Police recover $1 million worth of gold and silver after teenagers get caught mid-heist in Toronto – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – January 23, 2023)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) Police in Toronto recovered $967,811 (CAD $1.295 million) worth of precious metals after four teenage boys got caught “in the act” of robbing a store last month.

According to the police, three masked teenagers entered a precious metals store on Bloor Street in Toronto as the fourth suspect waited in the car. “On December 10, 2022, at 2:15 p.m., three masked suspects entered a precious metals store … with a firearm.

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Fire. Rainbow. Peacock. They’re All Opals. – by Janelle Conaway (New York Times – January 22, 2023)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Other precious gems are more valuable. ‘But in beauty,’ one miner said, ‘there is no stone that can be compared to it.’

LA TRINIDAD, Mexico — Héctor Montes has been around opals his entire life and has held a concession from the Mexican government to mine the stone for 40 years. But at 76, he said he could still feel a rush of adrenaline when he picked up a raw opal that had an especially promising glint — he never knows what it will look like in its finished state.

“There are no two alike,” he said of the stones he shapes and polishes. His workshop, strewn with rocks and lapidary equipment, is part of the family opal business that he runs in this community of about 2,500 residents in the central Mexican state of Querétaro, one of the two main regions in the country where opal is mined today.

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Tarnished nickel is determined to stay – by Jennifer Cole (Toronto Star- January 4, 2023)

https://www.thestar.com/

Despite its diminished consumer shine, the nickel is determined to stay

In 2016 the financial group Desjardins suggested the Canadian nickel should be abolished. The gradual increase in the cost of living and decreased buying power of small coins made the nickel worthless to the consumer. And yet over five years later and the five-cent coin is hanging in there. Why is perplexing?

Once upon a time, way back in the middle of the last century, the coin found prestige and use at the five-and-dime store — the equivalent of today’s Dollar Store. Household items, toys and candy were all within the price point of the nickel.

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Roman Coins Thought for Centuries to Be Fakes Get a Fresh Appraisal – by April Rubin (New York Times – November 27, 2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/

New research suggests that the gold coins, which were found in 1713 and long dismissed as forgeries, may be authentic.

In 1713, a medals inspector documented the acquisition of eight gold Roman coins that had been buried in Transylvania. For centuries, experts believed them to be forgeries — and poorly made ones, at that.

The coins featured the image of an otherwise unknown leader and characteristics that differed from other mid-third century Roman coins. But now researchers who have re-examined the coins, which were in a collection at the University of Glasgow, say they may, in fact, be authentic.

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Shining a light on the world of coloured gems: Michael Valitutti reflects on the state of the jewellery industry – by Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – October 25, 2022)

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

Although Michael Valitutti is a graduate gemologist working at Nathan Hennick & Co. Ltd., that title fails to describe exactly how involved he is with every step of the jewellery business. From visiting mines, to buying parcels of exotic gems at trade shows, to developing new processes to manipulate gemstones and metal, to selling finished pieces on a company website (GemsEnVogue.com) and on television shopping channels around the world, he takes a hands-on approach to the jewellery business.

CIM Magazine dropped by his office in Toronto to talk about the jewellery industry, the effects of COVID-19 on gemstone mining and the curious shopping habits of millennial Australians.

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Six of the Latest Trends in Bridal Jewelry – by Francesca Fearon (Diamonds.net – September 2022)

https://www.diamonds.net/

1. Vintage cut revival

Some may herald emerald-cut diamonds as this year’s most popular style for engagement rings, outranking other favorites like cushions and rounds, but it is interesting to see just how much designers are experimenting with older cuts. They are reviving vintage shapes like the marquise — a cut that dates back to the 18th century and is a favorite of Chicago jeweler Catherine Sarr at Almasika, who takes inspiration from its elliptical silhouette.

“It is a beautiful shape that I can follow naturally to create new settings, such as the east-west design I’m currently experimenting with,” she says.

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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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