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AGTA GemFair and U.S. Antique Shows to Co-Locate in Las Vegas

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The change is set for 2019.

The American Gem Trade Association and U.S. Antique Shows announced that their Las Vegas events — AGTA GemFair Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show — will be co-located at the Las Vegas Convention Center starting in June 2019.

“Through on-going conversations with our members, as well as multiple discussions within the board and in committees, we came to the conclusion that it’s time for an evolution for AGTA GemFair Las Vegas,” said Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of AGTA, in a press release “The collaboration with [owner of U.S. Antique Shows] Emerald Expositions was a logical choice; not only is the move mutually beneficial to both of our exhibitors and attendees, but there is also a commonality in the perspectives and goals of each of our organizations.”

Gannon Brousseau, senior vice president of Emerald Expositions’ jewelry group, said his company is “thrilled to join forces with the AGTA during Las Vegas Market Week.”

“There is tremendous cross-promotional appeal between these two autonomous yet complementary events, and this partnership will ultimately contribute to the prosperity of the entire trade,” he said.

Jeffrey Bilgore, president of the AGTA board of directors, said: “Establishing our independence in Las Vegas provides us with so many opportunities for growth and improvement, and partnering with a like-minded organization like Emerald Expositions allows us to provide a vital and affordable show experience for our members, and to expand our resources in strategic and consequential ways.”

Further information about the 2019 events will be released in the coming months, according to the release. Vendors or buyers interested in more information about AGTA GemFair Las Vegas can contact Mary Lou Keen at marylou@agta.org or (214) 742-4367, while anyone interested in The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show can visit https://www.usantiqueshows.com/.

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Jewelry Brand Opens 2 Brick-and-Mortar Stores Following $13M Investment Round

They’re located in New York.

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AUrate, a New York based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand, plans to use part of the $13 million that it recently raised to build a brick-and-mortar presence.

The company is opening two permanent stores in New York City, Women’s Wear Daily reports. They’ll be located in SoHo and on Madison Avenue.

They’ll “feature experiential technology that introduces consumers to the raw materials and production methods enlisted to create Aurate jewelry,” according to the report.

They were set to open Oct. 12.

AUrate announced in late June that it had completed a $13 million investment round. With the Series A funding, led by Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital, the company said it planned to expand its online and offline operations and direct investment in technology. Additional participants included Point King Capital, Arab Angel Fund and Drake Management.

AUrate soft-launched in 2015, when co-founders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn held full-time jobs at Goldman Sachs & Marc Jacobs, respectively.

The brand was officially launched in 2017, with both online and offline stores. The co-founders went on to raise $2.6M in a seed round.

Read more at Women’s Wear Daily

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De Beers Lab-Grown Diamonds to Make Brick-and-Mortar Debut

It’s a test run that will begin this month.

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Lab-grown diamonds from De Beers-owned Lightbox will soon be available at certain Bloomingdale’s and Reeds Jewelers stores.

It’s a test run that will begin this month, Forbes reports. The effort marks Lightbox’s brick-and-mortar debut.

Lightbox pieces are lab-grown diamonds set in accessibly priced fashion jewelry. They’ve been sold since September 2018 online and in pop-up shops.

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The pieces will be sold at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York and its San Francisco location store. And they’ll be available at 30 Reeds Jewelers, primarily in the Southeast, Forbes reports.

The trial is expected to last as long as six months.

Lightbox debuted in 2018 with products priced from $200 for a quarter-carat stone to $800 for a one-carat stone. It started with pink, blue and white lab-grown diamonds in a selection of earring and necklace designs, and the company later said it was expanding the line with bracelets and stackable rings.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, said last year that Lightbox would “transform the lab-grown diamond sector by offering consumers a lab-grown product they have told us they want but aren’t getting: affordable fashion jewelry that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now.”

The move to brick-and-mortar is no surprise. Lightbox Managing Director Steve Coe announced at the JCK Las Vegas show in June that he expected to begin market testing the brand in retail stores this year. After the company’s $94 million plant in Gresham, OR, goes online in 2020, production will increase and the brand will be offered to a broad range of retailers by 2021. Color offerings and jewelry-design styles will likely be expanded as well.

Coe said consumer research has backed up the De Beers belief that laboratory-grown diamonds work best as fashion accessories for everyday wear, and not for significant occasions, such as engagement, for which consumers say they prefer natural diamonds.

Read more at Forbes

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350 Jobs at Risk as British Jewelry Brand Enters Administration

It’s been dealing with ‘difficult trading conditions.’

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British jewelry brand Links of London has named Deloitte as administrator, Reuters reported.

“The Company has had to contend with difficult trading conditions that have impacted the whole retail sector,” joint administrator Matt Smith was quoted saying in a statement.

Deloitte has not announced job cuts, but 350 positions could be at risk, according to Reuters.

The administrator plans to continue operating Links of London, which belongs to Greek jewelry firm Folli Follie, and look at the possibility of selling the company.

Links of London sells through outlets in Europe, the U.S., Asia and online. Among its products are jewelry, watches and cufflinks.

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Currently on its website, Links of London states: “Following the appointment of the Joint Administrators, the Company’s website has unfortunately been temporarily suspended until further notice and therefore is unable to process any online sales.”

The site advises visitors to go to their local Links of London store.

Read more at Reuters

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