February 2008

Full Spectrum

Branding: Where to Now? Part 2

benjanow@gmail.com central to the success of big brands has been the ability to endow a product with psychic values that touch consumers emotionally. these values transcend the mundane components of the product. armani and wal-mart both offer garments made of wool, but that’s where the similarity ends.

2007 Ends on Sober Note for Many

for many retailers, the 2007 holiday selling season wasn’t jolly—and jewelers were among those taking a hit as consumer spending tightened up from the previous year. not all was doom and gloom, as a significant number of jewelers reported holiday sales either on a par with—or significantly up from—2006 figures.

Lightning Ridge Opal in High Definition

for more than a century, the landscape of lightning ridge, australia, has been transformed by opal fever. for miles in all directions, this flat, desert-dusty land of cactus and brush is dotted with thousands of holes, with small piles of mine tailings next to them. lightning ridge—formerly wallangulla, approximately 500 miles north-northwest of sydney—is the black opal capital of t…

De Beers Opens Fifth U.S. Store

de beers diamond jewelers has opened its fifth store in the united states, at tysons galleria in the washington, d.c., area. the store covers 2,082 square feet and features open spaces, ebony walls, etched glass paneling, and a vip room for private presentations. it follows de beers’ 2005 store openings in new york and beverly hills, calif.

Wedding Band Design

[part two of a three-part series on manufacturing seamless tubing and design and production methods for palladium wedding bands made from it.] novell design studio is a jewelry manufacturing company in roselle, n.j., specializing in bridal products and individual customization. their collections primarily are made using extruded ring tubing in a wide variety of precious metals including 950 pal…

Palas Jewelers

palas jewelers is a full-service jewelry store in atlanta’s upscale buckhead neighborhood. the retailer carries a range of diamond and colored stone jewelry in 14k and 18k gold, platinum, and sterling silver. the company offers merchandise ranging in price from $15 to $500,000 and does a substantial custom-design business.

NC&C Madagascar Ruby

stuller has announced the availability of natural ruby, untreated for color or clarity (nc&c), from madagascar. joe orlando, vice president of the company’s gemstone business unit, says there are “thousands of rubies, 4 kilos of 1.25 mm to 4 mm rounds, possibly larger, along with 4-by-3, 5-by-3, 5-by-4, and 6-by-4 ovals.

Germans Honor Dyber

michael dyber, rumney, n.h., won honorable mention in the 38th annual german award for jewelry and precious stones 2007, in idar-oberstein, germany. dyber’s entry, an 89.91 ct. aquamarine titled ice to water, metamorphosis, features a new lapidary technique he calls photon phacets. the theme of this year’s competition was metamorphosis.

From the JCKonline.com Blogs

tour of a. jaffe continuing my quest to visit every manufacturing facility that will have me, on thursday i was taken in by the good folks over at a. jaffe. now, i love my job, don’t get me wrong, but after walking the floor at a. jaffe i could be stolen away if pressed. sorry hedda, but they have a gym on premises and have a yoga instructor come by once a week, free of cost to employees.

Gemmy Serenade

jewelry designers like to use unique and unusual gem materials, including assembled stones, cubic zirconia, and “ornamental” stones, and they’re not shy about asking for more margin than you’ll ever make on a traditional diamond sale. for example, see senior associate editor bacilio mendez’s “style 360: must have” posts on www.

Setting Inventory Levels and Controls

the old days of hanging a sign over the door, filling the cases, and waiting for the cash register to ring are gone. the game has changed and there are new ways of doing business. companies that adapt to the changes will succeed. aladdin gold creations offers the following article—the first of a five-part series—to energize you and your staff to successfully sell gold jewelry.

A Collective Held Breath

it’s been a fascinating start to what promises to be an eventful year. the january jewelry whirl (all the activities surrounding the 24 karat club annual black-tie event) has come and gone, and once again it provided an amazing opportunity to network, share information, and get a sense for the year ahead.

De Beers Trims Sightholder List

de beers’ diamond trading company has announced a drastically reduced sightholder list. the number of clients is now 75, down from 93. six new companies were added, and 24—or approximately one in four—were dropped. the overall number rises to 79 if clients that have sights only from dtc namibia and dtc botswana are included.

The Watch Company. Reinvented.

luxury watch brand concord has repositioned itself to be an even more exclusive luxury brand, with innovative, edgy designs and its former lines reduced to one, the new c1. in fall 2007, in advance of its 100th anniversary this year, it relaunched itself worldwide with its new watch, tighter distribution, and a new global ad campaign that includes the tagline: “the watch.

