Page 1


Jeweller May 2010


Putting the ‘sell’ in celebrity Charm beads – our survey results Pearls: timeless quality The Jeweller is produced in conjunction with the British Jewellers’ Association

The Voice of The Industry

Spring/Summer 2010

Contents |


Jeweller The Voice of The Industry



Putting the ‘Sell’ in Celebrity

1 0




Editor’s Letter


Industry News


NAG News


Member of the Month


BJA News


Jeweller Picks


Belinda Morris discovers there’s more to celebrity endorsement than just a pretty face

Pearl Essence


From classic to cutting edge, we look at the trends

Industry Updates

dominating the current UK pearl market

Designer’s Passion For Pearls


BJA members including Fei Liu and Shaun Leane explain their love of working with pearls

Charm Offensive


We questioned NAG members on the current bead and charm phenomenon – and unleashed the gamut of emotions


26, 34-35

Opinion: Michael Hoare


Antique Jeweller


Insurance Matters


IRV Review


Education & Training






Display Cabinet


The Last Word


New for this issue: where to go, what to read,

The Jeweller is published by CUBE Publishing on behalf of the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For further information about The Jeweller please visit:

what to see…

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


The National Association

Cover Image In conjunction with Ortak Tel: 01856 872224 Email: Web:

of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street,

CUBE Publishing Sales Director: Ian Francis

London EC2A 4XG

Tel: 020 7833 5500

Tel: 020 7613 4445 Editor: Belinda Morris

Art Director: Ben Page

Tel: 01692 538007

Publisher: Neil Oakford

BJA Marketing & PR Manager

Lindsey Straughton


Tel: 0121 237 1110

Jo Young

Although every effort is made to ensure that the information supplied is accurate, the N.A.G. 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 publisher 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

The NAG’s CEO Michael Hoare speaks up for ailing market towns and folk on the shop floor, and promises a few revelations on the subject of beads and charms…

Less than charming ow! I certainly opened up a can of worms with my article about ‘Brand’s Demands’ in another jewellery publication. Ever since it appeared, members have been bending my ear about the bead and charm phenomenon that has generated so much footfall in recent months. So much so in fact that we thought we’d conduct a survey to find out more. The results are published later in the magazine, but it’s fair to say that our ten naive questions generated quite a bit of heat and not a little light! Ambiguity abounds in the answers we received in that many respondents, while thankful for the extra business, are questioning what they have let themselves in for by opening the door to some of the ubiquitous brands. One brand in particular stood out because of the strength of feeling it engendered, and in a future issue of The Jeweller we hope to put some of your questions to them in the hope of some illumination.


Save our highstreets icking up on the theme of town centre planning which I have touched on elsewhere, I was by happy coincidence, invited to attend EMAP’s Saving Britain’s Highstreets conference at the Council


4 The Jeweller May 2010

House in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. Billed as a ‘critical event’ that would: ‘bring together all town centre stakeholders, agree on what needs to be done to restore long-term vitality, present the very best high street case studies, and engage with national and local government’, it seemed too good to miss. I had to leave in the afternoon before we got to ‘agree what needs to be done’. Nevertheless, I didn’t leave in time to be spared a dose of politics from Philip Dunne MP, Chairman of the Retail Crime

something here, but if we’ve got lots of empty shops, what is the point in building more? Mr Dunne seemed to be suffering from a mild case of amnesia when he declared that it was ‘permissive planning’ that was to blame for the expansion of out-of-town shopping to the detriment of the high street, and that his party would introduce a needs test into forthcoming planning legislation if elected. It is my understanding that PPS4 already covers the latter point, and measures (PPG6 & PPG13) were introduced some years ago to curb out of town development, so the ‘permissiveness’ must have been going on for a lot longer than he thinks! Setting politics aside, the consensus seemed to be that a clear agenda for action was needed to ensure a level playing field. Namely, re-instate the empty property tax relief; abolish supplementary business rates; kill off upward only rent reviews and make parking charges consistent. Add accessibility (not just for parking, but also for deliveries); safety and the shoppers' sense of security and the abolition of red tape – which is disproportionately expensive for

[With market towns] the key factor in their regeneration is defining the particular niche which each can occupy to offer shoppers a diversity of experience. Commission, and Shadow Spokesman for Retail & Consumer Goods, who gave the conference what he called the political context for the debate, but wasted no time in veering sharply off the agenda to pile blame upon the current government for the world economic crisis. He also lamented that some towns have 25 percent of their shops boarded up and that there is a lack of interest in investment in new retail space. I may be missing

SMEs to deal with – and it’s job done! Or nearly – because highstreets also have a social significance, and McDonald’s confirmed that while much of its growth comes from out of town, it had no plans to leave the high street. It stressed the importance of retaining this social melting pot as an antidote to the divisions that could result from its demise, noting that in the US nearly all shopping is car-borne and tensions exist between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

Comment | But for me the real breakthrough came with the acknowledgement that small market and post industrial towns represent an altogether different challenge. Chris Wade, chief executive of Action for Market Towns listed the factors that make market towns particularly difficult to energise. They include: generally ageing populations, uninsurable properties (sometimes due to flood damage), unaffordable homes and vulnerable economies. Very often market towns are also at the bottom of the food chain, existing in the shadow of larger urban centres; some are remote and others do not enjoy easy transport links. They can often be in competition with each other; and the key factor in their regeneration is defining the particular niche which each can occupy to offer shoppers a diversity of experience and to play to the strengths of the locality. On a personal note, as an inhabitant of a small market town with a rich cultural heritage that boasts a new multi million pound shopping centre, I’m not sure if local planners have played to our strengths or scored a spectacular own goal by transforming us into ‘any-town UK’, even if the excuse of ‘offering consumer choice’ is trotted out!

Relative values ow I know I’m going to ruffle a few feathers by mentioning my next subject, but I think it’s a question society has to ask itself. It was announced in the recent budget that the minimum wage will increase by 2.2 per cent from £5.80 an hour for workers over 21 in October 2010. The rise of 13p stands in stark contrast with last year’s 7p rise and I have some sympathy with the argument put forward by the BRC that it is illogical for this year’s rise to be nearly double that of last, when current economic circumstances are so much worse. I suspect the answer is that the minimum wage is a lagging indicator, but nevertheless according to press reports the BRC began foaming at the mouth and rattling the familiar old skeletons of cuts to staff training, benefits, and employment. Maybe just a little bit of an over-reaction? If we analyse the facts for a moment, the changes mean a worker of 21 or over on the minimum wage will get £5.20 extra per week before Income Tax and National Insurance are deducted. That means a massive jump of £3.59 per week in take home pay – or the cost of a pint of lager in London! That’s all well and good you say, but what about the cumulative effect on the company? Well let’s pause for a moment and consider how many workers in your average large supermarket are over 21, how many have a 40 hour a week contract, and how many are on the minimum wage in the first place? I don’t doubt that there will be some effect on monolithic food, fashion, and DIY purveyors, but before they shout foul over this rise doesn’t it behove them to take a closer look at the salaries, share options, benefits and pensions of those higher up the chain of command? I have no doubt that chief executives of the supermarket giants will be taking pay freezes and cuts, but even so I still wonder why the reward for their week’s work has to be so stratospherically different from that of the man or woman on the shop floor? If a £15 million welcome package is good enough for the new boss of M & S, isn’t a committed young worker worth a pint a week? Just a thought!


The Voice of the Industry 5


Vabene is to watches what Jimmy Choo is to shoes...�






Be sure you are the stockist in your area! Contact Xionet Ltd on tel: 01425 279312 or email: Pirate

Visit the website at:


Comment |


Letter s you read this, you will know something, that currently I don’t – namely, the outcome of the General Election.


This month: “My favourite colour for pearls is black… they have such a rich intensity and depth to them – like little black holes from the South Seas."

With just days to go however, it’s pretty clear that regardless of who the new resident of Number Ten will be, the fiscal woes that have dominated the past eighteen months are not about to magically evaporate. The inevitable tax rises to come – VAT in particular – will do few favours to the retail industry for a start. And, as NAG’s CEO Michael Hoare commented during a talk on SaferGems recently, the effects of the recession will also see the continuation of serious crime against jewellers. But forewarned is forearmed and all that, and tomorrow, as they say, is another day. If consumers have been holding back on spending in the weeks leading up to to the election – as the BRC suggests – then once the uncertainty has lifted perhaps they will feel more

Page 38

inclined to go shopping? And should that turn out to be the case, then it’s incumbent on us, the jewellery industry, to make sure that they choose our shops for a spot of retail therapy.

“The more stringent a If you feel you could use a few pointers to this end, this issue of The Jeweller could prove helpful reading. According to many, there are a couple of fail-safe methods of attracting

brand is, then generally

potential punters. One is to splash a famous face across your windows, or maybe demonstrate

the higher profile it will

that Cheryl Cole was wearing this bangle only last week – and on p.28 we look at the

have… this holds true

correlation between fame and fortune. The other, seemingly certain way to seduce would-be customers is with a branded bead. Not selling them? Read our revealing survey (p.46) and weep…

only if the supplier keeps up the supply.”

Then please pick up a pen (metaphorically-speaking) and let us know what you think. Our new Letters page is ready and waiting for your views, anecdotes and observations

Belinda Morris, Editor 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:

Page 46

The Voice of the Industry 7

| Industry News

WB Group opens ‘Creative Suite’... state-of-the-art room will provide an elegant platform for both companies and a place in which they can interact with their customers in comfort and style. Much thought and effort has gone into creating exactly the right ambience, and features include three separate zones: a welcoming area (with comfortable sofas and

coffee tables); a display area with dramatic lighting effects and high gloss black cabinets in which to showcase the Domino range, as well as a secluded, quiet area ideal for meetings. The combined effect is sleek yet sumptuous, very much in keeping with the mood of today’s cutting-edge retail outlets. “Producing and retailing jewellery are two sides of the same coin,” says the Group’s chairman, Patrick Fuller. “The relationship that both Domino and Weston Beamor are looking for with their customers is one of partnership and this new facility provides us with the perfect stage from which to engage in the type of ongoing, two-way interaction we are looking for. Because meetings are by appointment, customers can be sure to have our undivided attention and all the help they need to identify those products best suited to them and their clientele. The suite will also provide us with an opportunity to discuss with customers how we perceive global fashion trends and to present to them our seasonal display concepts. Best of all it will be somewhere where we can have the cross-fertilisation of ideas so vital to move the market forward,” he adds.

... and In-House Assay Office

Platinum and palladium jewellery progress W

he WB Group – which comprises the fine jewellery and mount producer Domino and the casting and jewellery solutions company Weston Beamor – has opened its ‘Creative Suite’, a 800 sq ft meeting room and showcase situated at its headquarters in Birmingham. Designed by specialist jewellery shop-fitting company Giddings, the


s of 17th May the Birmingham Assay Office will operate a ‘Sub-Office’ from the Birmingham HQ of WB Creative Jewellery Group – which is just one of eight UK businesses to have gained the necessary permissions to create such a facility. To be housed in its own separate area of the Group’s premises, the Office will be staffed by Assay employees and will enable customers of Domino and Weston Beamor to receive an enhanced service as a result of the greater flexibility that the Group’s own office will provide in prioritising throughput. “Security is a huge issue for everyone in the jewellery industry these days and having our own assaying facility will mean that we no longer have to move large quantities of jewellery to and from The Assay Office on a daily basis,” says the group’s MD Andrew Morton. “I hesitate to promise our customers an even faster turnaround on their orders,


8 The Jeweller May 2010

but there is no doubt that the office will facilitate our production process.” The WB Group is the UK’s third largest producer of precious metal jewellery and creates a high volume of jewellery across a range of precious metals to which a hallmark must be applied.

Michael Allchin of Birmingham Assay Office with Patrick Fuller

hile global mine production of platinum slipped by less than two per cent to a six year low of 6.04M ounces, a recent survey has revealed that the only area of demand for the metal to rise last year was jewellery, which surged by 38 per cent. This was almost entirely due to far stronger Chinese offtake – the product of lower yuan platinum prices – states the Platinum & Palladium Survey 2010, launched by precious metals consultancy GFMS. However, the assay offices of Great Britain have confirmed that UK platinum hallmarking increased by 8.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis in March. Meanwhile, world palladium mining fell by just one per cent in 2009 and the demand for palladium for jewellery was also in decline last year, thanks largely to competition from platinum and the fallout from the global recession.

Industry News |

Antwerp hosts corporate responsibility course IBJO aims to set the international jewellery industry apart from other luxury product industries through an initiative to establish Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a fundamental element of the business. To this end, the World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF) is holding what promises to be “the most comprehensive programme in Corporate Social Responsibility ever offered in the jewellery industry.” Taking place in Antwerp, Belgium from 19th - 22nd June 2010, the Executive CSR course has been designed to elevate the role played by companies involved in the international jewellery and gemstone sector so that, through their own business practices, they become actively involved in the fulfilment of the goals established by the United Nations to tackle “the world’s most pressing development challenges.” WJCEF is part of CIBJO, which has set up a scholarship fund that will cover a large portion of the tuition fee for each participant. “We’re talking about the establishment of a


culture and tradition by which our industry returns economic benefits to all sectors of the supply chain,” says CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri. “This is proactive CSR and I propose that it should set us apart from other luxury product industries. CSR should be recognised as an integral part of our industry’s DNA – it should define us as a community and be a characteristic by which consumers recognise us,” he adds. The four day course will cover the principal models and strategies for Corporate Social Investment, their application in an industry dominated by smaller and mediumsized enterprises, the impact of CSR on supply chains and a variety of practical case studies. Presented and prepared by a team of United Nations-sanctioned CSR experts from the Universities of Geneva and Toronto and social enterprise MHC International. Members of the industry who are interested in attending the course should contact the CIBJO Secretariat at: or online:

Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair gains industry support his year the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair (24th-27th June), already the world’s biggest show of its kind, promises to be larger still and now has the support of the Hong Kong Gemstone Manufacturers’ Association and the Hong Kong Pearl Association, who will both advise members to take part. The 2010 fair will feature over 3,100 exhibitors from 44 countries and regions and it is expected to attract over 39,000 visitors. The Fair is held in two venues – the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) with the total exhibition space over 120,000 square metres. For 2010 group pavilions will be representing companies from Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA). This year, in addition to groups from the Antwerp World Diamond Center and the Israel Diamond Institute, a group of diamond exhibitors from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India will exhibit in the Diamond Pavilion. Over 130 Indian exhibitors will be showcasing their particular style of finished jewellery and raw materials. Other highlights of the show include the Designer Avenue – tailor-made for emerging designers to launch their collections and this year featuring more names. Pearl Jewellery & Finished Jewellery section is a new addition to HKCEC and will showcase fresh water pearl, gemset, jade and stainless steel jewellery.


David Marshall teams up with couturier for LJW ward-winning jeweller David Marshall – a prestige sponsor of London jewellery Week – is to collaborate with fashion couturier Ulrich Engler for an exclusive fashion show during LJW 2010. One of the first events of the week, the catwalk show will be held on Tuesday 8th June in the magnificent surroundings of Goldsmiths’ Hall. German-born Engler, who previously worked for designer Anoushka Hempel and is now based in London, will provide designs from his latest collection to complement Marshall’s bespoke and ready-to-wear pieces crafted from platinum and gold and set with diamonds and gemstones.


S Warrender celebrates ruby anniversary utton-based NAG member S Warrender & Co celebrates 40 years as an independent jewellery retailer this month. Simon and Richard Warrender, sons of founder Frank, now lead an ever-growing team as the company has gone from strength to strength. This year the shop is once again a finalist in the South London Business Awards (results announced 19th May). The anniversary celebrations kicked off with a Ruby Anniversary Sale, that was launched on Saturday 1st May and throughout the month the shop will be giving away 40 Ruby Tickets – which will be placed at random in purchasers’ bags – with prizes ranging from a watch battery to gift vouchers worth up to £400.


The Voice of the Industry 9

| Industry News

IJL Bright Young Gems panel line-up

Jewellers join the Barclaycard Freedom reward scheme

he prestigious line-up of industry gurus who will nominate up-and-coming jewellery designers to be part of IJL’s Bright Young Gems initiative, now includes Jessica Diamond, the Watches and Jewellery editor at Wallpaper* magazine. The brief for panel members will be to select innovative jewellery designers who ‘dare to be different’ and whose work has the potential to challenge current perceptions of leading British design. Diamond joins Hilary Alexander of the Daily Telegraph, Vivienne Becker of the FT’s How To Spend It magazine and Claudia Mahoney of Glamour magazine. Bec Clarke of Astley Clarke will also present the discretionary Astley Clarke IJL Bright Young Gems Gold Award to one outstanding designer, who will win the chance for his or her jewellery to be sold through the retailer.

ewellers F Hinds and Goldsmiths are two of the big name retailers who have joined Barclaycard Freedom, one of the broadest rewards schemes in the UK, which launched in March. Over eight million Barclaycard cardholders will be able to earn Reward Money for using their card to buy goods and services in participating outlets. Reward Money can be earned at around 30,000 retail outlets across the UK, including many small and medium retailers who are able to be part of a rewards scheme for the first time. Barclaycard cardholders will earn 1% in most participating outlets alongside other special promotions and discounts in store. Reward Money is recorded in pounds and pence, with no vouchers or coupons to save and no points to calculate. “We were attracted by the simplicity of Barclaycard Freedom and the unique experience it offers our customers. This is a great opportunity for Goldsmiths and for all of the partners who have joined the scheme,” says Justin Stead, CEO Aurum Holdings.

