August 2010

Best in Show

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From Red Carpet to Reality

Earring Circus The metal of the moment: yellow gold. With or without colored stones, it’ll bring some shimmer to your chandeliers. UNDER $10,000: Peacock earrings in 18k gold with labradorite; £6,500 (approximately $9,850 U.S.); Pippa Small Jewellery, Santa Monica, Calif.; 310-260-9222; pippsmall.com UNDER $2,000: Cypress geometric chandelier earrings in 14k gold; $1,690; Shaesby, Austin, Texas;…

Starry Starry Nights

Earring Circus They’re big, they’re bold, and they’re perfect for summer’s strapless fashions. After all, when it’s 90 degrees outside, no one wants a massive choker around her neck. An up-do ensures that all eyes are on the ears. Bruce Glikas An Atelier Versace–clad Catherine Zeta-Jones proves that a Tony Award (for her turn in…

JCK 5: Buying and Selling

“There’s no reason there shouldn’t be exciting, well-made designs for under $200,” says Reinhold Jewelers’ Marie Helene Morrow. Below, five of her favorite lines who do luxe for less: 1. Silver ‘Love and Joy’ necklace with garnet beads; $165; Me&Ro, New York City; 917-237-9215; meandrojewelry.com   2. Sterling silver Cruise ring with carved aventurine; $55;…

The Luxe Life

How to navigate today’s smaller, more concentrated luxury landscape Who’s Buying The group Unity Marketing president Pam Danziger terms “lower-income affluents”—incomes of $100,000 to $249,999—have dropped out. (She’s talking about the nearly 22 million aspirational shoppers who drove luxury sales and store growth in the early 2000s by spending against their perceived wealth.) It’s the…

A View From the Top

Brisk sales in Las Vegas in June suggest a brighter future ahead for the luxury market. Be prepared with some of the latest selections of gorgeous jewels, fresh from the biggest jewelry market week in America.   Yael Designs Lucky Hue: From mosaics and murals to stained glass windows and Middle Eastern carpets—anything with vivid…

The Velvet Goldmine

A New Jersey Retailer Goes Deep (Discount) As the former CEO of both Ebel USA and Maurice Lacroix, Randi Shinske knows how to run a luxury business. So when she hinted to JCK in the spring about plans to open another, the announcement was not a surprise. But the details—a retail store offering tony jewelry…

JCK 5: Luxury Promotions

1. Kirk Masters & Sons, in Utica and Richmond, Mich., threw a Diamonds Are Forever bash. The first 250 women got a 1.00 ct. CZ and raffle ticket. The prize: $2,200 diamond stud earrings. 2. Hamilton Jewelers of New Jersey and Palm Beach, Fla., joined Ferrari for An Event of Elegance, a luxury car rally…

On the Way to Mandalay Bay

In 2011, Luxury by JCK will join JCK Las Vegas in its new home at the Mandalay Bay. Luxury runs May 31–June 2, 2011, and JCK Las Vegas runs June 3–6, 2011. Reed Exhibitions industry vice president Yancy Weinrich says the new one-location, seven-day plan will give both attendees and exhibitors a more streamlined, relaxed…

Trading Places

A Wholesaler Steps Behind the Counter Khatchig Jingirian couldn’t contain his excitement in a recent Facebook post: “EIGHT DAYS until the doors of Smythe & Cross Fine Jewelry officially open for business! JULY 1st 2010 is the big day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The longtime Italian gold wholesaler—his parents run Jingirian Fine Jewelry—is opening his first retail store in…

JCK 5: Cocktail Party

If it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere in the world, then the time is always right for cocktail rings. New styles feature fat pearls, chiseled chunks of metal, and gemstones bursting from mountings with shanks as wide as weight-lifting belts, all threatening to take an eye out if the party turns into a raucous affair. No…

Best in Show

From Ivanka to Varda, what wowed us at JCK Las Vegas 2010. Plus: Say cheese! Retailer pics and inside scoop from the JCK photo booth. Best Big Stone The 60+ Carat Yellow Sure, there were plenty of diamonds strewn around the Venetian, but only one reached jawbreaker proportions. Amir Goldfiner, owner of Rahaminov Diamonds in…

The Affair of the Necklace

This striking late-1920s sapphire, emerald, and gold necklace was tagged with a $50,000–$70,000 estimate before the New York Jewels Sale at Christie’s on June 15. It went for a hefty $152,000. “Beyond its sheer aesthetic beauty,” says Daphne Lingon, senior VP with Christie’s jewelry, “I think the strong price can be attributed to ­several factors,…

