Blog

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The Peace Diamond

It was recently announced in a press conference chaired by Martin Rapaport that the Peace Diamond has been purchased by Laurence Graff, of Graff Diamonds, from the government of Sierra Leone for US$6.5 million

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Red hot gemstones

Red is one of the most evocative primary colours, conjuring powerful images in our imagination of fire, heat, excitement and passion. So it is little wonder that the most popular colour for high performance cars (not least Ferraris) is red!

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday – make the most of it with our guide to Christmas jewellery gifts

Christmas is, famously, a time for giving. It has now overtaken Valentine’s Day as the peak time of year for marriage proposals and more people than ever before are choosing to give their loved ones festive jewellery gifts.

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Christie’s & de GRISOGONO – an emerging partnership of jeweller & auctioneer

The world famous Swiss luxury jeweller de GRISOGONO was founded in 1993 by black diamond specialist Fawaz Gruosi and it is known affectionately by its high clientele simply as ‘de Gris.’ Their most recent creation

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Never judge a gem by its cover – a guide to identifying stones

Prior to the advent of modern gemmological testing, many gemstones were mistakenly identified as something they were not. Eduard Gübelin (1913-2005), the ‘father’ of modern gemmology, was the man widely accredited with devising the laboratory techniques to distinguish one stone from another.

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A guide to our business model and market

We are an internationally recognised specialist bespoke jeweller and dealer of natural Colombian emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other coloured gemstones, diamonds and coloured diamonds.

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The Vibrant Middle East Jewellery Market

Key to understanding how the gem trade operates are the tiers in its complex supply chain. According to industry expert Jim Grahl, these can be roughly broken down as follows:

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The inside guide to the gem & jewellery trade

Key to understanding how the gem trade operates are the tiers in its complex supply chain. According to industry expert Jim Grahl, these can be roughly broken down as follows:

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Buying the perfect bespoke engagement ring

(An example of a unique four stone custom made ring designed by LDE for a bespoke customer) Bespoke engagement rings have never been more popular and now account for almost half of all those sold, both in the UK and elsewhere. More and more couples are now looking for a unique, one-of-a- kind, showstopper to […]

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‘The most beautiful diamond in the world’ – the largest D-colour flawless diamond ever sold

In what is set to be the most exciting gem auction of 2017, the largest D-colour flawless diamond ever put under the hammer, at 163.41 carats, will be on sale on 14th November at Christie’s Geneva.

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Guide to buying the perfect Christmas jewellery gift

With Christmas on the horizon many of us start to turn our attention to the annual question of what to buy our nearest and dearest.

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A splash of colour – the rise of coloured gem engagement rings

Are diamonds still a girl’s best friend? It may surprise you that right up until the early twentieth century around 50% of engagement rings featured coloured gems and 50% diamonds.

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The vibrant Thai gem & jewellery industry

Thailand is a medium ranking regional power among the South East Asian economies but it is showing signs of rapid economic development beyond its tradition staples of tourism, agriculture and fisheries.

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The coloured gemstone market sparkles in 2017

The coloured gemstone mining industry is going through a revolution, shifting irreversibly away from artisanal mining towards large scale mechanised production. This is being propelled by the increasing participation of larger mining entities and the enhanced formalisation of the industry.

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The Rockefeller Emerald – a guide to buying coloured gems at auction

Emeralds have been one of the best performing gemstones in recent years and their increasing prices have been well documented but the fine art of successfully buying and selling these beguiling stones is a lesser known industry secret.

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Beryl – a guide to this enigmatic gemstone family

  (Beryl can be found in a range of colours and hues) The beryl family comprises stones of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate, the best known examples of which are aquamarine and emerald. However there are also many other sub-classes to this multi-coloured family that are starting to grow in popularity. Pure beryl is actually colourless but […]

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Sapphires are now the gemstone of choice for many millennials

The popularity of sapphires has never been greater, perhaps due in part to Prince William’s decision to propose to Kate Middleton with the sapphire engagement ring of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. In addition to superstar celebrity and royal endorsement, the young and increasingly economically powerful millennial generation …

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Ethiopia – the new African gemstone giant awakens

(An example of an Ethiopian opal recently won from the earth)  In recent years exciting new deposits of precious and semi-precious stones have been reported from this ancient, but long troubled, African nation. The country is known to have significant deposits of at least nine gemstones: opal; corndium, beryl, garnet, peridot, quartz species and tourmaline. […]

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Mogok – the mines & people

Within the gemstone mining industry, Mogok is unique for the variety of types of production found here, each tailored for the local geology. These include alluvial mining of the gem-bearing gravel, known as byon, and the hard rock mining of spinel and ruby from the marble deposits themselves.

