February 2014

Marketing to the Modern Mobile Bride

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Walska Diamond Bird of Paradise Brooch Flies Away With $10.6 Million

The finely jeweled feathers of this bird of paradise are arresting in their own right. But it’s the vivid yellow diamond suspended from the beak that drove bidding to $10.6 million—a record high price for any Van Cleef & Arpels piece at a Nov. 13 Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva. The 96.62 ct. stone—known…

Platinum: Johnson Matthey’s 2014 Platinum Jewelry Forecast & More

Poised for Growth While Johnson Matthey predicted a slight dip in global demand for jewelry in the sturdy white metal, its Platinum 2013 Interim Review had good news for North American retailers: Platinum ­jewelry sales are expected to grow 11 percent in 2014. One reason for the expected rise: the abundance of entry-level platinum bridal…

Diamonds: De Beers on Synthethics, Screening & More

De Beers’ Confidence Game With increasing reports of synthetic diamonds being passed off as natural, De Beers has warned its 82 sightholders that selling lab-grown diamonds without noting their origin “threatens consumer confidence” and “may be a criminal offense.” De Beers also sent its clients info on its Automated Melee Screening device, which is being…

Gold: Behind the LoveGold Jewelry Campaign

LoveGold Rush If you’ve noticed a steady stream of gorgeous gold jewels flooding social media, you’ve likely (perhaps unwittingly) discovered LoveGold, a consumer-­facing initiative from the World Gold Council. LoveGold.com is spearheaded by Sally Morrison, WGC’s managing director, jewelry. The site is designed “to talk to consumers about gold category directly,” she says. “The LoveGold…

Ann Lin’s Opera House-Inspired Ring Takes a Bow

It seems only appropriate that this deeply dramatic ring was inspired by the Teatro alla Scala, the iconic Milanese opera house famous for its grand architecture and even grander theatrics. Jewelry designer Ann Lin visited the theater often while studying design at Milan’s Instituto di Moda Burgo. “It’s really the opera house of the world,…

JCK 5: Gem Week Shows You Won’t Want to Miss

The Sonora blooms with color in February. These shows offer some of the best selections. (Above)1. The Gem & Jewelry Exchange (Feb. 4–9, gjxusa.com) at 198 S. Granada Ave. hosts U.S. and overseas dealers with fine goods—like this necklace with gray diamonds, Tahitian keshi pearls, and black diamond beads.   2. Look for everything from…

JCK Tucson: New Kid on the Desert Block

JCK Tucson brings a selection of fine finished jewels to the loose gem capital of the world If you’re headed to Arizona this February for the gem shows, make room on your calendar to visit JCK Tucson at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa, Feb. 3–8. The latest addition to the JCK…

Retailers, Make a Mission Statement

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to formally declare what your business stands for There’s no north and south for jewelry retailers, but some direction is always helpful. As you navigate the months and years of ups and downs, changing customer preferences, volatile economic cycles, and shifting ­jewelry trends, what keeps you…

Groom Service

Today’s marrying man is overstimulated, overeducated, and he’s got cash to spare. Just don’t oversell him. Marketing that targets brides is the status quo in the ­jewelry business. After all, bridal purchases compose 35 percent of total retail sales, according to Jewelers of America’s 2013 “Cost of Doing Business” report. But by convention, it is…

Marketing to the Modern Mobile Bride

Pop-up ads? That’s so 5 years ago. Time to get smart(phones): To market to today’s bride, jewelers need to catch her while she’s on the go. In just the past few years, reaching brides and grooms via websites and ads ­displayed on desktop computers has become as dated as dial-up Internet access. Jewelry companies and…

Bridal Jewelers, Do You Need a Mobile App?

After an initial burst of interest, many industry tech pros now are dismissive of mobile apps. If it’s an either-or question, investing in your website might be a better choice. But apps are still better for some functions. If you think an app might be a good fit, here are a few things to keep…

JCK Asks…Victor Velyan

Pour yourself a scotch and learn more about the rockin’ L.A.-based designer When you’re looking at a Victor Velyan piece—admiring its old-world panache, shimmery patina, and 24k gold accents—you’re probably not imagining its designer cruising around Los Angeles on a custom-built Harley. But Velyan is a rock ’n’ roller at heart and so, he says,…

Princess Diana’s Seven-Strand Pearl Choker That Stunned the World

We all have one: a gorgeous, sentimental piece of ­jewelry given to us by someone special that just isn’t our style. Even the late Princess Diana. When the 20-year-old earl’s daughter married Prince Charles in 1981, the Queen Mother bequeathed her a brooch featuring a duck-egg-size Sri Lankan sapphire set in a double row of…

Something Cold, Something New: Trends & Ads in the January 2014 Fashion Magazines

Vogue Pushing:• Crushed metal cuff; sculptural geometric necklace (“Sharply honed sight lines…lend an elegant modernity to starkly simple silhouettes”)• Cherry-red polyurethane watch; violet crystal drop earrings (“High Resolution: Brighten your look in 2014”)Advertisers:Rolex, Cartier, Versace Marie Claire Pushing:• Silver chain bracelet; wide leather cuff with ­polished metal buckle (“Blurred Lines: In a battle of the…

