Brits’ £1.6bn of lost jewellery


A study by drainage specialist Lanes Group has found that a staggering £1.6 billion worth of jewellery could have disappeared down Britain’s drains, with 14% of Brits who have personally lost a piece of jewellery to the sewers.

The nationwide drainage contractors commissioned the study after they helped Thames Water rescue the wedding ring of filmmaker Pascal Gunter when he accidentally lost the ring down a drain while out filming.

Despite Mr Gunter’s misfortune, the study found that women are a lot more likely than men to lose a piece of jewellery to a drainage system. With around one in five (19%) of female respondents who had lost jewellery claiming to have lost an item in this way, compared to only 8% of men surveyed.

Out of those unfortunate enough to lose a piece of jewellery, an impressive quarter of respondents managed to get their last piece back.

Aside from in drainage systems, one of the most likely places to mislay jewellery was while on holiday, with 20% of respondents either having personally lost an item on holiday, or knowing someone who had.

In terms of the pieces lost, it seems

Designer & Antique Jewels at Dreweatts

Designer & Antique Jewels

LONDON, Dover Street – Featuring over 300 lots, Dreweatts’ Iconic Jewels & Treasures on Thursday 3rd December will present pieces from top designers including David Webb, Cartier and Bulgari. The sale, taking place at Ely House, London, will bring together a number of private collections that have in some cases remained unseen for decades.

The sale offers a menagerie of David Webb’s signature enamelled and jewelled animal bracelets and rings from a private collection. Prices for these iconic jewels range from £800 for an enamel and diamond Leo ring [Lot 293] to £22,000 for an enamel and diamond leopard bracelet [Lot 294]. Webb’s statement pieces have adorned the rich, famous and beautiful for decades from Elizabeth Taylor to Jennifer Lawrence.

The top ateliers are well represented in the sale featuring both Cartier and Bulgari at prices to suit all pockets. The leading highlight from Cartier is a belle epoque diamond set lapel pin with catch fob, circa 1920, estimate £60,000-80,000 [Lot 122]. Further highlights from Cartier include a collection of Art Deco charms split into three lots priced from £400 that include a House

New Proposal Generator Launched to Inspire Britons Romantic Moments


A new ‘proposal generator’ has been launched by a diamond expert in order to inspire the British public and inject an extra dose of romance into the nation’s propositions of marriage. The company was inspired by the findings of a recent poll, which revealed that more than half of recently engaged women in the UK felt their proposal lacked imagination or thought.

As the trend of extravagant and outrageous proposals continues and the pressure mounts for those looking to propose, a new microsite has been launched in order to guide those looking for inspiration surrounding how to pop the big question.

Celebrity-favoured diamond jewellery brand, Vashi (, has launched the website in the run up to the Christmas and New Year holiday, when the team consistently notices a huge spike in the sales of engagement rings. Having recently polled 1,000 newly engaged men and found that more than two thirds (68%) felt under pressure to keep up with extravagant proposal trends, the company decided to launch a site to help those planning to propose during the festive season; offering suggestions for the recipient’s dream proposal and encouraging visitors to consider their partner’s personality

National Ring Is Suspected in Jewelry Heists

A ring of jewelry thieves that for decades has terrorized the jewelry industry throughout the country is resurfacing locally, police say.

“It’s rearing its ugly head again,” said Det. Mike Woodings of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Woodings, who has been tracking the ring since 1988, said the holdup of an Encino jewelry manufacturer last week appears to be the work of the national syndicate.

The jewelry maker, whom police would not identify, was followed here from a trade show in Atlanta, Woodings said. As the man got out of his car at his Encino home, several armed men confronted him and stole $350,000 worth of jewelry, Woodings said.

And two weeks earlier, a salesman was followed from his downtown jewelry market to his Woodland Hills home. Gunmen took his car and the jewels he had with him, valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Woodings said.

Police believe the heists are orchestrated by a ring of thieves, primarily of Colombian background, that targets wholesalers in major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and New York.

