March 1, 2004

Watches! Who Needs 'Em?

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Philadelphia Jeweler Receives Rare Distinction

jewelers of america (ja) has awarded philadelphia jeweler bernard d’ascenzo sr. the designation of certified master bench jeweler (cmbj), the highest level in its bench jeweler certification program. d’ascenzo is only the sixth jeweler in pennsylvania—and the 106th in the nation—to receive the distinction.

Designers Donate Signature Pieces to GIA

internationally renowned jewelry designers stephen webster, tamara comolli, katey brunini, and paula crevoshay each have donated a signature gift to the gemological institute of america (gia). the four new custom pieces will become part of the gia signature collection, one of several themed collections on display in the exhibit “from the vault: gifts to our collection” featured in the mikimoto …

Design Discovery

it isn’t always easy for two designers to work together—but when two manage to hit their stride, the result can be stellar. such is the case with london-based lawrence luikham. a collaborative effort of goldsmith adrian lawrence and designer yoyala luikham, lawrence luikham takes traditional jewelry designs and gives them a contemporary flair.

Designing an In-Store Line, Part 2: The Design Process

in terms of jewelry, the word “design” can be defined as “the development of beautiful, practical, original, wearable art, according to a plan.” that plan is outlined by the list of key points we reviewed in last month’s article: keep your own list handy for reference, along with a notebook. organize your workspace with tools that will be helpful in your task.

Stuller To Host GIA Extension Classes In March

the gemological institute of america’s extension classes are returning to lafayette, la., in march at the stuller inc. headquarters. scheduled classes include diamond grading (march 8-12), gem identification (march 15-19), colored stone grading (march 22-24), and pearl grading (march 25). as was the case last year, this will be the only time gia’s extension instructors, along with specialized g…

I.G. de Madagascar Progress Report

“great progress has been made in the creation of the institut de gemmologie de madagascar,” says gem dealer tom cushman, who also is a consultant to madagascar’s government. cushman, who makes several purchasing trips to madagascar every year, is also helping the people of that country establish a modern gem industry there.

GIA School of Business Online

gia’s school of business courses, previously offered only on campus in carlsbad, calif., are now available online. this coincides with the recent announcement of gia’s new jewelry business management diploma, which is earned upon the successful completion of eight courses—four required courses and four electives.

Accusations Cloud Franck Muller Watchland

the start of 2004 was bumpy for swiss luxury watch firm franck muller watchland s.a., whose brands include franck muller, pierre kunz, and european company watch. a dispute between watchmaker franck muller and vartan sirmakes, who co-founded the company in 1991, helped spark a government investigation and delay the company’s first stock offering.

WJA Awards $9,700 In Member Grants

the women’s jewelry association (wja) member grant program recently awarded $9,700 to 19 of its members. the program aims to provide a financial contribution for ongoing education that will empower women in the jewelry, watch, and related industries. member grants are available to all female wja members.

Making Weaves

in the 18th and early 19th centuries, pearl jewelry was composed of natural or early cultured pearls, usually strung on horsehair. but because horsehair eventually breaks and disintegrates, 18th- and 19th-century estate pearl pieces usually need to be rewoven, which requires the services of a pearl weaver.

Vogan Gets USFSA Contract

for the second consecutive year, the united states figure skating association (usfsa) has contracted with vogan gold & silverworks inc. to produce the 2004 world and national figure skating championship pins. along with a medal, each winning skater also receives a radix pin that is a miniature replica of the blade from a figure skate—the figure skating equivalent of a super bowl ring&…

Neil Lane Launches Wholesale Line

a jeweler best known for dressing a-listers for the red carpet is embarking on a wholesale jewelry venture. neil lane, the brooklyn-boy-turned-hollywood-hit, is focusing on what first drew him into the jewelry business—vintage and antique designs. drawing inspiration from the collection he has been building over his lifetime, lane will focus on diamonds, platinum, and precious stones, usu…

Jewels Raise Funds for Shelter Inc.

m.j. miller & co., along with several jewelry designers, recently hosted an “under the big top” fundraising event to benefit shelter inc., an organization helping abused and neglected children. since 1975 shelter inc. has led the response to the problems of child mistreatment in the north and northwest suburbs of chicago.

