Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jeweler sold fake diamonds for 20 years

Amherst Police say more customers are discovering problems with jewelry from RSNP Diamond Exchange, in the Village of Williamsville.
Last month, shop owner Paul Blarr pleaded not guilty to three counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud. He allegedly sold fake diamonds to customers. Prosecutors now say they have about 50 people who claim they’re victims.
Police say customers from the past 20 years are calling other precious gemstones into question that have been purchased at or repaired by the store. Police say some gold items were found be gold-plated instead of solid gold, some gems were switched or not the quality of what they purchased, and some diamonds were enhanced.
But police say not all of the customers who have been tricked may have been found. Some customers had diamonds tested without the equipment that identifies Moissanite, a man-made substance that mimics a real diamond.
Scanlon’s Jewelers has been testing jewelry from Blarr’s store for free. The store uses several different methods to determine a real from a fake, including using a microscope and then a heat test, which can identify Moissanite.
In just the past two weeks, Scanlon’s has tested more than 300 diamonds, and they say at least 40 of them have turned out to be fakes.
“Most fine jewelers don’t have experience with it because we don’t sell it,” said Todd Scanlon of Scanlon’s Jewelers. “There have been some really horrible things done, from brides- and grooms-to-be that took loans out for stones that they haven’t even paid off to I had a terminal cancer patient buy something for his wife and instructed her to wear it after he passed away and then give it to his daughter so daddy could give her the ring when she got married and it was $7,000 and it was fake.”
Amherst Police are encouraging anyone who had any jewelry – diamonds, gold or other gemstones – bought from or repaired at RSNP Diamond Exchange to have them tested at a reputable jeweler.
Scanlon says if you’re making a big purchase, ask for certification from a reputable lab before putting your money down.
“You want to go to more than one store, all the time. I’d love you to come here only, shop the pricing. If someone is ridiculously low on something there’s probably something wrong,” he said.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Zimbabwe Diamond Tender in Dubai Achieves $29M

The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) reported that its inaugural Zimbabwe diamond tender, which was held from March 23 to 30,  achieved a sales total of $29.2 million at an average price of $76 per carat.  The highest price per carat reached $5,000, according to the DDE. The rough diamond tender was facilitated by Global Diamond Tenders in cooperation with the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) and included diamonds from Anjin, Jinan, DTZ-Ozgeo, Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds and Kusena.

Zimbabwe's Mine's Minister, Walter Chidhakwa said the tender earned $4.3 million for the government through royalties.

Peter Meeus, the chairman of the DDE, said, “The DDE has and will continue to support African diamond markets by ensuring the appropriate infrastructure is available to facilitate the trade between producing and consuming nations. We are extremely pleased with the high prices that were reached and stand ready to assist the government of Zimbabwe in future initiatives.”The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe  (MMCZ), Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds are listed on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which means that U.S. residents and businesses may not trade or purchase diamonds in any form from  these firms.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Victory Diamond, Two Graff Diamonds Highlight Sotheby's Sale

Three exceptional diamonds will highlight Sotheby's Geneva sale of magnificent jewels and noble jewels on May 13.
Sotheby's will auction the historic Victory Diamond, which was  named in honor of the allied victory in World War II. The original rough diamond weighed 770 carats and it was discovered in 1945 in the African Woyie River.  graff Thirty diamonds were cut from that stone, the largest of which was the 31.34-carat, D, potentially flawless, type IIa step-cut Victory Diamond. Sotheby's priced this lot to sell for between $5 million and $8 million.
The Graff Vivid Yellow diamond (pictured) also highlights the Geneva sale. This 100.09-carat diamond ring is described as "daffodil yellow" in color with  exceptional beauty and extraordinary fire and brilliance, and it has a presale estimate of $15 million to $25 million.
A third diamond, also by Graff, is a 103.46-carat, brilliant-cut diamond ring with a presale estimate of $3.5 million to $5 million.

