Author: Steven Joseph

Steven aims to be first to bring the news on industry updates, while his finance background informs his insights on how broader economic trends affect the jewellery trade

IGI has recently introduced a comprehensive set of procedures designed to distinguish between fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds and their natural counterparts. This development comes as a response to the growing challenge in the jewellery industry to identify synthetic stones, which are often treated to emulate the appearance of natural diamonds. IGI’s innovative approach involves the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and photoluminescence spectroscopy, supplemented by traditional magnification techniques. These methods aim to overcome the limitations faced by conventional screening devices that rely on photoluminescence for analyzing a diamond’s fluorescence and phosphorescence under ultraviolet light. According to IGI, such traditional…

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IDEX Online disclosed a substantial enhancement to its diamond trading platform. This upgrade, characterised by improved functionalities and a more user-friendly interface, marks a significant leap towards optimising trade efficiency for its customers. With the integration of modernised features, including a revamped homepage, streamlined diamond search processes, and an updated purchase flow, the platform now facilitates more efficient operations for trading both natural and lab-grown diamonds. Furthermore, the platform boasts access to over 75% of the global polished diamond market, ensuring secure transactions, end-to-end logistics, and a reliable market data database, reinforcing its position as a trusted partner in the…

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Instappraise has joined the Canadian Jewellery Association (CJA) Member Benefits Program. This collaboration is poised to significantly benefit CJA members, offering substantial discounts on Instappraise’s services and aligning with broader industry efforts to enhance appraisal standards and accessibility of advanced tools for jewellery professionals across Canada. Instappraise: Innovating Jewellery Appraisal Instappraise brings to the market a cloud-based solution designed to meet the comprehensive needs of jewellery appraisers. The platform enables the creation of professional, court-ready appraisal documents efficiently and user-friendly. Its mission extends beyond software development, aiming to bolster the jewellery industry by democratizing access to cutting-edge technology for new…

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Signet Jewellers has announced the appointment of Sandra Cochran to its Board of Directors, effective February 27, 2024. This strategic addition temporarily enlarges the Board to 13 members, with 12 serving independently, aligning with the company’s initiative towards Board tenure limitations as outlined in its Director Tenure Policy. Sandra Cochran’s impressive retail and leadership experience positions her as a significant asset to Signet’s Board. H. Todd Stitzer, the Board Chairman, praised Cochran’s appointment, stating, “Sandy’s rich background in retail, coupled with her strong executive leadership skills and deep financial expertise, will make her an incredibly valuable member of the Signet…

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The French Ministry of Economy and Finance has taken a step to standardize the terminology for lab-grown diamonds by introducing “synthetic” as the official term. This change seeks to unify the various terms previously in use, like “lab-grown” or “cultivated,” for diamonds created through artificial processes. WFDB’s Reaction The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) supports this decision, seeing it as an essential step in differentiating the value of natural diamonds. Yoram Dvash, President of the WFDB, stated, “By endorsing the use of ‘synthetic,’ the French government aims to eliminate ambiguity and ensure consumers can make informed choices based on…

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Pandora, widely accepted as the world’s largest jewellery brand, has announced a significant shift in its supply chain strategy by exclusively sourcing recycled silver and gold for its jewellery production. This change reflects the company’s initiative to reduce its environmental footprint and aligns with broader industry trends towards sustainability. Environmental Impact Reduction By choosing recycled over newly mined metals, Pandora aims to decrease its CO2 emissions by approximately 58,000 tons per year. This effort contributes to the reduction of the environmental impact associated with metal mining, which is known for its high energy and resource requirements. Pandora’s CEO, Alexander Lacik,…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has played a pivotal role in assisting the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in recovering two diamonds, part of a larger theft of six jewelry pieces from a home in Colorado in June 2023. The total value of the stolen items was reported to exceed $475,000. The recovery led to an arrest, facilitated by the GIA’s identification of the two diamonds, which were submitted for grading by a wholesale diamond dealer who was not involved in the theft. GIA’s Consumer Protection Efforts Christina Yates, GIA’s associate general counsel, highlighted the institute’s commitment to aiding…

