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Industry News: MD Jeweler Devastated In Flood; Diamond Prices Slide Down Again; More August 03, 2016 (0 comments)


GoFundMe Page Established For Devastated Ellicott City, MD Jeweler

Ellicott City, MD—On July 30, a summer rainstorm that dumped six inches of rain in two hours caused a flood that devastated downtown Ellicott City, MD, killing two people and destroying or damaging at least 25 buildings.

One of the businesses destroyed was Craig Coyne Jewelers (left) in downtown Ellicott City. The store, owned by jeweler Sam Coyne, specializes in antique, estate, and designer jewelry and has been a part of the Ellicott City community since 2000. Renovated just a few years ago, the store was a popular destination in the historic downtown, and Coyne is active in local philanthropy, especially causes that involve health, hunger, education, and domestic violence issues.

Designer Lori Gadola of Kelim Jewelry Design is one of Coyne’s vendors, as well as a personal friend. She has set up a GoFundMe page to help Coyne repair and rebuild, and she has put out a call to the industry, the community, and friends to help.  Click here for more information.

Craig Coyne Jewelers suffered tremendous devastation in the sudden flooding of Ellicott City, MD. Below is what his recently-renovated store looked like before the flood; above, the in the aftermath. One of his vendors has put out a call for to help him via GoFundMe (link above).


Diamond Prices Decline Again in July

New York, NY--Polished diamond prices continued their relentless downtrend in July, as diamond markets were seasonally quiet and U.S. wholesalers took their annual summer vacation.

According to a report from Rapaport, overall polished demand remains weak. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for one-carat diamonds fell 1.7% in July. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds dropped 1.8% and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds declined 0.5% percent. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds fell 1.5%. In the first seven months of 2016, RAPI for one-carat diamonds is down 4.7% from a year ago.

Buyers are avoiding large volume purchases as prices continue to soften. Demand is selective as retailers take goods on memo rather than buy for inventory. Dealers are concerned about sluggish polished demand, rising inventory levels, and narrowing profit margins in the seasonally weak second half of the year. Throughout 2016, the diamond market has experienced cautious polished trading, increased rough sales, lower rough-mining production, and restrained consumer demand. De Beers and Alrosa cut production in the first half and reduced the excess inventory that built up when demand slumped in the second half of 2015.

The market is expected to remain quiet throughout the third quarter. Dealers are hoping the September Hong Kong show will signal a return to normalized activity; however, businesses across the distribution chain are focused on realigning their inventory to match lower levels of consumption.

Click here for more.

Separately, De Beers on Tuesday released provisional sales value figures for the sixth sales cycle (including both sightholder and auction sales) at $520 million; a drop of $44 million from the actual total of $564 million in the fifth sight. Bruce Cleaver, De Beers Group CEO, said: “This is an encouraging sales performance for this point in the year, supported by positive sentiment from our customers. We maintain a cautious outlook for the remainder of 2016.”


Spinel, New August Birthstone, Launched With Great Fanfare

New York, NY—Jewelers of America (JA) has launched a consumer marketing campaign to announce spinel as an official birthstone for the month of August. The new birthstone, which joins peridot, has been debuted to consumers through public relations and marketing outreach including print media, online platforms, social media, radio segments, and email distribution.

JA established the official birthstone list in 1912. Answering a call from gem enthusiasts to expand birthstones to include spinel, JA added spinel to August in collaboration with American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).

JA is running a sweepstakes to generate consumer awareness and excitement for spinel. One winner will receive a pair of 18k gold and red spinel earrings from Carelle’s Stacked Collection, valued at $1,250. The sweepstakes is runs through noon August 19 at

JA also has created a variety of marketing materials for members to use in their own marketing; both announcing spinel as an August birthstone and promoting the “Spectacular Spinel” Sweepstakes. Available for download are: email HTML, email or web images, printable sign, social media graphics and revised digital gemstone leaflets. JA also is calling on the entire industry to update birthstone lists.

“As an industry, we have a great opportunity to capture consumer excitement, wonder and enthusiasm for jewelry,” says JA president and CEO David J. Bonaparte. “It is our hope that everyone will join together in announcing spinel as a new birthstone for August, and the industry will have one united voice and message about birthstones.”

