May 1, 2002

Everything Is Golden in the Land of OZ

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Safety Lesson

when los angeles officials announced they were reviewing the safety of the city’s jewelry district, it looked as if manufacturers would be forced into a classic face-off: public officials vs. private enterprise. instead, the city and industry joined together to write new safety rules—and the result is a compromise that both sides not only can live with but also are happy about.

CYMA Distributor Relocates

hugh glenn corp., u.s. distributor of cyma watches and sequoia fine jewelry, has relocated to a new office opposite madison square garden and penn station in new york city. the company’s new address is 345 seventh ave., 22nd floor, new york, ny 10001; (212) 695-4270, fax (212) 695-4274, e-mail: sales@cymawatch.

Robert Wan Optimistic but Sells Only 40% at Auction

robert wan, chairman of tahiti perles, the largest producer of tahitian black cultured pearls with private ownership of eight pearl farms, says he’s optimistic about the future market for tahitian pearls, but he’s holding back on lowering prices and is leaving 60% of his auction lots unsold. last december, wan announced a reduction in his pearl production for the first six months of this year, …

24 Karat Club to Hold Annual Dinner Dance

the southwestern 24 karat club of dallas recently announced plans for its 42nd annual dinner dance and “mask” ball, to be held sept. 21, 2002, at the mansion at turtle creek in dallas. membership in the club is by invitation only. the dinner dance gives each member the opportunity to invite guests in appreciation of their loyalty to the member and his or her firm.

We’re From the Internet, and We’re Here to Help

jeff milstein, co-owner of wyatt austin jewelers, schaumburg, ill., has new sales help. it doesn’t eat, sleep, or take breaks. it attracts people to the store, sells merchandise that otherwise might not have sold, piques customers’ curiosity, and allows customers to order jewelry and receive information about store specials 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

RJO Holds Spring Buying Show

the retail jewelers organization held its annual spring buyers’ show jan. 16-19 in albuquerque, n.m. some 145 stores—a decrease of 19% from last year’s spring event—turned out to shop and attend educational seminars coordinated by industry consultant charlotte preston. among the presenters was the diamond promotion service’s director of training jay lell and the platinum guild’s ang…

Pearl Plight

japanese akoya. the number of akoya dealers in the united states apparently has dwindled, according to some japanese akoya cultured pearl dealers in tucson, who report that u.s. dealers are quitting the business. those still in the business seem to be focusing on the top goods—better quality, thicker-nacre, higher-luster akoyas.

JVC News

the jewelers vigilance committee (jvc) held its annual luncheon on jan. 11, 2002, at the waldorf-astoria hotel in new york. the keynote speaker was alan eastham from the bureau of economic and business affairs of the u.s. state department. executive director cecilia gardner noted that jvc’s efforts in 2001 included assistance with underkarating projects in new york and elsewhere; new member mat…

Pearl Design Goes to the Next Level

a pearl chandelier by parisian artist marie christophe is the latest in golay’s pearl evolution project, which promotes the use of pearls in art objects. the chandelier is a wire framework with a 28-mm gray south sea pearl centerpiece, 101 white south sea pearls, and 66 mother-of-pearl carvings by bernd munsteiner.

Stack ’em Up!

versatile and affordable, stackable jewelry items are every woman’s dream. rings and bangles—the traditional stackers—offer a woman the opportunity to easily change her fashion statement from demure to over-the-top. the category also helps to cultivate repeat customers—especially among women buying for themselves.

Keepsake Widens Retail Distribution

keepsake, one of the nation’s oldest and best-known jewelry brands, is going mass market. it’s expanding its distribution “to reach a more diverse consumer audience through varied retail distribution,” said parent firm commemorative brands inc. (cbi), of austin, texas, in an announcement made on march 4.

