March 2010

Jewelry's Best Dressed Jewelers Choice Awards

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The Ethics of Gold

issue 1: conflict gold background the conflict in the democratic republic of congo has had a higher profile ever since secretary of state hillary clinton’s trip to that country last summer. the ongoing war there is considered one of the world’s worst, with gruesome reports of rape, sexual violence, and other atrocities.

Just Say No to Discounting

the prolonged recession has affected the jewelry industry in numerous areas, and one of the biggest is pricing. deep discounting used to be the domain of jewelry chains and mass merchants, but today many independent jewelers also discount to appease cost-conscious consumers who have learned to seek out sales.

New York Anti-Crime Network Grows

the new york jewelers crime alert network has added more than 100 subscribers since its formation in december. the network, formed at the request of jewelers’ security alliance, is a free service to the jewelry industry, open to members of the jewelry industry and law enforcement. jewelers who experience a crime or suspicious incident in the new york city area are encouraged to contact the netw…

Jewelry Shoppers: The Next Generation

award-winning jewelry designer genevieve yang, who’s 23, recalls the time she took some friends to see jewelry at a high-end department store. “they’re like crawling out of their skin because of the attitude that’s portrayed,” she says of the treatment she and her friends received from snooty sales personnel.

Sentiment Upbeat at Centurion

the sentiment among exhibitors and attendees at the ninth annual centurion jewelry show was upbeat and in general 180 degrees different from one year ago. don and dorothy vodicka, of the gem collection, tallahassee, fla., said their january 2010 sales were up considerably over last year, while steffany shelton of kenneth edwards fine jewelers, little rock, ark.

Gem Pricing Report

buying patterns observed at the february gem shows in tucson, ariz., indicate that buyers were purchasing for inventory. this change in retailer attitude is a positive sign and indicates that sales, although slow during 2009, have lowered inventory levels. buyers remained price conscious. market activity continues to signal strengths and weaknesses.

Book Smarts

how to be a fierce competitor: what winning companies and great managers do in tough times by jeffrey j. fox jossey-bass, $19.95 (256 pages) fox (how to become a rainmaker) explores the best practices of fierce competitors and how they gain market share, seize opportunity, and win when the stakes are the highest.

Taking Basic Jewelry Shots

a picture is worth a thousand words. but getting good images of jewelry can cost thousands of dollars. there’s a vast gap between the magic professional jewelry photographers can work and an amateur’s images. with a few basic steps, however, you can capture some decent images with any quality digital camera.

Draw Customers With Contests

contests can boost your customer database, including e-mail addresses. marketingsherpa (www.marketingsherpa.com) shares a case study on how one company doubled the size of its e-mail list in eight months. the campaign, implemented by coolcomputerbags.com, was for a monthly computer bag giveaway. the strategy was to keep costs low while targeting top prospects with a relevant offer.

Déjà Vu?

just when you thought it was safe to buy diamonds again, here comes zimbabwe. diamonds from zimbabwe come from three areas, two mined by large companies that are compliant with the kimberley process. the third, marange, was discovered in 1986 by de beers, which never developed the claim and in 2006 relinquished mining rights.

Reading Tea Leaves

while the technocrats have declared the recession statistically over, the american consumer will be a dyspeptic lagging indicator making for a sluggish, choppy retail economy. as you negotiate the next 18 months, there are many important issues to be aware of and plan for. those traditional drivers of jewelry purchasing, the baby boomers, are aging out of their prime earning and spending window…

Is Lazare Kaplan in Financial Fix?

what is going on with lazare kaplan? that’s what the industry wants to know after lki, the only u.s. diamond company that is public, filed a series of perplexing financial reports, which show disputes with its banks, million-dollar insurance claims, and the possibility of being delisted from the new york stock exchange.

For A Good Cause

mikelle terson likes elephants. the force behind six-year-old mikelle designs is fond of them for their affiliation with yoga (ganesha is the hindu elephant god of education, knowledge, wisdom, and wealth) and from lessons with an indian mentor—a scholar of yoga and indian philosophy. “he told me, ‘if you are ever in trouble, telepathically call on an elephant,'” she recalls.

Zale CEO Resigns

zale corp. has switched ceos again, the fifth time it has done so since the year 2000. the company announced in january that neal goldberg, chief executive officer since december 2007, had resigned, along with relatively recent hires william acevedo, chief stores officer, and mary kwan, chief merchandising officer.

