May 1, 2005

Dirty Gold: The Next Conflict Diamond?

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Diamonds and the Internet

the sale of diamonds over the internet is a topic retail jewelers need to address, because it isn’t going away. blue nile and amazon have made big splashes in the business media with their assessment of the opportunity that “high-margin” retail-jewelry business offers. retail jewelers have taken a defensive position with regard to internet sellers, assuming that these heirs to the “dot-com bomb…

Diamond Miners Challenge Yellowknife Youth to Raise Funds for Tsunami Victims

bhp billiton diamonds inc. joined forces with yellowknife school students to present a check for $31,739.98 to the red cross and the development and peace organization. the check represents $21,739.98 raised by the students during the month of january, along with $10,000 contributed by bhp billiton diamonds inc.

Beaudry Unveils Rare Red-Diamond Design

michael beaudry planned to unveil what he dubbed the world’s first three-stone red-diamond ring, with perfectly matched oval brilliant-cut diamonds, at the basel, switzerland, fair in april. the stones, all gia-graded natural fancy purplish-red, are the rarest trio of red diamonds ever assembled in one ring, according to beaudry.

J.Lo Brings Bling to Runway Debut

jennifer lopez’s fashion week debut was the talk of fashion magazines for weeks before and became the talk of the diamond industry for weeks after. the clothing line, sweetface by jennifer lopez, didn’t contain jewelry per se, but did flash some bling in the form of a pair of $2 million jeans. the denim trousers were just what every girl needs—they were embellished with 20 cts.

Questions Raised on DTC Marketing

amid all the changes at de beers in the last few years, much has remained the same: the company still sells its diamonds to sightholders out of its london-based diamond trading company. the dtc also manages the company’s generic marketing programs, and runs diamond promotion services throughout the globe.

Newswire

Codiam Joins Up With Tiffany Tiffany is continuing its moves upstream—the famed retailer will invest in a South African factory of DTC sightholder Rand Precision Cut Diamonds Ltd. Tiffany has agreed to buy all polished production that meets its specific quality standards from the joint venture, although it will not market the company’s Rand diamond…

WF Diamonds Opens Atlanta Office

As part of its expansion into the North American market, WF Diamonds Inc. has opened a marketing office in Atlanta. Atsmon Paz, an 18-year veteran of the diamond industry, has joined the management team as chief operating officer. Paz has built trade relations between Israel and the United States and has also been involved in…

Sterling Jewelers Receives Corporate Leadership Award

sterling jewelers inc. received the 2004 corporate leadership award from the north central ohio chapter of the association of fundraising professionals for outstanding contributions and strong spirit of giving in the community. in addition to supporting national children’s charities and several charities throughout summit county and in the many communities in which it does business, sterling ha…

A Jeweler’s View of a National Sales Tax

the fair tax act of 2005 (house resolution 25 and senate bill 25) is a national retail sales tax, also called a consumption tax, which would completely abolish the internal revenue service and the entire income tax code and replace them with a simple-to-administer sales tax called the fair tax (see ” ‘pro-business’ congress may consider a national sales tax,” jck, february 2005, p.

Colored Stone Activity Is Picking Up

market in brief: april 14, 2005…early spring found buyers searching for better ruby and sapphire in asia. dealers report that more unenhanced material is being offered on the thai and sri lankan market. buyers, concerned about undisclosed treatments, brought about change by requesting unenhanced material.

Carla Puts Its Best Toe Forward

toesies, in partnership with carla corp., has put a new spin on toe rings. once thought a fad or a category better served by costume jewelry, toe rings have continued to gain popularity. as the generation that fell for the style grows older and, subsequently, more affluent, their demands for stylish toe rings are becoming more upscale.

Orloff Selected for 24 Karat Club Membership

stacie orloff, president of corum usa, irvine, calif., has been selected to join the ranks of the 24 karat club of new york city. the 103-year-old organization limits the lifetime membership to 200 accomplished individuals in the jewelry industry, and being chosen reflects the nominee’s personal integrity and commitment to the industry.

6 Successful Promotions Ideas

some of jck’s retail panelists recently shared their most successful promotional campaigns, designed to drum up business quickly and effectively. many of these ideas are utilized in the crucial fourth quarter.

