historic originals, a uk-based jewelry manufacturer, has appointed prismax management services as the sole u.s. distributor for its “hot diamonds” line, a range of sterling silver and diamonds. the line, which has an average retail price of $95, won the uk jewelry award for 2002. prismax manages and distributes goods for a number of overseas companies in the jewelry industry.
May 1, 2003
Riding the Golden Roller Coaster
after 10 years in its greenwich, conn., headquarters, leslie’s relocated last fall to a newer and larger space nearby. the new facility is already allowing the gold importing company to expand its business. the new space—about 15,000 sq. ft.—is three times the size of the company’s former home.
the december 2002 edition of auction market resource (amr), rego park, n.y., features a special section dedicated to certified colored and colorless diamonds sold at auction. the publication includes market trends and gemological information intended for estate and second-hand jewelry dealers and appraisers.
the american gem trade association (agta) has announced the results of the 2003 elections for the agta board of directors. the new officers and directors will serve three-year terms beginning feb. 11, 2003. new elected officers include president eric braunwart, columbia gem house inc.; vice president ashok sancheti, pioneer gems; secretary allen kleiman, a.
gemworld international, publisher of the guide, has released the latest version of its guide appraisal software—g.a.s. v.2.02. designed to be the fastest such software available, g.a.s. allows jewelers and appraisers to create professional appraisal documents and grading reports in a fraction of the time previously needed.
u.s. retail sales of diamond jewelry increased by 5% in the year 2002, a surprising leap given the bad economic climate, de beers’ diamond information center recently announced. the u.s. market now is valued at $27.4 billion, accounting for well over half the value of the world’s diamond jewelry sales.
the american gem trade association (agta) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its spectrum awards and accepting submissions for the 2004 spectrum and cutting edge awards competition—a contest of workmanship, creativity, and innovation. the deadline for entry is sept. 22, 2003, and the competition will be held in october 2003.
four people have been arrested in conjunction with antwerp’s biggest-ever diamond robbery, which authorities now value at over $100 million. police say the quartet—three italian men and a dutch woman who was married to one of the men—spent two years planning the heist. they rented an office in the antwerp diamond centre building and used their knowledge of the area to clean out 123 …
jewelers of america’s (ja) 13th annual ja affiliate design competition featured 27 entries that won competitions hosted by ja’s state and regional affiliate organizations in 2002. jewelry pieces were created by ja members or employees of ja member stores. entries were displayed and judged at the ja new york show, held jan.
de beers’ “supplier of choice” strategy hasn’t yet been launched, but the company has already fulfilled one of its oft-stated objectives—having diamond jewelry outperform other luxuries at retail. “over the all-important thanksgiving and christmas season in the united states, jewelry sales outperformed other retail sales, and diamond jewelry outperformed the jewelry category,” the company…
the conflict diamond issue continues to draw publicity—most recently thanks to an hour-long program on “the diamonds of war” on pbs. the national geographic special aired shortly before valentine’s day and included comments from hrd president peter meuss and rosy blue’s dilip mehta as well as the nongovernmental organization global witness.
the american gem trade association (agta), chose maurice shire to receive the inaugural leon ritzler memorial honorary membership award. shire was honored at the agta dinner dance and awards gala on feb. 8, 2003, in tucson, ariz. the award recognizes industry professionals, selected by the agta board of directors, who have made a meaningful contribution to the growth and/or improvement of the n…
laura d. haas, g.g., recently founded haas & co. llc, a diamond and jewelry appraisal company, in noblesville, ind. haas & co. performs appraisals on jewels from all eras and offers gem and metal identification as well as independent diamond reports. haas is a member of the national association of jewelry appraisals, jewelry information center, and jewelers of america and an associate m…
the jck industry fund has awarded grant monies to three gemological organizations: egl-usa, new york; the gemological institute of america (gia), carlsbad, calif.; and the american gem society (ags), las vegas. the largest amount, $90,000, went to ags, with $50,000 earmarked for support of education at the ags conclave, an annual membership gathering being held this year in austin, texas.
