February 2012

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The Too-Good-to-Be-True Tale of Liz Taylor’s $11.8 Million La Peregrina

La Peregrina, the natural 50.56 ct. pear-shape pearl that sold for a record $11.8 million at Christie’s Dec. 13 sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s ­jewelry, nearly quadrupled its estimate for one reason and one reason alone: its incredible provenance. Discovered early in the 16th century in the Gulf of Panama by a slave who later won…

Silver: Tammy Kohl’s Exceptionally Earth-Friendly Jewelry

  One of Tammy Kohl’s toughest tasks is coming up with clever ways to inspire more people to visit Taköhl, a Gallery of Exceptional Jewels, a 24-year-old Chicago purveyor of designer jewelry (by Stephen Webster, among others), photography, and paintings, as well as Kohl’s own sterling and 18k gold line. Kohl strives to present patrons…

Gold: Bethesda’s Amethyst Opens the Trunk for Jeweler Alberto Parada

When Amy Hugo started selling Alberto Parada’s minimalist 18k gold jewels in May, she planned a trunk show for June, shortly after returning from JCK Las Vegas. “I like to make a big to-do about welcoming designers to the store,” says the owner of the 3-year-old, 700-square-foot Amethyst jewelry boutique in Bethesda, Md. Typically, she…

Diamonds: Auction Block Party

A 9.22 ct. D-IF marquise-cut diamond ring (pictured, right) sold for $969,838 at ­Bonhams’ Fine Jewellery Sale in London on Dec. 8. Overall, the sale realized $6.38 million, with 82 percent sold by lot and 90 percent sold by value. Jean Ghika, director of the house’s jewelry department, said in a statement that Bonhams’ jewelry…

Diamonds: Convenience Store

D.NEA, which began by selling its lab-grown diamonds online, has jumped into the brick-and-mortar business by setting up a boutique in Greenville, S.C. CEO Eric Franklin says Greenville is the only retail location D.NEA is interested in. “We decided to open the retail space because we have a lot of customers that want to see…

Gem Pricing: Mixed Messages

On the eve of the Tucson gem shows, the market is more mercurial than ever Attention in the colored stone market has turned toward Tucson. Dealers have mixed predictions about the show. Many dealers report that the holiday was, at press time, softer than anticipated for the gem and jewelry industry. The sales activity at…

Turkish Jeweler Gilan Honors Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia

As befits a city that’s a couple hundred centuries old, Istanbul boasts its share of awe-inspiring landmarks and architectural marvels. Gilan, the 32-year-old family-owned jewelry firm based in the ancient Turkish metropolis, has crafted pieces—and even entire collections—in honor of the city’s greatest: the Ottoman royal residence–turned–museum Topkapi Palace (jewels pay homage to its gardens…

JCK 5: Euro-Trippy Jewelry From Munich’s Inhorgenta Fair

The Inhorgenta fair in Munich (Feb. 10–13) is known for showcasing inspiring, one-of-a-kind works. 1. Leather and sterling bracelet with black diamonds, $1,025, belt with black diamonds and a Tahitian pearl, $2,960; Gellner, Harleysville, Pa.; 215-256-0750; gellner.com 2. 18k white gold Cielo diamond ring with synthetic corundum inlaid shank; $9,400; Gebrüder Schaffrath, Hanau, Germany; 49-618-167-3060;…

Desert Blooms: Gearing Up for the 2012 AGTA GemFair

Connoisseurs of color wouldn’t miss Tucson’s annual GemFair Momentum is building behind the AGTA’s Jan. 31–Feb. 5 GemFair. According to American Gem Trade Association executive director Doug Hucker’s informal “hotel room reservation index,” the number of people who had booked rooms at press time was 49 percent greater than last year. “It’s probably one of…

Beautiful Lies: The Slippery Slope of Gem Treatment

An expert in the gemstone market warns that treatments are no longer simply improving quality but creating it Since ancient times, humans have coveted the classic gemstones because they exhibit a beauty unique to the mineral world. It is this beauty, combined with the perception of rarity as well as durability, that motivates people to…

Chain of Custody Battle: Where Do Your Jewelry Materials Come From?

Associations, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers are expressing more interest in the origins of their materials. Here’s what it all means. It’s a question that, in one form or another, has bedeviled the jewelry business for the past decade: Where do your jewelry materials come from? “You can go to Starbucks and know the origin of…

JCK 5: Tips to Boost Bridal Jewelry Sales

1. Make your website informative: Today’s shoppers want to try on pieces in a store as well as use the Internet for research. 2. Don’t forget the bands: Fewer brides today buy wedding bands where they buy engagement rings, so be prepared with options at a variety of price points, suggests publicist Michelle Orman. 3.…

What (Jewelry) a Bride Wants

Budget doesn’t mean boring. For today’s bridal buyers, it’s all in the details. Budget-conscious self-expression: That’s the mindset of today’s bridal jewelry shopper. In the increasingly diverse post-recession bridal landscape, there’s still plenty of room for individuality within the lower price points many jewelers are reporting and, for some customers, a departure from tradition in…

