Jewellery October 2010 www.jewelleryfocus.co.uk £4.95
UK Sales Sharon Acton 07774 928045
Masculine identity: Christmas gift ideas to cater to the male jewellery market XX The enduring popularity of pearl jewellery, and its 21st century styling XX Gems of a colour: focusing on the under-appreciated yellow colour group
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For further information about our brands please email Malene Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2010 FEATURES Masculine identity
To what extent are men really changing their attitude towards jewellery? Louise Hoffman comments
That special something
Help your customers bring Christmas joy to the men in their lives, with gift ideas of various price brackets
A sense of nostalgia
Laura Jane Johnson focuses on the current vintageinspired jewellery trend, and speaks to various designers to find out why it has become so popular
Rebecca Hoh examines the enduring popularity of pearls, their role within the current vintage-inspired trend, and their modern styling in the 21st century
Focus on packaging and displays
With Christmas bringing a flurry of gift purchases, Sam Guiry looks at some selected presentation and packaging solutions
Gems of a colour
Voice on the highstreet
With a trip to IJL fuelling her excitement for new trends, Janet discusses jewellery designs for the coming year, and their focus on love, peace and happiness Having had his choice of precious metal called into question at a recent social gathering, Keith ruminates upon the popularity of gold and silver in today’s market
Ones to watch
Trends in timepieces
Syreeta provides a review of the recent IJL event, which once again proved a hit with visitors and exhibitors alike
The latest news from the industry
This month, Michael questions suggested plans for courts in shopping centres, set to target shoplifters and other retail wrongdoers
Designer of the month
Maxim Voznesensky, president of Russia’s fabulous Jewellery Theatre, narrates the story of his company and work
New offerings from the industry In keeping with this month’s pearl and vintage themes, Anu Manchanda discusses the different characteristics of natural and cultured pearls Vibrant gemstone jewellery should not be the salesperson’s enemy, but rather a prime candidate for a sale, says Leonard
Gem-A’s director of education, Lorne Stather, turns her attention to the wide range of yellow stones available in this under-appreciated colour group
Gaynor Turner of Macintyres in Edinburgh
Editor’s letter I spent a thoroughly enjoyable two days at last month’s International Jewellery London (IJL) event. The atmosphere was noticeably more relaxed this year, and though visitor numbers were down due to some rather unfortunate tube strike timing, business was still buoyant. Above all, I was impressed by the amount of effort made by all of the exhibitors during the past year, with their jewellery collections having grown in size, in choice and in creativity. Speaking with companies such as Muru, Charms UK, Daisy, Nova Silver and Nomination, it is clear that 2010 has been a year of intense motivation, even if not of full economic recovery; and designers in the Design Gallery, such as Jesa Marshall and Fran Barker, have proved without a doubt that distinctive, unique and handmade jewellery has become an especially important concept to consumers while purse strings are tightened. Liz Olver’s seminar on ‘The changing face of jewellery’ was an excellent roundup of the main factors that have affected the buying process in recent years, and it reminded me how difficult the route to success can be in this industry. Depending on a largely unpredictable market, and catering to consumer needs in this hugely competitive and complex 21st century world, is quite a task. But, as Liz explained, some social and technological developments have made life a lot easier for the sector, for example the speed at which information can now travel thanks to the internet and international media; the celebrity culture; modern CAD, laser, engraving and stamping tools; new materials; and the continued emancipation of women. So, it might be a more complicated environment in which to trade, but it is a much more exciting one. And I certainly witnessed that first hand at Earls Court in September. Wishing you all a successful and happy month ahead.
Editorial Assistants Sam Guiry
Production Editor Matt Bower
Group Advertisement Manager Kelly Smith
Sales Executives Katie Thurgood
Customer Services 01206 767 797
Anu Manchanda • Janet Fitch Keith Fisher • Laura Jane Johnson Leonard Zell • Lorne Stather Michael Hoare • Rebecca Hoh Syreeta Tranfield
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This month’s cover features TEZER
Tezer Design is known for its individual and unique jewellery in sterling silver, gold plate and gold. The company focuses on a decidedly modern line, not in the sense of just a seasonal trend product but rather a contemporary design for women who wish to underline their own style with a piece of jewellery that becomes a personal classic. The range comprises necklaces (to be worn long or short), bracelets, pendants, earrings and rings, all using mixed textures to provoke a strong character – some with semi-precious stones and silver for colour highlights. Information: Sharon Acton (UK sales contact) 07774 928 045/01477 500 168
Mulberry Publications Ltd, Wellington House, Butt Road, Colchester CO3 3DA Tel: 01206 767 797 Fax: 01206 767 532 www.jewelleryfocus.co.uk
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ROUNDUP And briefly Tube strike fails to dampen enthusiasm for IJL Although numbers of visitors were down at International Jewellery London (IJL) due to the tube strike, exhibitors and visitors alike commented on the high level of trade that was done during the four days of the show. As well as highlighting the latest brands and designers, the event also provided a sneak preview of the rising young stars of the future; focused on the latest consumer trends; and featured the most comprehensive free-to-attend seminar programme of any jewellery industry show in the UK. Event manager Sam Willoughby commented: “The IJL team were thrilled with the response from people at the event. We have had so many compliments about the general look and feel of the show and, importantly, how it has provided a good environment in which to do business.”
High street sales up again According to the latest CBI report, sales on the high street have shown a second consecutive increase when compared to 2009. Over 53 per cent of retailers reported the levels of sales were up during the first two weeks in August and many believe this was prompted by the good weather and onset of the summer holidays. This was a marked improvement on July’s figures of 33 per cent, and shows the fastest rate of growth since April 2007. Retailers are hoping that the trend continues and are becoming increasingly optimistic about sales in the months leading up to Christmas.
Diamonds and Pearls gets a new look High street accessories retailer Diamonds and Pearls has announced it has rebranded as VICTORIA. Recently appointed retail director Stuart Wheeler is preparing for an ambitious new chapter of growth for the company. He has seen the company enjoy a 30 per cent like-for-like revenue increase across the existing 50 high street and shopping centre branches. There are also plans to open new shops in seven key locations including Leeds, Cheltenham, Liverpool, Manchester, London, Bristol and Belfast. All the company’s stores will undergo exterior and interior refits, offering customers exciting visual merchandising displays.
Britain sitting on a mountain of unwanted gold Research from Mays Pawnbrokers & Jewellers has found that UK consumers could be hoarding £31.2 billion of gold jewellery, almost equivalent to the value of that held in Fort Knox. The company based its findings on a survey of 1,000 consumers who cashed in their unwanted gold jewellery and deduced that hundreds of other people throughout the country could be stockpiling redundant jewellery in their homes. Commercial director of Mays, Nick Withington, said: “The popular style of jewellery constantly rotates, with only very classic designs staying the style course. Because of this, dated items are hoarded away in bedrooms and attics with most never seeing the light of day again.”
WFDB mourns the death of its former president Yitzchak Forem The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced the death of former president Yitzchak Forem, who passed away on 1 September after a prolonged illness. Mr Forem served as president of the Israel Diamond Exchange between 1993 and 1998, and as WFDB president from 1998 to 2000. Born in Poland in 1938, Mr Forem survived the Holocaust and emigrated to Israel in 1949. He concluded his high school education in 1956, and then served for a lengthy period in the Israeli army, where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Res). He joined the Union Bank in 1961 – the Israeli bank that is most closely identified with the diamond business – and during his 16 years there he fulfilled a number of managerial roles. He joined the diamond business in 1978 and became an independent diamantaire in 1983, and in 1987 was elected to the board of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE). WFDB president Avi Paz said: “Yitzchak Forem was a bridge builder; a kind and attentive man who would give his time to his fellow diamantaires, and extend his help to solve both their problems and those of the diamond business at large.”
Edox establishes key sporting sponsorship agreements Banners emblazoned with Edox branding festooned Cowes Marina over the last Bank Holiday weekend in August, as the Swiss watch manufacturer sponsored this year’s British Powerboat Festival on the Isle of Wight. The event attracted over 7,000 spectators and marked the 50th anniversary of British Powerboat racing. Edox, a family owned and run Jura-based watch house, has existing links with the marine industry, being the official timekeeping sponsor for the Class-1 World Offshore Power Boat Championships. This sponsorship agreement with the Powerboat Festival marks the start of Edox’s support for this great British event, which has both national and international appeal. The company’s participation in lifestyle sports continues later this year with its sponsorship of the World Rally Championships, with the British stage being held in Cardiff in November.
Birmingham Assay Office nurtures new talent through apprenticeships The Birmingham Assay Office has announced an initiative to help bring new talent into the jewellery business. The pre-apprenticeship scheme has been created through the co-ordinated efforts of local manufacturers, Birmingham City Council’s Employment Access Team and Connexions. Businesses taking part in the scheme will receive a subsidy to help them continue to provide the highest quality bench skills training in the workplace, for which Birmingham’s jewellery industry is renowned. One of the companies taking part is fine English silversmith LJ Millington, and the company’s owner Steve Millington said: “I’m looking forward to working with our new apprentice and working towards safeguarding the skills which are vital to the future of the Jewellery Quarter.” Cllr Tim Huxtable, Birmingham City Council cabinet member for transportation and regeneration, said: “We are delighted to have joined up with the jewellery trade to develop this exciting initiative, which we believe is the first of its kind.” Image: Steve Millington of LJ Millington with apprentice Anthony Harris.
Bremont creates customdesigned clock for concept car Watchmaker Bremont has teamed up with Jaguar to celebrate the luxury car manufacturer’s 75th anniversary. Jaguar created a one-of-kind XJ75 Platinum Concept Car to mark the occasion and Bremont produced a bespoke mechanical clock and stopwatch – the first time the company has made a car clock. Bremont co-founder Giles English commented: “We are very proud to have been asked to make this clock for the XJ75 car and were keen to make something different for Jaguar. As such rather than a quartz clock we have created a beautiful mechanical clock that also has a chronograph function.” The black-faced Bremont timepiece with contrasting sub dials has been designed to complement the effortless visual purity of the Jaguar design with its clean cut, sharp sporting edge and beautifully crafted outer metal bezel.
Police discover counterfeit credit card factory in north London
Shoppers rediscover their daily routine Synovate Retail Performance, the leading tracker of national, regional and sector retail footfall trends, has announced a steady rate of return to non-food shopping in the UK following a spring of turmoil. Its Retail Traffic Index (RTI) showed a yearon-year decline of 1.8 per cent in August, marginally better than the forecast of -2.0 per cent. Director of retail intelligence at Synovate Retail Performance Dr Tim Denison said: “For the past three months, national footfall figures have stabilised, hovering around two points below 2009, making us believe that shoppers are lodged in a daily routine once more and as such are getting on with everyday life.” Synovate suggests that retailing is unlikely to be hit as hard, or as soon, as other social and recreational pursuits such as eating out and holidaying. There is already significant curtailment in these types of activities with overseas travel by holidaymakers 12 per cent down against the previous 12 months. Dr Denison concluded: “Conditions remain in the balance and consumers are inevitably nervous about signing up to any new long-term repayment commitments while there is still pain in the pipeline.”
Two fraudsters who used fake credit cards to purchase over £300,000 worth of jewellery and other luxurious items have been arrested by police. Following an investigation by the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) and the Westminster Police Chinese Unit, a factory manufacturing counterfeit payment cards was discovered at a flat in Hornsey Road, Haringey. When police raided the premises they discovered thermal printers to produce the fake cards, £10,000 in cash, and gold ingots and other gold jewellery valued at between £8,000 and £10,000. A list of stolen account numbers was also found at the address – 250 of them were already encoded onto the counterfeit cards and police recovered a further 450 compromised card details. Southwark Crown Court heard how officers launched a proactive investigation into 28-year-old Cheng Chee Weng and 39-year-old Gabriel Yew in March this year. Their six-month investigation revealed that Yew was the mastermind behind the factory and that he used the counterfeit cards to buy jewellery and other expensive items such as computer handsets, iPhones and whisky. Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and have now been sentenced to a total of over five years in prison.
