Pink Star achieves world record price for any diamond sold at auctionHONG KONG, April 2017 - Sotheby’s set a new world auction record for any diamond or jewel when the Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond, sold for HK$553 million / US$71.2 million on April 4 2017. The Pink Star was acquired by renowned jeweller Chow Tai Fook, with the winning telephone bid placed by Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, Chairman of the company.The Pink Star has been renamed the CTF Pink in memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook, and commemorates the brand’s 88th anniversary."It is fitting that the owner of the most prestigious jeweller in Greater China should today break the record for the most valuable item ever sold in Asia as well as the most valuable diamond ever sold at auction - now appropriately named the CTF Pink - said Sotheby's President and CEO Tad Smith, adding, "Sotheby's has been honoured and thrilled to serve this very discerning client for many years."David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, added: “This magnificently beautiful diamond has been rightfully crowned the most valuable gemstone ever sold at auction. The price has more than doubled the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond that we set just last year in Geneva.”The CTF Pink joins a number of outstanding stones in the collection of Chow Tai Fook including the Aurora Green, a 5.03-carat vivid green diamond acquired in 2016 for HK$130 million / US$16.8 million, an auction record for a green diamond, and the Cullinan Heritage, an exceptionally rare 507-carat rough diamond acquired for HK$275 million / US$35.3 million in 2010 that was cut and polished over three years to create “A Heritage in Bloom”, a unique masterpiece of diamond jewellery.Mellen Inc., Sotheby's partner in The Pink Star, said, “Mellen is privileged to have had the opportunity to partner with Sotheby's in auctioning The Pink Star and congratulates its new owner on purchasing one of Earth's most magnificent natural treasures. We are grateful to Sotheby's for their stewardship as we continue our tradition of providing extraordinary gems to the world's most distinguished clientele.”The Pink Star (renamed the CTF Pink), a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut pink diamond, is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.It has received the highest colour and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds and has been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds - known as Type IIa: stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency.Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 132.5- carat rough diamond was meticulously cut and polished over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone.
Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels on tour before May auctionGeneva, April 2, 2017 – Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels will take place on 17 May at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, where some 250 exceptional jewels await collectors from around the globe. Ahead of the auction, highlights will tour to Hong Kong from 30 March to 2 April, followed by a stop in London from 10-12 April.The jewels will be exhibited for a long stretch in New York, from 21-25 April and from 5-8 May alongside the 20th Century Art preview, before they return to Geneva.The highlights on view will include a 92 carat D Flawless heart shaped diamond pendant, signed by Boehmer et Bassenge. The Maison de Haute Joaillerie was launched last year and named in honour of Charles Boehmer and Paul Bassenge, Parisian jewellers of the 18th century.Working exclusively with a handful of large, D colour, Flawless clarity diamonds of perfect polish and symmetry, combined with years of experience and preparation, the Maison Boehmer et Bassenge creates exceptional pieces of jewellery in honour of the craftsmanship of their eponym.With an uncompromising attitude to quality, just a few pieces are produced each year. Having sold the first unique jewels in 2016, Christie’s will present two further pieces this spring in Geneva.
Sotheby’s to auction “The Pink Star” in Hong Kong on April 4Estimate in excess of $60 millionHONG KONG, March 20, 2016 - Sotheby’s has said that The Pink Star will lead its sales of magnificent jewels and jadeite in Hong Kong on 4 April 2017. Estimated in excess of US$60 million / HK$468 million, this 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut pink diamond is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.Announcing the forthcoming sale of The Pink Star, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, said: “At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in coloured diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market.“The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of colour, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history.”QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman, Asia, and Chairman International Jewellery, Asia, said, “Over the years Sotheby’s Hong Kong has played host to many outstanding stones and sales; including the 118.28-carat oval D-colour flawless diamond sold in October 2013, the still-current world auction record for any white diamond, as well as the fancy vivid blue 10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which set a record for any jewel sold at auction in Asia in April 2016.“The market for the world’s finest diamonds and gem stones remains buoyant and Sotheby’s Hong Kong is honoured to present at auction the Pink Star this spring following these world records.”
