June 1, 2003

More Conflict Over 'Conflict Diamonds'

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USPS Irradiates Pearl

mailing jewelry? check the zip code, or you may end up with an irradiated gem, as one maine goldsmith found out recently. stephen and judith brown, owners of brown goldsmiths & co. in freeport, maine, sent a first-class, insured box containing one white cultured pearl through the u.s. postal service.

Stuller Adds Paspaley SSPs

stuller inc., lafayette, la., a supplier of mountings, findings, loose gems, and finished jewelry, has entered into a partnership to offer south sea pearls (ssps) from paspaley, one of the oldest names in the australian pearl business. stuller’s distribution of paspaley cultured ssps to north american retailers commences this month, and merchandise is on view at the jck show in las vegas.

The Guide Updates Colored Stone Pricing

gemworld international inc. has released the spring & summer issue of the guide to colored stones, considered the industry standard for colored stone pricing. pricing updates include tahitian pearls, emeralds, and sapphires and rubies, which have seen changes in demand. the color book is available as part of a subscription to the guide.

Mixing Things Up

the hottest cuisine of the 21st century mixes the best of international cultures, the coolest fashion blends influences from different eras, and the comfiest home design incorporates elements that represent all the facets of one’s personality. with style across the board leaning toward individual tastes and a liberal approach to mixing and matching, it’s no surprise that jewelry that mixes vari…

Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin Upgrade Production Facilities

two important luxury brands—patek philippe and vacheron constantin—are making important upgrades in their production facilities and operations. patek philippe recently moved its case and bracelet workshops to perly, near geneva, switzerland, the company’s home. the building, which was acquired in 2001 and completely renovated in 2002, offers 5,000 square meters of office space and w…

Forbes: In 104th Place, Nicky Is Still Trés Riche

de beers chairman nicky oppenheimer is the 104th richest person in the world, according to the annual list in forbes magazine. calling oppenheimer “africa’s richest man,” the magazine estimated his wealth at $3.2 billion. oppenheimer’s standing is a step up from last year’s, when he ranked 112th, but below that of 2001, when he ranked 82nd.

Collector’s Corner

hublot recently premiered an exclusive version of its new “hublot 1910.” the limited edition is the first watch whose case is made of tantalum, a base metal used in its pure state (unlike gold or steel, which are used in alloys). the metal—used in aerospace, electronics, and surgery—is extremely rare, difficult to work with, and heavy.

JCF Launches Membership Campaign

the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf) has launched its first-ever membership drive to broaden support for its year-round mission of raising money for charities that help seriously ill children. “while we get support from businesses and many people at high levels of the trade, we want to widen that to involve the entire industry,” says jcf executive director pattie light.

Geneva Luxe

this spring’s annual high-end watch fairs in geneva, switzerland—the traditional home of luxury watchmaking—debuted some intriguing creations (see “timely trends,” p. 224) and did satisfactory business, despite the effect on attendance of the iraqi war and public concerns about severe acute respiratory syndrome (sars).

A Diva’s Delight

not quite the west coast, perhaps, but celine dion’s las vegas premiere in march nevertheless had a taste of l.a. style. the celebrity singer—who signed a two-year contract to perform at caesar’s palace—commissioned los angeles-based jewelry manufacturer techline to create a line of gold and diamond jewelry for her performances.

Home News

hedda t. schupak, editor-in-chief of jck magazine, has been named one of pennsylvania’s “best 50 women in business” for 2003. pennsylvania governor edward g. rendell and five state business newspapers announced the winners of the eighth annual awards may 12 during ceremonies in hershey, pa. dennis yablonsky, secretary of pennsylvania’s department of community and economic development, present…

Lieberfarb Announces New 2003 Catalog

lieberfarb inc. recently unveiled its new bridal catalog. the 60-page book showcases a wide variety of platinum and gold wedding rings, engagement rings, and diamond rings. to receive a free catalog or for more information, contact lieberfarb inc. at 48 s. day st., orange, nj 07050; (800) 631-7898, e-mail: service@lieberfarb.

Top Ten U.S. Jewelry & Watch Markets

jewelry research just completed by claritas inc. for the jck research & stock art store, is available online. results include u.s. jewelry and watch sales and repair figures for 2002 and projections for 2007. figures currently available include national, regional, and individual metropolitan statistical area (msa) data.

