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UpFront
By JCK Staff
This story appears in the May 1995 issue of JCK magazine
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AGS TO ISSUE DIAMOND CERTIFICATES

The American Gem Society will open a diamond grading laboratory for member companies in July, says AGS Executive Director Thomas Dorman.

The for-profit lab is being built at AGS headquarters in Las Vegas, Nev. The original investment to set up the lab and establish an operating budget may run close to $1 million.

Under current plans, only AGS member retailers and suppliers will be able to use the lab. However, AGS suppliers will be able to use the grading reports in dealings with non-AGS customers.

The lab will be staffed by four people – a lab manager, senior grader and two graders – who will be able to process 200 stones weekly at the outset, says Dorman. Turnaround will be five working days or fewer.

The lab's reports will grade a diamond's cut – as well as color and clarity – though Dorman says no decision has been made whether the top cut grade will be based on Tolkowsky proportions, often called the Ideal Cut. "That decision will have to come from the lab's gemological committee," he says. The reports will use AGS diamond grading terms with their Gemological Institute of America equivalents. Also, as a marketing ploy, AGS will charge less than GIA for its grading services.

No favoritism: Dorman stresses the lab will keep a strict policy of neutrality to ensure there will be no favoritism. "The key to success of this lab is integrity and credibility," he says. "If we don't conform to these standards, we won't succeed. So we've taken great steps to ensure that we meet these standards."

The lab will have an independent management, an independent board of directors and a "Chinese Wall" system designed to keep investors and management separate. AGS will own 51% of the lab and investors will own the rest. The board of directors will have 13 members, seven of them AGS members who are not currently officers and six of them chosen "from the best business minds within all areas of the industry." Dorman says this will ensure the lab is not an AGS "hip pocket" organization.

All lab policy and grading decisions will be controlled by a gemological committee of nine members, five of them from AGS, one from the appraisal sector, two diamond manufacturers and one from the Diamond Dealers Club of New York.

The Chinese Wall, a legal term, is designed to keep the management and the board from knowing who the investors are, says Robert Lanham, assistant director of AGS. Here is how it works. Two "limited liability" companies will be formed. The first will be a partnership formed by the investors and managed by a Las Vegas attorney not affiliated with AGS. The second company will handle the lab's business. Only the attorney handling affairs for the first company will know who the investors are, and only he or she will be permitted to contact anyone from the second company.

If any investor tries to disclose his or her identity to anyone in the lab, the lab management has the opportunity to buy back that person's shares at the current rate or the initial investment – whichever is lower. Lanham says the payments would be made over three years at the minimum interest rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.

In short, says Dorman, customers may complain about a grade they receive from the lab. That's normal. "But if they tell us they own a piece of the lab, they'll quickly find out they don't," he says.

Reasons for project: Dorman says this plan has no relation to a proposed partnership with the Diamond Dealers Club that the AGS board rejected last year.

DDC asked AGS to open a diamond grading lab under its auspices after GIA announced it would open a lab in Antwerp, Belgium. The dealers feared GIA was deserting the New York diamond industry in favor of the larger Antwerp industry (GIAlater dropped that plan). They also said that because GIA needed three to four weeks to grade diamonds, it should beef up its New York and Santa Monica, Cal., labs before expanding abroad.

Actually, the complaints about the turnaround time were the key to AGS's decision to start its own lab, says Dorman. "Immediately after we decided not to open a lab with the Diamond Dealers Club, a number of diamond people asked us to pursue the idea on our own, in part because of the length of time it took the GIA to grade diamonds," he says. "That made it apparent there was a strong need for another credible gem lab."

AGS launched a feasibility study last summer, decided to proceed with the proposal in October and subsequently voted to write a business plan and research the finances needed to start a lab.Dorman says final approval came inFebruary, with trustees voting unanimously in favor of the project and only one member of the board of directors voting against it.

Lanham says the decision took a long time because there were a number of issues to consider. "We didn't want to do anything that would damage our relations with GIA," he says. "We've kept the GIA apprised of what we are doing, but haven't involved them in any of our discussions. Thus far, all of the feedback we've gotten from them has been positive." JCKwas unable to reach GIAofficials for comment.

AGS also looked at all the legal issues. "We considered every risk that could possibly be involved, and the decision still came out in favor of going ahead with the lab," says Dorman.

