November 2012

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The Results Are In: JCK’s 2012 Retailer Survey

Our annual JCK Retailer Survey gives the lowdown in five crucial categories of operations. How does your business compare? After three years of putting together the JCK Retailer Survey, we’ve learned a thing or two about how successful jewelers run their stores. By asking questions about their performance and tactics in five categories of retail…

Bridal: Rochester Jeweler Partners With Sylvie for Platinum Proposal Contest

The Mann of the Moment “As many couture jewelers could attest, attracting a young engagement customer can be a challenge when you’re perceived in the marketplace as being ‘high-end,’?” says Nancy Mann, CEO of Mann’s ­Jewelers in Rochester, N.Y. To overcome that obstacle, the store recently held its second annual Platinum Proposal Contest, teaming up…

Colored Stones: Sri Lanka—the New Hot Spot for Sapphires?

On a Stone Shopping Spree in Sri Lanka Buyers may not have realized it, but sapphire sales to the United States from one of the world’s oldest sources, Sri Lanka, are quietly booming. The United States is still the largest consumer market for Sri Lankan gemstones, buying nearly a quarter of all stones exported. According…

Gold: California Jeweler Banks on Berkeley Designer Clare Ullman

A Clare Choice When Khatchig Jingirian Jr. hosts one of his annual in-store events, designer Clare Ullman tops his call list. That’s because the karat-gold designs of the ­Berkeley, Calif.–based Ullman are “stylish enough to wear with the latest fashions, but timeless enough to be put away for 10 years and be worn again as…

Diamonds: The Latest Lazare Legal Drama & More

Lazare Legal Tangles Live On A federal judge has dismissed Lazare Kaplan International’s widely watched lawsuit against Antwerp Diamond Bank—but the New York diamond manufacturer instantly appealed the decision. In the 163-page complaint filed in December 2011, the Diamond Trading Co. sightholder alleged that ­Belgian dealer Erez Daleyot misappropriated the company’s Angolan diamonds and that…

Gem Pricing Report: Holding Pattern

The election has put the U.S. market in a wait-and-see mood, but movement in midrange goods is a promising sign Reports from September’s Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair indicate that demand for colored gemstones has been steadily improving in the global market in response to better supplies of both calibrated commercial and fine-quality stones.…

From Mine to Store: Boucheron’s Bouquet d’Ailes Butterfly Ring

A butterfly’s delicate beauty is difficult to improve upon. But Boucheron brings an intense brilliance to its latest rendering of the lovely insect. The one-of-a-kind Bouquet d’Ailes ring, created for the Parisian jeweler’s L’Artisan du Rêve high jewelry collection, was inspired by “the myriad of feathers, with butterfly and dragon­fly wings, found in our archives,”…

Harry Winston’s Enviable $200,000+ Emerald Earrings

There’s a reason they call it emerald cut—the classic shape most ably showcases the shine of the iconic green gemstone. That’s part of what makes these perfectly circular Harry Winston clip earrings—which sold for $218,500, nearly double their high estimate at Sotheby’s Sept. 20 Important Jewels sale in New York City—so rarified. “You almost never…

5 Standouts From the 2012 JIS Miami Show

Spotted at the Oct. 4–7 Jewelers International Showcase show in Miami Beach: (Left)1. Rhomance collection bracelet in rhodium-finished brass with peridot and yellow and blue topaz; $89; Sterling Reputation, Sunrise, Fla.; 954-578-1880; sterlingreputation.com 2. Ring in sterling with 18k gold accents and carved amethyst; $651; Cydonia & Co., NYC; 866-347-9032; cydoniajewelry.com   3. Stargazer necklace…

Good Buys at the Fall 2012 Hong Kong Fair

Given the downturn in China and general economic woes worldwide, the mood was surprisingly upbeat at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, with many exhibitors confessing that, while they hadn’t expected much, a stronger presence of American buyers was cause for optimism among traders. A total of 3,526 companies from 48 countries, including 204…

JCK 5: Expert Tips to Boost Silver Sales

1. Have good line representation in store. This doesn’t always mean a $5,000 buy-in, but it does mean having a cohesive mix. Cherry-picking from a few vendors minimizes the “oomph in cases,” says the Cargo Hold’s Bob Glenn. And make sure you have a good inventory of rings. “Women love trying them on,” he says.…

Running With Silver

For growth opportunities in the silver category, JCK sought the advice of those who know it best: manufacturers With the price of gold expected to rise in the coming months, pundits are predicting that silver may be pulled up the price ladder with it. But Bob Glenn isn’t worried. As co-owner of the Cargo Hold…

The Tricky Business of Putting a Price on Custom Designs

What are your labor, creativity, and time worth? You can check the price of gold with a quick Google search, keep up with diamond costs through online sources such as Rapaport and Idex, and comparison-shop for stone setters. But how do you monetize a morning of researching historic jewelry styles, or an afternoon of free-form…

The Lure of Private Label Jewelry Lines

There are plenty of upsides to marketing jewelry and watches bearing a retailer’s own brand name Big name brands like Tiffany & Co. and Cartier might get customers’ attention, but retailers in the know say there’s a cachet that comes from having your own in-house brand of jewelry or watches. Private-label lines offer retailers a…