Speidel Named to Plumb Club

the plumb club recently announced that speidel inc. has been accepted as a member of the organization. founded in 1904 and headquartered in east providence, r.i., speidel inc. is a leading supplier of watchbands. the firm also markets and distributes id bracelets, precious metal neck chains, jewelry, zippo lighters, and watch batteries.

Golay Prints Pearls

golay has launched golay pearls magazine. the four-page, four department, tabloid-size publication highlights golay’s quality grading system with personal comments from the head of golay’s pearl division, peter fischer. the colors department is intended to help retailers describe all the colors available in natural colored pearls.

A Wilkinson Sword for the Queen’s Jubilee

royal swordmaker wilkinson sword has unveiled a spectacular sword specially commissioned to celebrate her majesty the queen’s golden jubilee. the hilt incorporates natural rock crystal quartz and 18k yellow gold encrusted with 8 cts. t.w. of pavé-set diamonds, 6 cts. of rubies, and a top cabochon of lapis lazuli.

Blarney Stone Dealers

members of the irish-american diamond dealers association admit that some people think their association is a “joke.” it’s not, although the irish-americans who make up the core of this close-knit grouplet know they’re a rare breed in the diamond industry. they’re even outnumbered within their own group: it has 24 members, but only nine are actually irish.

JA Introduces Gemstone Leaflets

jewelers of america (ja) has introduced a new series of gemstone consumer leaflets designed to help jewelers educate customers about colored gemstones. the illustrated series of 15 leaflets provides essential information and can be used as a countertop marketing tool. ja offers leaflets for amber, amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, emerald, garnet, opal, cultured pearls, peridot, ruby, sapphire, sp…

ASAE Honors AJM

ajm magazine, the monthly trade publication of manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america, recently won three awards in the gold circle awards competition sponsored by the american society of association executives. among the awards was ajm’s third consecutive first-place trophy for educational articles.

Fossils in the Jewelry Business

fossils are not your everyday gem material, but they can have a place in your store. from small tablets set into pendants to tabletop accessories—even table tops themselves—fossils can make a statement. maison sijilmassa, located in new york city, imports fossilized prehistoric marine life—orthoceras and ammonites—visible throughout various colored marbles: hezhra (mediu…

DiNicola to Retire July 31

robert j. dinicola, who twice in the past decade skillfully restored zale corp. to financial stability and profitability, will retire as its chairman and chief executive officer at the end of the current fiscal year on july 31, 2002. no successor to dinicola was immediately announced. richard marcus, speaking on behalf of the zale board of directors, said, “we will take the next several months …

Four Labs Agree on ‘Padparadscha’ Terminology

the american gem trade association’s gemological testing center, the gemological institute of america’s gem trade laboratory, the gübelin gem lab, and the ssef swiss gemmological institute all have agreed that the padparadscha-like orange-on-pink corundum recently encountered in the market is to be called “treated sapphire.

IGL Moves to Larger Quarters

independent gemological laboratories llc has moved to a larger facility at 21 w. 38th st., ninth floor, in new york city. the move more than doubled the laboratory’s floor space and will enable it to offer expanded services including the introduction of a new line of reports. independent gemological laboratories is a gemological appraisal laboratory specializing in appraisal reports and grading…

Gems in the Desert

this year in tucson, tom cushman of allerton cushman & co., sun valley, idaho, and richard hughes of pala international, fallbrook, calif., presented a wholesaler’s perspective of madagascar and its gem deposits. madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, lies off the east coast of africa and is a major source of gems, but because mining is sporadic, availability is a problem.

An Architectural Approach

all retailers must face the day when they need to renovate or update their stores. while the process may seem straightforward, it actually isn’t. first, you must develop a concept or “brand” for the store that will attract customers, make it easier for them to purchase your product, and communicate a personal message.