Flush Setting Diamonds

Practical Stone Setting, Part 21 The procedures in this article are standard practices for bench jewelers at this time. If not executed properly, however, they can cause harm. Neither the author nor publisher is responsible for injuries, losses or damage that may result from the use or misuse of this information. Alan Revere, director of…

Watches

Movie Magic Inspired by the futuristic vision of contemporary architecture in Fritz Lang’s 1927 German expressionist film Metropolis, Gergé Swiss’ latest Type M-Metropolis collection was unveiled at the Couture show in Las Vegas in June. The limited-edition collection—priced at $4,900 to $33,400—will be available in September in three functional variations, each distinguished by a transparent…

Pearls

U.K.’s Orchira Makes U.S. Debut Six-year-old Edinburgh, U.K.–based pearl jewelry maker Orchira Pearls has entered into an exclusive distribution relationship with Basant Johari, president of Kuber Manufacturing in New York City. Johari will sell the brand’s jewelry in the United States and the Caribbean. According to Johari, Orchira already has numerous clients in Europe and…

Silver

Sterling Style Summer is here, and that means short sleeves, cool colors, and plenty of new sleek silver jewelry. • The Topkapi Tile collection from GeoArt by Cynthia Gale was prompted by Gale’s trip to Istanbul. The Topkapi Palace is visualized in sculpted floral motifs like tulips, while carnelian and iolite gems reflect the colors…

Platinum

And the Winner Is…Platinum! The Platinum Guild International announced the winners of its first Platinum Innovation Challenge in June at JCK Las Vegas, a contest that challenged the industry with crafting platinum designs that retail around the $2,500 mark. Affordable platinum? Yes, you heard right. The contest was PGI’s latest attempt to broaden access to…

Diamonds

Cultured Shock In May, the Gemological Institute of America’s New York City lab identified a near-colorless 1.05 ct. CVD-grown diamond, the largest ever submitted to GIA. The pear-shaped gem received a G color and I1 clarity grade.    “Clearly, CVD synthetic diamonds of better quality and size are being produced as the growth techniques continue…

Gold

4/24 Gives Luxe Look for Less Taking a page from his Ottoman ancestors, New York City–based jewelry designer Gurhan Orhan unveiled a collection featuring an alloy using 4 karats of gold as a companion metal for his traditional 24k gold designs. He calls the combination 4/24. Incorporating 4k gold allows the designer to strengthen certain…

Color Me Surprised

Sapphires are still big, luxury spending is up, but gem prices are holding steady The JCK Las Vegas show provided dealers with some indication of expected market strength during the second half of the year. Wholesalers report that business in the first half of 2010 was better than during the same period last year. Retailers…

Pirate’s Booty

These oceanic eye-poppers—which won two 2010 Couture Design Awards in June—were launched by Arman Sarkisyan, an L.A.–based designer and native of Armenia. “Where I’m coming from, there’s no ocean. The whole idea of conquistadores and pirates…it’s like a dream for me,” says Arman, who built one previous pair of equally elaborate nautical earrings. It was…

JA Seminar Sneak Peek

“Brand Integrity: Communication Is Critical” Retail isn’t only about the inventory you move and the dollars you accrue. You need to understand the importance of marketing yourself as a brand in order to fully communicate with customers and the community. Terry Chandler, president and CEO of the Diamond Council of America, heads up a seminar…

A Night on the Town

The American Gem Society’s Circle of Distinction dinner took a vacation in 2009, due to the economic downturn and the closure of the evening’s traditional location, the Rainbow Room. But this year, the?dinner is back at New York City’s Plaza Hotel on July 25, the first day of the Jewelers of America Summer Show. Among…

Hot Time, Summer in the City

Generally, July and August signal a break in the chaotic activities of the year and bring the promise of vacation. But for jewelers, there’s always something happening. Now that you’ve caught your breath after JCK Las Vegas and Couture, it’s time to head to the Jewelers of America New York show July 25–28 at the…

Designs on Luxury

The economic bright spots the industry has been searching for surfaced at June’s Couture 2010. Designer Nina Runsdorf ran out of her line’s new earrings—polished rough cuts of colored stones—by day two of the show! Meanwhile, we spied Marie Helene Morrow, owner of Reinhold Jewelers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, mesmerized by the 22k gold…

JCK 5: Lessons for Upscale Retailers

1. Have fun with display Lazare Kaplan celebrated the launch of its new Twist bridal jewelry collection at Luxury by JCK with a series of framed vintage Twist-themed ads (think Chubby Checker) in its booth windows. The backdrop featured oversize dancing silhouettes. 2. Do less with more Why bombard clients with excessive e-mail? Mike Song—an…

The Lap of Luxury

What a difference a year makes! After the last 18 months of retailers’ paring down inventory, vendors were back to writing orders and attendance was up 20 percent at the 2010 Luxury by JCK show. High-end firms have felt the pinch of the bad economy as much as the rest of the jewelry industry: The…

Help! I’ve Been Yelped!

