September 1, 2006

Searching for Excellence in the Jewelry Industry

2006 Annual State of the Industry Report

in the eyes of many, it stands on the threshold of change. many long-standing beliefs about who the customer is and how jewelry is sold are being challenged. from the findings of the worth–harrison taylor study about america’s richest consumers to the pithy observations of tom peters, america’s original business guru, to the disconcerting revelations of super-shopper paco unde…

How Can I Sell More Add-Ons?

most people believe you should close the sale on the main item and then try to add on. in reality—especially with high-end merchandise—a customer is more likely to reject any additional purchase suggestion once the decision is made on the main item. for example, when a man decides to purchase an engagement ring, he’s thinking about related issues: how his intended will react,…

Gucci Group Integrates Watch Business

the gucci group n.v., one of the world’s leading luxury goods companies, said june 30 that it will integrate its gucci group watches division into its gucci brand division, headed by mark lee, president and chief executive officer. lee will now also oversee the watch business. watch industry veteran jacques-philippe auriol, who has been ceo of ggw, will leave the company when his contract expi…

Scot Congress Is Top AHA Fund-Raiser in Florida

scot congress, president of congress jewelers, which has locations in florida in sanibel, bonita springs, naples, and key west, has raised more funds for the american heart association than any individual in florida. congress chaired the collier county heart ball, which raised nearly a quarter-million dollars in naples this spring.

Blue Pearls Debut at Imperial Pearls

after 15 years of experimentation, new zealand’s native abalone species—haliotis iris, or “paua” in layman’s terms—is producing brilliant blue mabe pearls. they’re available through imperial pearls and farmed and produced by eyris blue pearls. the name “eyris” is meant to evoke both the human eye and its connection, through the colorful pearls, to the haliot…

Another Synthetic Emerald

a new hydrothermally grown emerald has entered the market. the tairus created emerald is similar to a product made by the manufacturer in australia, the byron synthetic emerald. scientists at tairus’s four-story, 50,000-square-foot research facility and production plant in novosibirsk, russia, began working on the synthetic emerald project in 1998.

2 + 2 = 5: The Magical Math of Add-On Sales

few things are better for business than add-on sales. for the store, add-ons boost productivity by increasing the return on investments in inventory and driving traffic through the store. furthermore, add-on sales are “plus business” that can capture revenue from competitors in additional product categories.

ToolCrafter Introduces J3T Ringmaster

the j3t ringmaster from toolcrafter inc. is a 900-pound machine for performing metal ring cutting and other tooling options. j3t employs a precision telescope with crosshair reticles, allowing the operator to qualify and measure turning and milling tools. the machine can perform a variety of functions, including milling precious metals, milling wax masters, turning finished bands, and mirr…

W.J. McTeigue Jr.

walter j. mcteigue jr., of lenox, mass.; sarasota, fla.; and formerly of larchmont, n.y., died peacefully at home in lenox on june 19, at the age of 81. born in mount vernon, n.y., mcteigue grew up in larchmont and served in the u.s. navy medical corps in japan during world war ii. he graduated from fordham university and attended columbia school of physicians and surgeons.

Jim Hartstein Named 2006 Recipient of Robert B. Westover Award

jim hartstein, of jewels by joseph, newport beach, calif., has been selected as the 2006 recipient of the robert b. westover distinguished service award by the california jewelers association. the award, presented for outstanding service and contributions to the jewelry industry in general and to cja in particular, is named in honor of cja’s longtime executive vice president, rob…

DPS Retail Landscape Study: It’s Rough Terrain for Jewelers

the year 2000 is one that many diamantaires remember as a year of infamy. that’s when de beers took a critical look at how diamond jewelry was performing in the market, relative to other luxury categories. while diamond sales were growing every year—and continue to do so—the rate of growth lags behind that of other luxury goods.

Searching for Excellence in the Jewelry Industry

“shoot all the men.” tom peters thinks that would be the fastest way to improve the jewelry industry, at least on the retail side. an odd thought coming from one of the very gender he suggests eliminating, but peters isn’t known for mincing words or sugarcoating his message. and his message to the jewelry industry is this: the shopping experience stinks, and it needs to change.

Zale Names New President and CEO

in a surprise move, betsy burton, 54, who was named interim chief executive officer of zale after mary forte resigned in february, now holds that job permanently. before becoming interim ceo, burton was a member of the zale board of directors for three years. she has a reputation as someone who turns around troubled companies and previously served as ceo of supercuts, pip printing and document …

Belk Buys Migerobe, Forgets Finlay

belk department stores has purchased migerobe, a privately held company that operates fine-jewelry departments in 36 belk locations. the move is part of belk’s plan to operate its own fine- jewelry departments. it comes as bad news for finlay fine jewelry, which operates 75 leased departments in belk stores.

