October 1, 2005

The Big Optimistic

A New Wave of Celebrity Spokespeople

h. stern and charriol have joined the parade of jewelry and watch brands looking to promote their collections with the help of a celebrity-driven ad campaign. stern tapped kate moss, formerly of david yurman’s ads, while charriol went from company heiress coralie charriol to television actress emily procter.

Corundum Discoveries

international colored gemstone association ambassador to madagascar tom cushman details another corundum discovery in the country, a ruby find in the andilamena mining district. andilamena shaft-mining hit the primary deposit of ruby-star material in late 2003/early 2004. in march 2005, the primary deposit of a form of ruby usually found as “small, dark red, well-formed hexagonal platelet…


LVMH, the French luxury-products group, said its watches and jewelry group showed strong growth in the first half of 2005, with sales rising 12 percent. TAG Heuer watches were particularly strong in the United States and Asia. The company also cited Zenith and Chaumet. Hublot has developed the sailing world’s first-ever corrected time positioning system…

From China, a Winning Design

hong zheng, once a special lecturer to the jewelry institute of china’s geology university, was the winner of the 29th annual schuetz design competition, sponsored by the gemological institute of america. the competition, named in honor of men’s jewelry designer and entrepreneur george a. schuetz, recognizes the best original designs in men’s jewelry and accessories.

Odimo Hit With Class Action

odimo, the online retailer that owns diamond.com, ashford.com, and worldofwatches.com, has received notice that a securities class-action complaint has been filed against it and two of its officers on behalf of a purported class of purchases of odimo common stock. the suit alleges false and misleading statements in odimo’s public disclosures in connection with its initial public offering.

F.I.T. Announces First Recipient of Jewelry Design Scholarship

the fashion institute of technology, new york, has selected yukiko kawata of japan as its first recipient of a one-year scholarship to major in jewelry design. the tiffany & co. foundation sponsors the scholarship, which is awarded to a new full-time student who is a citizen of japan and meets f.

Little-Known Jewelry Niche Inspired by History

museum-inspired collections of jewelry aren’t limited to museum visitors. in fact, some of the jewelry seen at museums can also be purchased by jewelers for resale. consider museum-inspired jewelry if you want to appeal to arts patrons and also benefit the arts. that’s what designer and former model cynthia gale did more than a decade ago.

8 Tips for Using Sales Statistics

author, trainer, consultant, and speaker brad huisken is president of ias training and the author of the books i’m a salesman! not a ph.d. and munchies for salespeople: sales tips you can sink your teeth into! he developed the pmsa relationship selling program, the professional sales management course, the mystery shoppers kit, and the weekly sales training meeting video series, as well a…

Swiss Watch Exports Up 11 Percent in First Half

the value of swiss watch exports rose in 2005’s first half, even as the number of units exported declined. the overall value totaled 5.6 billion francs ($6.7 billion), up 11 percent over january–june 2004, says the federation of the swiss watch industry fh. april, may, and june each topped the 1 billion franc mark.

IceLink Watch KOs Hopkins

icelink watches, which caters to young, urban, trendy watch and jewelry aficionados, recently created this commemorative timepiece for middleweight boxing champion bernard hopkins, based on its signature ambassador six time zone watch. the one-of-a-kind swiss-made timepiece’s design celebrates hopkins’s international boxing federation, world boxing council, world boxing association,…

A Jeweler’s Countdown Calendar

ah, december! it’s the season when many people grow nostalgic, when family and holiday traditions are most closely observed, and gift giving peaks. it’s also the busiest selling season for jewelers. the tradition of using a calendar with 24 “doors” or “windows,” one to be opened each day from dec.

U.S. Jewelry Industry Responds to Katrina’s Devastation

hurricane katrina, the costliest natural disaster in american history, has wreaked destruction, economic havoc, and personal grief on jewelry businesses in louisiana, mississippi, alabama, and the panhandle of florida. losses for the region will be in the billions, say state and federal officials and insurers.

