April 1, 2006

Platinum's Progress

AJDC’s Annual Art Project Inspires (Again)

the american jewelry design council, an elite, self-nominated group of 34 jewelry craftsmen led by alan revere, has unveiled its latest theme project: “pyramid.” each year, members pick a theme and create pieces of jewelry art—not for resale—representing the idea, subject, or motif they’ve chosen.

De Beers ‘Rebalances’ Prices

de beers has announced a price “rebalancing” resulting in an average 2 percent increase. the announcement was made to clients in advance of its february sight. the price increase comes on top of de beers’ decision to add a charge for “value-added services,” which adds about 1.

The Four Elements of South Sea Pearls

jewelmer, the philippines-based producer of south sea pearls, has launched a new advertising campaign based on the four core elements of nature: air, water, fire, and earth. the campaign’s visuals are intended to emphasize the beauty of south sea pearls as it relates to the four elements. air creates the energy that helps circulate nutrients to give sustenance to the pearl-producing oysters, wa…

Put the Brakes on Break-Ins

one would think the gate cutters jewelry crew, a criminal gang that has robbed 50 jewelry stores since 2003, has a bad business model. their modus operandi is to cut a jeweler’s gate, snatch all the jewelry that’s not in the safe, and flee after a few minutes, before anyone responds to the tripped alarm.

DTC Has Record Sales in 2006

the dtc announced its rough diamond sales set a new record in 2006, hitting $6.5 million, 15 percent higher than 2004 figures. de beers’ earnings for 2005 were $782 million, a 26 percent jump over 2004. overall, retail sales of diamond jewelry grew 6 percent to 7 percent, the dtc said. “the u.


for those keeping tabs on active and nonactive u.s. gem deposits, add yogo gulch, montana, to the endangered list. yogo, known for its deep blue sapphires, has been mined since the late 1800s. but according to numerous reports from montana locals, the eastern side of yogo gulch, mined recently by vortex (formerly yogo creek), is no longer worked, and some have put this gem deposit on the …

Lazare Kaplan Appoints Rosario Senior VP

lazare kaplan has appointed charles c. rosario senior vice president. rosario will focus on achieving market growth for lazare’s products. raised in the south bronx, rosario began his career in lki’s mailroom in 1974. he worked his way up through the company in all phases of its operations, in both new york and puerto rico.

Platinum’s Progress

the u.s. platinum jewelry and watch market continues to thrive, despite drops in world demand in 2005 plus the highest per-ounce price for the white metal in 26 years (see sidebar, p. 67). helping spur demand are technical innovations, less-expensive jewelry, and novel promotions that are widening the u.

Patek Philippe Invents New Balance Spring

swiss luxury watchmaker patek philippe has created what it calls a technological advance for mechanical wristwatches: a thinner balance spring of a silicon-based material, which increases the precision of mechanical movements and allows for thinner timepieces. the innovation was unveiled in january and is on display this month at baselworld, the international watch, clock, and jewelry fair in b…

De Beers Chain to Nearly Double This Year

de beers’ retail chain will almost double its stores this year, from nine to 17, and it’s eyeing additional locations in the united states, company chairman guy leymarie told jck in an exclusive interview. among the new 2006 locations: two in the middle east (dubai, united arab emirates, and kuwait); four in japan; one in taipei, taiwan; and one in london.

DDC Changes Bylaws, Invites in IGI

the new york diamond dealers club recently made a change to its bylaws that will allow its leaders to run and serve possible fourth terms. previously, three terms was the maximum. current president jacob banda is in his third term. he told jck: “i’ll run, if people want me to.” the next club election is in june.

Upbeat Japanese Economy Means Good Business at IJT

the 17th international jewellery tokyo, held jan. 25–28 at the tokyo big sight exhibition center, hosted 1,519 exhibitors, 990 of which were from japan and 529 of which came from 35 countries around the world. the show also posted a record 36,178 visitors, composed of retailers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, designers, and those in related fields.

