August 1, 2005

Where Jewelry & Fashion Meet

Thinking Outside the Jewelry Box

when gail be was 13 years old, her attempt to make a dress on a sewing machine in home-economics class was unsuccessful: for three days, be pulled stitches out of the botched garment so a helpful neighbor could salvage the frock. she never touched a sewing machine again. “i don’t even know how to turn one on,” admits the minneapolis-based bead collector, historian, and educato…

Colibri Group Sold; Levinger Remains President

the colibri group, one of the best-known suppliers to independent and chain jewelers, has been sold to a group composed of three major investment firms and former owner fred levinger. the transaction, effective june 13, opens potential business opportunities for colibri overseas, especially in china.

Five Web Site Sales Tips

you’ve worked hard to get web site traffic, now you’ve got to persuade them to buy. you’re ready for web site conversion—when visitors turn into customers. you don’t need as much traffic if your visitors purchase. some keys to success: for more tips, call (604) 583-4999 or visit www.websiteconversionexpert.

Taking the Myth Out of Team-Building

the five dysfunctions of a team by patrick lencioni takes an unusual approach for a management book: it’s written as a fable, not the usual “how-to” with case histories. thus, it’s highly engaging and reads like a piece of bedside fiction that you don’t want to put down until you know who did the murder.

Bib Necks Clean Up in the Style Department

celebrities and models alike have been tying on bib necklaces to dress up summer’s bare necklines. from dainty looks to intricate, gem- inspired, or bold ones, bib necklaces paint a large look across low-cut dresses and tops, and dress up simple outfits.

Clamoring for Coins

while medallions and coin- inspired jewelry were big news at recent fine- jewelry shows, people in the spotlight have already picked up on the trend. medallions become the focal point of an outfit—dressy or casual—because of their large size. and because they’re made in different shapes, ownership options are plentiful.

Auction Houses Embrace the Internet

at first glance the venerable auction houses appear to be doing business the same way they always have. auctions still take place in elegant rooms where serious dealers and high-society types buy and sell items to an auctioneer’s call and the sound of a gavel. but change is under way, and the driving force behind it is the internet.

Economy: Healthy, but Caution Is Suggested

the u.s. economy is healthy but there are signs that retailers might want to temper their expectations for holiday 2005 and beyond with a dose of caution. the clear thinking group llc, a hillsborough, n.j.-based retail/consumer products manufacturing consultancy, says the u.s. economy is healthy but will likely not be as strong as it was in 2004.

The Mystery of the Dyed Gold Pearls

they have great luster, great roundness, and great color. compare the three pearls shown above right to a strand of natural-color australian south sea bead-nucleated golds (top), and you’ll be hard-pressed to tell them apart. so what are they? “they’re dyed chinese freshwaters,” says tetsuo maruyama, managing director for c.


William Kouns has been promoted to president of Jewelry Television. Kouns was formerly senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Knoxville, Tenn.–based television network. Kouns succeeds Bob Hall, who was recently named chairman and chief executive officer of the channel. Daisy Chin-Lor was appointed to the new position of senior vice president and…

Meet the Latest Sleeper Stone

it’s yellowish-green pastel, relatively inexpensive, and it’s called prehnite. the last time most of us saw it, we were taking a gem-identification exam. prehnite is commonly called an ornamental stone, typically described in older gemological texts as, “seldom seen in jewelry,” or, “occasionally used as an ornamental object.

Franck Muller Adds Alexis Barthelay SA

the franck muller group, whose luxury watches include popular franck muller geneve, is embarking on a growth plan of significant expansion of its operations and staff, and more brands. the company, based in genthod, outside geneva, switzerland, recently got majority control of luxury watch brand alexis barthelay sa.

47th Street May Be Named After Goldberg

there is a move afoot to name 47th street in new york city “william goldberg way,” after the charismatic former diamond dealers club president and cutter who died suddenly in 2003. william goldberg’s son saul goldberg, who now heads his father’s company, says many local and industry politicians have lined up behind the bid.

Le Vian Announces Competition Winners

le vian unveiled the winning jewelry in its le vian for children design competition during the jck show ~ las vegas. winning renderings were on display both at the company’s booth and at the le vian red carpet revue fashion show, held sunday, june 4. the competition categories were:

A World Tour of Color

the mogok mine is 150 kilometers from the old burmese capital of mandalay, a 10- to 20-hour drive on an unpaved road. but edward boehm has been there, and he regaled an audience at the jck show ~ las vegas with some of his experiences traveling there and elsewhere. boehm, the grandson of the late dr.