How to Develop a Signature Style

vogue’s anna wintour has her oversize dark sunglasses, and phillip bloch frequently wears a kangol cap—so what’s your personal style statement? look to icons such as these for inspiration for your own quest for style—or for that of your customers. “learn from style arbiters and find your signature statement to help personalize your look,” suggests cynthia nellis, an expe…

24 Karat Club Selects West Bryson and Steve Robbins for 2005 Excellence in Service Award

the directors of the jewelers 24 karat club of southern california have selected west bryson, president/chief executive officer of west bryson & associates and steve robbins, president/ceo of robbins bros., to be the 2005 recipients of its highest honor, the excellence in service award. the excellence in service award recognizes individuals who have had substantial impact on the jewelry ind…

The Travels of Time

in an era when “traveling has become as natural as breathing,” as a spokesman for ebel recently put it, watches that keep track of time both for home and destination have become useful accessories. traveler’s watches have two or more time displays, usually on the dial. they’re more popular than ever, and more brands are adding them.

Rembrandt Charms Announces Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

during the month of october, rembrandt charms will donate 15 percent of the proceeds from its breast cancer awareness charm to the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation. jewelers can request a free media kit that includes newspaper ad slicks, a press-release sample, digital images and artwork, and a window sign by calling (800) 828-7811.

Reaction Mixed on Dateline Piece

as can be expected, not everyone was thrilled with the recent dateline nbc exposé on diamond appraising that took a dim view of current industry practices. the piece showed several instances of diamonds being sold for less than their “appraised value”—and warned that those appraised values can lead to increased insurance premiums.

Gen X Outspends Boomers on Luxury

members of generation x—those born after the baby boom (i.e., in the ’60s and ’70s)—spend 18 percent more annually on luxury goods than baby boomers do, according to the second annual american express platinum luxury survey. households surveyed had an average annual income of $235,900, were among the top 8 percent in the united states, and spent more than 20 percent of their income …

GIA Opens in Florence

the gemological institute of america has opened a school in florence, italy. classes started in september, and the official opening will take place oct. 13 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. gia florence occupies two floors with more than 10,000 square feet of space, three classrooms, and a student lounge.

JA Develops Self-Assessmnet Tool for Conflict-Diamonds Issue

jewelers of america has developed a self-assessment checklist to help its members meet their responsibilities under the kimberley process certification scheme and the world diamond council system of warranties. this self-assessment tool, available in the members-only section of ja’s web site, is designed to help ja members and their staffs evaluate their knowledge, policies, and practices re…

Mumbai Floods Bring Diamond Industry to Halt

the diamond industry in india was recently brought to a halt after devastating floods hit the country’s commercial hub in mumbai. the city, home to hundreds of diamond traders and jewelry factories, was hit by 37 inches of rain over a 24-hour period—close to what new york gets in a year. the resulting floods killed nearly 1,000 people, caused mudslides, and raised lingering fears of dise…

GIA Endowment Fund Money Released for Scholarships

the gemological institute of america’s board of governors has released $65,000 from the institute’s endowment fund to provide scholarships for five on-campus graduate gemologist students in 2006. funds for the scholarships were generated from the interest earned in gia’s growing endowment fund.

NAJA’s Appraisal Scholarship, Web Feature

the national association of jewelry appraisers wants students of gemology to know that becoming a gems and jewelry professional appraiser is a viable career option. so naja is offering gemological institute of america (gia), fellow of the gemmological association of great britain (fga), fellow of the gemmological association of australia (fgaa), fellowship of the german gemmological association…

Trick or Treatments

the canadian gemmological association’s 16th annual gem conference and graduation, nov. 4–6, will highlight gem tricks and treatments. guest speakers include dr. jack ogden, chief executive officer, gemmological association of great britain, discussing the “history of gemstone deception”; duncan parker, harold weinstein ltd.

U.S. Diamond Demand Jumped, De Beers Says

diamond demand in the united states rose 6 percent in the first half of the year, de beers says. “larger chains and high-end independents have shown the strongest results,” the company said in a statement announcing its financial results. “polished prices have started to edge up at the consumer level.

Large Diamonds in Demand

market in brief: sept. 2, 2005 … diamond dealers are reporting that shortages of 2+ ct. diamonds are supporting higher prices. well-made round brilliants and princess cuts in the collection colors remain strong. better quality 3 ct. to 5 ct. goods are very scarce and therefore prices continue to firm on demand.

