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Know It All: January 2016

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Rapaport Calls for De Beers CEO to resign

1 Martin Rapaport has called for the resignation of De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier. “The rough diamond distribution system is collapsing as De Beers and other mining companies attempt to force unsustainable artificially high rough diamond prices on the diamond trade,” Rapaport said, noting that rough prices are now higher than polished prices. — INSTORE, 11/25/15


Lucara’s find is nearly the size of a baseball.

1,100-carat diamond found

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A 1,111-carat piece of rough nearly the size of a baseball has been discovered in Botswana by Lucara Diamond Corp. The stone is the second-largest diamond ever unearthed, behind only the 3,106-carat Cullinan. Lucara said it also found an 813-carat diamond at the same mine only days before. — Reuters, 11/19/15


Blue Moon Sets Record for Diamond Price

3 The Blue Moon, a 12.03-carat internally flawless vivid blue cushion cut, attracted a top bid of $48.5 million at a Sotheby’s event in Geneva, becoming the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction. The buyer is fugitive Chinese billionaire Joseph Lau, who wanted the gemstone for his daughter. — Associated Press, 11/12/15


Slower Pandora sales blAmed on promotion

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4 Pandora’s decision not to revive a popular annual bracelet giveaway in the third quarter hurt U.S. sales in that period, its CEO told analysts. Sales were still up 5.7 percent on-year as the Danish company continued to consolidate its control over retail channels in North America, dropping 116 more unbranded retailers from its network. — JCK, 11/10/15


Wrist-Power comes to Smartwatches

5 A joint team of Chinese and American scientists say they have developed a prototype for a mechanism that can power a smartwatch solely through wrist movements. The technology may address the “biggest issue” with smartwatches — battery life — the scientists said. — Tech Radar, 11/25/15


DiCaprio Backs New diamond ‘Lab’

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6 Leonardo DiCaprio has thrown his cash and star power behind a $100 million lab-grown diamond start-up called the Diamond Foundry. The company’s plasma-based culturing process claims to leave virtually no carbon footprint, according to press reports. — New York Magazine, 11/12/15


NGOs to Boycott KP

7 Civil society organizations have announced they will boycott Kimberley Process meetings in 2016 to protest against the awarding of the chairmanship to the UAE, which they accuse of engaging in “harmful diamond trading practices.” — IDEX Online News, 11/18/15


A tragic first for 2015

8 The murder of an Indiana jeweler in November dashed hopes that 2015 would become the first year on record that would end with no jewelers being killed in the course of their work. John Turner, 78, was shot during a robbery of his store, John’s Coins and Jewelry, in Austin, IN. — Associated Press, 11/9/15


Tiffany Goes to Sea

9 Tiffany & Co. has opened its first-ever freestanding boutique at sea, aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. — Miami Herald, 11/20/15


Sure beats a whistle

10 Crackerjack move over. As part of its holiday-season catalog, online retailer VeryFirstto.com offered Christmas crackers containing diamonds ranging up to 4 carats in size. A set of six was priced at $1.5million. — IDEX Online News, 11/26/15

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

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