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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gold roses, anyone?

The roses, which were made of Au99.99 gold foil were displayed in the shape of a heart at a jeweley store in Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu province on Dec 15.

They are worth 600,000 yuan (US$90,165) and were bought by a man, whose surname means 'gold' in Chinese, according to an online report.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

UAE hotel erects 11-million-dollar Christmas tree

ABU DHABI (AFP) - – Christmas came in extravagant fashion to the Muslim desert emirate of Abu Dhabi as a glitzy hotel unveiled a bejewelled Christmas tree valued at more than 11 million dollars on Wednesday.
It is the "most expensive Christmas tree ever," with a "value of over 11 million dollars," said Hans Olbertz, general manager of Emirates Palace hotel, at its inauguration.
The 13-metre (40-foot) faux evergreen, located in the gold leaf-bedecked rotunda of the hotel, is decorated with silver and gold bows, ball-shaped ornaments and small white lights.

But the necklaces, earrings and other jewellery draped around the tree's branches are what give it a record value.

It holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones, said Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery, which provided the jewellery.

"The tree itself is about 10,000 dollars," Olbertz said. "The jewellery has a value of over 11 million dollars -- I think 11.4, 11.5."

This will probably be an entry into the Guinness book of world records, Olbertz said, adding that Emirates Palace planned to contact the organisation about the tree which is to stay until the end of the year.

Asked if the tree might offend religious sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates, where the vast majority of the local population is Muslim, Olbertz said he did not think it would. "It's a very liberal country," he said.

The hotel has had a Christmas tree up in previous years, but this year "we said we have to do something different," and the hotel's marketing team hatched the plan, said Olbertz.

The tree is not the first extravagant offering from Emirates Palace -- a massive, dome-topped hotel sitting amid fountains and carefully manicured lawns.

The hotel, which bills itself as seven-star, in February introduced a package for a seven-day stay priced at one million dollars.

Takers of the package have a private butler and a chauffeur driven Maybach luxury car at their disposal during their stay, as well as a private jet available for trips to other countries in the region.

And in May, the hotel opened a gold vending machine, becoming the first place outside Germany to install "gold to go, the world's first gold vending machine," said Ex Oriente Lux AG, the German company behind the machine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Diamond swapper nabbed

A MAN has been arrested for swapping real diamonds with replica diamond crystals at goldsmith shops.

Police arrested the 38-year-old suspect on Thursday night.

The man entered busy goldsmith stores, pretending as if he wanted to purchase a one-carat diamond and asking to examine it.

He would wait for the shop attendant to look away or attend to other customers before swapping the genuine diamond for the fake. The man would then leave the store claiming he needed more time to consider.

The suspect was caught near Yio Chu Kang MRT station in an operation staged on Thursday.

He will be tried in court for cheating on Saturday under Section 420 Chapter 224. If convicted, he faces imprisonment of up to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pink diamond sells for record $46M at auction

GENEVA – A rare pink diamond smashed the world record for a jewel at auction Tuesday, selling for more than $46 million to a well-known gem dealer.
London jeweler Laurence Graff paid $46,158,674, for the 24.78-carat "fancy intense pink" diamond, which he immediately named "The Graff Pink."
"It is the most fabulous diamond I've seen in the history of my career and I'm delighted to have bought it," Graff said in a statement released by auction house Sotheby's, which offered the stone at its Geneva sale.
The sale price was almost double the $24.3 million achieved by the blue 35.56-carat Wittelsbach-Graff diamond in 2008. That was also bought by Graff.
"This is the highest price ever bid for a jewel at auction," said David Bennett, the head of Sotheby's jewelry division, as the auction room in Geneva's luxury Beau Rivage hotel erupted into applause.
"Everybody was surprised it went that high," Mart van Drunen, a jeweler from Amsterdam, commented after the sale. "He clearly wants to have all the rarest diamonds in the world."
Rich buyers from developing countries have been dipping their hand in the high end of the market in recent years, but experts say emerging middle classes particularly in India are doing as much if not more to lift prices. Ongoing doubts about the stock market have also helped drive up the value of gold and precious jewels, said van Drunen.
Four bidders competed for the pink diamond, which was last sold 60 years ago by New York jeweler Harry Winston. The seller chose to remain anonymous, said Sotheby's.
Graff had the blue diamond recut after purchase, to the displeasure of purists who considered it an act of vandalism against a unique object. It wasn't immediately known whether he planned to alter the pink diamond, which Sotheby's says has a flaw unnoticeable to the naked eye but may be graded as internally flawless after re-polishing.
Sotheby's said it sold jewels worth $105.1 million Tuesday, also a world record for a single sale. The auction included items once belonging to Christina Onassis, the daughter of the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and Cristina Ford, the second wife of Henry Ford's grandson Henry Ford II."I think this tells you a bit about the health of the market," Bennett told reporters after the sale.

