Archive | Jewellery and Coins

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

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 →

End of an era: Argyle Mine officially closed – by Arabella Roden (Jeweller Magazine – November 11, 2020)

The source of more than 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds, the Argyle Mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, has been permanently closed by owner Rio Tinto after more than 30 years of operation.

The mine’s last day of operation was 3 November, with employees and traditional owners of the land attending an event to mark the start of the closure process.

Rio Tinto estimates it will take five years to dismantle and decommission the Argyle site, which will be rehabilitated, monitored, and returned to traditional owners. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Golden Celebration of Arctic Culture and Natural Resources Headlines Royal Canadian Mint’s September Collector Coin Launch

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 1, 2020 /CNW/ – The Royal Canadian Mint has proudly issued a new collector coin crafted entirely of Nunavut-sourced gold. Entirely Arctic, from its design to its metal content, the reverse of the 2020 $10 Pure Gold Coin – An Inuk and a Qulliq, is the creation of Nunavut artist Ulaayu Pilurtuut.

Motifs of a traditional qulliq, an Inuit oil lamp that provides light and warmth, as well as inuksuit, symbolizing community and guidance, are powerful symbols of the artist’s culture and way of life. This beautifully crafted 1/20th oz. pure gold coin, along with several other numismatic keepsakes, launched today.

Another pure gold creation is the newest instalment in the 1/10th oz. pure gold coin series marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary Canadian painter Alex Colville. The 25-cent illustration of a lynx appears on the third release from this six-coin series, which reinterprets each of the 1967 circulation coins designs he created in honour of Canada’s centennial. Continue Reading →

Cheaper diamonds fire life into the hidden world of gem trading (Bloomberg News/Mining Weekly – August 31, 2020)

For the past six months, the global diamond hubs in Antwerp, Belgium, and Mumbai have been at a standstill, with cutting and polishing factories closed and trading floors shuttered.

Now, a capitulation on prices by the biggest miners is sparking the industry back to life. After refusing to budge on diamond prices during much of the pandemic, De Beers and Russian rival Alrosa PJSC decided last week they saw enough signs of recovering demand and seized the opportunity, cutting some prices by almost 10%.

The impact was instant, as rough diamond buyers snapped up about half a billion dollars in uncut gems, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Continue Reading →

World’s Biggest Jewelry Firm Moves to Recycled Gold, Silver – by Christian Wienberg and Elena Mazneva (Bloomberg News – June 2, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Pandora A/S, which makes more pieces of jewelry than any other company in the world, will stop relying on newly mined gold and silver and instead use only recycled precious metals.

The new policy, which takes effect in 2025, will help the Copenhagen-based company beef up its climate credentials and make it a more appealing target for investors eager to fill their portfolios with assets that meet environmental, social and governance goals.

Shares in Pandora jumped about 5% when trading started in the Danish capital, bringing gains in its market value this year to about 20%. The main Copenhagen benchmark index fell about 0.1% on Tuesday. A spokesman for Pandora said the change in policy won’t have any material impact on costs. Continue Reading →

I’m a Jewelry Nerd, So I Went to Africa to Learn Firsthand About Diamond Mines – by Lauren Eggertsen (Who What – December 5, 2019)

Unless you work in the jewelry industry, chances are everything you know about diamond mines is based on hearsay, stereotypes, or, if you’re really out of the loop, the movie Blood Diamond. The misconceptions surrounding this industry are monstrous, and up until recently, I knew little to nothing about what really goes into mining diamonds.

Am I a jewelry nerd? Yes. But no article found on the internet could have educated me as well as my recent trip to Africa where I got to see a diamond mine firsthand and ask all the questions I had been dying for someone to explain to me.

Forevermark, a subsidiary diamond company within De Beers Group, took me to its Orapa Mine in Botswana, and all I can say is, everything I thought I knew about diamond mines was completely wrong. Continue Reading →

France’s LVMH close to buying Tiffany after sweetening offer: sources – by Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters U.S. – November 24, 2019)

(Reuters) – LVMH (LVMH.PA) is close to buying U.S. jewelry chain Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) for about $16.3 billion after sweetening its offer, sources said on Sunday, as the owner of Louis Vuitton and Bulgari aims to tap the fast-growing luxury jewelry market.

The two sides are close to an agreement after the French luxury goods company raised its offer price for the company known for its engagement rings and ties to Hollywood glamor to $135 per share, sources familiar with the matter said.

The boards of both companies will be presented with the terms of the deal on Sunday, one source said. A deal could be announced later on Sunday or on Monday, two other sources said. Continue Reading →

A Brief History of the Nickel – by Daniel A. Gross (Smithsonian Magazine – April 28, 2016)

In honor of the coin’s 150th anniversary, read up on how the nickel came to be minted

The nickel wasn’t always worth five cents. In 1865, the U.S. nickel was a three-cent coin. Before that, “nickel cents” referred to alloy pennies. It turns out that even the name “nickel” is misleading. “Actually, nickels should be called ‘coppers,’” says coin expert Q. David Bowers. Today’s so-called nickels are 75 percent copper.

Those aren’t the only surprises hidden in the history of the nickel. The story of America’s five-cent coin is, strangely enough, a war story. And 150 years since it was first minted in 1866, the modest nickel serves as a window into the symbolic and practical importance of coinage itself.

