dot comments while i enjoyed your “jewelry dot-bombs” article immensely (jck, april 2001, p. 92), i believe it is time that you were updated as to who the online jewelry leader really is. my name is daniel berkovits, founder and ceo of netjewels.com. although we never received venture funding, we are the most visited and only profitable online jewelry company.
June 1, 2001
A Toast to Intoxicating Diamonds
sen. deborah stabenow (d-mich.) recently visited the diamond dealers club on a trip to learn more about the diamond industry. stabenow first got involved with the diamond business through a connection involving her finance chief, whose brother-in-law, elliot krischer, is a ddc member. stabenow toured the club floor and told jck that she hoped to work with the industry to help resolve the “con…
andrew jordan is happy to be back in the diamond business. not long ago he was a starving artist, trying to sell his paintings in a gallery/coffee house. but his heart wasn’t in it. his passion is for diamond—rough diamond. jordan discovered art in italy as a teenage refugee from romania. but after only two years there, he moved to canada, where he studied international business, specif…
fashion is going natural—earth tones, safari-esque silhouettes, and military neutrals like khaki and olive. the most precious of gemstones is following suit as designers toast diamonds in all shades of natural brown, from pale champagne to deep cognac. with a savvier and more sophisticated buyer at the higher end, these brown stones—like their pink, blue, and yellow cousins—h…
at a recent meeting in paris, world jewelry organization cibjo endorsed industry efforts to eliminate conflict diamonds. “cibjo has adopted the world diamond council principles of trade, and we urge all member organizations to do the same thing,” says matthew a. runci, executive director of cibjo.
the hearts on fire company, boston, announces two new initiatives: a consumer e-commerce web site (www.heartsonfire.com) and an intranet site for all of its authorized retailers. the e-commerce site features online financing, online insurance, and a proprietary patent-pending technology that allows for local internet pricing.
every customer in a jewelry store wants to find a friend in the jewelry business. today’s customer is looking for a salesperson he or she can recognize, trust, and depend on for future jewelry-buying needs. the rewards of exceptional customer service are high: personal trade, completed sales, referrals, and repeat business.
three of the world’s top luxury watch brands will no longer exhibit at the annual watch fair in basel, switzerland, the world’s largest watch and clock trade show. they are iwc (international watch co.) and jaeger-lecoultre, both swiss firms, and länge & söhne, a german firm. they comprise the les manufactures horlogeres group (lmh), which was purchased last summer by the paris-b…
the year was 1989. mark moeller was in the process of buying out his father’s ownership stake in the family’s store—r.f. moeller jeweler, st. paul, minn. mark, then 37, had big plans. he firmly believed the store—then an eight-employee operation that generated about $750,000 annually in sales—could become the preeminent jeweler in its region.
the annual meeting of the providence (r.i.) jewelers club was held on feb. 13, during which officers were elected. jonathan loutitt, imperial-deltah inc., was elected president; tom francis, conley casting supply corp., was elected vice president; suzanne conley ouhrabka, a.m. schaler inc., was elected treasurer; and gary leonhardt, gannon & scott, was elected secretary.
according to www.petpopulation.org., millions of homeless animals sit in shelters waiting to be adopted. fortunately for them, one new york jeweler is doing his best to take a bite out of that sad figure: erwin pearl, a longtime high-end costume jeweler, is aiding pet adoption efforts by donating 5% of retail sale proceeds from his adorable pooches line of jewelry to the american society for t…
through july 14 (bastille day), the largest public vault in paris—located at that city’s museum of natural history—is hosting famous diamonds from around the globe. so far, the exhibit has been an overwhelming success, with more than 4,000 visitors a day. the museum has expanded its hours to be open until midnight to accommodate the crowds.
like many irish-american children, i was educated from birth in the history and traditions of ireland—almost to the point of suffocation. i had a claddagh ring, but eventually stopped wearing it, as too many st. patrick’s days requiring an “irish princess” sweatshirt began to take their toll. since then i’ve preferred to absorb irish culture on a more personal level, and i take great pri…
a&d gem (jewels by a&d) is bringing back the “guess a gem” contest at the jck show in las vegas, scheduled for june 1-5. the contest tests the ability of jewelers and gem dealers to guess the combined weight of three different gemstones of different sizes without touching them. the top three guesses win prizes, including a “jewelry legal 2-way electronic scale.
