December 1, 2005

Too Big to Ignore

Whitehall Suffers New Blow as President Resigns

shortly after whitehall jewellers arranged a new financing deal that will likely give a majority of control of the company to outside investors, its president and interim chief operating officer, lucinda m. baier, resigned. baier also served as interim chief executive officer. no reason was given for her departure.

Too Big to Ignore

every december, the editors at jck select an individual whom they feel has had the most impact on the jewelry industry as a whole in the previous year to be the jck person of the year. past recipients include such luminaries as john kennedy, whose work on behalf of the jewelers’ security alliance has helped reduce crime against jewelers nationwide; richard t.

Memo Programs

the practice of providing merchandise on a memorandum basis has been part of the jewelry industry for a long time. memo began in the diamond business when a client requested a specific stone or several stones for purchase consideration. over time, memo programs became an integral part of the business where large-scale programs are used with large chains and independent jewelers alike.

Launch Pad

japan native osamu koyama loves hip-hop music and making fine jewelry, so launching his company, complete technique, which combines the two passions, was an easy decision. the brooklyn-based designer makes miniature speakers, turntables, cartridges, and adapters in precious metals and gems for a select niche: those who love music, especially hip hop.

Religious Jewels Offer Style and Statement

regardless of seasons, runways, or red carpets, religious jewelry remains perennially in style. from crosses and stars of david to, most recently, kabala bracelets, jewelry gives the faithful a means of expression, and precious jewelry makes that expression even more meaningful. religious motifs can and should—in a retail store—range from the obvious to the subtle, to accommodate va…

R•Findings Introduces Cash-Back Reward Program

r·findings, rochester, n.y., has introduced a program called r·buyer’s advantage, which rewards customers for increasing annual net purchases. r·findings will track customer purchases annually between july 1 and june 30, measure the increase in sales volume over the previous 12-month period, and then provide an account credit or cash payment.

Watch Companies Make Timely Response to Katrina Disaster

the watch industry responded quickly to the hurricane disasters in september on the u.s. gulf coast, making sizable donations for red cross relief efforts. examples included rolex watch usa, which donated $1 million, and also matched contributions from employees. citizen watch of america gave $100,000.

New Retail Kiosk Offers Flexibility, Safety, and Control

mall kiosks may soon be getting makeovers. the tiny, merchandise-filled stands found in the aisles of shopping malls may soon be replaced with better stand-alone retail sales units. a new type of self-sustaining and flexible retail kiosk streamlines and simplifies business and adapts to different kinds of retail operations.

Herff Jones Acquires Anderson Jewelry

herff jones inc. has acquired anderson jewelry inc., which is operating as a wholly owned subsidiary. anderson jewelry, erlanger, ky., manufactures licensed collegiate and pro sports jewelry and watches. herff jones inc. manufactures rings, emblematic jewelry, and related products, primarily serving u.

Goin’ Shopping!

two things that relatively few people in the jewelry industry know about me, and my picture at left belies, are that i have curly hair and i am terribly nearsighted. contact lenses and a flatiron normally address both, but eyeglasses and big hair proved a handy disguise for a recent mystery-shopping expedition.

The Future of Internet Retailing: Is Barry Diller a Nonbeliever?

barry diller, ceo of iac/interactive corp., says buying online is “unnatural” and will account for no more than 10 percent of the retail marketplace. the online and multichannel retail executives who gathered at the shop.org annual summit were mostly young, intelligent, and passionate about the industry they invented.

Alfex Wins Good Design Award

swiss watch brand alfexhas been awarded the good design awardof the chicago athenaeum museum of architecture and design. the award was given for alfex’s two time bango. set in a superelastic fine rubber bracelet, there are two dials at either end of the elliptical open bangle offering two time zones.

Ostbye & Anderson Named IJO Supplier of the Year

the retail members of the independent jewelers organization have voted ostbye & anderson, minneapolis, as 2005 supplier of the year. the management team and sales staff were presented the award at the ijo summer conference in boston. jack d. macbean, president of ostbye & anderson, and craig macbean, national sales manager, hold the ijo supplier of the year trophy.

10 Ways to Convert a Lead

[ed. note: see “10 ways you can generate leads,” jck, november 2005, p. 65] ralph zuccarini, action international business coaching, chalfont, pa.; (215) 822-351, www.actioncoaching.com/ralphzuccarini.

Travolta Visits With Breitling

marie bodman, president of breitling usa [left] chats with actor and pilot john travolta during september’s 2005 reno air races, which the luxury swiss watch brand has sponsored for six years. travolta, featured in breitling’s 2005 ad campaign, visited with breitling’s guests from across the united states at its hospitality chalet and saw “rare bear” piloted by john penny win the br…

JBT to ‘Enhance’ Credit Ratings

the jewelers board of trade, the industry’s credit reference bureau, has rearranged its credit-rating system to give members more data to assess the credit risks of listed accounts. starting january 2006, it will use new “other condition” codes and, for the first time, a numerical “payment score” to describe companies without capital ratings.

