June 2013

The Complete A-Z Guide to JCK Las Vegas 2013

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Yellow Diamond Earrings Sell for More Than $1.2 Million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong

If yellow diamonds are the sunniest of all gems, the jumbo rocks in the center of these spectacular earrings—weighing 18.13 and 17.26 cts., respectively—might actually increase vitamin D levels in their wearer. The dazzling clips, which sold for more than $1.2 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction in Hong Kong on April 8,…

Bridal: Engagement Ring Designs Highlight Color in 2013 & More

Color Happy If you’re wondering what kinds of bridal looks will be debuting during jewelry week in Las Vegas, prepare yourself for hue déjà vu. Manufacturers tell JCK that many of their new designs highlight color—in metal and in stones—a trend that’s been steadily mounting for more than a year. Jimmy Sengul, vice president of…

Watches: Trends From Baselworld 2013 & More

The Essence of Time Deciphering watch trends at the Baselworld fair, held April 25–May 2 in Switzerland, is no small feat—the show boasts about 500 watch exhibitors, each promoting a slew of novelties. This year, however, a few themes emerged. The Product: Adventurers’ Watches Pilots and divers and racers—oh, my! In Basel, the industry’s preoccupation…

Colored Stones: Jeweler Israel Itzkowitz Debuts Asscher-Cut Princess Sapphires & More

The Princess Diaries In 1902, Amsterdam jeweler Joseph Asscher developed the Asscher-cut diamond. More than 30 years ago, Israel Itzkowitz created the princess-cut diamond with Ygal Perlman and Bezalel Ambar. And in 2008, Itzkowitz combined the features of both to create the eight-corner Asscher Cut Princess Diamond (AcP). Now, Itzkowitz is branching out beyond diamonds…

Pearls: A Rescued Great Dane Decked Out in Pearls & More

Rockefeller Centered New York City documentarian-turned-designer Susan Rockefeller is bringing her line of sterling and freshwater pearl jewelry (created in collaboration with Honora) to JCK’s LUXURY show. Natural color freshwater pearls are set into designs with ocean motifs such as sea urchins, stingrays, and mermaids; styles will range in suggested retail price from $550 to…

Silver: Veteran Celebrity Assistant Turned Jewelry Designer Natalie Torre & More

Art of the Matter It’s tough to determine if Beverly Hills, Calif.–based Natalie Torre is a rising jewelry star because of her designs or her endearing personality. The 10-year veteran celebrity assistant and party planner started taking jewelry classes with her mom—once a jeweler herself in New York City back in the day—after retirement from…

Gold: PromPerú Brings Peruvian Jewelry Designers to the Design Center & More

Peru Mood PromPerú is planning to thrust the country’s centuries-old jewelry traditions into the American spotlight at JCK Las Vegas. The Lima-based government group is bringing a select group of designers to a Peru Pavilion inside the Design Center. If the name PromPerú sounds familiar or its artists’ works inspire déjà vu, it’s because they…

Diamonds: India Benefits From Amended De Beers Sightholder List & More

In Sight In March, De Beers amended its sightholder list—and it looks like a big win for India. Indian companies accounted for four of the five new names added to the prestigious ­roster, another indication of the center’s dominance in the diamond trade. The fifth is from Hong Kong. The new clients are Asian Star…

Gem Pricing: A Decade of Difference

Collectibility and color drive today’s market In general, the U.S. gem trade is more optimistic than it was a year ago, but sales are still quite different than they were a decade ago. The market continues to see demand focused on the high end, while colors—and not gem varieties—are driving demand in the commercial end…

From Mine to Store: Hemmerle’s 19th Century Lilliputian Painting-Inspired Earrings

“Walk with your eyes open and the world will inspire you” is a personal credo for Stefan Hemmerle, the third-generation owner of Hemmerle, the Munich fine jewelry house famous for employing rare gems and atypical materials in its pieces. While visiting an antiques store, Stefan’s open eyes landed on a circa–19th-century Italian decorative wood box…