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LVMH’s Chaumet has been selected to design the official medals for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, introducing a novel approach by incorporating material from the Eiffel Tower into the medals’ design. Utilizing the Eiffel Tower’s Iron For the first time, original iron from the Eiffel Tower is being used in the creation of Olympic and Paralympic medals. This material choice links each medal directly to a key symbol of Paris. The iron, originally brown, has been returned to its natural color and shaped into a hexagon that reflects the tower’s structure. This element is central to the design…

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In a significant move, De Beers announced a notable reduction in rough diamond prices during their recent sightholders meeting. This strategic adjustment involves cuts ranging from 10% to as much as 25% for certain diamond categories, signaling one of the most substantial pricing shifts in the company’s recent history. Breakdown of Price Adjustments The scale of the reductions varies across different segments of the diamond inventory. Diamonds under 0.75 carats are now priced 5% to 10% lower. The 0.75 to 2 carat diamonds have seen average reductions of 10% to 15%, while those over 2 carats are subject to a…

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The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recently acknowledged Mr. Tehmasp Printer, CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), for his impactful contributions to the industry. With over 24 years at IGI, including his tenure as CEO since last year, Printer has been instrumental in advancing the institute’s global influence. IGI’s Global Influence and Services IGI, with its 30 laboratories and 19 educational facilities, has played a pivotal role in the global gem and jewellery landscape for over 45 years. The institute offers a range of services, including diamond grading, coloured stone grading, jewelry identification, and appraisal, catering to…

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The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has recently revealed a significant case of diamond fraud. A 6.01 carat pear-cut diamond, initially believed to be natural due to its inscription, was identified as a lab-grown stone. This discovery highlights a growing concern in the jewellery industry regarding the differentiation and accurate representation of lab-grown and natural diamonds. The Discovery Process IGI’s analysis unveiled that the gemstone, inscribed with a grading report number matching a natural diamond, was in fact lab-created. The examination involved advanced techniques like photoluminescence spectroscopy, which exposed Silicone Vacancy (SiV) defects indicative of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) hosted its 16th annual research meeting at its global headquarters in Carlsbad, California, bringing together over 100 participants. This assembly included GIA researchers, esteemed academics, independent industry experts, and GIA Governors and executives. The three-day event, held from 1-3 November, focused on the latest gemological research and technological advancements Pioneering Research for Consumer Protection Tom Moses, GIA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, emphasized the centrality of rigorous independent research to GIA’s mission. He stated, “Rigorous independent research is at the centre of GIA’s activities and is vital to our consumer…

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Angola has officially commenced diamond mining at the Luele project, which represents a significant milestone for the country and adds to the world’s most substantial diamond resources​​. This mine is expected to be the largest diamond mining project to come online this decade, with an estimated resource of 628 million carats and a projected operational lifespan of 60 years​​​​. Located adjacent to the Catoca mine in northeastern Angola, Luele, previously known as Luaxe, is poised to enhance Angola’s status as a key player in the global diamond industry​​. Production Goals With an initial processing capacity of 4 million metric tons…

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After prolonged discussions, the European Commission appears to be moving closer to implementing a significant ban on the import of diamonds from Russia. This measure, part of a wider series of sanctions that include an oil price cap, marks the 12th sanctions package aimed at Moscow. With discussions underway, this proposal seeks unanimous approval from all 27 EU member states and could be finalised in the coming weeks. Set to be effective from January 1, 2024, the ban specifically targets direct imports of Russian diamonds. A critical component of the sanctions includes the establishment of a traceability mechanism from March.…

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In its ninth cycle of sales for 2023, the De Beers Group reported a provisional rough diamond sales value of $80 million. This figure, subject to final adjustments, compares with $200 million in actual sales for Cycle 8 of 2023 and a significantly higher $454 million in the corresponding cycle of the previous year. These numbers reflect the ongoing volatility in the diamond market. CEO’s Market Analysis Al Cook, CEO of De Beers Group, commented on the current economic climate’s impact on the diamond sector. “Macro-economic challenges continue to affect the diamond sector. The retail recovery in China remains slow.…