Sotheby’s to auction 8-carat Sky Blue Diamond in Geneva in NovemberOctober 2016 - Sotheby’s has unveiled an outstanding and extremely rare Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring by Cartier. Weighing 8.01 carats, this mesmerising stone has been named ‘The Sky Blue Diamond’, emphasising its highly sought-after hue.Estimated at $15-25 million, this most majestic of gems is one of the star lots of Sotheby’s Geneva Jewellery sale on 16 November.Describing the diamond, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said, “The Sky Blue Diamond is of a wonderfully clear celestial blue, presented in an extremely elegant square emerald cut – in my view, the most flattering of all the cuts for a coloured diamond. This important gem will, I am sure, captivate all collectors of exceptional gemstones.”EXCEPTIONAL COLOUR AND CUT‘The Sky Blue Diamond’ has been graded Fancy Vivid Blue by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – the highest possible colour grading, awarded to no more than 1% of blue diamonds submitted to the GIA. It was also found to have excellent polish and to be of Type IIb, a rare category which represents less than 0.5 % of all diamonds.BLUE DIAMONDS AT SOTHEBY’SWithin the past two years alone, Sotheby’s has twice set a new world record auction price for a blue diamond, most recently with the only diamond or gemstone in auction history to have exceeded $4 million per carat, the Blue Moon of Josephine (sold for $48.5 million ($4,028,941 per carat) in November 2015).
Bonhams presents Fine Jewelry auction in New York on October 14NEW YORK, October 3, 2016 – Bonhams presents the Fine Jewelry auction on Oct. 14 in New York, with items from an important Oregon collection as the lead lots. The collection comprises nine important diamond and gem-set jewels created by the renowned William Goldberg.Among this collection is an important diamond rivière necklace (estimate U.S. $150,000-200,000) by Goldberg, who started his career as a diamond cutter, only to establish himself as one of the most recognizable names in the industry. This necklace is of graduated design, set with oval brilliant-cut diamonds. The largest diamond weighing at 5.02 cts, with a total diamond weight of 63.66 cts — mounted in platinum.Also on offer are an oval-cut diamond bracelet en suite, composed of 36.21 cts (estimate U.S. $80-120,000), and an important emerald and diamond bracelet, set with extremely well-matched Colombian emeralds with minor enhancement (estimate U.S. $50,000-80,000).With several colored diamond selections on the block, yellow is a dominant colour in the sale. These include a ring set with a cushion-cut fancy yellow diamond weighing 10.02 cts, framed by round brilliant-cut diamonds (estimate U.S. $130,000-150,000), and fancy intense yellow diamond ring, centre weighing 5.64 cts, surrounded by a baguette-cut ballerina frame (estimate U.S. $55,000-75,000).In this sale, beautiful and natural salt water pearls are found in an important triple strand pearl necklace (estimate U.S. $150,000-250,000) and pair of 1960s natural pearl and diamond ear pendants by Bulgari (estimate U.S. $60,000-80,000).
BLOG FROM THE GENEVA MAY 2016 MAGNIFICENT JEWELLERY AUCTIONSChristie’s Oppenheimer Blue diamond sale achieves world record for any jewel sold at auction; highlights potential of extremely rare diamonds as asset class GENEVA, May 19, 2016 - The sale of the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond for 56.8 million Swiss francs (US$57.5 million) by Christie’s in Geneva set a world record for any jewel sold at auction, highlighting the strong potential for investment in extremely rare diamonds as a collectible asset class. A bidding war between two telephone bidders lasted over half an hour until the auctioneer’s hammer concluded the sale on May 18, triggering a spontaneous burst of applause from an enthralled crowd packed into the auction room in the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva. The Oppenheimer Blue is named after Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who was a previous owner of the gemstone, the largest and finest Fancy Vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction. The sale price of the Oppenheimer Blue eclipsed that of the Blue Moon, sold at Sotheby’s Geneva auction in November for US$46.5 million, signalling continuing very strong buyer interest in rare, magnificent blue diamonds. “The Oppenheimer Blue is the best blue that I have ever seen,” Oded Mansori of R.D.H. Diamonds told Jewellery Outlook on the sidelines of the auction after the sale. Some diamond traders said they felt that the Oppenheimer Blue had the potential to achieve an even higher price, because of the superb quality of the stone and its extreme rarity. On May 17 in Geneva, the 15.38-carat Unique Pink was sold at auction by Sotheby’s for US$31.6 million (estimate US$28-38 million), a record for a stone of its type, to an Asian buyer. Ehud Laniado, chairman of Cora International, the seller of the Unique Pink, said the sale underlined the huge interest in extremely rare and magnificent natural colour diamonds. He said diamonds can achieve excellent investment returns if they are supremely rare and beautiful. “The big players are not looking at a diamond just as a jewel, but as an asset that has resale value,” he told Jewellery Outlook in an interview in the Beau Rivage hotel the day after the sale there of the Unique Pink. Laniado said that extraordinary diamonds had the potential in future years to achieve hundreds of millions of dollars, and in some cases had been under-valued compared to the astonishing prices achieved recently for the most exceptional rare art. Tobias Kormind, managing director of 77Diamonds.com, told Jewellery Outlook that in his view collectors should hold onto their top tier diamonds for around a decade before considering re-introducing them to the market. He said that in his opinion, the new owner of the Oppenheimer Blue ought to maintain the name of the diamond because of its fabulous provenance through its link to the Oppenheimer family, who were the owners of De Beers for many years. Kormind said the market for rare diamonds had great potential, but would be limited by new supply. “There are more and more billionaires coming to the market,” he said, adding, “There is always the possibility of another discovery.”