New British Horological Institute course

NAG sponsors Scottish Gemmological Conference

he British Horological Institute has launched a new elemental course for 2010, specifically aimed at watch retailers. The BHI intends the course to be an introduction to more technical and practical aspects surrounding watch sales and to bring the notion of a cereer in technical horology to a much wider audience. Taking the form of a two day seminar, attendees will: learn the basic theory of quartz and mechanical watches; understand their many functions; develop practical skills such as strap and bracelet fitting; cover aspects of sales and marketing of watches; review best practice in customer service and understand the compliance issues now facing retailers. Since the dominance of quartz watches in the 1970s and ‘80s, the BHI (which was founded in 1858) has observed that watchmaking skills have “dropped out of mainstream careers advice”. As a result of this, “the recent and very welcome resurgence of ‘high-grade’ mechanical and quartz watches has seen both the watch houses and retailers struggle to provide the support services which these products... and their owners demand.” The BHI hopes that the new course might persuade some students to become fully trained and qualified watchmakers. For further information on this, and other courses, running from May until October contact the BHI on 01636 817617 (email:

he NAG was once again a key sponsor of the Scottish Gemmological Association’s annual conference, which was held over the May Bank Holiday weekend in Perth. The two full days of talks and workshops organised by the voluntary association included seminars on coloured gemstones by Dr. Dietmar Schwarz, research manager of Gubelin Laboratory in Switzerland and a talk on the gem trade of Ceylon and India by Gem-A’s CEO Jack Ogden. Other sponsors of the conference were: TH March, AnchorCert, TJW Diamonds, BKT Rings, World Shiner UK, Henderson Loggie accountants, Cairncross of Perth Jewellers, Just Gems, Jamieson & Carry and Edinburgh jewellers Alistair Wood Tait.



10 The Jeweller May 2010



Seven million reasons to use T.H. March’s Customer Insurance Solutions

As well as looking after the business insurance needs of our clients in the trade, many of our jewellers also introduce their own customers to us. This has resulted in T H March paying over £7 million to jewellers in commission, replacement jewellery and jewellery repairs over the last four years. Two thousand retail jewellers earn commission on any introductions to us as well as benefitting from replacement jewellery sales and repairs following a claim. This keeps customers coming back and spending in their shops, increasing both turnover and customer loyalty. In today’s tough markets, you know how important this is.

To find out how you can benefit, call any of our six branches nationwide, or John Watson on 01822 855555. You can also visit Your Customer’s Insurance at MIS/7MV1/28.04.10

| Industry News

Rare Heuer watches for sale at Bonhams o celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tag Heuer, Bonhams is to sell the ‘Haslinger Collection’ of fine and rare Heuer watches this coming December at Bonhams New Bond Street, London. The museum-quality single owner collection of 81 watches, ranging in value from £1,500 to £15,000, has been built up with the aim of representing the best of Heuer. Comprising over one hundred lots,


it includes many of the most iconic models such as the Silverstone, Autavia, Carrera, Daytona and Monaco. Many are new-oldstock and as such represent a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire some of the finest examples of their type. TAG Heuer has also created a unique watch especially for this auction. It is based on the newly launched Silverstone model and the dial will incorporate Jack

Tateossian suffers smash and grab robbery

he Kings Road flagship store of London jewellers Tateossian lost over £2,000 worth of jewellery when it was ram raided by thieves on motor cycles in the early hours of 22nd April. Extensive damage was done to the store, which was able to open for business the next day. “Tateossian has been in Duke of York [off Kings Road] since 2004 and this is the first time we have been burgled,” says CEO Robert Tateossian. “Luckily most of the jewellery was in the safe.” The incident failed to put a dampner on the 20th anniversary celebrations of Tateossian, which have been marked by the opening of the brand’s fourth London stand alone shop in Conduit Street, W1 on 1st May. Glass, mirrors and lacquered wood contribute to the clean, minimal yet luxurious interior, which was created by Italian designer team Lino Lasanno and Lorenzo Perini. The likes of Jenson Button, Jamie Cullum and the Emir of Kuwait should love the snug and inviting atmosphere.


12 The Jeweller May 2010

Heuer’s signature. All proceeds will be donated to the Green Cross International charity. Arno Haslinger will also donate his original Silverstone to be auctioned for this cause and Bonhams will add a further 20% to the hammer price and an additional £5,000 in support of the charity. Prior to the sale, highlights from the collection will be on display as part of the TAG Heuer 150th Anniversary world tour, which launched at BasleWorld and finishes at the Paris Motor show in October. Selected highlights will also be at selected Bonhams Worldwide Events: Aston Martin and Related Automobilia, Newport Pagnell, 22nd May; Goodwood Festival of Speed, Chichester, 2nd July and Goodwood Revival, Chichester, 17th September.

Forgeries and fakes seminar he Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office London will hold a seminar on Fakes & Forgeries during London Jewellery Week (7th-13th June). A Prestige Partner of LJW, the Assay Office has invited jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn, from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow to talk about ‘the Psychology of Fakes and Faking’ and other specialists will discuss such issues as the faking of hallmarks, counterfeit watches and synthetic and treated gems. The afternoon will comprise practical table sessions when delegates will have the opportunity to inspect a variety of faked items. Limited places are available at £50 per head including lunch and wine. Call 020 7606 8971 to book.


Birmingham Assay Office supports British Silver Week he first selling exhibition of British Silver Week will take place on 7th June at St Paul’s Gallery in Birmingham and is sponsored jointly by the Birmingham Assay Office, Sutton Tools and the PMC Studio. The exhibition will be shown against a backdrop of art, music and sculptures. Silversmiths showing in the gallery will include Theresa Nguyen, Martin Pugh, Ryan McClean and Precious Metal Clay artists.


It’s who you are stackable rings


stackable rings


tel: 0208 346 5326 or 0208 343 2828



opportunities available to join our team

| Industry News

Staffordshire Hoard saved for the nation

ust three weeks shy of the deadline, the Staffordshire Hoard – the largest archaeological Anglo-Saxon find ever unearthed – has been safely secured for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. The campaign launched by the Art Fund to raise just over £3.3m was met with huge support from public, trusts and organisations – the Birmingham Assay Office gave a donation – but it was the pledge of £1,285,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) that eventually saved the day. However, fundraising will continue as a further £1.7m must be found so that the Hoard can be properly conserved, studied and displayed. The spectacular find, which was discovered by a metal detectorist in a field near Lichfield in July last year and declared ‘treasure’ in September, comprises over 1,500 finely crafted objects, mostly in gold and some inlaid with gemstones. The fact that there are no feminine items in the Hoard has led experts to believe that the buried treasure was possibly the spoils of war. To make donations to the wider campaign visit:


Management buy-out at CL Edwards he management team at CL Edwards & Sons (Allen Edwards, his daughters and son, together with Craig Skinner), has announced that it has completed the purchase of the company from Signet Group. The new revitalised family run company will continue to focus on “a quality product, at a quality price, market leading, service and support”, specifically targeted at the mainstream independent retail jeweller. Recent developments in new brands such as Rocio Illumini and the New Exquisite brand will be enhanced.


Volcano ash – every cloud… or those who found themselves stranded in departure lounges around the world… and still have a sense of humour, jewellery designer Babette Wasserman has launched two sets of limited edition cufflinks, handmade from volcanic rock and silver.


GIA unveils gem project he Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has launched the Gem Project comprising data collected from gemstones in the Edward J. Gbelin collection, which the Institute acquired in 2005. The online resource includes a photo, description and gemological properties for each sample. The GIA Gem Project is free to the trade and public at any time from anywhere in the world. The gemological information on these gemstones is also available in PDF format.


The Edward J. Gbelin collection consists of more than 2,800 samples representing 225 minerals and gem materials, which come from 48 different countries. Dr. Gbelin, one of the world’s pre-eminent gemologists, collected coloured gemstones from major localities worldwide between 1940 and 2000. His lifelong study of inclusions in gemstones revolutionised the science of gemmology and helped lay the foundation of identifying gems microscopically.

DMJ retraction n the April issue of The Jeweller it was incorrectly stated in the children’s jewellery feature that DMJ is the distributor for Pandora. This was an error on our part, for which we apologise. DMJ is the UK distributor for the following brands: Just Jewels, Storywheels, Spinning Jewellery, Glam Rock watches, Julie Sandlau, Nicky Vankets, Belle Etoile and Tocs Timepieces.


14 The Jeweller May 2010

Links of London appointed Official Jewellery Collection for London 2012 he London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has appointed Links of London as an official licensee of London 2012. The company will create the Official Jewellery Collection of London 2012. The deal will see creative director Elizabeth Galton and her team create jewellery and precious metal collections, premium items, children’s jewellery and precious metal gifts. Products will include a heritage collection, inspired by iconic images and events from previous Games.


| NAG News

Our survey says... hat does the future hold for our industry? The outcome of the General Election – unknown as we go to press – will certainly influence matters, as well as opinions, but politics aside, the views of NAG members indicate that 2010 holds few major surprises or concerns. A survey conducted by the NAG using questions provided by the Genesis Initiative* regarding the outlook for the next six months compared with the last six was sent to members… with some illuminating results. For instance, despite the economic gloom permeating most sectors of retail, an encouraging 38 per cent responded that their overall business confidence is high now, and 41 per cent said it was the same compared to six months ago. On the subject of growth, 45 per cent expected it to be higher in the near future, with just 17 per cent anticipating that it would be lower. The good news for jewellery shop staff is that almost half of those who responded are looking to increase pay per employee by up to two per cent.


Higher: 38% Same: 41% Lower: 21%

2. Do you expect growth to be higher, the same or lower in the next six months? Higher: 45% Same: 38% Lower: 17%

6. Do you expect to be able to increase prices?

Yes: 54% No: 46%

Genesis Initiative Survey Results 1. Is your business confidence the same, higher or lower compared to six months ago

5. With regards to pay per employee, do you expect not to increase it, to increase it by 0-2%, increase it by 2-4%, or increase it by over 4%? Not increase it: 28% Increase it by 0-2%: 45% Increase it by 2-4%: 20% Increase it by over 4%: 7%

3. Do you expect demand from UK customers to be stronger, flat or weaker? Stronger: 52% Flat: 34% Weaker: 14%

4. Do you expect the number of people employed in your business to stay the same, rise or fall? Rise: 14% Stay the same: 76% Fall: 10%

7. Do you expect to be able to invest the same, more or less money compared to six months ago? More: 35% The same: 55% Less: 10%

* The Genesis Initiative was established in 1999 to encourage the creation and growth of SMEs and to support them through research, the writing of policy papers and acting as an advocate for their common interest. Genesis acts as a coordinating body, bringing together entrepreneurs, SME representative organisations and all-party groups within both Houses of Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

AGM at Wentworth Golf Club ave you booked your place at The NAG Annual General Meeting? If not – there is still time! This year the AGM is to be held at the prestigious Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey on Monday 14th June and all members are invited to join the NAG team for what promises to be an enjoyable day. Guests are requested to arrive at 10.30 and the AGM meeting will commence at 11.00am, after which pre-lunch drinks will be served followed by a three course lunch. The cost of the day is £45.00+VAT (£52.88) which includes lunch and drinks.


16 The Jeweller May 2010

The club is a short journey from Virginia Water train station but for those driving, free parking is available at the club. Guests will be given the opportunity to browse the attractive Wentworth grounds at any time throughout the day and for those who share an interest in golf, a game can be booked on any of the three courses. Please note that this must be booked in advance and course fees start from £165. The Royal Landscape is also a 12 minute car journey from the Wentworth Golf Club where visitors can relax in the impressive gardens and around the Virginia Water lake.

If a sufficient number of people are interested in visiting The Royal Landscape after lunch a coach can be arranged. For further information or to book a place at the AGM contact Ritu Verma on 020 7613 4445 or email

NAG News |

Book now for the Challenge Trophy hether your abilities on the green are verging on the professional or you’re a relative golf virgin, there is still time to book your place at the frankly unmissable NAG Challenge Trophy, which will take place on the 7th June at the celebrated Fulford Golf Club in York. Sponsored by Bransom Retail Systems, the event is open to all NAG and BJA members, as well as non-members, staff and anyone within the jewellery trade. The 2009 competition revealed the gamut of golfing talent (from handicaps of 28 to six) and the fact that self-acclaimed novice Frank Wood, NAG chairman was the trophy winner, should inspire even newcomers to the sport to have a go. The NAG raised over £1000 for the Centenary Trust charity last year. In addition to overall sponsorship provided by Bransom, ‘Nearest the Pin’ has been sponsored by Concept Smokescreens and the Champagne reception is courtesy of Still available at a cost of £500 each, is the sponsorship of ‘Longest Drive’, the Putting Competition and the Team Prize. There are also a few tees still available to sponsor at £100 per tee. All sponsors will be recognised via sponsor boards in the clubhouse, entries on the dinner menus, and the major sponsors will be itemised in The Jeweller magazine. Individual or team entries for the golf from the sponsors can also be accepted. Following registration and refreshments in the morning, the first tee off will be at 10.30. The day will include a full round of 18 holes, a putting competition, afternoon tea, champagne reception, dinner and the awarding of the prizes. There will be professional photographers out and about on the course, videoed first tee shots, team images, individual images and winners’ photographs will all be available to purchase during the day. Two miles from York city centre, Fulford Golf club has hosted many high profile televised events including the Benson and Hedges and Murphy’s cups. It also boasts a chef d’excellence, who has had the pleasure of cooking for the Queen, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles. Entry prices for the competition and all catering, including wine, are: NAG and BJA member (any category) £70.00 and non member: £90.00. Spectators and dinner-only guests are also welcome: NAG/BJA member: £20.00 and non member: £30.00. To play or sponsor (or both), contact Frank Wood as soon as possible for a booking form on: 01904 625274/Fax 01904 630896 or email:


New Member Applications To ensure that NAG members are aware of new membership applications within their locality, applicants’ names are published below. Members wishing to comment on any of these applications can call Harshita Deolia on 020 7613 4445 or email: within three weeks of receipt of this issue.

Ordinary Applications Vinson Jewellers (Mr Ramesh Chauhan and family members) Batley, West Yorkshire and Edgware, Middlesex Blaby Gold and Cash Converters (Gary Henfrey) Blaby, Leicester Robert Harris Jewellers (Richard Harris) Rickmansworth

Alumni Applications Nicholas Hadler, Trowbridge, Wiltshire Daniel Hodson, Waddington, Lincoln Leonie O’Connell, County Wicklow, Ireland Alexandrina Eadie, Clackmannanshire

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

Upgrading from Member to Fellow David E Fromming PJDip FNAG FGA DGA, Salisbury. Shirley D Mitchell PJValDip PJGemDip PJManDip FNAG, Windsor.

Landmark lunch for NAG students he NAG invites all members to a lunch during its AGM on the 14th of June to celebrate 65 years of education and training for retail jewellers. “We have been providing industry leading courses for the last 65 years and this is a way to say thank you to our members for supporting them for so long,” said Michael Hoare, CEO of the NAG. “It is this support that pushes us to provide the best education possible and is the motivation behind the continued development of courses.” This year the NAG will launch its courses online and unveils a new course aimed at developing experienced staff in essential business skills and will relaunch the JET Valuation Diploma Course. The lunch, held at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey, will cost £45 + VAT. Email Ritu Verma at: to book.


The Voice of the Industry 17

| NAG News

Member of the Month In this issue’s Member of the Month, Harshita Deolia talks to Grace Plant of Peter Plant Jewellers who has been an NAG member since April 1994. Her parents, Peter and Avril, started the business 17 years ago in Stone, Staffordshire, and today it maintains its good reputation for offering a wide selection of jewellery and excellent customer service. price point is also slightly lower and it sells phenomenally well. You are part of the NAG’s Executive Development Forum. How has this helped your business? It’s been great. It has really helped massively since we joined. After going to the meetings I realised just how necessary a refurbishment of the shop was and we’ve had 100 per cent turnaround in trade since we made that decision. I would totally recommend it to others. By talking to other members, the information, tips, hints and ideas you get is invaluable. We’ve also contacted Mike McGraw* for advice aside from the EDF groups and found that amazingly helpful.

Can you tell me a bit more about Peter Plant Jewellers? We’re the only jewellers in our town so we have to try and stock a bit of everything. We sell a whole variety of gold, silver and platinum jewellery and we do bespoke pieces when required. We also stock some giftware, watches and branded silver such as Kit Heath and Ortak. Nearly all of us are qualified gemmologists so there’s a heavy emphasis on coloured gemstones in the shop and there are lots of different varieties for customers to choose from. What’s the most unusual gemstone you’ve come across? Probably a heliodor (yellow beryl). A customer wanted a pair of earrings with a yellow stone so we showed her a few different varieties but the stones she picked were a truly beautiful pair. I also remember a really attractive combination of stones for another customer – a pendant made up with a pink spinel and white sapphires. It was stunning.

18 The Jeweller May 2010

Lots of jewellers are stocking beads and charms at the moment. Do you? Yes, we have Truth by Paul Kennedy. We chose this brand over Pandora, Lovelinks and some of the others as it’s a bit different, with some quirky ideas for the charms. The

I realised just how necessary a refurbishment of the shop was and we’ve had 100 per cent turnaround in trade since we made that decision.

The Oxford Congress is coming up on the 24th June. Are you planning to go? Yes I am. It was great to meet members from the other groups at last year’s Oxford Congress – a really good event. Please could you share a story with our readers about any memorable customers. Well we get all sorts of people in here, but one man always makes us smile. He’s from the West Indies and comes in to see us about once a month. He never buys anything – just comes in to chat and tell us stories. He always carries a large sports bag with him and just before he leaves he produces a bottle of wine and rum for us all to share! We are always pleased to see him! *Mike McGraw, Managing Director of Development Initiatives Ltd is the facilitator for the NAG’s Executive Development Forum. The EDF offers expert guidance on retail and business management issues. For more information on how to join, please contact Amanda White on 0207 613 4445.

