In this issue:
  1. Palmieri Concludes GCAL Re-Acquisition
  2. Hope to See You in Las Vegas!
  3. Liquidation Auction
  4. GCAL Helps Get Your Diamonds into the Consumer’s Hands
  5. CDE Dealers
  6. GCAL Passes ISO 17025 Annual Audit
  7. Product Spotlight: DiamondID® Guaranteed Hearts and Arrows Certificate
  8. Gold Rush…2008 and Beyond

Palmieri Concludes GCAL Re-Acquisition
Donald Palmieri finalizes purchase of GCAL - will continue to push integrity & ethics in the diamond industry.

The Palmieri Group, led by Donald A. Palmieri, concluded the acquisition of Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, Inc. (GCAL) and other assets that had been previously sold to Collectors Universe, Inc. in 2005 by Palmieri. As previously announced, Collectors Universe had decided to exit the diamond grading business due to unfavorable conditions in the jewelry market. Don and Pam Palmieri, who originally founded GCAL in 2001, are happy to be back in total control.

Our entire management team, top graders, and technicians were retained immediately during the transfer of ownership. Don Palmieri, President of GCAL, comments, “We are very fortunate to have a virtual “Dream Team” of experienced and professional gemologists, customer service, fulfillment and IT professionals, as well as good old, home-grown management that always protects the integrity and high ethics of the company.”

The Palmieri Group

According to Pamela Palmieri, Vice President, “Our primary focus is to deliver the best service and services to our customers, and treat our employees like family. The rest is just business.”

During the CUI tenure, GCAL gained international recognition and developed numerous enhanced certification services designed to protect consumers and jewelers alike, most notably the “GCAL Zero Tolerance 4C’s Guarantee,” which means that GCAL stands behind each and every diamond they grade. In 2008, GCAL became the first North American gem lab to become certified “ISO 17025 Laboratory Accredited” through the Geneva, Switzerland international certifying body with treaties recognized in over 70 countries worldwide.

Angelo Palmieri, GCAL’s ISO Management Representative and Director of CDEdiamonds.com noted, “I am grateful to be able to operate in this industry at a high level with the legacy of professionalism, ethics and integrity firmly associated with our companies and our family name. My generation is as eager as previous generations to want to believe in the goodness of people and institutions; however, there is a great need to have third party services that can be trusted to protect industry and consumers alike.”

In 2007, GCAL launched CDEdiamonds.com, a B2B diamond exchange offering GCAL Guaranteed Certified Diamonds for wholesale and retail dealers to buy directly from the source. This site has continued to expand its offerings since its launch, with the additions of Certified Diamond Jewelry, Matched Diamond Pairs, Botswana & Canadian diamonds, and enhanced member services, which has translated into it becoming the fastest growing B2B exchange in the marketplace with over 3200 current members in just 18 months of operations. More recently, GCAL and IDS (Ideal Diamond Solutions) have initiated a working alliance to offer turn-key e-commerce websites and fulfillment services for retail jewelers.

Don Palmieri has been engaged in this industry for over four decades serving in various capacities:

• As a consultant & forensic expert to some of the largest and most well-known government, museum, banking, and insurance institutions, and testifying as a government and consumer expert in the jewelry industry’s largest fraud case. He also served 18 years as a consultant and expert appraiser for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

• As a court appointed Chapter 11 Trustee for Alison Gem Corp, where he has distributed 30% to the unsecured creditors, and is hopeful to have a total recovery for the unsecured class of close to 40%, a figure that is quite uncommon to achieve in a jewelry bankruptcy.

• As an appraiser, he has been frequently interviewed as a gem expert and consumer advocate in publications such as Barron’s, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Money Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes, as well as, appearing on dozens of radio and television programs, most recently CBS Saturday Morning, Dateline, Consumer Reports TV, The History Channel, Inside Edition, CNN American Morning, CNN International, CNN News, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NBC’s The Today Show.

• Most recently as a consumer advocate, trying to educate and inform consumers before they join the “Gold Rush of 2008-2009” by mailing in their old jewelry to recover pennies on the dollar. Don has appeared on Inside Edition, CNN, Good Morning America, and The Today Show as their consumer expert since November 2008 in an effort to provide the average consumer with the knowledge and the tools to convert their possessions into needed capital in these trying times.

For more information . . . contact us at (212) 869-8985 or visit our websites:
www.GemFacts.com
www.DiamondID.com
www.CDEdiamonds.com

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Hope to See You in Las Vegas!

We are hoping for a brighter economic climate at the JCK Las Vegas show this year. Our booth is in the main lobby of the Sands Convention Center “L59” between Buyer Registrations (same location as the last two years).

This year, we are working with “IDS” Ideal Diamond Solutions to bring retailers free websites so they can offer their customers GCAL Certified Guaranteed Diamonds from numerous sightholders and dealers. Additionally, IDS will offer services like putting your branded and in stock items online where you will have a 24/7 digital sales associate. They have a great menu of services for the non-internet jeweler, including fulfillment.