JCK 5: Treasures From the 2013 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show

A quintet of treasures from the March 2013 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show: (Above)1. Santa Maria Earrings in 18k gold with 34.65 cts. t.w. aquamarine and 2.42 cts. t.w. diamonds; $86,000; Lorenzo Jewels, Los Angeles; 213-233-4207; ljintl.com   2. Ring in 18k gold with akoya pearl and black and colorless diamonds; $5,100; KGH Jewellery, Ramat-Gan, Israel;…

Serpent Styles, Emeralds, and Texture Prevail at Baselworld 2013

For those who remember our year-end 2012 issue—when we said snakes would be big in 2013—well, even we didn’t realize how prophetic those words would be until we got to Basel, Switzerland, for this year’s Baselworld, where it seemed every jewelry manufacturer had received the serpent memo. Other trends spotted at the April 25–May 2…

Labs Grade Diamonds, But Who Grades the Labs?

JCK sent a single diamond to a quartet of industry labs to gauge their consistency (or lack thereof). The results were surprising—provoking a look into how the trade views the inherently subjective process of certification. In 1955, the Gemological Institute of America’s lab issued the first diamond grading report, meant to serve as a third-party…

JCK 5: How Jewelers Can Best Prepare for Heath Insurance Reform

What can you do right now to prepare for health insurance reform? Start by answering these five questions: 1. Are you eligible for tax credits? Many smaller businesses can deduct a portion of the premiums they pay for their workers’ insurance. For details, visit irs.gov and search for “health care tax credit.” 2. Do you…

Everything Jewelers Need to Know About How Obamacare Will Affect Their Businesses

What the affordable care act means for your bottom line When Colorado jeweler John W. Purvis III wanted to find out how “Obamacare” would affect his Lakewood retail store, Purvis Jewelers, he turned to his insurance agent for some answers. What he got was a good deal less. “He was confused,” recalls Purvis. “He said…

JCK 5: Why Jewelers Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Open a Second Location

Why opening a second location is a good idea: 1. You can take advantage of economies of scale when you advertise/promote both locations together. Use the same office staff to support both stores and get better deals on jewelry because you’re buying more inventory, says Created Gems’ Barbie Edwards. 2. You can move employees between…

6 Key Questions Jewelers Need to Answer Before Opening a Second Store

There’s a lot more to building a franchise than hiring an architect and breaking ground. Jewelers and business experts offer tips to opening-minded retailers on going from a one-store to a two-store operation. It may seem counterintuitive to expand your business in the midst of an uncertain economy. But as Barbie and Mark Edwards know,…

Cross Fire: Jewelers Discuss the Risks of Keeping Guns in Store

It’s no secret: Guns are an explosive topic today. Flip to the op-ed page of your local paper and opinions for and against firearms fly fast and furious. The jewelry industry is no different from the culture at large when it comes to this polarizing subject. Some retailers say it’s important to exercise their right…

The Latest Virtual B2B Platforms Streamlining Jewelry Store Operations

A bevy of new virtual B2B platforms enable brands, manufacturers, and retailers to connect, see new lines, and access everything you want to know about designer collections 24/7 One Saturday afternoon last fall at David’s Ltd. Jewelers in Charlotte, N.C., operations, sales, and inventory manager Whitney Ledbetter was showing Precision Set wedding bands to a…

Why Jewelers Should Be Taking Full Advantage of Pinterest’s Reach

As anyone who’s whiled away an evening “pinning” can attest, Pinterest is something of an addiction. Millions of users can’t seem to get enough of the 3-year-old social scrapbooking site. The latest Pew Research Center poll shows Pinterest is nearly even with ­Twitter; each site hosts about 15 percent of online adults—most of them female.…

Handle With Care: Jewelers Share Their Tips for Tackling Sticky Retail Situations

