Author: Ruchi Singla

Ruchi is our trusted breaking news reporter, keeping you informed about the latest trends, launches, and significant events as they unfold. With a commitment to accuracy and a passion for adding a layer of insight, Ruchi creates informative and engaging content that shines a light across the world of jewellery.

The Goldsmiths’ Company has announced the appointment of Richard Reid as its 697th Prime Warden, succeeding Charles Mackworth-Young CVO.  Reid, a seasoned professional with a strong background in finance and community engagement, brings extensive experience to his new role. Professional Background Reid’s career began with vocational training in accountancy at Dixon Wilson, later moving to Peat Marwick in 1980 before its merger with KPMG. Rising to the position of partner in 1991, he eventually became Chairman of KPMG London, a role he held from 2007 until his retirement in 2015. Throughout his tenure, Reid was involved in various community-focused initiatives,…

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Michael Donaldson, JET Business Network Facilitator and host of the upcoming Retail Jewellers’ Congress, emphasises the urgent need for jewellery retailers to adopt new strategies in order to thrive in an evolving retail environment. The Congress will be held on June 24, 2024, during the NAJ Summit in Birmingham. Adapting to a Changing Retail Landscape Ahead of the conference, Donaldson highlights the stark realities facing the jewellery retail sector. He notes that traditional business models and strategies are increasingly ineffective in the current market. “Our thinking must change if we are to survive and thrive in the changing world of…

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The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) is partnering with JewelleryMaker to organise what could become the world’s largest jewellery making session via Zoom. The event is scheduled for Friday, 31st May at 10:00 AM and aims to connect jewellery makers of varying experience levels from around the globe. Event Details and Participation Participants are required to register in advance, selecting their preferred location for crafting. Prior to the event, a Zoom link will be sent to all registered attendees. BAJ is also offering on-site participation at its London workshops, where attendees can enhance their craft under professional guidance. “Jewellery Making…

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Anglo American, the UK-based mining giant, has outlined plans to divest significant parts of its business, including business De Beers and its platinum arm, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).  This decision follows the rejection of a £34 billion takeover bid from BHP and aims to streamline the company’s operations to focus on core assets such as copper, iron ore, and crop nutrients. Comprehensive Breakdown of the Divestiture Plan The restructuring plan includes the divestiture of De Beers and Amplats, alongside Anglo American’s steelmaking coal assets. These sales are part of a broader strategy to concentrate on commodities with strong growth prospects…

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The Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting has commenced in Dubai, UAE, gathering global representatives from the diamond industry, civil society, and governments to address critical issues in the diamond trade. Focus on Consensus and Action The UAE, operating under the theme “Year of Delivery,” aims to drive progress in the diamond trade’s regulation by overcoming political impasses and implementing concrete actions. This includes establishing a permanent secretariat in Botswana, completing the KP review and reform cycle, and advancing the digitalisation of the KP. Calls to Address Ongoing Conflicts The KP is facing renewed calls to act over the ongoing wars…

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De Beers’ Lightbox lab-grown jewelry brand has announced a reduction in the retail prices of its lab-grown diamonds by up to 40%.  This adjustment sees the cost of colorless DEF stones now set at $900 per carat, reduced from $1,500, IJ color stones have decreased in price from $800 to $500 per carat, and GH color stones are now priced at $600 per carat. This new pricing reflects reductions in manufacturing and wholesale costs and aligns with Lightbox’s competitive pricing strategy. Enhanced Verification Process In addition to adjusting prices, Lightbox is implementing an independent verification process for its diamonds through…

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Diamond marketplace Nivoda has successfully secured $30 million USD in a Series B funding round, led by Avenir Growth Capital with participation from existing investors Headline and Abstract Ventures, and new investor Canaan Ventures.  This funding marks an important step in Nivoda’s strategic plan to expand their influence and operational capacity within the global jewellery market. Investor Insights Taylor Brandt, Principal at Headline, reflected on the company’s journey since their initial investment in Series A, acknowledging Nivoda’s significant growth and impact on the jewellery supply chain. Brandt noted, “We were lucky to partner with the Nivoda team since the series…

