December 1, 1998

A Touch of Class

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GemNotes

arizona andradite debuts the past three years have witnessed numerous new garnet finds – transparent yellow-green grossular-andradites, or mali garnets, from western africa; the strongly saturated purple “grape” rhodolites and yellow-orange “fireball” spessartites from madagascar; mandarins from namibia; and “kashmirines” from india and pakistan.

Associations

health benefits for jewelers jewelers of america has endorsed an employee health-care plan known as the “employee security plan,” which is underwritten by anthem health & life insurance co. according to ja, the coverage offers flexibility in terms of deductibles and add-on benefits such as preventive care coverage; prescription cards; and supplemental accident, dental, short-and…

FashionFacets

tiffany marks a milestone tiffany & co. is throwing a party to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of louis comfort tiffany, whose original designs in jewelry and sculptures catapulted the venerable retailer into the world of international design more than a century ago. a collection of 34 rarely seen original jewelry designs created by this master and his studio during the early…

Getting Ready for Tucson

if you’re ready for adventure, tucson’s your place. the gem shows that take place there in february – there were 22 last year – have grown over the years to become the most influential colored gemstone events in our industry, offering many choices in both merchandise and educational opportunities.

Notebook

the kid who runs a jewelry store t he lady, in her mid-40s, sauntered up to the display case and frowned at the rings, earrings, necklaces, and pendants. “those aren’t real!” she snapped. she stood there a minute longer and then, gesturing toward a ring, said: “let me see that, real quick.

What’s New Business Services

jewelers using the polygon trading network now have 35,950 diamonds to choose from, according to an internal study of the company’s diamond database. this list is the combined inventory of 136 firms that list their inventory on polygon’s certnet diamond database. that database is available exclusively to members of the polygon trading network using their personal computers.

UpFront

jewelry groups get $400,000 six groups have been chosen to receive a total of $400,000 in grants from the new industry fund sponsored by jck magazine and the jck international jewelry shows. the fund was established in early 1998 and will be replenished annually to promote the jewelry industry. the 1998 grants were announced in november after an all-day meeting by the jck evaluation panel.

Contests

diamonds-international entries due next month entries are now being accepted for the diamonds-international awards for the year 2000. the competition is open to all jewelry designers and jewelers at the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing levels, as well as others involved in the design and manufacturing of precious jewelry.

Letters

how gia color-grades diamonds “what gia’s fluorescence study ignored,” by gary roskin (jck, september 1998, p. 149) brought into question the use of light sources that include an ultraviolet (uv) component in the grading of diamond color in the gemological institute of america’s gem trade laboratory.

What’s New/Packaging & Display

jewelry showcase from galaxy store fixtures features glass-to-glass construction of the curved-glass display area, a high-security anti-lift-out track, sliding locking glass doors, quartz halogen lighting, and storage area. it has polished steel trim, chrome studs, and laminate finish on the cases. galaxy store fixtures, 523 mayfair, south san francisco, ca 94080; (800) 222-1070, fax (650) 553-…

CounterPoint

getting it right success in the retail jewelry business can be a fickle and elusive goal. zale has been up, down, and in chapter 11, and it’s now up again. service merchandise rode the wave of a new concept (catalog showroom selling) to dizzying heights but is now in the midst of trying to redefine itself.

1998: Notables and Notes

another year is winding down, the last before we get into a full national tizzy on the upcoming 21st century. so it’s time to tip our hat to some of the personal and corporate achievements of 1998 and to recall some of the year’s more notable events. industry associations provided a lot of news and new faces.

People

little switzerland appoints v.p. michael m. poole, 55, has been named vice president and general merchandise manager at little switzerland inc. the company’s merchandising activities previously had been directed by john toler, little switzerland’s former president, who resigned aug. 31. poole has more than 30 years of retail jewelry experience.

Tradeshows

miami show breaks records jewelers from latin america, the caribbean, and the united states converged on miami in october for the final big trade show of the year – the jewelers international showcase (jis). the show, staged at the miami convention center, provided retailers one last opportunity to get ready for the all-important christmas season.

‘Netnews

lubenow & associates launches web page larry lubenow & associates, an austin, texas-based agency specializing in jewelry-industry special events, has launched a web page, www.lubenow.com. the site highlights the agency’s experience, awards, and capabilities and features case histories of its work.

