November 1, 2003

Working Harder

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Fashion Interactive

everyone’s seen the computer programs that allow a woman to see what she’d look like in a variety of different hairstyles. now jewelry designer tammy kohl is taking the same interactive concept into jewelry design. kohl, owner of takohl, chicago, has launched an interactive web site that allows jewelers and their customers to create visual images of their own personalized takohl treasure rings.

Stock Options: Orogemma 2003

this year’s orogemma show, held sept. 6-11 in vicenza, italy, was filled with buyers searching for last-minute holiday stock. geared toward the european market, the goods on offer differed from those seen at earlier shows in the united states; however, european shows such as this often portend trends to come.

JA Has New Chairs, Officers

alan m. zimmer, president/ceo of reeds jewelers, wilmington, n.c., was elected chairman of jewelers of america in july during ja’s board of directors meeting in new york. zimmer succeeds carolyn pope of crews jewelry, grandview, mo., whose two-year term ended. the following officers also were elected: john cohen, carlyle & co.

WJA Honors Eight at 20th Annual Gala

the women’s jewelry association (wja) marked the 20th anniversary of its awards for excellence at the group’s annual awards dinner. held at chelsea piers during the ja new york 2003 summer show, the gala recognized the accomplishments of outstanding women in the fine jewelry and watch industry. among the award recipients was juell kadet, jewelry designer and owner of rogers & hollands jewe…

JCF Hosts Annual Dinner

the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf) hosted its annual facets of hope dinner during the jck show ~ las vegas 2003. more than 2,100 guests—including olympic skating champion scott hamilton—helped to celebrate the fifth birthday of “the industry’s charity” at the bellagio resort on june 1.

Appointments

van scoy jewelers recently welcomed graduate gemologist linda kummerer to the staff. her responsibilities will include appraisals of customers’ fine jewelry as well as new jewelry sales and service. prior to joining van scoy jewelers, her extensive industry experience included working as an appraiser, designer, and sales consultant.

New leadership at JEF

the board of governors of the jewelers education foundation (jef) of the american gem society has appointed dona k. norris as executive director of the charitable organization. adding staff leadership was the next step in the jef’s plan for enhancing its commitment to the jewelry industry: to advance the skills and ethical standards of the industry.

Runway Jewels

jewelers clamored to be among those who dressed the models on new york’s runways during fashion week in september. along with the usual suspects—the world gold council, for example, went so far as to serve as a co-sponsor of mark montano’s show—were smaller designers who are, increasingly, savvy about the power of high-profile fashion exposure.

dmg world media Antique & Collectibles Show

dmg world media announces the launch of the first annual miami beach holiday antique & collectibles show. the 150,000-sq.-ft. show features more than 300 exhibitors and will be located in the south beach resort area. the show will be held at the miami beach convention center, hall c, nov. 21-23.

Italian Royals Choose Damiani Bridal Jewels

emmanuel filiberto, prince of venice and piedmont, heir to the royal house of savoy, and his fiancée, french actress clotilde courau, chose damiani rings for their september wedding at the basilica of our lady of the angels in rome. the rings are a new version of those co-designed by damiani and actor brad pitt, handmade in platinum with two diamonds—representing the bride and groom&…

National Metalsmiths Name Two to Hall of Fame

two recipients recently received national metalsmiths 2003 hall of fame awards—john paul miller in the artist category and heikki sepp™ in the arts educator division. miller is a master of precious metal granulation whose work is in the collections of the smithsonian institution’s renwick gallery, yale university, and the cleveland museum of art, as well as in many private colle…

Star and Abbeycrest Join Forces

star diamond group inc. and abbeycrest plc announced a new alliance in the formation of abbeycrest north america inc. star diamond has established a network of companies and partnerships in all facets of the diamond industry. abbeycrest plc has a global network of jewelry manufacturing plants. abbeycrest north america’s premises are located in new york to support customers who require domestic …

IJK 2003 Jewellery Kobe

the 7th international jewellery kobe (ijk) show was held may 15-17, 2003 at the kobe international exhibition hall, kobe, japan. the show drew 421 exhibiting companies from 17 countries and regions, and 13,029 visitors from japan and other parts of the world. the show floor was divided into special exhibit corners such as “world pearl area,” and “jewellery related products corner” for machiner…

Obituaries

joan o’malley, a former director of marketing and sales for hoover & strong, passed away on july 6, 2003, after a 10-year battle with cancer. o’malley began her career 30 years ago in new york as a customer service representative for aurora, a nationally known toy company. she rose through aurora’s ranks to become national accounts manager, then national sales manager.