A Sotheby's employee displays a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink emerald-cut diamond ring during an auction …

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Poison via email...

Got this advert via email today...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gold hits record on inflation worry, Europe debt

By Rujun Shen

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Gold rose to a record for the fourth straight session on Tuesday as inflation worries and euro zone sovereign debt woes continue to lure investors to precious metals.

Spot silver hit a new 30-year high of $28.16, and palladium extended gains to a new nine-year peak of $714.25. Spot gold rose to an all-time high of $1,414.60 an ounce, before easing to $1,413.50 by 0706 GMT.

"Liquidity is being thrown into the market place, the dollar is being debased as a way the U.S. government can get out of debt obligations, while Asian central banks keep buying dollars and keep their currencies cheap," said a Singapore-based trader.

"Hard assets are just going to continue to benefit. There is a good argument for these metals to go up. There is a lot of momentum to buy."

The target for this round of rally could be $1,475 or even $1,500, in the next three weeks, the trader added.

Vietnam's central bank said it would relax a gold import ban and allow in "reasonable volumes" to stabilise the domestic market, a move that is expected support sentiment.

Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, gained 2.43 tonnes to 1,294.196 tonnes, their highest so far this month.

Gold is expected to rise towards $1,430 per ounce, as the uptrend is steady and a wave "5" is advancing, said Wang Tao, a Reuters technical analyst.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lunar New Year 2011 coins

Christmas is not even over... and UOB has already started to send out its brochure for the Gold Coins to usher in the year of the rabbits!

Must say that the collection for the 2011 Lunar New Year of the Rabbit looks pretty nice.
Personally, I have not purchased any such coins from UOB, as I purchase mine from Singapore Mint on a yearly basis.

So perhaps, this year, I will have an option?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beauty and you...

Getting sick and tired of your job?

Been in your old career for too long a time and thinking of changing your career to find a new you?

What about considering a career in beauty and aesthetics? Don’t have the skills? Fret not! Here’s the prefect antidote for you! Whether you are thinking about venturing into spa, beauty or wellness, there are many cosmetology colleges and/or aesthetic schools around to choose from, but how do you select the right one for your needs? Check out Spabeauty Schools, they have plenty of courses to select from! presents unparalleled performance-based advertising, marketing, and recruitment solutions. For aspiring spa professionals, the site offers detailed information on their educational options within their zip codes, informational resources, and articles highlighting career paths, profiles, as well as strategies for success.

If you are already in business, you might like to check out the Hair and Beauty Salon Business Plan: it is a great software to use for your business. From calculating start up capital, to inventory control for products and services, management strategy and management summary, all these information will definitely be at the tips of your fingers with just a click!

So what don’t the recommendations sound great? Why not try it today!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

'Desirable' 38M dlr pink diamond up for auction

GENEVA (AFP) - – Auctioneers Sotheby's said Monday that a rare pink diamond valued at up to 38 million dollars (28 million euros) would go on sale in Geneva next month, dubbing it one of the "world's most desirable stones."
The 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink Diamond mounted on a ring comes from a private collection, the auction house said.

