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Why This Gemstone Is Suddenly Everywhere

It’s popular, but it’s by no means cheap.

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Rubies have surged in popularity, and their prices have risen as well, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

That’s largely because the Chinese have taken a liking to them. Red is the “color of choice” in China, representing good luck.

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“That has had a major impact on pricing and design around the world,” said Greg Kwiat of Fred Leighton.

On a per-carat basis, the price of rubies has increased by a factor of four over the past four years. The best ones can now bring $1 million per carat.

Another factor driving the increases has been the discovery of a new seam  in Mozambique in 2009 yielding ultrapremium rubies. Bloomberg Businessweek notes that “in the efficient gemstone market, prices surge when supplies become abundant and reliable.”

The popularity extends beyond rubies to other gemstones such as red diamonds, spinel and even rubellite, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek

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CEO of Dominion Diamond Steps Down; New Chief Named

He was in the role for just over a year.

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Patrick Evans has resigned as CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp. after just over a year on the job.

He left the Canadian mining company on Dec. 5, Bloomberg reports. He had begun the role in November 2017.

Stepping into the position is Shane Durgin, who had been serving as chief operating officer.

Dominion was purchased by Montana-based Washington Cos. last year for $1.2 billion.

Evans was hired “to oversee and ensure a smooth transition following the acquisition of Dominion Diamond Mines by Washington,” said Larry Simkins, president of Washington Cos., in a memo to staff.

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Bloomberg reports that Evans would not comment except to say he would continue as an adviser for the company through the end of 2019.

Read more at the Bloomberg

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Major Online Jewelry Brand Opens Brick-and-Mortar Store

It will provide ‘an immersive gallery experience.’

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Online diamond bridal jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com has opened a brick-and-mortar location in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

The store will allow customers to “experience the JamesAllen.com brand in an immersive gallery experience in a physical environment enhanced by the brand’s technology-forward approach to shopping,” according to a press release.

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JamesAllen.com was acquired last year by Signet Jewelers in a $328 million deal.

“We’re excited to continue executing Signet’s Customer-First OmniChannel strategy with this new shopping experience from JamesAllen.com, integrating both our digital and physical retail platforms,” said Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer at Signet Jewelers. “The world-class innovation and technology at the core of JamesAllen.com’s business will come to life in the new location, redefining the jewelry shopping experience for our customers.”

The concept store will feature:

Virtual Reality. Customers “can learn about the 4Cs and how to make the best decision when buying diamonds in an immersive way, using a VR headset while viewing a 3D video with narration,” according to the company.

Coffee Bar with “iGrade.” Enjoy coffee while using “patented tablet-based technology that enables customers to browse and grade diamond quality online for peer-to-peer preference comparisons.”

Ring Try-On Photo Booth. Customers can take pictures with diamond rings and upload the images to their social channels, with added visual elements including GIFs and animation, for instant feedback from family and friends.

Self-Service Diamond Display Table. It’s a 10-foot table display featuring best-selling engagement rings, giving customers instant access to diamond rings without needing a key or associate.

The company adds: “As a demonstration of JamesAllen.com’s OmniChannel strategy, customer service representatives at the store will also be available to assist customers through online channels. For example, when employees at the Georgetown location are not assisting customers in-person, they will continue to provide service to customers online, from the same Georgetown location.”

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FedEx Worker Pawned $36,000 of Jewelry Instead of Delivering It, Police Say

He allegedly received $6,000 for the merchandise.

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A Cincinnati man who worked for FedEx is accused of stealing jewelry rather than delivering it.

Terry Hagood was charged with two counts of theft and has pleaded not guilty to both, WKRC-TV reports.

The jewelry in question, worth $36,000 in two shipments, was bound for Quality Gold, police say.

Instead of delivering it, Hagwood allegedly took the jewelry to Queen City Pawn.

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Authorities say he received $6,000 for the merchandise. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in September.

Bond for Hagwood was set at $2,000. He was being held in Hamilton County, OH.

According to WXIX-TV, it was a FedEx corporate security specialist who filed a police report accusing Hagwood of theft.

Read more at the WKRC-TV

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