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Serving the Jewelry Industry in America’s Heartland

Moonrise: Fish Leather Jewelry Hooks the Coastal Crowd

Don Basch Jewelers Builds Dream Store

An offbeat sales pitch simmered forgotten for a couple of years before necessity had its way with Moonrise Jewelry owner Meredith Lusk of Cape Charles, Va.

Business owners have thresholds that when reached bring about change, usually for the better. Don and Denise Basch opened their Macedonia, Ohio-based store in 1979 with wholesale repairs in the back and retail in the front. When a large wholesale client became unreliable they went full retail. And, after moving store locations over four decades to accommodate their shop they had enough of that as well.

Lusk was selling her handmade jewelry items along with a business partner out of a rented space - a studio/retail gallery in a house that served as the county seat in nearby Eastville when she first heard the expression “fish leather.”

A salesman cold-called her, identified himself and his company and simply asked if she would like to buy some.

“You don’t need to call me next year,” she remembers telling the caller.

But in the third year, the Great Recession of 2008 struck, and she had a baby, and her partner left the business. Forced to close the rented space and set up a studio in her house, Lusk met the mother of invention.

After years of planning (and delays due to COVID and high construction materials costs) Don Basch Jewelers opened its new doors in July of 2023. The new building is a standalone store that boasts of approximately 6,800 square feet of space. Roughly 4,200 square feet is dedicated to the showroom that has an impressive 212 linear square feet of case space.

Lusk scoffed at the random late-Friday sales call from Canada. And a year later, she got another call and scoffed again.

It was not the first time: A few years earlier, after studying Spanish and anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans, she had returned home to rural Cape Charles and its scarce job market to piece together a living. She worked as a journalist and parttime community college Spanish teacher and made jewelry on the side, pursuing her childhood pastime as a hobby. Entrepreneurship beckoned - she had sold seashell

“We’re all putting on a lot more mileage daily which isn’t a bad thing – we joke around a lot,” says Dustin Basch, the young-

Retailers can profit with Quality Gold’s SWISS CROWN™ USA Pre-owned

Rolex Independently Certified Watches

Retailers can profit with Quality Gold’s SWISS CROWN™ USA Pre-owned Rolex Independently Certified Watches



- leading wholesale watch company specializing in pre-owned Rolex watches that are independently certified - is the latest asset in a growing portfolio of successful brand acquisitions by Quality Gold, which added the brands Herco in 2023 and IB Goodman in 2022.

- leading wholesale watch company specializing in pre-owned Rolex watches that are independently certified - is the latest asset in a growing portfolio of successful brand acquisitions by Quality Gold, which added the brands Herco in 2023 and IB Goodman in 2022.

Retailers, who provide their clients with the opportunity to buy luxury pre-owned Rolex independently certified watches, demonstrate a superior luxury customer experience in their store while enjoying increased profit dollars.

Retailers, who provide their clients with the opportunity to buy luxury pre-owned Rolex independently certified watches, demonstrate a superior luxury customer experience in their store while enjoying increased profit dollars.

The consumer market for luxury watches has boomed post pandemic, with Rolex dominating

The consumer market for luxury watches has boomed post pandemic, with Rolex dominating

sales, new and pre-owned, as the most popular luxury watch brand. Rolex continues to rank among the most recognized brands of

sales, new and pre-owned, as the most popular luxury watch brand. Rolex continues to rank among the most recognized brands of

luxury goods in the world. The prestige of owning a Rolex continues to be sought after by luxury goods consumers.

With such high demand for Rolex, consumers are turning to the pre-owned market in search of watches that may be currently unavailable to them new. Sustained consumer demand for luxury watches indicates that jewelers will continue to enjoy revenue growth in this product segment.

luxury goods in the world. The prestige of owning a Rolex continues to be sought after by luxury goods consumers. With such high demand for Rolex, consumers are turning to the pre-owned market in search of watches that may be currently unavailable to them new. Sustained consumer demand for luxury watches indicates that jewelers will continue to enjoy revenue growth in this product segment.

est of the five Basch children (three of which joined the family business).

Store co-founder Don Basch is a selftaught bench jeweler. Given his and Denise’s history of self-starting it’s no surprise that the store that bears his name was built from scratch. Don and his family hired contractors to complete the brick building and then the essential infrastructure inside before hiring Leslie McGwire, president of Leslie McGwire and Associates, to design the build out.

As jewelers, the Basch family has their own history of giving customers what they want. That’s why working with Leslie was an easy choice.

“One large decision to work with Leslie was her ability to listen to what we wanted, not necessarily what she wanted to design, but what our needs were and our ideas,” says Dustin. “We interviewed many different designers and engineers, it always seemed like

Colored Stone Shopping List for Vegas

Colored Stone Shopping List for Vegas

There’s a fundamental truism in the colored stone market. When the economy is challenging for the average consumer, precious color prevails as solid sellers. When taking a deep dive into colored stone trends for 2024 and beyond blue sapphires and Colombian emeralds are leading the pack, according to Yvonne Jiew, founder of Rockstoc LLC.

There’s a fundamental truism in the colored stone market. When the economy is challenging for the average consumer, precious color prevails as solid sellers. When taking a deep dive into colored stone trends for 2024 and beyond blue sapphires and Colombian emeralds are leading the pack, according to Yvonne Jiew, founder of Rockstoc LLC.

This year’s Tucson Gem Show has given the industry a look at what’s in the rearview mirror for consumer trends and what’s ahead on the horizon.

This year’s Tucson Gem Show has given the industry a look at what’s in the rearview mirror for consumer trends and what’s ahead on the horizon.

“In my opinion morganites are cold and have been for the past few years despite their once strong presence in the marketplace,” says Yvonne. “Green/teal sapphires, which were the custom jewelers’ go-to for the past few years, are in the downward trend in favor of classic

“In my opinion morganites are cold and have been for the past few years despite their once strong presence in the marketplace,” says Yvonne. “Green/teal sapphires, which were the custom jewelers’ go-to for the past few years, are in the downward trend in favor of classic

Sapphire in a variety of colors

Classic blues, especially sapphire’s rich inherent color, is a solid staple that performs well in a down economy. Purple sapphires, however, may be benefiting from Pantone’s color of the year for 2025, Future Dusk – a deep blue/violet color. Other fancy colored sapphires are “runners up” to blue sapphires and emeralds, according to Yvonne.

Classic blues, especially sapphire’s rich inherent color, is a solid staple that performs well in a down economy. Purple sapphires, however, may be benefiting from Pantone’s color of the year for 2025, Future Dusk – a deep blue/violet color. Other fancy colored sapphires are “runners up” to blue sapphires and emeralds, according to Yvonne.

Consumer tastes in precious metals are also playing their role in colored stone choices. The yellow

Consumer tastes in precious metals are also playing their role in colored stone choices. The yellow

3 Jewelry News • May 2024 “A Newspaper Dedicated to the Southern Jewelry Industry” Vol 37 No. 5 May 2024
Inside Cape Charles, Virginia-based Moonrise Jewelry.
Please see Color page 26 Please see Crown page 28 Please see Moonrise page 4 1 Jewelry News • May 2024 VOL 23 NO. 5
www.midamericajewelrynews.com MAY 2024
Please see Color page 26 Please see Crown page 28
Inside Don Basch Jewelers
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Continued from page 3

jewelry in her father’s pharmacy - and before long she turned her passion into a business. Now, she didn’t want to go back.

