Japanese Hotel Loses $1.2 Million Gold Bathtub

Barry reports today that a glittering bathtub made of gold, worth Y120 million ($A1.21 million) has been stolen from a resort hotel near Tokyo.

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A worker at Kominato Hotel Mikazuki in Kamogawa, south of Tokyo, notified police the fancy tub was missing from the hotel’s guest bathroom on the 10th floor of its building, according to a local police official.

The round tub, 1.21 metres in diameter and 71 centimetres tall, was made of 18-karat gold weighing 80 kilograms, the official said.

The tub, flanked by two crane statues, has been a main feature of the hotel’s shared bathroom.

Visitors can take a dip in the tub, but it is only available a few hours a day “for security reasons,” the hotel’s website said.

Someone apparently cut the chain attached to the door of a small section of the bathroom where the bathtub was placed, but not riveted, and made off with the tub, the police official said.

The cranes were left untouched.

“We have no witness information and there are no video cameras,” the official said.

Anyone seeing a gold bathtub being lugged around the streets of Tokyo, is urged to contact local authorities immediately…;-)

GIA Introducing New Services, Fees on June 4th.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is introducing several new diamond-grading services and restructuring its diamond-grading fees, effective June 4.

The GIA Diamond Grading Report services will be offered on diamonds weighing 0.15 carats and larger, and the GIA Diamond Dossier services will be offered on diamonds weighing 0.15 carats to 1.99 carats. The new fees will be:

Diamond Grading Report:
* Service fee for stones sized 0.15 to 0.22 carats: $53.
* Service fee for stones sized 0.23 to 0.46 carats: $59.

Diamond Dossier:
* Service fee for stones sized 0.15 to 0.22 carats: $40.
* Service fee for stones sized 0.23 to 0.46 carats: $42.
* Service fee for stones sized 1.00 to 1.49 carats: $90.
* Service fee for stones sized 1.50 to 1.99 carats: $100.

The GIA is also introducing a new Diamond Type Analysis service. Loose, natural diamonds may be submitted to the GIA Laboratory for analysis to determine diamond type: Ia, Ib, IIa or IIb. This service is supplemental to a GIA Diamond Grading Report, GIA Colored Diamond Grading Report or GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report either issued previously or at the time of analysis. The fees will be:

* Verbal results only: $125.
* Letter describing results: $200.
* Letter describing results with photo: $275.

The GIA is also offering a new inscription service, which prints actual inscribed graphics or inscribed logos directly on all GIA Diamond Grading Reports and GIA Diamond Dossiers. Instead of describing the inscribed graphic or logo using alphanumeric text, the reports can now display the graphic or logo at the customer’s request. With this new service, the “Inscription” or “Additional Inscription” line item on the grading report will be used to report both GIA and client-performed inscriptions. No distinction will be made between the two inscriptions.

Requests for inscriptions within 60 days of the diamond-grading report’s completion will have a new, nominal flat fee of $30 for GIA Diamond Grading Reports and $15 for GIA Diamond Dossiers. Requests for inscriptions more than 60 days after completion will remain subject to update fees.

In addition, the GIA is changing its Recheck and Final Observation fees.

* Recheck service, which applies to the GIA Diamond Grading Report, GIA Diamond Dossier, GIA Colored Diamond Grading Report and GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report, will cost a set percentage of a basic GIA Diamond Grading Report fee or GIA Diamond Dossier fee.
* Color, clarity and cut rechecks will cost 50 percent of the GIA Diamond Grading Report fee or GIA Diamond Dossier fee.
* Symmetry, measurements and fluorescence rechecks will cost 25 percent of the GIA Diamond Grading Report fee or GIA Diamond Dossier fee.

Final Observation service, which is available on the GIA Diamond Grading Report, GIA Colored Diamond Grading Report and GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report (but not for GIA Diamond Dossiers), is also based on a percentage of a GIA Diamond Grading Report fee.

* Final observation fees for color, clarity and cut will cost 50 percent of the GIA Diamond Grading Report fee.
* Final observation fees for polish, symmetry, measurements and fluorescence will cost 25 percent of the GIA Diamond Grading Report fee.

“These secondary services demand the time of our most senior and experienced technical staff, yet only a small percentage of items submitted actually result in a grade change. After much consideration, we decided it was neither cost-effective nor an efficient use of resources to continue with the previous fee structure,” GIA Laboratory and Research Senior Vice President Tom Moses said in a media release. “The new fees more accurately reflect the time, resources and expertise involved in providing these services. However, in keeping with our policy, if the Recheck and Final Observation service results in a change to the diamond’s grade, there will be no charge.”

GIA To Add Scholarships

The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) board of governors released $297,000 in funding for scholarships from the GIA Endowment Fund. This disbursement will fund approximately 49 new scholarships in the GIA Schools of Business, Gemology, and Jewelry Manufacturing Arts (both on campus and through distance education.) This additional funding will allow the Institute to provide a total of 91 scholarships in 2008.

For the first time, GIA scholarship funding will be set aside for international distance education gemology students and those wishing to enroll on campus at GIA London and GIA India. The Institute will also expand its current scholarship program in the United States.

In preparation for awarding international scholarships, the GIA is also addressing the local tax and legal issues in each country.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our scholarship program to reach deserving individuals around the world,” said Linda Ellis Harmeling, GIA vice president and chief advancement officer. “The education of tomorrow’s jewelers, gemologists, and business leaders is the best investment our industry can make in its future.”

The endowed scholarships are furnished by the interest earned on the GIA Endowment Fund. Because the principal is never touched, gifts to the Fund guarantee that the Institute can fulfill its educational nonprofit mission in perpetuity.