business management international (bmi) has developed software specifically for jewelry manufacturers and distributors. bmi’s “jewelry solution” software package is used to integrate and streamline jewelry management information and can be customized for individual clients. the software includes features such as precious metal tracking, diamond and gemstone inventory, the digital library, and …
maybe it was the story on 60 minutes. or the one before that on primetime. or the demonstrations held in new york, chicago, boston, and a washington, d.c., suburb. or the twin pieces on abc’s world news tonight, the articles in newsweek, time, and vanityfair, or in newspapers throughout america. more likely, it’s all of the above.
the american jewelry design council (ajdc) has announced that sasha samuels is the grand winner of its new talent competition for 2001. she will receive a one-of-a-kind trophy created by michael good at a presentation ceremony at the jewelers of america international jewelry show in new york. samuels earned a bfa degree from the rhode island school of design and has studied in new york city a…
in an event billed as “highly innovative and educational,” antique and period jewelry expert and educator joyce jonas teamed up on april 7 with the qvc shopping network to present “estate style, the joyce jonas collection.” jonas is director of the antique & period jewelry and gemstone conference.
a diamond may be forever, but it appears that de beers’ famed diamonds-international awards are not. the prestigious biannual awards, last presented in january 2000, are up in the air for 2002. “we’re reassessing things,” says brandee dallow, spokeswoman for de beers’ diamond information center. she says de beers is busy with its upcoming event at the cannes film festival, to be sponsored by l…
author and pearl authority fred ward would like to make it known that—despite what has been attributed to him in other publications—he actually believes that it makes little difference what chinese pearl producers use as solid nuclei. “the first issue is whether a chinese pearl is natural or cultured,” says ward.
if you highlight the words “public relations” in a microsoft word document and click thesaurus, the following list of “synonyms” pops onto your computer screen: “propaganda,” “promotion,” “public image,” “favorable climate,” and “advertising.” bill gates may think of public relations in those terms, but p.
in what could be a blow to de beers’ retail hopes, the european commission is investigating the proposed venture between the company and lvmh. in a statement, the commission said the request was the result of “serious doubts whether [the venture] is compatible with the competition rules in the european single market.
when clothing designers splashed brightly colored floral and graphic patterns all over their collections, the jewelry world raised an eyebrow. for several seasons, the brightest popular gems have been blue topaz and tanzanite, with their soothing cool tones. in contrast to the eye-catching colors of fashion, jewelry has featured feminine pastels like pink tourmaline and aquamarine.
tsutomu mitome, president and chief executive officer of seiko corp. of america (sca), will head the new seiko watch corp., which seiko corp. will spin off as a wholly owned subsidiary at a june 28 shareholders meeting. at that same meeting, seiko corp. will formally become a holding company, involved only in the financial and real estate concerns of its six independent companies.
longines, one of the world’s best-known prestigious swiss watches, recently marked a special milestone—its 30 millionth timepiece. the event was celebrated feb.19 at longines’s corporate headquarters in saint-imier, switzerland, by members of the company and distinguished guests. they included walter von kaenel, longines president; françois habersaat, president of the federation of…
a classic bracelet charm by german designer tamara comolli brings to mind a roulette wheel. the new dizzler line by bucherer offers rings with moving parts that spin so effortlessly an engineer would applaud. these are some examples of jewelry’s new movement. others realized the theme of restlessness through versatility.
breda haugh although her work may not be familiar to u.s. retailers, breda haugh is one of ireland’s foremost jewelry designers. like several of the top designers in ireland, her early training and career began elsewhere. haugh attended the famous john cass college in london and continued to build her career in that city, subsequently returning to dublin where she now has her workshop.
a women’s book club reading girl with a pearl earring asks you to give a presentation about pearls. your rotary club requests that you speak on a jewelry wardrobe suitable for successful businessmen and businesswomen. a nearby church suggests they’d appreciate a lecture on gemstones mentioned in the bible.