The gemstone, rated among a type that accounts for just two percent of diamonds, was last seen on the market about 60 years ago when it was sold by legendary US jeweller Harry Winston.

"During my 35-year career at Sothebys I have had the opportunity to examine many magnificent and rare gemstones and, put simply, this stone is one of the most desirable diamonds I have ever seen," said David Bennett, chairman for Europe and the Middle East at Sothebys international jewellery department.

"What makes it so immensely rare is the combination of its exceptional colour and purity with the classic emerald-cut -- a style of cutting normally associated with white diamonds," he added.

Sotheby's gave a pre-sale estimate of 27 to 38 million dollars for the fancy pink diamond, which will go under the hammer on November 16.

Blue, pink and green coloured diamonds are currently the most sought-after gemstones in auctions, according to the auction house.

Several elite auctioneers including rivals Christie's hold glittering jewellery sales every year in the western Swiss city's luxury hotels during one week in spring and autumn.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 5Cs of your Business Insurance

Just as how jewellery needs insurance against theft, we too need insurance for our health…

As much as you know how to choose a diamond based on the theoretical 5 Cs of diamonds, how does one choose a personal health insurance plan? Sounds like a tough nut to crack is it? So can you imagine how much more difficult is it to get a group health insurance quote? Just imagine how many more factors there would be to consider from: co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles, and the details of the coverage!

Providing group health insurance for employees is a priority for many businesses, be it large or small, but the rising costs of group health policies are making it harder to choose the right one for your employees and your budget. Choose the right health plan for your business by understanding what’s available and how much it costs.

Understanding health plans for your business insurance quotes is much like understanding the differences between individual insurance plans. To keep both yourself and your employees happy you need to understand how much the plan costs for you, how much your employees are responsible for paying, and what the plan covers.

So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a fuss free business insurance policy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Singapore JewelFest 2010

Another invite for the Singapore Jewelfest 2010!!!!

Can't wait to go!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

How to invest in gold and key price drivers

Reuters - Gold surges to a record above $1,313 an ounce on Wednesday after a spate of lacklustre U.S. data fuelled expectations the Fed may move towards further quantitative easing to help the economy, undermining the dollar.

Following are key facts about the market and different ways to invest in the precious metal.



Large buyers and institutional investors generally buy the metal from big banks.

London is the hub of the global spot gold market, with more than $20 billion in trades passing through London's clearing system each day. To avoid cost and security risks, bullion is not usually physically moved and deals are cleared through paper transfers.

Other significant markets for physical gold are India, China, the Middle East, Singapore, Turkey, Italy and the United States.


Investors can also enter the market via futures exchanges, where people trade in contracts to buy or sell a particular commodity at a fixed price on a certain future date.

The COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange is the world's largest gold futures market in terms of trading volume. The Tokyo Commodity exchange, popularly known as TOCOM, is the most important futures market in Asia.

China launched its first gold futures contract on Jan. 9, 2008. Several other countries, including India, Dubai and Turkey, have also launched futures exchanges.


The wider media coverage of high gold prices has also attracted investments into exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which issue securities backed by physical metal and allow people to gain exposure to the underlying gold prices without taking delivery of the metal itself.

Gold held in New York's SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed ETF, rose to a record high of 1,320.436 tonnes in June. The ETF's holdings are equivalent to more than half global annual mine supply, and are worth some $54.9 billion at today's prices.

Other gold ETFs include iShares COMEX Gold Trust , ETF Securities' Gold Bullion Securities and ETFS Physical Gold, and Zurich Cantonal Bank's Physical Gold.


Retail investors can buy gold from metals traders selling bars and coins in specialist shops or on the Internet. They pay a small premium for investment products, of between 5-20 percent above spot price depending on the size of the product and the weight of demand.



Rising interest in commodities, including gold, from investment funds in recent years has been a major factor behind bullion's rally to historic highs. Gold's strong performance in recent years has attracted more players and increased inflows of money into the overall market.


