The Jewelry District, Episode 58: A Look Back At 2021


JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates look back and reflect on the past year.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria and Rob remember their colleague Donna Borrelli, who died last month.
05:44 Rob follows the trends on bridal and watches.
10:00 Jewelry is art, Baselworld isn’t happening, and some IPOs are booming.
17:13 Victoria talks about Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co.’s long history.
22:17 Rob and Victoria discuss the jewelry industry outside of the United States.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs: jckonline.com@jckmagazine

Show Recap

In Memoriam

Victoria and Rob remember their colleague, Donna Borrelli, who was the associate publisher of JCK for 17 years and passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Rob also looks back on the other greats of the jewelry industry who have passed away this year.

What’s Hot

All in all, the jewelry industry has performed remarkably well throughout the pandemic. Rob notes many predict a wedding boom in 2022—and that means a boost to engagement and wedding ring sales. Victoria mentions that watches are also a hot commodity, and diamonds are accruing value. Rob backs up Victoria’s claim on watches by saying that Gen Z and younger populations are getting into timepieces, which is helping the industry flourish.

Jewelry as Art, Baselworld, and Noteworthy IPOs 

Victoria’s newest piece in The New York Times is about jewelry as art. She asks which kinds of jewelry are art and which kinds are not. Rob brings up Baselworld, which, after so much back and forth is still not going to happen in 2022. There have also been several IPOs this year—most notable in the jewelry industry: Brilliant Earth. Rob says Brilliant Earth was ahead of its time in promoting traceable diamonds.

Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co.

Victoria also broke some news in The New York Times about LVMH’s newest acquisition, Tiffany & Co. The acquisition was finalized in January, and there have been a ton of interesting things coming out of Tiffany since then. Victoria spoke of the limited-edition timepiece created by Patek Philippe and Tiffany. Victoria talks about the companies’ long history together, and she predicts this will be an incredibly sought-after watch.

The Jewelry Industry Abroad

Luxury brands are responding to Chinese consumers where they want to be met. Consumers in China are hyper-focused on digital, and Victoria has done a lot of thinking about how luxury brands dealing with Chinese consumers can trickle down to American consumption. Victoria and Rob also talk about the end of the war in Afghanistan and what effect that has had on the jewelry industry. To wrap up the podcast, Rob and Victoria cover the aftereffects of 2020’s racial efforts to shine a light on Black jewelers. One of the most important sales was Sotheby’s Brilliant & Black, which featured 21 of the world’s leading Black jewelry designers.

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