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Last updateThu, 01 Dec 2016 10am
Retailer Roundtable: How do you wish customers happy holidays?

Retailer Roundtable: How do you wish customers happy holidays?

Q: How do you wish customers happy holidays?

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Leading the state in estate jewelry

Leading the state in estate jewelry

Levy’s capitalizing on estate jewelry popularity

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Police searching for man who stole $1.6 million bucket of gold

Police searching for man who stole $1.6 million bucket of gold

The New York City police are looking for a quick-thinking thief who stole an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million off an armored truck in Manhattan.

The unidentified thief swiped the 5-gallon metal bucket off the back of the vehicl...

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Industry Events

JFC to honor Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich at Facets of Hope event

JFC to honor Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich at Facets of Hope event

Jewelers for Children (JFC) will hold their annual Facets of Hope on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The day change is a result of the adjusted JCK Show schedule. Charles Stanley of Forevermark and Y...

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On The Move

Jewelers Mutual earns 30th consecutive A+ Superior rating from A.M. Best Company

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has earned its 30th consecutive A+ Superior financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company, one of the world’s most respected insurance rating and information sources.

Founded in 1913, Jewelers Mutua...

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LaserStar Technologies introduces eStore for spare parts ordering

LaserStar Technologies is proud to announce the release of their newly redesigned online store. LaserStar’s eStore has been redesigned to make your user experience faster, easier and more efficient. Now you will be able to access the eStore and Owner...

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Featured Articles

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

There are many paths to finding the right career. Most are predictable, but sometimes the path becomes clear only through adversity. Richard Branson, whose net worth of $4.9 billion makes him nearly 10 times wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II, dropped...

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Latest News

Police searching for man who stole $1.6 million bucket of gold

4 DAYS AGO
Police searching for man who stole $1.6 million bucket of gold

The New York City police are looking for a quick-thinking thief who stole an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million off an armored truck in Manhattan.

The unidentified thief swiped the 5-gallon metal bucket off the back of the vehicle on September 29 when a guard briefly went to the...

Readmore

National Jeweler publishes “State of the Majors”

4 DAYS AGO

Report returns for the first time since 2012

(NEW YORK) - National Jeweler has released the “State of the Majors,” a report which analyzes the performance of the country’s largest jewelers and the state of jewelry retailing today. The release of this once-annual report marks the first time National Je...

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JFC to honor Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich at Facets of Hope event

5 DAYS AGO
JFC to honor Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich at Facets of Hope event

Jewelers for Children (JFC) will hold their annual Facets of Hope on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The day change is a result of the adjusted JCK Show schedule. Charles Stanley of Forevermark and Yancy Weinrich of JCK Events, Luxury and JIS, have ...

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Stuller, Inc. announces 2017 Annual Bench Jeweler Workshop

25 DAYS AGO
Stuller, Inc. announces 2017 Annual Bench Jeweler Workshop

Battle of the Benches competition returns

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller’s annual Bench Jeweler Workshop featuring the 2nd annual Battle of the Benches competition will return to their global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 24th - March 26th, 2017.

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Jewelers Mutual earns 30th consecutive A+ Superior rating from A.M. Best Company

4 DAYS AGO

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has earned its 30th consecutive A+ Superior financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company, one of the world’s most respected insurance rating and information sources.

Founded in 1913, Jewelers Mutual is the only insurer dedicated solely to serving ...

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Greg Gesswein promoted to President of Paul H. Gesswein and Co.

5 DAYS AGO
Greg Gesswein promoted to President of Paul H. Gesswein and Co.

Greg Gesswein has been promoted to president of Paul H. Gesswein and Co., Inc., a 102 year old Bridgeport based manufacturer and distributor of tools, equipment and supplies. Greg is the fourth generation of the Gesswein family to manage the business and replaces his father, Dwight W. Gesswein, who ...

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LaserStar Technologies introduces eStore for spare parts ordering

13 DAYS AGO

LaserStar Technologies is proud to announce the release of their newly redesigned online store. LaserStar’s eStore has been redesigned to make your user experience faster, easier and more efficient. Now you will be able to access the eStore and Owner’s Section with just one login. Ordering spare par...

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Thorsten Jewelry ventures into precious metals with a 14k line

19 DAYS AGO
Thorsten Jewelry ventures into precious metals with a 14k line

(LONG BEACH, Calif.) - Thorsten Jewelry is primarily known for using alternative metals such as tungsten carbide and cobalt chrome to create wedding bands for both men and women. However, they have recently ventured into the world of precious metals as well.

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Analyzing the aftermath - the JADE Act

Embargo on gemstones originating from Myanmar, formerly Burma is nothing new. But the backlash, and divisive commentary in the wake of the latest officially implemented ban is bound to polarize many members within the gem trade. And oddly enough, all those voices have a point - and a valid one.

