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Jeweller March 2012

With input from the British Jewellers’ Association

£6.50

The Voice of The Industry

Wedding jewellery – why love is still in the air! Jewellery Show highlights • Van Cleef & Arpels story


the gold of royalty For almost a century the Royal Family have been wearing wedding rings made from rare Welsh gold from the Clogau Gold Mine. The tradition was founded by The Queen Mother on her marriage to King George VI in 1923, when a nugget of pure Clogau Welsh gold donated by a Mr. Bartholomew was used to fashion her wedding ring. The same nugget has subsequently been used for later generations of the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall. The new Duchess of Cambridge also wears a wedding ring crafted from pure Welsh gold. It is a touch of this very same rare Welsh gold used in Royal wedding rings that is contained in every item of Clogau Gold jewellery and it has made Clogau Gold some of the most sought-after jewellery in the world.

The Gold of Royalty - containing the very same rare Welsh gold as used in Royal wedding rings www.clogau.co.uk/retail

www.clogau.com

0845 606 88 77


Contents |

the

Jeweller The Voice of The Industry

C O N T E N T S

www.thejewellermagazine.com

M A R C H

Bridal Sweet

1 2

40

Communiqué

4

Editor’s Letter

7

Industry News

8

NAG News

14

Precious metal prices may be rising, but so too

Member of the Month

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are the number of marriages – wedding jewellery

Obituary

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still means buoyant business

Education & Training

20

IRV Review

24

BJA News

27

Jeweller Picks

30

Ethical Jeweller

38

Legal Jeweller

49

Insurance Matters

56

Letters

62

Notebook

63

Display Cabinet

64

The Last Word

66

Hey Good Lookin’

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Mary Brittain reports on some of the highlights to be found among exhibitors at The Jewellery Show at the NEC, Birmingham last month

Van Cleef & Arpels: story of an iconic brand

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Jo Young reveals the history of the French jewellery The Jeweller is published by the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For more information about The Jeweller visit: www.thejewellermagazine.com

house, its milestone innovations and its

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

star-studded clientele through the ages

The National Association of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street, London EC2A 4XG Tel: 020 7613 4445 www.jewellers-online.org Editor: Belinda Morris Tel: 01692 538007 bmorris@colony.co.uk

Cover Image

BJA Marketing & PR Manager:

In conjunction with Gemex 32-34 Greville Street, London EC1N 8TB Tel: 020 7242 1080 Fax: 020 7831 1080 Email: sales@gemex.biz www.gemex.biz

lindsey.straughton@bja.org.uk

Lindsey Straughton Tel: 0121 237 1110

Sales Director: Ian Francis Tel: 020 7613 4445 Fax: 020 7729 0143 ian@jewellers-online.org Publishing Enquiries/ Classified Advertising: Neil Oakford neil@jewellers-online.org Art Director: Ben Page ben@jewellers-online.org Contributors: Mary Brittain, Miles Hoare, Jo Young

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

The Voice of the Industry 3


| Comment

Communiqué M I C H A E L

H O A R E ’ S

Michael Hoare, CEO of the NAG, reflects on the status and possible exploitation of apprenticeships, the potential minefield that is London 2012 and a cause for celebration at Luke Street.

Fries with that? It’s not much consolation for recent graduates slaving away in low paid jobs or no-pay internships, while watching debt they incurred getting qualified grow and grow, but politicians have changed their mind about education again. As a throwaway remark, the observation that ‘we replaced some excellent polytechnics with some pretty poor universities’ reflects my own view on skills training. As one who came up through that system it reflects my experience, but it provides no comfort for the current generation who find their hard won qualifications undervalued in the workplace. While politicians reflect on an experiment that went wrong, it must seem like a sick joke to those who have to bear the brunt. Anyway, now it’s official, apprenticeships are the new gold standard! I was at the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group at the House of Commons recently, and I heard John Hayes MP, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning say so; or that’s what he meant. Apparently the root of our education ills lies with the ‘liberal’ idea that academic success is preferable to practical skills. Hayes was delighted by new Government figures showing that there had been an upswing in the numbers of apprenticeship

4 The Jeweller March 2012

starts, notwithstanding the number of those aged 16 to 18 had dropped by three per cent in the first quarter of 2011/12, down to 53,700. The figures followed record levels of youth unemployment, which has now reached 1.04 million for those aged 16 to 24, announced by the Office for National Statistics in January. Undaunted he went on to announce a £1,500 apprenticeship bonus for businesses employing less than 50 staff, and an expansion in the number of Group Learning Associations. Government now sees a route to higher education through apprenticeships and wants to free it from ‘red tape’ (some suspect this means privatise it!); the aim is that the quality of apprenticeships must match the quantity; and the coalition openly views apprenticeships as a means of ‘engineering social mobility’. For his part, David Pollard of the FSB, also present, considered uptake too low, and was concerned about the quality and image of apprenticeships. Keen to engender employer ownership, he also felt that something has to be done to demolish small business ‘silo’ thinking, and to establish a common language between academics and employers. He cautioned the Government against removing the statutory requirement for workplace learning.

Concerned perhaps about an increasingly broad definition of what counts as an apprenticeship, one contributor from the floor asked how Government intended to prevent the cynical use of apprenticeships by some employers to circumvent the minimum wage regulations; abandoning the apprentices at the end of the training period, and using apprenticeship funds to train existing employees. No doubt he had in mind Sunday Times reports that McDonald’s has allegedly used nearly £30m from a state plan, intended to slash youth joblessness, in order to train its own employees rather than create jobs. McDonald’s is one of the largest providers under the scheme, according to the ST, and has so far trained 17,500 of its 72,000 British staff over the past three years. In addition, fears have been raised that companies are using taxpayers’ funds to subsidise training they would be carrying out as a matter of course, rather than improving the skills of young people who would otherwise be unemployed. Would it be too cynical of me to predict the advent of the McApprenticeship? Who knows, if we can reduce red tape enough, outlets across the land will soon be encouraging us to ‘go large’ and splash out a few extra pounds on a McDegree. “Would you like a Doctorate with that sir?”


Comment | 1984 Games I’ve mentioned before in this column that I’ve had some nagging doubts about the Olympics, but now I’m even more convinced that brand exploitation, rather than sporting achievement, is behind the games. A couple of weeks ago NAG announced some new Olympic year advertising. Within hours we had the legal team from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) on the phone demanding to know what we were up to and to see our graphics. An anonymous manufacturer had allegedly reported us, fearing that we were trying to exploit the Olympic brand. No doubt they had paid many thousands for that privilege, and I can understand why they might be touchy about somebody muscling in on the game. That’s not my point. We had read the rules and regulations carefully before we started, and we knew we weren’t in breach of them, but this incident has highlighted the absurdity of the situation. The people of Great Britain have paid for the Olympic infrastructure; the people of East London have borne the disruption caused by its construction; and workers and business people have to look forward to Armageddon on London’s transport system. But woe-betide them if they should make a few quid by associating themselves with the games. I can understand the wish to protect the logo – it needs it. But The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 allows LOCOG to stop people creating an association between a business, goods or services and the London 2012 Olympic Games and/or Paralympic Games, in the course of trade. Apparently, an association can be created through the use of ANY representation whether in audio or visual form. However, the 2006 Act specifies certain ‘Listed Expressions’ and states that a court may take these into particular account when determining if an association has been created. The Listed Expressions are any two of the words: Games, Two Thousand and Twelve, 2012, Twenty-Twelve OR any word in the list above with one or more of the words: London, medals, sponsors, summer, gold, silver, and bronze. That list alone is a minefield for jewellers. So, let that be a warning to you; Big Brother is definitely watching you. Check www.london2012.com/documents/brand-guidelines/guide-toprotected-games-marks.pdf if you don’t believe me.

Right Royal Knees Up As we all know by now, her Majesty the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year, the BJA reaches a significant milestone, and the Olympics will be bringing good cheer to the citizens of London and beyond. But nestled among these behemoths the NAG has a little gem of an anniversary that is all its own. Between 22nd and 24th September, we celebrate 25 years of valuations excellence at Loughborough University. Incredible as it may seem, it is a quarter of a century since the founding of the NAG Valuations Scheme which, emerging from its chrysalis on its 21st birthday, became the NAG Institute of Registered Valuers. Plans are already afoot to mark this milestone with the quintessential conference. Which, those who have attended before will know, is a pretty exciting prospect. Miss it at your peril!

Imagine if... ...you could turn a piece that your customer likes, into something they love. Well now you can.

Contact Gemvision to find out how

T: 0113 3899710 E: gveurope@gemvision.com www.gemvision.com

The Voice of the Industry 5


Comment | This month:

Editor’s

Letter

“A logical way to counter the rising cost of metals is to make changes to the design of a piece – without compromising on quality or the creative spirit…”

There was a moment during The Jewellery Show last month when a seminar speaker made a reference to the dreaded ‘R’ word and told us just how long we’d be wallowing in economic misery. You could almost hear the collective inward groan from the audience – I don’t think anyone really wanted to hear this during a selling show. Enough with the pessimism already! Okay, so it’s important to be a realist if you’re in business, but my overall impression of the mood of the show was uppy (as my massage therapist would say) rather than gloomy. This seemed particularly the case as I walked the aisles – appropriately enough – to research

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wedding and engagement rings for a feature in this issue. So the institution of marriage isn’t quite as imperative as it was in our grandparents’ day, but hundreds of thousands of us are still getting wed each year. It’s just a question of luring loved-up couples into your shop rather than someone else’s and of wooing them with a fabulous choice of styles and tip-top service to match. How hard can that be? Of course the escalating costs of materials is an issue, but designers and manufacturers, as well as retailers, are rising to the challenge that this presents, as my bridal jewellery story reveals. Another challenge facing all in the industry, is that of security. It’s a word that covers a wide range of concerns and in every issue of The Jeweller we aim to update you with new developments – the good news as well as the not-so-good. This month, in addition to some recently announced statistics on the cost of retail crime – with a reminder of the power of our SaferGems initiative – there’s a report by Miles Hoare on a new ‘Precious Metals Code

“…no matter how the financial figures stack up, the unspoken cost of crime against jewellers is calculated in fear, stress, and the loss of valued colleagues… some may decide against a career in the trade”

of Conduct’ and the ‘Metal Theft Prevention Bill’. It’s a subject that obviously has serious implications for the jewellery industry… as well as for vicars and the rail network. And while on the broader topic of safety, we also have news this month of an advanced driving course – of more relevance to us all than you might at first imagine.

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: bmorris@colony.co.uk

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| Industry News

Pandora sponsors the new Jewellery Show London ollowing the interest shown in Salon at Treasure, the one-day trade event during London Jewellery Week last June, the organiser of The Jewellery Show Birmingham has announced the launch of The Jewellery Show London. The headline sponsor of the show, which will be held at Somerset House in London on 12th and 13th June 2012, is bead and jewellery brand Pandora, which will recreate its Catwalk Café that is a central feature of the NEC event. The Jewellery Show London will showcase ‘an exclusive selection of the best British and international brands, suppliers and jewellery designers within an inspirational, trend-defining environment’. Brands and designers already confirmed are: Chavin Jewellery, Missoma, Anna Faine Jewellery, Rachel Galley Jewellery Design, London Road Jewellery, Paul Spurgeon Designs, Clogau Gold, Bering Time, Kennett, Torgoen and Dorit and T H March & Co. International jewellery brand Ti Sento has also pledged its support for the exhibition

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and is to create a sumptuous, high-end environment at the event, complete with bespoke VIP buying area and glamorous drinks reception for selected guests. Elsewhere at the show a programme of seminars and panel debates will be hosted by jewellery experts from across the industry.

Palladium design winner he International Palladium Board (IPB) announced the winner of its Palladium Jewellery Design Competition 2012 during London Fashion Week (LFW) last month. The Board challenged MA design students at Central St Martins College to create a piece of jewellery from the precious metal and the winning design, a neckpiece inspired by the life of a fictional paleontologist, was Yuki Koswara with created by Yuki Agriardi Koswara. Stephen Webster The panel of industry experts that made the final decision included jewellers Stephen Webster and Hannah Martin and the work of the five finalists was showcased at the newly established jewellery section of LFW, Rock Vault, which was sponsored by the IPB. The collaboration with the college is part of ‘Palladium Visions’ which will see the Board working with international artists, designers and jewellers throughout 2012. Among the ten designers selected to exhibit at Rock Vault, held at Somerset House and which ran from 18th - 22nd February were: Tomasz Donocik, Alexandra Jefford, Jo Hayes Ward, Jordan Askill, Sophie Bille Brahe and Fernando Jorge.

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Commenting on the launch, event director Julie Driscoll said: “We are delighted to be launching The Jewellery Show London. As a result of industry feedback we set out to create an event with a fresh perspective on how people want to meet and trade. The response to the launch has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to collaborating with the industry to drive buoyant trading in a year that sees celebrations of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympics. The show will see a jewellery show trend edit detailing trends for the year ahead that will inspire retail jewellers from around the UK and the wider world.” The new trade show, which is supported by the NAG and the BJA, will be followed by Treasure – the contemporary jewellery exhibition – which is open to the public (15th-17th June also at Somerset House) and both will fall within the Jewellery Week (11th-17th June). Details of UK-wide events during Jewellery Week will be announced in coming issues of The Jeweller.

Insurance for designers o address the needs of smaller designer craftspeople, specialist jewellery insurance broker TH March has introduced ‘The Jewellery Designer Makers Combined Policy’. The policy acts as a package with a range of simple options designed to provide cover quickly for a wide range of risks and for values of stock in trust up to £10,000. Premiums start from £185.50 including tax. “Expanding our offering in this way allows us to serve another segment of the industry while bringing the great wealth of knowledge and experience we have accumulated over our 125 years in business,” says Neil McFarlane who will take over as managing director of TH March when Michael Ferraro retires this June.

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Industry News |

William Cheshire wins Houlden Award

S N I P P E T S Carat appointment The luxury fashion jewellery company Carat is expanding its UK office and has appointed Asal Rahmani as its new wholesale director. Previously sales director for Thomas Sabo UK, Rahmani has over 14 years experience in the jewellery industry, within both retail and wholesale, having worked for Beaverbrooks, Goldsmiths and the Swatch Group. World’s most expensive Welsh cake

William Cheshire (centre) with the judging panel

esigner maker William Cheshire was revealed as the Houlden Group’s Designer of Excellence at The Jewellery Show last month. Through its sponsorship of the show’s Design Quarter Gems section, the Group had invited talented and inspiring designers to exhibit their latest collections. The judging panel chose Cheshire as the designer with the most original, innovative and eye-catching collection, but as the competition was such a close call a Highly Commended winner was chosen for the first time. Cindy Dennis Mangan was given this accolade for her ‘passion, desire and excellent design skills’. Cheshire set up his own label in 2002, designing and making jewellery for both women and men from his Hatton Garden studio. He uses precious metals and stones to create provocative and edgy styles that are inspired by both the classical and pop/punk culture.

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Peter Watson (1926 - 2012) eter Watson, founder of diamond and gem set jewellery business PJ Watson Ltd died last month at the age of 85. Although he had a long and happy retirement of 25 years, Peter kept in touch with the industry he loved, taking a keen interest in the careers of his sons – Vivian who, with his son John, runs PJ Watson (now in its 46th year) and Philip who, with his son James, runs Anna James (another jewellery company, now in its 24th year). Peter began his career in the jewellery trade in the 1940s, working for an Antwerp-based company, selling polished diamonds to manufacturing jewellers in the UK. His mother, Constance, was already a practicing gemmologist (trained under the watchful eye of the famous Robert Webster). Peter’s reputation in Hatton Garden and his in-depth knowledge of the diamond trade led him into a partnership and the formation of ‘The Eton Jewellery Co’. The family firm of PJ Watson Ltd. was established in September 1966. His passion for rare gems distinguished his collections and earned the company much recognition. The professionalism which was his personal hallmark has inspired the current and succeeding generations to follow his example. The Watson family claim to be the only family in the world with four successive generations of FGAs.

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To celebrate St David’s Day on 1st March Cardiff jeweller Clive Ranger gave its customers the chance to win a CZ-decorated Welsh cake… topped with a pure Welsh gold and .71ct diamond ring worth a yummy £6,250. In exchange for a £2 donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care visitors to the store picked up a raffle ticket, along with a regular Welsh cake. The winning ticket was drawn at an evening reception on the same day. Largest rough pink diamond found Western Australian mining company Rio Tinto announced last month that it has found a 12.76 carat pink diamond – the largest rough pink diamond found in the country. Estimated to be worth millions of pounds, it has been named the Argyle Pink Jubilee and is being cut and polished in Perth. In 2010 a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond was sold for a recordbreaking £29m. Bobby White charity donation London jewellery designer Bobby White designed and made a special bespoke ring which he donated to the Make-A-Wish UK charity. The ring was put up for auction at the charity’s Valentine Ball held at the Dorchester Hotel last month and sold for £6,000. The design for the ring was taken from White’s more affordable new ‘Star Cross’d Wishes’ silver and black enamel ring, 50 per cent of profits from which will also be given to Make-A-Wish on an ongoing basis. The charity grants ‘magical wishes’ to children and young people in the UK with life-threatening conditions.