Grading Fluorescent Diamonds in a New Light?

when the accredited gemologists association hosts its annual conference in tucson, ariz., on feb. 6, one of the most controversial questions in diamond grading will be on the agenda: how do you accurately grade color in diamonds that fluoresce blue under ultraviolet light? standard grading lights give off a small component of uv light that causes fluorescent diamonds to glow blue.

That Time of Year—Again

frankdallahan@comcast.net the pennsylvania dutch have a wonderful expression that goes something like, “so soon old, so late smart.” i use this to begin the column this month because of the ever-present problem of too much inventory in relation to sales, otherwise known as poor inventory turn.

Movado Launches Tom Brady Chrono

new england patriots quarterback tom brady displays movado’s recently launched series 800 limited-edition tom brady automatic chronograph. brady—only the fourth quarterback in nfl history to lead his team to three super bowl wins—worked closely with movado on its design. there are two versions of the watch, 1,000 in surgical-grade stainless steel alloy ($2,500 retail), and 12 in ros…

Holding Employees Accountable

brian cole miller is the principal of working solutions inc., a dublin, ohio–based management training and consulting firm. miller spoke with jck about his latest book, keeping employees accountable for results: quick tips for busy managers. why do companies seek your help? they approach me because they’re feeling pain.

The Job of a Sales Manager

the job of sales manager is one of the toughest in retail. too often a person gets the position simply because he or she was one of the best salespeople. too many times the sales manager is given the job without any formal training or guidance but is expected to get salespeople to perform. many retail jewelry organizations hire salespeople without anyone knowing if they’re actually good …

Owner of Boston Jeweler Can’t Be Located

the owner of boston’s alpha omega chain has reportedly fled the country, and his chain filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection shortly afterwards, reports say. according to a report on boston magazine’s web site, raman handa, owner of alpha omega, his son amit, and his daughter nidhi left amid mounting bills.

From the Philippines to Paris

at the perles exhibit at the muséum national d’histoire naturelle in paris, philippine pearl producer jewelmer showed how to present the significance and impact of jewelry within the cultural context of a people. on nov. 7, jewelmer held “le miracle de la perle d’or des philippines” (“the miracle of the philippine golden pearl”), a 45-minute presentation of philippi…

Full Spectrum

the 2008 agta spectrum awards competition, hosted by the american gem trade association, has announced this year’s winners. the awards will be presented during the 2008 agta gemfair tucson, to be held feb. 6–11 at the tucson convention center in tucson, ariz., and winning entries will be displayed during the show.

Gem Pricing Report

a soft economy and record gold prices have spawned caution in the gem market. but while the holiday season was marginal for many jewelry retailers, those near tourist destinations reported better sales, which apparently were fueled by international tourists attracted by the strength of the euro and other foreign currencies.

Merge Right

every upscale jeweler wants to be the “tiffany of its town.” but when montreal-based henry birks & sons hired thomas a. andruskevich, the former executive vice president of tiffany & co., to be its ceo, he needed to ensure the firm didn’t become a carbon copy of the famous american jeweler.

Maks Birnbach Dies

maks birnbach, chairman of fullcut manufacturers, died recently. a committed zionist, he was a member of the international board of governors, weizmann institute of science, and a board member of the tel aviv foundation.

Plateau Jewelers: High-Tech Custom Jewelry

this design article is sponsored by gemvison corp., davenport, iowa. for information related to gemvision products and services, visit www.gemvision.com, call (800) 357-6272, or e-mail: info@gemvision. for information about plateau jewelers, visit www.plateaujewelers.com. eleven years ago kelly and sue jensen made their way from texas to the small, picturesque community of sammamish, wash.

Zale Replaces CEO: Goldberg New Head

neal goldberg, former president of the children’s place, has been named president and chief executive officer of zale corp., replacing mary elizabeth “betsy” burton [pictured above], who is stepping down from her management and board positions. he is zale’s third ceo in two years, and the second in a row without retail jewelry experience.

‘Swiss-Made’ Proposal Needs Reworking

aproposal by the federation of the swiss watch industry fh to toughen switzerland’s “swiss made” watch ordinance must be revised to comply with european trade treaties and a swiss government plan to protect the viability of “swiss” and swiss flag trademarks, the swiss federal council says.

Suspects Arrested in Distraction Thefts

quality work by the maryland state police led to the capture of two alleged thieves believed to be responsible for jewelry store distraction thefts in at least eight states over several years, according to jewelers’ security alliance. quinton antoine garrus, 44, and dwayne a. ballard, 48, were arrested by the maryland state police state apprehension team as they were leaving a motel in the balt…

AGTA Rehires Doug Hucker

the american gem trade association board of directors has reappointed douglas hucker as chief executive officer of the organization. hucker had resigned in june 2007. during hucker’s absence, president rick krementz resigned, and vice president barbara lawrence advanced to the president’s position. chief operating officer ed griffon also left.

