October 1, 2002

Riding the Pearl Market Roller Coaster

NGO Attacks Industry Over Bushmen

another human rights group is taking swipes at the diamond industry, this time charging that diamond reserves are uprooting the bushmen of botswana. survival international, which describes itself as “a worldwide organization supporting tribal people,” has run ads about the forced removal of the bushmen in newspapers in canada, australia, and britain.

JVC Offers New Retailers Handbook

at a press conference held during the ja new york show, the jewelers vigilance committee unveiled its newest publication: the retailer’s legal handbook: the jvc’s guide for the retail jewelry store owner. “the handbook includes clear answers to frequently asked questions received by the jvc as well as important information that can benefit every retailer,” says jvc executive director and legal…

Goldberg: ‘Come to Israel’

new york manufacturer william goldberg recently took a “solidarity trip” to israel—and he’s calling on the rest of the industry to do the same. “you read such scary reports in the media, and then when you go there it’s a different story,” he said. “at no time did we experience any threat to our safety.

Ivory Hunting

ivory is traditionally thought of as simply elephant tusk, but it’s more than that, notes bobby mann, co-founder of the international ivory society. ivory encompasses a full range of teeth and tusks of mammals including elephant, mammoth, walrus, hippopotamus, sperm whale, narwhal, wart hog, and boar.

Preserving History

you might call joyce mitman welken america’s unofficial curator of retail jewelry. as president of the oldest jewelry store in the united states—bixler’s jewelers in easton, pa.—welken oversees a collection of 200-year-old (and older) documents and aging photographs that make up a historical record of the family business.

Phillips is New Taramax USA President

watch industry veteran dennis phillips was named to the new post of president of taramax usa, which distributes fendi watches, effective july 29. the announcement was made by thomas m. venables, chief executive officer of taramax usa and chairman of its swiss parent firm, taramax sa. venables also is a former president of the company.


diamond. adamas, the invincible; the unconquerable. the hardest substance on earth. ice. transparent carbon, without color, and without rival. grade them d, e, or f, and you have a colorless diamond. these are the top grades in the gemological institute of america diamond grading scale. (no, there is no a, b, or c grade.

AGTA, ICA Agree on Corundum

the american gem trade association and the international colored stone association have agreed to make the following declaration in regard to the new treatment of corundum that originated in thailand. “given the continued use of this process and the resulting confusion as to its disclosure,” said a statement from the two groups, “our associations have found it is necessary to provide absolute c…

IGI Opens Toronto Diamond Lab

the international gemological institute (igi) has announced the opening of its laboratory in toronto to certify diamonds for the canadian marketplace. john palladino, g.g., has been named managing director of igi toronto. he will oversee day-to-day operations along with a staff that includes seven canadians and three igi veterans.

Jewelry Designer Joins Swarovski Program

the swarovski crystal components division has chosen jenna nicole crystal as a partner in the swarovski ingredient branding program. all jenna nicole crystal packaging and promotions now feature the swarovski crystal components logo, hang tags, and labels. jenna nicole designs feature swarovski crystals prong-set in sterling silver and finished with rhodium.

New Diamond Inscription Systems

photoscribe technologies, a manufacturer of diamond laser inscription equipment, has announced a new series of four desktop diamond branding systems targeted to independent retailers and small manufacturers. the company, headquartered in new york city, provides inscription equipment to most of the major international gem labs as well as diamond manufacturers, wholesalers, and large retailers.

Faceting Expert Donates to GIA

after displaying his collection of 39 natural and synthetic gemstones for nearly 25 years at his home, gem enthusiast donald milliken has donated the entire collection—valued at $25,000—to the gemological institute of america (gia). “we’re getting on in years, and i didn’t know what i would do with them,” milliken said.

