November 2015

America’s 10 Oldest Retail Jewelers on Legacy, Longevity & the Lessons They’re Still Learning

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JCK Photo Shoot Outtakes With Model Veronika Losyuk

Veronika Losyuk’s festive holiday ensemble is just one of many looks we captured her in during this issue’s cover shoot. She looked fantastic in all the requisite holiday staples: colorful statement earrings, intricate cuff bracelets, and stacking rings. But it was the Kassoy microscope that Losyuk—whom we nicknamed “The Boss” for her utter command of…

Edmond Chin’s Red-Hot $4 Million Ruby Ring

Sold for: $3,859,249 Rubies have long been considered “the king of precious stones,” as their Sanskrit name, ratnaraj, translates. Burmese warriors wore them to battle; Indians believed they ensured peace; and nobles everywhere hoarded them for their beauty and symbolic relationship to wealth, love, and passion. “Refined collectors from all over the world are always extremely keen…

Focus on the Live-Streaming Video App Periscope

Twitter—the online platform that schooled us all on the art of brevity—has acquired a shiny new tool that seems tailor-made for marketers. In March, the social giant bought live-streaming video app Periscope, which marries the immediacy of Snapchat with the robust social sharing of Facebook. We asked social media experts to weigh in on the…

Dream Machines: 5 Non-Jewelry Essentials for Your Store

In the Internet Age, technology has become synonymous with all things digital. But many tools of the trade for jewelers and fine jewelry retailers can’t be accessed via laptop or tablet. Quality jewelry fabrication, appraisal, and repair are dependent upon a collection of highly specialized, staunchly reliable machinery and tools. Of course, the state-of-the-art functionality…

Art Jewelry Lovers Unite at SOFA Chicago 2015

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design show, at Chicago’s Navy Pier, is not only a mecca for art lovers but also a great source of inspiration for retail jewelers. With 70+ exhibitors, most from the gallery world (one exception: Jerusalem-based pearl jewelry maker Yvel), the juried fair offers jewels, paintings, and photography to a…

Standout Timepieces at the 2016 SalonQP

The watch-focused SalonQP returns to London’s Saatchi Gallery Nov. 12–14 for its seventh edition. 1. Jaguar MKI in 43 mm stainless steel case; $10,950; Bremont Watch Co., Henley-on-Thames, U.K.; 855-BREMONT; bremont.com 2. Constant Force tourbillon in 46 mm 18k red gold case; $197,500; Arnold & Son USA, Los Angeles; 213-622-1133; arnoldandson.com 3. Zeitwerk minute repeater…

Grand Openings vs. Soft Openings: Which Is Right for Your Store?

by Amanda Baltazar How do you reintroduce your store to customers when you move 500 feet across the road? There’s nothing like throwing a grand opening party to get the community talking. And that’s exactly what Matthew Burdeen did when he moved Burdeen’s Jewelry in Chicago from one side of Lake Cook Road to the…

How Windows Can Be a Boon to Your Store’s Bottom Line

Solari & Huntington has sat at the corner of Main and Fairview in Park Ridge, Ill., a suburban community on Chicago’s northwestern tip, since 1986. But one morning last summer, a bevy of bathing beauties from the Roaring ’20s filled its windows. Modeled after the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago, where…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Nelson Coleman Jewelers

Nelson Coleman Jewelers Since 1856 307 E. Joppa Road Towson, Md. 410-494-0080 nelsoncoleman.com As a sixth-generation owner and general manager of Nelson Coleman Jewelers in Towson, Md., Amanda Coleman-Phelps takes the reins on a business that shuttled back and forth between Munich and the greater Washington, D.C., region before settling in Baltimore more than 100…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Saboe Jewelry

Saboe Jewelry Since 1854 102 S. Vine St. West Union, Iowa 563-422-5364  Saboe Jewelry has been a fixture on the main street of West Union, Iowa, for more than 150 years. Originally opened by a man named William Parrott in 1854, the store has seen several changes of ownership and was taken over by Orville Saboe,…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Kuhn’s Jewelers

