JCK interviewed retailers about holiday sales, including best sellers and priciest pieces sold.
“Beads were the most popular, mostly in silver. We sell the Troll beads, and we make some custom beads. Since we are in a university town—Penn State—we do custom colors to go with the university. The Penn State color is blue; we carry a lot of blue sapphires and do well with those. Other custom pieces did well, such as earrings and pendants with briolettes, and we always do well with peridot and amethyst. We did more Tahitian pearls this year than in previous years, and we do well with Dilamani Designs’ mixed sapphires and rainbow sapphires—we have done well consistently with these for the past eight to nine years. We also sold a lot more silver jewelry with gold accents, and some beautiful sapphire and diamond earrings that we made.”
—Betsy Suhey, owner, Aurum Jewelers & Goldsmiths, State College, Pa.
Sapphire, blue topaz, and iolite oval pendant in silver with 4.50 cts. t.w. gemstones; $698. Dilimani Designs at Aurum Jewelers & Goldsmiths, State College, Pa.
“On smaller stuff, we did well with beads—we sell Amore & Baci, which fits on Pandora. We did pretty decently in men’s watch sales, too; we sold Bulova Precionists in the $299 to $500 range, and sold a few Citizen Eco-Drives for $599. We did okay with some Sarah’s Hope pieces. I had a couple of carat weight earrings that I offered for $1,195 but only sold a few. Sam’s Club had half-carat ones and mine cost less than theirs at $499. I sold a pair of oval hoop earrings with diamonds channel set into the hoops for $1,700. We did sell another diamond upgrade—a princess-cut diamond for $7,000 in which we put a platinum head into an existing mounting. This customer then bought a pair of $600 tanzanite and diamond earrings for her daughter.”
—Donald D. Beerbower, co-owner, Beerbower Jewelers, Hollidaysburg, Pa.
The LaShanna earrings feature breen-colored E’Sperene stone set in rhodium-plated silver; $159. Sarah’s Hope.
“The east and west of my store: I have a Pandora boutique on one side and a Hearts On Fire on the other. People shopped the whole Pandora line, it used to be just the beads, but we’ve used those to help sell the other stuff. We really marketed Pandora and it has helped us move shoppers over to the normal, non-beaded jewelry products in the store. Also, stud earrings across the board sold well.”
—Daniel P. Decker, co-owner, Decker Diamond Jewelers, Ebensburg, Pa.
“Diamond earrings and pendants, and rings—bread and butter stuff. But also, estate jewelry was very popular. We definitely did more custom work than last year. Shoppers started coming in at the beginning of the season asking about things we normally don’t have, such as a love knot pendant to match a pair of earrings bought from us 20 years ago. The customer wanted a matching pendant, the person came in the weekend of Thanksgiving, and we made it for few thousand dollars.”
—Evan James Deutsch, founder and CEO, Evan James Limited, Brattleboro, Vt.
“Sterling silver—all sterling beads did pretty well. We sell Zable Beads, Reflections Jewelry, and Bentelli silver and diamond jewelry. In beads, the $25–$30 range sold well. We also sold silver with 18k gold accents—one piece had a swirl design and a created sapphire—an engagement ring, and a sapphire ring.”
—Greg Fliegauf, manager, Fliegauf Jewelers, Washington, N.J.
Silver pendant necklace with 0.08 ct. diamond; $400; Bentelli
“We picked up Rolex last year and sales of these watches as well as Breitling and TAG-Heuer were good. For jewelry, customers wanted affordable designer jewelry. John Hardy and Elle were brands this holiday season in the silver.”
—Doug Toone, Chairman and founder, Jewelry Design Center, Spokane, Wash.
“This year people ordered some pretty substantial custom pieces. This holiday season we sold a lot of color. I literally sold every ruby ring in the store. Other color that sold well included sapphire, zircon, opals, rubellite and aquamarine. Overall the dollar value of color sales were down, but the quality of goods sold was up. Watch sales were soft overall, with the exception of Omega, which has sold well for us all year. During Christmas, Omega sales were strong in the $3,000 to $10,000 range.”
—William Bevill, president of Smith & Bevill Jewelers, Beaverton, Ore.
“Lower range goods from $300 to $1,000 sold well, and within that range the $300 to $600 range was strongest. Silver and 18-karat small diamond pieces sold well. Our stainless steel and titanium watch sales were good.”
—Stuart Benjamin, co-owner of Stuart Benjamin & Co., San Diego
Additional reporting by Paul Holewa