• Chow Tai Fook Sales Get Bump from China Market

    Retail sales at Hong Kong-based jeweler Chow Tai Fook rose 31% year on year in the third fiscal quarter amid strong domestic consumption and the opening of new stores in China. Sales of gold jewelry also drove growth during the three months ending December 31, the jeweler said Tuesday. However, the Hong Kong and Macau regions saw sales falter, despite some economic recovery. Retail sales surged 39% on the mainland. Revenue dropped 9% in Hong Kong, Macau and other markets as the price of gold fell and the company cut back on promotional campaigns that had driven purchases of gem-set jewelry the previous year, it noted. Same-store sales on the mainland rose 11%, because “retail demand for gold jewelry and products remained resilient” and the price of gold improved. Hong Kong and Macau witnessed 14% same-store sales growth thanks to “stable local consumption in Hong Kong and recovering tourist spending in Macau,” Chow Tai Fook explained. Meanwhile, same-store sales of gold products — including jewelry — grew 23% in China and leaped 47% in Hong Kong and Macau. The measure…

  • Smiling Rocks – Men’s Engagement Solitaire Rings Campaign Launch

    It is available in 6 different rings designs with round and fancy diamonds. Smiling Rocks launches its latest collection for the charismatic gentlemen -Men’s Engagement Solitaire Rings collection studded in lab grown diamonds. It is available in 6 different rings designs with round and fancy diamonds. Smiling Rock’s first Men’s engagement ring campaign is all about the connection a man has with its jewelry, the magnetic aura presented with the simple and classic rings on them. Featuring 6 different rings, Asscher Ring, Slim Emerald Ring, Sparkle Ring, Octagon Ring, Square Ring and Dome Ring, all these are available from 1ct to 3ct center stones. It’s time for men to enjoy the luxury of owning a solitaire ring with bold and masculine design, perfect for engagement rings or an everyday solitaire ring. These rings are set in 14K gold, 18K or platinum, a perfect affordable luxury with the best value. “We are very excited to be the only lab grown diamond brand that has launched this collection for all the men. Men’s rings have always been under-explored by the design world, as…

  • Pandora Results Beat Forecast Amid Sales Surge

    Pandora’s full-year results for 2021 have exceeded the company’s earlier predictions, as strong sales in the fourth quarter outweighed store closures and the negative impact of coronavirus restrictions. Revenue for 2021 jumped 23% year on year on an organic basis to DKK 9 billion ($1.37 billion), surpassing the 18% to 20% rise the company originally forecast, Pandora said Monday. The strong results come after the jeweler already upped its guidance for the full year twice. The proceeds for both the full year and the fourth quarter are the highest ever for Pandora, it noted. Sales for the full year were also 9% higher than 2019 levels, while fourth-quarter revenue surged 10% year on year and 15% compared to 2019. The retailer’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin — the measure of a company’s operating profit as a percentage of its revenue — climbed to 25%, just above its 24.5% high forecast. “The [fourth quarter] was another strong quarter…with robust and broad-based growth across most key markets,” Pandora said. “Revenue in the fourth quarter, as well as for the full year…

  • GSI Lab Hires Business Development Lead

    Gemological Science International (GSI) has appointed Jonathan Tack as executive vice president of business development. Tack, who has more than 25 years of experience in the luxury-goods sector, will help the gem lab and educational institution expand its reach and form new partnerships, it said Monday. He previously served as vice president of sales for luxury brand Suberi Brothers, revamping the company and launching its e-commerce site. He then founded fine-jewelry brand Proposition Love, where he designed pieces for Cher, Kathy Griffin and Tori Spelling, before leaving to lead sales and marketing at jewelry companies Beauty Gem and SDC Designs. “Jonathan has successfully guided cross-functional teams while launching products into new markets, developing business strategies for multichannel sales, and fostering lucrative partnerships,” GSI noted. “His professional drive and loyal relationships have brought him great success, which he plans to continue at GSI.” Tack’s “vast” knowledge of the industry will help the organization achieve continued growth and success, GSI president Debbie Azar added.

    Industry January 11, 2022
  • US Jewelry Sales Surge During Holiday Period

    Jewelry was the US’s best-performing retail category in December compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Revenue from the segment rose 27% for the month compared to the same period of 2019, Mastercard said Thursday. Proceeds jumped 31% year on year. “Retail sales in December closed out the year on a high note,” the company noted. “This follows a robust holiday season.” Total retail sales grew 7% year on year, while online purchases surged 14%. Revenue for all categories climbed 8% versus two years ago, with e-commerce up 60% from 2019’s figure. Jewelry enjoyed the fourth-highest year-on-year increase out of the major categories, behind restaurant spending at 52%, other luxury goods at 47%, and apparel at 46%. Compared to two years ago, apparel was the second-highest sector after jewelry, with restaurants and luxury taking the third and fourth positions. Sales growth is likely to ease in 2022 due to economic factors, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). After a year of unusually high imports, which led to a shipping backlog, orders are expected to stabilize. “Economic indicators are…

