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,'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 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 website. Floral-inspired pieces range from $19 to over $5000.

"Some of the flower jewelry on 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,

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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Court favors eBay in Tiffany trademark suit

EBay has scored a victory in a trademark infringement suit brought by luxury jewelry house Tiffany and co, which alleges that counterfeits of its goods are being improperly sold through the auction site, Women's Wear Daily (WWD) has reported.

Federal judge Richard Sullivan ruled in favor of eBay, entering the decision at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, saying that it is the trademark owner's burden to police its mark. The ruling said that Tiffany failed to prove claims that eBay was liable for trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising and unfair competition for facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods.

According to WWD, eBay argued that it is simply a service connecting sellers with buyers, and that since it never holds the counterfeit goods in its own possession, it cannot be held responsible for their sale.

Just two weeks ago, a French court ordered eBay to pay LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton 40 million euros (about $63 million), ruling that eBay did not do enough to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods on its site.

Gem Diamonds’ Yellow Diamonds Tenders Nets $28,860 p/c

A tender of four intense and vivid polished yellow diamonds were sold in Antwerp for an average price of $28,860 per carat. The Gem Diamonds goods, mined at Ellendale, had a total weight of 15.7 carats.

One of the diamonds was a 7.1 carat cushion cut vivid yellow diamond which sold for $52,000 per carat. Another was a 2.3 carat cushion cut vivid yellow diamond which sold for $19,000 per carat.

The tender of the Ellendale goods follow recent trials on a selection of its white diamonds from the Letšeng Mine, known for their high quality and top prices. They, too, were cut and polished before they were sold.

According to Clifford Elphick, CEO of Gem Diamonds, “significant additional margin” can be made from selling their goods polished. “We are very encouraged by the results,” he added.

Monday, July 14, 2008

De Beers increases rough diamond prices by 5 percent

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's biggest diamond producer De Beers boosted rough diamond prices by an average of 5 percent this month, the firm said on Friday.

The price hike by the group's marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), came amid strong demand for diamonds in Asian emerging markets and tight supply, which led to price increases of 8.5 percent earlier this year.

A De Beers official said last month that buoyant diamond demand from China, India and the Middle East would more than offset expected slower sales in the United States, which accounts for half of the diamond jewelry market.

De Beers, 45 percent owned by mining group Anglo American (AAL.L: Quote, Profile, Research ), made the price increase during the firm's July "sight" this week, one of 10 week-long events during the year at which the DTC markets rough diamonds to tightly-screened clients.

"Some increases have been made at the July Sight, the overall effect of which is plus 5 percent," De Beers said in an email in response to a query.

De Beers said in February that it expected a rebound in its rough diamond sales this year after a dip in 2007.

Sales fell 3.7 percent to $5.9 billion (2.97 billion pounds) last year, but supply shortages were expected to keep prices strong and help to lift the 2008 sales figures, De Beers had said.

De Beers, which controls around 40 percent of the diamond market, posted flat output of diamonds last year at 51 million carats and a steady result is expected in 2008.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dubai and Thailand explore mutual trade opportunities for gems and colored stones

UAE. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) signed an agreement today, making TGJTA the first affiliate member of the Dubai Gems Club (DGC), a strategic initiative of the Colored Stones and Pearls Division at DMCC.

This agreement will boost trade opportunities between Dubai and Thailand, both fast-emerging markets for gems and colored stones. Thailand, a major global gem trading and processing centre, is the second largest exporter of gems and jewelry in the world with annual exports over US$2 billion. The country enjoys rich natural deposits of ruby and sapphire and is known as the heart of South East Asian gemstone production and trade.

Under the terms of the agreement, TGJTA members will access DGC’s network of local and international markets. In addition, as an affiliate member, TGJTA will also have access to the dedicated trading facilities of the Dubai Gems Club located at Almas Tower. DMCC serves as an international hub bridging gemstone producing and consuming countries, and facilitates the trade of colored stones through Dubai via the Dubai Gems Club.

Gaiti Rabbani, Executive Director-Colored Stones and Pearls Division, DMCC, said: “We strongly feel that the colored stones industry needs a unified and comprehensive marketing strategy that will drive demand across the emerging consumer markets. DMCC’s affiliation with TGJTA will offer Thailand’s colored stones community a dedicated platform to further boost their trade, and will in turn positively impact the entire value chain of the colored stones industry. In addition, our partnership with TGJTA will add value to Dubai’s AED 70 million [US$20 million] annual colored stones trade.”

“The affiliate membership status is new to DGC and we are pleased to work with a reputable association such as TGJTA in this Endeavour. We expect to see an equally strong response from other respected international gemstone organizations as a result of the various benefits derived from this membership status,” she added.

Vichai Assarasakorn, President, TGJTA, said: “The TGJTA has always sought to lead the way in the international community to promote Thailand’s colored stones trade. Our association with DMCC will pave the way for a dedicated market for over 200 of our members. We look forward to partnering with the Dubai Gems Club to further develop the jewelry and colored stones trade.”

