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Umbilical Cord Jewelry Is Now a Thing

The pieces sell for under $200.

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Some new mothers are keeping their umbilical stumps to use as jewelry, the New York Post reports.

The stump is the section that is left on the baby after the cord is severed. It falls off within three weeks.

Florida-based jewelry designer Ruth Avra uses a process known as lost wax casting to incorporate the umbilical stumps into silver necklaces. She cord is sealed in resin.

She sells the pieces, which she has been making since 2012, for prices starting at $175.

On her website, Avra explains that she can also make rings from the umbilical stump, and she can work in gold or platinum if the customer wishes.

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Avra is quoted saying, “It represents the connection between mother and child because it’s literally the physical connection that is between you.”

Read more at the New York Post

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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852 US Jewelry Retailers Closed Their Doors in 2018

The number of closures is up from 2017’s figure.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reports that 852 U.S. jewelry retailers stopped doing business in 2018.

That’s slightly more than the 817 businesses that closed in 2017.

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Of those, 706 fell into the category of “ceased operations,” while 122 were listed as “consolidations (sale/merger)” and 24 were classified as “bankruptcies.”

Meanwhile, 183 jewelry retail businesses opened their doors in the U.S. in 2018. That was up significantly from 131 in 2017.

Counting wholesalers and manufacturers along with retailers, 1,013 U.S. jewelry businesses closed their doors in 2018. That’s compared with 1,022 in 2017.

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The total number of jewelry retailers listed in the U.S. is now 18,974, compared with 19,823 at the end of 2017, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade.

The total number of jewelry businesses, including wholesalers and retailers, is 25,102, compared with 26,270 at the end of 2017.

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Newly Discovered Gemstone Is Harder Than Diamond

It’s been found on Earth for the first time.

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Shefa Yamim, a precious stone exploration company in Israel, has discovered a new mineral that is harder than diamond and which has never been found on Earth before.

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The material is called carmeltazite, and it was recently approved as a new mineral by the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification.

The mineral was named carmeltazite because of it its discovery on Mount Carmel and due to its major chemical components: titanium, aluminum and zirconium (“TAZ”), the company stated in a press release. Shefa Yamim trademarked the name “carmel sapphire” for the material.

The mineral “is a newly discovered type of corundum similar in appearance to the corundum, but unlike any other sapphire found in the world,” according to the company. The rough carmel sapphire is typically black, blue-to-green or orange-brown. The largest stone found is 33.3 carats.

The Vintage News reports that “it was previously believed that this type of mineral was only found on extraterrestrial material.”

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It’s harder than diamond and substantially rarer, “making its value extremely high,” according to the publication.

Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, said in the release: “We are delighted that our Carmel Sapphire has been recognised as a host to many rare minerals. In today’s world where the prices of gems are determined predominantly by their rarity, the Carmel Sapphire is a unique discovery because it has not been found anywhere else in the world and was discovered by Shefa Yamim in the soil of the Holy Land. We believe this substantially increases the potential value of our ‘Gem Box’ of precious stones. The studies of Carmel Sapphire and its new minerals mark another milestone in the Company’s journey as we continue our progress towards trial mining in Zone 1 in 2019.”

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Founder of Luxury Jewelry Brand Leaves Company

His resignation was effective Dec. 31.

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Fawaz Gruosi, founder of Swiss luxury jewelry and watch company de Grisogono, has stepped down from his position as a board director and left the company.

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The resignation was effective Dec. 31, according to an article published by WorldTempus.

The decision had been some time in the making, and Gruosi had moving away from daily operations.

Elmar Wiederin, chairman of the de Grisogono board, was quoted saying, “As Founder of this inspirational brand twenty – five years ago, we are thankful to Fawaz Gruosi for his incredible passion and creativity.”

Wiederin continued: “Led by Céline Assimon and the skilled team in place, the Design studio and Atelier will continue to drive design and craftsmanship as before through a collective process, maintaining the traditions of daring creativity for which the brand is known.”

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Assimon was named CEO in December.

De Grisogono also recently named Keith Rosen to the role of general manager for its Americas operations, Rapaport News reports.

Read more at the WorldTempus

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