• Signet Sees Strong 3rd Quarter As It Moves Toward “Accessible Luxury”

    Signet Jewelers released another strong set of results for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended Oct. 30), with its average transaction price moving upward as the company targets the “accessible luxury” segment. The jewelry giant—which owns Kay, Jared, Zales, Piercing Pagoda, James Allen, and recently purchased Diamonds Direct—saw comps rise 18.9% over the same period in 2020 and jump 37.2% over the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Comps rose 19.8% at its U.S. and Canadian stores during the quarter and 8.8% in its United Kingdom division. Total sales for the quarter equaled $1.5 billion, with e-commerce sales comprising 14.4% of that, or $273.1 million. Despite overall store traffic remaining below pre-pandemic levels, third-quarter comps grew faster at its brick-and-mortar stores (21.5%, compared to the prior year) than at its e-commerce outlets (14.9%). The company also increased its financial guidance—for the fifth time this calendar year. It now predicts a total comp increase of 41%–43% for fiscal 2022 (which ends in January). It previously forecast a 35%–38% jump. Its sales forecast for the upcoming holiday is more measured: It believes comps will...

  • MONTSERRAT New York Launches The Holiday 2021 Collection

    MONTSERRAT New York announces the launch of its Holiday 2021 collection. Designs from this collection showcase the brand's lab-grown diamonds which debuted in September 2021. Co-Founders, Carolina Cordón-Bouzán and Gayle Yelon prove they can continue to create new designs for their customers without compromising quality. "Carolina and Gayle are on a mission to build a brand and community for the future. One that I am sure will be associated with pop culture, looking back 20 years from now. They are smart, driven women, with a pulse on what is happening now in the industry, from a creative and sustainable business perspective. I'm pleased to support these two incredible women, their brand and their journey." Lisa Metcalfe, Founder/CEO TenYards Consulting and current Montserrat Advisor. There are seven SKUs in this collection with price points ranging from $75 - $320 USD. Each piece is made using 18k gold plated sterling silver. Lab-grown diamonds, glass emerald, black gemstones and pearls are seen throughout the collection. Lastly, MONTSERRAT New York launched their best selling Jet Set in black as a part of the Holiday 2021 collection. "Our holiday capsule is inspired by the moments brought on by the...

  • China leading the way for lab-created diamond production

    Yellow monocrystal lab-grown diamond seeds from China. Image: More Super Hard Company The production of lab-created diamonds in China is undergoing some interesting change. Two of China's major producers, Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond Co Ltd and Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond Co Ltd have plans to produce lab-created diamonds for jewellery design and manufacture, in addition to stones for industrial purposes. According to Aruna Gaitonde, Asian editor Rough & Polished, a website dedicated to a analysing the processes determining the development of global mining, precious stones and metals markets, the Henan-based Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond increased its investment in R&D by 14.4 per cent to $US75.2 billion last year. “The company’s technological advancements in diamond making, refining, and polishing, as well as its equipment, have allowed it to produce gem-quality diamonds in white, pink and blue. Also, the increased investment was to develop artificial intelligence in manufacturing and to tap China's growing consumer market for jewellery lab-grown diamonds.” She says the Chinese domestic market has rapidly increased because of the demand shortage in the international market: “In China, where 90 per cent of the...

    6 days ago
  • Matilde Jewellery opens seasonal pop-up in London

    Online, sustainable fine jewellery brand Matilde has opened its first retail store in Soho’s Ham Yard Village to showcase its earth-friendly collections in the run-up to Christmas. The pop-up is open until December 24 and features Matilde’s jewellery collections for both men and women, crafted from 100 percent recycled precious metals including 14k yellow and white gold and lab-grown diamonds. In addition to allowing customers to see the jewellery in person for the first time, Matilde will also offer events including bookable ear-piercings, drinks evenings with the brand’s founder, Matilde Mourinho, as well as 1-2-1 styling experiences. Commenting on the opening, founder Matilde Mourinho said in a statement: “The experiential space launch marks one year in business for Matilde Jewellery, and I could not be prouder to see the brand come to life in a brick-and-mortar space and have the opportunity for customers to be up close and personal with the brand.” The retail space will feature all four of the brand’s collections including the newly launched Matilde Men’s, with lab-grown diamond pieces starting from 60 pounds. Mourinho added: “Since...

    November 23, 2021
  • Brilliant Earth Launches a Conflict-Free High Jewelry Collection Made With Lab-Grown Diamonds

    The highlight is a show-stopping necklace totaling 75 carats in diamonds for almost $100,000. Brilliant Earth, a company founded by Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg in 2005 to offer ethically sourced and sustainable fine jewelry, is aiming for a slice of the high jewelry market. The company just released its third collection of high-end diamond baubles and this time around it has raised the bar with its most elaborate piece to date. A red-carpet-ready 18-karat white gold diamond necklace totaling 75 carats is on offer for $99,990. It comes encrusted with round, marquise and pear-shaped diamonds. But it’s not the only stunner in the lineup. The Solstice Collection, offers 16 pieces that have been designed in-house at Brilliant Earth’s San Francisco headquarters. Inspired by winter’s wonderland of ice clusters and freshly fallen snow, the pieces employ everything from micro-pavé and melee diamonds to star settings and complex patterns to an extra-bold effect. Brilliant Earth Solstice Collection Engagement Rings Brilliant Earth “Design has always been a core pillar to our business and something we continue to cultivate with each collection,” Brilliant Earth CEO, Beth Gerstein, told Robb...

