May 2007

Old Gold

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Soft Marketing

marketing events and activities that focus on education or enjoyment in a relaxed atmosphere not only lead to sales but also build lasting relationships with customers. the four retailers discussed below have created soft marketing programs that break down barriers between jewelers and customers, raise community awareness of their businesses, and build long-term relationships.

How Do I Handle Requests for Discounts?

some people ask for a discount just to ask. others want to be sure they’re getting the best price possible. and some customers might be trying to play the negotiating game. but just because a customer asks doesn’t mean a salesperson has to offer a discount to close the sale. first, make it clear to the customer that the store does not allow discounting.

Stuller Appointed to Board of the Federal Reserve’s New Orleans Branch

matthew g. stuller sr., chairman and chief executive officer of stuller inc. in lafayette, la., has been appointed to the board of directors of the federal reserve bank of atlanta’s new orleans branch. his term runs through dec. 31, 2009. federal reserve bank of atlanta branch directors provide economic information from the branch territory to the district bank’s president and head office di…

Small Changes Can Yield Big Results

the title refers to studies that show the average person has an attention span of seven minutes, and the brain is limited to remembering only seven pieces of information at a time. by following a series of small, “seven-minute” steps that lewis calls “micro-actions,” anyone can make major, positive changes, she maintains.

Who Are You? A Guide to the New You, Part 2

as cuba gooding jr. said to tom cruise in jerry maguire: “show me the money!” analyze not only your balance sheet but also all your jewelry categories so you know your real gross margin return on investments. this will enable you (and your buyers) to develop a smarter game plan come buying time at the shows.

Jules Rand

jules rand, 64, a principal in rand and paseka, a manufacturer of gold and silver religious jewelry, died recently. rand’s factory in freeport, n.y., which has been family operated since 1951, will continue to be run by his son, michael, and his son-in-law, marc schwab.

Short-Circuited

anyone who needs a lesson in stupid short-term thinking has only to read the news about circuit city’s layoff of approximately 3,400 of its better-paid salespeople. with salaries ranging from $7.50 to $15 per hour (the average is about $10 to $11 per hour, according to a report on bloomberg.com), they’re making too much money, and the company—facing larger competitors and declining sales,…

Management Matters: Successful (and Legal) Employment Interviewing

the best predictor of future performance is past performance. but unless you’re promoting from within, you don’t have past performance to evaluate. the employment interview can help predict future performance, but only if you use it well. it also has to meet legal requirements. asking certain questions during an employment interview violates the law.

Sampling to Predict Your Success

last month i argued that detailed measuring of sales associate behavior and your sales process—not just financial outcomes—can mean the difference between a revenue increase of zero and a revenue increase of 10 to 20 percent. in addition, thorough measurement can provide an early predictor of future performance, allowing you to make midyear corrections.

Supplier News

Diamond Advantage Debuts Diamond Advantage has opened in Rochester N.Y. The company specializes in 0.50 to 3.00 ct. stones. Diamond Advantage ships overnight for free and will pay for return shipment as an introductory offer on a retailer’s first memo. The company also has a lifetime trade policy on all loose diamonds. For information, call…

The Pony Goes Precious

ralph lauren, creator of the polo pony and rider motif for clothes, is unveiling a fine-jewelry line with richemont, the luxury goods group that owns cartier. the new venture—dubbed the polo ralph lauren watch and jewelry co.—represents firsts for both companies: a joint venture with a fashion designer for richemont and a push into fine jewelry for lauren.

Trend Alert: Y Necklaces

the mid 1990s bring to mind fond memories of the macarena, tonya harding, monica lewinsky, and the y necklace. actresses from melrose place and friends were all wearing this hot necklace of the moment, and nearly 20 years later, people are wearing it again. the classic shape looks good in myriad materials and is a versatile wardrobe component.

Jewelry Information Center Advises Rachael Ray

food network star rachael ray dazzled recently in jewelry styled in part by the jewelry information center. the bestselling cookbook author and lifestyle magazine editor-in-chief turned to jic for advice on what jewelry to wear to the recent 79th annual academy awards and governors ball. jic also teamed with ray and her stylist for a tv segment featuring her oscar wardrobe selections.

