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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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