Behr Launches Queer as Folk and The L Word Lines

following on the successful launch last year of the love and pride line targeting same-sex couples, udi behr has formed a partnership with showtime to launch two new branded collections for the gay and lesbian market. the l word and queer as folk jewelry lines, which debuted in february during new york’s fashion week, hit the market along with a new fragrance, l eau de parfum by apothia for fre…

LVMH Sales Rose 11 Percent in 2005; Watches, Jewelry Up 11 Percent

lvmh (moët hennessy louis vuitton), a leading luxury-products group, says its 2005 revenues rose 11 percent for 2005, to $16.8 billion. the year’s initial results were released in january. other major luxury-product groups, including richemont and gucci, have also reported strong gains. lvmh posted record revenues in december.


U.S. watch industry veteran Franz Brunner has resigned as executive vice president of Egana of Switzerland (America) Corp., whose watch brands include Junghans, Cerruti 1881, and National Geographic. He has set up his own agency, Swiss Trading Partners, in Boca Raton, Fla., and is now a watch business consultant. His successor was expected to be…

Roger Dubuis S.A., Helvetia Dispute Ending U.S. Distribution Contract

a top swiss luxury watch brand and its north american distributor were in litigation early this year over whether the brand can cancel its contract with the distributor. each accuses the other of alleged product shortages and supposedly diverting watches to the gray market. roger dubuis s.a., based near geneva, says it ended its contract with helvetia time corp.

Colibri Appoints New CEO

thomas bendheim, 42, new president of the colibri group, one of america’s best-known suppliers to jewelers, plans to “build on the success” of its several product categories, “become more important” to its customers, and “expand the franchise,” he told jck. however, he’s doing it without active input from frederick n.

‘The Rules of Business’ Every Jeweler Should Follow

the rules of business provides commentary on basic business principles, covering critical areas like innovation, communication, marketing and advertising, sales, management and leadership, corporate culture, customer service, teamwork, growth, strategy, and ethics. it interweaves historic quotes, insights, and anecdotes from more than 200 of the best minds in business, including jack welch, bil…

JSA Puts Out Crime Alert for Convict

the jewelers’ security alliance has issued a crime alert for an escaped convict who is charged with purchasing jewelry with fraudulent personal checks in kentucky. police have linked sam shepard, 38—already wanted for escape from a correctional facility in paintsville, ky.—to at least four robberies that may all involve jewelry stores.


LAGOS has announced two promotions: Midwest/Southwest account executive Meg Gitleshas been promoted to the position of director of independent accounts. Prior to joining LAGOS in 2003, Gitles held the position of account executive at Carolee Designs Inc. where she managed retail sales and distribution of product to major department store accounts. LAGOS also has promoted…

Forte, Leonard Out

after months of disappointing sales and earnings and falling market share, mary l. forte, 55, has resigned as president and chief executive officer, and from the board of directors, of zale corp., north america’s largest jewelry retailer. also leaving the company are paul leonard, a longtime zale veteran and former president of zales jewelers and, prior to that, piercing pagoda; and charl…

De Beers, Jewelers for Children Team Up for Program

jewelers for children and de beers have launched a $600,000 joint project to set up a child-care center in galeshewe, one of the largest urban settings in the northern cape province of south africa. the two organizations noted that galeshewe, a former black-majority township, has high levels of unemployment, fragile community networks, and a high incidence of aids.

Smith Jewelers

larry smith is president of smith jewelers, a second-generation jewelry store in danville, calif., he runs with his brother curtis. smith’s parents founded the store—the first in danville—in 1974, and over the years it enjoyed steady growth. in 1983, the owners doubled the store’s size, building a state-of-the-art jewelry repair shop and greatly expanding the store&#8217…


Fashion’s Rising Stars Faraone Mennella is the fashion industry’s choice for Best Jewelry Newcomer of the Year. The Fashion Group International hosted the 9th Annual Rising Star Awards in New York in January and Faraone Mennella was among the eight companies recognized. Presenters including Robert Lee Morris and Jonathan Adler helped honor the accomplishments of…

JCK Trend Spotting

in february, red emerged as one of the strongest trends on hollywood red carpets and new york runways. in january, jck introduced fashionable rubies to jewelers with its cover. look for the trend toward rich, saturated red hues in gemstones—and apparel—to only grow throughout the year, especially for fall 2006.

