What’s New/Bench and Lab

Seiwa Optical Co. Ltd. and Inabata Co. of Tokyo introduced a digital microscope combining a regular microscope, digital camera and LCD screen into one unit. It reportedly is easy to use and can hook up to any personal computer. It can store and send images through the Internet. It is compatible with PCs and Macs and has 4MB flash memory. Lens magnification: 0.75X to 4.5X for Model 1 with zoom; 4X, 10X, 20X and 40X for Model 2. Illumination: transmitted and incident for Model 1, transmitted for Model 2. Accessories include carrying case, computer cable, utility software, adapter connector, video cable, dust cover and manual. Seiwa Optical Co., One Blue Hill Plaza, P.O. Box 1667, Pearl River, NY 10965-8667; (800) 890-3333 or (914) 620-1999, fax (914) 620-1950.

The first issue of Studio PMC, a quarterly newsletter for PMC users, was sent in early February to anyone who purchased Precious Metal Clay™ from Rio Grande. It is produced by Mitsubishi Materials Corp., maker of PMC. The newsletter is designed to serve as a clearinghouse for information on using PMC. It asks that users send in tips, questions, procedures, photos of items made with PMC, etc. Precious Metal Clay is a clay-like material made of microscopic particles of gold, silver or platinum suspended in a pliable organic binder. Artists can shape it into jewelry or other objects; when fired, the clay burns out, leaving the precious metal. The material was introduced in the U.S. in mid-1995. Studio PMC, Mitsubishi Materials Corp., P.O. Box 257, Bennington, VT 05201-0257.

Gesswein has lowered prices on its magnetic tumblers and added to the line. Joining the Mini-Magnetic II (which holds 20-40 parts) are the Medium HR-01 (60-120 parts) and the Super HR-02 (150-300 parts). Magnetic tumblers clean and polish nooks and crannies on jewelry parts. All three units include 0.5mm x 5mm stainless steel shot rods, burnishing compounds, bowl and cover, spare fuse and a spare set of carbon brushes. They are fully automatic with 1-60 minute automatic shut-off timer. Mini II operates at a fixed speed of 2,300 rpm, while the Medium and Super feature variable speed control from 0 to 2,300 rpm. Gesswein also offers the Raytech CMF-600 magnetic tumbler which holds 20-40 parts, works at a fixed speed of 1,800 rpm, has a 120-minute timer, direct drive, fan-cooled motor and 6-in. diameter bowl. It includes approximately .5 lb. of stainless steel shot rods and a sample of burnishing compounds. Paul H. Gesswein, 255 Hancock Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06605; (800) 544-2043 or (203) 366-5400, fax (203) 335-0300, e-mail: gessweinco@aol.com.

Gelflex® is a mold material used in conjunction with the lost-wax casting method. It requires no mixing or vacuum equipment. Its distributor claims that the material is less costly to use than other mold materials, its shelf life is years longer, its detail retention is equal to or better than others and it is reusable. The material comes in hard and soft grades. Retail price in the U.S. is $12.50 per pound (F.O.B. Bellaire, Tex.). To order, contact Lathrop’s Jeweler Supplies & Findings, 6704 Ferris St., Bellaire, TX 77401; (713) 665-2699, fax (713) 665-0214. Technical specifications are available from Glass Schell, 6520 Wakeforest, Houston, TX 77005; phone/fax (713) 668-6114.

“The Watch Service Handbook for Busy Retailers” is a 24-page booklet designed to help retail salespeople better understand the process of providing watch repair services to their customers. It is intended primarily for stores that send watches out for repairs. Among the topics are steps to follow when taking in a watch for repair, questions customers frequently ask about service, the do’s and don’ts of opening the back of a quartz watch, battery change questions, explaining warranties, how to read an estimate, secrets of selling service and how to pack a watch for shipping. Parsec Enterprises gathered material for the booklet from more than 20 years’ experience providing watch repair services to retail chains. The booklet is free to retail stores while supplies of the first printing last. Parsec Enterprises Inc., 7501 N. Harker Dr., P.O. Box 195, Peoria, IL 61650-0195; (800) 359-2508 or (309) 689-6531, fax (309) 689-6543.

Mason-Kay now issues guarantee certificates that state jade is natural, untreated jadeite jade. This assures it is neither color-enhanced nor polymer impregnated. The certificates are in response to concerns that treated jade is being sold without disclosure. The firm uses its infrared spectrometer to test for polymer impregnation. Mason-Kay Jade and Fine Jewelry, P.O. Box 65015, Denver, CO 08206-9998; (800) 722-7575 or (303) 393-7575, fax (303) 393-0201.

