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Last updateWed, 28 Jun 2017 10pm
Masters of Marketing - A century of sparkling insight - Part 2

Masters of Marketing - A century of sparkling insight - Part 2

Part II – Siegel Jewelers, Grand Rapids, MI

The tra...

Retailer Roundtable: What jewelry trends are you seeing leading up to Vegas?

Retailer Roundtable: What jewelry trends are you seeing leading up to Vegas?

Q: What jewelry trends are you seeing leading up to...

GIA’s M2M app helps retailers tell a diamond’s story

GIA’s M2M app helps retailers tell a diamond’s story

As the creator of the 4Cs, GIA (Gemological Instit...

Ellis Jewelers Tim Hiatt credits retail success to his genes

Ellis Jewelers Tim Hiatt credits retail success to his genes

They say you can escape your past but not your gen...

Other News

Diamond Producers Association Announces 2017 Marketing Budget of $57M

Diamond Producers Association Announces 2017 Marketing Budget of $57M

(IDEX Online) – The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced at the JCK show in Las Vegas that its 2017 full-year marketing investment of $57 million has been approved by its board of directors. The figure more than quadruples last year's budget...

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Industry Events

ASA to offer Gem Identification, Testing and Insurance Report Writing courses at JTV

ASA to offer Gem Identification, Testing and Insurance Report Writing courses at JTV

(RESTON, Vir.) - The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) has announced the offering of a Gemological Boot Camp July 31 - August 3, 2017 and Appraising Gems and Jewelry for Insurance Coverage course August 4-7, 2017 at Jewelry Television in Knoxville,...

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On The Move

Voyager Brands hires Bill Peak as VP of Sales

Voyager Brands hires Bill Peak as VP of Sales

‘Shining star’ joins young, dynamic jewelry wholesaler

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Voyager Brands is pleased to announce its hire of Bill Peak as Vice President of Sales.

Peak, who brings decades of experience in the industry, served as National Sales Manager at L...

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What's New

Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

(WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.) - Rembrandt Charms Bridal Party Expansion Program creates an omni-channel experience for the bridal shopper, and cultivates new and repeat business for the retail jeweler. The Program is a low-cost investment of $170 and can gene...

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Featured Articles

Masters of Marketing - A century of sparkling insight (Part 1)

Masters of Marketing - A century of sparkling insight (Part 1)

Schnack’s Fine Jewelry, Alexandria, LA     

There is rarely a day that goes by when I am not reminded of the famous quote by Milan Kundera, “Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.” For someone like me, whose life revolves around mar...

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Latest News

Diamond Producers Association Announces 2017 Marketing Budget of $57M

11 HOURS AGO
Diamond Producers Association Announces 2017 Marketing Budget of $57M

(IDEX Online) – The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced at the JCK show in Las Vegas that its 2017 full-year marketing investment of $57 million has been approved by its board of directors. The figure more than quadruples last year's budget.

Readmore

Forbes opinion piece suggests ‘Fight For $15’ having negative impact

1 DAY AGO
Forbes opinion piece suggests ‘Fight For $15’ having negative impact

What a difference a week makes.

Last week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray trumpeted a new report on his city’s minimum wage experiment, from a team of researchers sympathetic to the cause. The Mayor’s request of this report was unusual, given that the city had already funded a separate University of Washing...

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ASA to offer Gem Identification, Testing and Insurance Report Writing courses at JTV

1 DAY AGO
ASA to offer Gem Identification, Testing and Insurance Report Writing courses at JTV

(RESTON, Vir.) - The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) has announced the offering of a Gemological Boot Camp July 31 - August 3, 2017 and Appraising Gems and Jewelry for Insurance Coverage course August 4-7, 2017 at Jewelry Television in Knoxville, TN.

Readmore

Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich honored at Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope

8 DAYS AGO
Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich honored at Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers for Children (JFC) held the 19th edition of the Facets of Hope event on June 7, in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The charity announced that $2.2 million had been raised to support their charity partners in the year ahead bringing the cumulative total since 199...

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Voyager Brands hires Bill Peak as VP of Sales

1 DAY AGO
Voyager Brands hires Bill Peak as VP of Sales

‘Shining star’ joins young, dynamic jewelry wholesaler

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Voyager Brands is pleased to announce its hire of Bill Peak as Vice President of Sales.

Peak, who brings decades of experience in the industry, served as National Sales Manager at Lakewood, N.J.-based Belair Time Corp. for the past...

Readmore

JA announces 2018 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient

15 DAYS AGO
JA announces 2018 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient

Sally Morrison of Gemfields to receive the prestigious award

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) and the GEM Awards Committee have announced that Sally Morrison, Director of Sales and Marketing, Americas, of Gemfields, will receive the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 16th annual GEM Awards...

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Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

15 DAYS AGO
Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

(WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.) - Rembrandt Charms Bridal Party Expansion Program creates an omni-channel experience for the bridal shopper, and cultivates new and repeat business for the retail jeweler. The Program is a low-cost investment of $170 and can generate over $1,500 in sales from one wedding party. ...

Readmore

Jayden Star celebrates 10-year anniversary with new product roll-out

29 DAYS AGO
Jayden Star celebrates 10-year anniversary with new product roll-out

(NEW YORK) - Celebrating with style, Jayden Star marks it’s 10-year anniversary with the biggest new product roll-out in company history during the JCK Las Vegas 2017 show. “With wholesale price points from $3 to $300, it’s hard to go wrong,” says Patrick Retzer, VP of Sales for Jayden Star. “All our...

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Furry Friends: Chase the cavachon

1 DAY AGO
Furry Friends: Chase the cavachon

Chase the cavachon goes to work every day at MLG Jewelry in Ohio - even when there’s an Ohio State game on TV.

Do you have a furry friend that helps out in your store? Tell us about it and send a picture to  bill@southernjewelrynews.com

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Furry Friends: Buffy the Shitzu

8 DAYS AGO
Furry Friends: Buffy the Shitzu

Buffy the shitzu recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary at Carl’s Fine Jewelry in Covington, LA. She’s quite stylish and the customers just love her.

Do you have a furry friend that helps out in your store? Tell us about it and send a picture to bill@southernjewelrynews.com.

 

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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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