December 1, 2003

JCK's 2003 Person of the Year: Gareth Penny

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I.G. Gold Launches Internet Venture

i.g. gold, licensor of the imperial gold jewelry brand, will operate multiple sites to support the brands that the company sells. the sites will offer a range of products from a select group of manufacturers and wholesalers.

SNAG Solicits Entries for Exhibition in Print 2004

metalsmith magazine is collecting slides of recent work of metalsmithing and jewelry to be juried for inclusion in its exhibition in print 2004. the competition is open to all jewelers, designers, and metalsmiths, including students. all work must be original and produced within the last two years.

AJDC Accepting Talent Contest Applications

the american jewelry design council (ajdc) is accepting applications for its annual talent contest. the ajdc is a group of 30 nationally prominent designers who have banded together to increase awareness of fine design in american jewelry. the winner of the talent contest will be awarded a booth in the new designer gallery at the july jewelers of america show in new york city and receive exten…

The Designer Jewelry Report

sales of designer jewelry are on the rise. that’s one of the findings from a recent survey of jck’s retail panel, which revealed that designer jewelry accounted for a median 10% of jewelers’ total sales. for 63.4% of jewelers, designer jewelry’s slice of their total sales pie increased over the past two years.

GIA Goes Designer

to help the gemological institute of america expand its museum display collection, the american jewelry design council is collaborating with gia to create a special collection of contemporary designer jewelry. the collection will consist of signature pieces donated to gia by ajdc members. each piece will best represent the ajdc member’s personal style.

Attendance Up At Hong Kong Fair

a significant increase in overseas visitors marked the 21st edition of the september hong kong jewellery & watch fair, asia’s largest international jewelry trade event. the fair attracted 35,890 visitors from 118 countries and regions, up 2,723 compared with september 2002. more than 45% of visitors came from outside hong kong.

Wildfires Prompt GIA to Close Temporarily

the gemological institute of america closed its carlsbad, calif., world headquarters oct. 27 and 28 because of wildfires that spread through southern california. a statement on the gia web site said the campus was not in danger, but officials were reacting to “concerns from local government, law enforcement, and safety authorities.

GIA Diamond Cut Series Goes Online

the “gia on diamond cut” series is now available for download in pdf files through the gemological institute of america (gia) web site at www.gia.edu. the articles present summaries and discussions of foundational material related to the gia cut study as well as information from the fields of gemology, physics, optics, computer modeling, and diamonds.

GIA Inducts New Members Into League of Honor

the gemological institute of america’s annual league of honor dinner was held oct. 23 at new york’s plaza hotel. this year’s inductees are harshad mehta of rosy blue n.v.; koichi takahashi of rosy blue fine inc.; the de beers group; david s. kwiat and jacques roisen, both of kwiat, roisen, and ferman; toros kejijian and toros z.

New Book Chronicles GIA’s History

the history of the gemological institute of america (gia), from its founding during the depths of the great depression through its development into what is today the world’s foremost authority in gemology, is recounted in a new book released in october. legacy of leadership: a history of the gemological institute of america was researched and written by award-winning veteran journalist willia…

RDI Has Online Diamond Inventory

rdi has upgraded its web site, www.rdidiamonds.com, to immediately indicate when a diamond is added or sold from the wholesale inventory. every site linked to www.rdidiamonds.com is live as well, and jewelers with active accounts who wish to have a live inventory link on their web site can do so for free.

Obituary: Bram Fischler, 79, Antwerp Diamantaire

abraham “bram” fischler, one of the leaders of the antwerp diamond industry and former president of the world federation of diamond bourses, died recently at age 79. fischler, the owner of sightholder fischler diamonds, was one of the pioneers who returned to belgium after world war ii to rebuild the antwerp diamond sector.

Obituary: William Goldberg

william goldberg, former president of the new york diamond dealers club and a legend of the new york diamond industry, died recently after a brief illness. gemological institute of america (gia) president william e. boyajian announced goldberg’s death during the gia’s legion of honor dinner. with his big frame, gravelly voice, brown fedora, and free-flowing white hair (later trimmed), goldberg…

Guide Expands Diamond Pricing

gemworld international inc. has added two new price tables to the guide diamonds, beginning with the september/october issue. in response to the steadily increasing demand for black diamonds and for irradiated fancy colored diamonds, the guide now includes price tables for these segments. for information, contact megan watts at (847) 564-0555.

