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Industry And Service News: New AR App Helps Jewelers Sell More; G&G Explores Russian Diamond Mine August 16, 2017 (0 comments)


AUGMENTes Brings Augmented Reality To Jewelry Shopping

Houston, TX—AUGMENTes is bringing augmented reality technology to the jewelry industry. Augmented reality superimposes a computer-generated image to enhance a user's view of the real world. Virtual reality (VR), by contrast, presents an entirely simulated world. (For example, think of the yellow first-down line that appears onscreen during televised NFL football games, vs. a fantasy football video game). AR seeks to entice the new wave of shoppers who want to be entertained, engaged, educated, and instantly gratified.

Named as one of the Top 10 “Most Promising 2017 IT & Web Technology Companies” by Rice University in Houston, AUGMENTes offers retailers e-commerce solutions ranging from web to mobile, and enabling both print and social media to be more transactional by using augmented reality to capture the impulse to buy.

Riddle’s Jewelry, a 65-unit chain based in Rapid City, SD, partnered with AUGMENTes to redesign its website. Since then, ecommerce sales were up 30% in April and May, and 400% in June over last year, said Riddle’s marketing director Mark Morgan, adding that Riddle’s recently launched a mobile app and just finished building its customization tool. He says website page views are up by 30%, and online sessions grew by more than 20%. “When customers land on our website they stick around longer and view more products. We get great reviews on how simple it is to navigate our site and interact with customer service through online chat. We have a strong brick and mortar presence and needed to match that online with a full omnichannel feel for our customers,” he said, adding that the retailer had outgrown its homegrown e-commerce platform and in-house IT capabilities.

AUGMENTes brings a diverse menu of proprietary software modules that provide a cohesive digital consumer experience across online channels, mobile, and in-store technology that it manages from one location. It can implement its turnkey solutions into existing software systems within 90 days, including electronic-mobile-augmented commerce, augmented product catalog, print and product augmentation, 3-D augmented view, virtual touch and try on, beacons for “Near Me” coupons and offers, image recognition for digital offers, geo-fencing and sensor integration, design-your-own, and business intelligence.

Augmentes founder and CEO Sundar Moorthi credits social media as laying the groundwork for AR, as millions of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest view and upload pictures, comment on videos, share links, tag each other, and interact for hours in the virtual world. “You can imagine the potential augmented technologies have for the buyer socially and visually,” he explains. “Give customers the chance to interact on their smart phones and mobile devices and you will compel them to purchase more often, simply because they are more involved with, and stimulated by, your products. More than any other industry, selling jewelry is about establishing empathy and creating desire, and nothing spurs desire like trying on jewelry. Augmented apps place customers virtually inside a product or store.” He says jewelers in Las Vegas had demonstrated a sea change in their attitudes toward digital and many are ready to invest in it.

For more information call (281) 401-9883, email, or visit


Summer Edition of G&G Explores Europe’s First Diamond Mine  

Carlsbad, CA—The Summer 2017 issue of GIA’s quarterly professional journal Gems & Gemology (G&G), is now available in print and online. The issue features articles on topics including Russia’s Lomonosov diamond mine, carbonado diamond, photoluminescence (PL) mapping, Vietnamese tourmaline, nephrite color determination and Montana sapphire. 

“Geology and Development of the Lomonosov Diamond Deposit, Northwestern Russia,” written by GIA research scientist Karen Smit and GIA senior industry analyst Russell Shor, delves into the geology, operations, and production of the diamond mine. Rooted in younger Proterozoic rocks, Lomonosov’s two kimberlite pipes produce a high proportion of gem-quality diamonds, including a tiny amount of highly valuable fancy-color material. 

“Carbonado Diamond: A Review of Properties and Origin,” by Professor Stephen Haggerty of Florida International University, evaluates origin theories for unusual diamond aggregates based on hundreds of examples from the only known sources, Brazil and the Central African Republic.

“Photoluminescence Mapping of Optical Defects in HPHT Synthetic Diamond” explores GIA research associate Lorne Loudin’s study of an irradiated HPHT synthetic diamond of mixed type, confirming that the technique shows great promise for detecting sophisticated diamond color treatments. 

Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA Courtesy of Diarough

Researchers led by Nguy Tuyet Nhung of the Gemmological Center of the Vietnam Gemstone Association provide “An Update on Tourmaline from Luc Yen, Vietnam.” Xiaoyan Feng, senior engineer at NGTC in Beijing, and her research team use Raman spectroscopy to investigate and define color boundaries in nephrite from China and Taiwan in the article “Characterization of Mg and Fe Contents in Nephrite Using Raman Spectroscopy.”

“Big Sky Country Sapphire: Visiting Montana’s Alluvial Deposits,” by G&G technical editor Tao Hsu and coauthors, survey alluvial sapphire production in the state of Montana and notes the prevalence of small-scale mining and the importance of gem tourism, but indicates that larger, mechanized operations are expanding.

G&G’s Lab Notes section includes entries on melee-size CVD synthetics in parcels and jewelry, CVD synthetic overgrowth on natural diamond and non-nacreous “rosebud” conch pearls. The Micro-World column includes kyanite in diamond and molybdenite “phantoms” in quartz, while Gem News International features new gem finds such as Ethiopian sapphires and common opal from Mexico. 

The issue also includes a wall chart on sapphire inclusions, the second in a series. It documents characteristic internal features of natural, treated and synthetic sapphire.  

This and every issue of G&G since 1934, including full articles, photo galleries and exclusive video footage, are available on GIA’s website at Additional research articles are available at Subscriptions to the print edition and copies of back issues are available at, or by contacting G&G customer service at +1 760-603-4502.


Carat Tales: Woman's Diamond Ring, Missing Since 2004, Turns Up On A Garden Carrot

Edmonton, AB, Canada--You can't make this stuff up. An 84-year-old woman who lost her engagement ring 13 years ago while gardening finally has it back. Although she and her family dug for hours after it came off, it was never found and she quickly replaced it without telling her husband, who died five years ago after the couple's 60th wedding anniversary.

This week, her daughter-in-law found it, still on the family farm. She pulled up a carrot and there it was. "I knew it had to belong to either grandma or my mother-in-law because no other women have lived on that farm." Click here to watch the owner's reaction upon getting back her ring--which still fits.

Mary Grams, 84, lost her engagement ring while gardening in 2004. Here she holds the carrot and the ring, found this week.  It still fits. Photo:

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