Jeweller December 2011
The Jeweller is produced in conjunction with the British Jewellers’ Association
The Voice of The Industry
Keeping up appearances – display and store design ideas Top tips to achieve RJC certification • NAG 2011 review
Jeweller The Voice of The Industry
C O N T E N T S
D E C
There’s no time like the present – financial downturn
Member of the Month
Education & Training
or not – to ramp up the shop-fit wow factor.
Belinda Morris talks to jewellers who are drawing in
Opinion: Tony Gordon
The Last Word
customers with a bright new look.
Mary Brittain discovers how packaging companies are working hard to help jewellers get their branding message across to the customer
Setting a Good Example
As the number of UK jewellery businesses achieving RJC certification steadily increases, Harriet Kelsall
The Jeweller is published by the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For more information about The Jeweller visit: www.thejewellermagazine.com
describes the process in the hope that others will
The magazine is printed on paper and board that has met acceptable environmental accreditation standards.
take up the challenge
Cover Image In conjunction with Hallmark Design and Shopfitting Ltd 266 Kings Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham, West Midlands B44 0SA Tel: 0121 355 3333 Fax 0121 355 5017 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hallmarkdesign.co.uk
The National Association
Sales Director: Ian Francis
Tel: 020 7613 4445
78a Luke Street,
Fax: 020 7729 0143
London EC2A 4XG
Tel: 020 7613 4445 www.jewellers-online.org Editor: Belinda Morris Tel: 01692 538007 email@example.com BJA Marketing & PR Manager:
Classified Advertising: Neil Oakford firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director: Ben Page email@example.com
Mary Brittain, Tony Gordon,
Tel: 0121 237 1110
Miles Hoare, Jo Young
Although every effort is made to ensure that the information supplied is accurate, the NAG disclaims and/or does not accept liability for any loss, damage or claim whatsoever that may result from the information given. Information and ideas are for guidance only and members should always consult their own professional advisers. The NAG accepts no responsibility for any advertiser, advertisement or insert in The Jeweller. Anyone having dealings with any advertiser must rely on their own enquiries.
The Voice of the Industry 3
Communiqué M I C H A E L
H O A R E ’ S
Michael Hoare has a change of heart on the subject of the Olympics, considers the flip-side of the employment issue and rejoices in the continuing demise of the carrier bag.
Seven circles of Hell? Getting around London by public transport isn’t much fun at the best of times, so I must confess to having had mixed feelings about the forthcoming Olympics. The Tube at rush hour is regularly like a scene from Dante’s Inferno; add thousands of extra visitors and spectators – plus their rucksacks – and the prospects for summer 2012 look grim. Transport for London predictions of meltdown and helpful suggestions like avoiding the Tube had me, like others, contemplating an exodus for the games’ duration. But that is to concentrate on the negative. The reality is that next year there are some exciting opportunities for business, and not just in the capital. Besides the Olympics there’s the Cultural Olympiad, and we mustn’t forget the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations; but to take advantage needs prior planning. Is it worth it, and will only London benefit? Judging from what the British Business Club tell me the Olympics have the potential to give the UK economy a boast of about £5.1 billion in the long term, with immediate consumer spending of £750 million, so there is money to be had. And it’s not all concentrated in the South East. With various countries and sporting disciplines already
4 The Jeweller December 2011
setting up pre-games training camps around the country, and trade and inward missions already planning to travel to the UK there are opportunities over and above the obvious ones like providing corporate hospitality. Vancouver estimates that 2,500 jobs were created as a result of business contacts made at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Sydney has built on its sporting heritage since the games and claims to have had over 11 million visitors to the Olympic Stadium since their event. On the cultural side, various countries will be setting up national houses throughout 2012 to showcase their national characteristics. Fifteen venues are already known, and include Brazil, which will be taking Somerset House; the Czech Republic taking The Business Design Centre; Italy, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre; and Switzerland at Glaziers’ Hall. More will follow, but each will bring with it a retinue of staff and business contacts eager to spend their money. But, you might ask, “Isn’t it too late for my company to get involved?” The answer apparently is ‘no’! The main Olympic window will stretch from March through to December 2012 and, apart from those with licences actively looking for retailers to distribute their goods, there are still plenty of
opportunities to run Olympic themed activities. Again, according to the British Business Club, now is the time to think of the who, what and where of your Olympic event.
The top and bottom of it In a difficult month for the economy, and particularly retail, there has come more unwelcome news about unemployment levels, especially among the young. Unemployment in the UK rose by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million; of those 1.02 million were between 16 and 24 years old. At the same time, the number of self-employed reached a record high of 4.09 million. Clearly the figures aren’t good. The private sector is yet to generate sufficient jobs to absorb those shed by the public sector, and reading between the lines there is as big a problem with the ‘underemployed’ as the unemployed. I mean older managers taking short term assignments as ‘consultants’; and young people, subsidised by their parents, making do with part-time work. The young need to find their way in world; however another, less known, statistic shows that you can teach old dogs new tricks. In the same week as the unemployment statistics came the news that the £1.4bn skills training scheme, intended to ameliorate
Comment | youth unemployment, has seen a huge increase in uptake. Not surprising you might say. The figures, according to Further Education Weekly, show that for those between 25 and 34 there has been a 179% increase. But outstripping all others are the over 60s with an 878% rise in registrations. Counter-intuitive you might think, until you realise that with no upper limit on the working age, and state pensions coming later, today’s sixty year old may have another twenty years of working life ahead. Just time to enjoy another career!
Bin there done that! Some months ago I wrote an item entitled ‘Taxes in the Bin’ about the Irish Republic’s efforts to reduce the number of carrier bags in circulation, for both environmental and aesthetic reasons. Now the Welsh have followed suit, and from 1st October 2011, there has been a minimum charge of 5p on all single use carrier bags. The Welsh Government having concluded that this charge should be enough to influence consumer behavior and reduce the number of bags given out without putting an unnecessary burden on shoppers. Apparently Welsh shoppers took home an estimated 350 million carrier bags from the major supermarkets alone in 2009 – or 273 bags per household excluding those from high street stores and smaller shops. As the result of a voluntary agreement, members of the British Retail Consortium managed to make a 49% reduction against 2006 levels. Now, in the face of slowing progress, the charge has been introduced to push the target even higher. My own experience is that although we have an ample supply of reusable ‘bags for life’ at home, memory failure or impulse buying often mean having to buy yet another single use bag, and this is the experience of about 40% of fellow shoppers. Clearly this can’t continue on a national scale, as it is estimated that UK shoppers go through 13,000 carrier bags in their lifetimes (DEFRA); 80% of British shoppers put everything into free shopping bags; polyethylene is not bio-degradable with each taking 500-1000 years to decompose; and even if they are biodegradable and fully compostable, they still represent a waste of resources. Welsh retailers are being encouraged to help by displaying posters, making reusable bags more appealing, and giving positive incentives for customers to bring their own bags. Meanwhile, further afield, sportswear manufacturer Puma has announced that their kit will soon be recyclable. Talking to a German business magazine, Franz Koch said “We are confident that in the near future we will be able to bring the first shoes, T shirts and bags that are either compostable or recyclable to the market.” It appears that the company is following the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ principles expounded by McDonough and Braungart in their 2002 book of the same name. Professor Braungart is an advocate of the skillful use and re-use of materials so that environmental concerns do not limit economic growth. In practical terms it means that in the future Puma sports equipment can be shredded and added to the potato peel and egg shells on the compost heap. It’s a laudable ambition, but is it a great leap forward? My recollection of my teenage sons’ trainers was that they always smelled like a compost heap and I assumed they were already decomposing!
The Voice of the Industry 5
Comment | This month:
“Fierce competition is driving jewellers to improve their look and the presentation of their stock. It’s not just to maintain business, but to increase their slice of the cake.”
Can there be any shop window more (potentially) Christmassy than a jeweller’s? The very nature of our industry, the precious goods we have around us, really is the stuff of dreams. Descriptions like ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ and ‘Treasure Trove’ are used when discussing a sparkling profusion of our stock-in-trade. So it stands to reason that a beautifully-dressed window, at this time of year particularly, should have more than an air of magic and glamour about it. Please, if you have such a window, it’s not too late enter it in our Christmas Window Display Competition. Just take a picture of it and wing it over to me – you may just win a bottle of bubbly for your efforts! It seems that for many of you, this will be the first Christmas for your brand spanking new
shop re-furb. It may be financially gloomy out there, but it hasn’t prevented a healthy number of jewellers from giving their shops a new look. It could be anything from a complete face lift to a judicious nip and tuck here and there… but whatever the move, the display equivalent of Botox can only help further to lure the Christmas shoppers. Turn to page 32 for display tips, case histories and some shop-fitting news, views and developments. I don’t wish to cast a shadow over this happily hectic time of year, but aside from the Champagne, mince pies and special festive gift-wrap, particular attention should also be paid to security. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to sign up to the SaferGems initiative.
“…we need to think about what we really want as a jewellery industry. Do we want to make sure we are behaving as responsibly as we can? Yes.”
It’s been proven to work and surely everyone could do with a little extra help (and several more pairs of eyes) when it comes to protecting shop, stock, staff, customers… and yourself? So all that remains is for me, on behalf of The Jeweller team, to wish you all a safe, prosperous, fun-filled and very happy Christmas. See you at the start of what has to be a great New Year!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Voice of the Industry 7
| Industry News
Retail jobs being cut as sales fall igh street sales volumes fell, on a year ago in November, for the sixth consecutive month, with retailers expecting another decline in December, according to the CBI. Meanwhile retailers are reducing their headcount at the fastest rate in two years. The CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey revealed that 26 per cent of retailers saw the volume of sales rise in the year to November, while 44 per cent said they fell. The resulting rounded balance of -19 per cent was weaker than expected (a balance of + four per cent) and represents the fastest decline in sales since March 2009 (-44 per cent). However the news is not a black and white matter says the NAG’s CEO Michael Hoare. “This is a more complex issue than it appears at first glance. Not all retail sectors have reacted to the downturn in sales in the same way. While fashion retailers are cutting staff, jewellers recognise that theirs is a specialist product that needs trained staff to sell; and for security reasons alone staff numbers must not drop below an optimum level,” he explains. “So, while our recent business survey showed that business confidence is at a very low ebb, jewellers were not planning cuts in manpower. Undoubtedly, the rise in VAT had an effect on margins in fast moving sectors; the mild weather has affected clothing sales; and both may have been the catalyst for job cuts. But it must also be remembered that the retail landscape has been changing dramatically of late. For example, internet retailers need less shops and less shop staff to achieve the same results as before, so there is no simple cause and effect here,” he adds. The CBI’s announcement came ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 29th November and coincided with research launched by the British Retail Consortium which gives ‘new evidence on retailing’s importance to kick-starting growth and job creation’. The research – ‘UK Retailing: leading globally, serving locally’ – brings together data on all facets of retailing for the first time. It makes the case for urgent action from the Chancellor – not just statements of intent – to implement a credible plan for economic growth in which retail can power the recovery. The report, produced for the BRC by Oxford Economics and the Oxford Institute of Retail Management, shows that the sector – a great British success story – makes major contributions to: the economy (£292bn. of retail sales in 2010, 20 per cent of GDP, £180bn. of goods purchased for resale and £47bn. of goods and services used by retailers themselves) and employment (10.5 per cent of all jobs, 40 per cent of under 20s employment, 12 per cent of total UK investment in training). Retailers already make substantial contribution to the Exchequer (£18bn. from the four largest taxes alone).
Fabergé returns to London
Bonhams’ rare diamond sale magnificent 22.87 carat diamond solitaire ring is just one of the highlights of the Bonhams Fine Jewellery Auction in New York on 13th December. It is one of a group of four ‘exceptional’ pieces from a private Californian collection. “The emeraldcut D flawless clarity, type IIa is a rare diamond,” explains Susan Abeles, director of Jewellery US at Bonhams. “It belongs to an exclusive category of diamonds because of its colour, clarity and classification. Rarely does one find these superior qualities,
8 The Jeweller December 2011
which have long been associated with the Golconda diamonds.” Also included in the collection is a fancy yellow diamond necklace with a total weight of yellow diamonds of 82.26 carats, alternating with nearly colourless diamonds weighing 27.10 carats (estimated price $500,000-$750,000). This necklace is also offered in the sale with a similar bracelet and pendant earrings. A selection of outstanding diamonds, natural pearls and important signed pieces
or the first time in almost a century, Fabergé returns to London with a new home in the heart of Mayfair, approximately half way between the original Dover and Bond Street, which opened in 1906 and 1910 respectively. Due to the repatriation of Russian resources at the beginning of the First World War, the last Fabergé store in London closed in 1915. That store, then located at 173 Bond Street, was a renowned destination visited by royalty, nobility, potentates, tycoons, socialites and connoisseurs from around the world. The new store features a striking lilac facade for the festive season, echoing the guilloche and enamel techniques for which Fabergé was renowned. The distinctive interior – created to appear warm as well as modern – is a fusion of old and new. The shop carries pieces from the key Fabergé collection including: Les Fabuleuses de Fabergé, the Solyanka Treasures, the one-of-a-kind high jewellery egg pendants and the line of men’s and women’s watches.
were the highlights of the Fine Jewellery Sales that took place on 8th December at Bonhams, New Bond Street, London. The top lot of the sale was a top quality diamond – an internally flawless, marquise-cut diamond ring, D colour weighing 9.22 carats, estimated to sell for £500,000-£700,000). The largest diamond in the sale, a brilliant cut diamond ring weighing 24.47 carats, was predicted to sell for £170,00-£220,000.
Industry News |
EC One winner named larice Price-Thomas is the winner of EC One’s graduate jewellery design competition – EC One Unsigned. This year’s competition was judged by industry professionals including Jos Skeates, jeweller designer and founder of the London-based shop, jewellery designer William Cheshire and Rebecca Van Rooijen from Benchpeg. “We were so pleased with the level of entries for the second year of the competition,” says Skeates. “Clarice has produced work that really captured our imagination and her meticulous attention to detail and innovative way of bringing watch-making skills to jewellery, won us over. We expect great things from her – she could easily translate her work into a viable collection for most boutique jewellers.” Clarice’s ‘Time Never Stops’ collection was created from a fascination with horology and time and is an intricate amalgamation of watch making and jewellery design. As the daughter of a watchmaker Clarice grew up surrounded by elements of that trade and was taught at an early age how to take a watch apart. The collection includes necklaces, earrings and rings, some of which feature moving parts, that, when turned, reveal the word ‘love’. Clarice will now work closely with Jos and Alison Skeates, along with EC One’s in-house goldsmith Jude Huntley to create a collection to be sold by the shop.
Charity motor bike ride olverhampton jeweller John Henn of TA Henn is planning a motor bike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End next April, to raise funds for a Motor Neurone Disease charity. “Simon Cupitt, a jewellery designer maker, NAG member and all round solid gold man, has recently been diagnosed with the disease, at the age of 42,” explains Henn. “There are challenging times ahead for him and his family, and as the grapevine has a habit of distorting reality I wanted to speak on Simon’s behalf. He is not looking for sympathy, just support from all his friends and colleagues out there in Jewellery Land. Please feel free to email him your positive vibes (telephoning would be difficult) on email@example.com or write to him at the store: Cupitt Jewellers, Beech Tree House, 16 The Strand, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 8AB.” Henn’s Opinion feature in the next issue of The Jeweller will outline further details of the ride which will take place with the support of BMW motorbikes.
Lapponia presents guest designer innish jewellery brand Lapponia has announced that Mari Isopahkala is to be its Guest Designer 2012, after her competition entry entitled Pisara ‘Drop’ won the first prize in the Next Episode jewellery design competition to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. Mari’s unique entry serves as a basis for Lapponia’s Winter Pearl collection. In the award-winning Pisara jewellery the clusters of glimmering silver parts depict morning dew on leaves and grass. Mari’s original piece was turned into the Winter Pearl collection through the addition of a new element – frost – conveyed by the rimy matte surface. With the assistance of one of Lapponia’s model goldsmiths, technical solutions were worked out and realised in the designed material – silver.
S N I P P E T S Assay Office launches valuation service The Sheffield Assay Office has collaborated with the Guild of Valuers to offer professional branded valuations on jewellery, watches and silverware. With a same-day service available on its Valuation Days it can also offer a drop-off service, on-site visits at various locations and a quick turnaround on postal valuations. The first Valuation Day took place on 1st December. Prices are dependent on the total value of all items contained in the valuation. For information on services and prices or to book a valuation appointment call 0114 231 2121 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mastermelt joins LBMA Last month, precious metal reclamation company Mastermelt Ltd, was accepted as an associate member of the prestigious London Bullion Market Association. The LBMA is the principal body involved in the buying and selling of physical gold and silver. Its membership is made up of leading international refiners, banks and brokers, including all of the companies involved in setting the daily gold and silver fixes. Gary Williams, head of Presman Mastermelts’ jewellery division said: “We consider it an honour to have been accepted as an associate member and we look forward to taking an active role in the future.” Mastermelts Ltd is the parent company of Presman (Bullion) Ltd, the UK’s oldest trade only scrap buying counter. WF&Co introduced Watchfinder, the on-line retailer of pre-owned fine watches has been re-branded as WF&Co, with which moniker comes a number of new services for its customers, such as on-line magazine, membership scheme, customer events, as well as a vintage watch section. More than 1,000 pre-owned watches are held in stock, all supported by a 12 month warranty, and new watch sales are referred to a network of authorised retailers. Many people need to sell a watch in order to buy a new one, and WF&Co is able to help retailers to do that – as well as being an outlet for retailers’ discontinued stock.
