May 2012

Belle of the Fall: Top 2012 Style Trends That Jewelers Need to Know

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True Blood: Sotheby’s Stunning $1.6 Million Burmese Ruby Ring

Out-dazzling the most magnificent real-life blooms, this ruby and diamond floral ring, which features a cushion-shape ruby center and diamond petals, fetched $1.6 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale April 3 in Hong Kong, narrowly topping its $1.5 million high estimate. The ruby is of Burmese origin and has been twice certified “pigeon’s…

Practical Stone Setting Part 25: Setting an Oval in Prongs

The procedures in this article are standard practices for bench jewelers at this time. If not executed properly, however, they can cause harm. Neither the author nor publisher is responsible for injuries, losses, or damage that may result from the use or misuse of this information. Safety Alert: Burs and other setting tools are extremely…

Bridal: Albany Jeweler & 105.7 FM Create “Marry Your Crush” Contest

Radio Active When a new radio station with a cute name—105.7 Crush FM—moved into Albany, N.Y., Frank Adams Jewelers decided it was a sign. So the jeweler teamed up with Crush FM and bridal vendor Martin Flyer for “Marry Your Crush.” “We were a little gun shy—this was our first real promotion that wasn’t a…

Tech: Jewelry Catalogs Go Mobile

Catalogs in Motion Simporos, a Los Angeles–based software development company, will release a mobile application at JCK Las Vegas for iPads and iPhones that lets designers and manufacturers create digital catalogs targeted to retailers and consumers. “During my earlier years in the trade, I realized most printed catalogs are very expensive, time-consuming, and ­usually out…

Watches: Baselworld 2012 Brings Proprietary Movements & Materials

Declarations of ­Independence For stakeholders in the watch business, the mantra at this year’s Baselworld fair went something like this: “It’s a special year because we’re introducing our first in-house movement,” said Luc Perramond, CEO of La Montre Hermès, referring to the brand’s big introduction, the Dressage watch, a 9-year-old model redesigned for 2012 and…

Pearls: CPAA Documentary Goes on a Fantastic ‘Journey’

Fantastic Voyage If you’ve ever wondered how the beautiful pearls you sell actually get to your store—not counting the FedEx truck!—you’ll want to check out the recently released multi-DVD documentary, The Journey of the Pearl ($49.95 at cpaa.org or at JCK Las Vegas). The project—produced by the Cultured Pearl Association of America—was a “labor of…

Silver: Turn the Trollbead Around

Last fall, on a sunny September afternoon, 239 women packed the Parkers­burg Art Center in Parkersburg, W. Va., to watch an artist whittle away at tiny bits of jewelers’ wax until something recognizable emerged: a bead. But it wasn’t just any bead or any artist: It was renowned Danish jewelry designer Mette Saabye creating some…

Gold: Mattioli, Leslie’s, and More Stop to Smell the Rose Gold Jewelry

Pretty in Pink (Gold) When the gold price started to skyrocket a few years ago, Mattioli didn’t launch a silver line or scrutinize gram weights; instead, the Italian gold vendor embraced a color that many others hadn’t: rose. Rose or pink gold, which gets its color from copper—the greater the quantity, the redder the gold—resurfaced…

Diamonds: Vivid Blue and Fancy Pink Diamonds on the Block in Hong Kong

Safe Havens? As the price of diamonds has appreciated, the market is again seeing attempts to promote the gems as an investment. A Rye Brook, N.Y., investment firm, IndexIQ Advisors, filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to list what is believed to be the first U.S.-based exchange-traded fund to invest in…

Gem Pricing Report: House of Cards?

