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Jeweler News

  • The Manami Star, Named after Daughter

    Has anyone ever written a song for you? A poem? Certainly it must be a deeply flattering feeling. But what about having a massive gem named after you? Just ask Manami.

    Recently, Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold an 88.22 ct. D flawless oval for $13.8 million to a Japanese collector who named it Manami Star, after his oldest daughter.

    According to JCK:

    The sale of the egg-size stone was much anticipated. The auction house boasted that the diamond was “perfected by every critical criterion”—both externally and internally flawless and with excellent polish and symmetry. It is also type IIa—rare for a natural diamond.

    Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, in a statement. “At 88.22 carats, this lucky stone now carries the name of the fortunate child whose father has chosen to give it her name. A happy moment in the journey of one of the earth’s greatest, oldest treasures.”


  • Gem Legacy – a Non-Profit Helping African Mining Communities

    Most don’t realize the many ways jewelers and gemologists give back to their communities. Take veteran gem cutter Roger Dery, for instance. His family has created a nonprofit org whose sole focus is helping to educate and provide vocational training to East African mining communities. The name of the nonprofit: Gem Legacy.

    According to JCK:

    Gem Legacy supports several initiatives, including those that increase educational opportunities in gemstone faceting, a trade that hasn’t flourished on the continent, but makes sense for it:

    “The employment is sorely needed and has the ability to transform families and communities,” said Dery in a prepared statement.

    The nonprofit has currently sets its eyes on a new goal: raising $9,500 to buy and install a used compressor for the Precious Women mine in Kenya, a mine run by local women, many widowed and in need of steady income.

    This amount raised by Gem Legacy will make the use of power tools possible (since the female workers currently mine with farming tools).

    Tsavorite garnets from the Precious Women mine in Kenya

    Tsavorite garnets from the Precious Women mine in Kenya

  • Marie’s Antoinette Pearl Breaks Records


    A historically famous jewelry lover, Marie Antoinette wasn’t known for her ability to rule fairly but certainly yielded power when it came to what she wore. Even 200 years later, her fashion choices reign supreme.

    A pearl and diamond pendant belonging to the French Queen Marie Antoinette has been sold for $36m in what Sotheby’s auction house is declaring a world record for a pearl.

    Says the BBC:

    It was part of a major collection of jewellery sold by Italy’s royal Bourbon-Parma house.

    Some of the jewels had not been seen in public for 200 years.

    The pendant more than tripled the previous world auction record for a pearl, which was held by a necklace that once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor.

    Additional auctioned items from this ill-fated Queen include a diamond necklace, a pair of pearl and diamond earrings as well as a monogram ring with a lock of her hair.

  • It’s Official: Lab Grown Diamonds ARE Diamonds!

    In exciting news for our industry, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has officially expanded its definition of “diamond” to include those grown in a laboratory:

    “When the commission first used the definition [of diamond] in 1956, there was only one type of diamond product on the market — natural stones mined from the earth. Since then, technological advances have made it possible to create diamonds in a laboratory. These stones have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds. Thus, they are diamonds.”

    What does this mean for you, the consumer? This means you can be fully confident in this scientifically proven and legally sound fact:

    Laboratory-Grown Diamonds are Diamonds!

    According to Scottsdale, AZ custom jewelry store owner Joseph Schubach:

    Lab grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds in every sense, chemically and optically. Currently, only the large labs such as the GIA and IGI have the equipment to determine whether a diamond is lab grown or mined, so even your local jeweler or gemologist won’t be able to distinguish between the two, except for a microscopic laser engraving identifying the diamond as lab grown.

    When it comes to the lab grown versus diamond battle, test yourself and you will see it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. To the naked eye it appears just as, if not even more, brilliant than it’s expensive natural counterpart.

    Dare to care by making your next custom jewelry design the perfect home for a lab grown diamond, knowing you’re contributing to a healthier ecology and a truly beautiful (and affordable) piece of jewelry.

  • Super Bowl rings – how much are they really worth?

    Tom Brady throws the ball during Super Bowl XXXIX. Brady connected with game Most Valuable Player Deion Branch 11 times to tie a Super Bowl record. II Marine Expeditionary Force Marines were able to attend using tickets from the Cleveland Browns’ Hats Off to Heroes program.

    First let’s get the congratulations out of the way:



    Okay, now back to jewelry business. Any of the players of the winning Super Bowl team are awarded rings that showcase their climb to the top of the NFL.

    Where does the tradition of the Super Bowl ring come from?


    Commemorative rings can be traced back as far back as the 1920’s, though they weren’t always rings (the New York Yankees famously gifted their team watches in 1928 in lieu of rings).

    Vince Lombardi actually personalized (hello custom design!) the first Super Bowl ring by adding an inscription (“Harmony, Courage, Valor) and a logo.


    How much does the Super Bowl ring cost?


    While the final cost is uncapped, the NFL pays up to around $7,000 (£5,000) per ring (with big spenders like the 2015 New England Patriots who reportedly paid $35,000 for each of their Super Bowl rings).