Sotheby’s to auction 1,109-carat “Lesedi la Rona” in London on June 29LONDON, May 2016 - Sotheby’s has said that it will auction the 1,109-carat “Lesedi la Rona” – the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in over a century and the largest rough diamond in existence today – in a standalone sale in London on 29 June 2016. Estimated to achieve in excess of $70 million, the Lesedi la Rona (“Our Light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana) was uncovered by Lucara Diamond Corp. in November 2015, at their Karowe mine in Botswana. Around the size of a tennis ball (measuring approximately 66.4 x 55 x 42 mm), this colossal rough diamond of exceptional transparency and quality is around 2.5 to over 3 billion years old. Diamonds have been mined continuously for centuries in multiple locations around the world and yet nothing of the size and quality of Lesedi La Rona has been found in over 100 years. In terms of its size, the rough is exceeded only by the legendary Cullinan Diamond, mined in South Africa in 1905. The 3,016.75-carat Cullinan Diamond produced nine major diamonds that are part of the historic Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, including the Great Star of Africa – currently the largest top-quality polished diamond in existence, weighing 530.20 carats. According to a study by the Gemological Institute of America, the Lesedi La Rona’s “top colour and transparency exemplify the ‘limpid’ appearance commonly associated with type IIa diamonds” – a rare and coveted subgroup which comprises less than 2% of all gem diamonds. Stones in this group are “the most chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency". Independent reports on the potential yield of the rough have also stated that the Lesedi la Rona may have the potential to yield the largest top-quality diamond that has ever been cut and polished. These reports have also stated that there is a high probability that the resulting polished diamonds will be “D” colour – the highest colour classification for white diamonds. David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, said: “The Lesedi la Rona is simply outstanding and its discovery is the find of a lifetime. It is a huge honour for Sotheby’s to have been entrusted with its sale. Every aspect of this auction is unprecedented. Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction”. William Lamb, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lucara Diamond Corp., said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Sotheby’s on this landmark auction. Lucara has made innovation the cornerstone of its development strategy and this has led to the historic recovery of the Lesedi La Rona diamond. The forthcoming sale presents a unique opportunity to present this extraordinary diamond to a worldwide audience.” The Lesedi la Rona will be on view at Sotheby’s New York on 7 May, and at Sotheby’s London from 18 until 28 June, ahead of its auction in the evening of 29 June.
Christie’s Geneva to auction Oppenheimer Blue diamond in MayGENEVA, April 2016 - Christie’s presents the Oppenheimer Blue, the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever offered at auction. Weighing 14.62 carats, this exceptional stone will lead Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels, held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues on May 18, 2016. This exceptional blue diamond, named in honour of its previous owner Sir Philip Oppenheimer, is estimated at US$38-45 million. ‘On May 18th, Christie’s will present the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever seen,” said Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery. “This stunning Fancy Vivid Blue rectangular-cut gem promises to create a media sensation as it travels around the world, fascinating both collectors and gem enthusiasts alike, before it makes its way to the auction block in Geneva.”
Sotheby’s Geneva to auction ”Unique Pink” diamond in MayGENEVA, April 2016 - Sotheby’s Spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels will be led by the spectacular “Unique Pink”, a supremely rare and exceptional Fancy Vivid Pink diamond weighing 15.38 carats. In addition to receiving the highest possible colour grading for a pink diamond from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the “Unique Pink” has been found to be Type IIa, displaying “exceedingly pure structure”. The stone’s exquisite pear shape and brilliant cut accentuate its exceptional saturation, placing it in a rarefied category even among the world’s most beautiful diamonds. The “Unique Pink” will be offered at auction in Geneva on 17 May with a pre-sale estimate of $28-38 million (CHF 27.2m – 36.9m). Announcing the sale of the “Unique Pink”, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term ‘Vivid Pink’ than this outstanding stone. The colour is simply astonishing and, for its size, it is in my experience truly unique.”
