February 1, 2005

Cutting-Edge Design at AGTA

Rama Manufacturing Co. Merges with EMA Diamonds

diamond and fine-jewelry supplier rama manufacturing is merging with the u.s. operations of ema diamonds, a company based in tel aviv that is a diamond trading company sightholder. the two companies’ u.s. operations will now be called ema-rama. the new company will be led by rama president naftali ratzersdorfer, who will serve as president, and frank laroux, formerly of ema-usa, who will serve…

Dealers Receive Jail for Role in ‘Conflict’ Trade

an antwerp court sent eight people to jail recently in the first known criminal conviction for dealing conflict diamonds, reuters reported. samih ossaily and aziz nassour, two lebanese dealers often linked with the “conflict” trade, received sentences of three and six years, respectively, for allegedly acting as ringleaders of a group that dealt illegal diamonds from sierra leone and the democr…

Tsunami Mostly Avoids Industry, but Trade Still Rallies to Help

initial reports indicate that december’s 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunamis which devastated 11 southeast asian nations had little impact on that region’s gem, diamond, and jewelry industries—though longer-lasting effects couldn’t be determined yet. three of the hardest-hit nations—sri lanka, thailand, and india—are big exporters of gems and jewelry to the united states.

AGS Laboratories Announces New Cut Grade Issue Dates

ags laboratories has announced that it will start issuing a cut grade for princess-cut diamonds by the end of the first quarter of 2005. it will be followed by the new round-brilliant cut-grade system to be released in the second half of 2005. the science supporting the new cut-grade system reflects ags laboratories’ advancement from a proportion-based to a performance-based cut-grade system.

Newspaper Raises Claims of ‘Doggie-Doo Diamonds’

the weekly world news, a publication known for its, shall we say, imaginative reporting, recently had a gemological scoop of sorts on its hands: it claims that a company is making diamonds from “dog poop.” as there are now several real-life companies making diamonds from human remains, it is gemologically possible, says jck’s resident gemologist gary roskin, that a company could produce diamond…

Diamond Retrieved From Subway

the acquisition of a beloved, pricey jewel can be exciting and romantic; the loss of one, devastating. lena and daniel breed experienced both events in one december weekend. lena, a 30-year-old design artist, and daniel, a 33-year-old former police officer, were vacationing in new york on their 10th wedding anniversary.

Botswana Deal Will Keep De Beers on Top

de beers is again in the driver’s seat in botswana, the world’s largest diamond producer—which means the company will likely be the dominant force in the diamond industry for years to come. de beers and botswana’s government just inked a deal that gives de beers leases to the country’s main diamond mines for the next 25 years.

Argyle is still in the pink, but maybe not for long

maybe it’s simply a fashion comment—call it “the j. lo effect.” or it could be savvy investors eager to get their hands on the goods before the argyle open-pit mine closes in 2007 or 2008. whatever the reason, “the 2004 argyle pink diamond tender was very successful this year, reflecting the strong market demand for pink diamonds,” says joseph casella, u.

Jeweler Didn’t Switch Diamond

in a case that demonstrates the dangers of informal “courtesy appraising,” a pennsylvania jeweler recently was found not guilty of switching a diamond. according to john anthony jr., owner of john anthony jewelers in bala cynwyd, pa., the case stemmed from a misunderstanding of diamond grading. the stone involved was a 2-ct.

Technology Update: Business Management Systems

in today’s retail environment, information is king. the ability to organize, access, and use large amounts of unrelated data is vital to survival, and business management software systems provide that ability. “it’s critical, regardless of the size of your business,” says consultant kate peterson of performance concepts.

Atlanta Jewelry Show Hosts Student Designers

together with the southern jewelry travelers association (sjta), the savannah college of art and design will host the second annual student design competition during the atlanta jewelry show, feb. 26-28. themed “trip to the movies,” this year’s competition challenged students and alumni from savannah college of art and design’s metals and jewelry program to design a commercial piece of jewelr…

West Coast Jewelry Show Debuts in August

h2 events, run by howard hauben, founder of the centurion show and other industry events, and the california jewelers association (cja) have announced an agreement to jointly promote a new fine-jewelry trade show called the west coast jewelry show, the holiday buying event (formerly the pacific jewelry show).

