March 1, 2003

Platinum Marketing Goes Global


intarsia is the art of inlaying hard stone, wood, or any other fashionable material. in the jewelry industry, it’s specifically a method of creating and displaying gemstone mosaics. intricately cut, polished, and fitted together into patterns or scenes, these gem designs are then set as jewels in either objets d’art or jewelry.

De Beers Takes It to the Bank

de beers, saddled with billions in debt after its recent privatization, showed its confidence recently by making a loan repayment ahead of schedule. the company paid creditors $710 million in december 2002, several months in advance of the march 2003 deadline. de beers, once famed for its inexhaustible cash reserves, is not out of the red yet: it still owes $2.

Speidel Acquired in Management Buyout

speidel inc., the leading distributor of watchband attachments worldwide, announced dec. 19 that company president jeffrey r. massotti had purchased both speidel inc. and providence watch hospital from austria-based hirsch armbaender ag. the purchase was made by massotti’s holding company, jrm holding inc.

Jacques Etoile Enters U.S. Market

jacques etoile, a german luxury mechanical watch brand, is expanding into the north american market. the company, based in lorrach, germany, was founded in 1996 by master watchmaker klaus jakob, himself the son of a master watchmaker. jacques etoile watches use rare movements from the golden age of handcrafted movement production—such as the venus 175 column-wheel chronograph or the unita…

Johari Elected New IDCA President

basant johari of new york’s dow gems recently was elected president of the indian diamond and colorstone association. he takes the reins from amal jhaveri of sugem, who remains on the group’s board. johari vowed to raise the group’s profile and to brainstorm ways to improve members’ businesses. other new idca officials: ashok sancheti was elected vice president; sushil goyal, secretary; dr.

American Invents Self-Powered Mechanical Watch Movement

the world’s first self-powered mechanical watch movement has been invented by american master watchmaker steven phillips. the mechanism, which he has trademarked as the “eternal winding system” (ews), is continually powered by a temperature-sensitive bi-metallic coil. “you can lay an ews watch down on a table, leave it alone and come back in two years, and it will still be running,” phillips t…

New Excel Enhancement: R.I. = 1.52?

if an enhancement filler has the same refractive index (r.i.) as the host gem, the fracture being filled virtually disappears. arthur groom’s excel emerald enhancement, for example, has an r.i. of approximately 1.57—the same as emerald. so why did groom create excel 1.52? fernando garzon, partner in groom’s clarity enhancement laboratory (cel) in new york, explains that excel 1.

DCIT Ships Connectivity Module, Releases Latest Businessmind

dcit corp., ridgefield, n.j., has announced that dbflex for ms sql server, a database connectivity enhancement for businessmind, is available for purchase. this latest businessmind enhancement provides connectivity to microsoft sql server databases, allowing businessmind users the option of using that database’s high-end capabilities as the back end for primary businessmind data storage.

Two Arrested for ‘Worst Jewelry Crime in a Generation’

two men have been arrested and will stand trial for the dec. 21 robbery and murders of a 38-year-old retail jeweler and his family in livonia, mich., a detroit suburb. the murder of marco pesce, an italian immigrant who owned the italia jeweler in livonia; his mother, maria vergati (a resident of italy who was visiting the family for the holidays); and pesce’s children—carlo, 12, sabrina,…

Schubot Jewellers Hosts Fund-Raiser

jules r. schubot jewellers, troy, mich., in coordination with moceri development, hosted a celebration of art and beauty in december designed to raise funds for the breast cancer research program at the barbara ann karmanos cancer institute. the event, “jewels, gems and generosity,” raised more than $15,000 for the program.

FGI: No Diffusion, Guaranteed

fine gems international, wholesalers of montana sapphire in helena, mont., says its entire inventory of montana sapphires has been heated—in either a reducing (lower oxygen) or oxidizing (higher oxygen) atmosphere—without the addition of beryllium, titanium, or magnesium. bob kane, fine gem’s founder and president, writes, “the refusal to use chemicals in heat treatment has been a s…

Yurman Honored by Fashion Group

david yurman brought the fine-jewelry industry into fashion’s inner circle recently when the fashion group international presented the designer with its star gazer award. yurman was chosen, the group said, in recognition of his status as an american icon and innovator of fine jewelry design. first known for his signature sterling silver and 18k gold cable collection, david yurman has grown into…

Kowalski Replaces Chaney as Tiffany Chairman

william r. chaney, 70, retired as chairman of the board of tiffany & co. on jan. 31 but will continue to serve on tiffany’s board of directors. elected by the board to replace chaney was michael j. kowalski, 50, who also will continue as chief executive officer of the company. kowalski, who joined tiffany in 1983, was elected president in 1997 and assumed the ceo position in 1999.