Jewelry Television Buys Shop at Home

jewelry television is buying rival tv network shop at home for $17 million. as a result, jewelry television will keep the network on the air on a “part-time” basis, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. owner e.w. scripps had previously announced plans to shut the network down. the new network “will not sell jewelry in the immediate future, but it could evolve into that,” says spokeswom…

The State of the Industry

over the years, articles in jck have predicted the demise of the independent jeweler. none of those predictions have come to pass, and the jewelry industry remains one of the few retail industries where independently owned stores make up a significant percentage of overall doors. the danger lies in complacency.


Kretchmer Memorial Fund Established The Steven KretchmerMemorial Scholarship Fund for Metallurgy has been established at the Rhode Island School of Design in memory of the goldsmith and designer who died in a motorcycle accident in July. Send checks to the Rhode Island School of Design, and on the memo portion of the check, please indicate…

Gleim the Jeweler Marks 75th Anniversary

california state senator joe simitian and assemblyman ira rushkin introduced a member resolution congratulating gleim the jeweler, palo alto, calif., on its 75th anniversary. the resolution described the store as “an institution to the community,” noted its “tradition of high-quality products” and “civic leadership,” and commended its “long history of…


Gemologist Thomas C. Yonelunas has joined Honora as chief operating officer. Prior to joining Honora, Yonelunas held the position of chief executive officer of the Gemological Institute of America‘s laboratory division. He began his gemological career as a staff gemologist in the Gem Trade Laboratory and advanced rapidly from instructor to a licensed director of…

Shuler’s Jewelers Supports Devon Horse Show Fund-Raising Efforts

shuler’s jewelers, chesterbrook, pa., supported the fund-raising efforts of the devon horse show and country fair by hosting an in-store raffle may 13. the mother’s day weekend event benefited bryn mawr hospital and offered shuler’s customers a chance to win a 14k white gold ring. for every $100 spent at shuler’s, customers received a book of raffle tickets for chances to win the ring and ot…

Gem Pricing

market in brief: the lean summer months won’t end soon enough for some retailers. although a number of dealers are reporting steady activity, for most the market has been flat. the scarcity of white, clean diamonds in the 3.00 ct. range has increased dramatically. dealers report that larger goods are extremely hard to find.

Northeastern Fine Jewelry Celebrates Leukemia Survivors and Patients

northeastern fine jewelry, with stores in albany and schenectady, n.y., and manchester center, vt., has created a specially designed heroes & hope daisy pin to benefit the leukemia & lymphoma society upstate new york/vermont chapter. created exclusively by olivier françois, northeastern fine jewelry’s master jeweler, the daisy pin is sterling silver with a 14k yellow gold center.

Sterling Donation Helps Exand St. Jude Cafeteria

more than 40 executives and store managers of sterling jewelers joined st. jude children’s research hospital national outreach director marlo thomas, her brother, tony thomas, and st. jude patients to reveal a $15 million donation to expand and redesign the cafeteria for st. jude staff and patient families.

Von Bargen’s Jewelers

john von bargen is president of von bargen’s jewelers, a four-store chain based in springfield, vt. von bargen, a former economist with a background in silversmithing, founded the company on killington mountain in 1975. initially focused on unique silver designs, the business grew, with von bargen pushing it into increasingly more upscale jewelry.

Take Advantage of Sales Objections

barry farber’s guide to handling sales objections (career press, 2004) can help retailers understand and resolve customer objections. farber, a corporate trainer, discussed the book with jck and highlighted areas of relevance for retail jewelers. what lessons about dealing with sales objections can jewelry salespeople learn from your book? if you build good rapport with a customer, learn every…

The Bull’s-Eye Gets Trendy

the bull’s-eye logo that belongs to target stores has gone andy warhol in its pop-cultural appeal. jaye hersh, owner of a trendy boutique called intuition in culver city, calif., approached the retailer two years ago about putting its logo on accessories. “people have been calling target ‘targèt’ for years, so i presented the company with great ways to celebrate the …

New Touch Screen POS From ASC

applications systems corp. boston, has unveiled a new point-of-sale system that incorporates touch-screen technology and a complete redesign of the previous version. the new pos, an integrated part of asc’s craftsman retail management system, features a new interface to enable transactions to be processed more quickly and accurately.

