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Industry News: Mark Patterson’s New DEF Bracelet; Swarovski Gets Into Synthetic Diamonds; More May 18, 2016 (0 comments)

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Designer Mark Patterson Creates D.E.F.’s New Green Bracelet

New York, NY—Mark Patterson of Corona Del Mar, CA, has created The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F)’s new design for its iconic Green Bracelet. The original Green Bracelet, with its malachite beads and rough diamond charm accent, was designed in 2007 as a symbol of support for the many good works the diamond industry does around the world. The new design was the result of a competition among the designers of The COUTURE Show, a highly curated group of designers each with a distinctive point of view.

Green Bracelet design entries were required to be unisex in style, “give a nod” to the first D.E.F bracelet, contain both a diamond and the color green, and have a retail price point of approximately $125 to allow for a portion of proceeds to be donated to D.E.F. Most important to the organization’s mission, designs must be Kimberley Process compliant.

Aside from showing support for D.E.F, the new bracelet will help draw attention to the good works being done around the world by the diamond industry and by the purchase of diamond jewelry. The message is poignant and simple: “Diamonds Do Good.”

Mark Patterson’s winning design underscores the ‘Diamonds Do Good’ message, which is centered by a reversible, silhouetted diamond profile cast in sterling silver and plated with gold. A slice of chrysoprase sandwiched between front and back pays homage to the original malachite bracelet, and adds a splash of green below the precious metal overlay of diamond facets. The front is accented with a genuine diamond, while the back contains an artistic graphic of the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s ‘Diamonds Do Good’ message.  An updated leather “rope” band encircles the wrist and is adjustable for ease of wear. The bracelet is available in two sizes to accommodate almost any consumer.

Front and back of Mark Patterson's winning design for the new D.E.F. bracelet.

Patterson said, "My wife Josette and I, as always, collaborated on the design. We knew that a key element that we wanted to incorporate was making it reversible so that the inspirational message could be either a private reminder to the wearer, or a public statement to “do good.” We inscribed the message in a graffiti-like way to give it a young, hip feel. Since Josette is also a sculptor and ceramic artist, and the bracelet was being made in China, we used the Chrysoprase as a slice or “shard”, inspired by the city of Jingdizhen, China, the town where porcelain was discovered 2000 years ago.

Two other notable designers whose bracelets were competition finalists were Julie Romanenko of Just Jules, and Bibi Van der Velden, who designs jewelry under her own name.

An impressive number of entries were gathered from some of The Couture Show’s top designers and judged by an exclusive panel of jewelry industry notables and D.E.F supporters. Industry giant Chow Tai Fook agreed to manufacture the winning design, and part of Patterson’s prize is a trip to China with the opportunity to meet Chow Tai Fook’s managing director and visit jewelry stores in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

The new Diamonds Do Good bracelets will be available for a suggested donation of $125.00 on the organization’s website by this September, and will be available at a variety of retailers across the country in fall 2016.

To read some of the stories about how diamonds are doing good around the world visit www.diamondsdogood.com. For more information on the Diamond Empowerment Fund, visit www.diamondempowerment.org. For tickets to the Diamonds Do Good Awards Gala on June 2 at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas, click here.

 

JFC Vegas Events Ready To Help Kids

Las Vegas, NV—Participants are still welcome to join Jewelers for Children’s three fundraising events during Las Vegas jewelry market week.

On Thursday, June 2, JFC will hold the Fourth Annual Rings of Strength event at Mandalay Bay. For the past three years, more than 150 industry members have assembled at 5:30 a.m. to walk or run a 5K, bike a 50K route in the scenic Red Rock Canyon or, this year, even join a yoga class.

Each participant creates their own fundraising page and asks their friends, family and co-workers to support them in their efforts.  Thanks to the sponsors of the event, JCK Events, Ashi Diamonds, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Assurant, Blue Nile, Brink’s, Freeman, JIS Exchange and CMAC, all donations raised by participants go directly to helping children in need. Visit www.ringsofstrength.org to sign up.

On Sunday, June 5, JFC celebrates its 18th Annual Facets of Hope event in the South Seas Ballroom at Mandalay Bay. This year we will be honoring Stuart Lee of Signet Jewelers, Ltd. and Dennis Ulrich of the Richline Group. 

JFC also will be announcing its planned distributions to our charity partners in the year ahead, and hear from some of the children that have been helped through the industry’s support of JFC. This year, representatives from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National CASA Association will be speaking. 

Tickets are still available. Visit www.jewelersforchildren.org, email us at info@jewelersforchildren.org, or call 212-687-2949.

This year will also mark a new addition to the evening. An after-party, sponsored by Hallmark Jewelry, will be held immediately following the Facets of Hope event in the South Seas Ballroom foyer. Enjoy dessert from a number of stations, have a barista whip up your favorite coffee, or visit a whiskey-tasting bar. The evening also will feature music, a photo booth, and a large silent auction to benefit JFC. 

