Author: Steven Joseph

Steven aims to be first to bring the news on industry updates, while his finance background informs his insights on how broader economic trends affect the jewellery trade

Petra Diamonds latest tender report shows varied performance for rough diamond prices, with notable challenges for smaller goods.  The report outlines the financial and operational outcomes from their fifth trading session of the fiscal year, which took place in April, offering insights into current industry trends. Tender Performance and Financial Highlights The April tender generated $49 million from the sale of 362,132 carats. This included the sale of a 14.76-carat blue diamond from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, which contributed $8.2 million. The session observed a modest decrease in like-for-like prices of 1% compared to the previous session in…

Read More

In a recent unanimous decision at the U.N. General Assembly, member nations reaffirmed their commitment to the Kimberley Process. This resolution underscores the international community’s ongoing effort to ensure that diamond trade supports sustainable development rather than contributing to armed conflict. While the Kimberley Process has been successful in many respects, it faces unprecedented challenges due to geopolitical tensions and evolving conflict dynamics. The recent General Assembly highlighted the need for continuous support and adaptation of the process, ensuring it remains effective in a changing global landscape. Calls for Reform and Modernisation Significant discussions around reforming the Kimberley Process focus…

Read More

Brilliant Earth Group, Inc. has announced a partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to coincide with Dr. Goodall’s 90th birthday. The collaboration aims to support JGI’s conservation work and advance ethical practices within the fine jewellery industry. Funding and Initiatives The collaboration was initiated with a $100,000 contribution from the Brilliant Earth Foundation to Dr. Goodall’s birthday fundraising campaign, aimed at funding the conservation efforts of JGI. This initiative is part of a broader push to enhance transparency and responsible sourcing in the jewellery sector, focusing particularly on diamonds and precious metals. An exclusive jewellery…

Read More

In a recent development that has stirred conversations across the jewellery industry, Skydiamond, a British diamond manufacturer known for its lab-grown diamonds, has found itself in regulatory hot water. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the company’s advertising campaigns have misled consumers by failing to clearly communicate that its diamonds are lab-grown. This decision comes following complaints from the Natural Diamond Council, leading to an in-depth investigation into Skydiamond’s marketing practices. ASA’s Findings and Implications The crux of the ASA’s decision lies in Skydiamond’s use of terms like “diamonds”, “diamonds made entirely from the sky”, and “real diamonds”…

Read More

Ari Epstein has announced his resignation as CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) after a tenure of 13 years, marking a significant leadership shift at one of the central bodies in the global diamond trade.  His departure occurs against a backdrop of substantial regulatory changes and market disruptions, notably the imposition of sanctions on Russian diamonds by the Group of Seven (G7) and corresponding EU regulations. “This marks the end of an era of visionary leadership and significant contributions to not only our company but the industry at large,” AWDC president Isidore Mörsel expressed in a statement. “Under…

Read More

Botswana Diamonds plc, recently announced plans to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its operations. The firm intends to apply AI techniques to its extensive exploration database in Botswana, aiming to enhance the search for new diamond deposits and possibly other minerals. Extensive Data Resources Botswana Diamonds holds the second largest diamond exploration database in the country, encompassing approximately 95,000 square kilometres of data. This database includes about 375,000 kilometres of airborne geophysical data, 606 ground geophysical surveys, around 228,000 soil sample results, and roughly 32,000 drill hole logs. In total, the database comprises 380 gigabytes of data and 260,000 files.…

Read More

In a pioneering move, the Kenyan government is nearing the completion of a comprehensive operational framework aimed at integrating artisanal mining activities within national parks. Spearheaded by the State Department for Mining, this initiative seeks to reconcile the long-standing conflict between environmental conservation and economic development through the exploration and exploitation of minerals in protected areas. Collaborative Effort for Sustainable Mining The framework’s development follows a presidential directive, advocating for a balanced approach that permits artisanal miners to access rich mineral reserves within Kenya’s national parks while ensuring the protection of these vital ecosystems. Principal Secretary Elijah Mwangi announced that…