We can protect your business if you do too!

D C A violent robbery can have a devastating effect on your staff and business, especially when firearms are involved. That’s why we at David Codling and Associates don’t believe in adding to the drama. Claims are handled swiftly and sympathetically, and we will advise on making your business more secure. Comprehensive cover with competitively-priced premiums. Premium finance also available.


David Codling and Associates Ltd I N S U R A N CE BR OKERS

Unit 4, Court Lodge Centre, Plaxdale Green Road, Stansted, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 7PG T 01732 820210 F 01732 820211 E












IN PERFECT HARMONY …the jewels of the north and the jewel of the seas Whether you want to discover the hidden secrets of the jewels that are the Hebrides Islands, or just want to hold an exclusive event or party aboard a jewel of a private yacht, Harmony is the key. Harmony II is the classic luxury yacht that can not only take you on a fantastic seven night private cruise around the Hebrides, but the yacht is also available for hire to ensure your next jewellery collection launch, exhibition or special event really puts on the style.

Harmony II A unique venue to give your next event some real sparkle In today’s highly competitive world it can make a huge difference to the success of your next event, if there’s something a little bit special about it.

A fantastic 7 night Hebrides Cruise Anyone who has visited the area already knows that the Inner and Outer Hebrides are one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destinations in the British Isles. And what better way to explore all its hidden mysteries and pleasures than aboard a fabulous private yacht. Enter a private world of luxury, style and good living From the moment you first step aboard Harmony II, you can expect to be spoiled and pampered like never before, with luxury and first class service all the way. The yacht only has 8 berths, making your cruise all the more exclusive and private. You can even book the yacht as a private party. Recently refurbished to the highest standards, you’ll stay in spacious, bright cabin suites with beautiful furnishings and every modern comfort. In addition to the excellent on-board facilities such as a cinema, Jacuzzi and spacious sundeck, you’ll be treated to world class cuisine with all dishes hand prepared from fresh local produce.

The Hebrides – a magical, unspoiled wonderland With craggy shorelines, majestic mountains and dream-like flower-filled glens, the islands present a kaleidoscope of stunning panoramas. There’s plenty of wildlife too, including seal colonies, whales, dolphins, sea eagles, otters and herds of red deer. You’ll be able to visit some of the islands most historic castles, picturepostcard fishing villages and magnificent gardens, or play golf beside rugged cliffs with spectacular views. The eight day cruise takes you to many of the best sites, including the Isles of Rum and Skye, Gairloch, Kyle of Lochalsh, Armadale, Isle of Eigg, Tobermory and Craignure, with an excellent choice of shore excursions to please all ages and tastes. Expert guides are also on hand to help you get the most out of your adventure. The 7-night cruise during June and July costs £3,980 per person fully inclusive. For more details or to request a brochure call 01799 529322.

Whether to showcase your new designer jewellery collection, a special private exhibition for your key clients, or for a corporate function, Harmony II offers the perfect venue adding real style and glamour to your occasion and making it all the more memorable.

The yacht has its own spacious cinema/ boardroom which is ideal for presentations and displays. And the yacht’s elegant dining room serves world class cuisine and fine wines. Up to 150 guests can be accommodated and entertainment can also be arranged, including a jazz trio, harpist and pianist. Harmony II can be hired at Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Liverpool, but other locations can be arranged.

For further details about hiring Harmony II as an event venue email:

BJA News |

Whose magazine are you reading? s this your copy of The Jeweller? Probably not, because for every copy sold, there is certainly more than one reader. Speaking personally I know that if I don’t get in there Mike Hughes, quickly when my copy hits chairman of the BJA my desk it will disappear off into the office in a flash. Why so? Well clearly because everyone wants a bit of it, everyone wants to know what’s going on in their industry. Or so you would think, but surprisingly this is simply not always the case. Thanks to a recent deal with The Jeweller, The BJA is now able to offer its members a highly competitive deal to have their own copy of the magazine delivered on a yearly


subscription basis and you can’t get it cheaper anywhere else; yet to our amazement many members have either firmly declined to participate, or simply failed to register their interest. Trade magazines provide invaluable information. They keep you in touch with the industry; they allow you to benchmark your products and services against the competition; they bring news of trends, exhibitions, training opportunities and much, much more. So why would anyone refuse? Perhaps the message simply hasn’t filtered through to the right people. So, if you’re reading someone else’s copy, isn’t it time you had your own?

Opportunities for members at IJL

s we go to press there are still limited spaces available at International Jewellery London (Earls Court, 4-7 September). Those BJA members not yet signed up, are reminded that they receive a welcome 2.5 per cent discount off the cost of exhibition space and receive the show’s ‘Marketing Package’, which includes free website and catalogue entries – a saving of £215. “IJL is the only major, stand-alone jewellery exhibition in the UK and attracts some 9,000 specialist buyers, so it does provide a great opportunity for our members to reach retailers


in the pre-Christmas season,” says the BJA’s Lindsey Straughton. To ensure that the UK’s most influential buyers attend the show, IJL is once again hosting ‘The Diamond Club’ which offers champagne treatment to a list of some 200 UK and overseas buyers, selected in consultation with the show’s advisory board. Those chosen are offered a complimentary night at a four star hotel, alongside entry to ‘The Diamond Lounge’ where VIP facilities, including WiFi and free refreshments, will be available to the member and their guest.

Charles Green Glittering Award irmingham School of Jewellery student Natalie Salisbury has won first prize in a competition sponsored by the Birmingham manufacturer Charles Green & Sons. Students on the new ‘BA Jewellery and Silversmithing Design for Industry’ course had to create a pendant in precious metals, incorporating gemstone and diamond accents. “They were involved in a realistic process throughout and had to consider costings and marketing as well as timescales, on top of mastering rigorous technical skills,” says Charles Green MD, Tom Green. Natalie receives work experience in the company’s design department. The pendants are for sale at


As usual the show will be divided into six distinct product areas: Gems, Fine Jewellery, Silver Jewellery, Designer Gallery, Jewellery Solutions and International and with such a strong focus on high-end design it is hardly surprising that some 51 per cent of visitors attend no other UK trade show. The BJA will have its own stand at IJL as well as organising ‘Kick Start’ a group stand for young designers. Some of the businesses who provide services to the Association will also be on hand and members are encouraged to visit the stand for on-thespot intellectual property advice from its ‘Copywatch’ legal team. “Each show sees a spate of IP problems and while we can react at the time it is far preferable for members to protect their designs prior to exhibiting using our Copywatch Design Deposit Scheme. This enhances the chance of a speedy and successful outcome,” says Straughton. To protect your designs visit, download the Design Deposit Form and submit it with drawings or photographs to Diane Thomas at The BJA. The first 25 designs per year are free of charge.

The Voice of the Industry 21

| BJA News

New committee members want greater unity Two new members of the British Jewellers’ Association’s ‘National Committee’ – the voluntary body which sets the agenda for its work – have independently spoken out about the need for more cooperation across the UK jewellery industry. ark Senior, owner and managing director of M and M Jewellery said: “It is imperative that everyone works together for the common good, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a manufacturer, an importer, a wholesaler or an internet retailer, ultimately we are all competing with other service sectors for the consumer’s money. We need to promote the entire sector. We have a common aim and many of our issues are also in common. There should be a more unified approach.” Helen O’Neill managing director of The PMC Studio, agrees. “This is not a huge industry and there is much to be gained from working more closely together. PMC has belonged to the BJA since the company was formed five years ago. Everyone should belong. It doesn’t cost much and it’s a great way to meet up with others,” she said. The very different nature of the businesses in which Senior and O’Neill work, is in itself symptomatic of the very broad church that The BJA has become. Mark Senior has a long background in jewellery production. He was managing director of Domino and Weston Beamor for 12 years before buying M and M, a specialist jewellery manufacturer based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in 2008. The company, which employs 15 people, specialises in diamond, wedding and gem-set rings as well as earrings and pendants in platinum, gold and palladium and combines first-class traditional skills with modern technology. “Another aim for me will be to bang the drum for British manufacturing,” says Senior.


22 The Jeweller May 2010

“Five years ago we were being written off as irrelevant, but the high price of the dollar and rising labour costs in the Far East have changed all that and retailers are beginning to appreciate the flexibility and service that UK producers can provide,” he adds. Armed with a degree in European Business Studies Helen O’Neill started her career as a marketer working for mega-corporations such as BT, but she always loved jewellery and began designing and making it in her spare time. A chance

encounter in the States led to her being approached by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, to become UK distributor for its innovative Precious Metal Clay and The PMC Studio was formed. The business, which is in Chesham in Buckinghamshire, employs nine people and sells both 999 silver and 22ct gold materials. “This product is ideal for designermakers building individual pieces by hand. It can be fired and re-fired and is very versatile,” she says. Much of O’Neill’s job

“Another aim for me will be to bang the drum for British manufacturing. Five years ago we were being written off as irrelevant, but the high price of the dollar and rising labour costs in the Far East have changed all that.” involves training. Her company runs a comprehensive training programme and is shortly to launch a magazine for PMC devotees. “I am very interested in panindustry training and would like to see The BJA taking an even more pro-active role in this respect,” she says. Training is also close to Senior’s heart and he has suggested that the Association should run ‘Security Awareness’ courses for producers and retailers. “Security is the hot topic for everyone involved in jewellery right now, and the BJA must take a lead in this respect,” he says. A full list of other members of the BJA’s National Committee can be found on the Association’s website:



An exclusive opportunity to take an intimate private cruise aboard the 8-berth classic luxury mega yacht Harmony II to explore all the beauty and romance of this unspoiled haven

Discover ancient castles, majestic coastlines and enjoy breathtaking scenery. Play golf, visit a distillery, or go deer stalking – the choice is yours! And all the while live in luxury aboard a fabulous private yacht where you’ll be spoiled and pampered with world-class cuisine, outstanding service and every creature comfort.



Jeweller picks... From bold and bright to sleek and contemporary, Belinda Morris selects highlights from just-launched 2010 collections.




Los Angeles-based designer jewellery brand Tebazile comprises bold and dramatic handcrafted pieces, inspired by ethnic textures of native culture and using a variety of different metals and stones such as carnelian, onyx and turquoise. Strong colours, bold shapes and whimsical details are all characteristics of the collections of rings, cuffs, pendants and earrings that have a loyal celebrity fan base.




Living Art is the bold and bright new collection from Viennese jewellery brand Frey Wille. As always, the combination of enamel and 24ct gold plating has created a strongly artistic feel for the statement pieces, however this line also includes white palladium holding together shapes and patterns in shades of lilac and pinks, as well as vibrant orange and green.

Based in Antwerp and created in Mumbai and Shenzhen, DN Jewels is extending its diamond jewellery collection with 44 new rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets in 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold that put a different and contemporary spin on traditional designs.



The Seamonster range by Italian designer Alessandro Baldieri is proving to be a great succes within the UK watch market, according to distributors Since 1853 Ltd. The range of ten limited edition timepieces, has been created for both men and women and all have Myota Citizen movements, stainless steel Type 316 cases, screw down case backs, Italian Milano leather straps with a stainless steel deployant clasp and a two year warranty and are water resistant to 100m.


Adding to its collection of over 300 fashion-led pieces, So Jewellery has introduced three new designs to its line of silver set with cubic zirconia. To ensure a high-shine finish and prevent tarnishing the rings and pendants in sterling silver have a rhodium finish and while some pieces combine a soft satin silver with brilliant cut CZ stones, others feature a number of stones for maximum effect.



Utilising a combination of rose gold, polished steel and mother of pearl, Breil Milano’s two new jewellery collections – Feeling and Duplicity – are contemporary, stylized and understated. In highly polished steel or rose gold a range of curvaceous heart pendants are tethered on steel thongs. Another line features organic ring-shaped pendants with a central detail on mother of pearl, suspended from a steel link chain.




Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, award-winning, Belfast-based Diamond by Appointment – renowned for its platinum and diamond rings, as well as suites – has introduced Carrera into its range for 2010. A contemporary intertwined platinum ring, available with with plain or diamond set shoulders, it is designed to sit neatly and comfortably alongside any of the six wedding bands from the Unity Collection. Also launched this year, the platinum Unity rings can be worn either side of an engagement ring (as well as on their own) and can be given as eternity or occasion bands.



Sardinian-born master goldsmith Maurizio Filigheddu has brought his hand-crafted jewellery collection Mauriziodm to the UK. Inspired by the natural world, the pieces are bold and contemporary with a qurky twist. In 18ct white and yellow gold together with a variety of coloured stones, the pieces combine traditional Sardian techniques with fine mechanics. For instance: a crab pendant with articulated legs, its aquamarine back opening to reveal a hidden compartment or the Bendy ring which articulates with finger movement. Stones used are artfully themed – garnets ape pomegranate seeds in a pendant, ring and earrings and aquamarine and rock crystal create the mood of a sculpted gold shell necklace.

| Industry Update

BJA members embrace London Jewellery Week The BJA spoke to some of its retailing member companies to discover what activities they have planned for the LJW celebrations running from 7th-13th June. lans for London Jewellery Week received an additional boost recently with the news that Jaguar Cars has become an official sponsor and ‘Luxury Transport Partner’. A fleet of the luxury vehicles will transport VIPs around the city to launch parties and events and the company will cohost a jewellery exhibition with the Green Street Jewellers’ Association at its Boutique in the Berkley Hotel.


Ring by Joseph Koppmann

British design duo Dan Dower and Diane Hall, founders of Dower & Hall, are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the brand’s founding this year and have a number of ideas to entice jewellery devotees into their Spitalfields’ store and Liberty concession. One tempting incentive to visit them is the fact that everyone buying a piece of jewellery from Dower & Hall during 2010 is entitled to enter their ‘20 Treasures for 20 Years’ competition for the chance to win a box of ‘must-have jewellery’. Some new Spiral designs from Dower & Hall together with other bespoke pieces will be on show at the exclusive Salon Privé fashion and jewellery show to be held on

26 The Jeweller May 2010

the 8th June at Goldsmiths Halll, where fellow BJA member, David Marshall, will also be showing his designs. The OXO Tower is renowned for its independent design-led jewellery galleries including that of BJA member Josef Koppmann, who is one of the newest and most cutting edge. Together with fellow OXO jewellers Studio Fusion and Alan Vallis and in collaboration with the other companies based within the Tower, Josef is marking London Jewellery Week with the launch of ‘Wedding List by Design’ – a service which offers a completely new take on the traditional bridal list. Josef himself will also be hosting ‘Dutch Courage’ during LJW, an exhibition featuring leading Dutch designers Vincent Van Hess and Cardilac. Josef’s own collection composed of sterling silver and different coloured 18 and 22ct gold will also be on show. At Platform in Hatton Garden five London-based designer makers will host a joint exhibition with a private view on the evening of 9th June. Each designer will also give an individual presentation about their work which will be staged, a designer each day, across the course of the event. As The Jeweller goes to print, four of the five participants have been announced:

says Sarah Hutchinson Platform’s manager. As well as staging the exhibition, Platform – which is a not-for-profit organisation – will also be running a number of competitions to draw consumers into the gallery. “We will have a raffle to win a piece of jewellery but we are also going to run a ‘Hunt the Diamond’ competition,” says Hutchinson. PureJewels in Green Street, which is a Prestige Partner in London Jewellery Week will use the event for the launch of its ‘Platinum Heritage Collection’, featuring the work of six talented UK designers. The company is also supporting the launch of Discover Jewellery a new consumer print magazine designed to raise the profile of the South Asian retail jewellery community on Green Street. The company will also be showcased at the official London Jewellery Week launch party at Goldsmiths’ Hall and included in the advertorial to appear in the Evening Standard’s ES Magazine. The TV Shopping Channel QVC is also taking part, and thus providing LJW with access to 23.1 million UK homes. The channel will host a four-hour, on-air LJW event featuring a number of ‘hot’ designers, which will be promoted throughout the preceding week. Press competitions for the public and a customer event are also planned.

“We all have very different styles so it should be an interesting exhibition to view, and have something for everyone,” Sarah Hutchinson, Graeme McColm, Beth Gilmour and David Webdale. “We all have very different styles, from flowery and feminine to stronger and more masculine, so it should be an interesting exhibition to view, and have something for everyone,”

“We are delighted that so many of our retail members have taken up the LJW torch and are using it to create so many different and exciting initiatives. It certainly looks like being an action-packed week,” says the BJA’s Lindsey Straughton.

Hallmarking by

the Birmingham

Assay Office Continuing to support



the Laboratory





| Feature

Putting the ‘sell’ in

Could a celebrity help you to sell more jewellery? Do customers really respond to the sartorial choices made by film, pop and soap stars? Belinda Morris looks at the link between fame and fortune. t takes just a cursory glance at the plethora of women’s magazines on a newsagent’s shelves to get an idea of how widespread the cult of celebrity is. If the publication is remotely concerned with fashion, the face on the cover will be of the red carpet rather than the traditional catwalk variety. Even Vogue, which was generally above such tabloid behavior, has had to succumb to the pressure, with the likes of Cheryl Cole beaming cheesily from under the famous masthead. Possibly a great many jewellers would also deem that such unseemly pandering to the masses (reality TV anyone?) is beneath their dignity, but even in our once rarified world, fame has its allure. It’s nothing new that we – by which I probably mean women – care deeply about what is being worn by stars of the silver (and small) screen. Whether it was the extravagant tokens of Richard Burton’s affection for Liz Taylor, or the tacky gewgaws dangling from Bet Lynch’s earlobes in Corrie, we’ve taken notice, lusted after and emulated. But over the last ten years or so the whole phenomenon has exploded and there are now entire magazines devoted to what the likes of Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof are wearing and fashion websites (ASOS and Goddiva for instance) dedicated to selling look-alikes of what some popstrel was sporting at the Brit Awards the night before. It’s big business and not just at the lower end of the fashion market. As we go


28 The Jeweller May 2010

Kara Tointon is brand ambassador for Storywheels

to press, reports are emerging that Harold Tillman, owner of Jaeger and Aquascutum, is backing a fashion line created by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s exmissus Jo. If his credentials and her eco beauty range are anything to go by, this is not going to be a Primark sort of collection and, given the woman’s personal style, I would lay bets on a jewellery range following soon after. In fact, just as celebrities have jumped on the fragrance

bandwagon (Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé…) so marketers are now realising that there is major potential in a line of jewellery bearing the name of a popular actress, musician, ‘It girl’, supermodel etc. And if they can’t arrange such a direct collaboration, the next best thing is to sign a celebrity to be the ‘face’ of a brand or perhaps make sure that the key party people are wearing their product every time they step on a red carpet or in front of a camera. Whether direct and conscious (think Leonardo diCaprio for Tag Heuer) or subliminal, it’s all about endorsement.

