July 2007

Metals: Contemporary Alternatives

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Charm—The Fifth C?

scientists from the scientific & research institute of experimental physics lab at the russian federal nuclear center, along with directors from kristall production corp., diamond manufacturer in smolensk, russia, say they’ve developed a machine that can measure a diamond’s charm. according to the smolensk gemological center, the charm index is defined “on the basis of measured opti…

Sequel’s New Charity Raises Funding for Ethiopian School

sequel a.g., the maker and world-wide distributor of guess and guess collection watches, has launched a new global charitable program, called “faces to watch – time to give.” this is “an opportunity to expand upon all of the positive elements that have made our company [parent firm callanen international, owned by the timex group] and our brands respected around the world.

It’s a Woman’s (Watch) World

that’s the impression from watch trends seen at 2007’s international watch shows this spring in basel and geneva, switzerland, and in june at the jck show ~ las vegas. whatever category—color, new calibres, more diamond and sport watches, or those with complications—watchmakers are catering to women self-purchasers.

‘Well Done Is Better Than Well Said’

with the title words of this article and with due respect to ben franklin, who first said them, ron harder concluded his last talk to friends and industry colleagues, capping a successful 34-year career at jewelers mutual. when he finished his brief talk, the audience gave ron a standing ovation. mild mannered and sincere are appropriate words to describe harder.

Christie’s Auction Preview Reveals Magnificent Jewels

there was a fellow standing on the beach, looking out over the atlantic ocean for the first time, seeing water as far as he could see to the left, to the right, and straight ahead. after a moment of deliberation, he said: “i really thought it would be bigger.” after visiting the preview for christie’s magnificent jewels auction on april 25, i find that i am that fellow.

What’s Your Inspiration?

designer: judith murat, palm beach, fla.; (561) 366-4893; www.judithmurat.com jewelry: the deep blue necklace is 18k gold and features a 90 ct. aquamarine pendant and diamond accents. suggested retail prices start at $1,000. inspiration: tropical waters designer: stephen kris, new york; (212) 242-1964; www.

JCK Show Makes Big Noise in Vegas

the jck shows came roaring into las vegas may 28 through june 5, producing strong reviews for the high-end luxury by jck and the new premiere show, good reviews for the appointment-only swiss watch by jck show, good-to-mixed reviews for the flagship jck show, and weak results for its new outpost at the las vegas convention center.

GIA Expands Document Range

the gemological institute of america is letting more diamonds qualify for its diamond dossier reports and changing its fee structure. beginning in june, gia lowered the minimum size of diamonds eligible for the reports to 0.15 cts. and raised the largest size to 1.99 cts. dossiers include the same information as gia’s standard reports, but without a diagram.

Safety First

retail jewelers reported an overwhelming increase in grab-and-run theft crimes in 2006, says john kennedy, president of jewelers’ security alliance. according to jsa statistics, recorded incidents increased from 170 events in 2005 to 419 last year. a grab-and-run thief enters a store during business hours and runs off with merchandise after a salesperson removes a piece to show.

Online Periodical Focuses on Organic Gem Materials

organic gems expert maggie campbell pedersen has introduced an online periodical called organic gems featuring articles on pearls, amber, shell, coral, ivory, jet, bone, and horn. each issue will include an information piece, discussing one particular organic gem material in detail; a feature presentation written by a guest author; and a readers’ forum where subscribers are invited to contrib…

Swiss Watchmakers Fear That Counterfeits Will Damage Industry

for swiss watchmakers it’s the best of times—and the worst. “swiss watch manufacturers have never had it so good, especially the major prestigious brands,” says veteran swiss watch executive jacques j. duchêne, vice president of the federation of the swiss watchmaking industry fh.

From Kobe to Capri…A Profile of Dorotea Liguori

dorotea liguori remembers the unusual “baptism” over 50 years ago of her first child, a son, born in naples, italy. a mountain of pearl strands rested on a table in her father’s office. “my father took the baby, undressed him completely, and placed him in the middle of the pearls,” she says.

Dallahan to Join AGS Lab

frank dallahan, chief executive officer of mjsa and former publisher of jck, will become president and chief executive officer of the american gem society laboratories, effective july 15. “this is a new position created to bring ags laboratories to the next level,” clayton bromberg, chairman of ags laboratories’ board of managers, said in a statement.

