Gahcho Kué on track for production

The Gahcho Kué diamond project is progressing according to plan, with first production slated for the second half of 2016.

Mountain Province Diamonds—which has a 49 per cent stake in the project— says processing of the Gahcho Kué Land Use Permit and Class A Water Licence remains on schedule; both are expected to be approved by the end of the year.

Although drilling of the final third hole at Tuzo Deep is underway, progress has been slower than planned due to difficult ground conditions. De Beers Canada holds 51 per cent of Gahcho Kué JV, which is located at Kennady Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The Gahcho Kué Project consists of a cluster of four diamondiferous kimberlites, three of which have a probable mineral reserve of 35.4 million tonnes, grading 1.57 carats per tonne for total diamond content of 55.5 million carats.

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AWDC increasing controls to detect conflict diamonds

Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has raised the alarm and is stepping up its efforts to identify and confiscate conflict diamonds, following the discovery of a shipment likely containing stones from the Central African Republic (CAR).

“AWDC calls upon all diamond centres to implement the same strict controls on import and export procedures and KP requirements,” the foundation said. “It is clear the Kimberley Process—a unique co-operation between governments, industry, and civil society—can only be a powerful tool if all KP participants take responsibility in the fight against conflict diamonds.”

In June 2013, the KP issued an export ban on rough diamonds originating from CAR. In addition to strict controls of every shipment that enters or leaves Antwerp, AWDC’s diamond office compares parcel contents with the so-called ‘production footprints’ of mining operations in conflict areas.

Rough diamonds that are imported legally in Antwerp via other diamond trade hubs are cross-checked on typical characteristics, such as colour, assortment, and size using visual material from typical rough production from a certain area, such as CAR.

“By implementing these strict controls, Antwerp aims to give a strong signal and to prohibit conflict diamonds from entering the Antwerp market,” AWDC said. “According to a recent report from the Enough Project, diamonds from CAR are still illegally entering the market in certain countries. These conflict diamonds enter the legal circuit mostly through forged KP certificates that are insufficiently controlled via other diamond hubs.”

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It’s a man’s world (Part 7)

Releasing your male clients’ ‘inner peacock’

Part 7 of 7

By Llyn L. Strelau

Entitled ‘Kryptonite,’ this lapel pin features 18-karat yellow gold wire straws holding a mineral specimen of chatoyant malachite set off by round brilliant diamonds. Photo courtesy Llyn L. Strelau.

Men that wear suits can be persuaded to don lapel pins. These can be simple gold or silver designs or more elaborate, such as ‘Kryptonite’ seen to the left. Generally, lapel pins are longer than wide to sit comfortably on a gentleman’s jacket. As such, they shouldn’t be too bulky and the pin finding must be aligned to provide secure and balanced attachment.

Of course, wedding bands are the most common men’s jewellery. Due to workplace restrictions, some gents cannot wear rings. For those who can and who are adventurous enough to wear more than a simple gold band, an offset design like the one seen above may be an option. In this set, the ladies’ ring includes a line of pavé white diamonds, while the men’s ring is embellished by a similar line of black diamonds. More simple is a plain gold offset band with sleek polished bevelled surfaces, while another has one half paved with tiny black diamonds. Offset rings fit many hands better than rings that are straight across. Their shape makes it possible to wear a wider band without bumping the knuckle of the adjacent pinkie finger. This design detail is also a more efficient use of the joint of the finger where it is worn. However, even though clients typically find the ring very comfortable, some individuals (particularly engineers and accountants) simply prefer not to wear one—the offset design upsets their sense of ‘balance.’

My request to my fellow jewellery designers and retailers is do your part to take advantage of the current trend, especially among your younger clientele, for interesting and varied jewellery for men. If we offer options beyond the traditional pedestrian selection that is likely sitting in your showcases, you will find there is a market to tap. Men are much more adventurous than they have ever been and their sense of personal style is strong. And don’t forget to appeal to the women in their lives—they buy pieces for their partners, if only to ‘justify’ more jewellery for themselves in exchange! Men may not again be the peacocks of past centuries, but deep down that impulse still lives on.

