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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Several Country Pavilions At Jewellery & Gem Fair — Europe


The third edition of Jewellery & Gem Fair – Europe will include pavilions from ACODES (Colombia),Germany, Hong Kong, IBGM (Brazil), Italy, Mauritius and Thailand.

“We are glad to receive continuous support from group pavilions, all of them have participated since the first edition of JGF Europe,” said Ms Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia. The trade fair will be held from March 19 to 22, 2016, occupying 19,000 square meters of exhibition space at Messe Freiburg, Germany.

As of December more than 70 suppliers have confirmed participation under the Germany Pavilion, Lau said. They include Gerstner August GmbH &Co KG, a supplier of wedding rings, and Bialonczyk Gemstones & Melopearls, which will showcase a €200,000 ($217,633)—melo pearl ring with a special mechanism. 

Thailand pavilion returns with suppliers that include Laj Enterprises Ltd Partnership and Pamir Gems Co Ltd. Laj Enterprises Ltd Partnership will showcase jewelry made of sterling silver and cubic zirconia—a category that was popular among buyers in the last edition, Lau said. Pamir Gems Co Ltd will offer a selection of pink and blue spinel. 

Exhibitors under the Hong Kong pavilion will offer well-designed and competitively priced jewelry products. The Italian Pavilion will feature nearly 30 suppliers offering red coral and other types of finished jewelry. ACODES pavilion is the place to source Colombian emeralds.

Exhibiting under the Hong Kong Pavilion, Christelle Ltd, will showcase 18k gold strappy rings with white diamonds. Gyso Pearls & Jewellery Limited, also in the Hong Kong pavilion, is a first-time participant at JGF Europe. The company will showcase south sea and fresh water pearls.

Visitor pre-registration for the Fair is now available at www.jgf-europe.com/pre-registration. Pre-registration enables visitors to avoid long lines at the registration counters and save the admission fee of €30.

UBM Asia is offering a free shuttle bus service running to Messe Freiburg throughout the fair’s four-day run. The timetable will be announced later. For updates, go to www.jgf-europe.com/shuttlebus

Deutschen Bahn AG is offering a special concession on train tickets (from € 99 and up) for visitors travelling from any German city to JGF Europe in Freiburg. Visit www.jgf-europe.com/train for booking details.

The Fair‘s Official Airline, Lufthansa Group Partner Airlines, will offer special air fares for attendees and exhibitors from Asia. Use access code CNZZQGC when making a reservation. 

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays


Once again much of the world is set to celebrate the holiday season. We at Jewelry News Network are hoping that your holidays are bright and cheery and that everyone gets what they want and, more importantly, need. 

Also, I hope you've all been good this year because Santa is watching. 


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Monday, December 21, 2015

The Final Countdown To Christmas, Here’s What Jewels To Buy


It’s the final week before Christmas and the folks at Jewelry News Network has put together a quick final guide to some last-minute jewels for the holidays. Jewels that is both beautiful and readily available, even online, with quick shipping. These seven exquisite items can change you from being a Christmas Scrooge to a holiday hero. There’s still time to order the following gifts online:

Alex Soldier Kisses 18k Gold Ring with Diamonds (top picture)
We are huge fans of Alex Soldier jewels and what better way to seal Christmas than with a kiss, especially if that kiss consists of a hand-made ring using 18k gold and pave diamonds. Available on the Neiman Marcus website for $2,820. 


Leibish & Co. Fancy Purple Pink Pear Shape Diamond Ring, (1.84Ct TW)
The company specializes in colored diamonds such as this 0.90ct Fancy Purple Pink Pear shaped diamond ring mounted in platinum and rose gold. Surrounded by a halo of pink and white diamonds and set between two pear shape stones. For more information about this item (including price) and others go to the Leibish & Co. website


Dannini Love Eternal Earrings
Jagged 19k white gold and white diamond earrings tailored made for the Christmas season. The versatile piece has removable extenders so it can be worn with the swirls alone. Available on the Dannini website for $19,990. 


