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Jeweller April 2012

With input from the British Jewellers’ Association


The Voice of The Industry

Men’s Jewellery • Upgrading your EPoSibilities Celebrating the NAG Graduates of 2011

Contents |


Jeweller The Voice of The Industry



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Upgrading to the World of EPoSibilities


Not joined the retailing IT revolution yet? We bring you the what, who and why of EPoS for jewellers

Arms & The Man



Editor’s Letter


Industry News


NAG News


Member of the Month


IRV Review


BJA News


Simon Says


Brand Profile: Tresor Paris




Upskill this Summer


Opinion: John Henn


Show Stoppers


Insurance Matters




Display Cabinet


The Last Word



The interest in men's jewellery and the choice of styles available continues to grow, says Belinda Morris

Afghan Blue


This month’s Antique Jewellery looks into the history of lapis lazuli, a rare and beautiful stone which has been prized for centuries

Graduate Awards Ceremony


We celebrate the exam successes of the Class of 2011 with a report from the graduation

The Jeweller is published by the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For more information about The Jeweller visit:

ceremony held last month at Goldsmiths’ Hall

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

Cover Image In conjunction with Tresor Paris 7 Greville Street, Hatton Garden, London EC1 8PQ Tel: 020 3355 4030 Email:

78a Luke Street, London EC2A 4XG Tel: 020 7613 4445 Editor: Belinda Morris Tel: 01692 538007 BJA Marketing & PR Manager: Lindsey Straughton Tel: 0121 237 1110

Sales Director: Ian Francis Tel: 020 7613 4445 Fax: 020 7729 0143 Publishing Enquiries/ Classified Advertising: Neil Oakford Art Director: Ben Page Contributors: Mary Brittain, John Henn, Miles Hoare, 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

| Comment

Communiqué M I C H A E L

H O A R E ’ S

This month CEO Michael Hoare gives the NAG’s perspective on the Portas Report, considers the state of the economy and wonders whether Sunday trading laws should be tampered with.

Mary Portas reviewed With the approach of the Spring deadline for the Government’s response to the Portas proposals, the NAG convened its Council and Forum recently to discuss the ramifications of the report. The event, at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell, was addressed by three industry experts giving their perspectives on Portas’ 28 point plan. Tracing the decline of the High Street, Mike McGraw of Development Initiatives, commended many of the remedial actions, including Business Improvement Districts and mentoring schemes, while Chris Wade, CEO, Action for Market Towns, viewing the report in the context of town centre regeneration, commended the ‘town centre first’ proposals. Putting a practical slant on implementation, Jayant Raniga of Pure Jewels described the achievements of the Green Street Association, while calling for a review of the ‘Use Class’ system relating to betting shops and other operators that negatively impact a street. All three welcomed the concept of Town Teams to establish High Street brand values, but feared the Government’s bidding competition for twelve towns to share a million pound development pot was little more than a distraction from the serious proposals in Portas’ report.

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My own ‘wish list’ contains a restoration of the link between business rates and local services; a transparent planning regime; and meaningful powers for local government. Furthermore a robust ‘town centre first’ planning policy is to be welcomed. Business rates are one of the biggest barriers to business entry on the high street, and so the Portas proposals are to be applauded; but the challenge will be for Government and councils to find suitable funding models. Similarly, more free parking is a laudable aim – plugging the gap in council finances, the potential stumbling block! Addressing the restrictions of the ‘Use Class’ system, making it easier to change the uses of high street properties, will free up space for more appropriate occupiers, including residential users; and may even help ease the housing shortage. Exploring disincentives, to prevent landlords leaving units vacant, seems an appropriate measure; and a stronger community voice in the planning system has to be a good thing. From the 50 delegates present, I would judge there is abundant energy building around high street regeneration, and I urge Government not to squander it by dismissing Portas’ more radical suggestions out of hand. However, the new planning policy framework

will soon be published, and this will impact her proposals. The word among lobbyists is that the ‘town centre first’ proviso suggested in the review will be adopted, but the ‘exceptional sign off’ measures will not. This begs the question, what happens to the 80 per cent of applications in the pipeline that are currently ‘out of town’, given that there has been no intervention by Government since 2008 despite 147 opportunities? Only time will tell, meanwhile it’s a waiting game as Government’s Spring inevitably stretches into July!

Bank on It With the results of the NAG’s latest Business Confidence Survey just out (see page 15), I can report that our sector’s uncertainty is mirrored by many others. Or so it would seem from my pre-budget Bank of England meeting. With predictions affected by the sovereign debt crisis in the Euro-zone, and economic activity and growth flat in the latter part of 2011, the Bank now expects growth of 2.53.0 per cent will be achieved as predicted in two to three years. With the anniversaries of the VAT rise and oil and energy price hikes passed inflation is expected to come back on track by the end of the year. It is also anticipated that delayed spending decisions

Comment | on items like replacement computers and vehicles cannot be postponed any more, and this will add to spending. The Silver Jubilee and Olympics will also give a welcome shot in the arm. Looking at other business sectors gives a mixed picture, the one commonality being the shortage of bank lending to smooth the path of growth. Demand for UK goods and services appear relatively strong; the perception of UK design is high, with British architects and designers in demand, especially in Hong Kong, the Middle East, and China. Closer to home new buildings are on hold, and are not being brought to completion because they will attract tax, therefore implementation of interior design projects is delayed. The housing market is still under threat from the 8-12 per cent of homes that have attracted ‘forbearance’ measures by being three or more months in mortgage arrears. Export demand is still high in the engineering and manufacturing sector, but project finance is still mostly unavailable, with some banks declining to be involved in Government export guarantee schemes, cutting lending, securitising loans, and withdrawing the bank manager relationship. Lastly, hairdressers are finding that they are no longer recession proof and are experiencing reductions in sales of value added products and treatments. Similarly, while there is uplift in bridal retail business, there is fierce price competition and margins have been hit through failure to recover the VAT increase. Since the abolition of the married couple’s allowance there has been a 150,000 annual decline in marriages. With the average cost of a wedding about £22,000 the loss of business is considerable – not just to retailers. With VAT about £3,600 a time, that’s quite a slice lost to the Revenue!

Sunday on your mind Last July I reported that Sunday trading legislation might be amended in response to the London Olympics 2012. Mark Menzies MP tabled a Ten Minute Rule Bill in July 2011 which aimed to allow temporary relaxations of Sunday trading regulations for the duration of the Olympic Games. He was also said to believe that giving local authorities the power to amend Sunday trading legislation for special, one-off events would help traders in his constituency through a difficult period as well as boosting the Games. Now it seems he will have his way, and the Chancellor may make it permanent, ignoring strong opinions to the contrary. Comments on the Government’s Red Tape Challenge website last year suggested that most people would prefer the law to stay as it is, or even to become more restrictive; and a poll conducted by the ACS found that 76 per cent of the public supported the existing law which limits stores of over 3,000 square feet to six hours’ trading. Even the British Retail Consortium was unsure how its members would react to even temporary change. On the one hand it stated that ‘Britain has invested billions of pounds into the Games and we must maximise the opportunity from the hundreds of thousands of new tourists that will come.’ On the other it conceded that others may prefer sticking to the current regime as relaxation of the rules will merely spread out existing trade while increasing operational costs. What do you think?

The Voice of the Industry 5

Comment | This month:



“…it’s now acceptable for men to wear jewellery; they get compliments whereas years ago they would have got stick!”

As consumers of everyday goods we’re all completely au fait with electronic point of sale – touch-screen tills and other technical gizmos that aid transaction are part and parcel of general retail life. But that’s not necessarily the case with our industry. While doing a little groundwork for this month’s feature on EPoS I discovered that IT is not a given feature of every jeweller’s life. I also talked to retailers with a single store who had been fully IT-laden for years, and others, with several branches, who were still working with pens and ledgers – an anomaly that astonished me (and I’m a self-confessed technophobe). My overview of EPoS on p26 is for those procrastinators and sceptics, or others who are standing on the precipe of the IT pond. Come on in – you know you want to and it’s not as scary as it looks – and that’s me talking. Also worth jumping into, in my opinion, is the men’s jewellery market. It’s been said before, but is worth repeating – there are plenty of guys out there looking for something other than a watch (and there are a few who don’t wear watches now of course) to wear on their wrist. They also want neckwear and rings, because (whisper it) it’s OK for men to accessorise. Our look at the latest men’s jewellery collections – from the casual to the frankly exotic – on p34 proves that there’s the choice to offer them out there. Also in this issue – because it’s that time of year again – we celebrate the achievements of all those who passed exams on the NAG’s Professional Jewellers’ Diploma programme

Page 34 “…independent jewellery retailers tend to be traditional, family-run businesses… therefore investment in EPoS is often deferred as there is no particular person responsible for IT”

earlier this year. The graduates mingled with family, friends and industry grand fromages at a glittering awards ceremony, held in the breathtakingly splendid Livery Hall in the Goldsmiths’ Hall last month. A full report on the evening, together with a list of all the successful students, follows on p54 – a reminder, should you need one, of the importance placed on education by our industry.

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:

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The Voice of the Industry 7

| Industry News

Jewellery Quarter BID prospectus launched irmingham’s Lord Mayor has helped to unveil the prospectus for the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQ BID). The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), which is leading the BID in conjunction with Birmingham City Council, welcomed local business owners, stakeholders and council dignitaries to a launch event last month to mark the start of the ballot process. The Lord Mayor was joined by Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Randal Brew OBE and the Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration Councillor Timothy Huxtable. The JQ BID aims to attract investment, increase visitor numbers and encourage a more vibrant economy, while making the area a better place in which to work, invest and live. Around 550 local businesses are being asked to vote to support the initiative, which will see businesses with premises with a rateable value of £10,000 or above pay an extra annual levy of two per cent to fund additional investment for the benefit of the whole area. Over the past six months the JQDT has hosted a series of consultation meetings and a drop-in day to enable business owners and potential levy payers to find out more about its plans. “If ever an area was tailor-made for a BID it is the Jewellery Quarter with its unique blend of business and heritage, manufacturing, private investment and ownerships and its skilled, creative people who take great pride in the place,” said Dave Mahony, chair of the JQDT. “The JQDT is determined to succeed in getting a positive BID outcome for the area.” Councillor Tim Huxtable said: “There are currently nine BIDs in Birmingham and I have seen how BID status has helped businesses to improve their local environment for staff, residents and visitors. The City Council sees the Jewellery Quarter as very much a part of the city centre and wishes the JQDT the best of luck in achieving its aim of securing the Quarter as a Business Improvement District.” The board of the JQDT decided in early-summer 2011 to support the BID proposal and develop the initiative in partnership with Birmingham City Council.


Most expensive ethical jewel sold erkshire independent jewellery retailer Jacobs of Reading has sold the most expensive piece of Fairtrade Fairmined gold jewellery on record, valued at £40,000. The dress ring was made on commission by UK manufacturer of ethically-sourced jewellery Foundation Jewellery, of which Jacobs is a founder agent. Three fancy yellow diamonds totalling 2.22 ct were set into the ring of 18 ct gold and created for a long-standing Jacobs customer to mark his retirement. “We’re thrilled to have made this exceptional and ground breaking piece of jewellery” commented Peter Ungar, founder of Foundation Jewellery. “It shows there’s an appetite for Fairtrade & Fairmined gold jewellery of the highest quality.” Adam Jacobs, owner of Jacobs the Jewellers, was also understandably pleased. “There’s no better endorsement of ethical jewellery than this. We’re 100 per cent behind the Fairtrade movement. Customers are naturally curious, interested and glad to learn more about the story behind their important and personal jewellery.”


8 The Jeweller April 2012

The Budget – opinion by Michael Hoare T

his was one of the most heavily trailed budgets of recent times. So much so that one might have been tempted to believe we knew all the details before the Chancellor even stood up. But then came the surprise ‘raid’ on pensioners’ tax allowances, and suddenly all the detail was overshadowed by argument about the justice of depriving pensioners in order to reward the wealthy. Given the gloomy economic landscape, the Chancellor actually had little wriggle room and was left with the difficult task of injecting some feelgood factor into the economy and giving business a shot in the arm. In the end what some commentators called the Wallace and Gromit budget because of the boost given to TV drama, animation and computer games, offered some of the latter and very little of the former. Certainly, big business got most of what it wanted, and the CBI was quick to welcome measures like the one per cent off corporation tax which it said would make a big difference to investment intentions, and the reduction in the top rate of tax to create wealth; new Enterprise Zones to encourage investment; abovethe-line research and development tax credits; and oil and gas tax relief. Small business faired less well, and didn’t see any relaxation in red tape, relief on NI payments, or business rates. For jewellers the elephant that still stalks the room is consumer confidence. Notwithstanding the increases in personal allowances and the about turn on child benefit, most consumers might be forgiven for feeling that there was very little relief in sight from the gloomy certainties of higher heating and transport costs. So if last years’ budget was greeted as a ‘jam tomorrow’ budget for business, this one had all the hallmarks of a ‘more gruel’ budget for many tax payers and job seekers. Family budgets have been under increasing pressure, and it is yet to be seen whether the Chancellor has put enough money in the pockets of ordinary people to provide a much-needed confidence boost and get them spending.

Industry News |

New CEO appointed at Beaverbrooks ewellery and watch retailer Beaverbrooks has announced the appointment of a new CEO to ‘take the brand forward into a new era of customer service’. Daniel Brown, former operations director of the 64-store group, and a fourth-generation member of the Beaverbrooks family, has taken over as CEO, while third-generation family member Mark Adlestone has now moved from managing director to the position of chairman, retaining a key involvement in the business, predominantly as support to Brown. Previous chairman Andrew Brown remains as a director, as does Mark’s father, Gerald. For the past nine years, Beaverbrooks has been considered among the top employers in the country, thanks to its working culture, a number of staff initiatives and a substantial amount of charity work, donating 20 per cent of all profits to charity each year. In 2009 it was voted the Best Company to Work For in The Sunday Times, a follow-up to being recognised as the UK’s best workplace in the FT Great Workplaces awards the previous year. “What we’ve created with this amazing working environment has to be replicated in store as a customer experience, and that’s what we’re driving towards,” says Brown. “We’re now going through the biggest cultural change we’ve seen yet for our business and our brand. We want to completely change the consumer’s experience of shopping at Beaverbrooks. We have a better-than-most reputation for good customer service, but we can do a lot better, and we’re at the beginning of that journey.”


Fabergé launches online boutique his month iconic jeweller Fabergé is to launch an online boutique which will allow clients to explore the history of the brand as well as browse its contemporary high and fine jewellery collections. The site, which has been designed to complement its network of retail stores, will also feature an interactive area, with special projects such as the Mir Fabergé art initiative. High-value transaction technology will enable clients to purchase selected items in multiple currencies with international delivery service to more than 29 countries. Last month a number of celebrities, including Tom Parker Bowles and Holly Valance turned out for The Fabergé Big Egg Banquet, at The Royal Courts of Justice. The event saw 30 uniquely designed eggs from The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt auctioned, raising over £667,000 for charities Elephant Family and Action for Children. Eggs sold on the night included a Humpty Dumpty egg signed by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and designed by The Prince’s Drawing School, for £51,000, ‘stolen’ letter box egg by artist Benjamin Shine, for £42,000, and Marc Quinn’s simply entitled ‘Egg’, for £40,000. Zaha Hadid’s ‘Dichotomy’ fetched £45,000, whilst Jane Morgan’s ‘A Penny For Your Thoughts’ reached £30,000 on the night.


S N I P P E T S Simon Cupitt bike ride The UK-long motor bike trip organised by John Henn of TA Henn, to raise funds for The Motor Neurone Disease Association went ahead as planned, starting from John O’ Groats on 21st March. The ride was prompted by the devastating news that his friend, jewellery retailer Simon Cupitt has developed a particularly aggressive form of the disease. (At a CMJ dinner prior to the ride, a sum of close to £10,000 was raised by industry friends and colleagues and presented to Simon.) A daily blog was posted of the trip, during which visitors to the site were invited to donate funds – at the time of going to press, the sum raised so far was just over £5,000. In next month’s issue we will publish a report and images of the road trip. If you would like to donate please visit: NAG Challenge Trophy The industry’s golf season gets underway on the 11th June this year with the NAG Challenge Trophy which will be held once again at Fulford Golf Club, York. Last year’s winners, Neil Watson of Laurence R Watson will be looking to defend his title. The Team prize for 2011 was won by the Beaverbrooks team. If you would like to take part in the 18-hole golf tournament, which is sponsored by Bransom Retail Systems and also includes a putting competition, afternoon tea, champagne reception, dinner and awards (£75 for NAG member, £95 for non-member) please contact Frank Wood on 01904 625274 or email: for full details. The event will also raise money for a trade-related charity. If you would like to donate a prize (with your company name highlighted on the prize/tombola table) then please let Frank know.