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The UAE is set to chair the Kimberley Process in 2024, with the vice-chair role commencing in 2023. This decision, made at the Kimberley Process Plenary in Botswana, highlights the UAE’s growing role in the international diamond industry. Implications for Jewellers This role may provide stability and continuity during market uncertainties, as expressed by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC: “The Kimberley Process is a global body that strives to enable trade to flourish in a safe and stable environment so that all participants and their dependent societies can benefit to the full… we are committed to…

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Tiffany & Co. has announced the launch of its latest jewelry collection, Tiffany Forge. The collection, crafted from sterling silver, is inspired by the idea that every individual forges their own unique path in life, while an open-link design motif throughout the collection draws inspiration from designs found in the Tiffany Archives. This new collection pays homage to Tiffany & Co.’s longstanding tradition of crafting sterling silver pieces, a material deeply rooted in the brand’s history. Notably, over a hundred years ago, Tiffany & Co. established the U.S. standard for sterling silver purity. The signature open-link motif of the Tiffany…

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The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard (MGMH), and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have once again joined forces. Following their collaborative efforts at the State of the Art Summit in June 2023, these industry leaders have announced the launch of JewelryArts24 during Frieze Week 2023. The Call for Responsible Practices The State of the Art Summit, held at the Mineralogical and Geological Museum, Harvard University, highlighted the pressing need for responsible practices within the jewelry industry. A significant takeaway from the summit was the importance of involving the younger generation, promoting storytelling, and…

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De Beers Group has made the strategic decision to halt the production of lab-grown diamond engagement rings, which were previously sold through its Lightbox brand. This significant move reinforces De Beers’ focus on the enduring allure of natural diamonds amidst the rising popularity of synthetic alternatives. Abandoning The Synthetic Experiment De Beers ventured into the lab-grown diamond arena with the aim of capturing a share of the burgeoning market for ethically sourced and cost-effective alternatives to natural diamonds. However, the decision to discontinue this line marks a noticeable shift back to its longstanding tradition of natural diamond craftsmanship. Pricing Discrepancies…

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Parisian jeweler FRED, a unit of luxury group LVMH, has introduced its first synthetic blue diamonds, named FRED Audacious Blue. Known for its elegant and exquisite creations, the brand has ventured into the realm of lab-grown diamonds, marking a significant shift in its product offerings. Limited-Edition Collection The brand has released a limited-edition collection consisting of just four jewelry pieces, each containing a 0.50-carat blue lab-grown diamond in the brand’s proprietary Fred Hero Cut. Additionally, a loose 8.88-carat synthetic diamond of the same colour and cut has been unveiled. All five stones are fancy-vivid greenish-blue, have VS clarity or higher,…

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Antwerp-based International Gemological Institute (IGI), part of the Blackstone portfolio, has announced a significant leadership change that will mark the beginning of a new era for the organisation. Roland Lorie, who served as the CEO for nearly five decades, will step down and be succeeded by Tehmasp Printer as the Global CEO, effective October 1, 2023. Lorie’s tenure has been marked by the creation of the largest network of gemological laboratories and schools across the globe, cementing IGI’s position as a leading certification authority for natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, coloured stones, and finished jewellery. Tehmasp Printer: A Seasoned Leader Printer…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has recently evaluated a 4.04-carat ring made entirely from a single lab-grown diamond. This significant milestone in the world of carved single-crystal diamond rings has implications for the UK jewellery industry, reflecting advancements in lab-grown diamond technology and potential shifts in consumer preferences. A Significant Milestone The Ring’s Characteristics The ring, fashioned from a single-crystal CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) laboratory-grown diamond, represents a significant development in the field of lab-grown diamonds. While not the first of its kind, it is the first time GIA has evaluated a ring carved from a single laboratory-grown diamond.…