Optimism Prevailed

by most accounts, business was good and traffic was strong at the jck show ~ las vegas 2005. although some exhibitors thought foot traffic was light, particularly after sunday, most were satisfied with a steady volume of traffic. said one watch exhibitor who asked not to be named: “of course, if you’re depending on walk-by traffic to do well at a show, you shouldn’t be here.

Such Cuffs as Dreams Are Made On

through the years, every woman from wonder woman to coco chanel has loved cuff bracelets. wonder woman wore hers, of course, to deflect bullets while chanel (and, likely, most others) chose hers to reflect style. though never truly “out” of style, cuffs are especially in fashion this season, thanks to a more-is-more mentality about accessories.

The Importance of Design

i’ve always been a big fan of design, from architectural, automotive, and fashion to advertising, graphic design, and magazine art direction. we have enjoyed success and excitement over the past few months at jck as a result of our improved magazine designs. there’s no doubt that the knowledge of our industry experts is the bedrock that makes jck “the industry authority,” but presenting tha…

DPS Departures Cast Doubts on Its Future

the resignation of four well-known, well-established employees of the diamond promotion service since the beginning of the year has led some to wonder about the future of the diamond trading company’s longtime liaison with the retail community. most recently, sheryl silberg joined diamond direct, a division of classic diamonds.

De Beers Opens Store in New York

de beers lv opened its first american store with a bang—including a-list celebrities, the 200+ ct. millennium star, and a protest across the street. in an exclusive interview with jck, de beers lv ceo guy leymarie says the two-story store, located in new york city at the st. regis hotel on 55th and fifth, will be backed by a $4 million print ad campaign, which includes prominent upfront s…

Belgian Dealers Bring Complaint Against Supplier of Choice

another trade group is legally challenging de beers’ supplier of choice policy. andré gumuchdjian, president of the belgian polished diamond dealers association (bvgd), says his group is filing an official complaint with the european union seeking limits on de beers. in an open letter, gumuchdjian claims that representatives of de beers’ diamond trading company in spain offered the custome…

NYC Mayor Headlines DISC Event

mayor of the city of new york, michael bloomberg, was the guest of honor at the first diamond industry steering committee “industry call to action.” bloomberg, who surprised attendees with his quick wit as he reminisced about parking cars to pay for college, thanked members of the club for their support during his first run for mayor.

High-End Goods Lead Diamond and Gem Sales

diamond vendors noticed something surprising and gratifying at the jck show ~ las vegas: retailers weren’t just ordering, they were buying. “retailers are discovering that memo is no longer going to work,” said moshe klein of julius klein. “there are so many foreign and european buyers now. retailers are stepping up to the plate, because if they don’t buy, they are not going to get the goods.

Jail Sentences for Antwerp Diamond Robbers

four italians were recently sentenced for the notorious 2003 robbery that rocked antwerp’s diamond industry. the daring weekend theft netted $100 million in diamonds from break-ins of over 100 private vaults. most of that has not been recovered. leonardo notabartolo, the mastermind behind the robbery, started a diamond-front company to examine the building’s security system, police said.

Higher Diamond Prices—Again

market in brief: july 1, 2005 … after june’s diamond-price increases, more dealers question if this trend is sustainable. resistance to higher prices is strong at retail, but prices for high-demand goods are firm. margins are under assault in other categories. well-made rounds and princess cuts lead demand.

Irving Meyer, Fancy Cut and Color Pioneer, Dies

irving meyer, a principal of the henry meyer diamond co. and inventor of the trilliant cut, died recently at age 90. in 1962, meyer invented the american trilliant cut, a triangle cut with the faceting of a round and a brilliant bottom (although its paternity later came under dispute). he was also one of the first dealers and cutters of fancy-colored stones.

Rio Grande Hosts Fifth Saul Bell Awards

joost during of yoast silver, warwick, r.i., was the grand-prize winner of the fifth annual saul bell design award competition. he and nine other winners were feted at a ceremony held at postrio restaurant during the jck show ~ las vegas. during won for his fabricated and hand-formed teapot, constructed of sterling silver and highlighted with a rosewood handle and feet.

