Net news

E-ZINES BRING SPECIALIZED NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOU

by Stacey King, Associate editor

E-zine is yet another previously meaningless term, ignored by Webster and his cohorts, that suddenly has great significance in the ’90s world of the Web. It’s actually a sensible abbreviation of “electronic magazine,” and there are thousands of them on the Web, covering a number of topics beyond our wildest imaginations.

For industry members who have discovered the satisfaction of getting

specialized news in seconds by e-mail or the Internet instead of waiting on the Postal Service, some clever individuals and organizations are producing e-zines and e-mail newsletters on

jewelry-related topics. The ’zines are timely and range from the general to the very specific, depending on your interests. Here’s a look at a few.

iJeweler: Editor Rich Goldstein (richg@cxe.com) is not just sitting in front of a screen collecting information for this monthly e-mail news-letter; he’s scouting jewelry events for news on how jewelers are using the Internet. His exciting discovery at the JCK International Jewelry Show in June was the presence of “cyber-retailers” – jewelers with no physical store – as buyers. The iJeweler newsletter is stuffed with survey information, reviews of helpful Web sites, new products and tips on using on-line time more efficiently. There is also a library of do-it-yourself explanations at http://www.ijeweler.com. To subscribe to the newsletter, write subscribe@ ijeweler.com and include industry credentials and areas of interest in the body of the message.

The Eclectic Lapidary: For the more down-to-earth, so to speak, this free monthly e-zine is available at http://206.83.176.166/eclectic. Adoring hobbyists and professionals alike write beautifully versed articles on the art of collecting and discovering gems and minerals. A sample index of topics: opal prospecting at gem shows, building a faceting machine on a budget and purifying diamond grit through winnowing. There’s a glossary of terms, as well as a trading zone (no sales, please!) for collectors who love to barter.

Jewelry Technology: Can’t keep up with constantly changing versions of software? This site at http://www.jewelrytech.com includes news on updates, software and operating system tips, calendars of software company appearances at trade shows and a list of other software sites. Sections included company listings and contact information for jewelry retail management, wholesale business and jewelry design software.

Orchid: The site is an electronic forum for jewelry manufacturing methods and procedures, and includes an archive of technical information. Users can subscribe to Orchid Digest, an e-mail discussion list that posts questions and user answers. The site can be accessed at http://www .ganoksin.com/orchid/orchid.htm.

Info-Mine: If you like to keep up with metals and mining news, this site provides updated news releases from companies and organizations related to worldwide mining. People who don’t like to receive a lot of e-mail should avoid the mailing list segment; there are about 10 mailings per day. Access the site and subscription service at http://www.info-mine.com.

Renovated and revitalized, the JA International Jewelry Show was “relaunched” – as its operators said – in New York City July 19-22.

The show opened with some fan-fare and a number of improvements. Some vendors, though they endorsed the changes, said the show must do more to attract independent jewelers. Show officials said some 1,300 exhibitors and 11,089 buyers attended; both figures were below the numbers for last summer’s event, which continues an attendance decline over the past several years under the show’s former owners. The new operators – the Miller Freeman Jewelry Group, part of the London-based United News & Media trade show and publishing conglomerate – told exhibitors they are determined to reverse that trend.

“We bring new leadership and a commitment to building a better show,” said Joan Landis, group show director, at an early morning “town meeting” of exhibitors.

Watch debuts

The small watch area was centered around the Chronos Store, a window and showcase display area sponsor-ed by Chronos magazine. Several watch brands made their U.S. debuts, including handcrafted brands distributed by FCI Chronometries, New York City. These include Swiss watchmakers Kurt Schaffo, Daniel Aubert, Antoine Preziuso, Cedric Johner and Vincent Calebrese (see “Watch Watch.” p. 54). FCI also showed the first models of the once-popular Swiss brand Atlantic, which stopped production decades ago but has been revived and now is poised to enter the U.S. with low-cost mechanical and quartz models.

Also new in the U.S. is Rem Rem, a Danish brand featuring colorful dials, sand-blasted steel cases and interchangeable Velcro straps. The brand is being distributed by New York City jewelry store retailer and designer Michael Eigen and several partners. All models are named according to design and each is priced at $125 retail.

Bonneville Watches, a new U.S. manufacturer that introduced its Swiss-made automatic chronographs (and one quartz model) at Basel this year, showed two more chronographs, Super Sport and Super Business. The Tustin, Cal., firm emphasizes an “American lifestyle” image and takes design cues from classic automobiles.

Also now available in the U.S. are watch straps from Kuki, a family-operated firm founded in 1963 and based in Slovenia. The firm, whose brands are Kuki and the higher-end Armstrong by Kuki, had been isolated by political barriers until Slovenia became its own country six years ago.

Bulova announced its return to national TV with a series of 30-second ads focusing on the Bulova brand name. (Trivia buffs will recall Bulova created the first TV ad ever aired.) The campaign, slated for fall and winter, marks the first time in about six years Bulova has had national television ads. The company’s Caravelle line will be featured in national magazines for the first time in five years.

Jewelry design leaders

Jewelry design continued trends seen at major trade shows earlier this year. White metals, diamonds and pearls were style leaders, especially variations on pearl station necklaces. Colored pearls were popular, especially gray and black tones. Yellow gold had a sparkle, as new surface textures showed more brightness and intensity than the satiny matte surfaces of a few years back.

In colored gemstone jewelry, designers and manufacturers favored cool blues and greens, especially aquamarine, peridot, opal, chrome tourmaline and Paraíba tourmaline or apatite – its less costly imitator. In warm colors, fire opal looked fresh, and choices for red stones leaned toward those with a pinkish hue, such as rhodolite garnet and rubellite tourmaline. Often pieces combining different gems stayed with all-warm or all-cool color palettes rather than mixing warm and cool together. In the designer sector, some artists rediscovered briolette cuts for colored gems.