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166-Year-Old Jewelry Store Closes Its Doors

The owners are retiring.

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PLACERVILLE, CA – Randolph Jewelers in Placerville, CA, which opened in 1852, is closing its doors.

The business describes itself in a press release as “the oldest continuously run jewelry store in California.”

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Store owner Charles Stephens and his wife, Kathy, who also works at the store, are ready to start a new chapter which includes spending time with family and traveling.

As he looks forward to retirement, Stephens adds, “We are going to miss the customers – helping people acquire some of their most treasured possessions is a wonderful thing to do.”

Store founder F.F. Barss opened the business under a tent on Main Street, and that street has remained its home ever since.

The store originally operated under its founder’s name as FF Barss Jewelers. The Berger family owned the store until 1946 when it was bought by William Randolph and the name changed to Randolph Jewelers.

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Stephens bought the store from Randolph in 1981 and kept the name because of its reputation, according to the release.

After serving the community for 166 years, Randolph Jewelers began hosting a closing sale, open to the public, Nov. 30. The sale will continue until all inventory is sold.

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Newly Discovered Gemstone Is Harder Than Diamond

It’s been found on Earth for the first time.

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Shefa Yamim, a precious stone exploration company in Israel, has discovered a new mineral that is harder than diamond and which has never been found on Earth before.

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The material is called carmeltazite, and it was recently approved as a new mineral by the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification.

The mineral was named carmeltazite because of it its discovery on Mount Carmel and due to its major chemical components: titanium, aluminum and zirconium (“TAZ”), the company stated in a press release. Shefa Yamim trademarked the name “carmel sapphire” for the material.

The mineral “is a newly discovered type of corundum similar in appearance to the corundum, but unlike any other sapphire found in the world,” according to the company. The rough carmel sapphire is typically black, blue-to-green or orange-brown. The largest stone found is 33.3 carats.

The Vintage News reports that “it was previously believed that this type of mineral was only found on extraterrestrial material.”

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It’s harder than diamond and substantially rarer, “making its value extremely high,” according to the publication.

Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, said in the release: “We are delighted that our Carmel Sapphire has been recognised as a host to many rare minerals. In today’s world where the prices of gems are determined predominantly by their rarity, the Carmel Sapphire is a unique discovery because it has not been found anywhere else in the world and was discovered by Shefa Yamim in the soil of the Holy Land. We believe this substantially increases the potential value of our ‘Gem Box’ of precious stones. The studies of Carmel Sapphire and its new minerals mark another milestone in the Company’s journey as we continue our progress towards trial mining in Zone 1 in 2019.”

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Founder of Luxury Jewelry Brand Leaves Company

His resignation was effective Dec. 31.

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Fawaz Gruosi, founder of Swiss luxury jewelry and watch company de Grisogono, has stepped down from his position as a board director and left the company.

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The resignation was effective Dec. 31, according to an article published by WorldTempus.

The decision had been some time in the making, and Gruosi had moving away from daily operations.

Elmar Wiederin, chairman of the de Grisogono board, was quoted saying, “As Founder of this inspirational brand twenty – five years ago, we are thankful to Fawaz Gruosi for his incredible passion and creativity.”

Wiederin continued: “Led by Céline Assimon and the skilled team in place, the Design studio and Atelier will continue to drive design and craftsmanship as before through a collective process, maintaining the traditions of daring creativity for which the brand is known.”

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Assimon was named CEO in December.

De Grisogono also recently named Keith Rosen to the role of general manager for its Americas operations, Rapaport News reports.

Read more at the WorldTempus

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Jeweler Charged with Stealing from 11 Customers

He’s been charged with felony theft.

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A Colorado jeweler is accused with stealing gold, jewelry and money from 11 of his customers.

David Aaron Kushnir, who operated D & D Jewelers in Thornton, has been charged with one count of felony theft “concerning theft of up to $100,000 from 11 named victims,” according to a press release from 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young.

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The charges allege that Kushnir, 37, defrauded the customers after they brought their
diamonds, watches and other jewelry to him for repair or consignment sale at his business.

He also allegedly sold fake diamonds to three victims.

Kushnir was arrested Tuesday at his Aurora home and advised of the charges Wednesday.

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The Sentinel newspaper reports that, according to an arrest affidavit, Kushnir’s alleged victims lost more than $147,000 in all.

In one case, he’s accused of removing a movement piece worth $40,000 from A Rolex watch he was asked to repair and then substituting “a Chinese piece,” according to the newspaper.

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