January 1, 2002

Couples Speak Up: Why They Do—Or Don't—Buy Their Diamond from You

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Titanium’s New Push

it’s the stuff of space rockets and golf clubs—not a terribly romantic association for a metal trying to make it in fine jewelry. but members of the jewelry industry are taking a second look at titanium precisely because it’s unusual—an industrial metal being sold in fine jewelry stores.

Nobel Resumes Business After Sept. 11 Attacks

nobel watch co., a supplier of mid-and luxury-priced watches, was back in business a month after the sept. 11 terrorist attacks in new york city.nobel is headquartered at 32 broadway in the heart of the city’s financial district, just four blocks from the world trade center site. the company was closed for a month following the sept.

Just an Old Lump of Coal?

ssef, the swiss gemmological institute, recently changed its certification of black diamond. according to lab director prof. henry hänni, large quantities of black diamonds in all sizes are being created by cooking ordinary crushing bort at high temperatures. the black bort is then cut and polished for use in trendy black diamond jewelry.

Van Cleef Focuses on Next Generation

the near century-old van cleef & arpels retail firm, a relatively recent addition to the richemont chain, is continuing its effort to modernize itself through marketing and jewelry design.for the fall, the firm updated its signature collection—alhambra—with a new interpretation that is simple and contemporary.

NYC Watch Auction Totals $2 Million

antiquorum, one of the world’s leading horological auctioneers, opened its fall season oct. 3 in new york city with a sale of collectors’ pocket watches, wristwatches, and clocks that took in more than $2 million.the auction’s results surpassed all expectations, declared osvaldo patrizzi, antiquorum’s chairman.

Couples Speak Up: Why They Do—Or Don’t—Buy Their Diamond from You

most couples don’t consider a betrothal to be “official” without a diamond ring. there are approximately 2.3 million marriages per year in the united states, and 81% of all brides receive an engagement ring, according to the latest figures from de beers. seventy-four percent of all brides receive a new diamond engagement ring (presumably the others get antique or estate rings or family he…

Software Company Adds Space

wise choice software, new york city, recently doubled its office space at 1350 broadway, allowing more room for off-site training and meeting space. dubbed “the showroom,” the new facility can accommodate classes, seminars, or meetings. the six-station computer lab provides equipment for students to learn rightclick, the company’s flagship software title.

Samuels to Shed 38 Stores

in an effort to shore up sagging profits, samuels jewelers will close 38 of its 163 stores. the stores are scheduled to remain in operation through january 2002.randy mccullough, president and chief executive officer of the austin, texas-based chain, says the company will use those stores to liquidate $11 million worth of unproductive merchandise through the christmas season, thus creatin…

Japanese Cultured Pearls

when one hears “japanese cultured pearls,” one thinks of the name “mikimoto” and of the traditional “akoya”—2-mm to 7-mm or even 8-mm perfectly round, high-luster, white or pink-rosé pearls. and rightly so. after all, it was kokichi mikimoto, a vegetable merchant and noodle salesman, who in 1919 finally perfected the technique of culturing pearls.

Roberto Coin Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

italian jewelry designer roberto coin turned the famous breast cancer awareness symbol—the pink ribbon—into something literally precious when he created a special-edition brooch to raise funds for the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation.the piece features 18k rose gold fashioned into the shape of the traditional pink ribbon.

Nataf is New Zenith President

lvmh has appointed thierry nataf president of zenith, a swiss producer of watches and watch movements, effective jan. 1, 2002. nataf was previously the company’s chief executive officer. nataf replaces françois manfredini, who has moved up to become vice president of watch movements for lvmh.

Jacmel VP Dies in Plane Crash

timo santala, 40, vice president of manufacturing for jacmel jewelry inc. of long island city, n.y., was among the passengers killed when american airlines flight 598 crashed in rockaway, n.y., en route to santo domingo. santala, who was in charge of jacmel’s factory in the dominican republic, regularly traveled back and forth from new york to the factory.

Sapphire, Ruby, and Confetti Quartz

“they keep finding more sapphire and ruby,” says tom cushman of allerton cushman & co., sun valley, idaho, specialists in madagascar gems. “it’s just like the old gold rush days of the late 1800s in the old west.” that’s why at times there are lots of sapphires and no rubies on the market, and other times only rubies are available.

Valentine’s Day 2002: Not for Lovers Only

valentine’s day isn’t just hearts and flowers. while traditionally associated with romance, it is also a time when people can show family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, and others that they care for them. according to a 2001 national retail federation (nrf) survey, “a substantial percentage” of consumers (42.

De Beers Defaults in Second Lawsuit

de beers has defaulted in a second lawsuit—this time over the use of the letters “dtc.”since summer 2000, de beers has used “dtc” (diamond trading company) as a trade name. this spurred a lawsuit from new york’s diarama trading company, which claimed it had the rights to the initials. diarama also sued de beers’ u.