Feature | Bob Geldof with Maurice Lacroix CEO Martin Bachmann

And do retailers appreciate this PR effort? “They absolutely love it!” says Andrew Marshall CEO of Links of London. “When a multi-brand retailer is talking about a piece, there is only so much brand jargon and technical information that the customer wants to hear – but when it’s mentioned that Cat Deeley wore a particular Links bracelet on Jonathan Ross last night it helps the dialogue – it makes the brand more real.”

level”, he found the face eventually in Deeley. “She’s very much ‘London’, she’s open, accessible and just from her picture or seeing her on TV you feel as if you could get on with her,” he says. “She’s absolutely beautiful – a good canvas for Links.” And that’s the point of celebrity endorsement – the fit has to be right. Composable bracelet brand Storywheels has recently signed former Eastenders actress Kara Tointon

They also act as the brand’s spokesperson, giving the products credibility and greatly increasing consumers’ awareness… importantly, they make our branding more memorable. This is not simply a case of an eagle-eyed Marshall spotting his product on a chatshow subject; last month the UK and USA TV presenter Cat Deeley was signed up as the global brand ambassador for Links of London – a role that will see her fronting the company’s autumn/winter 2010 campaign across the UK, USA and Asia. He knows exactly when the BAFTA award-winner is going to be wearing his jewellery. It is the first time that the brand has had a ‘face’. The move follows Marshall’s appointment three years ago, when he “reviewed Links’ DNA to establish the brand’s identity”. He then set out to find a name to “embody that DNA – somebody that would have an instant understanding of what that would mean.” Having brought the age profile of Links down to a “more youthful

as an ambassador and the unquestionably attractive FHM cover girl ticks all the right boxes for UK distributors DMJ. “She a very stunning lady and is typical of a Storywheels customer,” says Darren McCormick. “She’s also a highly recognised person and I think that most retail customers would relate to her wearing the brand and I would then hope that they would like to wear the same piece [that they see her wearing].” Scottish jewellery company Ortak has had a long association with famous names, having hired the likes of Suzanne Shaw, Mylene Klass, Kate Ford and Amanda Lamb to model their collections. For 2009/10 the ‘face’ of the brand is TV and theatre actress Jill Halfpenny. “Celebrities transfer their positive qualities – such as their reputation, talent and likeability – onto the product,”

says Ortak MD Alistair Gray. “They also act as the brand’s spokesperson, giving the products credibility and greatly increasing consumers’ awareness… importantly, they make our branding more memorable.” It also helps if the celeb in question likes the product they’re being paid to endorse… and the people behind it. “There has to be a chemistry and a relationship,” says Marshall, “and we spend a lot of time sitting down [with Cat] to see what her level of interest is – otherwise it’s cold and inanimate. We’re talking about humans. She needed to know about Links’ customer profile, how the business is doing… and she has an opinion, she reacts to the product and likes to know how it’s made and who it’s intended for,” he adds. Perhaps surprisingly certain brand ambassadors do provide more than just their face for a campaign. While it’s the boyish good looks of Leonardo diCaprio, who currently fronts the point of sale for Tag Heuer, which draws many customers into jewellery shops, there’s more to the association than meets the eye. “All our ambassadors are involved in the performance and design of our products at various levels,” says Fabienne Chalchat-Lambert, PR manager for the company. Which makes perfect sense if you’re talking about the wear-testing of a watch by Tiger Woods (maximum weight for optimum swing) or Lewis Hamilton (g-force and shock-handling) but interesting to know that prototypes are submitted to the Blood Diamonds star for his views on aesthetics

Cat Deeley – the face of Links of London

The Voice of the Industry 29


&/,,/7 9/52 #/.6)#4)/.3 m)ĺ$/.k4ĺ7!.4ĺ4/ĺ,)6% ,)+%ĺ9/5ĺ)ĺ$/.k4ĺ7!.4 4/ĺ4!,+ĺ,)+%ĺ9/5ĺ)k'/).'ĺ4/ĺ"%ĺ,)+%ĺ-%m 3IRĺ"OBĺ'ELDOFĺ ĺ-USICIAN ĺ!CTIVIST ĺ"USINESSMAN





ey†~y{ŒŠ}8`‡Š„‡ Š}8k‹‹}

Feature | and technical details. “They share their expectations with us,” says Chalchat-Lambert. Chosen because he is “the archetypal follower of his own convictions in everything he has done”, Bob Geldof, brand ambassador for Maurice Lacroix watches, takes a similar interest in the product that he puts his name to. “Bob has visited the factory and had several discussions with our CEO Martin Bachmann about the brand, the business and future ideas,” says Mark Sutcliffe, MD of Maurice Lacroix UK. “He likes what he has seen and his endorsement of our authentic values is a huge bonus to us.” There isn’t a Bob Geldof watch yet, but the idea hasn’t been ruled out. And of course, a jewellery collection that bears a celebrity’s name is the next logical step in the kudos-by-association business. It’s still a small market – but it’s a burgeoning one. Not unreasonably Elizabeth Taylor (House of Taylor) has had a crack at it through Avon and now her discontinued pieces have become rather sought after. Another famous lover of jewellery, the ascerbic US comedienne Joan Rivers, is making more of a success with her eponymous range that is sold by QVC, along with ranges by British socialite Tania Bryer and (somewhat less alluringly) presenter Anne Diamond. The shopping channel is adamant that the jewellery collections (which all the various names are involved in the design of) must stand up on their own merit – the product rather than the celebrity being the focus. But it is obviously a great sales tool that Rivers, for instance, fronts her own sales slots on the show and the fact that her very affordable collection has been selling for 15 of the 17 years QVC has been in the UK speaks for itself.

House of Harlow/Nicole Ritchie

Singer Lily Allen at BJB

“A beautiful model will catch a customer’s eye, but a celebrity will sell your brand.” The direct involvement of a celebrity in the creation of a jewellery line is very important to those companies who go down this route. Speaking of the company’s 2009 launch of a range by singer Lily Allen, Gary Mylum, marketing director of London-based jewellery manufacturer BJB, which also produces a range by Alesha Dixon, says: “It was crucial to us that she was completely involved from the very beginning. We did not want to develop a range ourselves and merely brand it with the celebrity badge. The consumer knows that what she is buying is a reflection of Lily’s personal taste and that makes a real difference to the credibility of what we are doing.”

For jewellery retailers who carry the range, the right look is just as vital as the name attached to it. “We decided to go forward with Lily Allen, because she is a current and successful media figure,” says Emily Knight of John Greed Jewellers in Lincoln, “but our buyers were also attracted to the bright and eclectic jewellery within the range as we want to introduce a younger brand to our current portfolio and find that Lily Allen achieves this.” For LA-based jewellers-to-the-stars Mouawad, celebrity collaborations are very structured affairs. “They’re not endorsement deals but partnerships with a royalty incentive attached to sales,” says Pascale Mouawad, currently working with Nicole

The Voice of the Industry 31


| Feature Ritchie (TV personality/style icon/daughter of Lionel) on her House of Harlow 1960 collection. “It’s more effective because it creates brand ownership for the celebrity who gets involved in the design and creation. By feeling ownership, the celebrity naturally promotes and wears the products, which in turn creates visibility and demand,” adds Mouawad. It wouldn’t work of course if the jewellery concerned was without aesthetic merit… or at least, not for long. But Ritchie’s line is now into its second season and doing very nicely. Fashionistas and fellow celebs love the bold statement pieces and those inclined to dismiss the idea of an untrained personality ‘dabbling’ in the world of jewellery, have had to think again. “Ultimately consumers want beautiful jewellery regardless of the celebrity name

Leo diCaprio working on Tag Heuer designs

attached to it,” says Kyron Keogh, co-owner of Rox Jewellers in Glasgow. “House of Harlow is a perfect example of a brand that customers will seek out because they appreciate Nicole Richie’s personal style. And in my mind there’s no question that [such] jewellery will continue to grow; celebrity culture is so ingrained in daily life now… I’m sure we’ll see more and more ranges launching in the coming year.” Keogh knows something about celebrity collaborations himself, as Rox was the official sponsor for Miss Scotland 2009. “Marketing spend needs to be carefully planned and celebrity sponsorship, if handled correctly, can be very valuable in raising brand awareness and attracting new audiences,” he says. “A beautiful model will catch a customer’s eye, but a celebrity will sell your brand.” Just how much of a company’s marketing spend goes on the celebrity, depends of course on the name concerned. “Between the ambassador’s fees and media spending, we invest about 60 per cent of our overall

32 The Jeweller May 2010

Jill Halfpenny is the face of Ortak

“Celebrity endorsements cannot build a brand on their own – it takes time, patience and delivering a consistent message through every channel to create positive feelings,” marketing budget,’ says Tag Heuer’s ChalchatLambert. For Links, the initial contract for Cat Deeley was a relatively small ten per cent of the brand’s total marketing spend, but Marshall concedes that “different events and collaborations over the next 12 months could bump up the cost.” For BJB, the collections by Lily Allen and Alesha Dixon, says Mylum, “are high profile projects, supported with a significant proportion of our marketing budget. However, we have a diverse customer base and operate at a number of different market levels, so we try not to put all of our eggs into one basket.”

BJB/Alesha Dixon

For some, usually designer labels, eggs and baskets don’t enter into it. Word of mouth, famous friends, on-the-ball PRs and good fortune can all reap rewards when it comes to celebrity endorsement. Julie Sandlau, a Danish designer whose collection has relaunched into the UK this year, is a red carpet favourite with the likes of JK Rowling and Gwyneth Paltrow, while young British actress Jaime Winstone is often spotted wearing Noa Fine Jewellery. Through her stylist, singer Pixie Lott has become a fan of Katarina Louise’s jewellery and now receives collections throughout the year. Retailers have been known to spot such appearances and get in touch to buy exactly what the popstar is wearing. That’s how it works. “It is a big cost, but the right representation is priceless and for us it’s exciting to see our items being worn,” says Bobby White, designer of BR Republic jewellery, which ‘gifts’ pieces to the likes of Beyoncé and presenter Fearne Cotton. It’s not a guarantee of sales – but it doesn’t hurt. “Celebrity endorsements cannot build a brand on their own – it takes time, patience and delivering a consistent message through every channel to create positive feelings,” says Gray of Ortak. “But a celebrity can definitely help to make a product stand out and turn a browser into a buyer… and help raise the profile of the industry as a whole.” Now that really would I be star quality! Storywheels UK . Redworth Road . Shildon . County Durham . DL4 2JT . Tel: 01388 770 870

| Industry Update

Crocheted Jewellery wins the BJA Award at Harrogate Show Cockpit Arts-based jewellery designer Teri Howes is the 2010 recipient of the British Jewellers’ Association Award for Excellence at the British Craft Trade Fair held in Harrogate last month.

ach year the BJA presents a prize to a jeweller at the British Craft Trade Fair which for the judges is an enjoyable yet difficult exercise as the standard is consistently high among the hundred and eighty eligible exhibitors. ”This fair is truly selective, with event organiser Margeret Bunn narrowing down the offering to not only UK designed and made collections, but specifically those from quality makers across various mediums that will suit gallery, gift and jewellery shops,” says the BJA’s Lindsey Straughton. “Thankfully I was assisted by two jewellery-buying professionals: Helen Hulston of Birmingham and Sarah Hutchinson of Platform in London, when it came to judging our award.” Commenting on the winner’s body of work, the owner buyer from Birminghambased Helen Hulston Contemporary Jewellery & Giftware said that it “was beautifully executed and well priced”. Sarah, who has carried Teri’s jewellery in the Hatton Garden


34 The Jeweller May 2010

“Each tiny stitch is a quiet, low-tech rebellion against today’s world of ‘instant everything…” gallery, is very familiar with the range and considers it consistently well finished and very on trend with its dual-toned appearance. Both judges were impressed with the comprehensive marketing package that Teri had put together for the show, drawing on her background as a graphic designer for twenty years. This included excellent preevent promotional flyers, good clear pricelists accompanied by images, attractive stand display and her packaging. Teri hand-crochets precious silver and 18ct gold into intricate, lacy and ornate pieces, taking precious metal wire and forming it to produce soft structures or delicate looking edges on metal framework. Taking her

inspiration from her love of fashion, textiles, pattern and geometry she states that “each tiny stitch is a quiet, low-tech rebellion against today’s world of ‘instant everything’”. Teri will be teaching her techniques at West Dean College this summer and also in her workshop for ‘Open Studio’ at Cockpit Arts Holborn, London during London Jewellery Week. “This is my first time at the British Craft Trade Fair and I have been very impressed by the quality of galleries attending and the great distances they have travelled from across the country; this is by no means a regional show,” Teri commented. “I am thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to have my work in an exhibition at Mike Gills venue in Hereford, which happened as a result of being seen at the fair.”

Industry Update | Holts Academy

Of course you can... Whether you want to brush up on your CAD skills, discover how to string beads, raise a silver pot or gain a qualification in diamond grading there a plenty of short courses available this summer to help you learn.

Birmingham City University The School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University offers impressive facilities and big-name tutors and also provides the most comprehensive selection of jewellery related short courses available in the UK. Between 1st July and 4th August BCU is offering some 35 different courses lasting between one and five days. New this year is a ‘Polishing platinum and palladium’ course by master polisher, Stephen Goldsmith, while silversmith Jinks McGrath will teach the hand-making of silver chain. Other topics include a variety of CAD courses, laser spot welding, fine techniques and Mokume Gane (a metal lamination process). Prices range from around £70 to £425. The diamond grading course is £995 for a full week including the examination fee. Contact Dawn Meaden Johnson on: 0121 248 4584 or email her at:

London Metropolitan University The John Cass Department at London Metropolitan University is offering a number of courses during July, several being master classes for practising makers wishing to hone existing skills or to learn something new.

A brand new course this year is Kum-Boo – a Korean technique for fusing 22ct gold onto silver – given by the designer-maker, Alison Flanders. Other well-known designers who will be teaching courses include Alistair McCallum (Mokume Gane), Penny Davis (enamelling) and Charlotte de Syllas (stone carving). As we go to press full details of the courses have not yet been posted, but will be available soon from the short course administrator, Adam Bradley. Adam can be reached on: 020 7133 2184 or email:

Based in London’s Hatton Garden, Holt’s Academy is a not-for-profit organisation offering a wide range of courses across the whole jewellery industry. These range from day-long, individual master classes in making skills, to CAD courses and stone grading. Holts also offers on-going training leading to NVQ qualifications in jewellery making. There are a number of short courses available this summer including ‘Make your own silver jewellery charms’ which runs for one evening a week, 6.30-9.30 from 6th20th July and costs £120 and ‘Make your own silver jewellery cuffs’ which is another evening class running once a week from 8th – 29th June at a cost of £180. Call Ruth Babajide on: 0207 405 1097 or email her at:

West Dean College West Dean College is situated in the heart of a 6,400 acre estate on the slopes of the South Downs in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The college, formerly the home of the artistic patron Edward James, is a centre for the study of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts and for the preservation of knowledge that might otherwise be destroyed or forgotten. West Dean is offering short courses throughout the summer in metalwork, enamelling, jewellery and silversmithing. Some are for complete beginners, others for advanced practitioners. Highlights include ‘An introduction to granulation’, ‘Box making in silver’ and 'Photo-sensitive etching for jewellers’. Prices range from around £82 for a day to over £500 for a week. Call 01243 811 301 or visit

Glasgow School of Art For those north of the border, or for anyone who fancies a stay in one of the country’s most vibrant cities, the Summer School at Glasgow School of Art offers both courses and accommodation. ‘Advanced jewellery’ a course for professionals looking to update their practice, takes place from 19th – 23rd July, while a stone-setting workshop runs from 26-30 July. The courses cost £310 and student accommodation is available at prices from £84, for a standard room, to £120 with en suite bathroom. For details contact 0141 353 4596 or email:

The Voice of the Industry 35

| Opinion : Michael Hoare

The Power of

Positive Thinking Let the second Executive Development Forum Oxford Congress help you to think confidently and constructively about sales, says the NAG’s CEO Michael Hoare

36 The Jeweller May 2010

of customer journey, the sales experience and the sales environment? I don’t have time or space to do justice to these topics here, but let’s just dip into the subject of the sales environment for a moment. It’s a perennial problem for all retailers, let alone jewellers. How do you attract customers into your shop and keep them? Although the products we sell have an intrinsic value and beauty all of their own, they’re not much good when it comes to display because they’re so darnn small! It’s taken many jewellers a long time to cotton on to the notion that in design terms ‘fewer is more’, but gradually we see less windows Photo by

he other day I was reading a business network discussion board where the author asked if members thought there was any provable link between positivity and business success. His notion was that the impact of the recession had been patchy, hitting some businesses hard while barely touching others, and they wondered ‘did this correlate with people and businesses that were optimistic?’ Sort of a ‘glass half empty’ bad, versus ‘glass half full’ good, scenario! Well, I’m a bit too cynical to believe that just by thinking happy thoughts we can pull our businesses round. Nor do I think enthusiasm alone is the whole story. But positivity communicated into the wider community and customer base must have a beneficial effect on business. Linked to this is optimism and faith in a brighter future. We have narrowly escaped a double dip recession and I believe that now is the ideal time for the optimistic and forward thinking jeweller to come out fighting and ready to re-energise their business; instil excitement; reinforce peerless service; and re-carve the niche that the best independents used to inhabit. Where better to start than the triumvirate


filled with pads that inadvertently give the subliminal impression of ‘pile it high and sell it cheap’ so beloved of Tesco in the old days. But now the penny has dropped, and display has become pared back and minimal, how do jewellers get away without spending thousands on lighting and props but still excite interest? It’s a dilemma, but it’s one that other retailers selling products with less eye-appeal than jewellery have set about solving. Take the National Geographic store on London’s Regent Street. On the face of it all they have to sell are maps, DVDs, magazines – nothing very sexy there you might say. But in response to just such comments, they have devised a retail environment that features compelling interactive visual displays and state-of-the-art design dedicated to stimulating, educating and inspiring visitors to celebrate global cultures. It also features an exhibition area, auditorium, tapas café, travel desk and photography studio, set across three floors. Years ago, Waterstone’s tried a similar, but more low-key, approach by encouraging readers to browse, drink coffee, and stay awhile, but National Geographic has taken it to a whole new level by offering in-store lectures by renowned explorers, authors,

If they can do it, I’m sure that jewellers can excite, entice and retain a loyal band of followers and photographers; free film screenings and showcase exhibits. Go to the website, visit the store, you’ll be hooked! Or take the Apple Store, also on Regent Street, where they have so sexed up the business of selling plastic boxes and wires that customers come away thinking they are cutting edge ‘brainiacs’ tuned in to the future. Even the technical help function is called the ‘Genius Bar’. You haven’t talked to a spotty nerd who knows about software, you’ve had a consultation with a genius! Now if they can do it, I’m sure that jewellers can excite, entice and retain a loyal band of followers, and if you want to know more you’d better book a date with Mike McGraw and his expert speakers at the EDF Oxford Congress. Put it in your diary now – 24th June 2010 – no excuses!

