March 2008

The Best! The Brightest! The Jewelers Choice Awards

Company Claims It Can Inscribe Photos on Diamonds

a silicon valley company, gemory, says it has new technology that can nano-inscribe photographs on diamonds. another company, photoscribe, also says it can inscribe photos on gems, but gemory is the first to claim it can nano-inscribe multiple photos anywhere on the stone. customers can look at the photos only through a special viewer that gemory will provide.

Cyma The Next Generation

cyma, one of switzerland’s last family-owned and -operated watchmakers, is under new management—its next generation. they took over last year at its le locle headquarters and at its u.s. operation, and their plans are reinvigorating the 145-year-old company. françoise schürch-guilgot is president of cyma s.

Diamond Fund to Open This Year

diapson commodities management is planning to open its delayed diamond investment fund this year, reports say. the fund will concentrate on the biggest, most valuable stones. the fund was supposed to debut last year but was delayed because of problems with its $400 million initial public offering. the fund is sharia-compliant, a nod to its muslim backers.

Critical News Analysis

it’s getting so you don’t want to turn on the news anymore, because it’s seldom good where the economy is concerned. perhaps it’s because conventional wisdom says good news doesn’t sell. but bad news, repeated often enough, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. your college professors were right to teach you to read critically.

The Best! The Brightest! The Jewelers Choice Awards

the first annual jck jewelers choice awards drew 430 entries from manufacturers and designers of jewelry and watches and 11,052 votes from retailers. the grand prize winner [above], is a platinum ring designed by christopher designs of new york, featuring the company’s trademarked crisscut diamonds. the competition was divided into 17 product categories and 55 subcategories based on price.

Blood Diamonds in Spotlight at War Crimes Trial

the blood diamond issue took center stage at the opening of former liberian president charles taylor’s trial for war crimes at the international criminal court in the hague. the prosecution asserts that taylor drove the civil war in neighboring sierra leone, which was funded in part by sierra leone’s diamond wealth.

DTC Cuts U.S. Marketing

in a blow to the u.s. market, de beers’ diamond trading company has cut its u.s. marketing budget, and 11 people at the dtc account at jwt in new york are leaving the account. sally morrison, of jwt’s diamond information center, says the cutbacks have “to do with the perception that the u.s. market is moving to a recession and perhaps a bad one.

A Celebration!

welcome to our first annual editorial celebration of the winners of the jck jewelers choice awards! beginning on page 85, you’ll see beautiful, original editorial photography of the winners in each category. our cover features the gcal/agl grand prize winner, a platinum ring with a 5.37 ct. diamond center by christopher designs.

Courting the Next Wave of Customers

today’s teenagers are far more family oriented than their parents were at the same age. according to a recent survey by the harrison group, american teenagers’ top three passions are family, friends, and music. the survey, which polled 1,277 teens ages 13–18, was conducted in october and november of 2007.

Watch Web Sites Keep Growing

the number of watch web sites keeps growing. here are three of the most recent.

Reward the ‘How’—Not Just the Sales

a perceptual—and communications—gap between michael and management lay at the heart of this complaint. michael’s sales volume placed him among the top producers. from his perspective, all was well, and he deserved additional support. management—while appreciative of michael’s efforts—felt he was not employing several specific selling behaviors the company had introduced …

Rebecca Comes Stateside

the philosophy behind alessandro testi’s fine-jewelry brand rebecca is based on spontaneity. the brand is named after a character in an italian noir film, which testi saw only in passing and whose title he can’t remember. but the character—and her brash confidence—stuck in his memory, and she became both muse and namesake for his designs.

Fortunoff Goes Chapter 11, May Be Purchased by Lord & Taylor

the owner of the lord & taylor department store chain plans to buy fortunoff, the famed 20-store jewelry and home furnishing retailer, which has stores in new york and new jersey. nrdc, which purchased the 182-year-old lord & taylor in 2006, expects to place fortunoff merchandise in all 47 of its lord & taylor stores, as well as open a large fortunoff boutique within lord & tayl…

OK, Now What?

the result: consumer sentiment is in the tank. politicians exacerbate the problems by pointing fingers at the other party, while news anchors rattle the bars of the recession cage to drum up ratings. none of that means you won’t be open for business tomorrow, next month, or next quarter. but will you stick your head in the sand and ignore the problems—real and imagined—or cinch up …