Seiko Aims at Luxury Level

seiko is expanding into the luxury watch segment of the u.s. market, supported by a new global $20 million ad campaign dubbed “me.” the effort uses print, tv, and the internet to promote new lines including luxury ($1,000-plus) timepieces. the “me” campaign uses photos of attractive young adults in relaxed surroundings looking directly at the viewer.

Antiquorum Old, New Management Trade Accusations

the past and current operators of watch auctioneer antiquorum held competing press conferences nov. 30 in geneva to denounce each other and reveal that each is suing the other. the events stemmed from the august 2007 ouster of osvaldo patrizzi, antiquorum’s founder and former chief executive officer, and other officials by its new directors.

H.Stern Gives You the Choice

with shows like project runway gaining popularity and celebrity after celebrity coming out with a vaguely manifested idea of a jewelry line, it seems everyone wants to try their hand at being a designer these days. there’s no reason why the public can’t partake of the fun, and h.stern has found a way for everyone to play designer for a day and still have the quality associated with a luxury br…

Get to Know…Boaz Kashi

boaz kashi is keeping his family’s goldsmithing tradition alive and exciting. the kashi family, of tel aviv, israel, has been designing jewelry since 1889, primarily classic styles like four- and six-prong gem-set rings and cameos. but as father abraham started turning over more responsibilities to his son, designs grew bigger and bolder, with oversize gold rings, chain links, and pendants ofte…

Passages to India

i’ve traveled to india three times recently as i became engaged in several jewelry marketing and promotional projects. these include rough diamond sourcing challenges and helping guild independent indian jewelry retailers wrestle with pressure from chain stores, big-box operations, and competition from other luxury products.


pk time group llc, north american distributor for swiss watchmakers aquanautic, clerc, and dubey & schaldenbrand, has added high-end swiss-made russian-style volna timepieces. each collection is named for a submarine class of the soviet era. volna produces 500 watches for worldwide sale, with 150 for the u.

Rolex Honors Bebe Neuwirth

dancer and actress bebe neuwirth was awarded the rolex dance award at career transition for dancers’ “dance rocks” event in new york city in october. dancer and choreographer tommy tune presented her with a stainless-steel and 18k pink gold rolex oyster perpetual lady datejust in honor of her achievements.

May to Head NCDIA

robert may has become the new executive director of the natural color diamond association, the industry group that promotes colored diamonds. he replaces sam merksamer, who resigned to pursue opportunities in the for-profit sector. may was previously the brand manager for pluczenik diamond co. prior to that, he spent 20 years with the diamond promotion service at jwt.

Missed Opportunities That Cost You Money

i recently returned from a countrywide swing visiting luxury retailers and observing sales associates, noting what i consider missed opportunities. here are the 10 most common and how to address them. beginning with the wrong goal in mind. clients know when a sales associate genuinely cares and wants to solve their problem as opposed to trying to make a quick sale.

Leaving the Comfort Zone

last month, this page examined the cost of gold today compared with 1981 and argued that the sky is not falling. shortly after our january issue went to press, bad news—ok, terrible news—tumbled forth from the economic sector. the major stock indexes dropped, holiday sales were disappointing, housing starts plummeted, and more.

TAG Heuer Launches Largest-Ever Online Ad Campaign

swiss luxury sport watchmaker tag heuer in november launched what it called the industry’s first extensive online ad campaign to reach consumers who spend, on average, three hours online daily. the project, starting at $1 million, makes tag heuer the largest internet advertiser in the watch and jewelry industries, claims the brand, and the only luxury watch with an interactive online campaign.

Intergem 2007: The Wild Bunch

the gem artists from idar-oberstein, germany, and surrounding communities have not only 500 years of gem-cutting history behind them but also, in many instances, the same name. although we’re still not sure if alexander, constantin, and manfred wild are from the same family tree, we spoke to all three to get an overview of the gemstones shown at the recent intergem fair.

To Catch an Internal Thief

internal theft is a problem for any business, but particularly so for jewelers, whose product is small, easily concealable, and sometimes exceptionally valuable. yet, for many jewelers, it’s not a big priority. “a lot of times people suspect internal theft and do nothing,” says john kennedy of jewelers’ security alliance.

Glashütte Original and Audi Exhibit Similarities

carmaker audi and luxury watchmaker glashütte original recently presented an exhibit titled “watches and wheels: precision german engineering,” which emphasized similarities between the two german brands, including origins, craftsmanship, and current products’ features. it featured glashütte original watches paired with audi cars.

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