The Voice of the Industry 9
| Industry News
Chet Baker watch launched by Oris he latest edition to Oris’ ‘Cultre’ collection is a watch that celebrates the musical talent of Chet Baker. Renowned for his rendition of My Funny Valentine, the hour indexes on the black dial are bars from the song and the 12 o’clock position features the little clef, while the double bar line at 8 o’clock represents the first eight bars of the song which have to be repeated. The limited edition watch has a stainless steel case, with double curved sapphire crystal and a non-reflective coating on the inside. The case back features a silhouette of Baker with his trumpet and the watch’s limited number, 1929 – the year of Baker’s birth. The strap is black leather with a crocodile imprint. The watch is presented in a unique box with a mechanically-driven metronome.
Introducing Fashion Angel he brainchild of Alison Lewy, Fashion Angel provides mentoring, networking and business funding for both new and established fashion industry entrepreneurs. The initiative seeks to challenge the high failure rate of designer and SME businesses in part due to lack of business skills, entrepreneurial training and underinvestment, by providing specialist mentoring and support from a collective of industry professionals. Fashion Angel offers support in all aspects of a fashion-related business, whether it’s strategic, operational, specific issues or preparing a business for investment. It can help anyone with a new label, innovative idea, product or service in the fashion, jewellery or homewares sectors. It also provides the link between angel investors that are committed to supporting the industry and viable businesses looking for external funding to grow. The Fashion Angel Business Club is a networking community for creative businesses offering events and workshops that celebrate and support cutting edge design talent. The group will run regular networking events featuring speakers on topics of interest. www.fashion-angel.co.uk
S N I P P E T S iPhone Apps for Signet H. Samuel and Ernest Jones launched iPhone Applications last month – the latest in a string of technological advances aimed at making purchases easier for the consumer, that the high street jewellers have implemented. Building on the success of hsamuel.co.uk, Signet has also lauunched live webchat assistance on both sites, meaning that customers are able to discuss their purchase and seek advice as they visit the site. “Jewellery is an involved and emotional purchase, requiring real expert advice,” says Julian Shirley, Signet’s head of MultiChannel. “We want our customers to be further reassured that we are with them every step of the process, whichever channel they choose to make their purchase.” Award for CW Sellors
GIA creates 4Cs iPad App he Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) has harnessed new technology to help educate and engage consumers on the four Cs of diamond quality. The new GIA 4Cs iPad App for consumers is now downloadable for free on iTunes. A retailer version of this App, designed to be used at point of sale, is also downloadable for free from GIA’s retailer support site: www.retailer.gia.edu Both versions of the App feature video and interactive tools that teach consumers how GIA grades diamonds using the four Cs. It explains the GIA grading scales for colour, clarity and cut and how diamond grades can affect value. The App also explains the origins of the carat system and provides information about fluorescence, diamond treatments and synthetics. The App also features direct access to GIA Report Check, a secure online database of GIA grading reports. Consumers can verify the contents of a GIA report and view a PDF version of that report – directly from their iPads – by entering a GIA report number and carat weight. The feature also offers retailers the benefit of using reports as selling tools in a quick and convenient way.
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Following a record number of entries for the Midlands Family Business Awards, fine jewellers CW Sellors has been awarded runner-up in the Business of the Year category, at the event held last month. The awards are judged by an independent panel which takes into consideration the way businesses are run, their commitment to staff training and welfare, outstanding customer service, turnover, innovation, family values and work in the community. In the case of CW Sellors, the judges paid special tribute to the ‘beautiful product’ created. Gold from Lola Rose Fashion jewellery brand Lola Rose, founded over 10 years ago and specialising in all-coloured stone pieces, will be launching its first ever metal-based jewellery for Spring/Summer 2012. Taking inspiration from Roman coin designs, the Shield Ring features a beaten gold-plated face that is softened with a Swarovski coloured crystal border.
| Industry News
RJC certification update he Responsible Jewellery Council has announced that its membership has grown to more than 350 (and counting) of which, to date, 65 have achieved certification, meeting the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by its Member Certification System. Significantly for the UK jewellery industry, independent business Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design achieved this milestone in November and earlier this month Beaverbrooks was also notified of its certification success (turn to p46 to read about firsthand experiences of the process involved). Other companies that were certified in the last month are: Dialink France SAS, Dianco, interjewel (HK), Saraj Diamonds NV, Shainydiam BVBA, Aspeco NV, Antwerp Star Diamonds NV, Pluczenik Diamond Company NV, Excellent Facets Inc, Glorios Gems BVBA, E. Schreiber Inc., Arjav Associates NV, Super Diam BVBA, Leo Schachter Jewelry inc. and Diajewel NV. Also last month, the RJC announced that it and the not-for-profit organisation Diamond Development Initiative International have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to work cooperatively on advancing their shared objectives. These include: improving social, environmental and labour practices, and good governance in the artisanal diamond mining sector, enhanced relationships between large-scale and artisanal diamond mining and increased market access for jewellery raw materials produced by the latter communities.
Diamonds that are fit for a Queen lightly tangental to the jewellery industry, but why not? To commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year, British fashion label Jaeger has created a really beautiful diamond print scarf and smaller neckerchief created by Stuart Stockdale. Oversized diamonds of different cuts float on a subtle, dusty pink background. The 100 per cent silk pieces, which are sure to be future collectors’ items, have been printed in England, are priced at £50 and £99 and will be available from Jaeger stores from February 2012.
History of men’s jewellery show PhD research student at Queen Mary, University of London, has curated a British Museum exhibition of contemporary jewellery inspired by men’s fashion from both the Renaissance era and today. Natasha Awais-Dean is studying the significance of jewellery owned and worn by men in the Tudor and Jacobean periods. For the exhibition she asked post-graduate craftsmen and women at Bishopsland Educational Trust, Oxfordshire, to design and make pieces inspired by the British Museum’s Renaissance jewels, while also considering the tastes of modern men. During the Renaissance period, men wore as much jewellery as women, Awais-Dean reveals. “Far from just adorning the body, their accessories could reflect their wealth, social status, job, morals and lineage,” she explains. “For this display I wanted similar ideas to be conveyed in the modern pieces. The silversmiths’ works include a business-card holder engraved with the design of a Celtic dragon’s tail; chains inspired by Renaissance chains of office and belt buckles and a brooch in the form of a Tudor chimney. The final collection is now on display at the British Museum alongside original pieces from early-modern European history, and runs until 30th January, 2012.
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S N I P P E T S Amber competition Organisers of Amberif, Poland’s Amber, Jewellery and Gemstone Fair (21st-23rd March, 2012) have announced the details of the annual amber design competition. Open to individual designers as well as manufacturing teams, the aim is to design ‘an original piece of artistic jewellery or applied art with amber’. As long as amber is the focus of the piece, any other materials can be used. Deadlines for entries is 10th February, 2012 and for all details contact: email@example.com or visit: www.amberif.pl Accolade for Vivienne Johnston Jeweller Vivienne Johnston, founder of Glasgow-based Fifi Bijoux, was announced as one of the Future 100 Young Social Entrepreneurs of the Year during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011. GEW is ‘a worldwide movement of entreprenerial people with enterprising talents, who turn their ideas into reality’. It began in the UK in 2004 as Enterprise Week and since then has spread to 115 countries, with nearly 24,000 organisations. The Future 100 Awards were launched in 2008 to recognise and profile young entrepreneurs running businesses that address people, planet and profit. New stacking rings Inspired by the famous luxurious shopping district in Tokyo and tapping into the trend for layered jewellery, these new ‘Ginza’ stacking rings by Tateossian are in sterling silver combined with stones such as amethyst, labradorite, onyx and black rutilated quartz. The whole collection, with prices starting at £75, comprises pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings as well as the rings, and will be launched in March.
| NAG News
NAG rolls out exciting new seminar programme for 2012 Advanced Selling Course Two day (date TBC) Aimed at senior sales staff and facilitated by Virada Training – a company that specialises in sales training for the luxury retail sector – this course focuses on daily real life sales situations, and shares the secrets of sales excellence. Discover cutting edge sales innovations and explore practical ways of creating a positive buying experience for every customer; unlock personal potential and enjoy even greater sales success. Feedback from delegates: “Structure, content and trainer were superb; I have already recommended the training to another jeweller and to my boss so that other members of our team may attend.” “Amazing; really positive. I can’t wait to put new ideas and skills into practice.” “One of my staff says it’s the best thing she has ever done! It has boosted her confidence no end.” Selling to Chinese customers Date TBC Chinese customers already account for about 30 per cent of the luxury goods market in Britain. Are you making the most of this sales opportunity? This one-day course will open eyes to cultural differences and expectations. Your team will learn how to provide the best possible service and maximise sales to Chinese customers by creating the right buying experience. Feedback from delegates: “Excellent presentation. Explained things clearly and precisely.” “Great. Very informative.”
Essential Display Seminar (18.04.12 and 4.10.12) The first steps to an eye catching shop 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: “Very complete. It has definitely improved my display skills.” Dynamic Display Workshop (23.05.12) Now 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 and it challenges attendees to design and build a new window display that will target customers with a particular promotion – seasonal/Easter/Christmas for instance. The workshop will focus not only on display but will also incorporate a strong marketing element that will require the delegates to link their display to a plan of promotional activity to raise the profile of their store, guided by Judy Head. Armed Robbery – Reducing the risk and improving profitability – A Masterclass (1.04.12) This new one-day programme examines the human reaction to the impact of a robbery and provides a number of practical skills that have been shown to work in real life situations. Facilitated by Training For Success and accredited by the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth the programme carries both an insight into current research within this area of criminal activity and effective solutions for robbery management that can be applied immediately within the working environment. Diamonds and Diamond Grading (16/17.10.12) Eric Emms, the leading authority on diamond grading, offers this practical seminar which
14 The Jeweller December 2011
is presented specifically from the retailers’ 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: “A good investment to promote sales. I would highly recommend it.”
For more information about NAG Seminars call Amanda White on 020 7613 4445 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council & Forum event he NAG will be holding the first Council & Forum day on Wednesday 14th March at the brand new Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell. The Centre, says the Goldsmiths’ Company, promises to be ‘a visionary new development that will become a hub for members of the Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Trades, the local community and the general public – a unique space in which to work, learn and relax.’ We are very excited to be hosting the Council & Forum event at this impressive new venue and hope that you will also join us on the day. Further details are yet to be confirmed. However if you would like to register your interest please contact Ritu Verma at the NAG on: 020 7613 4445 or email: email@example.com
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New Member Applications Members wishing to comment on any
Business Support – NAG Services
• Education & Seminars: Discount on education courses including the new JetPro diploma; last year NAG members saved over £100,000 on JET courses. This year we also launch our JET 2 Online course. Discounted seminar courses on a range of topics with expert tuition to help your staff improve their knowledge and boost sales. One and two day courses available. • Executive Development Forum: Expert guidance on retail and business management issues; the strength of the EDF is the way in which information and ideas are shared by group members for mutual benefit, while retaining full confidentiality. • FREE Legal Helpline: Free legal advice through the NAG’s helpline. In 2010, members saved over £21,000 worth of solicitors’ hourly charges. • Institute of Registered Valuers: Members using the services of an Institute Registered Valuer can provide customers with a professional valuation service and are listed on the website free of charge. • SaferGems: A national initiative in partnership with T H March, that sends email alerts to jewellers with information on suspicious events and incidents. SaferGems works in conjunction with the UK police force and co-ordinates data across police forces to improve identification and conviction of criminals.
The Government, Trading Standards, industry and the media all turn to the Association for advice. The NAG is a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, with our CEO Michael Hoare being elected as its UK representative of the Trade Association Forum. We also have a strong international presence, in particular through our close association with CIBJO, the International Jewellery Confederation.
These are just a few of the many benefits and services the NAG can offer. For more information on our Financial Services and External Business Support Providers, contact Amy Oliver: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.jewellers-online.org
Boshers Fine Jewels, Woking, Surrey
Update on the NAG’s Grant of Arms
Aurum (Croydon) Ltd, Croydon, Surrey
• Information Hotline: Access to the latest trade information, contact details and advice from trained industry staff. • The Jeweller magazine: The leading trade magazine is published ten times a year; written by the industry for the industry. Free subscription and discounted advertising for members. • N:gauge newsletter: A free monthly online newsletter; all the latest industry information straight to your inbox. • Website: Access to a wide range of fact-files and downloads, web listing for jewellers, and information on NAG activities and services.
The National Association of Goldsmiths Grant of Arms is a source of pride for many of our members. It illustrates our credentials as a long-established and wellrespected association, not only within the jewellery industry, but in industry as a whole. It epitomises professionalism, quality and inspires customer confidence.
Classic Watches of Warwick, Warwick,
Recognition • Grant of Arms: Full members are granted the privilege of using the NAG’s Grant of Arms on their printed material, in store and on their website; epitomising professionalism and quality, and inspiring customer confidence. • Logos: Use of the specially designed membership logo on electronic sources and other material. • Membership Certificates: Membership certificates sent out annually for members to display in all their branches.
of these applications can call Amy Oliver on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at: email@example.com within three weeks of receipt of this issue.
Ordinary Member Applications Guess & Co., Surbiton, Surrey Dynasty Jewels Ltd, Hatton Garden, London
Allied Applications Solitaire Gemmological Laboratories Ltd, London
Alumni Associate Roger Mead, Hove, East Sussex
IRV Applications If members wish to comment on any of these, please contact Sandra Page on tel: (029) 2081 3615.
New Member Applicants Hannah M McWhirter PJDip PJGemDip PJValDip FGA, Thurlow Champness & Son, Bury St Edmunds
Upgrading from Member to Fellow Patricia Negus PJDip PJGemDIp PJValDip, Durham
Retired/Resigned 2010-11 Lapsed Futuro Ltd, Hatton Garden, London Lionel H Webster, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
As of 9th November 2011, due to popular demand, the Grant of Arms can now be used by full members of the Association on their websites. For more information please contact Amy Oliver on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Byrne Jewellers, South Okendon, Essex A Baker & Sons Ltd, Warrington R J Skupham Jeweller, Glossop, Derbyshire Sydneys (Leeds) Ltd, Bradford, West Yorkshire Meadows Watchmakers and Jewellers, Liverpool Stephen Diggle Jewellers, Peterborough C R Lowry, Lisburne, Co.Antrim, ROI Warwickshire F J Burger, Maidstone, Kent Glydon & Guess Ltd, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey Henry Pidduck, Southport, Merseyside Jenny Wren Jewellery, Cowbridge, South Glamorgan John Walker Jewellers, Workington, Cumbria Johnston’s of Grange Ltd, Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria Lamont & Wells, Wimbledon, London R & R Stevenson Jewellers, Haywards Heath, West Sussex Stoners, Shipley, West Yorkshire WM Britton & Sons Ltd, Donegal Town, Donegal
The Voice of the Industry 15
| NAG News
NAG member of the Month This issue Amy Oliver speaks to Michael Piggott of Piggotts Jewellers in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. The shop celebrated its 30th anniversary in September of this year, and in 2010 won ‘Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Retailer of the Year’. Congratulations on winning the ‘Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Retailer of the Year’ award for 2010 – what do you think made Piggott’s stand out? We were absolutely thrilled to win the award. We feel that the thing that made us stand out was the customer service that we offer. We are very lucky to have motivated, qualified staff that have been with the company for a number of years. They have built fantastic relationships with our customers and take pride in finding the perfect piece of jewellery for them. Through this, we have many repeat customers and have also had some fantastic feedback on our How was the Piggotts experience for you? forms which we passed onto the judges of the competition. The shop offers customers the opportunity to come to its ‘By Invitation Only Diamond Evenings’, which have always been very popular. This enables them to view a large range of diamond and gem set jewellery while sipping champagne and enjoying canapés. We try to make this an experience for our customers which locally no other retailer provides. You celebrated your 30th anniversary in St. Ives on the 30th September; what drew you to and kept you in the area? We first visited St Ives just over 30 years ago to visit a relative and were so taken by the small market town in Cambridgeshire that when we heard one of the jewellers was retiring we decided to sell our shop in
16 The Jeweller December 2011
Michael and Linda Piggott
Wimbledon and move to St Ives. The town is so attractive with the river and ancient bridge and chapel that we decided we would settle here for good and 10 years ago ‘swapped’ our existing very small shop for the large one we have now and we haven’t looked back. Curiously on our first visit we arrived by train from Cambridge two weeks before the line closure and a few weeks ago the line re-opened as the longest guided bus way in Europe.
overall we are hoping for a fantastic festive trading period! The atmosphere at Christmas is lovely in the shop and we add to it by offering our customers mulled wine in the build up to the day.
Do you have any special plans for the shop over the Christmas period? We have a new shop floor supervisor who started a couple of months ago and has a lot of experience in merchandising – she is working her magic with our windows in ways we have never done before. The windows are fantastic and we are already getting very positive feedback from our customers, so this Christmas we are very excited about how the windows will look! We are also holding a raffle where our customers can win a Toy Watch. All proceeds are going to our local charity MAGPAS, which is an emergency medical charity that relies solely on donations. The charity has a little added meaning for us as this summer one of our ladies was involved in a very nasty car accident and they came to her rescue. We have raised in excess of £2,000 so far this year. Additionally we are holding our sale before Christmas, which is a first for us in the 30 years of us trading in St Ives and so
From your experience, what do you think will be the best selling jewellery in the year ahead? It is rather hard for me to predict what will be the best selling jewellery in 2012 as the trade moves at such a rate. For us I think that Ti Sento will be good. We have also introduced Babette Wasserman which is starting to spark a bit of interest, so we are hoping for positive things there!
What do you predict will be the most popular items sold in Piggotts this winter season? For us, diamond pendants and earrings have always been popular as Christmas approaches. We have been able to buy some amazing stock this year and I think they will go very well! Then, of course, there is the Pandora phenomenon, which for us is working very successfully. We have also introduced Ti Sento this year and it is becoming very popular with our customers. We have also introduced some new watch brands – Juicy Couture and Toy Watch – which appear to be going down well with our younger customers.
