February 2007

By the Book

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Rodolphe Makes Management Changes, Wins Watch of the Year

swiss luxury brand rodolphe watches & jewellery has made some top management changes, and its instinct chrono 180° was named watch of the year 2006 by a leading watch magazine. didier decker, chief operating officer of the group, has also become director of rodolphe watches & jewellery. he’ll focus primarily on communication, marketing, and brand development.

Manager as Coach

nothing is more important to achieving lasting change in employee behavior than ongoing coaching and teaching from managers. it’s up to them to provide the guidance and reinforcement needed to make new behaviors permanent. ask yourself these questions to determine the kind of job your managers are doing: appraising the situation gem bytes here is what effective managers do when they coac…

An Amazing Weekend

i am typing this after a much-needed break from an intense three days of industry events surrounding the annual gala of the 24 karat club of the city of new york. thursday night kicked off with the jck show advisory board dinner. friday was the board meeting, and among the topics discussed for 2007, 2008, and 2009, i was most excited to see the unveiling of the show’s new ad campaign.

Indian Dealer’s Death Sparks Outrage

the indian community in antwerp, belgium, has expressed concern after a prominent diamond dealer died while in police custody. nikhil manilal, 46, an indian diamond trader based in antwerp, died during a raid at his house by the belgian tax police. manilal, who was known to suffer a heart condition, reportedly collapsed during the raid.

Gem Labs Make Major Staff Changes

recent staff changes at the major gem labs are beginning to resemble baseball’s winter trades. here’s the scorecard:

Gem Pricing Report

the colored stone market enjoys good demand across a broad range of gemstones. prices continue to firm for fine-quality ruby and sapphire in 2.00 ct. and larger. visitors to the tucson shows can expect good selection but higher prices for blue, pink, purple, yellow, and orange varieties. exotic garnets and beryls are also poised for a good show.

Jeter’s Gesture

baseball superstar derek jeter, of the new york yankees, recently hosted the launch of movado’s new series 800 chronograph at macy’s herald square flagship store. fans and watch enthusiasts lined the aisles to get a movado series 800 baseball cap and to shake hands with jeter. those who bought a series 800 watch that day were invited to a private cocktail reception with jeter.

Small Businesses Might Have Big Headaches

it will be tougher for laws benefiting small businesses to pass congress, say knowledgeable washington, d.c., observers. after 12 years of republican control of the house and senate, democrats now have the clout to affect civic and business life, following the 2006 midyear elections’ dramatic results.

Retail Wrap-Up, Holiday 2006

twas a season of cheer for the majority of independent jewelers polled by jck, as stores nationwide reported that overall holiday sales for 2006 topped figures from holiday 2005. even the pre-holiday release of the movie blood diamond had little effect. those jewelers who did have customers asking about the origin of their diamonds reported that industry promotions had given them ample research…

Necklace Gets Recalled

the u.s. consumer product safety commission issued a voluntary recall of children’s mood necklaces and diva necklaces because of high levels of lead. the necklaces were sold by children’s, dollar, and discount stores nationwide from september 2004 through november 2006 for about $1. they were manufactured in china and imported by really useful products inc.

Don’t Rest on Your Laurels, Part 1

if you can describe your existing business as “excellent,” you don’t need to read any further. if you would say anywhere from “fair” to “pretty good,” congratulations—now what are you planning to do to maintain and improve on that answer? statistically speaking, you’re already behind where you were a year ago, as more—and more sophisticated—…

Journe Wins Top Watch Prize, Again

the luxury watch business awarded its top 2006 awards in november at the grand prix d’horlogerie de genève ceremonies in geneva. the competition is open to all watch brands and companies. some 1,500 guests attended the gala event at the grand théâtre. these are the 2006 winners.

GIA Version 5.0

for most in the diamond industry, the term “strategic review” has ominous connotations. it’s the phrase de beers used when it consulted with bain and co. and then proceeded to turn itself—and the industry—inside out. but gemological institute of america president donna baker, only the fifth president in the institute’s history, doesn’t expect a similarly dramatic outcome…

Russell Simmons Announces Diamond Empowerment Fund

speaking at a packed press conference four days before the premiere of blood diamond, russell simmons, director of the simmons jewelry co. and noted rap producer and businessman, announced the formation of the diamond empowerment fund following a tour of african diamond mines. the fund will direct 25 per-cent of the profits from some simmons jewelry co.

Trend Alert: No More Matchy-Matchy

mixing and matching needn’t apply only to clothing, or at least that’s what some jewelry designers are saying. disproportionate cuts, carat weights, colors, and shapes of gemstones are being paired as “perfect” matches. mismatched stones add color, whimsy, and character to jewelry, much as patinas do for furniture, and fine lines for faces.

Gold Jewelry Helps Glam Up Fashionistas

designers of gold jewelry and accessories have been busy! recent endeavors from world gold council include getting out stylish messages about karat gold jewelry and maintaining high-profile partnerships in the jewelry and fashion worlds. meanwhile, designer rhonda faber green has garnered attention all year long on dancing with the stars.

Jewelers Disapprove of Bush, Republican Congress, But Little Hope for Dems

add jewelers to those dissatisfied with president george w. bush’s job performance. a new jck national survey of hundreds of jewelers finds 53 percent disapprove of the job he is doing on domestic and foreign issues, and 42 percent aren’t happy with how he’s supported legislation affecting small business.