With the market poised for a major pullback, gem dealers are preparing for price resistance Current trade activity indicates the prospects of a significant price correction in the global gem market have increased sharply. Dealers returning from the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in February report a surprising lack of large, fine colored stones…

Designer Sharon Khazzam Gets Cuff With a 434-Stone Mosaic Bracelet

Most jewelry designers, like parents, refuse to play favorites. Not Sharon Khazzam: “This is probably one of my favorite pieces ever.” Though the 285.26 ct. Mosaic Cuff took about a year to make, the idea came six or seven years ago. “I drew it in my sketchbook, and every year I came back to it…

Behind the Scenes at the Jewelry Sourcing Site JCK Marketplace

At the helm of JCKMarketplace.com, the new online sourcing tool that allows you to shop for inventory like you’re walking the aisles of a trade show, is ­marketplace manager Brittany Siminitz. From her base in Washington, D.C., Siminitz, a former retailer—she spent nearly four years at Joint Venture Jewelry in Cary, N.C.—talks about her first…

Haute and Not: The Baselworld 2012 Wrap-Up

Baselworld’s exhibitors aimed to please buyers at both ends of the spectrum The Baselworld luxury fair, held March 8–15 in Switzerland, played host to not one, but two David Yurman exhibits. The first took place, as always, at a spacious booth in the jewelry hall, where the designer showed his signature collection of baubles and…

JCK 5: JCK Las Vegas 2012 Rising Stars

Don’t miss these Rising Stars at the JCK Las Vegas Design Center in June. 1. (Above) Fluted ring in platinum with sapphires and diamonds; $15,000; Erik Stewart, Tucson, Ariz.; 480-734-7805; erikstewartjewelry.com   2. Ring in 18k gold with olive green moonstone; $5,900; Karin Jamieson, Cincinnati; 800-390-8424; karinjamiesonjewelry.com 3. Large Pebble necklace in 18k gold with…

JCK Las Vegas 2012: A Preview

Gearing up for the LUXURY, JCK Las Vegas, and Swiss Watch shows The most important market season in the American jewelry industry is fast approaching. And if the upbeat mood that has characterized the show circuit this year is any indication, then exhibitors at the JCK shows in Las Vegas should prepare for robust trading.…

JCK 5: Pitching Platinum Jewelry to Your Customers

Nuggets of information and words to the wise to share with your shoppers: 1. PGI’s new tagline: “Some things never change. A love that’s true. A ring that’s platinum.”  2. Scratches or nicks work-harden platinum, making items stronger, just like life challenges and events strengthen relationships. 3. Antique platinum jewels are true heirlooms because the…

Platinum Jewelry: The White Stuff

Five reasons why the metal’s the smart choice for you and your customers Platinum, the rarest of the precious metals, has no shortage of fans among retailers and consumers alike. But a periodic refresher course on the metal’s chief selling points never hurts. Here’s what the experts have to say about the best ways to…

JCK 5: Tips for Dealing With Lead Glass–Filled Rubies

1. Have the right tools. Keep a Hanneman filter—or, at the very least, a loupe—on hand to inspect stones. 2. Know the telltale signs. Look for flashes of blue and gas bubbles in stones under magnification. 3. Keep reliable resources handy. Have a gemologist or laboratory at the ready to help identify the nature of…

The Ruby Ruse: How Jewelers Can Avoid the Lead Glass–Filled Gems

What happens when undisclosed lead glass–filled rubies enter the market? Here’s how retailers can avoid disastrous results. Within the past year, Leo Anglo, the general manager of Vincent’s Jewelers in St. Louis, has seen so many customers carrying rubies through his doors that a rush on the classic gems appears to be in full swing.…

There’s No Business Like (JCK Las Vegas) Show Business

Belts may have tightened but retailers and exhibitors are heading to Vegas ready to buy, sell, and schmooze As retailers and exhibitors pack up their wares and head to Las Vegas for jewelry market week, the excitement that comes with the annual journey is tempered by caution. With economic troubles abroad, inflation in China, and…

JCK 5: Answers to Your Top FAQs on Retailer Business Plans

1. How long should the plan be? D&H Sustainable Jewelers’ Shawn Higgins says his is about 30 pages on top of supplementary financial data. Andrea Hill of StrategyWerx says the ones she puts together for clients generally clock in at 45 pages. 2. What span of time should it cover? Expert opinions differ, but the…

A Simple (Business) Plan

Don’t underestimate the degree to which a business plan can enhance traffic, sales, and profits You’ve heard the old chestnut that compares failing to plan with planning to fail? Well, it’s truer than most people think. And many experts say jewelers are especially guilty because they tend to avoid one tool that could guide their…

JCK 5: Inventory Management System Overload?

