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Industry Events

JIS to relocate to Ft. Lauderdale during Miami Beach Convention Center renovation

(NORWALK, Conn.) - Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) provides the jewelry industry with three impressive buying and selling opportunities each year at the Miami Beach Convention Center - JIS Miami January, JIS Miami April and JIS Miami October (Oc...

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On The Move

24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States (24K Club SEUS) welcomed two new members at their Forty-Second Annual Banquet held at the Atlanta Country Club on August 6. The 24K Club Class of 2016 includes Stark Harbour, owner Southern Jewelry Insuran...

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What's New

HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

(NORWALK, Conn.) - HOLLIS BAHRINGER, a leading manufacturer of contemporary metal men’s jewelry is proud to announce the release of six new collections to its assortment. Adding both natural white diamonds and black diamonds, this season’s additions b...

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: What are the biggest challenges facing today’s independent retail jeweler?

Retailer Roundtable: What are the biggest challenges facing today’s independent retail jeweler?

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing today’s independent retail jeweler?

“As an independent retail jeweler we are constantly facing many challenges ranging from competing big box stores, other independent jewelers, a declining consumer interest i...

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Latest News

Lockheed Martin Files Patent to 3D-Print Diamonds

1 DAY AGO
Lockheed Martin Files Patent to 3D-Print Diamonds

Aerospace company Lockheed Martin filed a patent for making synthetic diamonds from 3D printing.

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Digging underway in search for “Nazi Gold Train”

1 DAY AGO
Digging underway in search for “Nazi Gold Train”

WALBRZYCH, Poland — A group of explorers has begun digging in southwestern Poland in a quixotic search for a buried Nazi train said to be filled with stolen gold, gems and artworks — despite experts’ doubts that the train even exists.

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JIS to relocate to Ft. Lauderdale during Miami Beach Convention Center renovation

1 DAY AGO

(NORWALK, Conn.) - Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) provides the jewelry industry with three impressive buying and selling opportunities each year at the Miami Beach Convention Center - JIS Miami January, JIS Miami April and JIS Miami October (October being the 2nd largest jewelry trade show in ...

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Retailers “ready to buy” at the Atlanta Jewelry Show

15 DAYS AGO
Retailers “ready to buy” at the Atlanta Jewelry Show

The doors of the Atlanta Jewelry Show opened to models draped with pearls, welcoming buyers to a bright show floor brimming with new products and collections from first-time and long-time vendors. Held from August 6 to 8 at the Cobb Galleria Centre, the show’s robust agenda of events included educat...

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24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

8 DAYS AGO
24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States (24K Club SEUS) welcomed two new members at their Forty-Second Annual Banquet held at the Atlanta Country Club on August 6. The 24K Club Class of 2016 includes Stark Harbour, owner Southern Jewelry Insurance and Michael Lebowitz, Director of Jewelry White...

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IDD named Leading Jewelers Guild “Vendor of the Year”

8 DAYS AGO
IDD named Leading Jewelers Guild “Vendor of the Year”

IDD Jewelry of New York, an industry leader in basic diamond jewelry and bridal programs, was recently honored as the “2016 Vendor of the Year” by the Leading Jewelers Guild. As voted by the members of the group, the award recognizes excellence in customer service and innovative product. Already the...

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HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

1 DAY AGO
HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

(NORWALK, Conn.) - HOLLIS BAHRINGER, a leading manufacturer of contemporary metal men’s jewelry is proud to announce the release of six new collections to its assortment. Adding both natural white diamonds and black diamonds, this season’s additions bring an ultra premium selection to the already exc...

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ASHI introduces Lovebright Essentials

1 DAY AGO
ASHI introduces Lovebright Essentials

Offers big look, great price on diamond basics

Studies have shown that basic styles account for as much as 50% of a jewelry store’s total sales. ​ASHI presents Lovebright Essentials, a new ​POS ​program focused on helping you showcase and sell more ​of these ​basic, fast turning, full margin styles​....

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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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