July 1, 2005

White Hot

Ballou Buys Nancy B. & Co.

jewelry manufacturer b.a. ballou has purchased jewelry firm nancy b. & co. the acquisition was effective may 27. financial details of the acquisition of the culver, calif., jewelry design firm, best known for its gold earrings and colored-stone jewelry, by the 135-year-old providence, r.i., firm weren’t released.

Disabled Cop Finds Second Career as a Gemologist

when dan waltman of charlotte, n.c., was diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease and forced to undergo amputation two years ago, he did not dwell on what he would be giving up: his career, his income, his leg. “you have to play with the cards you are dealt,” he says. for waltman this meant retiring from 14 years of police work—three years at a north carolina sheriff’s office and 11 yea…


in “man jewels,” jck, april 2005, p. 52, the 18k white gold and diamond sunglasses jamie foxx wore to the academy awards were by luxuriator. johnny depp wore a stud and cufflink set in sapphire and platinum by fred leighton, a ring by celia de flers, hunter thompson’s gonzo pin, and a cat chain by celia de flers.

Worldwide Creativity Index

the jewelry-design industry may have its own ranking of creativity among countries (italy would probably place at the top, perhaps followed by brazil), but, according to a new index of creativity, neither even place in the top 10. the florida creativity group states that creativity can be gauged by measuring talent, technology, and tolerance.

The Many Faces of Time

time has many faces—watch faces, that is—as abundantly shown at 2005’s international watch fairs held in switzerland in basel (baselworld) and geneva (sihh, wphh, time evolution, f.p. journe, and several others) in early april. they include more new faces moving into the luxury watch market; vintage faces, emulated in many new models; and exquisite faces of the growing number of aff…

Leaving the Comfort Zone

by his own account, steven kaiser never really envisioned entering the family watch business. his father, the late benjamin kaiser, founded david g. steven, the exclusive u.s. distributor of baume & mercier. but after earning a master’s degree from columbia university in 1979, kaiser followed the advice of a mentor, longtime baume & mercier executive eugen maier, and entered the family …

Robert Schneider Elected to MJWA Board

robert schneider has been elected to the board of directors of the missouri jewelers and watchmakers association. schneider will assist other board members in providing educational programs and services to improve the business skills and profitability of missouri retailers. at present schneider is the regional sales manager for tycoon, a diamond-jewelry manufacturer in los angeles, and the midw…

Report: Online Jewelry Sales Set to Soar

jewelry sales on the internet will grow a projected 31 percent this year, predicts a new report from forrester research. the report labeled jewelry one of the categories that will experience the most dramatic growth, thanks to greater online shopping by women. “women are flocking to the internet in droves to comparison shop, research, and buy,” said scott silverman, executive director of shop.

Stars Shine at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas

no las vegas show is complete without stars, and the jck show ~ las vegas was no exception. one popular celebrity was kathy ireland, the former model who now heads a $1 billion global corporation producing products and services for working women, who was the show’s keynote speaker. her motivational talk on business and personal success tips delighted her audience of several hundred people.


universal laser systems inc., a manufacturer of laser engraving and cutting systems in scottsdale, ariz., has hired steve gluskin as director of business development. gluskin has more than 30 years’ experience in domestic and international sales management, marketing, and distribution at companies like brother international and macpherson-meistergram, both manufacturers of embroidery and indust…


darin dodson, stuller darin dodson, tools product manager at stuller inc., died april 19 as the result of a traffic accident. dodson, 41, of lafayette, la., suffered a heart attack at the scene and could not be revived en route to the hospital. “an important part of the stuller organization has vanished, literally in the blink of an eye,” said matt stuller, chairman and chief executive officer …

New Software Service Offers Online Catalogs

globalofficex network has launched the gox studio, a software service that enables jewelry retailers to create customized online catalogs tailored to individual customers. thirty days before a customer’s special event or holiday, gox studio automatically generates a customized e-mail catalog based on each customer’s jewelry preferences, with reminders and suggestions.

