a friend’s daughter recently ended a very unhappy employment experience. the young lady in question was employed in a public relations agency and handled several medium-sized clients. in what sounded like an unprofessional atmosphere, her supervisor and two co-workers had made her experience there unpleasant during the past few months.
August 1, 2003
SKU'd Views: How Jewelers Do Business Today
michael toback, president of myron toback inc., will be honored at a “roast” on sept. 16 at madison square garden in new york city. the event will include a raffle to raise funds for the ronald mcdonald house charities, which create, find, and support programs that improve the health and well-being of children.
reuge music usa ltd, los angeles, recently appointed mary allen of sine qua non as its exclusive sales agent in southern california. allen, a former reuge music usa ltd employee in the sales and marketing department, will handle all of southern california for the culver city subsidiary. john atencio goldsmith ltd.
“variety – the children’s charity” recently was the beneficiary of an auction featuring a set of blue pearl jewelry created in conjunction with eyris blue pearl co., christchurch, new zealand. designed by artist and goldsmith jacek pawlowski, the pendant featured a stylized heart of 18k white and yellow gold surrounding a gem-quality green blue bright eyris pearl.
the de beers geological services division is celebrating a truly impressive achievement: three years without a single lost-time injury. prior to 2000, the division recorded a poor “lost time injury frequency rate” (ltifr) and underwent a strategic review to improve safety, in cooperation with the national union of mine workers.
leach & garner general findings has introduced new 14k yellow gold diamond-cut bead-and-ball earring findings. the finishes are random diamond cut finish and patchwork diamond cut finish. each is offered in five sizes ranging from 4 mm to 8 mm with standard wall thickness. both styles also are available as standard 5 mm to 7 mm ball earrings.
crimes against the jewelry industry during 2002 resulted in a loss of $126 million, a 2.7% increase over the previous year’s figure, the jewelers’ security alliance reported in its annual survey on crime in the jewelry industry. the study, 2002 annual crime report and directory of products and services, also shows that homicides in connection with jewelry crime increased from 13 in 2001 to 16 …
dcit corp., ridgefield, n.j., recently announced the availability of businessmind for jewelers v.3.5, an update to dcit’s software suite. it’s available as separate bmj products for jewelry retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. users of any businessmind 2002 and later software system with an active support-and-upgrade subscription can download the release free of charge from dcit’s web sit…
u.k. jewelry designer and manufacturer kit heath ltd. has appointed vincent ferrante to head the company’s u.s. subsidiary, kit heath inc., and to spearhead kit heath’s international brand development. ferrante and his team are based at kit heath inc., 865 reservoir ave., cranston, r.i. 02920, which is the company’s headquarters and customer fulfillment center.
the board of directors of reuge music, a swiss manufacturer of handcrafted music boxes and musical objets d’art, appointed aldo magada as ceo effective april 2003. he takes the place of stephan müller, who after 15 years as ceo of reuge sa has decided to reorient his career and turn the reins over to a new person.
the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf) marked its fifth anniversary with support for a fourth group that aids children, another project to assist african mothers and babies, and its first-ever membership drive. the jcf—the jewelry, gem, and watch industries’ own charity—is a nonprofit organization that helps seriously ill and abused children.
the international society of appraisers presented its lamp of knowledge award to auctionmarketresource.com during the group’s annual conference held april 12-14 in philadelphia. the award acknowledges the web site’s developer, gail brett levine, g.g., “for the creation of an outstanding web site which aids appraisers in quickly finding comparables for gems and jewelry based upon national and in…
amerlux lighting systems and w.a.c. lighting have formed a strategic alliance that covers marketing, product development, manufacturing, and sourcing for the commercial and retail markets, including co-developing display lighting for jewelry retailers. amerlux is a designer and manufacturer of a broad line of task-specific, energy-efficient lighting systems for retail and commercial construction.
