March 1, 2006

Kay Jewelers Goes Gotham

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Grading Reports: A New Opportunity

the long-term effects of the gia-grading- report scandal remain to be experienced. many in the trade are waiting for the other shoe to drop. so far, we’ve seen the new york times and the wall street journal give the story prominent coverage. the other shoe will be if 60 minutes uses the opportunity to “expose” yet another example of dishonesty in the jewelry business.

GIA’s Problems

by the time this article is published, all kinds of things may have happened, or not, with the investigations at gia concerning its lab operations. it would make little sense to speculate on where it might all go, other than to state that the majority of the people at gia are honest, ethical, and hard working.

The Mobile Marketplace

the internet is becoming a more mobile and more personalized technology, as well as a social phenomenon. as people continue to familiarize themselves with the internet, and companies keep making portable devices that allow them to use the electronic medium freely, users in virtually any location will be able to research, discuss, and purchase products.

JCK Donates Rare Books to GIA

the gemological institute of america’s research associate al gilbertson recently searched through jck magazine’s library of gemological books on diamond cutting and realized that the valuable publications were inadequately stored. jck editor-in-chief hedda schupak asked gilbertson to pull the books and put them aside until they could decide what to do with them.

Making Margins

according to an audience of retail jewelers at the centurion jewelry show in february, margins—or lack thereof—are their biggest frustration about selling diamonds. at a two-hour seminar devoted to the topic of diamonds, 78 percent of the audience (mainly independent jewelers) said margins were the biggest diamond-related issue for their stores.

IADC Goes Global

the indo argyle diamond council has expanded to include services for retail jewelers worldwide. in addition, the organization is now promoting all jewelry categories, not just diamonds, in order to have a more diversified membership of indian manufacturers. iadc, founded in 1994 by mvi marketing ltd.

AGS Laboratories Officially Launches India Operation

ags laboratories launched its take-in window service in india on july 15, and team india celebrated the occasion with an opening reception featuring peter yantzer, executive director of ags laboratories, as the keynote speaker. ags labs has contracted gems services international and gsi gems services international pvt.

Bigger Than Three-Stone?

de beers’ diamond trading company recently unveiled its newest product concept, called journey, with heady predictions that it could prove even bigger than its blockbuster, “past, present, and future” three-stone jewelry. journey pieces will feature diamonds arranged in a graduated fashion, from smallest to largest.

AGTA Selects JCOC.net as Research Partner

the american gem trade association has selected the jewelry consumer opinion council, a division of mvi marketing ltd., as its exclusive market research partner. mvi marketing, utilizing jcoc.net, will assume selected responsibilities for the market research functions of agta. for information, call agta at (800) 972-1162, or mvi marketing ltd.

Meeus Resigns From HRD

peter meeus, managing director of antwerp’s hoge raad voor diamant—known in english as the diamond high council—has resigned from the promotional group, an apparent victim of antwerp’s internal politics as the belgian industry searches for a role in the new diamond world order. particularly acute are splits over de beers’ supplier of choice, which has drawn a clear dividing l…

AGS Labs Offers Diamond Consultation With Cut Grade Option

ags laboratories says clients now can request a combined package of the diamond quality document and a special diamond consultation that includes the cut grade. clients can still order the standard dc alone. the dc is a product for diamonds weighing 4.99 cts. or less and provides shape, weight, clarity, and color information.

Kay Jewelers Goes Gotham

kay jewelers, a retail chain located primarily in suburban malls and shopping centers, has embarked on a plan to move into urban areas. it’s most ambitious project to date is its store in midtown manhattan. the store opened in june 2005, at 136 w. 34th st., between broadway and seventh avenue across from macy’s flagship store in a high-traffic area that attracts both city residents and tourists.

Major Upgrade

visit the kay jewelers web site, and you’ll see something nontraditional for a mall-based mass-market jewelry chain. sure, there’s a box touting an “inventory clearance,” but there’s also a prominent banner boasting that every kay store now has a “diamontologist,” with degrees from the diamond council of america.

Tad Smith Named CEO of Reed Business Information

reed business information, new york, the parent company of jck magazine, has named tad smith as chief executive officer. prior to his promotion to ceo, smith was president of rbi’s media division, which in addition to jck and other retail publications includes such notable titles as variety, publishers weekly, and many more.

A JEWEL of a Project Helps Reduce HIV Risk

johns hopkins professor of epidemiology susan sherman recently developed a study that uses jewelry making to help educate and improve the lives of individuals at risk for hiv. jewel, jewelry education for women empowering their lives, pays women for six sessions, each including an hour of workshops on hiv and sexual-risk prevention and an hour of beaded jewelry instruction.

