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Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair preview Bridal trends 2010 Brand profile – Seiko

The Jeweller is produced in conjunction with the British Jewellers’ Association


The Voice of The Industry

Wedding Rings To book an appointment with a member of our sales team or for a free brochure please contact 0121 237 4772 or email

See us at the Spring Fair, stand N40

Contents l


Jeweller The Voice of The Industry


J A N / F E B

LJE goes to Munich

1 0 32

London Jewellery Exports is returning this year to



Editor’s Comment


Industry News


NAG News


BJA News


The Jeweller Picks…


Antique Jeweller


IRV Review


Ethical Jeweller


Training & Education


Opinion: John Henn


Insurance Matters


Opinion: Neil Oakford




Display Cabinet


The Last Word


Inhorgenta. Lindsey Straughton gives us a preview of who will be participating and the eclectic mix of products they will be offering.

Japanese lessons


Kirsten Crisford, the UK marketing manager for iconic Japanese watch brand Seiko, tells Jo Young about the brand’s plans for growth and product development across Europe and the UK.

Nice day for a white wedding


The recession is showing no signs of causing a slowdown in bridal jewellery spending, says Amy Gregson – and white metals are set to be this year’s big sales story.

Let the show commence!

58 The Jeweller is published by CUBE Publishing on behalf of the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For further information about The Jeweller please visit:

The Jeweller’s annual guide to what’s on, what’s new and what’s happening at this year’s

The magazine is printed on paper and board that has met acceptable environmental accreditation standards.

Jewellery Show at Spring Fair.

The National Association of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street, London EC2A 4XG Tel: 020 7613 4445

Cover Image In conjunction with Just J DMJ, Redworth Road, Shildon, County Durham, DL4 2JT Tel: 01388 770870 Web: The Jewellery Show/ Spring Fair Hall 17, stand N18, P19, and L01

Editor: Jo Young Tel: 020 7739 0895 Mob: 07507 347 920 BJA Marketing & PR Manager Lindsey Straughton Tel: 0121 237 1110

CUBE Publishing Sales Director: Ian Francis Tel: 020 7833 5500 Art Director: Ben Page Publisher: Neil Oakford Contributors: Amy Gregson, Michael Ferraro, Neil McFarlane, Greg Valerio, Stephen Whittaker

Although every effort is made to ensure that the information supplied is accurate, the N.A.G. disclaims and/or does not accept liability for any loss, damage or claim whatsoever that may result from the information given. Information and ideas are for guidance only and members should always consult their own professional advisers. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any advertiser, advertisement or insert in The Jeweller. Anyone having dealings with any advertiser must rely on their own enquiries.

The Voice of the Industry 3

| Comment

Communiqué M I C H A E L

H O A R E ’ S

The NAG’s CEO reports on his month includes the state of the insurance replacement market and the availability of interest-free credit.

umerous members have contacted me over recent months to express their concern that they are being squeezed out of the insurance replacement business, as the big insurers and big multiple retailers team up to satisfy customer replacement needs through voucher schemes. As members have been at pains to point out, this is not always a satisfactory solution for customers who want the freedom to select their replacement items from a jeweller of their choosing. This can be because of an existing relationship with their preferred jeweller, the wider selection they offer, or the expectation of good ongoing customer service. Insurers, ever mindful of profit margins and investor value, have increasingly relied on supply chain partnerships to keep their costs down. The car repair industry, for one, has seen dramatic changes in the way its business is done. Gone are the days when you would get three quotes for fixing a ‘prang’ and the insurance company would accept the best one. The same is true for many white goods, electrical, and domestic replacements. But, as you would be quick to point out, an engagement ring isn’t like a fridge: it isn’t simply a commodity in the eyes of the beholder.


4 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

The NAG realised this was an emerging trend some years ago, and set up the NAG Replacement Scheme as a way of keeping smaller independent jewellers in the game. But, to misquote, ‘A prophet is without honour in his own land’, and we were unable get enough members on board to gain any traction, with the end result that the insurers have had it all their own way – almost! Back in 2001 the Insurance Ombudsman (since subsumed in the Financial Ombudsman Service) issued guidance that seemed to show that customers could insist on their right to go to a jeweller of their choosing, and this guidance has given many the fortitude to do just that.

depend very much on which side of the fence you are standing, and to many small jewellers this looks like yet another way of tilting the playing field against them. With this in mind, we wrote to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FO) seeking clarification, and a subsequent chance meeting gave me the opportunity to press home our concerns. Our conclusion, based upon the advice given to us and on a case study provided by the technical desk, is that the position has not changed to any material degree from that in 2001. The Financial Ombudsman still accepts the general right of the insured to insist on going to the jeweller of their choice if the item is of particular importance or value, but notes that policy terms and conditions may undermine this. Under general household cover, insurers retain the option to repair, replace or cash settle claims by dint of the small print within their contracts, and unfortunately many clients accept this without question. The test of whether the insurer is being ‘fair and reasonable’ is then applied to the dispute by the FO, and in appropriate cases they may support the insurer. I think it is worth stressing that we came away from our discussions having been reminded that the FO’s 2001 news article

The FO sees its remit as protecting consumers and not redressing inequalities in the business environment. However, time moves on. More jewellery items than ever are now covered under general household policies, fewer people read the small print of their policies and the Financial Ombudsman appears to have diluted its guidance by allowing insurers to take whatever measurers they like, so long as they are ‘fair and reasonable’. Now, the view one takes on what constitutes ‘fair and reasonable’ will, of course,

cannot be regarded as a ‘ruling’ but, more accurately, as guidance on how the FO approaches specific subjects. In other words, the FO’s role is to mediate, not to regulate. Equally, its decisions are based on what is regarded as fair in the circumstances, not on law, regulations, or even previous decisions. Furthermore, while the FO is sympathetic, it is not particularly attuned to complaints

Comment | brought by business, as it sees its remit as protecting consumers and not redressing inequalities in the business environment. Taking all of the above into account, we advise members to have copies of our advice leaflet Insuring Personal Jewellery (which can be downloaded from the website on hand for clients. We suggest too that they encourage clients to complain vigorously to their insurers if they do not meet their expectations, and to think seriously about involving the FO at an early stage should this issue arise. Only in this way can we further highlight the situation.

Would you credit it? ecently a number of members have mentioned the difficulties they have experienced in getting interest-free credit for their businesses, and I think it is worth considering the subject for a moment. As many of you know, the NAG enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Black Horse, which provided members with interest-free credit on terms which we can see, with hindsight, were highly favourable. Running parallel with Black Horse, and in order to offer members a choice, we also struck up a relationship with Hitachi Finance a number of years ago. Last year, when the banking and financial crisis struck, Black Horse unilaterally withdrew its interestfree credit scheme from the NAG and all the other associations with which it was involved. Hitachi didn’t withdraw, however, and has stuck with the jewellery sector, albeit with conditions attached. In an effort to provide members with an interest-free credit scheme, my colleague Amanda Reavell has gone to exhaustive lengths to find an additional source, and earlier in the year thought she had found a suitable supplier in the form of a subsidiary of a French bank. However this initial optimism faded when the bank in question conducted a risk assessment and determined that practically none of our small to medium sized members would pass its criteria. In the light of this disappointment, Amanda has gone back to the drawing board and has, just days ago, established contact with an organisation that is trying to put together a package for a group of associations. It is clearly too early to raise your hopes at this stage, but we have been working hard on your behalf. However, until the worldwide financial crisis lifts and the banking sector regains some level of stability, interest-free credit is not going to be easy to come by for any business. Jewellers, in particular, will have to raise their volumes and demonstrate that such credit is central to their marketing strategy before any of the banks or finance houses will do business with them without protecting themselves. I will keep you posted on developments.


And finally… ue to an historic new liaison with the British Jewellers’ Association, this is the first edition of The Jeweller to carry news and views from our friends in the designer-maker and manufacturing sector, confirming this magazine’s status as a ‘must read’ publication. I look forward to some lively debates!


The Voice of the Industry 5





Luxury Diamond Wedding Bands For Him

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DIAMOND MERCHANTS–MANUFACTURERS 32–34 Greville Street London EC1N 8TB Tel: 020 7242 1080 Fax: 020 7831 1080 E-mail: Website:

Comment |



This month: “In the past we were seen as a mid-level watch producer. Our intention is to change this image to high end.”

Dear All, Happy New Year to you…! Hope you all saw the year in with much festivity? A new year is, for many people, a time for self-reflection, change and improvement, and for us at The Jeweller, 2010 is already proving to be just such a time. Have we all given up the booze and fags, you ask? No, nothing quite as radical and absurd. Rather, we have been looking at the magazine and busily devising ways of raising our game, improving our offer to all our readers. As many of you already know, the magazine is now going to be sent to you ten times a year, up from the six issues per year that we previously produced. This move will allow us to bring you more up-to-date news, more tailored features and a more frequent and informative

Page 36

offer overall. A second exciting move – one that is explained in greater detail by the BJA’s Geoff Field later in the issue – is the new relationship, formed at the beginning of the year, between the NAG and the BJA. From this issue onwards, the BJA will be contributing regular features

“Consumers are becoming more adventurous with the

and ideas to this magazine, further strengthening not just The Jeweller’s editorial remit, but the

settings of engagement

magazine’s position overall in the marketplace.

rings. While the classic,

The third, and hopefully most immediately evident change (fanfare, please) is the magazine’s new look. As you will see from the issue that you currently hold in your hands, the magazine

round brilliant Tiffany

has been given a major overhaul by The Jeweller’s splendid art team. The new look is

setting is still a very big

designed to be fresher, cleaner and easier to read – a better template on which to present

seller, more unusual settings

to you our (if I say so myself) relevant and readable editorial. We hope that you like the new look, but welcome any comments good or bad – your feedback is vital to our getting

are gaining popularity.”

the magazine right. In one final change to the programme, I will this month be leaving my role as editor of the magazine, to move onto pastures new. It has been an honour to edit The Jeweller and a real pleasure to work both with my publishing team and with so many great people from the jewellery industry that I love. I am very proud of what we have achieved with this magazine; I think the exciting new developments mentioned above are proof in themselves that The Jeweller is stronger today than it has ever been, and I am delighted to be leaving the magazine in such good shape. It remains only to wish you all well for 2010, and hope it brings great things for all the magazine’s readers personally and, of course, professionally. Bye, and all the best! Jo Jo Young, Editor

Page 44 Email:

The Voice of the Industry 7

| Industry News

Retailers cautiously optimistic about Christmas performance etail sales rose by 4.2 per cent for the crucial month of December, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a performance figure that the organisation described as being “stronger than we had dared hope”. According to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, retail sales values were up 4.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis from December 2008, which had turned in one of the weakest monthly performances of that year after the collapse of the financial markets. On a total basis, sales rose 6 per cent against a 1.4 per cent decline in December 2008. Food sales growth was most positive, experiencing its strongest performance since the summer, while clothing and footwear sales were boosted by the winter weather. Homewares sales showed further gains but against larger declines a year ago. Furniture slowed but health and beauty picked up, helped by Christmas gifting. Perhaps most notably, non-food nonstore sales (sales made online, by mail order or over the telephone) were a startling 26.5 per cent higher than a year ago, compared with a 16.9 per cent rise experienced in November. Many of those retailers offering transactional websites benefited from customers buying online instead of going out when the weather was at its worst in December and January. Meanwhile, footfall figures from Synovate Retail Performance showed that the 28th December Bank Holiday was the busiest shopping day of 2009 overall, with the number of people out shopping at non-food retail outlets on Monday 1.2 per cent higher than the previous busiest day of the year (Saturday 19th December, the final Saturday before Christmas Day) and a full 27.5 per cent busier than Boxing Day, Saturday 26th December 2009. Synovate spokesman Dr Tim Denison explains, “These latest figures confirm that the start to the winter Sales has been an exceptionally busy one, and will satisfy most retailers”. He gave warning, however, that the encouraging signs from the


8 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

post-Christmas sales period should be conservatively interpreted. “We must be cautious about these figures. I don’t believe that this is symptomatic of a dramatic bounce back in consumer confidence. The strong performance is anchored around consumers considering making some expensive household purchases before the VAT rate returns to 17.5 per cent in January, and the footfall is also reflective of the

fact that most retailers resisted going to mainstream Sale before Christmas. Indeed it is only since Christmas that shoppers are finding bargains on the high street. In this regard then, the bubble is somewhat artificial and should not be taken to mean that consumers feel the recession is behind them. Sadly, 2010 may well prove even more difficult for retail than 2009 has already been,” he said.

Industry News |

Ebay fined £1.5 million in Louis Vuitton row nline auction site eBay has today been ordered by the French courts to pay LVMH, the owner of the Louis Vuitton brand, a €1.7m (£1.5m) fine for failing to prevent the sale of LVMH products on its website. The ruling comes after a French court issued an historic injunction in July last year, which barred eBay from hosting the sale or purchase of any LVMH products on its site, irrespective of their authenticity. Over 1000 LVMH products were found to have been listed on the site following the ban. The injunction was part of the French authorities’ tough crackdown on the auction giant, which had come under intense scrutiny from luxury brands angry at the alleged sale of faked goods on the eBay site. In addition, eBay received a fine for failing to prevent counterfeit goods being sold on its site. Hitting back at the fine, eBay said that the court decision went against consumer interests, imposing what it called “the selective distribution” of goods. It argued that it had complied with the ruling of the injunction by using specialised software to prevent French shoppers from accessing LVMH products on its site. Intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk recently conducted a study into online sales. It found that brands are highly concerned about protecting their brand profile online; of 216 businesses surveyed, 75 per cent believed that they needed stronger protection from infringement online, with 61 per cent calling for stricter controls over counterfeiting online. Just over half (55 per cent) were in favour of stronger penalties being imposed on auction sites like eBay. “Today’s ruling and the attempts by eBay to comply with the injunction prove just how difficult it is to police brands online. The French courts have also tended to look more favourably on brand owners than most other jurisdictions, which explains their tough stance. Undeniably, the French authorities are the most unwavering when it comes to championing the luxury goods trade – yet today’s ruling will not necessarily result in similar decisions elsewhere in Europe,” said Pam Withers, partner at the firm.

Romain Jerome appoints ex-Swatch man as CEO


Theo Fennell sales improve in Christmas run-up L

uxury jewellery brand Theo Fennell said that sales have increased markedly in recent weeks, following the return of the company founder. Sales, it said, increased by 38 per cent in the weeks before Christmas, giving a boost to the firm’s recovery plans. Customer demand is already improving, according to the group, which reported the like-for-like sales leap in the two months since October 1, with a slightly higher 39 per cent increase in business in the first two weeks of December. The recent sales hike is good news for the business, to which Fennell made his return in June; the management team have a significant job ahead to bring the company back to profitability. In the half year to September 30th, the company reported a widening of losses from £840,000 to £1.1m, and like-for-like sales for the period dropped by 20 per cent. Theo Fennell said trading for its new PHI collection, the company’s first new collection for two years, was ahead of expectations. “The board… is confident that the first steps have been made to return the company to long-term profitability,” said chairman Rupert Hambro.

wiss watch firm Romain Jerome has announced the appointment of Manuel Emch as its new CEO. Emch, a Swiss national, joins the company from the Swatch Group, where he has been since 2001, and where he is best known for having successfully revitalised the Jaquet Droz brand, “transforming it into one of the finest references in the field of fine watchmaking”. Emch also belonged to the Swatch extended management board, with responsibility for several regions, including Russia, parts of Eastern Europe and central Asia. The winner of several watch design awards, Emch comes with a strong background in brand identity and consolidation. This, “he ably demonstrated at Jaquet Droz, notably by initiating and designing two of his ‘brainchildren’: the iconic Grande Seconde and the now legendary Machine à Ecrire le Temps. He also brings to Romain Jerome his considerable experience in the fields of production and sales, having contributed to the construction of the new Jaquet Droz manufacturing facility; as well as supervising the creation of a worldwide distribution network including 200 points of sale and six own-name boutiques,” said Romain Jerome in a company statement. In his new role, Emch will oversee the company’s new investments in production, marketing and distribution.


The Voice of the Industry 9

| Industry News

GIA hosts exhibition of international platinum designers platinum bracelet set with a 29.26 carat aquamarine, and a platinum men’s ring set with 171 micro-pavé diamonds and an 11.54 carat, beautifully-cut indicolite blue tourmaline. The five PlatAfrica pieces featured in the exhibition are winners of a platinum jewellery design competition from professional jewellers and students in South Africa. “We are honored that PGI has chosen the GIA Museum to display these items,” said Terri Ottaway, the curator at the GIA museum. “This is a wonderful opportunity to share with others the beauty, creativity and craftsmanship involved in designing jewellery, and specifically, learning more about platinum.” The Best in Platinum exhibition will be on display at the GIA Museum, which is free to visit, until April 30, 2010. he Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is hosting a major new platinum jewellery exhibition at its museum in Carlsbad, California, which will showcase 17 award winning platinum pieces from around the world. The exhibition, which has been put together by the Platinum Guild International (PGI), is comprised of work by a range of international designers, with the pieces in the exhibition being shown together for the first time in the US. “The exhibition showcases talented designers from all over the world who


choose to work in platinum because of its natural beauty and durability. These works of art are truly an international collaboration featuring pieces from China, Japan, Italy, India, South Africa, Germany and the US,” said James Courage, chief executive officer of the PGI. Highlights from the exhibition include pieces from the PlatAfrica design competition and the Aqua Collection, as well as several other award-winning platinum creations designed by Gurhan, Kirk Kara, Mark Schneider, Michael B., Tom Munsteiner, Danhov and Krikawa. Designs include a

Investors buy more gold than customers old investors are buying more gold than buyers of jewellery, for the first time in over three decades. According to GFMS, the consultancy that compiles benchmark supply and demand data for the metals industry, demand for gold within the investment sector doubled in 2009 to 1,820 tonnes, while gold jewellery buying suffered a 23 per cent slump to 1,687 tonnes, a 21 year low for the industry.


10 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

The figures demonstrate the scale of the role played by bullion investors in pushing up the gold price to the record high of $1,226.10 a troy ounce, which was registered in December last year. Philip Klapwijk, the executive chairman of GFMS, said that though it was probable that more gold investment would take place this year, the market would likely become increasingly vulnerable to a major change

in price once the general circumstances surrounding investment – such as the weakness of the US dollar – changed. “As the macroeconomic environment gradually normalises, the gold market’s dependence on investment will become all too apparent, with a substantial price retreat at that point on the cards,“ he said. The surge in gold prices, from $250 an ounce in 1999 to last year’s record, has hit jewellery sales – traditionally the core of gold consumption – badly. GFMS said jewellery demand had fallen by almost half since 1997.

| Industry News

Palladium hallmark design to be revised he UK Assay Offices have announced that the palladium hallmark [which was introduced on a voluntary basis in July 2009] is to be revised. The move has been made following concerns that the trapezium shape used to encase the palladium fineness mark is not sufficiently distinguishable from that used for the platinum fineness mark. The fear is the possibility that, as the marks become worn, it may become difficult to distinguish between the two. This is a particular concern as no quick ‘acid’ test is available for platinum group metals and, should the marks become worn, it will be almost impossible for retailers to identify whether a white metal object is platinum or palladium. To overcome this problem, the fineness element of the hallmark [which became compulsory on 1st January 2010] has been altered and takes the form of three interlocking ovals. The 32,000 articles of palladium that have already been hallmarked will not be recalled for remarking, and look set to become the collectors’ items of the future. Suppliers who have already bought punches featuring the original mark will, however, require replacements. A statement from the UK Assay Offices states that this “will be a matter for negotiation between the Assay Offices and their customers”. The Jeweller’s November issue carried an in-depth feature about the new hallmark and is available to NAG members online at:


Pandora UK appoints Bransom exclusive supplier of its EPoS systems ollowing the success of the first 27 concept stores opened in 2009, Bransom has been chosen as the sole supplier of EPoS systems for jewellery brand Pandora to achieve its goal of opening a further 60 concept stores in 2010. Bransom will implement its BSMART Stock Management and EPoS system into all new Pandora stores and provide a bespoke training plan for all staff and store owners. The system will be pre-loaded with all the Pandora products, barcodes and images, with an automated re-ordering system linking directly into the Pandora ordering system to improve stock replenishment. The concept stores will also benefit from automatic update of Bransom’s system with new products and prices. Bransom will also be feeding daily sales information directly back to the Pandora intranet site for KPI reporting and data analysis, which will include footfall and conversion rate information. Peter Anderson MD of Pandora, said, “To achieve our aims we need an IT partner to work with. Bransom was chosen because it provides the unique blend of size, reputation, experience, and infrastructure required to undertake and support a project like this.”


