July 1, 2003

Alternative Style

Experts Predict Luxury Sector Will Grow 5% by 2005

the luxury-goods industry should improve strongly by 2005 as the global economy rebounds and new sales opportunities arise, said luxury market experts at baselworld’s annual forum on the luxury market. speaking were paola durante, chief analyst of luxury goods at merrill lynch in italy; michael j. silverstein, vice president of the boston consulting group (bcg), chicago; and stéphane truch…

Branding Again

it was an odd counterpoint: some of the most passionate defenders of the new direction of the diamond trading company recently learned that they’d been tagged to lose their status as sightholders. the buzz surrounding this decision began circulating at the jck show ~ las vegas. many wondered why the organization that so successfully designed and developed a business plan to mine and market dia…

GIA Launches Online Directory

the alumni association section of the gemological institute of america (gia) web site will become interactive this summer when its online directory goes live. thanks in part to a $200,000 donation from kwiat, roisen, and ferman, the upgraded directory will be searchable by region and will contain the names and contact information of gia graduates and alumni association members who wish to parti…

‘Pearl Goddess’ Speaks to GIA Audience

betty sue king, the “pearl goddess,” recently addressed a capacity audience at the gemological institute of america (gia), speaking on the magnificence of exotic pearls. king’s address kicked off the 2003 lecture series—”color perspectives”—hosted by the gia museum. a pearl industry specialist who has owned a pearl wholesaling business for 24 years, king covered topics such as the r…

Las Vegas 2003 Good News At Last

after several years of economic stagnation and moribund sales, pent-up demand had already begun to let loose during the winter 2003 shows, and by the time the jck show ~ las vegas opened may 30, jewelers—many of whom had canceled buying trips abroad this winter—were hungry for new merchandise.

Yurman Opens Swiss Watch Company

in april 2003, american jewelry designer and watchmaker david yurman opened david yurman sa, a new subsidiary located in la chaux-de-fonds, in the canton of neuchatel, switzerland, a center of swiss watchmaking. the new 2,100-sq.-ft. facility, which employs three watchmakers, will produce swiss-made david yurman luxury watches and control technical development and distribution.

New MultiMedia Magazine for Bench Jewelers

bench media, the publisher of bench magazine and e-bench newsletter, announces the launch of their newest publication—bench rom, the jewelry industry’s first multimedia magazine for bench jewelers. each quarterly issue of bench rom contains jewelry repair, stone setting, and custom jewelry manufacturing projects, along with bench tips and motivational quotes.

Harold Jaffe Jewelers Receives Governor’s Award

harold jaffe jewelers, toledo, ohio, was selected as one of eight recipients of the 2003 governor’s awards for the arts in ohio. jeff jaffe accepted the business support of the arts award on behalf of the family-owned store. harold jaffe jewelers has sponsored numerous arts-related events since the founding of the jewelry store in 1947.

Clarksville Jeweler Assists Military Families

bill sites, owner of sites jewelry in clarksville, tenn., recently joined other local business owners and citizens to help military families posted at fort campbell, ky. serving as co-chair of the military affairs committee of the clarksville chamber of commerce, sites played a key role in giving “operation eagle’s nest” its wings.

GemFind.net Launches GFTicker+

gemfind.net, an internet portal for the jewelry industry that allows diamond and gem dealers to post inventories, has launched a new version of the gfticker. gfticker+, which can be downloaded free of charge from www.gemfind.net, is an online tool that sits as an icon on a computer’s desktop. once online, the ticker becomes live.

Timex Produces 1 Billionth Watch

timex, one of the world’s best-known watch brands and one of the most widely sold in america, recently produced its 1 billionth watch. “that is equal to 50 million a year for each of the past 50 years and indicates millions of people all over the world have put their confidence and trust in this watch,” said joe santata, president and chief executive officer of timex.

Antwerp Still Reeling From Theft

antwerp is still recovering from the headline-making $100 million robbery of its vaults. youri steverlynk, spokesman for belgian promotional group hrd, says many dealers are still devastated: “it was and is very emotional. not everybody insured [their stolen diamonds]. for these people it’s a personal catastrophe,” he notes, adding that some lost pieces from family or friends had a high persona…

Pearl World Sees Too Many Pearls

a headline in the april/may/june 2003 issue of pearl world exclaims, “it’s the supply, stupid!” the article, by editor richard “bo” torrey, reports that an overabundance of pearls has driven down prices and qualities almost across the board. “the major problem is that tahitian and chinese freshwater pearl farmers have simply been producing too much for the pipeline,” torrey writes.

