November 2006

JCK's Annual Salary Survey Industry Pay Jumped in 2006

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Flex for Success

i often hear sales associates complain, “the client didn’t know what he wanted!” or “he couldn’t answer my questions.” male clients, especially, are often in a hurry and unsure what they want. they may have limited knowledge of jewelry and be afraid of making a poor choice. sales associates facing such situations must adapt their questioning to the needs of the customer.

Jaywalking in India

traffic in mumbai (still called bombay by many locals) is beyond the scope of imagination. more congested than manhattan at noon or the 405 freeway in los angeles at 5:30 p.m., the cacophony of horns is deafening. nobody in india signals, it seems; they just honk. it’s a special form of communication all its own, and i imagine you’d have to be brought up in it to understand the subtle differenc…

Consumer Research

have the dynamics of your marketplace changed significantly? if you don’t regularly research your consumer base, you won’t know. consider the demographic shift in married people versus singles. according to unmarried america, a nonprofit information service for single americans, marriage is no longer the dominant trend.

SEC Drops Zale Investigation

the securities and exchange commission is terminating its investigation of zale corp. with no enforcement action being recommended. (see “sec probes zale,” jck, june 2006, p. 69.) “we are pleased to put this matter behind us,” betsy burton, zale corp. president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Swatch Group Posts Big Half-Year Gains

the swatch group, based in biel, switzerland, reported half-year results in late august, including first-half net profits of $265.7 million, a 23.6 percent gain. sales rose 13.1 percent to 1.8 billion, while operating profits grew 37.2 percent, to $323.8 million. first-half sales of finished watches totaled $1.

WJA Metropolitan Chapter Hosts Party

the women’s jewelry association metropolitan chapter will host its annual holiday party nov. 8 at new york city’s famed yale club from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. the party is sponsored by carrera casting and kwiat. a piece of jewelry donated by lieberfarb inc. will be raffled, and ron saltiel productions has also donated photography services.

New Distinction Categories for MJSA Vision Awards

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america has announced new categories for its 2007 mjsa vision awards (formerly known as the american vision awards). this year also marks the first time international applicants are eligible. the introduction of a laser distinction category, sponsored by crafford-laserstar technologies, will highlight designs created with a laser.

How Can I Avoid Seeming Pushy and Aggressive?

first, avoid these words: “referral,” “feature,” and “benefit.” in addition, avoid these inquiries: “if i could get it for less, would you buy it today?” and “can i help you?” all these do is remind customers that your mission is to sell them something.

Indian and Thai Jewelry Industries Threatened by GSP Fate

possible nonrenewal or changes in the u.s. government’s generalized system of preferences could raise the price of imported jewelry from india, thailand, and turkey. the gsp is a 30-year-old program that lowers tariffs for imports from developing countries. india is a “beneficiary country” under gsp, but because it exports more than $100,000 in jewelry to the united states, it had b…

Industry at Crossroads, Tempelsman Says

the diamond industry is at a “crossroads,” with some form of correction “inevitable,” lazare kaplan chairman maurice tempelsman warned in his strikingly dire closing speech at the gia symposium in san diego. tempelsman noted that “for well on seven decades the diamond industry sat secure on the bedrock of measured supply” but “those old familiar founda…

Newspaper Ads Tout World Diamond Council Site

the world diamond council is upping its campaign to counteract any fallout from the leonardo dicaprio blood diamond movie, running newspaper ads to tout its diamondfacts.org web site. wdc’s ads ran in september in newspapers including the new york times, the wall street journal, usa today, and the washington post.

Tanzanite Foundation Announces Winners

the tanzanite foundation has announced the winners of the first tanzanite celebration of life jewellery design awards. designers from over 20 countries entered the competition. designs were judged on their interpretation of the theme “be born to tanzanite,” along with beauty, practicality, and originality.

Gübelin Unveiled

a lifelike bust of the late dr. edward j. gübelin now resides in the salvador j. assael grand atrium lobby of the gemological institute of america’s robert mouawad campus in carlsbad, calif. the bronze sculpture was designed and fabricated by montana realist lyle schwabauer and shows dr.