The Voice of the Industry 9


| Industry News

New developments in store for IJL 2012 revamped catwalk show, an enhanced ‘luxury experience’ for key buyers, a new website and an inspiring contemporary creative are among the developments announced for International Jewellery London (Earl’s Court, 2nd-5th September, 2012). Following the success of the IJL Runway in 2011, the initiative is back and even better with a new format that offers exhibitors the opportunity to hold their own catwalk shows followed by a champagne networking reception, providing visitors with a closeup view of the jewellery as worn by models. There will be four daily sessions. Each exhibitor hosting one of these exclusive events can invite key contacts on a guest list only basis, but an open build will allow potential customers to view the show too. This year IJL’s Diamond Club which plays host to top jewellery buyers and industry individuals will ‘go international’, welcoming important contacts from key markets around the world. Visitors to the Club can also expect a more luxurious feel to the revamped lounge. Visitors to the IJL website will find a new look for 2012, incorporating sparkling new photography by Coneyl Jay. The relaunched site will include features such as IJL TV, and will allow potential visitors to the show to find out the latest news from exhibitors and keep up to date with industry developments. It also allows the industry to plan ahead and find out what’s in store for IJL 2012, from seminars to features like KickStart and Bright Young Gems. Organiser Reed exhibitions has also announced that complimentary IJL coaches will run from two key jewellery regions – Hatton Garden in London and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. For more information on IJL visit: www.jewellerylondon.com

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Swarovski awards he chapel of former Catholic boarding school the Beaumont Estate near Windsor, was the fittingly ornate setting for Swarovski’s Awards Dinner held at the end of January. The black tie event, hosted by UK and Ireland director Hayley Belinda Morris presents an Quinn, followed an intense day of brand presentations showaward to Jim Kenyon casing the future of Swarovski. Editor of The Jeweller Belinda Morris was on hand to present awards to the brand’s partners who excelled in the six key categories for 2011. The winners were: Stefan’s, Northampton (multibrand store of the year); top sales performance (Goldsmiths); Eva Ferguson at Matthew Stephen’s, Limerick (multibrand brand ambassador of the year); Jim Kenyon, Swarovski, Liverpool (top partner for like-for-like sell-in growth); Ernest Jones (key account/retail standards and sales) and Jim Lynam, Swarovski, Cork (retail eyes top performer).

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Brown & Newirth developments hrysus Trading Ltd and a management team has purchased the business and business assets of Brown & Newirth® from the administrators of Brown & Newirth Ltd. “This removes the recent uncertainty surrounding Brown & Newirth® and puts the business on a more stable financial footing; allowing us to press on with our plans to build the brand and continue to provide our customers with unrivalled product and service,” says sales director John Ball. “We will continue to trade under the same name, with the same team and from the same premises and therefore, this will be a seamless transition for our customers.”

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S N I P P E T S Howard Rubin The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers announced the death of its senior member Howard Rubin in January this year. He was one month from his 87th birthday. The US gemmologist who held key roles in a number of US associations was also the founder of GemDialogue, a system enabling jewellers to share information about coloured stones. Trollbeads supports RAF fund

The Danish charm bead jewellery brand has introduced a unique charity bead dedicated to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the welfare charity that offers support to all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children. The glass bead features a red heart set in a white circle with a vivid blue surround and distributor Fable Trading will donate £3 from every £26 bead sold to the Fund. Thomas Sabo partners Merc team German jewellery brand Thomas Sabo has been announced as the official jewellery partner for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. From the 2012 season onwards the company’s logo will feature on the racing cars, starting with the opener on 18th March in Melbourne. The move marks Thomas Sabo’s further expansion into the world of motorsports New chairman of Hallmarking Council Christopher Jewitt, the former chairman of the Sheffield Assay Office has been appointed chairman of the British Hallmarking Council. His role will be to oversee hallmarking across the UK. A director of hand tool manufacturing firm Footprint Sheffield Ltd, Jewitt was appointed deputy lieutenant of the South Yorkshire community in 1996.


Celebrating 125 years in business in 2012


| Industry News

Blue John patent for CW Sellors W Sellors has announced that, following an extensive body of work over the past five years, it has been granted the sole UK patent for the backing of Blue John with mother of pearl. Workshop manager Matthew Hatch commented: “The reason for this process is to, when required, enhance the appearance of the Blue John stone by giving an iridescent quality provided by the completely natural spectrum of colours found in mother of pearl. The process provides our customers with other options in the appearance of our jewellery and can in some cases allow us to utilise some types of Blue John material which before may not have been used for jewellery, ensuring that this now extremely rare stone is used to its full potential.” Traditionally the reverse of some gemstones is painted to enhance the appearance; Derbyshire Blue John is commonly painted white on the back to create a contrast with the natural colours found in the stone. However, the paint regularly wears away and spoils the appearance dramatically; this patent technique eliminates the painting step and ensures longevity of pieces and therefore increased customer satisfaction.

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Design award wants your vote raft Magazine’s annual ‘Selected Awards’, open to the 1,000 designs which appear in its ‘Selected’ on-line gallery, can now be judged by visitors to the site. It is hoped that those in the jewellery industry, who appreciate production skills, will participate in the early stages of judging the jewellery and precious metals category. The six companies achieving the highest vote in each category will then be judged by industry specialists to pick a Gold Award winner and two Silver Award winners. The BJA’s Lindsey Straughton has been asked to judge the jewellery/precious metal finalists. The 2011 winners were: Georgina Ettridge, Martyn Pugh and Lucy Sylvester. To cast your votes visit www.craftmaker.co.uk before the end of March.

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Albermarle & Bond results

S N I P P E T S Fabergé awards CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has received the Award of the Order of Carl Fabergé in recognition of his contribution to the preservation and maintenance of the art of jewellery, as well as for the part he has played in the development of the jewellery industry. He is the 38th recipient of the Award, which was initiated by Fabergé’s great granddaughter Tatyana Fedorovna Fabergé. World Diamond Council meeting Online registration has begun for the 8th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council, which will take place 13th-14th May 2012, in the northern Italian jewellery centre of Vicenza. Participants are invited to register via a dedicated website at: http://meeting2012.worlddiamondcouncil. org from where they can also book hotel accommodation in Abano Terme, a resort town located between Vicenza and Venice. UK office for White Pine US-based recycled diamond trading company White Pine Trading has opened a UK office in Birmingham as part of its continuing expansion into Europe. GIA-certified gemmologist Dave Padmore, who has extensive experience in diamond grading and buying has been appointed as buyer responsible for building customer relations in the UK. The move follows the recent office opening in Barcelona, Spain. New MD for Lapponia

ewellery retail and pawnbroking business Albermarle & Bond Holdings plc has released its interim results for the sixth month period to 31st December 2011, showing that gross profits have increased by 22 per cent to £36.5m. Volumes by value of gold bought were up by 56 per cent and total gold buying gross profits increased by 88 per cent to £12.0m. Pawnbroking gross profits increased by 14 per cent to £17.2m. Within the retail outlets the company has reduced levels of stock by scrapping ex-pledge gold jewellery rather than retailing it. It has though increased stock of new and second-hand prestige watches.

Riita Huutanen has been appointed the new managing director of Kelevala Koru and its subsidiary Lapponia Jewelry. Ms Huutanen, who was previously sales and marketing director of the Finnish brand, succeeds Laura Lares who has left to set up her own training and communications consultancy.

RJC Certification update

Goldsmiths’ Co on the telly!

he Responsible Jewellery Council has announced that a number of members have achieved certification meeting the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC’s Member Certification System, including: De Beers Diamond Jewellers, Exelco, Mont Blanc, Harry Winston Diamond Corp., Vacheron Constantin, The Fair Trade Jewellery Company, Chester Industries Corp., Swadip Gems, Kuperman Brothers Diamonds, Hope Belgium and Rothschild Diamonds.

A BBC film crew, led by World Service reporter Laura Lynch descended on The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office as part of a proposed documentary on the high price of gold and smelting. The date that this will air is yet to be announced.

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| NAG News

The NAG: carrying the torch for jewellery retailers since 1894 t’s not often that you find structures that have weathered the storms of centuries past. Much like the monolithic stone forms of the ‘henge’, the fortress and royal palace of Her Majesty, or the auspicious clock tower cathedral of St. Pancras’ mega-arches, the National Association of Goldsmiths stands like a well-loved antique, showing none of the cracks and gnarled features of over a hundred years propping up the trade of retail jewellers. In fact, in most aspects the NAG is stronger today than it’s ever been – the reparations and cosmetic fillers of innovation and diversification of the founder’s vision of an association of jewellers serving, supporting and informing one another has never been closer to veracity. With advances in education, security provision, information sharing and dispute resolution, the NAG continues to perform a matriarchal role akin to that of the weary dorm matron of St. Trinians, albeit minus the dogged tired exterior and crooked front teeth. It’s on these sound footings that the NAG has launched its new 2012 campaign – a campaign designed to demonstrate its unremitting perseverance in forging strong links across all sectors of the jewellery industry and retail sector, over the past 118 years. The new strategy will take on a

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Frank, Nicholas, Henrik, Stacy and Michael from the NAG at The Jewellery Show

familiar theme to all of us in the year the Olympic games comes to London, focusing on how, since 1894, the NAG has been running rings around its competitors in carrying the torch for jewellery retailers up and down the country. This year’s campaign is not focused on any particular aspect of business practice, but on how the NAG can best serve its members. Over the year the NAG will be continuing discussions with business leaders in its Executive Development Forum; extending its work in the security sector with events

related to its SaferGems initiative; while simultaneously introducing new forms of communication and information sharing into its remit. The NAG’s 2012 campaign was unveiled at The Jewellery Show last month where it outlined the events it is running over the course of the year, and discussed issues important to retail jewellers. To find out more about the route the NAG’s torch is taking this year, you can call Stacy on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at: stacy@jewellers-online.org

Seven years of the EDF – here for you he ‘seven year itch’ is a well-worn cliché and more than a few jewellers have been on the scene for far longer than that. However, it is certainly fair to say that if they had joined the Executive Development Forum at its inception in 2005 they would, by now, have seven years of invaluable support under their belts. The many aspects of support that EDF members have benefitted from over the years include: developing business strategy; keeping a check on cash flow and stock levels and enjoying comparable performance data. They would have had access to a

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14 The Jeweller March 2012

continuous review of market information and influences; kept abreast of multichannel retailing; learned how best to train, motivate and incentivise their staff; the list goes on… The EDF is a low cost high value support vehicle to help take your business forward in these less than buoyant times, preparing it to be totally professional and competitive – ready for the upswing in retail fortunes. Re-appraising both your business performance and your management approach should be an ongoing process. The EDF can help you ensure that all aspects of your business work at an optimum level for you.

“EDF members are jewellers who are intent on fulfilling the true potential of their businesses, building on their existing professionalism to manage their companies in the most profitable and fulfilling way. The EDF enables, encourages and supports members to achieve this,” says EDF facilitator Mike McGraw. You’ve read about it, you’ve thought about it… why not make 2012 the year you join the EDF? To find out more or to join the forum, please contact Amanda White at the NAG on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at: amandw@jewellers-online.org


NAG News |

The NAG International Golf Tournament 2012 ow that the trials and tribulations of a rather indifferent Christmas trading period are a distant memory, it is time to turn our attentions to other important matters – namely, golf! The dust has settled on the very close, inaugural international competition of last year, in which England won by the closest of margins, and the stage is now set for the 2012 match. The venue this year is Barassie Golf Club, Kilmarnock, a stone’s throw away from Royal Troon. The Scottish team is already selected and ready for the challenge. The Scotland team may be full, but there are still places available on the England, Ireland and Welsh teams, so, if you wield a club, and would like a fantastic time – golfing, networking, bantering with the opposition, and helping your country win a brilliant trophy – then this is for you. There is no rule that states you need to have roots within your chosen country, or that you need to be born there, the only criteria is that you want to play for them. Although the competition is fiercely fought with the ‘old rivalries’ being present, it is all done in good humour and you don’t have to be a Tiger Woods to compete; we are not looking for just premier level players, but also golfers who will enjoy the day out and the undoubted

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challenge. This tournament is open to retailers, manufacturers, and anyone (and their guests) involved within the jewellery trade. Organiser, England captain and NAG deputy chairman Frank Wood, has compiled a ‘jewellery trade’ golfers’ database to ensure that members of the database are kept informed of all of the trade golfing events throughout the year. Acting as a ‘hub’ for all of the competitions also helps to reduce the number of clashes of tournaments. So if you are interested in playing golf throughout the season and would like to be kept informed of these tournaments please contact him on 01904 625274 or send him an email at: golf@braithwaitesjewellers.com and he will confirm your addition to the golfing circle. There is no subscription, no obligation to play, no need to belong to any trade organisation – just an interest in golf. Frank will keep members informed and, even if they are unable to play, at least they will be up to speed on the competitions The 2012 events thus far are: • 30th April, NAG International, Barrassie, near Troon, Scotland (www.kbgc.co.uk) • 11th June, NAG Challenge Trophy, Fulford York, North Yorkshire (www.fulfordgolfclub.co.uk)

• •

Mid June, BJA Golf competition, venue to be to confirmed Early July, TH March hosted – NAG v BJA golf competition, Llandudno North Wales (www.maesdugolfclub.co.uk) 16th August, NAG Yorkshire Centre tournament, Woodsome Hall, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire (www.woodsome.co.uk)

New Member Applications Members wishing to comment on any of these applications can call Amy Oliver on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at: amyoliver@jewellers-online.org within three weeks of receipt of this issue.

Ordinary Member Applications Goldmarket (SW) Ltd, Weston-Super-Mare Beaconsfield Fine Jewellery, Beaconsfield, Bucks Simon & Co. Jeweller & Gifts, Gloucester

Affiliate Applications Etherial, Nicosia, Cyprus

Alumni Applications – Associate Rebecca Avril Sykes, Bradford, West Yorkshire Cheryl Rose, Bourne, Lincolnshire William Hawkes, Bramcote, Nottingham Susan Mary Shanahan, Worthing, West Sussex Leslie Lawton, Nantwich, Cheshire Carol Clarke, Wicklow, Ireland Lauren Burbidge, Bedminster, Bristol Jason Evans, Sketty, Swansea Members of the NAG 2011 ‘England’ golf team

Alumni Applications – Fellow Ian Rigby, Woverhampton, West Midlands

The Voice of the Industry 15


| NAG News

Keeping your hands on the wheel... David Greenaway explains why some jewellers and their staff might benefit from going back to driving school. ost people, in the jewellery world at least, know me as the tutor for the JET Management programme and the link between motorsport, road safety, management training and the National Association of Goldsmiths might seem tenuous, but I lead a strange and diverse life! Let me explain the links. Apart from the knowledge, skills and qualifications I have in management and management development, I also have the parallel in driver training and in particular track and dynamics (vehicle handling). When I’m not standing in front of jewellers, one of my other ‘day jobs’ is an instructor with Ultimate Car Control, which was founded by former British Touring Car Champion, Robb Gravett. Ultimate Car Control is the UK’s leading driver training organisation. It has been

safety at work, duty of care and corporate manslaughter with regard to their employees who drive on business. Michael joined us this January at the Transport Research Laboratory in Crowthorne to experience our Driver Encoded Knowledge (DEK) Executive course run in conjunction with Jaguar which is one of our partners. The objective of inviting Michael along was to appraise him of the facts and implications of non-compliance and to offer him some knowledge and skills towards safer driving. And to have some fun. If you ask him, I’m sure Michael will recount how successful we were! DEK Executive is one of a suite of courses run in conjunction with Jaguar, aimed primarily at senior and middle management – the people who have the responsibility of determining company policies and procedures and may be exposed to high powered motor vehicles. In addition to DEK we also offer Excellence in Professional Driving (EPD), which we run in conjunction with Volvo.

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16 The Jeweller March 2012

quoted as the most innovative, educational, exciting and complete driver training programme available anywhere in the world – which is a pretty impressive recommendation – but why and how does this involve NAG CEO Michael Hoare? For starters Michael and I go back quite some time – about 27 years to be precise (we must have both been teenagers, obviously). I know from marking many customer care assignments from the JET Management programme that making deliveries to customers is a regular feature in providing excellent retail service. However, few members understand the implications and their legal exposure under the latest government legislation regarding health and

This course is ideal for anyone who drives for work (either full time, such as a company representative, or shop staff who may be involved in a one-off delivery to a customer or a supplier). As a result of Michael’s visit, Ultimate Car Control is pleased to announce a discount of 10 per cent to any NAG member wishing to attend either a DEK or EPD training event. For details of Ultimate Car Control visit www.ultimatecarcontrol.com To book a place on a course and receive your exclusive 10 per cent NAG discount, telephone Cate Walton on 01344 751669 My colleagues and I look forward to working with NAG members for what I can assure you will be a fun and educational day.


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.

