Jeweller November 2011
The Jeweller is produced in conjunction with the British Jewellers’ Association
The Voice of The Industry
The Allure of Coloured Stones • Loughborough 2011 Buying into the Brand Revolution • Goldsmiths’ Fair report
Jeweller The Voice of The Industry
C O N T E N T S
N O V
IRV – Loughborough 2011
Three days of news, views and insights at the
Member of the Month
annual IRV conference. Sandra Page reports…
Education & Training
as wide as it was – branded lines have a niche
Brand Profile – Torgoen Swiss
of their own and they’re selling like hot cakes,
Opinion: Hayward Milton
BJA – Holts Academy
The Last Word
The gap between fashion and ‘fine’ jewellery isn’t
says Belinda Morris
Mary Brittain’s round up of some of the brightest and best that was on offer at Goldsmiths’ Fair
Colour Me Beautiful
From agates to tourmalines – the world of
The Jeweller is published by the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For more information about The Jeweller visit: www.thejewellermagazine.com
coloured gemstones goes under the spotlight
The magazine is printed on paper and board that has met acceptable environmental accreditation standards. The National Association
Sales Director: Ian Francis
Tel: 020 7613 4445
78a Luke Street,
Fax: 020 7729 0143
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Tel: 020 7613 4445
Cover Image In conjunction with TORGOEN Swiss Since 1853 Ltd Tel: 0844 911 1853 Email: info@Torgoen.co.uk www.Torgoen.co.uk Image by Adam Zubairi Tel: +44 (0)7887 567548
www.jewellers-online.org Editor: Belinda Morris Tel: 01692 538007 email@example.com BJA Marketing & PR Manager:
Classified Advertising: Neil Oakford firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director: Ben Page email@example.com
Mary Brittain, Miles Hoare,
Tel: 0121 237 1110
Hayward Milton, Jo Young
Although every effort is made to ensure that the information supplied is accurate, the NAG 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 NAG 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
Communiqué M I C H A E L
H O A R E ’ S
Michael Hoare gives one particular market town a hearty pat on the back for sterling self-promotion, reminds us of the power of SaferGems and offers his personal view on the future-of-education – university versus vocational learning. The jury’s still out…
Slow food (and internet) Last month I commented on the possibility of business and local government co-operating to ‘grow their own’ vibrant trading environment. This month I had the opportunity to see an example of this approach in action when I attended Action for Market Towns’ conference in Ludlow. Of course not all jewellers operate in market towns, nor do all towns share the geographic or historic advantages of Ludlow; but at a time when government is promoting a ‘localism’ agenda it is a fine example of how concentrating on getting the local environment right can pay dividends for business. On the face of it, the town’s success lies in exploiting the possibilities of its market place to showcase its local fresh food culture, such that ‘Local to Ludlow’ has become a brand in its own right and there are almost daily events. But what lies behind that outward expression are local government and community agencies that have a clear vision of what their town is and could be, and manage the environment and infrastructure accordingly. Sometimes that means enforcing rules on traffic, signage, lighting, building techniques and materials; sometimes it means flexing planning restrictions so that historic buildings and flats
4 The Jeweller November 2011
above shops are accessible for residential use. The result is not a town preserved in aspic or a retirement ghetto, but one that is vibrant but still respects its heritage. In his recorded address to the conference, Richard Benyon, DEFRA Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, stressed small towns’ key role as drivers of the national economy. In acknowledging his comments, Shropshire Council leader Keith Barrow was heard to note, to ironic laughter, that the Minister “didn’t risk a live broadband link”. So not everything in the garden is lovely for businesses in rural Britain!
Evolving education Some months ago, in this column, I talked about succession planning in our sector; particularly noting that the rising cost of a university education was likely to make many young people think twice about embarking on that path; and suggesting that going into the family business would become an increasingly attractive option. Naturally enough I was also promoting the virtues of the NAG’s new JETPro course that teaches fundamental business disciplines. Costs have since risen even further, but even before the current debate about
university fees erupted, many students voiced concerns about the ‘value’ they received in return for their investment: not enough face-to-face time with tutors; the expertise of teaching staff; and the relevance of their qualifications to the world of work. Speaking as one who studied at a polytechnic which subsequently became a university I think the rot set in long ago, and it stemmed from a generation of politicians whose own Oxbridge experience inclined them to an idealised view of university life featuring quadrangles, punting, and eight week terms. Although desirable this is expensive. In fact too expensive when your aim is to get 50 per cent of eligible young people into education – so something had to give. Now the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has waded into the education debate, suggesting that maybe the world of work is now the best option post-16. Its argument runs that retailers account for over 12 per cent of the UK's total training spend, and the £1,275 average per year invested in each retail employee compares with a figure of just over £800 for staff in the financial sector and £1200 for those in manufacturing. In contrast, university courses will cost students up to £9,000 a year from 2012.
Comment | BRC Director General, Stephen Robertson, is quoted as saying “There must be an end to the snobbery about workplace qualifications. Given the rising cost of getting a university education and falling employment prospects for young people, degree level education is becoming less relevant for some. We owe it to our young people to challenge the dominance of degrees and let them get the appropriate level of credit for skills and experiences they pick up while in work. In retail you really can start on the shop floor and work your way to the top. Many well-known retail chief executives have done just that.” I have some sympathy with that view, but we shouldn’t forget that for some getting a university education is nothing to do with work place snobbery or economics for that matter. Training on the job with a retailer will fit you only for that – retail! There is nothing wrong with that, but aren’t the other functions of education to widen horizons, facilitate questioning and enquiry without fear of retribution, develop critical reasoning skills, and promote self reliance? There are other social aspects as well – like learning to live independently and developing moral and philosophical compass! The future of education at this level may well be more vocational; the presumption that university is the inevitable pathway may fade and degrees may in the future be achieved by attending an office block ‘campus’ during normal business hours for one or two years. However education must fit young people for life. Short term career goals are one thing, but as we all know the world of work evolves ever more swiftly; people make their living from industries that weren’t even dreamed of a decade ago – so flexibility and adaptability are key components. And finally, lest we forget, life is not all about work!
Taking precautions The SaferGems initiative goes from strength to strength, and as you already know BJA members should soon be receiving regular updates and alerts. This is a particularly welcome move because some of the intelligence reports logged over recent months have involved travelling sales people; others have seen the very rare occurrence of kidnap; and in a new development there have been isolated incidents of retail jewellers becoming aware of being followed. Prompted by this common thread, I would remind all members to familiarise themselves with the simple precautions they should take when driving – see this month’s Security feature (p36) where I have given a few practical tips. While the run up to Christmas is always a very busy time, and all manner of other issues are clamoring for your attention, can I also ask all members to continue reporting suspicious incidents and occurrences to the SaferGems team? It’s quite surprising how patterns of behavior and sightings of ‘dodgy’ individuals, which by themselves don’t amount to much, can add up to useful evidence. I know you won’t be taking it easy over the next couple of months as you capitalise on the opportunities presented by the festive season; sadly criminals won’t be either. But with your help SaferGems can help solve, and better still prevent, crime against jewellers.
Jeweller ONLINE RECRUITMENT
Looking to recruit staff? The Jeweller’s very own online recruitment website jeweller-recruitment.co.uk offers a targeted, cost-effective and, importantly, an immediate solution with jobs being posted within 24 hours. With a top five ranking placement in popular search engines Google and Yahoo the site regularly registers 2,500 visitors, all seeking jobs across the industry including: retail, manufacturing, design, sales, jobbing, management, admin and finance. To advertise vacancies on this website at highly competitive rates contact Ian Francis on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Voice of the Industry 5
Comment | This month:
“In the last few challenging years, there’s more than one jewellery retail business that has remained afloat thanks to a popular, commerciallypriced brand or two”
Call me shallow, but generally speaking I can’t say that I find council meetings the highlights of my year. I know their worth of course – the NAG’s for instance are vital to the smooth running of the Association and the business well-being of its members – but if I’m being honest, I’m more of a merchandise sort of person. I love to look at, hear of and write about the jewellery itself. Well, you’re allowed to change your mind aren't you? Last month, on a bright, crisp and blowy day, I joined NAG members on board the HMS Belfast for the latest Council Meeting and I have to say that I could have stayed all day! I didn’t want either of the discussions to end. I was itching to quiz retailers on forthcoming feature topics, I wanted to hear more about the NAG’s plans for the future including ‘new
media’ developments and then some more about veteran Ted’s time aboard the venerable warship and I was pretty gutted at having to disembark before the post-luncheon petit fours and coffee. (For a full report on the event see page 14) Back to the jewellery though and in this issue we return to one of my favourite subjects – coloured stones. Despite appearances to the contrary (my wardrobe is made up of almost exclusively black, grey and white) I’ve been addicted to colours ever since wanting the complete set of Caran d’Ache crayons as a child. This month I have been wallowing happily in a rainbow of gemstones and am pleased to report that they’ve lost none of their allure to the jewellery-buying public. Just a handful of the gorgeous kaleidoscope of coloured stone jewellery can be seen on page 46.
“Diamonds sell well, but some customers need more than white stones to be captivated… coloured stones give me the chance to be really creative”
The other aspect of the trade that shows no sign of disappearing into the shadows is branded jewellery. The subject is discussed by jewellers and suppliers alike on page 32 and the BJA’s Simon Rainer also airs his view on the role that branding should be playing in the industry today. There is a flipside to all this – on page 60 our Legal feature sounds a note of caution on the issue of trade-mark infringement. So much in a single issue and I haven’t mentioned Christmas once… doh!
If you would like to comment on any of the issues raised in this edition of The Jeweller or any other trade-related matters please email the editor at: email@example.com
The Voice of the Industry 7
| Industry News
Goldsmiths’ heralds major gold exhibition ast month the Goldsmiths’ Company gave journalists a small taste of a major exhibition to be held next summer. ‘Gold – Power and Allure’, the working and use of gold in the United Kingdom spanning over 4500 years. The event, the first of its kind in this country, will be held over three floors of Goldsmiths’ Hall from Friday 1st June until Saturday 28th July 2012. The preview of the free-to-visit exhibition was introduced by Goldsmiths’ director of promotion Paul Dyson, who handed the floor over to ‘Gold’s’ curator Dr Helen Clifford to give her very enthusiastic and impassioned overview of the event. She talked through the various sub-sections of the exhibition and some of the treasures and artefacts that will be on view to visitors. The major project, which tells the untold story of Britain and its relationship with gold, will showcase more than 400 gold items ranging in date from as early as 2500 BC to the present day. “The challenge has been to draw together the many strands that make a single precious metal so special and central to human society,” says Clifford. “With the focus on Britain it has been possible to assemble a story that goes far back into geological time and forward to the most cutting-edge gold-working, where this country excels.” A handful of the pieces to be exhibited were on view at the preview, including a fabulous Irish lunula – dating from around 200-1500 BC – which was found on land
then owned by the Worshipful company of Drapers in 1845. Less than 200 of these early Bronze Age necklaces are known globally and three will be on display here. To highlight the relationship between antiquity and the work of contemporary jewellers, the exhibition will also feature pieces by goldsmiths working today such as Martyn Pugh, Michael Lloyd and Catherine Martin and others from the 1950s and ’60s. Sporting gold, dining, finance, religion and royalty are among the themes to be covered. With gold mining due to start in the near future in Scotland and Welsh gold fresh in the public mind thanks to the Royal Wedding, visitors will be able to learn about some surprising sources of the precious metal. Clifford informed preview guests that there are traces of gold to be found in many parts of Great Britain, from the Scottish highlands, through Cumbria, Wales, Devon and Cornwall. The Kildonan gold rush of 1869 saw hundreds of prospectors flock to the area and some of Cross made from the fruits of their Kildonan gold, late 19th labour will feature century © Private Collection, photography – including one of the largest gold by Richard Valencia
Irish lunula © The Drapers’ Company
nuggets, weighing 59 grams. Beside items on view at Goldsmiths’, the exhibition will also detail a ‘Gold Trail’ which charts every major gold collection and points of interest around the country in regional museums, institions and churches. These include items that are too precious, fragile or large to be moved to London – such as the Gold Palm room at Spencer House and the Scottish Crown Jewels. The exhibition will be accompanied by an associated book as well as a newly composed piece of music, ‘Golden Fanfare’ by young composer Francisco Coll who has the gift of synaesthesia – being able to visualise music in terms of both colour and sounds. The fanfare will also celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the City of London Festival’s Golden Anniversary and will have its world premiere as part of a concert at Goldsmiths’ Hall on 27th June, 2012. The free exhibition will invite donations to The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, which focuses on veterans’ welfare, disadvantaged young people and sustainable development. On Tuesday 19th June Goldsmiths’ Hall will host a study day – ‘Reflecting on Gold’ – chaired by Dr Clifford and Philippa Glanville.
Retailers’ agenda for growth message n a letter to Chancellor George Osborne on the 31st October, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) set out retailers’ key priorities for developing a positive agenda for growth. Restoring customers’ confidence to spend and rebuilding retailers’ appetite to invest and resume job creation must be the Chancellor’s first concerns as he
8 The Jeweller November 2011
prepares his Autumn Statement, it says. With consumer spending now in recession, tax increases due to increase the squeeze on household budgets, and retail employment now falling – the Chancellor needs urgently to deliver genuine support for growth by holding back costs under his control is the nub of the message, the BRC adds,
also stating that retailers and customers need action on: holding back business rates and fuel costs; removing barriers to job creation (such as making the absolute upper tolerance limit for next year’s national minimum wage increase 2.1 per cent) and fully opening EU markets to the UK’s on-line retailers.
Industry News |
New premises for Domino
S N I P P E T S
omino has expanded its facility in London with the opening of a new trade counter at 26-29 St Cross Street, Hatton Garden. The strongly-branded new premises, which opened at the beginning of October, will provide Domino with the opportunity to display and to hold a far greater level of stock than was possible at its previous trade counter in the nearby ‘Heart of Hatton Garden’ building. “Since we opened in London in 2007 we have steadily expanded our market and feel sure that having our own on-street premises will help to us to grow it further,” says MD, Andrew Morton. The trade counter will carry a wide range of Domino’s core products and offer retailers and designers a wide choice of items such as wedding rings, diamond ring mounts, settings and components across all carats and colours of gold as well as in platinum and palladium. The additional space will also allow the company to showcase some of its fully-finished jewellery collections such as ‘Sienna Neckwear’ and ‘Trends and Fashions’, a collection which includes a selection of up-to-the minute contemporary designs across a range of different materials including mother-of-pearl with 18ct gold and statement cabochon stone pieces with gold and diamonds. Claire Guild, Domino’s business development manager for London is delighted with the new premises. “As our customers here in the South East now appreciate, Domino has plenty to offer London’s jewellery community. These new premises will help us bring our designs – the vast majority of which are designed and produced in-house at our manufacturing facility in Birmingham and which are unique to us – to an even wider audience. The additional space will not only allow us to hold far great levels of stock, but will also provide a more relaxed and comfortable environment in which to buy,” she commented.
Limited edition Red Arrows watch launched
Go-ahead for Scotland’s gold mine lans by Scotgold to develop Scotland’s first commercial gold and silver mine at Cononish near Tyndrum received unanimous planning approval at a meeting of the Board of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority at Crianlarich Village Hall last month. The decision follows the recommendation of the executive director of Planning and Rural Development of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The recommendation to grant is subject to concluding a number of legal agreements and outstanding issues with the Executive Director which the company expects to be finalised satisfactorily. The NAG was among a range of national and local organisations, as well as individuals including local residents, politicians, jewellers and academia, giving their support to the planning application. It is anticipated that Scottish gold and silver will be produced in the first quarter of 2013. The mine is expected to produce 20,000 ounces of gold and 80,000 ounces of silver per year, of which 5,000 ounces of gold will be extracted as unrefined gold bars and identifiable as ‘Scottish Gold’.
Cornerstone sponsored bike ride ewellery designer Paul Spurgeon who recently attended the NAG’s Council Meeting to tell members about Cornerstone, a jewellery collection that he has helped to establish in Soweto, has announced a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for the project. The trip will begin at the new Goldsmiths’ Centre in London on 6th August, 2012 and end at Buddha Bar, Paris around a week later. Money raised will be used to set up the Cornerstone workshop/HQ in Soweto and go towards equipment etc. If you would like to learn more (either to take part or to sponsor) please contact Paul Spurgeon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizen has launched a special limited edition Red Arrows watch, with just 500 available worldwide. Presented in an aircraft hangerinspired wooden box the Perpetual Chrono watch comes with a pair of silver cufflinks which sports the famous nine formation and matches the caseback of the watch. Watch, cufflinks and box are all inscribed with the unique limited edition number. GIA jewellery talk The GIA, London, is hosting a talk by Jane Perry, a visiting scholar from the V&A. To be held on the 30th November, the subject of Perry’s lecture is ‘The Traditional Jewellery of Europe’. ‘Traditional’ jewellery is that which is worn with traditional national or regional costume. Very conservative, it changes very little over time in either design or manufacture. The talk will illustrate the variety of such jewellery that survives. For more details email: email@example.com Tissot wins timing competition The prizes of the International Timing Competition were awarded last month in Switzerland for precision perfection and expertise in the watchmaking arena, specifically in the area of contemporary mechanical timing. First prize for the ‘Classic – Enterprise’ category was awarded to Tissot . The winning timepiece is Tissot’s ‘Le Locle’ which combines the innovation and traditional values of the brand’s classic range. Designer jewels sale This month Christie’s in Paris is hosting a sale of jewellery dating from the 1930s to the present day, from such houses as Boucheron and Chaumet and designers René Boivin and Suzanne Belperron. The bold and colourful pieces in the sale are as on-trend now as they were when first created and a coral and diamond necklace by Chaumet (c.1970s) is expected to fetch between €4,000 - 6,000). The sale will be held on 24th November. For further information visit: www.christies.com
The Voice of the Industry 9
| Industry News
Unexpected guests join AnchorCert party
S N I P P E T S Chafen celebrates 5o years British diamond jewellery manufacturer Chalfen is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the launch of a collection of diamond rings which have been given memorable names of the family of the company’s MD Brian Chalfen. From the Candour brand for instance is ‘Tomo’ which is named after Mr Chalfen’s first grandson. The elegant four or six claw collet, which takes a variety of stone shapes, allows the full ‘life’ of the D colour diamond to be released and can be made in platinum or 18ct white gold. Fairtrade gold weathervane
nchorCert’s 10th anniversary celebrations at Harvey Nichols in Birmingham were given an extra touch of glamour by the surprise arrival of actor James Corden (of Gavin & Stacey fame) together with chart-toppers One Direction. The celebrities were tempted into the store while filming in the city and found the AnchorCert party in full swing; guests were celebrating the first decade of the Diamond and Gemstone Certification system, which is a division of the Birmingham Assay Office. Harvey Nichols store manager, Kevin Breese later described the scene as “surreal” as One Directions’s Harry Styles, and fellow band members Zain Mailik and Liam Payne along with Corden, joined the Birmingham-based Sansaar Group Dhol drummers and Bhangra dancers and astonished guests with their interpretation of the traditional Punjabi folk dance. The Assay Office chairman, Kay Alexander, and chief executive Michael Allchin, both wearing grand chains of office for the occasion also joined in. The other stars of the evening were the jewellery pieces on show – all made in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter – by designers James Newman, Fei Liu and Victoria James, alongside jewellery by Sharman D Neill of Northern Ireland.