GIA Italy Celebrates 10th Anniversary

the gemological institute of america (gia) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its first school in europe, which opened in vicenza, italy, in february 1992. gia’s graduate gemologist diploma is available there via on-campus and distance education formats in both italian and english. in addition, students can take the design course as well as diamond grading, gem identification, and colored s…

Duty Lifted on Indian Jewelry

the 5.5% duty on indian jewelry has been lifted, and indian diamond and jewelry manufacturers say this will mean better prices for u.s. retailers. the duty’s lifting was included in the new generalized systems of preferences (gsp), which was tacked onto a trade bill passed by congress and signed by president bush.

AGTA Online for Consumers

the american gem trade association (agta) is seeking consumers who love gemstones and directing them to its web site, www.agta.org, where an online educational course can teach them how to make wise buying decisions. while the course is geared toward educating entry-level retail sales associates, consumers also can register online to take the course, which requires realplayer.

Appraisal Program for New England

elly rosen will present a full day of appraisal education to jewelers in the new england area on oct. 27, 2002, at the diplomat in saugus, mass. the program will include “gems & jewelry trade laws & regulations,” “professional appraising: from replacement cost to fair market value,” “value elements & descriptions of phenomenal gemstones,” and “back to basics with optical gemology: e…

Trade Fair Manager to Leave Messe Frankfurt

petra lassahn, 34, event manager for the ambiente and tendence consumer-goods fairs, has left the messe frankfurt organization. lassahn previously worked for miller freeman (now reed exhibitions), a private trade-fair organizer, where she was head of communications and industrial trade fairs. she will continue to pursue her career in an executive capacity within the trade-fair sector.

A Toast to Pearl Cocktails

the timeless style of pearls speaks this year to stability-minded consumers who’ve been frazzled both emotionally and economically during the past 13 months. the natural beauty of these gems is reminiscent of a simpler age when the likes of princess grace and jackie kennedy were style icons. and thanks to their beauty, history, and quiet sophistication, pearl fashions never quite go out of style.

Luxury by JCK ~ Caribbean Show

the first-ever luxury by jck ~ caribbean show will be held oct. 23-25 at the fontainebleau hilton resort in miami beach, fla. the event will include breakfast seminars; private business-to-business selling opportunities for designers, manufacturers, and retailers; evening events; additional networking opportunities; and entertainment.

From Insects to Athletes

jennifer benusis’s collection of 18k and gemstone jewelry was a certified hit at the jewelers of america new york show, where it was on display in the new design area. the young designer’s floral and insect pieces, most of which are set with sprays of vibrant gemstones, are a fresh take on traditional motifs, and they attracted a swarm of enthusiastic jewelers.

DCA Elects New Board

the diamond council of america (dca) elected new board members following the organization’s semi-annual board meeting during the jck show ~ las vegas. bruce kenny, senior vice president of store planning and real estate, sterling jewelers inc., was named chairman; randy mccullough, president and ceo, samuels inc.

Retailers Take Advantage of JA Certification

a number of retailers across the country are using the certification programs developed by jewelers of america (ja) to recognize the status of their employees and inspire greater confidence among customers. ja certification uses a written examination process to measure the abilities of jewelry sales professionals, store managers, and bench jewelers according to nationally recognized standards.

The Platinum Bench Wins APEX Award

mjsa/ajm press, the book publishing division of manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa), recently announced that its first offering, the platinum bench, by jurgen j. maerz, was presented with an award of excellence in the books and book chapters division of the 2002 apex awards. released in october 2001, the platinum bench presents 17 step-by-step, photo-illustrated lessons …

GIA Opens New School of Business

the gemological institute of america (gia) has announced the establishment of its new gia school of business—the first of its kind to teach management skills as they apply specifically to the jewelry industry. according to brook ellis, vice president of education for gia, the school will provide a solid business foundation for jewelry business owners, executives, and aspiring leaders work…

WGC Talks Holiday Trends

links, geometric designs, and satiny finishes will be among the hot gold trends for the holiday and into 2003, according to the world gold council. using links in novel ways in nearly every category represents a top trend among gold jewelry designers. whether flat, bold, and highly polished or nonsymmetrical and variously sized, the traditional link look has a new life this fall.

