It’s true, the sultry summer months are upon us. But take a good look at the playful cover of this issue—starring doe-eyed Magnolia, an Ibizan hound who earned our undying adoration at the shoot for the “Year of the Dog” feature—and you’ll understand I mean that phrase rather literally.
After all, you’re reading our annual Best in Show issue, a recap of our favorite jewels, people, trends, and happenings from the 2018 JCK Las Vegas and LUXURY shows. As you peruse the pages featuring sweet-faced Maggie and her glamorous companion, note that we took a few liberties with how we styled the baubles: We transformed necklaces into anklets, pendants into dog-collar charms, and bracelets into deluxe playthings. Those choices made sense for us editorially, but also serve as an important reminder that there’s nothing wrong with wearing jewelry in idiosyncratic ways. We’re dealing with precious objects, but there’s no need to be precious about how we treat them!
For our take on the eight most important things to know about this year’s market week, check out our “Best of the West” picks. You’ll want to stock up on aquamarines, rainbow-hued jewels, and estate pieces—keeping in mind that accessibly priced collections are the quickest way to most clients’ hearts.
Elsewhere at JCK, the topic du jour was De Beers’ controversial entrée into the lab-grown diamond category via its new Lightbox brand (see Rob Bates’ incisive News Gems story). But the week in Vegas held plenty of other surprises, including the revelation at the JCK Industry Trends breakfast that 88 percent of respondents to JCK’s first industrywide survey earlier this year were either very or somewhat optimistic about their business prospects for the next 12 months.
Another thing we learned from the 2018 JCK State of the Jewelry Industry Report (which you can download at lasvegas.jckonline.com/industrysurvey): The No. 1 business challenge isn’t that old saw about a lack of demand from millennials (far from it)—it’s online competition. And on that front, we’ve got you covered. “The Ultimate How-To Guide for Digital Success” is a five-part retail recipe for solving your most pressing concerns about marketing, advertising, and selling your jewelry online. Be sure to absorb the tips and implement them before the holiday season gets the best of you.
Because we all know time flies. Before you know it, you’ll be reading next year’s Best in Show issue, which will undoubtedly include a mention of JCK Las Vegas’ new-old home at the Sands Expo. That’s where the show will return in 2019 after an eight-year hiatus at Mandalay Bay. The move coincides with two big anniversaries next year: LUXURY’s 20th and JCK magazine’s 150th. As if we need another excuse to celebrate!
Top: This reversible enamel and gold pendant from JCK Design Center newbie Agaro Jewels is gorg!
(Gomelsky photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)