EDF

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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.


| NAG News

NAG member of the Month Amy Oliver speaks to Adrian Batchelor of Upchurch Jewellers in Colchester, Essex. The store, which has been trading in the heart of Colchester since 1952, joins HM The Queen in celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year. Congratulations on reaching your Diamond Jubilee! Do you have any special events planned for this momentous year? We are very excited to be sharing our Diamond Jubilee with the Queen and will certainly be celebrating. Our Diamond Jubilee collection is due to be released in April. We want to offer a collection of jewellery of quality and distinction to mark the occasion. We are also in the early stages of an internal refit. In 2009 we fitted a new shop front, and the effect on business has been phenomenal. In fact, 2011 has been our most successful year to date, which is an amazing achievement given the economic conditions. We have gradually been modernising the shop over the past few years and hope to complete the interior in the autumn. Towards the end of the year there will be a grand opening of the new shop; a momentous finish to what promises to be an exciting year. Can you offer some insight into the change in trade since you opened in 1952? Is it now more difficult to attract and retain customers? The business is hardly recognisable compared to 1952 mainly due to the circumstances at the time. Food rationing was still in place and people had little money to buy jewellery of any kind. The majority of the business was repair work. In particular watch and clock repairs and recycling of jewellery. It was a very rare occasion that an engagement or wedding ring was sold as these tended to be passed down through families. A young couple were content with a newly sized and polished heirloom.

Upchurch Jewellers today

18 The Jeweller March 2012

Business was run very tightly in those days – there were no employees. Mr Upchurch, a watchmaker, managed the shop, went out early in the morning to collect parts or other provisions then opened the shop, repaired watches and clocks and attended to customers. There were no breaks or holidays! Of course things are a little tricky at the moment and we have to work harder lately to bring in new business, but compared to 1952 there is certainly more disposable income available for luxuries and the approach to spending is more relaxed these days. Jewellery trends come and go; could you give some examples of the products most highly sought after in your shop in the 1950s and also currently? Because times were hard, affordable silver jewellery was popular, especially crosses, St Christopher pendants and charm bracelets. Also in demand were tin cut crystal necklets and coloured paste jewellery. If we did sell any gold it was probably a cross, St Christopher or a gate bracelet. If we were lucky enough to sell an engagement ring it had to be good value; it tended to be a diamond solitaire semi-illusion set. Now of course gold is again not accessible to everyone, so we sell a good deal of silver jewellery, particularly charm bracelets. We have found there is still a steady market for both yellow and white gold if you work hard at it. Engagement rings are primarily in platinum and most are a single claw set diamond with D colours being popular. We find that as fewer people are tying the knot, those who do want the highest quality. A good deal of our current business is watches. There are certainly connoisseurs who appreciate the value of a fine timepiece. Given the delicate trading conditions, what factors do you think are important in running a successful jewellers in 2012? There are so many variables and everything needs to have careful attention for the best

Upchurch Jewellers 1952

results. High up the list is having a dedicated team and ours is fabulous. Several members of our staff have many years experience and new staff are employed only if they are committed to the JET training programme offered by the NAG. With all the hard work they put in, it is important to show gratitude to your team. Of course, it’s imperative to have a fantastic product which is well researched and current. We like to introduce at least a couple of new brands each year. Marketing is also important, there needs to be a clear message and we aim to have a reputation for excellence. Things move so fast these days it can be easy to get left behind. We continuously review the way we do things – the products, the displays, processes and costs. Challenge everything! Finally, I always ask our Member of the Month to share an anecdote about a memorable customer – does one spring to mind? We do have many very loyal customers and one such gentleman purchases a piece of jewellery for his wife every Christmas. One year he chose a ruby necklet and earrings from our catalogue. Soon after Christmas his wife came into the shop and discreetly asked if she could exchange the present for something else as it was not to her taste. We agreed to the exchange and she chose a replacement piece. Some three months later, the lady came into the shop saying her husband had made many references to the ruby set wondering why she had not worn it. She confessed to the exchange and had come in to purchase back her Christmas present (keeping the replacement piece) from her own pocket! 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: amyoliver@jewellers-online.org


Obituary |

In memory of Catherine Jones 1916 - 2011 Catherine Jones, who passed away peacefully on 21st December 2011, was the founder of Catherine Jones Jewellery in Cambridge and a much-loved figure in the jewellery industry for nearly half a century. atherine was born on a Himalayan hillside overlooking the lake of Nainital, India, to a highly influential Anglo-Indian family. When her father, a judge in the Indian civil service died of pneumonia in 1918, her mother brought her to London. She was educated in Kent and then later at a finishing school in Paris. A gifted musician, she worked as a piano teacher at a girls’ boarding school near Brighton, meeting her future husband at a piano recital there in 1936. She never lost her love of music and while serving as a nurse during the Second World War, played her piano deep into the black-out night in her flat in Brighton, ‘to drown out the sound of the bombs’. At the end of the war the couple moved to Cambridge where her husband, Dr Philip Jones, who served as an army doctor during the D-Day landings, became a village doctor. Catherine started her jewellery business in 1964 following a moment of inspiration. The couple had been invited to a May Ball at one of the Cambridge Colleges and while she had a beautiful ballgown, she could not find a sufficiently interesting or distinctive pair of earrings to complement it. “If I can’t find interesting jewellery,” she said, “then others can’t either.” By coincidence she had recently inherited £500 from a member of her Indian family and using this legacy she seized the moment and travelled down to London to buy her first batch of jewellery. It was a time of great innovation with new materials being used to make glamorous and individual costume jewellery and from the outset Catherine was daring in her choices. Back in Cambridge she priced up the pieces on her kitchen table and sold it from a counter in a friend’s hairdressing salon. From these humble beginnings her business grew through the 1960s boutique boom and thrived as it graduated from costume jewellery to silver, gold, platinum

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and diamonds through the 1970s and ’80s. Her particular approach to looking after her suppliers marked her out; she helped many of them through tough times. To some she made loans when they were on their uppers, for others she even bought some of the precious metals they needed ‘to give a little more weight to your lovely

The Catherine Jones Foundation was formed in April 2005, inaugurated at a public auction at The Cambridge Union opened by UN UNICEF ambassador Martin Bell. In June 2007 the charity opened Corbett School in a remote part of Southern India, for 1,000 children, many of whom were orphans. The Foundation’s work continues with plans for the building of more schools and a growing network of experts in education and finance. Saving the tiger (the symbol of India) is another of its aims. Among the very many tributes to Catherine is this from jewellery designer Paul Spurgeon: “I believe Catherine to be unique amongst lovers of jewellery and people. She led from the front not driven by fiscal dogma but by a passion and love of the people she chose to work with and I consider myself fortunate to have been one of the chosen few! I, like many, had a soft spot for Catherine and the sensitive and respectful way in which she conducted herself on all occasions and I for one will miss this remarkable lady! God bless you Catherine.” If you wish to make a donation to The

Her particular approach to looking after her suppliers marked her out; she helped many of them through tough times. To some she made loans when they were on their uppers, for others she even bought some of the precious metals they needed. designs’. She instructed her staff not to call designers and craftspeople during the lunch hour as ‘they must have their lunch too’. Since 2003 the business has been run by Catherine’s daughter Vanessa Burkitt and grandson Matthew Burkitt, who were both given the job of polishing the silver before they embarked on careers of their own in London and abroad. The business became a full-service designer and manufacturer in the last decade with Catherine’s charismatic, artistic and intimate ethos being carefully preserved in this digital age. Following the Asian tsunami in December 2004 Catherine was determined to do what she could to help the people – children in particular – of her country. With the generous help of friends, suppliers and customers,

Catherine Jones Foundation (a memorial fund-raising target of £100,000 has been set, enough to build another school) email: catherine.jones.memorial@catherine jones.com All money raised goes direct to the field.

The Voice of the Industry 19


| NAG News: Education & Training

Training seminar places filling up fast ere at the NAG we’re continually banging the drum for training workshops across the industry. It’s in this spirit that we’re pleased to announce another round of exciting seminars that we’re offering this year. It may seem like a distant echo of last month’s proclamations, however the NAG believes a good thing is worth shouting about. Therefore, we’re back once again to confirm the dates for our seminars that will unlock the secrets of selling, the art of dynamic displays and the way to keep yourself safe in store. Many of these courses are held in conjunction with industry leaders like Training for Success and Virada Training, and are accredited by some of the country’s top universities. Following our announcement in last month’s issue of The Jeweller, places are filling up fast, so if you’re interested in getting ahead of the competitors this year, take a look at a few of the most insightful courses on offer!

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Advanced selling course 21st-22nd March 2012, Birmingham This high value, two-day course will benefit all sales staff from the new starter to the top sales people. Provided by Virada, the leader in jewellery sales training, this course focuses on the real life sales situations you deal with every day, and shares with you the secrets of sales excellence. Over the course of two days you will cover topics such as: Buying and Selling Interaction; Engaging with Customers; Establishing Customer Needs; Presenting; Assisting Decision Making; and Reassuring the Customer. You’ll discover cutting-edge sales innovations and explore practical ways of creating a positive buying experience for every customer. This course will unlock your personal potential, make you stand out from the crowd and ensure you enjoy even greater sales success.

Dynamic display workshop 23 May 2012, London Provided by leading design consultant 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 in the door – it will not be effective. This exciting new course is for staff that have completed the Essential Display Course and want to take that knowledge further. Delegates will be asked to design and build a new window display that will target customers with a particular promotion, for example Easter, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or perhaps

20 The Jeweller March 2012

a seasonal event. 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. Judy Head will be on hand to guide the process and at the end of the day will assess the groups’ achievements. The workshop will be absorbing and fun, building confidence in the delegates to take what they’ve learnt back to their own businesses.

Armed robbery: reducing the risk and improving profitability Date TBC Provided by Training For Success, a leading UK risk Consultancy, this fully accredited course was the winner of the 2007 Skills Award for Outstanding Skills Development Partnership in the Security Industry. The one-day armed robbery programme examines the human reaction to the impact of a robbery and provides a number of pragmatic skills that have been shown to

work in real life situations. It gives a number of simple and easy-to-remember tactics to address effective preventative measures; how to deal with an attack; how remain safe throughout; and how to manage the aftermath. Accredited by the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at The University of Portsmouth, the programme carries both an insight into current research within this arena of criminal activity and effective solutions for robbery management that can be applied immediately within the working environment. Used widely within central & local government, retail and the cash and valuables in transit industry the business benefits represent a substantial return on investment. These seminars make up just a selection of the exciting events that the NAG will be running this year. For more information on any of these seminars, bookings or the other events running this year, please contact us on tel: 020 7613 4445 or you can contact Amanda White directly by e-mail at: amandaw@jewellers-online.org


NAG News: Education & Training |

Learning the way to success ater this month the Education and Training Department will be celebrating the continued examination successes of its students in the NAG award ceremony. However, for some students it’s not all over yet. Soon enough another round of exams will see them consigned to dark rooms, hunched over desks, re-learning all the material they’ve digested over the year. If you happen to be one of those people concerned about the impending days of study in solitude, we have some helpful examination tips which should ease you through these trying times. By talking to our successful candidates from October’s exams, and those student who attended the JET tutorials held around the country, we have arrived at a formula that should aid you through revision and on towards those nail-biting final examinations. One of the hardest things to do when facing an exam, is actually getting out those text books, strapping yourself to the seat and learning facts word for word. However, there are a few more inventive ways to face revision, and included in this checklist are also some of those used by top scholars at the University of Cambridge:

Top ten revision tips

Dates for your diaries

Leeds: 30th March & 21st Sept London: 20th March & 18th Sept Stockport: 18th April & 26th Sept

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Over the coming months another intake of students will be preparing to take their JET 1 and JET 2 exams. This year, as with every other, there will be nails bitten to within an inch of their lives and knees knocking in nervous anticipation. However, not to fear because the Education Department is at hand to give students a gentle nudge in the right direction – with another round of the ever-helpful JET Tutorials. All the dates you will need are listed below: For JET 1 Students: Tutorials will take place in the following locations, on the dates noted. All tutorials run from 10am-4pm, and are a great way to meet your fellow students and your tutor. Belfast or Dublin: TBA April & Sept Birmingham: 21st March & 19th Sept Glasgow: 17th April & 18th Sept

• • •

Make your learning visual – using postit notes, revision cards, pictures – and stick these around your living space Apply your learning to in-store processes Find someone else to work with you Do some example exam papers at regular intervals throughout your revision process. This is a good marker of your progress, it will enable you to see what areas you’re better at and the areas you need to brush up on Attend a JET Tutorial so you can ask last minute questions; get explanations and discussions on tricky subject areas; and meet your tutor and fellow pupils Revise for short periods of time, taking frequent breaks. Always re-cap any work you’ve done. The old ‘look, cover, write, check’ method can work! Re-sight material whenever you have the chance (i.e. – instead of staring at the person you fancy on the bus, take your revision cards and test yourself) Plan revision time for each subject area. Especially try to bone up on the things you’re not confident with yet

For JET 2 Students: Firstly, the next JET 2 exam will take place on 23rd May 2012. In preparation of this exam, the Education Department is running a number of tutorials designed to give students that extra edge when crunch time comes. Again, tutorials run from 10am-4pm and provide a great opportunity to meet your tutor and ask any troubling questions that you feel may crop up in the exam. The dates and locations are as follows: Belfast or Dublin: TBA April & Sept Birmingham: 25th April & 27th Sept Glasgow: 25th April, 25th & 27th Sept Leeds: 30th April & 28th Sept London: 16th April & 23rd April, 4th May, 20th & 27th Sept

Don’t worry that you don’t know everything, just be confident on what you DO know, and what you CAN learn by the exam. Don’t overexert yourself • Remember your equipment, relax and enjoy Exams are never easy, in whatever form they come – however, remembering that they are simply exams, and not life and death is the best way to get through. So work hard, but most importantly… enjoy your study. The education department wishes you all the best in your coming exams!

Stockport: 24th April & 20th Sept Salisbury: 12th April And last but not least, for those students studying the Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma, you will be required to sit the two following exams: • The Gemstone Theory Exam which will be held on Wednesday 23rd May • The Gemstone Practical Exam which will be held on Wednesday 16th May and Friday 18th May (candidates to select one date from the two available) All these dates will be on the website for your reference. If you are taking one of the exams you will need to fill in an exam entry form, which can be found on the website. If you’re interested in any of the tutorials and need further details of venues, please get in touch. You can contact the education department at: jet@jewellers-online.org or by telephone on: 020 7613 4445.

The Voice of the Industry 21


JETPro

DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE THE SKILLS TO DEVELOP AND GROW? The N.A.G.’s new Business Development Diploma (JETPro) will equip you with all the knowledge required to develop a complete and implementable business plan. This will make a real difference to your business and to your bottom line. JETPro contains a balanced range of management and business development subjects from which `V\JHULP[OLYºWPJRHUKTP_»VYNL[TH_PT\TILULÄ[ by taking the full suite of modules. This course is suitable for everyone concerned in managing a jewellery business. Can you afford to miss out? Modules include: ‹4HYRL[(^HYLULZZ ‹4HUHNPUN-PUHUJPHS=HYPHISLZ ‹*\Z[VTLY4HUHNLTLU[ ‹4H_PTPZPUNH;LHT»Z7V[LU[PHS ‹7YVMLZZPVUHS6WLYH[PVUZ4HUHNLTLU[ ‹7YVTV[PUN`V\Y)\ZPULZZ

It’s your business. Realise its potential. Contact the NAG now on: tel: 020 7613 4445 or email jet@jewellers-online.org or visit www.jewellers-online.org The National Association of Goldsmiths, 78a Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XG


NAG News: Education & Training |

First Bransom award winner of 2012

n this month’s issue the NAG celebrates the first winner of the coveted Bransom JET 1 Project Assignment Award for 2012. Held in conjunction with our friends at Bransom Retail Systems, each month the Education Department enters the finest JET 1 assignments into a competition to arrive at the ‘best project’. Selected by the external examiners, the award gives students the chance to receive a trip to the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall, for the presentation of certificates at our annual student award ceremony. Students 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 those assignments received for the month of January, the worthy recipient of the award is Alice Bailey of Shannon’s Jewellers in County Antrim. We’d like to congratulate Alice on her project – she scooped the prize after finishing the course with the very highest grades. Alice’s Tutor, Eddie Stanley, told us: “It was evident from the very first piece of JET 1 course work sent in for marking by Alice, that she was aiming

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to achieve the very top grade marks for all her work. The answers given demonstrated a good understanding of the assignment questions and it was easy to follow her line of thought. She has been the model student and I am delighted that she has won this award.”

The focus on customer care was essential in linking the theory behind the course to actually working in a jewellers. When we spoke with the project moderator to discover why they selected Alice’s project, they commented that: “This assignment was well-researched and presented in a very professional manner. The quality of the final piece of JET 1 online assignment work has risen over the last few months, as candidates have demonstrated a willingness and an ability to read around the subject. Customer care is an essential element of the JET 1 online course and this assignment

allows students to bring into their coursework the selling skills they use everyday within the retail jewellery environment. Alice produced an excellent assignment and is a worthy winner of this award. I hope she goes on to complete the second stage of the JET Professional Jewellers’ Diploma Course.” On hearing of her success Alice told us: “The news was unexpected, but it feels really good to have won. It’s shown me that my hard work will be recognised and it really pays off. It has been a surprise, but I’m so happy to have won! I wanted to start a career in the jewellery industry, hopefully progressing onto working in auction houses, researching, or valuation – and the JET 1 course was a really good starting point. The focus on customer care was essential in linking the theory behind the course to actually working in a jewellers. I also really enjoyed learning something new each day, improving the knowledge that I’d already gained in store and writing these up in the assignments. Each of the assignments was not only well focused, but I found researching and writing them really enjoyable. To add to that, Eddie Stanley was a great resource, along with all the course materials – so I’d like to thank him for all his help. I’d also like to thank the NAG for running the course, and everyone in store for supporting me and helping me through it.” Alice finished by saying: “I’ve been telling everyone in store who hasn’t done JET 1 to get on and do it straight away! I’d recommend JET 1 to anyone.” The education department would like to congratulate Alice on her extremely hard work, and hope her continued success in her work and future studies. Miles Hoare For more information on the JET courses, visit: www.jewellers-online.org or call 020 7613 4445 (option 1). For information on Bransom visit: www.bransom.co.uk

The Voice of the Industry 23


| NAG News: IRV Review

NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R

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The institute celebrates its silver jubilee!

the right methodology – and how to avoid the wrong methodology – when appraising jewellery and other precious items. The early seminars were just the start of training planned for jewellery valuers. Initially, a valuer who wished to join the NAG Registered Valuer Scheme had to complete a questionnaire when applying for membership (in addition to submitting sample valuations for the Valuations Committee’s inspection). Even in the early days of the Scheme the Committee was aware that this was not the ideal way to test valuers who wanted to become RVs but it was felt that eventually a ‘correspondence’ course would be produced and the only way to become a RV would be by examination.

