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40 posts from July 2005

Turkish Jewelry Exports Exceeds $1 Billion, Target World Leadership

The jewelry sector, where trademark companies become more common day by day, sustains its increase in exports. The 12 month income of the sector at the end of June has exceeded $1 billion.

The level of jewelry exports was $930 million in 2004. This figure is estimated to have reached $1.2 billion at the end of this year. Chairman of the Turkish Jewelers Association, Cihan Kamer noted that the reason behind the increase in the export of jewelry is the quality of the products and services provided and added: “The demand for Turkish jewelry increases day by day thanks to the diversity of our products, quick delivery, our competative prices, and maybe the most important of all our unique historical heritage.” Kamer also pointed out that the 7 percent increase in the price of the jewelry was also effective in the increasing the exports of Turkey. The first 6 months of jewelry exports, which was $420 million last year, reached $487 million, an increase of 16 percent in 2005.

Cihan Kamer said that the amount of Shuttle Trade and tourist sales reached around $1.5-2 billion and added: “We can happily say that the understanding in tourism suggesting that ‘Jewelry should be bought in Turkey’ has become common. The sector’s, which previously export only $8 million in 1995, reached the number two level in the world in 10 years is on its own a great success. But we have only one target that is to be number one in the world.” Kamer said that the jewelry sector in turkey export goods to 136 countries in the world and added that they are trying to be more active in the Russian Market as it is near to Turkey and quite large. Kamer said: “We will determine an active posture in China in upcoming years as it is the world’s biggest market. Cihan Kamer, who touched upon the problems of the sector, said that they also experience the problems caused by the high value of the Turkish Lira and added: “Of course our aim on that point is not to question the positive effects of floating exchange. But we can clearly say that the high value of the Turkish Lira affects us, as exporters, negatively.”

Alrosa auctions more than $23 mln in diamonds

Alrosa, Russia's Yakutia-based diamond monopoly, sold $23.66 million in rough diamonds at the ninth international diamond auction for special-sized diamonds hosted by the Russian Diamond Chamber in Moscow, Alrosa said.

Alrosa put up for sale 110 parcels, containing 749 diamonds weighing a total of about 12,800 carats, including 10 large diamonds weighing more than 50 carats each. The largest diamond at the auction weighed 121.96 carats.

Representatives of 42 Russian and foreign companies from Israel, Belgium, India, Japan, China the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Belarus bid at the auction.

De Beers broadens global appeal of bling

Although diamond demand in the United States, the world's biggest market, is expected to remain strong, South African diamond giant De Beers' marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), is eyeing new markets.

Local daily Business Day reported on Tuesday that the diamond giant expected global retail demand to grow six percent in local currency at the retail level for the remainder of this year due to marketing activity and strong growth in many economies.

In Japan, the DTC has had great success with its Trilogy campaign -- the three-stone diamond jewelry segment has tripled. Japan equaled US retail spending on diamond jewelry in 1993-94 and has slipped back to become the world's second-largest market, with a 15 percent share against the US' 50 percent.

But De Beers Managing Director Gary Ralfe said the country has a high savings rate and the Japanese are willing to spend on diamonds.

In India, the retail market for diamond jewelry grew 24 percent in 2003 and 21 percent last year. De Beers is actively promoting products specifically designed to appeal to the Indian consumer.

China is a critical market and already eight out of 10 brides in Shanghai, which influences trends elsewhere in China, are receiving diamond wedding rings. China's retail market is worth 1. 4 billion dollars and grew 11 percent last year.

In the Gulf states, diamond jewelry sales at Ramadan grew 15 percent last year and 4 percent in 2003.

The target set for new De Beers Managing Director Gareth Penny, who will be taking up his position in the first quarter of next year, would be to double the value of the group to 12 billion dollars by 2009, according to Gary Ralfe.

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The renowned jewelry designer Neil Lane joins De Beers to design a signature collection of diamond jewelry.

Lane's designs are seen widely gracing celebrities at the red carpet events and social occasions. He is also renowned for being one of the world's most avid collectors of jewelry.

"His passion for jewelry design was obvious from the first time we met," says Guy Leymarie, CEO of De Beers LV. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with such an influential designer." The Neil Lane Hollywood Collection will be launched at the opening of the Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills in November this year.

Neil Lane adds, "I am very excited to be associated with such a prestigious name and bring a new dimension to the De Beers collections."

De Beers LV was established in 2001 as an independently managed and operated company by De Beers SA.

Woo women with dinner, not diamonds, academics say

Women beware: "Guys are less likely to offer expensive gifts to females they don't have a long-term interest in"

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but dinner and flowers are the boy's best strategy. Old-fashioned wining and dining still adds up to the best way to win a woman's heart, according to mathematicians at University College London (UCL).

Their theoretical model showing the value of "expensive but worthless" gifts in courtship was worked out not in The Ivy or Claridges, but in the Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology. Nor did it involve flirting with real women at a research council's expense.

Instead, Peter Sozou and colleagues modelled courtship as a sequential game, a purely mathematical exercise involving the laws of probability.