Shigley to Receive Bonanno Award

the accredited gemologists association has announced that this year’s antonio c. bonanno award for excellence in gemology will be awarded to dr. james shigley, of the gia gem trade laboratory. shigley, a distinguished research fellow at the gemological institute of america, is the author of many articles on diamonds and other gemstones and a well-known speaker on gemological topics to …


english jewelry firm links of london launched its fine-watch collection in the u.s. market in october. watches for men and women retail for $475 to $10,000. designs are inspired by classic vintage cars. swiss luxury watch brand perrelet marked its 230th anniversary in 2007 with a limited edition of 77 numbered anniversary skeleton chronographs ($28,000 each).

Get to Know … Alexandra Hart

born in salem, mass., and currently living in san diego as a full-time metalsmith, alexandra hart has found her niche in nature. “dramatically alluring yet signally protective natural organic forms inspire me,” she says. “curvilinear or spiny shapes that create safe interior spaces intrigue me the most.

Technology Inspires a New Generation

this design was sponsored by gemvison corp., davenport, iowa. for information about gemvision products and services, visit, call (800) 357-6272, or e-mail: for information about carter’s jewel chest, visit the airy physical surroundings of the recently remodeled carter’s jewel chest, in mountain home, ark.

Sightholders Dropped for BPP Violations

six sightholders were recently dropped by de beers’ diamond trading company for alleged violations of its best practice principles, a code of ethical guidelines. according to market talk, four had been on the new sightholder list, while two already had been dropped. the six, all indian-owned firms based in antwerp, belgium, were implicated in the trial of gerard brenig, who received two years i…

Gem Pricing Report

january produced weak sales for retailers. consumer confidence slid on negative data from credit, business, and jobs reports. nevertheless, the gem market is seeing some activity. dealers report healthy demand for 2.50 ct. to 3.00 ct. round brilliants. clean, well-made stones in the f–h range are difficult to find in 2.

Tiffany Aims to Be a Leading Luxury Watch Brand

luxury jeweler tiffany & co. and its new partner, the swatch group, intend to make tiffany one of the world’s leading luxury watch brands within a decade. a 20-year pact between the two was announced in december. watches now account for 2 to 3 percent of tiffany’s total sales. tiffany’s core lines—atlas, tiffany grand, and tiffany mark—will continue, using new and current designs.

Friedman’s Jewelers Goes Chapter 11

for the second time in three years, friedman’s jewelers has gone into chapter 11, this time following a petition by its lenders to force it into chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy. the chain filed for chapter 11 in early 2005 and emerged as a reorganized company later that year. friedman’s owns 388 stores in 19 states.

Revere Hosts Annual Masters Symposium

the revere academy will hold a series of workshops during the 2008 masters symposium, april 5–27. the academy will host eight master classes taught by leading goldsmiths and other experts. japanese master metalsmith naohiro yamada will teach specialized japanese metal techniques, engraving and inlay, and an advanced class that combines both techniques.

Reading Tea Leaves

one has to wonder about the gurus in the financial market. all through the latter half of last year, most were saying the economy was sound and chances of a recession were low. either they’re inept, or they lied to keep the public from fulfilling a recession prophecy—maybe both. we saw real declines starting last summer, and we knew it wasn’t an aberration.

Speaking Out

manos phoundoulakis, ceo of select source in santa monica, calif., speaks about palladium and platinum. “so there is a new cockamamy alloy—palladium—out to make jewelry with. it is value-driven and is almost something it is not (but for less money). it looks like platinum, works like platinum, smells and tastes like platinum, but is way cheaper than platinum.

Six Steps Toward World-Class Service

today’s business environment is increasingly complex and competitive because of globalization, new technology, product proliferation, brand erosion, market segmentation, consumer skepticism, and time poverty. these developments have rendered traditional business plans obsolete. for nearly every product or service, there are an overwhelming number of choices, leaving consumers confused.