Call to respect KP principles head of the 2011 Plenary of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in Kinshasa, the president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, Avi Paz, made a strong appeal to the delegations of the 75 governments to “live up to and abide by the organisation’s core principles.” “Our Federation, which represents virtually the entire organised global diamond trade and industry, has been an active supporter of this regulatory system. In a way, it is unique that those who are being regulated welcome the desire of governments to ensure the integrity of the trading system through a unique system of supply chain regulation and monitoring,” he added. “However, when the governments fail to live up to their mandate and cause confusion in the industry by their lack of unanimity of what diamonds ought to be kept out of the market, the effective functioning of the trade is greatly impaired. “Our members are strongly committed to enforcing the requirements of the KPCS system, and we have never hesitated to remove from our ranks those traders who may have strayed. However, if our regulators give contradictory signals and individual countries adopt conflicting policies, it becomes increasingly difficult for our members to conduct our business in a most responsible manner,” Paz continued.
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On 2nd November steeplejacks installed a weathervane newly gilded in Fairtrade Fairmined gold on the top of Chichester Cathedral’s 277ft spire. This world first is a result of a pioneering collaboration between the cathedral and Chichester-based ethical jewellers Cred and the Fairtrade Foundation. Cred sourced the gold from the Sotrami Mine in Peru – one of the first mines in the world to be certified to Fairtrade standards. Prior to the gilding of the weathervane – a cockerel – the gold was sent to Italy to be turned into gold leaf. W&W opens pop-up shop Bespoke British jeweller W&W is transforming its Battersea studio into a Christmas pop-up shop exclusively stocking jewellery by designer maker Laura Gravestock. A celebrity favourite, her pieces having featured in several national glossies. Gravestock’s work is inspired by light playing on intricate latticework that surrounded her while growing up among the diverse architecture and cultures of the Middle East and rural Spain. A passion for gemstones adds further colour and richness to the designs. The W&W Pop Up will be open from 28th November until 23rd December. www.wandwjewellery.com
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| Industry News
S N I P P E T S
ast month the Victoria & Albert Museum played host to a ceremony, which saw Shaun Grace win the 2011 Young Designer Silversmith Award. During the event a pair of silver flower vases made by Grace was presented to Martin Roth, director of the V&A, for the museum’s permanent exhibition. This prestigious competition organised by Hector Miller, prime warden of the the Goldsmiths’ Company focuses on young Goldsmiths’ Company with Shaun Grace silversmithing students at university in Britain today and is open to any student under 30 on a BA or Master’s degree course. The Award scheme was started in 1994 as an initiative to encourage students to show their artistic individuality in silver and to give them the opportunity to perfect dexterity of craftsmanship under the guidance of a master silversmith The design brief changes from year to year. The 2011 students were asked to submit designs for a pair of complementing silver vessels that had to interact with each other as well as effectively displaying flowers of a particular species. The judges were particularly impressed with Shaun’s entry which was inspired by the architectural forms of the Sydney Opera House and designed specifically to complement the strong flamboyant forms of the calla lily. As winner Shaun was given £4,000 towards the cost of translating his design into silver and the Goldsmiths’ Company arranged for him to do this in the workshop of leading silversmith Steven Ottewill, based in Ashford, Kent.
The French jewellery houses Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels are the latest in a growing number of names to have achieved certification meeting the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC’s Member Certification System. Other companies who have achieved this in the last month include: Swiss watch manufacturer Jaegerle-Coultre; Belgian diamond cutting and polishing manufacturers SV Gems NV, Eurostar Diamond Traders NV, Taché Company, Interjewel Europe NV and Supergems NV; Shrenuj NV, the Belgian arm of Mumbai-based diamond and polishing manufacturer and Israeli diamond cutting and polishing manufacturers L&N Diamonds.
Romanov jewellery albums for sale wo lavishly illustrated inventories of jewellery belonging to Ksenia Aleksandrovna, the Grand Duchess of Russia, are highlights of the Russian Sale, taking place on the 30th November 2011 at Bonhams, New Bond Street. As the daughter of Tsar Aleksander III and sister of Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Ksenia led a privileged life and the two volumes of almost a 1,000 entries form an itemised record of jewellery she received from 1880-1912. Estimated to sell for £150,000 – £250,000 they provide a fascinating insight into the private wealth of the Romanovs, their personal taste and family relationships. The albums served her as a personal, visual diary and are almost completely unrelated to political circumstances, which the Grand Duchess elaborated upon in correspondence and personal accounts elsewhere. Each birthday, name day, Christmas and Easter was marked with jewelled gifts from her inner circle comprising of her tutors, close friends and family.
Update on RJC Certification
Fingerprint seeks franchisees FingerPrint Jewellery which creates one-off jewellery pieces using the fingerprints of its customers’ (done at home with a simple impression kit) is rolling the idea out in branches of John Lewis across the country. The company is now aiming to sign-up franchisees in north and central London, Southampton, Liverpool, Bristol, Kingston, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, and Cheadle. The franchisees will be integral in managing the partner relationship and roll out of FingerPrint Jewellery in the remaining John Lewis stores that will be retailing the brand.
Terry’s ‘All Golds’ in Birmingham n exhibition to celebrate the 40 year tenure of lecturer Terry Hunt at Birmingham’s School of Jewellery and the alumni of that period (1971 - 2011) is being held at the School until November 25th this year. Jack Cunningham, head of the School says: “Terry’s ‘All Golds’ is a perfect exhibition concept: 100 individuals who have studied under Terry at the School of Jewellery over a 40 year period.” Drawn from across a number of continents, the exhibition participants are a who’s who of designers, artists, makers, gallery owners, academics, retailers and opinion formers, with each participant asked to provide two pieces of work, one from their student days, the other a current item.
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Fossil partners with Lagerfeld Global fashion accessories company has announced a strategic partnership with Karl Lagerfeld to design, develop and distribute a line of men’s and women’s watches under the Karl Lagerfeld label. The first collection bearing the Paris-based designer’s name is scheduled to launch in spring 2013.
| NAG News
NAG Council set sail aboard HMS Belfast The awesome HMS Belfast and (inset) her acting captain Michael Hoare!
embers of the NAG were asked to bring their sea-legs for this October’s Council Meeting, which took place aboard the Imperial War Museum’s HMS Belfast. The Royal Navy light cruiser that stands moored on the banks of the Thames was an unusual, yet exciting location for the second Council meeting of this year. Chaired by deputy chairman Frank Wood and CEO Michael Hoare, two guest speakers were invited along to continue our discussions surrounding ethics within the jewellery industry, and the future direction of the NAG. Tip-toeing their way along the gangplank, members of the NAG Council, with a brisk wind driving them on, trooped thankfully into the cosy warmth of the Belfast’s Morgan Giles Room to enjoy a morning coffee, followed by an address by Wood. Passing on the sentiments of absent chairman Nicolas Major, Wood invited CEO Michael Hoare to the floor to update members on
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the Association’s key movements and developments over the past year. In a quick rundown of the important facts and figures Hoare congratulated the education department on its hard work, as JET 1 & 2 went online – attracting an increase of students by 35 per cent – while instigating the all-new JET Pro course, and a day-long course for ‘Selling to Chinese Customers’. Hoare continued to report the progress toward the creation of the Certificate of Appraisal Theory (CAT) qualification announced by Jonathan Lambert and Heather McPherson, at this year’s IRV Loughborough Conference. The conference itself invited a number of exciting guest speakers including Steve Bennett from GemsTV, and an insight by the renowned Harry Levy – as well as the usual informative workshops and heated debates Loughborough is famed for (see p20 for the full story).
However, the good news didn’t end there, as Michael Inkpen was named as the winner of the David Wilkins Award and Jonathan ‘TV Ready’ Lambert appeared on the BBC’s Your Money show – creating a huge surge in IRV interest from both industry insiders and members of the public. To round off what, in all, has been a successful year for the NAG, Luke Street’s own Faye Hadlow received a special mention for her excellent work in resolving 34 disputes between members and customers. Hoare also reported on his continued work in keeping the Kimberly Process on track, pushing for more transparency in the jewellery supply chain with an NGO Ethics Committee workshop, as well as continuing to work closely with our friends at the BJA, Bank of England, and the major constituents of the SaferGems initiative. In a break from the usual Council meeting format, Hoare then invited jewellery designer Paul Spurgeon to the stage to discuss his latest venture – Cornerstone. An enlightening and touching Q&A followed, where Spurgeon outlined the social enterprise he’s been working on since 2009. Working with a few budding entrepreneurs from Soweto, Cornerstone has taken a leaf from the ‘Fairtrade’ label, as it attempts to equip craftspeople in impoverished townships with the tools and resources to create their own brand of jewellery. A business in every sense of the word, Spurgeon’s enterprise aims to provide these people with the means to work and lift themselves out of the situation they find themselves in. Seeking to redress the divides created by apartheid, Spurgeon’s cause pursues a desire to impart skills, tools and knowledge to those with the drive and work ethic to create stunning and unique jewellery. The range itself has recently been designed and created by Spurgeon and Soweto-based Nqobile – who are seeking to sell the jewellery for a fair price, which will allow the original craftsmen and women a fair slice of the pie. Spurgeon guided us through the story so far, from the searches for water, to the instigation of new initiatives for women villagers. The session ended with a number of interesting questions from the floor, before Mike McGraw took to the stage to discuss the future of the NAG. McGraw’s presence sparked some interesting conversation about
NAG News | the future use of ‘New Media’, and how the Association needs to move with the times to keep up with new media trends. Interesting points, ideas and initiatives were added to the melting pot that will be discussed on the forums and in the depths of Luke Street in the run up to the New Year. If you have any ideas on how the NAG can revolutionise its use of new internet technologies, get in touch and let us know your views and, perhaps, how you can help. The day was rounded off by an incredibly insightful guided tour of HMS Belfast, and a luncheon for members to continue discussing the morning’s ideas. For more information on all Council Meetings – whether you’d like to find out more about speakers, or have an idea for a talk yourself – please send an email to Ritu Verma at: firstname.lastname@example.org The next Council Meeting is on the 14th March 2012 at the new Goldsmiths’ Centre, London. We hope to see you there! Miles Hoare
New Member Applications Members wishing to comment on any of these applications can call Amy Oliver on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at: email@example.com within three weeks of receipt of this issue.
Ordinary Member Applications Sharpe & Graham Jewellers, Louth, Lincs
Allied Applications Cooksons Precious Metals Ltd, Birmingham
EDF – Support for your business when you most need it hile busy retailers may be concerned about the time and cost implications of membership, the NAG’s Executive Development Forum (EDF), which is focused entirely upon the needs of jewellers, can help plan and shape the long term direction of a business. These are challenging times. The EDF provides the opportunity for members to grow their businesses with the support of fellow retailers. Almost certainly every question a retailer has ever asked him or herself has been asked and answered by members of the EDF, which has a membership of 35 businesses with a collective turnover of over £30 million per annum. Some of the specific benefits for Forum members are the sharing of information and experience, the planning of business vision and strategy and building awareness of market influences. In the midst of economic uncertainty these benefits are more relevant than ever to jewellery retailers. The Forum groups initially meet six times a year on dates and at venues to suit members and after that the frequency is determined by the EDF groups. Each meeting is tailored to members’ businesses with an agenda which reflects their immediate and longer term requirements – such topics as stock management, staff commission and bonuses, repair pricing and the discussion of monthly statistics on sales, profit and stock levels, which every EDF member has access to. Join us and share in that knowledge. To be part of the EDF’s 7th group Contact Amanda White at the NAG on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yorkshire Centre dinner & dance orkshire Centre members were treated to a night of glamour at their annual dinner dance in Scarborough on Saturday 22nd October. Local chair Justine Craven ensured that party-goers were royally entertained – first introducing cabaret dancers performing a selection of numbers from the hit musical Chicago; then opening the dancing to the six-piece jazz ensemble. Organiser, Diane Wood, is seen here accepting a bouquet on behalf of the assembled revellers.
NAG IJL Competition Winners any congratulations go to the Grow Your Own competition winners – NAG members T J Davies A’l Fab of Aberystwyth, Dyfed and Brufords of Exeter Ltd both won National Garden Gift Vouchers. The competition held during IJL this year, was part of the NAG’s continued GYO campaign and theme that has flourished during this year.
Francesca Louise Selby, Rugby, Warwickshire
IRV Applications If members wish to comment on any of these, please contact Sandra Page on tel: (029) 2081 3615.
Upgrading from Member to Fellow Andrée J Richardson FCGmA MAE BSC(Hons), Southampton Jacqueline Sanders PJDip PJGemDip PJValDip FGA DGA FNAG, Towcester Antony Specterman, Bournemouth Geoffrey Whitefield PJDip PJGemDip FNAG, Birmingham
Retired/Resigned 2010-11 Retired Dryden & Son, Spalding, Lincolnshire Calloway Jewellers, Lincoln, Lincolnshire Garthway Galleries, Northallerton, North Yorkshire C T Maine Ltd, St Helier, Jersey Totnes Jewellers, Totnes, Devon Otter Gems, Ottery Saint Mary, Devon
Resigned J Clelland-Brown, Edinburgh, Scotland A Hartmenn & Son Ltd, Galway, Republic of Ireland Eve Gallery, Seaton, Devon Ramsdens Pawnbrokers and Jewellers, Stockton-On-Tees Coronet Jewellers (Plymouth), Plymouth, Devon E Kirsch Jewellers Ltd, Hyde, Cheshire M A Sturge Jewellery, Maidstone, Kent Castle Antiques, Burnham-On-Sea John Hollins (Dudley) Ltd, Dudley, West Midlands Guild Claims Services, Bath Lionel Jacobs Ltd, Richmond, Surrey Williamson Brown, Newcastle Upon Tyne A E Osbourne & Son Ltd, Northampton Charles Fox (Jewellers) Ltd, Bournemouth, Dorset A Godshaw Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire David Edwards the Jeweller, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Topsham Jewellers Ltd, Exeter, Devon Bramleys, Carlow, Republic of Ireland J E Wolf, Northwich, Cheshire
The Voice of the Industry 15
| NAG News
NAG member of the Month Amy Oliver speaks to Stephen Jones and Gary Colbert-Owen of Kaanaanmaa in Wokingham, Berkshire. The shop carries an array of contemporary fine jewellery from cutting-edge designers and offers a bespoke service to customers. Where did the name ‘Kaanaanmaa’ come from? Kaanaanmaa is the Finnish word for the land of Canaan, which is the biblical ‘land of milk and honey’ – a rather apt name for a jewellery shop. We find that the name works on so many different levels; nobody can remember how to spell it and yet nobody forgets it. Interestingly, when we first took over the shop we were going to change the name for something more traditional but after quite a lot of consultation with the people of Wokingham it became apparent that the name was both much loved and a source of humour – memories of trying to pronounce the word Kaanaanmaa without it sounding like Bananarama. Now we realise if we had changed the name it would have been our biggest mistake ever. You have designed some beautiful and very original bespoke pieces – what would you say was the most unusual piece you have ever created? A couple commissioned us to make their wedding rings and wanted to use some of their gold for sentimentality; we do this sort of thing quite often. The only difference this time was the customer turned up with gold teeth and a gold bridge. They belonged to a grandfather who had recently died and who they were very close to. It took quite a while to remove the teeth from the bridge but the rings looked great and they were very happy. Like a lot of jewellers we have a Fairtrade gold licence, but using teeth seems the ultimate way of recycling your gold!
16 The Jeweller November 2011
A piece we recently made and love is an 18ct yellow and white gold square tourmaline and diamond ring. The customer chose the stones and said she wanted something a bit different that could be worn all the time. She then said she would leave it up to us and be back in six weeks to collect it. When she came to pick it up, she opened the box and there was silence. After what seemed like a lifetime she said “Oh my god, I love it, it’s perfect!” We breathed a sigh of relief.
people travelling for hours to come and see us. The nicest feeling is selling a piece that you have made.