Rembrandt Encourages Mothers’ Love

in a sentimental move to promote charm bracelets, rembrandt sponsored mother’s love, a mother’s day competition. throughout may, the company received more than 150 entries for the competition, in which consumers were asked to write the story of their mother’s life using up to 10 rembrandt charms. after the success of the mother’s day competition, rembrandt announced a similar, yearlong contest …

‘Rainbow’ Andradite Garnet

one of the more curious and rare garnets, andradite, known for its green gem dispersive variety, demantoid, also occurs in a dark root-beer-brown variety containing an iridescent phenomenon. “it looks like crystallized black opal,” says falk burger, gem expert from new mexico who has been mining and cutting iridescent andradite from a nearby locality.


Ron Luino is Citizen Watch Company of America‘s new vice president of operations and administration and is also a member of its executive committee. He formerly was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Seiko Corp. of America. Gianni Pieraccioni in March was named global chief executive officer of the 33-year-old Sector Group, a…

One Design and the Line Takes Off!

when marcella saltz’s mother refused to take celebrex for her arthritis, the concerned daughter told her to get a copper bracelet, which some believe has healing properties. “no,” said the stubborn sculptor, who had never seen a stylish-looking copper model. mom demanded: “make one for me.” saltz did, and a new line was born.

Gareth Penny New De Beers Head—South Africa Not Happy

gareth penny, the architect of de beers’ supplier of choice policy, has been named the company’s managing director (an english title that translates in the united states as “president”). but already his appointment is causing controversy. south africa’s deputy minister of minerals lulu xingwana blasted the choice as symptomatic of de beers’ neglect of the country’s black majority.

Columbus Jewelry Show Opens Next Month

the columbus jewelry show, now in its 62nd year, will take place aug. 13–14, at the convention center in downtown columbus, ohio. the theme for the 2005 show is “blossom your business.” security at the columbus jewelry show is provided by uniformed and armed off-duty columbus police officers. additionally, around-the-clock highway and parking protection is supplemented by the columbus pol…

Faber Green Designs Jewels for Wynn Resort

when wynn las vegas opened in april, shoppers, gawkers, and press lined up to see the gem of the strip. inside, along with the expected luxury fashion and jewelry brands, wynn offered an exclusive line of jewelry designed by los angeles designer rhonda faber green. the line, including necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and earrings, features clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds motifs in faber gree…

Gold Jewelry Month at Jewelry.com

jewelry.com, their participating retailers, and the world gold council celebrated the second annual may is gold month this year. last year’s month campaign resulted in double-digit increases for most of the retailers who participated and a spike in traffic that generated a 40 percent increase for the jewelry.

AGA Awards Jobbins and Matlins

the accredited gemologists association awarded the sixth annual antonio c. bonanno award for excellence in gemology to internationally respected british gemologist e. alan jobbins, of the gem testing laboratory of great britain, and to well-known author and gemologist antoinette matlins, of south woodstock, vt.

PGI USA Launches Two New Online Resources

platinum guild international usa has launched two online resources designed to drive bridal consumers to retail stores to purchase platinum jewelry. the complete engagement guide is aimed at men, and a new platinum bride section on pgi usa’s consumer web site is dedicated to women. the complete engagement guide is designed to be an educational resource for men as they begin their search for an …

London Museum Plans ‘Blockbuster’ Exhibit

london’s natural history museum this month begins what it calls a “blockbuster exhibition” of some of the world’s most spectacular white and colored diamonds. among the stones being featured: in addition, the aurora collection—a set of 296 natural-color diamonds compiled by alan bronstein and harry rodman—will be displayed for the first time ever in europe.

De Beers Gives Go-Ahead for New Canadian Mine

de beers’ first canadian mine will open in 2007. snap lake, located in canada’s northwest territories, will produce about 1.5 million carats a year for 20 years or more—considerably less than the two canadian mines currently functioning, ekati and diavik, owned by miners bhp billiton and rio tinto, respectively.