La Dolce Vita for Italian Goldsmiths

the world gold council (wgc), in partnership with the vicenza fair, has unveiled 430 gold jewelry pieces designed and produced by italian goldsmiths as part of gold expressions 2005, a product-development program aimed at reinvigorating exports of italian gold jewelry and reviving the desirability of gold jewelry worldwide.

AGS to Host the Brightest Stars in Hollywood

jewelry designers, manufacturers, retailers, and gemological educators will gather in hollywood, calif., for the american gem society’s 2005 international conclave april 13 through april 16 at the renaissance hollywood hotel. this year’s theme, “the brightest stars in hollywood,” will feature a forum for technological advancement in the jewelry industry.

DTC Status May Have Motivated Sale of Mine Stock

tiffany’s desire to be a de beers diamond trading company sightholder spelled the end of its groundbreaking deal with canada’s aber diamond corp., aber executives told jck. de beers recently announced that a company cannot attain sightholder status if it owns part of a competing mine. this was widely seen as targeting ex-sightholder lev leviev, who owns several mines and was reportedly interest…

Award-Winning Jewelry Designer Challenges, Intrigues GIA Audience

award-winning jewelry designer alan revere offered a glimpse into the american jewelry design council’s (ajdc) celebrated annual design projects in a lecture, “the art of the american jewelry design council,” nov. 17 at the gemological institute of america, carlsbad, cal. inviting the audience to ponder the question, “where and how do jewelry and art intersect?” the san francisco-based designe…

Telltale Signs

now that the 2004 holiday season is over, the results should be no surprise to most retailers. happily, the season posted gains over last year’s sales, although in most sectors the growth was modest. but signs that it would be modest were evident in august, when back-to-school sales came in softer than expected.

Ogden to Head Gem-A

renowned gemologist and jewelry historian jack ogden, fga, was appointed chief executive of gem-a, the gemmological association and gem testing laboratory of great britain, on nov. 1, 2004. based at gem-a’s hatton garden headquarters, ogden is responsible for all gem-a operations, including education, instruments, and research, and will oversee the ongoing development of the gem testing laborat…

Cutting-Edge Design at AGTA

this past october, in dallas, texas, marked the 21st annual installment of the american gem trade association (agta) spectrum awards. the competition recognizes original jewelry and lapidary arts that possess stellar innovation and design set in various metals and using natural colored gemstones, pearls, and cultured pearls.

Revere Holds Eighth Masters Symposium

design for production, 18k granulation, fold forming, romantic connections, and jewelry history are five of the subjects offered during the revere academy’s 2005 masters symposium to be held from april 4th through april 24th. the academy will host eight master craftspeople from across the country to lead a total of 11 workshops, two and five days in their specialized areas.

Breitling USA Has ‘Best Year Ever’

breitling usa “had its best year ever” in 2004, says marie bodman, president of the u.s. office of the popular swiss luxury brand best known for its precision aeronautic watches. business was up 38 percent over 2004 figures. “we’re harvesting the results of all our good efforts in marketing, ads, and customer support,” bodman says.

IGI Honored For Media Campaign

the consumer media campaign of the international gemological institute (igi) is included in the holmes group’s “100 best public relations programs of 2003” publication, which was released in the fall of 2004. igi’s consumer media outreach campaign was selected from over 1,600 submissions. it is one of 10 campaigns highlighted in the marketing consumer products section of the publication along …

Universal is New Xemex Distributor

xemex timepieces, the unique and stylish swiss watches designed by internationally acclaimed swiss graphic designer ruedi külling, have a new u.s. distributor. universal watch company, which also distributes boccia titanium watches and german-made teno watches and jewelry, has added the award-winning swiss brand to the lines it offers.

Movado Names New Brand President

movado group inc. in november named thomas van der kallen as president of ebel worldwide, responsible for global sales and marketing of the luxury watch brand. he had been president of the luxury brand piaget north america since 2002. van der kallen replaces guillaume brochard—president when ebel was still owned by lvmh—who left in december 2003.