Despite the recent drop in the usual strong correlation between gold and the euro-dollar exchange rate, the currency market still plays a major long-term role in setting the direction of gold.

Gold is a usually popular hedge against currency weakness. A weak U.S. currency also makes dollar-priced gold cheaper for holders of other currencies and vice versa.

This link sometimes breaks down in times of widespread financial market stress, however, as both gold and the dollar benefit from risk aversion. Their ratio turned positive in late 2008 and early 2009 after the Lehman Brothers crisis.


Gold has historically had a correlation with crude oil prices, as the metal can be used as a hedge against oil-led inflation. Strength in crude prices can also boost interest in commodities as an asset class. More recently this correlation has weakened, with gold prices continuing to rise in the last two years as oil prices retreated from record peaks.


The precious metal is widely considered a "safe haven", bought in a flight to quality during uncertain times.

Financial market shocks, as seen in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and more recently in the case of burgeoning euro zone debt problems, tend to boost inflows to gold.

Major geopolitical events including bomb blasts, terror attacks and assassinations can also induce price rises.


Central banks hold gold as part of their reserves. Buying or selling of the metal by the banks can influence prices.

On Aug. 7, 2009, a group of 19 European central banks agreed to renew a pact to limit gold sales, originally signed in 1999 and renewed for a further five years in 2004.

Annual sales under the pact are limited to 400 tonnes, down from 500 tonnes in the second agreement, which expired in late September . Sales under the new pact have been low, however.


At the beginning of the 21st century, when gold prices were languishing around $300 an ounce, gold producers sold a part of their expected output with a promise to deliver the metal at a future date.

But when prices started rising, they suffered losses and there was a move to buy back their hedging positions to fully gain from higher market prices, a practice known as de-hedging.

Significant producer de-hedging can boost market sentiment and support gold prices. However, the rate of de-hedging has slowed markedly in recent years as the outstanding global hedge book shrank.

The world's biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold, cut its gold hedges by about 3 million ounces to eliminate its entire hedgebook in the fourth quarter of last year.


Supply and demand fundamentals generally do not play as big a role in determining gold prices as those of other commodities because of huge above-ground stocks, now estimated at around 160,000 tonnes -- more than 60 times annual mine production.

Gold is not "consumed" like copper or oil.

Peak buying seasons in major consuming countries such as India and China exert some influence on the market, but others factors such as the dollar and financial risk carry more weight.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Get your cuppa of creativity at Cafepress!

Fancy having customised movie posters or even stationery in your home? Or want that latest poster from movies after reading a review on Rotten Tomatoes?

What is CafePress? It is certainly not a food eatery!

They are a good online destination for expressing yourself through merchandise. From your favorite custom T-shirt and hoodie, to the tote bag over your shoulder and bumper sticker on your car, they have one hundred and one ways to let you express your interests through various forms of media.

CafePress is for people who love sharing their passions with others. You'll find individual designers with shops of all sizes, as well as corporate stores like Snoopy, E! Online, Stand Up To Cancer and more. With no upfront costs or inventory risk (we also take care of those thorny details of doing business online, so you can concentrate on sharing what's important to you), CafePress designers use their shops to connect with a world of members and other online shoppers. All while taking advantage of the latest developments in on-demand printing.

250million unique products
11 million unique visits per month
Roughly 45,000 new, unique products are added each day
2000 new, independent shops join the network each day
One site - CafePress!

Check out some cool designs:

Also, designing projects is a breeze with their online editor:

Check out this mouse pad design that was made within 10 mins!

Easy as ABC!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Golden Mooncakes, anyone?

A saleswoman presents four golden mooncakes in a jewery shop in Jinan' s Quancheng Road, east China's Shandong Province Sunday, September 17, 2006. The golden mooncakes, weighing between 10-30 grams, are designed with vivid resemblance to traditional ones. The mooncake is traditional food the Mid-autume Day, which falls on the 15th day of August in Chinese lunar calendar.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gold hits new high on econ worries, weak dollar

By Rujun Shen

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Gold surged to a new record and silver struck a new 2-½ year high on Friday on investor concerns over global economic prospects, while a weak dollar helped boost sentiment.