OroArezzo Dazzles With Style, Color, and Variety

they came from all over italy and much of the world to the tiny italian hill town of arezzo to view beautiful, innovative, and unique gold-jewelry designs. and the designers and manufacturers from arezzo and its neighboring provinces in the tuscany region of italy didn’t disappoint during the oroarezzo trade show, held april 9–13 at the arezzo trade and meeting centre.

Relaunches and New Marketing Plans Announced

at the 2005 swiss watch shows in basel and geneva, a number of brands announced relaunches and changes in marketing strategies, including the following: audemars piguet relaunched its oval millenary line in a redesigned format with an enlarged case and off-center, merged, sculpted subdials. the limited-edition dual time millenary maserati watch marks the 90th anniversary of the famous italian c…

Sales Mount at Luxury watch Events in Geneva

a number of private and public luxury-watch shows and events occurred in early april in geneva, including sihh, whpp, and the new time evolution. all reported strong interest and good business, boding well for fine timepieces in 2005. the swiss city, a traditional center of fine watchmaking, is also becoming home to more annual spring events—all in the same weeklong time frame—cater…

Swatch Group Will Open U.S. Watchmaking School

the swatch group (u.s.) inc. will open a watchmaking school this fall at its secaucus, n.j., headquarters to help stem the decline in professionally trained u.s. watchmakers. there is no tuition; however, enrollment is limited, and applicants must pay for their own food and housing, since there are no dormitory facilities.

The Archives of Time

the commercial return of mechanical watches has spurred greater interest in vintage watches and styles. that was amply demonstrated at this year’s swiss shows as numerous brands in all price ranges dug into their archives and debuted watches evoking or replicating successful timepieces of years past.

The Technology of Time

innovative advances in watchmaking at baselworld this year included some true groundbreakers, especially in mechanical timekeeping.

The Mechanisms of Time

this may be the 21st century, but we’re in a new era of mechanical watches, as well as timepieces that evoke vintage ones of decades past. those are two of the major trends coming out of 2005’s big swiss watch shows in basel and geneva. three decades after then-revolutionary quartz-module watches supposedly doomed them, mechanical watches—usually self-winding, many with complications like…

Top 11 Questions to Consider for Self-Improvement

this month i thought i would share something i published several years ago. many people still have these questions hanging on their office wall and think about them regularly. i don’t know where i originally saw them, but i, too, look at them often. enjoy them; i hope they make a difference for you.

Michigan Jeweler Gets Jail for Moissanite Switch

a michigan jeweler was sentenced to seven months in jail and five years of probation by van buren county circuit court after he reportedly admitted switching a customer’s diamonds with moissanite, according to local press reports. randy block, 43, of paw paw, mich., pled guilty to one count of larceny by conversion.

JSA: Beware of Money Orders

the jewelers’ security alliance is warning jewelers to beware of counterfeit postal money orders. john j. kennedy, jsa president, notes that 160 arrests have been made in the united states since october in connection with fraudulent u.s. postal money orders. many are “good quality” counterfeits coming from nigeria and ghana and from countries in eastern europe.

The State of the Industry

recently, the cnbc show kudlow & company had an interesting interview between lawrence kudlow and fred smith, the chief executive officer of fedex. at one point smith said fedex’s business from china had “doubled from last year to this year.” he also said that fedex’s “business with india had increased fivefold.


M. Fabrikant & Sons and Leer Gem are forming a new jewelry and solitaire company called Fabrikant-Leer International. The new entity will be a subsidiary of Fabrikant. Leer Gem will no longer be an independent entity. Larry Weinman, owner-partner of Leer Gem, will serve as managing partner of the new entity, and Ira Bergman, a…

Colored-Stone Market Still Strong

market in brief: june 9, 2005… the colored-stone industry continues to report that there is virtually no production of rough. with no new finds to create excitement, many dealers are seeing lackluster business this summer. however, demand for fine-quality unenhanced gemstones remains very strong, especially in the ruby and sapphire markets.