Meanwhile, says Lanham, the lab is expected to make a profit in its first year, though it won't affect the organization's tax status. "Several years ago, we changed our status from a non-profit [and untaxable] organization to a not-for-profit organization," says Lanham. (The former type of organization is designed to benefit the industry as a whole while the latter is operated for members' benefit and is taxable.)

AGS's 51% share of the profits will go toward funding consumer ad campaigns for members, says Dorman.

– by Russell Shor

MICHAEL ROMAN TO RETIRE FROM JA HE HELPED BUILD

Michael D. Roman, executive director of Jewelers of America for 20 years, plans to retire Sept. 30.

While Roman intends to remain active in the industry, he also plans to pursue other interests. "I have spent a lifetime in the industry and I want to first smell the roses a little," he says. This includes spending more time with his family, which now includes three grandchildren.

Until Sept. 30, Roman plans to work as usual. He notes Sept. 30 is the end of JA's fiscal year and the closing of his most recent contract as executive director. Roman will become the association's first director emeritus and will serve in an advisory capacity upon his retirement. (Roman is also on the board of the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking in New York, where he will continue to assist programs.)

"Mike Roman is a giant in our industry, and his influence and achievements are his legacy to us all," says JA President-elect Dale Perelman of King's Jewelry, New Castle, Pa. Adds JAPresident Lee Michael Berg, "Mike has been a driving force behind JA's progress, and his expertise and vision will be missed. He has exemplified every quality an organization could seek in an executive director."

A search committee to seek a new executive director is headed by Irving Getz of Mayor's Jewelers, Coral Gables, Fla., a former JA president. Other members are Ed Bridge of Ben Bridge Jewelers, Seattle, Wash.; Stan Pollack of G.M. Pollack & Sons, Scarborough, Maine; Barry Pizzolato of Designs in Jewelry, Metarie, La.; and past JA Presidents Robert Green, Raymond Goodman and Roger Marks.

Roman says the committee has no timetable to announce a new executive, but he asked the committee to keep its options open and conduct a widespread search. Getz says he hopes to name someone by September but notes "these are big shoes to fill."

Lifetime career: Roman started his career in the jewelry industry at age 17 in 1936 by carrying sample bags for the Gruen watch company in Chicago, his hometown. He became Midwest sales manager for the company after World War II, and joined Bulova in the early 1950s. He soon moved to New York to join the company's managerial team and stayed there until 1975, when he joined the Retail Jewelers of America (which later became JA).

A year later, he moved the association's offices from New Jersey to the Time-Life Building in New York City. During the next two decades, Roman became one of the most recognized faces in the industry. During his tenure, JA's membership tripled and its trade shows became the busiest marketplace for the industry in the U.S. Despite strong criticism from some suppliers and retailers, he moved JA's summer show from hotel exhibition spaces to the new Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York in 1987. The resulting success paved the way to move the JA annual winter show to Javits soon after.

The two shows were by far the greatest source of revenue for the association. Four years after the Javits debut, JA sold its shows to Blenheim Group PLC, a London-based trade show producer, for $36.5 million. Since the sale, JA has built its financial reserves to nearly $60 million and operates primarily from interest and dividends on the reserves. In recent years, JA members have challenged Roman to allocate portions of the funds more directly to state affiliates and other endeavors.

Roman responds that the sale of the JA shows was the start of one of his premier achievements as executive director: to fund increased educational opportunities for a new generation of jewelers. JA's Center for Business Studies offers a wide range of educational programs at JA shows and JA state affiliate meetings. "Jewelers are going to have to be professional," Roman says. "The competition, from the Wal-Marts to the television shopping networks, is much more formidable. Some of these weren't here 10 or even five years ago."

He also cites JA's recent involvement in creating a four-year college degree program for jewelers at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. "This is what selling the shows enabled us to do," he says. "We can focus on the important things that will make this industry move into the 21st century."

JA says plans are under way for a "recognition event" in Roman's honor.

DE BEERS EARNINGS DECLINE 7% IN 1994

The earnings of De Beers' two divisions fell a combined 7% to $555 million in 1994. Dividends were kept stable, however, in a move designed to retain investor confidence.

A diamond marketing agreement with Namibia last year took a significant bite from De Beers' diamond account, which fell from $727 million in 1993 to $624 million. (The diamond account reflects De Beers' diamond sales less the cost of mining and acquisition.) The Namibian operations were spun off into a separate company called Namdeb, in which the government of Namibia has a 50% interest. Namdeb operations are no longer figured into De Beers' diamond account.

