Eisenhower Rolex Headlines September Auction

Valued at an estimated $1 million, the gold Rolex given to President Dwight D. Eisenhower for his heroic role in the planning of the D-Day invasion is being auctioned for the first time in its history.

The wristwatch is among items from the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx collection that will be offered during a live auction event to be held later this year by Boston, MA-based auction house RR Auction.

The 18-carat timepiece, the firm's 150,000th, was presented to the five-star general in 1951 for his service in the Second World War, after the 100,000th was given to Winston Churchill.

He wore it regularly throughout his two-term presidency and in official portraits including on the cover of Life magazine in 1952.

When Eisenhower died in 1969, he bequeathed it to a faithful Army colleague,  who had followed him all the way to the White House. Sgt. John Moaney had served alongside the future president in Europe and became one of his closest allies, serving as his personal valet—and was considered one of his closest friends, following him in his later years to his farm in Gettysburg, PA.

About 30 years ago, the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx’s Collection acquired the historical piece from Sgt. Moaney's widow, Delores Moaney, who served as the personal cook for Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower from their time at the White House through the end of their lives; she and her husband, John Moaney, were so close to the family that they lived at the Eisenhowers' private residence in Gettysburg with Ike and Mamie during all post-presidential years. 

As a young man, Raleigh DeGeer Amyx developed an avid interest in history and politics led him to employment with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1957, at first serving as a messenger to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, while also attending night school at American University. It was in this FBI position that he began to come into contact with the news-makers themselves—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and a young senator named John F. Kennedy were among his personal encounters.  

It was these important brushes with greatness while in Washington that inspired his realization that there were hundreds—if not thousands—of firsthand witnesses to history milling about nation's capital, each with their own fragment of history.

Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, possessing a major background in American history, made it his quest to become acquainted with these folks—Mr. Amyx met the valets, housekeepers, cooks, secretaries, butlers, Secret Service agents, groundskeepers, upholsterers, and other career up-stairs assistants who had served presidents, many of whom worked at the White House for decades. Through these close personal connections, Mr. Amyx assembled the story of America, piece by piece, a project that took decades of diligence and continual contact with key career assistants.

Among other Museum quality pieces to be featured in the live auction event:

President Eisenhower's World War II brown leather flight jacket — which features four-star epaulettes on the shoulders.

President Roosevelt’s personally-owned and -worn top hat, worn for his first presidential inauguration on March 4, 1933.

President Roosevelt’s remarkable personally-owned and -worn blue-black cape custom made of the highest quality manufacture and material by Lewis & Thos. Saltz of Washington, constructed of a fine heavyweight wool with a satin lining and velvet-trimmed collar.

FDR’s personally-owned and -used walnut cane with a white bone handle and tip.


All items are part of the internationally renowned collection of Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, and will be included in a live auction event to be held in Boston, MA on September 2014.

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Leading Jewelers Guild Maps Digital Strategies

Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director, James “Jimmy” West, left, and Leading Jewelers Guild President, Michael Simmons (Simmons & Clark Jewelers, Detroit, MI), right, present the 2013 Leader of the Year Award. Chase Morgan (center) accepted on behalf of his father, Nate Morgan (Morgan Jewelers, Salt Lake City, UT) who was traveling abroad.

Members of Leading Jewelers Guild, a member-owned jewelry organization of independent retailers, assembled at the newly reconfigured Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California for their 56th annual July Meeting and Show from July 12 to 16.

“A huge shift has taken place in advertising and how it reaches the customer,” said Leading Jewelers Guild President Michael Simmons (Simmons & Clark Jewelers, Detroit, MI). “Connecting with millennials involves a whole new set of skills and media. Our goal is to bring our members up to speed so they can compete effectively and profitably in an ever-changing marketplace.”

“We realized we had a problem,” said Jenny Caro (Jewelry by Design, Woodbridge, VA), “so we did a nationwide search for the best coaches in social media, website metrics, search engine optimization and internet marketing.” 

The hands-on two-day seminar in digital strategy involved social media in the morning and website-related issues in the afternoon. Nearly all Leading Jewelers Guild members brought representatives to the seminar, which ran parallel to the traditional CEO-oriented program.

“We were very careful to select presenters that would be relevant on a beginning-to-advanced level,” said Caro. Both trainer/presenters were available for individual consultations during the two-day vendor show and gave a CEO wrap-up on the final day. 

The highlight of the CEO sessions was the culmination of the first group-wide financial benchmarking study. “Leading Jewelers Guild members are learning from each other all the time,” said Chris Coleman (Nelson Coleman Jewelers, Towson MD), “but we wanted to take that spirit to another level by comparing financial numbers for different type, size, and volume stores while still maintaining complete confidentiality.”

A CPA firm expert in industry benchmarking was selected to compile members’ information and prepare the study. Members’ received a confidential analysis of their own numbers in the areas of productivity, profit, cash flow, and financial strength as well as common-sized income statements, balance sheets, and detailed sales mix and margin analysis, plus a similar composite report on the entire group. The presenter highlighted how to use the information to improve company bottom lines. “We’re working towards making this an ongoing benefit of membership,” said Coleman.

Other presentations included a re-launch of the group’s own brand: Love Story Diamonds, several company introductions, and sharing of promotion and special events ideas. “The more we share our strengths, the better we can help one another develop as individual businesses,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Chairman, Joshua Halpern (Albert’s Jewelers, Shererville, IN), “and our group becomes stronger in the process!”

