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Jeweler Locks Suspected Fraudster in Vault, and Other Recent News

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She allegedly tried a switcheroo.

A Florida jeweler says he was the victim of an attempted scam — but it was really more like a comedy of errors.

 Vladislav “Bobby” Yampolsky of ECJ Luxe Collection in Boca Raton says a woman tried to trick him out of $6.7 million in diamonds, the Sun Seninel reports

She agreed to buy a group of 11 pieces. He told the newspaper: “She brought her own materials, wrapped it herself with her own tape and tried to pull the switch because she had the identical package in her bag, pre-made.”

Following that and other suspicious behavior in the vault room, he locked her in the vault and contacted authorities. Forty-six-year-old Fatima Milanovic has been charged with organized fraud and grand theft.

Yampolsky said Milanovic’s entire scheme was woefully inept. At one point she even tried to shove the fake package up her skirt, he said.

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Signet Jewelers just got quite a bit bigger in Ohio. The company doubled the size of its “non-merchandise fulfillment center,” the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The 134,000-square-foot distribution center and warehouse handles store supplies such as jewelry boxes. Employment at the center will grow this year to 58 from the current 40. 

It’s a tough retail environment, and trying new things can pay off. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports on Avedis “Avo” Guerboian, who recently opened his store, called Edward Avedis, Atelier, inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. He carries his own line plus some vintage pieces from Rolex and other brands, but the heart of it all is “a sitting area and a large screen where Avo uses computer software to design engagement rings for clients right in front of them,” according to the newspaper. His father, Eddie, who operated Readers Fine Jewelers, likes the concept. “There is still some romance,” he says.

The U.S. has four new jewelry companies — sort of. Surat, India-based Kiran Jewels Inc. announced as part of a restructuring, U.S.-based businesses Kiran Jewels Inc., Unique Design, SDIL and Prestige would no longer be part of the company. Kiran Export Hong Kong is also separating from Kiran Jewels. The companies will “continue to function as normal independent businesses in their respective geographies,” Kiran stated. The restructuring will “technically end all the relations between the above named companies and Kiran Gems Pvt. Ltd, which continues to be a De Beers GSS (International) Sightholder,” according to Kiran.

 

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Video: Jewelry Store Owner Hits Robbers With Jars of Pickles

3 suspects have been arrested.

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A jeweler in Sandy Springs, GA, fought off robbers by using pickle jars, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The owner and witnesses managed to subdue two suspects, holiding them until police arrived on the scene. The robbery happened late Saturday afternoon at a store on Abernathy Road close to Roswell Road, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Police said three people have been arrested: 40-year-old Antonio Collier, 17-year-old Antwan DeKarlos Robinson a 16-year-old suspect. They’re charged with several crimes, including armed robbery as well as battery.

A fourth suspect is being sought.

A witness said that when the robbers entered the store, “they had hammers and were breaking everything and grabbed Rolexes.”

The owner reportedly struck the suspects with a bag of pickle jars, hitting them in the face and head.

Two of the suspects got away, resulting in a police chase and car crash, authorities said. One of the suspects in the car was arrested and the other ran away.

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Jewelry Store Was Going Out of Business … But a Former Employee Had Other Ideas (Video)

Stan and Mary Sherwin operated the store for 40 years but decided to retire.

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A jewelry store in Atascadero, CA, was about to close for good as its owners retired.

But a former employee had other ideas.

Stan and Mary Sherwin operated K. Jons Diamonds and Gems for 40 years and were set to cease operations in early January, The Tribune reports.

But then Lindsay Jane Chatham, who began working for the store as a teenager and continued for several years, decided to move back to town with her husband, Greg, and take over the business.

“We found out they were retiring, and so many things had to fall into place. It was crazy,” she was quoted saying.

The store will operate as K. Jons Jewelry Co., according to The Tribune.

The Chathams, both of whom are gemologists, will lease the store space from the Sherwins. They’ll keep most of K. Jons’s employees.

One thing they aren’t buying from the Sherwins is inventory. Most of that was purchased in a going-out-of-business sale.

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Louis Vuitton to Sell Jewelry Made From World’s Second-Largest Diamond

The deal follows LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

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LVMH Sewelo Diamon

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has entered a deal to sell jewelry made from the world’s second-largest diamond, known as the Sewelo diamond.

It’s a 1,758 carat gem that’s the size of a tennis ball.

Lucara Diamond Corp. announced a deal with LVMH and the HB Co., a diamond manufacturer from Antwerp, that will see the diamond cut into pieces and made into Louis Vuitton jewelry.

Bloomberg reports that LVMH “will likely create several extremely high-end pieces  to establish a sense of exclusivity.”

A price tag for the Sewelo has not been revealed. Yahoo Finance notes that it sold for $53 million in 2017.

The acquisition is further evidence of LVMH’s plans to grow its jewelry business, according to Bloomberg. It follows the company’s nearly $16 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

The diamond was recovered from Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana in April 2019.

According to a press release from Lucara:

Lucara will receive an up front non-material payment for the Sewelô and retain a 50% interest in the individual polished diamonds that result.

Further, 5% of all of the retail sales proceeds generated from this historic collection will be invested directly back into Botswana on community-based initiatives undertaken by Lucara.

Lucara CEO Eira Thomas said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury House, to transform the historic, 1,758 carat Sewelô, Botswana’s largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewellery that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana.”

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