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Emeralds return to the forefront of high jewellery

Coloured gems are enjoying a renaissance at the moment and of the “big three” (emerald, ruby & sapphire) emeralds are shining especially brightly. At the route of this phenomenon is a virtuous circle of consistency of supply from fresh mining sites in Zambia, Brazil and most notably Colombia

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Guide to buying fine jewellery without paying high prices

Iconic business leader and self made billionaire Richard Branson recently stated “every business we have was set up to disrupt a market with products or services that make a real difference to people’s lives.”

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Mustang Resources – a shining light in gemstone production

With a market capitalisation of $41 million AUD, Mustang Resources in one of just two listed ruby mining companies in the world. Their main rival and African mining neighbour, Gemfields PLC, has a market cap of $433 million US, and some are pointing to the potential future growth of Mustang Resources to this scale in the foreseeable future.

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Pink Star diamond – the world’s most expensive gem sells for $71.2 million

The world renowned Pink Star diamond has now officially become the world’s most valuable gemstone of all time, fetching an eye-watering $71.2 million (£57.3 million / $553 million HKD) at auction. The event was held by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, who had estimated its pre-auction value at $60 million (£48.3 million).

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The London Diamond & Emerald Exchange

The London Diamond & Emearld Exchange (LDE) is a hybrid online marketplace for precious stones and bespoke jewellery with a personal touch. Investitin.com has interviewed the Director and Founder, Phil Spencer, on the services London DE offers and their crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. For decades precious gems have been of great interest to the general […]

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The Emerald Paternity Test – provenance proof

A unique set of Gübelin certified Colombian emerald jewellery from: https://www.londonde.com/ It is the long held opinion of most industry experts that the finest emeralds on earth are of Colombian origin. However, for many years it was almost impossible to ascertain with certainty the true origin of any given stone to a high degree of […]

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LDE crowd funding campaign – our aims & ethos

All businesses have one thing in common, they all require investment to succeed. In the past, that often involved a formal meeting with a bank manager to discuss a business loan and overdraft facility. However, since the financial crash of the late 2000s, all that has now changed and peer-to-peer lending and investing has become the new springboard for start-up and grow-up enterprises.

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Mogok – the valley of rubies

Mogok consists of a collection of gemstone producing areas in Burma (Myanmar), sometimes referred to as the “Valley of Rubies,” a name immortalised by the book Mogok, the Valley of Rubies, authored by Joseph Kessel and Stella Rodway.

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Marcial de Gomar rare emerald collection – the inside story

On 25th April 2017 history will be made at Guernsey’s auction house in New York as it hosts the sale of what is thought to be the world’s most valuable private collections of emeralds, the Marcial de Gomar collection.

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Spinel – history’s hidden gem

Until fairly recently spinel was a largely unrecognised gem in relatively low demand. Lately the growth of coloured gems, including rubies, has lead to a renaissance in the appreciation for this richly coloured gem and its fascinating history.

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The future of the gem and jewellery industry

In 2016 the global e-commerce market grew to a staggering $1.85 trillion US, driven largely by increasing internet use in emerging markets, most notably India and China.

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Celebrity jewellery endorsement

Marketing, advertising and PR have long been the cornerstones of any successful brand but the inclusion of celebrity endorsement in particular has taken centre stage in recent years.

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How to make a diamond sparkle

It may sound obvious that the most sought after characteristic of an engagement ring or piece of fine jewellery is its ‘sparkle’ but unearthing that illusive quality is not as straight forward as you might think.

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Paraiba Tourmaline – the rare and enigmatic Brazilian gemstone

Just 30 years ago Paraíba tourmalines were completely undiscovered, now they are one of the most coveted of all gemstones. They were unearthed in 1988 by Heitor Dimas Barbosa, a man who had spent years digging in the hills of the Brazilian sate of Paraíba, based upon information that a very rare and highly prized gem was to be found there.

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Tiffany and Co – the jewellery legend

Founded in 1837 In Brookly, Connecticut as a “stationery and fancy goods emporium” by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young, “Tiffany, Young & Ellis” were one of the earliest luxury brands to establish themselves in the then nascent United States of America.

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JAR – one of the brightest stars of modern jewellery

Joel Arthur Rosenthal was born in the Bronx, New York City in 1943 as the only child of a postman and a school biology teacher. He is famous for his founding of the French fine jewellery house JAR in Paris in 1978.