jewelry designer wendy tabb was the winner of the rising star award from fashion group international at its fourth annual awards ceremony, held feb. 26 in new york city. tabb won in the accessories category. tabb’s designs have been featured in a number of high-profile fashion publications, industry press, and newsmagazines, and her jewelry is owned by such personalities as cindy crawford, ki…
gabrielle sanchez when she “discovered” biwa pearls, gabrielle sanchez found the perfect signature for her collection. these irregular “little miracles,” as she calls them, not only fascinate but also inspire her. “my jewelry designs have always evolved directly from the essence of the materials,” she says.
while tiaras may not be to everyone’s taste, a certain diamond-encrusted laurel wreath tiara—attributed to the workshop of fabergé master craftsman august holmström—could go a long way toward changing a naysayer’s mind. one of the treasures recently on view at the broughton international inc.
in america, where the grasp of irish culture—even among those of irish descent—ventures little past st. patrick’s day and claddagh rings, the debut of galantas jewelry is surprising even the most jaded of consumers and retailers. the irish company boasts something better than folklore’s pot of gold at rainbow’s end: a gold mine in ireland’s county tyrone.
gemologists from european gemological laboratory will present a series of lectures for the trade in 2001. last year, the egl education department focused on high pressure/high temperature (hpht) diamond enhancement, presenting more than 20 lectures on the subject. available seminars for this year include an updated hpht seminar, origin of color in fancy colored diamonds, advanced testing of pe…
jobs4gems.com (www.jobs4gems.com), kansas city, mo., an internet company launched in september 2000, is designed to connect employees and employers in the jewelry industry. the idea came from anna cranfill, president of jobs4gems.com, and phillip danforth, both of whom worked with helzberg diamonds before danforth launched employees u trust, a pre-employment integrity screening interview company.
after a five-year absence, john calnon is returning to the world gold council. he has been appointed senior vice president, jewelry, americas, with responsibility for the overall direction of the wgcs jewelry programs in north america, mexico, and brazil. michael barlerin, wgc corporate director for the americas, said in a statement, “john was instrumental in the development and implementatio…
old gympie is not a miner with a limp. it’s one of the most significant rediscoveries of gold-in-quartz in a century. the gympie eldorado gold mine, located north of brisbane in queensland, australia, was discovered in the 1860s and became famous for its “jewellers’ shops,” an area where the gold forms in seams shooting through white quartz.
angry rallies. scorching tv shows. even threats of a boycott. the jewelry industry has never been faced with a crisis like the conflict diamond issue. while it has not yet affected jewelers on the grassroots level (see following story), it still could blow up in the industry’s face. certainly, the issue is morally troubling.
a fourth conflict diamond rally was held recently in boston as part of a campaign to pressure jewelers to support rep. tony halls “clean diamond act.” the campaign to eliminate conflict diamonds—a group of 70 ngos that organized the rally—is introducing a sticker for jewelers who support hall’s bill.
the booklet “changing the color of diamonds through high pressure high temperature” by egl researchers branko deljanin and gregory sherman sold out of its first printing and is into its second. the booklet covers the hpht process and deals with identification of hpht type ia diamonds using uv-visible spectrophotometers and ftir infrared equipment.
e. goldman diamond company, which specializes in clarity-enhanced diamonds, has opened an office in taos, n.m. the new office, called gdc central, is the company’s telemarketing headquarters and has online access to the e. goldman inventory. britta becker, a gemologist, has been promoted to manager of the new office.
de beers’ diamond sales may fall as much as 15% this year, executives said recently. if the prediction is true, this would be the company’s worst year since 1997. both 1999 and 2000 set annual sales records. the potential drop was pegged to high inventories accumulated before the christmas 2000 season.
over the last year, i’ve gotten to know many people in your organizations. i believe you sincerely care about the people in africa and ending the trade in conflict diamonds, which is why i’m sending this open letter. after hearing from all sides in the debate over conflict diamonds legislation, i think we can all agree on the following: congress doesn’t care about conflict diamonds.
the “sealed with a kiss” brooch was created by award-winning los angeles designer avi raz in honor of the 20th anniversary of the american gem trade association. this depiction of a playful clown and his pet seal is the latest one-of-a-kind piece by raz, who is known for turning unusual pearls into jeweled sculptures.
