January 1, 2006

It's All About the Bride

Get to Know … LeeAnn Herreid

leeann herreid is known for jewelry that, quite literally, works. herreid, the owner of a company called individual icons in warren, r.i., takes her inspiration from tools. her designs include phillips-head cufflinks, compass rings, magnifying-glass necklaces, and a cuff bracelet based on a stainless-steel ruler.

Jewelry for a Purr-pose

award-winning jewelry designer marie scarpa, best known for her intricate, hand-woven pieces, has a new “pet project.” a consummate cat lover, she’s created a limited-edition collection of fine-jewelry pieces that incorporate the naturally shed whiskers of nonendangered wildcats. scarpa, of petaluma, calif.

It’s All About the Bride

retailers who ignore women shopping for engagement rings are making a big mistake. for the groom-to-be it may represent two months’ salary, but for the bride-to-be it’s a symbol of self-expression as well as a lifelong emotional commitment. diamantaires sometimes joke that without romance, there’s no need for diamonds.

Valenza Plays It Safe With Proven Designs

valenza, deservedly famous as the capital of handmade, gem-set jewelry, continues to be the epicenter of italy’s most elegant and beautifully made pieces. however, the recent edition of valenza gioielli was populated chiefly with moderately priced pieces that offered little in the way of innovation. this twice-yearly show displayed the production of about 250 local firms, mostly jewelers, but a…

Navigating the Future

in this issue, we’re happy to announce the first of five new regular exclusive columns and features coming for 2006 in jck. debuting this month is “the retail advantage” by renowned industry marketing expert rick bannerot [see “what is ‘marketing’ (and are you doing it right)?,” p.

Nuclear Deterrence

marc freeman, of freeman gem and pearl co. in los angeles, believes the term “nucleated”—as in “mantle-tissue-nucleated”—when used to describe chinese freshwater cultured pearls is a misnomer. first, some background: in creating bead-nucleated pearls, producers use a small piece of tissue from the oyster’s mantle alongside a mother-of-pearl bead to stim…

Grill Master

worn by hip-hop musicians and athletes for several years now, custom grills have gained increased attention since this past september, when the peoples champ, an album by rapper and grill champion paul wall, quickly climbed the music charts. grills (also called fronts) are cosmetic, bejeweled dental fixtures made to fit over the top or bottom teeth.

Gem Hunter Hunts for Retail Partners

gary bowersox, known in afghanistan and pakistan as the american gem hunter because of his daring expeditions to those countries (last year’s trek included carrying the explorer’s flag for the smithsonian institution) has a new kind of adventure in the works. back in the states after a summer trip to pakistan, afghanistan, and tajikistan, bowersox is focused on creating a museum and store in hi…

GIA Under the Loupe

many years back a sightholder had a diamond of more than 10.00 cts. that received a grade of f from the gemological institute of america’s laboratory. the sightholder thought it deserved an e. after several resubmissions, it finally received the e. the sightholder then sold it. a little while later he saw the same stone, offered by another big company.

When Disaster Strikes

“fewer than 1 percent of all independent jewelers have a written crisis and continuity plan,” estimates john kennedy, president of jewelers’ security alliance. “yet, recent vivid examples—like hurricanes katrina and wilma or 9/11—demonstrate that without such a plan, events like these can end an unprepared business.

AGS Forms Tri-State Guild

the connecticut guild of the american gem society has joined forces with the new york/new jersey guild. the aim of the merger is to increase the guild’s knowledge base and revitalize businesses. the guild plans to present a diverse array of industrial speakers and social events to promote innovative discussions and guild awareness, and to foster guild membership.

Alleged Monroe Gift to JFK Sells For $120,000

a gold rolex watch reported to be a gift from actress marilyn monroe to u.s. president john f. kennedy was auctioned for $120,000 in october, said reuters. alexander autographs, the connecticut auction house, said an american collector outbid a european for the watch, which was inscribed “jack / with love as always / from / marilyn / may 29th 1962.

ICA Gem Mine Tour Goes to Colombia

international color gemstone association recently sponsored a tour to colombia for a group of retailers, wholesalers, and reporters. they visited the country’s emerald mines and met with colombian officials. the itinerary included downtown bogota, colombia’s capital city, with stops at clarity-enhancement laboratories, gem-cutting shops, gem export offices, and a street bourse.

GMA Asks: Buy Your Diamond at Tiffany or Costco?

with downscale costco now selling high-end jewelry, good morning america weekend edition recently asked: should viewers buy a diamond there? and how does it compare with shopping at the most famous upscale name for diamonds, tiffany? the show purchased one diamond ring at tiffany & co. for $16,600 and another at costco for $6,600.

What Is ‘Marketing’ (and Are You Doing It Right)?

most people associate the word “marketing” with advertising. that’s like saying harry potter is “just a magician.” harry potter is also a wizard, a book-selling phenomenon, a merchandising force, an advocate for literacy, and a role model for strong adolescent social values. successful businesses think of marketing in holistic terms.