Boodles plans move into Middle East conic British jewellery firm Boodles is considering a joint venture in the Middle East, after turning in a strong sales performance during the crucial Christmas period. Boodles’ joint managing director Michael Wainright believes that the worst may be over in terms of the crisis in the luxury good sector, and having seen a marked increase in demand from Middle Eastern customers for Boodles product, he believes the time may now be right to take the brand to this wealthy and potentially highly lucrative new market. Wainwright said he was planning a visit to Saudi Arabia in January, for a series of meetings with potential partners in the region.


12 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

He said that the growth in demand experienced at Boodles in recent months was fuelled significantly by buyers from the Middle East, Russia and China, and said he believed that furthering the company’s operations internationally would help fuel the business back home. “[A joint venture] will not only create sales out there but also fuel sales in our Sloane Street and Harrods stores, because customers from the region regularly come to London in the summer months,” he said in a recent interview with the Financial Times. Boodles, which was founded in 1798, has been in the same family for six generations.

With a recently opened flagship on London’s New Bond Street, the company sells jewellery within a vast £1,000 to £400,000 price range. Like-for-like sales at the firm were up 20 per cent in December, compared with the year before, although they are still down a full 10 per cent on 2007’s numbers. Luxury groups suffered alongside other retailers after the onset of the financial crisis last year, but the impact of the recession has, according to the latest research, been less than first feared. Consultancy Bain & Co expects sales of luxury goods to have fallen 8 per cent in 2009, after adjusting its earlier forecast of a 10 per cent drop.

Spring Fair Hall 18, G30/H31

Tel 01271 329123 Email Web

| Industry News

Lister Horsfall celebrates makeover alifax jeweller Lister Horsfall, which has clocked up more than 100 years of retail trading, has undertaken a major £200,000 refurbishment at its store. The company celebrated the completion of the renovation work by hosting a champagne reception for its customers. The company has traded from the same shop in the Corn Market in Halifax town centre since 1902, having started out as the Little Diamond Shop under the management of company director Nick Horsfall's great-grandfather, Lister. As part of the makeover, a new dedicated Rolex boutique, designed in Geneva, has been installed, while the original wooden shopfront has been kept in place. The work, the first major refit the store has undergone in 30 years, was completed in five weeks. The company, which operates a second store in Ilkey, West Yorkshire, has also taken


on an additional in-house jeweller to run the workshop as part of a two-person team. "We wanted to take it back to basics, keeping with the traditions but yet being

Piaget pays record rent for new Bond St store wiss jeweller and watchmaker Piaget has taken on what is being called ‘the most expensive shop in the UK’ on London’s high end jewellery destination, New Bond Street, where it will make its UK retail debut. According to Irish property investor Aidan Brooks, who brokered the deal, the company’s parent Richemont has agreed to pay a rent of £965 per sq ft for the store at 169 New Bond Street, which the company had earmarked as the ideal location for Piaget’s debut UK store. The 3,500 sq ft store will be the first UK flagship for Piaget, which takes over the store from Italian jewellery house Bulgari. Bulgari itself is downsizing its own retail storefront, having given over approximately a third of its unit to be rented out. Piaget already operates its own boutiques in France, Russia, Switzerland and the Ukraine, and its products are sold through authorised retailers in 35 countries across Europe. The deal smashes the previously held record for retail rent, which was set up by Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, which is understood to have paid a rent of £820 per sq ft for a store on the same street. The deal shows that, despite the downward pressure on rentals being experienced elsewhere in the UK, rents in the West End are still at a premium. Piaget, a brand ‘stablemate’ of Richemont Group’s Cartier, Montblanc and Dunhill brands, paid a Zone A rent, which is a rent calculated for the prime front-of-store section of a shop. The deal is understood to have been signed for a 25 year lease at £745,000 per year. On New Bond St the recent average zone A rent has been calculated at around £600 per sq ft (€666). Aidan Brooks, who owns 171 New Bond Street, had previously set a record rent for the street in 2006 when he let that 3,000 sq ft store to US jeweller Harry Winston.


14 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

functional and displaying the products in a better way. We want to be a destination store as well as look after people in Halifax,” said Horsfall.

Accessorize in second bid for US success igh street fashion jewellery and accessories brand Accessorize, an offshoot of the fashion chain Monsoon, is to expand its operations into the US. This is Monsoon’s second attempt to crack the difficult North American market with its secondary chain, following an initial launch of Monsoon/Accessorize in the US back in 2001. It will open five stores initially, its first scheduled to open next month in Washington, the US capital. The second store is expected to open in New York city. Back in 2001, Monsoon established a joint venture with the US clothing retailer Charming Shoppes, a deal that saw around a dozen Monsoon shops open in cities on the east coast. The partnership was dissolved and the stores closed in 2003 in the face of struggling sales throughout the fashion retail sector. The company operates over 400 Monsoon and Accessorize stores across the UK, and already operates internationally, in several countries in Europe and Asia.


jewellers’ block

| Industry News

Beaverbrooks sees profits fall during “challenging” year ewellery chain Beaverbrooks saw its annual profits for 2009 slump, as a result of the recession and resultant slip in consumer confidence. The company generated ‘flat’ sales of £82.4m, and saw profits slide from £4.6m in 2008 to £177,000. After stripping out an exceptional £2.5m gain last year, profits were still down by around £2m in what the company’s directors called a “disappointing performance”. In a company report for the year to the end of February, the company’s directors stated that the firm had fallen victim to the economic turbulence that began with the ‘credit crisis’ in late 2008. Managing director Mark Adlestone said, “The very serious problems encountered within the banking sector from September 2008 onwards, coupled with the UK


economy’s slide into recession in the last quarter of 2008 and the ensuing tightening of available credit lines for consumers, made for very difficult Christmas trading period. “In common with many other retailers there is still a great deal of uncertainty concerning UK economic growth and consumer spending over the next 12 months and the directors are of the opinion the next financial year could be as difficult and challenging as the 2009 year.” The St Annes-based company opened four new stores during 2008, in High Wycombe, Bristol, Livingston and in the Westfield shopping centre in west London. The firm, which regularly wins the prestigious accolade of ‘best company to work for’, maintained its philanthropic commitments during the year, contributing more than £500,000 to charitable causes.

Weston Beamor plays host to local radio show irmingham-based jewellery group Weston opened its doors to the local radio station Radio West Midlands recently, giving valuable exposure to the city’s Jewellery Quarter during the run-up to Christmas. The station chose Weston Beamor, which comprises the lost wax casting firm of the same name and jewellery supplier Domino, as the location from which to host its three hour earlier morning news show on 18th December. The show’s presenter gave a jewellery ‘slant’ to the entire show, and during the broadcast, several members of the group’s staff were interviewed on air. Andrew Morton and Patrick Fuller, managing directors of Weston Beamor and Domino respectively, were among those who appeared on the show, giving their overview of the jewellery market. Andrew Morton commented: “It was great fun having the show done from our premises, although it certainly provided us with some logistical difficulties at what is always one of our busiest times of the year. Jewellery is a traditional purchase at Christmas time and it was wonderful to able to share some of the fascinating techniques we use in its production”.


16 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

Adlestone said that the business was now “in better shape”, having initiated a series of cost cutting measures, including initiating a pay freeze and curbing store renovation costs. “We have taken out more than 30 jobs through natural wastage – there have been no redundancies and we have all taken a pay freeze, which has significantly enhanced our cash position,” he said in a statement. “We are very proud of our commitment to charity. As well as financial contributions each member of staff is given two days a year to work with a local charity and we have seen an amazingly good take-up of a payroll charity giving scheme, which shows our staff are sharing our values. “The financial figures I know don’t look pretty, but there’s a lot of good work going on in terms of social capital and that is important for us.”

Jeweller editor Jo Young leaving for new career path o Young, editor of The Jeweller, is leaving the magazine this month, to take up a new career outside the magazine publishing industry. From this month, she returns to freelance journalism while studying for a post-graduate degree in education to become a full-time teacher. The magazine’s publisher Neil Oakford commented: “We are sad to be losing Jo from the team as she has made a very positive and influential contribution to the magazine during her tenure as editor, further helping to develop The Jeweller’s ‘voice’ within the sector. However, we are not losing her totally as Jo will continue to write for The Jeweller on a freelance basis as well as contributing to other retail and fashion sectors.” The magazine will be edited for the present time by Belinda Morris. She can be contacted at: For all other enquiries, please call 020 7833 5500.


| Industry News

TW Steel signs Ian Thorpe to front Australian brand push utch watch firm TW Steel has signed the popular Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe as its latest brand ambassador. The company, which specialises in oversized watch models, has announced the partnership with the Australian sportsman


following the opening of the company’s subsidiary office in Sydney last summer. Thorpe, who is a five time Olympic gold medallist and an eleven-time World champion in freestyle swimming, is the first Australian brand ambassador to represent

Jack Murphy Jewellers gets major store refit ell-known Newry jewellery firm Jack Murphy has had a major store refit at its premises on the city’s Hill Street. This gives the store a “new modern look and feel”, into which the company will bring a number of new contemporary jewellery lines and new members of staff. Owners Jack and Pat Murphy, who went into ‘semi-retirement’ last year, will continue to be involved in the business on the buying side, but will now be joined by daughter Gemma and recently-appointed manager, Kate Walker. “The refit comes at a time when businesses need to look at growing their business and being prepared for the upturn. We have always been renowned for quality diamonds and exceptional customer service. This will continue, but we also hope to cater


18 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

for a new audience with the new shop layout and the ranges the girls have introduced. “It has been hard work over the last few weeks with the upheaval of the refit, but there is a great buzz about the shop at the moment. Despite the long hours and hassle of the refit I enjoyed the pressure; it was just like old times again. Now that its complete I am looking forward to taking life easy again and seeing the changes the team bring about,” said Jack Murphy.

TW Steel, and the company hope his signing will help push their product profile in what is now one of its key markets. Thorpe made his first public appearance for the brand just before Christmas in Sydney, posing alongside TW Steel’s chief executive officer and owner Jordy Cobelens. “I’m tremendously excited to have Ian Thorpe partner with TW Steel. He boasts an incredible sporting record at the Olympics and World Championships and is undoubtedly one his country’s most recognised sports ambassadors, despite recently retiring from competition. To have someone of Ian’s calibre associated with TW Steel as we establish our market presence in Australia, and of course globally, immediately gives further credibility to the brand while further promoting our shared values such as performance and excellence,” said Jordy Cobelens at the event. TW Steel, which operates in over 50 countries worldwide, is also signed as the Official Timing Partner to the Renault F1 team, in a partnership set to run from 2010 to 2012.

Long-standing Edinburgh jeweller shuts up shop ontinental Jewellers, a well-known independent jewellery firm on Edinburgh’s Nicolson Street, is up for sale as the shop’s owner and company founder Ron Haggarty is set to retire. Haggarty, who was born and raised in Edinburgh, opened the jewellery shop in the city in 1979 and built the Continental business from scratch. He is now choosing to retire from the trade due to ill health and is hoping that he will be able to find a new owner ready to take over the store, which, according to Haggarty, has a turnover £500,000 per year.


| NAG News

Visit our stand at the Jewellery Show

Council meeting he first NAG Council Meeting for 2010 is to be held on Wednesday 10th March at The Law Society’s Hall, Chancery Lane, London – a beautiful Georgian building established in 1832 to represent, help, protect and promote solicitors across England and Wales. Starting at 10.30am with registration and tea and coffee, the formal Council Meeting will begin at 11am in the Old Council Chamber. Following this lunch will be served at 1pm in the dining room. For more information about the event, contact Ritu Verma on 020 7613 4445 or email:


EDF membership could help you to achieve more in 2010 he Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International is taking place this year between the 7th-11th February 2010 at the Birmingham NEC and, once again, the biggest names in retail will be showcasing thousands of innovative new products across a range of sectors. This year the National Association of Goldsmiths (Hall 17, Stand Q40) will have a brand new look to the stand, and you will have a chance to meet all the familiar faces from NAG HQ. On Monday 8th February at 4pm a champagne reception will be held to launch the new design makeover of our official publication, The Jeweller, which is published 10 times per year, now with editorial support and contributions from the BJA. There will be plenty of opportunities to speak to The Jeweller’s editorial and publishing team at the show, so join us for a glass of bubbly. We welcome your attendance. If you are unable to attend this event and would like more details about the new-look magazine, please contact Neil Oakford on 020 7833 5500 or visit the The Jeweller online at:


65 years of exam success for NAG he National Association of Goldsmiths has kicked off its 65th year of retail jeweller examinations with more excellent pass rates for its JET examinations. An impressive 84 per cent of students passed the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma taken in October last year, while 70 per cent gained their Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma. “We are delighted with the results once again,” said Victoria Wingate, the NAG education manager. “These courses build staff confidence, develop selling skills and product knowledge, which are so important in


20 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

the current economic climate. Ultimately these results will put money in the till.” This year will mark 65 years since the first NAG exam in 1945. “The courses have been developing and evolving since 1945, but remain as vital as ever. We have a few things planned to mark this milestone, starting with our summer holiday-themed promotion at Spring Fair in February and, of course, the presentation of awards in March,” said Wingate. Successful exam candidates will receive their diplomas at a lavish awards ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall on 10th March 2010.

DF members are indicating that they have experienced an 11 per cent rise in Christmas trading for 2009, a remarkable achievement in the current economic climate. During 2009, EDF members have outperformed most other jewellers, showing a marked increase in sales, improved margins and higher stock turns. They have had the confidence to look at their businesses from a different perspective, and to make the necessary changes to improve their performance in a very challenging retail market. EDF membership offers expert guidance on retail and business management issues, best practice and development and application of relevant blueprints and formats for individual businesses to apply. Beginning with six fully facilitated meetings in the first year, with set topics for the first few meetings, the content then expands to include members’ individual and group specific requirements. A fifth group is now being formed. The cost of this bespoke Retail Jewellery Management Forum is £1,800 + VAT for members and £1,975 + VAT for non-members. For more details on how to be part of the Executive Development Forum, please contact Amanda White at the NAG on 020 7613 4445, or send her an email at:


NAG News |

NAG Training Seminar Programme Essential Window Display 10th June / 14th October 2010 (London) Members £208, non-members £269 (+VAT)

This seminar, given by jewellery marketing expert Judy Head, is aimed at those with no formal display training and includes instruction on the theory and practice of display. You will learn, through practical display sessions, how to promote buying occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries by creating visually arresting displays in your shop. How To Sell More Diamonds 21st June 2010 (Birmingham) Members £208, non-members £269 (+VAT)

This seminar provides vital knowledge about diamonds and the techniques jewellers need to sell them successfully. In only one day, a tutor from diamond cutting firm Krochmal & Lieber will remove your apprehension towards diamonds and will improve your confidence and ability in selling diamonds. Essential Selling 23rd March / 28th September 2010 (London) Members £208, non-members £269 (+VAT)

After some years absence, we are delighted to have Nigel Amphlett providing this session. Nigel is a management consultant specialising in training and management development, with over 20 years’ experience working with some of Britain’s largest private and public sector organisations. This one day seminar will improve your selling style, helping you to beat targets, convert sales and gain repeat/referral business and improve your confidence in dealing with customer queries or concerns. Learn To Value 26th-27th April 2010 (London / two day) Members £335, non-members £496 (+VAT)

This intensive course is designed to teach the necessary skills in appraisal and valuation methodology. You will learn how to produce a sound valuation document with accurate values, using available price sources and provable methodologies. The instructor Brian Dunn has worked as a retail jeweller and valuer for over 40 years, and is a past Chairman of the NAG’s Valuation Committee.

New Member Applications To ensure that NAG members are aware of new membership applications within their locality, applicants’ names are published below. Members wishing to comment on any of these applications can call Harshita Deolia on 020 7613 4445 or email: within three weeks of receipt of this issue.

Ordinary Applications

Diamonds And Diamond Grading 18th-19th May / 19th-20th October 2010 (London / two day) Members £375, non-members £512 (+VAT)

With tuition from Eric Emms, the leading UK authority on diamond grading, this seminar is designed primarily for retailers of diamond jewellery. Covering determination of diamond identity, quality and value, it is presented specifically from a retailer’s viewpoint. Topics covered will include: identification, treatments, clarity grading, colour grading, symmetry and proportions and cut grade determination, carat weight estimation, current diamond economics and corporate social responsibility issues. The number of delegates attending is restricted to ensure maximum benefit for each attendee. A comprehensive range of diamond qualities, simulants, treatments, and synthetics will be available for examination and a full set of seminar notes will be given.

Robertson’s Jewellers (Stuart Robertson) Wadebridge, Cornwall Lapis Gold (Ilknur Uzunoglu), Inverness Chapelle/Victoria House Jewellers (Paul Mortimer) Colwick, Nottingham Rubinstein Keightley Ltd (Barry Barker MA FCIS MBE/Dr Vira Barker/David Barker) Uppingham

Affiliate Applications Bliss Rings (Jason and Silvya Curtis) Maidstone, Kent

Alumni Applications Karen Margaret Storton (Tidworth)

Retired/Resigned in 2009 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Levermill • Hilson • Teignmouth Jewellers Georg Jensen • Owen Smart • Holts Mark Thomas Jewellers • Eric Mitchell CMBHI England Barker Jewellers • Louise Shafar Kenneth Walker & Son • Hardys Jewellers M Waterman Jewellers • Thomas’s Mary Milnthorpe and Daughters Stephens Jewellers • Gold Coast Jewellers Dower & Hall • Martin Groundland & Co Bradleys Jewellers (Albemarle & Bond) Heritage Jewellers • Acton Jewellery Bartholomews Jeweller • Leslie E Biles Bentleys of Blackheath • Oswin & Co Beardsalls (North Wales) • The Steensons I J & D Blairs Jewellers • J B Gaynan & Son Baubles The Jewellers • B M Graham John Wilson Jewellers • Walter Bourke & Son John Hazelden Jewellers

Lapsed in 2009 Diamond Grading In Antwerp 26th-27th April, 10th–11th May (two day) Members £208, non-members £269 (+VAT)

Learn how to grade diamonds in just two days! The secret to this seminar’s success lies in plenty of practical work with diamonds, combined with an individual follow-up of each student by an expert tutor. In addition, participants visit the renowned Krochmal & Lieber diamond cutting factory, together with a tour of the Antwerp Diamond District. Please note that the seminar fee for this course does not include travel and accommodation. For more information or to book your place, please contact Amanda White at the NAG on 020 7613 4445, or email her at:

• • • • • • • • •

Phillips & Charles • Solitaire Jewellers Stephen Ash • Lumbers of Banbury Pomeroi Fine Jewellers • Finecraft Workshop The House of Williams (Jeweller) L Reich & Sons • Deemark Jewellery Foxleys Jewellers • John Whyte & Son Ogham Jewellery • Pawnbrokers Gold Battle Goldsmiths • Bogues Jewellers J J Browne & Son (Jewellers)

IRV Applications If members wish to comment on any of these, please contact Sandra Page on (029) 2081 3615.