WJA Presents Second Annual Business Conference

the second annual wja “women in the know” business conference will be held march 4 at the fashion institute of technology in new york city, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. noted author and speaker andrea nierenberg, whom the wall street journal called “a networking success story,” is the keynote speaker. as head of the nierenberg group, new york city, she brings 23 years’ experience in sales, marketin…

De Beers Agrees to Buy Less from Russia

de beers’ botswana deal may be keeping it on top (see story on page 40), but its overall share of the market likely will shrink again in coming years, as the company has agreed to buy fewer stones from russia so the european commission can approve its contract. the original contract between de beers and russia was submitted for ec approval in 2002.

End of the Road

“the first time i was robbed, there were eight guys,” says joe carullo, co-owner of kc designs, new york, and president of the prime jewelry group show. “one guy pushes me back … they slash your tires so you can’t chase them, they smash your [car] window, take your jewelry and run away. it’s all over in 30 seconds.

Attorneys General Sue Friedman’s Over Insurance Policies

beleaguered friedman’s jewelers has yet more legal troubles—this time, from three state attorneys general who are suing the firm for misleading credit practices. attorneys general from tennessee, texas, and florida all allege that the savannah, ga.-based company misled consumers with its credit policies, forcing consumers into insurance contracts without their consent.

The Confidence Game

jeff fischer, the newly elected president of the international diamond manufacturers association, says that today in the diamond industry, “while we’re louping our diamonds, the consumer is louping us.” this sense of being continually under a not-always-flattering spotlight pervaded the recent antwerp diamond conference on consumer confidence.

The Who, What, Where, How Much, and Why of Jewelry Shopping

two years after the launch of its last major jewelry report on the u.s. market, unity marketing, stevens, pa., unveils another. the new research offers more depth and insight into consumers buying fine jewelry. the report focuses on consumer buying behavior, needs, desires, and preferences, and aims to inform about potential opportunities to satisfy consumer jewelry and watch demand.

‘Banda-Aid’ Controversy Raises Hackles at DDC

diamond dealers club president jacob banda is at the center of a political storm after receiving a bonus for his work organizing the 2004 world diamond congress in new york. banda was awarded $50,000 by the club’s board of directors out of gratitude for his hard work on the congress after it turned an unexpected profit of $272,000.

Supplier News

L.I.D Opens New Offices in India L.I.D. Ltd., an Israeli company wholly owned by the Elishyov family, has opened a loose-diamond sales office in Mumbai, India. The company also has a new, state-of-the-art diamond and jewelry manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam, India. For information, call (800) 981-7005. Rembrandt Acquires Beaucraft Rembrandt Charms has acquired Beaucraft and…

Obituary

kurt s. adler, chairman and founder of kurt s. adler inc., passed away on thanksgiving evening, nov. 25, at his home in manhattan. mr. adler, who founded his firm in 1946, is credited with revolutionizing christmas in america by introducing a european flavor and a sense of style and fashion to holiday decorating.

Gemstone Briefs

here’s what’s happening in tanzania’s colored-stone sector:

Political Correctness Gone Wild

a number of incidents that occurred this past christmas season drew a generally negative reaction. the first was the decision by target to ban salvation army collectors from the front of target stores. the second was the decision by federated department stores to ban the use of the phrase “merry christmas” by its sales personnel.

Natural-Color Tanzanite

probably 99.99 percent of tanzanite (blue zoisite) is heated to get the gemstone’s characteristic saturated purple-blue color. in fact, most dealers will tell you it’s not tanzanite until it’s heated to create that color. but though rare, there are natural purple-blue tanzanites. natural color to acquire natural-color tanzanite, you must buy rough, says dana schorr, tanzanite specialist and o…

Appointments

gemprint corporation has named brad boyko president of the company. boyko acted as vice president, sales and marketing under retiring president, john shepherd. shepherd will remain in his role as chairman of the board. carol sanders, cpa, cma, cfm, has joined jewelers mutual insurance company as chief financial officer and treasurer.

WJA Awards $16,400 in Member Grants

the women’s jewelry association (wja) member grant program is awarding a total of $16,400 to 33 recipients. the intention of the wja member grants is to provide a financial contribution for ongoing education that will empower women in the jewelry, watch, and related industries. member grants are available to all female wja members and are up to $500 in value.

Ivory: What Is and Isn’t Legal to Buy and Sell

if more people understood the misleading laws, these ‘facts’ would not be reported,” says bobby mann, noted ivory specialist and past president of the international ivory society, temple hills, md. the laws and “facts” he refers to stem from a september cnn news report saying that traffic, a network that monitors the trade in wildlife, reports increased illegal u.

