October 1, 2001

All Mixed Up!

JSA Asks FBI for Help in Southeast

the jewelers security alliance has asked the federal bureau of investigation to create a new task force to fight a sharp increase in on-the-road jewelry robberies in the southeast.jsa officials made the formal request on behalf of the anti-jewelry-crime coalition (composed of major retailers, suppliers, and trade associations) at a late summer meeting with fbi officials.

Grieco Addresses GIA’s GemFest Europe 2001

businessman massimo grieco addressed industry professionals and leaders who attended gemfest europe 2001, sponsored by the gemological institute of america (gia) in june at the vicencaoro2 show in vicenza, italy. grieco spoke on “confronting the crisis,” outlining how the industry can deal with crises and the need to cope with change within the jewelry sector.

GIA Board of Governors Member Honored

george rossman, ph.d., a professor of mineralogy at the california institute of technology and a member of the gemological institute of america (gia) board of governors, has been awarded the inaugural dana medal by the mineralogical society of america. the society established the award to recognize individuals who have made—and continue to make—outstanding contributions throug…

CIBJO Announces Changes For 2002 Congress

cibjo, the international jewellery confederation, has announced major changes to the next annual congress, to be held march 21-25, 2002, in munich, germany.an additional day will be added to the beginning of the congress as a way of building camaraderie among the delegates. friendship day will provide a structured social program that will include meals, visits to historic sites in munich,…

NovaDiamond Quits HPHT Business

after a year and a half of turning light champagne diamonds into fancy intense greenish-yellows using a high-temperature/high-pressure process, novatek is pulling out of the gem business. novatek, located in provo, utah, is the parent company of novadiamond, a subsidiary specializing in gem diamond enhancement.

‘Goodness! What lovely diamonds!’

… said the hatcheck girl to maudie triplett, played by mae west in her 1932 debut film, night after night, which starred george raft. “goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie,” west shot back, making her an overnight sensation. mary jane “mae” west (1893-1980) not only wore prop diamonds in films but also had her own small collection of real diamond jewelry.

No Vacuum Here

have you ever wondered why, just when you’ve found the newest “must have” jewel to bring your customers running, the trend peaks and fizzles? even if you’re not a conspiracy theorist, at times it must seem like a phantom autocracy decrees that that which was just declared in (and which you just bought in quantity) is suddenly, unquestionably, out.

New Watchmaker Group Formed

a new national association for watchmakers, called the society for professional watchmakers, has been formed. its aim, says founder and executive director dan gendron, is “preservation of watch repair as an economically viable and professional career,” and to enable “watchmakers, as a commercial group, to band together for our common good.

Unoaerre Iinks Deal With Bel-Oro

the gori & zucchi group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of fine gold jewelry and owner of unoaerre, has announced a strategic alliance with bel-oro, which is forming a new company called aurea jewelry creations. aurea will become the exclusive distributor of the unoaerre retail collection in the united states, canada, and south america.

Vivid Collection Named ‘Best of the Best’ Finalist

vivid collection was named a finalist in the best jewelry brand category in the robb report’s annual “best of the best” issue. vivid collection president moty spector said the company was “honored to have been chosen as a finalist.”vivid collection, 592 fifth ave., fifth floor, new york, ny 10036; (212) 688-3088 or (877) 538-4843, fax (212) 688-3106, www.

Attendance Up at JA Summer Show

attendance at the summer jewelers of america show in new york increased 3% over 2000 figures, according to show officials. despite the sluggish economy, 12,922 buyers, 1,750 trade and media guests, and more than 1,800 jewelry wholesalers attended the show. among the 15 international pavilions, israeli suppliers were back and polish suppliers had a presence for the first time.

Recession Lite

workers furloughed. sales down. retailers overloaded with inventory. although technically the u.s. economy isn’t in recession, to many in the industry, it sure feels like one.yet, among those who monitor the economy, opinions differ. the national bureau of economic research and the index of leading indicators from the conference board say we’re not in a recession, but data from the new yo…

De Beers Defaults in Antitrust Suit

de beers’ ability to advertise diamonds in the united states is in danger after the company defaulted in an antitrust suit brought by an irate consumer.when the company, which has no legal presence in the united states, didn’t show up for june hearings on the matter, district judge harold baer jr.

