Archive | Jewellery and Coins

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. Continue Reading →

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.” Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

Does Recycled Gold Herald a Greener Future for Jewelry? – by Elizabeth Paton (New York Times – April 23, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

With economics and industrial engineering degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford, and a decade working at Tesla, the electric-car company where her husband was a co-founder, Boryana Straubel had long set her sights on the technology revolutions spawned in and around Silicon Valley.

Batteries and solar energy were firmly on her radar. Fashion and jewelry were not. At least until several years ago, when she began learning about the devastating toll those industries take on the planet.

“If you told me five years ago that I would end up starting a jewelry business, I simply would not have believed you,” Ms. Straubel said from her home in Nevada this month. Continue Reading →

For Valentine’s Day, Traceable, Transparent Jewelry Supply Chains (Eurasia Review – February 14, 2021)

https://www.eurasiareview.com/

Jewelry and watch companies should improve efforts to ensure that human rights are respected in their global supply chains, Human Rights Watch said ahead of Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2021.

Human Rights Watch issued “20 Questions Company Officials Should Ask to Guide Action,” which jewelers and other industry experts can use as a starting point to understand a jewelry company’s sourcing practices and respect for human rights.

The questions deal with a company’s transparency, traceability, and steps to identify and respond to human rights risks in their global supply chain, including at mines of origin. Continue Reading →

Diamond Prices Regain Their Sparkle – by Will Horner (Wall Street Journal – February 9, 2021)

https://www.wsj.com/

Diamond prices have rebounded from a coronavirus-driven slump thanks to the reopening of some economies in Asia and strong jewelry sales around the world over the holiday period.

Polished diamond prices are up 5.1% from their lowest point in March, putting them at their highest level in nearly a year and a half, according to a gauge compiled by the International Diamond Exchange.

The pandemic dealt a big blow to the diamond industry last year, with every link in the supply chain—from Russian miners to India’s diamond cutters to luxury boutiques in New York—being closed or seeing activity curtailed. Continue Reading →

Elite Diamond-Buying Club Shrinks as De Beers Culls Old Clients – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 14, 2021)

https://www.msn.com/

(Bloomberg) — De Beers has cut off some of its long-term diamond buyers, marking one of the biggest shakeups in the way the miner sells gems since the end of its monopoly 20 years ago.

De Beers staff spent Wednesday calling its 80-odd handpicked customers, with some told they will be losing their seat at the industry’s top table, according to people familiar with the situation.

The world’s biggest diamond supplier has spent more than a year mulling the changes, which are designed to funnel more stones into fewer hands, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks were private. Continue Reading →

Lab-grown diamonds – a girl’s new best friend: The truth behind the ethical, affordable, identical(!) alternative to traditional diamonds – by Charlie Teather and Sheilla Mamona (Glamour Magazine – December 8, 2020)

https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/

They’re one of the few jewellery details that appeals to almost everyone. You can have a preference for daintier pieces or super chunky ones, lots of layers or simple singles, yellow gold, white, or even rose, but even the least traditional amongst us – whether we like to admit it or not – go a little weak at the knees for a truly mega diamond.

Asscher cuts, brilliant rounds, ovals… carat weights, GIA grades, clarity, colour – you’re likely aware that there are seemingly a million different decisions to make when buying a diamond, but did you know that there’s actually a whole other decision that needs to be made before you even get to this level of specificity?

A decision that’s usually made for you without you even knowing it, all thanks to ‘tradition’. Because there’s more than one kind of ‘diamond’. We’re not talking about all the aforementioned aesthetic details, but rather the way in which the diamond is formed. Continue Reading →

Murder and New York’s Diamond District – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – December 3, 2020)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Rob Bates did not set out to write a cozy mystery, a subgenre of crime fiction in which an amateur detective, typically a woman, solves a murder in a small town. But in “A Murder Is Forever,” a novel published in October by Camel Press, he wrote just that — except the small town is New York City’s diamond district.

The heroine, Mimi Rosen, is an unemployed journalist who makes ends meet by answering phones at her father’s diamond business on West 47th Street. When a dealer in the district’s tightknit community of Orthodox Jews is murdered, she is determined to bring the killer to justice.