Chopard, Goldberg Will Make Million-Dollar Watch

a new line of one-of-a-kind chopard luxury watches using ashoka diamonds and retailing for up to $1 million dollars have been announced by chopard, the luxury watch and jewelry brand, and william goldberg diamond corp., supplier of the uniquely cut diamonds. it will come in six styles and retail for $200,000 to more than $1 million, at chopard’s 72 boutiques in 35 countries.

‘Breakthrough’ Process Creates Less Expensive, Larger Platinum Jewelry

the eganagoldpfeil group has developed a new way to make substantially cheaper and larger top-quality platinum jewelry, it says. “this is definitely a breakthrough, a true innovation,” says huw daniel, president of the platinum guild international usa, who has seen samples of the jewelry. the new jewelry, which will cost 20 percent to 40 percent less than traditional products, is scheduled to b…

Does the PATRIOT Act Discriminate?

the new anti-money-laundering rules of the usa patriot act specifically exempt jewelers who buy less than $50,000 from non-u.s. companies. which has caused some to wonder … will that mean domestic jewelers will buy less merchandise from overseas businesses? this has caused real concern abroad—but cecilia gardner, executive director of the jewelers vigilance committee, says she “doub…

Water Under the Bridge

used in the fashion sense, the word “bridge” was coined by apparel makers to describe a market niche between designer and mass. higher-quality materials and more refined styling set the clothes apart from lower-end goods, but with price points well below the top end, it made a designer’s name attainable to a much wider audience.

Money on the Table

recently, a group of jck’s sister publications at reed business information gathered to share ideas and market information. we talked about issues common to all of our industries, such as consolidation and foreign competition, and we talked about issues peculiar to our individual markets. the editor-in-chief of twice (this week in consumer electronics) said a critical topic for his readers is l…

Brides Have the Power for Engagement-Ring Purchases

some 64% of all engagement ring purchases involve direct input from brides, according to results of a recent survey from online wedding site when rings are purchased jointly by couples, brides are also more likely to get their way: 76% of brides influenced the cut or shape of the center stone.

Specialty Retailers Join the Jewelry Game

long before supercenters allowed us to arrange for an eye exam and a pound of hamburger at the same location, customers were forced to make several stops along their shopping route. maybe it was a trip to the butcher, the florist, and another to the bakery. for many years, this shift to supercenters wasn’t a major threat to upscale independents.

Where Jewelry & Fashion Meet

precious jewels and designer fashion go hand in hand, a point validated by an increasing number of fashion designers. chanel, diane von furstenberg, louis vuitton, kimora lee simmons, vera wang, and escada all have complete fine-jewelry collections as part of their broader fashion brands. this of-the-moment trend, illustrated here by chanel and diane von furstenberg, underscores the need for re…

Multiple Trends Stir Fashion Excitement

color shows no sign of stopping, as trendsetters at the las vegas trade shows unveiled even more collections featuring mixes of color—especially vibrant contrasts or subtle, tonal mixes that give jewelry texture. no single color emerged as dominant—though green is still strong—but opal was a standout stone in various, translucent hues.

Reading Trends

you’ve heard of “clicks and bricks” and “metrosexuals,” but how about “telemedicine” and “webocracy?” the latter two terms might not raise retailers’ eyebrows, but the former affect business decisions: low diamond margins of online merchants and the buying power of stylish straight men are notorious.


the sidebar about qvc’s gold week program (see “italian gold is molto bene for qvc,” jck, may 2005, p. 106) incorrectly stated that all products sold during the program were 18k gold. both 14k and 18k gold products were offered and sold. jck regrets the error.

Top 7 Techniques to Closing a Sale

the reflexive close: reflecting back a question the customer has asked, e.g., “can i get this ring sized by the end of the week?” “absolutely! will friday do? what time would you like to pick it up?” the win/win close: giving the customer two choices, both of which result in a “yes” answer, e.

CDG Presents Annual Awards During JCK Show Festivities

the contemporary design group’s annual designers’ high achievement awards were presented june 5, 2005, during the group’s annual dinner at maggiano’s little italy restaurant in las vegas. cdg’s designer of the year award went to zoltan david of austin, texas. the winner of the best designer supplier was virginia-based hoover & strong; the best designer retailer award was presented to tapper…

Designer Dish

silversmith and jewelry designer sita williams entered the pillsbury bake-off contest last year and was one of 100 finalists to win a trip to los angeles to compete for $1 million. while she didn’t win the money, she did secure a feature role in million dollar recipe, a documentary about the contest.

