October 1, 1996

Publisher's Notes

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Fashion Facets

the wheel redux “reinventing the wheel,” this year’s american jewelry design council artistic design project, inspired a wide variety of interpretations. they were all showcased at the american craft museum in new york city this summer. the council, founded in 1990 to recognize and promote jewelry of original design as art, sponsors a design project each year to foster a better understanding of…

What Is This Thing … Called Jewelry?

by peggy jo donahue a letter from one of our readers, josh hall, vice president of pala international, brought up the whole issue of whom jewelers really compete against when it comes to consumers’ hearts, minds and wallets. in fact, to hall’s thinking, jewelry store clerks should be going mano a mano with computer salespeople(see his letter on p.

People

appointments andrew d. hepworth was appointed national sales manager of michou, homewood, cal., which handcrafts art-inspired collections of sterling silver, 22k gold vermeil and gemstone jewelry. he will explore and develop new markets and reinforce michou’s position in the designer bridge jewelry market.

Associations

jic elects new chairman the jewelry information center elected gary gordon chairman at its annual board meeting in july. gordon is president of samuel gordon jewelers, oklahoma city, okla. in his address to the board, gordon recognized the difficulty of raising money while looking for new ways to serve the industry.

Book Reviews

fine art jewelry jewelry of our time, by helen w. drutt and peter dormer. 1995. 500 illustrations. 352 pages. $55. (jck data center dt-036) to order call (800) 433-1238. since helen drutt started her philadelphia, pa., gallery in 1974, she has been a tireless promoter of contemporary designer jewelry.

GemNotes

the biological beauty of amber most colored gemstones come from the ground. but one dripped like molasses from trees more than 30 million years ago, forming a yellowish-brown material treasured by many cultures as a gem with symbolic powers. amber was once again the focus of admiration in august and early september during an exhibit at the american museum of natural history in new york, n.

Directions

putting pen to paper what’s made of enamel and solid gold, costs thousands of dollars and can balance your checkbook and execute exquisite thank-you notes? it’s not a new-fangled invention, but a high-end fountain pen, designed with artistic perfection that makes even the most noncommittal collector drool.

Classes & Courses

conference to focus on changing companies inc. magazine’s annual conference on growing the company, to be held oct. 30 to nov. 1 in boston, mass., will try to help executives feel more secure amid the changing dynamics of today’s workplace. speakers will include michael treacy, coauthor of the discipline of market leaders; cartoonist scott adams, creator of the dilbert comic strip; herman cain,…

World Diamond Production Increases In ’95

world diamond production registered a slight increase to 107.9 million carats in 1995, according to a survey by metals and minerals annual review. this represents less than a 1% increase over 1994 production. changes are in the wind, however. production of very small diamonds is on the decline and will continue that way because de beers, argyle and other mining companies no longer find it profi…

Colorado’s Diamonds Cap Geologist’s Quest

for 12 years, howard coopersmith had been tracking diamonds in the high rockies around the colorado-wyoming border. chipping away at an area in the midst of a mountain pine and douglas fir forest, he found his quarry. “there it was — a beautiful gem diamond,” he recalls. the find led to the discovery of the first american diamond mine.

Mechanicals Tell More Than Time

fine mechanical timepieces continue to capture the imagination of u.s. consumers. the number of gold, silver and platinum automatic (self-winding) mechanical watches imported into the u.s. last year jumped more than 16% to 28,000. this increase came even though the average retail price rose to $3,593 and overall watch imports fell 9%.

Auctions

william doyle auctions forgotten treasures william doyle galleries, new york, n.y., achieved total sales of nearly $450,000 at its contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes auction in july. the sale offered 596 lots from unclaimed safe deposit boxes of banco central de hispano, dime savings bank and home savings of america, as well as pieces from private collectors.

Publisher’s Notes

a recent jewelers’ forum sponsored by gia evolved into a heated discussion of what effect the internet will have on the industry. not surprisingly, the panelists’ opinions ran the gamut: from “let’s face it, a lot of business is going to be done in cyberspace” to “it may be useful for browsing, but the internet can never replace personal, face-to-face contact between buyers and sellers.

UpFront

trademark registry will protect jewelers buyers at major trade shows have a new ally in the fight against deception: a registry that requires all exhibitors to comply with national quality marking and trademark laws. the international trademark registry was created under the auspices of the jewelers vigilance committee to fight underkarating of precious metal jewelry and watches.

Inside Job

it was a typical family business — a husband and wife working in their retail store along with 15 trusted employees. then one, the bookkeeper, began to write herself checks, eventually stealing $416,000 — almost all of the profits. in another store, another trusted employee made fictitious refunds, which in turn made him $20,000 richer.

The Politics Of Pearl Grading

since ancient times, pearls have been admired for their mystery. people have marveled for centuries at the silky gem miraculously appearing inside the murky oyster. a perfect pearl’s considerable value partly comes from this elusiveness, wooing consumers with the romantic prospect of owning an enigma of nature.

10 Tips For Working With An Independent Appraiser

[ellie thompson is president of chicago gem lab inc., an independent appraisal company serving trade professionals and consumers. the company specializes in identification, quality analysis and valuation of gemstones and jewelry.] jewelers and appraisers often maintain an interdependent — and sometimes contentious — relationship.

Supplier News

new ads showcase bulova’s marketing muscle a new marketing team at bulova corp. has wasted no time creating new consumer advertising to support a bolstered product line. the past year was good for the 121-year-old u.s. firm, a division of the loews corp. sales rose 25% overall, 15% for 14k gold watches and 20% for a revamped caravelle line, says chief executive officer herbert hoffman.

Retailer News

tiffany earnings rise 55% tiffany & co.’s net earnings rose substantially in the second quarter of 1996, thanks to a 10% increase in worldwide sales and improved operating margins. for the three months ended july 1, net earnings totaled $8.3 million on sales of $202.8 million, up 55% and 10%, respectively.

Trade Shows

exhibitors hail new atlanta show venue the southern jewelry travelers association’s atlanta jewelry show attracted a larger-than-usual group of buyers to its new venue in the galleria center in cobb county. but many came only to look — their inventories remain bloated from a slower-than-expected summer.

Letters

it’s the computers, stupid as a wholesale colored stone dealer, i have the opportunity to interact with both ends of the jewelry industry: as a buyer of rough and finished stones and as a dealer selling loose stones to jewelers. over the last several years, i have seen an increase in hand-wringing and furrowed brows among suppliers, dealers and jewelers.

Crime Watch

two plead guilty, one convicted in fraud case a u.s. district court jury in maryland has found timothy c. starinieri guilty of conspiracy and bank fraud in a case involving loose diamond inventories. starinieri is the former chief financial officer at the now-defunct retailer gouterman & sheffey inc.

The Art Of Faceting Colored Gems

jewelers’ profit potential hides in the most remarkable places. an obvious one some jewelers overlook: colored gemstone faceting. for independent jewelers, exquisite cut provides a competitive edge that eludes mass merchandisers, who can’t concentrate as much on this aspect of gems because of the volume they handle.