Zale Posts Fiscal Year Results

zale corp., the world’s largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, ended fiscal 2001 (july 31) with a 13.8% gain in sales but a 3.8% drop in same-store sales, says a preliminary report issued aug. 7.the fourth quarter showed sales of $410.4 million, a 9.8% gain over figures from last year’s final quarter.

Designer Wins Statewide Competition

jody muller, a custom jewelry designer for cornerstone fine jewelry in springfield, mo., took first place and best in show at the annual missouri jewelers and watchmakers association (mjwa) convention held in april 2001. muller’s winning entry was a hand-engraved 14k rose gold cuff bracelet containing an oval rhodolite garnet and four round diamonds.

Tapper’s Goes Online

tapper’s diamonds and fine jewelry is now showcasing its selection of diamond jewelry, pearls, designer jewelry, and watches online at www.tappers.com. founded in 1977, the store is located in the orchard mall in west bloomfield, mich.rootlevel, a web applications company headquartered in detroit, developed and built a file synchronization tool that allows a tapper’s administrator to uplo…

Strager Shows Off ‘Oscar-Worthy’ Jewelry

jewelry stylist and trends forecaster shaye strager of goldstein communications, a public relations, marketing, and advertising agency specializing in the jewelry and luxury goods markets, appeared on wnbc’s weekend today in new york and fox news channel to preview some of the looks she presented to celebrity stylists who were “shopping” for oscar-night accessories.

De Beers Introduces Account Managers

as promised when it first unveiled its “supplier of choice” strategy, de beers is making strides toward becoming more “customer friendly.”the company recently announced a new account manager system that was supposed to debut with “supplier of choice.” but while the launch of “supplier of choice” has been delayed, the account manager program has already been implemented.

Knock It Off!

jewelry knockoffs have long annoyed jewelry designers and manufacturers and affected the business of retail jewelers. but today, the focus on knockoffs has intensified because of the rise of branding and the internet as well as the vigorous prosecution of jewelers, other retailers, and suppliers by leading designers and big-name trademark owners.

All About Eve

the year 1998 was an eventful one for jewelry designer cynthia ryan. in january she launched her business from her manhattan home. she also joined the accessories circuit (five annual trade markets for upscale accessory designers), and by the end of january, she had six orders from jewelers around the country.

Tears of Fashion

several fashion trends have merged to energize a classic favorite.the teardrop motif—in gems and other jewelry design—is suddenly everywhere and looking fresh again. from rings to drop earrings, the theme is prevalent at all levels of the market.the teardrop’s rediscovered fashionability plays off several recent developments in both jewelry and clothing fashion.

Hawaiian Contest Winners

the hawaii jewelers association sponsored three design contests during its spring convention and banquet held in honolulu. entries were divided into bridal, men’s, and metal (no center stone) categories. the winners were:bridal: first place—techno wave rings (shown) by brian thomsen and darrenn marcum, dbj goldsmiths inc.

Swiss Exports Up 7.6% Despite U.S. ‘Slowdown’

despite a “slowdown” in the united states, swiss exports of finished watches and components rose 7.6% in value to 5.1 billion swiss francs (about us$2.9 billion) in the first half of 2001, according to a new report from the federation of the swiss watch industry (fhs). the industry is “still going strong,” although the double-digit growth seen last year (17.

New Watch Company Is Formed

swiss army brands inc. and victorinox ag have formed a new international watch company—victorinox swiss army watch ag. victorinox is the majority shareholder of swiss army brands. victorinox and swiss army brands have had “a strong and longstanding business relationship” since 1937, says sue rechner, president of the new company and senior vice president in the united states of swis…

Designer Recognized by Smithsonian

the smithsonian institution recently recognized jewelry designer mark schneider for contributing his platinum guild international award-winning tanzanite ring to the gem and mineral gallery in washington, d.c. schneider is one of only a handful of living designers with pieces in the smithsonian’s collection.

