December 2006

JCK's List 2006

A Stonecutter and a Jewelry Designer Team Up

when jewelry designer tammy kohl attended the tucson gem and mineral show last year, she made sure to visit german stonecutter bernd munsteiner. kohl, owner of taköhl design in chicago, had met munsteiner and his son tom the previous november in chicago, and she sought them out again to revisit an idea the three had discussed: munsteiner-cut stones set into kohl-designed rings.

Man Sang Releases Quarterly Earnings Report

the man sang group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of saltwater and freshwater cultured pearls, announced that earnings in the quarter ending june 30 were down 6 percent compared with the same quarter last year. the company cited the tightening economy, high oil prices, and fluctuating gold prices as contributing factors.

GIA to Issue Synthetic Reports Next Year

the gemological institute of america will begin issuing synthetic diamond reports in january—after reversing course on the thorny nomenclature issues that stirred controversy when the reports were first announced. gia chairman ralph destino first talked of gia’s plans to grade synthetics at the world diamond congress in tel aviv, israel, this summer.

Jewelry Center Grows in Vegas

plans are under way to turn a parcel of land in downtown las vegas into a 5.4-acre international marketplace dedicated to the jewelry industry. called the world jewelry center, the 1 million–square–foot project is being planned as a mixed-use facility that will include an office tower, retail space, and residential condos.

Deflating Holiday Stress

ah, the holidays! a time of good cheer, gift buying … and lots of stress on jewelers and their staffs. “it’s an enormously stressful time for jewelers, more than any other time,” says paul i. karofsky, founder of transition consulting group inc. ( and a family business consultant to jewelers.

Tucson Under ICE Watch

undercover u.s. immigration and customs enforcement agents seized approximately 4 tons of rare fossils, including dinosaur eggs and prehistoric pinecones, from rhodo co., a popular argentinean rhodochrosite dealer, on feb. 10 during the tucson, ariz., gem and mineral shows. the agents seized the items from rhodo co.

Have You Read Your JCK Blogs Today?

it’s been an exciting couple of weeks here at jck. on nov. 1, we launched our new web site, more than a new look, it’s a new way of thinking about our mission online. we’re no longer just putting magazine content on the web. we’re creating a rich, multifunctional site, emphasizing what our research tells us industry folks want: news, product information, a trade show calendar, a…

Franck Muller Expands Again

the franck muller group has expanded its watchland headquarters and watchmaking site in genthod (outside geneva), switzerland, by acquiring an adjacent 250-year-old estate of 30.6 acres, for $14.4 million. the two sites comprise 72 acres. didier decker, chief operating officer, called the acquisition of the grand malagny estate a natural extension.

Blood Diamond Opens This Month

the movie that’s been the talk of the trade—edward zwick’s blood diamond, starring leonardo dicaprio—premieres this month, a week earlier than expected. the film was originally set to premiere late in the month. but warner bros., which did not return repeated phone calls from jck, has moved its release date to dec.

Designers With Different Abilities

while teaching a jewelry class 30 years ago, goldsmith phil london was approached about taking on a physically disabled protégé. too inexperienced to know how, a frustrated london declined. but he never forgot the episode, and today he can tell a different story. london’s nonprofit disability alternatives inc.

Foreign Demand Putting Pressure on Supply

market in brief: the u.s. market continues to feel supply pressure created by growth in overseas markets. in particular, sapphire prices have increased on strong activity in asian markets. dealers report that blue and pink sapphire in calibrated sizes of less than 3.5 mm are selling very well. sales of yellow and orange sapphire are good.

Good Sports

sports watches once were associated only with sweaty workouts, deep-sea dives, and timed competitions. now they epitomize fashion, style, and innovation. indeed, many are worn less for sports than for their stylish looks—but they’re still made with durable materials and designed to function high in the air or deep under the sea.

U.S. Watch and Clock Market Could Top $9.5 Billion by 2010

the u.s. watch and clock market dropped 3.7 percent between 2001 and 2005, to $8.6 billion in retail sales, partly because of competition from other devices that tell time. but it should rebound to more than $9.5 billion, a 10.6 percent increase, by 2010, says packaged facts, a leader in consumer goods research, in the seventh edition of its “watches and clocks in the u.