JAR: Elusive Trendsetter

when actress ellen barkin announced last fall that she was unloading her trinkets from ex-husband ron perelman at christie’s, the media buzz surrounding the sale did not focus on the vintage treasures from cartier and van cleef & arpels or those once owned by the duchess of windsor. the buzz was about 17 pieces by a contemporary designer, a guy from the bronx who goes by the acronym jar.

Newswire

coomi bhasin, of coomi jewels, recently took home the award in the fine jewelry category of fashion group international’s 10th annual rising star awards. bhasin was chosen based on her creativity and jewelry accomplishments. mark schneider was recently named designer of the year by contemporary design group, a national organization of jewelry designers and retailers, as part of the group’s …

CIBJO Blue Book Defines Paraíba

in the 2006/07 edition of the cibjo blue books (annex b – commercial names), the name paraíba stands for any green-to-blue tourmaline colored by copper, regardless of country of origin. the standards found in the blue books are established by experts on the subject within cibjo committees, and from individuals outside the committees who express interest in developing the guidelines.

Antwerp Duo Now Implanted at Dubai

youri steverlynck, former spokesman for the antwerp, belgium, promotional group hrd, has been appointed the new chief executive officer of the dubai diamond exchange, in antwerp’s “rival,” dubai, united arab emirates. he assists peter meuss, former hrd executive director, who is the dubai exchange’s executive director for diamonds and colored stones.

A Diamond-Studded Tribute to Fashion

milan fashion week, an event firmly associated with glitz and glamour, became downright dazzling as a $1.3 million diamond-studded top graced the runway during the event’s final day. the outfit, which used more than 900 diamonds totaling 300 cts., was created by world-renowned fashion designer gianfranco ferré in a joint effort with diamond company and dtc sightholder dalumi.

Clear as Mud

everywhere we turn in politics and business we hear that marvelous wordtransparency. everybody acclaims it, demands it, promises it, and sells it. wonderful, i think, just wonderful. we are in a world where everyone and everything is aboveboard, and human rights and the environment are protected. and all precious stones are natural and untreated or else have fully disclosed treatments.

VH1 Takes on Sierra Leone With Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds, and Hip Hop

vh1 recently aired bling’d: blood, diamonds, and hip hop, a searing 90-minute documentary that took several rappers to sierra leone to show them the impact of its diamond-fueled civil war and the conditions in its present-day diamond trade. the show began by explaining the lure of diamonds for the hip-hop community, arguing it evolved from “pimp” style and turned into a form of status.

It Takes Two

between the diamond solitaire and three-stone “past, present, future” jewelry lies jewelry.com’s latest concept: duo. the new collection of jewelry featuring two diamonds per piece was launched recently at a gala event held at the new york public library. jewelry.com chairman ofer azrielant says two is the forgotten number when it comes to diamond jewelry.

De Beers Wins Suit Against Sightholder

de beers won its lawsuit against jayam, a sightholder based in antwerp, belgium, in a case that could have declared supplier of choice legally invalid. the suit alleges that, in its first supplier of choice allocation, de beers’ diamond trading company capped the new sights based on sightholders’ previous allocations.

James Stuckey

james h. stuckey, founder of the houston-based stuckey co., died recently at age 87. stuckey, a merchant marine, was 27 when he first visited johannesburg, south africa, and became interested in diamonds. he decided to go into the jewelry business and, with a partner, began the stuckey and speer co. in 1951.

Gold An Indian Perspective

dharmesh sodah, joint director, india, world gold council, has just returned from his annual holiday in china. he has slipped effortlessly into his work of promoting the prospects of gold and increasing its demand the world over. though india’s affinity for gold is well known, he feels that there’s a limiting factor as far as designs are concerned.

Gold Boom or Bust? (Or Both?)

everyone in our business has been aware of the rise in precious metals prices. in 2007, gold prices opened 50 percent higher than they were two years ago and 130 percent higher than just five years ago. while gold is particularly important in the jewelry business, all precious metals have seen serious increases.

Torre del Greco and the Fruit of the Sea

the harvesting of coral in the coastal city of torre del greco, italy, dates back to at least the beginning of the 15th century. but turning “red gold” into jewelry didn’t begin until 1805, when the king of naples, ferdinando iv, granted paolo bartolomeo martin of marseille, france, a 10-year monopoly on the manufacture of coral in the town.

