February 1, 2003

AGTA Shows Its Colors

AGTA Shows Its Colors

winners of the 2003 american gem trade association spectrum award competition will be feted this month at a gala awards ceremony during the agta gemfair in tucson, ariz. the competition, now in its 19th year, honors outstanding jewelry design incorporating colored gemstones. the awards are judged in five fashion categories—evening, business/day, casual, bridal, and men’s—as well as …

De Beers Store Opens in London

de beers is now officially a retailer. the company’s first store, run by venture partner lvmh, opened in december in london’s bond street retail area. the opening, originally planned for november, was delayed 10 days because of problems securing enough diamonds for the jewelry. the new york times and other news outlets noted the irony of the world’s largest diamond miner being unable to get …

Demantoid Andradite Garnet

demantoid, a yellowish-green to green variety of andradite garnet, is so called because of its high dispersion (“fire,” or the ability of a gem to break up white light into spectral colors) and adamantine luster (the reflective property of a gem’s surface). these gems are diamond-like, and the word “demantoid” comes from the old german diamant, or dutch demant, meaning diamond.

Geneva Seal Opens Boutique

geneva seal recently opened its first fine-jewelry and watch boutique in the heart of chicago’s gold coast at 1003 n. rush st. in honor of the store’s grand opening, geneva seal donated 10% of all sales between oct. 17 and oct. 31 to the nonprofit organization p.a.w.s. (pets are worth saving). for information, call (866) 281-time or (312) 377-0100, fax (312) 377-0102.

The Pretenders

watch out for that clown. he may be one of a special breed of jewelry thief that uses impersonation to impress, distract, or confuse jewelers in order to rob them. these charlatans contributed to the $27.5 million dollars of loss resulting from in-store jewelry theft in 2001, according to jewelers’ security alliance statistics.

Holiday Sales: Totally Unpredictable

most news reports paint a weak picture of holiday retail sales, but sales of fine jewelry can best be described as “all over the place.” some independent jewelers posted huge gains, others posted modest gains, and still others had a slow holiday but a good year. a few reported flat or lower sales. many prepared for the season by stocking—and selling—lower-priced goods.

Yehuda Targets Consumer Magazines

yehuda diamond, which offers a comprehensive co-op advertising program for retail jewelers, announced that its 2003 consumer advertising campaign will be expanded to several national consumer magazines. the publications include vogue, harper’s bazaar, instyle, robb report, and town & country. the overall campaign includes local television commercials as well.

MJSA Board Elects New Chairman

the mjsa board of directors has elected curtis a. ley as the new chairman of the association. ley, president of east providence, r.i.-based b.a. ballou & co., succeeds babette goodman cohen of new york city-based i.b. goodman manufacturing, who served as chairman for the past two years.

Charmed, I’m Sure

one of the hottest trends continuing through the first half of 2003 is likely to be a traditional staple—charm bracelets. suddenly, this old favorite has generated fashion attention usually reserved for a hot new discovery. not only designers but also artists in other industries are discovering the power of the style’s personal message.

Corum Gives $250,000 for Sept. 11 Families

corum usa has donated $250,000 to the twin towers fund in new york city. the fund supports families of firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers who died or were seriously injured in the sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the world trade center.corum usa president stacie orloff made the presentation in new york on nov.

Mined in America

many of the world’s finest gems come from the third world: mogok ruby from burma, tanzanite from tanzania, tsavorite from kenya. but north america also has treasures to brag about, and, gemologically speaking, that’s very reassuring. for example, are you worried about the color-origin of thai-enhanced ruby and sapphires, which might have undergone bulk diffusion? the united states has excellent…

A Brand to Call Their Own

when diamond house w.b. david created a marketing initiative for upscale jewelry retailers, it wasn’t shy about what to call it. “leading jewelers of the world” is, as the name suggests, an exclusive association that’s positioning itself as a brand for jewelers that define themselves as the best in their markets.

Tiffany Exhibition at Boston MFA

an exhibition of tiffany & co. jewelry being organized by the museum of fine arts, boston, is slated to premiere in september 2005. celebrating more than 150 years of jewelry from america’s best-known design house, the exhibition will be on display in the museum’s gund gallery through december 2005.

