September 1, 2003

A Charmed Life

WJA Awards $14,000 in Scholarships

the women’s jewelry association (wja) 19th annual scholarship program awarded $14,000 to eight talented jewelry students in 2003. the annual awards are based on slides of three finished pieces submitted by each student—who must be enrolled in a jewelry study program—along with two references from teachers or gallery/store owners who are familiar with the student and her work.

The 2002 Jewelry Industry Fact Sheet

this fact sheet is available free of charge at the jck research & stock art store, accessible at or through a link on the jck web site.

MFMA Enhances Site

the providence, r.i.-based metal findings manufacturers association (mfma) has added a search engine to its web site ( it allows users to type in specific products to find a list of mfma members who manufacture that product. clicking on the manufacturer’s name brings the user to its web site.

Montblanc Honors Arts Patron

montblanc recently announced its choice of russell simmons as the 2003 montblanc arts patronage award winner for north america. credited with the “hip-hopification” of america via music, television, film, and publishing, simmons was selected for his community support of the arts through his rush philanthropic arts foundation.

Supplier of Choice’ Dominates Meeting

the question of whether de beers’ new policy will hurt the diamond secondary market dominated the recent diamond association meeting in sun city, south africa. in an effort to assuage the often-angry gathering, dtc sales and marketing director gareth penny said that $500 million in stones would be sold this year through diamdel, the de beers subsidiary that typically caters to smaller, up-and-c…

Why Ruby Prices Are Declining

ruby prices have declined substantially since 1997, when trading prices for an upper-fine-quality 1-ct. ruby averaged approximately $3,575/ct. today, the same gem trades at one-third the value—$1,200/ct. prices for low-good-quality ruby, low-fine-quality ruby, and upper-good-quality ruby all have declined roughly 66% over the past six years.

BaselWorld Drops ‘Two Cities’ Plan; Gets Sued

baselworld, the international swiss watch and jewelry fair, has dropped its heavily promoted “one show, two cities” plan and says its 25 national pavilions will return to basel, switzerland, for the 2004 show, slated for april 15–22. “baselworld will be held exclusively in basel in the future,” said a july 9 statement by the show’s owner, mch swiss exhibition.

L&G Expands Products and Services

leach & garner company/general findings, north attleboro, mass., has announced the expansion of services and product to include raw materials. l&g now offers a broad selection of mill product including grain, wire, sheet, and tubing. the expansion of services provides an alternative source for raw materials at competitive pricing.

Carpet Capers

while “red carpet” may conjure images of new york or los angeles, levian rolled it out instead in las vegas. for the second year, levian played host to the red carpet revue during the jck show ~ las vegas. upping the star wattage this year, levian’s models included mrs. america kristi phillips and miss north american teen jennifer summers.

New Gemmological Foundation Award

hirsh london and gem-a, the gemmological association of great britain, have announced the creation of a new gemmology foundation award. the £1,000 prize, which will be presented annually, will be awarded to an outstanding gemology candidate in the foundation certificate examination. the hirsh award was announced by anne bailey, a director of hirsh london and a fellow of the gemmological as…

GIA to Sponsor GemFest USA

the gemological institute of america (gia) will present gemfest usa on sept. 20, in the north hall of the dallas market center in dallas, texas. attendees will learn about the latest findings from the gia gem laboratory and get tips on jewelry retailing and merchandising. a free student lab will be offered on sept.

Newark Museum Showcases Jewels

a memorial retrospective of nationally known jeweler and enamelist marilyn druin opened at the newark (n.j.) museum on june 15, and runs through jan. 11, 2004. “capturing the sublime: the enamels of marilyn druin” showcases more than 30 of druin’s works spanning three-plus decades, including enameled silver pieces from early in her career as well as a group of collaborative sculptural works in …

Fashion Crossover

while the likes of david yurman, scott kay, and henry dunay may be instantly recognized superstars within the industry (and among designer-jewelry aficionados), they pale in comparison to their fashion designer counterparts. recognizing both this lack of consumer consciousness and the fundamental link between fashion and fine jewelry, oroarezzo, a tuscany-based italian jewelry group, sponsored …

Ten Tips for Selling Designer Jewelry

during a seminar at the recent jck show ~ las vegas, cindy edelstein, designer jewelry advocate and president of the jeweler’s resource bureau, offered the following 10 tips for promoting and selling designer jewelry, even during tough times: for more information about selling designer jewelry or about the jewelers resource bureau, contact edelstein at (866) 252-8097 or visit www.