Continued from page 3 they wanted their ideas first not necessarily ours. Leslie was able to work with us to complete the dream store we all had imagined.”

“I thought, ‘I have got to come up with something really different, or I’m going to have to go get a regular job,” Lusk recalls. “Fish leather popped in my mind.”

So, she Googled the salesman and his fish leather company and called.

The Basch family is steeped in tradition and traditional ways of running their store. And, to Don and Denise’s credit, entering the family business was always a choice given to their children. The only “must do” for the Basch boys was dressing up in tuxedos for the store’s holiday show once a year. (They worked as doormen and servers during the Christmas season event every year.)

Sons Donny, Daniel and Dustin chose retail jewelry as a career path. Don was the talented hands of the business, while Denise was the problem-solver and heart of customer relationshipsmuch like the Basch home. With roles overlapping between home and work, Denise was the loved and beloved matriarch of the family and the business.

Twenty years ago, Don even found a diamond manufacturer that agreed to produce a unique round brilliant cut diamond dedicated to his wife, the Denise. The diamond jewelry collection, “Denise Anne”, wasn’t just an in-house brand exclusive to the store, it paid homage to Denise.

“I think I’m ready for my samples,” she told him.

The salesman sent her a few salmon leather samples in dazzling colors - magenta, turquoise, shiny black.

When it came time to take the Basch jewelry store to the next level, Denise suddenly died shortly after the structure was completed and the build out was in its very early stages. The loss to the family was significant. Her untimely passing gave the surviving family members the resolve to honor Denise as a mother,

“I grew up fishing,” Lusk says, and the idea that she could make something beautiful and sustainable out of something that would otherwise be fishingindustry waste appealed to her. “To think it had that potential was captivating.”

coastal locale - customers often wander in wearing flip-flops and a cover-up, and Lusk doesn’t want them to feel intimidated. She offers her signature jewelry pieces at a friendly price point: items run between $35 and $300,

“I like to call it ‘coastal chic’

After about a year of experimentation, striving to make something professional and finished, Lusk debuted her first pieces. The women’s wide cuff bracelet was an immediate hit and remains one of her top sellers.

a matriarch and a volunteer in the community through the new store.

“There was a bit of Fate calling,” she says. “It turned my business around and saved it. It quickly became apparent that this was a niche I could hang my hat on.”

Fish leather proved the perfect fit for Moonrise Jewelry’s

“I would say the only goal or mission that changed was finding a way to honor her,” says Dustin. “She was a big part of our family, business, and the community. She served as the athletic director at our school for over 15 years as well as a volunteer wherever she could throughout the community. She was well known in the community. As a person who could get anything done and in a good way, don’t get in her way. People come in every day wishing she was still there to greet them at the door.”

When designing the store Leslie was tasked with many responsibilities to create a luxury jewelry store. But a unique challenge for the award-winning interior designer was to create a special sales section for the Denise Anne in-house brand while honoring Denise’s memory.



ating out of her house when her mother brought home a Spanx catalog with a call for entries for the Leg Up award given to women-owned businesses. She sent in several samples of fish-leather jewelry.

“Lo and behold, I was one of the winners!”

Spanx founder Sara Blakely endorsed Lusk’s fish leather

“With the new location we’ve been able to add equipment allowing us better castings for custom orders as well as really allowing us to push our capabilities to create our own in-house jewelry line, 100 percent manufacturing in Cleveland, Ohio,” says Dustin. “We were also able to add a lot of what you listed as far as the updated workshop private diamond office and more workstations for the staff.”

Leslie is known for her high-

fill the beautiful ring they’ve just picked out,” says Dustin. “This gives the customer the feeling of custom without necessarily the full custom process and cost.”

wanted and could build my dream store.”

Lusk enlisted Artco Group to create light driftwood-colored display cases for a modern interior. She worked with local artist Abbi Custis to provide paintings as well as the unique “river of fish” interactive swatch board with hundreds of magnetic fishshaped leather samples that can be removed and compared sideby-side.

For the customers, the Basch family is of the opinion that a Midwestern town can give their customers the feel of being in a luxurious store in a high-end zip code on the East or West Coast. But for the people of Macedonia, Ohio, they don’t have to travel that far for such a jewelry retail

Her 1,700-square-foot space boasts a studio in back that can be viewed through glass French doors, and where Lusk works with three women who craft her designs. Fish leather jewelry makes up about half of the store’s

“We wanted to make sure that the Denise Anne display area really stood out compared to the other parts of the store,” says Leslie. “We decided on doing the jewelry cases and displays with white cabinets and the LED lights flowing from the top of the cabinets. With everything else in the store being a wood tone, the white design really stands out. Denise was such an amazing wife, mom, grandma and a pillar of the community. Denise was really the heartbeat for so many years within and outside the store.”

Customers can’t resist a step inside to find out what fish leather is, so education is a big part of the experience. She now primarily sources the material from Iceland, which has an eco-friendly tanning process that is geothermal powered.

And then there is the sensory experience, between the countless colors and the tactile appeal.

“People can look through the window and see this giant rack with fish leather samples in hundreds of colors,” Lusk says. They love to come in, ask questions, and handle the material.

In 2012, Lusk was still oper-

With the Denise Anne boutique completed, designing and building the rest of the store fell into place nicely. With Basch’s history deeply rooted in bench work the shop got a huge upgrade in terms of space, technology and customer interaction. This is especially timely as the store is moving more to sell and make custom designs and their own jewelry collections.

jewelry, featured it in her Spanx catalog, and offered a 30-minute one-on-one phone call about her business.

stands that every customer in every jewelry store is valued, from the $20 watch battery customer to the $20,000 engagement ring customer. One of Dustin’s favorite parts of the new store is the chandelier. Its “grand and great” without being “snooty,” says Dustin.

“We talked about the trajectories you could follow, and it prompted me to look at ways I could build upon what I had,” says Lusk. “I thought, it’s time for me to get back out in the public, back into retail.”

Dustin “absolutely loves” the feature tile wall behind the store’s name near the front entrance. “The tile looks like little pieces of the moon,” says Dustin.

She opened the first Moonrise retail store in downtown Cape Charles that year, and now she’s in her fourth and final location - in the 100-year-old Saks Variety Store building on historic Mason Avenue.

The store carries a line of demi-fine jewelry that is not fish leather, as well as jewelry featuring freshwater pearls, sterling silver, gold-filled metals, and

“We also offer permanent jewelry, which has been a huge hit from the moment I started providing the service last June,” Lusk says.

Thanks to collaboration with another jewelry store owner, Moonrise has a substantial collection of fine jewelry, including vintage and estate pieces, and repairs and gold buying services as well.

“I would probably never be able to branch out to fine jewelry and full-service jewelry without mentoring by Phil Ralph of Madison Jewelers in Virginia Beach,” she says.

“The benefit of all those moves is that I knew what I

“The staff really enjoys our new bridal booths which now allows the customers to pick different rings and then sit down and look at great diamond options to

Nonetheless, fish leather is the key to her specific corner of the jewelry world.

“It’s the hook that gets them in the store!”

And, with the new store also comes ways to better serve the community. “We love helping our community which we’ve called home for 45 years. The new building allows us to host chamber events, nonprofit events, and large scale in store events,” says Dustin. “In our old spaces we used to have to sacrifice quantity of people and quality of time with people. This new store, with the amount of space we have, allows people to have a steady flow of time with us, time to look around and time to enjoy the hors d’oeuvres and drinks we have to offer.”

