January 1, 2001

Familiarity With Jewelry Brands

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OBITUARY

jerry strassman passed away on oct. 13 at the age of 70 after a short illness. he worked for wright & lato as territory manager for the southern states. prior to that, he represented a. jaffe.

Honoring Others on the Day for Mothers

a single professional woman has a former college professor who has, through the years, become a mentor, guiding her professional development and personal growth into adulthood. a middle-aged man’s aunt-now in her 80s-never had children of her own but still carries his yellowed and dog-eared kindergarten photograph in her wallet.

Wall Street Sizes Up Spring Fashion

the holidays are over, for better or for worse, and as plans commence for the spring buying season, it’s once again time to analyze fashion’s trends. while the runways and consumer magazines may be a little too outlandish or urban for your customer base, forecasters at merrill lynch have tamed down the trends to a sleek few that can be adapted almost universally.

Coalition Moves Quickly On Watchmaker Shortage

the watch and jewelry industries’ “coalition for watchmaker education” (cwe), formed in late 2000, is moving quickly to deal with the alarming shortage of qualified watchmakers and repairers in america. it is gathering defining data on u.s. watchmakers, developing professional education requirements, and devising ways to attract qualified high school students.

GLDA ANNOUNCES ONLINE DIRECTORY

glda inc. is putting its directory for this year’s tucson gem and jewelry show online. listed in the web show directory will be complete, up-do-date information on exhibitors, including company name, booth location, address, e-mail address, web site address, phone and fax numbers, and product listings.

Fashion Facets

it was another season of luxury and jewelry on the runways. after several such seasons, it’s hardly a novelty to see high-profile designers accessorizing their clothes with fine jewelry. at the most recent shows, however, there’s been a noticeably strong trend that further solidifies jewelry’s place in the fashion world.

Virtual Travel Tips

for many jewelers, january is the start of a new year of traveling-to trade shows, gem centers, and craft fairs. to avoid problems later, travel “virtually” now. a number of new books and web sites for business travelers can help you plan your trip-from finding discount fares to getting good opera tickets-all without leaving your office. read all about it.

‘Cornerstone Principles’ Will Guide Zale Growth, Says Raff

zale corp., the world’s largest specialty retailer of jewelry, has a new boss, and her name is beryl b. raff. she’s the first woman to head zale and one of the few top female execs in the male-dominated jewelry industry.raff, zale corp.’s former president and chief executive officer, was named chairman and chief executive officer of the company on aug. 30 by zale’s board of directors.

Littman Resigns From GIA

jim littman, whose enormously successful fundraising efforts had a tremendous impact on operations and plans of the gemological institute of america, has resigned as its chief development officer, effective nov. 3. he left for what he called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to be ceo of a new e-commerce company called ibbc inc.

The UL “Blue Book”

information about ul-listed burglary-resistant safes is available to any jeweler. underwriters laboratories’ “burglary protection equipment directory”-nicknamed “the blue book”-is part of ul’s series of product directories. ul-evaluated safes and their manufacturers are listed under the category of “burglary-resistant safes.

A New Market for Colored Synthetics?

synthetic fancy colored diamonds are not only politically and ecologically correct but also just the ticket for those who want a fancy colored diamond but can’t afford a natural stone, says alex grizenko, president and ceo of lucent diamonds in golden, colo. since synthetic stones originate in laboratories, they’re not subject to third world politics or unearthed at nature’s expense.

Tahitian Trade-Off

results from six major pearl auctions last year-three by robert wan in hong kong, and three united pearl producers auctions (uppa) in tahiti-show prices on tahitian goods falling. of 140,597 pearls up for sale at the september wan auction, 119,750 were purchased. the average price per pearl was $62.72, down from an average of $79.63 per pearl for the 139,390 purchased at the march auction.

EGL POSTS INTERACTIVE WEB SITE

european gemological laboratory recently finished improvements to its web site, www.eglusa.com. the interactive site incorporates features designed to assist consumers and the trade with gemstone and product information. one section gives consumers and jewelers the ability to verify results online by entering a pre-grading, certificate, or consultation number.