Education Initiative in Canada

sampat poddar, canadian ambassador to the international colored gemstone association (ica), has announced a new education initiative in canada, where sales training seminars are being offered free of charge to retailers, jewelry trade members, and employees. as part of the ica mandate to advance the promotion and marketing of colored gemstones, poddar has enlisted the help of helmut koenig, se…

London Hosts Annual Goldsmiths’ Fair

ninety exhibitors will present contemporary jewelry and silverware to the public at this year’s goldsmiths’ fair, which will take place sept. 29 to oct. 5 at goldsmiths’ hall, london. the fair will showcase a range of items and styles from some of the most talented designers working in england today—from the award-winning enameled jewelry of fred rich to the simple and elegant matte gold …

Jewelers Mutual Turns 90

jewelers mutual insurance co. (jm), the nation’s only insurer specializing in jewelry, marks two milestones this year. it’s 90 years since the company was created in the back room of a wisconsin jewelry store, and 50 years since it began offering personal jewelry insurance to consumers. today, jm insures close to 40% of the u.

New ABT Awards Named for Movado

movado, the upscale swiss watch brand, has been a principal benefactor of the american ballet theatre in new york city since 1986. to celebrate that relationship, abt in june inaugurated its first annual “movado woman of the year awards.” the awards luncheon was held at the metropolitan opera house amid abt’s extravagant set for the romeo and juliet ballet.

Spreading the Word—Together

in the highly segmented jewelry industry, manufacturers, designers, raw materials organizations, and trade associations provide both individual and combined marketing programs that aim to serve various players’ marketing needs. sometimes costs are shared among all parties. other times the retailer may receive the benefits of a program free of charge, just for being a good customer.

Bill Blass Timepieces

bill blass timepieces is a new brand of swiss-made mid- and luxury-priced watches that reflect the chic styling of the late american fashion designer. blass also was an avid watch collector: his private collection, including napoleon’s pocket watch and an original cartier tank watch, is to be auctioned by sotheby’s in october.

BHP Touts ‘Canada Mark’

at the recent jck show ~ las vegas, bhp billiton unveiled its “canada mark,” a new girdle insignia that will signify to consumers that their diamonds are of canadian origin. the mark supplements retailers’ and wholesalers’ canadian diamond brand programs. it is not meant to overpower the brand, bhp says, but to act as a mark of assurance, like the wool symbol on clothing.

WJA-Midwest Honors Members

the women’s jewelry association-midwest chapter held a membership celebration recently to honor those individuals who have made a significant impact on the jewelry industry in the midwest. the event was held at the evanston (ill.) golf club, just outside of chicago. the following members were recognized: ruth batson, executive director and ceo, american gem society; robert bridel, president, r…

Hot Diamonds Settles Copyright Infringement Suit

hot diamonds recently announced it had settled its copyright infringement lawsuit against colibri/krementz. details of the case are confidential, but colibri/krementz has agreed to drop some lines from its daring diamonds range. the suit was filed in the federal district court in maine. the hot diamonds line of branded sterling silver and diamond jewelry for women and men is distributed in the …

AGTA Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Spectrum Awards

this year, the american gem trade association (agta) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its spectrum awards with a variety of events designed to get the competition on the fashion forefront. the competition will be held in october in new york city, and agta has planned a gala to kick off the festivities.

GIA Videos Honored

two video productions by the gemological institute of america (gia) were honored during the 24th annual telly awards: one in the history/biography category on the life of former gia chairman richard t. liddicoat, and the other in the public relations category showing the public how gia grades diamonds.

Important Estates on Auction at Doyle

the fine-jewelry collection of tony-award winning actress dolores gray will highlight an important estate jewelry auction at doyle new york on sept. 17. gray, who broke attendance records during her tenure in london as the lead in annie get your gun, also appeared in numerous hollywood musicals, including kismet and the opposite sex.

