October 1, 2000

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De Beers and Argyle: Together Again?

de beers has made a bid to acquire ashton mining, which owns 40% of australia’s argyle mine.if the bid is successful, it will mean a reunion of sorts. the argyle mine—a major producer of indian “smalls”—sold its stones through de beers’ central selling organisation when it came on stream in the 1980s. in 1996, it left the cartel, citing disagreements over prices.

How a Delaware Store Addresses Training

employees at minster’s jewelers, which has stores in newark and wilmington, del., are well acquainted with jewelers of america training courses.every year for the past three years, company president will minster has taken about 10 less-experienced staffers to ja’s summer show for the jewelry 101 course (now available on video). after jewelry 101, students move on to the sales professional courses.

Other Training Resources

gemological institute of america. the jewelry professional program is a distance education course that includes “diamond essentials,” “colored stone essentials,” and “jewelry essentials.” a new course on pearls is also available. call gia at (800) 421-7250 ext. 4001. independent jewelers organization. ijo members can sign up for gia courses at discounted prices.

Tiffany’s Colorful History

true to its reputation as a leader in american style, tiffany proved this summer that it takes more than just jewels to stay in tune with consumers.the retail giant packed the power of its pedigree into a two-month exhibit at its fifth avenue flagship store. the exhibit captured today’s trend toward color through a retrospective display of gemstones from the company’s 147-year history.

The Disappearing U.S. Watchmaker

how many u.s. watchmakers are left? the exact number is hard to pin down. different sections in the federal bureau of labor statistics, which tracks such figures, put the total between 8,400 (1998) and 6,500 (year 2000). the first figure, based on several surveys, is official until next year. the lower figure is based on unofficial monthly approximations.

Perle Utopia Announces Second Design Competition

perle utopia announces the second annual pearl utopia international award for jewelry design.utopia-branded south seas cultured pearls must be the primary focus of all submissions, and designs should express the timeless symbolic value of white south seas pearls. participation is open to all designers and goldsmiths, whether employed by a jewelry manufacturer or working as an independent artisan.

Catalogs

platinum guild international usa has released a 176-page catalog featuring classic, cutting-edge, and over-the-top jewelry designs from more than 150 of the world’s leading jewelry designers and manufacturers. platinum 2000 edition viii also provides jewelers with point-of-purchase merchandising ideas aswell as tips for selling platinum more effectively.

CATALOG IN MOTION WILL SPOTLIGHT TOOLS

the 2001 catalog in motion showcase of tools and equipment is scheduled for feb. 2-5, 2001, during the tucson gem & mineral show at the tucson east hilton. more than 5,000 square feet of ballroom space is dedicated to the tools, equipment, and supplies jewelers use.

SANDBERG & SIKORSKI ACQUIRE T. PINTO

sandberg & sikorski corp. announced that the company has acquired 100% of the assets of t. pinto manufacturing inc. t. pinto had been a manufacturer of die struck rings, primarily selling unfinished rings to bridal manufacturers in the jewelry industry. the company also developed true two-tone, die-struck, comfort-fit rings in both platinum and yellow and white gold combinations.

Advice from Jewelers Mutual

jewelers mutual insurance co., neenah, wis., recommends record-keeping procedures for jewelers who deal in estate jewelry or other jewelry purchased from non-jeweler sources. jewelers who purchase estate jewelry or other jewelry from a private party (non-jeweler) for resale must be able to verify the existence and value of this property in the event of a claim.

Jewelers Help Capture Suspect

a jewel thief long-sought by the fbi and local police was captured in late june, thanks to the alertness and quick actions of husband-and-wife jewelers and their staff in mount home, ark.the man identified as jorge enrique campos was sought by authorities for the august 1996 theft of a 1-ct. $4,000 diamond ring from a jewelry store in brainerd, minn.

24K DINNER DANCE WILL HONOR EDWARD DAYOOB

the jewelers 24-karat club of southern california will present edward dayoob, president and chief operating officer of fred meyer jewelers, with the excellence in service award at its annual fall dinner dance, set for nov. 4 at the beverly hills hotel in beverly hills, calif. dayoob, who has 41 years of jewelry industry experience, joined fred meyer jewelers, a 397-store chain, in 1973.

Fashion, Frugality Build Bridges to New Customers

while a diamond-and-tahitian pearl design set in platinum may claim pride of place as the ultimate luxury, the fine jewelry industry is increasingly turning to less-expensive materials to cater to a new generation of consumers.

