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.

March saw a significant decrease in Swiss watch exports, which fell by 16% to CHF 2 billion ($2.2 billion), according to data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.  This downturn is attributed primarily to a reduced demand in key Asian markets, particularly China and Hong Kong. Export Analysis Breakdown Decline in Asia China and Hong Kong experienced pronounced declines, with exports to China dropping 42% to CHF 150.2 million ($165.2 million), and Hong Kong by 44% to CHF 148.1 million ($162.9 million). These reductions have brought exports to levels lower than those observed at the peak of the…

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The NAJ Summit 2024 has added new speakers to its Retail Jewellers’ Congress, set for Monday, June 24.  The event focuses on new strategies for jewellery retailers to adapt to changes in the retail sector, encapsulated by the theme “Think Different to Be Different”. Speakers and Topics The NAJ JET Business Network (JBN) announced the inclusion of Nick Brackenbury, co-founder and CEO of NearSt, who will discuss the merging of online and offline retail spaces. His talk will highlight practical methods to attract local customers to stores, using Boodles as an example. Jude Jennison from Leaders by Nature will also…

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A group of 11 organisations within the gold and jewellery sector has issued an open letter requesting more precise definitions of “recycled” gold. This initiative, aimed at regulatory bodies such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), seeks to prevent potential greenwashing by aligning the term with actual sustainability efforts. Concerns Over Definitions The letter points out the current ambiguity surrounding the term “recycled” gold, which can be exploited in marketing and potentially confuse consumers. Organisations such as the Alliance for Responsible Mining,…

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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…

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Michael Hill has announced international model and entrepreneur Miranda Kerr as its new brand ambassador. This partnership, set for an 18-month duration, marks a pivotal shift as the company introduces a new brand identity, accompanied by a redesign of its logo and flagship stores. “I am thrilled to be the Michael Hill ambassador,” Kerr said. “This partnership is so special to me because one of my first photoshoots in my career was with Michael Hill over 20 years ago. “This next chapter in the brand is super exciting as they continue to create beautiful, sentimental jewellery that captures the meaningful…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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A troubling pattern of violent robberies is raising security concerns among local jewellers and patrons in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, .  The most recent incident on Warstone Lane, which occurred at approximately 1:30 PM on Saturday, April 6, involved a man being threatened at knifepoint and assaulted by a masked gang. The perpetrators stole the victim’s jewellery and escaped in a Volvo XC90, despite pursuit by bystanders. Pattern of Armed Robberies This incident reflects a continuing trend of targeted attacks within the area, known for its concentration of high-end shops. The tactics and timing of the recent robbery are similar to…

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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.…

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Baldeep Singh Arora, the owner of 5 Star Trading Ltd located on Goulston Street, London, near Aldgate East Station, has been sentenced to a significant prison term. The conviction comes after the discovery of £700,000 worth of fake luxury watches, marking a substantial breach of trust within the luxury goods market. This incident has drawn attention from Tower Hamlets Council’s Trading Standards officers and highlights ongoing challenges in the fight against counterfeit luxury items. The Discovery and Sentencing During an inspection in 2017, authorities found 132 counterfeit watches, including brands like Rolex, Omega, Hublot, and Cartier, along with various accessories…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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A new digital service aimed at streamlining the validation and ownership verification of watches has been launched: Wrist Authority. The service is provided free of charge to watch retailers, with a focus on the secure registration of watches at the point of sale. Enabling Proof of Ownership The service includes a feature that allows for free ownership enquiries, providing retailers a reliable way to verify the authenticity of a watch’s ownership. A registered retailer can use the online system to perform a six-point check to confirm if an individual is the rightful owner of the watch. Protection Against Loss and…

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Birmingham Assay office has reported a marginal decline of 1.4% across all four UK assay offices compared to February 2023. In total, 23,351 fewer articles were hallmarked in February 2024 than in the same month the previous year, but this change reflects varying performance across different precious metals, with notable declines in platinum and silver hallmarking.

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The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has released the Spring 2024 edition of The Journal of Gemmology, Volume 39, No. 1. This publication continues to act as an essential resource for gemmologists, facilitating their ongoing professional development. Featured Research The issue highlights several key pieces of research, including a detailed article on silicified coral from Indonesia, known for its diverse colour palette influenced by hematite or siderite inclusions. Other notable topics include the study of nephrite jade from Wyoming, USA, identifying its primary hydrothermal origin, and insights into green cryptocrystalline muscovite from Sichuan, China. Additionally, it covers the reclassification…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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SaferGems, the industry crime prevention and intelligence-sharing body, urges travelling sales reps and traders to increase their vigilance following aimed at sales representatives across the UK A Disturbing Trend In a concerning event on March 20th in Preston, Lancashire, a sales representative fell victim to a high-value theft when two individuals, believed to be either Asian or South American, broke into his vehicle and stole bags containing valuable jewellery and cash. This incident is part of a growing trend, with SaferGems reporting 21 similar incidents across England and Scotland over the past year. These crimes, often involving distraction thefts, snatches,…

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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,…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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The UK jewellery industry is set to welcome a new addition to its calendar of events, the ‘Get Stoned Gem Fair’, scheduled for May 23 in Brighton.  Founded by four passionate gemstone enthusiasts – Stuart Pool of Nineteen48, gemstone artist Sanni Falkenberg, Kerry Gregory of Gemmology Rocks, and Emma Perry of Emerald Studio – Get Stoned aims to offer a welcoming and educational experience for attendees. Admission Details The fair has set an early bird ticket price of £10 available until March 31, with the standard ticket price at £15 thereafter. The ‘Get Stoned Gem Fair’ will feature 12 gem…

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The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) has revealed a collaboration with Martin Prinsloo of Martin’s Gems, a UKFCG-certified Advance Cutter, for a unique live project aimed at Level 5 Jewellery Design and Manufacturing students. Exclusive Access to Hand-Cut Gemstones Martin Prinsloo has provided BAJ students with access to his range of hand-cut gemstones, such as Rhodolite Garnet, Lavender Quartz, and Topaz. These stones, known for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship, will be the centerpiece of the students’ jewellery designs, presenting them with a rare opportunity to work with high-end materials. Project Goals and Expectations On the project, Martin expressed “To…

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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…

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The 2024 Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards was held on 4th March and celebrated outstanding achievements in craftsmanship and design.  Hosted at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London, this event brought together 300 key figures from the industry, including designers, representatives from renowned jewellery houses, and media personalities. The ceremony was also live-streamed, extending its audience reach globally. Anne-Marie Reeves, Chair of the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council told guests and award winners addresses, “It’s both an honour and privilege to be standing here tonight as chair of GCDC and part of this amazing industry. For those who are starting on that…

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