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Liquidation Auction

At the JCK Show in Las Vegas, Gemological Appraisal Assoc. (GAA), a sister company of GCAL, will hold a sealed bid auction on goods worth over a million dollars. GAA is an assigned Chapter 11 Trustee and Liquidating Trustee. The lots available for bidding will be grouped in $30,000 lots (2003-2004 wholesale prices) and can be viewed on site at the how. Winning bids must equal 51% or greater of the wholesale value. The sales will be separated in categories of certified loose diamonds, high quality, medium quality, and commercial quality 14K and 18K white and yellow gold solitaires, ear studs, tennis bracelets, necklaces, as well as, colored stone and CZ jewelry.
View all lots at www.GemTips.com

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GCAL Helps Get Your Diamonds into the Consumer’s Hands - Faster and More Efficiently
Get on-board with GCAL, and we’ll do everything we can to help your sales skyrocket!

Retailers…
    Compete online: through Ideal Diamond Solutions (IDS), retailers can list 1000s of GCAL Certified diamonds on their own website.
    Speak your customers’ language: our certificates are designed with numerous images and an easy to read layout.
    More features and benefits at the sales counter: Guaranteed Grading, ISO 17025 Accreditation, Gemprint ID Registration, Optical Light Performance, and more.
Manufacturers…
    Receive free listing on a wholesale diamond exchange: a listing on wwwCDEdiamonds.com is included with the cost of certification.
    Rocket through the supply chain to the consumer: when you certify your goods through GCAL, they can automatically be listed in our Certified Diamond Exchange. From there, retailers can buy directly from you, or Ideal Diamond Solutions (IDS) will create an online retail platform to market your diamonds to the consumer.
    Deliver your goods on time: we provide the fastest and friendliest customer service in the business.

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CDE Dealers

Log on to CDEdiamonds.com to view a large inventory of GCAL Certified Diamonds from the sellers...

A.S. Diamonds
15 W 47th St., Ste. 200,
New York, NY 10036
212 221-9751
Alain Spira
aspira@asdiamonds.com
Edalati Int’l, Inc.
10 W 47th St., Ste. 1002,
New York, NY 10036
212 575-2294
Elie Edalati
elie@edalati.com
Edelstein Diamonds
580 Fifth Ave., Ste. 521,
New York, NY 10036
212 768-1500
Carl Edelstein
edelsteininc@aol.com
EL OR Company
580 Fifth Ave, Ste. 605A,
New York, NY 10036
866 840-1999
Oren Dror
oren@elorco.com
Esskay Gems, Inc.
36 W 47th St., Ste. 1001,
New York, NY 10036
800 345-3429
Benjamin Krischer
ben@esskaygems.com
Hasenfeld-Stein, Inc.
580 Fifth Ave, Ste. 1100,
New York, NY 10036
800 223-3315
Ariel Lev
ariellev@hasenfeld-stein.com
Julius Klein
20 W 47th St., 9th Flr.,
New York, NY 10036
800 334-0919
Isaac Fish
isaacf@juliusklein.com
KGK Diamonds
35 W 44th St.,
New York, NY 10036
212 221-6630
Allen Bloom
aajbloom@aol.com
Lipworth Diamond Corp.
580 Fifth Ave., Ste. 2804,
New York, NY 10035
212 944-6272
Alan Lipworth
info@lipworthdiamond.com
MOTIGANZ U.S.A.Ltd
1200 6th Ave, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017
212-302-0040
Orly Samid
orly@motiganz.com
Ovadia Diamond Co.
589 Fifth Ave, Ste. 905,
New York, NY 10017
212 319-8840
Guy Yosef
info@ovadiadiamonds.com
Perrier Gems
579 Fifth Ave., Ste. 801,
New York, NY 10017
212 826-6688
Peri or Eli
pgi@msn.com
R & R Grosbard, Inc.
1185 6 Ave, 20th Flr.,
New York, NY 10036
917 548-7424 Ext 125
Jinish Shah
jinish@grosbardasia.com
Waldman Diamond Co.
15 West 47th St., 10th Floor
New York, NY 10036
212-921-8098 ext. 204
Eli Fruchter
eli@wdcgroup.com

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GCAL Passes ISO 17025 Annual Audit (2009)

In March 2008, GCAL became North America’s first and only IS0 17025 Laboratory Accredited Gem Lab. As is customary with this level of certification, GCAL is required to undergo periodic testing to ensure compliance with all regulations and standards. On May 7th & 8th of 2009, after the transition from public (Collectors Universe) to private ownership (Palmieri Group), a team from the accrediting body visited GCAL’s New York Laboratory, and were pleased with the continued advancements GCAL has been making in process & procedure. Needless to say, GCAL passed this annual audit with flying colors, and continues to be North America’s only IS0 17025 Laboratory Accredited Gem Lab.