China Pearl Celebrates 20 Years in Business

china pearl of san marino, calif., is celebrating its 20th year in business. to mark the anniversary, the company has produced a special dvd documentary titled pearl harvest and a handbook titled the fundamentals of pearls. the dvd is produced by company president harold jabarian and directed by gianfranco rosi, while the handbook is designed to be an educational tool that offers scientific …

The Suite Life

new york and los angeles may be opposites in geography and climate, but the two coasts—and their jewelry industries—share a love for the perfect party, the perfect dress and, of course, the perfect accessory. this spring, when new york’s fashion week wrapped and the runways went dark, all eyes turned west where, despite the war in iraq, celebrities donned their sunday best for the a…

Obituary: Julius Klein, Sightholder

julius klein, founder and architect of the famed triple-sightholder that bears his name, died recently at age 80. a holocaust survivor born in budapest, klein emigrated to the united states in 1948 with $10 in his pocket. beginning as a melee dealer, he built his new york-based business to the point that it became a sightholder in 1989.

IDCA Events

the indian diamond and colorstone association (idca) will host its 19th annual gala night in las vegas at the mirage hotel on saturday, may 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m. as part of the festivities, idca will honor j.c. penney as retailer of the year. beryl raff, senior vice president, fine jewelry and merchandising for j.

Timely Trends

fine watchmakers have discovered women—or more specifically, female watch enthusiasts. debuts at 2003’s swiss watch fairs in basel and geneva—launch pads for watch market trends and innovations—included not only the expected ladies’ jewelry watches but also an exceptional number of mechanical timepieces—even complications—for women.

Serago Roberts Aids ‘Main Event’

the jewish federation of southern new jersey held its 9th annual “main event” on april 3 at the hilton hotel in cherry hill, n.j. the “main event” is the largest community-wide fundraiser for women conducted by the jewish federation to benefit its annual campaign. the sponsor of the grand prize raffle was local merchant serago roberts jewelers, which donated an 18k white gold pavé diamond …

Fischer Renews New York Lease

fischer diamonds inc. has renewed its lease at 1212 avenue of the americas for a period of 10 years. the company has been located at the same address since 1974 and has occupied its present space in the building since 1979. the new york-based diamond-cutting and -importing firm has manufacturing facilities in new york, israel, and russia.

New Management at J.O. Crystal

judith osmer and virginia carter of j.o. crystal co. inc. retired from active management of their company, the j.o. crystal co., effective dec. 31, 2002. beginning in january 2003, josephine and alan chan of joalan designs became sole distributors of the ramaura cultured ruby, nicholas created alexandrite, and empress cultured emerald on behalf of the firm.

Two Awards for AJM

ajm magazine, a publication of the manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa), recently earned two 2003 communicator awards of distinction in the print media competition. both ajm (in the association magazine category) and the ajm 2003 media kit were honored. the award of distinction is given for materials exceeding industry standards in their ability to effectively communica…

Precious Everything

think all the sparkle is in the jewelry? think again. jewelers presented celebrities with options to keep them dazzling from head to toe. and while this year’s toned-down events may have kept some over-the-top options—like a million-dollar dress—under wraps for the awards themselves, the increasing presence of such options is a sign of things to come.

MJSA News

on march 1, 2003, the manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) presented a check for more than $27,000 to the jewelers charity fund (jcf) at the association’s centennial kick-off gala, held at the copacabana nightclub in new york city. the event was held to celebrate mjsa’s 100th anniversary.

More Conflict Over ‘Conflict Diamonds’

the recent washington, d.c., conference on conflict diamonds was billed as a chance to stand back and marvel at all that had been accomplished. speakers hailed the “odd coalition” of human rights groups, the diamond industry, and governments that created the kimberley process. “this is a good-news story out of africa,” assistant secretary of state walter h.

Thailand Takes Off

thailand’s government and business community have embarked on new programs designed to turn bangkok, the country’s capital city, into an internationally renowned fashion center, a hub for gem trading, a technical center for gem grading, and an inviting place for people in the gem and jewelry industry to conduct business.

Symphony of Gemstones

newly donated to the gemological institute of america (gia) is a collection of hand-carved gemstones in the shape of musical instruments. the collection currently is on display in the atrium of gia’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif. the 21-piece collection, named “the symphony,” depicts various musical instruments ranging from violins to a saxophone and a piano.

Smart Marketing Moves

storeowner john michaels, michaels jewelers, waterbury, conn., recently ran a marketing promotion that spawned a lot of foot traffic and sold a lot of jewelry. he advertised that if it snowed more than three inches on christmas eve at the tweed airport in new haven, he would refund purchase amounts to all shoppers within a specific three-day period before thanksgiving.