Tempted by Timepieces

women self-purchasers have become important watch customers, say jewelers across america in an exclusive jck survey. more than half expect that business to grow in the next two years, especially in mid- and luxury-price watches. these findings confirm statements by leading watch-company executives in a recent jck roundtable on the growing segment represented by women watch buyers (see “fr…

Reach Out and Touch Someone

does anyone remember the old at&t advertising campaign, “reach out and touch someone?” it ran from 1979 to 1983, back when at&t was still called ma bell and telephones were still firmly anchored to the wall. today, reaching and touching is a lot easier. you can call someone from just about anywhere in the world—or even a few miles above the world—with the touch o…

Gem Identification: Geology vs. Geography

asapphire from kashmir is worth more than one from sri lanka simply because of its locality. exotic origins are part of the romance of gems. throughout most of history there were only a few known gemstone deposits, making country of origin easy to identify. but as the number of gem localities continues to grow, determining country of origin is increasingly difficult.

A Loyalty Program That Rewards Jewelers

airlines, credit card companies, hotels, and luxury retail chains have been using loyalty programs to gain and retain customers for years. most of these programs award points to customers that can be redeemed for free products and services. traditionally they’ve been offered by large companies with robust technological systems and the manpower to develop and maintain the programs.

DTC Unveils New Holiday Commercial

the diamond trading company is unveiling a new christmas advertising campaign built around the theme, “this christmas say everything without saying a word.” “we’ve done research, and men have trouble sometimes expressing emotions to their beloved,” notes christina lilly, core program director for jwt, the diamond trading company’s u.

LVMH, Bertolucci, Milus Announce New Top Execs

some luxury swiss watch brands made important appointments to top u.s. posts this fall: thierry collot is the new president of bertolucci inc., based in new york city, the new u.s. division of the swiss luxury watch brand. french-born collot has over 20 years in marketing and distribution of luxury brands in the americas, including as vice president of u.

De Beers Announces Project to Help Diggers

with the plight of alluvial miners getting more attention, de beers has announced a $2 million pilot project aimed at improving the lives and conditions of diamond diggers in tanzania. the announcement of the project, a joint effort with the government of tanzania, was made at the clinton global initiative in new york by de beers director jonathan oppenheimer.

There’s No Going Back Home

by nature, retailers are upbeat, personable, and talkative. most are also entrepreneurs who deal with the public, a job that’s daunting but rewarding. it’s nice to be involved in people’s happy moments. recently, though, i sense flagging optimism. here are some key words: gas prices, deficits, health costs, declining housing sales, iraq, layoffs, and floundering government.

An Ounce of Prevention

i am sick and tired of the celebrity thing. who anointed hollywood actors, directors, producers, and writers arbiters of taste, morality, and political philosophy? the answer is: we did! recently, i had the opportunity of seeing the promotional clip for the film blood diamond, starring heartthrob leonardo dicaprio.

Who Says You Can’t Sell More Jewelry? Part 2

according to research conducted by online wedding site the knot, last year between 30 percent and 40 percent of couples did not buy their wedding rings at the same place they bought their engagement ring. jewelers have a huge opportunity and are simply not closing the potential for a sale on all three rings.

JCK’s List 2006

india with its burgeoning economy, focus on technology, and rapidly rising middle class, india is already a force in the jewelry industry. investment in state-of-the-art equipment coupled with an endless supply of inexpensive, english-speaking labor make india a manufacturing powerhouse. domestically, middle-class hunger for consumer goods, including jewelry, is reminiscent of the postwar boom …

How Can I Speed Up the Sales Process During the Holidays?

when you’re pressed for time, the most effective way to speed up the selling process is to ask the right questions. look at your merchandise as a grid of many different categories and pieces. asking the right questions narrows down the grid. consider the following exchange: you: what brings you in today? customer: i’m looking for a christmas present for my wife.

Creating Lasting Behavior Change

for most businesses, salespeople represent a large investment. is that investment returning value to your business? a significant gap between what it could be producing and what it is producing represents potential that could generate double-digit improvements in sales and profitability within a year.

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