On-line Sales To Hit 100B in 2006.

Online sales tracker comScore Networks reported that third-quarter retail e-commerce sales rose 23 percent to $23.1 billion in the United States. All consumer online spending (which includes travel) rose 16 percent to $43.1 billion for the quarter comScore estimates.

For the quarter, which ended September 30, 2006, comScore noted that some retail categories performed exceptionally well including apparel and accessories (up 32 percent,) and sports and fitness (up 29 percent) and consumer electronics (up 42 percent.)

From January through September, the total online consumer spending on non-travel retail rose 24 percent to $69.1 billion. ComScore is predicting full year 2006 online (non-travel retail) sales to break the $100 billion mark by December 31.

“Online consumer spending at – and particularly non-travel spending – remains strong,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. “With year-over-year growth rates in the United States online non-travel spending at about 23 percent in the third quarter, the web continues flexing its muscle as one of the important drivers of retail sales growth.”

Halloween Costumes Using Duct Tape?

Google today, has this realy neat image up for Halloween depicting a taped-up and mumified Google Icon.

halloween06.gif

Then, I turn on the radio and hear a news report on WABCvarious Halloween costumes that can be created using duct tape! I know that duct tape has many functions, but a costume wasn’t on my list.

It seems many people disagree. Check out this Fox news report on Halloween duct tape costumes.

Liz Taylor Voted Jewelry Industry’s Top Icon

Timeless, ageless, Liz Taylor Does it Again!!

EQ_Taylor2.jpg

House of Taylor Jewelry, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOTJ), today announced that principal
shareholder, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, graced the cover of The National
Jeweler magazine’s 100th Anniversary Edition.

The venerable trade publication said Dame Elizabeth Taylor was selected
as the jewelry industry’s top style icon based on an online poll of jewelry
industry professionals.

“My Love Affair with Jewelry is one of the great passions of my life. I
enjoy the special magic that precious gems radiate. I thank the members of
the jewelry community who have acknowledged the special relationship that
we have shared for so many years. This is a very thrilling celebration of
that relationship,” said Dame Elizabeth.

“Everyone knows that in the world of jewelry there is no greater genius
and icon than Dame Elizabeth. This honor is richly deserved by the most
beautiful and gifted leader in the arena of fine jewelry. Everyone at House
of Taylor Jewelry joins me in congratulating our mentor and our leader,”
said Kathy Ireland.

Vegas To Get New Jewelry Center.

The City of Las Vegas and real estate developer Probity International Corporation unveiled plans for one of the largest jewelry projects in the world on October 26, 2006.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman welcomed guests and Probity’s Robert Zarnegin and Bill Boyajian to celebrate this future one-million square foot mixed-use World Jewelry Center.

The World Jewelry Center is expected to host both corporate offices and trading offices of several hundred domestic and international gem and jewelry companies. The center will also have free-standing retail jewelry stores. The complex is planned to open for business between late 2009 and mid-year 2010.world jewelry center

Altoon & Porter Architects have designed the cornerstone of The World Jewelry Center, which will be an iconic, state-of-the-art office tower (one of the tallest office buildings in Nevada.)

Vegas%20Center.jpg
Artists rendition of the new Las Vegas Jewelry Center
Tenants will own their own subdivided space in the tower and the structure will include meeting and exhibition facilities, international restaurants, a private club and a fitness center.

The top floors of the tower will be dedicated to luxury residential condominiums with panoramic views of the Las Vegas sprawling, desert landscape. An adjacent three-story retail jewelry center will offer a world-class gem and jewelry museum and exhibition space for the public.

“We’re very excited about this global project coming to our city,” said Mayor Goodman. “The World Jewelry Center will revolutionize the jewelry industry as well as change the way people and businesses view Las Vegas.

“The entire concept of the World Jewelry Center is very progressive and will fit in well with all the other innovative, international business projects coming to our city. The tower itself will change the face of the Las Vegas skyline and become a key landmark for the city.”

The Center will be built with every amenity and service in mind to make it the world’s premier fully integrated, service-oriented business hub catering to international and domestic retailers, manufacturers, dealers, and wholesalers in the gem, jewelry, and pearl industries.

Other features include state-of-the-art security; secure shipping and receiving; gem grading labs and educational facilities; trade associations; and plans for a dedicated Foreign Trade Zone.

The World Jewelry Center will be located in downtown Las Vegas (not on the Strip) within the prominent master-planned community of Union Park.

The Weekend Never Looked This Good!

What a hectic week!

Crazy amounts of orders to get out with all manners of custom rings and engagement rings.
Tons of appointments to view loose diamonds in our N.Y.C. diamond showroom.

Everyone needs the diamond ring yesterday…and everyone’s got a good reason for it.

From the couple who ordered a custom engagement ring last week, for their wedding this weekend (I kid you not)!….to the brave and honorable serviceman being deployed to Iraq next weekend and needs to present his gal with our Custom ‘Tiffany’ diamond enagement ring before he goes overseas…..