A further factor reducing the diamond account was a 3% decline in sales by De Beers' marketing arm, the Central Selling Organisation. CSO sales totaled $4.255 billion in 1994, down $112 million from 1993. The company attributed the decline to Russia selling rough diamonds outside of the CSO, "making a mockery" of De Beers' single-channel marketing system.

De Beers Chairman Julian Ogilvie Thompson said at a press conference announcing the 1994 results that negotiations with the Russians were continuing. "It is very much to be hoped that the Russian authorities will recommit themselves to the CSO's single-channel marketing and renew their successful cooperation with De Beers, which has run for over 30 years."

He also blamed the Russian sales for many of the difficulties the world diamond industry faces today, including low profits and depressed prices of smaller goods.

De Beers' Director Gary Ralfe quoted press reports estimating that Russia sold $700 million to $800 million of diamond rough outside of the CSO last year. "It's not a number we would take issue with," he said.

Officials also said De Beers bought $1 billion worth of rough diamonds from the open market last year and that its diamond stockpile increased about $256 million to $4.38 billion.

De Beers' two divisions – De Beers' Consolidated Mines, which handles the company's South African operations, and De Beers Centenary, which handles all other assets – are separate entities linked by common stock shares and management.

FINLAY, FRIEDMAN'S PLAN PUBLIC STOCKOFFERINGS

Two major jewelry retailers have announced public stock offerings to underwrite continued growth. They are Finlay Enterprises, parent of Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., New York, N.Y., and Friedman's Inc., a fast-growing chain based in Savannah, Ga.

Finlay, the largest operator of licensed jewelry departments in the U.S., hopes to raise at least $38 million (after underwriting expenses) from its offering of 2.6 million shares. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the shares were expected to hit the market in April and sell for $16-$18 each.

The company plans to use the money to reduce debt on a revolving line of credit ($79.1 million was outstanding as of March 3). The increased credit capability will be used for working capital, general corporate purposes, possible acquisitions and buying back outstanding notes or bonds "from time to time."

This is the second time in recent years that Finlay has planned to go public. A 1991 plan was withdrawn when recession shrank the jewelry market. Since then, the 53-year-old company has seen substantial expansion, growing from 565 leased departments and sales of $369 million in 1990 to 898 departments and sales of $552 million in 1994. (These figures include 101 departments and three stand-alone stores in France, all operated by the Societe Nouvelle d'Achat de Bijouterie, which Finlay acquired in October 1994.)

In the U.S., Finlay operates 797 departments in 40 host store groups – the largest of which is May Department Stores Co., with 311 departments in 43 states and Washington, D.C. Finlay sells a broad selection of moderately priced jewelry and watches. (In 1994, 86% of Finlay's sales were less than $1,000 retail; the average per-item price was $150.)

Expansion plans call for 100 new leased jewelry departments in the next five years, creating new "host store relationships" with stores that now contract with Finlay competitors, expanding business in France and other European markets and developing its factory outlet business.

Further growth: Friedman's Inc., the third-largest U.S. jeweler, announced in March it would offer 2.6 million shares beginning in April. Assuming an initial price of $17.50 a share, the company expects to net about $42 million (after underwriting and related expenses).

Proceeds will be used to repay debt on revolving lines of credit (about $28 million as of Feb. 28), to finance new stores in power strip shopping centers and malls (with an individual cost of $230,000 and $405,000, respectively) and for other working capital. Some of the money may be used to buy new stores (though Friedman says it has no specific prospects now) or to pay off remaining amounts on bonds (which totaled about $7.4 million as of Dec. 31).

Friedman's Inc. has grown considerably since it was acquired in 1990 by a partnership led by Morgan Schiff & Co. (Morgan Schiff, Morgan Keegan & Co. and BT Securities Corp. are managing underwriters of the stock offering.) Aided largely by its first public stock offering in 1993, Friedman's Inc. grew from 55 stores to 168 as of mid-March and plans to have 210-230 stores by the end of 1995. The company has even edged out Barry's Jewelers of Monrovia, Cal., to become the third largest multiunit retail jeweler in the U.S.

