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

Gemstones have been known to undergo various manipulations to enhance their perceived quality as technology advances, confirming the authenticity of gemstones becomes more and more difficult, creating a large demand for a non-destructive, time-efficient method of determining the composition of gemstones and precious metals One such method is energy dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) spectroscopy, a technique that enables a user to quickly and easily differentiate between a true stone and a fraud or determine if any chemical enhancements have been made.

In addition to stones, precious metals can be analyzed and quantified to identify their purities.

This application note examines the use of Shimadzu's EDX-720 spectrometer equipped with an Rh-lined X-ray tube to analyze gemstones of varying quality and precious metals at different purities, and how it can be used at any stage of the buying process.

Request a free brochure from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments...

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.

The Fifth China International Gold, Jewelry & Gem Fair, Guangzhou

The Fifth China International Gold, Jewelry & Gem Fair, Guangzhou will be held from 13 to 16 June 2008 at Guangzhou Jinhan Exhibition Centre in Guangzhou. This year's fair would have the highest level of government support and the greatest numbers of exhibitors and kinds of exhibits, accommodating more than 500 booths. According to a survey there would be over 250 exhibitors participating, coming from China, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and US. With great support from local government and industry associations, the scale of the Fair is expanding further.

The Panyu government is giving the greatest of support to the Fair this year and the response of the region 's companies is vigorous. Such prominent companies as Sinoble, Waddy, KTL, Yuanjun, Legend, Luk Fook, Dai Sun, Henry Jewelry and Helix Diamonds will participate, displaying their fine jewelry at the Fair. An-Ge-More, together with some other gemstone companies, will exhibit good-quality loose gemstones at the gemstone pavilion. Besides, the participation of Conghua and Sihui will promote their characteristic jewelry industry to overseas buyers. "

China International Gold, Jewelry & Gem Fair, Guangzhou keeps side by side knowledge of market needs in every improvement in order to create business for the jewelry industry. Mr. Chan, Manager (China) of CMP Asia said, "Because of the unique potential of Guangzhou, which possesses a rich supply of jewelry raw materials and is recognized as the wholesaling hub for jewelry raw materials in China, the Fair attaches the same importance to both materials and finished products. Apart from glamorous finished jewelry, diverse raw materials, including diamonds, gemstones, pearls, jade and jadeite, silver, semi-precious stones, synthetic stones and cubic zirconia, will be showcased beneath the same roof in different sections, allowing buyers to purchase efficiently the products they need. "

Apart from the fabulous products displayed, the organizers will arrange a series of technical seminars. These will be presented with the professional expertise of China Gold Association, Jewelry News Asia Chinese Edition, International Colored Gemstone Association, TTF Studio, Guangdong Provincial Gem & Precious Metal Testing Centre and the Gemological Institute of America. The seminar organized by the Testing Centre will be open to the public, offering everyone a chance to learn about jewelry connoisseurship.

As for visitors, in addition to visitors of two visit programs and regular buyers, currently more than 500 local and overseas buyers from 45 countries and regions have pre-registered to visit the Fair via the Internet and by other means.

Task Force Aims to Establish Diamond Grading Standards

A group of gemological experts recently held a meeting in Las Vegas, forming a Task Force to establish international technical standards for diamond grading, including inter-lab comparisons.

The move was initiative by the Accredited Gemologists Association, in reaction to “consumer dissatisfaction with inconsistent grades and a specific concern that current procedures used to color grade fluorescent diamonds result in grades that are inaccurate, unscientific and misleading,” the parties said in a release.

Its principal objective was to determine standard light sources for grading fluorescent diamonds; however, it was revealed that while the experts agreed that lighting standards must be re-examined, the urgent need for clearly defined technical procedures went far beyond this.

Gemologist Antoinette Matlins commented that the Task Force determined a need to establish illumination standards and procedural guidelines for the lighting used in grading diamonds and gemstones and to develop systems to ensure compliance among labs claiming to adhere to established standards.

The team will gather additional data on the broad area of lighting and its impact on diamond and gemstone grading, explore possible alternatives and carry out inter- lab comparisons.

AnchorCert Diamond Certification, a division of The Birmingham Assay Office in the UK, has agreed to draft the protocol for “round robin” testing, and start the process with GCAL in New York. Michael Allchin, CEO for The Birmingham Assay Office said, “The diamond industry needs proper international standards in order to provide comparable, meaningful and credible diamond certification.

“Modern diamond grading relies upon expertise coupled with sophisticated technical equipment. It is as much about scientific measurement as personal judgment, and it makes sense for the technical aspects of grading to be more tightly defined,” he said.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

U.S. Polished Diamond Imports and Exports Rise Sharply in April

The U.S. imported $1.5 billion worth of polished diamonds, exporting $1.09 billion worth. With the average value of imports at $1,617 per carat (p/c), and exports at $406.62 p/c, the U.S. is clearly exporting the cheaper goods while keeping the higher value stones, a net of $424 million averaging $1,211 p/c.

Imports rose 24.6 percent over April 2007 with about half coming in from Israel: $780 million worth of goods.

Exports rose a sharp 33.6 percent, with Israel again being the main trading partner – and the destination of $421 million worth of polished diamonds.

Trade with Israel is an interesting case to examine. The average value of imports from the center was a high $3,874 per carat. Exports to it averaged only a tenth of that, $395 p/c, absorbing the low-cost goods. Similar trade trends happen with Belgium and even with India.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The ‘Flame Queen’ May Fetch $250,000

JCK -- An opal collection highlighted by what is arguably the most famous opal in the world—dubbed the "Flame Queen,"—the 263.18-cts. Gemstone will be part of Bonhams & Butterfields Natural History auction, scheduled for June 22 at the auction house’s San Francisco and Los Angeles locations.

The "Flame Queen" is oval in shape with a flat central dome surrounded by a blue-green band - lending it the appearance of a fried egg. It’s not only famous for its extraordinary large size (263.18-carats) but also but also for its unusual shape and color pattern.

The auction house said the legendary opal could bring as much as $250,000. Other opals in the collection include the "pineapple" (estimated price $40/50,000); and a pure black opal-filled Yowah nut (a type of nodule-estimated to bring $65/80,000).

The Flame Queen was found at the Lightning Ridge black opal mine in Australia in 1915 by miners Jack Philips, Walter Bradley and “Irish” Joe Hegarty. The most unusual color pattern of this opal is best described as having the appearance of a fried egg—gemologically known as the “eye-of-opal” effect—created when opal infills a cavity. The Flame Queen is the best known gem of this type. Polished as a broad, pear-shaped buff top cabochon, its flashes change from vivid red to fiery bronze when viewed from different angles and in different light.