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Jeweller May 2012

With input from the British Jewellers’ Association


The Voice of The Industry

Precious Pearls • The NAG – sixty glorious years! The new Gold Standard initiative on stolen jewellery

Contents & Contacts |


Jeweller The Voice of The Industry



London Jewellery Week

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A run-down of the trade and consumer events taking place this June

A Diamond Celebration


Miles Hoare marks Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee by looking back at 60 eventful years of the NAG

Precious Pearls


As the price of gold and silver continues to soar, are pearls now looking even more beautiful, asks Belinda Morris

Mesopotamian Jewellery




Editor’s Letter


Industry News


NAG News


Member of the Month


IRV Review


Education & Training


BJA News


Jeweller Picks


Opinion: John Henn


Simon Says




BJA Feature


Insurance Matters


BJA Feature


Legal Jeweller




Display Cabinet


The Last Word


In this month’s Antique Jewellery Amy Oliver uncovers the cultural messages of this

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

ancient adornment

The magazine is printed on paper and board that has met acceptable environmental accreditation standards. The National Association of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street, London EC2A 4XG Tel: 020 7613 4445 Editor: Belinda Morris Tel: 01692 538007

Cover Image

BJA Marketing & PR Manager:

In conjunction with London Road Jewellery Telephone: +44(0)844 871 8454 Email:

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, Amy Oliver

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

Michael Hoare introduces the new Gold Standard; explains the thinking behind the Ethics Working Party; considers the response to the Portas Report and welcomes a host of NAG events.

Gold Standard We’ve written frequently, and at length, in these pages about problems arising from metal theft, and discussed the possibility that jewellers were unwittingly providing a conduit for the effective laundering of illicit goods; something which no right-minded member would condone or endorse. Clearly, the authorities were of the same mind, and at the end of last year Surrey Police took the initiative to gather together the industry’s key players – the BJA, the NPA and ourselves – to see if we could come up with a solution. As you will read later in this issue, we haven’t been able to reach our ultimate goal of eradicating crime, but we have been able to agree a set of voluntary principles, called the Gold Standard, which will raise the minimum requirements of each transaction. The good news is that what started as a local initiative has captured the imagination, and gained the approval, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Measurement Office and the Trading Standards Institute; such that it will roll out nationally over the coming months. I know that it is impossible to please everyone – some will call the measures too prescriptive, others not prescriptive enough – but not withstanding these observations I believe

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that once again the jewellery sector has shown itself capable of putting its own house in order.

Ethics Working Party In a similar vein, the NAG has been involved in the ethical debate that surrounds the jewellery supply chain for close on a decade, not least through its longstanding involvement with CIBJO; its founding membership of the RJC and through the revitalisation of its Ethics Working Party, first established in 2002 and latterly joined by the BJA. Throughout that decade-long debate we have seen many initiatives come and go; some flourishing, some withering on the vine. The result is that there is now a complex and overlapping matrix of initiatives at different levels throughout the supply chain. There is no doubt that retail jewellers want to do the ‘right thing’ as far as ethical trading is concerned, but are confused by the options provided by so many initiatives, and fear commitment until they have suitable information to guide them. The purpose of the Ethics Working Party has been to talk to as many stakeholders as possible; attempting to understand their concerns and their solutions, with a view to achieving some clarity. The process has been fascinating; with some lively meetings along

the way, and it is our aim to bring our conclusions to you at the forthcoming International Jewellery London (IJL) in September. I hope to see you there.

More Portas I broadly welcome the Government’s response to the Portas Review, but have reservations about the bigger picture. As was highlighted by our Council debate on this subject, politicians tend to pick out the more appealing elements in such reports, but shy away from the nitty-gritty. In this respect I think some of the so called ‘Portas-Plus’ measures announced recently by Grant Shapps MP are window dressing that diverts attention from the key issues. For instance, no amount of competitive tendering for small pots of funding, market days, or town teams, will make any real impact against a laissezfaire planning regime that nods through out-of-town retail developments without considering the impact on local amenities.

Independents’ Day I am told that independent retailers make up 92 per cent of all retail businesses in the UK, and many believe their contribution to identity and community are of vital importance to local economies and to diversity. Therefore, a

Comment | national campaign celebrating the UK’s independent retailers was launched recently by Skillsmart, the Sector Skills Council for Retail. Called ‘Independents’ Day’ it encourages the public to buy at least one thing from their local, independent shop on 4th July. The campaign, now in its second year, champions diversity on the high street and recognises the skills behind the shop front. This year, we have teamed up with other trade associations including British Independent Retailers Association, the Entertainment Retailers Association and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association to support the event. Readers of our online newsletter, n:gauge, already have the details, and you will be seeing Independents’ Day adverts in the pages of this magazine. To borrow a phrase, every little helps!

Events, dear boy! We don’t rest on our laurels here at Luke Street. No sooner had we finished with the Council & Forum than we resumed work on all the other events that feature in a packed schedule for the remainder of 2012. We are now drawing stumps on this year’s EDF Oxford Congress at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. Our third so far, this is rapidly becoming a regular fixture, and one that we intend to extend to younger business owners in the years ahead. Hard on its heels comes the AGM and Luncheon, which, following a sporting theme is to be held on 26th June at Lord’s, the home of English cricket, and addressed by former Olympic athlete Mike Brace. At the beginning of September we will be fielding a crack team at IJL, where, to strain an Olympic metaphor, we will be ‘carrying the torch’ for jewellers, as we have since 1894, and ‘running rings around the opposition’, by launching yet more first class services for members. At the end of the month we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the NAG Valuations Scheme, subsequently the NAG Institute of Registered Valuers, with a bumper Loughborough Conference over the weekend of the 22nd – 24th September. As well as a list of expert speakers as long as your arm, we also welcome Eric Knowles, and Alastair Dickenson, both well-known faces from BBC1 Antiques Road Show; David Evans, past Deputy Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company and Assay Master of the London Assay Office; Robert Turner, The Queen’s Remembrancer 1996-2007 and Grant Macdonald the renowned silversmith. Add a Gala Dinner and I think it’s the perfect recipe for a wonderful weekend, so early booking is advised! Last, but not least we’ve added a new fixture this year, which promises a great day-out, when on the 16th October we bring you our brand new Retail Security Conference & Exhibition, at the Buildings Research Establishment; more details later!

It’s good to talk! If that programme of events isn’t enough to keep us all busy, and I haven’t even mentioned all the seminars listed in our updated training brochure, we’ve also quietly launched some initiatives on the ‘social media’ front in the last couple of weeks, with new Facebook pages; the new NAG LinkedIn group; YouTube channel, and blog space to be found at To get involved just follow the links that appear at the foot of most emails emanating from Luke Street. I think you’ll like it!

The Voice of the Industry 5

Comment | This month:



“…Given the rising cost of precious metals, as well as the volatility of diamond prices, now should also, in theory, be a good time for pearls…”

I have just read a lovely news story concerning a pair of earrings that emerged – unworn and unloved – after 35 years in the back of a drawer in Wiltshire, to fetch what must have been a very satisfying £1.6 million at auction. Oh, don’t you just love it when that happens? They might have been created from any combination of precious metals and stones, but, as it turns out, each featured very large, natural, drop-shaped pearl, suspended from a row of diamonds. Bingo! A big ‘thank you’ goes to King Carol ll of Romania, who bought them for his then mistress almost a century ago, and to the anonymous telephone bidder who between them have nicely backed up my ‘let’s hear it for pearls’ feature this month. Another fan of these particular gems (besides me) is Her Majesty, who, let’s face it, is

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someone who will be hard to ignore for the next month or two. Ditto the Games. Naturally we have given due consideration to this year’s Big Events, which happen to coincide – give or take a day or two – with our industry’s own Summer happening, (London) Jewellery Week. I have added the brackets to highlight the fact that the Capital might be the hub of the hoopla, but it’s hoped by all concerned that Jewellery Week’s tentacles might reach out across the country. I hope so too – please let us know if you’re planning any sort of celebration. Meanwhile, turn to p26 to learn more about the not-to-be-missed London events. Since 60 years is indeed an impressively long time to reign over a nation, we thought it would be interesting to look back at how the NAG has fared during those six decades. It transpires that from a jewellery industry perspective a great deal went on, and is still going on, as Miles Hoare explains on p30. For instance, and by happy coincidence, 2012 also marks an anniversary of our own – 25 years of the Institute of Registered Valuers. Also in this issue: an outline of the new Gold Standard initiative and how it will benefit

“…It's an interesting fact that, considering the extensive amounts of jewellery found [there] is that Mesopotamia was completely devoid of these precious metals and minerals… all of them had to be imported

the trade (p48); Amy Oliver’s thought-provoking insight into the cultural significances of the earliest jewellery (p58) and the best bits of Simon Cupitt’s courageous fund-raising motorcycle ride – as related by fellow biker John Henn. We feel that there are probably a few details and the odd (very odd) photo that they’re not sharing with us, but as the total raised is very close to the £10,000 target, I sense a cathartic confessional coming on…

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

HRH Princess Alexandra opens The Goldsmiths’ Centre he new Goldsmiths’ Centre, a purpose-built development created by the Goldsmiths’ Company was officially opened on Wednesday April 25, 2012 by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra. Serving as a hub for members of the jewellery, silversmithing and allied trades, as well as for the general public, the new Centre represents the largest ever single investment (circa £17.5 million) by the Goldsmiths’ Company in support of its craft and industry. At the Goldsmiths’ Centre Her Royal Highness was received by Dr Charles GoodsonWickes, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London and Councillor Phil Kelly, the Mayor of Islington, Paul Double, The City Remembrancer, Hector Miller (Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company) and Martin Drury (Chairman of the Trustees, Goldsmiths’ Centre). Later she was presented to Peter Taylor, director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre, who guided her on a tour including the Goldsmiths’ Institute, the new facility which offers training and education. The Princess admired the post-graduate design studios and was introduced to the Institute’s staff and students. In the new build element of the Centre is a total of 19 workshops and 13 starter studios, providing workspace for up to 100 trade and young craftspeople at the outset of their career. There established silversmith Clive Burr presented the Princess with a gift of one of his pieces, an 18 carat gold brooch with enamelled detailing of Daphnes, the Princess’s favourite flower, by Jane Short. After unveiling the commemorative stone, Her Royal Highness was presented with a posy by Peter Taylor’s eight year old daughter Lois.


News from the salerooms total of £3.8 million has been raised by Bonhams in London on 25th April, from the sale of a selection of diamonds, sapphires and rare pieces with unusual settings. A 1987 sapphire and diamond ‘Fuchsia’ brooch by Van Cleef and Arpels was one of the highlights, realising £181,250 and a marquisecut diamond weighing 13.41 and H colour VS1 clarity was the top lot of the sale, realising £265,250. Meanwhile Bonhams NY announced that its fine jewellery auction on 19th April realised


a total of US$4,585,400. “The success of this sale is evidence of a rejuvenated desire to buy jewelry,” said Susan Abeles, Bonham’s head of jewellery US. Strong prices were claimed for diamond solitaire rings, taking six of the top 10 lots of the auction, including a 14.82 carat diamond solitaire ring selling for US$482,500 and a 20.59 carat, cut-cornered, rectangular-cut diamond solitaire claiming US$254,500. Two days earlier Christie’s NY sale of Magnificent Jewels realised US$70,726,650.

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra with Peter Taylor and Martin Drury

The top lot of the sale was The Clark Pink, a cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond ring of 9.0 carats by Dreicer & Co., circa 1910 which sold for US$15,762,500, setting a new auction record for the most valuable pink diamond sold in the US. This is the second most valuable private collection sold in the United States in the last decade, following the legendary jewels of Elizabeth Taylor. Christies NY now looks forward to Jewels For Hope, the 70-lot collection of philanthropist and jewellery connoisseur Mrs. Lily Safra, which will be sold to benefit 20 charitable institutions, to be offered in Geneva on 14th May 2012. It is estimated to make in excess of US$20m

World Gold Council unveils new standard he World Gold Council (WGC), whose members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies, has unveiled its ‘Exposure Draft’ of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. Its objective is to create absolute trust that the gold produced under its guidelines neither fuels armed conflict, nor funds armed groups, nor contributes to human rights abuses associated with these conflicts.


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The Standard has been developed in close collaboration with WGC members, who have approved and agreed this ‘Exposure Draft’ and are committed to implementing the final Standard once available. This reinforces WGC members’ commitment to the development of a truly sustainable gold mining industry. The WGC received input from a wide range of stakeholders including:

NGOs, governments, investors, media and academics, following the publication of a first draft in June 2011. The ‘Exposure Draft’, allows for further comment from interested parties before the final version is published. Consequently, the WGC is requesting further input from interested parties by 30th June 2012. The draft can be viewed on:

Industry News |

NAG supports Independents’ Day he NAG is among a number of trade associations which are supporting a national campaign aimed at celebrating the UK’s independent retailers and the diversity that they represent. Launched by Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council for Retail, the initiative, which is in its second year, will encourage the public to buy at least one thing from their local, independent shop on 4th July 2012. Retailers are being urged to download the campaign posters from, celebrate the day in their stores and join forces with other retailers and town centre teams to hold special consumer-facing events. In addition to this campaign, 2012 will also see Independent Retailer Month UK, which is part of a global ‘shop local’ campaign that will run throughout July. Buying group the Company of Master Jewellers is an official supporter of the campaign. For more details visit:


S N I P P E T S Arthur Read charity donation Goole-based NAG member Arthur Read Jeweller has presented a cheque for £500 to its chosen charity Macmillan Nurses. “Their work has made a profound difference to many people close to Arthur Read and it is a privilege to help them,” says Julian Read, who is pictured here with other members of his Team Swift Cycle Racing squad, which also supports Macmillan.

New store for Allum & Sidaway AG member Allum & Sidaway has opened its new flagship store in Ringwood, Hampshire. The relocation from two doors along the High Street comes in the middle of the store’s 70th year celebrations. The new location situated centrally in the market town was formerly the Old Market House which used to stand in the Market Place. It was built in 1734 and was originally used by farmers on market day to show off their wares, while town meetings were held in the room above. In 1867 this Grade II building was moved to the High Street still retaining some of its original historic frontage, now showcasing Allum & Sidaway’s jewellery. This distinctive new store offers many top brands, such as Trollbeads, Thomas Sabo and Links of London, and an area dedicated to luxury jewellery, diamonds and watch brands, with further exclusive brands in the pipeline. It also features a private viewing area. MD Jason Allum says: “We are very excited about this new store and the new space it gives us. It marks our expansion as a company and we hope it will be the pride of this unique county town”


The EMAP group restructures map International Limited, the multi-platform events, information services and b2b publishing group, has announced a major restructuring and rebranding exercise. Three new independent operating companies will be established, each positioned for sustainable top-line growth, with new leadership and separate business strategies. The large-scale exhibitions, conference and festivals business – under which Spring Fair International and Pure London fall – will be known as i2i Events Group, which currently accounts for 44 per cent of the Group’s turnover. The name EMAP will be retained by the publishing and associated events business. Duncan Painter, CEO of the holding company Top Right Group, said: “My priority is to create a structure and culture that encourages growth. We’re devolving responsibility from the centre and will give our new operating companies the freedom to be more independent, agile and single-minded in pursuit of their objectives. They will develop their own distinct strategies, focused on customer need and our strongest brands, with the aim of delivering better services and sustainable top-line growth.”


