08192017Sat
Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 9pm

Other News

Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

Historic coin experts say they have found the first silver piece minted by the US and believe it was likely held by Founding Father — and founder of The Post — Alexander Hamilton.

David McCarthy, a senior researcher for the coin and collectibles firm ...

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Industry Events

Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

Rio Grande is pleased to announce its call for entries for the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award. Now in its 18th year, the international competition challenges designers to pick up their tools and make their mark on the jewelry industry.

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On The Move

John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

(GALVESTON, Tex.) - John Ford triumphed again in two categories in the American Gem Trade Association’s 2017 Spectrum Awards. Ford won Platinum Honors in both the Evening Wear Division and the Business/Day Wear Division. The Spectrum Awards is said to...

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What's New

R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) - For 65 years R Findings has strived to provide the jewelry industry with products that save time and money, and to provide solutions. Their latest effort toward this goal is their new “That Was Easy” website.

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable:  What are your biggest hiring challenges?

Retailer Roundtable: What are your biggest hiring challenges?

Q:    What are your biggest hiring challenges?

“I’ve been in business for 30 years and hiring challenges have remained pretty consistent throughout that time - finding a sales associate that has an understanding and love of jewelry. One of the most comm...

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Latest News

Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

3 DAYS AGO
Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

Historic coin experts say they have found the first silver piece minted by the US and believe it was likely held by Founding Father — and founder of The Post — Alexander Hamilton.

David McCarthy, a senior researcher for the coin and collectibles firm Kagin’s, figured the 1783 silver coin had to be on...

Readmore

Greene Family Jewelers featured on DIY Network’s “Treehouse Guys”

3 DAYS AGO
Greene Family Jewelers featured on DIY Network’s “Treehouse Guys”

(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) - It’s ok if you call Michael Greene a tree-hugger. While you might not find him with his arms wrapped around a maple, the vacation home he built in Weaverville, NC, is nestled in a tree (actually, three trees) and its massive deck was built around the trees’ branches and trunks.

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Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

3 DAYS AGO
Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

Rio Grande is pleased to announce its call for entries for the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award. Now in its 18th year, the international competition challenges designers to pick up their tools and make their mark on the jewelry industry.

Readmore

Dunkin’s Diamonds wins ASHI’s I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

3 DAYS AGO
Dunkin’s Diamonds wins ASHI’s I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

Announces launch of Lovebright Sweepstakes  

(NEW YORK) - ASHI announced the winner of their most recent I DO Bridal Sweepstakes. Among all participating retailers, Dunkin’s Diamonds in Ohio had the highest number of participant entries and the winner was randomly selected from their customer participa...

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John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

3 DAYS AGO
John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

(GALVESTON, Tex.) - John Ford triumphed again in two categories in the American Gem Trade Association’s 2017 Spectrum Awards. Ford won Platinum Honors in both the Evening Wear Division and the Business/Day Wear Division. The Spectrum Awards is said to be the Oscars of the jewelry industry - the most ...

Readmore

Darling Imports celebrates milestone anniversary

10 DAYS AGO
Darling Imports celebrates milestone anniversary

“Thanks for the last 25 years!”

For over the last two decades, Darling Imports has proudly supplied the gemstone community with gorgeous color. From humble beginnings of a basement in Hampton, Georgia ,“Mr. D,” Harold Darling, and Konrad Darling started this company focusing on top service and a pass...

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R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

10 DAYS AGO
R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) - For 65 years R Findings has strived to provide the jewelry industry with products that save time and money, and to provide solutions. Their latest effort toward this goal is their new “That Was Easy” website.

Readmore

Roseco offering moissanite with graded certificate

10 DAYS AGO
Roseco offering moissanite with graded certificate

Roseco Inc. has announced they are now offering Charles and Colvard® Forever One™ moissanite that is certified D, E or F and graded by Precision Gem Grading Laboratory, an independent third-party lab. This certificate, packaged with each stone, allows the retail jeweler to make the same professional...

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Furry friends on the job: Kozzi of Norridge Jewelers

3 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Kozzi of Norridge Jewelers

Meet the hostess of Norridge Jewelers in Norridge, Illinois.  Kozzi has been greeting customers for seven years. She has made such an impression on her customers that they return bearing gifts - dog treats! She loves her job and puts a smile on the face of everyone she meets - whether in person or o...

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Furry friends on the job: Snorkel Sam Botnick - Worthmore Jewelers

10 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Snorkel Sam Botnick - Worthmore Jewelers

Introducing Snorkel Sam Botnick. The fur baby of Harris and Geri Botnick, owners of Worthmore Jewelers in Atlanta. Snorkle Sam is the official greeter and general manager of human resources. Conquering the jewelry industry on four paws and with no thumbs, he assists with the all around well being of...

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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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