Purveyor of Jewels Keeps Housewares

jewels and furniture might seem like unlikely mates, but they make sense for elegant slumming, rehoboth beach, del. owner and president philip livingston didn’t even consider diversifying into product categories that complement jewelry, such as flowers. “it was very clear in my mind that home accessories were the way to go,” he explains about his asian home-décor selections.

Internet Retailing: A Peek at the Future

what do customers really want from online retailers? how do online retailers retain those customers? will a technology now used by 2 percent of the u.s. population replace e-mail? how are consumers using technology to personalize their shopping experiences? how much of the retail market will the internet capture? these were some of the questions that more than 1,400 online retail executives dis…

The Places You’ll Go, the People You’ll Meet

i’ve just returned from a business trip to india and israel. what amazing places … what amazing people! first stop, mumbai. the sights, sounds, and smells of this dynamic city are incredible. i did my best to keep up with our fantastic sales representative kaushal shah, as we made our way from office to office, meeting with some of the most energetic and upbeat people i’ve encountered in …

De Beers Opens Second Store in United States

de beers lv is opening its second u.s. store the first week of december—this time, on rodeo drive in beverly hills, calif. the first store debuted in new york in june. the store has “the same ambiance and contemporary feel as the new york store with a few surprises,” says alyce alston, chief executive officer of de beers lv usa.

Corrections

in “what’s new bench & lab” in the september issue, pages 156 and 157, contact information for gesswein was not included for two products, castaldo titanium label and 3m fx polishing wheels. gesswein can be contacted at (800) 544-2043 ext. 351, e-mail: info@gesswein.com. jck regrets the error.

Gulf Coast Jew elers Begin Recovery

months after being hit by two of the worst hurricanes in u.s. history, jewelers, their staffs, and others in the trade on america’s gulf coast are still recovering. only one jeweler is known to have died, but many suffered damage or destruction of homes or businesses and disruption of their lives.

Newswire

Blue Nile Sues Odimo Over Diamond Photos Blue Nile has filed a lawsuit against rival Odimo for copyright infringement, alleging that Odimo’s Diamond.com site copied photographs and copyright-protected materials from Blue Nile, according to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal. Blue Nile is asking the court to compel Diamond.com to stop using the…

L.I.D. Announces Several Strategic Changes

israeli dtc sightholder l.i.d. ltd. has announced several strategic changes to help it develop its jewelry division and enhance its range of bridal and fashion lines for both major volume retailers and independent jewelers. the firm has established an in-house creative division including designers and merchandisers and has signed an exclusivity agreement with a leading model-making house in ho…

HMS Fine Jewelry Under New Ownership

hms fine jewelry, dallas, an importer and distributor, has announced it is under new ownership and management. gold llc, based in los angeles, purchased hms in july 2005, and the company will be run and managed by partner laurence meskin. meskin, formerly of oroamerica inc. and most recently michael anthony inc.

Mystery Clock Sells for Nearly $300,000

a clock whose hands appear to float with no visible means of support sold for $295,914 at antiquorum’s geneva auction oct. 16. cartier mystery clock no. 2345 sits atop a black onyx base and stands 140 mm high (5½ inches). it’s surrounded by rock crystal quartz, edged in 18k yellow gold. a circle of 18k yellow gold roman numerals sit above a mother-of-pearl ring, with rose-cut diamonds moun…

Rembrandt Initiates Contest for Teen Vogue Readers

rembrandt charms, buffalo, n.y., will appeal to the teen and pre-teen audience through a dedicated “style story” contest for teen vogue’s 4.25 million readers. teen vogue girls will be asked to tell their style story via a rembrandt charm bracelet. the sweepstakes, aimed at girls age 9 to 17, is advertised in teen vogue’s november/december double issue and online at www.

Rapaport Conference Looks at ‘Confusion and Uncertainty’

the abundance of challenges the diamond industry faces was on display at the third rapaport international diamond conference in september. from synthetics to out-of-control rough prices, speakers noted that the industry was in a sometimes-tumultuous period of change. “never before has there been so much confusion and uncertainty as there is in the industry today,” said martin rapapo…

Pavarotti Admires New Opera Watch

philip stein teslar celebrated the launch of its new stainless-steel and 18k opera mini in miami during the farewell concert tour of opera tenor luciano pavarotti. the company was the local sponsor of the concert. ilonka harezi[right], inventor of the teslar chip used in the watches, which the company says emits a calming frequency, showed pavarotti [left] the newest styles, including the ope…

TanzaniteOne Profits Skyrocket

tanzaniteone enjoyed significantly higher revenue in the first half of 2005, according to a company report. to said its january–june revenue of $22.4 million—up from $13.7 million for the previous six-month period—resulted from “increased tanzanite sales and higher prices achieved due to the higher proportion of gem-quality rough tanzanite recovered during the period.