the providence, r.i.-based metal findings manufacturers association (mfma) this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. the organization was founded in 1928 by providence-area toolmakers, machinists, and metal craftsmen to share knowledge and techniques for making metal jewelry parts, and also served as a social group.
sales at jewelry-only stores for the years 1998 through 2002 show a positive result overall. according to jck’s analysis of data from the u.s. census bureau’s monthly retail sales division, jewelry sales in 1998 rose 8.84% and contracted only in 2001 when sales dipped –2.2%. over the full five-year period, sales rose 21%.
the jewelry information center’s (jic) inaugural gem awards gala, held at new york’s cipriani 42nd street on jan. 10, was hosted by two-time emmy award winner deborah norville. lowell kwiat of kwiat inc. and koichi takahashi of mikimoto served as co-chairs for the gala. grammy award winners ashford and simpson provided entertainment and a portion of the evening’s proceeds went to the jewelers c…
the metal findings manufacturers association (mfma), providence, r.i., has created a new web site (www.mfma.net) designed to link directly to individual members’ web sites. the site features member companies’ new products, company information, and specifics on association events such as mfma’s “mini trade shows.
in a valentine’s day commentary on abc’s 20/20, john stossel challenged the idea that “diamonds equal love.” “why do couples everywhere who wish to declare their love go out and pay big bucks for diamonds?” he asked. “since 1940, de beers’ brilliant ad campaign has been convincing americans that diamonds mean love.
auctionmarketresource.com has added the ability to research a piece of jewelry by the carat weight of its primary stone. the feature enables users to search by jewelry item, type, signature, and era as well as carat weight. pictures of available rings, complete with auction dates, will appear so that the appraiser can access the appropriate time frame.
mention india to someone in the diamond industry and they’ll likely call it “the place where they cut low-end diamonds.” but that’s just part of the story. india in 2003 also is a trading center, jewelry manufacturer, and diamond consumer market. it might even become a diamond miner, as big names like de beers and bhp are exploring throughout the country.
vision numeric, a french company, announces the launch of 3design jewel for designing and manufacturing 3d solids. the program enables new models to be easily created and trial versions to be made by rapid prototyping. 3design jewel lets a designer create a complete range of articles in hours rather than days.
jewelers mutual insurance co. has enhanced its insurance for jewelry consumers by adding a coverage option for unscheduled jewelry, a security system discount, and convenient payment options. the company’s personal jewelry insurance program covers more than $1 billion of jewelry nationwide. the new unscheduled jewelry option provides limited coverage for jewelry valued at $1,000 or less.
manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) recently announced the winners of the 12th annual mjsa american vision award (ava) design competition. four professional jewelry designers and two students took top honors out of a field of more than 45 entries. in the professional category, todd reed of todd reed metal artist, boulder, colo.
charles septer, the former president of service merchandise, is now the full-time president of escada diamond jewelry usa, a joint venture between the german fashion house and antwerp sightholder pluczenik. the company aims to sell its jewelry, currently sold exclusively in escada stores, at 25 to 50 high-end independents.
team alinghi, the swiss sailing team co-sponsored by swiss luxury watch audemars piguet, on march 2 became the first european challenger in 152 years to win the america’s cup race, sailing’s oldest and most prestigious event and prize. the swiss defeated defending champion team new zealand 5 to 0 in the best-of-nine series.
the ab group, parent company of legère, has announced the acquisition of the w.e. richards company. based in attleboro, mass., the ab group is a 35-year-old jewelry manufacturing company that also markets under the trade names clubhouse quality jewelry & gifts (golf jewelry and accessories), j.
the jewelers of america web site (www.jewelers.org) has been redesigned with a new look and improved features. the site now allows consumers to shop online for jewelry and lets retailers place orders online for ja products and services. the site is divided into two sections: one for consumers, and a password-protected section for members of the jewelry trade.