The Rising Cost of Colombian Emeralds

prices in the chart were averaged from the per-carat price range for 1.00 to 2.00 ct. sizes as reported in the guide. these prices are based on emeralds containing a moderate degree of enhancement. emeralds with a slight degree of enhancement will be priced higher. emeralds with a strong degree of enhancement require a discount.

JBT Announces Collections Help

the jewelers board of trade no longer requires members to directly notify debtors of a claim placed with jbt, via a notice-for-payment form. instead, a claim-submission form will be sent to jbt, which will directly inform the debtor that the claim has been placed and that payment should be made. in addition, members that place a claim with jbt now have direct access to claim status through the …

Whitehall Agrees to Buyout Offer

the seesaw battle to control troubled whitehall jewellers may be over. in early february, the company announced that it had reached an agreement with prentice capital management and holtzman opportunity fund to acquire the 389-store chain. the move is a blow to persistent suitor newcastle partners, the company’s leading lender, whose bid the board had smiled on just days earlier.

Customer Service

we just completed our semiannual ad sales team off-site meeting. beyond the fun of hosting our far-flung team in new york and the celebration of a successful 2005 with a terrific party for the entire staff, we also got some great business done. the theme of the meeting was a focus on what we do well (in a supercompetitive market like ours, we feel that’s the best tack to take).

Newswire

Swiss luxury watch brand Baume & Mercier celebrated its formal entry into China’s market with an evening gala in November at a Shanghai hotel overlooking the Huangpu River. More than 1,000 guests attended, including many top Asian celebrities. The agenda included a harp concert, a cigar-making workshop, fire-eaters, a fashion show, and—bringing the evening to…

FinCEN: Don’t Sweat PATRIOT Act

the industry should not fear the new anti-money-laundering rules in the patriot act, joshua kaptur, a regulatory policy specialist with the treasury department’s fincen (financial crimes enforcement network) division, told the jewelers vigilance committee’s annual luncheon. “the consensus in the international community is that [the jewelry] industry warrants regulation,” he said.

From Timepiece Fashion Accessory

one of the most vigorous segments of the u.s. watch business is the multibillion-dollar women’s watch market, spurred by the growing buying power of the woman self-purchaser. jck recently brought together top executives of leading watch brands to talk about the woman watch buyer and her impact on the market.

ORT’s Jewelry Industry Chapter Raises Funds for Students

a benefit honoring wal-mart senior vice president arthur emmanuel for the ort students in need program raised more than $500,000. emmanuel was presented with the chapter’s 2005 community achievement award and addressed the audience. sponsored by the jewelry industry chapter of american ort, the event attracted over 250 jewelers, manufacturers, diamond dealers and watch-company executives.

JA Publishes Annual Cost of Doing Business Survey

jewelers of america has released the 2005 edition of its annual cost of doing business survey, featuring financial data on ja member stores compiled from 2004. it has been published electronically and is available on cd or via e-mail. the survey is based on confidential questionnaires submitted by a sampling of ja members.

Clarification

bonni g. davis, v.p., secretary, and general counsel for finlay enterprises, asked that the article “merger will shrink finlay by over 25 percent,” jck, november 2005, p. 34 “be amended in two respects for the sake of clarity: first, while it is true that finlay anticipates the loss of approximately 190 federated departments, we still expect to be operating in over 400 federat…

Color Change vs. Alexandrite-Like

we’ve seen some gem materials at gem shows and on home-shopping tv that change color in different lighting, which are sometimes called “alexandrite-like” and other times “color change.” what’s the difference? alexandrite is famous for dramatically changing from a medium-dark vivid green in daylight (or daylight-equivalent fluorescent light) to a medium-dark …

Omega Buys JFK Inauguration Watch for $350,000

the watch president john f. kennedy wore when he was inaugurated has been auctioned for $350,000. after a fierce bidding war, swiss watch company omega was top bidder in guernsey’s dec. 15 auction, “john f. kennedy: the robert l. white collection,” held in new york city. stephen urquhart, president of omega worldwide, said, “watches are emotional purchases, and we were very de…

From Ancient to Hi-Tech at Revere’s Masters Symposium

the revere academy’s ninth annual masters symposium will host a series of workshops april 1–april 23. the academy will offer two- and five-day hands-on workshops at all levels. each year the revere academy invites world-class master jewelers and craftspeople to teach in their area of specialization.

Holiday: Mixed Month for Majors

the majors generally did well this holiday, although there were some exceptions. zale and finlay both posted slight gains, but they were below expectations. the big winners seem to be sterling and upmarket chains like tiffany and mayors:

Online Retailers Celebrate Happy Holidays

final figures were still being tallied at press time, but it’s apparent that the 2005 holiday season was a good one for online retailers. retail and luxury-goods sites enjoyed a 39 percent growth rate, yielding 16.4 million visitors in november, faster than any other internet category, according to comscore’s media metrix.