Read More

The Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 (WJI 2030) presented its second annual Stakeholder Report, “Report on Progress 2023 – 2024”, at Watches & Wonders on April 10, 2024. The presentation was led by Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director & Secretary General of WJI 2030 and featured insights from industry leaders about the significance of collective action up to the year 2030. Panel Discussion Overview The discussion panel included Cyrille Vigneron (President & CEO of Cartier SA), Dr. Anino Emuwa (Founder of 100 Women @ Davos), Frédéric Grangié (CEO of Chanel Watches & Jewellery), and Dr. Daniel Klier (Advisor to…

Read More

A recent report by Watchfinder & Co. presents compelling data on Gen Z’s engagement with the luxury watch market, painting a picture of a generation with a burgeoning interest in luxury watches. This analysis, rooted in a survey of over 2,400 individuals aged 18 to 26 in the U.S., sheds light on the preferences, spending habits, and digital influences shaping Gen Z’s luxury watch purchases. Elevated Spending Projections Gen Z individuals are prepared to allocate an average of $10,870 for their next luxury watch, surpassing the spending averages of millennials ($5,325), Generation X ($5,423), and baby boomers ($2,632). This indicates…

Read More

Lucapa Diamond Company has announced the appointment of former De Beers executive Stuart Brown as its new independent non-executive Chairman. Alongside him, Ronald Beevor, known for his extensive experience in investment banking and mining, joins the board as an independent non-executive director. These appointments coincide with Ross Stanley’s departure from the board, indicating a notable change in the company’s leadership structure. Experience and Expertise Stuart Brown’s career spans over three decades, primarily highlighted by a 20-year tenure at De Beers where he ascended to great roles including Interim CEO and CFO. Notably, Brown’s leadership at Firestone Diamonds led to the…

Read More

Informa Markets Jewellery has announced the judging panel for the 2024 Sustainability Awards by the Jewellery World Awards (JWA), aiming to highlight notable sustainability practices within the jewellery, gemstone, and related industries over the past three years. The panel consists of a diverse group of experts known for their contributions and leadership both within and outside the jewellery sector. The Panel The 2024 Sustainability Awards panel features: John Mulligan, Director of Market Relations & Climate Change Lead at the World Gold Council Nirupa Bhatt, renowned gem and jewellery industry expert and Business Leadership Coach Hayley A. Henning, a strategist in…

Read More

The recent imposition of sanctions by the G7 on the global diamond trade has sparked significant concern among African diamond producers. The sanctions, which necessitate routing all European Union (EU)-destined diamonds through a single entry point in Antwerp, have been criticized by key African stakeholders for their potential to disrupt the industry’s logistics and equality in international trade relations. African Producers’ Stance Lefoko Moagi, Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, voiced his concerns during a meeting with the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) in Zimbabwe. Representing 19 countries, including major diamond-producing nations like Botswana, Angola, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of…

Read More

In a recent event at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon, a 703-carat tanzanite carving, named L’Heure Bleu by artist Naomi Sarna, has been officially recognised as the world’s largest cut tanzanite by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ on March 9. Record-Breaking Achievement The declaration of the world record was witnessed by a large crowd, including gemstone experts Jessie English from J.S. English Appraisals and Madeline Saunders of Oregon Estate Jewelry, who served as the official witnesses. Michael Empric, a Guinness World Records adjudicator, verified and announced the achievement. The event was also attended by Gail Spann,…

Read More

Alrosa has announced a significant change in its sales approach for the year 2024 – it has  committed to selling its entire diamond production for the year directly to the Russian government, a move that deviates markedly from its previous sales strategies.  This decision comes amidst escalating sanctions pressure, with the G7, which accounts for 70% of the diamond market, tightening its restrictions on Russian diamonds. Government Procurement of Diamond Production The Finance Ministry’s Gokhran, Russia’s repository for precious metals and stones, acquired Alrosa’s entire diamond output for March 2024 and plans to maintain this purchasing pattern throughout the year.…

Read More

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chair of the Kimberley Process (KP), recently concluded a comprehensive fact-finding mission to West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone and Ghana, recognizing both countries for their exemplary adherence to KP standards and setting a benchmark for global practices. Strengthening Global Standards The mission, led by the UAE delegation, was geared towards reinforcing best practices within the Kimberley Process membership. As part of the UAE’s ambitious “Year of Delivery,” the visit aimed at ensuring the Kimberley Process’s stringent controls and regulations are effectively implemented, fostering a more ethical and transparent global diamond trade. Sierra Leone and Ghana’s commitment to…