International Court Looks at ‘Blood Diamonds’ Cases

the international criminal court will investigate and prosecute companies that bought conflict diamonds in the democratic republic of congo, its chief prosecutor said recently. luis moreno ocampo told reuters that companies that bought these stones from congolese rebels were as complicit in the war’s atrocities as those who committed them.

New Sapphire Enhancements Could Spell Blue Christmas

now, blue sapphires from sri lanka are raising more concerns about corundum identification. a statement from the american gem trade association (agta) says, “during recent months, we at the agta gemological testing center have observed that some blue sapphires reaching the u.s. market show indications that they are being treated by a new technique.

JCK’s 2003 Person of the Year: Gareth Penny

gareth penny is a different kind of de beers executive. where predecessors talked mostly about mining, allocations, and international politics, penny, 41, is drawn more toward brands and jewelry and the latest in diamond ads. he’s candid where they were cagey, approachable where they were intimidating, and forward thinking in a company steeped in tradition.

Collector’s Corner

the watchmaking sector of hermès, the well-known parisian fashion accessories house, marked two important anniversaries in 2003 with a limited-production line of hand-crafted, self-winding men’s watches called “dressage.” the line debuted in the united states in september at hermès’s new york city showroom in a special presentation by guillaume de seynes, managing director of la mont…

Dobbs Boston Launches Web Site

dobbs boston, a supplier of sterling silver jewelry, has launched a new web site, www.dobbsboston.com. the site features products in its current line, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pins, pendants, chains, and the joryel vera designer collection. in addition, there are sections for special sale items, care of dobbs jewelry, and other important information.

Dover Findings Aquired by B.A. Ballou

b.a. ballou has purchased dover findings, the saint james, n.y., manufacturer of base- and precious-metal ear, wire, and bead findings. the dover manufacturing facilities will be integrated into the ballou findings operation headquartered in east providence, r.i. the move will allow ballou to expand its offerings in a number of product categories such as hoop earring components, bead tips, pear…

SJTA to Launch Student Design Contest

southern jewelers travelers association (sjta) has partnered with the savannah college of art and design to launch a jewelry design competition for the school’s student designers. the competition will be open to current matriculating students and alumni. entries will be judged on the basis of overall design, marketability, wearability and craftsmanship in gold and platinum, silver, alternative…

Elini Launches Jewelry Site

elini has launched a web site (www.elini.com) to serve the media. it gives editors and writers the ability to download high-resolution pictures from a catalog of jewelry and watches and enables elini to upload pictures within moments to the catalog to meet the needs of the press. recent press releases also are available for download.

Ice Blue From Nu Age

nu age technologies recently announced its introduction of the ice blue color to the market. utilizing high-energy particle technology, nu age is able to color diamonds in a variety of colors including blue, canary, gold, green, pink, purple, cognac, reddish cognac, blue-green and black. for more information, contact nu age at (212) 997-9144 or visit www.

Faceted cultured pearls

precision gem cutting is essential to bringing out the beauty of a faceted pearl. the loose white and pink chinese freshwaters, one golden south sea, and three black tahitian faceted cultured pearls are all fine examples, courtesy of pala international, fallbrook, calif. the well-matched, graduated strand of tahitian black faceted cultured pearls is courtesy of joeb enterprises, solana beach, c…

A Holiday Snapshot: ‘The Right Thing to Do’

during the holidays, when commercialism can overwhelm sentiment, it’s reassuring to know that american retail jewelers really are a good-hearted bunch, driven as much by the golden rule as by selling their gold and silver wares. as a holiday gift to you, we offer this statistical snapshot, based on a new jck national survey of hundreds of businesses, of how u.

ExCel Enhanced Emeralds Excel at Christie’s

a pair of emerald earrings with six round brilliant-cut emeralds (t.w. 63.96 cts.) recently sold at christie’s auction for $410,700. significantly, they were accompanied by an american gemological laboratory (agl) report stating that the colombian emeralds had been enhanced by the organic polymer excel.