Swarovski establishes dazzling new Crystal Forest Swarovski has recently opened the doors on its brand new 2,000 square foot flagship shop located along one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets. The ‘Crystal Forest’ store at 321 Oxford Street has been designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, and gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the seductive brilliance and infinite depth of crystal. Robert Buchbauer, member of the executive board and the Swarovski family, said: “Swarovski boutiques are unique magical places and the new retail architecture will ultimately make the brand a tangible crystal experience focused on pleasing the senses.” Today, Swarovski UK Ltd consists of 55 stores, 32 concessions within department stores and 16 premium partner boutiques, with a flurry of new store openings planned in key locations nationwide over the next 12 months.
Omega unveils new Trafford Centre boutique Swiss luxury watch and jewellery maker Omega is set to open its first store outside of London. The company is to open a new 85 square metre boutique in the north of England at the Manchester Trafford Centre. Second only to London as one of the country’s key shopping areas, the Trafford Centre attracts more than 30 million customers a year. Omega says its in-house design team has created a spacious and elegant environment for customers. Glass display units, champagne back walls, luxurious chairs in cream alcantara and a porcelain floor give a clean, contemporary finish; while the floor-to-ceiling glass frontage illuminates the store and the clever use of lighting creates a warm inviting atmosphere. President at Omega, Stephen Urquhart, said: “Manchester is a city that is synonymous with style and innovation – attributes we identify with closely here at Omega. This new store will give customers based in the north the opportunity to experience the brand and its rich history.”
Impressive diamond to be offered at auction for charity The Guild of Jewellery Designers auctioned a stunning 5.69 carat rough diamond pendant (donated by UK titanium and black zirconium ring manufacturer GETi) to coincide with the Tilly Lockey Diamond Ball on Saturday 25 September – an annual event is held to raise funds for the ‘Give Tilly A Hand’ appeal. Tilly caught meningococcal septicaemia – a deadly form of meningitis – when she was just 17 months old, and as a result had both hands amputated at the wrist. She now has mechanical prosthetic hands, which she has learned to use very well, but as she is growing quickly these need to be replaced on a regular basis. The funds raised for the charity at the Diamond Ball help pay for Tilly’s new prostheses, which cost just over £20,000 per pair. To find out more, please visit: www.givetillyahand.com
Clogau Gold expands business into the Asian market Clogau, the leading Welsh gold jewellery brand, has extended its influence to the Asian jewellery market. Following a highly successful appearance at the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) trade exhibition in Singapore earlier this year, the company now has airline listings on both China Airlines and Dragon Air, adding to the its growing list of travel retail partners which currently includes British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Canada Air. Head of international sales David Butler is hoping to establish a strong sales base in the region, explaining: “We researched the preferences of East Asian consumers and adapted our jewellery to suit. For example, we have scaled down the size of our pendants but maintained the style, exceptional craftsmanship and quality synonymous with Clogau.”
Rapid rise in membership to the Responsible Jewellery Council The growing importance of ethical issues in the jewellery sector has been demonstrated with the announcement from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) that its membership has increased. More than 250 companies and trade associations throughout the diamond, gold and platinum metals jewellery supply chain have shown their support for the organisation. Membership to the RJC grew rapidly in the first half of 2010, with new members such as Bottega, Christian Dior Couture, Gemological Science International (GSI), Vacheron Constantin and many other notable companies. RJC’s chief executive officer Michael Rae said: “RJC’s healthy membership reflects the growing awareness of ethical, human rights, social and environmental performance in the jewellery industry. RJC’s members are vital to cultivate future business ethical generations.” Under the RJC system, all commercial members have committed to be audited to verify their conformance with the RJC’s code of practice and become certified. The RJC system is unrivalled in any other industry for its scope and standards and the integrity and transparency of its developmental process.
This highly successful brand presents an exciting variety of ‘on trend’ designs pushing men’s jewellery to its limit.
If you are interested in becoming an exclusive Fred Bennett stockist contact:
t 01376 532 000 e firstname.lastname@example.org www.geckojewellery.com
ROUNDUP and briefly Richemont exceeds expectations Luxury brand Richemont has exceeded its predicted sales figures for the first half of the year. The company, which includes IWC, Cartier and Panerai watches, had predicted a 26 per cent rise in sales for the first six months, but has recorded a 37 per cent increase in the first five months of 2010. A spokesman for the company said: “The improved trading environment is certainly welcomed. However, it is far too soon to draw any conclusions about the sustainability of the economic recovery.”
Seas of change at Wave Jewellery Founders of Wave jewellery Jo and Paul Henderson have taken the company back to its roots with the opening of a new shop dedicated to showcasing new talent. The W Collection is adjacent to the existing Wave store in Manchester’s Royal Exchange Arcade and will stock lesserknown designers at lower prices. This announcement comes after the company revealed it will be selling Fei Liu’s British jewellery brand online at wavejewllery.com.
Companies embracing social networking A survey by Daryl Willcox Publishing has found that companies are turning to social websites to promote their business. The study of 269 companies showed that half of these regularly used social media, with 73 per cent using LinkedIn, closely followed by Facebook with 64 per cent and Twitter with 63 per cent. The companies surveyed said they used the websites to network, expand their customer base, raise brand awareness and generally just make themselves known to the wider community.
Jewellery sector urged to support gold miners At a recent seminar, business development manager for Fairtrade and Fairmined gold Greg Valerio asked those in the jewellery industry to help disadvantaged smallscale miners. These workers frequently experience high levels of poverty, are trapped in unfair supply chains and struggle to get a fair price for the gold they extract. Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold, the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold and associated precious metals, will enable businesses to offer their customers a product that has been responsibly mined. The dual certification scheme also allows companies to demonstrate this commitment to fair sourcing practices to customers, suppliers and trade bodies.
BJA steps up security for Christmas West Midlands Police and the British Jewellers’ Association are working hand in hand to protect retailers and consumers in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in the months leading up to Christmas. Extra police constables will be patrolling the area and will have a visible presence in the mornings and evenings when jewellers are at their most vulnerable. Due to financial restraints the police will only be available until Christmas, but the BJA is hoping to continue with the extra security measures with help from its members.
Butterfly bangle set to make an impression at Touch of Tartan Ball Acclaimed engraver Malcolm Appleby has once again designed a bangle for this year’s Touch of Tartan Ball raffle. Malcolm has been creating jewellery for the event since the 1970s and every year he introduces a new piece and a new theme. For 2010, Malcolm has taken inspiration from the butterfly, as he explained: “Our family are life members of butterfly conservation so I was happy to highlight our special butterflies on the bangle.” The collection demonstrates his incredible talent as one of the UK’s finest engravers, and includes zebra and tiger stripes, floral motifs and paisley patterns. This year there is a first prize of an 18 carat gold Banchory Bangle, a replica silver piece for second place and a silver pendant as an additional prize. All the money raised goes to CHILDREN 1st – an organisation that helps vulnerable children and young people in the north east of Scotland. Chief executive of the charity Anne Houston said: “The Banchory Bangle generates a great deal of income for the charity and we really appreciate the amazing creativity and intricate work which goes into bringing these pieces to life each year.” The three-piece collection is on display at the Wee Boorachie, Milton of Crathes, until Friday 19 November when the raffle will be drawn at the Touch of Tartan Ball held at the Beach Ballroom. For further information see: www.children1st.org.uk/events/91/touch-of-tartan-ball-2010
Anniversary watch collection to celebrate the work of German watchmaking trailblazer German-based A Lange & Söhne is celebrating 165 years in the industry with the launch of a special anniversary collection. Presented in the 18 carat honey-coloured gold exclusively developed for Lange and twice as hard as other gold alloys, the trilogy consists of the Tourbograph ‘Pour le Mérite’, the Lange 1 Tourbillon and the 1815 Moonphase. The timepieces pay tribute to Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the founder of Germany’s precision watchmaking industry. Described by many as a trailblazer, Lange was a firm believer that today’s innovation is tomorrow’s standard, and was constantly looking to innovate and evolve the practices of watchmaking. He was among the first members of his guild to adopt metric units of measurement and abandon the then prevalent but complicated Parisian ligne system. Today his values remain the benchmark that inspires the work of all Lange employees.
A labour of T
Janet Fitch returns from IJL brimming over with new trend ideas for the coming year, including a definite focus on the themes of love, peace and happiness
he seasons have changed, and I always find it one of life’s little pleasures in autumn to be wearing what I think of as ‘proper’ clothes – smart shoes, a great coat or jacket, terrific bag and a serious piece of jewellery. At the same time though, the gods of fashion decree that it’s time to think about next spring and summer, so my mind is racing ahead to the trends for 2011, even as the Christmas season gets underway. There was certainly lots of spirit at IJL – it was busy and buzzy, with an atmosphere of optimism and energy, and I especially enjoyed seeing brands that I already know and love presenting fresh ideas in strong new collections. The brands that stood out were all showing products that are original, individual and personal – across the board consumers are looking for something unusual and exclusive, and jewellery is no exception. A noticeable trend is for jewellery that represents aspects of physical and spiritual harmony, like love, peace and balance in life. Daisy, which has enjoyed great success with its stacking rings, launched its covetable chakra (meaning the manifestation of spiritual energy on a physical level) range of bracelets and pendants, which I am sure will be flying off the shelves. They are the perfect gift, made of 925 sterling silver and 24 carat gold plate with silk cord. For retailers, they come in affordably priced starter packs from £210.00, with packaging, backup marketing, and huge interest from the consumer press. (www.daisyjewellery.com) Just J Jewels’ range of bracelets and pendants on the theme of love is expanding, with the new Wave of Love collection, introducing watches, interchangeable straps, and hoop earrings with interchangeable symbols, and cufflinks for men. (www.justjjewels.com)
Just J Jewels
William Cheshire William Cheshire showed his new collection, Libertine, and was thrilled by the response he had. Based on the idea of the libertine as a free-thinking, subversive and pleasureseeking character, he imagined a female libertine, and creates tiny faux perfume bottles that might contain the fragrance she would wear. The bottles capture the essence of secrecy and temptation and are in matt black rhodiumplated silver, nine carat gold-plated silver, and polished black rhodium-plated silver. (www.williamcheshire.com) Dower and Hall was not to be missed at IJL, with superb updates on its classic collections like Spiral and Orchid, and variations on the Winter Pearlicious range with pearls in fashionably subtle shades of dove grey, bronze, greens, and purple. It is Dower and Hall’s 20th anniversary year, with its first stackable Twinkle rings still bestsellers today. New now are Sparklers – rose, white or black rhodium 18 carat gold rings set with dainty pave diamonds to mix with the gold and silver Twinkle rings. Then there’s the Winter Bloom collection, based on an old Liberty print, designed for Liberty but available to other retailers. And this month they debut in Harrods, for which Dan and Diane have designed an exclusive suite of Twinkle rings – the Rosey Posey set in 18 carat rose gold, including a hand-carved rose ring, white diamond rings, and a plain band engraved with Happiness, Peace, Joy, Love. (www.dowerandhall.com) The Lonmin Design Innovation Award 2010 party was a highlight for so many of us in the industry, including members of the judging panel such as Stephen Webster and Shaun Leane; the winning Emerging Designers Alexander David, Haruko Horikawa, Fangfang Qiao, and Katie Rowland; and the winners in the Established Designers category – John Bradley, James Powell, Luke Rose and Miranda Wallis. Held in the Serpentine Gallery’s summer pavilion, with elegantly clad models in gowns by Sulaimi Brookman and wearing the winning pieces, it was a glittering event to encourage outstanding contemporary design in platinum.