Pearl Essence Lustrous and sensually beautiful, pearls have a timeless quality whether the jewellery is subtly classic or strikingly bold. Belinda Morris investigates.

Main image courtesy of Yana Nesper

Feature | hey’ve never actually been away of course, but pearls are enjoying something of a ‘moment’ right now. Whether the awareness and desire among consumers is being prompted by the catwalk, the red carpet or Michelle Obama (who’s been known to favour a row from time to time) is neither here nor there. Whatever the source of a jewellery trend, it would be foolish not to make the most of it. It doesn’t even matter much that the high street fashion shops are laden with extravagantly outsized imitation pearls strung on elastic for £5 a pop. It’s not beyond the realms of hope and possibility that those teenage shoppers will grow up to want the real thing. In fact, they don’t always wait to grow up. “We find that we receive simulated pearls from high street shops to see if we can find an equivalent in ‘real’ pearls, says Michelle Ager of Samuel Jones Pearls. “In particular we find that bracelets are proving popular with younger customers – perhaps some connection to the Pandora craze? We have been requested to supply single pearls to be threaded onto similar chains.” Ever since Coco Chanel layered on ropes of faux pearls – her love of costume jewellery was considered rather shocking, but it caught on – fashionable women have used them to make a statement. While the twin-set gals have continued to keep up appearances with modestly-proportioned single and double rows of the real thing, it has remained for the style mavericks – think Madonna in the 80s with her pearls and crucifixes combined – to lead the more avante garde way.


NOA Fine Jewellery

Pearl Magpie

strands and white stud earrings still outsell anything else. There will always be a demand for ‘granny’s pearls’,” he adds.

A Question of Age

A new generation of young women are attracted to the versatility of long rows that can be wrapped around the neck to give the appearance of a short, multi-layered necklace

Vanessa Wall of Guildford-based Pearls of the Orient (which sells at retail as well as wholesale) is also finding that classic pearls have a youthful fan base. “I recently sold a single strand of graduated pearls to a seventeen year old,” she says. “I couldn’t believe it! We have school girls looking for pearls for proms, to 80 year olds coming into the shop – I’m staggered that our spectrum is so broad.” Given that Henrietta Askew of Mai Pearls is to launch a children’s jewellery collection, that starter customer could soon be a toddler. According to Nicholas Brown of Euro Pearls, there is, in fact, no typical customer, with everyone from teenagers upwards keen to find their own style with pearls.

It’s harder to shock these days – we’ve seen it all – but while the more directional designers are looking for more and more creative ways of working with pearls, it’s interesting to note that for a number of retailers and suppliers, the traditional row of pearls is making a comeback. “Pearl jewellery is always creating a sub-species of ‘stylish’ pearl wearer and that revolves in concert with fashion,” says Michael Forwell of Pearl Magpie in London’s Notting Hill. “But while designers are featuring more pearl reinventions, the traditional white pearl Jersey Pearls

“The flexibility we have when stringing, in terms of length or number of rows and the current range of colours, sizes and shapes, means the scope for wearers to find a look they are comfortable with is immense,” he says. “Retailers’ willingness to stock this variety is increasing their sales.” Trevor Ellis at Nexus Pearls attributes “the new interest in pearls” to the broad spectrum of shapes, sizes and colours of freshwater pearls now available. “We have had success in the mixing of these in our designs,” he explains, adding also that a new generation of young women are attracted to the versatility of long rows that can be wrapped around the neck to give the appearance of a short, multi-layered necklace. And Wall

The Voice of the Industry 39


| Feature has also observed that classic rows are as popular as ever, and that these days the lengths being asked for by her newer customers have to be longer. “Where once it was 16 and 18 inches, it’s now 19 and 20 inches,” she explains. Whether it’s ‘first pearls’ for coming-of-age girls, classic rows for brides or the current trend for all things retro, traditional, even white pearls are only part of the story. “The pearl industry changes so quickly, developing different shapes, sizes and colours,” says Jersey Pearl’s Mike Taylor. “We offer traditional and fashionable strands so that we can appeal to both markets. We measure it quite frequently and it’s a fifty-fifty split at the moment.”

Rainbow Appeal For Wall, the growth in the pearl market can be attributed to colour. “There is an abundance of dyed pearls and I have ladies coming into the shop looking for a particular Mai Pearls

shade to match a dress – this market has changed the freshwater pearl business in a big way,” she says. “And our retail customers ask for all sorts of colours, so I try to find the best that I can.” While some suppliers and retailers, Jersey Pearls for instance, guarantee that their pearls

Katie Rowland

are all naturally coloured, for others the paintbox effect offered by dyeing is too tempting to pass up. “Although our Cultured, Tahitian and South Sea Pearls are available in varying shades of white, golden and black only, our freshwater range encompasses all the colours of the rainbow,” says Maymon of Samuel Jones Pearls. And inevitably, the tonal possibilities of the pearls available today have lured a growing number of young jewellery designers and brands to work with pearls. “My favourite colour for pearls is black,” says designer Katie Rowland, “they have such a rich intensity and depth to them – like little black holes from the South Seas – they remind me of space.” Combining black pearls with citrine, garnet, ruby beads and rose and yellow gold for her edgy, statement pieces, Rowland feels that pearls “look wonderful when combined with

Pearl Classifications Pearls are organic gems, but a pearl is not simply a pearl – there are many different types, all with their own characteristics. At the most basic level however, pearls are either Natural or Cultured and today over 95 per cent of the world pearl production is cultured. Both natural and cultured pearls can be further divided into saltwater (seas, bays, gulfs and oceans) and freshwater (lakes and rivers) and generally speaking, saltwater pearls are rounder and more expensive than the freshwater variety. A definitive guide to pearl definitions can be found in the Pearl Blue Book, a document produced by the World Jewellery Confederation CIBJO.

40 The Jeweller May 2010

other materials and stones – they really complement the colours of the pearl and bring a decadent, darker edge to an otherwise classic necklace or bracelet.” Fashion also has its part to play in the choice of colours by a designer and for this summer – ironically – a major player on the catwalks was… white. “We look at fashion trends, particularly in terms of colour and Nexus Pearls


| Feature Djurdja Watson

have noticed a lot of white coming through and are working on new pearl pieces in ice white,” says Dan Dower of Dower & Hall. And while designer Frieda Kaplan Gross of German label Noa Fine Jewellery uses natural Chinese pearls in all sorts of colours, she has recently launched a pair of earrings in black and white diamonds with a little white pearl in the centre. “It totally resembles a Chanel suit,” she remarks.

Mixed Media Colour, shape and size of pearls aside, it is the mixing of pearls with other materials and gemstones that can really create the difference between classic and fashion pearl jewellery. Designer Djurdja Watson gives her pearl jewellery a modern twist by mixing the freshwater, naturally coloured pearls with gemstones, glass and metal beads and Swarovski crystals. Fei Liu combines his

with materials as diverse as gold, platinum, silk and wood to give them a youthful, fashionable appeal, while Dower & Hall have introduced flat, beaten silver discs between the chunky pearls of their Nomad bracelets. A variety of gemstones – blue topaz, agates, amethysts, moonstone – as well as marcasite and crystals, give Goldmajor’s freshwater pearl jewellery a less-than-traditional edge. With its access to some of the best South Sea pearls produced by its own farms, the Australian, vertically integrated jewellery company Autore creates some truly stunning jewellery using a wide range of pearls in terms of colours, shapes and sizes. Complementing this array, particularly in the Venezia collection are stones such as yellow, brown and rustic diamonds; blue, pink, purple and orange sapphires, aquamarine, tourmaline and Paraiba. The effect is as dazzling as it sounds. As might be expected, Euro Pearls, while using diamonds in its jewellery range, always makes sure that the pearl is the star of the show. “When creating our high end jewellery pieces, the character and beauty of each individual pearl is carefully assessed before we decide how we should use it,’ says Brown. And although designer Yana Nesper of Germany admits that she ”inhales all fashion magazines“ and uses the information to ”find a style for her brand” it tends to be the small details that create a difference – such as the signature blue sapphire used on otherwise classic strands.


important, to differentiate between various culture methods and enhancements,” says Pearl Magpie’s Michael Forwell. “Terms like ‘Born-again Keshi’ are not helpful to the customer and are possibly used to add kudos to an otherwise ordinary product.” “It has always been our position that knowledge and openess can only be a good thing for business,” says Ellis at Nexus. “Problems can and will arise when not all participants play by the same rules, either through ignorance or design. Ebay is always good for a laugh on that subject!” “There are many jewellers out there who might know the subject in their head, but

What’s in a Name? To many consumers it may well be that a pearl is a pearl is a pearl, but of course that is not at all the case. “Clear definitions are

Pearl Treatments Besides descriptions of the myriad varieties, CIBJO’s Pearl Blue Book glossary also outlines the different treatments that can be applied to pearls to enhance their appearance. All pearls are processed in one way or another after harvesting – cleaning and polishing being the norm. However, just as with gemstones, full disclosure is important on all other treatments, which could include bleaching, dyeing, irradiation (which darkens the nucleus to give a grey or blue look), colour injecting during the cultivation process, coating and heating. Because the pearl trade is constantly evolving, with technological advancements being introduced constantly, the Pearl Blue Book is a work in progress, with amendments regularly announced. Intended to ‘protect and reinforce consumer confidence’ in the industry, the publication is a useful (and pretty comprehensive) reference guide to retailers. An example of a recent amendment: when describing saltwater cultured pearls to a customer, the word ‘saltwater’ should always be included.

42 The Jeweller May 2010

Euro Pearls

Feature | the average sales person is poorly trained and is ignorant of even the difference between freshwater and saltwater pearls,” adds Forwell. Mike Taylor of Jersey Pearls agrees: “While in our own shops we have control over what is said to customers, with our stockists we have to sit down with staff and do a one hour crash course. Many are terrified about pearls because they may not know the answer to questions asked by customers.” To avoid the Autore misuse of terminology, Michelle Ager feels that “strict monitoring” is very important “to avoid consumers being misled or misinformed.” To this end, Samuel Jones Pearls is constantly educating and guiding its retail customers. “Customer knowledge is patchy,” agrees Vanessa Wall, “but I find that they’re usually happy and fascinated to learn more. There’s a lot of snobbery with pearls and the differences between seawater and freshwater for instance needs to be explained.” Diane Meek of Pearls of Alfriston has also found that her customers are interested to learn more about pearls, the culturing process and the different qualities and shapes. “I train my staff to be knowledgeable about any product they sell,” she says. “I do believe that good customer service is paramount to improving sales and encouraging customer loyalty.” At the fashion end “Terms like ‘Born-again of the market, where design of a piece Keshi’ are not helpful to the the is arguably more relevant to a customer customer and are possibly than the quality of the used to add kudos to an materials used, definiotherwise ordinary product.” tions are often less of an issue. “We find that the customer doesn’t want to know too much unsexy info,” says Djurdja Watson, “so we try not to get involved in the politics. We use trusted suppliers and go for shape and colour above all else.” Ellis also recognises this issue: “A concern is if consumers become too confused with all the terminology and are put off a purchase by it. So the whole subject has to be properly handled and carefully presented,” he warns. At Dower & Hall, while staff are trained to answer most questions, defining the pearls used is helped by the fact that freshwater pearls are used for fashion-led silver designs, while Tahitian or South Sea pearls are incorporated in the more ‘precious’ pieces and only in untreated black or white. And while industry guidelines on the subject influence Mike Taylor at Jersey Pearls, he prefers to keep things simple: “whether cultured or natural, we call all our pearls ‘real’,” he says. “We want to be as friendly as we can to the end customer – so we give them what they want.”


The Voice of the Industry 43

| Feature

Why a passion for pearls? Lindsey Straughton put this question to four BJA members who all have a love of these subtly beautiful gems and use them to create their own individual style of jewellery.

Chrissie Douglas


Shaun Leane

Coming from a classically trained background I spent thirteen years in a traditional English workshop in Hatton Garden, creating bespoke pieces for luxury jewellery houses, as well as focusing on antique restoration and diamond mounting. Much of the traditional-style jewellery I restored or created included pearls, so when I started to produce my own collections I wanted to use pearls with a more contemporary approach. The Cherry Blossom Collection is inspired by a magical Japanese tale of a beautiful goddess, so I have used white and pink pearls to reflect the story’s delicacy and femininity. In the Blackthorn Collection the pieces are modern and elegant with a defiant edge, so I have used lustrous dark pearls to create a darkly romantic and seductive feel to the collection.

Lilly Hastedt


Whether worn with denim or with haute couture, pearls are the perfect accessory. These unique gems of the sea help me create feminine and timeless pieces of jewellery. The different array of iridescent colours and shapes suit all ages and all skin tones, making them truly special pieces to covet. As the great 19th century gemmologist George F Kunz so aptly said: “The pearl owes nothing to man – it is absolutely a gift of nature on which man cannot improve”. L

Fei Liu

Fei Liu Fine Jewellery Pearls are so often associated with a traditional look that I find it an invigorating challenge to innovate and recreate them into a contemporary style. The potential seems endless when there are so many different pearls available and I am always looking to take a fresh view and create a modern timeless piece. The variety of colour and form and shape is beautiful, and as they are one of the only organic gemstones in the world, they have an intrinsic value. Pearls are subtly beautiful, and they give an edge to jewellery that cannot easily be created with gemstones.

44 The Jeweller May 2010


Coleman Douglas Pearls Pearls have always been my focus. My love for combining textures such as silk, leather and wood with different pearls as well as different gemstones has lead me to grow a strong trade business for over 20 years and open my own store in Knightsbridge, London. Each year I create four new collections; this helps me push the boundaries ever further while keeping an eye on affordability and offering excellent value for money. Bridal has always played a big part of our business and it is important to offer the bride not only classically elegant designs but also cutting edge and unique options. For me when buying pearls the lustre and quality are paramount. The combination of surface brilliance and a deep glow that seems to emanate from within the heart of a pearl is to me sheer beauty!

bqw rolex specialist

Buying and selling the world’s finest quality watches...


BQ WATCHES ARE ONE OF EUROPE’S MOST EXPERIENCED BUYER AND SELLER OF PRE-OWNED ROLEX AND ALL HIGH QUALITY WATCHES... MANY ROLEX MODELS FOR SALE AT LESS THAN HALF LIST PRICE... We are offering a fantastic selection of pre owned and nearly new rolex, cartier and other fine watches. All our watches are refurbished as new and come with original boxes, authenticity certificates and 12 months guarantee. CASH PAID FOR ALL LUXURY WATCHES... We also urgently require all high quality watches, gold, jewellery and diamond of any age, in any condition.

With extra demand from our clients in germany, italy and usa and current rates of exchange means we are now paying record high prices. HOW TO SELL... Visit our head office ( by appointment only ) and one of our experts will value your watch, or call us on 020 8953 4575 and request a free post paid, insured (up to £10,000) special delivery watch pack. Once we have received your watch we will call you immediatly with an offer and you could receive cash or cheque the following day. Prices are at an all time high so please act fast. for more information please call.

