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Know It All: December 2015

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NRF predicts Modest Holiday Sales Growth

1 The National Retail Federation is forecasting that U.S. holiday sales will increase by 3.7 percent this year. While that’s a notch below last year’s 4.1-percent growth, the outlook for big-ticket items is encouragingly strong, the industry group said. — Reuters, 10/9/15


Hackers Hit GIA Lab, Doctor Reports

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The Gemological Institute of America has invalidated 1,042 diamond grading reports submitted primarily to its office in India, after hackers broke into its computer system and altered the documents. Two former employees of the GIA’s systems provider in India were detained in connection with the hack. — IDEX Online News, 10/30/15

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Apple’s smart ring could include a small display, built-in microphone and camera, motion sensors and haptic feedback.

Apple Applies for Smart Ring Patent

3 According to an investigation by veteran industry journalist Apple has applied to patent a design for a “ring computing device,” which contains a touchscreen, a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and rechargeable power source. — Business Insider, 05/10/15


Amazon Rolls Out Etsy Challenger

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4 Having vanquished scores of brick-and-mortar retailers, Amazon.com has a new target: Etsy Inc. Known as Handmade, the online retail giant’s new marketplace for artisan goods, made its premiere on Oct. 8 with 44,000 jewelry items, more than its other five categories combined. — Wall Street Journal, 10/8/15


Online Sales Growth Is seen Slowing

5 The growth rate for online sales seems to be slowing, according to MasterCard data. “While Internet sales were gaining at rates of as much as 15 percent annually a few years ago, they have decelerated to below 10 percent growth more recently,” said MasterCard VP Sarah Quinlan, adding it was “important to remember that online sales still make up only 6.3 percent of total retail sales.” — Bergen Record, 10/29/15


Older Women Adding More ear Piercings

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6 Women in their 30s and 40s are doing something they may have not considered for decades: adding second and third piercings to their ears, either in newly created holes or in long derelict ones. — New York Times. 10/13/15 Read the full story here: instr.us/1215


50% of Brides Don’t Know Clarity of Their Own Ring

7 Women for the most part know the carat size of the diamond in their engagement ring, but only half know the clarity, according to a new survey of engagement-ring buyers conducted by The Wedding Report. — JCK, 10/28/15



Merchants Abandoning Diamond District

8 Jewelry tenants are “scattering” from New York City’s legendary 47th Street Diamond District as the area undergoes redevelopment. “The street is being literally taken apart,” said Robbie Friedman of I. Friedman & Son, the latest well-known jeweler to close its longtime location and leave the area. — New York Post, 10/29/15


Female “Zip Tie” Bandit Strikes in Tennessee

9 It appears that a female 20-something jewelry-store robber sought by state and federal authorities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina may have added a Tennessee store to her spree. As in previous crimes, store workers in the latest robbery were threatened with a gun and restrained with zip ties. — mypanhandle.com, 10/19/15


Diamonds to the Rescue

10 Is there anything diamonds can’t do? Physicists from the University of Sydney in Australia have devised a way to use a synthetic version of diamonds to identify cancerous tumors before they become life threatening. Meanwhile, Nature reports that climate scientists are working on a model in which diamond dust would be sprayed in the stratosphere to redirect the sun’s energy to help cool the planet. — Nature News, 10/26/15

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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