April 1, 1998

How Many Sales are Enough?

Market Place

diamonds rule supreme in jewelers’ forecast if america’s jewelers are right, 1998 is going to be the year of the diamond. don’t talk to these jewelers – members of jck’s retail panel – about scant diamond margins, shortages of fine large stones, fracture filling or lasering problems or about de beers’ less certain control of the market.

Breaking Boundaries

as we were preparing this issue, a story which appears in the luxury section caught me by surprise. its topic: campaigns to rejuvenate the brand image of cadillac cars and elizabeth arden cosmetics. in a jewelry magazine? but after my initial reaction, i realized that the story makes good sense; there’s a lot we can learn from other industries if we’re open-minded enough.

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.

Tanzanite Off!

so, you’ve never heard of the “big four”? this isn’t, as you might think, the front line of a championship football team. instead, it’s the familiar “big three” – ruby, emerald, sapphire – but with something added. that something is tanzanite. the traditional big three can trace their history back to ancient civilizations, while tanzanite da…

Your Turn

shop competitors? another viewpoint i am responding to your feature article “shopping competitors – not a dirty game” in the march issue. in it, the writers try to justify going into another’s store to get information on sales practices and merchandise. i’m not going to apologize for old- fashioned ideals and policies when i tell you that doing this is a form of th…

How Many Sales are Enough?

is it realistic to expect a full-time, $25,000-a-year jewelry salesperson to generate annual sales of $250,000? yes, say a number of leading jewelers. some even endorse a multiple of 12 rather than 10. but a check on available figures suggests that a multiple of 7 is much more likely for the jewelry business as a whole.

Are Colored Watches Too Hot to Handle?

in 1996, breitling, girard-perregaux and omega offered a sneak peek at a new look in luxury watches: a calculated, bold move to color. bright, in-your-face, crayola-crayon color. what’s really interesting is the mix of big names with big color. a few no-name companies played around with color some time ago, but no one seemed to notice.

Faces to Watch for in Basel

the world watch, clock and jewellery show, basel ’98, will host 2,350 exhibitors from 39 countries april 22-29. that total includes 1,264 jewelry firms, 612 watch and clock companies and 474 exhibitors of related products. the watch segment of the swiss trade is coming off a strong year. credit suisse reports that watches rose to third place among switzerland’s export product sector…

Watch Watch

cross heads upscale with time a.t. cross is making a move upscale and watches are a big part of the plan. cross timepieces is rolling out its line nationally after what the company calls positive feedback in two large test markets last fall. the watch brand already is in 130 doors – a quarter of them a.

Fashion Facets

art nouveau’s defining artist a magnificent collection of some 230 original designs by master artist rené lalique is on display at new york’s cooper hewitt museum through april 12. his work captures the heart of the belle epoque period, from 1889 to 1909; his name became closely associated with the art nouveau style.


ja workshops draw state leaders jewelers of america’s annual association workshops drew more than 150 presidents, executive directors and other leaders from 42 state jewelry associations, as well as members of the ja board of directors and staff. the series of group meetings and workshops was held jan.


exhibits the rosenwald-wolf gallery at the university of the arts, philadelphia, pa., hosts the first retrospective exhibition and publication featuring the jewelry and metalwork of richard h. reinhardt from march 20 to may 8. the exhibit kicked off with a public lecture sponsored by the pennsylvania society of goldsmiths and a reception sponsored by linde meyer gold + silver.

“Guaranteed Appraised Value”

during a sales presentation, the customer asks what the item is worth or “what will it appraise for?” many jewelers pitch the notion of higher value during a sale, provide a formal “guarantee” of the appraised value or provide point-of-sale appraisals for an amount higher than they just charged.


ijo purchased by member jeweler richard s. swetz, 60, purchased the independent jewelers organization (ijo) for an undisclosed sum on feb. 18. swetz made a cash purchase of the organization, which is said to be the world’s largest jewelry buying group with annual purchases estimated at more than $56 million.

