August 1, 1998



dangerous rubies enter the u.s. look out for radioactive rubies. they appear normal, but you shouldn’t touch them. the little beauties are dangerous to your health. the rubies reportedly come from the same nuclear reactor in indonesia that produced the radioactive cat’s-eye chrysoberyls we wrote about in january.

People, Associations, Auctions/Exhibits, Trade Shows, and Calendar

is stuller ‘strapped’ for business? stuller is adding a new dimension to its business. the lafayette, la.-based manufacturer and distributor of mountings, findings, metals, loose stones, and finished jewelry is now making watch straps. but this move goes beyond product. stuller is a bold newcomer to the strap market, and its advantage may be its strong focus on service and profitability.


kudos! at this year’s couture collection and conference in scottsdale, ariz., stefan hafner for bernard grosz, new york, received the couture design award for both diamond design and “best of show.” award winners were selected by conference attendees and announced at a gala black-tie dinner sponsored by town & country and harper’s bazaar magazines.


when people are deciding which movie to see or which restaurant to visit, they can turn to professional reviews in newspapers and magazines. purchasers of antique jewelry don’t have it so easy. collectors and dealers alike must rely on their own connoisseurship. frequently in a matter of minutes, they must decide what is good, better, or best.

WHAT’s NEW/ Packaging and Display

a line of low-voltage glass and medal pendant ceiling fixtures from w.a.c. lighting comes in a range of colors and finishes. the fixtures can spotlight jewelry over counters and showcases at point of sale. the low-voltage ceiling pendants can be attached to a track or extended from a monopoint or minipoint (using a remote transformer).

These Jewelers Love Bad Weather

it snowed nearly five inches last new year’s day in edmonton, alberta, and no one was happier than crowley’s jewelers & goldsmiths. why? because crowley’s could give 4,000 customers their money back – and let them keep their purchases, too. that’s not a misprint. like a growing number of jewelry stores, crowley’s had bought “weather promotionr…

Retirement Savings: How Much Is Enough?

the magic number is $1 million. that’s the amount a jeweler needs to have for a reasonable retirement, according to our informal survey of retailers throughout the united states. most respondents say it’s an attainable goal, but for many, it’s going to be a long haul getting there. as of today, the median value of jewelers’ retirement accounts is only $300,000.


what this means to you blame it on el niño. we’ve blamed it for almost everything else, so why not the fickle winds of fashion, too? the winds of change have blown through ready-to-wear like a hurricane, leaving in their aftermath an abrupt about-face of design sensibility. while the past few seasons have been about baring it all, fall/winter 1998 is about covering it all.


the chinese exalted jade. their name for it, “yu,” means “pure” and “valuable.” chinese poet t’ang jung-two wrote: “the magic power of heaven and earth are combined to form perfect results; so the pure essences of hill and water become solidified into precious jade.


when customers think green gems, they envision emerald, and perhaps peridot. but there’s a broad range of alternatives to recommend, and they can be much more affordable than emeralds. if you know the other greens, you increase your chances of making a sale. the chromium factor. chromium, a metallic element, makes rubies red and emeralds green.

Building a Cheaper ‘Moiss-Trap’

when the maker of synthetic moissanite reported a brisk demand for its detectors months before the diamond simulant ever hit the market, the race was on to build a cheaper moiss-trap – particularly since the maker, c3 inc. of morrisville, n.c., priced its units at $525. ceres electronics, a niagara falls, n.


bulova distribution misrepresented i am very concerned about a quote that was included in your “good times are ticking for watches” article that appeared in the july 1998 issue of jewelers’ circular keystone. you quoted a jeweler in virginia as saying, “if you don’t make any money on them [watches], why carry them?” you added that this jeweler “cites co…


faceted pearls? you bet faceting gems is nothing new, but when was the last time you encountered faceted pearls? introduced in tucson last winter and again in las vegas in june, “flower pearls” are the equivalent of gem briolettes, having tiny facets over the entire surface. “we had an overwhelming response at the jck show in vegas,” says edward boehm, president of joeb …

Increase Your Sales By Making Fantasies Come True

sometimes it’s a wonder that consumers bother to buy from us at all. shopping for fine jewelry is a frustrating, exhausting, confusing experience. people must really want to buy these things, because too often, we make them work very hard to do it! most salespeople’s interactions with customers lack conviction, enthusiasm, and empathy.


stupid is forever those gangs of thugs and thieves who prey on every jewelry show had unusually rich pickings last june at the giant jck show in las vegas. unfortunately for them and fortunately for the industry, the jewelers security alliance did its usual good job of communicating with local law-enforcement agencies, the fbi, and members of the industry to help prevent the gangs from ripping …

Business Report

employment squeeze having trouble recruiting employees? no wonder. manpower inc. says demand for new workers in the july-september quarter will be at a 20-year high. of the more than 15,600 firms surveyed by the staffing services company, 32% said they expected to add new employees, 59% said they planned to maintain their present staffing level, and only 5% intended to decrease their work force.

Move Over Rolex

in recent years, many watch companies have limited their distribution to preserve their elitist status. today, though, the once-rarefied luxury market is growing crowded. watch brands on all levels are upscaling their product and image to gain more “exclusive” distribution, add market share, and raise their brand’s perceived value.

New York’s Treasure Chest of Clocks

the 7th regiment armory, a huge, turreted red brick and brownstone structure on new york’s posh upper east side, is a triumph of victorian architecture and engineering. built in 1877-81 and designed by charles w. clinton, the park avenue colossus defined the armory as a building type. its castle-like administration wing and soaring, unobstructed drill hall became the hallmark of armory bu…


small town thing the sign flaps over the new maroon awning at tuttle jewelry in angola, ind. “going out of business. everything must go.” inside, it’s the last day of the 33% off sale. multiple signs fastened with masking tape to the pink walls scream “33% off everything.” people point at rings or lean over display cases.

Look What’s Happening inWashington

bankruptcy is on the mind of a lot of jewelers. it’s not their own that’s worrying them, but that of their customers. the number of americans seeking court protection from creditors soared to 1.4 million last year. that represents one in every 71 households. over the past two years alone, while the country enjoyed vigorous economic health, personal bankruptcy filings by consumers le…


st. john teams with swiss army brands each year, women have more options for their wardrobe. in watches, the latest entry is st. john timepieces, swiss watches designed exclusively for sophisticated women. they will be marketed as “pieces of jewelry that tell time.” the watch collection, one of the highlights of the jck show (see july issue), is inspired by mother and daughter marie…

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