09012015Tue
Last updateMon, 31 Aug 2015 11pm

Tracy Pearls founder, Tracy Bronson dies at 90

Henry (Tracy) Bronson, founder of Tracy Pearls, di...

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

(NEW YORK) - The International Colored Gemstone Ass...

New appointment strengthens Endless Jewelry’s global marketing team

New appointment strengthens Endless Jewelry’s global marketing team

Endless Jewelry has appointed Mikkel Berg as globa...

Hoover & Strong announces new Fairmined metal source

Hoover & Strong announces new Fairmined metal source

Currently sourcing Fairmined gold and silver from ...

Atlanta Jewelry Show ends 65th anniversary celebration with a flourish

Atlanta Jewelry Show ends 65th anniversary celebration with a flourish

August 2015 Edition Filled With New Resources, New...

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Lafonn ambassador and industry veteran, Taffy Davidson retires

(CYPRESS, Calif.) - Jewelry industry veteran and valued member of the Lafonn team, Taffy Davidson, is retiring. Taffy joined the Lafonn sales force in 2013 and was instrumental in growing the brand in the Midwestern United States.

In addition to her ti...

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Industry Events

Distinct points of view and a broad product range define JA New York Summer 2015

(NEW YORK) - The JA New York Summer show, held July 26 - 28th at the Jacob Javits Center, was host to an astounding breadth of product offerings in a serene and welcoming environment. Architectural or personalized pieces on display in the designer pav...

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On The Move

Findings manufacturer, American Jewelry Components opens in Detroit

(DETROIT, Mich.) - In the heart of Motor City, you’ll find a new jewelry manufacturing firm with an exceptional combination of skills and deep roots in the jewelry industry. A full-service jewelry manufacturer with a focus on high-volume die striking,...

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Bulova redefines technology with UHF

Bulova redefines technology with UHF

(NEW YORK) – Having debuted in Bulova Accutron II and the Precisionist collection, Bulova’s proprietary high performance UHF (Ultra High Frequency) movement is now being extended into its Sea King and Military collections.

The heart of the movement is ...

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Featured Articles

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

When Eileen Alexanian and Ken Kelley left New York City to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, they never expected it to be a life changing trip. But the husband and wife jewelry team, who’d worked in the heart of the New York Diamond Dist...

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Latest News

Lafonn ambassador and industry veteran, Taffy Davidson retires

2 HOURS AGO

(CYPRESS, Calif.) - Jewelry industry veteran and valued member of the Lafonn team, Taffy Davidson, is retiring. Taffy joined the Lafonn sales force in 2013 and was instrumental in growing the brand in the Midwestern United States.

In addition to her time with Lafonn, Ms. Davidson has served as a direc...

Readmore

Google wants you to be friendly

4 HOURS AGO

Are you responsive or just friendly? Sounds like a question for an online dating site - but not so fast. These expressions explain the performance of your website when viewing it on the widest array of devices.

Google recently announced that their algorithm had changed to reflect a website’s mobile f...

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Tracy Pearls founder, Tracy Bronson dies at 90

2 HOURS AGO

Henry (Tracy) Bronson, founder of Tracy Pearls, died on May 31, 2015. Bronson opened Tracy Pearls, a pearl importing and wholesaling company in 1960. He worked there until 2004 when he sold the company to Rebecca Shemwell. Tracy and Rebecca had been partners until she bought him out. Rebecca will be...

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ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

3 HOURS AGO
ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

(NEW YORK) - The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) is pleased to announce that well-known gems and jewelry expert Gary Roskin has been appointed as ICA Executive Director.

Mr. Roskin began in the new position on August 4 at ICA’s New York office. He is responsible for ICA’s day-to-day a...

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Findings manufacturer, American Jewelry Components opens in Detroit

2 HOURS AGO

(DETROIT, Mich.) - In the heart of Motor City, you’ll find a new jewelry manufacturing firm with an exceptional combination of skills and deep roots in the jewelry industry. A full-service jewelry manufacturer with a focus on high-volume die striking, American Jewelry Components, LLC. (AJC) formed ea...

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Jewelers of America announces Board elections & new Chairman

2 HOURS AGO

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has elected Ryan Berg, Market President of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry in San Antonio, TX, as JA’s new Board Chairman. He succeeds Bill Farmer Jr., partner of Farmer’s Jewelry. Ber...

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Bulova redefines technology with UHF

2 HOURS AGO
Bulova redefines technology with UHF

(NEW YORK) – Having debuted in Bulova Accutron II and the Precisionist collection, Bulova’s proprietary high performance UHF (Ultra High Frequency) movement is now being extended into its Sea King and Military collections.

The heart of the movement is a three-prong quartz crystal producing a vibration...

Readmore

Jewelers Mutual announces coverage of smart jewelry

2 HOURS AGO

(NEENAH, Wis.) - In response to rising interest from smart jewelry owners looking to protect their investments, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company announces its coverage of smart jewelry with the same worldwide personal jewelry insurance protection it offers for traditional jewelry.

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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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