Retailer News


Clayton Jewelers is opening in a new location, 2 North Meramec Avenue in Clayton. The company is changing its by-appointment-only policy and will be open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Clayton Jewelers is adding custom design, repair and appraisal services and platinum jewelry to its offerings.

Philippe Charriol opened to new boutiques this spring. One is in Honolulu, Hawaii the other in Atlanta, Ga. The boutiques feature watches, jewelry, eyewear and leather goods. The designer now has 38 boutiques and more than 600 boutique corners worldwide.

Fred Joaillier, under the new direction of luxury group LVMH opened its first concept store at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nev., in August. The grand opening celebration included a “Jewelry Treasure Giveaway” and live entertainment.

Stacey’s Custom Jewelry, a new business in Biloxi, Miss., offers ring sizing, repair, stone mounting and cleaning services. Stacey’s Custom Jewelry, 265 Iberville Dr., Biloxi, M.S.; (601) 435-1155.

Retailer groups

Repair Centers

Service Merchandise Co. has consolidated its in-store jewelry repair operations into 13 regional service centers. The centers will feature computer systems to track repair jobs and will serve between 20 and 40 Service Merchandise stores each. All current bench jewelers were offered positions in the new centers, which will each employ 20 to 40 jewelers and support associates.

The new service centers are located in Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Tex.; Chicago, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; New Orleans, La.; Nashville, Tenn.; Fairfax, Va.; Orlando, Fla.; Houston, Tex.; Providence, R.I.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Indianapolis, Ind.

Silverman Jewelers Acquires Henry Silverman

Silverman Jewelers Consultants Inc., Mt. Pleasant, S.C., acquired Henry Silverman Jewelers, the 33rd largest jewelry chain in the U.S., based in El Paso, Tex.

Silverman Diamond Consortium, an affiliate of Silverman Jewelers Consultants, assumed daily management control of HSJ’s factory and stores. Silverman President Stuart Fetter expressed his intention to make HSJ one of the 20 largest retail chains in the country before the end of 1997.

Hispanic Jewelers Form Group

Retail jewelers who target the Hispanic consumer market have formed a group to pool their resources for advertising, improving buying advantages and boosting sales.

Headed by Louis Pescarmona of Guadalajara Jewelers in Santa Ana, Cal., the Hispanic Jewelers Group is producing four-color fliers that use the Spanish language and colors that appeal to Hispanic consumers.

Hispanic Jewelers Group, P.O. Box 924, Santa Ana, CA 92702; (714) 547-5622, fax (714) 547-5385, e-mail

Ohio Gift Stores Receive Award

Goebel, Pennington, N.J., presented its first Retailer of the Year award to Dean A. Genth of Miller’s Hallmark & Gifts. The four-store chain – with locations in Eaton, Xenia and Cincinnati, Ohio – sells gifts and collectibles distributed by Goebel, including M.I Hummel figurines.

Genth is a consultant to the No. 1 Price Guide to M.I. Hummel Figurines, writes the “Figurine Finesse” column for Collector’s Mart magazine and publishes a secondary market guide for Swarovski crystal. He is regarded by Sotheby’s as a leading expert on M.I. Hummel art and Swarovski silver crystal.

Goebel also honored four regional retailers for excellence in collectibles sales: Chris and Maria Bronner Sutorik of Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, Mich.; Joseph and Jean Allovio of Allovio Galleries, Los Angeles, Cal.; Buddy Savitz and Ruth Wolf of The Limited Edition, Merrick, N.Y.; and Eloise Parks of Eloise’s Collectibles I & II, Houston, Tex.

Jewelry Companies Think Green

Two jewelry companies were among the sponsors of this year’s Baton Rouge Green Gala, a major philanthropic event in Baton Rouge, La.

Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry and Mikimoto (America) Co. Ltd. helped to put on the black-tie gala, attended by Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster and 400 prominent citizens from southern Louisiana. The event supports Baton Rouge Green, a community group that has planted and maintained more than 20,000 trees since 1987.

A model in a pearl-adorned outfit by Mikimoto was the center of a silent auction featuring Mikimoto cultured pearl jewelry from Lee Michaels. Visitors had a chance to win a strand of pearls and earrings courtesy of the two companies.

In addition, Mikimoto donated 50 Japanese cherry trees to be planted in Baton Rouge. The company’s senior vice president, Koichi Takahashi, dedicated the trees the day before the gala.

‘Net News

What’s New

Castaldo® Jewelry Molding Rubber now has a site on the World Wide Web at The site includes the company’s catalog of jewelry casting supplies, technical bulletins and instructional articles in

English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Portuguese.

Da Costa, a wholesaler of 18k, 14k and 10k yellow and white gold jewelry, Italian chains and mountings, has joined the Web at The site features the company’s catalog, updated silver prices and links to other jewelry-related Internet sites.