Hong Kong buyer acquires Blue Moon for $48.4 million, world record price for gemstone at auctionGENEVA, November 12, 2015 – The Blue Moon, an extremely rare and flawless 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, was sold at Sotheby’s Geneva to a Hong Kong buyer for a world record price for a gemstone at auction of $48.4 million. In an exhilarating two-way bidding war at the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva on November 11, the audience gasped as the bids moved ever higher into world record territory, and a loud round of applause in the packed hall followed when the hammer came down on the sale to the Hong Kong buyer. The previous record belonged to the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which sold for $46.20 million in November 2010. The Blue Moon, later renamed the “Blue Moon of Josephine” by the Hong Kong buyer, set a world record for any jewel at more than $4 million per carat. The previous day, a Chinese client based in Hong Kong bought an extraordinary 16.08-carat Vivid Fancy pink diamond at a Christie’s auction in Geneva for $28.55 million, above the estimate. This was a world record for any pink diamond ever offered at auction. Diamond dealers had said that they believed that the cushion-shaped Blue Moon would likely be sold at its estimated price of $35-55 million, or higher, because it is seldom that diamonds of such rarity and high quality come to the market. Previously, the highest price paid for any blue diamond sold at auction was $32.6 million for the Zoe Diamond in November 2014. As a store of value, the world's most magnificent and collectable diamonds and gemstones have proven to be bulletproof investments in recent years, achieving world record prices per carat at auction. After the sale, Ehud Laniado, chairman of New York-based jeweller Cora International LLC, the seller of the stone, said: “The Blue Moon diamond is a true gift of nature. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has graded 400 blue diamonds and only four have been graded vivid blue. “So even amongst this extremely rare class of blue diamonds, to find one Vivid Blue diamond which is over 12 carats and internally flawless, really only happens once in a blue moon.”
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RUGBY, England, March 26, 2020 - The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has appointed a new Managing Director, Emmet Cummins, who will join the UK and Ireland’s largest buying group on 20 April, 2020.Emmet is an experienced business leader with a proven track record of successfully devising and delivering business strategies.He joins the CMJ from The Watches of Switzerland Group, where he has worked for almost 10 years, most recently as Group Head of Business Services.Within this role Emmet was responsible for the leadership of retail service areas including insurance valuation and replacement, product repairs and services for some of the UK’s leading General Insurance providers.He was also responsible for establishing additional routes to market via partnerships with key B2B affiliates. He has previously worked in management positions at Vodafone Global Enterprise and Molson Coors Brewing.On his appointment as Managing Director of the CMJ, Emmet said: “I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to join the CMJ team, particularly at this unprecedented time when the membership of the CMJ requires as much advice and guidance as possible.“I am determined to work with the Board and the leadership team to ensure we give as much support as we can to each member through this challenging period so that their respective businesses and teams are best equipped to navigate this time of uncertainty.“Having been in the industry for nearly 10 years, I have always admired what the independent jewellery market has to offer.“I firmly believe it deserves its place on the high street and once we’ve cleared the current climate, it will be my objective to continue to focus on enabling the membership to successfully develop and grow their businesses.”Michael Aldridge, Chairman of the CMJ, added: “The jewellery industry is going through unprecedented challenges as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.“We are confident that Emmet is the right person to lead the group through these times of uncertainty by offering vital support to all of our members. CMJ members should not feel alone in this.”
