July 1, 2001

Movin' On Up

Judith Ripka Relocates

award-winning jewelry designer judith ripka has relocated her long island, n.y., store from munsey park in manhasset to 433 glen cove rd. in east hills. the 850-sq.-ft. store will showcase the complete judith ripka collection of 18k white and yellow gold jewelry accented with diamonds, south seas pearls, and precious stones.

Profiting From Experience

our parents and grandparents told us (usually after we got into some kind of trouble) that experience is the best teacher. assuming one actually learns from his or her experiences—or is wise enough to take a lesson from someone else’s experience—the old proverb is true. today, however, like most of us, good old experience has a lot more responsibility.

De Beers Goes Private

it’s official: de beers is now a private company. in march, de beers’ shareholders overwhelmingly approved a plan that takes the company private for the first time in 100 years. its new owners are the oppenheimer family-owned holding company central holdings limited, the de beers-botswana joint venture debswana, and long-time sister company anglo-american.

Young Talent Honored at Basel

several major annual design contests culminated at the basel fair and recognized top designers from around the world. the basel award for international jewelry students introduces promising young talent to some of the world’s best-known jewelry design companies. the winners of this year’s award, announced at the basel show’s welcome party, were alexandra schönenberger, simone stenger, a…

Kaiser Launches New Company

steven kaiser, former president of benedom and baume & mercier, has announced the launch of kaiser time inc. the new company, which will specialize in watches and jewelry, will provide a wide range of services including sales and marketing management, consulting, negotiating strategic alliances, and product launches.

New 2002 Dates Set for Basel, SIHH

the basel fair and the international committee of fine luxury watchmaking (cihh) have set new coordinated dates for their swiss trade fairs in 2002. the basel fair runs the world’s largest timepiece and jewelry show, and the geneva-based cihh runs the international fair of luxury watchmaking (known by its french abbreviation, sihh).

SNAG Honors Gallery Owner

the society of north american goldsmiths (snag) has awarded its highest tribute, the honorary member award, to helen drutt english for her contribution to the jewelry field as an advocate, gallery owner, curator, collector, author, and teacher. during the 1960s, english helped spark the resurgence of the american craft movement.


alan goldberg, cpa, mba, has joined the management team at eugene biro corp. as chief financial officer. also, judith singband has replaced meirav biro as manager of marketing and internet development. lagos announces two new appointments: claire borda has been named vice president of sales, and cheryl nickell has joined the firm as divisional sales manager for all independent accounts.

UGI Celebrates Quarter-Century

united gemdiam inc., which opened its doors in 1976, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. according to founder morris freedman, the company has built a new factory and cutting facility—complete with refurbished offices—to better serve its customers. the firm specializes in cutting and selling (mostly) certified diamonds from .

Pearl Association Welcomes Retailers

the cultured pearl association of america (cpaa), the nation’s longest-standing national trade group for pearls, has announced plans to open its membership to retailers. in a recent vote, the 54-year-old association unanimously accepted bylaw changes that would allow retailers into the group via a special associate membership status.

Gurhan Moves Studios To ‘Room With A View’

new york jewelry designer gurhan has relocated its studio, offices, and showroom to the soho section of the city. the new showroom is on the top floor of a loft building that overlooks the hudson river. all of gurhan’s pieces are handcrafted using ancient metalsmithing techniques. for information call (646) 230-1122.

The New De Beers Meets an Old Dilemma

nicky oppenheimer once admitted that the industry doesn’t always need de beers. “people often say, ‘we don’t need de beers,’ and it’s true, in good times you don’t,” he told jck in 1998. “it’s in bad times that people recognize the benefit of the cso.” today the cso (central selling organisation) is just a memory, but for an industry that again faces rocky economic terrain, it’s a vivid me…

De Beers Delays ‘Supplier of Choice’ After European Commission Launches Investigation

de beers is delaying its planned reinvention because of a european commission investigation into the company. de beers’ new strategy, dubbed “supplier of choice,” was scheduled to start this month. there was widespread speculation that the launch would be accompanied by the dropping of sightholders and information about the new “forevermark” co-brand.