Dickson Group Buys Bertolucci

according to swiss media reports, the swiss luxury watch brand bertolucci has been purchased by dickson concepts international limited, a hong kong firm specializing in luxury products. dickson has been a distributor of bertolucci in asia. details of the deal weren’t available at press time. it’s the second time in three years that the brand has been sold.

Melting vs. Dissolving: A Question of Flux

a recent article by sapphire expert and geologist richard hughes of pala international, fallbrook, calif., notes that in the heating of sapphires and rubies, flux is used to melt the sides of the fissures, which then helps heal the two sides back together. the article, titled “all fluxed up,” appeared in gemworld international’s market news .

Starting from Scratch: Unique challenges of first generation jewelers

opening a new jewelry store is always challenging. but for entrepreneurs with little or no experience in the industry—and without a family history in the business—the endeavor is especially difficult. besides addressing normal business concerns like cash flow, inventory management, and hiring and managing staff, first-generation jewelers must quickly get up to speed in areas that m…

‘Pro-Business’ Congress May Consider a National Sales Tax

the new 109th congress brings good news and bad news for small businesses, including retail jewelers, say savvy washington veterans. the good news: this is the most pro-business congress in years, promising more sympathy and quicker action on issues affecting small businesses, including health care and permanent business-related tax cuts.

Shops in Shops

shops in shops—carefully planned designer boutiques located within bustling stores—typically feature impressive brands (such as cartier), a wide selection of a designer’s work, lots of back stock, and a major commitment from the storeowner. “shops in shops are a lot of give and take,” says marie helene morrow, president of reinhold jewelers, san juan, puerto rico, who has three in-s…

Strong for Luxury Jewelers, Moderate for Middle and Mass

high-end jewelers polled by jck reported slight to significant increases in holiday sales for 2004, while sales gains for midlevel and mass-market stores were more modest overall—and a few declines were noted by jewelers in regions hard hit by job losses. jewelers in all sectors also reported fewer customers but higher per-ticket sales.

Fold, Roll, or Layer?

each method of packing has its fans who swear it’s the only way to go, but done correctly, all will leave your clothes relatively wrinkle-free. always pack your suitcase full enough to keep clothes from shifting, but not so full that you have to force it closed. the folding method (the author’s preferred method).

The Call Out Of Africa

the most memorable moment at the recent antwerp diamond conference came from the formidable phumzile mlambo-ngcuka, south africa’s minister of mines. clad in blue african robes, she forcefully argued for bringing more cutting to africa, and then took questions. the gemological institute of america’s russell shor asked if her country could compete with other centers that have lower labor costs&…

Color Me Celeb

after battling for a place on the stars for quite some time, color is finally getting its share of red carpet time. celebrities are increasingly mixing and matching the vibrant hues of fashion with the endless palette of gemstone colors. while no one stone is quite worthy of being dubbed a “favorite,” the category as a whole is making its mark.

David LaFleur Named JA Vice President

jewelers of america (ja) named david n. lafleur as its new vice president, effective november 29, 2004. as ja vice president, lafleur will run the association’s day-to-day operations. he will also manage the continued development and implementation of ja’s educational projects, certification programs, marketing initiatives, and money-saving member benefits.

JCK’s Tips for a Wrinkle-Free Trip

while security is the first concern for jewelry industry travelers, it’s also nice to look good when you arrive. these tips—culled from veteran industry road warriors—can’t guarantee that your travel schedule will stay wrinkle-free, but at least your clothes can.

The Country That Diamonds Built

when the news about conflict diamonds first broke, it was hard to look past the horrors in sierra leone and think that diamonds could be a force for positive change elsewhere in africa. but diamonds do, in fact, represent development and growth, and the nation of botswana is living proof. botswana became independent in 1966; diamonds were discovered there in 1967; and the country, once among th…

Gemstone Advisory Board Created

the tanzanian government has added a gemstone advisory board made up of both government and industry representatives, reports tuckman international’s abe suleman, a colored stones wholesaler and the ica’s ambassador to tanzania. the board will directly advise the minister of energy and minerals on the gemstone sector.