Private view of Fabergé collection Shirley Mitchell FIRV has arranged for a private viewing of a private collection of 150 works by Carl Fabergé which will be exhibited at Wartski in London’s Mayfair on 24th May 2012. The group of objects, including jewellery and numerous studies of animals, is the result of 35 years of collecting. The admission charge is £15 including catalogue, in aid of The Samaritans. Those interested should contact Sandra Page at: Suffolk jeweller murder: woman charged uffolk police have charged a woman following the murder of Bury St Edmunds jeweller, and NAG member, Peter Avis, who was 66. Aleksandra Karpiuk, 27, of Bury, has been charged with conspiracy to commit a burglary at Collis & Son between 1st December and 13th January, 2012. Mr Avis’ body was found on 13th January, at his home above the shop; he had been stabbed to death. In January an 18 year old man from Bury was arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to commit burglary and a 26 year old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary. Two men in their 30s were also arrested on suspicion of murder


The Voice of the Industry 9

| Industry News

S N I P P E T S Tateossian opens workshop boutique in Chelsea Tateossian has opened its fifth stand alone store – in Chelsea Harbour, Imperial Wharf, London. “This new store comes with a unique concept – it’s our first Tateossian Workshop boutique where customers will be able to get custom-made pieces designed and also find exclusive one-off pieces only available at Imperial Wharf,” says CEO Robert Tateossian. Houlden Group buying event

New dates for Bijorhca he French jewellery show Eclat de Mode – Bijorhca has brought forward the date for its autumn/winter show to 30th June - 3rd July 2012. Usually held in September, the new dates will allow buyers to preview new collections before the summer, thus ensuring delivery by September. The move follows consultation with exhibitors and visitors to the show, which will now come together under one banner with the events Premiere Classe, Pret a Porter Paris, Mess Around and Who’s Next. The exhibition, held in Pavilion 5 at Porte de Versailles, Paris, will comprise around 500 labels, with over half of the exhibitors coming from 40 countries. The events will be divided into six areas: fine and gold jewellery; fashion, designer and haute couture; silver, gold-plate, steel jewellery and watches; ‘Glam-Chic’; fashion accessories and supplies and finishings. Visit: for further information.


Fashion entrepreneur Busquets joins Astley Clarke board nline luxury jeweller Astley Clarke has appointed luxury fashion entrepreneur Carmen Busquets to its board. The business has recently secured a second round of investment funding from Ms Busquets, taking her total investment to $1.2m. A founding investor and board director of, Busquets commented: “Astley Clarke is one of the pioneers in building a luxury jewellery brand focused on e-commerce. I believe that it has the potential to become a global brand, online as well as offline, competing in the international retail environment.” The current round of funding is being used to increase brand equity and to look to international markets – its US dollar website launched last month.


Casio UK appoints new MD iraoki Kubo, previously senior planning manager of Casio’s Strategic Planning Division has been appointed managing director of Casio UK, which has seen a 109.7 per cent increase in sales in 2010. Last month the company opened a Casio Concept Store in London’s Covent Garden and this October the company will launch a premium women’s line called Sheen. Casio UK is the first territory to successfully launch G-Shock Premium outside of Japan and the brand has seen a growth spurt in sales following the success of the G-Shock Premium Ambassador Campaign.


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The Houlden Group will be holding its Annual Summer Management & Buying Event on 18th-21st June at the East Sussex National Golf & Spa Resort. Each year Houlden provides members and guests with a proactive insight into the industry with motivational speakers, exciting new talent and suppliers and networking opportunities. For details call: 0141 248 4882 or email: Award for Maurice Lacroix Swiss watch brand Maurice Lacroix has won two prizes in the product design category of the Red Dot Awards. The Masterpiece models, Roue Carrée Seconde and Double Retrograde took the awards for excellence in design, as judged by a jury of experts. In all 4,515 products were entered. The Red Dot Design Awards are organised into three disciplines and in total over 14,000 entries from more than 70 countries are received. Michael Johnson joins Rudells Wolverhampton and Birmingham-based jeweller Rudell the Jeweller has taken on Midlands sporting hero Michael Johnson as ambassador for the store. The Birmingham City, Derby County and Notts County player, who retired at the end of the 2008/09 season has since worked as a youth team manager, UEFA-qualified coach and in sports education. Rudell’s MD Jon Weston said: “The role of ambassador is a very important one for Rudells, they need to represent the high standards and service that Rudells are dedicated to achieving. Michael is the epitome of these values and we are delighted to be working with him at our events and showcases throughout the year”.

Would you like to comment? Call us on 0207 405 0009 or visit

T. H. March are Chartered Insurance Brokers – what does this mean to our clients?

In the Spring of 2011, T. H. March & Co. Limited were awarded the prestigious status of corporate Chartered Insurance Brokers. What does this mean for our clients ? Quite simply it is a recognition of the high standards of professionalism we demonstrate and the exceptional service we deliver to our clients. This is achieved by T H March having a high number of suitably qualified people at all levels throughout the company. This is supported by an extensive employee professional development programme, to meet both our business and regulatory requirements and the expectations of our clients. By having all of the above verified by the Chartered Insurance Institute, the world’s leading professional body for insurance and financial services, you can rest assured that the advice you receive is of the highest quality and based on your own carefully researched needs. Furthermore, when you talk to us, you can have the confidence that the person you speak to, knows about your policy and is competent to provide the right level of professional advice.. As one of less than 100 insurance brokers nationwide to achieve this sought after accreditation, we are rightly proud of the achievement and the fantastic level of effort and commitment our staff have put into looking after the needs of all our clients, large or small. T H March – Chartered Insurance Brokers, a title you can trust.

Neil McFarlane ACII Chartered Insurance Broker Sales Director

Celebrating 125 years in business in 2012

| Industry News

Pursuit launches ‘Lifestyle’ product ewellery systems software house Pursuit has launched a new ‘Lifestyle’ software module which will turn a tablet device into a retail sales tool. This will mean that the point of sale is no longer restricted to the counter area – it can be wherever the customer is in the shop. This, says the company, opens the way to new concepts in sales presentation and shop formats, a more structured approach to the sales process and more personal staffcustomer interaction. To help guide customer choice, ‘Lifestyle’ is designed to give instant, touch-screen access to details and larger-than-life images of items held, or stocked at another branch, and matching items that may not be in stock but are readily obtainable from suppliers. To complete the sale, the module will also handle card transaction, e-receipt, insurance and customer information capture for future marketing purposes. Fully compatible with existing Pursuit sales, stock and management systems, ‘Lifestyle’ can also run on laptops and PCs and is compatible with cloud technology. Unlike conventional web-based iPad operation, the new module operates via wireless link to the retailer’s system server. It is not dependent on a broadband connection – although an internet link would be required for a cloud-type computer installation. Sales and transaction details are automatically fed to the back-office and stock control elements of the wider Pursuit system using a two-way, real-time information loop.


On your bike for Cornerstone here are still places available for anyone wishing to join designer Paul Spurgeon on his London to Paris bike ride to raise funds for Cornerstone, the silver collection he launched last year with South Africanborn Nqobile Nkosi. The riders, who will include Nqobile, will leave London on 15th August and arrive in Paris on the 19th. If you are interested in joining Paul visit: for details and contact Paul on: to let him know. 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 will cover the trip’s costs.


S N I P P E T S East India Company coins The East India Company, which set Queen Victoria’s tiara with precious stones crowning her Empress of India over a century ago, has unveiled a special tribute to celebrate The Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee. Over 300 years after The EIC was given the right to mint its own currency by Charles II in 1677, it has commissioned The Royal Mint to strike 60 kilos of fine gold and 60 in fine silver for each year of Her Majesty’s reign. Each 100mm diameter coin features the Queen’s likeness wearing a tiara, necklace and brooch, set with approximately 2ct of diamonds. The reverse of the coin shows the Merchant’s Mark. Hannah Martin wins Mastercut diamond prize Jewellery designer Hannah Martin has been announced the winner of the Mastercut Diamond Jubilee Design Competition with her creation ‘Ring of Fire’. The aim of the competition was to encourage designers to ‘let their imagination soar’ and translate this into an innovative piece of diamond jewellery to contain 20 Mastercut diamonds, valued at over £20,000. “The idea behind the piece was to create a twist on the idea of diamonds as a symbol of eternal love,” explained Martin. The winning design is to be manufactured by Mastercut and will be exhibited during London Jewellery Week as well as the CMJ Summer Trade event and at IJL in September. It will also tour the country at selected Mastercut stockists. Jewellery scales launched

GIA aids crime investigators o help combat gem and jewellery-related crime, law enforcement turned to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for expertise and assistance. Special agents and detectives from international agencies completed a custom-designed intensive two week programme at GIA world HQ in Carlsbad, California, that armed them with the skills, knowledge and network to help successfully identify and recover gems and jewellery involved in criminal cases. More than $1.5 billion of jewellery and precious metals were stolen in the US in 2010, with a recovery rate of only around 4.2 percent, according to an FBI report. “Jewelry theft is often a gateway crime,” said an FBI spokesman. “These crimes are often associated with very sophisticated and sometimes violent international criminal enterprises involved in other criminal violations, including money laundering.”


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To ‘fully support all types and sizes of carat and gold businesses’, Swiss-based MettlerToledo has launched a new range of precision weighing scales which are available as legal for trade and are aimed to help jewellers with the international regulations for weighing devices. The range comprises three lines from entry-level to the highest specification version to deal with heavy weights up to 32kgs. Tamper-proof housing ensure the scales cannot be manipulated and built-in calibration systems remove the need for external adjustments.

| NAG News

The NAG goes digital espite the fact that the weather is grey and miserable as we go to press, this really is the season of new-life and regeneration. And, just as we see Spring blossom into existence, so the NAG has been breathing new life into its use of all that the internet has to offer. In concord with our recent education updates, the NAG realises that modern technology is now ruling over its old paper counterparts. Although there is still a need for the hefty course book or the glossy magazine – the wave of the future is upon us and this wave is a digital one. With these developments the NAG is proud to announce its new and improved approach to social media. Here at Luke Street we’ve opened up a number of channels dedicated to spreading the good work among both members and the wider industry. Our improved approach to digital communications will bring together the classic aspects that have made the NAG stand the test of time, with new ways of sharing information and supporting our members. And how can you get involved? It’s pretty simple really… Our most exciting update is the NAG blog, which you can find here:


We’ll be posting updates and news relating to the NAG on an almost daily basis – so to keep track of what your association is up to, check out the link and follow our work! To receive our Facebook updates, sign-in to your Facebook account and type the link: If you click the ‘Like’ button at the top of the page this will allow you to receive any news that we’re posting on our blog or receive exclusive offers we’re sharing with our Facebook followers. To find us on Twitter search @NAG_News and click the ‘Follow’ button or follow the link: Following us on Twitter will allow you to interact with us, find out what we’re looking at, and some of the interesting snippets that are being passed around the internet on a daily basis. If you fancy getting involved in a lively debate, you can always find us on LinkedIn – discussing the latest industry news and trends. All you have to do is use this link: 4313849 Once your request has been approved you can start joining in the debate. You can also find footage of our past events on our YouTube channel. Some people may

be sceptical about why the NAG would need to set-up such a thing up. However we believe that even if you haven’t got the time or the budget to attend some of our events you should still have some access to the discussions the Association is having. Therefore, selected talks and seminars will be available for you to watch on our channel, which you can find at: If you subscribe to our channel, you can receive the latest video footage from events the NAG is hosting and attending. For more information on our new media channels, or if you have any question about the use or set-up of these channels, contact Miles Hoare at: or call the office on 020 7613 4445.

NAG members shortlisted for UK Jewellery Awards 2012 ast month the nominees for the Retail Jeweller UK Jeweller Awards 2012, were announced – and NAG members were among those vying for some of the most prestigious prizes. The UK Jewellery Awards, sponsored by NAG member Tresor Paris, are one of the most eagerly anticipated occasions in the retail jewellery calendar and they celebrate the outstanding work by companies from all areas of the jewellery trade. Taking place on the 12th of July at the luxurious Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane – the Retail Jeweller invites over 600 of the best and brightest to celebrate this occasion. The NAG is very proud that so many of its members are represented in the shortlist – that was announced at a glamorous party on the 4th of April.


14 The Jeweller May 2012

The following is a list of the Jewellery Awards nominees and their categories: • Clogau Gold of Wales have been nominated for three awards: Marketing Campaign of The Year, Jewellery Brand of The Year, and Supplier of The Year. • Tresor Paris go head-to-head with Clogau as they’ve also been nominated for: Marketing Campaign of The Year, and Jewellery Brand of The Year. • Baker Brothers, Beards the Jewellers, Rox, Steffans, Wave Contemporary Jewellery and Green & Benz are battling it out for Independent Retailer of the Year. • Nominees for E-tailer of The Year include Beards, Rox and Steffans. • Jenny Flight from Green & Benz

is also up for Retail Star of The Year, as is Wongs Jewellers. • Wongs Jewellers is also nominated for Retail Employer of The Year. • Hot Diamonds are up for Jewellery Brand of The Year. • Cooksons Precious Metals have been shortlisted for Supplier of The Year. • Brazen Studios go up against Harriett Kelsall as they’re both nominated for Boutique Retailer of The Year. A number of our larger members have also been nominated – Aurum, Beaverbrooks, Chisholm Hunter, Signet and Fraser Hart are all fighting it out to win prizes in the Multiple Retailer, Retail Employer and Retail Star of the Year categories (to name just a few). To check out a full list of nominees, you can visit the Jeweller Awards website.

NAG News |

NAG Challenge Trophy: Monday 11th June 2012 (sponsored by Bransom Retail Systems Ltd) he golfing season is just about upon us – what with the Masters having taken place recently in Augusta – and before a ‘fore’ can even be called out, the British Open, Wentworth, St Andrews… and the illustrious Fulford will all soon follow. On the 11th June the NAG Challenge Trophy will take place and for the fourth time will be held at Fulford Golf Club near York. Last year’s winner, Neil Watson of Laurence R. Watson & Co Ltd, (with a score of 34 points), will be looking to defend his title along with the Beaverbrooks guys who took home the coveted team prize. The Challenge Trophy is played on a seriously high profile course – one of the best inland courses in Britain. Twenty three consecutive European Tour events spanning three decades from the ’70s to the ’90s firmly put Fulford on the global golfing map. Despite the very distinguished pedigree of the course, the NAG golf day is not all about superb golfers. Its primary function is a social and networking event for members and non-members alike. The highest winning score has been 41 points, the lowest 3 points – so there is a complete mix of abilities! So, you don’t need to be a scratch player to take part. This is a chance to play on a highly rated golf course with friends and colleagues in a fun day out although the competition is fierce. The full day consists of refreshments on arrival; 18 hole golf tournament; 18 hole putting competition; afternoon tea; champagne reception and dinner and awards in the evening. The cost? NAG members £75.00; non-members £95.00 (for the whole day). If you would like to attend as a non-player you are also very welcome. There will be a professional photographer out and about on the course videoing the first tee shots, taking team and individual images and winner’s photographs, all of which will be available to purchase during the day. This event also raises money for an industry related charity and there are various prizes to be won. If you would like to donate a prize (and have your company name highlighted on the prize/tombola table) then contact Frank Wood on tel: 01904 625274 or email: This competition is open to all sectors of the jewellery industry – manufacturers, retailers and suppliers. If you are interested in sponsoring part of this event then please contact Frank for the various opportunities Frank Wood with Neil Watson, winner that are available. of last year’s Challenge Trophy We look forward to seeing you there!


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.

Ordinary Applications Taj Jewels, Southall, Middlesex Alexander Jewellers of Oldham Ltd, Greater Manchester

Alumni Applications Brenda Thompson, Slough, Berkshire Carol Garfoot, Sandbach, Cheshire Guy Macklam, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Annual General Meeting 2012 lease make a note in your diary for the NAG’s most prestigious event of the year – the AGM and Annual Luncheon. This year, we are delighted to announce that the event will be held at the world-renowned Lord’s Cricket Ground on the Tuesday 26th June. The cost of the day is £55+VAT (£66.00) which includes a three course lunch and refreshments. There will be an additional cost of £11 per person for those who may be interested in taking a 45 minute guided tour of the Lord’s Cricket Ground. We will also be joined by guest speaker Mike Brace a sporting success who was blinded by a firework at a young age but did not let this prevent him from pursuing his passion for sport. Mike’s main sporting achievements include completing two London marathons, two ski marathons in Norway and Switzerland and, definitely the most tiring, the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race – over 125 miles! Please note that the invitation is open to all NAG members so please join us for what is guaranteed to be a fantastic day! For more information or to book your place at this year’s AGM and Annual Luncheon, contact Ritu Verma on 020 7613 4445 or email:


The Voice of the Industry 15

| NAG News

NAG Member of the Month For this issue’s Member of the Month, Amy Oliver speaks to Sarah Raffel, founder and creative director of Brazen Studios, the award-winning boutique jewellery shop situated in the heart of Glasgow. As a jewellery graduate, did you always know that you wanted to open a jewellery business rather than just be a designer? Not at all. While at college I was just trying to keep up with the work and establish where I wanted my work to go. Only in my final year did I really start to think about what the options were after graduation. The idea of moving into jewellery sales or retail as an employee never really struck a chord with me and at that time I didn’t have a burning desire to be a designer in my own right. Then, one day I went to an afternoon in the college to promote the Deutsche Bank Award for Business. I got a huge amount out of writing my first business plan and the concept of starting my business offered up the opportunity to blend design & creative projects with marketing and finance. I think I have a slightly splintered personality, which enjoys the breadth of work involved in running a business. Brazen Studios showcases many jewellery designers work and actively encourages new talent to engage with your business. Do you think this trading method is better than stocking big brands? It was never conceived to be a ‘trading method’. Our store was established to provide an exciting new retail platform for those jewellers who had brilliant new ideas and collections but who didn’t quite fit into a ‘white box gallery’ setting nor were far enough down the line to be stocking larger retailers or department stores. It’s tough going for new designers. There is a HUGE amount of information and learning that goes on in the first few years after graduation – understanding their market, how to approach retailers and buyers, how to price and present their work etc. It can be a very daunting task and if I and particularly my team can advise and encourage along the way we believe more independent jewellers will generate highly creative and commercially successful collections.

