Gemstone & Jewelry News

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Z Trends focuses on Floral Jewelry

Zales has released its newest "Z Trends" feature on its website, with this month's focus on flowers. Everything's coming up roses, daisies, gardenias, and more at Zales in fine jewelry that is pretty and fashionable for Summer 2008.

Whether bright and bold or distinctly feminine, Zales.com's Z Trends has plenty of options to help customers cultivate one of the season's freshest trends.

"Flower jewelry has made a huge splash this summer," said Steve Larkin, Sr. Vice President of Marketing and eCommerce at Zale. "It's a pretty look that is easy to wear and complements every woman's fashion."

Dozens of pendants, bracelets, brooches and rings seem to come right from the hothouse but in sterling silver and gold, and are accented with diamonds, pearls, opals and a rainbow of colored gemstones.

Clustered diamonds in the shape of flowers adorn stud earrings and lariat pendants. Citrine and garnets are used in a dramatic drop necklace.

Multi-colored birthstone blossoms wrap around a wrist in a pretty bracelet. Amethyst and diamonds create a sensation set in yellow gold. In total over 150 items available at Zales.com are inspired by this budding trend.

Each Z Trends column explores one of the season's hottest looks in fashion and fine jewelry, providing the site's visitors with the most current trend information and allows them to shop for the look that suits them best all within the same website.

Z Trends will be updated monthly, and all of the merchandise offered is available on the zales.com website. Floral-inspired pieces range from $19 to over $5000.

"Some of the flower jewelry on Zales.com costs no more than an arrangement you'd get from a florist," adds Larkin. "The difference is these flowers will last the rest of her life."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

De Beers' Forevermark opens grading labs

Forevermark, a separately managed division of the De Beers Group formerly known as De Beers Group Marketing, announced the opening of the first Forevermark diamond-grading laboratories this week.

The labs, which are located in Antwerp, Belgium, and Maidenhead in the United Kingdom, will grade only diamonds that meet Forevermark standards.

At the same time the diamonds are graded, they will be inscribed with the Forevermark icon and an identification number.

In addition to the opening of the labs, Forevermark announced the launch of a new Web site for Forevermark Diamantaires, Forevermark.com/Diamantaires.

To be considered a Forevemark diamond, stones must be at least 0.18 carat, SI2 clarity, J color and have a cut rated "good."

In a statement, Forevermark Chief Executive Officer Francois Delage called the opening of the labs a "historic moment" for Forevermark.

"We believe that by offering Forevermark diamantaires the opportunity to have their Forevermark diamond accompanied by a Forevermark grading report we are meeting the needs of consumers, jewelers and diamantaires. Forevermark grading laboratories will use the most advanced technologies and offer the highest levels of integrity, consistency and quality," he said.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

De Beers Opens First Mines outside Africa

De Beers on 25th July 2008 officially opened its first two mines outside of Africa—Snap Lake and Victor Mines in Canada.

Together Snap Lake and Victor Mines are expected to produce two million carats per year.

“Never before have we opened two mines at the same time and never before have had we opened a mine outside of Africa,” Nicky Oppenheimer said. “It is gratifying to see not only the contribution these mines will make to De Beers but the contribution they are already making to the communities in which they are based.”

Jim Gowans who is overseeing the development and launch of both mines added, “It has taken us several years and over $1 billion to build each mine. We have also built strong relationships with local communities, and upheld the highest environmental standards. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished.”

The Snap Lake Mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is the country’s first fully underground diamond mine, De Beers said. It will employee 560 people during production and will have an annual production rate of 1.4 million carats. The mine life is expected to be close to 20 years.

The Victor Mine, located near Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario, will be the province’s first diamond mine. It will employee 400 people during production and will have an annual production rate of 600,000 carats. Victor is one of 18 kimberlite pipes discovered on the property, 16 of which are diamondiferous. The Victor kimberlite has a surface area of 15 hectares and consists of two pipes that coalesce at the surface: Victor Main and Victor Southwest. The mine will be open-pit with an expected life of 12 years and a total project life of 17 years.

De Beers notes that more than C$650 million has been spent with Aboriginal businesses.

In addition, agreements have been reached with the Governments of the Northwest Territories and Ontario for De Beers to make available for sale ten percent of diamonds from the Snap Lake Mine and Victor Mines, by value, to provincially approved manufacturers who have successfully fulfilled the Diamond Trading Company’s client selection criteria.