Eli Izhakoff Honored by King of Belgium

world diamond council chairman eli izhakoff was recently awarded the title of officer of the order of king leopold by his majesty king albert ii of belgium.izhakoff was hailed for his work as president of the world federation of diamond bourses and head of the world diamond council.deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs louis michel noted that, as wfdb president, he helped…

S&J Relocates

s&j jewelry corp. has moved to a new, larger location at 10 w. 47th st., suite 503, new york, ny 10035. in addition to doubling its office space, s&j jewelry also has doubled its sales force. s&j jewelry, (800) 2sj-jlry or (212) 302-1079, fax (212) 302-1081, e-mail: sjjewelrycorp@aol.

Truly Elegant in New quarters

truly elegant llc is now operating from its permanent headquarters on fifth ave. between 41st st. and 42nd st. in new york. truly elegant llc, 501 fifth ave., suite 2110, new york, ny 10017; (212) 490-9700, fax (212) 490-3646, e-mail: trulyelegantnyc@aol.com.

LVMH Posts Gain Despite Drop for Watches, Jewelry

lvmh, one of the world’s leading luxury products groups, enjoyed a 10% gain in sales over last year’s figures for the nine months ending sept. 30. the group’s sales grew to 8.6 billion euros ($7.8 billion). however, sales of its watches and jewelry dropped 9% in that same period compared with last year’s figures, from 427 million euros ($386.

AWA Elects Officers for 2001-2002 Term

the american watch association recently elected officers and directors for the 2001-2002 year during its annual meeting in new york city.heading the team of officers as awa chairman will be robert filotei, president of piaget/officine panerai usa, who was elected to his second term. filotei also heads the watchmakers education coalition, formed by the awa.

Technicolor Dreams

like television in the ’60s, jewelry has gone technicolor. color’s renaissance, which the fashion world proclaimed several seasons back, this year expands to the jewelry world, as jewels abandon monochromatic looks in favor of mixed gemstones. the mixing of colored stones—a favorite fantasy of many gem-loving jewelry designers—is happily encouraged by the times.

Idar-Oberstein Points the Way

the intergem show, held annually in idar-oberstein, germany, is usually a reliable indicator of what will be available at the tucson gem shows in february. intergem 2001 hosted 110 exhibitors and more than 2,500 trade visitors from 38 countries. here’s what was hot:some called the new african tourmaline “indigo,” reportedly for the mine that produces it, says constantin wild of constantin…

EganaGoldpfeil acquires Fine-Jewelry Company

eganagoldpfeil, hong kong, recently announced that it has acquired a majority interest in abel & zimmermann gmbh & co., pforzheim, germany. founded in 1885, abel & zimmermann specializes in fine jewelry including gold pieces, necklaces, jeweled chains, bracelets, rings, and earrings, working solely with gold, platinum, gemstones, and diamonds.

Fossil Enters Swiss Watch Business

fossil inc., a popular fashion watch sold in 80 countries, expanded into the swiss watch market with the october acquisition of the zodiac trademark. fossil purchased the mid-priced swiss brand, known for its sea wolf and astrographic watches, from genender international inc. the transaction covers the worldwide rights to use the zodiac name.

Correction

in the november issue of jck, “what’s new watches” listed an incorrect phone number for junghans. the correct number is (954) 917-0662.

Introducing Sea Blue Chalcedony

chalcedony is a natural microcrystalline quartz, and therefore never transparent. used mostly as an ornamental gem, some of its better-known varieties are carnelian, sard, bloodstone, onyx and sardonyx, agate, and fire agate. common translucent chalcedony occurs in a wide range of natural colors, with some of the more current discoveries made in blues and lavenders.

House Passes Conflict Diamonds Bill

the house of representatives recently passed a modified version of the clean diamonds act, and backers hope senate approval is next.the bill, aimed at preventing conflict diamonds from entering the united states, passed as a freestanding measure 408 to 6.at press time, backers were uncertain whether the senate could tackle the legislation before the clock ran out on its 2001 session.

Law and Order Tackles Conflict Diamonds Issue

just when many predicted that war coverage would drown out all the noise on conflict diamonds, the issue has popped up on another network program. this time it’s a drama, nbc’s law and order.the episode, which aired oct. 24, dealt with a diamond dealer murdered by a sierra leone soldier for transporting “blood” stones.

Veteran Journalist Russell Shor Joins GIA

russell shor, a veteran industry journalist and longtime staff editor and contributor to jck, has joined the gemological institute of america as senior industry analyst.shor will be part of the team that publishes gems & gemology, gia’s award-winning quarterly. he also will contribute to various other gia publications, as well as work with the institute’s education, research, develo…

Diamond Dealer Indicted for Stealing $34 Million

new york diamond dealer larry kar of worldwide gem ventures was indicted recently for bilking investors of nearly $34 million in what authorities called a “ponzi scheme.” (a ponzi scheme is an investment swindle in which early investors are paid with money put in by later investors.)he has been charged with 12 counts of mail fraud and faces up to 70 years in prison as well as fines in the…

AGS, GIA Honor Bob Speisman

the american gem society is erecting a memorial on its las vegas campus in memory of robert t. speisman, 48, former executive vice president of lazare kaplan international. speisman was killed sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists crashed his plane into the pentagon. (see “speisman remembered,” jck, december 2001, p.