WGC Debuts Consumer Campaign

the world gold council has launched a new gold jewelry advertising campaign in the united states, set to break this month in 17 fashion and lifestyle publications such as elle, harper’s bazaar, instyle, real simple, town & country, vanity fair, vogue, w, and others. after its initial debut here, the campaign will expand to worldwide markets.

Dateline: Miami Beach

this year’s 45th edition of the original miami beach antique show at the miami beach convention center hosted more than 1,000 national and international antiques dealers displaying paintings, furniture, asian art, glass, china, some antique canes and pistols, and jewelry. the show took place jan. 11–15.

Correction

in “950 palladium bench guide” (jck, march 2007) an error occurred in the text accompanying the photograph on p. 131. the top ring is platinum, the middle ring is palladium, and the bottom ring is white gold. jck regrets the error.

Old Gold

the sicán civilization of ancient peru eluded archaeologists and historians for a long time. the sicán, now recognized as skilled metallurgists, ceramicists, seafarers, and traders, flourished on the northern coast of peru from 800 to 1375. until recently, however, the majority of the archaeological and anthropological knowledge concerning ancient peruvian cultures focused on the inca…

Appointments

The Gemological Institute of America has elected Dr. Rodney C. Ewing, a professor at the University of Michigan, as the newest member of its 19-member board of governors. Ewing is a leading researcher in geology and mineralogy, with more than 35 years of experience. He has authored or coauthored approximately 500 research publications and has…

Solomon Gad

solomon gad, president and founder of new york’s amerind and a 50-year member of the diamond dealers club, died recently. he was 83. gad was born in afghanistan in 1924. upon settling in new york, he formed amerind, one of the first companies to import colombian emeralds as well as precious gems from burma, india, and ceylon.

Moves Timex Upscale

the timex group, whose popularly priced signature brand is america’s best-selling watch, is moving upscale with tx, its new german-engineered, italian-designed, midprice, multifunctional brand in a new category timex calls “technoluxury.” it’s making its formal debut in the u.s. market this year.

Guidelines for Marketing Watches on a 12-Month Basis

it’s also important to host events throughout the year. events increase visibility, highlight branded merchandise, and increase traffic. host parties to showcase special pieces and draw attention to new product. this is also an opportunity to forge and maintain new relationships with customers who may not be on your roster.

From the JCKonline.com Blogs

de beers in the u.s. my understanding, from some good sources, is that de beers/diamond trading company executives have traveled to new york rather frequently in the last six months. [managing director] gareth penny even came for a bit. i also saw one or two at the russell simmons press conference. and while in the past, de beers executives limited their trips to “noncommercial” act…

Alyce Alston Leaves De Beers Retail Chain for Publishing

alyce alston, chief executive officer of de beers diamond jewellers north america, is leaving the company to return to publishing. the company has not announced a new ceo of the north america division, which recently opened a store at the forum shops at caesar’s palace in las vegas. alston, the former publisher of w jewelry, will take a position as division president of the readers digest assoc…

Diamond Theft Mars Polish Fair

thieves stole $1.5 mil-lion worth of diamonds from a belgian diamond dealer at the amberif international fair of amber, jewelry, and gemstones in gdansk, poland, according to polish radio and tv. fair officials are offering a $6,800 reward for infor-mation leading to the capture of those responsible for the theft, an amberif spokesperson told jck.

Networking Events Planned for Las Vegas

the eighth annual luxury by jck and the jck shows’ inaugural premiere event both will take place at the venetian resort hotel casino in las vegas may 28 to may 31. all registered retailers for either luxury by jck or premiere will enjoy the benefits of shopping both events with one badge. luxury by jck and premiere are by invitation and are tailored to meet the purchasing needs of high-caliber…

Gem Pricing Report

colored stone dealers report slightly improved market activity, which is concentrated in better-quality grades for most gems. prices for some varieties are up 15–20 percent from last year, and there is solid demand for fine-quality emeralds. recent production of richly colored, slightly bluish green colombian emeralds has generated enthusiasm in the u.

DTC Holds Sightholder Briefings

the diamond trading company is holding briefings on the sightholder application process in cutting centers including antwerp, belgium; hong kong; johannesburg, south africa; mumbai, india; tel aviv, israel; and toronto. new york is not on the list—a sign that, despite far more frequent trips, dtc executives are still skittish about doing business in the united states.