Every month, I ask our interviewee for an anecdote about their most memorable customer- does one spring to mind? My most memorable customer was a charming little old lady who called in and wanted a new battery for her clock, she asked if we could fit a ‘Durex’ one as she had heard they lasted a bit longer! If you would like your business to be considered as Member of the Month, please write in and tell us why! Send an email to: email@example.com
| NAG News: Education & Training
NAG 2011 highlights nother year is almost over and, as we once again deck the halls and stuff the turkey, the NAG has been reflecting on the highs, lows and in-between bits of 2011. Before the events of the last 12 months are consigned to the annals of history, now seems as good a time as any to replay some of the Association’s best moments – its impressive achievements as well of those of its members. Since the year kicked off, the NAG has made a number of great strides, particularly in regard to education and training, with the launch of a number of new courses. Firstly the Association introduced JET Pro – the first course of its kind to offer a flexible modular structure designed specifically to improve students’ key skills in the overall running of a jewellery business. January proved to be a busy month for the education department with the launch of JET Pro coinciding with the unveiling of the JET 1 Online course and the NAG’s new online learning environment – both of which were announced at IJL 2010.
Both of these new courses were revealed when the NAG took the new ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign to February’s Jewellery Show. Designed to encourage business leaders to think about growing the green shoots out of recession, the campaign has been continuing to give advice and information on cost-effective forms of training to ensure our members’ staff are trained to make the most of sales opportunities. The Jewellery Show (at Spring Fair) was, as is ever the case, the ideal platform for the Luke Street team to get up close and personal with our members.
18 The Jeweller December 2011
Our continued commitment to education was sustained through March, when students from across the UK & Ireland, came together for the NAG’s annual student award ceremony. For the 66th year running the Association invited graduates of the JET courses to an evening of celebrations in the beautiful surroundings of the Goldsmiths’ Hall’s Livery Hall. A number of students were praised for their outstanding achievements. For another year, the Greenough Trophy was awarded to the candidate with the
Greenough Trophy award winner Abigail Stradling with Patrick Fuller, NAG President
overall highest marks on the JET 2 course, and the Gemstone award went to the highest achiever to receive a Gemstone Diploma. It was another high-scoring year and after the totals were totted up Abigail Stradling of Allum & Sidaway in Dorchester took away the Greenough Trophy, while Sarah Medhurst of John Medhurst in Bedford was presented with the Gemstone award. April and May saw the NAG continue to provide training and advice to those at the top of the business structure, with another round of our Executive Development Forum. While Mike McGraw
and Michael Hoare facilitated discussions surrounding sound business practices for managers, the education department continued to promote the next round of education improvements. The first of these arrived in June, with our sold-out ‘Selling to Chinese Customers’ course. However, this wasn’t before the Luke Street staff hit the streets to continue with our ‘Grow You Own’ campaign during the aptly named Hatton Garden Festival – a key event of London Jewellery Week which took place in June.
urse mers’ co se Custo e in h C Selling to
Sarah Medhurst, Gemstone Award winner, with NAG Chairman Nicholas Major and Patrick Fuller
As we moved into July, there was no summer break for the education department as it was busy preparing the ground for yet another course launch. With an overwhelming response to the January launch of the online learning environment, the team took its second flagship course – JET 2 – online as of the start of August. Buoyed by the introduction of these courses, the education department was
NAG News: Education & Training | As if that wasn’t enough, the education propelled deep into the second half of department has been kept on its toes all the year with the results of its yearly survey. year round with students attending the final The results of this showed that the amount tutorials before their exams at the end of of students enrolling on a JET course grew October. As always, the team has been by over a third. facilitating, aiding and abetting students in Entering September on a high, the the final month leading up to the exam. education department once again had a And of course we extend our good wishes presence at International Jewellery London. to all students, and hope for another round As proud sponsors of this annual industry extravaganza, the NAG team was out in al en Festiv force to continue helping businesses to tton Gard a H e th at Simpson ‘grow their own’. In addition to our ’s Stacy The NAG usual commitments at IJL, this year the NAG invited two guest speakers to give seminars on SaferGems and Action For Market Towns. In keeping with the NAG policy to inform and educate, members and non-members alike were invited to join us for two talks which had been previewed at the council meeting earlier this year.
of outstanding results which will be discussed in the bumper issue of The Jeweller early in the new year, and celebrated in the Annual Awards evening in March. Over the last few weeks leading up to Christmas the education department will still have its nose to the grindstone as discussions start on the promises that 2012 will bring. These will include a new education centred website as well as the new intake of students in January – it’s going to be yet another exciting year. With the festive period and the new year done and dusted the education department will be fresh, rested and full of Christmas calories to burn, as it battles to make the most of the challenges and opportunities to come. We’d like to thank all students and members for their hard work over the last year, and hope to continue this success into 2012.
October Bransom Award Winner
Unsurprisingly Paula was delighted to learn that she had romped home with this month’s top honour. “I’m surprised that it’s me, but it’s a real pleasure to know your hard work is being acknowledged in such a way,” she said when given the news. “I’ve spent five years in the trade, initially starting my training with a silversmithing course. However, as this was mainly workshop-based learning about craft, I was quite new to the sales side of industry,” she explained. “I’d spoken to colleagues who told me the JET 1 was a great course to get a further understanding of the trade. After some personal research I decided this was the best option for me. I found the course an excellent introduction into the sales side of things. The course was challenging but Mark was a great tutor and always responded quickly if I came a cropper on any questions. I’d like to thank the tutors for their help, as well as my colleagues who’ve been of great support over the course.” The Jeweller would also like to apologise to last month’s winner, Lisa Hayball – who was incorrectly reported as working in the Gold & Silver Shop in Bath. In fact Lisa actually received the award while working in the Gold & Platinum Studio in Bath. For more information on the JET courses, go to www.jewellers-online.org or call: 020 7613 4445 (option 1). For information on Bransom go to: www.bransom.co.uk
n this month’s issue we celebrate another winner of the coveted Bransom JET 1 Project Assignment Award. Held in conjunction with Bransom Retail Systems, each month the NAG’s education department enters all JET 1 assignments into a competition for ‘best project’. 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 certificates at our annual student award ceremony. Those who successfully complete all five assignments of JET 1 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. From assignments received during the month of October, the award goes to Paula O’Brien of Hilson Jewellers in Glasgow. We’d like to congratulate Paula on her project – she scooped the prize after presenting a ‘first class piece of coursework’. Her tutor, Mark Houghton, told us: “Paula’s work has been of a consistently high standard throughout the course. Each assignment was well researched and referenced making it easy to follow and a pleasure to mark. Added to that illustrations were amazingly drawn throughout.”
When we spoke with the project moderators about Paula’s project, they commented that: ‘It is clear that Paula has spent a great deal of time gathering information for this final piece of work. She has demonstrated the practical application of diamond product knowledge perfectly. From the way the assignment has been answered I am sure that Paula contributes to a very successful sales team. The final section dealing with the possible repair/ restoration of the diamond ring is outstanding – the proposed solutions for the customer to consider are clearly outlined. Paula is a very worthy winner of the JET 1 Bransom Award for October.”
The Voice of the Industry 19
| NAG News: IRV Review
NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R
Gem mysteries uncovered Sandra Page was a guest at the recent Gem-A Conference – an event as fascinating for a ‘non-gemmologist’ as the gem-savvy delegates who attended he newly-restored Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury, London was the venue for Gem-A’s 2011 Conference last month and once again the IRV was delighted to be invited to attend to promote itself and its members and fellows to a record number of conference participants. This year saw 148 delegates from Sweden, the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Greece, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Portugal, Australia, Finland and Denmark as well as the UK of course – a truly international event. The day started with Dr Jack Ogden, Gem-A’s CEO, welcoming delegates to the Conference then handing over to James Riley, chairman of Gem-A, who introduced the morning’s guest speakers. First in the spotlight was Brian Jackson, research curator of mineralogy at the National Museums of Scotland and chairman of the Scottish Gemmological Association. His presentation – an absolute delight for an audience of gemmologists – was entitled
Delegates listening attentively.
20 The Jeweller December 2011
‘Optical Phenomena in Gemstones’ and looked at stones that show a combination of phenomena such as reflection, light transmission, diffraction, scattering, dispersion, absorption, pleochroism, polarisation, luminescence and refraction. These included some unusual effects such as the Usambara effect, contra luz opals, tenebrescence, colour shift and the Lowell effect, as well as more familiar effects such as asterism. Replacing Dr Adolf Peretti, who was unable to attend as he is a victim of the floods in Thailand (he sent delegates a short videoed apology from his dingy as he paddled along the street) was Willy Bieri, his colleague at GemResearch Swisslab in Lucerne. The presentation entitled ‘Distinguishing natural Tibetan copperbearing andesine from its diffusion-treated counterparts using advanced analytical methods’ included a short film showing Dr Peretti’s visit to Tibet to research the claims that copper-bearing andesine is mined here.
Natural red copper andesines are highly regarded as gemstones, very valuable and traditionally found in Oregon, USA. Claims that natural material was also available in Tibet, and in large quantities, lead to Dr Peretti’s field trip and after many tests he was able to confirm that natural material is not available from this location and upon careful inspection of the film, delegates could actually see ‘guides’ dropping rough on the ground for Dr Peretti to find! Tests revealed that the rough found was in fact treated feldspar and had been ‘planted’ by the Tibetan people. (His suspicions had been roused when the guides pointed him to exact positions rather than allowing him to search wider afield for specimens.) The final guest speaker for the morning was Steve Bennett, managing director of
Alan Hart discussing the recutting of the Koh-i-Noor diamond. © Gem-A. Jack Ogden.
Gems TV. His talk demonstrated to delegates how in recent years web and TV sales have been the fastest growing media for selling coloured gemstones, and have been instrumental in familiarising the public with a wide variety of gems. Bennett charted the growth of TV and web gem selling, with particular focus on the involvement of his own business and its history. He spoke of the growing problems of correct disclosure online and environmental and ethical challenges facing the gem industry in relation to his own purchase and selling strategies. Bennett’s passion for coloured gemstones was obvious. He said, “I got an addiction for gemstones in 2003 and then launched Gems TV in 2004: ever since I have been fascinated by gemstones.” The first dedicated jewellery channel in Europe, Gems TV has provided pieces to over 350,000 customers. The first guest speaker of the afternoon was Gary Roskin, a gemmologist, journalist and one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities in the art and science of diamond grading, having over 30 years’ experience as
NAG News: IRV Review |
Fiona Hutchinson, winner of the Gem-A Education Competition. © Gem-A.
a professional diamond grader. His talk – ‘The Blues Brothers, or Not: Comparing the Hope and Wittelsbach-Graff Diamonds’ – reported on the unique opportunity he had to join a small but elite group of scientific experts to examine these two beautiful blue diamonds. The aim was to determine whether or not they came from the same crystal. For the first time in more than 50 years the stones, the world’s largest fancy deep blue diamonds, with the Hope weighing 45.52ct and the Wittelsbach-Graff weighing 31.06ct, were brought together at the Smithsonian Institute for an exhibition and the opportunity could not be missed to determine if, indeed, the diamonds were related. With the aid of a video Roskin showed delegates the gemmological tests performed on the diamonds, showing previously unseen footage taken of the analysis. He explained that he had felt extremely privileged to be invited to this meeting to find the answer Dominic Mok of AGIL demonstrating his jade colour wheel. © Gem-A.
to a question which had been raised on many occasions over the years. As the tests progressed it looked as if the diamonds were, indeed, ‘related’ – until the final test using the polariscope to observe the reaction under crossed polars revealed that they weren’t. The delegates were as disappointed as the experts had been. Synthetic diamonds came under scrutiny with an in-depth scientific presentation given by Branko Deljanin, the head gemmologist and president of the Canadian Gemological Laboratory in Vancouver. His focus was on the screening of colour-enhanced diamonds, Suncrest HPHT processed diamonds as well as synthetic diamonds. He also looked at the testing of diamonds with standard and advanced instruments, as well as their certification. The sources and identification procedures for colourless, pink, yellow, blue and green natural, enhanced and synthetic diamonds were also discussed. Deljanin also covered several methods of diamond typing, including UV lamp screening, polariscope testing and infrared using the spectrometer. A favourite gemstone among gemmologists – if the reaction of delegates is anything to go by – is the Pariba tourmaline, which was the subject of American geologist and gemmologist Brian Cook’s presentation. He detailed the history of the Cuprian Elbaite, or ‘Paraíba’ tourmaline as it is more commonly known, from 1988 to the present day and looked at the geological and the gemmological perspectives, as well as detailing the story of the stone. It transpired that many delegates were kicking themselves for not buying more samples back in the
late 1980s and 1990 when it was first available as it is no longer mined. The last speaker of the day was Alan Hart, head of Mineral Collections at London’s Natural History Museum. His presentation looked at ‘A modern evaluation of the original Koh-i-Noor diamond before re-cutting’. The ‘modern’ Koh-i-Noor diamond, he explained, is the end product of an original historic cut diamond which, when first displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851, failed to impress the expectant crowds. Using a near-perfect replica of the original ‘Mogul’ stone, Hart assessed how the stone may have been cut originally, and how this unique gem might have fared in the present day, asking whether the stone was a victim of its time due to its re-cut. His research has also revealed much about the show case used to display the diamond and he is still hopeful of finding the original cage, complete with Chubb safe, which housed the stand and dome already in the possession of the Museum. His aim is to unite the cage, stand and dome and replica stone to display at the Museum.
Delegates dancing at the evening dinner. © Gem-A.
During the day delegates were invited to match four stones to their correct identity: they were all trillion-cut, black and of a similar size but with different carat weights. Delegate Fiona Hutchinson was the only competition entrant to correctly identify them and won a bottle of champagne. In addition to the one-day Conference the Gem-A offered delegates a number of seminars and tours before and after the Conference, such as Deljanin’s seminar on basic gemmology and diamond identification, and Jackson’s handson seminar on optical phenomena. For those whose interest has been sparked, look out in 2012 for details of the next Gem-A Conference – an event open to all.
The Voice of the Industry 21
30 TH JANUARY 2012 *5269(125+286(Â‡3$5./$1(Â‡: :::5(7$,/7586725*8./21'21%$//
BJA News |
Taking stock... s another year draws to a close and the jewellery industry enters what is hopefully going to be a busy time for us all, it is perhaps opportune to look back over the past 12 months and take stock. 2011 has certainly kept us all on our toes with the rocketing prices for raw materials and volatile world events affecting businesses of all sizes. However, despite the very best attempts of the media and events in the Euro Zone to drown us in doom, gloom and more doom, I’m pleased to be able to report that the BJA and its members would appear to be hanging on in there and carrying on regardless. For the Association it has been an extremely positive 12 months with membership numbers standing at an all time high as more and more businesses can access and benefit from the wide and ever-expanding range of discounts and benefits the BJA provides. These are clearly stated on our recently revamped website – and with over 60 different possibilities, I defy
anyone in the trade not to find something listed that will save them either time Mike Hughes, chairman of the BJA or money. For me the highlight of the year has been watching as ever stronger alliances develop between the BJA and other industry bodies. We now have particularly strong links with the Responsible Jewellery Council – where our CEO Simon Rainer has been closely involved with recent developments and through which several of our member firms have now received their ethical certification. 2011 has also seen a new closeness develop with the Company of Master Jewellers, where we now facilitate a group of designer-crafts members to show at buying meetings. We also continue to work closely with all the major trade fair organisers including The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International,
International Jewellery London and most recently Treasure and the Jewellery Show London to provide a great deal for members at these events. Finally I have been delighted to witness the BJA’s ongoing collaboration with the National Association of Goldsmiths. Together we have provided a strong and united voice for our industry and have also helped tackle the thorny issue of how to provide greater security for jewellers, their stock, their premises and their staff. Although no one would suggest that things are easy, jewellery is still being made and still being sold and jewellery firms offering innovative high-quality products and great service continue to prosper. On this note I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful and prosperous 2012 and send you all best wishes for the holiday period.
Michael Hughes, Chairman
UK jewellery stars shine in China! everal of the UK’s brightest jewellery designers were launched into the Chinese jewellery market last week at a glittering event at Beijing’s smartest department store, Shin Kong Place. The event, organised by British Jewellery & Giftware International (BJGI) and designer Fei Liu, and supported by UK Trade & Investment and the BJA via
its London Jewellery Export.com fund, was launched with a VIP reception on Tuesday 8th November, starring famous Chinese actress Liu Shi Shi, and a catwalk show featuring jewellery from the UK designers. The reception launched a four day in-store showcase, displaying products from UK jewellery designers and producers Dorit Jewellery, Leyla Abdollahi, Mahtab Hanna, Charles Green, Sarah Ho, Tomasz Donocik, and William Cheshire, and silverware from Christopher Perry and the Birmingham Assay Office. “It has been a pleasure to have been given this opportunity to work with UK Trade and Investment and the British Jewellery and Gift Federation to bring British designers to the Chinese market. It is a fantastic chance for these young designers to experience this market and explore the potential is has for them. At the same time, it is also a unique experience for the Chinese consumer to view and buy the wonderful works of our British Designers,” commented Fei Lui.
Fei Liu with actress Liu Shi Shi
BJGI manager Mike Josypenko explained: “This event provides an ideal platform to showcase the work of some of the UK’s finest emerging talent, and a launch pad into one of the world’s fastest growing consumer markets. We are grateful for the tireless and inspirational assistance of Birmingham designer Fei Liu, without whose help this event would have been impossible.”
The Voice of the Industry 23
| BJA News
New BJA discounts for Jewellery Week omerset House will be the hub for Jewellery Week 2012 for both trade and consumers with The Jewellery Show London and Treasure running consecutively in the Embankment Galleries. The BJA is pleased to announce that members will receive discounts on both events across the Design Quarter, Waterside Studio, Waterside Boutique and Upper Level Boutique Packages.