by this summer, every member of the jewelry industry—whether manufacturer, wholesaler, gem dealer, metals refiner, or retailer—will be required to comply with new federal anti-money-laundering laws set forth in the usa patriot act passed by congress in october 2001. cecilia gardner, executive director and general counsel of the jewelers vigilance committee, led a coalition of indus…
sales at jewelry-only stores during december 2002 rose 10.7% compared with figures from the same period in 2001, according to preliminary data from the u.s. census bureau’s monthly retail sales. for the fourth quarter, sales figures were 7.5% greater than they were in fourth quarter 2001.
the calabasas, calif.-based buxbaum group, which provides inventory appraisal, auction, liquidation, and turnaround consulting services throughout north america, has launched a revamped corporate web site. located at www.buxbaumgroup.com, the site provides detailed information about the company’s various services, including strategy one, buxbaum’s new system for developing more accurate and rel…
after years in the cellar, gold is once again the glittering darling of investors here and abroad, who have pushed the metal’s per-ounce “spot price” to its highest in a decade. that’s affecting the production and u.s. sales of gold jewelry, and those effects won’t soon disappear. financial analysts expect gold’s price to remain near current or even higher levels for the rest of the year relati…
scott kay platinum recently announced the relaunch of its company web site (www.scottkay.com). the redesigned site uses video to introduce specific sections but does not require a high-speed connection or typical video player to view the videos. the site offers advice on buying engagement rings and selecting a diamond as well as the “ask scott kay” jewelry and relationship advice column present…
troemner, inc., a thorofare, n.j.-based provider of weights, mass standards, and calibration services, has revised its web site. detailed information is now available on all troemner weights, laboratory equipment (mixers, shakers, vortexers, wavers, laboratory clamps, and gas cylinder safety products), and calibration services (weight, pipette, thermal mass flow, temperature, and humidity).
lightning ridge opal sponsored the second “people’s choice award” at the gem galleria gem art show at the manning house mansion during this year’s tucson gem shows. the competition is designed to recognize and reward gem artists. john ternus of lightning ridge opal donated not only cash prizes but also large pieces of his prized opal rough to the winners in each of two categories.
the war in iraq has led de beers’ diamond trading company to rethink its advertising strategy, going for a “softer” approach that once again emphasizes romance. “some of our ads were straight to the point and blunt,” says brandee dallow, a diamond account spokeswoman at ad agency j. walter thompson. “but we felt that since we have a product that is about love, that’s what we should be showing a…
watches and jewelry sold by two of the world’s leading luxury goods retailers posted mixed results for 2002, with a stronger 2003 predicted based on fourth-quarter results. lvmh, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate, in 2002 posted sales of 12.7 billion euros ($13.6 billion), a 4% increase, says the company.
merritt mayher, a former tiffany & co. executive, is the new president and chief executive officer of shreve, crump & lowe, boston, and of schwarzchilds jewelers, richmond, va. this is the first time both jewelry retailers have had one president. her appointment, effective march 3, was approved in january by the boards of directors of the two jewelry retailers and of tyringham investme…
for more than a year, u.s. gem labs have been telling thai gem treaters that they’ve found beryllium diffusion in corundum treated in thailand. because of the ethical and monetary consequences associated with nondisclosure of treatments, the u.s. gemological community has insisted that the thais disclose all enhancements.
all of us take things for granted—the accumulated wisdom of experience, what we learned in school, and what we have picked up from associates, friends, philosophers, and business writers. sometimes we have to remind ourselves to pay attention to that wisdom. well, listen up, because here’s another reminder: we have to market harder.
adam friedman, a new england representative for the kurt gutmann jewelry co. since 1996, lost a long battle against cancer on march 11, 2003, at the age of 35. beloved by co-workers and customers alike, he is survived by his wife, lisa; his mother, bunny; and his father, jerry, who travels the same territory for wright & lato.
gem-a, the gemmological association of great britain, bestowed on more than 300 graduates either a diploma in gemmology or a gem diamond diploma. the gem-a biannual examinations drew more than 800 students worldwide, 54% of whom passed the diploma in gemmology test, and 68% of whom passed the gem diamond diploma test.