JSA: Jewelry Crime Hitting New Lows

dollar losses, crimes against jewelry sales-people, and jewelry-related homicides all dropped during 2006, sometimes hitting levels not seen in 20 years, jewelers’ security alliance reported. overall dollar losses in 2006 were $105.8 million, down 5.1 percent from 2005. the number of off-premises crimes, principally against traveling salespersons, de-creased from 181 to 155, the fewest…

On Treated Chocolate Pearls

ssef, the swiss gemmological institute, basel, switzerland, examined several chocolate pearls, currently popular, from three producers. the ssef laboratory reports that the pearls were dyed, showing “distinct color concentrations” in the very top layers of nacre, below which was seen gray to lighter brown color.

LID Files for Chapter 11

new york–based lid recently filed for protection under chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. lid ltd.’s parent company is a diamond trading company sightholder in israel. it is the second sightholder-related company to declare chapter 11 in recent months. in november, m. fabrikant and sons filed for chapter 11.

Over Heard at the Museum

the heard museum of native cultures and art in phoenix is showing the art of two noted native american jewelry designers, yazzie johnson and gail bird, in an exhibit titled shared images. “innovative design and flawless technical skill distinguish the jewelry of yazzie johnson, navajo, and gail bird, santo domingo/laguna,” writes the heard museum’s nicole haas.

Opal Smart Chart Aids Valuation

if you’ve had difficulty describing and evaluating opal, you’re not alone. so many factors affect the beauty, quality, and value of an opal that most jewelers and appraisers give up and contact their opal supplier to find out what they have and what it’s worth. but now there’s a tool to help jewelers become more competent at opal evaluation.

Good Times at JCK

i hope you noticed our new “jck reader” campaign in the march and april issues of jck and the jck look book. as you can see from the outtakes on the left with the green brothers of lux bond & green (that’s john in the blue shirt and marc in the white), we have a ton of fun doing the photo shoots! we are very excited about the campaign.

Newswire

Tiffany Sales Rise, Profits Fall Tiffany & Co. said that net sales for fiscal year 2006 rose 11 percent to $2.6 billion. But 2006’s net earnings were approximately equal to 2005. U.S. sales rose 9 percent for the year, to $1.3 billion, with same-store sales jumping 5 percent for the year. Jewelers of America Launches…

Dateline: India

the fourth edition of the jaipur jewellery show was a fine blend of b2b and b2c interaction. it enjoyed a notable response from exhibitors, customers, consumers, and visitors. held on the threshold of the new year, from dec. 22 to 25, 2006, at raj mahal palace, it was a good opportunity for the colored-stone industry located beyond the traditional hub of jaipur.

Bradley Stinn, Former Friedman’s CEO, Indicted

bradley stinn, 47, the former chief executive of friedman’s and crescent jewelers, has been indicted for allegedly lying to shareholders about friedman’s financial performance. charges include conspiracy, securities fraud, making false filings with the securities and exchange commission, mail fraud, and certification of a false financial report.

Correction

in the march 2007 article “santa fe symposium advances the science of adornment,” barbara berk, of barbara berk designs, was misquoted. her quote should have read: “i had always been intimidated coming here. i don’t understand phase diagrams, and i have nothing to do with casting.” jck regrets the error.

Bling

a recent article in the wall street journal discussed the internet’s impact on the music business. despite the industry’s best efforts to accommodate itself to the internet, so much music is downloaded from napster-like locations, paid and unpaid, that the industry is losing significant sales revenue.

The ABCs of Copyright Protection

copyright protects original works of authorship, which means original designs. an original design is something one creates from his or her mind using whatever tools are available. for jewelry, tools include implements to carve waxes and create renderings as well as computers and software. an original design eligible for copyright protection need not be the first.

Isaac Baum

isaac baum, owner of baumell pearl co., died in san francisco on jan. 19 of a heart attack. he was 79. baum, born in poland, spent world war ii in concentration camps, including auschwitz. after the war he lived in england, where he first met his wife, evelyn. they were married for nearly 45 years. in 1962, the couple moved to san francisco where they started selling watches and eventually swit…

MJSA Opposes Union Bill

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america is urging members of the jewelry industry to contact u.s. senators to voice their opposition to a bill that’s working its way through congress. called the employee free choice act of 2007, the bill is intended to “amend the national labor relations act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor org…