Industry & People



COMINGS AND GOINGS

>> ?Gian Riccardo Marini, 64, current director of Rolex Italia, has been named director general of Rolex SA, its chief executive position. Marini replaces Bruno Meier.

>> ??Victoria Tynedale has joined ­Martin Flyer as the regional manager for the West Coast and Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana territory.

>>?? Zale Corp. appointed its CFO, Matt Appel, chief administrative officer. In this dual role, Appel will be responsible for real estate, supply chain and logistics, merchandise planning and allocation, information technology, warranty, and repair and credit products, in addition to ongoing management of finance and control functions.

>>? Stuart Brown, CFO and acting joint CEO of the De Beers Group, has decided to step down after nearly 20 years with the company. Brown will stay on until July 31 to help Philippe Mellier settle into his new role as CEO.

Ashley Brown

>>? Stuller marketing director Ashley Brown has been appointed executive director of marketing services and public relations. Brown replaces executive director Kerry Hand, who resigned for personal reasons.

>> ?Ashi Diamonds appointed Sandy Weiman-Morrow as sales representative and marketing consultant for the Midwest region. Weiman-Morrow has more than 16 years of experience servicing independent jewelers.

>>? David Barr was elected to moissanite manufacturer Charles & Colvard’s board of directors at the annual meeting of shareholders May 19. Barr was chairman of the board of Samuels Jewelers from 2000 until 2007, and served on the board at Samuels in 2008.

>>? Jean-Christophe Bedos, president and CEO of the French jeweler Boucheron, will leave the group; Pierre Bouissou will succeed him.

>> ?Benjamin Rowe has been named creative director of the Shaun Leane Jewellery House, after working alongside CEO Shaun Leane since the company’s founding in 1999.

INTERNET

>>? Gemvara, the online retailer of ­customer-designed fine ­jewelry formerly known as Paragon Lake, announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Lexington, Mass., to downtown Boston. The company also said it plans to double its employees by the end of the year.

FINANCIAL

>>?? QVC’s jewelry sales declined in the first quarter of 2011. However, sales of electronics, beauty, and accessories increased.

>> ?Blue Nile’s sales for the first quarter ending April 3 were up 8.3 percent to hit a record $80.2 million. Gross profit was $16.9 million, up 7.1 percent.

>> ?Leading Chinese retailer Chow Tai Fook is poised to go public with an IPO valued at as much as $2 billion, according to Reuters. The DTC sightholder currently has 1,400 jewelry stores across China and reportedly plans to open up about 200 a year.

ASSOCIATIONS

Bong Sang Cho’s Winter Night bracelet

>>? Jewelers of America provided $12,500 last year to its state and regional association partners via its Affinity Group Support Fund. Recipients of the funding were the New York State Jewelers Association and the Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma Jewelers Associations.

AWARDS

>>? The Southern Jewelry Travelers Association and Savannah College of Art and Design announced the winners of the annual student design competition. Bong Sang Cho won Best in Show for the Winter Night bracelet. 

EXPANSION

Northeastern Fine Jewelry

>>? Northeastern Fine Jewelry will expand its flagship location in Schenectady, N.Y., growing its showroom by 1,500 square feet—more than double its current size. The store logged a year-over-year sales boost of more than 20 percent last year.

OPENINGS

>> Watch brand Hublot opened its flagship boutique in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 2. This is the company’s fifth boutique in the United States.

>>??The new Bailey Banks & Biddle, the resurrected ­version of the 200-year-old brand, plans to open five stores this fall, which would double its current total. The locations have yet to be finalized.

De Beers Diamond Jewellers’ Beijing store

>> ?De Beers Diamond ­Jewellers opened its first store in China on May 31. The store, located in Skin Kong Place, Beijing, marks De Beers Diamond Jewellers’ entrance into China’s expanding jewelry market.

AUCTIONS

>> ?An Art Deco Cartier 1928 Tutti Frutti bracelet sold for $1.8 million on June 8 at Christie’s London. The Important ­Jewels sale ­realized $12 million overall.

HONORED

Cartier’s $1.8 million bracelet: a record for a Tutti Frutti jewel at auction

>>? The Indian Diamond & Color­stone Association honored industry leaders at its 27th Annual Awards Night at JCK Las Vegas June 4. Diamond ­Trading Company managing director Varda Shine received the Doyenne Award. Macy’s won the Retailer of the Year Award. Humphrey Valenbreder received the North America Business Banker Award on behalf of ABN AMRO Bank.

>>? Michael Hill—the founder and chairman of global jewelry chain Michael Hill International—has been honored as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition for his contribution to business and the arts.

GIVING

>>? Tiffany & Co. awarded a $5 million challenge grant to the Friends of the High Line. The grant is part of a five-year $50 million capital campaign to preserve and convert the High Line (New York City’s 1.5 mile–long elevated railway–turned–
park) into public open space.

>> ??MJ Christensen Diamonds hosted the 9th Ladies Night Out June 1 in Las Vegas to celebrate breast cancer survivors, raising $6,300 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman declared June 1 “MJ Christensen Diamonds Day” in the city.

REMEMBERED

>>? Wesley Emmons Jr., a Philadelphia retailer sometimes called “The Jogging Jeweler,” died May 23 of complications from Alzheimer’s. He was 83. During his longtime career, he designed jewelry for Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Buddy Rich, and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

>>? Harold Weisbrod, who spent 60 years with a Los Angeles ­jewelry manufacturing company, died June 3 in Tarzana, Calif., at age 90. He received a Purple Heart while serving for an anti-aircraft unit during World War II, and used an Army allotment to start ­Harlyn Products Inc., in 1945. Weisbrod served as director of the Jewelers Board of Trade and Manufacturing ­Jewelers & Silversmiths of America (now the Manufacturing ­Jewelers & Suppliers of America) and worked as a consultant in the industry until his death.

(Additional reporting by Lindsey Wojick)