Author: Abidemi Fadekemi

With her finger firmly on the pulse of the jewellery trade both within the UK and further afield, Abidemi ensures JM’s readers are first to hear what’s happening in our industry

De Beers Group has officially announced the relocation of its Auctions business headquarters from Singapore to Gaborone, Botswana. This strategic decision aims to streamline operations and enhance the efficiency of its activities, marking another step in the company’s long-standing relationship with the Botswana diamond sector. Background and Business Rationale The move builds on the success of De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, which relocated from the United Kingdom to Botswana in 2013. The transition of the Auctions headquarters is expected to foster stronger partnerships, drive cost efficiencies, and contribute to the development of essential industry skills within Botswana. De Beers’ consolidation…

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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”…

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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…

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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…

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The Goldsmiths’ Centre, located in the City of London, has recently unveiled the latest recipients of its Business Catalyst (Large) Grants. These grants, which can amount to up to £7,000, are aimed at fostering the business development of UK-based jewellers, silversmiths, and professionals in related fields. The initiative is made possible through modern philanthropic efforts by members of the Goldsmiths’ Company, underscoring a commitment to supporting the craft and its practitioners. Empowering Creative Endeavours The grants are designed to empower designers and makers by providing them with the financial resources needed to expand their knowledge, scale their businesses, and explore…

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Glasgow-based jeweller Laings has announced the opening of a state-of-the-art watch service centre, marking a significant phase in its £5 million investment strategy.  This facility, heralded as the first of its kind in Scotland, is set within the Rowan House building on Buchanan Street, a location that also hosts Laings’ head office and will soon feature a new multi-level flagship store. Comprehensive Investment in Luxury Services The newly inaugurated watch service centre represents a £1.1 million portion of Laings’ extensive investment plan. Designed to accommodate up to ten luxury watches simultaneously from esteemed brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has played a pivotal role in assisting the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in recovering two diamonds, part of a larger theft of six jewelry pieces from a home in Colorado in June 2023. The total value of the stolen items was reported to exceed $475,000. The recovery led to an arrest, facilitated by the GIA’s identification of the two diamonds, which were submitted for grading by a wholesale diamond dealer who was not involved in the theft. GIA’s Consumer Protection Efforts Christina Yates, GIA’s associate general counsel, highlighted the institute’s commitment to aiding…

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In a significant move, De Beers announced a notable reduction in rough diamond prices during their recent sightholders meeting. This strategic adjustment involves cuts ranging from 10% to as much as 25% for certain diamond categories, signaling one of the most substantial pricing shifts in the company’s recent history. Breakdown of Price Adjustments The scale of the reductions varies across different segments of the diamond inventory. Diamonds under 0.75 carats are now priced 5% to 10% lower. The 0.75 to 2 carat diamonds have seen average reductions of 10% to 15%, while those over 2 carats are subject to a…

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Loupe, a contemporary concept store operating under the Beaverbrooks umbrella, has recently opened its second store in Croydon, South London, following an investment of over £3 million. This move comes shortly after the brand’s inaugural store launch in Milton Keynes in June 2022. Occupying a significant retail space of 4,300 square feet in the Centrale Shopping Centre, this opening marks an important expansion phase for Loupe. Store Features and Client Services The Croydon store’s notable features include a 900-square-foot space dedicated to Rolex, comprising both a showroom and an authorised service centre. This centre is distinct for its client viewing…

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Antony James Jewellers, a family-owned business with a 50-year history in Kingston, London, became the latest victim of a concerning trend in the UK jewellery industry. On the evening of January 8th, three masked individuals, wielding sledgehammers, carried out a brazen robbery at the store, making off with Rolex watches valued at approximately £22,000. The owner, Tony James, reflected on the incident, saying, “My son and nephew were there; they realised the windows were broken and watches attacked. They were reacting very quickly and prevented many more [watches] from being taken.” This incident, captured on camera by witnesses, underscores the…

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The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has recently revealed a significant case of diamond fraud. A 6.01 carat pear-cut diamond, initially believed to be natural due to its inscription, was identified as a lab-grown stone. This discovery highlights a growing concern in the jewellery industry regarding the differentiation and accurate representation of lab-grown and natural diamonds. The Discovery Process IGI’s analysis unveiled that the gemstone, inscribed with a grading report number matching a natural diamond, was in fact lab-created. The examination involved advanced techniques like photoluminescence spectroscopy, which exposed Silicone Vacancy (SiV) defects indicative of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process…

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Angola has officially commenced diamond mining at the Luele project, which represents a significant milestone for the country and adds to the world’s most substantial diamond resources​​. This mine is expected to be the largest diamond mining project to come online this decade, with an estimated resource of 628 million carats and a projected operational lifespan of 60 years​​​​. Located adjacent to the Catoca mine in northeastern Angola, Luele, previously known as Luaxe, is poised to enhance Angola’s status as a key player in the global diamond industry​​. Production Goals With an initial processing capacity of 4 million metric tons…