Jewels With Brazilian Style

mother nature has given brazil huge reserves of gemstones and gold. although it doesn’t produce ruby, sapphire, or tanzanite, name almost any other gemstone, and brazil has it in spades. the country is home to some of the world’s finest aquamarine, amethyst, alexandrite, chrysoberyl and cat’s-eye chrysoberyl, citrine, emerald, fluorite, garnet, kunzite, iolite, morganite, tourmaline (including,…

More Millionaires in 2001

some 2.1 million high-net-worth people lived in the united states in 2001, according to a recent banking industry study. according to the 2002 world wealth report from merrill lynch and cap gemini ernst & young, both located in new york, high-net-worth individuals have financial assets—not counting real estate—of at least $1 million.

Back to Classics for Spring Fashion

classic themes, subtle or traditional colors, and drop silhouettes emerged as the key jewelry fashion trends at the vicenzaoro 1 show held jan. 12-19 in vicenza, italy. hearts and crosses remain two of the strongest design themes for 2003, but designers are interpreting these traditional favorites through innovative forms.

The 1920’s Roaring Again?

every fashion season has its share of historical influences on the newest designs. for 2003, the era of choice may be the 1920s. though the ’20s and the 2000s reveal surprising social and economic contradictions, they display several fashion parallels. the emphasis, however, is less on the partying aesthetic associated with flapper girls, their beaded bags, or sartoires.

Tiffany Acts Against Internet Sales of Counterfeit Jewelry

tiffany & co., the international luxury jeweler and retailer, has obtained federal court injunctions to stop internet sales of counterfeit tiffany jewelry allegedly sold by a philadelphia jewelry company, said tiffany’s attorneys in a jan. 14 announcement. attorney j. scott kramer of the philadelphia law firm duane morris llp, one of two firms representing tiffany in the case, told jck t…

Helping Those Who Help Us

jewelers, as we’ve discussed before, are a generous bunch, not only in our own communities but also through the jewelers’ charity fund for children and other worthy industry causes. two industry associations that i particularly want to give ongoing kudos for their very important work are the jewelers vigilance committee and the jewelers’ security alliance.

Second Company Gets Into the ‘Dead Diamonds’ Game

there’s another entrant in the apparently burgeoning field of turning dead bodies into diamonds. however, the technique used by the new company, memorial gem, is completely different from that offered by chicago’s lifegem, which grows a synthetic diamond from the actual cremated remains. instead, the new technique injects the “cremains” throughout a natural diamond using an intense heat process.

Iman Won’t Dump De Beers

iman is not quitting as “style icon” for the new de beers retail chain, de beers lv, executives say. “we just got an e-mail from her, saying she’s ready to appear at an aids benefit for us, the oscars, wearing our jewelry,” says de beers lv spokeswoman joan parker. the african supermodel created a stir when she didn’t show up at the chain’s november opening in london.

JA Issues Kimberley Guidance

to coincide with the global implementation of the kimberley process and the industry’s system of self-regulation to eliminate conflict diamonds, jewelers of america (ja) has issued guidelines for its members. these materials are posted on the members’ section of the ja web site,, and were included in a special insert in the january/february 2003 issue of the ja membership newsl…

Post Article on Diamond-Terror Link Gets Widespread Publicity

in january, the diamond industry was hit with another blast of bad publicity when a washington post article alleged new evidence of a link between diamonds and terrorist groups. the story was syndicated to newspapers throughout the country and discussed on cable channel msnbc. the article included one quote that was largely ignored by the press, but which could re-ignite an old controversy.

Diamonds Mentioned in Bond Film

the conflict diamond issue has made it to show business: it was mentioned in a james bond film. die another day does not mention specifics or show any of the gruesome pictures typically associated with conflict diamonds, and the movie drops the issue as a plot line halfway through. but the term is repeated quite a bit, and diamonds play a role in the film’s convoluted plot, as the film’s vill…

C.D. Peacock Expands Again

c.d. peacock, chicago’s oldest fine jeweler, recently relocated to larger retail space in northbrook, ill. the move follows the opening in 2000 of two new downtown stores on michigan ave., for a total of five locations in the chicago area. the northbrook court store features luxury watch and jewelry brands including rolex, cartier, patek philippe, bulgari, bertolucci, grimoldi, paneri, scott k…

Industry Leaders Honored

ed and jon bridge of ben bridge jeweler and dilip mehta of rosy blue will be honored by the diamond, jewelry, and watch group of uja-federation of new york at its annual industry awards dinner. ed and jon bridge will receive the award of excellence; mehta will be honored with the humanitarian award.