JCK Industry Fund Announces Grants

jck magazine and the jck shows have announced the grant recipients of the annual jck industry fund: “thank you, thank you, thank you!” said jvc’s executive director and general counsel, cecilia gardner. “we are grateful for the continued generosity of the jck group.” mark smelzer, publisher, jck international publishing group, said, “jck magazine has been an integral part of the jewelry ind…

Here Comes … Another Jewelry Show; This One Has a Twist

optimism was prevalent at pier 94 during the bridal 2005 show, sponsored by lustre and modern jeweler magazines and cygnus expositions, despite light attendance from retail jewelers and about 90 exhibitors. “but the right retailers are here,” explained carrie fraser, associate project manager, exposition division, cygnus business media, burnsville, minn.

Report: Jewelry Crime Hits New Low in ’04

here were only three murders connected with the jewelry business in 2004, the lowest number in over 25 years, according to the new annual report of the jewelers’ security alliance. there were 11 in 2003 and 16 in 2002. in addition, jewelry-crime losses among u.s. jewelers and traveling salespeople fell in 2004, says jsa.

WJA L.A. Chapter Welcomes New Co-Presidents

jewelry-industry veterans veronica clark-hudson and judith shechter-lankford both have assumed co-president duties of the women’s jewelry association los angeles chapter. outgoing co-presidents robin lutin, jck regional manager, and caroline stanley, president/ceo of red jewel inc., will remain active members of wja l.

Gold Softens Its Approach

many think “bold” when they hear “gold.” jewelry manufacturers and their adoring consumers, however, are defying that association this year by turning out soft and sensual designs in gold that has been spun, woven, or otherwise crafted for a soft, flexible presentation. thanks in large part to technological advances, gold can be manufactured into fine, threadlike strands that are woven into va…

Smithsonian Unveils Allure of Pearls Exhibit

it’s called la peregrina, the wanderer, the pilgrim. it is, by all accounts, the largest, finest example of a teardrop-shape natural pearl in the world. and it once was dog food. now it’s on display at the smithsonian national museum of natural history in an exhibit called the allure of pearls. native central americans were harvesting pearls centuries before the europeans arrived.

7 Key Questions!

i believe that the following questions are so important they should be asked in 99.99 percent of all sales presentations with new customers. each question has more than one reason behind asking it. additionally, the questions will allow you to sell based on the reasons the customer supplies for making the jewelry purchase.

Sweet Home No More

the sweet home mine, alma, colo., is closed for good. bryan lees, owner of the collector’s edge minerals inc. in golden, colo., and the driving force behind reopening the 132-year-old mine in 1991, made the announcement on oct. 18, 2004. the sweet home mine had been the source of the world’s finest transparent rhodochrosite mineral specimens (see “sweet home rhodochrosite,” jck, june 2003, p.

Master Horologist to Hold Final Classes

after years on the road and adding more than 1,000 new watch-repair persons to the trade, certified master horologist dan gendron, “the world’s foremost watch-repair teacher,” will hold his final three quartz watch repair for profit classes in chicago and dallas in july and in atlanta in august. gendron promoted watch repair as a viable career or as a highly profitable part of a store.

ArtCarved Goes for Stylish Sentimentality

few categories induce yawning as easily as family jewelry. the ubiquitous mother’s ring has long been a dated, if necessary, design in jewelry stores across the country. but as “message” jewelry like charm bracelets and lockets increases in popularity, family jewelry may be ripe for growth. to take advantage of that potential, artcarved has introduced a new collection of rings that combines the…

Watches Star at 2005 Oscar Events

movie stars weren’t the only faces in the spotlight at this year’s oscars events. some fine timepieces were, too, both at the 77th motion picture academy awards and at pre-oscar happenings. jamie foxx, best actor winner for ray, wore a $25,000 diamond-encrusted pink-gold hublot watch at pre-oscar events and a $57,000 platinum and diamond chris aire traveler watch at the ceremonies.

