luxury watchmaker rolex has presented its coveted “awards for enterprise” to two women and three men from argentina, georgia, japan, switzerland, and the united states. the 28-year-old program bestows the international award every two years on five individuals for innovative work in preserving the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
December 1, 2004
pocket watches are society’s oldest portable timekeepers, and until the advent of the wristwatch in the early 20th century, they were a symbol of style, prestige, and punctuality for both men and women. more recently, pocket watches have become a top draw at major auction houses, attracting high bids and sometimes selling for millions of dollars.
LeVian Makes Patriotic Presentation
eddie levian, designer and ceo of levian corp., recently presented former u.s. army pfc. jessica lynch with an ensemble of patriotic jewelry. lynch, the young pow/mia who last year was dramatically rescued by u.s. forces in iraq, received the gift at the 28th annual mrs. america pageant in september.
Industry Leader, Philanthropist Jeffrey Comment Dies at 60
philanthropist and civic leader jeffrey w. comment, 60, chairman and chief executive officer of helzberg diamonds inc., died suddenly oct. 30 in kansas city, mo. h. marvin beasley was named to replace him as head of the north kansas city, mo.-based national jewelry retail chain, by warren buffet, chairman and ceo of berkshire hathaway, helzberg’s parent firm.
New Store Opens in Manchester Center
northeastern fine jewelry, schenectady, n.y., opened its third store in july, at 4620 main st. in manchester center, vt. the grand opening included the unveiling of a rare pink diamond ring set in platinum and 18k rose gold. the store’s owner, ray bleser, will donate 10% of the proceeds from the sale of the ring (anytime within the next year) to the leukemia & lymphoma society of upstate ne…
Eugen-Schofer Celebrates Centenary
in 2004, the family-run eugen schofer chain company celebrates its 100th anniversary. based in pforzheim, germany’s “city of gold,” the firm produces a variety of chains in platinum, gold, sterling silver, titanium, stainless steel, and brass. soon after company founder eugen schofer received his first patent for a ring-braiding machine, he automated snake-chain production and in 1916 moved int…
Rocha Replaces Hudson As JFC Executive Director
david l. rocha, longtime senior vice president of jewelers of america (ja), has been named the new executive director of jewelers for children (jfc), the u.s. jewelry industry’s own national charity. rocha, who has resigned from ja, replaces laurie hudson, former president of platinum guild international usa, who resigned a few days earlier.
Gem Pricing Update from The Guide
market in brief: nov. 1, 2004… expectations for the season remain mixed. the consumer confidence index declined again in october. consumers remain uneasy about jobs, debt, and the economy. how that will affect shoppers’ attitudes this holiday shopping season is still unclear. at this point, many retailers are expecting their holiday sales to be in line with last year’s numbers.
Baltimore Jeweler Aids Charities
radcliffe jewelers, headquartered in the baltimore, md. area, hosted or sponsored a number of charitable events in may. the company hosted a women’s golf tournament with david yurman at the tournament players club in avenel. that same month, paul and karen winicki of radcliffe jewelers hosted the baltimore chapter of hadassah’s lifetime membership luncheon, followed by a tour of the couple’s hi…
Less Bling, More Ho-Hum for Emmys
television viewers anticipating an oscar-worthy red carpet fashion and jewelry spectacle at september’s emmy awards walked away with heavy hearts. rather than gems and glamour, many starlets adopted a who-cares attitude better suited to a summer soirée than an awards ceremony with international appeal.
The Right Way to Be Late
ah, christmas—that time when traditional holiday sounds ring out in jewelry stores across america: “send me this right away! i’ve got to make this sale!” those last-minute orders by jewelers—via phone, fax, or e-mail—are as much a part of the holiday sales season as greeting cards … and a good thing, too, say suppliers.
Tiffany Inks Deal With Another Canadian Diamond Mine
tiffany continues its journey upstream by signing a deal to both buy and sell production from the jericho mine in canada. jericho, scheduled to open in 2006, will be the third diamond mine in canada’s northwest territories. it is expected to produce approximately 4.7 million carats over its nine years, or 550,000 carats per year, making it significantly smaller than the two other mines in the a…
Move Over Diamonds, There’s a New Pearl in Town
tiffany’s new iridesse stores opened this fall to sate the appetite of consumers hungry for pearl jewelry. not unlike de beers, which focuses exclusively on diamond jewelry, iridesse offers only pearls. the goal, according to a company release, is not only to showcase and sell pearl jewelry but also to educate consumers about this often overlooked category.