JA Launches Careers Outreach

jewelers of america (ja) is launching “careers in the jewelry industry,” an ambitious outreach initiative to promote the jewelry industry as a viable career choice among job seekers from outside the trade. the program is aimed at high school and junior college students as well as adults who are changing careers or re-entering the workforce.

The Heart of Platinum

the marketing-savvy platinum guild international recently announced its newest focus—hearts.pgi has launched a full-scale marketing program to promote platinum heart-themed jewelry. armed with one of the classic favorite motifs of fine jewelry, pgi now aims to marry tradition to hipness.included in the marketing push is a celebrity tie-in called women with heart.

Cleopatra’s Emeralds at Field Museum

it has been said that cleopatra vii, queen of egypt from 51 bce until her death in 30 bce, was the world’s most beautiful woman. could her emerald jewelry have helped her win this title?the history of emerald begins in egypt, where it has been mined since around 2000 bce. that’s long before cleopatra’s time, but the original emerald mines have been named for her.

Rocket Opens New Distribution Center

bronx, n.y.-based rocket jewelry box has opened a west coast distribution center and a second warehouse in the bronx. according to company president michael kaplan, the west coast center will enable the company to cut shipping costs, since most of its products are made in thailand and china. the company also offers packaging design services through its team of artisans and designers in th…

Scott Kay Rings Chosen for Today Show Couple

after the jewelry information center’s elizabeth florence introduced the today show’s audience to various wedding band choices, viewers across the country cast their votes.designer scott kay’s signature double-band rings were the viewers’ favorite, beating out rings by cartier, artcarved, and fortunoff.

IJK Concludes Successful Run

the fifth international jewellery kobe (ijk 2001), which took place may 17-19 at kobe international exhibition hall in kobe, japan, drew a record 403 exhibitors from 22 countries. a total of 13,341 buyers were registered over the three-day period, and more than 90% of exhibitors reported stronger sales than they had the previous year.

Signet Posts 19.8% Half-Year Gain

the signet group, the world’s second-largest retail jeweler and parent of sterling inc. in the united states, posted a 19.8% increase in group sales to about $898.3 million and a 1.7% gain in comparable store sales for its half-year (ended july 28).headquartered in london, signet operates 1,606 retail jewelry stores, including 599 in the united kingdom (under the names h.

JA Elects New Chairman

carolyn pope of crews jewelry in grandview, mo., has been elected chairman of the board of directors of jewelers of america (ja). pope is the first woman ever to hold this position.pope has been on the board of directors of the missouri jewelers and watchmakers association since 1988 and served as that affiliate’s president in 1994.

Five Tax-Saving Secrets for Jewelers

you probably have a vivid recollection of that knot you felt in your stomach around april 15 or oct. 15 (for corporate tax returns), depending on the date you or your business paid the “tax man.” if you’re like many of your colleagues, you feel you pay far too much in business and personal taxes and would love to find ways to reduce that tax burden—without increasing expenses.

Three Named to Board of Governors

the jewelers education foundation of the american gem society (ags) has elected three new members to its board of governors: christopher bramlett of christopher’s jewelers in concord, n.c.; paul cohen of continental jewelers in wilmington, del.; and david nygaard of david nygaard fine jewelers in virginia beach, va.

Colibri Acquires Seth Thomas Clock

the colibri group, providence, r.i., has acquired the trademark and inventory of the seth thomas clock co. from general time. the transaction was completed july 31 in bankruptcy court, said fred levinger, president and chief executive officer of the colibri group. terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

IJO Welcomes Members to Salt Lake City Show

the independent jewelers organization show welcomed 1,600 members from 425 stores during its aug. 4-8 run in salt lake city. newcomers to the organization accounted for 11% of attendees. there were also 11 new vendors, increasing wholesaler participation to more than 150 companies.the general session featured a variety of speakers who encouraged jewelers to reject the media’s talk of rece…

Hearts On Fire Sues ‘Hearts for Eternity’

boston-based hearts on fire company is suing alexander waldman company for copyright infringement over its “hearts for eternity” brand.the suit also charges that the brand constitutes deceptive advertising and unfair trade practices under new york law.hearts on fire is asking the u.s. district court to enjoin waldman from using “hearts for eternity” or similar marks and is seeking $5 mill…

