June 2010

Next! New Designers 2010

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From Red Carpet to Reality

Cuff ’Em Go big in silver instead of gold. Bonus: A sprinkling of colored diamonds ups the wow without weighing down cost. UNDER $1,000: Handmade oxidized silver-plated cuff; $488; Dannijo, New York City; 646-755-8909; dannijo.com UNDER $5,000: Nearly 1 ct. t.w. black and cognac diamonds in sterling silver; $1,400; Raymond Hak, Great Neck, N.Y.; 800-362-5866;…

All That Glitters: Cool Stars, Hot Trends

Cuff ‘Em Nothing dresses the arms of Tinseltown ladies like oversize, jewel-studded bracelets. Any variety will do—cuffs, bangles, multi-coiled strands—and the wider, the better! Black onyx and diamond fan bracelet in platinum; $165,000; Tiffany & Co., New York City; 800-843-3269; tiffany.com Citrine and diamond necklace in 18k yellow gold; $60,000; Van Cleef & Arpels, New…

Gem Pricing Report: Mixed Messages

Rough prices are up, polished prices are down, but still shortages abound Market activity slowed noticeably in late April and early May. Consumers are still cautious. Demand for gold as a hedge against paper currency sent prices to record closes in May. Gold speculation is expected to drive prices higher, at least in the near…

Fire & Ice

the most ­bedazzling sale of the month

The Story of a Stingray

From Sea to Store Growing up in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, designer Nicholas Varney swam with the stingrays, getting “right on top of them,” as he recalls. But the $75,000 sea-inspired brooch is no mere homage to Varney’s childhood scuba-diving days. “I didn’t care about it being a stingray at all,” he…

Lessons Learned

The American Gem Society rolled into Boston in April for its annual conclave, featuring four days jam-packed with seminars and social events. In case you missed it, JCK compiled the five most useful tips from the educational sessions to help you improve your business. 1.? Life Sentence: Researchers once asked bank employees why they were…

The Bling From Basel

The only thing more intoxicating than the smell of narcissus outside Hall 2.0 at Baselworld was the new crop of jewels inside. Designs at the March 2010 World Watch and Jewellery Fair highlighted wearability (e.g., long necklaces that offer multiple layering options for the neck or wrist) and affordability—even high-end firms showed lower-priced lines. The…

Let’s Do the Time Warp

At March’s Baselworld, most of the 1,952 exhibitors—representing 45 countries—reported a surge in orders. That’s in addition to the Swiss show’s 7 percent boost in attendance. And while vendors and watch-industry officials warned against expecting too much renewal too soon—the economic situation is still “fragile,” said one—retailers came ready to buy. A rise in U.S.…

Lucky Charms

Baubles, bangles, and beads are giving retailers a recession-era boost. How long can they bank on the colorful trend? For years, the industry glumly watched other industries generate buzz and excitement with shiny new gadgets and gizmos. Would people ever get worked up over jewelry the way they did over the iPad? As it turns…

Pearls

Heavy Metal Three years ago, metallic-skinned Chinese freshwater pearls began appearing in mixed-color strands at major international trade shows. Since then, the tissue-nucleated pearls have been popping up with increasing frequency, ranging in shape and size from baroques to perfect rounds between 6 and 13 mm. Jeremy Shepherd, owner of ­PearlParadise.com, collected whatever he could…

Gemstones

Burmese Bummer In the high-end market, demand remains strong for Burma rubies (left) and sapphires. Blue sapphires are more desirable, and their prices are more stable. Ruby prices, however, are on the rise, and the supply of fine Burma rubies—already scarce before the embargo (enacted in 2008)—has only gotten worse. Richard Wise of R.W. Wise…

Silver

Swarovski and the City Looks like Swarovski is in a New York state of mind. Not only is the crystal manufacturer about to debut a “Manhattan” collection—its first foray into sterling silver—but it’s also entered an exclusive partnership with the newly released film Sex and the City 2, which features its jewelry and accessories on…

Gold

A Golden Globe In early May, four additional companies announced their support for the No Dirty Gold campaign, according to organizer Earthworks, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group. The latest to sign on to the group’s Golden Rules?are Robbins Brothers, a Los Angeles-based retail chain; Meghan Connolly Haupt, an Oakland, Calif.-based sustainable jewelry designer; Battle Creek,…

Platinum

Platinum to Reach $2,000 in 2010? In early May, precious metal forecasters announced that platinum prices for the second half of 2010 will continue to edge upward, perhaps as high as $2,000 per ounce (at press time the spot price for platinum was $1,737 per ounce).  According to Johnson Matthey’s Platinum 2010 publication released on…