Sweet Charity

when it comes to charity, jewelers are a generous lot. a recent jck poll found that they give freely of not only their money and merchandise, but also their time and skills. those donations and good works support a broad range of charitable and other nonprofit causes. some 88% of jewelers surveyed contribute money, merchandise, or volunteer services to charitable, civic, or cultural organizations.

Business Report

a useful critique of your store the performance review is a common practice in the corporate environment, but independent jewelers rarely get that kind of constructive criticism. after all, who’s going to tell an owner or manager what they don’t like about the store? employees or longtime customers can offer some ideas, but they may not be objective or candid.

What’s New/Watches

baume & mercier’s cape land will be exclusively distributed at torneau until a spring 1999 rollout in baume & mercier authorized dealers nationwide. designed for men who value understated elegance, cape land showcases a large, round case with a profile enhanced by a curved sapphire crystal.

A Touch of Class

class began at 8:30 on a sunday morning at the arlington marriott outside dallas. the 200 students – mostly from the dallas area but some from as far away as nebraska – were of all ages and races. some wore jeans and t-shirts, others suits or dresses. there was no final exam or term paper, but the instructors did give quizzes.

Is It Time for Jewelers to Come Back to the Table?

the long-neglected tabletops market holds ample opportunities for revenue growth in both the bridal sector and other niches. jewelers have good reason to reconsider a category they once dominated. how times change. in the 1970s, jewelers were the no. 1 retailers of tabletop ware in america. today, they’re barely a blip on the sales chart of the multibillion-dollar industry, having surrend…

What’s New Catalogs

spectral gems inc. has released its 1998 colored gemstone catalog in a triple keystone format. the catalog, which gives retail prices, is designed to be shared with the consumer as a counter sales tool. it complies with or surpasses the enhancement-disclosure requirements of the federal trade commission’s guides for the jewelry industry and the american gem trade association’s gem e…

Watchworld

tag heuer: betting on 2000 are tag heuer watches too expensive? many retailers and consumers say yes. but for whom are tag heuer prices supposedly too steep? plenty of people are buying tags at $2,000 and above with little resistance, according to susan nicholas, president of tag heuer usa. but some retailers say that, despite the brand’s popularity, it can be a hard sale.

Can Swatch Bring Back the Good Times?

to swatch or not to swatch? that is the question many u.s. retailers are asking as the watch brand struggles to win back the success it enjoyed in its heyday. in the 1980s, swatch helped resuscitate the swiss watch industry by transforming the way consumers perceive watches. the brand popularized colorful, fashion timepieces, gave consumers a reason to buy multiple watches, and bucked tradition…

Retailer News

israeli firms exhibit at florida event sam getz, president and ceo of mayor’s jewelers, was the key-note speaker at a recent cocktail reception in fort lauderdale, fla., at which eight leading israeli jewelry manufacturers and designers displayed their products to some 80 buyers. the event was sponsored by the government of israel’s eco- nomic mission and the israel export institute…

Is Cultural Bias Hurting Your Bottom Line?

consumers want to spend their money in places where they feel valued. they’ll remain loyal and recommend a business or salesperson when their expectations are exceeded and they’re happy with the service they receive. that should come as no surprise. what may not be so obvious are the special considerations in dealing with customers whose cultural background is different from yours.

What’s New Giftware

miniature equestrian motif copper enamel boxes in assorted sizes and shapes. suggested retail prices are $85 for the good luck pillbox, $140 for bridle & stirrups, $225 for boots slimpill, and $195 for the large, oval rosette & hat box. sizes range from 3/4 in. to 1 3/4 in. diameter. enamels are hand-painted over a single color transfer.

Aurora Canadianis

the only significant diamond mine in the western hemisphere has opened in northern canada. it will be producing 3.5 million to 4 million carats of quality gems annually when it goes fully online in 1999. built in 17 months at a cost of about $700 million by bhp diamonds, the ekati mine lies in the frozen wastes of canada’s northwest territories.

Supplier News

gemtech tanzanites in varied shapes and sizes gemtech international corp. offers top-quality tanzanites. the gems come in all sizes and shapes. express delivery is available. for information on specific items and current prices, contact gemtech international corp., 576 fifth ave., suite 701, new york, ny 10036; (800) 436-3236 or (212) 354-7788, fax (212) 354-7797.