BHP: A Mini De Beers?

bhp, owner of ekati, the first canadian mine, is taking a page from de beers’ playbook and looking to market the diamonds of other producers. “we have an established marketing system and customers, and we think it would be worthwhile for groups who are just setting up their marketing organization,” says terry janes, bhp’s manager of marketing.

BMAC Set for July in Philadelphia

the 2003 summer buyers market of american craft (bmac) will take place july 11-13 at the pennsylvania convention center in philadelphia. highlights of the july show include daily breakfast seminars led by business educators and members of the fine american craft community as well as the buyers market party at the philadelphia zoo on friday, july 11 and the niche top 100 retailers ceremony, sa…

Cas-Ker to Distribute Crystal Cutter

the cas-ker co. has been appointed the distributor of the scholl crystal cutter, which makes crystals in any shape from blank pieces of mineral glass. the cutter can duplicate any flat watch crystal pattern and cut complex shapes, allowing jewelers to fit various watches. the cutting process takes 7-10 minutes and costs about $2 per crystal.

Obituary: Richard “Dick” Showerman

richard “dick” showerman, who spent his working life in the jewelry industry, died feb. 28, 2003. showerman was a past president of the chicago jewelers association and the golden roosters of chicago. after serving in the military, he joined tessler & tessler in 1947 as a manufacturer’s representative, and stayed with that company until 1966.

Wanted: Serious Tourists

gary bowersox (a.k.a. “the gem hunter”), president of geovision, honolulu, hawaii, has announced two programs that will provide economic aid to afghanistan. the first is a buying trip for cutters and suppliers. bowersox recently escorted one brazilian buyer to purchase kunzite rough for his cutting factory and wants to expand this service by providing other buyers the opportunity to purchase t…

Another Diamond/Designer Partnership

following the lead of escada and vera wang—jewelry brands teamed with diamond sightholders—verragio has announced a partnership with e. schreiber. the resulting “verragio diamond collection” features diamonds of all shapes from .75 ct. and up, set in verragio’s platinum settings. each diamond in the collection will come with a gia report and a unique verragio “beauty certificate,…

Lev Leviev Named ‘Outstanding Exporter’

in march 2003, the israel diamond exchange presented the first “israel diamond industry outstanding exporter” award to lev leviev, owner of lld diamonds ltd. the award recognized leviev’s achievement as the largest exporter of polished diamonds from israel in 2002, in the amount of $514 million. shmuel schnitzer, president of the israel diamond exchange, praised leviev for his contribution to …

Two South African Diamond Clubs Merge

johannesburg is now a one-bourse town. the two south african bourses, the diamond merchants association and the diamond club of south africa, have agreed to merge into a new body, the diamond dealers club of south africa. south african dealer ernest blom was elected the first president of the new body.

EGL-USA Matches JCK Reaserch Grant

in february 2003, new york-based egl-usa was awarded a $50,000 grant by the jck industry fund in support of the gem lab’s ongoing research in the identification of natural and synthetic diamonds modified by high-pressure, high-temperature (hpht) treatment. according to egl-usa director mark gershburg, egl-usa will match the grant it has been awarded.

Legendary Rubies Donated to GIA

a medley of ramaura synthetic ruby crystals and synthetic alexandrite worth more than $100,000 has been gifted to the gemological institute of america (gia) by judith osmer, ceo of j.o. crystal inc. osmer said she bestowed the collection of faceted and rough pieces to gia to preserve the legacy of her lifelong work.

Talk to Men in Their Language, DPS Says

the diamond industry needs to do a better job communicating with men. that was the message delivered by diamond promotion service training director diana warga-arias at the american gem society conclave in austin during a glitzy james bond-themed dps presentation on the “male paradox.” “men want to win,” she said, noting that men do not enjoy shopping for jewelry and often feel uncomfortable do…


tens of thousands of fake luxury watches with a street value of $1.5 million have been seized and a major u.s. watch-counterfeiting ring dismantled following raids and federal court actions, including a $4.8 million penalty, all prompted by a cartier investigation. the watch-counterfeiting ring, involving several companies in new york’s chinatown section, is one of the biggest ever broken in th…

Obituary: Peter Hess, 47, California Jeweler

peter hess, 47, a prominent san juan capistrano, calif., jeweler and immediate past president of the california jewelers association (cja), died suddenly on wednesday, may 28, 2003. he had been hospitalized following injuries suffered in a fall at his home. hess had been in the jewelry industry for more than three decades, starting in his father’s jewelry store in thief river falls, minn.