Upgrading from Member to Fellow Peter J Hering PJDip PJValDip FNAG FGA DGA, Cambridge.

The NAG 12 Days of Christmas Challenge The answers to last issue’s competition were: A:6, B:10, C:8, D:2, E:5, F:12, G:1, H:11, I:9, J:4, K:7, L:3

The Voice of the Industry 21

| NAG News

Member of the Month Member of the Month is a new feature which will highlight NAG members, giving a snapshot of their business, their opinions and experiences. This issue Harshita Deolia talks to to Michael Naulls of M Naulls & Co, based in Louth in Lincolnshire, who has been a NAG member since October 1975.

What do you sell in your shop? “We sell 18 carat and 9 carat gold jewellery, silver and pearl jewellery and some second hand jewellery too. We also sell watches and some silver gift items. We aim to sell nice, well made items, as we feel it gives customers good value for money. Although I don’t work at the bench any more, I still design pieces for customers and for stock so there are items unique to the shop.” Given the recession, how has the last year been for you? “Christmas 2008 was a record for us and 2009 has thankfully been OK. I think that is down to the good, professional service that we offer here. One of my staff members, Julia, has her Professional Jewellers Diploma, Gemstone Diploma and a certificate for Eric Emms’ diamond grading course. The only ‘bad’ month was August, but that was in comparison to the previous year which had been exceptional. We didn’t have too many

customers over Christmas but the bad weather had a lot to do with that – a regular customer of ours couldn’t even get into town to pick up his turkey.” What’s the year ahead looking like for you? “We’re going to revamp the windows. It’s important to present a good image to the public. I think we’ll also be looking for some more named pieces. One of our best sellers is the Paula Bolton range, but I think we’ll be looking for something more contemporary. I’m going to keep looking for new pieces so I have a good variety of stock; if you stop buying, you stop selling.” What makes your shop stand out in your local area? “We have a lot of customers complimenting us on the shop and presentation. We always aim to keep the shop looking nice by repainting it every 18 months. Other than

that, we make sure customers are satisfied – recently, for example, a customer happily spent a few thousand pounds after spending a long time questioning us on rings and gemstones.” Given that there are reports of the recession calming down, what are your thoughts/comments on the jewellery industry at the moment? “I think there was a poor showing at this year’s IJL, and although I wasn’t able to attend Spring Fair, I understand that there weren’t as many exhibitors as previous years – probably because of the weather. Regardless of the circumstances, you have to keep your nerve when times are tough. If you keep a nice stock of goods, you will sell. A lot of people are now buying from the internet and TV, so they are preventing shops from large price increases.” Most members I talk to have some of the most interesting anecdotes on memorable customers – do you? “Here’s one that you can publish… Soon after I bought the shop in 1975, I made one of my earliest sales to a lady who was buying herself a present for her 80th birthday. At the time, she said that she wanted to buy it as an investment for the future – I thought this was a lovely idea, given that she was 80 years old. She lived to be 92 and her daughter sold the piece back to me at a higher price than she had paid – so she was right!” If you would like to be included Member of the Month in future simply contact Harshita Deolia membership department or email

22 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

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BJA News |

Welcome to the BJA in ‘The Jeweller’ he British Jewellers’ Association is delighted to be working in collaboration with the National Association of Goldsmiths in contributing to The Jeweller magazine. BJA Chief Executive As of now, our regular Geoff Field published communication with our members and with the wider industry will be through our own dedicated pages in The Jeweller, rather than through our own long-standing house magazine Jewellery in Britain – publication of which has now ceased to allow us to concentrate on this venture. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities that this arrangement will provide to our members, who will now receive published


BJA news ten times each year rather than quarterly, as was the case with Jewellery in Britain. We also believe that having supplier news and retail news together in one publication will provide a broader picture of the industry to both sets of members, and offers a unique opportunity to create greater understanding across the supply chain.

Your feedback We would welcome feedback from members and non-members alike about manufacturing topics or issues that they would like to see in these pages and hope that as they become familiar with The Jeweller, a greater number of our members will explore the advertising and editorial options it offers them. Please contact Ian Francis at CUBE Publishing for advertising enquiries: or, to give your feedback, email Lindsey Straughton at the BJA:

Services to retailers For retail readers it is perhaps worth pointing out that the British Jewellers’ Association can provide access to a database of some 900 businesses, the majority of which are potential suppliers to the retail jewellery industry. If you would like more information about the Association and its membership, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my team or visit our website at: to find out more.

See the BJA at the Jewellery Show The BJA team will of course be at the Jewellery Show at Spring Fair Birmingham on Stand P40 in Hall 17. “We look forward to welcoming both existing and potential members to the stand and telling them more about the many benefits, services and discounts that membership brings,” says Lindsey Straughton, the Association’s PR and marketing manager. Credit checks A new facility on offer for 2010 is instant credit checks, which are available on potential new accounts from the BJA stand. The checks, which cost just £14, are run online through credit reference firm Experian, and are available instantly. “In these difficult financial times we believe this service will provide welcome reassurance to members,” says Diane Thomas, membership services manager at the Association.

available on the BJA stand to provide free on-the-spot legal advice to anyone who needs assistance.

Intellectual Property Service Trade fairs frequently bring a rash of intellectual property infringements and the specialist IP lawyer Stephen Welfare and his team, of the London firm Royds, will be

Discount on new ArtCam software for BJA members Leading rapid prototyping company Delcam is offering BJA members free ArtCAM JewelSmith software worth over £6,000.

Award-winning designs The BJA stand will also provide a showcase for the winning palladium designs in the Association’s new annual competition ‘The BJA Award at The Jewellery Show’, which it has organised with the support of Spring Fair and the BJGF Federation.

Members must sign up for a three day intensive training course at £650, after which the software remains free if they place 18 model orders per quarter (six per month) to the online Delcam Bureau Service. Order tokens can be stored on the website until they are required. Members receive a 50 per cent discount on their first quarter’s models and need only place nine models in their first quarter. This offer, exclusive to members of the Association, could feasibly save a company £450 in wax model costs alone. There is no minimum contract and members can opt out at any time. BJA members who sign up to discounted training course at £650 on the latest ArtCam software, which is to be launched by Delcam on Stand S59 Hall 17 at Spring Fair will also receive a 50 per cent discount on their first quarters Delcam RP Bureau service. For further information contact 01216831120 or http/

The Voice of the Industry 25

| BJA News

Incoming chairman promises ‘business agenda’ for BJA ike Hughes, the incoming chairman of the British Jewellers’ Association, will be looking to inject some of his own business philosophy into the running of the national trade body when he takes over the role of Chairman from Barrie Dobson at the beginning of this month. Hughes, who is managing director of the Birmingham-based casting company Jewelcast, is a relative newcomer to the jewellery industry, although not to business in general. In the course of a career which spans estate agency, property, recruitment and most recently jewellery production, the entrepreneur has built five successful companies from scratch, and believes that the techniques he has employed can now be brought to bear on the Association. “The jewellery industry has changed and continues to change and if the Association is to have real relevance to its membership, it must reflect those changes,” he says. “Every businessman knows that if an enterprise is to prosper it must continually innovate, in order to deliver what its customers want and need. I look forward to working with the BJA team to evaluate the Association’s current list of services and


to see how they can be updated and improved,” he said. Hughes’ business model is straightforward. “You don’t need to over-complicate things. If you concentrate on just five areas – your product, your customers and what they want and need, the money ‘in’ and the money ‘out’ and the training of the people within your organisation, you can’t go too far wrong,” he says. It is certainly a model that has worked for Jewelcast. The company has expanded rapidly since Hughes acquired it seven

New committee member champions small designers indy Dennis Mangan, of the designer jewellery company, Dennis & Lavery, will also be standing for election to the National Committee at the Annual General Meeting. Jewellery is a second career for Cindy, who in 1995 left a job in the City, managing shareholder communications for gold and diamond companies, to become more ‘hands on’ in this industry. Having trained with the GIA in London in diamond-grading and jewellery design, she soon established Dennis & Lavery, which has workshops in London and Brighton and is already supplying some of the hottest names in jewellery retailing. The company also sells online, offering a bespoke design service. Cindy, who was shortlisted in the platinum bridal category in the 2009 UK Jewellery Awards, is particularly passionate about the promotion of small design-led businesses. She has recently helped establish the London marketing group JeDeCo: Jewellery Designers’ Collective, and is, she says, looking forward to working with the BJA team to further the Association’s work on behalf of this growing element of its membership now standing at 250 Designer Craft members.


26 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

years ago; it now employs some 16 people and has established an excellent reputation for casting, particularly in platinum and palladium. Despite the economic downturn, business is booming and Jewelcast has recently expanded into new premises to create more space for its growing customer services team. “I am looking forward to taking over the reins of the BJA from Barrie Dobson, who has done a great job and leaves the BJA in fine form with some 900+ members – the highest number in its long history. “Hopefully by working closely with my vice chairman, Gary Williams of the London wedding ring manufacturer B&N, the national committee and the BJA staff, I can build further on Barrie’s foundations and deliver a service offer which will have widespread appeal across our increasingly diverse membership base,” says Hughes. Both Hughes and Williams will be formally proposed as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Association at the BJA’s Annual General Meeting, which will take place at Spring Fair, on the evening of Tuesday 9th February, 2010 from 6pm in the Concourse Suite 33 at the NEC.


Jeweller picks... Some of the freshest Spring/Summer launches in jewellery and watches from organic-inspired luxury pieces to leather chains. BREIL


Tribe, a new watch range from the Italian brand Breil, has been inspired by the highend metallic trend. The collection of rose gold or steel cases and buckles lend this masculine range an elegant feel, while the addition of leather straps and diamante for women in the Globe and Urban series allow the wearer to move from a casual day to a sophisticated evening look.



Walmsley, creator of the Fingerprint and Year rings, has produced his latest unusual piece, the Heartbeat ring. For this ring, the designer uses a small portable ECG monitor (no, really) to take a person’s heartbeat, and engraves the rhythm perfectly onto a wedding band. The rings are available for men and women, and come in platinum, palladium and white and yellow gold. L


Cindy Chao specialises in unconventional, luxury jewellery, and her distinctive designs are beginning to attract a growing number of suppliers and fans. Her key Four Seasons collection, which is now available to a retail clientele, is delicate and pretty, but striking nonetheless for its elaborate use of gemstones.



Midlands-based designer Lora Leedham – recently shortlisted for the Natwest everywoman awards for outstanding businesswomen – has created this simple yet striking set of Orb cufflinks. Fitted with swivel fittings, the cufflinks are made in 9 carat gold with oxidised detailing, and retail at £125.



Designer label Made by Eugene, which specialises in what retailer and stockist Kabiri calls “sometimes difficult to understand” accessories, has produced an unusual new line in leather jewellery/bodywear. Brazilian designer Eugene Tsai, based in New York, has produced the pieces, pictured, to be worn in a variety of ways, as a keychain, belt or a necklace.






The Penelope Collection is an elegant 13piece set of rings, earring and necklaces inspired by the cocktail drinking ladies of the 1930's. The collection, from Cred jewellery, is made entirely from 18 carat Fairtrade white gold by designer Annabel Paynes. The gold, which is sourced from Oro Verde gold, is set with ethically sourced gemstones including rhodalite, sapphire and amethyst. Prices start at £320.

Fine jeweller Anna Hu has produced her latest Love Knot collection “for all those in love” this Valentine’s Day. Hu was inspired by the ancient Chinese legend, ‘The Red String of Fate’, a story in which a marriage arranger tied invisible red thread around the ankles of men and women destined to be soul mates. Using entwined curves to emulate this ‘magical’ cord, Hu has produced a series of gem-set pieces in 18 carat white gold. Pictured, a ruby-set ring featuring 41 stones, priced at £2,350.





Award-winning designer Katie Rowland recently unveiled a new series of limited edition gold and black rhodium knuckledusters – not the most subtle of jewellery choices, but interesting enough to attract fans of quirky and collectible pieces. Retail prices are from £140 each.


Italian designer Alessandro Baldieri has just launched his first series of watch collections to the UK market, and his newly-appointed distributors - Since 1853 – say interest has been strong. Baldieri’s latest End of Time collection, comprising three models, is one of those now available to UK retailers; each timepiece features an oversized dial, digital movement and a black matt case with pushers. The watches are finished with a black canvas strap with a butterfly buckle. Retail prices start at £200.

Swiss watchmaker Paul Picot’s latest model, the Gentleman Arc-en-ciel, has been designed to adhere to the colours of the rainbow – the name itself means rainbow in French. The watch displays each day of the week in a wide arched opening at 10 o’clock, with each day represented by a different colour of the rainbow. It has a self-winding movement and comes with either a black or silver dial. The watch features a high grade steel case, and is available in a black or silver with a crocodile strap.



Horus has released a new watch model, Fisico, which it has designed in honour of Giancarlo Fisichella, the Italian Formula 1 driver and the brand’s latest ambassador. The timepiece is a limited edition of just eight pieces, made in black gold and titanium with self-winding chronograph movements, and has been modelled on the workings of a racing car. It features a stop start system, controlled by a single button – like an F1 car – and has a strap made from black rubber, reminiscent of a car tyre.



Already active in the Asia and the US, Italian brand Vabene is set to launch in the UK this Spring, bringing with it a number of its latest watch models (pictured). The high fashion collection has fans in several celebrities, including Madonna and Elton John. Retail prices start at £110.



Prism Design has released its latest range of wedding rings, called the Contour collection. The extensive range of 150 shaped rings can be adapted in design and diamond set, and are available in gold, platinum and palladium. The company also offers a bespoke service.



Fashion watch brand ICE-Watch has released a new collection for Valentine’s Day, called LOVE ICE-Watches. In keeping with the brand’s signature style of bright, vibrant colours, the new range comes in a series of colours: Ice White, Hot Pink, Sultry Red, and Dangerous Black, all with a heart motif on the face and bezel. Chunky, and available with unisex 43mm and small 38mm dials, the new models have silicon straps and prices start at around £65 retail.



Pearl specialist Coleman Douglas’s Madame Butterfly collection brings together themes of vintage glamour and romance, with its use of diamonds, pearls and brazilianite. The pieces in the collection have been inspired, says the company, by the 1932 movie Madame Butterfly; the film of Puccini’s famous opera “captures the elegance and romance of the story”, combining an Asian love story with vintage Hollywood style.



Bella Class is the latest addition to the GC range of Sport Chic watches. The case design, with its clean round bezel and multi-layered case frame with four decorative screws, gives the watch a distinctive, softly-curved silhouette, which is complemented well by the urban feel of the smooth steel link bracelet. The watch comes in three different models and sizes: the feminine Mini Lady with a diameter of 29 mm, the multi-function Lady in 33 mm and the sporty three-counter chronograph in 36.5 mm.



London-based jeweller Kirt Holmes has produced an eye-catching new range of ‘beadedlook’ cuff bracelets as part of her Spring/Summer collection. The bracelets, including the oversized version pictured, are made with sand opal Swarovski crystal and oyster pearls. The designer’s work regularly appears in high fashion magazines, including Vogue and Harpers & Queen, and her jewellery attracts a number of high profile clients including US actresses Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson. L


The limited edition 2012 Fortis Spaceleader by Volkswagen is an award-winning chronograph, due to be showcased by Fortis at this year’s upcoming BaselWorld exhibition. The model features an automatic movement with 25 jewels, a high grade steel 43mm case with pusher protection and a screwdown steel caseback and comes with a rubber strap with a folding clasp.

Mayfair-based jewellery firm Jooal, known for its rare coloured gemstone designs, has produced this unusual diamond pendant – based on the Sanskrit letters of alphabet – to support the international literacy charity Pratham. The pendant marks a new campaign for the charity, Right to Read, which aims to bring literacy to India, and is the first collaboration of its kind for Pratham. Proceeds from the sale of each personalised Signature pendant, which features an initial letter and retails for £360, will help fund children’s educational projects. A limited edition ruby and diamond version, which retails at between £2,000 and £5,000 is also available.




So Jewellery has released six new designs as part of its popular So Male collection. The new additions bring the total collection to 12 designs, which are intended to have a modern look but with timeless appeal. Made from silver with an anti-tarnish finish to promote high shine, some models are simply silver while others are set with mother-of-pearl or onyx to add colour and contrast. Priced at £65.

| Feature

LJE goes to Munich The BJA’s London Jewellery Exports is returning this year to Inhorgenta. The Association’s Lindsey Straughton, who masterminded the project, looks at who will be participating and the eclectic mix of products they will be offering. his month, the British Jewellers’ Association will once again be taking a group of eight talented London designers to the Munich jewellery exhibition Inhorgenta, which will be held from the 19th to the 22nd February in the city’s Messe München International. Attending Inhorgenta provided a huge boost to the companies that exhibited on the ‘London Jewellery Exports’ stand last year, so much so that, despite the local government funding for the project now having come to a close, the BJA has decided to support a further group this year as part of a five year marketing plan. To me, the London Jewellery Exports stand in Design Hall C not only provides a much-needed leg up onto the world stage for those taking part, but is also a way to publicise which,


under the terms of the original project, the Association is contracted to host and promote until 2013.

Showcase for talent The website offers a showcase to over 100 of the capital city’s jewellery designers, and is a great place for shops and galleries from around the world to explore the vibrant London contemporary jewellery scene and to source potential new suppliers. It also provides a unique and invaluable source of information for the designers themselves, carrying, as it does, many testimonials and show reports from those who have had funding from the project to either visit, or to participate in, overseas trade events.

Valuable resource There is nothing like hearing information straight from the horse’s mouth, and our website gives young companies access to reports from other young companies about how a particular show worked for them. There is no hype, no PR, just a straightforward telling it as it is and this can be really useful in trying to judge whether or not a particular event or a market will be right for you.

Funding available Nor is the information on the website purely historical. The BJA still has funding to support London designer-makers wishing to visit overseas markets/trade fairs for research purposes and can provide up to £200 per trip to eligible participants, providing they are prepared to post their own ‘no-holds-barred’ report onto the website when they return. To find out more about London Jewellery Exports, please contact Lindsey Straughton at the BJA on 0121 237 1112 or visit

London designers at Munich this year Linnie McLarty (left) Linnie McLarty’s silver brooches feature the designer’s own ‘poppi’ fastening method, which does not require pins. The silver bangle pictured comes from her ‘linguini’ range of rings and bangles. RRPs for the brooches, which are from the Small Pleasures Collection, range from £150-£210 while the bangles cost from £275-£330. Tomasz Donocik (right) “Phoenix” is part of Tamasz’s latest fourpiece ring collection. Based around the elements, each ring takes the form of a mythical creature: this one, for example, is the bird of fire. Created in 18ct white and rose gold, it has a central stone of garnet spessartite with pavé-set brown, yellow and

32 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

white brilliant-cut diamonds and ruby eyes. RRP approx £20,000.

| Feature Eastern Mystic (below) Faceted labradorite and apatite are combined to great effect with 24ct gold vermeil in these hand-made Jahanara Kumari earrings, by Eastern Magic. Part of the company’s ‘Malika Collection’, they retail at £150.

Alexandra Simpson (above) These pretty 18ct gold and diamond rings, which move effortlessly from day into evening, are from the Inspired Flower collection by Alexandra Simpson. Entitled Morning Dew (pictured) and Mesmerize, both have a RRP of £1,200.

Rowan Davis (below) This vaulted arch ring in18ct white gold, which is set with amethyst and diamonds, is one of the key pieces from Rowan Davis’s Dark Romance Collection, which is inspired by the architecture and mystery of years gone by. The RRP is £2,500.

