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Industry News: Gold Conference Set; JBT Elections; GIA Helps Artisanal Miners; Diamond Prices Stable April 05, 2017 (0 comments)

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IAC Announces Seventh Annual Gold Conference Later This Month

New York, NY—Initiatives in Art & Culture (IAC) announces the agenda for its Seventh Annual Gold Conference, titled “Creativity, Community & Collaboration,” taking place April 26-28, 2017 in New York City. Presentation highlights include:

“Each year, Initiatives in Art & Culture takes a 360-degree approach to the consideration of gold in keeping with our cross-disciplinary approach. We are delighted to work with the leading figures from throughout the world to present comprehensive information from the historical, to the predictive, to that which captures the here and now,” said Lisa Koenigsberg, president of Initiatives in Art & Culture. “In the Seventh Annual Gold Conference, we address the ‘Magic of Gold.’ Throughout the ages to this very day, this material has had an extraordinary impact on our culture, our economy, and our creativity. The 15 presentations offered at this event by some of the most interesting and authoritative individuals in their fields explores that power and how they see it changing our future.”

Formal sessions for the conference will be held at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, 365 Fifth Ave. Additionally, two private cocktail receptions and viewings will be hosted for conference attendees. On April 26, Reinstein/Ross, Goldsmiths will host a reception at its downtown store and gallery at 30 Gansevoort Street, and Aaron Faber Gallery will host a reception and viewing on April 27 at its gallery located at 666 Fifth Avenue. For further information regarding presenters, schedules, and locations for events related to this conference, please see the following agenda. Those interested in attending can register at,  https://iacgold2017.eventbrite.com.

Conference sponsors include Signet Jewelers, Richline Group Ltd., Hoover & Strong, AU Enterprises, Freeman’s, the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Republic Metals Corp., and Unleashed. Events are hosted by Reinstein/Ross, Goldsmiths and Aaron Faber Gallery.

 

JBT Holds Annual Elections 

Warwick, RI—The Jewelers Board of Trade has elected new officers and directors to its board recently. The new slate of officials includes these officers and directors elected to serve a one-year term: 

Newly elected to the board for a two-year term was Jeffery Corey, H. E. Murdock Company Inc., Waterville, ME; Michael Pelto, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Neenah, WI; and Richard Seufert, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Rehoboth, MA. Re-elected to the board for two years are:

Remaining on the board are:

Advisory Board members continuing include Phyllis Bergman, Mercury Ring (Div. of Interjewel USA, Inc.), New York, NY; Richard Greenwood, A. F. Greenwood Co., Inc., New York, NY; and F. Daniel Pharr, Pharr Valuation & Business Svcs. LLC, Richmond, VA

 

Diamond Market Improves After Cautious First Quarter But Consumers Moving Downscale

New York, NY—Diamond trading improved in March, with better-than-expected Chinese demand at the Hong Kong show. The latest report from Rapaport says suppliers were willing to compromise on price to generate liquidity before new, better-quality polished production becomes available. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for one-carat polished diamonds edged up 0.1% in March but was down 1.1% during the first quarter. Demand was good for 0.30- to 0.49-carat diamonds, and the Hong Kong show was positive for dealers specializing in these sizes. 

The Rapaport Monthly Report – April 2017 demonstrates that jewelers have reduced inventory requirements and are replacing higher-value inventory with lower-priced goods, reflecting consumers’ spending preferences. The shift toward lower price points is placing additional pressure on the midstream. Chinese buyers are concentrating on SIs, rather than their traditional preference for better-quality VS and higher clarities, and they're competing with US buyers for similar qualities.

Mining companies are raising production from last year’s reduced levels. Rough demand was steady during the first quarter as polished production continued to increase. The large Indian manufacturers are investing heavily in their operations, while the rest of the sector downsizes. Manufacturing profits remained tight during the quarter as rough prices rose an estimated average 2% to 3%. Rough trading was strong during March as De Beers reduced supply during the month. Trading is expected to slow during the Passover and Easter break but changing market conditions will continue to impact activity in the medium to long term.  