    November 14, 2021
  • De Beers Raises Prices of Cheaper Rough Diamonds

    De Beers increased prices of certain lower-value rough diamonds at its November sight as US consumer demand strengthened ahead of the holidays. Prices in the cheapest categories rose by low-single-digit percentages, customers told Rapaport News. This included stones under 0.75 carats, as well as items in piqué and other lower-quality categories. De Beers declined to comment. While the diamond market has been on a recovery path for around a year, the smaller, cheaper rough has been among the last to recuperate, insiders said. The category is now popular as US retailers seek polished for the Christmas and engagement season. Sightholders anticipated the changes and purchased most of the rough goods on offer at this week’s sale, sources said. “Over the last six months, this area has kind of lagged, and suddenly now it’s coming into high demand,” a rough-market participant said. “So increases in these areas shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. The markets are reacting because there’s enough pull-through. It’s the tail end of the surge in rough demand.” Rough prices are higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Economic recoveries...

    Industry November 12, 2021
  • Pandora Plans Worldwide Lab-Grown Diamond Rollout

    Pandora plans to start introducing its much talked about lab-grown diamond brand, Pandora Brilliance, to different global markets over the next year. It did not specify when the brand will start appearing in stores in the United States, its largest market. On a conference call following the release of its financial results, Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik said the brand is keeping the specifics of different market rollouts under wraps for “competitive reasons.” The fashion-oriented lab-grown line was originally introduced last year in the United Kingdom. “Part of the reason for a test, instead of an immediate global rollout, was to learn and sharpen our go-to-market toolbox,” Lacik said. “Based on the learnings to date, we are confident that we have generated sufficient learnings for a global rollout. “Our aim is to establish [Pandora] Brilliance as a new platform to democratize diamonds. Diamonds are not just forever. They are for everyone.” He added: “The most important point for us is to figure out: Are people willing to spend 400 or 500 pounds on a transaction on this category?… It was a test and we did...

    Industry November 5, 2021
  • Lightbox Now Declaring Post-Growth Treatments

    Lightbox, De Beers’ lab-grown brand, has started disclosing the treatments it uses to create its synthetic diamonds — but still believes such declarations are optional. The new policy applies mainly to its Finest collection of D- to F-color, VVS-clarity stones, a premium offering the company launched in August. Lightbox grows the goods using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and improves the color through a later heating-and-cooling process, known as High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) annealing. Previously, Lightbox did not declare treatments to lab-grown diamonds, arguing that they didn’t affect the value and were just one part of a longer manufacturing process. It maintains this position, but it believes every producer should decide how open it wants to be, a spokesperson for Lightbox told Rapaport News this week. Whether these disclosures are obligatory has long been a matter of debate. “It was important to us to be transparent with the consumer that the higher price per carat for a Finest stone is reflective of the additional refinement step,” the spokesperson explained. The 1.5- to 2-carat stones in Lightbox’s classic line receive the same treatment, and...

    Industry November 4, 2021
  • VDB Launches VDB Online Auction House

    Hosts the first ever fully transparent lab grown diamond auction series. NEW YORK — Virtual Diamond Boutique (VDB), the jewelry industry’s leading technology partner and largest virtual marketplace, announces the launch of its all-new app for B2B industry auctions entitled the VDB Online Auction House. To launch the new app, VDB will host the first-ever lab grown diamond direct auction, with no middleman, as part of a series of inaugural auctions with lab grown supplier Mercury Ring (a division of Unique Designs Inc. and a member of The Plumb Club). The first grouping of 1,000 high-end, loose, 1 carat and higher, IGI certified, lab grown diamonds, as well as lab grown diamond jewelry, will be auctioned from November 8 – 10, 2021 with all final bids due by 5:00 pm ET on November 10th. The auction promises a significant savings for industry buyers and a chance to acquire top quality lab grown diamonds for deeper discounts than normal distribution channels. “VDB is always looking for ways to connect buyers and sellers in a trustworthy environment, using our cutting-edge technology for ease and...

    Industry November 3, 2021
  • Lab-grown diamonds are latest victims of China’s power crisis

    The lab-grown diamond industry is the latest sector to feel the effects of China’s energy crisis -- and if the situation gets worse, consumers may find that special Christmas gift is suddenly a lot more expensive. Output of jewelry-grade gems has dropped by about 10% to 15% for the past month or so, said Liu Houxiang, a consultant at the National Gemstone Testing Center, in a telephone interview. Roughly seven-million carats of jewelry-quality synthetic diamonds are produced globally each year, according to Liu, of which three-million come from China. More affordable and more sustainable than their mined counterparts, laboratory-grown diamonds are becoming increasingly popular. The stones are manufactured using extreme heat and pressure to mimic the process behind natural diamonds. A small sliver of an existing diamond (the “seed”) is placed in a reactor with pure graphite carbon or a carbon-rich gas. At high temperatures, atoms of carbon become attached to the seed, and within weeks a gemstone is formed. Diamonds are far from the only product affected by China’s power shortage, which has been rippling across the country since the summer due to soaring coal prices. Activity in the country’s vast factory sector contracted in September for...

    Industry November 2, 2021
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