Websites like Yelp and Google are giving consumers a platform to voice their opinions of local stores. Meet the retailers who talked back. Janet Rothstein didn’t know she had an unhappy customer until she read it on the Internet. Her Beverly Hills, Calif., store, J. Rothstein & Co., had received all thumbs up on the…

With This Ring…

Get engaged! Track the trends, the traditions, and the tastes of the ever-changing bridal business. The so-called Great Recession touched all facets of the industry, and the bridal category was no exception. Now, retailers and designers are taking stock of the new economic realities and the shift in style ushered in by a prolonged economic…

JCK Asks…Jean-Claude Biver

Take a timeout with the CEO of Hublot The CEO of the Geneva-based watch company Hublot knows a thing or two about the passage of time. Jean-Claude Biver joined Audemars Piguet in 1975, and by 1981, he and pal Jacques Piguet had bought Blancpain. After being revived by the pair, the brand was picked up…

Crystal Ball

Baccarat livens up its jewelry line thanks to a pairing with edgy Lanvin designer Elie Top Baccarat is a venerable maison, with two and a half centuries of experience as a premier creator and manufacturer of luxury crystal. But while the company showcases its wearable designs in a small boutique in Paris, its jewelry line…

Social (Media) Butterfly

Dan Gordon takes networking to digital extremes Dan Gordon, a fourth-generation jewelry retailer and president of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, is bringing his family’s legacy into the 21st century with an aggressive push into social media. “It basically is my marketing strategy,” he says. Gordon has thousands of friends and followers on Facebook…

NEWTW!ST

296 E. Fifth, Eugene, Ore. At first glance, NEWTW!ST might appear too sleek and modern to fit into its hippie-fied home base of Eugene, Ore. But upon closer examination, the airy shop’s precisely arranged dis­­plays of jewelry and housewares (priced from $50 to $5,000) offer much more than meets the eye. Owner Colleen Stangeland’s selections…

Family Matters

In 1988, Roy Yelton’s part-time passion—selling jewelry—won out over his full-time vocations (police officer and security consultant) and he converted an old down­town drugstore in Hamilton, Ohio, into a jewelry store. After 11?years, Roy added a second store in West Chester, Ohio. But the family quickly discovered that two stores were too much. Roy closed…

Brave New World

Separating real from man-made is no longer a natural What do these four recent news items have in common? • De Beers announced a rationing plan limiting production to 40 million carats a year, emphasizing that worldwide diamond production would fail to meet rising demand in the coming years. • A new type of high-quality,…

Fashion Faux Pas

Gemology and technology trump style in Vegas While I spent most of JCK Las Vegas working at the Honora booth, I had two opportunities to get away: I stepped in at the last minute to moderate a panel on social media, and a little later I was invited to join a lively discussion on how…

Getting Real About Profits

The question every business owner needs to ask: Do you have a business, or have you merely bought yourself a job? Most jewelers probably ask themselves at some point why they are in this business—and on days when the customers are cranky, a valued employee quits, a shipment is late, or the bills are piling…

JCK 5: Be Her Guest

Sarah Read on treating the customer right and building the Lee Read brand 1. How do you set yourself apart from the competition? Lee Read is “Idaho’s Diamond ­Jeweler.” For 47 years we have focused on diamonds and making it easy and actually enjoyable to find “the one.” Our diamond buyer is very particular. If…

JCK 5: Best Taglines of the Month

1. “Nobody does ‘I do’ like we do” Goldsmith Gallery JewelersBillings, Mont.Scott Wickam, owner 2. “The jewelry store where women get into trouble…and men get out of it” Lyle Husar Designs Brookfield, Wis. Lyle Husar, founder and CEO       3. “Because Life’s Too Short for Ordinary Jewelry” Sissy’s Log Cabin Pine Bluff, Ark.Sissy…

Social Media and Open Wallets Rule at JCK

You may say jewelers are slow to innovate, but they’re quick to respond when it comes to strategies to keep their businesses afloat. At this year’s JCK Las Vegas, social media and new products were the two most important topics on retailers’ minds.   Ellen Fruchtman, president of Fruchtman Marketing, calls this past year the…

The Peridot

Drop earrings with 16.80 cts. t.w. peridot and 1.05 cts. t.w. rose-cut diamonds set in 18k white gold; $18,280; Sasha Primak, New York City; 866-960-8134; sashaprimak.com  The Peridot Symbolic of truth, faithfulness, and friendship, the August birthstone, peridot, is distinguished by its vivid green color with a hint of yellow. Though it dates back to ancient…

