Neither Northeast snowstorms nor chilly desert temperatures could cool the vibrant mood at this week’s Centurion Jewelry show Jan. 31–Feb. 1., where many exhibitors reported better-than-expected sales.
At Suna Brothers in New York City, significant sapphire and ruby pieces sold well—“pieces we have had forever and shown forever,” according to a spokesperson at the booth. Why now? “People are saying they can’t find these elsewhere and consumers can’t shop them.” This news comes after a “shocking” year of sales in 2010; Suna Brothers had more wholesale orders totaling $50,000 or more in October and November 2010 than any other period in company history. It also sold 12 styles of the same heavy 18k gold and diamond bracelet for $25,000 apiece, a price totaling some 50 percent more than when the look launched several years ago.
Some 50 cts. t.w. Burmese rubies are set in 18k gold hoops; $300,000. Bayco
Other vendors related similarly encouraging sales anecdotes. A $78,000 gold, diamond, and Zultanite pendant necklace from Erica Courtney was on display yet sold. Sierra co-owner Raffi Marukian told JCK he had sold three gold and diamond snake rings retailing for $9,000, and Raymond Hak revealed that he’d opened 25 new accounts in the past couple of months, including some at the show. Meanhile, Jim DeMattei from ViewPoint Showrooms, which represents Turkish jeweler Sevan Biçakçi, shared an anecdote about a new business strategy: Billing some of the designer’s carved one-off creations as “not for sale.” So far, it’s working, with at least one serious buyer angling to nail down a price for a carved emerald jewel. “I told him to get the buyer first, and then we’ll talk about price,” DeMattei dished.
A gold, diamond, and Zultanite pendant necklace; $78,000. Erica Courtney
Of course, silver jewelry and other price-point–friendly materials were still abundant. Henderson Designs unveiled an enamel collection in silver and 18k gold with F-G color, VS clarity diamond accents with keystone prices starting at $350. New titanium jewelry from Edward Mirell featured colored metal, achieved through an anodization process, lasered patterns, and diamond and colored stone accents for retail prices ranging from $350 to $1,500. And by the second day of the show, Rebecca’s newly launched watch collection (out for just six months) in rose-gold plate was already on back order for eight weeks; buyers snapped up styles with blue and white straps and Austrian crystal accents for up to $248 retail. This show marked the first time Americans had seen the watches, and also the first show for new company president, onetime Pianegonda executive Raffaele Capoferro. “This year is about servicing clients in the U.S. and the Caribbean,” said a spokesperson, with its 320 clients in mind.
Enamel bracelets are flexible and scratch resistant; in silver with 18k gold (some with diamond accents), bracelets shown start at $895. Henderson Designs
New rose-gold plate watches feature Austrian crystals; suggested retail prices range from $178 to $248. Rebecca
New merchandise featured lots of colored stones, oversize pendant necklaces, and more black diamonds, which continue to sell well. Dorothy Eichhorn Grant, owner of Eichhorn in San Jose, Calif., sold a lot of color basics, including ruby, emerald, and sapphire jewels. “White shirts—nothing real exciting,” she told JCK, also noting an uptick in the number of blue stones selling thanks to the upcoming royal wedding. Rina Limor showed new jade pieces, including stones in lavender and white, while Eclat unveiled a magnificent pink spinel necklace. Erica Courtney revealed plans to add more color to her bridal jewelry collections; tiny yellow gold bands set with alexandrite will be a step in that direction. And representatives of Turkish gemstone Zultanite had a presence in a booth on the show floor as well as in designer collections (including styles from Rhonda Faber Green); in previous years, Zultanite had maintained a presence only in the AGTA Pavilion during the GemFair.
Colored and laser-etched titanium rings feature diamond and colored stone accents; suggested retail prices start at $350. Edward Mirell
By the last day (Tuesday) of the show, many vendors boasted smiling faces—even ones who were grounded for an extra day or two due to the weather. And a fitting fair end occurred around 4:30 pm, when a burst of applause broke out in the Emerging Designers section on the Terrace Level; one of the newbie designers had made a sale.
An 18k gold and diamond snake ring; $9,000. Siera