Russian Buys Forbes Fabergé Collection

the forbes collection of fabergé—including nine imperial easter eggs—has been sold to russian industrialist victor vekselberg, who said he intends to return the collection to russia. before the collection leaves, highlights will go on public exhibition at sotheby’s in new york. terms of the sale, which were negotiated by sotheby’s on behalf of the forbes family, were not relea…

Audemars Piguet Helps Raise Funds for Afghanistan

swiss luxury watch brand audemars piguet recently co-sponsored a star-studded benefit that raised $700,000 for the afghanistan world foundation (awf). also during the gala, world champion boxer muhammad ali was honored for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of that country’s children. “time to give to afghanistan,” was held in december at the st.

JVC: PATRIOT Act Won’t Hurt Overseas Suppliers

contrary to some reports, the new usa patriot act will not prevent american retailers from doing business with overseas suppliers, jewelers vigilance committee executive director cecilia gardner said recently. to comply with the patriot act, jvc recommends that retailers get information on every company—foreign or domestic—with which they do business, including the firm’s name, tel…

DTC Publishes Sightholder List

the guessing game is over. the diamond trading company has published its first-ever list of sightholders, featuring 84 names and three industrial clients. the dtc also will highlight the names in a directory to be published later this year. “[the sightholder list] includes a wide range of differing business models, including both large and small players, manufacturing and dealing-orientated b…

Rocket Redbox Has New Catalog

a new catalog is available from rocket redbox featuring paper, metal, and wood boxes; paper goods; gift items; and displays. for a copy of the catalog, call rocket redbox at (800) 762-5521 or visit www.rocketbox.com.

Old Dogs

consider these facts: the median age for marriage in the united states is 27. the oldest members of “generation y” (also called “echo boomers” or “millennials”) are turning 25 this year. generation y numbers 71 million and could reach 100 million over the next decade. nina lawrence, publisher of bride’s and modern bride magazines, presented a seminar on the echo boom bridal consumer to atte…

Revere Academy Holds Seventh Masters Symposium

loop-in-loop chains, plique-à-jour enameling, “all about hinges,” “cold connections,” chasing, engraving, and saw piercing are just some of the subjects offered during revere academy’s 2004 masters symposium, to be held april 5-25. the academy will host a series of 12 workshops taught by master craftspeople from across the country.

Pilot’s Watches Take Off

the popularity of oversized watches and the 2003 centenary of the wright brothers’ first successful flight have renewed interest in the pilot’s watch, which marks its own 100th birthday in 2004. pilot’s watches originally were created to meet the needs of aviators, both professional and amateur. but in recent decades, the watches also have become popular with consumers who enjoy multi-technical…

Surname for New Gemstone

saturated orangy-pink cesium-rich beryl from madagascar isn’t just another pretty pink morganite, according to the international mineralogical association (ima). because of its unique properties, the new gem is its own mineral, a new beryl variety called pezzottaite (pronounced “pe-zo-ta-ite”). drs. henry hänni and michael krzemnicki of the swiss gemological institute (ssef) discovered the…

De Beers Raises Diamond Prices

effective with the january sight, de beers has announced an average 3% jump in diamond prices. “most prices will rise with the average,” the company said. a statement noted that “demand for diamond jewelry improved in [the second half of] 2003, and expectations are for healthy growth in 2004. in addition, the decline in the dollar over the last six months has had a significant impact, decreasi…

Relios Honored As One Of Top N.M. Companies

relios inc., a jewelry manufacturer based in albuquerque, n.m., ranked seventh out of all privately owned manufacturing companies on the 2003 new mexico private 100 list. bank of america, grant thornton llp, and the albuquerque journal business outlook initiated the annual listing in 1988 to acknowledge the important contributions of private companies to the economy of new mexico and to pro…

Fair Game

watches are effective money-makers for a sizable number of jewelers, many of whom cultivate that business with in-store watch fairs. almost one in six u.s. jewelers (18%) now hosts a watch show at least once a year, according to a new jck national poll, and a third of those do it twice or more—a few as often as eight times a year.

