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Industry News: AGS Announces Remaining Keynotes; Diamond Prices Dip Again In October: More November 02, 2016 (0 comments)


AGS Announces Remaining Keynote and Featured Speakers for the 2017 Conclave

Las Vegas, NV—The American Gem Society (AGS) has announced the remainder of its keynote speakers and its featured lineup for Conclave 2017, April 5-8, 2017 in Hollywood, CA.

Scott McKain, an internationally known authority who helps organizations create distinction in every phase of business, is the featured breakfast keynote on April 6. He will help members create distinction in every phase of business and teach how to deliver an “Ultimate Customer Experience.” He is the author of three number-one business bestsellers (on; all of which teach how to expand profits, increase sales, and engage customers.

Kai Kight (left) will be the closing keynote on April 8. Kight, an innovative composer and violist known worldwide for using music as a metaphor to compose paths of imagination and fulfillment, gives emotionally powerful presentations where he performs mesmerizing original music and shares stories from his transformation as an artist. Kight translates these insights into takeaways that audiences can easily infuse into their lives and work environments.

Scott McKain is the AGS Conclave breakfast keynote for April 6.

On the featured speaker list are Bob Phibbs, aka the “Retail Doctor” retail sales expert and author of three books who has worked with such prestigious brands as Hearts On Fire, Omega, Lego, and Vera Bradley; Todd Hartley, respected expert in the frenetic Internet marketing industry; and Ford Saeks, whose “Market Domination Formula” modernizes the customer engagement model by applying reverse psychology.

On April 5 and 6, “Retail Doctor” Phibbs will present three sessions. With over 30 years’ experience, beginning in the trenches of luxury retail and extending to senior management positions, he has been a corporate officer, franchisor, and entrepreneur.

Hartley will speak on April 6. A respected expert in Internet marketing, he created WireBuzz, a company that produces videos, marketing strategies, and aligns with organizations that dominate the Internet, such as Google. Ford Saeks, speaking April 7, has redefined the formula for business success. His efforts have helped companies generate a total of over a billion dollars in sales worldwide. His innovative “Market Domination Formula” modernizes the customer engagement model by applying reverse psychology: placing the influence in the buyer’s hands rather than the seller. This hands-on presentation exposes underutilized methods that will attract qualified prospects, secure untapped markets, create a buying culture, and quickly add profits to the bottom line.

Bob Phibbs                                                   Todd Hartley

“We want our members to thrive in their business, and Conclave is their educational resource to do just that,” says Ruth Batson, CEO of the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories. “Our lineup of keynote and featured speakers covers a range of topics crucial to any successful jewelry industry professional: leadership, management, sales, marketing and business solutions. The sessions are designed to inform and inspire with actionable items members can put to use immediately in their store.”

To learn more about the speakers or the event, visit


Rapaport: Diamond Prices Decline Again In October

New York, NY—Global diamond markets were quiet in October with wholesale businesses closing for the respective Chinese, Jewish, and Indian holidays. Trading slowed as larger U.S. holiday orders were already filled and dealers shifted to accommodate specific requirements from their retail customers.

Rapaport’s RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for one-carat, RapSpec-A3+ polished diamonds fell 2.3% in October, bringing the total price decline for the first 10 months of the year to 4.3%.

Market sentiment improved after the September Hong Kong show, but polished trading remained sluggish and inventory levels relatively high. Rough demand softened as prices firmed in October and Indian diamond manufacturers scaled down operations before closing for Diwali.

Mining companies continue to register strong growth compared with 2015. De Beers’ sales volume rose 90% in Q3; ALROSA’s increased 69%.