The Rapaport Monthly Report can be purchased at store.rapaport.com/monthly-report.

 

GIA Develops Free Gem Guide for Artisanal Miners

Carlsbad, CA--GIA (Gemological Institute of America), working with nonprofit international development organization Pact, recently launched a pilot study to test a new rough gem guide to offer basic gemological and market knowledge for artisanal miners in gem-producing regions. The illustrated booklet, available in English and Tanzanian Swahili, was distributed to approximately 45 women miners in the Tanga region of Tanzania.

“This project is at the very core of GIA’s mission,” said GIA president and CEO, Susan Jacques. “We are moving practical gemstone education as far up the supply chain as possible, to people who can benefit tremendously from greater understanding of the beautiful gems they bring to market.” 

The content and form of the booklet, Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners, was developed by a team of GIA gemology, market, education, and design staff, working in consultation with colored gemstone experts who have extensive experience buying gems in rural areas. The project, originally conceived by GIA Distinguished Research Fellow Dr. James Shigley, is part of the Institute’s mission-driven effort to share gem information and related skills throughout the gem and jewelry industry supply chain and with the public.

All costs for the pilot—approximately $120,000—were paid from the GIA endowment fund. GIA provided the booklet and training at no cost; the booklet will remain free of charge as the Institute expands the training to other small scale rural miners in East Africa later this year.

The Tanga region was chosen for the pilot because of its diversity of gemstones and the expressed interest of TAWOMA leadership. A seven-person GIA and Pact team traveled to the Tanga region of Tanzania in January 2017 to conduct training with the booklet for approximately 45 women miners of the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners (TAWOMA). “Because the booklet is very visual with explanations in Tanzanian Swahili, the miners immediately recognized the practical applications and how they can benefit from this easy-to-use information,” said Robert Weldon, GIA manager of photography and visual communications, who helped develop and test the booklet. “It was incredibly fulfilling to see how sharing GIA’s extensive gem knowledge could directly impact the daily lives of artisanal miners.” 

Pact, a Washington D.C.-based international development nonprofit, has worked with diverse artisanal and small-scale mining communities throughout Africa for more than 15 years. “There is often a knowledge differential between artisanal miners and those further along the supply chain,” said Cristina Villegas, technical program manager for Pact’s Mines to Markets program. “This new GIA resource will help miners in rural areas better understand the quality and value of their products, which will help reduce that differential and improve their economic development opportunities." 

Nearly every gem species mined in East Africa is described in the durable, waterproof booklet that includes illustrations of rough and polished gems. There are also graphical instructions on how to prepare and examine rough under a variety of lighting conditions using an included translucent tray.

 

IDE Appoints Judge To Rule Large Arbitration Cases

Ramat Gan, Israel—In a significant departure from its 80-year tradition, the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has tapped a retired district court judge to head its Arbitration Institution, formerly headed by a fellow bourse member. This higher level of the arbitration unit will address financial disputes of $400,000 and above, as well as appeals on smaller disputes between members. Disputes up to that amount will continue to be arbitrated at the lower level by longstanding IDE members.

The decision was passed at the General Meeting of the IDE, which took place last week. IDE takes pride in its Arbitration Institution, which enables disputes between members to be settled swiftly and professionally, either through mediation or arbitration. Arbitrators are IDE members with many years of experience and impeccable reputations and view this function as an important public service. With the appointment of a judge for larger cases, IDE hopes to raise the professional level of arbitration proceedings to an even higher level. IDE president Yoram Dvash said, “This is an unprecedented decision that will increase the status of our Arbitration Institution in Israel and in the diamond world. It will contribute to greater transparency and objectivity and will strengthen the independence of the Arbitration Institution. I have no doubt that the civil courts will now attribute even greater authority to decisions of this institution.” 

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