The Jewellery Show London
Taking place on the 12th and 13th June 2012, The Jewellery Show London at Somerset House, will be the second edition to The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International. The event’s aim is to showcase the best international brands, suppliers and British jewellery designers within a cutting-edge and trend-driven environment. The Embankment Galleries, famous for temporary exhibitions focusing on latest fashion, design, art and architecture as well as being the home of London Fashion Week in recent times, will provide the backdrop for the show. This edited, high quality, transactional two-day trade show hopes to attract retail buyers from both the UK and abroad and will be the perfect setting to buy and preview autumn/winter and Christmas 2012 collections and to preview spring/summer 2013. Exhibitors who are full members of the BJA or BATF by 15th February 2012 will receive an approximate five per cent discount on their Jewellery Show London package. To apply contact show director Julie Driscoll on tel: 020 7728 3953 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This consumer facing show will provide a platform for pioneering exhibitors from the very best in contemporary jewellery design. Open to the public from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th June, visitors will be able to discover, buy and commission from an exclusive selection of the most innovative work available in jewellery today. A panel comprising jewellery experts, online retailer Elizabeth Galton, contempory jewellery gallery owner Natalie Kabiri and Christian Cheeseman director of CRED Jewellery (the pioneering fair trade and ethical jewellery) will make the selection on the basis of the quality, originality and relevance of the product to the jewellery-loving audience at Treasure. All exhibitors who are BJA members by 15th February 2012 will receive a 10 per cent discount on their Treasure package.
Fully inclusive stand package include high quality cabinet with integral lighting, marketing support including a profile page on Treasure website and a listing in the event directory as well as inclusion of new product images in the show’s marketing material. Additionally as part of the package exhibitors will receive a ‘Designer’ listing and image on the London Jewellery Week website with reciprocal web link and use of London Jewellery Week logo. New for 2012 will be the ‘Bridal Boutique’ with an emphasis on this specialist, lucrative market. Essence, the ‘Ethical Jewellery Pavilion’ at Treasure, will host the new collections from Fairtrade Fairmined Gold licensees, alongside ethical and sustainable jewelers who successfully marry ethics and aesthetics. The 2012 event will showcase an expanded collection of the best designers in the emerging ethical jewellery movement as part of an international show. Application deadline: 20th January 2012. For details call: 020 7241 7475, email: email@example.com or visit the website: www.treasureuk.com
BJA Award 2012 at the Jewellery Show for commemorative silverware he BJA will be 125 years old next year! Historically, in celebration of milestone dates for our Association, we have commissioned a piece of silverware. “Looking back on the collection I have seen a few desk sets dating from the around the time of our inception, and then again in the fifties; it would be interesting to have a modern take on an office accessory for this millennia,” commented marketing manager Lindsey Straughton. “We would proudly display and use it in the CEO’s office either on the desk
24 The Jeweller December 2011
or the meeting table – I’m sure it will make an excellent talking point” The competition is open to any UK company and the piece must be designed, made in silver and hallmarked in the UK. “The work that the BJA does to support the British jewellery industry is truly outstanding and 125 years is certainly a key milestone. I am sure that the silverware competition will attract some inspiring designs and I can’t wait to view them,” says Julie Driscoll, event director of The Jewellery Show
Judging will be all inclusive with shortlisted designs being shown on the BJA stand at The Jewellery Show at the NEC, 5th-9th February 2012 and on the Association website. The item or items will be presented to the BJA Chairman at June’s AGM. Visit www.bja.org.uk/125award or www.thejewelleryshow.com/bja125award to download an entry form.
Jeweller picks... It may be a little too late to stock up on Christmas gift jewellery, but we think this selection of bright and beautiful baubles have the requisite festive feel for this issue. And there's always Valentine’s Day to think about…
Just launched is ‘Horlogerie’ – the new collection of watches for women by luxury fashion jewellery company Carat. Featuring Japanese movements the timepieces feature pave synthetic gemstones on the bezel and straps that are available in a range of textures, such as water snake and patent lizard and colours (pink, red, white, black and silver). Prices start at £140 retail. www.carat.co
‘It Started with Eve’ is the name of a new line of couture cocktail rings which pay homage to some of history’s glamorous yet deadly femmes fatales. The very decadent pieces are set with gemstones such as tanzantite, peridot, red garnet, rubies and diamonds, with prices starting at £10,000. www.stephenwebster.com
New York fashion design company Nooka has just launched in the UK, bringing with it a collection of very different, futuristic, patented timepieces. There are seven distinct displays available in over 85 models and in an array of colours and materials. The Zub 40 (£99) shown here is read in the same way as a traditional digital watch, but with a twist – a large window shows the hour, but a horizontal bar displays the minutes and a small window gives the seconds. Tide Distribution: Tel: 0844 812 6061
Black and white diamonds married with rose, yellow or white gold – the new additions to Marco Bicego’s ‘Goa’ collection have a clean, contemporary look, with flattened coils criss-crossing to create rings, necklaces and bracelets. firstname.lastname@example.org
LESTIE LEE TROLLBEADS
Love as well as the traditions of Christmas are celebrated in this latest line-up of handcrafted beads by Danish Trollbeads. New for the season are two limited edition glass bead kits (rich red and dark blue); two gold and silver beads; a tiger’s eye and a glass with cz bead; a new lock and black diamond and white diamond – two additions to the Universal Uniques collection. Looking for love? How about the Gold Mistletoe or Bouquet of Hearts beads? www.trollbeads.co.uk
SHO FINE JEWELLERY
The fashion world is embracing colour and totally ‘on-trend’ is Sarah Ho with her SHO collection of fine jewellery. Marrying preciousness with fun is this ‘Coin’ boule ring featuring circles of stones – blue and yellow sapphires and tsavorites in yellow gold – set at different levels. www.shojewellery.com
Nature, death and decay may not sound like perfect pressie themes, but in the hands of jewellery designer Hannah Warner the off-beat inspiration that has resulted in skull rings and necklaces has a definite edgy charm. This necklace in 18ct gold vermeil, studded with five emeralds and a single diamond was cast from a piece of coral. www.hannahwarner.com
DEAKIN & FRANCIS
If you’re looking for quirky gift ideas – for Valentine’s day or any other time of the year – there’s sure to be something in Deakin & Francis’ cufflink collection. Take these green wellie links for instance, in threedimensional, sterling silver with enamel finish. Fruit, flowers, teddies and hearts with a twist also feature in the range. www.cufflinks1786.co.uk
Ex-St Martins jewellery graduate, with a GIA gemmology course under her belt, Lestie Lee has launched her first jewellery collection, inspired by diamond cutting, as well as various global cultures and art. The jewellery, cast and hand-made in London and in various metals with and without stones, includes charm rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and this cuff, with prices from £140 to £3,500. www.lestielee.com
The fine jewellery designer has ‘curated’ a Valentine’s Day gift selection of her most popular pieces, which includes these almost-edible citrine cushion and bow earrings featuring diamonds on the bows. Other very feminine pieces in the collection are the heart-shaped stones in rings and necklaces. www.kikimcdonough.com
If you’re looking for a striking new watch brand in the medium price bracket, then how about the just launched Tendence? With large polycarbonate cases – 43mm – and silicon straps, the Italian timepieces have quartz movements, a chronograph function and scratch-resistant PVD-plated non-reflective glass. Prices range from around £280-£795 www.tendencewatches.co.uk
London-based jeweller Zara Taylor uses vintage jewellery, findings and stones to create her own brand of stylish jewellery that is now finding favour with celebrities such as Kelly Rowland and Fearne Cotton. Made from a range of materials, from bronze and brass to silver and gemstones, the collection includes globe and tassel pendants and peace and love earrings. Initially available on-line the line is now being wholesaled through Stroom Fashion. Tel: 020 8427 8115
To celebrate the Chinese Year of the Dragon, porcelain company turned jewellery manufacturer Meissen has launched a collection of jewellery inspired by the mythical monster. Motifs, symbols and colours have been drawn from the company’s 300 year old archive for the rings and necklaces. This ‘Ring Mystery’ in 750 rose gold features orange quartz and 40 champagne diamonds. White gold, white diamonds, amethyst and rock crystal also appear in the collection. www.meissen.com
The natural world is the inspiration behind the new ‘Shipwreck’ collection of silver jewellery by Martick. It includes pendants, earrings and necklaces which have been made by Mozambique craftsmen using traditional methods, with ‘weathered and washed-out’ beads providing the accents. www.martickjewellery.com
Created by Russian designer Daniel-Phillip Belevitch, Crow’s Nest Jewels is made in Austria (by the same factory that produce’s Bulgari jewellery) and uses 18ct gold set with gemstones including black and white diamonds, garnet, blue topaz and tsavorite. Statement cocktail rings for her; black rhodium with spinel beads for his bracelet. www.crowsnestjewels.co.uk
The Voice of the Industry 29
| BJA Feature
Simon says! BJA CEO Simon Rainer reports on some illuminating information revealed by the Association’s recent survey of designer makers and on the pressing need it has highlighted for more industryspecific business training. his summer the British Jewellers’ Association in conjunction with Holts Academy organised an on-line survey specifically for designer makers and for jewellers working to provide a service to the designer community. Their aim was to discover the needs of this very specific group with a view to developing new services to meet those needs for the general benefit of the trade. The survey was widely distributed not only by the BJA and Holts Academy but also through the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Benchpeg and the major trade fair organisers with a view to reaching the widest possible audience. An impressive 50 per cent of the mailed recipients responded to the call and out of the hundreds who replied 75 per cent were designer jewellers; others were mounters, setters, silversmiths, repairers and designers. On behalf of the BJA I would like to thank them all for their time and their input.
30 The Jeweller December 2011
The greatest proportion of replies (59 per cent) came from London and the South East with just 32 per cent from Birmingham and the Midlands and the remainder spread throughout the UK. The vast majority of respondents (71 per cent) were sole traders with only 12 per cent being limited companies, 80 per cent described themselves as creating ‘designer jewellery’, with 41 per cent describing their products as ‘fine jewellery’ and 23 per cent trading in ‘fashion jewellery’. It was very rare for any of the businesses who responded to employ more than two members of staff even though most of them had been in business for some time, with 20 per cent trading for 10-20 years. When it came to selling their products, ‘word of mouth’ was important to 70 per cent of traders, while 62 per cent of those who responded sold through trade shows and exhibitions and 60 per cent through galleries.
The internet was also a significant sales channel with 49 per cent of participants selling online. Just 40 per cent of products were sold to retailers but ‘sale or return’ is common practice with over 44 per cent of the group selling their products in this way. This is a finding of particular concern as sale or return is the least friendly practice for a company’s cash flow as the capital invested yields a slow return. Predictably perhaps the UK was far and away the most important market with less than 40 per cent of respondents involved in selling overseas. That said, Europe, America, Asia and other international markets were all cited as export destinations for respondents products. While a third of respondents chose to skip the questions with regard to annual turnover the answers from those who responded were revealing, with almost 35 per cent stating a turnover figure of less than £5,000 per annum and just 12 per cent making over £100,000. The remainder fell somewhere in between with 35 per cent reporting a turnover of between £5,000 and £40,000 a year. There is no getting away from the fact that these figures – based as they are simply on turnover rather than earnings, or profit – are worryingly low and would barely provide a living wage, especially for those based in the South East. The low levels of turnover are doubly concerning as the survey reveals that most of the respondents are not newcomers to the industry and the figures would therefore suggest that many designer makers will work for a number of years for poor remuneration. However, for some respondents (although the survey does not reveal this) jewellery making may be a part-time job so no firm conclusions can be drawn. The BJA has long suspected that inadequate business and production skills
BJA Feature | may, in part at least, be responsible for low sales figures within the designer maker community and a further key element of the survey was to try and gauge to what extent this is indeed the case and to identify ways in which a paucity of knowledge could be identified and addressed. To this end, the survey asked participants to rate their proficiency levels as ‘Beginner’ ‘Intermediate’ or ‘Professional’ across a range of skill options with a view to ascertaining where training might be required and at what level. A resounding 80 per cent of participants confirmed that they would like further training in design, metal, business and IT skills, while 62 per cent believe they could do with further manufacturing skills. Stone setting (50 per cent), ethical and environmental matters (45 per cent) and CAD and rapid prototyping (30 per cent) were other areas where significant training needs were identified. The eight most pressing areas for action have now been identified as: traditional
design skills, metal skills, marketing, PR and branding, sales and retail, book-keeping, manufacture and IT skills.
Addressing the skill shortage I am delighted to be able to report that, having digested and analysed all the information provided by the survey, the BJA and Holts Academy have now identified some 30 courses for which they believe there is a proven need. These courses which will be certificated by the BJA will cover everything from photo-editing and spreadsheets through to word processing and cash flow.
The low levels of turnover are doubly concerning as the survey reveals that most of the respondents are not newcomers to the industry and the figures would therefore suggest that many designer makers will work for a number of years for poor remuneration. During the coming months Holts will produce detailed information about and guidelines as to the required content and teaching for these courses and the BJA will explore ways in which they can be delivered by appropriately qualified trainers to designer makers at different venues throughout the country. All participants will receive a certificate to show they have taken the course and it is hoped that these will, in time, become a worthwhile component in their CV and will enhance their employability with the industry. Hands-on manufacturing skills courses will clearly need to be delivered at Holts Academy or perhaps during summer schools at some of the country’s many universities with jewellery-making facilities, while the business skills courses can be held at our own offices in Birmingham and other appropriate venues countrywide. Although it is still early days we would welcome approaches from both individuals and institutions who would be interested in delivering these courses in their own area. It is our profound wish that BJA training courses will become an essential stepping stone for jewellery makers who have finished a practical degree course and wish to set up in business with a full range of relevant skills. There is likely to be a small charge involved but this will be kept at a minimum
and will be further subsidised for designer members of the Association. It is still in its infancy but we are extremely optimistic about this scheme. Much work remains to be done but we are confident that by the Spring of 2012 that we will have a full programme in place and soon thereafter begin to see a positive effect on the viability and profitability of the designer maker businesses in the jewellery industry. To register interest please send an email to: email@example.com
The Voice of the Industry 31
Identity Jewellers by Hallmark
An economic downturn is no excuse to let standards drop – a retail face-lift or some window display tweaks might just be what’s needed to pull in the punters who do want to spend, says Belinda Morris. iven that we are trading in what might euphemistically be described as ”challenging times”, it would be understandable if new shop fits, refurbishments, face lifts and the like, were rather low down on your average retailer’s ‘to-do’ list. But clearly there’s nothing average about jewellers – when the going gets tough, the tough, it seems, reach for a ten litre tin of emulsion. It certainly isn’t that the jewellery industry is immune to the effects of gloomy economic forecasts – there must be many out there who have postponed any form of investment in the face of continuing bad financial news. But while the high street in general is counting the cost, from our
32 The Jeweller December 2011
industry perspective it’s not all doom and gloom. “I know retailers that are doing very well, even expanding and investing in major refits and big marketing campaigns,” says Judy Head of Head Creative Associates. “They are demonstrating confidence and that has paid off for them.” In fact, it could certainly be argued that during these difficult times, resting on one’s laurels is not necessarily the best option. “The market has changed and the retailer has to accommodate those changes,” continues Head. “Letting the store fall into disrepair is hardly likely to inspire confidence! This is an opportunity to clear out old stock that has not sold – it’s probably worth more as scrap now!
Mococo by Hallmark
Feature | Clear out the windows, throw out old display material and put in a new lighting system to show the stock to its best advantage.” David Griffin of Hallmark design agrees that now is not the time to sit back and wait for the economy to improve before addressing a store’s appearance. “Clients have realised that, like pubs and restaurants, you can only go for so long without having a face lift before business begins to suffer,” he says. “Competition on the high street is fierce and this competition is driving jewellers to improve their look and the presentation of Lumenal at Christopher Evans
“Clear out the windows, throw out old display material and put in a new lighting system to show the stock to its best advantage.” their stock. It’s not just to maintain business, but to increase their slice of the cake,” he explains. Chris Evans, owner of Christopher Evans Goldsmiths in Poynton, Cheshire also maintains that now is a good a time as any to consider a re-vamp. “Absolutely – you should grab every opportunity,” he says. “If things slacken off make the most of the time you’ve been given – provided there’s money in the pot! It’s important to keep fresh and therefore ahead of the game.” Norwich jeweller Winsor Bishop recently unveiled its newly extended store in London Street – achieved by obtaining the premises next door. “We took this project on, on the cusp of recession so it was a huge risk. But we had to do it to progress our business and keep ahead of the game,” says managing director Sophie Fulford. “We had a very clear strategy, very clear budget and most of all we had confidence in our business.” To confirm his own opinion that an economic downturn is no excuse to twiddle
your thumbs, Griffin carried out a survey among the companies Hallmark refitted last year. “All reported an improved position on the previous 12 months, some quite significantly, which was in stark contrast to those who deferred the decision to this year,” he says. Hallmark itself has just enjoyed one of the busiest years for a long time Griffin adds. Another survey, this time carried out by the Shop and Display Equipment Association, reveals that almost half of its members have seen an increase in business over the past year and the same number expecting increased sales in the year ahead. It doesn’t necessarily require a complete overhaul to create a sparkling new look. Mara Goes of The Jewellery Display Company is finding that overall sales of their products have increased recently as jewellers look for display items that will create different looks, helping them to strand out. “They’re also asking for different seasonal displays and themes and upgrading more often,” she says. “Smaller tweaks like changing a base colour in the window, using different fabrics topped off with new display sets and upgrading the imagery combined with new free dress, can give you a £50,000 effect for under £10,000.”