Kuhn’s Jewelers Since 1853 107 W. Main St.  Salisbury, Md. 410-742-3256 kuhnsjewelers.com The high-end boutique Kuhn’s Jewelers, in Salisbury, Md., was originally called Fischer’s when it was established in 1853. John A. Kuhn bought the business in 1923, and brought a name change with it. Kuhn’s son-in-law, the late John R. “Diamond Jack” Purnell, took…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Shreve & Co.

Shreve & Co.  Since 1852  117 Post St. San Francisco 415-421-2600 shreve.com Established in San Francisco in 1852 by George Coates Shreve and his nephew, Samuel S. Shreve, Shreve & Co. is just two years younger than the state of California. The firm moved into its historic location at 200 Post St., near Union Square,…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Randolph Jewelers

Randolph Jewelers Since 1852  375 Main St.  Placerville, Calif. 530-622-3787  randolphsjewelry.com  Randolph Jewelers was founded by F.F. Barss in 1852, when Placerville was a Gold Rush town. It’s had just three owners since then, including Charlie Stephens, who bought the store in 1981. “My jewelry mentor in the Bay Area, Walt Hilton, moved to Placerville…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Bromberg’s

Bromberg’s Since 1836  2800 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook, Ala. 205-871-3276 brombergs.com “We were founded in 1836, which makes us 179 years old,” boasts Bromberg’s president Ricky Bromberg, the sixth generation of Brombergs to run the business. From its original location in Mobile, Ala., the jeweler spawned a second outpost in Birmingham in 1900. “My great-grandfather…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Merkley Kendrick Jewelers

Merkley Kendrick Jewelers Since 1832 138 Chenoweth Lane Louisville, Ky. 502-895-6124 mkjewelers.com Four families spanning nine generations have worked tirelessly since 1832 to make Merkley Kendrick Jewelers the operation that it is today. The Louisville, Ky.–based high-end guild store and Rolex dealer primarily sells its own handiwork, eschewing notable jewelry brands in favor of branding itself and…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Black, Starr & Frost

Black, Starr & Frost Since 1810 341 Bayside Drive Newport Beach, Calif. 949-673-1771 blackstarrfrost.com When Marilyn Monroe crooned “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she gave shout-outs to Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston—and Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham. Black, Starr & Frost (Gorham was dropped in 1962) may not…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Shreve, Crump & Low

Shreve, Crump & Low Since 1796 39 Newbury St. Boston 617-267-9100 shrevecrumpandlow.com How old is Shreve, Crump & Low? Silversmith and watchmaker John McFarlane founded it in 1796, when George Washington was still president. Its first location stood across the street from Paul Revere’s silver shop. It is considered not only America’s second-oldest jeweler, but…

Bridal: Kirk Kara’s Armenia-Inspired Rings & More

CAN’T-MISS COLLECTION Armenia Mix The lush Lori province in Armenia, as opposed to the woman’s name, inspired Kirk Kara’s newest collection, Lori. Based on the Karaguezian family’s roots and made in part to celebrate the company’s 125th year in business, the line features more than a dozen semi-mounts in 18k gold boasting vintage and Art…

Gold: Daria de Koning’s Cabochons & More

CAN’T-MISS COLLECTION Queen of Cabochons Daria de Koning’s 8-year-old firm casts a spotlight on the beauty of cabochons. Cut to display maximum color—and sometimes to reveal cool inclusions—her cabochons cluster in soap-bubble formations set off by leggy prongs in 18k yellow gold. The on-trend styles (which start at $500) are American-made, and boast a slightly…

