July 2012

JCK Las Vegas 2012: Best in Show

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JAR’s Ruby Brooch Raises a Stunning $4.3 Million for Charity

Cult-favorite jeweler JAR, aka Joel Arthur Rosenthal, set a new standard for pavé work with this circa 2003 floral brooch. Marrying various sizes, hues, and cuts of rubies, he set out to mimic the slight tone variations of real-life camellia petals—to spectacular effect. The scarlet stunner—which sold for $4.3 million (well above its $1.5 million…

Bridal: K. Brunini Wedding Jewels, Cora Stacking Rings

Signature Style In K. Brunini Jewels’ new Shapes of Strength bridal collection, Solana Beach, Calif.–based designer Katey Brunini has introduced 148 SKUs in 18k rose, white, or yellow gold starting at $400 retail. The line comprises engagement rings, wedding bands, and complementary styles with motifs found in the artists’ signature ­collections, including Twig, Vertebrae, DNA,…

Silver: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Cohost Brooke Burke Debuts Jewelry Line & More

Dark Forces During the past few years, oxidized silver jewelry has become a staple in collections everywhere: Think blackened mesh bands and skinny bangles, or studs lit up with pinpoint-size diamond chips. Fans of the noir styles are abundant. Here’s a look at two designers who keep the rest of the industry darkly dreaming. Alex…

Gold: Mazza Sells Seashells, Hellmuth Goes to the Dogs

Shelling Out Steven Mazza has long known the beauty of natural shells. The vice president of marketing for the Mazza Co., a fifth-generation jeweler in Baldwin, N.Y., has always incorporated shells into his finished jewelry collection, and debuts a few styles (like this necklace) each year. “It crosses demographics—from young to old—in the same way…

Diamonds: Nicky Oppenheimer Honored by WDC & More

High Definition At its annual meeting in May in Vicenza, Italy, the World Diamond Council endorsed an initiative to consider expanding the mandate of the Kimberley Process to cover diamonds produced in violent circumstances. The Kimberley Process defines conflict diamonds as “diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and…

Gem Pricing Report: Affordable Luxuries

A subdued gemstone market reflects consumer demand for price point goods The JCK Las Vegas show revealed that attitude in the trade is improving, but the colored stone market still lacks enthusiasm. Consumers are far more price conscious today than they were during better times. As a result, sales activity for colored stones remains concentrated…

From Mine to Store: Wallace Chan’s Butterfly Brooch

In Chinese lore, butterflies represent long life and everlasting love. But for Hong Kong ­jeweler ­Wallace Chan, the artist behind this bejeweled brooch, the delicate insect is also “the perfect symbol of the power of life in nature.” Butterflies are a familiar motif in the enigmatic designer’s repertoire; he’s made them using diamonds, crystals, sapphires,…

JCK 5: Prepping for JCK Toronto 2012

Look for these JCK Toronto exhibitors at the Metro Toronto Convention Center from Aug. 12 to 14: 1. Twirl Snap bracelet in silver and 14k gold with Purple Swarovski Tassel and Chamilia and Swarovski beads; $1,760; Chamilia, Minneapolis; 800-495-0977; chamilia.com 2. Ring in 14k white gold with Tahitian pearl and 0.34 ct. t.w. melee; $1,573;…

A Peek at LUXURY Privé 2012

The invitation-only Privé show adds a high-end flair to New York City’s market week Until the JCK show began luring jewelry buyers to Las Vegas in 1992, the industry gathered in New York City—first at the Hilton, then at the Jacob Javits Convention Center—to buy and sell its wares. While JCK Las Vegas remains the…

Jewelry Supplies in Demand

From gold-growing to printing and polishing, these tools and software systems can do it all. Retailers looking to update their in-store tools and technology flocked to the Equipment, Technology & Supplies show at JCK Las Vegas in early June, where 135 exhibitors showcased their latest products—from software designed to streamline retail operations to a lasering…

