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10 Years Ago in Jeweller: March 2009

A snapshot of the industry events that made news headlines in the March 2009 issue of Jeweller.
A bumper Christmas for buying groups

The story: After shaky results in October and November, December saw the jewellery market rebound significantly, with all three buying groups reporting that Christmas trading was not only good; it exceeded 2007 results.

Colin Pocklington, managing director of Nationwide Jewellers, Australia’s largest buying group, said: “We had our best Christmas ever. Our average store was up 26 per cent on December last year.” 

AGS Metals and Palloys looks north

The story: Coinciding with the 2009 JAA Australian Jewellery Fair in Brisbane, the AGS Metals and Palloys Group has opened a new branch in the city.

”We have seen consistent growth in demand in the Queensland and Northern NSW market and the opening of this office reflects the importance of that market,” said managing director Andrew Cochineas.

The office will stock a comprehensive range of fine and alloyed precious metals in granulated and fabricated form, along with solder and plating solutions and a range of wedding rings in fully and semi-finished form.

Clients can also drop off their metals for refining and assaying at the new facility, located on Level 15, 141 Queen Street Brisbane. 

Aus diamonds are in the pink

The story: Australian pink diamonds glittered on the red carpet at the recent G’Day USA Australia Week showcase in New York City, with Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine – the world’s largest producer of pink diamonds, and a supporting sponsor of Australia Week – dressing celebrities for the event’s Black Tie Gala.

Queensland-born supermodel Kristy Hinze and Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin – wife of famed director Baz Luhrmann – donned Argyle jewellery by L.J West, while Australian actress Ursula Yovich wore Calleija’s “Kimberly Rose” necklace, valued at around $US1 million.

“Argyle Pink Diamonds are both symbolic, culturally, and highly prized, globally,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, general manager of Rio Tinto’s diamond sales and marketing.”



Israel diamond exports drop

The story: The Israeli diamond industry has reported a drop in its 2008 polished and rough diamond exports, blaming the world financial crisis for its diminished production.

According to figures issued by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, net polished-diamond exports declined 11.8 per cent in 2008 to $US6.24 billion, compared with $US7.07 billion in 2007.

Net rough-diamond exports totalled $US3.31 billion in 2008, a 2 per cent decline from 2007.

Israel’s top diamond export markets include the US, consuming 43 per cent, Hong Kong consuming 23 per cent, Belgium at 9 per cent, and Switzerland at 8 per cent.

Despite the drop in demand, industry members have remained optimistic.

“We know that the industry will rally and return to its former growth rates,” said Moti Ganz, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) and president of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association.” 





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