January 2011

10 Things Retailers Need to Know in 2011

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Orange Crush: Ellen Barkin’s Topaz Earrings Earn $650,000

Famously donned by actress Ellen Barkin at the 2005 Oscars, these elongated oval-cut imperial topaz, ruby, and diamond ear pendants designed by Paris-based Joel Arthur Rosenthal (a.k.a. JAR) went for $650,500 at the New York Jewels Sale at ­Christie’s on Oct. 20. The apricot earrings are no stranger to Christie’s auction block. Four years ago,…

Square Bezel Setting

Practical Stone Setting, Part 22 The procedures in this article are standard practices for bench jewelers at this time. If not executed properly, however, they can cause harm. Neither the author nor publisher is responsible for injuries, losses, or damage that may result from the use or misuse of this information. Setting gemstones in bezels…

Bridal: Michael Hill’s Promo, Anne Boleyn’s Pearl

22-Carat Contest A massive diamond engagement ring was the grand prize in jeweler Michael Hill’s recent contest, “The Ultimate Engagement Ring—Search for the World’s Best Couple.” The 22.25 ct. ­princess-cut stone is set in platinum with a soft half-round shank that sweeps up the sides and splits at the shoulders to form four claw-like prongs,…

Gold: CIRCA Jewelry Buying & More

Birds of Paradise A one-of-a-kind locket in 18k yellow and white gold and 20k rose gold weighs 300 grams and measures 2.5 inches long by 0.375 inch deep. With 479 pavé-set round diamonds (on the front and back) totaling 3.68 cts., the pendant was inspired by a piece of Japanese history—a carved-wood Edo-period box featuring…

Platinum: Diamond Dashes & More

Diamond Dashes Are a Store’s Best Friend Jewelers everywhere have learned: If you really want to get people to run to your store, dangle a platinum-set engagement ring in front of them. Take these two recent success stories: Tacori and Michael C. Fina (New York City) Some 150 couples—a 17 percent bump from 2009—registered for…

Diamonds: De Beers’ Forevermark, Argyle Pinks & More

De Beers Drops Suit On Nov. 1, De Beers voluntarily dropped its complaint against Adwar Casting and Dinaro Creations for allegedly infringing on its patents for the Everlon Diamond Knot collection, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. “Adwar Casting has manufactured and sold castings to the industry for…

Gemstone Pricing: The Money of Color

Sales of blue sapphire are leading the gem business out of the mire All market signs point to a noticeable improvement in jewelry sales this season. As consumers move back into the jewelry market, colored stones continue to generate interest. Blue sapphire remains at the top of the wish list, but demand is also solid…

From Roost to Wrist: Boucheron and MB&F’s Bird-Inspired JwlryMachine

It takes about 30 days for the average owl to hatch from an egg. This, however, is no average owl: The Jwlry­Machine—Boucheron’s haute-joaillerie take on MB&F’s Horological Machine Nº 3 (HM3)—took 14 months to create. Some 40 designers, engineers, and specialists from both companies collaborated on this $215,000 amethyst-, sapphire-, and diamond-studded watch. (They also…

JCK 5: SIHH Sneak Peek

The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva (Jan. 17–21) is a mecca of high watchmaking. Here’s what five exhibitors have in store: 1. MontblancThe Vintage Pulso­graphe evokes a time when doctors used watches to measure vital signs. (EUR 33,000; montblanc.com) 2. IWC Party invites touting “A Night in Portofino” suggest that a new…

A Visit to Vicenza

Buyers in search of cutting-edge gold jewelry designs kick off the year in Vicenza For a glimpse of new styles and trends for the year ahead, hit the VicenzaOro First fair Jan. 15–20 in Vicenza, Italy. Organized by Fiera di Vicenza, it’s the first fine ­jewelry show on the international calendar and offers 1,600 vendors…

JCK Spotlight: Watches—The Best of Times

It was the age of analog, it was the age of digital; it was the season of bling; it was the season of understatement; it was the spring of hope for a renaissance in stylish wristwatch design. Ladies First The season’s newest glamour watches to light up any girl’s night(Above, clockwise from left) Lady’s automatic…