By David BroughLONDON, March 28, 2020 - Most jewels should be seen as emotional treasures rather than as investments. Investment jewels are a niche characterised by supreme rarity and exceptional beauty.Most jewels should not be considered as investments because margins are high compared to costs of production, and the raw materials in many items sold on the high street are not rare.Retailers urge customers to see jewellery as items of beauty, or emotional gifts, whether they are bridal or anniversary pieces or to mark Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day“Advising clients, predominantly in a retail capacity, I would caution against purchasing jewellery as a financial investment,” said Helen Dimmick, industry consultant and retail ambassador of the UK’s National Association of Jewellers (NAJ).“With transparency, but without specific detail, I would outline the pricing structure of stock investments, supply and demand, overhead costs etc and the required retail mark-up that would significantly reduce the future profit potential.”Helen added: “However, within this framework jewellery is predominantly an emotional investment. From the cost of a bouquet of flowers an alternative item of jewellery can be purchased for which the use and memories will last a lifetime.“The key to maximising this emotional significance depends upon unlocking the potential storytelling opportunity and the relevance of each precious gemstone, metal and design for every occasion. At this point the emotional value return negates any cost implications.”When is jewellery an investment?Extremely rare and beautiful pieces of jewellery, featuring exquisite craftsmanship and large natural untreated gemstones, can be seen as investments.The key to jewellery being an investment is quality, size and time, says Jason Hirsh, director of high jewellery retailer Hirsh London, located on Grafton Street, just off Bond Street. [caption id="attachment_16965" align="aligncenter" width="541"] Sotheby's[/caption] “As with anything in life, if you buy it and want to sell it the next day, you will not see a return on your investment. If you are not in a rush and look after your piece of jewellery, in 10+ years, you will be realising your investment especially if you have followed the following guidelines,” Jason said.“In order to purchase a piece of jewellery that will grow in monetary value, look for a piece with significantly sized gemstones as a necklace of 30 carats of 0.01-carat diamonds will never appreciate in value like a 10-carat diamond solitaire pendant. This rule works for all precious gemstones.”Jason added: “Quality is a must as you will not realise a profit on a poor colour gemstone full of inclusions. A clear gem, however, in perfect colour will see your returns come back many times over but this must be a natural gem without treatments.“Synthetic gemstones, beryllium and fractured filled stones will not bring a return on your investment whatsoever.”Apart from gemstones, gold jewellery is traditionally regarded as a “safe haven”, often jumping in price during times of geopolitical turmoil: bullion prices surged to the highest level in more than seven years in March 2020 due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, for example.In an increasingly uncertain world, 18-carat or 22-carat gold jewellery can be seen as a protector of wealth because of the value of the precious metal on commodity markets.Gold jewellery can be taken to a jewellery shop and scrapped as prices of the yellow metal hit highs.No one can be sure when a stock market bubble may burst or when the next global financial crisis will take place.In March 2020, following a prolonged rally, stock markets entered bear territory due to fears coronavirus could drive the global economy into recession.Rare and beautiful fine jewels can appeal as safe-haven stores of value when other assets fall, and may retain their value in real terms if inflation jumps.Supplies of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, are under pressure due to finite availability and rising demand as incomes and populations grow over the long term.As the incomes of the wealthiest people rise in leading fine jewellery markets such as the United States, China and India, the demand outlook for high jewellery will remain buoyant over the long term.India, which has an expanding middle class comprising hundreds of millions of people, is one of the most dynamic high jewellery markets, with a culture that traditionally embraces gold jewellery.China and India have alternated as the world’s number 1 and 2 consumers of gold, and the strong pace of economic growth of the two countries, notwithstanding coronavirus, is likely to underpin future consumption.“Magnificent” jewellery auctionsThe most visible investment arena for jewellery is the high-value auctions market.At the leading sales of so-called “magnificent jewellery” in Geneva, Hong Kong and New York, extremely rare signed pieces have seen fiercely competitive bidding, notably for heirlooms.Provenance – or the unique story -- of a piece of jewellery can greatly enhance value.In November 2018 a pearl pendant that had belonged to ill-fated French Queen Marie-Antoinette achieved an all-time high price for a pearl of $36 million, a huge multiple of its pre-sale estimate of $1-2 million. [caption id="attachment_16964" align="aligncenter" width="471"] Sotheby's[/caption] The extraordinary provenance of this pearl – its ties to the last Queen of France, an Austrian Archduchess who married the future King Louis XVI and was executed by guillotine – was a key driver of the sale price.“It is extremely difficult to calculate how much the provenance will add to the value of a piece of jewellery, and in this case much of the price achieved for the pearl pendant was due to its story relating to Marie-Antoinette,” Daniela Mascetti, Chairman Jewellery Europe of Sotheby’s, said after the sale.Some collectors believe that the world record price of $71 million achieved by the 59.60-carat Pink Star diamond at Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong in April 2017, was a bargain for the buyer, Chinese jeweller Chow Tai Fook.The oval Pink Star smashed the record price for any diamond sold at auction following a brief bidding battle.The justification for such a price was rarity and beauty.The previous world record-holder for a diamond sold at auction was a blue diamond — the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, which fetched $57.5 million at a Christie’s auction in Geneva in May 2016. Asian buyers have figured prominently in purchases of magnificent rare diamonds in the past few years, such as Hong Kong property tycoon Joseph Lau who bought the Blue Moon – another fabulous blue diamond — for a then world record price of $48 million in 2015.Art DecoIn jewellery investment, high jewels from certain periods have performed better than others.Art Deco pieces from the 1920s and 1930s, for example, have seen exceptional demand at recent auctions, as collectors are captivated by the unique designs of that era.Another popular period is the Belle Époque, an age of optimism before the First World War.Signed, or branded, jewels are more collectable than unbranded pieces, with certain houses much sought after, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bulgari.Tiaras have outperformed in the auctions market, helped by Meghan Markle’s decision to wear a diamond tiara at her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be seen as investment advice.