The after-party is open to all attendees at the Facets of Hope dinner, and tickets for the after-party only can be purchased from JFC.

 

GIA Examines Largest Canadian Diamond Ever Found; Seeks Recruiters For Career Fair

New York, NY—The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) laboratory here recently had the opportunity to examine the largest rough diamond ever found in Canada, a 187.66-ct. specimen discovered last August at the Diavik mine, a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Corp., in the Northwest Territories.

GIA’s John King, Kyaw Soe Moe and Dr. Wuyi Wang examined the stone and report their findings in an article titled Examination of the Largest Canadian Diamond. Some key findings and observations summarized in the article include:

This pale yellow type Ia “cape” diamond from the Diavik mine, weighing 187.66 cts., is the largest Canadian diamond to date. Photo by Sood Oil (Judy) Chia; courtesy GIA.

Separately, GIA announced that recruiter registration is now open for its New York Jewelry Career Fair, July 25 at the Jacob Javits Center.

Recruiters seeking employees can now register online by using the registration form, contacting GIA’s Career Services office at +1 (760) 603-4542, or emailing careerservices@gia.edu.  

 

Famed Crystal Maker Swarovski Enters Synthetic Diamonds

Wattens, Austria—Swarovski, the Austrian company renowned for its high-quality crystal and precision-calibrated gemstones, is getting into the synthetic diamond business.

Its new line of synthetic diamond jewelry is called Diama and is made with “Swarovski-created diamonds” set in 18k gold. Its website compares the creation of synthetic diamonds in a laboratory to an orchid grown in a greenhouse, vs. one found in the wild and, like other synthetic diamond companies, drills home the point about socially and environmentally sound sourcing.

At press time, its website showed retail distribution only in a few New England jewelers and one in Newark, DE, plus Ross-Simons online.

 

World Diamond Congress Meetings Address Most Worrisome Issues

Dubai, UAE—The 37th World Diamond Congress meeting this week has been marked by intense and sometimes heated discussions on key diamond issues such price differentials of rough versus polished, polished inventory levels, financing, synthetic diamonds, generic diamond promotion, and more.

International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) president Maxim Shkadov’s address to the Congress can be accessed on the home page of the IDMA website: www.idma.co.

While recognizing industry consensus that stability in the diamond manufacturing sector can only be achieved through profit, Shkadov emphasized that the industry needs a healthy and reliable financing structure to return to profitability.

"As the players in the supply pipeline will become positively aligned, it is our hope that the banks will become confident enough with our industry to reinstate and strengthen financing structures to our sector," he said.

He also addressed concerns of various African mining ministers present, acknowledging that the various beneficiation models and manufacturers’ cutting plants in those countries have not brought about the desired results for either side.

The World Diamond Congress meetings got intense and heated as discussions of urgent issues progressed.

“IDMA, I can assure you, would like to enter into dialogue with you, to find and implement business models that will bring your countries the highest possible revenues for your mined diamonds, and at the same time allow for an infrastructure that will ensure profitability for the manufacturers," Shkadov said. 

Participants addressed the need for the synthetic diamond producers to create a protocol and paper trail to protect both the gem and jewelry supply pipeline and consumers from fraud, noting with concern the synthetic sellers' current marketing practices that seem to concentrate on negative publicity about natural diamonds. 

Jean Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, gave a general overview of the DPA's objectives, and invited all to attend the DPA's breakfast seminar on June 3 at JCK Las Vegas, where the DPA will reveal its consumer-oriented campaigns for the holiday season in the US.

 

De Beers, Namibian Government Sign 10-Year Sales Agreement

Windhoek, Namibia—The government of the Republic of Namibia and the De Beers Group of Companies have signed a 10-year agreement for the sorting, valuing, and sales of Namdeb Holdings’ diamonds. Namdeb Holdings is a 50/50 joint venture between the Namibian government and De Beers, and is the parent company of Namdeb (land) and Debmarine Namibia (marine) mining companies. Namdeb Holdings is one of the country’s largest taxpayers and its biggest foreign exchange generator, contributing more than 20% of Namibian foreign earnings.

Namibia will see a significant increase in rough diamonds made available for beneficiation as a result of the agreement, with U.S. $430 million of rough diamonds being offered annual to Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) customers. Also as part of the agreement, all Namdeb holdings’ special stones will be made available for sale in Namibia.

The agreement also provides for 15% of Namdeb Holdings’ annual run-of-mine production be made available to a government-owned independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds Pty Ltd.

De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier said this agreement—the longest ever signed between the two—both secures De Beers’ long-term diamond supply and ensures Namibia’s diamonds continue to contribute to its economic growth. 

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