New Site for Yehuda

the yehuda diamond company, new york, has launched a new web site,, designed to generate additional business for retailers. consumers who visit the site can learn about the clarity enhancement process and see a list of thousands of loose diamonds, stud earrings, pendants, diamond bracelets, and specialty items.

Sundance Diamonds Offers HPHT Services

sundance diamonds, a division of u.s. synthetic (uss), has announced the launch of its high pressure/high temperature (hpht) diamond-processing service for the diamond industry. u.s. synthetic is the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic diamond components for use in oil and gas drilling. the orem, utah-based company can permanently change brown and cape diamonds to fancy colors including …

Clinton to Headline Diamond Conference

former u.s. president bill clinton will head a blue-ribbon list of speakers at the second antwerp diamond conference, which will take place in the belgian diamond capital nov. 3-4, 2003. the conference, which is being organized by the antwerp diamond high council (hrd), will focus specifically on the subject of branding and marketing diamonds and diamond jewelry.

Obituary: Simine Mozaffarian, G.G.

friends and colleagues in the gem and jewelry industry are mourning the tragic loss of simine mozaffarian, a former instructor with the gemological institute of america, who died in london on june 14 as a result of a traffic accident. mozaffarian was born in iran in 1949, one of the fourth generation of a family of jewelry retailers and manufacturers that operated businesses in tehran and san f…

Cambodian blue zircon

rough crystals of blue zircon, like the ones at the top of the opposite page, are becoming more available, according to mike williams, loveland, colo. the three free-form carved gem blue zircons—6.57 cts., 4.43 cts., and 5.68 cts.—were carved by sherris cottier shank, a carver and sculptor from southfield, mich.

EGL International Fights EGL USA’s Attempts to Ban Its Reports

egl international and european gemological center (egc), the israel-based affiliates of the european gemological laboratory (egl), have responded to the announcement made on june 24 by egl usa that it had “requested the u.s. bureau of customs and border protection and local authorities to assist it in preventing the importation and distribution of gemstones accompanied by illegal egl gem gradin…

Audemars Piguet, Schwarzenegger Raise $400,000 for Charity

swiss luxury watch brand audemars piguet welcomed arnold schwarzenegger to the grand opening in june of its u.s. flagship boutique and the launch of its limited-edition royal oak offshore terminator 3 chronograph. on hand to represent the brand were georges-henri meylan, president of parent firm audemars sa; francois-henry bennahmias, president of audemars piguet north america; and jasmine aude…

Mixed Messages

when basketball star kobe bryant gave his wife, vanessa, a $4 million diamond ring after publicly admitting to infidelity, it was a great topic of conversation among friends and family of some jck staffers. we must be happy to hear he bought such an impressive jewel, they said. from a commercial perspective, i’m happy anytime a piece of jewelry sells.

Levinson Jewelers is ‘Marketer of the Year’

levinson jewelers, plantation, fla., won the “retail marketer of the year” award at the couture design awards held in phoenix, ariz., on may 27. the 8th annual couture design awards were hosted and co-sponsored by town & country magazine and the couture jewellery collection & conference. this year was the inaugural one for the “retail marketer of the year” award, which was determined…

A Charmed Life

when it comes to jewelry design, there are staples and there are fashion-forward ideas—and the twain don’t usually meet. charms, however, shattered that perception last year and continue to bridge the gap between traditional and “hot.” thanks to the fashion icons of sex and the city and the fashion magazines that set trends, charm bracelets have become not only a gift for mom or daughte…


luigi girotto has joined bel oro international, new york, as head of aurea international design group division. girotto most recently was employed with italian jewelry designer zoccai. the gemological institute of america (gia) has appointed gerard j. buckley as director of development. buckley has more than 25 years experience in development, fundraising, public relations, and marketing a…

De Beers: No ‘Sightholders for Life’

de beers’ dramatic pruning of its client list shows there is no longer such a thing as “a sightholder for life,” dtc executive director gareth penny told jck in an exclusive interview. the industry is still reeling from de beers’ decision to axe 20% of its list—as many as 35 sightholders, including some of the most respected and well-known companies in the industry.