more than 70 years have passed since nina ricci opened her parisian fashion house, but her name remains a powerful symbol of luxury and elegance. the nina ricci brand finally hit the shores of the united states this spring with the launch of the nina ricci fine-jewelry collection. the line is based on several common themes—hearts, ribbons, butterflies, and water—loosely interpreted …
the three diamond mines discovered in canada’s northwest territories “are just the beginning,” journalist kevin krajick told a recent gia alumni association meeting in manhattan. “there is now prospecting all over canada,” said krajick, author of barren lands: an epic search for diamonds in the north american arctic, a new book on canada’s diamond rush.
bill underwood of underwood jewelers, fayetteville, ark., has plenty of inventory, but he’s not complaining: some of the stock has increased in value based on the rise of the euro compared to the dollar. “we’re fat on inventory, but we always have been,” underwood says. “i’m not too unhappy with that.
the las vegas antique jewelry and watch show, held may 29-june 1 at the rio suite hotel and casino, enjoyed excellent attendance as 289 exhibitors showcased their wares for an audience of 3,428 visitors. the show continues to be a destination point for antique and estate jewelry buyers. “people are very specific,” said a representative for time warp, south miami, fla.
an old acquaintance once said to me, “there are three sides to every story: his, hers, and what really happened.” nowhere is this more evident than in the jewelry industry in recent years. in the exuberant boom years of the late 1990s, it seemed as if sales had nowhere to go but up. everyone said it couldn’t last, but did anyone really believe it wouldn’t? when the boom finally went bust in th…
pet ownership is on the rise in the united states, and americans also tend to splurge on their furry friends. consider some recent statistics: unity’s research reveals that 80% of pet owners bought one or more “extras”—such as special bedding—for their animals in the past year. pet owners who spend the most on their animal companions “demographically have the lowest incidence of chi…
david pillow, a graduate gemologist and master bench jeweler, has opened the national jewelry outlet (njo) in arlington, texas. pillow, a past executive with zales corporation and the home shopping network, plans to purchase manufacturer’s overstock production and sell it to consumers at a cost up to 75% percent lower than other retailers.
tim lankford, husband of judith shechter-lankford of gia education, died june 5, 2003, following a battle against cancer. he was 48. lankford was born in kansas city, kan., to bonnie and t.j. lankford on nov. 2, 1954. he married judith shechter on nov. 17, 1976. he was familiar to many in the industry through his frequent trips to trade shows and gia events with judi, who has been in the indust…
elizabeth florence, executive director of the jewelry information center, has resigned. “i leave on excellent terms, and i’ve achieved every personal and professional goal i established for myself when i started,” she told jck. at press time, she was exploring several options, some in the jewelry industry and some outside of it.
festina usa, the swiss-made spanish-owned watch brand, has moved. its new address is 375 mccarter highway, third floor, newark, nj 07114. phone numbers are (973) 622-4445 and (800) 648-9702. the new location enables festina to expand its u.s. operations, especially its inventory management system “to better respond to our delivery requirements,” and its customer service and after sales service …
the national conference for community and justice new leadership division raised approximately $72,000 for its various youth and community programs. the money was raised through a raffle and a dinner cruise, which was held june 25 on the m/v majestic star. more than 200 guests attended the event, which featured a view of new york along the hudson river, dinner, and music.
assael international has announced that effective june 9, prince dimitri of yugoslavia joined the firm as vice president, creative director. the prince was previously senior vice president at sotheby’s and international director of jewelry at phillips. he created his own line of jewelry, “prince dimitri,” which is available at barney’s and bergdorf goodman.
tourbillon watches headlined antiquorum’s live and online auction of pocket watches, wristwatches, and clocks, held in may in new york city. in all, 281 clients from around the world registered for online bidding, and more than 5,000 collectors logged onto antiquorum’s web site (www.antiquorum.com) to follow the live-auction broadcast.
the u.s. attorney’s office recently sent out subpoenas to more than 30 new york wholesale diamond companies requesting that they submit to the grand jury their corporate records, tax returns, and financial statements for the period between jan. 1, 1998, and dec. 31, 2001. many of those subpoenaed told jck on condition of anonymity that they felt the u.
