November 1, 1998

Jewelry Store Salaries on the Rise

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UpFront

small sight allocations in september liquidity problems in some diamond cutting centers, the worsening economic climate in the far east, and a saturated american market caused de beers’ central selling organisation to slam its slight allocations into steep reverse. the september sight was reportedly $325 million, about $100 million below august’s and a similar amount under the septe…

Harmed Guards

a nightmare scenario played out in palm desert, calif., this summer. a traveling jewelry salesman returned home from sales calls in los angeles with his armed escort, the first he’d used in 10 years in the business. joe (not his real name) parked the car in his garage while the escort kept a lookout in the driveway, as he had done for the previous two weeks.

Jewelry Store Salaries on the Rise

a thriving economy fueled healthy pay increases last year for jewelry store owners and employees alike, according to jck’s annual salary survey. thanks to strong 1997 sales nationwide, retailers could afford to boost employee compensation even as their own paychecks swelled. but a bigger factor was a shrinking unemployment rate, which meant that store owners had to ante up to attract and …

Supplier News

m&l jewelry unveils contessa collection past and present converge in m&l jewelry manufacturing’s new contessa collection of platinum, gold, and diamond jewelry. inspired by the glamour and elegance of the 1920s, designer michael landver has created a series of rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

The Hispanic Market:Too Big to Ignore

almost from birth, hispanics learn the importance of jewelry in their culture. when a baby girl is born, her mother or godparents will have already purchased her first pair of earrings. if the newborn is a boy, tradition also demands jewelry: an id bracelet with an engraved date on the back, a medal, a cross, or a gold chain.

Notebook

restoring opera house to rebuild business hugh turner remembers “november and december, the busier times of the year.” drivers looped around main street in downtown newberry, s.c., looking for parking spaces. all five municipal lots filled. that was in the mid-’60s, right after he opened turner jewelry.

Robert Lee Makes His Own Rules

it’s easy to spot robert lee morris at a jewelry show. in a place where armani, brioni, and gucci are as omnipresent as diamonds and pearls, morris wears jeans and t-shirts. for his debut in the fine jewelry industry, his marketing manager begged him to put on a button-down shirt (she didn’t venture the word “tie”), but morris said no.

GemNotes

tough bidding for the pink tender after a month-long, four-continent tour, the most important pink diamonds in the world were sold at silent auction last month in geneva. it was the 14th annual pink diamond tender staged by argyle, the australian diamond company. since 1985, when argyle began showing its pink collections, the tenders have been each year’s highlight for the fancy-colored d…

Letters

fur coats get under readers’ skins shame on you, jck! i thought we had moved beyond glamorizing animal furs as a luxury item! your “fall fashion forecast” (august 1998, p. 70) sounded like a promotional article from the american fur industry. author hedda schupak describes a photo of a fur-trimmed coat as “spelling luxury” – really, how about “spelling …

A Toast to an Unusual Partnership

once upon a real time, a theologian and a winemaker met in the woods. they quickly discovered a mutual passion for art and antiquities and thought it would be fun to make beautiful jewelry together. and so that’s what they did. a strange little tale, for sure, with no fairies, goblins, or witches who spin straw into gold.

Business Report

don’t eat bad checks if you think bounced checks are a problem now, wait till you see what’s coming. american banker magazine predicts check fraud losses will grow by 25% annually in the coming years. last year alone, some 1.4 million worthless checks were written daily, for an astounding total value of $9.

CounterPoint

security revisited: response and rebuttal usually the communication in a magazine is one way – from the writer to the readers. sometimes, though, the readers respond. one reader who responded to a recent column of mine was ron harder, president of jewelers mutual. ron took issue with a number of things i wrote in july when i lamented the lack of new thinking about security for jewelry sal…

Fred Ward Seeks a New Day in Court

the now-infamous lawsuit over a fractured emerald that cost bethesda, md., jeweler fred ward his custom salon has taken some new twists. hoping to appeal the june 1997 judgment, ward now believes he has evidence that will disprove the two lab reports that swayed the court’s opinion. both reports – from the gemological institute of america’s gem trade laboratory (gtl) and ameri…

