From the JCKonline Blogs

Style 360

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the American Heart Association’s 5k Heartwalk at Rocky Neck State Park in Connecticut. … At the Heartwalk, a towering poster showed the Red Dress—the symbol of AHA’s Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness among women to prevent life-threatening misconceptions and misdiagnoses like my mom’s. This chic little logo (to me, with jewelry always on the brain) would make a sweet pendant or charm. Having spent the past couple months fielding press releases from companies producing pink ribbon jewelry for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wondered how the industry has missed the boat with this similarly important cause. —Carrie Soucy, Oct. 15

JCK Voices

Part of the cachet of owning a luxury item is knowing that a master craftsmen like an experienced leather tanner or bench jeweler labored over your exquisitely made object. Another part is getting what you think you’ve paid for. Some designers build their business on the craftsmanship of where their product is made. But what if a designer’s cachet is that they are Italian, yet they manufacture their jewels in China or elsewhere? As a consumer, this knowledge would affect my purchasing decision, but since there is no “made in …” label on jewelry like there is on clothing, consumers don’t know. —Jennifer Heebner, Oct. 25

Jewels on Jewels

Jewelry for the Alluring personality should be as sensuous as her clothing. … Remember that the purpose of the Alluring personality’s jewelry is not to bring attention to the jewelry. It’s all about bringing attention to the wearer. Her attitude about dressing is “look at me.” Once again, look through your inventory. Give some thought to which designs and which specific pieces might be appropriate choices for the customer who wants to turn heads. And when that dame walks into your joint, you’ll know exactly what she wants. —Cynthia Sliwa, Oct. 30

Behind the Counter

Right across from my new store is a Pandora Jewelry Store. How many manufacturers/designers are going to open their own retail stores? The profit margin is already substantially lower for branded goods versus non-branded. A couple of local (Charlotte) independents carry Pandora’s line, including the chain Christian Bernard Jewelers—if I sold Pandora and a retail outlet opened up a couple miles away—it would be out the door. —Shanu Singh Guliani, Nov. 2

Style 360

Partnerships have been big this year. In August Neiman Marcus collaborated with specialty brands to commemorate their 100th anniversary, and in July Honora and Tourneau’s alliance with Fage stuck with us. Now Robb Report, “the global luxury source,” has partnered with several luxury brands to “create a collection of limited quantity bespoke products and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.” RR speaks of its readership as a “private club,” and I think what appeals here, just as Neiman’s approach, is the opportunity to purchase something no one, or almost no one, else has, vetted by a trustworthy source. Purchase is on a first-come, first-served basis via an irrevocable deposit (or “offer”). Four of the 17 items hail from the jewelry and watch world, but beware, they’re not for the faint of wallet —Toni Rumore, Nov. 9

JCK Voices

With the junta government-run Burmese gems auctions beginning today and running through November 26, it will be more than interesting to see how international “awareness” (for lack of a full-out international ban) affects the sales, and profits, for what would appear to be the final auction of the year. Several international news agencies have posted review features … building anticipation as to what is expected—fewer attendees, but still major sales and profits for the military regime. Blame for this is anticipated as going mainly to the Chinese for buying more jadeite in anticipation of 2008 Olympics tourists expected to be looking for the ultimate Chinese souvenir. —Gary Roskin, Nov. 14

Cutting Remarks

I think most people have a pretty good understanding of the reasons behind—and the need for—beneficiation. For me, the question is: Can the DTC supply both cutters in Africa and New York? Or is it a zero-sum game? None of us really knows but the DTC. However, New York, whose cutters number only in the hundreds at this point, will not require that many supplies. And I would argue that New York manufacturers bring to the table quite a bit in terms of knowledge of the American market, and America is the market the diamond industry is built on. That is what we should be looking at —Rob Bates, Nov. 15