October 1, 2003

Funky Fundamentals

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Zale Reports 1.6% Increase in Gross Revenue

zale corp., the largest u.s. specialty jeweler, announced that total revenue for the fourth quarter, ended july 31, rose 1.6%, to $442.4 million. the dallas-based jeweler said it earned $6.7 million for the quarter before special items, up from $5.1 million for the same period in 2002. when those special items are included, however, the company said its net income fell to $2.

Design With Vision

the american pearl company’s vision awards this year recognized designers in two categories: discovery and inspiration. all designs feature pearls from american pearl company along with various other stones. in the discovery division, the grand prize went to ziad h. noshie of almaza jewelers in houston for the “american wheat flower” brooch created from an american cultured teardrop pearl ador…

Jewelers Executive Conference Slated for March 2004

the heart of america regional conference for jewelry store owners and managers has a new name: the jewelers executive conference (jec). the fourth conference is scheduled for march 6-7, 2004, at the doubletree hotel in overland park, kan., a suburb of kansas city, mo. jewelers of america and four of its affiliates—the kansas jewelers association, the missouri jewelers and watchmakers asso…

Appointments

brook ellis, vice president of education for the gemological institute of america (gia), has been re-elected second vice president of the distance education and training council (detc) accrediting commission. ellis previously served on detc’s board of trustees. as second vice president, ellis will review information submitted from applying organizations and evaluate them for accreditation.

DCIT Unveils BusinessMind for Jewelers 3.8

dcit corp., ridgefield, n.j., introduced the latest version of its businessmind for jewelers software suite at the ja international jewelry show in new york city in july. this latest release added new features and technologies to the software. version 3.8 is available as separate products for jewelry retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.

A New Book on Jadeite Jade

jadeite jade, a stone and a culture by ou yang, chiu mei, will enlighten everyone from the novice to the expert. it explains jadeite, its origins, trade terminology, the importance of jadeite varieties, and every enhancement (including acid and wax) and includes 200 beautiful color images. for quality-grading jadeite, ou yang uses the “4c2t1v” principle.

Antwerp Touts New Diamond I.D.

the holy grail of the conflict-diamond debate—a scientific method to determine a diamond’s origin—is one step closer to reality. after three years of research, a team of scientists at the university of ghent in belgium, working in conjunction with antwerp promotional group hrd, says they can establish a diamond’s origin by analyzing its mineral patterns.

Clinton to Headline Diamond Conference

former u.s. president bill clinton will be the headline speaker at the second antwerp diamond conference next month. clinton’s vice president, al gore, addressed the conference last year. the conference will examine the marketing and branding of non-diamond luxury goods and discuss how their success can be applied to diamonds.

‘While You Wait’ Diamond Inscription

diamond inscription technologies recently announced the launch of “walk-in” laser service for rapid trade support nationwide. the service makes it possible for customers to mark each diamond with brand names, logos, certificate numbers, or personal messages. inscription can be done on any facet. diamond repair, cutting, recutting, and polishing services also are available.

Dallow Goes to Julius Klein

longtime diamond information center spokeswoman brandee dallow has accepted a position with new york sightholder julius klein as director of communications. the diamond information center is the u.s. publicity arm for de beers’ diamond trading company. dallow’s responsibilities will include developing the company’s marketing and advertising programs, working with its clients, and enhancing its…

M. Fabrikant Contributes to GIA

m. fabrikant & sons recently became a benefactor of the gemological institute of america (gia), donating generously to support gia’s ongoing research and educational efforts. the company’s gift will be invested in gia’s permanent endowment fund, which was created to provide a perpetual source of income for gia education and research.

Thailand Aims to Become Production and Trading Hub

thailand’s first precious stones and jewelry trading center could come into existence next year as part of an effort to make the country a regional hub for jewelry production and trading. narong thamavaranukup, who has assumed the presidency of the thai gem and jewelry traders association, says the center would be run by the association with operating functions similar to those of the stock ex…

Business God at JA NY

traffic was moderate at the ja summer show in new york, which took place july 27-30, but most vendors reported that business was good. the first day saw the largest crowds, which peaked during mid-afternoon after a slow start before tapering off again. crowds were moderate on each of the following days.

