Remember to Wear Your Diamond Engagement Ring When You Go Shopping Or You Could Wind Up In Jail!

From this morning’s London Times:

There are many reasons why Mr Science Notebook doesn’t wear a wedding ring. Chiefly, when he tried one on, he thought it “felt funny”. He doesn’t really do bling.

I shall now have to warn him against hanging around Canadian supermarkets. For, in such places, social psychologists lurk unseen, noting the presence or absence of such jewellery among unwitting shoppers. From behind the frozen peas the psychologists have observed that people who don’t wear wedding rings are more neglectful of their charges than those wearing wedding bands.

The findings, by Andrew Harrell and colleagues at the University of Alberta, were presented at a conference this month and in a news release sensationally entitled: “Absence of wedding ring connected to parental neglect”. I can’t better the description of this utterly weird experiment, so I reprint it here . . . “862 caretaker-children combinations were furtively observed in 14 supermarkets in Edmonton. Caretaker neglect was measured according to how often the caretakers or their charges, estimated to be between one and seven years old, wandered out of sight or were more than 10ft away from each other — too far to prevent most accidents.” Leaving a kid in a trolley while dashing to a neighbouring aisle was a no-no, for example.

On average, 14 per cent of caretakers — with or without rings — lost sight of their charges at least once. But young, attractive adults without rings were particularly lax. Among women in this category, 19 per cent failed the vigilance test. Among the men, it was 25 per cent.

Dr Harrell’s conclusion? The lack of commitment to marriage, signified by unadorned fingers, extends to a laissez faire attitude to the kids. Harrell implies that these customers might have been shopping for more than just Shreddies, and might have been distracted by “an interest in establishing social, sexual or emotional ties outside of marriage . . .” And you thought that chap dithering by your trolley had just lost his way to the beer aisle!

Am I alone in finding this an excessive leap of imagination? Have you tried keeping a boisterous six-year-old within 10ft of you? Might the neglectful caretakers not have been parents? Dr Harrell’s team was not permitted to speak to shoppers, so we don’t know. That wasn’t the only methodological drawback. “A few children spotted us and would ask their parents ‘Why are those people following us?’,” Dr Harrell says. “Their carer would usually ignore them.”

If one wanted to do a serious study on whether unmarried parents are more neglectful of their children than married ones, why the supermarket espionage? After all, in the pantheon of perilous environments, the home reigns supreme. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, children regularly burn, scald or poison themselves, start fires or fall down stairs or out of windows. They are treated in A&E departments, or by GPs, both of whom have access to family records.

Dr Harrell holds his hands up: “You’re right. We had to make do with the limitations of this study but we hope to look at such things in future.” Meanwhile, he stands by the unpopular thesis that unwed couples are probably more lax than marrieds: “Sometimes the truth hurts, and if it’s predictive of injury and death, then we have to say it.”

Hey, Harrell! Why don’t you turn around, bend over, and see if you’re hat’s on straight. You’d be better off and so would we if you drove a Taxi.

China’s Jewelry Sales in 2006 To Increase By 40%!

The Shanghai Daily News reports today that China’s jewelry sales is expected to grow by more than 40 percent within five years.

Sales of diamond, gold, platinum and other jewelry are set to top $25 billion in China by 2010, said Yang Sisan, secretary general of Gems and Jewelry Trade Association. “China’s jewelry market will post a sound growth, above the blistering economic growth in the future,” said Yang.

In 2005, China’s jewelry sales reached $17.5 billion, a 15 percent increase over 2004. Shanghai’s jewelry sales in 2005 increased 10 percent to $1.6 billion, comprising approximately 10 percent of the country’s total.

The National Gemstone Testing Center, the country’s top jewelry examining body, will open a laboratory in Shanghai on May 8 in order to boost the Shanghai jewelry market. The 1,000-square-meter lab will give jewelers and consumers an official platform to settle disputes over quality of jewelry products. A similar lab exists in Shenzhen, the country’s jewelry processing center.

The association will also hold its biggest jewelry fair in Shanghai this year together with the country’s gold and diamond exchanges. The fair, which will cover 23,000 square meters, will be more than double the scale of former fairs in the city with top industry leaders slated to take part.

Market analysts anticipate that the new law cutting the value-added tax on diamonds from 17 percent to four percent will also boost the country’s jewelry sector. The change is expected to take place within one month.

The Canadian Government has also recently slashed taxes on Diamond Rings, Engagement Rings, and Wedding Bands and has seen a dramatic increase in Consumer purchases.

Are you listening U.S. Congress?

New Silver Fund Gets Go-Ahead.

The long-awaited go-ahead for the listing of the world’s first silver-backed exchange-traded fund came on Thursday after the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US regulator, approved plans by Barclays Global Investors to list its iShares silver trust on the American Stock Exchange.

Barclays said it would list the new tracker fund on Friday. The iShares silver trust is designed to attract more investors to the silver market, without them having to worry about buying the physical metal or buying silver mining shares.

Gold Soars to $655 on Iranian Nuclear Fears.

Gold futures rose Friday to a level they haven’t seen since late 1980, rebounding from the previous session’s loss of almost $655 an ounce, while silver prices climbed as much as 4% as the first U.S. silver exchanged-traded fund began trading.

“Physical interest in Asia overnight has lifted [gold] back above the $635 level, and with most of Asia and Europe closed Monday for May Day holidays, traders are likely to be reluctant to go home short given the current geopolitical picture,” said James Moore, an analyst at TheBullionDesk.com.