Obituary: Michael D. Roman

former jewelers of america chairman of the board and executive director michael d. roman passed away dec. 22, 2002, at the age of 84. roman joined ja in 1976, and under his leadership the association shifted its emphasis toward professional education. roman also was involved in legislative activities on behalf of ja and the jewelry industry.

GIA Exhibits Award-Winning Jewelry

prize-winning jewelry designs, gemstone carvings, and design renderings from some of the world’s most prestigious jewelry competitions are on display in a new exhibition at the gemological institute of america’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif. titled “best of the best,” the exhibit features pieces from competitions such as the american gem trade association’s spectrum, cutting edge, and …

BHP Billiton Launches Aurias Brand

bhp billiton recently announced the merger of its two diamond branding initiatives into one global brand, aurias, which will be sold in select retail outlets in canada, the united states, australia, and singapore. further global expansion is planned for 2003. previously, bhp billiton had successfully introduced the ekati brand diamond in canada and the aurias brand in australia and singapore.

Art Calendar Combines Crystals and Fashion

swarovski, a manufacturer of full-cut crystal, has teamed up with master photographer helmut newton to create the first swarovski art calendar. the 2003 calendar presents 12 photographs of newton’s models wearing and touching crystal in newton’s signature erotic—and sometimes eccentric—style.

Watches, Jewelry Taken From Museum

more than 100 timepieces and jewelry valued at over $670,000 were stolen from the musée de l’horlogerie et de l’Émaillerie (museum of watchmaking and enameling) in geneva, switzerland, in november in what swiss press reports call an “extremely well prepared” early morning robbery. according to geneva police, the gang of four or five people mounted a steel pole on the back of a delive…

A Titanium World

after a well-received first attempt last year, the world titanium council has announced its second annual international design contest. in a step to gain recognition for titanium jewelry and compete in the industry where design contests reinforce the popularity of jewelry in such materials as gold, pearls and gemstones, the council has brought on board some of the industry’s headliners to serve…

Aaura is C-TPAT Certified

aaura inc., chicago-based supplier of italian gold jewelry, has been certified by the u.s. customs service in its new customs-trade partnership against terrorism (c-tpat) program. c-tpat is a joint initiative between government and business designed to protect global commerce from terrorism. the program calls upon importing businesses and service providers to establish policies to enhance their…

JCFC Raises $600,000 for St. Jude Hospital

the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf) recently donated $600,000 to help further life-saving research performed in the jewelers charity fund for children stem cell transplantation laboratory at st. jude children’s research hospital in memphis, tenn. the funds will be used to find innovative ways to treat childhood cancer.

White Wedding

from the simplest wedding band to the most extravagant engagement ring, many of the latest bridal jewelry creations share a common trait: the color white. platinum and white gold are the metals of choice for many brides, and “white” diamonds enhance nearly every style.

‘Hamilton Jewelers Day’ Proclaimed in ST. Louis

the mayor’s office and the board of aldermen of the city of st. louis recently recognized hamilton jewelers for its 65 years of business in the city by designating nov. 1 as “hamilton jewelers day.” the proclamation was signed and presented by mayor francis slay to robert beumer, president and owner of hamilton jewelers.

NAG News

the jewelers’ security alliance’s british counterpart, the jewellery industry security working group (jiswg), has been endorsed by the national association of goldsmiths (nag), the british jewellers’ association, the company of master jewellers, and the national association of pawnbrokers. jiswg is headed by detective constable alan townsend, crime prevention coordinator, who established the gr…

Runway Report: Ladies’ Room

many fashion watchers are calling this season a bit of a bore, but that’s no great surprise. as economic and political turmoil kindles thoughts of simpler eras, fashion is following suit. forget bohemian, gothic, or edwardian romance: fashion for spring has abandoned any period pretenses and adopted, instead, an air of simple, ladylike style.

