Posts Tagged: ‘gold’

EOS & Cooksongold Team to Launch the PRECIOUS M 080 Jewelry DMLS 3D …

September 16, 2014 Posted by admin

jew2Jewelry has been one of the key markets to see substantial benefit from recent advances within additive manufacturing technologies. Whether it’s the fabrication of polymer based jewelry created by children, or full scale manufacturing of intricate pieces via 3D printing combined with lost wax casting, there is no doubt that these technologies are allowing designers to expand their imaginations.

There has already been a major market for jewelry created with the help of 3D printers. With 3D printing services like Shapeways, some of the hottest selling products are within the jewelry space. With that said, they are not actually 3D printed, but instead, the design is 3D printed in wax, at which point liquid plaster is poured around it. Once the plaster sets, they heat the plaster until the wax melts out, and then use it as a mold for creating the actual jewelry pieces.

Things are changing though, as technologies are improving, while also becoming more efficient. Today, it was announced at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2014 that Cooksongold, which is part of the Heimerle + Meule Group, has teamed with EOS, one of the leaders within the additive manufacturing space, to launch the PRECIOUS M 080 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) system.jew-5

The machine, equipped with a 100-watt fibre laser, which has been designed around the needs of the jewelry and watch industry, promises to change how designers create, and jewelry is fabricated. With additive manufacturing, complexity is free, meaning that it costs just as much to print out a brick of gold as it does an interwoven lattice of thin twirling branches, making up a piece of jewelry.  Below are some of the general specifications of the new machine:

  • Build Envelope: 80 mm x 100 mm
  • Scan Speed: up to 7.0 m/s (23 ft./sec)
  • Focus Diameter: Less than 30 μm
  • Power consumption maximum 2.3 kW
  • External Gas Supply: 4.000 hPa; 50 l/min (58 psi; 1.8 ft³/min)
  • Dimensions (B x D x H): 800 mm x 950 mm x 1850 mm
  • Printer Weight: 580 kg

Dr. Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer at EOS states: “This AM process introduces an innovative, paradigm shifting technology to the luxury goods industry. With Cooksongold we found the perfect partner for the extension of our technology into this industry. Additive Manufacturing paves the way for a completely new approach towards design and manufacturing, enabling design-driven manufacturing the industry has long been searching for.”

jew3The PRECIOUS M 080 DMLS system uses special gas atomized alloys developed specifically for their machine, but can be adapted to work with any laser sintering machine on the market, according to Cooksongold. One material example is an 18k gold alloy consisting of 75.10% gold, 12.48% silver along with copper, which is offered by the company. Such a material allows for complex gold jewelry and watches to be created without the delays associated with casting and molding techniques of the past.

“The DMLS technology challenges a designer’s imagination and enables the creation of jewellery and watch components that previously would have been impossible to successfully manufacture,” stated David Fletcher, European Product Manager, Cooksongold. “AM will change the economics of producing watch and jewellery products by offering a streamlined manufacturing process that dramatically reduces the time required from design conception to final part realization. DMLS will also enable the production of design driven pieces that are not limited by the restrictions of conventional production techniques such as lost wax casting.”

Cooksongold is also working diligently to develop materials in addition to gold, which can be utilized by designers to fabricate a variety of creative jewelry pieces. Along with dealing directly with clients to sell and install the PRECIOUS M 080, they will also partake in training their clients on the machine, selling the materials used within the machine, and providing the licenses and software required.

Let us know what you think this new 3D printer could mean for the jewelry industry as a whole. Discuss in the PRECIOUS M 080 forum thread on  Below is a short video about the Precious M 080.


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Minneapolis man charged in Eden Prairie burglary

September 15, 2014 Posted by admin

A 22-year-old Minneapolis man was recently charged with burglarizing an Eden Prairie home and stealing an assault weapon.

Svyatoslav Igorevich Sokiryavyy faces two felony charges after allegedly burglarizing a home May 19 on the 14000 block of Starrwood Circle in Eden Prairie. Sokiryavyy was charged with one count of second-degree burglary and one count of possession of an assault weapon, according to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.

The following is an account of the burglary according to the complaint:

The homeowner stated he left his home around 7:20 a.m. on May 19 and returned home at 1:50 p.m. when he noted items inside the house had been disturbed since his morning departure. His bedroom was in disarray. Two handguns were missing from his nightstand. Both guns were loaded. He identified them as a Smith Wesson 9 mm MP, and a Smith Wesson 642 .38 Special.

Also taken in the burglary was a jewelry box located on a dresser and a safe from the closet floor.

Police determined that the burglar likely entered through a sliding glass door located in the rear of the house.

The police found Sokiryavyy as a suspect, who had been linked to other residential burglaries in western Hennepin County, according to the complaint. He was identified by witnesses to a separate burglary in Eden Prairie, and video surveillance captured him pawning jewelry from that burglary at the Mall of America.

Bloomington police stopped Sokiryavyy, and Eden Prairie seized his vehicle and obtained a search warrant authorizing the search of the car. Police located a quantity of jewelry, drugs, drug paraphernalia and a Smith Wesson 642 .38 Special handgun.

The complaint stated that police interviewed an employee of The Gold Guys at Mall of America. The employee stated that Sokiryavyy attempted to sell a plastic bag of gold jewelry on May 19. The Gold Guys refused to purchase the gold. The employee photographed the jewelry and sketched the bag’s contents.

