October 1, 1998

AGTA’s New Lab

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CounterPoint

jewelry industry suffers from myopia theodore levitt, a noted professor of marketing at harvard business school, wrote a classic entitled marketing myopia. in it, he described the fundamental question every industry faces and too many times ignores: correctly defining the business from the consumer’s perspective – not the producer’s, not the manufacturer’s.

Letters

shocked by july cover i was shocked by your july cover. the photograph of a solitaire diamond with retail markups of 100%, 150%, and 200% is ludicrous. i am a jeweler in a very well-educated, very affluent section of central connecticut, and i specialize in better-quality 1-ct. to 5-ct. certified diamonds.

Strike up the Brand

glenn rothman was fed up with low diamond margins. he wrote letters to trade publications, but, except for some nice publicity for his company, boston-based di-star, nothing changed. he went to a marketing seminar in 1995 and sounded his complaint to one of the speakers. the speaker’s retort: “if you don’t differentiate yourself, you will be just making a living in a commodity…

Techniques for Grading Colored Gemstones

scientists estimate that the human eye can distinguish some 1 million separate colors. that’s just where the trouble begins in grading colored gemstones. most jewelers will never stock all of the roughly 100 colored gemstones available today, but they may keep 25 or so on hand at any one time. grading these stones is similar to grading diamonds in that three of the “four cs” a…

GemNotes

stuller embraces digital gemprint stuller settings inc., one of the largest u.s. jewelry manufacturers, now offers a registration certificate from gemprint with every diamond of 3/8 ct. or larger. remember gemprint? it’s the toronto company that in the early 1980s developed a way to identify diamonds by capturing a laser-reflection pattern on polaroid film.

AGTA’s New Lab

gem identification goes high-tech jewelers routinely buy and sell laboratory-grown gems like synthetic amethyst or stones with inscrutable enhancements like irradiated pink tourmaline, never quite knowing the true nature of what they’re dealing in. some consider the problem unavoidable and little cause for concern.

What’s New – Business Services

hrezii is an off-the-shelf version of hreasy’s customized job-applicant screening software. the programs give applicants the ability to call a toll-free number 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for automated prescreening evaluation, relieving a client’s human resource department from time-consuming initial interviews.

Pearls: A Booming Market

you don’t need to ask around much to learn that pearls are hot. sales of all types are climbing, and even fresh-water pearls are selling well, say wholesalers. nor does the trend seem to be slowing. pearls are, after all, a luxury item, and as long as the economy continues to do well, so will pearls.

Score One for the Little Guy

sometimes, the little guy does win. consider ken bishop, owner of rona k. inc., a seven-year-old garden city, n.y., jewelry firm with nine employees. he recently settled out of court for a sizable amount in the second of two cases against large firms – a retailer and a manufacturer – that were selling copies of his jewelry designs.

TradeShows

southern hospitality reigns in atlanta what a difference a day makes. the biannual atlanta jewelry show traditionally ran from a sunday through tuesday in august, but a paucity of buyers on tuesdays in recent years led show managers to shift to a saturday-to-monday schedule this year. it proved to be a good decision: the change was hailed by vendors and buyers alike.

UpFront

de beers launches big holiday promotion if de beers has its way, you’ll sell more diamond jewelry to men this holiday season than ever before. in a big fourth-quarter marketing plan announced this month, the company is targeting affluent american males as its best hope for increasing worldwide sales during the year’s all-important final quarter.

A Tale of Two Silvermans

if you peruse trade magazines’ classified sections, you’ve probably noticed an ad for silverman jewelers consultants, offering help with retirement, store closing, and promotional sales. depending on where you live, you also may have seen silverman’s factory showrooms, advertising jewelry sales directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.

What’s New – Bench & Lab

the magni-focuser vision aid is now available with a light and a bifocal lens. it also features an adjustable, contoured padded vinyl headband. it is lightweight and washable and can be worn over glasses. its high-impact, non-corrosive abs plastic front lens unit is shatter- and scratch-resistant. custom fitting is available.