Embedded in the five day meeting was a two‐day vendor show where 58 select vendors were invited to exhibit their lines and services.

These included key Leading Jewelers Guild suppliers for the group’s upcoming fall catalog program, as well as a number of new vendors: AV Diamonds, Box Brokers, CJ Jewels, Endless Jewelry, Exclusif/Luxury Displays, Fana Jewelry, Gabriel & Co., House of Baguettes, Idor Diamonds, Imagine Designs, Paramount Gems, Royal Jewelry, Seiko, Select Jewelry and Varsha Diamonds. “With great fanfare we’re reintroducing our Preferred Vendor designation,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director James “Jimmy” West, “this clearly identifies our top-tier vendors, highlights their discount and stock balancing offers and removes exclusions and fine print.”


Members, vendors, staff and their families relaxed together at the annual Member/Vendor Party, held at Island Hotel’s Cabana Terrace. Included were Leading Jewelers Guild’s annual awards presentation. Isaac Gad of True Romance (NYC) received the 2013 Vendor of the Year award for outstanding product selection and customer service. Nate Morgan (Morgan’s Jewelers, Salt Lake City, UT) received the 2013 Leader of the Year, for outstanding leadership in several terms as President, Chairman of the Board and a member of the Operations Committee.

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The IDEX Online Polished Price Report for July 24

Even fewer changes were sees this week in round diamond prices, according to the weekly IDEX Online Price Report. Most changes were seen in the very smallest sizes and were mostly negative.


Moving on to fancy shape diamonds, and the majority of movement was seen in mid-size diamonds, with most changes being negative.


The following are some of the changes in this week's IDEX Online Diamond Price Report.


To receive a free copy of the full IDEX Online Diamond Price Report, please email us at prices@idexonline.com.




  • 0.18-0.22 cts D-I / SI2 declining by 3-5%

  • 0.23-0.29 cts three changes, two up, one down

  • 0.30-0.39 cts unchanged

  • 0.40-0.44 cts G / IF -3.2% to $3,050 p/c

  • 0.45-0.49 cts no changes

  • 0.50-0.69 cts two changes, one up and down

  • 0.70-0.79 cts M / VVS2 -2.4% to $2,050 p/c

  • 0.80-0.89 cts unchanged

  • 0.90-0.99 cts H / IF -2.6% to $7,500 p/c

  • 1.00-1.24 cts N / SI2 +4.6% to $2,300 p/c

  • 1.25-1.49 cts two changes, one riser and one decliner

  • 2 cts unchanged

  • 3 cts D / SI1 +3.1% to $26,400 p/c

  • 4 cts E-F / SI1 declines of 3%

  • 5 cts F / VVS2 -3.0% to $67,600 p/c



Fancy Cuts


  • 0.18-0.22 cts D-E / VS2 rising by 3-4%

  • 0.23-0.29 cts D / SI2 rising by 4%

  • 0.30-0.39 cts E-F / VVS1 declining by 2%

  • 0.40-0.44 cts mostly declining

  • 0.45-0.49 cts many declines in better colors, lower clarities

  • 0.50-0.69 cts D / I1-I2 declining by 2-3%

  • 0.70-0.79 cts declines in medium colors and clarities

  • 0.80-0.89 cts J / SI1-I1 rising by 2-3%

  • 0.90-0.99 cts just one change, downwards

  • 1.00-1.24 cts many decliners in better colors and clarities

  • 1.50-1.99 cts H / IF -3.3% to $8,800 p/c

  • 2 cts two risers and two decliners

  • 3 cts D / SI2-I1 rising by 2-3%

  • 4 cts D / VS1-SI1 declining by 2-3%

  • 5 cts two changes, one up and one down

To receive a full free copy of the IDEX Online Diamond Price Report, please email prices@idexonline.com.

Albert Robinson is Editor-in-Chief of IDEX Online, heading an international team of writers that covers global industry related events and issues. He writes about rough and polished diamond prices, publishes industry analysis articles and a popular weekly opinion column. In recent years, Albert has advised a number of leading diamond firms, industry bodies and governmental agencies. He writes research papers on topics ranging from provenance analysis of fancy color diamonds to diamond's contribution to local economies, often contributing or writing the diamond chapters for leading research organizations such as KPMG and Bain & Co.

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Govind Dholakia Honored for Lifetime of Achievements

Govind Dholakia, second from left, accepts congratulations for his Lifetime Achievement award.

Diamond merchant Govind Dholakia has won the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from Retail Jeweller India.

Dholakia started his career in 1964, at age 13, working as a diamond cutter. Seven years later he founded Shree Ramkrishna Exports, now one of the largest privately owned diamond companies in the Industry.

In addition to his commitment to the diamond industry, Dholakia is a philanthropist who is keen to contribute to the region where he has spent most of his career.

On the Occasion of his 50-year celebration, Dholakia announced his gift to Surat City -- a world-class diamond education center called the S.R.K. Knowledge Foundation.

Speaking on the occasion, Shreyans Dholakia, Director, SRK Export, said, "I have always seen my father as an extraordinary range of talent and experience with a united commitment to drive the company to unprecedented levels of accomplishment. We could not be in better hands. He is a visionary and pioneer as well as indigenous personality taking the lead and developing home grown solutions to all our problems”.

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