“There is only one boss—the customer,” Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton famously wrote. “And he can fire everyone in the company from the chairman on down, simply by ­spending his money somewhere else.” Walton was a titan of industry, but his sentiment rings especially true for independent retailers, whose businesses are based on the quality and…

A Look Inside the Epicenter of the Jewelry Business: Signet Jewelers Headquarters

How a hard-charging CEO is changing the world’s largest jeweler If you want to see the epicenter of the jewelry business, visit Signet Jewelers’ headquarters in Akron, Ohio. The 500,000-square-foot campus houses 2,500 employees—all of whom do the not-so-easy work of supporting the company’s U.S. retail division, Sterling Jewelers, which totals 1,954 stores, including such…

The Complete A-Z Guide to JCK Las Vegas 2013

AGTA and ARIA are only the beginning. We’ve got 26 must-see spots on and off the show floor—including a little after-hours fun. Let the buying (and selling) begin! Spanning three airport hangar-size floors and featuring 2,500 exhibitors representing every corner of the globe, JCK Las Vegas can certainly feel a tad overwhelming. To ease your…

Sylvie Levine on the Highs and Lows of Bridal Jewelry Design

The best thing about designing bridal jewelry, says ­Sylvie Levine, is the joy that comes with an engagement. “I feel good knowing my work ultimately makes a difference in the lives of others,” she says. And the toughest thing about bridal design? “Incorporating such detail in a very tiny landscape,” she says. “I often wish…

How Roberto Coin Developed His Hidden Ruby Signature

On four decades’ worth of golden years When you think of gold, you think of Italy. And when you think of Italian gold, you think of Roberto Coin, who has built not only his business but also his reputation on working in 18k. The best thing about designing with gold, says Coin, is “the awareness…

Socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean Accessorizes With the Hope Diamond in 1932

Most women wouldn’t accessorize diamonds with more diamonds. But most women aren’t socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, who’s pictured here in 1932 wearing the famous Hope Diamond, set with 16 white diamonds suspended from a diamond and platinum strand and accompanied by a separate Cartier diamond necklace and diamond chain. By her late teens, McLean already…

Everything Is Beautiful at the Ballet for Dancer-Turned-Jeweler Jamie Wolf

“If you peer to the right, you can see Lincoln Center. And over there, directly behind us, is the School of American Ballet.” That’s jewelry designer Jamie Wolf talking, as she gestures out the window from her penthouse perch. We’re in her pristine office—white desk, white couch, white curtains—on New York City’s Upper West Side,…

Summer Catch: Trends & Ads in the May 2013 Fashion Magazines

What’s trending and who’s advertising in the May issues W Pushing• Vermeil droplet wire-style choker; white gold and diamond charm rings (“an undeniably romantic, free-spirited look”)• Sapphire and diamond bracelet watch, rose gold and diamond mesh-style watch (“Time to dream”)Advertisers Tiffany & Co., Chanel Watches, Ebel, Gemfields, ­Michael M., de Grisogono, Hemmerle, Chopard, H.Stern, FreyWille,…

Bethesda Jeweler Amy Hugo Rewards Special Customers With a Private Party

Amy Hugo enjoys clinking glasses with Amethyst’s best customers For Amy Hugo, owner of Amethyst Contemporary Designer Jewelry, cultivating strong customer relationships is paramount to doing good business. The Bethesda, Md.–based retailer—who opened a second location in Fairfax, Va., last year—is so committed to her clientele that she regularly throws private parties to fete them.…

Southwest Florida’s Marissa Collections Is a Study in Ultimate Luxury

In Naples, “Marissa” is like Madonna, Beyoncé, Adele. Say the name, and everyone knows you’re referring to the fashion matriarch of Southwest Florida, whose boutique Marissa Collections is synonymous with the area’s most-sought-after designer clothing, shoes, handbags, and ­jewelry. Like the rest of the store, the new 1,400-square-foot Jewelry Gallery is a study in ultimate…

