October 2014

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Amazing Opals, Incredible Iolite, and a Super-Chic Labradoodle: The Jewelry (and Life) of Irene Neuwirth

Irene Neuwirth’s colorful gems and aw-shucks demeanor charm celebs and real folks alike. Read the full story.      18k rose gold pendant necklace with 18.06 cts. t.w. boulder opals, 4.88 cts. t.w. Lightning Ridge opals, and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamond pavé; $22,500; Irene Neuwirth, Venice, Calif.; 310-450-6063; ireneneuwirth.com 18k rose gold ring with 5.79…

Dynamic Duos: Double-Sided Earrings

Double your pleasure, double your fun with double-sided earrings: Along with climbers and cuffs, these stylish jewels are ear candy everyone’s craving. With a precious motif capping each end, the front-to-back earring puts a modern, slightly tribal spin on the stud that speaks to a new generation of accessory lovers.  Estrella backward hoops in 14k gold…

Joseph Keith: Custom Jewelry and Family Tradition in Houston’s Rice Village

Looking for something unique in Houston? Pop into Joseph Keith’s jewelry boutique, in Rice Village. Read the full story. Photographs by Felix Sanchez          By age 15, Joseph Keith Ronquillo had learned to silversmith at his father’s downtown Houston store. By 17, he’d decided to design his own line and open his own…

Corsage à Trois: Cartier’s Diamond Devant-de-Corsage Brooch

During the Belle Époque, women decorated the bodices of their dresses with devant-de-corsage brooches, and this version by Cartier is a masterpiece of the form. Diamond ­magnate Solomon Barnato Joel commissioned the piece with three stones—a 34.08 ct. pear shape, a 23.55 ct. oval shape, and a 6.51 marquise shape—from his own South African mines,…

Colored Stones: Vegetable Ivory Jewels by Irthly Jewelled Adornments

Ivory Hour On a 2002 trip to Ecuador, David Alvarado, the designer behind Irthly Jewelled Adornments, saw vegetable ivory—a solid, creamy-white substance found inside tagua nuts throughout the ­Amazon—for the first time. Alvarado, the son of a bench ­jeweler, was earning his master’s degree in Chinese and European comparative philosophy at San Diego State University,…

Gold: Chess-Inspired Jewels by Michelle Fantaci and Golden Wings by H.Stern

Pawn Star Michelle Fantaci’s new Chess Queen collection shines the light on girl power in a brainy and understated way. The 20-SKU collection made in 14k gold is, not surprisingly, inspired by the game—and by the queen, in particular. “The queen piece has the most power and flexibility, and is the king’s protector,” explains the…

JCK 5: Jewels Featured at the JA Special Delivery Show

Just in time for last-minute holiday purchases, the JA Special Delivery show takes place Oct. 26–28 at New York City’s Javits Center. (Above)1. Earrings in 18k gold and silver with chrome diopside and diamonds; $6,938; ZDNY & Co., Huntington, N.Y.; 631-673-9844; zdnyco.com   2. Corset ring in 14k yellow gold with 0.22 ct. t.w. diamonds;…

Miami Heat: All About the JIS Miami Beach Show

Jewelers International Showcase hits Miami Beach It’s no secret that vendors heading to the JIS Miami Beach Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center Oct. 11–14 go largely to meet with their Caribbean and Latin American retail customers. But color-savvy buyers from all regions would do well to check out the longstanding show’s exhibitors, many…

The Young and the Excess: What Jewelers Need to Know About Millennials

How ­(the ­often ­misunderstood) ­millennials ­relate to ­luxury, ­­consumption, spending, and the retail ­experience Millennials have been described as narcissistic and entitled; wimps raised by helicopter parents; trophy kids who receive rewards not just for winning but simply for participating in an event; and a group that lives in a digital world instead of a…

JCK 5: Reasons to Shop Small

Five messages about the value of shopping small that retailers can share: 1. Boost local economies. Compared with chain stores, local merchants pump a higher percentage of their revenue back into the local economy; some estimates show a nearly 4-to-1 difference. 2. Create jobs. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses create nearly two-thirds…

Why Small Business Saturday Is the New Black Friday

Small Business Saturday is the independent jewelry store owner’s best bet for capturing sales during the peak shopping days of the holiday season In 2011, Cory Schifter, owner of Casale Jewelers in Staten Island, N.Y., gave Small Business Saturday a test run. Then an upstart event clamoring for the nation’s attention in the looming shadows…

2014 Holiday Survival Guide: How to Best Decorate Your Store for the Holidays

When it comes to holiday themes, think festive, classy, and simple With retailing’s most hectic season upon us, who could blame you for pushing “decorate the store” to the bottom of the to-do list? But your shop’s image and ambience are particularly crucial during the holidays: Foot traffic is at its peak, and your floor…

Yard Player: Joan Crawford’s Divorce Ring

Not much about Joan Crawford’s life can be described as “amicable.” But the legendary diva and her second husband, actor Franchot Tone, stayed friendly after their 1939 divorce. The proof is on her finger. To commemorate the split, Tone gave Crawford this gold ring topped with a 104.52 ct. rectilinear amethyst from one of her…

