January 2012

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Egan Day

260 S. 16th St., Philadelphia For Philadelphia, our nation’s birthplace, history may be the ultimate accessory—but jewelry’s a close second. Its Jewelers Row, which dates from the 1820s, houses more than 300 sellers and craftsmen, plus the oldest diamond district in America. Now mod pioneers Kate Egan and Cort Day are forging their own legacy…

JCK-ology: A History of JCK

For every milestone in the history of the American jewelry business, JCK was there. as the industry’s book of record, we can assure you: if it didn’t make it into our pages, it probably didn’t happen. Readers call JCK “the industry bible,” so the magazine takes its mission pretty seriously: giving retail jewelers the information…

10 Products That Revolutionized the Jewelry Trade

we set out to identify 10 products that have changed the face of jewelry retailing forever, products so iconic—to their makers and their categories—that they’ve spawned countless iterations, earning honorary membership in the jewelry hall of fame.

A man of modest means

“A man of modest means didn’t have the money to pay for the Vera Wang LOVE engagement ring he believed his wife-to-be deserved. So he sold his truck and said to the jewelry consultant, ‘I love that truck, but I love her more.’?” —Zale CEO Theo Killion, on a Nov. 21 conference call, relating a…

Voters Reject Alaska Gold Mine

Local voters approved a ballot measure intended to prevent construction of the controversial Pebble gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The vote, conducted by mail among residents of the Lake and Peninsula boroughs, was 280-246, according to a release from the Pebble Mine Partnership, a pro-mine group. The mine has sparked a storm of controversy,…

Sotheby’s Sells ‘Haunting’ $1.4 Million Colombian Muzo Emerald

It is widely acknowledged that an emerald boasting the quintessential green—the color upon which all other emeralds are judged—can only have come from one place: Muzo, the ­largest and most prestigious of Colombia’s mines, located about 60 miles north of Bogotá. But to have indisputable proof that a stone did, indeed, originate there? “Almost unprecedented,”…

Bridal: Internet Diamonds Meet Brick-and-Mortar Mountings

In a recent Facebook discussion, ­jewelers weighed in on a delicate situation: What to do when a customer brings in a diamond bought off the Internet? Store owners from the East Coast and Midwest grumbled about the trend, calling it “tacky,” among other things. But Jennifer Kroeger, owner of Relic Charm in St. Paul, Minn.,…

Platinum: PGI’s Millennial Marketing Campaign & More

Millennial Approaches A new multimedia marketing campaign from Platinum Guild International, launched in October, targets Millennial consumers by educating them on the practical qualities of platinum. Through nine focus groups held nationwide, in cities including Boston, Dallas, and Los Angeles, PGI developed messaging to resonate with couples planning to get married and to highlight platinum’s…

Diamonds: Materialytics Claims It Can Trace a Stone’s Origin & More

Origin Stories A company’s claim that it can determine a diamond’s country of origin with “95 percent accuracy” has raised both interest and skepticism, prompting some to speculate whether blood diamonds will one day be identifiable. Nelson Winkless, a spokesman for Materialytics—a Killeen, Texas, firm that specializes in the origin of materials—says his company uses…

Gem Pricing Report: Open Season

Market sentiment leading up to the holiday was decidedly undecided The U.S. jewelry industry was, at press time, getting mixed signals heading into the holiday season. Price declines in the rough market were slow to transfer to the polished sector, and dealers reported that it would be months before polished prices saw any real changes.…

Diving Into Paula Crevoshay’s Pali’s Mist

When Paula Crevoshay first received the 70.13 ct. carved Brazilian opal that would anchor Pali’s Mist, she was perplexed, to put it mildly. “It wasn’t a dragon, and it wasn’t a fish—I kept turning it every way,” she recalls. Eventually what emerged from her sketches was a sea dragon. The Albuquerque, N.M.–based designer dotted the…

JCK 5: SIHH Preview

If you’re attending the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) Jan. 16–20 in Geneva, here are five timepieces to bank on:   1. Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon in 18k pink gold; price TBD; Vacheron Constantin, Geneva; 877-862-7555; vacheron-constantin.com 2. Oval-shaped Calibre PF 114 timepiece in 18k rose gold; $95,000; Parmigiani Fleurier, Miami; 305-260-7770; parmigiani.ch…

On Deck: VicenzaOro Winter 2012

A U.S. economic recovery bodes well for the VicenzaOro Winter fair The European debt crisis and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s abrupt November departure be damned. What Italy’s export jewelers really care about is how the U.S. jewelry business did over the holiday. Put simply, a strong holiday season means there’s cash to buy—and room…