Precious Playboy?

in a melding of luxury with pop culture, the world’s best-known bunny—the playboy icon—is going upscale. in celebration of its 50th anniversary, playboy enterprises inc. has unveiled a collection of limited-edition and one-of-a-kind fashion products designed by some of the world’s best-known designers.

LVMH Profits Up 24%; Watches, Jewelry Decline

french luxury goods maker lvmh (moët hennessy louis vuitton) says its 2003 first-half profit rose 24% to 265 million euros (us$297 million), driven by its leather goods segment and lower financial costs. revenue fell 10% to 5.24 billion euros (us$5.86 billion), while operating profit rose 4% to 874 million euros (us$980 million).

Two Honored by JCF

jewelers charity fund for children has selected edward a. dayoob, president and coo of fred meyer jewelers inc. of portland, ore., and susan m. jacques, president and ceo of borsheims’s fine jewelry & gifts, omaha, neb., as its facets of hope honorees. the two will be recognized at jcf 2004 facets of hope dinner in las vegas on june 6, 2004.

WJA Party Sponsored by Carrera, MJM Global

the women’s jewelry association (wja) will host its annual holiday party on dec. 3 at the “w” hotel, at 17th st. and park avenue south, new york city, from 6-8 p.m. wja gratefully acknowledges carrera casting and mjm global insurance for their sponsorship of this event. ron saltiel productions will provide photography.

New Offices for Software Developer

wise choice software, the developer of rightclick software, recently signed a $1 million lease for larger executive offices at 1180 avenue of the americas in new york city. the relocation will put wise choice in the center of new york’s diamond and jewelry district. the new building features a secure, state-of-the-art lobby.

IGI Becomes ISO 9001:2000 Certified

the international gemological institute (igi) recently announced that its los angeles and toronto labs had been granted international organization for standardization (iso) 9001:2000 certification for operating a quality manage ment system in the scope of independent third-party analysis of diamonds, colored gemstones, and jewelry articles.

Flower Power

talk about perennials! each year, nearly every season, flowers continue to bloom in the designs of jewelry manufacturers, the cases of retailers, and the hearts of consumers. while flowery designs are a safe bet in any season, fashion has declared them trendy for spring 2004. fashion designers are favoring feminine floral motifs in clothes this season—either in festive prints or subtle de…

2004 SNAG Conference

the 2004 conference of the society of north american goldsmiths (snag) will be held march 17-21 at the hilton downtown, st. petersburg, fla. keynote speaker christiane corbat will address the theme of the 2004 conference, “in pursuit of passion.” she will be joined by 15 presenters including barbara becker simon, harlan butt, barbara cotter, robert ebendorf, dee fontans, steven ford, lisa graln…

Appointments

the rosen group (trg) is expanding its show division. catherine brown has been promoted to buyers services director, and karen levin has been hired as the logistics coordinator for the buyers market of american craft (bmac). brown joined trg in 2002 as a buyers services assistant. levin comes to trg with more than 15 years experience as an event manager.

New Scale From Kessler

sy kessler sales inc., dallas, has reintroduced its model i500 precision scale from my weigh. priced at $89.95, the i500 features a 500g capacity and accuracy to 0.1g. the tabletop/portable scale has a new, large stainless-steel weighing platform, illuminated lcd display, pushbutton digital calibration, parts counting function, and a two-year replacement warranty.

JA Supports ‘Remote’ Sales Tax

jewelers of america “strongly supports” a bill being considered in the u.s. congress that would require mail-order, telephone, and internet merchants to collect sales tax on transactions conducted with out-of-state purchasers. h.r. 3184, “the simplified sales and use tax act of 2003,” and a companion bill in the u.

Two Companies Merge

pacific northern inc., dallas, and fieldstone ltd., brooklyn, n.y., recently announced plans to merge the two companies. both are designers and manufacturers of custom jewelry displays, branded watch displays, and visual components for retailers and watch companies. according to the companies, the combination of fieldstone’s rapidly expanding account base and pacific northern’s extensive manufa…

JVC Disputes the Name ‘Cultured’ for Diamonds

lab-grown diamonds from gemesis in sarasota, fla., are being marketed as “cultured” diamonds, but the jewelers vigilance committee says that label is “of concern.” “the term ‘cultured diamond’ does not signal to the consumer that the diamond is laboratory created,” says jvc executive director cecilia gardner.