This month Sandra Page concludes her report on some of the highlights from the history of the Institute, taking a look at education and highlighting the people who have helped to make the IRV what it is today. raining has always played a major role in the NAG’s aims and objectives. Whether to train a youngster who’s just joined the trade direct from school or the manager whose thirst for learning is never quenched, the Association has provided these individuals with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in this industry. For those who want to specialise in valuing jewellery, silver, watches and the like, it has offered valuation seminars for a number of years. When I started at the NAG back in 1975 (as a mere junior shorthand typist who was lucky enough to have an electric IBM golf-ball

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typewriter at my disposal) Norman Harper offered one-day valuation seminars before the now legendary two-day valuation seminars were set up in the 1980s by the late David Wilkins and Michael Norman. When David passed away in 1994 Michael continued to offer the seminars on his own until he suffered a stroke in 2008. At this time the Association was grateful to Brian Dunn who agreed to take over the role of lecturer for these seminars. (Tragically we’ve just lost Brian so the Institute is reviewing the situation.) Over the years many hundreds of valuers learnt first hand from these experts

Pilot exam in 1994, invigilated by the late Brian Dunn

24 The Jeweller March 2012

Jonathan Lambert, current IRV chairman

The costs involved in setting up a programme of this type, not to mention the actual writing of its notes, meant that it was not until 2000 that such a course became available. However, back in 1993 the Committee decided that it would try and introduce an examination with the restriction that the exam would only be made available to those valuers who believe themselves to have the knowledge and experience necessary to pass it. On St Valentine’s Day in 1994 the first of two pilot exams took place at the GemA’s offices. A number of RVs had volunteered to take the exam to assist the Committee to assess how viable the exercise was. The second exam took place on 21st March and


NAG News: IRV Review |

The IRV Forum was introduced in 2007 as a platform, through which NAG Institute Registered Valuers can discuss all valuation related issues and can put forward ideas, plans and concerns for the Association’s Board of Directors to consider, via the Valuations Committee. The first Forum was (standing, left to right) Michael Payne, David Callaghan, Nicholas Major (chairman), Michael Ferraro, Peter Hering, (seated, left to right) Sandra Page (Forum secretary), Tricia Morris, Heather McPherson and Alan Hayes.

over those two days a total of 34 candidates took part. The exams consisted of a two hour theory paper and a three hour practical paper – a lot to deal with in one day! Out of those candidates only 13 passed so the Committee decided that there was obviously more it had to do to ensure that valuers wishing to become RVs were correctly trained before they could offer an examination. This resulted in the introduction of assessment seminars for anyone wishing to become an RV. In addition to these, the Committee introduced one-day seminars on subjects such as jade, pearls, silver, watches, antique jewellery, probate valuations and fashioning of jewellery. When the JET Valuation Course and Professional Jewellers’ Valuation Diploma exam was introduced, a valuer wishing to gain RV status had to have the diploma (in addition to other requirements such as a gemmological qualification) before they could apply. Over the years 68 students have passed the exam. Back in 2010 the decision was made to withdraw the course, which was in need of revision, while a new training programme was put together – this will result in the launch of the Certificate of Appraisal Theory (CAT) this spring. This new programme is a modular programme of study with a selflearning approach that teaches the basic theories, methodologies and good working practices needed to become a competent jewellery valuer. (Please note it does not

qualify the candidate to become a jewellery valuer; it teaches them the science of valuing.) The Institute will provide written documentation on areas which are not already covered by other organisations, publications, etc to assist valuers who wish to gain the CAT qualification. A valuer wishing to become an MIRV will need to hold this qualification in addition to meeting other pre-requisites which are: • a minimum of five years’ experience in the jewellery trade/industry • a gemmological qualification • a diamond grading training certificate It is intended that in addition to applicants having to submit sample valuations they will eventually also have to participate in a face-to-face interview and pass the Munsell Colour Test (during the interview).

today. All would agree that there are a few who need a special mention: David Wilkins, Michael Norman, Brian Dunn, Nicholas Major and our current Chairman Jonathan Lambert. They have been particularly instrumental in the Institute’s history. The Chairmen of the Valuations Committee have been: Simon Thornton (1985-1990), David Wilkins (1990-1994), Peter Buckie (1994-1996), Philip Stocker (1996-1997), Alan Smith (1997-1999), Philip Stocker again (1999-2000), John Henn (2000-2004), Brian Dunn (20022004), Nicholas Major (2005-2008) and our current Chairman Jonathan Lambert who took over from Nicholas shortly before the Institute replaced the RV Scheme in the summer of 2008. In addition to these individuals, a number of other dedicated individuals have served or currently serve on the original Working Party, the Valuations Committee or the IRV Forum and it is all these people who have succeeded in developing and expanding the RV Scheme/Institute into what it is today. And of course they too deserve a mention: John Benjamin, Jonathan Brown, David Callaghan, Julia Clarke, Rosamond Clayton, Michael Ferarro, Christopher Hardman, Alan Hayes, Peter Hering, David Holgate, Peter Hopper, Rupert Huddy, David Lancaster, Heather McPherson, Tricia Morris, Ron Mumford, Geoff Neary, Michael Norman, Pravin Pattni, Michael Payne, Avril Plant, uJilly Pollard, Edward Poyser, Jon Tabard, Christopher Vinten and Geoffrey Whitefield. Through the dedication of such people, and with the support of its Members and Fellows, the Institute will continue to grow, promoting to the public and the insurance

All would agree that there are a few who need a special mention: David Wilkins, Michael Norman, Brian Dunn, Nicholas Major and our current chairman Jonathan Lambert The Institute continues to offer training to IRVs by way of one-day Valuing Knowledge Tutorials and, of course, through workshops at the annual Loughborough Conference. Since the Association set up the Working Party in 1985 to look into the viability of introducing some kind of scheme to control and guide how members should value, many individuals have helped to make the Institute the authority on valuing that it is

world that they can place their trust in us to provide them with the appraisal they need. This feature and the one in the previous issue of The Jeweller have highlighted just a few of our achievements over the last quarter of a century. Please join us at this year’s Conference in Loughborough (Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th September) and help us to celebrate not only the last 25 years but the future of the Institute.

The Voice of the Industry 25


BJA News |

Protecting your interests he announcement that yet another high profile jewellery company is in administration has undoubtedly thrown something of a pall over the industry. The aftershocks caused by a collapse of this magnitude should not be underestimated and will undoubtedly continue to rumble on for many months to come. The BJA is becoming increasingly aware of member firms which have been affected by the collapse of trusted clients. We have also seen more and more businesses rising Phoenix-like from the ashes. It is never easy to know when to give credit and for many in this industry their word is indeed their bond and dealings are based on trust. However in troubled times, this is clearly not enough. Members need to be more aware of the dangers to which they expose themselves when dealing with unknown companies or those with a

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chequered credit history. This is an area in which the BJA can offer strong support. Our Confidential Credit Letter allows you to share information on bad debts in the industry with others in the Association and in so doing to gain access to the names of businesses which have been identified by a number of other members as having longterm, outstanding debts. You may not worry when a valued customer owes you a bit more than usual, but if you discover he also owes half the trade as well, it may be time to take action. Companies don’t just go bust – they owe money first, and you want to be one of the first and not the last to know. This is a relatively small industry and the more people who contribute information to this service the more comprehensive and effective it becomes. The BJA can also offer credit checking and insurance services to reduce your risk and

provide peace of mind when taking on new businesses. Should the worst occur, assistance with debt collection is also available. If you are not already aware of our finanMike Hughes, chairman of the BJA cial management services do please check them out as they are a great resource. I’m glad to say that not all the news is bad. Despite the weather the feedback from members at The Jewellery Show was mostly positive and, as our feature on page 50 demonstrates, there were plenty of innovative products on show that will hopefully set high street tills ringing briskly again in the months to come.

Our 125th Anniversary designs draw the crowds he six designs short-listed for the BJA’s competition to create a Commemorative Silver Desk Accessory to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding certainly attracted the crowds to its new look stand at The Jewellery Show. Over three hundred people visited the stand to cast their votes for the designs they preferred with a further three hundred using the Association’s website to have their say. “The competition has certainly got people talking and it looks like being a close run fight to find an ultimate winner,” says Lindsey Straughton who coordinated the competition. The winning design will become part of The Association’s interesting silver collection and the winner will receive £500 towards its

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Kerri Chamberlain

Erica Sharpe

production costs as well as £750 towards the cost of a stand at either The Jewellery Show 2012, Salon at Autumn Fair Birmingham or at The Jewellery Show 2013 courtesy of EMAP Connect who have sponsored the competition. Cookson Precious Metals have kindly donated half a kilo of silver, in any form the designer chooses, for them to use to actually create their piece. Those shortlisted are: Kerri Chamberlain with her perpetual calendar, Jack Rowe with a paper knife based on the Staffordshire Hoard, Erica Sharpe with a pen stand incorporating the BJA’s unicorn, Harriet Bedford with a oak leaf design tray, box and paper knife, Petya Kaproalova for her quill pen, inkwell and stand and Alex Clamp for his Chrysler desk set.

Petya Kapralova

Jack Row

Voting is now closed and the winner’s name will be posted on the BJA website on 12th March, 2012. www.bja.org.uk/125/ silvercompetitionwinner A full profile of the winning piece and the designer who created it will appear in our April issue.

Harriet Bedford

Alex Clamp

The Voice of the Industry 27


| BJA News

IJL’s KickStarters popping up everywhere ince its inauguration in 2009 ‘KickStart’ the BJA’s group stand in conjunction with International Jewellery London has become not only an important attraction at the show but also a recognised launch pad for those who participate. The stand, which is curated by the BJA’s Lindsey Straughton and jewellery consultant Aldyth Crowther, is highly selective and only those designers who can demonstrate strong, commercial products and professional business practices are accepted to exhibit. It is a policy which pays. Those who showed at IJL 2011 are a case in point with six of them getting together prior to Christmas to stage a very successful ‘pop up’ shop in London’s West End under the group name ‘Pieces of Eight’. Designers Gina Melosi, Cabbage Gina Melosi is King, Jessica De

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Lotz, Claire English, Laura Gravestock and Momocreatura all took part. The same group has plans for a further ‘pop up’ to coincide with the Olympic Games this summer.

Momocreatura

Jessica De Lotz

The 5th to the 29th April, 2012 will see another group of KickStarters – Amy Keeper, Johnny Mirpuri, Poly Philippou – joining with other young designers to open the first in a series of seasonal ‘pop-up’ shops they have planned this year. The April show will take place at Number Ninety Four in London’s Columbia Road. The BJA is now recruiting designers for this year’s IJL, with entries closing on 15th March. Visit: www.jewellerylondon.com

Claire English, Amy Keeper, Abigail Stadling, Daisy Knights, Jessica De Lotz, Momocreatura, Oria Jewellery, Sian Bostwick Jewellery, MIRPURI. Sarah Ibrahim, Emma Turpin are just some of the previous KickStarters that are taking part in the 2012 event on the 2nd5th September within the Design pavilion. “IJL has recently announced a number of enhancements and developments for the show designed to offer a more luxurious experience of both key UK and international buyers. These include a new website and a great new look so the opportunities for KickStarters are looking better than ever and we anticipate strong demand for the limited places available especially as the show is now 75 per cent sold,” says Straughton.

BJA launches courses for designer makers he British Jewellers Association has published the details of a dozen carefully targeted courses designed to assist designer makers to grow their businesses. The courses have been created to meet the skill gaps highlighted by respondents to a countrywide survey of the designer maker community undertaken by the Association in 2011. The first tranche of training opportunities, which are being planned and delivered for the BJA by Holts Academy, will be staged in London (at the Academy in Hatton Garden) and in Birmingham at the BJA’s offices in The Jewellery Quarter. These start in April and run through to June. The topics to be covered are wide ranging covering everything from digital photography and jewellery illustration through to general

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28 The Jeweller March 2012

business topics – such as book keeping, PR, managing social media , marketing, and selling skills. The duration of the courses varies from half a day to a full working week and prices, which are being subsidised by the BJA for their designer craft members, start at just over £100 a day. The training is designed for small groups to ensure plenty of individual attention for those who participate and tutors will be keen to answer individual problems and queries. “The objective of this project is to assist the talented people who create jewellery to bring their business skills up to the same level as their jewellery design and production techniques,” explains the BJA’s Lindsey Straughton who has been coordinating the project.

“We know from our research and from our successful London Jewellery Exports Project that many designers struggle to get to grips with the nitty gritty of business. These courses, which are absolutely industry specific, can assist them to put in place the framework their businesses need to prosper and to grow. This is all about teaching people about the shortcuts and techniques that every successful business needs,” she adds. The courses are suitable for designers who are already running a business and want to know more but those just setting out on a jewellery career will also find plenty here to interest them too. Full details and suggested course dates are available at: www.bja.org.uk/training and at: www.holtsacademy.co.uk


The Voice of the Industry 29


the

Jeweller picks... From jewellery with a cultural twist, to timepieces that have a definite USP… our favourites this month.

AZZA FAHMY



This dramatic sterling silver and enamel necklace is from the new Pharaonic collection by jewellery designer Azza Fahmy and is inspired by the culture and history of Egypt. Several years in development, it was created with the guidance of former Christie’s Egyptologist Christine Green who helped to authenticate the details of the pieces which focus on a ‘love and wisdom’ theme. Other bold pieces in the handcrafted collection include bangles, cuffs, rings and earrings. www.azzafahmy.com

1,618 DEMARIA



The most recent incarnation of the fourth generation Naples family jewellery business De Maria, is 1,618 demaria – the number a reference to the divine and harmonious ‘golden section’. At the VicenzaOro show in January the company launched its new concept collection – Lingotto – in bronze, the design based on the union of links by steel springs. www.demaria.it



TATEOSSIAN

To celebrate the Chinese year of the dragon Tateossian has launched a selection of cufflinks and pins depicting this symbol of good fortune. The RT Dragon cufflinks are made with Swarovski Elements and finished with a black fibre optic glass ball fitting. The Silver Crystal Dragon cufflinks shown here feature a reverse intaglio dragon image engraved on a crystal cabochon and set on top of black mother of pearl. www.tateossian.com

ODM QUADTIME



Award-winning Hong Kong timewear brand ODM (‘original, dynamic, minimal’ if you’d like to know) has unveiled its new Quadtime DD128 watch. It comes with silicone straps in a choice of seven colourways (including white, black and military green) and matching PC cases. Features include time and date display, alarm, hourly chime and sleep modes and the watches are water-resistant. Tide Distribution: 0844 812 6061




In celebration of the New York neighbourhood from which this new collection takes its name, SoHo is a vibrant, colourful mix of new textures, shapes and designs. Urban yet artistic – like the area itself – the beads are in silver, Swarovski elements, Italian Murano glass as well as sterling silver mesh. The clean lines and geometric shapes found in this industrial ’hood are echoed in some of the beads with colours of chrome, copper and asphalt contrasting with brighter orange, yellow, fuchsia, blue and red. www.chamilia.com



AL CORO

New to the Saunders Shepherd stable is Italian fine jewellery brand Al Coro and the highlight of the new collection is a rose gold bangle created in the form of a crescent moon – set with diamonds. The oriental form is repeated for rings, pendants and earrings with coloured stones and the pieces are also offered with a warm citrine on yellow gold, smoky quartz on rose gold and blue topaz on white gold. alcoro@saundershepherd.com

LOVEBULLETS



ROBERTO COIN

PJ WATSON

To mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne, PJ Watson has launched the Diamond Jubilee bracelet – an ideal gift to celebrate the occasion. Featuring the special English hallmark produced for the event, the bracelets are made in 18ct yellow or white gold and are set with a 0.10ct brilliant cut diamond. The luxury version offers a patriotic red, white and blue alternative with ruby, diamond and sapphire. www.pjwatson.co.uk



Created from a fantasy story written by Martin Jegede, creative director of Lovebullets (five ‘love angels’ defy an evil force by ‘freezing’ his destructive weapons and giving them beauty and a positive power), Lovebullets is now a pendant collection. Embellished with a black, pink or white Swarovski crystal, the gold, silver or pewter Twist Bullet unscrews to reveal a tiny paper scroll ready for a personal message. A percentage of the sales is donated to the War Child charity. www.lovebullets.co.uk



CHAMILIA

In response to growing demand from retailers as well as customers, designer Roberto Coin has launched a more accessible silver range. Called the Fifth Season Collection the bangles are in rhodium or gold-plated silver and feature gemstones such as blue topaz and lemon quartz. There is also a range of unisex stretch bangles in a choice of 10 colours with silver detail. As with all Roberto Coin jewellery, each piece has a small hidden ruby (to promote a long, healthy life). www.robertocoin.com




GURHAN

Unusual shapes and styles and a new twist on sterling silver partnered with gold characterises the new 2012 collection by US designer Gurhan (a favourite with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez). Pops of colour offer a nod to fashion trends, as in this Galapagos collection cocktail ring with its 28mm turquoise stone set in silver and pure 24ct gold. www.gurhan.com

W HAMOND



From the new collection by W Hamond – presented by CW Sellors – is this new ‘Bubble Ring’ that features nine hand-crafted Whitby jet gemstones in various sizes and four diamonds. The ring forms part of a suite with complementary necklet and earrings. www.cwsellors.com



‘Elementally Ortak’, a new concept which the brand launched at The Jewellery Show last month, offers retailers and customers the opportunity to customise any piece of enamel jewellery from a range of 12 themed colour shades. The handmade hot glass enamel collections illustrate the shade ranges of Air, Earth, Fire and Water, allowing customers to decide which element they are and buy accordingly. www.ortak.co.uk

ORIS



ORTAK

Taking its inspiration from the innovation and precision of the world of aviation, the Oris BC4 Retrograde Day features a new linear retrograde calendar displaying the days of the week on its dial. The triangular indicator jumps one position each day – white on workdays, red at the weekend. The stainless steel case features a seethrough mineral glass back and the black leather strap has a special folding clasp; a metal bracelet is also available. www.oris.ch

ARABEL LEBRUSAN



Lebrusan’s new ‘Filigree’ collections have been inspired by antique lace motifs and the transparency and lightness of traditional Spanish headscarves or ‘mantillas’, but given a contemporary edge. Made from 100 per cent recycled silver – some yellow or rose goldplated – the lightweight and intricate bangles, earrings and rings are created using traditional filigree techniques. www.arabellebrusan.com


| Security

Knowledge is power In the fight against jewellery crime, intelligence is an effective weapon. Michael Hoare looks at topical security issues and what can be learned from them.

