U.K. E Commerce Booming.

The Interactive Media in Retail Group, which tracks online spending, concludes that Internet sales in the United Kingdom are booming in 2006 — 10 times the rate of brick-and-mortar sales increases so far. Online July sales rose 35 percent from 2005 to $4.44 billion.

Online retail accounts for 10 percent of all retail sales in Great Britain and could increase to 25 percent of all spending by year 2010 if current growth rates were maintained. As a comparison, Forrester Research estimates online retail sales to reach 12-15 percent of total retail sales by year 2010 in the United States.

Amazon.co.uk is the most popular retail website in the United Kingdom at present time.

According to credit information group Experian, those consumers most likely to shop online are short on time and are top earning professionals who value the convenience of online shopping.

Can You IDENTIFY Your Diamond?

Hopefully your Diamond Engagement Ring or Wedding Ring diamond does not grab peoples attention with visible face-up inclusions. I’m sure that’s not the case. In fact your diamond surely faces up a dazzling white, bright, and super eye-clean.

So then, how do you identify that it’s actually your diamond and not your girlfriends?

Gemex Systems Gemex, the manufacturer of the Brilliancecope Diamond Light Perfomance Analyzer believes they have the answer.

They have come up with a machine that will inscribe a hologram under the table facet that can be seen with a special viewer. Details and cost still have to be worked out as well as setting up centers where you can go to have this holgram inscription done. Sounds like a neat idea and the type of ID marker that can not be erased. More in this Press Release.

ID Your Diamond

Sounds like a neat idea and as we are an Authorized Gemex Dealer, we’ll keep you updated as more details and information become available.

Hi-Yo SILVER! Up and Away!

Silver, the poor Man’s Gold, stormed to a three-month peak today, hitting $13 an ounce before pulling back slightly, driven by continued investment buying and rising prices for other metals.

A burst of speculative buying, an upbeat technical picture in silver vis-a-vis gold and growth in a new U.S. silver-backed security helped drive prices up more than 2 percent, dealers said, before profit-taking trimmed gains.

Speculative fund buying for a second day running and renewed interest from the trade powered silver initially, dealers said. Talk of a large trend-following Commodity Trading Advisor buying silver also circulated in the market, although several floor traders could not confirm the rumor.

Jade May Go The Way of the Dinosaur.

Alarming news coming out of China as The South China Morning Post reports that China’s supplies of a rare jade, mainly mined from a river in Xinjiang, will soon be exhausted if excessive exploitation continues, a gem expert warned.

Wang Shiqi, deputy director of Peking University’s Gemstone Appraisal Centre, said deposits of Khotan, or Hotan, jade would be depleted in five or six years if the government did not stop the indiscriminate use of heavy excavation machinery along Xinjiang’s Yurungkax River, the main source of the stone.

The jade, named after Hotan, a city on the river, is considered to be the highest quality because of its pure texture and tallow-like lustre. It has been associated with emperors throughout Chinese history.

Khotan jade can sell for up to $125.00 a gram, and prices have rocketed in recent years because of a sharp decrease in output.

Xinhua said prospectors with modern mining equipment had flooded into the region to capitalise on the gemstone’s high prices. They had seriously depleted the jade and damaged the environment.

“There are about 200,000 people and about 2,000 excavators working along the Yurungkax River,” one jade miner was quoted by Xinhua as saying. He said it was getting harder to find the gemstone. Mainland media have said that more than 80 per cent of the jade had been extracted.

Hotan jade trader Zheng Shengli said he thought the jade would be depleted in no more than three years if overexploitation continued.

“I am an insider of the business and know more about the situation,” Zheng said. “About half of the machines have stopped running now because no gemstones can be found.”

He said local residents were generally poor, but many had borrowed money and pooled it to buy excavation equipment, costing as much as $44,000.

Crucial Loose Diamond Buying Tips!

Purchasing a loose diamond, can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Not all diamonds are created equal and determining the quality of a loose diamond will help you save thousands of dollars (literally) while assuring you that the diamond will sparkle and shine in any lighting environment.

Here are a few tips related to the basic guidelines for choosing the right diamond to suit your taste and budget.

Read on for tips that will make a difference in your dream diamond…(and pocketbook!! :) )

Buying Your Diamond Engagement Ring On The Internet: Future Trends.

E-commerce is booming, with all sorts of products being bought and sold, especially Diamonds, Diamond Engagement Rings, and Wedding Rings. We recently made note of this trend here:
Diamond E-Commerce

Asia is the next E-Commerce frontier. No doubt there are still many consumers out there that are skeptical if this trend will continue and/or are just flat-out more comfortable shopping for their Jewelry at their neighborhood Jewelers. Well, for you skeptics and non-believers, a peek into the future might just change your mind.