the diamond manufacturers and importers association recently re-elected jeffrey fischer for an unprecedented fourth one-year term as group president. fischer was hailed for raising the group’s profile, resolving the laser-drilling controversy, and providing steady leadership in the face of the conflict diamond crisis.
i don’t think there’s anyone in the jewelry industry who doesn’t feel at least a little bit of dread at the thought of a trade show. to me, the experience is much like eating green beans: they’re good for me in the end, but the process itself isn’t so pleasing. along with a week of successful buying, selling, networking, and learning, trade shows also offer buyers and sellers alike an unwanted…
bill heher of rare earth mining recently presented a check for $2,500 to shelly clifford of the casa de los niños children’s charity. the money was raised through the sale of the new platinum-plated drusy dubbed “tucsonite.” (see “if it’s february, this must be tucson,” jck, april 2001, p. 127).
the american gem society has created a fundraising campaign on behalf of the jewelers charity fund for children. the new campaign is called “unity for charity, the ags way to discovery & dreams.” the fundraising kicked off at the ags 2001 conclave in nashville, tenn., and will continue throughout the year.
swiss army brands has announced the resignation of j. merrick (rick) taggart as president and chief executive officer. he will be succeeded as ceo by swiss army brands chairman peter w. gilson, and as president by a. jeffrey turner, currently senior vice president for strategic planning and new business development.
basel 2001, the world’s largest timepiece and jewelry trade show (march 22-29) was a work in progress in many different but apparent ways. reorganizing. the show is in the third of five years of extensive reorganization and renovation of its watch and jewelry halls. the newest—the redesigned and renovated hall 2.
in another sign of dot-com woes, diamond.com laid off 20 people, or nearly one-fifth of its workforce. alan lipton, president of the sightholder-owned site, says the layoffs took place because of the sluggish economy. “we still have 80, 81 people working for us,” he says. he notes the company did $30 million in business last year.
nobel watch co., a supplier of mid- and luxury-priced watches, is planning to become a public company, say company officials. according to chief executive officer israel genuth, the five-year-old new york city firm—a division of nobel international—will launch an initial public offering “much earlier” than 2003.
efron enterprises inc., new york city, which specializes in coin jewelry, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. the company was founded by owner leonardo efron, who emigrated to the united states from his native argentina, and carries a full line of mountings for both modern and the ancient coins.
three strong trends stood out in the new watch crop at basel 2001, trends often converging in the same collection: many, many more watches designed specifically for women. strong use of color (including straps and colored gems). extensive use of diamonds, or a “diamond look” on watches. this year’s fair also was notable for its innovative and unusual watch designs and horological …
the advisory board of the jck international jewelry show has again extended a special courtesy to the national association of jewelry appraisers to permit attendance of its members at the jck show in las vegas, which takes place june 1-5. members will view the jewelry displayed at the show to become better informed about the value of comparable goods.
that’s what brooke hartman is hoping for at jeremiah’s international trading in clearwater, fla. an abundant supply of tahitian pearls has led to some new and curious ideas about what can be done with the black beauties. pala international showed faceted tahitian pearls at the agta show in tucson this year, and now you can look for carved tahitian pearls.
the small parisian neighborhood surrounding the rue de richelieu is like much of paris—narrow streets and sidewalks lined with small shops and restaurants on the first floors of immaculately kept low-rise buildings. the streets are filled with workers in the afternoon and fun-seekers at night.
we noted in our february issue that lavender chalcedony is fast becoming a hot commodity among gem artists and jewelry designers (“lavender chalcedony: a new find,” jck, february 2001, p. 58). and that has sparked renewed interest in an old favorite—blue chalcedony. “it’s been around a lot longer than i have been in the business,” says greg fraser of fraser-chan designs in toronto.
don’s jewelry & design, washington, iowa, has been inducted into jewelers of america’s 100 club. the ja 100 club was established in 1995 to recognize ja members who have been in continuous operation for a century or more and who have set an example of professional distinction through several generations.
