End of the week news in retail and jewelry

For the first time, radiocarbon age dating is being used on a freshwater pearl that is going to the auction block at Christi’s in Geneva on May 15, 2019. Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF used radiocarbon age-dating to pinpoint the provenance of the historic Ana Maria Pearl. The carbon- 14 analysis revealed that the 30.24-carat saltwater pearl was formed sometime between the 16th and 17th century. This fits in with the historical data about the pearl. It was said to be discovered during the 16th century with the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

Ana Maria Pearl up for auction

The scientific innovation provided through radiocarbon age-dating is a critical addition to the extensive work done on documenting the provenance of exceptional items such as the Ana Maria Pearl.” The pearl is expected to fetch between $800,00 to $1.2 million.

The pearl is believed to have been owned by Ana María de Sevilla y Villanueva, XIV marchioness of Camarasa. It was believed to be a gift from King Charles V of Spain to her noble family, which owned it for generations.


Pandora is expected to close 50 stores as sales dropped during the first quarter of 2019.

New concept for Pandora

The company was happier to talk about the success of some of its recent U.S. initiatives, including a new one with Colombian singer Shakira targeting Hispanic consumers. Pandora plans to start working with other “influencers,” it said. So Pandora will be looking for celebrities to hawk their charms and other pieces. Seems like that is the answer so many come to, and I personally find it sad that that is what it takes to sell a nice item like Pandora.

Sales of its signature charms fell 17%. The company has been cutting staff and will lay off 1200 at the manufacturing site. This same facility in Thailand laid off 700 people earlier this year.


Diamonds are the most portable form of wealth on the planet. At any given time you can fly anywhere on earth and purchase a one-carat white diamond. Not so with a pink. There may be only 2 or 3 stores in the world that will have a pink diamond that size. By some freak of nature, only one-tenth of one percent of all diamonds are pink in the Argyle mine in Australia. This is a tiny number for sure but by world standards it is huge. Pink diamonds are Australia’s most valuable export, and they produce 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds

. Red and blue diamonds, which are also produced at Argyle, are exponentially rarer (and even more valuable) than pinks, but are classified within the same “fancy color diamond” system – yes, that’s the official term. Indeed, the most valuable stone per carat ever found at Argyle was a purplish red stone: the Argyle Muse, a 2.28ct fancy purplish red, which lies at the end of the official pink spectrum. Only 29 fancy red stones have been found at Argyle, and only a handful ever worldwide.

red diamond

Pink diamonds are not only ridiculously hard to find, but they’re also hard to cut, hard to polish and hard to set. They are the “talented problem children” of the diamond world. Their two-billion-year history has been full of complications and crises. But, at the bottom, their ultimate allure has never faltered. If you can discover them beneath the earth, endure the hardships of their retrieval, solve the problems of their processing, and wrangle them into their final, joyfully lovely form, they are very, very easy to sell. Such a rarity and even considering the price they go quickly.

“We had a lady in one of our stores the other day,” recalls Calleija, “who was just walking past and saw a pink diamond ring in the window. She came in, she tried it on. We call it the Cinderella moment: it fit perfectly, and 20 minutes later, she bought it. For more than $2 million. This being the store in Australia, Linney’s Jewelers.

Argyle Pink Diamond

The Argyle mine has been exhausted and is expected to close in 2020 or possibly 2021. Everyone loves pink. At Linney’s, there is a 12- year-old who placed a tiny pink diamond on lay a way. A two year lay a way that is.

Pink diamonds go through one additional pressure on the molecular structure and this stress distorts the lattice and changes the diamond from white to pink. Other color diamonds have atoms of boron or hydrogen trapped in the lattice and you get other fancy colored diamonds. It was recently discovered by GIA that boron atoms give blue diamonds their color. Rare at best. Diamonds are fussy and only come about through certain heat and pressure, too little or too much and no diamond. When conditions are just right, you get a diamond and then added pressure on the lattice gives pink but too much and you get brown and there is no going back to pink.

The Hope Diamond