You have many pieces by cutting edge designers such as Yuki Mitsuyasu and William Cheshire – what is it about these particular designers’ collections that attracts you? Their ranges are eye-catching and slightly different from the norm, as are those by other designers we work with. William’s 18ct flame collection is very stylish and elegant, and Yuki’s Shine and Geometric hearts collections are to die for. We are finding this is what people want – designer jewellery that is not found on every high street and without the bespoke price tag. Other designers we are also working with are Jayce Wong, Malcolm Morris and Bjorg. We feel our designers complement each others’ style – getting the right balance is so important. Something else important to us when choosing a new range is the attitude of the designer and passion for their work. The thing we are mostly known for is our own bespoke work; this has always been our main passion. We are finding our own one-off pieces more popular than ever with
With Christmas approaching, do you have any special plans for the shop? We are having a larger seating area fitted and extra display cabinets made for the shop. A new window will be put in between the shop and workshop allowing people to see us making and repairing the jewellery. Some of our office area is the shop at the moment and will be incorporated within the workshop area making it, shall we say, cosy!
As well as jewellery you also stock a range of contemporary pewter giftware – have you noticed a resurgence in the popularity of pewter ware? Very much so, with the current designers producing such cutting edge styles gone are the days where people assume pewter is just for tankards. Pewter fits a price point not far from silver plate; so people can buy a ‘proper’ metal without paying the price of silver. One of our most popular pewter ranges is ‘Cathy Tutt’ twist vases, they are perfect for a special gift and an affordable price too. We still find silverware popular even with the higher metal prices; our picture frames and Waldman sterling silver pens are in demand more than ever.
I always ask our Member of the Month to share an anecdote about a memorable customer – does one spring to mind? We had a customer who commissioned us to make his wife a platinum and 18ct gold nipple ring set with a 0.33ct brilliant-cut diamond. We didn’t think it was that strange until he got the photos out and a plaster of Paris mould! If you would like your business to be considered as Member of the Month, please write in and tell us why! Send an email to: email@example.com
| NAG News: Education & Training
NAG to launch new valuation programme uring the recent IRV Conference in Loughborough, chairman Jonathan Lambert and valuer Heather McPherson announced the introduction of the IRV’s new Certificate for Appraisal Theory (CAT). Since the relaunch of the NAG’s Registered Valuers Scheme as the IRV in 2008, the Institute has been working towards the objective of achieving the highest standards in valuation practice. Over those three years the Institute has become identified by many major retailers and insurance companies as one of the most reliable associations for valuations. When seeking to achieve the highest standards, it is important to understand how to continue to monitor the progress of members and update these standards in-line with industry expectations. The Institute does this by regular monitoring. “Currently one of the criteria for entrance into the Institute is having the Professional Jewellers’ Valuation Diploma (PJValDip),”
McPherson said, “and although that will continue to be valid for anyone that already holds it, it was felt that a different approach was required. What became blatantly clear during this review of valuation education was that many of the essential and specific skills a competent jewellery valuer needed to acquire were either covered in JET 1 & 2 or were actually more comprehensibly delivered by other bodies and organisations, such as Gem-A or GIA for gemmological training and diamond assessment skills, or courses on hallmarking like those run by the Birmingham Assay Office. “What was clearly missing here in the UK was something that gave potential valuers a good grounding in valuation theory, methodologies, and good working practices.” So CAT was born – an entry level qualification to teach the fundamentals of valuation theory. “CAT is a modular programme which is designed with the greatest flexibility in mind.
It’s currently composed as a number of modules which overall will give the student a recognised qualification – and offer them a chance of applying for membership of the Institute,” Lambert explained. ‘Just like the PJValDip., CAT is one of the entry requirements for coveted IRV membership. Applicants will Applicants will still have to have five years practical experience in the trade, a recognised gemmological qualification and a diamond grading certificate, as in previous years – but CAT will be part of the essential knowledge needed to gain membership to the institute.” “This would be the first qualification of its kind in the industry, and I think it’s desperately needed. Our students are crying out for this basic knowledge that will allow them to become jewellery valuers. As CAT has no specific entry requirements it’s something people can do alongside gaining the other experience and qualifications they need to become a jewellery valuer. It’s really exciting to see this project coming to fruition and we hope that CAT will create students who work from the IRV ethos, and apply the greatest expertise to each valuation.” For more information contact Sandra Page at: firstname.lastname@example.org
September Bransom Award winner his month the NAG celebrates another winner of the coveted Bransom JET 1 Project Assignment Award which is held in conjunction with Bransom Retail Systems, each month. The Education Department enters all JET 1 assignments into a competition to find the best project. Selected by the external examiners, the winners are rewarded with a trip to the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall, for the presentation of certificate at our annual student award ceremony. September’s honour goes to Lisa Hayball of Gold and Silver Shop in Bath. We’d like to congratulate Lisa, who has scooped the prize after finishing the course in just six weeks. Lisa’s tutor, Anne Bray, told us: “Lisa has been a dream student. When I sent the timetable she asked if she could do the course more quickly! Lisa did live up to her promise by starting and finishing the whole of JET 1 in just six weeks – and to a very high standard.”
18 The Jeweller November 2011
The project moderator in turn was very complimentary about Lisa’s project, stating that: “It has been my pleasure to receive and mark this assignment – I was really impressed with the quality of Lisa’s answer. There has been stiff competition this month as we’ve seen some of the most excellent and well-presented project scripts sent in for assessment – far more than any other month this year. Lisa has taken each one of the Four Cs and explained its meaning and relevance to diamond grading. It is clear she has given a great deal of serious thought to just how each section has been worded. The final aspect of the project dealing with the use of selling skills with regards to a repair item is exceptionally well explained.” I thought the course was really helpful in bringing both the theoretical and practical elements of selling and customer care together. I put in a lot of hard work and I’m
really glad that this has paid off. I decided to take the course online, and this meant that work was handled much quicker than my collegues who previously took the paper version of the course. For more information on the JET courses, go to www.jewellers-online.org or call 020 7613 4445 (option 1). For information on Bransom go to: www.bransom.co.uk
NAG News: Education & Training | Robyn Allen, the UK’s entrant to World Skills Jewellery Competition
World Skills International 2011 comes to London’s East End With Britain lagging behind the rest of Europe for essential skilled workers, it’s fitting that this year’s World Skills Intl was held in London. Bringing together industry experts from around the globe, and with sponsorship from Cookson Gold – along with a number of multi-national partners – the event is the world’s biggest of its kind. Miles Hoare went along to discover what exactly the future holds for the skilled professions in Britain. don’t know what you’d expect to find at an exhibition of ‘World Skills’ but, weaving as I was between hoards of school children towards the accreditation centre, I noticed that unlike most trade fairs the focus here was not on what can be promoted or sold, but more on what people can do for themselves. Split throughout the venue’s ten different halls, disciplines ranging from manufacturing to horticulture were displayed with varying degrees of activity and interaction involved. Here were practical demonstrations in such differing skills as turf-laying, car maintenance, hair-dressing and brick laying as well as an ‘Art & Design’ arena where the jewellery industry was distinguished from the rest of the hall by a number of work-shop benches, each with its own flag, representing sixteen different countries. The benches were occupied by young men and women, working away at different metals and stones.
This was World Skills Competition in action – or at least the jewellery element of it – there was one for each of the very many industries taking part in the event. Each of the 16 competitors there were national finalists and were now competing on the world stage in a battle to see who could create the most accurate, and well-crafted version of a particular item. Over the course of three days, competitors were given strict time restraints in which to complete a piece based on a specific design – with one country being crowned as master craftsmen. This competition showcased some of the best talent from around the globe – and proved that the jewellery industry is still providing skilled workers that can create wealth far beyond the cost of training them. As part of Cookson Gold’s involvement in World Skills London, it provided all the materials used in the Jewellery Competition (as well as running a jewellery ‘Have a Go’ stand for visitors to the fair). “Manufacturing
has been a dirty word for far too long, it is fantastic to see an event which focused on the skills required to make and the enjoyment and satisfaction that can be gained from this as an individual,” said Stella Layton after the show. “We are very please to be involved and support such a worth while and educational event.” For the record, the major honours finally went to Brazil, Korea, France and Japan. The jewellery industry representation didn’t stop there. Also in this area was the bastion of British skills training, Holts Academy, which was running a workshop for those interested in jewellery making. “Today we’re simply leading small groups through a pendantmaking project. It’s a simple way for visitors who are interested in exploring the craft side of the jewellery trade to get involved. The academy itself runs a number of NVQs in jewellery apprenticeships – something that the industry is currently crying out for,” Holt’s Rose Williams said. “We’re hoping to give those youngsters who haven’t decided on the career path they want to take, a tiny taste of what skills they might learn on one of our courses. This kind of hands on experience is quite rare, and it takes an event like World Skills 2011 to let us bring these skills out to the public, and potential students.” This will give such youngsters a go at this potential career avenue and was backed up by a number of stunning graduate pieces that showcased the work of current and past students. I was extremely impressed with the attention to detail in these pieces. It was here my journey ended. Although the jewellery industry occupied a fraction of the huge exhibition space, it was encouraging to see there is still an active celebration of the kind of great skills and craftsmanship that the industry boasts. For another year World Skills International showcased the best talent the world and especially the UK has to offer, while simultaneously showing school leavers that there are a number of exciting and interesting opportunities out there for them when they leave. With our skills provisions in Britain apparently lagging behind those in Europe and across the globe, World Skills International seemed to show that all hope is not lost – and that the next generation can and will join the successful craftspeople witnessed at this weekend event.
The Voice of the Industry 19
| NAG News: IRV Review
NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R
Loughborough Conference 2011 An illuminating talk on the factors affecting the valuation of gemstones was just one of the highlights of a packed programme at Loughborough this year… s is always the case, the 2011 IRV Loughborough Conference offered delegates a full, informative and entertaining schedule of presentations and workshops. Following a welcome from chairman Jonathan Lambert, the weekend included talks by the likes of Stephen Whittaker of Fellows Auctioneers, Ricard Drucker of Gemworld Inc USA, Steve Bennett of GemsTV and Hazel Forsyth, a senior curator at the Museum of London who introduced the Cheapside Hoard.
Levy’s presentation, entitled ‘Nomenclature, Treatments & Origins of Gemstones’ pulled together these three key issues to explain how they affect today’s valuer. “The above are all parts of what we refer to as disclosure,” he began. “To many this term will have different connotations. Many regard disclosure as being the unpleasant part of our business, like entering a confessional to tell of our sins, things we are all scared to tell, which may lose us our sale. This may be true in some cases, but disclosure simply means giving information about the stone we are selling – things such as weight, price, shape, type, dimensions and so on. There are many more things we can tell about the stone. Some of these others we are obliged to tell, through trade regulations, some we may omit. In my view you must disclose things that have been done to the stone to improve its appearance. Basically, if a process has been applied to a stone that changes the value of the stone, then this process must be disclosed.”
and all the other charges in the business. Thus for our two hypothetical stones, this cost is the same. “The other is what I call the aesthetic value; this is the beauty we see in the stone. This depends on the appearance of the stone, rarity, and desirability – how many people want it. The more plentiful the stone the cheaper it tends to be and the labour charge becomes significant – relatively easy to price. The rarer the stone then the aesthetic value becomes dominant. As we go up the scale in such stones the more difficult it is to value them. Also the value depends on the market in which they are sold.” He also added that valuing better quality stones is easy for diamonds with grading and price lists such as Rapaport, but very difficult for ruby, sapphire and emerald. “The semiprecious stones such as aquamarine and tourmaline seem to have an upper limit, but these are rapidly changing due to demands from China,” he explained. “Germans are selling them there, and then expect to get these prices in their traditional markets. When valuing these stones beware not to value too low.”
Origins So what is meant by the term ‘origin’? Levy admitted that it caused him problems when filling out a customs form: “I buy a stone in New York; the dealer may have bought it in Jaipur, Bangkok, Israel or Germany. They in turn bought the rough in Burma.” He also warned that rough is moved around to
Basic value The event was especially blessed with one key speaker in particular – Harry Levy. A well-respected trader in diamonds and gemstones for over 45 years, he is president of the London Diamond Bourse, while posts he has held in the past include chairman of the BJA and president of the Diamonds, Gemstones & Laboratories sections of CIBJO.
20 The Jeweller November 2011
Levy then went on to describe how the value of a stone is reached, given that it is possible to have two stones mined from a spot next to each other – one possibly worth a few dollars and the other worth thousands. “I regard a stone to have two aspects to its value. The first I call the labour charge – this is the cost in mining, cutting and polishing and the costs of bringing it to market, such as running an office, travel
Michael Inkpen receiving the David Wilkins Award from Margaret Wilkins.
NAG News: IRV Review | In summing up Levy admitted that he found the work that valuers do very difficult. “We in the trade value a piece of jewellery as the sum of its parts. We give no value to make, provenance, historical value: we are real philistines,” he concluded.
Any other business…
Daren Daniels of Bransom Retail Systems and Tom French, the Loughborough Conference firsttimer whose attendance was paid for by Bransom
fool cutters – for example, it has been known for rough originating from Sri Lanka to be sold as from Kashmir. “Origin matters when we price better quality stones. A Burma ruby is worth more than a similar looking stone from Vietnam or Africa. Trade legislators have been fighting for years against giving origins when selling stones. The trade, especially auction houses, makes origin an important selling factor and this means [valuers] need to know the origin to determine the value,” he said. “Traditionally stones from certain origins fetch better prices – for instance Kashmir sapphires, Burma rubies and Columbian emeralds. And even a mine can make a difference, like Muzo mine for emeralds.” He went on to explain that this can have bad effects upon the value of stones from other areas such as Siam rubies and African rubies, which some may not regard as ‘real’ rubies.
Treatments Treatments are obviously a very big subject which covers colour change (via heat, irradiation) and clarity change through heat, infilling with oils, resins, glass, etc. Many different terms are used such as treated, enhanced, improved, processed, refined, modified and purified and all affect the value of the stone and sometimes these treatments are difficult to determine. For example, Levy mentioned Opticon-filled emeralds – filled with a hardener which is Superglue; contraction produces colour flashes; the surface hardener produces vacuums and thus shatters the stones. Then there’s diffusion and padparacha sapphire (orange colour). He explained the history of beryllium treated stones and how once there were few but now there are many because of mass diffusion – something that the trade, he says, does not accept.
The IRV Conference also provides the best opportunity to honour the achievements of members. Following Saturday’s dinner an informal Presentation of Awards Ceremony took place to present certificates to those MIRV delegates who had achieved FIRV status. The recipients were: Sandra Barron, Nick Bailey, Melanie Chater, Georgina Deer, Alan Johns, Susan Pennington, Lesley Skinner and Ewen Taylor. The Institute currently has 34 FIRVs. Margaret Wilkins presented the David Wilkins Award to this year’s popular winner – Michael Inkpen. Other nominees for the award were Eric Emms, Peter Hering, David John Harrold, Jonathan Lambert and Geoff Whitefield. Before the Conference closed Jonathan Lambert announced that 2012 will be the year of the Institute’s Silver Jubilee and that plans are already in hand for a special Conference to celebrate this achievement. For those organised enough to have a 2012 diary, the dates will be Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th September. We look forward to seeing you there! The Association is extremely grateful to the following companies/organisations for their support of the Conference: Bransom Retail Systems, Fellows Auctioneers, the Gem-A, Gemworld Inc, T H March & Co Ltd and SafeGuard/AnchCert.
Nomenclature “It is important to call stones what they are to avoid confusion,” Levy stressed. “And it is vital to differentiate between natural and synthetic stones. Then there are problems with pearls – natural, cultured or imitation. While I was in Hong Kong last week there was a debate as to whether cultured pearls should be called pearls – after all South Sea pearls are never described as cultured.” He went on to discuss the implications this might have with regards to other synthetic stones, particularly diamonds.
FIRVs who received their certificates: Alan Johns, Lesley Skinner, Georgina Deer, Melanie Chater, IRV Chairman Jonathan Lambert, Sandra Barron, Susan Pennington, Ewen Taylor and Nick Bailey.
The Voice of the Industry 21
Ask not what we can do for you but what together we can do for the benefit of all. . .
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOLDSMITHS is the largest and most active trade association in the Jewellery industry. Representing retailers within this sector for well over 100 years, we work together with our members to promote the highest level of ethical, professional practice in the UK Jewellery sector through ‘Education’, ‘Representation’ and ‘Communication’. Today the potential and pitfalls of the jewellery industry are as complex as they are challenging and as the industry’s major trade association, the NAG is committed to providing our members with the necessary tools and information to ensure their businesses are best equipped to take advantage of the challenges ahead. Indeed we are, and have been, at the forefront of many industry matters – either contesting, debating or discussing the key issues that effect our members and the industry as a whole; whether it’s ‘The Kimberley Process’, ‘FairTrade Gold’, ‘CIBJO’, ‘Ethical Jewellery’ or ‘Action for Market Towns’ to name a few, the views of our membership are always well represented at the ‘top table’. Plus, more recently, the NAG has developed member initatives such as ‘Safergems’ (in conjunction with TH March to improve the fight against crime), the ‘Executive Development Forum’ (a member forum committed to sharing ideas and improving sales) and the ‘Institute of Registered Valuers’ (setting standards for professional valuers). Add the NAG’s industry renowned JET I & 2 Education and Training online courses to the list, as well as publishing its very own magazine The Jeweller, and it is clear to see the NAG is proactively involved in all aspects of the trade. The NAG is your voice and your trade association for the UK Jewellery industry – collectively and together we can work to achieve a better industry for everyone. If you would like to find out what working together can achieve for the benefit of all, please call Amy Oliver on 020 7613 4445 and find out about the different membership schemes available to retailers, manufacturers and designers.