If you’re contemplating upgrading your current system—or taking the plunge with one for the first time—it can feel overwhelming. Here’s how to point yourself in the right direction: 1. How many machines will it be used on? Many inventory management systems are sold per-machine; if you have a single computer and a sole cash register,…

Material Whirl: Analyzing Your Inventory Management Options

Keeping track of your stock can be maddening without the right management tool. We break down the leading systems and software. Independent jewelers have a tough balancing act between keeping their showcases full and having enough cash flow to ensure that operations run smoothly. The key to handling this is a good inventory management system.…

JCK 5: Tips for Narrowing In on Your Retail Niche

1. Power up your passion. Tackling a niche is tough, says Bill Pearlman: “The fact that I love it is a big part of my business. I carry what I like, and no one in our community carries this kind of collection.” 2. Know your stuff. The narrower your niche, the higher the expectations about…

Nail Your Niche: How Retailers Can Zero In on Their Jewelry Sales Zones

Half a century ago, Pearlman’s ­Jewelers in Battle Creek, Mich., was the classic local brick-and-mortar store. It featured a wide variety of fine jewelry, clocks, watches, and gifts that would appeal to the entire community—something for every life stage, from birth to marriage to retirement. But as high-end, brand-focused designers exploded onto the jewelry scene…

The Life of Luxury Jewelry and Watch Shoppers

Analyzing the ­shopping habits and ­spending patterns of affluent consumers At the end of last year, JCK partnered with W ­magazine on a study of jewelry style and purchasing ­demographics among affluent consumers in the fine jewelry and watch market. The survey’s 534 total respondents, the vast majority of whom were women, had a median…

A Fine Jewelry Romance

More fashion companies are launching collections of precious gems and metals In the consumer psyche, fine jewelry from the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior is no less evocative of the brand than its latest shoe or handbag. It’s easy to forget that the merger between fashion and fine ­jewelry is a relatively…

Belle of the Fall: Top 2012 Style Trends That Jewelers Need to Know

From gobstopper-size baubles to eye-popping prints to Fabergé-style embroidery, fall fashion is all about bringing back the flash. Jil Sander returns! But wait, Raf Simons is dropped. And Stefano Pilati gets traded for Hedi Slimane at YSL? Fall 2012 was the sort of season where, with so much action on the sidelines, the actual collections…

Lois Chiles Models a Mid-’70s Elsa Peretti Pendant

Elsa Peretti managed to capture time in a bottle, thanks to her now-ubiquitous pendants of the same shape. During a trip to Portofino, Italy, in the 1960s, she came across women carrying gardenias in their hands. It was her desire to find a way to preserve the life of those fragrant flowers—if only in her…

JCK Asks…Lauren K

The lawyer-turned-­designer is ­doing her great-grandfather proud If things had gone differently, Lauren Kessler might have ended up a lawyer. Selfishly, we’re glad she went into the family business. A fourth-generation jeweler, Kessler debuted her Lauren K line in 1997. Characterized by her veritable rainbow of colored-stone selections and pavé diamond accents, the pieces are…

The Artist: In the Studio With Designer Kara Ross

She can craft jewelry from silver, gold, titanium, and—when the occasion demands it—a White House magnolia tree It’s no surprise that a tree stump sits in the corner of Kara Ross’ light-filled Manhattan showroom. The designer—whose fine jewelry is known for large-scale geometric patterns and unusual materials, including wood, jet, and volcanic lava—isn’t afraid to…

JCK 5: Earrings Go a Long Way Down

There’s something about length that gives many an object—from long-stem roses to thigh-high boots—extra drama. In jewelry, long earrings (no matter the material) are the quickest way to add a dash of sexiness to just about any outfit. Whether they’re sterling drops to spice up a buttoned-up blouse or gemstone-studded numbers that balance a sequined…