The victim’s wife identified several items seized during the execution of the search warrant as having been taken from their home, including a backpack, jewelry, a jewelry box and the handgun. She also viewed the jewelry photographed by The Gold Guys, and identified the contents of the photo as belonging to her.

Sokiryavyy has several previous convictions. He was convicted of a fifth-degree controlled substance possession offense in September 2011, and also adjudicated delinquent for the crime of second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary, both in December 2009. At the time of the alleged offense, the Legislature defined these convictions as crimes of violence, making Sokiryavyy ineligible to possess firearms.

Sokiryavyy faces up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines for the burglary charge, with a minimum sentence of three years, and up to 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines for the possession of assault weapon charge with a minimum sentence of five years.

Contact Natalie Conrad at or follow her @EPSunCurrent.

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24-Karat-Gold for Your Nails

September 14, 2014 Posted by admin

24-Karat-Gold for Your Nails

Deborah Lippmann’s partnering with Barneys New York to sell an exclusive collection of her nail polish, marked by white caps (instead of black) and one star formula: a 24-karat-gold flecked polish that will sell for $50. Sound crazy? Maybe, but an increasing number of polishes stuffed full of gold, diamonds, and other precious gems means there are enough women out there willing to spend big on jewelry in nail polish form. 

Rococo’s Gold Leaf Lacquer was one of the first to fill clear polish with gold leaf. The polish, which can be worn alone or as a topcoat, was inspired by Versailles and sells for nearly $60. Then Azature, a Hollywood-based nail brand, upped the ante, releasing a $250,000 black diamond nail polish at the height of the world’s nail craze, in 2012. One bottle boasts 267 carats of black diamonds. (They also make a diamond-free version that looks the same, for $25.)

More recently, Red Carpet Manicure, one of the first brands to make an at-home LED gel manicure system, released a whole collection of gem-infused polishes; when they say ruby red or sapphire blue, they mean it. (Each polish goes for $12.) Etoile Nail Polish ($18) and even OPI have issued collections that use diamond dust for extra sparkle. Of course, unless you run around telling everyone there are diamond on your nails, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between diamond-induced glitter and just regular old glitter. The gold, however, does offer a richer metallic finish than your average gold polish or even glitter. You can snag your own bottle at Barneys, starting next month.

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From Basics to Beauty in Jewelry Making

September 13, 2014 Posted by admin

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India’s Love Affair with Gold May Be Over as Prices Slide

September 12, 2014 Posted by admin

Kiran Laxman Salunkhe used to buy jewelry during religious festivals, but sliding gold prices have led the young Indian farmer to break with his family’s traditional investment.

This year Salunkhe has deposited his hard-earned savings at the bank for the first time in a decade and bought farmland.

“I bought jewelry when gold price was 32,000 rupees (per 10 grams) last year. Now jewelers won’t pay me more than 27,000 rupees if I want to sell. Why should I invest in gold,” said Salunkhe, who farms 15 acres of sugar cane in Vangal, a village 250 km (160 miles) south of Mumbai.

“Nowadays it is risky to keep jewelry. Burglaries are rising,” he said. “With a fixed deposit there is no risk.”

A one-quarter drop in local gold prices over the past year has shaken the confidence of Indians in the precious metal as a store of value and dented demand in the world’s second-biggest buyer.

The main beneficiary has been Indian stocks, which have been clocking up records on hopes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi can deliver on the promise of “better days” ahead that swept him to power in May’s general election.

Beyond short-term sentiment, a major push by Modi for every household to get a bank account, better education and living standards, and falling inflation expectations, could herald a more secular change in investing habits.

“The attachment of Indians to gold will remain,” said Harish Galipelli, head of commodities and currencies at Inditrade Derivatives and Commodities Ltd., referring to gold’s culturally embedded role in dowry gifts or decorating Hindu temples.

“But as the banking network expands and literacy rises, people in rural areas will explore other investment products like mutual funds or bank deposits. The mindset is slowly changing.”

If the national obsession with gold does fade that would help curb India’s external deficits – gold is the second biggest item on the import bill after oil – and cap world gold prices that are trading sideways in 2014.


If the crowds selling scrap gold to Kapil Parekh at his shop in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar are anything to go by, the shift by small-time speculators out of gold is continuing unabated.

“Many investors who came after 2008′s stock market crash were short-term investors,” said Parekh.

“They came when the stock market wasn’t giving returns. Now, since shares are rallying, they are liquidating gold and going back to equities. They may come back.”

One customer, Dinesh Jain, said he had sold 64 grams of gold bought since 2011 and was investing the proceeds – now worth nearly $3,000 – in information technology stocks.

India’s investment demand for gold slumped by 67 percent in the June quarter from a year ago to 49.6 tonnes, World Gold Council (WGC) data showed. Based on industry and WGC estimates, investment demand could nearly halve to 190 tonnes this year.

Investment demand was 37 percent of total 2013 gold sales.

Indian gold exchange-traded funds, a financial product that sophisticated investors use to gain exposure to the metal, have suffered 15 straight months of outflows.

In contrast, turnover on Mumbai’s main NSE bourse is up by 61 percent, while $50 billion has flowed into mutual funds in the financial year starting April 1 – up sixfold from the entire previous year.

Term deposits in Indian banks have also risen but by a more modest $3.6 billion since April, compared to a drop of $2.9 billion last year, central bank figures show.