There They Go Again

a number of moments in presidential debates over the years have been memorable. president clinton’s comment about “feeling your pain” is one, and vice presidential candidate lloyd bentson’s remark that opponent dan quayle was “no jack kennedy” is another. and ronald reagan’s flippant “there you go again” to president jimmy carter has become a catchphrase in american politics.

Cast Six-Prong Setting

this cast ring from stuller features an interesting design in which the shank flows directly into the six prongs of the setting. the prongs are square in cross-section, and slightly thicker than normal. unlike most prong settings, which are conical or flared at the top, the prongs in this design run straight up and down.

Diamond Jewelry Sales Up in 2003

2003 was a very good year for the diamond industry, with u.s. sales of diamond jewelry up 5%, de beers said recently. the company said that global retail sales of diamond jewelry were up 5% in local currencies (6% in dollars), with strong performances not only from the united states but also from india, china, and the united kingdom.

Microsoft Launches ‘Smart’ Watches

microsoft early this year launched its new “spot” watches, which display customized, up-to-date information such as weather, sports, and news. the “smart” timepieces, developed by the software giant in conjunction with the watch brands citizen, fossil, and suunto, were originally scheduled to go on sale in the fall of 2003.

Bel-Oro Expands

bel-oro international, a new york-based importer and distributor of fine gold and jewelry products to major retail customers, has acquired the majority of assets of t. sardelli & sons, based in providence, r.i. sardelli is one of the largest u.s.-based producers of gold earrings. bel-oro will take over part of the sardelli operations in providence and maintain a packaging and distribution …

U.S. Jeweler Creates ‘Mars Time’ Watch for JPL

what time is it on mars? that’s an important question for the jet propulsion laboratory’s mars team, overseeing the u.s. spirit and opportunity missions, and it’s been successfully answered by a california jeweler/watchmaker. scores of engineers and scientists must constantly work on “mars time”—where days are 39 minutes longer than on earth (an extra 1.

‘Nyala’ Ruby from Malawi

there’s a new production of ruby and orange-to-pink sapphire from malawi, and the man most noted for creating trademark gem names—eric braunwart of columbia gem house in vancouver, wash.—has added this one to his all-natural trademark list. braunwart, who has trademarked such names as “grape garnet,” “tashmarine,” “imperial diopside,” and “fire citrine” as well as “spice pearls” and…

CJA Names Rossana Aguilar Exec Director

rossana aguilar was appointed executive director of the california jewelers association, effective dec. 1, 2003. aguilar had shared executive director duties with noel cheney, who resigned to open her own retail store. during that time aguilar worked out of the los angeles office while cheney established a new office in northern california.

Soft Focus

let’s face it: no matter how beautiful it may be, uncomfortable jewelry doesn’t make sense. nothing is promised a lifetime in the jewel box faster than a necklace that stabs a woman in the neck or chin, earrings that poke her in the cheek with each turn of the head, or a ring that slices skin on the surrounding fingers.

AGS to Celebrate 70 Years of Leadership at Conclave Atlanta

leading jewelry designers, manufacturers, retailers and gemological educators will gather in atlanta for the american gem society’s 2004 international conclave march 31 through april 3 at the hyatt regency on peachtree street. this year’s theme, “celebrating 70 years of leadership – from the shipley dream to the ags vision,” will feature a look back through the years, from the 1930s to t…

Watches! Who Needs ‘Em?

american jewelers have a curious love/hate relationship with watches. according to a new jck national poll of hundreds of jewelers, 91% sell timepieces, and some make good money doing it. many of them, however, sell watches only because they have to, not because they want to or because they think they’re profitable.