JewelCom provides customized Web site design and development, hosting services, site marketing and promotion, domain name registration and consulting for the jewelry in-

dustry. The company’s Web site at provides information on using the Internet and planning a Web site, as well as a “bookstore” for Internet and business books. JewelCom, 1841-E North Columbia St., Milledgeville, GA 31061; (912) 454-4030, e-mail

Supplier News

New Firm Offers Legal Services

Joel Windman, former executive vice president and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, is now a partner in a consultancy that acts as an arbitrator and provides mediation services to the jewelry industry.

Windman-Kaufman Jewelry Consultants, Bayside, N.Y., is headed by Windman and Rachel Kaufman. Windman, who is an attorney, was with JVC for 28 years; Kaufman was Windman’s assistant at JVC for 21 years. Both resigned in June.

While mediation and binding arbitration have been used in other trades, it is rare in the jewelry industry. Arbitration is faster and less expensive than going to court, says Windman, explaining that his services will cost about 20% of what a normal legal case costs.

“Legal quality control” is also a new concept to the industry. It means that at a company’s request, Windman and Kaufman will monitor operations to ensure compliance with all federal regulations covering the jewelry industry. Advice on how to correct any shortcomings will be offered to help a company avoid legal and publicity problems.

Windman-Kaufman will issue a “Quality Control Assurance Warranty and Guarantee” certifying that its jewelry is in full compliance with federal requirements.

Oroamerica Wins Patent on Rope

OroAmerica Inc., Burbank, Cal., received a patent on the process of diamond cutting hollow karat gold rope. Patent No. 5,653,100 was awarded Aug. 5.

OroAmerica already owns Patents No. 5,408,820 and 5,437,149 on the process and final product design of its “Supreme Value” diamond-cut hollow rope. The company says it is prepared to prosecute all violators of the three patents.

Suppliers on the Grow

Commercial Mineral Co. moved to 2933 North Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251; (800) 545-GEMS or (602) 994-4185, fax (602) 949-1676.

Gold Creations Inc., a manufacturer of 9k, 10k and 14k plumb gold earrings in Silver Spring, Md., has purchased all the tools, dies and machinery of Ben Gee Industries in New York City. The acquisition will expand Gold Creations’ line to include more than 1,800 designs.

Impex Diamond Corporation, a diamond supplier, and Jewelex New York Ltd., a manufacturer of diamond jewelry, have moved to a larger facility at 22 W. 48th St. #1500, New York, NY 10036; (800) 334-6789 or (212) 840-3500, fax (212) 221-6452.

JewelMak Inc. in New York City is offering its new Andy G collection of 14k and 18k gold jewelry with diamonds and South Sea pearls. The collection can be shipped directly to retailers in two days. Through the Interactive Turnkey program, jewelers can also work with Andy G designers to order custom-made pieces with a guarantee of exclusivity. JewelMak Inc., 7 W. 45th St., New York, NY 10036; (212) 398-2999, fax (212) 398-0721, e-mail;

Commercial Mineral Co., Scottsdale, Ariz., opened a wholesale jewelry division called CMJ. The division offers finished jewelry, blank castings and semimounts in 14k and 18k gold, platinum and sterling silver. It’s located in the Scottsdale Wholesale Jewelry Center, 2933 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251; (602) 874-2728, fax (602) 949-1676.

Ohaus Corp., Florham Park, N.J., a manufacturer of balances and scales, has been renewed as an ISO 9001 registered company through May 2000. The accrediation certifies that Ohaus’ quality management system meets industry standards.

August Reymond of Switzerland named Tramelan USA as exclusive distributor of its mechanical watches in the U.S. and Canada. Bert Yuttal is the chief of sales for the brand. Tramelan, 3198 Royal Lane, Suite 208, Dallas, TX 75229; (214) 353-0222.

JMP Associates Inc., Wheaton, Md., has changed its name to Jenny Perl for JMP and will continue to offer 14k and 18k Italian earrings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches.

Presidium Instruments Pte. Ltd. of Singapore appointed Sy Kessler Sales Inc. of Dallas, Tex., as its primary direct North American importer and distributor. Presidium manufacturers the Dial Gauge, a measuring and carat-weight estimating tool. Sy Kessler Sales Inc., 10455 Olympic Dr., Dallas, TX 75220; (800) 527-0719 or (214) 351-0830, fax (214) 351-1903.

Ralph S. Joseph, author of The Jeweler’s Guide to Effective Insurance Appraising, has formed Ralph S. Joseph Appraisal Consultants. The company offers services to retailers, private consumers, the legal and banking communities and the insurance industry. Ralph S. Joseph Appraisal Consultants, 398 Ferncrest Ct., Three Bridges, NJ 08887; (908) 782-0779, fax (908) 806-0633.

Troemner Inc., a manufacturer of weights, balances and laboratory equipment, has been accredited as an ISO 9001 registered company through March 1999. The accreditation certifies that Troemner’s quality standards system meets industry standards.

Maui Divers of Hawaii, a coral jewelry manufacturer in Honolulu, has opened the Maui Divers’ Jewelry Design Center at The Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina, Maui. The museum includes exhibits and a video on coral and tours of the company’s manufacturing facility. Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center, 658 Front St., Lahaina, HI 96761; (808) 661-4611.