Let there be light Whether it’s used as an instant and effective way of upgrading an existing shop fit, or incorporated into a completely new refurbishment, there’s no doubt that quality lighting is way up on a jewellers’ wish-list. “In our experience when working with jewellery retailers and store designers, lighting is high up on the design agenda,” confirms Simone Breedon of Display Lighting, which was founded by lighting designer Paul Breedon. “Their main considerations are how it will complement and enhance the design of the cabinets and displays and how the desired effect will be created. It has to coordinate with branding and initial store concepts.” Having recently completed ‘phase one’ of a modernisation programme – ‘Upstairs at EW Payne’ was revealed recently – the nitty gritty of the project is still Display LED with spot, by Display Lighting
Case history no.1 – Christopher Evans, Poynton, Cheshire “I wanted a completely different, fresh new look for both of our stores and having worked with a design company for our Stockton Heath branch two years ago, I felt I could project-manage the second one myself. The shops are in villages, so a ‘slick’ city centre look would not have been right – we wanted warm and friendly, not the cold, stark feel that some jewellers are going for. “However, the effect we’ve achieved is definitely contemporary; a boutique look and very new for us with lots of strong purples and greens – it’s great! For the shopfit we used local tradespeople and craftsmen which has had knock-on benefits – it’s generated lots of good will in the community and we’ve made new friends! “I particularly wanted to install LED lighting as first and foremost it’s more cost-effective to run and emits less heat than our previous lighting – so much more comfortable for staff and customers. Also, Lumenal’s unit is neat and compact and the quality of the light really brings our diamonds to life.” Chris Evans, owner.
The Voice of the Industry 33
| Feature LED technology from more traditional low voltage light sources,” says Breedon, whose new website offers advice on all aspects of lighting displays and allows designers to build their own specification codes on line. A key advantage of LED is that it runs cooler, for longer, uses less energy and has much more flexibility in terms of design and effect within displays than the low voltage options. For his shop’s re-fit Chris Evans chose Lumenal’s LED ‘lighting solutions’ to enhance the shelf appeal of his jewellery. Thanks to their flexibility, the colour of the light emitted by the company’s
Azendi display by Display Lighting
fresh in the mind of Alistair Collier, managing director and great-grandson of the Bromley jewellers. “Lighting is the area on which we consciously spent more time – and budget,” he explains. “We already owned some incredibly beautiful antique display cabinets and we were determined to keep them. We have gone with LED lighting to display our jewellery in the best way. We have also purchased a bespoke chandelier by Baccarat to enhance the luxury feel – it really is beautiful.” Regardless of whether the eventual desired look of a shop is traditional or contemporary, Rococo or minimal, there’s no doubt that the way it, and its stock, is lit has been the key area of change as far as store design is concerned. “Retailers have realised the potential benefits of switching to new
34 The Jeweller December 2011
“Smaller tweaks like changing a base colour in the window, using different fabrics topped off with new display sets and upgrading the imagery… can give a £50,000 effect for under £10,000.” The Jewellery Display Company
Making your windows work The NAG’s Dynamic Display Workshop – provided by Judy Head Visual merchandising is both an art and a science. It needs a creative mind to design a powerful and exciting display, but without the science – that is the knowledge of what makes someone stop, look and eventually walk through the door of a shop to make a purchase – it will not be effective. This new course is for management and senior sales staff, and it is a challenge: to design and build a new window display that will target customers with a particular promotion – seasonal/Easter/Christmas for instance. The workshop will focus not only on display but incorporate a strong marketing element that will require the delegates to link their display to a plan of promotional activity to raise the profile of the store. The day will start with a short introduction to the course, a reminder of the basic rules of display and some ideas on how delegates could create an effective promotional plan for their store. They will be divided into two groups, each with a brief of the tasks they have to accomplish and the market they are targeting. Each group will measure up the space and draw up their ideas for display, together with the promotional activity that they propose will take place. They will then choose suitable stock and build the display. At the end of the day, we will look at the displays and assess whether they have fulfilled the brief. The criteria: • The students must have completed the Essential Display Course. • No more than eight students can attend the day – even numbers preferably. • A questionnaire will be sent out before the course takes place and students will be asked to complete and return it before the training day. • Students who want to bring their own display material and props to use are asked to inform us in advance.
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The Voice of the Industry 35
| Feature Case history no. 2 – E.W. Payne, Bromley “Ultimately we were looking for the ‘wow factor’ when we decided to refurbish our first floor and to help us understand how we could achieve this we visited a number of leading jewellers who had recently renovated their stores. We discussed both the good and bad experiences! We were also looking for a welcoming ‘lounge’ feel, allowing our clients to relax in a private and luxurious setting – along with a glass of champagne. “We worked with a leading project manager and design and build company in our area, as we knew they would be sympathetic to our 1930s building. Our brief to them was to mix the old and the new, without losing the character of the building – we’ve achieved that totally.” Alistair Collier, managing director Sirius Strip lights added greater sparkle to certain metals and gemstones within the wall-recessed and counter unit display cases. Warm white light was incorporated to make yellow gold pieces appear even more lustrous, while neutral white light optimised the appearance of platinum, silver and diamonds. “The superior diodes used in our products will guarantee the consistency of the specially designed light colours, as well as brightness, throughout the lifetime of the fittings, which is expected to be in excess of 50,000 hours constant use,” says
Visual merchandising tips from Judy Head • Be flexible. Change windows often and be prepared to move stock around to place the emphasis on pieces that are appropriate to the moment • Consider LED lighting and combine it with spot lights to create different moods in the window. Make bright lights very bright – even though the surrounding area may be dark • Regarding security – perhaps re-think store layout; open it up so that more emphasis is placed on encouraging browsers to walk around displays inside rather than cramming everything in the window • Discreet seating areas – preferably towards the back of the store – create an exclusive service feel and might design out some opportunities for crime
36 The Jeweller December 2011
Nick Wraith, Lumenal’s managing director. “That’s roughly equivalent to ten years, assuming 85 hours trading a week – it’s a result of the design of the fittings combined with their inherent resistance to shocks and vibrations.” The likes of Beaverbrooks, Azendi and David Morris are among the jeweller clients of Display Lighting, which has recently introduced the new DisplayLED range. “This incorporates the latest SMD LED technology into a sleek and extremely slim-line circular aluminium profile for uniform illumination of displays,” explains Breedon. The product can be integrated as a free-standing, vertical or horizontally-mounted unit or as an integral part of the display itself using an easily adjustable (and therefore flexible) shelving support system. Retailers can select the colour temperature to enhance the items on display and there is the additional benefit of a spot which can be included along the profile. Giddings Design has chosen LED lighting – colour-matched for diamonds – for its recently launched new showcases which feature low-ion glass which is of anti-bandit specification. The addition of new ultra smooth Swiss locks means that security is strongly addressed – without compromising the elegant design. The exterior panels, tops and interiors are built in such a way that they can be adjusted and therefore unique to each client. The contemporary clean lines of the high quality brushed stainless steel enhances the luxurious effect of the cases which are available to hire as well as buy.
Going with the trends While starkly minimal might be one way to go, particularly for urban and/or designer stores, clearly the choice of interior design is a question of taste and in some cases dictated by the building itself. “It would appear that, much like the current fashion ethos, there is not a single defining look or style which retailers are leaning towards but rather a well put–together mix of classic designs, placed alongside carefully matched modern pieces,” is the opinion of Chris Sheriff, head of development at Leeds-based MSK Display Works, which both designs and manufactures retail display solutions. “Quality materials, precision finish, attention to detail and value for money seem to be the key elements for today’s jewellery retailer.”
Display case by Giddings Design
For some though the style direction is pretty clear cut: “The trend is definitely towards the modern, seen through the colours and clean lines,” says Hallmark’s Griffin. Thinking along the same theme is Shaun Bell, owner of Joshua James Jewellery in Hessle which was launched in May 2009 and will be undergoing an expansion next year. ”We want to incorporate the same clean, sharp, stylish and mimimalist themes into the new space,” he says. If not an overall theme, then it might be that new direction lies in the detail. ”For me two things stand out,” says Head. “There’s the use of large, eye catching images in the primary windows with curious threedimensional illusions created in part by
Display case by Giddings Design
“There is not a single defining look or style which retailers are leaning towards but, rather, a well put–together mix of classic designs, placed alongside carefully matched modern pieces…” large format photographs and in part by the use of props; it creates a magical, Alice in Wonderland appearance. And fantasy themes are still popular – even futuristic but without the metallic glitter – the colours are muted and natural this year. I have also spotted a couple of backlit transparent images – something I have not seen for a long time and it looked new and fresh with stock display against the light – very dramatic! “We are now seeing the increasing use of large lightweight touch screens that enable customers to learn more about the products on show and even buy something,” she adds. “It has taken a very long time for screens to become thin and light enough (and attractive enough) to become a feature in the shop window display but where this technology will really take off is for on-line shopping, where large touch screens and virtual mirror technology allow the customer to get an idea of what the product looks like when they wear it.”
Brand awareness A number of recent store refurbishments and expansions have come about as retailers have taken on board the plethora of
branded jewellery (and watches of course). This adds a further dimension to a new design that might not have been an issue in days gone by. Based on many more enquiries
this year, MSK Display Works has noted the diversity of the projects which they are being asked to look at. In many instances, their customers are asking for a brand display solution which will complement their existing product ranges, prompted, for example, by the likes of Links of London, Thomas Sabo and Pandora. “Branding continues to play a significant role in clients’ turnover, and we strive to incorporate branded goods into a scheme, without them dominating the appearance we are trying to achieve,” explains Griffin. “The life of a shop fit will be up to ten years and the mix of merchandise will change many times during that period. It is essential that we try to make the furniture as flexible as we can, making a framework that can be changed in the future, without destroying the concept.” “Beautifully–crafted claw and ball tables, which incorporate a secure glass display area and pin sharp LED lighting have, for example, become a popular choice in brand environments,” says Sheriff. “It’s not a problem for us to manufacture pretty much any size variation of this modern take on a classic. What’s more, if a customer wants that table in bright blue, for example, our in–house paint finishing facility can provide just that. In fact we’ve been asked for some ‘very interesting’ colour combinations!
Case history no. 3 – Stephen Charles Quance, Solihull “For our new flagship store we wanted something different – smart, eye-catching, colourful. Much of the design is taken from our own home décor, so really the store is designed from our own tastes. Once we’d worked out the colour scheme and the wall covering in meetings with the design company, everything else seemed to fall into place. “To draw the attention of shoppers and make them step inside, the shop has a sparkling back wall, with a glittering dark floor to match. Picture frames are the running theme throughout the shop and the boxes in the window have options to change the surrounding colour. There is a comfortable seating area which is for personal shopping. “The lighting has been the most difficult to achieve and we are still in the process of getting it right. It looks stunning but we feel we can make some tweaks to it in situ. All in all it’s completely different from our original Jewellery Quarter shop which we had for 13 years.” Steven and Michelle Quance, owners
The Voice of the Industry 37
| Feature This really is the time for expressing individuality on the high street.” The fact is that one of a jeweller’s key brands is the store itself. “As well as more daring, jewellers are becoming more brand conscious – we are inundated with bespoke requests and are finding that everyone is trying to be more innovative and wants to shout their names out more,” says Goes. An important ingredient in the MSK Display Works mix, says Sheriff is its brand design facility. “We have a team of experienced designers who have worked on large accounts in the industry and who know how vital brand positioning is to the perception of the consumer,” he explains. “This affords smaller retailers the same opportunities as their larger counterparts to differentiate themselves through a joined–up approach to brand and customer experience. Many might recognise this as being one such element, which we so often find under–utilised in many privately–owned businesses on our high streets today.”
Shop interior by MSK
Case history no. 4 – Winsor Bishop, Norwich
Shop interior by MSK
It certainly didn’t go unattended to by Winsor Bishop when the time came for them to create their new look store. “We were governed mostly by the designs from the brands that we hold and so the main point for us to address was that we maintained our own sense of brand over and above the mixture of others,” says Fulford. “It’s vital to hold your own identity.”
38 The Jeweller December 2011
“We had big pressure regarding planning regulations because the two buildings we were joining together to make one premises are listed, and the condition of the newly acquired building was terrible. We had a very clear agenda but of course once the building teams started work, they came across so many hurdles and also a few surprises! “Making the store secure was also an issue because as soon as we had created the two openings to connect the buildings, it was an immediate security threat. We made sure we put thorough security measures in place. “Lighting is everything in retail so we put in state of the art lighting in the new building, which looks wonderful. At the same time it immediately highlighted the age of the lighting in our original store, so we have merged the two by putting a combination across the two premises. It’s great.” Sophie Fulford, managing director
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| Financial Jeweller
Capitalising on the festive PoS push As jewellers look forward to bumper festive sales, Gerald Grimes, chair of the Consumer Finance Committee for the Finance and Leasing Association and managing director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, looks at public perceptions of point of sale finance. esearch that has been compiled from a recent survey of 5,000 consumers has revealed that point of sale (PoS) innovations are encouraging more shoppers to consider the different credit options available. What is clear is that by offering finance options to customers, jewellery retailers can increase customer footfall into their stores and also drive on-line sales.
Tis the season December is obviously a key trading time for jewellers – as well as gifts it’s also a popular time of year for engagements. This will invariably involve the purchase of an expensive item of jewellery and providing customers with different payment options, such as interest-free credit, allowing them to spread the cost, is imperative. The survey revealed that the key reasons for consumers taking out in-store or on-line PoS finance services, such as interest-free credit, to buy jewellery were: affordability when compared to other credit options (31%), a way to spread payments (61%) and the ease of applying for it (35%). It also emerged that 70 per cent would use point of sale finance again, especially if interestfree periods and instant credit decisions were available. These statistics could help jewellery retailers to better understand how to capitalise on credit-driven sales. A spokesperson from Beaverbrooks, the UK jewellers with 65 stores nationwide, commented on the use of PoS finance in the industry: “Interest free finance is a wonderful tool for us as it enables customers to buy a more prestigious jewellery product than they might ordinarily be able to afford. Providing
40 The Jeweller December 2011
examples of how customers can pay with PoS finance is also beneficial as many shoppers do not realise how little the monthly payments can be. “The online finance options that have become available recently could really increase credit driven sales as they speed up the application and approvals process and take away the possibility for human inaccuracies. These, and the wide variety of credit options available, can only be a good thing for both retailers and consumers.” The jewellery finance applications paid out by Hitachi Capital for the Christmas period have risen year on year for the last two years, from over £6million in 2009 to over £7.5million in 2010. As some consumers hold off on purchasing decisions until the winter period, these figures are expected to rise again this year despite the squeeze on consumer spending. Online opportunities With the e-commerce market worth a predicted £70 billion in 2011 and many consumers now choosing to shop online for jewellery, it is also important for retailers to consider their online finance options. Innovations such as e-signature technology have revolutionised the sale of goods and services on-line. This enables shoppers to sign their finance agreement on-line, as opposed to printing off the agreement, signing it and posting the document back; making the whole process a viable option to paying by credit or debit card. It saves time and cuts costs, improving retailer cash flow as well as the customer experience. The rise in consumers taking out on-line PoS finance to buy jewellery is testament to
the importance of on-line finance availability; the survey shows a year on year rise in online finance applications over the past two years and this is predicted to increase this year by up to 50 per cent. Sales recovery in 2012? Figures published by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show a slight increase in consumer credit lending in 2011, but the FLA cautions that this does not signify a recovery across the credit markets. There is still potential for growth within the credit industry, as only half of those surveyed (50%) had taken out in-store or on-line point of sale finance, such as interest free credit, to buy goods or services. In today’s unprecedented trading climate the research provides interesting reading as there are a number of positive views from consumers on the use of credit and its influence on retail sales. The importance of promoting credit facilities and adopting a multi-channelled approach is also highlighted in the results, as a large percentage of customers (77%) would like to be informed of their payment options before they complete the transaction. So promoting credit facilities in-store and on-line would be a wise move if retailers are to capitalise on credit driven sales. While it is recognised that PoS finance isn’t the only tool to drive sales, we should develop innovative point of sale finance options that are attractive to credit worthy consumers looking to find affordable ways to shop for their jewellery. As a result, consumers will benefit from some great deals and, reassuringly, are entering into the agreements wisely.
Ask not what we can do for you but what together we can do for the benefit of all. . .
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOLDSMITHS is the largest and most active trade association in the Jewellery industry. Representing retailers within this sector for well over 100 years, we work together with our members to promote the highest level of ethical, professional practice in the UK Jewellery sector through ‘Education’, ‘Representation’ and ‘Communication’. Today the potential and pitfalls of the jewellery industry are as complex as they are challenging and as the industry’s major trade association, the NAG is committed to providing our members with the necessary tools and information to ensure their businesses are best equipped to take advantage of the challenges ahead. Indeed we are, and have been, at the forefront of many industry matters – either contesting, debating or discussing the key issues that effect our members and the industry as a whole; whether it’s ‘The Kimberley Process’, ‘FairTrade Gold’, ‘CIBJO’, ‘Ethical Jewellery’ or ‘Action for Market Towns’ to name a few, the views of our membership are always well represented at the ‘top table’. Plus, more recently, the NAG has developed member initatives such as ‘Safergems’ (in conjunction with TH March to improve the fight against crime), the ‘Executive Development Forum’ (a member forum committed to sharing ideas and improving sales) and the ‘Institute of Registered Valuers’ (setting standards for professional valuers). Add the NAG’s industry renowned JET I & 2 Education and Training online courses to the list, as well as publishing its very own magazine The Jeweller, and it is clear to see the NAG is proactively involved in all aspects of the trade. The NAG is your voice and your trade association for the UK Jewellery industry – collectively and together we can work to achieve a better industry for everyone. If you would like to find out what working together can achieve for the benefit of all, please call Amy Oliver on 020 7613 4445 and find out about the different membership schemes available to retailers, manufacturers and designers.
