Seeing is believing: what stone enhancements are acceptable? – by Christa Van Eerde (The Jewellery Editor – March 12, 2019)

http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/

The aim of this article is to explain the most common enhancements or treatments for the ‘big three’, which are acceptable and within what parameters.

Most of the ‘big three’ gemstones – emeralds, rubies and sapphires – are in some way enhanced or treated. Only the very pure, perfectly coloured and flawless can escape any type of enhancement, and this is reflected in their record-breaking prices.

Perfection comes at a cost; the most valuable untreated ruby, the 25.59-carat Sunrise Ruby (below) fetched $30.3 million, which is just over $1 million per carat at Sotheby’s in Geneva in May 2015, far outstripping any price paid for a colourless diamond.

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Afghan Gems Have a Future, a Longtime Dealer Says – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – November 22, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

In 1972, Gary Bowersox, a Vietnam War veteran who had owned several retail jewelry stores in Hawaii, paid his first visit to Afghanistan. Determined to grow his burgeoning gem dealing business, he was attracted by the country’s 7,000-year-old deposits of lapis lazuli at Sar-i-Sang in Badakhshan Province, which for millenniums have drawn traders to this ancient crossroads on the border of what is now Tajikistan.

It would become the first of many trips, the most recent of which was less than three months before the Taliban regained control of the country and Western forces withdrew their troops.

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GUEST COLUMN: Country with ‘widespread human rights abuses’ to become vice-chair of Kimberley Process – by Sam Lewis (Professional Jeweller – November 23, 2021)

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The country of Zimbabwe is set to become the vice-chair of the Kimberley Process in 2023, according recent reports. Zimbabwean publication NewsDay stated that a vote was held in Moscow earlier in November. Russia is the current chair.

But, asks Ryan Atkins, CEO of Nightingale, is Zimbabwe the right country to head up the Kimberley Process? It’s common knowledge for those in the diamond industry that the Kimberley Process scheme is in somewhat of an existential crisis at the moment.

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Burmese Rubies: Costly and Controversial – by Nazanin Lankarani (New York Times – November 22, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has long been a producer of some of the world’s priciest gemstones: pigeon’s blood rubies. Known by their deep, natural red fluorescence with blue hues, they command higher prices per carat than any precious stone on the global market, with the exception of colored diamonds.

But political conflict and trade embargoes have made rubies from Myanmar highly controversial for more than a decade, creating complicated sourcing problems for jewelers.

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Beyoncé wears $30M yellow stone necklace for Tiffany campaign with Jay-Z AGAIN – despite saying she was ‘angry and disappointed’ to find out it was a BLOOD diamond – by Ashleigh Gray (Daily Mail – November 3, 2021)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Beyoncé has risked controversy by sporting a yellow ‘blood diamond’ necklace again in a newly released image for her Tiffany & Co. campaign with husband Jay-Z.

The singer, 40, was previously said to be ‘disappointed and angry’ at unknowingly modeling the jaw-dropping diamond after facing furious online backlash. However in new images released by the luxury jewellery brand, Beyoncé is once again wearing the giant yellow stone around her neck.

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Jewelers Sell $1 Gold Online as Indians Warm Up to Internet Buys – by Swansy Afonso (Bloomberg News – September 28, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Jewelers in India have started selling gold for a little over $1 online after the pandemic upended sales, forcing them to reassess traditional ways of doing business.

Sales crashed last year in the second-biggest consumer after a nationwide lockdown shuttered stores across the country. But it also led to a bump in India’s nascent market for online gold sales.

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Brilliant Earth Opens Strong On Nasdaq As Investors Back Its Ethical Jewelry Mission – by Pamela N. Danziger (Forbes Magazine – September 24, 2021)

https://www.forbes.com/

It was thumbs-up for digitally-native, mission-driven jewelry brand Brilliant Earth (NASDAQ NDAQ -1.1%: BRLT) on its first day of public trading. The stock value blew past its opening price of $12 per share to close at $17.16, a 43% rise.

Taking a cautious turn right before its NASDAQ debut, Brilliant Earth reduced its original $14 to $16 per share price range and halved its plans to sell some 16.7 million shares to 8.3 million. But by mid-afternoon, it topped $16 per share to reach a day’s high of $18.23. By end of day, nearly 8 million shares were sold.

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Blood diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend – by Karen Attiah (Washington Post/Santa Fe New Mexican – August 28, 2021)

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/

Diamonds, I’m sorry to say, aren’t Beyoncé’s best friend — even if the Grammy Award-winning artist and her new corporate partner, Tiffany and Co., would like to make it so.

Last week, Tiffany released a new campaign featuring Beyoncé, husband Jay-Z — and the famed 128.54 carat yellow Tiffany diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1877 at the Kimberley Mine by Charles Lewis Tiffany. His iconic company gleefully lauded the fact that Beyoncé is only the fourth woman — and first Black woman — to wear the glamorous necklace; her predecessors include Audrey Hepburn, who wore the stone in publicity photos for her 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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What is ultimately at stake in the Tiffany diamond row? It isn’t Beyoncé’s ethics – by Arwa Mahdawi (The Guardian – September 1, 2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/

It doesn’t matter how rich, grownup or successful you might be, sometimes your mum still feels the need to come to your rescue. Tina Knowles-Lawson, AKA Beyoncé’s mum, has just had a very sharp word on social media with critics of her daughters’ new advertising campaign.