America’s 10 Oldest Jewelers: Bixler’s Jewelers

Bixler’s Jewelers Since 1785 3900 Hamilton Blvd. Allentown, Pa. 610-821-8641 bixlers.com Founded in 1785 by Revolutionary War veteran Christian Bixler III, Bixler’s Jewelers has been helmed by six generations of family members. Nine years ago, Christian Bixler’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Joyce Welken, sold the store, which was based in Easton, Pa., to Mark Maurer of Vanscoy, Maurer…

America’s 10 Oldest Retail Jewelers on Legacy, Longevity & the Lessons They’re Still Learning

As a society, we’re almost freakishly obsessed with everything shiny and new: the latest iPhone release (have you upgraded?); hot-off-the-runway fashion trends (ahem, guilty—see “Big Earrings, Light Mood at Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week“); up-to-the-minute tools and technology for your store (ahem, guilty again—see “Dream Machines: 5 Non-Jewelry Essentials for Your Store“). But “newest”…

Gem Pricing, November 2015: Ruby, Sapphire Prices Slip

The economic slowdown in China had the expected impact on the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, with dealers reporting far fewer buyers from the mainland this year. However, they also say the show was better than expected. Dealers say prices are starting to soften, especially for fine ruby and sapphire. Currently, the decrease…

Jewelry Industry & People, November 2015

COMINGS AND GOINGS >> Asos founder Nick Robertson (right) has resigned as CEO. He founded the U.K.-based online fashion retailer in 2000. >>?Natalie Massenet resigned as executive chairman of Net-a-Porter, the online luxury e-tailer she founded. The company is merging with Yoox Group. >>?BJ’s Wholesale Club has appointed Christopher J. Baldwin its president and chief operating officer.…

The Bajuband Plays On! Behind Farah Khan’s Ornate Armlet

This flowing, flora-tastic armlet from Farah Khan Fine Jewelry “used nature as its central theme of inspiration,” says designer Farah Khan. But its proportions—and raison d’être—are in homage to bajubands, the ornate bracelets worn by Indian brides on their upper arms. “It’s a neo-interpretation of the traditional Indian bajuband…with Art Nouveau style,” explains Khan, whose…

Anjelica Huston Shows Off Her Sculptural Side in Alexander Calder

In the history of the art of jewelry-making, you’d be hard pressed to find a more spectacular piece of wearable art than Alexander Calder’s The Jealous Husband. During his lifetime (1898–1976), Calder, an American sculptor, created 1,800 pieces of jewelry, many of them as gifts for friends or relatives; he made his first pieces for…

Elisabeth Moss and Mindy Kaling Brighten Up the 2015 Emmys

Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss paired a dramatic Oscar de la Renta magenta ball gown with vintage pearl, diamond, and platinum jewelry by Beladora, stacking seven bracelets (one for each of her Emmy nominations!). Meanwhile, Mindy Kaling continued her love affair with bold hues—and with The Mindy Project’s resident wardrobe genius, Salvador Peréz—in another custom Perez creation, plus jewels from Neil…

Mighty Collar Necklaces

For easily pulling together envy-inspiring ensembles, statement-making necklaces are fashion’s MVPs. Take that former ’90s flash-in-the-pan style, the collar: It matches brilliantly with a variety of necklines, from crews to U-necks to bateaus. A bib with a button-down? A choker with an asymmetrical cut? Yes and yes. Go ahead—stick your neck out!     1.…

Store We Adore: Silverado Jewelry Gallery

446 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. In downtown Saratoga Springs, N.Y., you’re as likely to run into seasonal residents from downstate as students from Skidmore College or tech wizards from nearby AMD. This eclectic upstate town is home to Silverado Jewelry Gallery, which has become a destination for those looking for earthy, yet fine, handmade pieces…

Masters of Universal Diamonds

Amos Agami Universal Diamonds Atlanta 67, first generation Ronnie Agami Universal Diamonds Atlanta 36, second generation Jonathan Agami Universal Diamonds Atlanta 35, second generation “In our family, we breathe diamonds,” says Amos Agami, owner of Universal Diamonds, a retail and wholesale loose diamond and finished jewelry showroom based in Atlanta. The Israeli-born gemologist’s intense dedication…