Lacroix opens international stores

Azendi calls in administrators

wiss watch brand Maurice Lacroix is investing in the expansion of the brand with plans to open eight stores in Asia and Europe in 2012. With the takeover of distribution in Italy, France and Holland, the company's foothold in Europe is also growing. With these measures, Maurice Lacroix intends to generate growth and further investment in the expansion of the brand will follow in 2012. The stores will be in Zurich, Switzerland, Berlin, Germany, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing, China, Taipei, Taiwan and Vietnam. Other locations will follow. The brand has also announced that Henrik Fischer, the creator of the world's first electric sports car, is to be the new ambassador for Maurice Lacroix.

Leeds-based silver jewellery retailer Azendi is now in the hands of the partners at business advisory firm Deloitte, who have been appointed joint administrators. Azendi has 19 stores across the UK and employs 100 staff. Deloitte intends to trade all stores while it seeks a buyer for all or parts of the business.


The Voice of the Industry 9

| Industry News

Bespoke Jewellery competition winner arriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery has announced the winner of a bespoke jewellery design competition which was run in conjunction with the University for the Creative Arts in Kent. Lindy Neave, 19, from Somerset, is a Year 2 student in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery and impressed the judges with her design concepts and sketches. As part of her prize, Neave’s ‘Darling Buds’ ring design with be hand made by Kelsall’s craftsmen which will then be hers to own. Neave has also been invited to embark on an internship at Harriet Kelsall where she will have the opportunity to work among designers and goldsmiths, absorbing their skill and knowledge. The competition is the first of its kind in the UK and involved students watching a YouTube clip of an actress talking to camera, briefing a designer for her engagement ring. Kelsall believes this was the only way to make sure the competition remained true to bespoke design. “Proper ‘clean-sheet’ bespoke jewellery design is at the heart of everything we do at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery and l want to make sure that this skill isn’t lost,” she explained.


Two winners of IJL awards or the first time, the IJL Special Award in Fine Jewellery was presented to two designers at the annual Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards. The gold winners were Andrew Lamb, for a silver and gold brooch which produces different images with movement depending on the way light strikes it, and Irmgard Frauscher, for her fully articulated stone set necklace. Both are self employed designer/makers. The Awards ceremony took place in March at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, and guests included IJL event director Syreeta Tranfield and designers Theo Fennell, Stephen Webster and Leo de Vroomen. Laura Strand, head designer for PureJewels received the silver award for her innovative use of coloured gemstones in a category, sponsored by gemstone specialist Marcia Lanyon.


Swarovski launches new brand ondon’s new Westfield Stratford City shopping mall is the venue for the global launch of Lola & Grace, a new fashion jewellery brand by Swarovski. The new brand – the first to be launched by Swarovski for a number of years – is aimed largely at the 20-25 year old woman and sits above brands such as Accessorize in terms of price. Each season will see around four trend-driven themes within the shop, together with lines of more ‘essential’ items and while Swarovski crystals are a key feature, other materials, such as enamel and faux pearls are also included in the colourful offer. More stores are planned for the UK. Meanwhile, Swarovski has moved its UK head office to the more accessible location of Chiswick Park, increasing its floor space by 40 per cent. “The relocation is an exciting step in our overall brand strategy, positioning Swarovski as a premium fashion jewellery brand,” says UK MD Hayley Quinn.


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S N I P P E T S Warning from Assay Master Sheffield Assay Master Ashley Carson has called for jewellery traders to ensure all items comply with the Hallmarking Act, after 90 per cent of a jeweller’s stock was found to not be hallmarked. Mukhtar Ahmed, owner of Mangla Jewellers, Bradford, was ordered to pay over £1,700 in fines and costs by Bradford Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to eleven offences under the 1973 Act. The Sheffield Assay Office, along with the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, carried out inspections at high street jewellers across Bradford throughout 2009 and 2010 to assess the level of compliance with the Hallmarking Act across the city. Scrap gold course The Birmingham Assay Office is offering a one-day course on Buying Scrap Gold & Silver which will cover the basic standards to establish trust and best practice as well as a comprehensive overview of interpreting UK and foreign fineness marks, testing by touch acid and by XRF. The day includes a visit to the hallmarking and melting areas within the Assay Office. Delegates will be trained by experienced experts within The Laboratory and will learn the chemistry behind the testing in order to interpret the results accurately. Courses run from 30th May through to 24th October 2012. Order forms can be downloaded from the Assay Office website: Gemvision and Stuller join forces Gary Baines, MD of Gemvision Europe, is to join parent company North America-based DTC sightholder Stuller as executive director of product design and development, strengthening activities between the two companies. The move enables Gemvision to provide continuous development of its innovative technology and customised digital solutions for the UK jewellery industry. Gemvision formed a strategic partnership with global jewellery connoisseur Stuller in 2009 to enhance customisation tools for retail jewellers. The partnership produced CounterSketch Studio, a 3D jewellery design platform that allows retailers to work together with customers to design their own uniquely personalised jewellery.

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We take care of more than just your jewellery. We never forget that looking after our clients is just as important as looking after their insurance. The truth is, the only way we can truly arrange the most suitable cover is to truly know them. With six offices nationwide, we are always nearby. That is why we are able to visit more clients, more often, no matter where they are situated. If a visit is not convenient, we’ll give you just as thorough and professional service over the phone. This is all part of our needs-driven approach. You’ll never find yourself greeted by an automated “press 1 for accounts” message but, instead, a helpful, friendly and professional advisor, ready to personally deal with your request. We didn’t become the UK’s most prominent niche jewellery insurance broker overnight. In fact, it’s taken us over a hundred years to build such a reputation, which we strive to maintain at every opportunity, by putting you and your business first. Over 90% of our clients come back to us every year. They can’t be wrong. T.H. March – 125 years of service to the U.K jewellery trade.

Mark Smith ACII Chartered Insurance Broker Chairman

Celebrating 125 years in business in 2012

| Industry News

Goldsmiths’ Centre to host silversmithing show... s part of British Silver Week’s (BSW) ‘Festival of Silver’ this year the recently completed Goldsmiths’ Centre in London’s Clerkenwell will be venue to a silversmithing exhibition. To be held from 10th - 14th July, it’s the first time that the Centre has hosted such a show and the collection that can be viewed by the trade and public alike has been chosen by prominent dealers and collectors. Vistors will also be able to meet the silversmiths and attend seminars by some of the curators. “When we exhibited in Europe recently the pundits were amazed by the quantity and quality of the silversmiths’ work we displayed. There truly is a renaissance of British silversmithing at the moment,” said Gordon Hamme MD of BSW. “We consider that there have rarely been more fine silversmiths working in Britain at the same time.” BSW is also partnering with Craft in Focus for shows in Richmond, Henley-on-Thames and Winchester to extend its programme of exhibitions in 2012 and exhibit, each time, as a coherent group. Both Craft In Focus and BSW have the same ethos, which is to promote British hand-made craftsmanship. The 2012 programme kicks off with various events at Pangolin London (12th-18th May) and will also include selling exhibitions at John Higgins Contemporary Silver, Lindfield; Styles Silver, Hungerford; Hamilton & Inches, Edinburgh and Knightsbridge and Cooksons in Birmingham. For full details visit:


...and so is the V&A ontemporary British Silversmiths (CBS) has been invited by the V&A to create a display to complement its major exhibition, ‘British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age’. Part of the V&A’s British Design Season, CBS has been chosen to represent the state of the art in contemporary silverware and this showcase will look at the theme ‘Fit for Purpose’. Fifty two established and up-andcoming UK silversmiths will show unique work that demonstrates ‘a practical and conceptual exploration of silver’, which will be exhibited in the Museum’s Silver Galleries supported by the Goldsmiths’ Company. All work will bear the new Diamond Jubilee commemorative hallmark which will be struck only during 2012, alongside the 2012 UK hallmark, making these objects historically significant and collectable. Exhibiting alongside established members of the association, such as Brett Payne and Martyn Pugh, will be 13 new graduates who will be displaying their work in this showcase of contemporary design.


RJC Chain-of-Custody Standard he Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has launched its Chain-of-Custody Standard for precious metals, thus supporting responsibly sourced gold, platinum, palladium and rhodium which is produced, processed and traded through the jewellery supply chain. The RJC defines ‘responsibly sourced’ as: conflict-free as a minimum and responsibly-produced, which incorporates human rights, labour standards, environmental impact and business ethics, which is applicable to the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail. Also last month, Chopard, one of the world’s most celebrated watch and jewellery houses, has achieved certification by the RJC, by meeting the ethical, social and environmental standards required. Other companies that have also achieved certification in the past two months include: GLD Diamonds, GemConcepts, Lukhi Diam and Paras Gems.


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S N I P P E T S London to Paris bike ride Designer Paul Spurgeon is compiling a list of those who are interested in joining him on a London to Paris bike ride to raise funds for Cornerstone, the silver collection he launched recently with South African born Nqobile Nkosi. The ride, from 15th-19th August 2012, is organised by Skyline Overseas and Spurgeon is hoping that as many people as possible will join him. To take part you will need to pay a registration fee of £99 plus each rider must raise a minimum of £1400, half of which goes as payment for everything needed during the trip. Visit for details but also inform Paul Spurgeon if you’d like to go along: F Hinds joins rates fight Jewellers F. Hinds has joined the current clamour to rethink the proposed 5.6 per cent increase in business rates planned for April 2012, and is supporting the Financial Mail’s Reduce Our Rates campaign. With 110 high street and shopping centre stores across England and Wales F. Hinds supports the suggested cap of two per cent on business rates for the duration of this Parliament, and until more consideration is given to the effect on the high street of empty shops and unemployment rates, should the proposed 5.6 per cent increase be introduced. It is estimated that high street shops pay a disproportionate 28 per cent of all business rates. Laings hits the dancefloor Scottish jeweller Laings of Glasgow showed its continued support for The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice by getting involved in the charity’s ‘A Little Less Strictly Come Dancing’ event at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow. Laings donated an auction prize of a trip to London (including a stay at The Savoy and a show) and a Laings gift voucher and earned £4,000 for the charity. The event raised £77,000 and the auction also included the prize of a dance with a of Strictly star, which was won by director Wendy Laing (pictured).

| NAG News

NAG’s Executive Development Forum hosts 4th Oxford Congress he 2012 Oxford Congress is the fourth in the successful series to be held at the Saïd Business School and will take place this year on Thursday 10th May. All NAG members are welcome to attend. It continues the principle adopted from the very first Congress, that is to concentrate on business issues relevant to all NAG members. Speakers from a number of sectors – not necessarily related to jewellery retail – are invited to address the forum. They are people who can move business owners momentarily out of their own experiences and allow them to focus on how others deal with common challenges. In this way the business owners see how other industries operate and how retail jewellers can adapt and adopt some of the business concepts that have proved effective across all industries.


Over the last three years the themes of the Congress have been thought-provoking, relevant and supported by professionals who not only know the theory, but are successful practitioners in their own right. In 2012 the emphasis will be on promotion and people, particularly important in these difficult economic times. The Congress’ particular emphasis on promotion will focus on how retailers can gain a sensible balance between webbased communications and social media and the sound and effective traditional public relations techniques. The day will explore how a complementary approach, utilising both types of marketing techniques, can prove sensible and effective in improving overall brand profile and increasing the sale of products.

NAG discusses Portas’ proposals he NAG last month hosted a forum for members of the jewellery industry to discuss the 28 points highlighted in Mary Portas’ high street review of how the Government can help boost footfall. The event was held at the new Goldsmiths’ Centre aiming to talk through the results of the report and approve its adoption. Three industry experts were called upon to offer their perspectives as the Spring deadline for the Government’s response to Mary Portas’ proposals approaches (see Michael Hoare’s Communiqué on page 4 for further analysis of the event).


14 The Jeweller April 2012

The Goldsmiths’ Centre is a purpose-built development created by the Goldsmiths’ Company, serving as a hub for members of the jewellery, silversmithing and allied trades, as well as for the general public. After seven

The congress will gain a perspective of how the hospitality sector delivers high quality service through well-motivated people, with a talk from Heiko Figge MD of Thistle Hotels. The hospitality sector has a great track record of maintaining a busy workplace, creating a certain comfort level for staff, providing advancement potential, and addressing of employees’ needs. It works toward creating a working environment, where each member of staff feels valued and staff retention is high. Using these techniques retail jewellers can make the most of their staff, and the sales opportunities that come with a secure staff base. Other speakers will be announced shortly, but if you cannot wait to reserve your place call Ritu Verma at the NAG on 020 7613 4445 or email:

years in the making, this visionary initiative is now complete and the official opening is scheduled for this month. This centre of excellence, which brings together like-minded people, as well as being a catalyst for creativity, is located in the heart of London’s Clerkenwell, an area with a long history of silversmithing and watchmaking. The new Centre provides workshop space and conference facilities as well as being a state-of-the-art venue for exhibitions and events. With an on-site café, the Centre is destined to become a popular, thriving social hub and meeting point. The NAG hopes that the information from the meeting will be available on its blog in the coming weeks.

NAG News |

Business Confidence Survey – Spring 2012 ast month we collated the responses elicited by our regular online business confidence survey and it makes for interesting reading. The results are enlightening, not only in view of the recent Budget announcements, but also when compared to answers that we received on the same survey this time last year. When asked the question ‘is your business confidence higher, the same or lower, when comparing your outlook for the next six months with the last six months?’ the majority responded that is was the same. In March 2011 the result was the same. There has however been an encouraging decrease in the numbers of respondents who believe that growth will be lower, from over 40 per cent to 30 per cent. As in 2011, the vast majority expect to employ the same number of people in their businesses, and as before, will be looking to increase the average pay by up to two per cent. Significantly however, there has been a reversal of last year’s answer when it comes to increasing prices – then 60 per cent anticipated they would, while this year 62 per cent expected that they wouldn't! A new and very topical question was added to the latest survey: ‘how much more scrap gold are you buying compared to 12 months ago?’ Perhaps surprisingly the majority (over 40 per cent) said ‘less than five per cent more’ and less than 10 per cent revealed that they are buying 60 to 100 per cent more. For full survey results please email Stacy Simpson at:


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: within three weeks of receipt of this issue.

Affiliate Applications Jewellery Direct Supply, London

Allied Applications Magpie (Europe) Ltd, Denby, Derbyshire

Alumni Applications – Associate Peter Richard Cheer, Somerton, Somerset Cameron Chalmers, Radcliffe, Greater Manchester Emma Cassey, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire Beverley Evans, Harborne, Birmingham

Alumni Applications – Fellow Steven John Campbell Collins, Letchworth Garden City, Herts

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

New Member Applicants Carol Clarke-Ng PJDip PJValDip GIA Diamond Graduate, C Clarke, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Obituary: Mrs ‘Rene’ Wheeler have always thought it a sad thing that it is only when someone has died that we discover all sorts of interesting – even curious – aspects of their life. This can include almost anything from their ancestors and their childhood to even their name. Such is the case of the late Mrs ‘Rene’ Wheeler, and I am sure that her name alone will not resonate with many people in the trade today. In my own case, having known ‘Rene’ for many years, I had no idea that her name was really Irene. Known as Rene I had always assumed that her name was Renée! Rene was the widow of the late Harry Wheeler who was the CEO – known then as the secretary of the twin organisations, the NAG and GA. Harry retired as long ago as 1982 and very sadly died not long afterwards. I first met Harry in the mid 1960s and came to know him and Rene well during the time I served the NAG and more so during my 14 year chairmanship of the GA. Rene was a regular attendee at the annual NAG conferences and she was a great support to Harry at such events. She had a ready smile as can be seen easily in the photograph taken at her 80th birthday party. She had a ready understanding of people and her warm voice added to her smile. My wife Mary and I kept in touch with her regularly over the years although it had become more difficult latterly. She was an accomplished artist, needlewoman and flower arranger, loved her garden and was particularly keen on classical music, Elgar being her favourite composer. Those of us who knew her will remember her fondly and her passing, at the age of 92, is truly the end of an era for us personally as well as for the NAG. David Callaghan


The Voice of the Industry 15

| NAG News

NAG member of the Month This issue Amy Oliver speaks to Martin Connard of Connard & Son Ltd in Southport, Merseyside. The business was established in 1883 and is one of the NAG’s longest standing members, having joined in 1896. As well as being one of our longest standing members, Connard & Son is also one of the oldest businesses in Southport. What do you think has kept the shop going for so long? The real reason has to be our customers – without them we wouldn’t have a business at all. All of our customers are of equal importance; every person deserves the same respect, courtesy and time. Your wish to please and help them find exactly what they are looking for should always be the same, regardless of whether it’s a simple battery or a diamond ring. Then, there has to be continuity of the family. Our founder – my grandfather Walter – founded the business, my father Charles continued, followed by myself and now my son Andrew has joined. A business doesn’t run itself and you always need fresh ideas and a changing stock to retain the interest of customers both old and new. The shop windows are your first point of contact and one cannot spend enough time on their display. For example, I have a passion for brooches and recently Andrew designed one of our windows as ‘Brooches through the Ages’. This created a great deal of interest amongst our customers as it was quite different to how most jewellery is presented today.

