June 2012

Show & Tell 2012: A Trip Down JCK Las Vegas Memory Lane

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Hello Yellow: Graff’s 200 Carat, $2.4 Million Diamond Cluster Necklace

When it comes to investments, real estate has ­nothing on jewelry these days. At ­Christie’s New York April Magnificent Jewels sale, this ­dazzling diamond cluster necklace fetched $2.4 million, when just a few years ago a collector purchased it from British jeweler Laurence Graff for $1.5 million. “If you buy with a discerning eye and…

Practical Stone Setting Part 26: Shared Bead Pavé Setting

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. Safety Alert: Burs and other setting tools are extremely…

Tech: Prepping for ETS at Mandalay Bay, the GIA’s New iPad App

Tech Checklist JCK Las Vegas isn’t just for jewelry. The Equipment, Technology & Supplies show (Mandalay Bay May 31–June 4) houses the technology that creates and helps sell the designs on the floor. So what are ETS-bound retailers searching for this year? CAD equipment is the thing for Jon Walp, general manager of Long Jewelers…

Bridal: March Madness at Boston’s Freedman Jewelers

Brides of Boston At Freedman Jewelers, March Madness has nothing to do with NCAA basketball. It’s when the 67-year-old Boston jeweler (pictured) hosts its three-day wedding band and engagement ring trunk show, an annual event that accounts for an astonishing 25 percent of band and 10 percent of engagement ring yearly sales. This March, the…

Pearls: The CPAA Hits Las Vegas, Honora Gets Inspired by New York City

The Wide World of Pearls Visitors to the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s booth at JCK Las Vegas will get a whirlwind tour of nearly every pearl-­producing nation on the globe without leaving Mandalay Bay. A reimagined CPAA pavilion (B2028) is designed to mimic the shape and sheen of a pearl, with screen-printed images of…

Colored Stones: Sapphires in Sri Lanka, the AGTA in Las Vegas

The Sapphire Scramble In mid-February, a new deposit of blue sapphires was discovered near Kataragama in southern Sri Lanka, inspiring a gem rush among local miners that reportedly caused a great deal of mayhem. But what has transpired on the ground since then underscores the vagaries of mining for color—not to mention the hoopla over…

Silver: 3 Jewelry Lines Debuting at the JCK Show

Show Me the Silver! If a new silver line is on your shopping list, you’ll want to check out these three brands debuting at JCK Las Vegas. One is a higher-end extension line from a manufacturer, one is an independent designer, and another features updated classics with a modern finish—but all will appeal to a…

Diamonds: GIA to Start Grading Fancy Cuts, ADB & KBC File Motion to Dismiss LKI Suit

The Shape of Things The Gemological Institute of America is developing a system to evaluate the cut of fancy-shape diamonds, including pears, ovals, and marquises, GIA distinguished research fellow James Shigley tells JCK. “We want to determine what constitutes a good fancy cut and what doesn’t,” Shigley says. In February, GIA conducted a series of…

Gold: Jewelry Debuts at the JCK Design Center; the Bimetal Styles of Sydney Lynch

I See Sydney You may have met her at one of the American Craft Council shows, but longtime jewelry designer Sydney Lynch will also be exhibiting this year at JCK Las Vegas. The Lincoln, Neb.–based artist, in business for 31 years, makes 18k and 22k gold styles with some silver, and has 65 accounts nationwide,…

Gem Pricing Report: Steady On

Despite predictions of a price pullback, the gem market appears to have stabilized The colored gemstone market is stable. Dealers are cautiously adding inventory in anticipation of increasing demand during the second half of the year. Key gem varieties continue to enjoy strong prices in defiance of a predicted price pullback. Sapphire continues to dominate…

Amrapali’s Exquisitely Adorned Peacock Cuff

Conjuring images of centuries-old Indian paintings—depicting goddesses dripping in jewels with azure peacocks at their feet—this Amrapali gold, silver, and diamond bracelet harnesses history and opulence in equal measure. Its design was inspired by the symmetry and high ornamentation of Mughal architecture, which flourished in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries in India and nearby…

A Peek Inside the 2012 LUXURY and Elite Enclave Shows

New vendors, new products, and a hot urban safari ambience are just the beginning LUXURY, the upscale sister show to JCK Las Vegas, will open May 29 with an expanded stable of high-end vendors. Before last year, the appointment-only show opened three days prior to the main JCK show, and vendors moved into various booths…