A decade-long surge in gold prices to 2013 led investment buying of bars and coins to quadruple. Over the same time, sales of traditionally more popular jewelry rose by just a quarter.

But since hitting a record high of 35,074 rupees per 10 grams in August 2013, local gold prices have fallen steadily, tracking weakness in overseas prices and a strengthening rupee.

In the past, such price falls would have attracted bargain hunters. Not now.

“The 11-year rally in gold prices created a perception that they will only go up. This price fall has broken that conviction,” Prithviraj Kothari, vice president of the India Bullion Jewelers’ Association, told Reuters.

“Now people are diversifying their investments. This trend will increase in the coming years,” added Kothari, cautioning that expectations of a tightening in super-loose U.S. monetary policy would weigh on gold.

“During uncertainly people chase gold. Now, since we have stability, economic growth will revive. It will ultimately push up the stock market and real estate prices.”

But for some India’s love affair with gold will endure.

“Last year, despite a premium of over $100 (per ounce over London prices), buyers were crowding my counter,” said a Mumbai-based dealer at a state-run bank.

“Now, the premium is just $5. The peak festive season is ahead. But I am waiting for customers. There is no hysteria.”

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Mt. Pleasant’s Kropff Jewelers to close at month’s end – Tribune

September 11, 2014 Posted by admin

Effective Sept. 30, Mt. Pleasant Borough will bid farewell to one of its longtime businesses, as the doors to Kropff Jewelers will be closed for the last time on that date.

Denny Kropff, the business’s owner, recently sold the building the business currently occupies at 532 W. Main St. to an undisclosed party, he said.

“I really wasn’t looking to sell, but I felt that it was an opportunity that may not present itself again,â€� Kropff said. “I just felt that it was an opportunity that I should take advantage of.â€�

Kropff is part of the third generation in his family that has been known for jewelry and watch repair work for more than 100 years.

“My grandfather (Clement Kropff) opened his store in 1911 in Scottdale, and we have been in business ever since,� Kropff said.

The Scottdale store is owned and operated by Kropff’s twin brother Douglas Kropff.

“We are the oldest, family-owned jewelry business in Westmoreland County,� he said.

Wishing to branch out, Kropff’s father, Richard Kropff, with partners Harry Fosbrink and Ralph Stone, both of Connellsville, purchased Posner’s Jewelry Store located at the Mt. Pleasant building in 1973.

“They were partners for a few years until my dad bought the building in the late ’70s early (or) early ’80s,â€� Kropff said.

Although Kropff said that he and his brother would help periodically in their father’s and grandfather’s stores, neither were encouraged to pursue the family business.

“My brother always seemed to have an interest, but I did other things first,� Kropff said.

His early work included landscaping and gardening and a state job he held until he was laid off.

“It was then that I started to get involved more in the business,� he said.

Kropff then attended watch repair classes to hone his skills in the family trade. He then took over the Mt. Pleasant store in 1981.

“I went to Jack Keck’s (jewelry store) in Madison,â€� Kropff said. “He offered a small school there for watch repair.â€�

It is that skill that has kept Kropff busy through the years, as much of his clientele is made up of people seeking repairs for their watches.

“I have guys coming from as far as Pittsburgh to have their watches repaired,� Kropff said.

On the jewelry side of the business, Kropff said that he has seen changes in the trends of what interests customers and what they purchase.

“We are selling a lot more solid gold now,â€� Kropff said. “Before it was silver- or gold-filled. Now it’s more white gold, sterling silver and diamond jewelry. About 30 years ago was when the gold chains got so popular, and now it is swinging back to white gold and silver. Its an ever-changing cycle.â€�

When Kropff decided to sell his building, he looked for another location on Main Street, he said.

“We’d love to see him stay, but all of our store fronts on Main Street are full,â€� borough Mayor Gerald Lucia said. “Kropff’s has been here for many years, and they have been a big part of the business district here in town, and we hate to see him go. We hope that one day he will be able to come back.â€�

Small businesses like the one owned by Kropff are a vital part of town locally, said Leon Mowry II, manager of Saloom Department Store, a neighboring Main Street business.

“If he does leave I hope to see him return one day,� he said.

Kropff is planning to move his watch repair business to his brother’s store in Scottdale, he said. While he will be putting his many display cases in storage for now, he hopes to one day return to Mt. Pleasant, he said.

“I’d like to stay here, I really would,â€� Kropff said. “I am planning to retire in three and a half years or so, and I would like to come back here to do so. Mt. Pleasant is one of the best retail towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and I have done well here. I have stayed busy and that’s a good thing.â€�

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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The Watch: first impressions of Apple’s new wearable

September 10, 2014 Posted by admin

Tuesday, September 09, 2014, 08:39 pm PT (11:39 pm ET)

Earlier today, Apple showed off its highly anticipated watch, the first completely new product category from Apple since Steve Jobs showed off the iPad in 2010.

Apple Watch faces

WATCH hardware editions

Apple’s unveiling of its new watch is unique in two respects. First, it only comes in one technical version. There’s no model differentiation in memory capacity, processor speed, display resolutions or in sensors across the entire lineup of devices Apple plans to sell.

In fact, they all use the same electronic package inside, which Apple calls “S1,” comparable in some respects to the A8 chips powering its latest iPhone 6. The difference is that virtually everything in the new watch is in the S1 chip, not just the primary processor cores as is the case in the Ax-powered iPhone and iPad.