Newswire

Hearst Magazines, publisher of Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country, will host the new Swiss Watch VIP Welcome Reception, June 2, for the invitation-only JCK Swiss Watch Show (June 3–7) in Las Vegas. The reception, also invitation-only, will be at Lutèce restaurant in The Venetian Hotel. A featured guest is Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger.…

Hearst Magazines Will Host Reception for Swiss Watch by JCK

hearst magazines will host the first-ever swiss watch vip welcome reception on thursday, june 2, at the venetian hotel in las vegas. the reception will kick off the swiss watch by jck event that takes place june 3–7. the invitation-only reception will take place at lutèce in the venetian and is meant to provide a networking opportunity for the swiss watch brands, vip retailers, and e…

The JCK Show Turns Back Time

the jck show ~ las vegas 2005 will give exhibitors the option of hosting retailers for private appointments an hour before the official opening time of 10 a.m. the show, which takes place june 3–7 at the sands expo and convention center in las vegas, will allow exhibitors to schedule appointments with retailers beginning at 9 a.

Economic Snapshot

$55.9b the amount that corporate profits decreased in the third quarter 2004. 3.1% the percentage rate at which the annual gross domestic profit rose in the fourth quarter 2004. $43,318 the current median household income in the united states. source: the u.s. census bureau and the bureau of economic analysis

New Boutique Wins Design Award

jewelry designer diana vincent’s new flagship store in washington crossing, pa., has been honored with the master design award by the publishers of qualified remodeler magazine. the jewelry boutique took first place in the category light commercial renovation for the complete restoration of a 1940s cape that showcases diana vincent’s original jewelry collections.

Kathy Ireland to Deliver Keynote at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas 2005

kathy ireland, chief designer and ceo of kathy ireland worldwide, will be the featured keynote speaker at the jck show ~ las vegas 2005. ireland’s keynote address, titled the power of branding: building success through key strategies, will take place june 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. “we are honored that kathy ireland agreed to provide this year’s featured keynote,” says dave bonaparte, vice p…

JCK Launches ‘Industry Leaders’ Event

the jck show is launching jck nyc invitational, the show for industry leaders, a niche event targeted to executives and buyers from major retail jewelry chains, department stores, large independent jewelers, mass merchants, and tv shopping networks. it will be held march 5–7, 2006, at the new york hilton hotel in new york city.

Evolution of an Ad Campaign

a successful advertising campaign must be unique, get noticed, and tell a product’s or a company’s story in a compelling and engaging way using only a few words and images. and of course it has to encourage people to buy, or at least try, the product or service. agencysacks, a new york advertising agency, was recently charged with providing a campaign for lockes diamantaires, a boutique jewelry…

Enhancement Brochure Now Available

retailers must be hungry for a new enhancement brochure, because they’re snapping up the american gem trade association’s new one quickly, according to agta executive director doug hucker. the new consumer brochure, “gemstone enhancements: what you should know,” is a redesign of agta’s six-year-old original.

JIC Hosts Third Gem Awards Gala

the jewelry information center hosted its third gem awards gala on jan. 7, at cipriani 42nd street in new york city. during the black-tie event, awards were bestowed to members of the jewelry industry and consumer press. the recipients were recognized for their efforts to stimulate consumer demand for jewelry and build the industry’s image.

Caplan Buys, Plans to Expand Daniel Mink S.A.

expect to see and hear more about daniel mink luxury timepieces in the next two years. the swiss-made watch brand will “go from a relatively publicity-shy company to one that’s really going to grow nationally and internationally,” says mitchell caplan, president of the company. caplan bought the 29-year-old brand in february from the montreux group, a swiss holding company, after months of nego…

In Praise of Ammolite

when sue and rolf schmidt got their january issue of jck with the gemstone quiz featuring ammolite—or ammonite—they scrambled to e-mail their correct response. trouble was, by the time they’d answered the quiz, so had many others, so the owners of rolf schmidt the goldsmith, victoria, british columbia, were too late to win the prize.

A Cure for Internet Anxiety

web sites that sell discount-priced diamonds and diamond jewelry to consumers may be the biggest business threat retail jewelers have ever faced. jewelry sales at sites like blue nile, ebay, and diamond.com are booming, and pricescope—arguably the most angst-inducing site of all—allows diamond suppliers and jewelry manufacturers to sell directly to consumers with very little markup.