All of Friedman Inc.'s growth has been in 10 southeastern states – primarily Georgia and North and South Carolina – and has focused on power strip centers (shopping centers that generally have a major discount retailer, a major supermarket, women's apparel retailer and specialty retailers). Friedman's Inc. offers a broad selection of quality, competitively priced merchandise (the average price is $157) for low- and middle-income consumers ages 18 to 45.

SIGNET SHAREHOLDERS VOTE ON BREAKUP OF COMPANY

The Signet Group plc, the world's largest retail jeweler, will hold a special stockholders' meeting May 5 in London to vote on a call by U.S. shareholders to sell "all or part" of its businesses in Great Britain and the U.S. to reduce its debt. The Americans, and some British shareholders, want a sale within three months.

Signet is the British parent of Sterling Inc., the second-largest U.S. jeweler, whose long-time president Nathan R. Light resigned in February – reportedly due, at least in part, to disagreement with Signet over running Sterling (see JCK, April 1995, page 15).

In a statement by Signet's board, Chairman James McAdam urged all shareholders to vote against what he called the "ill-considered and damaging" proposal and said the board would "continue to strive [on their behalf] to restore [Signet] to full health." Signet has returned to profitability after recent sizable losses, noted the document, and "now is no time to break up the Group in a forced sale." A sale also would "jeopardize" Signet's talks with lenders to renew credit lines, which expire in June, it said.

Signet's debt totals $559 million. It also owes its American (mainly institutional) preference shareholders $159 million; they haven't been paid dividends since January 1993. On March 30, they formally asked for an "extraordinary general meeting" (EGM) to vote on the sale of assets – Sterling in the U.S. and the H Samuel and Ernest Jones jewelry chains in Britain.

Under Signet's bylaws, shareholders may request one EGM if dividends are in arrears. The U.S. holders own 264 "U.S. Variable Term Preference Shares," entitling them to 1.8% of all shareholder votes. Other shareholders, including one in Britain with 10.8%, also reportedly have called for a restructuring or sell-off of assets.

At least two British firms reportedly want to acquire some or all of Signet. One is Argos, a catalog firm. The other is The Goldsmiths Group, a retail jeweler, which reportedly may offer more than $390 million.

U.S. analysts said that if Sterling were sold, it likely would be as individual stores or geographic segments. Laurence Cooklin, Signet's number two man and Sterling's interim chief executive until Light's replacement is named, was unavailable for comment.

Light himself says it is "unlikely" there would be enough shareholder votes to break up Signet. But it's "a difficult situation for the ordinary and preference shareholders. Things could change by May 5." He adds that he isn't part of any effort to buy Sterling back "at this time." He currently is "involved in several things, none involving Sterling" or the jewelry industry.

The April Link, Sterling's monthly employee newsletter and the first since Light's resignation, said nothing specifically about his departure or problems facing Signet. However, Cooklin wrote in it that "it has been delightful to spend the last two months interacting more closely with Sterling employees throughout the company. I've seen first hand how strong our team truly is!"

NEW SHOW FOCUSES ON HIGH-END JEWELERS

A new by-invitation-only jewelry show will debut next month, joining the ever-growing roster of industry trade shows. Called the Jewelry Couture Collection and Conference, it will be held June 4-7 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach, Cal., and will be sponsored by the Miller Freeman Jewelry Group, publisher of National Jeweler magazine.

The event is open only to about 75 specially invited high-end jewelry and watch suppliers and about 125 high-end jewelry and specialty retailers chosen by those suppliers. Each supplier reportedly will pay $11,000 and up for their own exhibit suites and for the retailers' expenses.

In addition to the exhibits, participants will have an opportunity to attend various seminars devoted to the specific needs and concerns of upscale jewelers.

Regarding the show's by-invitation-only status, Executive Director Nancy Robey told JCK, "Our invitation lists were self-generated. It is not our intention to offend anyone, which is why we have not publicized the show."

COURT DEFINES USE OF FRIEDMAN'S NAME

Two southern jewelry chains – both called Friedman's – may continue to use the name but can't open new stores near each other until at least June, a federal court ruled in March.

The two chains – A.A. Friedman's Co., a 115-store chain based in Augusta, Ga., and Friedman's Inc., a 168-store chain based in Savannah, Ga. – were instructed to meet with a court-appointed mediator to resolve the name dispute.

Both trace their beginning to a company founded by two brothers in the early 1920s. The brothers divided the company along geographic borders in the early 1920s, and heirs sold the Savannah company to what is now Friedman's Inc. in 1990. (See Friedman vs. Friedman: Firms at Odds Over Name," JCK, April 1995, page 16.)

