Jeff Feero Of Alex Sepkus Interviewed By New York Times
New York, NY—The growing market for synthetic diamonds is grabbing attention in the consumer press, and most recently was the subject of an article in the “Your Money” section of The New York Times. The main topic of the article was synthetic diamonds’ investment value—or rather, lack thereof.
The author, Paul Sullivan, interviewed multiple industry experts, including Tom Moses, head of research, and Dr. James Shigley, distinguished research fellow, of GIA, Tom Gelb, founder of Diamond Durability Laboratory, colored diamond dealer Alan Bronstein of Aurora Gems, fifth-generation CT-based retail jeweler Mark Michaels, and Jeff Feero (left), managing director of Alex Sepkus. To Sullivan’s credit—and theirs—the experts all point out that apart from very large stones or very high-quality natural color diamonds, natural diamonds aren’t a stellar investment either. Only 2-4% of natural diamonds will appreciate over time, said Bronstein, while Feero says he doesn’t consider most natural white diamonds to be that rare. His big worry about synthetics is disclosure, especially since the quality of man-made diamonds has improved so quickly.
“I have no problem with lab-created gemstones, but I have a problem with a lack of disclosure,” he told the Times. “Disclosure will be the saving ingredient.”
Shigley, meanwhile, told the Times the same thing he told jewelers at the Centurion Scottsdale Show, where he was part of a panel discussion about synthetic diamonds: the worrisome issue is melee. Big stones and even typical commercial sizes used in engagement rings are going to be identified but it’s easy to salt melee with synthetics and have it go undetected. Though tiny, those carats add up.
Retailer Mark Michaels, however, discovered something the industry hasn’t wanted to acknowledge: the lower-cost option of synthetic diamonds brings more people into the store to buy diamonds that might not have done otherwise.
Read the full New York Times article here. Read a summary of the synthetic diamonds panel discussion at Centurion here. And retail jewelers share their six most urgent concerns about synthetics here.
Royal Chain Celebrates 40 Years
New York, NY—Royal Chain Group is celebrating 40 years in 2018. The supplier of gold chains and finished jewelry was founded in 1978 as a small gold chain supplier in a one-room office in New York’s jewelry district. Today, Royal Chain’s portfolio of products includes, in addition to its signature gold chains, finished gold jewelry, sterling silver, alternative metal jewelry, and the national jewelry brand Phillip Gavriel.
Paul Maroof, founder and current President of the company, has kept the company family owned and operated since its beginning. “This is a historic milestone for me, and I think for our industry in general. With so much fallout in our sector over the last decade, I am so proud of what we have achieved. I have built a company based on the core values of trust and respect, and look forward to continuing this philosophy for many years to come,” he said. The company belongs to multiple industry organizations and was recently approved as a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
To celebrate its anniversary, Royal Chain will be unveiling new products and promotions throughout the year. The first is a special new Philip Gavriel collection for spring 2018, launched at the VicenzaOro show in Italy. The collection includes new pieces in gold and diamonds and pays tribute to the history of the company’s beginnings as a distributor of Italian gold. They’ve also created a new logo (above) which can be found on their website and all of their latest marketing materials.
Frederique Constant Names New Managing Director
Geneva, Switzerland—Frederique Constant has promoted Niels Eggerding to managing director for the timepiece brand, effective February 1.
Eggerding, who has been with the company since 2012, will lead the company day-to-day. Prior to his appointment he was vice president of sales, a position he held since 2014, and prior to joining the company he worked in brand management positions in the watch industry for 11 years.