TGJTA was established over three decades ago to serve Thailand’s gem and jewelry traders and manufacturers. It has concentrated on creating a cohesive organization dedicated to developing and expanding the industry for the benefit of all. TGJTA’s leadership and members have served to grow what was once a cottage industry in Thailand into one of the world’s leading gem and jewelry manufacturing and trading centers.

Source: BI-ME

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ICA to Hold International Gem Show in Dubai

The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) will hold its first ever international gem show focused on the loose colored gemstone industry. The ICA International Gem Show Dubai 2008 will be held October 13-15.

The event is the first gem show held under the patronage of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). “Dubai is rapidly becoming recognized as the gateway for commodities to the Middle East. Favorable importation duties for exhibitors and buyers make this an optimal B2B experience for all attendees,” the ICA said in a release.

All suppliers at the show are ICA, DMCC or Dubai Gems Club members Show organizers note that, because the event is focused entirely on colored gems, it is a better environment for this sector of the industry to do business. “Our aim is to organize a show featuring the essence of the industry,” explained ICA President Andrew Cody.

The event will be held at Al Bustan Rotana and airport pick-up service will be provided for attendees. A cocktail reception, gala dinner and fashion show will also be on the line up. The last day of the show is open to the general public.

Gitanjali Gems Interested in Whitehall

Indian diamond and jewelry manufacturer and retailer Gitanjali Gems is among the companies interested in buying the Whitehall Jewelers Inc., according to a report in The Economic Times of India.

The company is looking to pay in the range of $80 million to $90 million for the Chicago-based jewelry chain, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection, according to the publication.

Gitanjali’s bid for Whitehall is part of Indian company’s move to strengthen its foothold in the U.S. jewelry market, according to the publication. US diamond jewelry sales account for about 50 percent of the global diamond jewelry sales. Diamond jewelry sales comprise 55 percent of total jewelry sales in the US.

In 2006, the company acquired US-based Samuels Jewelers.

Whitehall Jewelers Holdings, which operates Whitehall jewelers Inc., is controlled by private equity firm Prentice Capital Management. It operates approximately 373 retail stores in 39 states under the Whitehall and Lundstrom brand names, and employs 2,852 people.

Gitanjali Gems's principal activity is to manufacture, export, and market jewelry, according to Thomson Financial. It operates in two segments namely: Diamonds includes manufacturing and export of cut and polished diamonds and sales in local market. Jewelry includes manufacturing and export of plain gold and diamond studded jewelry. The Group markets its products under the brand names namely D'Damas, Asmi, Sangini, Nakshatra, Gili, Giantti, and Collection G. The diamond manufacturing facilities are located at Borivali in Mumbai and at Surat in Gujarat. Its products are exported to the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Middle East, and Thailand. In April 2007, the Group acquired D 'Damas Jewellery India Private Limited and in May 2007, acquired Gitanjali Lifestyles limited. Also during the year it acquired Gitanjali Ventures DMCC, Dubai and Gitanjali, USA Inc.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jewelry Television Web site starts accepting PayPal

Jewelry Television (JTV) and PayPal announced today that Jewelry Television's Web site,, will now accept PayPal for purchases of jewelry, gemstones and other collectibles.

PayPal is chosen by millions of online shoppers for its ease of use and high level of security.

JTV has chosen to partner with PayPal after reviewing consumer research indicating that U.S. online consumers have a high level of trust with PayPal and many shoppers would not purchase online unless PayPal was an option.

When paying with PayPal, the consumer's financial information is not shared with the merchant, ensuring the highest level of protection and security.

Consumers can also choose from various payment options to fund transactions including credit card, bank account and PayPal account balance. Using only an email address and password, PayPal account holders can quickly and easily complete transactions in seconds.

"We are thrilled that PayPal users can now buy their favorite jewelry and gemstones at," said Dana Stadler, General Manager of Merchant Services and Marketing at PayPal. "PayPal's virtual wallet offers customers the convenience of paying in the way they prefer." features more than 40,000 jewelry and gemstone items. "Adding PayPal as a payment option gives our customers more choices and greater convenience," noted James Thome, Senior Vice President, E-Commerce at Jewelry Television. "PayPal's millions of customers can now experience the unparalleled selection and value available at," he said.

In addition to using PayPal, Jewelry Television customers can use most major credit cards to make purchases at the site.

Source :- PayPal

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Charles and Colvard launches

New York—Lab-created moissanite source Charles and Colvard is launching a new, interactive Web site,, to help consumers and jewelry retailers understand the unique jewel.

The site, launched during the second quarter, educates consumers about what moissanite is, how it came to be and how it's different from other gemstones. In addition, the site also educates retailers who sell jewelry set with Charles and Colvard-created moissanite.

"The marketing and advertising of gemstones and jewels, particularly on the Internet, can be confusing and, in some cases, misleading to the public," Charles and Colvard Chief Executive Office Bob Thomas said in a media release. "On, consumers will find fully documented information that serves as an excellent tool in helping them identify and truly understand why moissanite is such an amazing jewel." offers the following educational tabs:

A Unique Jewel: Explains the characteristics and science behind the jewel's brilliance, fire, hardness, durability and stability.