Six Retailers Inducted Into JA 100 Club

jewelers of america recently inducted six more retail members into the ja 100 club, bringing the total membership in the club to 90. the new ja 100 club inductees are: bruce watters jewelers, st. petersburg, fla., established 1905; cole & young co., lansing, mich., established 1874; dubes jewelry, janesville, wis.

Jewelers Awarded Niche Awards

the 2005 niche awards, presented by niche magazine during the philadelphia buyers market of american crafts, honored several jewelry designers. the awards recognize outstanding creative achievements of american and canadian craft artists. the winners this year were: lynda bahr, san gregorio, calif.

Amazon Gets Into Loose Diamond Business

if all the web sites selling loose diamonds at discount prices aren’t enough, now one of the web’s biggest names has entered the fray: amazon.com. the seattle-based internet giant, which says jewelry sales have seen “triple-digit growth” in the first quarter, is now selling loose stones, from 0.25 cts.

Bank Consolidation Puts Pressure on Jewelers

the number of jewelry manufacturers in the united states continues to decline, partly because of the mature nature of the industry, as larger companies seek to grow through an acquisition or merger while smaller companies find it increasingly difficult to compete. the jewelers board of trade reports that the number of u.

Hip-Hop, Luxury Watches Make Beautiful Music Together

stars of the u.s. hip-hop music industry are becoming proud owners of unique new watches by top luxury-watch brands. hip-hop artist and record-business entrepreneur jay-z and swiss luxury watchmaker audemars piguet in april unveiled a limited-edition watch (100) to mark his 10th anniversary in the music business.

AGTA Releases Birthstone and Directory CDs

the american gem trade association showcased a variety of its colored gemstone–related products and services at the jck show ~ las vegas 2005 in june. among them were two outstanding tools for the retail jeweler. the agta birthstone collection offers 20 royalty-free photographic images including garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, emerald, cultured pearl, cultured-pearl strands, ruby, peridot, …

Another Synthetic Breakthrough Heralded

yet another research group says they have a faster, cheaper method to manufacture large synthetic diamonds. researchers at the geophysical laboratory at the carnegie institution of washington say they have come up with a “breakthrough” variation on chemical vapor deposition, the method used by boston’s apollo diamond inc.

Tiffany, Stuller Lead List of New Sightholders

two nontraditional sightholders—tiffany and stuller settings—lead the list of new clients appointed by de beers’ diamond trading company, sources said. this is the second sightholder assessment under the company’s supplier of choice program. the chosen companies will remain on the list for two and a half years.

New ICA Committees Will Address Key Issues

the international colored gemstones association recently announced the composition of its working committees for 2005–2007. headed by ica board members, these committees help bring important issues to the forefront. one of the more interesting new committees that ica established is the mining committee, headed by ica director bhadresh pandit of arusha, tanzania.

De Beers Gets More Legal Issues

de beers has been hit with—and defaulted on—another class-action lawsuit from consumers complaining that the company’s control of the diamond market has inflated prices. de beers did not answer the suit, as is its custom, because it has no legal presence in america, according to a report in the madison county record.

JVC: Most Small Jewelers Exempt From Patriot Act

the u.s. treasury department issued its patriot act anti-money-laundering rules for the jewelry industry—and most smaller retail jewelers will be exempt from its obligations, the jewelers vigilance committee has announced. the final rules still require dealers and covered retailers to set up compliance programs within six months.

Posts Strong Business Results

baselworld 2005, the world’s largest watch and jewelry trade fair (march 31–april 3) and a bellwether of those industries’ economic health, ended optimistic about business in 2005 and with strong sales results, despite a weak dollar. “there was a wonderful enthusiasm about this show,” said sylvie ritter, baselworld’s first female director.

JBT Holds Annual Elections

the jewelers board of trade elected phyllis bergman, mercury ring corp., englewood, n.j., as a new director to its board. the selection was made during jbt’s annual meeting on feb. 16, 2005. additionally, the board elected the following officers and directors to serve a one-year term: chairman: michael j.