The Sky Is Not Falling

when you pick up a newspaper or magazine today you’ll see a wide variety of discouraging reports about society in general and business in particular. the same observation applies to television and radio. with 24/7 cable news channels, we receive instant analysis all day and all night, over and over. perhaps it’s the constant repetition that begins to wear away any notion of a different perspect…

Gem Labs Introduce New Ruby ID Nomenclature

by definition, red transparent corundum is ruby. but in some glass-filled specimens, the filling not only masks fractures but also acts as an adhesive to hold the stone together. now the new york gemstone association is raising the alarm over disclosure. nyga president benjamin hakimi writes, “the board of directors of the new york gemstone association, representing 37 wholesale gemstone…

Unleash Your Enthusiasm

when you greet a customer, don’t rely on the typical “can i help you find something?” instead, try a greeting like this: “our buyers just received these brand-new styles of earrings (pendants, rings, etc.). we haven’t even put them out yet. i’d like your opinion of them.” including the customer in the process makes them feel important.

Precious Metal for Precious Moments

[part three of a three-part series on manufacturing seamless tubing and design and production methods for palladium wedding bands made from it.] established in the 1900s, the lieberfarb company built a reputation on exclusive manufacture of precious plain wedding bands. mark schonwetter purchased the company from the lieberfarb family in 1971 and expanded the product line with several new desig…

Breil Milano Sponsors America’s Cup Entry

breil milano is sponsoring team shosholoza, the south african challenger for the 33rd international america’s cup yachting competition. it’s also official timekeeper and official supplier, and will provide a new line of watches, designed for use during regattas. the breil milano for team shosholoza collection (including watches, jewelry, and eyewear), which is inspired by the bright…

Capital Offensive

first lady laura bush was impressed. “i applaud the jewelers of america … in this important effort,” she said in her nov. 16 statement denouncing burma’s suppression of democratic freedoms and praising ja’s lobbying to bar imported burmese gems. her comments illustrate ja’s impact in washington, d.

Principles of Sales Management, Part 1

last month we discussed my philosophy of sales management. this month we get more specific and look at the first eight of 16 principles of sales management. next month we’ll examine the other eight. 1. manage your people individually. to be a successful sales manager, you cannot manage your people in groups.

SIHH Becomes Autonomous

the annual international luxury watch show salon international de la haute horlogerie, in geneva, is now autonomous. the decision was made by the council of the fondation de la haute horlogerie, which has operated it, at its annual december meeting. an exhibitors committee has been created, on which each of the 16 exhibiting brands—its main investors—are represented.

Aurora Collection Dawns in London

the london museum of natural history’s new permanent gallery, the vault, which opened in late november, brings together crystals, gems, rare metals, and meteorites. alongside the museum’s permanent collection are loans from private collectors, including the aurora collection of fancy colored diamonds, on loan from diamond collectors alan bronstein and harry rodman.

Vying for ‘Watch of the Year’

which timepiece was 2007’s watch of the year? a number of brands laid claim at year’s end. german luxury watchmaker a. lange & söhne was named by two austrian publications, the daily newspaper die presse and business magazine format, for its lange 31 and grand saxonia automatik watches. swiss luxury watchmaker vacheron constantin won the annual watch of the year prize of swiss watch m…

Wunderman Replaces Orloff as Corum USA President

michael wunderman, formerly president of luxury watch brand montres corum, in january replaced stacie orloff as president of corum usa, in an unexpected restructuring of top management. orloff had been president of corum usa, based in irvine, calif., since its founding in 2000. two new top posts—vice president of sales and vice president of operations, duties formerly under orloff’s purv…

Tiffany Chairman: We’re in a ‘Good Place’

in an exclusive interview, tiffany chairman michael kowalski talked with jck about his company’s business, including last year’s disappointing christmas sales. kowalski’s thoughts on the fair trade study his company’s foundation is funding will appear in jck’s green issue next month. why do you think the company’s christmas sales were mixed? we are still sorting that out.

Harry Winston, Chopard Expand Watch Operations

two luxury jewelers that are well-established watchmakers are expanding their production capacities. harry winston opened a new watchmaking facility, with 100 employees, in december in the plan-les-ouates, geneva. an industrial wing houses production processes, and a commercial wing houses design, sales, marketing and communications, security, it, finance, and human resources.

Keeping Time, Staying in Style

tissot knows what a woman wants—diamonds. but what about ladies who rush rather than lunch? tissot has them covered, too. the t-touch danica patrick limited edition watch—named for professional race-car driver danica sue patrick—adds the elegance of diamonds to everyday timekeeping to offer women a cross between sleek fashion and casual luxury.

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