FW Aldridge Ltd. specializes in repairing colored glass liners in silver tableware. It provides glass, antique, silver and allied trades with a variety of services from replacement glass for claret mounts to repairing chipped or damaged table glass. The firm has what it believes is one of the largest stocks of glass molds in the United Kingdom; some are more than 200 years old. More difficult shapes can be specially blown using a silver mold of the item being repaired. Linings can be supplied for salt and pepper containers, mustard jars, cheese dishes, vases and other items. Aldridge is seeking a representative to expand its business in the U.S. FW Aldridge Ltd., 28 Mead Park, River Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2SE, England; 011 44 1279 442876, fax 011 44 1279 445764.

Custom Catalog Service creates catalogs for independent jewelers. New pages may be added to each store’s catalog to supplement the hundreds of generic and manufacturers’ pages already available in the company’s photofile. “We are contacting suppliers that our retailers have requested to provide us with new items for our 1998 sample catalog due out this spring,” says Judy Lince, program director. “The sample catalog is a menu of photography that allows the retail jeweler to pick and choose pages of products they want to feature in their own store’s catalog.” CCS says it printed more than 7 million pages last year with no two stores’ catalogs alike. Many catalogs feature photos of store owners and staff, special events calendars and incentives to visit the store. In addition to jewelry and watch pages, many include gifts, tabletops and collectibles. Custom Catalog Service, 3122 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23221; (800) 430-3479 or (804) 355-6945, fax (804) 359-8002.

Display Technologies offers a full-color catalog of TechStoc™ point-of-purchase displays for jewelry firms with high-volume needs. The product line includes shelf management systems, modular display racks, gravity-feed floor stands and custom options. Display Technologies, 111-01 14 Ave., College Point, NY 11356; (888) 445-4004 or (718) 321-3100, fax (718) 321-7024.

The Fountain Factory presents a 12-page color catalog of hand-inlaid mosaic fountains. The fountains are available with colored stones, geodes and tiles in styles ranging from multi-tiered ponds to mini-cascading water towers and river boulder fountains. The Fountain Factory, 35 River St., New Rochelle, NY 10801; (800) 627-2550 or (914) 633-3200, fax (914) 633-8727.

The 64-page, full-color 1998 catalog supplement from Paul H. Gesswein Co. features the Picture Perfect Computer Imaging System; magnetic tumblers; a large selection of platinum tools and supplies; and a variety of products from ring mandrels and polishing supplies to casting equipment and dust collectors. Paul H. Gesswein, 255 Hancock Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06605; (800) 544-2043 or (203) 366-5400, fax (203) 335-0300, e-mail: gessweinco@aol.com.

A 24-page, 4-color catalog features 14k gold, diamond and colored stone, including birthstone, jewelry from Harold Jewelry Inc. and H. Lisa Jewelry Inc., 131 W. 35 St., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10001; (800) 223-7555 or (212) 695-4905, fax (212) 629-6817.

A laminated 8-page brochure from Lucoral Co. features South Sea champagne pearls set in sterling silver pendants, brooches and necklaces. Lucoral Co. Inc./New York Jewelry Market Corp., 26 W. 46 St., New York, NY 10036; (800) LUCORAL or (212) 575-8811, fax (212) 575-9737.

The 228-page 1998 catalog from Progress Lighting features more than 2,600 lighting fixtures for commercial and residential use. It offers more than 300 new lighting products and coordinating accessories, including three new product families: Chatam, Masira and Wellington. Progress Lighting, P.O. Box 5704, Spartanburg, SC 29304-5704, (864) 599-6000, fax (864) 599-6151, www.progresslighting.com.

The Jewel Case Express catalog of in-stock packaging is now available. The color catalog shows a full line of jewelry boxes ready for immediate delivery, including quilted velvet, velour and omega styles. Jewel Case, 300 Niantic Ave., Providence, RI 02907; (800) 441-4447 or (401) 943-1400, e-mail jewel.case@worldnet.att.net. photo

The Derksen® Graphic Projection System allows retailers to project images – such as store name or logo and even a working analog clock – through a storefront onto the walkway outside, decorate hard-to-use wall space and set images in motion, among other uses. Derksen says its systems combine powerful light sources with high quality optics, rendering razor-sharp images even at a distance. Images are easy to change. System starts at $1,690. Derksen (USA) Inc., 6115 Main Ave., #15, Orangevale, CA 95662; (916) 988-0390, fax (916) 988-3575; www.derksen.com.

Fifield Inc. has added Frost and Mocha hues to its line of Vienna™ leatherette. The leather substitute now comes in 16 colors. Vienna is appropriate, says its supplier, for jewelry displays, upholstery, fashion accessories, guest books, wedding albums, presentation covers and other products. It is made of polyurethane, polyester and cotton. Fifield says it is easy to clean and resistant to wear. Fifield Inc., 72 Sharp St., Hingham, MA 02043-4330; (781) 335-7060, fax (781) 335-7709, e-mail: fabrics@fifieldfabrics.com.