Cash for Gold: Inside Secrets of Selling Gold

Gold may have spiked in price, but a few retailers seem to have missed that memo. See who’s selling gold jewelry despite its cost and learn how you, too, can keep the yellow metal moving. In March 2011, a longtime client came to Barton-Clay Fine ­Jewelers in Mountain Brook, Ala., after a trip to Las…

Tips for Choosing an SEO Firm

Search engine optimization is constantly evolving, full of jargon, and not for the technically averse. That’s why Jewelry Artisans‘ Jamie Kresl decided to hire an outside company. “I realized I was a business owner; I didn’t have the time or creativity to get involved with SEO or blogging,” he says. If you do decide to…

SEO Speedwagon: Your Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Our essential guide to improving your site’s search results For Ron Adolf, something was missing every time he searched Google for a jeweler in Richmond, Va.: his store. “I was seeing my competitors,” he says. “But we weren’t showing up.” Eventually his ad agency persuaded him to enlist a local company, Big Oak, to goose…

Jewelry Retailers Reveal Their 2012 Wish Lists

What’s on jewelers’ wish lists for 2012? Yellow gold, platinum bridal designs, more custom work, and “lots and lots” of colored stones. Oh, plus a little help from the ­economy, thank you very much. Volatile stock markets, high unemployment, and soaring metal costs continued to plague jewelry retailers nationwide in 2011, motivating owners to fine-tune…

From Siri to J.C. Penney’s CEO, 5 People to Watch in 2012

They may not all be human, but their influence will shape the conversation in the new year The team at Refinery29 With front-row seating at runway shows and growing credibility on the jewelry rows, fashion bloggers have risen to the ranks of celebrities in an era when curated content is so closely linked to consumption.…

Cool Jewels for the New Year

We consulted the experts and came up with 10 forecasts sure to impact the jewelry industry in 2012, with topics ranging from retail to fashion to politics In December–January issues, lots of magazines love to look at the year that was. Here at JCK, we like to look at the year that’s ahead. And we…

Catherine Deneuve Models Funky ’60s Man Ray Earrings

Every artist needs a muse. In the case of the American surrealist photographer and painter Man Ray, he chose a most elegant one in Catherine Deneuve. In this 1966 photo, the French actress models the artist’s iconic lampshade earrings, which were 5½ inches long and constructed of gold-plated silver. “Man Ray liked to play with…

JCK Asks…Guy Bedarida

The John Hardy creative director is taking the Indonesia-based company to new Bali highs Guy Bedarida spent his childhood moving with his family through a variety of cultural hot spots: Paris, Rome, Florence, Vienna, Tunisia. Now, he finds himself in another artistic haven: As the head designer of John Hardy—a position he’s held since 1999—Bedarida…

Indiana’s Hoppe Jewelers Makes a Big Splash in a Small Pond

As towns go, Richmond, Ind., is tiny: 17,000 residents. A more complacent retailer than Lyn Hoppe might allow that to limit growth, but at Hoppe Jewelers, sales goals have less to do with the size of the market than the Hoppe family’s drive to succeed. When Lyn joined her parents, Mary and Bob, in the…

Peeking Into Charleston Mainstay Croghan’s Jewel Box

A South Carolina jewelry store grows to celebrate its centennial In the early 1900s, Croghan’s Jewel Box was the enclosed porch of a 1794 Charleston home where bench jeweler/hand-engraver William Joseph Croghan worked. In the 1930s, William’s daughter, Mary, turned Croghan’s into a retail store. And six decades later, her daughter Mariana moved the business…

Love at First Site

Make your website top priority and give your online presence a boost It may seem like social media is so powerful that jewelers could save money and headaches by abandoning their websites and focusing solely on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+. But tempting as this strategy may be, it’s akin to letting someone else own…

Referral of Fortune: How Jewelers Can Thrive on Referral Business

With jewelry marketing, it’s what you know and who you know Most retailers conduct their marketing based on a tried-and-true “shotgun approach.” This usually involves bombarding various mass media with a variety of here-we-are-come-and-see-us messages in the hope that something sticks and gets people in the door. For the typical jewelry store, however, customers can…

Virginia Is for Jewelry Lovers

Intrepid store owner Jenny Caro will search for your lost stone or your dream colored diamond 1. What advertisement or promotion elicited the most response for you? Last year we did a “Twelve Days of Christmas” promotion. It was a Facebook event where we gave away the number of items for each of the 12…

JCK 5: Jewelers’ New Year’s Resolutions

What’s your New Year’s resolution? 1. “To advance the Forever 10 diamond, a 72-facet round brilliant diamond from IJO.” —Brenda Newman, owner, the Jewelry Source, El Segundo, Calif. 2. “To build our larger diamond category from 1 to 3 carats.” —Jay Mead, owner, Mead Jewelers, Woodward, Okla. 3. “To improve our online marketing with the…