Genuine Aussie Can’ardlies

a find of gem-quality, genuinely small (can’ardly see ’em), natural-color sapphires, estimated at 14 million carats, has been discovered on a 75,000-acre private estate near ellerston, new south wales, australia, 250 km northwest of sydney. gerry manning, of manning international, new york, represents the owners of the new source in the u.

The Colombian Peso Syndrome

just as the north american emerald market was finally regaining consumer confidence, the price of colombian emeralds has gone up. but price gouging isn’t the reason. in fact, by some calculations, u.s. retailers should be paying at least 45 percent more for their goods. the problem for colombian emerald dealers is that the dollar has been weakening since january 2004, decreasing in value by …

Argyle: Small-Diamond Supply Will Continue, but Prices Will Rise

australia’s argyle mine’s decision to remain open and begin underground mining will be “very positive” for the industry, says jean-marc lieberherr, general manager of marketing for rio tinto diamonds, which owns the mine. “you have around 250,000 workers in india working almost solely on argyle diamonds,” he notes.

Appointments

gemvision corp. has appointed gary baines to direct all operations of gemvision europe ltd., the u.s. company’s newly created european division. baines will oversee all european operations, product sales, and training from the gemvision europe ltd. headquarters in leeds, england. has 22 years of experience in the jewelry industry.

Don’t let bad, boring meetings waste your time and ruin your day.

meetings are often the bane of business. they consume time and money—a two-hour meeting with eight sales associates equals two person-days—and frequently produce scant results. worst of all, they’re often boring. following are some tips to keep meetings on track and productive. preparation before any meeting begins, do the following: the meeting to pick up the pace and keep meetin…

13 Questions to Equip Your Marketing Toolbox

over the past 20 years, the growth of jewelry sales has trailed that of other luxury goods. to reverse that trend, the industry needs to utilize more of the other competitive luxury marketers’ “best practices” marketing tools and use them with greater consistency. the jewelry trade, from top to bottom, isn’t doing a good enough job of asking for the business in compellin…

AJDC Elects Revere as President

the board of directors of the american jewelry design council has elected alan revere as its next president. he will succeed ron hartgrove of houston. also elected to office were pascal lacroix as vice president, mark schneider as secretary, and susan sadler as treasurer. past presidents of the group include henry dunay, michael good, george sawyer, and susan helmich.

DCIT Introduces New Services

dcit (dataconcepts integrated technologies) has opened two new divisions offering internet and web, and marketing and advertising services. businessnet, the company’s new internet and web development division, will provide integrated web sites and online marketing that use businessmind. its sister division, businessid, offers more traditional marketing services such as branding, advertising, ca…

How Bad Negotiating Can Kill Your Brand

what kills margins, turns your products into commodities, transforms your customers into price-obsessed “bottom feeders,” and leaves them dissatisfied even though you’ve sold them your finest jewelry at the lowest possible price? the surprising answer: when your sales associates negotiate poorly.

Aaura Creates New Web Site

aaura inc., chicago, has created a new web site, the company’s fourth version, found at www.aaura.com. the new version includes a virtual showcase, which retail customers can open after receiving a link via e-mail. the company describes the feature as a “shopping cart without the actual purchase.

Crevoshay in Smithsonian

jewelry designer paula crevoshay has donated her george pendant to the smithsonian’s national museum of natural history. it was accepted into the national gem collection during a ceremony attended by crevoshay, museum director cristián samper, crevoshay’s gem-expert husband martin bell, and national gem and mineral collection curator jeffrey post.

WJA Metropolitan Chapter Has a Holiday Party

more than 120 women’s jewelry association members and guests attended the annual metropolitan holiday party held dec. 6, 2005, at bouterin, a french restaurant on new york’s east side. guests brought holiday gifts for children that were donated to the association for the advancement of the blind and retarded.

Obituary

harold howland, former mjsa executive, dies harold c. howland jr., 64, deputy executive director of the manufacturing jewelers and silversmiths (now suppliers) of america, died recently of a heart attack. howland joined mjsa in 1968 and was a key figure in the group’s expansion during the 1970s and 1980s.

GIA Scandal Not Known to Consumers, Survey Finds

despite its recent exposure in major newspapers and on cable news channels, the money-for-grades scandal at the gia lab has not penetrated the public consciousness, according to recent research by the jewelry consumer opinion council, a market research division of mvi marketing. jcoc found that 54 percent of respondents had heard of the gemological institute of america, but only 3.

Schwarzschild Celebrates Style

hollywood style makers get more than enough attention, so one richmond, va., jeweler decided to turn the spotlight on fashion plates in its own backyard. schwarzschild jewelers, a leader in recognizing the fashion/jewelry link, teamed with the valentine richmond history center’s costumes & textiles collection to hold its second “women of style” event, honoring 10 local…

Sterling Makes Changes at the Top

sterling jewelers, the second-largest u.s. retail jeweler, has reshuffled its top management: mark light has been appointed chief executive officer. light retains his current responsibilities as president and has also been appointed to board of directors of signet, sterling’s parent. william montalto sr.

