From the Editor: January–February 2017



At press time. You’ve probably seen this phrase in the magazine before. That’s the way we cover our bases just in case something dramatic happens after we upload the issue to the printer. And at no time does it feel more appropriate than now.

In the six weeks between my writing this and your reading it, so much will have transpired. The holidays will have come and gone, putting what I hope to be a positive spin on an otherwise challenging year. The industry will have gathered at the Waldorf Astoria ballroom for the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York’s annual shindig in mid-January. And if you’re reading this letter in February, the Tucson gem shows will have revealed the stones and colors destined to rule 2017.

So while I can’t tell you how all of the above will go (went?) down—save for the color part (click here for a sneak peek!)—I do have the foresight to remind you that, with Valentine’s Day approaching, you’ll want to consider the marketing advice shared by contributor Martha C. White in “How to Click With Tech-Savvy, Custom-Craving Millennial Brides and Grooms,” an exhaustive look at how technology can help boost your bridal sales. “For jewelers, the constant pace of technological change can be challenging, but marketing experts and savvy retailers say it also offers an unparalleled chance to connect with today’s bridal jewelry shopper,” Martha writes.

Connection, it seems, is the name of the game. In “Retail 360,” senior editor Emili Vesilind explores the world of omnichannel retailing, a catchphrase to describe what today’s consumers crave most: a seamless experience between your website, your store, and your social channels.

One way to ensure you’re delivering it is to hire a forward-thinking manager. In “The Right Manager,” contributor Amanda Baltazar spells out what you need to consider when searching for your second-in-command.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we sing the praises of colored stones—first in “Green Boom,” senior editor Jennifer Heebner’s look at the Colombian emerald market, and next in “What a Gem!,” a luscious still life that places those aforementioned emeralds on a worthy pedestal, alongside Paraiba tourmalines, bicolor gems, and Burmese rubies.

There is a method to our madness. Many of you will be reading this at Tucson. If that’s the case, keep the JCKTucson show in mind if you’re in the market for finished jewels. For its third annual run at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, the show has expanded its selection of talented designers, bringing in a slew of top names, including Suzy Landa, Alex Sepkus, and Todd Reed. Learn more about what’s on tap in the Show Biz column.

Finally, consider this at-press-time dispatch: Donald Trump is not yet president. No matter on which side of our country’s great political divide you find yourself, I suspect we can all agree: May 2017 bring us peace and unity. Happy new year!

Top: With JCK’s Katie Dominesey, Randi Gewertz, and Mark Smelzer in New Orleans before our annual late autumn trip to Stuller

(Inset: Gomsleky photograph by Steven Simko)