a pattern of high-tech jewelry burglaries in california and new york has created enough concern for the jewelers’ security alliance to issue a bulletin alerting members to the crime wave. the bulletin includes a list of recommendations to help keep retail operations and manufacturing centers secure. separately, jsa also warns of an increase in robberies at the homes of jewelers and traveling sa…
in recognition of its efforts to help jewelry manufacturers in los angeles comply with city safety codes (see “safety lesson,” jck, may 2002), the manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america recently received a laudatory letter from the city. excerpts from the letter read: “… converting the use of historical buildings … to jewelry manufacturing presents challenges to building ow…
big changes are happening at the jck show ~ las vegas next month. registration has been streamlined, the on-site registration fee has been eliminated, new pavilions have been added, existing pavilions have been redesigned, and a host of new buyer-comfort amenities have been installed. these changes are designed to make it easier for retailers to shop the show.
jewelers of america recently updated its “what you should know about … consumer brochures on karat gold jewelry and cultured pearls. the brochures provide product information targeted to consumers and are designed to be used by retailers at the sales counter. the new brochures are part of a series of 12 that introduce consumers to terminology, concepts, and history; provide helpful shoppi…
in a lawsuit filed march 6 in u.s. district court in greenbelt, md., four persons—three african-americans and one white—charged friedman’s jewelers, the nation’s third largest jewelry chain, with a pattern of discriminating against african-american employees and applicants. in addition to the class-action suit, the equal employment opportunity commission (eeoc) is investigating com…
in recent elections, announced at this year’s ica congress in jaipur, joseph menzie moved up from ica vice president to replace israel eliezri, israel, who retired after four years as ica president. continuing their terms on the executive committee are timothy m. roark, usa, treasurer; and jimmy yiu-lun ko, hong kong, secretary.
the national conference for community and justice’s new leadership division celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with a special dinner cruise around manhattan on wednesday, june 25, 2003, from 6-9:30 p.m. aboard the majestic star. highlights of the boat ride will include cocktails, dinner, music, and a special prize raffle.
if you’re an old-jewelry aficionado, pack your bags for the rio suite hotel and casino in las vegas. that’s where you’ll find the annual las vegas antique jewelry and watch show, running this year from may 29 to june 1, 2003. the show, which last year drew an audience of 3,500, will feature nearly 300 exhibitors showcasing fine antique and estate jewelry, vintage watches, and antique reproducti…
the society of north american goldsmiths (snag) will hold its 34th annual conference, “making it in metal,” in san francisco, may 21-25, 2003, at the westin st. francis hotel on union square. 3m inc. will be the corporate sponsor for the conference, and the national endowment for the arts has awarded snag $10,000 to help underwrite travel and hotel expenses incurred by the presenters.
beautiful diamond jewelry isn’t just for brides. it isn’t just for oscar nominees, princesses, heiresses, or the wives of oil sheikhs, either. in fact, diamond jewelry can be both beautiful and affordable, as evidenced by the pieces shown here, all priced to appeal to the volume market.
at least one commodity remains unaffected by the current economic uncertainty: wealthy americans. the united states is producing more of them than ever before, and one category in particular—the “mass affluent” (defined as households with incomes of $100,000 or more)—is growing faster than any other income segment, according to the latest u.
the indian diamond and colorstone association’s gala awards night will be held at the grand ballroom of the mirage hotel in las vegas on saturday, may 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m. admission is by invitation only. contact the idca office for inquiries about the event at (212) 921-4488, e-mail: idca@idcany.
the southern jewelry travelers association (sjta) held its atlanta jewelry show march 1-3, 2003, at the cobb galleria centre in atlanta. the show boasted a number of new programs, including an expanded “sjta u” educational program; a keynote address by dr. michael solomon, human sciences professor of consumer behavior at auburn university; and a new buyer recognition program, “star stores,” for…
the board of governors of the american society of appraisers has adopted a new public relations plan designed to raise the awareness of key audiences and the public to the benefits of hiring an asa-designated appraiser. the board has hired potomac communications group inc. to implement the plan through at least the end of 2003.