EGL USA Battles Overseas EGLs

egl usa has gotten into a bitter spat with the overseas egls, after persuading u.s. customs to prevent other egl reports from entering the country. egl usa says it can do this because it is the exclusive owner of the egl trademarks in the united states and canada. that means reports from labs outside north america infringe on its trademark and are therefore illegal.

Film’s Out, Digital’s In

planning to photograph gems or jewelry? the age of the 35-mm film camera for gem photography is over. that’s the word from gem expert and appraiser michael cowing and professional photographer tino hammid, both of whom recently purchased professional slr (single lens reflex) digital cameras. hammid prepared side-by-side shots of the same red tourmaline using a film camera and a digital camera.

HRD Appoints New Director

youri steverlynck is the new marketing and public relations director of the antwerp diamond high council (hrd). he succeeds filip van laere. steverlynck was a member of hrd’s management committee, and as chief of staff he was responsible for communications, the legal and economic study department, and national public affairs.

Correction

in the august issue of jck’s open to buy, the description for zale richard rubins photography was incorrect. it should read, “traditional and digital product photography for catalogs, promotions, web, and ads. additional trade show, design, and graphics services available.” the company can be reached at (310) 287-0350.

The Talented Mr. Shipley

shipley figured the best way to start his national movement was among those who understood him best: his former retail colleagues. shipley’s most important meeting in the midwest in 1932 was with the retail jewelers research group (rjrg), which he had helped start in the 1920s. its support was crucial.

Montblanc North America Gets New President and CEO

jan-patrick schmitz has been named president and chief executive officer of montblanc north america, effective aug. 1. the brand, best known for its pens and watches, is owned by swiss luxury goods group richemont. karsten martens, who held the post for four years, will take over montblanc’s global travel retail business beginning in october.

FACETS

this month jck launches an ambitious effort to bring jewelry and watches to the consumer market in a new and exciting way. this initiative is a magazine titled “facets… for jewelry lovers and watch enthusiasts.” for 134 years, jck has been a driving force in the jewelry industry. this is not puffery or boasting, simply a fact: jck has played an integral role in the development and a…

Letters

some catch i enjoyed your editorial in jck’s august issue (“fashionably late,” p. 128), but i must question your use of the phrase “catch-22.” from what i recall of the novel, yossarian told the doctor that he needed to get out of the airforce, and he asked the doctor how he could do that. the doctor replied that if he was crazy he could get out, because who wants a crazy pilot? but yossarian w…

New IJDG Initiatives Under Way

though it was launched five years ago, the international jewelry design guild has been known for little more than its group exhibition during the ja new york show. a new director and several beefed-up unity-bolstering initiatives, however, aim to give the group more reach as an entity and give members better access to their peers.

Citrine

the three triangular shaped citrines are called “pyramidal halo cuts.” each one is unique. the halo is seen half-way up the pavilion. the 52-ct. center stone, on loan from daniel shames, dashasa jewelers, seattle, shows a center beaded halo. only one quarter of the halo beads have been carved. the remaining beads are reflections.

Kathrine Baumann Fights Knock-Offs

following months of research and investigations, designer kathrine baumann assembled enough evidence to prompt the u.s. customs service to pursue copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting allegations. baumann first alerted the u.s. customs service to the sale of unauthorized versions of her handbags in 2001, but she estimates that knock-offs of her designs have been circulating in th…

Good News: Good Prices for Holiday Pearls

the pearl industry worldwide expects a continued resurgence of cultured pearls during the latter part of the year, says armand asher of albert asher south sea pearl inc., new york, the newly elected president of the cultured pearl association of america (cpaa). in other words: more pearls at a good price.

RJO Show a Success

the retail jewelers organization (rjo) show in des moines, iowa, held july 12-15, hosted 130 of the country’s top vendors. attendance was better than expected and record sales were reported. educational seminars covered topics including pearls, estate jewelry, using software to facilitate jewelry design, using certificates to boost diamond sales, and how to turn acquaintances into customers.