‘Battle of the Polar Bears’ Ends in Canada

after three years of legal wrangling, sirius diamonds has settled its long-running dispute with the government of the northwest territories over who has the rights to local icon the polar bear. sirius gets the exclusive right to laser four-legged polar bears on diamonds for 10 years. the government owns the mark, although the official version is three-legged.

PGI-USA Names New President

platinum guild international (pgi) has named huw daniel acting president of pgi-usa, the u.s. marketing arm for the worldwide platinum industry. daniel succeeds past president laurie hudson, who retired from the position in november 2002. daniel comes to pgi-usa from the saatchi & saatchi advertising agency, where he was senior vice president and management director.

JVC Defines the Lines on Disclosure

from a legal and ethical standpoint, retailers represent the front lines of the jewelry industry. cecilia gardner, executive director and general counsel of the jewelers vigilance committee (jvc), explains that it’s the retailer who must make certain that everything that needs to be said is said at the counter and that what needs to be written is written on the receipt.

Did Saddam Hussein Deal in Diamonds?

a report in the united kingdom’s sunday times has linked diamonds with former iraqi leader saddam hussein. intelligence sources told the times that, prior to the war with iraq, hussein dispatched his personal jeweler to bangkok to buy millions in gems. the report led to speculation that hussein was planning to flee iraq before the start of the war.

In the Bag

the celebration to introduce kathrine baumann’s diamond handbags may have been cancelled out of respect for the troops who went into combat the same day, but the handbags—designed in connection with several jewelry manufacturers—did make it to the 75th academy awards. the beverly hills designer teamed with jewelry manufacturers molina, kwiat, andrew meyer, and hikari to create preci…

Kimberley Process Faces First Test

the kimberley process is supposed to eliminate conflict diamonds by keeping countries without proper rough import and export controls from importing stones into the legitimate stream of commerce. now, the process faces its first real test in the case of the central african republic. rebels there recently staged a coup and won control of the country’s diamond mines.

Robert Crowningshield: ‘Excellence in Gemology’

g. robert crowningshield, vice president of the gemological institute of america gem trade laboratory (gia-gtl) and one of the original leaders of the laboratory in new york, received this year’s antonio c. bonnano award for excellence in gemology from the accredited gemologists association (aga). the citation praised crowningshield for “a lifetime of contributions to the field of gemology.

China: The Next Big Cutting Center?

the diamond chain can at times resemble the food chain. many years ago, antwerp snatched diamond manufacturing from amsterdam. then israel nabbed some from antwerp. now india has grabbed some from israel. could a country one day snatch it from india? if one does, the likely candidate is china, which indians see as their main competition in the years ahead.

Chase to the Cut

for the past three years, the jck industry fund has provided seed capital for the american gem society’s project to establish objective criteria for how well a diamond is cut. several weeks ago at the society’s annual conclave, there was a town meeting on the topic with panelists from the retail, publishing, and diamond manufacturing sectors, as well as laboratory representatives from gia and ags.

AGS Receives $90K Research Grant

the american gem society (ags) has received a $90,000 grant from the jck group to support conclave education and the organization’s diamond cut grade research for fancy shapes. the goal of the ags fancy shape cut grade research project is to refine the ags diamond cut grading system based upon new knowledge of diamond optics and performance in relation to diamond beauty.

Basel Blues

war. pestilence. weather. the 2003 baselworld watch and jewelry show (april 3-10) deserved an ancient greek tragedian to adequately chronicle its woes. this year’s edition of the trade fair, held annually in basel, switzerland, was one of the most star-crossed in its history. war and sars. over the past three years, the show’s owners—mch swiss exhibition ltd.

LifeGem Creates First Memorial Stone

chicago-based lifegem has made its first diamond from the dead. the company creates synthetic memorial gems from the remains of dead people and animals. its first stones came from the ashes of valerie sefton of scottsdale, ariz., who died of hodgkin’s disease at age 27. lifegem’s ceo flew to arizona to hand-deliver the six blue stones, which were distributed among sefton’s family.

Australian Man Arrested for Using Fake GIA Reports

an australian man has been arrested for allegedly selling clarity-enhanced gems with phony gemological institute of america grading reports. detective shane conant, an investigator in castle hill, australia, told jck that the man, a resident of sydney, has been charged with obtaining a financial advantage by deception and making a false instrument.