Secondly, there is incredible diversity in non-technical versions of the product. For starters, there are two device sizes, distinguished solely by display size rather than by functionality. Apple also makes no effort to associate the two sizes with specifically assigned gender roles, so individuals can choose the size of their WATCH as a personal preference.

Second, Apple offers its WATCH in three different material combinations. The first, WATCH Sport, uses lightweight aluminum in either a silver or darker “space grey” finish, with a hardened glass face Apple refers to as “Ion X” and a rear composite cover.

Apple Watch Sport

The middle tier, called simply WATCH, uses “316L stainless steel” for its body, a particular jewelry grade of low carbon stainless that incorporates molybdenum to resist corrosion. It will be offered in a standard stainless a “space black” stainless finish. It also adds a sapphire crystal face and uses a ceramic back.

Apple Watch

The highest tier, which Apple calls WATCH Edition, uses an 18 karat gold body formulated for hardness, available both in a yellow gold and rose gold finish. Both tones are more distinctly gold than Apple’s iPhone 5s, which in comparison looks very subtle in its champagne goldness. It too uses sapphire crystal face and a ceramic back. All three editions are available in both of the two sizes.

Apple Watch Edition

WATCH band diversity

Apple also offers a half dozen different, interchangeable watch band styles, ranging from the supple plastic strap that comes standard on the Sport versions, to a variety of leather styles and colors including a variable magnetically segmented style and classic buckle type.

Certain Edition models will come with exclusive band styles featuring metal buckles, while Apple also offers a mechanically segmented band that snaps into place with precision, and a Milanese chain band that uses magnetic attraction to connect around your wrist.

Apple Watch bands

While all of the bands of a matching size will fit any of the three editions, Apple said it will package specific models with matching bands, and in some cases exclusive band styles. All together, this will result in the largest range of different SKUs of any product Apple sells. This is one aspect of “our most personal product” marketing line Apple is using: extremely broad customization.

Apple Watch variety

Fat in photos

When photographed, WATCH looks rotund and chunky, almost impossibly too fat to even call a watch. However, when worn the experience is completely different. The various different bands hold the device in place in a way that makes it feel like a typical watch, not the steampunk diving bell of a device it looks like when pictured on a stand (below).

Apple Watch fat
Apple Watch fat

Apple’s product demonstrators at the event were trained to depict functional watches on their own wrist, and attached devices to onlookers configured in a canned demonstration loop. If the product were immediately ready for sale in a way that met Apple’s exacting standards, this wouldn’t be necessary. The company won’t be selling them until “early 2015″ for this reason; It’s not entirely finished yet, the same way iPhone wasn’t ready when Jobs showed it off in January 2007, six months prior to the day it went on sale.

Despite not yet being ready for sale, the devices Apple demonstrated showed off a product that has a deeply considered design and a well polished user interface that appears specifically intended to be fun to use, rather than just an effort to spread iOS more broadly than it already is, like Windows Everywhere back in the day, or Google’s focus on Android volumes and shipment percentages.

Over the next couple years, Apple’s watch will likely get thinner and more powerful, just like the iPod, iPhone and iPad have, to the point where Apple’s chief executive recently remarked that looking back at the original iPad is almost sort of embarrassing given the current state of the art. However, Apple sold millions of original iPads in its first year to satisfied users who enjoyed them.

It is very likely that Apple won’t sell similar mass quantities of the WATCH, in part because there is some finite limit on how many expensive devices the common person really needs or wants to carry around on a daily basis. Google’s Android Wear partners have typically priced their own offerings at barely $200, fully aware that there is not exactly an insatiable demand for their smartwatches even at a very low entry point.

But Apple is clearly not aiming at delivering a low end watch product for the masses. The new WATCH appears to be a halo product, just like the original iPod. Rather than aiming at everyone right off the bat, Apple is aiming at fashion-conscious young people and more mature individuals who are price-insensitive. Samsung, LG and Motorola are rolling out cheap plastic devices with shiny chrome on them, not sapphire-faced products using gold bodies, crafted leather bands and precision clasps that cost money.

What the new product introduces is a new category of computing, one where Apple’s core competency at hardware and software integration and its attention to design detail can produce a device that can be worn anywhere, not just to a BestBuy or a gadget fan convention.

WATCH known and unknowns

There are a variety of details Apple hasn’t yet addressed. It implied a full day of use on a charge, but didn’t provide any specific numbers on battery life. It states that the S1 system-on-a-chip design is “completely encapsulated in resin to protect the electronics from the elements, impact, and wear,” without actually saying whether the device will be fully water resistant (a feature largely expected in a wrist watch).

There were no details provided about the products’s actual screen resolution, the specific technology of the screen or details like RAM or how many transistors it uses, facts Apple shares about some other products that it builds.

The device doesn’t incorporate WiFi, cellular or GPS (borrowing these battery-hungry technologies from the requisite iPhone it’s paired with), but does include an optical heart rate sensor and its own accelerometer for measuring body activity and step counting.

Apple didn’t specify many other details about how it worked, outside of stating that it would use a MagSafe-style power adapter that used induction charging, that it would supply NFC to support “ Pay” transactions (including users of iPhone 5/5c/5s, which won’t be able to make purchases directly from their phones), and that its user interface is driven by the Digital Crown dial/button, a second lower button, as well as touch, pressure and flick gestures on the screen.