The shopfront in 1889 and today (inset)

16 The Jeweller April 2012

With the popularity of TV shows such as Alex Polizzi: The Fixer and Cake Boss which showcase family-run businesses, can you give us some insight as to what it is like working with relatives? Do you think it makes for a better working environment? A family business is rather like the sea, which has all types of moods and thankfully most of the time it’s calm. There are a few storms occasionally, but that’s life. So long as people have an open mind and accept other points of view there should be no problems. There are fewer traditional family jewellers now than a generation ago. What are the issues you face in a world increasingly dominated by conglomerates and brands? Yes, it is quite true that a number of family jewellers have closed, and in the same way in the last 10 years a number of quality manufacturing jewellers have also closed – not through lack of sales, but because people have retired with no children coming into the business… and we do miss them. Clever advertising and marketing has resulted in people buying items with limited craftsmanship and which are quite often mass produced in the Far East. These named brands suit the multiples and the way they trade. The biggest difference we have experienced is with watches. We have only ever sold Swiss watches and it seems very sad that, whilst the Swiss are proud of their heritage, they have forgotten who their sole outlets were until relatively recently. Our reward after 25 years with our main brand is that it has been taken away from us; we cannot understand their thinking behind this as our sales have always been more than their target figures and our customers certainly cannot understand why. I think most jewellers will know there is not the skill and craftsmanship in branded jewellery and it is sad that it has influenced the general public as it has done, not for what it actually is but for the fact that it has a name.

The shop’s interior has changed little since its establishment in the Victorian era. In this time of financial turmoil, many traditional jewellers have been refitting their shops to attract more customers – is this something you have considered? If you came to our shop for only a few days and heard the comments on our Victorian mahogany cabinets, original fittings and chairs, particularly from those who have not been inside the shop before, then no-one would question our design choice. Who could ever consider destroying what everyone loves so much and is such an asset?! In the 1960s our interior was certainly not fashionable and cabinets like ours, if removed, would have just been destroyed; now they would be sold for thousands of pounds to provide a new shop with ‘heritage’. Our shop is quite long and narrow and we would like to add more cabinets but alas the floor space is simply not available. I always ask our Member of the Month to share an anecdote about a memorable customer – does one spring to mind? I would have to make this plural in that it was a husband and wife. They had come to Southport to do their Christmas shopping, both intending to secretly buy a gift for the other from our shop. The husband told his wife he was going to a large departmental store, whilst the wife told her husband she was going to M&S. The husband arrived first and had only just entered when his wife appeared at the door. Seeing her husband, she silently indicated for us to say nothing and quickly disappeared. Once the husband had chosen a present and left, his wife came in and explained with much mirth the whole situation. We are so appreciative and feel honoured that the couple, and so many other people, only want to come to us. 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:


The Voice of the Industry 17

| NAG News: IRV Review

NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R






Loughborough 2012 – a call to arms! This year’s IRV Loughborough Conference takes place over the weekend of Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th September inclusive, and, as you might deduce, will be at its usual venue – Loughborough University in Leicestershire. This will be our 24th Conference in this, the Institute’s Silver Jubilee year. lans for this year’s exciting programme are already under way and the Institute promises delegates yet another selection of top class experts covering topics dear to a valuer’s heart. We already have Eric Knowles, Grant Macdonald, Alastair Dickenson, David Evans and Robert Turner lined up for main presentations and an array of ever-popular workshops in the pipeline. As usual full details will automatically be sent to all IRVs and non-IRV delegates from the 2010 and 2011 Conferences. If you’ve not been for a while or have never attended and would like to receive details please register your interest with Sandra Page by calling 029 2081 3615 or email:


NAG’s IRV Forum IRVs have received an invite to put themselves, or fellow IRVs forward to be elected to serve on the NAG’s IRV Forum, which is a platform through which IRVs can discuss all valuation related issues and put forward ideas, plans and concerns for the Association’s Board of Directors to consider, via the Valuations Committee. The Association is delighted that the IRV Forum has been a resounding success; a much-needed platform to which any IRV can belong. The current IRV Forum consists of the following: Voting Members: Jonathan Lambert (as NAG Valuations Committee Chairman), two members of the NAG Valuations Committee (Avril Plant, Peter Hering, Pravin Pattni and Jon Tabard

18 The Jeweller April 2012

take it in turn) and Rosamond Clayton, Shirley Mitchell and Geoff Whitefield as the elected IRVs. Non-Voting Members: Peter Buckie, David Callaghan and Michael Ferraro. Each term of service is three years (elected IRVs can serve for a maximum of two terms) and Geoff Whitefield’s first term comes to an end this September. He is standing for reelection. We have also received a nomination from Barry Sullivan FIRV. A ballot will take place at the Loughborough Conference when delegates will elect a Voting Member of the IRV Forum from the IRVs who have been nominated or volunteered for the vacancy. The Association hopes more IRVs will put themselves forward for the vacancy. As mentioned above any elected IRV may only serve on the IRV Forum for a maximum of six years. The David Wilkins Award The Institute has also announced its call for nominations for the 18th annual David Wilkins Award in recognition of exceptional skill, dedication and service in the field of jewellery appraisal and valuation. David Wilkins (1931-1994), former Chairman of the NAG Valuations Committee, had a distinguished career in the jewellery industry and was widely known and respected both for his outstanding personal qualities and great expertise. He sought to encourage high

standards of conduct and professionalism in respect of valuations and the award that he sponsored remains as his legacy in promoting the aims for which he strove for so long. The Board of Directors of the NAG may award the David Wilkins Trophy to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding expertise and commitment in respect of jewellery appraisal and valuation. This annual award may only be referred to by the recipient in the relevant year. The trophy which was first presented in 1994 is an Elizabethanstyle silver dish which is inscribed with the name of the winner, who retains it for the relevant year. It is complemented by £100 in book tokens for supplementing the winner’s reference library. • An IRV may nominate himself/herself or any other individual they feel merits nomination. • A nomination may also be made by an NAG Ordinary Member. • Completed nominations for the 2012 award must be sent to the NAG Cardiff office to be received not later than 30th April 2012. • The name of the successful nominee will be announced, and the presentation made, at the annual Loughborough Conference (22nd-24th September 2012). Who is likely to qualify for the David Wilkins Trophy? There is no official list of criteria that will enable a nominee to fulfil the citation but the following examples of conduct may provide some guidance: • Consistently producing valuations of exceptional standard. • Giving help and guidance to colleagues or to members of the public. • Working to promote and further the aims of the NAG’s Institute of Registered Valuers. • Providing information/resources for IRVs. • Achieving exceptional results in training and/or examination. • Demonstrating high integrity. • Showing diligence in research and information gathering. • Displaying general conduct likely to enhance the reputation of IRVs. Nomination forms can be obtained from Sandra Page by calling 029 2081 3615 or email:

Lo-res positional. Printer to strip in supplied PDF please.

BJA News |

Where there’s a web there’s a way other websites. This level of traffic and high number of links automatically ensures the site a good Google ranking but the Association does not rest on its laurels and works extremely hard at maintaining and improving its search engine optimisation. Search for key words with regard to jewellery and silverware and the BJA’s site will be top, or very near the top, of the list of Google choices. Having your company’s name in the members’ listing will help ensure that you too are high up the SE rankings. If you appear on the site in more than one place the effect is further enhanced and this is true whether you wish to reach a consumer or a trade audience. Displaying the BJA logo and your own website and creating a link back to the BJA’s site also adds legitimacy to your business, due to the code of ethics and provides reassurance for potential customers.

The BJA team knows from member feedback that our website also helps to drive traffic to their sites with one on-line retailer recently reporting two or three calls Mike Hughes, chairman of the BJA each day as a direct result of promoting his company through the BJA site. The BJA website won’t do all your on-line marketing for you but it is undoubtedly a great way to pave firm foundations and is also a mine of useful information. There is much to be gained by ensuring you have explored the possibilities it provides.

Spotlight on services

marketing manager. “Dramatic price rises over the past four years, coupled with so many suppliers in the energy market, makes it difficult for businesses to keep up with the latest deals and prices available. A volatile marketplace is likely to be the case for some time to come. Just imagine the time and effort required to obtain quotes from all of the suppliers who provide energy to the UK market.”

aving recently set up a consumer-facing web business from scratch I feel I am still getting to grips with the whys and wherefores of the worldwide web – especially in terms of marketing. You can have the most innovative product concept imaginable, the most user-friendly website and all the gizmos for secure payment a customer could desire; but if nobody knows the site is there then all is for naught. Success will only come from utilising all the tools available to build your online presence and drive traffic to your site. This can be both expensive and time consuming, but luckily – if you belong to the BJA – there is way of improving your search engine optimisation and promoting your on-line presence effectively for free simply by ensuring that you feature on its website The site receives some 7,000 individual ‘hits’ each month and is linked to over 600


Pay4Later deal The BJA has partnered with Pay4Later to provide in–store and online consumer finance solutions to its members who provide a retail service. “In a tough retail climate, offering finance is an essential tool to attract new customers and maximise sales. Pay4Later’s system takes the paperwork and hassle out of finance and greatly improves the purchase experience,” commented Simon Rainer BJA CEO. Preferential rates on a wide range of finance products, including interest-free credit, will be available to over 1,000 BJA members throughout the UK. The agreement enables BJA retailers to offer instant credit solutions that give customers more spending

power at the point of sale. Pay4Later’s unique e-signature process supports all sales channels and can be offered on purchases from £300 to £24,000 over terms from six to 48 months. Scott Law, chief executive of Pay4Later, said: “The BJA is committed to helping its members grow their market share. We’re delighted to support this aim with finance solutions that increase sales and average order values.”

Utilitrack The BJA has partnered with Utilitrack, one of the UK’s leading energy brokers, offering their members a hassle-free energy management service. Utilitrack will benchmark the tariff and associated price a business pays for its gas and electricity – free of charge. “When was the last time your business did a review of the energy market prior to renewing its contract? If you haven’t done so recently you could be missing out on a better tariff together with the savings that brings,” commented Lindsey Straughton BJA

Utilitrack acts like an insurance broker, promising to find the best prices available and is completely independent, working with all the major gas and electricity suppliers in the country. Impartial advice and a professionally-managed service will prevent a business getting caught in the ‘roll-over’ trap. For more information on either service visit: and click through on the ‘Spotlight on Services’ link quoting your membership number.

The Voice of the Industry 21

| BJA News

Winner of BJA 125th Anniversary Design Competition chosen ollowing last month’s issue when we revealed the six finalists in our competition to create a commemorative silver desk accessory to celebrate the BJA’s 125th anniversary, we can now announce that the winner is Erica Sharpe. Her winning design is a pen stand incorporating the BJA’s unicorn. With a gallery and workshop in the village of Wedmore in Somerset, Sharpe has been a jeweller for over 20 years, designing and crafting in precious metals and gemstones and specialising in creating one-off pieces and bespoke work. Following an art school training, she had an apprenticeship in an Indian jewellers before working in the trade on more traditional European style fine jewellery. “I approached the brief for the competition as if I was working for a commission – this is a way of working that I am familiar and comfortable with,” she says. “I wanted to incorporate the identity of the BJA and


22 The Jeweller April 2012

the story of the occasion that the piece is celebrating. Looking at the unicorn (the logo for the BJA) as the initial inspiration, once I started sketching, I quickly realised that a stylised version could be made from the numbers 125. I wanted to keep a simplicity and beauty to the design, so made the pen become the number one and I kept the lines very clean.” In her work Sharpe explains that she weaves the essence of a story to capture a feeling of heritage. “Ancient techniques such Saxon Wedmore Knot ring

as granulation and wire-work have an allure to me; a connection with fellow craftsmen working thousands of years ago using similar techniques, skills and tools. I work with these elements to produce contemporary jewellery with an echo of the past.” Much of her working practice is dependant on traditional hand-tools and her designs are all hand-drawn, beginning with rough sketches full of ideas and inspirations and ending up as scale illustrations of the finished piece. “Commission work is something that I particularly enjoy because of the characters for whom I am designing and making – it is wonderful to produce totally unique and varied pieces that have a special meaning for their wearers,” she says. “As a qualified gemmologist I can offer advice on suitable gemstones for individual pieces. The process of bestowing a special meaning to something that can be passed on for generations is highly rewarding.” One of Sharpe’s pieces is the Wedmore Ring which was inspired by an Anglo Saxon ring made of fine copper wire, which was found in Wedmore in 1989 – the site was apparently of special significance to King Alfred. Sharpe has recreated the original ring using two pieces of wire. The gold is alloyed, drawn into the correct profile, knotted and woven into the pattern and forged to make the finishing twist. Tension, together with the knotwork’s pattern, holds the ring together. Over the past few years Sharpe has been developing pioneering work incorporating Cornish tin into precious jewellery. Her work is inspired by the dramatic coastline where the tin is found and the heritage and atmosphere of that place. She has developed methods of inlaying and integrating the tin within the forms of her silver and gold jewellery. The London Assay Office has worked with Sharpe to mark the pieces with the ancient alchemists’ symbol for tin and the words ‘Cornish tin’ alongside the precious metal marks. In 2011 she was granted a licence to work in Fairtrade and Fairmined gold by the Fairtrade Foundation. “This gives an added ethical option to my collections and commissions which complements my sourcing of gemstones and diamonds,” she adds. Sharpe’s winning BJA design, which will be created in silver donated by Cookson Precious Metals, will be shown in a later issue of The Jeweller.

Telephone: 0844 8718454

| BJA Feature

Simon says! BJA CEO Simon Rainer reports on the Association’s recent collaboration with the NAG and other professional organisations to find a workable solution to the problems that can arise over second hand gold, particularly in the Asian community. very satisfying aspect of my role at the BJA is when there is collaboration with other industry organisations to effectively instigate positive change. This is even more satisfying when the project impacts upon other industry issues and we can see a logical and cohesive ‘joining of the dots’. One such project very close to completion has been the work that we have been conducting with the NAG, National Pownbrokers’ Association (NPA) and Surrey Police in connection with a new voluntary code of conduct to help traders and retailers trade in second hand gold. As a background, we, on a regular basis, receive calls from the UK’s police forces asking us where does stolen jewellery actually end up and how (if at all) this jewellery can be recovered. We are all aware that the rising price of gold has seen a decline in jewellery sales and retailers have developed a new business model in the buying and selling of gold to create an additional profit stream into their businesses What unfortunately has been missing is a uniform way in which retailers conduct themselves in the buying and selling process. With all good intent, retailers are doing what they think is correct but have no industry guidelines or procedures to work to. Coupled with the requirement to try and identify where stolen jewellery actually ends up, meetings were held late last year with the BJA, NAG, Surrey Police and NPA initially to discuss an unrelated topic. However, from this meeting spawned the idea to produce a voluntary code of conduct that would help both the police trace stolen jewellery items and to aid the industry in becoming more adept in trading in second hand jewellery – particularly the buying and selling of gold. Wind on a few months and we now have collectively produced a voluntary set of guidelines that provides uniformity throughout


24 The Jeweller April 2012

the industry. We have included fundamentals such as: when jewellery is traded a record is made of the transaction and that a signed authorisation from the seller demonstrates that they have permission to sell the goods in the first place. Standardised documentation has been designed to help the receiver detect that what is being offered is not of a dubious provenance and to assist the police with detection and prosecution. A record of the transaction (preferably by CCTV recording) will be kept for a short period of time in the event that the police visit the premises to identify potential stolen items. The new code also offers a degree of comfort to the consumer as well in so much that the goods will be weighed and valued in their presence and that correctly approved scales will be used. It is our intention that all traders participating in this new scheme will be identified on the BJA web site.

Retailers are doing what they think is correct but have no industry guidelines or procedures to work to.

Consumers will then be encouraged to locate their nearest ‘signed up’ dealer. Most significantly, the new code has received ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) approval, ensuring nationwide acceptance and support. For those of you who read the recent article in The Times regarding this issue, please be assured that a solution was being worked on well before it came to their attention! However, while the new code can be seen as an effective tool to help the industry, the ever present threat of crime against the jeweller continues to grow – particularly in the Asian community. Theft of 22K gold unfortunately continues to rise, and is increasingly an issue with many UK police forces. Alarmingly, attacks are becoming commonplace and crime against the Asian community is prevalent both against premises and the person. Again, the question is asked, where does the stolen jewellery end up? It is hoped that the new code will help both the Asian community and police in reducing the level of crime. Quite simply, if the perpetrators of crime begin to realise that they can no longer attempt to move stolen items through respectable, unsuspecting trading outlets and that the police now have access to the traders’ transactions, this should help reduce the level of crime. As a further example of the BJA ‘joining up the dots’, we are now working with the Birmingham Assay Office, West Midlands Police and the BBC to hold a seminar at the end of April to engage with the local Asian jewellery community – hallmarking issues, security and the new code will all be discussed. The joint collaboration between the various associations and the police demonstrates that for once the industry is on the front foot. Long may it continue to be so.