Bench Tricks

flush setting round stones can be tricky: the procedure demands precision when preparing the seat and burnishing metal onto the stone. ja® certified master bench jeweler™ tom weishaar of underwood’s fine jewelry in fayetteville, ark.

Fashion Jumps for Hoops

like pucci-esque prints and big aviator sunglasses, hoop earrings have been reborn. trendsetters ranging from pop icons like singer and actress jennifer lopez to top-name international clothes designers are defining style with hoops. not since the 1970s have hoop earrings been so prevalent in fashion and culture.

CSO, R.I.P.

everyone expected big news from de beers’ july press conference. at least three newspapers predicted the company would declare the end of its 100-year-old cartel.but when the moment came, executives spelled out a series of changes but adamantly refused to declare the end of the diamond world as we know it.

John Robert Latendresse: In His Own Words

john latendresse, who passed away on july 23, 2000, three days before his 75th birthday, was the first successful north american freshwater cultured pearl farmer.

Associations

the jewelers of america ethics program has entered its next stage. beginning in january 2000, all new and renewing ja members were sent a copy of the ja code of ethics. retailers wishing to join ja were asked to voluntarily sign the documents as part of the application process. by mid-may, more than 9,300 ja members had signed.

People

the gemological institute of america has appointed judith shechter-lankford as director of corporate sales. a graduate gemologist with more than 26 years of experience in the industry, shechter-lankford will be chiefly responsible for national sales of gia’s new accredited jewelry professional (ajp) diploma and other educational programs.

Retailer News

roberson’s fine jewelry and gifts, little rock, ark., recently donated a commemorative statue to the new dalton whetstone boys and girls club. the faux bronze bust was created in memory of the late dalton whetstone, son of prominent little rock attorney bud whetstone. it was commissioned by roberson’s and created at the company’s retail store in little rock by sculptor hank kaminsky.

LJ INTERNATIONAL SIGNS ON LORENZO DEALERS

lj international has announced that more than 60 independent jewelry retailers in the united states have signed on to become authorized dealers of the company’s lorenzo-branded jewelry. authorized dealers are required to make minimum purchases, dedicate showcase space exclusively to the lorenzo line, and prominently display lorenzo signage and marketing material.

SANTA FE SYMPOSIUM SET FOR ALBUQUERQUE

the 2001 santa fe symposium on jewelry manufacturing technology will be held may 20-23, 2001, at the albuquerque marriott in albuquerque, n.m. this forum provides jewelry professionals the opportunity to discuss the advances and challenges of their trade in a noncommercial environment and form networks within the jewelry community. brochures will be available in december 2000.

Business Services

mohr learning offers an interactive tool designed to train retail associates in critical selling skills. available in both intranet-based and cd-rom versions, quick start sales training is a complete self-study program that focuses on core selling skills. it also includes an online coaching guide for sales supervisors.

WEB SITE LAUNCHED

d. paglia & sons’ new web site (dpaglia.com) features highly detailed “representational” jewelry, which includes nautical, equestrian, and nature themes. the site also includes photographs documenting paglia’s 45-year history. a searchable archive of designs is in the works.

Dot Combat: Surviving the Internet Wars

the not-so-old adage that massive jewelry “e-tailers” will replace mom-and-pop jewelry stores is being debunked. studies show that retailers will not only survive the internet craze but also reap rewards from it—if they invest in it wisely. (see sidebar next page.) the personal observations of jewelers involved in online initiatives support the research.

INHORGENTA SET FOR FEBRUARY 2001

inhorgenta 2001, the 28th international trade fair for watches, clocks, jewellery, precious stones, pearls, silverware, and their manufacturing equipment, will take place feb. 23-26, 2001, at the munich trade fair centre. designer jewelry will be in hall c2, in the middle of the main jewelry display, close to hall c1.

Best Bets for Fall/Winter Pearl Jewelry

layers and colors. freshwater pearls-dyed or natural-will be mixed up in messy layers and multiple colors. themes and variations. tin cup and y-necklaces will continue to reappear in new variations. this year, watch for station necklaces in multiple strands. and look for the lariat to replace the delicate drops of the y-necklace. mixing and matching.

LJ International Launches Watch Line

lj international of hong kong, the world’s largest publicly owned manufacturer of semiprecious jewelry, has launched its own watch line. “our new watch jewelry line creates a new revenue stream and is consistent with our product diversification strategy,” says chairman and chief executive officer yu chuan yih.