Gemfind.net Launched on Internet

the newly launched gemfind.net is an internet portal designed for the jewelry and diamond industry. the site provides a place for diamond dealers to post inventories where buyers can search for, view, and purchase diamonds. the site is strictly business-to-business; only legitimate jewelry industry professionals are granted membership ($50 per month for diamond dealers; $20 per month for …

JIC’s Florence Appears on Today Show

during the summer-long wedding series on nbc’s today show, the jewelry information center’s elizabeth florence provided viewers with information on the history of wedding rings, tips for purchasing jewelry, and the companies (fortunoff, scott kay, artcarved, and cartier) that provided the rings from which the winning couple would choose.

Polar Bear Battle Continues

the fight continues over the canadian polar bear.earlier this year, the government of canada’s northwest territories tried to prevent local cutter sirius diamonds from etching the local icon on its stones, claiming it had rights to the three-legged bear after 35 years of use. sirius countered that it was the first to imprint the microscopic mascot on gems, and therefore the right to use i…

A Jewel in the Berkshires

in the town of northampton, mass., stands a unique jewelry store called silverscape designs. what makes it unique is its location, design components, personnel, founder’s vision, and what the building was in its former life: a bank. silverscape is not only a classic building but also one of the cleverest uses of retail space i’ve ever seen.

Cas-Ker Appointed LaserStar Distributor

the cas-ker company, cincinnati, ohio, a distributor of watch parts and jewelers’ supplies, has been appointed as a distributor for laserstar technology. laserstar manufactures workstations that employ laser beams to weld jewelry for assembly and repair. cas-ker co., 2550 civic center dr., p.o.

All Mixed Up!

now that designers have abandoned the misconception that pearls are stodgy, they’re not only embracing the molluscous beauties in their full range of colors but also mixing things up for a new take on pearl jewelry. thanks to fashion leaders like robert lee morris, the modern menu of pearl jewelry offers up a fresh selection of pearls combined with nontraditional materials.

IJDG Members Win Awards

members of the international jewelry design guild (ijdg) took home a number of the prizes awarded at the fifth annual town & country couture design awards in may. sponsored by town & country magazine, the awards are given to creative fine jewelry designers in a variety of categories.

‘T 150’ Marks Unique Partnership of Tiffany and Patek Philippe

a unique partnership in retailing was celebrated in july by patek philippe, one of the world’s premiere watchmakers, and by tiffany & co., one of the world’s leading luxury goods retailers. that business relationship began with a handshake agreement in 1851 between company founders antoine norbert de patek and charles lewis tiffany.

Divas: Innovation and Glamour

the women’s jewelry association’s fifth annual diva award winners—in true diva form—showed a taste for high glamour and sophistication, along with a rule-breaking and tradition-challenging tenaciousness.the grand-prize winner, marsha donahue, created a necklace dubbed “reel” hollywood glamour.

EU Frowns on ‘Supplier of Choice’

the european union competition commission has given its stamp of approval to de beers’ plan to open retail stores with lvmh but expressed serious doubts about the legality of the company’s new “supplier of choice” strategy.in line with those doubts, the eu has sent de beers a “statement of objections” regarding the company’s new direction.

Latest Kimberley Meeting Upbeat

there was considerable progress made on the conflict diamond issue at the latest meeting of the kimberley process in moscow in july, after things appeared stalled in brussels earlier that month.the kimberley process, named for the south african city where the talks began, is an ongoing series of talks among governments, industry, and nongovernmental organizations (ngos) aimed at stopping …

Scott Kay Takes On Hollywood

jewelry designer scott kay created an exclusive commemorative platinum and diamond bracelet for the 7th annual screen actors guild awards, held in march at the los angeles shrine exposition center. celebrity presenters and nominees received the limited-edition bracelets, which were made of precious metal and accented with scott kay’s signature bar motif.