You’ve Got It Made

As the custom-work market continues to grow, more jewelers are returning to the bench to take business into their own hands. Joel McFadden started out as a bench jeweler in his grandfather’s Charleston, S.C., store in 1972 and has come full circle professionally. He recently traded his traditional retail jewelry store for a custom-design business,…

Diamonds

the essential jewelry guide

Swiss Mix

“My best-selling ring is a crab. As soon as I put one in Harrods, it sells the next day. And they’re not cheap—they’re 8,000 quid!”—Stephen Webster CRAWLING CRITTERS The Jules Verne Crab ring with blue sapphires, black diamonds, and a black opal set under a colorless crystal cabochon in 18k gold; $11,600; Stephen Webster, New…

Swiss Mix

Crawling critters The Jules Verne Crab ring with blue sapphires, black diamonds, and a black opal set under a colorless crystal cabochon in 18k gold; $11,600; Stephen Webster, New York City; 212-226-6160; stephenwebster.com “My best-selling ring is a crab. As soon as I put one in Harrods, it sells the next day. And they’re not…

Oval Center Stone

Practical Stone Setting, Part 20 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 the…

Tech

Wax On Rio Grande has established North American distribution for DigitalWax Systems (DWS) 3-D printers. Marketed exclusively to the ­jewelry industry in Europe and the Far East since 2007, DWS offers a reliable casting alternative that’s compatible with all CAD software. Carlos Zamora of New York City’s Tech-Designs—who has just started using the DWS technology—reports…

Summer Tips from a Retailer

Bill Selig, of Bill Selig Jewelers in Simsbury and Windsor, Conn., has been able to maintain healthy summer sales, even though the surrounding towns practically empty out. Here are a few tips on making it through the sultry season. Know Your Customers Selig and his staff focus their resources on building relationships with their existing…

Bridal

Wedded Blitz It’s June, which can mean only one thing: wedding season. (Can you hear the bells?) To celebrate all the love that’s in the air, bridal-jewelry brands have launched new diamond engagement lines in their signature styles. Los Angeles-based Kirk Kara, known for vintage-inspired styles and blue sapphire accents, unveiled the Dahlia collection—an homage…

Watches

the essential jewelry guide

Design of the Times

whether it was a top-to-bottom renovation, an expansion, or simply a refreshing, these four jewelry stores tackled their  toughest challenges with sparkling results.

Nature

vegas preview: get ready for the show with jewelry sneak peeks

Colored Gems

vegas preview: get ready for the show with jewelry sneak peeks

Diamonds

vegas preview: get ready for the show with jewelry sneak peeks

Swiss Mix

on the floor: swiss mix: people, picks, quotes, and sales

Next! New Designers 2010

meet the magnificent seven: creating daring new pieces to dazzle and drive sales

Shows & Events

  U.S. Shows & Events June 1–3 LUXURY by JCK Las Vegas 800-257-3626 luxurybyjck.com 3–6 Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show Las Vegas 239-732-6642 dmgantiqueshows.com 3–7 Couture Las Vegas 646-654-4471 couturejeweler.com 3–7 Swiss Watch by JCK Las Vegas 800-257-3626 jckshows.com kaisertime.com 4–6Las Vegas Bead Renaissance ShowLas Vegas575-894-1293beadshow.com 4–7 JCK Las Vegas Las Vegas 203-804-5830…

JCK 5: Big News at Basel

1 News Bites Leonardo Lanaro, the new president of Rebecca USA Attendance at Baselworld rose 7 percent from last year; the number of ­exhibitors, however, dropped 2 percent. The Testi Group appointed Leonardo Lenaro president of Rebecca USA. After a five-year hiatus, Italian brand Damiani returned to the fair after floor space issues were rectified.…

The Shining

Megawattage On and Off the Screen For the October 1992 cover of Vogue Italia, Oscar-winning screen siren Sophia Loren played part snow queen, part ice princess, thanks to 167.89 cts. t.w. of her beloved Bulgari diamonds. “Sophia Loren has been a regular visitor of Bulgari since the 1950s,” says vice chairman Nicola Bulgari. “She visited…

10 Things Rocking the Industry

1. Gold Gold prices reached an all-time high of $1,234 in mid-May, edging past the previous record of $1,227 from December 2009. Confidence in the 750 billion-euro (U.S. $1 trillion) bailout for Greece quickly faded. Eurozone countries will have trouble reducing their budget deficits based on the size of the aid package, strengthening the confidence…

Sparkle Plenty

the pairing os nadja swarovski and fashion leader karl lagerfeld delivers more than the old razzle-dazzle at affordable price points

Rising Stars

new talent lighting up jck las vegas this year.