Synthetics Manufacturers Appear at Industry Forum

the two main synthetic diamond manufacturers made their first public appearance before the diamond industry at the recent rapaport corp. international diamond conference in new york. both expressed a desire to join the industry and work with it to ensure that their stones are disclosed as man-made. “we are very concerned about representation of our product,” said general carter clarke of gemesis.

OneService Files Suit Against FedEx

oneservice, which provides specialized all-risk insurance for the transportation of valuables, including jewelry, has filed suit in united states district court, southern district of new york, seeking damages against federal express (fedex) for violations of federal antitrust and competition laws. the company filed the lawsuit to prohibit fedex from actions that it says would negatively affect …

Restringing Pearls, Part III

pearls are one of history’s most cherished gems. pearl owners are protective of their precious stones and want to keep their treasured strands in beautiful shape. by offering them affordable restringing services, you’ll benefit both your customers and your store’s bottom line. in part i of this series, we outlined the benefits of pearl restringing and discussed how you can start your restring…

De Beers Accused of Reneging

politicians in the northwest territories of canada have accused de beers of backtracking on its commitment to supply local cutters with rough from its new mine there. de beers had promised local miners 10% of its production in a meeting earlier this year, reports say. “nine months ago the president of de beers canada made a commitment in the north saying that yes, he would make a commitment to …

Flying Time

“a strong cold wind blew from the north. puddles of water throughout the camp [from recent rains] were covered with ice. by 10 o’clock, the wind [at 27 miles an hour] was as brisk as ever, [but] we decided we had better get the machine out and attempt a flight.” it was the morning of dec. 17, 1903, and the circumstances, as described here by orville wright, didn’t seem auspicious enough to star…

New Department at TRG

the rosen group (trg) recently announced the establishment of a new public affairs department. a work in progress for several years, the department will develop and coordinate new projects aimed at furthering trg’s advocacy of the craft industry. alisha vincent will serve as director of the new department, which will provide support services to exhibitors of the buyers market of american craft …

Architects of Change

a few years ago, we at jck decided to transform the december issue into our annual “person of the year” issue, the criteria for selection being “the individual who has had the most significant impact on the industry during the year.” some may be puzzled—or infuriated—by this year’s choice of gareth penny, the key player behind the supplier of choice program at de beers (or, rathe…

Hope Diamond Has Photo Op With Two More Blues

the smithsonian institution’s diamond collection includes the 45.52-ct. blue hope diamond and the 30.62-ct. smithsonian blue heart-shape diamond. its recent exhibit, “the splendor of diamonds,” included the 27.64-ct. steinmetz blue heart-shape diamond, which meant that the smithsonian was temporarily in possession of three extremely large, extremely rare, and extremely valuable fancy deep-blue …

Jewelry Giveaway

lucky magazine, a practical shopping guide that breaks down hot styles into a fashion-for-dummies format, recently focused on jewelry in one of its regular features, a fashion-related giveaway. in november, lucky applied the idea to fine jewelry through a partnership with jewelry manufacturer i.b.

Montblanc Opens Flagship Shop

montblanc recently opened a 2,500-sq.-ft. flagship boutique in new york city at 57th street and madison avenue. the new store, its 49th north american boutique, is the company’s largest. unlike other montblanc boutiques, the new store—designed by french architect jean-michel wilmotte—features an open, loft-like environment, sleek contemporary displays, and blue tones accented by nat…

AGS and AGS Labs Relaunch Web Sites

the american gem society (ags) recently unveiled its redesigned web site (www.ags.org), which has been improved to enhance communication with the consumer, trade, media, and members. the consumer section has advice on making a fine-jewelry purchase and information on jewelry care, as well as the benefits of shopping with an ags jeweler.