Mary Esses Wave Cut Earrings with Diamonds
18k rose gold small wave earrings set with 0.70 ct. of white diamonds. Available on the Mary Esses website for 3,200. 


Gurhan 24k Gold Mango Link Necklace
The length of the 40-inch link necklace is adjustable. It comes with a handmade 22k lobster clasp. Pure gold is not only beautiful but is an investment. Available on the Gurhan website for $14,950.


Marco Bicego Five Strand Crossover Ring
18k yellow gold and diamonds, it is from the “Luce Collection,” which is in Italian is defined as "light" meaning lightness and luminous. Total diamond weight is 0.16 ct. Available on the Marco Bicego website for $2,790. 


Paul Morelli Spiral Mesh Cuff Bracelet
This symmetrical 18k gold cuff is secured with a box clasp and double-latch. Available on the Paul Morelli website for $28,000.  

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Design For All-American Diamond As It Goes On National Tour

The Esperanza Diamond in its new setting by Inspired Jewellery Group

The journey of the Esperanza diamond—found in an Arkansas state park—continues as it prepares to go on a nationwide tour beginning in January. 

As Gretchen Friedrich previously wrote, the diamond was found by Bobbie “Brooke” Oskarson at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark., likely the only open-to-the-public diamond mine in the world. Mike Botha of Embee Diamonds, Prince Albert, Canada, spent 130 hours cutting the rough diamond at a special cutting event open to the public at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist, North Little Rock, Ark. Botha created a 4.6-carat triolette-shaped diamond from the rough. 

Los Angeles-based jewelry designer, Erica Courtney, was originally supposed to create a jewel for the piece. However, both Courtney and Evert Botha of Embee Diamonds cited “creative differences” and the job went to New Zealand-based Inspired Jewellery Group to design a piece of fine jewelry as the setting for the diamond. Ian Douglas, creative director of the jewelry design firm known for contemporary diamond jewelry, created a platinum pendant setting that exposes the entire triolette-shape of the diamond. 

The pendant was crafted by Byard. F. Brogan, a jewelry manufacturer in Philadelphia.

The Esperanza Diamond and its setting taken while on display at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist. Photo by Gretchen Friedrich

The one thing all of these participants have in common is they are members of the American Gem Society, a jewelry trade association. The Internally Flawless D color diamond was even graded at the AGS Laboratories. Now the diamond and pendant will go on tour at AGS locations around the country. 

The diamond and its new setting is currently on view at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist until December 27. After that it will tour the following AGS retail locations:

* Black Starr & Frost, Newport Beach, Calif., January 13-17;

* Black Starr & Frost , Phoenix, Ariz., January 20-24;

* Molina Fine Jewelers, Phoenix, Ariz., January 27-31;

* Whiteflash, Houston, Texas, February 3-7;

* Underwood’s Jewelers, Jacksonville, Fla., February 10-14

The diamond’s next step on its journey is unknown. There was talk of the diamond going up for auction but that talk is now quiet.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ferragamo Taps Hollywood Glamour For Signature Watch Line


Salvatore Ferragamo, the iconic Italian luxury brand, unveiled a new watch collection during an anniversary celebration of its long history with the movie industry.

The Salvatore Ferragamo Signature Collection is a colorful line of ladies timepieces with the central design feature based on the “gancio,” the brand’s iconic Florentine symbol. The watches are paired with bold colorful sunglasses in the same style as the watch.

From left: Michelle Monaghan, Ferragamo Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti, and  Julianne Moore at Ferragamo’s celebration of its 100-year relationship with the movie industry where The Signature Collection of watches and sunglasses was unveiled. used its 100-year anniversary celebration in New York.

The collection debuted in New York December 9 during a star-studded celebration of its 100-year relationship with the movie industry. Julianne Moore, Michelle Monaghan and Russell Simmons were among the celebrities attending the event in a space converted into the fantasy world of “Gancio Studios.” with movie sets representing the century-long partnership.

