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Last updateFri, 27 Feb 2015 8am
KDM is preferred jewelry showcase supply partner for Stuller

KDM is preferred jewelry showcase supply partner for Stuller

(CINCINNATI) - Stuller, one of the world’s largest ...

Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

Forms alliance with CUFF  and Omate ®              ...

#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

Patented Momento Pearl   saves your precious moment...

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology holds awards ceremony

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology holds awards ceremony

An awards and recognition ceremony was recently he...

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The Professional Appraisal Practice

This article is in response to Mr. Koehler’s articles in the December and January issues of this publication entitled “Appraising jewelry my way”.

Valu...

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Industry Events

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AGTA announces Board of Directors election results

(DALLAS) - The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the results of it’s annual AGTA Board of Directors election. Bruce Bridges, of Bridges T...

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RapNet launches new Android app

(NEW YORK) - RapNet has announced the release of a new mobile app for Android, following the successful launch of their iPhone app.

The app allows RapNe...

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Featured Articles

Richmond jewelers join again to support children’s hospital

Richmond jewelers join again to support children’s hospital

(RICHMOND, Vir.) - Ten of Richmond, Virginia’s most distinguished retail jewelers gathered at the 51st Children’s Hospital Foundation Ball at the Count...

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Latest News

The Professional Appraisal Practice

27 DAYS AGO

This article is in response to Mr. Koehler’s articles in the December and January issues of this publication entitled “Appraising jewelry my way”.

Valuation & Appraisal science for personal property, including gems and jewelry, is now in its 4th decade of long-standing, but continually developing...

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More on appraising

27 DAYS AGO

It is with great interest that I read Chuck Koehler’s article about appraising - well, more really about how he appraises.  Today, appraising is no longer considered an added value for jewelry stores -give-them-an-appraisal-higher-than-the-amount-they-paid-’cause-it-will-make-them-feel-good-and-they...

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New! FREE Pre-Show Exhibtor Educational Seminar

8 DAYS AGO
New! FREE Pre-Show Exhibtor Educational Seminar

Take a break from booth set-up to brush up on some quick and easy marketing tools that promise to build your business.

As part of our 65th Anniversary celebration, the Atlanta Jewelry Show puts a special spotlight on one of the show's hallmarks -- education. In addition to the full roster of retail-o...

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U.S. Antique Shows partners with the Rapaport Group

27 DAYS AGO

Rapaport to sponsor four U.S. Antique Shows in 2015

(NAPLES, Fla.) - U.S. Antique Shows, producer of several highly anticipated antique events, recently announced their latest partnership agreement with the Rapaport Group. The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added val...

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AGTA announces Board of Directors election results

27 DAYS AGO

(DALLAS) - The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the results of it’s annual AGTA Board of Directors election. Bruce Bridges, of Bridges Tsavorite, and Jeffrey Bilgore, of Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC, were both re-elected to the Board; and Charles Carmona, Guild Laboratories, and Robert Van Wag...

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Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

27 DAYS AGO
Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

Forms alliance with CUFF  and Omate ®                              

Richline Brands and CUFF™, a Bay-area based, connected jewelry company, have announced a partnership agreement for the exclusive distribution of CUFF products. The partnership is designed to fundamentally bridge the function and fashi...

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RapNet launches new Android app

27 DAYS AGO

(NEW YORK) - RapNet has announced the release of a new mobile app for Android, following the successful launch of their iPhone app.

The app allows RapNet members to conduct their business on the go, and stay on top of the market wherever they are. The app includes advanced searches, saved searches and...

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#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

27 DAYS AGO
#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

Patented Momento Pearl   saves your precious moments in a pearl

(SAN DIMAS, Calif.) - The NFC-empowered Momento Pearl™ from Galatea: Jewelry by Artist is a cultured pearl containing near field communication (NFC) technology, allowing a user to create a tailored voice message that can be played when the...

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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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