Compare Moissanite: Explores the differences between moissanite, diamonds, cubic zirconia and other gemstones.

History: Details the history of silicon carbide and its transformation from its discovery more than 110 years ago into the unique jewel known today as moissanite.

Creating Moissanite: Details the course of turning rough silicon carbide into moissanite jewels, the process of grading and hand-faceting moissanite, as well as identifying the benefits of the company's certificate of authenticity and limited warranty.

Learn more: Frequently asked questions, including a glossary and video answers by world-renowned scientist and gemologist Dr. Kurt Nassau.

For more information about moissanite and Charles and Colvard, visit, or

Namibia: Erongo Small Miners Get EC Funding

The Erongo Region Small Scale Miners Association (ERSSMA) has received N$8,3 million from the European Commission (EC) to enable them to effectively mine tourmaline gemstones in the region.

The money was channeled through the National Planning Commission to the Erongo Regional Council, which also contributed 5 percent towards the N$8,3 million.

The Erongo Region's stakeholder’s forum, including some mines in the region and constituency councilors, mines ministry, Geological Survey of Namibia and the small miners themselves, approached the EC on behalf of the small miners and successfully secured the grant.

The small miners are currently mining the tourmaline stones without proper equipment using rudimentary equipment such as 'koevoets' and hammers for the past 13 years or more, while some of the equipment is even handmade.

Some of the self-employed miners, who come from other parts of the country, have been camping along the Karibib-Otjimbingwe gravel road and walk to the nearby mountains - as far as 20 km - every morning to mine the gemstones.

The gems are mined at privately owned farm Neue Schwaben.

"We are working under harsh conditions without water. We use water that gathers in the holes that we dig for our daily use," said August Tsowaseb, a miner at the site.

Tsowaseb said they need machinery, especially to clean up the area and move some of the earth they dig out.

"It is good business if you are lucky. Sometimes you can get up to N$6000," Tsowaseb added.

The Deputy Director for Planning at the Erongo Regional Council, Vikurupa Kavendjii, said the regional council will buy equipment such as jackhammers and compressors for the small miners, once everything is sorted.

Some equipment has been bought already, while a consultant is looking at the small miners' 'shopping list', Kavendjii said.

He also added that the stake holder’s forum looked at the basic needs, marketing and processing needs of the small miners.

"I think small mining is becoming a major player. We realize some stones are even more valuable than diamonds."

The small miners now also receive training in semi-precious stones, cutting and polishing as well as in business and marketing areas.

"Sometimes they find blue tourmaline stones and don't even know their value," added Kavendjii.

The council is also planning to expose the small miners to a highly specialized country in small-scale mining such as India, in future.

The stakeholders forum has also developed a website, in order to market the semi-precious gemstones.

Kavendjii said the council is planning to build a proper marketing centre 30 km outside Usakos on the Swakopmund road, where a number of small miners are already showcasing their products.

The small miners might be asked to form cooperatives in order to use some of the large equipment such as compressors in groups.

A small rental fee will be charged for the equipment.

Kavendjii said a fund will be set up from this money to maintain and service the equipment.

About 1600 small miners, in all the constituencies where small-scale mining is taking place in the region, will benefit from the equipment.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Charles & Colvard, K&G Creations in Dual Lawsuit Battle

K&G Creations and its former moissanite supplier Charles & Colvard have filed lawsuits against one another. Charles & Colvard announced June 16 that it had filed suit against K&G, seeking to recover $2.8 million, plus interest, “for moissanite jewels delivered and sold” to K&G.

A major customer of Charles & Colvard since 1998, K&G’s manufacturing agreement with the moissanite creator was terminated December 31, 2007.

K&G Creations on June 26 announced that it was filing a counter-suit against Charles & Colvard, seeking $50 million “for damages resulting from Charles & Colvard’s breach of its contract with K&G and fraud,” and alleging that, over the last four years, “Charles & Colvard engaged in practices that ruined K&G’s reputation and ultimately forced K&G out of the moissanite business.”

The lawsuit filed by K&G Creations accuses Charles & Colvard of “tortuous interference, unfair competition, breach of contract and fraud,” according to a release, as well as negligence on the part of Bob Thomas, who it claims was aware of and failed to correct “damaging actions on the part of Dennis Reed (President), Barbara Mooty (Director of Marketing) and others.”

Neil Koppel, president of K&G Creations, claimed that the company has proof that, “as far back as 2001, Charles & Colvard conspired to defraud K&G Creations by not honoring the pricing of the moissanite jewelry that was contractually agreed to.”

K&G Creations also stated that it is looking for other shareholders to come forward to join in a class action lawsuit.

EDiamondselect partners with Rachminov

Fancy-color diamond supplier adds 60,000-plus stones to site
Diamond software solutions provider eDiamondselect has chosen Rachminov Diamonds as the site's exclusive source of natural fancy-color diamonds.