For more information on the promotional opportunities related to spinel’s public launch as a new August birthstone, check Jewelers of America’s website at


Contemporary Design Group Names Officers

Hermitage, PA—The Contemporary Jewelry Design Group (CJDG) has elected a new executive board for the term of 2016-2018.

Julie Romanenko of Just Jules becomes the new president of CJDG, taking over for Malak Atut, ZAIKEN Jewelry. Romanenko said, “I love what the CJDG stands for and am grateful for the opportunity to be president. I would love to see us, this amazing group of talented designers, figure out a way to give back. I was raised knowing that giving charity and being philanthropic was not just a ‘good thing to do’ but essential. There are many ways that we as an association, can increase our involvement with charities and other organizations to enrich our world.”

Sara Freedenfeld of Amali is vice president. Rebecca Overmann, Rebecca Overmann Jewelry and Elizabeth and Jack Gualtieri of Zaffiro continue as members of the executive board. Vicente Agor, Vicente Agor Precious Jewelry also continues as the CJDG Couture Committee chair.

The organization thanked Atut for her four years of service to the organization, which also included a term as vice president. For more information about the CJDG or becoming a member, click here.


GIA Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

Carlsbad, CA—GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has begun accepting scholarship applications for its 2017 Gemology and Jewelry Manufacturing Arts programs, courses, and lab classes. GIA scholarships, which total $2 million for 2017, align with the Institute’s goals of providing quality education in gemology and jewelry to the trade and aspiring professionals. Applications for the current scholarship cycle are available through Sept. 30 at

Since 2013, GIA has awarded more than $5.5 million in scholarships to nearly 1,150 students. Funded by the GIA endowment fund and several private donors, the scholarships supplement GIA’s wider scope of offerings. Scholarships are available for distance education eLearning courses and for classes at the Institute’s campuses in Bangkok, Carlsbad, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York and Taiwan; and at the GIA branches in Botswana and Dubai.

For more information, call (760) 603-4131 or email

Separately, GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair drew 600 visitors to the Javits Center in New York last week. Job seekers had the opportunity to meet with 42 companies looking to fill hundreds of open positions, and learn from 24 career coaches with specialized expertise.     

The event marked the 25th anniversary of GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair, founded in 1991 in Santa Monica, CA. Since then, the event has connected companies with thousands of future employees at more than 60 events in California, India, Las Vegas and New York.

Rahul Kadakia, a GIA graduate and the international head of jewelry for Christie’s, got his start with the auction house at a GIA Career Fair in 1994. He kicked off the opening panel, “Job Success in Today’s Market,” with video footage of the record-setting $57.6 million sale of the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, where he served as auctioneer. He urged job seekers to stay on top of market trends and know where your customers are.

Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president of Reed Jewelry Group, echoed the importance of understanding revenue and where the sales come from. “Learn the business. Understand the broader business,” she advised.

“Trust holds this industry together,” said Steven Lagos, founder and chief creative director for the LAGOS brand. “Being bright-eyed is important. Passion is important in this business,” he added.

Natalie Tjaden, a recent GIA graduate and merchandising assistant for Jewelry Television, said, “The best opportunities are the ones that come from outside your comfort zone.” Tjaden has gone from working at the source in Brazil to being an on-camera expert at JTV since completing her Graduate Gemologist diploma.

Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, rounded out the panel with lively and sage advice for job seekers based on his decades of experience in the industry.

The next Career Fair will be in Carlsbad on Friday, Oct. 7. For more details, visit or email Follow @GIANews #JewelryJobs for updates. 


WatchTime Show Set For October In NYC

New York, NY—WatchTime magazine will once again host its luxurious consumer watch show, WatchTime New York, October 14-15 at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall.

WatchTime New York will feature 20 luxury watch brands, from internationally renowned manufacturers to up-and-coming independents, showing their newest timepieces, some of which will be on display in the U.S.A for the first time. Guests will have an opportunity to see and try on watches and mingle with watch company executives, industry experts, and fellow watch aficionados.

Formerly known as Inside Basel Geneva, WatchTime New York is in its second year at Gotham Hall. The show was completely re-vamped in 2015 with a new location, a broader range of watch brands, and a schedule of activities to appeal to today’s luxury consumer. Last year’s event drew nearly 1,000 attendees.

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