Haven’t the foggiest... If you employ a security fog installation on your premises, have you considered contacting your local Fire and Rescue Service to discuss it? We all know that fogging can prove an extremely effective way of deterring thieves from making off with valuable items, particularly jewellery. However, as Richard Norman, the Fire and Rescue Business Liaison contact for the Scottish Business Crime Centre reminds me, they can look alarmingly like a shop fire from the perspective of a passing member of the public. The outcome can be that, once alerted, firefighters are faced with a building engulfed in smoke. Without any further information, they could choose to start firefighting operations without knowing the facts; putting themselves and your business in further danger. In order to help fire crews respond appropriately premises managers should contact their local Fire and Rescue Service to register and discuss the existence of their security fog installation. Mr Norman informs me that some fire services will record this data so that operational crews will react appropriately if they are called out to a fire reported at your address. It won’t generally affect the mobilisation of the fire service to the address, but it is something which the officer in charge should be aware of when carrying out their risk assessment.

The real cost of crime The sad news of the death of NAG Member Peter Avis, of W H Collis & Son of Bury St Edmunds on 13th January, as the result of what appears to have been a bungled robbery, shocked all at Luke Street, and the wider community. Thankfully, arrests and charges soon followed, although another suspect is still at large. Coincidentally, a couple of weeks prior to that incident the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released figures attempting to calculate the cost of retail crime, putting it at £1.4 billion

34 The Jeweller March 2012

last year alone. But despite a 31 per cent increase, I think this still underestimates the real cost of crime on our community of jewellers in particular. According to the BRC the number of robberies increased by 20 per cent and the average cost per incident went up 17 per cent from £847 to £989. Most worryingly, increases in the use of weapons and physical violence were reported. BRC Director General, Stephen Robertson, said: “Retailers

Image courtesy of Fog Bandit

have made significant investment to protect their staff, stock and premises from opportunistic crime. The falling number of many types of crime is testament to the sector’s own efforts. What is left is a core of more serious and organised criminals who are making off with goods in larger quantities and of higher value. These are violent law-breakers who pose a danger to society at large, not solely the retail sector.” Last year alone SaferGems received notice of more than 650 attempted attacks and suspicious incidents; that’s an average of 60 reports a month! Of those, 93 were recorded as robberies, 17 of which were on travelling jewellery representatives, equating to £10 million pounds worth of goods being stolen. Sixty nine aggravated burglaries/ smash and grabs accounted for over £1.2 million worth of stock stolen, while 73 commercial burglaries resulted in almost £1 million worth of goods stolen. Lastly, we recorded 344 offences of theft, 172 of

which involved distraction or sleight of hand techniques with approximately £280,000 worth of goods stolen. My own feeling is that no matter how the financial figures stack up, the unspoken cost of crime against jewellers is calculated in fear, stress, and the loss of valued colleagues, some of whom may decide on balance against a career in the trade. One of the most effective weapons we have at our disposal is intelligence, and I would urge everyone to join the fight against jewellery crime by signing up to SaferGems. Or if they are already members, by activating their alerts right away.

Now you see it... Some school boys develop an obsession with conjuring tricks and progress to successful stage careers. Others go on to use their facility for sleight of hand in a much less healthy way; turning their ‘talent’ to crime. Amidst the familiar crimes of burglary, armed robbery, and smash and grab, in the latest SaferGems bulletin there are quite a number of ‘sleight of hand’ offences. In reality most are actually distraction crimes, where sales people are thrown off balance by unruly children, jostling groups of ‘customers’ or irrational behaviour. Goods are stolen while their attention is elsewhere. A combination of distraction, sleight of hand, and confidence trick often involves large wads of money being waved around both to instil confidence in, and at the same time, distract a victim. One such report reads: On Saturday 21st January 2012 the above pictured man entered the store, and distracting the staff member stole a Rolex President 18ct watch valued at £9,000. He then proceeded to get the staff member to gift wrap the empty box. Following this the male made an excuse about having to withdraw more cash, leaving the store with a £200 deposit and then exited the store with the watch never returning. Embarrassing as it may be, if you’ve been the victim of sleight of hand, please let SaferGems know so we can alert others to the thieves’ techniques and descriptions.

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


| Security

Testing your metal The NAG welcomes Surrey Police’s ‘Precious Metals Code of Conduct’, while the Metal Theft Prevention Bill receives its second reading. Miles Hoare reports. e have all heard of damp parishioners worshipping in churches that have been stripped of leading from the roofs. Or we’ve sat on trains that have been brought to a halt by the cretins who have pilfered copper cables from railway junction boxes. Some of these reports may seem inconsequential or a minor nuisance to our daily lives, registering momentary disgust for the likes of people who would steal commemorative war memorial plaques, rob roadside signs or pinch underground phone cables. However, when you consider that the Association of Chief Police Officers estimate metal theft costs the British taxpayer around £770million a year, this escalating crime has become a real issue for the UK economy. This figure, which was presented to Parliament by Labour politician Graham Jones of the Lancashire constituency of Hyndham, shows exactly why Parliament is considering a new bill being brought forward to tackle the menace that is metal theft. The Metal Theft Prevention Bill, which aims to prevent the re-sale of illegally sourced metals through UK scrap yards, will receive its second reading in the House of Commons on 30th March this year. The new bill comes as the inadequacies in the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act have become apparent and rogue traders join what is slowly becoming a lucrative criminal market. In what is a £5bn a year industry, that mainly deals in cash transactions, it’s a wellknown fact that many scrap metal dealers don’t require customers to provide ID or proof of legitimacy. Although the more reputable outfits have these procedures in place, many scrap metal dealers have no checks and balances to ensure the materials they are dealing in are from reputable sources. In fact, the issue has already received a lot of attention from both the industry and the media. A number of investigations lead by BBC journalists even show how a small number of scrap dealers are more than complicit in dealing with dodgy metal.

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36 The Jeweller March 2012

As Lord Henley, the Home Office minister responsible for crime prevention, points out: “At the moment you can just go there and sign in as Mickey Mouse or whoever. We want proper ID so there’s greater transparency and a greater chain of who owns what.” It’s thought that by working with the scrap yards, and clamping down on the rogue traders in scrap metal markets, these thefts will begin to fall. This is the view shared by many in the industry, but as noted by Deputy Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, Paul Crowther: “It’s my belief that if

you put those measures in place, Johnny in the white van isn't going to want to turn up, produce his passport or his driving licence and proof of where he lives so we can then very quickly check where his metal comes from.” In this sense, the issue becomes much more of striking a balance between those who are calling for a cashless system, with ID requirements – and expensive ways of tracking the source of metal in the hope

that legitimising the process at the scrap yards will make it impossible for metal thieves to unload their dodgy loot. However, with these calls, there are also those who believe this will push the black market even further underground. Earlier this month the NAG discussed the same challenges facing protections for the sale of precious metals (such as gold and silver) by asking jewellers and pawnbrokers to ensure a number of checks take place before, during and after a sale. Much like the issues surrounding scrap metal dealers, jewellers will be encouraged to ensure they undertake an authorisation chain to prove the legitimacy of the metals they handle. Pioneered by the Surrey Police Force and with aspirations to include police forces across the country, these checks come in the form of a Voluntary Code of Conduct for jewellers and pawnbrokers. With the new bill going through Parliament, the NAG has been considering how the Surrey Police Force is following some of the rules in requiring reputable dealers to bring in similar checks in the scrap metal trade. However, whichever industry you’re in, there’s one thing that cannot be accounted for and that’s the dealers and traders in cahoots over their dodgy deals. As with any trade, there are likely to be cowboys and counterfeit constituents – it’s finding a way to protect both the taxpayers’ interests and those of metal dealers, jewellers and pawnbrokers that will be the real challenge for MPs, the police, and the industries themselves over the coming months and years. The bill will soon receive its second reading by MPs in the House of Commons, and will be passed before committee later this year. News on Surrey Police’s Code of Conduct will be announced in subsequent issues of The Jeweller and our members will be informed how they can ensure they are meeting the standards set out by the code.

The causes of the metal theft epidemic Why the sudden increase in these thefts? As many in the jewellery industry are aware, it’s often the case in times of recession, that the price of precious commodities, such as base metals, rise in value. With the sudden appearance of the number of ‘Cash for Gold’ companies, most people have cottoned onto the rocketing price of gold over the past three years. However, gold isn’t the only metal that is rising in price. Due to heightened demand from Asian and African countries, the price of base metals such as lead and steel have also seen a significant upturn in value. As with most changes of this nature, where opportunities to make money arise, so do the opportunities for dubious business practices and criminal enterprise.


The Voice of the Industry 37


| Ethical Jeweller

Jewellery with a heart The ethical jewellery movement shows no sign of abating – each season brings with it new brands and designers with their eye on more than simply the bottom line. Three new players come under our spotlight…

Arabel Lebrusan

Previously the creative director of Leblas jewellery, the first ethical jewellery boutique on London’s Sloane Street (and which is sadly no more) Arabel Lebrusan has now set out on her own. Completely intact is her original ideology of ethical materials and ‘emotional craftsmanship’, but now, she says, her brand has more of a ‘design edge’. Her extensive background in the creation of fashion as well as fine jewellery has allowed Arabel to explore fresh interpretations of traditional techniques, such as filigree for a contemporary ‘vintage’ look. Doing this ethically however is another challenge. “If a jeweller is willing, then there’s no excuse not to work with ethical metals – there’s much more availability now,” she explains. “But the price is higher and this makes such a big difference on the retail price of wedding bands for example. My experience has shown me that the ‘greener’ customer is a very idealistic individual who doesn’t usually have a very strong purchasing power, leaving them more ‘powerless’ to access ethical metals.” Another matter for Arabel is stones. “It is a struggle to find consistent/calibrated ethical gemstones. It is easier to find unique individual large stones (which is where the value is), than a supply of affordable coloured stones for a cheaper jewellery

38 The Jeweller March 2012

range. This leaves the ethical option only for high-end jewellery collections. And finding ethical diamonds is still not easy,” she adds. She is also concerned that the misuse of terminology might mean that customers lose their trust in some brands: “One of the biggest issues now is ‘What is ethical jewellery?’ Because it is fashionable, more brands are using these words very freely, applying them to products that might not use any ethical materials, but are perhaps made with ‘natural’ materials. I don’t want consumers to be sceptical about the word ‘ethical’.” www.arabellebrusan.com

Frogpearl

The responsible sourcing of diamonds and gold is obviously well-discussed and documented and the issues, though front of many minds, are a continuing source of concern. Less high profile are the potential problems regarding the pearl industry. One company hoping that this might change is Frogpearl which was founded in Sweden last year by Felicia Sobocki who wanted to produce ethical, high-quality jewellery using pearls. “The reason behind specialising in pearls is that they are truly organic gems. It takes up to six years to create just one pearl. That in itself makes them extraordinary,” she explains. “To launch into a career as a social entrepreneur was a challenge but I am deeply driven by my passion for ethical trading which has every potential to grow. Currently there are no

standardised guidelines for companies that want to trade ethically in the pearl industry. We want that to change,” she adds. Frogpearl believes that developing close partnerships with responsible suppliers is key to the process and so the team make frequent visits to its growers – small, familyrun businesses in south China and Hong Kong. “We have also established our own ILO and Global Impact-based Code of Conduct Agreements,” says Sobocki. “Ways of incorporating these values of ethics include polishing our pearls with corn instead of chemicals and ensuring that the pearls are coloured with lead-free dyes. We also believe in reducing our carbon footprint and counterbalance emissions associated with our flights by supporting ZeroMission and its tree planting projects in Mexico.” www.frogpearl.com

Global Soul The definition of ‘ethical’ takes on yet another meaning in the case of Global Soul. In common with a growing number of brands, social responsibility here takes the form of charitable donation. Founder Jacqui Land Keavney, has chosen to support smaller children’s charities – in the UK as well as Africa, China and Tibet. Initially she plans to donate 10 per cent of profits, the level increasing as her business does. The collection is made in silver and gold-plated silver and Land Keavney is currently looking at the ethical options open to her, including recycled silver. Given the nature of Global Soul’s origins, her intentions are unsurprising. A relative latecomer to the jewellery world, she began drawing jewellery shapes during meditation sessions which led her to the Birmingham Jewellery School, winning a design award (and much-needed funding) along the way. After three years the spiritually-driven Global Soul line – with themes of peace, infinity, balance and harmony – was launched at The Jewellery Show last month. “I would say that 70 per cent of those who were attracted to the collection were spiritually conscious,” she says. “Interestingly each day saw a different theme attracting attention. Wednesday was the busiest day for the Buddha.” Make of that what you will… www.globalsoul.co.uk


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Giving a new sparkle to recycled diamonds No matter what size, shape, colour or clarity every diamond has a value in today’s market. But for anyone wishing to sell, finding excellent prices and – particularly important – a trustworthy buyer, can be difficult and time consuming. hether you happen to be a manufacturer with unused inventory, a jewellery retailer who has excess stock, a pawnbroker, precious metal dealer or refiner that has accrued diamonds, you will naturally want to realise the true value of your assets at the best possible price. Here lies the problem. Finding a reliable, responsible and principled company to deal with, one which consistently pays a top market price, might appear to be nigh-on impossible. Well almost. White Pine Trading has been operating in the US for over two years and is providing just this proposition to the trade. The company today, quite reasonably, considers itself to be the king of the recycled diamonds sector.

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number of jewellers and consumers, takes very seriously. For the record, it is estimated that over 4.5 billion carats (900,000 kgs) of diamond has been extracted from the ground since mining for the mineral first began. Due to the inherent hardness and durability of diamonds, much of this volume is still in circulation throughout the world. However, the recycled diamond business currently represents less than five per cent of the total diamond industry sales – a situation that White Pine aims to redress. White Pine’s mantra is ‘We Value Every Diamond’. This means that it will take the time, through its dedicated UK team, to value a collection of low quality melee stones with as much care and consideration as, at the

‘’With excellent prices and quick and efficient processing, White Pine has helped add tremendous value to our business’’ – leading UK pawnbroker Even the lowest quality stones are capable of being re-cut and repackaged back into the jewellery sector; recycling diamonds allows the flow of secondhand diamonds back into meaningful jewellery production. This in turn presents a strong ethical rationale by reducing the burden on mining activities and thus lessening environmental impacts, something which White Pine, in common with a growing

other end of the scale, 1+ carat high value items. There are plenty of businesses set up to buy the larger stone sizes, but very few prepared to buy stones of all sizes, grades and conditions. And even fewer who have the diamond expertise and knowledge to give confidence to consumers that they are being given the right price for their diamonds.