For more information please call


+44 (0)20 8953 4575

136 Burnt Oak Broadway Edgware • Middlesex • HA8 0BB t +44 (0) 208 953 4575 f +44 (0) 208 905 2838

| NAG Survey

Charm Offensive

A recent survey among NAG members stocking the in-vogue bead and charm bracelets revealed some surprisingly emotional feedback about the industry bead phenomenon. eads and charms. It’s a sort of Marmite thing isn’t it? You either love them or hate them. But either way, unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock for the past couple of years, you can’t have failed to notice their all-pervading presence. Pick up a copy of Vogue in any given month and there, sharing precious glossy space with the likes of Cartier and Tiffany, will be an advert for a bead brand. Ditto the weekly fashion and celebrity magazine Grazia. Whatever you think of the product itself, the effort and expense that goes into the marketing of it can’t be faulted.




“The branded suppliers are too dictatorial and we wouldn’t consider buying from them” “Pandora is the worst company we have ever worked with. Delivery is appalling; the back orders never add up. Special orders often disappear and staff deny ever receiving them” “They are totally inflexible and keep changing the ground rules” “The company has a bullying, threatening way of dealing with their outlets” “It is unfortunate that the brand is so popular… we have to submit to their bullying tactics” “Possibly the worst decision we have ever made was to take Pandora into our inventory”

46 The Jeweller May 2010

But what do you think of beads and charms? We wanted a snapshot of this major jewellery phenomenon, so canvassed just under 100 NAG members, most of whom carry beads and charms from one brand or another. We expected some animated responses, but nothing quite like the level of emotion (to put it mildly in some cases) that our unintentionally loaded questions provoked. As CEO Michael Hoare puts it in his Communiqué this month, “quite a can of worms” was unleashed. It seems we have only scratched the surface of the issues that accompany these

ubiquitous and sought-after trinkets, but the results of the survey throw up some interesting – if not disturbing – results. It must also be stated that this poll represents the opinions and experiences of just a small sector of the jewellery retail business and needs to be viewed as such. For every one unhappy bead stockist there may well be a dozen very contented ones who didn’t respond. And you cannot tar all suppliers of beads and charms with the same brush. While one brand in particular comes in for some very heavy flak, others are roundly praised. It should also be noted that for many respondees, the humble little bead has proved to be a life saver during the past difficult eighteen months. It would be less than fair and balanced to publish the results of this survey without giving the company that has received the most criticism the right to reply. We hope to bring you its response in our next issue.

“It’s difficult to balance the turnover and footfall created with the logistical problems and detrimental effects on other areas of the business” “Of my 16 years in retailing I have never dealt with a company that is so arrogant and truly awful...” “Pandora do not have the customer service that a retail jeweller needs. For example, we cannot place orders over the phone and we are currently on a reduced stock list” “Our enforced retail price is one euro = £1 – customers can save at least 10% currently by purchasing from Europe, yet our supply would be terminated if we discount” “The bubble will burst”

“Suppliers that insist on large first orders, cabinets etc and control every aspect of retailing them are extraordinarily arrogant” “Prices have risen sharply, out of proportion to metal costs etc” “After 35 years of customer satisfaction and good will… we have now compromised all this with one decision and placed our name into a day after day conflict with the customer” “…carry out their trade through threats and intimidation” “If you don’t open a concept store they will find someone who will; they agree trading terms and then change them” “The rep entered our shop, opened our display cabinets and shouted at my daughter in front of customers”

NAG Survey |



“Charmlinks are the best! Excellent service” “We have no issues with our suppliers, indeed they have been very helpful” “Troll Beads is the easiest and fastest supplier… very customer friendly” “We deal with the best and the original in Troll Beads” “We are amazed at how our supplier keeps up with the demand. They’re fantastic”

“25 years in the business and I hate being dictated to… but we’re making money from it. How this business has changed… but to succeed you have to go along with trends or lose out” “Thank them for giving me the chance to make money” “We have to go with the flow as they are such a success” “They dictate all the terms but they have a brilliant product”

“Professional, listening, creative, positive future plans” “The more stringent a brand is, then generally the higher profile it will have… this holds true only if the supplier keeps up the supply and does not restrict it so that the retailer is left disappointing customers who are looking for something in particular” “Very happy with Troll Beads – we have got behind the brand and they have supported us”

The Bead and Charm Survey Results Is bead and charm jewellery more, the same as or less popular than other types of jewellery?


Has the level of service from your supplier improved, stayed the same, worsened over the last year?

17.7% Improved

Stayed the same

Does your supplier demand that you buy a certain amount of stock?



Does your supplier specify your retail price?



Does your supplier allow you to discount stock?



Does your supplier stipulate that you buy display cabinets from them?



Do you have a written contract with your supplier?



How long do you think the bead and charm phenomenon can last?



More popular






24 months +





As popular

Less popular







12-24 months

6.4% 6-12 months

If you have any comments or additional experiences to share on this subject please email Belinda Morris at:

The Voice of the Industry 47

| Regular


Where to go, what to read, what to see…

Books The Worldwide History of Beads, by Lois Sherr Dubin (£39.95. Thames & Hudson) First published in 1987 as The History of Beads, this definitive guide for bead obsessives, aficionados and collectors has been updated by the author with chapters on the latest archaeological discoveries as well as contemporary examples since the 1980s, with a focus on glass beads. Apart from the beautiful and inspirational photography, this new edition includes an 8-page gatefold timeline as a guide through the history of this first form of adornment. The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques, by Anastasia Young (£24.95. Thames & Hudson) This workshop lookit-up bible for jewellers combines a comprehensive range of skills, techniques and technical data for professionals as well as students. Step-by-step photography is used throughout, covering traditional metalsmithing skills

Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs May 22nd-26th: Vicenzaoro Charm, Vicenza, Italy A jewellery trade show with around 1,400 Italian exhibitors. June 3rd-7th: Couture Jewelry Collection & Conference, Wynn Las Vegas, USA A niche trade show held during Las Vegas Market Week – an opportunity to source top end, design-led jewellery brands..

48 The Jeweller May 2010

and techniques associated with working with gemstones and a variety of alternative materials such as plastics, natural and found objects. Working jewellers have also contributed with their own approaches to the creative processes and issues such as workshop safety and outsourcing are also discussed. Fashion Jewellery: Catwalk & Couture, by Maia Adams (£24.95. Laurence King) Though you specialise in high end, traditional diamond jewellery, you may have a secret love of or guilty regard for fashion pieces – those extravagantly dramatic creations that have style maverick written all over them. Or maybe it would just help to know your Alex Bittar from your Judy Blame. Either way, this sumptuously illustrated book, the first of its kind, profiles 33 international fashion jewellery designers who combine traditional techniques and ultramodern methods to create exciting and innovative jewellery – for their own collections as well as for fashion designers. The range of materials used (many of them surprising), inspirations, craftsmanship and humour outlined through interviews and imagery is eye-opening.

4th-7th: The JCK Show Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA. Major gems, jewellery and watch show. 6th-8th: Pulse, Earls Court, London Major international summer gift and accessories show, including jewellery, offering the first opportunity to see new autumn launches. 17th-20th: China International Guangzhou, China

Sales & Exhibitions May Until 15th June: The Staffordshire Hoard. Birmingham Museum. A temporary exhibition of around 60 items, many not previously displayed, which will be transferred to the Industrial Gallery. Until 27th June: Treasures from Medieval York. British Museum, London A temporary exhibition of highlights from the collection of the Yorkshire Museum, featuring swords, jewellery and coins from the Anglo Saxon and Viking periods. Free entry. Until 26th September: David Watching – Artist in Jewellery. The V&A, London 68 pieces of jewellery including examples that started life as miniature sculptures now large scale wearable art objects. 14th-16th: The Craft & Design Experience, Henley Showground, Hambledon Estate A selling exhibition of 200 designers, artists and craftsmen, working in a number of disciplines including jewellery and glassware. 20th-23rd: Made in Clerkenwell, Craft Central, London An open studio event to meet, discuss ideas and source a design service: jewellery, crafts, accessories etc. June 11th-13th & 18th-20th: Cockpit Arts Summer Open Studios, Holborn & Deptford Discover the talents of around 165 designermakers. Included will be the work of awardwinning jeweller Tania Clarke Hall.

The largest jewellery raw materials show in SE Asia, offering gemstones, pearls, diamonds, crystal, silver, CZ and fine jewellery. exhibitions/default.asp?siteid=16&lang=1 24th-27th: Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Asia’s biggest mid-year jewellery event with over 1,000 exhibitors from around 30 countries and regions. exhibitions/default.asp?siteid=4&lang=1

| Antique Jewellery I n

a s s o c i a t i o n

w i t h

F e l l o w s


S o n s

Antique JEWELLERY Get pasted Next month the well-known Bond Street antique jeweller S J Phillips is playing host to an exhibition of paste and other jewellery from the 17th to the 19th Centuries. Jo Young explains what’s special about the collection. t’s a rare thing for London’s antique jewellery retailers to host their own exhibitions. Consumed as all jewellers are with the business of selling, they, like most, normally leave the showcasing to the galleries and museums. Sometimes, however, a collection of sufficient rarity, scope or collectibility


50 The Jeweller May 2010

becomes available to view, and the temptation to put this on display for an admiring public is too great to overlook. Such is the case with next month’s ’paste and jewellery’ exhibition, which is being mounted at S J Phillips, the antique jewellery and silver dealer which has traded from its current Bond Street location

since 1869: they don’t do this sort of thing terribly often. Indeed, the last major exhibition held at the shop was back in 1988, when the company held an exhibition of a collection of early rings known as the Harari collection. So, suffice to say, while this may be a modest exhibition, it is nonetheless an exciting one. The exhibition is made up mostly of pieces from a single private collection, and comprise a small number of pieces from the seventeenth century and a larger number from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The majority of the jewellery is paste (hence the exhibition title) but there are quite a number of rare and interesting pieces made with natural gemstones as well, so in some ways it’s an eclectic mix.

Paste it There is often confusion over what the word ‘paste’ actually means when referring to jewellery, and how it differs from the better known and more commonly-used term ‘costume’ jewellery. The definition is actually quite a simple one – paste refers to jewellery made with glass instead of gemstones. Known in Europe as strass, this type of jewellery tends to be made with glass pieces which have been given faceted tops, under which a thin foil has been placed, to reflect and produce the effect of a diamond or other gemstone. In addition, however, in the context of antique jewellery, paste tends to imply a standard of quality that one would not expect to find in more recently-made costume pieces. Paste tends to mean jewellery that is closer in personality to fine than it is to costume jewellery. In fact, one of the nicest things about paste jewellery from the 18th and 19th Centuries is that, in contrast to what we would normally expect from ‘costume’, it tends to be made by the same jewellers, in the same way as the real thing. As is clearly demonstrated by some of the key pieces in the S J Phillips exhibition, this has meant that the standard of the workmanship – specifically, the mounting – is generally of the same quality that you would find with fine jewellery. Take a good quality example of an 18th Century paste flower brooch or necklace, and the mounting skill and effort will be the same as it would be with a diamond-set piece.

Antique Jewellery | other then-unusual stones, such as white beryl and aquamarine, which again feature in this exhibition.


European characteristics Generally speaking, where jewellery from this period is concerned – certainly when one is looking at paste – the manufacturer or jeweller isn’t known for individual pieces of work. It’s a shame, because it is always worthwhile to know which designer is responsible for the jewellery you’re viewing; however, experts can usually identify the origin of the pieces, and the majority in the S J Phillips exhibition were made in England, France and Portugal. A lot of the work is English, and though it has not been hallmarked, according to S J Phillips, the pieces in the collection are identifiable as they carry a typically English ‘feel’. The French paste items, of which there are a number in the exhibition, usually have some kind of mark indicating the quality of the metal, while the Portugese jewellery is very distinctive. Comprised largely of natural gemstone pieces, this jewellery can be identified by the style of manufacture and the untypical materials used – particularly, the stones. During the period in question, very abundant sources of gemstones were discovered in Brazil, which was at the time a Portugese colony. Included among these stones was what was then known as chrysolite (now called chrysoberyl), and chrysolite jewellery features prominently in this collection. Portuguese jewellers also used

The standard of the workmanship – specifically, the mounting – is generally of the same quality that you would find with fine jewellery.

One of the highlights of the exhibition, says S J Phillips, is an entire suite of eighteenth century gemstone jewellery presented in its original (oddly shaped, velvet and ribbondecorated) fitted case. What makes this special is simply the fact that it is a complete suite, with necklace, brooch, earrings and rings. It is extremely rare to find complete suites like this, particularly in their original cases, and according to one expert at S J Phillips, “It is the only one of its kind that I’ve ever seen outside of a museum setting”. The suite itself is made from the Brazilian colourless ‘white’ beryl, which has been mounted in silver and gold, and is dated from around 1780. It is impossible to say for whom such a set of jewellery would have been made, but nonetheless interesting to speculate on who would have commissioned and owned such pieces: if the owner had been very wealthy, you might have expected the suite to be made in diamonds rather than using beryl (indeed, this is a curious point that can be made generally about much of the expertly-produced gem and paste pieces in this exhibition). The fact that it was not made using diamonds is possibly part of the reason that it has survived so beautifully; if it were diamond-set, it would have been highly likely (as many suites of this kind and date were) to have been broken up and remodelled. To have survived altogether, unaltered, is a rare thing indeed.

The white beryl suite

The Voice of the Industry 51


| Antique Jewellery jewellery end of the market, in contrast to modern costume jewellery, in which standard-sized round stones are stuck into ‘bogstandard’ settings. A lot of laborious work went into paste jewellery during this period, which is precisely why the quality was upheld and why, thus, paste jewellery from the period has similarly maintained its intrinsic value and interest to the collector. In summary, I suppose, what makes this exhibition fascinating is not necessarily the size or the value of the stones that have been used – no gobstopper-sized diamonds or golf ball emeralds to be found here. Rather, this is a quirkily-enjoyable collection that has been put together on the merit both of the manufacturing quality of the jewellery itself, and of course, its rarity. There are, of course, many other eyecatching and memorable pieces in this exhibition, including some very delicatelooking multi-coloured paste necklaces and bracelets (similar, but not matching), made in England, again in the 1780s. The coloured paste pieces are particularly pretty, made as they are using rich blues and greens, but the diamond ‘imitation’ pieces – as any diamond-like items are to the magpie eye such as mine – are also rather lovely.

The period Eighteenth century jewellery is, for the most part, surprisingly simple. The motifs used tend not to be over-elaborate, and follow themes of nature, with flowers, for example, making a strong showing. The overall look adopted by jewellery wearers at the time was what we think of as classical: lots of unfussy, stone-set necklaces made using oval or cushion-shaped graduating stones in a row. It is perhaps significant that the foreword for the S J Phillips exhibition catalogue has been written by magazine editor Anna Wintour of US Vogue, a wellknown afficionado of this simple, classic style of jewellery. In addition, the overall appearance of the settings used during the eighteenth century particularly were often quite ‘flat’. The interesting thing about the paste pieces is that they were custom-made so that the stones would fit perfectly next to each other, leaving very little setting showing: again this is the kind of high-end, high-quality manufacturing that one typically tends to see at the fine

52 The Jeweller May 2010

It’s something of a fabulous thing to think of a talented jeweller sitting at the bench some 200 and more years ago, putting the same workmanship and skill into what is essentially just a decorative piece of glass as he or she might into a diamond-set necklace. And it is even more fabulous still to think that such care and attention has been rewarded, in a sense, by the jewellery’s very survival and our (and S J Phillips’) appreciation of it I all these years later. Brilliant Impressions, An Exhibition of Antique Paste and Other Jewellery, will be on display at the S J Phillips store on Bond Street in June 2010. Entry is free to all shop visitors. The exhibition runs from 15th June to 29th June, Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm.

Whittaker’s World Another BBQ summer? We all remember the success of the Met Office forecasts for last summer, so I shall avoid ‘forecasting’ about jewellery auctions for the next few months – undoubtedly, the ‘fun’ of a general election will cause real financial concerns for many, and football will drag money off the high street and into supermarket tills for beer and barbecues. However, before all this ‘kicks off’ there have been some identifiable, positive trends over the last six months. There are still buyers available with money for the right goods; the demand for better quality items remains strong, and items with brand name recognition (such as Cartier, Rolex, etc) are increasingly being sought after. The latter is mainly due to the ease of internet searches and the huge sums invested by these brands in promoting their products through the glossy magazines – and, of course, the desire that lurks deep within most of us to own something normally worn by a ‘celeb’. So, the forecast for this summer? The weather is wholly unpredictable but the jewellery and watch trade will no doubt enjoy some ‘lively moments interspersed with some damp patches’ in between. Whether it is jewellery or the actual weather, I am sure we will all survive to discuss both again with our usual British fascination for both! Stephen Whittaker is the Managing Partner of Fellows & Sons, specialist auctioneers of Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Fine Art based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. He can be contacted on 0121 212 2131 or

Fellows & Sons

(Est. 1876)

Forthcoming Auctions

• Secondhand Jewellery & Watches – Thursday 27th May, Thursday 10th & Thursday 24th June • Antique & Modern Jewellery – Thursday 20th May • Silver, Plated Ware, Coins & Medals – Monday 24th May • Costume & Silver Jewellery & Novelties – Monday 24th May A catalogue is available at or by post. Online bidding is available at For further information please call Heather Bailey on 0121 212 2131.

RECRUITMENT Are you looking to recruit staff for retail, manufacturing, design, sales, jobbing, management, admin and finance? Advertise your jewellery and watch vacancies in The Jeweller magazine Appointments section and on the Jeweller Recruitment online site ( simultaneously at very competitive rates. Call Ian Francis on tel: 020 7833 5500 or email him at: to book your recruitment advertising in The Jeweller magazine.