16 The Jeweller May 2012

There are enough larger retailers within our immediate vicinity who stock the big brands. We decided to market our designers and ourselves differently and provide a customer service that is second to none. As well as making and selling jewellery, you also run jewellery-making courses for everyone from beginners to designers; are these courses proving successful? On the whole they have been very popular. We have scheduled courses in the past that have been badly positioned within the calendar year but that’s how you learn. It is amazing the breadth of people who apply for the courses. There is one thing that everyone shares and that is the urge to explore a creative making process. For those who have never researched jewellery or understand how it is made it can hold a sense of mystery; almost like the world of alchemy. When they get into a class it becomes incredibly exciting for them. Other than financial benefits, do you gain anything else from running these courses, and do you think this is something more jewellers should be doing? To be honest, the classes are not a major revenue stream for us. It is simply a way for us to fully utilise our workshop space. It brings people into contact with the art of jewellery making and therefore broadens their understanding of the art and skills behind many of the collections in-store. With so many items in the world massmanufactured it is refreshing to bring things back to basics. Many who participate have never even stepped foot in our store so it opens up a whole new space for them. Whether other jewellers should be doing it would depend very much on their resources at hand and their facilities. We have some excellent tutors who practice great teaching and patience and this is crucial when you are training individuals in specific skills.

Brazen Studios has won many awards and accolades – what have these meant for your business and do you expect any more soon? Winning an award is certainly a real boost for morale. Within a small business things can get very hectic and no-one will dispute, economically, the last few years have been tough for retailers, so receiving any kind of acknowledgement for the hard work everyone puts in is amazing. I think if I was to expect future awards then I would be bitterly disappointed. If they come our way then we will celebrate accordingly (we do that quite well) and be extremely grateful for the nod of recognition – but in the meantime there is loads of work to do. I always ask our Member of the Month to share an anecdote about a memorable customer – does one spring to mind? Over the years we’ve had some hilarious and lovely stories but you never have them to hand when you need them! I suppose one of the most difficult/awkward moments was when my colleague James and I went for a drink after work and accidentally bumped into a guy we were secretly making an engagement ring for. Our bespoke service means we get to know our customers really well and often end up good acquaintances. It took everything for James and I, simultaneously, not to say hi and spark up a chat, particularly when we saw he was with a lady that may very well have been his soon to be fiancée! We had to tactfully ignore him and acknowledge his presence with a polite but vacant smile. He appreciated it the next time he came to see us to sign off his design. We always joke that at Brazen we are the keeper of many a secret! 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:




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| NAG News: IRV Review

NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R






The year of the CAT… As the IRV’s Certificate of Appraisal Theory (CAT) moves closer to its launch, Sandra Page outlines the details of the new valuation training programme. he development of the Institute’s new self-learning valuation training programme (replacing the JET Valuation Course) which will lead to the CAT examination has reached a major stage in its development. The three training modules are now complete and currently under production. The decision has been made to ‘test run’ the programme before launching it and a small group of valuers has been approached to take part in a pilot examination. This will enable the Institute to ensure that it has covered all aspects required of a student who wishes to follow the correct methodology which will enable them to become a valuer, with the goal to become a Member of the NAG’s Institute of Registered Valuers. For those who have not already expressed interest in the new training programme here are some basic facts.


What is CAT? Firstly we need to stress what it isn’t! It absolutely does NOT qualify a candidate or student to become a jewellery valuer. However, CAT is a modular programme of study with a self-learning approach that teaches the basic theories, methodologies and good working practices needed to become a competent jewellery valuer. Some might call this valuation science, but basically it teaches the theory of how to value. In fact a lot of the theory and methodologies that will be taught could almost be applied to valuing anything at all.

18 The Jeweller May 2012

What are the entrance requirements? None, other than a desire to learn best valuation practice. Because it is targeted at those who have the intention of becoming Institute members when they have also fulfilled all the other Institute entrance criteria (see later), no previous qualifications or experience is required to enrol on CAT, but it will become one of the pre-requisites of entrance into the Institute. In other words you can study for CAT while at the same time gaining your five years experience in the trade, gemmological qualifications, etc. What form will it take? There will be three detailed modules of study to support the syllabus with six assignments to complete and a final written theory examination. What are these three modules? The modules are: • Module 1: The Basic Principles & Concepts of Appraisal Theory • Module 2: Theoretical Methodologies and Practices Specific to Jewellery Valuation • Module 3: Commercial, Legal and Ethical Matters More details of what will be covered in these three modules are available on the IRV website: What else do I need to know? When CAT is launched a detailed syllabus

will be available to those who may be interested in signing up and for those that do decide to take the plunge the full programme will be available on a memory stick rather than as printed hard copy. It is proposed that the programme should be completed within a year, but will have a maximum completion time of two years and, as mentioned above, there will be six assignments to complete. As this is a self-learning programme these assignments can be completed at any time and in any order within that two year period and the marks for these assignments will be counted towards the final examination result. The examination will be held annually in London and will be theory only. In other words candidates will not have to actually value any pieces of jewellery during the examination, but it will be geared to test a candidate’s theoretical knowledge of how to value. Successful candidates will be encouraged to work towards membership of the NAG’s Institute of Registered Valuers, and in order that they can gain the necessary qualifications and experience to fulfil the membership entrance pre-requisites, will be provided with a list of suggested learning resources, courses, etc. to assist them in their ongoing studies.

Membership of the Institute With regard to valuers wishing to become Members of the NAG’s IRV the following pre-requisites are required of applicants: • The Certificate of Appraisal Theory (CAT) or the Professional Jewellers’ Valuation Diploma. • A minimum of five years experience in the jewellery trade/industry. • A gemmological qualification. • A diamond grading training certificate. Applicants will be required to: • Submit sample valuations. • Participate in a face-to-face interview with members of the examining panel. • Pass the Munsell Colour Test (during the interview). If you would like details of CAT when it is launched, and have not already registered your interest, please send an email to


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| NAG News: Education & Training

Gold Buying seminar launched by NAG n response to The Gold Standard, the voluntary Code of Conduct recently set up by the NAG, BJA, National Pawnbrokers Association and Surrey Police, a new seminar has been added to the NAG’s already busy programme. The NAG’s Gold Buying & Precious Metals Testing seminar, facilitated by KV Consulting, aims to provide understanding of the skill and knowledge required to identify precious metals used in jewellery. In addition the seminar will give participants the tools needed to understand the legal requirements and standards of conduct when buying gold and other precious metals from the public. This exciting new seminar not only addresses concerns raised by Surrey Police’s recent work which resulted in The Gold Standard,


but gives jewellers a higher understanding of the metal mixes and the trading prices of items with certain constituent parts. Within the remit of the course, delegates will get to grips with the legal requirements for purchase of precious metals and how this works within The Gold Standard. They will be given a good understanding of the gold fix and bullion process and gain awareness of how non-precious metals are also used in this process. A great emphasis will be put on the manufacturing techniques that go into making jewellery – enabling retail jewellers to understand the three steps to metal identification. This will add to their knowledge of precious metal alloys and their composition. The course will also demonstrate how to

Still to come in 2012... long with the new Gold & Precious Metals Testing course the NAG has a number of other seminars still to run. If you haven’t booked yet, get in touch asap to make sure you secure your place.


Dynamic Display Workshop 23rd May, 2012 Take your display knowledge to another level. This new course is for management and senior sales staff who have already completed the Essential Display seminar or equivalent. The challenge: to design and build a new window display that will target customers with a particular promotion – e.g. seasonal/Easter/Christmas. The workshop will focus not only on display but incorporate a strong marketing element requiring delegates to link their display to a plan of promotional activity to raise the profile of their store. Guided by Judy Head.

Essential Display Seminar 4th October, 2012 The first steps to an eye-catching shop

20 The Jeweller May 2012

window including instruction on the theory and practise of display. Learn how to achieve a visually exciting display with this very popular seminar facilitated by Judy Head. Feedback from delegates: • “Brilliant, I have learned so much. Would definitely recommend” • “Fascinating, involving and interesting”

use acids in the testing process – with the health and safety aspects required – and will help delegates develop greater confidence in the identification of precious metals The course is ideal for industry professionals who rely on the identification of jewellery metals for purchase or secured lending. The course will bring them up to date with legal requirements while reinforcing knowledge of best practice and improving confidence when buying in jewellery items. All equipment and course information is included in the cost of the seminar and delegates will also have access to a 30-day telephone helpline, should they encounter any specific testing issues. The date for this seminar will be confirmed once places have been filled. The cost of the seminar is £222 + VAT and includes lunch and refreshments Held in the NAG’s London office, the atmosphere promises to be relaxed and friendly. With limited places, anyone interested in this one day course should call Amanda White on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email: •

“Very complete. It has definitely improved my display skills”

Diamonds and Diamond Grading 16th-17th October, 2012 With Eric Emms, the leading authority on diamond grading, this practical seminar is presented specifically from the retailer’s viewpoint. Included in the two-day course is the identification of diamonds together with treatments, clarity, colour and many other aspects of diamond knowledge and a look at corporate social responsibility issues. Feedback from delegates: • “The seminar was highly practical with plenty of diamonds for us to look at. Eric managed to provide sufficient information to keep us interested and able to gain an insight into the technical aspects of diamond grading. • “Really good. I learned a lot and it has given me more confidence” • “A good investment to promote sales. I would highly recommend it” For more information on NAG seminars call Amanda White on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email:

NAG News: Education & Training |

March Bransom Award winner he winner of the March 2012 Bransom JET 1 Project Assignment Award is Sydney Doidge-Coker of John Medhurst in Bedford. In conjunction with the team at Bransom Retail Systems, each month, the NAG’s education department enters all JET 1 assignments into a ‘best project’ competition. Selected by the external examiners, the award gives students the chance to be rewarded with a trip to the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall for the presentation of their certificate at our annual graduate award ceremony. Students who successfully complete all five assignments to a satisfactory standard will be awarded a JET 1 certificate and are then entitled to continue on to JET 2 and the completion of the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma. So, congratulations are due to Sydney who scooped the coveted prize after her assignment was selected from this month’s bag of entries. Her tutor, Don Taylor, told us: “Sydney was a model student – assignments were always on time and she needed very little assistance. It was a pleasure to guide her through the course. She has now enrolled on JET 2 and I am looking forward to marking her work for that course”. To this view the project moderator added: “The quality of Sydney’s work has been of a very high standard and it has been my


pleasure to mark it. I am particularly impressed by the amount of serious research carried out on the subjects and the interesting way the information is presented. The final section of the project, dealing with the use of selling skills with regards to a repair item, is excellent. A worthy winner!” “I was really quite shocked when I heard that I had won this month,” Sydney admitted. “I felt like I’d done pretty well but this just showed that I had certainly achieved something with the course. It was a great feeling to get the call. A few colleagues have taken JET 1 and at the time others were studying for their JET 2, so when I got the opportunity to take it, I jumped at it. I’ve only been in the industry a year, but it’s proved a real eye-opener – assisting me with being more independent with my work in-store and really helping me on a day-to-day basis. So it’s given me an amount of confidence I wouldn’t expect at this stage in my career,” she added. “All the assignments were interesting and well-focused. I especially enjoyed the final assessment about the 4 Cs – researching it was really interesting, but also quite fun. The online learning space made it easy for me to submit assignments and the online quiz tools were really good in helping me out. Overall, I thought the course was fantastic

and I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity. I feel like I have so much more of the base level knowledge. I enjoyed it so much, I’m already part way through my JET 2 course! I’d also like to say thanks to my colleagues for helping me out – and to John [Medhurst] for giving me opportunity to take it.” For more information on the JET courses go to: or call 020 7613 4445 (option 1). For information on Bransom visit:

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The Voice of the Industry 21

BJA News |

Up-skilling the industry and an invitation to join us for lunch! herever you are in your career path there are always new things to be learnt. On the practical side of jewellery making, technologies move on and production processes develop and change; while on the business side of things regulations (particularly health and safety practices) never stand still and there is always more to be mastered with regard to the effective methods of management, to say nothing of business promotion techniques and accountancy practices. Keeping one step ahead of what’s new and what you need to know – while also running a business – isn’t easy, but I sincerely believe that learning new skills, or teaching them to those you employ, is rarely time or money wasted: quite the contrary as there is plenty of evidence to suggest the more skilled a workforce becomes the better the outcome for the business and the industry at large. The BJA is deeply committed to assisting its members to move their businesses forward through training and I do hope that they, if they haven’t done so already, will check out our programme of recently-


launched courses. These are being delivered in conjunction with Holts Academy and are the result of some detailed pan-industry research from which we discovered where manufacturing industry’s skill gaps lie and where businesses of all sizes feel they would benefit from industry-specific instruction. The courses, which will take place in London and in Birmingham over the coming months, are extremely competitively priced and bookings are now being taken for the first tranche. These include jewellery illustration, photography, financial management, sales and marketing, social media, selling on-line and creating and managing a database. Visit: to find out more. On a completely different tack: an invitation to lunch! I do hope that as many BJA members as possible will join me, other members of the committee and the BJA team at the Annual General Meeting of the British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) which takes place on 31st May at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This will be followed by a sit-down lunch, provided free to members of the Association.

BATF is the umbrella body of which the BJA and its five sister associations are a part. I currently represent the BJA on its board of directors as its ‘President Mike Hughes, chairman of the BJA Elect’ and will take up the position of president at this meeting, so support from fellow jewellers would be particularly appreciated. The AGM is always an interesting day. There will be reports from the main trade associations and a presentation from guest speaker Michael Allchin of Birmingham Assay Office. It will also provide a great chance to network with other members, journalists and VIPs as well as the chance to see the Botanical Gardens at their majestic best. I hope to see you there.