Identifying CVD Synthetic Diamond

the gemological institute of america (gia) reports that four apollo rough crystals and four apollo faceted diamonds were submitted to gia’s gem trade lab (gtl) for identification and research. the european gemological laboratory (egl) and gemologist antoinette matlins also have studied similar apollo cvd diamonds.

New location for CDG

the business office of the contemporary design group has moved to a new location. effective july 14, 2003, the new contact information is: contemporary design group, marylouise lugosch, coordinator, 312 lynch road, newcastle, me 04553; (207) 563-8688, e-mail: info@cdgjewelers.com.

Restringing Pearls, Part II

in part i of this series, we outlined the benefits of pearl restringing and discussed how you can start your restringing service. in part ii, we’ll show you how to restring pearls using the tri-cord knotter method. (part iii will lead you through the traditional tweezers-and-awl method.) you’ll need the following tools and supplies: preliminary steps prepare the beginning and ending pearls for…

OMAS Presents ‘Vision’ at New Yorker Festival

omas shared the art of writing during the fourth annual new yorker festival in september. maker of the official writing instrument of the new yorker festival and a supporting sponsor, omas presented each of the festival’s writers, cartoonists, and screenwriters with monogrammed vision pens, one of the latest collections by omas.

The Color Field

colored gemstones of every hue and pearls of every persuasion continue to inspire jewelry designers and boost sales in the volume market. consumers in the volume jewelry market are still captivated by color. perennial favorites like the big three, amethyst, and blue topaz compete for attention alongside other popular choices like opal, mother-of-pearl, and mystic topaz.

Christmas for a Lifetime

for consumers, the holidays are a season of giving. for jewelry retailers, it’s a season for getting—specifically, getting new customers who, with a little planning and initiative, can be turned into longtime or even lifetime customers. according to a new jck survey of hundreds of jewelers, at least one in five of their holiday customers have never been in the store before.

Bilgore Launches New Company

in may 2003, jeffrey b. bilgore ended his tenure at oscar heyman & brothers to establish his own company, jeffrey bilgore l.l.c. he had been employed with oscar heyman & brothers for 16 years.

D’Damas Joint Venture Launched

damas jewellery l.l.c., dubai, has entered into an alliance with gemplus jewellery, india, ltd. to form a company that will manufacture and market the d’damas range of branded jewelry in india and abroad. d’damas jewelry will be retailed through independent retail jewelers across the country, and the partnership will be supported by various marketing and promotional drives such as consumer even…

Cyma Watch Buys U.S. Distributor

cyma, a leading upscale swiss watch brand, has purchased its u.s. distributor, hugh glenn corp., which now becomes the swiss company’s u.s. branch. terms of the transaction weren’t released. no changes are planned for hugh glenn’s operations or staff. hugh glenn continues as president, the company name remains the same, and its offices remain in new york city.

Institutional Thievery

a recent conversation with a member of the industry who deals with the “majors” inspired me to write about a critical issue that needs to be addressed: the business of copying designs. the discussion focused on new-product development and how it apparently has become routine for buyers from major retailers to hand over sample products from one manufacturer to a “low cost” supplier to knock off.

Buyers Market of American Craft Moves to August

the buyers market of american craft will hold its annual summer show aug. 6-8, 2004. the 2004 winter show will be held feb. 13-16, with a jewelry and art-to-wear preview to be held on feb. 12. summer show dates were changed from july to accommodate artists and buyers who travel from city to city to participate in multiple shows in a matter of days.

