Author: Alastair Smith

Alastair is an experienced jewelry writer and author of 'How To Buy an Engagement Ring'. He has helped thousands of people choose their engagement ring over the last 10 years.

JCK Industry Fund has announced its 2024 grant recipients, allocating a total of $341,000 to nine organisations. This year’s funding marks an increase from the previous year, continuing the fund’s tradition since its inception in 1997. To date, the fund has disbursed over $7 million to various programs aimed at enhancing the industry’s long-term viability. “In our ongoing commitment to the industry, spanning the past 25 years, we are continuing to champion the pivotal endeavors of the organizations that are advancing our industry’s interests. From consumer confidence to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion…

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The American Gem Society (AGS) 2024 Conclave in Austin, Texas, showcased significant contributions within the gem and jewelry community, with several awards distributed during the event. This gathering served as a platform to recognise commitment and service in the gem and jewelry sectors. Acknowledgement of Contributions The Sallie Morton Award was awarded to Jewelers Mutual Group for their long standing support and partnership with the AGS since 2008. Amanda Coleman-Phelps, CGA and Chair of the International Guilds Council, highlighted their role in educational initiatives for members, stating, “Jewelers Mutual Group exemplifies the pinnacle of support to AGS and its members.”…

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Diamond prices experienced a notable decline in September, with the market facing challenges from increased competition from synthetic diamonds and a slowdown in retail sales. Despite a decrease in production, there was a mismatch as polished inventories remained high, not aligning with sales expectations RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) Insights The RAPI™ for 1-carat diamonds saw a significant drop of 5.2%, marking it as the most challenging month since the Covid-19 downturn peak in March 2020. Other categories also faced declines: The RAPI, which focuses on D to H colors and IF to VS2 clarities, indicated a 6.8% decrease for 1-carat,…

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Emerging in the 1500s, the rose cut diamond has a flat bottom and a domed, peaked top, which resembles a rose bud. The rose cut harkens back to a time when diamonds were assessed by eye and cut by hand. Found most often in jewelry from the Georgian and Victorian Periods (1714-1900), the rose cut’s distinctive and unusual outline is spurring a revival amongst modern brides. The rose cut diamond’s popularity peaked in the 1700’s and was, quite literally, out-shined by the more brilliant cuts that resulted from emerging modern technological advances in diamond cutting. Rose cuts are reminiscent of…

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During the recent conference of the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) held in Cleveland, OH, Owner and Chairman Jeff Roberts introduced a significant change to the organization’s leadership. Stephen Barnes has been appointed as the new President of IJO. Roberts expressed his meticulous search for the right candidate, stating, “For several years I have met with, interviewed and talked with several candidates for this position I wanted to fill, but no one possessed the qualities I was seeking – until recently.” He further elaborated on Barnes’s qualifications, emphasizing his experience in running a profitable retail jewelry store and his expertise in…

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After 108 years of serving the jewelry industry, Modern Jeweler is suspending publication. We’d like to thank all the people who worked hard over the years to make every issue worth reading. We’d also like to thank the retailers and manufacturers who shared their time and expertise with our readers each month. We hope to find a buyer who believes in the future of the jewelry industry as much as we do. But even if we don’t and the August issue of Modern Jeweler is truly the last, we are sure that the jewelry industry’s strong community and generosity of spirit will ensure its…

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