Maker of Rings That Fit Stays Fit

as the ceo of superfit inc., king of prussia, pa., gena alulis’s business is to make sure that customers’ rings fit their fingers properly and don’t twist or turn. but fitness is also important in her personal life, and as the founding president of the pennsylvania chapter of the women’s jewelry association, alulis brings both fitness and safety to chapter meetings with active self-defense prog…

Edward J. Gübelin Dies at 91

dr. edward (eduard) j. gübelin, a leader in the international gemological movement since the 1930s, died march 14, two days before his birthday, in his sleep at a hospital where he was recuperating from heart surgery, in lucerne, switzerland, his home. he was 91. gübelin was an internationally renowned researcher, author, and lecturer in gemology, and his passing elicited many tributes.

Is De Beers Driving Out Sightholders?

when de beers unveiled supplier of choice in 2000, the title referred to de beers’ strategy for coping with its newly diminished market share. the supplier of choice would offer sightholders value-added services so that they’d pick it over its growing list of competitors. but today, de beers’ share of market still dwarfs that of any rival.

Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show Returns to the Rio

the las vegas antique jewelry & watch show will take place at the rio suite hotel & casino june 2–5. hundreds of exhibitors in estate jewelry, colored gemstones, one-of-a-kind jewelry creations, designer wristwatches, and pocket watches will showcase antique jewels, gemstones, and timepieces, including vintage items from tiffany, cartier, rolex, patek philippe, david webb, and van…

5 Nonstop Networking Tips

the following tips come courtesy of andrea nierenberg, founder of the nierenberg group, which specializes in business development and management training. nierenberg recently addressed attendees at the second annual women in the know conference. this sample of networking tips is from a list of 52. to get the rest, contact nierenberg at (212) 980-0930 or online at www.

Aron Suna Elected President of NYC 24 Karat Club

aron suna, president of suna bros. inc., has been elected president of the 24 karat club of the city of new york. suna has been a member of the 24 karat club since 1979 and will serve a one-year term as president in 2005. the 24 karat club of the city of new york is more than 100 years old and its members are top executives and owners of suppliers to the retail jewelry trade.

Carrol Boyes Functional Art Wins Award

carrol boyes functional art, johannesburg, south africa, has been honored with south africa’s prestigious top women-owned business award for 2004. the company manufactures metal and leather selections for tabletop, home, and office designed by sculptor/entrepreneur carrol boyes. the award pays tribute to south african companies, government departments, and organizations that have made a positiv…

B&N Jewelry Honors Tucson’s Finest

b&n jewelry hosted its second annual salute to the tucson, ariz., police department during the tucson gem show. the dinner, held at el charro’s, honors the security team from the gjx show, which is made up members of the tucson police department. this year’s honorees are sergeant frank rau and officer jim parks.

M.A. Bruner & Sons Debuts

mates a. bruner, the inventor of hinged shank patent #5136858 and 6370914 (currently licensed under the superfit trademark) has formed a new company with his sons joseph and samuel. m.a. bruner & sons will sell his shanks directly to jewelers under the dreamring trademark. the new company owns all the original molds and patent rights.

Did Newsweek Synthetic Story Get It Wrong?

newsweek international edition recently made a splash with a big cover story on synthetic diamonds—but some say the magazine got it wrong when it contended certain synthetics were “undetectable.” the article—which, at press time, has not run in newsweek’s domestic editions—contended that the two de beers synthetic-testing machines, diamondsure and diamondview, are “stumped” …

Appointments

Annbeth E. Reyman has joined Assael International Inc. as vice president in charge of sales. Reyman, who began at the bench at the Kulicke-Stark Academy of Jewelry Art in New York City, has a background in antique and estate jewelry as well as modern designs. Johnathan Sanders has joined Chippenhook as luxury brands account executive,…

Sound Bites of Success

forming alliances on the job and treating people like human beings first and employees second were among the career and life skills shared at the second annual women in the know conference, hosted by the women’s jewelry association. attendance at this year’s event, held in new york city at the fashion institute of technology, doubled last year’s turnout.