more companies are venturing into the product placement arena, using celebrities as billboards extraordinaire. here are two of the latest: mariah carey was presented with a rembrandt charm bracelet—which included, of course, a miniature nascar racecar—just in time for her singing of the national anthem at the daytona 500.
françois habersaat, former president of the federation of the swiss watch industry (fh), in january was awarded the title “commander of the national order of the southern cross” by the brazilian ambassador to switzerland, roberto soares-de-oliveira. fh president jean-daniel pasche said the distinction conferred upon habersaat reflected on the entire swiss watch industry, which is “committe…
the independent jewelers organization recently announced that it was closing its manufacturer membership, a move that supports its recent decision to cap retail membership. at present, membership in ijo’s buying group stands at 165 suppliers. ijo will add vendors to replace those that leave the group.
construction began in mid-january 2003 on new offices and showrooms for ernest slotar inc., diamond importers and contract manufacturers. the company cites the successful introduction of the cut by gauge lucere diamond as the impetus for the new construction. for information, call (800) 621-6537, e-mail: cutbygauge@aol.
a couple of long-held “facts” about emeralds are being called into question: fact #1: all emeralds are green. fact #2: emeralds are fragile. these two bits of conventional wisdom have been challenged by some recent developments in marketing and enhancements: point #1: most consumers would rather buy a “pink emerald” than a “morganite.
the san diego chapter of the women’s jewelry association (wja) held its november 2002 meeting at the gemological institute of america (gia) campus in carlsbad, calif. during their visit to the campus, members viewed the new swarovski tower of brilliance, the ruby slippers of wizard of oz fame, the opalized fossil exhibit, and a talk and slide show featuring cynthia marcussen.
diamond council of america president and ceo terry chandler has announced the completion of dca’s colored gemstone course. like the organization’s new diamonds course, the colored gemstones course was a collaborative effort between dca and performance concepts. “it’s light years ahead of our previous gemology course,” says chandler.
gold jewelry is puttin’ on the glitz this season, as fashion rediscovers high-polished yellow gold. the results are not quite as glaring as they were in the 1980s, but the high-polish finish does produce dazzling mirror-like effects. the freshest looks are smaller pieces with a polished surface or, in larger jewelry, polished gold tamed by techniques such as hammering.
the 2003 gemological institute of america (gia) education catalog outlines specific career paths available to those with a graduate gemologist (g.g.), accredited jewelry professional (a.j.p.), graduate jeweler (g.j.), or applied jewelry arts (a.j.a.) diploma. a new 10-page section introduces the new gia school of business—the first and only business school created exclusively for the jewe…
the international gemological institute (igi) will hold a series of practical classes and seminars in toronto. the first class in the series, the polished diamond course, is scheduled for june 9-13 at the canadian jewellers association, 27 queen st. east, suite 600. the cost of attending the comprehensive five-day class is $995 (canadian).
an exhibition titled “a woman’s treasure: bedouin jewelry of the arabian peninsula,” is on view at the bead museum in glendale, ariz., and will continue through feb. 15, 2004. bedouin women are given jewelry as dowry and wedding gifts, upon the arrival of children, and for ceremonies and special occasions throughout their lives.
the society of north american goldsmiths has organized “the art of gold,” a survey exhibition of contemporary american goldsmithing curated by michael monroe, and the first such exhibition in more than 50 years. the three-year tour began in january at the crocker museum in sacramento; other venues include the university of richmond, richmond, va.
“if it’s not special, it’s not here,” is the mantra of the tiny jewel box in washington, d.c. ceo jim rosenheim, g.g., scours the world looking for special products. here, he offers five ideas to make your merchandising special.
business law and trade practices, as they apply specifically to a retail or wholesale jewelry business, form the essence of the gemological institute of america’s u.s. and international business law and trade learning module, the latest addition to the gia school of business. three classes comprise the learning module.