A Trailblazer Winds Down

designer-name jewelry. fine jewelry trunk shows. jewelry boutiques. high-profile promotions. classic floral jewelry. peter lindeman – one of the first brand-name designers – has done it all. now, this veteran craftsman is pondering a new challenge: how does an artist say good-bye to his public while preserving his work and his name for posterity? “after all,” he says, …

When a Cert Can Hurt

most retailers insist on getting “certificates” when they buy high-quality diamonds. it’s not unusual, therefore, to see wholesale diamond offices with literally hundreds of these grading reports stacked up in the safe. a seal of approval from the gemological institute of america’s gem trade lab (gtl), diamond high council (hrd), international gemological institute (igi)…

NoteBook

‘i love to see people sparkle’ coryjim@earthlink.net from the street in center city philadelphia, there’s nothing to indicate that halloween, “the most unusual jewelry store in the world,” is even a jewelry store. no sign. no clock. no velvet neck window display modeling a strand of fine pearls.

People

nccj to honor boyajian, nordt the jewelry and watch division of the national conference for community and justice (nccj) will hold its annual dinner on monday, dec. 7, at the pierre hotel in new york. at the dinner, gemological institute of america president william e. boyajian and paul w. nordt iii, chairman and ceo of john c.

BusinessReport

fourth-quarter sales: will the good times hold? ask jewelry manufacturers, wholesalers, and watch companies about prospects for the final quarter of 1998, and you’ll get a range of reactions, from guarded optimism to nail-biting uncertainty. one thing everybody agrees on, though, is that it will be hard to match last year’s record-breaking christmas season.

Associations

gemology conference set for montreal the canadian gemmological association’s ninth annual conference will take place oct. 24-25 at the montreal board of trade. this is the first time that the conference is being held in montreal. the subject of the conference will be the emerald, including production, cutting, marketing, and treatments.

Supplier News

montres usa named exclusive distributor montres usa inc. is now the exclusive importer and distributor of zuccolo rochet & cie bracelets. the line includes classic and fashion bracelets in a wide range of prices, materials, sizes, and colors. montres usa inc., 321 dante court, ste. a-1, holbrook, ny 11741; (888) 694-1333 or (516) 738-8935, fax (516) 738-8936, www.

Coming to America: International Suppliers Cater to the U.S. Jeweler

america, the world loves ya! at least, it loves doing business with u.s. jewelers – especially now. with once-buoyant asian economies in financial tailspins and european business idling, more foreign jewelry suppliers and government trade agencies are courting the independent u.s. jeweler. as one british jewelry official puts it, the united states is “the most stable and opportune…

FashionFacets

excellence honored at ja show excellence in jewelry design was the focus of many events held during the july jewelers of america show in new york. robert lee morris, a well-known artisan in fashion circles but a relative newcomer to the fine jewelry industry, was the grand prize winner of the platinum passion design competition, sponsored by the platinum guild international usa.

Pearl jam

winning pearls the 26th international pearl design contest winners proved again that pearls today are anything but basic. the 1998 contest received a record 1,629 entries from 29 countries. competition is divided into three categories: freestyle actual jewelry design, thematic actual jewelry design, and paper rendering design.

Exhibits

swarogem showcases hong kong designers swarogem, the gemstone-cutting division of daniel swarovski & co., invited 28 top hong kong manufacturers to exhibit new colored gemstone jewelry designs last month at the hong kong jewelry and watch fair. participants were asked to produce a set of up to three pieces using gold, platinum, or silver with swarogem’s precision-cut natural colored s…

Watch Brands Face Off with Creative Ads

it’s fall – time for watch companies to flex their christmas season marketing muscles. and the goal is to muscle more consumers into jewelry and other retail stores than ever before. the heart of the holiday season is still a few weeks off, but the fight for the consumer’s dollar kicked in as early as july.

WatchWorld

rotary is sued by its distributor just as rotary poised itself to launch a new advertising campaign, the brand is due to make headlines in court. in a decision directly from its worldwide chief executive, robert dreyfuss, rotary s.a. terminated its u.s. distribution contract with midland park, n.j.-based rotary watches usa.

Picasso’s Unknown Jewelry

some history-making jewelry goes up for sale this month – a cache of brooches, rings, and amulets that pablo picasso decorated for his lover dora maar, who died last summer. maar’s estate goes on auction – along with 10 paintings and 50 drawings – at maison de la chime in paris on oct.

Quantum Leaps

just when you think your business life is as full of challenges as you may ever want – flaming competition, unending change, scarcity of top employees – along comes a stock market nosedive. “is this the big one?” you ask yourself (and your broker, if he’ll come to the phone).