The multimedia installations featured movie sets from the past 100 years that included baby pink bedroom scenes, a virtual ride in a real vintage Ferrari and classic outdoor Mediterranean settings. A screening room premiered “Ferragamo Signature,” a contemporary film celebrating the Ferragamo Gancio, and starring Elettra Wiedemann and Ethan Peck, the heirs of, Salvatore Ferragamo’s friends and customers, Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.

Throughout the venue there were displays of The Signature Collection of watches and sunglasses, including a display of watches suspended on strings.

Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

The gancio (the Italian word for hook) is the most recognizable symbol of Ferragamo. For the timepieces, the symbol crafted into the watch lugs (which connects the strap to the case of a watch), folding over the top and bottom of the dial.

“The ornament becomes an organic and intrinsic symbol of quality and craftsmanship in the collection,” said Paolo Marai, president and CEO of the Timex Group Swiss Luxury Division, a division of Timex Group.

The 38mm watches are available in stainless steel ion plated gold or two-tone metal finishes and are powered by a Swiss quartz movement.


The other main design feature for this watch collection is the variety of colors on its guilloché sunray dials and its leather straps that includes fuchsia, grey and orange.

The watches will sell within the $1,000 to $2,000 range, not including a handful of limited edition pieces, Marai said. They are now available at Ferragamo boutiques around the world just in time for Christmas. Wholesale distribution will begin in January

While the watches carry the Ferragamo brand, the design, manufacture and worldwide distribution of the watches are handled by the Timex Group Swiss Luxury Division, Lugano, Switzerland, under a 15-year licensing agreement with Ferragamo, Marai said. Timex pays Ferragamo royalties on each watch sold and consults with the luxury brand on the designs of products to ensure they are “on brand.”


The partnership began in 2007 and watch sales have experienced solid growth since then, Marai said. He expects 10 percent increase in sales in 2015.

Marai, whose division has similar arrangements with fashion brands Versace and Nautica, says surprisingly men make up more than half of Ferragamo’s watch sales. Normally fashion watches are far more popular among women.

“Ferragamo is quite amazing because we have been mostly successful for men,” said Marai, an Italian native who now lives in Lugano. “It’s quite surprising for us considering the brand’s positioning and considering that a fashion watch for us is mostly popular for women than for men.”


Another unusual aspect of Ferragamo customers is they prefer classic, conservative timepieces over more fashion oriented watches. “Our watch collection is quite strong but not very much fashion driven, so our pieces were very classic conservative pieces. We want to embrace more of the fashion sectors.”

So the newest version of The Signature Collection is being paired with matching women’s sunglasses as an attempt to boost fashion watch sales among women.


The main markets for this watch collection are in Asia, the Middle East, other emerging markets and the US, Marai said. He describes the emerging markets as being good for fashion brands. The US, on the other hand, is a huge, wealthy market that is more diverse with demand for classic and fashion watches. He sees very little opportunity for sales in Europe.

“In the emerging markets there’s a stronger sensitivity toward fashion brands. This is unlike Europe and the United States where the consumer has a long tradition with watches. Emerging markets don’t have this kind of culture. People were not even capable of buying a watch 10 years ago, he said. “So a brand like Ferragamo can easily to compete with the traditional watchmakers.”

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Inside Ulysse Nardin’s Miami Design District Boutique


The Miami Design District, located in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood, is an international art and design center with luxury shopping, high-end restaurants and soon to be opened hotels, residents and museums. Right now it is one of the hottest places in the world for luxury brands to open retail spaces. 

Buildings in the Design Center were created by world-class architects and the “neighborhood” contains several statement site-specific art works.


One building inside the complex is Palm Court, a two-story, blue-hued glass structure dedicated to watch and jewelry brands, with about 18 located there. It was designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, his first project in the US. 

Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin is the latest luxury watch brand to unveil its new boutique in this center. 


The brand officially opened the boutique in late November. It’s located at 140 NE 39th St. The 1,000 square foot store contains the entire scope of Ulysse Nardin’s collection, including its signature Marine Chronometers, the iconic FreakLab and other high watches.