Ute Decker (above) 100 per cent recycled silver has been used to create this striking Möbius arm sculpture in which the designer collaborated with the metal sculptor, Benjamin Strorch. The piece, which is approximately 14 x 16 x 6 cm, has anticlastic curvature and a lightly hammered texture. The RRP is £1,200. William Cheshire (right) These earrings in 18ct white gold, pavé-set with approximately .60ct of diamonds and finished with a cascade of 18ct white gold chain, are part of the Burlesque collection by William Cheshire. Other pieces include a necklace and ring. The RRP for the earrings is £3,500.

34 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

Rachel Galley (below) A bestseller from Rachel Galley, these silver Allegro bangles each feature hidden silver beads that move around to make a wonderful musical sound when worn. They are available in internal dimensions to fit all wrists. The RRPs are £225 (large) and £150 (skinny).

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| Feature


Jeweller Brand Profile Seiko

Kirsten Crisford, UK marketing manager of iconic Japanese watch brand Seiko, tells Jo Young about the brand’s plans for growth and product development across Europe and the UK. product development. Irrespective of price, we will only market products that are both innovative and refined; I would offer you the example of the Kinetic Perpetual as the watch that best expresses these ideas. The Ananta collection is yet another step towards our growth as a high end watch brand in the European markets. JY: What has been the reaction so far to this year’s Ananta collection? Where has it been best received? KC: Ananta was the first global high end watch launch for Seiko, and was coordinated for September 2009, so it is still early to accurately gauge customer reaction. However, as a long awaited collection in Europe, these markets particularly have had Jo Young: The Ananta collection was quite a new direction for Seiko, as least as far as the UK perception is concerned. Can you explain what the thinking was behind this new collection? Kirsten Crisford: Ananta may be a new direction for Seiko in the UK and Europe, but it is not for Seiko globally. It is the highgrade watches that are the engine of growth for Seiko. The domestic market of Japan has always led the way for us in this, with sales of expensive lines like Credor and Grand Seiko increasing all the time. We are often

36 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

asked when these high grade mechanical watches will be made available to the rest of the world, and so this launch is as much a response to our customers’ requests as it is part of our strategy for the brand. JY: So is the launch of these ‘high grade’ models in Europe indicative of where Seiko is going as a brand overall? KC: It is where we have been moving the brand for several years, through our innovation and refinement strategy. We work to this in everything that we do, most especially in

the most media interest around the launch. The watches have obviously not disappointed, if we are to go by the positive press reviews that Ananta has received. Overall we are delighted with the response from the watch community worldwide and we could not have wanted more from this new collection. JY: What does the company feel its brand position is in the UK market – how does Seiko feel it is perceived here? KC: Seiko has changed in the past few years. On the international market, Seiko was very successful in the 1980s and 1990s as the leading middle price range watch brand, and that is how most consumers in the UK and Europe see us today. With the arrival of so many brands in this segment in recent years, and with the complete democratisation of quartz technology, we decided a few years ago to focus the Seiko brand on a single idea, which we call ‘Innovation and Refinement’. This strategy has been in place for several years now and the public have accepted the new Seiko, with more distinctive products, more unique technologies (notably kinetic) and a more up-scale positioning. This is something that we are continually trying to improve upon.

Seiko’s Ananta Collection Ananta, which was launched by Seiko at BaselWorld in 2009, marked a significant shift for the company, at least as far as its European and UK watch market profile is concerned. While it has long been perceived in its domestic market as a high end, luxury brand, Seiko is still considered to be very much a mid-market player outside Japan. Ananta is a ‘landmark’ collection that Seiko hopes is set to change that: it is the first Elite collection the company has designed for the global luxury market, and the first to be marketed both internationally and in Japan. It includes two calibres, features Seiko’s Spring Drive, and is the first to showcase the watchmaker’s high-grade mechanical watchmaking skill.

JY: So, it’s fair to say that the company is looking to change the consumer perception of the brand in the UK: why and how? KC: Our strategy has already proven itself successful, and the principles on which we will run the business have helped us to make inroads in changing the UK customer perception already, and this will continue. In the past we were seen as a mid-level watch producer. Our intention is to change this image to high end. Our history is one of innovation and we want make sure that customers worldwide know this – Ananta is another big step towards doing this. Our plan is for Ananta to enhance the Seiko line and help us reach a major position in the European market. JY: How big a risk do you feel it is to take the brand ‘upmarket’ and increasing the price positioning, particularly in the current financial climate? KC: We have been slowly moving the brand ‘upmarket’ over the past few years with our Elite collection, and we are now confident

The Ananta collection has been inspired by the ancient Japanese art of swordmaking. First developed more than 800 years ago, the Katana is a single-sided, curved blade sword designed to be pulled from its scabbard and used in a single motion. The Katana sword is legendarily sharp, thanks to its use of a unique kind of steel and the specific forging process that has been used over the centuries.


The Ananta watch, for its part, has taken on the themes of precision, artistry, parabolic curves and sharpness used in Katana swordmaking. The side of the watch case has a distinctive ‘Katana’ curve to it, and a three stage ‘blade’ polishing process has been used on the case to give it a smooth and flat mirror finish, similar to that of the Katana sword. The curve seen in the case has been made possible through crafting the case back and lugs from a single piece of steel.

The Voice of the Industry 37

| Feature that the time is right to expand our offering in this growing segment. With Ananta, we are providing three mechanical movements, two of which are entirely new, and the third, a mechanical chronograph is also a recent creation. This range of watches in the Ananta collection offer outstanding performance and value. The chronograph, for example, has a column wheel, a vertical clutch and other innovations like a one piece hammer in the re-set mechanism that will ensure high performance over a long period. These watches have everything it takes to succeed and we believe that watch aficionados understand this and will be delighted with them. The watch industry is very resilient and its tradition is a powerful and positive influence on its stability, even at times of economic difficulty. We feel that watch lovers will remain watch lovers, even in tough times, and that demand will grow again very soon, especially in Europe, which is still the heart of the global watch business. JY: How does the Seiko brand perception differ in Japan to the rest of the world, particularly Europe? KC: In Japan, Seiko’s high end timepieces, notably Grand Seiko and Credor, define the brand, whereas in Europe these collections are known only by watch collectors and aficionados and Seiko is, today, known here for more mid-market products. We aim to close this ‘image gap’ with Ananta and other collections in the future. We are doing this not because we are obsessed with a globalised image, but because collectors, retailers and watch fans are asking us to do so. And, over the past five or so years, we have brought to Europe many watches at the same price level as Ananta, and they have been successful. I am thinking of the Sportura Kinetic Chronograph, for example, and of course the Spring Drive models we launched in 2007. We think the time is now right for an accessible luxury collection from Seiko, and that’s why Ananta was created. JY: Do you feel that Europeans prefer, as perhaps an automatic choice, Swiss watch brands? KC: As the Swiss watch brands have such a fantastic reputation, particularly for automatic watches, it would be surprising if customers

38 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

didn’t initially think of them. This has been our challenge within the European market, and will continue to be our challenge as we strive to inform customers of the quality craftsmanship and value of the watches that we produce.

“On the international market, Seiko was very successful in the 1980s and 1990s as the leading middle price range watch brand, and that is how most consumers in the UK and Europe see us today.”

JY: So would you say that it is difficult for a non-European brand, even one with the high standing of Seiko, to overcome the dominance of the Swiss brands within Europe? KC: Yes. It would be strange indeed if the excellence of the Swiss watch industry did not create something of an obstacle to Seiko in the accessible luxury sector. In fact, we are not trying to overcome the dominance of the Swiss brands within Europe. Our position and our aspirations are more modest! We believe that with products like Ananta and the calibres like the 8R mechanical chronograph, and Spring Drive, we have a contribution to make to the accessible luxury market in Europe, just as we already do in Japan. We are not targeting any Swiss brand nor aiming to take massive market share;


Feature | In addition, as your readers may know from previous news items, we have just started a year of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the quartz watch: the Seiko Quartz Astron, the world’s first quartz watch, was launched on Christmas Day in 1969. We are marking this landmark in a variety of ways, starting with a design exhibition that took place in Tokyo in mid-December, and in Basel, we will unveil a very interesting new quartz watch that brings the Astron concept into its fifth decade… JY: What trends – in terms of metals, styles etc – do you forsee in the next 1218 months? KC: I think everyone in the watch industry has already experienced a shift in the market over the past 18 months. In 2007, the emblematic watches of the moment were extravagant pieces, often with complex movements and ornate designs. Today there is a new conservatism in consumers’ watch tastes. They are choosing more sober designs and, inevitably, are more quality and value-conscious. We believe that this trend towards conservatism and sobriety, longevity and value will characterise the market for the next several years. JY: Which customers, if any, do you feel Seiko is currently underselling to, and who would you like to appeal more to as buyers? KC: Our experience and strength resides within making high quality beautifully designed men’s watches. As a result of this, and the fact that men dominate the consumer market in price range which we operate, we have focused our energy on meeting the needs of this segment. we just want watch lovers to see Seiko as an interesting alternative to established players. JY: What new directions, in terms of product, is Seiko undertaking in 2010? KC: Come to Basel and we will show you! As every year, Basel is the occasion on which Seiko presents its new collection and, for 2010, we will show many important new developments, including a new calibre in Ananta, new designs in all the Elite collections and a fascinating new quartz watch with a radical design.

“It is the high-grade watches that are the engine of growth for Seiko.”

The Voice of the Industry 41


| Feature of them slightly differently. Europe is the most important market for the future development of the brand, because it is here in Europe that brand images are cemented in our industry. We think it’s true to say that if you succeed in Europe, you can succeed everywhere, and this is why Europe is, and always will be, a critical market for Seiko. In sales terms, the American market is massive for us, and we will always prioritise the US, as it accounts for the highest proportion of our sales. In terms of future potential, China and south east Asia are, of course, vital. We should add also that we have just established new companies in Moscow, Russia and Bangalore, India and we are looking forward to important growth from these emerging markets as well. JY: Has the company’s plans or expectations for 2010 been altered

in response to the financial crisis or do you remain as optimistic as pre-2008? KC: Yes and no. We have strengthened the Seiko collection in the medium price range, as our retail customers have asked us to do, but we have not in any way changed our policy of ‘Innovation and Refinement’. The new products that we are introducing are within the existing price range of Seiko, and offer the kind of exceptional value that today’s consumer demands. We think that the effect of the current economic climate will be to heighten consumer’s attraction to products that offer real, lasting value. As this is, and always has been, a big part of the DNA of Seiko, we believe that Seiko will I continue to prosper.

“We feel that watch lovers will remain watch lovers, even in tough times, and that demand will grow again very soon, especially in Europe, which is still the heart of the global watch business.” While our female collection has been very successful as it is, we feel that it is a growing section of the market that we could improve on. More women are starting to buy luxury time pieces such as Seiko, and we would like to appeal to these new customers. JY: Which is the most important market for Seiko – Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East? Is there any one market that you are particularly pursuing at present or plan to in the future? KC: Seiko is sold in over 100 countries worldwide and our customers in every market are important to us. However, the different regions of the world do present different profiles and we do approach each

42 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

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The recession is showing no signs of causing a slowdown bridal jewellery spending, says Amy Gregson – and white metals are set to be this year’s big sales story.

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reparations for the new decade’s first wedding season are in full flow, but what are customers looking for in 2010? The last few years have seen a return to the ‘good life’ of growing our own vegetables, making jam from windfall and baking cakes rather than dashing to the nearest supermarket shelf; will the jewellery industry go the same way, with an upsurge in sales of plain yellow gold bands and single, small diamonds? To be honest, it looks like the answer is a resounding “no”. White metals are set to be this season’s big success story, with designers and retailers across the board seeing an increase in demand for both platinum and


44 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

palladium, as Amber Saunders from Brown & Newirth explains. “We’re still seeing a definite preference for white metal over yellow at the moment, and it’s been this way for the past five years. They have been saying that yellow gold will be making a comeback in the UK, but I can’t see that happening for a few years yet.” Hers is a sentiment echoed by Antoinette Corbishley, senior designer for HK Jewellery. “Definitely, white metal is the colour of choice at the moment, specifically platinum; yellow gold is, I think, seen as a more traditional metal colour, and is not as popular.”

The increased popularity of palladium is due in no small part to the introduction of its new hallmark, which became compulsory on 1st January this year. The hallmark has increased customer confidence in the metal and many companies are finding that couples are opting for palladium as an alternative to white gold. “Palladium has been a phenomenal success for us,” says Amber Saunders. “And this was the case even before the introduction of the palladium hallmark – the hallmark has only helped those few retail sceptics who weren’t sure about taking the metal on a few years ago when we launched it. Palladium has

Feature | certainly affected our 9ct white gold sales, but that is exactly what we wanted to happen as we introduced palladium as an up-sell from 9ct white gold.” White gold is still holding its own against palladium with some retailers though, as Antoinette Corbishley was keen to point out. “White gold is still very popular. Our customers like the fact that we give the natural warmer colour of non rhodium-plated white gold as an option. As most high street jewellers automatically rhodium plate their white gold, many people looking to buy don’t even realise they have a choice, and love the fact they can have varying shades of white to match their skin tone, or the colour of stones they are having set. Budget will always have a part to play in metal choice, so 9ct white gold is a great option for customers working to a smaller budget and is still very much in demand.” Despite its premium price point, platinum is still doing big business in the wedding market too, as Andrew Sollitt, marketing director of Domino explains. “We believe that in the bridal market, above all others, consumers are looking for quality and that, once they have set their hearts on platinum, they won’t, despite the relatively high price, settle for anything else. In some gent’s designs we have seen an increasing demand for palladium, but this is still a relatively small percentage when compared with 18ct gold and platinum.” According to Pip Beale from Charles Green, the high price of gold in the current market Brown & Newirth

has also led to an increase in platinum sales. “We find that customers will often upgrade to platinum from gold, as the step up in price is not as high as people expect.” Corbishley agrees that platinum has the allure to overcome people’s potential monetary concerns. “In spite of the recession, platinum is by far the most popular metal chosen by our bespoke engagement and wedding rings customers. I think the combination of its steely blue white colour, its durability and ease of care (not having to be re-rhodium plated), as well as its weight and the sheer perception of it being the most luxurious of the precious metals, contributes to its enduring appeal, and it is the most metal requested.” Amber Saunders places the popularity of platinum down not just to market forces but the allure of the celebrity world too. “Platinum is still by far the ultimate metal of choice, even in the current climate and if people can afford it, they will choose to buy

“We find that customers will often upgrade to platinum from gold, as the step up in price is not as high as people expect.”

Pip Beale, Charles Green

platinum. It still has the kudos of celebrities wearing platinum jewellery and, due to publicity and, of course, the knowledge the internet provides, consumers regard it as the best. Those whose budget can’t stretch to a pair of platinum wedding rings will often buy a platinum wedding ring for the bride and the guy will choose palladium instead.” PH Wedding Rings

The fashion industry is also at the heart of what many designers are offering, with many taking inspiration from the catwalks and the pages of the fashion magazines as well as listening to the most important part of the equation, the consumer. This is an approach which has served HK Jewellery well, according to Antoinette Corbishley. “We research a lot about what colours will be in fashion for the next couple of seasons, be this through trade predictions and shows, as well as fashion articles. We also collect information every month on what customers have been asking for and expressing an interest in. If there is a consistent demand for something we will obviously do our best to fulfil that demand, and design items for our ‘ready to wear’ collections in accordance with what customers want.” This approach is also taken by W&W Jewellery. “We are confident enough to put our own designs out there, but not foolish enough to ignore our clients!” says Dickie Wallender. “Fashion glossies are planned three to four months ahead so are always useful – we try to look at everything from Vogue to The Evening Standard Magazine.” The trade shows also play a large part in helping designers anticipate trends, as do other areas of the industry. As B&N’s Saunders explains, “Predicting trends is

The Voice of the Industry 45






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Feature | decided by a mixture of visiting trade shows, feedback from our sales representatives and our retailers and also looking at the watch houses. They spend a huge amount of their budget researching the market to see what is the next new colour trend, and that provides a very good indication of what direction jewellery buying will take too.” With inspiration for new designs coming from across a wide range of areas, will be there be a change in the type of rings sold for weddings? The traditional wedding band is still very popular, but sales of gem-set rings are also coming through strongly. “We’re selling more gem-set rings, especially with small diamonds, but the most of our trade is still plain,” says Peter Green of Baird & Co. It’s a sentiment echoed by Amber Saunders. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of diamond set wedding rings for gents, and the market doesn’t look like it’s slowing down either.” It isn’t just the grooms that are getting in on the gem-set ring action, though. “We have seen an increasing demand for diamond-set wedding bands in the past two or three years, as brides begin to demand more than simply a plain band,” reports Domino’s Andrew Sollitt. So while white diamonds are still a girl’s (or boy’s) best friend, the use of coloured diamonds is still taking its time to filter through to the wedding market, unlike other coloured stones, which have got a firm foothold in engagement ring design. “More and more of W&W Jewellery’s engagement ring commissions have

Charles Green

“Watch houses spend a huge amount of their budget researching the market to see what is the next new colour trend, and that provides a very good indication of what direction jewellery buying will take too.”

Amber Saunders, B&N

incorporated alternative coloured stones, such as tourmalines and sapphires,” explains co-founder Dickie Wallender. “The strength of the market for coloured diamonds in 2007 seems to have slipped away, but a lovely coloured diamond sill remains valuable.” Consumers are also becoming more adventurous with the settings of engagement rings. While the classic, round brilliant Tiffany setting is still a very big seller, more unusual settings are gaining popularity. “Cushioncut and oval diamonds have been really popular at W&W,” continues Wallender, “but the classic brilliant-cut single stone and three stone designs, done well, are very important to our engagement ring market. In design terms, shoulder settings have progressed and 2009 was all about split pavé shoulders and bezel settings.” Andrew Sollitt at Domino concurs. “Classic designs remain popular, but we are also experiencing strong demand for slightly more avant garde and cutting edge lifestyle designs. Rub over settings are particularly popular, as are diamond accents around ornate multi-claw settings. Extra sparkle is definitely desirable and diamond-set shoulders are becoming an established look.” H&K Jewellery has found that its customers are often choosing a twist on an old favourite, as Antoinette Corbishley explains. “The brilliant cut is the most requested stone shape by our customers, but not necessarily in a traditional Tiffany style setting. Twists and asymmetrical style shanks have been very popular, as

The Voice of the Industry 47


| Feature

Brown & Newirth

have split shoulder shanks. The more traditional style of shank is still a favourite, but the majority of our customers like to add a slightly modern or meaningful twist to it, be it through adding birthstones into the shoulders, engraving or a slightly different setting. Smooth, more contemporary rub over settings are very popular, followed by the four claw, which frequently we turn ‘on point’ to make the stone look more like a diamond shape, and give it a slightly different look.” The legal recognition of civil partnerships in 2005 has also had an impact on both the sales and trends of wedding jewellery. The average spend on rings per couple appears to be higher, due in no small part to the majority of couples having higher disposable income and few of them having children to take into account. “Spend on civil ceremony

W&W Jewellery

48 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

rings is often higher than for heterosexual weddings and they tend to buy platinum rather than yellow metals,” says Peter Green from Baird & Co. It’s a common theme among designers and retailers, agrees Amber Saunders. “We’ve seen a huge rise in the number of same sex partnership rings being ordered since the civil ceremony was officially recognised a few years ago. With dual incomes and often no children to support, civil ceremonies are an important revenue stream for retailers. The spend on commitment rings can often be

or wedding bands, others have been more dramatic with a central stone like an engagement ring. A lot depends on the couple’s lifestyle and how practical the rings need to be, as well, of course, as their design taste, just like any ring design. Being a bespoke jewellery company, most of the people who come to us are after something a little different; that doesn’t mean they want wild and wacky, just something unique to them which they can put their own personal stamp on, and know there isn’t another in the world exactly like it.”