As news director of JCK, a 151-year-old jewelry trade publication based in New York — where he works with me, the editor in chief — Mr. Bates is familiar with the district and its people. Continue Reading →

Concerned about gem authenticity? You can now trace your jewels back to the mine – by Charmian Leong (CMA Lifestyle – November 29, 2020)

https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/

People have probably never been more conscious about the source of their diamonds than the year Blood Diamond hit theatres in 2006.

And while this increased awareness has since made ethics a consideration for many when buying a jewel, we still have a long way to go before every gemstone that ends up under a spotlight and in a glass case is guaranteed to be conflict-free.

The good news is that we’re speeding down the right track.

American jeweller Tiffany & Co announced last year that it would become the first global player to be fully transparent about the journey of its individually registered diamonds by 2020, and the brand really went and did it. Continue Reading →

Do You Know Where Your Watch’s Gold Came From? – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – November 19, 2020)

https://www.nytimes.com/

A mechanical timepiece is powered by clean kinetic energy and can run, at least theoretically, forever and a day. To support that image of inherent sustainability, many Swiss watchmakers over the past decade have partnered with conservation groups, implemented energy-saving measures at their at their factories and, more recently, experimented with recycled materials for things like packaging and straps.

When it comes to the gold and gemstones used to make watches, however, the industry lags behind other sectors such as electronics in understanding and communicating how its materials are obtained and ensuring their extraction has not harmed people and the environment.

“We always compare the watch industry here in Switzerland to the textile industry 20 years ago,” said Dario Grünenfelder, a consultant to WWF Switzerland and lead author of the WWF Watch and Jewellery Report 2018. “They’re not really tackling the big issues: the raw materials that go into their products.” Continue Reading →

Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Forever. Aren’t They? – by Murray Clark (Esquire U.K. – November 13, 2020)

https://www.esquire.com/uk/

It can take millions of years to grow a diamond, and technology can now do it much quicker in a traceable, ethical way. But not everyone is convinced

“I like the idea of a process – of nature – creating this crystal; how it’s survived this journey from deep within the Earth under geological circumstances; how it makes it to the surface and have man realise the beauty of it.

This whole process has a certain amount of romance to it,” says Jim Vernon, founder and CEO of US jewellers RockHer. Indeed, the very business of romance is diamond-encrusted, and one prone to gushing: a beaming bride-to-be on the wall of every high street jewellers, rock-heavy hand dainty and willowy upon the shoulder of a strapping groom. Happiness, like a diamond, is forever!

And yet, for all the usual Splenda, Vernon isn’t at all saccharine. He speaks steadily and calmly over the phone, a hard-to-place deep American timbre hinting at real appreciation as opposed to pre-made talking points. Continue Reading →

[Diamonds/Kimberly Process] In conversation with Ian Smillie – by Marc Choyt (Jewellery Business – November 12, 2020)

https://www.jewellerybusiness.com/

Completely cleansing the global diamond industry of blood, corruption, and conflict is no easy feat, and few are more familiar with this challenge than Ian Smillie.

A founding participant in the creation of the Kimberley Process (KP), Smillie currently chairs the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), a conflict-prevention initiative that brings together non-government organizations (NGOs), governments, and the private sector to help formalize and improve social and economic conditions in the artisanal diamond mining sector.

Jewellery Business contributor, Marc Choyt, recently spoke to Smillie as research for the upcoming article, ‘Where Black lives don’t matter to jewellers.’ Co-authored by Kyle Abram, the piece explores the complexity of race within the jewellery industry, as well as the history of the ethical jewellery movement and the ongoing mission to create a ‘fair trade’ diamond. Continue Reading →

‘Ultra-rare’ purple-pink diamond sells for a record $26.6M – by Oscar Holland (CNN Style – November 11, 2020)

https://www.cnn.com/

An “ultra-rare” purple-pink diamond sold for a record 24.4 million Swiss francs ($26.6 million) at an auction in Geneva on Wednesday evening. The 14.83-carat stone, dubbed “The Spirit of the Rose,” is now the most expensive purple-pink diamond ever to sell at auction, according to Sotheby’s.

The sale comes more than three years after the gem was uncovered from a mine in northeast Russia. Taking its name from the 1911 Russian ballet “Le Spectre de la rose,” it was cut from an even larger rough diamond unearthed by the mining company Alrosa in 2017.

Then weighing 27.85 carats, the initial find was believed to be the largest pink crystal ever discovered in the country. It took a year to cut and polish the oval-shaped stone, which went on display in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei ahead of Wednesday’s sale. Continue Reading →