By David BroughMarch 27, 2020 – Gemmologist Rui Galopim de Carvalho, in a webinar for locked down gem aficionados, outlined Brazil’s history as a diamond origin and as a source of extremely rare red diamonds.His well-attended webinar on March 27, an educational and entertainment highlight for gem lovers self-isolating at home, noted that, following the early exploitation of diamonds in India, Brazil was the world’s largest diamond producer until 1866. Many Portuguese royal jewels feature Brazilian diamonds.Brazil was also the origin of the 5.11-carat diamond now known as the Moussaieff Red, as well as the 0.95-carat Fancy purplish red Hancock Red.Red diamonds are among the rarest and most prized by collectors.Rui’s ongoing webinar schedule can be found via his Instagram and Facebook pages.
March 25, 2020 - Considering the current situation surrounding COVID-19 the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) has taken the decision to postpone the Summit until the summer of 2021.The Summit was due to take place from Saturday 20th to Monday 22nd June at the De Vere Staverton Park Estate in Northamptonshire. However, the event will now be held on the 19th to the 21st June 2021.Simon Forrester, NAJ Chief Executive, said:“We’re disappointed to have to postpone the Summit and all the events taking place within it. However, in the current circumstances, this is the right decision for all.“We will now liaise with speakers as well as other contributors in the industry to build a webinar series that members can tap into during the current situation. More details on that in due course.”Events that are incorporated into the Summit, include the Valuers Conference hosted by the IRV, the Retail Jewellers’ Congress hosted by the Jet Business Network (JBN) and seminars on Better Business, Created in the UK and SecurityWise, all of which had published overview programmes including themes and speakers.Along with supporting organisations, NAJ will now plan a series of webinars to support members develop knowledge and understanding in key areas, which will appear in the NAJ what’s on calendar.The Association continues to update members and supporters on the latest government coronavirus updates as well as highlight what support is available for the industry through its dedicated coronavirus news page, as well as ongoing news bulletins to its mailing list.
March 25, 2020 - Award-winning London-based jewellery designer Alexander Davis, who has a showroom on Duke Street near Selfridges, has like other UK jewellers shut his retail premises and is now working from home. A well-planned digital strategy will be essential for businesses to thrive through the coronavirus pandemic, he tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.Alexander, what are your plans for your workshop?During this lockdown I have transferred my workshop and stock to my home in Hampshire so that I can carry on making commissions and fulfilling online purchases and I am using technology such as WhatsApp and video conferencing to stay in contact with customers and colleagues.It will also be a good opportunity to work on new concepts and designs. I have a lot of interesting ideas in the pipeline and will be spending the time wisely!!As your customers self-isolate, will you be boosting your digital and social marketing activities and online retail presence?I think it’s important to stay in touch with your customers and use this opportunity to develop your digital strategy.I want to get customers thinking about the possibilities for their next commissions so I’ll be sending out newsletters with lots of cool ideas for pieces of jewellery. How do you see the UK jewellery sector transforming as a result of this crisis? What messages should the sector be sending out to consumers?There will certainly be an increase in online marketing and jewellers with a strong online presence already stand in good stead to maximise this opportunity.I think in these difficult times people should treasure what makes them happy and can brighten their lives, and having jewels that are crafted with love and care can have a very positive effect.www.alexanderdavisjewellery.com
WEBINAR - Customer service key as jewellers regroup in response to coronavirus
By David BroughMarch 24, 2020 - Delivering exemplary customer service will be at the heart of rebuilding and rebranding jewellery businesses around the world in response to coronavirus, consultant Helen Dimmick said in a Jewellery Outlook webinar.Link to Webinar replay: Outlook with Helen DimmickAddressing ways for the jewellery industry to tackle the lockdown and move forward as businesses, Helen, a former retailer and former interim business leader of the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), a buying group, said delivering an authentic, demonstratively different, customer-focused identity was crucial.Helen’s message was part of a media-driven digital effort to support the global jewellery industry, with Jeweller Outlook in the vanguard.In the first of a series of webinars on Jewellery Outlook, this taster session celebrated the need to make bold business decisions in the face of adversity triggered by the pandemic.As jewellery stores are shuttered, how to positively utilise what feels like a new surplus of time, will be at the forefront of jewellers’ minds.“Isolation should not spell the end of innovation,” Helen said.