Coloured diamonds are still taking their time to filter through to the wedding market, unlike other coloured stones, which have got a firm foothold in engagement ring design. very much in excess of the usual heterosexual couple’s budget for wedding rings.” Diamond-set rings do tend to be more popular for civil partnerships, but, as with heterosexual wedding rings, there are no hard and fast rules regarding designs and spend. “Some couples like to have matching rings, others completely different, but most will have complementary design elements but not exactly the same ring,” says Antoinette Corbishley. “We have designed rings that are low profile, similar to eternity

Of course, this isn’t the case in all situations, and there is still a market for the more traditional plain band, though it does tend to be in platinum or palladium rather than yellow gold. Gifts for the bridal party, such as bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, best man and ushers is a growing market too, though understandably these gifts are at a much lower price point and are very often purchased in silver. Earrings or bracelets are popular as gifts for female


| Feature members of the party, with cufflinks still taking top spot for the guys, as Andrew Sollitt from Domino explains. “Weddings undoubtedly offer ‘add on’ sales opportunities for retailers and we have a broad selection of pendant and earring designs that have been specifically created to mix and match with our wedding and engagement ring designs.” As Amber Saunders points out, buying jewellery for the wedding party is often not a major priority for the happy couple. “Gifts for the bridal party have always been a part of the wedding budget, but more and more, this seems to be a token gift rather than something of particularly high value. Weddings themselves are extremely expensive and by the time bridesmaids’ outfits and ushers suits’ have paid for, there isn’t a great deal left in the pot for gifts!”

“As most high street jewellers automatically rhodium plate their white gold, many people looking to buy don’t even realise they have a choice.”

W&W Jewellery

Given the tumultuous time the economy has been having recently, it would seem only natural that there would be an effect on the wedding market, but it would seem that many people are still determined to make their big day as special as they possibly can, as Lee Ruben from Gemex has observed. “Due to the ever-growing popularity of diamond-set rings, we feel that many engaged couples would rather buy a high-quality, diamond-set band, which the bride will wear as her engagement ring as well as her wedding ring. Couples are, in a way, saving money as they are making only one high quality purchase as opposed to two purchases and perhaps settling for mediocre quality diamonds.” Knowing the upcoming trends in the wedding market is all well and good, but as the marriage rate in the UK is still low, what can retailers do to ensure they get their share of a reduced consumer base?

50 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

Antoinette Corbishley, HK Jewellery

Antoinette Corbishley feels that practicality plays a large role in successful bridal buying, especially for pieces other than the wedding ring. “Think of versatility: can the piece be worn with several different outfits after the big day? Have a wide range of colours to suit lots of different colour schemes. Also, most brides want their dress to be the main focus, and the necklace, earrings or tiara is there to enhance it not overpower it, so go for subtle but elegant pieces. Things that catch the light and have a little sparkle always seem popular.” Amber Saunders’ advice is more basic. “Don’t sell off your stock samples! We see time and again that, among our customers,

Charles Green


| Feature

5C Jewelry

those who generate the most business are those who keep their stock samples up to date and if they do happen to sell a sample from their window, they replace it. Once a sample has been sold from the window, if you don’t have it to show people again, you’re never going to sell it.” It also can pay to be cautious in these straitened times, according to Gary Sinclair of PH Wedding rings, “Retailers are understandably nervous about introducing a large varied wedding rings range. The advice is, PH Wedding Rings

52 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

“They have been saying that yellow gold will be making a comeback in the UK, but I can’t see that happening for a few years yet.”

Amber Saunders, B&N keep the range conservative, with safe bets on the best-selling designs.” Of course, there’s two sides to every story. Gert-Jan Beukenkamp from 5C Jewelry believes that retailers can afford to be a little more daring with their stock, provided there’s basis for their choices. “Listen carefully to what brides want and are looking for, and communicate this to your manufacturer. The retailer knows best what the consumer wants, and needs to work together with the manufacturer to create the right designs. Try to include some customised special items in the store’s wedding range that is not found elsewhere.” Andrew Sollitt from Domino agrees that there’s definitely a place for innovative design

with wedding jewellery. “When it comes to wedding jewellery, you simply can’t let your customers down and my advice would be to go for a supplier with a proven track record for quality and service. You also need product that is a little bit different and which offers great quality and design.” Jewellery bought for weddings, whether traditional church service or civil ceremony, is always going to come with a higher than normal emotional involvement from consumers when compared with ‘day to day’ purchases. The good news seems to be that customers are more savvy about requesting exactly what they want and, more importantly, are willing to pay for everything to be just perfect. Congratulations!


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Antique JEWELLERY Netsukes Netsukes represent, argues Jo Young, all that is wonderful about Japanese culture and its uniquely artistic blending of form and function. Here she gives a brief explanation of their history.

e in this industry are often keen to argue that jewellery is, unlike other commodities sold on the high street, very much a type of art, and never is this more demonstrably the case than with jewellery and adornment pieces made in Japan. In jewellery and in sculpture as well as within the everyday, Japanese people tend, arguably more so than any other nation, to place great importance on the aesthetic appearance of objects. Functionality, elegance,


54 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

beauty and simplicity are all given equal weighting in the design of all things, whether you’re talking about a pearl necklace, a carefully tended bonsai tree or even a satisfyingly well-balanced bento box complete with origami-folded napkin in a fast food restaurant. This blurring of the ‘boundaries’ between the aesthetic and the functional is a centuries old tradition in Japan, and is one of the many things that makes Japanese culture so

fascinating to enthusiasts like myself from the Western world. It is no coincidence, for example, that it is from Japan that we get the rigid yet strangely beautiful ‘dance’ of the tea ceremony, or the doll-like silhouette of the kimono-clad geisha. For me, and for many thousands of collectors and enthusiasts, netsukes demonstrate, in microcosm, the fascinating and entirely different way in which Japanese artisans approach the business of making jewellery, accessories and adornment. No matter that these are items designed for practical use: they are nonetheless art and must be delivered to the most exacting and beautiful standards of artistic endeavour in a wholly aesthetically uncompromising way. Their purpose might well be ‘just’ to act as a toggle on someone’s purse, but these are going to be the best toggles you’ve ever seen, you might say. Essentially, netsukes are miniature sculptures, which were first invented in Japan in the seventeeth century. They came about in response to a very practical need; at that time, people wore traditional clothing, kosode and kimono, neither of which were fitted with anything quite so gauche as pockets. To overcome the problem of where to store their money, seals and tobacco, folk wore sagemono. Some of these were very simple pouches or made from woven material, but the most fashionable were inro, which were designed like rigid purses or wallets, often lacquered and highly decorated. These were attached to the clothing by the obi (the sashes), and were held shut by sliding beads called ojimes. The fastener at the top of the cord holding the ojime was a carved button or toggle – the netsuke. Though these ‘toggles’, for lack of a better word, started out from an entirely practical, purposeful place, they evolved – as is so often the way with fashion – into something

Antique Jewellery | fashion, art and appearance, and netsuke production thrived as folk clamoured for evermore elaborate and beautiful purses, clothing and decorative pieces for their homes.

Types of netsuke

far more elaborate and decorative. Netsuke carvers strived to provide the best and most exquisitely-carved netsukes they could, to meet the increasingly exacting demands of their wealthiest clients and, over time, they became objects of enormous craftsmanship.

The Edo Period In terms of the production of netsukes, the busiest and most active time for craftsmen was the Edo Period, from around 16151868. A large number of the best netsukes dates from this time, which was effectively the first flush of fashionability for the netsuke and associated paraphernalia. Also called the Tokugawa period, after the shogunate who ruled Japan for a full 256 years, it was a period of peace and stability for Japan, but one which came at the cost of somewhat repressive political rule. It was during this time that Japan, famously, cut itself off from the outside world, leaving only Nagasaki open as a port to commercial overseas traffic. Edo (today’s Tokyo) and Osaka were the economic cultural and political centres at this time, within which a new wealthy urban class emerged, with a fervent taste and enthusiasm for art, culture and entertainment. Art as a whole became less aristocratically focused, and art objects began depicting the activities and scenes familiar to the ‘common’ folk. Some have likened this Edo period to ‘Swinging’ London during the 1960s and early 1970s, but at over 250 years in length, this is perhaps somewhat derivative! In any case, the newly wealthy folks of Edo and Osaka became gradually more aware of

Naturally, a number of different types of netsuke were made over the centuries, fulfilling different criteria and depicting different types of objects. The most common form of netsuke is Katabori, or sculptural netsuke. These are mostly three dimensional shapes of around 5 centimetres in height, which tend to be carved to an overall round shape. Sashi netsuke (literally meaning ‘stab’ netsuke) are katabori made to an elongated form of around 12cm. Interestingly, these are generally a similar length to sticks and gourds used as improvised netsukes before the carved versions were invented. Obi-hasami netsuke are also elongated with curved ends, and were designed to be visible above and below the wearer’s obi.

Manju netsuke are thick and round, with carving usually done in relief, occasionally from two ivory halves. They are called Manju after a Japanese steamed cake of the same name, which is similar in shape. Mennetsuke or Mask netsuke is the largest category of netsuke after Katabori, which were made in miniaturised imitation of traditional Japanese noh masks. Anabori netsuke, or hollowed netsuke, are effectively a sub-set of Katabori, which are made by carving out to give a hollowed centre. These often take the form of clams or other shells. Ryusa are the same shape as manju netsuke, but are carved to allow light through them, while Kagamibuta (‘mirror-lid’) netsuke are similarly shaped but have a (often decorated) metal disc acting as a lid to a shallow bowl. Finally, karakuri netsuke (or trick) netsuke are those that feature hidden ‘tricks’ or surprises, which often have moving parts. They are particular favourites of collectors.

In terms of the production of netsukes, the busiest and most active time for craftsmen was the Edo Period.

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| Antique Jewellery

Materials As you can see from the examples shown here, many – roughly half, it is estimated – of the netsukes made were carved from ivory. Obviously the use of ivory is now illegal, and many find the collecting of ivory artefacts to be somewhat unsavoury, but nonetheless there is still a reasonably large appetite for antique ivory netsukes among art collectors. In fact, the range of materials used by netsuke carvers throughout the generations

was actually quite wide. Wood was used widely, notably boxwood and other hardwoods that were popularly used during the Edo period and continue to be used today. Fossilised wood, which has the appearance of ebony, was also used. Parts from a positively startling array of animals were historically commonly used in netsuke production. These included, among others, walrus tusk, rhino horn, hippo and shark’s tooth, boar tusk and hornbill ivory, whale tooth and bone, and yet more teeth,

from bears and even tigers. Happily for netsuke collectors of a sensitive disposition when it comes to zoological specimens, netsukes were often made from natural organic materials as well, including tagua nut (otherwise known as ivory palm), walnut, bamboo and the mineral agate. Metals were often used as accents – for example, in Kagamibuta netsuke – while other secondary or ‘accent’ materials were also commonly provided by lacquerwork or porcelain, commonly-used decorative arts that were in themselves used widely throughout the Japanese art world.

Netsuke subjects Netsuke carvers took as their inspiration figures from history and Japanese folk mythology, ethereal creatures and famous figures as well as the more mundane and everyday, including simple animal forms and images associated with everyday trades such as fishing or farming. Like most art, netsukes tended to reflect the nature of the society within which they were crafted; this was, of course, especially the case with netsuke produced during the Edo period, within which Japanese society was deliberately physically and therefore effectively culturally cut off from the rest of the world. In some ways, this is one of the reasons that netsukes are so uniquely Japanese, displaying every element of Japanese society and everyday life in, in a sense, isolation.

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Antique Jewellery | Netsuke dating from this period, and of course later, depict figures and images from Japanese religion, folklore and professional trades. Trades were often represented by people physically rendered in the act of working – fishing, for example. Animal images were, as you can see from the examples, widely used, with zodiac creatures especially popular. Highly-delicately carved plants and flowers are commonly found, as well as people famous or otherwise; the latter are often to be found depicted in sexual acts varying from the subtle to the positively athletic. As you might perhaps expect, these kinky little collectibles are particularly interesting and popular with netsuke afficionados.

Value and collectibility Naturally, the value and collectibility of these different types of netsuke depends very much upon its rarity and, of course, upon the quality of the carving used to produce it. Netsuke will lose value if they are less elaborately decorated and were less demanding on the skills of the carver.

Interestingly, the majority of netsuke collectors come from outside Japan. The market for netsukes today is highly developed, and most netsukes available for purchase tend to be bought from art dealers and auction houses – all the major UK auction houses have dealt in netsukes, with both Sotheby’s and Christie’s regularly holding Japanese art sales featuring netsukes. Interestingly, the majority of netsuke collectors come from outside Japan. Europeans were the first netsuke collectors, and today the majority of the best netsuke collections in the world are kept in museums as well as private hands in Europe and the US.

Netsuke production still goes on in Japan today, with wood and mammoth ivory used to make modern pieces.

However the art of netsuke carving is not lost. In Japan today the craft is still practised, and modern netsuke pieces can and do command impressively high prices among collectors around the world. Meanwhile, museums and galleries the world over produce their own reproductions in wood, plastic and other inexpensive materials – for many fans of this ancient and intriguing craft, these gift shop purchases are the closest we’ll ever get to the netsuke I collection of our dreams…

Whittaker’s World Life as an auctioneer – Stephen Whittaker, managing partner at Fellows & Sons, reports. So how was it for you? As we start another year faced with uncertainties at home and tragedies abroad, Christmas must seem a long time ago. The general consensus (once you separate the reality from the hype) is one of guarded relief; as one jeweller put it “It could have been better, but it could also have been a helluva lot worse!” So what about 2010? (By the way how are we supposed to ‘say’ 2010? Is it ‘two-oh-one-oh’ or ‘twenty ten’ or maybe, for the traditionalists, ‘two thousand and ten’? Answers on a postcard please!) As I look back over 2009, the one major discernible trend was the growing interest in watches – you only have to look at the amount of advertising space devoted to gentlemen’s watches in the weekend glossy magazines to see evidence of this. Our January watch auction saw 96 per cent of the lots sold, with over 70 per cent exceeding their top estimates – the ‘high flyers’ were vintage and military watches with bids coming in from 13 different countries. Over the centuries the jewellery trade has tended to focus on the aspirations of a mainly female clientele – the growing desire of many men to own a watch for every occasion may well open a new market for some and broaden the traditional appeal of jewellers to the ‘alpha male’, who otherwise may only view a shopping trip to the high street as a further opportunity to fill the ‘jewellery box’ of their boss… If you haven’t yet made a New Year’s resolution – leaving aside the normal ones about alcohol and cigarettes – why not resolve to divert some time and energy into watches? You may be pleasantly surprised! Stephen Whittaker is managing partner at Fellows & Sons, specialist valuers and auctioneers of jewellery, silver, watches and fine art based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. He can be contacted by email at: or by telephone on 0121 212 2131.

Netsukes today Netsukes have, as highly crafted objects made from valuable materials, pretty much always been collectible. Other than a brief falling out of fashion during the 1980s, when netsukes could be often picked up at flea markets for considerably less than their value, it is fair to say that these are items that have always and probably will always be prized and avidly collected.

Fellows & Sons

(Est. 1876)

Forthcoming Auctions

• Secondhand Jewellery & Watches – Thursday 4th and Thursday 18th February • Antique & Modern Jewellery – Thursday 25th February • Silver, Plated Ware, Coins & Medals – Monday 1st March • Costume & Silver Jewellery & Novelties – Monday 1st March A catalogue is available at or by post. Online bidding is available at For further information please call Heather Bailey on 0121 212 2131.

The Voice of the Industry 57

Feature |

Let the show commence! What’s on, what’s new and what’s happening at The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair in 2010. his year – rather like The Jeweller magazine itself – The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International is to get a revitalised, fresh new look for 2010, which organisers hope will give the show “a distinctive ambience and an aura of exclusivity, when exhibitors unveil thousands of new products and exciting trends”. Certainly, there is a lot happening at the show this outing: as well as launching its


first seminar programme, there will be a large number of product trails for visitors to follow, and, excitingly, dozens of new companies that have chosen Spring Fair to make their market debut. The Jewellery Show will this year play host to a huge number of exhibitors from around the UK as well as a significant number of exhibitors from around the globe, who continue to see the UK as a vital

market for growth. The Jewellery Show – in halls 17 and 18 at Birmingham’s NEC – will see top companies from around the world launching the finest collections of precious and semi-precious jewellery, gold and silver, as well as jewellery-related products, including tools and equipment, display, packaging and shopfitting items and services. Alongside an array of fashion jewellery and accessories firms – selling an eclectic range of items including bags, belts and scarves that will be shown in hall 19 – this will constitute the biggest jewellery offering at any UK event. There will, of course, be a central bar at the heart of halls 17 and 18, providing a vital networking and relaxation spot for visitors, wherein organisers will host a carefullyscheduled programme of early morning and late afternoon seminars. A ‘happy hour’ for jewellery buyers and exhibitors is also being planned. The layout of the show has been edited more clearly this year, say organisers, “to create a ‘buzzy’ area for the smaller stands. The entrances aisles have been widened, and across the centre of the hall, a wide, promenade-style aisle will feature open, spacious stands. Over 25 designer-makers will have their own area in the revitalised Design Quarter in hall 18, which will be indentified by its own special branding and look.” Organisers of Spring Fair appear to have taken on board some of the criticisms that have been levelled against The Jewellery Show in its debut year. “The new-look Jewellery Show at Spring Fair is all about focus and consolidation. We know from our research that there are over 15,000 buyers who have a primary or secondary interest in our jewellery offering. We intend to make their buying experience as easy and enjoyable as possible,” said show organiser Louise Young. “The Jewellery Show halls will be easier for buyers to navigate, Kleshna

The Voice of the Industry 59


| Feature giving them more time to spend with exhibitors who have products of interest.” Young stresses that exhibitors of fashion jewellery and accessories in hall 19 will also benefit: “No other UK show can offer these suppliers – and we have 250 of them – the same crossover sales opportunities as Spring Fair. They will not only see buyers who make fashion jewellery and accessories their destination, but also those from The Jewellery Show through traffic and the footfall of home and gift exhibitors, with whom they will be sharing the hall.” Returning Jewellery Show exhibitors will include Henig Diamonds, United Jewellery Trading, Abijou, Nomimation, Kleshna, Kristal Diamonds, Kestrel Manufacturing, H W Tankel, C L Edwards, Sea Gems, Balagan I and Design Gap.


Birmingham Assay to help kick off the show’s first seminar programme

New look’ Jeweller magazine brings NAG and BJA closer together

ichael Allchin, the chief executive and Assay Master at the Birmingham Assay Office, is to contribute to the first ever seminar programme at The Jewellery Show, presenting a lecture entitled The New Reality. His presentation was inspired by the changes experienced by the industry in recent months and years as a result of such major shifts as the economic downturn and the growth of multi-channel retailing. It aims to give visitors to the show an insight into the jewellery market of 2010 and beyond, and “help businesses put their company’s performance and future plans into context, and to flag up other issues that may affect the UK jewellery industry.” The free seminar, which should be a major draw, will take place at the Pandora Catwalk Café, at 2pm on Tuesday 9th February. The café is situated between Halls 17 and 18, at the heart of The Jewellery Show (see map on page 62 for details).



