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Industry News: Big Diamonds Found And Sold; D.E.F. Adds Beneficiary; GIA’s India Exhibit; More September 27, 2017 (0 comments)


Big Diamond News: Giant Pink Found In Russia; Graff Buys Tennis Ball-Size Diamond 

New York, NY—Two huge diamonds made news this week. First, Laurence Graff, one of the world’s foremost dealers in exceptional stones, bought the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond unearthed by Lucara in 2015 at its Karowe mine in Botswana. Graff paid $53 million for the tennis ball-sized stone, says National Jeweler. The price works out to $47,777 per carat, but is still about $17 million less than Lucara originally hoped to get for the stone, first put up for auction in 2016.

The 1,109-ct Lesedi La Rona, which means “our light” in the Twsana language. Image: Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images via CNBC.

Separately, Russian mining company Alrosa has unearthed a 27.85-carat pink diamond (top left) from its deposits in Yakutia. It’s extremely rare for the company to find any colored diamonds above 10 carats, and prior to this discovery the largest pink it ever found weighed 3.86 cts. This stone is of exceptional quality; a delicate light pink, it’s almost inclusion-free.

"The unique characteristics of the diamond make it an extraordinary, rare stone of high value. Currently, experts of United Selling Organization of Alrosa and the company's polishing division Diamonds Alrosa are examining the stone to make the decision whether to auction it as a rough or cut it into polished diamond,” said Evgeny Agureev, head of USO Alrosa. Large colored diamonds are always in demand at auctions, he noted, but added that if the company decided to cut it, it would become the most expensive diamond in the entire history of Alrosa.


Online Auction Will Support Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference

Chicago, IL—Ethical Metalsmiths is hosting an online auction to support the upcoming Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, set for October 13-14 at Columbia College Chicago, Film Row Cinema building, 4th Floor, 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago IL. While designed to bring valuable education about responsible sourcing initiatives to jewelry industry stakeholders in the Midwest, the event is open to all interested industry attendees. The conference will include a screening of the movie Sharing the Rough and a panel discussion with the movie producer, Orin Mazzoni.

The auction highlights works created by jewelry designers participating in the Radical Jewelry Makeover program sponsored by Ethical Metalsmiths. The auction is still open for donations; contributions are not limited to jewelry. People who wish to donate to the auction can do so easily here

Co-organized by Susan Wheeler of Susan Wheeler Designs and Ethical Metalsmiths, the purpose of the conference is to bring valuable education about responsible sourcing initiatives within the jewelry industry to stakeholders located in the middle of the country.

“I saw a need to bring information about ethical sourcing within the jewelry industry to the many stakeholders that might not have the opportunity to travel to the coasts or Las Vegas for other industry seminars,” said Susan Wheeler of Susan Wheeler Designs, initiator of the conference and co-organizer with Ethical Metalsmiths.

“I am so grateful that Ethical Metalsmiths jumped in. The support of the Board members and contribution of this auction are making it possible to do even more with this inaugural conference than I had imagined or could have done on my own.”

Bidding can be done here and is open through October 13 at 10:00 AM Central time. Click here for conference schedule, registration, and hotel information, or email


Leading Retailer Asks For Help For Puerto Rico

San Juan, PR--Marie Helene Morrow, one of the jewelry industry's leading retailers and a GEM Award recipient for Lifetime Achievement (2013) is also a leading jeweler and voice in Puerto Rico. In an interview with Marion Fasel in The AdventurineMorrow--in Dallas at the time Hurricane Maria struck her beloved island--asks the industry to help via donations to United For Puerto Rico. At press time, her stores, Reinhold Jewelers, still were closed, according to posts on her Facebook page.

Marie Helene Morrow of Reinhold Jewelers with Dave Bonaparte, left, and David Yurman, right, who presented her with the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013. Image: The Adventurine.


‘Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India’ Exhibit Will Debut At GIA

Carlsbad, CA—“Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India,” will debut at GIA’s headquarters on October 13 and run through March 2018. The exhibit, showcasing 300 years of intricate and ornate adornment, will feature with 50 lavish historical jewelry pieces and objects, including several from the Mughal Empire (1526–1857). 

“Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India” explores the circuitous routes diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and other gems decorating these pieces took from their sources across the globe. It delves into their religious and cultural symbolism, the wars fought for them, and the historical tradition of gemology in India. The pieces exhibited are on loan from a private collection.

“We are thrilled to be able to exhibit this spectacular historical jewelry,” said Terri Ottaway, curator of the GIA museum. “The wealth of gems in each piece gives us a tantalizing look at the lavishness of the royal courts of India from centuries past.

Throughout India’s history, many different gems were used in elaborately designed jewelry. Some served to honor religious figures; other jewels were integral to the marriage contract, as seen in nose rings worn as tribute to happiness in the union. Elaborately designed wedding necklaces depicted snakes or fish as symbols of fertility, and the colors used in enamel - typically on the back of jewelry pieces - functioned as a representation of the forces of life. 

“The nobility of India traded diamonds from their famous Golconda region for Colombian emeralds, Burmese rubies, and pearls from the Persian Gulf. No mine was too remote to access, no ocean was too wide to cross, in pursuit of the very best gems,” continued Ottaway. Gems not only conveyed wealth and status, but also were worn as talismans for the protection and enhancement of life.  

Visitors can schedule a tour by emailing or calling 800-421-7250 ext 4116, or +1 760-603-4116 (if outside the U.S. or Canada).

The GIA museum is home to the Institute’s extensive collection of gems, jewelry, and minerals. The many permanent and rotating exhibits support GIA’s mission by strengthening awareness of gems, jewelry, and gemology. The museum collection also supports GIA’s research and education programs. Click here for a full list of exhibits on display. The “Centuries of Opulence” exhibit opens October 13 in conjunction with GIA’s annual Jewelry Career Fair, the only day when the campus is open to the public with no appointment necessary. For more information click here or call (800) 421-7250, ext. 4100.  

This 18th century 22k gold Mughal Horn pendant features a 125 carat Colombian emerald engraved in Arabic with salutations of peace. Set with diamonds, Burmese rubies, emerald beads and dangling pearls, it was made for a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. 


While a necklace exhibiting mango-shaped elements (a manga mala) is traditional in South India, a manga mala as elaborate as this one with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds in 22k gold was worn only by those who could afford such a massive gem-set jewel. Note the stylized mangos around the collar of the necklace. Its pendant represents the mythical two-headed bird (gandaberunda) that was the emblem of Mysore’s Wadiyar royal family. There is elaborate repoussé detailing on the back.


D.E.F. Announces Graca Machel Trust As A Beneficiary

New York, NY—The  Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) has announced a $130,000 grant to the Graça Machel Trust, the pan-African women’s and children’s rights organization founded and led by the Honorable Graça Machel, former First Lady of South Africa and of Mozambique.

The Graça Machel Trust was started in 2010 to significantly improve the lives of African women and children. In addition to running its own programs, the Trust helps strengthen networks and organizations that help women and children, and drive social and economic change across the continent. As the widow of the late South African Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel has strong roots in social justice, economic development and equal access to education for women and girls.

Says D.E.F. co-founder Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., “Graça is a global freedom fighter, international advocate for the rights of women and children, United Nations Icon, and one who continues to give and share her activism, leadership, genius, love, wisdom, and grace.”

“I’ve always seen myself as someone who is here to serve by working with others – never alone,” says Machel.

The partnership comes as D.E.F. gears up to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. It was at a meeting at Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel’s home in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2006 with Dr. Chavis and fellow co-founder Russell Simmons, where the idea of the Diamond Empowerment Fund was first contemplated.

Supported by the global diamond industry, empowering people from diamond communities through access to higher education has been the D.E.F. mission from the beginning. Anna Martin, D.E.F. president and senior vice-president of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) says, “The Graça Machel Trust is the perfect partner with which to continue our 10-year legacy of giving back to the youth from diamond communities around the world. The Trust’s work is a reminder that “Diamonds Do Good.”

The Graça Machel Trust joins existing D.E.F. beneficiaries, India-based Veerayatan, and   Botswana  Top  Achievers  Program.