GIA Releases 2006 Education Catalog

the gemological institute of america (gia) has issued the 2006 gia education catalog. the 84-page catalog explains gia’s courses and programs offered on campus and through distance education, as well as this year’s schedule of classes. the catalog describes how to obtain the institute’s graduate gemologist (g.

Gem Pricing

market in brief: feb. 24, 2006 . . . the colored-stone market is heating up. tourmaline, garnet, and yellow and purple sapphire are in demand. designers are mirroring color schemes embraced by the fashion industry. expect peridot green and citrine yellow to remain popular. fancy sapphire and the yellow and pinkish brown varieties of tanzanian zircon will be well represented in custom designs.

Hearts On Fire Gets New President

mark israel, current chief operating officer of hearts on fire, has been promoted to president. israel joined the company in 2004 after spending 15 years running a luxury home furnishing business. he graduated with a b.a. from harvard university in 1979 where he also earned an mba in 1981.

GIA Selects Keynote Speakers for 2006 Gemological Research Conference

twelve authorities in gemology and related disciplines will headline the gemological institute of america’s first gemological research conference, being held in san diego aug. 26–27, 2006, just prior to the fourth international gemological symposium, to be held aug. 27–29. the gia gemological research conference keynote speakers and the subjects of their presentations are lis…

Second Volume of Inclusion Trilogy Released

after 20 years of labor, the photoatlas of inclusions in gemstones, vol. 1, by john koivula and the late dr. eduard gübelin, finally has a sibling. koivula and gübelin’s photoatlas, vol. 2, a continuation of volume 1, offers more than 2,200 new photomicrographs of inclusions in hundreds of gems.

William L. Carreras

william l. carreras, owner and president of carreras ltd. in richmond, va., died jan. 15 after battling cancer. he was 61. carreras, who was born in richmond, entered the diamond business in 1962 while a student at the university of virginia, working as a sales representative for a company that sold diamond engagement rings and gemstones on campus.

Antwerp Split Over De Beers

the diamond high council, antwerp, belgium—the promotional group best known by the flemish initials hrd—is in crisis, forced to undergo a major restructuring after board members split over the group’s policy toward de beers. according to informed sources and press accounts, the turmoil began in late january when managing director peter meeus resigned after more than six years…

JCOC to Conduct Study for AGTA

the jewelry consumer opinion council, which regularly surveys an e-panel of fine jewelry consumers throughout north america, is conducting a comprehensive consumer and trade study on color for the american gem trade association. the research will consist of a two-part tracking study to compare and contrast the results with a previous study on color.

China’s Silicosis Epidemic Triggers CIBJO Involvement

in the 1700s, the germans called it “cutters’ disease” because it resulted from breathing the dust in gem-cutting mills. but silicosis didn’t become an epidemic until the development of holding ponds at the wheelhouses in the mid-19th century, which allowed for longer working hours.

GIA’s Problems, Continued

since my last column, a great shroud of silence has fallen around the alleged bribery case at gia. as of early february, no governmental authority has said a word; public press reports came and went with little apparent harm; the public at large seems unperturbed; and the trade hopes no further bungling occurs and no prosecutions are initiated.