Patent Applications for HPHT

both general electric and de beers have filed for world patents on the high-pressure, high-temperature diamond-treatment process. ge’s two patents include one for creating fancy yellowish-green, greenish-yellow, and neon yellow-green diamonds from brownish type ia diamonds (#wo 0114050 high pressure/high temperature production of colored diamonds).

Reports Link Stones and Terrorism

diamond trading is a source of revenue for al qaeda, the terrorist organization suspected of masterminding the sept. 11 attacks on the united states, the washington post reported recently. a nov. 16 article in the wall street journal cited the tanzanite trade as another source of al qaeda funding, and shortly after that article appeared, qvc inc.

Inch of Gold Celebrates 20th

this year, inch of gold inc. will celebrate its 20th anniversary as a manufacturer of jewelry chains sold “by the inch.” the chain is displayed on spools in a setting designed to attract shoppers, and custom chains are created with tools supplied by the company. the product line includes inch of gold (18k gold layered chain), inch of silver (.

World Titanium Council Is Launched

the world titanium council has been established as a nonprofit organization to provide information and knowledge and to serve as a means for sharing and discussing ongoing applications and advances in titanium. it will provide members a web site, quarterly newsletters, conferences and seminars, industry links, a membership directory, technical support and materials, and other benefits.

Gold, Online Style

a new consumer web site, www.goldinspirations.com, is the latest addition to the world gold council’s campaign to position gold as a fashion must-have. the site—which uses the format of an online magazine—offers a variety of features, including international gold jewelry designs, the “myths and magic of gold,” and the gold jewelry preferred by “goddesses and divas” such as sty…

Pearls Fashion of the Ages

judging by the fanfare surrounding a new museum exhibit, diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but pearls are her quiet passion. the exhibit, titled “pearls,” features fashions embraced by celebrities and royalty spanning hundreds of years.”pearls” opened in october at the american museum of natural history in new york, and is the most comprehensive museum exhibit on pearls ever presented.

Five Watch Schools Proposed for ‘Focused’ Support

five of the 13 north american watchmaker schools have been recommended for “focused” industry support by an education committee of the american watchmaker association (awa). the proposal also recommends that all 13 receive more generic support such as promotional materials and inclusion on a proposed web site for watchmaker education.

H. Stern, Cole Haan Announce Watch Lines

h. stern jewelers, the international retail jewelry firm, and cole haan, known for luxury footwear and accessories, each have announced new watch lines that will be sold only in their stores.h. stern, which is headquartered in brazil and operates 150 stores in 14 countries, has launched “sfera,” a line of swiss-made ergonomic stainless-steel watches.

Metals Company Creates ‘Liberty Bracelet’

a richmond, va., specialty metals manufacturing company has created the “liberty bracelet” to remember those lost in the sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to raise money for those still in need of help. similar in design to the pow/mia bracelets of the early 1970s, hoover & strong’s sterling silver cuff bracelet is engraved with the phrase “remember 9.

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance

the december issue of jck recognized john kennedy as our first annual person of the year. jck’s editorial staff selected kennedy after considering a number of individuals who made significant positive contributions to the industry in 2001. security is a key issue for everyone in the jewelry industry.

Fashion in the Aftermath

the terrorist attacks of sept. 11 changed the lives of americans in innumerable ways. beyond the political and social ramifications are the cultural ones—including, of course, fashion. forecasters are predicting, and the world is already witnessing, a major return to classic and conservative styles.

Who Needs Jewelry?

in 1943, psychologist abraham maslow developed his hierarchy of needs. man’s basic needs are physiological (food, water, etc.). next, he needs safety—protection from physical and emotional harm. then come social needs like affection, belonging, acceptance, and friendship. after that comes esteem, or ego—driven by autonomy, self-respect, achievement, status, recognition, and at…

Brush With a Nightmare

with the sad exception of robert speisman of lazare kaplan, who was aboard the american airlines flight that crashed into the pentagon, no member of the jewelry industry is known to have been injured or killed in the sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon. several, however, were a little too close for comfort to the horrific tragedy.

Armenian Jewelers Pledge $100,000 To N.Y. Firefighters

a delegation of armenian jewelers and building owners from the armenian jewelers association of western usa paid a visit on oct. 5 to the los angeles fire department to offer their condolences for the fallen firefighters of new york city. during the visit, the delegation presented chief bill bamattre of the fire department of los angeles county with a $20,000 donation to help family membe…