Editor, Bill Newnam bill@southernjewelrynews.com

Editor, Bill Newnam bill@southernjewelrynews.com

Publisher, Chris Smith chris@southernjewelrynews.com Administration and classified advertising

Publisher, Chris Smith chris@southernjewelrynews.com Administration and classified advertising

Martha Osswald martha@southernjewelrynews.com

Martha Osswald martha@southernjewelrynews.com

Staff Writers

Staff Writers

Wanda Freeman

Wanda Freeman

Paul Holewa

Paul Holewa

Dianna Jarrett

Dianna Jarrett

Deborah Yonick

Deborah Yonick

Vice President Sales

Vice President Sales

Elesa B. Dillon elesa@southernjewelrynews.com

Elesa B. Dillon elesa@southernjewelrynews.com

Contributing Writers

Contributing Writers

Diana Jarrett

Diana Jarrett

Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson

Melissa Muir

Melissa Muir

Chuck Koehler

Chuck Koehler

George Prout

George Prout

Southern Jewelry News

Southern Jewelry News 2006 New Garden Road - Suite 208

2006 New Garden Road - Suite 208 Greensboro, NC 27410

Greensboro, NC 27410

Phone: 336-389-1950

Phone: 336-389-1950

Fax: 336-389-1952

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email: info@southernjewelrynews.com

email: info@southernjewelrynews.com

Any views or opinions presented in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Southern Jewelry News.

Any views or opinions presented in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Southern Jewelry News.

4 Jewelry News • May 2024
Southern Jewelry News Mid-America Jewelry News
Established 1988
Sampling of Moonrise offerings River of fish interactive fish leather swatch board. Meredith Lusk
Fish leather wide cuffs are a top seller at Moonrise Jewelry.
Southern Jewelry News Mid-America Jewelry News Established 1988
The Denise Anne boutique pays homage to Don’s wife who passed away while the store was being built. Don Basch (center) flanked by his sons and some of the staff.

Industry Events

Sugar Ray Leonard announced as the 2024 JCK Keynote Speaker along with JCK Talks Conference Programming

(NORWALK, Conn.) - JCK, operated by RX, has announce legendary boxing icon and champion, Sugar Ray Leonard, as the keynote speaker for the upcoming event. Taking place from May 31 to June 3, 2024, at The Venetian Expo & The Venetian Resort, the show will also feature a comprehensive JCK Talks conference program, open to all attendees.

The JCK Keynote, titled “The Power to Win!” presented by Sugar Ray Leonard, will be held on Saturday, June 1, in the San Polo Ballroom, Level 3 of the Venetian and is sponsored

by Platinum Guild International. Doors will open at 8:00 AM with the session starting at 8:30. As a legendary boxing champion in five weight divisions, an Olympic Gold Medalist, a Hall of Famer, bestselling author, a television personality, ringside analyst, philanthropist and founder of the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, this keynote will delve into the universal principles of success, drawing parallels between achievements in athletics and business. With captivating storytelling, Leonard will share insights on discipline, focus, de-

termination, preparation, attitude and overcoming challenges, leaving the audience inspired and motivated to pursue greatness in their own endeavors.

“Sugar Ray Leonard is an enormously charismatic figure, and we are excited for him to share his powerful journey of what it took to reach his dreams of Olympic Gold and get to the top of his professional boxing career, and then transition from life as an athlete to a successful entrepreneur. We know all that attend will leave with renewed enthusiasm and a commitment to being the best,” says Sarin Bachmann, Group Vice President for the RX jewelry portfolio and event leader for JCK. “In addition to the JCK Keynote, the JCK Talks educational programming will feature a purposefully curated, insightful, relevant and inspiring lineup of sessions, providing attendees with actionable takeaways from subject matter experts and industry thought leaders. Thank you to Platinum Guild International for sponsoring this exciting Keynote!”

Beginning on Thursday, May 30, the JCK Talks 101 sessions

will be conducted in a classroomstyle setting off the show floor. Additional sessions with focused tracks from trends to innovation are scheduled from May 31 to June 2 on the Showcase Stage and Social Stage located on Level 2 of the show floor. The Showcase Stage sessions include multiperspective panels and dedicated single-speaker sessions. The ‘Track’ format divides sessions into eight main topics including: Hot Topics, Trends, Business Management, Sales, Innovation, Sustainability & Ethics, Your Development, and Marketingwhich will run each hour from 10:00 am to the last session starting at 5:00 pm each day.

The JCK Social Stage also located on Level 2 of the show floor will feature digital strategists, content creators and influencers, offering actionable takeaways for content creation, social media engagement, growth and cultivating authenticity. The 30-minute sessions will run from 11:30 am - 4:30 pm each day and will cover a spectrum of topics, from influencer-led panels to demonstrations, providing attendees with practical knowledge to

enhance their online presence and engagement. Friday’s sessions will focus on content, Saturday will dive into data and analytics, while Sunday puts it into practice with how-to’s.

The JCK Keynote and JCK Talks sessions are open and complimentary to all attendees on a first-come seating basis. Seating is limited and a badge is required to attend all sessions.

For the full schedule of programming and events, to register or for information on hotel bookings and travel, visit lasvegas.jckonline.com.

• JCK: Friday, May 31Monday, June 3, 2024

• Luxury: Wednesday, May 29 - Monday, June 3, By Invitation Only May 29 & May 30

• Select Events and Features Opening on Thursday, May 30

NEW for 2024: The Hong Kong Pavilion, Moving to the Level 1 Ballrooms

NEW for 2024: The Sustainability Summit at JCK, Level 3 GEMS Featuring AGTA, Level 2

JCK Talks, Level 1, Venetian Meeting Rooms 101 and 102

JIS Spring wraps with great success and a little luck

(NORWALK, Conn.) - JIS

Spring 2024 offered attendees a blend of exquisite jewelry, opportunities to connect with suppliers and fellow retailers and many memorable moments. Across a vast 72,000-square-foot show floor, the event drew over 3,350 enthusiastic buyers and 325 exhibitors, transforming the Miami Beach Convention Center into a bustling hub of transactions and product discovery. JIS Spring set the stage on a high note for the eagerly awaited JIS Fall show. Here are some of the standout moments from the show:

them to wholesalers that will help empower their store’s growth. Daily happy hours, a new pavilion pop-up event, and a vibrant energy on the show floor further spurred attendees to explore new relationships to expand their businesses.

Anticipated Trends

Diverse Exhibitors

JIS Spring 2024 provided a platform for a diverse range of exhibitors, from established premium suppliers to innovative newcomers, to showcase their finest products. Attendees lauded the event for its “variety of wholesalers” and the opportunity to discover “new products and vendors.”

Networking Triumphs

Beyond its primary role as a jewelry trade buying event, JIS Spring emerged as a thriving networking hub, fostering a collaborative atmosphere for meaningful connections between attendees and suppliers. Testimonials from participants underscored how the event was instrumental in leading

JIS Spring offered a glimpse into the hottest jewelry trends for 2024. “Gold jewelry emerged as the undeniable favorite across all jewelry styles!” noted JIS Marketing Director Lauren Van Rensburg, reflecting the ‘70s revival predicted by fashion experts to dominate the jewelry industry this year.

“Attendees left the event inspired and armed with the knowledge of what their customers will be seeking in the coming months,” Van Rensburg added. From timeless classics to avant-garde pieces and innovative technology, JIS Spring offered a glimpse into consumers’ evolving tastes and preferences, sparking excitement for the forthcoming JIS Fall.