Education • Representation • Communication www.jewellers-online.org
| BJA Feature
International Packaging Corporation (UK) Ltd
Boxing clever Getting the packaging right is a key ingredient in any retailer’s successful corporate branding strategy and there are plenty of BJA members who can assist them to do just that. Mary Brittain spoke to some British packaging firms to discover what they have on offer. hen you think of Tiffany & Co what image springs to mind? Is it the exterior of one of their famous stores? Is it a piece of jewellery? Or is it that iconic little blue box? For most of us I suspect it is the latter and if ever anyone needed proof of the power of packaging then that modest, understated and so much-coveted object must surely be it. Time was when navy or black faux-leather boxes were ubiquitous among the nation’s jewellers but not anymore. Even the smallest independent jewellery store is now, according to Meyer Sarfati, marketing director of Noble Gift Packaging, wanting to follow in the footsteps of the big boys and create their own branded look with three or four items of packaging – a pouch, a box, an outer box and a bag – now the norm for most jewellery purchases.
42 The Jeweller December 2011
“We introduced our bespoke packaging option into the UK just four years ago and it has rapidly become the biggest part of our business here,” Sarfati told me. But in these difficult economic times, isn’t this more expensive than buying off the shelf? “Not necessarily – designing your own look and buying in large quantities can actually make it cheaper and it has the added advantage of ensuring that you can maintain a consistent look over a period of time. If you buy just fifty boxes off the shelf, box for box you will pay more and by the time you come to reorder it the line may have gone and you will have to have something different, so having no consistency for your customers. If you buy 3,000 boxes you will always have them in stock and can reorder using your own tooling before you run out,” he said.
For those companies prepared to buy even larger quantities – over 50,000 pieces – there are greater savings to be made and if you don’t have room to hold all the stock yourself, Noble will store it for you at no cost and deliver it to your premises as and when it’s needed. The trend to bespoke packaging has also been noticed by Tom Potter, general manager of BJA member International Packaging Corporation, who confirmed that his customers too are now more adventurous in their choices and are opting for their own pantone colour – or more frequently colours – and logos rather than buying standard items. Bespoke packaging has always been at the heart of Claire Weldon’s business. The Jewellers’ Box Company has no off-the-shelf products with all its Fair Trade boxes being made to order in Bangladesh in sheep or goat leather. The leather is tanned using eco-friendly vegetable dyes to achieve unusual and subtle shades across a huge colour spectrum. The company also offers a wide choice of luxurious Italian-fabric linings, again across a gamut of hues. Logos and branding messages can be embossed wherever required or used to create an allover pattern. So what is proving popular for Weldon at the moment? “Dark brown, orange and red are currently hot colours and ‘blueberry’ flock is selling well for linings; this is a rich purple-blue fabric which shows off jewellery Alish Wholesale
BJA Feature | Ethical matters have long been a hot topic for jewellers when buying gold, diamonds and precious stones and it would seem that the same concerns are now being brought to bear when purchasing packaging, with an increasing number of retailers seeking out eco-friendly options.
to great advantage. We’re also doing really well with ‘bead’ boxes, both small and large, with interior channels in which to store beads for collectable bracelets,” she told me. “Another recent success has been our new little box for wedding rings – in which two rings can lie flat for taking to the actual ceremony instead of using a pouch. These are supplied embossed with the current year making them a romantic souvenir.” Ethical matters have long been a hot topic for jewellers when buying gold, diamonds and precious stones and it would seem that the same concerns are now being brought to bear when purchasing packaging, with an increasing number of retailers seeking out eco-friendly options. This trend has become so popular at Noble Gift Packaging that the company has recently introduced a completely new range of ‘Zero Tree’ eco-friendly packaging. The range includes paper bags made out of some truly unlikely materials including ‘stone’, ‘PET plastic bottles’ and bamboo pulp to name but a few. The ‘stone’ option is particularly interesting using calcium carbonate in a waterless manufacturing process which requires no chemical bleaching, toxic gas or hazardous substances. According to Sarfati the resulting paper and card, while being more difficult to work with than normal, wood-based paper, is
The Jewellers’ Box Company
“beautiful to the touch while also being tougher and harder to tear”. Production costs are higher and would, Safarti tells me, normally cost twice as much to buy although at present Noble is offering them at comparative prices to its non-eco ranges. All the packaging companies I spoke with were equally passionate about their products and all were convinced of the
importance to jewellers of investing wisely and well in this area of their business. As Claire Weldon explained: “If your customer is spending a couple of thousand pounds on a piece of jewellery, you spending a few pounds on a box to contain that jewellery is neither here nor there, and you should never underestimate the importance of getting it just right.”
The Voice of the Industry 43
Two Way Traffic Crime against jewellers is not just a UK issue. Michael Hoare reports on the situation from the other side of the Channel as well as some good news closer to home.
psychological support units, are now counting the cost. Staff recruitment and retention has also suffered, and problems with the availability and cost of insurance are beginning to have a serious effect on the viability of many businesses. Saint Eloi feels that part of the solution to this growing problem lies in closer co-operation between European police forces, amendments to legislation – especially the money laundering directive – and some standardisation of laws across the continent. We have an almost completely unregulated situation in the UK and it cannot be long before law enforcement agencies here seek to redress the imbalance. My view is that more regulation, while it may be necessary, will not cure the problem unless it can be applied in a practical way, and is not burdensome to jewellers.
ardly a week goes by without our SaferGems colleagues circulating an alert about robberies or fraud allegedly committed by nationals from other parts of Europe. As a small island clinging to the edge of the continent we can sometimes be a bit insular in our beliefs; not to say a little paranoid that we alone are the targets of foreign criminals. If it is any comfort, we are not alone in this belief, and as the initiative begins to forge links with its counterparts in other countries, we are finding that many share common concerns. In fact, through our links with our French counterparts we have discovered that we share many of their concerns. Saint Eloi, the French union of watch and jewellery traders, was set up in 1979 and represents over 1,500 outlets in France; accounting for half the sector’s annual turnover (2.5 billion Euros). They report that French watch and jewellery traders are faced with more robberies committed with extreme violence, increasing by 30 per cent in 2010, when over 190 suspects were detained. Not unexpectedly Paris suffers most, with Bouches-du-Rhone and Languedoc-Roussillon particular hotspots because of their proximity to borders with other EU countries, allowing easy escape.
44 The Jeweller December 2011
According to the French, one of the causes of the increase is the practice of buying gold back over the counter. Like the UK, French goldsmiths and jewellers are doing significant business since the recent raw material price rises. While there is an obligation for identity information to be collected and registered in the livre de police there are fears that this is circumvented by companies based in other European countries. The practice of buying back gold over the counter provides a means by which robbers get rid of their spoils, and the French feel that disparities in laws across Europe have a bearing on the handling of stolen goods. They cite Belgium and Holland, and particularly Antwerp, as being the hub for the handling of stolen stones and precious metals. Payment in cash is another problem highlighted by our French counterparts. Since January 2011 the authorities have imposed a ceiling of €500, and while most jewellers are unaffected because their tendency has always been to supply new goods rather than cash, they are again concerned that the same limitations do not apply across the EU. Aside from the economic harm resulting from violent robberies, our neighbours across the Channel have the same concerns about the effect on shop staff, and having set up
In early November SaferGems circulated alerts containing images of a ‘family’ distraction team that had committed sleight of hand and distraction thefts at jewellery stores across England. A couple of weeks later an eagle-eyed member telephoned SaferGems to report that the family had just walked past his store. Having notified other jewellers in the area he called our co-ordinator who promptly contacted the local police force, who stopped a vehicle containing the distraction team which consisted partly of an Eastern European female and a fourteen year old boy. They were subsequently questioned about offences committed in four other police force areas and as a result the female and young boy were bailed to addresses in the West Midlands. Despite their not being remanded into custody, this is another good example of SaferGems members identifying suspects from alerts and our links with police forces that have once again resulted in arrests being made. If you have suspicions or incidents to share, please get in touch with SaferGems on tel: 0845 272 7802, fax: 0845 272 7803 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
w w w. s a f e r g e m s . o r g . u k
The Voice of the Industry 45
| Ethical Jeweller
Setting a good example Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design has just become the first independent jeweller in the UK to achieve RJC certification. No walk in the park… but well worth the effort on so many levels, as she is keen to explain. uring the past couple of years, almost every issue of this magazine has included a news story giving the names of businesses that have achieved certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council. The honourable roll call has included more than a few diamond manufacturers and some globally renowned retail brands… all very encouraging developments. However, this might give the impression that jumping through the necessary hoops to achieve this recognition of ethical compliance is only possible if you’re one of the ‘big boys’. It might also seem as though RJC certification isn’t something that a small, independent jeweller (or even a UK-based multiple) need concern himself with – particularly if the process is difficult or onerous. Well, just to put a lie to this premise, it can be announced that last month Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design, an independent business that cannot boast an outlet in Bond or Sloane Streets, has passed the various appraisals and audits to achieve certification. It is, in fact, the first independent jewellers in the UK to do so and Harriet Kelsall herself is extremely keen that very many others will follow her lead. “I feel that I am trail-blazing something really important so that small businesses won’t get left behind,” she says. “It isn’t enough for a company which wants to be ethical to simply stock Fairtrade gold and think that is enough to tick their ‘ethical’ box,” she adds. “It is important for us to do this – but we need to do even better than that. Holding your business up
46 The Jeweller December 2011
against a set of guidelines, showing an example of a good company behaving well is also important – as are many other aspects of our behavior within this industry.” Call her evangelical, but Kelsall is so convinced that RJC certification is “an excellent initiative” that she is more than happy to do what she can to help other small businesses tackle the processes involved. “We would strongly urge other organisations in the industry to strive for it,” she says.
“My feeling is that if we smaller businesses don’t get involved in this, we put ourselves at a disadvantage because bigger ones will be able to say “look, we’re responsible – we’ve had an audit to prove it”. “In fact the smaller companies might actually be more responsible and should, in theory, find it easier to prove,” she adds. “My worry is that smaller businesses might get frightened off and left at a disadvantage because of this.”
“It is certainly a robust review of a business which has left me feeling much more confident about areas of the business which had previously been a bit woolly…”
The first British jeweller to receive the honour The first UK-based retailer to achieve RJC certification was F Hinds. “We didn’t see any direct commercial benefit, but felt it was the ‘right thing to do’. Just because somebody is involved in business doesn’t mean they don’t have the same view of right and wrong as those looking in from outside. We felt that the RJC was an excellent initiative and were keen to support it,” comments Andrew Hinds, director and diamond buyer. “The whole thing was not too onerous given the scope of the RJC’s ambit – the codes of practice took some time to digest and process, but this was helped by the assessment criteria spreadsheet which was very easy to use, albeit somewhat lengthy. “Our auditors were extremely efficient and friendly – a joy to work with, taking a lot of worry out of the process. Effective communication between the company and the auditors is very much a key to certification, and being organised prior to their visit. The RJC, in particular Anna Leach, were very helpful in the build up to certification and are literally at hand to answer any questions or queries,” he adds. “There were some minor changes we had to make which have since been implemented. Many of these made sense and formed part of the auditor’s recommendations rather than the assessment criteria – more a case of someone with a fresh, untainted perspective looking at how we do business and suggesting a different way of performing certain tasks and functions. Overall, it was quite a positive experience.”
Ethical Jeweller | So, with the final audit and the preparation for it is still fresh in her mind (and in the minds of her whole team!) Kelsall offers this outline and guide to gaining certification in the sincere hope that others will be encouraged to follow her example.
No excuses “I often hear people say things like ‘Oh, I don’t think the RJC thing is worth doing’. This is an utter cop-out!” she says. “They feel it’s going to be too hard and don’t want to think about it. They may have got as far as downloading the RJC documents and felt out of their depth – it’s ‘too difficult’. ”It’s true that the documents are written in ‘corporate speak’ and appear complicated, but that’s no reason not to do it. It’s the sort of language that usually has people like me run screaming in the opposite direction – but I have proved that it’s possible to do. I know that the NAG and the BJA together are looking at ways to simplify the documentation… once they have gathered enough members from both organisations who are keen to get certified. “There is also a body of opinion that feels the RJC was set up by many of the businesses which may have historically done the most ‘ethical harm’ in the jewellery industry. This is a different sort of cop-out. The fact, if true, isn’t relevant. What does it matter who set it up? And if these companies are now taking steps in the right direction, that can’t be a bad thing. Better late than never, surely? “If you’re reading this and thinking that we must be a company with time on our hands, having managed to achieve certification – think again! We’re lucky enough to be incredibly busy, but I really wanted to check that we were behaving responsibly,” Kelsall adds.
you communicate with your team – make sure that everyone understands the important issues like conflict diamonds and product integrity. The latter includes issues like treatments – we hadn’t been detailing exactly what treatment had occurred to a diamond for instance. We went through our stock and made sure this was more clearly described. I’m pleased we have done this because it’s sensible – now we can be confident that we
“If we smaller businesses don’t get involved in this, we are putting ourselves at a disadvantage”
aren’t accidentally misleading a customer into thinking that a colour-treated diamond is natural. training has been completed for all staff and it is properly recorded. you have a business partner protocol. For us this was a change from an informal understanding of which supplier has what ethics etc, into a
spreadsheet detailing who has what position. This is not insisted upon by the RJC – but our own approach.
A self-audit “Ahead of the certification audit we needed to perform a self-audit which took our general manager a full working week to do. This was to check all 114 of the RJC’s questions against what we had in place. • The team were briefed in advance about who might be asked what by the auditor. This was helpful and served to really improve the understanding on these areas of the business. • We checked and researched new changes to the law. • Preparation is critical. Our general manager created a folder which took the auditor through each question and provided copies of evidence for them. He also created his own working document for the code of practices, which was more ‘user-friendly’ than the RJC ‘self-assessment’ booklet • We would advise a ‘final countdown process’ as this really helped build momentum and we felt a sense of everyone being ‘up for it’ and wanting to do well.
The process “Essentially, all you have to do is think through your whole business and cover off all areas carefully,” she says. “Things to check are: • you have a ‘procedure’ where one is needed • you’re obeying employment law • you are behaving responsibly in matters such as money laundering, bribery, conflict diamonds, health and safety, hazardous chemicals etc. Check all of these with a fine tooth comb!
Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design showroom
The Voice of the Industry 47
| Ethical Jeweller The audit “This took a day in our HQ and another day in our second branch. For the latter the auditor chose a selection of questions, but you have to prepare everything as you cannot assume what will be asked. In our case a lot of attention was paid to HR and money-laundering (the non-jewellery areas) and less on product integrity and conflict diamonds – this was probably due to the auditor’s expertise and comfort zone. In all I would estimate that it took 10-15 working days from looking at the documentation to completing the audit. The cost of the audit was £1,200 and around £100 in expenses. It should also be stressed that most of what you have to do, genuinely needs to be done anyway.” With all of the above in mind, Kelsall feels jewellers need to think about what they really want as a jewellery industry. “Do we want to make sure we are behaving as responsibly as we can? Yes”, she says. “Does it make sense for there to be a list of things about our business which I should look over so that I can check I am behaving responsibly – by comparing my business to examples of ‘good practice’ from responsible businesses. Yes. This is all that the RJC is about – it is as simple as that.” It may have felt hard-going at times but in the final analysis Kelsall clearly feels that the effort has been worth it. “It is certainly a robust review of a business which has left me feeling much more confident about
Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design showroom
48 The Jeweller December 2011
Beaverbrooks also achieves certification Another UK retailer to have received RJC certification is Beaverbrooks. “We were one of the first retailers to support the RJC when we joined in 2009. This was driven by our desire to play a part in building consumer confidence within the industry while purchasing diamond and gold jewellery,” says buyer Phillip McBride. “In recent years we have spent a lot of time developing a greater understanding of the purpose of our business. We worked out which values we feel are key to our business – Integrity, Passion & Caring. We also developed a list of ‘behaviours’ giving people real clarity as to ‘how people are supposed to act around here’. We quickly realised that being part of the RJC and working within their ‘code of practices’ complements and fits very nicely into our ‘values and beliefs’. We actively encourage all of our suppliers to support the RJC code of practices too – we feel that achieving the accreditation can only further help strengthen this cause. “Initially the idea of the self assessment was a little daunting and we thought it could be time consuming. However, once we had developed a strategy it was actually very interesting and enjoyable to analyse every area of the business and it was a good reminder of all the great things that we already do well,” he explains. “Having certification means we have a very strong message to give to all our customerfacing team members; they can now confidently say we work within the ‘code of practices’ of the RJC and we support ethical sourcing practices through the supply chain. We feel this is vital in order to build consumer confidence within our precious industry.”
Many more miners, raw material processors, designers and jewellers want to act responsibly and ethically, and with due respect for the planet…”
areas of the business which had previously been a bit woolly or which were reliant on information in my head rather than something simple written down showing how things should be done,” she says. And there’s no doubt that the industry as a whole will ultimately benefit from the RJC’s initiative. “The first independent jeweller achieving RJC certification is very important – especially within the current industry context,” says BJA CEO Simon Rainer. “The last decade has seen considerable change in the jewellery sector. Many more miners, raw material processors, designers and jewellers want to act responsibly and ethically, and with due respect for the planet and the people that populate it,” says Michael Hoare, the NAG’s CEO. “In that time there has also been a flourishing of ethical initiatives touching on all levels and segments of the sector. However the supply chain is complex with a proliferation of companies and individuals playing their part in bringing products to market. The result is a web of sometimes complementary, sometimes conflicting, and often overlapping schemes, each with their own priorities, time scales, and ultimate objectives,” he adds. “The RJC is the first to bring an integrated certification scheme from mine to retail, and Harriet is in the vanguard of UK retailers achieving that standard.”