Curteis Chains Ltd., a manufacturer in Shropshire, England, has opened Curteis Chains America Inc. in Providence, R.I., to distribute its jewelry chains in the U.S. Curteis Chains America, 585 Warren Ave., East Providence, RI 02914; (800) 951-5122 or (401) 725-6403, fax (401) 725-6415, e-mail

Lazare Kaplan Inc., Kurt Wayne Inc. Plan Collection

Diamond company Lazare Kaplan International Inc. and designer Kurt Wayne Inc. will create a collection of designer jewelry featuring Lazare Kaplan Ideal Cut melee diamonds.

Under the deal, Kurt Wayne Inc. will use Lazare Kaplan’s polished diamonds of 0.17 carat and smaller as part of the new collection and will offer Lazare Kaplan diamonds in its overall jewelry line. The line will be trademarked for authenticity.

Company Names Grand Prize Winner

Christopher DeCapri of Capri Jewelers, Glen Allen, Va., won the grand prize in a raffle sponsored by Superior Diamond Cutters Inc., New York, N.Y., at the JCK International Jewelry Show this summer. The prize is two round-trip airline tickets to anyplace in the U.S.



Swiss Army Brands Inc., Shelton, Conn., named Jeff Turner vice president of marketing. Turner oversees the marketing for Victorinox Original Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox watches, Swiss Army Brand watches, sunglasses and writing instruments, as well as the company’s R.H. Forschner professional cutlery brand.

Marc Hruschka was named manager of national accounts and specialty stores at Cartier Inc. Hruschka focuses on wholesale accounts specializing in writing instruments and leather products. Also at Cartier, Thomas Byelick was named account executive for the Atlanta territory. He succeeds Fred Winans, who retired.

Robert M. Lieberman was named vice president of Inverness, Fair Lawn, N.J.

Jacqueline M. Grande was promoted to vice president of the 200-year-old Shreve, Crump & Low, Boston, Mass.

Friedman’s Inc., Savannah, Ga., named Victor M. Suglia senior vice president and chief financial officer. Suglia joins Friedman’s Inc. with more than 20 years of multiunit retail experience.

William Walsh was named president and chief executive officer of DaMa Jewelry Inc., Johnston, R.I. Walsh wants to expand global marketing of DaMa’s line of jewelry products and manufacturing automation services.

Zale Corp., Irving, Tex., named Stephen C. Massanelli senior vice president and treasurer. Massanelli oversees the treasury, tax, credit insurance and investor relations areas of the company. He also serves on the executive committee.

Carol S. Shainswit was named director of marketing for Lord & Berry, a retailer in White Plains, N.Y. She previously served in marketing positions at TAG Heuer USA, Citizen Watch Co. of America, Swatch Watch USA and Revlon.

Chuck L. Kremers joined the management team at Service Merchandise, Nashville, Tenn., as senior vice president of marketing and advertising.

The Home Shopping Network, St. Petersburg, Fla., named John M. Higgins senior vice president of call center operations, Karen M. Donahue vice president of strategy and national accounts, Elena Panos vice president of talent and Lisa K. Tannenbaum vice president of consumer marketing.

Joseph A. Viviano was named marketing manager at Blue Star Leather, Utica, N.Y.

Charles H. Pistor Jr. was elected to the board of directors of Zale Corp., Irving, Tex. Pistor is the former vice chair of Southern Methodist University and a past president of the American Bankers Association. He also is a director of Fortune Brands, AMR and American Airlines, Centex Corp. and ORYX Energy Company. He serves on the executive board of SMU’s Cox Business School and is chairman of the National Committee for the University’s Capital Campaign.

Curtis A. Ley was named president and chief operating officer of B.A. Ballou & Co. Inc., Providence, R.I. He succeeds Al Caldwell, who retired.

Hank Seigel, president of Hamilton Jewelers, Lawrenceville, N.J., was inducted into the Retail Jewelers’ Hall of Fame for his contributions to the jewelry retail business and community involvement. Seigel, nominated by readers of National Jeweler magazine, was honored at the Retail Jewelers’ Charity Fund Dinner in June.

Bulova Corp., Woodside, N.Y., appointed Tom Fosorile executive vice president of sales. He was previously vice president of watch sales.

Kim Alterini was named as an additional Cartier account executive in the North Central U.S. She is responsible for wholesale accounts in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Alterini most recently worked with Hamilton Watch.

Swiss-based Accurate Watches, with U.S. offices in Houston, Tex., named two new sales executives.

Joe Brown, formerly with Hamilton Watch, represents Accurate in the Southeast. Tania Ibarra, formerly with AM Accessories, covers Texas, the surrounding states and Mexico. Accurate (the New York company Accutime is not related) debuted in the U.S. in June with a line of women’s and men’s watches retailing for $95 to $475.

Robin Scheer Ettinger was named vice president/U.S. jewelry at the World Gold Council, New York, N.Y.

Jonathan Caplan was named vice president of new business development and strategy at Service Merchandise, Nashville, Tenn.