The Tech Connection: Staying in touch by E-Mail

note: this is the first in a series of “how to” articles designed to help retailers develop a better understanding of technology. every other month, a guest writer will provide step-by-step solutions to common computer-related problems. this month, caroline stanley takes a look at e-mail. e-mail is a simple, convenient, and affordable way for you to connect with your customers.

People

manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america (mjsa) recently appointed mary walek as director of education. walek was formerly the executive director of the attleboro, mass., area school-to-career partnership. in her previous position, walek worked with mjsa on industry outreach programs that served more than 200 middle and high school students.

Green Gem Garnets

spread the word: garnet birthstones don’t have to be red. (see “jewel of the month: gem garnets,” jck, november 2000, p. 99.) so climb out of the rut and show your customers the green. there are two important transparent green garnets from which to choose: tsavorite grossularite and demantoid andradite. look carefully at the two, and you can see some subtle color differences.

Bad Appraising Lands Good Jeweler in Court

“intended use” is the linchpin of any appraisal. to perform an appraisal properly, you must know what it’s for and include the reason on the report itself. why is the issue of intended use so important? the story behind a recent trial in florida provides a dramatic answer.in july 1993, manuel marcial, president of key west, fla.

A Necklace for any MOOD SWING

the rise and fall of the y necklace, followed by the reincarnation of a million chandelier-style designs, has set the stage for a modern classic: the lariat.despite its steadfast role in the history of american fashion (think “cowgirls”), the lariat offers a fresh, modern look. perhaps its best quality is adaptability.

‘Net News

european gemological laboratory recently finished improvements to its web site, www.eglusa.com. the interactive site incorporates features designed to assist consumers and the trade with gemstone and product information. one section gives consumers and jewelers the ability to verify results online by entering a pre-grading, certificate, or consultation number.

Associations

manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america has voted to expand its membership to include international jewelry manufacturers and suppliers. the expansion came as an amendment to the mjsa bylaws, which previously did not allow a foreign company to become an mjsa member. the decision was made during the organization’s 97th annual meeting, held oct. 19 at the biltmore hotel in providence, r.i.

MJSA DECIDES TO GO INTERNATIONAL

manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america has voted to expand its membership to include international jewelry manufacturers and suppliers. the expansion came as an amendment to the mjsa bylaws, which previously did not allow a foreign company to become an mjsa member. the decision was made during the organization’s 97th annual meeting, held oct. 19 at the biltmore hotel in providence, r.i.

The Germans are Coming

from jan. 31 to feb. 5, tucson, ariz., will again play host to a number of international gem artists and dealers. one international event will be sponsored by the gem and lapidary dealers association (glda) at the holiday inn city center.

PEARL DESIGN CONTEST NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES

the american pearl company is calling for entries for vision awards 2001, a pearl design competition. artists and designers are invited to share their creations featuring american natural and cultured pearls.deadline for entry submission is april 25, 2001. entry forms are available by calling (800) 288-2877.

The Virtual Traveler

to find “tricks and tips” for the computer-equipped traveler, visit www.roadnews.com. the site provides “all the information a road warrior (or occasional traveler) needs to know if traveling with a laptop/notebook computer.” it provides advice on what kind of hardware to bring, info on telephone and power adapters you need abroad, and how to find a local internet service provider.

Intangible Resolutions

how many times have you approached a new year with a list of resolutions, determined that this year you will finally make them stick? this will be the year you learn to like fruit instead of chocolate cake (yeah, right!) or you will get your correspondence, taxes, business plan, etc. finished before it’s due, or you will get personally involved in good works instead of just sending a check.

3Beams Announces New Technology

3beams technologies, hillsboro, ore., has announced another advance in diamond inscription services. its new “encoding” can brand color images, music, and even a small video clip onto the table of a diamond, all of which can be read and viewed on a specially converted palm pilot. according to jayant neogi, 3beams ceo, these new services will be ready shortly.