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The Voice of the Industry 49
| Opinion: Tony Gordon
The shows must go on! Dazzle, the contemporary jewellery exhibition, celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Tony Gordon, the force behind the nationwide event reflects on the changing world of this sector and his fears for its future. ometimes I think of myself as the Old Man of the contemporary jewellery scene – well, after almost 40 years selling the work via my gallery and more than 30 in Dazzle with my partner Christine, I have reason to! In that time this niche has evolved enormously. It has grown to the point where makers are followed and collected and not just by the mega-wealthy. Many now earn a living from designing and making whereas, when I started, there were less than half a dozen such designers and even they were subsidised by teaching income. Many designers are now well known, some for sheer longevity, others for their specialities – such as Jane Adam for anodising aluminium, and Sheila McDonald for enameling. Many now create work that is instantly recognisable – the benefit of stylisation! Why such expansion? Initially it was because of the spread of specialised galleries throughout the country and latterly quality craft events like Chelsea Craft Fair and the Graham Hughes-inspired Loot at Goldsmiths Hall. Dazzle itself, with its four annual exhibitions in Scotland, Manchester and London now has a 60,000 strong mailing list. The other factor – a key one – has been the influence of a suddenly enthusiastic national press, which has cottoned on to this world of talented, trend-bucking designers. There’s also the interest created by the intriguing use of alternative materials – paper, wood, fabrics and an array of different plastics plus the more conventional silver, gold and platinum. Base metals and refractory metals, such as titanium, offer a colour alternative to gemstones. Also colleges are teaching new skills to a much more international intake of students,
50 The Jeweller December 2011
who in their turn influence the work being produced. South East Asians who can afford the high fees and are staying in the UK after graduation are figuring prominently in major exhibitions and are a huge influence on those that follow. So where is this branch of the industry going? Is it standing still or changing? It is certainly evolving and I am not sure whether that is all for the good. I have a personal fear that galleries are quickly disappearing and that retail events such as Dazzle may well ultimately join them. The cause is the internet, which is dramatically changing the way people buy their jewellery. Galleries and selling events have, to date, acted as showrooms, selling the work of new and established designers directly to the public; getting it known to a wider audience. However, the internet is about to kill all of this; the designers and the public are slowly squeezing the very retailers who have championed them. The numbers of these middle men/women are being steadily whittled down as customers increasingly visit these ‘showrooms’ but then return home to buy online, direct from the makers.
Galleries and selling shows name all the makers showing. They have invested time and money in these designers (taking them on at the point of graduation, nurturing and supporting them while they learn the ropes) but are losing a huge and fast-decreasing volume of sales. Buying direct from jewellers’ websites often involves a reduced price, as the makers inevitably discount to secure sales, making the competition all the more uneven. Many gallery owners clearly see their writing on the wall. The ‘new jewellers’ route to the market will then have to be of their own making – spending huge sums on personal promotion, trade and retail shows where selection may not be guaranteed. They will have to become their own retailers and simultaneously forfeit the supportive network that the likes of Dazzle – which has a portfolio of over 1,000 designers from all around the world – can offer. Some will rely on the ever-expanding route of social media – which means selling through telephones, pcs, netbooks, laptops and tablets… but not face to face. You might argue that this is progress but I would question whether never feeling or trying on the jewellery is progress. These are often major investments – is this really the way the public want to go in the longer term? Yes, we too have an online business and it’s booming, but, like other competing websites, is feeding off the same customers who were loyal to our exhibitions and who know the work they are seeing online simply because it has been introduced to them in the flesh at Dazzle. Without the exhibitions these online clients will eventually disappear, but for how much longer can we afford to finance them?
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| Insurance Matters
two years on... In the light of continuing crime against those in the jewellery industry, Michael Ferraro of TH March sheds a more positive light at the end of the tunnel. rime is one of the least attractive sides to our industry and something which may have affected a retailer you know or even your own business. Gangs and thieves operate all over the UK and their methods are not new but they are becoming more frequent and more dangerous to businesses. As an insurer we see firsthand the consequences and the value of loss to the jewellery trade each year so in 2009, in partnership with the NAG, TH March developed SaferGems; an initiative to provide much needed intelligence and support for the continuous fight against crime in the jewellery and associated trades, including antique and fine art industries. SaferGems is a unique proposition and was set up to help address the serious crimes of which the jewellery trade is an increasing target. Unlike other security initiatives in place at the time of its launch, SaferGems set out to identify and help to address the issues that contribute to serious crime by compiling a confidential national, geographical database of incidents, crimes and suspects. The SaferGems database is vital for police and their ongoing enquiries; we have links to all
52 The Jeweller December 2011
43 police forces in the UK and are a dependable source for investigations. SaferGems is not only integral to helping police with their investigations but in turn police are vital to supplying information to help with SaferGems alerts. They are able to offer intelligence on some of the crimes which jewellers do not report to SaferGems and on a case-by-case basis are sometimes able to give confidential information which cannot be made public but which is of use to SaferGems’ co-ordination of data. Of course, it’s not just police who make SaferGems a success but the jewellery trade too; retailers need to continue to log suspicious behaviour and criminal offences. If you have suffered firsthand or spotted something untoward then you need to make other retailers aware, it’s easy to do and takes just minutes – log a report at the SaferGems website www.SaferGems.org.uk or direct by phone on 0845 272 7802. Reports of activity are then sent to members of the NAG, the BJA and also TH March policy holders. The reports highlight the suspicious activity from cars involved in a
robbery to CCTV images, as well as areas in which gangs and thieves are operating. Since SaferGems launched in June 2009, over 1,110 reports have been made and 420 alerts have been sent out. These have covered thefts, robberies, burglaries, credit card fraud and suspicious activity throughout the UK. As a direct result of SaferGems, 14 arrests have been made and SaferGems has assisted with a further 12 as well as being integral to ongoing police enquiries. One example is that of two men who had committed £2,300 worth of jewellery theft in Hull – this instance was picked up by the SaferGems team which linked the type of crime and description of criminals to previous reports that had been made from the trade. The offenders in question had committed crimes in six police regions from Kent to North Yorkshire and South Wales but were still unknown; it wasn’t until a similar offence occurred in the Lothian and Borders Police area which then led to the arrest of a 33-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy. Police subsequently worked alongside the SaferGems team to obtain details of previous suspected crimes by the duo, who pleaded guilty to the robberies in Hull and South Wales and are currently on remand. Following the arrests, Detective Sergeant John Fuller from Humberside Police said: “The information and assistance given by SaferGems was invaluable and contributed to not only the identification of the men for their involvement with the Hull theft but also other linked offences. Ultimately, without the support of SaferGems it would have taken a great deal of time to identify these men and bring them to justice.” The arrests prove that the jewellery industry needs this support to fight crime and combat as many offences as possible. SaferGems goes from strength-to-strength and continues to gain momentum as more businesses use the service. It’s a simple tactic to cut crime and your information could be vital to the jewellery industry. Report suspicious activity through the website, then, if you are a member of the NAG, BJA or insured on a Jewellers’ or Antique and Fine Art Dealers’ Block Policy via TH March, look out for the SaferGems alerts. If you are not receiving them, check that your e-mail address on the branch page of the SaferGems website is up to date; if you cannot get access to the data, talk to TH March or your trade association.
Scotlandâ€™s Trade Fair Spring
www.scotlandstradefairs.co.uk 22 - 24 January, SECC, Glasgow
for gifts that sell
Show open times:
Sunday 22 January 09.30-17.30 Monday 23 January 09.30-17.30 Tuesday 24 January 09.30-16.30
of Great Ideas!
Over 500 suppliers exhibiting the very best Scottish and International ranges with thousands of new ideas to tempt your customers. Clothing and textiles, jewellery and fashion accessories, bath and body, home and giftware, food and drink. To register for your free visitor badge, see a full list of exhibitors or for further information please visit: www.scotlandstradefairs.co.uk Scotlandâ€™s Trade Fairs are organised by Springboard Events Ltd on behalf of Clarion Events Ltd. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Voice of the Industry 53
| Legal Jeweller
Keeping to the timetable Meeting deadlines and avoiding delays is critical if youâ€™re planning a shop launch or re-fi. Solicitor Louisa Brogden from the commercial and technology team at Boyes Turner offers advice on keeping contractors on track. hether you are opening a new place of business or refreshing your existing premises, timing is key to ensuring that everything is finished and ready for your launch date. In particular, you will need to agree with your designers and fitters in advance precisely what you require them to do and set out realistic timescales for their part in the work to be completed. To prevent any dispute as to what has been agreed, the scope and details of the work, costs and all deadlines will need to be clearly set out in the contract between the business owner and the contractor. But what can be done to ensure that the agreed timescales are met? Where a contract between a business owner and contractor specifies a deadline for completion of work, the business owner must be able to enforce that condition and to get the work back on track as quickly as possible if the contractor falls behind.
Protect yourself: Liquidated Damages Claiming damages for breach of contract is a lengthy process and will do nothing to assist the business owner either in his relationship with the contractor or in having the premises ready for the launch date. A more practical approach would be to put a provision in place for liquidated damages, which are an instant form of compensation that will motivate the contractor to meet their deadlines and compensate the business owner if they do not. Liquidated damages are a fixed sum agreed in advance by contracting parties as compensation for a specific type of breach. The contract will set out the amount of
54 The Jeweller December 2011
damages (or their method of calculation if appropriate) and the circumstances in which they must be paid. The advantage of this approach is its speed and simplicity. There is no need for the parties to go to court for an award to be made as the payment takes the form of a debt that becomes immediately payable on the occurrence of the specified event (such as missing a deadline), so the business owner need only demand the payment from the contractor. Liquidated damages have the additional benefit that they encourage the contractor to meet deadlines since they will be aware of their financial obligations and how easily the compensation can be claimed. Nevertheless, it is important that the agreed figure is a genuine pre-estimate of loss and the business owner must not be tempted to set a higher sum as an attempt to deter the consultant from breaching the contract. A liquidated damages clause that is intended as a deterrent will be seen by the court as a penalty and will not be enforceable.
Performance Guarantee As additional protection, the business owner may consider entering into a performance guarantee with a third party guarantor. This is a separate agreement under which the guarantor (most often the contractorâ€™s parent company) provides a guarantee that the contractor will perform their obligations at the agreed time in accordance with the terms of the contract. Should the contractor fail to meet their obligations, the guarantor will be required to pay a sum of money to the business owner. To avoid such liability, the guarantor will want to monitor and push the contractor to ensure timely performance but if this does not happen, the business owner has the right to payment. This can be particularly useful where the contractor is a new company or the business owner has concerns about their solvency. Due Diligence Even where a guarantee is given, there is no substitute for carrying out adequate due diligence on the contractor before their engagement. No business owner can afford the risk of its contractor going out of business before the work is complete, so it must take measures to research the contractorâ€™s business, history, experience and client endorsement in order to be satisfied that the contractor is and will remain solvent. Conclusion Fitting or refitting a business premises can be a costly business, but with advance planning, a clearly defined work scope and timescale and careful consideration of contract terms, business owners can greatly reduce the risk of additional expense caused by contractor delays and disputes. For further information call 0118 952 7209 or visit: www.boyesturner.com
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| Antique Jewellery I n
a s s o c i a t i o n
w i t h
F e l l o w s
Antique JEWELLERY The Pre-Raphaelites – who they were In the first of a series of features looking at jewellery in art, Jo Young delves into the world of the Pre-Raphaelite artists and examines their particular love affair with jewellery. he Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, as it was known, was formed in the late 1840s by the English artists William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (the last of the three later came to be the most celebrated of the artists). These founder members were joined by William Michael Rossetti and others who together formed a seven member ‘brotherhood’. As well as these founder members there was a larger Pre-Raphaelite circle that included a number of other prominent, Victorian painters and writers like Ford Madox Brown and the poet Christina Rossetti. Later, there was what became known as a ‘secondary’ aesthetic stage of the movement, which included the artists Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and J W Inchnold. The basic intention of the Pre-Raphaelite movement was to reject the artistic rules and concepts prevalent at the time, which the members believed was mechanistic. They believed that the classical poses used by Raphael, in particular, had had a negative influence on art (hence the name Pre-Raphaelite), and were particularly scathing in their opinion of the Royal Academy founder Sir Joshua Reynolds whose work William Rossetti dismissed as “commonplace” and “conventional”. Their intention was to produce art that celebrated detail, vibrant and intense colours,
56 The Jeweller December 2011
interesting and unconventional composition, similar to those of earlier Quattrocento and Flemish art. Art historians have long suggested that Rossetti, Millais and their mates were the ‘Brit Artists’ of their day; perhaps a more apt modern comparison to the Brotherhood, though, would be the punk movement of the 1970s. More Sex Pistols than Tracy Emin (whose work is, actually, rather more sensitive and introspective than might be supposed), the Pre-Raphaelites were deliberately and self-consciously anti-authority and anarchic in belief. Where there were artistic rules in place, the boys set out to break them. They were, in short, very rock and roll.
Jewellery Jewellery plays a significant role in the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites. Given the group’s preoccupation with fashion, clothing and adornment, it makes sense that the jewellery that features in their work is not put there without thought or without meaning; in each, the choice of jewel is always well-considered and purposeful, and occasionally steeped in symbolism. One reason for this is that the PreRaphaelites were operating in the midst of a quiet social revolution, one that allowed artists, writers and musicians to mix with the society hostesses of the day – socialising between the classes, in effect. This intermingling in the artists’ own social lives had, inevitably, an influence on their work: the fashions and accessories worn by the women in the Pre-Raphaelite circle makes its way into the dress of their painted figures. The jewellery worn by the women
Edward Burne-Jones brooch
in Pre-Raphaelite art echoes the taste for curious, often antique jewellery shared by the women in the artists’ ‘aesthetic’ circle. In fact, in many cases, the jewellery is actually the same – jewellery historians have matched several pieces of Rossetti’s jewellery, now held by the Victoria & Albert Museum, to examples in his paintings.
Focusing on Objects
The Pre-Raphaelites were interested in testing boundaries in art: where the convention of the day was to paint groups in low colour and semi-lit, for example, they would work in bright, brilliant colours and in even light. This artistic rebelliousness also helps to explain, in a way, the prominence of some of the jewellery that you see in the artists’ work. Theirs was often a very precise, photographic emphasis on particular (often mundane) objects within their paintings,
Antique Jewellery | especially those in the immediate foreground, which other artists would tend to leave in shade or blurred. Thus our attention is being drawn to specific, small objects in these paintings in a way that was quite deliberate and quite self-conscious.
larger and more detailed elements of the painting as a whole. The pendant in the background, too, is given real prominence in terms of its size and the quality of the brushwork used to paint it.
Another tenet of the movement was that the artists should be free to experiment with their art and their abilities, and should not be limited to working in one medium; they felt that they should work across the different creative fields, from poetry and prose writing to the less esteemed world of domestic arts and crafts. It was out of this artistic experimentation that the Arts and Crafts movement – one of the most significant in domestic design – was effectively born, with Morris, Burne-Jones and Rossetti’s design partnership having a profound influence on decoration well into the twentieth century. Some artists, like Burne-Jones, worked very sucessfully themselves as jewellery designers.
In Rossetti’s work Regina Cordium, for example, the model Ada Vernon wears a striking gold, heart-shaped necklace that jewellery historians Geoffrey Munn and Charlotte Gere propose is likely Spanish eighteenth century work. It is, they say, very like a similar piece in the jewellery collection at the V&A. In the top right hand corner of the painting, Rossetti has also included a large pendant, featuring a cupid, that the pair suggest is likely a depiction of a rock crystal carving. What makes the jewellery in this painting so interesting is its centrality: the necklace around the sitter’s neck is positioned in the very heart of the image, and is one of the
The Beloved ne of Rossetti’s most famous paintings is The Beloved (pictured). Produced in 1865-66, the subject of the painting is the bride from the Song of Solomon. It features a wealth of interesting jewellery pieces, worn by each of the four principle characters portrayed in the picture. The painting is one of a series of halflength portraits that Rossetti painted during the 1860s that ostensibly celebrate women whom, the artist claimed, “enshrine the mystery of existence”. Despite some of the less savoury actions undertaken by Rossetti in his personal life, Rosetti’s stated aim in his art was to explore aspects of femininity: beauty, sexuality, idealised love and, of course, the ever-important notion of purity and virtue. All the paintings in this series showed women surrounded by items designed to show off their beauty, like flowers, musical instruments and jewellery. This one, The Beloved, was unique in including not one character but several. The bride is accompanied by four other women and a slave boy, all of whom are lavishly draped in rich textiles and jewellery. Several pieces of
Artists as jewellers
jewellery in this painting were precious to the artist. The bridesmaid at the centre back of the image, wears a seed pearl circular hairpin to hold her veil in place that Rossetti owned and particularly loved; it appears not only in this painting but in others, including Monna Vanna, painted the same year. The bride also wears a nineteenth century Burmese bracelet in the shape of water monsters (Makara), which was bequeathed to the V&A by William Morris’s daughter, the designer May Morris, in the 1930s. The inclusion of a black character in this work, incidentally, is quite significant; this was
A leading light of the movement, Burne-Jones produced a wealth of sketches for jewellery pieces, some of which were produced by the more celebrated jewellery firms of their day – including Child & Child and Carlo and Arthur Giuliano. The Giuliano firm, which was founded in the 1880s by Carlo Giuliano, specialised in
the only black figure the artist ever painted, and its inclusion is steeped in possible political and social meaning. Some art historians suggest that a clue to the importance of this inclusion lies in the passages from the biblical Song of Solomon that are written on the frame of the painting: ‘My Beloved is mine and I am his’. Crucially, the Song of Solomon famously also included the lines, ‘I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem’. Rossetti did not depict his female protagonist – the bride – as black, choosing instead to stick to the red-haired, pale-skinned model of beauty that so fixated all the Pre-Raphaelite artists. Instead he included the small black boy as a means, perhaps, of exploring beauty in different racial types: there are several racial types present in this painting, and references to different ethnic cultures in the jewellery and accessories depicted. The robe that the bride wears appears to be Japanese, while her hair ornaments are Chinese featherwork; the boy wears a pendant that has the appearance of being North African, and was in fact a frontlet owned by and borrowed from Rossetti’s artist friend George Price Boyce. Boyce, like Rossetti, was fascinated by jewellery and owned a large collection.