Museum Piece: Natural Selections

The San Diego Natural History Museum has added a little sparkle with a gem-tastic yearlong exhibition. All That Glitters: The Splendor and Science of Gems and Minerals features jewels from ­Tiffany and Cartier, stones from the Smithsonian and the GIA, and much more—like this 1945-era pomegranate brooch (with peridot, ruby cabochons, and yellow diamonds) from…

Michael C. Fina

545 Fifth Ave., New York City The idea for Michael C. Fina’s “Milestone” windows came, as many great ideas do, in the eleventh hour. With a pitch meeting fast approaching, the company’s creative at large, Meredith McBride Kipp—a newlywed herself, with just-engaged friends all around her—whipped up a wedding proposal for the ages: Tell your…

Aaron Basha

680 Madison Ave., New York City On Manhattan’s tony Madison Avenue, diamond rings stuffed into fresh flowers are de rigueur when it comes to creative window dressing. So you can imagine the stir Aaron Basha is causing with his Willy-Wonka–meets–Barnum-and-Bailey displays. At first, it’s the pop-art colors and candy props that catch your eye. But…

Once Upon a Time Antiques

36 E. 11th St., New York City Once Upon a Time Antiques is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shop tucked in an incongruously modern (read: New York University-area) stretch of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. But once you walk inside, there’s no missing warm, welcoming owner Kitty Savage or her eclectic selection of objets d’art: baby spoons, paper valentines, picture…

Industry & People

OPENINGS >> ?Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelry Co. launched its first Watch Salon in France in April, located on Paris’ historic Boulevard Saint-Germain. Two views: Mamari Jewelers’ interior and exterior >> ?Mamari Jewelers opened a new flagship store on South Middletown Road in Nanuet, N.Y. CLOSINGS >> ?John P. Kuehn Jewelers closed its doors after…

Like Father, Like Daughter

Amanda Coleman Nelson Coleman Jewelers Towson, MD 28, gemologist, assistant general manager, and future owner, sixth generation   Chris Coleman Nelson Coleman Jewelers Towson, MD 67, co-owner, fifth generation Nelson Coleman Jewelers dates back to 1856, when Adolph Doederlein founded the family business, Doederlein Jewelers, in Germany. The second generation brought the store to Baltimore…

The New Life of Luxury

Luxury is bouncing back. Research from business and retail consultants Bain & Company, Deloitte, and Kurt Salmon Associates shows positive turnaround in every sector. Bain predicts a 4 percent increase in this year’s luxury sales. Deloitte’s Consumer Spending Index in March rose almost two and a half times over March 2009. And the jewelry industry is…

“Ad”-mission of Guilt

Minneapolis jeweler R.F. Moeller has apologized for a suicide-themed ad some called insensitive. The ad, which ran only once in local alternative newspaper City Pages, showed a man with a gun to his head, lamenting that he failed to get his ring at R.F. Moeller Jeweler: “I should have known they have the best diamonds…

Take a Memo

Memo is a love/hate topic. Retailers generally love it, and manufacturers generally hate it. Used properly and judiciously, the practice of having some consigned merchandise at retail makes sense. Used carelessly, it breeds nothing but trouble for both the retailer and the manufacturer. • Originally, short-term memo enabled a retailer to bring in a particular piece or pieces for…

What’s on Your Playlist?

“During special events after hours, we like what we call ‘Club Siebke.’ This ­station has plenty of good dance music. We like any dance music from Beyoncé. The song that gets ­everyone pumped up is the Black Eyed Peas’ ‘Let’s Get It Started.’ We often catch each other dancing when Club Siebke is playing.” —Kendra…

Top 5: So Much Information, So Little Time

JCK lists 5 sites you should bookmark right now. Jewelry.Alltop.com  Alltop aggregates news on almost any topic. It’s perfect for anyone looking for relevant, up-to-the-minute info on the jewelry industry, told from many perspectives. If you have a blog, consider adding it to Alltop to help spread the word.     WhoWhatWear.com Need to find…

Social Climbing

How to Tweet, Friend, and Blog Your Way to Bigger Business In this day and age, the two most common words on every retailer’s lips are social media. There’s a lot of talk out there, but are you truly taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by this technology? Research shows that consumers using these tools…

JCK Treasure Chest

JCK’s been around for 140 years. We went back into our archives and found this gem from 1965 on “40 Ways to Raise Profits.” We pulled the five most interesting tips from the following categories: Salesmanship, Inventory, Advertising, Store Efficiency, and Cost Control. They can’t still be relevant. Or can they? Eliminate loafing—do telephone selling.…