Bookreviews

haute histories two lavishly illustrated new books trace the rise of two of the world’s premier jewelry houses, cartier and tiffany. cartier, 1900-1939 by judy rudoe henry n. abrams inc., new york; 334 pages, $75. in 1899, alfred cartier, newly in partnership with his son, louis, moved the family’s retail jewelry business from 9 boulevard des italiens, a busy shopping district,…

Retailer News

cartier continues u.s. expansion cartier, the international luxury goods retailer, continued its expansion in the united states this fall with the opening of two new boutiques. one is in seattle, cartier’s first entry into the northwest. it was set to open in october at pacific place. the other, in troy, mich.

Watchworld

five deaths leave watch industry reeling william furhmann was the charming and humorous head of chopard usa, whose infectious enthusiasm inspired good times and spontaneous million-dollar deals. patrick bell was an ambitious go-getter who shot up tourneau’s corporate ladder in record time. pierre-andre aellen was an entrepreneur with respected ties to many watch companies.

FashionFacets

pins without pinholes if you’d rather not hear heavy metal music, you can change the radio station. now there’s also an alternative for brooch wearers who would rather not pin a heavy medal through their clothes. the magnapin can fasten brooches, medals, and trade show badges to clothes without making pinholes (or worse) in the fabric.

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Bench?

when jewelers have the right bench tools, they can finish their work quickly and precisely. that saves your store time and money. a well-stocked bench builds customer satisfaction and loyalty. of course, the jeweler down the street also knows this is true. so, in order to be competitive, you should stock your bench with the latest in tools and gadgets.

Beyond Beauty: Stores Designed to Sell

lavish, beautifully designed jewelry stores are fun to look at. sometimes, though, jewelers run the risk of intimidating their target customers, who assume they can’t afford anything in the store. a jeweler also risks sinking more money into the design than can be realized in return. jck spoke with jewelers and store designers from across the united states to get a feel for the latest ret…

Trade Show Roundup

canadian shows draw few americans with the american dollar worth nearly $1.50 canadian, one would expect americans to turn out in droves for canada’s summer jewelry shows. curiously, this wasn’t the case. although organizers of one canadian show – expo prestige 98, held in montreal aug.

Value Addled: How Gyrating Gem Prices Affect Your Bottom Line

if you study past and present market fluctuations, you’ll be better equipped to adjust your selling prices – and to explain gem values to your customers. since gemstone prices fluctuate, you as a jeweler need to adjust your selling prices to be competitive in a changing market. you also need to be prepared to respond to customers who ask if certain gems will rise in value, providing…

Contests

schuetz winners announced the gemological institute of america has announced the winners of its 22nd men’s jewelry and accessories design competition, the 1998 george a. schuetz jewelry design contest. more than 70 designs were entered. first place went to mei shan lee of hong kong. her design was an ornamental gold cufflink featuring a princess-cut diamond in the center, surrounded by gr…

CATALOGS

kenstan lock co. has published three booklets highlighting its newest locks. the booklets offer detailed descriptions and illustrations of the interchangeable core thru-glass plunger lock, the pinline sliding thru-glass plunger lock, and the keymatic sliding door ratchet lock. kenstan lock co., 101 commerical st.

People

shreve, crump & low gets new president shreve, crump & low of boston – which calls itself the oldest continuously operating jewelry store in north america – has made two top management changes as part of an organizational restructuring. richard wycherley, formerly with bally of switzerland and alfred dunhill in england, was named president.

Associations

gia gets record gift stephen silver, president of california-based s.h. silver co., and his wife, eileen, recently presented the gemological institute of america with the most expensive gift of set jewelry ever donated to gia’s gifts-in-kind program, the treasured gifts council. the piece is a platinum, lavender topaz, and diamond-encrusted edwardian stomacher brooch valued at $105,000.

Diamond ‘Happenings’

a number of seemingly unrelated happenings over the past few weeks suggest that some fundamental shifts are taking place in the world diamond market. it’s too soon to say what impact these shifts will have on day-to-day diamond business in the united states. but one thing is sure. change is coming.