JCK 5: LUXURY Privé Please

From July 30 to Aug. 1, LUXURY Privé comes to New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Here are five exhibitors to note: 1. (above) 18k white, yellow, and rose gold earrings with 8.01 cts. t.w. diamonds; $50,350; A.V. Jewelry of N.Y./Odelia, New York City; 212-391-8076; odeliacollection.com   2. 18k rose gold Poire ring with 30 ct.…

Time for 2012’s Swiss Watch at JCK

Can’t go to Switzerland? JCK brings Switzerland to you Las Vegas may lack Switzerland’s alpine ambience and Euro-style amenities, but for four days in June, the city is a convincing proxy location, as hordes of watchmakers flock to Swiss Watch, held in conjunction with the JCK Las Vegas show. From June 1 to 4, the…

The Basics on Lab-Grown Diamonds

What are they? Lab-grown diamonds have always been viewed as a possibly formidable competitor to natural (mined) diamonds. Unlike simulants, the stones are diamonds—chemically, physically, and visually—but they have been produced in a lab rather than from a mine. For a long time, companies could manufacture only yellows and other fancy colors, rather than colorless…

Getting Real About the Synthetic Diamond Market

With more and more companies producing colorless diamonds, synthetic diamond manufacturers hope their industry is entering a new phase. Since 1993, the industry has heard periodic announcements about synthetic diamonds coming to the market and rocking the business to its core. But two decades later, precious few of those predictions have come to fruition. Now,…

Kimberley Process at a Crossroads

After a tough two years, can the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme make the changes necessary to win back public credibility? When people have a near-death experience, they sometimes talk about gaining a new lease on life. Perhaps the same will be true for the Kimberley Process. It’s no secret that the conflict-diamond prevention scheme came…

Lead Glass–Filled Rubies by Any Other Name…

Each gemstone-testing lab currently employs its own language to describe lead glass–filled rubies. American Gemological Labora­tories calls the ­material “composite ruby,” with an additional comment: “This stone represents a composite of natural corundum and glass, also known as Hybrid Ruby. Additional comments—The material is ­heavily treated…vastly ­improving the ­apparent clarity and adding weight. With special…

Red Alert: The Lead Glass–Filled Ruby Saga Continues

In part two of a series examining the impact of lead glass-filled rubies on the market, we look at disclosure politics in the trade When the Federal Trade Commission announced plans in April to revise its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, last updated in 1996, Craig Lynch was beyond pleased. The…

Blue Valentine: Tanzanite Turns 45

JCK presents a primer on the African gem’s origin, allure, and numerous selling points When a Maasai herdsman stumbled upon shimmering blue-violet crystals in the foothills of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967, he had no idea they’d soon end up in the showcases at the venerable ­Tiffany & Co. in New York City. “Despite forming…

Silver’s Golden Opportunity

When it comes to anniversaries, silver has long been synonymous with celebrating 25 of them—at first, of marriage. Legend has it that German couples of means started giving each other silver wreaths for their 25th wedding anniversaries around 600 years ago. Gradually, the exchange of custom-crafted silver became so common, the 25th anniversary became known…

Silver (Jewelry) Chic

Why designers searching for craft, creativity, variety, and vision are eschewing gold in favor of silver When she joined the faculty at San Francisco’s Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in 2001, ­Christine Dhein taught all metalsmith techniques using silver. Back then, it was principally a practice metal. Today, however, silver is as much an end…

Get Your Costume Jewelry Fix

So-called couture costume designs are making a bold statement at retail While many fine jewelers aren’t ready to offer costume pieces alongside their diamonds and pearls, stylish women may not take no for an answer. Fashion designers have long flirted with the world of accessories, going back to the 1920s, when Coco Chanel dared to…

Visual Quest: How Jewelers Are Networking With Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram

Retailers are cultivating fans, followers, and clients worldwide with these free websites that turn photos into social media stars Nowadays, about 60 percent of Liz Zusev’s online sales come from out of state—a phenomenon she can only attribute to active use of photo-intense social networking websites. The social media director of Somewhere in Time Fine…

JCK 5: When to Be Suspicious of Shoppers

1. A shopper or employee lingering near a high-value-item showcase might be contemplating a theft. Shoppers with bulky bags or coats (especially if the coat is inappropriate for the weather) who lean on cases could be concealing a hard object in preparation for a smash-and-grab. 2. Shoppers who ask to see multiple items could be…