Jon Miller was named president and chief executive officer of HSN Broadcasting, a division of HSN Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.

Andre Meyerowitz was named director of the large-stone division of Joseph Blank Inc., New York, N.Y.

Patricia Scheckner was promoted from director of product development for gold jewelry to vice president of merchandising at Town & Country Fine Jewelry Group, Chelsea, Mass. She will oversee development, design and merchandising for the gold, diamond and color divisions and will continue to oversee the gold product team. She also will work with the marketing and sales departments to develop and merchandise new product lines.

Ken Ennis was promoted to vice president of Capri Jewelers, Richmond, Va. He joined the company in 1994 and served as manager at the Richmond, Va., store. Georgia Karakas was promoted from a sales associate to manager of the Richmond store.

Rich Loebl is the new executive vice president of the Le Vian and Hollywood jewels divisions of A. Levian & Co., New York, N.Y.

Nili Jewelry Corp., New York, N.Y., named two new territory managers. Jim Watts will cover Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Jim Woodring will cover Pennsylvania, upstate New York, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Delaware.

Linda Hanson was promoted to senior vice president of merchandising at Tiffany & Co., New York, N.Y. Her responsibilities include worldwide product sourcing, finished goods and raw materials acquisition, the assortment planning process, and inventory management. Larry Segall was promoted to senior vice president of merchandising planning. He is responsible for merchandise planning and forecasting functions, as well as coordination of sales, merchandising and operations planning activities. He will continue to guide the overall development of the companywide distribution systems and logistics initiative called Logistics 2000.

Jack Simrell was named Southeast sales representative for N.S. Co., Tucker, Ga.

Darin L. Kath was hired as vice president of underwriting and Michael Maley, CPCU, was promoted to assistant vice president of commercial underwriting at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., Neenah, Wis. Kath is responsible for investigating and introducing new insurance products and services, evaluating pricing, improving existing insurance products and updating underwriting guidelines. Maley will supervise underwriting and policy processing staff, evaluate and accept insurance risks and advise jewelers about their loss exposures and insurance protection.

Craig Chaffee has joined Gold International Machinery Corp. of Pawtucket, R.I., as sales director of Gold’s Techno-Center. Chaffee is a Civil Engineer graduate from Vermont Technical College and brings 15 years of CAD experience with him.

Gem2000 announces that Shomais Shirazi has recently acquired her AGS supplier title. Shirazi has ten years of experience in a variety of aspects of wholesaling colored gems.

Fink’s Jewelers, Roanoke, Va., appointed Marc Fink to the position of chief executive officer, in addition to his current position as president.

GIA Makes Appointments

The Gemological Institute of America has made several appointments.

Harry Stubbert has been named chief executive officer of GIA Gem Instruments and Books, Carlsbad, Cal. A graduate gemologist, Stubbert’s proven track record has touched almost every facet of the jewelry industry, from counter sales to manufacturing.

Bruce Lanzl was named general manager of the Gem Trade Laboratory. Lanzl, who has worked for the lab for more than 20 years, will oversee the daily operations of the West Coast diamond grading services and work closely with the New York City laboratory.

Phil Yantzer was promoted to GTL manager after 17 years with the lab. Previously the grading assurance supervisor, Yantzer will coordinate grading assurance teams on both coasts.

Susan B. Johnson, formerly director of alumni relations, was named dean of students at GIA’s Carlsbad, Cal., campus. She replaces Darryl Botten, who retired.

Patrick Ball, previously with GIA in New York City, was promoted to director of alumni relations.

Dan Campbell, who has worked with GTL and the education department in his 11 years at GIA, was named director of GIA education in New York City.

Michael McBride was hired as manager of distance education.

Victoria Morrison is the new GIA public relations coordinator and will handle all communications with trade, consumer and regional media.


Bill Bryant, 50, Albuquerque, N.M., died May 23 at age 50. He was a Southwest sales representative for Seiko for 18 years.

Martin “Skip” Petosa, 47, Grape-vine, Tex., died June 17. He worked in the jewelry industry for 30 years, initially in jewelry repair and later in design, manufacturing and sales. Together with his wife, Lucy, he founded Chelsea Creations, a supplier of gold lockets and other fine jewelry.

Jean Mayeur, 69, Dallas, Tex., died recently of a heart attack. He graduated from Ecole Boulle, a design school in Paris, and began his career with Cartier Inc. His job as one of the company’s head designers took him from Paris to London and later to New York City. Among the celebrities who wore his designs were Marlene Dietrich, Richard Burton and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Harry Katz, 79, Phoenix, Ariz., died July 25. He was a World War II Army veteran and a jeweler.

Paul C. Tyner, 51, Jackson, Miss., recently died. He was a self-employed jeweler.

Cliff B. Harris, 93, Mobile, Ala., died recently. He studied at Elgin Watchmakers College in Illinois, making him Mobile’s first certified watchmaker. For 30 years, he owned and operated the Cliff Harris Jewelry and Camera Store in Mobile.