multi-store operators, especially regional and local chains, are buying inventory more frequently, including more “as-needed” orders. they’re also buying in smaller amounts to keep basic and fast-selling items in stock and turning, and they’re shipping more often to their stores. these are some of the biggest changes in multi-store operations’ buying habits, say many owners and managers.
longines watch co. donated $200,000 to the audrey hepburn cares team at children’s hospital los angeles on june 11. the donation represents the final portion of a $700,000 contribution from the watch brand, a founding sponsor of the unit. michael benavente, president of longines u.s., presented the check to actress jennifer love hewitt, “ambassador” for the team.
the dress code is changing. where traditional “fine” jewelry strictly adhered to the “all precious” definition, today’s designers have disposed of that particular rule. some of the freshest ideas in jewelry design—and fashion—incorporate dazzling diamonds, radiant gemstones, and fine precious metals strung on the likes of leather, rubber, and silk.
shipping costs are one of jewelers’ biggest excess expenses, say retail and shipping experts. “an ungodly amount is spent by jewelers on shipping, and freight in and out,” notes consultant kate petersen. “it’s one of the biggest areas opportune for cost cutting.” robert e. reetz, federal express zone manager for corporate security, agrees.
when nicholas paspaley, executive chairman of paspaley pearls pty, with offices in broome, darwin, and sydney, australia, met matthew stuller, founder and ceo of stuller inc., lafayette, la., the two men felt an instant kinship. both were entrepreneurial and experimental. both ran highly successful jewelry businesses in the middle of nowhere, far from any jewelry districts.
more than 1,200 artists from approximately 100 tribes will show their work at this year’s santa fe indian market in santa fe, n.m. celebrating its 82nd year, the market will be held aug. 23-24 on and around santa fe plaza. more than 100,000 visitors from around the world will visit santa fe county for this weekend of culture and adventure.
the 2003 edition of the tendence lifestyle trade fair will be held aug. 22-26 in frankfurt, germany. however, unlike past tendence trade shows, this one will not be structured by product groups; instead, it will be organized on the basis of “lifestyle worlds.” the new “joy” thematic world will be distinguished by assortments that are colorful and fantastic, amusing and unusual.
some 45% of suppliers polled by jck said retailers were buying less than they did in the past; 70% said they were buying later in the year; 60% said they were buying fewer basic styles to keep in stock; and 55% said they were more frequently looking for goods that are sold at a price point. “i don’t think i’ve ever seen quite the level of reluctance among retailers to buy,” says jonathan lou…
swiss luxury watch brand ebel is offering a five-year international unconditional guarantee on all its watches—the longest offered by any company in the watch industry, it says. to celebrate the new warranty, which took effect in april, ebel is issuing a special version of its 1911 model, named for the brand’s founding date, in two limited editions: the golden five, an 18k automatic (fiv…
winners of the third annual saul bell design award competition showed varying styles, but a similar penchant for the big, bold pieces that characterize current fashion tastes. the contest, sponsored by rio grande and named for company founder saul bell, honors nine designers in four categories: gold/platinum, precious metal clay (pmc), beads, and silver.
it’s the question that has dogged the supplier of choice program: if sightholders must increase their advertising spending, where will they get the money? de beers, which has been urging sightholders to make such investments, is doing its part by pricing its rough more competitively, so clients can use the extra money for marketing.
rdi diamonds inc. is in the final stages of construction on a 2,000-sq.-ft. office expansion. the extra space was added to accommodate the company’s growing inventory and sales staff. according to the company, rdi diamonds has grown by 44% over the past year, thanks in part to exclusive programs such as triple certification, trade-up, and web site inventory link.
gem artist falk burger collects the unusual. and nothing looks more unusual than these opals from virgin valley, nev. “this is ‘conk,’ which is an opal replacement of cavities in wood thought to be formed by a fungal disease,” says burger, who specializes in cutting gems based on their natural features.