• White Pine was established in New York in 2010. Its head office is now located near to the diamond district on 47th Street • With significant backing from prestigious venture capital group Perella Weinberg Partners, White Pine has quickly captured a large percentage of the US market • Today the company is one of the biggest recycled diamond trading companies in the world • White Pine’s considerable financial resources enable it to cope with the largest transaction sizes with same day funds transfer • This February the company opened an office in Birmingham and now has a dedicated team ready to service the UK market

In the other meaning of the word value, the company has access to a huge upstream sales contact network and constantly revises its prices to reflect the market. In some senses it helps set the market rate, constantly monitoring price movements and adjusting its buying prices accordingly. With its head office based in New York and a European office in Barcelona, White Pine has recently opened a UK office in Birmingham headed up by buyer Dave Padmore, a GIA-certified gemologist who has extensive experience in diamond grading and buying. The UK team is supported from the company’s Barcelona office, run by Tim Phillips, its European director. Signifying that White Pine is most definitely here for the long haul, Phillips is targeting further growth in Europe for 2012. For more information about White Pine Trading in the UK call 020 7193 0911 or email: info@whitepinediamonds.com

The Voice of the Industry 39


Dower & Hall

That’s the spirit! And having cleared up that particular matter, another minor hiccup can also be dismissed right here and now. We may be experiencing a few fiscal woes, but your average bride-to-be is not about to sacrifice her most important piece of jewellery because of them. The general consensus among suppliers and retailers is that other elements of the marital budget will be reviewed rather than that set aside for the rings.

Palmun

Investing in the best

Bridal Sweet Are we going to let a little thing like an economic downturn stand in the way of a bride and her sparkler? Heck no, love is still in the air! says Belinda Morris. here may be a number of salient factors weighing heavily on a jeweller’s shoulders – and specifically those who major on wedding and engagement rings – but the rather underwhelming statistics on UK marriages isn’t really one of them. And quite right; what would be the point of dwelling on a negative. And perhaps things are looking up… according to provisional figures released recently by the Office of National Statistics, the number of marriages increased by 3.7 per cent in 2010.

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40 The Jeweller March 2012

“It’s too early to know if this upward trend will continue, says Elise Rabone, marketing manager at Domino, “but regardless, we should look on the bright side, if both bride and groom bought a ring in 2010 – when 241,490 couples tied the knot – that was nearly half a million jewellery sales, so I think there are still reasons to be cheerful.” Designermaker Andrew Geoghegan is thinking along exactly the same lines: “there are still many thousands of couples getting married and as I see it they all need a couple of rings.”

“Clients may be price-conscious but for a once-in-a-lifestime purchase they will buy the rings they love; they will adjust other expenditure rather than compromise on their wedding bands,” says Richard Campbell of Bond Street jewellers Lucie Campbell. It’s an opinion shared by many others. Based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, wedding and engagement rings form the core of James Newman’s business. “Because couples are looking for a ‘lifetime’ piece they to want to invest in the very best and so tend to budget for it,” he explains.

PH Wedding Rings


Feature | metal prices, bridal jewellery has become much more important for many of our customers,” he says. Cindy Dennis Mangan of Dennis & Lavery adds her own thoughts to this theory. “Interest in wedding and engagement rings, as well as diamond eternity and anniversary purchases, is what is carrying the fine jewellery market through this recession,” she says. “We have not experienced any reduction in interest in platinum rings with 1.00 carat plus diamond weight. We believe platinum clients are a certain breed and will always want to buy the best they can.”

Gemex

At Baird & Co it has been noticed that customers are still buying the best that they can afford and rather than delaying their wedding date are instead opting to shorten the lead time! “The wedding industry as a whole has been quick to respond to the downturn in the economy – getting married needn’t break the bank – but engagement and wedding rings are often the last area for compromise,” says Sonia Menezes of Clogau Gold. “Our customers are happy to pay that little bit extra for something special.” And if getting married does break the bank? As Nigel Blayney of Cymru-Y-Metel Domino

points out: “when a typical wedding spend is £20,000 to £25,000 and where only the photos and the rings are the lasting items, it does make sense to invest in the best.” Of course the other potential threat to sales of bridal jewellery are the huge price hikes in the cost of precious metals. Perhaps, but looked at from a different perspective, it’s not all gloomy. “I think we’re somewhat less affected by the price of precious metals than fashion jewellery and silver brands,” says James Maxwell of Mastercut. “As a

“Ironically, once the guy comes into the store and we explain what we do and how things are made, they get more excited than the girls!” proportion of the overall price, the metal element is lower due to the fact that the stone price makes up the larger part.” He also points out that as sales of diamond fashion jewellery have been “more difficult”, retailers have had to focus on what Mastercut calls the ‘cultural imperative’ of diamond rings – in other words, the role of the diamond in the marriage proposal. It’s what Gary Sinclair of PH Rings describes – rather more boldly – as the “purchase of passion”. “For those jewellers wanting to concentrate on diamonds, bridal jewellery has to be the first port of call,” adds Maxwell. “It’s not a diminishing trend.” David Shem-Tov of Stubbs & Co agrees: “Given the negative impact on fine jewellery sales because of high precious

Dennis & Lavery

Nice day for a white wedding Which brings us to another positive point. The bright shiny lining in the price-rise cloud is the impact that the cost of gold is having on platinum. In many cases the gold escalation means that brides-to-be are not thinking twice about choosing platinum instead – even those who would once have gone down the gold route out of a budget-imposed compromise. “The fact that the differential between the price of 18

Charles Green

The Voice of the Industry 41




| Feature “In early 2011 I smugly said that the high prices of precious metals would not affect my designs. Well, by mid 2011 I was, for the first time in my career, designing to a price,” says Geoghegan. “I have to say now that the ‘form’ of the design is back as the top priority.” Market conditions have obviously made some jewellers more cautious. “Our retail partners are targeting certain key price

James Newman

carat white gold and platinum is now less than it once was has definitely made platinum a more attractive option,” explains Rabone. “Both metals are much more expensive than they once were, but consumers are prepared to pay just a little bit more to get a long-lasting platinum product.”

Mastercut

While there are exceptions here and there, the dominance of platinum for bridal jewellery is pretty much a given. (Interestingly, while UK hallmarking of gold has declined by 54 per cent over the last five years, platinum hallmarking has fallen by a less dramatic 30 per cent.) “It’s the ultimate metal to work with being resilient enough for everyday wear and there’s never a problem with rings needing replating,” says Lee Ruben of Gemex, where seven out of every ten rings sold are platinum (and almost three per cent of all platinum hallmarked in the UK is Gemex production).

Adapting to market forces “The rise in precious metals has meant that customers spend more time choosing what they want and comparing prices; they are also keen to recycle old family jewellery into their wedding and engagement rings,” says Lewes-based designer maker Alexis Dove. “They’re keen to have more input into the design process because of this. We have

42 The Jeweller March 2012

also created a range of slightly finer rings to keep the entry level of our work affordable.” As is the case with fine fashion jewellery, a logical way to counter the rising cost of metals is to make changes to the design of a piece – without compromising on quality or the creative spirit. “We have had to adapt to the rise in metal costs and have introduced more delicate designs in 18 carat yellow and white gold,” explains Dan Dower of Dower & Hall, which has also recently introduced interest free credit for its retail customers. “We have created a new lighter court profile and also many of our wedding ring designs are made using manufacturing techniques that reduce the price to the retailer while not affecting the final design in a negative way,” explains Phillip Beale of Charles Green.

Alexis Dove

points and because of increases in prices of precious metals and diamonds we have had to launch new products with a lower metal and diamond weight – or even in a different metal altogether, like nine carat gold,” explains Paawan Munjal of Palmun.

Baird & Co

Wedding Jewellery Survey We conducted a survey among NAG members last month to discover the state of play regarding sales of wedding and engagement rings. There were some pretty conclusive findings among the responses, as well as a few differing experiences and opinions: • An unsurprising 85 per cent of retailers said that the rising cost of precious metals had led to more deliberation and homework being done by customers. • White metals are still the most popular choice for wedding and engagement rings say 62 per cent. • Diamonds remain the stones of choice for engagement rings according to 88 per cent of respondees. • 86 per cent said that for customers design is more important than the brand as far as wedding and engagement rings are concerned. • Only 11 per cent of retailers said that sales of sapphires with diamonds were/are stronger as a result of the royal wedding • Almost half of the retailers questioned said that sales of wedding and engagement rings had gone down in the past few years, the remaining split almost equally between those who said they had gone up and those for whom sales were the same.




The Finest Wedding Rings Since 1824

WWW.CHARLES-GREEN.COM

STAND I68


Feature | The company has added a number of new styles to its ‘Sparkle’ collection – retailing between £300 and £500 and also offers retailers the chance to exchange ‘dead stock’ (regardless of its origins) for new styles. “The retailer today is more discerning – he’s looking for value for money,” says Tony Tankel of HW Tankel. “There’s less emphasis Russel Lord

price-driven, the company has introduced a price-pledge promise. “If any retailer finds a product or design that is similar to one of ours – even set in H/SI quality diamonds, Gemex promises to give five per cent off the competitive price – plus the F/G VS quality diamonds,” he explains. Offering a low investment aid to jewellers German bridal jewellery brand Breuning has launched a ‘Bridal Box’ – a new concept that demonstrates its new classic and contemporary engagement ring styles mocked-up in high-grade silver and CZ, each style available with 10, 20 and 30 point diamonds. Also in the offer are solitaire

“The fact that the differential between the price of 18 carat white gold and platinum is now less than it once was has definitely made platinum a more attractive option” on style and more on the price for the end user. If something is a bargain then they can sell it – things have never been as price-driven. It’s tough out there but we’re fortunate in that we have the right product at the right price and we started to make sure of this before the recession began. Our sources cut the diamonds from the rough; our very strong connections are paying off,” he adds. While Ruben is very clear on the fact that sales of Gemex rings are quality rather than

Cymru-Y-Metel

D A Soley

Stubbs & Co

pendants and earrings as well as silver star and heart-themed pieces for the bridal party – a combined sale opportunity if ever there was one. The company has also introduced 9 carat gold for the first time as well as a dual-hallmarked silver and palladium band – the latter embraced by some and rejected by others as ‘just not right’, despite it’s very appealing much lower price point for a similar band that is heavier than 9 carat. Perception can be everything. Having offered its sample ranges in Argentium Britania silver for many years PH Rings is finding that some of its retailers are selling these as wedding rings. Meeting this extreme budget-induced measure half way, the company has launched ‘Infused’ – a two-tone silver and gold range of rings.

Palladium and the boys Unsurprisingly, squeezed budgets are creating opportunities for alternative metals – palladium in particular and, generally

Words to the wise – from suppliers to retailers “It’s inevitable that prices of diamonds will continue to go up. If you don’t buy now, then in three months time they will cost more.” Tony Tankel, HW Tankel “The market has become sharper, more advanced and just as suppliers have to be shrewd, the service from retailers has to be top notch. Everyone is clawing at a smaller market share.” Sarah Strong, Breuning “If fewer couples are getting married, it is up to each individual jeweller or retailer to successfully market their wedding rings and be creative when it comes to what they design or offer.” Andrew Geoghegan “Retailers really need to work harder for each sale and really consider whether their product offering is providing them with the maximum standout and differentiation.” James Maxwell, Mastercut “Changing market forces need not mean reduced wedding ring sales… it could provide retailers with an opportunity to stand out if they have the right product. They need to adapt their collections to ensure this.” Paawan Munjal, Palmun

The Voice of the Industry 45




| Feature

Hockley Mint

speaking, for the groom’s ring. “The increased demand for his band has predominantly been in palladium,” confirms Charles Green’s Beale. And at Mastercut where sales are largely driven by women, metals like tungsten carbide and titanium are growing alternatives to the popular white gold and platinum. Whatever the material, it seems that men are not necessarily prepared to think subtle or discreet when it come to their own band. As Stephen Webster observes: “The rules have changed… men are choosing to be more experimental with their accessories.” It might be said that this starts with a wedding. “We find that men are ‘told’ they are having a ring and often have never worn jewellery,” says Newman. “Then, ironically, once the guy comes into the store and we explain what we do and how things are made, they tend to get more excited than the girls! Apart from being practical our men’s rings often have interesting details like different metals or finish or a discreet use of a gemstone.” On the basis that “plain designs are catered for by all jewellers” last year Andrew Geoghegan launched his ‘Reveal’ gents wedding band with a subtle pavé section – something, as he says, for “the more adventurous and confident customer”. At Dennis & Lavery the percentage of diamond set wedding bands for men is rising fast, while the hallmark on the outside of Brown & Newirth

Cymru’s Welsh gold bands – the dragon hallmark in particular – are proving popular. “We always found that men went for the simple wedding band option, but over the last few years I have been doing a lot more diamond-set or patterned bands for men; they do seem to be getting more adventurous,” says Hatton Garden-based Russell J Lord. Stubbs & Co’s ConfigureRing application, which helps customers to create their own style, encourages the choosing of customised patterned bands for men and apparently increasing numbers of them are taking up the challenge. At Brown & Newirth the demand for patterned gents rings – particularly in palladium – is growing: “they’re becoming more liberated and requesting bespoke designs, which is refreshing,” says John Bell, sales manager. Sam Stevens, marketing manager at Hockley Mint reports that an increased interest in palladium wedding rings for men has been matched by a growing demand for simple, classic diamond cut finishes or brushed matt metals. And it isn’t just the

Breuning

And a few retailer comments from the heart: “Platinum solitares, in particular princess cut diamonds, have been the most popular ring over the last six months. It is usually the man on his own who purchases the ring so design and price are the key elements in his decision.” “My advice is always to choose a classic design that has already proved itself a success and will not appear dated in a few years (see bark pattern wedding rings!).” “Despite significantly reducing our margins, we still spend lots of time with customers explaining the benefits of good quality construction etc and find we still lose sales to the internet. And they don’t buy from the internet what they tell us they were after!” “The internet appears to have become a bigger supplier. They use GIA certificates but embellish them with their own descriptions!” “There are too many customers coming in saying they are sourcing their diamonds (and doing it online!) but want us to take the responsibility of setting them!”

boys who’re looking at palladium – there’s been a flurry of interest in the metal for engagement rings too (although platinum still rules).

A little local colour While platinum set with diamonds appears to be the default option for engagement rings (with wedding bands to match) it’s not entirely a one-horse race out there. “We are finding a much greater interest in yellow metal and some increased interest in rose gold and men are looking more at yellow gold for a more classic and sophisticated look,”

46 The Jeweller March 2012

says Alexis Dove. Meanwhile, the recently introduced engagement and wedding ring collection by Stephen Webster features Forevermark diamonds set in 18 carat Fairtrade Fairmined gold. “We have noticed a demand for rose gold – primarily in the shanks of some of the more classic designs and demand for yellow gold shanks continues for the larger

Clogau Gold


Feature |

SPECIALIST MANUFACTURER of WEDDING & ETERNITY RINGS

Quality Service Competitive Pricing

Wedds & Co. Nuvo House, Austin Way, Old Walsall Road, Birmingham. B42 1DU

Made in England

Andrew Geoghegan

three stones and five stone eternities,” explains Roger Chamberlain of the largely platinum-centric Diamond by Appointment. Also gaining much attention are Gemex’s three ring, three-colour, diamond set Russian wedding bands – a very pretty alternative to the stacked ring concept. For something totally different Breuning has created a special alloy which gives gold a darker look and when used alongside white gold creates a very graphic black and white look. In conjunction with the brand’s already very different, engineered look, the effect appeals to those looking for a wedding ring that is less than traditional.

e info@wedds.co.uk t 0121 386 7301 f 0121 357 5900

The same might be said of the choice of stones. “Diamonds still rule (with different cuts such as cushion becoming popular) but coloured stones, such as sapphires have become much more in demand – although this trend has not followed through as strongly as last summer,” says Campbell. For Clogau Gold, the royal connection saw sapphires doing extremely well last year “and we’ve moved this on a step this season by changing the sapphires in the Royal Clogau collection to a really beautiful, regal tanzanite,” says brand manager Sonia Menezes. Stephen Webster

Dove is finding that although diamonds, being the hardest stones, are the most popular, there is a growing trend towards the more affordable champagne and cinnamon colours. “We are also getting asked more for gemstones including ruby and sapphire – but greens and pinks rather than the classic blue – and also spinel,” she says. Yellow and chocolate coloured diamonds are, along with sapphires, making a strong bid for notice at Andrew Geoghegan; brown diamonds set in rose gold are becoming more sought-after at Stephen Webster and at Baird & Co, due to demand, coloured stones are being offered in stone-set wedding band designs – black diamonds, rubies and sapphires among them. A recent request for a ‘hot and passionate’ rubbelite tourmaline at Dower & Hall, was, says Dower, “wonderful to design” and surely a pretty positive pointer for the future of bridal jewellery. As Roger Chamberlain observes: “A value in love today is always better than an unknown investment in the future”. No, I’m not quite sure what it means either… but it sounds like sound advice! 

The Voice of the Industry 47


Legal Jeweller |

Internet retailing – are you policing your rights? Web-based retailing has become central to many jewellery businesses’ success. Lawyer, Bill Gornall-King from Boyes Turner’s Commercial & Technology team explains what online retailers need to do to protect their internet sales from fraudsters and cyber-squatters. aving decided to sell your products on the internet and set up your online store there are issues you need to be aware of and pitfalls to avoid. The most important of these is making sure that the brand and reputation that you have built in the ‘bricks and mortar’ world of retailing, i.e. the quality and uniqueness of your designs, are properly protected in the online world as well. On the high street it’s easy to spot lookalike shops that have identical fixtures and fittings to yours as well as products that are cheap imitations of yours and it only takes a call to the authorities to have them closed down. On the internet though, it is not quite as straightforward. First you have to spot them.