They concluded that blowing money on an expensive night out might well be a sounder investment for a man than lavishing gifts like jewellery or designer clothes on a shameless hussy who might just take the rocks and run, although that isn't quite how they worded it in the learned journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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De Beers expects record annual sales on gem demand

De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond company, said it will sell at least $6.4 billion of diamonds this year, a record, as appetite for the precious stones grows in markets from the US to China.

Diamond sales rose 8% to $3.2 billion in the first half, and will at least match that in the second six months of the year, Johannesburg-based De Beers said today. Anglo American Plc owns 45% of De Beers, which sells three-fifths of the world’s rough diamonds.

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De Beers closures will hit S.Africa diamond town

For Kimberley, a town that sprang into existence virtually overnight in South Africa's nineteenth century diamond rush, the decision by gem giant De Beers to close its underground mines there could be devastating.

Built from nothing in a matter of months after the first big diamond find in 1871, Kimberley was once said to have more millionaires per square foot than anywhere else on the planet. On Monday, De Beers said its last underground mines there would be closed by January, with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.

"It's going to have a huge impact on Kimberley," said Johan du Plessis, managing editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser, a paper that began with the first prospectors.

"Unemployment is going to skyrocket. There's no agriculture here to speak of, no industry."

Without diamonds, few would ever have moved to the site where a handful of gems were found on a farm owned by Nicolaas de Beer in 1871. But once it started, men such as future empire builder Cecil Rhodes flocked from all over the world.

Rival diggers dug deep into a shaft of diamond-bearing volcanic rock -- known as "kimberlite" -- creating what became known as the "Big Hole", now a 200 metre deep tourist attraction in the centre of the town.

Other mines were dug into kimberlite pipes around the town, with three still in use by De Beers, which is 45 percent owned by Anglo American.

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Diamonds may be forever, but Kimberley mines aren't

De Beers SA is preparing to close its historic underground mines in Kimberley, South Africa, by the end of the year with the loss of about 1,000 jobs, the world's biggest diamond miner said yesterday.

De Beers, 45-per-cent owned by Anglo American Industrial Corp. Ltd., has been hinting for some time that it might close the three underground mines. Five of its seven South African operations failed to make a profit in the six months just passed, in part because of the country's strong currency.

De Beers managing director Gary Ralfe said that Kimberley's underground mines, established in 1871, had little ore left, making them unprofitable even after discounting the effect of the rand.

"The Kimberley mines are exhausted. They have been going for 100 years and that is why we are already in a process of consultation, which will lead to the closure," Mr. Ralfe told Reuters during an interview at the London headquarters of its marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Company. "By the end of this year, I believe we will have closed down the Kimberley underground," he said.
Diamonds have been mined in Kimberley since the 1860s, and many in the town fear the end of underground operations may devastate a community defined by diamonds, which was once said to be home to more millionaires per square foot than anywhere else in the world.

"It'll come as a huge shock," said Johan du Plessis, managing editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser, founded 128 years ago at the height of the diamond rush. "The town grew up because of diamonds, and it's survived because of diamonds."

De Beers, meanwhile, is expanding outside South Africa.

De Beers Canada Inc. said yesterday it will spend $38.5-million to advance development of the Gahcho Kue diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

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Price of gems and solid demand help De Beers to sparkle

De Beers, the biggest diamond company in the world, said Monday that it expected its full-year sales to rise to a record of at least $6.4 billion after it increased prices and amid increased global demand for the precious stones.

Diamond sales rose 8 percent to $3.2 billion in the first half and will "at least" match that in the second half, De Beers said. The median from a survey of analysts forecast sales of $3.25 billion. Full-year sales last year were a record $5.7 billion.

De Beers, which sells three-fifths of the world's rough diamonds, is 45 percent owned by Anglo American.

Prices in the $8.2 billion annual market for uncut, unpolished diamonds have jumped by more than a third since 2003 as discoveries have failed to keep pace with demand, according to Rapaport Research, a U.S. consulting company. Jewelry sales have risen in China as well as in traditional markets like the United States. De Beers has raised prices twice this year.

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Diamonds: Is there such a thing as 'a deal'?

It’s just a polished lump of carbon, but really a diamond is so much more. It’s often the most precious and meaningful piece of jewelry people buy. Last year, Americans spent an estimated $30 billion on diamonds.

But how can people be sure of what they’re getting for their money? Is there such a thing as "a deal" when it comes to diamonds? A "Dateline" hidden camera investigation uncovered secrets about how diamonds are evaluated and sold.   

All this begins with a card or certificate that often comes with diamonds when you buy them. It shows the grade, the quality  of the stone, and may also include a dollar appraisal. Diamonds that come this way are commonly referred to as “certified.”

Jewelers say it’s a reliable way to buy a diamond because the certificates reassure uncertain shoppers about the diamond’s quality and value.

To understand the information on those certificates, you need to know a little about how the experts grade diamonds.

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This is an excellent article pointing out that all "certifications" are not created equal.  Many of the documents used to sell diamonds are more marketing tools than accurate grading reports.  Diamond shoppers need to know the relative merits of the major grading laboratories (GIA, AGS and EGL) and be careful of the other grading laboratories and documents, especially those that have an "appraised" value on them.

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