s.a. kitsinian, van nuys, calif., was recently named vendor of the year for 2002 by fred meyer jewelers. the kitsinian family entered the gold manufacturing and importing business in hawaii in 1970, moving to downtown los angeles in 1975 and later to their current, larger facility in van nuys, calif.
construction has begun on new offices and showrooms for the cut by gauge lucére diamond, a new division of ernest slotar inc. the square-cut diamonds are cut within strict table and depth percentages to ensure maximum brilliance and dispersion and have been successfully marketed in the united states, canada, europe, australia, and the far east.
invicta watch company of america presented its lupah watch to 150 athletes, celebrities, presenters, and vips as part of gift bags at the espy awards, held in july in los angeles. invicta also was featured in the official espy awards program on espn.com and on espn auctions, where a gift bag was auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting charity.
the metals findings manufacturers association, based in providence, r.i., has added a search engine to its web site at www.mfma.net. the new feature enables users to type in a specific product and find a list of mfma members who manufacture that product. clicking on the name brings the user to the company’s individual page and then to the company’s web site.
thieves with eastern european accents stole a diamond pendant worth $711,000 wholesale from a jewelry exhibitor at the jck show ~ las vegas on june 2, police told jck magazine. the thieves are believed to be part of a ring that has stolen expensive jewelry in several u.s. cities. a man suspected of being involved was arrested by undercover police at the show later the same day.
sterling silver continues to hold its own in this period of economic crisis, fueled by the steadfast popularity of white jewelry. according to the silver institute’s recently released world silver survey 2003, silver experienced strong retail demand in 2002. while there was a drop in total fabrication demand in the jewelry and silverware sector—attributed to a slump in indian demand resul…
phyllis bergman has announced that her company, mercury ring corp., will partner with key retailers to create private-label product that generates brand recognition for the retailers. participating retailers will be able to take advantage of mercury’s expertise in basic bridal product with optimum sell-through.
in the latter 1990s, both retailers and manufacturers routinely planned for double-digit annual growth. but when christmas 2000 sales fell far below expectations, every sector of the supply chain was left with enormous piles of excess inventory. suddenly, sharply, the reins were pulled in. but has the industry really changed its buying patterns for the long term? here’s what jck found in a spec…
key item people (kip), a division of otc international ltd., long island city, n.y., has been named as a sears partner in progress for 2002. this prestigious award is presented annually to a select group of vendor companies that supply sears, roebuck and co. with quality products and services. the winners are selected from nominations submitted by sears’ employees who purchase goods and servic…
alfred j. torrance, the retired executive vice president of precious-metal refiner hoover & strong and a world war ii veteran, died in cheektowaga, n.y., may 1, 2003, following a brief illness. he was 88 years old. born in easton, pa., torrance was the valedictorian of his class at easton high school and worked for the u.
if you see the label “chrome” attached to any gemstone, chances are the color will be saturated and pure, and the price will reflect the gem’s exceptional color. but not every gem labeled “chrome” deserves the label or the price. you must see the difference in color to justify the price on the label.
swest, the dallas-based findings, tools, and equipment company, will be consolidated into stuller’s operations. swest discontinued its call center and mail order operations on june 20, but its service center showroom remained open to sell remaining inventory items on-site. the company said that wherever possible, swest accounts will be converted over to stuller with the same terms and purchasi…
alain dominique perrin, chief executive officer of richemont, the swiss luxury goods group, will retire in october on his 61st birthday. perrin joined briquet cartier as a sales representative in 1969 and became general manager in 1970. he was named ceo of cartier musts in 1976. following its merger with cartier joailliers, in 1981, perrin became chairman of the board of cartier international …
most benitoite is uncovered in specimens of bi-pyramidal blue crystals in white natrolite. soaking the piece in acid dissolves the natrolite but leaves the benitoite unaffected. specimens like the one on the facing page—which contains cuttable gem material—generally range in value from $1,500 to $2,000.