    All Super Bowl rings must be made of 10-karat plumb gold and usually features a large number of diamonds win. Super Bowl rings are not often sold but players have been known to auction them off.

    To get an idea of their valuation: New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor’s son auctioned one of his father’s two Super Bowl rings for $230,000. Not bad! 

  • Total Auction Sales for Jewelry, 2017


    2017 was quite a successful year for the big auction houses. Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s focused aggressively on fine jewelry sales…and the year-end numbers highlight how the dedicated work paid off.

    According to Forbes:

    The two auction houses combined for more than $1.1 billion in sales, with Christie’s achieving $556.7 million and Sotheby’s $551.3 million.

    Both auction houses expanded its jewelry offerings with an increased eCommerce presence and with special sales held throughout the year.

    And while Sotheby’s fell behind Christie’s in total jewelry auction sales, it did spearhead the sale of the world auction record for any gem or jewel: the CTF Pink Star. 

    The CTF Pink Star is a 59.60-carat internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond which sold for more than $71.1 million ($1.19 million per carat) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 4, 2017.

    Let’s see what surprises lie ahead for 2018!

  • Millions worth of jewelry worn at Golden Globes…and more fashion factoids

    Golden Globes red carpet

    With this week’s Golden Globes behind us, we decided to take a minute to look at the financial big picture of the award ceremonies.

    Red carpet functions like the Golden Globes are multi-million dollar enterprises. And because of the black fashion theme this year (representing solidarity behind the #metoo and #timesup movement), high-end jewelry stood out in a major way.

    More than 20 million dollars worth of watches and jewelry was worn by some of Hollywood’s finest. In particular, diamond jewelry was the scene stealer for most of the women.

    Harry Winston was one of the most-worn brands. This included Kate Hudson and Salma Hayek who wore more than $5 million in Winston diamonds. Other Winston wearers included Emilia Clarke, Claire Foy, Viola Davis, Helen Mirren and Lily James.

    Chopard, Piaget and Tiffany’s were runners-ups.

    So while we missed colorful Golden Globes of years passed, we couldn’t help but note how black really accentuated accessory choices.

  • People give jewelry to the Salvation Army, in lieu of cash


    The red kettle of the Salvation Army has practically become synonymous with the holidays and a reminder that others are in need during this time of year. Though a recent trend shows that people aren’t just giving spare change. Some are donating expensive jewelry instead.

    According to WHDH:

    “A donor reached out,” said Salvation Army Director of Communications Drew Forster, “saying she wanted to donate a piece of jewelry. She was a little nervous that it was actually going to fit in the slot of our red kettle.”

    The Salvation Army of Boston says that anonymous donor wanted to give a golden fish pin.

    The fish features 18-karat gold and 32 diamonds.

    When it was purchased nearly 20 years ago, it was valued at just under $5,000.

    It stands to reason that people would donate jewelry. Many of us have expensive pieces of jewelry occupying space in a dusty jewelry box when it could go to better use.

    So happy holidays and kudos to all you jewelry lovin’ charitable folks out there!



  • Bronze Age Grave Reveals Love of Jewelry

    Late Bronze Age European Spiral Torque and Ornaments group of jewelry.

    Late Bronze Age European Spiral Torque and Ornaments group of jewelry.

    Who doesn’t love jewelry? Throughout the history of humankind, bling in various forms have been adored, revered, passed on and taken to the graves.

    Most recently, archaeologists in southern Greece discovered an undisturbed tomb (approximately the size of a small house) which belonged to a Bronze Age nobleman with a penchant for jewelry.

    According to 1310 News:

    Greece’s Culture Ministry says the 3,350-year-old chamber near Orchomenos, an important centre of the Mycenaean era, belonged to a man who was 40 to 50 years old when he died.

    The nobleman’s tomb contained pottery vessels sheathed in tin, bronze horse bits, jewelry, bow fittings and arrowheads.

    The ministry says jewelry is more typically associated with the burials of Mycenaean women.

    So apparently, the man’s love of jewelry rivaled any Mycenaean women!


  • Costco’s Costly Tiffany’s “Mistake”

    In yet another story where a company purposefully misleads it customers, Costco’s was on the losing end of a gavel in a recent lawsuit and ordered to pay a cool $19.4 million for misleading consumers into thinking they could buy legit Tiffany bling.

    The mega-company’s defense, according to the New York Post?

    “Costco intended that the word Tiffany in its signs convey only that the rings had this style of setting — not that the rings were Tiffany & Co. brand rings,” the company said in a statement, adding “that was consistent with decades of dictionary definitions.

    Hmmm…”dictionary definitions”? Sounds fishy, for sure.

    The takeaway (as always) for jewelry purchasers everywhere: buyer beware. If a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Tiffany’s (in can be comfortably assumed) doesn’t sell their jewelry at “warehouse prices.” So as always, use a little common sense when investigating your next purchase.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a piece of jewelry that has similarities to a certain style you love. Custom design jewelry can do just that: combine elements of jewelry that has caught your eye and create a new piece, original in its origin and particular in its design. (We highly suggest that route!)