Dower and Hall Lonmin Design Innovation Award 2010 John Bradley
James Powell Haruko Horikawa
Katie Rowland Fangfang Qiao
Watch this space
Each to their Having had his choice of precious metal called into question at a recent social gathering, Keith Fisher ruminates upon the popularity of gold and silver in today’s market
ith the price of gold at a record high in history, and still rocketing, advertisements (some good, some bad) bombard our TV screens with all sorts of offers to buy our unwanted or broken jewellery for its gold content. Many highstreet retailers advertise similar offers to customers and the passing trade, and dedicated shops are opening here, there and everywhere inviting the public to simply walk in and get a valuation on the spot. Now I’d like to interject here and introduce a touch of culture from Shakespeare: “All that glisters is not gold.” We could translate this to mean that gold is not the only precious metal consumers clamour for. And this is particularly true in the world of watches where, in a certain age group, gold is definitely not IN with the in-crowd!
own Trying to predict trends in watches is akin to stepping on a piece of soap... you can end up falling flat on your face. But what is certain in this uncertain world is that gold does not appeal to the majority of the testosteronecharged 20 to 30 year olds of the male species. I was at a reception recently where I met a very handsome young man called Mikey who, arm-in-arm with his stunning girlfriend Kate, made a dazzling couple. Mikey noticed the gold watch I was wearing on my wrist and the small talk soon turned to my favourite subject (my reputation goes before me it seems). He said: “I, too, love watches,” (music to my ears!) but then added shyly: “I don’t wish to offend you but...” Go on I thought... “But gold is OLD!” Desperate to continue an unfolding talking point, I asked him to explain. “Young men just do not wear gold watches,” he went
Watch this space
on as I made him feel at ease. He then flashed his silver Armani (actually stainless steel) and called over two of his friends named David and Aarron, who both echoed Mikey’s sentiments. They chorused almost in unison: “Sorry Keith, but gold is old – it’s for the older generation. It’s naff for young men.” Feeling suitably veteran in the company of these 24-year-olds, they all kindly apologised for making me feel so prehistoric and we had a good laugh. Mikey added: “I love watches and I am lost without one. I have a big collection, including Armani, D&G and Police. And I love the huge sports watches from Adidas and Nike. When I was 12, my dad (Christopher) gave me my first watch and I was off and running, and it just grew and grew from that moment. He is into Omega in a big way. “Stainless steel, silver or white gold – yes. But never gold. It may be a personal thing but gold doesn’t do anything for me or any of my friends. I won’t even wear a gold ring on my finger – it has to be silver.” It most certainly gave me a new perspective, and upon some quick research it is hard to disagree with Mikey’s judgement, because brochure after brochure of the plethora of lower to middle price range watches contains predominantly silver effect pieces. Also, it is so good to hear the opinions of the young at heart. But (and there is always a BUT with me!) I
just had to relate to them another tale involving the betrothment of a young couple not yet 18, but so much in love. This particular young man is called Matthew and the love of his life is Chelsey, and they wanted to make public their feelings with a simple ring for her.
Gold or silver – it doesn’t really matter as long as everybody is happy Matthew didn’t have a lot of money and asked for my advice. I pointed him in the direction of Hinds where a good friend of mine – Scott – is one of the managers and would help all he could to find the perfect ring. Matt said: “I would like to buy her a white gold ring,” and Scott then produced a number of potential dazzlers. But Chelsey could not make up her mind. Scott then introduced into the dilemma a sparkling eternity ring in – wait for it – YELLOW GOLD. Chelsey’s eyes lit up. “That’s the one,” she shrieked, and immediately planted an enormous smacker on Matt’s lips. He was equally delighted because it was only £150! The moral of this story is that gold or silver – it doesn’t really matter as long as everybody is happy. Plus the fact that I like being an old romantic!
American designer Kenneth Cole New York has launched the first ever 32-city touch screen watch for the fashion watch sector. Designed for international travellers, as well as technology and gadget-lovers, the collection blends traditional and technological features in a modern, sleek design. The brand’s signature look is maintained, while a stainless steel round case is paired with a black, white or orange silicon strap. Functions include 32-city world time, as well as an alarm, stopwatch and light-up screen. Information: 01494 486 238 or www.peershardy.co.uk RRP: From £99.95 to £125 Bulova’s newest technology platform, Bulova Precisionist, launched last month and is the world’s most accurate watch with a continuous sweeping second hand. The technology is accurate to 10 seconds per year and the company explains that it has added a third prong to a standard two prong quartz crystal, creating a torsional resonator to produce the highest vibration frequency of any quartz watch. The technology will be available in a range of timepieces, including the Claremont, Longwood Champlain and Tanglewood collections. Bulova’s Longwood 97M104, for example, is available in rose gold with a leather strap. Information: email@example.com or www.bulova.com/uk RRP: From £189 to £639 (pictured: £249)
New for autumn and winter is Zodiac’s ZMX – 01, which combines functionality with durability. The grey-toned model features a heavy-duty, antiallergenic rubber strap, anti-reflective sapphire glass and a 47-millimetre stainless steel case. With a Ronda 5021 Swiss-made movement, the ZMX – 01 is water resistant to 10 bar and the date is shown at six o’clock.
Information: 0844 412 3277 or www.zodiacwatches.com RRP: £495
With a helicopter-themed design, the Khaki X-Copter by Hamilton features a practical fahrenheit/celsius temperature converter, as well as a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) calculator. Compass bearings, temperature scales and seconds are all marked in a cockpit style, with a bold ‘H’ helipad at six o’clock. With an automatic 7750 movement, customers can choose from the following straps: black rubber with white stitching, orange rubber with black stitching, stainless steel, or brown leather. Information: 0845 275 2900 or www.hamiltonwatch.com RRP: From £930
To what extent are men really changing their attitude towards jewellery? Louise Hoffman comments
here has been much debate in the men’s jewellery sector of late. Some say that the male of the UK population are a long way off accepting anything other than the traditional plain cufflinks and watch, apart from those of the hip hop bling culture of course. But on the other side of the coin we have analysts heralding the beginning of a new era in the luxury goods market, with many men now adding jewellery to their list of material interests. Take the Luxury Watch Report, as discussed by Keith Fisher in the September issue of Jewellery Focus, which announces that the days of jewellery being a woman’s domain are now over, and “men are increasingly becoming as enamoured with fine jewellery and accessories as they are with cars, boats, jets, high-tech gadgets and other gizmos.” As the report states, this is in part thanks to the celebrity factor, with icons such as David Beckham and Ashley Cole seen sporting some pretty flashy numbers at highprofile events. Of course, the truth of the matter is that everyone is different, and while one man may feel entirely comfortable with a diamond on his finger or round his neck, it will be the next man’s worst nightmare. Personally, I don’t see that as something that needs changing – different tastes make the world go round and are the reason why so many different designers and companies are able to flourish in the jewellery sector. At the recent IJL show, Stephen Webster lead a seminar entitled ‘The evolution of men and their jewellery – from medallions on a bed of hair to a full chest wax and rosaries’. In it he said: “After being a jeweller for 35 years, not only is it exciting to produce creatively, but it makes complete sense financially to have a men’s business. Men have come along in leaps and bounds. There has been for a while the adventurous man who jumped right in as soon as the selection on offer became more exciting, but the more cautious or conservative guy needed a lot of hand-holding. Nurturing is perhaps the term I was looking for. “Women seem to have a natural ability to know what they like, what suits them and how to wear a piece of jewellery. Men on the other hand seem to have no such sense. Having
said that, once the first commitment to bejewel is made, the process becomes easier. Men also buy jewellery for no reason; I guess they are making up for lost time. They get right into the detail – they go from zero to jewellery spotter in days. And they love manly materials such as flint, bloodstone or Spiderman jasper. “Nowadays the selection of men’s jewellery on offer is amazing. Compared to even five years ago there is virtually something for everyone. And this is not just confined to retail jewellers – every week we are approached by another group who want to enter the market,” he added. Indeed, with designers offering more variety and choice and catering to all tastes, the market is becoming a rather exciting place to be. Also at IJL I had the pleasure of speaking to Neil Jordan and Katie Britton, founders of Flash Jordan and exhibiting in the Design Gallery. Pioneering an innovative wraparound concept for their jewellery, items such as cufflinks take on a whole new design aesthetic, and are a talking point without any need for flamboyance (see images above and below).
Stephen continued: “Interestingly now that there are enough mainstream buyers to see trends, we are constantly surprised by what becomes a bestseller. For example, six of our top 10 selling men’s styles are bead bracelets, bone and black jade being the most popular, which if you think about it takes us back to where we started with cavemen and their bone necklaces. “I see the market for men’s jewellery continuing to go from strength to strength; more designers producing more diverse products. Men have once again learned how to accessorise. As jewellers we have to look at this as a good thing, but please use your skills responsibly as you have all seen how easily men can go off the rails.” So, with the male jewellery market having evolved so considerably over the past year or so, we find ourselves nearing the end of 2010, and beginning the Christmas sales season. Will the trend prove itself? The proof will be in the plum pudding…
Iain Henderson Designs
These rings are from Iain Henderson’s Union range. One is made of nine carat rose and yellow gold with four 1.5-point brilliant cut diamonds; while the other is of palladium and silver with three six-point princess cut diamonds. Both rings are 10 millimetres in width.
The 2010 Ti2 Titanium collection by Prism includes a number of unique rings, such as this anodised, flowing, ribbon-like design. Each ring is made to order and can be adapted to individual colours and dimensions.
Information: 01274 551 224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RRP: £1,450 (gold) or £1,227 (palladium)
Information: 01225 864 505 or www.p-d.co.uk
Help your customers bring Christmas joy to the men in their lives, with gift ideas of various price brackets
The guardian ring is taken from ‘Courage’ – the new men’s collection from Hot Diamonds. This 16-piece collection (due to launch in November) was inspired by shrapnel, and features distressed leathers, heavily oxidised finishes and black diamonds. The company has teamed up with Help for Heroes and five per cent of the proceeds will go to the charity.
The impressive and masculine London Calling Raven Inlay ring by Stephen Webster is set in sterling silver with onyx and yellow gold. Information: 0845 539 1840 or www.stephenwebster.com RRP: £425
Information: 0800 023 4481 or www.hotdiamonds.co.uk RRP: £75
Available in a series of four contemporary sculptural designs, these cufflinks can be worn as matching pairs, or non-identical but co-ordinating pairs for a more unusual trendy look. Each cufflink is made from a single piece of solid silver with no moving parts, and with a modern brushed finish.
Fred Bennett is right on trend this Christmas with this leather necklace and bracelet with tiger’s eye and oxidised beads, available complete with quality coordinated packaging.
Information: 07775 658 833 or www.polyphilippou.com
Information: 01376 532 000 or email@example.com RRP: £89.95 (bracelet) and £99.95 (necklace)
Ruby & Al
This silver Anaconda cufflinks set features six pearshaped amethysts, with an innovative design that allows the cufflink to wrap around the outside of the cuff in a fluid, sculptural shape with no moving parts, catch or bar. Made to fit double-cuffed shirts, all cufflinks in the collection come boxed with a card of guidance on how to wear them, POS and a few sample black French cuffs for display and demonstration.
This sterling silver torq by Ruby & Al takes its inspiration from 50s custom cars and hot rod racing. An especially perfect gift for motoring enthusiasts! Information: 01258 881 690 or www.ruby-and-al.com RRP: £225
Information: 0845 479 6587 or firstname.lastname@example.org RRP: £350
These new rainbow cufflinks are handmade from sterling silver with rainbow moonstones. They are also available in amethyst, tiger’s eye, malachite and black onyx.
These braided leather bracelets combine stainless steel elements to create a masculine and trendy look.