Why Jewelers Are Doing Their Own Diamond Grading

When Craig Underwood buys a diamond with a grading report, he reviews the document—and then promptly files it away. Like a growing number of retail jewelers, the Fayetteville, Ark.–based owner of Underwood’s Fine Jewelers has begun to offer clients his own in-house diamond evaluations because he can’t always reconcile the discrepancies between diamond grading reports…

January’s Birthstone: Garnet

As long as your favorite color isn’t blue, you’re in luck with garnet. January’s durable birthstone can be found in every other color, though it is most often associated with red. Prized for its beauty, the gemstone was also thought to contain many healing powers. Early cultures believed it would protect the wearer from poisons…

Industry & People

COMING AND GOINGS >> ?Bud Bergren, 65, will retire as president and CEO of Bon-Ton Stores. Bergren will stay on until a new CEO has been hired for the 276-store chain. >>? Platinum Guild International promoted Kevin Reilly to director of business development. Prior to PGI, Reilly served as vice president of sales and marketing…

Cash4Gold Exploring Sale of Company

Does anyone have cash for Cash4Gold? Cash4Gold, the Pompano Beach, Fla., gold-­buying-by-mail service famed for its once-ubiquitous intentionally cheesy ads, has retained Phoenix Capital Resources to evaluate the company’s strategic options, including a potential sale. The news comes as a lawsuit against the company from its former ad agency raises questions about Cash4Gold’s financial condition.…

Rio (Tinto) Grand

Rio Tinto Diamonds recently announced nine winners of its Global Design Competition, awarded by a panel of eight judges including JCK‘s Jennifer Heebner and style expert Michael O’Connor. The winners will have their pieces showcased in a suite at the 2012 Academy Awards. Winners, who were named in four categories (Champagne Diamonds, Silvermist Diamonds, Canadian…

Georgia Jeweler Paying Customers’ Rent

Joe Kalish, owner of Grayson Jewelers in Grayson, Ga., recently made the lives of a few lucky residents much easier by paying their mortgage or rent for a month. All Grayson residents can enter the drawing, even if they have never purchased anything in the store. They only need to drop their information into a…

Maui Divers Jewelry Chief Retires

Bob Taylor, longtime head of Maui Divers Jewelry, the Honolulu-based 56-store chain, announced he is retiring at the end of 2011 after 35 years with the company. Mary Beth Brenner, the current executive vice president, will succeed Taylor as president and CEO. Taylor will continue to serve as a company director and stockholder. “It’s just…

Henry Dunay Loses Court Fight Over His Name

On Nov. 14, legendary designer Henry Dunay lost a court battle with the new owners of the Henry Dunay company, and now faces severe restrictions on how he uses his name on social networks and the Internet. Dunay’s former company went bankrupt in June 2009; its intellectual property was purchased by Sandawana Holdings in March…

JCK 5: In the Courts

1. Hearts On Fire has dismissed its case against De Beers Diamond Jewelers. The case, launched Aug. 3, claimed De Beers’ retail chain had infringed on its Sublime mark. 2. Richemont, owner of Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, and IWC, has sued TheFinestWatches.com, charging the San Francisco jeweler/website with advertising Richemont products it isn’t authorized to sell.…

Battle Over Internet Sales Tax Heats Up

The battle over sales-tax fairness is gaining steam, with bipartisan bills mandating Internet companies to collect sales tax recently introduced in the House and the Senate. The two bills differ in certain respects, but both provide two options for states to collect sales tax from consumers who purchase goods on the Internet. States that voluntarily…

The Awards Keep Coming!

I really need to begin this month’s letter with a big congratulations to our editorial team. Each year, publishing trades such as Media Industry Newsletter and Folio: honor magazines such as ours, and the first full year of the “new” JCK was recognized in a big way! In total, our magazine won 14 awards this…

Star Search

The email invitation arrived without fanfare. “OMEGA invites you to a private dinner at The Stahl House, the midcentury architectural icon.” I quickly scanned the details—Nov. 30, 1635 Woods Drive, Los Angeles—starred the message, and carried on with my work. A few days passed before it hit me: They were talking about the Stahl House.…

10 Things Rocking the Industry

1. Gemstones What better way to celebrate autumn than with a room full of extraordinary colored-stone jewelry and exceptional gemstones? On Oct. 25, the American Gem Trade Association announced the winners of its 28th annual Spectrum Awards. The AGTA received 454 entries for its 10 categories, which included Best Use of Color (Deidre Featherstone of…