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The UAE is set to chair the Kimberley Process in 2024, with the vice-chair role commencing in 2023. This decision, made at the Kimberley Process Plenary in Botswana, highlights the UAE’s growing role in the international diamond industry. Implications for Jewellers This role may provide stability and continuity during market uncertainties, as expressed by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC: “The Kimberley Process is a global body that strives to enable trade to flourish in a safe and stable environment so that all participants and their dependent societies can benefit to the full… we are committed to…

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British designer Kitty Joyas is set to launch a 15-piece fine jewellery collection on Thursday 26th October 2023. Crafted in the brand’s South London studio, the collection includes necklaces, rings, and earrings. Design Approach Kitty Joyas ‘Fine’ extends the brand’s core design values, which have been evident in its Everyday collection for the past 4 years. Known for its use of colour, textured metal finishes, and bohemian charm, the brand has seen a 42% YoY revenue growth from 2022 to 2023. The collection combines 14ct recycled gold with natural diamonds, tourmalines, citrines, and sapphires. The colour palette, inspired by Barcelona’s…

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The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard (MGMH), and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have once again joined forces. Following their collaborative efforts at the State of the Art Summit in June 2023, these industry leaders have announced the launch of JewelryArts24 during Frieze Week 2023. The Call for Responsible Practices The State of the Art Summit, held at the Mineralogical and Geological Museum, Harvard University, highlighted the pressing need for responsible practices within the jewelry industry. A significant takeaway from the summit was the importance of involving the younger generation, promoting storytelling, and…

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Cooksongold, one of the UK’s leading jewellery-making suppliers, has announced the appointment of Paul Cooper as its new Managing Director. This decision follows a comprehensive recruitment process, ensuring the best fit for the company’s leadership. International Experience Paul Cooper brings a rich background in manufacturing to the role, with significant experience both within the UK and internationally. Notably, his previous roles have seen him oversee subsidiaries in Brazil, Mexico, and Canada during his tenure in the USA. Additionally, Cooper has lived in Singapore, managing several Asian subsidiaries, further solidifying his global perspective. Transition and Future Plans Over the upcoming months,…

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Antwerp-based International Gemological Institute (IGI), part of the Blackstone portfolio, has announced a significant leadership change that will mark the beginning of a new era for the organisation. Roland Lorie, who served as the CEO for nearly five decades, will step down and be succeeded by Tehmasp Printer as the Global CEO, effective October 1, 2023. Lorie’s tenure has been marked by the creation of the largest network of gemological laboratories and schools across the globe, cementing IGI’s position as a leading certification authority for natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, coloured stones, and finished jewellery. Tehmasp Printer: A Seasoned Leader Printer…

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De Beers Group has released its interim financial results for the first half of 2023. The report highlights key developments in production, sales, and market trends, providing insights into the current state of the diamond industry. Key Financial Highlights Production and Sales Regional Performance Market Insights The report highlights the high levels of polished diamond inventory coming into 2023 and the impact of macro-economic headwinds on rough diamond demand. The anticipated rebound in Chinese demand was affected by a large wave of COVID-19 infections, dampening consumer confidence. The softening in demand and higher financing costs have put profitability under strain.…

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The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has launched a Mentor Programme for those starting careers in the diamond and jewellery industry. Launching at the GIA Careers fair on 14th July 2023, the programme is intended to provide support to students and newcomers in the sector. Programme Structure Each participant of the LDB Mentor Programme will be paired with a mentor. These mentors, drawing from their rich industry experience and comprehensive understanding of the sector, will facilitate monthly sessions with the mentees assigned to them. These meetings, designed for maximum participant convenience, can take place face-to-face or online, thereby offering flexibility. Charlotte…

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Online diamond marketplace Nivoda is broadening its product offering with the introduction of a new gemstone category, marking a key strategic expansion for the company. Meeting the Growing Demand for Gemstones The introduction of gemstones to the Nivoda marketplace comes in response to the escalating demand. The expanded platform now boasts a selection of over 35,000 natural gemstones, including sapphires, rubies, emeralds, alexandrites, and tourmaline. To facilitate seamless browsing and purchasing, Nivoda has standardised essential gemstone characteristics like clarity, treatment, colour, and cut. This step aims to make the buying process more convenient for jewellers by offering consistency in the…

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Gemological Science International (GSI) has announced the completion of its first advanced gemology program, the Colored Stone Professional Program. This 14-week diploma program, run at GSI’s Jaipur, India campus, welcomed students from across India. “It feels nostalgic to see students graduating from an institution like GSI, which provides a recent and detailed curriculum in an internationally made facility,” says Ms. Sunita Shekhawat, an accomplished Indian jewellery designer known for her intricate craftsmanship and revival of traditional meenakari techniques. Shekhawat adds, “The students using gemology as their base should showcase Indian culture and art when they design gemstone jewellery”. Dr K.L…