Siragusa Out as President of Maurice Lacroix USA

robert siragusa in late august unexpectedly left his post as president of maurice lacroix usa, the u.s. subsidiary of the upscale swiss watch brand. siragusa established the brand in the united states in 1994 and built a network of more than 400 jewelers that carry it. an aug. 22 letter sent to the brand’s u.

JIC Elects Officers, Board Members

the board of directors of the jewelry information center (jic) elected the following slate of officers at its meeting in july: john green of lux, bond & green, west hartford, conn., chairman; esther fortunoff of fortunoff, westbury, n.y., vice chairman; ross markman of suberi brothers, new york, treasurer; and lowell kwiat of kwiat inc.

Baubles for Babes

it is said that there is no greater love than that of a parent for a child. the preciousness of that love, and of children themselves, makes one wonder why jewelry—the symbol of choice for romantic love—has not been more widely recognized as the symbol for the parent/child bond. many designers and manufacturers, recognizing that untapped potential, are offering retailers increasingl…

Attendance Up at Atlanta Show

the 2003 atlanta jewelry show, held aug. 2-4 at the cobb galleria centre, enjoyed a modest increase in attendance over the 2002 event that included more than 60 stores attending the event for the first time. many companies took advantage of a new exhibitor promotion, “sjta ad.” the program gave exhibiting sjta members a chance to have professional-quality advertisements created for their compa…

Here We Go Again…

diamonds are again in the media spotlight, creating confusion for consumers and angst for the jewelry industry. and, once again, the angst comes not from the issue itself so much as the sensationalized way it’s been addressed. the cover story of the september issue of wired magazine features a diamond-clad model, while the screaming headline “the new diamond age” implies that the industry is…

Wired Cover Spotlights Synthetics

wired magazine sent shock waves through the industry with its september cover story on “the new diamond age.” the story on diamond synthetics covered mostly familiar territory for the industry—but its sensational tone caused some to worry that synthetics and other “gem defense” issues may soon resonate at retail.

Swatch Group First-Half Sales Down

the swatch group, the world’s largest watchmaker, posted a 6.6% drop in total sales to 1.8 billion swiss francs (us$1.28 billion) for the half year ending june 30. net income for the swiss watch conglomerate, based in bienne, switzerland, fell 9.7% to chf186 million (us$131 million), says a half-year report released aug.

Hong Kong Returns to Basel Show

it’s official. hong kong will return to switzerland’s baselworld trade show, as reported in july by jck. the swiss government also has apologized for banning hong kong exhibitors this year from the show. officials of the swiss and hong kong governments, the hong kong trade development council (hktdc), and fair organizer mch basel exhibition ltd.

Say What?

the global nature of the gem and jewelry industry provides the opportunity to see many parts of the world and gain friends from different cultures. global interaction, however, sometimes spawns glitches in communication. dick hughes, a gemologist and colored gemstone expert at pala international of fallbrook, calif.

47th Street Shocked by Dealer’s Arrest

people on 47th street were shocked by the arrest of an elderly gem dealer in conjunction with a scheme to sell missiles to terrorists. yehuda abraham, 76, of ambuy gem corp., was arrested in august and charged with conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, a felony. court papers allege abraham agreed to transmit $30,000 passed on to him by an associate without the proper…

JA’s J Report Includes ‘Counter Points’

jewelers of america’s bimonthly newsletter, the j report, now includes a four-page pullout called “counter points” that covers the latest gemstone and jewelry news. the july/august 2003 issue covered the new beryllium bulk diffused sapphire, and the september/october 2003 issue covers cultured pearls.

Analysis: Fallout from the Shakeout

when de beers launched its “strategic review” in 1999, managing director gary ralfe promised there would be “no sacred cows.” he wasn’t kidding. it’s been months since the diamond trading company’s dramatic pruning of its sightholder list, and the industry is still reeling. de beers not only gave 20% of its clients their walking papers but also excommunicated some of the industry’s biggest name…

Life Sentence for Jewelry Store Robber

a florida man was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison in hinds county (mississippi) circuit court, the clarion-ledger of jackson, miss., reported. omar jackson, 33, of opa-locka, was convicted of the sept. 18, 2001, armed robbery of albriton’s jewelry store in highland village shopping center in jackson, district attorney faye peterson told the newspaper.