There are two main components in ISO 17025 - Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. Management requirements are primarily related to the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory. Technical requirements address the competence of staff, methodology and test/calibration equipment. Laboratories use ISO/IEC 17025 to implement a quality system aimed at improving their ability to consistently produce valid results. Since the standard is about competence, accreditation is simply formal recognition of a demonstration of that competence.

Jason Stine, Testing Program Manager for Laboratory Accreditation Bureau (the firm that performs Certification assessment) explains that his job is to provide third party attestation of technical confidence. “Basically, that means that we watch them do what they do,” Stine says. “Laboratory tests are supposed to be repeatable and verifiable — we should all be doing it the same way. GCAL is the only diamond grading lab in the United States to earn this prestigious certification, and it is one of only three diamond grading labs in the world that is ISO 17025:2005 accredited.”

What does this mean for you? Whether you are a retailer, manufacturer or customer, this accreditation stands for reassurance and minimal risk. It enhances consumer confidence, and even makes your goods more easily accepted overseas. Because ISO is internationally recognized, exporters don’t have to retest for other markets with different standards. “Over 40 laboratory accreditation bodies have signed a multi-lateral recognition statement called the ILAC Arrangement, which greatly enhances the acceptance of data across the national borders of the signatory countries,” explains Stine.

This goes back to a long held belief, “I believe that all labs could grade at 99% accuracy if they wanted to,” according to Donald A. Palmieri, President and Founder of GCAL.

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Product Spotlight: DiamondID® Guaranteed Hearts and Arrows Certificate

Now you can wear your Hearts & Arrows on your Certificate. GCAL introduces a Guaranteed Diamond Grading Certificate with actual images of the Hearts and Arrows pattern produced when Ideal cut diamonds are viewed through an optical symmetry viewer. We photograph the pavilion (hearts) and crown (arrows) of each diamond in a special lighting environment so Hearts and Arrows pattern pictured on the certificate is exactly the same as the one you see when you examine the pattern in your store.

Click here for more Details

Click for more details and enlarged certificate

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Gold Rush…2008 and Beyond

Today, mining companies looking for precious metals get their best exploration tips from satellites circling the globe from hundreds of miles above the earths surface, while other entrepreneurs are headed directly to consumers jewelry boxes to mine their golden riches.

Only one other time in recent US history did we see gold prices jump rapidly by hundreds of dollars, which was during the gold rush of 1978-79. We had no internet or affordable fax machines at that time, so all information came on expensive teletype machines, television and radio news programs, and newspapers. Real time quotes came on the telephone, which held gold buying or selling commerce to the speed of humans on any given day during working hours.

The irony is that buying gold and silver from the consumer has changed very little in the last thirty years. The largest consumer oriented gold buyer today is probably Cash4Gold, operating in Southern Florida. Cable TV ads have flooded the airwaves for months, and they got everyone’s attention by staging a Super Bowl commercial using TV personalities Ed McMahon and MC Hammer (both who had fallen on hard times financially).

Since Thanksgiving 2008, GCAL has been approached by numerous media outlets to help with stories they were preparing to investigate concerning consumers selling old gold jewelry. We agreed to help and ended up being interviewed after their investigative reporters had canvassed numerous companies offering to buy gold. We appeared on Inside Edition, CNN, Good Morning America, KMBC in Kansas City (NBC Affiliate), and The Today Show.

Here is what we have learned: Cash4Gold offered 15-17 cents on the dollar on their first offer, and quickly doubled the offer, only after the customers refused the obviously low offer. Similar businesses who advertise nationally and regionally offered more on their initial offers, but were still quite low. Retail jewelers in New York City and in larger cities offered 40-75 cents on the dollar. 47th Street Level shops offered 60-90 cents on the dollar, depending upon the undercover reporter’s willingness to haggle for a higher price. 47th Street refiners offered over 90 cents on the dollar. In all cases, the samples were controlled and had been thoroughly tested, weighed, documented, photographed, and code-marked to make sure we were always using the same pieces during the tests.

We have advised consumers in all cases to check with credentialed appraisers and hometown jewelers for expert advice before selling their jewelry, in many cases, their most prized possessions and keepsakes from relatives and ancestors. When the financial crisis is over, and it will be over in the near cycle, consumers will remember how they were treated or mistreated when they were desperate or just in need of extra cash. Unfortunately, it will always be our industry, and those jewelers on the front lines who will bear the fruit of their anger or mistrust. We recommend to all knowledgeable jewelers not to further victimize these consumers when they need our professional advice or guidance more than ever. We will continue to provide consumer help and services to our industry in any way we can. We are all affected by the current economic condition, but we must maintain our integrity most, in the hardest times.

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