Take Control of Your Day!

we’ve all had the feeling. you’re leaving work for the day, and you realize you’ve accomplished a fraction of the tasks you need to. or you see work piling up, and you realize there’s simply not enough time to do it all. time is the most precious commodity we have, and yet in this increasingly fast-paced, distraction-filled world, many people feel they are not using it e…

Fouth ICA Poster Competition Announced

the international colored gemstone association is accepting entries in the fourth ica international poster competition, with winners to be announced at the next ica congress, slated for april 28 to may 7, 2007, in dubai, united arab emirates. participation in the competition, dedicated to the promotion of colored gemstones, has grown following previous competitions held in sydney, australia (20…

It’s All About the Kids!

the jewelry market needs to do more to reach out to the young market, gaetano cavalieri, president of cibjo, noted at the opening of the recent cibjo congress in vancouver, british columbia. “young people today are seduced by a great number of different industries to spend their nonessential dollars,” he said.

‘Cultured’ Clash

the debate between de beers and the synthetic-diamond industry over the use of the term cultured is an exercise in the transparency of self-serving motives. cultured is a clearly more marketable descriptor for the product than synthetic and its use, therefore, threatens the mined diamond industry just as it pleases the new diamond growers.

CIBJO Retains Gaetano Cavalieri as President

gaetano cavalieri of italy was unanimously re-elected to another term as president of cibjo, the world jewellery confederation. his election took place during the cibjo congress 2006, held july 24–27 in vancouver, british columbia. cavalieri also serves as president of the italian federation of gold, silver and jewellery wholesalers (federazione nazionale grossisti orafi gioiellieri arg…

Industry Leaders Weigh In

cecilia l. gardner, esq. president and ceo, jewelers vigilance committee government and public scrutiny of the jewelry industry and its practices has never been more intense. there is no reason to believe this will diminish in the next three years, and every reason to believe it will intensify. under the microscope are practices at the source of our products, our advertising practices, our comp…

Paradigm Shifts

even casual observers note that the jewelry industry is undergoing fundamental and global changes that already have undone long-standing structures. the current changes promise (or threaten, in the view of some) to bring more upheavals. jewelry is coming to grips with reality. jewelry manufacturing, driven by the demands of the public, has tapped out the established routes to maintaining percei…

Lynn Diamond Leaves Diamond Industry

it may seem like she is leaving the jewelry industry after 20-plus years to become a lawyer, but former diamond promotion service executive director s. lynn diamond wants people to know she isn’t completely saying good-bye. “i’m not going to disappear,” she told jck, at a lunch that served as a break from studying for the bar exam.

Aim Rich, Reach Everybody

“the very rich are different from you and me,” wrote f. scott fitzgerald in the early 20th century. “yes, they have more money,” responded fellow novelist ernest hemingway. fast-forward 100 years. according to the worth–harrison taylor study on the status of wealth in america, hemingway was right.

950 Palladium Finishing Procedures

this 950 palladium wedding band design was made using cad/cam design and model-making technology and features high millgrained edges, textured diagonal grooves, and a highly polished flat surface. the ring was finished from a rough casting using a progressive abrasive system and limited standard polishing techniques.

3Design Introduces Improved CAD Program for Jewelers

3design has introduced a new version of its 3d cad software for jewelry design. the new version, 3d v4, features improvements including an enriched material database, new 3-d duplications, better wizards, and a faster, more powerful sketch model. the program provides a parametric history tree allowing a jeweler to edit and modify a design at any step in the process.

Swiss Watch Industry Aims at New Export Record

after passing the 12 billion franc mark (about $9.8 billion) in 2005, swiss watch exports could top 13 billion swiss francs (about $10.6 billion) this year. watch counterfeiting, though, remains a major concern, and the federation of the swiss watch industry fh is acting worldwide to fight it. this in essence was the message of jean-daniel pasche, fh president, in his report to the org…

Swiss Watch Work Force at 25 Year High

the workforce of the swiss watch industry is the largest in 25 years, says the latest census of the employers’ federation of the swiss watch industry (cp). according to cp figures, as of sept. 30, 2005, the swiss watch and microengineering industry employed 41,728 workers (a 4.3 percent increase).


The Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award, was given to Swiss watch industry veteran Franco Colognifor his activities promoting cooperation between France and Italy, and French values. Cologni is president of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, which runs the annual SIHH luxury watch show, and is a director of Compagnie Financière…

Vox Populi

in the day-to-day business of managing a retail jewelry store or jewelry manufacturing business, it’s easy to lose track of external events that affect us personally and professionally. it is, i suppose, the artificial pressure we put on ourselves that forces a focus on what seems to be immediately important to us personally.