IJL launches VIP treat! JL has announced a competition to win a VIP experience ahead of International Jewellery London 2012. Visitors who register to attend by 5pm on 30th July will be entered for the prize draw. The winner and a guest will enjoy a one night stay at a London 4 star hotel so they can relax in style following their visit to the show, and they will also receive train or air tickets to London. The VIP experience will start from the minute they arrive at the show, with a Champagne welcome at the Boulevard Bar by the IJL team. The IJL seminar programme features industry experts and top trend and retail forecasters, and the prize


includes reserved seating in as many of the seminars as the winner would like to attend. “IJL has a luxurious look and feel, and we aim to ensure every visitor feels important in the stylish setting of the show. Everything is designed to enhance the visitor experience – from the layout to the quality jewellery and watches presented by the high standard of exhibitors. The IJL VIP Experience takes this one step further and is an excellent prize for the winner, treating them to an exceptionally enjoyable visit,” commented event director Syreeta Tranfield. To enter the free prize draw and to register to attend IJL, please visit:

The Voice of the Industry 23

| BJA News

125th Anniversary Tremendous support for BJA’s Celebratory Exhibition AGM open to all hanks to the generosity and support of its member firms the BJA has brought together a fascinating exhibition of jewellery and silverware drawn from across its twelve decades supporting the industry, for display at this summer’s Jewellery Show London in June. “We have now managed to find an interesting item, produced by a member firm, for each decade from the 1880s to the 1990s as well as a piece for each individual year from 2000 until the present day. The result is an intriguing and highly eclectic mix of objects each with its own story to tell,” explains Lindsey Straughton who is responsible for curating the display. The BJA has always represented a huge cross-section of different jewellery-related businesses and in drawing together the exhibition Straughton has been keen to reflect this diversity. “We have everything from precious, gem-set pieces through to badges, cutlery, silverware and even a trophy,” she commented. One of the largest pieces on show will be ‘The Millennium Clock’ (pictured right) a commemorative design commissioned by the British Allied Trades Federation (then the BJGF) in 1999 to celebrate the turn of the century. The timepiece is a multi-faceted silver sculpture featuring a world map with the hands of the clock emanating from the Greenwich Meridian, the basis for the measurement of time, at its centre. Other pieces are less grand but nevertheless have intriguing pedigrees. The earliest item in the exhibition is a piece of jewellery from the 1880s and the most modern a desk accessory by Erica Sharpe which was commissioned by the BJA to celebrate this anniversary. There will also be some prize-winning designs in palladium from Atelier Gilmar which were among some of the first to be stamped with the new hallmark when it was introduced in 2010 and a mesh ball ring from David Godwyn cast in 2003 by Weston Beamor for David Godwyn and demonstrating the versatility and creativity provided to jewellery designers by sophisticated CAD/CAM production techniques. Looking further back, Sheffield Assay Office has loaned an exquisitely detailed penknife in 9ct gold and steel made by Needham Brothers Sheffield which was made at the time of the Great War. The exhibition will go on show at Somerset House in London on 12th June to coincide with the Association’s Annual General Meeting and will remain on display to trade visitors at The Jewellery Show London until close of play on 13th June.


ichael Hughes, the retiring chairman of the BJA, is inviting all bona fide members of the industry, whether they belong to the BJA or not, to attend its 125th Anniversary Annual General Meeting which will be held at Somerset House in London on the evening of 12th June to coincide with the trade days of The Jewellery Show London. “This is an ideal opportunity for people to come along and learn a bit more about their trade association and what it does for them and the industry at large. The BJA has had a number of significant triumphs over the years, lobbying to support the trade on a range of issues and I sometimes feel we don’t bang our own drum as loudly as we should. This is a great chance to explore the Association’s historical significance and to discover what we do,” he said. The meeting will see the inauguration of two new officers for the Association with Gary Williams of Presman MasterMelt becoming chairman for the next two years and Jason Holt, of Holts in Hatton Garden, vice chairman. Both businesses are based in London’s Hatton Garden. Members of the BJA will automatically receive an invitation to this event; non members who would like to attend should contact Diane Thomas at the BJA on tel: 0121 237 1110 or email her at: and she will be delighted to arrange entry for them.


Call for entrants for BJA 125th Anniversary golf day s this is the Association’s 125 anniversary year the BJA golf day, taking place on 20th June, will be held at a course with a personal touch – a family link to Lindsey Straughton, the BJA’s marketing manager. “My family have lived in the beautiful Shropshire countryside near Ludlow for nearly 50 years. Cleobury Mortimer Golf Club was designed 19 years ago and has some amazing views within its 200 acres of mature land, including the ancient Wyre Forest as the eastern boundary of the course,” she commented The 27 holes have been set out in three very individual nine hole loops – Foxes Run,


24 The Jeweller May 2012

Badgers Sett and Deer Park – covering 200 acres. Golfers, in teams of four, will be able to select to play nine holes (‘better ball Stapleford’) before lunch and 18 in the afternoon or just opt for one round. An evening meal will celebrate the victors with locally brewed award-winning Hobsons beer and excellent Shropshire fare. Full day activity £65 + VAT. Golf clinics with the head professional, Robert Watkins, formally of Celtic Manor, the 2010 Ryder Cup venue, will be held for players (to limber up beforehand!) and interested beginner guests (to have a les-

son with equipment provided by the club). “This year’s aim is to have a very sociable event with open invitation to all in the trade. We especially look forward to receiving NAG and CMJ member groups and hope to raise some money for the Jewellery and Giftware Benevolent Society, ” added Lindsey. Email: or call 0121 237 1110 to sign up or for company sponsorship opportunities at £50 a hole. If you need to stay over, there are 4* self catering modern lodges at £85 sleeping four people.


| Feature

A week-long celebration of jewellery talent Somerset House in London will form the hub for London Jewellery Week, which will include shows, events and activities for the trade and public alike. hile the eyes of the world will be on us for the Jubilee and Olympics, the UK jewellery industry will be enjoying its own celebrations this summer. London Jewellery Week (11th-17th June) will offer a mix of trade and consumer exhibitions and happenings, the hub of which will be one of London’s most historic and imposing venues, Somerset House on The Strand.



A major feature of Jewellery Week 2012 is the inaugural edition of The Jewellery Show London which will take place on 12th & 13th June at Somerset House. This intimate trade-only event will provide a launch platform for 90 selected collections from the best of British and international jewellery designers and brands, with many of them launching key brands into the UK market exclusively at the event. Among those already signed up as we go to press are: Alexander Davis, Alfred Terry, Amaze by Isabell Kristensen, Aradia Nista, Babette Wasserman, Baccarat, Charming, Cindy Dennis Mangan, Clogau Gold, Cornerstone, CW Sellors, Deakin & Francis, Flash Jordan, Jorg Gray, Kastur Jewels, Kennett, Leyla Abdollahi, London Road, Lovelinks by Aagaard, Michael Weggenmann, Missoma, Pepper Pink by Mark Milton, Rachel Galley, SHO Fine Jewellery, The Raphael Collection, Ti Sento, Torgoen Swiss and William Cheshire. The headline sponsor of the launch event is Pandora which will support a central catwalk for the show and

26 The Jeweller May 2012

hold a gala dinner for its retail partners on Monday 11th June. Another feature of the event will be a programme of presentations and debates, including an interview with Links of London founder and now creator of her own eponymous collections Annoushka Ducas; an insight into the Chinese consumer by designer Fei Liu and an overview of Spring/ Summer 2013 trends from forecaster WGSN. The show will open from 10.00 to 18.00 daily. Among the exhibitors at the event will be two brands with an ethical message: Cornerstone, the social enterprise project founded by award-winning UK designer Paul Spurgeon and South African goldsmith Nqobile Nkosi aims at empowering the people of Soweto, Makapanstad and beyond through gainful employment. The result is a collection of silver jewellery that embraces the styles and influences of the UK and Africa. Ti Sento

Socially-responsible jewellery brand Chavin which donates funds to the charity SOS Children, will be showing the 18 styles of coloured ‘Caring Bracelets’, each set named after one of the mothers Chavin helps in Peru. Following immediately after Jewellery Show London will be the consumer-facing ‘Treasure’ selling exhibition (14th-17th June) which will showcase the best in contemporary


jewellery design. Alongside the ethical and sustainable jewellery pavilion ‘Essence’ will be a new ‘Bridal Trail’. At the same venue will be a retrospective exhibition of work by Wendy Ramshaw who is renowned for her art jewellery with a sculptural edge. Elsewhere in London, jewellery events such as workshops and open studios are being planned at Greenwich, Old Spitalfields, Holborn and Brick Lane, while the GIA is hosting an admission-free open day. Cairo-based Azza jewellery designer Fahmy Azza Fahmy who fuses ancient and traditional techniques with her own modern twist for bold silver and gold pieces, will be showing her whole collection for the first time in the UK at the Mica Gallery in Sloane Square on 14th June ( The focus may be the Capital, but for the first time this year London Jewellery Week is also being promoted as Jewellery Week right across the UK, with jewellery shops around the country entering a national shop window display competition and able to join in with their own in-store promotions. Jewellery Week director Della Tinsley says: “The idea of re-branding the London Jewellery Week logo to Jewellery Week is part of a long term strategy to grow the week into a national celebration of jewellery. Within the capital, the event will still be known as London Jewellery Week but under the new branding, other partners across the country will also be able to take part.” For further details of London Jewellery Week visit:

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Rolex Datejust Steel

Gents Rolex Yachtmaster Steel

Rolex Daytona Steel

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The Voice of the Industry 27


Jeweller picks... Just in case you have the uneasy feeling that you haven’t given quite enough thought to matters ‘Jub-Olympics’ this summer, we offer this round-up of pieces with a distinctly patriotic flavour. A generous helping of flags, crowns and sporting motifs should get everyone in the mood.


To mark the different festivities of 2012 Alfred Terry has launched the Jubilee Collection based around four themes – Couture, Pearls, Storyteller diamonds and Celebrate. The 200-piece collection features an entirely new selection of rings, neckwear and earrings, featuring diamonds of HSI quality. Tel: 020 8446 9020


From the company that offers cufflinks for every possible taste and occasion, comes a limited edition range of Diamond Jubilee styles, including this silver crown pair set with rubies and sapphires. Also new is a 18ct gold skull wearing a diamond encrusted crown with pop-out diamond eyes – for a cool £3,175.


Award-winning goldsmith Harvey R Sillis has created a pair of 9ct gold thimbles as a gift to Her Majesty to commemorate her Golden and Diamond Jubilees. The Golden Jubilee piece carries the emblems for the four kingdoms of the UK while the Diamond version is carved with the Queen’s personal Coat of Arms with carvings of the King Edward throne, the orb, crown and sceptre used at the Coronation. Each 22mm high piece bears an inscription stating the occasion being celebrated and its date. The Diamond Jubilee thimble also has a 0.04ct brilliant cut diamond set into its top. Retailers can buy the Diamond Jubilee thimble in silver, silver gilt and 9ct or 18ct yellow gold. Tel: 01707 643205

As well as Jubilee-inspired pieces, Dower & Hall is celebrating our special year with ‘Twenty-Twelve’ – a collection that is bursting with sporting spirit. Hand-crafted silver cufflinks, discs, hearts and ovals are emblazoned with words like ‘champion’ and ‘winner’ along with symbols of doves and wreaths.


This pendant, inspired by the Crown regalia is from Clogau’s Royal Jubilee collection, which has been created in association with Historic Royal Palaces.

Celebrate the best of British with Kit Heath’s Unite designs which includes three Union Jack-inspired necklaces and bracelets. The company is also supporting retailers with bunting, balloons, goody bags and Union Jack visual merchandising material.




Designer Claudia’s Bradby’s Jubilee Memento features this sterling silver pendant hallmarked with the official Queen’s Diamond Jubilee commemorative hallmark and featuring a pearl charm. Pearls (royal favourites) also feature in other pieces in the line which are accented by gemstones and crown talismans.

Tateossian’s Silver Jubilee Collection features a series of classic silver cufflinks with either a laser engraved or stamped motif of the Queen’s head. The SW Britannia Crown collection, is a series of cufflinks using Swarvoski Elements and enamel in red, blue, black and purple. Square cufflinks feature the Royal Crown and the Fleur De Lis, the mark of the Prince of Wales Crest. Also from the collection are Swarovski Britannia Flag cufflinks celebrating the 2012 games.


For the Diamond Jubilee the Historic Royal Palaces has commissioned Kleshna to create a unique celebratory jewellery collection. The result is a lux sterling silver range laden with intricate royal charms. The sterling silver Jubilee charm bracelet features a corgi, a detailed royal carriage and a plethora of crowns and horses all interspersed with silver glitter balls. RRP £350.00.


Getting into the Olympic spirit is fashion jewellery label Tatty Devine, which has created this gold medal necklace featuring a ribbon made from the official 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee ribbon woven by craftsmen Toye, Kenning & Spencer. Also in the line are wooden sailing boat brooches and royal crown pendants.

| Feature

A Diamond Celebration As Her Majesty puts the flags out this year, Miles Hoare looks back at the history of the NAG during her reign. rom a British point of view, 2012 has been a year of every anniversary imaginable. On January 17th, the Natural History Museum celebrated the centenary of Captain Robert Scott’s Terra Nova expedition – which saw the first fatal British voyage to the South Pole. Scott’s journey came only months before the auspicious attempted crossing of the Atlantic by the infamous RMS Titanic: a fateful passage that has since become the subject of one of the largest grossing films of all time, and more recently, the topic of a brand new TV drama series. If we reach back further in time we find another Atlantic connection, as 1812 saw the US War of Independence against Britain start to rage, while the French Napoleonic Wars continued into Russia. You’d also have to be living in a culture-free bubble not to have seen commemoration of the Falklands War over the past few months – 30 years ago, Argentine forces seized and then surrendered this group of relatively unknown south Atlantic islands. However, not many of these events come close to the magnitude of one red-letter day that will be celebrated in June this year. Yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In a year that coincides with the 200 year anniversary of Dickens birth, 75 years since the start of the Royal Mail and the year London plays host to the 30th modern Olympic Games – the Queen will celebrate her 60th year on the British throne. For those who have somehow managed to avoid the details of Her Majesty’s big event, the official celebrations will take place from the 2nd-5th of June. Obviously it’s an occasion royalists look forward to with much glee – and for those ardent republicans, well, there’s always the extra bank holiday to ease any discomfort. But whichever side of the fence you fall on, it’s still a significant occasion. With Elizabeth being the only other monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee since Queen Victoria,


30 The Jeweller May 2012

it would be churlish not to appreciate both her longevity and great mass appeal. The Queen, however, is not the only national institution celebrating an anniversary this year. But we’ll come to that later. So what, you ask, is the reason for this pontificating about Her Majesty’s pending celebration? Well, with all this talk of history hanging in the air, The Jeweller is in a sentimental mood. We’re taking this opportunity to look back on the important dates of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and finding out how some of the NAG’s major milestones coincide with the Queen’s most important moments.

Coronation 1952 While Elizabeth was taking those momentous steps towards becoming Queen, the Association was still handling the repercussions from WWII. Two years Coronation mark previously the country had voted in a Conservative government who had pledged to end the rationing that had continued in Britain several years after the war, a party which soon disbanded and called a re-election a year later in 1951. It was the same year the Jewellery Development Council would face the

same fate – with internal disputes and worries about burdening the trade with increased bureaucracy, leading to the Council eventually dissolving a year on. However, that wasn’t the main story of the 1950s. It was around this time that over a million British watches were produced, with manufacturers enjoying the Swiss machinery made available as a result of the Anglo-Swiss trade agreement. But a boom in the number of watches wasn’t all that rosy – as the levied Purchase Tax imposed by the government led to some of the 24 million watches made by the Swiss in the same year being smuggled into the country and sold on covertly. It was in the early months of 1952 – when the Queen officially took her title – that the NAG and BJA both presented memoranda to the chancellor urging for the reprise of the Purchase Tax. Although the attempts to loosen the grip Purchase Tax had on its members, and attempts to get rid of what Julian Pigget (the then chairman of the Design & Research Centre) told Harold Wilson, was “an evil monster” – the NAG failed to persuade the government. It was this event which saw inner industry disputes take down the Development Council by mid-1952. With all this commotion over Purchase Tax, it was the coronation which managed to pull the industry out of the doldrums. With the special mark struck on silver to

Watches in the 1950s became a smuggleable commodity due to Purchase Tax

Feature | Crystal – 1967

A coronation souvenir made of nickel

celebrate the Queen’s coronation, the industry saw a rise in purchases – and a slight reduction in the ill-fated Purchase Tax (on glass and leather goods). Nickel was the metal permitted for coronation souvenirs, while a president’s badge was also designed and presented to Sir James Walton to commemorate this special occasion. However, it would be another two years, after Anthony Eden took over the reins from Churchill as the next Conservative Prime Minister, that the NAG would get its way and Purchase Tax would be further lowered for all retailers.

Tin – 1962 Ten years into Queen Elizabeth’s reign, the war on Purchase Tax was still raging. With a number of jewellers reporting counterfeit watches, the evasion of Purchase Tax continued to push buyers to using all types of means to source and sell competitively priced products. In fact, a group of jewellers in Essex became so unhappy with coming across rejects from Swiss factories and watches that were not of the make or quality prescribed, that they banded together to form an early form of today’s SaferGems scheme. During a period between 1962 and 1964 they privately funded a scheme which saw the prosecution of six men and one woman on charges of smuggling. Although the great Purchase Tax debate continued throughout the era, the most momentous occasion for the NAG was when the Association obtained the NAG Grant of Arms. The application had been made two years previously in 1960, and by October 1961 the NAG had acquired its own Patent of Arms. By 1962 the chairman was presented with a new jewel based on the arms. The arms still stands today as one of the hallmarks of the NAG’s long-standing contribution to the British retail industry.