Education • Representation • Communication www.jewellers-online.org
BJA News |
Focusing on creativity here has been much talk in the news recently of encouragement to the British manufacturing sector. It would seem, after many years in the wilderness, that those of us who actually design and make things are back in favour with the political elite, who, having for years eschewed our cause in favour of the City and financial services, are now seeing the economic and ecological benefits that we can bring. As a manufacturer myself (I have a precious metal casting company in Birmingham) it was with great pleasure that, in my role as vice president of the British Allied Trades Federation (formerly BJGF Federation) the umbrella body to which the BJA belongs, I recently took up a post on the Council of West Midlands’ Confederation of British Industry (CBI). My job here, which I shall relish, will be to represent the interests not only of the jewellery sector but also of all the member companies within the Federation including giftware, surface engineering, travel
goods and accessories businesses and to try and ensure that our voice is heard – not just within the CBI but within Government. We certainly have plenty to shout about. Within the West Midlands alone BATF numbers some 450 SMEs comprising manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, sole traders, craftsmen and designers, while countrywide we represent over 2,500 businesses employing 46,000 people and with an estimated gross turnover of £22bn. ‘The Creative Industries’ of which so many of our members are a part, is an area of considerable interest to the CBI right now. Indeed a recent report suggests that by 2013 this sector is expected to employ some 1.3 million people, potentially making it larger than financial services. However all is not entirely rosy, because the same report also identifies a lack of basic skills in the workforce which, it maintains, if the sector is to meet its considerable potential, must be addressed.
Education and training has long been a prime concern for the BJA and many of our recent initiatives such as London Jewellery Exports and Mike Hughes, chairman of the BJA KickStart have provided crucial advice and support to young people starting out in business. We are also working closely with Holts Academy in London to offer special BJA training programmes in the disciplines identified as lacking within the CBI report – however more can and will be done. The CBI has the ear of Government, the BATF Federation has the ear of the CBI. Tell me what you want done and let me speak out on behalf of us all.
Michael Hughes, Chairman
Historic name change for Federation s approved at the British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation AGM on 7th July 2011, the BJGF Federation’s change of name to British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) has happened. The change of name has come about because, “enlarging the Federation has long been an objective of the Board and continuing to extend the name to incorporate more sectors was not feasible,” says president Martin Olsen. “Our Federated Trade Associations and members perceive this to
be an important arm of Federation strategy. Now, new trade associations wishing to join the Federation from sectors that are similar to our own will not be put off from joining.” The BATF represents the interests of over 2,500 UK member companies. Other brands within the Federation umbrella – British Jewellery and Giftware International, the British Jewellery and Giftware Benevolent Society and the Jewellery Quarter Conference Centre – will remain unchanged.
Record web figures for September he BJA can announce record figures for September following the launch of its new look website bja.org.uk at International Jewellery London. One month on, already the hard work of Katie French, our website and information co-ordinator, is paying off, with visits totaling more than 6,500 from over 5,000 individuals viewing 32,856 pages. “What is most encouraging is that people
are spending twice as long on the site, an average of five minutes which we are very pleased with,” commented marketing manager Lindsey Straughton. “We are in the process of updating all our members product information and refreshing up to four images per company which will make this a very modern, fast and comprehensive sourcing service for buyers.”
The Voice of the Industry 23
| BJA News
BJA offers members free SaferGems membership s part of its new and ongoing security programme, the BJA is providing its membership free use of the nationwide SaferGems scheme. First introduced by founding sponsors, T.H. March and the National Association of Goldsmiths, SaferGems is a jewellery crime reporting system which co-ordinates information from members on incidents and suspicious events. All SaferGems users have secure access to an electronic reporting process where information is disseminated and verified on a central basis before being released in the forms of alerts to the full SaferGems membership. These alerts identify criminal activity, methods of operation and descriptions of criminals and suspects where appropriate.
“As the latest addition to the BJA’s security initiative, which already includes free access to the London Metropolitan Police’s Jewellers’ Personal Safety and Security Guide for Robbery and a range of BJA member only discounted security services, the SaferGems scheme will be an integral component to provide a safer working environment for our membership,” said BJA CEO Simon Rainer. He added, “Of particular importance is the support of the UK’s police forces in both supporting and using the SaferGems scheme. This at last allows for a co-ordinated police approach in tackling crime against those working in the jewellery industry.”
With many successes in both crime prevention and prosecutions, SaferGems is the only jewellery crime reporting process that allows both photographic images and CCTV data capture to be used to identify perpetrators and suspects. “I am delighted that the BJA is providing SaferGems to its members. I would encourage all BJA members to be actively involved by bringing SaferGems alerts to the attention of their staff, and by passing details of any criminal or suspect activity to SaferGems,” commented Michael Ferraro, managing director of insurance company T H March. He added that the announcement coincides with a typical example of how SaferGems can help the trade and the police to reduce crime. “Two men, identified by SaferGems from photographs circulated by Lothian and Borders Police of persons arrested by them, subsequently pleaded guilty to a theft in Humberside, are currently appearing in court in connection with a Nottingham theft, and are suspected of crimes in six other police areas!”
Call for Inhorgenta Munich 2012 ritish Jewellery & Giftware International will be organising a British pavilion of UK jewellery designers at Inhorgenta Europe, to be held in Munich 10th-13th February 2012. The show is intended for designers who are suitably prepared for export and is an ideal platform for entry into the German market and increasingly into Eastern Europe.
Images: Messe Munchen GmbH
24 The Jeweller November 2011
The open plan pavilion will be located in hall C2 – The Designer Hall – 64sqm of space in total having been requested with a view to allocate each company approximately 4sqm. Each individual exhibitor will be provided with podiums, lighting and signage as part of the package. Exhibitors in the UK group will also benefit from shared facilities including: information stand/office area with communal chairs and tables, communication services, a German-speaking staff member, refreshment, group advertising, stand cleaning after set up, British Jewellery & Giftware International management services prior to, during and after the event and full installation supervision during build-up period. Places are selected and are limited so prompt application is advised. The cost to participate is £850* +VAT for BJGI/BJA members and £950* +VAT for non members (*Price incorporates UKTI grant depending on eligibility) For further information please contact Taran Thabal on +44 (0)121 237 1115 or email: email@example.com
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| BJA Feature
Simon says! BJA CEO Simon Rainer questions why jewellery branding, with all the advantages it promises, isn’t more prevalent in our industry. t the start of October, all BJA members were provided with free access to Mintel’s September 2011 Watches and Jewellery Retailing report. Over 170 pages long, it provides key information on the current state of the market in addition to identifying indicators on how the industry is changing and the main trends for the future. And here lies the true worth of the report. In addition to the statistics illustrating the stagnant state of the UK jewellery market (which we all deal with on a day-to-day basis), there are some hidden words of encouragement for us all to take into consideration if we want to negate the effects of increasing gold prices, pressure from increasing sales in competing product groups and the lowest number of marriages for the last 150 years. For those who want to model the growth of your business for the next five years based on empirical data, I suggest you activate your free BJA Mintel password soon! Throughout the report, there are constant references to the growth of the affluent AB consumer sector, their preference to buy jewellery from independent retailers and their willingness to pay more to avoid the mass-produced product sold on the high street. The AB sector also shows the greatest interest in purchasing contemporary jewellery designs.
Catherine Jones – a shop that knows the power of brands
26 The Jeweller November 2011
The report also puts great emphasis on the importance of the under-25s as they are statistically the keenest shoppers and most responsive to fashion trends. As a keen marketer, this primary source of information leads me to conclude that business growth indicators are clearly in evidence if you want to take advantage of where the consumer wants to lead you. Essentially – know who your customer is and provide the products that they want to buy in an environment that they feel comfortable in and, perhaps most importantly, understand the buying messages your targeted consumer will respond to. It is with the latter point that neatly leads me on to my key concern in the UK jewellery industry – branding or rather than the lack of it, primarily in both the manufacturing and retail sectors. If the evidence is pointing to consumers who are prepared to pay for design, have a higher than average disposable income and are responsive to trends, why don’t we as an industry meet these needs with clearly identified buying messages and attractive product propositions? It can be argued that successful companies have successful brands and realise the importance of satisfying consumer needs. They take their lead through product innovation, a differentiated product offering and understanding the importance of the
retail shopping experience. We only have to look at to the watch industry to see how they have segmented consumer types to provide suitable product and carefully constructed marketing messages. At present, jewellery brands only account for a small percentage of jewellery sales, yet brands are just as important in generating consumer choice in the industry as they are in other luxury goods categories. Jewellery branding gives consumers more choice, allows the retailer to work to higher margins, accentuates consumer trust, provides easily recognisable products and brings new consumers to market. Why as an industry do we still continue to make, sell and display jewellery as predominantly a commodity product? Branding would, as a minimum, provide all suppliers an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition and make the high street a far more attractive and dynamic place to shop. However, and in defence of the growing band of BJA members who have imbedded the concept of ‘brand’ as the core of their business planning, I am constantly heartened by the innovation and joint collaborations that they get involved with. Is it no surprise that when the product brand concept is extended to a definable retail image that both industry and consumer alike takes notice. And praise too must be given to the multiple retail sector, where a leading player has already realised the importance of understanding where the market lies by fitting out a new store with iPod technology, drinks facilities and vending machines all set in a lifestyle environment. The 2011 Mintel report contains 43,842 words. The word ‘brand’ is mentioned only 94 times. Lets hope that the 2012 report is able to report how jewellery branding has had a significant impact on the growth of our industry.
The Voice of the Industry 27
Jeweller picks... From the bright and the bold, to the cool and the classic – a selection of jewellery and timepieces that have caught our eye this month…
Advalorem is a new company within the WB Group, created with the aim of finding and supporting designer-jewellers and boutique brands. The first of these to be launched is Vendorafa, an Italian family business which creates contemporary 18ct gold jewellery, hand-hammered to create the brand’s signature texture. Many pieces, as the Petali line here, feature pavé diamond accents. Tel: 07818 664411
Launched in Italy three years ago, Playwatch was introduced to the UK market last month. The vintage Italian style collection of square shaped, silicone watches are fun as well as stylish and retail at £28 – additional straps can be bought for £8.50, in a range of colours. Each Playwatch model features a Seiko PC21 quartz movement with a stainless steel back, has a two year international warranty, is waterproof to three ATM and weighs just 50g. www.playwatch.eu
BAUME & MERCIER
The heritage of Swiss watch brand Baume & Mercier is reflected in Hampton, a new line (one of four) that forms the pared-down lifestyle collection that is now being marketed by the company. A museum piece from the 1940s is the inspiration behind the Hampton, range, including this Deco-style watch with rose gold case and curved sapphire crystal. Tel: 020 7312 6899
Kokku is a new hand-crafted collection of gold and silver filigree jewellery ranging in price from £50 to £1,000. Made by Sardinian artisans it is brought together by husband and wife team Andrea and Ansula Usai. This twined threaded sterling silver Nuvola ring (it means cloud) demonstrates lightness and an airy feel. Kokku’s aim is to ‘preserve undiscovered valuable craftsmanship and traditions that are threatened with extinction by lack of exposure’. www.kokku.co.uk
The Summer 2012 collection from Fiona Paxton takes a dramatic new turn with an explosion of colour. Necklaces, cuffs, earrings and rings and enamel pieces are added to her trademark hand-stitched beaded shapes. Aztec patterns and forms from a lost paradise civilisation are hand-beaded with coloured gemstones, the tiniest brightly coloured beads, cast metal, chains and wrapped cords. www.fionapaxton.com
Instantly recognisable for their vibrant and intricate use of coloured stones, the bracelets, necklaces and earrings from Italian brand Ziio – designed by Elizabeth Paradon – have a timeless glamour. The new Jardin de Paradis collection includes this ‘Papyrus’ bracelet that combines geometric lines amid the waves of gemstones. www.ziio.eu
Bracelets are at the core of Tateossian’s jewellery collection this season and black diamond or rough red spinel bracelets are two of a number of additions to the Rare Stone collection. The signature Italian leather bracelets come in a variety of styles – from sterling silver ID tags to talismanic evil eyes to ward off bad luck. Other new bracelet styles include interesting textures and colour combinations. Prices start at £79. www.tateossian.com
Eva and Arabella are the two styles in Fei Liu’s newly-launched, first-ever bridal collection. In platinum, both include engagement rings and matching wedding bands for him and her. Shown here, Arabella features a pavé set spiral, with the gently curved wedding band fitting into place beside it. Prices start at £1,320. www.feiliu.co.uk
JESSICA DE LOTZ
Narrative-based jeweller Jessica de Lotz creates collections that are ‘personal and emotive’ time-capsules. This ‘Concierge Bell’ ring is in oxidised silver and lives within a mock ivory bell case which acts as a bespoke jewellery box; protecting the jewellery by concealing it. The bell actually rings – whether it’s on a finger or not. Other ‘random’ pieces in her fun collection include filigree key earrings, mini horseshoe bangles and a hand-cuff necklace. www.jessicadelotz.co.uk
SOPHIE HARLEY JEWELLERY
Maman Bébé™ is the new luxury gift collection by Babette Wasserman. It comprises matching sets of jewels for mother and baby, which come packaged in a double compartment box. Shown here is the Swallow set featuring a silver circular disc necklace alongside a cut-out swallow shape in silver vermeil for the baby. Within the range there is also a matching earring set – one in silver, the other in gold vermeil. A Linking Heart set allows the gold heart from the baby’s chain to be taken off and linked into the open heart of the mother’s silver necklace. Other pieces in the line are set with Swarovski Crystal Elements. www.babette-wasserman.com
Luxury jewellery designer Sophie Harley has launched an opulent ethical collection. Inspired by the colours, textures and shapes she saw on a recent trip to Africa, the line that reflects her experiences is created from 18ct Fairtrade gold, sourced by Oro Verde through the Fairtrade jewellers CRED. The line includes a capsule line of exotic rings, earrings and necklaces. The rings are inlaid with ruby, amethyst, fire opal, and teal blue sapphires mined by the artisans of Tanzania and Malawi. The earrings and pendant necklaces are designed in Sophie’s classic signature style with drop gemstones adding a touch of vibrant colour; striking against the yellow gold. Prices start from £2,500. www.sophieharley.com
Goldmajor’s JWDesign collection includes a number of pieces in steel, including this lightweight bangle in a spider’s web design… and hooped earrings to match. Other rings and bangles feature more geometric shapes or ornate cut-out patterns. www.goldmajor.com
With more than a nod to Christmas crackers, the new Party Hats collection from Molly Brown features bracelets and necklaces in sterling silver with glittering enamel-coated crown hats in a variety of bright colours. Prices from £50 retail. www.mollybrownlondon.com
ZOE AND MORGAN
These Cobra hoops by Zoe and Morgan are in 22ct gold vermail and are from their new ‘Travellers and Magicians’ collection, inspired by tribal jewellery. Besides earrings, the line includes statement cocktail rings incorporating spinel, smokey quartz and citrine set in architectural shanks. www.zoeandmorgan.com
The In-fringed collection captures what is fast becoming Zelia Horsley Jewellery’s signature opulent style and enhances it, making it her most luxurious collection to date. Playing with form and scale, and working with the solid and the seemingly liquid makes the collection very tactile. By introducing new metallic elements to her existing palette Horsley has added an elegant dimension, while still keeping a raw industrial feel. www.zeliahorsely.com
To become an authorised stockist, contact Sales on T: 01376 532 000 E: email@example.com
Buying into the
Brand Revolution In the once rarefied world of ‘fine’ jewellery retailing, collections with a strong brand identity are now vying for valuable space. Belinda Morris reports on the unstoppable march of the brand. here’s nothing new about branded jewellery. They may not have thought of themselves in such bald, commercial terms, but the globally-revered names like Tiffany, Cartier and Bulgari have been around for ever… and they’re definitely brands. What is new however – new in the scheme of things I mean – is the concept of hitherto purveyors of fine jewellery at the high street level (i.e. independent jewellery retailers) carrying branded merchandise of a slightly less grandiose nature. Ten, even five years ago, names like Links of London, Pandora, Hot Diamonds, Thomas Sabo were either twinkles in someone’s eye or the preserve of fashion boutiques and department stores
32 The Jeweller November 2011
in the main. If they had a place in a fine jewellers, it was at a discreet distance from the gold, diamonds and pearls, because (whisper it) branded jewellery was, more often than not, in silver. Of course there will be a fair few jewellers across the country for whom this is still the case; but for the majority a sort of brand revolution has taken place. Times have changed. “Needs must,” a cynic (realist?) may declare – a case of ‘diversify or fall’. And it’s true that in the last few challenging years, there’s more than one jewellery retail business that has remained afloat thanks to a popular, commerciallypriced brand or two.
The flipside of this is simply that the successful brands today came along with just the right product, at the right price, at the right time – filling a yawning gap between the cheap and cheerful, throw-away costume jewellery on the high street and the expensive ‘real’ stuff in the blue corner. “In the last 20 years there has been nothing short of a transformation of jewellery retailing,” says Dennis Allen, who recently created ethical jewellery brand Chaos. “Where in the past many retailers regarded their own brand as the only one they needed, now just as many see that their own brand is enhanced by the jewellery brands they stock. They help to define a store’s market positioning in exactly the way that watch brands have always done.” Winsor Bishop was one such ‘traditional county jewellers’ which has recognised the need to grow by diversifying and embracing change. Senior sales consultant Sara Mooney has worked for the store for 30 years and has certainly witnessed developments on the brand front in that time. Its watch offer has always been impressive – with prestigious, high-profile brands giving the shop a strong position in the field – but more recently it’s been the jewellery names that have been vying for space in the recently-expanded store. “While we value our original client base, we also want to cater for brand-aware consumers,” says Mooney, “so we have been developing our collections by extending our silver jewellery brands from the ever-popular Georg Jensen to include Links of London, Missoma and Hoxton London for Men.”