6 Jewelry News • May 2024
Please see JIS page 8


Designs By BOOTH #
SHINE BRIGHTER THAN EVER ye a rs o f suc c e ss

Overcoming cash flow challenges and re-energizing the natural diamond market

“When presenting diamonds both natural and lab it is so important to highlight the age of natural diamonds,” says Asaf Herskovitz, CEO GN Diamond. “It is almost incomprehensible to realize they are 1 billion - over 3 billion years old. Most are found between 93 and 155 miles below surface and some as deep as 500 miles! The question is often asked, how many salespeople incorporate this into their sales pitch?”

“Some people say that natural diamonds are nature’s scarce masterpieces,” he added. “This is likely the oldest item any one person may buy in their lifetime. It is a no wonder there is approximately a 34% shortage of natural diamonds today compared to 2005.”

These facts alone can begin a fascinating conversation between retailers and prospective customers when shopping for diamonds. Lab diamonds certainly have found their place in the market, but now due to mass manufacturing, there is no limit on production. Additionally, big box retailers like Costco, Walmart, Macy’s, QVC, and JCPenny are increasing their lab grown inventory and providing major competition for independents.

GN Diamond speaks with over 4,000 jewelers daily and has learned more retailers are

presenting natural diamonds first. Cash flow continues to be a concern and while profit margins may be higher with lab grown diamond sales, bottom line net revenue is greater with natural diamond sales. “The health of the industry is to first sell natural diamonds,” said Herskovitz.

One easy tool to aide in presenting natural diamonds is GN’s free and easy to use 3rd party light performance tool. Light performance is key to a diamond’s brilliancy, fire and unique captivation. The light performance tool creates a quick way to explain why no two diamonds of similar size, color and clarity are the same and how one may be less expensive but may not be as brilliant as the other. This helps retailers explain pricing differences and reduce negotiations. Additionally, a QR code may easily be scanned to create a fascinating diamond story including its light brilliancy, GIA certification, and Gemprint insurance discount. All of these factors help jewelers sell more diamonds and reduce competition.

GN diamond offers free training and continuously strives for ways to help jewelers sell more diamonds. For more information call 800-724-8810, visit gndiamond.com or email sales@gndiamond.com.

“Wilkerson is the best. They did everything they said they would do, and more. Everything was organized and detailed. They’re well-respected in the industry, and now I see why — they know how to do it.”

JisContinued from page 6

Miami Beach Magic

The picturesque charm and buzzing vitality of Miami Beach infused an extra layer of allure into JIS Spring 2024. Beyond the dazzling displays of jewelry, participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the lifestyle offerings that Miami Beach is renowned for. With world-class dining, a prominent art scene, cultural diversity, eye-catching architecture and high-end shopping, Miami Beach is the perfect setting for a blend of luxury and leisure.

Memorable Moments

From the bustling show floor and curated pavilions to the daily happy hours and special giveaways, attendees were treated to a truly immersive experience. One standout highlight was the St. Patrick’s Day-themed scratchoff tickets, which added an extra touch of fun to the event. Attendees received a scratch-off ticket upon badge pickup, offering the chance to win a variety of prizes including merchandise credits worth up to $1,000.

As JIS Spring 2024 successfully wrapped up, anticipation builds for JIS Fall in October. This upcoming event promises the jewelry community another opportunity to restock inventory and explore an extensive selection of jewelry products while keeping current on the latest industry trends. Mark your calendars and get ready to experience the brilliance of JIS Fall, taking place October 6-9, 2024 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida.

For more information or to sign up to be notified when JIS Fall registration opens visit jisshow.com.

8 Jewelry News • May 2024 CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION! Call Bobby Wilkerson, Rick Hayes or Josh Hayes at 800.631.1999. Or visit us at wilkersons.com. *Projected and Actual ROI calculated after expenses. 159% ANNUAL SALES Achieved in 10 Weeks PROJECTED RETURN ON INVESTMENT* 267% 99% SOLD Owner’s Inventory
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The Retailer’s Perspective

Lab Grown Diamonds and their Effect on the Industry

One of the biggest changes, and challenges, that we face in the jewelry industry at this point in time is the introduction of large lab grown diamonds into the marketplace. A few years ago, the idea of a 1 carat (or larger), VS quality synthetic diamond was just a rumor floating around out there. Today, they are no longer a rumor, they are a reality. Depending on your situation, they are either a problem, or an opportunity, depending on what part of our industry you are in.

I’ve been dealing with pawn shops and gold/jewelry buyers my entire career. Lab grown diamonds are a big problem for these businesses. These businesses were the first ones to get stung by those big stones because no one saw them coming! Jewelry stores that buy over the counter were right behind the pawn shops because none of us saw them coming either, until we were forced to. They just kind of snuck in one day, and suddenly they were ‘a thing’.

I’ve been following this topic since the beginning and have

some thoughts I’d like to share. First off, they’ve been around a lot longer than we knew about. How do we know this? If you have an ultraviolet black light, you can hold a diamond bracelet or a cluster ring underneath it and some of the diamonds will glow bright blue, some will glow pale blue, and some will do nothing. Although that test is for florescence, it’s pretty cool to show it to customers just for fun.

Back in the ‘80s, when I was young enough to want to go out to the discos, it was cool to see everyone’s jewelry glowing bright

blue and they had no idea why it was happening. But, when that started happening with lab grown diamonds in the new UV testers, there was nothing cool about that at all!

The test for lab grown diamonds - although the process appears similar to testing for florescence - is actually quite different.

Our original diamond testers were measuring thermal conductivity. That’s just a fancy way of saying that the machines are measuring how heat reacts inside the stone.

Since diamonds, CZs, and Moissanite all have vastly different

chemical and thermal properties, the tests were conclusive. Lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds have the exact same thermal properties so another method of detection had to be developed.

Testers for lab-grown vs. natural are now measuring how UV light moves through the stone. The UV light will turn natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds different colors. Jewelry stores that swore they would never sell anything other than natural diamonds, were suddenly seeing ‘red’, since that’s one of the colors that lab grown diamonds will ‘glow’ in some of these new testers.

I know that there is a difference between CVD (chemical vapor deposition) and HPHT (high pressure/high temperature) lab grown diamonds, but from a financial perspective, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference so I’m going to skip over that topic, although a lot of the testers do make that distinction. Also, I’ve never seen a lab report make that distinction on their certificates.

One thing I would like to point out about HPHT is that it can be used in two different contexts. Lab-grown diamonds can be produced using this method. But, natural diamonds can also be enhanced using this treatment. While doing some research for this column, I was reading a technical journal from 2016 about the HPHT process and how it can change the color of brown and yellow diamonds to near white diamonds. But there was not a hint of if being used to produce lab grown diamonds since they hadn’t hit the market yet.

When it comes to the prices of lab-grown diamonds, we all know that the prices are dropping constantly. I’ve sold several pair of studs over the last couple of months. I tell all of my customers that the only promise I can make them is that they will be cheaper tomorrow than they are today. But, that’s not the whole story of their effect on the marketplace.

A year or so ago, I interviewed several lab-grown suppliers about the impact of the dropping prices. Many of them told Please see Chuck page 38

10 Jewelry News • May 2024
Chuck Koehler

Come See A Lab Grown Diamond Growing Machine at JCK in las vegas

Last year we flew a 2000-pound Growing Machine from India to JCK so we could show Jewelers what one actually looks like, up close and personal. We also brought a videographer so we could take videos to provide content to help them position themselves as the local Expert on Lab.