“Virtual and digital technologies can facilitate collective communications and opportunities to ‘think out of the box’ in addressing the fundamental changes ahead, in preparation for a return of footfall to the high street amidst a potential burst of pent-up demand.”Helen addressed an audience of almost 200 people from the global jewellery trade in the Jewellery Outlook webinar, presenting a UK branding case study to encourage dialogue and innovation, ideas and hope, as many retailers switch immediately from an in-store to an online drive.“Crucially this is just the beginning. The platform has sought and received feedback to direct future content strategically,” Helen said.Jewellery Outlook will be staging more webinars on specific themes relating to the industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks from Helen and other industry leaders.Here is a link to the recorded webinar:https://jewelleryoutlook.com/?wswebinars=outlook-with-helen-dimmick
March 26, 2020 - Paola De Luca, a well-known Creative Director and Strategist who has presented jewellery analysis at trade events around the world, will give a free webinar on Jewellery Outlook on Monday, March 30, 2020, entitled “CRACKS: Reshaping the Global Jewellery Industry”, looking at how the jewellery business has changed through the crisis and the best ways forward, including product trends and online strategies. Paola here gives a few insights to Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.Please pre-register via this link: Outlook with Paola Webinar https://jewelleryoutlook.com/?wswebinars=outlook-with-paola-de-luca&page=registerin order to join the webinar, “CRACKS: Reshaping the Global Jewellery Industry”, at 11 am UK time on Monday, March 30, 2020. Paola, what will be the key focus of your webinar?I will discuss how the current crisis will reshape the future of the jewellery business. This is a public service broadcast for the global jewellery industry on Jewellery Outlook.I will discuss how the closure of brick-and-mortar jewellery shops – from the UK to Italy and India -- will lead to big shifts in digital marketing, and I will give a glimpse of key trends and product and consumer directions.Who should join the webinar?I want the webinar to be highly interactive and I will welcome questions. Anyone who works in the global jewellery -- or luxury -- trade will be welcome to join, whether they work in a small independent retail shop or for a great international house like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels.How will the global jewellery landscape change due to coronavirus?My talk is called “CRACKS” because it is inspired by the fault lines that disrupt the Luxury industry as it evolves in new directions across global society.There will be a fundamental reshaping of the industry. Those with the most focused and comprehensive digital and social media marketing strategies will survive and flourish. Old brick-and-mortar style business models will need to rapidly gear up their digital strategies to reach out to people who are locked down at home.While there will be less immediate demand for jewellery at the height of this crisis, as people will be focusing on their families’ health, I predict that as the crisis ends, there will be a burst of pent-up demand for jewellery.People will appreciate the reassurance and emotional well-being that jewellery gives.I wish to instil a strong sentiment of hope as things will get better – the industry will restructure, and will need to step up storytelling and powerful emotional messages to consumers. Paola De Luca is head of The Futurist, a luxury market intelligence agency. She is the Founder of the Trend Vision Jewellery & Forecasting independent observatory of IEG, Italy.Paola has over 20 years’ experience as a leading luxury and jewellery industry creative director and strategist. She is well-known for her public speaking at trade events and for spearheading editorial projects, such as her latest book published by Rizzoli: “Farah Khan: A Bejewelled Life.”https://thefuturist-pdlg.com/
The market for extremely high end, exceptionally rare investment diamonds is expected to be largely impervious to the coronavirus pandemic, iSparkle’s founder and CEO Ilan Kaplan tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.iSparkle is a fast-growing Johannesburg-based maverick diamond manufacturer, a nimble operation with a network of worldwide clients including jewellery houses and the biggest diamond dealers in New York and Hong Kong secured since its launch in August 2018. Q. How will the coronavirus pandemic affect the market for rare and exquisite investment diamonds?Ilan Kaplan: I do not believe that the market for rare and exquisite investment diamonds will be affected at all as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic. While there might be a temporary liquidity squeeze in these markets, I do not foresee these prices coming down at all. I think it's also important how we define “exquisite investment diamonds”. For me, the definition would be expensive, super rare, top end coloured diamonds.By virtue of the fact that these natural resources are so rare and so sought after, the value would be immune to short-medium term ripples in the world financial markets. The value of these items is not determined by simple economic supply/demand fundamentals but rather by the inherent value of such a rare natural resource.Just think back to