GIA OPENS PUBLIC MUSEUM GALLERY

the gemological institute of america opened a public museum gallery at its world headquarters in carlsbad, calif., in april. the gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.the featured exhibits include unpublished photomicrographs by gia’s chief gemologist, john koivula, g.g., a renowned gemstone inclusion photographer and author.

A Brief History of Pocket Watches

the pocket watch is one of the oldest denizens of the watch world. it traces its lineage to 16th-century germany, where innovative clockmaker peter henlein of nuremberg (inventor of spring-powered clocks) was one of the first to make pocket watches. in the 1700s, a specially designed oversized pocket watch by english clockmaker john harrison played a decisive role in determining longitude.

Contest Deadline

the entry deadline for the south sea pearl consortium’s third international south sea pearl jewellery design competition is november 10, 2000. entrants are required to submit pearl jewelry design renderings in any or all of seven categories: rings, bracelets, brooches, necklaces, earrings, pendants, or objects (wearable and non-wearable).

JA DEBUTS NEW WEB SITE

jewelers of america’s redesigned web site is available worldwide atwww.jewelers.org. the site is separated into three sections: jewelry lovers (consumers), ja members, and industry professionals.the jewelry lovers section includes a searchable database of ja members, information about fine jewelry, and an e-mail newsletter for consumers, which refers them to a ja jeweler.

Jeweler Sues Michael Jackson

“money” isn’t just the title of a song by super pop star michael jackson. it’s also the reason for a $1.4 million lawsuit filed against the singer by beverly hills, calif., luxury retail jeweler david orgell. in the july 10 lawsuit in los angeles superior court, orgell alleges that during an oct. 30, 1999 visit to the store, jackson—a frequent customer—took a fancy to a new $1.

Grooming Professional Sales Associates

retail is one of the few fields in which a college degree is not a prerequisite to success. but success in the retail world does require skills and knowledge, including communication skills, product knowledge, a neat appearance, a commitment to teamwork, and the ability to handle money, monitor inventory, and help make the retail premises inviting to customers.

Citizen Promotes Eco-Drive Watches

citizen watch co. this fall is conducting the most intensive ad campaign in its history, to promote its newly style-conscious collections of eco-drive watches. every two weeks from mid-september through early december, the company will launch a new eco-drive watch and an advertising effort to support it.

Pocket Editions

the pocket watch, one of western society’s oldest timekeepers, is enjoying a revival in popularity, spurred by today’s fashions, style-setting music stars, and consumers’ desire for “something different” in timepieces.over the past couple of years, pocket watches “have had a big resurgence in sales and demand,” notes alan grunwald, president of belair watches.

Net News

ja/mjsa net inc. has appointed steven kravit as chief executive officer. kravit has more than twenty years’ experience in the jewelry industry and plans to develop the web company into the leading online portal for jewelers in all segments of the trade.kravit recently served as chief operating officer at kurgan & cheviot, a jewelry manufacturer in los angeles.

WJA-MIDWEST HOLDS ‘SWINGING’ BENEFIT

the midwest chapter of the women’s jewelry association sponsored swinging safari, a benefit held on sept. 9. the feature attraction was a live auction of one-of-a-kind treasure boxes created by 24 jewelry designers. the auction was conducted by christie’s auction house. all proceeds from the auction benefited the chicago abused women coalition.chicago mayor richard m. daly proclaimed sept.

AGS Launches Expansion

the american gem society has launched a $4 million project—called the “partnership for excellence” capital campaign—to expand its las vegas, nev., headquarters, services, laboratory, and staff. groundbreaking will be in october, with completion set for march 2000 and a formal opening in june.

Hall Monitor

the world diamond congress had an upbeat closing, but it began on an odd, sour note. rep. tony hall, the ohio congressman whose carat act would require every diamond in the united states to be sold with a “certificate of origin,” was the congress’s keynote speaker. he was the first u.s.

DDC Head Vows to Fight for ‘Little Guy’

the new head of the diamond dealers club of new york says his priority is to bring business back to the club.”hopefully in three or four months, you won’t recognize the club,” says jacob banda, a longtime dealer who recently was elected club president. “we are one of the largest clubs in the world, and everyone is passing us by. there is a lot of business in new york, but not enough in the ddc.

Black by Popular Demand

black diamonds have moved from the world of drill bits to the world of fine jewelry. in basel, at the jck show in las vegas, and at the jewelers of america show in new york, more dealers and manufacturers than ever before were displaying loose stones as well as black diamond jewelry.

