November 1, 2005

Gender, Volume, Region Affect Jewelers’ Pay, Benefits

The Lion, The Witch, & The Jeweler

jewelry designer jasmine watson has a unique claim to fame. she’s the jeweler for the blockbuster film adaptations of two of the greatest fantasy classics in modern english—the lord of the rings trilogy (2001–2003) and the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, the $150 million walt disney film opening dec.

Bringing Home the Basics

terry chandler, president and chief executive officer of the diamond council of america, nashville, tenn., has a passion for training and educating jewelers. that passion was forged through two decades of working in jewelry retail. chandler began his jewelry career with michelson jewelers, a paducah, ky.

Outlook for Holiday: Positive—With Pitfalls

retail forecasters are predicting a generally good christmas, although they worry that consumers’ wallets will take a hit because of high gas prices and the fallout from hurricane katrina. on the plus side, the job and stock markets remain strong, and retail sales have generally held up this year.

Hiring a Sales Manager or a Selling Manager

we’ve often been retained to locate sales managers for retail jewelry stores. in our experience, we’ve found that two distinct roles are often lumped together under the term “sales manager,” and paid accordingly—that is, not enough. to find the most effective candidate, you first need to determine his or her real role, and then structure the compensation package.


in the october issue (“last but not least,” jck, october 2005, p. 112), the description of the item from idaho opal & gem was printed incorrectly. the description should have read, “14k white gold sapphire and diamond pendant with 0.60 ct. oval blue sapphire center stone and 0.

Oxygen Aided

in a major breakthrough study performed by gübelin gem lab in lucerne, switzerland, and its research colleagues, the 18o and 16o isotopes of heated and unheated rubies and sapphires from 106 deposits worldwide were found to be unique, which makes them useful in determining origin. one especially important discovery is that heated corundum specimens from a particular region have the exact s…

De Beers Honored For AIDS Policies

de beers was honored for its hiv/aids counseling and testing policies by the global business coalition on hiv/aids recently. the company received the award at the gbc’s awards for business excellence gala, where the speakers included secretary of state condoleezza rice, u.s. senator hillary clinton, and actress angelina jolie, a spokeswoman for the united nations commission on human rights.

De Beers Reshuffles Management; Appoints First Black African Executive

in another management reshuffle, de beers announced the appointment of its first black executive. david noko has been appointed managing director of de beers consolidated mines, which handles the company’s south african mines. he replaces jonathan oppenheimer, son of chairman nicky. according to a company news release, jonathan oppenheimer, 36, will move “up to the chairman’s office,…


last month jck reported that cibjo, the world jewellery confederation, had left the council for responsible jewellery practices, a new international organization that cibjo helped to found. (see “cibjo withdraws from council for responsible jewellery practices,” jck, october 2005, p. 136.

10 Ways You Can Generate Leads

ralph zuccarini is a sales and marketing coach with action international business coaching, chalfont, pa; (215) 822-3515;

Forces of Nature

as we approach the first of november, the question on every retailer’s mind is, of course, how strong will holiday sales be this year? with as much as 40 percent of a jeweler’s profits earned during the all-important holiday selling season, it’s not a question to be taken lightly. it’s also not a question that elicits an easy prediction this year.

WJA Launches Metropolitan Chapter

women’s jewelry association has established a metropolitan chapter for its members who reside or work in the new york and new jersey metropolitan area. formerly these members were grouped under a national organization banner. the metropolitan chapter is wja’s 11th and largest chapter, with more than 400 members.

AGTA-GTC’s New Team

between losing its longtime director and pointed questions about how it could afford to hire three gemological heavyweights to replace him, agta’s gemological testing center had a rough start to 2005. eleven months later, the lab could be more profitable than ever. it was no great surprise to anyone at the american gem trade association when ken scarratt, former director of agta’s…

Hidden-Message Treasures

a few years ago, style icons like sex and the city’s carrie bradshaw with her “carrie” necklace drove a trend toward message jewelry that screamed. today, however, messages in jewelry are quieter. like age-old ring inscriptions, these messages are meant only for the wearer, whether from herself or from the special someone who gave the jewelry as a gift.


Whitehall Gets New Financing, Will Get New Inventory Troubled Whitehall Jewelers will get new financing from Prentice Capital Management, including a $30 million secured bridge loan. In addition, the 387-store retailer has entered into an agreement with key vendors that will facilitate the purchase of fresh inventory for the holiday selling season. It also commenced…

Living the Suite Life

from the a list to the d list, celebrities had their pick of jewelry for the emmys in september. in the penthouse of the luxe hotel rodeo drive, 40 jewelry designers showed their wares at platinum guild international’s suite. nearby, the american gem trade association was holed up at the beverly hilton showcasing the work of several dozen others.