Spot gold hit a high of $1,280.1 an ounce, before easing to $1,279.2 by 0600 GMT, on course for a 2.9-percent rise from a week earlier, the sharpest in more than 3 months.

"Uncertain economic prospects, especially in the U.S., have helped gold continue to hit record highs," said Hou Xinqiang, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in China. "Even though prices have gone higher, bullish sentiment in the market is still intensifying."

Data out of the U.S. on Thursday showed an improved job market, while factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic continued to contract in September , albeit at a slower pace.

The euro rose to a one-month high against the dollar, with dealers citing buying from real money investors, or long-term investors such as pension funds and life insurers.

"Gold in recent times has been tracking the fortunes of the euro," said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Australia in Sydney. "Given that the euro has appreciated by a big figure against the U.S. dollar, it wasn't surprising to see gold not only test the $1,275 level but break through it."

"As we are trading gold around that number now, the momentum is very positive for potential testing of $1,300 in the next few days."

U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1,280.9 an ounce.

Technical analysis showed that spot gold could rise to $1,286 an ounce as per a flag and pennant pattern, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst.

Gold premium in Hong Kong was unchanged after it hit a record for a second time this week, at a premium of between 50 to 70 cents to spot London prices.

"There is not much scrap around these days. Selling is not too aggressive, unless the ETF turned around," said Ronald Leung, a physical dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong .

"Only if interest rates were raised, people's attitude towards gold would change from bullish to bearish. But for the near term, we don't see anything."

Spot silver vaulted to a 2-1/2-year high of $20.94 an ounce, and softened to 20.88, heading for a 5.7-percent weekly gain.

The gold/silver ratio, used to measure the ounces of silver needed to buy an ounce of gold, has been on a steady decline since late August. It stood at a nearly 8-month low of 61.27, way below the average of 64.38 over the past 28 years.

Spot platinum hit an intraday high of $1,617.5, within sight of a near 4-month peak of $1,618 hit in the previous session. Platinum is on course for a weekly gain of 5 percent, the sharpest in 8 months.

Palladium gained 1.4 percent to $552.5 an ounce, poised for a 7-percent gain from a week earlier, the biggest since late June.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Fancy a locket?

No, lockets are no longer a thing of the past whereby they are just designed to be a pendant that opens to reveal a space used for storing a photograph or other small item such as a curl of hair or even photographs!

Check out some cool silver lockets from They make use of amazing laser technology to insert your photos directly into lockets. The best thing is: you can send your pictures online via their website for them to customize your locket!

Try it today!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Islamic gold dinar gains ground in Malaysia: official

Imagine using gold to make your purchases in real life?

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4, 2010 (AFP) – Malaysians are embracing gold dinars which were introduced last month by the northern state of Kelantan to promote usage of Islamic currency as an alternative to paper money, an official said Saturday.

The gold coins and silver dirhams were introduced in early August by the Islamic opposition party PAS which rules Kelantan state to coincide with the start of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, chief executive officer with Kelantan Golden Trade, said the first batch of gold and silver coins worth two million ringgit (625,000 dollars) had been sold out in less than a month.

"There is enormous response in Malaysia. Their reaction is unbelievable," he told reporters.

"In Kelantan, businesses including garage owners and taxi drivers are using the gold and silver coins."

Civil servants in Kelantan are paid up to 25 percent of their salary in dinars and dirhams if they wish.

Umar said three more Malaysian states controlled by the opposition -- Selangor, Kedah and Penang -- had indicated interest in minting similar coins.

"By the end of the year, we anticipate sales of the dinars and dirhams to hit 60 to 70 million ringgit," he said.

According to Islamic law, the dinar coin is 4.25 grams of gold, while the dirham is 3.0 grams of pure silver.