Aurafin OroAmerica to Acquire Assets of Little & Co.

aurafin oroamerica llc, a privately held company based in ft. lauderdale, fla., has agreed to acquire the assets of providence, r.i.-based little & company. founded in 1906, little & company specializes in the manufacture of popularly priced karat gold earrings. little & company’s vertical manufacturing operations include a mill division that forms gold tubing used in earring produ…

L.A. District Attorney Warns Dealers About Memos

most memo agreements are poorly written and not criminally enforceable, los angeles deputy district attorney richard walmark told dealers at a recent forum at the diamond club west coast. walmark advised dealers to pattern themselves after the rental car industry, which had legislation passed that allows for the criminal prosecution of renters who fail to return a car five days after the return…

De Beers Settles Price-Fixing Suit

de beers recently paid $20 million to settle a 1995 civil suit over industrial diamond price fixing, the london times reported. the settlement does not affect the justice department’s 1996 criminal indictment of de beers on similar charges. co-defendant general electric was cleared of all counts, but since de beers never answered the indictment, it still stands.

MJSA Receives Grant

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) has received a $75,000 grant from the jck 2002 jewelry industry fund. the funds will be used to create educational resources for manufacturers in the los angeles jewelry district, where recent health and safety compliance issues have threatened the survival of one of the nation’s largest jewelry manufacturing centers.

JIC Generates Publicity Increase

the jewelry information center (jic) announced first-quarter publicity results to its board of directors at the winter ja ny show. the first fiscal quarter—oct. 1 through dec. 31—presented major challenges as well as questions of appropriateness in vying for airtime and newspaper space for jewelry stories.

The Internet Strikes Back

it’s easy for jewelers to be smug about the online sector, since so many sites that premiered with a bang are now quietly resting in peace. among the notable flops were miadora, adornis, denmans, ijewelry, firstjewelry, and the industry-supported “clicks-and-bricks” experiment enjewel. but don’t get too complacent.

IJO Hosts Spring Show in Dallas

some 403 member stores—slightly fewer than the number at last year’s spring show in savannah, ga.—attended the independent jewelers organization show, held feb. 16-20 in dallas. several new vendors, including mayers, joined the buying group, and popular presenters janice mack talcott (performance concepts) and mike buley (jewelry ads that work) returned to educate jewelers.

Audemars Piguet Posts 17% Gain

swiss luxury watchmaker audemars piguet in 2001 posted a 17% increase in sales, to $109 million (187 million swiss francs), says the company. headquartered in le brassus, ap has enjoyed double-digit growth for several years. in the u.s. market, the company’s sales rose 23% to $14 million. ap’s chief executive officer georges-henri meylan noted that despite the events of sept.

Letters

Conflict Commodities and Currencies It has always bothered me that our industry is so vulnerable to outside criticism that we never sit back and think about the overall effect on us and what a proper answer should really be. I refer to the latest attack on the diamond industry entitled by all concerned as “conflict…

Black Chalcedony

okay, if you want to call it black onyx, go ahead. everybody else in the industry does. but by definition, onyx should have straight parallel stripes of black and white … and these gems don’t. the stone is chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline—or microcrystalline—quartz. examples of chalcedonies of just one color are chrysoprase, a yellowish-green; carnelian, a brownish-orange; and …

Hermès Has 20% Gain in U.S. Watch Sales

hermès, the french luxury goods group, posted an 8.2% increase in revenues to us$1.04 billion (2.1 billion euros) for 2001, it says. the company’s best-performing division was watches. while some luxury groups posted small or no gains in watch sales for 2001 because of economic slowdowns and the impact of the sept.

A&D to sponsor ‘Guess A Gem’

a&d gem corp. will sponsor the “guess a gem” contest at the the jck show in las vegas. it allows buyers to test their ability in guessing the total weight of different stones by looking at them together. the contest has been a popular attraction for buyers at our various jewelry shows for many years, and the winners will receive prizes.

Obituaries

anthony geml, longtime california jeweler and father of kathryn kimmel, vice president of marketing and public relations for the gemological institute of america, passed away in late 2001 in sylmar, calif. he was 86. geml had owned and operated jewelry stores throughout the san fernando valley from 1947, when he opened his first store in studio city, calif.