Links of London
Feature | Winsor Bishop’s attitude towards and acceptance of fashion and/or silver jewellery brands is typical of many UK jewellery retailers, but reaching this point, generallyspeaking, has been a bit of a battle for many of the brands concerned. Jonathan Crocker, a consultant in brand marketing, sales and distribution, recalls the surprise that awaited him when he first came into the industry – to be met what he terms the “commodity sales approach”, where “stock, merchandising and display all merge into one”. It was not what he was expecting of a luxury industry. “I rationalised it as being a natural and slow evolution from the days when gold was sold only by the ounce and therefore any design and story that the pieces carried was limited to the margins and almost inconsequential to the value,” he says. “Branding can almost be the reverse – the majority of the brand is in the design, emotion and association. Look at Louis Vuitton – a canvas tote for £1,200! “It was also strange to me then that in this industry the word ‘fashion’ seemed to have a negative connotation for jewellers,” he adds. “I believe strongly that there is a place for both ‘fashion’ and ‘fine’ in a modern jewellers and indeed is vital. Fashion is a massive driver and stimulus of purchasing behaviour and therefore should be high on the list of any retailer who wants to increase footfall. To me, ‘fashion’ means relevant, desirable and of the moment.” Harald Winzer, UK managing director of German jewellery brand Thomas Sabo Fiorelli
“The consumer’s approach to jewellery has also totally changed. They want to buy branded jewellery, at affordable price points, in nice shop environments.”
agrees that retail attitudes were different a few years back. “Four to five years ago there were plenty of reluctant UK jewellers who did not accept the fact that branded fashion jewellery would play a dominant role in their business and they wanted to stick to their old habits in regards to visual merchandising – for instance not using branded fixtures,” he explains. “They thought that the endconsumer would buy into that, but the consumer’s approach to jewellery has also totally changed. They want to buy branded jewellery, at affordable price points, in nice shop environments.” Allen also points out that recent increases in the gold price has meant that at any given price point there has been a sudden drop in the value offered. “Silver has stepped in to fill in those important sub £400 items,” he says. “The feedback we have had is that the public see silver as having a high perceived value and, to a degree, is seen in the same light as gold.” As Judith Wade of Ti Sento points out, change is never easy and in this respect the jewellery industry is no different to any other. “The market place has totally changed in the 20 years or so that I have been in the trade – brands have become more prevalent and alternatives to gold have become the main-stay of many jewellers’ businesses,” she says. “For the traditional jeweller it can be a scary experience to talk to fashion brands as it is a whole new ball-game. Choosing the right brand for them can be even harder and I totally appreciate this. We talk to many traditional and high-end retailers at the fairs, and daily on the telephone, about working with Ti Sento. They know that they have to do it but are unsure, sometimes reluctant, but
The Voice of the Industry 33
| Feature nevertheless they are brave and looking to the future and listening to their customers by embracing the brands. At Ti Sento we hold their hands and support them in any way we can.” Mark Levell, MD of Birmingham branding consultancy Levells, doesn’t feel that it is a case of retailers having to accept that branded jewellery is important: “It is more that there is an opportunity to grow their market share within their demographic or client base, through a selection of branded jewellery,” he says. “Effective branding of collections or pieces of jewellery, elevates them from being just one commodity among many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products using both emotional and Thomas Sabo
34 The Jeweller November 2011
pragmatic judgements. Retailers have to rely on the branded jewellery manufacturers externally promoting their products to consumers, through mainstream advertising. This then drives footfall to the retailers who stock the brands.”
Who calls the shots? That’s the theory. In practice it must be fair to say that any hesitation by some retailers to go down the branded fashion jewellery route has been driven by concerns of said brands taking a rather bossy approach to such issues as quantities and display. “We have certainly noticed that an increasing amount of retailers are acknowledging the importance of brands, but having said that, we have also observed that some of them are hesitant to become over-reliant on branded jewellery and this cautiousness can
be explained when some retailers experience brands acting in a dictatorial manner,” says Adryan Cresswell of Hot Diamonds. “We try very hard not to make demands, particularly in relation to buying decisions. Our retailer partners have a very good idea what they can sell, and that’s what we want to supply them with.” “Brands can be dictatorial and some more than others,” agrees Samantha Hansard of contemporary retail jeweller Charles Fish. “You basically have to decide whether you want to ‘get into bed’ with them or not. At the end of the day they make money – so there is no point moaning!” Indeed not – heat and kitchen and all that. “The balance here is for retailers to offer a point of difference for their customers, balancing their unique proposition with the need by all brands to have strong representation, thereby leveraging the strength of both brands,” says Xenia Carr-Griffiths, Links of London’s president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Guidelines by brands are essential for maintaining the brand’s integrity and consistency. It is this that consumers buy into.” “Independent business owners have every right to protect their independence – after all it is what has been responsible for getting them to the position they are in now,” says Crocker. “However the packages and ‘demands’ of brands can be good or bad depending on the motivation of the brand. For instance, a brand offer can only really be fully appreciated with enough of the product, story and emotion of that brand surrounding it. So it’s reasonable to conclude that a certain minimum standard
Feature | Links of London on display in Windsor Bishop
should be maintained to achieve this.” Indeed, what kind of brand would not want to see its own carefully created and protected image and ethos displayed accordingly? “Ti Sento is a brand and we do have to help some retailers understand that as a brand we would like certain things to be done in a certain way,” says Wade. “There has to be an understanding about taking good branded advice about what will and can work within a retailer’s store… and what won’t.” “This works both ways,” agrees Levell. “If the support isn’t there from the brands, then the stockists aren’t going to push the products as they will have better sales from the brands that do help. Prime position will be given to the brands that sell and make the retailer profit,” he adds. “Retailers need to have a specific brand policy with a mix of in-house product and brands,” suggests Allen. “While some will sparkle more than others, I think it imperative to avoid placing too many eggs in one basket – carry several brands that cover different markets and appeal to different groups. Chaos, with an ethical offer for the high street, is carving out a very specific area for itself and so avoids the ‘me too’ effect that brands that over-compete, can attract.”
“Effective branding of… jewellery, elevates it from being just one commodity among many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise”
Chaos point of sale display
Shops are brands too In the excitement of gathering must-have brands, might there be a danger that jewellers could hurtle too far down that particular fashion route and perhaps lose sight of their own personality? Some retailers, such as Hoppers have managed, as managing director Fiona Hopper points out, “to keep all bases covered” with one of its two Grantham shops retained as a traditional, fine jewellery outlet, while the other is more fashion brand orientated. But that isn’t always an option for everyone. “I think retailers must strike a balance between the brands that they stock and the brand that is their shop,” Gecko’s Barry Bennett warns. “Brands will rise and fall, but their shop will endure. Their own brand and identity mustn’t get lost amongst the brands they stock.” “We find ways to work together,” says Wade. “We also recognise that the store we work with also has a brand image and local reputation too – that is why we want to work with them. We totally respect that it is their name above the door.” “Don’t forget to be clear about what you want to stand for and stick to it. Just because you can sell something doesn’t mean you should,” adds Hansard.
The Voice of the Industry 35
Highway Robbery In light of the increase in car-napping crimes, Michael Hoare offers sound advice on staying safe while driving. Claude Du Val (the highwayman) by William Powell Frith
ver recent months SaferGems has logged a number of incidents involving representatives or travelling sales people. We’ve reported some in the The Jeweller, and readers who have registered their details may have received alerts about others which have happened in their area. A month or two ago I also wrote an item in this column about ‘tiger kidnap’, which can result in threats and demands being made to individual staff or proprietors. The common feature of both these types of offence is that they involve a degree of surveillance of the potential victim by the perpetrator. So my interest was aroused recently by a report from a retail jeweller that he had been followed from his shop while driving home. Whatever the motive was in this case is unclear, but it prompted me to consider the precautions that jewellers should take as a matter of course when they suspect they are being followed while driving. But first I want to stress that not all these tips are exclusively for jewellers. Car-napping offences, whereby following a minor accident the victim’s vehicle is stolen leaving the driver stranded, are a concern for everyone who drives a desirable car.
36 The Jeweller November 2011
The ‘accident’ will often be a shunt from the rear and will normally involve two people, one who steals your car and one who drives off in the offending vehicle. So if you are involved in a minor accident and think you may be at risk don’t get out of the car, keep the doors locked and windows closed. Depending on the circumstances you may consider producing a pre-prepared laminated notice, which you can show to the other person, stating that you are going to drive to the nearest police station or place of safety where you will exchange details with the other driver. Whatever your role, be it rep or retailer, consider using ‘defensive driving’ techniques to reduce the likelihood of an ambush. Attacks on the road can happen anywhere so try to maintain safe breaking distances; stop with room to manoeuvre and avoid getting boxed in and check your mirror regularly for anything suspicious. If possible avoid outside lanes on dual carriageways and be cautious at road works or diversions and when approaching junctions or pedestrian crossings. If you think you are being followed inform the police by mobile phone if you have one and note the details
of the suspect vehicle. Alternatively make a safe detour and drive to the nearest police station or other place of safety. Common sense dictates that you keep your doors, boot, windows and filler cap locked when parked. Check the rear seat before entering the car to ensure that no one is hiding there. Avoid leaving the car unattended in the open; if possible keep it in a garage with good quality locks on all doors and windows, so that any attempted entry is clearly visible. Check your garage before you remove your car. Make sure you have enough petrol to avoid stopping at isolated petrol stations, but be careful of the routine use of one local garage. Pace your driving to avoid stopping at traffic lights wherever possible and avoid narrow and lonely streets. And if you have two cars swap between them from time to time. Look out for strangers or unusual cars at the start and finish of your journey. Regard people you do not know who are standing around or working in the vicinity with suspicion. Be alert for parked cars with people in them. Make a note of suspicious people or vehicles (registration number, type and colour) and report them to police. Remember that you are less vulnerable when the car is moving so be particularly vigilant if you have to stop. Turn off if something untoward appears to be taking place on the road ahead and beware of accident scenes – they may be faked. Do not accept a policeman or other official in uniform as bona fide – ask to see his warrant card or other means of identification. If you can’t turn off, stop short of any unusual incident and stay in the car, but be prepared to accelerate away at the first sign of danger and keep doors and windows locked shut. If all this seems a bit daunting or alarmist, remember the key to safety is staying alert when driving or being driven. But if you want to do something practical right now, start by looking up the address and postcode of the nearest manned police station and programming your ‘satnav’ before you go home.
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The ‘recognisable character’ Lockett talks about isn’t simply to do with the look of the watches, it’s also about perception. In the US the brand has forged a very useful strategic partnership with the world of aviation. Developing it’s tag line of ‘Nothing Impossible’ Torgoen Swiss has become the timepiece of
Torgoen Swiss A new watch brand on the circuit, Torgoen Swiss is winning fans for its sporty good looks as well as competively-priced quality Jack Hawksworth in action!
o jewellery retailers who carry a healthy stock of watches, it can be something of a holy grail – namely a well-made, well-priced brand that isn’t gracing every other jeweller’s window. They’ve got their high-end names with the associated kudos, they’ve got a smattering of fashion brand timepieces to maintain their style cred – now they need something, well, just ‘a bit different’. So, step forward Torgoen Swiss. Not only is it pretty new to the UK – a handful of stockists and growing in a measured manner – it’s a relative newcomer globally, having been established just 13 years ago. Designed in the USA, but Swiss-made using Swiss movements, Torgoen Swiss has
38 The Jeweller November 2011
developed to become a very well-recognised brand in America, largely thanks what executive vice president Mike Lockett describes as the ‘price value relationship’. With retail prices sitting very comfortably below $1,000 (£160 - £540) this is a brand that offers, in Lockett’s words: “high-build quality for a mid-price watch”. Elaborating on the theme, he adds: “There are very many fine timepieces and watch brands on the market today, but we are one of the very few companies that operate in the mid-price segment offering this kind of build quality. We deliver highquality timepieces designed with recognisable character at very affordable prices.”
choice of top aerobatic pilot Spencer Suderman, whose flight school is actually called Torgoen Academy. In fact Torgoen was actually founded by another pilot, Benzi Rosenski, so it stands to reason that the qualities of the watches chime with the needs of airmen – and any other sportsmen come to that. While pilots may well be lured by just such an affordable quartz timepiece, the ‘Nothing Impossible’ ethos has been adapted for the UK market. Torgoen Swiss is now distributed in the UK by John and Peter Carmichael of Since 1853 Ltd, who have broadened the meaning of the phrase by embracing “highachievers in sport on land, sea and in the air”. The first ambassadors for the brand in the UK are two British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) drivers, Matt Neal and Gordon Sheddon of Team Honda, who are currently first and third in the 2011 championship respectively. “Creating and building brand awareness is our focus for Torgoen Swiss” Matt Neal on the grid
says John. “Starting with motorsport, we’re working with a mixture of well-established and well-known drivers, like Matt and Gordon, as well as some up-and-coming drivers such as rookie driver of the year Jack Hawksworth who drives in the Formula Renault single-seater championship – a support series to the BTCC.” European karting champion Jordan Chamberlain has also recently joined the team of brand ambassadors. “Without support these young talented drivers would disappear from the sport,” says Peter, the business development director of Torgoen’s UK team. “This is a natural progression for the brand as the watches are so well-built and designed with performance in mind.” All drivers wear their Torgoens while they race – pushing the watches’ durability to the edge. Honda Racing managed a clean sweep this year, winning ‘Constructor’s title’, the ‘Manufacturer’s title’ and the ‘Driver’s Championship’, with its driver Neal a threetime champion. This is despite the 2011 season seeing a record number of entries on the grid and the racing in this very competive sport, being closer than ever before. High profile sponsorship deals aside – what of the watches themselves? Torgoen
manufactures its timepieces with high grade 316L stainless steel cut and highly polished, some IP-plated with black or brown coating and in some examples, rose gold on the cases and bracelets. The movements are all Swiss quartz by ETA, Ronda or ISA depending on the functions each watch offers. The straps are either Italian belting leathers with hand stitching, or heavy duty PU rubber and all the watches are water resistant to at least 10 ATM. All dials have a non-radioactive, long-lasting luminescence for easy-reading in the dark.
Silverstone BTCC 2011 with Team Honda leading the field
Torgoen was actually founded by another pilot, Benzi Rosenski, so it stands to reason that the qualities of the watches chime with the needs of airmen – and any other sportsmen come to that.
