The Industry

Diamond Mining Resumes in Botswana

In a sign the diamond markets are beginning to improve, mining has resumed in Botswana after an unprecedented 50-day halt in production, De Beers said. During the pause, Debswana employees remained on full pay, and the company carried out maintenance work on its major assets to ensure the mines run at an optimal level when demand resumes.

Acquisitions

Mywa, a new Swiss watch and jewelry company backed by a private investment group, has acquired the key parts of the insolvent EganaGoldpfeil Group in Hong Kong and China. In addition, the owners of the brands for Esprit timepieces and jewelry and Puma timepieces are transferring the worldwide licenses for the manufacturing and marketing of these products to Mywa.

Associations

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the opening of the CIBJO Congress in Istanbul. Erdogan has served as prime minister of Turkey since March 14, 2003.

Courts

Hearts On Fire has won the first round of its lawsuit against Internet diamond seller Blue Nile, according to a report on MediaPost. A court found that Blue Nile may have confused consumers when it laid claim to the search term “Hearts on Fire” on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.

Blue Nile is not an authorized seller of the Hearts On Fire brand. The company argued that “hearts,” “on” and “fire” were common names in the jewelry industry.

Labs

The Palmieri Group, led by Donald A. Palmieri, has concluded the acquisition of the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab and other assets.

The Palmieri Group sold GCAL to Collectors Universe Inc. in 2005, but bought it back when Collectors Universe exited the jewelry business.

The Gemological Institute of America has a starring role in a featurette contained in the recently released DVD collector’s edition of The Pink Panther, the original movie starring Peter Sellers. Two GIA experts appear in “Diamonds: Beyond the Sparkle,” a seven-minute documentary about well-known historical diamonds.

Auctions

Rio Tinto‘s recent tender of rare blue diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia set “record prices” and “exceeded expectations,” a statement said, although the company declined to be more specific about its results. Known as the Once in a Blue Moon collection, this first-ever assortment comprised a range of precious blue and violet diamonds, 16 lots weighing a total of 287.00 cts.

Associations

Attendees of the American Gem Society Conclave in Chicago supported Jewelers For Children fundraising efforts by contributing $50,000.

The Internet

Bidz.com, the Culver City, Calif., online auction site that primarily deals in closeouts, is now selling its jewelry through Amazon.com, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bidz president Leon Kuperman told the Journal that Amazon “is much better suited for a large retailer than a platform like eBay.”

International

The Indian gem and jewelry industry declined 18.88 percent in the second half of the 2008–09 fiscal year, according to the latest figures from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the Indian industry group. The council blamed the drop on the economic slowdown in the United States.