What Should I Do After the Sale?

i read in a jewelry trade magazine recently that up to 60 percent of bridal customers don’t buy their wedding bands from the store where they purchased the engagement ring. this is a startling statistic. there are several actions that will increase the likelihood that a customer will come back to us.

Gem Pricing Report

for five years the hottest segment of the colored-stone market has been high-end unenhanced ruby and sapphire. prices increased dramatically for the fine and extra-fine categories. a major factor in the price volatility has been consumption in emerging markets. with prices at record levels, sales of truly gemmy natural ruby and sapphire are limited to the wealthiest consumers.

Second Conflict Diamond Arrest

in the second conflict diamond–related bust in the span of a few months, federal agents seized 957 diamonds in wilmington, ohio, allegedly imported in violation of the 2003 clean diamond trade act. the diamonds, worth $10,848, were discovered during a routine inspection, reports say. the diamonds were allegedly sent from a company in spain to another in indiana.

De Beers to Promote Less Generic Advertising

de beers plans to spend less money on generic advertising, according to a comment by de beers’ cfo stuart brown at a recent diamond conference in london. “[de beers’] marketing spend in the past year reached $220 million, primarily focused on the generic market,” brown said. “this has proved to be a very successful strategy for both de beers and the diamond industry as a whole…

Dayoob Making Big Strides @ Whitehall

when the opportunity arose for veteran jewelry executive ed dayoob to take over the reins of ailing whitehall jewelers, dayoob jumped at the challenge. despite a myriad of issues facing the chicago-based chain of 326 stores, he believed the retailer was salvageable—and his faith and efforts have started to pay off in a dramatically improved corporate performance.

De Beers to Open More U.S. Stores

the de beers retail chain will open stores in houston, washington, d.c., and san francisco before the end of the year, according to guy leymarie, chief executive officer of de beers diamond jewellers (formerly de beers lv). the chain, a joint venture of the de beers group and lvmh, also has stores in new york, los angeles, and las vegas.

TanzaniteOne Announces Two New Sightholders

tanzaniteone ltd, the tanzanite mining and marketing firm, has named two new sightholders, ag color, of new york, and paul wild, of germany. adding the sightholders is in accordance with tanzaniteone’spreferred supply strategy, announced in february 2005, and brings the total number of sightholders to eight.

Howard Pomerantz Joins GCAL

former gia gem instruments executive director howard pomerantz has joined gem certification & assurance lab as executive vice president. pomerantz will help develop gcal’s business strategy, but is unlikely to start an instrument division “in the fashion his former employer did,” said gcal president don palmieri.

What Do Women Want?

surveys of jewelry consumers reveal that more than 80 percent of jewelry purchasers are women, and 70 percent of those buy jewelry for themselves. cathy calhoun, owner of calhoun jewelers in royersford, pa., recalls a client who came in to restyle some existing jewelry and bought 10 more pieces for herself.

Don’t Be Held Hostage by Your Best Employees

are you being held hostage by a top-performing employee? in other words, is a successful employee ignoring duties or regulations you expect to be honored? in the worst-case scenario, requests to change behavior are ignored, and frictions with other employees arise. the tension can even be picked up by customers, hurting both service and your brand.

The Royal Ontario Museum Expands Gem and Minerals Hall

a $10 million gift from canadian mining firm teck cominco ltd has allowed the renaissance royal ontario museum project to establish the teck cominco suite of earth sciences galleries, the teck cominco endowed chair in mineralogy, and the teck cominco digital education module in earth sciences, as well as create a new home for the canadian mining hall of fame at the museum.

Dateline: Basel

the summerlike april weather in basel, switzerland, was a fitting backdrop for the hot business and sunny optimism of 2,100 watch and jewelry exhibitors at baselworld 2007, who enjoyed record-breaking attendance (topping 100,000), continuing strong demand for luxury products, and heavy international media coverage.

Metals: Contemporary Alternatives

one year ago, palladium alliance international introduced itself to the u.s. market at the jck show ~ las vegas. since then, pai has been working to educate the industry and its consumers about palladium’s properties and benefits. “it’s a phenomenal program for pai,” says marketing director dawn mccurtain.

Leviev Buys New York Landmarks

diamond magnate lev leviev and his africa israel co. have increased their purchases of new york real estate. in the span of a month, he purchased new york’s landmark clock tower at the metlife building for $200 million, the famed new york times building for $525 million, and the upper west side apartment complex the apthorp for $430 million.