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Internet impersonators – lost sales and broken brands It is incredibly easy for cyber-squatters to build a web site that looks like yours – is identical even – and which uses a similar web address to yours, typically by slightly changing its spelling, or by using the same name and incorporating a different top level domain, i.e. .co.uk or .net, that you haven’t already acquired, instead of the .com address

that you will probably have used. The result is that the customers who would have visited your site and bought your products from it are instead diverted or directed to theirs and end up buying potentially cheap and substandard imitations. The impact of lost sales can be significant, particularly when retailers are generally having a hard time of it as they are at the moment. However, having your reputation damaged is a recipe that many businesses using the internet to sell have had difficulties recovering from. This is exactly what happened to Links of London which has been in the news recently – shutting down 200 plus fake e-commerce sites, many of which were using Link’s own product images. Not only were these sites diverting over a million visitors a year from the genuine Links websites, they were also using paid search advertising and outbidding Links for key words – often the names of the product lines that were on the official Links websites and which Links were promoting! The result was Links having to pay substantially more than it should have been for each person clicking on their paid adverts.

Don’t wait until it’s too late The good news for Links is that it was able to defeat the cyber-squatters by adopting a hard-line policy of threatening legal action; serving take-down notices in respect of content on the websites that was infringing Links’ copyright materials including Links’ images of genuine Links products and also by using Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers’ Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy to force the transfer of 65 domain names registered and used by a particular cyber-squatter. The net effect was that the traffic to the genuine Links websites increased by 50 per cent with a commensurate increase in sales. Also, their pay-per-click search costs were reduced by around 40 per cent.

Prevention is better than cure On-line retailers could avoid many of the problems from arising by registering trade marks (UK, Community and/or international) for the protection of their brand and products. Registration will give you the monopoly right for your badge of origin and reputation and will be key for the development of your brand reputation. Also, make sure that you register or acquire as many relevant domain names as possible that use your chosen brand/ product names, as well as ones with similar spellings across the spectrum of .co.uk, .com, .net, .biz and other top level domains. These ground rules apply to every online jewellery retailer. The key message is that if you want to build a successful online brand you must be prepared to police your rights. For further information call 0118 952 7247 or visit: www.boyesturner.com

The Voice of the Industry 49


Mark Milton’s bracelets (left) in 4 shades of 9ct gold come in 2mm or 5mm widths with an RRP of £120 and £315 respectively. Also featured are 9ct gold ‘disco ball’ stacking rings in 14 different stone options. RRPs start at £250. www.markmilton.co.uk

Hey Good Lookin’

show dedicated to British designer-makers. William Cheshire won the ‘Houlden Designer of Excellence Award’ for his much feted Libertine Collection while Cindy Dennis Mangan, was highly commended for her eye-catching Python collection. The Pandora Catwalk cafe provided a busy central hub for the show with a rolling programme of talks and discussions, to say nothing of the twice daily jewellery fashion show featuring some of the most stunning jewels from exhibitors. Wristwear was a big story this year with BJA members Alice Menter, Babette Wasserman, Cindy Dennis Mangan, Mark Milton and Rachel Galley all presenting on-trend bracelet, bangle or cuff designs across a range of materials.

This year’s Jewellery Show not only looked good in terms of its layout, it was also a launch pad for plenty of innovative new designs. Mary Brittain highlights some of the key stories, emerging trends and new products from members of The British Jewellers’ Association that helped them stand out from the crowd. eavy snow on set up day was an inauspicious start for The Jewellery Show which took place at the NEC in Birmingham early last month. The cold snap undoubtedly deterred some buyers however the majority of BJA members I spoke to were in the main pleased with the event and cited the quality of buyers as being more important than the quantity. “Sunday was a whitewash and footfall was definitely down because of the snow, but as the bad weather subsided we saw more and more serious customers and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were very strong for us,” said Lee Ruben, a director of the London diamond wedding ring producer Gemex. Ruben confirmed that his company did particularly well with platinum sales during the show and that the white metals far outsold the yellow.

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50 The Jeweller March 2012

The show certainly looked the part. The jewellery halls were light and airy with plenty of substantial stands and some new, big name companies, not least Swarovski Crystal and Bering Time, joining the exhibitor line up. It was all go in The Designer Quarter too. This is the area of the

William Cheshire – silver gilt bracelet on red waxed cotton. RRP £440 www.williamcheshire.com

Sales of platinum and white gold wedding bands far outstripped yellow gold for Gemex at The Jewellery Show. www.theraphaelcollection.com


BJA Jewellery Show Review | Gold vermeil and silver The high price of gold (which has quadrupled in recent years and continues to rise) is undoubtedly behind a Gold-plated number of the key trends cherries on 18” that were much in evidence gold-plated chain at the show – not least from Muru. gold plating of silver which RRP £69 www.muru.co.uk is now de rigueur and is being used by large commercial firms and designer makers alike to create a showy yellow gold look without an equally showy price tag.

is another designer for whom gold plating is working well and her ‘Isla’ two-tone collection, which also appeared on the catwalk, was selling well at the show. Gold plating is employed on a much smaller physical scale in Muru’s ‘Talisman Collection’. “It’s finally happened!” MD Phil Barnes told me. Phil believes that buyers

Gecko’s Fred Bennett collection for men features an interesting mix of materials mixed with silver, including leather, Tiger’s Eye and lava beads as featured here. RRP £99.95 www.geckojewellery.com

Kokkino’s sterling silver and 22.5ct gold-plated ‘Shimmer’ collar has an RRP of around £900. www.kokkino.co.uk

‘Tree of Life’ pendant in sterling silver with 24ct pure, hard gold plate by Simon Kemp. The RRP, including the 18ct gold-plated chain, is £129. www.simonkempjewellers.com

are now actively looking for silver gilt designs, a view echoed by the jeweller Simon Kemp who has developed his own unique goldplating technique. “Most jewellery makers plate simply those parts of the design they want to be gold when they plate their jewellery, but I plate the whole item and then use diamond burrs to polish away the gold where I don’t want it. It’s time consuming but it allows me to get far finer detailing,” he says.

Silver with gold-plated accents was also very much in evidence with two-tone designs being used to great effect across a range of products. Kokkino is a master of the art and its large sterling silver collar and matching earrings with 22.5ct gold plating from the ‘Shimmer’ collection was much admired on the catwalk. Alice Menter

Less is more

Rogers & Rodgers ‘Icarus’ pierced silver cuff is available in silver or in 22ct gold vermeil as pictured here with an RRP of £280. www.rodgersandrodgers.com

These Fiorelli by Gecko costume bracelets make use of pretty, printed cottons to great effect. RRPs are £8.95 each. www.geckojewellery.com

Alternative materials This ‘Isla’ necklace from Alice Menter uses gold and silver-plated hexagonal nuts. RRP £175 www.alicementer.co.uk

show. Gecko’s popular Fred Bennett sterling silver collection for men was sporting wood and leather while IBB, Midhaven and Fiorelli (among many others) were using silk and leather mixed with silver on neckwear and wristwear. Fiorelli was also using floral materials. At a higher price point William Cheshire was showing silver gilt bracelets strung on to either leather or waxed cotton. The latter is, he says, very durable and doesn’t stretch.

Another way of keeping costs down is to mix the precious with the non-precious and alternative materials were much in evidence on both high and low price items at the

If precious metal prices are high, a sure fire way of cutting costs is to use less of them and this aim has undoubtedly led to the flowering of many pierced jewellery designs where a virtue is made of lattice work and holes. Rachel Galley does this to perfection as does Kate at Rodgers & Rodgers whose pierced cuff in gold-plated silver provides statement jewellery at an affordable price and Cindy Dennis Mangan whose Python rings combine two hot looks – holes and colour.

The Voice of the Industry 51




| BJA Jewellery Show Review

‘Python’ cocktail rings in gold-plated sterling silver with peridot, maderia citrine and almadine garnet by Cindy Dennis Mangan. RRPs £250 a ring. www.cindydennismangan.com

A fresh approach was provided by Leyla Abdollahi who bases her highly figurative and colourful designs on ancient mythology. On the colour theme there were also many bright enamel designs on show with orange, turquoise and lilac being especially popular hues. Other vibrant offerings included pieces in vivid Murano glass as well as dyed pearls and beads. One particularly quirky and colourful new range, using Mille Fiori glass, came from Amilo Jewellery.

I’m backing Britain Anyone setting foot outside the jewellery halls into the Spring Fair was immediately assaulted by a plethora of red, white and blue gift ideas from exhibitors keen to exploit the sales potential provided by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

Dower and Hall limited edition charms. RRPs start from £40. www.dowerandhall.com

Colour, colour and more colour

Patriotic and celebratory products were much less in evidence within the jewellery halls – although I did notice that both Domino and Swarovski were sporting Union Jack ‘flags’ made of crystals on their stands and that The Assay Offices were making much of the Jubilee Hallmark. For those looking for jewellery with a British theme, Deakin & Francis was sporting a whole new range of light-hearted silver cufflinks featuring archetypal British objects such as a London bus, wellington boots, Leyla Abdollahi’s ‘Rhodeia’ earrings in 18ct gold use rubies with white and pink sapphires to stunning effect. RRP approximately £6,500. www.leyla-abdollahi.com

Another way of adding a certain ‘va va vroom’ to jewellery is to use coloured stones. At The Jewellery Show colour was ubiquitous, coming in the form of outrageously bright, irregularly shaped crystals from Swarovski, gleaming disco balls from Hasbanic under the brand name Tresor Paris and as emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other gemstones set in classic dress rings from companies like R E Morrish and Domino. Many firms were also using slightly more unusual stones to great effect.

Unusual stones such as blueberry quartz and diamonds featurein R E Morrish’s extensive range of dress ring. RRPs from £1000-£3000. www.remorrish.com

52 The Jeweller March 2012

Mille Fiori Murano glass, copper and CZs add vivid colour to the Signature Collection in sterling silver from Amilo Jewellery. Both pieces have a RRP of £350. www.amilojewellery.com

British themed sterling silver cufflinks from Deakin and Francis. RRPs approximately £250. www.deakinandfrancis.co.uk

Domino’s ‘Sassolini’ collection in 18ct yellow gold provides commercially priced colouredstone designs across a kaleidoscope of colours and sizes. RRPs start at around £500. www.dominojewellery.com

a red telephone box, a bulldog, a crown and a bowler-hatted city gent. A nice finishing touch is that all these designs have a Union Jack flag motif included in the part of the link that goes into the cuff. For girls wanting to fly the flag, Dower & Hall is offering a range of hand-crafted silver discs, hearts and ovals with words such as champion and winner accompanied by symbols of doves and wreaths; each charm is ready to adorn bracelets, pendants or bangles and are the company says the perfect way to show your support and commemorate an iconic time for Britain.




| BJA Jewellery Show Review And finally… a heartwarming story The Cornerstone Project is a social enterprise initiative founded by the British designer jeweller Paul Spurgeon and the Soweto jeweller Nqobile Nkosi. The two used The Jewellery Show to launch a range of jewellery, which will be for sale both in the UK and in Africa, the proceeds helping to fund a growing team of jewellery workers in Soweto.

objective of the Cornerstone project – to bring work and dignity to those living in one of the world’s poorest places – is something we fully endorse and we were delighted to be able to offer it our support,” commented Yvonne Brookes a director of the company. The project is supported by the Birmingham casting and rapid-prototyping company Weston Beamor on whose stand the new collection was displayed. “As one of the UK’s first certificated manufacturers to work with Fairtrade Fairmined gold we are, as a business, deeply committed to creating a more ethical jewellery supply chain. The

Designer Paul Spurgeon and the Soweto jeweller Nqobile Nkosi with Yvonne Brookes of Weston Beamor.

54 The Jeweller March 2012

BJA show news “This was a very successful show for the British Jewellers’ Association. We saw tremendous interest in our 125th Anniversary silver competition and also signed up a number of new members from across

the industry. These include DMJ, Turquoise Jewellery, the silversmith Cornish Precious Metal Arts and the designer Mara Hotung Jewels as well as a couple of large international businesses – Ti Sento and Bering watches,” says Lindsey Straughton. “While walking the show and talking to members and potential members the most encouraging thing for me was the effort that had been put into the creation of exciting new lines this and I am pleased to able to provide a showcase for just a just a small fraction of them in this feature,” she concluded. 


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| Insurance Matters

Making the most of a sale Michael Ferraro of TH March explains how good customer care shouldn’t end with the beautiful packaging of a purchase. n the retail industry it is imperative to maximise every single sale and there are a number of important steps that can help every retailer do this. From the moment a customer steps through the door, to when they make their purchase, and beyond, their experience needs to be a positive one. In many sales, little things can make a big difference. One of the major strengths retailers can offer customers, over their competitors, is an individual service or ‘personal touch’. It is essential that retailers have the right products and services to meet and exceed individual customers’ needs. Insurance is one area where jewellers can add value and give their customers peace of mind by offering the services of a reputable insurance broker who not only has a detailed understanding of the jewellery trade but can also offer tailor-made insurance solutions for customers needing to protect their new purchase.

I

To offer a bespoke service, retailers must make sure all staff know the products and services on offer and encourage them to advise customers when and where appropriate. Given the choice, customers would choose to talk to a person who knows the most about the products they are considering. Knowledge inspires customer trust and in turn this will result in repeat visits and increased sales. Training and supplier support are usually key to ensuring members of the sales team are fully equipped with the confidence and knowledge to communicate effectively with customers. However, an exception is the provision of insurance advice which is regulated by the Financial Services Authority and where care needs to be exercised to ensure that any advice given or cover provided is compliant. This is where your insurance broker can provide you with the necessary support and guidance to make certain your customers

are correctly advised and that they obtain the right cover for their needs. The retail industry is a real people-centric business. Besides customers, retailers communicate daily with many companies and there are several ways in which retailers can make the most of relationships with suppliers and manufacturers. It is important that retailers cater for their customer needs, but with so many categories demanding attention, they can’t be expected to know everything about all product lines. This is where insurance suppliers can support your business – many of them run websites, TH

Training and supplier support are usually key to ensuring members of the sales team are fully equipped with the confidence and knowledge to communicate effectively with customers. March, Insurance Brokers, included, which are tailored to the needs of the retailer and give details of products and services that they offer. With all T.H. March products, retailers are guaranteed: • A first class service including easy access to decision makers to make their lives easier • Dependable insurance coverage • Wherever possible, the referral of replacement claims to the retailer and a fast and fair claims service • The provision of easy-to-use manuals and interesting literature • A dedicated team of professionals who understand the needs of the trade and the needs of their customers A sale doesn’t stop when the customer leaves the shop; after-sale care is a really important factor in ensuring repeat visits. TH March’s Insurance Solutions have schemes where most insurance replacements and repairs can be fulfilled by the shop where the purchase was made, rather than in a competitor’s store. This reduces the hassle and stress of having to replace items of jewellery for customers, and helps to ensure that retailers retain their custom for the future. To find out more visit: www.thmarch.co.uk

56 The Jeweller March 2012


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| Antique Jewellery

Antique JEWELLERY Van Cleef & Arpels: story of an iconic brand Favoured by actresses and associated glitterati from Marlene Dietrich to Cate Blanchett, Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the best known and most coveted brands in the fine jewellery world. However the firm is about much more than its enthusiasts; it lays claim to an impressive number of milestone jewellery-making techniques too. an Cleef & Arpels, the French jewellery house – and, since 1976, perfume maker – was founded in Paris just as the nineteenth century was coming to an end in 1896. As the Van Cleef & Arpels storytellers rather romantically put it, “the history of the company began with a marriage”. That marriage was between Alfred Van Cleef and his cousin Estelle Arpels, both of whose families were already involved in the jewellery trade. Alfred’s father was a Dutch diamond cutter of good reputation, whose move to Paris during the reign of Napoleon III led to Alfred becoming apprenticed to a workshop in that city. Estelle, for her part, was the daughter of a diamond dealer whose sons were also gemmologists. Indeed, the firm was founded by Alfred and Estelle’s three brothers, Salomon Pierre, Louis and Jules Arpels. In the first few years of the business, the family rented space in the ninth arrondissement of Paris.

V

Place Vendôme

58 The Jeweller March 2012

Alfred and Estelle

and then by Bulgari, Buccellati, Damiani and (more recently) Place Vendôme newcomer De Beers. Throughout the late 1920s the company prospered, opening a string of high end boutiques in Europe’s best known rich people’s ‘playgrounds’, including Nice, Monte Carlo and the ultra-fashionable luxury holiday resort of Le Touquet in Northern France. The 1930s were a creative highpoint for the company, known today as a period in which some of the most iconic Van Cleef designs were first produced – as we will see. After Alfred died in 1938 his daughter Renée Puissant (who was already at that time the company’s artistic director) was left behind to help manage the firm’s progress, along with several other members of the second generation extended family. In 1942, as the war in Europe was raging, the Arpels family decided to emigrate to the US, where the first Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in the country had already opened on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Further global expansion followed, in the Middle East and Asia as well as Europe and the US, with (somewhat surprisingly, given the nature of the globalised jewellery industry) the firm remaining ever in family hands. Remarkably, perhaps, a descendant of the original founding Arpels family was in charge at the firm at all times until the company’s takeover by the luxury group Richemont in 1999.