New Trade Fair Slated for 2004

a new international trade fair for personal accessories will be held in frankfurt, germany, march 5-8, 2003. the fair, titled “passione,” will bring together complementary product groups including bags, cases, luggage, small leather goods, jewelry, watches, eyewear, hats, lingerie and hosiery, belts, handbags, writing implements, luxury food and drink products, smoking accessories, and men’s gi…

CDG Receives Support from Rio Grande

rio grande now sponsors the contemporary design group, an organization of america’s top jewelry designers and craftspeople that promotes innovation and creativity in modern jewelry design. cdg’s network of more than 75 members aims to partner high-end jewelry designers and manufacturers with exclusive jewelry retail operations.

WJA-LA Chapter Meeting

the june 2003 meeting of the women’s jewelry association-l.a. chapter featured a talk by nelson holdo, president of asanti fine jewellers in san marino, calif. holdo shared his expertise in estate jewelry with wja members and guests, including an explanation of the terms “antique,” “estate,” and “period.

BaselWorld Names North American Rep

the baselworld watch and jewelry show has appointed the gallagher group as its north american representative. the group will further develop baselworld’s existing visitors and press service, as well as handling all marketing research, advertising, media relations, and buyer communications for the show.

NRF Predicts Joyful Holiday for Retailers

u.s. retail sales for november and december should rise 5.7% over last year’s figures, to $217.4 billion. that’s the forecast from the national retail federation (nrf), which, if accurate, would make this year’s holiday showing the best since 1999, when general merchandise sales in the two-month period climbed 8.

MJSA Hosts ‘Safe and Secure’ Event

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) hosted a new york regional meeting in august titled “safe and secure.” the event—the first in a series—focused on how businesses can ensure that they are in compliance with local safety regulations, practice safe shop procedures, and protect against potential risks.

India Rising

the goals of india’s gem and jewelry industry, as articulated by the country’s gem & jewellery export promotion council (gjepc), don’t lack for boldness. they include transforming india into the “world’s largest trading center,” becoming a $16 billion industry by 2007, making india a “one-stop shop” for jewelry, training artisans and designers to “international levels,” and taking the “indi…

A Call for New Talent

the american jewelry design council is accepting applications for its annual talent contest. this high-profile competition—which provides the winner with a booth at the summer ja new york show—has successfully launched the careers of many winners in the past. the american jewelry design council is a group of 30 nationally prominent designers who have banded together to increase a…

Organic Gems Unveiled in GIA Exhibit

the gemological institute of america (gia) will tell the unique story of organic gems in a museum exhibition at its carlsbad, calif., world headquarters. “all-natural, organically grown gems from plants and animals” debuted in mid-july and will be on display through april 2004. the exhibit, presented in the institute’s s.

Permanent Exhibit Recognizes GIA’S Founder

a new exhibition honoring the gemological institute of america’s founder, robert m. shipley sr. (1887-1978), is now on display at the institute in carlsbad, calif. located on the second floor near the recently installed shipley lithograph tribute, the exhibit will be on display permanently for visitors to learn about his momentous contributions to the jewelry industry.

GIA’s Brook Ellis Re-Elected DETC

brook ellis has been re-elected as the second vice president of the distance education and training council (detc) accrediting commission. ellis will continue to review information submitted from applying organizations and evaluate them for accreditation. he also will assist in making decisions for the development of new standards and the revision of outdated ones.

JVC Names Ggeneral Counsel

the jewelers vigilance committee (jvc) has named ulla wolff to the newly created position of assistant general counsel. wolff will participate in all aspects of jvc’s programs, most prominently in jvc’s alternative dispute resolution services. she will also administer the jvc precious metals testing facility.

Fischer and Gately to be Feted

walter fischer of rolex watch u.s.a. inc. and edward j. gately of fleet precious metals will be honored by the american jewish committee at a gala event on nov. 4 in new york city. the two industry leaders will be presented with ajc’s prestigious jewelry division human relations award for their professional excellence and commitment to community service.

