Win City: Editor’s Letter, June 2014



A decade ago, I attended a press event at the New York City showroom of JCK Las Vegas exhibitor Gumuchian, where I was asked to place my business card in a bowl for a chance to win a Tahitian pearl and diamond ring valued (at the time) at around $4,000.

I’d never so much as won a bingo game before, so you can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call later that afternoon saying I’d won the ring. I was four years into writing about the jewelry business and didn’t own a single truly fine piece of jewelry (at trade shows, I was paralyzed by choice). The yellow gold cocktail ring, designed in a flower motif with a 16 mm pearl at its center, gave me a feeling of legitimacy.

My prized Gumuchian ring, which you’ll almost always see on my hand

I’ve worn it nearly every day since, which, I suppose, qualifies it as my most prized possession. We asked four fashion designers to reveal theirs in a photo feature that underscores the passion and sentiment that keeps our business going ’round.

We hope you find your own treasures at this month’s JCK Las Vegas show, which draws designers, manufacturers, and buyers from all over the world to Mandalay Bay. As a tribute to the show’s global makeup, we invite you to go “Around the World of JCK in 7 Days,” our look at the LUXURY and JCK shows through the lens of the international exhibitors who partake in the event.

When you’ve finished your buying and selling, take some time for “Tools and Technologies for Modern Jewelry Retailing,” Emili Vesilind’s thoughtful summary of the apps, social sites, and partnerships all retailers should consider in order to stay current in this lightning-speed world. Follow that read with our guide to determining whether all those pins and tweets are actually paying off.

Courtesy of American Gem Society
Rob Bates bantered with Magic Johnson during the AGS Conclave. I believe the word short came up. Twice.

In our credit card fraud feature, we tell you what you need to know to keep your customers safe from credit card hackers, while “How to Recognize and Combat Discrimination in Your Jewelry Store” is contributor Stephanie Vozza’s clearheaded take on how to avoid claims of sexual discrimination and harassment in your retail environment.

We round out this issue’s serious-minded coverage with “Everything You Need to Know About Synthetic and Simulant Diamonds,” news director Rob Bates’ must-read feature on the marketing of diamond simulants—and the growing public confusion over how they differ from synthetic diamonds.

It’s not, however, all downbeat news for Rob. Case in point: his comedic turn, for the second year in a row, as emcee of the American Gem Society Conclave. Check out the highlights of the 80th anniversary celebration—held in April at San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado—in Social Diary and AGS Goes Back to Its Roots at the ’14 Conclave.

Look for Rob, me, and the rest of the JCK editorial gang (managing editor Melissa Bernardo, senior editors Jennifer Heebner and Emili Vesilind, and our brand-new social media journalist—and JCK Las Vegas first-timer!—Logan Sachon) on the show floor and at the JCK Photo Booth, where we’ll be asking you about the treasures you’re finding and seeking in Vegas. With this year’s worldly selection, I have no doubt there will be many.