‘Catalog in Motion’ Show Draws a Crowd

rio grande’s 16th annual “catalog in motion” showcase of tools and equipment was held during the tucson gem & mineral show in february 2003. the expanded educational opportunities—including on-site jewelry-making classes and live presentations by professional jewelers’ schools—attracted hundreds of show-goers.

NAJA Education Conference Slated for August

the national association of jewelry appraisers will hold its annual summer educational conference aug. 9-14 in salem, mass. the educational programs will include classroom discussion followed by hands-on workshops. the first day’s offering will be a workshop on report writing. the session will feature interactive writing exercises and mock trial demonstrations.

The Karat Gold Report

a questionnaire sent to the jck retail jeweler panel in january asked about karat gold jewelry sales. the questions and responses are detailed below.

GIA Donations to be Showcased in Museum Exhibit

gifts to the permanent collection of the gemological institute of america (gia) are the highlight of a new museum exhibit, “from the vault: gifts to our collection.” the exhibit opened may 5 at gia’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif. donations such as diamonds, natural and synthetic gemstones, gem minerals, pearls, jewelry, gem carvings, art objects, books, renderings, and antique diamond-…

EGL-USA Requests Customs Ban on Illegal Certificates

egl-usa has requested the u.s. bureau of customs and border protection and local authorities to assist it in preventing the importation and distribution of gemstones accompanied by illegal egl gem grading certificates, which violate its trademarks in the united states. egl-usa is the exclusive owner of the egl trademarks in the united states and in canada and does not authorize the use of these…

IGI Expands Toronto Diamond Lab

the international gemological institute (igi) recently announced the expansion of its diamond laboratory in toronto. according to john palladino, managing director of igi toronto, the lab is expanding its space on the 12th floor of 27 queen st. east. the enlarged facility will cover 2,200 sq. ft. and will allow the hiring of two additional gemologists as well as two additional administrative st…

Stylish Technology

going digitaldigital displays, once found primarily in low-priced mass-market watches, are being used by more upscale watchmakers in inventive designs, combined with analogs and even as high-fashion watches. “the digital watch has returned to fine swiss watchmaking,” declared pierre nobs, chief executive of ventura, whose upscale, patented v-tech alpha is a sleek, minimalist multi-function watch.

Flower Power

what is more precious than diamonds and platinum? nature lovers would argue, “flowers”—and designer jennifer kellogg would agree. kellogg’s flower collection—including necklaces, bracelets, and rings—uses the natural beauty of fresh flowers. (there are gemstones, too, but only as an accent.

Unity Marketing Partners With JCK Research Store

unity marketing, stevens, pa., has entered into an exclusive relationship with jck and the jck research & stock art store, designating the jck store as the exclusive jewelry-industry conduit for reselling unity’s jewelry- and luxury-industry-specific research online. visitors to the jck research & stock art store can purchase and download unity reports, such as its jewelry report, 200…


would sara grinnell be in business without cad/cam? grinnell and partner lorraine lowe own studio c designs, which designs jewelry and sells it directly to consumers, and c&l gems, a fledgling business that designs jewelry for retailers. they run their operation from a small studio in minneapolis, minn.

AGS Draws Trail-Stomping Crowd

the american gem society’s 2003 conclave, held in april in austin, texas, drew a crowd of nearly 600 retailers, designers, manufacturers, and gemological educators. among the highlights of the event was the famous “ags town meeting,” (see “cut from the same cloth,” jck, june 2003, p. 114.), during which the subject of diamond cut grading progressed from “can we?” to “should we?” the event also…


for the world’s watch and jewelry industries, the annual spring trade fair in basel, switzerland, is the oscars, tonys, and emmys all rolled into one. important prizes are awarded there annually. this year’s included:

JDPN Elects New Officers

members of the jewelry design professionals’ network (jdpn) elected new officers during the organization’s january board meeting. the 2003 executive board members are dana buscaglia, president; kathleen diresta, vice president; joanne mulhall, secretary; and kathy ezzo, treasurer. board members at large are barbara raleigh, celia schaber, david hoffner, francine eisner, lauren pipkorn, leila ta…

