October 1, 2006

Pearls are riding a wave with no end in sight.

Jewelers for Children Unveils 2006 Holiday Program

jewelers for children has announced the 2006 hope for the holidays program. the program includes holiday greeting cards, honor donations, contribution cards and inserts, and the first edition of the jfc holiday ornament, which can be sold in retail jewelry stores. all elements of the program have been produced from artwork created by children representing jfc’s charity partners.

Politically Correct Diamonds?

despite all the noise about conflict diamonds, the industry has taken comfort in the fact that most consumers do not seem to be aware of—or care about—the issue. but a simple internet search on “conflict diamonds” finds many people who do know about the topic and who are often angry about it.

AGL Acquired by Collectors Universe

colored-stone graders american gemological laboratories, based in new york, has been purchased by collectors universe for $3.5 million in cash, with contingent payments of up to an aggregate of an additional $3.5 million over the next five years based on the performance of agl. agl was founded in 1977 by c.


i recently returned to california—where i lived many years before moving east—for two weeks of industry events and visiting friends of jck. first was gia symposium in san diego, where more than 1,300 international attendees gathered to celebrate, network, and discuss the key issues facing the jewelry industry.

Accelerate Sales Through ‘Clienteling’

your salespeople can do something while they wait for customers that could be worth an additional 20 percent in annual sales. it’s called “clienteling”—strengthening relationships with key clients in specific ways that generate more frequent purchases. the heart of clienteling is frequent communication with clients in ways that make sure your store comes to mind when th…

How to Maximize Retail Watch Sales

retail jewelers can take a number of steps to capitalize on the watches their stores carry. following are the top tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your watch brands. carry fewer brands with a deeper assortment. carrying fewer brands but a larger assortment per brand shows the customer you are invested and are a partner with the brand.


Robbers Shoot D.C. Store Employee A worker at Georgetown Fine Jewelry and Art in Washington, D.C., was shot and critically wounded during a brazen midday robbery, The Washington Post reports. Police ask anyone with information to call (202) 727-9099. Sterling to Pay $1.3 Million in Back WagesSterling Jewelers has agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million…

Albright Shares Love of Jewelry, Fears for the World

calling herself “an optimist who worries a lot,” former u.s. secretary of state madeleine albright kept a capacity crowd in rapt attention as she discussed world affairs at the opening session of the gia symposium in san diego. much of her talk was on current events—particularly iraq and the middle east.

Holland Jewelers

holland jewelers is a midrange to upscale ags store based in moline, ill. founded in 1933, the store is about 160 miles west of chicago, near the illinois/iowa border separated by the mississippi river. the company serves the quad cities region of nearly 400,000 people, which includes moline/east moline and rock island in illinois, and davenport and bettendorf in iowa.

Hot Weather Leads to Lukewarm JA Show

the 2006 jewelers of america summer show, held during one of new york city’s hottest-ever julys, had little gain in attendance, but there were some reports of good business from vendors and buyers. the show took place july 30–aug. 3 at the jacob k. javits convention center. there were about 1,750 exhibitors, and at 13,900, attendance was “about equal to 2005’s summer show,” sa…

Fabrikant Makes Deal, as Trade Watches Nervously

coping with lawsuits and at least one published report of financial problems, m. fabrikant & sons, new york, announced that it has executed an agreement with its domestic lenders. details of the agreement were not released, but it was greeted with sighs of relief by the jewelry trade, since u.s. banks hold a major chunk of fabrikant’s debt, sources say.

DMIA Plans Gala Dinner

the diamond manufacturers and importers association plans to hold a gala black-tie dinner nov. 11 at cipriani wall street in new york to celebrate its 75th anniversary. the event will honor two industry legends—former dmia president jacques roisen and the late william goldberg. the event will be mostly social, organizers say, and will include music and dancing.

Maggie’s Green Amber

maggie campbell pedersen, the author of gem and ornamental materials of organic origin and a contributor to the new sixth edition of gems, is a specialist in organic gems such as amber, antler, bone, copal, coral, horn, ivory, jet, pearl, shell, and tortoiseshell. she describes a piece of green amber in material from the dominican republic she bought recently from a dealer: “[the dealer]…

Robey Joins Collectors Universe

nancy robey, formerly group vice president of business development for vnu expositions and a driving force behind the couture collection & conference, is stepping down from that post to join collectors universe inc. as its chief marketing officer. her position becomes effective nov. 1. collectors universe inc.

Jewelry Celebrates New Health for Wearer

perhaps it was inspired by the simple hospital bracelet—which some young people sported long after their healthcare stay. or maybe it was the “live strong” bracelet (et al.) that bridged the gap. whatever the cause, the link between health and jewelry seems to have increased in the past several years.

