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

Signet Jewelers and De Beers Group have announced a strategic collaboration aimed at introducing natural diamonds to a new generation of U.S. and Canadian couples. The partnership targets the emerging “Zillennials” demographic, capitalising on a projected 25% increase in engagements over the next three years. The initiative includes a comprehensive campaign set to launch in the third quarter, featuring online content, in-store experiences, and targeted marketing. Research-Driven Strategy Signet’s research indicates a significant rise in engagements among Zillennials in the coming years, spurred by the aftermath of the pandemic. This growth is expected to include a diverse array of couples,…

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The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) has made its Codes of Practice accessible to all jewellery businesses in the UK– extending its availability to sewellers who are not its NAJ members for the first time.  This initiative is part of a strategy originally launched in 2022 to promote compliance, profitability, and responsibility across the industry. Details of the Codes The Codes of Practice are straightforward documents aimed at ensuring legal compliance on specific issues related to the jewellery sector. The guidelines were formulated with input from Trading Standards and refined through consultations with industry focus groups and experts to facilitate…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London has announced the opening of a new exhibition titled ‘Apprentice to Masterpiece: The Work of the Goldsmiths’ Apprentices’, which will run until 25 April 2024.  This exhibition spotlights the exceptional talent of four apprentices from the jewellery, silversmithing, and allied industries, demonstrating their remarkable achievements through their handcrafted ‘Masterpieces’. Featured Apprentices and Their Achievements The apprentices include Sophie Chapman of Asprey London Ltd; Amy Gibson from Alex Monroe Ltd; Celeste Heathcote of SamJames Ltd; and Charlie Lewis at Stuart Ray Ltd all completed their training in December 2023 and were recognised at the Goldsmiths’ Craft…

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The UK’s luxury sector is witnessing a remarkable era of growth and internationalisation, having bolstered its value to an impressive £81 billion annually, as revealed by a new report from Walpole, the sector’s leading body. This represents a 69% surge over the past five years, underlining the industry’s resilience amidst economic fluctuations. Notably, the luxury sector has significantly contributed to the UK’s economy, supporting over 450,000 jobs across varied fields and adding £25.5 billion in tax receipts to the Exchequer. This financial injection is pivotal for funding essential infrastructure projects, showcasing the sector’s vital role in the broader economic landscape.…

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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.…

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The 40th HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the 10th HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, have recently concluded, marking a significant uptick in global participation. Hosted in Hong Kong, these events collectively drew approximately 81,000 buyers from 137 countries, signalling a strong resurgence in the jewellery industry’s global market engagement. Key Highlights and Outcomes The shows, split between the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo, served as a grand stage for over 4,000 exhibitors from 44 nations, reaffirming Hong Kong’s pivotal role in the international jewellery trade. The Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show…

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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…

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The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), along with key industry leaders, has initiated a concerted campaign to address the challenges posed by the proposed G7 restrictions on diamonds of Russian origin. A comprehensive letter, undersigned by Yoram Dvash, President of the WFDB; Feriel Zerouki, President of the World Diamond Council; Vipul Shah, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India; and Ronnie Vanderlinden, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, has been dispatched to G7 and EU representatives. This letter articulates the diamond and jewellery industry’s apprehensions regarding the “one import node” solution and its potential…

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Pandora, widely accepted as the world’s largest jewellery brand, has announced a significant shift in its supply chain strategy by exclusively sourcing recycled silver and gold for its jewellery production. This change reflects the company’s initiative to reduce its environmental footprint and aligns with broader industry trends towards sustainability. Environmental Impact Reduction By choosing recycled over newly mined metals, Pandora aims to decrease its CO2 emissions by approximately 58,000 tons per year. This effort contributes to the reduction of the environmental impact associated with metal mining, which is known for its high energy and resource requirements. Pandora’s CEO, Alexander Lacik,…

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The UK jewellery sector has seen significant fluctuations in hallmarking across 2023, with variances noted across different time periods. T he data provided by the Birmingham Assay Office sheds light on these trends, which are critical for understanding the current state of the industry. December 2023: A Challenging End to the Year December 2023 marked a notable downturn in hallmarking, with a 10.7% overall decrease compared to the same month in 2022. This decline was primarily driven by reductions in 18ct gold, which saw a 14.8% decrease, and 925 sterling silver, experiencing a 19.3% drop. Gold items fell by 1.5%,…

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After prolonged discussions, the European Commission appears to be moving closer to implementing a significant ban on the import of diamonds from Russia. This measure, part of a wider series of sanctions that include an oil price cap, marks the 12th sanctions package aimed at Moscow. With discussions underway, this proposal seeks unanimous approval from all 27 EU member states and could be finalised in the coming weeks. Set to be effective from January 1, 2024, the ban specifically targets direct imports of Russian diamonds. A critical component of the sanctions includes the establishment of a traceability mechanism from March.…

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In its ninth cycle of sales for 2023, the De Beers Group reported a provisional rough diamond sales value of $80 million. This figure, subject to final adjustments, compares with $200 million in actual sales for Cycle 8 of 2023 and a significantly higher $454 million in the corresponding cycle of the previous year. These numbers reflect the ongoing volatility in the diamond market. CEO’s Market Analysis Al Cook, CEO of De Beers Group, commented on the current economic climate’s impact on the diamond sector. “Macro-economic challenges continue to affect the diamond sector. The retail recovery in China remains slow.…