Torgoen supports the product with a three year international warranty against manufacturing defects. From basic three-hand to three-hand GMT, chronographs, watches with E6B bezels, and even alarm GMT models are available across the line. There are over 100 models in the collection, which means that pretty much all of the bases are covered when it comes to consumer taste and preference. Given that the timepieces have the seal of approval from aviators and motor racing drivers, it’s hardly a surprise to discover that Torgoen Swiss is largely aimed at the male market. The average case size is 44.5mm and around a sixth of the collection features carbon fibre dials and chronograph details – all traditionally masculine stuff. However, as any dealer in watches would tell you, it would be a mistake to make gender-based assumptions in such instances – there are plenty of female fans of Torgoen’s functional, durably rugged watches. On average two new models are added to the line once or twice a year and are completely new in terms of overall look, to
ensure the collection evolves and remains fresh. We are promised some new designs – currently on the drawing board – that “will take the watch industry by storm”. It’s been a little over 100 days since John and Peter have had the license to distribute Torgoen Swiss, but in that time they have managed to develop the brand profile tremendously – and in a way that makes it particularly pertinent to the UK while losing none of its core values. They have also established a network of over 30 retailers across the UK. Currently these are mainly independent jewellers, but the word is spreading and several major multiples as well as on-line only retailers are showing interest in the line. There’s no doubt that the lure of a sport that is much-loved in the UK just adds to the Swiss-made and value selling points of the brand. BTCC is currently seeing a major revival in the UK with record viewing figures of those tuning in to ITV4 on a regular basis… but things wont be stopping there. For 2012 Team Torgoen is promising to go from strength to strength, with a new famous driver having just been signed and Since 1953 Ltd is also keeping its options open as far as champions in the air and on water are concerned. ‘Nothing Impossible’ indeed! To learn more about Torgoen watches visit: www.torgoen.co.uk
Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal
The Voice of the Industry 39
| Opinion: Haywood Milton
Stolen watches – the case for a database
Given that expensive timepieces are an increasing target of criminals, doesn’t a register of lost and missing watches make sense? Hayward Milton offers his view on why it does and how it could be achieved. ast month, Rolex UK temporarily suspended its register of lost and missing watches, announcing that it might return in reduced form in due course. At the time of writing, no service is generally available. It is unreasonable for anyone to expect manufacturers to offer a free lost and missing database for use by third parties. As I wrote in defence of Rolex, in an issue of The Pawnbroker some years ago, one would not expect to be able to call Jaguar and ask them for the equivalent of a free HPI check on a car one might be thinking of buying. However, there are a number of vital reasons why ALL manufacturers should consider their own, accessible database of lost and missing watches to be a vital function, and one which can be run on a profitable basis. Vous aussi m’entendez, Messieurs Omega, Cartier etc? All of us, especially SaferGems members, are aware that criminals target expensive
watches. While they should be more easily traceable than diamonds, there is something about watches which clearly appeals to baddies as the ready, reliable black currency of choice. At the moment many stolen watches enjoy a one-way trip to Eastern Europe where it seems Mr. Bigski does not care a fig for their provenance, but many watches do equally turn up closer to home. Every year my staff and I recover perhaps ten stolen watches from armed robberies or smaller thefts. Not only can our recoveries help the local victims like Pykes, Robinsons, Boodles or national chains, but they also reduce insurers’ losses (a boon to us all). In many cases the recovery of a stolen watch gives police vital help in solving a crime or recovering further property. If accessible registers of lost and missing watches are not maintained, then there will be a greater incentive still for the crooks to
steal watches. Manufacturers themselves and their agents will suffer even greater losses. Insurers will face larger pay-outs and premiums will rise, perhaps for everyone but certainly for those same manufacturers and authorised dealers. If you lost a windowfull of Rolex, would you be disappointed to think that in all likelihood they could no longer be identified and returned ? Just wait till word gets round the underworld of this… it’s akin to chassis VIN numbers on cars all being erased countrywide, or the police ANPR system being shut down. At any time Miltons’ pawnbroking clients will have outstanding loans totalling around £1,000,000 borrowed against the security of their prestige watches. We will also sell perhaps 600 this year. We, as well as anyone, can say how important retained value is to many owners of these watches. They reconciled themselves to paying thousands for a new Rolex because they knew it would always hold much of its value. Will that
…we must ALL face our responsibility to contribute to the cost of customer protection. Why should Rolex/ Cartier/Breitling/Omega on their own have to support six-figure running costs to provide a benefit which is shared by all parties? retained value be diminished by the loss of access to a lost and missing register? Speaking to customers and internet watch forum members, there is no doubt they feel it will. At a time when the Swiss watch manufacturers need all the help they can get reinforcing the value of their watches on our sickly sterling shores, it seems odd to withdraw a service for which many a Rolex owner has been enormously grateful. The cost of running an expanding lost and missing register has been put forward as one justification for removing it. However, as I twice proposed to Henry Hudson, the former general manager of Rolex UK, any register could be made to pay for itself, or even turn a profit. One should probably allow the general public free access (or they will
40 The Jeweller November 2011
Opinion: Haywood Milton |
not be inclined to check their watches), but trade users like ourselves (easily identified as those who check more than five watches per year) would happily pay £10 or more for every watch we checked against any manufacturer’s register. Miltons alone would thereby pay Rolex perhaps £10,000 or more per year. Multiply that by the other watch-dealing heavyweights and some smaller players and you soon have a meaty income to cover or exceed the costs of running a database. No trade user could avoid the charges without opening himself to a charge of negligence, and customers would simply not accept the omission, so it would not be an optional charge. Henry Hudson was ever magnanimous in saying the Rolex register was run in good will and would not be charged for, but times have changed and I for one think we must ALL face our responsibility to contribute to the cost of customer protection. Why should Rolex/ Cartier/Breitling/Omega on their own have to support six-figure running costs to provide a benefit which is shared by all parties? It has been mentioned that lost and missing registers are imperfect. There were always spurious claims of theft (and especially ‘loss’) claims which were dropped without the registers having been informed, claims whose details were insufficient to follow up, and claims on watches whose details had been recorded incorrectly. Yet the limitations of a register can be clearly and legally contained, and a reasonable user has to appreciate that the information is only the best which the registrar can manage. A simple waiver of liability for the completeness or accuracy of the information would be perfectly reasonable. Records which were only ever largely correct have still led to great results for all in the past. I propose that ALL manufacturers should offer accessible lost and stolen registers on a basis which is chargeable to the trade to minimise the physical risk to jewellers and their customers; to limit the losses borne by the trade and insurers (which would inevitably lead to higher premiums); to strengthen the value of the watch brands; to help capture some of the crooks who blight our lives or reduce the value of their spoils; and to generate enough income to sustain lost and missing registers on a permanent basis. Those manufacturers who do not offer such registers may pay a heavy price in many ways, and will have to explain to their precious customers why they do not see fit to do so. Will Breitling agents start frightening potential Rolex customers into choosing their brand if they still offer access to a register ? Insurers, authorised agents for the brands, other jewellers, dealers and anyone with an expensive watch should be arguinging for the restoration or introduction of registers from all brands. While we cannot expect the watch manufacturers alone to support a system which benefits everyone we must not allow the systems to disappear when there are workable, sustainable options open to us. Haywood Milton M.A.(Hons), R.J.Dip., Miltons of Liverpool
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The Voice of the Industry 41
| BJA Feature
A veritable explosion of colour awaited visitors to this year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair, as Mary Brittain discovered when she visited BJA members’ stands.
he Indian summer at the end of September certainly made it warm work at this year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair and, as customers headed for the country or the coast rather than the City, served to depress visitor numbers. However, as silversmith and jeweller Martyn Pugh, who was exhibiting at the event for the entire two weeks confirmed, it was still hot stuff! Pugh believes that consumers are now making more considered, less impulsive purchases than they were when the economy was booming. “Those who have money still have money but they are being more careful. They want to make sure what they are buying has integrity, not simply in terms of the design and materials, but also in terms of its provenance and this is exactly what Goldsmiths’ Fair offers them. Rather than simply buying brands, consumers are looking for the rare and unusual and also want to do business with people they can talk to,” he commented. Pugh’s ‘Juno’ jewellery collection in palladium and 18ct gold featuring a range of spectacular coloured stones including tanzanite, tourmaline, citrine and yellow beryl certainly seemed to fit the bill. For exhibitor David Fowkes rare opals were the order of the day. “In the past our lowerprice, mixed- metal ranges with designs at a couple of hundred pounds have sold well. However this year’s customers were more knowledgeable. They had come to make considered purchases and our stock of unusual opals was what they wanted to buy. We sold a number of pieces at around £1k and even more at the £3k - £4k mark. We also had enquiries about some seriously expensive loose stones. I think buyers are looking for quality and for jewellers who can sell with knowledge and from whom they can buy with confidence,” he added. So what was the view from The Goldsmiths’ Company itself? “Given that week one coincided with one of the hottest weeks of the year, it was perhaps no surprise that attendance was marginally down, but nonetheless the Fair continues to attract a loyal following and the total sales overall were pretty much in keeping with 2010,” says Paul Dyson, its director of promotion. Had Dyson noticed the explosion of colour I wondered? “Many jewellers spoke of an increasing interest in coloured stones and rich, dark colours prevailed. A lot of our exhibitors use coloured stones exclusively, making them part of their signature style. Yellow gold also appeared to be on the up with clients being more attuned to gold content and aware of rising prices,” he concluded. The Goldsmiths’ Company’s next major exhibition, which takes place from 1st June – 28th July 2012, will be ‘Gold: Power and Allure’ – 4500 years of gold treasures from across Britain.
Hidemi Asano’s ‘Branch’ series of stacking rings is very much of the moment and offers a choice of 18ct yellow or white gold set with a range of different coloured stones. Pictured are aquamarine, pink sapphire and diamond. RRPs start at around £1500. www.hidemiasano.com
42 The Jeweller November 2011
This trillion-shaped, ruby-pink Tourmaline encompassed by a double spiral of palladium with fine diamonds is from Pugh’s elegant ‘Juno’ range featuring bold coloured stones. Other pieces include earrings, brooches and rings. RRP for the ring is £2800. www.martynpugh.co.uk
Eric N Smith
Eric N Smith’s collection comprises more than a splash of colour and this dazzling ‘Sunburst’ brooch/necklace in 18ct white gold with 5.55ct of marquise cut Santa Maria aquamarines and 3.4ct of brilliant-cut diamonds has a RRP of £26,000. www.ericnsmith.com
BJA Feature |
The ‘Volt’ Collection by James Newman uses pink sapphires, amethysts, green quartz and diamonds set into palladium and rose gold to create a range of earrings, cufflinks, rings and pendants. RRPs range from £250 - £3000. www.jamesnewman.co.uk
David Fowkes Josef Koppmann
Koppman’s new collection of handmade cufflinks in sterling silver and 24ct gold features a striking colour palette of unusual stones, such as these in green uvarovite. RRP £520. www.josefkoppmann.com
This set of two rings from David Fowkes features a boulder opal set in 18ct yellow gold with a diamond accompaniment in 18ct white gold. The opal is channelled to accept a strip of diamonds. RRP £3520 www.dfjewellery.co.uk
Krinos is the master of mixing stones for decorative effect. These multi-stone earrings in 18ct yellow gold incorporate fire opals, garnet, citrine, smoky quartz and pink tourmaline to create a vibrant and eyecatching mixture of colours. RRP £3,800. www.daphnekrinos.com
Paul Spurgeon used the Fair to launch the ‘Trace’ sterling silver collection, part of his Cornerstone project aimed at empowering disadvantaged people in Soweto. Stones used include garnet, amethyst, rutilated quartz and citrine. RRP for this citrine ring is £570. www.paulspurgeondesign.co.uk
The Voice of the Industry 43
| BJA Feature
Something for everyone Holts Academy of Jewellery in Hatton Garden has recently expanded its premises and broadened its remit to offer over 50 different jewellery-related courses. The BJA team visited its new workshops to discover what’s on offer. he narrow stairs to the third floor of 57A Hatton Garden, where Holt’s new premises are situated, give no hint of what is to come; so when the door opens and the spacious interior (all 2,500 sq ft of it) is revealed, it is a surprise. The Academy, which is decorated in strong primary colours, is large, light and welcoming and has a wonderful bird’s eye view down the entire length of ‘The Garden’ below. Facilities include an impressive computer room where up to 17 students at a time can practise their CAD skills on individual computers using the GemVision Matrix programme. There are also two light, airy workshops each accommodating up to 25 students, where they can work at the bench to hone the jewellery-making skills for which the Academy is rightly famous. When construction work is complete, there will also be a ‘Polishing Shop’ where students can get to grips with the dark art of just how to get the right shine on their jewellery. As well as playing host to a hectic timetable of courses (116 students can be accommodated on any given day) these additional facilities will also be open to students and ex-students under ‘The Scheme’ – the jewellery equivalent of a pay-as-youuse gym membership! The Academy, which was founded in 1999, is undoubtedly a pioneering institution and in the 12 years since its foundation has done much to ensure that Britain’s jewellery community has the vital technical and
commercial skills it needs to move forward and compete on the international stage. To date this not-for-profit, social enterprise has trained no fewer than 6,000 people in vocational jewellery skills and helped 1,600 to start up businesses. It has also developed a new Level 2 Jewellery Diploma, the first nationally recognised jewellery trade qualification for 50 years, which can also be delivered as an Apprenticeship Scheme in the workplace, with the first 16 apprentices starting on 24th October, 2011. Courses cover everything from diamond and gemstone grading through to basic jewellery making, jewellery design and beading. Also on offer are master classes in topics as
“We offer an antidote to exorbitant university fees and to non-accredited jewellery course providers…” diverse as Negotiation and Persuasion Skills and Performance Management. Bespoke classes can also be arranged for businesses wishing, for example, to up-skill their staff, improve their window displays or gain specific product knowledge. “We offer an antidote to exorbitant university fees and to non-accredited jewellery course providers,” says the vocational skills expert and head of The Academy, Lee Lucas. The Academy equips its students with the technical skills and practical knowledge
they need to fill the gap between university and commercial reality. “Our qualifications, apprenticeships, courses and on-going career support, alongside the four career pathways we have created in goldsmithing, retail, manufacturing and CAD design, mean the jewellers of tomorrow have the support they need to carve out their future careers,” he explains. Almost unbelievably in these days of soaring education costs, many of the courses, including the recently introduced apprenticeship schemes, are provided free to eligible students. Prices for other courses range from £175 for a one day course, through to a maximum of £3,613 for a course lasting 18 weeks. “All our courses have been meticulously designed to lead to jobs in the real world,” says Lucas, an assertion which certainly seems to be borne out by the Academy’s extremely impressive alumni records. At least 75 per cent of past students are gainfully employed within the jewellery industry with many finding jobs in household name firms such as Kabiri, Links of London, Theo Fennell, Stephen Webster, and De Beers. Over 34 per cent of alumni have started their own businesses and some 70 have won national awards for their work. Part of the success of the Academy is undoubtedly down to the support of the cluster of world-class experts behind it. These are led by its founder Jason Holt who gave up a career in law to run his father’s gemstone business and seeing a pressing need for the skills now provided through the Academy, raised the funding for its creation. Holt is admirably supported in his work by Lucas and the raft of specialist teachers he employs. The CAD CAM expert, Jack Meyer and celebrated designer makers Niall Paisley, Stuart Paul and Jennifer Bloy are some of industry experts who teach there. Learn more at: www.holtsacademy.com
44 The Jeweller November 2011
| Feature Why colour – why now? So much for lottery win indulgences, back in the real world there’s just as much reason for optimism. “Brightly coloured stones seem to be as popular now as ever – if anything more popular,” says designer Sushilla Done of SuShilla. “I think the gloomy economy is more inclined to make us want something bright to cheer ourselves up. The brighter the stone the more they seem to sell.” Ornella Iannuzzi agrees: “It’s so grey out Lestie Lee Domino
Beautiful From agates and beryls to tourmalines and coloured diamonds, gems of every hue continue to ride on a high says Belinda Morris f it’s true that coloured gemstones have enjoyed a ‘fashion moment’ and that moment was maybe four or five years ago, might it be said that they have now fallen out of the limelight? Well you could argue that case. The consumer is famously fickle and fashions, after all come and go. Is there such a thing as colour overload – could rainbow fatigue be setting in? Maybe in straightened times the cool, crisp certainty of clear diamonds is more compelling? Heck no! The wedding market aside (where the white diamond is queen) gemstones of
46 The Jeweller November 2011
every hue, variety and value are as tempting as they ever were. It will, it seems, take more than a little local difficulty with the Euro and the like to push these babies into the shade. If you need some sort of proof of this, how about the fact that a fancy vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond sold for a pretty healthy $6.5m at Christie’s New York last month? That’s $201,000 a carat if you like detail. A fancy vivid blue diamond fetched a decent $2.7m and a fancy purplish pink diamond ring was bought by Chatila for just a tad over $2m. In the same sale an Art Deco multi-gem bracelet by Cartier was snapped up by an Asian bidder for just shy of $1m. “Despite recent volatility in the financial markets, the jewellery world continues to hold strong with active participation from top private collectors and members of the trade,” states Christie’s NY head of jewellery Rahul Kadakia. The auction house is, understandably, looking forward to its next jewellery sale – in Geneva on the 16th of this month, followed by another – featuring seven-figure emeralds, rubies, sapphire and jadeite – in Hong Kong on the 29th.
there that we definitely need a bit of colour and fun in our lives – coloured stones are very popular indeed.” Colour therapy aside, other factors come into play when considering the interest in gemstones. Arguably it’s thanks to the economic downturn that they’re rising in popularity. “Given the value coloured stones offer over diamonds – plus you get a lot more for your money – they’re more popular now,” says Ed Adams, managing director of London Road Jewellery.
Feature | Added to the affordibility factor, it can also be a question of perception. “Coloured stones are viewed as ‘younger’ and thus more wearable than classic diamonds and pearls,” is the view of Celia Weinstock, designer and founder of Lyme Fine Jewellery. Domino has also found this to be so, with it’s new Sassolini range of coloured stone rings and pendants receiving strong interest for the more fashion-aware, younger market. “Coloured stones provide the perfect middle ground for someone who wants to invest in something real – but with a nod to fashion and trend,” says Chris Land of Pomegranate. “Having launched our business just as the credit crunch began in September ’08 we know nothing but economic doom and gloom,” he adds, “but as a wholesale supplier and retailer we have been successful – the lure of gemstones set in silver is irresistible.” Gemstones are also finding favour at the very high end of the market. “More and more designers and retailers are seeking to differentiate themselves by using more coloured stones and coloured diamonds in
“My customers choose stones and colours that they like and that suit them,” says Ingo Henn of Henn of London. “And as my jewellery is towards the high end, they want to be able to enjoy their chosen gemstone for many years to come – fashion does not play a big part.” For Ariel Tivon at Tivon Fine Jewellery two trends are clearly obvious: “Important pieces are sold on design and on quality,” he says. “High end customers want safety in ensuring what they are buying is distinct, unique and truly good quality.” Ah yes, but fashion does count. “Gemstones are more popular now because the colours on the catwalk are all bright,” says gemstone dealer Marcia Lanyon. “I feel that jewellery should be bought as a fashion item.” And on Glacier Jewellery Mounir
information to the public which in the past was only really available by searching specialist bookshops and libraries,” says Peter Grumitt of gemstone dealer Apsara. “However, the internet is a bit of a minefield and much of the information can be at
“Given the value coloured stones offer over diamonds – plus you get a lot more for your money – they’re more popular now”
Lyme Fine Jewellery
their jewellery,” says Richard Haruni of International Gemstones and advice website thegembank.com. “They have so many customers telling them what diamonds are selling for on the internet, but it doesn’t happen so much with coloured stones – they can’t as easily compare like with like, so the retailer is protected,” he explains. Ah, the internet… it must surely shoulder some of the responsibility for increasing the interest in gems. “It has opened up gemstone
least misleading or completely incorrect. Choosing a reputable website is a must.” The choosing of one gemstone over another brings several factors into pay. If we take as a given that the consumer has complete trust in the designer/retailer as far as quality is concerned, we’re looking at budget, fashion, emotion, perception…
that score, Andrew Geoghegan has a feeling that the trend for cocktail rings has given rise to what he describes as ‘coloured stone fever’. “It’s a relatively new market for us, but our coloured stone cocktail rings, mainly in 18ct gold, have been very strong of late,” he explains. “I think to some extent that strong sales of gemstones are to do with fashion – in that bold, bright colours are very much in evidence in clothes – but it is also perhaps more pertinently, to do with money,” says Elise Rabone, marketing manager of Domino. “Big, coloured, cushion and cabochon cut gemstones offer a strong, bold, look for less. A thousand pounds worth of diamonds has far less oomph than an equivalently priced
The Voice of the Industry 47
coloured stone and I think that is definitely part of the attraction.” Designer Rachel Galley’s view is that people buy stones simply because they love the colour – sometimes without knowing why. “But they also buy emotionally. Gemstones have an innate value and intrigue that we all find fascinating, but we apply meaning to them – our favourite colours, our birthstone, colours of the ocean, the healing powers… each customer is different,” she says.
on my stand at the Goldsmiths’ Fair who told me that she usually didn’t like opals but she was quite impressed with the one I had and the way I’d mounted it,” she says. With others, trends for certain colours – and therefore certain gems – comes in waves. Blues and purples seem to be perennially popular. “Blue sapphire, topaz, aquamarine, blue cameo and turquoise are all in demand,” says designer Luke Goldsmith. “Turquoise is an all-time favourite as it complements any skin tone,” says Valeria Calvo, founder and designer of Trisori Jewellery. “But all the hues of blue are sought-after – from lapis to topaz.” From designer Ming Lampson’s perspective it’s as much to do with intensity as the actual hue. “Stones with very strong colours, such as emerald, ruby and yellow sapphire are extremely popular at the moment,” she says. “I think in one way it’s a fashion thing as it is connected to the resurgence of yellow gold jewellery – coloured stones really enhance its richness.”