“Miami immediately came to mind as the ideal location for our next Ulysse Nardin Boutique,” said Patrik Hoffmann, Ulysse Nardin CEO. “The Design District is renowned internationally as a go-to destination for luxury shopping and creativity. We are excited to be a part of it and look forward to bringing our rich history of craftsmanship and heritage to Miami.”


Ulysse Nardin, based in Le Locle, Switzerland, specializes in creating ultra-complicated timepieces, many of them considered groundbreaking achievements, using cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art materials. For example, it was one of the first companies to use silicon in its timepiece movements and is one of the few Swiss watchmakers to have its own production capacity for critical watch components, particularly regulating systems.

The luxury brand was acquired in July, 2014, by the French multinational holding company, Kering. 

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Kashmir Sapphire Sets Auction Record, Royal Necklace Fetches $4.5M

25.87-carat Kashmir sugarloaf cabochon sapphire

A 25.87-carat sugarloaf cabochon sapphire with Kashmir origins sold for $5.1 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale in New York. The gem set an auction record for a price per carat of a sugarloaf cabochon Kashmir sapphire at $197,990 per carat.

The gem, housed in a platinum and diamond ring, is owned by the family of Thomas Fortune Ryan (1851-1928), an American tobacco, insurance and transportation magnate. It surpassed its high estimate of $4.5 million and was the top lot of the auction held Wednesday.


The second highest lot of the evening sale was an historically significant platinum and diamond necklace owned by Egypt’s royal family (pictured above). Van Cleef & Arpels created the jewel with 217 carats of diamonds in 1939.

The necklace sold for nearly $4.3 million, within its estimate.

Queen Nazli (1894-1978), mother of Egypt’s King Farouk commissioned the diamond necklace and a matching tiara for the wedding ceremony of her daughter, Princess Fawzia, to the Crown Prince of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1939, Sotheby’s said. A large part of Nazli’s jewelry collection, including her Van Cleef & Arpels diamond necklace and tiara, was sold by Sotheby Parke Bernet in New York in November 1975. The necklace remained in a private collection for 40 years and was sold for the benefit of a charitable foundation.


The other big sale for the evening was a platinum and diamond ring set with a 38.27-carat square emerald-cut diamond with D color and VVS2 (pictured above). It sold for just over $4 million, within its estimate.

The three top lots were among eight that fetched at least $1 million. Sotheby’s auction of 503 lots was the final jewelry sale of 2015 by the auction house for 2015. It achieved a total of $52.3 million total, 74.2 percent were sold by lot and 74.4 percent by value. This raised the company’s annual worldwide sales of jewelry to $571 million. Other jewels of note include:


* A 26.44-carat emerald-cut diamond of D color and VS2 clarity sold for just over $2 million, or $77,534 per carat.


* A fancy colored diamond and diamond brooch by Bulgari, 1964, with a 2.47-carat round-cornered square modified brilliant-cut Fancy Intense blue diamond of VS2 clarity, sold for more than $1.7 million, well above its high estimate of $700,000.


* A natural pearl and a 30.83-carat Colombian emerald and diamond pendant sold for nearly $1.3 million, well above its $1 million high estimate.


* An 11.51-carat emerald-cut diamond ring of D color and VS1 clarity sold for nearly $1.1 million, above its $700,000 high estimate ($94,700 per carat).


* A 15.04-carat cushion-cut diamond ring, of D color, VS2 clarity sold for $1 million, beating its high estimate of $900,000 ($66,489 per carat). 

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Angelina Jolie Donates Unique Necklace To Smithsonian

Angelina Jolie wearing the “Jolie Citrine Necklace” that she donated to the Smithsonian. Photo by RP Studio

Angelina Jolie gave the Smithsonian Institution an early Christmas present.

The actress and humanitarian has gifted a citrine necklace to the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. The piece is from the Style of Jolie jewelry collection, a collaboration between Jolie and American high jewelry designer, Robert Procop.

The 18k yellow gold necklace features 64 graduated bezel-set cushion-shaped citrine gems highlighted by a 177.11-carat pear-shaped citrine drop. The new piece, named the “Jolie Citrine Necklace,” will be displayed in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals beginning today and remain on view indefinitely. It’s the same hall that contains the Hope Diamond, the Star of Asia sapphire and other famous gems.