Rembrandt Places ‘Charm Kiosks’

kiosk information systems (kis) has contracted with rembrandt charms, buffalo, n.y., to produce 11 kt-110 stealth kiosks for placement in 11 jewelry stores nationwide that offer rembrandt charms as part of their jewelry collections. the “charm kiosks” allow customers to view more than 2,600 charm styles; search for particular charms by category, keyword, or style number; and print photo receipt…


the gemological institute of america (gia) announced the appointment of howard m. pomerantz, former executive director of kerr products, as executive director of gia gem instruments. charles & colvard ltd., recently named dennis m. reed as vice president, sales. idaho opal & gem corp. has appointed chris mockett, g.

Updated JNET Site Has More Options

jnet.com recently revised and updated its web site with a new design and additional features including links to industry resources, a trade-show calendar, and up-to-date industry news. in addition, the jnet web site building program for members of jewelers of america (ja) and manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america (mjsa) now offers more choices.

Three Inducted Into JA ‘100 Club’

jewelers of america (ja) recently inducted three member retailers into the ja 100 club, which acknowledges members who have been in continuous operations for at least one century. the new inductees are nelson coleman jewelers, towson, md., established 1856; brodkey’s jewelers, omaha, neb., established 1880; and starnes jewelers, albemarle, n.

WJA Celebrates 20TH Anniversary

the women’s jewelry association (wja) will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2003 with a series of activities during the year. the first event to mark this milestone will honor its past presidents and some of the original founders at a party to be held in new york city on march 3. called “wja’s 20th anniversary salute,” it will be held at doubles, an exclusive private club in the sherry netherl…

New HQ For Au Enterprises

au enterprises recently announced that the company has moved to new headquarters in berkley, mich. au is a casting house for the jewelry trade, producing all karats and colors of gold, sterling and non-tarnish silver, bronze, and six platinum alloys. the company’s market includes custom jewelers and designers.

Industry Leaders Recognized by GIA

the gemological institute of america honored 10 of the institute’s principal supporters at its 2002 league of honor founders dinner in october. former gia president and chairman richard t. liddicoat, who passed away in july, was remembered and honored for his many contributions to the industry. the honorees, each of whom received the league of honor medallion, all contributed $100,000 or more…

Alson Hosts Yurman Trunk Show

designer david yurman recently brought his fall collection to alson jewelers, woodmere, ohio, in a trunk show featuring three new lines. the designer was on hand for a private reception to greet clients, celebrate the new alson store, and recognize local philanthropists with the david yurman humanitarian award.

‘Power of Love’ Opens in Las Vegas

on valentine’s day, “diamonds and the power of love,” an exhibit showcasing diamonds as “the ultimate in love and romance,” opens at the ritz-carlton lake las vegas resort. the exhibit, sponsored by de beers’ diamond trading company, includes new designs from leading houses such as bulgari, chaumet, damiani, escada, graff, mikimoto, and van cleef and arpels as well as some historical rings dati…

Sen. Schumer Meets With Diamond Dealers Club

diamond dealers club president jacob banda recently met with sen. charles schumer (d-n.y.) to discuss issues affecting the diamond industry. schumer expressed support for ddc efforts to strengthen the new york diamond-manufacturing sector.

47th Street Receives Two Black Eyes

a pair of high-profile arrests have jolted new york’s 47th street diamond district. in the first, police raided a dozen manhattan jewelry stores and arrested 22 people for allegedly selling “fenced” goods. three of the stores were in the diamond district, and most of those arrested were russian. police also confiscated millions of dollars in gold, jewelry, and watches.

Oved Makes News in Phoenix

oved’s clarity-enhanced diamonds were featured in a television news story from phoenix, ariz., on oct. 22, 2002. reporter beth perry of phoenix’s cnn affiliate got the idea for the story after witnessing the sale of an oved clarity-enhanced diamond during a vacation in wisconsin. the three-minute live report took place at the diamond consortium, a local phoenix jeweler.

Washington Post Reports on Diamond Smuggling

a yearlong european investigation into al qaeda financing has found evidence that two west african governments hosted the senior terrorist operatives who oversaw a $20 million diamond-buying spree that effectively cornered the market on the region’s precious stones, the washington post reported on dec.