In addition to the screen, the device also provides feedback via its “Taptic Engine,” a specialized linear actuator that provides more subtle touch feedback cues than the basic vibration motor in your iPhone. As such, it’s quieter and more discreet. A major complaint about existing “smartwatch” offerings is that they deliver an annoying, duplicative series of nonstop notification vibrations that simply rebroadcast every alert from your phone.

The touch alerts delivered by WATCH were more varied and nuanced. One example was the different vibrations used to signal a right or left turn when providing Maps directions, so you wouldn’t even need to look at the display to understand what the alert was communicating. In that respect, the device’s use of hepatic feedback is evolved beyond a simple buzz common on smartphones.

WATCH as a unique exercise

While iPad, at its introduction in 2010, was an expansion of the iOS experience introduced three years prior with iPhone and iPod touch, the new product Apple is now calling WATCH debuts an entirely new user interface designed specifically for a watch. It’s not a small smartphone strapped to your wrist.

Like the first iPhone and TV in 2007, the first iPod in 2001 or the first Macintosh in 1984, WATCH completely rethinks what a user interface should present and respond to in order to address a new kind of device.

Apple Watch UI

This is markedly different from Microsoft’s various failed efforts in the 1990s to shoehorn the mouse-based windowing desktop PC it appropriated from Apple’s Macintosh into various new shapes (including Windows Mobile phones), or Google’s own failed efforts to stretch the multitouch smartphone interface it appropriated from Apple’s iPhone into tablets or shrink it down into a “smartwatch.”

Rather than being a small iPhone worn on the wrist, Apple’s watch takes the familiar iOS concepts of apps and notifications and makes them work in a wearable context by inventing a new “Digital Crown” dial controller that pays homage to the traditional watch “crown” used to wind and set a mechanical watch. Like the iPod’s original click wheel, it’s designed to quickly navigate on a small screen where multitouch alone would be cumbersome and a stylus makes no sense at all.

Apple is also referring to individual elements in the WATCH interface as “complications,” a term long used by expert watch makers to refer to the complex mechanical features of timepieces that could serve as a chronograph, a striking alarm or display the phases of the moon. Below, a fitness model showed off her watch face configured with four “complications” depicting information relevant to her workout.

Apple Watch Complications

If you search Google for “Android Wear complications,” all you get is user complaints and attempts by the company’s apologists to make excuses for them. Google’s Android smartwatch initiative did little other than to rewarm Microsoft’s old, failed efforts to sell SPOT watches, an exercise undertaken to sell a platform more broadly, rather than to develop a worthwhile device people might have any reason to desire.

Rather than simply down-porting smartphone apps to its watch, Apple has developed a new WatchKit development system and set of interface guidelines that has created a pipeline of a new type of mobile apps. In particular, functions are often expressed in what Apple is calling “Glances,” which quickly present information with a simple swipe gesture. Similar to desk accessory widgets, Glances make data and controls relevant to a wearable device, rather than attempting to replicate entire iOS apps on a small screen.

Siri on your wrist

One similarity to Google’s Android Wear is that Apple’s watch makes heavy use of Siri, the voice assistant that debuted on iPhone 4S in 2011. At the time, Google’s head of Android Andy Rubin scoffed at the concept, stating that he didn’t “believe that your phone should be an assistant.”

Apple Watch Siri

After seeing how Siri helped to sell iPhones and in particular how it threatened Google’s ad empire by diverting search traffic from its servers, the company raced to copy it, and deployed voice-based search as a key component of Android going forward, including its Android Wear initiative that, so far, has failed to make much progress.

One thing Google will find it difficult to do is push its own search services on Apple’s new watch, even as it has struggled to retain even a minority share of its its once exclusive position in serving iOS Maps and general search services.

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WARRANT: Stolen gun killed Officer Scott Patrick

September 9, 2014 Posted by admin


According to an application for a search warrant filed in Hennepin County, the gun used to shoot and kill Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick had been stolen just a few weeks earlier in Eden Prairie.

MORE: 7 important facts on Mendota Heights officer shooting

The affidavit submitted with the application details how investigators traced the weapon back to a string of residential burglaries that occurred in May. An Eden Prairie detective who was investigating three burglary cases identified a man who was fencing stolen goods as a link in the chain that led to Patrick’s death. His name is Syvatoslav Igorevich Sokiryavvy.

According to Eden Prairie police, Sokiryavvy made off with more than $88,700 in stolen jewelry, cash and other items in burglaries that occurred between May 11 and May 19. The last burglary on Starrwood Circle marked his biggest haul, with $54,650 in jewelry stolen along with two handguns. Investigators say the gun used to kill Patrick was traced back to that address.

Police had already caught up with Sokiryavvy by then. He was spotted hauling suspicious luggage during one burglary by a witness who later identified Sokiryavvy in photos after surveillance cameras caught footage of him selling stolen jewelry to The Gold Guys at the Mall of America. Just a few days after the guns were stolen, Bloomington police took Sokiryavvy into custody so that Eden Prairie police could question him.

Officers who searched Sokiryavvy’s vehicle found items taken from the Starrwood Circle home and others, including one of the handguns. When asked about the items after officers read him his rights, Sokiryavvy reportedly told police a friend had given him jewelry to sell and denied taking part in any burglaries. He was then booked into the Hennepin County Jail on charges of second-degree burglary and felony possession of stolen items.