Triple Cert Program for Diamonds

the rochester diamonds triple certification program, created in 1999 (for diamonds .45 pts. and larger), consists of either a gia or egl certification, rochester’s own rdi report that further describes the features of the diamond, and a gemprint—a registered diamond “fingerprint” that can help identify the owner in the event of theft or loss.

American Achievement Acquires Milestone Traditions

american achievement corporation inc. of austin, texas, a manufacturer of scholastic products and an industry leader in class rings and school yearbooks, has acquired milestone traditions, a philadelphia-area supplier specialty marketer of class rings, announcements, and other graduation products to the college market.

Valentine’s Day Meets Jewelry Design

the sanvalentinoro design contest, which originated in 1992 in the umbria region of italy, will become an international competition next year. the contest honors st. valentine, the patron saint of lovers, and reflects the traditional meaning of jewelry as an expression of love. st. valentine—who, according to legend, married a christian and a pagan in defiance of a marriage ban instituted…

Seminar on Antique Jewelry

the american society of jewelry historians will offer a full day seminar, “dating and authenticating georgian and victorian jewelry,” on saturday, nov. 2, 2002, in new york city. the seminar is intended for a broad audience including jewelry collectors, appraisers, dealers, jewelers, curators, and anyone who loves antique jewelry.

Rechner Named as President of Swiss Army Brands

susanne rechner has been tapped by victorinox a.g. to be president of swiss army brands inc. (sabi), distributor of swiss army brand watches, if victorinox’s offer to buy sabi’s outstanding shares is successful. rechner—who led the successful u.s. relaunch of swiss army watches—is sabi’s senior vice president-global watch, and chief executive officer of victorinox swiss army watch s…

JA New York Show Features Color

the ja new york summer show, held at the jacob javits convention center in new york city on july 28-31, drew slightly fewer than 13,000 buyers. exhibitors numbered around 1,700. traffic was moderate to heavy during the first two days of the show, while the last two days saw considerably less traffic.

Jacobson’s Going Out of Business

the retail world has lost another piece of its history with the recent liquidation of jacobson stores. after 134 years in business, the upscale jackson, mich.-based specialty retailer will soon be closing its doors for the last time. jacobson’s began conducting going-out-of-business sales at all of its 18 locations in late july.

Conflict Diamond Issue Will Go On—Even Without Conflicts

there’s peace in the three african countries torn apart by conflict diamonds … but the issue isn’t likely to go away. in august, the warring parties in the democratic republic of congo agreed to a cease-fire. this follows truces in sierra leone and angola, the two other countries with diamond-fueled rebellions.

It’s Official: Tony Hall Leaving House

the jewelry industry won’t have tony hall to be kicked around by anymore. in february, president bush appointed hall (d-ohio), the main congressional player on conflict diamonds, to be u.s. ambassador to the united nations food and agriculture agencies in rome. the senate unanimously approved his nomination in july.


the jewelry industry lost one of its great pioneers this summer with the passing of richard t. liddicoat. the father of modern gemology, liddicoat left as his biggest legacy the gia grading system, acknowledged as the world’s foremost method for identifying and valuing gems. but he also left another legacy that had an equally far-reaching impact: the influence of his personality on all who knew…

Gem Art Grading Reports

charles m. ellias, g.g., isa, capp, of north american lapidary laboratory, is staking his claim to a place in the history of quality grading reports: he’s the first person to design and issue a gem report for gem carvings and other works of gem art. sherris cottier shank of gemscapes gem carvings was the first to order colored-stone grading reports for all of her carved gems.

AGL Collaborates on Educational Event

the american gemological laboratories (agl) recently joined the smithsonian institution and gem expert arthur groom in presenting an educational exhibit on colored stones. in addition to the smithsonian’s display, the exhibit featured six cases representing a portion of agl’s extensive gem and mineral collection, including its exceptional gold collection, an 800-ct.