The legal dispute began in October when A.A. Friedman sued Friedman Inc. in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, alleging unfair competition, false advertising and trademark infringement. The suit said the companies used to observe an unwritten agreement not to impinge on each other's territories. But after 1990, according to the suit, the new owners of Friedman's Inc. started to open stores in A.A. Friedman's current and targeted markets and confused the public by using the Friedman name.

The suit asked the court to permanently bar Friedman's Inc. from opening stores with the Friedman name in A.A. Friedman's current and targeted markets. Then in February, A.A. Friedman asked the court for a preliminary injunction to bar Friedman's Inc. from using the Friedman name at nine existing stores or opening new stores within 20 miles of A.A. Friedman stores.

In a counterclaim filed in February, Friedman's Inc. said it has prior right and use of the name and charged A.A. Friedman with trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising. It asked the court to dismiss A.A. Friedman's suit and to order that Friedman's Inc. be granted "a geographically unrestricted federal registration of the Friedman's Jewelers mark."

On March 10, the court said both companies are entitled to use the Friedman's name and barred further legal actions for 90 days while the two sides try to negotiate a solution. During the 90 days, neither company may open a new store using the Friedman's name within five miles of the other company's Friedman's stores. Neither may one of them open a Friedman's store within 10 miles of the other company's Friedman's stores without court approval.

The court also ordered Friedman's Inc. not to open or operate any store in Auburn or Opelika, Ala., two areas where A.A. Friedman had sought court action.

CSO WILL CONTINUE FAVORABLE SIGHTS

De Beers' Central Selling Organisation will continue the favorable sight allocations it began in January to ease its clients' profit difficulties, says CSO Chairman Nicholas Oppenheimer. "It's what we've got to do. Profits within the industry are a very big problem, and we must keep clients' loyalty by selling them goods they make and sell profitably," he says.

Briefly, the CSO's new sight policy tailors the allocations very closely to clients' immediate needs and withholds rough they can't use immediately or sell off quickly at a profit, says Mark Boston, managing director of H. Goldie & Co., a CSO broker.

Formerly, most sightholders received a certain percentage of rough they couldn't use right away. "The CSO has to sell what they get from their producers – and that is strictly up to nature," says Boston. In normal times, they can sell these "unusable" goods at a profit to dealers and manufacturers who have ready customers for them. In the past few years, however, many such goods have been in oversupply and have become money-losers.

In fact, the entire diamond industry has been suffering a profit squeeze for more than three years, backed up against high-priced CSO rough on one hand and stiff price-resistance by jewelry manufacturers and retailers on the other. The problems began after the Japanese and U.S. economies plunged into recession after leading the biggest boom in diamond sales in more than 40 years. The recessions caused prices of many types of polished diamonds, particularly smaller goods, to weaken almost to the cost of comparable rough.

The problem grew worse in the past two years when the Russian agency responsible for maintaining the country's diamond stockpile began to sell large amounts of rough on world markets.

Many dealers say they are under no illusion that the CSO's new sight policy will offer a "quick fix" to their problems. "We need demand to pick up, an increase in market confidence and less leakage from Russia," says Isi Horowitz of IDH, Antwerp. "Until these happen, market confidence and profits will remain a problem."

But dealers do appreciate the CSO's efforts. Jacques Roisen, president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, says the CSO is "trying to help the industry. There's a definite effort to be as accommodating as it can in providing satisfactory assortments."

JEWELER CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING GOVERNMENT

A Philadelphia jeweler who advertises himself as "The Diamond Authority" was indicted by a federal grand jury in March for allegedly defrauding the government of $2.03 million through false income-tax claims.

The jeweler, Barry Sable, 43, also was indicted on charges of selling jewelry for cash that came from drug sales.

The 10-count indictment alleges conspiracy to defraud the United States, income-tax evasion, filing false income-tax returns, money laundering and criminal forfeiture. The indictment was announced by Michael R. Silkes, U.S. attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania; Richard L. McCleary, district director of the Internal Revenue Service; and C. Michael Daley of the IRS criminal investigation division.

Sable's attorney, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, didn't return JCK's calls. But he told the Philadelphia Inquirer his client denied the charges and would contest them at the trial.

