December 1, 1999

Robert M. Shipley Sr.: JCK’s Person of the Century


assessing cut on page 100 of the september 1999 issue of jck, in an article about the gemological institute of america symposium, a statement reads, “panelist al gilbertson, an appraiser from portland, ore., said that he and others are already using spectrophotometers for [measuring brilliance and dispersion]—so who needs computer models to determine angles and percentages?” t…

TOP OF THE NEWS sues friedman’s over insurance sales friedman’s inc., the third largest u.s. retail chain jeweler, has been sued by the state of west virginia for allegedly charging customers for credit insurance without their knowledge. “while [this practice] is common in the auto industry, this is the first time we’ve sued a retail jeweler,” says the lawyer handling the s…

Supplier News

big jewelry maker moves overseas the napier co., a 124-year-old meriden, conn., manufacturer of fashion jewelry, was closed down oct. 13 by victoria & co. of warwick, r.i., which bought it only last march. about 300 employees were told to leave the plant immediately. they will receive paychecks and health benefits until dec.


getting to know the bangkok fair the 24th annual autumn bangkok gems and jewelry fair offered plenty of “hot new designs”—this year’s theme—and a number of elaborate new booths to showcase them. thai trade representatives touted the progress of local jewelry designers and said the quality of this year’s merchandise was “much improved” over past ye…

Retailer News

stores exhibit monroe memorabilia a mikimoto pearl necklace given to film star marilyn monroe by her husband, baseball legend joe dimaggio, to celebrate their 1954 marriage was the centerpiece of an exhibit of rare monroe memorabilia recently displayed at several stores. the necklace is the inspiration for mikimoto’s newest limited-edition collection.

Party-time Necklaces

“everyone has something costly hanging round their neck. for the lucky few, it’s not a mortgage, school fees or an overdraft.” —1997 asprey advertisement for a diamond necklace despite the irreverent humor of its advertising campaign, the english jeweler asprey (now asprey & garrard) correctly guessed that most people do have something hanging around their necks, esp…

Diamond Notes

gia shares findings on pegasus process the gemological institute of america’s first published report on general electric’s color-enhancing diamond treatment reveals that its top scientists can identify some of the stones. they are supposed to be easy to spot: “ge pol” (for general electric and pegasus overseas ltd.

Fashion Facets

fashion? think accessories if you keep up with fashion news, you’ve probably been reading about the revitalization of the accessories category. as a consumer, if you’ve spent years carrying one black bag but suddenly find yourself changing handbags with every outfit, then you know there’s something in the air.

Robert M. Shipley Sr.: JCK’s Person of the Century

how do you pick the jewelry industry’s most important person of the century? with so many candidates to choose from, how do you narrow the focus to just one? try subtraction. think about all the movers and shakers this industry has seen over the past 100 years, then ask: whose contributions would represent the greatest loss if they were erased? from that perspective, the choice is easy.

Can You Justify That High Diamond Grade?

if after a sale a diamond is found to have a color or clarity grade that differs from the way the seller represented it, the dollars at stake can be substantial. the grading process is subjective, so a discrepancy in grades from two different appraisers might be expected. but such a variance can take a toll on your profits—and on your reputation.

Business Report

over the past decade, consolidation squeezed many sectors of the economy. jewelry is no exception. according to the jewelers board of trade, the 1990s saw a 21.1% decline in the number of manufacturers, a 5.6% decline in retailers, and a 1% drop in wholesalers. jbt president nat earle says mid-sized companies—both retailers and manufacturers—are being squeezed the most.


new jewelry design contest announced the world gold council is sponsoring the first-ever global jewelry design competition. the “gold virtuosi” contest will honor up to 30 winners, to be selected in london next april. sketches must be submitted by jan. 5 for preliminary judging in february.

A New Look At Old Bar Pins

getting to know the bangkok fair look through any american jewelry trade catalog from 1880 to 1941 and you’ll see one or more variations on the popular bar pin. look through several decades’ worth of catalogs and you’ll see how these narrow, elongated brooches evolved. you’ll also realize that many of the styles, decorative elements, materials, and manufacturing techniqu…

Getting Ready for the New America have you noticed how the country is changing? from california to maine you’ll find korean greengrocers, latino radio stations, middle eastern restaurants, and lively enclaves of immigrants from such exotic locales as russia, bosnia, and paraguay. big cities used to be our melting pots, but now the demographic mix is spilling into suburbs and towns across the land.


two swiss brands revamp marketing two leading swiss luxury watchmakers—patek phillippe and concord—are rethinking their marketing. the moves are part of a growing trend among watch companies to reposition their brands by appealing to consumers’ hearts rather than just their heads (watch world, jck, november 1999, p.

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