January 1, 2004

Pretty in Pavé

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JSA: Crimes Against Jewelry Industry Dropping

crime against the u.s. jewelry industry dropped “sharply” in the first nine months of the year, says a report by the jewelers’ security alliance. “the results for 2003’s nine months are very encouraging,” says jsa president john kennedy. “if current trends continue, we’re heading for the lowest number of crimes against the jewelry industry in 15 years.

Signity Gem Visions: Design Themes for 2004

gem and crystal supplier signity upped its fashion sense this fall by releasing “gem visions 2004″—a design-led initiative aiming to outline fashion themes for the year ahead. “gem visions” taps two international fashion and trend watchers: nathalie colin in paris and vivienne becker in london.

Pretty in Pavé

tiny diamonds are making big statements on engagement rings and wedding bands, adding extra sparkle to a host of recent bridal jewelry creations. diamond melee complements engraved settings, adds a bit of glitter to more contemporary styles, and enhances center stones by embellishing bezels or mountings.

Marketing Under the Microscope

the recent antwerp diamond conference was an oddity—a two-day powwow on branding and marketing for an industry not convinced of the need for either. and while most of the marketing jargon (including the “tri-functional ideology” that one speaker claimed brands have) sailed over attendees’ heads, the conference at least got them thinking about a subject that will play a major role in the f…

Franck Muller Leaves, Dubuis Stays, Ikepod Sold

the swiss luxury watch business was shaken in the fall of 2003 by events affecting some high-profile watchmakers and an investigation of a manufacturer of movements for prestigious brands. presiding judge sylvie favre said her investigation wasn’t aimed at jaquet s.a, “but only against individuals.” the company said it had nothing to do with any theft of watches or precious metals.

Relocations

the security firm intercept investigative agency has announced the relocation of its headquarters to a new site. the hollywood, fla., company provides such services as on-site security, high-value courier services, asset recovery operations, investigation, and personal protection. it’s a fully licensed and insured organization that has been in operation since 1984.

Sklar is New President of Maurice Lacroix USA

stuart sklar is the new president of maurice lacroix usa, encino, calif., the u.s. subsidiary and distributor of the upscale swiss watch brand. he replaces robert siragusa, who introduced the brand here in 1994 and left the operation in august. sklar has held key sales and management positions in the watch industry for 15 years, including posts with the movado group, where he was senior vice pr…

AWA Elects Luino as Chairman

the american watch association (awa) has elected ronald f. luino to a two-year term as its new chairman of the board. luino is executive vice president and chief financial officer of seiko corp. of america. the election was held during awa’s annual meeting on sept. 30. the other officers for the 2003-2004 fiscal year are: paul woods (gucci), first vice president; walter fischer (rolex), second…

Quirky Designs Put Favorites at Your Fingertips

talk about “message” jewelry: designer link wachler’s new line, “linkatures,” combines jewelry and sculpture while taking celebrity fan-dom to a whole new level. wachler, based in birmingham, mich., carves celebrity caricatures out of wax and casts them into precious metal rings depicting the likes of bruce springsteen, jackie mason, and elvis presley.

Beller Is New Antwerp Bourse President

arthur beller has been nominated as the new president of antwerp’s beurs voor diamanthandel, following the death of former president abraham (bram) fischler. jacques rot will assume beller’s previous post of bourse vice president.

The Queen of Chic Dispenses Wisdom

with her signature bob, dark glasses, petite frame, and designer frocks, anna wintour isn’t just vogue’s top editor: she’s become an arbiter of taste. from overseeing publication of the country’s best known fashion magazine to posing on the red carpet at new york social events, wintour is often admired for her style.

Zoltan David Awarded Patent

jewelry designer zoltan david has received a u.s. patent for his signature design featuring the inlay of one precious metal into a contrasting metal to produce a three-dimensional raised design or pattern. it is only the eighth time in more than a century that a patent has been granted for a metal ornamentation technique.

Coin Partners with AIDS Foundation

roberto coin and diamond powerhouse rosy blue, who partnered to create coin’s cento collection in 2003, have launched a national fund-raising program to benefit the elizabeth glaser pediatric aids foundation. for the program, coin has designed a diamond pendant known at “ariel’s heart of hope.” the pendant—and the national campaign—launched in december, when the designer presented t…

DCIT Delivers Version 3.10 Update

dcit corp. has announced the immediate availability of businessmind for jewelers version 3.10, an update to dcit’s businessmind for jewelers software suite featuring dozens of new reporting, pos, and inventory management features, and ease-of-use improvements. the new version 3.10 software is available as separate products for jewelry retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.

Appraisal Solution at Tucson Show

gemworld international inc. announces two training opportunities for the guide appraisal software at the tucson show. a one-day training session will be held on feb. 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the cost of the session is $195 for single attendees; a discounted rate is available for additional students from the same business.

IWC Supports U.S. Charity

iwc, the 135-year-old swiss luxury watch manufacturer, has announced its first-ever corporate sponsorship in north america. the company is sponsoring angel flight north east, the largest regional chapter of the national organization, which provides free air transportation to patients who need critical medical treatment, as well as to their families.

IWC Supports U.S. Charity

iwc, the 135-year-old swiss luxury watch manufacturer, has announced its first-ever corporate sponsorship in north america. the company is sponsoring angel flight north east, the largest regional chapter of the national organization, which provides free air transportation to patients who need critical medical treatment, as well as to their families.