This year we’re doing it again. If you’d like to make an appointment to see the machine, as well as shoot some powerful marketing footage, scan the QR code and it will take you straight to our appointment calendar. We’ll also supply the Lab coat!

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The Story Behind the Stone

Everything New is Old Again

Well, “it was only a matter of time,” we could surmise. We often believe that whatever we’re thinking about - has already been done, somewhere. So let’s imagine that manufactured diamonds would begin to be turned out in vintage diamond shapes.

And you know what? It’s a thing.

Diamond Shapes Create Individuality

There’s a special appeal to vintage diamond shapes - the Old Mine, Old European, and the

lesser known Rose cut diamond, which was originally called the Victorian Rose cut. Those antique diamond shapes dominated the industry over a century back.

What Happens Inside the Stone

The evolution of diamond cuts is fascinating to study. As cutters developed a greater understanding of how light behaves inside a diamond, they modified their faceting patterns. With each new awareness of how to achieve greater brilliance and scintillation, cutters changed the facet shape, the number of facets in

each pattern, and the relative angle to each other.

That’s a lot to take in. Fortunately for today’s retailer, the proof is in the sparkle. When a jeweler shows a superior cut diamond to a consumer, the result is nothing less than life changingat least for the bride who gasps, “This is it!”

Foundational Cuts

The forerunner of the modern diamond cuts harkens back to the early 15th century. The primeval shapes were called the French Cut and gained enormous popu-

larity by the ones who could afford diamonds then - the nobility and royalty. Although considered rudimentary by today’s sophisticated cutting styles, those early cuts allowed enough sparkling light to dance off the stones as the aristocracy sashayed through the ballrooms and dining halls lit only by candles.

French cut diamonds are easily distinguished by their crisscross pattern that crosses each corner of the square cut stone. It had an open square culet too.

Modern Times - Antique Charm

Surviving to modern times are the Old Miners, Old Euros, and occasionally the (Victorian) Rose cut stones. And by surviving, we mean cutters are shaping

12 Jewelry News • May 2024
Victorian Rose Cut Lab Diamond Ring. Photo Diamond Rensu
Please see Jarrett page 34
Old Mine Cut Moissanite. Photo Diamond Rigo

ASHI announces two new Giveaways Mother’s Day and JCK Luxury Las Vegas Giveaways

ASHI is delighted to announce the launch of two new Retailer Giveaways to show appreciation for their retail partners and retailers’ dedicated sales associates - the Mother’s Day and the JCK Luxury Las Vegas Show Giveaways.

“Our Giveaways reflect ASHI’s heartfelt gratitude for the invaluable role sales associates play in driving our ongoing growth and success,” said Mr. Pandya, partner at ASHI. “We are delighted to offer these exclusive opportunities as a gesture of our appreciation and recognition for their commitment and hard work.”

ASHI will be giving away a “MAMA” Personalized Necklace valued at $1,395 to the winning sales associate of the Mother’s

Day Giveaway and a 1.50 carat Halfway Riviera Diamond Necklace in 14K, valued at $3,995 for the JCK Luxury Giveaway.

Mother’s Day Giveaway

ASHI invites all sales associates to enter this exclusive giveaway, held on Instagram at


Participation Guidelines

• Complete the ASHI B2B Feedback Survey available on their website ashidiamonds.com.

• Follow @ASHIDiamonds on Instagram/Facebook

• Like the designated post on Instagram

• Tag the mom figure who holds a special place in your heart in the Comments Section and share why they are extraordinary Entries will be accepted until May 12, 2024. The winner will be announced May 15, 2024.

JCK Luxury Giveaway

For a chance to win this Giveaway, retailers should book an appointment on ASHI’s B2B website and visit ASHI at booth LUX1227 during the JCK Luxury Las Vegas Show.

Participation Guidelines

• Schedule an appointment on ASHI’s website.

• Visit ASHI’s booth at JCK Luxury where a team member will provide you with a sign-in sheet to enter the Giveaway.

The lucky retailer who wins the 1.50 carat Halfway Riveria Diamond Necklace will be notified by the ASHI team after the show.

50+ Years Experience Mentor Class Jeweler Creator of the Tradeshows Bench Jewelers Challenge

“Don’t miss out on these exceptional opportunities to enhance your retail experience and delight your customers with the finest jewelry pieces!” said Mr. Pandya.

To make an appointment with ASHI and enter the Giveaway visit ashidiamonds.com/NewsAndEvents/TradeShowSchedule.aspx.

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For more information call 800-622-ASHI (2744), contact your ASHI sales representative, or visit ashidiamonds.com.

16 Jewelry News • May 2024
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The Edge is one of the smartest investments we’ve made in business—it gives us a competitive edge. For a FREE demo, contact us at 1-855-TRY-EDGE or sales@ajsllc.com. — See us at JCK Las Vegas; Booth 52107 in The Edge Village — The Edge enables us to market directly to our clients through targeted text campaigns, emails, and messaging through Podium integration. It recently enabled us to hone in on a very specific target for our text campaign to Rolex watch collectors who had either purchased or expressed interest in purchasing a rare model we had just acquired. The campaign was a huge success and so easy. Likewise, The Edge makes generating mailing lists a piece of cake. We can set up our own parameters on the lists that we generate so that we’re making smart decisions before we go to print with our annual catalog, saving us time and a whole lot of money. - Tom and Brandy Whisnant, Wellington & Company, New Orleans, LA See Our Story

Applied Marketing 101

Are the Macroeconomic Chickens Now Coming Home to Roost?

I’ve been thinking about money a lot lately, not as in “How much do I have” or “How much more do I need”, but rather about currency, and how countries can debase the value of their currency, and what endgame is like in a hyperinflationary spiral. So for this month’s article, let’s take a practical look at recent events to get a sense of what the future might look like.

Specifically, let’s imagine that you and I have a friend named Mary. She’s employed in sales, and she’s very good at her

job. In 2019, she was making $200,000 per year, and a competitor offered her $300,000, and she accepted the job. Let’s see what’s happened to Mary since then.

For starters, let’s look at her income level. She initially got a 50 percent raise, which she was pretty happy about. But since 2019, the value of the dollars she’s being paid has eroded by about 30 percent. This means that, in terms of 2019 dollars, she’s only making $210,000 dollars per year now, a measly 5 percent raise. No wonder she

has this funny feeling of unease, a sense that even though from an objective level she’s being paid big bucks now, things just don’t feel quite as good as they did when she got the raise.

Even worse, when she was making the 200K, after deductions she was in a 24 percent marginal tax bracket. But now, at 300K, she finds herself in the 33 percent bracket, meaning that after taxes she actually has less spending power than she did when she was making 200K at her old job. That’s what happens

when inflation and redistributive tax policies conspire to diminish your discretionary spending capacity.

Fortunately, Mary has been killing it in the stock market. In 2019, the value of her investment account was just over 2 million dollars. But now, with the Dow, the NASDAQ, and the S&P 500 all at record levels, she has amassed an amazing 2.8 million dollars! Mary is now a millionaire almost 3 times over!

Except when we convert the 2.8 million to 2019 dollars, the

value of her investment portfolio is actually less than it was 5 years ago. And even worse, when Mary sells her investments to convert them into spendable dollars, she’s going to owe an additional 160,000 in capital gains taxes. So that wonderful nest egg she originally created by saving hard and investing wisely is now actually worth $150,000 less than it was in 2019.