A gold coin is equivalent to about 582 ringgit (183 dollars) while the silver coin is worth around 13 ringgit but their values fluctuate according to market prices.

The coins were intended to be used as an alternative to the Malaysian ringgit and sen but are not legal tender.

"Of course it is not legal tender," Umar said. "The gold dinar is a commodity. The use of it is on a voluntary basis."

"The government of Kelantan has not received any petition from the government of Malaysia (against the usage)."

"The people in Kelantan have spoken loud and clear that they like the gold and silver coins," Umar said.

Former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whose administration promoted a moderate form of Islam that emphasised economic and scientific development, shot down the proposal to use the traditional Islamic currencies.

But his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, was an advocate of the dinar system and urged Muslim countries to use it as a trade instrument.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Imperial White Jade Seal

An Imperial white jade 'Xintian Zhuren' seal from Chinese Qing Dynasty, are displaying by Sotheby's in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. The seal is expected to fetch HK$25-30 million (US$3.2-3.9 million) during the Sotheby's Hong Kong Qing Imperial Porcelain auction in Oct. 7, 2010.

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Interesting course!

Check out these exclusive Gem Seminars by Dr Henry Hanni, 3rd Oct - 5th Oct 2010 offered by Far East Gem Institute Singapore!!


Contact them at

Far East Gemological Institute Pte Ltd
360 Orchard Rd
#09-04 International Building
Singapore 238869
Tel: (+65) 6735 8569.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taking a pinch of salt!

Now, its really time to take everything on the Internet with a pinch of salt..

I really went LOL when I saw all these:

A pendant with the Chinese characters 'Aunt' on it, becomes marketed as "Strength" and "Tranquillity"

A pendant with the Chinese characters 'Mother and Son' on it, becomes marketed as "Peace" and "Love"
A pendant with the Chinese characters 'Sisters' on it, becomes marketed as "Integrity" and "Determination"
A pendant with the Chinese characters 'Mother and Daughter' on it, becomes marketed as "Love" and "Tranquillity"

The wonders of Chinese characters!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Chinese 'gold' brings Egyptians a taste of little luxury

So all that glitters isn't gold after all!

CAIRO (AFP) - – A Cartier ring for just eight dollars? In Egypt, "Chinese gold"-- an affordable imitation of the precious metal-- has swamped the jewellery market, granting the poor a little taste of luxury.
Chinese 'gold' brings Egyptians a taste of little luxury

As in many other countries, the Egyptian market has been flooded with Chinese goods -- everything from electronics to plastic cigarette lighters have been shouldering locally made goods out of the way.

And in a country where 40 percent of the 80 million population lives on less than two dollars a day, the so-called Chinese gold has been widely welcomed, particularly by young couples who struggle to afford the traditional marriage dowry.

The current price of one gram of 24 carat gold in Egypt stands at 218 Egyptian pounds (38 dollars), while the Chinese version -- a mixture of aluminium, iron and other metals -- only costs around 20 to 30 Egyptian pounds (four to five dollars) per gram.

"Chinese accessories are cheap and elegant, the styles are varied and the best thing is that they look just like gold," said 31-year-old Amira showing off her Chinese trinket.

Ancient Egyptians considered gold the skin of gods, lending it spiritual as well social value.

A walk down Old Cairo -- lined with jewellery shops -- is a testament that the pharaohs' modern-day compatriots still hold high regard for the precious metal.

But as unemployment and rising inflation weighs down on a large part of the population, Egyptians are looking to alternatives for their coquetterie.

Just a short walk from the Khan al-Khalili tourist bazaar is Haret al-Yahud, the old Jewish quarter where gold workshops churned out designs from simple wedding bands to elaborate necklaces.

But many of the jewellers there have switched to selling Chinese gold to improve business.

Amira, an accountant, says she goes to the area especially to buy herself the Chinese goods.

"They look like gold, and most importantly, they are affordable," she said.

"Few have the means to buy real gold these days, which is why the Chinese gold is so in demand," said a woman selling the faux-bijoux in the quarter, who gave her name only as Nora.