There’s an Art (Literally!) to Selling Jewelry at Dodson’s

“Follow your bliss” is more than a well-worn adage for Debra Schultz and Penn Fix, co-owners of Dodson’s ­Jewelers in Spokane, Wash. It’s the reason the ­husband-and-wife retailers turned the walls of their 125-year-old fine ­jewelry store into a booming gallery. “We don’t have an art background, but we’ve always loved art,” says Schultz. When…

Hamilton Hill

905 W. Main St., Durham, N.C. When gemologist Sarah Hill and her former business partner, Michael Hamilton, decided to open Hamilton Hill, they easily could have set up shop in one of the Raleigh-Durham area’s numerous malls. Instead, they chose downtown Durham—an area that, at the time in 2001, was still struggling to make a…

Josephs and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Jewels

It’s not easy to break into a 143-year-old business. Just ask the boss’s daughter. Trisha Joseph’s first experience working at Josephs Jewelers—the fine jewelry business owned by her father, Toby Joseph, and her uncle, John—didn’t exactly point to her future vocation as co-owner of the West Des Moines, Iowa–based retail chain. “I worked as a…

Tune In to TED Talks

Fire up your staff with TED global and conference videos and podcasts If bringing in outside experts to train and motivate staffers is on your agenda, but costs are an obstacle, consider TED Talks. The international conferences—which are broken out into bite-size videos accessible online and as podcasts—spotlight lectures from experts and professionals across TED’s…

It’s Official: Marketing, As We Know It, Is Dead

Marketing always has been ­misunderstood and open to manipulation. It’s like politics—it can attract two-bit hucksters and those whose egos have far outgrown their expertise. Everyone thinks they’re experts on ­marketing. So how do we know it’s dead? Here’s a clue: In a 2012 lecture, Peter Thiel, cofounder of ­PayPal and an early investor in…

Why It Pays to Be a Radio Active Retailer

With today’s emphasis on online promotion and social media presence, retailers may be tempted to dismiss a more conventional advertising medium: radio. But for many jewelers, radio spots offer a reliable, cost-effective way to reach core demographics. According to the Nielsen RADAR national radio network ratings, the old-school medium reaches nine out of 10 U.S.…

How Retailers Can Harness the Power of Google Helpouts

Jaclyn Rice, business ­development category manager for Google Helpouts—an online tool that provides help from experts via live video—weighs in on how retailers can best leverage the new service. 1. When there’s downtime, set up your employees on Helpouts to help people all over the world. They can teach someone what to look for when…

Arizona or Bust: Gem Pricing, February 2014

Fine goods expected to be big draw at Tucson Colored stone dealers have shifted their attention to this month’s international gem shows in Tucson, Ariz. Tens of thousands of dealers and buyers are expected to arrive in Tucson during February for some 40 gem and mineral shows. Expectations are optimistic, especially for dealers of high-end…

Jewelry Industry & People: February 2014

COMINGS AND GOINGS Sophie Stevens >>?Bonhams appointed Sophie Stevens as a jewelry specialist in its London office. She had been a specialist with Lucas Rarities in London and reviews editor at the Society of ­Jewellery Historians magazine Jewellery History Today. >>?The Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association has re-elected Mehul Shah of Shivani Gems as its…

Jewelry Retailers Reveal Their Hot, Hot, Hot Holiday 2013 Sellers

Jewelers share their holiday best sellers with JCK: 1. “We sold firefly pendants—these are Dancing Diamond styles, but we call them Fireflies—in karat gold.” —Brenda Burris, manager, Goldrush Jewelers, Marion, Ohio 2. “Surprisingly, we sold a lot of diamond jewelry. With the Internet and Blue Nile, we had been seeing a lot of competition. But…

Jewelers’ Christmas 2013 Mostly Merry

Jewelers told JCK they were pleased with their 2013 holiday sales—although a sizable minority found business tough, with consumers still cautious and watching their wallets. For most, however, it was a holiday to celebrate. Steve Hammalian, co-owner of Little Treasury Jewelers in Gambrills, Md., said his December sales were up 37 percent. “The season was…

Happy New Year!: Publisher’s Letter, February 2014

The year got off to an amazing start in early January with the series of events, lunches, and meetings that revolve around the annual 24 Karat Club’s black-tie gala. Attendance at the events was at levels not seen for years, the mood was bright, and the energy electric. And for all of us at JCK,…

It’s Complicated: Editor’s Letter, February 2014

For Christmas, a friend of mine gave me a collection of essays called Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. Titled after Joan Didion’s iconic 1968 essay about loving New York City “the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: February 2014

1. Auctions The mines of Golconda, India, have produced some of the world’s most famous gems: the Hope, the Koh-i-Noor—and the appropriately named 52 ct. D-color internally flawless Golconda. On Dec. 10, the eponymous stone hit the auction block at ­Christie’s New York and fetched an impressive $10.9 million, or $207,600 per carat—just the latest…