Information: 01823 698 898 or www.silver-willow.com
RRP: From £29 to £59
Information: 0207 405 5523 or www.uniquejewelry.co.uk
A sense of
The vintage-inspired jewellery market is going from strength to strength, and to find out why, Laura Jane Johnson speaks with some of the designers working to this theme
n obsession with finding the perfect ‘something old’ is no longer the exclusive domain of panic-stricken brides. We’re experiencing a vintage revival; being old-fashioned has never been so coveted. From the ladylike decorum of 1950s-inspired cupcakes and china tea services, to the pure opulence of the old school Hollywood glamour we’re seeing back on the red carpet, vintage is back. And all signs suggest it’s here to stay. “If you look around at the kids in the street you see a hybrid of styles from the 1920s all the way through to the 1980s,” says Kathy Dyton of designer jewellery boutique Pearl and Queenie. “I think vintage is not something new, it’s always had its place, but it’s never been as mainstream as it is now. Music, fashion, interiors and art we can plainly see have this huge vintage theme. I think this has a knock-on effect with jewellery.” As the popularity of vintage styling has grown, jewellery designers have responded by creating collections that celebrate the trends of past decades. Whether using genuine vintage components and heirlooms to create highly unique couture pieces or using the past purely as inspiration for their contemporary designs, vintage designers share a passion for preserving a sense of tradition and history in their work. It’s not hard to understand why vintage jewellery has become so popular. There is definitely something intriguing about it. It captivates you with its quirky charm and the promise of revisiting a bygone era. And it’s this romantic sentiment that seems to be particularly
alluring right now. Exhausted by the chaotic, brash and shallow glamour exhibited by WAGs and the wannabe celebrities that dominate the tabloid news, we’re yearning for something with a bit more grace and meaning. That’s the gap that vintage is filling. “Some say it’s because of the recession,” Kathy suggests. “The make do and mend attitude, recycling and romanticising about the past.” Caroline Rose Dent, the designer behind the Rosie Weisencrantz vintage collections, echoes this sense of sentimentality: “We’re in difficult times economically and spiritually; on all levels really,” she says. “I think people are looking for things with meaning. It’s the sense of nostalgia that’s very strong now. I think it’s because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future anymore.” Everything about Caroline and her Rosie Weisencrantz creations encapsulates the charming eccentricity and sentimentality of the couture end of the vintage jewellery movement. Her work is unique, handmade and the centrepiece is always a piece of vintage treasure or an heirloom, giving her designs an inimitable sense of history and nostalgia. “There is a difference between the value of a material and the value of the uniqueness,” she explains. “It’s not about how much gold or silver there is in something, it’s about the meaning that a piece of jewellery can have.” For designers sourcing vintage components to use in their own designs, it’s often a labour of love, built from a passion for the work
“The sense of nostalgia is very strong now. I think it’s because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future anymore”
Top: Magpie Vintage Centre: Susie Warner Bottom: Becca Hulbert
Information Becca Hulbert: www.beccajewellery.com • Magpie Vintage: www.magpievintage.co.uk Pearl and Queenie: www.pearlandqueenie.com • Rosie Weisencrantz: www.rosieweisencrantz.com Susie Warner: www.susiewarner.com
of designers of previous decades. “I think everyone thinks they can do it,” says Lisa Harris of Magpie Vintage. “But it’s taken us years and we’re still learning now.” Lisa is one half of the duo behind Magpie Vintage. By bringing together her creative flair with the engineering genius of her business partner, Tania Borton, they create opulent masterpieces inspired by renowned designers of yesteryear such as Miriam Haskell and Coco Chanel. “It’s easy to find a brooch and make it into something,” she adds. “But we have pieces of jewellery that will sit there for years waiting for something to match them because we try to make sure all the stone settings, all the cuts of the crystal and rhinestones are all exactly the same. We have a studio packed floor to ceiling with pieces which are just waiting for partners to go with them.” At the couture end of the market, vintage jewellery is bespoke and the results are truly one-offs. For bridal and memorial jewellery this has a strong appeal, but the limitations of creating these works of art conflict with the rising demand for vintage style jewellery from the fashion conscious buyer. “With people like Cath Kidston and Accessorize building collections around vintage and retro styles, the trend is certainly on an upward swing,” jewellery designer Susie Warner explains. “It has left the boutique market and is heading straight into the mass market.” The mass market appeal of the vintage look means some designers are finding ways to create repeatable designs to capitalise on the business opportunity. “I was finding many people wanted certain designs but I only had a limited supply of objects,” Susie adds. “I wanted to be able to create ranges which were more widely available. So, for my new autumn/winter range, I started casting vintage objects that I already had in my collection.” For many designers, creating vintage jewellery is neither about finding it or faking it. It’s more about their personal interpretation of the trend and bringing aspects of traditional and classic design into a contemporary context. Take the delicate details, enamelling and engraving in Becca Hulbert’s handmade jewellery that give her designs a distinctive, vintage-inspired look. Her inspiration may come from old photography, junk shops and interiors from the past, but she is not seeking to replicate other designers’ work. Her jewellery is her own unique take on the vintage trend. As she points out, “a good jeweller can fake anything, yet a good jeweller wouldn’t fake stuff; they’d want to create something of their own.” So, when we say vintage is big news it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is deserting the retail jewellers, dusting off their grandma’s favourite cameo and scouring their local charity shop for musty, hidden treasures. “Looking at it coldly, the vintage and retro style is a great marketing theme,” Susie Warner says. “Retailers have a ready-made story that customers are now familiar with, and it has mass market appeal.”
Rebecca Hoh examines the enduring popularity of pearls, their role within the current vintage-inspired trend, and their modern styling in the 21st century
earls have always been popular through all decades as the women’s ‘go to’ accessory,” says Carole Tanenbaum, who is famed for having one of North America’s premiere collections of vintage costume jewellery from which she creates new pieces for today’s fashion conscious market. She recently launched the Vintage Collection, pieces from which are now being worn by Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow. “They are safe, feminine and incredibly versatile,” she adds. Not a truer word said – the song might tell us that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it is currently pearls that are enjoying a resurgence and a new lease of life with younger consumers. This could be down to the general revival of all things vintage that is sweeping across the fashion and interior sectors, as well as consumer consciousness, bringing back that classic look made famous by Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel and Jackie Kennedy for young and old. But of course it is 2010 and not 1950, so pearls are being worn today with updated quirks. Here are some examples of current and future styles from the manufacturers and makers leading the pearl renaissance.
“We are featuring pearls in an offbeat way, layering varying lengths, colours and sizes together in an assemblage,” explains Carole. This is a hugely common way to wear pearls in 2010 and beyond, and is seen at both ends of the spectrum from H&M to the high fashion catwalks during London Fashion Week. “We often use a large cluster brooch as a way of holding these together. The brooch is usually worn on the side. We have seen beautiful cluster brooches on short pearls as well,” she adds. Birmingham-based Nexus Pearls is receiving requests for exactly the same thing: “We are being asked to string long rows of pearls together so that customers can wear them as one long necklet or wrap them round to make a shorter multiple row necklet,” confirms Justine Martin of Nexus.
“The use of simulated pearls in the fashion jewellery market has certainly introduced the younger audience to pearls, who are now wanting to appreciate the real thing,” says Nexus company director Trevor Ellis on the popularity of larger sizes. “The single, larger, statement pearls of 10 millimetres and bigger are a key trend at present.” Carole Tanenbaum also puts chunky pearls as a popular choice for today’s pearl wearers, whether they be real or fake. “We are also seeing faux pearls as big as gumballs – people just love them! This gives a new take on an otherwise traditional piece of jewellery. It really freshens up the look.”
“Everything beautiful and old is being recycled through the fashion cycle right now, however pearls are timeless and will always and forever be in style”
Nexus is also very aware of the need for a selection of pieces with an aged look: “Most of our clasp selection is contemporary in style, but we have introduced some vintage-inspired clasps in 18 carat gold with diamonds due to an increased demand for pearl necklaces that look like they’ve been handed down by your grandmother,” says Justine Martin. “I think in a difficult climate there seems to be a trend for things that are sentimental and evoke nostalgia.” And of course much has been made of the mass trend of harking back to yesteryear being intrinsically linked to our unstable financial status, something Nexus firmly believes is a contributing factor to the return of pearls. “We feel that the fact that the current price of gold is so high is partly leading to the trend of vintage style, and this is a direct reason for pearls being so fashionable right now. The state of the current financial market means people are being very cautious with spending their money and therefore they seek to invest in classic, timeless design and pearls are just that.”
RGM Products Ltd
Handcrafted, modern-style jeweller Prismera, whose work has been featured in fashion mags Glamour and Elle, regularly uses pearls and recently brought out its ‘Pearls for the Cure’ necklace, featuring a bunch of small pink freshwater pearls, surrounding a Swarovski crystal. “I think pearls are still a classic and chic accessory, but a new texture or shape adds a modern twist,” explains Prismera’s creative force Laura Su. “Layering long strands of pearls with other pieces also gives the whole look a fresh update that isn’t overly fussy. If a long strand is still too much, wearing them in small, gemmy clusters is a great way to incorporate pearls in a new style.”
Unusual colours or shapes
“White colour is still our best seller,” say the Nexus team, “but we do have a core customer base who already have a good knowledge and appreciation of pearls, and these customers are now looking for something a little different, such as the South Sea, black and mixed coloured Tahitian pearls.” Due to an increased number of enquiries
for these pearls combined with diamonds, Nexus has introduced a new diamond and Tahitian pearl range made in-house in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. North Yorkshire’s RGM Products Ltd saves the pure white pearls for its bridal collection, and the majority of its other pearl ranges are combined with colourful gemstones, such as turquoise and hematite, or incorporate freshwater pearls in pink and grey to beautiful effect in necklaces and bracelets. Edinburgh’s pearl specialist Elona is also noticing a demand for oval, tear drop or Baroque (imperfect shaped) pieces. “A number of recent commissions have included flatter, coin shapes,” says Elona, which also sells wholesale. The company is receiving more requests for semi-precious stones to be incorporated into pearl designs, as well as multi-coloured pearls themselves. “The consumer is now very aware that real pearls can come in many different colours, either natural or through a dying process, to complement any outfit. In fact, for my own recent wedding I provided the bridesmaids with a design to match the cerise colour of their dresses.” London’s freshwater and Tahitian pearl boutique Mounir has been working with pearls for the last 20 years, and of course has absorbed en vogue styles into its recent collections. “Regarding the current trend in pearl jewellery, what you see on the high street and in our outlet is a direct result of what has been seen on the catwalk. This has meant that our winter range includes earrings and necklaces with oddly shaped and Keshi pearls, in silver and grey colours, with faceted semi-precious stones,” says Mounir, referring to the tiny but beautiful pearls formed when an oyster rejects and splits the nucleus before it has been completely cultivated. “Keshi pearls give both a dainty and an ethereal look to the jewellery,” affirms Mounir.
“The use of simulated pearls in the fashion jewellery market has certainly introduced the younger audience to pearls, who are now wanting to appreciate the real thing”
Fashion forward and quirky!
And while pearls enjoy their heyday in the fashion stakes, they will be used in the most quirky of designs for the brave and the young, but are an exciting addition to any jewellery retailer’s stock. Some such designs come from Maison Michel fashion house in Paris, which creates hats and accessories for the hair, very often adorned with pearls. One such piece, designed by artistic director Laetitia Crahay, is actually entitled ‘Pearl’ and is formed of, you’ve guessed it, multiple strands of natural pearls fitted to a band for the head. A final and fun piece to end on is Rita Watson’s playful ‘Chiefs of Enchantment’ collection of headpieces. “The majority of my ‘crowns’ are adorned with pearls – real saltwater, vintage or costume,” says Rita, who adds them individually by hand sewing. “I’m usually hit with emails every week asking for the Erika, which has pearls sewn around scalloped body work of the lace, or the Mia, which has both vintage and saltwater pearls. When Rita started in 2007 she would occasionally sell them to girls aged between 15 and 30, but more recently she sells one to seven items per week and often spots them out on a Friday and Saturday night. “I feel like everything beautiful and old is being recycled through the fashion cycle right now, however pearls are timeless and will always and forever be in style.”
