By Michelle Graff
De Beers has begun fielding regular surveys gauging consumer interest in diamond jewelry as parts of the U.S. begin to emerge from coronavirus lockdown. For more, see No. 8 below.
New York—Last week, the country’s largest jeweler laid out its concerns about consumers in the age of COVID-19 while another retailer, accessories chain Francesca’s, warned a Chapter 11 filing might be in its future.

In the diamond world, the Rapaport Price List reverted to being a weekly publication, and Alrosa reported an 85 percent year-over-year drop in diamond sales that certainly wasn’t unexpected.

Read on for more of the top 10 headlines from last week.

1. Signet’s SEC Filing Lays Bare Its COVID-19 Concerns
The retailer is worried about customers’ willingness to visit stores and what a second wave of the virus would mean for business.

2. Alrosa’s May Sales Were ‘Expectedly Low’
Rough and polished diamond sales totaled $40 million, down 85 percent when compared with last May.

3. Francesca’s Weighs Possible Bankruptcy
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing problems for the clothing and accessories chain, including declining sales and store traffic.

4. The Rap Price List Is Now Weekly Again
The Rapaport Group has nixed the idea of publishing its price list just once a month and scrapped plans for an advisory board.

5. Oxford Now Wants to Remove Statue of De Beers Founder
Oriel College, where the statue of Cecil Rhodes stands, will also launch an independent inquiry into the issues surrounding it.

6. CIBJO Reschedules October Congress for 2021
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, which would have hosted the event this year, has renewed its invitation for next year.

7. James Free Jewelers Installs Anti-Microbial Tech
The jeweler turned to new technology to make customers feel safe returning to its stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

8. 4 Insights from De Beers on Current Consumer Attitudes
Here’s how the pandemic is affecting their spending and what they’ll look for in holiday gifts this year.

9. Here Are the Details on the Virtual JCK Las Vegas, Luxury Shows
The jewelry trade shows also set their 2021 in-person show dates.

10. A Ring for a Socially Distanced Summer Solstice
British jeweler Theo Fennell and his team spent six months crafting this one-of-a-kind piece, which features a miniature Stonehenge.

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