Rachminov offers a wide range of natural fancy-color diamonds from melee to large special stones in an array of colors, including yellow, orange, pink and blue.

The new partnership will give eDiamondselect retailers exclusive online access to one of the most extensive and highest-quality lines of natural fancy-color diamonds available in the industry, eDiamondselect Vice President of Sales David Norman said in a media release.

"As a result of this partnership, eDiamondselect now has more than 25 suppliers providing an inventory of more than 60,000 diamonds on our site," he said.

Since the most recent JCK Las Vegas show and Continental Buying Group Show, eDiamondselect has added more than 40 new retailers to the program, including Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelers, Smythe Jewelers and Topper Jewelers.

The company says eDiamondselect is ideal for both large and small retailers, allowing major jewelers to become more efficient, productive and profitable in their diamond business, and also turning independent retailers into mega diamond sites.

The software can be integrated directly into a retailer's Web site, so that customers can remotely search the store's and suppliers' inventories. Jewelers can also use the software in-store, showing customers an extensive online inventory of diamonds and helping them choose their perfect stone, which can be shipped to the store within 24 hours.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jewelry Show showcases local and national artists at State Fairgrounds

Filed under are not many places in town where residents can find items ranging from a dollar glass bead to a five thousand dollar gem-laden bracelet to a priceless million-year-old fossil all under one roof. For three days in July, these one-of-a-kind finds will be showcased at the GemStreet USA Show & Sale, July 18-20, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds "Pioneer our Land" building.

This national show that specializes in jewelry, beads, gemstones, crystals, minerals and fossils comes to Indiana featuring a host of international artists, as well as several local artists, who will showcase their jewelry.

There are not many places in town where residents can find items ranging from a dollar glass bead to a five thousand dollar gem-laden bracelet to a priceless million-year-old fossil all under one roof. For three days in July, these one-of-a-kind finds will be showcased at the GemStreet USA Show & Sale, July 18-20, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds "Pioneer our Land" building.

This national show that specializes in jewelry, beads, gemstones, crystals, minerals and fossils comes to Indiana featuring a host of international artists, as well as several local artists, who will showcase their jewelry.

Zales Premiers Fashion-Forward Column on Website

Zales Jewelers recently introduced a new fashion-forward feature on its website, The new “Z Trends” column will focus on the season’s ‘in’ looks, each month, from both the runway and the red carpet and everywhere in between.

The column will also give site visitors regularly updated news and information about the selection of fine jewelry and accessories available at

The first column, which premiered this week, highlights the latest trends for pearls, the oldest precious gem, according to the firm. Pearls, says Zales, are showing up everywhere this season from traditional stud earrings to diamond jewelry enhanced by the pearls.

The latest color trends in pearls, which include chocolate, brown, khaki and pink, are also featured in this month’s column, including an assortment of rings, pendants, necklaces and earrings featuring the stone.

"The Z Trends feature is a great new resource for busy consumers who want to keep up with the latest styles and trends in fine jewelry," said Steve Larkin, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Zale Corporation.

Z Trends will be updated monthly, and all merchandise offered will be available on the website.

True North Gems' Ruby, Pink Sapphire Licenses Renewed on Greenland

True North Gems' licenses were renewed at the 110 km2 Fiskenaesset property, which is contiguous with and adjacent to the company's 713 km2 Qaqqatsiaq ruby exploration license, on the southwest coast of Greenland. The approval was granted by the Bureau of Mines and Petroleum and the Joint Committee on Mineral Resources for Greenland and Denmark.

The formal ratification of the Fiskenaesset license, valid now through December 31, 2012, maintains True North's total land position of 823 km2. The Fiskenaesset license was originally acquired by Brereton Engineering & Developments Ltd. in March 2003. True North optioned the property in April 2004 and the obligations to Brereton under the terms of this option agreement remain in effect.

The Fiskenaesset license consists of three separate property blocks (designated sub-areas) which cover more than thirty known ruby occurrences, as well as extensive areas of prospective geology for the occurrence of ruby and pink sapphire mineralization. Exploration within the Fiskenaesset license has been advanced by True North Gems since 2004 and detailed assessment of the high grade Aappaluttoq prospect was initiated by True North Gems during 2006 and 2007. The 2008 exploration program has the objective of acquiring sufficient information to advance Aappaluttoq to the pre-feasibility stage.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blue Nile sued for Trademark Infringement

Diamond jewelry manufacturer Hearts on Fire has sued online retailer Blue Nile for trademark infringement and unfair competition, Bloomberg reported. The company says Blue Nile is using keywords on the Internet to misdirect those who are searching for Hearts on Fire diamonds.

On the other hand Blue Nile, which isn't an authorized seller of Hearts on Fire diamonds, bought the search term ``hearts on fire'' from, a search engine that searches other search engines, according to the June 20 complaint filed in federal court in Boston.

Searchers who use that phrase end up at the Web site, Boston-based Hearts on Fire said in its court papers.

Hearts on Fire asked the court to order Blue Nile to quit infringing the trademark, and for money damages, including profits relating to the infringement. It also seeks attorney fees.

