May 2011

Legends of the Fall

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Practical Stone Setting

Part 23: Bright Cut Box NOTE: The procedures described in this article are standard practices for bench jewelers. If not executed properly, however, they can cause harm. Neither the author nor publisher assumes responsibility for injuries, losses, or damage that may result from the use or misuse of this information. Along the way to learning…

Cindy Chao’s Dazzling Azaela Solstice Cuff

Talk about beginner’s luck. Cindy Chao had been designing jewelry for three years when she left her native Taipei in 2007 to study at the Gemological Institute of America in New York City. “Every time I passed by Christie’s near Rockefeller Center, I told myself, ‘Before I die, I want a collection auctioned there.’?” Emboldened,…

Watches: Harry Winston, Patek Philippe & More

It’s Complicated Among watch aficionados, the term complication refers not to a problem or an unexpected difficulty, but to features that allow a watch to do more than simply tell time. For centuries, watchmakers have strived to outdo themselves in this realm by creating timepieces boasting ever more eccentric functions—displaying phases and orbits of the…

Pearls: Autore Gets Fired Up, Shane Co. Commits to Japan

All You Need Is Lava From the Fire & Ice collection by Australian pearl jeweler Autore comes an 18k gold and titanium (favored for its light weight) pendant necklace inspired by molten hot lava. A dozen round 11 mm–14 mm Tahitian pearls are complemented by a 0.06 ct. orange sapphire, 0.43 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds, 3.18…

Bridal: New Styles by Sylvie, Harout R & Diamond in the Rough

Love in Bloom Just in time for spring’s budding flowers and ­blossoming romances comes an assortment of new wedding styles guaranteed to charm even the most discerning brides-to-be. One-of-a-kind: Diamond in the Rough, whose raw-­diamond engagement rings are now available online thanks to the launch of a new e-commerce site in March, has developed nine…

Silver: Jane Taylor, Joan Hornig & Michael Bruder

Jewelers Help Japan When the Great Sendai Earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan March 11, the American jewelry community responded quickly. These necklaces were made available within a week of the disaster. Designer Jane Taylor introduced the silver Rella (Sinhalese for “wave”) pendant on a black waxed cotton cord after the December 2004 tsunami in…

Diamonds: DTC Sightholder Selection, Forevermark Manufacturers & More

Natural Selection It’s application time again at the Diamond Trading Company. On March 8, the De Beers Group’s sales and marketing arm announced it will begin processing sightholder applications for the 2012–15 period. Both existing clients and hopefuls for De Beers’ storied list must submit a contract profile questionnaire by July 7. This marks the…

Gold: Terry Whyte’s Local Design Contest, Pascale Bruni’s Le Joli Monde Line

Student Union In 2009, to mark the 25th anniversary of Golden Artistry ­Jewelry Design—and to position his La Mesa, Calif., store for future success—Terry Whyte decided to reach out to his youngest customers. So he unveiled a jewelry design competition for local high school students. Celebrating a quarter of a century of business “was significant,”…

Gem Pricing: Summer’s Stones

As the trade preps for the warmer months, prices, supplies, and colors are top of mind Retail jewelers are optimistic that consumers will continue to return to the market and, as such, are buying for stock in growing numbers. The trend is solid, but much of the activity is centered on bridal. In diamonds, well-made…

From Swarm to Store: Chaumet’s Buzz-Worthy Bee My Love Earrings

To bee or not to bee? That isn’t even a question when faced with these killer Bee My Love earrings by 231-year-old Parisian ­jeweler Chaumet. “The bee has been an icon for Chaumet since the first jewelry pieces made for Napoleon as the imperial symbol of immortality and undisputed power,” says artistic director Lionel Giraud.…

LUXURY at JCK Preview: Inside Michael Beaudry’s Boutique

Elite Enclave, located next door to LUXURY at JCK, is Las Vegas’ newest event for buyers in search of exclusivity When Michael Beaudry unveils his new patented stone-setting technique, known as “flash setting,” to retail buyers in Las Vegas this year, he will do so from a brand-new venue adjacent to the LUXURY at JCK…

Burn, Basel, Burn

The heat is on in the luxury business The Baselworld watch and jewelry fair was on fire. Literally.? On three successive nights of the show—held March 24–31 in Basel, ­Switzerland—flames shot through the rooftop of the Hall of Elements as Swiss watch brand Breitling commandeered the space for one of its legendarily risqué pyrotechnic parties.…