One-Stop Shopping

many jewelers are happy to offer advice to men seeking romantic ways to propose to their sweethearts. but marc green, vice chairman of lux, bond and green, west hartford, conn., offers something extra. green, a justice of the peace, can also perform the marriage ceremony.if a couple come in together to look at rings green often jokes, “let’s do it now.

Taking Charge

for kevin kleiner and ken dondero, owning a jewelry store wasn’t quite like the brochure said it would be.sure, business was good. their store, dondero’s jewelry in vineland, n.j., was doing about $1.8 million annually in sales. but sales had been flat for several years. worse yet, their lives were in disarray. every waking hour, it seemed, was spent at the store.

CALL FOR PRECIOUS METAL CLAY ENTRIES

the brookfield, conn., craft center announces a request for entries for a juried show of handmade fine craftwork using the new material known as precious metal clay. judges will review and select work for the show based on “the way the artist’s work explores the creative potential of the material precious metal clay.

Patek Philippe Marks Millennium With New Complication

swiss luxury watchmaker patek philippe is marking the end of the 20th century with a unique giveaway and celebrating the new millennium with a monumental new timepiece, the star caliber 2000.

How Safe Is Your Safe?

“safes are the jeweler’s last bastion of defense against burglary and theft,” says security expert david sexton, vice president of special accounts for jewelers mutual insurance. “that’s why we and other insurers look so critically at the physical protection they provide.

Very Funny

humorous jewelry is a great icebreaker that can lead to increased sales. really unusual pieces-such as rembrandt’s false teeth and vasectomy charms and links of london’s tits ‘n’ bums cuff-links-stop people in their tracks.quite often, inspiration for silly pieces comes from customers, according to rembrandt quality charms, buffalo, n.y.

Up Front

as congress neared the end of its session at press time, lawmakers were considering at least two proposals on “conflict diamonds”-including one that could halt all diamond imports into the united states.the proposal, a rider attached to a congressional spending bill by senator judd gregg (r-n.h.), says no diamonds from conflict areas can be imported into the united states.

Contests

the independent jewelers organization (ijo) held its annual jewelry design contest at its fall 2000 buying show, awarding first- and second-place prizes in two price categories. this year’s first-place winner in the under $1,000 retail category was gem gallery (tim ottman, designer), reno, nev.

SHEELY EXPANDS INTERNET BUSINESS

sheely wholesale distributors, an internet broker of used tools and equipment for people in the jewelry and horological trades, has expanded its web site to include new tool lines from grobet, reimers, eurotool, l & r, slaubaugh, vibrograph, and other manufacturers.the site, located at www.sheelywholesale.com, also has added a shopping cart feature.

The ‘Beauty Report’

“it’s revolutionary!” exclaims gary gordon, an agsjeweler from oklahoma city, okla. gordon is excited about the “beauty report” generated by the brilliancescope, a spectrophotometer that reveals the light performance of a diamond. (see “brilliancescope makes debut,” jck, may 1999, p. 44)”a friend in new york told me about it two years ago, about how it was being developed,” recalls gordon.

Gem Notes

results from six major pearl auctions last year-three by robert wan in hong kong, and three united pearl producers auctions (uppa) in tahiti-show prices on tahitian goods falling. of 140,597 pearls up for sale at the september wan auction, 119,750 were purchased. the average price per pearl was $62.72, down from an average of $79.63 per pearl for the 139,390 purchased at the march auction.

Supplier News

louis glick & company, a manufacturer of gems and fine diamond jewelry, is offering the “diamond hourglass” as a prize during the jewelers of america show in new york. the timepiece-a genuine working hourglass-contains 35 cts. of uncut diamonds. contestants enter to win by filling out an entry form provided in louis glick & company’s magazine advertising. the drawing will take place feb.

Janitor’s Honesty Is Repaid—But Not With Much

santa fe, n.m., janitor bruce buck has received both good and very bad news regarding the 9.7-ct. bauble he fished out of a vacuum cleaner while cleaning offices last february.the good news is he gets to keep the “gem.” the bad news is it’s a worthless fake.buck made headlines when he handed the stone-originally appraised at $19,000-to police.