The end of the ’60s saw debates over part-time workers, with the Selective Employment Tax and a re-evaluation of the much debated Purchase Tax – which saw it replaced by VAT in the early ’70s. However, the most important event in the industry for the year of 1967 was the attempts to revise British Hallmarking laws and the particularly harsh budget restraints placed on the jewellery trade by James Callaghan of Harold Wilson’s Labour government. The budget was said to be “one of the most severe on record”, by NAG member Alan Henn who decreed that the chancellor’s decisions “would be remembered for devaluation” – and in November that year Callaghan was replaced by Roy Jenkins; a chancellor that would later be called one of the “most successful chancellors on record” by BBC political journalist, Andrew Marr. During this time the NAG was busy producing a Code of Fair Trading, a twentyfour page booklet which set out a number of agreed trading standards to guide jewellers in ethical means of buying and selling jewellery. Other memorable events during the 1960s included the First Continental Conference in Amsterdam

some of this training paid off, as figures published by the assay offices over the ’70s indicate that the ten years from 1970-1980 saw unprecedented levels of growth. During this period sales through multiples had increased by 40 per cent, while independents increased their sales by 28 per cent.

The silver jubilee centre-piece which was presented to the Queen

However, the obvious event that stands in the memory was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, which saw a special Jubilee mark incorporated into the year’s hallmark. The NAG together with the BJA decided to present the Queen with a piece of silver to mark the Jubilee and a competition was organised by the Goldsmiths’ Company to find a suitable designer of the piece. GM Powers won the commission and Wakely and Wheelers made up his design for a centre-piece for the Queen.

Silver – 1977 Throughout the ’70s, the NAG continued to roll out its use of slide and tape in-store training programmes that had seen their way into realisation through Education Committee discussions at the end of 1969. At the same time the NAG began running a number of week-long courses focused on training jewellers in business practices. As we’ve seen in recent months with the introduction of the JET Pro course, and the BJA & Holts Academy’s announcement of new business-focused education programmes – the ’70s saw jewellers lose the “imbued feeling that they are completely different from anyone else” and taught themselves that they “all have a common problem in how to manage businesses successfully”, as quoted by Nicholas Silver jubilee mark Wainwright. It seems

The 1970s saw the setting up of the JAC and the appearance of this logo in NAG members’ windows

Other noteable events in the 1970s included the setting up of the Jewellery Advisory Council (JAC); the establishment of Employment Protection for Part-time Workers and the NAG became a member of CIBJO.

Ruby – 1992 Towards the end of the 1980s and at the beginning of the 1990s the NAG took steps in becoming much more involved in what was happening on the continent. From 1989 to 1993 the Association made strides in becoming the official secretariat of CIBJO. In this position, the then NAG CEO Jonathan Brown assisted with the set up of the Precious Metal Directive – a piece of draft legislation that sought to give member

The Voice of the Industry 31

At the NAG we believe investing in knowledge continually pays the best interest . . . HE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOLDSMITHS is the largest and most active


trade association in the jewellery industry.

Representing retailers within the jewellery sector for well over 100 years, we work 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 its members with the necessary tools and information to ensure their businesses are best equipped to take advantage of the challenges ahead. Having long been at the forefront of jewellery trade education we place great emphasis on making education and training paramount in this process. Indeed the NAG’s world-renowned educational programmes provide qualifications for the retail jewellery industry from trainees to senior staff and proprietors. Termed JET – short for Jewellery Education and Training – these courses (some of which are available online) cover a range of topics from basic product and selling skills knowledge through to valuation theory, management and business expertise. The importance of education cannot be over-estimated. Surveys have shown that those members of the sales team with recognised trade qualifications have higher self esteem and better sales records. It is indisputable that a better qualified and more knowledgeable management and sales team leads to more sales and higher profits. Trained and informed sales staff also inspire customer confidence and help prevent misunderstanding and complaints. If you would like to find out how a small investment in knowledge can pay the best interest, please call Victoria Wingate on 020 7613 4445 and find out about our training courses.

Education • Representation • Communication

Feature | Golden – 2002

An early example of a JAC advertisement

states of the EU autonomy over the fineness of its alloys, its own descriptive requirements and its own method of using certifying marks. However, up until 2003 there was still no agreement in place covering the hallmarking of pieces within nation states – and the validity of such legislation was very much in the balance. The early 1990s also saw the NSPCC become the official charity of the NAG – during this year a promotion ran on BBC 2’s 25th anniversary and, held in conjunction with the NSPCC President Princess Margaret, involved NAG jewellers selling special pins made especially for the event.

Sapphire – 1997 1997 was the year the UK saw its first Labour Government in 18 years, while the Queen also celebrated her Golden wedding anniversary with Prince Philip. It was also the year the NAG launched the JET programme to replace the old Jewellers Training Scheme. It was first advertised in 1997’s summer issue of what was then called ‘NAG Information’ which proudly boasted of a ‘completely up-dated, user-friendly, new-look, distance-learning course [that] will be at the forefront of jewellery trade education world-wide’. These inspiring words have taken the JET 1 programme through 15 years – and now it still stands as one of the flagship courses of the NAG’s Education Department. Now, in 2012, with the course taking its first steps into the digital world, it is certain that JET is here to stay and will continue to gain the world-wide reach which the new online learning environment has given it.

While the Queen was celebrating her Golden Jubilee, the NAG was set to launch the early version of what is now known as the Free Legal Helpline, providing debt recovery and legal advice to members stuck in a rut. This came only a few months after the NAG renewed its relationship with the Retail Trust (which had recently changed its name from Cottage Homes) – a relationship that still stands strong today. At the same time enrolments opened for the new and improved version of the Professional Jewellers Gemstone Diploma. July 2002 saw the publication of The British Retail Consortium’s 9th Retail Crime Survey. The survey concluded that despite the retail industry as a whole doing what it can to fight crime, the efforts were not being matched by the Government and police. The damning report said there was a lack of adequate resource allocation, and a reluctance by the police to get involved with retail crime. NAG supported the BRC’s efforts to persuade the Government to back the retail industry in developing an effective national network of crime prevention. It was a strategy which began to work as the 2002 AGM saw Alan Townsend of the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad give a talk to members about ways to protect themselves against retail crime. Alan, along with Michael Ferraro and Michael Hoare would later become the architects of the SaferGems scheme that started in 2009 and has since assisted in a whole host of arrests and convictions.

Diamond – 2012

The NAG has a presence at UK trade shows

Her majesty the Queen is not the only one who will be celebrating a jubilee this year. For the past twenty-five years the National Association of Goldsmith’s Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) has been celebrating the skills of valuers up and down the country.

An early NAG Education leaflet

Once again, the IRV will be hosting its annual Conference that runs in the last week of September, and now finds itself affectionately referred to as ‘The Loughborough Conference’. This year the IRV throng will once again descend on the university’s campuses from 22nd-24th September to show students how things are really done. With its usual mix of inspiring speakers and involving workshops and raucous social events, the Conference promises to be as enjoyable as ever. The 2012 event will also be extra special – it will celebrate the Valuers Scheme’s 25th anniversary. It would be easy to make puns about the value of this Silver Jubilee, but the IRV is taking real steps to remain at the pinnacle of jewellery valuing in the UK. With the new CAT course currently in development (see p18) the IRV will not only be a mark of true integrity, but of great value training, with the highest of standards. It just goes to show how the NAG has continued to develop and adapt over the last 60 years – and will continue to do so in the future. 

The Voice of the Industry 33

| Opinion: John Henn

The Motorcycle Diaries As promised, John Henn offers the edited highlights of his fundraising John O’Groats to Land’s End trip with Simon Cupitt, NAG member and road warrior. hile riding the full length of the country Simon was just another ‘bloke on a bike’. Supported by his two outriders and a speeding transit, the Cupitt convoy wound its way south through some of the most beautiful countryside our island could deliver – 950 miles of daffodil-lined A roads in the late March heat wave. We flew to Inverness where we united – Simon, Nigel, and I with our bikes, Mike and Robert with their home for the next five days – a suitably knocked about and nearly new white van. Everyone knew his role: Nigel – road captain, and in charge of all bike-related issues; Robert – in charge of communications with base camp, orchestrated by the NAG’s Miles Hoare who volunteered to run the web blog and site; Mike – number one driver and PR opportunist. With everything taken care of Simon and I were just along for the ride. And what a ride it turned out to be… John O’Groats was surprising by virtue of the missing signpost, just a white stick and a sign on a Nissan Hut explaining that ‘Pete’, would come out and assemble our very own sign for a fee. The Motor Neurone Disease Association banner made a good flag and Pete, having lost his first sale of the day, saw us depart at 10.30am. The North Sea was flat calm, there was blue sky above


34 The Jeweller May 2012

and good tarmac below. As A roads go the A9 would be one of the special ones we would ride; mile after mile of beautiful countryside. Inverness passed us by and the infamous Loch was soon on the nose. We continued through Glen Coe, and with the sun disappearing from view we rode into Crainlarich. This one-hotel ‘town’ had a great restaurant, easily encouraging Simon to eat his required 3,000 calories. A foggy Friday morning faded away as we rode along Loch Lomond, over the Erskine Bridge and into West Glasgow. Then we were heading down to Kilmarnock. A joke popped into the heads of Robert and Nigel simultaneously; at one stage they were in danger of killing Simon, Mike and I from laughter long before any other causes, so bad was the story. (Name three fish which start and end in the letter ‘K’ – I think it was Dave Allan’s circa 1975.) We were accommodated courtesy of Hogarth Jewellers in Kendal and had a lovely dinner in the town while attempting to find Sneck Lifter beer which saw me wheel Simon up a cobbled street, nearly decanting him into the path of oncoming cars more than once. Google assured us it was up there and there was evidence of a beer tap in the pub, but the golden liquor was nowhere to be seen. At 5.1% perhaps it’s better we didn’t find it.

Saturday we woke to another cloudless sky and cooked breakfast – how many can you eat in a week? The convoy rolled out of town and on to a lunch date in Ludlow with some of Simon’s friends who were due to follow us for a few miles to our night stop in Hereford. We hoovered up Mike Giles from Rotary watches outside Oswestry and then the four bikes, plus the ever-present van, took a back road across Shropshire. Tea and a family dinner followed at my sister’s café. Sunday, having been straightened out by the team chiropractor (thanks Dominic) among a throng of Simon’s family, friends, and staff from the store in Bromsgrove and with his children on the outrider bikes, we rode off down the Wye valley to Chepstow – just beautiful. The team arrived in 22°C Burnham on Sea for fish and chips. At Instow we were accommodated by Jonathan Lambert and taken out to dinner by Kit Heath. What a pretty place… with a delightful beach. The final push to Lands End was like the start – treeless, gorsey beauty with the breeze a little stronger. We rode into the car park, the welcoming committee screaming with delight… a very emotional moment. After the excitement had died down we put ourselves into the care of Paul and Vanessa HarrisMagrai, who fed, watered and put us to bed. Simon’s courage in the face of such a debilitating illness is humbling. With a body running at 30 per cent he has relearnt to ride a motorbike without the aid of a left leg. It was a relief to us all that the other leg, now not so good either, was able to support him on the ride. His other complications, include not being able to chew and the loss of his voice, were at least not a further hindrance to him on the bike. Anyone of us could be in his shoes and it would be good to give the next generation some hope in the face of such a monster as MND. The Just Giving site has taken 97 donations and our special thanks go to those from the trade who have donated to Simon and his family directly. Fellows auctioneers deserve a mention for their support for the white van; we didn’t have to use it but it represented invaluable piece of mind. Visit The whole trip plus pictures can be viewed on where you will also find out about the three fishes that start and finish with the letter K!

The hottest launch event of the season: The unveiling of The Jewellery Show London 2012

Meet with over 100 of the hottest brands and leading UK and international jewellery designers, carefully selected for this exclusive 2 day edited event, at one of London’s most iconic buildings – Somerset House.

How to register Visit Telephone: Call 0844 664 1523 Quote Priority Code: TJLER

For exhibitor enquiries: T +44 (0)20 7728 4267 E:




Brands and designers include:









Whether classically simple or bold and contemporary, pearl jewellery is holding its own beautifully in the market, says Belinda Morris

Main image courtesy of Calleija Kailis

n the back cover of Claudia Lanfranconi’s coffee table book Girls in Pearls (Merrell, 2006) there’s a quote: “women and pearls belong together… they are the ultimate perfect match”. The unattributed author may have uttered these words a millennium ago, or maybe in the 1920s – a good time for pearls. Whoever and whenever, it pretty much holds true today. If a girl is allowed more than one best friend, then alongside her cool, sparkling diamonds, she ought to have seductively skin-flattering pearls. Given the rising cost of precious metals, as well as the volatility of diamond prices, now should also, in theory, be a good time for pearls. “Some retailers are catching on to the fact that pearls can look like a much more attractive proposition than an alternative that is more heavily gold-based,” concurs Justin


Paul Spurgeon

36 The Jeweller May 2012

Jersey Pearl

Simons at Euro Pearls. “I have seen a number of retailers who have never previously stocked pearls who now do so successfully for this very reason.” At the same time, judicious adjustments to a design can make all the difference. “Suppliers are trying to use bigger pearls and stones in combination with less metal, to still get a big and eye-catching piece,” explains Daniel Ozel of Unique, while Dan Dower of Dower & Hall adds that “pearls certainly give a feeling of weight to a piece of jewellery so we have been able to reduce the amount of gold used in some pearl designs without losing the precious feel.”

Precious being the operative word. “Where the end customer is concerned, pearls have a high perceived value and they are willing to pay good money for a lustrous row,” says Miranda Raw of Raw Pearls. “Although pearl prices have risen slightly over the last few years, the rise is minimal when compared to the rise in the price of gold and silver. Good quality pearls can be bought at a relatively modest price allowing the retailer a good margin on that stock,” she adds. At Alfred Terry, pearl and diamond jewellery is designed to position at an open price point from the rise in prices of diamond and precious stone jewellery. “In offering the retailer an increase in cash margin, we believe that the new pearl and diamond collection will increase sales in 2012,” says Jeremy Banks.

Zoe Harding

Feature | For those companies whose pearl designs incorporate a fair amount of gold, silver and gemstones, business is certainly going to be affected by price hikes. “However, the price of pearls has remained the same and pearls are the centre piece to all our collections,” says Mike Taylor, wholesale director of Jersey Pearl. For those designers, such as Zoe Harding, whose customers are looking for a strong, contemporary design rather than simply a classic investment piece, the pearl world offers its solutions. “For reasonably

So Jewellery

accessible price points it is possible to find big bold cultured freshwater pearls, which for the same value would not necessarily buy you something particularly sizable in precious metal diamond,” she argues. Not everyone puts the same optimistic spin on the price rises though. “I do not believe that a buyer who is interested in purchasing a piece of gold jewellery with diamonds is likely to modify his purchase and switch to pearls – the two are very different materials attracting a different customer. Different desire… and occasion,” says designer Robert Tateossian.

Giorgio Martello

She also explains that a further blow was the tsunami which caused pollution and a threat of contamination and now farmers are threatened with global warming, where the temperature of the water may not be conducive to pearl production. As an industry insider explained: “The result of all this is a lack of confidence among the farmers, many of whom have reduced production or made investments elsewhere.” “The difficulties in the production of the oyster pearl mean the quality of the harvest has been low, and what has been produced is very expensive. Although we only stock

good quality oyster pearl, we also offer our customers excellent quality river pearl – a similar look, but at a smaller cost,” Raw adds. While most consumers haven’t yet been drawn into environmental/ethical debates on pearls, key manufacturers have long been keen to inform their customers about where their pearl is sourced, visiting farms regularly to maintain strong relationships with the workers and families. Many, while not directly affected by recent storms and the tsunami, take ethical matters very seriously indeed. “The effects of global warming can be felt by all those in the pearl industry… which is why we feel it is important to highlight the environmental issues that surround the ancient harvesting process,” says Mike Taylor of Jersey Pearl which is also a CarbonNeutral brand.

Fashion forward As a fashion pearls come and go, in the same way that coloured stones enjoy their moments in the sun. Given the current trends for flapper looks and watery pastels, ropes of milky white pearls ought to be in great demand. The fact is though that pearls are considered to be timeless – a simple


Something in the air (and water)? And pearls themselves may not always be immune to price rises. For those buying and selling freshwater cultured pearl, particularly from China, a plentiful supply is rarely an issue, but some believe that the same may not always be true of cultured marine pearls. “Our recent buying trip to the Far East has produced worrying news – pearl farmers have in the recent past had large amounts of their oyster production destroyed by storms,” explains Miranda Raw.

