By Michelle Graff
Each July, I am filled with delight when I realize we’ve reached the halfway point of the year and it’s time once again to round up our most-read stories of the year to date and do a bit of jewelry industry analysis based upon it.

As I might have confessed on these pages before, I love analytics to the point where it borders on being an obsession. How are the stories we posted today on doing? How is today’s newsletter performing? What about Facebook? Twitter? Disqus?

I enjoy checking our content management system, email marketing platform and various social media accounts for analytics updates almost as much as I like scrolling through Taylor Swift’s Instagram feed to see pictures of her cats, which is to say: I like it a lot.

So, without further ado, I present to you the 2018 objects of my obsession: the 10 most-read stories on National Jeweler so far this year.

1. Thieves Snatch 20-Carat Diamond at Vegas Show
Crime stories always play well on our site, partly because crime stories do well everywhere and also because jewelry theft, robberies, etc. are possibilities every single jeweler, traveling salesperson, diamond dealer, etc. has to be thinking about on a daily basis.
But this story, which detailed how two men slipped a 20-carat diamond out of an unlocked showcase at one of the Las Vegas jewelry trade shows, exceeded expectations even for a jewelry crime tale, outperforming articles that were much more sordid in scope.

It also highlighted a key piece of advice that bears repeating: Whether in a store or at a jewelry trade show, don’t ever leave showcases unlocked.

2. 5 Engagement Ring Trends for 2018
Trend stories also are popular across the internet, so it serves to reason that a story about trends in engagement rings, which make up a large portion of jewelers’ revenues, would do well on a trade website.

A few of the trends we highlighted include the rise of rose gold with pavé, the resiliency of the halo and the popularity of three-stone rings, spurred, of course, by the ring worn by the woman now known as the Duchess of Sussex. 

3. 5 Things to Know About … Rainbow Lattice Sunstone
Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator, who covers the colored gemstone market for National Jeweler, launched her “5 Things to Know About” series in January 2017, and it quickly has become a site favorite.

So far this year, she has highlighted rainbow lattice sunstone as well as conch pearls. The “5 Things” article about conch pearls just missed the cut for the 10 most popular, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check it out anyway.

4. Nirav Modi Case Is ‘Another Nail in the Coffin’
Not surprisingly, two stories about the scandal surrounding Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is accused of bilking Punjab National Bank out of nearly $2 billion, cracked the top 10. This was the first article we wrote about it; it assesses the long-term damage the scandal will have on an industry already struggling to secure financing. 

20180713 Argyle AlchemyThe 1.57-carat fancy dark gray-violet “Argyle Alchemy” is one of the 63 diamonds in this year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. Our story about Rio Tinto’s annual sale of exceptional colored diamonds ranks as the fifth most popular story on so far this year.
5. The 3.14-Carat ‘Alpha’ Diamond in Rio Tinto’s Tender
Seeing the diamonds in Rio Tinto’s annual sale of red, pink and purple diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia is always one of the highlights of my year, and it doesn’t look like 2018 will let me down.

Though I won’t view the stones in person until the fall, my early favorites (based on photos) include the 1.57-carat princess-cut fancy dark gray-violet “Argyle Alchemy” and the 3.14-carat emerald-cut “Argyle Alpha,” a fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond.

6. A. Jaffe, Firestar Diamond File Bankruptcy
This is the second story related to Modi that made the top 10 most-read list. Since this story was published in February, a buyer has come forward for A. Jaffe, with the judge set to approve (or deny) that sale today.

Stay tuned …

201802XX Squash blossom Heard HEADER Zuni artist Leekya Deyuse (1889-1966) created this squash blossom necklace in 1939. It currently is part of the Heard Museum’s collection. (Photo credit: Craig Smith with the Heard Museum, Phoenix)
7. The History Behind … The Squash Blossom Necklace
I launched this occasional series on antique and estate jewelry back in 2014, starting with Mizpah pieces.

Sadly this year, we’ve only gotten around to writing one “The History Behind,” but it was a good (and apparently popular) one, highlighting an iconic design in Native American jewelry.

8. Sears, Macy’s Announce Even More Store Closings
Like crime, store closings always play well on our site, though it is surprising this article from January outperformed another mass-store-shuttering story that’s more relevant to the jewelry trade: Signet’s March announcement that it will close 200-plus locations this year.

9. Sterling Suing Alex and Ani for Breach of Contract
“Alex and Ani went to Jared, and it didn’t go so well,” I wrote back in January when we covered this lawsuit. I nominate this story for our “Best Abstract of the Year” award.

10. Alex and Ani Files a Counterclaim in Sterling Suit
The follow-up to our January article on the Sterling-Alex and Ani dispute also garnered many clicks, as the bracelet company fired back at the retail giant with its own breach of contract allegations.

What were your favorite stories on so far this year? Are there any you are suprised to see—or surprised not to see—among the 10 most-read articles?

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.