And then there’s that $258,000 house Mary was thinking about buying back in 2019.

At the time, it seemed pretty expensive (although it was actually priced precisely at the average selling price for a house in America that year), so she passed on it, and when she took the new job with the big raise, it had already sold. But now it’s back on the market, once again at the average selling price for a house in the first quarter of 2024. But this time, the price is $384,500. And now, instead of a 3.5 percent mortgage, she’s looking at a 7 percent mortgage. So with 20 percent down, her interest expense alone will be almost $1,500 more per month ($11,000 per year from the extra 3.5 percent on $320,000, plus $7,000 per year on the extra 100K in house price) than it would have been had she bought the house in 2019.

Poor Mary. She’s having trouble understanding why things seem so depressing, even though she’s succeeding at her job and she’s making more money than she had ever dreamed possible.

And what of her friend Susan? Susan and her husband Bill were making a combined $200,000 per year in 2019, and really haven’t had much for raises over the past 5 years. They used to have extra money for things like a nice vacation every year, but now they don’t, and they’re having trouble saving for retirement and their kids’ college educations.

Finally, let’s take a look at Tom, who owns a jewelry store. In 2019, Tom’s store broke 2 million dollars for the first time. And then the following Spring, Covid hit, and for about 6 weeks Tom was scared to death about his business. But then when he re-

18 Jewelry News • May 2024
Please see Prout page 38

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Look for the GET IT FAST icon to determine a stock versus a made to order item.

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Ask yourself “Why?” and watch sales increase

Anyone that spends much time around young toddlers has likely experienced that beautiful age in which the child constantly asks, “Why?” when responding to any instruction. The redundancy in which the question is asked can drive a parent to resort to that catchall answer, “Because I said so!”

My suggestion for you in this column is to attempt to momentarily connect with your own inner child and explore the question of “Why” in your own stores operation by asking:

“Why do we do it this way?”

“Why do we put this merchandise in this case as opposed

to over there?”

“Why are those rings displayed together?”

“Why are those rings priced at that higher price?”

“Why is this ad for next week’s downtown jazz festival on top of this showcase where it is blocking the light?”

“Why do you start your bridal sales presentation with those words instead asking ___?”

As a person interested in improving the performance of your store, you might take a critical look at your location and ask your colleagues “Why?” In the times I have asked this question in a client’s store, I have heard the following answers:

“I don’t know.”

“It has always been that way.”

“Because, somebody said to do it this like this.”

“Oh, I hadn’t noticed it was like that.”

“It is the only way I can get all this into the case.”

“Because I thought it looked ‘nice’ that way.”

Or, that standby answer...

“Because I said so.”

All of these answers leave much to be desired, both in creativity and in impact on the store’s P&L.

Here are a few acceptable answers:

“Because it is easier for me to sell up when the items are displayed this way.”


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“Because the perceived value of the items is greater on those type of displays.”

“Because the goods organized this way match how the customer shops for these items.”

“Because setting up the cases like this matches the steps I go through when making a presentation on this category thereby making my sales presentation smoother and more successful.”

“Because we tested this showcase layout over the last few months and we sold 23% more.”

Obviously, the difference in answers can be summarized by the term “customer centric”. The right answers are based in the intention to increase sales by making everything in the store’s

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shopping experience based on increasing sales. Make everything in the store focused on that goal.

I prefer a showcase that is not so “pretty” but sells $50,000 a year to another beautiful case nearby doing $25,000. Arrange each case to be totally about making the merchandise look good, look worth the price, be easy to shop and match how sequence of selling points/benefits the salesperson will follow in the presentation. Test different ideas in your cases and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. (Hint: Do more of the things that work and change the losers to something else!)

This applies to your sales presentations as well. In August last year, my wife and I visited an art gallery in Banff, Alberta, Canada as part of a shopping day while on vacation. I was particularly enamored with a beautiful bronze statue the shop offered, and while I was waiting for the shop owner, I overheard his sales presentation to another shopper looking at a different bronze. “Can you believe it? This magnificent piece started as a lifeless mound of clay. It was then shaped by her talented hands - over hours of work in her studio - into the creation she had mentally envisioned before she had even started with the clay. Finally she took the clay and through multiple steps cast this permanent piece for us? The result of all this work is this beautiful sculpture and it’s only $XXXX. Can you believe it?” Yes, the sale was made.

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Sales presentations are about answering the “Why?” question when it isn’t even actually asked. Substitute “wax” for “clay”, add a few words about the romance of the stones in the piece and try a similar approach in your sales presentation. It is the best way to answer the question of WHY the price of this piece is as it is.

Time to try something new! Your showcase arrangements are likely not nailed down. It is a good time of year to try a few new ideas before this year’s holiday season arrives. Try some new showcase display arrangement.

Please see Johnson page 38

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ASHI announces winner of 2024 IJO Retailer Giveaway

ASHI is pleased to announce Green Brothers Jewelers of Bay City, Texas as the winner of the exclusive IJO Retailer Giveaway.

ASHI conducted the IJO Retailer Giveaway as a token of gratitude for the passion and commitment that their retail partners bring to the realm of fine jewelry.

Green Brothers Jewelers showed tremendous enthusiasm for ASHI’s Personalized Jewelry designs at the IJO Spring Show. The retailer had the chance to choose an employee from their store as the winner.

“Congratulations to Diana Garcia, this year’s recipient of the IJO Retailer Giveaway. Diana was awarded with a beautiful Personalized Script Name Necklace in 14K, a symbol of our gratitude for the pivotal role she and her fellow sales associates play in the jewelry industry,” said Mr. Pandya, partner of ASHI Diamonds. “It’s the dedication and expertise of store employees like Diana that drive industry growth and forge meaningful connections with customers. Their commitment not only enriches the consumer experience but also significantly contributes to the thriving landscape of the jewelry business.”

To qualify for this giveaway, retailers were given an informative live demo on ASHI’s Personalized Jewelry Collection & microsite by an ASHI marketing specialist during the IJO Spring Show - offering retailers an opportunity to win a dazzling Personalized Script Name Necklace in 14K, valued at $1,795 retail.

ASHI’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding the dedication of retail partners within the jewelry industry shines brightly through initiatives like their recent IJO Retailer Giveaway. By creating opportunities for engagement and appreciation, ASHI aims to foster a sense of community and celebration among their valued retail partners.

ASHI expressed their appreciation to all participants and assured there are more exciting giveaways on the horizon.

For more information about ASHI call 800-622-ASHI (2744), contact your regional ASHI sales representative or visit www.ashidiamonds.com.

B&D Sales and Service, a Stuller Company, celebrates Grand Opening of new location

(CRANSTON, R.I.) - B&D Sales and Service, a leading provider of jewelry equipment, service, support, and repairs, celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters with a ribbon-cutting event.

“This event was such a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our industry-leadingequipment assortment for jewelry manufacturing, repair, and customization,” says Jacob Dupuis, director of sales. “The factor that separates us from other equipment providers is the team of talented B&D service technicians supporting everything that happens after you purchase the equipment, and this event gave our customers a chance to see this firsthand.”

The grand opening featured not only an inside look at the new location but also demonstrations of bench tools, equipment, and Gemvision software as well as shopping for new and used/refurbished tools and equipment.