Upgrading to the world of EPoSsibilities IT-savvy jewellery retailing is no longer a contradiction in terms. As the industry changes, so too has our attitude to technology, as Belinda Morris discovers. f I was a retailer, there’s one aspect of the business that would pose a serious threat to my equilibrium… and that’s computerbased retail solutions. (If I tell you that I still haven’t mastered the art of turning on my TV, you’ll gauge the extent of my problem.) It seems though that I am not alone in my technophobia. While IT systems for jewellers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and specialist, there is a handful – quite a large handful – of retailers in our industry who have resolutely refused to go down this route… yet. I’m not, of course, talking about the major multiples with their teams of people to disseminate and implement such stuff. It’s the smaller independent businesses that often struggle with the concept that there’s a better way of keeping tabs on stock, sales and the like, than a sturdy ledger and a decent ballpoint. Ok, I’m probably exaggerating the archaism, but not by much. John Henn of TA Henn in Wolverhampton readily admits that it was “bad hand-writing” that eventually


26 The Jeweller April 2012

prompted him to go down the electronic route just three years ago. “The jewellery industry has been sluggish in adopting EPoS,” agrees Tony Woods, sales director of Cybertill, which supplies e-commerce as well as EPoS. “One of the main factors behind this is that independent jewellery retailers tend to be traditional, familyrun businesses. Therefore investment in EPoS and IT systems is often deferred as there is no particular person responsible for IT.” So, what (apart from an IT department) is preventing the nay-sayers from taking the leap? According to last month’s NAG poll on the subject, the majority of those without any form of IT system in place, believe, quite simply, that they don’t need it. “Quite often we will hear: ‘I’ve been in business for X number of years and have done just fine without IT’”, says Chris Garland, managing director of Bransom Retail Systems. “And there’s no reason to doubt this, but why not do even better by utilising technology?” Financial considerations, no time to think

about it and IT-illiteracy come some way down the list of other excuses. I wonder though… “There’s a lack of knowledge of computer systems in the jewellery trade,” says Mike Burns, managing director of jewellery business software company Pursuit. “Some are clued-up, but others not so good. It’s like the construction industry used to be – about 15 years ago – now they’ve all got Blackberries and laptops.” “People are scared of the unknown; they’re worried about whether they’ll be able to use it and whether their staff will get used to it,” adds marketing manger Kristina Baldwin. “Change can be a fearful experience; quite often the misconception is that business owners will lose control, whereas the reality is that technology actually ensures tighter business controls – i.e. security access levels, accountability and audit trials providing traceability ensuring tight controls on stock and finance to help minimise shrinkage,” says Garland. Caren Colabella, director of Magpie Europe adds: “it may be some retailers don’t have the finances to invest in EPoS or because they feel intimidated by what they perceive to be a daunting task of implementing a computer system. Jewellery stock control systems for jewellers have been around for decades, but have historically been inaccessible to the small jeweller due to the combination of cost and complexity.” It isn’t all about money though – prices of computer hardware and software have come down

Case history – Dunbar the Jewellers, Scotland. Michelle Hunter, manager: “We started using Ethos stock control and point of sale 15 years ago. Before introducing EPoS we had hand-written ledgers and stocktaking was a nightmare. It took a week to count the stock, now we simply scan products and it takes a fraction of the time. EPoS has transformed the way we run our business, we have eradicated pricing mistakes by replacing labels with barcoded GemTAGS™, we simply scan the item and it’s automatically reduced from stock. We know exactly when we bought an item, when we sold it, what the cost was and what profit margin we made.”

Feature | through the evolution of technology – and Magpie, Colabella says, has applied itself to making the whole experience a less painful and much faster one for the jeweller. One of the barriers that Paul Hudson, business development manager of touchscreen till provider J2 Retail Systems used to come up against was that jewellers couldn’t imagine how such small items as rings and the like could have bar codes on them – so why would they need an EPoS system? Ditto those retailers (pawn-brokers for instance) who were buying and selling unique items, which could only be sold once. “Both of these problems have been overcome – technology today can easily scan very very small bar codes and RFID numbers – so all jewellers should get all the benefits. And now, with the on-line stores and the likes of eBay and Amazon, it’s more important than ever that jewellers have total control of stock,” he argues.

Changing with the times It’s not just systems that are changing, so too is the jewellery industry and this is having an effect on the attitudes towards IT. “Branded products, faster moving stock, consumer demand, strong marketing, celebrity-endorsed

Often the misconception is that business owners will lose control, whereas the reality is that technology actually ensures tighter business controls…

A brief survey among NAG members on the subject of IT systems in general drew the following conclusions: • Around 40% of respondees have EPoS systems and 35% have full IT/EPoS systems • Almost 55% of those with IT systems have been using them for 10 or more years • The majority (34%) of those who don’t have any kind of IT system in place have made the decision because they don’t feel they need it while 15% think it is too expensive and 11% say they don’t have time to think about it • Less than 8% used the excuse of not being IT-literate for not installing a system • Over half of those questioned said that they had experienced both practical and financial benefits since installing a system • Only 5% said that they had experienced no benefits from their system jewellers are more open to the idea of EPoS,” agrees Colabella. “More independents are realising the benefits of technology and that, inevitably, if technology is not adopted then their business could suffer as a result,” says Garland. “Also, independents are more than aware of their competition and need technology to ensure that they are not squeezed out of the market by the ‘IT slick’ multiples.” And there’s the issue of selling online and therefore the increased importance of stock control. “Due to the recent economic climate, jewellers are no longer buying large volumes of stock, they are keeping stock levels lower to avoid large investments,” says Colabella. “It’s more important now than ever to use stock control to identify lines that don’t sell in order to limit stockholding to items that are actually moving. Insurance companies have recently become far stricter and these days insist that jewellers have proper stock control systems to support claims in the event of stock losses.” Insurance is a salient issue of course. “A good system is a step change in the control of your business and this includes the

reduction in opportunities for loss of stock through fiddling,” says Hudson. “You can trust family, but if you employ ‘outsiders’ that trust is less certain, particularly when you are selling very small items that are worth so much money; the temptations are very great.” However, while increasing numbers of jewellers have taken IT systems on board, there are other issues that are holding the industry back, technology-wise. In Woods’ view: “more significantly, those that have systems are often sluggish at reviewing and upgrading [them]. And arguably this is a major concern for jewellers. Technology moves at such a pace, a system that was adequate three or four years ago may now lack key functionality.”

Taking the plunge For many, just finding the right supplier of an IT system is a major hurdle to overcome. “It can be daunting to invest in the unknown and we recommend that retailers do their homework and check the credentials of potential suppliers; critically a supplier should have no hesitation in encouraging a potential client to speak to their current

advertising and metal prices all affect how today’s jewellery retailer manages their business,” Garland argues. “And coupled with the challenging economic climate it has never been more imperative for jewellers to invest in technology in order to survive and thrive in the future.” It might also be said that the jewellery retailers themselves are moving on especially given the high percentage of family-run businesses that the industry enjoys. “The next generation are now in the trade and we hear a lot of ‘when my father retires we’ll get a computer system’,” says Burns. “We have noticed that the younger generation of Cybertill on an iPad

The Voice of the Industry 27


| Feature clients,” says Garland. “Also, as with any investment, the purpose is to achieve a return on that investment and the right stock management system can yield a return in a relatively short space of time and not just financially; improved efficiencies can be welcomed by staff and enhance their performance etc. The right IT system will also improve the customer experience by offering valuable extra services to help build loyalty.” “Jewellers have a perception of the upheaval involved – the transfer of data, transfer of stock and so on, and we handle

Jewellers should always look to invest into a multi-channel system. Being web-based our system can seamlessly manage a jeweller’s store and website – so one system rather than two, which reduces costs and makes management easier.” In addition retailers can run the system from their phone or tablet, which means staying in touch with the business no matter where they are, plus software upgrades and data backups are carried out by Cybertill for the customer. One potential opposition that jewellers might have to an IT system is the space it requires and the possible unruly mess of

A few of the opinions that our EPoS survey elicited: • “I wish we’d bought into it years ago” • “It’s impossible to tell if a system is going to be right for you until it’s installed. You have to get it tweaked to suit your business requirements. Also, make sure you get good after-sales support.” • “They can provide too much information and you need to learn which reports are of most value to your company.” • “We use the Clarity & Success EPoS system which we’re very happy with… value for money with superb after sales service.” • “The more flexible the system the better.” • “A simple cost-effective stock management and reporting system should be the next step for me, however it’s the cost bit that’s holding things up!” • “We operated a very antiquated system until last year when we invested in a brand new one from Bransom. I can honestly say that the system, training and service we have received has been outstanding – worth every penny!” • “You get overcharged for the maintenance of the system – this is an industrywide issue.” • “It took six months before our system was stable, despite installing top of the range – it was a steep learning curve.”

all those matters for them,” says Pursuit’s Baldwin. “They need to feel comfortable with the people they are working with – it’s a hand-holding exercise. After training them and supporting them, there’s always someone to call if they have a problem. And we’re more than happy for potential new customers to talk to existing ones – we have forums so that they can chat together.” Woods of Cybertill warns that while adoption rates are increasing jewellers should not neglect one sales channel for another. “We’re finding that some look to invest in an EPoS system then plan to invest in ecommerce in the next financial year,” he says. “It is only when they look into an ecommerce system that they realise they either can’t link it into the incumbent EPoS system or it can’t be linked in real time.

28 The Jeweller April 2012

wires it might involve. J2 Retail Systems has thought of that and offers what it calls ‘all in the head’ technology to enable to hardware to be counter, pole or wall-mounted to make the best use of shop space. “Apart from being very powerful and reliable, the integrated unit also has a small footprint and reduces the cabling around the point of sale,” says Hudson. The till is also able to monitor itself and alert the user and manufacturer that it

Bransom’s bsmart touch screen till system

Case history – Burgess Jewellers, Carmarthen. Peter Burgess, owner: “For us, in the present trading conditions, the big issues are control and informationsharing across all parts of the business. A particular beauty of the Pursuit system is that not only are the stock control and reporting and analysis functions fully integrated with the point of sale suite and website operations, all information is continually updated.” has a potential problem, which allows issues to be sorted before disaster strikes. Specifically for retailers with little or no experience of EPoS Magpie has recently introduced an entry level priced system. “Our stock management system is a fully functional jewellery software and associated point of sale hardware solution,” says managing director David Steeples. “Ethos has been developed with the help of jewellers who understand what is required to run a successful business. Our aim has been to keep it simple and user-friendly, so jewellers can concentrate on selling products.” The touch-screen system works with GemTAGS thermal receipt printers, labelling printers and barcode scanners, and, Magpie asserts, is also compact and affordable. The company offers software on a 60 day free trial – complete with full support and training. Clearly, an IT system can do as little or as much as you need it to, so, you have to make a choice. It may be that you need more than simple stock management. “With the high metal price and ever-changing products, today’s jewellers need to constantly reinvest, so stock turn is crucial and being able to analyse trends with accuracy is essential when buying, as mistakes not only hit sales but leave an unacceptable level of dead stock which hampers future investment,” says Garland. “To manage such a diverse product range and level of services required to succeed a system with depth and breadth of detail is required. Once a decision to implement/change systems has been made, to ensure the continued success of their business, it can be a relatively easy process to import any existing data and often does not entail re-ticketing so change-over can be quick and plainless. The benefits of embracing technology are all too obvious.” I

| Brand Profile


Jeweller Brand Profile

Tresor Paris Belinda Morris discovers the riches to riches story behind the brand that rose without trace. very once in a while a brand comes along and it immediately seems as though it has been around for years. To me Tresor Paris feels like one of those names. Hasn’t there always been a big black bus sitting on an exhibition forecourt? It just feels so normal, or at least, very established. In fact the fashion jewellery brand, with its signature bracelets featuring beads of crystal and magnetite, has been with us for just over a year and in that short time has become something of a global phenomenon. If success can be judged by such unedifying means, then the fact that Tresor Paris’s very distinctive ‘look’ is already being copied (and we’re talking blatant fakes here…) shows this new brand is very successful indeed. More of the copies later.


30 The Jeweller April 2012

Of course it isn’t generally the case that a label rises – seemingly without trace – and becomes an almost instant hit. It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that behind Tresor Paris is not a just-graduated student, or an ex-city bod with a good idea, but a company with over 40 years of top level trading under its belt. Hatton Gardenbased Hasbani UK, a renowned supplier of unbranded diamond jewellery is quietly getting on with business, while its bright and shiny upstart of a little sister is busy getting herself noticed in all the right places. As it happens, the familial analogy is not without significance; Tresor Paris is very much a family affair. The key players in the company – all of whom come with experience in the diamond trade – are Salim Hasbani, his sister Lilian Lousky and her husband Maurice Lousky and they approached the new business in the same way as they do the diamond one; hence the sense of establishment. It was Lilian (or Diamond Lil as their father used to call his bling-obsessed daughter) was the one who arrived at the concept of the Tresor Paris bracelet. “I always liked diamond jewellery – dad had it around of course – and I’m the sort of person who likes to dress glamorously,” she says. “But as a woman I didn’t always feel safe wearing diamonds – particularly if I was on holiday. I wanted to wear something that looked ‘wow’ but wasn’t so expensive. I played around

with a bracelet design, using crystals to imitate diamonds and as I wanted to include something with healing qualities, I also added magnetite beads. The minute I put it on it felt comfortable and I knew I didn’t need to worry about wearing it.” While wearing a prototype of the bracelet – which became the basis of Tresor Paris’ Orion collection – on a cruise, Lilian received so many comments (largely from women dripping with precious stones) she knew this was the direction that the company should concentrate on. The fact that this was 2009 and precious metal and diamond prices were sky-rocketing also helped to focus minds and cement the decision. “From that one piece the collection evolved and we developed Tresor Paris,” she explains. “My husband grew up in France, which is how we arrived at the name.” Every piece in the collection carries a name associated with France – a decision that must surely tax the team’s linguistic and geography skills as the number of different styles with their many colour variations currently stands at a staggering 700… and growing. About 300 new designs were added to the collection at The Jewellery Show in February. How did the line grow so dramatically? Well, there are seemingly endless permutations of white and coloured crystal and magnetite beads for one thing and some of the bracelet styles make more of a feature of the expandable ‘plaited’ Tibetan cord with just a single ball or bead perhaps. Then there’s a host of gemstones – rutilated quartz,

Brand Profile | aquamarine, turquoise, carnelian and pearl for instance – which appear either au naturel or encrusted with a circle of tiny crystals for added sparkle. The latest collection also includes a few pieces featuring a genuine ancient coin that has been gold-plated. Before joining the family business, Hasbani bought and sold ancient art: “Culture and history is still in my blood,” he explains. Add to this a range of multi-strand bracelets, necklaces (including a rosary with a sterling silver cross), ankle chains, cuff-links, rings, titanium-backed studs and drop earrings – all in the signature Czech crystal – and you can begin to see how the numbers might add up. The parent business of fine jewellery has also had its influence. “We have found that there is a demand for more expensive versions of the Tresor Paris bracelet, so we introduced crystals that have been micro-set like diamonds and we have also added black diamonds,” says Hasbani. “And for those customers who tell us that they wear only diamonds, we have just brought out a small and subtle range of the Tresor Paris bracelet made from white, black and champagne diamonds.” Unless you count the rather more costly diamond line, there’s no discrimination with Tresor Paris – the jewellery is aimed squarely at anyone, regardless of age or sex, but, having said that, there are some styles that have a more masculine edge (more black

in sales as the number of customers increase,” explains Hasbani. Well, mission accomplished I’d say. By last December Tresor Paris had notched up around 1,000 stockists and when you take into account all those websites, as well as the bricks and mortar outlets, that’s a huge amount of potential. Based on its own website and brand awareness campaigns, the company estimates that it has grown by an average of 83 per cent per month. “To begin with we just offered retailers (many of them Hasbani customers) a small package because they were cautious,” says Hasbani. “But they trusted our judgement and in one case a customer ended up selling 75 per cent of his Tresor Paris stock in the first week. After that they don’t argue!” Strategic moves, including on-the-ball PR and the purchase of the aforementioned black route master (complete with bar) for mobile advertising have certainly helped the cause, as has the fact that a growing number of celebrities (Amy Childs, Amelia

However (and you can feel a big ‘but’ coming) such iconic status comes at a price. Tresor Paris has become the target of counterfeiters… on a huge scale. Fraudulent websites and sellers of inferior quality fakes using the company’s brand name and images, target gullible punters (£5.99 for a £149 Tresor Paris bracelet? I don’t think so…) on a daily basis. An inordinate amount of Hasbani’s time these days is taken up by discussions with his legal advisors as the company attempts to name, shame and close down the offenders; the list of fraudulent websites that appears on its own site ( goes on for pages. “There are always going to be cheap imitations – in a way it’s flattering… but it’s annoying,” says Lilian. “Don’t get me started,” adds Hasbani with a wry smile. Meanwhile business from Greville Street in Hatton Garden goes on. A capsule collection of very delicate chain-based bracelets in goldplated silver has been introduced, watches are in the pipeline and global expansion is well underway and gathering steam – which is pretty good going for a brand that wasn’t around two years ago.