Stavenga Heads GIA School of Business
the gemological institute of america (gia) has appointed dr. mink stavenga as dean of the gia school of business. in his new position, stavenga will strengthen and build the current business program tailored for the gem and jewelry industry at gia, where classes can be taken at the institute’s robert mouawad campus in carlsbad, calif.
Survey: Holiday Spending Will Rise
the average consumer plans to spend $702.03 on the holidays, up 4.5% over last year, according to the findings of a national retail federation survey. total holiday spending this year is estimated to reach $219.9 billion. a total of 22.6% of those surveyed said they wanted jewelry for the holidays, according to nrf 2004 holiday consumer intentions and actions survey conducted by bigresearch for…
New Swiss Watchmaking Hallmark
the “qualité fleurier,” a new hallmark for the quality and accuracy of fine watches, was unveiled in switzerland on sept. 27. unlike two other swiss quality seals already in use (“cosc” and “poinçon de genève”), the “qualité fleurier” will be available to any european watch brand meeting its strict criteria and apply to both the movement and components of a watch.
Fossil to Make Marc Jacobs Watches
fossil inc. has entered into a license agreement with fashion apparel and accessories firm marc jacobs international to develop and distribute women’s and men’s watches under the marc jacobs and marc by marc jacobs labels. the marc jacobs watches will debut in fall 2005 with limited distribution. they’ll be followed in 2006 by a marc by marc jacobs collection.
Brunner, Lich Tapped for Egana of Switzerland, Festina USA
two u.s. watch industry veterans—franz brunner and larry lich—have been tapped by two foreign brands to build sales and public awareness in the u.s. market. franz brunner has been a watch executive for more than 30 years. the former owner of the nicolet and lucien piccard watch brands, he was a sales and marketing executive with helbros and the jules jurgensen when tapped in summe…
GIA Announces 2006 Gemological Symposium
get out your 2006 calendar, turn to august, and save these dates: aug. 27-29, 2006, for the symposium, and aug. 26-27, 2006, for a pre-symposium gemological research conference. gia is inviting “the global gemological community” to san diego, just 20 minutes down the interstate from gia’s carlsbad headquarters, for the last week in august 2006.
Swarovski Partners with Vision Numeric
swarovski, a leading manufacturer of cut crystal, and vision numeric, artistic cad/cam software developer with the type3 product family, have announced a long-term alliance to offer a unique cad solution dedicated to jewelry design: 3design. the software now integrates swarovski’s crystal fashion components in its library.
De Beers’ Former American Ad Chief Retires
he was one of the most important people in the u.s. jewelry industry for many years—though few, if any, american jewelers ever spoke with him. he’s derek palmer, and he’s retiring from de beers after 32 years with the company, including 12 years overseeing u.s. diamond advertising. palmer developed de beers’ famed classical-music-laden “shadows” commercials, variations of which the comp…
‘Day of Action’ Mostly a Lot of Talk
an ngo “day of action” to test industry compliance with the kimberley process didn’t have much impact, industry leaders said. ngos amnesty international and global witness announced that, on sept. 18, activists would visit retailers to gauge compliance with the industry’s scheme for regulating conflict diamonds.
Hearts On Fire Opens Second Store in Taiwan
hearts on fire recently opened its second stand-alone retail store in taiwan, at the han shin department store in kaohsiung. the first store is located at the mitsukoshi mall in taipei. hearts on fire plans to open four more retail stores in taiwan before the end of 2004 and plans further expansion in taiwan, hong kong, and shanghai in 2005.
Fancy Collectoin Donates $100,000 TO GIA Endowment Fund
citing the gemological institute of america’s reputation for “tremendous research” on diamond treatments and synthetics, fancy collection has made a $100,000 contribution to the institute’s endowment fund. avi nathanel, president of the antwerp-based company, will be inducted into gia’s league of honor in 2005 in recognition of the gift.
CIBJO Creates Consumer Confidence Commission
cibjo, the world jewellery confederation, has established an industrywide consumer confidence commission (ccc). “we hope to lay the groundwork for what will become a global strategy for consumer confidence in our business community and the products we sell,” says cibjo president gaetano cavalieri. “if consumers lose their confidence in jewelry, particularly in gem-set jewelry, the future of our…
Israel’s Presidential Couple Visits Diamond Exchange
israeli president moshe katzav and his wife gila toured the israel diamond complex last week, where they were hosted by exchange president shmuel schnitzer. the pair visited the bourse trading floor as well as the adjacent harry oppenheimer diamond museum. schnitzer told his guests that israel’s diamond exports have increased this year and that prospects for the industry were positive.