the Wittelsbach Blue diamond, which in December 2008, when the world was in the midst of a financial crisis, sold for $24.3 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a diamond.The sale of this 35.56 carat fancy deep grayish blue VS2 diamond, with its combination of rarity and royal provenance, made headlines round the world. Q. What impact will the recent big cuts in interest rates, the slide in stock markets and the surge in the gold price have on demand for rare diamonds?Ilan Kaplan: I see the current macro-economic conditions being a huge support for the demand for rare and exquisite investment diamonds.Substantial amounts of cash have been freed up by the significant liquidation of equities and other tradeable assets around the world.Interest rates are being taken to zero or close to zero in most of the developed world and the only seemingly safe asset class presenting itself at the moment is the US Dollar, but with yields close to zero.Enter a US Dollar denominated asset class which has performed very well over time and is immune to most financial market fluctuations – rare and exquisite investment diamonds. It is imperative that potential investors understand three crucial points. Firstly, that purchasing these items from reputable sources is of the utmost importance.Secondly, investors must feel that they are getting the fair and correct market prices for them.And thirdly, it is also crucial that investors understand the bid/ask spread when it comes to making such an investment.This would be defined as the difference between the purchase price and the inherent value of the diamond, the difference being the supplier's mark-up.It is therefore vital to understand that such an investment would be for the long term. At iSparkle, we are very well positioned to take care of our clients in this regard. As well as trading in the wholesale diamond market, iSparkle also looks after high net worth individuals and asset managers who are looking for alternative asset classes.We bring both diamond and financial market knowledge and experience to the table and are therefore perfectly equipped to advise clients as to the best investment diamond for their particular needs.Most of our diamonds come straight from the source, are cut and polished by us and transferred on to our clients with minimum difference between the client's purchase price and the inherent value of the diamond.We hold our clients’ hands (after much hand-sanitizing!) and advise them in making the best long-term investment decision when purchasing high value, exquisite diamonds. Q. Which types of investment diamonds will be the most resilient?Ilan Kaplan: Most of the world’s diamonds would not qualify to be defined as investment diamonds. Most diamonds are a store of wealth which demonstrate very little capital growth over time.When purchasing a diamond for investment purposes, it is crucial to receive the correct advice from a trusted source so that the asset purchased will not only store wealth but so that this wealth will grow over the lifetime of the investment.The most resilient investment diamonds over time have proven to be super rare, top end coloured diamonds.Even within this category, it would be prudent to match the correct item with the individual investment requirement.Investors have different budgets and different requirements as far as duration of the investment is concerned.Just last week we looked after a high net worth family who were looking to invest in a rare diamond and we suggested to them a rare pink stone. Q. What will be the impact on the market for investment diamonds of the cancellation of trade fairs and risks that physical high-value auction gatherings may be cancelled too? Will trade in top tier diamonds shift increasingly online?Ilan Kaplan: I believe that the market for high end investment diamonds is made through relationships between investor and supplier.The general wholesale diamond trade will need to adapt to a new normal in this fast-changing world.There will definitely be more trade online as most of these items have been standardised and commoditised with prices being determined by supply and demand.When it comes to expensive investment grade diamonds, it is difficult to imagine an extensive investment being made without seeing the actual item.Plans can be made to send the diamonds over to the client for inspection prior to the investment decision being taken. I don’t see the actual trading in the top tier items going online but rather I believe relationships will be managed less face-to-face and more online. iSparkle:iSparkle sources rough diamonds in Africa, cuts and polishes them and sells them to the leading players in the diamond wholesale markets. iSparkle specialises in diamonds which are 3 carats plus, and in yellow, pink and blue diamonds. The company is committed to savvy sourcing and competitive pricing, while outsourcing manufacturing to the best factories for any particular diamond.iSparkle’s founder and CEO Ilan Kaplan is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) who is rooted in the African diamond industry and a former chairman of the South African Diamond Manufacturers Association.He is one of the world’s most well-qualified experts in large natural diamonds, because he spent over a decade running the South African operations of one the world’s most successful and high-profile diamond manufacturing companies.