By the Book

yours is a small family business. it’s just you, members of your immediate family, perhaps a part-time jeweler and watchmaker, and a few sales associates. the atmosphere is friendly and informal. you have no need for an employee manual. not true, says kate peterson, president and chief executive officer of performance concepts, montgomery village, md.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Celebrates Reverso’s 75th

swiss luxury watch brand jaeger-lecoultre rolled out the red carpet to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the reverso, its signature timepiece collection, in november at the morgan library and museum in new york city. the 400-plus a-list guests included watch retailers, aficionados, and executives. jerome lambert, chief executive officer of manufacture jaeger-lecoultre, and ronald wolfgang, pres…

Hublot Builds $8 Million Watch Factory

swiss luxury watch brand hublot is building a new $8 million watch factory in nyon, switzerland, its home location. its old factory will be sold. the new facility will be finished by the end of 2008, jck was told by jean-claude biver, chief executive officer of hublot s.a. production will increase 50 percent, from about 20,000 watches annually to close to 30,000 pieces, says biver.

Zale Aims to Regain Market Dominance

the year 2006—both fiscal and calendar—was rough on zale corp. shrinking market share and disappointing holiday and quarterly results for its flagship zales jewelers forced out several top executives. an upscale repositioning of zales failed. unofficial feelers on a possible merger with london-based signet group (parent of sterling inc.

Blood Is a Dud, but Trade Gets Flayed

blood diamond had a lot more action on screen than at the box office, but its premiere led to an avalanche of often unfavorable media coverage about conflict diamonds. the ngo-endorsed action-adventure film premiered at a disappointing no. 5 its first week and slipped to no. 7 its second. at press time, four weeks after its premiere, it had earned just over $40 million—below expectations …

The Rise of Color, Pearls—and Prices

three factors are throwing a wrench into the way u.s. retail jewelers buy and sell colored stones and pearls: supply, demand, and the declining dollar. retail jewelers are discovering it’s almost impossible to find fine large gems. the problem doesn’t affect only rubies, emeralds, and sapphires—if you’re looking for a matched pair of 4.


RADO SERVES IN SHANGHAI Swiss watch brand Rado was the official timekeeper and “premier partner” of the Shanghai Tennis Masters Cup 2006 in November. A limited edition (650) of the automatic Rado Original, featuring the official Shanghai Masters colors (blue and yellow) and the words Shanghai Masters Cup on the dial, was made for the…

New Blue Chart Is Available

the second edition of blue chart, a reference book for gem identification by swiss gemologist hervé nicolas lazzarelli (www.gembluechart.com), has been published. it comes with eight double-wide pages of gemstone species and varieties, arranged from high to low refractive indices; a page of color-organized distinctive pleochroism reactions; three pages of classic spectrums for natural, tr…

From the JCKonline.com Blogs

a feminine fancy the catalog for the new house of leviev jewelry collection just landed on my desk, and i am impressed! … photos of the new leviev store in london show a shop that’s beautifully and unabashedly—but elegantly—girly. done up in pink, peach, ivory, and beige, with soft plush couches, gracefully curving chairs, tinkling crystal chandeliers, venetian-glass mir…


thierry collot was vice president of sales and marketing for tag heuer in the caribbean and latin america, not the united states, as mentioned in upfront watches, jck, december 2006, p. 44. jewelry television, or jtv.com, is the correct name of the company identified as jewelry network television in upfront gems, jck, january 2007, p.

Where Are You, Sen. Proxmire?

not that the jewelry industry needs another awards event, but something equivalent to sen. william proxmire’s golden fleece award would highlight some stupid actions by some industry members. sen. proxmire spent 32 years in congress and won recognition for his commitment to saving tax dollars and for his creation of the golden fleece award, according to taxpayers for common sense.

Irony and De-Nile

judging from the number of people who called to ask if i’d seen the jan. 7 new york times article about blue nile, i’d say it hit a nerve in the industry. senior diamond editor rob bates, in a blog post called “diamond media watch: in a state of blue nile” on jckonline.com, called the article “verging-on-pr” for its laudatory tone.

Oppenheimer Family Sells Anglo Shares

in a development watched closely by people speculating about de beers’ future, company chairman nicky oppenheimer’s family trust recently sold 33 percent of its holdings in anglo american, the mining giant that owns 45 percent of de beers. what makes this particularly interesting is reports from news sources like mineweb.

Look, Like, Famous

have you always wanted to, you know, look like a celebrity? now you can—without surgery or botox (but you will need a credit card). welcome to like.com, a web site whose name may induce flashbacks to the days of the 1980s valley girl but whose content allows users to accessorize like their favorite stars.

The Guide Contains Record Changes

the winter issue of gemworld international’s the guide is reporting record changes in colored gemstone prices. “prices for many gems are rising due to many economic and political influences,” writes stuart robertson, research director. “in all the years of publishing this reference source, this issue has more changes than we have ever seen before.

Franck Muller Wins More Bans Against Gray Market

franck muller usa, exclusive importer and distributor of the swiss luxury watch in the united states, canada, and the caribbean, has won more federal court rulings permanently barring companies from “importing, selling, or otherwise distributing” watches with the franck muller trademark. the new bans were issued by judge richard berman in late october and early november.

McClure Wins Bonanno Award

the accredited gemologists association has announced that this year’s antonio c. bonanno award for excellence in gemology will be awarded to shane mcclure of the gemological institute of america’s gem laboratory. after earning his graduate gemologist diploma in 1978 at gia’s santa monica, calif., campus, mcclure accepted an entry-level position at the gia gem trade laboratory in downtown los an…

Fabrikant Earthquake

repercussions of the fabrikant bankruptcy will be worldwide, and many firms may be hurt as losses cascade through the supply side of the industry. raw figures in the filing show close to $370 mil-lion in debt and $382 million in assets. does a failure this large indicate a defect in the way the industry works, or is it a case of mismanagement and misjudgment? is the united states no longer the…