotho is unlikely before the end of the year. The company said this means its shares will be delisted at 7am on Dec. 29 from the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market. Paragon said its directors had been working to finalize the required funding to bring its Lemphane kimberlite pipe project in Lesotho into production and to enable continued negotiation regarding acquiring a license to explore the Mothae kimberlite resource which is also in Lesotho.

  • After several months without a CEO, the Council of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) have appointed Nick Jones as interim CEO. Nick's role as interim CEO is to manage the Association, and advise the Council on the future structure of the Association. He previously headed another United Kingdom nonprofit, the Society of Operations Engineers. President of Gem-A, Harry Levy, welcomed Nick to the post by saying: “Gem-A is on its way to recovery with the appointment of Nick Jones and I am confident that the association is in good hands and will move forward positively.”

  • Independent not-for-profit organisations Assay Office Birmingham (AOB) and London Diamond Bourse (LDB) have announced a partnership that will provide LDB members with convenient and cost-efficient high-quality, diamond and gemstone testing and reports. The partnership will provide LDB members, trading from the Bourse floor in Hatton Garden, with a dedicated, secure delivery of diamonds and gemstones for grading to AnchorCert Gem Lab, based at AOB’s new state-of-the-art Birmingham facility. 

  • Stock prices in Gulf states nosedived on Sunday in a massive market sell-off sparked by descending oil prices, with the Saudi and Dubai bourses leading the slide. Credit ratings agency Fitch also cut its outlook for Saudi Arabia. The Dubai Financial Market fell almost seven per cent to 3,451.48 points, while Saudi Arabia's benchmark exchange was also down seven per cent to 7,441.33 points. This week, fears around a China-led global economic slowdown ripped through international markets with shares in Europe, London and New York all suffering.

  • The Insolvency Service (TIS) of the U.K. disqualified three directors of Cohen Stones Ltd., Imperial Assets Solutions Ltd. and Tudor Global Ltd. from a "director" role at any firm for more than a decade after investigators determined the men misled diamond investors and then filed voluntary insolvency. The TIS said that the three companies operated in a similar fashion: selling diamonds to customers with an extraordinary markup, claiming the stones would increase in value annually and recording a profit before filing for bankruptcy.