The Little Black Book of Internet Addresses

don’t you hate people who understand computers, find windows interesting, and delight in memorizing dot-com lists? take heart: you don’t have to be a technology expert when it comes to those pesky web site addresses. there used to be a saying among computer programming experts that one should never have a computer do something that a human can do better … and memorizing web addresses is …

Calibrated Cabochons

calibrated machine-cut genuine gemstone cabochons made their debut in tucson this year. frank cardone, sales manager for signity new york ltd., says visitors to signity’s booth welcomed the innovation, citing consistent height of cabs as a major benefit. according to cardone, a canadian designer who had abandoned cabochons plans to take advantage of the new calibrated material.

OTC International Purchases KIP

otc international ltd., a distributor of gold, silver, and cameo jewelry based in long island city, n.y., has announced the purchase of kip (the key item people), a fine-jewelry group specializing in providing diamond and gold “key items” to major retailers. the acquisition allows otc to expand its product offerings to include diamond items.

Trouble In Tanzania

afgem, the south african gem-mining corporation that two years ago leased prime property in the merelani tanzanite mines from the tanzanian department of energy and minerals, is at odds with its neighbors. afgem’s block c lease is the largest mining area in the region, yielding the highest percentage of fine-quality rough tanzanite.

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Settled

continental jewelry (usa) inc. and gramercy jewelry manufacturing corp., the licensee and owner, respectively, of u.s. patent no. des. 411,134, settled their litigation against isaac’s fine jewelry inc. and baroka creations inc. in march. under terms of the settlement, isaac’s fine jewelry inc. and baroka creations inc.

Blue Topaz

topaz is one of the more popular colored gemstones among retail jewelers and consumers. all colors of topaz are accepted as the birthstone for the month of november, but yellow (or yellow-orange) topaz is the most traditional and preferred. thus, many jewelers feel that blue topaz can be a substitute for blue zircon in december.

BHP Grabs Control of Dia Met

canada’s ekati mine is now under the near-complete control of mining company bhp. the company, which owns 55% of the mine, recently bought out minority partner dia met for $505 million. bhp now owns 80% of the mine. two of dia met’s founders, charles fipke and stewart blusson, each retain 10% stakes.

‘Conflict’ Bills May See Compromise

the industry and rep. tony hall (d-ohio) are negotiating a compromise between the two conflict diamond bills currently pending. “we are cautiously optimistic [that] we will come to an agreement,” said world diamond council legislative director matthew a. runci, at a forum at the recent jck show in las vegas.

Raff Is Penney’s New Jewelry V.P.

beryl raff, former chairman of zale corp., is the new senior vice president and general merchandise manager of fine jewelry for j.c. penney, one of the largest u.s. retailers. the appointment, effective may 21, was announced may 8 at the company’s headquarters in plano, texas. raff, who resigned suddenly from zale in february, noted that penney has “historically [been] … an industry lead…

Movin’ On Up

like the jeffersons of 1970s television fame, sterling silver jewelry has moved up to the big leagues and “finally got a piece of the pie.” once reserved for costume and bridge lines, sterling has a whole new cachet—the category has moved beyond its former status and now fills showcases even in high-end jewelry stores.

JCK Poll Shows Tanzanite Slipping

reports from the trade over the past few years have claimed that tanzanite is as popular as ruby and sapphire and has outpaced emerald to become one of the top three most popular colored gemstones. however, a recent poll of jck’s retail jewelers panel placed the east african gem fifth behind amethyst.

The Theory of Comparative Advantage

economics is called the “dismal science” for reasons obvious to those who have studied it. supply and demand curves, marginal costs, and incomprehensible instructors were all part of my economics 1a and 1b experience. there was, however, one principle that i did comprehend: the theory of comparative advantage.


the necklace worn by first lady laura bush during this year’s inaugural balls in january (fashion facets, jck, april 2001, p. 62) was manufactured by a. link, new york, and provided to her by vickie roan, owner of the menagerie in austin, texas. the piece was a 3-prong, graduated platinum necklace with 110 round diamonds, with a total of 16.

Vivid Collection Has New Home

the vivid collection has expanded and moved to new offices at 592 fifth ave, fifth floor, new york city. the new location provides more than 4,200 sq. ft. of space and includes five private sales offices, a marketing and communications department, conference room, additional offices for staff, and a kitchen.


during the american craft council (acc) show held feb. 20-25 in baltimore, md., the society of north american goldsmiths (snag) presented four new awards for excellence in jewelry and metalsmithing. jeff and susan wise of durango, colo., were honored for jewelry that integrates goldsmithing and lapidary techniques.

