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Susan Jacques, Borsheims CEO, to Chair Friends of DDI Campaign

Ottawa, Canada--The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI International) has announced that Susan Jacques, CEO of Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts of Omaha, NE, will be the honorary chair of the Friends of DDI fundraising campaign.

DDI brings the jewelry industry, non-governmental organizations, and governments together in a common effort to ensure that diamonds spur positive economic and social development in communities where they are sourced in Africa and South America.

The new Friends of DDI program includes a Retailers Friendship Kit that will allow jewelry retailers and suppliers to demonstrate to their customers and constituents that the industry is making a positive impact on the lives of the people who mine diamonds by artisanal methods.

Says Jacques, “I believe that DDI’s efforts will make a critical and positive impact on the lives of the 10 million plus people associated with artisanal diamond mining, and that their work ultimately benefits the jewelry industry at large, by responding to the growing consumer preference for ethical jewelry.”

“We are honored that Susan is willing to lend her name to a project of such critical value to the DDI. We’re optimistic that her leadership will raise the visibility and stature of the Friends of DDI program and will be a driving force of success for this campaign,” said DDI’s Executive Director, Dorothée Gizenga.

The Friends of DDI campaign will officially launch in the coming weeks. Those interested in taking a leadership role in the campaign and supporting the Friends of DDI can contact Patricia Syvrud at (760) 525-9393 or at



PGI Announces New Regional Director for US, Japan, and Europe

London, United Kingdom—Platinum Guild International (PGI) has appointed Nicholas Graham Smith to the newly created position of regional director, developed markets, overseeing the United States, Japan, and Europe (Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom). He will be based at PGI‘s head office in London, and will assume responsibility for PGI’s jewelry development programs in those markets, working closely with the managers and teams in PGI’s offices in each.

Smith’s background in jewelry development includes a long marketing career at De Beers, where he managed most of the diamond markets, and was in a senior regional position when he left in 2007 to establish his consulting firm focused on leadership, management, strategy and marketing across many sectors, including luxury goods.

As part of a strategy to integrate PGI’s operations more closely and to focus on further developing platinum’s use in the jewelry sector, PGI CEO James Courage has strengthened the senior management team through a new structure with two regional directors—Smith and another who will manage the developing markets of China and India—and a recently appointed international marketing manager, Sebastien Thomas. All will report directly to Courage.



GIA GemFest Basel Set For Sunday, March 11

Basel, Switzerland—GIA GemFest Basel will be held this Sunday, March 11, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at Hall Montreal, Basel Convention Center, at the Baselworld Fair. The theme of the conference is Insight on Gems: A Beacon for 2012.

John King, chief quality officer, will describe the range of diamonds currently passing through the laboratory, including colored diamonds destined for auction, historic gems, and diamond treatments. Kenneth Scarratt, managing director, Southeast Asia and director of GIA’s laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand, will explore the rare world of natural South Seas pearls. Shane McClure, director of identification services, will reveal the newest treatments facing colored stones and GIA efforts to detect them.

Click here for details and to RSVP.


Rap: Certified Polished Prices Down in February

New York, NY--Certified polished diamond prices softened in some categories last month, according to the latest figures from the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI).

Far East demand was steady, as evidenced at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, but buyers remain cautious about the first half of 2012 as economic uncertainties persist and diamond trading is restrained.

The RAPI for 1.00-carat polished diamonds fell 1.8% to 94.18 in February. The RAPI for 3.00-carat stones fell 2.1%, but the RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds rose 3.6% percent to 16.04 and the RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds edged up slightly, 0.9%, to 34.81. The RAPI is based on the best asking price in hundred dollars per carat for the top 25 quality one-carat round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, RapSpec-2 and better) with GIA, HRD, or AGS grading reports, offered for sale on RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network.

The latest Rapaport Research Report also said rough trading is weak due to high prices that are impacting cutter's profit margins. De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company (DTC) sales so far this year are an estimated 14% lower than the comparable period of 2011, but the Russian Alrosa sales are up 21%.  

According to the just released report, "Showing Restraint", the diamond industry continues to operate with caution, avoiding large-scale purchases. While some of the lost confidence in trading was restored in February, the next few months are expected to present significant ongoing challenges to the diamond industry.

To read the full report, click here or email


Russian Diamond Industry Looks For Renewed Growth

Antwerp, Belgium—Russia’s diamond manufacturing industry is emerging from the severe crisis it experienced since 2009 when polished diamond production there fell to an unprecedented low of US$350 million. According to a report submitted by the Russian Diamond Manufacturers Association (RDMA) to the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), the Russian Federation's diamond industry's production is on the rise, and it is expected that the supply of rough to the industry will increase significantly soon after the presidential elections later this month, leading to double digit growth in the output of polished goods.

To read more, click here.

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