Swiss Ban of Asian Exhibitors Challenged

legal complaints challenging the swiss government’s ban of southeast asian exhibitors at the 2003 baselworld trade fair were filed may 14 in bern, the swiss capital, by the show’s owner/operator and the hong kong trade development council (hktdc). the appeals to the swiss department of home affairs call for a formal governmental review and rescinding of the april 1 order, issued to prevent the …

‘Brilliant Restorer’ Instant Jewelry Cleaner

a new spray cleaner, “brilliant restorer,” cleans diamonds and other gemstones in about one minute, according to its manufacturer, without soaking. (very dirty jewelry may require a light brushing for the product to work effectively.) “brilliant restorer” uses two components: an enzymatic cleaner (similar to that used on contact lenses) and a mild hard-water remover.

De Beers Raises Rough Prices

in april, de beers’ diamond trading company instituted its second rough-diamond price increase in a year. de beers no longer formally announces its increases, but sightholders and market watchers estimated it at around 5% to 8%, mostly for stones in the 2-ct.-and-up range. there also were reports of a 3% to 4.

Bead-Stringer’s Tool Kit from Xuron

xuron corp., saco, maine, offers a new tool kit developed especially for stringing jewelry beads onto coated stranded bead wire, monofilament, cord, or thread. the xuron tk 2400 bead stringer’s tool kit features a model 410 micro-shear flush cutter for cutting soft wire up to 20 awg, coated stranded bead wire, monofilament, cord, and thread; model 450 tweezernose pliers for bending and forming …

Gemstone PhotoMosaic

it looks like a typical diamond photograph. but on close examination, the picture seems to lose focus. an even closer look reveals a montage of hundreds of smaller gem, jewelry, art, and family photos, laid out in a mosaic to create the image. tino hammid, professional gem and jewelry photographer in hollywood, calif.

DCIT Introduces Preconfigured Hardware System

dcit corp. recently introduced adrenaline server, the first hardware system to be offered with businessmind software preinstalled. adrenaline server provides the simplest setup for operating in a network environment with businessmind. systems are tested to meet businessmind’s optimal specifications for performance and reliability.

Guess Watches Searching for ‘Face of Guess’

guess watches and elle magazine are launching the first-ever worldwide model search to select the new face of guess watches. the year-long, multimillion-dollar campaign was recently announced by guess watches president and chief executive officer cindy livingston and elle officials. “this will be the most thorough model search in history,” claimed livingston.

Industry Shocked at New DTC Sightholder List

de beers’ diamond trading company (dtc) has “shocked and awed” the industry with its new sightholder list, reportedly lopping off some of the biggest names in the industry. at press time, rumors and counter-rumors were flying thick and fast, with much speculation as to who was staying and who was going.

Organizational Changes at WGC

the world gold council-americas has announced several changes in its u.s. jewelry organization, based in new york. john calnon has been appointed to the new position of international jewelry director. calnon rejoined the wgc in 2001 as director, jewelry-americas, after five years at qvc where he was vice president, jewelry merchandise.

The Scars From SARS

when dealers used to talk about a slowdown in the asian economy, they’d use the phrase “asian flu.” now that phrase has taken on a more ominous meaning, with the advent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (sars), a contagious and sometimes fatal disease that has cropped up in canada, the united states, europe, and asia, particularly hong kong and china.

Alleged Jewelry Fences Arrested

a man and a woman who allegedly disposed of at least $10 million worth of jewelry stolen from traveling salespeople were arrested may 5 by the los angeles police. they are identified by police as catalina palacios, 36, and john salguero, 27, both residents of new york state. palacios reportedly has a jewelry store in jackson heights, queens, new york.

Politics as (Un)usual

in the 1960s, war protestors made statements through fashion, but the passage of 40 years has certainly made an impact on that concept. rather than taking to the streets in tie-dye and birkenstocks, the current generation of doves chooses a more precious way to protest for peace. one of the hottest fashion statements of the spring season was the peace symbol—or variations thereof.

Lobbymercials and Be-Back DVDS Offered

k.t. productions of roswell, n.m., has created “lobbymercials” and “be-back” dvds for jewelers. the be-back dvd is given to customers who have said, “i’ll be back.” it’s a short infomercial about the business that may include information about business practices, special offers, services, etc. for information, call (888) 750-3330 or visit www.