How Jewelers Are Capitalizing on Cross-Promotional Campaigns

At first glance, a jeweler and a pizzeria might not appear to have much in common. But when Jan Marten, owner of JEM ­Jewellers in Carmel, Ind., was approached by the owner of Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza to do a joint marketing event last year, she saw that the neighboring businesses had hundreds of…

Jewelers Think Big With Billboards

Why more and more retailers are banking on billboards to boost branding and bolster sales At a time when retailers are buying Google Ads and tweeting store specials, advertising on billboards may seem quaintly retro—and not in a good way. But for many independent jewelers, billboard promotions are making big impressions on clients, generating traffic…

JCK Las Vegas 2012: Speeches Touch Showgoers’ Hearts

JCK Las Vegas can be a whirlwind of business and socializing. But sometimes events during the week strike a deeper chord, as when two speeches put a human face on the industry’s charitable efforts. At the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s May 2 “Diamonds for Good” panel, 21-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo native Joseph Munyambanza told of…

JCK Las Vegas 2012: Speeches & Seminars

With all the browsing, buying, and selling going on at JCK, we know it’s tough for retailers to find time for a sales-tips session or an HPHT diamond debate. (Even we couldn’t get to all of the cool seminars!) That’s why we gathered 35 business-savvy takeaways from our expert-led events, guaranteed to educate and entertain.…

JCK Las Vegas 2012: Best in Show

They came, they saw, they bought. Our wrap-up of the best and the brightest jewels and news JCK Las Vegas 2012 had to offer. When we arrived at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center at the tail end of May for JCK Las Vegas and its sister events, LUXURY and Elite Enclave, we figured that year…

Tilly Losch Glimmers in Van Cleef & Arpels Gold Jewelry

Everyone suffered for the war effort during the 1940s, even glamorous ladies like European Countess Tilly Losch, actress, dancer, socialite, and then-wife of Britain’s Earl of Carnarvon. They wore gold rather than platinum (which was used for armament). And they dressed up in flashy jewelry rather than fancy clothes, since new fabric was in short…

JCK Asks…Colette

The French-Mexican artist on Corsica and croissants Even in the sea of blue and green gems that flooded market week in Vegas, it was impossible to miss Colette Steckel’s new Mediterranean-inspired Alas collection. “Last summer I spent one month in Corsica, where I walked in the water for hours at a time,” she recalls. “Alas…

Silver Sisters Phoebe and Annette Stephens: Anndra Neen Jewelry’s Dynamic Duo

Anndra Neen’s stylish mixed-metal jewels take two Anndra Neen makes one hell of a statement. Phoebe and Annette Stephens, the sister team behind the 3-year-old jewelry line, hail from a long line of painters, sculptors, and jewelry designers in Mexico City. Their upbringing encouraged them to be creative and led them to develop a penchant…

How Hildgund Jewelry CEO Bruce Bucky Taps Into the Hawaiian Tourist Trade

How Hildgund Jewelry gets attention—and sales—from Hawaiian tourists Selling merchandise to a client base that turns over every five days is the biggest challenge facing hotel-based ­retailers. But Bruce Bucky, CEO of Hildgund Jewelry of Hawaii—which operates six hotel locations—makes leapfrogging that hurdle look easy. The former banking professional relies on strategically placed advertising (in…

Store We Adore: Forty Five Ten

4510 McKinney Avenue, Dallas Duck into Forty Five Ten on Dallas’ bustling McKinney Avenue and it is immediately apparent that the pursuit of sartorial pleasure is considered an unalienable right here. The clean, cozy space showcases coveted labels such as the Row, Proenza Schouler, and Givenchy, while elegant glass display cases are filled to the…

Murray’s Jewelers, the Pride of Muncie, Indiana

The men of Murray’s rise above the rest with their mad repair, sales, and design skills Five generations of Murrays have cranked the 100-year-old register mounted inside the family jewelry store in Muncie, Ind. But never has the shop been home to so many craftsmen. Founded in 1885 by James E. Murray as a watch…

Maximize Your Social Media Results

How digital media channels can invigorate a cohesive marketing program When we talk about using social media for our business, we often forget to add the word marketing. This omission causes us to distance it from traditional marketing efforts, relegating social media into what is known as a “silo.” For those unfamiliar with the term,…

Should Jewelers Jump on the Brand Wagon?

