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AGTA ePrism
March 11, 2009
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Michelle Obama’s Favorite Jewelsmith Hits New York, Paris
from Black Book
Michelle Obama has made no secret of her affection for Tom Binns’ eye-catching -- often extremely ornate and oversized -- jewelry. She’s sported Binns’ designs long before her husband took Presidential office, and she continues to make his accessories a part of her painstakingly scrutinized style now that she calls the White House home. Binns hasn’t suffered from the increase in attention. More

A. Kleiman and Company

AGTA GemFair Seminars Now Available on DVD
from AGTA
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) recorded the AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Seminar Program for the first time this year using a new technology that combines audio recording synched with the speaker’s PowerPoint presentation. The Association is distributing complimentary copies of the 25-seminar DVD-Rom to every member company and is making the recordings available to non-members for a nominal fee. “A large part of AGTA’s mission is keeping our members, and the industry as a whole, informed about current issues, trends and better ways of doing business,” stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “This series of seminars accomplishes all of these things by providing an incredible wealth of information by the most knowledgeable presenters in our industry and beyond.” The single DVD-Rom contains subjects ranging from gemology to estate jewelry to color trends to sales, marketing and buying tips. More

Saudis Plan $200 Million Pearl Farm, Fuel Plant in Australia
from The West Australian
A Saudi Arabian company plans to invest $200 million in WA to create a huge pearl farm and biodiesel production plant off the coast at Port Hedland in Western Australia. Fisheries Minister Norman Moore is considering whether to give the Middle Eastern firm the go-ahead to grow and harvest millions of pearls and make 400,000 tons of algae derived fuel a year in the Indian Ocean. The majority of the pearls and shell meats produced would be exported to Asian markets. Jeddah-based Technology System Trading hopes that the massive operation will become a tourist attraction. More

Kimberly Collines Colored Gems

Chinese Traders Scooping Up Mandalay Gems
from The Irrawadday
Chinese traders have managed to dominate the precious gems and jade market in Mandalay, paying jade prices as much as 50 percent under the stone’s value, say jade traders in Mandalay. “The Chinese buyers totally control the gems market, especially the jade trading, where prices have fallen more than 50 percent,” a jade trader in Mandalay told The Irrawaddy. In July, former U.S. President George Bush signed into law the Burma Jade Act, restricting the import of precious Burmese gems and stones and extended existing import sanctions on Burma. Ten Burmese companies were added to the sanction’s list. More

Zale Corp. Signs With Bazaarvoice Stories
from Israel Diamond Portal
Bazaarvoice made public that Zale Corp. will be working with Bazaarvoice Stories in an effort to gain customer loyalty by incorporating the social network application on Zale Corp.'s website. Steve Larkin, Executive VP and Chief Marketing and Ecommerce Officer of Zale Corporation, describes the ideas behind the Bazaarvoice Stories venture. "The jewelry business is one that's built on people's personal stories, since fine jewelry is often given to celebrate joyous occasions like weddings, birthdays, the birth of a child and special holidays. Bazaarvoice Stories gives Zales customers a place to share their own love stories-whether humorous or heartfelt. This user-generated content is a great resource to connect shoppers with each other-and to build brand involvement and loyalty in an authentic and organic manner." More

   Featured Article:
  Emeralds: Market Effect of Origin & Treatments,
  Pricing & Disclosure

Colombia, Zambia and Brazil are the primary producers of emerald for the international gem trade. Each of these sources produces all quality grades. Historically, the industry has prized Colombian above the others. Colombian emeralds serve as the benchmark by which price and quality are judged in the emerald market. Colombia is followed by Zambia and then all other sources. In recent years emerald mining has reemerged in Afghanistan where deposits produce small quantities of fine material. In addition to the four origins named here, numerous secondary sources exist, but they are currently of no significant value to the gem trade. More info

Fund Offers Investment in Color
from Rapaport
Codiam Fund, which invests in high-end polished colored diamonds, is upbeat about the prospects for the colored diamond market, according to an announcement it released on Thursday. The fund, which launched in September, reported a 9 percent increase in its net asset value in the first three months of operation. Mahyar Makhzani, managing director and cofounder of the fund, stressed the investment value of colored stones, whose prices have remained at a reasonable level through the financial crisis. “The investment in this category rather than white diamonds has been proven correct as we are not dealing nor speculating but intelligently investing in a very rare commodity,” he said. More

Carmona Appointed to Pacific Council
from AGTA
Charles I. Carmona, the Los Angeles-based gemologist and President of Guild Laboratories, Inc., has become a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. His nomination and acceptance to the Council is based on over 30 years of experience in the international gemstone trade and more recently as a Consultant for the World Bank, where he worked on a project developing the infrastructure for a wholesale gemstone industry in Madagascar. “We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Carmona and his unique perspectives on the issues of resources management in the developing world and look forward to the contributions that he can make to our discussions,” stated Council President and CEO Dr. Jerrold D. Green. More

Pearls for Girls

Dubai and China Strengthen Jewelry Trade Ties
from Business Intelligence
In a move to further strengthen Dubai-China trade relations, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) hosted a high-profile government and trade delegation from Shenzhen, China on Monday. The delegation discussed the scope of bilateral trade, particularly in diamond, jewelry, pearls and colored stones. The ten-member Shenzhen delegation was led by Ni Zewang, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Committee of Luohu District, and Executive Vice Governor of the People’s Government of Luohu District and Gao Lin, Vice Chairman of the Luohu District committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. More

BaselWorld Watch and Jewelry Fair 2009
from Wallpaper*
As BaselWorld 2009 prepares to open its doors on Wednesday 26th, one has to wonder which will be more luxurious – the watches and jewelry, or the booths themselves? Walking through the glass doors from the spring sunshine of the Messeplatz into the cavernous 10 meter high main hall of BaselWorld is an overwhelming experience that fails to dull with the years. Flanked by the mighty stone and glass edifices erected by Rolex and Patek Philippe, two titans of the watch world, it is clear that when Switzerland’s finest are putting on a show, the setting is as important as the watches themselves. More

A.B.C. Gems

Jewelers Mutual Insurance

IGI, the Standard of Excellence in Gemology since 1975
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