March 2012

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Industry & People: March 2012

HONORED >>?At the Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s Jan. 6 luncheon at New York City’s ­Waldorf-Astoria, the JVC honored Aron Suna with its Stanley Schechter Award for his service to the group. REMEMBERED >>?Gemstone expert and inventor of the GemDialogue color description system Howard Rubin died Jan. 17 at age 86. >>?Stephen R. Halo, a retired designer…

Near-Perfect Cartier Multicolor Conch Pearls Fetch $1.1 Million

Purists might be tempted to put quotation marks around the word pearl when referring to the rare conch pearl, owing to the gem’s lack of a nacreous coating, but there’s no doubt that in a value hierarchy, the pearlescent product of the queen conch (pronounced konk) would top the pyramid. Found primarily in the waters…

Gold: Jeweler Angelique Knafo Wins Three Liz Taylor Pieces at Christie’s Auction

Eye on the Prizes When Angélique Knafo, designer and co-owner behind 15-year-old American brand Angélique de Paris, heard about Christie’s auction of the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor in late 2011, one thought came to mind: “I wouldn’t want to be bidding against me,” she tells JCK. The Liz Taylor fan—Knafo bought her book Elizabeth Taylor:…

Diamonds: A Lazare Kaplan Lawsuit, Petra’s New Blue

Lazare Battle New York City sightholder Lazare Kaplan on Dec. 23 launched a long-threatened lawsuit against Antwerp Diamond Bank in United States district court, Southern District of New York. The suit stems from a $135 million joint Angolan diamond deal the company undertook with another sightholder, Antwerp-based Israeli dealer Erez Dale­yot, owner of D.D. Manufacturing.…

Gem Pricing Report: Up, Up & Away

A lack of fine ruby and other in-demand gems drives prices higher than ever in Tucson The Tucson gem shows received mixed results from exhibitors. Attendance was lower than expected, but with no new gemstone product to generate the drive that has brought retailers to Tucson in the past, this was not surprising. One of…

From Mine to Store: Parmigiani’s Dragon and the Pearl of Wisdom

Many watchmakers have paid tribute to the dragon this year, but few with the panache of Swiss brand Parmi­giani, whose Dragon and the Pearl of Wisdom is the latest addition to its Tempus fugit collection. The piece tells the ancient Chinese tale of a carp struggling upriver to reach the emperor before being transformed into…

Designers & Retailers Dissect the Jewelry Biz

Last year, it was ­Manhattan. This time, our ­roundtable ­convenes in L.A., where no topic—from diamonds to ­discounts, from sales to ­salespeople—is off-limits for these jewelers and store owners. On a sunny afternoon in early February, I had the privilege of sitting down with eight Los Angeles–based retailers and designers at the Avalon Hotel, a…

Fresh Faces: Up-and-Coming Jewelry Lines to Stock Right Now

Attention must be paid: 10 designer collections worth discovering Name recognition can mean a lot to a jewelry designer, particularly when a consumer sale rides on the confidence that familiarity can inspire. To help some talented jewelers get on the road to recognition, JCK has singled out 10 collections that you may not have heard…

JCK 5: Favorite Jewelry From the VicenzaOro Winter Fair

1. (Above) Marquis-shape hoops in 18k white gold with 2.70 cts. t.w. diamonds; $9,800; Garavelli, Valenza, Italy; 39-013-194-1350; www.garavellialdo.it   2. Python heel with 18k gold bracelets with 86.20 cts. t.w. citrine, 23.90 cts. t.w. smoky quartz, 16.10 cts. t.w. garnet, 5.35 cts. t.w. ruby, and 0.05 ct. t.w. diamonds; €30,000 ($39,735); Ponte Vecchio, Florence,…

Baselworld 2012: A Preview

Will the watch and jewelry fair be a hit, or a Swiss miss? Visitors to Baselworld 2012, the World Watch and Jewellery Show, March 8–15 in Basel, Switzerland, may notice a less-than-luxurious sight around the Messeplatz: construction. At the end of last year’s show, organizers detailed grand expansion plans: 430 million Swiss francs worth of…

Variety Hour: The Trendiest Watches of the Season

Luxury ­timepieces are back. They’re highly collectible, exceptionally crafted…and costlier than ever. Note the watch on your left. Introduced in January at Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon in stainless steel from Audemars Piguet embodies several prevailing trends in the luxury watch market. First and foremost? ­Heritage. The…

JCK 5: Jewelers, Want to Build Up Your Watch Business?