The Ruby

  Pavé-set ruby rose cufflinks in 14k black gold; $3,200; Borgioni, New York City; 212-226-8878; borgionis.com In ancient times, the ruby—worn by royalty as a talisman against evil—was thought to possess magical powers. Associated with the universal feelings of love, passion, and power, July’s birthstone is one of the hardest gems, after diamonds. It is traditionally…

Industry & People

OPENINGS >>?Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry is opening its third store in Troy, Mich., in early September.  CLOSINGS >>?Island Jewelers, located in Oak Harbor, Wash., closed after 37 years on July 2, due to retirement of its owner, Jeff Mack. >>?The Movado Group closed its retail boutique division effective June 30. However, it will continue…

A New Spin on Webb

Three estate dealers purchased bankrupt jeweler David Webb in June for $11 million and plan to “revitalize” the 62-year-old design house. Two of the new owners, Robert Sadian and Mark Emanuel, run European Arts and Antiques; the third, Sima Ghadamian, is a vintage jewelry dealer. All three were also involved in the November 2009 purchase…

Will Zimbabwe Crisis Kill Kimberley?

Zimbabwe’s status within the Kimberley Process is causing the biggest crisis in the international certification scheme’s seven-year history, with critics raising doubts about the KP’s assurance that its diamonds are “clean.” A June 2009 Human Rights Watch report charged that Zimbabwe government forces had killed, raped, and tortured illegal diggers in the Marange diamond fields…

Custom Cocktails

Jewelers are shaking (or stirring) all kinds of concoctions this summer. Here’s just a taste of what they’re serving their thirsty customers: Kirk Masters & Sons, Richmond, Mich.  Masters’ Homemade Baileys1 can of Eagle Brand condensed milk1 cup of heavy whipping cream3 eggs 2 tablespoons Hershey’s syrup 1 tablespoon instant coffee 1 teaspoon vanilla extract…

Identity Theft Rule Delayed

The Federal Trade Commission is delaying until Dec. 31 enforcement of the Red Flags rule, which requires businesses that offer in-house financing, branded credit cards, or similar services to institute a Written Identity Theft Program.  While that includes thousands of jewelry stores, manufacturers who offer goods on consignment may also be impacted, says Jewelers Vigilance…

For a Good Cause: Kwiat and Cristie Kerr Team Up

Pro golfer and U.S. Women’s Open champ Cristie Kerr—whose mother, grandmother, and aunt have all battled breast cancer (and are currently in remission)—has teamed up with New York–based diamond house Kwiat to create a limited-edition collection to benefit breast cancer research. Dubbed the Cristie Collection, the line incorporates Kwiat’s signature star motif with pink sapphires…

Jewelry Line Raises Funds for Cleanup

New Orleans jewelry designer Mignon Faget has created a new collection to raise funds to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The wildlife-themed designs in Faget’s “In Mourning” line—which include a pelican tie tack and pendant, speckled trout pin on black ribbon, oyster with black pearl, yellowfin tuna pin, and…

JCK 5: Top Tweets From JCK Las Vegas

1 @bambee395: At the WJA national board meeting. All the ladies look beautiful and surprisingly awake. 2 @jicchicks: Hot trend alert! Blackened sterling silver with yellow gold jewelry is taking this show by storm. Also look out for sterling silver jewelry sprinkled with diamonds. 3 @NoelleLeone: “The jewelry business ain’t for sissies.” —motto of the week started by Erica Courtney. Pass…

Crisis in the Gulf Hasn’t Hurt Jewelers…Yet

As the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became the focus of media attention and citizen frustration, JCK talked to jewelers in the surrounding area to determine if the calamity has affected business. Yet even as the environmental disaster threatened beaches on the Gulf Coast, local retailers remain upbeat. In Mobile, Ala., Mary…

Back to the Future

I’m thrilled to be back in the publisher’s seat at JCK ­magazine and JCKonline.com! A year ago, I was lured by the prospect of a job in consumer publishing and a move to Los Angeles. With mixed emotions, I left?JCK. Although the new position was challenging and I learned a tremendous amount—especially in the areas…

10 Things Rocking the Jewelry Industry

1. Millionaires The ranks of the rich have returned to pre­recession levels, with the number of ­millionaires in the United States jumping to 10 million after dropping to 8.6 million in 2008, according to the World Wealth Report (published by consulting firm Capgemini in collaboration with brokerage firm Merrill Lynch). The number of the world’s…