JCK 5: Watches for All Time

Greg Simonian, president of Westime, Southern ­California’s leading watch retailer, picks a handful of his seasonal best sellers. 1. Hublot Big Bang: “Eye-catching colors and new fashionable patterns give Hublot fans reason to grow their collections.” ($23,900; hublot.com) 2. IWC Big Pilot: “Appeals to young men seeking their first luxury watch as well as clients…

JCK Spotlight: Watches—Face Off

Now that the Downturn Is Ending, the Watch Industry Wonders If Retailers and Big Brands Can Get Back in Synch At the start of 2008, the Swiss watch business was coming off its best year ever. Exports in 2007 totaled 16 billion Swiss francs, reflecting a 16.2 percent growth over the prior year, the highest…

Groupon Dynamics

Coupons at social commerce sites like Groupon bring people into brick-and-mortar stores. But are bargain shoppers really good for business? The people at Davis Jewelers weren’t sure what to expect from their first Groupon promotion. Sure, the Louisville, Ky., store had dangled a dynamite deal: a $100 gift certificate for the low, low price of…

10 Things Retailers Need to Know in 2011

if the events of 2010 are any indication (gold madness, discount mania), prepare yourself. changes in technology, pricing, and ­distribution—along with the havoc caused by the ­ever-changing economy—will require some incredibly innovative thinking.

Pearl Wonder: The Duchess of Windsor

As collectors go, the Duchess of Windsor—a.k.a. ­Wallis Simpson, the American-born divorcée for whom King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne—didn’t miss a beat. Her jewel box contained something from virtually every legendary maker of the 20th century, from Belperron to Van Cleef. “What she had instead of art on the walls was art on…

JCK Asks…Stephen Webster

You don’t need to be a star to rock his styles Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, and Russell Brand are just a few of the boldface names who love to walk the red carpet in Stephen Webster’s glam-rock designs. But Webster hasn’t built an empire on jeweler-to-the-stars status, nor on fanciful couture creations like the new…

On the Red Carpet With Blue Angels Leighton Meester, Gwyneth Paltrow & Jennifer Nettles

A TV star, a country singer, and an Oscar winner reign in indigo hues Leighton Meester On Gossip Girl, she rules the Upper East Side; on the red carpet, Leighton Meester just plain rules. At the 14th Hollywood Awards, she pulled off a tulle (tulle!) Elie Saab number, accessorized with a wristful of bracelets from…

JCK 5: Shoulder-Duster Earrings

It’s tough to say when the current vogue for shoulder-duster earrings began, but one possibility dates back to 2009, when Michelle Obama broke the prim and proper first lady mold at her husband’s inaugural ball by accessorizing her white Jason Wu gown with shoulder-grazing diamond drops by rock-’n’-roll jeweler Loree Rodkin. Two years later, with…

Social Media…What’s It Really All About?

You’re tweeting like nobody’s business and you’ve got more Facebook friends than your teenager. Now, for your next move… If 2010 is remembered as the year the jewelry industry accepted social media, then 2011 will likely be the year we decide if we want to embrace it. Soon, businesses will see social media’s shiny newness…

Head of Estate: Michael Bruno of 1stdibs.com

How Michael Bruno turned his passion for antiques into a forward-thinking venture Make no mistake, 1stdibs.com is not an auction house. Rather, think of it as an umbrella for like-minded brick-and-mortar dealers—well-regarded names such as Kentshire, Primavera Gallery, and Neil Marrs, and more—who pay a monthly subscription to the site to reach a far-flung audience…

Case Study: Rocks the Jewelers

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 4455 Paradise Road, Las Vegas Once seen as a garish, rhinestone-encrusted desert oasis for travelers in search of a reckless weekend of gambling and glamour, Las Vegas has evolved into an international city of sophistication, home to an impressive array of luxury resorts with opulent amenities and unforgettable entertainment. While…

Life With Father

“I knew early on I didn’t want to be known as ‘John’s son,’?” says Richard Westphal. A tall order, considering he was going into the family business and even studying watchmaking at college, like Navy man–turned–jeweler John. And when Richard opened R. Westphal Jewelers in 1977, he may not have known everyone in town like…

JCK 5: Jersey Boy George Press

Custom work, exotic cars, bank jobs—all in a day’s work for George Press 1. What one mode of advertisement elicited the greatest response for you? In 1995, my brother and I purchased the old Mayflower Bank, a landmark building in our city. We were pretty well known in town, with me in the ­jewelry business…