Friday, July 25, 2008

African Diamonds Declares Dispute over AK6 Joint Project with De Beers

AIM-listed Botswana diamond exploration company African Diamonds has said that De Beers will not accept the terms of the mining license from the Botswana government on the AK6 diamond deposit. De Beers, it added, wants to delay the project, citing power supply as the main reason.

African Diamonds, which made an offer to purchase De Beers’ stake in the mining project, with an aim at developing the mine according to a timetable submitted to the government, has declared a dispute in the terms of the shareholder agreement, according to Thomson Financial.

De Beers was not immediately available to comment.

African Diamonds has a 28.38 percent stake in Boteti Exploration, its joint venture with De Beers on the project. In April it was announced that Boteti’s mineral license application had been approved by the government.

“The shareholders of Boteti anticipate that the final negotiations will be concluded with sufficient time to enable AK6 to be in production by the end of 2009,” the April statement read.

John Teeling, chairman of African Diamonds, said at the time, “We believe we have the full backing of De Beers and the government of Botswana to move this world-class project toward production.”

De Beers has claimed that the economics of the project are hindered by power supply issues. It therefore reported to the board of Boteti that the project should be delayed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FATF Published Guidance Document for Precious Stones

The Financial Action Task Force has approved a detailed guidance document for the precious stones and metals trades. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said in a release that it welcomed the move.

The document lays out how a more sophisticated a risk-based approach can be developed for those who deal in precious metals and stones, including the diamond industry. For the diamond business, this means that the specific concerns of the diamond industry will be taken into account more adequately.

Issues specific to the diamond trade addressed in the document include the physical inspection of diamonds at the official import-export offices, business with registered diamond dealers and bourse members, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for rough diamonds and a payment system through recognized and specialized banks.

AWDC notes that it was extensively involved in the consultation process that let to agreement on the guidance document, since the summer of 2007. The approval was announced at the FATF plenary in June.

FATF is an inter-governmental body that works to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

AWDC spokesperson Philip Claes commented, “We welcome the fact that, with its new guidance document, FATF has finally recognized the positive impact that the structure, regulation and supervision of the diamond trade in Antwerp has had in reducing money laundering risk.”

The Belgian government was also involved in finalizing and approving the FATF guidance. AWDC noted that it will work further with the Belgian authorities in establishing a more adequate and efficient money laundering regulation for the diamond industry, which will be based on the new FATF guidance document operate within the framework of Belgium’s implementation of the anticipated third EU directive concerning money laundering.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lakhi Marketing Patented Diamond Brand Online

Sparklers International DMCC, part of DTC Sightholder Lakhi Group, will use Polygon as a strategic component in marketing their patented diamond brand, Pristine Hearts. The diamonds have a heart that appears to float within the diamond.

It took the company seven years of research to develop the brand, a collection of diamonds that “captures the meaning of true love in all its facets,” the company said in a release, adding that the Pristine Hearts diamond is the only diamond with a true heart shape inside, visible from the crown and the pavilion view.

The cut has 73 facets and each has a unique individual identification number. Lakhi uses J / SI goods and better in sizes of 25 pointers and larger for this line.

Sparklers International DMCC will be using Polygon to reach and locate retailers worldwide to carry the new diamond brand.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Online Moissanite Retailer Program Launched

The creator of moissanite, Charles & Colvard, has launched an authorized Internet seller program for moissanite, a joint effort between Charles & Colvard and its web retailers. All of the e-commerce retailers in the program have been pre-screened, met the program criteria and have been sponsored by a Charles & Colvard distributor or manufacturer.

The ‘Moissanite created by Charles & ColvardTM Authorized Internet Retailer Program’ retailers are HSN, JCPenney, Joseph Schubach Jewelers, Moissanite Collection and Moissanite Fine Jewelry.

Charles & Colvard explained the initiative as a response to an upsurge in consumers buying and researching jewelry on the Internet.

For customers, shopping for moissanite through [this] program helps ensure satisfaction as well as helps to assure authenticity of the moissanite they purchase. Plus, by using the select group of retailers, it guarantees the customer their moissanite purchase is accompanied by the Charles & Colvard Certificate of Authenticity and Limited Warranty,” the company said in a release.