Personal Safety Tips for Retailers

It’s not all about the technology, of course. Jewelers must be more self-aware and vigilant than other business owners or ­retailers. Don’t post personal information, such as your travel schedule or home address, on social networks such as Facebook. Vary your route to and from work. If you are carrying merchandise, keep a close eye…

Safety Zone: The Latest and Greatest in Retail Security Systems

Retailers might not like to contemplate the prospect of being robbed or burglarized, but they need to think about these crimes—because criminals are. According to the ­Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA), jewelry retailers in the United States lost more than $85 million in 2011 because of criminals, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2010. The number…

School of Rocks: The Feds Go to the GIA

For two weeks a year, the GIA campus becomes a magnet for law enforcement from around the world, who take a crash course in Gemology 101. JCK got an exclusive look at this training program—and learned why the government finds it so useful. Mark Maxwell, an instructor of jewelry manufacturing arts at the Gemological Institute…

Stop & Shop: The JCK Marketplace Experience

Introducing JCK Marketplace, the 24/7 addition to the JCK family of shows Do you attend the JCK Las Vegas show but wish it lasted more than a few days so you could get all of your buying done in one shot? ­Welcome to JCK Marketplace, an online destination to find products from JCK exhibitors long…

Hey Now, You’re a JCK Rock Star

Walter Adler Chefitz wowed the judges with a triple twisted Möbius studded with 225 Swarovski Passion Topaz gemstones For Walter Adler Chefitz, the road to winning JCK Rock Star—the magazine’s first original video series, a 12-­episode competition pitting five designers against each other in a bid to create the most beautiful piece of Swarovski gemstone…

How Mandalay Bay Prepped for the 2012 JCK Show

JCK talks to Mandalay Bay’s Martie Sparks about what it takes to host the country’s most prestigious jewelry fair After two decades at the Sands Convention Center, the JCK Las Vegas show moved into new digs last year at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. It was a big deal for the jewelry community—but, believe it…

My Favorite Mistake: Jewelers Recall Their Biggest JCK Las Vegas Blunders

Nobody’s perfect, and jewelers are among the first to admit it, particularly when it comes to America’s biggest jewelry trade show. With its football field–size exhibition space—first at the Sands Expo, and now at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino—JCK Las Vegas has overwhelmed many an attendee. Here, seasoned showgoers share their foibles, so you…

Show Smarts: Finding Your Way Around JCK

Here’s how to make the most of your experience at JCK Las Vegas: Navigation Tips Pick up maps at entrances, registration, and information counters. Look for ASK ME team members; there will be 50 percent more of them on the show floor this year to help attendees find their way around. Use the color-coding on…

Show & Tell 2012: A Trip Down JCK Las Vegas Memory Lane

If you’re like most jewelers, a year simply isn’t a year without a trip to JCK Las Vegas. That’s a testament to the show’s unrivaled position on the jewelry calendar, as well as a ­reflection of the ritualistic way most attendees approach the event. We asked 10 veterans to recall their first and best memories…

Iman Plays Goddess in Mary McFadden Creations

Forget about Xena: Iman was the original warrior princess in this 1977 Vogue photo. The supermodel is covered (barely) in creations by ­American-born designer Mary McFadden—from her hair, which is adorned with an 18k gold-dipped brass leaf, to her necklace of embroidered and macramé rope and tassels, threaded with gold, coral, and celadon enamel beads.…

JCK Asks…Alishan

Musing on living in a material world Some designers are devoted to diamonds. Others mix and match a rainbow’s spectrum of colored stones. Still more are die-hard goldsmiths. Alishan Halebian, however, is tougher to characterize. His jewelry incorporates such materials as platinum, gold, sterling silver, ancient glass, and ebony wood. He’s not fickle; he’s simply…

JCK Asks…Monica Rich Kosann

What’s inside her locket? We always knew Monica Rich Kosann for her photography—black and white archival portraits—and her fine jewelry: heirloom-quality gold, silver, and gemstone lockets, whimsical charms, and made-to-be-layered pendant necklaces. (“The two are not that different,” says Kosann. “Whether it is a photograph that reveals memories or a woman who wears jewelry that…

Designer Anna Sheffield Shows Her Softer Side

The rebel rouser takes her subversive sensibility to bridal In a short black tailored suit and a fuchsia flower lapel pin, the heavily tattooed Anna Sheffield looks every bit the muse for the jewels she designs as she walks into her showroom in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood: soft and feminine, edgy and urban, pretty yet tough.…

