03242017Fri
Last updateThu, 23 Mar 2017 12am
Diamond shipping scam impacts 20-plus diamond wholesalers

Diamond shipping scam impacts 20-plus diamond wholesalers

Since November, an estimated 20 or more diamond ve...

GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

The Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) and Alabama...

Other News

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released its 2016 Annual Crime Report covering crime against the jewelry industry in the United States. The total number of crimes against the industry increased from 1,117 in 2015 to 1,245 in 2016, a...

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Industry Events

Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Leading Jewelers Guild visits global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller recently partnered with the Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG) to host a one-day conference at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, giving members of the guild an entire...

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On The Move

Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Kirk as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Kirk will be an excellent stew...

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What's New

ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI is excited to launch the 2017 Lovebright Collection Book for all of their retail partners to share with their customers. ASHI reports the positive feedback they have received from their retailers, and the overwhelming desire to ignite and promot...

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Featured Articles

Bill Spencer talks jewelry, family and the secret to a successful 3rd generation family business

Bill Spencer talks jewelry, family and the secret to a successful 3rd generation family business

Seventy three years and three generations is a long time to operate a jewelry store. Especially when, according to a Jewelers Board of Trade statistic, over 1,500 jewelry business owners ceased operating in 2016. Yes, that includes wholesalers, manuf...

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Latest News

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

1 DAY AGO
Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released its 2016 Annual Crime Report covering crime against the jewelry industry in the United States. The total number of crimes against the industry increased from 1,117 in 2015 to 1,245 in 2016, an increase of 5.8%. Total dollar losses also incre...

Readmore

JA examines pending legislative issues most important to jewelry industry

1 DAY AGO
JA examines pending legislative issues most important to jewelry industry

Jewelers of America’s (JA) latest Legislative Update covers some of the big policy initiatives - including comprehensive tax reform, a potential import tax and the FTC’s “Cultured Diamond” terminology - that are in play for 2017 and their impact on jewelry businesses.

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Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

1 DAY AGO
Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Leading Jewelers Guild visits global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller recently partnered with the Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG) to host a one-day conference at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, giving members of the guild an entire day of education and networking.

Readmore

GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

23 DAYS AGO
GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

The Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) and Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) have announced they will cohost their annual Convention on March 31- April 2. Now in its 9th year, the two state organizations will join forces at the Marriott Grand National Resort & Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in O...

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Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

23 DAYS AGO
Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Kirk as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Kirk will be an excellent steward of NCJA’s goals and an advocate for North Caro...

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Belair Time Corp. names Chuck Goedtke Southeastern Sales Manager

23 DAYS AGO

Belair Time Corporation has announced the appointment of long-time watch industry veteran Chuck Goedtke to Southeastern Regional Sales Manager. Chuck will be covering Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky for Belair.

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ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

9 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI is excited to launch the 2017 Lovebright Collection Book for all of their retail partners to share with their customers. ASHI reports the positive feedback they have received from their retailers, and the overwhelming desire to ignite and promote their store’s diamond sales, has been extremely ...

Readmore

ASHI launches the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

15 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

Announces winner of #LovebrightValentine Sweepstakes

(NEW YORK) - ASHI is excited to launch the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes, to kickoff the wedding season for its retail partners. Retailers will be able to attract bridal shoppers to their stores, through various social media platforms, and let every bride...

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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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