Gold for June delivery was last up $10.70 at $647 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising to $647.50, a more than 25-year high. The contract closed down almost $6 on Thursday after China boosted interest rates, raising the prospect of lower metals demand from the world’s most populous country.

“The precious-metals markets are experiencing significantly higher volatility than we’ve seen in quite some time, and that can signal that a retracement may be in the offing,” said Dale Doelling, chief market technician at Trends In Commodities.

“But it’s looking more like a consolidation at this point and, barring an all-out collapse, the trends in all of the metals markets remain favorable,” he said. June gold has strong support at its recent low of $610.50, he added.
UBS raised its 2006 and 2007 gold price forecast earlier, predicting that continued investment-fund demand for commodities will support price gains.

“Fund flows into commodities have been more vigorous than anticipated; supply response remains anemic,” said analyst Daniel Brebner.

UBS is raising its 2006 gold price forecast 12% to $630 an ounce and its 2007 forecast 25% to $750 an ounce.
Traders are also awaiting news from Iran today, with the United Nations nuclear watchdog due to present a report on that country’s nuclear-research program to the Security Council.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country “does not give a damn” about U.N. resolutions that seek to stop it from enriching uranium because of fears the country is planning to develop nuclear weapons, the BBC reported.

Look for Gold to keep going up.

Gold & Silver Continue Upwards

Gold headed for its second consecutive monthly gain, spurred by investment fund buying and speculation the U.S. dollar will decline.

Gold has gained 24 percent this year, partly on increased investment by funds seeking to diversify their portfolios. The dollar is poised for its biggest monthly drop in a year-and-a- half against the euro and yen on speculation interest rates will rise faster in Europe and Japan than the U.S. Some investors buy gold as a hedge against declines in the dollar.

“Remorseless buying of precious metals by investors has pushed prices higher,” Stephen Briggs, an analyst at Societe Generale in London, said in a telephone interview today. “Quietly behind in the background is dollar weakness.”

Gold for immediate delivery was $4.95, or 0.8 percent, higher at $638.58 an ounce as of 11:17 a.m. in London. Gold has gained 9.4 percent this month, after adding 3.9 percent in March.

Silver for immediate delivery was 1 cent higher at $12.66 an ounce. The metal has added 10 percent this month, also its second consecutive gain.

The dollar has slumped as U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers including Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled a pause in their 22- month cycle of rate increases.

Buying Your Diamond Engagement Ring On The Internet: Why You Can’t Rely On Just The “Numbers”.

We have long advocated and blogged that buying a diamond on-line from an Internet vendor that does not actually have the diamond in-house can be dangerous to your psyche and pocketbook. The link is here: Buying Your Diamond On The Internet
This fact was once again driven home to us and one of our clients who requested information on two Pear shape diamonds listed on our Exceldiamonds.com website Exceldiamonds.com.

Both diamonds weighed .81 carats, were VS-1 Clarity, were graded by GIA, and had different Millimeter Measurements . One was a “D” color, the other a “G” color. How do you make a decision? Tough way to spend thosands of dollars, isn’t it?

We called in both diamonds from the manufacturer and did these photographs for our client. We want you to see the dramatic visual differences between these two diamonds. Both diamonds are beautiful but uniquely different in shape and light refraction. The .81 D color has a crushed ice look with good scintillation, and is a classic “Tear-Drop” pear shape; whereas the .81 G color is much more dispersive and has what Bill Goldberg would refer to as a “sexy shape”. Both diamonds are very appealing and will make for a beautiful diamond engagement ring.

There is no “right” or ‘wrong” answer or decision on these two diamonds, it’s entirely subjective. You won’t get this information from a drop-shipper who never sees the diamonds he sells and doesn’t have a clue. Might work if you’re buying a cuisinart from Walmart or a book from Amazon but not diamonds which are visual.

Which Pear Shape would you buy?

81DVS1PEAR.jpg

81GVS1PEAR.jpg

Diamond Shoppers: A Lab Grading Report Makes a BIG Difference.

Diamond shoppers will be out in force with the upcoming Mother’s Day, Graduations, and June anniversarys.

Buying a diamond wth an accurate lab report is crucial. Stay away from labs that are not well known.

Discussion going on right now over at Diamondtalk.com on reliability of diamond lab grading reports. Discussion is here:
Diamond Reports

Our view is that the most reliable Diamond grading labs today are the GIA and the AGS. Stick with them and know that you’re getting an accurately graded diamond.

DeBeers Won’t Raise Diamond Prices For Now.

World number one diamond company De Beers Group said Tuesday that the rough diamond market is currently struggling, but retail sales remain strong.

As a consequence, the company isn’t planning to raise diamond prices in the near future. “It depends on how the market goes,” De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of Anglo American PLC’s (AAUK) annual general meeting.

Anglo American, the diversified natural resources group, is a 45% shareholder in De Beers. The Oppenheimer family owns 40% of the company, with the government of Botswana owning the balance.
The diamond market is “in two places at the moment,” said Oppenheimer.
Interest-rate rises worldwide have precipitated a “greater strain” on rough diamond demand. “But as long as retail remains good the pull-through will take place in due course,” said Oppenheimer. “I think our market’s fine at the end of the day.”

De Beers mines 40% of the world’s rough diamonds. Its sales and marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Company, markets about 45% of the world’s diamonds.

De Beers made a small increase in the diamond price in February, said Oppenheimer, but it hasn’t moved since then.

Consumers Pay attention. This lull won’t last long.