Carole Tanenbaum: www.caroletanenbaum.com Elona: www.elonapearls.com Maison Michel: www.michel-paris.com Mounir: www.mounir.co.uk Nexus Pearls: www.nexuspearls.co.uk Nomination: www.nomination.com Prismera: www.prismeradesign.com RGM Products: www.rgm.co.uk Rita Watson: www.chiefsofenchantment.com
packaging and display
With Christmas bringing a flurry of gift purchases, retailers need to consider how their stock is presented. Sam Guiry looks at a selection of companies offering attractive presentation and packaging solutions
here is an old saying that reminds us “it’s what’s inside that counts”, and many jewellery manufacturers and designers may feel it is solely the beauty and artistry of their designs that matter, and not the box or case they come in. Surely the piece should sell itself, but if a great deal of time has been invested in creating an exquisite diamond ring, why detract from its brilliance by placing it in a plain cardboard box? The importance of packaging in the jewellery industry cannot be underestimated, and one firm that has clearly recognised this is iconic brand Tiffany. Not only has the company established itself as a jewellery phenomenon, its distinctive eggshell blue branding is instantly recognisable the world over and has not changed since it was founded over 170 years ago. In her Little Book of Style, Dulcinea Norton-Smith describes how “the sight of a Tiffany & Co little blue box is apt to set many a heart aflutter.” Packaging is often referred to as the silent salesman, and for good reason, as presenting products in the right way can have a big impact on sales. One of the most critical times of the year for
retailers is Christmas, when the bulk of profits are made. The British Retail Consortium notes how “Christmas is the most significant event in the UK’s retail calendar with many outlets making up to 60 per cent of their annual turnover between November and January.” When gift purchases are at their peak, the addition of a silk-lined box or gold embossed leather case can make all the difference to the customer. There is a wide range of packaging companies specialising in packaging services, and they can offer businesses so much more than a box. Many include design and print options; specialised wrapping with a flourish of ribbons and bows; and displays to show off the jewellery to its full effect. Displays are also useful for effective presentation, as laying pieces flat can limit the amount of light catching the jewels, resulting in a lackluster appearance. Just Brothers offers a simple solution in the shape of angled ring cases and upright busts that reveal the pieces in all their sparkling glory. The company has been at the forefront of jewellery and gift packaging for
over 50 years. It caters for the whole spectrum of the market, providing boxes and display items in an array of styles, from inexpensive card to luxurious leather and plenty in between. Just Brothers’ success story is partly due to the wide variety of bespoke packaging available and it prides itself on offering a specialised service to suit individual specifications. A new addition, which will be on offer from early 2011, will be the striking, two tone white PU/wood trim display, available either as individual ring displays or a complete shop window item (see image). A company that knows first impressions count, Platinum Packaging has been based in the heart of Hatton Garden since 2009. Backed by more than 25 years of experience, the company is unique in being able to offer both specialist jewellery supplies and a full range of general stationery products. Platinum Packaging’s most popular specialist items include plastic gripper bags, padded envelopes, acid-free tissue paper, diamond paper, appro books, valuation forms, gift bags and jewellery boxes. Printing is also available to add
that personal touch. The service is friendly, reliable and efficient with next day delivery, free in central London, possible on most items. The style of packaging chosen will ultimately affect the customer’s perception of the product, and this is a fact that Finer Packaging Limited has recognised. The motto ‘the future of fine packaging’ aptly applies to this company, which has become an innovator in the field of jewellery and gift packaging. It has been supplying the jewellery, watch and gift trades for more than half a century and is one of the longest-established manufacturers and distributors of jewellery packaging in the UK. The company’s philosophy is to produce the finest combination of packaging, using different materials, colours and sizes, to allow the retailer to maximise point of sale by creating eye-catching boxes and displays that will not only complement the products, but also reflect value and choice. Whether retailers are looking for jewellery boxes, bags, pouches or displays, there is a wide range of sizes and styles to meet all needs from the modest to the most exuberant. Anything can be customised and personalised to exact requirements employing the talents of the experienced in-house design team. Established in 1978, Karina Krafts also recognises the importance of
smart presentation and packaging in increasing sales. It has been a very exciting year for the company with the introduction of many new lines in vibrant colours and materials, which are all available from stock and ready for the Christmas push. The company has received continued support from the trade during difficult economic times and is looking forward to 2011 when it hopes to develop more new ideas and products to help promote and sell retailers’ goods successfully. Noble Gift Packaging has been around for more than 35 years and knows just how to provide customers with the perfect gift packaging for their needs. Specialising in providing jewellers with boxes and displays, the company also offers a wide range of packaging solutions such as tissue paper, wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, pouches, ribbons bows, shreds, labels, cellophane and much more. Noble also offers imprinting services to personalise packaging. The printing is all done in-house, providing a very quick service, and the company also has a design team to create company logos or names. According to Heawood Research Limited there are two aspects to packaging: “First, there is the physical function. Second, there is the psychological function, and that is the one you have to get right.” JohnsonBaker not only offers packaging that
protects the items of jewellery, its range of leather boxes in blue, black or gold also clearly meets customers’ emotional needs with the promise of a special gift. Established over 80 years, the company takes pride in a very personal and efficient service catering to the jewellery and the promotional gift sector. The company has several new vibrant colour box ranges for this year, and continues to offer a complete packaging service with co-ordinated ribbon, bags, wrapping and boxes. Ch Dahlinger offers a range of ideas for retailers wanting to refresh windows and packaging in time for the Christmas season and make their shop the one that stands out on the high street. Brightening up the window display will help get customers through the doors, and renewing window dressing colours adds to the seasonal look. The company has a wide range of shades and styles available, including new busts and pendant displays in accent colours such as cream and red, which are particularly popular. The company has introduced a new Christmas collection that will enhance the jewellery gift customers are buying for that special person in their lives. The range features traditional Christmas colours of gold and red boxes with additional elasticated ribbons and bells and a range of carrier bags with special Christmas star imprints to add that finishing touch.
1) Ch Dahlinger: 0049 7821 289 420 • 2) Finer Packaging Limited: 0800 619 6661 • 3) Johnson-Baker: 01747 853 445 4) Just Brothers: 0208 880 2505 • 5) Karina Krafts: 01443 815 595 • 6) Platinum Packaging: 0207 831 7323 Noble Gift Packaging: 0208 805 4111
Bringing back the stocks Are shopping centre courts the right way to go? Michael Hoare senses an injustice…
he newspapers have been full of gleeful stories about courts in shopping centres, with the more extreme foaming at the mouth at the prospect of handing out summary justice to shoplifters and other miscreants. As usual, the story isn’t quite what it seems, but it does prompt an interesting train of thought. It seems that the Magistrates’ Association, which represents 28,000 members, is to call on the Ministry of Justice to set up improvised courts in empty shops and unused council rooms to deliver “summary justice that is as speedy and local as possible”. The proposal comes as the government consults on closing more than 100 courts to save money; instead it wants to send offenders to fewer, larger courts. Currently, Her Majesty’s Court Service operates 330 magistrates’ courts and is concerned that some hear too few cases. Many buildings are also not fully accessible for disabled court users and do not have secure facilities for prisoners. But by reducing court numbers the Magistrates’ Association is afraid that the result might be longer journeys to court, thus discouraging offenders from turning up and increasing the number of ‘no-shows’ resulting in more delays and extra expense. Shoplifting and drink driving offences – where offenders have been caught red-handed, will plead guilty and can normally be handled quickly – might also create bottlenecks. “Petty offenders commit crimes that should be dealt with as quickly as possible and as locally as possible,” said John Howson, the Association’s deputy chairman. “Justice should not be hidden away and people should be able to see it in operation. We could have a court in the Westfield shopping centre for instance, so that instead of a shoplifter being taken to a police station and it taking hours to build a file, even if they are going to plead guilty, they could be dealt with far more quickly.”
Clearly the idea has some merit, and it is sensible to have police stations and courts in places that are accessible to the population, and increasingly shopping centres fulfill that role. Plus, if shopping mall courts deal predominantly with shoplifting and driving offences, they may speed up the process. But doesn’t this proposal prompt a number of other questions? For instance, doesn’t everyone, even those who are ultimately found guilty, have the right to prepare a defence, and have adequate legal representation? If shoplifters are frog marched straight from shop to court, is it good enough to rely on the evidence of private security operatives alone, and what quality of evidence should be required? And aren’t we in danger of undermining the basis of English law, which assumes the defendant to be ‘innocent until proven guilty’? The popular papers might capture the imagination by conjuring up mental images of summary justice, and the doling out of swift public retribution, but I don’t think we should be rebuilding the stocks any time soon. Popping down the shops for a couple of pounds of spuds and a ritual flogging might appeal to some, but I think cases should be heard in places that reflect the solemnity, majesty and weight of the law. That could be in a shopping centre, but hopefully not, as the papers would have us believe, in the front window of Tesco. We all know errors occur. Imagine yourself, for one moment, being apprehended by mistake. Even when your case is dismissed and you are found not guilty, your friends and business contacts will still give you a wide berth at the golf club, because mud sticks, and reputations are easily destroyed. Lastly, and perhaps cynically, might this be the thin end of the wedge, whereby the argument is advanced that because shoplifting puts a heavy burden on court time, retailers should pay for the courts? Planning approval often comes with a 106 agreement stipulating that developers stump up cash for infrastructure improvements like roads and drainage. Why not police stations or courts? If we go down that route then the next logical step would be to hold driving offence hearings in motorway service stations. Now that would be justice!
Maxim Voznesensky – president, creative director and key designer for Russia’s fabulous Jewellery Theatre – narrates the story of his company and work
What inspired you to enter into the jewellery industry? How did you begin the design side of your career?
A set of circumstances led me to this decision. I have always been drawn to applied arts; my mother is an artist, so I grew up surrounded by art and handicrafts. As a child I read the book The Three Musketeers and was intrigued by the character of the jeweller. It was after this that I took the final decision to dedicate my life to the art of jewellery and entered a jewellery college. Moreover, it was near where I lived.
What motivates and excites your creativity?
My inspiration comes from the works of other artists, both contemporary and those who have become legends of world art; from nature; from my travels; and from communicating with interesting people.
You are also president and creative director of the captivating Jewellery Theatre – can you tell us more about this?
Twelve years ago, in 1998, the Jewellery Theatre Company was first registered in Moscow at my legal address. The actual address of the new firm was reminiscent of the studio that was home to Pinocchio’s father – a small workshop in which my wife Irina Dorofeeva and I, along with a young newcomer jeweller, started our work. The company grew rapidly. As early as the year 2000 we took on VIP clients, providing them with a unique and private experience in the store’s VIP rooms. Then in 2002 we organised our first exhibition at the Kremlin – Russian Diamonds in the 20th Century – where the ‘Jewels in the Russian avant-garde’ collection met with great success. In this year we also started to participate in the major jewellery exhibition Baselworld in Switzerland, and we have done so annually up to now. Since 2006 our company Jewellery Theatre has taken part in the International Salon of Fine Arts (organised by the Swiss company Art Culture Studio). In December 2007 we organised the show Diamond Maximum in our boutique on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. A year later, in December 2008, the 10th anniversary of my company was marked with the celebrated art project ‘Presentation of beauty’, in which 12 of the famous members of Russia’s cultural scene participated. Jewellery Theatre’s philosophy is based on achieving a synthesis of the different arts and perpetuating the achievements of great Russian artists of the past. What singles out Jewellery Theatre is that our jewellery guards within itself a tiny part of this theatrical atmosphere, turning any new space into a stage. Jewellery Theatre is a movable theatre; each collection is a whole world in itself and each piece is a whole story in itself.
Can you explain how you achieve this theatrical element in your jewellery?
What sets Jewellery Theatre apart from any other jewellery house in the world is its own, unique philosophy – it is a special kind of theatre whose actors are pieces of jewellery. I do not simply produce high class jewellery; my goal is to create true works of art that are fully thought out and selfcontained, as well as able to act as a focus for the space surrounding them and to engage in a dialogue of equals with the viewer. Each viewer is allocated his or her own role in an unusual kind of show. An actor should be a professional and so great care is taken at each stage of the creation of our jewellery products, from the design process and selection of materials through to the technical execution. Strict quality control is in force at each stage of the manufacturing process. So that each of these precious jewellery ‘actors’ can be seen and heard by the public, they have been given the unique ability to stand upright on any surface. We developed and patented a special ‘heel’, located in the lower part of the shank of the ring. Thanks to this ‘heel’, the rings take on the appearance and presence of monumental sculpture. All of the products of Jewellery Theatre are made for the stage and are often in full view, for which reason even features of our pieces that are hidden or tucked away are very carefully finished. Also, we have developed several original textures and kinds of facing for our pieces of jewellery: our own special textured relief engraving of the ‘Lava’ model, reminiscent of a volcanic eruption; of the ‘Sahara’ model, resembling the shifting sands of the desert of the same name; and the structure of our famous ‘Damask steel’. For theatrical jewellery, Jewellery Theatre creates special scenic spaces in which the little ‘actors’ can give full rein to their talent.
Are you working on any new projects currently? What are your long-term hopes for the future of Jewellery Theatre?
Every new year sees a new achievement in the history of my company. Having successfully passed the 12-year mark, the company expects further new events and new announcements. Of course I am working on my own creative projects as well as jointly with famous Russian artists, but I prefer not to speak about my plans out loud, as there is a superstition that they won’t come true if you talk about them.