The Optimist

wow. i’m just back from my first jck ~ las vegas show. what an adrenaline rush! what an amazingly vital show—networking, buying, selling, deal-brokering, hugging dear friends. it was absolutely unbelievable, and despite advance warning from the entire jck team, i can’t even complain about my feet hurting.

More Than a Paycheck

randi shinske knows that learning doesn’t stop after you get a diploma. for shinske, every office is a classroom. “every job is a learning experience,” she told audience members recently at the second annual women in the know conference sponsored by the women’s jewelry association. “you evolve.” shinske, the former president of ebel watches, has evolved much over her 20-plus-year career in merc…

AGS Announces 2005 Circle of Distinction Dinner Honorees

the american gem society will host the sixth annual circle of distinction dinner on aug. 2, 2005, at the rainbow room in new york city. the event will honor individuals who have demonstrated impeccable service and made a lasting contribution to the jewelry industry. ags will honor ronald r. harder, chief executive officer of jewelers mutual insurance co.

Weekend Wars

will everyone who is tired of weekend trade shows please raise their hand? i recently read an editorial about this same subject, written by a magazine editor in the home-furnishings industry, and found myself nodding emphatically at every word. from the middle of january through the middle of june, any dedicated workaholic in the jewelry industry can find something to attend—a show, a con…

Steven Cohen Is President of Ebel Americas

steven cohen, formerly president of the movado group’s canadian division, has been named president of ebel americas. he replaces randi shinske, who resigned in late february as president of the luxury-watch brand’s u.s. operations. the announcement was made march 24 by the movado group inc., which owns ebel.

Jewelry Design in Basel Stays the Course

jewelry designers and manufacturers exhibiting at the baselworld watch and jewelry fair showed extreme caution about launching new trends to an audience that is watching its budgets carefully. the jewelry on display at the fair, held march 31–april 7, was exquisitely pretty and highly salable, but the design trends shown were, for the most part, continuations of or subtle twists on exist…

Rhys-Meyers, Reilly Win Trophee Chopard

the trophee chopard, an award that encourages new talent and honors those who have recently entered the entertainment industry, went this year to jonathan rhys-meyers and kelly reilly. the award is presented by chopard during the cannes film festival. rhys-meyers has starred in bend it like beckham, directed by gurinder chadha; vanity fair, directed by mira nair; alexander, directed by oliver s…

De Beers Ups Prices

just prior to the jck show ~ las vegas, de beers announced a “price adjustment” that will result in an “under 3 percent” boost in the price of its items, beginning with the june sight. a de beers statement said the increase “has been focused on categories where there is the strongest demand for polished.

White Hot

for customers who like the look of white metal, but not the price tag of platinum or white gold, sterling silver has long been the alternative of choice. in recent years, however, it has been joined by stainless steel, then titanium and tungsten—”tough” metals that helped boost the popularity of jewelry among men.

West Coast Jewelry Show Sold Out

the west coast jewelry show, scheduled for aug. 27–29 at the westin century plaza hotel & spa in los angeles, has sold out of exhibit space, and a waiting list has been formed. more than 200 designers and manufacturers will participate in the show. retail sales and management trainer harry j.

Elvis Has Left the Building—No, Really!

at the close of business on the final day of the agta gem fair in tucson last february, an announcement came over the speakers. “to james alger, from urban mining company, elvis has left the building!” laughter and applause followed. in a box of closeouts, alger, gem cutter from bedford, n.h., was selling a bicolor tourmaline carving by an unknown german gem artist.

First Vacheron Constantin Auction Sets World Records

swiss luxury watchmaker vacheron constantin, marking its 250th anniversary this year, set several world records in the first-ever thematic auction of its timepieces. the sale was held by the antiquorum auction house, which auctioned 250 sought-after classic and new timepieces in the quarter millennium of vacheron constantin held april 3 in geneva.

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