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Watches of Switzerland Group has completed the acquisition of the Italian jewellery brand Roberto Coin for £104 million (approximately $130 million).  This transaction bolsters Watches of Switzerland’s presence in the luxury branded jewellery market, particularly in North America. Strategic Expansion and Financial Details The acquisition, which includes exclusive distribution rights and ownership of Roberto Coin’s business in the U.S., Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean, is financed by a £92.2 million ($115 million) term loan facility. The acquisition not only expands Watches of Switzerland’s portfolio but also capitalizes on its existing network of 222 retail outlets in the U.K., U.S.,…

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This year’s Retail Jewellers’ Congress, part of the NAJ Summit, is scheduled for June 24 at the Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham. With the theme, “Think Different to Be Different,” the event will focus on the necessity for unique and adaptable retail strategies. Sessions and Speakers Andy Edwards, founder of TimeSmart, will present ‘Time Smart Retail Management.’ Drawing on his two decades of retail experience, Edwards will discuss time management challenges in the retail sector and offer practical advice for enhancing productivity. Michael Donaldson, JBN Facilitator, will conduct an interactive “Show and Tell” session. Established as a staple since 2019,…

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Diamnet diamond trading platform has launched an updated version of its system, with a streamlined search and transaction process and easier navigation across both mobile and desktop interfaces.  Global Logistics and Supplier Network Expansion The platform now includes a global logistics channel between India and the UK, aimed at reducing shipping costs and accelerating delivery times, addressing customer needs for faster service. The platform’s supplier network has also been expanded, now listing over 1.1 million diamonds. This expansion increases the variety of diamonds available and improves global accessibility for buyers. Commitment to Sustainability In line with growing industry trends towards…

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Richemont has announced its acquisition of the Italian jeweller Vhernier S.p.A., adding the company to its substantial portfolio of luxury brands. The acquisition, encompassing a full 100% stake, aligns with Richemont’s strategy to enhance its luxury jewellery segment. Pending customary regulatory approvals, the transaction is not expected to have a material financial impact on Richemont’s consolidated net assets or operating results for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2025. Strategic Expansion in the Luxury Sector Richemont’s acquisition introduces Vhernier as the 29th brand within its portfolio, aligning it with other prestigious brands under the Jewellery Maisons business unit including Cartier,…

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The latest pricing information from Rappaport showed that April 2024 saw a downturn in the diamond market, influenced by seasonal trends and reduced demand from the US and China. Prices for diamonds with a clarity rating of Very Slightly Included (VS) and above declined, while those for Slightly Included (SI) categories saw minor increases, continuing a pattern seen since the year’s start. BHP’s Acquisition Moves and Impacts on De Beers Amidst these market fluctuations, BHP’s substantial $38.9 billion offer for Anglo American has sparked speculation regarding the future of De Beers. Anglo American’s potential sale of De Beers is underway,…

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The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has introduced a new grading report for round brilliant cut diamonds, the Light Performance Grading Report.  This report focuses on the optical performance of diamonds, providing detailed insights into their visual properties. Grading System and Metrics The IGI Light Performance grading system employs a methodology that assigns an overall Light Performance score to each diamond. This primary score is supplemented by additional metrics assessing Brightness, Fire, and Contrast. These parameters are essential for assessing how diamonds interact with light, which affects their visual appeal and potentially their market value. The system employs advanced ray-tracing software…

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Latest football data from MRI indicates varied footfall trends across different UK retail destinations as a result of several contributing factors including weather conditions and public holidays. Detailed Analysis of Footfall Trends The most recent week saw an overall rise in footfall by 3.1% across all UK retail destinations compared to the previous week. This increase in footfall was notably higher in high streets, which experienced a 3.3% rise. This was likely influenced by the favourable weather and the numerous May Day Bank Holiday events, particularly in market and historic towns where footfall increased by 4.6% and 2.9%, respectively. Despite…

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GemGenève is set to open its doors from 9 to 12 May 2024, with the eighth edition aiming to expand on the traditional trade show format by including exhibitions, bookshops, signing sessions, arts and crafts workshops, and talks with industry leaders. This blend of activities is designed to offer a deeper cultural experience to its attendees, encompassing various aspects of the jewellery industry. Cultural and Educational Highlights Under the direction of Mathieu Dekeukelaire, GemGenève will expand beyond its traditional trade show format to include ‘Flames of Opal Essence’, an exhibition celebrating the artistry of opals. Additional features will include pop-up…