To understand how the nickel got its name, you have to go back to an era when precious metals reigned supreme. In the 1850s, coins of any real value were made of gold and silver. In the event of a financial crisis—or worse, the collapse of a government—precious metal coins could always be melted down. They had intrinsic value. Continue Reading →

How Cartier’s Parent Is Losing Some of Its Sparkle – by Rupert Steiner (Barron’s – September 27, 2019)

Luxury-goods company Compagnie Financiere Richemont could be overvalued due to political uncertainty in Hong Kong and slowing momentum for its star Cartier brand.

The stock of the Swiss-listed watch and jewelry maker, which also owns high-end Van Cleef & Arpels, Dunhill, and Montblanc, has had a good run in the past three years, up 31.4%. Richemont (ticker: CFR.Switzerland), along with other big players, has shrugged off concerns of a consumer slowdown and trade tensions, with rivals LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (MC.France) gaining 147%, and Tiffany (TIF), 29%, over the same period.

But due to its product mix and exposure to Asia, Richemont is likely to suffer more than most from disruption in Hong Kong, depreciation of the Chinese yuan, and macro issues engulfing the region. Continue Reading →

Silicon Valley wants to put diamond mines out of business – by growing gems in a lab using solar power – by Margi Murphy (The Telegraph – September 5, 2019)

If you have ever found yourself on one knee clutching a ring, or on the receiving end of such a gesture, you might not wish to read any further.

The value of diamonds as an investment is set to diminish and within a decade the gem will be as commonly found in computer chips, satellites and even medical implants. At least, that’s what Silicon Valley’s avant-garde lab-grown diamond purveyors are banking on.

“We want to drive prices down because we think there are going to be many more applications for diamonds right now,” says Martin Roscheisen, founder of Diamond Foundry. “Right now, diamonds are way too expensive”. Continue Reading →

Tiffany beat profit expectations—and it conflicts with the idea that millennials aren’t buying diamonds – by Anna Hecht ( – August 29, 2019)

Despite a drop in tourist spending in the U.S. and protests in Hong Kong slowing sales, American luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co still beat estimates on its quarterly profits, although the company’s revenue fell short, it announced in its earnings report on Wednesday.

Tiffany’s relatively successful performance contrasts with the widespread idea that young people aren’t buying as many diamonds as they used to. While Tiffany & Co doesn’t represent the entire jewelry industry, it still provides an interesting look into how the diamond industry is responding to changing tastes.

Currently, the jewelry industry as a whole is struggling. It shrunk 4% between 2017 and 2018, and last year alone, 852 U.S. jewelry retailers shut down, according to a report from the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). Continue Reading →

NEW CAMPAIGN FOR NATURAL DIAMONDS AIMS TO FIGHT MISCONCEPTIONS – by Arabella Roden (Jeweller Magazine – August 23, 2019)

The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has released new promotional materials to combat misinformation about diamond mining. Called ‘Essential Diamond Truths’, the campaign from the US-based industry group involves a video that is shareable via social media, as well as an infographic series.

A DPA spokesperson told Rapaport News, “The goal is to convey some of the key facts and truths about natural diamonds in a compelling, cinematic way that will engage viewers. Continue Reading →

Can diamonds be a millennial’s best friend too? – by Olivia Pinnock (The Telegraph – July 12, 2019)

In the heart of Siberia, the Sakha Republic is home to acres of evergreen larch trees, herds of reindeer, the indigenous Yakut people and, under its permafrost, diamonds.

Mining is one of the main industries in the region, with 95pc of Russia’s diamonds originating here, accounting for 27pc of the world’s supply.

In July, it’s hot. Temperatures reach 86F (30C), midges and flies are in abundance and feral dogs seek shade under the site office. In the harsh Siberian winters though, it can drop to -22F (-30C). It’s a world diamond consumers don’t get to see. Alrosa, the partially state-owned mining company listed on the Moscow Exchange that operates here, wants to change that. Continue Reading →

The ‘hidden costs’ of striking the Lincoln cent – by Chris Bulfinch (Coin World – May 15, 2019)

Most recent studies suggest that the Lincoln cent is wasteful. Contemporary analyses suggest that it costs several times a cent’s face value to produce, and most consumers find them a nuisance. But is there a hidden cost behind the continued production of the cent? Climate scientists think so.

According to an article published by the Smithsonian and research by students at the University of California Davis, production of the cent produces considerable greenhouse gas emissions and other toxic waste.

The current cent’s alloy, 95 percent zinc plated with 5 percent copper requires mining both materials in massive quantities. Each ton of copper produced releases 2.45 tons of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that causes climate change, and each ton of zinc produced releases .58 tons of the same, according to the scientists. Continue Reading →

Lab-grown gems are giving mined diamonds a run for their money – by Gayle MacDonald (Globe and Mail – April 6, 2019)

In January, when Dame Helen Mirren sat down to chat with the hosts of Good Morning Britain, she was wearing a diamond necklace and earrings that were the essence of the actress herself – classy with just the right touch of pizzazz.

Her stylist Rachel Fanconi had chosen the diamond set carefully. The look she wanted for her Academy Award-winning client was elegant, not flashy, and for the jewels she turned to a tiny company called Lark & Berry, which has an interesting sales pitch. It only sells diamonds made in state-of-the-art laboratories – anything pulled from a mine in say, Botswana, is strictly taboo.

“I love the point of difference that the brand offers,” says Fanconi, whose clients also include Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and David Beckham. “Lab grown feels different and fun, and answers a lot of ethical questions.” Continue Reading →