Tourneau to Be Sold for $300 Million

tourneau inc., the leading u.s. watch retailer and one of the world’s largest, announced sept. 6 that it had “a definitive agreement” to be acquired by an investor group led by green equity investors iv l.p. the group, an affiliate of leonard green & partners l.p., a major private equity firm in los angeles, includes members of the wexler family (owners of tourneau since 1…

Who Says You Can’t Sell More Jewelry? Part 1

if customers comment about jewelry price increases, consider it an opportunity to reset their perceived value framework. shock them and say, “yes, this is true.” then add, “however, what is more accurate to say is that gold and platinum are more valuable now than they were a couple of years ago.

Swiza Acquired by Bedonia

swiza s.a., a 102-year-old swiss family business that specializes in making travel and alarm clocks for its swiza and matthew norman brands as well as for prestigious private brands, has been acquired by bedonia, a holding company in delémont, switzerland. swiss press reports said bedonia would provide financial and industrial support to swiza, assist in maintaining and developi…

Global Perspectives, Part 2

global shifts in the jewelry industry were the focus of a session called “business perspectives: charting the globe,” held during gia symposium, aug. 27–29. a panel discussion moderated by anna martin, senior vice president and the new york regional manager of abn amro bank’s international diamond & jewelry group, and featuring industry leaders from europe, japan, ind…

De Beers Signs New Deal With Alrosa

de beers and russian producer alrosa recently signed a deal to jointly explore and prospect properties inside and outside of russia. in february, the european commission told alrosa it could no longer sell its stones to de beers after 2009, ending 50 years of sales between the two parties. it is unclear what would happen to any stones unearthed in this agreement, since the ec’s prohibition …

Seymour Rosenthal Dies

seymour rosenthal, former president of the world federation of diamond bourses, died recently at age 89. rosenthal entered the diamond business at the age of 18. he eventually served two terms as president of the now-defunct diamond and precious stone trade association (dita) in the 1980s. he was elected wfdb president in 1982 and served two terms.

Thai Coup Won’t Affect Jewelry Industry

september’s coup in thailand has had little to no effect on the gem industry in the southeast asian country, several persons told jck. “all is well in bangkok,” said randy park, director of gia thailand. “coups are commonplace here, although this is the first in about 15 years.

Music Inspired Jewelry

music lovers have a host of ways to enjoy their favorite tunes: ipod, radio, television, internet downloads, cd, even vinyl. now they can pledge allegiance to their favorite instrument or celebrate a musical era by wearing jewelry. they can even hit a happy note by donning the universal symbol of the music world, the treble clef note.

Appointments

IceLink Watch has hired Mark Schatten and Wallace Roberts for two newly created positions in its sales and marketing division. Schatten was appointed worldwide director, and Roberts, with 21 years of watch industry experience, was appointed international sales manager. Both most recently worked at Versace Precious Items Division, Schatten as sales director and Roberts as…

The GIA Symposium: You Should Have Been There, Part 2

in my first year with jck i had the assignment of showing the flag at industry functions. the magazine had just gone through a wrenching period with the departure of many of the staff to form professional jeweler. the gia symposium was one of those events at which i represented jck. the symposium that year was truly awesome.

Get to Know … Janet Mavec

janet mavec likes fraise des bois (wild strawberries). “like wild ones you find growing in spain or in france,” she says. the owner of janet mavec fine jewelry in new york city grows a variety of the tiny berries at her farm in pottersville, n.j. her fondness for fruits and vegetables dates back to her childhood—she grew up on a farm—and is evident in her garden-themed j…

Another Antwerp Vet Goes to Dubai

another veteran of antwerp, belgium’s hrd has joined the “competition” in dubai, united arab emirates. youri steverlynck, former hrd director of marketing and public relations, has been appointed general counsel for the dubai multi commodities centre. he joins former hrd managing director peter meuss, who became dmcc’s special advisor for diamonds last may.

Holiday Forecast Decent, but Not Dazzling

it looks like it will be a solid but unspectacular holiday for jewelers, retail analysts tell jck. the national retail federation predicts a “subdued” 5 percent overall sales gain this holiday, compared with last year’s 6.1 percent jump. management consultant retail forward makes an almost identical prediction of 5.

JCK’s Annual Salary Survey Industry Pay Jumped in 2006

on average, median salaries in retail jewelry stores grew 16.1 percent in 2005 over 2004’s figures. that’s very good news—it’s much higher than the typical american’s raise. wachovia economics group’s july 2006 monthly retail sales report says american wages and salaries posted an increase of 6.

