January 1, 1999

Will Jewelry Sales Sparkle in ’99?

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The Independents’ One Great Advantage

the independents’ one great advantage as we enter the last year of the century, it’s appropriate to think about long-term objectives – not the usual short-term ones we forget within a matter of weeks or months. here are some factors to keep in mind for the new millennium. in an industry where technological change has been relatively minor, the internet will be a tremendous for…

GIA Brilliance Study Lacks Fire

after eight years of study, the gemological institute of america has issued the first of a series of reports on diamond cut (see accompanying article). the study offers some fascinating mathematical data. but with only one-third of the project complete, the report makes some hasty judgments on cut-grading systems already in place.

Editor’s Page

what do the following have in common? a jules verne submarine, sprinting steenbok antelope, a fleet of ship-based mines, tires twice the size of a man, and holes in the earth that could swallow 100 empire state buildings. the answer is diamonds. all these elements are part of the amazing but little-appreciated story of diamond production.

Contests

kudos! congratulations go to karen feldman of feldman design fine jewelers, emmaus, pa., for taking first place in the pennsylvania jewelers association design competition. her winning piece was a 14k white and yellow gold brooch featuring a yellow sapphire, vietnamese pink sapphire, mandarin garnet, and princess-cut diamond.

Book Reviews

daniel brush: gold without boundaries with writings by: ralph esmerian, paul theroux, donald kuspit, david bennett, daniel brush new york, harry n. abrams inc. 275 pages, $65 a newly published book describes daniel brush’s road to enlightenment, while a reissue documents the world’s greatest jewelry collection.

WatchWorld

1999 watch forecast: sales gains, growing pains the u.s. watch market at the close of the century is one of vast potential. in light of the asian economic collapse and slackening sales in europe, the american market now takes on greater significance among watchmakers. the prospect of a watch renaissance here hinges in large measure on growing consumer sophistication as watches move into the mai…

De Beers Gets the Millennium Bug

don’t look now, but the year 2000 is just around the corner. and along with talk of computer bugs, new year’s blow-outs, and would-be apocalypses, be prepared for a tidal wave of hype. but where many of us just see a big date change, de beers senses a unique opportunity. the company is sinking millions of dollars – exactly how many has yet to be determined – into a …

Seaworthy Styles

when you hear the term “nautical jewelry,” do you picture the usual suspects, such as leaping dolphins, shells, and starfish? maybe it’s time to think about this category again and see what’s keeping it growing. nautical and marine-theme jewelry is undergoing a reformation, say designers.

People

consulting group names two executives robert epstein and darren fries, both formerly executives with silverman jewelers consultants in south carolina, have been appointed vice presidents at the buxbaum group. the buxbaum group provides consulting, evaluation, and liquidation services for retailers, wholesalers, distributors, consumer products manufacturers, and their lenders.

The 1999 AGTA Spectrum Awards: Structural Integrity

as many a maturing baby boomer has discovered, it’s good to have a little structure in your life. this year, the spectrum award judges have indicated that it’s also good to have structure in your jewelry. a highly architectural tourmaline brooch was named best of show in the annual jewelry-design competition sponsored by the dallas-based american gem trade association.

What’s New – Catalogs

the t.c. jewelry group has issued an eight-page color brochure to commemorate its 32nd anniversary. the brochure details the history of the third-generation jewelry manufacturer, which has a staff of 600 and offices in new york, hong kong, taiwan, and bangkok. the pamphlet also presents a collection of diamonds, precious stones, and tahitian black pearl ring/earring ensembles.

Will Jewelry Sales Sparkle in ’99?

after a roaring first half of 1998 in which u.s. jewelry sales jumped 9%, many jewelers and manufacturers noted an eerie autumn lull. the drop-off was attributed in part to the shocking stock market plunge, which drained $1.5 trillion in wealth from investors between july and october. continued economic turmoil overseas may have also hurt sales.