New Version Of CAD/CAM Software Released

vision numeric has released the latest version of its cad/cam software—typeedit 2003+. typeedit allows the user to create 3-d images from 2-d artwork. logos and patterns can be imported from other file formats, and customized 3-d textures can be created and applied to any type of material. the design and machining modules are integrated so there’s no need to import, export, or go back and…

Packaging the Brand

if you don’t believe the package is a vital extension of your store’s brand, just think of the “little blue box.”the little blue box (trademarked as “tiffany blue”) is synonymous with tiffany, one of the oldest and most successful brands in the world of luxury goods. because of that box and the brand it represents, tiffany can charge a premium for its products, and consumers will happily pay it.

Father’s Day Payday

gold-plated cigars and golf balls. as some moms get gold-plated roses, gold-plated cigars seem fitting for dads. in fact, pat gilmore of dunbar jewelers, yakima, wash., was pleasantly surprised during a recent father’s day period when he sold four gold-plated cigars from stock and ordered six more at $50 each.

Obituary: Paul W. Nordt Jr., 89

paul w. nordt jr., known to many as “grandpa nordt,” and “the chief,” died on jan. 18, 2004. he resided with his wife, lois, in roanoke, va., and would have celebrated his 90th birthday next month. nordt was born in newark, n.j., on feb. 28, 1914, and he and his three brothers grew up in the neighboring town of east orange.

PATRIOT Act To Be ‘Easy’ for Industry

the treasury department wants the new usa patriot act rules to be as painless as possible for the jewelry industry, says william langford, senior policy advisor to the financial crimes enforcement network at the united states treasury. langford spoke about the new rules during the jewelers vigilance committee’s annual luncheon held recently.

Sengelin-Ritter is New Director of BaselWorld

there were sudden changes in january in the management of the baselworld watch and jewelry show, the world’s largest watch trade fair. sylvie sengelin-ritter was named the new show director of baselworld by mch swiss exhibition ltd., owners and operators of the annual spring trade fair in basel, switzerland.

Rocket Welcomes New Team Member

dana permann has joined rocket jewelry box as vice president of product development. permann served as director of store development for samuels jewelers for the last three years. her new responsibilities include visual merchandising and packaging design and procurement.

Three Companies Relocate

shogun trading co. has moved to new offices at 2 gannett drive, suite 101, white plains, ny 10604. ice-tek has opened its new corporate headquarters and showroom at 590 fifth ave., suite 501, new york, ny 10036. the telephone number remains (212) 354-4140. international time products inc. has expanded and relocated its corporate offices to 485 underhill blvd.

Rx for Survival: Treat the Causes, Not the Symptoms

problems—in business or anywhere else—can be solved only by getting to the roots of the problems. flailing away at the leaves only produces compost fodder. in the medical world, those leaves are called symptoms. but doctors treat symptoms of a disease only when the cause is unknown. in the financial world, we often see symptoms such as low cash, low net profits, or both.

Obituary: Dennis Schonborn, CJA Member

the consolidated jewelers association of greater new york inc. (cja) sadly announces the passing of past president and executive director dennis schonborn . schonborn grew up in the jewelry business, working alongside his parents in their store on staten island and later taking over the business. he served as president of the cja from 1986 to 1993, and as executive director from 1993 to the p…

Obituary: Teddi Colaprete

teddi colaprete of phillips jewelers inc., st. marys, pa., died in december following an automobile accident. donations in her memory may be made to elk county catholic high school, st. marys, or seneca highlands iu9 school, smethport, pa.

Reuge Names Cavadini VP Of Sales

reuge music sa has appointed yves cavadini to the position of vice president of sales at the sainte-croix, switzerland-based company. cavadini has extensive experience in international sales, marketing, and management in the watch industry. he worked for 10 years with the richemont group, where he directed international sales efforts and developed a training program for the renowned baume &am…

Cruickshank Promoted At AJM

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) has announced the promotion of alan cruickshank to advertising director of the association’s ajm magazine. cruickshank previously served as an ajm account executive, handling advertising sales in the new england and great lakes regions.