Overseas Diamonds Awarded Patent
the u.s. patent and trademark office has granted overseas diamonds inc. its first u.s. patent (patent no. 6786733) based on its isee2 project. one aspect of the patent covers the education of consumers—for example, in a retail environment—on the evaluation of a diamond or gemstone by displaying images indicating how the cut of the diamond or gemstone handles light, and further data …
Shreve, Crump & Low To Move Flagship Boston Store
shreve, crump & low is moving its flagship boston store to 222 berkeley st. in fall 2005. the store will occupy 22,000 square feet in the space formerly occupied by fao schwarz at the corner of berkeley and boylston streets in boston’s back bay. shreve, crump & low has occupied 330 boylston street, on the corner overlooking the public garden, for 75 years.
De Beers Commercial Director Aimed for ‘Emotional Punch’
the director of “steps,” the new de beers holiday commercial that began airing at thanksgiving, wanted a commercial that delivered a maximum “emotional punch,” he told jck in an exclusive interview. stephen daldry is better known for directing such critically acclaimed films as the hours and billy elliot.
Signet Will List on NYSE
the signet group, the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler and the parent company of sterling inc., the second largest u.s. retail jeweler, has announced plans to list its american depositary shares (adss) exclusively on the new york stock exchange (nyse) subject to approvals by the nyse and the u.
Maui Divers Jewelry Opens New Store
maui divers jewelry opened its 21st concept store on oahu, which is its 44th store companywide. the new maui divers jewelry store, located within kualoa ranch’s new visitor center on the windward side of the island, opened in june. the new store features a collection of island-style jewelry, including precious corals, pearls, gemstones, hawaiian heirloom, and gold hawaiiana charms.
New Flagship Store for Bailey Banks & Biddle
in september 2004, bailey banks & biddle celebrated the grand opening of its 7,800-sq.-ft. flagship store in the houston galleria. the store features four quadrants: fashion jewelry, watches, a bridal and fine-gemstone salon, and a newly expanded gift department as well as in-store boutiques for the vera wang and cartier lines.
this december marks a bittersweet time for jck. after more than 75 years in pennsylvania, the magazine has moved to new york city. while a significant number of our staff did relocate and we’ve added talented, enthusiastic new people, many loyal staff members weren’t able to relocate. their names may not be immediately recognizable, but without their contributions behind the scenes, jck would…
Obituary: Janet Gesswein Mutti
janet gesswein mutti, partner of paul h. gesswein & co. inc. of bridgeport, conn., passed away on sept. 23. committed to her industry and community, she was a member of numerous jewelry organizations as well as the west end association of bridgeport and family services, woodfield. she is survived by her brothers, roger and dwight; her mother, mrs.
The Little Things
if you watch a football practice session, you’ll hear coaches yelling different things: telling a wide receiver to turn up field and run to the end zone or barking at a quarterback to set his feet before the throw. at some point, though, they’ll all eventually say the same thing: “the small stuff is what wins or loses football games.
a children’s hospital gets a bone marrow transplant center. a boy with a catastrophic illness fulfills his dream to play with dolphins. african clinics get support and medication to counsel hiv-positive mothers on how to avoid infecting their babies. a little boy with a rare genetic disorder lives, thanks to bone marrow and stem cell transplants.
h&h jewels has announced the addition of howard silverman to its team of sales professionals. an expert in fine jewelry and timepieces, silverman has more than 25 years of industry experience. gem 2000 inc. has added david moy to its sales staff. moy has 12 years of jewelry industry experience.
Seven P.R. Tips
want to know how to get your story into print? consider the following advice from trent & co., a new york publicity firm with a number of jewelry clients including the international jewelry design guild (ijdg), a guild of independent designers, for whom these tips were written. for president nancy trent, the “bottom line” of her company is to help clients get their stories into the hands of…
Smart Marketing Move : Godiva Targets Female Self-Purchaser
jewelers, be on the lookout for more competition for discretionary income … from a chocolatier. according to a recent report in the wall street journal, godiva is “reinventing its brand” from a candy positioned as a gift to an indulgent treat ideal for divas. in an effort to attract more women under age 35, godiva’s latest message is “you only live once.