Neil of the Diamonds

it’s hard to swing a blond hair extension in hollywood without hitting an a-list celebrity who hasn’t purchased, received, or at least borrowed one of neil lane’s diamond creations. with that kind of red-carpet (and media) cachet, it’s no surprise that he’s been tapped by de beers to create an exclusive line for their retail stores.

Sotheby’s to Partner With Steinmetz

sotheby’s and the steinmetz diamond group have announced the creation of sotheby’s diamonds, which will launch its collection of diamond jewelry in december 2005 in new york and hong kong, followed by events and private appointments in key market centers around the world. the initial offering will include rare and important diamonds and diamond jewelry with prices starting at $100,000.

Vivid Collection, GIA Sued Over Grade Dispute

a former harry winston employee has sued vivid collection and the gemological institute of america over two diamonds that he charges were misrepresented in their grades. in perhaps its most eyebrow-raising allegation, the suit claims that “payments were made” to gia to have the two stones “upgraded.

New York Cabbie Returns Diamond-Filled Suitcase

most cab-riding new yorkers empathize with the plight of the preoccupied traveler. he jaywalks to the barely stationary cab and scrambles in, worries over the car’s speed, and spends minutes calculating the appropriate tip before grabbing his belongings and exiting. often during these harried rides, something is left behind: keys; a cell phone; a wallet; or, as happened to jeweler thierry belis…


Dallahan Takes Over at MJSA Former JCK publisher Frank Dallahan has been named president and chief executive officer of the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, effective Oct. 1. Dallahan replaces James F. Marquart, who is retiring from the group. Dallahan brings more than 30 years of jewelry industry experience to MJSA, most recently as…


jewelers mutual insurance co., neenah, wis., has promoted kelly kinas, cpa, to the position of corporate controller and treasurer. kinas joined jewelers mutual in september 2000 as the accounting manager. prior to that, kinas was a senior auditor at the milwaukee-based branch of ernst & young and an accounting/reinsurance analyst at legion insurance, also in milwaukee.

Harry Connick Jr. Is Longines’s Icon of Elegance

jazz singer, pianist, composer, and film actor harry connick jr., voted one of the most elegant men alive in longines watches’ recent “elegance in america survey,” was introduced in june as the swiss luxury watch brand’s newest icon of elegance and brand ambassador during events that took place at the tourneau watch store in new york city and at the jck show ~ las vegas.

CIBJO Withdraws From Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices

cibjo, the world jewellery confederation, has left the new international council of responsible jewellery practices, only four months after it helped found it. cibjo’s defection was followed by the two leading diamond associations, the world federation of diamond bourses and the international diamond manufacturers association.

Bel-Oro Acquires Michael Anthony

bel-oro has acquired the operating assets of michael anthony jewelers. the company paid “at least $38 million,” says president and chief executive officer dennis ulrich. michael anthony will continue as its own entity and retain its westchester headquarters and current management team, including michael paolercio, anthony paolercio, and shelly light, who are now executives with bel-…

‘Pearl and Culture’ Contest: 2006 Prix Golay

the annual prix golay, open to graduating goldsmithing students, is under way. the 2006 contest, whose theme is pearl and culture, invites entrants to interpret a culture of their choice with a jewel creation based on a cultured pearl. (examples of cultures include aqua, wine, in vitro, body, greek, aztec, spiritual, musical, fashion, alternative, etc.

SNAG’s Cleveland Conference Includes Panels, Student Slides

seven-hundred attendees participated in the society of north american goldsmith’s 36th annual conference, “intersection,” held in cleveland in june. it was co-hosted by the cleveland institute of art and kent state university. 3m was the official corporate sponsor of the 2005 conference.

JSA Warns of Three-Minute Burglaries

the jewelers’ security alliance is warning retailers in the sacramento, calif., area that there have been an “unusually large number” of three-minute burglaries during the past few months. the areas that have been hit hard include rocklin, citrus heights, lincoln, elk grove, and woodland, jsa said in its “crime alert” electronic newsletter.

