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Strange New Mineral Found Trapped Within a Diamond

It was found in South Africa.

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This new mineral has a curious chemical signature, and was discovered inside a diamond by UAlberta student Nicole Meyer. The mineral has been named goldschmidtite in honour of the founder of modern geochemistry Victor Moritz Goldschmidt. Image courtesy of Nicole Meyer

A new and curious mineral has been discovered by a PhD student at the University of Alberta.

The mineral was found within the Koffiefontein pipe, a volcanic area in South Africa, LiveScience reports. It’s a dark green, opaque material that scientists believe formed 105 miles below the surface.

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It’s been named goldschmidtite in honor of the founder of modern geochemistry, Victor Moritz Goldschmidt. It has an unusual chemical signature for a mineral from Earth’s mantle, according to a press release from the university.

“Goldschmidtite has high concentrations of niobium, potassium, and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium, whereas the rest of the mantle is dominated by other elements, such as magnesium and iron,” Nicole Meyer, graduate student in the Diamond Exploration Research and Training School, part of NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience.

“For potassium and niobium to constitute a major proportion of this mineral, it must have formed under exceptional processes that concentrated these unusual elements.”

Because it is so difficult to access the mantle, scientists rely on tiny mineral inclusions within diamonds to learn more about Earth’s chemistry deep beneath the surface.

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“This discovery is the result of a lot of patient and meticulous work by Nicole and the research team,” said Graham Pearson, Meyer’s co-supervisor. “Goldschmidtite is highly unusual for an inclusion captured by diamond and gives us a snap-shot of fluid-processes that affect the deep roots of continents during diamond formation. There have been several attempts to name new minerals after Goldschmidt, but previous ones have been discredited. This one is here to stay.”

Meyer is studying under the supervision of Thomas Stachel, professor and Canada Research Chair in diamonds, and Pearson, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Henry Marshall Tory Chair, and Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate.

“The work that goes into finding a new mineral is not done by one person,” said Meyer. “It has been an interdisciplinary collaboration with a mineralogist Andrew Locock, crystallographers from Northwestern University, my advisors Thomas and Graham, and technicians.”

The paper, “Goldschmidtite, (K,REE,Sr)(Nb,Cr)O3: a new perovskite supergroup mineral found in diamond from Koffiefontein, South Africa,” was published in American Mineralogist.

This is the second new mineral discovered by DERTS graduate students this year. Nixonite was discovered by master’s student Garrett Harris. The paper, “Nixonite, Na2Ti6O13, a new mineral from a metasomatized mantle garnet pyroxenite from the western Rae Craton, Darby kimberlite field, Canada,” was published in American Mineralogist.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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The Big Survey 2019: Top Jewelry Brands Revealed

This year marks a three-peat.

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WE ASKED OUR 802 Big Survey respondents, “What are the three best performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?”, and these were the top 20 brands mentioned. Interestingly, Gabriel & Co. and Stuller made it a three-peat, claiming the top two spots in our rankings for the third year in a row. Allison-Kaufman moved up a spot from 4 to 3, and Simon G. was a big leaper, jumping all the way to number 5 from 20 in 2018. (Total votes included in parentheses)

2019 RANK / BRAND2018 RANKCHANGE IN RANK
1. Gabriel & Co. (64)1
2. Stuller (41)2
3. Allison-Kaufman (29)4up 1
4. Hearts On Fire (18)3down 1
5. Simon G. (15)20up 15
6 tie. Pandora (14)6
6 tie. Ostbye (14)10up 4
8 tie. John Hardy (13)9up 1
8 tie. Lashbrook (13)15up 7
10 tie. Benchmark (12)8down 2
10 tie. Frederic Duclos (12)11up 1
12 tie. Roberto Coin (11)23up 11
12 tie. Sylvie Collection (11)22up 10
12 tie. ASHI Diamonds (11)23up 11
15 tie. Berco (10)23up 8
15 tie. Tacori (10)outside top 25 
17 tie. ArtCarved (9)7down 10
17 tie. Le Vian (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. Officina Bernardi (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. SDC Creations (9)15down 2
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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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