Gem Dealer Charged in Missile-Smuggling Plot

a new york city gem dealer has been linked to an elaborate international scheme to obtain surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting down passenger jetliners, the fbi and federal prosecutors said. yehuda abraham, 76, owner of ambuy gem corp., 47th street and fifth avenue, was charged with conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Louis Vuitton Next?

the new louis vuitton blockbuster advertising campaign featuring the familiar face of jennifer lopez might be a teaser hinting at a new enterprise for the company. according to women’s wear daily, vuitton designer marc jacobs revealed that the company placed jewelry in several ads for more than just purposes of style: it has its eye on the fine jewelry and watch market, and europe’s luxury gian…

Tavalite vs. the Mystic Nirvana Thin Film

tavalite and mystic fire topaz have coatings that give them an unnatural but attractive iridescence. tavalite, which has a coating developed by deposition sciences inc. (dsi), santa rosa, calif., was introduced to the industry in tucson in 1994 by lee pierce, then consumer products manager for dsi. pierce is now founder of tavalite enterprises of sonoma (teos), the exclusive worldwide distribut…

New Sightholder Appointed in New York

amid all the furor over de beers’ purging of new york sightholders—by most estimates, about half of the dozen or so existing clients were cut—it’s been overlooked that a new new york sightholder was actually appointed, for the first time since 1998. dynamic diamond corp. and its president, chaim lax, are no strangers to de beers: lax worked for a sightholder for years.

Michael Anthony Opens New Distribution Center

michael anthony jewelers inc., recently announced the grand opening of its new distribution center in mount vernon, n.y. the new one-floor facility, which encompasses approximately 20,000 sq. ft., features state-of-the-art fulfillment equipment and other workflow improvements that will allow the company to process more units and provide better tracking of customer orders.

Consumer Confidence Rebounds in August

the conference board’s consumer confidence index, which had deteriorated in july, bounced back in august, when it stood at 81.3 (1985 = 100), up from 77. the expectations index increased to 94.4 from 86.3. the present situation index, however, declined to 61.6 from 63. “the welcome bounce-back in confidence this month was entirely due to consumers’ increasing optimism about the future,” says ly…

Spotlight: Lancaster Watches

recent years have seen a renaissance in italian watch design and production, and more italian brands are entering the u.s. watch market. one of the most recent arrivals is lancaster watches, based in bari, italy, and distributed in north america by j-watch inc., miami, fla., which does business as lancaster time inc.

Concours d’Elegance Becoming Popular Event

the annual concours d’elegance (ce)—the upscale watch, clock, and timepiece accessories exhibition of the american watch guild—is becoming an important event for watch collectors, enthusiasts, and retailers in the northeast. the watch fair is held in the “crystal palace” hall of the jacob k.

Mondaine, Grimoldi Strengthen U.S. Distribution

two upscale brands made changes this summer affecting their u.s. distribution. swiss army brands inc. (sabi) is now the u.s. distributor of mondaine’s swiss railways watch and clock collection. sabi is a wholly owned subsidiary of victorinox a.g. the joint announcement was made in july by sabi, based in shelton, conn.

Court Win for Asch/Grossbardt

on may 2, 2003, the united states district court for the southern district of new york issued an order and judgment in asch/grossbardt inc.’s favor, enjoining a direct jewelry manufacturing competitor from making, selling, offering for sale, and delivering to customers inlaid jewelry style designs which were substantially copied from asch/grossbardt inc.

Who Ya Gonna Call? Stress Busters!

feeling anxious or overwhelmed by your work? can’t sleep? got the blues? got body aches and pains? yelling at your spouse, kids, or co-workers for no apparent reason? if you answered “yes” to any of the above, there’s a good chance you’re seriously stressed—and you’re not alone. jck’s new national survey of scores of retail jewelry business owners and managers finds two in five (44%) say…

All Jewelry, All the Time

to paraphrase sally field’s famous oscar acceptance speech, “they like it! they really like it!” please allow us a moment to indulge in a bit of shameless self-promotion. most jck subscribers know about our plans to enter the consumer publishing market next month with a new magazine called facets.

Getting Crafty

tired of the same old jewelry? bored with the same old shows? starved for something with unusual style? the philadelphia museum of art is prepared to satisfy that hunger and alleviate the same-old, same-old blues. from thursday, nov. 13 through sunday, nov. 16, the museum will present its 27th annual craft show, featuring only craft artists specializing in jewelry, furniture, clay, wood, paper…

Israeli Bourse Closed to New Members

in a stark admission of its current problems, the israeli diamond exchange has been temporarily closed to new members. “we are accepting only close family of current members,” said bourse president shmuel schnitzer. “many members have a tough time making a living. this is a very difficult time for the industry right now.