GIA Redesigns Web Site

the gemological institute of america (gia) recently redesigned its web site (www.gia.edu). new features include a redesigned corporate home page that summarizes the site’s key information; a one-stop information center for the news media covering the gem and jewelry industry; free images of gemstones; and an interactive history timeline of gia itself.

Tribute to Mother Earth

it started last year with turquoise, but the passion for earthy colored stones has since blossomed to include gems of other hues and colors. these primarily opaque, rock-like gems have journeyed far from their days as low-end staples, and designers today fear no stigma in pairing the stones with precious metals and even diamonds.

JSA: Jewelry Industry Crime Down

the jewelers’ security alliance recently released statistics for the period jan. 1-july 1, 2002, showing that total dollar crime losses for the jewelry industry decreased by 11.7% compared with that period in 2001. off-premises losses for that period dropped even more dramatically, falling by 26.6% compared with 2001.

JVC Featured on TV Reports

the jewelers vigilance committee (jvc) was featured recently in two news reports about jewelry buying: an investigative report on gold underkarating in the new york/new jersey area on upn 9 news, and how to “shop smart” for jewelry on wb 11 news. upn approached jvc with questions about the industry and asked to use the organization’s precious metals testing laboratory to assay items purchased …

Jhaveri Honored by Jewish Committee

amal jhaveri, president of sales and marketing for sugem inc. and president of the indian diamond and colorstone association, recently received the jewelry division human relations award from the american jewish committee. jhaveri was hailed for his charitable work, which includes sitting on the board of the jewelers charity fund for children (jcfc).

Ten Tips To Rule Your Bridal Market

one way to dramatically boost your bottom line is to dominate your local bridal jewelry market. consider the following statistics: plus, the category is “more recession-proof than any other item in a jewelry store,” says judy lince, head of the custom catalog division of the national bridal service in richmond, va.

R.F. Moeller Opens New Store

a grand-opening celebration was held in october 2002 for r.f. moeller jeweler’s new store at gaviidae common in downtown minneapolis, minn. the store was designed by anderson dale architects and developed by mcgough construction, both of whom collaborated on the company’s edina and st. paul locations.

JIC Names Media Liaison

the jewelry information center (jic), the nonprofit public relations organization for the fine-jewelry and watch industry, has appointed helena krodel to the post of media liaison. a former publicist with goldstein communications, a public relations and marketing agency specializing in the jewelry and luxury sectors, krodel worked with top fashion magazines and newspapers across the country t…


john francis rottmund, of manhasset and quogue, n.y., and melbourne, fla., died in manhasset on nov. 12, 2002, following a long illness. he was 74. a graduate of st. john’s university school of commerce, rottmund was a partner for 46 years in the firm of frank mastoloni sons inc., a cultured pearl importing company based in new york city.

GIA Gets Down to Business

scene: a dinner table. a discussion is taking place between a father and son. the father, a graduate gemologist, inherited the family jewelry store from his father. he has always made his buying, advertising, and merchandising decisions the way his father did—by what “feels” right and what customers tell him they like.

What Are We Selling?

two seemingly unrelated events illustrate a contradiction in the conduct of the jewelry business at retail and wholesale. one was the pronouncement by nicky oppenheimer that the diamond business fared reasonably well during the holiday selling season, despite the nervousness. the second event involved a customer in a jewelry store inquiring about the repair of a diamond wedding ring that had be…

Burman Named to Advisory Board

terry burman, chairman and chief executive of sterling jewelers inc., has been appointed to the professional advisory board at st. jude children’s research hospital in memphis, tenn. the hospital is an internationally recognized biomedical research center dedicated to finding cures for catastrophic childhood diseases.

‘The Future of Design’ at JCK ~ Las Vegas

this year’s jck design center at the jck show ~ las vegas will be relocated to the upper level of the sands expo & convention center adjacent to fifth avenue and next to pavilions such as the galleria, prestige promenade, and the new luxury collection. the new location is designed to create greater accessibility, seamless navigation, and convenience for buyers of high-end merchandise.

