The Known Jewelry Universe, Editor’s Letter, July–August 2013

Every June, I return home from Las Vegas market week and the first thing I do—well, second, if you count wringing my brain dry—is take stock of the places I went, the things I saw, and the people I met. I ask myself: Was it a good show?

This year, the answer was clear-cut: Why, yes—yes it was. To echo my friend and colleague Mark Smelzer, whose account of JCK Las Vegas you’ll find in the Publisher’s Letter, the 2013 show pulsed with an electricity we haven’t felt in years. A large part of that is due to the rebounding economy.

“Fifty-one months after an impressive stock rally began and 48 months after economic growth started, optimism is finally—finally!—breaking out,” Daniel Gross wrote in a recent piece for Newsweek about how the economic doomsayers who predicted America’s decline now are recanting their statements.

But the positive fiscal picture wasn’t the only reason for the show’s good vibes. The organizers, led by JCK Events group vice president Yancy Weinrich, deserve huge kudos for putting together one hell of a production, including my personal “best in show” moment: standing on the beach at Mandalay Bay on Sunday night, watching Adam Levine of Maroon 5 bust his “moves like Jagger,” amid a sea of smiling faces, many of them belonging to people I know and love. For a few minutes, I had the ecstatic feeling that I was at the center of the known jewelry universe.

That night, I was reminded of the camaraderie and collective spirit of goodwill that characterize this business. And when I interviewed first-time jewelry show exhibitor Natalie Torre, a veteran of the fashion and Hollywood scenes—check out her quotes in our “Best in Show” cover feature—she pointed out the very same thing: “Everyone’s so nice!”

My favorite part of Vegas? That’s easy! Spending time with friends, like Debbie Yonick and Mark Davidovich.

Our editors came to similar conclusions while reporting the show, which once again included the JCK photo booth. For the third year in a row, we’ve asked passersby to share their thoughts on the show. Read their upbeat remarks in the “Shopper’s Paradise” photo feature.

As I wandered the show floor, with JCK TV film cameras trailing me, I realized that many buyers consider the Equipment, Technology & Supplies (ETS) Pavilion their own unlikely paradise. Senior editor Emili Vesilind braved the crowds to research the “Tool Hunter” feature, our annual paean to the best technology and tools we found at JCK.

Finally, we round out this stellar postshow issue with a feature on using story­telling in the sales process. It seems obvious that the more you know about a product, the more you like it. That’s certainly true of the most treasured pieces in my jewel box: the Gumuchian Tahitian pearl ring that I won by putting my card in a bowl nearly a decade ago; the titanium pendant by master jeweler Wallace Chan, whose Fu Manchu beard and shy, respectful demeanor always come to mind when I wear it; the tiny little black handcuffs that remind me of a funny night in Spanish Harlem every time they dangle from my ears.

Come to think of it, I bet that stories are the best things we all bring back from Las Vegas. What are some of yours? I’d love to hear them! Email me at

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