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The 10 largest fine jewellery auctions in history

Over the years there have been some extraordinary auctions of fine jewellery collections. The world’s largest auction houses, Christies’s, Sotherby’s and Bonham’s, date back to the eighteenth century and they originally came to prominence for their sales of rare books and art, before diversifying into jewels and rare gemstones.

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The ultimate guide to eternity rings

An eternity ring is a powerful symbol of eternal love and companionship, traditionally given to mark a specific milestone in a marriage or long term relationship, such as a wedding anniversary or the birth of a child.

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The Foxfire diamond – the largest precious stone ever found in North America

For many years Africa was home to the world’s largest diamonds, however advances in mining technology and infrastructure in other parts of the world have led to some colossal discoveries elsewhere. The most recent example of this is that of the Foxfire diamond

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What effect will Brexit have upon the gem & jewellery industry?

Brexit is one of the hot media topics of the moment in the UK and elsewhere around the world. In this article we are going to examine the possible implications of Brexit on the gem and jewellery industry.

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The growth of the African emerald

While the experts agree that Colombian emeralds and the finest examples, their lighter-hued African counterparts are carving out a low to mid market niche. The principle emerald producing countries are Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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The story of the Brazilian emerald

Brazil began to exploit its emerald deposits in the early 1970s. Although not quite of the same high standard as their erstwhile Colombian cousins, the Brazilian stones have none the less carved out a significant mid market niche.

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The emerald mines of Las Pavas, Colombia

Colombia is world renowned for the quality of its fine emeralds. What is not so well know is the fact there are subtle differences between the colours and characteristics of Colombian stones originating from different mining areas within the country.

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Buying jewellery online – your questions answered

The vast cost savings that can be achieved buying jewellery online are well known about but many people find the process a daunting one. If you follow some basic steps you can find truly breathtaking value for money without any risks or pitfalls.

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Valentine’s Day – 5 unique jewellery gift ideas

With Christmas now a fading memory many of us are now looking ahead to the coming year and all that it may bring. In terms of treating those most dear to us, the next key event in the calendar is Valentine’s Day (Tuesday 14th February).

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Ramat Gan – Israel’s diamond hub

Ramat Gan is a city located in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, to the east of Tel Aviv city, and it is home to one of the world’s largest diamond exchanges. It is also where you can find the Moshe Aviv Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Israel and this thriving metropolis is a technology hub.

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Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter is a vibrant area in the south of the Hockley region of Birmingham which covers just over a square kilometre and contains a population of approximately 3,000 people. The Quarter contains Europe’s largest concentration of manufacturing jewellers, between them producing more than 40% of UK jewellery output.

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Hatton Garden – the historic centre of the London gem trade

Situated on the edge of the historic old City of London, Hatton Garden has been at the centre of the gem and jewellery trade in London since the middle ages. London traditionally had streets, or quarters, dedicated to types of business or trades and Hatton Garden is one such surviving example.

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The guide to buying fine jewellery

The archaeological record shows that people have been wearing items of jewellery for at least a hundred thousand years.

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2017 – predictions for the diamond, coloured gem and jewellery market

As 2017 dawns many in the media and broader society at large are reflecting upon a tumultuous 2016 and pondering what may lie in store for the year ahead. For the gemstone and jewellery industry the past year has been a very mixed bag, in which there have been winners and losers, although the overall […]

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The diamond market – 2016 in retrospect

Following a period of rapid diamond jewellery growth between 2012 and 2014, 2015 and 2016 have seen some moderation in the market. The USA saw 3% growth in sales in 2015, at a time when the market across Europe at Asia remained relatively flat. Rough diamond prices actually fell by 24% in 2015, as suppliers […]

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Hybrid ecommerce – the future of the jewellery industry

(A template for an ecommerce jewellery website – functionality is key) Ecommerce has been slow to make a significant entry into the gemstone and jewellery market. However many industry analysts believe it is approaching a tipping point, beyond which it will gain significant momentum over the coming years. Indeed Forbes predict a doubling of the […]

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China – the gem & jewellery giant awakens

China is now the world’s second largest economy and the largest manufacturer on the plant. Within that market, the jewellery sector has grown apace but the variety, design and raw materials are highly varied and do not follow any discernible patterns observed in other consumer markets.

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Is CAD the future of jewellery design?

In the 21st century it is plain to see that computers have entered every aspect of our lives, and jewellery is no exception.

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The 8 point guide to buying the perfect engagement ring

For most people an engagement ring is the most valuable and important jewellery purchase they will make in their life so getting it right is clearly important!