Fabergé-inspired Russian collection launches in the UK he St Petersburg-based jewellery company Alfa Jewel has produced a new range of miniature charms and pendants, inspired by the work of Carl Fabergé, which will be shown at Spring Fair by A Jewel Veronika. The wide range includes original designs produced by Fabergé himself, whose work is receiving renewed publicity following the announcement late last year that new jewellery was being produced by the Fabergé company – for the first time since the Russian Revolution of 1917. Alfa Jewel has reproduced jewellery miniatures of Carl Fabergé’s infamous eggs, which he made for the Russian royal family. Alfa’s versions are made from silver or gold, and decorated with gold, enamel, crystals and diamonds. The collection comprises around 500 different eggs, along with the recreation of 80 of Fabergé’s original egg designs from the nineteenth century. Hall 17, Stand L10


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pring Fair will see the launch of a brand new look for NAG’s industry magazine The Jeweller; a trade magazine which now enjoys the full support of the British Jewellers Association. They will contribute to the editorial content of the magazine, especially on manufacturing and design topics. This will help to broaden the scope and the appeal of The Jeweller, which has also undergone a design makeover to complement its new publishing schedule of 10 issues per year. In its new format the journal will be even closer to the market for both retailers and suppliers and as the mouthpiece of both the industry’s leading trade associations The Jeweller undeniably has become ‘The Voice of the Industry’. On Monday 8th February at 4pm, to celebrate the new launch of the new look Jeweller magazine, retailers and manufacturers alike are invited to enjoy a glass of champagne on the NAG stand to meet The Jeweller team and find out more about the new look magazine as well as about the NAG and the BJA. Hall 17, Stand Q40

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Norman Longstaff now exhibit as Abijou Jewellery orth-east based fashion accessories company Norman Longstaff has unveiled a new brand name, Abijou, ahead of the launch of its latest raft of products at The Jewellery Show. The company (which will be exhibiting as Abijou) is showcasing its Goyanni Swarovski crystal ring collection at the show. The collection, which comprises over 100 rings, will be shown alongside the company’s new Utopia collection of chunky, clasp and metalwork bracelets, and lots of beaded bracelet styles. Stand M34 Hall 19


Spring Fair 2010 useful information & hallplan • The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International will be held at NEC, Birmingham, 7th-11th February 2010. • The Jewellery Show has 350 exhibitors and pre-registrations are up by 12% on last year amongst buyers with a stated preference for purchasing jewellery. • Inside The Jewellery Show, the revamped Design Quarter will showcase unique products from over 25 leading designer-makers. • Halls 17 and 18 are now dedicated entirely to jewellery while fashion accessories have been moved to their own distinct area in Hall 19. • The NEC can be easily reached by road or rail, with the NEC served by Birmingham International. For full directions on getting to the

Kit Heath launches jewellery amnesty at Spring Fair ilver jewellery specialist Kit Heath has announced its first ever jewellery ‘amnesty’, in association with the charity Save the Children. The aim of the campaign, which the firm is calling the ‘Jewellery Box Spring Clean’, will launch at The Jewellery Show, and will see people donating any of their old silver jewellery, “such as broken chains, squashed rings, odd earrings, tarnished pieces, unworn styles and unwanted gifts”, to Save the Children. Donations can be made using donation packs available in Save the Children shops, participating Kit Heath stockists and on request from the Kit Heath websites. Once received, the silver will be sold for scrap and the money raised donated to the charity. As a reward for the donation, Kit Heath will be offering a discount code for purchases on its website and through participating stockists. Kit Heath will also design and produce a Save the Children bead to sit within its children’s collection launching later this year, and the opportunity to purchase in stores and online. The company will be donating £1 from every sale of the beads to Save the Children. Hall 18, Stand H39

show, buying tickets or for any other information you may need to plan your visit, contact the Spring Fair organisers via the website:


9 2 10

6 4


3 2 1 8 7


1 Volume, Gift & Home

Press Office

2 Kitchen, Dining & Housewares

Cook Live

3 Greetings & Stationery Art & Framing Spotlight on Contemporary Gifts

Seminar Theatre (Hall 3) Licence It! Fresh! New Product Display Gift of the Year Showhouse and garden and GA Retail Lounge

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4 Contemporary Gifts & Collectibles 5 Toys & Party Festive, Floral & Fireworks 6 Outdoor Living 6, 7+9 Gift & Home

The Pandora Catwalk Café The Jewellery Show Seasons Club Product Finding Points Seating Area Free Water Station

The Jewellery Show takes place at Spring Fair, from 7th-11th February 2010 at the NEC in Birmingham. See you there!


Seasons Club & International Lounge

Circle Line Bus Stops Fast Track Entrance – Badge holders Only

8 The Summerhouse 10 Totally tools/DIY/Secure 17+18 The Jewellery Show 19 Fashion Jewellery & Accessories 19+20 Wellbeing 20 Gift & Home Heritage & Souvenirs

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The Look Book

Artisan Life Artisan Life designs handmade jewellery and fashion accessories imported from South America. All its products are sourced on a fair trade basis, using natural and sustainable materials. At The Jewellery Show the company will be launching a new modern-looking range of tagua (vegetable ivory) jewellery. Artisan Life is a fair trade importer, member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS), and a provisional member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Hall 18, Stand B48

Pascale Forcetti Jewellery Australian brand Pascale Forcetti is launching in the UK with a limited edition collection of handmade silver necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings and earrings from aspiring designer and metal artist Peta Garnaut. The latest addition to the range is Psyche, a luxurious pearl suite made with onyx and pearls. It is limited to a maximum worldwide distribution of 1,000 pieces. Hall 18, Stand DQ64

Sphere of Life Sphere of Life will be launching its new collection, Sphere of Love, at Spring Fair. The company’s philosophy, it says, is to look beyond the jewellery itself. “We look at the whole experience of giving jewellery as a gift.” Each item follows a sharp design, is housed in highly distinctive packaging and comes with a design story and message. This particular collection is comprised entirely of heart shaped pendants. Hall 18, Stand G48

Hedva Eleni This year, Israeli designer and regular exhibitor Hedva Elany is launching several new designs using the motifs she loves best: shapes from nature, especially all kinds of leaves, together with birds, butterflies, spirals and flowers. New pieces include pendants, brooches, bracelets and rings, made in silver, 9 carat gold and semi-precious stones. Hall 18, Stand D41

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Dower & Hall Popular design partnership Dower & Hall will be showcasing some exciting new collections at this year’s show. Among the new products getting a push in 2010 are the rainbow-coloured stone-set range of Twinkle Rings, which are worn to be stacked together, the vintage-inspired Spiral Pod range, made with pearls interspersed with hollow spheres, a new collection of lockets and a fashionable selection of Pearlicious long-length decorated pearl chains. Hall 18, Stand DQ130

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Feature | PH Wedding Rings PH Wedding Rings presents several new designs in its core wedding ring range. The company has produced a new comprehensive 60-page catalogue, which it will be displaying at the show, which highlights the diversity of its full range of classic to contemporary designs. Hall 17, Stand M28

Lurima Lurima has produced a lovely collection of silver and gemstone jewellery, each piece made by hand. All jewellery that the company produces is made with silver, gemstones and specially-made glass, such as in its latest millefiori collection. Hall 18, Stand DQ14



Balagan is returning to The Jewellery Show this year, where it will be showing a full range of its latest products. The company’s unusual and elegant collection, Blowing in the Wind, features hand-picked real leaves, preserved with different finishes. Each piece becomes a piece of entirely original “wearable art”. Hall 18, Stand G28/H29

Jewellery supplier Domino has produced a whole range of new pieces for this year’s wedding market. The company has added several styles to its diamond ring mount collection, such as platinum engagement rings with stylish rub over settings, striking contemporary mounts and classic twostone designs. In addition, the company will be showing bridal necklaces and flower motif earrings and pendants from its Rosabella collection. Hall 17, Stand N40

Nomination Italian brand Nomination will be launching its latest Terra range of stone-set jewellery at Spring Fair. The new range is the third part of the company’s 4Elements four-part collection, Aqua and Aria (water and air) having already successfully made their debut on the retail market. The Terra range, says Nomination, is a ‘celebration of mother earth, nature and fertility’. It includes two necklaces, earrings, a bracelet and a ring with delicately designed leaves made from stainless steel and set with amber-coloured Swarovski crystals. Hall 18, Stand G21

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Muru Sheila Fleet Atlantic Swell is the delightful new design from Sheila Fleet, shown in silver with vibrant ocean-coloured enamel. This new collection simulates the flow and movement of water with individual sculpted forms, intended to complement the designer’s recent Tidal and Shoreline Pebble collections. Hall 18, Stand DQ12

Muru is launching its Rainforest collection at the NEC, which features abstract and natural forms inspired by the Malaysian rainforest. The collection includes palm leaf and hummingbird motifs, as well as tropical flower designs and sculptural statement pieces in silver. Muru is also launching the second wave of designs for its award-winning Muru London collection. These fashion-led creations have a very British feel and incorporate iconic emblems such as silver strawberries, teapots, crowns and English roses. Hall 18 B30

The Alexander Collection Alongside its MeisterSinger watches, the company will be showing its JanArt designer jewellery at the show this year. Offering something a little different in silver fashion jewellery, the pieces are handmade from fused and lampworked glass, enhanced with semi-previous stones and other materials. Hall 18, Stand A34

Gemex Gemex will be unveiling a new range of gents’ palladium diamond-set wedding bands at Spring Fair, along with over 140 new ladies diamond set eternity rings in its Raphael collections. The range is all machine set, guaranteeing accurate precision setting, and all diamonds are F/G VS quality standard. All designs can be made in platinum, 18 carat white, yellow or rose gold or palladium. Hall 17 Stand R29

Linda Macdonald Established in 1997, Linda Macdonald’s delicate jewellery, which has been inspired “by the detail in nature”, has garnered many fans over the years. The company’s most recent collection, featuring a simple daisy pattern, has already become a trademark design, and the range is now being expanded for Spring/Summer. Hall 18, Stand DQ72

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The BJA ‘Palladium’ Jewellery Show Awards The British Jewellers’ Association has announced the winners of the ‘BJA Award 2010 at the Jewellery Show’, its new annual competition supported by Spring Fair International, EMAP Connect and the BJGF Federation.

Newman says he has experienced a huge take up for palladium in his Birmingham shop. “We’ve been particularly successful with men’s wedding rings, especially with guys who might have been considering silver or titanium. When we explain palladium’s attributes it gives us a real opportunity for up-selling,” he said. The judges also made two highlycommended awards, one in each category. Birmingham manufacturer, Charles Green & Son impressed the judges in the Commercial Range category with its Reflect wedding ring collection, while After the Rain, a ring

Star-Gazer Pendant by Atelier Gilmar

his year’s award was specifically for palladium jewellery and had two separate categories: one for a commercial range, and the other for a statement design. The Commercial Range Award was won by Global Edge, part of the Abbeycrest Group, for its Osare Curva Collection of men’s jewellery, while the Statement Design Award has gone to the Monmouthbased designer jeweller Atelier Gilmar for its Star-Gazer pendant, part of its Jenga range. The Osare Curva Collection, which is made in 950 palladium and black diamonds, is comprised of a ring, cufflinks and a bracelet with a black leather strap. Osare, which means ‘dare’ in Italian, is an apt name for the collection, which is aimed at professional men looking for contemporary jewellery that is a little out of the ordinary. Elegant and


Osare Curva range by Global Edge

70 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

Reflect wedding ring range by Charles Green & Son

sophisticated, the collection retails at between £369 and £399. The Star-Gazer pendant by the Welsh design business Atelier Gilmar, winner of the Statement Design category, is hand made in 950 palladium and 22ct yellow gold. It has a feature 12mm Tahitian pearl and a 0.15ct brilliant-cut diamond. The multi-strand collar is in stainless steel. Speaking about the pendant, its creators Gill and Alan Saunders said, “The design for Star-Gazer evolved from new work to be launched in Spring 2010. Using palladium in this work has enabled us to construct large statement pieces without the constraint of size to weight ratio”. One of the judges, James Newman, who is himself a designer jeweller and jewellery retailer, commented, “All the pieces entered were of a good standard and well executed. The winning designs demonstrate some of the many ways in which palladium can be used and the variety of looks that can be achieved. As these pieces demonstrate that, through being relatively light and inexpensive, palladium lends itself well to both large contemporary designs but is also perfect for more bread-and-butter men’s and wedding ring ranges”.

After the Rain ring by the Angelett Gallery

with pearls and diamonds from the Angelett Gallery in London, was chosen in the Statement Design category. Retail prices for the Reflect Collection of five different rings range from £370 to £515. The After the Rain ring, which comes from the Royal Garden Collection, is simple and elegant and retails at £5,000. Both the winning and the highly commended products will be on show on the BJA’s stand (P40, Hall 17), at Spring Fair Birmingham.

Kids collection Spring Fair, Hall 18, G30/H31 Tel 01271 329123 Fax 01271 323342 Email Web

The Voice of the Industry 71

NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R






The online IRV debates update Jewellery-related debates have been raging online among members of the IRV email group since the summer. Sandra Page brings us up to date on the topics of discussion. e had our last update of communications within the IRV email group back in June 2009, and there have been hundreds of emails to-ing and fro-ing since then. This is a roundup of just a few of the topics which generated much response (subjects such as gemstone pricing, treatments and classification/identification, watches, enamelling, designer pieces and unusual marks, to name but a few). A popular issue for discussion from the group’s users was the subject of gemstones,


Picture 1

72 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

in particular treatments and, specifically, enhancements. Discussions among valuers centred on how, exactly, to best value the stones. Gemstones discussed included quite a few sapphires (‘red’, pink and white) and diamonds. As has previously been the case, large and old-cut diamonds were also a popular topic for discussion.

Colour me pretty One user asked fellow users for help in valuing a ring containing a 3.30ct ‘red’

sapphire (Picture 1), which contained a hint of orange and was confirmed to have been heat-treated. Upon first inspection, he had thought that the stone was a spinel, but the RI reading indicated corundum and the spectrum did not show the reading for ruby. He explained that the top of the stone was a dark pink/red colour, but orange was visible when viewed through the side. A stone dealer confirmed that it was a sapphire, but they had never seen one that colour and could not, therefore, help him with a price. Unfortunately his request for help with the price went unanswered, but a number of gemmological users queried his use of the term ‘red’ sapphire, especially as most were agreed that the correct term for such a gem would be ruby (only red corundum can be called ruby). One user recalled a now departed well-known gemmologist who, at a time when rubies were much more expensive than pink sapphires, used to say that, “if he was buying the gemstone it was a pink sapphire but if he was selling it, it was ruby!” Another user taking part in the discussion agreed that the trade relies entirely on sight when it comes to classifying corundum as ruby, as it would not be practical to chemically test every stone. When he first looked at the photograph of the stone, he felt that the saturation of red was too weak and “watery” for ruby. Personally, he said, when looking at a gemstone, he referred to the saturation of a gem in terms of drinks – this particular stone resembling rose water rather than tomato juice (although he assured his fellow users that he does not use these terms on his valuation schedules and is more scientific in his working notes.

IRV Review | Adhering to the practice used by many others within the valuation sector, he usually made a note of a stone’s hue, tone, saturation and distribution in association with GemDialogue and then referred to The Guide for pricing). Another user said that he found it interesting to see all the different terms/comments used to express opinions of the colour of the stone, for example, red, rosy, orangey-red, dark pink, red colour, tomato juice, rose water, hint of orange and so on. This shows a clear need for the subject of grading coloured gemstones to be addressed, which, as it happens, is exactly

terms such as pigeon’s blood, cornflower blue and olive green are no longer good enough. Many taking part in the debate were concerned that the stone may have been diffused or coated, one recalling a top-coated rhodolite that had been sold abroad as a ruby, another referring to red diffusion-treated corundum, which can start out as yellow sapphire. There are also some synthetic rubies which are orangey-red. Another user suggested his fellow readers paid a visit to the website of a US-based stone coating provider, just to see the exotic names it uses to identify the variety of coloured synthetics it offers for sale!

When looking at a gemstone, he referred to the saturation of a gem in terms of drinks. This particular stone resembled “rose water rather than tomato juice”. what took place at the 2009 Loughborough Conference. This particular user, Peter Buckie, was one of the lecturers who covered this very topic along with his wife Barbara Leal, who gave a very entertaining main presentation entitled Colour Speak. Her presentation explained why a more scientific approach to colour grading is needed today – the use of

The user who had raised the subject was grateful for the gemmological assistance of his fellow users. As he explained, his customer had informed him that she had been given the ring as a gift by her partner, who had himself bought it at auction as a ruby. The customer did not know at which auction house the stone was purchased

(or if it was an auction site on the web), or indeed how much her partner had paid for it. The tests undertaken by the stone dealer had only revealed heat-treatment. To end this particular circulation of emails, the user who referred to the use of drinks to define saturation suggested that food is used so much to describe gemstones, that a description could easily read as follows: “A cluster full of jelly and cherry opals with watermelon tourmalines topped in cream coloured pearls and with a sprinkling of cinnamon diamond chips, with side shoulders capped in pigeon blood rubies, upon a shank of fine gold complemented with a channel of fine Champagne diamonds.” Role on uniformity!

Face value Cameos have cropped up a couple of times in recent months. One user asked for help in valuing a pair of Cartier reverse intaglio crystal cufflinks (interestingly, these are often called Essex crystal; for a definitive guide to the types of cameos and intaglios available, the NAG guidebook On the Face of It is available). The cufflinks in question depicted horse head portraits in their original case, and bore the initials WH for William Hill, the bookmaker and original owner (pictures 2 and 3).

Picture 2

The Voice of the Industry 73


| IRV Review Picture 3

A more scientific approach to colour grading is needed today – the use of terms such as pigeon’s blood, cornflower blue and olive green are no longer good enough. Enquiries made by the valuer at the auction houses had suggested an estimate of around £800-£1,200. However, through contacts made via a high end London dealer, he had received a second suggested retail price of between £5,000 and £7,000 (although it had been hinted that a cash offer in the region of £4,000 would not be rejected). This email generated a lot of comment, especially about the implied mark-up. It was felt that such dealers were a different breed to your traditional average high street retail jeweller and regularly use higher mark-ups. On the whole, users felt a second-hand replacement value of around £3,000-£3,500 was more realistic. It was mentioned, however, that the condition of the

Picture 4

74 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

intaglios needs to be taken into consideration. Indeed, it was suggested, from observation of the photographs, that perhaps the cufflinks were older than the Cartier mounts – the user confirmed that the condition was just off good with the mother-of-pearl backing showing signs of dust penetration. The user decided to discuss the situation with his client, who was happy to accept a second-hand replacement value – the user just hoped he wouldn’t have to approach a London-based high end dealer for replacements if the client lost them! Not quite as rare as hen’s teeth, but not that common either.

Finding a mark We’ve had a few unusual marks circulating through the group in recent months. One user wanted to identify where a brooch had come from and how old it was (pictures 4 and 5). Fellow users were able to identify the mark as a Russian silver hallmark (875 parts per 1000 or 84 zolotniks), post-1958. The P, which denotes an R in Russian, indicates the Riga assay office (Riga once being part of the Soviet Union, but now

being in Latvia and independent of Russia). Unfortunately, nobody was able to identify the maker (O K). One user suggested that it may be the sponsor’s mark for Ortak Jewellery, but another confirmed that its Picture 5


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The Voice of the Industry 75

| IRV Review Picture 6

It was felt that high end London dealers were a different breed to your traditional average high street retail jeweller and regularly use higher mark-ups.

Picture 7

mark is MG (after Malcolm Gray, the founder). Another user searched the internet and was able to find similar pieces by the same maker available for sale from retailers/ dealers in North America. Do you know who the maker was?