Funky Fundamentals

pearl jewelry designers have met the dare-to-be-different challenge of today’s fashion. stepping up the funk factor, pearl jewelry this season takes many shapes—literally! a strong trend in pearl jewelry abandons traditional strands of as-perfectly-round-as-possible pearls in favor of the unique shapes of baroque.

Samuels Submits Reorganization Plan

samuels jewelers, inc., the eighth largest u.s. retail jewelry chain, on aug. 22 submitted its bankruptcy reorganization plan to the federal bankruptcy court in delaware. the plan anticipates the company’s emergence from bankruptcy “post christmas.” samuels filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on aug. 4, saying it was “overleveraged” with $78 million in debt built up in the past five years.

Time Tracker Introduced

kaiser time, new york, has teamed up with the lgi network to introduce lgi’s time tracker service. time tracker integrates data from retailers representing more than 3,000 retail jewelry stores across the country, including more than 75% of the leading jewelry chains in the united states. lgi transforms the data into “market intelligence” to support jewelry retailing.

Practical Stone Setting Part V: Beginning Prong Setting

prong setting is one of the most common ways to set diamonds and other gems in jewelry. the concept is simple but the execution is not. the basic idea is to carve seats into prongs to hold a stone securely. like most complex techniques, breaking the process down into steps makes it easier to learn the technique and to control your work.

Can CO2 Become VS1?

a team of chinese researchers has reportedly come up with a way to create small diamonds from carbon dioxide, according to a report in new scientist. the team’s method could be cheaper and less expensive than current methods of creating synthetics, since the diamonds are created at a lower temperature.

EEAC Has Agreement With I.G. Gold

under an exclusive new licensing agreement with i.g. gold inc., eeac inc. of mcallen, texas, will begin manufacturing and marketing the imperial gold brand of fine gold jewelry. according to eeac chairman elias woloski, the handmade product line also will be available through the group’s independent division, hesa inc.

‘Now Showing…’ Ongoing and Upcoming Jewelry Exhibits

a number of jewelry-related exhibits are currently running or soon to open at museums throughout the united states, canada, and england. here’s an update on some of the latest. jewelry: the colonial williamsburg collection the dewitt wallace decorative arts museum, williamsburg, va. dec. 21, 2002 – dec.

GIA Looks To Stretch Potential in 2004 Projects

at the summer meeting of the gemological institute of america’s international executive committee, held july 28 at the plaza hotel in new york, gia president william boyajian and other top gia leaders brought an audience of industry leaders up to date on the institute’s progress on both the scientific and educational fronts.

Starting from Scratch: The Gemological Institute of Madagascar

tom cushman, colored gemstone expert for allerton cushman & co., sun valley, idaho, and a longtime advocate for the people of madagascar, is helping to launch the first african institute de gemology de madagascar (igm). the igm is a project of the pgrm (project de gouverance sur les resources minerales), which is working closely with the ministry of energy and mines as well as with the worl…

New 18K Alloy from Hoover & Strong

hoover & strong, richmond, va., recently introduced a new 18k white alloy designed to enhance the workability of the metal and make it more ductile and malleable. the new alloy is available for same-day shipping in casting grain, next-day shipping in sheet and bezel strip, selected round wire, sizing wire, square wire, and half-round wire sizes.

AWA Wins Mercury Victory

the american watch association (awa) in august won an important victory for its member companies in connecticut that has ramifications in other u.s. states. specifically, awa members are now exempt from creating and submitting detailed plans to collect and recycle used button-cell batteries, under state overview, from watches sold in connecticut.

De Beers’ Holiday ‘Celebration’

de beers’ diamond trading company will “bombard” male consumers this holiday season with ads urging them to “celebrate their love” with diamonds. “the theme of our holiday campaign is that male consumers should go out and tell the woman how much they love her and how they appreciate the constancy of her and how much she does for them,” says wendy trees, account director and senior partner for j.