The Jewelry District, Episode 2

In This Episode

In the latest installment of “The Jewelry District,” you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates discuss the gender discrimination and harassment allegations at Signet Jewelers. Victoria also covers how watch retailers are embracing the secondhand market.

You’ll also hear a Weird Story of the Week about a jeweler/fan of Elon Musk who has a surprising issue with his Tesla! Rob and Victoria interview gem dealer Joe Menzie about his history in the industry and his gemstone expeditions around the globe.

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Show Notes

01:10 Victoria Gomelsky talks about JCK’s history and 150 years’ worth of archives.
02:40 Victoria and Rob Bates discuss the damaging New York Times Magazine story on Signet’s treatment of female employees over the years.
07:40 Rob details other struggles Signet is having with its retail stores and new marketing strategy.
09:20 Victoria covers watch retailers and their recent embrace of the secondhand market.
12:40 Rob tells the Weird Story of the Week.
15:55 Victoria and Rob interview Joe Menzie, gem dealer and former president of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), about his career in the jewelry industry and the gemstone expeditions he leads.

Episode Credits

Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Guest: Joe Menzie, gemstone dealer
Engineer and Editor: Levi Sharpe
Producer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs:, @jckmagazine,

Show Recap

Signet’s Alleged History of Gender Discrimination
Victoria and Rob react to the exhaustive New York Times Magazine cover story that details the many alleged incidents of gender discrimination and sexual harassment that took place in Signet Jewelers’ Sterling division over the years. Rob voices his opinion on how the company has responded since the article was published. Victoria underlines the overarching issue of when a company’s culture breeds this kind of behavior.

Retailers Embrace Secondhand Watch Market
Victoria interviewed Hamilton Powell, founder and chief executive officer of Crown & Caliber about the increased popularity of the pre-owned watch market. She sees it as a way to hedge against other issues in the marketplace. She also discusses Les Ambassadeurs’ recent partnership with secondhand watch powerhouse WatchBox.

Weird Story of the Week
Rob tells the story of Ben Baller, who created a $400,000 diamond and ruby ring for Elon Musk. Baller then got locked in his own Tesla for 40 minutes and posted a video of the incident to his Instagram feed. Conflict and conspiracy theories ensued.

Interview With Gemstone Dealer Joe Menzie
Victoria and Rob discuss Joe’s storied career and how he ended up in the gemstone industry. Victoria reminisces about the first time she met Joe in Tucson and his dependable insight into this unique niche of the jewelry world. Joe talks about his career trajectory, beginning in social work, moving to accounting, then finally finding his way to his grandfather’s gemstone dealing trade. He describes how he ended up as the president of the ICA, details some of his exciting gemstone expeditions, and Victoria recalls her experience at a tanzanite mine.

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