BLUE NILE ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH AOL

blue nile inc., an online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry (www.bluenile.com), has announced a new shopping agreement with america online inc. under which blue nile will be an anchor tenant within the jewelry category on the shop@aol online shopping destinations.

Don’t Get Caught in the ‘Net

it used to be a jeweler’s headache: a customer coming in with the rapaport “red sheet” and demanding that the jeweler match the price. now there’s a more vexing problem: customers coming in with sheets from bluenile, ashford.com or any of the thousands of diamond-selling web sites-and demanding that the jeweler match those prices.

The Many Faces of Success

one area demonstrating zale’s continuing merchandising innovation and market growth is its bridal business.

Familiarity With Jewelry Brands

in 1999, jck released the results of a consumer study of jewelry purchasing habits, conducted by taylor nelson sofres intersearch, a market research firm in horsham, pa.* jewelry shoppers were queried on topics including their knowledge of name brands. their response is a wake-up call to those still asking, “how important is branding?

Grunstein Takes on Citizen (UK)

laurence r. grunstein, president of citizen watch co. of america and its canadian subsidiary, has been appointed managing director and chief executive officer of citizen watch (uk) ltd. the appointment, effective oct. 1, was announced by akihiko suzuki, director of citizen trading co. and general manager of citizen’s overseas trade division. while the u.k.

MJSA NAMES DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america (mjsa) recently appointed mary walek as director of education. walek was formerly the executive director of the attleboro, mass., area school-to-career partnership. in her previous position, walek worked with mjsa on industry outreach programs that served more than 200 middle and high school students.

Gold Jewelry Demand Remains Strong

gold jewelry demand in the first nine months of 2000 slightly outpaced the record level of 1999, the world gold council (wgc), london, reported.jewelry demand for the nine months was 2,114 tons, 1% above the level of a year ago, according to wgc’s quarterly survey “gold demand trends.

Jewelry on the Runways

it was another season of luxury and jewelry on the runways. after several such seasons, it’s hardly a novelty to see high-profile designers accessorizing their clothes with fine jewelry. at the most recent shows, however, there’s been a noticeably strong trend that further solidifies jewelry’s place in the fashion world.

CJA SPONSORS EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

the california jewelers association recently sponsored a series of daylong seminars for retailers, manufacturers, and designers. nearly 100 people attended the education 2000 programs in berkeley (northern california) and los angeles (southern california).participants took part in either of two tracks.

Owner of Canadian Mine for Sale

for sale: a stake in one of the world’s most talked-about diamond mines.dia met, the company that spearheaded the diamond rush in canada’s northwest territories with its discovery of the ekati mine, is for sale. the company owns 40% of the mine but has been in turmoil since the divorce of founder charles fipke.

Hall’s Well?

the industry has had an up-and-down-though mostly down-relationship with rep. tony hall (d-ohio), the congressman whose carat act calls for every diamond to be sold with a “certificate of origin.” but now some hope the industry finally has a good working relationship with the mercurial human rights activist.

No Reunion for De Beers and Argyle

ending a wild fight that flipped back and forth almost as much as the u.s. presidential election, it appears that de beers will not be the new owner of australia’s argyle mine.in june, de beers offered to pay aus$522 million for ashton mining, the minority partner in the mine-the world’s largest producer of smaller stones.

Consolidation of Luxury Brands Continues

the ongoing consolidation of europe’s upscale watch industry continued in the year 2000, with the swatch group-the world’s largest watchmaker-adding another luxury watch firm to its collection, and other brands tightening control over sources of key watch parts.

Are We Having Fun Yet? Overcoming the Intimidation Factor

fear of the unknown is a universal emotion, and for most consumers fine jewelry represents the unknown. that’s one reason 87% of consumers surveyed last year by jck said shopping for jewelry wasn’t “fun.” compounding the fear factor, television exposés about untrustworthy jewelers and “bloody” diamonds continue to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of shoppers.

A Pearl Book for the InStyle Generation

there are books on pearls tracing their history and the romance of their harvesting; and there are books on fashion, outlining the artistic and intricate ways in which styles become important. now, for the first time, there’s a book that combines the two into a beautifully illustrated narrative on the important link between fashion and pearls.