Championing firsts in the industry Syreeta Tranfield reports back from 2010’s International Jewellery London (IJL) event – a concentration of talent, trend and trading
he moment IJL opens its doors on the first day of the show is a momentous one, as it’s the culmination of many months of hard work and planning, not just by the management team here but also by our exhibitors, suppliers and contractors. I always feel a mixture of excitement and trepidation that the show is going to deliver its commercial promise and meet the expectations of retailers and buyers alike – and each year it does spectacularly, with more leading, high-end jewellery brands than any other UK jewellery trade event. This year was no exception, with 146 international brands and companies drawn from 30 countries, and 365 from around the UK, representing an 11 per cent increase with 100 new exhibitors. IJL is seen as a barometer for the industry ahead of the autumn/winter period, and the productivity seen at this year’s event certainly indicates positive times ahead. The Boulevard lived up to expectations with its showcase of top brands and designers, and the Design Gallery proved to be the place to see some of the best unique, contemporary jewellery collections from an eclectic mix of new and established cutting edge designers, all of whom reported doing excellent business. As Boulevard exhibitor Shaun Leane said: “This year’s IJL has proven to be one of our best ever shows. Sales have hit a new high and we have secured accounts that we have been talking to for some time. The show has an excellent energy and really has grown into one of the most prestigious jewellery shows.” Stephen Webster, a keynote speaker at the show, made some interesting comments about the current jewellery market: “From a product point of view, designers need to be price-conscious. Walking round the show, a number of the young designers have great designs, some of which wholesale between £35 and £50 – which is essential for the Japanese market for instance. There is still a fine jewellery business though, and lots of designers such as Shaun Leane or myself go between the two, which is the modern way to do it – if you’re stuck in just one sector, you will have lost a lot of clients in the past few years.” On the buyer side, the Diamond Club, now in its second year, attracted a host of key figures from leading retail jewellers across the UK. Nominated by the IJL Advisory Board, members are invited to join this exclusive club, which is the most senior level and largest VIP programme at any UK jewellery trade event. As Jo Henderson, creative director of Wave, commented to me: “I was very impressed by the design section of the show and I found the Diamond Club invaluable for holding meetings.” I was also much heartened by the comment from Richard Hogben, general manager of Waltons of Chester: “IJL is a very vibrant show and is extremely well-timed for Christmas, allowing us to order in time for late October delivery. I particularly enjoyed the Diamond Club, which was an oasis of calm with such a friendly welcome. I find IJL far more compact and intimate than other shows, and with the new layout it is extremely easy to navigate. I believe IJL improves year by year.” IJL, however, is not just about orders and sales, but also about education and revealing the latest trends. The Seminar Programme, which is the most comprehensive free-to-attend seminar programme of any jewellery
trade event in the UK, featured four separate trend sessions by leading trend forecasting agencies. I spoke to Jaana Jatyri, CEO of the leading Trendstop agency, who gave a standing room only seminar, and told me the key trends for spring/summer 2011 are futuristic, sci-fi and space-inspired jewellery. In jewellery design trends, this translates into coiled steel sculptures (ranging from tight rigid sculptures to loose and undulating coils that extend from torsos and shoulders through clean fluid lines and interlocking shapes); futuristic clear plastic (the application of clear plastic which echoes the uncertainty of current times through oversized fluid shapes and sharp geometric shapes and faceted surfaces); space age baubles (imbued with a distinct sci-fi flair, clusters of polished silver spheres hang heavily from intertwining tubed necklaces or long chains); and, finally, gold spot (suitable for rings, necklaces and earrings, simple gold spots add a subtle and discreet interest to gold jewellery, with finished and brushed golds refined, with the classic pendant updated by including the feature within the shape of a simple necklace). And last but not least, IJL is about finding brand new, undiscovered, as well as up and coming young designers who are tipped as the talent of the future – and the new 2010 Bright Young Gems and Kickstarters did not disappoint. I was particularly delighted to hear the news from one of the Bright Young Gems, Harry Hornby, that since being selected, she has been recruited by Asprey Jewellers to join their design team. It is always sad when the show comes to an end, particularly saying goodbye to old and new friends. But then I’m buoyed up by the thought of all the new initiatives that are in the pipeline for IJL 2011, although slightly daunted by the fact that next September is really only just round the corner! For more information about IJL please visit www.jewellerylondon.com
Bellara Diamonds started in London in 1965. A leader in GIA certified diamonds, the company also offers fine diamond jewellery at excellent wholesale prices, stating that it “cannot be beaten on price”. Repair services with a two-day return and a next day delivery service (special delivery) are also available. Information: 0207 405 3675 or email@example.com
Carrie Elspeth’s exclusive limited edition collection, Opulence, is a range of designs that use a wide variety of bespoke and striking beads, crystals and sterling silver. New and exclusive ranges are added to Opulence twice a year, and all are fully beaded celebrations of colour and light. Branded packaging is included with the elegant, eye-catching and affordable collection, which continues to be handmade in Wales. Information: 01446 771 271 or www.carrieelspeth.com
Paradise Jewellery’s range of Swarovski crystals set in silver launched in July and features rich-looking crystal necklaces with a central pendant. The products can be made to order, and customers can specify their crystal combinations. The company’s range also includes expanding bracelets and dangling crystal ball charms. Information: 0117 377 4280 or www.paradisejewellery.net
Tony Greene of contemporary silver specialist 21st Century Silver says that he is delighted with the customer response to the company’s new designs for autumn and winter. Forty new designs have been added to 21st Century Silver’s range of over 500 pieces of unusual and original silver jewellery, which are ideally suited to both gift retailers and jewellery specialists. Information: 0208 339 3731 or www.21stcenturysilver.co.uk
With 40 years of experience, Dexter Seal Engravers has manufactured a range of traditional die-stamped signet rings. Produced from exclusive dies in an assortment of head sizes, four classic shapes are available in silver or 9, 14 or 18 carat yellow, white and red gold. All of the signet rings are made to order and are ready for immediate dispatch. Information: 01580 241 680 or www.dexterrings.com/trade
Unique and individual, Tezer Design’s pendants can be worn short on an omega chain, or on a triple length long chain. The company’s range comprises necklaces, bracelets, pendants, earrings and rings, available in silver, gold plate or gold. Information: 07774 928 045 (Sharon Acton, UK sales contact)
With 40 years of experience in diamond manufacturing and trading, Shrenikstar offers a wide range of polished diamonds in all shapes and colours. The company specialises in 0.005pts up to 15 carats in qualities from IF to PQ3 in all colours from D to Z. Natural fancy colours are also offered, both with and without certificates. GIA, HRD and IGI certificates are additionally available, mainly in sizes from 0.30pts up to 15 carats. Information: 0032 3233 5916 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcia Lanyon Ltd is already preparing for next spring, and its attractive new collection of stones, pearls and beads launches this month. Spokesperson Kathy Whitehouse says that Marcia Lanyon Ltd anticipates a colourful spring and summer 2011, “with romantic feminine shapes and soft natural tones jostling against bold, joyful, tropical technicolour.” She adds that the company “expects the shapes and finishes in jewellery to reflect these two extremes – pretty and delicate pearls, polished rose quartz and amethyst versus chunky and bold coral, rough turquoise and dyed agate.” Information: 0207 602 2446 or email@example.com
U-Marq Ltd is a UK manufacturer of four models of engraving and marking machines, all of which are suitable for the jewellery industry. Products range from the GEM-RX5, a small and compact counter top machine, up to the Universal-350, which is designed for larger volume manufacturing. U-Marq’s range of machines can engrave items including delicate lockets and large crystal cups. Information: 01908 623 522 or www.u-marq.com
Contemporary Jewellery Made in silver with elements of oxidisation and gold plating inspired by Victoriana and traditional British crafts.
Image courtesy of RGM Products
Anu Manchanda of the Birmingham Assay Office focuses on the beauty of the pearl, and discusses the different characteristics of natural and cultured varieties
The Birmingham Assay Office was founded in 1773 to provide a hallmarking facility to the rapidly expanding local silver trade. Over 235 years it has become established as the largest UK assay office. During the past decade the Assay Office has expanded its services further, far beyond its statutory assaying and hallmarking duties, and offers independent expert opinion on every aspect of the precious metal, jewellery and gemstone trade. For more information visit
earls were one of the first natural gems to be appreciated and sought after, due to their beautiful natural lustre. The process by which a mollusc creates a pearl is one of the miracles of nature, and even though the majority of pearls on the market in the 21st century have been the subject of some human intervention, their creation still depends upon a natural process. Pearls are formed in various different species of mollusc, living in both saltwater and freshwater. They occur when the mollusc is invaded by a foreign substance such as a small piece of grit washed in by the sea. At this point the mollusc will immediately start to build natural defences around the intruder. These comprise layers of nacre, which is mainly calcium carbonate, crystallised into aragonite. The layers of aragonite are held together by layers of natural ‘glue’ called conchiolin.
There are still natural pearls in circulation but these are in limited supply as over-fishing, pollution and intervention by man destroyed many of the molluscs’ indigenous breeding grounds in the second half of the 20th century. The dwindling supply and rarity mean that a good specimen of a natural pearl can command a very high price. Pearls have surged in popularity in the last decade, and there is now a wide range of options on the market from completely artificial simulated pearls, which may still be very attractive but of little intrinsic value, to high quality cultured pearls, which are far more expensive as they have still been created by a natural process, but with some human intervention. Correct identification and description of pearls is therefore essential when buying or selling pearls, and gemmologists have been absorbed with identifying and categorising different types of pearl for decades. CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has recently updated its detailed international standard – the CIBJO ‘Blue Book’ – to clarify the categorisation of pearls. CIBJO defines three categories of pearl: natural pearls, cultured pearls and imitation pearls. The Blue Book is now widely accepted by gemmologists and jewellers worldwide as the definitive standard. Pearls within each of these categories can also be enhanced by treatments, again affecting their value.
There are two distinct categories of cultured pearls: saltwater cultured pearls and freshwater cultured pearls. They are formed by inserting a bead or a piece of mantle tissue into the mollusc to precipitate the natural formation of the pearl. Mantle tissue lines the shell and encases the soft body of the mollusc. Saltwater cultured pearls are formed when a bead from a freshwater mollusc shell is implanted in the reproductive organ of a saltwater mollusc (oyster) along with a piece of mantle tissue. The mantle tissue helps in initiation of nacre formation. These pearls are called ‘saltwater beaded cultured pearls’. There are basically three different types of saltwater cultured pearls: Akoya cultured pearls: Mostly cultured in China and Japan. Akoya pearls are white or cream with a hint of rose (pink) or green, and are rarely larger than nine millimetres.
Focus on the expert Tahitian cultured pearls: Produced in colours like eggplant purple, peacock green, greyish blue and metallic grey with oysters native to French Polynesia. These pearls can grow as large as 30 centimetres and can weigh up to five kilograms. South Sea cultured pearls: These come from the world’s largest molluscs in silver, white and yellow (golden) colours. These are usually farmed in Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Freshwater cultured pearls are formed when freshwater mussels are implanted, usually with a piece of mantle tissue, in the mantle tissue area of the mussel instead of the reproductive organ. These pearls are called ‘non-beaded cultured pearls’. Lake Biwa in Japan, and French, Russian, European, Scandinavian and North and South American rivers and lakes have all been historic sources of freshwater cultured pearls. Nowadays China is the biggest producer, culturing freshwater cultured pearls in dozens of colours, ranging in size from two to 13 millimetres. Freshwater mussels can produce more than one pearl at a time and so multiple implants will produce several cultured pearls from one mollusc, making the pearls less expensive.
Although cultured pearls are created by human intervention they are formed by a natural process and may still be imperfect. Cultured pearls have unwanted colour or surface characteristics, which can lower their value. These pearls are treated to make them more attractive and more marketable. Various different treatments are applied: Bleaching to create a uniform colour is a common practice. Dyeing: pearls are usually darkened by using silver nitrate solution and subsequent exposure to light or hydrogen sulphide gas. This gives the pearls a rich black colour. Pearls can be soaked in red dyes to give them a pink tint; a process called pinking. Irradiation with gamma rays can produce a very dark blue-grey to black colour, sometimes with a very attractive metallic iridescence in freshwater cultured pearls, and grey to blue body colour in saltwater cultured pearls. Irradiated pearls do not have any residual radiation, but the colour change may have varying degrees of stability. Lustre: enhancement treatment is carried out by applying a shiny coating to the pearls.
This treatment is not very successful, and is therefore uncommon. Pearls can be ‘worked’ to change or improve the shape. This can involve cutting or grinding away part of the nacre.
Detecting pearl treatment
Correct identification of pearls and possible treatments is essential as it has a significant impact on the value of the pearl. Detection requires basic visual observation and also complex tests, which require an experienced gemmologist to use sophisticated laboratory equipment and then apply their expertise and knowledge to interpret the results. The main features a gemmologist would use to assess a pearl are listed below: Visual observation: very uniform colour indicates treatment; concentration of dye at drill hole; high magnification to look for lustre-coating. Laboratory testing: UV radiation will cause different fluorescent reaction in natural coloured and coloured due to dye cultured pearls. It also helps in detecting gamma-ray treatment. Meanwhile energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence will help to pick up chemical elements like silver, which are not found in natural coloured cultured pearls.