Source: diamonds.net

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rockwell Diamonds 4Q Sales +69%

Rockwell Diamonds Inc. reported that diamond sales, excluding beneficiation, rose 69 percent year on year to $12.1 million in the fourth fiscal quarter that ended on February 28. Total carat sales  increased 81 percent to 9,596 carats. Rockwell’s rough diamonds received an average price of $1,264 per carat, 7 percent lower than the average price per carat in the same period one year ago.

Diamond production at the company’s three operating mines in South Africa grew 39 percent to 2,676 carats, while total production rose 74 percent to 6,717 carats in part due to royalty agreements with contract miners. The average size of recovered rough diamonds more than doubled over the year to 4.6 carats.

The mining company’s operations are focused on developing alluvial diamond deposits in South Africa’s Middle Orange River region.

Management said that it had reviewed cost-effective ways to renew its aging transportation fleet and is now looking for financing options. Rockwell said that it plans to expand both production volume and the recovery of large diamonds going forward.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

DCLA - DTC screening and synthetic testing equipment


DCLA Laboratory established in 2001 has always had the ability and equipment to identify synthetic diamonds.
The DCLA laboratory has identified many synthetic diamonds over the past several years.
DCLA is compliant and works strictly to the IDC rules.
As per the IDC rules the Synthetic diamonds Must be disclosed as “Synthetic diamond”.
Labs will have the choice whether or not to issue a grading report/certificate for synthetic diamonds. In case one is issued only a full grading report may be delivered.
If they do not issue grading reports, a short statement with weight, shape and nature of the stone must be available. The term “Synthetic Diamond Examination Report” or “Synthetic Diamond Assurance Report” is suggested for this limited document.
The terms laboratory-created/laboratory-grown/man-made/synthetic diamond may be used. The term “cultured” may not be used in any way to describe synthetic diamonds.
The DCLA will not certificate synthetic  diamonds or diamonds with reversible treatments as this could lead to confusion in the Australian market.

Source: DCLA 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jewellery group Bevilles latest to hit the rocks

Bevilles by the numbers.
Bevilles by the numbers. Source: HeraldSun
SPIRALLING costs in a tough retail climate have claimed another scalp as the 80-year-old jewellery group, Bevilles, falls into voluntary administration.
The family-owned group which is based in Melbourne warned there would be store closures, with up to 250 of its 477 employees expected to be made redundant. It has 17 of its 27 stores in Victoria, with the rest in Sydney and Adelaide.
Chief executive Michelle Beville, whose grandparents founded Bevilles in 1934, said the group had been working to trim store sizes in a move that would cut rent costs and staffing requirements.
But complications around leases and the resizing program meant the company had been unable to roll out the smaller format quickly.
Macca’s view
Macca’s view
“Bevilles is a fabulous brand, but the cost structure wasn’t sustainable,” Ms Beville told BusinessDaily.
“We have been trying very hard to restructure the business from a cost perspective, but leases are a big part of the costs.”
Ms Beville said the Beville family had proposed a restructure plan to the administrators, PPB Advisory, which would see the family buy back a number of the stores. The stores would then be converted as quickly as possible to the smaller-format model, which does not stock giftware lines.
Ms Beville said two smaller stores launched in Highpoint shopping centre and in Sydney last year had been well received.
The group’s creditors are mainly suppliers both in Australia and overseas.
Administrators are expected to make a decision by the start of May.

Source: Jane Harper
Herald Sun

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mbada workers in $3m diamond scandal