The Backyard Voting Booth

it’s fall. summer vacations are over, children are back at school, the heat of summer has given way to cooler weather, and jewelers are hard at work gearing up for the most important selling season of the year.

Timex Buys France’s Opex

timex corp., the largest-selling brand in america, recently bought opex, a french fashion watch brand. under timex, the brand will be a wholly owned subsidiary, independent in its choice of design and of retailers, say reports by opex and by the french watch, clock, jewellery and silverware center in paris.

De Beers Plans Pegasus ‘Black Box’

months after it discovered a way to identify stones “whitened” by high pressure and high temperature, de beers may now have a “black box” that could enable easy detection of the diamonds.”we have more work to do and a few more tests, but we’re far ahead of where we were 15 months ago,” says dr. chris wellbourn, a de beers scientist.

Where Have All the Watchmakers Gone?

the decrease in trained timepiece technicians (“watchmakers”) in the united states is getting worse, and the american watchmakers-clockmakers institute (awi), the world’s largest professional horological organization, has called on the u.s. watch industry for support and advice.

The Mantle Tissue Issue

for months, there has been debate in the trade press over what is in the center of large round and near-round chinese freshwater pearls. antoinette matlins, author of the pearl book, has insisted that the only way to produce so many nice, big chinese freshwaters is to bead-nucleate the mollusks with old rejected freshwater pearls.but todd cislo, spokesman for c.

JA/MJSA NET HAS NEW CEO

ja/mjsa net inc. has appointed steven kravit as chief executive officer. kravit has more than twenty years’ experience in the jewelry industry and plans to develop the web company into the leading online portal for jewelers in all segments of the trade.kravit recently served as chief operating officer at kurgan & cheviot, a jewelry manufacturer in los angeles.

Zale Corp. Sued for Insurance Fraud

zale corp. is being sued for credit insurance fraud in a class action brought by three law firms under the federal anti-racketeering act. the complaint was filed in federal court in texarkana, texas, on july 21, 2000.

Lion’s Share to be Decided

rosy blue, the antwerp diamond cutting firm and manufacturer of the “lion cut,” a new diamond facet design, has brought suit against diamwag, an antwerp diamond manufacturer and creator of the “spirit of flanders” cut, for patent infringement, according to pascal eggermont, representing rosy blue. (see “chase to the cut,” jck, may 2000, p. 126.) a decision from the court is expected this month.

Trade Shows

inhorgenta 2001, the 28th international trade fair for watches, clocks, jewellery, precious stones, pearls, silverware, and their manufacturing equipment, will take place feb. 23-26, 2001, at the munich trade fair centre. designer jewelry will be in hall c2, in the middle of the main jewelry display, close to hall c1.

Abalone Pearls

the most colorful of all pearl-producing mollusks is haliotis rufescens, more commonly known as the red abalone. an array of opal-like iridescent colors races across the shell, both inside and out. of course, the more important iridescence is inside the shell—the “mother-of-pearl,” which dictates the color of the pearl.

WILLIAM LEVINE HAS NEW COLLECTION

william levine inc. has added a new collection to the company’s jewelry division, william levine fine jewels. sold under the brand name la briolette collection, it was created by several top designers. david levine says the comprehensive collection will include affordable as well as higher-end pieces.

The Black Orlov

of all the black diamonds in the world, the 67.50-ct. cushion brilliant black orlov (sometimes spelled orloff) is probably the most famous-or infamous. its story dates back to the 18th century and the legend of russian princess nadia vyegin-orlov.

Firm Buys Majority in Ross-Simons

freeman spogli & co., a private investment firm that invests primarily in retail, internet, and direct marketing companies, has obtained a majority interest in ross-simons of cranston, r.i., a leading catalog and internet retailer of fine jewelry, gifts, and collectibles. darrell s. ross remains as chairman and chief executive officer.

JIC QUADRUPLES RETAILER MEMBERSHIP

the jewelry information center, the public relations arm of the fine jewelry and watch industry, has more than quadrupled its retailer membership for 2000, according to jic director of membership carolyn jacoby.a new jic membership dues structure for 2000 allows for jewelers of america retailers with gross annual sales of less than $750,000 to join jic for $25.

GARIBALDI AND BRUNS EXPANDS STORE

garibaldi and bruns, of north carolina, recently completed an extensive remodeling and expansion project at their southpark mall store in charlotte. the location has been expanded to 2,600 square feet, with a diamond showcase area that includes two private viewing rooms and wood-framed wall displays featuring one-of-a-kind items.