Out With the Old, In With the New Inventory

Q: What is the best way to get rid of old inventory for a fresh start in 2011? —David Necker, co-owner, Necker’s Jewelers, Davenport, Iowa, and DeWitt, Iowa A: “We have good relationships with our vendors to return merchandise that isn’t doing well. But we do everything we can to sell old inventory. We have…

JCK 5: Tips From Hearts On Fire University

Every fall, HOF takes its retailers back to school in Las Vegas. Below, select selling strategies from 2010: 1. Avoid canned patter Never ask shoppers if they’re looking for something specific; you risk losing the right to show them anything else. 2. Reach out to customers Be sure to set appointments for things like ring…

Pop-Up Shops: Temporary Spaces, Permanent Appeal

Julie Schroeder doesn’t put much stock in advertising, but she is a firm believer in pop-up shops. The owner of the Los Angeles fine jewelry gallery Persimmon Handpicked Objects has staged three pop-up events to date and has another in the works. During two shops last spring, clients footed the bill for catering and space…

January’s Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet, January’s birthstone, is a multifaceted gemstone that comes in every color except blue. Though most commonly found in deep reds, the garnet also takes form in rich oranges, greens, and softer pinks and purples. Soldiers in the 18th ­century often carried garnets to heal wounds because the red gem was believed to influence the…

Industry & People

REMEMBERED >>?Leon Finker, 100, founder of the Trillion Diamond Co. and the inventor of the Trillion Cut, died Oct. 9 in New York City. He was profiled by JCK in February 2010 as “The Man With a Trillion Stories.” >>? Ken Pachesky, 61, a sales representative for Memorie for 19 years, died of cancer on…

Fourth Jeweler Killed in 2010

On Oct. 21, Philadelphia jeweler William Glatz was killed in a robbery at his store. He was the fourth U.S. jeweler killed during a robbery in 2010. Police say that after an armed robber appeared at William Glatz Jewelers, Glatz and an employee took out their legally registered guns and a shootout ensued. The thief,…

Regarding Henry Dunay

The Henry Dunay company will launch a new line in February—without the 74-year-old designer. The original Henry Dunay Designs filed for Chapter 11 bank­ruptcy last June; its intellectual prop­erty was acquired by Sandawana Hold­ings. “The designs will be in line with the vision and artistry of the designer, with a strong focus on special gemstones,”…

Pandora Eyeing E-Commerce

Pandora’s recent prospectus offers some intriguing hints regarding the Danish charm manufacturer’s future plans, including e-commerce and accessories. The 243-page investor document paints a picture of a tremendously successful business with ambitions for future growth, particularly in overseas markets. The 28-year-old company calls itself “the world’s third-largest ­jewelry brand” after Tiffany and Cartier. It notes…

JCK 5: Top Jewelry News Stories of 2010

1. Zale CEO Neal Goldberg Resigns (January) After two years of falling sales and profits, Zale’s board dismissed the former Children’s Place president who wanted to bring a new approach to jewelry sales. 2. The Kimberley Process in Crisis (June, July, October) Governments in the conflict-diamond certification scheme could never agree on what should be…

Bailey Banks & Biddle Bounces Back

Bailey Banks & Biddle, considered the nation’s oldest jeweler, has come back from the dead, with a new owner opening five new-format U.S. stores just before the 2010 holiday sales season. The venerable high-end brand was sold by Zale Corp. to Finlay Enterprises in 2007 and was subsequently dissolved when Finlay liquidated in 2009. Immediately…

So Long, Farewell, 2010!

Mark Smelzer, Publisher I’ve just returned from a wonderful break in the California desert to a New York in full holiday swing. The past month has been a very exciting time here at JCK. In a hopeful sign of economic recovery, our advertising revenues are up 31 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter. Many thanks…

10 Things Rocking the Industry

1. Luxury While the high-end market in the United States remains mixed, there is evidence of a worldwide comeback, as shown by the Swiss luxury group Richemont’s half-year results, announced Nov. 20. The luxury juggernaut’s sales for the six-month period ending Sept. 30 increased 37 percent, while profits jumped a whopping 87 percent. ­Jewelry sales…