JCK 5: Swiss Hits

Baselworld 2011 featured a few standout collections rich in color, craftsmanship, and imagination. 1. (above) Earrings in 18k gold with rubies, diamonds, and amethyst briolettes; price on request; de Grisogono, Geneva; 41-22-817-8100; degrisogono.com   2. Autumn ring in 18k gold; price on request; Jewellery Theatre, Moscow; 74-95-789-6868; jt.ru   3. 18k gold snake pendant with…

Technology & Tools: It’s Hip to Be on Foursquare

Location-based social networks allow users to “check in” to restaurants, theaters, clubs—and your store. Here’s why you should check them out. Jennifer Lieu didn’t think twice about her store getting involved with the social media phenomenon that is Foursquare. “We as a company are very proactive and want to get the word out,” says the…

Technology & Tools: World Gone CAD

The boom in the custom jewelry segment has led scores of retailers to computer-aided design. But how do you know which program is right for you? As technology that powers everything from mobile phones to manufacturing continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, it should come as no surprise that high-tech tools employed by jewelry…

Blessing in Disguise

In light of the economic recovery, jewelers are reflecting on policies they put in place during the recession that made them leaner, meaner, and more profitable. In 2008, when the economy tanked—taking scores of ­retailers with it—the owners of Long’s Jewelers, a five-store chain based in Boston, knew the only way to survive was to…

JCK 5: How to Capitalize on the Postrecession Landscape

1. Be transparent, says Ellen Fruchtman. “Show prices and fully disclose your product’s features and benefits,” she says. “Today’s customers are very jewelry-savvy. Prices are important to them, but they still want value.” 2. Be available to customers everywhere they shop—in the store, online, through direct mail, or via social media. Buyers are pressed for…

JCK Spotlight Platinum: Metal of Honor

15 white-hot designs that prove platinum is worth every penny Roses Are White Rose platinum necklace and pendant with brilliant-cut diamonds; $28,799; Heinz Mayer, Idar-Oberstein, Germany; 49-6781-9640; heinzmayer.de COUTURE DESIGN   Cosmic CurvesCosmo platinum brooch-pendant with shell, rubies, pink brilliant-cut diamonds, and 18k red gold; $16,077; Atelier Zobel, Constance, Germany; 49-75-312-5962; atelierzobel.com   City SlickerArchitectural…

JCK Spotlight Platinum: White Noise

A new Platinum Guild International study reveals growing interest in entry-level platinum and a surprising sales spike thanks to the rising price of gold. Over the past several years, gold and platinum prices have performed a dramatic tango on world markets. Having climbed to historic highs, with the former still rising, the metals have slipped…

JCK 5: Fast Facts on Platinum Sales

1. Engagement rings make up the majority of platinum jewelry sales in all stores, followed by women’s wedding bands. 2. The average price of a platinum engagement semi-mount is approximately $2,800. 3. Less than half of jewelers surveyed purchased entry-level platinum products in 2010, though two-thirds reported that entry platinum products sold out during the…

Show Stoppers

10 buys to make at JCK Las Vegas this year 1. THE COLORS: Blue & Green Spring was all about flirty, carefree pastels, but come fall, ­jewelry takes a darker turn toward a bolder and richer palette. The two standout shades of the season? Here’s a hint: ­Remember Angelina Jolie’s long-sleeved green Atelier Versace dress…

Getting the Goods

How to buy, fine-tune, and swap your inventory so it tells the right story for your store. Question: How do you know when your inventory management approach isn’t working? Answer: when your open-to-buy budget has more forecasts than the Weather Channel; your point-of-sale (POS) software has got you on autopilot, restocking only fast-sellers; or shipping…

Double Agents

Sometimes selling sweaters simply isn’t enough. Inside four fashionable boutiques that have branched out into the jewelry business. From New York to Naples Jennifer McCurry is used to her employer’s store, Naples, Fla.–based Marissa Collections, being compared with some of New York City’s swankiest fashion salons. But it wasn’t always this way. Five years ago,…

Fashion Rocks

Some celebs just know how to work a red carpet. When you want to know what’s hot, look to these five always-sophisticated stars. Carrie Underwood American Idol has produced chart-toppers, platinum-album–sellers, Grammy winners, a Tony nominee, and an Oscar winner, but it’s only given us one genuine glamazon. And we’re not talking about Jennifer Hudson.…

Legends of the Fall

Surrender to your animal (print) instincts. Color your world with honeysuckle and ­marigold. JCK helps you dress—and ­accessorize!—For autumn. Ah, fall. The season when we shed summer’s lights and brights and go back to work, back to school, and back to the covered-up, darker-toned ensembles more appropriate for a boardroom than a barbecue. Or is…