WJA Diva Design Winners Announced

the 2005 women’s jewelry association diva design award winners were announced in ceremonies june 3 at the v bar in las vegas, during the jck show ~ las vegas. the annual wja diva competition is a rendering-only competition created to promote and encourage jewelry design by women. open to all women, regardless of experience, formal training, or background in jewelry or jewelry design, the compet…

CAD/CAM and Internet Products Are Still Hot

the area where exhibitors showcase bench supplies, software, internet products, lighting, display cases, architectural services, and packaging has been located in a series of first-floor suites in the sands expo and convention center since 2003, and exhibitors have been grumbling about the arrangement ever since.

The Design of Time

the fascination of 2005’s new watches lies as much in the details of their designs as in their overall appearances. there are more sculpted, or “stepped,” dials like concord’s relaunched limited-edition mariner reveil, and more “raised” subdials, as on paul picot’s 44 mm technograph. there are more merged and off-center subdials, such as chopard’s l.

Watches Are Strong at Both Shows in Vegas

watches made a strong showing at both the jck show ~ las vegas and the third swiss watch by jck, an invitation-only event for high-end brands and retailers held in the venetian hotel simultaneously with the jck show. swiss watch by jck featured 29 companies, its most yet. each averaged about 100 appointments over five days, and the brands showcased not only new watches but also in-store boutiqu…

AWCI Launches New Watchmaker Certification Program

new u.s. watchmaker certification program has been launched by the american watchmaker-clockmaker institute, based at harrison, ohio. it is a major revision of the one offered by awci since 1960, and “the culmination of many years of efforts by dedicated horologists,” said james lubic, awci executive director.

Strapped for Fashion

more women—and men, too—are taking the look of their watches into their own hands, literally, thanks to more watches with interchangeable straps. indeed, it’s one of the most successful fashion trends of the moment and a key element in the accessories department of every store, says franz brunner, chief executive officer of egana of switzerland (america), which distributes pierre c…

Time on Her Hands

the expanding market of women’s watches is growing even faster in 2005, as more brands add more timepieces—including fine mechanical watches—specifically for female self-purchasers, who have become an important target for many watchmakers. much of their focus is on women under 40 who want fine watches not only for evening wear but also for work, and what a spokesman for one luxury b…

Time on His Hands

new men’s watches shone at 2005’s swiss watch fairs—literally. there are more men’s timepieces this year with diamond bezels and accents, like those in wittnauer’s orpheum series and marine star collection, the classic square roman time watches of pippo italia, and longines’s automatic tonneau evidenza diamond chronographs.

The Maestro of Merchandising

after more than 30 years in the jewelry business, david norman has gained enough experience to launch several careers. norman’s varied experience has included executive positions at major jewelry chains and small independents, promotional and guild retailers, and traditional brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce sites.

Damiani Wins Couture Award

the house of damiani was honored with the haute couture design award at the couture collection and conference show in las vegas. the italian jeweler won the award for its spectacular vulcania necklace. more than 1,370 diamonds in the necklace create a playful kaleidoscope of innumerable shades in a virtual volcanic eruption, with its 110-plus carats varying in color from the warmth and vibrancy…

Reinventing the Wheel

fourteen years ago charles bond, then publisher of jck, encouraged by idea-man ed coyne, thought that challenging the well-entrenched trade show of the time had a good chance of success. bond’s primary positioning was to develop a trade show where “the industry meets.” the jck show would be open to everyone in the industry; eliminate the arbitrary and capricious decisions made by th…

Tucson the Product Mart?

when applying for spots in the gem & lapidary wholesalers shows, including the holidome, gem mall, and rodeway inn, vendors must give details of their basic lines, 70 percent of which must be jewelry related. show organizers then dole out spaces accordingly on the floor. “we don’t want all the silver people in the same place,” explains candy mcnamara, president, g&lw s…


Swiss luxury brand Montblanc has named Dr. Rita Simo, founder of the 28-year-old People’s Music School in Chicago, the recipient of its 2005 Montblanc de la Culture Award. She was cited for providing children with a tuition-free classical-music education, while teaching self-discipline, community responsibility, and how commitment and hard work lead to lifelong success, said…

JFC Raises $4.5 Million

jewelers for children announced that it raised $4.5 million to support charities caring for children during the past year, bringing the total raised to about $18 million since the charity’s founding in 1999. jfc has also set up an endowment fund named for jeffrey w. comment, the former helzberg diamonds chairman and jfc board member who died suddenly last year.

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