De Beers Unveils Black Empowerment Plan

under pressure from the south african government, de beers has sold 26 percent of its south african division, de beers consolidated mines, to a black empowerment group, ponahalo investment holdings. ponahalo, a new company meant to benefit what are called hdsa (historically disadvantaged south africans), will pay $570 million for the 26 percent share.

WJA L.A. Hosts Holiday Gala

the women’s jewelry association los angeles chapter hosted its gala holiday party nov. 16 in the emerald ballroom at the millennium biltmore hotel, 506 s. grand ave. in downtown los angeles. music was provided by the martini kings. participating organizations included indian diamond and colorstone association, los angeles diamond dealers club, american gem society, 24 karat club, califor…

‘Things That Sparkle’

for barbara hight-randall, president and co-owner of hight & randall ltd. personal jeweler in rochester, minn., has always had a passion for jewelry. but unlike most jewelers, her passion did not develop while growing up in the family’s jewelry business. a first-generation jewelry store owner, hight-randall initially learned her craft on the training side of the industry before making…

IDMA: Don’t Say ‘Cultured,’ Say ‘Synthetic’

in a sign that the nomenclature wars are heating up, the international diamond manufacturers association passed a resolution condemning the word “cultured” to describe lab-grown gems and insisting they be described as “synthetic.” “the addition of other adjectives such as lab-grown or man-made is fine with us, but as an addition to the word synthetic, not as a s…

We Won!

one year ago, on this page, we introduced the new staff of jck, a collection of veterans and new faces, brought together when the magazine relocated to new york city. this team set out to redesign and rethink the suite of publications and marketing vehicles produced by the jck publishing group. our first relaunched product was this magazine, jck.

Cyberspace Cowboys and Web Surfer Girls

back when internet retailing was in its infancy—say, seven years ago—there were firmly held beliefs about the way men and women use the medium and which gender represented the dominant player. new research has turned many of those beliefs upside down. resource interactive, a consumer research firm based in columbus, ohio, has released findings on the online shopping habits of men an…

JIC Recognizes Trade Press, Honors Trade Press Editor of the Year

the board of directors and staff of jewelry information center held a special luncheon in new york on aug. 1 to honor and thank a group of trade press editors for their continued support and dedication. the attendees were also provided with an update on jic activities. during the luncheon, jic recognized peggy jo donahue, editor-in-chief of professional jeweler, as the 2005 trade press editor…

It’s Timex and Nothing Else for Bush

ever wonder if president george bush wears a watch? an argentine news- paper reporter who interviewed him recently did and asked, reported the associated press. “si, timex,” bush said, holding out his wrist to show the watch, which has his middle initial, w, on the dial. of course, the president added, said the account, “i’m not supposed to be endorsing products.

A Cut Above the Best

intergem, which takes place in idar-oberstein, germany, every year, is a gem among gem shows. although it’s small enough to be held in an indoor tennis facility, the show is huge in terms of quality. with only 131 vendors, intergem 2005 provided a calm contrast to the pinball pace of tucson, where gem buyers bounce around among dozens of individual shows, and the monumental scale of las vegas, …

Spotlight

CORRECTIONS The proper contact information for this bracelet, featured in “Hidden-Message Treasures,” JCK, November 2005, p. 52, is Lyn Dorf, Hallandale, Fla.; (954) 456-3303; www.lyndorf.com. In the JCK Diamond Reference Guide, p. 26, the image shown here should have been placed above the information for the Diavante Collection by L.I.D. Contact L.I.D. at (212) 980-7500.…

GIA Shakeup: Ralph Destino Takes Over

the gemological institute of america has appointed ralph destino as chairman of the venerable industry educational group. destino formerly served as chairman of gia’s board of governors and, before that, of cartier. the move comes in the wake of the gia lab money-for-grades scandal. although the late richard liddicoat held the title of gia “chairman for life,” destino’s …

PATRIOT Act Rules Begin This Month

the patriot act’s new rules for the jewelry industry, which will require many industry members to establish anti-money-laundering programs, begin this month. according to the rules, all affected companies should have anti-money-laundering programs in place beginning jan. 1. “the patriot act will affect many people in the industry,” says cecilia gardner, executive director of the jew…

One in a Million: The 2005 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender

every year, the argyle mine in australia unearths a group of rare fancy saturated pink diamonds, which argyle sells at its annual pink diamond tender. these stones, unlike the light barbie-doll-pink south african stones, are rich raspberries and cranberries. for every million carats recovered, less than one carat of pink has ended up in the tender.

Goldsmiths’ Co. Brings Back Technical Bulletin

the goldsmiths’ co., london, has relaunched its technical bulletin, last published 10 years ago. it’s produced by the company’s department of technology and training. the technical bulletin will be published twice yearly, in spring and autumn, and is intended to pass on new developments and useful technical information to the goldsmith community.