The 18k yellow gold necklace features 64 graduated bezel-set cushion-shaped citrine gems highlighted by a 177.11-carat pear-shaped citrine drop. Photo by RP Studio

“We are thrilled to receive this important piece for the Smithsonian,” said Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem Collection. “It is the first piece of citrine jewelry in the collection. The fact that it was personally designed by Angelina Jolie Pitt and Robert Procop makes it all the more significant.”

Jolie (who now prefers to include her husband’s surname, “Pitt,” with her name) added, “Robert and I are honored to have this great institution feature one of our jeweled creations. As the Smithsonian has educated so many of us, this jewel is a symbol of our efforts to help educate underprivileged children in conflict areas of the world.”

The Style of Jolie collection was developed by Jolie Pitt to promote education and establish schools in conflict-affected countries. Proceeds from the sales of jewelry in the collection are donated to the Education Partnership for Children in Conflict, which builds schools for children around the world. The first few schools were built in Afghanistan.

The National Gem Collection in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals is one of the most visited exhibitions at the Smithsonian. The mineral and gem collection consists of approximately 350,000 mineral specimens and 10,000 gems, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. It is part of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shanghai Jewelry Fair Opens Friday


The China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shanghai opens its doors Friday and will run till December 14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the Shanghai Fair will host more than 300 exhibitors from 24 countries and regions, including Australia, Austria, Canada, mainland China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Myanmar, Poland, Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Hong Kong and Taiwan regions.

The latest contemporary jewelry, classic bestsellers and inspiring up-and-coming trends will be displayed in more than 15,000 square meters of exhibition space. There will also be diamonds, gems, pearls, jadeite and coral; and jewelry making machinery and equipment.

In Shanghai, retail sales of consumer goods totaled more than $110 million in 2014, according to UBM Asia, which owns and operates the annual jewelry trade fair.

Attractions at the fair include:

* Premier Pavilion – This area is for high-end consumers, retailers and private collectors. Among the participants are AP Coral Sas, Bashari Diamonds (Shanghai) Ltd, CHQ GmbH, Cimmino (Shanghai) Import Export Co Ltd, Kim Dai Hook Jewellery Co, Moyuren Art Jadeite Jewellery Co Ltd, Robert Wan Shanghai Co Ltd, Triluck (HK) Ltd and United Jewelry Co.

* Country pavilions include Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

* One-stop sourcing platform for colored gemstones – More than 40 exhibitors from Sri Lanka and Thailand will gather in this area to offer rough and polished colored gemstones including rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

Free translation services are available at the fair upon request. A free on-site professional product testing service to examine the quality of products is also available to help strengthen buyers’ confidence in the quality of products offered at the fair.

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7.8-Carat Tiffany Kashmir Sapphire Fetches $1.35M At Bonhams


A sapphire and diamond ring set a world auction record for a Kashmir sapphire under 10 carats, fetching $1.35 million at Bonhams New York’s Fine Jewelry auction Tuesday.

The turn-of-the-century Tiffany & Co. ring is centered by an oval-cut sapphire the auction house describes as “rare quality” and a “deep and rich blue.” It’s flanked by European-cut diamonds weighing 7.84 carats. It sold for $172,000 per carat.

“On the heels of three world-records at our recent Bonhams London jewelry sale, Bonhams New York sets another world-record in price per carat for a Kashmir sapphire under 10 carat,” said Daniel Struyf, senior director of International Jewelry. “It’s been a successful week for Bonhams’ international jewelry department and a sign that colored gemstones are on the rise.”

Sapphires of Kashmir and Ceylon origin were quite popular at the sale, which represents the final jewelry auction for the fall season and for the year at Bonhams. Other top lots include:


* Sapphire and diamond ring: centered by a 29.74-carat cushion-shaped sapphire of Ceylon origin (pictured above), sold for $269,000.


