Welcome to Las Vegas

I’m here again, and happy about it—yes, I’m talking about Las Vegas. I landed on Monday afternoon and am now officially settling into my digs at Mandalay Bay for what will be my 12th JCK Las Vegas.

I hear many in the industry say they loathe Las Vegas. They’re not fans of the dry heat, the mammoth casinos with layouts that can confuse and contain you, the circus-like atmosphere of flashing slot machines, and, what some call almost offensive homages to cultural meccas like Paris (the Eiffel Tower replica), the canals of Venice at the Venetian, and, half of the jewelry industry by way of the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Is nothing off limits for Las Vegas developers? Apparently not.

Might I suggest a new approach this year? Laugh at all of the silliness and “inspired” landscapes that make Vegas what it is. We’re here to see friends and drink in a new season’s worth of incredible jewels.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what huge stones Rahaminov Diamonds (LUX921) has brought (last year it was lots of cognacs, and the year before there was a jawbreaker-sized yellow), to drool over Temple St. Clair’s (LUXEE8) dreamy new moonstone pieces, see the elegant everyday styles (and over-the-top ones that editors love) at Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry (LUXEE6), and admire the gorgeous and well-priced silver designs at India Hicks Fine Jewelry (LUXEE3) and Raymond Hak Couture (LUX311), among others. Then there’s the design center—a great place to spend at least half a day—as well as lots of other talented manufacturers waiting to be discovered elsewhere in this show, and, some of the other ones taking place down the street.

I’ll be live blogging new pieces I see, so if you have images of items you’re debuting, please email some to me at JHeebner@jckonline.com for possible inclusion in coverage. Be sure to provide me with:

–a brief description of materials used, including metal type and stone weights

–suggested retail prices for each piece

–your booth number at the show (whichever one you’re exhibiting at)

I’ll get to as many booths as time permits, and I promise I’ll try to get to yours. Please have CDs or flash drives containing new pieces!.

On a related note, I’m speaking this year on Saturday morning from 10 a.m.–11:15 a.m. as part of the Gen-Next track. My talk will be “Attracting the Next Generation Customer.” I’ll be covering characteristics of those shoppers as well as timely trends and new products that you can see at the show. I’d love to see your faces in the audience if you have time to attend.

See you on the show floor.