If success can be judged by such unedifying means, then the fact that Tresor Paris’s very distinctive ‘look’ is already being copied shows this new brand is very successful indeed. agate and magnetite, less white crystal) and last year the company launched a range specially for children, using ceramic balls rather than crystal (less bling and safer) with some styles featuring little gold-plated silver teddies harnessed by the cord. “Our philosophy was to create a brand that would be instantly recognisable, affordable and available to all, with sufficient variety and diversity such that those who purchase would want to add to their personal collection on a regular basis thereby ensuring growth

Lily, Kelly Rowland and, er, Didier Drogba among them) are unsolicited fans of the brand. A bi-monthly gossipy newspaper helps to spread the word (with lots of mentions for the stockists, so everyone is happy) and regular charitable events (the most recent being a diamond, ruby and gold Tresor Paris bracelet designed by Yasmin Le Bon and auctioned for the Children With Aids Charity) keeps the feel-good factor, as well as sales, on a high. All this is backed up with social media… as you would expect.

The Voice of the Industry 31

| Security

Crime and Punishment Following the news of yet another attack on a jewellery retailer, Michael Hoare reports on the more satisfying outcomes of Police and SaferGem crime-fighting work.

Violent raid on Fattorini Yet again we have another example of a jewellery retailer suffering a harrowing attack. As I write, Fattorini, a member of NAG since 1928, is recovering from a violent assault on its premises. Armed robbers threatened staff with a sledgehammer as they raided the store in central Harrogate on 20th March. Two men, dressed in black and wearing masks or balaclavas, forced their way in just after 10.30am, using the sledgehammer to force the door off its hinges. They made off in a getaway car that was subsequently found abandoned a short distance away. Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward, and a subsequent alert to all SaferGems members has revealed that prior to the attack a person was observed taking video or photographic images of the front of the shop. While it is not known if this person was involved in the crime, all jewellers should be on the look out for this type of behaviour.

SaferGems assists Interpol On 6th September 2011, following liaison between Interpol, SaferGems and Strathclyde Police, an Interpol Green Notice was issued on a male suspect – previously the subject of SaferGems alerts in July and September 2011 – and his female accomplice, who were believed to be involved in stealing high value items from jewellery fairs throughout Europe. Further intelligence highlighted that they had previously travelled to Switzerland, committing this type of offence and Interpol Berne was notified. We have just been informed that the suspect described by SaferGems was arrested on Thursday 8th March when a ring worth $250,000 was taken from a stand at BaselWorld. The male is currently detained for this offence.

robbing his store in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk on 13th January 2012, has been detained. Melaniuk, also know as Irek Marciewicz, Pyotr Kelaniuil, Kamil Wislak or Ireneusz Melaniuk, 28yrs, was held during a police raid in the Eastern Polish city of Biala Podlaska. He had previously been arrested for armed robbery in Poland and fled to Britain after being released on parole. He will now serve the remainder of his sentence in Poland before being handed over to British Police. Mr Avis’, funeral took place on the 5th March at the West Suffolk Crematorium. His family business W. H. Collis and Sons, had been an NAG member since 1928, and the Association was represented at the service by Jonathan Lambert and Amanda Reavell.

What bad luck…! As a result of excellent observations by a SaferGems member and links between SaferGems and police forces, two men have been arrested for cross border jewellery thefts. On Thursday 16th February 2012, they walked into a member’s store in Preston, Lancashire. However, unluckily for them, the proprietor instantly recognised the men from two earlier SaferGems alerts and kept them occupied before discreetly contacting local police who attended the store and made the arrests. However, their bad luck didn’t end there because thanks to data collected by SaferGems, Lancashire Police contacted Greater Manchester Police who arrested them for an attempted jewellery theft in Ashton-under-Lyne on 6th January 2012. They were then transported to Northumbria

Pole suspected of killing Suffolk jeweller A Polish man Pyotr Melaniuk suspected of stabbing to death jeweller Peter Avis while

32 The Jeweller April 2012

w w w. s a f e r g e m s . o r g . u k

Constabulary for questioning about a high value jewellery theft in Newcastle on 7th February 2012. Both men were then transported to numerous police forces around the country for interview. It is understood that one of the men remains in custody, while the other is currently on bail.

Three jailed over Ipswich jewellery robbery Benjamin Murphy, Danny O’Bryan, and Charles Onyemelukwe have been jailed for between nine and eleven years for their part in a robbery at a jeweller in Ipswich. On 15th June 2011 watches to the value of £80,000 were stolen from Goldsmiths

on Tavern Street when five men used a sledgehammer and an axe to smash a window and display cabinets. Benjamin Murphy, 26yrs, from Loughton, Essex was sentenced to eleven years for conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary; Danny O’Bryan, 22yrs, from Bulphan Essex, was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy to commit robbery; and Charles Onyemelukwe, 24yrs from Camden, London, was also jailed for nine years for conspiracy to commit robbery. In 2011, two men from London – George Paget, 19yrs and Dean Armstrong, 20yrs – pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery in November. The date for their sentencing has yet to be confirmed.

Diary date Plans are already well under way for a oneday retail security conference and exhibition on Wednesday 16th October organised by NAG in association with T H March. Further details will follow shortly, but for now just keep the date clear.

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The Voice of the Industry 33


Jeremy Hoye

any form of jewellery (other than his very easy-to-read 1960’s Certina watch) despite my mother’s constant insistence that he should experiment with accessories. And now things are changing… again. The March/April issue of The Economist’s ‘Intelligent Life’ magazine includes a feature on how men’s jewellery is ‘moving into the mainstream’ – a pretty good indicator, in my view, that there’s substance to the category and it’s being taken seriously. The nonjewellery-wearing writer, John-Paul Flintoff, delves into the who, what and why of masculine adornment – and an enlightening read it is too. Despite his own reservations, Flintoff points out that items that he would have once considered to be veering dangerously close to female territory – bracelets and pendants – are now becoming the norm for many men

… and his neck and his fingers. From diamond set statement rings to rugged leather wrist straps with titanium clasps, men’s jewellery is a sector that continues to expand. Grab some now – if you snooze you lose says Belinda Morris. rom an historical perspective, men’s jewellery has endured a bit of a roller coaster ride. It might be something of an alsoran for a number of jewellery retailers (and a complete no-go for just a few others) but there are also indicators that these days it’s a growing market. It’s certainly nothing new in the great scheme of things.


34 The Jeweller April 2012

For centuries, men all over the globe have worn earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces (and the rest) and have at certain times, outshone women with their jewels. It’s only in the last 100 years or so that men have restricted themselves to the purely practical gee-gaws like cufflinks and tie-pins. My father, a fighter pilot, refused pointblank to wear

Thomas Sabo

Feature | and that masculine jewellery is big business. It’s a fact backed up by market researchers Euromonitor, whose data shows that in the UK the men’s luxury jewellery market value grew by 4.3 per cent between 2005 and 2010 (and that’s despite the recessionary slump two years ago). Today the market is worth a not insubstantial £162 million at today’s exchange rate. Ask just about anybody in the industry, whether designer, manufacturer or retailer, and they will tell you – albeit resignedly and/or reluctantly – that the influence of celebrity cannot be underestimated when it comes to analysing the reasons behind this shift in attitude. Never mind that he has been reduced to (handsome) baby-carrying consort to a fashion designer, the Beckham effect still exists apparently, but to that name you can obviously add a host of others. Johnny Depp is rarely spotted without several rings on both hands, Russell Brand has the same more is more approach to accessorising and even Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall was snapped sporting a manly pendant and bracelets (while fishing!). Just this weekend I met a woman hunting for a tie pin for her 20 year-old son “because Ryan Gosling wears one in a new film”. All hail to Hollywood!


are the designer makers with their own twist on things. “I think that a retail buyer is influenced by thinking: ‘will it sell?’” says one such designer, Jeremy Hoye, whose personal backlash against the ubiquitous skull is a shrunken head charm in his Hoye Division men’s jewellery line. Yes, just as deathly, but certainly with added je ne sais quoi. As Hoye says; “edgier, darker and very masculine”. “The selection of men’s jewellery on offer is amazing and men are choosing to be more experimental in their accessories and

brand is invaluable,” adds Sam Andrews, sales manager for Fossil jewellery. “It will always create a customer demand, so for brands to then design great product to fit into these trends is always important.” Another factor that must surely affect the market is that of the charitable enterprise. I know of men who wouldn’t dream of wearing conventional jewellery, but will happily sport a friendship bracelet that supports a worthy cause, like a rugged Soldier to Soldier bracelet by Aagaard (with donations to Help for Heroes) for instance or a quietly patriotic Team GB bracelet by Links of London. “There’s also a clear trend of men wearing talismanic jewellery – an evil



“Part of the change in attitude has got to be due to jewellery being seen on men in the media, especially respected and ‘macho’ men,” says Alison Hargreaves of Midhaven, which is finding success with its Tribal Steel collection. “So, it’s now acceptable for men to wear it; they get compliments whereas years ago they would have got stick!” Jewellery designer and retailer Robert Tateossian agrees that “celebrity and sports personalities are definitely where influence begins – trends are secondary in terms of jewellery,” he says. “Celebrity exposure of a

eye or Shamballa bracelet perhaps,” says Tateossian. One day a badge of allegiance and solidarity, the next a crystal-studded ring perhaps? Which brings me to a further influencer at work – choice. The options available to retailers wanting to sell (and consumers wanting to buy) men’s jewellery grows every season. Ok, so there are quite a few recurring themes – skulls spring to mind – but at least this crystalises things for those who want to be sure they’re promoting the prevalent trends. For the others there

enjoying the luxury of newer products – the rules have certainly changed,” says Stephen Webster, who can also, surely, be credited with providing some of the avante garde inspiration within the mainstream arena. Running in tandem with the increase in interest in men’s jewellery is the big business of brands. Strong marketing campaigns by the likes of Tresor Paris, Links of London and Thomas Sabo have ensured that men are well-aware of their right to as much selfexpression as women. “We believe that a firm following of a brand and its presence have a strong influence on retailers’ buying Simon Carter

The Voice of the Industry 35


| Feature decisions,” says Lisa Dack, brand manager of Storm. “If the brand has a good relationship with its customer and continues to produce new and innovative designs which are in keeping with its competitors, it is fulfilling the customer demand.” She also believes that men’s love of a brand keeps them coming back for more – and therefore buying their own jewellery. Harald Winzer, managing director of Thomas Sabo UK agrees: “more and more men are buying for themselves, especially when they

Fred Bennett

have become a fan of a particular line, like our unisex ‘Rebel With a Heart’.” And at Links of London it’s been noticed that since the brand launched a dedicated men’s advertising campaign last year, they’ve seen a growing number of men buying fashion jewellery (precious items and cufflinks are still given as gifts in the main). Sarah Morfoot, managing director of Fable Trading which has recently become the sole distributor of unisex, bold jewellery line Buddha to Buddha, believes that alongside a wider choice of masculine styles to choose from, this growing sector needs “more advertising and promotional material targeted specifically at the male market”. Storm

36 The Jeweller April 2012

Tomasz Donocik

Another key to attracting men to jewellery – apart from showing them something they like, obviously – is a good angle. With 10 years experience in the field, Stephen Webster feels he and his team know “what turns men on” – jewellery-wise. “Besides manly materials, the other vital part is a name – we started with Rayman, then Thorn, Heartbreaker, Aces High, London’s Calling, No Regrets and most recently Highwayman,” he says. “They have all provided stories, which seem to be the sort of thing that hooks a guy and keeps him coming back. Music, architecture, gambling… we portray a lifestyle and that gives the man the security he needs to wear the product… it’s a tribal thing.”


What he wants Interestingly, Robert Tateossian’s experience is that a “a guy purchasing for himself will be more courageous with his style”. So, what constitutes a brave choice for today’s man – what are the trends that he’s dipping his toes (or fingers) into? “Definitely bracelets

are becoming popular – maybe influenced by women’s bead and charm bracelets,’ says Daniel Ozel at Unique. “In particular our leather ones are very popular – with young and older customers alike – as are materials like stainless steel and black oxidised sterling silver. The trend is more urban and subtle than blingy.” With the high price of Tateossian

Last month we polled NAG members to find out how the men’s jewellery market is looking from a retail perspective. Here are some of the findings: • Almost 95% of those questioned carry men’s jewellery of some sort • All those who do cater for men sell wedding bands and cufflinks while 85% of them also sell signet rings and bracelets • Pendants are sold by 72% of respondees, tie pins by 70%, stone-set jewellery by 56% and fashion rings by 52% • Silver is the most popular metal with male customers, followed closely by white gold, palladium, yellow gold, alternative materials, stainless steel, platinum and titanium (in that order) • 54% of retailers said that brand names were not important to men, while 46% said they were




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The Voice of the Industry 37

Tresor Paris

silver, alternative metals like steel obviously come into their own for large, chunky men’s pieces. “Colour in men’s jewellery is really starting to emerge where previously black was the only option,” says Gemma Douglass of Links of London. “This is coming through in coloured stones, beads, leathers and cords.” For Fossil too, mixed materials are strong – leather, brass, steel and small amounts of gemstones – while at Fred Bennett the influence of high profile designers is seeing men venturing into the area of different materials. “Lava beads, tiger’s eye, onyx, wood and leather give the consumer the option to make bolder, more personal choices,” says Hannah Trickett, head of design. Along with Links and Tateossian she also points out the trend for layering – Buddha to Buddha


whether necklaces or bracelets – as an opportunity for personalisation. “The bracelet stacking trend – or wearing a bracelet on the same hand as a watch – has been around for a while for the fashion set, but now ‘everyday’ men are deeming it more acceptable to follow suit,” agrees Tateossian. Possibly more controversial (if you’re easily shocked) is the notion of gemset jewellery for men. Of course it all depends on the stone – as well as the men in question. “Stone set rings are definitely becoming more popular

Shaun Leane

– our range set with Whitby jet for wedding bands for instance,” says Andrew Mills, sales manager at CW Sellors, which has generally seen more colour as well as contemporary metals creeping into its men’s ranges. Jeremy Hoye, who notes that things have moved on from the days of dog tags and ID bracelets, is now selling more stone sets from his HoyeDivision ‘retro vibe college ring’ line, as well as pave set black diamond rings. “You just have to switch on the telly on a Saturday evening and see Harry Hill wearing stone set rings – and he’s a national treasure,” he says.

Deakin & Francis

One of the new seminar speakers at International Jewellery London this coming September will be blogger Callum Watt ( Here is a brief summary of his views on jewellery trends for men: • The rise of the dandy continues, with classic but vintage jewellery including pocket watches breaking through. As a contrast, alternative materials such as utility rope are finding their way from the garden shed to the wrist. • Different metals are making a breakthrough for men, as they move away from traditional gold and silver. Bronze is growing in popularity, mainly due to its cheaper price point. • 2012 is starting to see the desexualisation of jewellery, as men get braver in accessorising. The rise and rise of the men’s cocktail ring, now worn two or three to a hand sums this up perfectly.

38 The Jeweller April 2012

Feature | Hockney exhibition sold out within the first week of the show, is finding that her polished steel cufflink line – tactile shapes, etched patterns and splashes of colour – is also selling well. Regardless of current trends in taste and requirement, CW Sellors is finding that demand still exists for traditional items. “In our experience men’s jewellery categories aren’t disappearing – simply expanding and developing into different avenues,” says Mills.