What Kind of Person Is Your Store?

for jewelers who are ready for a serious store-image reality check, fruchtman marketing, toledo, ohio, offers some guidance in the form of a quiz. ellen fruchtman, president, offers her clients a longer version of the quiz below so jewelers can determine why they are or aren’t attracting their “ideal” customers.

‘Tex’ Gieling Honored by SNAG

the society of north american goldsmiths (snag) recently bestowed its honorary member award on imogene “tex” gieling in recognition of a lifetime of achievements in the metal arts field. the award ceremony and slide presentation on her life and work were the highlight of the final banquet of snag’s annual conference in san francisco in may.

LVMH Sales Drop 9.9% in 2003’s First Half

lvmh moët hennessy louis vuitton, one of the world’s leading luxury products groups, posted a 9.9% drop in worldwide sales, to 5.24 billion euros (almost $5.9 billion), in the first half of 2003. operating income grew approximately 3%, according to a report released july 24. lvmh said the weak dollar’s cumulative impact on sales was to blame, along with a “significant reduction in tourism …

Reiner to be Honored by American ORT

the jewelry chapter of american ort will present arthur e. reiner, of finaly fine jewelry corp., with the 2003 ort community achievement award. reiner will be honored at a special tribute dinner to be held wed., oct. 8, at the grand hyatt new york in new york city. he will be recognized for his many career accomplishments as well as his support of various civic and charitable causes championed …

Wedgwood and Webster

wedgwood’s traditional blue jasperware is a familiar sight to most, but many people are unaware that wedgwood is a company with both a rich history and a constant eye to the contemporary. from its establishment in 1759 by josiah wedgwood i, wedgwood has adapted its product—which is by no means restricted to blue pottery—to suit both changing tastes and new technologies.

Signity’s ‘Hommages’ Aims to Stimulate Young Talent

swarovski’s signity brand this year launched a new initiative, hommages, to challenge and inspire young jewelry design talent. for hommages, signity worked with le arti orafe jewellery school in florence, italy, where students from around the world were invited to design “hollywood-glamorous” jewels for a male or female celebrity—past or present.

U.S. to Ban All Burma Products, Including Gems

congress has passed a bill that would ban all imports from myanmar (a.k.a. burma), including gems. the “burmese freedom and democracy act of 2003” states that, until the ruling burmese military junta meets certain conditions regarding human rights and has made “measurable and substantial progress toward implementing a democratic government” in the country, “the president shall ban the importa…

Jewelry Cleaner ‘Fizzes’ Pieces Clean

new “bauble bath” jewelry seltzer uses “fizzing” action to clean jewelry. a tablespoon of bauble bath dissolved in very hot water cleans five or six pieces of jewelry. after dirt “fizzes” to the surface, pieces are rinsed with cold water for a final cleaning. each container holds enough non-toxic bauble bath for approximately 10 cleanings.

Aurafin/OroAmerica Joins

aurafin/oroamerica has signed on to become’s exclusive vendor of karat gold jewelry. also partnered with are andin international, a gemstone jewelry manufacturer, and leo schachter, a sightholder and diamond manufacturer. they’re joined on the site by four participating retailers—zales, macy’s, j.

SJTA ‘U’ on the Road Again

the southern jewelry travelers association’s “sjta u on the road” educational program is scheduled to run again in late october and early november 2003. the “holiday selling” program will bring industry experts to the atlanta, columbia (s.c.), charlotte (n.c.), tampa (fla.), and birmingham (ala.) markets to share business-building tips and strategies with retailers.

Hamilton Jewelers Recognized by N.J.

denise, martin, lisette, and hank siegel of hamilton jewelers in lawrenceville, n.j., were honored at a fundraising event for the greenwood house home for the jewish aged on may 18. the siegel family has supported greenwood house and other civic organizations for more than 50 years. the event, held at the patriot’s theatre at the trenton war memorial, included remarks by former president bill …

Late 18th- and 19th-Century Jewelry at Christie’s

a 265-piece collection of antique jewelry will go under the hammer in a magnificent jewels auction at christie’s rockefeller plaza location on oct. 2. the collection, assembled over the course of two decades by mrs. louis charsky, features items representative of their age. the sentimental 1800s saw the popularity of “message” jewelry—seen in this collection in a gold and gemstone dove b…

Tiffany’s New Setting

the name tiffany conjures up images of beauty, elegance, and audrey hepburn gazing in the window. it does not conjure up miners doing the unglamorous work of digging for stones in the arctic. today, however, tiffany is not only a diamond seller but also an investor in a diamond mine and owner of a cutting factory.