The Voice of the Industry 57
| Antique Jewellery revivalist jewellery and was known for the skill of its enamelling work. The jeweller produced a large number of pieces of jewellery based on the designs of BurneJones and received patronage from other Pre-Raphaelite artists. Child & Child, meanwhile, was a partnership established in Knightsbridge in 1880. It too specialised in enamel work, and was also a favourite of the Pre-Raphaelite artists.
St Philip’s Cathedral, in the Philip Webbdesigned Cumbrian church St Martin’s, in Brampton, and in Christ Church, Oxford. He famously created a series of woodcuts for the Kelmscott Press folio of Chaucer, produced in 1896, which was by far the most successful edition the firm produced and are among the most celebrated of his contributions to ‘domestic’ arts and crafts.
Edward Burne-Jones Born in Birmingham in 1833, Edward BurneJones was an artist and designer who worked closely with William Morris within the decorative arts as well as working prolifically as a fine artist – some of his best known work is on display in the Tate Britain. Through his enthusiastic take up of a range of arts, Burne-Jones helped to revive the commercial fortunes of a whole range of traditional crafts, from stained glass to tapestries and ceramic tiles, to mosiacs and book illustration. His stained glass work (which is quietly gorgeous) can be found right the way around England; Burne-Jones designed the stained glass in Birmingham’s
58 The Jeweller December 2011
‘Georgiana’, painted by Edward Poynter
In jewellery terms, Burne-Jones is one of the more interesting members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, the latter stages of which he is most associated with. He appeared to rather like working with jewellery, and designed quite a few pieces of it – often reusing preparatory drawings and designs for work in other media. Like many jewellers before and after him, Burne-Jones was very keen on the heart as a jewellery motif, both as a symbol and as a declaration of love. Indeed, in one of the best-known paintings of Burne-Jones’ wife Georgiana, painted by her brother-in-law Edward Poynter, she is wearing a simply-designed, heartshaped lapis lazuli pendant surrounded by pearls, which is presumed to have been a gift from her husband.
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.
accordance with section 5(2) of the Kent County Council Act 2001 and section 5(2) of the Medway Council Act 2001, the Councils require registration of all persons dealing in second hand goods and a copy of their certificate must be conspicuously displayed when dealing with the public from premises in Kent or Medway. Hence anyone trading in second hand goods,
At the very least the NAG should consider promoting best practice once again. Michael Payne, Payne & Son Michael Hoare, CEO NAG replies: Mr Payne makes a very valid point. The dramatic rise in metal prices on world markets has led to a proliferation of informal
metal trading businesses. None more so than in the precious metal sector; but metals such as copper and lead have also been attracting premium prices. High prices and the ease with which metals can be traded have led to an increase in criminal activity. There are few of us who haven’t had a rail journey disrupted by cable theft and this problem, along with the theft of lead from roofs and the reckless removal of manhole covers and road signs has had a dramatic effect in terms of insurance losses, risk to life and limb, and damage to public buildings. As a result there are moves afoot to more closely monitor scrap dealers and the pressure is now on to extend this to jewellers and others who buy precious metals. For many jewellers, gold buying has proved a lifeline in recent months, not only providing income, but also driving footfall. The downside is that they have sometimes also unwittingly provided an easy disposal route for criminals, effectively laundering stolen gold. Our SaferGems intelligence confirms this, as do police contacts with whom I have discussed the issue, and our European trade association contacts give the same evidence. Quite recently the NAG and BJA began consultation with a major UK police force that is intent on establishing a code of conduct for gold buyers. They were unaware of the Kent Act, but are now looking to it as a potential model for their own efforts. It is too early to report on their progress, but both of our associations are right behind their efforts to find a practical method of authenticating gold sales. If the right model can be found, then I think a national roll out will follow in the near future.
Proof that SaferGems works!
goes on in the area. Recently we discovered that the BJA – of which we are a member – had joined up with the SaferGems initiative, so we signed up for the email alerts. No sooner had we done this than the first alert we looked at showed seven suspects wanted for a number of robberies and distraction-type crimes, covering an area from Harrogate to Devon… I recognised all of them! I phoned the local authorities to let them know that this group were known in the Jewellery Quarter and a colleague in a nearby jewellery business, who had also
looked at the SaferGems email was even able to supply a car registration number. The upshot is that most of the seven have now been arrested, which is excellent news. Crime, particularly against the jewellery industry, is reaching a dreadful level in this country – I've been at the sharp and very unpleasant receiving end of it myself. The more that we can do to combat it the better and it’s clear that people are paying attention to the SaferGems alerts. Nigel Blackburn, Lois Jewellery Birmingham
Letters to the Editor
The editor’s postbag this month covers the buying and selling of gold as well as the efficacy of SaferGems.
Gold purchasers should be registered wo sentences in a recent SaferGems Bulletin set me thinking. Under the media stories for August I read the following attributed to the Express & Star: (1) ‘There is no legislation covering the buying and selling of gold and independent gold retailers are becoming increasingly common in most towns and cities.’ (2) ‘Police officers were now pleading for a change in the law to require all scrap metal transactions to be recorded and ID taken.’ Taking the first point it may be the case nationally but not locally. Here in Kent there is already a local government act. In
and by implication gold, must be registered. Apparently only four other areas of the country are covered in a similar way. (I understand that two are possibly Durham and Nottingham?) If the second point is true, and the police also wish this to be the case nationally, maybe the NAG should be pushing for it as well since it already advocates the use of gold buying books. Also, HMRC approves the use of such documentation as a means of tracking gold sales, albeit for tax reasons! I certainly believe the second hand trade should be registered nationally as it is in Kent.
The downside is that [jewellers] have sometimes also unwittingly provided an easy disposal route for criminals, effectively laundering stolen gold.
n case there are any readers out there who are still to be convinced that signing up for SaferGems alerts is a good idea, I wanted to pass on my own recent experience. As a company that buys in around £5 million worth of precious metal a week, we naturally work very closely with the Birmingham police. Our business is on the main road in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, so we are in a good position to report on much of what
60 The Jeweller December 2011
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Where to go, what to read, what to see…
gemmologist) has obviously needed to look at: high tech treatments, synthetic diamonds, new developments in instruments and testing… Rather than chapters, the book is divided into lessons, each serving as a separate lecture, with much more attention paid this time to gem species, as well as organic gems (like amber and coral) and pearl. Ideal for gemmology diploma students, this book is written clearly enough to be read by readers of all levels of understanding.
The Crown Jewels by Anna Keay (£38.00 Thames & Hudson) Written by the curatorial director of English Heritage, this large format, beautifully illustrated book is the result of a collaboration between the publishers and The Royal Collection and Historic Royal Palaces. It tells the story of what is the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world – this covers everything from the 12th century silver gilt spoon used for anointing at a coronation (described in a 1349 inventory as of ‘antique forme’) to the major gems set in the various crowns. There are detailed images, paintings and photos of the regalia being worn; explanatory text based on original research (recounting the Crown Jewels’ development over the centuries) and a complete inventory of the collection. Groups of crowns are shown in sequence, including rather fascinating crown frames – without their stones as well as one rather casual shot of the coronation jewels unceremoniously
laid out on a bench, waiting to be altered for the future Queen Elizabeth ll.
Sales & Exhibitions
A showcase of 22 selected artists and makers celebrating 10 years of this sector in the city including work by jeweller Clare Hillerby (left). www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk
runway show, trends area, retail seminars and networking events. www.showcaseireland.com
January 6th-15th: Wohoooh!!! National Taipei University of Education, Taipei City, Taiwan Contemporary jewellery vs. art vs. design, from 10 makers from five nations. www.facebook.com/wohoooh
December 9th-11th: Mumbai Jewellery & Gem Fair, Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India This inaugural Asian fair offers gold, silver and gemstone jewellery, loose stones and watches. www.jewelryfair.in
22nd-25th: Showcase Ireland: RDS (Main Hall), Dublin Irish-made, design-led products will be on show at this fair which will include a
January 14th-19th: Vicenza Oro First, Fiera di Vicenza Spa, Italy The calendar of jewellery events kicks off
December Current-1st January 2012: Dazzle, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Contemporary jewellery fair, open to the public. www.dazzle-exhibitions.com Current-8th January 2012: Dazzle, National Theatre, South Bank, London Details as above Current-12th February 2012: Reflection – Contemporary Visual Arts & Crafts in Edinburgh, City Arts Centre
62 The Jeweller December 2011
Understanding Jewellery by David Bennett & Daniella Mascetti (£45.95 Antique Collectors’ Club) This reprinted book written by Fellows of Gem-A offers a comprehensive guide to 19th and 20th century jewellery, from the methods used to identify and date pieces, to the factors that can affect their value. Around 1,000 colour illustrations are accompanied by straightforward yet thorough explanations, including introductions to gemstones and stylistic developments of jewellery. Practical Gemmology by DeeDee Cunningham (£25.99 Robert Hale) The original book of this title was first published in 1943 and has been through six editions since then, the last being in 1976 – and a lot has happened in the world of gemmology since then. There are a whole host of topics that the author (a distinguished
Paper Jewellery by Sarah Kelly (£45.95 Antique Collectors’ Club) The latest in ACC’s ‘design & make’ series, this guide to jewellery-making couldn’t be further removed from the realm of precious metals and gemstones… seemingly. But to glance through its pages is to discover another definition of body adornment – a breathtaking collection of jewellery made from paper using a variety of different techniques. The author, one of the designers of such jewellery, guides us through different methods of creation, from folding and pleating to crocheting and sculpting. There are also many examples of paper used together with other, finer materials like gold, silver and enamel. Blue Peter this ain’t!
Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs
Strong jewellery presence promised at Scotland’s Trade Fair 2012 key date in the calendar of Scottish retailers and buyers is Scotland’s Trade Fair 2012 which is to be held in Glasgow from 22nd-24th January. With over 500 exhibitors across a huge range of homeware, gifts, textiles, clothing, jewellery and fashion accessories it offers a perfect forum for buyers to browse and order from a diverse mix of well-established producers to small, unique producers. Over a third of all stands will be showing jewellery and fashion accessories with products ranging from high end to affordable fashion jewellery. As jewellery continues to be a popular category it is expected that some 5,000 visitors from the UK and overseas will attend – many from galleries, gift shops, department stores, tourist outlets and garden centres, as well as jewellery retailers. The backbone of the fair is Showcase Scotland with established exhibitors such as Ortak, Sheila Fleet, Wallis Hunter, Linda MacDonald Tartan Twist and Tartan Twist and younger companies like Scottish Sea Glass (using re-claimed sea glass from Scottish beaches); Highland Gems (Glastonbury Festival’s ‘Green Trader of the Year); Rosa Red; Natalie Vardey and Solway Trading.
Beyond Showcase Scotland there is a large number of well-known, loyal manufacturers, distributors and importers all successfully selling into the Scottish market such as Nova Silver, Seagems, Indulgence, and Newbridge Silver. In addition, up and coming brands such as Jos von Arx; Chris Lewis; On a String and Peace of Mind will be exhibiting. Running through the centre of the Show is the Launch Gallery – a specially created area for companies under two years old. Here retailers can find new products, some of which will be launched to the trade for the first time at the show and offer originality and innovation. This year’s Launch Gallery includes jewellery and bags from Phemie by Emma Reid; big, bold, retro-feel jewellery by Twiggd and stained glass jewellery by Louise Nelson. Best Product Awards will be given for products from each category and will be displayed in the centre of the show so that buyers can easily see some of the best and most creative goods available. These will be judged by a retailer, a journalist and Michelle Costigan, the buyer for National Trust for Scotland. Last year’s jewellery winners were Bonnie Bling, Katie Cupcake, Circa 72 and Perfection of Production. Mark Saunders, from Springboard which organises the fair says: “We are all aware of the challenging economic times for both exhibitors and retailers. However, this show
with this1500 exhibitor fair with all elements of the industry including machinery and technical instruments. www.vicenzaoro.org
jewellery designers from around the world. www.bijorca.com
15th-17th: Top Drawer, Earls Court, London Fashion and gift trade event, including costume jewellery. www.topdrawer.co.uk 22nd-24th: Scotland’s Trade Fair, Spring, SECC, Glasgow See feature above for full story. www.scotlandstradefairs.co.uk 20th-23rd: Eclat de Mode, Porte de Versailles, Paris Featuring around 500 fashion and fine
26th-29th: MACEF Milano Costume jewellery, silverware and fashion accessories are included in this home and gift show. www.macef-exhibition.com 29th-31st: Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, Antwerp, Belgium Visitors to this exclusive event for diamond buyers must present a personal letter of invitation received from the fair organisers. To be considered, first register on-line. This year
offers an inspiring mix of products from large and small producers which can often quickly turn into best sellers. Housed in one exhibition hall right in the centre of Glasgow, it is ideal for buyers who want a taste of good quality, innovative products laid out in an easy-to-negotiate show. It is a ‘must attend’ event for many jewellery retailers as some exhibitors will only exhibit at this show.” Many retailers have commented on the quality of the stands at Scotland’s Trade Fair over the last few years. Cheryl Sievewright from Woodlane in Stirlingshire said: “The show has improved immeasurably over the years and I came away with a bag of orders.” Jane Atkinson from Bertie Browns in Perth said: “We found some very interesting jewellery designers and gained some new suppliers which is very refreshing.” Exhibitor Sheila Fleet added: “The show has a very dynamic feel and attracts buyers from far and wide.” Scotland’s Trade Fair, Spring – 22nd-24th January 2012, SECC, Glasgow. Tel: 01877 385772. www.scotlandstradefairs.co.uk Open hours: 9.30-5.30 Sunday and Monday; 9.30-4.30 Tuesday. For enquiries email Mark Saunders at: email@example.com
invitations have been extended to buyers from Asia and North America, as well as Europe. www.antwerpdiamondfair.com February 5th-9th: The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair, NEC, Birmingham Major jewellery exhibition including a new watch sector. www.thejewelleryshow.com 10th-13th: Inhorgenta, New Munich Trade Fair Centre International trade fair for jewellery, watches, gemstones, pearls, silver and technology. www.inhorgenta.com
The Voice of the Industry 63
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Last Word The Last Word of 2011 goes, to a man who surely needs no introduction… but here’s one anyway: Frank Wood, golfer, manabout-town and co-owner of RA Braithwaite jewellers in York. Personal Profile After starting in commercial banking Frank ‘married into’ the jewellery trade in 1975. In 1981, following the passing of his father-in-law, Reg Braithwaite, Frank was asked if he liked the trade sufficiently to join it full time. In 1995, he and his wife Dianne took over the running of the family company. Frank was Chairman of the NAG from 2008 to 2010, joined the Board of Directors in 1997, was Honorary Treasurer for seven years, followed by chairman and currently deputy chairman. A Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, Frank also now represents the NAG board on the BJA National Committee. How would you describe your personal style? Calm but passionate; fully committed (but always there for the NAG); and fashionwise? – traditional! Where is your favourite holiday destination? Why? I don’t do holidays! I have very little time and there are not many weeks that I have more than a couple of days free! The closest I get is IJL and Spring Fair. I will save ‘proper’ holidays for when I retire! Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? Chosen a quieter career! If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be? It would have to be to bring some form of consistency to the diamond labs – there are too many stories about inconsistent grading reports and it hurts the credibility of the jewellery industry. One thing I am very pleased with is the closer working relationship
66 The Jeweller December 2011
between the NAG and the BJA. The ‘Voice of the Industry’ is a powerful message. When did you become obsessed with golf? I get accused of discussing golf all of the time; really it is others who ask me! Before I became the chairman of the NAG I suggested to the Board of Directors, that we should have a social event, such as a golf competition. The Board agreed, on the condition that I would organise it. I didn’t play, so thought that I should have a few lessons. Since then I have become the ‘hub’ of all that is golf within the jewellery industry, holding a database of over 150 golfers. It is certainly an addictive sport! To what do you attribute your success? Joining a long established family business with a great reputation. Customer care is top of our list of priorities, often taken to the extreme. A customer asked if I would mind cutting off a wedding ring for her elderly mother, but did we make ‘house calls’?
It wasn’t far out of my way so I called in. The mother was incredibly nervous and shouted out in pain… and that was before I got near her with the ring cutter! I cut the (luckily) fine ring off her hand, a quarter turn of the blade at a time, it took well over an hour – and the charge? A staggering £5… I should have been a plumber! If not the jewellery business, what might your career have been? If dreaming, I suppose one of those obscenely-paid professional footballers; in reality, something in the exciting financial world I suppose. Tell us something not many people know about you… I was a semi professional footballer, when younger and fitter (and slimmer!). I have a PADI qualification for scuba diving, and Coastal Skipper qualification for sailing. What commitments do you have with your local retail community? Well… chairman of the York Retail Forum; member of the York Business Forum; member of the York Strategy Group; member of the Minster Quarter trading area committee; treasurer of Goodramgate Traders Association; committee member of Fashion City York; attendee of the NAG Yorkshire Centre meetings; regular interviewee of Radio York… Quick fire (no deliberating) • Diamonds or coloured stones? Diamonds • White or yellow metal? Yellow • Jewellery on men? Definitely – it increases the market! • Delegator or control freak? Control freak • Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles – definitely!
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