Separating natural and cultured pearls
Blink test: By holding the strand near the front edge of a strong lamp and rotating it to see if the pearls blink from light to dark as they are turned. If they do, they are cultured. Candling: The pearl strand is rotated with strong light shining through them and looking for curved lines and stripes. These are the growth layers of the shell beads, and separate beaded cultured pearls from non-beaded or natural pearls. X-radiography: X-ray images can show the internal structure of the pearl, and hence separate cultured pearls from natural pearls. X-ray diffraction: Beams of X-ray produce different patterns in natural and cultured pearls, which are called Lauegrams. X-ray fluorescence: Saltwater natural pearls are mostly inert but freshwater and cultured pearls mostly fluoresce greenish-yellow to X-ray. As with all areas of gemmology this is not a static situation and new sources, varieties and treatments continue to appear, meaning that jewellers and gemmologists alike need to keep up to speed with the latest developments to be sure they really know what they are looking at.
Anu Manchanda MSc, GG, DGA, FGA, P J Dip, FNAG Pearl Graduate (GIA) Anu Manchanda holds a Masters degree (MSc) in Geology from India; an FGA, DGA from the School of Jewellery, Birmingham; and the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma (PJ Dip) with distinction from the National Association of Goldsmiths. She is also a Fellow of the National Association of Goldsmiths (FNAG) and a Pearl Graduate of the Gemological Institute of America. She is recipient of the Christie’s Prize for Gemmology (2004). This is a trade prize awarded to the best candidate of the year who derives his or her income from activities essentially connected with the jewellery trade. Anu tutors for the Gemmological Association of Great Britain’s Correspondence course students for both the Diamond Diploma and Gemmology Diploma courses (DGA & FGA). As an AnchorCert senior gemmologist, Anu is responsible for accuracy and for new initiatives in the diamond grading and gem testing laboratory. The specialised equipment such as the Raman Spectroscope, FTIR, SSEF Diamond Spotter, Diamond View, Diamond Sure, Sarin-DiaMension, and Colorimeter, required for the identification and correct grading of diamonds and gems and their synthetic counterparts are all used in the AnchorCert Laboratory under her guidance and direct supervision.
It’s easier to sell colour
Vibrant gemstone jewellery should not be the salesperson’s enemy, but rather a prime candidate for a sale, says Leonard Zell
he headline above is a true statement; I only wish more salespeople understood why. It’s because you have less competition than you have in selling diamonds, which have almost become a commodity. Owners of independent stores, as well as large chains, have said: “Leonard, I can’t get my people to sell colour because they are afraid of the unknown. They think: ‘What if a customer asks me something technical that I don’t have the answer to?’” Is this fear justified? Only to a certain extent. Salespeople are concerned about being asked such questions as the specific gravity or the refractive index of a coloured gem. That question has never been asked of me in all my years of selling and I doubt it will be asked of anyone reading this article. I know some of you have customers who are technicallyorientated and you definitely feel they could ask such a question. Well, if it makes you feel any better, many certified gemmologists won’t have all the answers either – they would have to look them up. There are several small paperbacks as well as hardbound books on gemstones that contain all the necessary facts. These books can be purchased from the GIA, Gem-A, and many jewellery associations. It is not necessary to memorise any of the information, just have the book handy and know where to look it up. There is also another fear: the fear of being rejected. Salespeople try and avoid this by asking a customer if they would like to see a tanzanite, emerald, ruby or sapphire ring? This is a big mistake because they are making it easy for their customer to reject them when they are not familiar with the vibrancy of precious gems. Avoid the question and take the
emerald ring out of the showcase, romance the colour and show it. It is those two fears that keep salespeople from showing colour except when asked. This is a wake-up call for jewellers. Ask your salespeople how often have they voluntarily shown an emerald, ruby, or sapphire and diamond ring. The answer will be seldom or rarely. Now think of all the pounds you have tied up in that inventory! Let’s look at the positive side – more profit. Where many diamonds look alike, coloured gems vary a great deal and make it more difficult for a customer to compare. Fewer customers will say those dreaded words: “I saw that same ring down the street.” Another reason is that colour stands out. It can make a basic tailored ring that looks ordinary with diamonds look more important with colour and diamonds. Now what you have is a conversation piece. Yes, what was once just a classic diamond dinner ring is now an emerald and diamond ring that is something to talk about – a ring that will really be noticed. Now when customers say: “I’m just looking,” you can say: “Let me show you something different” or “Let me show you something you should try on.” Since you are speculating, make sure you are always leading with an expensive piece of jewellery. There are four very strong reasons for taking the initiative: 1. You will never prejudge your customer; instead you will flatter her by showing a fine piece of jewellery. 2. You are acting instead of reacting by taking the lead. By doing so, your customer has to react to you because you are in control.
3. Instead of starting a meaningless, nonjewellery conversation such as the weather or sports, you are talking about what you should be talking about – jewellery. 4. Best of all, you put yourself into a win/ win situation. If your customer happens to like the emerald and diamond ring, you can romance it and start closing. If it is not what she wants, she will tell you what she wants to see. Instead of interrogating your customer with 20 questions, which makes it very easy for her to reject you, you find out right away what she had in mind by taking the initiative with positive statements. By probing jewellery instead of words, you will be redirected instead to what she is looking for. There is another stumbling block: salespeople don’t always know what to say about colour except that time-honoured cliché: “Isn’t this beautiful?” They think that is romancing the gem they are showing, but it isn’t because it doesn’t paint a picture in the customer’s mind. It was an adjective. In the previous case, since it was an emerald and diamond ring, the salesperson could have said: “Look at the vibrant colour of the emeralds,” or “Just look how the bright green of these emeralds contrasts with the diamonds.” Now a true picture has been painted in the customer’s mind – something she can react to which can lead to a close. If these sentences are spoken in a monotone, it is going to sound contrived. It must be said with enthusiasm as if the salesperson owned it, because it’s his or her enthusiasm that sells, and with that comes the smile. Why? Because that is the way they would like to be sold to – with genuine feeling.
Image courtesy of Aspara For further information on romancing precious gems order Leonard Zell’s bestselling sales manual – . It has 40 chapters and is the most complete sales manual ever published for selling jewellery. Also, order the three-CD set of , a full day seminar recorded with a live audience. Order from his website . You may also email Leonard at or call him on 001 503 412 9521 (-8 hours time difference).
What do the best UK jewellers have in common? Gemvision.
he House of Graff is synonymous with the most fabulous jewels in the world, symbolising rarity, beauty, excellence and, above all, the highest quality craftsmanship. The first company in the industry to be vertically integrated, Graff is involved in all stages from the mining, cutting and polishing of the diamonds through to the extraordinarily fine settings and retailing of the final exquisite jewellery. Graff’s Head of CAD/CAM, Sam Sherry, explained how Gemvision’s Matrix software and Revo mill have slotted perfectly into this exacting environment.
“Gemvision Matrix is one of the essential precision tools in the craftsman’s armoury.”
“We have had the Gemvision system for a year now and the technical support we have received has been exceptional. The interface has a natural, friendly feel that appeals to the jewellery craftsman and complements our traditional methods perfectly. Far from forcing us to adapt to the software, resulting in pieces that look like computer creations, we have adapted the programme to our long-standing visual style and hand-made ethos. We see Gemvision Matrix as one of the essential precision tools
in the craftsman’s armoury. The way claws, collets and bezels are structured, the ease in which ideas can be refined and the ability to make subtle changes all translate well to the manufacture of fine, hand-made jewellery.
“Gemvision Matrix is very deep in its feature set, such as being able to create complex organic shapes, and in fact I’d say that there’s nothing that Matrix cannot do. Combining this with the Revo mill, which has meant that we can now hold stocks of wax models instead of castings in precious metal, has undoubtedly saved us money without any compromise in quality.
Raymond Graff “As a traditional craftsman jeweller, the adoption of the Gemvision system represents a profound new direction and I am very proud to be working for a British manufacturer that understands how the world’s best jewellery CAD/CAM technology can enhance the creation of the world’s best high-value, high quality jewellery.”
Gemvision products used by Graff
Matrix 3D Design Software lets you
design virtual, 3D jewellery on-screen and in scale. Matrix is then able to output the file to a bureau service or to your own machine to realize the wax model ready for casting.
Revo 540 multiple axis milling system quickly generates a dimensionally accurate wax model that is ready for casting, allowing you to make your computer aided designs a reality.
4 Springwell Court Holbeck, Leeds LS12 1AL, UK phone 0113 3899710 fax 0113 3899720 email firstname.lastname@example.org web www.gemvision.com
Gems of a
Gem-A’s director of education, Lorne Stather, looks at the wide range of yellow stones available in this underappreciated colour group
Golden calcite with citrine and plique-a-jour enamel in silver from Designs from Memory. © Memory Stather.
ith so many yellow stones on the market how do you tell what’s what and why should you care? To get an idea of how important it is to get an accurate identification of these stones have a look at the selection of yellow stones illustrated on the facing page; between the yellow sapphire at the top and the citrine at the bottom there is a price difference of over £250 per carat. Differentiating the yellow stones quickly can be more difficult than with some of the other colours. There are some tricks you can try but to confirm your suspicions you often need to do further testing. However after the first (and most important) look at the stone with your eyes and the 10x loupe there are two instruments that can be used to aid identification: the polariscope and the ultraviolet (UV) light box. Neither of these are necessarily tests you might do at a shop counter or at a trade show, but both are very quick and easy. If asked about yellow stones you could probably think of quite a few without any difficulty. The ones that come to mind first are likely to
be chrysoberyl, citrine (part of the quartz group), golden beryl (also called helidor), topaz, diamond and sapphire. Other yellow stones that were on sale at the IJL show in September included amber, fire opal, fluorite, grossular garnet (sometimes sold as Mali garnet), orthoclase (part of the feldspar group), scapolite, sphene, spodumene, tourmaline and zircon, and this only covers the transparent varieties. If you want to consider beads as well the list would be even longer. So what do the polariscope and UV tests tell you and how do you carry them out?
With the introduction of the folding polariscope and LED flat light from Gem-A, this instrument no longer needs to be relegated to the gem lab but is small and light enough to carry anywhere. Although it does have its limitations and can be awkward to use with some set jewellery, the polariscope can help to separate stones into three broad groups: singly refractive (isotropic stones), doubly refractive (anisotropic) or aggregates and polycrystalline materials. Being singly or doubly refractive is down to the internal structure of the material and does not affect a stone’s quality or value. To carry out a test, put the unfolded polariscope on to the flat light, and then place the stone between the two lenses. The tester looks down through the top lens and observes the patterns seen as the stone is rotated a full 360°. The chart below gives the results you might expect to see from a selection of the yellow stones.
Using UV light to test gemstones also has its limitations and should be used with caution and in a black testing cabinet to obtain the best results. When testing gemstones two different wavelengths of UV are used – long wave (LW) and short wave (SW). To test the stone, make sure any light is off and place the stone into the cabinet; turn on the SW and then the LW light and see how the stone reacts under these two different energy sources. If you want to find out more about UV testing and its uses, join one of Gem-A’s gemstone one-day lab classes such as the Introduction to Practical Gemmology or one of Gem-A’s accredited Certificate or Diploma courses.
SW and LW UV lamp. © Gem-A
Stone Diamond Yellow sapphire: Thai/ Australian
Folding polariscope and flat light from Gem-A Instruments (www.gem-a.com).
Polariscope result Stone stays light through 360°
From top to bottom: yellow sapphire, chrysoberyl, yellow topaz, helidor, yellow orthoclase, scapolite, yellow fluorite, citrine. © Gem-A
Stone goes light and dark four times through 360° Stone remains dark through 360° Patch patterns of light and dark
Possible identity Polycrystalline Yellow jadeite, and some agate, twinned twinned sapphire. material Sapphire. Double Beryl, sapphire, refractive topaz, zircon, material tourmaline, citrine, feldspar. Single refractive material Single refractive materials under strain
Garnet, glass, fluorite, diamond, opal. Paste, fluorite, diamond, amber
Reaction under Reaction under SWUV LWUV Variable often blue
Sri Lankan Apricot Synthetic Weak crimson yellow sapphire Fluorite May be pale red Often blue May be pale red Glass Yellow Weak crimson
Summary of the yellow stone group
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, observing the stone carefully will often give a good idea as to its possible identity. With yellow stones often the tone of colour, the lustre and inclusions will help. Several of the yellow stones mentioned here also have durability issues, so looking for wear and tear on the stone is also important. There is a wide choice available to consumers looking for a yellow stone but not wanting to pay for a yellow diamond or sapphire, but the stone you might recommend would be influenced by the client’s criteria, whether it be price, style of cut, use or appearance.