LJG Makes Gift to JFC in Memory of Steve Stone

members of leading jewelers guild made a group contribution totaling $6,000 to jewelers for children, in memory of steve stone, chief executive officer of stone’s jewelers, milwaukee, who was killed in a plane crash july 20, 2005. executive director jimmy west presented the checks to jfc board member howard sherwood, president of daniel’s jewelers/southern california, and a former member and pa…

The Dark Side of Consolidation

consolidation is a key issue driving the volume-jewelry business today—on both the retail and manufacturing sides. megamergers, supplier of choice partnerships, store nameplate conversions, and new strategic alliances have dominated industry headlines in recent years. participants and proponents of consolidation point to benefits such as economies of scale, enhanced efficiencies, accelera…

Newswire

Birks & Mayors Acquires Jose HessBirks & Mayors has purchased the exclusive rights to Jose Hess’s brand name, designs, and worldwide distribution. Hess will act as a consultant and design jewelry under the Jose Hess and Birks brands as well as advise the company on the product development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of his collections.…

FBI Forms Jewelry Task Force

the fbi has formed a gate cutters task force, specifically targeting an organized criminal ring that has burglarized more than 55 mall retail jewelry stores since april 2003. the task force, composed of federal, state, and local law enforcement, will target a gang known for breaking into malls, rolling down jewelers’ security gates, prying open display cases, and removing products not locked in…

Gem Pricing

market in brief: feb. 3, 2006 … retailers report improved consumer interest in a range of colored stones. garnets, especially green and orange varieties, are in demand. green tourmaline is also selling well. jewelers report that consumers are requesting information on unusual gems like andesine and other feldspars.

Brazil’s Bold Steps

h. stern is the biggest jewelry brand in brazil and the best-known brazilian jeweler throughout the world. that status isn’t surprising—stern has dozens of stores scattered around the globe, and its jewelry adorns hollywood stars. but stern isn’t the only brazilian jeweler longing for the international limelight.

New Watch Technician Training Is AWCI’s ‘Future’

the american watchmakers-clockmakers institute is developing two programs to train entry-level “watch technicians” for jewelry and watch stores in elemental watch knowledge, jck has learned. eventually, it hopes these will counter some of the impact from the decrease in u.s. watchmakers.

Brazilian Jewelry Bares Its Soul

adding to the recent buzz about brazilian fashion and design, the gemological institute of america has put together a new exhibit called “soul of brazil,” its first international effort, to highlight both traditional and modern brazilian jewelry designs. in recent years, brazil has been distancing itself from its reputation as simply a gemstone producer, as several designers and gl…

AnchorCert Services Develops Tarnish Tests

anchorcert services of the birmingham assay office, the parent organization of the american assay & gemological office, has developed a variety of tests for silver tarnishing. the tests simulate the tarnishing accelerants that can be encountered between manufacture and point of sale and during use, including high humidity, high temperature, sulfur, perspiration, ultraviolet light, and poros…

Once Upon a Tomb

the last time the boy king of egypt, tutankhamun, showed off his jewelry collection in the united states was 1977. well, he’s back, in a new exhibit called “tutankhamun and the golden age of the pharaohs,” but he’s traveling light. “it isn’t the blockbuster exhibit from the ’70s where 50 of the best objects were displayed in the united states,” says kathryn kinev, g.

GIA School of Business Launches Bachelor’s Program

the gemological institute of america will begin granting college-level degrees through the gia school of business in september. gia is now accepting applications for the bachelor of business administration degree-completion program, which is being taught online through the institute’s distance-education curriculum.

IGI India Launches Design Course in Mumbai

the international gemological institute has launched a jewelry design course in mumbai, india. students are provided with a state-of-the-art jewelry-design kit and lab manual. course work includes illustrative methodology, design technique, fundamentals of precious metals, manufacturing techniques, jewelry merchandising, and a jewelry-design project.

Correction

in the story titled “hong kong’s bold stroke” (jck, january 2006, p. 104), two figures cited for the hong kong jewellery & watch show were incorrect. the fair attracted 1,995 exhibitors, not 3,000 as listed in the story. the show hopes to attract 3,000 exhibitors this year when it expands to a second venue.

E-Mail Campaigns: 8 Ways to Reach Customers Without Annoying Them

i’ve received a monthly e-mail newsletter from my chiropractor for nearly two years. the first one was so impersonal and poorly formatted that i never opened one again. still, it keeps coming—every month. no one in the chiropractor’s office has noticed that i don’t open it. because they haven’t removed me from their list, i perceive what they send as spam.