Do the Math, Part 2

having just completed the summer show season, i have an impression of significant concern in the jewelry community, if not a whiff of desperation. in talking to some of the brightest people in the industry, it’s clear that, collectively, they are no longer able to ignore the elephant sitting in the corner of the room, with the word “margin” written on it.

Designer’s Dinner Sparks Constructive Conversations

cynthia gale, a maker of historically based museum jewelry lines, holds an annual dinner to thank her supporters, including museum store proprietors, journalists, academics, and other industry friends. but the affair is more than just a way to show gratitude. it also primes participants for relaxed conversations and productive networking.

More Than a Big Red Book: JBT’s New Branding Campaign

for years, the jewelers board of trade was best known for two things: being the jewelry industry’s main credit cop and having a huge mailing list and reams of data and statistics. both are still true, but jbt president and chief executive officer dione kenyon says that under her tenure, jbt is becoming a much more dynamic, forward-thinking operation, and the time has come to let the indust…

Limericks Give Sales Rep ‘Reason to Smile’

79 reasons to smile is a book with a message, says 30-year industry sales rep robert schneider about his self-published book of limericks. and that message is—well, let one of his limericks explain: the thing we’ll be trying to say you ought to take time out to play don’t put off your laughter until sometime after do all of your laughing today! dedicated to schneider’s l…

Dateline: Tel Aviv

the diamond industry has always been image conscious—yet it was striking how much of the june meeting of the world diamond congress dealt with public relations concerns. from the wfdb mark to the discussions over conflict diamonds to the surprisingly lengthy debate on whether synthetics should get gia reports, the congress revealed an industry increasingly nervous about how it appears to …

Caron Enlander Dies

caron enlander—the only woman to serve on the board of directors of the diamond dealers club—died recently of cancer at the age of 50. enlander—whose maiden name was weiss—didn’t have a diamond background, but entered the field after she got a job at a diamond company. “she showed up for the job, but the fellow never turned up,” says husband derek enlan…

AGTA President Takes Leave After Robbery

richard krementz is taking a three-month leave of absence as president of the american gem trade association—the result of a $1 million robbery of one of his salesmen in amarillo, texas. “we are restructuring our business,” krementz told jck. “this loss brought other product and distribution issues to the forefront, and we are undergoing a total strategic revision.

Wal-Mart Moves Up

they have rings that range in price from $68 for a few diamond chips to $5,488 for a couple of carats. who would believe this is wal-mart? indeed, the world’s largest retailer has selectively bumped up its jewelry assortment in a mostly symbolic positioning statement. wal-mart’s evolving bid to move upmarket in an effort to expand its core customer base is intended to produce mercha…

Hot Time, Summer in the City

it’s been a scorching summer in new york, and the week of this year’s summer ja show was perhaps the hottest of all. despite the heat (dan kisch and i were stuck on 10th avenue in search of a cab in one lovely 120-degree moment), it was an exciting week. the highlight for me was watching our very own hedda schupak get inducted into the women’s jewelry association hall of fame on sunday night.

Minister: Diamonds Have Done Good for Botswana

botswana is currently the no.1 producer of diamonds in the world by value. leonard makwinja, deputy managing director of debswana, the mining company jointly owned by de beers and the botswanan government, recently talked with jck editor-in-chief hedda t. schupak about future plans and the good that diamonds wrought for his country.

Update on the ParaÍba Tourmaline Origin

first, some background: paraíba is a tourmaline from the são josé da batalha in the state of paraíba in northeastern brazil that has a neon “windex blue” or electric “scope green” color. tourmalines from paraíba get their saturated, vivid electric color from two trace elements, copper and manganese.

Swiss Army Brands Build $26M North American HQ

swiss army brands inc. recently broke ground for a $26 million north american headquarters site, slated to open in 2007 in monroe, conn. the company, best known for its swiss army watches and victorinox original swiss army pocketknife, has been at its current location in shelton, conn., for 30 years.

Gemologist Shares Limo Ride With Accused Killer

a routine limo ride to the jck show ~ las vegas turned out to be a memorable trip for gemologist and appraiser rodney ackerman when his ride companion later appeared on national television as the main suspect in a murder. ackerman was in las vegas assisting his wife, jewelry designer carol ackerman, who was exhibiting at the show.

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