Initially, Sokiryavvy refused to give officers the codes to access his phones and iPad. That began the warrant petition process — but once detectives with the West St. Paul Police Department informed him the stolen gun had been used in a fatal, officer-involved shooting, he provided his password and told officers a photograph of the weapon could be found on his cell phone.

Police still do not know which cell phone contains the photo, and have asked Apple to release any electronic data that could be relevant to their case. Investigators have not explained how the stolen gun got into the hands of suspected shooter Brian George Fitch Sr. or whether Sokiryavvy was directly involved.

WARRANT: Suspected cop killer ‘prepared’

SWAT teams arrested Fitch following a shootout in St. Paul that took place after an hours-long manhunt, which included a chase on Interstate 494 for one man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was admittedly doing something he shouldn’t.

MORE: Wrong place, wrong car, but I-494 suspect in jail

Fitch was wanted on several warrants when Patrick pulled him over for a traffic stop. Witnesses told Fox 9 News the veteran officer was walking up to the window when Fitch fatally shot him and sped away. Hours later, police learned he’d dumped the vehicle involved in the shooting and borrowed one that would wind up riddled with bullet holes.

MORE: Fitch said, ‘Hey, can I use your mom’s car?’

Fitch was sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the shootout, but he has since been released from the hospital. Prosecutors from Ramsey and Dakota counties intend to convene a rare, multi-county grand jury to have Fitch charged with a dozen counts, starting with first-degree murder. Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom quoted Fitch telling one of his guards, “Just to let you know, I hate cops and I’m guilty.”

Thousands of police officers and public supporters gathered for Patrick’s funeral in August. He is the first from the Mendota Heights Police Department to have died in the line of duty, and left behind a wife and two teenaged daughters. A benefit fund to support his family has been established.

MORE: How to help family of Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick

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Auctions in California and Canada Give Insight to Market Trends

September 8, 2014 Posted by admin

Mary Ann Brown | May 20th, 2014

Antique Jewelry Gemology

Recent sales at John Moran Auctioneers and Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers tell us that Internet bidding is on the upswing. This has been a trend for some time, but the share of the winning bids via the World Wide Web is increasing in a meaningful way. John Moran’s post-sale press release announced it in its bullet points: “Over one third of buyers purchase through online platforms,” and Duncan Parker, vice president at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers, said in a telephone interview, “We have an ever-increasing number of people who are on-line bidders, and I think we still have a good contingent of telephone bidders, but I think that the on-line bidding is becoming more prevalent now, over the telephone.”

This circa 1880 Renaissance Revival enamel, pearl, and 18k gold ring, with two female ship’s masthead shoulders centering a baroque pearl measuring 10 x 8.5 mm, realized $9000 (est. $1500/2500). John Moran Auctioneers.

This circa 1930 suite of Art Deco emerald and diamond jewelry, mounted in 18k yellow and white gold, included a necklace with a 15½” long silver neck chain added later, a 6¾” long bracelet with a later-added clasp, a ring, and a pair of earrings with screwback fitments. The suite brought $19,200 (est. $5000/7000). John Moran Auctioneers.

John Moran Auctioneers Spring HQ Jewelry and Luxury Auction

John Moran Auctioneers, based in Altadena, California, held its 324-lot Spring HQ Jewelry and Luxury Auction on May 20. It was a strong sale, according to Ana Wroblaski, jewelry specialist at Moran, who said the success was due to the fact that “everything was very marketable and very sellable. It was priced…correctly. We didn’t have a lot of strong names in this particular sale, at least ones that were very old.

“We had that Schlumberger and Webb set—everything else, though, we basically had priced to be able to sell.” With a sell-through rate of 98%, the sale confirmed a “strong market for fresh-to-the-market property from estates and private collections,” according to the post-sale press release.

The Schlumberger/Webb set Wroblaski spoke of was an assembled set of hexagonal-cut amethyst and circular-cut diamond and 18k gold jewelry—a brooch by Jean Schlumberger and ear clips by David Webb—that was estimated at $8000/12,000 and sold to a floor bidder for $19,200 (with buyer’s premium).

Other post-sale news speaks of the enduring trend that “jade and coral proved some of the evening’s biggest-ticket items, outperforming estimates by wide margins.” Examples included a contemporary coral, diamond, and 18k gold necklace with a centerpiece clasp signed “LARRY.” The multi-strand coral bead necklace could be converted to two bracelets. It brought $15,600 (est. $6000/8000). An Art Deco enamel and jadeite compact (see photo and caption accompanying this column) realized $5206.25 (est. $1200/1800).

John Moran Auctioneers’ next HQ Fine Jewelry and Luxury Auction is December 9. Please contact John Moran Auctioneers at (626) 793-1833 to speak with a specialist regarding the consignment process or upcoming auction highlights. The catalog will be on line in the weeks previous to the sale (

This circa 1920 Art Deco diamond and ruby ring, mounted in platinum, centering an old European-cut diamond weighing approximately 2.35 carats and surrounded by square-cut rubies, brought $10,200 (est. $9000/11,000). John Moran Auctioneers.

This circa 1935 suite of Art Deco ruby, simulated ruby, and diamond jewelry included a line bracelet, a necklace, a pair of scrolled earrings with screwback fitments, and a scrolled ring. There were several simulated rubies in the earrings, bracelet, and ring, and the necklace was set with simulated rubies. The suite sold for $9000 (est. $4000/6000). John Moran Auctioneers.