The LAPD formed a jewelry theft task force in 1997 to fight the syndicate. In its first seven months of

Jewelers City Question State Action

When state regulators moved to close down a Los Angeles jewelry manufacturing center recently, they stunned not only business owners in the thriving downtown district but also local government officials, who had been working for nearly two years to get the industry to voluntarily improve safety conditions.

The jewelry makers complain that they were blindsided by the state action after working with Los Angeles city building and fire officials to improve their operations. The business owners fear those actions could be for naught if state Environmental Protection Agency officials move aggressively to close other jewelry manufacturers.

But state regulators say they are just doing their job–responding to health complaints and protecting the well-being of low-wage workers who perform much of the painstaking work in the aging buildings.

To manufacturers, it’s a case of the government showing two faces. And they have at least one defender in the state government. “It’s lawyers versus policymakers,” said Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, who represents the jewelry district.

Cedillo has called for a meeting with Cal/EPA officials and hopes to resolve the issue in a way that will address the state’s safety concerns, but not threaten the future of an industry

16 L.A. businesses accused of selling jewelry tainted with lead

State officials have filed a lawsuit against 16 downtown Los Angeles jewelry stores and distributors, accusing them of selling items with toxic levels of lead.

Capping a three-year investigation, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control said at a news conference Tuesday that it had seized 306 pieces of jewelry that were found to be tainted with high levels of lead and cadmium.

The jewelry seized was mainly inexpensive adult and children’s jewelry, said Brian Johnson, the department’s deputy director of enforcement. “This is not the semiprecious and precious metal jewelry industry. Their pieces do not have lead and cadmium.”

The lawsuit said the businesses failed to comply with state laws and regulations that set strict limits on the amount of lead in jewelry made or sold in California.

Adults and children exposed to high levels of lead can suffer severe health effects, including nausea, anemia, abdominal pain and in some cases death, the lawsuit said. Young children are particularly susceptible to high levels of lead in jewelry, it said.

The suit, filed by the state attorney general’s office in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks to stop the illegal practices, which carry fines of as

Getting the lead out of kids’ jewelry

The little boy, brought to a Minneapolis hospital emergency room because of vomiting and a stomachache, got steadily worse. After four days, he died.

During an autopsy, a heart-shaped metal charm was found in the stomach of the boy, whose identity wasn’t revealed. The piece of metal had the word Reebok printed on it.

The charm had come with a pair of children’s sneakers. A test revealed it to be 99.1% lead.

Other children have become sick from swallowing jewelry containing lead, and many such products have been recalled. But this death helped ensure the passage of laws in several states restricting lead content in children’s jewelry.

And as of March 1, lead content in jewelry meant for adults also will be regulated in California.

For the jewelry industry, it has been a major shift.

“Before the time of Cleopatra, men and women wore jewelry, ornaments made of metal with lead content,” said Michael Gale, executive director of the Fashion Jewelry Trade Assn.

Gale said metal containing lead has many advantages for jewelry makers, including pliability, low melting point and low cost.

Since September, children’s jewelry sold or manufactured in California can’t have lead content of more than 600

Burnishing a jewelry business

Some people wait years before their creative talents are recognized. Robert Keith waited less than 24 hours.

It was 2005 and Keith, a fashion photographer looking for a new challenge, had just made his first piece of fine jewelry: a gold ring that looked like a miniature version of a ship’s anchor chain.

“I was so proud of it, I put it on my finger and I went down the street the next day to a Starbucks,” Keith said, “and a lady tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Excuse me, where did you get that ring? Is it vintage?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘actually, I made it.'”

Keith landed his first sale that day, using a drinking straw sleeve to size the customer’s ring finger. He was stunned when she readily accepted his price of $3,000, the cost of a ring he had seen at a jewelry store a few days earlier.

Today, Keith and his business partner, Kether Parker, are the primary names behind the rings, bracelets, earrings and other high-end items in the Hoorsenbuhs jewelry collection favored by starlets and rock stars. Despite the Dutch lineage of its name, the jewelry is designed