gold inspirations, the world gold council’s magazine, is now available online. it’s part of the wgc’s initiative to enhance the perception of gold among consumers worldwide. the latest issue is devoted to ways in which gold expresses individuality. it explores the many reasons artists, artisans, designers, and consumers across the globe choose gold and how they work with it, cherish it, and wea…
vivacious femininity characterizes many of the new women’s watches unveiled in switzerland last month at basel 2003 and the sihh luxury watch fair in geneva. the use of sparkling diamonds and soft colors, noted over the past few seasons, accelerated this year. many watches incorporate curved cases and bangle bracelets.
breitling celebrates 100 years of aviation—dec. 17, 1903, was the date of the historic 12-second first flight by the wright brothers—with its new montbrillant 1903 chronograph. the timepiece is designed in the classic style of breitling’s mid-20th century chronograph, long popular with pilots.
the jck show ~ las vegas has announced that the premier of its new venture, jck’s luxury swiss watch gallery, has been sold out. the new by-invitation-only watch show will be held at the venetian hotel resort & casino during the jck show ~ las vegas, may 30-june 3, 2003. the gallery will feature top-of-the-line watch brands such as baume & mercier, bulgari, cartier, chaumet, chopard, d…
a gemstone’s country of origin suggests to the jeweler/gemologist a certain quality or perceived quality. for colored gems, that generally means top color, and so it is with emeralds: more often than not, emeralds of the finest color have come from colombia. history. colombian emeralds have been found in archeological digs dating back to pre-columbian times, from the 1200s, as artifacts such …
the california jewelers association (cja) has joined with other jewelry organizations to create the 2003 western jewelers showcase, formerly the cja showcase. the showcase, scheduled for oct. 19, will be expanded to include more exhibitors and will move to a larger venue, the universal studios globe theater in los angeles.
the following editorial is excerpted from jck, january 1942. fred v. cole was the editor-in-chief at the time, and while his comments obviously reflect the circumstances of world war ii, the points he makes are no less valid today. our country is at war. …but let it also be remembered that one of the important factors that contribute to the winning of ultimate victory is morale.
keith norris of k. norris jewelers, riverside, calif., has been elected president of the california jewelers association for 2003. he succeeds peter hess of snyder & snyder jewelers, san juan capistrano. norris has spent more than 30 years in the jewelry industry and has operated k. norris jewelers since 1990.
architect antonio citterio’s interpretation of the damiani brand is clearly evident in the company’s store in milan, as shown on these two pages. the store represents citterio’s debut project in italy after designing a string of successful damiani stores in several other countries. his design will continue to serve as the signature for all damiani stores during the company’s ambitious expansion.
just in time for valentine’s day marriages and proposals, michael c. fina jewelry hosted its own bridal fair celebrating the official grand opening of “the ring gallery.” the event, held on feb. 1 at fina’s fifth avenue store in new york, included a day of festivities for brides- and grooms-to-be. events included tabletop and flatware presentations, professional appraisals by a certified gemolo…
during a breakout session at unity marketing’s 2002 luxury home conference in newark, n.j., the stevens, pa.-based research firm asked the following question: “as luxury today is becoming more affordable and more available, how can luxury brands respond to the challenge of maintaining their allure as luxury brands?” (note: the premise of the question is based on unity’s research indicating that…
larry j.b. robinson, who built his parents’ storefront business into a national retail jewelry chain, died feb. 20 of lung cancer. he was 74. a civic and community leader in cleveland, he was a confidant of ohio politicians, active in local radio and tv, and—late in life—a war-zone correspondent.
the board of governors of the jewelers education foundation (jef) of the american gem society has named dona k. norris as executive director of the industry-focused charitable organization. norris previously served as executive director of the pennsylvania jewelers association. jef’s mission is to advance the skills and ethical standards of the jewelry industry by providing support, encourageme…
j.r. dunn jewelers, a south florida family-owned jewelry firm, has been honored not just locally, but nationally as well. on jan. 10, 2003, the business received the institute of store planners “2002 store planners of the year” award along with pavlik design team, designers of their new fort lauderdale store.
black-and-white, a combination that never quite goes out of style, is back on the trendy-go-round for spring and fall. coming off seasons in which black and white scored individually, it’s not surprising that they’re together again, the yin and yang of fashion colors. jewelry designers also are interested in this dramatic combination.