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It’s a man’s world (Part 6)

Releasing your male clients’ ‘inner peacock’

Part 6 of 7

By Llyn L. Strelau

So what does this have to do with bench work? Well, there’s a lot to be said about creating a custom piece that is unique, fashionable, challenging to produce, and strikes the right chord with a demographic that appreciates the techie things in life. Some of my recent designs for men’s jewellery include cufflinks with interchangeable components, appealing to that breed of man who has a collection of interesting links. Using German-made bayonet clasp findings, I designed a basic link component that can be worn with a simple logo back and a variety of fronts or used with complementary decorative fronts and backs.

Pieces incorporating interchangeable components can appeal to male clientele with a collection of cufflinks. Photo courtesy Llyn L. Strelau.

The picture to the left if of links set with ancient Roman silver coins (depicting an emperor and an empress) and a collection of four different colours of South Sea pearls that can be worn in any combination. It is important to pay attention to the orientation of the cufflink in relation to the shirt cuff. The finding that goes through the buttonholes must match their direction (i.e. perpendicular to the length of the arm), while the decorative component typically looks best with the long axis (if there is one) running parallel with the sleeve.

Green Arrow’ cufflinks in white gold, with black jade, meteorite, round bezel-set tsavorite garnets, and bead-set black diamonds. Photo courtesy AGTA. Photos by Robert Weldon.

The ‘Green Arrow’ cufflinks in white gold seen to the left are set with black jade and meteorite, round bezel-set tsavorite garnets, and a sweep of beadset black diamonds.

Since cufflinks are subject to potential wear and tear, especially when worn on a regular basis, the metals and gemstones used should be durable. For dress wear, consider using materials that may be more delicate and decorative.

More to come of this story in Part 7.

Read the full article: It’s a man’s world

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It’s a man’s world (Part 5)

Releasing your male clients’ ‘inner peacock’

Part 5 of 7

By Llyn L. Strelau

The Spectrum competition has had a ‘Men’s Wear’ category for many years. A review of the entries and the winning pieces shows both conservative and innovative designs. However, this category still garners the fewest entries of them all, accounting for only eight to 10 per cent of the submissions made overall. Last year, there were only 24 in ‘Men’s Wear,’ with twice as many in each of the ‘Classical’ and ‘Bridal’ categories, more than four times as many in ‘Business/Day Wear,’ and over six times as many in ‘Evening Wear.’ Is this a reflection of the industry’s interest in creating exciting jewellery for the male of the species? Incidentally, if you are a designer interested in entering the Spectrum Awards, ‘Men’s Wear’ is the best category in which to do so—you won’t have much competition!

Another overlooked market for men’s adornment is wedding rings and other jewellery for same-sex couples. Many male couples enjoy jewellery and are generally open to rings that stretch beyond the plain gold band their fathers and grandfather’s favoured and there is double the opportunity for men’s designs. Pieces in alternative materials and incorporating coloured gemstones in addition to or instead of diamonds are great options and offer a chance to push the creative envelope.

It is up to us as jewellery designers and jewellery store owners to step forward and both encourage and support the cause of fine jewellery for men.

Cufflinks are one of the most likely categories of men’s jewellery to offer market growth potential. Aside from the established tradition of wearing links, there is a growing trend for men in the business world to sport them. Even though the office dress code has relaxed somewhat from the days of three-piece suits, the fashion-savvy working man can build up a wardrobe.

More to come of this story in Part 6.

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It’s a man’s world (Part 4)

Releasing your male clients’ ‘inner peacock’

Part 4 of 7

By Llyn L. Strelau

What can jewellery designers do to encourage their male clients to purchase and wear more jewellery? In the first place, male designers could start by designing pieces for themselves and actually wearing them! I look back to my first American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards banquet some 20 years ago. Thrilled to be part of the designers being honoured for creative jewellery design, I naively assumed I would see my male colleagues attending this black tie function wearing interesting designer jewellery. I made myself a lapel pin and a new pair of cufflinks to wear. I was rather disappointed to see none of the other designers wore more than their wedding rings. Their spouse or partner might be wearing beautiful jewellery, but it was mostly a case of the ‘shoemaker’s children go barefoot.’

I take it as a positive sign that in more recent awards events, these same designers are now wearing pieces of their own making or purchased from others. Lapel pins, coloured gem or diamond rings, and bracelets and cufflinks are all on display.

More to come of this story in Part 5.

Read the full article: It’s a man’s world

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