Manufacturing profits remain tight due to sluggish polished demand. The industry’s focus shifted to retail as Diwali, Christmas, and the Chinese New Year provide important jewelry selling opportunities in the major consumer markets. We expect moderate U.S. jewelry sales growth this Christmas, relative stability in China but weakness in Hong Kong, while reports signal steady gold sales in India during Diwali. But holiday jewelry sales are unlikely to stimulate a sustainable rise in diamond trading and polished prices are expected to remain under pressure for the rest of 2016 and into 2017, which should cause rough prices to soften in the long term. With sufficient stock in the midstream, the diamond trade continues to re-align its inventory with lower levels of demand while there is still an overhang of supply from previous years.

Read more here.


Global Diamond Buying Consortium Launched To Increase Retailers’ Certified Diamond Sales

New York, NY—MVI Marketing (MVI) announces the launch of the Global Diamond Buying Consortium (GDBC), a wholesale diamond-buying consortium that will bring together diamond manufacturers and U.S.-based dealers of loose AGS, GIA, and IGI-certified stones, to fund marketing support for their retailer customers.

“As an industry, we all need to be working together with the goal of bringing consumers to the diamond sales counter, said Beryl Raff, chairman and CEO of Helzberg Diamonds.

While there aren’t many consortiums in the gem or jewelry industries, they have proven to be very successful in other industries, says Liz Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing. “Challenging industry conditions, shrinking margins, and consumer apathy suggest the Global Diamond Buying Consortium (GDBC) will be a strategic benefit for participating members.

“The industry is consolidating rapidly at all levels of the pipeline, which means less diamond promotion to consumers. Forming an alliance like this will help the U.S.-based diamond dealers service their retailer customers, who will receive direct benefit through participation in the free GDBC consumer marketing, advertising, and research support program.”

There will be four levels of GDBC membership: diamond manufacturers in major diamond cutting centers worldwide, U.S. based loose diamond dealers of AGS, GIA and IGI stones, who will invite their larger independent fine jewelry retailers and jewelry chains up to 400 doors to receive a complementary GDBC membership, and sponsor companies and organizations who support the goals of the GDBC.

To increase AGS, GIA and IGI-certified diamond sales to Millennials and other consumer segments, the GDBC will support Retailer Members, who are purchasing from GDBC Dealer Members, with free creative for digital, print, radio, and video advertising, as well as social media content services.

The GBDC will be a membership organization managed by MVI Marketing Ltd., the creators and managers of the Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC). MVI is also known for its consumer research division and brand development projects in the luxury space.

U.S. based diamond dealers are welcome to apply for GDBC membership by visiting the GDBC website. Dealer membership enrollment to GDBC will close November 23, 2016. Additional information about GDBC can be found at


CIBJO Conference Tackles Gemological, Ethical, And Business Issues

Yerevan, Armenia—CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, wrapped up its 2016 congress last week after five intensive days discussing a wide-ranging set of issues facing the gemstone and jewelry industry.

The CIBJO Congress, the first held in the fast-growing Central Asian market, included the three days of formal congress sessions, as well as two pre-congress days of sector and commission steering committee meetings. 120 delegates attended the event, hosted by the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA) and opened by the president of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, who stressed the connection of the Armenian nation to the jewellery business and craft.

The first day focused on social responsibility and sustainability, with large number of key industry and civil society leaders and experts among the speakers and panel discussion members. Other key events at the 2016 CIBJO Congress included a special session addressing inconsistencies in colored gemstone laboratory grading reports, specifically the terms "pigeon's blood" for ruby and "royal blue" for sapphire, which when used can raise the price of both gems. There was discussion about moving toward uniform treatment disclosure for colored gems; this likely will be presented next year.

The Diamond Commission decided to to add to the diamond treatments and simulants section of its Diamond Blue Book, including descriptions of imitations, annealing, artificial products which are not crystallized and artificially crystallized stones.

There also were updates on coral, pearls, opal, and precious metals, particularly as relates to allowable levels of nickel in alloys.

The 2016 CIBJO Congress celebrated the 90th anniversary of CIBJO's founding in 1926. It is the longest established representative body serving the international jewelry industry.

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