‘Rooting’ for Success

watches have hands, faces, cases, and movements. did you know they have roots, too? you will, as more mid- and luxury-priced brands focus their merchandising on what many call their “watchmaking roots”—origins, achievements, and vintage products. this focus on the past—reinterpreted for 21st-century marketing—is one of several strategies upscale watch companies are using to st…

Changes For Birmingham Show

spring fair birmingham, a home- and giftware event held in the united kingdom, has announced several changes designed to benefit north american jewelry buyers and exhibitors. the 2004 event will be held feb. 1-5 at the national exhibition centre (nec) in birmingham, england. the gift jewelry section will enjoy a new central location within the gift area and the jewelry sector.

The End Game

in choosing gareth penny as jck’s person of the year, the magazine’s editors created quite a stir among some members of the diamond trade. how could jck honor someone who, as the architect of the supplier of choice program, had wrought such havoc on the industry? i received several phone calls and more than a little good-natured ribbing about his selection.

Travel, Jewelry Top Gifts For Women

an online survey conducted in september 2003 shows the most-desired holiday gift for women this season is travel, while jewelry came in a close second. the online study, titled “women, men, and the pursuit of fun,” was conducted by frank about women, a consulting firm specializing in marketing to women.

Obituaries

erwin sadow, past president of the 24 karat club of southern california, passed away on oct. 2 with his wife and son at his side. a memorial service was held oct. 9 at the pinnacle peak mortuary in scottsdale, ariz. jeanet walker norardonato died recently in a vehicular accident on the outskirts of chicago.

G.L.D.A. Hosts 26th Annual Show

the gem and lapidary dealers association (g.l.d.a.) will host its 26th annual tucson gem & jewelry show feb. 4-9 at the radisson hotel city center in downtown tucson, ariz. the 2004 show will feature several special areas including the idar-oberstein group (germany) and the sri lanka group and sri lanka gem traders association.

Gold Jewelry Brochure

epsilon jewelry corp. has produced a new brochure that features the company’s epsilon elite collection of 18k white and yellow gold jewelry with diamonds and precious stones. the brochure can be customized for retailers. for information, contact epsilon jewelry corp. at (800) 449-4587 or (212) 921-3310.

A Sparkling Reminder

food for thought: apparently, jewelry can help reveal the “fashionable side to breastfeeding,” according to the trendy freshbaby.com. the web site has launched a new line of bejeweled “side-minders,” dubbed mama jewels, for breastfeeding moms. incorporating swarovski crystals with glass and sterling silver beads, available in four colors, the comfortable memory-wire design fits easily around mo…

Centurion 2004 Features Dana Carvey and ‘The Fab Four’

the lineup for next year’s centurion show includes comedian dana carvey and beatles tribute group the fab four. both will perform on feb. 4, the eve of the 2004 show’s final day. emmy award-winning comedian dana carvey will open the gala evening in the centurion pavilion. carvey has received a total of six emmy nominations and also was honored by the american comedy awards as television’s funni…

Kurt S. Adler Establishes ‘Holiday Helpers’

kurt s. adler has launched www.kurtadler.com/holidayhelpers, a web site section designed to help build jewelers’ holiday sales. the company’s products include lifelike artificial trees, movable snow globes, fashionable stockings, and licensed ornaments depicting popular icons from the entertainment and corporate worlds.

Argyle Still in the Pink

forty-eight pink diamonds, ranging in size from .49 ct. to 2.07 cts. and individually packaged in presentation boxes, were waiting for some of the 200-plus invited guests at a hotel in midtown manhattan (unnamed at the request of argyle) in september. the hotel was the u.s. venue for the annual argyle pink diamond tender—a silent-bid auction of the most important pink diamonds to come out…

De Beers Retail Chain to Open L.A. Store

de beers lv plans to open a retail store on rodeo drive in los angeles in the fourth quarter of next year, in addition to the long-planned one in new york. the new york store was supposed to open this year, but the opening was delayed because the previous tenant hadn’t vacated, says de beers lv spokeswoman joan parker.

Lifetime Warranty Protects Customers

caretta inc., north hollywood, calif., offers a lifetime warranty on enamel for consumers who purchase caretta medical i.d. jewelry from fine jewelers. the new caretta special order catalog includes gold-plated, silver, and 14k yellow and white gold medical i.d. products. all items come with a lifetime enamel warranty card.