AWI Installs New Board Members

the american watchmaker-clockmakers institute (awi) elected new members to its board of directors during its 43rd annual meeting, held this year in florence, ky. the members include james k. zimmerman, york, pa.; james r. sadilek, carson city, nev.; and glenn d. gardner, madison, wis. gardner also will serve as affiliate chapter director for one year.

June Hong Kong Fair a Success

the june 2003 hong kong jewellery & watch fair, asia’s biggest mid-year jewelry trade fair, brought together 551 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions, and 12,843 visitors from 65 countries and regions, as well as 5,008 exhibitors’ staff members. the 22nd paspaley pearl auction was held in conjunction with the fair in the hong kong convention and exhibition centre.

Working Harder

compensation among jewelers nationwide in 2002 didn’t change much from 2001, according to results of jck’s most recent salary survey, but many employees were compelled to work harder for whatever increases they did get. a year ago, of course, the number of those out of work was climbing (700,000 lost their jobs in 2002, according to government figures), and war in iraq was pending—which m…

New WGC Ad Campaign Launched

the world gold council unveiled its fall 2003 advertising campaign sept. 10 in new york during a special presentation in the secret wine cellar at the 21 club. michael barlerin, world gold council managing director for the americas, said the location was particularly appropriate because the ad campaign theme is “speak gold”—and 21 was a former “speakeasy” during the prohibition era.

Swiss Watch Exports Down

swiss watch exports fell 6.6% to 4.56 billion swiss francs (chf) during the first six months of 2003, says the federation of the swiss watch industry (fh) in a july 28 report. it blamed the drop on “the effect of the war in iraq, the sars epidemic, and the poor economic situation in europe.” given the world economic situation, a return to growth “is not foreseeable in the immediate future,” sai…

Letters

needless alarm mr. dallahan’s claim that the branding of diamonds is bad for the retail jewelry business raises needless alarm. (see “branding again,” jck, july 2003, p. 38.) we are in a unique place in our history, facing unique challenges and opportunities. it is important that we see clearly. who would deny that branding has fueled demand for nearly every product consumers love to consume? b…

DIVA Awards Honor Best and Brightest

the seventh annual diva awards were presented recently during a special awards ceremony in las vegas. established by the women’s jewelry association (wja) to showcase the work of up-and-coming women in the jewelry business and to foster their talent with monetary prizes, the competition accepts only renderings as entries.

GIA Holds Circle of Honor Dinner

the gemological institute of america (gia) held its first circle of honor dinner at the institute’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif., in may 2003. the event was held to recognize 20 dedicated supporters of the institute who have donated gifts-in-kind cumulatively valued at $100,000 or more. to symbolize gia’s appreciation for these gifts, medallions designed and created by renowned design…

Dates Announced for AGTA GemFair Tucson

the american gem trade association (agta) has announced that agta gemfair tucson is scheduled for feb. 4-9, 2004, at the tucson convention center in tucson, arizona. the 2004 show will have live demonstrations as well as new and enhanced education programs. the event will feature more than 400 exhibitors showcasing natural colored gemstones, cultured pearls, designer jewelry, manufactured lines…

Galaxy Diamond Donates to GIA

los angeles-based diamond wholesaler galaxy diamond has donated $125,000 to gia’s endowment fund, which is designed to provide a perpetual source of income for gia education and research. in recognition of the company’s gift, a classroom at gia’s world headquarters in carlsbad, calif., will be named for galaxy diamond.

New Diamond Inscription Service Available from DIT

diamond inscription technologies inc. (dit) has launched a laser service designed to provide rapid trade support nationwide. laser inscription makes it possible to mark diamonds with brand names, logos, certificate numbers, and personal messages. “inscribe while you wait” service is now available for walk-in trade traffic, and customers out of the area can take advantage of dit’s 48-hour service.

New Head of GIA Gem Instruments

the gemological institute of america has appointed akiva caspi director of research and product development for gia gem instruments. in his new role, caspi will manage product engineering and technical services and develop new products for gia gem instruments. he holds a bachelor of science degree in electronic engineering from the israel institute of technology in haifa and has worked as manag…

DCWC Opposes De Beers-Russia Contract

in a strongly worded letter, the diamond club west coast has asked the european union not to approve de beers’ new contract with russia, warning it will have “anticompetitive” effects on the diamond industry. the european union has been looking at the legality of the de beers-russia pact, and it sent a confidential “statement of objections” to the two parties in march.