Bring it on back With all the talk of casual jewellery – from Cudworth’s stainless steel beaded bracelets as well as rings, bangles and cuffs, to Simon Carter’s twist wrap leather bracelets and Goldmajor’s polished steel pendants – it might be easy to overlook the more traditional mainstays of men’s jewellery. While double cuffs exist however, so too will cufflinks and far from fading into the background, they too are demanding attention. Personally I don’t hold with the view that just because they’re practical, they don’t count as jewellery. Yes they do. McClaren by Links of London

Stephen Webster

The same applies to those other functional stalwarts of masculine adornment – tie bars, pins and clips. There are some that would have these nifty little items filed away under ‘sartorial anachronism’. Not me. Heck, if something’s good enough for Ryan Gosling (or Tom Ford according to Links of London, which is seeing a resurgence of tie bars) then it’s good enough for anyone. Just watch Mad Men, now back on our screens (thank the Lord) if you need convincing that there’s something to be said for the neat, slick and pulled-together look. As well as selling plain and elaborate tie clips, Tateossian has noticed that men’s pins Fossil

are on the increase: “they’re a decorative way to style up a suit or blazer; Japan has been the first to acknowledge this trend,” he says. Simon Carter, whose more precious collection of cufflinks is outpacing the less expensive line, is also seeing the re-emergence of the tie-clip and tie-slide. And Tomasz Donocik is currently making stud pins and cufflinks for a professional client. Good – let’s talk this trend up please! Deakin & Francis (founded 1786) which must surely have the biggest and broadest range of cufflinks out there, has noticed that a number if its existing customers are beginning to increase their stock of men’s jewellery. And, just as with a stack of bracelets, Midhaven

when it comes to cufflinks, men are also becoming more adventurous: “rubber duck and bubble bee cufflinks, alongside the traditional plain and stone set styles are among the best sellers,” says D&F’s Nikki Bruce. A limited edition range of cufflinks for the Diamond Jubilee are also to be aired shortly. Sonia Spencer, whose collection of men’s jewellery for the Royal Academy’s David

Sonia Spencer

So… whether casual and celebrity-led; dramatic, dandified and driven by desire or purely practical, men’s jewellery is a relevant feature of the industry and it makes sense to offer the best selection that you can. “Men tend to buy jewellery for no reason and also get right into the detail,” says Webster. “They go from zero to jewellery spotter in days. I guess they are making up for lost time.” I

Theo Fennell

The Voice of the Industry 39

| BJA Feature

Upskill this Summer The BJA and Holts Academy are delighted to announce the launch of a series of exclusive new jewellery-specific business training courses. he courses have been put together based on the results of a survey conducted late last year to identify the extra help that both fledgling and established jewellery manufacturers and designer makers need in today’s challenging market. “Too often we hear of individuals and companies lacking key skills to run their businesses,” comments Lee Lucas, director of Holts Academy which has trained over 6,000 people in skills essential for the jewellery industry since opening its doors in 1999. “The new courses have been designed to provide a constructive and insightful approach to how both BJA members and non members can learn and implement key business disciplines,” adds Simon Rainer, CEO of the BJA. Starting in April and running through to June, there will be 12 courses held in both London and Birmingham. BJA members and Holts Academy alumni will enjoy a discount from each course. It is hoped that the success of the course programme will lead to a repeat later in the year. Ranging from devising a marketing strategy to financial management, the course programme also includes product photography skills and how to sell online. The courses include: Marketing & Finance, Photography, Jewellery Illustration, Selling at


the Right Price, How to Sell, Metal Skills, Sales, Marketing Strategy, Financial Management, Social Media, Public Relations, Client Database and Selling Online. Below are some examples of course content: General Business Skills: Financial Management for designer jewellers This course aims to help you keep your financial management simple and stress free. You will learn the basics of successful record keeping so you can take control of your finances. Using jewellery case studies, you will learn to read a profit and loss account and understand basic accounting principles. This interactive workshop will also provide you with valuable, practical guidance on how to manage the cash flow rollercoaster. The session will include a practical exercise on cash flow forecasting and look at how to use forecasts for budgeting and planning. Participants will also receive a cash flow forecasting template to take away and adapt for future use. This session is a must for any small business aiming to beat the recession! Course dates and locations: 24th April (half-day 10am-1pm), Holts Academy, London 21st April (half-day 2pm-5pm), BJA Conference Suite, Birmingham

Jewellery Illustration In the world of fashion, illustration is big! Hand drawings are used as the means of communication between the creative designer of a house and the making of a collection. “This two day course teaches the jewellery designer how to apply the skill of jewellery illustration and use it to effectively communicate ideas. It is designed to help towards producing commission-based and production work in a cost effective, fast, confident, impressive manner,” says class tutor Jenny Bloy. The areas covered include: traditional drawing, freehand sketching, drafting techniques, perspective drawing, rendering and technical drawing. Course dates and location: 17th/18th April, Holts Academy, London Create your own Public Relations Be the master of your own public relations! Learn how to craft your own story and tell it to maximum effect to generate coverage in the press and social media. Using case studies you will look at the difference between editorials, advertorials, and adverts, which best suits your needs. Participants will also receive top tips on approaching the press and how to make the biggest impact with limited resources. The session will include practical exercises and you will spend time writing a press release. Participants will leave with a press release template and tools they need to go public.You will learn: how to craft a great story, how to target the right press effectively and how to write a catchy press release. Course dates and locations: 23rd April , Holts Academy, London 14th May, BJA Conference Suite, Birmingham

For further information on all the courses, prices and how to book visit: or:

40 The Jeweller April 2012

Best Baltic Amber To see more or for further information please contact us on tel: 01494 524124 or email:

Imagine if... BIJOU ITALY 24th April 2012 could turn a piece that your customer likes, into something they love. Well now you can.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK is proud to present Bijou Italy, the London showcase of eight virtuosos of luxury Italian jewellery. Seize a rare opportunity to meet these expert jewellers and to explore their dazzling range of rings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches plus much more in the distinguished surroundings of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (Euston Road, NW1 2AR). Meetings will run from 10am to 3pm accompanied by a light buffet lunch. To register please email: or call 020 7495 8191 for more information.

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The Voice of the Industry 41

| Opinion: John Henn

Image by Baselworld

Walking the grid at Basel 2012 John Henn undertook his annual pilgrimage to BaselWorld last month and offers his personal view of the exhibition. nder strict instructions from my wife not to wander off we set about walking the grid. We were in Hall1 of the fair where reality takes a back seat and the rarified world of the almost unreachable reminds you of what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Like walking the streets of New York for the first time all you can do is look up at the three and four story ‘stands’ – walls of smoked glass and marble divided with brick and stainless steel. Here’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, there’s Cameron Diaz. And us, just looking for the next brand to charm our public and keep the tills active. The boom times from the Far East see all the brands making watches incorporating the year of the dragon (presumably the pig or rabbit were not so testosterone-filled). The venue is set to become bigger next year with a third floor being added to Hall1 as Swatch and Rolex flex their muscles. Can it all continue? Will people pay €700 per night for a minimum of five nights in the city which they did this year? I do wonder. However amongst all the craziness there are people in the aisles who really do know what they are talking about and they are the


42 The Jeweller April 2012

ones that make it all worthwhile. That and of course the uncompromising hospitality of the standholders we visited. When you find out that half the stuff you believe to have been made in your suppliers’ own workshops is in fact made in another country (albeit in ‘their’ factory) you begin to make the mental savings of buying direct from the source instead of from the distributer. Long ago a wise gentleman said to me “the profit is in the buying”, and it is so true. As we go head to head with the big, single stone suppliers who have carved up our number-one product line between them, clipping off 15 per cent here and 10 per cent there, we are beginning to see our business return. For sure not at the margins that the previous generations used to enjoy but, then again if you had asked me if I would work for 10 per cent margin on a sale five years ago, I would have said “thanks, but no thanks”, and now we do it every day. So the old style of retailing, where we were the brand, and the new, which is all about The Brand, are forming an easier alliance. I must say for the first time since 2007/8 there is a good feeling about the future.

After all the walking and talking, some of the strongest recommendations come with a big buy-in. Not for us at the moment, but others are more promising. To meet a UK retailer for the first time seems to surprise some brands: “You want to try our brand?!” “Yes,” we say, “we’d like to show it to a bunch of real customer-type people with high IQs and ask them what they think”. Some brands are relaxed, some are too used to dealing in zillions of Yuan or Rupees to be pragmatic. So we’ll let you know how we get on with our experiments as time goes by. Also at the show there were the latest and finest 3D displays that can show off a product in 360 degrees – plus you don’t need the glasses to see them. Then there was the latest LED lighting that has to be seen to be believed – custom settings are available to illuminate rubies, sapphires, emeralds and of course diamonds. The benefits are exponential, one of course being the reduced power costs to run them. While the Swiss police are now on the trail of the Croatian who masterminded the eight million Swiss Franc diamond theft last year, their colleagues were kept busy on a lower level with just the odd watch collection going

If you had asked me if I would work for 10 per cent margin on a sale five years ago, I would have said “thanks, but no thanks”, and now we do it every day. missing at the show. Strangely they seem to be unaware of the grand theft perpetrated before their eyes by the hoteliers of their city. All, that is, except our hotel: Formula 1. A recent visitor describes it on Trip Advisor: “This hotel is filled with weirdos, it is very unsafe, and probably the most disgusting hotel I have ever seen in my life!” So, after eight years of experiencing everything the hotel has to offer, it’s time to find something a little more luxurious! From mink coats sporting million pound brooches to €1 watches with just enough plastic to keep the included battery in, it is all there for the experiencing. Basel 2013 is from 25th April – see you there.

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| BJA Feature

Show Stoppers The early months of 2012 saw BJA members exhibiting at a number of very varied trade shows. These took place across the country from Glasgow to Exeter, each having its own ambience and style and each attracting a unique mix of exhibitors and buyers. Mary Brittain spoke to some of those who took part about their experiences and the jewellery that sold the best for them.

Giving & Living iving & Living is the largest – and earliest – trade show in the South West, taking place near Exeter just one mile from the M5. There are 400 exhibitors catering in the main for the relatively local gift shop and seaside marketplace. “It’s a lovely show to do. The people are charming, the catering is super and the organisers couldn’t do more for you. The location doesn’t have quite the same attraction or social life as Torquay where it used to be held but it is convenient,” says Alison Smethurst, sales director of the Midland’s silver jewellery company, Midhaven, who also felt it was unfortunate that this year’s show clashed with Top Drawer Spring and was also very close in date to The Scottish Trade Show. Midhaven has dipped in and out of Giving and Living and attended this year with the specific purpose of showing its new ‘Tribal Steel’ range – a collection in, as the name suggests, steel and leather which is attractively priced and aimed at a gift rather than a strictly jewellery market. “ We thought that as it is competitively priced it would be right for the audience at this particular show,” says Smethurst. She was right; the collection was well received with the best selling line for women being this pink leather bracelet with a simple magnetic clasp and a RRP of £21.


44 The Jeweller April 2012

Top Drawer Spring or the Kensington based company Pomegranate, Top Drawer has been a consistently reliable show for the past couple of years and the 2012 spring event which took place at Olympia from 15th to 17th January was no exception. Top Drawer Spring has a large jewellery and accessories sector and the show is strongly design-led with an overall look that is edgy and attractive. It is always a good place to pick up on fashion trends and colours. Pomegranate, which is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Nic and Katie Bulatovic, produces contemporary silver jewellery using Indian manufacturers and with a definite feel of the sub-continent. Chris Land, the company’s wholesale manager said: “This is a consistently good show for us and this year we picked up a couple of new stockists as well as seeing our regular customers. Most of the buyers are from the South East although you do get one or two more adventurous businesses from further afield.” Pomegranate’s strongest seller at the show was its ‘frame set’ collection in gold-plated silver featuring a range of flat gemstones with pale blue-green chalcedony being a firm favourite. Other stones include amethyst, black onyx, green amethyst & smoky quartz. Matching rings, necklaces & bracelets are also available. The chalcedony earrings pictured here have a RRP of £45.


BJA Feature |

The Scottish Trade Show ith some 500 exhibitors, 250 of them taking part in the ‘Showcase Scotland’ element of the show, the Scottish Trade Show which took place in Glasgow from 22nd – 24th January does just what it says on the tin. The show, which is managed by Springboard Events on behalf of Clarion Events, is undoubtedly the place to showcase Scottish-made and Scottish-themed products. Exhibitors are primarily gift and home companies, with jewellery firms – with a few notable exceptions – being relatively thin on the ground. Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, which has 120 exhibitors, runs alongside the event. One BJA member who regularly attends is the Orkney Islands jewellery business, Ortak. MD Alistair Gray told me that his company has been participating for many years and that it remains an important show for them. “We had a great show and were delighted with the response we received. We launched a lot of new product and were happy with levels of orders which were up 40 per cent up on last year,” he commented. As Gray confirms this is a regional show. “We saw a few overseas buyers with the usual number of Americans but it was primarily Scottish buyers and a very few people from England,” he said. Ortak used the show to launch a brand new concept in enamel called ‘Elementally Ortak’. This employs a new technique which allows the colour runs to run right to the edge of the silver and gives the designers greater flexibility. The collection numbers almost 200 pieces across a range of fashion-led colours and has its own POS and marketing materials. “It is all made in Orkey using handskills and is much more craft than manufacturing. We’ve been delighted with the response,” says Gray. Retail prices for the Elementally Ortak collection range from £29 - £150.


Pure ure Spring which took place in the Grand Hall at Olympia in London is a show aimed squarely at the fashion market. A thousand companies took part in this year’s event, exhibiting across four distinct sectors: Womenswear, Footwear, Accessories and Spirit Young Fashion. Vasso Kalogeropoulou, designer and MD of Pink Powder the London-based fashion jewellery business which numbers such august names as Fenwick and Melissa Odabash among her customers, was a late entrant to the show. “We have attended Pure very successfully in the past but it was a last minute decision to take part this year and I think perhaps because we weren’t able to pre-market our attendance and because we were in a mixed area of the show in terms of product, it wasn’t our best ever. I know a lot of our regular customers also chose to go to Scoop at the Satchi Gallery which was on at exactly the same time,” Kologeropoulou commented. There was however a warm response from Pure buyers to the company’s new ‘Pom Pom’ collection which combines colourful fabrics, multi-coloured cords and semi-precious stones, across three different colourways, to create stylish and vibrant neckwear. These are available in two different lengths and the version pictured has a RRP of £130.


Rock Vault he inaugural Rock Vault, which took place at Somerset House in London from 17th – 21st February is one of the jewellery industry’s most fashionable events. Running alongside London Fashion Week, the show, which was curated by Stephen Webster, is at the cutting edge of design. On display was the work of ten up-and-coming jewellery makers alongside five concept designs in palladium from students from Central St. Martins in London. The event was sponsored by the International Palladium Board and supported by the British Fashion Council. BJA member, Jo Hayes Ward was one of the exhibitors. “The Rock Vault was my first trade fair in a few years. It was a great show particularly as it was the first time I had shown my work in a fashion rather than a craft/design context. I made a lot of new contacts in particular from the press, and already have a couple of things in the pipeline including an interview with a Russian publication,” she commented. Although Hayes Ward says that she did not take much in the way of orders during the show, she did make some really useful contacts. “As a result I have a meeting with the head buyer of the London outlet that I want to stock my work and I am very excited about this,” she said. Her most popular design at Rock Vault was this flat oval ‘Hex’ ring in 18ct yellow gold with a RRP of £2850.


Supporting its members BJA members receive discounts ranging from 2.5 to 10 per cent on stand space at: The Jewellery Show Birmingham and London, Spring and Autumn Fairs International, Giving & Living in Exeter, Scotland’s Spring Trade Fair, The British Craft Trade Fair and International Jewellery London. They also receive favourable rates on deliveries to trade exhibitions from Malca Amit and are kept fully informed of any overseas trade exhibitions where government grants may be available subject to status.

The Voice of the Industry 45

| Insurance Matters with either security grills or shutters. All external doors and shutters, together with their frames, should be of substantial construction and always kept in good repair. Good quality locks should always be fitted, such as mortice deadlocks which conform to British Standard BS3621. • All outward opening external doors should also be fitted with hinge bolts. • All keys to the premises (including those for safes) should always be removed from the premises when closed. • Ensure waste is taken away frequently and not allowed to accumulate especially at the rear of premises – unless kept in locked metal bins. • Empty cash registers and leave trays open when closed for business. If you already have or decide to install a burglar alarm insurance companies normally require the system to be installed and maintained by an approved company. Never install a system without checking with your insurer first. •

Is your business a gift to burglars? Neil McFarlane of insurance brokers TH March discusses the importance of being prepared for a burglary. hen we think of situations that can harm or affect our business the current economic climate obviously springs to mind… so it is easy to forget other risks that could potentially have a damaging effect. Protecting your business forms part of your day-to-day routine and security is always a key consideration; however predicting the unexpected is not and burglary is clearly something that no-one wants to believe will ever strike.