SSEF: Treatment Disclosure is Limited

“in light of new developments, we have reconsidered our terminology used for ruby treatments,” says dr. henry hänni, director of the ssef swiss gemmological institute in basel. because ruby enhancement combines three elements—transforming color, increasing transparency, and healing fissures (or filling larger cavities)—ssef has modified its ruby enhancement terminology, s…

First Annual Pearl Scholarship Awarded

after the death of longtime ijo manufacturer member robert schwager in february 2000, many contributions were made in his memory. his son ronny schwager used the money to create a scholarship fund in his father’s name, specifically for the study of pearls and exclusively for ijo members. two $500 scholarships will be awarded annually at the february ijo show.

New Push for Chanel Jewelry

with a name and icon revered for nearly a century as the ultimate in tailored, chic, and feminine, chanel also has a long-held high regard for fine jewelry. founder coco chanel was known for her jewelry—especially her pearls—and her namesake fashion house carried that passion into the merchandising mix.

WJA Sponsors Benefit Gala

the women’s jewelry association midwest chapter held its fiesta gala 2001 on saturday, sept. 29. the evening’s events included a live auction of art objects donated by midwest jewelry designers. wja will donate a significant portion of the proceeds to the chicago abused women’s coalition.

JJ Marco Moves to New Offices

jj marco, designers of 18k gold and platinum jewelry, recently moved to new and expanded offices in soho, new york. according to the company, the new location offers increased office and workshop space in a beautiful setting. visitors are invited to view jj marco’s collections at 580 broadway, suite 1011, new york, ny 10012; (212) 625-3555, fax (212) 625-0552, e-mail: jjmarco@aol.

International Contest Has Diverse Winners

winners of the american facet award were, not surprisingly, a cross-section of western hemisphere cultures. the design contest, focusing on colored gemstone jewelry, received more than 2,500 entries, 362 of which were judged in the final contest. the 47 finalists in the contest—broken into three categories—will now compete with finalists from europe and asia for the world face…

Plumb Club Elects New President

alan kaufman of tru-kay manufacturing co., providence, r.i., has been elected president of the plumb club of new york state. kaufman also has served as chairman of the manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america inc., and chairman of the jewelers board of trade. other elected officers for the year 2001 include victor weinman, vice president; rachel wertheimer, treasurer; and michae…

Too Many Tahitians?

tahitian pearls are french polynesia’s biggest source of export revenue and its second biggest economic contributor after tourism. millions of dollars are generated annually from exported tahitian pearls, which are counted among the world’s unique luxury items.but there’s some trouble in paradise.

JSA Reports Progress, Needs More Support

the jewelry trade’s efforts to get federal assistance to combat on-the-road jewelry thefts are paying off. however, more financial support is needed if the industry’s efforts are to continue, says john kennedy, president of the jewelers’ security alliance. jsa formed the industry coalition that is seeking federal help to fight the gangs.

Valley of the Gems

author ted themelis has written a book about the most famous of gem localities, the mogok (burma) ruby and sapphire mines. mogok, valley of rubies & sapphires is a colorful account of a region that few have visited but almost everyone knows because of its rubies.themelis, a resident of bangkok, thailand, is a gemologist who develops and manufactures gem-testing equipment and experime…

Bright Lights, Big Jewelry

the platinum guild international held its annual fashion breakfast during the jck las vegas show this year for an audience of more than 1,800. in traditional platinum guild style, the event was marked in a way suitable for early mornings only in las vegas—bright colors, thumping music, and beautiful male and female models wearing $5 million in statement-making platinum jewelry.

Uncas Celebrates 90th Anniversary

uncas manufacturing co., once known as america’s largest manufacturer of rings, is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the rhode island-based company. uncas offers full-service capabilities from concept development to finished product to shipping for all channels of distribution including direct mail catalogs, major department stores, retail chains, television networks, an…

Premier Gem and Luca Carati are Partners

premier gem corporation of new york, a diamond trading company (dtc) sightholder, has partnered with italian jewelry manufacturer luca carati to create a new collection called insieme. the collection will initially concentrate on a line of engagement rings and wedding bands designed and crafted by luca carati in valenza, italy, and will carry branded premier gem collection diamonds.