Theron Is New Face of Raymond Weil

oscar award–winning actress charlize theron is the new face of swiss luxury-watch brand raymond weil. she began oct. 1, in an international ad campaign featuring her, which promotes raymond weil “as one of the premier watchmakers in the world,” said the company. “charlize is the perfect ambassador for our timepieces, representing beauty, style, and perfection of function…

Whitehall Struggles With Cash Crunch, Loss of Raff

whitehall jewelers has announced it is short on cash and has asked for extra time to pay its suppliers. in addition, less than a month after accepting the job, beryl raff, former chief executive officer of zale, has decided not to become head of the company. in a statement, the company said that “it needs additional capital to support its operations” and is “evaluating vario…

JVC Offers Anti-Money-Laundering Compliance Services

to help jewelry retailers, manufacturers, and others comply with anti-money- laundering (aml) rules, jewelers vigilance committee has developed its usa patriot act compliance kit (pack), an aml program that includes templates and forms that can be customized, frequently asked questions, resources, and checklists.

Space: Yurman’s New Frontier

david yurman achieved iconic status a while ago, but in august yurman’s jewelry was, literally, out of this world. space shuttle discovery, the first shuttle to launch in more than two years, carried one of yurman’s rings on its mission, thanks to the daughter of charles carmada, one of the astronauts.

Last but Not Least

the already-busy holiday season is always filled with last-minute errands: running to the supermarket thanksgiving morning for forgotten cranberry sauce, making cupcakes for your daughter’s class halloween party, buying a gift for the elderly neighbor who moved to a retirement community during the year.

A Nontraditional Take on a Tradition

play a word-association game with “pearls” and the answers would likely include: traditional, grandmother, jackie o., and strand. modern design, however, is testing those stereotypes. today, pearls are just as likely to be combined with semiprecious gems in up-to-the-minute silhouettes as they are to be found in a simple strand.

‘Hard-Wired’ for Retail

the one thread that has run through kate peterson’s illustrious career is a passion for training and helping jewelry companies achieve their goals. peterson is the president and co-founder of performance concepts, a montgomery village, md.–based firm dedicated to providing innovative solutions to retailers and manufacturers in organizational design and development, operations, human…

The Big Optimistic

when tiffany & co. created a retail store with only one product, you’d have been forgiven for thinking the scheme risky. but the store, called iridesse (www.iridesse.com), has borne out the wisdom of the adage “timing is everything.” iridesse sells only pearl jewelry, and there has never been a better time for retailers and consumers to buy pearls.

Former CanadaMark Exec Joins Gemesis

clark mcewen, the former marketing director for canadamark, the brand insignia of bhp billiton’s ekati mine, northwest territories, canada, has joined gemesis corp., sarasota, fla., the synthetic manufacturer, as vice president of marketing, where he will hold a similar role.

Christmas in July

the independent jewelers organization donated a christmas tree decorated with jewelry worth $200,000 to cure autism now, a group that helps fund research to find a cure for autism. examining the donated jewelry are [from left] dan wayland, grower of the oregon’s noble vintage christmas tree; richard swetz, chairman of ijo; and actor alan ruck.

JIDA Elects New Officers and Directors

bill nagle, charles dvorkin & co., chicago, was elected president of the jewelry industry distributors association during its annual meeting and merchandise day in san diego, may 11–15. harvey cobrin, reliable watch materials, montreal, remains first vice president, and renee koukoudian, c.

Faith in Charity

the seven family of faiths bracelet represents religious expression and was made especially for washington national cathedral. the piece features the jerusalem cross (representing western christianity), the chinese yin-yang symbol (taoism and confucianism), the magen david (judaism), a byzantine cross (eastern orthodox churches), the crescent and star (islam), the syllable om (hinduism), and th…


Out of the Ashes Found in the ruins of Pompeii, this beautifully intricate and broad necklace of gold wire was intertwined with alternating mother-of-pearl and green plasma stones. The ancient jewel will be on display at The Field Museum in Chicago as part of an exhibit titled “Pompeii: Stories From an Eruption.” Among the exhibit’s…

Cultural Marketing: Grabbing a Bigger Slice of the Pie

retailers who ignore demographics are headed for a reckoning. the u.s. census bureau expects minorities to represent 33 percent of the u.s. population by 2010 and 50 percent by 2040, compared with about 30 percent today. in 1980, minorities made up less than 20 percent of the population. hispanics, african-americans, and asians account for the vast majority of the non-white population in the u…

Supergems Makes Gift to GIA

supergems group has made a gift of $100,000 to the gemological institute of america’s endowment for education in india. the contribution will support the institute’s learning center in mumbai. in recognition of the contribution, the institute inducted supergems chief executive officer rajesh mehta into league of honor on sept.