    Industry January 10, 2022
  • IGI Hires Education Director

    John Pollard has joined the International Gemological Institute (IGI) as senior director of education after working as a consultant to the lab for over a decade. In his new role, Pollard will expand the institute’s educational offerings and diploma programs, which are currently taught at its 14 global schools, IGI said Wednesday. Those include a variety of gemstone-grading and jewelry-design courses, interactive e-learning and instructional seminars, and webinars. Pollard has been collaborating on projects with IGI for more than 10 years as an independent consultant, and in 2020 began designing curriculum and training for a number of the institute’s clients, it noted. He has also worked regularly with other grading laboratories, diamond producers and sellers, and has given seminars at JCK Las Vegas, the American Gem Society (AGS) Conclave, and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Alumni Association. “I am pleased that John is taking on this important role,” said IGI CEO Roland Lorie. “At IGI we have always felt a responsibility to provide proper gemological education to all who choose to enter this field. Only then can we have…

    Industry January 7, 2022
  • Head of Pearl Company Assael Dies

    Christina Lang Assael, the CEO of North America’s largest seller of pearls and coral, died at home in New York on December 21 following a serious illness. She was 75, a company spokesperson said Wednesday. Born in Sweden, Assael left the country at 22 to start a 13-year career as a model and commercial actress in London, Paris and New York. She subsequently began working at Sotheby’s, where she had a role liaising with top clients, and studied interior design at the same time. Assael then went on to create her own business as a private adviser, acquiring fine art and antiques for connoisseurs and collectors. Christina married legendary “Pearl King” Salvador Assael in 1991, and traveled the world with him to acquire pearls and supply them to US jewelers. In 1993, the couple’s business, Assael, achieved the world record at Sotheby’s for the highest price ever paid for a gem pearl strand at auction. That $2.3 million record still stands to this day, the spokesperson noted. Christina took over leadership of Assael in 2011 after the death of her…

    Industry January 6, 2022
  • Artist Christoph Büchel, the Shock Jock of the Art World, Plans to Turn His Unsold Work (and His Feces) Into Lab-Grown Diamonds

    The artist is turning his entire archive into single-carat, brilliant-cut diamonds. For his latest work, the artist-provocateur Christoph Büchel has been quietly transforming all of his unsold works into lab-grown diamonds—using DNA taken from his own feces. To grow these single carat diamonds in a Swiss laboratory, the gems must thrive on something called “diamond crystal seeds.” The lab extracts carbon from the organic matter of the artworks, which is then pressed under high pressure and heat for weeks to imitate the growth of diamonds, a process that usually takes place over billions of years. The artist is planning to make 150 diamonds this year, and will continue on for years in the future. The gesamtkunstwerk, which is titled The Diamond Maker – The Estate, will only be completed upon Büchel’s death. This ongoing body of work is produced by the Jena Art Collection in Germany and supported by the Swiss funding body Pro Helvetia. The artist is currently in talks to exhibit the project in collaboration with Fondazione Prada in Milan. The iconoclastic Swiss artist is known for headline-grabbing projects that have sometimes proved…

    Industry January 5, 2022
  • 2021’s Diamond Person of the Year

    There were many who powerfully influenced the market in the past year, but one candidate stood out from the rest. Twelve months ago, the world seemed set for a fresh start after an exhausting 2020. President Joe Biden had won a contentious election, promising to fix the economy, improve the response to Covid-19, and restore some calm to the Oval Office after the volatile Donald Trump years. And if they couldn’t beat the pandemic, people across the globe were at least learning to live with it. In hindsight, however, 2021 was anything but calm, even if it seems to have passed as a blurry continuation of the previous year. In fact, it was arguably extraordinary, with historic scenes that could define the decade. There were ugly incidents mixed in with the awe-inspiring. Who could forget the January 6 storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, the messy US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the civil war in Ethiopia, or the destruction numerous extreme weather events left in their wake? And, of course, the Delta and Omicron variants ensured that Covid-19 continued to…

    Industry December 31, 2021
  • Ex-Tiffany Exec to Lead GIA Business Development

    The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has hired Richard Pesqueira as vice president of business development for North America, tasking him with expanding the organization’s relationship with retailers. Pesqueira was most recently global director of education for the Las Vegas market at Tiffany & Co., where he was responsible for all retail product training, the GIA said recently. He will succeed Anna Martin, the GIA’s senior vice president of business development and beneficiation, as she shifts her focus to long-term strategic projects at the institute. “Richard’s talent and experience are a tremendous addition to GIA, helping us connect even more meaningfully with our industry stakeholders as we work every day to protect consumers and ensure their trust in gems and jewelry,” said GIA senior vice president and chief marketing officer Mark Buntz. “As GIA advances our work with retailers to address consumer demands for more information on the sustainability, traceability and positive impacts of the gems they buy, building out our team with Richard’s skills and insight is a major step forward.” Pesqueira will be based at the GIA’s headquarters…

    Industry December 30, 2021
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