Overt or Covert, the Message Is the Thing

from the obvious id bracelet to the subtle heart pendant, jewelry with a message remains an important category for the retail jeweler. whether as a gift to say, “i love you,” or a self-purchase to make a statement to the world, message jewelry can be appropriate for nearly any customer. while charms remain both a trend and a staple, designers are creating other modern message pieces—ring…

Shareholder Suits Filed Against Friedman’s

no fewer than 15 law firms have filed class-action suits on behalf of shareholders who have owned friedman’s inc. stock during the past three years. all the suits allege that friedman’s violated generally accepted accounting principles by improperly understating the allowance for doubtful accounts for credit program receivables.

Atlanta Show Features R. L. Morris

the spring edition of the atlanta jewelry show, feb. 28 to march 1 at the cobb galleria centre in atlanta, ga., will offer an expanded educational program with headliners such as jewelry designer robert lee morris, as well as a full-day, pre-show gem identification conference. other features include: unless otherwise indicated, all sjta u programs are free.

The Art of Survival

a jeweler’s ability to develop and control an organization financially is vital to its success, but too many jewelers leave financial management to others—or until it’s too late to avoid disaster. and even if you’re doing “just okay,” why not do “great” and start capturing all those dollars you’re leaving on the table? why not make it a priority to work at developing the skills and discip…

24 Karat Club Scholarships

the 24 karat club of southern california recently organized a new scholarship fund for students who wish to further their jewelry education at gia. scholarships will be given in the amount of $500 to anyone in the united states who demonstrates outstanding drive and promise for a career in the jewelry industry.

De Beers to Release Synthetics Detector to Market

the answer to the problem of synthetic diamonds, most feel, is a “black box” that can separate the artificial from the natural. de beers developed such a machine several years ago but kept it off the market because the company felt there wasn’t a need for such a device. but following the september cover story in wired magazine—and the publicity it sparked—de beers decided that the …

Newspaper Speculates Over Iman’s Future

the new york daily news recently speculated that supermodel iman may be wavering in her support of the new de beers lv venture. the nongovernmental organization survival international has asked iman to renounce her role as the chain’s “style icon” because of its contention that diamond mining has fueled the government’s relocation of the botswana bushmen.

Business Resolutions

a few months ago, we got a call from a business magazine reporter asking about jewelry designers who went out of business. it was an interesting question. why would a jewelry designer go out of business? in some cases, family or medical crises necessitated the move. in others, the designers hadn’t gone out of business but had decided to drop their wholesale lines and sell exclusively retail.

Control

last month i wrote about the dtc, gareth penney, and control. in the past 30 days, control has been a frequent topic of conversation, newspaper articles, and in a novel i’m reading. the author quotes john d. rockefeller as having said, “i’m not interested in ownership. i’m interested in control.” in the military, the question is who controls the geography.

Rubellite Tourmaline

rubellite jewelry from designer henry dunay, new york, begins with earrings set with 233 diamonds weighing 2.80 cts. t.w. and 13.99 cts. t.w. of rubellites. the earrings are surrounded by five matching rubellites—weighing 55.65 cts. t.w. and accented by 311 diamonds, 3.92 cts. t.w.—in an 18k gold necklace.

Kimberley Process Agrees to Peer Review

the one contentious issue left in the kimberley process—how it will be monitored—was somewhat settled at the recent plenary meeting in south africa. the diamond industry, nongovernmental organizations, and participating countries have agreed to a “voluntary peer review” process that would ensure kimberley compliance.

Matrix-Based Management, Part II: Operations and Support

the five point matrix measures past, present, and future drivers of productivity. in a healthy business, all parts work in harmony to achieve the objectives of the corporate mission statement. the matrix is designed to force “alignment” in a business—i.e., harmony among its component parts. each part supports the whole.

GIA Introduces Jewelry Business Management Diploma

the jewelry business management courses, which begin jan. 12, will now serve as the gia school of business’s only diploma curriculum. the new diploma is earned upon successful completion of eight courses—four required core courses and four electives, the latter from gia’s selection of 13 business-oriented topics.

Yet Another Synthetic Diamonds Method

there appears to be yet another new method of creating synthetic diamonds, joining hpht (high-pressure, high-temperature) and cvd (chemical vapor deposition.) researchers at the university of science and technology of china have developed a new method that grows diamond crystals using magnesium carbonate.

Obituary: William Levine

william levine, founder of william levine inc. and a leading fund-raiser for jewish philanthropic causes, died of heart failure nov. 11, in his home. he was 93. born and raised in brooklyn, levine was the son of russian jewish immigrants. after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from st. john’s university in new york, he worked as a runner on wall street before joining his late father-i…

Letters

legal ramifications egl usa would like to clarify the serious legal ramifications to our trade regarding the recently reported border ban that has been imposed by the u.s. bureau of customs and border protection on the importation and distribution of grading certificates from egl labs outside north america that are in violation of the egl trademarks in north america.

Diamonds That Fight Terrorism

anyone who’s seen the stories linking diamonds to terrorist funds may be heartened to hear of a role diamonds may someday play in defeating terrorism. diamonds could play a key role in detectors for biological weapons like anthrax or smallpox, abcnews.com reported recently. the detectors available now are too large, the site said.

Career Fair Signals Growing Industry

the gemological institute of america (gia) held its 13th annual jewelry career fair in october 2003. the event drew nearly 900 participants to gia’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif., where they enjoyed free professional career counseling and met with recruiters from 29 gem and jewelry firms as well as some of the best-known industry leaders.

Iman the Icon Inspires De Beers Store

the new de beers store in london is suffused with the image of iman—its “style icon.” although there has been some speculation over whether she will remain the public face of the chain (see sidebar), the somali-born supermodel’s picture is featured prominently outside the store, and even the store’s mannequins evoke her frame.