"We have very nice rings, imitation Chanel and Cartier for less than 50 Egyptian pounds (around eight dollars)," said Azza Riad, who, making the most of the high demand, has just opened a store in the popular Ain Shams district in northwest Cairo.

"A woman can now by herself an imitation Bulgari set which includes a bracelet, a necklace and earrings for around 150 Egyptian pounds (26 dollars)," she said.

Moreover, "these accessories have the great advantage of keeping their colour for around two years," said Riad, who also owns a shop in Khan al-Khalili.

For young couples struggling to start a new life together, the arrival of Chinese gold has removed at least one obstacle to the costly traditions that surround marriage, including the dowry or "shabka".

A groom is required to offer his bride a shabka of gold -- or diamond for those who can afford it -- in order to seal the marriage deal. This is in addition to him providing housing and furnishing a new apartment ahead of the wedding.

"More and more young couples buy just the wedding bands in real gold and then they buy the rest of the accessories in Chinese gold to complete the shabka," said Riad.

Even many of Cairo's more well-off residents have enjoyed the Asian import.

"I bought Chinese accessories, I wear them often. They allow you to follow fashion trends without ruining your budget," said Faten Faltas, a stay-at-home mother from the affluent neighbourhood of Heliopolis.

"When I wear them, people think it is gold, so why not?", she said.

But Mohamed al-Felawi, who runs a well-known jewellery shop, snubs the Chinese import, saying that to sell it diminishes a jeweller's prestige.

"I would never sell this so-called Chinese gold in my shops. As a jeweller, it would be a scam for me to sell Chinese gold," he said.

Some clients say they can do both, buy Chinese gold for fun and leave real gold to more serious matters, like the shabka.

"I bought earrings for 30 Egyptian pounds (five dollars), it's almost nothing and no one can tell that it's not real gold," said Sylvia Tamer, 43.

But, she concedes, she would never allow her daughter to marry without having received a diamond shabka.

Wasfi Wassef, who owns a jewelry shop in Khan al-Khalili selling real gold, said his business has been hurt by the new accessories on the scene, adding that the imports could be a health hazard.

"It's not real gold. It's a mixture ... metals which go through a chemical treatment to get their golden colour, and this treatment can cause several allergic reactions," he said.

But doctors say Chinese gold is no more dangerous than other fake jewelry.

"Nickel can cause certain allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. But nickel is found in many accessories, including the Chinese gold," said Ramzi Onsi, the head of the department of dermatology in the Ahmed Maher University Hospital.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NMEDA. All opinions are 100% mine.

A non jewellery related post for today.

Nonetheless this information is still pretty relevant to all!

Do you have any relatives/friends that are movement impaired?

If you do, you might want to know more about the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association ( NMEDA) which is a non-profit trade association of mobility equipment dealers, driver rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals dedicated to broadening the opportunities for people with disabilities to drive or be transported in vehicles modified with mobility equipment. All of their members work together to improve transportation options of people with disabilities.

Some background information: NMEDA was formed originally as an association of mobility equipment dealers in the state of Florida. In 1989 membership opened on a national level and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association was established. The organization promotes and supports individual members engaged in the modification of quality transportation for people with disabilities. Membership has grown from 15 to more than 600 members with the bulk of the membership located in the United States and Canada. The Quality Assurance Program (QAP) is the only nationally recognized accreditation program for the Adaptive Mobility Equipment Industry. It is based on the principle that in order to satisfy customers consistently, companies must have a systematic and documented approach to quality, this aids in giving customers a peace of mind; that their mobility equipment is safe and made of suitable material!

Check out their website to find a distributor near you!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Field Report:Singapore International Jewellery Show 2010 by Lee Hwa

Guess its better to let the pictures do the talking!

Here are pictures of the event that took place last Friday at the Singapore Jewellery International Show at Marina Bay Sands!

Other then the initial problem of having guests from the lucky draw to leave the place for invited guests, the show was brilliant!