Being prepared Any business at anytime can be a victim of burglary; it is a targeted crime and you cannot stop it happening… but you can do your upmost to be prepared. Your premises may be one of many targets for a burglar but they only have one aim – to extract maximum value in minimum time and to get away safely. Burglars are after high value goods but they will take any stock they think is of value; this could potentially cripple your business and in light of the current economic situation you need to be more prepared than ever. Also, it should be remembered that it is not just what is stolen but it is also the resulting damage. You want your premises to be secure but it is easy to forget that there are simple steps that can be taken in order for this to happen. It’s a sobering fact that it is not just

46 The Jeweller April 2012

burglars you need to protect against but also malicious persons and even arsonists.

Make sure your business is protected The level of security protection best suited to any business will depend on a number of factors such as location of the premises – it might be on a high street or in a managed shopping precinct – and the type and value of the stock. For these reasons it is recommended you should seek the help and guidance of your insurance broker or insurance company, particularly before installing any new protections. Such advice is normally free and is backed by many years experience.

Peace of mind Many insurers stipulate minimum standards of security within their policy wordings. It is therefore essential that you always check that you meet their requirements. No one can ever fully plan or be protected but being as prepared as possible will give you added peace of mind as well as security. In the unfortunate event of a burglary, police are obviously a priority to call but you must also notify your insurance company or broker immediately as you will need to work alongside them to assess the damage and list items stolen etc. It is also essential that

Burglars… only have one aim – to extract maximum value in minimum time and to get away safely. Some of the methods by which a good level of effective security can be achieved are as follows: • All accessible windows should be fitted with good quality window locks. Vunerable windows and fanlights should be protected with substantial grills or shutters. • Vunerable doors, e.g. rear exits, should be protected with sheet steel linings secured with non-removable screws or bolts. Glazed doors should be fitted

accurate and up to date stock records are maintained as these will be required to substantiate the extent of your loss. A reputable broker such as TH March, will be on hand to offer guidance following the crime and with 125 years experience it is more than prepared for dealing with businesses affected by burglary. For maximum protection you must work alongside your insurance company or broker and reviewing your policy regularly is vital, something which TH. March offer as standard.

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

| Antique Jewellery

Antique JEWELLERY Afghan Blue Jo Young explores the history of lapis lazuli, a rare and beautiful stone prized for centuries in its native Afghanistan and around the world.

What is it? Lapis lazuli is described as a ‘relatively’ rare gemstone, which is a deep blue colour containing coloured ‘specks’. Scientifically speaking, it is a rock mainly made from the mineral lazurite, and also contains varying quantities of calcite (which appears white), pyrite (which is a soft, metallic yellow colour) and sodalite (blue). The stone has been used to make jewellery and precious

objects since the earliest of civilisations, making it one of the most important gemstones in the history of jewellery. In ancient times, lapis lazuli was mistakenly referred to as sapphire, the name by which it still goes in some modern biblical texts. In the Middle Ages, however, the name lapis lazuli was derived from the Persian and/or Arabic for blue (lazhuward/lazaward) and lapis, the Latin for ‘stone’.

King Tut Mask

Mining of the stone It is only when you begin looking into the history of this beautiful and evocative stone that you truly realise how ancient and how rich the culture of Afghanistan really is. Extraordinarily, lapis lazuli was being mined in the country as long ago as the third millennium BC, in the province of Badakhshan, in the northeast of the country. The most famous of Afghanistan’s lapis lazuli mines is the Sar-i Sang mine, which, remarkably, is believed by some to possibly date from pre-historic times. Like many other gemstones, such as pearls and that deep, dappled green stone malachite, lapis has played an important trade role, being sold and bartered across vast swathes of Asia and Central Europe for centuries. The stone has been mined right across the region around Afghanistan, with sources found as far away as southern Siberia. It’s important to stress that lapis lazuli doesn’t just come from Afghanistan, but, in part due to its quality and in part, perhaps, due to the evocative images it suggests of spice routes, sandy deserts and Arabian nights, Afghan lapis is by far the most prized.

Lapis in ancient civilisations

Necklaces from the royal tombs at Ur

48 The Jeweller April 2012

Afghan lapis mined at Sar-i Sang was the main source of the stone in the ancient world, wherein lapis was highly prized and widely sought after. Indeed, the lapis lazuli that has been found in some of the most famous uncovered treasures from the ancient world came from the Sar-i

Antique Jewellery | Sang, among them the Royal Treasure of Ur and the treasures of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. The treasure of the Royal Tombs of Ur comprises over 200 finely crafted objects made from metal, wood and stone, set with various gemstones. The collection was found in an area now in Southern Iraq in the 1920s and ’30s, by a British-led team of archeologists headed up by Sir Leonard Woolley, one of the first great ‘modern’ archeologists. The objects, which the team uncovered on the banks of the Euphrates river – where religious belief has it that Abraham was born – were removed from tombs dating from the third millennium BC. They include gold jewellery, stone and metal bowls, many decorated with flowers and animal images and a great number set with that evocative blue stone from neighbouring Afghanistan. The treasure is one of the most comprehensive to have been found from the Sumer civilisation – Sumer referring to a powerful historic region in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). Lapis was very important to the Sumerian people, who associated the stone with wealth and prosperity; indeed, so entrenched was this idea of lapis lazuli being a symbol of powerful splendour, ‘ordinary’ people were not allowed to use it – it is believed to have been the exclusive preserve of the royal establishment.

So entrenched was this idea of lapis lazuli being a symbol of powerful splendour, ‘ordinary’ people were not allowed to use it… Even more famously still, lapis lazuli from the same source was used in the tomb of the Egyptian King Tutankhamun (that endless source of fascination to schoolchildren everywhere). The Egyptians used the stone not only for decorative purposes (in jewellery, urns and decorative vessels) but also cosmetically, and as ‘seals’ for communication. In the case of Tutankhamun, lapis lazuli was used around the eyes of the boy King’s much-celebrated gold funeral mask, to give the illusion of the kohl eye makeup worn by the ancient Egyptians

Modern lapis necklace by Sima Vaziry

(apparently, initially as a rudimentary type of sun protection). It’s fascinating and mindboggling, isn’t it, to think about that in real terms: a gemstone, mined from one of the least hospitable areas in the region, being traded and used in such a valuable and skillfully wrought funeral ornament by what was then one of the world’s most powerful civilisations? So long ago, and yet for the lapis lazuli itself, there has been surprisingly little about its extraction that has changed in the intervening centuries.

Lapis elephant

Current crisis The Badakhshan region in northern Afghanistan is – and has always been – one of the most hostile environments on earth, making it an incredibly difficult place to mine. Since mining is by its very nature never an easy endeavour, it seems almost inevitable then that Badakhshan is home to the largest of the country’s six lapis lazuli mines, as well as being home to one of Afghanistan’s largest gold mines… the area is incredibly rugged and remote, with a grossly inadequate transport system and general infrastructure. At the Sar-e-Sang mine, for example, lapis lazuli can only actually be mined for six months of the year, because the conditions in the area are so extreme. To add to the inalterable, physical difficulties that the area’s geography presents to the retrieval of this gemstone, the region is now, of course, very politically unstable. Under the Taliban rule in the 1990s, Badakhshan was a stronghold for the Northern Alliance,

The Voice of the Industry 49


| Antique Jewellery Art & beliefs

making it particularly unsafe even by the standards of modern Afghanistan. Add to that the fact that the Afghani mining industry employs relatively primitive methods of mining and poor, outdated equipment and it becomes unsurprising that the country possesses some of the world’s most significant and most underexplored mineral resources. Among its riches are natural gas, lead, coal, copper and petroleum as well as gemstones such as rubies, garnets and high quality emeralds; it is no clearly no coincidence that its land has been so bitterly fought over for so very long.

It is not only in Chile and through South America that the gemstone was thought to hold semi-mystical powers. Among the findings from ancient cultures across the Middle East are any number of scarabs and talismans, signet rings and small figures that speak of a belief in the protective properties of lapis lazuli. There are, and have long been, practical purposes for the use of lapis too, however. When the stone was brought to Europe by Alexander the Great, it was given the name ultramarine, which is understood to mean ‘from over the sea’ (from where the stone was first imported). The artistic among you may already recognise the name: it is in fact the name given to the incredibly rich blue pigment used by artists through the ages. The first recorded use of ultramarine comes, perhaps unsurprisingly, from Afghanistan itself, wherein it was used in the Zoroastrian and Buddhist temples built near lapis lazuli mines. It has also, intriguingly, been found in Chinese artwork and Indian art from the tenth century onwards.

South America On a more positive note, perhaps, lapis lazuli is also mined in Chile in South America, and much of the modern lapis jewellery that is available to buy today comes from Chile. Indeed, lapis is often called Chile’s ‘national stone’, or even ‘blue gold’. South American civilisations, like the Egyptians and Sumerians, attributed significant powers to lapis lazuli; they are thought to have believed, for example, that it was capable of banishing ‘evil spirits’ and bringing good luck to the wearer. Some also believed that the wearer could gain strength and ‘spiritual awareness’ from wearing jewellery or talismans made from or containing lapis lazuli. People in the Americas – such as the Incas, Diaguitas, Molles and other ‘preColumbian’ cultures – have, like their central Asian counterparts, used lapis lazuli for ornamental purposes for centuries. The Chilean source for the stone, which

Powdered ultramarine

50 The Jeweller April 2012

Lapis lazuli

produces a significantly smaller amount than deposits in and around Afghanistan, is located high in the Andes mountains. Though the mining region was first officially ‘mapped’ in the mid-1800s, commercial lapis lazuli mining did not start here until 1950, and it too can only be mined for half the year thanks to the sheer ruggedness of the mountain climate.

Raw lapis cufflinks by Robert Tateossian

Natural ultramarine is incredibly difficult to produce, since it has to be ground down, which made it extremely expensive indeed. Therefore it has always been used relatively sparingly and usually for the most important artworks (often of religious significance). European artists, for example, tended to reserve the pigment for use on depictions of the Virgin Mary and child. The exquisite blue found in many paintings from the Renaissance period were made possible thanks to ultramarine – thanks to lapis lazuli. Happily for the art world, a synthetic version of ultramarine has long ago been found, but our perception of this rich blue colour as being somehow redolent of wealth or religious significance has done nothing to dull the reputation of lapis lazuli as the ‘blue gold’ of the world. I

The Voice of the Industry 51

The Executive Development Forum. Feel the benefits! What’s it all about? Simple! You have the jewellery knowledge so we concentrate on business development and improvement. Always bearing in mind the special nature of the sector and that each business is unique. We share, we learn, we improve and we realise real business improvement.

Why not you? The EDF members are keen to improve their businesses and they do! Just like you they have challenges, skills, management issues and limited time to cover the multitude of tasks in running a jewellers. But most of all they are determined to win! Why don’t you join them and share in their success?

WIIFM! That inevitable question – What’s in it for me? Well for a start you are losing the isolation many independents feel; you are part of a supportive community. You can benchmark your performance against the best. You are exposed to specialists and services specific to your type of business. You gain a massive amount of information and a range of diverse opinions which stimulate business improvement.



So what… Look, we could go on for hours extolling the virtues of the EDF and still not answer that one question that you want to ask. So we won’t. But that doesn’t answer your burning question. So pick up the phone and talk to Amanda on 020 7613 4445 who will give you all the information you need.

Regular |


Where to go, what to read, what to see… Serpentina – Snake Jewellery from around the World by Fritz Falk £45 Arnoldsche Art Publishers Master goldsmith and art historian Falk looks at mankind’s fascination for the serpent with its myriad symbolic meanings, from sin and temptation to eternity and protection. Cultures as diverse as those of Germany, ancient Egypt, Africa, India and Central America have been drawn to snakes and in particular jewellery makers have been inspired by its various forms and details. Falk reveals the mythology and symbolism behind

serpents in various art forms across the eras, then offers examples of snake jewellery from the likes of Fabergé and Cartier as well as by artisans in Ghana and India. Beautifully illustrated throughout.

Sales & Exhibitions

items, from ancient to modern.

May 3rd-7th: Contemporary Craft Fair, RHS Wisley Gardens, Nr Woking, Surrey Contemporary jewellery makers and silversmiths among the craftspeople exhibiting. 12th-18th: British Silver Week: Festival of Silver, Gallery Pangolin, London BSW aims to promote contemporary silversmithing and is supported by the Goldsmiths’ Company. Selling exhibitions in various venues will follow. 24th-27th: Made in Clerkenwell: Summer Open Studios, London EC1 A chance to buy work by 90 jewellery and fashion designers. June 1st June-28th July: Gold-Power & Allure, The Goldsmiths’ Company, London EC2 Exhibition celebrating and showing the working and use of gold in the UK over the past 4,500 years with around 400 gold

Source – Jewellery’s Fairtrade Journey Forward by Harriet Lamb £9.95, EcoChic from This book tells the story of the fair trade jewellery movement, the pioneers behind it and the problems and the solutions associated with bringing ethical jewellery to the

13th-17th: The Goldsmiths’ Company Pavilion, Somerset House, London WC2 Part of Jewellery Week, Jon Dibben this show highlights the work of 80 vetted modern jewellers such as Nicholas James, Jon Dibben and Mark Soley. The area will be arranged by category.

market. It also examines how the industry is changing – from a designer as well as independent retailer perspective – with an aim to ‘clean up fashion’s dirty image towards a more sustainable future’. Dior Jewelry £25.00 or £50 for the set of three. Assouline – This celebration of the jewellery from the house of Dior is part of a box set (the other two look at the haute couture and the perfume) and focusses on the work of Victoire de Castellane who was appointed artistic director of haute joaillerie in 1998. The story and the images illustrate how de Castellane has remained true to the spirit of Christian Dior in terms of the luxuriousness, colours and textures of his original, opulent creations.

Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs May 19th-23rd: VicenzaOro Charm Spring, Fiera di Vicenza, Italy Jewellery from around 1,400 Italian exhibitors with an emphasis on fashion as well as precious metals and stones. June 1st-4th: JCK Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. USA More than 2,500 companies from 22 countries showing jewellery, gems and timepieces.

14th-17th: Treasure, Somerset House, London WC2 A platform for new and established jewellery talent, selected by industry insiders. Included will be the ethical area, Essence, as well as a new bridal section.

12th-13th: The Jewellery Show London, Somerset House, London WC2 A new, trend-driven buying event to showcase the best of international brands and leading British jewellery designers.

22nd-24th: Craft & Design Fair, Henley Show Ground, Henley-on-Thames Around 150 British craftmakers, including silversmiths and jewellers selling direct to the public.

21st-24th: Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, Hong Kong Convention Centre Around 1,500 exhibitors of jewellery and gemstones from 37 countries.

The Voice of the Industry 53

| NAG News: Education & Training

Graduates celebrate exam success at annual presentation of awards

In keeping with long-standing NAG tradition, the education department invited graduates of 2011 to take in the awe-inspiring surroundings of the Goldsmiths’ Hall to celebrate their exam successes. Hosted in the magnificent Livery Hall beneath the gold-leaf-ceiling, the event gave graduates the opportunity to commemorate their achievements with friends, family and industry leaders. t has been yet another momentous year for the NAG’s education department. With the successful launch of the online Professional Jewellers’ Diploma programme and the roll-out of the new business and management-focused course, JETPro, the department has been racing ahead of the rest of the industry. However, with all these strides forward it’s never a bad thing to take a moment to pause, view the scenery, and reflect on the great work being done within the industry. This is just one of the reasons the NAG’s annual Presentation of Awards never fails to be a wonderful evening. With more than a nod to the glamour of a red-carpet film premiere, the ceremony


54 The Jeweller April 2012

proved a welcome opportunity for graduates, tutors and industry leaders to unwind with a glass of wine, and for the former to be congratulated on the brilliant work they’ve done over the year. The ceremony opened with an address from the Education and Training Committee Chairman, Eleanor Pyke, who chaired the evening’s events. She spoke about the auspicious surroundings of the Goldsmiths’ Hall, which has been in existence, in one form or another, since 1313. She then went on to introduce the top table, presenting her father and NAG President, John Pyke; Chairman Nicholas Major; Vice Chairman Pravin Pattni; Treasurer Frank Wood and last

but not least, NAG CEO Michael Hoare. Eleanor also introduced and thanked the JET course tutors for their hard work over the year, before Frank Wood was called upon to say a few words in commemoration of the late Brian Dunn, a much-loved tutor, valuer and friend of the Association. Chairman Nicholas Major presented the awards and revealed that he had taken his Retail Jewellers’ Diploma exam in the Livery Hall over 40 years ago, in 1971. “Sitting in this very hall that day, never would I imagine that one day I would be chairman of the NAG, presenting these awards. It just goes to show how important this event is for everyone in the industry, especially those of you today who will receive an award,” he said. Over the course of the evening, the winners of both the Gemstone Award and the Greenough Trophy were announced. The winners of the Bransom JET 1 Project Award, celebrated in The Jeweller each month, were congratulated on their achievements once again. The names of the major award winners, and their interviews are contained in the next few pages of this feature, along with the names of every diploma graduate. The formalities over, the evening concluded with a few glasses of wine in the plush surroundings of the Goldsmiths’ Hall Drawing Room where guests were able to continue the celebrations and relax. It was certainly a memorable occasion – not only because of the magnificent surroundings, but because it served to highlight the great achievements of all the NAG graduates. The Education Department would like to congratulate everyone on passing their diplomas and would like all graduates to stay in touch, or consider joining us as NAG alumni – a chance to use their new initials. For more information on how you can continue this relationship, please get in contact with the Education Department by telephone on: 020 7613 4445 or e-mail: For more information on all the award winners, read on!