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Sapphires – Australia’s bright gem of the future

When most people think of Australian precious gems their attention is often drawn to the world renowned Argyle mine (which is responsible for over 90% of global pink diamond supply) but in fact this vast island continent is home to one of the most suitable geographical locations for sapphires.

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Laurence Graff – The King of Diamonds

Laurence Graff has earned the nickname the ‘King of Diamonds’ or the new Harry Winston as a self made billionaire and one of the most successful jewellers and gem dealers of our age.

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The relentless drive toward ethically sourced jewellery

One of the key developments in the jewellery and gemstone industry in recent years has been the drive towards ethically sourced products.

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Extraterrestrial diamonds – the long term future of gem production?

It has long been speculated that celestial bodies may contain vast quantities of precious metals and precious gems.

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Koh-i-Noor diamond – fact versus fiction

The Koh-i-Noor is one of the world’s most famous and controversial precious stones. Dating back to the Mughal princes of pre-colonial era India, it has found its way into the possession of Persian warriors.

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Back to the future – the fashion industry shines a light on the future for jewellery

Consumer appetite for jewellery is at an all time high and it is forecast to increase year on year by a compound of 5-6%, according to Forbes.

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A guide to buying coloured gemstone jewellery

It is important to always buy any gem from a trustworthy dealer. Internet recommendations and reviews can be a good starting point, as can word of mouth.

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Canada – the emergence of a gemstone giant

Until recently Canada was not considered an important producer of diamonds and most attention was focused upon Africa, Asia and Australia.

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De Beers the rise and fall of a unique monopoly

When most people think of diamonds they immediately think of De Beers but it wasn’t always this way. Up until the mid nineteenth century few could afford diamond jewellery, apart from the super rich and royalty.

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The beauty of the Kashmir sapphire

For many gem lovers the Kashmir is the King of blue sapphires. Kashmir is the only place on earth where sapphires are found in the deepest blue hues, without any other overtones.

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The Burmese ruby

The Burmese ruby is by far the rarest and most valuable of the corundum stones and although the colours range from pinkish red to dark red the finest examples are termed pigeon blood red.

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Indian gem industry – the engine of growth

The jewellery and gemstone industry in India contributes a quite remarkable 7% to the nation’s GDP and it is has been identified as one of the fastest growing areas of the economy.

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Green greed – high jewellers flock to emeralds

Of the three precious coloured gems (rubies, sapphires & emeralds) emeralds are emerging as the most popular.

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A guide to Afghan gems

The beleaguered nation of Afghanistan is very well known for its enduring conflict and political and social unrest.

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Coloured gemstone mining

Right up to the 1930s coloured gemstones and diamonds each enjoyed roughly a 50% share of the global gem market.

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A guide to buying antique jewellery

In the modern age of mass consumerism and instant communication there is a natural tendency to look back at times gone by with an air of nostalgia

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Sale of the century – Elizabeth Taylor’s $137 million jewellery collection

Elizabeth Taylor (27 February 1932 – 23 March 2011) was one of the most iconic figures of her generation. Over the course of her life she built an unparalleled collection of jewellery which was sold at auction for $137 million by Christies in New York after her death.

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The pros and cons of investing in coloured gemstones

Coloured gems as investment vehicles have attracted a lot of interest over the past 10 years, some have made healthy returns while others have had their fingers burnt so it is important to get the facts straight.

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Harry Winston – the man behind the diamond legend

The name Harry Winston is now synonymous with the high end jewellery manufacturer but this disguises the fact that the man behind it was born with almost nothing.

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Why Colombia produces the finest emeralds

Colombia has enjoyed a reputation as the premier emerald producing region of the world for the past 500 years and stones from this South American national have attracted some of the highest prices ever recorded for coloured gems.

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10 tips to buying the perfect wedding ring

Given the complexity (not to mention the cost) of modern wedding planning it comes as no surprise that many couples often leave the buying of wedding rings to the last minute.

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Are diamonds a girl’s best friend?

Natural diamonds were formed under immense tectonic pressure over 3 billion years ago, when the earth was only a third of the age it is today.

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Sapphire – guide to the queen of gems

Sapphires have endured as one the key precious stones of choice for royalty and the well to do for many centuries but in more recent times they are becoming increasingly popular as the centre stone for engagement rings and bridal jewellery.

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Game of Stones – the world’s 10 greatest gems

At a staggering 22,892 carats (4.58 KG), this stone holds the record as the largest polished yellow topaz gem in the world and one of the largest faceted gems of any kind.