Read More

The European Union and Belgian authorities have intensified their enforcement of sanctions against Russia, particularly targeting the importation and trade of Russian diamonds. This action includes the arrest of four individuals in Antwerp for allegedly violating EU sanctions, and the imposition of sanctions against Alrosa, Russia’s leading diamond mining company, along with its CEO, Pavel Marinychev. Antwerp Raids Yield Arrests and Seizures Following an investigation triggered by the seizure of diamonds in late February, the Belgian public prosecutor’s office reported that the Federal Judicial Police (FGP) Antwerp conducted six house searches, leading to four arrests. According to the public prosecutor’s…

Read More

The Botswana government-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) has been announced as the latest member of the Natural Diamond Council (NDC). This marks a significant moment as ODC is recognised as the first non-mining entity to gain membership within the NDC.  The collaboration underscores ODC’s crucial role in the distribution of natural diamonds and reflects Botswana’s strategy to enhance consumer demand as a key to the future prosperity of the natural diamond market. Strategic Membership The inclusion of ODC in the NDC represents a key milestone, uniting two influential entities within the diamond sector. ODC’s annual contribution of over 6 million…

Read More

As the retail industry increasingly adopts generative AI into its operations, the jewellery sector finds itself at an important moment, with the technology looking likely to be incorporated into many aspects of customer service, personalisation, and operations. A recent survey conducted by Salesforce and the Retail AI Council unveils a comprehensive overview of the current state of generative AI adoption across the retail landscape, providing critical insights that are particularly relevant for jewellers. Generative AI Adoption in Retail: A Primer for Jewellers The survey reveals that 36% of retail employees are currently utilising generative AI, with projections indicating an increase…

Read More

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has recently published “William Ruser: The Jeweler Who Charmed Hollywood”, exploring the career of William Ruser, famed for his figural jewellery with freshwater pearls.  The book, by Judy Colbert and Peggy Tsiamis, aims to provide a thorough look at Ruser’s contribution to jewellery design and his enduring popularity in the market. From Humble Beginnings to Stardom Ruser’s journey from modest origins to the preferred jeweller of Hollywood’s elite in the mid-20th century is captured in the book. His clientele included names like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra. On Ruser’s customer service, the book notes,…

Read More

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has introduced a new technology aimed at accurately distinguishing between lab-grown and natural fancy-colored diamonds.  Traditional methods for differentiating diamonds, primarily focused on colorless stones, have relied on photoluminescence to detect the source of the diamond. However, these techniques prove ineffective for fancy-colored diamonds, which may undergo treatments like irradiation, heat, and pressure, altering their fluorescence and phosphorescence. To address this, IGI has conducted extensive research to establish a set of procedures specific to each color category of diamonds. Advanced Identification Techniques Utilizing Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and photoluminescence spectroscopy, combined with magnification, IGI’s new…

Read More

Tiffany & Co. has introduced a new campaign, “With Love, Since 1837,” aimed at celebrating the brand’s origins and the histories of its iconic collections.  The campaign draws inspiration from Gene Moore, a notable window designer for Tiffany, and seeks to reinterpret his creative vision for today’s audience. It focuses on the narratives that link each collection to the brand’s long-standing tradition of craftsmanship without the use of celebrity endorsements. Historical Context and Inspiration The initiative revisits the establishment of Tiffany & Co. in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany in New York City and showcases several notable collections. These include…

Read More

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) recently hosted its annual Presidents’ Meeting in Shanghai, China, at the new Shangrila Hotel in Pudong. This event gathered leaders from the global diamond industry to deliberate on significant issues such as G7 restrictions, the emergence of synthetic diamonds, and the challenges within the Chinese market. The meeting, lasting over three days, aimed at fostering dialogue and strategies to navigate these challenges. Collaborative Efforts and Industry Unity A recurring theme of the meeting was the essential role of cooperation among organisations within the diamond industry. Under the guidance of WFDB President Yoram Dvash,…

