British Refiner Says It Can Track Gold From Mine to Jewelry – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – March 24, 2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Tracing the path that gold takes from mine to market is notoriously difficult. The precious metal is mined around the world, but unless it remains segregated on its journey through the global supply chain — most crucially at the refining stage, where batches traditionally are mingled — there is no way to distinguish the origins of one gold bar or the gold in one bauble from another.

That explains both gold’s millennia-old history as an international form of currency — and what many say is its most conspicuous modern-day weakness. With gold mining practices coming under increasing scrutiny for their potential links to child labor, mercury pollution and other human rights and environmental abuses, the drumbeat of voices demanding full traceability in the gold supply chain has been growing louder.

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A Jewelry Hub Hopes Gentrification Won’t Overwhelm History – by Susanne Fowler (New York Times – August 25, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

In Birmingham, England, artisans worry that luxury apartments and trendy cafes may push them out of an area where jewelers have been centered since the 18th century.

BIRMINGHAM, England — Kirsty Griffiths’ delight was evident as she held a pair of 22-karat gold bands, newly refashioned from her grandfather’s weighty wedding ring. “One for me and my own wedding and one for my auntie,” Ms. Griffiths, 31, said recently inside a cramped jewelry workshop here. “My granddad had left the original one to her.”

The rings now bear the anchor-shaped Birmingham Assay Office hallmark certifying the purity of the gold and the LL insignia of their maker, Lora Leedham. Ms. Leedham, 35, is part of a generation of independent craftspeople working alongside large heritage companies in the gentrifying neighborhood known as the Jewelry Quarter, a hub for makers since the 18th century.

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How Myanmar “conflict rubies” could end up in your Christmas stocking – by Jackie Mallon (Fashion United – December 15, 2021)

https://fashionunited.uk/

During the holiday season the gift of jewelry is given as a symbol of love and celebration. Precious stones in exquisite settings are slipped into satin-lined branded boxes, and purchased by well-intentioned consumers to present to their loved ones.

Rubies from Myanmar are thought to be the finest in the world but the origin of these gems often involves horrific human rights abuses for people living under a brutal regime. New findings in a report released today by Global Witness spotlights a supply chain issue that is being largely ignored by many of the luxury market’s most aspirational brands.

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De Beers’ New Marketing Campaign Is Here – by Michelle Graff (National Jeweler – November 2, 2021)

 

https://www.nationaljeweler.com/

London—The new global marketing campaign De Beers Group teased in Las Vegas earlier this year is here. The campaign centers on a statement most often uttered at weddings—“I do”—but expands it to mean more: a personal pledge to achieve your own goals, to stand up for yourself, and to fight for your beliefs for the next generation.

And it encourages, of course, celebrating these achievements with a piece of diamond jewelry. “I Do” continues down the same path De Beers started on in 2017, when it launched the Forevermark “Tribute” collection and its accompanying marketing campaign, which aimed to relay the idea that diamonds could be exchanged for a wide range of life events—not just engagements or milestone anniversaries—or even purchased as a gift to oneself.

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The Big Picture: Today, large companies mine some of the most popular colored gemstones, making it vital to examine their impact on local communities. – by Brecken Branstrator (National Jeweler – October 25, 2021)

https://www.nationaljeweler.com/

The colored gemstone sector is dominated by artisanal and small-scale mining. Though specific numbers are hard to come by, most sources estimate between 80 and 90 percent of colored stones are mined by small groups or individuals digging their own mines and extracting stones with rudimentary tools or collecting them in riverbeds.

And yet today, big companies are mining some of the market’s most commercially important stones, like Colombian emeralds and Mozambican rubies. Mozambique, in fact, has become the world’s most productive source for gem-quality ruby since the discovery of deposits there in 2009, according to GIA.

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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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