Hear, Hear!

we all consider ourselves good listeners. but maybe we are not as good as we think. when we surveyed jck retail panel members about the importance of listening, we got an earful about how bad listening caused bad customer experiences. there was the store where an employee asked an overweight woman when she was giving birth.

Judith Ripka Opens Up to WJA

jewelry designer judith ripka recently addressed attendees of the annual women in the know conference organized by the women’s jewelry association. her success is due in part to her passion, persistence, and performance in the industry, according to michael o’connor, senior vice president, marketing communications and public relations, platinum guild international.

The Art of Promotion

what do a bunch of people standing hip deep in freezing water wearing rubber pants and funny hats while trying to catch little fish have in common with an upscale jewelry promotion? quite a lot, if you appreciate the promotional skills and efforts of a certain jewelry-store chain known for its robin’s egg blue gift boxes.

NEWSWIRE

fossil has officially opened its new european headquarters in basel, switzerland. it acquired the building, located only a few hundred yards from the halls of the annual baselworld , the world’s largest watch and jewelry trade show, in january. its watch brands include fossil, adidas, callaway golf, diesel, dkny, emporio armani, marc jacobs, michael kors, michele, philippe starck, and zodiac.

The Show of Shows

when industry leaders approached jck’s former publisher charles bond about creating a new show in las vegas, we on the editorial staff were a bit bemused. las vegas? but there’s no jewelry industry there! at the time, new york was the center of all things jewelry in the united states. there’s no jewelry industry in basel, either, replied then-editor george holmes.

George Walton’s Gold & Diamond Co.

after living and working on both coasts, george walton has struck gold in alaska. walton is the owner of george walton’s gold & diamond co., a successful jewelry store based in anchorage. founded in 1977, the guild retailer specializes in exclusive diamond jewelry, designer goods, and custom pieces.

Marion Halfacre Dies

marion halfacre, the well-known founder and owner of traditional jewelers in fashion island, calif., died in june of a heart condition. he was 58. halfacre was president of the california jewelers association, a member of jewelers of america’s board of directors, and a member of the jck show advisory board.

Dateline: Geneva

the spring 2007 international luxury watch shows in geneva posted some of their best results ever, in business and attendance, propelled by strong global demand for luxury products, especially from growing affluent classes in china,india, russia, europe, and north america. the 17th edition of the invitation-only salon international de la haute horlogerie, the best-known geneva show …

Showstopper

i’ve been home from the jck show a week now, and the immensity of it all is still sinking in. it’s amazing that we’re “on” for nine consecutive days—from 8 am to 1 am—with maybe a half hour of personal time a day. whew! in this hyperdigital world of pdas, e-mail, and youtube, it’s fantastic what happens when almost 30,000 like-minded people get together in the same build…

Reviving Aspirations

an important element in promoting gems and jewelry over the years has been instilling aspirations to ownership of ever better jewelry. de beers, for one, has always held that developing such aspirations—diamond addiction, they would call it—is a key part of their marketing. this is a well-conceived notion, and it plays a part in those primordial urges we all get in coveting certain…

Warren Buffett Makes Jewelry Play

the recent purchase of bel-oro and aurafin by berskhire hathaway, the investment arm of billionaire warren buffet, will create “one of the largest” jewelry suppliers in the united states, mark hanna of bel-oro told jck. “the combination of the two of us together probably makes us the largest volume supplier in the trade, but i don’t like making absolute claims,” hanna said.

Lange & Söhne, Wempe Win Watch of the Year Honors

an anticipated annual event in the watch industry is the prestigious “watch of the year,” sponsored by publishers of armband uhren, a widely read watch magazine, and the national german newspaper welt am sonntag. the top 10 men’s and women’s watches are chosen by votes cast by tens of thousands of readers from german-speaking countries and areas of europe, and announced at the ann…

Corum, Vaucher Sign Long-Term Calibre Pact

corum, the swiss-made luxury watch, and vaucher manufacture fleurier, one of switzerland’s finest mechanical movement makers, have signed an agreement to develop new movements exclusive to corum. the contract is something of a coup for corum, located in la chaux-de-fonds, swit-zerland, with u.s. offices in irvine, calif.