Online Retailer Edition01 on the Art of Accessories

The stylish Internet destination for capsule luxury collections Estefania Lacayo and business ­partner Jessica Wilpon Kamel see accessories as art, not commerce. That’s why their 1½-year-old online boutique, ­Edition01, helps clients create perfectly edited wardrobes without resorting to drastic discounting to lure them in. Avoiding the ­sample-sale mentality that has put traditional jewelers on the…

Store We Adore: Alchemy

1022 N.W. Lovejoy St., Portland, Ore. Master jeweler David Iler couldn’t have picked a better location than Portland’s Pearl District for his own shop. Like Iler, the district has industrial roots. In the 1990s, its former manufacturing facilities began to be transformed into urban-chic lofts, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Since 2005, the neighborhood has also…

Westchester Retailer Wilson & Son on Its Hall of Fame Success

Wilson & Son gives credit to generations of Westchester County clients Last year, Wilson & Son was inducted into the Westchester County Business Hall of Fame for Family Business Success. It may not sound as glamorous as, say, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it’s an honor that the Wilsons share with hometown…

How F-Commerce Failed Retailers

From the instant that brand pages were launched on Facebook, savvy online retailers have had a single question: Can we monetize the site? Can we take our products and sell them directly on our page? As jewelry retailers and national brands determine their online selling strategies and dedicate time and resources to those efforts, it’s…

Got Designs on Costume Jewelry?

Q: What’s the best way for fine jewelers to promote ­costume, or fashion, jewelry collections in their stores?     —Donna Hankin, proprietor, Joint Venture Jewelry, Cary, N.C. A: “We have had good sales and a lot of in-store fun with our clients with the costume fashion trends that have been happening. We don’t promote them…

Why Retailers Shouldn’t Mirror Their Own Images in Marketing

Running a jewelry store successfully is no mean feat. More than 80 percent of startups don’t survive the first five years, so count yourself in the minority. Your business is no doubt a source of pride, and it deserves to be. Sometimes, however, a preoccupation with your perceived store image can work against you. We’ve…

Retailer Dorothy Vodicka Charms Tallahassee’s Finest Customers

The Gem Collection owner is bejeweling and beautifying the women of Florida’s capital city 1. What is your single best money-­saving initiative?Over 20 years ago, we took our sales staff from a small salary and small commission to a full commission with a weekly draw. The decision wasn’t popular at first: We lost all of…

May Birthstone: Emerald

More than 2,000 years ago, Egyptian queen Cleopatra developed a passion for emeralds, and they have been in demand ever since. They remain the jewel of choice for many celebrities—famously, Angelina Jolie in $2 million Colombian emerald drops at the 2009 Oscars, and most recently, Viola Davis at this year’s in 112 ct. emerald and…

Industry & People: May 2012

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?Blue Nile named veteran retailer Harvey Kanter, 50, its new CEO and president. He was previously CEO of Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel, a retailer of premium outdoor apparel and gear. He replaces interim CEO Vijay Talwar, who was appointed Blue Nile’s general manager and president of its international business. >>?Van Cleef…

Spring Has Sprung: May 2012 Publisher’s Letter

It’s been an exciting spring here at JCK! First up was a very early Baselworld fair in Switzerland. Unusually, the fair fell during the first week of March (to accommodate all the construction taking place this year in advance of the fair’s 2013 debut). For us, it was a terrific time to meet with clients…

A Show of (Fashion) Force: May 2012 Editor’s Letter

I have to admit: I’ve never been the world’s biggest fashionista. Don’t for a minute think this means I do not believe in fashion. I just don’t tether my identity to it. (That role is filled, thank you very much, by ­jewelry.) Besides, I can’t keep up with fashion’s merry-go-round of trends. Slim, slouchy, ’70s-inspired…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: May 2012

1. Baselworld You’ve heard of master jewelers and master watchmakers, but a master of feather arts? The esoteric specialty featured prominently at the Harry Winston booth at the Basel fair, where a one-of-a-kind $1.3 million pendant/brooch belonging to the brand’s Ultimate Adornments collection offered an exquisite example of the lengths to which watch and jewelry…