December 2015

New & Next: 10 Hot Retail Topics for 2016

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10 Things Rocking the Industry, December 2015–January 2016

COLORED STONES It was a big year for the 2016 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards: 492 entries total. But the record number of contenders wasn’t the only outstanding aspect of this year’s competition. Craftsmanship, originality, and jewelers’ use of color were all noticeably improved. “Designers are not haphazardly putting colors together,”…

JCK Photo Shoot Outtakes With Model Alexandra Marks

Model Alexandra Marks imbued the December–January issue cover shoot with a sunny, resort-style vibe. We adorned the Trinidad-born beauty in heaps of gold jewelry—from statement earrings to collar necklaces and stacking bangles—to highlight the yellow metal theme. And given the issue’s 2016-in-preview focus, she also donned a super-stylish addition to the wearable category: a prototype…

The Top 10 JCK Online Stories of 2015

What do our website readers love? Just about anything involving diamonds—and, as it turns out, a stomach-turning tale involving a certain late-night talk-show host and his wedding band. 1. Jimmy Fallon’s Ring Avulsion Is Horrifying Jimmy Fallon returned to The Tonight Show after a two-week break—not a vacation, but rather a stint in the ICU of New York City’s…

Editor’s Letter, December 2015–January 2016: Ring in the New

I was out to dinner with a couple of girlfriends from college recently when the conversation turned to Snapchat, the photo- and video-sharing app seemingly beloved by millennials and profoundly misunderstood by everyone else.  “I don’t get it,” my friend Anna confessed, as she Googled her way to a Quora page full of praise for…

Staff Picks, December 2015–January 2016: Gold Comfort

What contributor Randi Molofsky is loving this month “Bold gold—all day, every day—is my signature look, but it’s also one for the ages.”  —Contributor Randi Molofsky           If only I could afford two, my modern-day Wonder Woman fantasy would be a reality. (Marina B, $42,000, marinab.com)     A sleek matte rose gold…

Publisher’s Letter, December 2015–January 2016: All Hail 2016!

It is truly amazing, but we are now halfway through the second decade of the 21st century! I still remember people talking about the 21st century in the ’70s as some sort of futuristic utopia. Of course, I imagine if my 1976 self could see 2016, I’d be bowled over by revolutionary technology like the…

Instagem: Why @liz_kantner Is Our Favorite Feed of the Month

Though she does PR and marketing for Boulder, Colo.–based Todd Reed, @liz_kantner is an equal opportunity jewelry ’grammer—spotlighting striking pieces from myriad designers, not to mention her own antique-heavy personal collection.         Charmed, we’re sure   Sealed with a Gabriella Kiss   It’s all about presentation   The elephant in the room…

JCK Hits the Beach for the 2015 LUXURY Miami and JIS Shows

From LUXURY Miami’s opening night White-Out Party to the JIS Retailer of the Year ceremony, JCK’s October shows in Magic City brought much more than the heat JIS MIAMI  (Above) They came, they saw, they bought: From Oct. 15 to 18, the JIS Miami show welcomed buyers from Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.  …

Diamond Industry Boosts Consumer Outreach

Worried that demand is stagnating and a new generation is turning its back on diamonds, the industry is promoting a wide variety of initiatives to appeal to consumers. In addition to the generic ad campaign De Beers announced for holiday 2015, the trade is pursuing the following campaigns: •    Signet and Forevermark joined forces over…

3 Questions for…Alon Ben-Shoshan

In November, the industry saw the debut of yet another lab-grown diamond company: Diamond Foundry. This one is noteworthy for being backed by Blood Diamond star Leonardo DiCaprio as well as a group of Silicon Valley billionaires including the founder of Twitter. Head of commercial relations Alon Ben-Shoshan discussed the company with JCK via email. …

Industry & People, December 2015–January 2016

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?Caryl Capeci (pictured), chief marketing officer for Hearts On Fire, is now its president. Chief financial officer Tom Carlo is now also taking on the role of chief operating officer. Gilly Strauss, formerly HOF’s executive vice president of sales, will become president of Memoire, which HOF purchased in 2004. Founder Glenn Rothman remains…

Why Indiana Retailer Nick Blum Is a Total Lounge Wizard

This Indy jewelry store–slash–speakeasy masters the seductive vibe Nick Blum BlumLux  Indianapolis blumlux.com facebook.com/blumlux pinterest.com/blumlux The first time Nick Blum walked into the building he recently bought to relocate his fine jewelry store, BlumLux, he recalls thinking, Man, I could really make an investment with this one. The roughly 14,000-square-foot, four-story building in downtown Indianapolis—home to…