JCK Asks…Katey Brunini

She dines on air and designs with antlers: A chat with the colored-stone mix master If there were a Cosmopolitan-style “Fun Fearless Female” award for the jewelry industry, Katey Brunini would get our vote. Brunini—who in August was named Fine Jewelry Designer of the Year by the Women’s ­Jewelry Association—will work with just about any…

Devon Fine Jewelry: It’s the Hottest Ticket in Town

In the early 1980s, Nancy Schuring built Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff, N.J., by expanding her colored stone inventory in a diamond-heavy market. By educating her customers with entertaining events, Schuring was able to make colored stones a vital part of her successful business model. In 2009, she launched her hugely successful Finders Keepers series,…

D&H Sustainable Jewelers

2323 Market St., San Francisco Like Broadway in New York City, San Francisco’s Market Street cuts a diagonal path across the city, providing an essential reference point should you get lost within its reach. The thoroughfare is at its most charming when it passes through the Castro. Best known as an epicenter of same-sex culture,…

The Hoyt Shots of Siebke Hoyt Jewelers

A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, store where everybody knows your name Though Siebke Hoyt Jewelers has occupied its current home for only about a decade, its roots trace back to 1889, when watchmakers George Ludy and Robert Taylor opened a jewelry store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After more than 100 years of mergers, marriages, and children—plus…

Heed the Call to Action: Get Visitors to Take Action on Your Website

Are you asking visitors to do the right thing? As the Internet continues to become more essential to all of our businesses, jewelers are starting to think about things differently. We obsess about our websites, worry about email lists, and wonder which social networks to focus on. We think about our consumers’ needs and aim…

You Don’t Know Jack Lewis Jewelers?

Bridal buyers can romp around this Bloomington, Ill., retailer’s wedding ring playground 1. What’s the best idea you’ve come up with for your store? Our wedding ring playground. When we remodeled in spring 2011, one of the things we added was bridal sample lines from various vendors. As samples trickled in, we realized $15 sample…

Personal Best: How Jewelers Customize the Shopping Experience

Think back to the beginning of the industrial age. The biggest factor that contributed to the achievement of real wealth was mass production: the ability to use machinery and automated processes to deliver a large quantity of identical goods in an easy and affordable manner. The benefits of mass production included the ability to leverage…

JCK 5: Colored Stone Trends for 2012

1. Orange gemstones to match the 2012 Pantone Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango. Think fire opal, spessartite garnet, and citrine. 2. Colors that complement Tangerine Tango, such as navy (blue sapphire), green (emerald or tsavorite), brown (zircon, diamond, or agate), and red (ruby, rhodolite garnet, or rubellite tourmaline).  3. Pearls—both natural and enhanced—because they…

Here Comes the Pride: February’s Letter From the Editor of JCK Magazine

My parents were married in a civil ceremony in Leningrad—the once and future St. Petersburg—on a spring afternoon in 1973. Like most Soviet-era weddings, the service lacked pomp and circumstance (to say the least). The reception took place at their tiny apartment, where friends honored them with shots of vodka and champanskaya. They exchanged plain…

February’s Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst comes from the Greek word ­amethystos, loosely translated as “not drunken.” Not surprisingly, then, February’s birthstone is believed to protect against intoxication and install a serious and sober mind. Today it is still considered a stabilizing force for those struggling against addictive behaviors. The affordable purple stone is said to quicken intelligence; guard against…

Industry & People: What’s Happening in the Jewelry Industry in February 2012

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?The American Gem Society Laboratories recently named Alethea Inns director of diamond grading. Inns is a graduate gemologist in residence, with pearls and jewelry business management credentials from GIA. She started her career with GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory in the diamond grading and gem identification departments. >>?Months after taking full control of…

Independent Jewelers Also Love Liz

Amid all the big-name, big-money buyers at the Christie’s Dec. 13–15 fabled Elizabeth Taylor auction, several independent ­jewelers managed to take home a piece of what is already considered one of the most notable sales in jewelry history. Jenny Caro, owner of Jewelry by Design in Woodbridge, Va., spent the first night getting outbid and…

A Winter Whirl: February’s Letter From the Publisher of JCK Magazine

I’ve just completed the whirl that is “24 Karat weekend,” three days of black-tie evenings, daytime luncheons, board meetings, and general merriment that revolve around the 24 Karat Club of New York’s black-tie banquet in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. While it left me utterly exhausted, this was the most upbeat round of…

10 Things Rocking the Industry in February

1. Auctions There’s no denying the stardust that hovered over Christie’s New York Dec. 13, when collectors, dealers, and acolytes gathered for the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s treasure trove of jewelry. The tone of the sale—the first in a four-day series featuring the actress’ jewelry, haute couture, decorative arts, and film memorabilia—was set by the…