Jaipur Show Posts Success for 2005

more than 30,000 visitors—both trade and consumer—attended the jaipur jewellery show, north india’s biggest show, held dec. 23–26, 2005, at the raj mahal palace hotel. show organizers said 2005 attendance increased 45 percent over 2004 figures. rashmikant durlabhji, con- vener of the show, said many new retailers visited the show for the first time and that exhibitors r…

Dirty Gold or Dirty Pool?

again the jewelry industry is prey to a nongovernmental-organization effort to affect demand by targeting retailers. previous efforts have focused on the diamond business. now the focus is the gold-mining business and retailers that sell gold jewelry. this time, retailers include as diverse a group as a big box retailer, a traditional jeweler, and qvc, and others have been identified as “…

Diamonds in the News

jewelry is all about emotion. but sometimes the highs and lows it inspires aren’t what we as an industry had in mind. here, two recent news items play to our emotions. the good news: jewelry had a low-key but unmistakable presence at the winter olympic games in turin, italy. many of the figure skaters, for example—male and female—wore jewelry on the ice.

VicenzaOro Exhibitors Adjust to Changing Times

vicenzaoro, the year’s opening trade fair, is usually a good barometer for the jewelry business: a confirmation of holiday sales results, an indicator of buyers’ expectations for the coming year, and a source of new trends and styles. by and large, 2005 was not a great year for jewelry sales in the united states and europe.

Streak Free and Squeaky Clean

this month we examine a key marketing tool: windex. what does windex have to do with marketing? everything! visual impressions are critical to business success. you can have the best advertising and media plan in the world, but if your store’s external appearance and interior design don’t harmonize with the style of your advertising and the quality of your products and brands, a war…

Romancing the Reptile

marketers and retailers spend time, money, and energy learning what motivates people to buy products, where they prefer to purchase, what products they want, and how to make products that meet their needs. figuring out the whims of the masses—which shift as the world changes—is a messy business.

Women’s Confidence in Looks Holds

women retain confidence in the way they look as they get older, according to a 2005 national telephone survey conducted by specialty apparel retailer talbots. when questioned about how they look today versus how they looked in their high school yearbook photo, 86 percent of women ages 35–44 said they feel as good or better about how they look today.

Greet for Success

what’s in a greeting? a great deal for retailers concerned with productivity. effective greetings create opportunities for relaxed conversations with customers. ineffective greetings that elicit a “no thank you” drive customers away while leaving sales associates unaware of how their actions contributed to a lost sale.

Ted Lazarus

theodore (ted) lazarus, 81, died june 21 in princeton, n.j., as a result of complications from open-heart surgery. lazarus was president of lazarus jewelers in new york city from 1945 until 1987 when the company was sold to wideband. he served with the u.s. army in the philippines during world war ii.

Challenges and Changes

frank dallahan, the new president and chief executive officer of the manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america, has never been afraid to take on a challenge. throughout a versatile career that has spanned four decades, dallahan has moved easily between worlds as diverse as manufacturing and retailing, jewelry sales and marketing, publishing, and now trade-association management.

JCK Wins Again!

i’m thrilled to announce that jck luxury, our business magazine targeted to upscale retailers, has been chosen as a merit award winner in the society of publication designers’ 41st annual magazine design competition and will be showcased in their publication design annual hardcover book! jck luxury’s win makes something of a trifecta, as now all three of jck’s publicatio…

VNU Plans Couture Leadership Conference for 2007

vnu expositions jewelry group and couture international jeweler magazine have announced that they are planning to hold the next couture leadership conference in 2007. the change from an annual event to a biennial one, said management, will allow vnu time to assess the needs of its couture members and plan accordingly.

True Colors

gemological institute of america’s gem laboratory 580 fifth ave., new york 5345 armada drive, carlsbad, calif. the gia gem laboratory is focusing on three major areas of improvement: upgrading equipment, enhancing reports, and identifying pearls. shane mcclure, director of identification services at the carlsbad facility, says the lab is currently upgrading its raman spectrometers.

Publishing Note

lark books, a division of sterling publishing co., in january released its latest artisan series book, this one focusing on bracelets. the new title, 500 bracelets: an inspiring collection of extraordinary designs, celebrates wrist jewelry—from the finest precious stones and metals to the quirkiest designs in materials like self-adhesive notes.

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