Personal favourites Ask the jewellery creators and gem dealers to name their favourite stones and you can get a whole different set of answers.
With such a vast array of colours and characteristics to choose from, pinning down one or two customer favourites among gemstones isn’t easy. In some cases it can come down to falling in love with the work of a particular designer, or style of a brand, and as a consequence loving their preferred stones – Iannuzzi’s passion for opals is one such example. “It’s a very captivating stone so it is difficult not to be seduced! I had a lady Missoma
Sometimes they’re deeply personal (birthstones, childhood memories, mother’s jewellery…) but in the main it’s all about actually working with the stones and the inspiration they provide. “I really like tanzanites or tourmalines,” says designer Tomasz Donocik, speaking for many. “Tourmalines have so many colour variations and therefore you can find a great many different but similarly beautiful tourmalines.” Working with amazing gem hues is an obvious draw. “The range of sapphires is just incredible and their hardness and transparency mean that, as long as the stone is well-cut, they can have amazing sparkle,” says Lampson. “The range of fancy coloured sapphires includes hues that are out of this world – particularly among the peaches, violets and greens.” Designer Mounir loves green and purple amethysts for their freshness and ‘contemporary bloom and sparkle’, while
Well-trained staff – a vital ingredient for success
48 The Jeweller November 2011
The Birmingham Assay Office has extended its core programme of training courses to introduce two new one-day interactive courses in 2012. These present text book information translated into commercially-focussed product knowledge and are aimed to enthuse retail staff and increase their confidence and therefore their success rate in selling jewellery. ‘Selling Coloured Gemstones’ delivers technical information about the most important coloured gemstones , including treatments, synthetics and key selling points for each one. With a maximum of five delegates the course is an excellent refresher or starting point. The combined ‘Hallmarking and Coloured Gemstones’ course offers a broader view and is targeted specifically at those retailers selling second-hand jewellery who need a more in-depth knowledge of older hallmarks and a good understanding of coloured gemstones. Bespoke versions of these courses are also available for groups. For more information call: 0871 871 6020 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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| Feature Celia Weinstock loves brown diamonds for their ‘low-key subtlety, but with the sparkle that is synonymous with diamonds – a view shared by Aargaard’s designer Christer Enke-Nielsen. For Marisa Hordern, creative director of Missoma, who has been collecting gemstones since she was six, a favourite is chrysophase – which is the brand’s signature stone. “It’s so vibrant, fun and such an unusual vivid colour,” she says. “It’s a difficult question, but my favourite stone would have to be a dusky pink
Dower & Hall
tourmaline,” says Sushilla Done. “I’ve also been lucky enough to see an amazing mid-blue tourmaline – these are very rare.” Roger Latham, sales director of Lola Rose is currently struck by Montana agate: “It varies dramatically from stone to stone, giving each piece a real uniqueness,” he explains. Gemstone dealers, naturally enough, have even more options open to them when it comes to preferences. For Grumitt the memory of seeing huge pieces of black opal “with their full spectrum of moving Pomegranate
50 The Jeweller November 2011
London Road was established specifically to introduce well-priced gem set gold jewellery. “One of strengths is unusual stones, such as labradorite, cornelian, aventurine, moonstone and tiger’s eye,” explains Ed Adams. At Tivon Fine Jewellery morganite set in rose gold is becoming more in demand, while at CW Sellors, renowned for its choice of coloured stones
colours and distinctive patterns” has remained with him since he started in the trade in the 1980s. Sticking his neck out, Haruni plumps for gem red natural ruby: “in the right light they look like they catch fire,” he says. Designer Roberto Coin also declares that he feels “a special bond” binding him to the ruby. One ancient Egyptian myth stating that wearing a ruby in direct contact with the skin can grant longevity, good health and happiness, has inspired him to sign each of
“Important pieces are sold on design and on quality… high end customers want safety in ensuring what they are buying is distinct, unique and truly good quality.”
his pieces with a small ruby, hidden at a point where it can be in constant contact with the skin.
Not just the usual… Maybe it’s helped by the fact that the internet has opened up a whole new world of gemstones to the consumer, but certainly the more unusual varieties are surfacing in collections. “As a jewellery designer I need to stand out from the crowd,” says Andrew Geoghegan. “Diamonds sell well, but some customers need more than white stones to be captivated; so I set meteorites, varieties of rutilated quartz, tourmilated quartz and fire opals. Using the larger coloured stones also gives me the chance to be really creative with my designs and stray off the more commercial path.”
– 60 and counting – British gemstones are a speciality, an unusual niche in itself. Derbyshire Blue John and Whitby jet have recently been joined by pure white bauxite for both contemporary and classic pieces. ‘Unusual’ can also be applied to the shape, cut and texture of a stone – rough stone being something of a trend at the moment; “a sort of return to nature maybe,” suggests Iannuzzi. “I have found that there has always been an interest in rough stones, but that might be because I am very intrigued by uncut material,” says Lampson. The first SuShilla collection included a line made up mainly of rough cut stones. “They struck a chord with me,” says Done. “We all know what faceted amethyst or aquamarine looks like, but in their rough state they have an added depth and individuality.” Missoma’s new ‘Astra’ collection is handfaceted with each facet giving an irregular cut – and therefore irregular shape – to an otherwise simple design. Rachel Galley’s
Henn of London
teardrop-shaped stones in one range, meanwhile, offer an unusual selling point. She also likes rough stones: “they offer more in terms of creative options, using them in unusual ways adds to the design and makes a very interesting look,” she says. Chris Land is equally enthusiastic about “some beautiful rough rubies” that Pomegranate has in at the moment. “They are such a wonderful strident colour,” he says, “and although by no means perfect, they are full of character and totally unique.” Geoghegan’s Buff-Top is proving to be popular at the moment. “The smooth surface Luke Goldsmith
you are offering your customers, nothing is an issue,” says Haruni. “It becomes an issue when you can’t answer your customer, or you show a lack of confidence about the stone that you are selling. You don’t need to be an expert gemmologist to sell coloured stones, but you do need a basic understanding.” “The treatments of coloured gems are among the biggest challenges facing the gem trade today,” states Grumitt. “The controversy really kicked off in the early 1990s with the arrival of beryllium-treatments. We now have
a whole array of treatments to be aware of – many of them can have a dramatic effect on the price and durability of the treated gem. Some treatments are permanent and irreversible like beryllium and heat-treatments. Others can fade, wear or deteriorate over a period of time, an example being the leadglass filling of heavily fractured ruby crystals which is causing a great deal of concern in the trade today.” He explains the process: “Cut and polished lead-glass filled rubies are traded at source for a few pounds per carat, sometimes less! The starting material is low grade red corundum from various sources including Madagascar and Mozambique. The stones are heated with lead-oxide compounds, which dissolve and seep into and fill the
of the stone cries out to be touched, if not caressed!” he says.
A case for treatment At any convention, forum or seminar on coloured stones, the issue of treatments is raised. So how much of a problem do they cause? “As long as you are upfront about what
Tivon fine Jewellery
Fashion Front If it’s true that fine jewellery is increasingly being sold to women who are looking to accessorise outfits, it makes sense to keep ahead of the style trends. A glance at the international catwalks for this winter throws up a wealth of ideas – not least of all for window-dressing inspiration. Colour sense: • Gothic black (think jet and black diamonds) • Rich reds (rubies, garnets, spinel…) • The greens (emerald, peridot, malachite) • Oranges and lemons (citrine, cornelian, fire opal) • Purple (amethyst, lapis lazuli, tanzanite) • The blues (sapphire, aquamarine, blue topaz) And if you’d like a heads up on Spring 2012… think canary yellow! To make the most of the vibrant colour, give some thought to the key trends of the season – over-sized earrings, chokers and statement collars from the likes of Chanel, Valentino, YSL and Hermes – all sporting giant gems!
cracks and fissures. After the treatment process the ruby crystals can appear almost transparent and coated with a glassy residue. The stones are then cut and polished. The treatment is performed at relatively low temperatures and without proper examination it is possible to confuse these stones with unfilled or even totally untreated rubies. The durability of these stones is somewhat poor. If heated to high temperatures the filling will melt and come out. The filling can also come out in ultra-sonic cleaners or can dissolve in jewellers pickling solutions.” Such cases aside, ‘treatment’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word of course. “Some treatments can be acceptable, but they must be explained,” says Lampson. “It also doesn’t mean that treated stones aren’t interesting
The Voice of the Industry 51
cutting and dealing of coloured gems,” says Grumitt. “Without any policy it is very difficult to draw the line between what is ethical and what isn’t. There are also those who take advantage of the ethical issue for their own commercial gain. The only way of dealing with the issue is by knowing your suppliers and having a trusting relationship with them.”
in their own right. Lab-grown crystals can be amazing as long as they’re declared.” “I think some stones only look beautiful when they get treated,” adds Donocik. “Take for example a blue topaz. If you want the intensity of a baby blue colour the stone tends to get heat-treated. For my silver collections it’s about a look and not so much about the rareness of the stone; I tend to use what offsets the design best. For my high-end collections I prefer untreated stones.”
Aiming to be ethical When asked, many designers and jewellery manufacturers, as well as retailers, say that their customers rarely ask about the origins of a stone – unless it’s simply to learn about its homeland. However, this doesn’t mean that ethics aren’t a concern. “When I need to buy a stone I do always ask where it comes
to have a limited London Road selection. I hope to see their supply chain increase in the near future as more people become aware of ethical mining issues.” It’s certainly no easy matter to swear, with hand on heart, that all gems you source or sell are ‘ethical’ (with all that the word implies). They remain one of the most unregulated sectors of the jewellery trade at present. But for those who really would like to offer their customers that choice, there are a handful of mines that can guarantee that their stones are brought to market with a clear conscience. Ruby Fair (UK & Tanzania), Columbia Gem House (USA), Tawoma
“Stones with very strong colours, such as emerald, ruby and yellow sapphire are extremely popular at the moment” SuShilla
Ethical jewellers Oria source their gold and silver carefully and also use only ethical stones. “This is something that is important to the majority of our customer base,” says designer and co-owner Tania Kowalski. “There are a few companies now that deal in traceable stones, but they tend from and how it is mined. If the gem dealer doesn’t know, I do my own research,” says Iannuzzi. “Last time it happened, it was with the Ethiopian Wello opals and I actually travelled to Ethiopia to make sure it was ethically mined. I wish I could travel everywhere but when I can’t I just use Google or trust the gemdealer. My customers like to know as well, and they often ask where my gems are from.” “I believe the majority of people in our trade are concerned about the ethical issues in our industry. There is however no agreed world-wide policy regarding the mining,
52 The Jeweller November 2011
(Women COOP Tanzania) and ERSMA (Namibia) are four such sources that meet the very exacting Greg Valerio standards. The man behind Ruby Fair is Gary Roberts, a zoology graduate and photo-journalist, who is in partnership with a colleague in Tanzania. Together they own a small alluvial mine from which they produce ruby, spinel and sapphire. Around 15 miners are paid a ‘proper’ wage for the seasonal work. Ruby Fair also deals in cut tanzanite, paying the cut-tax rate, allowing the money to stay in the country. “We gave the cutter the equipment and our line manager from the ruby mine regularly checks on his tanzanite mine,” says Roberts, whose business also helps fund an orphanage in Tanzania. “We try to compete on price and quality with all our stones. It’s another hook for a jeweller – so his customers won’t go next door!”
| Insurance Matters
Keeping covered at
Neil McFarlane, of specialist jewellery insurance broker T.H. March, offers advice and tips for carrying extra stock and product lines in the lead up to Christmas.
ecember is just around the corner — one of the jeweller’s busiest periods of the year — so by now you are almost certainly thinking about all those new product lines and additional stock that you will be carrying. With merchandise levels and
Most retail jewellers’ block insurance polices include as standard a stock seasonal increase provision which provides cover for a fixed increase in your stock value at set periods during the policy year. For many businesses this standard provision may be
In the eyes of the insurer your newly stocked items may be considered to be of a greater risk than the items you traditionally hold. These risks can include anything from items which pose a greater fire hazard to something which increases the attractiveness of your premises to a burglar. special collections for the festive season to consider, insurance is possibly the last thing on your mind, but it is important to keep your insurers aware of any changes to the stock you will be supplying to ensure your policy covers you for this.
54 The Jeweller November 2011
sufficient, however, it is important to check both the level of increase and the periods involved. For some businesses it is not just the lead up to Christmas where an increase may be required. If the standard cover is not sufficient seek the advice of your insurance
broker. Most jewellers’ block policies will include an option to change both the level of increase and the periods involved. It is also important to let your insurer know if you change the type of goods you carry. In the eyes of the insurer your newly stocked items may be considered to be of a greater risk than the items you traditionally hold. These risks can include anything from items which pose a greater fire hazard to something which increases the attractiveness of your premises to a burglar. In certain cases your insurers may want to charge an additional premium or require extra precautions to be carried out before agreeing to provide cover. If you plan to carry higher values of jewellery, particularly in your main display windows, a good plan would be to ensure your policy window display limits are adequate for the values on display; this would apply both during the day and at night. Also if you feel that you need to leave more of your higher value stock out of your safe outside of business hours, whether in the window or elsewhere, then please check that your existing out-of-safe limit is adequate. It is important to remember that should you not inform your insurers of changes to your business activities it could enable them to decline or at best reduce a claim presented to them. Clearly the level of your stock cover and the complexity as to how this is insured as part of your insurance programme, will vary from business to business. This is why it is crucial that your exact requirements are understood by your broker and insurer to make certain that there are no gaps in your cover. If it is the case that your stock levels increase by a just a small amount each year in the run up to Christmas, then the standard set percentage seasonal increase should be adequate. However if your stock levels vary more widely, this would have to be built into your policy individually. Using a professional insurance broker who takes the time to understand your business is an important part of this process. T H March is a family owned firm of insurance brokers who have been serving the jewellery industry since 1887. The company offers a wide range of insurance products including household, travel and schemes for the customers of jewellers.
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The Voice of the Industry 55
| Antique Jewellery I n
a s s o c i a t i o n
w i t h
F e l l o w s
favourably as being, “reminiscent in shape of a foxglove flower about to open, and not far off this size”. The pearl is two inches long and around four and a half inches in diameter at its widest part, and is pure white at its smallest end, colouring to a greenbronze at the large end. Strictly speaking, the Hope is what is known as a ‘blister’ pearl, as it was attached to the shell of the mollusc when it was found. The part that was attached has been shaped and polished,
JEWELLERY Celebrated Pearls – Part II In the second of a two part series on ‘the superstars’ of the pearl world, Jo Young takes us from the biggest, through some of Royalty's finest, to one of the most peculiar in the history of pearls. n the first part of this feature, we looked at some of the best-known pieces of pearl jewellery, including La Peregrina, which was owned and worn by the actress and avid jewellery collector Elizabeth Taylor. Publication of the issue coincided, in fact, with a oncein-a-lifetime exhibition of Taylor’s jewellery, all of which is due to be sold off in December. According to Christie’s, a record 1,400 people per day paid to see the collection. By my reckoning, this probably means that many of you will now be a little more familiar with the Taylor jewels.
Hope Pearl However, though she owned several rare and important pieces of jewellery, Taylor’s collection did not include the very largest pearl on record. This seems almost surprising, given that the actress loved a bit of jewellery ostentation (she famously wore a $1m diamond necklace to Grace Kelly’s Monaco wedding, an act that she insisted was not intended to steal the show…). In fact, the largest historical pearl, known as the Hope Pearl (or Pearl of Hope), belonged to a banker called Henry Philip Hope who, you might rightly have supposed, is the same man who owned the Hope Diamond. Hope was one of the heirs of the Hope and Co bank, and was an enthusiastic collector of fine art, gems and highly valuable
56 The Jeweller November 2011
jewellery. When he died in 1839, having never married, he gave a huge tranche of jewellery and artwork to his three nephews – the Hope diamond went to his eldest nephew, Henry Thomas Hope. Like all good diamonds, the Hope diamond comes with its own ‘curse’ legend, and so it was that, when Henry Thomas’s descendants found themselves mired in bankruptcy and scandals of varying degrees, the diamond was blamed (gambling habits and overly-opulent living appear, with retrospect, to have been the more likely culprits, but I digress…). The Hope Pearl, which jewellery historian Eric Bruton described simply as “a monster”, is a baroque pearl that weighs 1,800 grains (or about 3oz). It is a fairly irregular shape, although Bruton described it rather more
The Hope Pearl
and the pearl has been, as the picture above shows, mounted as a pendant on a rather ‘bling’ crown. The crown itself is made from red enamelled gold, set with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies. The pendant was originally part of the Hope Collection, and was exhibited for many years in the Geological Museum in
One can only imagine the weight she was carrying around: wildly impressive they may well have been, but hers must have been seriously uncomfortable frocks to wear. London with other pieces of Hope’s jewellery (Hope was particularly fond of pearls, apparently, and had almost 150 of them in his collection). The pearl was put on the market in 1886, along with the rest of the collection, and was sold again in 1908 by Garrard, with a price tag of £9,000. Their last known sale, in 1974, was for a not-insubstantial $200,000 pricetag.