Trick VI: GEMSTONE MAGNETS

you know that sinking feeling you get when you take a piece of jewelry out of the ultrasonic and stones are missing-and your cleaning solution is hard to see through? now, thanks to ja certified master bench jewelert jeffrey mathews of jeffrey mathews designs, dallas, texas, you can avoid that feeling by using his quick and simple process to locate and retrieve them.

What advertising medium gets the best response for bridal jewelry?

newspaper 34.3%cable tv 24.7%magazine 21.7%radio 25.3%other:word of mouth 7.8%network tv 4.8%direct mail 4.8%billboards 3%(other advertising with less than 3% of picks includes catalogs, bridal showers, internet, sale flyers, and yellow pages) source: jck retail jewelry panel editor’s note: percentages add up to more than 100 because of multiple responses.

Philadelphia Jewelers Reward Cabbie and Wife

philadelphia cab driver kehinde akano and his wife, ninilole, were publicly commended and presented with his-and-her seiko watches for their part in foiling the getaway of two robbery suspects from a center city jewelry store.

The 80-20 Rule

as the first year of the new millennium begins, it is appropriate for retail jewelers and jewelry manufacturers to remember some of the things we’ve learned in the century just concluded. one such practical tool for jewelers on both sides of the counter is the “80-20 rule.

Jewelers’ Resources

for additional information on how to talk to your customers about conflict diamonds, consult the following web sites:www.dps.org/conflictdiamonds.htmlwww.jewelers.org/ja member/conflictdias.html

Rules of Engagement

forty minutes before closing on the saturday of a three-day holiday weekend, four drunken yuppies walked into susan eisen fine jewelry in el paso, texas. one of them had decided to propose to his girlfriend-in an hour-and his friends were accompanying him to bolster his courage as he bought an engagement ring.

Ready for PrimeTime

a customer in fort worth, texas, was ready to pick up a pair of diamond earrings from his jeweler, but there was a problem. the night before, the man’s wife had watched the primetime live broadcast linking diamonds to the civil war in sierra leone and now said she didn’t want diamonds anymore. the jeweler responded by explaining the jewelry industry’s efforts to solve the problem.

Grade This

we’ll start with an easy one: clarity-grading a 2.25-ct. diamond supplied by los angeles diamond wholesaler gaby landau of j. landau inc. accompanying the diamond is a gemological institute of america gem trade lab report, and on the stone paper is a “sticky” with sarin measurements.

Diamond I.D. Touts Online Registration

with certification and inscription of diamonds increasing, could online registration be the next big thing?the people behind diamond i.d. hope so. the diamond i.d. system gives jewelers the chance to enter their customers’ laser-inscribed stones into an online computer database. the database, accessible via the internet, can be used to help identify, track, and recover the diamond if it’s stolen.

Temporary Cease-fire in Sierra Leone

in other “conflict diamond” news, a cease-fire has been announced in sierra leone. it could halt the gruesome conflict that the abc newsmagazine primetime live blamed on the diamond industry in october. the sierra leone government and rebel group revolutionary united front agreed to the 30-day cease-fire following talks in nigeria. the deal opens the way for u.n.

Diamond-Banning Measure Still Alive in Congress

as congress neared the end of its session at press time, lawmakers were considering at least two proposals on “conflict diamonds”-including one that could halt all diamond imports into the united states.the proposal, a rider attached to a congressional spending bill by senator judd gregg (r-n.h.), says no diamonds from conflict areas can be imported into the united states.

Detection of Annealed Pinks and Blues

the gemological institute of america says it can detect a “vast majority” of the treated pink and blue fancy colored diamonds produced by the bellataire company, which markets stones treated with general electric’s high pressure/high temperature (hpht) process.”we are cautiously optimistic they will be distinguishable,” says gia’s tom moses.