IGI offers batch testing for coated tanzanite

New York—The International Gemological Institute (IGI) will now offer batch testing to detect all surface-coated tanzanite.

This is in response to a recent incident where the IGI identified a cobalt-surface-coated tanzanite, a treatment that is not considered to be permanent and, according to Federal Trade Commission guidelines, must be given full disclosure at the point of sale.

The IGI's tanzanite batch testing includes a quality-assurance document describing an individual stone's weight, shape and color, and attests to surface-coating treatments the stone has undergone, if any.

A minimum of 10 submitted stones, regardless of individual weight, is required for batch testing, which costs $50 or $5 per stone. If less than 10 stones are submitted, the batch fee remains at $50. Turnaround time is 24 to 72 hours.

The IGI was founded in 1975 and is located in Antwerp, Belgium; Bangkok, Thailand; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Hong Kong, India's SEEPZ Zone; Kolkata, India; Los Angeles; Mumbai, India; New Delhi, India; New York; Tokyo; and Toronto.

The institute has been an instrumental contributor in the development of the first tanzanite-specific grading system as well as the first laboratory to issue reports in accordance to the Tanzanite Foundation's trademarked Tanzanite Quality Scale.

For more information about the IGI, visit its Web site,

Madagascar trip

TRADE: Deputy Commerce Minister Wiroon Techapaiboon will lead a trade mission to Madagascar in mid-July, with the African nation's ban on exports of gems and precious rough stones high on the agenda.

Mr Wiroon said that the ban, which took effect in February, delivered a big blow to Thai jewellers as they were facing a shortage of raw materials.

The Thai jewellery industry depends mostly on imported raw materials. Most of the rough stones and gems imported from Madagascar are sapphires and rubies.

Daniel E.H. Dele'vauz, the honorary consul of Madagascar said that lifting the ban just for Thailand was unlikely, but he said joint ventures between the two countries to set up cutting factories in Madagascar were highly viable.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rio eyes India diamond mining lease

Rio Tinto Ltd says it could develop India's first world-class diamond mine after lodging a mining lease applications for its Bunder diamond project in that country.

It also announced a diamond mineralization exploration target at the project of between 40 million and 70 million tonnes at a grade of between 0.3 and 0.7 carats per tonne. This is three times greater than the grade at India's only other hard rock diamond mine, Panna.

The Bunder project was discovered in 2002 and the results of an `order of magnitude' study are expected by the end of the third quarter of calendar 2008.

A pre-feasibility study will follow, involving social and environmental studies.

Environmental approval for a 10 tonne-per-hour dense media separation plant is expected soon from the Madhya Pradesh provincial government, which will allow the processing of bulk samples at the project site.

"We have spent more than 100 crore rupees (more than $A26 million) over the last six years on diamond exploration and evaluation in India," Rio Tinto's managing director in India Nik Senapati said in a statement on Monday.

Rio Tinto produces diamonds at its Australian, Canadian and African mines, and processes the majority of these in India.

"Rio Tinto's strategic alliance with the Indian diamond industry, built over the past 25 years, has enabled it to gain a deep understanding of India as the world's largest diamond cutting centre and as one of the key emerging markets for diamond demand," the company said in a statement.

Determining gemstone authenticity by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy

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Phu Quoc pearls may not be what they seem

At the Dinh Cau night market, where tourists often meander after a day at the beach, pearls are sold at same booths as souvenirs and toys for only a few hundred-thousand dong.

Dozens of stalls at the Ham Ninh Market sell pearl earrings for VND10,000 (US$0.6) apiece alongside snacks and drinks.

One pearl necklace costs VND300,000 ($18) while another that looks nearly identical costs VND3 million ($180).

Market vendor Hong Dao said the latter was made of real Phu Quoc pearls, worth much more than the Chinese pearls used to make the cheaper necklace.

Khong Thi Thanh Truc, a partner in a Japanese-Vietnamese pearl company, said Phu Quoc pearls are 10 times more expensive than Chinese pearls.

Vo Van Doi, a pearl trader in An Thoi Town, said he had just sold a 12-millimeter pearl to a foreigner for VND15 million ($903).

Doi said it was not easy to find genuine Phu Quoc pearls because fakes have flooded the market.

He explained that fake pearls were easy to make but could be discovered by rubbing two pearls together.

Fake pearls would loose their enamel this way, he said.

Doi also said that putting a flame to pearls was an easy way to tell a fake as imitation pearls would shrink or be deformed by high heat.

But few shop owners would allow their pearls to be tested that way, he said.

A veteran trader on the island, Doi said the local pearl market is more complicated than ever as shops don’t provide credible evidence of the origins of their pearls.

And the fake pearls are everywhere, he said.

Even fishmongers and motorbike drivers often approach Doi with cheap fake pearls, asking him to sell them to tourists for a commission.

As an established trader, Doi said he always refuses such offers.