Diamond Dealer Charged With Theft

beverly hills diamond dealer richard maslan was recently charged with 15 counts of grand theft by embezzlement for allegedly pawning more than $1 million of consignment merchandise from a new york diamond dealer. he faces 15 years in prison. it is unusual for a “memo fraud” case to be prosecuted criminally.

Lillys’ Jewelers Is Closing

lillys’ jewelers, the largest independently owned retail jewelry chain in west virginia, is closing. the company filed for bankruptcy in mid-april, with some $3.7 million in liabilities and several hundred creditors. while many are customers, there are also a number of trade creditors and local tv stations that are owed money, say court documents.

R.F. Moeller Jeweler To Sponsor Charity Golf

r.f. moeller jeweler, st. paul, minn., plans to sponsor an annual golf tournament to benefit the muscular dystrophy association. the tournament is named after greg marzolf jr., a former poster child for mda and a longtime family friend of mark moeller, president of r.f. moeller jeweler. the first annual greg marzolf jr.

Selling French Style

the french want nothing more than to sell their jewelry in the united states, the world’s largest market. however, success in the u.s. market is a tale of the haves and have-nots. high labor costs, stringent work rules, high taxes, and strict enforcement of laws make it difficult for many french jewelry producers to compete with other european countries—such as italy—in this market.

JA Affiliate Leaders Meet in Washington, D.C.

jewelers of america (ja) held its annual affiliate leadership conference in february in alexandria, va., and washington, d.c. the event allowed leaders from ja’s 42 state and regional affiliates to meet with each other as well as with ja staff members—and, this year, with their congressional representatives for a lobbying session during “a day on the hill.

Martin Sheen Does Conflict Diamonds Ad

the first television advertisement on conflict diamonds appeared recently on television in the washington, d.c., market, and organizers hint that it will soon be shown in other areas. the ad appeared on the season finale of the west wing and featured the voice of the show’s star, martin sheen. “buy a diamond and you may be supporting terrorism in other countries,” says sheen, in a voiceove…

Diamond Necklaces Help AmFAR

a 12-necklace collection known as the “a diamond is forever” collection was the sparkling centerpiece for a high-profile charity event during the cannes film festival in may. “a diamond is forever: cinema against aids 2001” was held to benefit the american foundation for aids research (amfar). hosted by actress elizabeth taylor, amfar’s founding national chairman, the event featured some of t…

U.N. Vows to ‘Name and Shame’ Buyers of Conflict Diamonds

boosting its efforts to expose dealers of conflict diamonds, the united nations may enlist private investigators to “name and shame” dealers who buy stones from angola’s unita rebels. the u.n. security council plans to hire kroll associates, a new york-based investigative firm, to trace cash used by the rebels.

Ekati to ‘Brand’ Its Diamonds

canada’s ekati mine, the only diamond mine currently in production in that country, has announced plans to brand and certify “made in canada” diamonds. the stones will be sold mostly in canada, although u.s. or japanese sales are a possibility, says ekati spokesman graham nicholls. approximately 20 canadian retailers have agreed to sell the diamonds, which will be laser-inscribed with ekati’s…

Film Inspires Design

long before its release in june, the film moulin rouge was generating publicity. the movie, with its high-profile star, nicole kidman, and its risqué fashions from the late 1800s, has inspired the fashion industry. bloomingdale’s, for example, launched a promotion of moulin rouge -inspired fashions in its manhattan store.

AGS Conclave Tunes In To Tomorrow

the american gem society’s 2001 conclave—dubbed “in tune with tomorrow”—was the largest in the group’s history. according to ags, 810 members and guests attended the event, held in nashville, tenn., march 28-31. brian tracy, an authority on the development of human potential, was the featured speaker for the leadership track.

De Beers Battles Dual Litigation

two new lawsuits threaten de beers’ “supplier of choice” initiative and its ability to sell diamonds in america. according to the bloomberg news service, new york consumer sean tietjen recently filed suit in federal court alleging that de beers drives up the price of diamonds by restricting their shipment into the united states.

Diamond Company Promotes its ‘Non-Brand’

in an unquestionably original pitch, a diamond company is promoting the fact that it is not branding its products. the new trade campaign for ishaia diamonds includes such taglines as “you won’t see this ad in a consumer magazine” and “we give you competitive prices, not competition.” “i’m not trying to put my name on things,” says company head ishaia gol.

GIA To Host Career Fairs On Both Coasts

the gemological institute of america (gia) will hold its annual career fair in two parts, on two coasts: on july 27 at the jacob javits center in new york, and on oct. 12 at gia’s robert mouawad campus in carlsbad, calif. gia calls the career fair the single most important recruitment day in the gem and jewelry industry.