High-Profile Endeavors

as the fashion-jewelry-celebrity connection gains momentum, suppliers are taking advantage of high-profile product placement, as evidenced by the fall fashion runways and the recent grammy awards. on the fashion runways, designer mark montano, for example, chose an array of designer pieces to accessorize his mexican-inspired fall collection.

JA Supports Fund raising for Jewelers Charity Fund for Children

jewelers of america (ja) is continuing its support for the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf), a nonprofit organization that raises funds for three children’s charities—the make-a-wish foundation, the elizabeth glaser pediatric aids foundation, and st. jude children’s research hospital. according to ja president and ceo matthew runci, the ja board of directors has pledged to help ra…

Eterno Amor Launches Consumer Web Site

eterno amor, the new bridal jewelry division of mercury ring corp, englewood, n.j., has launched a consumer web site at www.eternoamor.net. consumers can read about the company in spanish or english as well as view photos of the collection, which includes diamond engagement rings, wedding bands for women and men, bridal sets, pendants, and crosses.

Retail Jewelers Show Design Skill in National Competition

following the fashion trends of the moment, retail jewelers from across the country showed their talents in creating pieces for the 12th annual ja affiliate design competition. among the winning creations were fancy-cut gemstones, freshwater pearls, and pearl/gemstone mixes. all entries were created by ja members or employees of member stores.

CJA Elects New Officers

peter hess of snyder & snyder jewelers, san juan capistrano, calif., has been elected president of the california jewelers association for 2002. other officers elected include keith norris, k. norris jewelers, riverside, president-elect; james hartstein, jewels by joseph, newport beach, first vice president; mike maralian, dejaun jewelers, los angeles, second vice president; and allen kessl…

Economic Terrorism

the american philosopher george santayana said, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” with that in mind, it’s worth considering the situation of tanzanite dealers who have been targeted by ambulance chasers intent on profiting from the sept. 11 terrorist attacks. in the 1930s, neville chamberlain announced that his negotiations with adolph hitler would result in “pea…

New Look for The Loupe

a well-known publication of the gemological institute of america (gia) has undergone a number of transformations to provide a more modern, reader-friendly format for its 80,000-plus readers. the loupe: gia world news, now in its 55th year, features brighter colors, larger photos, new headline styles, and a more manageable size.

De Beers: We Want Diamond Advertising to Double

de beers wants the industry’s spending on advertising to double by the year 2004, managing director gary ralfe told analysts following the publication of the company’s financial results. “that means … generating or leveraging an additional $200 million of quality trade advertising spending,” he said.

Diamond Jewelry Slipped 1% Last Year

the overall u.s. retail diamond jewelry market declined 1% in 2001, to $26.1 billion, according to statistics from j. walter thompson, the marketing agency for the diamond trading company, a division of de beers. this marked the first time in more than a decade that the diamond jewelry market experienced a drop in value.

Parker Joins De Beers Retail Chain

joan parker, who managed the de beers group’s u.s. public relations for nearly 30 years, recently stepped down to manage communications for the new de beers-lvmh joint retail venture, de beers lv. “there comes a time when everybody wants to look for something that’s new,” she told jck. “i will miss my team, and the client i’ve worked with for so long, but i am still going to be doing diamonds,…

GIA Honors and Appointments

former gemological institute of america (gia) president glenn r. nord recently received gia’s highest individual honor—the richard t. liddicoat award for distinguished achievement. gia president william e. boyajian presented nord with the award during a ceremony at the institute’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif.

National Geographic Has Cover Story on Diamonds

the conflict diamond issue continues to appear in the press—most recently, on the cover of the march national geographic. while the story by andrew cockburn was not as negative toward the industry as some previous stories on the issue, it did feature some typically gruesome pictures of sierra leone child amputees.