This pair of natural Burmese ruby earrings, mounted in 18k white gold, set with two oval-cut rubies weighing 1.40 and 1.82 carats, was accompanied by two AGL certificates, each stating that the rubies were of Burmese origin, with natural color and no enhancements. The pair sold for $14,700 (est. $8000/12,000). John Moran Auctioneers.

This circa 1900 enamel and diamond snake bangle bracelet, mounted in 18k gold, with an inner circumference of 6¼”, realized $12,777. Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

This late 19th-century aquamarine and 18k gold rivière necklace, 17½” long, was “one of the things that everyone looked at….it was a very subtle blue color. Every stone was exactly the same. They were clean; they were bright, well cut. It was quite exceptional…probably a very special gift that somebody ended up putting aside to wear on a special occasion, and the special occasion never arose, because it was still in pristine condition—unaltered and unaffected.” The rivière sold above the high estimate for $11,615. Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

This circa 1910 Belle Époque diamond and platinum brooch was accompanied by a report stating that the diamond is I color with VS2 clarity. It sold for $15,100. Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers

The June 22 Dupuis Fine Jewellery auction in Toronto, Ontario, with 709 lots, was one of its largest, according to Duncan Parker, who was one of three auctioneers that day. “People were there early and stayed through to the end, which was great. To be honest, we were a bit surprised that the attendance was as consistent, because it does make for a long day.” The auction was broadcast on line, with both audio and video.

Were there any surprises? “In terms of antique things, probably not in this sale,” Parker said. The highlight was a 9.38-carat pear-shaped diamond pendant that brought $472,965 (all prices in U.S. funds and with buyer’s premium); Parker thought it was probably cut in the 1970s.

He said that one thing of note, in terms of antiques and diamonds, “is that people have really become much more interested in antique diamonds, in old-cut diamonds. They may not know what the story is behind it, but they know it has a story. An old European-cut diamond or an old mine-cut diamond has far more people looking at it now than would’ve in the past, because it’s different than what everyone else has, and people are looking for that. They definitely generated some interest beyond what we expected, and that seems to be a pattern that’s growing. The market for old, antique diamonds has definitely bloomed,” said Parker.

He explained that “an old mine-cut diamond is 150 years old, or more, generally. It’s been around. It’s like looking at a tree that’s been felled, and you say, ‘wow, I count the rings and it’s got 300 years of growth. What this tree has been through.’ It’s the same thing. This diamond has been through the entire twentieth century. It’s been through the Victorian period…when the history of the nineteenth century was unfolding, and that’s a pretty amazing thing.”

The strengths of the jewelry market are broadcast in the post-sale press releases. I wonder if and where there might be weakness, so I asked Parker this question, and he replied, “We do a bit of reconciliation after every auction—to look and see what has generated interest. And the antiques did do quite well. We do have, I think, a little bit of a dip of interest in Victorian jewels.” He told the story of a man who came to consign “an absolute load of pristine, beautiful Victorian jewelry…in amazing condition” to the Dupuis sale. “It had never been worn, bent, or anything; nothing missing.” The man had bought all this jewelry for its meltdown value in his “We Buy Your Gold” business. He couldn’t bring himself to melt this group, so he brought it to Parker, who broke the news to him, saying, “I’d love to take this, because I think it’s great. But in our auction, we had seen a number of Victorian things that struggled to get bids of much more than the meltdown value, which is a dreadful shame.” He continued, “It may come around, but that’s certainly a pattern that we’ve seen.”

“One of the things—with rare exceptions—that we don’t get any response to is something like a pocket watch,” which many people think should be valuable because they “recall seeing their grandfather walking around with a waistcoat with a chain and looking at this thing or wearing it on special occasions, perhaps.” It was often “a central element of the family’s accessory and jewelry-related history, because in a world where traditionally men didn’t have jewelry, particularly a century ago, the only jewel that most men would probably have might well be their pocket watch. I have my grandfather’s pocket watch, and I know full well if I tried to sell it I’d be likely to get $100 or something like that. People don’t carry pocket watches anymore. They’re items of limited utility, as we say.”

Another soft area is the brooch. Parker told me that “the brooch just generally has fallen out of favor, to some extent. Very beautiful brooches will continue to be of interest, but the average jewelry user doesn’t wear a brooch. Part of that is fashion, but it’s driven by the clothing, the textiles that we wear. A brooch can’t be sustained on a lot of the lighter or synthetic textiles that we wear because we’ll just start ripping holes in them.” He added, “I know Madeleine Albright is a famous brooch collector, but she hasn’t single-handedly convinced the rest of the world to start wearing brooches again.”

Parker wrapped up the auction results for us, offering some parting thoughts: “There weren’t too many antique things that didn’t sell…we were very pleased. We had an increasing number of buyers from Europe. Probably a lot of the antiques are European, and I think that they’re seeing a source opening up, perhaps. They’re seeing that it’s perhaps underappreciated, and they can bring these things back home.”

The next Dupuis Fine Jewellery sale is November 23, and the catalog will be available on line ( several weeks before the auction. Also of interest is Parker’s blog at (, the cyberspace spot where he keeps us informed on a variety of jewelry-related topics.