“Ever since Stuller’s acquisition of B&D Sales and Service, we have been continuously encouraged by the positive impact of the capabilities in technical support and equipment repair,” says Taylor Burgess, Stuller’s chief customer officer. “This new space will continue to strengthen those capabilities and offers a space in the northeast for our customers to learn and grow with us.”

For more information about B&D Sales and Service and its comprehensive range of jewelry tools and equipment, visit stuller.com/bdsales.

Jewelry News • May 2024 800.845.6964 / info@cargoholdinc.com www.cargoholdinc.com © 2024 All rights reserved. Southern Gates® collection is a registered trademark of e Cargo Hold, Inc.
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Continued from page 3

gold trend is on the “up and up.” People are looking for rich colored stone choices currently in demand to offset the bright hues of yellow gold.

“When you look at what is selling right now, bright pinks, bright reds, royal and electric blues, vivid greens it seems to makes sense,” says Yvonne. “I have noticed in the past 12 months a strong shift towards finer goods, in both mounted and unmounted.” She also notes people are looking for bigger stones.

Spinels, a close cousin to rubies and sapphires in terms of hardness, are also trending wellespecially “Jedi” and gray. “Jedi” is the name of spinels known for their distinctive “neon red” colors.

Market demand for Jedi spinels is very strong. Supplies to the market, however, have been hampered by ethnic civil wars in Burma’s Mansin and Namya

provinces. “The value of bright colored Jedi’s continue to rise because of market demand,” says Yvonne.

But it’s not just skirmishes in far flung areas of the world that is impacting the supply chain of colored stones to the consumer market. COVID, now a distant memory for many, is still having a far-reaching impact on the supply pipeline.

“The world market for colored stones has changed immensely since COVID-19,” says Yvonne. “Dealers face serious sourcing issues when it comes to finer goods. Mining costs, general inflation and war have contributed to the overall upward trend [in prices] of colored stones. That, in conjunction with what seems to be a downward trend in some areas of the diamond industry means that more dealers are moving into colored stones. Retailers trying to clear stock should do it with the knowledge that they are selling and making decisions based on a volatile market.”

In times of economic uncertainty, coupled with a volatile gemstone supply chain, buyers are returning to the color classics of rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

“I think that the three classic stones such as emerald, ruby and sapphires will make a return this year once again,” says Yvonne. “Most of my clients seem to be playing it safe and tak-

ing less risk when choosing what to stock. One of the jewelers that we sell to said, ‘I’ve got to only buy pieces I know I have a good chance of selling and that means this year we are sticking with the big three.’”

Consumer taste for blue doesn’t stop at the deep, rich blues of sapphires. Larger, finer

aquamarines are also finding buyers. Finer aquamarines, along with spessartite garnets, spinels and tourmalines, coupled with sales of the “big three,” accounted for “90 percent of my sales at the Tucson Gem Show,” says Yvonne.

Also trending is a “go big or go home” approach to buying

colored stones. Buyers are showing interest in buying larger, finer goods.

“Whilst there are colored trends pointing towards spessartine, spinels and fancy purple sapphires, I feel that people are buying finer goods especially during the past few years,” says Yvonne. “The pattern emerging for us seems to point towards larger stones overall. Larger emeralds and sapphires seem to be the staple.”

Pearls, another gemstone

staple for retailers, are definitely trending well in the fashion world, with a concentration on “South Seas, Akoyas, and vivid freshwater colors such as lavenders and pinks,” says Yvonne. After a “near stampede” of pearl buyers at this year’s Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s gem and jewelry show, Yvonne is confident the pearl wave will translate well in the US market given the strong presence of pearls in many fashion trends.

“Lines were deep and buyers [at the Hong Kong show in February] were nearly on top of each other clamoring for beadsspecifically high end large round near-perfect beads,” says Yvonne.

Projecting spending thresholds for buyers can be tricky to estimate. For Yvonne: “I still

think that when people do buy and they’re buying for Christmas, people are still spending. Personally, in the past year, I’ve had more sales over the $2,000 wholesale mark than I’ve had under. Maybe it’s just a certain demographic that we seem to sell to. I’m struggling to sell cheap items overall so much so that I’ve had to rapidly update my stock in the past 12 months to reflect my buyers.”

As for retail buyers and how they’ll fit into the colored stones trends, Yvonne suggests retailers know their buying demographics and where customers fall on the buying spectrum. Starting with the “early adaptors” (clients that prefer fresh and new styles), Yvonne recommends spessartite garnet. There are good supplies and they are more affordable given the trend is in the “preliminary phase.”

“Current trend” buyers are at the “top of the bell curve” and are more cautious when buying. “If you take a gem like spinel

and given it’s slow but steady process into the current marketplace one could say that spinels have entered its mature phase,” says Yvonne. “More people know about it and are willing to stock the gemstone.”

Then there’s the “conservative” customer – the diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds customer. And, the “recycled, vintage and antique” demographic: “If this is the retailers clientele there seems to be a lot of value buying secondhand pieces especially in classic blue sapphires and green emeralds which doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime if the past few years are an indicator,” says Yvonne.

For more information on Yvonne’s company, visit her website at Rockstoc.com.

26 Jewelry News • May 2024
Spinel continues to trend well. Rich color aquamarine Spessartite garnet
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Trusted Partner

The addition of the SWISS CROWN™ USA brand will not only be a boost for Quality Gold in the pre-owned Rolex watch segment, but also a positive game changer for the independent retail jeweler, said Jason Langhammer, COO of Quality Gold, which entered the luxury pre-owned watch market on a smaller scale in 2017.

“In researching the market, we found an immediate need from jewelers for a consistent and reliable supplier of pre-owned Rolexes that are independently certified,” Jason shared. “Our research further convinced us that not only was immediate availability necessary, but the retail jewelry store owner needed a partner they could trust, especially in this product segment. At Quality Gold, we knew we could be that source with the acquisition of the SWISS CROWN™ USA brand. Retail jewelers can rely on us as a partner in this market, as they enjoy the benefits of increased product selection, a two-year warranty, independent certification, and immediate availability and delivery.

For more than a decade the SWISS CROWN™ USA brand has been the premier pre-owned Rolex vendor in the industry, which makes it a great fit with Quality Gold, said CEO Michael Langhammer. “Both companies have always strived for quality and consistency and will continue to uphold our high standards.”

The SWISS CROWN™ USA brand does not purchase watches from the public or its customers. “We only source from our vetted long-term wholesale domestic and international sup-

cians, trained on luxury Swiss watches.

CW-21 watch technicians inspect, authenticate, overhaul, polish, and test each watch checking and rechecking to make sure all the parts are functioning properly. If a part is damaged, it will be replaced with an authentic Rolex part.

Watches that do not meet brand standards are returned to vendors, ensuring all SWISS CROWN™ USA brand watches are the highest quality in the preowned market.

In SWISS CROWN™ USA brand watches, every part in the movement is an original Rolex

pliers who are able to supply the quality and quantity that fits our specific needs,” explained Jack Newtown, brand manager of SWISS CROWN™ USA for Quality Gold. Newtown was one of several key SWISS CROWN™ employees who joined Quality Gold.

Quality Control & Service

SWISS CROWN™ USA brand watches undergo an extensive quality control process conducted by certified watch techni-

part and the watches include the serialized case, bracelet and dial plate. Only VS (G-H) natural diamonds are used. After market parts like diamonds or crystals are disclosed on a third-party certification report that is issued by the world-recognized laboratory of Gemworld International. Each watch sold comes with a two-year limited warranty backed by Quality Gold and its watchmakers.