Father-Son Duo Make Their California Jewelry Store a Destination

Opposite business styles attract sophisticated shoppers at Polacheck’s Jewelers Brent Polacheck was 22 when he dropped the proverbial bomb on his father, Stephen: He wanted to quit college to work at the family store, Polacheck’s Jewelers. “He told me I needed to graduate, go to GIA, and work for someone else for two years before…

The Latest in RFID’s Ongoing Evolution

The next wave of RFID will help with more than just inventory Nothing has changed the way jewelers do inventory in the past decade as profoundly as RFID (radio frequency identification). The wireless technology, which uses radio frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, has shortened the work of taking stock by using hand-held devices that recognize…

How Does Jewelry Marketing and Merchandising Change in the Summer?

Q: How does your marketing and merchandising change in the summer? A: “Springer’s Jewelers has three locations in coastal Maine and New Hampshire. During the summer, the population almost doubles in all of our locations with tourists and people who have summer homes in the area. Most tourists are looking for something with a nautical…

6 Price Strategy Mistakes Jewelers Should Avoid

New research suggests that strategic price-setting can save you money Let’s be honest: When it comes to setting prices for our products, most of us don’t have a clue as to what we’re doing. We tend to make them up as we go along, or charge what we think people might pay. A haphazard pricing…

JCK 5: Tips on Improving Relationships in Family-Owned Businesses

The book Positive ­Psychology and Family ­Business by Scott Friedman gives insight into improving relationships in family-owned businesses. A few highlights: 1. Move away from typical insular processes [of resolving issues] and engage outside individuals to serve on the board of directors or board of advisers. 2. We often wind up bumping into each other…

How Jewelers Can Hire and Develop Better Managers

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once said, “Leadership is solving problems.” But for jewelry retailers, finding store managers who are excellent leaders can prove problematic. Jewelers in particular often are tempted to reward their best sales associates with a promotion to management. And therein lies the rub: “Most awesome managers are not awesome…

Industry & People: June 2013

COMINGS AND GOINGS Yosh Kawada >>?Seiko Corp. of America, a subsidiary of Seiko Watch Corp., has promoted senior vice president Yosh Kawada to president and CEO. Kawada also will serve as senior vice president for Seiko Watch Corp., headquartered in Tokyo. >>?Sterling Jewelers has promoted Kimberly Kanary to vice president of public relations and social…

JCK 5: Top Tweets From the AGS Conclave

Quips and quotes from jewelers, suppliers, and attendees in Phoenix April 24–27: 1. Inspired Jewelry (@inspiredonline) Love this comment we just heard at #agsconclave “So you’re from NZ… that’s so exotic … but in a good way” 😉 love it! 🙂 2. Elisa Olufson (@ElisaOlufson) Just went to the wrong class not once but twice…

2013 AGS Conclave Provides Retail Blueprint

If there was a single moment that underscored the prominence of the modern independent jeweler at the 2013 Conclave—the American Gem Society’s educational and networking conference (held April 24–27 at the Phoenix Arizona Biltmore Hotel)—it arguably happened in a session called “Today’s Engagement Ring Shopping Experience.” Addressing a standing-room-only crowd, Laura Cave, director of trade…

Welcome to Las Vegas!, Publisher’s Letter, June 2013

And welcome to the June issue of JCK! Chances are you’re seeing this issue for the first time at the JCK Las Vegas show, as we distribute nearly 10,000 copies to attendees throughout the week of LUXURY and JCK Las Vegas. If so, I hope you are having an amazing show! April was a great…

Switzerland to the Strip, Editor’s Letter, June 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.… I’m referring, of course, to Baselworld (via Dickens). The Swiss luxury watch and jewelry fair, held late April to…

10 Things Rocking the Jewelry Industry: June 2013

1. Diamonds They call it the Princie, but maybe they should call it the Princely, based on the regal sum it fetched at an April 16 auction. The 34.65 ct. fancy intense pink cushion-cut scored $39.3 million ($1.1 million per carat) at Christie’s New York—making it the most expensive jewel sold in the house’s 200-plus…