As it would be impossible to include them all here, the following chart only shows the durability, care and caution for some of the most popular yellow stones. For information on tourmaline, glass, sapphire, garnet and beryl see the previous colour stone articles in this series published in the June and August 2010 editions of Jewellery Focus. For further information on gemstones contact Gem-A and ask about courses and workshops.
To find out more about gemstones, why not come along to one of Gem-A’s trade evenings which are held regularly at Gem-A’s London headquarters near Hatton, or join one of Gem-A’s accredited courses or lab classes. For more details go to www.gem-a.com or contact Gem-A on 0207 404 3334.
Cognac Citrine Gemstone PendantTM 39.36ct cut by John Dyer & Co. Photo by Lydia Dyer
Hardness – 8½ Toughness – excellent to good Stability – very good
Safe to use in jewellery dips. Usually very durable.
Avoid: • direct heat • acids • ultrasonic and steam cleaners if stone is heavily fractured
Hardness – 10 Toughness – good Stability – excellent
Diamonds attract grease so avoid applying hand creams or soaps while wearing.
Avoid: • burning; if using heat first coat the stones to protect against oxidizing conditions • the jewellers’ torch, particularly if stone has been filled • ultrasonic and steam cleaners if stone heavily fractured or lead-glass filled • sharp knocks
Hardness – 6 - 7 Toughness – good Stability – good
Usually very durable.
Avoid: • steam cleaners and use caution when using ultrasonic cleaners • thermal shock Caution when soldering or polishing as heat can fade some quartz Caution when using strong acids
Hardness – 9 Toughness – excellent Stability – very good
Safe to use in jewellery dips. Usually very durable except for glass treated stones.
Avoid: • coating with borax before applying heat as may eat into the corundum • polishing diffused or coated stones • using any chemical cleaners or pickles with glass treated or dyed stones
Hardness – 8 Toughness – fair Stability – good
Avoid leaving for long periods in strong light as in some cases the colour may fade. Avoid any rough handling or knocks.
Avoid: • thermal shock • ultrasonic and steam cleaners Caution as topaz liable to cleave
Hardness – 6½ - 7½ Toughness – poor to fair Stability – fair
Chips easily. Avoid heat, sunlight and UV.
Avoid: • ultrasonic and steam cleaners
NB: Please be aware the above information is a general guide only and each individual stone should be checked for any problems that may be unique to that stone.
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Prices • Figures • Outlook Retail sales volume
Year-on-year, the retail sales volume for August was 0.9 per cent higher than in August 2009. The largest rise was non-food, nonspecialist stores, which rose by 10.8 per cent. This was the largest increase for non-specialist outlets since February 2000, when the volume of retail sales rose by 11.4 per cent. Non-store retailing also increased year-on-year by 16.6 per cent.
Sterling silver (£/Kg)
Between the months of July and August, total sales volume decreased by 0.5 per cent – the only exception to the declines being nonspecialised stores, which increased by 0.9 per cent. Non-store retailing additionally rose by 2.1 per cent. Sales volume in the three months from June to August increased by 1.4 per cent, in comparison to the previous three months. Nonspecialised stores saw their sales rise by 3.8 percent, while non-store retailing increased by 6.2 per cent. The total sales volume in the three months to August, compared to the same period in 2009, increased by 0.7 per cent. The largest rise was non-specialised stores, whose total sales volume rose by 10.4 per cent. Non-store retailing also increased significantly by 15.8 per cent. The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales for August 2010 was 1.9 per cent higher than in August of last year. For the three months leading to August 2010, the figure was 2.3 per cent higher than the Source: ONS same period a year earlier.
Seasonally adjusted figures
Scrap metal prices
Sterling silver scrap (£/kg)
9ct Gold scrap (£/g)
14ct Gold scrap (£/g)
18ct Gold scrap (£/g)
22ct Gold scrap (£/g)
Platinum (95%) scrap (£/g)
Data supplied courtesy of Cookson Precious Metals. www.cooksongold.com All prices shown on this page enjoy indicative status only. Jewellery Focus and Cookson Precious Metals accepts no responsibility for their accuracy or for any use to which they may be put
Diamond prices Weight
The table above has been prepared by SafeGuard and is an average of the retail selling prices of round brilliant cut diamonds per carat including an average retail markup and VAT. There is no allowance for the mount but the prices have been taken from mounted goods prices. The table is also compared with International diamond prices for additional accuracy. Compiled at 1st September 2010 / Dollar Exchange Rate 1.5409
Hallmark figures August 09
Silver 999 958
The total number of items hallmarked across the four UK assay offices was 3.9 per cent down on last year. The trend we have seen in recent months has continued with the number of nine carat gold articles submitted for hallmarking continuing to decline. 641,406 pieces of silver hallmarked in August was fractionally down on last year by -0.1 per cent, but still accounted for 60 per cent of the total units hallmarked in the UK. Platinum continues to be strong, up 4.6 per cent on last year. Palladium continues to be popular with 6,796 units hallmarked in August. While this appears low when compared to August 2009, remember that there was a significant amount of stock re-called from retailers following the introduction of the palladium hallmark in July 2009.
EVENTS and auctions
Events 2 – 3 October and 9 – 10 October Wandsworth Artists’ Open House Various houses and studios across the borough
Image: Istanbul Jewelry Show
3 – 5 October Boutique by Chic Ricoh Arena, Coventry
7 – 10 October Dubai International Jewellery Week Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai www.jewelleryshow.com
14 – 17 October Instanbul Jewelry Show Istanbul, Turkey www.rotaforte.com
22 – 24 October Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair Spinningfields, Manchester
30 October – 1 November Jewellers International Showcase Forum Ballroom, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, USA
10 – 14 November International Jewellery and Watch Show Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi www.jws.ae
25 – 28 November Hong Kong International Jewelry Manufacturers’ Show Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong www.jewelryshows.org
6 October Dreweatts Fine silver jewellery and watches Donnington Priory Donnington, Newbury www.dnfa.com
15 October Wellers Auctioneers Pawnbroker’s unredeemed jewellery Chertsey, Surrey
6 October Christie’s Jewels at South Kensington London
26 October Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood Antiques and collectibles including silver and jewellery Honiton, Devon
12 October Lyon and Turnbull Jewellery and silver Edinburgh
28 October Woolley and Wallis Jewellery Salisbury
14 October Fellows & Sons Antique and modern jewellery Birmingham www.fellows.co.uk
11 November Bonhams Sporting jewellery Edinburgh www.bonhams.com
16 – 18 January 2011 Top Drawer Spring/Summer Earls Court, London www.topdrawer.co.uk
26 – 29 January 2011 International Jewellery Tokyo Tokyo Big Sight Tokyo, Japan
21 – 24 January 2011 Eclat de Mode by Bijorhca (Spring/Summer) Paris Porte de Versailles Paris, France
23 – 25 January 2011 Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring SECC, Glasgow
6 – 10 February 2011 Spring Fair International NEC, Birmingham
23 – 26 January 2011 Showcase Ireland RDS Dublin, Ireland
13 – 15 February 2011 Pure London Olympia & Earls Court London
26 – 29 January 2011 Tokyo International Watch Fair Tokyo Big Sight Tokyo, Japan www.twfjapan.jp/english
12 November Wellers Auctioneers Silver, jewellery and watches Chertsey, Surrey www.wellersauctions.com
12 November Jacobs and Hunt Auctioneers Silver and jewellery Petersfield www.jacobsandhunt.com
23 November A F Brock & Company Antique, vintage and modern jewellery Stockport www.afbrock.co.uk
27 November P F Windibank Antique jewellery Dorking Surrey
30 November Capes Dunn Auctioneers Jewellery and watches Manchester www.capesdunn.com
3 December Biddle & Webb Silver and jewellery Birmingham
8 December Bonhams Jewellery Oxford
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Gaynor Turner of Macintyres, Edinburgh Could you explain a bit more about your business?
We are a jewellers based in Edinburgh. We set up the business 17 years ago and specialise in high-end and bespoke jewellery. We’re not open to the public, but work much like a gym and have a ‘membership’ scheme. We currently employ 30 staff and proudly operate the largest showroom in Scotland for specialist pieces of jewellery.
What role do you have within the company?
highstreet Does your previous career as an actress help in your current role?
I’d definitely say so. First and foremost it helps with presentation skills – having the largest showroom in Scotland means that aesthetically the colours and styles must be just right. Our customers are buying the finest jewellery so it is essential that we give them the best possible experience to help them feel special during their time with us. My thespian background has also really helped me to understand the wants and needs of our customers and I find it particularly easy to interpret their personal needs such as the specific style and colour they are after. Oh, and one more thing – being an actress has helped with confidence! A little bit of confidence (with a smile) counts for a lot!
Do you miss performing on the stage, and is this something you would consider doing again?
I am the director of the company and my husband Steve is my business partner. Due to the nature of my role my days can be very full-on and day-to-day duties can be incredibly varied, from selling merchandise to liaising with suppliers on behalf of our manufacturing arm. I must say though, I have an absolute passion for diamonds. Whether it’s sorting by colour and clarity or buying from suppliers, for me it’s the best part of my job.
In all honesty, I don’t really miss it as I absolutely love my job! It may not be the bright lights of the West End, but I find it so rewarding to meet and exceed customers’ needs, and no two sales are the same – even after 17 years! That said, I must say, I still love performing. I think this was evident when I roped in our staff earlier this year to take part in a competition for global ecommerce platform Alibaba.com to create and upload a video for their ad campaign. Much to our surprise we actually won – that’s definitely the actress in me coming out!
How did you get involved in the jewellery sector?
What do you enjoy most about your job?
When I first met my husband I was performing as an actress in the West End, while he had a background in marketing – a million miles away from what we do now! It was the early 90s and the recession meant that there was less and less work for us both, especially in theatre. We wanted to have permanent security and as we both happened to be from Scotland we decided to move back home. After training with my father we opted to try out a number of business ventures, with our first route being franchising. This didn’t materialise, so we took the plunge and set up Macintyres – the rest is history!
That would have to be building customer loyalty. It’s a great feeling seeing customers return for different occasions and milestones in their lives.
What type of jewellery do you stock?
We stock an extensive range of gold, silver, platinum, palladium and gem-set pieces. Customers can select the latest pieces from our in-house designs, their favourite wellknown brands or request a one-off bespoke piece of jewellery for a special occasion.
What is your best selling brand at the moment?
Definitely Hot Diamonds and Tianguis Jackson – they’ve been firm favourites for a while now!
What are your plans for the future?
We’re about to launch two ecommerce sites, so we’re currently using online platform Alibaba.com to source a sonic jewellery cleaner that can be gifted to customers when the site goes live.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the business? I have a few golden rules for people seeking advice: one, borrow as little money as possible – you can always borrow more later. Two, always trust your gut instinct. Three, global ecommerce platforms are a great way to find suppliers and source materials quickly and easily without having to invest time and money in travel – always ask for a sample first. And finally, four – don’t be afraid to be as inventive and creative as possible.
Stack Ring Co offers you a magical range of interchangeable stack rings.
92.5 Sterling Silver
Each ring from our freedom range is priced at WP £4.95 | RRP £12.95. Each ring from our new luxurious prima range is priced at WP £10.00 | RRP £27.00
Who knew jewellery could be so much fun? To arrange a visit with an agent or for a copy of our catalogue please contact us on: tel: 01823 698 898 | fax: 01823 698 551 email: firstname.lastname@example.org | order online at: www.silver-willow.com - Stack Ring Co by Silver Willow -
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Jewellery Focus is a magazine dedicated to all retailers in the jewellery trade. Targeting high street stores, this magazine caters for comp...
Published on Oct 7, 2010
Jewellery Focus is a magazine dedicated to all retailers in the jewellery trade. Targeting high street stores, this magazine caters for comp...