Gem Quiz Results

At the Singapore International Jewellery Show, I took a gem quiz at Far East Gem Lab.

And they emailed me the answer:

My Results:
No. 1 correct! Black tourmaline aka schorl!
No. 2 wrong!!!! My guess was lemon quartz.. but its a beryl!!
No. 3 correct! Kunzite!
No. 4 correct! Opal!
No. 5 correct! Malachite
No. 6 wrong!!!! I thought it was green tourmaline... but it turned out to be green glass!
No. 7 correct! Tiger's Eye!
No. 8 wrong... was stucked on this one.. turned out to be turquoise.
No. 9 partial wrong... my guess was sodalite.. but its lapiz.. anyway.. itsnt lapiz a rock consisting of sodalite, pyrite and calcite?]
No. 10 right! Jade!
No. 11 rough diamond! Right!
No. 12 Aquamarine beryl! Right
No. 13 Wrong!!! My guess was quartz.
No. 14 Partial Wrong.. my guess was ruby.. but this one's dyed!
No. 15 Right! Amethyst!
No. 16 Right! Ametrine!
No. 17 Wrong! My guess was emerald.. but is dyed quartzine!
No. 18 Right. Sapphire
No. 19 Right! Agate!
No. 20 Right! Amber!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


By placing some simple shapes and colours together...

Came up with this design:

Hope to see it materialized soon.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2 men arrested for stealing diamonds at S’pore Int’l Jewellery Show

SINGAPORE: Police arrested two men suspected of stealing two diamonds at the Singapore International Jewellery Show 2010 at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

They were arrested at about 2.10pm on Thursday.

Police said officers from Central Police Division were conducting anti—crime rounds at the show and spotted the two men behaving suspiciously at one of the booths.

One of them was seen talking to an exhibitor while the other appeared to be taking something from the booth.

Both men left hurriedly after that.

The officers immediately gave chase and detained them outside the exhibition hall.

Two diamonds with a total value of about S$10,000 belonging to the exhibitor were found on one of the suspects.

The two men, aged 39 and 42 years, will be charged in court on Saturday.

In a separate case earlier at the show, a 43—year—old Filipina was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft.

Police said she was seen following visitors of the show closely and was believed to have attempted to steal from their bags.

She will also be charged in court on Saturday. — CNA/vm

Saturday, July 31, 2010

SIJS stash!

Pretty glad with my buys!!!

Going to update with pictures soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SIJS 2010

Attended the first day of the jewelery show today...

And I must say that while the location of the place was pretty much bigger compared to previous years..

The numbers of overseas exhibitors seemed to have dropped drastically!

SIJS here I come...

Pretty excited to attend the show later...

Will update with pictures when avail!

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jade cabochon

Grass green.....

These jade cabochon really turn me green with envy with their greasy oily lustre and nice translucency.

Ps, the ring is not gold though, its meant as an visual aid to display the stone in a setting.

Contemplating to buy them and set them into a trendy look!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New pens!

It has really been a long time since I last spent on pens...

Bought these two Platinum brand pens today. I guess this is my first venture into maki e pens.
For the uninitiated, maki e referes to is Japanese lacquer sprinkled with gold or silver powder as a decoration using a makizutsu or a kebo brush.

Closer pictures: this one shows Japanese cranes, in a typical Japanese style

Whereas the other shows a painting of a dragon...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jade carved ring

Saw a ring carved out entirely from icy jade that day...

Looked pretty nice... now I am feeling tempted to purchase it....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Got a reply from the local jeweller

I finally got a reply from my local jeweler about the discrepancies in pricing for their products.

Read the story here.

Anyway... the reply goes that there was some miscommunication within the various departments within their company and what was meant as an offer for the Great Singapore Sale was not updated to their sales department.

To cut the whole story short, they apologized for overlooking on their part.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another E-invite from SIJS

Got this in my email..
Guess the publicity for Singapore International Jewellery Show 2010 is really heating up!