The Voice of the Industry 53

| Insurance Matters

Directors & Officers Liability – know the facts

In today’s litigious society when something goes wrong those affected want to find someone to blame and will use the available law to help them. Company law is becoming increasingly complex and insurance brokers are continuing to see company directors brought to task over the decisions or actions they have taken. n law, irrespective of whether or not your company has ‘Limited’ status, directors can be held personally liable for the decisions they make on behalf of the company. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (D&O) is liability insurance which is payable to the directors and officers of a company. The insurance can cover a range of losses including cover for damages or defence costs in the event that an organisation suffers losses as a result of a lawsuit for alleged wrongful acts, while acting in their capacity as directors and officers for the organisation. Claims can be made by employees, current and former shareholders, customers, suppliers, liquidators and receivers. While claims can be made from a number of people they can also arise from different organisations, in particular government agencies. Several government bodies can investigate a company including The Health & Safety Executive, The Serious Fraud Office and The Disability Rights Commission. When looking into legal undertakings a


54 The Jeweller May 2010

company will be viewed to see if it is performing duties with a reasonable degree of care and skill or whether it is acting within the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company. When looking into legislation, the Insolvency Act and Companies Directors Disqualification Act of 1986 come into play.

Having the funds to obtain legal representation at these investigations enables directors to gain the best possible outcome. D&O Insurance provides a pool of money for the Directors to draw on to fund defence and settlement costs and the cost of legal representation at investigations. D&O insurance works two ways to help your business: protecting the individual director from financial loss arising from claims for negligence

or breach of duty in the management of the company and secondly, reimbursing the company where it has agreed to indemnify the director against such claims. Why should you consider buying Directors and Officers Liability Insurance? Directors’ personal liabilities are unlimited and, in the course of carrying out everyday duties for a company, directors are exposing themselves personally to lawsuits, investigations and criminal prosecutions. Without insurance, directors can end up having to re-mortgage their home or worse, just to pay legal fees incurred When a director needs to defend lawsuits, investigations and prosecutions, being able to draw on insurance funds to obtain quality legal support and advice, will help achieve the best possible outcome In addition to the increasing number of government bodies that can investigate a company, there is an increasing focus on smaller businesses. Even when there is no initial allegation that a director has done anything wrong, having the funds to get legal representation at these investigations enables directors to gain the best possible outcome. In one year: i) over 1,500 directors were disqualified for between two and 15 years. ii) the DTI’s Companies Investigation Branch looked at almost 5,000 companies. iii) the HSE issued over 11,000 notices and prosecuted 982 cases. D&O cover for small and medium size enterprises is available at highly realistic and affordable premium levels and as with all insurance policies, there are exclusions to D&O cover which may include: • bankruptcy/liquidation in the first 180 days • deliberate fraudulent or illegal activities • circumstances which already exist • your company’s professional services • claims in the USA/Canada T.H. March & Co Limited is a wellestablished family owned firm of insurance brokers founded in 1887. With offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Sevenoaks and Yelverton near Plymouth, the company has departments covering household, motor, travel, commercial and scheme insurance. To find out more visit:

VILLAMARTS LTD The UK’s Leading Loose Diamond & Jewellery Wholesaler

We offer a complete and efficient service for all your wholesale diamond needs at the best prices. Visit to find our daily updated stock list of certificated diamonds.

For a quick quote or to arrange a meeting call us on:

020 7417 0260 / 0261 32-34 Greville Street, London EC1N 8TB

Bullion Dealers, Refiners & Pawn Brokers in the heart of The Jewellery Quarter

97% paid against scrap jewellery 98% paid against coins 98% paid against fine gold

The Bullion Store, 43 Frederick Street, Hockley, Birmingham B1 3HN Visit our website: or call us on: 0121 236 1111 Cash Cheque Bank Transfer

The Voice of the Industry 55

NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R






IRV Email Group Round-up for the first quarter of 2010 The usual wide range of topics has been frequenting the net-waves since the beginning of 2010 so here’s a run-down of what’s been going on in the IRV Email Group.

Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue One of the Institute’s golden rules is ‘maintain dialogue with the client’, especially when the following arises: One group user had been approached by a client for a valuation for insurance on a couple of high value rings, which had recently been inherited. Dialogue ensued as to the basis of replacement– NRV or SHRV – however the client wanted to keep his premiums to an absolute minimum, so the user queried if they should be valued on the basis of approximate auction estimate (including the buyer’s premium). Pondering this, the user presumed open market value would probably be insufficient to replace, and therefore assumed it would be preferable to direct the client to seek an undertaking from his insurers that they would be prepared to insure on the basis of a cash settlement (sufficient to approximately cover the estimated average auction estimate for a similar item, plus the buyer’s premium and possible remounting). The user invited fellow group users to comment as to whether this proposed approach is correct, or to suggest an alternative? The user’s thoughts were that SHRV was a much safer option for ‘insurance replacement’.

56 The Jeweller May 2010

Michael Ferraro, Managing Director of the Association’s insurance brokers, T H March & Co Ltd, was able to confirm that the user was absolutely right to get the customer to clarify the basis of valuation with the insurer first, and that SHRV is a safer option. However, he went on to say that the main danger with auction estimate, or equivalent cash settlement is that most insurers will not undertake to offer a cash settlement. Even the high net worth household insurers are unlikely to agree (although they might if they know the customer well and depending on value and type of item) but they may still want the basis of valuation to be high street replacement value (which could be SHRV). It may be easier to persuade a high net worth insurer to accept an auction estimate without a promise that they will pay cash, in the hope that in the event of a claim – especially for a difficult to replace antique item – the insurer will actually pay cash, either voluntarily or because it is unfair to replace the item (see the link to the PDF at the foot of the Institute’s website at Even if the insurer does accept auction estimate (or cash equivalent), that may be insufficient to pay for partial damage, e.g. loss of a main stone.

The right basis of valuation Another user sought the support of fellow IRV Email Group users on the correct basis of valuation for a Court of Protection Order. The user had been asked to value over 100 items (including a great deal of custom jewellery) to reflect ‘Current Market Value’. The user explained that the owner of the jewellery suffers from dementia. Her husband had recently died and her friends are acting as her Power of Attorney. The items are currently insured until September 2010. They are not to be sold and no insurance valuation is required at this stage. Following dialogue with the solicitor looking after her case the user had been asked to value the pieces based on current market value. The items will then be kept in a safety deposit box in the bank until the lady dies. The user’s query was what basis to head this valuation under (and is there a suitable/ necessary rider to add); perhaps somewhere between ‘Private Sale’ and ‘CGT’? The user asked if any fellow users had encountered a situation like this and how they proceeded. A response followed offering that the usual term for this sort of valuation is ‘Open (or Fair) Market’ and is very like a probate valuation. This is a ‘for sale’ valuation and represents the actual ‘worth’ of the items to the client at the time of valuation. There is no need to worry about CGT as this involves a 'before and now' value. The user also mentioned that if anything is of no commercial value not to forget to say so. The user intends to add a rider to the letter of transmittal to say that the value reflects the depression in the market at the moment and may need reassessing in the future.

IRV Review | For the record, he went on to say that a recent visit to an auction saw many good items fall way short of the estimate therefore they did not sell so the pieces the user has to value are going to be quite low.

What to do with this? As ever the emails circulating include many welcoming help with arriving at a value. One user had a mayor’s medal to value. Inscribed with a date from the 1960s, the 18ct gold and enamel piece’s manufacturer is no longer in existence. From the details provided by the user a respondee was able to identify the manufacturer as Vaughton & Son of Birmingham and felt that the piece may be older than the inscription. It would appear that the laurel and oak leaf wreath is die-struck and hollow formed and from what could be seen, the remainder appeared handmade and the enamel hand painted. As to value, the user said it depends on what the valuation is for. If it were for facsimile value a guide would be to use a calculation based on what you would pay for handmade work of very high quality. It was suggested that the time to make this badge would be about 40 hours, plus the gold and enamelling. “If that looks a lot then you are probably correct,” he added. In a different but similar scenario another user had been called to a local council asking for a valuation for insurance on various unspecified items. Expecting salvers and cups etc he was instead shown several items of civic regalia to value. Dating from the 1960s (and spectacular) they included a couple of chains of office, a mace and stand.

The mayor’s medal and its reverse (See ‘What to do with this’ above)

The user was able to establish the maker was predominantly Fattorini and then asked the all important questions: what basis of replacement are they to be valued at and have they been valued before? It transpired that Fattorini had itself valued the items ten years previously. When the user spoke to Fattorini he was told the likelihood would be that the Council would have specialist cover (the user couldn’t recall the term used) and it was almost certain that in the event of loss or a claim, the Council’s insurers would go direct to Fattorini. In the end the user asked the Council to contact Fattorini and left them to negotiate, offering to liaise if so required. As it happens, the user got the impression (dealing with the Mayor’s PA) that the Council didn’t really want the valuation to be high – due to the implications this might have on their insurance premiums (as in these frugal times it might be perceived as wasting tax payers’ money). This scenario was similar to someone owning a 'named' piece: there is only one place to get the price. Also, the items were owned by a body/organisation, as opposed to a private individual. The original user’s query was broader, and therefore there are several ways to approach the valuation – a lot depends on the client’s wishes and/or instructions. The respondee recommended lots of research, to consider the ‘route’ and or ‘basis’ of replacement, and be sure to make this clear in the letter of transmittal which accompanies the valuation. And the moral of this story being, yet again… dialogue!

Nuggets – and we don’t mean chicken! Most IRV Email Group users have no problem in valuing ‘the end product’ but what about the raw material?! Such as two nuggets of gold weighing 10.8 grams in total, which were in an ‘out of the ground’ state but did contain a few very small broken fragments of crystal. Not something most valuers come across so the user asked for advice on the best way to tackle it. One suggestion was to value them as if they were 18ct gold. Commonly the figures for raw gold are approx 700-800 parts per thousand. However, there is the problem where/how would they be replaced? The respondee occasionally purchases such nuggets from America and if the situation arose that they would be offered for sale, would apply a standard retail mark up on them and, therefore, would value them that way too. The original user reported that he had approached one of the bullion dealers to see if they would offer scrap – thinking they might discover their going worth. The user was told they would test them, and perhaps send them for assay testing, but when it was mentioned the nuggets were unrefined (‘native gold’) the conversation started to get a bit vague, and unfortunately the user didn’t get a definitive answer. A search for ‘native gold’ on the internet revealed that there are sellers out there. The user found an interesting Australian site – but there is no definite pattern, shape and look of the nuggets and the price per gram varies from little above bullion to as high as weight @ bullion x 2.75! See The Jeweller next month for more conundrums from the IRV Email Group. Could you help any of the Group members who put forward requests for help? Or do you wish you knew who to talk to about items which you don’t see that often? If you haven’t already joined the NAG IRV Email Group why not do so today? Email Sandra on: The rest is simple – email her your query (preferably with digital images, if applicable), she will forward them to the rest of the Group and any replies she receives are also forwarded to the Group. (There’s no charge for joining, just be prepared to receive lots of emails!)

The Voice of the Industry 57


....TO START TRAINING YOUR STAFF START NOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR HOLIDAY COVER IS COVERED A student who enrols on the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma now could have finished by this summer and could have passed JET 2 and mastered all the practical skills that a retail jeweller requires by next summer.

OUR CONTACT DETAILS The National Association of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street, London EC2A 4XG Email: Tel: 020 7613 4445 (Option 1) Download a JET Course prospectus at






How to prepare for the JET exams With the National Association of Goldsmiths’ JET examinations looming at the end of this month, The Jeweller asks the JET tutors and past JET students for their top tips on how best to prepare for the big day.

Before the exam: Plan – Anne Bray believes students need to be organised from the start and plan their revision. “They should only revise one subject at a time, and preferably only one subject on any one day, such as metals on one day and diamonds on another,” says the experienced tutor. “Trying to do too much at one time doesn’t give the brain time to digest the information properly.” Bray also recommends an early start for revision. “Reading for an hour when you wake up is better than reading for an hour when you go to bed,” she advises. Revision – Catherine Pengilly of Gerry & Co, Newton Abbott, who completed both the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma and the Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma, says: “make sure you have revised everything as well as you can.” Bray adds that for JET 2 exam candidates “using JET 1 & 2 course notes, Bradbury’s and Cally Hall’s ‘Gemstones’ is adequate”. However, Pengilly asserts that candidates should also “refer to their past assignments and pay special attention to the comments the tutor has made on the Assignment Report Sheets.” JET 2 and Gemstone graduate Hannah Oxberry of Simpson Jewellers, Norwich suggests “speaking to people with more experience in the trade,” adding that “the jewellery industry is one huge family. There are a lot of people who will be more than willing to share their knowledge.”

Familiarise – Tutor Mark Houghton says “one of the pitfalls for students sitting the diploma exam is the possibility of misunderstanding questions, although the NAG ensures all questions are carefully written using the least ambiguous phrasing.” To combat this Mark advises “becoming familiar with the content and style of papers in previous years ahead of the exam. Old papers can be obtained from the NAG.” Pengilly adds “practise answering them in the time allowed and without your notes and look back afterwards to see how you’ve done.” Bray agrees, encouraging students to “get to know the way around Bradbury’s, so when they need to look for information in the examination they don’t waste time not knowing where to find the details they need.” Tutorials – Almost everyone that The Jeweller spoke to agreed that attending a pre-exam tutorial was vital. Oxberry said that tutorials “provide a great insight as to what to expect

D E PA RTM E NT on the day”, while tutor Brian Dunn added that candidates who attend a tutorial are “invariably much more confident when they sit down.”

On the day Be early – Dunn suggests students arrive at the examination centre in “plenty of time” adding that “travel delays are endemic and quite predictable”, while Pengilly says students should be early so as “to be as calm as they can”.

During the exam Organise – JET 2 graduate Bethan Cartwright of Robbert Carr Jewellers, Lichfield advises candidates to “organise their time well” during the exam. She says: “don’t spend too long on one question” and “leave questions that you are not entirely sure about and come back to them at the end.” Pengilly agrees, and for the Gemstone paper, suggests: “don’t necessarily start with the stones in order. You have a limited time so just take one and work on it. There’s nothing worse than being one of a few candidates all waiting for the same stone close to the end of the exam.” Understand – In the case of the theory exam, Michelle McCormick, tutor, warns students to “read the question carefully and make sure you understand what is being asked before you begin writing”. Tutor Don Taylor agrees: “it is important to answer the question and not beyond what is required as there simply won’t be time.” Relax – Above all students should relax during the exam. Bray believes a few nerves are a “normal emotion”, while Oxberry thinks students should “remember they have passed all the written essays to be accepted on the exam.” Tutor Cathryn Richardson has a novel way to beat the nerves. She recommends “taking some sweets into the exam and when reading the questions through for the first time and panic sets in, suck or chew a sweet. This relieves some tension and will help students plan out a better answer.”

The Voice of the Industry 59

| Education + Training tudents who recently gained their Professional Jewellers’ Diploma and Professional Jewellers’ Gemstone Diploma, not only celebrated their success in local papers such as The Grimsby Telegraph, Hereford Times and The Evening Times (Scotland), but were also able to promote their businesses while doing so. “It is such a cost-effective form of marketing, because sending a release costs nothing but a bit of time” says Jason Harrison, who is part of the NAG’s communications team and devised the template that is sent to all JET graduates. “I recently spent half an hour writing a press release based on the NAG template. I emailed it to one paper’s newsdesk first thing in the morning and they called within the hour to arrange for a photographer to visit and the article was in the next day’s edition. I spent less than an hour on the whole thing. It really couldn’t be simpler,” he explains. For more information on writing press releases visit:


NAG graduates hit the local headlines NAG graduates have been hitting the headlines and appearing in their local press thanks to press release templates from the NAG and an article in The Jeweller.

Customer at the core of Oxford Congress ollowing the success of last year’s inaugural Oxford Congress, the National Association of Goldsmiths’ has announced the 2010 Oxford Congress will be held on 24th June 2010. This is a unique event in the jewellery industry, providing the opportunity for business professionals to reflect upon what is happening in and around jewellery retailing. This year the spotlight will be on ‘the customer experience’. “In broad terms its focus is on how retailers can provide the highest level of customer experience from the viewpoint of the customer journey, the sales experience and the sales environment” says Mike McGraw of Development Initiatives Ltd, who facilitates both the NAG’s Executive Development Forum (EDF) and Oxford Congress. “The aim is, within that framework, to move the delegates’ thinking outside the independent jewellery sector to consider what could be adapted and adopted for their industry.” Leading experts from outside the industry will give presentations at the day-long congress on issues such as selling in the luxury goods market to providing a stimulating


60 The Jeweller May 2010

sales environment. The day will also include a look at future social trends affecting the long term market, as well as a view of the coming year’s trading conditions and updates on the EDF, whose members last year bucked the economic trend and recorded a exceptional average profits. “The Oxford Congress is one of the most important additions to the NAG calendar” said NAG chief executive Michael Hoare “as it brings together powerful personalities and generates exciting ideas that can only benefit today’s retail jeweller”.

Domino Jewellery has sponsored this year’s event, which will again take place at the Saïd Business School in Oxford. The Congress is open to all NAG members in order to let everyone get an insight into the important EDF initiative. The fee for EDF members is £155 and for non EDF members: £255. There is an enticing £80 fee for second delegates from the same company. For more information, or to book a place at the Congress, email Amanda White at: or call her on: 020 7613 4445.

Mike McGraw, the Congress facilitator

| Letters

Letters to the Editor

From time to time we receive letters or emails from readers: requests, announcements or maybe strongly worded opinions. Well, bring them on we say… the more the merrier. We’ll even give you your own page, starting with this issue. Kickstarting the new letters page are two very different missives, revolving – coincidentally – around the same place: Sri Lanka.


feel inspired to tell you all about the most AMAZING trip I’ve just returned from in Sri Lanka – swimming with giant turtles, my stepson being bitten by a monkey and needing multiple rabies jabs, and elephants on lorries, and snakes and… and… I climbed down a sapphire mine in Ratnapura; crawled up to my neck in muddy water along the tunnel to the face – the source of the gems I make jewels from – breathing occasionally down a bamboo tube to catch my breath. I was ecstatically happy and learnt so much about my trade which has refuelled my passion for coloured gems. The picture shows me, grime and all, emerging after a very strenuous climb up the shaft.

