Supplier News

MICHAEL ANTHONY BUYS T&C’s TRADEMARKS

Michael Anthony Jewelers Inc., a leading U.S. manufacturer and marketer of gold jewelry, on March 16 purchased the jewelry trade names and trademarks, molds, and models of the Town & Country Fine Jewelry Group for $4.5 million.

The deal included some equipment of Town & Country’s Chelsea, Mass., headquarters and contents of its showrooms in Dallas and New York.

Immediately after the transaction, Michael Anthony sold two of Town & Country’s former lines —Feature Ring and Bridal jewelry—to Stuller Settings Inc. of Lafayette, La.

Early this year, Town & Country Fine Jewelry Group laid off almost all of its workers and filed for bankruptcy protection. (Its parent firm, Town & Country Inc., did not file.) Michael Anthony offered $24 million to buy most of its assets, except real estate, though it was primarily interested in the jewelry brands, molds, models, and related intellectual property rights.

In late February, Town & Country’s creditors rejected that bid, saying another $500,000 was needed. Michael Anthony withdrew its offer.

With court approval, the creditors began selling off assets of Town & Country Fine Jewelry Group. Gordon Brothers of Boston, a well-known firm of liquidators, reportedly paid $10 million for at least half of the inventory and equipment. Richard Lawler, president of Gordon Brothers, declines to confirm that figure but says it was “a substantial purchase of inventory [and] one of the largest acquisitions” in his firm’s history. Gordon Brothers began selling the Town & Country surplus inventory on March 15. —William George Shuster

SONALI SHUT DOWN BY BANK

Sonali 22K Corp., a Carlsbad, Calif., supplier of fine gold jewelry, was shut down in March when Wells Fargo Bank, acting on a court order, seized more than $13 million in gold and assets. San Diego County marshals took hundreds of pounds of gold and other assets from Sonali’s headquarters and three banks where it had safe deposit boxes and accounts, according to the North County Times.

Neither Surya P. Patangay, the owner of Sonali, nor his attorney could be reached at press time. No one answered Sonali’s toll-free number or responded to e-mail. A company Web site (www.sonali.com) shows only two ornate gold bangles. A message on the site says it is “under construction.”

The company opened in 1990 and was incorporated in 1993 as a gold jewelry wholesale and distribution business, according to county records. It specializes in 22k gold jewelry.

An attorney for the bank calls the situation “a collection matter” and says Wells Fargo acted on an anonymous tip to look into Sonali’s business practices. Its investigation led to the request for the court order issued by San Diego County Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager.

The order let Wells Fargo attach at least $13 million in property, as well as assets of Sonali and its building (assessed at $703,000). The order also covers any accounts receivable, “general intangibles” from the corporation’s business operations, equipment, inventory, monetary judgments, money on the premises, and minerals.

A spokesman for the San Diego County Marshal’s Office says it was one of the largest seizures of assets by his office in 20 years. The gold was to be handed over to the bank on March 12. —William George Shuster

JEWELEX INDIA LTD. GETS ISO 9001 CERIFICATION

Jewelex India Ltd. has earned ISO 9001 certification, an internationally recognized quality assurance designation. The certification signifies that the company has implemented a system and standardization measures for its products, service, delivery, and communications.

The company is the first Indian jewelry company to earn ISO 9001 certification. The title is earned through periodic auditing; certified companies are reviewed every few years.

NEW OWNERS FOR CHARLES GARNIER

Gerard Bonifacio and Francoise Matheod of Paris have purchased Charles Garnier-Paris’ parent company. Bonifacio will be the new chairman of the board and Matheod will be chief executive officer, responsible for the daily management of the company and its subsidiaries around the world.

Matheod previously was director general at Chaumet of Paris and marketing manager at Cartier.

The new company plans to aggressively expand its product-development activities and create new marketing programs for independent jewelers, retail jewelry chains, and department stores.

A ZETTL PAVILION AT JCK SHOW

Friedrich Zettl GmbH, one of Europe’s largest jewelry manufacturers, has created a special pavilion for The JCK Show in Las Vegas in June.

The pavilion, a 30-ft. x 30-ft. “megabooth,” will house many Zettl distributors, enabling visitors to see the entire Zettl collection in one place.

Merchandise displayed by Zettl at the show will include invisible necklaces; stainless-steel, neoprene, and sterling chokers; neo-classic millennium styles; and colored stone jewelry and clasps. New Zettl collections are available in 14k gold, 18k gold, and sterling silver.

Participating distributors include Artistry Ltd., Allure Designs Ltd., Barrocos of Florida, Grassman-Blake Inc., Quality Gold of Cincinnati, and Ralph Crivelli Co. The booth number is 49035.

DESIGNS BY THE SEA TEAMS UP WITH PAULY

Designs by the Sea of Colorado Springs, Colo., will distribute the Erwin Pauly Cameo Phantasy gemstone collection in the United States and Canada.

Erwin Pauly hails from Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and began studying gemstone carving in 1949. He founded his own atelier in 1958 and has exhibited widely in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He and his three sons are known in the agate cameo industry for their avant-garde designs and techniques.

Designs by the Sea will distribute hand-carved stones as well as a new line of ultrasonically carved stones in a variety of sizes, designs, and colors. The stones will be available loose or mounted.

Designs by the Sea, 2862 S. Circle Dr., #215, Colorado Springs, CO 80906; (800) 392-9938 or (719) 527-6808, fax (719) 527-9195.

ADELIO ARIATA DEBUTS GEMSTONE JEWELRY

Adelio Ariata, a 25-year-old, family-owned Italian jewelry manufacturer best known for gemstones in traditional and hand-carved forms, has introduced a fine jewelry line.

Available are one-of-a-kind rings, necklaces, and earrings set with tanzanites, aquamarines, rubies, emeralds, multicolored sapphires, and tourmalines, rho- dolites, amethysts, and pearls. The company’s “Follie” collection of necklace clasps, brooches, and pendants features flowers carved of pink tourmaline, aquamarine, amethyst, and jade set in 18k gold.

Adelio Ariata, Via E. Bignami, 8; 22020 San Fermo (Como), Italy; (39-031) 535044; fax (39-031) 535591.

HALLMARK SWEET OFFERS HOOPS

Hallmark Sweet offers hoops featuring custom options for size, color, and finish. Hoops can be ordered as components or finished to a customer’s specifications. Tube sizes range from 1-mm endless hoops to large-diameter hoops with a variety of patterns, including stipple, multi-twist, corrugated, concave, and wedding band. A full selection of hoop components is available.

The current best-selling Euro styles are available in plain tubing, a brilliant polished finished, riveted hinges, and well-finished tube end caps.

Hallmark Sweet, 49 Pearl St., Attleboro, MA 02703; (800) 225-2706 or (508) 222-9234, fax (508) 222-6531.