Briefs

Superfit Approved for AGS Membership Superfit Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., has been approved for membership in the American Gem Society. AGS awards professional titles to member firms that have an established jewelry business and have earned an unquestionable reputation for ethics and honesty in their communities. For information about AGS, call (702) 255-6500 or…

Tanzanite Transformed: TanzaniteOne Introduces Quality Grading, Pricing Changes, and a Sight System

although tanzanite is both rare and popular, its proliferation on tv shopping channels, wide availability in tucson, and relatively low price per carat seem to contradict the laws of supply and demand. tanzaniteone, the company that owns the rights to mine the world’s prime tanzanite location, says tanzanite has become “commoditized due to the lack of a ubiquitous grading system and … th…

Hiring Right

making a good hire involves more than putting an ad in the paper and conducting some interviews. in a series of articles we will outline the steps to a successful hiring process. unfortunately, many employers skip the early steps. don’t make that mistake. proper preparation helps not only to clarify your needs and expectations but also to refine your interview strategy.

Hot and Gold

building on strong holiday buzz and a successful vicenzaoro fair in january, gold seems poised to maintain or even exceed expectations in 2005. as retailers continue to see strong sales of fashion gold, the world gold council is keeping up its end of the bargain by putting itself in the consumer spotlight with an aggressive spring advertising schedule and high-profile initiatives.

Dollar’s Weakness Hits Americans

with the dollar continuing to sink against the euro, baselworld 2005 was no bargain for american buyers. the european pavilions were conspicuously slower than the generally mobbed buildings for asian, indian, turkish, and other national delegations. european designers responded to the dollar/euro situation either by bringing labor costs down or adjusting their designs to use fewer stones, less…

JCK ~ Las Vegas Brings Back Live Bench Demos

this year at the jck show ~ las vegas 2005, ajm magazine will once again present at the bench live, a series of hands-on, interactive demonstrations conducted by leading jewelers. based on the award-winning column in ajm magazine, at the bench live supplies the latest techniques to increase productivity and reduce costly mistakes.

WJA to Honor: Bergman and Boyajian

the women’s jewelry association board of directors will honor two industry leaders at wja’s 22nd annual awards for excellence dinner, at pier 60 in new york city on july 31. phyllis bergman, president of mercury ring corp. and a past wja president, will receive the wja hall of fame award. william e. boyajian, president of the gemological institute of america, will be honored with the ben kaiser…

Baumann Takes Aim at Knockoffs

kathrine baumann recently issued “a call-to-arms” to the u.s. jewelry industry to join together to fight knockoffs. the beverly hills, calif.–based designer wants a new coalition to protect the intellectual property rights of u.s. jewelry designers and manufacturers. the proposed coalition will inform consumers about the ramifications of purchasing knockoffs.

Brand New Worlds to Conquer

from department stores to television retailing to manufacturing to the internet, jeff taraschi’s career has taken many diverse paths. this is the first in an exclusive series of articles profiling top jewelry industry executives who have reinvented themselves over the years. for jeff taraschi, “reinventing” himself has been a way of life.

G.M. Pollack & Sons Opens 13th Store

g.m. pollack & sons jewelers, based in scarborough, maine, has opened its newest store in manchester, n.h., located in manchester commons at 373 s. willow st. the family-owned business, begun by gerald m. pollack in 1955, has grown to 13 stores, with 10 locations in maine and three in new hampshire.

Obituary

bob link, director of business development for wolf designs, died feb. 16, 2005. link resided in dallas and represented wolf designs in the tola (texas, oklahoma, louisiana, and arkansas) region. “bob was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, dear friend, and superb salesman,” said simon p. wolf v, president of wolf designs.

Finlay May Acquire Carlyle

finlay enterprises announced it is in advanced discussions regarding a possible acquisition of carlyle & co, the 32-store chain. carlyle has annual sales of approximately $80 million, the company said. finlay is engaged in due diligence for the agreement. the acquisition is subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive merger agreement that will include closing conditions, the compan…

Before It Was Tanzanite

it’s one thing to talk about heated tanzanite and another to actually see the transformation of green/brown zoisite into its purple-blue variety. l. allen brown of all that glitters, methuen, mass., is a veteran at heat treatment of tanzanite. he hoped to get a spectacular blue from the very slightly olive-green natural-color zoisite pictured here.