New & Hot In Tucson

tucson’s gem and mineral shows are the most important loose colored gemstone shows in the world. for a week or two in early february, the city boasts the widest variety of gemstones and gem-related information available anywhere in the world. what started as an event sponsored by a local gem and mineral club back in the ’50s, has grown into 18 different shows in 24 different locatio…

Franck Muller Speaks

industry gossip swirls around this maker of unconventional luxury time pieces some call him a watchmaking genius, others an enigma. franck muller himself is a man of few words. he expresses himself mainly through fashionable, complicated luxury timepieces priced from $6,000 to more than $1 million. muller thinks off center, which is why retailers and affluent consumers such as sir elton john cr…


rap to add prices to consumer web site martin rapaport, publisher of the rapaport report and the rapnet internet system, will add retail diamond price information to the consumer portion of his web site. rapaport says he has not finalized plans but that diamond prices “will be part of an overall package of information to help consumers buy diamonds.

International Markets Opening to U.S. Jewelry Products

trade barriers for jewelry and gems are tumbling down way ahead of schedule among asian nations. in fact, tariffs may even be eliminated within the next five years, says a key u.s. trade negotiator. this unexpected, welcome development came about at the asia-pacific economic cooperation (apec) forum in vancouver last november.

Defining a Classic

a1965 mustang. a pair of levi’s. a little black dress and pearls. each is a classic, an essential element of history and style. each has mystique, an indefinable aura of being “right.” the american heritage dictionary defines the word classic as “belonging to the highest rank.

JCK Business Report

ad campaign profile: building a quality image jeweler: hands jewelers location: iowa city, iowa – population 61,000 genesis of ad theme: freelance graphic designer ron mcclellan developed the ad theme based on the rural look of the cloisonné pendant which is set with lazare kaplan diamonds.

‘Only Diamonds’ Debuts

veteran jewelry retailer nathan r. light has returned to the trade. this time, he’s trying out a retailing concept he hopes will revolutionize the sale and purchase of diamonds. “only diamonds,” his new group of superstores, sells only diamonds and diamond jewelry. the akron, ohio-based ldc group inc.


contest deadlines category i: everyday platinum – sportier styles for work and play, including necklaces, pendants with chains, bracelets, earrings, rings, pins and coin jewelry. category ii: precious commitments – original designs in engagement rings, wedding and anniversary bands. category iii: statement makers – dramatic, wearable art.

Promises Profits

it’s a startling figure: 62% of american women wear a size 12 or larger. at present, they account for less than 25% of total spending for apparel, but they hold a mostly untapped $21 billion in potential purchasing power. the full-figure market is full of misconceptions, said panelists at a recent seminar hosted by the fashion group international.

You Can’t Do it All!

sometimes we put so much effort into this business of being a retailer that we forget what it’s like to be a customer! recently, i needed to buy a new car. i knew what make and model i wanted and i knew the owners of several dealerships and could have shopped with any of them. but i’m not a shopper in search of the “perfect deal.

Friedman’s Looks to Ease Growing Pains

fiscal 1997 was another strong year for friedman’s jewelers. the savannah, ga.-based strip mall jeweler continued its aggressive expansion, opening 83 stores in the year ended sept. 30. since then, the nation’s third largest jewelry chain has added more than 40 additional locations, giving it 425 as of late january.

Note Book

roulette the nightmares usually begin with the image of a hand. she looks down and there it is, fingers closing on the handle of her bag, the bag with a line of gold and diamond watches in it worth half a million dollars. then the dream turns violent in one of several ways. she’s tackling him. she throws him to the ground.

Trade Shows

ja new york show attracts good crowds the february ja new york show drew good crowds on its opening day and a steady flow of buyers walked the aisles on the following two days. although the show was reduced in size from previous years – very few watch companies were there and foreign participation was limited – it attracted 740 exhibitors.


niche names humanitarian niche magazine, the trade publication for retailers of american crafts, named william e. strickland jr. as its 1998 humanitarian of the year. he received the honor for his vision and development of the manchester crafts- men’s guild, which helps combat the economic and social devastation experienced by residents of the predominantly african-american neigh- borhood…

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