This late 19th-century hand-painted portrait miniature of a young lady, surrounded by polychrome enamel and old mine-cut diamond floral motifs mounted in silver, with an 18¼” long 14k gold necklace, sold for $9873. Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

Parker said the pearls in this 28″ long antique natural pearl necklace “were fairly matched in color; they weren’t really creamy or really mixed colors.” The necklace is composed of 103 natural pearls, measuring 7.6 mm to 5.0 mm, joined by a silver and 14k gold clasp centering an old mine-cut diamond weighing approximately 0.95 carat, and surrounded by smaller old mine-cut diamonds. It had Austro-Hungarian assay marks and was accompanied by a GIA report stating that the pearls were predominantly natural and of saltwater origin. The price soared well above the presale estimate to reach $69,690. Parker said, “Good natural pearls are very strong, but they have to be a good size. Natural pearls are, inherently, antique things, almost always. They’ve been coming out of the woodwork because they’ve been selling well.” Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

Contemporary Jewelry Design Contest

Art Jewelry Forum (AJF), based in Mill Valley, California, is accepting applications for its 2014 Artist Award. AJF will again be providing a $7500 cash award to a contemporary jewelry artist, thanks to the generous support of Susan Kempin and Susan Beech, both longtime collectors and supporters of AJF.

Jurors for this year’s competition are Sooyeon Kim, jewelry artist and winner of the 2013 award, Carin Reinders, director of the CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands, and Karen Rotenberg, founder and director of Alianza Contemporary Crafts and a collector of contemporary jewelry.

“The purpose of the award is to acknowledge promise, innovation, and individuality in the work of an emerging jewelry artist and to help to advance the artist’s career. The competition is open to makers of wearable art jewelry who are not currently enrolled in a professional training program. Work submitted in the application must have been unsupervised, and not previously submitted for a BFA or MFA show,” a statement from AJF read.

Deadline for submission is September 30, 2014. More information about the award and the application guidelines may be found on AJF’s Web site at (

The winner will be announced during the Schmuck Jewelry Fair in Munich, Germany in March 2015. The artist’s work will be exhibited at one of AJF’s member galleries taking part in a jewelry fair in the U.S. or in Europe in 2015.

Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2014 Maine Antique Digest

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Airports across the globe land high-end retailers

September 7, 2014 Posted by admin

You’d think airports serving international cities or major hubs would be flush with irresistible shopping opportunities for the traveler. Sadly, most are stocked with the same tired perfumes, booze and tacky tchotchkes. But there are exceptions — facilities whose managers understand that extravagant, artisanal, organic and gourmet are not dirty words.

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Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar: In the world’s most futurist city, the new $16-billion Hamad Airport is a haven for luxury lovers. It used to be Dubai for extreme haute luxe, but who needs gold bars (yes, they sell those in Dubai) when you can shop for spectacular jewelry? Apart from breakfasting at an airport Tiffany Co., you can leave with goods from Hermès, Burberry, Chanel and Bulgari, among others. And if designer labels are not your thing, you can indulge at Chocology, a paradisiacal chocolate bazaar.

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San Francisco International Airport: A sanctuary for healthful sophisticates, this airport sets a new homeland standard. There’s an SFMOMA Museum Store where you can pick up sculptural jewelry made by Northern California designers or handmade wooden sunglasses. True to the wholesome Bay Area, other airport offerings include Bouclé’s local artisan jewelry, gifts from companies committed to sustainable design at Destination Green and organic olive oil body products at McEvoy Ranch. Later, hit Napa Farms Market and pack up some Bay Area delicacies.

London Heathrow Airport: Despite agonizing queues, Heathrow has inspiring retail therapy. In fact, Terminal 5 usually wins the Skytrax World Airport Awards. You’ll find top-shelf British labels such as Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen and perfumer Jo Malone. There are Paul Smith stores in Terminals 2 and 3. Plus, shoppers can encounter luxury label Mulberry, venerable knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland and Regent Street regular Mappin Webb for jewelry. Bonus? Almost all terminals have a Harrods.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Never mind the airport casino, library and branch of the Rijksmuseum — there are shopping prospects galore here. Paolo Salotto, for shoes and bags; Desigual, for vivid accessories and clothing; Björn Borg, for menswear; Vila Pieces, for boho-chic apparel; and local trendster label Mexx. And who can skip town without tulip bulbs from Fleurtiek?

O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa: A great place to gather pan-Afro-chic interior design items, accessories and jewelry. Take home a beaded Yoruba chair, a cow-horn cuff bracelet or a hide handbag from Indaba Lifestyle, which carries crafts from the entire continent. Out of Africa has carved masks, safari clothing and beaded necklaces, and Makgala’s Jewellers has settings sparkling with South African diamonds and rare tanzanite from Tanzania. The good news: They all ship.

Auckland Airport, New Zealand: True to the country’s reputation, this airport has the original, the outdoorsy and the elegant in one place. Finds include high-end Kiwi designer Karen Walker’s jewelry and accessories; merino wool apparel by Icebreakers; Emu sheepskin and wool boots; and Kiwiana art and design at Artport, Around NZ, Think New Zealand and Dick Frizzell. To preserve that fresh-air face, pick up products from local beauty brands Trilogy, Living Nature and Evolu.

Singapore Changi Airport: Singapore has long been the top-rated airport for indulgence, with more than 200 shops and premium brands such as Prada, Gucci, Miu Miu, Chloé, Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta and Hermès. Eu Yan Sang intoxicates with traditional Chinese medicines, and TWG stocks a staggering array of global teas. Szan has tailored business wear, and Purple Attic has retro-trend fashion for hipsters.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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