All 2008 scholarship applications must be received between June 15 and October 15, 2007. The successful recipients will be selected and notified by December 31.

South Africa Takes Cue from Botswana.

South Africa announced that it will export less rough diamonds and keep more rough diamonds within the country and manufacture it themselves. They’re taking their cue from Botswana which has had this type of very successful beneficiation program in place for its citizens over the past three years.

South Africa is expecting to have its institutions and regulations in place by August 2007 to ensure that more diamonds are cut and polished in the country.

The country’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica, outlined to parliament on May 30, 2007 how South Africa will add value to its precious stones and metals locally, government news website BuaNews Online reported.

“We are developing skills in the jewelry sector for our people to be able to take leadership roles and for the provinces to be able to play a supporting role when we start implementing the Diamond Amendment Act, the Second Diamond Amendment Act and the Precious Metals Act,” the website quoted the minister as saying in her first budget vote in her new portfolio.

These amendments, she explained, would usher in a more representative South African Diamonds and Precious Metals Regulator to replace the South African Diamond Board.

President Thabo Mbeki reiterated, in his state of the nation address in February, government’s plans to establish a State Diamond Trader that will purchase 10 percent of diamonds from local producers and sell them to local cutters and producers.

South Africa is the world’s third largest diamond producer by value and exports approximately $2 billion worth of diamonds annually.

Sonjica explained that the Diamond Exchange and Export Centre will monitor the export of diamonds while the State Diamond Trader would make diamonds available solely to diamond beneficiators, BuaNews reported.

“All these institutions will be in place when the president promulgates these pieces of legislation, which is expected to be not later than August 2007,” Sonjica said.

Sonjica added that the State Diamond Trader would open in Johannesburg but later move to Kimberly, “to make Kimberly the real diamond hub of South Africa.”

South African mining giant De Beers has reportedly agreed to assist with management and technical skills and asset provision for the program free of charge for a three year period.

A Cocktail Drink Served With Real Diamonds!

Just when you thought you heard it all…here is a new one for you!

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Diamonds in your drink!

The “diamond-tini”, a cocktail with a hint of lime and chilled Belvedere vodka over a 1.06-carat stone, is topping the Ritz-Carlton beverage menu at a cool 1.8 million yen ($15,000).

That price includes drink preparations table side, a serenade of “Diamonds are Forever” as a cut stone slides to the martini glass bottom, and later a ring mounting by a local jeweler.

24kt. Gold Dipped Roses Makes The Perfect Gift!

I know Mother’s Day is past us and what I am about to propose is not exactly an “ideal gift” for Dad…(Father’s Day coming up..)

However, there really is no reason not to buy a gift for your significant other…just because it isn’t Mothers Day!!

Indeed, my Mom always says, “every day is Mother’s Day”.

Boy is she right!

Think Gold Dipped Roses!

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The Cream to Red Forever Rose is a carefully selected rose at the peak of its beauty and perfectly preserved in a durable lacquer shell and completed with a rich 24K gold finish (gold plated) to create a breathtaking masterpiece for your life-time enjoyment.. With over 40 meticulous steps and five days of hand work by skilled artisans and technicians, each forever rose is one-of-a-kind, unique and everlasting, like your love! The perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Weddings, Christmas, or any occasion that warrants such a unique and precious gift. A wonderful way to show someone special that your love will last forever!

Each rose comes complete in a decorative gift box and a fact sheet telling the story of “The Forever Rose”. All Forever Rose products come with an unconditional money back guarantee!

I just bought one for my wife!

Buy Yours, by visiting www.exceldiamonds.com

Back After The Holiday. Let’s Talk Diamonds & Engagement Rings!

We are back in full swing from our extended Memorial Day weekend vacation!

I am excited to get back to blogging about one of my favorite passions; beautiful diamond and engagement rings!!

We are gonna cover all the hot topics, including current engagement ring trends, branded diamonds, luxury watches and MUCH MORE!

Stay tuned!!

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Let’s talk diamonds!!

Ivanka Trump To Sell Diamonds

Apparently Ivanka Trump thinks she has what it takes to sell diamonds….

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NEW YORK — “Don’t get mad, get everything!” might have been her mother’s mantra, but Ivanka Trump wants women to feel comfortable buying their diamonds — and she intends to show the jewelry industry just how it’s done.

In an exclusive interview with WWD on Tuesday, the 25-year-old real estate executive and daughter of Donald and Ivana Trump revealed plans to launch a diamond jewelry line that she will sell in her own boutiques.

Trump has formed a partnership with Dynamic Diamond Corp., a Diamond Trading Co. siteholder, to create a complete line of diamond jewelry under her name. The venture, which was first reported by WWD in December, is not a license but rather a partnership between Trump and Moshe Lax, principal of Dynamic Diamond, who became friendly through the real estate world. Three Ivanka Trump boutiques are planned to open this year. The first, a 1,100-square-foot unit, will open on Madison Avenue in September, followed by one in Las Vegas. She declined to give the exact addresses or the third location.

Read the full story here.

Stunning Watch From Tissot

This absolutely gorgeous watch from Tissot caught my attention:

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The Sculpture wristwatch
made of 18-carat rose gold is equipped with hand-winding mechanical movement. The timepiece also utilizes silver dial, silver Arabic indexes, small seconds sub dial at 6 o’clock, 42-hour power reserve with indicator between 9 and 11 o’clock and sapphire crystal. I liked it’s brown leather strap, it’s looking very nice.

The timepiece is water-resistant to 30 meters.

Via: Wrist Style