Dynamite Report from Colombia

until november 2003, sales of colombian emeralds had been steady, reports ron ringsrud, a wholesaler of colombian emeralds with bases in saratoga, calif., and bogotá, colombia. in the fall of 2003, ringsrud reported from the colombian capital that emerald sales were strong, with colombian exporters and international buyers downtown gearing up for the holidays.

New catalog from Arch crown

a newly revised 48-page catalog and product index is available from arch crown. there are a variety of new products including an expanded line of thermal transfer bar code tags, printers, and scanners. the catalog and samples are available free of charge from arch crown; call (800) 526-8353 or visit www.

Levinson Jewelers and Soraya ‘Race For The Cure’

levinson jewelers, plantation, fla., hosted an event in december 2003 featuring latin singer/songwriter soraya. the event focused on the importance of breast cancer awareness and education, especially among hispanic women. each attendee made a $100 donation to the susan g. komen foundation and was entered in a raffle to win a pink sapphire necklace created especially for soraya by jewelry desig…

Everlast To Launch Men’s Fine Jewelry Line

everlast worldwide inc., a new york manufacturer, marketer, and licensor of sporting goods and apparel under the everlast brand name, has entered into a licensing agreement with new york city-based miles bernard inc. for the development of a line of men’s fine jewelry for the u.s. marketplace. the line will include necklaces, bracelets, rings, cufflinks, and belt buckles.

Rose Jewelers Joins The JA 100 Club

jewelers of america (ja) recently inducted rose jewelers of la crosse, wis., into the ja 100 club, established to honor retail jewelry stores that have been in continuous operation for a century or longer. rose jewelers, currently a fifth-generation family business, was established in downtown la crosse in 1856.

Silly Rabbit, Charms Are for Grown-ups!

a collaboration between food giant general mills and michigan-based jewelry manufacturer casa d’oro is bringing some all-time favorite television characters from the breakfast table to the jewelry store. among the morning-meal icons that will be available are the trix rabbit, sonny the cuckoo bird, lucky the leprechaun, boo berry, count chocula, and frankenberry.

Industry Bankers To Be Honored By UJA-Federation

the diamond, jewelry, and watch division of the uja-federation of new york will honor anna martin of abn amro bank n.v., jeff e. pfeffer of bank leumi usa, and irene spector of j.p. morgan chase & co. on march 31 at its annual awards dinner in manhattan. the three will receive the award of excellence for their service to the industry and their support of charitable causes.

De Beers the Defendant

de beers’ attorneys must be working overtime these days. the company is finding itself in the middle of a number of legal actions and investigations including three class-action suits, one lawsuit that de beers has already lost, and continued problems with the european union. the irony is that de beers today may be more compliant with the law and international business norms than it’s ever been.

Report Links Diamonds and Terrorism

another government report has linked diamonds and terrorism. a report from the government accounting office (gao), the investigative arm of congress, says that terrorist groups like al qaeda continue to launder money in diamonds. “diamonds are easily smuggled because they have high value and low weight and are untraceable and odorless,” the report says.

Diamond Links Collection Releases New Catalog

a new catalog from manufacturer and wholesaler diamond links collection features contemporary and traditional designs in diamond jewelry. to receive a catalog, fax the company at (213) 622-2624 or e-mail: info@diamondlc.com.

GIA Kicks Off Museum Lecture Series In March

the gemological institute of america’s (gia) 2004 museum lecture series, “gems and jewelry brought to light,” opens march 17 with a seminar on gem discoveries and their impact on jewelry design. presented by christie romero, a well-known antique jewelry historian, gemologist, lecturer, instructor, and consultant, “gems and jewelry: a timeline of discoveries and techniques” will present insight…

Chicago Diamond Center Moves

after 20 years in the wabash jewelers building, chicago diamond center, a family-owned jeweler, has moved to the historic pittsfield building, now home to more than 30 fine jewelers. built in 1927 and granted landmark status in 2002, the 38-story professional office building exhibits the unique characteristics of those skyscrapers that first began to shape the windy city’s distinctive skyline i…