Jewelry Comes to a Head

the benefits of versatile jewelry have made it a standard within the industry—especially during the past decade’s rise of self-purchasing women looking for pieces they can wear throughout a day of diverse activities. but leave it to mikimoto to take the concept one step further. everyone has seen the necklace that can be worn several ways, the brooch that doubles as a pendant, and the ea…

Who’s on the Ballot?

there are 20 women on the ballot in seven different categories for the wja awards of excellence, but when it comes to fashionistas, some categories are more important than others. nominees for this year’s design award are cathy carmendy of cathy carmendy; erica courtney of erica courtney inc.; and robin garin of kwiat.

Chrysoberyl Cat’s-eye

there is a certain fascination about having your gemstone not only looking back at you, but giving you the occasional wink. for that reason, the cat’s-eye is a favorite among gemologists and gem merchants. the cat’s-eye effect is a lighting phenomenon that gives certain gemstones the appearance of a cat’s narrowing pupil—hence the name.

Last Call for Campers!

the 24th annual jewelry 2003 antique & period jewelry & gemstone conference, otherwise known as “jewelry camp,” is slated for july 12-17 at hofstra university, long island, new york. this year’s event will honor founders ruth and dr. joseph sataloff. guest speakers include john loring, design director for tiffany & co.

The King of Marketing

last month, i offered a free one-year subscription to the first person who identified how jck’s hometown—king of prussia, pa.—got its name. the winner is sheldon l. wernikoff of wernikoff’s jewelers in skokie, ill., who knew the town was named for a tavern. congratulations to sheldon, but there’s a marketing lesson to be learned by the tale—the importance of knowing who your r…

AGS Hosts 2003 Circle of Distinction Dinner

the american gem society (ags) will host its fourth annual circle of distinction dinner on tuesday, july 29, at the rainbow room in new york city to honor individuals who have demonstrated impeccable service and made a lasting contribution to the jewelry industry. ags honors robert crowningshield of the gemological institute of america as the 2003 ags lifetime achievement award winner.

WJA Announces Nominees for Awards for Excellence

twenty women in seven industry categories have been nominated by the women’s jewelry association membership for the organization’s 20th awards for excellence gala to be held july 27 at pier sixty, chelsea piers, in new york city. this year also marks the 20th anniversary of wja’s founding. the wja awards for excellence recognize the accomplishments and milestones of women in the jewelry indus…

Apartheid Lawsuit Filed Against De Beers

in the latest in a growing list of lawsuits, de beers and its partial owner, anglo-american, are being sued by former mine workers who charge the companies violated their rights during the apartheid era. the $6.1 billion suit was brought by ed fagan, the media-savvy and controversial attorney who successfully sued swiss banks to obtain reparations for holocaust survivors.

VicenzaOro2 Bans Exhibitors from SARS Countries

in response to the sars crisis in asia, the vicenza fair did not allow delegations from china, hong kong, or singapore to exhibit during vicenzaoro2, the international gold and jewelry fair held june 7-12 in vicenza, italy. officials from the show said in a statement on their web site that the move was made with the agreement of officials from asian countries affected by the severe acute respir…

Trunk Show Savvy

trunk shows can punch up sales and increase store traffic, yet more than half of jewelers recently surveyed by jck say they don’t host such events. of the 45% of jewelers who do have at least one show per year, 86% say the shows were effective in spiking sales on featured lines, both during the event and beyond.

MJSA Revamps Web Site

the manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) has redesigned its web site to make it easier to find information. mjsa online (www.mjsainc.com) has a number of new features and services, as well as a design that allows users to more easily browse the site. the buyers’ guide online search engine directly links members with customers; an expanded government affairs section provides …


jeweler, heal thyself my mother and i have a small but very upscale jewelry store in harrisburg, pa. we both just finished reading your [editorial] in the april 2003 edition of jck (“so you wanna buy a ring,” p. 112). we applaud you. we don’t ever have a “sale.” we do have an “old friends” case where we place our markdowns.

Alternative Style

sure, platinum is precious and gold is gorgeous, but fashion-conscious (and, often, price-conscious) customers have discovered the wonders of other white metals. frequently linked to the tremendous growth of steel watches in recent years, the increasing popularity of alternative whites in jewelry is especially prevalent among less-prominent demographics in the jewelry…

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