JCK Winter Show Moves to Phoenix

the jck show ~ phoenix will take place feb. 7-9 at the phoenix civic plaza in phoenix, ariz. an educational program will be offered on feb. 6. the show was moved from orlando, fla., to phoenix to coincide with the american gem trade association’s gemfair, which will be held in tucson feb. 4-9. “by moving the jck show ~ orlando to phoenix, we are able to turn arizona into a comprehensive winter…

Ice-Tek Becomes Official NBA Sponsor

ice-tek watch company announced in late september that it’s the official sponsor for select teams in the national basketball association including the detroit pistons, miami heat, and atlanta hawks. the deal gives ice-tek television and radio spots during each team’s programming and involves the brand in contests and fan giveaways.

AWI Honors DeCorte, Christianson

the american watchmakers-clockmakers institute (awi) recently bestowed two of its prestigious awards—institute fellow and lifetime achievement—during its annual meeting, held this year in florence, ky. the awi lifetime achievement award was given to awi certified master watchmaker ron decorte of toledo, ohio.

A Gem of a Fund-Raiser

latin music sensation soraya isn’t just borrowing and wearing jewels by levinson jewelers, plantation, fla. she’s also partnering in a charity venture with the marketing-savvy independent jeweler. soraya will be the special guest of honor at a fund-raising event that levinson jewelers will hold for the susan g.

Q&A: The Key to Better Jewelry Ads

jck interviewed ellen fruchtman, president of fruchtman marketing, toledo, ohio, for some insight into advertising strategies. jck: please explain your advertising strategy for jewelers. ellen fruchtman: our jeweler ads feature plenty of white space. typically, we include a photo of only one product, and copy is kept to a minimum.

Roman Jewelers, Wolf Fight Breast Cancer

roman jewelers, with locations in flemington, bridgewater, and short hills, n.j., is getting help from wolf designs in its ongoing efforts in the fight against breast cancer. the retailer kicked off a month-long fund-raiser on oct. 1 with a panel of healthcare professionals and dr. susan mcmanus of hunterdon medical center, flemington, n.

New England Jewelers Association

two jewelers of america affiliates, the new hampshire jewelers association and the vermont jewelers association, recently joined the massachusetts-rhode island jewelers association to form the new england jewelers association. the association has 12 board members, and two more from vermont and two more from new hampshire will be added in the new year.

M. Fabrikant & Sons Joint Venture

m. fabrikant & sons inc., jean paul tolkowsky, and lior kunstler of exelco n.v., belgium, have formed a new joint venture for the cutting and polishing of ideal-cut triple excellent diamonds in thailand, and for the opening of a new diamond trading operation, known as ftk worldwide manufacturing, in antwerp.

‘Leading Jeweler’ Honored

leading jewelers of the world recently announced that charter member clayton bromberg, president of underwood jewelers, jacksonville, fla., had been inducted into the national jewelers retailer hall of fame. established in 1989, the hall of fame honors retail executives who are active in the jewelry industry and have made substantial contributions to its growth and success.

Reeds Jewelers Launches ‘Elvis’ Promotion

on nov. 1, reeds jewelers launched a cross-promotion with bmg music in conjunction with its elvis: second to none cd release. the promotion was an online sweepstakes that offered consumers a chance to win a $4,000 platinum jewelry shopping spree at www.reeds.com and a limited-edition elvis platinum record plaque.

An Era Revisited

the opera-length gloves and other lady-like details favored by fashion designers this season embody the style and glamour of a bygone era—a time when divas embraced a very different set of fashion values. femininity in that era combined grace and elegance and was worlds away from the see-through fabrics and how-low-can-you-go necklines of recent times.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Joins ‘Fashion Week’

for the first time, a leading luxury watch brand participated in “fashion week” (sept. 15-19), the twice-a-year event in new york city where top fashion houses and designers unveil apparel creations for the coming season to the press, buyers, and celebrities. jaeger-lecoultre, a 170-year-old swiss brand, took over the penthouse of bryant park hotel—a “command central” for the week’s fash…