The Voice of the Industry 37

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Feature |

G McKenzie

classic strand, together with stud earrings, should be a jewellery box must-have. So what if they have a whiff of Miss Marple about them – there’s a certain demographic that considers the twin-set and pearl combo distinctly alluring, meaning young fashionistas, not the home-county set. “In my view pearls have never gone out of fashion and the classic strand and stud will always sell, however, it is important to have a fresh look each season,” says Chrissie Douglas of Coleman Douglas Pearls. “Classics are always going to be

Coleman Douglas Pearls

La 10

The specialist art of re-stringing

As our industry embraces new technology, it’s comforting to know that some traditional handcrafts still, indeed must exist. Pearl re-stringing is one such art – some might say a dying one. “The trade is passed down, often from mother to daughter,” explains Linda of LD Restringing, who was taught the skill by her mother and who has now been joined in business by her own daughter Emma. “I once knew of a one-day course in re-stringing,” she says, “but if I tell you that after 15 years I was just about getting good at it…” Although she has almost 45 years of restringing experience under her belt, Linda is aware that she never stops learning. A great deal of LD’s workload is as a result of broken necklaces. In an ideal world a pearl strand should be restrung every year before that happens and the lifetime of the yarn and the finishing can depend on how often a necklace is worn and how it is cared for (or not) by the wearer. “Some people are too rough with their pearls,” says Linda. “Perfume and lacquer for instance can shorten the life and often the tongue-piece of a clasp is lost or broken.” Using a non-preparatory cleaner that her mother always used, Linda cleans the pearls before she restrings them, almost always using pure silk yarn. “It’s the most expensive and comes in a limited colour range, but it has ease and give and makes the strand hang beautifully. You don’t get the same lay and flexibility with nylon,” she explains. Depending on the size of the drill hole, as well as the pearl itself, extra threads might be needed to create a different knot size between each pearl. There’s also the chance that the hole on one side of a pearl can be different to the other “because a real pearl can wear along the length of the hole, making the job more difficult,” she adds. Along with drilling-related problems, a task can be made more complicated by awkward clasp designs, intricate twists (of seed pearls perhaps), multi-strand creations and, inevitably, the poor quality workmanship of a previous re-stringer. Every job, therefore, is different and could take anything from half an hour to a full month to complete. “I think there are very few people who do what I do,” says Linda, who does customer fittings, tailoring a piece to the neck. “Something like a three-row choker can’t be done purely by measurement. I have a real love of pearls and so I want them to feel good as well as look beautiful and lay nicely. It doesn’t matter whether they are incredibly valuable or sentimentally important imitations – I am a perfectionist.”

The Voice of the Industry 39

| Feature certainly led to a demand for more contemporary [pearl] looks and has contributed to the success of our silver collection Perlissimo. The diversity of Euro Pearls has arisen because the market has demanded it (we also create luxury diamond pieces worn by royalty) and as a business we must react to the changing conditions like anybody else.” Adding a distinctive ‘edge’ to pearl jewellery, Zoe Harding has created the ‘Inverse Pearl’ collection. “I have played with the idea of how pearls are worn by setting them behind an earring or on the inside of a bangle, partially obscuring them, but in a way asking the wearer to notice them and appreciate them in a new, modern way,” she explains. “I am really pleased with how well they have been received.”

By Elise

popular as they are the staple jewellery of the wedding market and as such will always be in demand,” adds Steven Austin of G McKenzie. “In all our years our simplest stud earring with one pearl is our best seller – probably due to price and simplicity,” adds Tateossian, who is also offering 1.5m length freshwater pearl necklaces in three colours. “In our experience both classic strings and contemporary styles are very popular at present,” says Emma Finney of So Jewellery. “The ‘less-is-more’ elegant design of a classic ivory white pearl continues to feature in our top 10 best sellers, yet the more contemporary pearl designs – like the pearl glitter ring – are also growing in popularity.”

Alfred Terry

So, while a pure and simple string of pearls is an essential addition to a jewellery box, there’s a growing interest in new pearl looks, according to Mike Taylor. “We have seen an increase in demand in the past year for new designs and we feel our designer collaborations, with talent such as Anna Loucah and Joanna Dahdah, are servicing that demand.” For Justin Simons the popularity of silver brands in the UK can claim much of the responsibility for the new looks in pearl jewellery. “This has probably been the most significant trend of the past few years,” he says, “and it has resulted in a younger consumer having a reason to enter a jewellery store that they may not have had the confidence to do previously. This has


Pearl varieties and mixed materials Often it is the introduction of a different material or stone (Harding’s black rhodium and stingray leather for instance), or the use of new pearl shapes and colours, that creates a more contemporary look for pearl jewellery. “We have always used many types of cultured pearls in our products, including freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian and Southsea,” says Simons, “however, we are creating innovative designs by breaking the usual rules… by mixing different types of pearls together.” “Pearl farmers are constantly developing new techniques allowing new shapes and colours to be farmed – every buying trip we take is exciting for this reason,” says Raw.

40 The Jeweller May 2012

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.

Feature |

London Pearl

“It allows retailers to not only stock the classics, but also to expand into more contemporary or adventurous looks.” At Jersey Pearl creative boundaries are being pushed with the recent introduction of very rare, natural colour blue Akoya pearls. Both freshwater and more prized marine cultured pearls are incorporated into Dower & Hall’s jewellery. “We use pearls in different shapes – it’s rare for them to be perfectly round and have a flawless surface. If anything, an inclusion on a pearl is a sign of its authenticity,” says Dower. Felicia Sobecki, CEO and designer of Frogpearl takes a similar view. “We want to use irregular and unusual pearls, both in shape and colour, to highlight the uniqueness of each pearl,” she says. “They are a natural product, so we don’t remove ‘defective’ pearls – we appreciate them.” “The more baroque the better,” agrees Elise Compson of By Elise, which combines cultured pearls with vermeil and silver, as well as a variety of gemstones including amethyst, citrine and topaz. While G McKenzie has just launched a new pearlbased brand – Precious by Virtue – that uses pearls in a variety of combinations with

gemstones, finished with silver, to create nine different colour variations. “There’s such a wide and diverse variety of products now that pearls can lend themselves to current trends with greater ease,” says Austin. At London Pearl, the new contemporary range – Catherine’s Collection – mixes cultured pearls of different shapes and sizes with over 40 different coloured aluminum beads. It’s a very different look for pearls.


A pearl market over-view

Sarah Jordan

by world pearl expert Elisabeth Strack of the Gemmology Institute in Hamburg The combined production of all marine cultured pearls is less than 40 tons per year, but has a total value in the range of $325 million. This is opposed to the huge production of about 1500 tons of freshwater pearls from China that have a value of about $150 million. The figures speak for themselves – marine cultured pearls still play a leading role in the established cultured pearl market. Japan still produces its Akoya cultured pearls but concentrates on fine qualities in larger sizes above 7mm. In 2009 large Akoya, baroque, grey, metallic lustre cultured pearls of up to 12mm in size were introduced. 2009 saw a new way of colouring pearls. The Japanese Tanabe Pearl farm injects the molluscs with a liquid containing proteins and colouring agents in order to produce astonishing pinkish, bluish and greenish tints for large pearls. This colouration has to be disclosed according to CIBJO rules. As well as French Polynesia – the main supplier of black Tahitian cultured pearls – the Californian Galatea company in Vietnam also produces them. It imports molluscs to produce black pearls with implanted coloured stone beads like amethyst or citrine and later engraves the pearls by exposing the beads. While Japan has its niche place, today China is almost the only supplier of freshwater cultured pearls and now offers a very wide variety of production techniques, shapes, colours and prices. Thanks to mass production, up to 95 per cent of all Chinese cultured pearls are in commercial price ranges although their quality is good with a variety of natural colours. The Chinese Grace Pearl Company has introduced something very new – very large, nearly round pearls produced with a drilled mother-of-pearl bead. The pearl reach up to 18mm in size and are of a natural purple colour, resembling the finest qualities of the rare Japanese cultured pearls. It remains to be seen if the European market will welcome these ‘Edison’ pearls.

The Voice of the Industry 43

| Feature Pearl-selling tips: “Inform customers about the care of pearls – repeated contact with hot water, soap suds and perfume will dull their lustre forever.” Zoe Harding “Keep things simple – don’t dwell on complicated and technical information.” Justin Simons, Euro Pearls “Don’t treat pearls as a commodity; they are capable of making their wearer more beautiful for the rest of her life.” Chrissie Douglas “Purchase the finest quality you think your customers can afford – they will hold their value.” Daniel Vecht, London Pearl “Emphasise to customers the organic process that creates a pearl, making them ‘natural’.” Dan Dower, Dower & Hall “Be familiar with which tones of pearls suit which tones of skin and encourage customers to put a necklace on their neck; this is often half the battle won.” Miranda Raw, Raw Pearls

Yoko by Europearls

Taking the ‘mixed material’ concept a stage further is Coleman Douglas Pearls which is using wood, leather, lava stone and gemstones. “It gives a degree of playfulness that does not impact on the cost of the design,” says Douglas. “We have also used felt and silk, and, most recently, knitting – which is perfect for autumn. These are in addition to the classic diamond combinations.” The fine jewellery union of precious metals and stones with pearls is what Alfred Terry is renowned for. “In recent times it has all been about round white pearls, but we are now introducing new pink pearl and Dower & Hall

Raw Pearls

diamond pendant and earring designs in the Jubilee Collection,” explains Banks. Similarly, the very bold, glamorous, contemporary creations by Swiss designer brand Obsession, blends pearls with different colour diamonds, as well as ruby and sapphire.

Link Wachler

Pearls for the boys? Never mind glamour for girls, it was once, hundreds of years ago admittedly, pretty normal for (rich, important) men to wear pearls. It’s not been so common recently however. But why not? With the growing popularity of moody dark colour pearls and the introduction of very masculine materials such as steel, rubber and leather, there’s less reason to leave them out of men’s


44 The Jeweller May 2012

jewellery. Tateossian’s collection includes a growing number of such pieces – strong, urban and not evenly remotely girlie. And you can usually rely on the more avante garde designers to think of ways of incorporating a pearl or two into a design. US jeweller Link Wachler for instance, who, 30 years ago, contented himself with fairly classic golf club and tee tie tacks, with a pearl in the place of a ball, is, these days, taking more radical liberties with the gem. In 2010 he received a US industry award for an 18ct gold pirate skull man’s ring with a mother of pearl eye patch and a baroque

Tahitian pearl as the exposed brain in the cracked skull. Today Wachler’s dark sense of humour has broadened to include pearls as body parts for his whimsical jewellery. “I think the promotion and visibility of new concepts and design for pearl – such as men’s bold, masculine [pieces] will open new markets,” he says. “It will say that this jewellery is fashionable, cool, unique and OK to wear.” 


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| BJA Feature

Simon says! BJA CEO Simon Rainer turns his attention to diamonds and, in particular, the worrying issue of falsified diamond grading reports and the effect this will certainly have on consumer confidence in the purchase of jewellery. uffice to say the UK jewellery industry has enough challenges to deal with. One of the most pleasant aspects of my role is to be able to identify these challenges and then to work on solutions. Realising there were many issues to tackle in the jewellery materials supply chain, the BJA and NAG got together and formed the Ethics Committee. For well over a year, we have engaged with NGOs and leading organisations in the gold and diamond supply chains. Our focus has predominantly been on the UK industry, but with a watching eye on international events. Our current interest is with diamonds and we are currently having a stimulating round of discussions to explore the changes that need to be made with the Kimberley Process and the resultant effect on the UK market. So far so good. There are a few hurdles to overcome, but we will get there. The main thrust as always with our work is to contribute to increased consumer confidence in the purchase of jewellery. And this of course results in benefit to BJA and NAG members. And then BANG! – another issue hits the diamond supply chain and the jewellery industry once again shoots itself in the foot. I refer to the often underreported cases of falsified diamond grading reports, which unfortunately have hit the news again through the nefarious activities of a select few diamond graders at HRD Antwerp. Described as an ‘unprofessional act’ HRD has recently had to terminate the employment of four of its graders due to selling higher diamond grades to big money dealers. And HRD is not alone in the lab world for over grading. Which now begs the question of how consumers can have faith in the quality of diamonds they are buying? Let us be frank and acknowledge that even on a local basis


46 The Jeweller May 2012

we all know that this goes on – specifically I know, because invariably consumer complaints land on my desk to resolve. So what is the solution? Personally, I would advocate a world wide universal diamond grading system, very similar to the wellregulated hallmarking laws we have in this country. Part of the problem is the number of diamond grading schemes that exist. A universal scheme would at least allow for independent verification in the event of dispute and hopefully negate criminal overgrading. But if this is not enough to contend with, reports from the Israeli Diamond Exchange make frightening reading. Following on from the tax evasion swindle in Antwerp that was

plummeted. The outcome is that a number of diamond trading companies are moving their base of operations to the unregulated shores of Dubai resulting in even more cause for concern. In the meantime diamond prices continue to rise. It is forecasted that the $132 per carat average in 2011 will rise by a further four per cent in 2012. Prices alone in 2011 rose by 24 per cent compared to 2010 levels. And the reason for the price increases is fuelled by the increasing demand for diamonds in the emerging markets of India and China, while the major mining conglomerates are failing to hit output targets. In 2011 De Beers missed its target by just over five per cent at 31.3million

And then BANG! – another issue hits the diamond supply chain and the jewellery industry once again shoots itself in the foot. first reported in 2009 and is still having repercussions today, the recent disclosure that an underground bank existed in the Exchange for the similar purposes of tax avoidance has led to dozens of arrests. Over the last few weeks, the activity of Israel’s diamond industry has fallen by over 70 per cent, rough diamond imports have been halved, several diamond firms have declared bankruptcy and the number of diamond buyers coming to Israel has

carats, while BHP Billiton cut its output by 29 per cent and Rio Tinto by 15 per cent. In all, diamond production has levelled out to approximately 130 million carats per year. It is on public record that Rio Tinto is investigating divesting itself from their diamond interests and in particular disposing of its Australian Argyle mining operation. A similar situation exists with BHP which is looking to offload their Ekati mine in Canada. Supply shortages are also exacerbated by the huge diamond stockpiles held by Russia estimated to be in excess of $1billion. So what is the solution to these new challenges? At the moment I don’t know, but am heartened that there are similarly minded people in the UK who we can work with to effect positive change. Let us not forget that without consumer confidence in our industry we won’t have an industry.

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| Security

Setting the standard Michael Hoare reports on the new Gold Standard initiative; considers whether hard times will lead to more crime and brings news of the first Retail Security Conference and Exhibition.