Read More

Model Emily Ratajkowski has introduced her “divorce rings,” transforming her Toi et Moi engagement ring into two separate pieces. This step highlights a growing trend in jewellery customisation, where personal items are reimagined to reflect individual journeys and new beginnings. Trend Overview After separating from Sebastian Bear-McClard, Ratajkowski collaborated with Alison Lou, the original designer of her engagement ring, to create two new pieces from the original. These rings, one with a pear-shaped solitaire and another with a princess-cut diamond, demonstrate a creative approach to repurposing significant jewellery. This concept has gained traction, as more people look for ways to…

Read More

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has expanded its Education Program to include a new series of roleplay videos and a monthly subscription option, alongside the existing annual subscription.  This initiative aims to equip sales advisors and jewellers with practical tools for engaging with consumers, addressing common queries and misconceptions about natural diamonds through realistic scenarios. Educational Expansion The newly unveiled component consists of 19 roleplay videos, each created to address common questions and misconceptions about diamonds. These educational materials are intended to aid sales advisors and jewellery professionals in navigating conversations with consumers, ranging from self-purchasers and gift shoppers to…

Read More

Signet Jewelers Limited has released its financial outcomes for both the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year of 2024, reflecting a challenging period across many of its brands and territories. Overview of Financial Results For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024, ending on February 3, 2024, Signet reported total sales amounting to $2.5 billion, representing a decrease of $168.6 million or 6.3% compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year. When adjusted for constant currency, this decline stands at 6.6%. A noteworthy component of this quarter’s sales includes $103.2 million attributed to an additional 53rd week.…

Read More

BriteCo, a prominent provider of jewelry and watch insurance, has integrated International Gemological Institute (IGI) grading reports into its Appraisal Management System. This integration aims to allow retail jewelers to offer quicker, more precise appraisals, improving the assessment for insurance coverage. “There are over 200,000 appraisals in the BriteCo Appraisal Management System from thousands of independent retail jewelers across the United States,” states Dustin Lemick, founder and CEO of BriteCo. “The integration of IGI grading results to our system continues our commitment to provide the very best, tech-powered innovation to our retail jeweler partners.” The Impact of IGI Grading Integration…

Read More

The Indian diamond industry, recognised as a global leader in cutting and polishing diamonds, is poised to experience a downturn in cut and polished diamond (CPD) exports, projected to fall to around $15-16 billion in the fiscal year 2023-24. This represents a significant decrease, marking a five-year low. The reduced demand from the primary markets, the United States and China, which collectively account for approximately 65% of India’s diamond exports, underpins this trend. Facing various challenges, including shifts in consumer spending, the rise of lab-grown diamonds, geopolitical unrest, and sanctions on Russian-origin diamonds, the sector’s outlook appears cautious. Demand Fluctuations…

Read More

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has taken a significant step towards sustainable gold mining practices by awarding a $93,000 grant for the deployment of the Goldrop technology across three Colombian artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities. This collaboration between the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and Mercury Free Mining (MFM), aims to eliminate the need for mercury in gold extraction, presenting a major advancement in efforts to develop a more sustainable and ethical gold mining industry. Enhancing Miner Welfare and Environmental Protection The introduction of Goldrop technology is set to transform the working conditions of arASM miners, significantly reducing…

Read More

Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has introduced a new platform named “Real. Rare. Responsible.” which aim to highlight the inherent beauty, scarcity, and ethical sourcing of natural diamonds and shine a light on the moral obligations of the diamond industry worldwide. “Our mission is to inspire and educate consumers on the unique values of natural diamonds and the positive impact and commitments of the industry,” said Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director & CMO, North America at NDC. “The new framework of Real. Rare. Responsible cohesively ties in our mission throughout NDC’s editorial destination (naturaldiamonds.com), celebrity ambassador and sustainability global advertising campaigns,…

Read More

In an industry that marries the lustre of luxury with the ethos of ethical practice, the Diamonds Do Good Awards stand as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between successful business operations, social purpose, and community care.  This year, the spotlight falls on The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), London Jewelers, and Lisa Bridge, President and CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler, as they are heralded for their contributions at the annual gala slated for May 30 in Las Vegas. A Celebration of Excellence Hosted in the San Polo Ballroom at the Venetian Hotel, the event exemplifies the diamond industry’s dedication…

Read More