‘Gemstone Scandals’ Headlines WSJ

the april 17 edition of the wall street journal’s “marketplace” section ran an article about bulk-diffusion-treated sapphires titled “gemstone scandals.” a companion piece about canadian diamonds was called “political correctness by the carat.” the lead story presents a brief history of the bulk-diffusion-treated sapphires controversy, beginning with the discovery in 2001 of diffusion-treate…

Cut From the Same Cloth

the gemological institute of america (gia) and the american gem society (ags) share the same parent—robert m. shipley—but over the last few years they have behaved like squabbling siblings on the issue of cut. the groups’ dueling gem labs treat cut very differently. ags determines cut grades based on how a stone’s proportions compare to marcel tolkowsky’s “ideal” model.

Tools of the Trade: Your Silent Sales Partners

at the sales counter, the “big four” important tools to have are the counter pad, a clean cloth, a presentation ring stick, and clean hands and fingernails. but these are just a few of the many tools available to help jewelers sell. we’ve grouped the rest into four categories: display, presentation, education, and “what else.

New Bid to Put Diamonds on the Futures Market

charles wyndham, a former cso director and broker who now owns the web site www.polishedprices.com, is resurrecting the old idea of a diamond futures market. wyndham claims his site’s “transparent” price list will make his venture fly where others have failed. he says he’s talked to a number of institutions about his idea but adds, “i’d be really surprised if it happens in the next two years.

Celebrities Love Diamonds, But Appreciate Design

as always, diamonds were a celebrity’s best friend, but this year hollywood’s hottest chose pieces that showed style, not just wattage. the trend represents a growing appreciation for the nuances of jewelry and watch design.

Obituary: Anna M. Miller, 69, Appraiser and Author

anna miller, g.g., a gems and jewelry appraisal authority and author and the developer and international director of the master valuer program, died on april 29. she was 69. miller was a jewelry historian, lecturer, and instructor. she was a senior member of the american society of appraisers, a past regional governor of the accredited gemologist association, co-founder and international direc…

Javeri Brothers Form New Company

ajay and jay javeri have formed a new diamond jewelry company called diamour inc. building on their family’s diamond jewelry business, sumit diamond co., the new venture deals in both finished jewelry and loose diamonds. for more information contact diamour inc., 589 fifth avenue, suite 1206, new york, ny 10017; (888) 528-3747, (212) 207-8102, ext.

De Beers’ New Direction

there was a time, not long ago, when de beers called itself a “monopoly of an unusual kind.” it was the classic “big ship”: it didn’t move fast and was clumsy when it tried. but like so many other aspects of de beers, that’s no longer true. this month, the company formally kicks off “supplier of choice,” the strategy that radically reshapes de beers—and, by implication, the industry.

A Stretch of Eternity

everything is a stretch today, at least in the fashion sense. when textile engineers began integrating a slight touch of lycra into traditionally non-stretch fabrics more than a decade ago, apparel designers responded by designing clothes that fit much closer to the body. women everywhere embraced the new fabrics almost immediately—no more hiding in baggy, oversized clothes, and no need t…

Clean Diamonds Trade Act Becomes Law

president bush has signed into law the clean diamonds trade act, which formally endorses the kimberley process certification scheme. kimberley is designed to halt trade in illicit diamonds through a certification plan that would effectively track the trade of diamonds from mine to store. bush reportedly said in a statement after signing the legislation that so-called “conflict” diamonds have b…

A Little Help From My (CAD/CAM) Friends

there are plenty of stories about how computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (cad/cam) have helped jewelry retailers, designers, and manufacturers create and produce exciting new products quickly and more efficiently. you rarely hear about how cad/cam technology has transformed someone’s life—until you talk to jesse kaufman.

Kathy Ireland to Partner with Designer Martin Gruber

lifestyle designer kathy ireland—known for her award-winning home furnishings, outdoor living, and apparel collections—is launching a partnership with jewelry designer martin gruber. under the agreement, ireland will work with gruber to develop “kathy ireland jewelry by gruber,” a collection that will incorporate 14k and 18k yellow, pink, and white gold as well as platinum, silver, …

2004 Spectrum Awards Call for Entries

the american gem trade association has issued a call for entries for the 2004 spectrum awards competition, which honors excellence in jewelry design and lapidary arts. the competition includes the cutting edge awards, manufacturing honors, and platinum honors. spectrum awards honor the creative use of natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls in original jewelry designs.

Swatch Museum Opens

the world’s first museum dedicated entirely to swatch watches opened in march in cesano maderno, a town just north of milan, italy. the production and marketing of the plastic fashion quartz watches revolutionized watchmaking and the swiss watch industry in the 1980s. the “world museum,” as it is called, is the brainchild of architect fiorenzo barindelli, who has collected some 4,000 swatches i…

Silver Exhibit in London

“silver sparks: the bishopsland connection” is an exhibition of contemporary silver and jewelry made by past and present students of the bishopsland workshops, oxfordshire, and by makers patronized by the p & o makower trust. it will be on view at the gilbert collection, somerset house, strand, london from june 4 to august 24.