And it is not only fake pearls or Chinese imports that are hindering the island’s reputation, but even some Phu Quoc pearl companies now sell lower-quality freshwater pearls as opposed to those taken from seawater oysters.

Phu Quoc is located some 115 km off the coast of Rach Gia, capital of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sales “Medium,” Some Resistance to Prices at Hong Kong Show

Sales and movement at the recent June Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair were medium, according to exhibitors, and the overall show, taking into account foot traffic and buying activity, was good, but not great, especially in comparison to last year’s June event.

Sales were reasonable and were affected by the recent price hikes in the market, said the manager of one firm specializing in high-end, white goods. Following the weak JCK show and weakness in the U.S. market, along with high prices in Israel and Antwerp, buyers are resisting the prices. “We settle [the price] half way,” he said, indicating that the high prices are not holding.

Strong sales were noted in particular for 5-3 carat stones in the lower H-K color range. Indian buyers were reportedly offering cash for these goods and buying almost anything they could.

Traffic at the show was at a medium level, sales were acceptable and overall it was a good show, but not a great one, “Last June’s show was a great show, but we have to take into consideration all of the factors playing in the Asian market right now,” commented the general manager of the Hong Kong office of a large diamond firm specializing in fancy cuts..

“There are problems with the Vietnamese currency, for example, many people are unsure about what’s going on with the prices and this is only June – not the high selling season – so our expectations were not so high to begin with,” he said.

“The powers of the market are stronger than any speculations or predictions about price… and there is still movement,”

A fancy colored diamond distributor, who also described the show as “medium” and sales as “a bit too weak,” said that in terms of what was selling, it was mostly “common goods” –mid-range yellows – and buyers that were buying pinks and blues, were buying mainly smaller diamonds. He noted that, true to form, it was buyers from Asian countries like Japan and not from China, that were purchasing natural fancy colored diamonds.

The show’s organizers, CMP Asia, said that the event would see a record of 1,290 exhibitors from 33 countries and regions. The Diamond Pavilion in the expanded Grand Hall hosted upwards of 120 diamond companies in over 250 booths.

Russian Cutters Prefer Imported Rough Diamonds

Alrosa has lifted prices for its rough by 20% to 25%, said Ararat Evoyan, head of the Russian Association of Diamond Manufacturers. "The stones have become more expensive than imports. It is cheaper to buy in Belgium now, although import schemes are very complicated, and so we are now working on the simplification of these schemes. We will announce our official reaction of the association on June 25,” he told Polished Prices.

In addition to the pressure of the new prices this month, next month Alrosa has said it will end its VAT deferred payment scheme, thereby increasing the upfront cash requirement on the part of the domestic cutters.

On top of this Evoyan said: "The summer season is usually a dead season for diamond industry. Work usually starts after September 20."

He added the domestic Russian problems coincide with the falling demand position in the US diamond market.

Edward Shtribesky, spokesman for leading Russian polisher Smolensk Kristall, said: "Since Alrosa considers this (price increase) as a normal step in the frame of market economy, which we seriously doubt, we have to apply our reaction. We must buy abroad simply to survive." He said Kristall has raised the value of rough imports since January of this year fivefold, compared to the same period of 2007 - from $10 million to about $50 million.

Maxim Shkadov, the Kristall chief executive, said that prices had grown by 6% in the first five months of the year, before Alrosa issued its June 1 increase.

Foreign suppliers are now "a lot less expensive," according to Shkadov. The result will be an increase in Kristall's prices for polished, he said.

"We’ll definitely have to raise our own prices, but we can't do that in jumps of more than 15%. We're expecting sales to drop until we get an analytical assessment of the market, so we can tell how we need to operate."

Until now, Kristall buys about two-thirds of its rough from Alrosa, paying a total for rough of about $250 million per annum. In 2007, Kristall generated $404.4 million in sales, up 13% on 2006. The plant's capacity is around 1 million carats per year.

Venezuela voluntarily withdraws from the Kimberley Process

The inter-sessional meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme ended Thursday in New Delhi with Venezuela agreeing to withdraw from the KP for two years.

KP Chairman Rahul Khullar announced that Venezuela will not export rough diamonds for the next two years, and that a KP team will visit Venezuela to assess the situation and prepare a report before the next plenary meeting in November.

Meanwhile, India called for a crackdown on fake KP diamond certificates.

Earlier this month several NGOs called for the expulsion of Venezuela from the Kimberley Process due to noncompliance and continued refusal to allow teams from KP member countries to inspect Venezuela's diamond industry. The county produces an estimated 150,000 carats of diamonds annually, but has reported no official exports after January 2005.

Venezuela's diamond deposits are found in Bolivar State. Diamond mining is carried out by teams of small-scale miners. Partnership Africa Canada said the small miners are supposed to belong to co-operatives, which are required to submit a monthly report to the regional mining officials of the co-operative's production. "Good as this sounds in theory, in practice co-operative members largely co-operate in hiding their production, so that little in the way of taxes ever finds its way to the government," according to PAC.