Famous works Designer pieces often come in for valuation. Recent emails have included jewellery by the late designers Andrew Grima and Gilian Packard. One user had a brooch (picture 6) in for valuation that looked like a piece of Andrew Grima’s work, but which bore the maker’s mark of HJC. Another user was able to confirm that Andrew Grima’s jewellery workshop was known as the H J Company, founded on his father-in-law’s firm of that name. Another user had recently valued an Andrew Grima stick pin (picture 7) and praised Grima Jewellery for its assistance in arriving at a value (

76 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

Another user had a ring (picture 8) in for valuation with the maker’s mark GEP. A colleague had suggested this might be the work of 1960s designer Gilian Packard. Fellow user, FIRV Michael Inkpen, who used to work for Packard, was able to confirm that this was indeed her mark. Michael had the pleasure of working for Gilian for about seven years and the ring in the picture is typical of her firm’s output during the late sixties to early seventies. Michael himself made a number of rings like this

Picture 8

one, although he did not recognise it as one of his. As to value, Michael was not aware of any special value attached to Gilian’s work although, as he pointed out, there is a collector for everything. He suggested, however, that the work of a designer maker would warrant a 10 per cent premium on the stones, cost for about ten hours of work by a competent craftsperson, plus 50 per cent. To that, one would add retail mark-up for a new replacement value. As to the second-hand value, he suggested it would probably be worth what any other similar ring would be worth, albeit in a rather specialised market. These are just a few of the topics covered in the last six months or so. We could probably fill another five or six pages of this magazine with more detail of the information exchanged via the group… I Could you help any of the group users who put forward requests for help? Or do you wish you knew who to talk to about unusual items? If you haven’t already joined the NAG IRV Email Group, why not do so today? Just send an email to Sandra Page at and she’ll add you to the group. Please be aware that joining the group will elicit a high level of email traffic to your inbox. If you would like to see the NAG’s guide to cameos and intaglios, On the Face of It, email Sandra at the same address.










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Ethical Jeweller |

Fairtradeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s final hurdle As Fairtrade gold edges ever closer to becoming a reality, Greg Valerio celebrates nearing the end of what has been a hard-fought battle for the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ethical campaigners. ell, after many years of work, it was a privilege during December 2009 to see the Boards of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM, an organisation that I helped establish in 2005) and the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) approve the establishment of international standards for the certification of Fairtrade & Fairmined gold from small scale artisanal miners. The agreement will be signed in the next few weeks. As many readers of this column will know, certified fairtrade gold has been a dream of mine and many others over the last decade, and it is a very exciting prospect to know it will become a living reality by the end of this year. This whole project represents what I believe to be the most important evolution in the gold supply chain and market in modern history. It will mean that for the first time ever, there is a third party, independently-certified source of gold and platinum available to the jewellery market


and the jewellery-buying consumer. For the responsible small-scale miners who have been the bedrock of the process, it will mean they will not only represent a new evolutionary model of responsible small-scale mining in the eyes of the global community, but they will receive a premium on their production that will go directly back into their own community development. The whole process has also been an example of what a partnership between two organisations of shared values can achieve. Both ARM and FLO have worked to bring this idea to life. The project has involved the

Rings by April Doubleday made using 18ct gold mined at Ore Verde coupled with Canadian mined diamonds

setting of the Fairtrade & Fairmined Standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals to work with small-scale miners to ensure the system works on the ground. It has meant talking to the jewellery industry about the implications of certified gold hitting the shelf, with a special note of thanks to the National Association of Goldsmiths and the Birmingham Assay Office, both of which have been extremely supportive of the whole process. And perhaps most importantly for the jewellery trade, it has meant holding detailed discussions with consumers on whether the idea of Fairtrade and gold jewellery are compatible. Now we have the exciting job of preparing the UK market for adoption, publishing the Fairtrade & Fairmined Standard, bringing small-scale miners into the Fairtrade system and developing a communications strategy. There are already many interested companies from various part of the gold jewellery supply chain, and their enthusiasm has been very encouraging. It appears that the UK

The Voice of the Industry 79


| Ethical Jeweller How is the mark managed? The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent not-for-profit organisation that licenses use of the Fairtrade Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed standards. The Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement, who were later joined by the National Federation of Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Institutes. Its members now include People & Planet, SCIAF, Shared Interest Foundation and the United Reform Church. The Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member of the FLO.

Who are the FLO and ARM?

jewellery market is gearing up to be the world leader in ethical and Fairtrade jewellery. The advent of certified gold into the jewellery supply chain represents a tangible way for jewellers and the broader industry to demonstrate its desire for fairer opportunities for small-scale miners. By selling it through our stores, we are investing back into the social and environmental wellbeing of our world, as well as offering our customers a brand new unique product. For more information on becoming a part of this exciting development in Fairtrade gold, please contact:

What is Fairtrade? Fairtrade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development, whose purpose is to create opportunities for producers and workers economically disadvantaged or marginalised by the conventional trading system. Fairtrade is effectively a tool for development that ensures disadvantaged farmers and workers in developing countries get a better deal through the use of the international Fairtrade Mark. Fairtrade Labelling was created in the Netherlands in the late 1980s. The Max Havelaar Foundation launched the first Fairtrade consumer guarantee label in 1988, which was given to coffee sourced from Mexico. In the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992, with the first products to carry the Mark launched in 1994.

80 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

What does it mean when a product carries the Fairtrade mark? The Fairtrade Mark is a registered certification label for products sourced from producers in developing countries. To carry the Mark, products much meet the international Fairtrade standards set by the international certification body, Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International. The standards are agreed through a process of research and consultation with key participants in the Fairtrade scheme, including producers, traders, NGOs, academic institutions and labelling organisations such as the Fairtrade Foundation.

More Fairtrade gold rings by April Doubleday

The Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) is an international group of 24 organisations that work to secure a better deal for producers. From its headquarters in Bonn, Germany, it sets the international standards for the Fairtrade movement and supports Fairtrade producers. Its members include fairtrade labelling initiatives and producer networks from around the world.

It appears that the UK jewellery market is gearing up to be the world leader in ethical and Fairtrade jewellery. The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is an independent, global pioneering initiative established to enhance equity and wellbeing in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities through improved social, environmental and labour practices, good governance and the implementation of ecosystem restoration practices. The organisation is committed to social justice and environmental responsibility. ARMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to set standards for responsible ASM and to support and enable producers to deliver Fairmined certified metals and minerals through economically just supply chains to the markets, in order to contribute towards the transformation of ASM into a socially and environmentally responsible activity, and to the improvement of the quality of life of marginalised artisanal miners, their families and communities. I Sources: ARM and Fairtrade Foundation

| Education + Training






A* grade for NAG JET courses An overwhelming majority of past students would recommend the National Association of Goldsmith’s Professional Jewellers’ Diploma to a colleague, according to a new survey. An incredible 100 per cent of the JET 1 and JET 2 respondents said they would advise a co-worker to take the course. n the survey, conducted by the NAG among students completing either the first or second part of the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma between December 2008 and December 2009, students listed additional knowledge, more confidence and skill development as the main reasons why colleagues should consider training with the NAG. The same number of respondents (100 per cent) rated JET 1 and JET 2 as either good or excellent, with many using words such as “fantastic”, “great” and “a joy” to further describe the distance learning courses. One student in the anonymous survey, made up of students from both multiples and independents, gave the course an A*, while another said they were “a JET fan”,


82 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

explaining that their “growth is testimony” to the importance of study. A further majority – 71 per cent of JET 1 students and 61 per cent of JET 2 students – intend to continue their studies once they’ve completed their respective courses, while an additional 39 per cent of JET 2 students said they might continue with their studies in the future. None of the JET 2 students who responded to the survey said they would not continue studying after completing their diploma. Feedback for the format and presentation of the course, as well as for the course content, has also been universally positive. When asked to choose from a list of four negative or four positive descriptions, all JET 1 and JET 2 respondents chose to describe

D E PA RTM E NT the course format and its content as informative, useful, interesting or accessible. No negative responses were recorded. One JET 1 student added that “the course notes are highly recommended for information touch-ups”, while a JET 2 student said that “content and format along with presentation is excellent”. Similarly, the response to assignments was overwhelmingly positive with all the JET 1 respondents and 97 per cent of JET 2 respondents having a favourable impression of the assignments. Meanwhile 42 per cent of JET 1 students described the assignments as “good”, and 5 per cent declared that they “loved” them. One JET 1 respondent commented that “the variety of assignments was very useful and refreshing, and the pack had a lot of easy to retain information”. Most praise was reserved for the tutors, however, with an impressive 98 per cent of JET 1 students and 99 per cent of JET 2 students describing their tutor in a positive light. One JET 2 respondent said that they could not “thank Eddie [Stanley] enough” adding they wanted the NAG “to recognise Eddie’s worth and the high esteem his students hold him in”. Another wrote “Wow tutor, top class! Eddie was the ‘pivot’ and the reason I had success. He gave me belief I needed in myself to achieve my aim – to sit my first exam”. Likewise Cathryn Richardson is described as “outstanding in her tutorials”, Anne Bray is an “excellent tutor” and Michelle McCormick is “very positive and helpful – I could not ask for a better tutor”. Of the survey respondents that attended one of the free NAG tutorial sessions, the reaction is equally encouraging. One JET 2 exam entrant said tutorials were “a must for all JET 2 candidates”, while another could not “imagine NOT coming on the tutorial in preparation”. Surprisingly the disparity of tutorial attendance between JET 1 and JET 2 students is huge. The survey revealed that

Education + Training | 80 per cent of JET 2 respondents had attended a tutorial, while 91 per cent of JET 1 respondents had not, which may account for the negative comments in regard to tutorials. One JET 1 student commented that “no tutorial available, which was disappointing”, while another added “it would be helpful if the tutorials had been held in Edinburgh”.

some even have to pay their own transport. That should never happen,” she said. Less surprisingly, the feedback on exams is less positive, despite a sizeable majority (71 per cent) referring to the exam in encouraging terms. “We did have a problem with one exam centre for one set of examinations, which would account for a lot of the negative comments,” explains Victoria

“What this survey makes clear is the difference training makes not only to a staff member’s knowledge and confidence, but also their entire perception of their role. Employers need to harness this to help make the sale and every sale counts right now.” “We are happy to arrange additional tutorials where necessary,” explains Victoria Wingate, the NAG’s education manager, “but there needs to be sufficient support, which is why many of the JET 1 tutorials in particular are cancelled”. Tutor Anne Bray suggests tutorials should be seen as a vital part of the structured training. “Many students have to use a day off or a holiday to attend;

Wingate, “but we have since found a new venue and the last two exams have run smoothly. This is exactly why we ask for feedback, so we can strive to ensure that we provide the best possible service. For example, 11 per cent of respondents described the exams as ‘scary’, which is again why we encourage exam candidates to attend tutorials to take away that fear”.

Interestingly, in spite of almost universal praise for the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma, enrolments on the JET courses are slightly down on previous years. “The economic crisis has had an impact, particularly with enrolments from independents, which is understandable,” says Victoria Wingate. “There is not the same turnover of staff at the moment, which obviously means there is not the same demand for training. That said, what this survey makes clear is the difference training makes not only to a staff member’s knowledge and confidence, but also their entire perception of their role. Employers need to harness this to help make the sale and every sale counts right now.” One JET 2 respondent echoed this thought. “Knowledge gives confidence, which in turn creates more sales”. Another said, “having more knowledge has given me confidence in sales situations”, while a third reported the courses had even more benefit than expected. “I have thoroughly enjoyed both courses and feel the knowledge I have gained has made me more passionate about my job,” he said.

NAG Survey Results Would you recommend the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma to a colleague? JET 1 JET 2

Yes 100%

Yes 100%

Which of the following best reflect your overall opinion of the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma? JET 1 JET 2

Excellent 75% Good 25%

Excellent 57% Good 23%

Do you intend to continue your studies? JET 1 JET 2

What was your overall impression of the assignments? JET 1


Positive 100%

Positive 97% Negative 3%

Did you attend a tutorial? JET 1


Yes 9% No 91%

Yes 80% No 20%

What was your overall impression of the exam process? JET 1 JET 2 Question not relevant to this course

Yes 71% No 29%

Yes 61% Maybe 39%

Positive 71% Negative 39%

The Voice of the Industry 83

| Education + Training

NAG heats up Spring Fair he NAG plans to heat up Spring Fair in February, with a summer holidaythemed stand including a deck chair and sand pit, as well as Pimms and lemonade. The decorations will form part of the Association’s latest campaign to get jewellers to think about education and training for their staff. “Every year we hear about the difficulties retail jewellers face during the summer months, when trained members of staff go on their summer holidays leaving less experienced colleagues to cover,” said Victoria Wingate, NAG education manager.


“We know how beneficial an extra trained member of staff can be to cover holidays, but jewellers are missing out, because they are not thinking about training until the summer, by which time it is too late.” This new campaign follows the Association’s successful Christmas-themed launch at IJL last September, and serves to remind employers that a student who enrols on the first part of the Professional Jeweller’s Diploma in February could have finished by this summer and could have completed their Diploma by summer 2011. The campaign has led to some confusion however: “We spent the summer thinking about mince pies and Christmas trees and we’ve now spent Christmas looking at deck chairs,” said Victoria. “However, I’m sure some sunshine and a glass of Pimms will be a welcome relief at Spring Fair, especially if it snows at much as last year!” The summer-themed stand will form part of the usual packed programme of events on the NAG stand including the launch of the new look The Jeweller magazine. For more information, go to:, call 020 7613 4445 (option 1) or visit the NAG stand at Spring Fair: Hall 17 Stand Q40.

Enrolling for 2010 made easier here is a new look to enrolling for 2010. The brand new form will now make it even easier for you to complete, for the NAG to process and for tutors to tailor their advice and support. There is one big change, however, as students now need to include two passport-sized photos with their application. “Students currently supply photos when they register for exams, but it can be quite difficult to get everything together at an already stressful time,” said Victoria Wingate, NAG education manager. “We have decided to ask for photos right from the beginning, to make the process simpler for everyone involved.” The new look forms are available online and the NAG is once again enrolling for all JET courses. If you would like more information on the JET 1, JET 2, JET Gemstone, JET Management or JET Valuation courses, download a prospectus at: or call 020 7613 4445 (option 1).


84 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

Worried about hallmarking?

ind out everything you need to know about hallmarking with a JET 2 Hallmarking Information Seminar from the London Assay Office. This one day seminar has been specifically arranged for JET 2 students and will cover all the essentials of hallmarking for the exam and beyond, such as the hallmarking process, reading hallmarks and a practical hands-on assaying and hallmarking session. The day also includes a tour of the Assay office and laboratory. The seminar fee is £85 + VAT including lunch and will take place at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London on 31st March 2010. Places are limited. If you are a current JET 2 student and would like more information or to book your place, call 020 7613 4445 (option 1) or email:



....TO START TRAINING YOUR STAFF START NOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR HOLIDAY COVER IS COVERED A student who enrols on the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma now could have finished by this summer and could have passed JET 2 and mastered all the practical skills that a retail jeweller requires by next summer.

OUR CONTACT DETAILS The National Association of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street, London EC2A 4XG Email: Tel: 020 7613 4445 (Option 1) Download a JET Course prospectus at

Education + Training |

JET tutorials in action Figures show that JET students have more self confidence and perform better in their examination if they attend one of the free JET tutorial sessions offered by the NAG. The NAG says the day is friendly and relaxed, but what really goes on at a JET tutorial? Staff member and JET 1 student Stacy Simpson shows us her JET 1 tutorial diary to find out more.

The day starts with a coffee and the chance to meet the other students. Although I work for the NAG, I was still nervous so it was good to meet the other students and relax.

Tutor Eddie Stanley goes through the biggest problems facing students like using Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks properly…

… or a 10 x lens.

You spend most of the time studying on your own for JET 1, so working in groups is a great way to practice identifying simulants and natural or synthetic gemstones.

After lunch Eddie introduced us to JET 2, so it seems a lot less scary!

Tutorials are free and take place across the country in March and April or September. Call 0207 613 4445 (option 1) or email: to learn more.

The Voice of the Industry 87

| Opinion : John Henn

She said “No” John Henn reflects on the anomalies of the jewellery market, unrequited marriage proposals, and the hidden costs of motorcycle exhaust pipes…

ou cannot be serious!” (is the printable version of what I was thinking). And so it was that, in the middle of a lake during a two week holiday in Indonesia, our client proposed to the light of his life and she said “No”. I left you at the end of my last article weighing up the real return on selling a sack of beads versus a beautiful single stone diamond ring. As it turned out, we sold both – or so I thought. Given the holiday destination of our client, we made up a silver replica of the beautiful ring; he was excited and proud of his plan to capture his woman, and chose to leave the real ring with us. I was miserable for him, and for myself, as I had suggested that if it didn’t work out we would see him right. Fortunately, it seems she later said “maybe”, so we are reprieved the refund, perhaps, for a few months at least.


88 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

So how was it for you? I hope all your clients came in and shopped. Our experience was that the numbers were up but the average sale was down. Then on our first day back after Christmas, two clients came in and their purchases exceeded our total 24th figures. Only in the jewellery trade can such strange anomalies occur. Having now mastered our electronic till, we were surprised to see just how many new people visited the store, largely due to the beads (they accounted for 55 per cent of the visits) during the last week. With this information, we will have to think of new and clever ways to keep in contact with our customers without irritation. Personally, I have a propensity to delete emails from Amazon and other e-tailers without giving them much consideration, but their use of information is undeniably impressive. The way in which they know I may be in

the market for a product I have searched for, and then, over a number of weeks, send me relevant special offers, is the way forward. I would love to find out how they do this: when I do I’ll let you know. Spring Fair is upon us, and is the first UK opportunity to come out and see what the trade has in store. Apart from the obvious – the NAG stand at Hall 17 Q40, reminding us of all the services they offer – Hall 4 might be worth a look, as it is showcasing window display. There is a belief that the style has

I was miserable for him, and for myself, as I had suggested that if it didn’t work out we would see him right. Fortunately, it seems she later said “maybe”, so we are reprieved the refund, perhaps, for a few months at least. faded in our windows. Although you could not fault many streets in December, our European neighbours make store display an art form. Perhaps it is one of the reasons they are not so affected by online competition, and independent stores thrive? What else for 2010, more of the same game? I think not. I am very happy to tell you all that at the grand age of 48, I am about to become a father. I have heard from you experienced mums and dads out there that my life will never be the same, and that every year after will be different again. It seems that not only do I now have to do battle with the commercial world, but grapple with this new dimension. On the strength of your advice that money will start to disappear rapidly, I have bought a new exhaust pipe for my motorcycle. It has put me on the front row of Donnington Park; if Mozart was alive he would write an opera in its honour, the sound is that fabulous. Unfortunately my darling wife noticed it arrive, and it cost me an open cheque for a new pushchair: I feel the noose tightening. As we face the various events of this coming year together, may all the girls say “yes”, all the watches keep ticking, and all the babies sleep through the night. Wouldn’t that be a treat…

The Voice of the Industry 89

| Insurance Matters

Insurance insight 2010 For this first issue of the year Neil McFarlane and Michael Ferraro of TH March & Co give their personal, detailed insights into the issues that matter within today’s jewellery insurance trade. An increasing number of jewellery owners now keep their jewellery insured under their household insurance policy only. Why is this, do you think: is it purely because of an increase in specialist premiums, and how do you combat the trend? “This is not something we encounter a great deal. If the jewellery is owned personally by the jeweller, then it should be insured under their own household insurance policy. In normal circumstances, a business or Jewellers Block policy would not cover these items as they are not owned by the business and would not be included within any business stock records, which is necessary for any claim to be made. Special extensions can be requested under a business policy, but would not be the most cost effective or most advantageous method of covering these pieces. If the jewellery is owned by the business but covered under a household policy, they will again encounter difficulty at the claims stage. Goods owned by or used in connection with any business would be specifically excluded under nearly all household policies. Also, a number of the specific covers needed under a business policy would not be included under a personal household policy, thus further limiting the effectiveness of the cover. In fact, premiums under commercial Jewellers Block policies are as competitive now as they have been for the last 15 years, so cost should not be used as the main reason.