* Sapphire and diamond ring: centered by an oval-cut sapphire of 5.23 carats of Kashmir origin (pictured above), sold for $269,000 

* A sapphire and diamond ring centered by a 24.16-carat sapphire of Ceylon origin, sold for $125,000. 

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Sabina Belli Becomes CEO of Pomellato Group


Sabina Belli, a veteran luxury brands executive, was named CEO of the Pomellato group. Kering Group, the French luxury goods holding company that owns a majority stake in the Italian company, which consists of the luxury jewelry brands Pomellato and Dodo, made the announcement Thursday. 

Belli replaces Andrea Morante who will leave the company by the end of the year “after having completed a harmonious handover period with the new CEO, as planned since the acquisition agreement,” Kering said in a statement. She will report to Albert Bensoussan, CEO of Kering’s Luxury – Watches & Jewellery division.

Belli joined Kering in April 2015 as general manager of the Pomellato brand. “She has a deep knowledge of the luxury sector and of the development of high-end products on an international scale,” Kering said. Previously, she held senior-level positions in the jewelry, wine and spirits, and cosmetics industries. As part of her new role, Kering said she will support Pomellato’s and Dodo’s development and strengthen their positioning globally, Kering said.

“Since she joined, she has demonstrated a deep knowledge of the brands and their organizations. I am confident that her professional background and expertise of the luxury sector will be of great value to the brands’ development,” Bensoussan said in a statement. 

Before joining Pomellato, Belli, an Italian national, was a longtime executive with the LVMH Group where she was most recently brand executive VP of Bulgari. She joined LVMH in 1996 where she was international brand director for the Christian Dior Parfums and image and marketing director for LVMH Moët Hennessy; before working as international brand manager for Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin from 2009 to 2012. She began her career in advertising. 

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Reena Ahluwalia Paints For Women’s Empowerment

“The Portal of Empowerment” by Reena Ahluwalia

By Gretchen Friedrich, Jewelry News Network’s social media manager

Reena Ahluwalia is an award-winning diamond jewelry designer whose works have prominently appeared on fictional heads of state (Elizabeth Hurley's character in the television show The Royals) as well as on actual government-issued postage stamps. 

More recently Ahluwalia has replaced her jewelry workbench with a paintbrush, creating art works based on her love of diamonds under the name, “Jeweler Who Paints” (#jewelerwhopaints). This week she is showcasing two of her works at Art Miami 2015, one of the many art shows that appear alongside Art Basel Miami Beach. The show will run till Sunday at the Art Miami Pavilion Midtown in the Wynwood Arts District.

For the Art Miami display, Ahluwalia collaborated with fellow jewelry designer, Kara Ross, using Ross’s “Diamonds Unleashed” logo as the focal point for the paintings, “The Portal of Empowerment” and “Radiate Brilliance.” 

“Radiate Brilliance” by Reena Ahluwalia

Kara Rosswho works under the established nationally known jewelry brand, Kara Ross New Yorkinvited Ahluwalia to paint her interpretation of the logo. Diamonds Unleashed is a for-profit group founded by Ross to support and promote women’s empowerment. 

Ross initiated the program after resetting the diamond from her own engagement ring. Instead of a symbol of love and devotion in the form of a gift, Ross says she wants diamonds to become synonymous with strength, purpose and independence. 

The Diamonds Unleashed logo, designed by Ross, is two diamonds, one pink, one blue that form a heart. The pink diamond elevates the blue diamond, symbolizing women enabling and encouraging other women. The heart formed by the diamonds embodies the goal of unanimous support among women all over the world. Plus, the symbol is derived from the most durable substance on earth. 

Ahluwalia’s previous involvement in women’s efficacy includes her design of the Courageous Spirit jewelry collection. The Rio Tinto mining group commissioned Ahluwalia to design the assembly as a tribute to the women of Madhya Pradesh, Ahluwalia 's birthplace. 

This latest endeavor by Ahluwalia and Ross epitomizes Ross’s core intention to encourage women to support women. As Ross states in the social media portion of the Diamonds Unleashed campaign: “strong women are beautiful.”

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JNA Awards Presents New Categories For 2016


The JNA Awards, now in its fifth year, has announced changes to its award categories for 2016. 