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A guide to buying rubies

Rubies, along with diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, are a precious gem in high demand. They are hard gemstones (although not as hard as diamonds), a quality that makes them fairly scratch resistant and practical to wear routinely, rather than just on special occasions.

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Synthetic diamonds – the industry’s greatest challenge

One of the most widely reported developments in the precious stone market relates to the appearance of synthetic diamonds and the effect they may have on levels of supply and demand going forward.

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Guide to looking after your jewellery

After your house (and possibly your car) jewellery forms one of the highest value categories of asset that most people own.

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Fancy coloured diamonds & the 4 ‘C’s – everything you need to know

The value of a diamond is largely determined by its rarity. When it comes to white (or colourless) diamonds, that rarity is found in the absence of colour, however this is turned on its head with fancy colour diamonds because the rarest are those saturated in the deepest colours.

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Buying coloured gems – 12 things to think about

Whether you are interested in rubies, sapphires, coloured diamonds or emeralds, consider the 12 points below to ensure you enter the market place fully equipped:

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6 things to consider when buying fine jewellery for a woman

Many a man has come unstuck in the process of buying fine jewellery for the special lady in his life, the aim of this article is to help you avoid the common mistakes and find her that special piece she’ll treasure for the rest of her life.

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Luxury brand building in the 21st century world

The economic growth of China over the past three decades has been phenomenal but the rate at which luxury brands, including designer jewellery, gems and watches, have expanded in the Far East is even more remarkable.

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Green with envy – a guide to emerald engagement rings

From Cleopatra to Angelina Jolie, through Maharajas and Catherine the Great, emerald engagement rings and jewellery have been a must have for celebrity ladies.

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The Guide to buying an engagement ring

Buying the perfect engagement ring used to mean setting aside 2 months’ salary and spending a huge amount of time scouring jewellers’ windows looking for a suitable design.

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The Argyle diamond mine – fact versus fiction

In a few short decades, since its opening in 1983, the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia has taken on an almost mythical status as the World’s premier source of pink and red diamonds.

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The art and science of jewellery manufacture

The ancient craft of making jewellery can be traced back to the days of early man, archaeological evidence of which dates back more than 100,000 years.

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Van Cleef & Arpels lead the way with emerald & diamond high jewellery

The level of detail that goes into the creation of fine jewellery is truly breathtaking! High jewellery designers Van Cleef & Arpels have developed a formidable reputation as industry leaders, most notably with their collections of coloured gem pieces.

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Gemfields – Bellwether of the coloured gem market

Gemfields have become the market leaders in coloured gemstone production and their outlook for the market can only be described as markedly ‘bullish!’ Ian Harebottle, Gemfields CEO.

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Fine gems & jewellery enter the digital age

The fine gems and jewellery industry has been slow to embrace the digital age and the current e-commerce share of this market stands at a mere 5%.

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Purchasing an engagement ring from London DE: Andrew Gregoriou & Nicola Slide

I have never written a blog, but I have just bought the perfect Engagement ring for my bride to be from London DE. In fact, I went through a selection of rings with my nearest and dearest and decided none were right for her or for us.

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The provenance of the finest emeralds

Emeralds are a green to bluish-green variety of the mineral beryl. Traces of the elements chromium and vanadium give these precious stones their distinctive colour and hue.

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Emeralds & coloured gemstones: clarity is King!

Chromium, the very element that gives emeralds their beautiful colour, also causes a brittleness that results in internal fissures that affect the clarity and this is further intensified by the fact that the emerald cut (the most common emerald shape) exacerbates the effects of this phenomenon.

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The rise and rise of the coloured gem market

The coloured gem market has always fired the imagination of collectors but recent trends seem to suggest a marked increase in the trajectory of emeralds, rubies and sapphires as well as diamonds.

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Certification: the art of the 5th ‘C’

Most people with an interest in gemstones have become very familiar with the much vaunted ‘four-Cs’ (cut, colour, clarity and carat) but the importance of the validity of a stone’s certificate in terms of assessing its value and provenance has often been overlooked.

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2016: the year of the coloured gemstone…

In the view of the International Coloured Gemstone Association, it is clear that “Colombia will continue to be at the top of the list in terms of the countries in which fine emeralds are found.

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The growth of coloured gemstone jewellery…

Diamonds and emeralds have adorned the jewellery of the wealthy and powerful ever since the time of Antony and Cleopatra and modern fashion trends seem to show that there is no let up in this fact.

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