De Beers Contributes to GIA

the de beers group recently made a contribution of $450,000 to the gemological institute of america (gia). the donation, which will be disbursed to gia in increments of $150,000 over the next three years, will help fund diamond research and development activities at the institute. in recognition of the gift, the de beers group was honored at gia’s 2003 league of honor dinner in october.

Latin Star Wears Pink Diamonds by South Florida Jeweler

levinson jewelers, plantation, fla., recently adorned latin grammy awards presenter and hispanic heritage awards feature performer soraya with a $5 million, one-of-a-kind pink diamond necklace. the latin superstar chose to wear pink to express advocacy for breast cancer awareness. this summer marked the musical return of the much-praised latin singer-songwriter.

AGS Honors Crowningshield, Koivula

the american gem society (ags) recently presented its lifetime achievement award to g. robert crowningshield, retired vice president of the gemological institute of america’s (gia) gem laboratory, and the new richard t. liddicoat journalism award to gia chief research gemologist john i. koivula. the ceremony was held july 29 at the rainbow room in new york.

U.S. District Court Invalidates ‘Elara’ Patent

in july 2003, the u.s. district court for the northern district of illinois, located in chicago, entered the federal jury verdict finding u.s. design patent no. d338,851 (the “‘851 patent”), covering the “elara” (formerly known as the “flanders brilliant”) diamond design, to be invalid—as being fully anticipated by an earlier (“prior art”) gemstone design.

Moonstone (Orthoclase Feldspar)

this month’s jewel is displayed in finished jewelry created by award-winning designer henry dunay, new york. his mango-green moonstone pendant places 131 cts. of gems horizontally for a classic yet bold pendant, bezel-set in 18k yellow gold, with matching ring. dunay mounts the gems over the yellow gold to create a golden yellow, honey-color moonstone sheen.

ABC’s GMA Investigates Synthetic Diamond Testing

during a segment broadcast sept. 16, abc tv’s good morning america visited the international gemological institute’s new york city diamond lab to see firsthand how laboratory gemologists would test for synthetic diamonds. consumer correspondent greg hunter provided three stones for testing—two natural diamonds and one synthetic cvd apollo diamond.

GIA Hosts Jewelry Career Fair

more than 1,000 potential job candidates brought their hopes and resumés to the gemological institute of america (gia) 13th annual jewelry career fair, held july 25 at the jacob k. javits convention center in new york. job seekers met with recruiters from 38 firms, including such well-known names as david yurman, tiffany & co.

MVI: One in Four Consumers Aware of Conflict Diamonds

consumer awareness of the conflict-diamond issue has reached an all-time high, says a new survey by mvi marketing, paso robles, calif. twenty-six percent of consumers are aware of the term “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds,” mvi’s jewelry consumer opinion council found in a july survey. that’s up from 16% awareness in 2002, 9% in may 2001, and just 7% in october 2001.

Explaining Moissanite’s Cut

a new booklet, published by charles & colvard ltd., the sole manufacturer and distributor of created moissanite jewels, claims that special cut proportions allow moissanite to exhibit “more brilliance, fire, and luster than any other jewels used in the creation of jewelry.” the booklet, titled cut: its relevance and importance as it pertains to a jewel’s optical physics, was written by earl…

Kimberley Process Goes Live at Last

it’s taken three years and was preceded by yet another round of back-and-forth political maneuvering, but the kimberley process finally has gone live. fifty-two countries signed on to the system, which seeks to eliminate conflict diamonds by enacting a series of rough-diamond import and export controls.

Cultured Pearl Association Gets New Nucleus

the newly elected president of the cultured pearl association of america (cpaa), armand asher of albert asher south sea pearl in new york, says his first order of business is to help the organization become more visible. “first and foremost, we need to make the cpaa more recognizable,” says asher. “we’ve been in existence for 45 years, and yet not all consumers and retailers know about us.