Y Not?

it’s either a collective flashback to the early ’90s, or the y necklace is coming back. from legendary divas to teen superstars, the style was a favorite among the stars during the holiday season. what’s new now? size. the new versions have substance, unlike their predecessors of “friends” fame. the era of barren necks is, we believe, finally over.

Newswire

Whitehall Gets Sears Exec as New CEO. Lucinda “Cindy” M. Baier has joined Whitehall Jewelers as president and COO. She will report to Hugh Patinkin, chairman and CEO. Baier joins Whitehall from Sears, Roebuck and Co., where she had been a senior vice president and general manager. In other news, Manny A. Brown, the company’s…

24 Karat Club Gives JFC $38,000

the 60th annual dinner dance gala of the jewelers 24 karat club of california, held in beverly hills last october, raised $38,000 for jewelers for children (jfc). at the event, club president robert bridel announced that the club reached its goal of $38,000, a 10% increase over last year’s figures. money was raised with proceeds from the tribute book and a raffle and silent auction.

Purple adds the royal touch to fashion

from the runways to the jewel cases, color is in, and purple is the color of choice. this royal favorite—from pale violet to deep plum—complements the general love of all things luxe. the soft warmth of the color allows it to take on last year’s favorite—pink—by being feminine without seeming too girly.

MJSA/AJM Press Announces New Book Series

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) and the ganoksin project will collaborate on a new series of books dedicated to basic bench practices. the first book, to be published by mjsa/ajm press under the imprint “orchid in print,” will be how to make the most of your flex-shaft. written by karen christians, owner of the metalwerx school in waltham, mass.

Top Qualities Sell for Holiday

market in brief: jan. 5, 2005… dealer assessments of holiday sales are mixed. this year the top end of the market was active with good demand for fine quality gems. demand for unenhanced ruby and sapphire was strong. however, sales of the lower- and mid-price-point jewelry lagged behind expectations.

Robert Wan Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Tahiti Perles

robert wan, the world’s largest producer of tahitian cultured pearls, celebrated the 30th anniversary of tahiti perles on oct. 8, 2004, along with 800 international guests. the evening was highlighted by an ultra-modern fashion show presenting a retrospective of the best of tahiti perles jewelry collections, from its early days up to today.

Sailors, Brides, and White Hot Charms

rembrandt charms introduced 14k white gold charms, and the resulting “white hot!” ad campaign last fall. gumuchian fils, long known for its luxury designer creations, launched a new bridal collection, featuring 85 hand-finished engagement and wedding bands in platinum. the touch has created a line of miniature sailor’s valentines in 14k yellow or white gold or sterling silver, with or witho…

Rumor Mill

Historic Gems. Shinde Jewels, by Reema Keswani, is a new book about Ambaji Venkateshwara Shinde, famed designer for Harry Winston for nearly four decades, until his retirement in 2000. The book chronicles Shinde’s career with sketches and photos of his designs. Revitalizing a Classic. Cartier CEO Stanislas de Quercize continues his drive to marry the…

JFC To Honor Industry Leaders at 2005 Facets of Hope Dinner

jewelers for children (jfc), the u.s. jewelry industry’s recognized charity, formerly known as jewelers charity fund for children, will honor david and sybil yurman, founders of david yurman of new york, and sue e. gove, executive vice president and chief operating officer of zale corporation of dallas, at its seventh annual facets of hope dinner in las vegas.

Everybody’s a Jeweler Now!

forget the internet for a moment. and the tv jewelers. everybody else is a jeweler now, too! i can’t remember my father or grandfather feeling threatened by anyone making his or her own jewelry in the basement. in fact, my great-grandfather started his business in this country in 1913 by setting up a bench in my grandfather’s bedroom and taking job work.

Manning House Show Focuses on Jade

the second annual manning house show, to be held at the historic manning house mansion, tucson, ariz., feb. 4-7, is a collection of artists and lectures. this juried show represents a selection of the best in gem and jewelry arts, sculpture, glass, painting, and photography as well as fine american indian art and minerals.

Fabric Trends

most jewelers know by now that keeping abreast of fashion and fine jewelry trends is vital to their business and buying plans, but many neglect the even more forward-looking trends that can be gleaned from new fabric releases. fabric manufacturers, working at least a season ahead of fashion designers, have released their works for fall 2005/winter 2006.

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