Some interesting things that came out of the weekend’s “Diamonds” conference, sponsored by Initiatives in Art and Culture:
– Tiffany now “direct sources” 75% of its rough. Its Keys collection had the “highest first year sales volume in [Tiffany’s] history,” according to CFO James Fernandez. The company has also stopped selling rubies, to avoid stones from Burma, and because other rubies don’t meet its quality standards.
– What happens to diamonds that are seized by Customs because they don’t have KP certificates? The government at first wasn’t sure what to do with them — after all, they could be conflict diamonds, and some suggested burning them. Instead, they are being sent to the Smithsonian Institution, where they are used for research.
– Andy Warhol was a jewelry collector who sometimes shopped on 47th Street. He also studied gemology and sometimes knew more than the dealers he bought from.