May 1, 1999

Brand Ahoy?

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12 Sure Ways to Squash the Y2K Bug

if you’re dismissing the y2k bug as a paranoid exaggeration or somebody else’s problem, you’re taking a big risk. the truth is that the bug could make your life miserable in myriad ways. it could disrupt your inventory records, payroll data, invoicing, databases, vaults and safes, and accounting software.

Using Your Computer to Increase Profits

every year more and more jewelers are using store-management software, and no wonder. they say it increases inventory turn, streamlines accounting and management processes, and enables them to market more effectively to customers. “use it or get out of business,” is the enthusiastic, if blunt, advice of umit nasifoglu, chief executive of marquis jewelers, a four-store chain in minne…

Contests

jja honors design winners winners of the ninth annual jewelers of america affiliate design competition were honored at the jewelers of america show in new york. the 24 entries were all winning pieces from design competitions held by ja state and regional affiliates throughout 1998. each piece was a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind design created by an employee of a ja member store.

Letters

disclosure of another kind as an appraiser and gemologist as well as a retailer, i am disturbed by some other retailers’ lack of, or disregard for, disclosure on durability issues for specific stones. tanzanite, the latest craze with consumers, is beautiful and appropriate for earrings, pins, and pendants but inappropriate for rings and bracelets for everyday wear.

FashionFacets

jewels sparkle at golden globe awards jewelry, an integral part of any entertainment industry awards ceremony, was in the spotlight at the golden globes. legendary actress lynn redgrave was decked out in david yurman’s cable classic jewelry for her appearance at the golden globe fête. redgrave won the best supporting actress award for her role in gods & monsters.

People

appointments leonard rosenkrantz, formerly vice president of sales for david g. stevens (baume-mercier) and columbia diamond ring co., has joined mvi marketing ltd. of beverly hills, calif., as senior analyst and manager of business development. vivian alexander of maurice, la., has made two appointments.

Business Report

are expensive items a drag on profits? in a classic example of the counterintuitive, fine jewelers are boosting profits and accelerating inventory turnover by offering more lower-priced jewelry. joe romano, president of the jewelry consulting firm scull and co., uncovered this surprising trend after a five-year analysis of 60 clients representing more than 100 stores.

What’s New – Catalogs

arch crown inc. has published its 1999 tag and label catalog featuring many new products, including a variety of merchandising tools for pricing, promotions, and name recognition. arch crown inc. 177 main st., west orange, nj 07052; (800) 526-8353 or (973) 731-6300, fax (973) 731-2228. contact east inc.

Going for the Gold

growing demand for gold jewelry helped push gold usage in the united states to a record 428.4 metric tons in 1998, an 18% jump—the highest ever. gold jewelry accounted for 353 metric tons, another record and an 8% increase over 1997 figures. consumption was driven by the expanding u.s. economy, rising consumer spending, low gold prices, and untraditional distribution channels such as tv s…

What’s New – Bench & Lab

the latest version of type3 engraving software facilitates engraving of three-dimensional text and graphics and enables users to create new models quickly. the package operates under windows 95, 98, or nt, is compatible with standard cad/cam systems, and generates an iso code with machining parameters accepted by most numerically controlled machine tools, engraving machines, and cutting tables.

Watch World

lights out for tritium? in recent years, watches with tritium numerals, markers, and indices have been glowing like mini-nuclear reactors. and they’re nearly as controversial. though safe, the luminescent material alarms some people because of its minute traces of radioactivity. with italy, germany, france, japan, hong kong, and scandinavian countries refusing to accept tritium, overseas …

Are you Ignoring These Important Customers?

reaching the female self-purchase market effectively is one way independents can compete with national chain retailers. though jewelers deny it, their sales associates prefer couples or male customers over female shoppers. in fact, they practically ignore solo women who walk in the store. that’s the shocking conclusion management consultant kate peterson has reached after mystery- shoppin…

Reviews: Making a Case for Art

the fabergé case: from the private collection of john traina by john traina photographs by: fred lyon foreword by: mikhail piotrovsky introduction by: archduke geza von habsburg essay by: danielle steel 1998, harry n. abrams inc.; 192 pages, $39.95 in 1884, the royal court of russia appointed peter carl fabergé jeweler to the czars.

Retailer News

zale corp. renames high-end stores zale corp. has finished the conversion of its high-end jewelry chains to the bailey, banks & biddle banner. the name change was completed in march when all 15 corrigan’s and sweeney’s fine jewelry stores in texas were changed to bailey, banks & biddle.

Newspaper Ads That Work

if you’re like most jewelers, you find that coming up with a newspaper ad is about as much fun as having a root canal. you know you need an ad, but you’re uncertain about what to say in the copy and how to say it. you may also have experienced that gnawing feeling of not knowing whether your investment will pay off.

What’s New – Packaging & Display

quarter vision display system designed by christian heller features a staggered layout. features include glass-to-glass construction, sliding locking doors, and halogen lighting. galaxy store fixtures, 523 mayfair ave., south san francisco, ca 94080; (800) 222-1070, fax (650) 553-9200. the model gl 100tg showcase in oak with gold aluminum frame includes a tempered, dust-resistant showcase with …

Associations

sales gains reported at ijo denver meeting sales were up 7% at the independent jewelers organization’s denver spring buying show feb. 20-25. that’s compared with sales at the group’s ’98 meeting in palm springs, calif., which had been its best spring show ever, according to ijo president and ceo jeff roberts.

