RAPAPORT… PRESS RELEASE, September 14, 2011, New York: The Rapaport International Diamond Conference took place on Monday, September 12, 2011. Over 430 people from around the world attended the conference – either at The Times Center in New York or by viewing the conference live online.
The morning session – The Market for Luxury Jewelry commenced with Pam Danziger, of Unity Marketing, presenting the changing picture of today’s luxury consumer. She emphasized the importance of creating a luxury experience for the consumer, noting that an improved experience changes the consumer’s perception of the product itself. Sotheby’s Gary Schuler outlined the shift in markets from trade buyers in the U.S. to private buyers in Asia, while Lisa Hubbard, also of Sotheby’s, gave a lively tour of the highlights of the auction house’s top jewelry sales over recent years. “Learning about and sharing the history of a piece of jewelry can add tremendous value,” Hubbard noted during her presentation. A panel discussion then debated the latest in jewelry trends, with Amber Michelle, Editor in Chief of the Rapaport Magazine identifying the top three current trends as black diamonds, “funky” or organic diamonds, and charms.
Diamonds and Social Responsibility – Real Solutions to Real Problems, in the afternoon, focused on positive strides made by industry and government toward ethical and sustainable diamonds. Brad Brooks-Rubin of the U.S. State Department discussed PRADD, a collaborative land tenure program in the Central African Republic and Liberia. Matthew Runci of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), provided an overview of the RJC Chain of Custody standards, noting that responsible business practices are not just a good idea for the industry, but actually vital to its survival in today’s world. Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group, introduced a plan for Rapaport Ethical Certification. Louis Sagar, executive director of the GreenShows, gave participants a fresh perspective on ethical branding, and emphasized that “sustainability in the fashion and jewelry industry is not a trend, it’s a movement.”
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About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added value services that support the development of free, fair and competitive global diamond markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source of diamond prices and market information. Group activities include publishing, research and marketing services, internet information and diamond trading networks, global rough and polished diamond tenders, diamond certification, quality- control, compliance, shipping, and financial services. Major activities of the group include the development of markets for Fair Trade Diamonds and Jewelry as well as the creation of diamond futures markets. Additional information is available at www.Rapaport.com .