Beware the double-edged sword of carrying high-profile brands If there has been one major change in the retail jewelry landscape in the past three years, it’s been the dominance of brands on the marketing landscape. Brands have obviously been around for many years, particularly in the watch market, but there has been a sizable power shift…

Why Retailer Craig Husar Is a Hopeless Romantic

Step up to the Tacori Bar at Lyle Husar Designs, where bridal is on tap and romance is big business 1. What has been your biggest business challenge—and what have you done to resolve it?I spent 14 years working outside the family jewelry store. Since coming back to the family business in 1998, I’ve spent…

Cracking the Jewelry Store Dress Code

In Manhattan Beach, Calif., a relaxed, coastal dress code reigns—even at the tony Martin’s Jewelry. “It’s denim and diamonds and flip-flops,” says president Alex Weil of his staff’s work wear. Forget pantyhose and French cuffs, once de rigueur for jewelry salespeople. As casual Friday steadily seeps into every other weekday, the dress codes in many…

August Birthstone: Peridot

Called the gem of the sun by the Egyptians, peridot has always been linked to light. This often transparent yellowish-green stone is supposed to protect a person from nightmares, ward off evil, and release negativity. It is also said to help heal a wounded ego and bring clarity of thought. Though more commonly found in…

July Birthstone: Ruby

Rubies are thought by some to contain the spark of life, so it’s no wonder that they are one of the priciest and most precious of all gemstones. Many believed July’s birthstone glowed from within and that gods and royalty used them to light their homes. (That also meant the stone couldn’t be stolen since…

Industry & People: July–August 2012

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?Tiffany & Co. promoted Andrew W. Hart to senior vice president of diamonds and gemstones. Hart has been with the company since 1999 and has served as vice president of diamonds and gemstones since 2002. The company also announced that Robert S. Singer has been elected to its board of directors. Singer…

JCK 5: Top Tweets From JCK Las Vegas

Amid all the business and bustle of JCK Las Vegas, industry members took to Twitter under the #jck hashtag. Among the best bite-size nuggets of wisdom: 1. Brandee Dallow (@Bambee395) Girl on security line with a big a#s diamond encrusted SINGLE pendant. I’m definitely on my way to Vegas. 2. Beyond The Booth (@BeyondBooth) One…

De Beers Antitrust Settlement Finally Final

After four years and innumerable delays, the checks may—at long last—be in the mail. The De Beers antitrust class action settlement was finalized on May 21, when the Supreme Court denied an appellant’s motion for reconsideration. Plaintiff attorneys say members of the direct class—trade companies that purchased directly from De Beers and other miners—should have…

Leaving Las Vegas: July–August 2012 Publisher’s Letter

I got back from the 2012 JCK Las Vegas show a few weeks ago and I’m still basking in the excitement and terrific feedback this year’s edition generated. It seems everyone I’ve spoken with feels it was a great show, with many calling the event a “celebration.” We all agree that an upbeat, celebratory show…

You Had to Be There: July–August 2012 Editor’s Letter

My favorite moments of jewelry market week in Las Vegas are the unscripted ones—the chance encounters in the aisles of the show, the unscheduled run-ins at a lunchtime hot spot, the impromptu reunions on the dance floor. Every JCK show has its share of surprising get-togethers, but this year felt blessed with more than usual.…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: July–August 2012

1. Las Vegas As hordes of retailers descended on the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the start of JCK Las Vegas June 1, a gloomy jobs report sent the Dow Jones industrial average on a 275-point nosedive. But business at jewelry market week didn’t go down the tubes with it. Indeed, with European debt woes…