90 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

In summary, not telling the truth regarding the material facts of a type of insurance will nearly always result in a claim being repudiated, can result in criminal prosecutions and will ultimately be a waste of money.” Neil McFarlane A big ‘headache’ for jewellers is insuring goods outside of the store (at exhibitions or in transit, for example). What are the specific risks, and how do you as a broker recommend that jewellers minimise the risk to themselves? “This is where a specialist policy such as a Jewellers Block policy is required. Cover away from the business premises would be provided automatically under many policies, and as a standard and normal extension in cover under many more. Exhibitions should be specifically added, when the details of the exhibitions themselves are known and the amounts to be shown at the exhibition finalised.

Michael Ferraro, managing director, TH March & Co

be carried away from the jeweller’s premises, try to avoid creating a regular pattern. Vary the times that you or a member of staff travel, and try to vary the route to your vehicle or another premises. Wherever possible try and be accompanied, as two or more people make a harder target. If you are travelling in your car with stock, whether to see a customer or take goods home, be extra vigilant to see if you are being followed. Again, vary the route you take home and if you feel you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station, rather than to your preferred destination, to report your suspicions. If you are accompanied, see if the other person can establish details of the ‘suspicious’ vehicle, i.e registration number, make and model, colour etc. Then report these to the police if calling at a station, or Safergems if you are a member of this initiative. If attending an exhibition, try and have your goods delivered and collected by a

Where a CCTV system is installed, have the digital hard drive stored in a non-public area and preferably hidden. Have a monitor near the entrance door to show the system is ‘real’. The major risk to a jeweller for loss away from their premises comes from being followed and attacked. Most criminals will watch and research any potential ‘target’ to establish any regular activity or patterns of travel. For this reason, if jewellery needs to

professional security company to the exhibition venue. The most vulnerable time at shows is during set up and take down of the stand, due to the high volume of contractors on site. Be extra vigilant at these times, never let your stock out of sight

Insurance Matters | and if at all possible, leave your stock in a secure storage area until the first day the show is open.” Neil McFarlane Similarly, when considering in-store security measures, what kind of basic steps can jewellers take to minimise risk to themselves and their staff, and are there ways that they can proactively aim to keep their insurance costs low? “Opening and closing times are particularly vulnerable, including the period for dressing and undressing display windows and cases. Always open and close with a minimum of two staff members – preferably more. One member of staff should have the premises keys and alarm code. The other should hold the safe keys/combination. The first staff member should open and check the premises, observed at a distance by the second member of staff, with a mobile phone switched on and 999 set, ready to dial in the event of a problem. A pre-agreed ‘all clear’ signal should be given by the first staff member before the second member of staff with access to the safes/s enters the premises. The door should then be locked and no callers admitted until all windows and showcases have been dressed. The reverse should be applied at closing. During business hours there are a number of steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of loss. Some of these, which by no means are exhaustive, are as follows: • Ensure you have good staff numbers on the shop floor. Always avoid one staff member being left on their own. • Only show a customer a few items at a time, and try and avoid doing this near the entrance door. • Have an electric access lock on your premises to control the number of customers allowed to enter at any one time. • Ensure that your window backs and display cases are kept locked, with the keys removed at all times, other than when serving customers. Ideally have these keys kept on the person of staff members. • Where a CCTV system is installed, have the VCR (or more likely today, the digital hard drive) stored in a non-public area and preferably hidden. Have a monitor

near the entrance door to show the system is ‘real’. • Fogging systems, if installed properly and correctly activated, are excellent loss prevention tools. Ensure staff have proper training in their use, and that the system has an audible warning when activated, to alert customers as to what is happening. Have a sign saying such a system has been installed in a prominent position. Activating the system during a hold-up may be difficult for staff in the shop, so have an audio monitor in a back office or workshop. • If you are registered within the Safergems scheme, report any suspicious activity or losses to them.” Neil McFarlane Is it your view that the risk of in-store robbery has increased in the past decade? Has violence increased as far as you are aware? How quickly does the insurance sector react to fluctuations in such risk? “Over the past ten years, the severity of in-store armed robbery losses has increased markedly. In fact, both the frequency and severity has increased significantly over the past three years. The factors influencing this relate to higher values being carried by jewellers in their shops (including top level brand watches) and the general increase in commodity prices of diamonds and gold over this period.

If we couple this with the fact that thieves can quickly transport goods out of the country after they have been stolen, the UK retail jewellery sector has unfortunately become an increasingly favoured target not just for the domestic criminal fraternity but, due to the globalisation of crime in the past decade, the ‘short break’ criminal visiting from Europe or beyond. While there have been various police initiatives country-wide, theft of property remains low on the police agenda, due to the safety net of insurance, and there has been relatively little recovery of goods. Police involvement has only increased as the level of violence associated with jewellery robberies has intensified in the past five years. There have been some convictions, but not nearly enough thieves have been caught and convicted. As regards the topic of violence in armed robberies, regrettably this is something that has deteriorated in the recent past, with armed robbers using both firearms and knives, including machetes, to intimidate their victims. The threat has become much more real, in that there is no doubt that a lot of the ‘short break’ criminals are prepared to use the weapons they come armed with. The established insurance sector will of course have to react to increased levels of claims, but it is worth noting that the long-established markets take a ‘grown up’ view of matters. While inevitably higher claims overall mean higher levels of

Insurance company TH March advises retail staff to pay particular attention to security during the vulnerable opening up and closing down times in their stores each day

The Voice of the Industry 91


| Insurance Matters premium for all, given one of the main principles of insurance is the pooling of risk, the established market tends not to ‘kneejerk’ where individual policyholders have had a problem. They are happy to work with insured clients to upgrade their security and help minimise and prevent future losses by use of specialist brokers and surveyors. This could include an increase in terms, either by premium or conditions, but the plus is that for a client who has shown continuity with his underwriter, they will still be happy to provide cover in most cases even after a serious claim.

To what extend do you anticipate that the jewellery insurance industry will move online in the coming few years? “This is a very difficult question to answer and really needs to be addressed from two angles – commercial jewellery insurance and personal jewellery insurance. Dealing with commercial insurance such as Jewellers Block, very little business is transacted online due to the complicated nature of many jewellery businesses and the fact a thorough understanding of that business is required to ensure the correct cover has been arranged. Most online platforms for the transaction of commercial

Opening and closing times are particularly vulnerable, including the period for dressing and undressing display windows and cases. Always open and close with a minimum of two staff members – preferably more. In the recent past there have been instances of policyholders who have opted to lose that continuity by going to an emerging underwriter who will settle a claim, but who will then effectively ‘wash their hands’ of it and leave the client with a declinature. This makes it harder for that client at renewal to then obtain another quotation for insurance in the future, probably at a time when they feel they need protection even more. The problem with joining a ‘no claims club’ is that, once you have had a claim, you cannot belong any more!” Neil McFarlane How closely do you as insurers work with the police where the jewellery industry is concerned? “With 58 police forces across the British Isles, it is impractical for TH March to maintain direct contact with them all. However, SaferGems has direct contact with all the Force Intelligence Bureaux. TH March does work with individual officers and forces where we can contribute additional information about other incidents that may be of assistance to the police, and we liaise with the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad, which has a UK-wide remit for armed robbery against jewellers.” Michael Ferraro

92 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

insurance are for ‘simple’ policies, which are easily packaged. While some jewellery businesses are straightforward, many are not, and your insurance broker should take the time to understand your business to ensure the correct cover has been arranged. This will invariably mean having a bespoke solution, rather than trying to shoehorn a particular risk under an inflexible and unsuitable policy, just because it may be more convenient and cost effective to the broker. The overriding principle is to deal

Neil McFarlane, Sales & Marketing Director, TH March & Co

with a professional insurance broker, who understands the jewellery trade and has a track record of longevity with the trade and a history of dealing fairly with clients. We have heard too many times over the years of new entrants in the insurance market promising much and delivering little, particularly in an increased claims environment such as now. Moving your cover to a new entrant, irrespective of how attractive their proposition may be, is no fun when the underwriter they use turns down claims or issues notice of cancellation following a claim, an experience we hear about more and more from people from whom we are receiving new enquiries. With regard to personal jewellery insurance, this is much more suited to the online route. Many household policies are available online, including sections for insuring jewellery. However customers should be wary of standard policies, as they may have strict conditions concerning jewellery cover, particularly over single article limits and security conditions. Recognising these limitations, we launched a number of bespoke schemes many years ago, for the standalone insurance of jewellery items. This has now evolved, and our March Plus policy can now be purchased online, at any time, without the need to talk to anyone.” Neil McFarlane Many independent jewellers have complained in the past (in a complaint that has been taken up in 2001 and beyond by the Financial Ombudsman) about insurers insisting that customers use specific – often larger – jewellers (with whom they have agreed favourable terms) for jewellery replacement and repair work. Firstly, does your company have a general position on this? How big an issue is this, in your view? Should this practice be prevented more forcefully than it is currently? How would you suggest independent jewellers act upon their concerns where they have any? “The Financial Ombudsman Service is often misquoted as having banned insurers from replacing an insured person’s jewellery or watches through a supplier of the insurer’s choice.

Insurance Matters | In fact, the Ombudsman does not ban the practice, but does – quite rightly – disapprove of its misuse. The Ombudsman’s view is that replacement in this manner should only be used where: • It is fair to the policyholder to do so • The insurer has taken reasonable steps to explain, at the point when the policyholder took out or renewed the insurance, that claims would be handled in this manner, and • The replacement item is reasonably identical to the item it replaces. Insurers are often able to replace electrical goods, carpets and so forth at a discount, which helps keep premiums down and works well for the policyholder. However, with jewellery and watches, accurate replacement can be more difficult, and the policyholder can be inadvertently disadvantaged, especially where a detailed valuation is not available. Many insurers do not help the situation by only asking for valuations above quite substantial thresholds. This is a major problem in far too many cases, but without a simple universal solution. TH March recognise that, in many cases, there is a common interest in the policyholder returning to the jeweller from whom they bought the ring, and offers two schemes to assist in this respect. Our March Guard scheme allows a jeweller to offer cover at point of sale, with the certainty that insured

Jewellers are also vulnerable to theft when they are ‘out and about’, transporting goods to customers and to major exhibitions, like BaselWorld in Switzerland or IJL, held at London’s Earls Court.

The best protection for both the customer and the jeweller is a detailed valuation and an understanding of when an insurer is trying to act outside the Ombudsman’s guidance. The Institute of Registered Valuers website: has links to customer leaflets on the need for a valuation and on the limits of insurers’ right to replace.” Michael Ferraro

Over the past ten years, the severity of in-store armed robbery losses has increased markedly. In fact, both the frequency and severity has increased significantly over the past three years. replacements or repairs will be effected through that jeweller, because the scheme is outside the Ombudsman’s remit. Under the March Insurance Solutions scheme, the jeweller merely recommends us as a broker specialising in the insurance of jewellery and watches. The type of insurance arranged is then dictated by the customer, but in most situations that will be of a type where we can refer the customer back to the jeweller concerned for replacements or repairs. What can a jeweller do when he cannot influence his customer’s insurance in this way?

Safergems is a major new initiative that TH March has established with the NAG. Can you explain how this will help the jewellery industry? Will it curb the cost of insurance? “SaferGems is a joint initiative between the National Association of Goldsmiths and TH March to try to reduce crime. Substantial increases in crime in recent years threaten the viability of the jewellery trade and can necessitate increased premiums. The SaferGems team co-ordinates information on incidents and suspicious persons received from members of the

scheme, liaises with police intelligence bureaux, and issues email alerts and warnings to members on a local, regional or national basis. Local police and community warning schemes are helpful, but cannot address the problem of criminals who operate in several areas. The police are too undermanned and lack the exchange of information between forces necessary to stop many of the gangs targeting the trade. SaferGems will not stop all crime, and may not avoid the need for increases in premiums, but it should help the trade to avoid some incidents and provide the police with pooled information across a wider area, giving better opportunities to arrest criminals at an earlier stage. The scheme depends on the participation of its members: to provide descriptions of suspects, criminals and their often characteristic methods of operation, and also to provide the email addresses that SaferGems I need to be able to send out alerts.” If you are a full member of the NAG or insured by TH March, you will automatically be a member of the SaferGems scheme, though you may still need to update your email address on the SaferGems website. If you need further information, call Harshita Deolia (NAG) on 020 7613 4445 or Cornelia du Plessis (THM) on 020 7405 0009.

The Voice of the Industry 93

| Opinion : Neil Oakford

More wagons than bands... With the imminent launch of yet another trade magazine seeking to jump on the supposed jewellery bandwagon, Neil Oakford, publisher of The Jeweller magazine, believes it is about time that readers and advertisers look beyond the front covers and become that bit more discerning!


? am all for choice and for ensuring the fittest and best survive, but I suspect I speak for many in the industry when I ask whether we really need another magazine in a market-place already saturated with a glut of publications and still suffering the effects of the current economic downturn? Following research carried out with the NAG during the summer of 2009, we collectively came to the conclusion that the market could possibly support three monthly titles. These views were expressed during protracted takeover talks with one of our competitor magazines – an ideal solution to reduce four to three, we believed! Due to a last minute hitch the deal was not done, but this venture did give us the momentum to commit the magazine to ten issues a year. Although confident about our product, this


94 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

decision was a risk, especially with the economy in a downward spiral, but we wanted to be on an equal footing with our competitors so that the magazine could be fairly represented and judged in comparison. That said, and playing ‘devil’s advocate’, as a retailer it can’t be easy to decide which of the magazines to read at the moment, let alone when a fifth title comes whistling through the letterbox! Plus, from a manufacturer’s point of view, how do you weigh up all the options of which magazine is best served to reach your target market? Competition is healthy but sometimes you can be spoilt and overwhelmed by choice. Therefore I pose the question: isn’t it time the industry became much more discerning with the magazines in this sector?

Not only do I mean in terms of the quality and content but also in terms of their raison d’être, and whether or not they actually contribute to or benefit the industry as a whole. I am certainly curious to know why any publisher (even the impending one which is based in Dubai) would identify the jewellery market as needing another publication and jump on a presumedly lucrative industry bandwagon that already has more ‘wagons’ than ‘bands’. Everybody in this sector is finding it tough, and that includes the publishers, with four magazines competing in a market-place where advertising budgets are continually decreasing. With that in mind, I feel somewhat fortunate, as publisher of The Jeweller, that we offer a real point of difference. The publication is the ‘mouthpiece’ of the National Association of Goldsmiths, the trade association for retail jewellers, which aside from offering a sanctuary of help and advice to its members, is also heavily involved in initiatives that benefit the industry as a whole. As of the New Year, apart from getting a new look and increase in size, The Jeweller will also feature editorial involvement from the BJA, who, like the NAG, are also at the forefront of activities that are also beneficial to their members and the industry! With the total support of both the industry’s trade associations, The Jeweller certainly occupies a unique position in the market. Representing these two key associations, the magazine has now become even closer to the market for retailers and

With the support of both the industry’s trade associations, The Jeweller certainly occupies a unique position in the market. manufacturers alike, confirming the magazine’s position as ‘The Voice of the Industry’. I believe The Jeweller, unlike our competitor magazines, answers the needs of the most discerning of people in a very positive manner. It has its raison d’être as the voice of the NAG and BJA respectively, a loyal and supportive member readership and a unique role in contributing to the industry as well as bringing it closer together – a role that we all here at The Jeweller are determined to maintain.












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| Regular


Last Word Jo Young takes a wry look at some of the weird, wonderful and ridiculous happenings in the world of jewellery retailing.

o, poor, deluded and (possibly dangerously) dumb Tiger Woods. He really made a mess of things this Christmas, didn’t he? For those few of you that don’t know, the billionaire golfer Tiger Woods – who, until recently, was regarded as a squeaky-clean model sportsman, husband and father – was caught out a couple of months ago by his wife, having had what she thought was one extra-marital relationship but which, as the whole sordid affair unfolded, turned out to have been a succession of exceedingly grubby liaisons with glamour models, bar waitresses, dancers and porn actresses. What was most interesting about all of this, to those of us NOT reading the Daily Star nor belonging to the Woods family, was the effect that this had on the sportsman’s position as a major sponsorship ‘star’. Thanks to his cleaner-than-clean reputation, beautiful wife and angelic-looking children, Woods was seen as one of the safest and most effective brand ambassadors on the market; in sponsorship terms, Woods was the golden goose, and as such, he was one of the most heavily corporately-endorsed sports stars on the planet. When it all went wrong, and Woods was revealed as a philandering cad, a morally bereft egomaniac, or, if you like, simply a normal guy with disappointingly poor judgement (which of these you agree with does, I suppose, depend upon your point of view), his whole multi-billion dollar ambassadorial edifice came tumbling down. AT&T, Gatorade, Gilette and even, bizarrely, the management consulting group Accenture all swiftly dropped the weakwilled golfer from their advertising campaigns within a couple of months, loath as they were to be associated with his new reputation


98 The Jeweller Jan/Feb 2010

not for impeccable sportsmanship, but for grossly poor moral judgement and sleazy bars (and all they contain). Then in December, the Swiss watch firm Tag Heuer began quietly removing posters bearing Woods’ image from retail outlets, and announced that it would no longer be using him in its US campaigns. It has been estimated – somewhat gleefully, it has to be said, by a US media delighted to see such an overpaid star brought down – that Woods’ series of ill-judged sexual affairs cost not just him in marital terms, but hit many others financially. According to two economic academics from the University of California, Tiger’s “indiscretions” cost his sponsors a staggering $12bn in lost wealth. Indeed, they calculated that the golfer’s top five sponsors (Accenture, Nike, Gillette, Electronic Arts and Gatorade) lost 2-3 per cent of their aggregate market value directly after the bizarre car ‘accident’ outside

Woods’ home that set off the domino effect of his exposure and downfall. If one puts aside the always-satisfying sense of schadenfreude that accompanies incidents like these, it does throw something of a spotlight onto the whole often-ruthless, occasionally-murky world of celebrity product endorsement, does it not? More specifically, it does make you think more closely about what product sponsorship and endorsement really means: is it the person’s image that you are paying to use, or the far more indefinable ‘idea’ of them? Do you pay for their reputation, and in so doing, do you own rights over it? What does the future hold, I wonder? In the light of the Tiger Woods debacle, will celebrities looking to make the big bucks have to sign even more watertight contracts than those they already agree to? Will they have to adhere to a code of conduct that precludes them having extra-marital affairs,

If one puts aside the schadenfreude, these incidents do make you think about product endorsement and what it means. taking drugs and falling out of nightclubs wearing things they shouldn’t? Will Lindsay Lohan have to stop drinking gin and driving up the freeway the wrong way with a chihuahua stuffed in the boot, out of fear not for her mental health or the safety of other drivers, but for the longterm security of her perfume, clothing and modelling contracts? Or will things go the other way: will the slick endorsement factory have to accept that $10m a year buys you the rights to a person’s face, the occasional public appearance and a raised product profile, and not control of a person’s private behaviour? The future on this, actually, could be very interesting. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, ours is a society already far too constricted by the dictates of commercialism. I don’t know about you, but I think a world in which every celebrity product sponsor in the land was legally obliged to behave themselves would be a terribly dull one in which to live… for all of us, and not just for errant sportsmen!

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The Jeweller Magazine February 2010 Issue  

The Jeweller Magazine February 2010 Issue

The Jeweller Magazine February 2010 Issue  

The Jeweller Magazine February 2010 Issue