Bridal Jewelry Trends Now

three-stone ringscolored stonesclassic engagement ring stylesplatinumtwo-tone metals love grows. so do diamond prices. in 1999, engagement ring prices increased 13.2% and sales increased 12.1%. bright brides know their stuff. in 1999, 71% of brides knew about the “four cs” of buying a diamond, and 60% were aware of the two months’ salary guideline.

DIAMOND HOURGLASS OFFERED AS PRIZE

louis glick & company, a manufacturer of gems and fine diamond jewelry, is offering the “diamond hourglass” as a prize during the jewelers of america show in new york. the timepiece-a genuine working hourglass-contains 35 cts. of uncut diamonds. contestants enter to win by filling out an entry form provided in louis glick & company’s magazine advertising. the drawing will take place feb.

Ocean Diamond Explorer Willard Bascom Dead at 83

willard newell bascom, the man who discovered diamonds at the bottom of the ocean, died sept. 20 at his home in la jolla, calif. bascom was an oceanographer who explored the ocean floors for clues to the earth’s beginnings-and for treasure.

IJO ANNOUNCES JEWELRY DESIGN CONTEST WINNERS

the independent jewelers organization (ijo) held its annual jewelry design contest at its fall 2000 buying show, awarding first- and second-place prizes in two price categories. this year’s first-place winner in the under $1,000 retail category was gem gallery (tim ottman, designer), reno, nev.

$500 Million Heist Foiled in London

would-be thieves crashed a bulldozer into london’s millennium dome on nov. 7, hoping to snatch $500 million worth of diamonds-including the spectacular 203-ct. de beers millennium star. the robbers planned to make their getaway in a speedboat waiting on the thames river.

SUMIT RELOCATES

sumit diamond corp., purveyor and manufacturer of diamonds and diamond jewelry, has moved to 592 fifth ave. in new york city. the move comes in conjunction with a company expansion and the launch of the tara collection by sumit, an array of diamond line bracelets in 14k and 18k gold and platinum.for information, contact sumit diamond corp., 592 fifth ave.

Tolkowsky Creates ‘Odd’ Cut

famed diamond cutter gabi tolkowsky recently introduced the zoe, a new 100-facet diamond cut available from new york’s suberi brothers. unlike traditional diamonds cut into eighths, the zoe has a table surrounded by nine stars, allowing twice the amount of light dispersion. tolkowsky says he wanted to experiment with a diamond that used odd numbers.

Sierra Leone, Take Two

for many, it didn’t make sense. after the industry had gone to extreme lengths to avoid buying diamonds from rebel-held areas in sierra leone, why did big players like the diamond dealers club and martin rapaport suddenly look into securing rough-buying licenses from the country?by all accounts, securing a rough diamond-buying license from the sierra leone government is the right thing to do.

Diamond Miner Sells Stones Online

australian mining company bhp wants to be the “dell computer” of the diamond industry.in a surprise announcement that twists the traditional diamond pipeline into knots, the majority owner of the ekati mine in canada’s northwest territories will sell stones directly to australian consumers via a new web site (www.aurias.com.

Diamond Notes

australian mining company bhp wants to be the “dell computer” of the diamond industry.in a surprise announcement that twists the traditional diamond pipeline into knots, the majority owner of the ekati mine in canada’s northwest territories will sell stones directly to australian consumers via a new web site (www.aurias.com.

Jade Winners

where else but in hong kong would you expect to see the finest in jade jewelry design? the hong kong jewelry and jade manufacturers association (hkjja) has announced the winners of its grand competition 2000, held in celebration of hkjja’s 35th anniversary.

APPOINTMENTS

mercury ring corp., englewood, n.j., announces two appointments. stan luongo is diamond and production manager, and rich olshwanger is sales manager for the tola territory.north bennet street school in boston has named rosemary trainor as department head of the jewelry making and repair program. trainor has been an instructor at the school for four years and is a graduate of the program.

Branded Love

thirty years ago, most couples could probably name at least two brands associated with fine jewelry:de beers, who supplied diamonds to the world and made famous its slogan “a diamond is forever,” and tiffany, whose simple, four-prong setting became the standard bearer for classic diamond solitaire engagement rings.