From the Editor: September–October 2017

Girls love pearls.

I can vouch for that. Pearls were my first love (in the jewelry business, that is). At the start of the millennium, I took a job writing about them for a gem and jewelry trade website, even though I was so new to the industry I had no idea what a cultured pearl was. My first assignment brought me to a pearl farm in the Arafura Sea, off the northern coast of Australia, where I watched two blond, sunburned farmworkers lift a line of giant Pinctada maxima oysters from the water and explain to me how they cultured the most valuable pearls in the world. From that point on, I was hopelessly under their spell.

That explains why I’m so proud of the striking image that graces our cover and the luscious photo feature “Pearls’ Night Out.” Paired with modern combinations of gems, chains, and metal finishes, pearls are the perfect accessory for cool girls—and the retailers looking to attract them.

I have no qualms proclaiming pearls a sure thing this holiday season, but if you’re in need of more ideas about what to stock for the fourth quarter, check out our ­seasonal trend guide, “Haute for the ­Holidays,” beautifully curated by jewelry director Randi Molofsky.

By now, you’re probably familiar with the idea of curation—it’s one of those buzzwords meant to suggest that what you’re reading or seeing has been carefully chosen by someone with a discerning eye. As a retailer, it’s ­imperative that you approach your business as a curator—of both products and people.

As senior editor Emili Vesilind discovers in her incisive retail feature “Tricks & Bricks,” letting go of salespeople who have lost their drive to sell is critical to your store’s future survival. In the words of Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs: “If your salespeople are talking about Game of Thrones behind the counter all day and not viewing the next person who walks in as a chance to make another great sale, you’re in trouble.”

We conclude this fall-forward issue with a a wedding-themed special report. As always, we’re featuring highlights from The Knot’s 2017 ­Jewelry & Engagement Study (“Facts of Love”), including dozens of ­tantalizing takeaways about how couples are researching retailers, what they’re spending on rings, and the styles, issues, and price points that are swaying them at the counter (or on the screen, as the case may be!).

And the band-packed “Ring Theory,” we bring you ­engagement rings and men’s bands sure to resonate with brides and grooms in search of styles at once classic and contemporary. They’re not pearls, but they’ll do!

Top: Titan’s choker in sterling silver with genuine freshwater pearls; $1,625; Mariella Pilato;;

(Gomelsky photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)

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