Sable is the president and the sole shareholder in U.S. Metal, Coin and Jewelry Co. Inc., doing business as Barry Sable Diamonds, located on Philadelphia's "Jewelers Row."

The indictment alleges that from Nov. 1, 1987, to Dec. 16, 1992, Sable and some employees operated a "cash skim" to hide business and employee income amounting to at least $27,000 per month from the IRS. Sable allegedly reported annual corporate income of $20,000 to $33,000 while the actual amount was $324,000 to $375,000. Over the five years, says the indictment, Sable failed to report $2.03 million in corporate income.

Alleged operation: According to the indictment, the cash-skim operation worked like this:

Sable and some employees earmarked some cash sales for skimming by writing sales slips known as "Abby slips" (named for an employee). Once such a sale was completed, the Abby slip was shredded and that piece of jewelry was removed from inventory records. The income from the sale was not recorded in cash receipts or reported on the company's federal income-tax returns.

The indictment alleges that some of the skimmed cash was used for payments to at least three employees who participated in the operation.

Three counts of the indictment allege that Sable sold jewelry for cash that a "customer" – really an undercover agent – told him was from illegal drug deals. In one case, a women's gold Rolex watch and a diamond ring were "exchanged" for $14,380 in cash. Other instances included a 3.75-ct. diamond ring that sold for $21,500 and diamond stud earrings that sold for $16,500 in cash.

If convicted on the money laundering charge, the most serious count, Sable could face up to 47 years in prison.

CHATHAM BOMBARDED WITH CALLS AFTER BROADCAST

Chatham Created Gems Inc., San Francisco, Cal., was inundated with telephone calls after its president appeared April 4 on a television news magazine segment about synthetic diamonds.

Tom Chatham said about half the calls were from consumers wanting to buy synthetic diamonds after hearing the segment on NBC Dateline. Chatham Created Gems – widely known for its lab-grown emerald, ruby and sapphire – is working with Russian producers of synthetic diamonds. "But the product is not yet at the stage for sales," Chatham told JCK. "Frankly, we are still negotiating with the producers in Russia regarding the sizes and quantities of the gemstones we need. We still need to get the Russian production up to speed to support the demand."

There has been progress. Chatham said he now has prototypes of synthetic colorless diamonds in the D-J color range; these were not available to him before. But he didn't know when he would be able to offer synthetic diamonds for sale.

Chatham also flatly denied rumors that he had opened his own diamond-producing facilities to bypass the Russians. "It is too expensive to produce the diamonds in the United States or in another technologically advanced country," he said. "What we have in Russia, in effect, is a Third World country that is also technologically advanced."

Chatham also noted several other companies – including De Beers, General Electric and Sumitomo – have the technology and facilities to produce synthetic diamonds – a fact the NBC Dateline broadcast didn't mention.

FAMED WATCHMAKER TOATTENDAWI DEDICATION

George Daniels, considered by many to be the world's greatest living watchmaker, will attend the grand opening celebration of the new world headquarters of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute June 23 in Harrison, Ohio. He will address more than 200 guests expected to attend the ceremony and also will speak at AWI's 35th anniversary dinner the following evening.

Daniels hand-manufactures watches of his own design with technical and aesthetic qualities that have won him an international reputation. He also is known as a premier restorer of important and historical timepieces.

The institute awarded Daniels a fellowship in 1985, its highest honor. He also received the Henry B. Fried Award from the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors in 1991 in recognition of his watch designs and their extreme complications using his own patented escapements.

Daniels has lectured around the world and is coauthor of the book Watches, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the British Horological Institute, past master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a freeman of the Goldsmiths Company.

The new AWI headquarters features a 40-foot diameter "History of Time" display with a 26-ft. Foucault pendulum suspended from the peak of the main room's ceiling. Next to the pendulum is one of the world's largest horological libraries. The building also houses an education wing and AWI corporate offices.

The new headquarters is at 701 Enterprise Dr., Harrison, Ohio, about 20 miles west of Cincinnati. The telephone number is (513) 661-3838.

FYI

Need a handy guide to answer your customers' technical questions about platinum? Platinum Tech Tips: Retail Edition is a desktop reference created by the Platinum Guild International USA and Johnson Matthey, a platinum refiner and supplier. The guide offers information on platinum manufacturing and metalworking techniques and is available by calling PGI at (714) 760-8279 or Johnson Matthey at (212) 245-6790.

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