Aimed at penalizing the Burmese ruling junta through embargo, the US government had banned products coming from Burma since 2003. However the broad language of that earlier sanction permitted the importation of Burmese-origin gems that were cut or polished elsewhere. On July 30, 2008 President George Bush signed into law the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act, restricting the import of precious Burmese gems and stones.

Some observers claim the previous sanctions had a loophole. Others argue it was no loophole - that the earlier ban simply expressed a different set of parameters for gemstone importation. So, unlike the former embargo, the JADE Act ban now clearly states that Burmese-origin jadeite and ruby, including those which have undergone “substantial transformation” elsewhere, are to be banned from coming into the US. The only exception would be Burmese gems brought in for ‘personal consumption.’

While the industry contemplates these new developments, the global gemstone community already voices disparate opinions. Director of Public Affairs for Jewelers of America (JA), Peggy Jo Donohue assured that JA will make certain that its members clearly understand that no rubies or jade mined in Burma may be imported legally into the U.S. And, Donohue added, to be certain, “Jewelers should seek written assurance from their suppliers that they will not knowingly supply these banned gems.”

The comprehensive nature of the JADE Act, spelled out in lengthy legalese, may appear to be a daunting task when it comes to sorting it all out. But the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has streamlined this concern with information clearly spelled out on their website for those interested - www.jvclegal.com.

It’s impossible to prove some stones have been in the US prior to the implementation of the JADE Act, certain dealers worry. Old stock - really old stock - may not have the paper trail that the current legislation demands in order to sell existing stock that may have come from Burma - or not. Proving the origin is a hotly debated topic where this new ban is concerned.

Some people mistakenly believe the determination of origin, not how long it has been in the US, is at least a done deal. Inclusions and fluorescence clues some feel, are fail-safe and will tell if a ruby originated in Burma. Not so fast, warns Christopher Smith, vice president and chief gemologist, of American Gemological Laboratories (AGL).

Burmese rubies are found in three major deposits; the Mogok Valley, Mong Hsu and Namya Zeik. Yes, it’s true that a number of indicators can assist in separating ruby from Burma and ruby from other sources around the world. These indicators are various inclusion and spectroscopic features, internal growth structures, and chemical composition. Still, since there are ruby deposits in other locales whose geologic environs almost mirror that of Burma, in many instances, “distinguishing these sources from Burma ruby can range from straight forward to very difficult.”

Noted ruby and sapphire authority Richard Hughes believes that the statistics involving the sale of Burmese ruby are grossly misleading. “Claims that the junta earns $300 million a year from the sales of gems are based upon gross gem auction proceeds, but in reality many of the lots sold at auction are owned by private parties, not the junta,” Hughes states.

Time will tell whether this law which intends to send a punitive message to the brutal ruling junta of Myanmar achieves its desired effect. No one, as Douglas Hucker, CEO of American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) understands it, wants to see the innocent victims of this legislation become the fall guy to this ban. “My concern,” Hucker stressed, “is that this Bill is going to hurt the wrong people like the artisanal miners, instead of the junta.”

jarrett-nov

 

La Pierre Precieuse, Montreal, offers fine Cambodian ruby as an alternative to the banned Burmese ruby.
Photo courtesy of La Pierre Precieuse. Burmese Ruby crystal, courtesy of Will Heierman, www.corunduminium.com.

 

The ripple effect of the Burmese ban spreads to Thailand, and surrounding nations which traditionally cut these stones. Gem dealer Bill Larson, president of Pala International, spends a great deal of time in Asia. “These are independent (Burmese) miners who supply the Thais; and the dealers all come to Thailand unofficially,” Larsen points out. So he feels that ruby sales do not enrich the Burmese government. “Who it will affect are the thousands of Thais in the cutting and jewelry industry.”

Montreal based gem dealer Pramendra Baid, of La Pierre Precieuse, Inc., sees a closer-ranged unintended consequence. Baid forecasts a flood of Burmese goods having entered the US ahead of the ban enforcement, resulting in an unwanted price hike for Burmese goods. The residual challenge, Baid predicts will be in serving the upper tier of the market. Nothing else quite looks like Burmese ruby, he says. Ruby from other countries lacks the color saturation and clarity as fine Mogok ruby. Baid also foresees difficulties with implementing the new documentation requirements for Canadian based importers and manufacturers who sell to the US because “origination documentation for previously purchased rubies (both Burmese and non-Burmese) will be difficult if not impossible to obtain.”

In the end, all of these well founded concerns are mitigated by the cohesive unity of trade members not wishing to support a government whose human rights abuse records are so abysmal. And the various voices all make their point. JA Director of Public Affairs Donahue affirmed, “Until genuine democratic reform becomes a reality in Burma, such sanctions are necessary to send a clear message from American jewelers to the ruling military regime.”

Graduate Gemologist and Registered Master Valuer Diana Jarrett is also a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She’s a frequent lecturer at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett serves as Colored Stone Editor for Rapaport Diamond Report; with other works regularly appearing in trade and consumer publications. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit her website: www.dianajarrett.com.


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