Messe Frankfurt Now in Middle East

trade-fair organizer messe frankfurt has taken over international exhibitions, promotions, organising & conferences (epoc) in dubai, united arab emirates. epoc fairs include hardware and tools, houseware and hometech, materials handling & distribution, toy fair, and autotech. messe frankfurt aims to further develop the already established fairs as well as sound out new topics for the ar…

New Assay Office Opens in U.S.

the birmingham assay office has created the american assay & gemological office, a wholly owned subsidiary based in new york to meet the demands of the u.s. trade. aag will offer a variety of quality assurance services to american manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, and retailers. services will include anchorcert independent certification, diamond certification, safeguard jewe…

The Personal Touch

for many, having a successful retail jewelry store requires marketing surveys, inventory analysis, demographic research, and myriad other details before the first sale is made. for maidie franklin, all it took was an understanding of herself, a love of beauty, and the guts to take the plunge. franklin, the owner of maidie franklin jewelry in philadelphia, sells handcrafted jewelry from local an…

WJA Honors Nine

the 19th annual women’s jewelry association’s awards of excellence recently recognized nine women in the fine-jewelry and watch industry for their accomplishments and milestones. the gala event was held at pier sixty on chelsea piers during the ja summer show. awards were given in seven categories to the following: design: barbara berk, owner of barbara berk designs, foster city, calif.


bob demaria has joined the staff of rochester diamonds inc. as sales manager. he has 15 years of jewelry sales and management experience. charles & colvard ltd. has appointed barbara l. mooty to the position of vice president, brand development and industry relations. mooty has more than 25 years of jewelry industry experience, most recently as vice president of marketing for kristall c…

T Lee Wins Mort Abelson Award

designer t lee may not have industry longevity, but according to her peers, she’s got talent: lee was presented with the mort abelson new designer of the year award during the jewelers of america show in july. the minneapolis-based designer is best known for woven designs whose textures rival the finest textiles.

Luxury Watchmaker Creates Web Site for Watch Enthusiasts

master watchmaker roland g. murphy, america’s only luxury-brand watchmaker, has taken his passion for watchmaking to the internet. murphy’s web site, designed especially for fine-watch enthusiasts like himself, even lets visitors get involved in designing a new watch. the roughly 400 handcrafted rgm mechanical timepieces produced annually by murphy and his small staff in mount joy, pa.

Kassoy offers card printing system

kassoy is offering the kassoy card printing system 10 for printing plastic cards suitable for use as jewelry identification cards, gift cards, employee and visitor badges, id and access control badges. the system includes software and a card printer. its small footprint is designed for desktop use. the kassoy card printing system 10 can print edge-to-edge full-color plastic cards at the rate of…

Audemars Piguet Supports Breast Cancer Research

swiss luxury watchmaker audemars piguet announced in august an exclusive, first-time partnership with cosmetics leader estée lauder and lifestyle expert colin cowie to benefit the breast cancer research foundation. in 2003, the watchmaker and cosmetics firm will be involved in special events, organized by cowie, to raise money for the foundation.

Coping With Disaster

an unexpected disaster can hit any store at any time, disrupting business and creating unique recovery problems. here’s the story of what happened to two jewelers, along with advice from experts at jewelers’ security alliance and jewelers mutual insurance on preparing for—and recovering from—a disaster.

Eureka/Reed & Barton Marks 75th Year

the eureka mfg. co. division of reed & barton corporation is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. founded in 1926, eureka is a manufacturer of handcrafted jewelry and flatware hardwood chests. reed & barton silversmiths purchased eureka in 1972 and relocated the company to its current location in new england.

Burton Named CEO of WGC

the executive committee of the world gold council has named james e. burton as its new chief executive officer, effective oct. 1. burton is the former ceo of the california public employees retirement system (calpers). previously, he was deputy state controller for the state of california. the executive committee has provided burton with a specific mandate to reinvigorate the wgc.