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Tiffany & Co. has announced the launch of the Tiffany Titan by Pharrell Williams collection, which draws inspiration from the mythological trident of Poseidon. According to Tiffany, the collection aims to embody a blend of energy, power, and individuality, using a motif that contrasts sharply pointed elements with softer, curved links. The design approach seeks to challenge conventional aesthetics and engage those who appreciate a distinctive, bold style. We are excited to unveil Pharrell’s inaugural collection for Tiffany. The Tiffany Titan by Pharrell Williams collection defies the conventions of fine jewelry design. It represents a balance of Pharrell’s creative vision…

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Russian diamond giant Alrosa is set to sell its 41% stake in the Catoca diamond mine in Angola, a move driven by operational challenges and intensified by global sanctions.  Sanctions and Operational Challenges Alrosa’s position as a key stakeholder in the Catoca mine has become problematic due to sanctions and the reluctance of Western companies to engage with entities connected to Russian businesses. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev detailed the issues and progress of the negotiations, “The Angolans believe that the presence of Alrosa as a key shareholder is preventing them from developing their business. In general, they have…

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Pandora A/S has recently updated its revenue forecasts, indicating a strong first quarter driven primarily by its lab-grown diamond sales. The company has revised its expected organic sales growth to 8-10% for this year, up from the earlier estimate of 6-9%. Financial Performance and Market Reaction The announcement of the updated guidance and strong quarterly results led to a notable surge in Pandora’s share price. The stock saw its largest intraday rise since November last year, climbing as much as 6.6% in Copenhagen. Over the past year, shares have escalated by over 80%, reflecting investor confidence in the brand’s strategic…

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In a significant consumer rights case that has captured widespread attention, Rogelio Villarreal, a 27-year-old doctor from Tamaulipas, Mexico, successfully purchased a pair of rose-gold, diamond-studded earrings valued at over £10,000 for just £10 due to a pricing error on Cartier’s website. This unusual transaction has spotlighted the enforcement of consumer protection laws in Mexico and their implications for international luxury retailers. Incident Details The earrings, typically priced at 237,000 Mexican pesos, were mistakenly listed for 237 pesos.. Villarreal, intrigued by the drastic price difference while browsing through a social media advertisement, proceeded with the purchase. Upon realisation of the…

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The World Gold Council’s ‘Gold Demand Trends Q1 2024 report presents a complex landscape for gold demand. When including over-the-counter (OTC) transactions, total demand saw a year-on-year increase of 3% to 1,238 tonnes, bolstered by significant purchases by central banks and OTC investments. This was against a backdrop of a 5% drop in demand excluding OTC transactions, which fell to 1,102 tonnes due to continued outflows from exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Central Bank and OTC Influences Central banks significantly increased their gold holdings, with a net addition of 290 tonnes, although not all additions are currently shown in International Monetary Fund…

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The Birmingham Assay Office has announced it will provide complimentary tours of its facilities for those attending the 2024 Valuers’ Conference at the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) Summit. The tours, scheduled for the 21st and 24th of June, are designed to complement the conference programme and promise to enrich attendees’ experience. Learning and Development Opportunities The Valuers’ Conference, part of the wider NAJ Summit occurring from June 22-24, 2024, at the Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham, which features a broad range of activities tailored for professionals across the jewellery sector, including valuers, retailers, sales personnel, students, and designers. The…

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April saw a significant drop in retail sales compared to the previous year, as reported by the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey. The sales volumes decreased to a weighted balance of -44% in April, following a stable performance in March (+2%). This decline was unexpected and suggests that factors other than seasonal variations are impacting sales. Seasonal Timing and Its Effects Although the early occurrence of Easter this year was thought to impact April’s sales, the actual decline indicates that other economic or market factors may be contributing. Retailers predict that sales will continue to fall next month, though at…