Six employees with Mbada Diamonds at Chiadzwa are at the centre of a $3 million diamonds case for allegedly supplying several carats of the precious stones they stole from their employer to an Indian businessman in Mutare in a well-calculated scandal that saw them being paid with vehicles. 
Prominent Mutare lawyer Chris Ndlovu and businessman Mudassar Khan being escorted to court by CID details on Wednesday
Prominent Mutare lawyer Chris Ndlovu and businessman Mudassar Khan being escorted to court by CID details on Wednesday
This was revealed on Wednesday at the Mutare Magistrates’ Court where Mudassar Khan appeared before Mutare senior magistrate Mrs Sekesayi Chiundura facing 12 counts of illegally dealing in or possessing precious stones and theft charges.
The six — Simbarashe Gondo (sorter), Hardlife Kuudzehwe (dozer operator), Temba Mvalo (dozer operator), Talkmore Chigeza (sorter), Innocent Tsindi (power screen operator) and Alexander Daru (sorter) — have since confirmed their involvement in the scandal.
They allegedly received several vehicles from Khan as tokens of appreciation or payment for supplying the gems. The cars have since been recovered and impounded by the police.
Khan is the director of Akin Investments which is into diamond cutting and polishing. He is also a co-director at Kassim Wholesalers in Mutare.
Public prosecutor Mr Malvin Musarurwa told the court that the police got to know of the scandal following a tip-off.
“On March 18, a tip-off was received to the effect that the accused was illegally dealing in diamonds with Mbada Diamonds employees. The information further indicated that the accused was using his company licence as cover-up. As a result, between March 19 and 23, investigations were carried out into the matter and it was established that the accused was involved in the illegal dealings.
“The accused bought the diamonds from the employees who smuggled them out of the mining fields at Chiadzwa. The investigation further established that the accused recruited three agents, Charles Chave, Albie Marima and Charles Gonzo, as his runners. Their duties were mainly to transport the employees from Chiadzwa to Mutare and back to deliver the diamonds at his offices.”
After supplying the diamonds, the Mbada employees were allegedly given cars that range from $5 500 to $30 000.
Gonzo was allegedly given a Toyota Hilux (ABH 0248), Kuudzehwe allegedly received a Honda FIT (ADE 2003), Mvalo allegedly got a Mercedes-Benz (ACJ 8851), Chigeza was allegedly given two vehicles; a Honda FIT (ACV 2829) and a Mercedes-Benz sprinter. Tsindi and Daru allegedly got a Nissan March and Toyota Hiace minibus respectively.
The court also heard that the accused recruited Tapfumaneyi Karingamupembe to become his buyer of diamonds at Chiadzwa. The accused later claimed that Karingamupembe had caused a loss of $3 000 in one of their transactions.

As a result, the accused confiscated the buyer’s Toyata Chaser held under his custody and disposed it.
Mr Musarurwa opposed the granting of bail, saying the accused would interfere with State witnesses and that he had a propensity to keep on illegally dealing in the diamonds if he is left to go home.
The State called on the investigation officer, Chief Superintendent Alison Nyamupaguma, to tell the court why the accused should be denied bail.
He said Khan had earlier interfered with witnesses during investigations by telling them to lie that they did not receive the vehicles from them and that they must hide some of the exhibits.
“As we approached some of the witnesses, we discovered that the accused had influenced them, telling them not to tell the truth once approached by the investigating team. The accused phoned four of the Mbada Diamonds employees and influenced them not to disclose the nature of their transactions and also deny that he gave them the motor vehicles in question. Some of the vehicles had been removed from Mutare to Rusape. Certain exhibits are still out there and we need about three weeks because some of the people key to this case are in Gweru and Harare,” he said.
Chief Supt Nyamupaguma said if granted bail Khan would continue with the illegal trade.
“The accused’s licence expired on January 13, 2014. He will not stop dealing in diamonds because that is how he survives. Even when his licence expired, he kept on dealing in diamonds.”
Defence lawyer Mr Tafadzwa Charles Hungwe of Venturas and Samukange Legal Practitioners said his client was a good candidate for bail and was not a flight risk.
He said the Mbada employees were the chief culprits to this case and they must be in the dock together with Khan.
“These employees are alleged to have been transported by certain individuals to the accused. But where are these people? They are the suspects together with the employees. The accused person is not in any way involved.”
Mrs Chiundura granted Khan $3 000 bail with stringent reporting conditions.
She said arguments raised by the State that they needed time to finish investigations and thus the accused must be remanded in custody do not hold water because the police must investigate first before making arrests. She said since Khan handed himself over to the police in Harare after he heard of the investigations was sufficient enough to show that he would not abscond court.