Beyoncé, you see, has been getting some flak for wearing a 128-carat yellow diamond in a new campaign for Tiffany & Co. She is only the fourth person in the world to have worn this fancy diamond apparently, and she is the first black woman to wear it.

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Dragons fly as Chinese millennials take a shine to gold – by Emily Chow (Reuters – August 28, 2021)

https://www.reuters.com/

SHANGHAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) – For many affluent young Chinese consumers, modern simplicity is out and tradition is back in when it comes to jewellery.

Sales of gold bracelets, pendants, earrings and necklaces that draw on dragons, phoenixes, peonies and other traditional Chinese patterns and symbols are flying among consumers, especially those in their 20s and 30s, helping drive a rebound in gold demand in the country after a pandemic-induced slump.

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FBI hunt for Civil War gold detailed in unsealed affidavit – by Chris Dolmetsch (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Was a ton of vanished Union gold stolen by a secret group of Confederate sympathizers and hidden in a rural Pennsylvania cave at the height of the Civil War?

That’s what an FBI agent was seeking to find out in 2018 when he applied for a search warrant to dig at the site in Elk County, northeast of Pittsburgh, according to a court filing unsealed on Thursday.

In an accompanying 30-page affidavit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Jacob Archer cites tips from treasure hunters, old newspaper clippings and magazine articles as “probable cause” that a ton or more of gold mined in California and destined for the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia when it disappeared in 1863 was buried in cave located inside a 217,000-acre state forest.

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Diamond versus diamond – by Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – June 08, 2021)

https://magazine.cim.org/en/

Even though man-made diamonds have the potential to satisfy our appetite for sparkle, they may never rock the mined-diamond industry

It was just a single word, but by deleting one adjective from a federal guideline, a U.S. government agency redefined an elemental form and forced a North American retail industry – and its customers – to come to a new understanding of one of its oldest and most traditional products, diamonds.

That change created even more uncertainty for a segment of the mining industry that is already prone to cyclical highs and lows. The deleted word was “natural.”

Prior to the change in 2018, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Jewelry Guides – which the agency produces to help structure the market for precious metal, pewter, diamond, gemstone and pearl products – described diamonds as “natural stones that are formed of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system, as long as they have been symmetrically fashioned with at least 17 polished facets.

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Diamond Dealer Jared Holstein on the Limits of Ethical Sourcing – by Victoria Gomelsky (JCK Online.com – May 12, 2021)

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Don’t come to Jared Amadeo Holstein (pictured) expecting to find answers about ethical diamond sourcing. The San Francisco–based diamond, colored stone, and estate jewelry dealer, aka D’Amadeo, specializes in post-consumer recycled diamonds and colored stones, historical cuts, and known-source gemstones, but he makes no claims about his diamonds’ ethics.

“The word ethical is weighted and freighted and should be used very carefully,” Holstein tells JCK, admitting that he has persistent doubts about the how the goods he’s bought have come to market and the impacts they’ve had on people and the planet along the way.

“But being involved, buying goods that I’m not comfortable with buying, allows me to have conversations with people that are good,” Holstein says. “Everyone just needs to ask questions. It is all of our duty to press industry and to press producers for better information.”

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All things bright and beautiful – by Arabella Roden (Jeweller Magazine – May 11, 2021)

https://www.jewellermagazine.com/

There is no denying the appeal of coloured gemstones. From the high jewellery of Paris Couture Fashion Week to Tiffany & Co.’s annual Blue Book Collection – the centrepiece of its annual design calendar – the spotlight in 2021 has been firmly focused on vibrant, vivid gemstones in every colour of the rainbow.

Soothing yet magnetic hues of blue and green, captured in aquamarine and emerald, were emphasised at Tasaki and David Morris, while Bucherer painted a perfect pastel picture with soft pink and purple spinel and sapphire.

Inspired by the natural world, Tiffany’s Blue Book – themed ‘Colors of Nature’ – teemed with tanzanite, tourmaline, and garnet.

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Jewelry and bullion sales prop up gold demand as investors flee gold ETFs– WGC – by Neils Christensen (Kitco News – April 29, 2021)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) – The gold market went back to basics in the first quarter of 2021 as demand for jewelry and physical bars and coins supported a sharp drop in investment demand, according to the latest research from the World Gold Council (WGC).

In its quarterly Global Demand Trends report, the WGC said that physical demand for the precious metal totaled 815.7 tonnes, virtually unchanged compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. However demand was down 23% compared to the fourth quarter of last year.

In an interview with Kitco News, Juan Carlos Artigas, head of research at the World Gold Council, said that shifting demand in the gold market continues to demonstrate the precious duality as an important strategic asset.

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