Hot Rocks: Uncertified Diamonds Go to the Smithsonian

Ever wonder what happens to the rough diamonds without Kimberley Process certificates that are seized by U.S. Customs? That question arose during a session on the Kimberley Process at the recent “Diamonds” conference in New York City sponsored by Initiatives in Art and Culture. Jeffrey Post, geologist and curator-in-charge of the mineral collection for the…

JCK June Extra: Spruce Up Your Website

Show products on your home page. Don’t use a flash opening. Visitors are looking for jewelry, and that’s what you should give them. Also, make the menu bar options easy to find and product pages simple to navigate. Send a clear brand message. If your specialty is bridal, a watch brand shouldn’t be competing for…

JCK Asks…Paul Morelli

inside the life (and mind) of the philadelphia-based jewelry designer

Supreme Court Watching ‘Gray Market’ Omega Sales

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule this fall on one of watch retailing’s most controversial issues: the legality of “gray” or secondary market brands. On April 19, the court agreed to hear Omega’s lawsuit against Costco in the fall. The ruling could seriously impact watch retailing—particularly discount retailers and websites that sell millions in “secondary”…

Court to Adamas: Close Carlyle Deal

Adamas Partners cannot back out of its plan to buy 14 Carlyle and Co. stores following liquidation of jewelry retailer Finlay Enterprises, ruled the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. In February, Russell Cohen, a member of Carlyle’s founding family and the driving force behind Adamas, told associates via e-mail he…

The Silver Lining

Growth returns thanks to a sterling savior The Edge Retail Academy uses proprietary technology to gather data from jewelry stores, which  it analyzes and then organizes into actionable information. Key performance indicators—sales, gross profit, stock turn, markup, average sale, quantity of sales and other measures—allow participating retail jewelers to compare their stores against industry averages…

Make Time to Read

Vincent Daveau’s Celebrity Watches (Voyageur Press, $30) pictures some of the world’s most iconic personalities wearing some of the world’s most celebrated watch brands. The coffee-table book—a perfect gift for watch fans on your dads or grads list—features the 18k gold Cartier that Jackie gave to President John F. Kennedy on their fourth anniversary, Elizabeth…

Tiffany v. eBay: Round 2

Just because Tiffany & Co. lost the second round of its anticounterfeiting battle with eBay doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the end of the fight. After the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled on April 1 that the auction site’s listing of counterfeit Tiffany items does not constitute trademark infringement—agreeing with a…

JCK 5: Signs the Economy Is Looking Up

1 According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, specialty jewelers’ sales were up 3.9 percent in February 2010 from a year ago. 2 Saks Fifth Avenue named “fashion jewelry” one of its strongest categories in its last quarter. 3 De Beers sold nearly $2 billion of rough diamonds in its first four sights of the…

JCK 5: On the Move

Patrick Murphy on Smart Cars, big billboards, and ugly ties 1. What’s your single best money-saving initiative? We purchased a Smart Car three years ago. Today there are more Smart Cars on the road, but people still point and look. It has become a strong branding component—people associate the blue Smart Car and the MURPHS…

Generation Gap

Q: How can I attract the next generation of jewelry customers into my store?—George Fritz, owner, Mills Jewelers, Lockport, N.Y. A: “For Ylang 23, it all comes back to an exciting mix of jewelry at all price points. The younger customer is driven by exciting jewelry, such as Tahitian and South Sea pearls on leather…

JCK 5: Best Marketing Ideas of the Month

1. Jackson Diamond Jewelers Store owners in Stillwater, Okla., ran a Design Your Dream Ring contest. The retailer got a glimpse of potential bridal buyers’ tastes, and the winner got to keep her ring! 2. Clodius and Co. Jewelers Sign up for the store’s e-newsletter after making a purchase and enter a monthly drawing. The…

Business Is Up (Mostly), Jewelers Say

To gauge the current state of the U.S. retail jewelry business, ?JCK spoke with a half-dozen jewelers, representing different parts of the country, in late April and early May. The poll was prompted by signs that the U.S. economy is finally on a road to recovery: In March, for example, sales of new homes rose…

Back to Business Means Back to Basics

Buyer confidence is on the rise, and customers are slowly but surely starting to reach into their wallets again. But don’t get overeager and go blowing your open-to-buy budget. Instead, take a cue from your cautious consumers.  For more than a year, the common refrain from clients has been “not right now,” notes industry analyst…

Welcome to the Reimagined JCK Magazine

The Industry Authority for 140 years and counting, JCK knows a thing or two about changing with the times to keep you informed, inspired, and ready for the next big thing. That time is now. And here is how we’re changing: Next big thing #1: A New Publishing Partnership Starting with this June issue, JCK…