Canning Triton Jewel Henry Thomas Hope
Another of the most famous baroque pearls is the one that forms the centre of the
Antique Jewellery | Canning Triton Jewel (or, often, simply the Canning Jewel). Lord Canning, the first Viceroy of India, bought the jewel, which depicts a merman or ‘triton’, while in India. An enormous baroque pearl forms the torso of the merman, with the arms and face made from white enamel and his hair and (rather jaunty) beard made from gold. His tail, enamelled bright green, is set with graduated diamonds and is finished with a large, carved ruby. He holds in his right hand a scimitar, which he holds aloft above his head, and in his other hand he grips a masked Medusa’s head, in whose mouth a ruby has been set. Further, smaller baroque pearls hang from either side of this dramatic scene. This spectacular piece is thought to date from the late 16th Century in southern Germany, and is believed to have been a gift from one of the Medici Dukes of Tuscany to a Mogul Emperor. After Canning’s death, it passed through several of his relatives, and was eventually sold in 1931 at Sotheby’s by the Earl of Harewood. The piece is now on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Elizabeth I wearing pearls
Hanoverian Pearls From Queen Victoria we move back again to an earlier iconic female monarch. Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth the First didn’t start out as a lover of fine jewellery. I say ‘interestingly’, because during the later years of her reign she became well-known for her elaborate jewellery, the most famous pieces of which she wore for her court portraits. She became, over the course of her reign as monarch, a
The Canning Jewel
particular fan of pearls, which she is said to have prized above all other gems. She wore them not only as standalone jewellery pieces, but had them woven, in great number, into her clothing. Upon studying the portraits in which Elizabeth is wearing her most expensively-decorated gowns, one can only imagine the weight she was carrying around: wildly impressive they may well have been, but hers must have been seriously uncomfortable frocks to wear. Many of Elizabeth’s jewellery treasures were ‘acquired’ from her predecessor, Mary Tudor. Several more pieces were added from the Crown Jewels of Scotland, Portugal, Burgundy and Navarre – offering testament, in a sense, to Elizabeth’s success as a monarch. She was, at least it seems, a canny and uncompromising buyer. Mary, Queen of Scots
had left behind her – among other awkward problems – an almost empty treasury upon her death. This meant that her jewellery had to be sold – much of it to Elizabeth. Among the pieces Elizabeth bought was a large case of pearls, for which she paid 12,000 crowns. They had been given to Mary by her husband, the Dauphine of France, and by his mother, Catherine de Medici; after Mary’s death, Catherine was keen to get her pearls back, but the Spanish ambassador in London was forced to write (a no-doubt awkward) letter to Catherine in 1568 to tell her that she was too late: Elizabeth had already snapped them up. These pearls, known as the Hanoverian Pearls, comprised six very long strung rows and 25 very large, loose pearls. They dated from the 14th Century, and were given to
The Voice of the Industry 57
| Antique Jewellery Catherine de Medici by Pope Clement VII, her uncle, on her wedding day. Elizabeth I added more pearls still to the collection, which was then inherited by James I and passed on to his daughter, Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. From there, the pearls passed into the House of Hanover and from there into the English Crown Jewels.
Pearl of the Palatinate From the biggest, to the finest, and then to the oddest: perhaps the most peculiar of the famous pearls is a piece of jewellery known as the Pearl of the Palatinate, which is the second most valuable gem in the Wittelsbach Treasury of Bavaria. This Treasury is a collection of jewellery and (as the name suggests) other treasures – enamels, crystal objects and ivories – amassed by the various rulers of Bavaria. As a collection, the treasury was established and effectively protected by Duke Albrecht V of Munich (or, as Time Magazine rather less delicately described him in its coverage of the collection, ‘the roly poly ruler of Renaissance Bavaria’). Albrecht apparently nearly bankrupted the privy purse in 1565 to buy the collection’s first pieces, and then, in 1565, stipulated in his will that these valuable “dynastic and hereditary jewels” should be kept together and not sold.
The treasury was established by Duke Albrecht V of Munich (or, as Time Magazine rather less delicately described him, ‘the roly poly ruler of Renaissance Bavaria’). The Pearl of the Palatinate takes its name from the Palatinates, which were two regions of Germany that at one time made up an electorate of the Roman Empire. The pearl in the piece is drop-shaped and weighs around 48 grains. The body of the pearl is white with rounded, black top with good lustre, giving the pearl the somewhat eerie appearance of an upturned eyeball. In the early 1700s, this odd-looking gem was described as being part of the decoration of a box, but the pearl was later set in a cup held together by three interwoven snakes in
58 The Jeweller November 2011
a diamond ornament. A little like the Tudor Three Brethren – three enormous red spinels set with three equally large pearls – the Pearl of the Palatinate is, to the modern eye, an almost ugly piece, despite the value of its composite gemstones. It is, however, no less remarkable for that. And that, really, is what is so enjoyable about historical pearl jewellery: whether you genuinely like the jewellery or object in which the pearl is set is almost academic. There have been periods in history when
pearls were greatly prized, and other times when they have been considerably less fashionable – there was a long stretch during the second half of the twentieth century when the latter could be said to have been true. But whatever the fashions and tastes of the age, like all truly precious gems, good quality pearls are things of wonder, and what the finest craftsmen and women of their time choose to do with them (be it depictions of eyeballs or scalp-wielding mermen) will always be quietly fascinating.
Whittaker’s World It’s all in a name! When I stammered my way through my first auction twenty-two years ago, I could never have imagined that in 2011 I would be auctioning handbags! Yes, handbags! At the Loughborough Conference I told the assembled group of ‘the great and the good’ that there was no end to the excitement in my job and this is the proof. I left Loughborough at 1.45pm and was back in Birmingham by 2.45pm – in time to take over the auction just before the ‘handbag section’. You have to understand that I faced this task with my usual sang froid – handbags are, after all, just another product and if you can spell the manufacturer’s name properly, take a half decent photograph, and promote it to the right audience you have most of the ingredients for success. But actually the real clue to the success of this particular part of the auction – we sold two handbags for £3,900 and £4,000 respectively despite the rather bemused expressions of some of the buyers in the auction room – is the inordinate amount of money and effort spent by the manufacturers promoting their product and name in the first place. The brand name recognition which drives customers both to your doors to buy famous name watches and to our auctions to buy ‘branded goods’ is the result of a huge marketing bonanza to make a particular manufacturer’s name immediately recognisable as a high quality supplier of desirable items. So the next time one of my staff asks ‘does it really matter if the manufacturer’s name is incorrectly spelt in the catalogue – surely the item will sell itself?’ – the answer will be a robust ‘yes’ to the first part and a possible ‘no’ to the second half of the question. The value isn’t really in the product – it’s in the name! Stephen Whittaker is Managing Director at Fellows Auctioneers and Valuers, specialists in jewellery, watches and silver, based in Birmingham’s world famous Jewellery Quarter. He can be contacted on 0121 212 2131 or email@example.com.
Fellows (Est. 1876)
• Secondhand Jewellery & Watches – Thursday 17th Nov, Thursday 1st Dec, Thursday 15th Dec • Antique & Modern Jewellery – Thursday 24th Nov • Silver, Plated Wares, Coins & Medals – Monday 28th Nov • Costume & Silver Jewellery & Novelties – Monday 28th Nov A catalogue is available at www.fellows.co.uk or by post. Online bidding is available at www.the-saleroom.com/fellows For further information please call Heather Bailey on 0121 212 2131.
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The Voice of the Industry 59
| Legal Jeweller
Branded jewellery – seller beware! There are important considerations to bear in mind when selling branded jewellery. Thought must be given to the way in which the brands are used, so as to avoid trade mark infringement. In addition, stocked items must be the genuine article, warns Sarah Hadland of legal firm Boyes Turner. Point of sale When displaying jewellery, unless you have a commercial relationship with the brand owner – such as an exclusive distribution agreement – it is important that you do not appear to promote yourself as having a close affiliation with the brand. Most brand owners will own trade marks for their brand name or logo and you could infringe these if you use the marks beyond what is honest and fair. This means that your use of the trade mark must not over exaggerate what you are selling and act only to inform customers that the brand is sold in your shop. Although it may be tempting to give prominence to the better known or most prestigious brands, do not be overly prominent in your use of the brand in your displays. For instance, a small sign in a window which states that Rolex is sold in your shop, or simply having a branded display, probably including point of sale materials provided by Rolex, would inform customers that you sell Rolex watches who permit you to display them in an attractive way. Whereas if you had a large Rolex sign above the door, this could indicate to customers that your shop is officially affiliated with Rolex and this would constitute infringement of the Rolex trade mark. The same considerations apply to online selling. For example do not use any third party’s brand to an extent where someone visiting your website might think that your website is that of the brand owner or that you are commercially connected with the brand owner over and above re-selling its products (unless of course this is the case). Many retailers like to adopt a domain name including a prominent brand in order to
60 The Jeweller November 2011
attract customers to their websites but again, this can constitute infringement of the brand owner’s trade mark. If you are found to have infringed a trade mark in this way, the brand owner may bring proceedings against you which could include a claim for an injunction, damages, and costs. Are you worried that you have been supplied with counterfeit products? Many counterfeit products are of very good quality, which can make it difficult to distinguish them from the genuine article. However, it is an offence to sell counterfeit goods. Alongside the civil solutions for trade mark infringement as outlined above, anyone found deliberately abusing someone else’s brand can face criminal sanctions of
Counterfeits are not always good quality so it is important to check for more obvious signs of imitation. Fakes will often be lighter in weight than the original, perhaps as a result of being made from a different, cheaper, material. Logos may be incorrectly placed or of the incorrect size. There are also specific clues with certain brands, for example Playboy bunnies always look to the left. • Websites such as Ebay are a good source for keeping up-to-date with the latest commonly counterfeited pieces of jewellery. The site will often publish guides stating what to look out for with particular brands. Brand owners also publish guides from time to time. Many brand owners invest significantly in developing features which enable them to
Logos may be incorrectly placed or of the incorrect size. There will also be specific clues to look out for with certain brands, for example Playboy bunnies always look to the left. up to ten years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. There is also the risk that the misuse of a brand could lead to prosecution under the Proceeds of Crime legislation. To help prevent brand abuse, we have set out some warning signs to look out for which may indicate that you are not dealing with the genuine article: • A low price is often an indication that you are dealing with a fake. Top brands rarely need to discount their goods. • Some brands tend to sell only from their own stores or perhaps concessions in large department stores, so does it seem odd that you have been approached?
identify their product as against a good fake. This might be a hologram or a marking which will only show up under ultraviolet light. Generally, these features are not publicised because that would enable the counterfeiters to replicate them, but if you are in doubt as to whether you have been supplied with a genuine product, send a sample to the brand owner and ask them to examine it. Alternatively, you might contact your local Trading Standards office. If you have sold any counterfeit goods, you are likely to have incurred liability. However, most brand owners will refrain from taking action against a retailer who has acted in good faith.
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A recent discovery of Belperron’s personal archive has led to the publication of this book, which demonstrates her particular love of coloured stones and her innovative, signature style, considered at the time, to be highly avante garde.
Drawing Jewels for Fashion by Carol Woolton (£25.00 Prestel) Woolton, jewellery editor of British Vogue, has brought together 34 leading international jewellery designers to offer some insight into the creative process. Their sketches, paintings and mood boards guide us through the varied influences and inspirations that lead to a piece of jewellery or collection. The chapters are organised thematically – natural world, art & architecture, culture and literature and so on, with illustrations and photos of the finished pieces. Designers featured include Paloma Picasso, Theo Fennell, Ornella Ianuzzi, Stephen Webster, Shaun Leane and Victoire
de Castellane of Dior. It’s a fascinating and beautiful book and, in the face of the growth of CAD, a reminder that a drawing documents the personal story of a designer’s imagination – the ultimate provenance of a piece of jewellery.
Boucheron – the Secret Archives by Vincent Meylan (£45.95 Antique Collectors’ Club) Why secret? Well, the author was given unprecedented access to the Parisian jeweller’s vaults and it lifted the lid on quite a few revealing documents. Of particular significance is the ‘Book of Stones’ – a record of all the gemstones that have entered Boucheron’s stock, indexed by weight, price and who bought and sold them. Then there are almost 200 order books and 150 letters, telling the history of the jewellers and its extraordinary and colourful clientele – from royalty to ‘ladies of sin’.
Sales & Exhibitions
24th-27th: Made in Clerkenwell: Winter Open Studios at Craft Central, 21 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1 Explore the design community (ceramics, fashion and interiors as well as jewellery) and shop early for Christmas. www.craftcentral.org.uk/madeinclerkenwell
Where to go, what to read, what to see…
November Now-8th January, 2012: Picasso to Koons: Artist as Jeweler, Museum of Arts and Design, New York Over 240 one-of-a-kind or limited edition pieces created by artists not normally known for their jewellery www.madmuseum.org 5th November-8th January: Dazzle. National Theatre, South Bank, London Parties on the opening week-end will kick off this show of designer jewellery, including new talent from among this year’s graduates. www.dazzle-exhibitions.com 18th-20th: Desire Silver Jewellery & Silversmithing Fair, The Guildhall, Winchester Around 70 new and established British designer makers who are working in a variety of materials, from gold and silver to bronze and copper. 19th Nov-1st Jan: Dazzle. Royal Exchange Theatre, St Anne’s Square, Manchester Contemporary jewellery fair – details as above.
62 The Jeweller November 2011
Suzanne Belperron by Sylvie Raulet & Olivier Baroin (£75.00 Antique Collectors’ Club) Adored by the fashionistas of the 1920s and ’30s, the renowned Parisian jeweller Suzanne Belperron’s clientele ranged from the Duchess of Windsor to the Rothschilds. Yet it wasn’t until a Sotherby’s sale of the Duchess’ jewellery in 1987 that her work became known and appreciated by modern collectors.
24th-30th: Wohoooh!!! Sin Sin Atelier, Sai St, Hong Kong This touring exibition of ‘contemporary jewellery as art’ created by 10 makers from five different countries, will go on to show in Sydney and Taipei and finally Bangkok in February 2012. Visit: www.facebook.com/wohoooh
10 rings by Tricia Tang at Wohoooh!
Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs November 24th-27th: Hong Kong Jewelry
Manufacturers Show, HK Convention & Exhibition Centre Diamond, platinum and fine gold jewellery, plus pearls, jade opals, gemstones and jewellery watches. www.jewelryshows.org December 2nd-5th: China International Gold Jewellery & Gem Fair, World Expo Theme Pavillion, Shanghai, China Fine jewellery as well as loose gems, fashion jewellery and watches. www.jewellerynetasia.com 3rd-5th: Kerala Gem & Jewellery Show, Lulu International Convention Centre, Thrissur, Kerala, India Relocated from Cochin, this show offers fine jewellery as well as watches, loose stones and silverware. www.kgjs.in 9th-11th: Mumbai Jewellery & Gem Fair, Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India Gold, silver and gemstone jewellery, loose stones and watches are among the categories offered at this inaugural Asian fair. www.jewelryfair.in
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The Voice of the Industry 63
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Last Word This month’s Last Word subject is Jack Ogden, chief executive of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). Personal Profile A leading world expert on jewellery and precious metal history Jack is the fourth generation of a British jewellery business but, after a brief period in that business he entered the consulting field, working with museums, auction houses, dealers and collectors worldwide primarily advising on problems of authenticity of ancient and historical jewellery. He has written and lectured widely on these subjects. He has a Doctorate from Durham University (Egyptology), the Gem-A Gemmology Diploma and a Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics. Between 1995 and 2000 he was secretary general to CIBJO and CEO to the NAG and joined Gem-A as CEO in 2004. He is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and until February this year was vice chairman of the UK Government Treasure Valuation Committee. His first novel was published in 2007. How would you describe your personal style? Accurately Where is your favourite holiday destination? Why? Anywhere with great mountains to ski or walk in – at least that was true until I did my knee in. Beaches bore me and I travel too much for work so I guess now a good library or a museum where I have access to the objects and a microscope. What three words describe you best… in your view and according to others? I’d say funny, intelligent, young at heart, Others probably think mildly amusing, delusional and old. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be? If talking about the UK jewellery industry (or else it would be an impossible question) my answer would be to try to bring back aspiration and a sense of quality to sellers
66 The Jeweller November 2011
and customers. However, sadly but perhaps realistically, we might need to face up to the fact that in the UK we did ‘fine jeweller’ in the eighteenth, nineteenth and first two thirds of the twentieth century – been there done that – and that the market for top end jewellery has moved on to some of the more successfully developing countries (or their nationals visiting the UK). Favourite shopping destination (shop, street, city or country)? Temple Street in Hong Kong or perhaps Grand Bazaar Istanbul – certainly not a mall stuffed with big brands or a high street with the same old chemists, coffee shop and clothing-store names over and over again.
Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? Charge more. What book are you currently reading? Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, not a biography of one of my favourite mountains, but an extraordinary book on the Vietnam war. To what do you attribute your success? Taking my work and my studies seriously but not myself. If not the jewellery business, what might your career have been? I’ve done various things anyway, academia, consulting, writing and even retail. Doctorate from Durham Uni was in Egyptology, but no great opportunities there, so law perhaps – recently done an Art Law Diploma, fascinating – but a part of me still says ski bum. Tell us something not many people know about you… I promised her that I wouldn’t tell… Do you Tweet? A bit, but Tweets, Facebook comments etc are self-indulgent dross unless they are funny or thought-provoking in some way. Quick fire (no deliberating) • Red or white wine? Don’t drink • Diamonds or coloured stones? Coloured stones • White or yellow metal? Yellow • TV or radio? Radio • Jewellery on men? Depends where • Delegator or control freak? Neither • Beatles or Rolling Stones? In the 60s I would have said Beatles, now I would say Rolling Stones
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