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De Beers Group has released its interim financial results for the first half of 2023. The report highlights key developments in production, sales, and market trends, providing insights into the current state of the diamond industry. Key Financial Highlights Production and Sales Regional Performance Market Insights The report highlights the high levels of polished diamond inventory coming into 2023 and the impact of macro-economic headwinds on rough diamond demand. The anticipated rebound in Chinese demand was affected by a large wave of COVID-19 infections, dampening consumer confidence. The softening in demand and higher financing costs have put profitability under strain.…

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Gemological Science International (GSI) has announced the completion of its first advanced gemology program, the Colored Stone Professional Program. This 14-week diploma program, run at GSI’s Jaipur, India campus, welcomed students from across India. “It feels nostalgic to see students graduating from an institution like GSI, which provides a recent and detailed curriculum in an internationally made facility,” says Ms. Sunita Shekhawat, an accomplished Indian jewellery designer known for her intricate craftsmanship and revival of traditional meenakari techniques. Shekhawat adds, “The students using gemology as their base should showcase Indian culture and art when they design gemstone jewellery”. Dr K.L…

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In the world of jewellery sales, understanding your customers is paramount to success. But who are your customers, really? As diverse as they are, most customers can be grouped into four basic types: This categorisation can offer invaluable insights into their buying behaviour and help you tailor your sales approach. This article delves into these customer types and provides tips for effectively selling to each. The Price Buyer: Competitive Cost is Key Price Buyers are customers driven primarily by cost. Their quest for the best deal often makes them less brand loyal; they’ll compare prices across different retailers to ensure…

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Jewellery, especially high-value items, is rarely an impulse purchase. Customers often take time to consider their options, explore various designs, styles, and price points before making a decision. So, when a visitor comes to your website for the first time, it’s unlikely they will make a purchase straight away. This is where a digital sales funnel can come into play. What is a sales funnel? A sales funnel, in essence, represents the journey a potential customer takes from their first interaction with your brand to the final purchase. It’s called a ‘funnel’ because, much like a real-world funnel, the number…

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Trade show season is coming up and, when done correctly, can play a crucial role in the success of businesses, providing a unique opportunity to interact with potential clients and industry peers. With shows like Pure, the Jewellery Show being one of the most highly anticipated events, standing out amidst a sea of competitors can be a challenging task. Participating in these events can significantly enhance brand visibility, generate sales, and forge strong customer relationships. However, to reap these benefits, it’s vital to set clear, realistic objectives. Whether it’s lead generation, enhancing brand awareness, or driving sales, defining your goals…

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New York, NY – In an effort to harness increasing consumer demand and sustain the prosperity of the natural diamond industry, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced a new partnership with the Natural Diamond Council (NDC). This collaboration represents a proactive move in response to shifting market dynamics and a growing need for industry cohesion. Alongside an initial financial investment, the partnership will focus on strategic initiatives to expand the reach and influence of natural diamond values. The WFDB, with its member bourses and individual members, aims to provide wider exposure for natural diamonds and leverage their…

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The Met Gala 2023 was not just about the clothes – the jewelry worn by the attendees was equally as stunning. The event, which was dedicated to the late Karl Lagerfeld, saw celebrities and fashionistas adorned with pieces that reflected Lagerfeld’s love for pearls and fine jewelry, and served as testament to the transformative power of accessories in creating unforgettable looks. We take you through our top 5 looks below. Dua Lipa’s Legendary Tiffany & Co Diamond Necklace As one of the event chairs, Dua Lipa was expected to shine, and she did just that. The singer wore an eggshell-colored…

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The recently launched ‘Canadian Consumer Insights March 2023 Pulse Survey’ from PwC highlights the evolving preferences of Canadian consumers, and in this article we’ll be shedding light on how these shifts impact the jewellery trade in Canada. We’ll unravel the cautious approach of consumers towards luxury purchases amidst the backdrop of financial concerns, how attitudes to in-store shopping are driven by a quest for authenticity and a tangible engagement with the products and whether Canadians are willing to pay more for locally-sourced and ethically-produced jewellery. Shifting Canadian Spending Habits: A Cautious Approach to Luxury Purchases While a substantial segment of…

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