gold istanbul, a new trade fair for gold and silver jewelry, watches, and equipment, will debut sept. 13-17 in istanbul, turkey. the fair will have 300 exhibitors this year, with plans to expand to 500 next year. the show is government-sponsored in conjunction with the istanbul chamber of jewelry, an association of 10,000 members comprising almost all the jewelers in istanbul.
alishan halebian, owner of alishan, irvine, calif., has been named the contemporary design group’s designer of the year. the announcement was made during the group’s eighth annual designers gala and high achievement awards held during the jck show ~ las vegas. the group also honored panache of mendocino, calif.
it’s a 602-lb. gemstone pendant that only a museum could wear. and the gemological institute of america’s president bill boyajian is personally spearheading the campaign to acquire the magnificent gem sculpture and have it installed at the entrance to gia’s permanent museum. bahia, a 426-lb. finished rock crystal quartz included with golden fibers of rutile, is mounted in a gold-colored metal …
showing the growth of titanium as a viable fine-jewelry component, this year’s world titanium council’s titanium jewelry design competition winners included designs from around the world, from both professional jewelers and students of design. entries were judged on their uniqueness and visual appeal as well as for demonstrating the positive attributes of titanium in the design.
show managers for the midwest jewelry expo reported that attendance at this year’s show was up significantly over previous years’ figures. in addition to exhibitors, the show featured a variety of seminars, including a full-day gia training program that highlighted pearls and gemstones. in other seminars, jewelers learned how to increase their bottom lines by using direct mail, as well as how t…
kwiat will launch a new advertising campaign called “casual elegance,” which reflects the emerging consumer purchasing trend toward wearing diamond jewelry in everyday life. the campaign, slated to begin this fall, will feature lifestyle imagery with an emphasis on the diamond trading company’s “right-hand ring” marketing initiative.
roger dubuis, one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive swiss watch brands, plans to widen its market and increase production over the next two years, said president and chief executive officer carlos dias during an interview with jck at the recent jck show in las vegas. the watch firm “in the next two years will launch another brand and at a different, slightly lower price level,” dia…
red-hot bidding for two rare rolex prototype daytona wristwatches produced record-setting prices at antiquorum’s june “important watches, collector’s wristwatches, & clocks” sale in geneva, switzerland. the extremely rare rolex oyster cosmograph daytona gentleman’s wristwatches—also known to collectors as “paul newman” rolexes—sold for $317,283 and $338,258.
bailey banks & biddle fine jewelers recently partnered with the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf) to create the “ultimate diamond experience.” the event took place in the bailey banks & biddle store in the mall at short hills (n.j.) on may 7 and 8. during the two-day event, guests had the chance to watch a master diamond cutter transform a rough, uncut crystal into a stunning je…
the gemological institute of america (gia) recently inducted four industry leaders into its league of honor. membership in the league of honor is reserved for those who have donated $100,000 or more in support of the institute. those inducted include lee michael berg, lee michaels fine jewelry, whose company donated $100,000 to the gia endowment fund; and matt stuller, president and ceo of stul…
keepsake diamond bridal jewelry is expanding its “facets of fire” line at wal-mart. each “facets of fire” diamond is cut with extra facets in a unique faceting arrangement exclusive to keepsake. the line, which debuted at wal-mart in fall 2002, will now include a princess-shaped diamond solitaire and bridal diamond rings, solitaire earrings, and three-stone engagement rings.
three longtime diamond industry firms—beny sofer & sons, rosy blue, and backes & strauss—have formed a global partnership called tri-star worldwide llc to distribute canadia brand arctic-mined diamonds around the world. oren sofer is ceo of the new company. all of the canadia brand diamonds will be supplied by arslanian cutting works nwt ltd.
fischler diamonds inc., a dtc sightholder, is moving its antwerp headquarters to new, larger, and more modern facilities. the new offices will be located at schupstraat 21, sixth floor. the family-owned business with three generations of fischlers at the helm has been producing belgian diamonds for more than 50 years.