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The Birmingham Assay Office (BAO) has proudly unveiled a sterling silver candelabra in celebration of its 250th anniversary. This unique piece will join the esteemed historical Silver Collection housed at the Birmingham Assay Office. Craftsmanship and Collaboration The candelabra, a testament to local craftsmanship, was crafted by local silversmith L J Millington, who are based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The design process was a collaborative effort, with engineering specialist R F Bevan & Co Ltd working closely with Millington. The design of the candelabra was inspired by the 250th-anniversary logo, a creation of Caitlin Beale, a student from Birmingham City…

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Tiffany & Co. has announced the launch of its latest jewelry collection, Tiffany Forge. The collection, crafted from sterling silver, is inspired by the idea that every individual forges their own unique path in life, while an open-link design motif throughout the collection draws inspiration from designs found in the Tiffany Archives. This new collection pays homage to Tiffany & Co.’s longstanding tradition of crafting sterling silver pieces, a material deeply rooted in the brand’s history. Notably, over a hundred years ago, Tiffany & Co. established the U.S. standard for sterling silver purity. The signature open-link motif of the Tiffany…

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Irish jewellery brand Chupi has announced the opening of its new flagship store on Clarendon Street, Dublin, slated for October 18 – a significant expansion for the brand. The flagship will housed in the historic 250-year-old Powerscourt Townhouse, formerly occupied by French Connection.. Spread across a sprawling 4,500 sq ft, the ground floor dedicates 107.86 sqm to retail space featuring three street-facing windows. A golden arch window at the end of Diamond Alley showcases a jewel box exhibiting Chupi’s fine jewellery. The second floor, covering 345 sqm, is set to house studio and office space, with a customer-facing area for…

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JCK has been honored with the title of the “Greatest Show of 2022” by Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 at an event held in San Diego in September. The award is a recognition of JCK’s outstanding contributions to the trade show industry and its excellence in providing a platform to connect, engage and explore the latest trends and innovations in the jewellery sector. Organized by RX, JCK 2022 was a return to form – showcasing outstanding attendance, effective marketing strategies and robust sales – driving the event to beat budgets and exceed the attendance figures of 2019 pre-Covid. This remarkable…

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The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) have officially declared their collaboration to maintain consumer trust in the jewellery industry and its products. The formal partnership is intended to streamline the development of standards, procedures, and terminologies, with transparency as its guiding principle. A Formal Partnership On June 25, 2023, the collaboration was established as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU was signed by Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, and Joanna Park-Tonks, President of IGDA, during the National Association of Jewellers’ NAJ Summit in Birmingham, UK. Strengthening the Laboratory Grown Diamond Committee As part…

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Nivoda, a B2B diamond marketplace, has secured USD $11 million in its Series A funding round. The funding round was led by Headline, a global venture capital firm, and has allowed Nivoda to set its sights on further expanding its service offering and enhancing its customer experience​. Following the arrival of new Nivoda chief product officer James Morgan, who joined the company from Amazon Prime Europe in October 2022, Nivoda has outlined plans to expand its product range to include coloured gemstones. Additionally, the company will focus on introducing shorter delivery times and new payment and credit options to its…

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The Bank of England (BoE) has announced a 0.25% rise in its policy interest rate, bringing it to 4.5%. This marks the twelfth consecutive increase in UK interest rates, driven by persistent inflation that has consistently surpassed the central bank’s expectations. Headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation remained above 10% in March, significantly higher than in mainland Europe or the US. Inflation Forecast Revised Upwards The Monetary Policy Report (MPR) was published alongside the latest decision, detailing the BoE’s current assessment of inflation and the economic outlook. Notably, the BoE has revised its growth and inflation forecasts upwards. The GDP…

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Everledger, the Australian-based blockchain company, has regrettably entered voluntary administration after an expected funding round failed to materialise. The company, which specialises in tracking the provenance of diamonds and other luxury goods, was placed into administration after it was unable to meet its debt obligations. Everledger, founded in 2015 by Leanne Kemp, has been an industry pioneer in utilising blockchain technology to ensure transparency in the supply chains of diamonds, art, high-end fashion, wine, and even luxury automobile manufacturing. Among its high-profile partnerships were luxury fashion brand Alexander McQueen and automaker Ford, with whom it collaborated to track electric vehicle…

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The full day footfall data from the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III on May 6 shows a mixed picture for UK retailers. Overall, retail destinations across the UK experienced a 20.6% drop in shoppers compared to the previous Saturday (April 29). This dip was even more pronounced between 10 am and 3 pm during the ceremony and parade, with footfall plunging by 24.6%. However, it wasn’t all gloomy news for retailers. Despite the overall downturn, some key shopping hotspots witnessed a surge in footfall, according to data from MRI Springboard. London’s Knightsbridge, for instance, bucked the trend with…

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Rio Tinto, the owner of the now-closed Argyle mine in East Kimberley, Australia, has recently revealed the Argyle Rose. The Argyle Rose is priced at A$2 million and will be exclusively available for purchase through the designers Solid Gold Diamonds, located in Perth. The piece showcases the last diamonds mined from the Argyle mine, including rare pink and blue diamonds. A Captivating Masterpiece The centrepiece of the Argyle Rose is a 1.36 carat fancy deep pink radiant-cut diamond. This is one of only twelve diamonds with a colour grading of 1P from the last 30 years of Argyle’s production. Surrounding…

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The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™), a leading global diamond pricing index, reported a 2.4% drop for 1-carat polished diamonds in April. This decrease has brought the index down to 7,159 as of May 1st, compared to its 7,543 standing at the start of the year. Diamond prices across other sizes also exhibited weakness, with only 0.30-carat diamonds showing some stability. Dampened Demand in Major Markets This downturn in diamond prices is primarily due to sluggish demand in the US and China, the world’s leading markets for diamond jewellery. Avi Krawitz, Senior Analyst at Rapaport, explains, “Polished trading was quieter than…

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