Conflict Diamond Issue Sees Progress

the industry has heard this before, but this time it looks as if the conflict diamond issue really may be on its way to a conclusion. the kimberley process—the international coalition of nations crafting a rough diamond certification system—recently settled most of its outstanding issues during a meeting in ottawa.

Jewelrydays.com Offers Diamonds and Advice

jewelrydays.com (www.jewelrydays.com), an online retailer of diamonds and diamond jewelry, has launched a web site offering customers an online selection of more than 10,000 top-quality diamonds. the site employs innovative search technology to evaluate the cost, size, and quality of diamonds to help consumers with purchase decisions.

Five JA Affiliates Earn ‘Gold Ring’ Award

during the jewelers of america affiliate leadership conference held jan. 25-27 in san diego, “gold ring” awards were presented to affiliates that increased membership in 2001. honored at the gold ring level (7% membership increase) were the jewelers associations of maine, new mexico, vermont, new york state, and maryland-delaware-washington, d.

A Tale of Two-Tone Gold

a mixture of white and yellow gold—or, at times, white and pink—is a departure from recent white vs. yellow battles. in an economic climate that’s likely to discourage budget-conscious shoppers from building two separate wardrobes—one in white and one in yellow—two-tone offers a flexible and fashionable option.

MJSA and SNAG Join Forces on Industry Education

manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america (mjsa) and the society of north american goldsmiths (snag) have agreed to partner on several initiatives—from high school outreach programs to collaborative magazine articles—to bring new educational opportunities to the jewelry industry. in an attempt to both strengthen the jewelry workforce and increase minority representation in the…

Appointments

jmo/gold horizons announces the appointment of robert manse as vice president of merchandising. manse served four years as director of advertising for gold & diamond merchants group (gdm) and three and a half years as director of sales and marketing for royal chain in new york. susan fortgang has been named president of the royal asscher diamond company responsible for marketing, sales,…

EGL-USA Updates Certificate Covers

egl-usa has redesigned its grading certificate covers to bring them up to date in terms of the organization and relevant gemological information. a new blue cover called “the diamond certificate” is used for white diamonds; a white cover called “the gem report” is for all other products, including synthetic and treated gemstones.

Emanuel Challenges Irish Design’s Stereotypes

swimming in the sea of traditional irish jewelry—from well-known celtic knots to beloved claddagh rings—are talented yet largely undiscovered emerald isle jewelry designers. this younger generation of irish jewelers faces a difficult challenge: breaking the international stereotype of irish jewels by diverting attention from the country’s ethnic jewelry and refocusing it on their ow…

Everything Is Golden in the Land of OZ

when american jewelers are looking for innovative gold jewelry designs, they usually head to italy or to the designer pavilions at a domestic jewelry show or to a high-end craft show. they rarely head to australia. that may soon change, however, as artisans from down under are stepping out and taking their places among the world’s top jewelry design talent.

The Learning Curve

how many times have you been told that you’re never too old to learn? but how many times have you been too busy or too tired to make time to meet someone new or listen to a colleague’s ideas? i can think of several instances in my own career, many of which happened when i was jck’s fashion editor. inevitably, as i rushed around trying to get my assignments wrapped up before a big trip—ba…

WJA Announces New Officers

the women’s jewelry association (wja) held its 2001 holiday event at the harmony club in new york, where it collected gift-wrapped items to be donated to the association for blind and retarded children. during the party, wja president phyllis bergman announced the new officers for the 2002-2004 term: anna martin, president; julianne jaffe, vice president, event planning; isabella fiske, vice pr…

Florida Jeweler Dispenses Fashion Advice

susan schneider of weston, fla., has been a regular customer at levinson’s jewelers in plantation, fla., for 17 years. one of the main reasons she keeps coming back, she says, is owner robin levinson’s fashion expertise and ability to successfully “make over” schneider’s jewelry wardrobe. schneider, who has an exceptional collection of jewels at home, confesses to frequently asking levinson for…