Sapphire Used on Watch Bracelets

saro-gem jewellery watch co., bettlach, switzerland, has found a new use for synthetic sapphire in watches. saro, which stands for sapphire round over, uses synthetic colorless sapphire not only as the crystal over the dial but also as an overlay on the bracelet itself, making the entire watch scratch resistant.

Robbins Diamonds’ High-Flying Superstore

if the robbins diamonds business model were simplified, it could read: build it bigger, make it fun, and they will come. for the past 10 years the venerable philadelphia jeweler has been in the business of building “superstores,” which it defines as large retail spaces designed to bring in $5 million to $10 million in annual sales.

Newswire

crjp releases code of practices the council for responsible jewellery practices released its finalized code of practices at the hong kong jewellery & watch fair. the 16-page code articulates the ethical, social, and environmental practices that the council expects its members to abide by. it went through several reviews by crjp’s stakeholders, as well as governments, ngos, and host…

‘Spectacular Rise’ in Quartz Chronometer Submissions

there was a “spectacular rise of quartz chronometers” submitted in 2005 for testing and certification by cosc (contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres), the swiss chronometer testing institute, says an august cosc report. while those with mechanical movements—the traditional type of the highly precise timepieces—increased 5.

Gem Pricing

market in brief: the colored stone market continued to strengthen during late summer, but sales activity is concentrated at the low and high ends, while the middle is flat. buying patterns have remained largely unchanged. dealers report strong demand for fine-quality, unenhanced ruby and sapphire. the emphasis on unenhanced gemstones has generated a healthy market for garnets.

De Beers Gets U.S. Rep

in a sign that de beers is feeling more confident in its dealings with the united states, the company is getting its first-ever american representative. while de beers has long promoted its products through ad agency jwt, and de beers lv (billed as a separate company) has two stores here, this marks the first american representative for the de beers group in the company’s 100-plus-year history.

Aaura Closes Its Doors

gold jewelry manufacturer aaura has gone out of business. the chicago-based company announced the move in a message e-mailed to clients and friends and placed on the company’s web site. it had been in business for 23 years. aaura filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on feb. 28. the company at the time said volatility in the price of gold, the weakening of the dollar against the euro, and…

JFC Unveils CD Program

jewelers for children has partnered with totally anonymous music inc. on a program for retailers to raise funds for jfc. compilation cds are now available for retailers to sell in their stores, with a significant portion of the proceeds benefiting jfc and its charity partners. the first cd, a 2006 grammy winner for best musical children’s album, is “songs from the neighborhood—the m…

A New Magazine, a New Show, and Amazing Places

so there we sat: hedda schupak, dave bonaparte, and me in a broken-down cab in new delhi. traffic rushed by on both sides as we contemplated the fact that we were going to have to leap out, dash across five lanes of traffic, and jump into the auto-rickshaw our driver had waved down. our response? hysterical laughter.

Understanding the Changing Market

the face of america is changing. the past 10 years in particular have seen significant changes in both cultural and demographic makeup of the united states. these shifts are critical for jewelers—indeed, all merchants—to understand. prior to 1960, most immigrants to the united states came from europe.

Debate Over ‘Synthetic’ Is Real

the gemological institute of america’s fourth international gemological symposium hosted dozens of seminars and panels, some of which took place in rooms labeled “the jungle,” “the pit,” and “the ring,” names that reflected the sometimes controversial nature of the discussions.

Are We Listening to the Echo?

i spent many days at the summer trade shows and listened carefully to what suppliers and retailers had to say. business is strange. some people are doing very well while others are struggling or worse. we’ve heard about all the megatrends in the business, but that’s background. some people say the winners are the branders.

E.E. Robbins Jewelers

emerson “skip” robbins is the owner of e.e. robbins, a three-store chain based in seattle. although the company, which specializes in engagement rings, has been in operation only since 2000, robbins and his family have deep roots in the jewelry industry. robbins’s grandfather, ben tipp, owned ben tipp diamonds, a fixture in the seattle area in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.

More on Glass-Filled Ruby

large numbers of glass-filled ruby are entering the marketplace, according to a pair of articles featured in back-to-back issues of gemworld international’s gem market news. (“lead glass filled/repaired rubies,” gem market news, july/august 2006; “the process and identification of filled rubies with lead glass,” gem market news, september/october 2006.