‘Gold Standard’ for trade We have written about the general problem of metal theft in this magazine before, relating this to the increased over-the-counter trade in precious metals, and the unintended consequences of this trade. Over the last three months the three principle jewellery trade associations, the National Association of Goldsmiths, British Jewellers’ Association and National Pawnbrokers Association, have joined forces with Surrey Police to produce the Gold Standard – a new voluntary code of conduct for the face-to-face purchase of second-hand precious metal and jewellery. This new initiative, originally intended just for Surrey, has gained accreditation from the Association of Chief Police Officers, Trading Standards Institute and the National Measurement Office, and will therefore have national reach. It sets out to tackle five key areas of current industry concern. First, it sets a common standard for the jewellery trade to adopt where currently no guidelines exist; secondly, it will reduce the risk of Association members inadvertently purchasing stolen jewellery and potentially having that property seized by the police as part of their investigations, or even being prosecuted for the handling of those stolen items; and lastly it will provide the police with evidence of where stolen items of jewellery might be traded. In addition it will provide consumers with extra confidence to trade their items of jewellery in your store and it will improve the provenance of gold going back into the UK supply chain; where 90 per cent of the gold used in the UK jewellery industry is recycled. As one of the founding fathers of this new initiative alongside my colleagues from the BJA and the NPA, I am extremely pleased to see the Gold Standard come to fruition as our work with the SaferGems scheme over the last couple of years has convinced me that jewellers are sometimes unwittingly facilitating the disposal of illicit goods. This new code of conduct will provide all Association members with a workable set of

48 The Jeweller May 2012

guidelines to not only reduce the risk of stolen jewellery coming into the supply chain, but also to provide consumers with additional confidence to sell their items of jewellery in establishments which have signed up to the new code. All three Associations are launching the ‘Gold Standard’ to their respective memberships simultaneously and distributing copies of the code and identifying logo to those who register. A general awareness campaign will follow in a matter of weeks, and it won’t be long before the public begin to seek out companies who voluntarily adhere to the code. Between them the NAG, the BJA and the NPA represent a substantial proportion of the UK jewellery supply chain.

dip and rising unemployment, are just some of the indicators that put all of us under stress, and research conducted by sociologists, criminologists and economists suggests that opportunistic crimes like theft and burglary increase during financial crises. Will these bad times bring about more crime? Logic suggests that when people are experiencing serious economic hardship then opportunist crimes might be more tempting. Research conducted in the US also indicates that non-violent property crimes (for instance larceny, burglary and motor vehicle theft) are more likely to increase during an economic downturn than violent crimes (such as rape and murder). At least three psychosocial theories of human behaviour support the notion that when employees experience a turbulent economic downturn they are at greater risk of engaging in employee crime and deviance. In our terms that means dishonesty and low productivity. But is it as simple as that? Only time will tell, but over the next couple of issues of The Jeweller I hope to explore some of these theories and look at a few of the answers to ‘deviant behaviour’.

Retail Security Conference

If you would like to know more about the new standard contact Faye Hadlow at Luke Street, or if you would like to register for the scheme and receive the code, logo and implementation notes as a PDF, please send your full name and company details to:

More deviant behaviour? Just to set the record straight the above sub-heading is meant as a question, not an offer; and it’s a serious one that’s taxing the minds of criminologists. The historic economic downturn characterised by a stock market plunge, a persistent recession, a paralysing credit crunch, a housing market

There is so much competing information available in the marketplace that I’m sure many retailers are more than a little confused about what security equipment is best for their particular business; and continuous technological advances make the possibilities even more bewildering. However, there are some fundamental issues surrounding the standards that apply to safes, glass and alarms that can not be ignored when choosing security equipment, and that is why we are working with the NAG’s official insurance brokers T H March to bring you an opportunity to put these standards to the test. On Tuesday 16th October we will be holding our first Retail Security Conference and Exhibition at the Building Research Establishment in Watford. The theme is loss prevention and the intention is to bring delegates an agenda that explores the theory behind security standards and gives some graphic practical demonstrations. We’ll be having a ‘smashing’ time, so don’t get left out. Save the date, and contact Ritu Verma at: if you’d like to be one of the first to receive details.

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The Voice of the Industry 49

| BJA Feature

A study in

monochrome A perennial fashion favourite and always on the lips of trend forecasters, ‘black and white’ is certainly enjoying something of a ‘moment’ as far as jewellery is concerned. Created by the use of any combination of oxidised silver, white pearls, onyx, black agate, jet or black and white diamonds, the monochrome look could be seen at all the major shows this year and here we review just a few twists on the theme from BJA members. 


Luxury jewellery brand, Allumer, has launched an exclusive design in support of the national children’s charity, Coram. Company founder and designer, Natasha Leith-Smith, has created a unique pendant referencing the historic ballot ball process used to determine which children could be accepted into the care of the Foundling Hospital. The Coram Lariat-White Ball, features a black diamond and rainbow moonstone pendant on a black rhodium silver ball chain. RRP £150.

London Road Jewellery

Featuring black, white and cappuccinocoloured diamonds, these Soho Stack rings from London Road Jewellery can be worn individually as well as layered together. Decidedly feminine, the classic two-tone theme of these full eternity rings highlights their timeless elegance. Round brilliant-cut black and white diamonds, 1.50 carats in total, are set in 9ct white gold and the cappuccino diamonds in 9ct yellow gold with a special black rhodium finish. RRP for the three rings £1,989 (also sold separately).

50 The Jeweller May 2012

Working from Cockpit Arts in Holborn, London, self-taught Kate Woods creates her jewellery collections by hand, combining gemstones with simple forms, aged finishes and an attention to tiny details. Her latest collection, Terrain, is inspired by barnacle colonies and aerial photos of landscapes and features beads and white pearls clinging to oxidised silver chains – as in these waterfall earrings with freshwater pearls. RRP £190.

Advanced Jewel Craft

Kate Wood

QR Tag Original is a collection of contemporary silver jewellery combining mobile technology, beautiful design and quality craftsmanship. Through it retailers can offer a service that enables the customer to create their own unique URL or text tag on pendants, bracelets or cufflinks through the easily-navigated site or choose a message from the ready-made range. RRP from £75 to £175.

it Diamonds

It Diamonds’ ‘Venus’ bracelet is made from a mixed alloy which features three layers of plating: silver, palladium and then rodium for protection. Featuring a T bar clasp and two black agate beads as well as a diamond accented sphere, the bracelet comes complete with luxury black gloss gift box, polishing cloth and gift bag. RRP £45.


To see more or for information please contact us on tel: 01494 524124 or email:

The Voice of the Industry 51

| Insurance Matters help your business: protecting the individual director from financial loss arising from claims for negligence or breach of duty in the management of the company and secondly, reimbursing the company where it has agreed to indemnify the director against such claims.

Directors & officers liability – know the facts In today’s litigious society when something goes wrong, those affected want to find someone to blame and will use the available law to help them. Company law is becoming increasingly complex and insurance brokers are continuing to see company directors brought to task over the decisions or actions they have taken, explains Neil McFarlane of TH March. n law, irrespective of whether or not your company has ‘Limited’ status, directors can be held personally liable for the decisions they make on behalf of the company. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (D&O) is liability insurance which is payable to the directors and officers of a company. It can cover a range of losses including cover for damages or defence costs in the event that an organisation suffers losses as a result of a lawsuit for alleged wrongful acts, while acting in their capacity as directors and officers for the organisation.


bodies that can investigate your company including the Insolvency Service Companies Investigation Branch, The Health & Safety Executive, The Serious Fraud Office and The Disability Rights Commission and they will look into legal undertakings as well as legislation. When investigating legal undertakings a company will be viewed to see if it is performing duties with a reasonable degree of care and skill, together with checking to see if a company is acting within the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company. When it comes to legislation,

Without insurance, directors can end up having to re-mortgage their home or worse, just to pay legal fees incurred Claims can be made by employees, current and former shareholders, customers, suppliers, liquidators and receivers. While claims can be made from a number of people they can also arise from different organisations, in particular government agencies. There are several government

52 The Jeweller May 2012

the Insolvency Act and Companies Directors Disqualification Act of 1986 come into play. D&O Insurance provides a pool of money for the directors to draw on in order to fund defence and settlement costs as well as the cost of legal representation at investigations. It also works in two ways to

Why should you consider buying Directors and Officers Liability Insurance? • Directors’ personal liabilities are unlimited and in the course of carrying out their everyday duties for a company, directors are exposing themselves personally to lawsuits, investigations and criminal prosecutions. Without insurance, directors can end up having to re-mortgage their home or worse, just to pay legal fees incurred • When a director needs to defend lawsuits, investigations and prosecutions, being able to draw on insurance funds to obtain quality legal support and advice to help achieve the best possible outcome • There is an increasing number of government bodies that can investigate a company – and an increasing focus on smaller businesses. Even when there is no initial allegation that a director has done anything wrong, having the funds to obtain legal representation at these investigations enables directors to gain the best possible outcome • In one year: i) Over 1,400 directors were disqualified for up to 15 years ii) The Companies Investigation Branch looked at almost 5,000 companies iii) The HSE issued over 18,000 notices and prosecuted 780 cases • Cover for D&O liability for small and medium size enterprises is available at highly realistic and affordable premium levels As with all insurance policies, there are exclusions to D&O cover which may include: • Bankruptcy/liquidation in the first 180 days • Deliberate fraudulent or illegal activities • Circumstances which already exist • Your company’s professional services • Claims in the USA/Canada

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| BJA Feature

British craft at its best...

This year’s British Craft Trade Fair opened in blustery conditions but the show atmosphere was warm and inviting, with its usual buzz. As always this edited event showcased only UK-designed, handmade products. his year’s award, presented by the BJA for excellence in design and commercial viability, goes to Phoebe Jewellery which debuted in the newcomers section of the show. Phoebe Sherwood-Moore is a jewellery designer-maker based in Lewes, East Sussex. Constantly drawing from a young age, she grew up recording observations of the Sussex wildlife on her doorstep. After a stint modelling across Europe, Phoebe did an art foundation at Brighton City College where she combined her love of illustration with her flair for fashion. Following the course, Phoebe’s lifelong fascination with jewellery led her to work for and be tutored by a Lewes-based jeweller before she also opened her own studio from which she now runs Phoebe Jewellery. Much of the inspiration behind her jewellery comes from natural objects and wildlife she sees on her walks with her little dog and her first collection ‘Woodland’


features squirrels, acorns and oak leaves. Oak is renowned for its strength, while the squirrel represents fun and spontaneity. These pieces combine real hand turned oak with sterling silver to create a rich contrast of colour and texture. The judges thought that Phoebe had produced exquisitely finished, well designed jewellery at a commercially competitive price with interesting point of sale. The Highly Commended prize went to Justin Duance who designs and creates his contemporary jewellery and watches using a stylishly understated combination of silver or gold and non-precious materials, such as

them, work with an estimated 26 different materials. Here we highlight a few of the outstanding pieces created by BJA members.

Fi Mehra Designs Proving to be very popular this year were silver 3mm, 4mm and 9mm stacking rings. ”I had my best year yet, there seemed to be so many more buyers at the show,” comments Fiona Mehra. RRP starting at £68.

The BJA Award at BCTF

Phoebe Sherwood-Moore with judge, jewellery industry consultant, Aldyth Crowther

Justin Duance and one of his watches

54 The Jeweller May 2012

Alex Clamp Working in precious metals and gemstones, Alex produces one-of-a-kind hand pierced jewellery. RRP from £55.

wood and resin. Justin started the business after completing a degree at Sir John Cass Faculty of Art in 2001 and now creates his work from his small workshop in Newlyn, Cornwall where he uses up to 100 per cent recycled metals and salvaged woods. Justin’s watches are all handmade using recycled sterling silver, making each slightly different and therefore individual. The judges commented that these were future classics. A great many of the 500 exhibitors at the BCTF were jewellery makers, who, between

BJA Feature |

Amanda Coleman Nature themes, in particular birds, were on trend and Amanda showed her ‘Raven and Roses’ collection made from oxidised silver with garnets. RRP £73.

Jesa Dorset jewellers Jesa and Al Marshalls showed their new range ‘Firebird’, inspired by a picture book celebrating 100 years of Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ and incorporating handcrafted wild woodland, wolves and the elegant firebird motifs. Collections from sterling silver are often finished with a dark patina and highlighted with gemstones. RRP from £55.

Daniel Gallie Daniel's interlocking engagement ring is sculptured into a fluid, organic modern shape in white and yellow 18 carat gold set with a diamond. RRP £1200.

Gemmeus A Saxon inspired design 'Gytha' is made in sterling silver and can be set with either, pink sapphire, blue sapphire or emerald. RRP necklace £110, earrings £135, ring £140.

Dyliana This silver brooch is part of the Ruffles collection which is inspired by ripples and folds achieved by the process of corrugation. RRP £90.

Sarah Ibrahim This piece in sterling silver is called ‘The Care Instructions Locket Book’, and is part of The Next Chapter-Contents Collection. RRP £312.

 Jessica Flinn Exhibiting for the first time Jessica’s range named ‘The Lace Collection’ draws inspiration from antique pieces of lace. Her French Lace Cuffs handmade from etch-marked stainless steel in her Sheffield workshop drew buyer attention. RRP £90.

The Voice of the Industry 55

| Legal Jeweller

Has your accountant let you down? Stephen Baker, a professional negligence lawyer from Boyes Turner, explains how and why problems can arise, how to read warning signs and what to do next… ike many other businesses, the chances are you’ve had the same accountant for many years. They’ve probably filed your accounts, completed your tax returns, provided tax advice, maybe negotiated facilities with your bank and even run your payroll. But how do you know that that they’ve been acting in your best interests and more importantly according to the professional standards as laid down by their regulatory body? The assumption that many businesses often make is that their accountant has acted appropriately. Well, why wouldn’t they – the accountant and their staff have had years of training and their professional body makes sure that they keep up to date with changes in the law etc. After all this is what they have been paid for and in return you’ve been able to get on with running and growing your business.


Nasty surprise One day though the pale brown manila envelope with the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) insignia arrives in the post from your tax office. Inside is a letter informing you that your business hasn’t paid enough tax – perhaps for a number of years and that as a result you owe them thousands of pounds, that they intend to charge you interest on your missed payments and also that a you have to pay a sizeable penalty to boot! A number of questions race through your mind. The first is probably that HMRC has made an error and that this is going to cost you a lot of time and effort to sort out. You trust your accountant, well why shouldn’t you? They certainly haven’t let you down before. Surely the tax office has made a mistake? However, in an increasing number of cases it hasn’t.

56 The Jeweller May 2012

Rise in accountant negligence Whether it is mistakes on tax treatment or a different issue that has its roots in the recession and the credit crunch that has affected us all, there has been a notable rise in the number of professional negligence claims involving accountants in the last few years. Many of these have involved instances where there has been a failure to spot a fraud when auditing company accounts, over valuing company assets or mis-selling of schemes designed to mitigate or defer tax. This is against a backdrop of HMRC publically acknowledging that it is under pressure to increase receipts and so it is taking a much harder line on taxpayers.

what a new broom will unearth – or when it becomes obvious you have lost a great deal of money. However, there are telltale signs to look out for which include a drop in service, emails not being returned or a lack of willingness to explain why certain actions have been taken or recommendations have been made. If this does occur you should immediately discuss these with your accountant. Where they refuse to take corrective action or are unable to explain themselves satisfactorily then your next step should be to contact their professional body and think about discussing your situation with a specialist professional negligence lawyer.

Early warning signs? So how do you know if your accountant has been acting negligently? The fact is that in many situations you won’t, at least not until you either switch accountants – it’s amazing

If you would like to talk to a specialist professional negligence lawyer contact Stephen Baker on 0118 952 7206, send an email to: or visit the website:

| Antique Jewellery

Antique JEWELLERY Mesopotamian Jewellery In this first in a series of occasional features on the cultural significance of jewellery throughout ancient history, Amy Oliver BA (Hons) looks at the adornment of one of the earliest civilisations – Mesopotamia ewellery is one of the earliest forms of creative art. Since prehistoric times, humans have adorned themselves with decorative materials such as shells, stones and garlands. Technological advancements allowed people to begin mining; working metals and mineral deposits to produce items which we in the modern age would recognise as jewellery. Throughout history, cultures all over the globe have created and valued jewellery differently and for different reasons. Jewellery holds huge cultural significance and is integrated into the most personal and memorable moments of our lives: wedding rings, baby bracelets, birthday and anniversary presents, and the like. Mesopotamia is a title bestowed upon a large geographical area and chronological era. When people say Mesopotamia, what they mean is an area of land which covered most of modern day Iraq, all of Syria, parts of Turkey, Iran and Egypt; and a time period which spanned from 8,000 BC to 539 BC. It was a space and time inhabited by a great many peoples, including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians.


made using gold, silver, electrum, lapis lazuli and cornelian, as well as a smattering of chalcedony, agate, jasper, onyx and sardonyx. The most fascinating thing about these materials in relation to the cultures of Mesopotamia is this – none of them actually originate there. It’s an interesting fact that, considering the extensive amounts of jewellery found at the Royal Tombs of Ur and the treasuries of Nimrud, the land of Mesopotamia was completely devoid of

58 The Jeweller May 2012

Motifs Mesopotamian jewellery was strong on nature themes. Common motifs included leaves, flowers, fruit and quite often spiral or conical shapes representing shells. This is unsurprising as the Mesopotamian cultures after the 4th millennium BC were predominantly agricultural. The northern parts of Mesopotamia (Turkey) were fairly verdant due to good levels of rainfall and therefore supported farming, and in the southern parts (Iraq) the people established settlements and farms near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for the purposes of irrigation and fishing. Animals were also popular images used in jewellery, especially domesticated animals such as bulls, cows and calves, goats and so on. Again, as most people were farmers and Mesopotamia’s main resources were food and vegetation, the use of animal designs is pretty understandable. Fish were a common motif too as most of southern Mesopotamia relied on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers for food and water. Many of the gods and goddesses of the Mesopotamian religion had either animal body parts or were accompanied by animals, and so it’s a fair assumption that wearing animal motif jewellery would also have been religiously symbolic.