Reporter: Diamond-Terrorism Link ‘Overplayed’

doug farah, the washington post reporter who first connected diamonds to al qaeda terrorists, now says his initial reports may have overplayed the link. “my first story wrongly emphasized the money-making aspect,” says farah, who is writing a book about the role diamonds played in the war in sierra leone.

Thoughts While Walking Along the Beach

in the jewelry industry, much has been said about the importance of relationships. on the corporate side of the business world, much continues to be said about the importance of “people assets.” “people are our most important asset” is a phrase found in virtually every annual report. yet we know that the driving forces behind every business are revenue generation, cost-and-expense control, and&…

Conclave 2003 Raises Funds for JCF

in a show of support for the jewelers charity fund for children (jcf), 500 american gem society (ags) conclave 2003 attendees raised more than $70,000 for the industry’s charity. held at the austin (texas) renaissance hotel on april 5, the affair—”blazing the trail to excellence”—included a celebrity auction as well as a special visit by “wish” child benjamin bottlinger of georgetow…

Sex and the Emerald City

on and off screen, sarah jessica parker is perhaps the country’s most-watched fashion maven. thankfully for jewelers, she understands fine jewelry and wears it with ease, providing better publicity than the industry as a whole could purchase with its collective advertising budget. this year—the final season for sex and the city—parker is putting a traditional favorite in the spotli…

Obituary: Philip F. Leach, 87

philip f. leach, chairman emeritus of the leach & garner company, died june 19. he was 87. in addition to successfully advancing the family business, which his father edwin leach co-founded in 1899, philip leach is credited with an extensive list of personal and business accomplishments. he and his wife, virginia newberry leach, who passed away 10 years ago, raised five children, including…

New Location for Design Group

marylouise lugosch, coordinator for the contemporary design group, recently announced that the organization has moved. its new contact information is: the contemporary design group, 312 lynch road, newcastle, maine 04553; (207) 563-8688, fax (207) 563-8601.

Richemont Closes a Cartier Watch Factory

the richemont group, the world’s second-largest luxury goods company, is restructuring some of its watchmaking operations. the group’s luxury watch brands include a. lange & söhne, baume & mercier, cartier, dunhill, iwc, montblanc, officine panerai, piaget, vacheron constantin, and van cleef & arpels.

Jewelry’s Major Retail Competitors

you might know who your local jewelry competitors are, but do you know your non-jewelry sources of competition for consumers’ discretionary income? on a national level and in the retail arena, here’s what jewelers are up against:

World Economy Dominates 2003 Watch Meeting

the global economic situation and its repercussions on the watch trade “monopolized the attention of delegates” at the 2003 general meeting of the federation of the swiss watch industry (fh), says the group’s report on the june 26 session, held in fribourg, switzerland. “despite the difficult economic situation, we have confidence in the future of our industry, which has what it takes to streng…

MJSA wins SNAP Award

manufacturing jewelers & suppliers of america (mjsa) received a silver excel award from the society of national association publications (snap) for the mjsa/ajm press publication at the bench: an illustrated guide to working with gold & silver. based on the popular column in ajm magazine, at the bench is written by gregg todd and greg gilman of stuller in lafayette, la.


in “tools of the trade: your silent sales partners” (jck, june 2003, p. 132), black star trading was cited as a phoenix, ariz., company. black star trading is actually located in flagstaff, ariz. jck regrets the error.

Marriage, English Style

the goldsmiths’ company of london recently wrapped up a celebration of love, in the form of an exhibit spotlighting wedding-related precious-metal jewelry and gifts. entitled “love story,” the exhibit—featuring both antique and contemporary pieces—ran from may 29 through july 12 in the opulent confines of goldsmiths’ hall.

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