I bought many fine zircons, sapphires, spinels, garnets, beryls, tourmalines, alexandrite, star stones including purple sapphire, ruby and more. It’s funny that when you get

that far away from home, how you are never really far away… there I was, buying stones, chatting in pigeon English about life’s eccentrics, when the name Guy Clutterbuck came up, all the dealers seemed to know him! When I returned I expected to be met by the press at Heathrow as my staff has been fielding calls from all around the world about our ‘one armed bandit’ who stole a gold cufflink just before I left. I think that was the best £120 I’ve ever spent on advertising! The police have caught the man which shouldn’t have been too hard, but, guess what… no cufflink was recovered. Christopher Vinten, C J Vinten Jewellers

hrough a gem-cutter friend, Paul Spencer, a committee member of the UK Facet Cutter’s Guild Association, I have come to know a remote village school in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. The nearest town to this village is 25km away, through thick jungle. There are some yellow sapphire deposits near here but, as it is a restricted area, most families in the village (which was until recently in the middle of war zone) work as farm labourers or brick makers. Paul’s visits to the country on gem business also includes supporting the work generously donated by aid workers in Colombo. Included in this group is Nilamani de Silva, an FGA who operates a gem-testing lab in Colombo and travels regularly the eight hour journey to this village to deliver goods and see at first hand just how the financial aid and material donations are being put to use. Over the past years, the war between government and rebel forces has raged

around the local school, which was to become one of the many casualties in this area and, as is so often the case, the innocents, including the school children were to suffer the consequences. Bullet holes in the black board and a temporary corrugated roof accentuate the extent of the damage after one particular attack. Any attempt to repair the school was often set back, however, now that the state of war has subsided, some sort of reconstruction is making progress: there is now a new roof and the bullet holes have gone. After my presentation and workshop at the 2008 NAGIRV Conference in Loughborough, the NAG Valuations committee kindly sent a donation on my behalf for the school to Paul, who saw that it ended up where Nilamani could hold the purse strings to the benefit of the school. It is often difficult to find out just how much of the generous donations made by individuals and organisations do actually arrive at the intended site in these far-off locations. In this case, I am fortunate to receive regular reports. Now that things are returning a little more to happier days we are beginning to see the results of our donation: a new building houses the school library – complete with a termite-proof steel cabinet.

So it’s a big “Thank you” from me, Nilamani, the teacher and children, but the work goes on at this, the other end of the gemstone trail that leads from The Island of Gems to our stock in trade. If any readers would like to make a donation for the school, they are handled by Paul Spencer who transfers them via a Money Gram directly to Nilamani. Each will be acknowledged on receipt. Send to: Paul Spencer, Moat Cottage, Church End, Bedford, Beds. MK44 2JU Retired MIRV John Harris of J&K Harris, Carlisle [Awarded the R Keith Mitchell Award for Excellence in the Field of Gemmological Spectroscopy by the Gem-A in 2009]


62 The Jeweller May 2010

Next issue: Watch Issue A comprehensive round-up of all the latest developments within the watch industry: trends, technical advances and news from the major global brands.

Security Feature We focus on the key security issues that affect the jewellery retailer/ supplier/manufacturer.

If you have something you’d like to get off your chest, please email the editor:















An excellent opportunity has arisen to join C M E Leicester Ltd, a well-established and stable company with over 30 years manufacturing and wholesale expertise in the jewellery industry. Applicants must have at least three years experience within the jewellery trade, ideally being educated to degree level or equivalent, and be computer literate, preferably with a working knowledge of jewellery design packages. The applicant must show sound commercial judgement and financial skills as well as being a good communicator and negotiator. The role will involve assisting the Buyer Director through research of jewellery fashion trends and product selection. It is essential to have a natural creative flair for this post because key responsibilities will include liasing with manufacturers and meeting with designers to produce new designs and collections. Other duties would also involve the attendance at the company’s trade stand in London and elsewhere in the UK. There will also be on occasion a need to travel to international trade fairs. This is a diverse creative appointment and one that offers a great opportunity to progress to a more senior level. Excellent starting salary. To learn more about the company visit: Applications by post only. Please send your CV and covering letter to: Mr Howard Pessall, C M E Leicester Ltd 549 Aylestone Road, Leicester LE2 8TD

Due to ongoing business expansion Birmingham based Fellows & Sons are looking to recruit the following members of staff with immediate effect: Head of Watches Circa £45k + Bonus Full responsibility for the continued development of the Watch department.

Watch Cataloguer Circa £18k + Bonus Variety of duties including efficient identification and cataloguing of watches.

Jewellery Department Administrator Circa £15k + Bonus Experience of an Auction House environment would be an advantage.

Office Administration Assistant Circa £15k + Bonus Wide variety of duties in a fast moving and exciting environment.

Applicants should be enthusiastic and flexible with a proactive and self-motivated approach to working in a progressive business.

Applicants should email their CV to Louise Taylor (Taylor Millbrook Ltd) or telephone for more information.

Full job descriptions for all vacancies can be found on our website at:

Email: Tel: 07872 150101 Closing date for applications is Friday 21st May 2010.






















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

Assaying Services

Computer Systems

Diamond Dealer

Diamond Dealer

Diamond Dealer


The UK’s Leading Loose Diamond & Jewellery Wholesaler

We offer a complete and efficient service for all your wholesale diamond needs at the best prices. Visit to find our daily updated stock list of certificated diamonds.

For a quick quote or to arrange a meeting call:

020 7417 0260 / 0261 32-34 Greville Street, London EC1N 8TB

Diamond Jewellery

Diamond Setters

Diamonds & Gemstones


Jewellery Labelling Systems

Jewellery Manufacturers






















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

Pearls & Gemstones

Pearl Restringing

A-Line Jewellery • • • • • • • • •


Handmade jewellery All setting including channel, pavé etc. Repairs of all kinds Polishing, rhodium and black rhodium 18 carat and platinum ring mounts CAD and laser work undertaken Diamonds and coloured stones supplied Over 30 years experience Postal service

• The complete restringing service

to the trade for over 60 years. • Experience, quality and service

at reasonable prices. • Full insurance. All urgent repairs by return. Call David or Stephen at Agars Ltd Port Hall Mews, Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 5PB Tel/fax: 01273 540330 Email:

Ground Floor, 22 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8BA Tel: 020 7405 7684 Email:


(est. 1946)


Repair Services

Member of the British Jewellers’ Association

bqw rolex specialist

Is your Rolex watch braclet stretched and worn?

At BQ Watches we can make it look brand NEW

We now specialise in the repair and refurbishment of Gold Rolex Watch Bracelets

Call now for a FREE Quotation

020 8953 4575 Seal Engravers



Titanium Jewellery














C l e a r, u n c l u t t e r e d d e s i g n One uniform size One great value price Volume discounts available Free ad design service

Only £85 per insertion! Call Neil Oakford on 020 7833 500 or email: for further information and to make a booking in the Jeweller display Cabinet

| Regular


Last Word In the second of our Last Word series, award-winning design and display guru Mark Giddings answers our searingly incisive questions. Personal profile: Mark is the managing director of Giddings Design, a family-run business which was founded in 1968. Having worked previously for a leading firm of London architects, Mark joined the company in 1987. Specialising in the watch, jewellery and accessory markets, Giddings’ client list is as long as it is impressive – Astley Clarke, Beaverbrooks, Boodles, De Beers, Mappin & Webb and Moussaieff being just a very few of them. As a member of the IJL advisory board for three years, Mark oversaw and designed the ‘new look’ Boulevard feature, which has become the hallmark of the show. He is also an alliance partner of two major international retail services companies. How would you describe your personal style? Dedicated, creative and permanent self-critic!

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry, what would it be? To embrace and enjoy the challenge of creating fabulous continental-style window displays – there is a whole world of style out there – and not just settle for what can be bought on the Internet! Do you know the price of a pint of milk? I know that I always get change from a pound!

Where is your favourite holiday destination? Why? Bit of a cliché – but very windsurf centric: anywhere hot with palm fringed crystalwhite beaches… and twenty foot, azure, cross-shore waves. What three words describe you best… in your view and according to others? Professional, passionate and restless! Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? Create my own successful and distinguished jewellers!

66 The Jeweller May 2010

To what do you attribute your success? An inner driven passion to be the best, supported by a great team and family. Tell us something not many people know about you… The ocean very nearly had me for breakfast!

Quick fire: (no deliberating, straight off the top of your head please) • Tea or coffee? Green tea • Football or cricket? (team?) Ozzie Rules!

• Diamonds or coloured stones? The absolute purity of diamonds • Contemporary or classic interior design? The best of both • TV or radio? ‘’ • Bentley or Roller? Bentley… but a Vintage ‘Le Mans’ version preferably • Delegator or control freak? 90% control • Fish and chips or Chinese/Indian? Thai

Favourite shopping destination (shop, street, city or country!)? Any vibrant Mediterranean fish and vegetable market… or Hong Kong island! If you hadn’t gone into the display business what career would you have chosen? A return to architecture.

• Beatles or Rolling Stones? Hmmm… Beatles weekdays – Stones at the weekends

t R 1s BE EM EC –D FT A DR


LIST P SR 09 20








SI1 VS2 278 VS1 6 4 L om 549 VS2 c E . V 2 4074 8 p C 1 58 sr RI 90 d VVS 0 8 P n 5 3 6 6 8 IF IL mo 496 4 3 583 1 5 . d i a I3 ETA 468 5 7 R w 607 3 4 0 0 9 w 9 0 4 3 w D 7016 I2 0 5 TED 407 570 1138 7772 I1 684 GES 27 4 8 8 6 G 6 E 2 6 3 D 36 16 SI3 SU 529 94 76 ON 8 4 3 9 7 M 7 2 1 11 2 2 07 D IA F SI2 7 4 326 1464 7 6 rat 6 439 488 682 3871 r Ca S2 SI1 2765 2 9 1951 1301 97 6 496 G 285 V . Pe 1 5 278 43 813 252 607 1 4 059 2 2 $U.S 2 VS1 1789 8 3 H 01 448 4 260 5 3 in 7 17 2 13 6 7 S 4 0 4 2 e 0 V 813 V ar 26 509 78 309 637 8 3 9 2 1 s 2 4 6 16 3 S 4 e 6 8 I 7 4 V 3 3 7 2 9 V 2 0 11 38 1 Pric 2114 305 508 813 927 IF 387 417 178 1464 262 J 8 2 832 2277 7 2 9 4 1138 357 5 3 1951 263 5 5 462 650 602 346 703 1977 1464 3877 0 2 K 381 2637 2114 D 1138 309 2197 328 2 5 56 1789 50 39 1 8 4 8 6 4 8 3 0 2 2 7 1 598 15 5 13 5 L 2417 230 195 E 976 7 3 276 1 5 1758 1626 402 277 488 2417 568 252 1301 VS 9 2 1977 M 629 1789 F 813 0 3 2 243 0 4 1464 374 488 2197 1951 VVS 523 976 927 65 N 50 1464 VS1 G 4178 114 8 6 2 2 V 2 3 5 2 8 6 2 9 11 8 3 4 719 162 IF 462 813 277 64 2 9 8 9 415 14 8 8 H 14 3 4 2 1 6 17 976 6 8 260 654 877 1626 I3 650 936 1951 1138 I 3 89 2765 3 55 7 D 7 13 17 I2 7 4 1 8 7 2 7 0 2 63 92 13 1538 8149 I1 1789 813 439 J 2 192 E 1 1464 197 2 2 1951 3 7 SI3 568 976 6 2 260 1318 784 1464 285 K 1951 F SI2 6374 1138 1977 1626 516 3262 2114 38 SI1 1318 37 7192 11 4 6 8 89 5 2 6 L 17 8 8 6 3 175 VS2 9 G 1 5 1301 262 8 9 4 4 3 7 5 1789 2 17 10 1 4 6 9 5 24 VS 146 M 6 4 H 498 346 1758 549 059 VS2 681 1626 1099 4074 8 4 197 2 3 1 V 882 N I 5 424 326 6 2 VVS 090 8 5 1538 99 285 619 663 871 6 5 IF 1977 549 8 10 8 78 4 3 059 J 4 3 3 583 3 8 7 7 1 6 15 3 7 8 4 5 5 26 60 879 77 424 346 90 6 903 0 19 5 16 5 507 8 8 4 K 2 D 70 0 153 407 3 3 2417 570 879 262 369 7772 684 1758 637 8 3 L 29 827 E 1318 3 4 366 9 2 2197 4 6 529 659 3116 58 305 78 739 2 1 17 17 7 4 9 4 2 0 M 2 2 F 7 109 326 7 6 1977 488 659 2519 2637 682 1318 3871 N 496 1977 79 56 G 5 8 8 8 8 3 7 2 9 7 1 15 42 65 9 219 IF 607 1099 77 305 481 H 659 2417 7 19 0 4 1318 465 6 9 3 19 9 7 0 0 2 7 I3 3 4 8 6 668 1538 I 5 9 2 D 13 2417 I2 1 3 1099 305 43 1758 46 387 2417 I1 262 1099 J 1 18 E 10 1977 249 637 5 3 I3 18 7 2 6 S 2 7 13 4 7 8 5 3 16 19 312 K 2637 F 9 SI2 1538 275 2197 932 856 3 2 SI1 1627 8 1538 4 3 292 L 2 2417 G 433 275 VS2 1758 02 3731 3 2 2417 4711 77 VS1 292 32 9 14 19 M 9 6 H 5 3 2 0 0 2 8 02 353 7 2 2197 VVS 523 6 5 14 0 4 8 7 1 1 8 2 3 S N 6 1 I 37 059 VV 565 329 549 1 2 334 1402 IF 0 3 533 7 7 249 5 4 353 852 6 6 1843 527 128 688 1168 4133 9 3 9813 2275 6179 332 7716 D 1843 23 4711 10 8 9 2 7 7 6 2 3 9 6 2 9 3 11 85 46 205 4 3 3128 E 7549 3 5 1627 433 707 600 935 205 3530 3 2 899 1843 710 292 F 8 3 4 932 1402 9 6 2275 546 128 93 4 3 754 1627 433 8 491 9 3 179 6 2 2 G 6 9 9 3 11 5 3 6 20 2 489 9 707 0 2 31 5 688 7 5 14 7 3 7 22 H 52 935 43 3128 34 1 3 3 18 9 0 4 8 4 9 0 2 9 32 3 116 I 6 205 452 923 2 3 I2 1627 393 8 2 899 2275 3 4 12 3 4 I1 3 1 13 18 J 0 249 3725 3 4 353 SI3 059 452 707 9 2 731 5311 K SI2 3 2 205 2 3 355 292 6075 393 SI1 2275 158 128 L 7112 S2 1 5 275 7 9 3 33 V 7 2 2 2 5 3 3 783 005 491 15 VS1 5 2 M 1 8 6 6 7 3 89 618 VS2 270 7546 851 1 5 1 V 653 N 637 5 4 VVS 7 9 404 6 2 8 4 7 2 5 9 IF 711 5 3 10 238 453 592 1215 7 9 7975 5158 19 0 978 5 4 154 8 6 8 3 7 15 4 86 0 5618 D 1072 726 698 238 075 770 5 4 1 9 406 7832 7 6 500 E 11 992 666 221 404 727 5618 8 4 3 1 8 7112 469 F 10 896 5 3 075 9 2 6 8 7 5 7 6 3 0 7 50 978 519 2 93 6 8 8 261 3 G 8 8 3 515 1 338 696 221 11 4 6 896 3 0 5 9 55 H 726 453 3 3 3211 5771 689 389 698 88 4 2 3 925 I 7 6 3 2 5 40 303 5158 556 075 4221 5 3 311 3211 J 6 372 5 5 380 or 211 546 es f i 8 93 9 4 8 3 K p ri c 453 2 3 338 ta il a s e v is 406 6 698 re 5 4 1 5 le d 3 L 422 e s te u n t s p 25 g 7 0 g 3 8 u 43 is c o ts s 893 M fle c s a n d d 2 3 t re 406 e li s n p ri c e N p ri c o T h is c a ti o n u ed




) 0.89 .704 (0 / 3 nd Rou

.49) 5-0 (0.4 2 / 1 nd Rou

) 0.37 .293 (0 / 1 nd Rou

.22) 8-0 (0.1 5 / 1 nd Rou






/ )/ ** /%+( .*($" +*/ ) $$ / /%+( $$(

 (# $) ("/ (%#  %%! %$ * $) % * "%!* $ $  (&" -* $/   % /%+(


% )$ +$'+ #$$+" )$) %+( $-   %""*%$ %()  "#&) $*% * (* / (,"$ 

 $,* /%+ *% .&()) /%+(   *(%+ %+( -

+*+" (# -*$

)"*%$ % #$$+" (#) $ "%!*)  %$ %$*$$  *%+ % (( ") %" (%# $%-%$ $

&$$ $   "%!* ) "! %&$$  %%! 0  %%!

$(* *% * )* '+"*/

-(**$ (%# /%+( (* * /%+ .&()) *(%+ /%+(   "%!* (,") )%#*$ ,(/ #&%(*$* *% /%+


-*( *)  &()%$" )(  %" /%+ , , 


##%(/ %  "%, %$ $ )&* *% /%+( &()%$"*/ %(


)#&"/  & % -""(/ /%+ "%,


     ,$ $!$)%$ %"     #" !,$ $!$)%$ "%+%+!

The Jeweller Magazine May 2010 Issue  

The Jeweller Magazine May 2010 Issue