Changes for the JCK Show ~ Las Vegas

the management of the jck show ~ las vegas has announced that it will implement numerous enhancements to augment the show experience. according to vice president dave bonaparte, the show’s advisory board identified three general areas that needed “fine tuning”—ambience, exhibitor and attendee amenities, and the way in which attendees navigate the show.

SJTA U Goes on the Road

the southern jewelry travelers association (sjta) will expand its popular sjta u educational program beyond the traditional trade show schedule. the new series, called “sjta u on the road,” will debut with a “holiday selling” program held in birmingham, ala., on nov. 12 and atlanta, ga., on nov. 14. the birmingham program will be held at the wynfrey hotel at the riverchase galleria, and the atl…


in “tolkowsky revisited,” (jck, june 2002, pages 136 and 138) a sidebar titled “heads up” mistakenly attributed michael cowing’s diagrams of light passage in diamonds to computer software from bruce harding. according to cowing, “these diagrams and most of the diamond images in my study were computer generated with diamcalc from octonus software.

MJSA Partners with Federal Express

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa), in alliance with federal express (fedex) now offers its members substantial savings on overnight shipping of packages with a declared value of up to $50,000. mjsa members receive the special rate of 20 cents per $100 of value—33% off the non-member rate of 30 cents per $100.

Historic German Watchmaking Town Ravaged by Floods

glashütte, the historic german watchmaking town, and facilities of several prestigious watch brands located there were ravaged by the torrential rains and floods that devastated eastern germany, austria, and the czech republic in august. news reports said recovery in germany alone could cost $20 billion, the biggest rebuilding effort since world war ii.

The JCK Advisory Board

it is appropriate to acknowledge a group of industry leaders who since 1991 have helped guide the jck shows through the rocks and shoals of the trade show business. it’s not an easy task: show managers must deal with owners and entrepreneurs who are writing checks for the goods and services they buy when attending a show.

Paris Hosts ‘Two-Event Show’

the city of light was the site of a two-event jewelry show this fall—bijorhca’s Éclat de mode and montres et bijoux. Éclat de mode was held aug. 30-sept. 2, followed by montres et bijoux sept. 6-9. Éclat de mode featured the fashion bar and trends area, both dedicated to displaying the latest trends and fashions.

Riding the Pearl Market Roller Coaster

pearls remain popular, thanks to the wide variety and moderate prices of chinese freshwater cultured pearls (cfwcps) as well as the fine mix of colors in south sea pearls (ssps) and tahitian pearls. larger sizes, better roundness, better qualities, new natural colors, new shapes, and attractive prices have given cfwcps a big lead in sales, but uncertainty about the pearls’ durability lingers.

JA Updates Consumer Brochures

jewelers of america (ja) recently updated three of its “what you should know about …” consumer brochures. the booklets are designed to be used by retailers at the sales counter to introduce consumers to terminology, concepts, and history; provide helpful shopping tips; and answer frequently asked questions.

Poster Call for ICA Auditions

the international colored gemstone association (ica) is sponsoring a poster contest open to everyone who wishes to enter. the poster must include ica’s “go color” slogan and should promote colored gemstones. all posters will be displayed at the upcoming ica congress in jaipur, india, jan. 4-10, 2003.

Top De Beers Executive Dies in Car Crash

de beers executive warren symcox died recently in a car accident. he was the general manager for harry oppenheimer house (hoh), the south african diamond sorting and valuation facility in kimberley. the accident occurred when symcox, his family, and some friends were traveling on vacation. his wife and children are recovering at a south african hospital.

De Beers Store Set for St. Regis

the new de beers-lvmh joint venture plans to open its first u.s. store next year in new york’s st. regis hotel, spokeswoman joan parker told jck. the store, located on 55th street and fifth avenue, is scheduled to open in fourth quarter 2003. a store will open in tokyo at the same time. the venture’s inaugural store will open on london’s bond street this november.

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