Suzy Parker Goes Faux Miriam Haskell

During the 1940s and 1950s, wartime restrictions on the use of precious metals set the stage for a golden age of rococo design among costume jewelers. Miriam Haskell, the doyenne of costume couture, was one of the period’s leading lights. Having opened her first shop, Le Bijou de L’Heure, in New York’s McAlpin Hotel in…

Designer Showcase: Red-Carpet Queen Lorraine Schwartz

With her virtuoso collection of one-of-a-kind jewels, Schwartz helps put the glitter in glitterati Cate Blanchett. Beyoncé. Blake Lively. When it comes to diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, Hollywood A-listers line up at Lorraine Schwartz’s door like children line up for candy on Halloween. Yet no one seems more surprised than Schwartz herself to be known…

JCK Asks…Loree Rodkin

She used to book bands. Now she designs them. All designers undoubtedly get a thrill seeing celebrities show off their pieces at the Oscars, the Emmys, or any other affair where Ryan Seacrest is asking “What are you wearing?” But Loree Rodkin scored the ultimate red-carpet moment in 2009 when Michelle Obama hit all the…

JCK 5: Disco Nights

Funky prints, platform wedges, and sexy short shorts are summer’s hottest fashion ticket thanks to designers’ full-on embrace of ’70s style. What better way to complement these liberated looks than with oversized earrings, the disco accessory du jour? Big hoops and dangly drops—with fat links, wide landscapes of patterned metal, or graceful mobile-like spheres, recalling…

Innovative Retailer: Weston Jewelers

Ed Dikes’ high-end store welcomes one and all Being hailed as a retail role model by Richemont, the luxury group behind Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and other illustrious brands, is just another day for Ed Dikes, owner of Weston Jewelers in Weston, Fla. One look at his proactive marketing strategy explains why. Dikes’ high-end,…

Store We Adore: Philip David Jewelers

968 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, Conn. The vibrant heart of West Hartford—known to locals as “The Center”—is a chamber of commerce’s dream: a diverse mix of coffee shops, upscale eateries, and chic boutiques, where family businesses far outnumber chain stores. And with a 57-year, multigenerational history, Philip David Jewelers fits right into the Center. Its…

It’s All Relative: Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry

Blakeman’s prescription for success? Bridal, brand names, and the Arkansas Razorbacks In the late 1970s, Don Blakeman was working as a pharmaceutical rep for Pfizer. Then he met a Keepsake Diamonds sales rep who drove a Mercedes, worked fewer hours, and made more money. Blakeman swapped (prescription) drugs for diamonds and hasn’t looked back since:…

Should you ask for the add-on sale?

“It’s a pre-Internet technique that today’s savvy consumers see as manipulative.”Terry Sisco, chief ExSelleratorExSellerate  Tampa, Fla. The New “Normal”: The iGeneration—those young adults who’d rather listen to the Black Eyed Peas than eat them—has grown used to purchasing in the neutral shopping environment of the Internet. This is their “normal.” They expect the in-store experience…

Popular Demand

Q:  What kind of jewelry do you see trending among your customers right now? —Kendra Logan, sales manager, Siebke Hoyt Jewelers, Cedar Rapids, Iowa  “Varying colors of gold are strong in gold fashion and engagement rings. Chocolate gold does very well in gold fashion, and rose gold is picking up steam in fashion and engagement…

Community Service

Supporting others online is a free and easy way to grow your business Take one look at how the digital revolution has impacted the marketing of industries like fashion and technology, and it’s clear that jewelry lags behind. Sure, we’re all adapting to phenomena such as social media faster than ever before, but it just…

Jewelry Farm

All customers are created equal…but some are more equal than others No, we haven’t been reading George Orwell, and yes, you should treat all customers like they’re worth their weight in gold. But you don’t have enough hours in the day for everybody and everything you have to do. Recognizing who and what is most…

Retail Details: James & Sons Fine Jewelry’s John Sunderland

Diamonds are this guy’s best friend. Let him pour you some Kool-Aid. 1 What one advertisement or promotion elicited the most response, and why did it work?For Christmas 2010, we sent out 15,000 holiday catalogs with free gift cards inside—10,000 to existing customers and 5,000 to new customers. Customers could receive discounts of $50 off…

JCK 5: Dazzling Displays

Simple ideas to turn your store into an ultra-refined cabinet of curiosities: 1. Amplify and Exaggerate: Negative space amplifies the look of a single piece of jewelry in a case. Similarly, a baroque pearl placed beside a perfect strand of rounds makes clear why opposites attract. 2. Irony and Contrast: Help to heighten or “casualize”…