Sapphires ‘Heat Treated with Additives’

ted themelis, research gemologist, author, and corundum expert in thailand, would like to excise the term “bulk diffusion” from the gemological vocabulary. bulk diffusion refers to the heat treatment that infuses foreign elements that can affect color change in corundum. “there is no need to introduce the unpopular—but scientifically correct—bulk-diffusion term, which refers to ion …

New Offices For A.G. Color

a.g. color inc., purveyors of fine tanzanites, tsavorites, and diamonds, has announced the expansion and relocation of its offices to 17 e. 48th st., new york, ny 10017. the toll-free number remains the same. for information, call (877) 869-3307.

Dispute Over ‘Bushmen’ Heats Up

the fight between de beers and the nongovernmental organization survival international has turned nasty—and could end up in the courts. survival international is protesting the botswana government’s relocation of the bushmen tribes from the central kalahari game reserve. the group claims they are being evicted to make room for de beers diamond mines.

Karan Honors Robert Lee Morris

after a collaborative business partnership that spanned nearly 20 years, during which designer donna karan featured robert lee morris’s designs on her runways and in her stores, the fashion guru honored morris in a more festive way. karan hosted a party in tribute to morris at her flagship madison avenue store in december.

New Treated Topazes

leslie & co. has introduced another color—royal red—into its inventory of diffusion-treated stones. the san diego company introduced the first diffusion-treated topaz back in 1998, a green color now called evergreen. the company has since produced four other colors: glacier blue, teal, champagne, and bali bi-color (green and blue).

The State of Estate

last year was a tough one for the united states. americans continue to bite their nails over the struggling economy, the threat of terrorism, and the specter of war with iraq. amid all this anxiety, is there a place in the public consciousness for antique and estate jewelry? we asked wholesalers and retailers who specialize in that niche, and their response was favorable: antique and estate jew…

OGI Relocates Showroom

ogi, new york, has announced the relocation of its showroom to a landmark building in the heart of rockefeller center, accommodating the staff of 12 professionals. the modern showroom was designed by architect kenne shepherd, whose retail projects include calvin klein shops, salvatore ferragamo stores, and others.

Heated Sapphire: A Hot Topic in Tucson

at agta’s gemfair, seminars and panel discussions devoted to the corundum market will include ruby mining in pakistan and afghanistan, issues surrounding the origin of corundum, practices regarding the disclosure of enhancements and treatments, and the current scientific research on new treatments. the schedule of events, all of which will be held at the tucson convention center, includes: also…

At the Bench Available in Book Form

at the bench, by gregg todd and greg gilman, is the second book from mjsa/ajm press. based on the ajm magazine column of the same name, the book offers 17 lessons in the repair and fabrication of gold and silver jewelry, from ring sizing to pavé setting. included are more than 200 photographs as well as articles on bench preparation and shop safety and charts for ring sizing and karat co…

Well, Why Not?

one of today’s most overused business clichés is the phrase “think outside the box.” it simply means change—and for many, change isn’t easy. from the elderly lady who can no longer drive but still wants to do her weekly errands on the days she’s always done them, to the company that doesn’t want to buy new equipment, those unwilling to adjust on their own will eventually be forced b…

Kundan Stone-Setting Revisited

“i’ve been passionate about jewelry all my life,” says jewelry designer kiran nirankari, ellicott city, md. nirankari comes from a family of jewelry collectors “with beautiful old pieces,” she says. these family jewels have inspired her to incorporate the style of the past into her designs. “the style is very similar to the old original pieces,” she explains, referring to mughal jewels.

Sales Rep Gives Back to Community

jewelry sales rep larry wilens of santa ana, calif., recently spent two weeks in louisiana on assignment with the dshr red cross disaster response team. he was one of more than 400 red cross workers who helped people flooded out of their homes as a result of hurricanes isadore and lily. wilens is also a member of his local disaster response team and has responded to more than 15 emergencies i…

Monaco and Aaron Basha Team Up

beginning in may 2003, the principality of monaco and aaron basha will join forces in a co-branding campaign. it begins with a full-page ad in the may issue of departures magazine, featuring basha’s signature lady bug collection placed against the mediterranean backdrop of the principality. ads also will appear in town & country and robb report.

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