4 Areas That Demand Knowledge and Training

there are four areas in which salespeople need training in order to be knowledgeable, perform their job responsibilities, and reach their maximum potential. no area is more or less important than another: if any is weak, an entire sales presentation may collapse. author, trainer, consultant, and speaker brad huisken is president of ias training and the author of the books i’m a salesman! not a…

Hong Kong Watch Fair Enjoys 14 Percent Gain in Orders

the 24th annual hong kong watch & clock fair reported healthy gains in orders, an increase in foreign visitors, and optimism about 2006’s business. the five-day trade fair in september, at the hong kong convention and exhibition centre, had 807 exhibitors (5 percent over 2004 figures), its biggest number yet, from 17 countries and regions.

Newswire

• movie starsmeg ryanand kiefer sutherland are also the stars of swiss luxury watch brand baume & mercier’s new international ad campaign, baume & mercier & me, which launched in september. it’s the first time baume & mercier has used celebrities in its advertising and to represent the brand.

JCK’s It List 2005

a list of who and what—people, places, brands, concepts, and products—the jck editors predict will be newsmakers in 2006 and why. watch for them. escada the german fashion house has built a lifestyle brand targeting youthful, fashion-conscious women; meanwhile, the pluczenik group, its fine-jewelry partner, is one sightholder that gets the jewelry/fashion connection.

GIA Found ‘Misconduct’ at Grading Lab; Moses New Head

a four-month investigation ordered by the gemological institute of america’s board of governors found “isolated incidents of misconduct” at its noted grading lab—prompting the firing of four graders. in addition, its chief executive officer has resigned, though he was not implicated in any misconduct.

Diamonds-Only Store Targets Millennials

twenty-year jewelry industry veteran b.j. nichols may have found the key to appealing to the millennial generation (the sons and daughters of the baby boomers). in june 2005, nichols opened preston’s rocks in fishers, ind., a diamonds-only store that targets millennials, also known as echo boomers. nichols employs a three-part strategy.

Imperial Red Diamonds Offer Lower-Cost Color

natural red, purple, and pink diamonds are so rare they’re the most valuable colored diamonds in the world. but alex grizenko, chief executive officer of lucent diamonds in denver, says his company’s imperial reds are available to consumers at a fraction of the cost of naturals. to create an imperial red (or pink or purple), lucent uses high pressure and high temperature (hpht) on a top-light-b…

EBay Diamond Jewelry Stats

the amount of diamond jewelry that ebay sells is dizzying: the category accounts for half of the site’s $1.5 billion in worldwide jewelry sales. last month jck shared some of ebay’s jewelry sales statistics (see “ebay fast facts,” jck, november 2005, p. 64); here are some about diamond jewelry: source: ebay diamond jewelry statistics for q2 2005

170 Years Young

j. & s.s. deyoung inc. is known as a top-of-the-line purveyor of quality period jewelry and gemstones, but the company actually began its existence by focusing on diamonds. in 1835, a young diamond cutter named simon deyoung left holland and arrived in boston, where he helped introduce the trade of diamond cutting to the united states.

Jewelers Mutual Named to Ward’s 50

jewelers mutual insurance company, neenah, wis., has been named to the ward’s 50, a benchmark group of the nation’s 50 top-performing insurance companies. the ward group, based in cincinnati, is a management consulting firm that specializes in the insurance industry. each year, the ward group recognizes 50 insurance companies that have excelled at balancing safety, consistency, and…

Abacus Jewelers and Carl Blackburn Begin Brand Conversion

abacus jewelers and designer carl blackburn have announced a strategic rebranding of blackburn’s vintage-inspired fine-jewelry collection. the designer’s collection of art- deco and edwardian-style jewelry designs will be branded by abacus jewelers as the beverley k collection. the artisans at blackburn’s studios will continue to handcraft the collection for abacus.

A Serious Move for Lighthearted Links

links of london, the world- renowned 15-year-old jeweler that specializes in whimsy and makes a virtue of eccentricity, has unveiled a collection that departs slightly from its playful roots. the annoushka collection, which features five subcollections (annoushka ruby, czar, petrovna, annoushka silver, and moskova), pays tribute to the russian heritage of founder and creative director annoushk…

Luxury Watch Brands Announce Management Changes

it’s been a busy half-year for the watch business, as several luxury brands announced management changes and appointments, including these: • juan-carlos torresis the new chief executive officer of luxury watch brand vacheron constantin, celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. he replaces his boss claude-daniel proellochs, who retired.

Collection–Quality Gems Dominant

market in brief: nov. 3, 2005 . . . activity in the colored stone market remains concentrated in the fine, collection- quality gemstones. the strength of the u.s. market is focused on the blue sapphire. cushion cuts in the 2–5 ct. range are in strongest demand. demand for fine-quality purple sapphire continues to climb.

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