People

coming + going clark mcewen was appointed marketing manager of rio tinto diamonds. mcewen has worked at bhp and gemesis. kassoy announced that catherine dunbar will be the company’s new marketing coordinator, responsible for marketing, communications, and creative initiatives. dror galili was recently appointed vice president, business development, of almod diamonds, as well as regional directo…

The Art of Jewelry Store Success

opportunity doesn’t always knock. sometimes it sticks its head in the doorway and asks a question. that’s what happened a couple of years ago to harris botnick, president and co-owner (with his wife, geri) of worthmore jewelers, in atlanta. they were preparing to open a second store in decatur, ga., on the site of a former art gallery.

By the Numbers!

the main reason businesses fail is because they are managed based on opinions rather than facts. the main reason salespeople fail is because they are managed based on opinions rather than facts. i will go to the grave believing that people, in general, are good. nobody accepts a job wanting or expecting to fail.

Deb Schecter

location and contact dyanne belle, new york; (212) 472-5839; www.dyannebelle.com. signature style and inspiration modern interpretations of styles—particularly cocktail rings—from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, showcasing earthy, imperfect stones like agate and rainbow moonstone, accented with diamonds.

JCK Industry Fund Distributes Grants

jck events and jck magazine have announced the six organizations that have been awarded jck industry fund grants for this year:

Sell Them Both

here’s a short quiz: what happens when two customers come into your store together? do your salespeople (a) find out who the buyer is and sell only that customer? (b) ignore the friend because he or she could ruin the sale? (c) try to sell them both? the correct answer is (c), but i bet you answered (a) or (b).

Seeking Answers

it was expected that industry conversations after the turn of the year would address prospects for 2010. it’s no surprise that answers are hard to come by. the trade continues to contract. according to one analysis, the number of retail operations fell by 2.5 percent for 2009, a net loss of about 600.

Zale Changes CEO, but for How Long?

zale veterans are anxiously watching events at the famed retailer, with most saying something’s got to give. (see related story on page 19.) the current interim ceo, theo killion, has a human resources background, and many observers think he’ll likely be replaced. in addition, gil hollander, while highly regarded as a supply chain manager, does not have much experience at merchandising or marke…

5: Twitter Time Savers

a question i am often asked by “twitter gems” readers who e-mail and tweet me is: how do you find enough hours in the day to twitter? the answer: it’s not easy, but there are time-saving applications to help you stay up to date with twitter activity, and designers continue to develop ways to improve functionality.

Industry

companies di-modell has signed a contract with the new owners of speidel for them to become the exclusive distributor of di-modell products in the u.s. hoover & strong opened its new york sales office in the winston building at rockefeller center. the office will be staffed by hoover & strong employee larry bock, along with former keystone findings salesman and industry veteran steve pa…

CAD 101 for Jewelers

for many jewelers, getting into computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing is a no-brainer. it’s a cost-effective, efficient way to produce high-quality jewelry designs, whether one-of-kind works or mass-produced products. but, as with most things, the hardest part is getting started. to help, jck spoke with two jewelry designers who work with cad/cam and who teach automated jewelry des…

When Will They Ever Learn?

there’s a line in the song “where have all the flowers gone” (written by pete seeger and recorded in the 1960s by the kingston trio and peter, paul, and mary) that concludes with the title of this column. actually, the line is sung twice every time it’s used in the song. so, i’ll repeat it as well. when will they ever learn? the message is directed to those in dallas who recently asked neal gol…

Jewelry’s Best Dressed Jewelers Choice Awards

roll out the red carpet! the winning designs of jck’s third annual jewelers choice awards are ready for their close-up. this year 233 entries from jewelry designers and manufacturers were submitted, and retailers declared their favorites in 18 categories. taking top honors as the grand-prize winner is a multicolored gemstone and rhodolite beaded necklace from bellarri.

Gen Y on the Job

young people coming out of high school and college are part of generation y, a group ranging from preteens to around 30 years of age. also known as millennials, they’re fast-paced, team-oriented, and constantly connected through cell phones and social networks. jewelers who hire millennials can take advantage of those characteristics, says jan ferri-reed, coauthor of keeping the millennials: wh…