That ’70s Girl: Lauren Hutton in Bulgari

According to the caption to this 1975 Vogue photo of model Lauren Hutton, “When you use your hair as a frame, you’ve got to make sure it’s framing something pretty terrific.” They meant Hutton’s smoky Revlon makeup, but you could easily apply the words to her standout Bulgari jewelry. “They are the bold statement pieces…

JCK Asks…Wendy Brandes

On 18th-century queens and 21st-century stars We’ve all felt the urge to tell someone to STFU. But Wendy Brandes put it on a chain. And that busty pinup girl you see hanging off the tire of your typical tractor-trailer? Presenting Brandes’ Mud Flap Jill Necklace with ruby nipples. Superstylish singer Rihanna was recently spotted wearing…

A Virginia Jeweler Builds Its Business on Dogs and Diamonds

Boone & Sons welcomes clients of all breeds—the furrier, the better The friendliest face at Boone & Sons Jewelers has more folds than a piece of origami. Teddy, a 10-month-old Old English bulldog with an adorably puckered countenance, is the official mascot of the company’s McLean, Va., store, where he spends part of every week.…

Catbird

219 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. The Williamsburg section of Brooklyn is no stranger to style, serving as home base for chart-topping bands, renowned restaurants, and a major Manhattan view. But among the specialized stores on busy Bedford Avenue, 8-year-old tiny jewelry box Catbird is the must-stop shop for all things bits and baubles. The eclectic…

Jewelry, Italian Style

Sometimes leaving the fold is the only way to discover how much you learned from your family In 2001, before Veronica Mazzarese signed on as manager of her family’s store, Mazzarese Fine Jewelry, she did a stint at a jewelry boutique in another state. “I found out really quickly that I knew more than everyone…

Selecting the Best Social Media Tactics for Your Store

Companies that are successful with social media have two things in common: a dedication to their efforts and an understanding of their strengths. With Dell, the focus was online deals; for Zappos, customer service; at Starbucks, customer feedback led to in-store innovations; and for Internet sensation Blendtec, videos asking “Will it blend?” have generated online…

In Marketing, Retailers Need to Do the Write Thing

How to make your messages more engaging, original, and effective When you think about the factors that contribute to an effective marketing campaign, none is as important as the message you send. And that message is almost always tied to the copy you write. Yet we often see jewelry store owners promoting a diamond ring…

Jeweler Shows Commitment to City and Customers

In a down-and-out downtown, the 83-year-old Mills Jewelers emerges as a diamond in the rough 1. What has been your most memorable sale?It actually hasn’t happened yet, but will. I’m halfway through a custom engagement ring project with a young soldier serving in Afghanistan. On the recommendation of some friends, the soldier contacted me by…

5 Tips for Hiring Seasonal Retail Staff

Suzanne DeVries, owner of ­Diamond Staffing Solutions, shares tips on how to hire and train seasonal employees. 1. Even with temporary people, you have to do the same due diligence when it comes to reference and background checks. They will be dealing with lots of expensive merchandise and could rob you blind—it happens. 2. You…

Want to Spice Up Your Store’s Holiday Decor? Start With Trashing the Tinsel

Sparkling tinsel and garlands are December decor staples, but when it comes to gussying up your store for the holidays, they could be doing you more harm than good. While decorating may fall at the bottom of your to-do list during the busiest sales period of the year, it merits careful consideration. A store draped…

Industry & People: November 2012

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>? David Yurman has appointed Adrianne Shapira as chief financial officer. Shapira joins the company ­following a 13-year tenure at ­Goldman Sachs, where she served as managing director of global investment research. >> ?Bon-Ton Stores has eliminated the position of chief operating officer, the company announced in an Aug. 29 filing with…

Teen Cancer Survivor Finds Strength in Jewelry Design

At just 16 years old, Linda Cifuentes has certainly faced her share of hardships. She spent her ­childhood in foster care in Colombia and was finally adopted two years ago by a family in San Diego. Then in 2011, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Yet the bubbly teenager remained positive throughout aggressive radiation and…

Charity Begins at the Retailer

Jewelry companies and organizations recently showed their generosity and support of good causes: 1. Movado will donate $50 from each sale of its Bold Breast Cancer Awareness Watch to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (Left)2. Breitling donated $160,000 to the Fisher House Foundation, which aids U.S. military veterans. 3. As part of its Poppin’ for…

Time to Vote in the Jewelers’ Choice Awards! Publisher’s Letter, November 2012

Now that the calendar has turned to November, it’s time to vote in our sixth annual Jewelers’ Choice Awards, the trade’s most prestigious retailer-decided design competition. Included with this copy of JCK is our annual “JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards Voting Guide” featuring images of every piece entered in the contest. Please take a moment to…

More Like Medium Rare, Editor’s Letter, November 2012

One of a kind. The phrase used to refer to the rarest of jewels: a truly unique piece, usually bespoke, available to only the richest of the rich. But during the past year, I’ve lost track of how many times the term has cropped up on my radar. How has something that is, by definition,…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: November 2012

1. Forecasts It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—and this ­Christmas is ­beginning to look pretty good. In ­September, ­ShopperTrak, which analyzes retail foot traffic, predicted sales would rise 3.3 percent, a notch below 2011’s 3.7 percent. Still, the company said, “retailers have reason to be optimistic about this season,” adding that, by its…