What’s All the Buzz About Pliqué à Jour?

if you get the chance to buy a piece of authentic pliqué à jour art nouveau jewelry, don’t hesitate. with demand rising and supplies tight, you’ll be fortunate to find almost anything. some say the supply is so limited that the only trading is among dealers themselves. why the scarcity? estate jewelry expert diana singer, owner of d&e singer in new york, cites three re…

Supplier News

michael anthony buys t&c’s trademarks michael anthony jewelers inc., a leading u.s. manufacturer and marketer of gold jewelry, on march 16 purchased the jewelry trade names and trademarks, molds, and models of the town & country fine jewelry group for $4.5 million. the deal included some equipment of town & country’s chelsea, mass.

What’s New – Business Services

margaret olsen, deemed one of the united states’ top authorities on precious metals, has introduced a new book, the platinum and palladium buyer’s guide. the book showcases platinum and palladium coins and bars. it includes more than 400 actual-size photos of more than 275 coins and is the first to include the new platinum eagle coin from the u.

Brand Ahoy?

it’s the year 2002, and a new de beers commercial has premiered. the two shadows approach each other as the now-famous classical music plays. with trembling hands, the male shadow gives the female a diamond ring—the ultimate symbol of his love. suddenly, we see the female’s face. her eyes well up with tears.

Diamond Notes

u.s. diamond sales jumped 9% last year u.s. retail sales of diamond jewelry were up 9% in value terms in 1998, according to de beers. that’s the seventh year in a row sales have risen. when finally tallied, diamond jewelry sales are likely to top $20 billion for the first time ever. “the american market has been a very strong one for us,” says de beers’ derek palmer, who…

The Uneasy Succession at Krementz

in the fall of 1997, richard krementz jr. sat down in his company’s mostly empty building to ponder the fate of the business, one of america’s most venerable jewelry manufacturers. family members had owned and operated krementz & co.—the originator of gold overlay—since 1866, and krementz, third-generation descendant of the company’s founder, once had planned f…

The Long Road Back: Lessons from a Disaster

barry dinola was working in the polishing room when his wife, mary jane, suddenly walked in. “are you burning something?” she asked. alarmed, the owner of yardley jewelers in yardley, pa., shouted for an employee to check the basement. there, curtains of smoke hung suspended in mid-air. after alerting upstairs tenants and calling 911, dinola, his wife, and an employee grabbed what t…

Jewelers Pass Up Distress-Sale Diamonds

the american diamond trade likes to complain that foreign dealers are poaching on their business, offering fire-sale discounts to u.s. retailers. independent retailers see it differently. while they acknowledge receiving more calls from foreign dealers in the past year, most say they’re passing up alleged bargains in favor of diamond dealers who offer consistent, accurate grading and reli…

Trade Shows

jck show introduces new section a “prestige promenade” section will make its debut at june’s jck las vegas show. located directly across from the platinum guild section, it will contain booths of 46 upscale manufacturers. it will feature a business center, a lounge with light refreshments, and areas for exhibitors and buyers to meet.

India’s Diamond Industry: Back from the Dead

after enduring years of oversupplies, falling prices, and eroding confidence, india’s big diamond industry is counting on 1999 to bring a reversal of fortune. key indian manufacturers are serving notice on memo-dependent american buyers that the days of pushing out diamonds on long-term loan may be coming to an end.

Up Front

zale to pay $75 million for its former owner marking a reversal of fortunes, zale corp., the largest u.s. retail jeweler, plans to buy peoples jewellers corp., canada’s biggest jewelry chain. peoples had owned zale when the latter went into bankruptcy in 1992. the all-cash deal, worth about $75 million ($115 million canadian), is expected to close before the end of may.

CounterPoint

you can’t be too security-conscious reports of sample line losses on the road or at a trade show always leave you with a sinking feeling. in the past eight months two friends lost sample lines, one on the road, the other at the jck show in orlando. a third case occurred last fall in california and involved a diamond jewelry salesperson, in a scene right out of an action movie.

Evolving Product Mix from Toasters to Tanzanite

in the early decades of the century, jewelry stores, especially those in small towns and rural areas, operated like mini-emporiums. they sold not only jewelry, watches, and tableware but also eyeglasses, ladies’ hair combs, even luggage and appliances. a 1905 copy of the jewelers’ circular, the precursor to this magazine, includes ads for coffee machines and eyeglass displays.

Moving Men’s Jewelry

traditionally limited to a few pairs of cufflinks and some uninspired rings gathering dust in a corner case, men’s jewelry is the forgotten understudy to flashier, faster-selling jewelry for women. by refusing to relegate men’s jewelry to the far corner of the store, however, some savvy retailers are going after this business.

’Net News

online diamond auctions get web site upgrades a “real price guide” and easier access for bidding have been added to the only internet web site that auctions certified diamonds (www.teletrade.com). teletrade inc., which also handles coins and sports memorabilia, has auctioned high-quality diamonds on the internet and by phone for a year.

GemNotes

a wrap-up of the most popular gems the tucson gem shows in february produced more news than we could fit in last month’s issue. here we wrap up our coverage with garnets, emeralds from madagascar, “diffusion”-treated green topaz, and created emerald obsidianite. also included are highlights of a panel discussion of gem lab directors regarding enhancements.

Truth or Consequences – The Case for Full Disclosure of Ruby Treatment

gem dealers in thailand discovered years ago that heating ruby often improves its color. early methods were crude, involving furnaces made of 55-gallon drums lined in clay. the heat not only deepened the color but also sometimes would dissolve silk inclusions and thereby enhance the clarity of the gem.

Determining Replacement Costs in Insurance Appraisals

your job is to provide an estimate for replacement with a comparable item — not an exact duplicate. a customer brings in a new cocktail ring and asks for an insurance appraisal. should you base your estimate on the amount it would cost you to make another one like it? ask yourself the following questions before you decide: remember, your job is to provide an estimate for replacement with …