“in its purest state, a diamond is composed of carbon atoms and is colorless, like the de beers millennium star,” writes jeffrey post, curator of the national gem collection at the smithsonian’s natural history museum. “when certain foreign elements replace carbon atoms, they impart tints of color.” yellow diamonds get their color from nitrogen impurities.
another audacious multimillion-dollar european diamond heist has made headlines—this time, in the united kingdom. world-renowned jeweler graff, located on london’s new bond street, was recently robbed of 47 pieces of diamond jewelry valued at $9 million. serbian nebojsa denic, 33, was arrested following the robbery.
multi-platinum recording artists n’sync recently auctioned an elara diamond cross necklace to benefit their charity, challenge for the children. designed exclusively for the charity, the pendant incorporates woven platinum and elara diamonds, the only gemstones in the world to be awarded a u.s. copyright.
the gemological institute of america (gia) has named two co-chairs for its 2003 league of honor founders dinner, to be held oct. 20, 2003 in new york city. they are shmuel schnitzer, president of the israel diamond exchange and the world federation of diamond bourses and a partner in m. schnitzer & co.
charles & colvard ltd. recently donated synthetic moissanite valued at $40,000 to the gemological institute of america (gia). the more than 1,200 pieces—in a variety of shapes and sizes—represent the largest donation to date of this material to gia. the moissanite will be used to support gia gemology students in their studies, as well as helping gia jewelry manufacturing student…
how would you like to see a 59.60-ct. fancy vivid pink diamond? you want red, not pink? how about a 5.11-ct. fancy red? not big enough? try a 203.04-ct. d flawless. seven of the world’s most extraordinary diamonds, representing a rainbow of colors—red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, blue-green, and colorless—are on view through sept.
the phones in australia are ringing off the hook, police say, after a local jeweler was arrested for allegedly selling clarity-enhanced stones with phony gemological institute of america (gia) certificates. at least 12 more stones, supplied by the public, are being analyzed. the certificates were said to emanate from israeli dealer moti weisbrot.
“bling-bling,” the hip-hop term for showy diamond jewelry, has gone respectable: it will be in the next edition of the oxford english dictionary. the oed defines “bling-bling” as “expensive objects of jewelry that are worn in a way that is very easy to notice.” dictionary spokespeople said they included it because it has widespread use.
capri jewelers, a richmond, va., jewelry chain, and its founder and owner chris decapri recently made a donation to the association for the support of children with cancer (ask). “carats for kids” is a partnership between capri jewelers and ask whereby a percentage of every diamond sale each september through december directly benefits local children with cancer undergoing treatment at the medi…
the kazanjian foundation, the charitable arm of kazanjian bros. inc. jewelry company, has announced a new service. through the foundation, individuals can donate jewelry to a worthy cause and still receive a tax deduction—often worth more than what could be obtained in an outright sale. michael kazanjian, owner of kazanjian bros.
wolf designs, a southern california and uk-based designer and manufacturer, is supporting higashi pearls & fine jewelry’s efforts in the fight against breast cancer. the store, located in lemoyne, pa., organized a special event on may 9 to kick off a yearlong fund-raiser for the pennsylvania breast cancer coalition (pbcc).
“the edge” management software by ibis jewelry systems has added the “david geller repair method,” allowing jewelers to manage both inventory and a bench shop. geller, known for the repair and design price book, says tracking is a major feature of the new module and notes that jewelers can run a report of all jobs due over a certain period of time to ensure that due dates are met.
for the typical mid-range independent jeweler, merchandise-buying patterns have changed significantly in the last five years. here are the top seven trends:
new york-based diamond manufacturer e. schreiber inc. recently contributed $125,000 to the gemological institute of america’s endowment fund. the contribution will help support the ongoing research and education efforts at gia. norbert steinmetz, a partner in the company, was honored for the donation during gia’s 2002 league of honor founders dinner, and was inducted into the institute’s league…