The organizer of the annual event, Jewellery News Asia, adjusted a few award categories to encourage greater participation from more regions and at the same time consolidate some categories that are judged against a similar set of criteria. 

The JNA Awards, which recognizes innovative and high-achieving individuals and enterprises, will have 11 categories in 2016, including the Lifetime Achievement Award—who will be selected by Jewellery News Asia.

The award categories for 2016 are as follows:

* Lifetime Achievement Award
* Brand of the Year - Retail    
* Industry Innovation/Sustainability Initiative of the Year 
* Manufacturer of the Year - Cutting & Polishing
* Manufacturer of the Year - Jewellery  
* Outstanding Enterprise of the Year - ASEAN/Korea 
* Outstanding Enterprise of the Year - India   
* Outstanding Enterprise of the Year - Greater China     
* Retailer of the Year (450 outlets and below) 
* E-tailer of the Year   
* Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 and below) 

The two Manufacturer of the Year categories have been broadened to encourage wider involvement from that sector, says UBM Asia, which owns Jewellery News Asia publishing group. The scope of the Outstanding Enterprise of the Year categories has been expanded to inspire companies from regions outside of the ASEAN and Mainland China to join the awards.

“As the organizer, we challenge ourselves each year to improve the event and attract more qualified entries,” said Letitia Chow, founder of JNA, director of Business Development— Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, and Chair of the JNA Awards judging panel. “We also listen to the voices of industry and respond to their feedback. A few categories that have similar judging criteria have been combined and will make these categories more competitive.”

She added, “We have expanded the Outstanding Enterprise of the Year category to include companies in Korea and Greater China. Hence, companies in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan have the opportunity to enter this category and share and showcase their best business practices.”

Since its inception in 2012, the JNA Awards has dedicated its efforts to promoting the achievements of industry stakeholders, raising industry standards and upholding best business practices.

The JNA Awards 2016 has Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook as its Headline Partners, with Diarough Group, Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), Shanghai Diamond Exchange, and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND) serving as Honoured Partners.

For more information, visit www.JNAawards.com or contact:
JNA Awards Marketing 
UBM Asia (Hong Kong) 
+852 2516-2184 
marketing@JNAawards.com

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

15-Carat Burmese Ruby Sets World Auction Record

Photo credit: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

“The Crimson Flame,” an exceptionally rare Burmese ruby, set a world auction record per carat of $1.2 million at Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels Tuesday.

The 15-carat “pigeon’s blood” colored gem sold for sold for $18.3 million, surpassing its high estimate of $15 million. The auction house said it is “undoubtedly the most important pigeon’s blood ruby to come to auction in Asia.” 

“It’s the year of the ruby at Christie’s Hong Kong,” declared Vickie Sek, deputy chairman Asia & Director of Christie’s Asia Jewellery department.

To underscore this, a suite of ruby jewels called The “Mogok’s Fiery Red” by famed Burmese ruby jewelry house, Fai Dee, took in commanding prices. The jewels offered as two individual lots and sold as follows:

Photo credit: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

* A necklace of 32 cushion-shaped pigeon’s blood Burmese rubies (pictured above), weighing approximately 5.05 to 1.04 carats, alternating with cushion-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum and gold took in $7.2 million, within its estimate. 

* Pigeon’s blood Burmese ruby and diamond earrings sold for $3.1 million, within its estimate. 

In addition, the “Afghan Emerald,” a 10.11-carat flawless gem fetched $2.2 million, establishing a world record price for an Afghan emerald at auction. It surpassed its $1.5 million high estimate.

The auction of 320 lots at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre included diamonds, colored diamonds, colored gemstones, jadeite and signed pieces that took in $96.9 million with 80 percent of items sold by lot and 83 percent by value, Christie’s said. The sale attracted 160 buyers from 16 countries across three continents.

Other items of note include:

Photo credit: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

* A 7.53-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond ring (pictured above) sold for $6.25 million, within its estimate; and 

Photo credit: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

* A two-strand jadeite bead necklace with a diamond clasp by Cartier (pictured above) sold for $7.5 million, well above its 4.8 million high estimate. 