Bricks-And-Clicks Strategy Will Dominate E-Commerce

international data corporation (idc), a framingham, mass.-based information technology research firm, says that the u.s. online jewelry market (e-commerce) will grow from $77 million in 1999 to more than $1 billion in 2004. the research contends that people who shop online are becoming increasingly internet-savvy, to the point of feeling comfortable with a $1,000 online purchase.

ROBERSON’S DONATES COMMEMORATIVE STATUE

roberson’s fine jewelry and gifts, little rock, ark., recently donated a commemorative statue to the new dalton whetstone boys and girls club. the faux bronze bust was created in memory of the late dalton whetstone, son of prominent little rock attorney bud whetstone. it was commissioned by roberson’s and created at the company’s retail store in little rock by sculptor hank kaminsky.

Gemworld Blasts JVC

in a letter dated june 23, 2000, to cecilia gardner, executive director of the jewelers vigilance committee, gemworld international’s research director stuart robertson argues that jvc’s stance on the non-disclosure of treatments is wrong.

Zale Buys Piercing Pagoda

zale corp., the largest fine jewelry retailer in north america, has become the world’s largest jeweler and a dominant force in all segments of the u.s. jewelry market with its purchase of piercing pagoda inc. the retailer of low-priced gold jewelry operates kiosks in hundreds of u.s. malls. the deal was announced aug. 11.the transaction, says zale chairman robert j.

The (Retail) World According to DOL

the u.s. department of labor defined the duties of professional retail sales associates in 1994. they include the following: providing personalized customer service, including initiating customer contact and building customer relations. selling and promoting products, determining customer needs, building and closing the sale. monitoring inventory, including taking and transferring inventory.

JA ETHICS PROGRAM ENTERS NEXT PHASE

the jewelers of america ethics program has entered its next stage. beginning in january 2000, all new and renewing ja members were sent a copy of the ja code of ethics. retailers wishing to join ja were asked to voluntarily sign the documents as part of the application process. by mid-may, more than 9,300 ja members had signed.

DiNicola Retires as Zale Chairman

robert j. dinicola, chairman of zale corp. since 1993 and the architect of its return to industry leadership and profitability after bankruptcy, announced his retirement on aug. 30. that same day, zale announced $1.79 billion in net sales and a 38% gain in net earnings for fiscal 2000, its best year ever. dinicola remains on zale’s board of directors.

Supplier News

fundraising became child’s play when platinum designer scott kay joined *nsync and other celebrities to raise money for children’s programs and charities. new york city’s planet hollywood played host to the event, which included a vip reception attended by kay, *nsync, basketball superstar isiah thomas, mtv’s ananda lewis, singer jordan knight, and many others.

A ‘Watchable’ Champion

how does tennis champion venus williams plan to celebrate her triumphs in winning her first wimbledon tennis title on july 8, plus the women’s doubles with her sister the next day? take a trip to disney world? visit paris? buy a sports car? no, the 20-year-old tennis star told reporters in england and the united states that she plans to celebrate by buying “a fine watch.

Estate Jewelry Ownership: A Hot Issue

about five years ago, cathy calhoun, owner of zenker jewelers in royersford, pa., received a telephone call from a police officer. on a hunch, the officer was calling to ask if calhoun had encountered a certain emerald and diamond bracelet. the bracelet had been stolen, and the police were trying to hunt down the jewelry and the thief.

PLATINUM DESIGNER JOINS *NSYNC AT CELEBRITY FUNDRAISER

fundraising became child’s play when platinum designer scott kay joined *nsync and other celebrities to raise money for children’s programs and charities. new york city’s planet hollywood played host to the event, which included a vip reception attended by kay, *nsync, basketball superstar isiah thomas, mtv’s ananda lewis, singer jordan knight, and many others.

Fashion’s Newest Star

pop quiz: what blonde gen x actress co-starred in the movie hanging up? what is the premise of the television program will and grace? what cable television series has made sarah jessica parker an icon of urban 30-somethings? think the answers to these questions are irrelevant to the independent jeweler’s business?

RASMUSSEN DIAMONDS CELEBRATES 100TH ANNIVERSARY

rasmussen diamonds, racine, wis., opened a two-week celebration of the company’s centennial with a black-tie, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres gathering at the store. the invitation-only “business after 5” event was attended by chamber of commerce members and other special guests, including award-winning jewelry designers.