From Tuesday through Thursday India hosted 200 delegates representing 35 countries to review the progress of the Kimberley Process. India's Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai urged members to "find a solution to the problem of KP certificates. It undermines the very core of what KPCS wants to achieve. The problem must be addressed."

Pillai said India's diamond industry has provided jobs to more than 1 million people and had a 60% share of the world's polished diamond industry by value and about 82% by volume.

Story Dorothy Kosich from The International Business Times

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lawyers Duke It Out over Paraiba Lawsuit

John P Hannon II, attorney for David Sherman and, has fired back at American Gem Trade Association’s attorney Thomas Shuck, of the law firm Parker Milliken, Los Angeles.

Responding to the eight-page letter Shuck sent him last week Hannon tells Shuck he is trying to confuse the issue. “I believe you have intentionally misconstrued the nature of the claim by and Mr. David Sherman as against AGTA and the remainder of your clients. The basic claim of my clients is fairly straightforward and involves nothing more complex than a suit to collect damages for your clients’ commission of consumer fraud.”

Shuck had spent a good deal of effort pointing out trademark precedent as well as historic reference and AGTA-accepted definition to the secondary use of the place name Paraiba as a color variety. Hannon says it’s still not legal.

“When the conduct of your clients in passing off inferior stones as Paraiba stones became apparent, your clients engaged in a cover-up of their actions. Rather than admitting to improper conduct on the part of members of AGTA, the members got together and simply redefined, not once, but twice, what constitutes a Paraiba tourmaline. This conduct of your clients is similar to something like members of a conspiracy agreeing that they can sell sausage with fiberglass filling and pass the sausage off as pure pork. The fact that your clients have agreed among themselves that their illegal actions regarding the marketing of inferior stones should be made legal after the fact by the redefinition of the Paraiba stone is of little importance. Your present claim that your clients have ratified illegal acts does not make the acts somehow legal.”

Soft, geometric moissanite piece takes prize

The winner of a Charles and Colvard-sponsored design competition was flown to the JCK Las Vegas show earlier this month, where her winning moissanite piece was displayed.

The competition, launched in the United Kingdom last year, was created to raise awareness of moissanite in the jewelry industry and to promote that more than 71 percent of moissanite customers are women who buy for themselves.

Julie Wright, a designer from Devon England, won the 2007 competition and received an all-inclusive trip to the JCK show. Her winning design is a moissanite pendant set in 18-karat gold and valued at approximately $4,000. The piece was chosen as the winner because it reflects the trend for soft and geometric pieces, encompassed in an innovative design.

"We believe that last year's theme would show that moissanite, set into 18-karat gold, would lead to the creation of a more fashion-forward approach, and Julie's stunning piece demonstrated this concept quite flawlessly," Dennis Allen, who administers the competition for Charles and Colvard, said in a media release.

The first phase of the 2008 design competition, "Adventurous Moissanite," which encourages applicants to create bold and adventurous moissanite designs, has already begun. A panel of U.K. judges is reviewing all the design entries submitted in the form of jewelry renderings and sketches, and five semi-finalist renderings will be selected. Those designers will be given moissanite jewels up to a value of $1,000 to use in the actual manufacturing of their design. Finally, one finalist will be selected to win an all-inclusive trip to the Hong Kong Jewelry Fair in 2009.

Beware of blood diamonds, India warns (Lead)

New Delhi, The guns may have fallen silent over "blood diamonds" but the situation remains fragile and it was necessary to ensure that diamonds sold by rebel groups who mine them illegally are not allowed to enter the global market, India told a global diamond conference here Tuesday.

"Our vigil is not over. And we must continue to be alert and active," Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai told the annual conference on the Kimberley Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS) here. India is its current chair.

"The guns are becoming increasingly silent, but we must be alive to the fact that several fragile situations exist," he told the delegates from 34 out of 74 countries that are members of the Kimberly Process.

Under the initiative of the United Nations, KPCS seeks to ensure that only those diamonds that are sold by legitimate entities - as opposed to rebel groups - enter the global market.

"We must also find solution to the problem of fake KP certificates. It undermines the very core of what KPCS wants to achieve. The problem must be addressed."

Pillai said India's diamond industry, which registered export of over $13 billion last fiscal, was one of the biggest success stories, even though it was the IT industry that gets more publicity.

He said the diamond industry here provided jobs to over one million people and had a 60-percent share in the world's polished diamond industry by value and about 82 percent by volume.

Representatives from 34 countries are participating in the three-day conference, aimed at eliminating conflict or "blood" diamonds. India, which became its chair for a year beginning Jan 1, is hosting the conference for the first time.

Some of the key participating nations are Australia, the US, the UAE, Canada, Congo, Israel, Liberia, Namibia, South Africa, Russia, China, Britain, Romania, Brazil, and Tanzania.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hong Kong June Fair Expanded; 1,100+ Exhibitors Expected

The Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair, to run June 19 - 22, is expected to see over 4,000 buyers from 89 countries and upwards of 1,100 exhibitors, making up stand-alone booths, as well as themed and group pavilions.