the a&z hayward company, east providence, r.i., is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. the manufacturer of 14k gold, gold-filled, and sterling silver jewelry is the union of two jewelry industry pioneers: the walter e. hayward company, which was founded in 1851, joined forces in 1970 with the a&z chain company, founded in 1902.
aron knobloch inc., a new york city-based wholesale supplier of diamonds, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. marc knobloch, the company’s vice president, grew up with the family business and remembers helping out during school vacations, “doing menial tasks, making deliveries, learning to sort.
when i took over as jck’s editor-in-chief a year ago, senior editor william george shuster offered a sage piece of advice: “just keep bailing. worry about making it to port later.” my first month in the editor’s chair was a challenge, to say the least. we were frantically working to produce the largest issue in jck ‘s history, two weeks away from moving our offices to king of prussia, pa.
don kogen leaned over the bag of rubies spilling onto his desk, his eyes wide with excitement. kogen was talking about his business, nuntiya care stone co., chanthaburi, thailand, which owns thethaigem.com web site. he talked about the wide selection of colored gems—with heavily discounted prices—available on his e-commerce site.
the men of the diamond business mostly deal diamonds the way their ancestors did: in a small, no-frills office, with a loupe, a pair of tweezers, and a parcel of stones in hand—and perhaps a glass of tea or schnapps afterwards to celebrate a day’s dealings. about the only recent changes are that daughters now join the family business alongside sons, and there might be a cappuccino maker …
luxury products group lvmh (moët hennessy louis vuitton) has made several changes in its top executive posts. they include: antonio belloni, previously president of procter & gamble’s european operations, is now chief operating officer of lvmh, a newly created position. he will report to myron ullman, group managing director.
the australian pearl centre (apc), headquartered in sydney, australia, recently opened its first international distribution office in the united states. apc (usa) is headed by dennis morton, vice president of american operations. lester erich was named merchandising/sales manager, and carolyn jacoby was appointed administrative/marketing manager.
martin flyer, founder of the jewelry manufacturer designs by martin flyer, died march 18 at his home in floral park, n.y. he was 94. flyer, who came to the united states from russia in 1921, learned the jewelry trade from his older brothers, jacob and herman flyer. he opened his own company, martin flyer’s viroy company, specializing in the manufacture of fine diamond jewelry, in 1945.
the first software program created especially for the gem and jewelry industry is available from gems plus g. the gems & jewelry inventory & memo system (gjims) is a whole-business solution that is affordable and easy to use. it enables the user to track and control inventory, manage memos and sales, create invoices, and generate inventory reports.
in a blistering letter to 60 minutes producer don hewitt, de beers corporate affairs director rory more o’ferrall charged that the program painted an “unfair and distorted” view of the company. “i was given personal assurances that the reporting would be ‘fair and balanced,’ ” o’ferrall wrote. “unfortunately, this was not the case.
the battle over conflict diamonds has moved to congress. the industry and rep. tony hall (d-ohio) are backing rival “conflict” bills, although the chance of either passing appeared bleak at press time. “all the indications we are getting is that the house ways and means committee does not seem interested in any conflict diamond legislation,” says matt runci, legislative director of the world d…
the jewelry information center, the public relations arm of the fine jewelry and watch industry, has appointed michelle orman as its new media liaison. orman previously worked in private-sector public relations for accessory and fashion clients. orman’s primary responsibility will be securing publicity placements in consumer publications.
in the article “coping with calamity” (jck, april 2001, p. 108), a digit was left out of the phone number for retail consultant deborah taylor of legg mason. her toll-free phone number is (877) 526-9096. in “if it’s february, this must be tucson” (jck, april 2001, p. 124), we reported that the common opals seen at out of our mines, arcata, calif.
ibbc of carlsbad, calif., which manufacturers and distributes a line of branded fine jewelry called the “e’motions collection,” has developed an e-commerce-enhanced jewelry kiosk to sell its merchandise at jewelry retailers. the kiosk, called the “e’motions gallery,” is placed in a jewelry retail establishment and is designed to attract customers into the store.
the journal of the planetary gemologists association has just landed on our gem desk. and the first question that comes to mind is: “what’s a planetary gemologist?” according to richard brown, acting secretary of the association, a planetary gemologist is a practitioner who is both a “certified” gemologist as well as a pga—planetary gem advisor.
