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This week: eBay sold watches every three seconds on Black Friday. Pandora gets a new ad agency. Zales ad proves controversial. All below.   Jewelers say holiday season off to strong smart  - eBay sells watch every three seconds - Online sales shatter expectations. - Did...

Rob Bates | December 2, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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It got lost in the post-election shuffle, but last month, Sarine Technologies released its first-ever clarity-grading machine. Given how its rough-mapping and cut-grading devices have changed the business, it’s worth asking: Could Sarine’s clarity grading have a similar impact? Sarine...

Rob Bates | December 2, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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For the last few years, I have spoken with investors frustrated about Blue Nile’s ongoing lack of traction. Some thought it needed to be taken private. As a new proxy filing reveals, the e-tailer’s board was well aware that something needed to be done, and there had been talks about selling the...

Rob Bates | December 1, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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In June of last year, Endless Jewelry founder Jesper Nielsen gave me a long interview, detailing how he planned to build the charm company into a “super brand.” And now, less than 18 months later, he was back on the phone with me, talking about how this once-promising company filed for...

Rob Bates | November 25, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: Amazon’s jewelry secret. How Chow Tai Fook reuses failing shops. And you can now get gold from coal. All below.   Signet’s comps fall, again. - Earnings call transcript - Stock soars. - Analyst “encouraged.” - EEOC: Sterling improperly shielded docs.  ...

Rob Bates | November 25, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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Last week I ran a blog reporting on a controversy over a press release issued by current Kimberley Process chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem. Following the plenary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Bin Sulayem sent out a statement with the headline “KP Plenary reaches new historic...

Rob Bates | November 23, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: The new diamond industry drama finally premieres. Jeweler’s son becomes murder suspect. Woman looks for wedding ring in a dump. All below.   Another quarter, another 300 jewelers close - Churchill Jewelers closes after almost 100 years. - These four companies are...

Rob Bates | November 18, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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It’s happened again.  This morning, the PR firm for Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the current Kimberley Process chair representing the United Arab Emirates, sent out a press release with big news: KP Plenary reaches new historic agreement on permanent secretariat and NGO fund proposals by...

Rob Bates | November 18, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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This week, we had even more news of jewelry stores closing. And yet, throughout the year, we have seen a few companies buck the trend and open stores in America: - Diamonds Direct - Spence Diamonds - Samuels (Gitanjali) - Michael Hill It turns out that these companies have a bit in...

Rob Bates | November 17, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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While it’s hardly the most pressing issue in the world right now, I am disappointed with Diamond Foundry and Barneys New York's decision to use the word cultivated for their new line of lab-grown diamonds.  The controversy boils down to this: The Barneys release calls the...

Rob Bates | November 11, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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