Then we had a power outage in our dedicated computer for our in-house Gemex BrillianceScope Machine and had to wait for a new power supply before we could re-calibrate the machine…. :( :(

Don’t get me wrong, being busy is good.

Still, this weekend never looked better!!
Enjoy your weekend everyone!

weekend.jpg

The Art of Marking a Loose Diamond In The Rough

Marking a rough diamond, is the process by which the diamond rough is evaluated and subsequently marked for the most desireable cutting method to yield a polished diamond(s) per the parameters of the diamond manufacturer.

There are numerous considerations and factors that go into the marking of a rough diamond.

rough%20diamond-2.jpg
Diamond Rough

roughpolished%2520diamond.jpg

Every piece of diamond rough has its own gestalt, or characteristics. Depending on the size, weight, and internal graining/inclusions of the rough diamond, as well as the objective of the diamond manufacturer, a decision will be made on how to cut the diamond.

Many diamond manufacturers will opt to cut away less of the rough diamond, so that they can yield a polished diamond of heavier carat weight, even though this will usually result in a larger diamond of minimal brilliancy and beauty. Conversely, many perfectionists and purists will opt to cut away more of the diamond rough to a very specific set of ideal cut diamond specifications, so that the polished diamond will achieve maximum beauty and brilliancy.

Considerations of the rough diamond’s unique makeup and characteristics, will often determine actual loose diamond shapes of the polished diamond, as well as how many diamonds are cut from one piece of diamond rough.

Because this initial mapping process is most crucial in determining best ROI (return on investment) for the diamond manufacturer, the job of marking the rough was always left to expert diamond cutters and markers who were able to look at a piece of rough and immediately size up its best future potential in the polished diamond stage.

These expert diamantaires (who are in high demand, and quite scarce) are paid a huge salary for their invaluable contribution to the diamond manufacturer.

As the diamond industry and technology has evolved, there are special scientific machines and diamond markers that have been created to accurately map out a piece of diamond rough via a highly efficient computer program.

The rough diamond sits on a pedestal which has a suction feature to keep the stone immobile. The pedestal swivles on a ’360 degree rotation, while a specialized laser takes calculations of the diamond’s height, weight, mass, and composite. The computer calculates all of these variables and then issues a list of options/results for what it considers the best method/yield for cutting the diamond rough. Depending on the software program, options listed can be set, or arranged in order of importance for best ROI, or any number of additional factors/considerations put forth by the diamond manufacturer.

diamond%20marker.jpg
High Tech Computerized Diamond Marker. Notice the diamond pedestal and screen shot of a marked up piece of diamond rough.

research_new.gif
Computerized diamond marking…with human intervention ;) !

The fact of the matter is, these diamond machines have not entirely eliminated the need for the “old school” human diamond markers and experts. Indeed, many companies still insist on (human) expert markers for this crucial phase of the diamond cutting process. The reason being, the human ability to anticipate market trends, consumer desires, past history, and an intimate understanding of the subtle nuances of diamond rough and polished diamonds; all of which may factor into the equation of how best to cut the diamond.

To read another fantastic article that covers the entire process of cutting a rough diamond into a beautiful loose diamond, click HERE.

High Tech Diamond Cutting Machines, How Good Are They?

There has been some press recently regarding some of the newer technologies for cutting diamonds. Many of these new machines, like the one photographed below, eliminate the need for human intervention (the diamond cutter).

Or do they?

diamond%20cutting%20machine.jpg
High Tech Diamond Cutting machine

My Dad, Barry, of ExcelDiamonds.com, who is a master diamond cutter with over 30 years of diamond cutting experience, argues that there will always be a need for human intervention in the diamond cutting process, especially where fancy shape diamonds are concerned. This is due to their irregular shape and architecture, as well as the myriad permutations and possibilities that would result in a visually pleasing diamond. Indeed, there are many diamond cutters and experts who agree with my Dad’s sentiment.

They argue, that although machines tend to be associated with cutting edge technology and superior craftsmanship, this principle is not accurately applied to the art of diamond cutting. Indeed, they point out that quite the opposite is true.

To cut a beautiful diamond, such as a hearts & arrows or ideal cut diamond, requires a tremendous level of skill, patience, and perseverance. These attributes and all of the nuances that goes into perfecting the art of cutting the world’s most perfect diamond, requires the time tested skill and patience, that cannot be leveraged by today’s new generation of “quick-fix” “mass-produced” diamond machines that churn out mediocre quality diamonds at a faster clip.

The fact of the matter is, that most superior cut diamonds, such as hearts and arrows or superideal cut diamonds, which are produced today in various diamond cutting factories around the world, are done by master diamond cutters (humans) not by machines.

barry1.jpg
Barry Gutwein of ExcelDiamonds at the diamond cutting wheel 1987.