AGS to Hold 2002 Conclave in Vancouver

members of the american gem society (ags) will cross the northern border of the united states to attend the 2002 ags international conclave, to be held april 24-27 at the hyatt regency and fairmont hotel in vancouver, british columbia. immediately following the conclave, members are invited to take an alaskan cruise aboard a norwegian cruise lines ship—a seven-day adventure through …

AMR Celebrates Seven Years

the june 2001 issue marks the seventh anniversary of auction market resource for gems and jewelry (amr), the only publication with information regarding all major u.s. and international auctions. each volume of amr categorizes antique to modern jewelry items offered by type of piece and includes measurements, estimated weights, clarity and color grades of diamonds and colored gemstones…

Yellow Beryl

although the beryl family is full of wonderful colors, in its purest state beryl is colorless. colorless beryl actually has a varietal name, but unless you’re a collector of unusual gems, you probably haven’t heard of goshenite. (and you’ll want to remember this variety later when we talk about enhancements.

DDC Split Over License Controversy

it was a bold and ambitious move for a diamond club, but now it’s mired in controversy.in january, the new york diamond dealers club purchased a license from the sierra leone government to establish a rough buying office in that country. (the license covers only diamonds with government-issued certificates, not diamonds from rebel group ruf.

Some Words for Our Sponsors

there’s a lot of talk about how the industry should spend more on marketing. yet the biggest critics of the way jewelers pour money into advertising are—ironically enough—professional marketers.elizabeth chatelain of beverly hills, calif.-based mvi marketing believes jewelers should invest more in sales training than in marketing, since the best advertising is “word of mouth.

Ward Revises Emerald Book

fred ward, graduate gemologist and author of the fred ward gem book series, has revised his 1993 book, emeralds, adding new pictures and printing the pages at a higher definition. in addition, each page has been varnished to give the images photograph-like quality.ward, whose gem-writing career began with articles for national geographic, has written nine books: emeralds, diamonds, pearls…

Watch School Aid Considered by Coalition for Watchmaker Education

an advisory committee for the watch and jewelry industries’ coalition for watchmaker education (cwe) has prepared recommendations on the type of industry support needed by the nation’s watchmaker training programs. the report was to be presented to officials of the cwe in september and the american watch association (awa) this month.

Carla Corp. Releases New Video

the carla corp., a providence, r.i.-based designer of 14k gold jewelry, has released a new video supporting its popular casandra jewelry collection. the 3-minute video showcases the extensive casandra collection of earrings, pendants, slides, and pins. a vhs cassette or electronic version is available free of charge to jewelry retailers.

AGS Draws Attention to JCF Fundraiser

the american gem society (ags) will hold its annual charity auction for the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf) during the ags conclave april 24-27 in vancouver, canada.ags kicked off its fundraising effort by presenting the book african renaissance by acclaimed photographer peter magubane to patricia a.

What Does JA Stand For?

in joe bacher’s view, jewelers of america is turning its back on its roots. “jewelers of america was started by independent jewelers,” says bacher, vice president of the illinois jewelers association, a ja state affiliate. “we’ve all worked hard to build this organization.” but now he says the organization is in danger of becoming not “an association of retail jewelers but rather one of r…

New Watchmaker School Opens

the first new u.s. watchmaking school in several years has opened in lititz, pa. the lititz watch technicum (based on a european word for technical school) covers 10,000 sq. ft. on the first floor of a new rolex watch usa service and training center. the state-of the art rolex service facilities on the second floor will employ 150 local people.

Grunstein To Be Honored by NCCJ

at its annual dinner in new york, the jewelry and watch division of the national conference for community and justice (nccj) will honor laurence r. grunstein, president of citizen watch co. of america inc., for his commitment to the industry and to community and humanitarian causes. the event will take place on dec.

New Company To Distribute Precious Metal Clay

mitsubishi materials corporation has announced an additional distributor for precious metal clay (pmc) in the united states. the dallas-based company pmc connection has been created to promote the use of pmc in the hobby market, particularly among potters, ceramic studios, and glass artists.in addition to selling pmc products, tools, and related supplies, the new company will offer a vari…

Before Handbags

from medieval times to the early 20th century, women kept essential items such as keys close at hand on their “chatelaines.” these precursors to purses hung from belts and featured long chains with hooked ends to clutch accoutrements. but when women started working full-time outside the home, cloth handbags—with straps instead of chains and plenty of room for cosmetics and sunglasse…

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