Jewellery and religion

The materials used Though the span of time is enormous, the actual jewellery produced during the Mesopotamian era is remarkably uniform in design and the materials used. Of all the jewellery to be found in the archaeological excavations of Mesopotamia, most are

these precious metals and minerals. All of them had to be imported from neighbouring countries or much further afield: lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and eastern Pakistan; cornelian from India, south-eastern Iran and Pakistan; gold, silver and electrum from Anatolia (southern Turkey) and northern Iran. We can assume that due to the necessary importation of these materials, that they were not cheap and most likely would have been highly valuable luxury items purchased mainly by the upper classes (royalty, courtesans, and religious figures for instance) or those with money (like merchants).

Head-dress and jewellery of an attendant of Queen Pu-abi, Trustees of The British Museum

Mesopotamian religion was polytheistic with a vast array of gods, goddesses, demons and spirits. As with most religions, jewellery had a part to play in the theology – as supreme beings, gods were deserving of (and expected) the best mankind had to offer… which meant his most-prized objects of high value, like jewellery.

Antique Jewellery |

Child's Headband in gold, cornelian and lapis lazuli from the Royal Tombs of Ur, Trustees of The British Museum

Depictions of gods and goddesses adorned with jewellery are common: Dumuzi, the Sumerian god of the harvest, wears a golden spiralled arm band; Marduk, the god of the city of Babylon, is depicted wearing an ornate head-dress and thick golden bangles; the mysteriously unidentifiable goddess known as the ‘Queen of the Night’ is characterised by a golden head-dress, golden bangles, large necklaces and a complete lack of clothing. Statues of these gods and goddesses housed in great ziggurats (temples) were ritually adorned with jewellery by their worshippers – multi-strand beaded necklaces, head-dresses adorned with golden figurines, amulets, and ankle and arm bracelets. Ziggurats were built in every major city, and the structures themselves were often decorated with mosaics using many of the materials also used for jewellery – gold, lapis lazuli, cornelian, agate, and mother-of-pearl.

gods. He is of interest to us because he was also the patron god of jewellers and their craft – his beard was even made of lapis lazuli! The central point of worship for the cult of Nanna was in the Sumerian city of Ur, very close to the site of the Royal Tombs of Ur which held one of the greatest treasure troves ever found in Mesopotamia.

The Royal Tombs of Ur These tombs, located in modern day Tell elMuqayyar in Iraq, were excavated by Sir Leonard Woolley and his team of archaeologists over the course of 12 years from 1922-1934. The tombs are one of the richest sources available to historians and archaeologists concerning the jewellery of Mesopotamia. Over 1,840 bodies were found, 17 of which were richly adorned and considered ‘Royal’ burials. Each ‘Royal’ burial was accompanied by a number of servants (all of whom had committed

Many of the gods and goddess of the Mesopotamian religion had either animal body parts or were accompanied by animals, and so it’s a fair assumption that wearing animal motif jewellery would also have been religiously symbolic. The single most important god in relation to jewellery is the Sumerian god of the moon and wisdom, Nanna (Sin). During the Sumerian supremacy (2900-2300BC) Nanna was the head of the pantheon of

The most famous of the ‘Royal’ burials is that of Pu-abi. She is thought to have been either a queen or a high priestess, as she wore an elaborate headdress made of gold ribbons, huge gold earrings, and her upper body was covered in a shroud made entirely of multicoloured beads including lapis lazuli, cornelian, agate and many other coloured stones. She wore eight gold rings and two gold and lapis lazuli rings on her fingers. When found, her body was surrounded by amulets made of gold and lapis lazuli depicting various animals including fish and calves. She had 25 attendants in her tomb, all wearing large quantities of similar jewellery and even head-dresses to mimic her own. This extravagant burial obviously singled her out as a high-ranking woman, as did a cylinder-seal stating her name and title as ‘Lady Pu-abi’.

suicide) whose bodies were also covered in expensive jewellery. In one tomb the bodies of 64 female servants were found, all wearing scarlet robes and jewellery of gold, silver, cornelian and lapis lazuli.

Bronze Amulet of Pazuzu, Musee de Louvre

The Royal Tombs at Ur can help us understand some of the beliefs of the Sumerian people. Obviously they trusted (or perhaps just hoped) that they could take their physical wealth with them when they died – there was an afterlife. The jewellery would help the gods (as it did the archaeologists) recognise them as important and wealthy individuals, and therefore they would be treated as such by their deities, whose statues they had adorned with jewellery in the same way. It would also mean they could, as in life, reside in the lap of luxury.

The Voice of the Industry 59

| Antique Jewellery Everyday life It may be that the best preserved examples of Mesopotamian jewellery came from the palaces and tombs of royalty, but this doesn’t mean that other members of society had no access to jewellery. Then as now the general populace could still afford some trinkets, although they may have been made of cheaper materials such as bronze to keep the costs down. Both men and women wore jewellery, and of much the same style and design – rings, bracelets, armlets, earrings, pins to fasten clothing or hold a hairstyle, and heavy multi-stranded necklaces which needed weights at the back to help balance the necklaces on the wearer’s shoulders. As now, jewellery was often given to people to mark special occasions. Presents of jewellery were given to newlyweds and to mothers at the birth of a child. Young women, as with many societies throughout the ages, were accompanied by a dowry when married and jewellery was often a part of this. As mentioned, some if not all jewellery was buried with the owner upon their death. There is even evidence that wealthy patrons would give gifts of jewellery to their favoured prostitutes! Amulets were also worn by both men and women; these protective pieces of jewellery guarded against bad luck or evil spirits. Pregnant women often wore an amulet depicting Pazuzu, a demon who protected them against his baby-snatching demon-wife, Lamashtu. Amulets were also worn to ward off diseases and plagues, common all over the ancient world thanks to insufficient knowledge of hygiene and medicine.

The Queen of the Night, The British Museum

60 The Jeweller May 2012

Part of a head-dress or necklace from the Royal Tombs of Ur, Trustees of The British Museum

The jeweller and the craft The level of expertise the crafting of jewellery required during the Mesopotamian era, coupled with the high value of the materials being used meant that the jeweller was a highly respected artisan within society. Mesopotamian jewellers worked precious metals with varying techniques such as cloisonné, fine granulation, filigree and engraving. They often used hammeredout sheets of thin metal leaf to work as the metal was too expensive to potentially waste through casting. Most jewellers would have had workshops within temples and palaces, or at least within

The Mari Tablets or Archives, dating from 1800 BC-1750 BC, come from the ruins of the ancient city of Mari in north-east Mesopotamia. They recount the administrative and economic life of the palace in great detail and list the jewellery being created there, for example: 1 necklace of flat speckled chalcedony beads including: 34 flat speckled chalcedony beads, 35 gold fluted beads, in groups of five… 1 necklace with rounded lapis lazuli beads including: 28 rounded lapis lazuli beads, 29 fluted beads for its clasp. The Mari Archives also hold a copy of a letter from a priestess rebuking a goldsmith

“If anyone lays his hands on my tomb, opens my grave or steals my jewellery, I pray to the gods of the netherworld that his soul shall roam in the scorching sun after death.” their grounds. This is probably because, as mentioned, it would have been mainly royalty, courtiers and religious officials commissioning these highly extravagant items. These would also be the safest places for jewellers to store their valuable materials and products as they would be surrounded by well-built walls and large numbers of guards. Remains of tools and scraps of gold and silver and pieces of chalcedony and other stones were found in the ruins of a great temple in the city of Larsa – they belonged to a jeweller called Ilsu-Ibnisu who had a workshop there in the 18th century BC. Clay writing tablets have been found in the ruins of palaces and temples which mention the jewellers and their trade.

called Ili-Iddinam for not yet delivering a necklace she had ordered and paid for four years previously! The best inscription I have found which mentions jewellery comes from another royal tomb, this time that of Queen Yaba in the Assyrian cemetery in Nimrud dating from the ninth or eighth centuries BC. The inscription reads: “If anyone lays his hands on my tomb, opens my grave or steals my jewellery, I pray to the gods of the netherworld that his soul shall roam in the scorching sun after death.” (Taken from Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia by Stephen Bertman). Nothing came between a Mesopotamian woman and her bling – whether she was dead or alive! 

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This business adheres to The Gold Standard Voluntary code of conduct for the face to face purchase of second hand precious metal and jewellery 1.

Legal Requirements

1.1. All applicable legal requirements governing the type of Class II weighing instrument that can be used and the manner in which the transaction process may take place will be complied with. Local Authority Trading Standards departments can advise on the legal requirements of this business. 2.

Verification Protocols

2.1. We will obtain a name and address from every customer. 2.2. We will verify the customer’s identity and where possible this will be via photographic ID.

2.8. We will require every customer to sign a disclaimer to say they are the owner or have the permission of the owner to partake in the transaction and that they consent to their personal details being stored on file for a minimum period of 3 months. 2.9. In the event of any suspicion that the goods being offered are not legitimate, we will not continue with the transaction. We will make every endeavour to obtain as many details as possible and inform the Police. 3.

2.3. We will only engage in transactions with customers over the age of 18. 2.4. We will make a formal record of every transaction and wherever possible we will photocopy or photograph the item(s) as part of the transaction and maintain our records accordingly. 2.5. Where available we will use every endeavour to ensure the transaction has been captured on CCTV and where the system is capable we shall retain the data for a minimum of 31 days. 2.6. We will keep transaction customer and photographic records in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 for a minimum of 3 months and we will produce these (if requested) to the Police. 2.7. We will take every reasonable precaution to ensure the property being offered is not stolen. We will use a UV light to check for forensic property marking.

Good Practice Protocols

3.1. We will weigh and evaluate the customer’s jewellery whilst the customer is in attendance. We shall consult with the customer in the evaluation process so they understand and agree with the evaluation before making a decision. 3.2. The customer will be given a signed receipt or written statement, which includes a description of the article, its weight, the price paid and an explanation of any visible hallmarks. 3.3. We will inform the customer before the transaction has been completed and confirmed, there is a possibility that their item(s) may go to be recycled immediately. 3.4. We will strive to improve upon these recommendations and initiate a workable protocol that all staff will abide by.

Regular |


Where to go, what to read, what to see… The Queen’s Diamonds by Hugh Roberts (£60, Royal Collections Publications) Published to mark the Diamond Jubilee, this is the first authorised and definitive account of the diamond jewellery in the collection of Queen Elizabeth ll. The author, Sir Hugh Roberts is the former Director of the Royal Collection and Surveyor

Emeritus of The Queen’s Works of Art and he charts the history of each item of jewellery and even individual stones as they pass through successive generations of the Royal Family. As tastes changed certain pieces were transformed and he shows how new jewellery (in many cases) was made using diamonds from unfashionable items. Apparently Queen Mary was a particular fan of altering and recycling jewels – even if they happened to be wedding presents!

Sales & Exhibitions

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.

May 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 items, from ancient to modern. 13th-17th: The Goldsmiths’ Company Pavilion, Somerset House, London WC2 Part of London Jewellery Week, 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.

15th-17th: Cockpit Arts Open Studios, London WC1 & 22nd-24th: London SE8 A chance to shop from designer makers of jewellery, such as Ute Decker, Ruth Tomlinson and Tania Clarke Hall. Ring by Ruth Tomlinson 22nd-24th: Craft & Design Fair, Henley Show Ground, Henley-on-Thames Around 150 British craftmakers, including silversmiths and jewellers selling direct to the public. 27th-30th: New Designers, Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 The first week of this two-week exhibition, which presents the work of the next generation of designers, will include jewellery, metalwork, ceramics and glass. ‘One Year On’ will showcase collections from selected designers who have graduated since the 2011 event.

Paintings, drawings, prints and photos record the various ways in which the jewellery has been worn, reflecting changing fashions and the personal style of the wearer. For instance Queen Alexandra had a habit of ‘layering’ jewellery, which set a trend that lasted for decades – as did her penchant for long strings of pearls and dog-collar necklaces. Among the pieces featured in the beautifully-illustrated book are: Queen Victoria’s Coronation Necklace and Earrings, Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara and The Queen’s Williamson Diamond Brooch. A selection of the pieces included in the book will be on display in a special exhibition: Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, 30th June-8th July and 31st July-7th October 2012. For further details please visit:

Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs May 19th-23rd: VicenzaOro Charm Spring, Fiera di Vicenza, Italy Jewellery from around 1,400 Italian exhibitors showing fashion, precious metals and stones. June 1st-4th: JCK Las Vegas, USA Over 2,500 companies from 22 countries showing jewellery, gems and timepieces. 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. 21st-24th: Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, Hong Kong Convention Centre Around 1,500 exhibitors of jewellery and gemstones from 37 countries. 30th-3rd July: Eclat de Mode – Bijorhca, Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, France A new earlier date for this jewellery show of fashion, haute couture, designer and fine jewellery, as well as watches, accessories.

The Voice of the Industry 63






















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| Regular


Last Word This month the Last Word goes to David Johnson (60 this year!), md of Rex Johnson & Sons family jewellers, with shops in Birmingham city centre and Dudley. Personal Profile An expert in fine antiques, silverware and diamonds, David has built up a reputation for collecting items of historical significance. He purchased at the Duchess of Windsor sale in Geneva as well as at the auction of Jackie Kennedy’s estate in New York and in 2006, acquired Princess Margaret’s treasured racing binoculars at Christie’s in London. With the gold ‘boom’, Rex Johnson, established 35 years ago, is now also renowned for its willingness to buy jewellery, coins and scrap gold. As a result it is now one of the most prominent gold buyers in the Midlands. David’s son Ben is the third generation to have joined the family business. How would you describe your personal style? Exciting, varied… and a little flamboyant! What three words describe you best… in your view and according to others? I’d say energetic, entertaining and competitive. My wife, daughter and sons would say energetic, embarrassing and loveable! To what do you attribute your success? Daily lessons and advice from my father during our 30 years working together. He was a real inspiration and a great teacher. I also believe in trusting my instinct and my ability to communicate with my loyal staff and the media. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be? I would bring back the process of the full-hallmark. I believe the history of an item is important – and interesting – and the recent introduction of the laser mark could mean that these finer details are no longer available.

66 The Jeweller May 2012

Tell us something not many people know about you. I was an actor before I came into the jewellery trade. I started in Tom Brown’s School Days in the West End, appeared on television shows and sang cabaret around the world. Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? As a teenager, I would have gone to drama school rather than stage school. From my experience stage school is agency-led and they put you forward for a role as soon as your face fits, whereas at drama school they allow you to train and learn professionally before being encouraged to go out and earn. Favourite shopping destination (shop, street, city or country!) Why? Petticoat Lane, London. I used to work there and although it has changed a great deal since then I still have very fond memories every time I visit. I love the variety, the hustle and bustle, and the noise. I like that – it’s more of an experience than a shopping trip.

Where is your favourite holiday destination? Watergate Bay, Cornwall. No airport, no flights – and Britain really does have amazing scenery. If the sun is shining there’s nothing better than a coastal walk with my family and beloved dogs, followed by an alfresco lunch in one of the Bay’s fabulous restaurants. I’m all for the ‘stay-cation’! If not the jewellery industry, what might your alternative career have been? The stage was my first choice and it still comes in useful when customers enter the shop. For me, the moment they walk through the door it’s like the curtains open and I start performing! What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – it’s a must see, a real gem! Do you Tweet? Yes, in the shower! What is your chosen form of exercise? Playing tennis, table tennis, skiing and walking my ‘girls’ (Molly and Millie). Quick Fire • Red or white wine? Red • Diamonds or coloured stones? Diamonds! • White or yellow metal? White • TV or radio? TV • Jewellery on men? Yes, but not on me. • Delegator or control freak? Very much delegator. • Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles then, Stones now. • Paperback or e-reader? Paperback – I’m a bit of a technophobe.




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Jeweller May 2012  

Jeweller May 2012

Jeweller May 2012  

Jeweller May 2012