Diamonds, Leopards, and Spots

with half of a retail jeweler’s business concentrated in diamond merchandise, any news from de beers on a change in diamond marketing direction creates a great deal of discussion and speculation. retailers and manufacturers of diamond jewelry—as well as those in the diamond supply chain—wonder what’s next.

Paint It Black

a number of firms sell treated black diamonds, including chromagem, lotus, and israel’s first diamond group ltd. treated blacks are easier to find, cut, and match, and they take a better polish because the stones are not highly knotted or too heavily included. prices for natural and treated blacks are comparable in melee sizes.at present, there are three treatments:neutron irradiation.

Do Consumers Know…Or Care?

recently, the associated press asked diamond shoppers on 47th street in new york if they cared whether their diamond purchases fuel african wars. “i want a diamond,” noted a new jersey woman. “where it comes from, how it got here, i don’t really care. it sounds self-serving, but it wouldn’t make a difference.

The New Mark

you may not be able to keep track of the rapidly expanding world of de beers’ corporate lingo-or tell “best practice principles” from “supplier of choice”-but there’s one catch-phrase the company wants everyone to know: “dtc.””dtc” stands for “diamond trading company,” the name of de beers’ sales division. now it’s the name of the entire marketing arm, replacing “central selling organisation.

World Federation Endorses ‘SI3’ Grade

although “conflict diamonds” dominated the recent world diamond congress, delegates also deliberated about other issues. in one surprise move, the world federation of diamond bourses—which represents the world’s 24 diamond clubs—issued a resolution calling for use of the “si3” grade in diamond grading reports.

Retail Giants Woo Brides

last year tiffany attempted to entrench its status as bridal design leader with the launch of the new lucida ring. now two other international retailers are following suit, courting brides with modern designs and stylish brand names. asprey & garrard recently launched its eternal cut solitaire diamond engagement rings, and now cartier is updating its bridal jewelry offerings.

Rough Cutting

most facetable black diamonds are industrials. they’re a maze of fractures and alternating growth directions, and pieces tend to fall off during cutting. because of the alternating crystal growth, cutters also encounter different directions of hardnesses on the same facet. “when you’re talking about black diamond, it’s really a conglomerate,” says natural colored diamond dealer alan bronstein.

Diamonds Are an Icon’s Best Friend

elizabeth taylor’s love affair with jewelry—especially diamonds—has long defined diva style. around the world, the public associates the actress with glittering baubles. so it was no surprise that when the british film institute recently recognized taylor as a dame of the british empire, they did not neglect her love of jewels.

‘Best Practice Principles’

de beers’ new rules call for all its sightholders (or, as they have been ordered to call themselves, dtc sightholders), along with anyone else who buys from de beers, to agree to principles that govern their actions with respect to de beers as well as non-de beers diamonds. the principles prohibit: non-disclosure of treatments.

Janitor May Keep Diamond

a new mexico janitor may getto keep the 9-ct. diamond he fished out of a vacuum cleaner. bruce buck found the gem while vacuuming a local office in february. he first thought it was a fake but later realized it could scratch glass.

Survey Says Jewelers Shun Treatments

an overwhelming number of jewelers don’t stock treated diamonds or diamond simulants, according to a new survey by the jewelers of america and the diamond information center, de beers’ u.s. public relations arm.the survey asked jewelers if they carried laser-drilled or fracture-filled stones or diamond look-alike synthetic moissanite.

Harry Oppenheimer Dies at 91

harry oppenheimer, chairman of de beers for 27 years and the man behind the concept of diamond advertising, died recently at the age of 91. the oxford-educated son of cartel founder ernest, oppenheimer joined the de beers board in 1934 and stayed on for 60 years. in 1957, he succeeded his father as chairman of de beers and sister company anglo-american.

‘Conflict’ Resolution?

by the time this summer’s world diamond congress began in antwerp, the conflict diamond issue had grown into an out-of-control, hydra-headed monster. the normally low-key event became a magnet for politicians, non-governmental organizations (ngos), and members of the media, all demanding to know what was being done about the problem. “the industry has a type of cancer,” one participant noted.

Improving on Mother Nature

grab your shovel and start digging. if you dig deep enough (90 miles) you’ll reach the mythical diamond spawning ground, where all type iia diamonds are colorless—as nature intended. that’s according to charles a. meyer, managing director for general electric/lazare kaplan’s trademarked, color-enhanced bellataire diamonds.

Russia Threatening to Leave De Beers

in one of their strongest statements to date, representatives of the russian diamond industry indicated they may no longer sell to de beers when their current contract with the company expires next year.