NAG News: Education & Training |

And the winners are… Greenough Trophy and Gemstone Award recipients announced

or over 65 years, the NAG has rewarded students who have achieved above and beyond the expected level of attainment. One such graduate, who had even more reason to celebrate than most, was Carol Garfoot of John Pass Jewellers in Crewe who was presented with the prestigious Greenough Trophy as the candidate who achieved the highest overall marks in the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma examinations 2011. This is one of the industry’s most coveted awards and previous winners have gone on to be great pioneers in the industry. “I was amazed to have won,” said Carol. “If someone had told me I’d get this accolade when I started the course, I would’ve laughed. It’s really beyond what I imagined. When I saw the list of students who’d passed, I never believed I could have been the one to receive the Trophy,” she added. “My feet haven’t touched the ground! It was an amazing evening and it was great to have the support of Stephen, my manager, and Lesley [Lawton] who also completed the Diploma.” So, what is the secret to exam success? “A lot of it was down to my tutor, Cathryn Richardson,” Carol admitted. “Cath was very approachable and was always there as a safety net so I could double-check my research. She helped me structure my revision time, and realise that I couldn’t know everything for the exam – and I should


focus my study.” Carol also confessed to having spent a lot of time in the library and online finding resources. “I think it’s important to research a lot and investigate your sources. I found each assignment was an investigation, especially the diamond grading assignment – and took pleasure in thoroughly researching differing opinions on the same subjects.” “I also went to a tutorial and this really helped me gain an idea of how to approach the exam. I was obviously nervous about the whole process, but the tips they gave really helped me through,” she said. “Overall, I really did enjoy it, and it’s really helped me with my everyday job, using the knowledge to help customers. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to gain a fully rounded understanding of the retail jewellery trade.” he Greenough Trophy wasn’t the only coveted prize at the award ceremony. During the formalities another winner was announced – this time the recipient was Kimberley Quick, of The Loss Management Group in Bath, who was presented with the Gemstone Award. This award is made to the candidate with the highest aggregate marks in the NAG’s Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma examination 2011. As is customary on such such occasions Kimberley explained that she was “amazed and genuinely shocked” to learn that she


had won. “It’s such a great feeling to know that your work is appreciated in such a way, especially in such a magnificent building and at such a grand ceremony. In fact, it was quite nerve-wracking getting up in front of all those people to accept the award! The ceremony meant that I could receive the award in front of my mother and my boss – who were really proud to be there. However, the best part was seeing the other fellow students. It really makes our work feel valued, especially when you’re able to accept a prize and to be given such a lovely evening,” she added As one of few students to receive this award, how has the course related to the work she’s currently undertaking in the industry and how will it assist her in her everyday job? “I deal with insurance claims and repairs for insurance items, so I’m working with a wide range of different gemstones and treatments on a daily basis,” she explained. “The course has really helped me to easily identify a lot of these different types of stones, treatments and also covered topics relating to synthetic stones. In what is an international market, the Gemstone Diploma has given me something that I can take with me onwards in my career, whether this means continuing to work in the UK or further afield.” The Diploma has also fed Kimberley’s passion for her job. “I’m really into the scientific side of the formation of stones, so this course was ideal for me. I originally did the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma (JET 1 & 2) which is heavily geared toward the retail side of the trade. However I’d always had a passion for precious stones. I really enjoyed getting to grips with all the test equipment and the different treatments, synthetics, and the evolutionary processes of natural gemstones. I’d started work in this area, so I’ve been training on the job. I am surrounded by colleagues who have previously taken the course and this assisted me in getting to grips with some of the more complex parts of it,” she explained. “I’m really glad I took the course,” she added. “My tutor, Anthony Sibley, was a great source of knowledge, and his help at the tutorial was very beneficial. The course resources gave me the impetus to go and look further into the industry and keep up to date with current industry trends to keep on improving my knowledge.”

The Voice of the Industry 55

| NAG News: Education & Training Professional Jewellers’ Diploma (P.J. Dip) – Pass with Distinction Surname




Greenough Trophy winner Garfoot Carol


John Pass Jewellers


Yana Nadra


John H Lunn


Simone Lorna


Swag Jewellers





Jeremy Paul


Harvey & Thompson




W A Bramwell


Susan Ann


Joseph’s Jewellers




John Pass Jewellers


Stephanie Yolanda Elsa


Christchurch Jewellery


Beate Susanne




Kay Frances


Wm Pyke




F Hinds


Suzanne Jane


George Tarratt




John Park Jeweller


Susan Mary


Pearmains Jewellers




F Hinds

Professional Jewellers’ Diploma (P.J. Dip) – Pass: Grade A Surname





Catherine Louisa


Roux Jewellers


Jennifer Clare Elizabeth


Richard Ash




M G Welch Jewellers


Laura Ann




Elaine Julie


Wakefield Jewellers




Beverley Hills Jewellers




Loss Management Group




John H Lunn


Peter Richard


Studley’s Jewellers




Lister Horsfall Jewellers

The tutors: (L-R) Eddie Stanley, David Greenaway, Anne Bray, Mark Houghton, Michelle McCormick, Don Taylor, Mary Garland and Anthony Sibley

56 The Jeweller April 2012

NAG News: Education & Training |




Martin & Co




John H Lunn




Baker Brothers


Jane Elizabeth


W A Bramwell


Chantelle Marian

Co. Westmeath, Ireland



Sarah Louise

Milton Keynes

Fraser Hart




Beards of Cheltenham






Dublin, Ireland





Fraser Hart


Jade Louise


The Jewellers Workshop


Lydia Mae


Wakefield Jewellers




Francis Wain Jewellers




Harvey & Thompson


Rachel Elizabeth


Wakefield Jewellers




Hooper Bolton




John H Lunn


Craig Iain


Laing the Jeweller




Ogden of Harrogate


Jaysal Pravin

Thornton Heath

Minar Jewellers




Allum & Sidaway







Beards of Cheltenham


Amy Francesca


R J Morris Jewellers


Rebecca Avril


The Gold Shop




W A Bramwell



Dublin, Ireland

Weir & Sons


Stefanie Michele

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Blooms Fine Jewellery




H R Tribbeck

The Voice of the Industry 57

| NAG News: Education & Training

Professional Jewellers’ Diploma (P.J. Dip) – Pass: Grade B Surname





James Anthony


Fraser Hart




Laing the Jeweller




Harvey & Thompson



West Wickham

Swag Jewellers


Stephen Dennis


Albemarle & Bond


Stacy Anne

Lytham St. Annes



Carina Isabella

St. Albans

Kingshill Jewellers




Harvey & Thompson






Lesley Ann


Lime Blue Diamond Store


Barbara Ann

Dublin, Ireland



Ruth Louise


Laing the Jeweller




Harvey & Thompson




Fraser Hart


Jason Thomas


Swansea Goldsmiths




J J Rudell


Katie Elaine


Claybrook Jewellers


Catriona Louise


John Medhurst




A & H Page




John H Lunn


Claire Louise


John H Lunn




Paul Gentile Jewellers


Denise Maria


Lynleys Jewellers




W E Clark


Clare Fionnula


John H Lunn




Albemarle & Bond


Catherine Anne


Cavendish Jewellers

58 The Jeweller April 2012

NAG News: Education & Training | Jordan



Albemarle & Bond


Alexandra Elizabeth



Monica Cristina








Bognor Regis

R L Austen




Aurum Group




Thomas N Miller


Hayley Jane


Lane’s Jewellery


Russell James









Albemarle & Bond








W A Bramwell








Albemarle & Bond










Kelly Louise




Amelia Louise


Michael Jones Jewellers


Kayleigh Marie


Klimek Jewellers




Michael Jones Jewellers




Harriet Kelsall





Jodie Marie




Peter Andrew

Cavan, Ireland

Elegant Gems Jewellers






Francesca Louise


M & M Jewellers




The Jewellery Workshop




W A Bramwell




Albemarle & Bond




John H Lunn


Robert Michael


Michael Rose Jewellers




Mallard Jewellers




Albemarle & Bond


Victoria Mary

Blanford Forum

Allum & Sidaway



New Malden

Chanel Fine Jewellery




F Hinds

The Voice of the Industry 59

| NAG News: Education & Training

Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma (P.J. Gem. Dip) – Pass with Distinction Surname




The Gemstone Award winner Quick Kimberley


Loss Management Group



Michael Jones Jeweller


Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma (P.J. Gem. Dip) – Pass: Grade A Surname





Laura Anne


F Hinds




George Pragnell








Michael Jones Jeweller


David Christian


Roux Jewellers

Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma (P.J. Gem. Dip) – Pass: Grade B Surname





Daniel James


Ian Keat Jewellers


Samantha Louise


G S Milton


Teresa Jayne



Yvette Dawn Lilian


Kismet Jewellers

Professional Jewellers’ Management Diploma (P.J. Man. Dip) – Pass Surname





Jaime Christine


Peter Jackson


Bosun Lanre


– (Passed Feb 12)




Chisholm Hunter




Leslie Cass


Russell Dominic




Sarah Elizabeth


Berry’s Jewellers




Chisholm Hunter




Chisholm Hunter


Dylan Morlais




Darren Emanuel


John Bull


Susan Louise


Asquith Jewellers


Charlotte Johanna


Picketts & Pursers

60 The Jeweller April 2012

NAG News: Education & Training | Lindsey

Ian Andrew


Clive Ranger


Daniel John

West Malling

Fraser Hart


Sarah Anne


John Medhurst


Leonie Emily

Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Bernard John


Andrew James


S S Milton



Co. Tipperary, Ireland

R H Jewellery


Simon Oliver


Leslie Cass Jewellery


Christopher George


Beverly Hills Jewellers


Marie Louise






Harvey & Thompson (Passed Feb 12)


Natalie Ruth


Forum Jewellers


Natalie Lynn


Peter Jackson




Fraser Hart

Professional Jewellers’ Valuation Diploma (P.J. Val. Dip) – Pass Surname






Dublin, Ireland

Designer Jewellers


David Lloyd


David Lloyd Jewellers


Stephen Edward

Croxley Green

H Stain


Claire Louise




Hannah Maeve

Bury St. Edmunds

Thurlow Champness

Institute of Registered Valuers Fellows (FIRVs) Surname





Stephen E


H Stain




Bramwells Jewellers


Andrée J

Waltham Chase





Antony M



A Ewen



Geoffrey C



The Voice of the Industry 61

| NAG News: Education & Training

February Bransom Award winner his month we celebrate the Febuary 2012 winner of the coveted Bransom JET 1 Project Assignment Award. Held in conjunction with Bransom Retail Systems, course tutors put forward nominations each month for the best project that has been received by students. The award, which is selected by the external examiners, gives the fortunate recipient the opportunity to attend our annual awards ceremony, which is held at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall in London. Students who successfully complete all five assignments of JET 1 to a satisfactory standard will be awarded a JET 1 certificate and can continue on to JET 2 and the completion of the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma. From the assignments that were received this month the award goes to Emma Willoughby of David Dudley Jeweller Ltd., in Marlborough, Wiltshire. On learning of the news, Emma’s Tutor, Anne Bray, said: “Emma’s work was always well written and obviously well revised. Coupled with the fact that she always presented her work punctually I found her a first class student. From her answers it was very apparent that Emma would deal with customers questions and concerns in a very professional manner, and I think she must be an asset.” So, what was it about Emma's project that stood out, as far as the moderator was concerned? “The standard of work being sent in by JET 1 students for their final assignment has increased since this award


was first introduced and there were a number of nominations for the February award,” they explained. “The most striking thing about Emma’s assignment was the amount of detailed information on diamond that she included. There was a totally professional demonstration of just how to apply customer care in the examples she gave. Emma is indeed a very worth winner.” “I was completely shocked when I heard that I had won the award,” Emma told us. “When they said it was the NAG education department, I actually wondered what I’d done wrong! When they told me they were calling to say I’d won the award, I couldn’t stop shaking – I didn’t really believe it! “I’d only been in the job a couple of months when my employer put me through the JET 1 course,” she added. “The managers at David Dudley believe that JET 1 is important for any member of staff entering the trade as it gives a great grounding in how to help customers, and makes staff more confident if they have that extra bit of product knowledge. The course itself was really useful in getting me involved in the trade. I’d always been interested in jewellery, but studying it was a completely different matter. The course allowed me to gain a much deeper understanding of the trade and of the products I was selling – so it was a really good place to start from.” Emma also wanted to point out how she’d “become a lot more confident in my selling ability since taking JET 1. It has given me the

confidence to give the customer what they need to know, and not be afraid to display my knowledge. In return I think this makes the customers more confident in the store – and it can really improve return business.” Emma finished by saying: “I would really recommend this course to anyone entering the trade – or simply looking to improve their base knowledge. It confirmed stuff I’d picked up on the shop floor, and made me more confident in that knowledge. I’d like to thank David Dudley for putting me through the course, as it’s really, really helped. And I’d also like to thank Anne Bray for her help – as well as my poor colleagues who gave me a hand and proofread all my assignments!” The education department would like to congratulate Emma on her extremely hard work, and hope her continued success in her work and future studies. For more information on the JET courses, go to or call 020 7613 4445 (option 1). For information on Bransom go to


BOOST STAFF CONFIDENCE AND IMPROVE SALES The Professional Jewellers’ Diploma is packed with information on effective selling designed [VIVVZ[WYVÄ[HUKIYPUNYLWLH[I\ZPULZZ Get all the practical skills that a jeweller needs in two bite-sized online assessment chunks (known as JET 1 and JET 2(Z^LSSHZ product knowledge and selling skills, customer service, hallmarking, gemstones, metals (gold, platinum, palladium and silver),

the programmes also cover: JET 1 Online: New designers, personal development, rings, silverware and gifts. JET 2 Online: Alternative shopping, JVUZ\TLYJVUÄKLUJLKPZWSH`OPZ[VY` VMQL^LSSLY`[OLQL^LSSLYHUK[OLSH^ ZLJ\YP[`ZLY]PJLZHUKYLWHPYZ]HS\H[PVUZ

Invest in staff training and get ahead of the competition by contacting the NAG now on: tel: 020 7613 4445 #1 or email or visit The National Association of Goldsmiths, 78a Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XG


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Wedding Rings

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Last Word Jonathan Lambert, occasional star of the small screen and owner of the eponymous Sudbury jewellers has agreed to tell it like it is for this month’s Last Word. Personal Profile Jonathan has been in the jewellery trade since leaving school and can trace his jewellery ancestry back to 1800 when Francis Lambert opened a jewellers and silversmiths in London’s Coventry Street. He joined the council of the NAG in 1997 and in 2004 became the Association’s youngest ever Chairman at 32. He is currently chairman of the Institute of Registered Valuers and sits on the Advisory Board for International Jewellery London. He is a Freeman of the Goldsmith’s Company and of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. He opened his first store, Jonathan Lambert Fine Jewellers in Suffolk in 2003. How would you describe your personal style? Individual

surfing and anything to do with the beach. For all those things North Devon is unbeatable.

What three words describe you best… in your view and according to others? In my view – straight, hard-working and determined. According to others – generous, entertaining and occasionally grumpy.

If not the jewellery industry, what might your alternative career have been? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a jeweller but I am sorry that I didn’t take the opportunity to spend some time in the armed forces before embarking on my chosen career.

Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? I would have taken bigger risks and been more confident in my business decisions. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be? I would stabilise precious metal prices. To what do you attribute your success? Determination and an ability to communicate with people on all levels. Where is your favourite holiday destination? North Devon – my children love the sea,

66 The Jeweller April 2012

What Jonathan missed by not joining the army…

What book are you reading at the moment? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach. Tell us something not many people know about you. I play the harmonica – quite well actually! Do you Tweet? Yes – @Lambertjewels Favourite shopping destination (shop, street, city or country!) Why? Selfridges – a perfect one-stop-shop for the confused male shopper. Quick Fire • Red or white wine? Red • Diamonds or coloured stones? Coloured diamonds! • White or yellow metal? White • TV or radio? Radio • Jewellery on men? Yes • Delegator or control freak? Control Freak! • Beatles or Rolling Stones? The Beatles




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The Jeweller Magazine April 2012 Edition  

The Jeweller Magazine April 2012 Edition

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