William Riley Hall, 71, Memphis, Tenn., died recently of heart failure. Hall was former owner of Hall’s Jewelry.

Philip R. Lenard, 73, died July 26, after a nine-month battle with cancer. Lenard founded several business, including as PM Refining, Saturn Rings, Monarch Cast, Stylecast, Tray Bien, PM Machine Shop and Precision Finishers. He also was a partner in Niagara Falls Casting Co., Warwick, England.


Magic to Pervade 1998 AGS Conclave

The American Gem Society will present the “Magic of Conclave” March 18-22 in Anaheim, Cal.

In addition to magic-themed special events, AGS’s 61st conclave will include visits to Disneyland, a tour of the new Gemological Institute of America headquarters in Carlsbad and a full program of educational seminars. Charlotte Preston, who organizes educational programs for the JCK International Jewelry Shows, is the 1998 conclave education consultant.

AGS, 8881 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89117; (702) 255-6500, fax (702) 255-7420.

24-Karat Club Elects Officers

The Jewelers 24-Karat Club of Southern California recently elected its 1997-’98 officers and directors.

The new officers are President G. Douglas Lewis of Herz & Lewis, Los Angeles; First Vice President Mary Barr of Charles H. Barr Jewelers, Newport Beach; Second Vice President Stuart Flair of Stuart Flair & Associates, Studio City; Treasurer Rick Pittenger of R.M. Pittinger Associates, Los Angeles; and James Hartstein of Jewels by Joseph, Costa Mesa.

Directors include Peter Artzt of M&L Manufacturing, Los Angeles; Julia Baroni of Baroness Jewelers, Goleta; Robert Bridel of Westin & Co., L.L.C., San Diego; William Bubar of Bubar’s Jewelers, Santa Monica; Bala Chandron of Shandron & Co., Los Angeles; Brian Cimino of West Bryson & Associates, San Juan Capistrano; Mark Ebert of Ebert & Co., Los Angeles; David Friedman of Crescent Westwood Jewelers, Los Angeles; Zvi Gutentag of Galaxy Diamond Co., Los Angeles; Marion Halfacre of Traditional Jewelers, Newport Beach; Kathryn Kimmel of the Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad; Gary Lee of Gary Lee Jewelers, Encino; David Mertzel of Modern Jeweler, Calabasas; Rod Miyata of Ace of Diamonds, Los Angeles; Douglas Newton of Ben Bridge Jewelers, Ramona; Vince Owens of Omega Watch Co., Los Angeles; Pat Patten of Nancy B. & Co., Culver City; Ralph Shapiro of Diamond Club West Coast, Los Angeles; Norman Solovei of Solovei Ltd., Long Beach; and David Thaler of Mayer’s Jewelry Co., Irvine.

ASA Elects Officers

The American Society of Appraisers elected new officers at its recent International Appraisal Conference.

The new officers are John E. Bakken, president; Richard-Raymond J. Alasko, senior vice president; James T. Job, first vice president; Richard C. Amoling, second vice president; Michael L. Austin, treasurer; Patricia C. Soucy, secretary; and Richard A. Southern, immediate past president.

British Conference to Examine Collectors’ Gems

Some of the most magnificent gemstone collections in history will be the focus of the Gemmological Association and Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain’s annual conference, to be held Nov. 9 at the Barbican Centre in London, England.

Jewelers and museum curators will comprise the panel of experts studying the crown jewels of England and the Czech Republic and gemstone collections from the museums of Cambridge and Oxford universities in England. World-renowned diamond cutter Gabi Tolkowsky will discuss forgotten terminologies for gems, and Lisbet Thoresen of the J. Paul Getty Museum in California will talk about the origin and uses of gemstones in ancient times.

On Nov. 10, conference attendees can visit a special exhibit at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. The display includes items from the collections of famous gemstone collectors.

GAGTL, 27 Greville Street, London ECIN 8SU, United Kingdom; (44-171) 404-3334, fax (44-171) 404-8843.

JVC to Develop Replacement Form

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s Appraisal Task Force – made up of representatives of the insurance, appraisal and jewelry industries – met in July to discuss the need for replacement insurance forms.

The JVC-ATF agreed to create a bilateral committee to write a user-friendly checklist and form for replacement purposes. The revised documents will be submitted to Acord, the official form printers for the insurance industry.

JVC Elects New President

Lee Michael Berg of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, Baton Rouge, La., is the new president of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. He succeeds Benjamin Kaiser, who died in June.

Steven Kaiser, Benjamin Kaiser’s son and president of Baume & Mercier, New York, N.Y., was added to the board to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Irving Getz.

The board also elected Helene Fortunoff of Fortunoff Fine Jewelry, Uniondale, N.Y., as a member of the executive committee.

Abe Shainberg, executive vice president of operations, oversees the daily activities of JVC following the resignation of Executive Vice President Joel Windman in June.

JA Elects Board, Presents Certifications

The week of the JA International Jewelry Show in New York City was a bustle of activity for its namesake organization. Jewelers of America elected directors, awarded Bench Jeweler Certification designations and introduced its expanded Web site during the four-day show in July.