Boyajian Named Head of World Jewelry Center

william e. boyajian, the former president of the gemological institute of america, has become managing director of the world jewelry center, an ambitious attempt to build a retail and wholesale jewelry mecca near downtown las vegas. the proposed 1 million–square–foot center, scheduled to open in 2009/10, will include both a three-floor retail center and 50-story office building de…

Three Great Fashion Promotion Ideas

fresh ideas for store promotions are great for business but can be difficult to create. however, if you’re susan morgan, head of her own marketing and public relations firm in richmond, va., the ideas flow freely. morgan is the innovator behind several promotions that her fine-jewelry clients frequently employ with success.

Gem Pricing

market in brief: sept. 8, 2006 … exploration efforts are increasing as demand for natural colored gems continues to drive the market. in spite of the slow summer, price increases are being observed in the fine and extra-fine categories. this is most apparent for the fancy varieties of sapphire, tourmaline, garnet, and beryl.

IDCA President Charged With Bribery and Conspiracy

sunil agrawal, chief executive of sts jewelers in new york, was recently charged with offering a veteran u.s. diplomat jewelry and other gifts in exchange for work visas. agrawal is the current president of the indian diamond and colorstone association. he is also a board member of jewelers for children.

JSA Issues Warnings to Ohio, Michigan Jewelers

jewelers’ security alliance has issued burglary warnings to jewelers in ohio and michigan. jsa reported that on aug. 12 burglars in the cleveland suburb of parma heights, ohio, entered a retail jewelry store by drilling the lock out of the door, disabling phone lines, and taking two safes containing jewelry merchandise from the store.

Whatever Became of Sierra Leone?

meet ali. he’s 15 years old and works in the diamond industry. ali is a digger in a sierra leone diamond field. he’s been one since he was 12. he spends his days shoveling earth along with 100 or so others near a riverbed that, locals say, has already been mined twice. he no longer has what’s called a “supporter,” but when he did, that supporter paid him just two c…

Pearls are riding a wave with no end in sight.

“the pearl market has never been better,” says peter bazar of imperial-deltah pearls, new york. “the quantities, quality, and variety of pearls used in so many different jewelry manipulations continue.” while the century-old traditional akoyas haven’t made a major comeback from their near extinction in the 1990s, they still hold the no.

Supplier news

diamond days honored by rjo diamond days inc. was named vendor of the year by the retail jewelers organization during its fall show in covington, ky. the award was presented to nicky mehta, president of the company. diamond days was cited for sales, service, and support of loose goods.

950 Palladium Fabrication + Assembly

this bold yet minimalist ring design features a 10 mm cultured pearl set in 950 palladium with a wide, rounded inner and outer shank for comfort and surface contrast. the ring was hand fabricated using hoover & strong’s low-dome, half-round 950 trupd palladium wire stock from their palladium product catalog.

CIBJO Laboratory Commission to Redefine Relationship

to avoid the implication that cibjo, the world jewellery confederation, bears any legal responsibility for a particular gem lab’s grading reports, but at the same time strengthen the bonds between the organization and gem labs that follow its standards, cibjo will introduce new resolutions in its updated blue book for laboratories.

What’s in a Name Again?

it never ceases to amaze me how often this industry debates the same issues over and over—sometimes for decades—without solving the problem. here we are again, fighting over what to call a lab-grown diamond. haven’t we already had this discussion about emeralds, rubies, sapphires, et cetera? natural-diamond dealers want any non-natural diamond to be called synthetic.

Global Perspectives

laurence graff, one of the world’s leading jewelers, once remarked that money never goes away, it just moves around. indeed, the “movement of money”—specifically that which is spent on jewelry—was the focus of a session titled “business perspectives: charting the globe,” held during the gia symposium, aug.

Pipeline Congested, De Beers Says

the diamond industry is suffering from “indigestion” from too many goods in the pipeline, de beers managing director gareth penny noted in a conference call with analysts. penny’s remarks came as de beers announced disappointing sales results. its first-half sales were $3.25 billion, a marginal increase from last year’s $3.

Diamonds and Rubies and Pearls, Oh My

“toto, i don’t think we’re in kansas anymore!” those prophetic words from dorothy gale in the wizard of oz should resonate with jewelers, especially those who count bridal jewelry as a cornerstone of their business. the jewelry industry is in a state not so different from dorothy’s house being picked up by a tornado and plunked down in a strange new landscape: razor-thin margins on …

Let’s Talk Synthetics—Or Not

one subject has dominated every diamond industry gathering for the last few years: synthetic diamonds. or is it cultured diamonds or man-made diamonds or just plain diamonds? the question pivots on who is speaking. most of the diamond industry, especially diamond producers and their main clients, want the issue to go away.