The minaudière The first of Van Cleef & Arpels’ notable contributions to the history of jewellery design is not in fact a piece of jewellery as such but a new type of accessory; in 1930, the company introduced the minaudière, By 1906, however, business was doing well enough that Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first boutique in the Place Vendôme, which then as now was the most prestigious retailing address in the French capital. The store was housed at number 22, in an elegant eighteenth century townhouse. Van Cleef & Arpels was one of the very first jewellers to open in Place Vendôme, in a store that has since been expanded and redesigned a number of times. It was joined a year later by Chaumet, which opened a store a year later at number 12 – the former home of the composer Chopin –

VCA minaudière


Antique Jewellery | which is a particularly novel type of vanity case. Made from precious metals (usually gold or silver), these were simple-looking boxes that, when opened revealed a number of internal casements for the storing of handbag essentials: lipsticks, a comb, a change purse, dusting powder and (a sign of the times) space for a lighter and cigarettes. The name, the minaudière, is a French verb that translates roughly as ‘to simper’. Apparently, the inspiration for this new kind of product was a lady called Frances Gould, a client of the jewellery firm, whose husband was the enormously wealthy railroad developer (and so-called robber baron) Jay Gould. She is said to have arrived at a meeting with Charles Arpels having rushed out of her house in a hurry – and thus having stuffed her assorted bits and pieces into a Lucky Strike metal cigarette case for convenience. The accessory was a massive hit and was hugely popular for several decades.

Cadenas Another of the company’s most recognised, iconic products is also not actually a piece of jewellery, but a watch. The Cadenas watch was inspired by the design of a padlock. This highly original piece, which was first made in 1935 but which the company has revisited many times over the years, was

Modern cadenas

This is a kind of gemstone setting technique in which no claws are showing at all, with the stones themselves seeming to be held in place with no visible means of support.

Mystery setting

1950s Cadenas

intended to have the appearance of a bracelet with the watch element of the design largely ‘hidden’. The design is now considered to be a classic of the Van Cleef brand. In keeping with the style of the times, the original 1930s versions of the Cadenas watch were generally set with square stones – rubies, sapphires or diamonds – or were plain gold or platinum. Later generations of the timepiece, however, have been a bit more ‘bling’; the company has released versions of the watch with pave diamonds set on the bracelet and the watch, as well as pave-set ruby versions.

Gem-set watches and jewellery are something of a signature for Van Cleef & Arpels, which can lay claim, among other things, to popularising what is known as the ‘mystery setting’. This is a kind of gemstone setting technique in which no claws are showing at all, with the stones themselves seeming to be held in place with no visible means of support. The effect is really quite arresting, with rows of precious stones seeming to ‘float’ on a piece of jewellery. The company started using the mystery setting – which was first invented in the late 1920s – in 1933, and has been continually using and perfecting it ever since. The stones – which are carefully selected for their uniformity of shape and evenness of colour – are set individually on an extremely fine gold or platinum wire ‘net’. They are cut with grooved girdles in them with which they are held in place, negating the need for prongs, bezels or any other visible supports.

Zip it Another key piece from the jewellery house is the gloriously fun zip necklace, first produced by Van Cleef & Arpels at the end of the 1930s. Royal thorn-in-the-side and avid jewellery collector the Duchess of Windsor actually proposed the idea of creating a piece of zip fastener-inspired jewellery to the then-artistic director Renee Puissant. The resulting necklace was produced in 1950 and, fabulously, worked just like a real zip, with two gold ribbons held together by small diamond-set ‘hooks’ that fit together in a zipper pattern. What made this design really innovative – rather than purely a gimmick – is the fact that it could be worn open as a necklace or closed as a chunky bracelet. The piece is in production at Van Cleef & Arpels again today, the design having lain unused until 2000, when four new versions were brought out to the great joy of Van Cleef collectors.

Mystery setting

The Voice of the Industry 59


| Antique Jewellery Van Cleef & Arpels Innovations • The company created a bracelet of red and white roses in bloom, made with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The bracelet was given first prize at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts (1925). • Inspired, we are to believe, by the haphazard handbag failings of Mrs Florence Gould, the company brought out the minaudière, a small handbag ‘box’ designed to hold a powder compact, lipstick and a lighter or keys (1930). • The creation of the Cadenas, the company’s iconic ‘padlock’ wristwatch (1936). • Creation of the wittily-titled Passe Partout (Take me anywhere) bracelet (1939). • On the Duchess of Windsor’s instruction, the company developed the Zip necklace that was also a bracelet (1950). • The ever-popular Alhambra necklace, a favourite of a number of celebrities over the years, first made its debut (1968). • Looking for the next innovation, Van Cleef produced the unusual Lotus ‘betweenthe-fingers’ ring (2001).

Boutiques Aside from the individual design contributions the company has made to jewellery, Van Cleef is also important for the retailing ideas and innovations for which it lays claim. First and foremost, Van Cleef appears to have been one of the first jewellery houses to launch a ‘cheap and chic’, diffusion (call it what you will) line of jewellery. They did this back in the days when few other fine jewellery houses would’ve considered it: in 1954, the firm opened a number of ‘companion’ boutiques to operate alongside their luxury haute joaillerie salons. The idea was that these boutiques would help to expand the company’s customer base, reaching younger, fashion-led buyers with expensive tastes but perhaps not the soaraway budget of the classic Van Cleef client. The collections in these boutiques were changed frequently to reflect the fastGrace Kelly

paced shifts in fashion. Of course, this all sounds a bit “so what?” to a modern retail observer, but back in the mid 1950s this was quite a radical way of thinking in the world of luxury selling, and Van Cleef’s experiment was soon picked up on by other big jewellery names looking to hook newer, younger buyers.

Famous buyers Alongside Cartier, Tiffany and one or two others, Van Cleef is one of the jewellery world’s most celebrated names, attracting one of the largest and most ‘starry’ client

Marlene Dietrich

turning out new ranges of fine jewellery in campaigns fronted by big-name celebrities. The foray into the lucrative perfume market continued in 2009, when the company launched a range of six scents called Collection Extraordinaire. The company is today majority-owned by the retailing group Richemont. As such it is part of one of the most important luxury brand portfolios in the world, a stable that includes other such jewellery and watch industry thoroughbreds as Cartier, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai and Montblanc.

The idea was that these boutiques would help to expand the company’s customer base, reaching younger, fashion-led buyers with expensive tastes but perhaps not the soaraway budget of the classic Van Cleef client. lists around. The company is a favourite of royal sets from Europe and beyond – including the aforementioned Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Egypt’s King Farouk and others. The firm is also a popular choice for Hollywood royalty. Late great stars of the Hollywood era including Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich all wore Van Cleef, as did (of course) the jewellery queen herself, Elizabeth Taylor.

Van Cleef today In more recent years, Van Cleef has been rather busy, expanding into entirely new areas such as ‘luxury perfumes’, as well as

60 The Jeweller March 2012

Van Cleef Cadenas watch


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| Letters

Letters to the Editor have just read the Letters to the editor and the response to it in the Jan/Feb issue. The first argument raised some interesting points, but for me two main ones arise. Branded mass market products (the cheaper fashion brands particularly) that have a relatively short shelf life – unless they innovate and evolve accurately – will have to resort to ever more desperate tactics to prolong sales as the punter is very fickle and rarely loyal. The next brand is just around the corner. We can witness the keenness some brands exhibit to open accounts just to gain quick high street exposure. This is still and will remain necessary as those smug ‘on-trend’ types like it when the not so ’on-trend’ members of the public spot the very (hopefully expensive) thing they are wearing in a shop window. Retail exposure on the high street will also remain important as long as the counterfeit market is allowed to flourish as it does in Italy, Turkey, the USA etc. and these fakes are readily available via the internet scaring the wits out of the spending public. The damage done to the Tiffany brand by the very nation the manufacturers are desperate to sell to is a case in point. The second issue concerns the high-end, long-term brands (mainly watch brands but also some others with a high self regard) who seem to enjoy marching into their hard working retailers and accusing them of not investing enough in the brand whilst sitting on their hands when the thorny matter of discount internet sellers (of which there are a growing number) comes up. They all seem to think that the Far East is the answer to their problems but watch (no pun intended) how fast the Chinese desert a brand that the Europeans no longer buy or want or (witness the motor trade in China) copy and produce it themselves. Jaeger LeCoultre is one brand heading for difficulties given their take it or leave it attitude in the UK and presumably the rest of Europe.

I

62 The Jeweller March 2012

Last issue’s debate about brand-related challenges that some retailers face continues here with a response from the other side of the fence.

I felt that the response from Mr. Crocker was rather blinkered – although he raised some fair points. Retail is indeed in a dire situation and successive taxation regimes and landlords that regard the retail sector, like the motorist, a bottomless pit of money to be regularly mined, will be the undoing of many independent retailers. His comments about brand seem accurate at first glance if one considers only the high end quality brands. However, consider Ugg boots for instance which have none of his reasons for

bullet points seem rather naïve. To suggest that ’the only successful model…etc’ is nonsense as those who have tried to purvey organic vegetables among other products via the internet will tell you… but maybe the response is only referring to the jewellery retail market. His third point that customer experience (whatever that means) is the only reason for any modern shopper to visit a store is misleading, if only for the fact that a lot of shoppers are not ’modern’. And what about the ’I want it NOW’ brigade – the most modern of modern shoppers! Finally his comment that independent retailers are free to choose which brands they sell is only true for a few high-end and geographically correctly situated shops and, of course, the plethora of ’brands’ that will prove to be transient. Oh for the day when these high-end retailers get together and tell the brands to organise themselves or bring the cheque and collect their out-of-date and virtually unsellable goods and try to sell them in their own shop. A system that will work on Bond Street and at Heathrow and any other areas with significant numbers of well-heeled tourists or tax-payer sponsored buyers, but not the rest of the country as Omega are finding. A stand-alone product shop where the retail customer cannot compare products will only work in a few locations. Regardless of market developments there will always be consumers who want to buy goods in a shop, being served by a knowledgeable and well-presented person, where they can touch, feel and see the

Consider Ugg boots for instance which have none of his reasons for brand success – in fact the contrary, they have been a success in the UK despite no good reason save for catching the public eye at the right moment. brand success – in fact the contrary, they have been a success in the UK despite no good reason save for catching the public eye at the right moment. Pandora went through several launches before becoming an unexpected success despite the UK wholesaler who seems to have made sure they will have no retail customer loyalty when it finally goes belly up. In our celebrity and image obsessed times some modern short-term brands have none of the qualities mentioned. To me his three

goods, and most importantly, have it to wear then if they so wish. (Presumably this is a ’customer experience’ although the term should be qualified, as an internet/mail order buyer is also a customer.) The internet will never be able to satisfy that! Finally, after re-reading the response I emailed Rolex, Patek, Bulgari, Cartier etc. asking if I could arrange a ’meaningful conversation’ with the CEO. I am still waiting for their reply… Simon Worthington


Regular |

Notebook

Where to go, what to read, what to see… The Verge Pocket Watch (£17.99 Hale Books} This follow-up book to Barrow’s The Pocket Watch, offers a detailed insight into the more particular story of the verge pocket watch. The history of its development precedes a comprehensive step-by-step guide to cleaning and repairing a variety of English and Continental verge movements. Illustrating how we arrived at this horological treasure, Barrow also covers the early measurement of time, through the creation of clocks and how the verge pocket watch came about.

Guide to Gemstone Setting – styles and techniques by Anastasia Young (£14.99 A&C Black) Whether you want to set coloured gemstones in silver, or precious stones in 18ct gold; whether you’re creating a contemporary look or something more traditional – this book offers a practical guide. The resource, which would be useful to jewellery students and professionals alike, includes stepby-step demonstrations, images of contemporary work

Sales & Exhibitions

off wedding essentials – jewellery included. www.craftcentral.org.uk

March Current-early summer 2012: Tablet to Tablet: Treasured Pages from Past to Present, GIA Museum, Carlsbad, California, USA Showcasing rare books on gems, minerals, and natural science dating back to the 15th century. www.gia.edu Current-3rd November: Studio Silver Today, Ickworth House, Suffolk An exhibition that focusses on the distinctive, seainspired work of young Suffolk silversmith Miriam Hanid. On specified Saturdays throughout the duration of the show, Hanid will be present to talk about her work and demonstrate her skills on site. www.nationaltrust.org.uk 22nd-25th: Craft Central Gets Hitched – handmade wedding fair, Craft Central, Clerkenwell, London Some of the more unusual and often one-

28th-24th June 2012: Wendy Ramshaw: Room of Dreams, Somerset House, London WC2 This artist-jeweller’s work will be on show – the ‘Room’ aiming to transform jewellery from precious objects to ‘vehicles for storytelling and imagination’. The exhibition will subsequently tour nationwide. www.somersethouse.org.uk May 12th-18th: British Silver Week: Festival of Silver, Gallery Pangolin, London Now in its fifth year, BSW aims to promote contemporary silversmithing and is supported by the Goldsmiths’ Company as well as the four UK Assay Offices. gallery@pangolinlondon.com

Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs March 16th-25th: TEFAF Maastricht, Exhibition and Congress Centre, The Netherlands Art and antiques fair, including a section on jewellery. www.tefaf.com.com

by international designers and precise diagrams and also takes the reader though the processes used by 3D modelling software. Elizabeth Taylor: Her Life in Style (£19.99 A&C Black) There probably isn’t anything new to learn about the beautiful Miss Taylor in this book – although it does serve as a handy reminder of the chronological rollcall of husbands and just how much Richard Burton spent on jewellery to prove his love and passion for her. No, the main purpose of this book, which came along ahead of the record-breaking sale of her stupendous private jewellery collection, is to illustrate just how stylish the woman was. Studio portraits as well as shots taken during private as well as public moments vividly demonstrate why she was the idolised star that she was.

21st-24th: Amberif, Exhibition Center, Gdansk, Poland International fair for amber, jewellery and gemstones. www.amberif.pl April 15th-17th April: British Craft Trade Fair, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate Promoting handmade giftware, including jewellery, silverware and glassware. www.bctf.co.uk

Rings by Anna K Baldwin at the BCTF

May 19th-23rd: VicenzaOro Charm Spring, Fiera di Vicenza, Italy Men’s and women’s jewellery from around 1,400 Italian exhibitors with an emphasis on fashion as well as precious metals and stones. www.vicenzafiera.it/uk

The Voice of the Industry 63


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D I S P L AY C A B I N E T Amber Jewellery

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Gemstones

Pearls


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Watches

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The

Last Word NAG Council member Aidan Farrell of MJ Farrell jewellers has agreed to come under the rudely intrusive scrutiny that is our Last Word feature. Over to you Aidan… Personal Profile Aidan is the current owner of MJ Farrell jewellers in Roscommon Town – a shop that is steeped in tradition serving generations of customers since 1905. He joined the business in the late ’80s having studied accountancy (unfinished business…) and after a year travelling in Europe during which time his diverse occupations included chambermaid and roadie for a heavy metal band! Together with his experienced team Aidan has “brought the company into the 21st century”, specialising in fine jewellery and international watch brands with a massive emphasis on service. He is a past National President of the Retail Jewellers of Ireland and former director of the NAG, is a trustee of its Centenary Trust and currently sits on the NAG Council. Aidan and his wife Joan, a primary school teacher, have four sons Eoghan 16, Michael 14, Tom 11 and Joe 9. They share a passion for all sports and in the winter rugby months own the busiest domestic washing machine in Ireland! How would you describe your personal style? Relaxed, hands-on, conservative What three words describe you best… in your view and according to others? Principled, strong and loyal… I asked! Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? I would make the same mistakes but SOONER! My uncle who worked in the family business into his nineties, often quoted

Tell us something not many people know about you. I train underage rugby at local club and school. I used to play until I had a bit of an injury in my twenties and I just never returned. I have had more enjoyment (and success) from the coaching side in recent years. If not the jewellery industry, what might your alternative career have been? Psychologist Do you Tweet? Yes, I love Twitter

(in my direction and with good reason!) an old proverb – “hindsight wisdom is of no use”. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be? The position certain brands, and in particular fashion watch brands (but not unique to this sector), placed us in where we were selling average quality items at vastly inflated prices owing to the cost of purchasing the licence to manufacture and massive fee paid to ‘celebrities’ to endorse said product. It impacted very positively on the P&L account but long term, selling, for example a watch for €400 that had a life span slighter longer than the famous ‘prawn sandwich’ didn’t do our industry any favours. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Sherlock Holmes with my four lads; we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

66 The Jeweller March 2012

To what do you attribute your success? Being sent as a raw young man to work for Jack Murphy in Northern Ireland. The sharpest mind (and tongue!) in the industry in my opinion.

Favourite shopping destination (shop, street, city or country!) Why? I love cars and especially the ones I can’t afford so I could spend hours daydreaming in luxury car showrooms on Park Lane, London. Quick Fire • Red or white wine? White • Diamonds or coloured stones? Diamonds • White or yellow metal? White • TV or radio? Radio • Jewellery on men? Yes • Delegator or control freak? Freak! • Beatles or Rolling Stones? The Beatles



The Jeweller Magazine