A Peek Inside Wright’s Jewelers in Lincoln, Nebraska

Will your jeweler drive through a Christmas Eve ice storm for you? Tom Wright Wright’s Jewelers Lincoln, Neb. Owner wrightsjewelers.com What one advertisement or promotion elicited the biggest response, and why do you think it worked? Through most of our 36 years of being in business, advertising perplexed me immensely. Then, a few years ago, I…

Say Aloha to the Guys Behind Big Island Jewelers

Two brothers take a Chance on the next generation at this Hawaii retailer Flint Carpenter Big Island Jewelers Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 66, first generation Gale Carpenter Big Island Jewelers Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 58, first generation Chance Carpenter Big Island Jewelers Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 27, second generation   When Gale Carpenter, owner of Hawaii’s Big Island Jewelers, asked his…

Store We Adore: Sarah O. Jewelry

4301 Tennyson St., Denver At the corner of 43rd and Tennyson Street in Denver’s evolving Berkeley neighborhood, Sarah O. Jewelry’s classic black and white striped awning cheerily beckons. Opened in April 2015 to feature her fine jewelry designs and “couture meets casual” sensibility, it’s the second boutique on the street for Sarah Ortega, owner of…

Show Me the Funny: Jewelry to Give You the Giggles

In the age of emoji and acronyms, is it any wonder that fine jewelry is following suit? Hoop earrings and halo rings are now sharing case space with WTF necklaces and smiling poo studs—styles that not only induce giggles (and ROTFLs) but also help combat that stodgy-store image that can intimidate youthful shoppers. So don’t…

Stars, Spangled: Allison Williams and Léa Seydoux Are All Aglow

Shining the spotlight on gilded, glittery gowns and equally glimmering jewelry At Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars in New York City, Girls star Allison Williams (near right) dazzled in a design by one of the honorees, then-head of Lanvin Alber Elbaz: a bedazzled cap-sleeved column gown that glittered from every angle—topped with vintage pieces…

Pamela Huizenga on the Rocks

The passionate lapidarist combines instinct and extraordinary stones to craft luxurious statement pieces rooted in her love of color If you have even the tiniest bit of “rock hound” in you—the term Pamela Huizenga often uses to describe herself—then the designer’s Palm Beach, Fla., workshop will feel like a gemstone mecca.  In a designated stone…

JCK Asks…Mimi So

Her body of work is a wonderland When we visited Mimi So during jewelry market week in Las Vegas, she presented, among other delicacies, a tray full of crazy-colorful bead necklaces from her Mimi’s Wonderland collection: strand upon strand of red spinel, African tsavorite, blue chalcedony, tanzanite, Colombian emerald, and faceted citrine—dotted with freshwater pearls…

All Hail Queen Elizabeth’s Favorite Tiara

The Diamond Diadem is arguably The Queen of England’s most recognizable piece of jewelry. As immortalized here in Cecil Beaton’s coronation portrait, Elizabeth II first wore the ornamental headpiece—it is a tiara, not a crown—to her first State Opening of Parliament in 1952 and has worn it to state openings every year since.  “The piece…

From Mine to Store: Kathaline Page-Guth’s Magic Dragon

Pure, unadulterated greed has never looked as alluring as in this pendant from Florence, Italy–based designer Kathaline Page-Guth. The glittering jewel—which can also be worn as a brooch—depicts a mischievous dragon clutching a gemstone, a victorious grin flashing across his tiny face. Page-Guth, a former art director and fashion/textile designer, was inspired by a “half-nasty…

Bridal: Champagne Engagement Rings & More

TREND GAME Champagne Dreams Le Vian paved the way for the popularity of champagne-colored diamonds with its proprietary Chocolate Diamonds, and now the industry is basking in their glow. Engagement rings featuring brown diamonds are sweetly styled and, since brown diamonds typically cost less than their colorless counterparts, tend to be attractively priced. Best of…

Colored Stones: Priyanka Kedia’s New Ayva Brand & More

CAN’T-MISS COLLECTION Miss Mumbai For Priyanka Kedia’s new Ayva brand, the San Francisco–based designer mined her family’s jewelry-rich past in Mumbai, India, for present-day inspiration. She reimagined an heirloom necklace with marquise-cut stones—Ayva’s signature shape—across 30 SKUs in 14k gold with a gorgeous array of tiny marquise-cut sapphires and amethysts, among other shapes and colors.…

