The Jewelry District, Episode 63: Tucson Gem Shows, Kering, and Small Diamonds


You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk about the Tucson gem shows, Kering’s sale of two watch brands, small diamonds, and Rob’s new book.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria talks about her time at the Tucson gem shows.
09:19 Rob shares his thoughts on the sanctions on Burmese gems.
14:26 Victoria and Rob discuss luxury conglomerates such as Kering.
21:23 Rob recently wrote a story on how hot small diamonds are becoming. He also shares information on his new book, Murder Is Not A Girl’s Best Friend

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs: jckonline.com@jckmagazine, robbatesauthor.com

Show Recap

Arizona’s Tucson Gem Shows
Victoria just came back from the Tucson gem shows, which typically have a huge international presence, but this year drew more of an American audience. She says the dealers had really great shows, with growing interest in rare and unusual stones. One of the most expensive gems at the show was an 80.26 ct. Burmese royal blue sapphire, with a retail value north of $10 million. Victoria says the fact that this gem was displayed at the show is proof of the strength of the marketplace. People are willing to buy high-priced gems. However, Victoria says mining is still feeling the effects of the pandemic.

Gem Sanctions
Right before Tucson, Rob says the U.S. government put out a business advisory warning dealers to make sure they are not sourcing gems from Myanmar (also known as Burma) because of the sanctions against the major gem miners there. Victoria wonders how these kinds of bans are enforced, and Rob says he doesn’t believe they are. If the government really wanted to enforce them, it would have to be clearer in what they actually want people to do.

Kering is a conglomerate of luxury brands (Gucci chief among them), and it’s just recently sold two watch brands, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin. Victoria says Kering also has been really progressive in its sustainability efforts, and has been a real leader in that space. She talks about how watch brands generally have not been part of big conglomerates, and perhaps we are starting to see a return to that.

Small Diamonds and Rob’s New Book
Rob just wrote a piece about small diamonds and says they’re hot with prices going up. Interestingly, there also is a similar shortage on the lab-grown diamond side. Pivoting at the end of the podcast, Victoria joyously announces that Rob just had his second book published! The book, Murder Is Not A Girl’s Best Friend, is a sequel to his first, A Murder Is Forever. The book is a lighthearted murder mystery that deals with a few serious issues.

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