There’s Something About Syracuse Jeweler Harry Stewart

Harry Stewart Treasure Hut Jewelry Syracuse, N.Y. Owner treasurehutjewelry.com 1. What was your finest hour in terms of customer service?  A guy came in and wanted to buy a ring with a 2 carat stone. But he couldn’t really afford it—not at all. I worked with him, and he did wind up buying a 2…

Meet Our Innovative Retailer: Love Adorned’s Lori Leven

Jewels and tattoos are her dual addictions Lori Leven Love Adorned  New York City, Amagansett, N.Y., Santa Monica, Calif. loveadorned.com instagram.com/loveadorned Lori Leven’s career as a thoroughly unconventional retailer began in 1996, when she debuted New York Adorned, a hybrid fine jewelry store/tattoo shop, in Manhattan’s East Village. Her passion for under-the-radar jewels inspired Love…

Traveling the Country for WJA’s 2015 Jewelry Night Out

Women’s Jewelry Association members nationwide marked the third annual Jewelry Night Out on Sept. 10 with cocktails, bling cams, and, of course, plenty of sparkle.   CHICAGO  Designer Maura Lenahan with Marshall Pierce & Co.’s Ashley Chan   COLORADO  WJA chapter president Manon Crespi, Roman + Jules’ Rod Ilian and Shawn Hematian, and Bottom Line…

3 Questions With…Paul Rowley

Following De Beers’ August sight, Paul Rowley, the company’s executive vice president of global sightholder sales, spoke to JCK about the current state of the diamond market.  JCK: There are reports that De Beers lowered prices at its August sight 9 to 10 percent. Is that true? Rowley: We won’t give numbers, but we have reduced…

Big Earrings, Light Mood at Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week

Early in the season, one show had all the buzz: Givenchy. Not only was Riccardo Tisci bringing his runway from Paris to New York to mark his 10-year anniversary at the house, but he was also opening it to the public? And enlisting pal Marina Abramovi??  In a city forever upping the ante on the…

Instagem, November 2015: @structure_minerals

Our favorite feed of the month If you want to get caught in an Insta black hole, challenge yourself (and your pals) to an informal game of Guess the Gemstone at @structure_minerals. When you’re done drooling, you can hit the brand’s Etsy store to buy some of the beauties.   Fluorite from Illinois Mixed crystals…

A West Coast Whirlwind: Publisher’s Letter, November 2015

Greetings! I’m writing this letter on the flight back to New York City from sunny, hot, dry Southern California. One of the best parts of my annual travel cycle is the wonderful opportunity to combine GIA’s Career Fair, the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California’s annual dinner dance, visits with California clients, and time…

Staff Picks, November 2015: Gold & Diamond Designs Within Reach

“These under-$500 14k gold and diamond pieces are perfect for the self-purchaser.” —Managing editor Melissa Rose Bernardo             1. I wear two of these dainty diamond bar rings every day, and I can’t wait to add more to my stack. (Dana Rebecca, $330 each, danarebeccadesigns.com)   2. This open cuff is bang…

The Art of Endurance: Editor’s Letter, November 2015

On the last day of September, I flew to San Francisco for dinner. That may sound a tad extravagant—and it was—but the event I had been invited to attend at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio was worth the long-distance commute.  San Francisco retailer Shreve & Co. and Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe were hosting…

10 Things Rocking the Industry, November 2015

1. Chow Tai Fook unveiled a stunner of a necklace in Hong Kong on Sept. 3. The ornate piece, dubbed “A Heritage in Bloom” (top) and designed by master gem carver and jewelry artist Wallace Chan, showcases a 104 ct. brilliant-cut round that is at present the largest Forever-mark diamond in the world. The stone,…