New & Next: 10 Hot Retail Topics for 2016

What’s new for 2016? Instagram and Snapchat—once strictly social networks—are becoming ­viable retail channels. Man-made diamonds are ­moving into the mainstream. And we hear earrings are big. Really big. Statement Earrings Clothes may be the reason high-profile runway shows exist, but jewelry still steals the spotlight on occasion—like during the 2016 spring shows. Metallic danglers…

South American Hustle: Inside Peru’s Ambitious Jewelry Export Program

Peru has more than 1,000 years of jewelry-making experience. A new program is designed to ensure U.S. consumers know that. When talking about jewelry and Peru, the conversation inevitably turns to the Incas. The Incas ruled Peru in the 1500s; they and their predecessors were known for their skill with metallurgy and ceramics. Even today,…

Gold Call: Why Retailers (and Customers) Are Seeing Yellow

Statistics on U.S. gold jewelry sales reinforce what high-end chain stores are saying: Demand for the yellow metal is on the rise. When John Green, president and CEO of Boston-based Lux Bond & Green, visited Highland Park, Texas, a wealthy community north of Dallas, in June 2014, he was struck by the number of women…

Strike It Rich: Luxe Gold Jewelry to Charm Your Clients

Warm up with arresting designs sure to have your rose- and yellow-metal-loving shoppers swooning CELESTIAL CRESCENT GOALS (Above) Crescent Moon necklace in 18k gold with 0.93 ct. t.w. diamonds; $4,210; Madyha Farooqui, NYC; 646-775-8683; madyhafarooqui.com   STAR SIGNS (Right) P+ & Stars earrings in 18k gold with diamonds; $5,030; Efva Attling, NYC; 212-510-7071; efvaattling.com   MOON…

Viva Italia! We’re on Our Way to VicenzaOro Winter 2016

The global jewelry trade descends on the Veneto region of Italy for VicenzaOro For many people in the jewelry trade, a new calendar year means it’s time to dust off the passport: A trip to Vicenza, Italy, for the VicenzaOro show is in order. Taking place Jan. 22–27, the fair provides a first look at…

Swiss Bliss: Our 2016 SIHH Preview

The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie welcomes high-end watch buyers to Geneva Jan. 18–22. (Above) Royal Oak perpetual calendar in 18k yellow gold with week indication and astronomical moon; price TBD; Audemars Piguet, NYC; 646-375-0807; www.audemarspiguet.com (Right) Tonda Métrographe Abyss Blue on steel bracelet; CHF12,500 ($12,270); Parmigiani Fleurier, Miami; 786-615-9656; parmigiani.ch       Velvet…

Desert Song: The JCK Tucson Show Turns 3

It’s all about designers this February at JCK Tucson Loose stones will have plenty of impressive company this year during the Tucson, Ariz., gem shows, thanks to JCK Events. According to Katie Dominesey, JCK Las Vegas and JCK Tucson industry vice president, the JCK Tucson show will be overhauled for 2016—“completely redesigned with the intention…

Sweet 2016: Gearing Up for Winter’s JIS Miami and JCK Tucson Shows

In early December, Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president at Reed Jewelry Group, attended Art Basel Miami Beach “to glean inspiration.” She’ll put her lessons learned to work at JIS Miami from Jan. 16 to 18, and JCK Tucson, which runs Feb. 3–7. JCK: What was the feedback on the October JIS show? Yancy Weinrich: The…

Promotion Picture: Maximizing Online Marketing for Brick-and-Mortar Events

Business invitations these days come in many forms—including direct mailings, emails, flyers, and cheerful phone calls. But if your followings on social media sites are robust, promoting your store’s next event online may be the easiest way to round up a crowd. Here are five no-fail tips for going social:  Mix It Up Resist the…

Tool Time, December 2015–January 2016: Gadgets, Apps & Wearables

WHO, WHAT, WEARABLE Fossil Q Dreamer Subtlety is a quality sorely lacking in many wearable designs. Yet great style (and taste) often relies on quiet sartorial nuances, not in-your-face fashion statements—which is why the Fossil Q Dreamer notifier is such a breath of fresh air. And the design blends seamlessly into a stack of metal…

The $1.4 Million Hope Spinel Dazzles Bonhams Buyers

The 50+ ct. stone hailed from the storied Henry Philip Hope collection In a top-of-mind word game, hope so often leads to diamond and red to ruby—until now, perhaps. The Hope Spinel—which sold at Bonhams in London on Sept. 24 for an incredible £962,500 ($1.5 million)—captured the hearts, minds, and wallets of bidders with its…