The (Silver) Doctor Is In

For the past three years, Renaissance Silver Restoration, a division of Columbus, Ohio–based Bron-Shoe Company, has hosted silver restoration clinics for retailers around the country. The events have revived a service for fine-silver owners that was nearly lost during the economic boom years, when the rush to buy new jewelry eclipsed the appeal of vintage…

Emerald

In the 16th century, the Spanish discovered what the Aztecs and Incas already knew: Colombian emeralds from the legendary Muzo district were more valuable than diamonds. Colombia holds the record for producing the world’s largest emerald crystal—a 7,052 ct. stone unearthed in the Cruces Mines in Gachala in 1969. The gem has long been regarded…

Industry & People

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?Stuller chief operating officer Jay Jackson was named president and CEO, the Lafayette, La.–based jewelry manufacturer announced March 28. Company founder Matthew Stuller returns to the position of chairman. Stuller also made the following executive changes: Harold Dupuy, formerly chief merchandising officer, has been named to the newly created position of vice…

Tiffany & Co. to Open 21 Stores in 2011

Tiffany & Co. will open 21 stores this year. That will include eight locations in the Americas, five in Europe, and eight in the Asia-Pacific region. Four stores will open in the United States in 2011, although the only cities the company specified were Northbrook, Ill., and Richmond, Va. The jeweler currently has 84 U.S.…

Flash Sale Sites Sold

Two leading flash sale sites, which offer brand-name items like jewelry at big discounts, were both sold in March. Nordstrom completed its purchase of HauteLook on March 23; the $270 million transaction was first announced in February. Meanwhile, eBay acquired 30 percent of Rue La La after buying the site’s owner, GSI Commerce, in a…

Tacori Denied Restraining Order Versus Scott Kay

On March 3, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California denied Tacori a temporary restraining order against Scott Kay pieces that Tacori contended infringed on its “reverse crescent” copyrights. In the first battle between the two trade titans, the court noted that Tacori is likely “to establish it owns a valid…

Pandora: Up Nearly 75% in 2010

Pandora sales in the United States grew 72.6 percent in 2010, according to the company’s annual financial report. The United States remains Pandora’s largest market. The charm maker earned $354.7 million last year, an 86.2 percent bump from 2009. Revenue from silver and gold bracelets jumped 50.3 percent; revenue from rings rose a startling 281.8…

Jeweler Sued Over Christmas Snow Promo

So much for the Christmas spirit. A North Carolina ­jeweler who returned thousands of dollars in a holiday snow promotion was sued because he didn’t refund one man’s sales tax. Last October, Alan Perry, owner of Perry’s Emporium in Wilmington, N.C., announced that customers’ holiday purchases would be free if 3 inches of snow fell…

Japan Disaster May Affect Jewelry Market

Given its heavy involvement with Japan, the jewelry industry reacted in shock and horror to the March 11 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. No member of the industry was known to be hurt in the events. On March 14, Avi Paz, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, issued a statement saying…

JCK 5: Ice Queen Elizabeth Taylor

Five iconic jewels owned by Dame Elizabeth Taylor that we’d like to see at Christie’s upcoming sale of her historic collection:1. Taylor-Burton Diamond Every queen needs her crown jewel, and this 69.42 ct. pear-shape diamond, purchased by fifth husband Richard Burton at auction in 1969 for more than $1 million, was Taylor’s. 2. La Peregrina…

Modern Luxury

Wow—I can’t believe it’s early April, and the Baselworld fair in Switzerland and the SMART Jewelry Show in Chicago are already history. Both shows left me feeling optimistic and confident that manufacturers who are nimble, creative, social media–savvy, and dedicated to presenting fresh products are doing well. The Basel fair is unique. It’s amusing to…

High Drama

It wouldn’t be spring without a trip to Basel, the Swiss city on the Rhine that hosts 100,000 jewelers and watchmakers every year for the luxury extravaganza known as Baselworld. For those who’ve never been, the fair is, hands down, the most glamorous event on the jewelry calendar. A highlight this year was my appointment…

10 Things Rocking the Industry

1. Celebrities Elizabeth Taylor had her share of romances—some longer-lived than others—but one love remained constant: jewelry. When the Oscar-winning actress died of congestive heart failure March 23, the industry lost one of its most passionate supporters. Taylor was, of course, known for her love of big rocks—particularly the 68 ct. Taylor-Burton D-flawless pear-shape diamond…