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MID BLOG

IT’S SHOWTIME IN HONG KONG ONCE AGAIN, WITH WORLD’S LARGEST JEWELRY FAIR SET TO BEGIN

Despite rumors to the contrary, there was never any real doubt that the world’s largest jewelry trade show, the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, will open its doors as planned, first on September 16, 2019,at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) near the airport, for about 1,700 exhibitors of loose diamonds, colored gemstone, pearls, other jewelry-making materials and machinery, and then on September 18, 2019, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai North on Hong Kong Island, for about 2,000 finished jewelry.

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GETTING ON THE BRANDWAGON, DE BEERS AIMS FOR MARKET DOMINANCE

An announcement in May 2015 that De Beers was set to revive its mythological catchphrase “a diamond is forever” sent a palpable wave of excitement through the gemstone trade. The expression, which was named “Slogan of the Century” by Advertising Age in 1999, is considered by many to be the expression that launched a multi-billion dollar luxury industry.

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GOING BEYOND CARAT, CLARITY, COLOR AND CUT

Introduced by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the 4Cs is the universally grading system, whose underlying premise is that the value of a polished diamond is decided by its respective scores for carat, clarity, color and cut. But do they represent an adequate number of criteria to provide the definitive price of any given stone? Not so says gemologist Renée Newman, writing in Jewellery Business, a Canadian trade publication, in an article entitled “Diamond Evolution: Why the 4Cs is no longer an adequate pricing system – Jewellery Business.”

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WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM IN THE WORLD’S SPOTLIGHT, THE JEWELRY TRADE TO GATHER AT IJL 2019 IN LONDON

One of the key jewelry markets to watch over the coming months is that of the United Kingdom. With an estimated annual value of £3.3bn at the end of 2018, it nonetheless is being rocked by incidents not of its making, with the most prominent being Brexit. No wonder then that the country’s most important jewelry show, International Jewellery London (IJL), is one of the industry’s most keenly anticipated events. This year, it will be held September 1 to 3.

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ALROSA MAKING A PLAY TO BECOME WORLD’S LARGEST FANCY COLORED DIAMOND SUPPLIER

Alrosa, the Russian state-controlled mining company that for most the past decade has been the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, is positioning itself to also be the leading supplier of fancy colored stones, aiming to capture the position held since the mid-1990s by Argyle, the Western Australian producer that earlier this year announced that it would be ending mining operations.

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WHILE ROUGH DIAMOND PURCHASES PLUMMET, PRODUCERS AND MARKET REMAIN CALM AND COLLECTED

Alrosa announced an almost 50 percent fall in the sales of rough stone in July. Its moves mirrored that De Beers, which at the end of the July reported that its sixth sales cycle was down 53 percent from the amount sold during the sixth cycle in 2018. But despite the dramatic slowdown in the volume of new supply entering the pipeline, there is not an air of panic, neither in the market or among rough diamond producers.

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DIAMONDS AND JEWELRY BECOMING COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN U.S.-CHINA TRADE WAR

Members of the American jewelry trade who had believed they had dodged a bullet in the escalating trade war between the United States and China seem to have had their hopes dashed with the most recent decision by President Donald Trump to impose a 10 percent levy on those products imported by China that weren’t covered in earlier three rounds of tariffs.

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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN REPORTS GAINING IN POPULARITY IN THE DIAMOND TRADE

In the colored gemstone trade, the provenance of the article has long been of critical importance. While Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma) and Madagascar frequently produce top quality sapphires, if a stone was mined in the remote the Zanskar range of the Himalaya Mountains, allowing it to be referred as a Kashmir sapphire, it will almost undoubtedly fetch a high premium.

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COULD FINLAND BE THE SITE OF THE NEXT DIAMOND MOTHERLODE?

Picture a diamond mine, and one most likely conjures up image of a giant pit or underground shaft set against the backdrop of the sweltering African savannah. Who would think then that, in 2018, 42 percent of rough diamonds in terms of value and almost 45 percent in terms of volume mined in the frigid cold of Arctic region, in Russian or in Canada?

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RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY COUNCILS LOOKS TO RAISE PROFILE IN CONSUMER MARKETS

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which in 2020 will celebrate the 15th year since its establishment, is planning a program that it intends will to raise the profile of the organization’s code of ethical business practices among jewelry consumers. The program will not only emphasize that an item of jewelry and each of its components sold by an RJC member has been sourced responsibly, but also that they contribute to the fulfillment of the United Nation’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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A LUXURY INDUSTRY PAYS FORWARD

“Pay It Forward,” an American romantic move released in 2000, tells the story of child who conceives of a plan to build a better world, by which the recipient of a favor does in turn do a favor for three others, rather than paying the original favor back. It is a concept that is being translated into reality in the luxury product industries, which over the years have acquired much of their raw materials from developing countries, where few people would be able to purchase the products they sell. The idea is that they initiate capacity building projects in projects that not only provide direct revenues, but also build capacity so that sustainable economic opportunities are created.

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DIAMONDS FROM THE SEA

A good deal of fuss was made earlier this year when an article in a scientific journal defended the hypothesis that a large percentage of the natural diamonds that have been discovered on earth were created from organic materials on the seabed that, millions of years ago, were drawn deep into the red-hot mantle of the planet through the movement of tectonic plates. Diamonds, the article suggested, are essentially the remains of sea creatures and marine vegetation that had been transformed through a combination of high pressures and temperatures into crystalline carbon – or in other words, diamonds.

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QUESTION OF WHAT CONSTITUTE ‘CONFLICT DIAMOND’ STILL DOMINATES DEBATE IN KIMBERLEY PROCESS

Members of government, the diamond and jewelry industry and human rights groups gathered in the Indian city of Mumbai, June 17-21, for the first of two Kimberley Process (KP) meetings that will be hosted in the country this year. India is the current chair of the KP, which is the multinational coalition established in 2000 to prevent the infiltration of conflict diamonds into the legitimate diamond pipeline.

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