aurafin llc, a privately held company, and oroamerica inc. have agreed to a merger in which oroamerica would become a wholly owned subsidiary of aurafin, and oroamerica common stock would be converted into the right to receive $14 per share. the merger is subject to approval by oroamerica stockholders and certain other conditions.
late one night in april 1997, the phone in frederick levinger’s hotel room in basel, switzerland, rang. after a full day at the basel fair, followed by a typically large dinner with clients, the president and ceo of the colibri group had one thing on his mind—sleep. but when he picked up the phone, he woke up again.
on a flight from toronto to munich, i was seated next to a young man named nathan who was on his way to visit a young german woman who’d been an exchange student at his high school. with great excitement, he told me about their plans for his visit, their time together at school, and all the things that are central in a young person’s life.
after 20 years, “market liaison” rachel rosin recently said goodbye to the de beers account and the j. walter thompson advertising agency. for a generation, rosin acted as an intermediary between sightholders and de beers’ london office. but rosin says that her job function is no longer essential in light of all the changes at de beers.
global gemological laboratory (ggl), celebrating its eight years in seattle, wash., has opened a new york office at 55 w. 47th st., suite 710. alex volynets, formerly of egl new york, was appointed laboratory director. ggl specializes in diamond grading and appraisal reports and has more than 3,500 retail jewelry stores and wholesalers as clients.
in 2000, when the inaugural tahitian government’s international tahitian pearl trophy competition was introduced, it attracted 83 international entries from 18 countries, although none were from new zealand. the 2002 trophy competition, to be held in new york, marks the first time the country has been asked to participate in an international design competition of this magnitude.
the gucci group has agreed to acquire two swiss companies run by watch designer dino modolo: di modolo associates s.a., a design studio, and di modolo s.a., a production facility. the announcement was made in early march. the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. the di modolo studio has designed timepieces for more than 20 years for some of the leading brands in the high-end…
de beers has pledged $1 million to the gem and jewelry national relief foundation in a gesture of sympathy and concern for the loss of life caused by the gujarat earthquake. the fund has raised over $5 million in total. american retailers who wish to contribute to the fund can contact or donate to the indian diamond and jewelry industry charitable foundation, c/o the indian diamond and colorst…
michael goldstein, manhattan estate diamond dealer and expert in old-cut-style diamonds, has encountered a new trend: new “old cut” stones, which are causing confusion in the market. “for the past year, we’ve noticed more reproductions of antique-cut diamonds and, unfortunately, in many instances, they’re being sold as genuine old-mine, old european, antique cushions and briolette-cut diamonds…
for several seasons, fashion has been all about textures and luxury. from fur to leather to embroidery and other embellishments, unusual accents and layers infuse even simple clothing designs with these two important themes. while jewelry often naturally embodies both themes, christine mackellar consciously incorporates them into her design philosophy.
arthur miller’s play “death of a salesman” forever and incorrectly portrayed a simplistic view of what a salesperson does. willy loman rode on a pair of shined shoes and a smile; today’s sales representative rides on an airplane with a laptop and a palm pilot at his or her fingertips. these company and independent representatives enjoy a good life when times are good.
paul callaro will replace john calnon as vice president of jewelry merchandising at qvc. in his new post, callaro will oversee jewelry manufacturing, strategic planning, and concept development and strengthen vendor alliances. callaro will also be in charge of merchandising gold, gemstones, silver, watches, costume jewelry, and diamonique jewelry, qvcs proprietary brand.
r.h. & company, of glendale, calif., provides us with the predominantly mediterranean corals featured in this month’s layout. here on the waterfront, we highlight medium to dark mediterranean pinks and salmon pinks. salmon pink coral is used to fashion the carved rose, drop pendant, and earring cabochons.
designer ellie thompson and gia student vickie riggs took top honors in the manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america’s 2001 american vision awards. thompson, winner in the professional category, designed a geometric platinum and diamond bracelet named “celebration,” while riggs’s winning design was a rendering of an oxidized silver necklace with diamonds and pearls.