Obituary: Charles W. Fryer, 74, Noted Gem Expert

charles w. (“chuck”) fryer, a former director of the gemological institute of america’s gem trade laboratory, noted gem identification expert, and longtime contributor to gia’s quarterly journal gems & gemology, died of a heart attack on jan. 3 in los angeles. he was 74. fryer was associated with gia for 27 years.

JSA to Focus on Local Crime

the jewelers security alliance (jsa) is launching an intensified drive to involve local law enforcement in the fight against jewelry crime, jsa president john kennedy said at the organization’s annual luncheon at the waldorf-astoria. “we’ve had a three-year concentration on traveling salesmen, and trying to raise the fbi’s awareness of that problem,” said kennedy.

GIA Recognizes Graduate

the gemological institute of america (gia) recently selected diane h. shock, ph.d., of columbus, ohio, as its outstanding distance education graduate of the year for 2003. the award is presented annually by the distance education training council (detc) to an exceptional student who has achieved extraordinary standards of academic and personal excellence.

JA, Stuller Team on Bench Scholarships

jewelers of america and stuller have teamed up to underwrite ja bench jeweler certification scholarships for 2003-2004. under the scholarship program, bench jewelers who sign up for any level in ja’s bench jeweler certification program between march 1 and may 1 and complete work by feb. 28, 2004, will receive a 25% reimbursement of their testing fees.

Groups Work Together on Kimberley Certificates

following an angry tug-of-war over who would issue kimberley process certificates for american rough diamond exports, the two major u.s. diamond organizations have joined forces to form the u.s. kimberley process authority. the certification entity was originally supposed to be part of jewelers of america.

Attendance Up at Hong Kong Exhibition

the hong kong international jewelry manufacturers exhibition, held nov. 7-10, 2002, hosted 8,137 visitors, 22% of whom were from outside hong kong—an increase of 30% over the previous year’s figures. the number of exhibitor booths increased from 226 to 271, up 23%. the 11th hong kong international jewelry manufacturers exhibition will be held nov.

Hearts On Fire Launches ‘WOW’ Campaign

hearts on fire has launched a $30 million, 27-month advertising campaign called “wow.” the “wow” campaign is designed to reach two audiences: the first-time buyer who may be interested in an engagement ring, and the second-time buyer who may be celebrating a special event or renewing vows. the campaign includes television, radio, and outdoor advertising.

Becker’s Donates to Charity

paul becker, owner of becker’s diamonds and fine jewelry in west hartford, conn., recently made a donation to the greater hartford capital community college foundation’s “window to the future” program. the program is designed to secure all the matching funds available to the newly established 21st-century endowment fund.


the gemological institute of america has appointed terri ottaway as curator of its museum. ottaway, who holds a master’s degree in geology from the university of toronto, has worked for 22 years in the earth sciences department of the royal ontario museum in toronto. francine trudeau has been appointed manager of the cartier boutique located at biltmore fashion park in phoenix, ariz.

Celtic Wares at the Ireland Show

the ireland show will take place april 27-29 at the embassy suites hotel in secaucus, n.j. the show will feature products from more than 200 manufacturers from ireland, scotland, wales, and england, including sweaters, jewelry, crystal, authentic gourmet treats, plus clothing, china, clocks, tableware, collectibles, candles, music, books, stationery, perfume, religious goods, and bridal and bab…

Family Business in Crisis: Letting Go

only one in three family-owned businesses survive into the second generation, and just one in eight into the third. the reasons? problems transferring business control from the older generation to children or relatives, business experts tell jck. ” ‘letting go’ is without a doubt the most difficult issue in family business operations,” says paul karofsky, director of the center for family bus…

Molina Creates Fiesta Bowl Trophy

the fiesta bowl committee selected phoenix-based molina fine jewelers to create the trophy for this college championship football game. designed by cris olson, head designer for molina, it stands nearly 4 ft. tall and weighs 200 lbs. the trophy features 2,400 diamonds set in 18k gold, sterling silver, and five shades of hand-carved marble.