Flooding in Surat May Lead to Indian Goods Shortage

massive floods in surat, the diamond- cutting capital of india, could lead to a shortage of certain goods this holiday season, indian traders told jck. affected goods could include melee, stones weighing less than 0.20 cts., and “stars.” in mid-august, monsoon rains struck surat and surrounding areas, causing a local dam to overflow and as much as 25 feet of water to submerge the…

Creating a Cultured Baroque Pearl Necklace With Gold Design Elements

1 with the concept of the necklace and materials laid out, the next step is the design and production of the yellow gold links. the individual elements were created using computer-aided design technology (cad), and the waxes were produced by the computer-aided manufacturing (cam) process of milling. milling a wax model is a subtractive procedure, and, when completed, the parts are held in plac…

GIA Receives School of Distinction Honor

the gemological institute of america was recently honored by the accrediting commission of career schools and colleges of technology as a 2006 school of distinction. gia was one of 31 schools out of the more than 840 in accsct’s membership to qualify for the 2006 school of distinction award. the award honors institutions that have a proven record of providing quality education programs and…

Third Canadian Mine Opens

a third diamond mine has opened in canada—the $120 million jericho, based in nanuvet. the mine is considered relatively small— it’s expected to produce 500,000 carats a year, for an estimated annual production worth $50 million. (by contrast, nearby diavik produced 8.7 million carats last year.

Revisiting the Internet

recently, i was invited to speak at the atlanta jewelry show on the topic of the internet and the retail jeweler. my remarks reflected a somewhat contrarian view, because i believe retail jewelers can effectively compete despite apparent inroads by internet jewelry sellers. today, you cannot pick up a jewelry trade magazine or general business publication without reading something on how the in…

Build Your Brand by Delighting Your Customers

building a store or product brand into a market leader takes more than just nifty logos, catchy slogans, cool web sites, or cutting-edge advertising. the key to successful brand building is creating delightful experiences for your customers. this is the premise behind briefs for building better brands: tips, parables and insights for market leaders from marketing consultant allan gorman.

Movado Honors Past by Seeking ‘Future Legends’

swiss luxury watchmaker movado is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a new timepiece and its new “future legends” program. movado (esperanto for “movement”) was founded in 1881 in la chaux-de-fonds, switzerland. to mark the anniversary, it has introduced its new 40 mm m/125 watch, with a distinctive dial (the only numerals are 1, 2, and 5), in solid or gold-plated st…


The F2 UTC Typhoon by Tutima, the German watchmaker, is the official timepiece of the Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advanced aircraft and a joint venture between the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The new dual-time-zone automatic watch (with UTC date display) joins the NATO chronograph as official military equipment created for professional pilots…

Baume & Mercier Aims for ‘Top Brand’ Status in North America

baume & mercier north america is actively raising its public profile with its biggest-ever ad campaign plus new programs with exclusive services for customers and training rewards for retail salespeople. the new campaign is “the most significant ad push baume & mercier has ever made” in the u.

What Is Keshi?

large baroque pearls from tahiti, the south seas, and china labeled as keshi have been coming into the u.s. market, so we asked pearl expert giuseppe lombardo of the pearl exporting co., kobe, japan, to answer a few questions about keshi pearls. jck: what is keshi? giuseppe lombardo: keshi is actually a term derived from the japanese word for “poppy seed,” and is traditionally used …

Bergman Joins William Goldberg

william goldberg recently hired lauren bergman as its new jewelry department creative director. bergman comes to william goldberg after running her own jewelry company, where her clients included fabrikant couture and vivid collection. prior to starting her company, bergman was design director for vivid collection.

World’s Best Fashion Week

the first annual world fashion week – world fashion awards will premiere next year in los angeles. organizers hope a full week of global glamour in l.a. will give the event academy award–like status and star power. (future ceremonies will be held in other cities around the world.) globally respected fashion designers, models, celebrities, and government leaders will “join forc…

I W Marks Named BBB Winner of Distinction

i w marks jewelers, houston, was named the better business bureau education foundation’s winner of distinction in recognition of its excellence and quality in the workplace. the jeweler, with stores in houston and sugar land, texas, is a seven-time recipient of the bbb award for excellence. the awards were created to recognize local businesses that excel in quality, service, and man…

Going Public

to most people, public relations means sending news releases, contacting reporters, and getting your name in the newspaper—in other words, publicity. but there’s more to it than that. the public relations society of america offers this definition: “public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.

‘Activated Schmacktivated’

avi raz, of a&z pearls in los angeles, and dr. henry hänni, of ssef in basel, switzerland, have taken issue with the term tissue-activated in pearl culturing (see “pearl expert says cfwcps not tissue nucleated,” jck, may 2006, p. 71). “i mean, how strong is the residual activity after the tissue is activated?” asks hänni, tongue in cheek.

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