Bright Gem, Big Question

you’re examining a women’s 14k white gold ring with a beautiful pear-shape, 6.64 ct. stone that’s a slightly grayish, slightly greenish, medium-dark blue not unlike the color of aquamarine. you have only a loupe. you see rounded facet junctions and make your initial guess: the stone is glass.

A Global and Historic Brand

i’ve just completed two fantastic business trips. each revealed the significance and importance of the jck brand. my first trip was to hong kong and bangkok, thailand. what amazing places! in hong kong, i had the pleasure of getting to know our dynamic new hong kong reps (quentin chan and iris lee of leading media limited).

Chris Aire’s Vintage Flair

“chris aire puts on aires” pumped up the volume in the new york public library during new york’s fashion week. models showed off pieces from the 2006 collection, which took inspiration from some classic eras: influences from the 1920s to the 1940s were evident in pieces such as a flapper-style hat made entirely of red gold, and in freshly styled necklaces reminiscent of art nouveau&…

Woman, American Take Top Seats in De Beers Shuffle

varda shine has been appointed managing director of the diamond trading company, de beers’ sales and marketing arm. she replaces gareth penny, who has become managing director of de beers. shine is a rare woman in de beers’ upper echelons. she was born in israel—also rare in a company whose executives traditionally hail from either the united kingdom or south africa.

WJA Awards $22,000 in 2005 Student Scholarships

the women’s jewelry association has awarded $22,000 in student scholarships to 12 jewelry students in 2005. the annual awards are based on slides of three finished pieces submitted by each student, who must be enrolled in a jewelry or watch design study program in the united states. additionally, two references were required from either teachers or gallery/store owners who are familiar wi…

The One That Got Away

sold it too quickly. hesitated too long. didn’t recognize the value. these are the lamentations familiar to all antique and estate jewelry dealers. dealers have a deep respect for the history and quality of the pieces they buy and sell, and they often regard themselves as caretakers of those items—so it’s natural that they may become attached.

Family Business in Crisis: Diffusing the Impact of Divorce

most couples aren’t thinking about divorce as they’re getting married, but for jewelers who don’t prepare for the possibility, a divorce is as much of a crisis for the family business as it is for the family. two out of five u.s. marriages (43 percent) end within their first 15 years, say studies by the national center for health and the u.


Swiss newspapers report that Hamdi Chatti is the new managing director of luxury watchmaker and jeweler Harry Winston‘s Rare Timepieces division. He replaced Maximilian Busser, effective Oct. 15. Chatti was formerly general director of Montblanc Montre SA (part of the Richemont Group). Joining Chatti will be Gilles Haumont (coming from Boucheron, part of the Gucci…

High-End Hub on EBay Spotlights Luxury Jewels

with a million jewelry or watch items for sale at any time on ebay, its newly launched “engagement and wedding jewelry bridal hub”—a premium online environment for high-end fine jewelry—is a welcome addition for purveyors of luxury jewelry. the hub, which deals primarily in diamond jewelry, is the result of buyers and sellers asking ebay to provide a forum where fine me…

IDI Opens Representative Office in New York

the israel diamond institute, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote the israeli industry, has begun to operate its first international representative office, at 576 47th st. in new york city’s diamond district. the official opening was in early october, in conjunction with the diamonds by jck trade show.

Mafatlal Mehta Dies

the indian diamond community is mourning the death of mafatlal mehta, who died shortly before his 88th birthday. mehta was born in 1917 and joined the family business in his teens. “my father died when i was five,” he said later. “i had little education, and all i knew was diamonds.

Diamond Market Still Hot

market in brief: october 5, 2005 . . . at press time, the consumer confidence index was at a two-year low, and consumer spending had slowed. retailers feel it’s too soon to worry about the impact on holiday shopping, and most remain confident. the season comes later in many areas, so there is time for the economy to pick up.

First U.S. Kimberley Process Review Visit Takes Place

a six-person international delegation representing the kimberley process certification scheme met in late june with the u.s. government and the diamond and jewelry industry for the first u.s. peer review. each participating country in the kimberley process has agreed in principle to host a review team to assess implementation of the requirements of the kpcs.

Department Store Is Better at Romancing Jewels Than Jewelers

brendan hoffman, president and chief executive officer of neiman marcus direct, recently told the press there was “something for everyone” in the retailer’s annual array of fantasy gifts—including his and hers cars—available in its holiday catalog. jewelry lovers have eight selections to choose from.

Hurricane Rita Forces Jewelers to Close

gulf coast jewelers and other retailers, many still recovering from hurricane katrina, prepared for a new onslaught from hurricane rita, with many shutting stores in anticipation of what was widely predicted to be a massive hurricane. ben bridge jeweler pulled managers from its five houston stores, all in malls (including two near low-lying, flood-prone areas), and then closed the stores.