Sweet Home Rhodochrosite

the color of a faceted gemmy transparent rhodochrosite—a fluorescent vivid medium dark orange-, sometimes reddish, pink—is so distinctive of the species that displays at gem shows always cause a traffic jam in the aisles. faceted sweet home rhodochrosite, named for the colorado site from which it’s mined, is a rare gem find that for the past 10 years has been downright scarce.

Promotion Help from Jewelers of America

the new york-based trade group jewelers of america has released two new publications to assist jewelers with store promotions. using ja resources to promote your store is a new guide that teaches jewelers how to promote themselves in local communities, through sample press releases and more. the summary of products and services is an at-a-glance listing of all of ja’s offerings in the areas…

A Spectator Sport

my mother—an incredible figure skater—got my family hooked on the winter olympics. as a kid growing up in urbandale, iowa, our big treat was to eat dinner in front of the tv in the den whenever the olympics were broadcast. some 40 years later, i experienced a dream come true: i got to attend the winter olympics.

Ebel’s ‘Renaissance’ Revamps Watch Lines, Marketing

ebel, one of the best-known swiss luxury watch brands, unveiled colorful fresh looks for its watches at the 2003 international watch and jewelry show in basel, switzerland. the ebel “renaissance” included a new watch line called tarawa, new looks for the beluga and 1911 lines, a new advertising campaign, and new in-store displays and packaging.

Montreal Jeweler Opens New York Boutique

montreal-based luxury jeweler kaufmann de suisse has opened its new boutique at 785 madison ave. between 66th and 67th streets in new york. kaufmann de suisse offers an in-house manufacturing facility where master goldsmiths and setters handcraft and sign each piece. its signature motif, “flowing lines,” is based on both art deco and art nouveau.

Jewelers and Buying Groups

just 35% of jewelers recently surveyed in a jck retail panel said they belonged to a jewelry-buying group such as the retail jewelers organization. more results of the survey are shown in the charts below.

FBI Seizes Counterfeit Tiffany Merchandise

federal law enforcement agents seized counterfeit tiffany & co. jewelry in a raid of several stores in lower manhattan on april 17, including knock-offs of some of tiffany’s best-known jewelry designs, according to a statement from the new york-based jeweler and specialty retailer. the stores targeted for the raid were enddi silver and starglam.

Confucius Is Smiling

even if you’re not a follower of confucian philosophy, you’re probably familiar with his dubious blessing, “may you live in interesting times.” confucius should have been a jeweler. wherever he is, i’m sure he’s smiling at us—because we do live in interesting times, and our industry never lacks for its own interesting controversies.

All That Matters

matters jewelry, neosho, mo., and the local newspaper have a few things in common: both are fixtures in the community, both celebrate life events such as engagements, and both have been around for a long time. in fact, if you wanted to track the history of matters jewelry, which has been in business for 111 years, you could do so through newspaper archives, thanks to members of the matters fami…

Guatemalan Jade

about 2,500 years ago, the olmec—natives of mesoamerica and ancient mexico—created sculptures from intense bluish-green jadeite jade found in nearby gem deposits. when archeologists uncovered these jade carvings in the 1700s, there was no knowledge of any jadeite mines nearby or anywhere in the americas.

AJA Holds Fourth Annual Gala

the armenian jewelers association celebrated its fourth annual dinner gala on feb. 14, 2003, at the regal biltmore hotel in los angeles. the black-tie event drew more than 450 attendees including jewelers and designers as well as representatives from jck and national jeweler magazines. others in attendance included congresswoman lucille roybal allerd of the 34th district of california; u.

New President for Plumb Club

michael paolercio was recently elected president of the plumb club of new york. for the past 25 years, paolercio has been co-chairman and chief executive of michael anthony jewelers, mount vernon, n.y. in addition to his long involvement with the plumb club, he also is an officer of the jewelers vigilance committee (jvc); serves on the board of directors of the jewelers charity fund and manufac…

BusinessMind V.3.3 Now Available

dcit corporation has announced the immediate availability of businessmind for jewelers v.3.3, an update to dcit’s businessmind for jewelers software suite featuring dozens of new data manipulation features and ease-of-use improvements. for more information, visit www.dcit.com.