Fun Facts: What’s In a Name?
some of your customers are taking their passion for your product to the extreme—they’re naming their kids after the sparkling stuff. the jewelry-and-gemstone-related products below are actually baby names included among the top 1,000 female names given to children in 2003, according to the u.s.
Date Set for Basel Gem Conference
the first gemological conference in switzerland, gemmobasel 2005, will be held in basel from april 29 to may 2, 2005. the occasion for the conference is the celebration of prof. henry a. hänni’s 60th birthday. hänni, director for the swiss gemmological association, has played a key role in gem identification over the past few decades.
Road Warriors Continued
during the past seven years, counterpoint has touched on some controversial topics—such as “si3,” “conflict diamonds,” and “returned merchandise”—that generated significant response from jck readers. to my surprise, however, response to the september 2004 counterpoint, titled “road warriors,” puts it at the top of the list numerically and close to the top in terms of passion.
Obituary: Kenneth Stark
kenneth stark, 60, an industry veteran who spent most of his career at the helm of a family jewelry business, king manufacturing and king duall, both based in union, n.j., passed away on sept. 8, after a long battle with cancer. stark was a member of the 24 karat club and beloved by all in the industry who knew him.
Timex Unveils ‘Watch of the Future’ Winners
a paper-thin watch that can be peeled from a roll and stuck anywhere. a timepiece that measures how much energy you consume. a watch with a 3-d changing face. these are the grand-prize winners in the global “timex 2154: future of time” competition to design the “watch of the future.” timex, the best-selling watch brand in the united states, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2004.
Bernie Robbins Aids Charities
bernie robbins fine jewelry celebrated the grand opening of its new store location at the radnor hotel in st. davids, pa., with two opening parties, raising nearly $10,000 to benefit local charities. on april 30 the store welcomed designer michael b. and approximately 300 guests for a private celebration to benefit three locally based charities: the american cancer society; albert einstein hea…
Ribbons and Bows
the ribbon-and-bow motif is a fashion trend rather than a kitschy holiday hook. from proper bows to ribbons of gemstones to—at the trend’s most fundamental core—thread-like precious metals, it’s no surprise that this motif is very much of the moment, thanks to fashion’s taste for all things feminine.
Sightholders Not Served in David Lawsuit
the recent lawsuit from ex-sightholder w.b. david targeted not only de beers but also its 84 sightholders and their accountants. yet, it’s one of the curious aspects of the suit that while some people had already been served (such as de beers sales trainer and former w.b. david consultant diane warga-arias) at press time, others—most notably the 84 sightholders—had not.
Obituary: Sidney T. Ross
sidney t. ross, 88, founder of ross-simons jewelers, died sept. 21 at rhode island hospital. he was the husband of lillian s. (singerman) ross. they were married for 63 years. born in lynn, mass., a son of the late louis and rebecca ross, he moved to providence in 1943 and had been a resident of cranston since 1950.
Bangkok Breaks Out
for the past few years, bangkok has been working at moving its gem and jewelry industry from its traditional focus on gem manufacturing and price-based jewelry manufacturing to a more diverse industry offering high-quality jewelry and original designs. this change was evident during the 34th bangkok gems and jewelry fair, held sept.
Two Join JA 100 Club
jewelers of america (ja) has officially inducted two of its retail members into the ja 100 club, which acknowledges ja members who have been in continuous operation for at least a century and who have served their communities with “high professional distinction.” the two new members are kranich’s, altoona, pa.
Pacific Northern is ISO 9001:2000 Certified
pacific northern inc. announced that it has successfully completed the new iso 9001:2000 certification for its manufacturing facility in china. the international organization for standardization (iso) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 100 countries. the nongovernmental organization was established in 1947 to promote the development of standardization in the world…
An American Hero
jewelers in any given community are often a close-knit group, readily available to help one of their own when someone is in need. but what william coldren iii did to help a friend and former employer was above and beyond the call of duty. coldren’s successful attempt to help police identify and retrieve a stolen rare diamond and crack the theft of $700,000 worth of jewels might even be called h…
Smithsonian Gets Big Burma Ruby
the smithsonian institution’s national museum of natural history has had in its permanent collection large, fine-quality diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and numerous other gemstones, but a large gem-quality ruby has been absent—until now. the national gem collection recently acquired one of the world’s largest and finest gem-quality rubies—a spectacular 23.