MJSA Press Publishes A Jeweler's Guide to Apprenticeships

N. Attleboro, MA—MJSA Press has published A Jeweler’s Guide to Apprenticeships: How to Create Effective Programs, by educator and award-winning jewelry artist Nanz Aalund. Suitable for shop owners, students, and instructors, the 208-page volume provides detailed, proven approaches for finding, training, and retaining valuable employees.

The book features a variety of tests and step-by-step projects, complete with full-color photos through which apprentices can best learn about specific tools and techniques. It also features interviews with professional jewelers who relate their own inspiring experiences with apprenticeships. In his introduction, acclaimed metalsmith and consulting editor Charles Lewton-Brain wrote, "There has been nothing like this book published in America before. It will show you how to plan for an apprenticeship; how to evaluate and choose a candidate who is passionate and motivated; and how to train that person to work both for you and with you." 

The book is part of the MJSA Education Foundation’s BEaJEWELER initiative, which seeks to bring "new blood" into the jewelry industry by attracting the next generation of bench jewelers and connecting them with career opportunities. The initiative was developed as a joint project with New Approach School for Jewelers in Franklin, TN, and is funded by a grant from the JCK Industry Fund. 

A Jeweler’s Guide to Apprenticeships is available for $29.50 (MJSA members receive a 15% discount.) To learn more or order the book, visit Publications on under MJSA Books or contact Publisher Rich Youmans at 1-800-444-MJSA, ext. 3025,


Select Show Announces Dallas 2018 Date
New York, NY--The Select Jewelry Show has announced a new date for its Dallas show in 2018, pushing into September from its previous August dates. The new dates are September 15-16, 2018 at the Dallas Ritz Carlton Hotel.

“We’ve slightly changed our dates to better serve our valued retailers and vendors,” said Joe Carullo of the Select Show. “We’re pleased to begin our ninth year in Dallas in 2018 and look forward to another great year there.” To register or for additional information call (646) 517-0660 or (800) 552-3790; email; or click here.


Rémy Rotenier Debuts Third Design Course DVD

Albuquerque, NM—Paris-trained jewelry designer Rémy Rotenier of Rémy Design has introduced a third DVD course, Advanced Jewelry Design, in his popular instructional DVD series. All three courses teach designers, jewelry makers, students, and retail sales associates how to professionally draw and render jewelry. The new course will appeal to those who are already well versed on the basics of rendering jewelry, and who want to move to the next level. 

 In a growing marketplace for customized jewelry designs, improving the ability to quick sketch clients' ideas is key, says Rotenier. "Regardless of whether you'll ultimately be designing with a CAD program, it's still great to be able to professionally respond to your clients on the spot with free-hand drawing. When you sketch in real time, you gain a customer's trust that you have skills as a jewelry artist." Hand drawing can also be useful in pre-visualizing CAD renderings, or for use in brand development, the designer says.

In his new DVD, Rotenier teaches advanced techniques for drawing complex ring designs, with thorough training in top, profile, and through-the-finger views. Students will also learn how to draw rings at a 45-degree angle, build a braided solitaire, create channel-set solitaires, and render a pavé cocktail ring (as well as other pave ring styles). The rich diversity of content on rings reflects Rotenier's understanding that ring design is the most crucial category in custom design. 

Rotenier also tackles how to render earrings, the second most important female self-purchase category after rings. Among the lessons are how to draw earring posts, short and long dangles, hoops, left and right styles, and alternative styles. The DVD also instructs students how to draw a variety of jewelry chains, a chain bracelet, bangle bracelets, brooches, a pendant, and cufflinks, using designs from the natural world, as well as historical motifs.  

The new course complements Rotenier's first two DVDs, Counter Sketching Jewelry (how to make basic black and white custom design sketches on paper in front of a client), and Color Rendering of Jewelry (how to render jewelry designs into finished paintings that can be presented to customers).

Advanced Jewelry Design contains over seven hours of instruction on four DVDs, and includes bonus content with printable course drawings and layouts. It is available here or in combination with Counter Sketching Jewelry, as a "Classroom in a Box" Jewelry Design Master Set, both from Rio Grande, here. Color Rendering of Jewelry can also be purchased separately. All three DVDs are also available on Shopify

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