On the day before the show, the JA Board of Directors met to elect Stanley Pollack of G.M. Pollack & Sons, Scarborough, Maine, president of JA. Other officers are Lex Harrison of Harrison’s Jewelers, Pocatello, Idaho, vice president; Alan Zimmer of Reeds Jewelers, Wilmington, N.C., treasurer; Carolyn Pope of Crews Jewelers, Grand View, Mo., secretary; and Edward Bridge of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Seattle, Wash., president-elect.

Retail members also met that day to elect directors to the board. New directors are Joseph Hagan of Jewelry Creations, Dover, N.H., and Richard White of Ed White Jewelers, Cullman, Ala., both elected to one-year terms; H. Victor Hellberg of Hellberg’s Jewelers, Marshalltown, Iowa, and Paul Minton of B.C. Clark Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla., two-year terms; and Margaret Johnson of Marlo Jewelers, Billing, Mont., and Ralph Destino of Cartier Inc., New York City, three-year terms.

Re-elected for three-year terms were Lex Harrison, Alan Zimmer and Sam Getz of Mayor’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, Fla.

Bench Jeweler Certification

Six bench jewelers were honored at a press conference July 21 for completing the JA® Bench Jeweler Certification™ Program.

Receiving the JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler™ designation, the highest level of certification, were Robert Bruce Bielka of Bielka Inc., New York City; Jurgen Maerz of the Platinum Guild International USA Jewelry Inc., Newport Beach, Cal.; and Larry Sieger of La Perla Ltd. Fine Jewelers, West Hartford, Conn.

Receiving the second level of certification, JA® Certified Bench Jeweler™, were David Gardner and Dean Wile, both of D. Gardner’s Jewelers in College Station, Tex.; and Anthony Stampone of John S. Cryan Jewelers in Southhampton, Pa.

JA also announced that candidates now will receive a step-by-step, written evaluation of how they performed in each skill category of the test. The bound report will identify areas where the bench jewelry may need additional work or instruction.

Jewelers’ Web Central

The expanded JA Web site, Jewelers’ Web Central, combines a consumer site with “member only” pages and can be found on the World Wide Web at

The original JA site for consumers offered information about buying fine jewelry, association news and a searchable database of JA retail members. The new collection adds the consumer site, personalized home pages for retail members, links to sites for JA’s 42 state affiliates and a restricted area for membership information.

Other JA News

In other news, JA has added four retail members to its JA 100 Club, which recognizes retail jewelry stores that have served their communities for at least a century.

The 1997 inductees are Winkler’s Inc. of Kansas City, Kan., founded in 1889; Klein & Son Inc. of Montgomery, Ala., founded in 1893; John R. Cox & Sons Inc. of Sweetwater, Tex., founded in 1895; and Maurice B. Graubart & Sons of Schenectady, N.Y., founded in 1897. The JA 100 Club now has 43 members.

JA also named Rossana Aguilar as director of membership and affiliate relations. In the newly created position, Aguilar will manage JA’s five regional membership representatives and will work with 42 affiliate associations to develop new member benefit programs and grow membership.

Aguilar was formerly membership manager for the American Gem Society.

Trade Shows

Japan Fair Focuses on Quality

With only 284 exhibitors, the Japan Jewellery Fair may be small, but it has “Big Sight.”

The fair’s move this year to the Tokyo International Exhibition Center – appropriately nicknamed Tokyo Big Sight – reflects the optimistic mood of the Japanese jewelry industry despite an ongoing economic recession. The Japan Jewellery Association, the fair’s organizers, say the move was due to a constant increase in the number of visitors.

Presenting a unique look manufactured with top-quality materials were priorities among exhibitors. “To meet the changing needs of the consumers, who now value the quality rather than the price, it will be our pleasure if you could utilize the fair to appeal your self-expression to the customers,” JJA Chairman Yasunosuke Yamaoka told buyers in a letter of greeting.

In accordance with the Platinum Guild International’s “I Believe Platinum” campaign, the teensy-tiny platinum-and-diamond look swept through the exhibition hall. Exhibitors offered slender platinum rings with baby-sized diamonds inset in the band, miniature stud and hoop earrings and precious geometric pendants on hairline chains. Especially popular variations included swooping ring mountings balancing center diamonds precariously in the crooks of their curves; abstract heart, cherub and star designs; and message jewelry. The goal was clear: to market quality products and unique design at a more attainable price, an approach to overcoming Japan’s shaky jewelry market.

Other trends were platinum rings with enormous colored stones, including the popular peridot, amethyst, topaz and blue tourmaline in 10-ct.-plus sizes; smooth slabs of colorful opal as pendants and rings; natural-color blue and gold akoya pearl strands in sizes above 6 1/2mm-7mm; white and golden South Sea pearl pendants, rings and strands averaging 11mm-12mm; the lacy look of Edwardian jewelry; and high-karat gold jewelry in matte and crinkled, natural designs. Some exhibitors also offered the 1-ct., pear-shaped diamond pendants heavily marketed in De Beers’ Asian-based “Simple Diamond” campaign.