The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas 2005 Provides Top Entertainment and Networking Events

the jck show ~ las vegas 2005 will include events for entertaining and networking both on and off the show floor. the official jck annual welcome reception and product preview will kick off the festivities on june 3 at the bellagio hotel and casino’s grand ballroom. guests will be the first to preview a sampling of new jewelry designs from world-class exhibitors.

JIC Releases New Public Relations Handbook

jewelry information center has published a step-by-step guide to develop or improve public-relations practices for jewelry retailers and manufacturers. jic’s “public relations handbook” provides tips, suggestions, and guidelines for jewelers looking to develop and incorporate public relations into their overall business plans.

From Russia With Luxury

this year’s addition of the international jewellery moscow/new russian style trade fair will take place may 18–21 in the marble-floored gostiny dvor, beside red square in the center of moscow. the launch of ijm/nrs attracted more than 7,173 visitors. the organizers have introduced a number of new features to continue to attract new buyers.

NCCJ Takes Boat Cruise to Eliminate Hate in the Hallways

the greater new york national conference for community and justice and the new leadership division of the jewelry and watch industry will host its annual gala boat cruise and casino night june 29, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. aboard the majestic star. the cruise departs from the chelsea piers and sails around the lower half of manhattan.

Striking it Niche

in an industry where diamonds account for half of all sales, one successful company deemphasizes the category. na hoku, a 28-store, mall-based chain of jewelry stores owned by the sultan co., honolulu, does less than 10 percent of its business in diamond-intense jewelry such as three-stone rings and diamond stud earrings.

Hugh Patinkin, Whitehall Head, Dies

hugh patinkin, chairman and chief executive officer of whitehall jewellers died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on march 30, 2005, the chicago-based company said in a statement. he was 54. whitehall’s board of directors named daniel h. levy, board director, as interim chairman and lucinda “cindy” m.

Richa Announces Charitable Contributions

richa creations, a high-end international jeweler based in colorado springs, colo., announced that for the sixth year in a row it will contribute a significant percentage of its corporate profits to global causes such as child sponsorship and training, global ecology, and world peace. richa creations president and owner pradeep khanna said in a statement, “we will contribute two-thirds of our p…

A Tale of Tucson

living up to its reputation as the world’s largest collection of gem fairs, the 2005 tucson gem and mineral shows had more of everything, including some unusual gems, along with a few items you should be aware of. availability. there was no nigerian tourmaline strike or madagascar ruby find to give tucson a standout gem this year.

Synthetics Promoted as ‘Diamonds for Humanity’

the diamond industry is up in arms after a group called diamonds for humanity promoted synthetic diamonds as conflict free at the recent academy awards. environmental group global green usa, working with diamonds for humanity, put lab-grown gems from gemesis, sarasota, fla., in the environmentally conscious swagg (sustainability, wellness, and green gifts) bags it gave celebrities participating…

Focus

a well-known design name is reentering the u.s. watch market, thanks to swi group, an energetic watch supplier targeting retail jewelers that’s led by three brothers. how energetic? in the past 18 months, swiss watch international has introduced four upscale brands—swiss-made or with swiss parts—and may add a fifth sometime this year.

Snapshot of an Income Statement

reviewing income statements comes easy for eric carstensen since he teaches at the gia school of business. during the recent jck show ~ phoenix 2005, the professor quickly summarized the key points of an income statement in a seminar on understanding cash flow. below is some of the info he shared with jewelers.

Smithsonian Scoops Up Dyber’s Dish

gem cutter michael m. dyber presented a bolivian ametrine to the smithsonian institution to be included in its national gem collection. cut in the dyber style with polished concave bowls (“dishes”) and tubes (“luminaires”), the 214.15 ct. ametrine will broaden the collection, which contains mostly traditional cuts.

