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This week: What’s hurting the Swiss watch business? Israeli dealers charged with tax evasion. The (working) 18k gold toilet. All below.     It’s a “myth” millennials don’t like diamonds, De Beers says. - Forbes ponders.   InStore lab-grown diamond survey. - A...

Rob Bates | September 23, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Blue Nile is now allowing its vendors to sell to other e-tailers, according to a recent company email. The company typically asked suppliers for “exclusive online access” to their inventory, it says. But it’s possible that some companies got around this by selling to Blue Nile’s competitors...

Rob Bates | September 23, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Andrew Bone, the executive director of Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), took some time to speak with me following his presentation at the World Diamond Council’s annual meeting earlier this month. Highlights of our conversation follow. JCK: A while ago, there was a lot of talk of...

Rob Bates | September 20, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: Is the Swiss watch industry “doomed”? Trying to wean shoppers off sales. Actress' ring provokes jeers. All below.     Burmese ruby, jade ban likely to be lifted.   Interview with Michael Hill North American president Brett Halliday.   Retail sales...

Rob Bates | September 16, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Last week’s World Diamond Council (WDC) meeting at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City proved unexpectedly interesting—a credit to the reborn, more “professional” group. Receiving the most plaudits was the characteristically eloquent speech by Lazare Kaplan chairman Maurice Tempelsman. In...

Rob Bates | September 16, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Since 2007, Brett Halliday has overseen the Michael Hill brand in Canada, guiding the brand through a long period of growth. Last month, he was appointed head of North America, so he will now also oversee the brand’s U.S. division, which to date has shown mixed results. Here, Halliday (...

Rob Bates | September 13, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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You may have heard that Apple is no longer offering headphone jacks on its phones. But from a jewelry standpoint, the tech giant’s biggest news this week is it’s stopped selling 18k gold watches. After only a year and a half, the 18k gold Apple Watch Edition (pictured)—which retailed from $...

Rob Bates | September 9, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: Stars flock to Cartier. Where are the missing Fabergé eggs? And Joan of Arc’s ring. All below.   JCK announces new dates for Las Vegas 2017.   Apple decides it won’t be Rolex. - Swiss watchmakers gloat. - Owners of 18k gold watch react. - Its “high...

Rob Bates | September 9, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Last month, Signet reported negative comps. Of course, it’s not alone. Tiffany’s U.S. comps have been sinking for some time. Blue Nile and Birks are not showing much growth. So far, among public jewelry companies, it seems only Pandora is still performing well. Our industry has its own...

Rob Bates | September 8, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Former JCK editorial assistant Stephanie Schaefer recently announced some happy news: She had gotten engaged! Her intended is none other than former JCK web editor Daniel Ford.  (By the way, you should check out Dan’s website, Writer’s Bone, including—to really keep it all in the family—his...

Rob Bates | September 2, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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