TRICK XII: Producing Perfectly Tapered Shanks

producing professional tapered ring shanks with exacting symmetry requires careful monitoring throughout the shaping process, whether the medium is wax or metal. ja® certified master bench jeweler wayne lenkeit of lenkeit manufacturing, temecula, calif., recommends the following process for checking for a consistent taper.

Bellataire Diamonds Sponsors Fund-Raiser

six hundred of new york city’s most influential people joined sponsor bellataire diamonds at cipriani 42nd street on march 29 for the “spirit of discovery ball” benefiting the leukemia & lymphoma society, nyc chapter. adorned in bellataire diamonds, grammy award winner olga tañón (below) had guests up and out of their seats dancing the salsa to hits from her “olga viva, viva olga” album.

Quinn’s Goldsmith Benefits Make-A-Wish

quinn’s goldsmith, occoquan, va., hosted its third annual make-a-wish foundation fund-raiser in march. nearly 100 people attended the event at the store, and more than $16,000 was raised. more than $20,000 in jewelry was offered in silent auctions, and there were door prizes, grab bags, and raffles.

JCK Show Marks 10th Edition

the international jck show in las vegas marked its 10th edition by becoming the world’s largest jewelry trade fair, and with better-than-expected business despite a slight decline in attendance and a soft economy. the 2001 show, held june 1-5 in the sands expo and convention center, welcomed 3,000 exhibitors (2,250 from the united states and 750 from other countries).

ISA Honors JCK Editor

the international society of appraisers (isa) is one of a handful of appraisal organizations that provide education and organizational support to its members, promoting highly qualified and ethical appraisers. gems and jewelry represent just one area of personal property appraising covered under the isa umbrella.

The Might of White

certain truths about white metals seem to be self-evident: that more and more brides are choosing platinum, and that fashionable consumers love italian white gold jewelry. today, however, there are some new truths about jewelry that would have sparked jaw-dropping astonishment among traditional retailers of a generation ago: silver and steel are being paired with super-precious gems, not just …

Masriera, Master of Modernism

barcelona, st. martin’s day, december 21, 1901: a few days before christmas, the gas-lit sidewalks along the carrer de ferran are filled with finely dressed ladies and gentlemen, while carriages jam the street, jockeying for position to deposit still more holiday shoppers. the dense knot of foot traffic thickens, then stops dead in front of the glistening windows of the jeweler masriera herma…

Collector’s Corner

a world record auction price of $662,500 was paid for this breguet pocket watch during an april 25-26 auction of collectors’ watches, jewelry, and exotic gems in new york city at antiquorum auctioneers. the timepiece, one of the earliest breguet self-winding watches, was sold to the breguet museum in paris, france.

The Watch Fairs of Geneva

the annual spring watch fair in basel, switzerland, is the world’s largest and best-known timepiece trade show. but it isn’t the only one. three small luxury watch shows with rising profiles in the trade are held in geneva—the longtime home of distinguished swiss horology and just three hours south of basel by train—at about the same time as the basel fair.

WGC to Begin New Campaign

the world gold council (wgc) soon will begin a worldwide media campaign to reposition gold in the minds and hearts of consumers as well as those in the trade. according to wgc corporate director michael c. barlerin, the campaign in the united states alone will cost $7 million, focusing on ads in fashion and lifestyle consumer magazines from august through december.

The 2001 Swiss Watch Fairs: Portents of Colorful Change and Innovation

for a few spring days each year, switzerland is the center of the watch world, the delphi of watch trends, because it is at the basel and geneva shows that the world’s watchmakers unveil their newest innovations. the following reports look at notable trends, innovations, and other highlights of this year’s watch crops at basel 2001, the world’s largest watch trade fair, and at the smaller luxu…

MJSA Joins Forces With AJM Magazine

the manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america (mjsa) recently united the association’s communications department with the ajm magazine staff. ajm editor and associate publisher rich youmans has been appointed director of communications and publications and will oversee all corporate communications and publications including the ajm and mjsa web sites.

Death and Taxes

there’s good news and bad news for jewelers and other longtime opponents of the federal estate tax—the tax assessed on a taxpayer’s net assets after death and paid by the executor, administrator, or heirs. the good news: congress, in late spring, approved elimination of the tax, and it was signed into law by the president.

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out