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Anglo American has turned down a significant $38.8 billion takeover proposal from mining rival BHP.  This decision marks a pivotal moment in the mining sector, reflecting both the strategic independence of Anglo American and broader industry implications. The offer from BHP was intended to merge two of the industry’s giants, with a particular focus on enhancing copper resources critical for future technologies. Nevertheless, Anglo American’s chairman, Stuart Chambers, responded to the offer by stating it was “opportunistic” and did not fully value the company’s potential for growth. This rejection suggests Anglo American’s confidence in its own growth prospects and strategic…

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Gemfields has announced its updated ‘G-Factor for Natural Resources’ figures as of 31 December 2023. The G-Factor is a metric initially introduced in July 2021, designed to enhance transparency in how natural resource wealth is distributed between companies and the governments of the countries where they operate and spans a variety of sectors, including mining, oil, gas, timber, and fishing. Details of the 2023 Update The recent update by Gemfields underscores the company’s ongoing effort to promote the G-Factor as a standard for transparency and accountability in natural resource management. The company continues to encourage governance bodies, industry peers, and…

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The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has renewed its lease for the next ten years, continuing its operations in the Hatton Garden area.  This decision ensures stability for its members and maintains the LDB’s long standing presence in a key location for London’s jewellery sector. Importance of Hatton Garden Hatton Garden has been central to London’s diamond and jewellery trade for centuries, with the LDB located here since 1940. The area holds historical importance to the industry, and the lease renewal reinforces the LDB’s commitment to this traditional trading hub. The extended lease is expected to provide continuity for LDB members,…

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Buccellati has launched a retrospective exhibition titled “The Prince of Goldsmiths, Rediscovering the Classics” in Venice. Set in Oficine 800 on Giudecca Island from April 18 to June 18, 2024, the exhibition is crafted by Balich Wonder Studio with Alba Cappellieri overseeing the jewellery and silverware displays. It aims to highlight Buccellati’s historical development and craftsmanship since its inception in 1919. Andrea Buccellati, creative director and honorary president of the Maison, remarked: “The classics offer the pleasure of rediscovery, evoking timeless worlds of elegance, art and nature. “Reinterpreting them means reinterpreting millennial traditions and forms with an always up-to-date look.…

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Instappraise has launched a new trifold appraisal format which aims to streamline the creation of appraisal documents for small businesses by allowing professional-standard reports to be printed easily on various types of paper using standard office printers. Features of the Trifold Format The trifold design is specifically structured to provide a compact and efficient means of detailing appraisals, which can include high-resolution images and comprehensive descriptions of items. It supports double-sided printing and offers users the choice between different paper finishes, such as glossy or matte. The format includes essential elements such as model specifications, grading scales for diamonds and…

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Gold prices have reached an unprecedented peak this year, exceeding $2,400 per ounce, primarily driven by sustained demand from China. As the world’s largest producer and consumer of gold, China’s impact on the market is significant. This increase in demand has been influenced by recent geopolitical tensions and broader economic uncertainties, which have bolstered the perception of gold as a secure investment. China’s Increasing Influence on Global Gold Consumption China has recently surpassed India as the world’s leading gold consumer, experiencing significant growth in the demand for jewellery, bars, and coins. Gold jewellery demand in China increased by 10%, and…

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The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has officially announced the launch of its first ever Supplier Member Conference, scheduled to take place on 5 June 2024 in Warwickshire. This event marks a significant milestone for CMJ as it aims to foster closer relationships and collaboration among its supplier members. Registration for the conference is now open, with attendance being complimentary for supplier members. Emmet Cummins, managing director of the Company of Master Jewellers, said: “We want to take a morning to achieve three primary objectives. We want to reinforce the value that membership of the Company of Master Jewellers brings…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced the availability of printed versions of the AGS Ideal Reports, designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of diamond quality by measuring key aspects of light performance: brightness, fire, and contrast. Features of the AGS Ideal Report The AGS Ideal Report is now available in conjunction with several GIA reports such as the Diamond Grading Report, Diamond Dossier, Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report, Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report Dossier, eReport, and Diamond Focus Report. This addition aims to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of a diamond’s characteristics. Promotional Pricing For a limited period from April 15 to…

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