There’s Something About Irene: The Fantastic Origin Story of Irene Neuwirth’s Colorful Jewels

How Irene Neuwirth’s colorful gems and aw-shucks demeanor charm celebs and real folks alike Approximately one out of every five photos on jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth’s Instagram is of her dog, Teddy. Sometimes the shaggy white Labradoodle with a soggy snout is frolicking on the beach or enjoying some other typically canine pursuit. But just…

Fall Out Girls: Jewelry Trends in the September Issues

What’s trending and who’s advertising in the September issues InStyle Pushing:• Emerald-cut emerald and diamond open ring; 22k emerald cabochon cuff (“Green With Envy”)• Tsavorite snake ear cuffs; wing diamond ear climbers (“Heads up…Lobes are the new fingers”) Advertisers:Tiffany & Co., Movado, Swarovski, Tacori, Vahan, Marco Bicego, Gabriel & Co., Endless Jewelry, ­Stephanie Kantis, Footnotes…

Talking to Jim Brusilovsky of Marks Jewelers About His Diamond Search Engine

Jim Brusilovsky puts the diamonds right where you can see ’em: online Unlike many of his contemporaries, fine ­jewelry retailer Jim Brusilovsky isn’t intimidated by the tide-shifting prowess of the Blue Niles of the world. “Having a human being is important” when selling diamonds, asserts the owner of Pennsylvania’s Marks Jewelers, with locations in Levittown …

Watch and Learn: An Interview With Patek Philippe President Larry Pettinelli

For Patek Philippe USA president Larry Pettinelli, “the brand is first and foremost” This month, high-end Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe is staging a big to-do in Geneva, where it will introduce a much-anticipated commemorative collection in honor of its 175th anniversary. Larry Pettinelli has been with the company for 26 of those years, including serving…

Talking to Malcolm Koll and Richard Koll of Charles Koll Jewellers in San Diego

It’s creating—not necessarily selling—that drives the men behind Charles Koll Jewellers Malcolm Koll, co-owner of Charles Koll Jewellers in San Diego, never guessed his youngest son, Richard, would join the family business, which was founded in South Africa in 1946. Actually, “he swore up and down he would never do it,” recalls the retailer, who…

Talking to Jeffery Bolling of Jeffery B Jewelers

The Colorado jeweler is making his mark with custom design and self-deprecating charm 1. What has been your most memorable sale? Very recently, a woman wanted to upgrade her diamond earrings. But when we were getting close to closing the deal, she hesitated…because she was considering trading in her wedding ring. Her husband had died…

Up, Up, and Away: Gem Pricing, October 2014

Prices for fine natural colored gems have achieved incredible growth during the past few years. In the U.S. market, the one area that shows some weakness is calibrated goods. This category, which had been strong for some time, slowed as manufacturing moved out of the United States to overseas markets. Of the big three, emerald…

Jewelry Industry & People: October 2014

COMINGS AND GOINGS Anna Martin >>?Anna Martin, who oversaw diamond and jewelry lending at both Standard Chartered Bank and ABN AMRO, has joined GIA as senior vice president of global development. She will oversee GIA’s beneficiation efforts and scout out new business opportunities. >>?Martin Hochbaum, who served as managing director of the Diamond Dealers Club…

JCK 5: Hits and Misses for Q2 2014

Most—but not all—of the industry’s ­biggest players reported healthy sales figures for the past quarter. 1. Blue Nile’s revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 fell 1.3 percent to $106.6 million. 2. Pandora’s revenue for the second quarter was $455 million, up 31 percent from the previous year. 3. Birks Group’s same-store sales for…

Spring ’15 Fashion Week: Minimal & Modern

Let me entertain you, let me make you smile… That lyric from the classic ­musical Gypsy makes for a pretty apt battle cry for the spring 2015 collections in New York. It was one spectacle after another—and we don’t mean the clothes. Ralph Lauren had models “walking” on water in his 4D Polo Ralph Lauren…

The Good Life in The Big Easy: Publisher’s Letter, October 2014

Greetings from my flight home to New York City from Louisiana! I’ve just ­completed my annual visit to Stuller’s headquarters in Lafayette, to meet with the company’s marketing team and attend a session of their annual Bridge Conference. As always, the conference focused on the massive changes in experiential retailing, social media, custom design, and…

Memento Vivere: Editor’s Letter, October 2014

At the end of August, my friend Jen Thomas convinced me to join her at a custom scent–making shop in Thousand Oaks, Calif., to spend what I then considered an obscene amount of money ($200) on a relatively small amount of perfume. I’ve been on the hunt for a signature scent for as long as…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: October 2014

1. Organizations It was with a heavy heart that Tanzanite Foundation executive director Hayley Henning announced the closure of the promotional agency (including its New York City office) in August. The 11-year-old nonprofit was formed by miner TanzaniteOne to serve ethically and socially responsible operators and partners in the tanzanite industry, helping implement standardized methods…