Before you grow your watch business, additional questions still need to be answered: 1. What age/cultural demographic groups in your marketplace are still purchasing watches, and what lines and price points are they purchasing? 2. Is the opportunity better for a niche line (a surf brand like Nixon, for example) versus the big broad lines…

Good Times: Why Watches Matter to a Jeweler’s Bottom Line

The watch business may be lucrative, but it’s also demanding. JCK offers a primer on growing your stake in the booming timepiece trade. The recession? Ancient history—just ask anyone in the Swiss watch business. Buoyed by a booming luxury sector and strong demand in Asia, Swiss watch exports for the first 11 months of last…

A ‘Visit’ With Actress and Bulgari Fan Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman knew that the world’s richest woman returning to her penniless hometown to get revenge on the villagers (and the ex-lover) who betrayed her wouldn’t wear her heart on her sleeve; she’d wear her wealth on her neck. So to accessorize her character in 1964’s The Visit, Bergman chose Bulgari jewels, which she handpicked…

JCK Asks…Melissa Joy Manning

Monkeying around with the worldly designer It’s may not be her official motto, but Melissa Joy ­Manning thinks globally and acts locally. She studied design at the University of Barcelona and silversmithing at the Instituto Allende in Mexico. Her inspiration is all over the map: “The talismans of Mongolia and Tibet end up in my…

Jeweler M.C. Ginsberg Brings Biotechnology to the Bench

A jewelry retailer since 1985, Mark Ginsberg wanted to find a way to keep his Iowa City store buzzing at all times—no matter the ­economic climate. His investments in wax-cutting machines and CAD software for an in-house custom ­jewelry workshop were successful, but Ginsberg assumed there was money to be made in molding and casting…

Something Old, Something New: The Legacy of Oklahoma’s BC Clark Jewelers

The state’s oldest jewelry store is on a mission to stay relevant and traditional The distinction of being Oklahoma’s oldest business of any kind operating under the same name and continuous family ownership is a legacy the Clarks take very seriously. B.C. Clark opened his first shop in the corner of a five-and-dime in 1892—and…

Social Media 911: Cautionary Tales for Jewelers

What happens when a powerful online tool blows up in a brand’s face? Before social media, our mistakes were contained. A disappointed customer might tell a few friends about his experience, but for the most part, it was as challenging to cultivate a negative reputation as it was to build a positive one. Thanks to…

How Retailers Can Unearth a Really Unique Selling Proposition

We recently read JCK’s retailer survey in the November issue. Among the useful information included in the survey, one particular question made us stop and ponder: “What best describes your retail brand’s unique selling proposition (USP)?” The responses fell into six categories: Price/Value                   24%Selection/Quality         16.8%Customization             16.8%Service  …

Heart of Gold Casters Fine Jewelry

Clients call on Brad Lawrence for everything from $500,000 rings to emergency travel needs 1. What one advertisement elicited the most response and why?In 2007, I ran a very successful free Pandora bracelet promotion. In five days, we gave away 2,000. Of that number, only 28 customers left with just the bracelet. We did $100,000…

JCK 5: Top Tweets From the AGTA Tucson GemFair

1. Ashley Weber(@designgrain) I’m in Tucson and it’s gem show time! Labradorites, rough diamonds, antlers and bones…and of course TOOLS! 2. Jewelry Making Daily (@JewelMakinDaily) I need a pearl intervention! #AGTA #Tucson #gemshows #outofcontrol 3. Julie Elliott (@InFioreWorld) Perfume bottle with dragon and lotus motif and 24kt gold band. Carved from one piece of quartz.…

Put Some Funk in the Traditional Jewelry-Store Trunk Show

A dead man with a Louboutin stiletto impaled through his heart lies on the ground. Standing around the room are a bevy of beautiful women, each wearing a dramatic piece of Stephen Webster jewelry. Then, the British designer himself enters with news: There’s been a murder, and he needs help solving it. Welcome to Reinhold…

AQUAMARINE

While many wearers admire the splendor of the aquamarine, the gemstone seems to hold particularly potent powers for sailors and couples. As its name implies, March’s birthstone often takes on the blue-green hue of the ocean (though deep blue is its rarest shade). This may explain why seafarers have traditionally worn the gem not only…

Survey: 2012 Might Be Another Record Year for Gold

A survey of mining executives by Pricewaterhouse­Coopers found that most think the price of gold will continue to rise in 2012. According to the accounting firm’s 2012 Gold Price Report, 80 percent of gold mining executives queried expect the price of gold to increase throughout the year. Only 6 percent foresaw a decline. A majority…

Fall 2012 Fashion Week: We’re All Choked Up!

Scan the recent New York collections and one overarching motif comes into focus: There’s a new erogenous zone for jewelers—a woman’s neckline. Designer after designer sent out models accessorized with little more than a necklace. Behnaz Sarafpour had Venetian glass pendants; Anna Sui, chunky chain-link beauties. Marcia Patmos of M.Patmos went the earthy route with…

Arizona Dreamin’

I’m just back from the annual winter buying week in Arizona, and this year’s edition did not disappoint. First up was the all-new Centurion Show, held for the first time at the spectacular Phoenician Hotel in Scottsdale. The setting was terrific, with a much larger ballroom to accommodate the growing number of exhibitors, and a…

The Luxe Life

Every year for the past seven years, I have traveled to Geneva to attend the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, a high-end watch fair known for its gourmet meal service, urbane ambience, and low-key, Babelian hum. The experience is fun and fascinating, but also relentless. My days usually fly by in a series of…

10 Things Rocking the Industry in March

1. Tucson The down-to-earth setting of the Sonoran desert provided the backdrop last month to a market development with intriguing implications for the colored stone trade. Adam Gil, a principal with Jerry Gil & Co. in New York City, found people going for “either the most expensive or the least expensive items.” He saw particularly…