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The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced the election of new members to its Executive Committee and Board of Directors during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 9 June. Newly Elected Leadership In-line with industry-wide efforts to amplify responsible and sustainable business practices, RJC members elected three individuals to its Executive Committee and nine to its Board. RJC Chairman David Bouffard praised the election process, saying, “RJC’s strength comes from the engagement of our 1,700 committed members, a deeply experienced board and executive leadership team, and a shared belief in building sustainable, responsible business practices across our industry. These…

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Unprecedented Collaboration In a significant event for the jewellery industry, The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), The Mineralogical and Geological Museum at Harvard University (MGMH), and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have announced their first-ever collaboration. This unique partnership will culminate in an in-person event at Harvard University on the 23rd of June, called the ‘State of the Art Jewelry Summit’. The summit signifies the coming together of three of the most influential entities in the field, aiming to discuss and dissect the challenges, opportunities, and the future of responsible practices in the jewellery sector. Summit Highlights: From Climate Change…

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Decision to Close Leonard Dews, a longstanding jewellery business in the North West, has announced its impending closure, due to the owner retiring. Founded in 1877, the Blackpool-based business has been a key provider of original and quality jewellery and watches for nearly a century and a half. The store’s closure, announced by current owner Michael Hyman, signals the end of a significant era in the local and wider jewellery industry. Final Sale Event Leonard Dews is currently hosting a large closing down sale. The in store event will offer customers the opportunity to purchase items, such as diamond rings,…

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Jewellery designer Lucy Quartermaine is extending the reach of her brand into Ireland and Northern Ireland. This expansion reflects an effort to tap into new markets and engage a wider audience. Known for her modern and distinctive designs, Lucy Quartermaine is bringing a fresh perspective to the jewellery landscape in these regions. The brand has broadened its reach by partnering with several new stockists: Each of these outlets will carry Lucy Quartermaine’s best-selling sterling silver Drop collection. In addition, the brand has secured two more locations within the Ernest Jones portfolio, specifically in:

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Private equity funds managed by Blackstone have acquired the International Gemological Institute (IGI) from Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart (Group) Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Fosun, and Roland Lorie of the founding family. Sources indicate that the sale price approximately $530 million, although this is yet to be confirmed. IGI’s Impact on the Jewellery Industry IGI, founded in 1975 in Antwerp, holds the title of the world’s first gemological laboratory to hold ISO accreditation in both natural and lab-grown diamonds. With a global presence of 29 laboratories and 18 schools of gemology across 10 countries, it has emerged as a leader in…

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In response to Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declared a ban on the import of Russian diamonds into the UK. This move was announced at the recent G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, with the Prime Minister stating that he wants to ensure “Russia pays a price” for its actions in Ukraine. Russia is the world’s largest diamond producer, with an output of 35,958kct for 2022, albeit an 8.08% decline from 2021. Russia’s diamond industry was worth approximately $4bn (£3.2bn) in exports in 2021. The Size of The Impact in the UK Russia is not directly…

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What if every diamond, gemstone, or piece of gold you wore could tell a story? A story of fairness, sustainability, and respect for our planet. That’s the beauty of ethical jewellery. As we become more conscious about our choices and their impact on the world, ethical jewellery represents a shift towards sustainable practices within the jewellery industry. In this guide, we’ll explore what ethical jewellery is and why it’s more important now than ever before. We’ll take you on a journey from the mines to the market, highlighting the process behind creating such pieces. You’ll learn about the positive impact…

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London jeweller Queensmith has made an undisclosed acquisition of the web domain of Vashi.com, following Vashi’s recent liquidation. In addition to obtaining the domain, Queensmith has also employed a number of former Vashi staff members who were left redundant in the aftermath of the company’s collapse. Vashi.com’s Domain Purchased by London Jeweller Queensmith Vashi, previously known for its focus on bespoke jewellery and engagement rings, experienced a setback despite its impressive sales of £100 million in 2021 and a valuation of £250 million just a few months earlier. The company failed to secure further investment from backers, leading to its…

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Luxury watch and jewellery retailer, Goldsmiths, is gearing up for a significant expansion at Liverpool ONE. Part of the Watches of Switzerland Group, the brand is planning to double the size of its current store and introduce its new ‘Goldsmiths Luxury’ concept. Goldsmiths Luxury The Goldsmiths Luxury concept is the brand’s latest initiative to enhance the customer experience – the remodeled store will include a hospitality bar and lounge area, providing a relaxing environment for shoppers. The inclusion of VIP consultation rooms and trusted service and repair specialists aims to further underscore Goldsmiths’ commitment to customer service. With an eye-catching…

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