De Beers and Survival Rhetorical War Escalates

a series of dueling press releases has escalated the now-three-year-old war of words between de beers and survival international—with de beers saying the group’s campaign is “dishonest” and “deceptive.” the nongovernmental organization charges the botswana bushmen are being moved from their ancestral lands because de beers wants to mine diamonds there.

Time to Remember

my new role in life as a consultant requires periodic travel to new york city. during the past four years there hasn’t been a time as the amtrak train approaches the meadows just before entering the tunnel to manhattan that i don’t look out the window and see the empty space where the twin towers once stood.

Arabian Delight

what would a super-high-end jewelry mall in the wealthy united arab emirates look like? one canadian firm has a suggestion: a fortresslike structure constructed of onyx, from which water cascades—like a free-standing water wall. the firm is watt international, toronto, and its assignment—from a wealthy arab sheik involved in retail development—was to draft plans for an exclus…

Chinese Balancing Act

on july 21, the chinese government rocked financial markets when it announced it was revaluing the yuan from 8.28 yuan per dollar to 8.11 yuan per dollar, a 2.1 percent appreciation. in addition, the government said that instead of pegging the yuan against the dollar alone, it will trade its currency against a “basket” of currencies, which, in theory, will allow it to either strengt…

The Hoop Gets a Holler

perhaps growing tired of the swing and sway of drop silhouette earrings, celebrities large and small have dusted off their hoops. a tradition that never really goes out of style, hoops nonetheless have taken a back seat to chandeliers and linear drops for several seasons. this spurt of hoop sightings may indicate a subtle shift—in hollywood, at least—back to this tried-and-true favo…

When Words Won’t Do

in his “insider” e-newsletter address of sept. 9, gemological institute of america president bill boyajian said, “the past week’s disastrous events in new orleans and throughout the gulf coast are grim reminders of how quickly we can turn our attention from the glitz and glitter of this wonderful industry to matters of survival and concern for family and friends.

Retailer News

Erica Courtney Opens Second L.A. Boutique Jewelry designer Erica Courtney opened her second Los Angeles boutique in July, on Robertson Boulevard. Erica Courtney on Robertson will carry her Drop Dead Gorgeous collection in platinum, 18k gold, sterling silver, diamonds, pearls, and colored gemstones. Special areas of the new store include a lighted mirrored vanity for…

House of Taylor Raises $6 Million

house of taylor jewelry raised approximately $6.5 million after completing a private sale of 1.5 million units of securities. the money will go to marketing and brand-building, the company said. each unit in the placement consisted of one share of restricted common stock and one common-stock-purchase warrant at a price of $4.

Friedman’s to Leave Chapter 11

under a new reorganization plan, friedman’s expects to emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in november, just before the holiday season. the 80-year-old chain said that under the plan, all existing equity interests will be canceled when it emerges from chapter 11. its 2005–2008 business plan anticipates the company’s return to profitability in fiscal year 2007.

Bulova Takes Over Sligh Clock Business

bulova corp. will significantly expand its clock line and its business in higher-end clocks and enter a growing clock market, thanks to an agreement with sligh furniture co., which makes and sells high-quality wall, floor, and mantel clocks. under the pact, announced july 22, bulova will take over the distribution of fine clocks to sligh’s several-hundred retail clients and add them to its netw…

It’s All About Relationships

jck magazine’s september issue featured our exclusive annual “state of the industry” report. the bottom line? in an industry where manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers face new and emerging challenges, it is our strong relationships that will bring us together to meet these challenges, create new solutions, and prosper in new ways.

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