This year’s show will include an expanded diamond pavilion with over 120 diamond companies, a Jadeite Gallery, fine jewelry, silver jewelry and more.

In addition, for the first time, exhibitors from Singapore have organized a group pavilion. Antwerp, Mainland China, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S. will also have a pavilion.

2008 marks the event’s 21st year, and show organizers say the attraction of the event lies in its time and size. “June is just the right time for jewelers to restock in the middle of the year. Over the decades, the fair has continually built on its success, with over 1,250 exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions taking part in the 2008 fair,” CMP Asia Director of Jewellery Fairs Celine Lau said.

“Strong export growth, good timing, perfect location and professional organization are just some of the factors which make it the largest mid-year jewelry event in Asia,” Lau added.

He also announced the expansion of the show this year to include the grand hall of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which will provide space for an additional 300 booths.

Two pearl auctions, on June 16-18 and June 19-20, will be held in conjunction with the show, as will two seminars presented by the GIA and the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK).

The June Hong Kong Fair is held concurrently with Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair – June (AFJ), to be held at AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE). Buyers to the Hong Kong fair would be provided with free access to AFJ.

Business Barons from India & Thailand meet at FICCI Global Business Forum at the IIFA Bangkok

Mumbai: - Czars from India and Thailand combined business with pleasure at the FICCI Global Business Forum that kicked off at Bangkok. The forum highlighted the huge untapped trade potential between India and Thailand, the two majors in the global gems & jewelry industry that was attended by business czars from India and Thailand.

It was discussed that India is not just strong in its culture but is also a very strong market, with an export of US $ 20.889 billion in 2007-08 and records a growth of 22 %. Out of this, India exports only 2% of its Jewelry to Thailand and has a tremendous potential to grow. Thailand on the other hand is the gemstone capital of the world. Thus, the FICCI Global Business Forum at Bangkok was an effort towards bilateral trade promotion activities such as to benefit the gem and Jewelry sector in both the nations.

The trade between Indian and Thailand has a huge untapped potential to grow. Inter Organizational collaborations and partnerships will help harness this potential. India and Thailand can work together to leverage their strengths to capture a larger market share in the American European and emerging markets of the world.

Speaking at the forum Mr. Mehul Choksi, Chairman, FICCI's Gem & Jewelry Committee said, "India and Thailand can work together to leverage their strengths to capture a larger market share in the American, European and emerging markets of the world. Inter Organizational collaborations and partnerships will help harness this potential".

Diamond bodies clarify labeling of synthetic gems

Three major international trade organizations in the diamond and jewelry industry reached an agreement to abide by the new International Diamond Council (IDC) rules, particularly regarding terminology of synthetic diamonds, at the thirty-third World Diamond Congress in Shanghai.

The three organizations were the International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds and Stones (CIBJO), the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).

The revised IDC rules included terminology that broadens the range of descriptors that can be used for gem-quality diamonds that have been created in laboratory or factory, and to date have been referred to as synthetic.

According to the new IDC rules, gem quality diamonds created in a laboratory or factory can be described as: synthetic; laboratory-grown; laboratory-created; or man-made; and the descriptor must always be followed by the word diamond or diamonds.

It was agreed that under no circumstances could the term ‘cultured' be used to describe gem-quality synthetic diamonds. At present, the International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds and Stones' (CIBJO's) Diamond Blue Book only allows the descriptor ‘synthetic' to describe gem-quality synthetic diamonds.

"Concerning diamond nomenclature, we have been aiming to get IDC in line with the CIBJO for many years. This important achievement bodes well for the development of the future of international diamond grading standard and nomenclature," said IDC Chairman Stephane Fischler, who lauded the statement from the organizations as a milestone event.

Since their publication, the IDC stated that these rules have been the essential reference point for clear diamond terminology aimed at benefiting consumer confidence in diamonds.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pluczenik Displays High Jewelry in Partnership with Chaumet

At the recent JCK event in Las Vegas, Belgian DTC Sightholder Pluczenik displayed diamond jewelry selections from Chaumet, a prestigious jewelry brand, part of the LVMH group, as part of a partnership the two companies formally announced at the Baselworld show last year.

The partnership was signed with the aim that the two would “work together on supplying exceptional diamonds and developing their activity within the high jewelry segment, by increasing diamond content and especially the use of exceptional stones in Chaumet’s creations, including colored diamonds.”

The pieces displayed at the Vegas show were part of Chaumet’s current collections, including the “Abeille ring” – so called because of its bee shape, a Napoleonic symbol – from Chaumet’s “Catch me, if you love me” collection.

“In a way, Napoleon is our top salesman,” commented Thierry Fritsch, CEO of Chaumet. “That rich historical heritage is an essential ingredient of our brand.” Chaumet is a Paris-based house that first established its reputation as a jeweler to Emperor Napoleon, and whose current collection includes bracelets with love messages inspired by his gifts to Josephine.

The Abeille ring features a 3.45 carat fancy vivid orange diamond, set in yellow gold and white diamonds. The bee can even move its diamond-encrusted wings. It is valued at just under $2 million.