Letters

security for sales reps i am a former national sales manager and currently a manufacturer’s representative in our industry. i have just finished reading your article in the november issue of jck concerning security issues for jewelry sales representatives (counterpoint, p. 26). i would like to commend you for your realistic and common-sense approach.

How Sweet It Is!

little, beaded cardigans. soft, cuddly cashmere. silks opulently beaded, yet remarkably fluid. pretty butterflies and dainty flowers. body-curving sweater girl knits with three-quarter sleeves and bateau necklines to show off a delicate, graceful curve of throat and shoulder. it’s the age of romance.

BusinessReport

‘skips’: costly disappearing acts the jewelers board of trade (jbt) has sounded an alarm bell over the growing numbers of “skips,” jewelry firms throughout the industry that instead of declaring bankruptcy simply disappear along with their valuable inventory. in some instances, skips occur when jewelers don’t want to go to the expense or trouble of taking “the proper leg…

GemNotes

tourmaline find generates excitement a recent find of tourmaline in nigeria is the talk of the gem world. the stones, ranging from light pinks to deep purples, were discovered on farmland about 25 miles west of the border with benin. measuring less than a square kilometer in a small river basin, the deposit was mined so quickly it’s already depleted, according to bill larson, owner of pa…

How to Please Your Best Customers

all customers are not created equal. in many retail businesses, the age-old “80-20” rule applies: 80% of your income comes from 20% of your customers. consider your own business. naturally, it’s important to try to bring new people in the door. but are you also doing everything you can to keep and maximize the clients who currently account for the bulk of your business? the days of …

UpFront

good news on the crime front it’s too soon to declare victory, but the jewelry industry appears to be on a strong winning streak against crime. robberies of jewelry stores plummeted 42% through the first 10 months of 1998 compared with figures for the same period in 1997 (158 vs. 274), and even losses by salespersons are down.

FashionFacets

color me celadon hope you like wasabi! even if you’re not inclined to clear your sinuses with a mouthful of stinging japanese horseradish, be prepared to see the green color everywhere early in the next millennium. wasabi is a sort of “washed celadon green,” as described by the color marketing group (cmg).

GIA to Ideal Cutters: Back to the 3-D Drawing Board

the first and largest installment of the gemological institute of america’s study of diamond cuts subverts the long-held belief in the supremacy of the ideal cut. the report confirms the opinion of many diamond cutters that there’s more than one “ideal” for a round brilliant. among other findings, the study demonstrates that the classic tolkowsky model does not in fact yield the mos…

In Search of Affordable Vintage Wristwatches

the names most often associated with the collectible wristwatch market are patek philippe, vacheron constantine, and rolex. the continued popularity of these classic high-end pieces is reflected in the prices they command – from $10,000 to $150,000 or more. but collecting fine-quality vintage wristwatches need not bust the budget.

How Much of a Threat is the Internet?

troy kelsey was an unhappy diamond shopper. a 29-year-old graduate student, he shopped around his home base of champaign, ill., for a diamond for his 25-year-old fiancée, but he couldn’t find anything he liked. “the size of the city makes the selection of jewelers limited,” he says. every stone he looked at had something that turned him off – bad cut, no “cert,&#822…

Card Games – Nine Ways to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

new jewelry sales clerks would be alarmed by the “chunky, well-dressed woman” who police say stole $13,000 in merchandise from musselman, gordon, and littman jewelers in bloomsburg, pa. the criminal’s modus operandi: phony credit cards. according to the u.s. secret service, the federal agency that monitors and investigates currency-related crimes, there were 2,269 arrests for …

What You Should Know About Enhancements and Gem Pricing

if you get confused over gemstone enhancements, you’re not alone. the industry today applies so many different treatments to gemstones – heat, oil, opticon, irradiation – that it’s no easy task evaluating enhancements and gauging their effect on price. take ruby, for example. we know that most rubies are heated.