Book Reviews

WONDERFUL REFERENCE

Handbook of Jewelry Store Management, 2nd editon. 1996. $89.95 plus $3.50 handling and shipping. (JCK Data CR-028) To order, call (610) 964-4000.

Each month I look forward to the arrival of Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone. The magazine provides me the opportunity to update myself on the latest in industry news and trends, read articles of current interest in the industry and review advertising. It is my opportunity to stay up on industry events and read relevant business articles. I keep a file at my desk in which I keep the articles I feel I might want to refer to in the future.

Recently, I received the Handbook of Jewelry Store Management. This book contains many of the articles I had saved in the file in my desk; however, my file has become very random. This book is well organized and easy to use as a reference. In fact, upon reviewing the book, I found myself saying “I hadn’t seen that” as I discovered articles I didn’t remember seeing in the magazine when they were first published. And it’s all in a user-friendly layout.

When the book arrived, I got as far as the first article, one by Mark Ebert on “Starting an Estate Jewelry Department.” I didn’t mean to read the whole article, yet it caught my attention, was engaging and interesting. I am very comfortable with the estate market in my store, yet this book gave me information I enjoyed thinking about and could well try.

This just started the book. Looking to sign or renew a lease? The book has a great series of articles on leasing form deciding on a strip mall vs. strip center vs. downtown location to negotiating the best lease possible. Need ideas in money management? Here you will find articles from ways to build your bottom line, retain profits before taxes and start a retirement plan to getting along with your banker.

The book is broken into sections: The Store, Training, Personnel, Management Arts, Money Management, Inventory Control, Sales Promotion, Marketing, Laws and Regulations, Security & Insurance, Computers and Your Business Plan. You will find it easy to select just the article that is of interest at any given time. These articles were available in the magazine, of course, but now they are available as an easy-to-use reference just when you have the most interest in a particular subject.

Each month, JCK provides a wonderful pause to reflect on the jewelry business and to develop new ideas which may be right for my business. The Handbook for Jewelry Store Management creates a single reference making it easier to grab this information just when it is needed. What a wonderful reference! — James C. Jessop, G.G., George Carter Jessop & Co., San Diego, Cal.; JCK Book Judge.

ARTS & CRAFTS MASTER

Arthur J. Stone, 1847-1938, Designer and Silversmith, by Elenita C. Chickering. 1994. 196 pages. Hard cover, $70; softcover, $45. (JCK Data Center OP-001) To order call (403) 263-3955.

The name Arthur J. Stone doesn’t ring a bell? You’re not alone. While familiar to museum curators and knowledgeable collectors and dealers, Stone and his shop aren’t widely known.

Stone was a master silversmith who specialized in the design and chasing of handwrought hollowware and flatware. He inspected all pieces leaving his shop and made certain they were up to his uncompromisingly high standards.

Most impressive were the talented craftsmen he employed, as evidenced by the wide range of products pictured in the book. Those who put the most handwork into a piece were rewarded with their mark beside the Stone workshop mark.

As a hands-on silversmith specializing in restoration, I have had the good fortune to handle many exceptional pieces of Stone silver. His functional design and outstanding craftmanship can still be used as a standard for all silversmiths. Elenita Chickering, the author and a Stone descendant, has the distinction of knowing first hand and through shop records how the business and the people in it functioned.

In short, the book reveals the intimate world of the last great Arts & Crafts silver workshop. — Jeffrey Herman, director, Society of American Silversmiths, Cranston, R.I.; JCK Book Judge.