Next year’s fair will be held Sept. 9-11, 1998 at Tokyo Big Sight.

From Classics to Acrylics in Milan

At Macef, Milan’s wide-ranging trade extravaganza, superb goldsmiths reign with forms and colors that are more varied than ever.

The heat outside the halls of the sprawling Milan fairgrounds was tempered by the many new cooler styles seen inside at the jewelry showcases. White gold, platinum and interesting uses of resins, woven metals and mosaics highlighted the Autumn edition of the Macef trade fair, Sept 5-8.

Of course, the classic use of hand-crafted yellow gold is always a leading element in all Italian jewelry. Devotees of the more traditional finely polished chain, intricate links and bold diamond placements were not disappointed.

While a firm such as Centoventuno, Bologna, retains its classic yellow or rose gold chain links, this year it got attention for its wide array of white gold and platinum rings topped with the brilliance of four Princess Cut diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and citrines. Some are polished white gold, others finished in metallic matte. In either case, the effect is a very contemporary, bold statement. The square settings, in a variety of configurations (some with diamond frames, others accented at either end with diamonds) are made in white gold and yellow gold and dominated the firm’s new offerings.

Other larger manufacturers, including Antonini of Milan, showed a wide assortment of platinum items, many with colored stones. Demand is up for the metal, the firm noted. The firm’s full line can be seen at its New York City office.

At the Milan-based Talento, Managing Director Antonio Sartori showed his firm’s new line directed at younger buyers. Called Diciotto, or “18” in Italian, the full line of necklaces, chains, earrings and rings is notably assymetric. It follows earlier lines by the company called Athena, Mediterranean and Babilonia, which feature Golden drop-like ovals accented with white gold, mother-of-pearl, diamonds or colored stones, then used as a pendant, ring or necklace.

Also of note at Talento is the firm’s first watch, the result of a design contest. Four students from Milan’s European Design Institute submitted designs for the timepiece. The winner was Antonella Gasperi, who made a prototype of rose gold, white gold, onyx, mother of pearl and diamonds that echoes the rounded, fluid appearance of Talento’s jewelry.

Among many manufacturers, the Italian talent for fine goldsmithing is seen not only in its larger gold items, but in an increasingly common use of fine, threadlike chain formed into “woven” pieces. Supple, silky necklaces of solid gold woven chain were draped within showcases throughout Macef’s jewelry halls. But where this sort of fine craftsmanship often featured rose or yellow gold, this year white gold dominated many a goldsmith’s window display. Harpo’s, based in Valenza, emphasized this fine art in its wide-ranging displays of woven jewelry.

In Rome, Le Sibille has been creating rings, pendants and earrings in another ancient form – mosaics. As explained by owner Francesca Neriserneri, her handmade “micromosaics” echo the detailed work of ancient artists. Each pieces of glass, stone or diamond is carefully placed by hand in a golden frame which creates the base of the piece of jewelry. Only three to four pieces of the more intricate designs are created in one month. A pendant is strung with silk; rings are often reversible.

Among the techniques gaining favor among fine jewelers in recent years is the pairing of acrylics with jewels, often with stunning results. Turin-based Pinky places 18k gold stars, moons, flowers and other charm shapes into clear or richly colored blue, red or black acrylic. Pearls are also placed within the synthetic base to create a bold look. A large single pearl bezel set in 18k gold is placed in clear or red acrylic rings with contemporary flair.

This autumn edition of Macef drew 81,000 visitors to its wide range of tabletop, ceramics, gifts, jewelry, fashion jewelry, housewares and kitchenware displays. Last year, attendance was about 93,000, but this year’s attendance was preregistered or had to show trade connections to enter. The next Macef is scheduled for Feb. 6-9, 1998.

Acrylic and Diamond Rings from Pinky Srl., Turin. Columbus Show Proves Power of Regional Trade Fairs

The marketing campaign preceding this year’s Columbus Jewelry Show summed up the show’s appeal with a Goldilocks metaphor: Las Vegas is too big, New York too expensive, Basel too far – but Columbus, Ohio, is just right.

The message was loud and clear to the 4,300 buyers and 550 exhibitors who traveled to the heart of the Midwest from as far as Vermont, California and Florida for the 54th annual show held Aug. 22-24. In an era of jewelry supershows, the comfortably-sized regional show by the Ohio Jewelers Association, has become the third largest in the country.

“People like it because it’s not too big,” says Stuart Palestrant, president of the Ohio Jewelers Association. “It’s a much friendlier show.” He adds that the show has moved beyond its “regional” status to become a contender with national operations like the JCK International Jewelry Shows and JA International Jewelry Shows. Buyers and exhibitors alike appreciate the appropriate timing for holiday buying, the reasonable hotel rates in Columbus, the city’s central location and the show committee’s firm and consistent rules, Palestrant says.

The much-hailed trend toward platinum and stark design may be rallying both coasts, but show trends proved that yellow gold and color still rule supreme in the Midwest. “Buyers are fairly conservative, because they are buying for clientele who are looking for traditional products,” says Palestrant. “Design trends are slower in coming.”

