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Industry News: Diamond Prices Edge Up; Life In Prison For Robber Who Shoots Jeweler; More March 02, 2016 (0 comments)


Robber Who Disables Jeweler Gets Life Plus 20 Years

York Township, PA—The man who shot and disabled a jeweler during a 2012 robbery has been sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison.

The Central Penn Business Journal reported that Jesse Brewer, 41, of Jamaica, NY (left), who in July 2012 robbed White’s Jewelers along with two other men, was convicted of robbery and firearms offenses at a jury trial last September and sentenced February 24 by U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell.

Brewer shot the owner of the store, John White, permanently disabling him. He and accomplices Jamell Smallwood and Timothy Forbes robbed White’s of more than 50 Rolex watches valued at over $500,000.

Smallwood and Forbes, both of Allentown, PA, previously pleaded guilty. Smallwood was sentenced to 17 years in prison and Forbes is awaiting sentencing.


Five-Carat Blue Synthetic Diamond Comes Through GIA Lab

New York, NY—A 5.03 ct fancy-color HPHT-grown type IIb synthetic diamond, produced by Russian company NDT, came into GIA’s New York laboratory last month. The stone is the largest faceted blue laboratory-grown diamond studied so far. 

GIA has examined large colorless and near-colorless synthetics (up to 5.11 carats) grown by NDT, but this is the largest fancy color diamond it has encountered. Read more in the latest issue of Gems & Gemology here. 

Images courtesy GIA/G&G magazine: A 5.03 ct Fancy Deep blue HPHT synthetic diamond was examined by GIA (left). Faint but sharp color zoning was observed (middle, field of view 4.77 mm) along with small metallic inclusions and a cavity at the girdle (right, field of view 2.19 mm). Photos by Sood (Oil) Judy Chia (left) and Kyaw Soe Moe (center and right).


Polished Diamond Prices Edge Up In February

New York, NY—Polished diamond prices edged up again in February, continuing the upward trend begun last November. Shortages continue to support the market though trading slowed during the month as dealers in China and Hong Kong took vacation during the Chinese New Year period.

Though encouraging, the upticks are minuscule and bigger stones are still hurting. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for one-carat, GIA-graded diamonds rose 0.3% in February. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds advanced 0.4% and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds grew 0.7% percent. RAPI for three-carat diamonds fell 1.2% in the period. Overall, the RAPI for one-carat diamonds increased 1.3% during the first two months of 2016 but remains 7.8% below a year ago.

The uptrend in polished prices is being driven by shortages rather than growth in demand. Manufacturers increased their rough purchases and polished production in 2016 in order to fill shortages in the polished market, but scarcities remain in the short-term as it takes three to four months for new polished production to enter the market.

Chinese buyers are expected to return to the market for the Hong Kong show (now through March 7) but buying levels are uncertain due to the slowdown in China’s economy. Initial reports indicate the Chinese New Year retail season was weak with megabrand Chow Tai Fook reporting sales off 29%.

For more information or to purchase the full report, click here.


FTC’s Jewelry Guides Review: JVC’s Extension Request Granted for Comments

New York, NY—The Federal Trade Commission has agreed to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s request for an extension of the deadline to file comments about the latest proposed changes to the Jewelry Guides. The new deadline is June 3, 2016, extended from the original date of April 4. 

The latest proposals from the FTC includes a list of 75 questions to which the FTC has requested answers; that information could inform the FTC’s decision on changes to the Jewelry Guides.

The process of revising the Guides began in 2012 with trade associations filing their first suggested changes, and has included two rounds of written submissions by a coalition of industry associations.  Hundreds of industry members also separately filed comments. 

Click here for the link to the announcement of the extension, which applies to anyone intending to file comments. For further questions, contact Cecilia Gardner, JVC CEO, at



AGTA Moves Spectrum Awards to Summer 2016

Dallas, TX—The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) annual design competition for colored gemstone jewelry, the AGTA Spectrum Awards, is moving its timeframe to summer 2016.

Instead of its previous fall entry deadline, the new deadline for entry is June 17, 2016, with the New York drop-off of pieces on June 28, 2016.

AGTA CEO Douglas K. Hucker said that with the event being one of AGTA’s biggest promotional events, a summer timeframe would benefit everyone. “We felt if we changed the dates to summer, this would be better for the designers and manufacturers because it wouldn’t remove their inventory during the holiday selling season,” he explained, adding that it was an ideal time to garner PR mention.

In its 33rd year, the AGTA Spectrum Awards is a gemstone and pearl jewelry design competition with categories in Evening Wear, Bridal Wear (sponsored by The Knot), Business Day Wear, Classical Wear, and Men’s Wear. Special categories include Platinum Honors, sponsored by Platinum Guild International, and the Savor Silver Awards, sponsored by the Silver Promotion Service. A parallel competition, the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards, honor loose colored gemstones.

Both competitions are open to U.S. and Canadian designers and cutters. For information contact Megan Whitmire at or call (800) 972‐1162.


Providence Jewelers Club Holds Annual Elections

East Providence, RI—The Providence Jewelers Club on February 9 elected new officers and directors to its board. Officers elected to serve a one-year term are: president, Keith Marsello, Imperial Designs, East Greenwich, RI; vice president, Jim Atamian, Atamian Manufacturing, Ltd., Providence, RI; treasurer, John Antonacci, Advanced Chemical Co., Warwick, RI; secretary, Kerilyn Rodi, Armbrust International, Ltd., Providence, RI.

Newly elected to the board of directors was Larry Feeney, International Packaging Corp., Pawtucket, RI, and re-elected to the board for three years were Tim Coggins, Bank Rhode Island, Providence, RI; and Linda Coutu, LeachGarner, Attleboro, MA.


MJSA Press Book on Jewelry Metals Honored 

Attleboro, MA—MJSA Press’s latest title, Jewelry Metals: A Guide to Working with Common Alloys, recently earned a bronze medal in the Book/Manual/Catalogue category of the Association TRENDS 2015 All-Media Contest. The contest is held annually to recognize the most creative and effective communications developed by associations. Along with the other winners, MJSA will be honored at the 37th Annual Salute to Association Excellence, March 4 in Washington, DC.

Published in March 2015, the 150-page Jewelry Metals offers practical, expert insights into all aspects of working with precious and non-precious jewelry metals. It includes advice for easier casting and bench work, tips for managing scrap metal, international marking and stamping regulations, and illustrated step-by-step instruction on a range of metalworking techniques.

Jewelry Metals is available from MJSA and leading distributors for $34.95. MJSA members can order from the association at a special member rate of $29.50. For more information, visit or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).

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