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Monday, November 30, 2015

UBM Asia Launches Jewelry and Gemstone Directory For Southeast Asia


The Jewellery Publishing Group of UBM Asia has launched Jewellery & Gemstone Directory 2016 -- Southeast Asia, saying it’s the first comprehensive sourcing guide for jewelry trade buyers seeking business opportunities in the region's manufacturing and distribution sectors.

Published for the first time in November, the new directory has more than 1,300 listings of manufacturers and retailers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The manufacturers section presents suppliers of jewelry, gemstones, diamonds, pearls and lab-grown gems. Also included are gemological laboratories, trade organizations and training establishments. Companies are sorted by product and service, by alphabetical order and by country. Details include telephone number, website, person-in-charge, product specialization and number of workers.

The retailers section lists jewelry shops, chain stores and wholesalers. The directory provides information on these companies, including the type of jewelry they sell and the source of their products.

"Recognizing that the eyes of the world are on Southeast Asia as it grows in importance as a manufacturing hub and a consumer market, we have come up with an annual, dedicated directory to help facilitate business transactions with and within the region's jewelry and gemstone industry,” says Dennis Li, group publisher, Jewelry Publishing Group of UBM Asia. 

The company's other annual publications include Jewellery & Gemstone Directory -- Hong Kong edition, the Equipment & Supplies Directory, and the Silver Jewellery Suppliers Directory.

The Jewellery & Gemstone Directory 2016 -- Southeast Asia edition is available at a special introductory rate of $60 per copy until March 11, 2016. Regular rate is $100. To order a copy, email subscribe@jewellerynewsasia.com, fax +852 3749 7433 or call +852 2516 1613.

The directory can also be purchased at major international jewelry trade fairs.

Sample pages can be viewed at www.jewellerynewsasia.com/en/JGD-SEA.html

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The Patai Ring - From Concept Design To Best Seller

An unfurling fern frond of the native New Zealand silver fern was the inspiration behind the Patai ring. Photo credit: Shutterstock

By Chris Benham, co-founder and director of Inspired Jewellery Ltd.

A few years ago we were at a jewelry show where we showcased a collection called Gold Kina. It is a quintessentially New Zealand inspired collection that was deliberately created to be extreme, to provoke and challenge. At that show we met a lady who was absolutely taken with a design in the Gold Kina Collection called Patai. However, she wanted it as an engagement ring not an occasional dress ring, which is what it was designed to be.

The Original Patai design: Sculptured platinum with the hard edged koru form that sweeps and suspends a 1.036-carat pear shaped diamond.

The name Patai is a Maori word translated to mean “to ask, question, enquire, cross-examine, provoke and challenge.” She had laid down a challenge for us. We needed to evolve this design into an everyday wearable diamond engagement ring without losing the essence of the original version.

The design of the Patai engagement and right hand rings evolved into a more delicate curve. In this case, the ring supports a 1-carat pear-shaped diamond

It is amazing how designs can evolve over time and often through customer feedback. Jewelers are fortunate in that we can rapidly adapt designs based on those ideas and feedback. Unlike say car manufacturers where, according to most sources, creating a new model is a billion-dollar-plus exercise and it’s only practical to take on that feedback and implement it every three years.

The Patai ring with a 1.58-carat natural pink sapphire highlighted with 25 round brilliant diamonds along the band

From that first request we evolved the Patai design and it has turned into a best seller. The ring Patai is inspired by the Koru—itself symbolic of new life and new beginnings. A beautiful inspiration when people are getting engaged and starting a new life together. Sculpted from platinum, Patai clasps a pear shaped diamond so gently in the unfurled frond of the koru that the diamond appears as if it is floating.

Since then the design has evolved a number of times to include sapphires, more diamonds and even a round brilliant diamond. Here is a video showing the making of the ring:



Jewelry News Network guest columnist, Chris Benham, is co-founder and director of Inspired Jewellery Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand, a global creative studio for specialist jewelry design.  

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