Fabrikant Co-Chairman Dies

philip j. hahn, a co-chairman of diamond powerhouse m. fabrikant and sons, died recently at age 80. a veteran of world war ii working in military intelligence and code-breaking, hahn joined fabrikant in 1947, working with partner and cousin charles f. fortgang. among his many innovations was establishing the first american-owned overseas buying office, rather than using local buying agents, rem…

Gender, Volume, Region Affect Jewelers’ Pay, Benefits

the good news for the jewelry industry is that, despite an uneven economy, most jewelry-store job titles saw modest to significant gains in compensation in 2004 compared with 2003, according to the results of jck’s most recent salary survey. the bad news is that while women made some salary gains last year, the gap remains between men’s and women’s salaries in most positions.

AMR Features Tiffany

the june 2005 edition of auction market resource offers a special look at tiffany, a name that’s synonymous with elegant jewelry, silver, glass, and, of course, the little blue box. the article was researched and written by elyse zorn karlin, and is accompanied by 34 pages displaying images of tiffany pieces sold at auction between march 2004 and june 2005.

John Cohen Elected JA Chairman, New Officers, Board Members Named

john cohen, co–chief executive officer of carlyle & co. in greensboro, n.c., was elected chairman of jewelers of america during the organization’s board of directors meeting in new york on july 30. cohen succeeds alan zimmer of reeds jewelers, wilmington, n.c., whose two-year term has ended.

New York Fashion Week

Good to Be Gold “It’s Good to Be Me,” a show featuring the spring 2006 plus-size couture collection from designer Abby Z and co-sponsored by the World Gold Council, took place during New York’s Fashion Week. Abby Z’s signature looks—which have adorned such celebrities as Camryn Manheim and Queen Latifah—included flirty peasant skirts, the first…


appraising dateline i feel that in rob bates’s article (see “dateline nbc tackles appraisals,” jck, september 2005, p. 44), he could have pointed out to dateline that diamond prices have risen so drastically in the past couple of years, the purchase price would not have covered the diamond for the minimum of three years that some insurance companies require updates on appr…

Ways to Let Customers Know They’re Appreciated

one of my pet peeves is taking customers for granted. once a purchase has been made, the salesperson will say something like “your receipt is in the bag” or “if you have any problems call us.” such statements show a lack of appreciation and sincerity, and, worse yet, they’re the last impression the customer takes from the store.

Songwriter Targeted Over Gold Ads

in a sign that the no dirty gold campaign is getting more confrontational, it has targeted singer-songwriter alicia keys in a letter-writing campaign to persuade her not to appear in ads for the world gold council. the campaign said 2,500 supporters have written to keys’s publicists and management team.

The Platinum Controversy

the inconsistencies of life are endlessly interesting. consider hurricane katrina and the justified criticism of the federal government for moving too slowly and awkwardly in addressing the aftermath of the storm, especially the human suffering and tragedy that resulted. in another galaxy, far, far away, the federal trade commission, in what appears to be record time, decided to issue a staff o…

Tanzanite Sorting Goes High-Tech

most colored gems are mined using “traditional” (read: “primitive”) techniques. a pick, a shovel, some dynamite, a few timbers, and you have yourself a mine. recovering gems from the ensuing rubble is similarly quaint. a worker, huddled over a pile of rock or poised over a conveyor belt as rocks pass by, picks up rough crystals from the debris.

DTC Shakes Things Up This Christmas

de beers’ diamond trading company is altering its strategy for this holiday selling season, unveiling an offbeat multipart campaign built around the theme, “what will you do for love this christmas?” the theme “taps into the emotion of buying diamonds,” says anne valentzas, core program director for jwt, dtc’s ad agency.

Tourneau Certifies Luxury Watches Auctioned Online by Portero

tourneau, america’s largest watch retailer, has agreed to certify the authenticity of pre-owned luxury watches bought and sold on, a company dealing in online auctions of luxury products. portero, in turn, will be tourneau’s official channel to the secondary market of online auctions.

15 Tips for Writing News Releases

don’t let ill-conceived or poorly prepared news releases undermine your efforts to deliver your message to the public. an editor who has to wade through a mass of boilerplate before getting to the newsworthy bits might stop reading after the first paragraph—or the first sentence. following are 15 tips for preparing effective news releases.

New Callanen-Guess License Ends Dispute with Fossil

callanen international inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of timex corp., has signed a new exclusive 10-year worldwide license agreement with guess? inc., ending a public dispute with fossil watches and a threatened multimillion- dollar lawsuit. the new pact, which runs through 2016, authorizes callanen to continue designing, marketing, and distributing guess fashion watches, as it has for more th…

Merger Will Shrink Finlay by Over 25 Percent

finlay enterprises will take a big hit from the federated department stores merger, which will force it to shut 194 jewelry departments, leaving it with 404. most closings are the result of federated’s eliminating the marshall field’s brand in favor of macy’s east and west stores, where finlay has not traditionally operated.

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