Popular items included some two-tone, mostly in yellow and white gold; “S” tennis bracelets and classical-style, linked column bracelets; semi-mounts with channel-set side stones and baguettes; invisible-set diamond jewelry; heavy, high-polish gold chain and link necklaces; and diamond-cut colored stones.

The Designer Pavilion offered more high-fashion looks and included both larger design firms like Kabana and smaller, independent designers. One exhibitor, Lisa Moser of Dublin, Ohio, who introduced a line of sterling silver toggle-clasp bracelets and necklaces and stark, geometric rings, said buyers at the show did not seem interested in her modern design or willing to invest in silver jewelry.

A popular addition to this year’s show was the Technology Center, including firms that offered management software, CAD/CAM equipment and Internet services. “Jewelers are slow to change with technology, but they’re beginning to catch on and recognize the importance,” says Show Committee Chairman Craig Forcell of Martin Jewelers in Wooster, Ohio. The pavilion was packed with people throughout the show. One exhibitor, Norayr Babikian of manufacturer Eiffel Jewelry in Los Angeles, said his company is selling thousands of dollars worth of diamond jewelry through the Polygon Network.

A full slate of educational seminars, including the Saturday Symposium by industry educator Janice Mack-Talcott and a packed-house session by gemologist and sales trainer Shane Decker were bonuses for visitors. Other highlights were the popular Jewelers Night Out and a full-day golf tournament.

Among the popular styles at the Columbus Show were the invisible-set diamond jewelry (by Eiffel Jewelry, Los Angeles).

Foreign Show Update

The International Spring Fair in Birmingham, England, will run Feb. 1-5, 1998 at the National Exhibition Centre. The show includes giftware, tabletop, decorative accessories and housewares, fine art, framing, fashion accessories, leather goods and stationery. White Hound Advertising Inc., 95 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030; (201) 659-0134, fax (201) 222-2141;;

The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Festival will be held March 5-8, 1998, at the Hong Kong Convention

& Exhibition Centre. The second annual fair will feature 200 exhibitors of fine and fashion watches, clocks, manufacturing and packaging equipment, and trade magazines. Brilliant-Art Trade Fairs Ltd., Unit 1501, Kodak House II, 321 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong; (852)

2511-6077, fax (852) 2507-5855;

Jewels of Asia ’97 will be held Dec. 11-14 at the Suntec City convention hall in Singapore. The event is expected to draw 3,000 visitors a day from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Interface Promotions (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., 1114A Serangoon Road, Singapore 328202; (65) 291-8559, fax (65) 291-1560.

Inhorgenta Müchen will celebrate its 25th anniversary Feb. 20-23 in Munich, Germany. A runway fashion show and a “Jewel Ball” are in the works for the occasion. Messe Müchen GmbH, Messegelände, D-80325 Müchen, Germany; (47-89) 51-070, fax (47-89) 51-07506; e-mail


Winners of Ohio Jewelers Design Competition

The Ohio Jewelers Association announced the winners of its annual jewelry design competition at the Columbus Jewelry Show, which was held on August 23-24 at the Columbus Convention Center. The categories were divided between retail cost up to $1000 (Category 1) and over $1000 (Category 2). Best of show and first place in Category 2 went to Barbara Hahn of Barbara Hahn Workshops, Findlay. This entry will be submitted to the Jewelers of America national design contest in New York on February 1998. Fred

C. Craig and Jerry Golech of Craig

Personal Jewelers, Canton, secured second place honors in Category 2. Third place honors in Category 2 went to Jodi Stamp of Herold Jaffe Jewelers, Toledo. Within the Category 1 division, first place went to Mark Wardell of Hartville Coin and Jewelry, Hartville. Jeff Dorr of Jack Seibert Goldsmith Jeweler, Columbus, secured second place honors. Lisa Barends, also of Jack Seibert Goldsmith Jeweler, Columbus, won third place honors. Next year’s Columbus Jewelry Show dates are August 29-30.

Missouri Jewelers Name Winners of Design Contest

Leigh Wulle Helzberg of the Galleria in St. Louis, won the top award in the Missouri Jewelers and Watchmakers Association ninth annual Jewelry Design Competition. She won the Best of Show prize for a 14k multicolor gold, ruby, and diamond brooch.

Prizes were awarded in three categories based on the cost of materials and an apprentice category.

Dale Hurt of Gold-N-Designs, Lee’s Summit, won first place in Category I for a platinum and diamond men’s ring.

Elizabeth & Curt Parker of Curt Parker, St. Louis, won two top prizes. Their diamond-encrusted bow pin handmade of 14k white gold with yellow gold accents won first place in Category II and their 18k pink and yellow gold ballerina brooch won third-place award in Category III.

Helzberg’s piece also won first place in Category III.

Fawnda Gunnels of Kennedy’s Custom Jewelers, Blue Springs, won the apprentice category with a 14k two-tone gold garnet brooch.