A Sweet, Glittery Christmas

the diamonds were by harry winston and the chocolates by ethel m., but it was the president’s niece who got the royal treatment at an over-the-top “tree” trimming in new york. the 7-ft. tree—constructed entirely of ethel m. chocolates—was unveiled by president bush’s niece, model lauren bush, who went on to decorate the chocoholic’s dream with rare colored gemstones including a 107-ct.

Platinum Gets Special Treatment

jack gualtieri of zaffiro has a passion for creating understated elegance through creative jewelry design. with a sense of adventure and the gift of patience, he and his partner, elizabeth, mastered the use of granulation not only as a textured accent to their jewelry but also as a showcase in itself.

Have A(nother) Heart

last year’s celebrity-backed platinum heart charity promotion was so well received that the platinum guild brought back the women with heart program for a second year. women with heart pairs celebrities with top platinum jewelry manufacturers in the design and fabrication of platinum heart pendants. once designed and created, the pieces are auctioned by sotheby’s, with the proceeds going to wha…

Basel 2003 Unveils New ‘Brand Image’

the 2003 basel international watch and jewelry fair (april 2-10) will unveil a “new brand image,” including a new logo, capping three years of show expansion, improvements, and changes, says new show manager monica guarnaccia. those changes include revamping of the watch and jewelry halls; a “one show, two locations” concept (basel and zurich), effective this year; the revamped basel forum; a …

‘Failure Is Impossible’: The Story of the Suffragettes

“no self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her sex.”— susan b. anthony, 1872 by the late 1800s, women in america and england—tired of being treated as second-class citizens by their societies and governments—were fed up. they began to fight back, particularly in pursuit of women’s suffrage.

The Massoud Memorial Mining Institute

a proposal for establishing an ngo in afghanistan for the exploitation of the country’s substantial gem deposits has been proposed by gary bowersox, president of geovision in honolulu, a firm specializing in gems from afghanistan. bowersox, who for the past three decades has traveled to afghanistan every year but one—2002—says of the new ngo: “it should help increase miners’ income,…

It All Comes Back to Management

when yogi berra uttered the immortal words, “it’s déjà vu all over again,” i am certain he had neither the business world nor the jewelry industry in mind. yet here we are again looking at another major in trouble. chapter 11 trouble. i am referring, of course, to kmart. but more specifically, i am concerned about the manufacturers who supply the kmart stores.

‘Go Color!’ Poster Winner

with the ica congress declared a great success, it’s time to reveal the winning submission to the second international poster competition. the winner is denish malpani, director of gems export centre, jaipur, for his poster entitled “life is not always black & white or gray.” malpani’s poster was chosen out of almost 70 posters from 10 countries.

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.

A Rare Perfect Pearl

before it’s opened, a pearl oyster offers no clues about the treasure inside. so imagine their delight when the folks at paspaley pearls found a perfectly round 20.4-mm rose-colored south sea cultured pearl a few months ago. executive chairman nicholas paspaley pronounced the pearl “unequivocally the most exceptional gem ever harvested by paspaley pearls and possibly the finest large pearl the …

Jewelry Images for Quickbooks and Peachtree

quickbooks and peachtree users can now catalog their jewelry inventories with images. interactweb inc. offers jewelshoppro, an easy-to-use solution that allows the user to import all inventory items from quickbooks or peachtree and add images. users can create and print catalogs, invoices, memos, appraisals, job and repair envelopes, and jewelry tags.

Platinum Marketing Goes Global

the platinum guild international (pgi), the london-based marketing arm for the worldwide platinum industry, this year launches its global branding initiative, “our most significant single project” in 2003, says james courage, pgi chief executive officer. details won’t be unveiled to the trade press until may, but courage recently took time from the project to discuss it with jck.

Colibri Acquires Supplier Assests

the colibri group recently acquired the assets of gold and diamond merchants, a major fine jewelry supplier to independent jewelers. according to fred levinger, president and chief executive officer of the colibri group, “the seth thomas acquisition in 2001 has proved to be a positive addition to [our] clock and gift division, and we are hopeful that the gdm acquisition lives up to the same pro…

Moses Honored with Liddicoat Award

the gemological institute of america (gia) recently honored thomas m. moses, vice president of identification services for the gia gem trade laboratory, with the richard t. liddicoat award for distinguished achievement, the highest honor gia bestows. the award ceremony was held nov. 11 at gia’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif.

DaCosta Retires form Gesswein

gesswein has announced the retirement of daniel r. dacosta, vice president of sales, after 35 years of service. dacosta started his career with gesswein as a salesman covering new england. he rose through the ranks to become the company’s first sales manager and then vice president of sales, a position he held for the last 20 years.

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