Tanzanian Pink Spinel

when it’s red, it does look a lot like ruby. when it’s pink, it looks a lot like pink sapphire. luster and polish are similar, with spinel’s hardness scoring an 8, corundum a 9. color for both ruby and pink/red spinel is created by the same coloring agent, giving them both the exact same hue. making it even more confusing, spinel and corundum are often unearthed in the same region as their chem…

Orgell Sues Chopard

beverly hills, calif., jeweler david orgell has sued chopard usa and its swiss parent chopard & cie, seeking $1.2 million for what it calls “unlawful, unfair, and discriminatory business practices.” according to the complaint, in 2002 chopard opened a boutique next to orgell, a retailer of chopard products.

Dirty Gold: The Next Conflict Diamond?

it is not what fifth avenue retailers wanted days before valentine’s day—a 15-foot-tall puppet named “miss goldzilla,” carrying bags of fake jewelry, striding the streets in front of their stores, warning consumers off “dirty gold.” miss goldzilla’s pamphlets called gold mining “one of the most destructive activities in the world” and accused miners of a variety of sins, from environmenta…

Newswire

Bankruptcy Court Says Friedman’s Can Close Stores A bankruptcy court has approved Friedman’s request to close 164 stores in 17 states as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan, the company announced. It will also sell in excess of $25 million of inventory. Barbara Lipatapanlop Named ICA Executive Director Barbara Lipatapanlop was appointed to serve…

Remembering Dr. Edward J. Gübelin

dr. edward j. gübelin was one of the world’s most respected, honored, and accomplished gemologists, and many articles will be published elucidating his unparalleled professional achievements. my intent here is to provide personal insights into the life of one of gemology’s greatest heroes. as a young gemology student in 1977, i first learned of dr.

Pearls Expectations and Prices on the Rise!

“buying appeared vigorous and dealers felt it was a much stronger show than last year,” says pearl expert lois h. berger reporting on pearl sales during the tucson gem shows for the guide’s gem market news. “in the chinese freshwater cultured pearl [cfwcp] arena, there was a standout hot item called ‘petal pearls,'” says berger, g.

WJA Calls for Entries for 21st Annual Student Scholarships

the women’s jewelry association has announced its 2005 annual student scholarship program for deserving women students enrolled in fine-jewelry and watch-design courses in the united states. scholarship awards start at $500 and are based on design renderings submitted by the students. the deadline for receipt of the application is may 2, 2005.

In Your Right Mine

once again, the jewelry industry is the subject of nongovernmental-organization scrutiny; this time for alleged environmental destruction as a byproduct of gold mining. while these self-appointed watchdog groups deserve praise for looking after the rights of those who can’t speak up for themselves, let’s not forget their raison d’être is to dictate public policy without actually being elec…

The Most Preventable Crime

if you could prevent someone from stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from your store, would you do it? of course, you say. then why don’t more jewelers do that? three-minute burglaries (3mb) cost jewelers millions annually, yet they’re the most preventable [jewelry] crime that isn’t being prevented, says john j.

21 steps to success

tapered baguettes are probably the most difficult shape to set. they vary greatly because they are cut for weight, not optics or consistency. during setting, seats must be cut individually to fit each stone, which is difficult because round burs do not naturally cut flat, straight seats. finally, tapered baguettes are the most delicate and fragile diamond shape, so be careful not to break them.

A Ring Fit for a Princess—for $36

wal-mart’s british subsidiary is offering a £19 version ($36.25) of the platinum and diamond engagement ring prince charles gave to camilla parker bowles. the original, valued at almost $1 million, is “a timeless classic,” but the retailer wanted to give its customers “a taste of royalty for a fraction of the price,” said justine reid, jewelry buyer for the 267-store asda chain.

Tucson on $50K a day

of course you’ve heard of frommer’s travel guidebook, europe on $20 a day. that was written in 1984 (the original was europe on $5 a day), and with two decades’ worth of inflation under the economy’s belt, not to mention the declining dollar, $20 won’t get you far. the same goes for the tucson gem shows.

Corrections

In the April 2005 issue of Open to Buy, the name of the 33.19 ct. diamond pictured with the House of Taylor Jewelry (Mirabelle) listing was misspelled. The name of the diamond, owned by Elizabeth Taylor, is the Krupp Diamond. In “Pining for Pins,” JCK, January 2005, p. 82, the caption for the John Hardy…