City of Goldsmiths

despite an unsettling summer and a shaky economy, london’s 2005 goldsmiths’ fair enjoyed a successful run, as sales rose 4 percent from the previous year’s figures. the work of 90 jewelers and silversmiths was on display for viewing by the 7,000 consumers who attended. of those exhibitors, 17 were new to the fair, which ran oct.

Soul Singer Promotes Gold

world gold council and di modolo unveiled a four-page “gold expressions” special advertising section in the condé nast fashion rocks magazine supplement featuring soul singer joss stone wearing di modolo’s latest gold jewelry collections. shot by photographer patrick demarchelier, the special supplement used four images of stone, each coupled with a “gold expression…

5 Criteria of Training

there is so much new information to learn, it sometimes seems impossible to keep up. nevertheless, business owners, managers, and assistant managers must provide new information and teach it in a way that enables people to learn it, retain it, and apply new strategies and techniques. for that to happen, the following five criteria must be met.

Bench Jewelers Contest Issues Call for Entries

the second annual bench jewelers passion award design competition, held in conjunction with the bench jewelers conference & expo, has issued a call for entries. the competition is open to active professional bench jewelry artists and designers. the contest consists of two divisions, one for finished jewelry and one for cad (computer-aided design) renderings.

Oldest Swiss Watchmaker’s 21st-Century Goal: Make U.S. No. 1

vacheron constantin, the world’s oldest continuing watchmaker, has plans to make america its top sales market, add younger clients, and boost affluent consumers’ awareness of it. the swiss luxury brand marked its 250th anniversary in 2005 with a series of anniversary-year-only timepieces and 17 galas around the world, including one in new york city in october.

Falling on the Sword

the japanese have an interesting custom: when a scandal or an embarrassingly serious situation occurs, the senior executive in the government or business atones for the transgression by “falling on his sword.” in other words, he accepts responsibility for the event and resigns. this act of contrition presumably washes the slate clean.

Obituary

charles bornstein, former hrd head charles bornstein, former chairman of antwerp’s diamond high council (hrd), died recently at age 68. bornstein began in the diamond business at age 20. later he founded bornstein n.v. and became a de beers sightholder. he became a member of the board of hrd in 1993, and soon after, its chairman.

Sundance Changes Dogs to ‘D’s

sundance diamonds, a high-pressure, high-temperature processing operation in utah, has announced a breakthrough in processing regular brown type i diamonds into fancy colors. according to jim littman, director of business development, “all higher-clarity brown and cape diamonds can now be improved to a variety of fancy intense colors, including yellow, yellow-orange, orangey-brown, yello…

GIA Cut Grade Goes Live

it’s been overshadowed by the behind-the-scenes turmoil at the gia lab, but starting this month the lab will make a major change that will affect all its users. in january, gia will begin issuing its first reports with a cut grade for round brilliant stones. (see “gia’s new cut grade to go ‘live’ next year, jck, september 2005, p.

For You New at GTC

to drum up more participation from outside the american gem trade association membership, agta’s gem testing center laboratory is offering a new incentive program for non-agta member clients. the agta gtc associate program was developed for laboratory clients who do not qualify for agta membership but would like to receive member-preferred pricing.

Hong Kong’s Bold Stroke

everybody wants a piece of the emerging chinese marketplace. at least it seemed that way to anyone jostling among the throngs of people attending the hong kong jewellery & watch fair, held sept. 21–25. more than 40,000 visitors attended (18,707 from hong kong), which represents a 4.7 percent increase from the previous year’s figures, according to cmp asia ltd.

De Beers’ Problems Aren’t Over Yet

de beers’ announcement of a landmark black economic empowerment deal does not mean the challenges it faces in its home country are over. for most of the year, de beers has been at odds with the government over a proposed diamond act that would place a 15 percent export duty on diamonds not manufactured internally.

Luxury Watches Post Good Results in 2005

the year 2006 should be a good one for luxury watches if 2005 is any measure, according to reports of many luxury watch brands and suppliers. here are a few:

All You Kneed

at the second annual divas of defense self-defense event, sponsored by the pennsylvania chapter of the women’s jewelry association, women once again learned how to defend themselves against assailants. held at superfit inc., king of prussia, pa., jeweler and martial-arts expert barry dinola, yardley jewelers, yardley, pa.

Luxury Institute Says Jaeger-LeCoultre Is ‘Most Prestigious’ Watch

jaeger-lecoultre, owned by the richemont luxury group, is “the most prestigious luxury brand in america,” according to wealthy consumers surveyed by the luxury institute, an independent research organization based in new york that focuses on the top 10 percent of affluent americans. “jaeger-lecoultre earned a very high score of 78 and edged out rolex for the top spot,”…

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