At the Red Herring Asia 2006 conference Wednesday in Hong Kong, Safa Rashtchy decided to travel to 2026—10 years further than other analysts dare to look.

A managing director of Piper Jaffray who analyzes the Internet, Mr. Rashtchy said more than half the world’s Internet users would be in Asia by 2026: 1.3 billion out of a total of 2.5 billion.

Despite the large number, the penetration rate would be only 30 percent, leaving huge scope for growth.

Companies in this space would do well to address the Asian markets. In China, for instance, 39 percent of Internet users are in the age group of 18 to 24. Another 25 percent are between 31 and 50 years old, while 18 percent are in the 25 to 30 age group.

Shantanu Bhagwat, business development partner for Asia at Amadeus Capital Partners, said India’s online community is growing, though not as fast as its population of mobile phone users.

Indian cell phone users download ringtones worth about $100 million a year—and these downloads are not necessarily from high-end users.

Mr. Bhagwat expects online and mobile commerce in India to increase substantially in the next few years.

“About 67 percent of India’s GDP is made up of consumer spending, second only to the U.S., which is over 70 percent,” he said. “I expect a big chunk of spending will move to online platforms—on the Internet or on mobile phones.”

China’s homegrown Internet properties compete with well-established ones from the U.S., and consolidation is starting to happen.

Local companies in India still have to get numbers, but there’s a huge revival of interest in the online space. Venture capitalists, both local and those from Sand Hill Road, are investing in online companies, hoping for large monetization as online communities grow.

MakeMyTrip.com, an eVentures-funded online airline and hotel booking company that began catering to local travel in India in September 2005, is getting huge traffic these days.

CEO Deep Kalra believes India’s web commerce of about $500 million is just the tip of the iceberg. “There are endless opportunities,” he said.

Wedding Insurance: Do You Really Need It?

Having an insurance to cover your home or car is a no-brainer and in almost all States mandatory.

Specialty insurance is a growing segment of the insurance market, says Jeanne Salvatore, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based industry group.

“There are only so many cars and homes out there to insure,” Salvatore says. And insurance products have to keep up with a changing world. For example:

How about insurance to cover your costs if your wedding gets canceled?

So what happens if you spend a boatload of money on your big day and you have to postpone because of something like a flood or a hurricane or because the bride or groom or one of their parents is hospitalized?

Maybe you lose your deposits. Maybe you have to reschedule at great expense. Not to worry: Wedding insurance can help.

Such policies will cover expenses if you have to reschedule your wedding for a “covered reason,” such as Mother Nature, illness or military deployment.

If the bride or groom simply gets cold feet, though, forget it.

The policies cover expenses like forfeited deposits and travel expenses. If a rowdy dancer or drunken guest runs into your gift table at the reception and causes it to collapse and break some of your gifts, the damage is covered. If your wedding photos don’t turn out, the insurance will pay to reconvene your wedding party to take replacement photos. If the best man loses the wedding rings, it’s covered. And if a wedding postponement or cancellation causes the bride or groom to need professional counseling, the insurance will pay for the sessions.
Mother-In-Law clause is NOT included in the Policy.

One policy, WedSafe insurance through Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers Ltd. of London, costs $185 for about $15,000 coverage, and $405 for about $75,000 coverage.

Good Idea!

Diamond Necklace Bling-Bling!!

Pop superstar Mariah Carey has a royal admirer. Carey was preparing to entertain 20,000 fans at New York City’s Madison Square Garden when the jewels arrived. Prince Azim, the son of the Sultan Of Brunei, sent the eight carat diamond and platinum necklace and matching ring to the singer by courier. A representative of Prince Azim told a delighted Carey, “We were sent by private jet to deliver this gift.”

I’ll Dress You In Diamonds.

GIA Symposium: Message for Retail Jewelers.

The first full day of the 2006 International Symposium got off to an early start with a breakfast speech by behavioral market research expert Paco Underhill. Underhill, the founder, CEO, and president of Envirosell Inc., an international behavioral market research and consulting company, spoke about the consumer of the 21st century, and had a stark message for jewelry retailers – the need for change.

During the course of his well attended speech, Underhill was especially tough on jewelry retailers who complain that the Internet is destroying their business. “The net is failing you because you haven’t figured out a way to use it,” he said in no uncertain terms. “If you don’t use the Internet in 2006, goodbye, because you won’t be here in 2010.”

Underhill advised the audience – which included many retailers – that they must figure out how to fit into their customers’ lives. As an example, he cited the Damas chain in the Middle East, which offers party rooms for weddings and birthday parties in which groups of women can try on jewelry in a relaxed and accessible atmosphere. “Customers have changed,” he said, “and now it is the jewelry store that needs to be refreshed.”