Nialaya Owner Jannik Olander Brings Boho Beads to L.A. and Beyond

Jannik Olander’s road to retail began in Goa, India, in 2009, when a shaman named Nialaya approached him in a crowded outdoor market. “At the time, I was doing a job I really didn’t want to be doing,” says ­Olander, whose background is in fashion retail. “He told me I was focusing too much on…

Meet the Bonifas Men Behind Fourtané Jewelers

These California guys know the value of hard work and extremely rare estate jewelry John Bonifas’ first retail job, at age 15, was sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays at a jewelry store in Toledo, Ohio. “At that time, every employee and customer smoked,” he recalls. “You wouldn’t believe how fast the ashtrays got filled.” Twenty…

Still Wary of the Web? Retailers, You’re Not Alone!

Many jewelers are still skeptical about social media and even the online arena Recently, JCK senior editor Rob Bates wrote a blog post based on an email from Alex Weil of Martin’s Jewelry in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Alex was concerned his store was “way behind in terms of websites and social media,” and had four…

Is Buying Diamonds From the Public a Good or Bad Idea?

“Buying diamonds off the street is a good business move.” Michael Derby, senior business consultant, Focus Business Management InstituteHenderson, Nev. BUY SMART: As long as you get a price that is lower—significantly lower—than wholesale, it is a good buy. Many times your wholesalers or other diamond suppliers are willing to purchase diamonds from you—especially bigger…

Mastering the Art of Retail Cross-Marketing

Team up with another community business to boost your brand’s profile What can an aging crooner like Tony Bennett teach a store owner looking to grow a business through effective marketing? Well, more than you might imagine. We recently saw Tony Bennett in concert, and at 86 years old, he’s still got it. He shows…

Govberg Jewelers’ Philadelphia Story

Danny Govberg takes time to sell repair work and employee expertise at his watch emporium 1. What one advertisement elicited the most response, and why did it work?What began as a modest print campaign in The Philadelphia Inquirer and local lifestyle magazines has been repurposed into radio and cable TV commercials. The message of “It’s…

JCK 5: Retailers, It’s Easy Being Green

In search of vendors of ethically mined gems and recycled gold? Check out these organizations: 1. Gemfields brings ethically mined gems—including Zambian emeralds—to market transparently, while upholding rigorous social and environmental standards. (gemfields.co.uk) 2. The Jeweltree Foundation in the Netherlands works with diamond miners in Lesotho. (jeweltreefoundation.org) 3. The Green Gem Foundation, a Berkeley, Calif.–based…

June Birthstone: Pearl

Throughout their long and rich history, pearls have been associated with money and status, love and ­marriage, and purity and innocence. Ancient Egyptians were buried with them; medieval knights wore them into battle to protect them from harm; Greeks gave them to newlyweds to promote harmony. In the 13th and 14th centuries many European nations…

Industry & People: June 2012

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?James Riley has been named CEO of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. Riley has been a manager for Backes & Strauss and a member of the National Association of Goldsmiths and Gem-A boards. >>?ASHI Diamonds has appointed Jerry Wyatt sales representative and marketing consultant for the Midwest. Wyatt has more than…

JCK 5: Top Tweets From the 2012 AGS Conclave

Some of the best observations and witticisms that fell under the #agsconclave hashtag: 1. Kara Ross (@kararossny) Just heard the best quote at #agsconclave…“fine jewelry is a little piece of forever” 2. Elisa Olufson (@ElisaOlufson) A 4 Bandaid night makes it a successful night. Right!?! 3. Michelle Shoemaker (@shoemel) Just did the limbo and fell…

Vegas Time! June 2012 Publisher’s Letter

Welcome to the June issue of JCK, which is distributed to 10,000 JCK Las Vegas show attendees as well as our monthly circulation of 25,000. If you’re reading this for the first time while at the show, welcome! Here’s hoping the predictions for a fantastic 2012 event are coming true right now. I’m just back…

My First Time at the Dance…June 2012 Editor’s Letter

We all remember our first times—at JCK Las Vegas. Like the 10 retailers who gamely offered up their earliest Vegas memories to senior editor Emili Vesilind for our cover story on how to make the most of this year’s gathering (“Show & Tell 2012”), I thought I’d share a little story about my inaugural show…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: June 2012

1. Watches The phrase economies of agglomeration is a theoretical way of describing what the organizers of Madison Avenue Watch Week learned in practice: “People like to shop in a place where there’s a large selection,” says Matt Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, whose second annual watch shopping week earned heaps…