With a product selection that now includes Presidential, Date-

just, and Sport models, the latest SWISS CROWN™ USA brand catalog features over 180 Preowned Rolex Independently Certified watches, most of which are in stock, with special order models available in four to six weeks.

Quality Gold recently released a 44-page catalog featuring this new inventory. The book also answers frequently asked questions about the category, and provides information on resale requirements, sales training, marketing, signage, display, and packaging. Visit swisscrownusa. com for more information.

The ideal time to see and experience the sales support behind this profitable turnkey program for independent retail jewelers is at the upcoming JCK Las Vegas, May 31 to June 3, The Plumb Club, booth PC 230 in the Venetian Expo.

“Jewelers flock to JCK every year to find what may be the hottest trends in the market for the holiday season. Instead of searching for a category that might sell, come to our booth and see the hottest line of luxury watches that will sell,” cheered Newtown, who will be at the show. “Inspect these luxurious watches, and review the warranty, certification, displays, packaging, and marketing materials that have elevated the SWISS CROWN™ USA brand as the premier distributor of Pre-owned Rolex watches.”

Industry veterans Scott Freberg and Daniel Marks founded SWISS CROWN™ USA in Chicago in 2013 with the goal of providing a compelling turnkey solution to selling pre-owned independently certified luxury watches. At the time of the sale, Freberg and Marks said they were impressed with Quality Gold’s operations, ethics, and persistence to improve. “We wanted a buyer that would continue where we left off and maintain the level of service and quality we strived to maintain. We have complete confidence our company’s reputation is in good hands.”

Founded in 1979, Quality Gold operates within the United States, Canada and India. More than 165,000 jewelry and gift products are available to ship same day. Quality Gold actively serves more than 15,000 retailers across the United States, its territories, and Canada. For more information, visit www.qgold.com.

Rolex and the model names mentioned are registered trademarks of Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. Quality Gold, Inc. is not an authorized dealer for, nor affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries.

28 Jewelry News • May 2024
CroWn Continued from page 3
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Creating jewelry with a welder

Since the beginning of jewelry making there have been certain tools utilized. The same techniques have been used over and over and passed from one artist to another. Basic rudimentary tools such as hammers, a hard surface to hammer on, tools to bend wire, make sheet, cut metal, heat, fuse and solder, and set stones are still all that are needed. As time has gone on and more techniques developed, new tools have also been developed to make the artists job better, faster and easier. When I think of all the tools available to us now, the words of my friend, Alan Revere, ring in my ears, “Having the right tool is half the job done.” I think the ancient artisans and crafts people would be blown away with all that we have today. As the world advances in technologies, the jewelry industry has moved right along with it. Today, we can even describe what we want to a computer and it will magically appear, it seems.

One of my favorite high tech tools is a pulse arc welder. So many people often mistakenly

call it a laser welder, however it works very different from a laser welder which uses light as its energy source. So what is a pulse arc welder? In the jewelry industry the pulse arc welders used are micro TIG welders. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas which means that we use a tungsten electrode shielded by an inert gas, in this case, argon. The machine uses a combination of pulsed current and an electric arc to join metals together. The current creates short bursts of high heat which heat the metals to be joined together while the arc provides the necessary energy to form the strong weld.

There are a number of machines available while only a few are suitable for the jewelry industry. In my studio, I have a few different welders from Sunstone Engineering, all from the Orion line of welders. The difference between each of the welders is the amount of energy output available, measured in Joules, and settings that control how that energy is delivered. The most basic machines allow you to adjust how much energy is being delivered only. As you move into more

complex machines you gain more fine tuning abilities such as selecting how big a weld is, which can come in handy when working with prongs, a small area, vs resizing a ring band, a larger area.

At the very minimum, I use welders for closing jump rings, simple chain repairs, filling porosity in castings, making headpins, smoothing earring wire ends, and permanent jewelry. As I move into more complex pieces of jewelry the welder helps me to tack pieces into place before

soldering, pinning elements for kinetic jewelry such as hinges, ring sizing, working against heat sensitive stones and more general jewelry repairs.

In my studio, I mainly work with my 200i. This is a top end machine from Sunstone Engineering and it gives me control over every element of my weld and allows me to do so at the very minute level. This means I can really dial things in to create not only strong welds, but beautiful welds with less clean up.

Why would I chose a Pulse Arc Welder over a Laser Welder?

Sterling silver is the most used metal in most of my own jewelry work. Because of its reflective properties the laser has a hard time directing the energy where it needs to go, but because a pulse arc welder uses an electrode to direct the energy it is more accurate and the energy doesn’t bounce off or get dispersed.

One of my favorite ways to use the welders it to create pieces that make you wonder how it was done, such as setting a stone that lies under a pierced and engraved

top covering. In the construction of this piece I used both soldering and welding techniques. To me, they are a marriage made in heaven and I almost always use both techniques to create my more complex pieces. After forming both the top and bottom in the hydraulic press the bezel is formed and soldered into place. Then the top portion is engraved and pierced out. If I were to set the stone, I could not solder the top portion into place. Not only would it damage my stone, but it would also change the look of my engraving in a way that I would not be able to recover the same bright cut look. If I solder the top piece into place before the engraving and stone setting, I would not have access to the bezel to securely set the stone. However, I can set the stone, engrave the top piece and then weld it into place preserving both ele-

ments. One thing must be noted, due to the conductive nature of silver and copper, the piece will become very hot. I suggest working in short bursts and holding the work with gloves or some other tool to keep your hands safe from the heat generated. When securing the two sides, you will need some additional metal to form a really secure connection. I planned ahead and left a little extra around the edges when I cut the formed pieces from the metal. If I had not done that, I could simply use some filler wire, which is typically wire of the same material with a thickness of around 0.25mm. After welding an area I find it is most useful to compact the weld. This can be done with a burnisher, hammer or I like to use my hammer handpiece. This will help remove

some of the micro porosity that is in the fused join. Once it is compacted, I can move to cleaning up the weld with files, sandpaper and finally polish.

For the final fun element, I added a swinging engraved bail. Using the welder, I balled up one

end of a sterling silver wire and after inserting it through both the bail and pendant, balled up the other side pinning the bail into place and allowing it to swing on the pin.

While I use predominantly silver, the pulse arc welders absolutely love gold, platinum, titanium and other less conductive metals. I love the flexibility the welders bring to my studio. If I did nothing more than close jump rings, put a ball on the end of a head pin and perform simple repairs it would still be worth the investment just in time savings alone. But add in the other benefits mentioned above including working close to stones, light tacking before soldering and the ability to create complex pieces such as these, it just makes sense to have one.

For more than two decades, Melissa has used her skills as a talented educator to help thousands of people become more knowledgeable about tools, their uses, care and maintenance. She works with some of the largest names in the industry as she shares her knowledge and love of various metalsmithing techniques and tools, including micro TIG welding and all things jewelry making. Be sure to visit her YouTube Channel where she has hundreds of videos for even more jewelry education.

30 Jewelry News • May 2024
Melissa Muir Swinging bail

A torch is sloppy, tedious, and a risk to precious stones. But with an Orion welder you’ll save time, prevent pieces from surfing while soldering, and avoid damaging heat. Constructing a work piece, closing a jump ring, adding wire to a prong, or fixing porosity now requires only a fraction of the time. With five models to choose from, there’s an Orion welder that will fit your studio’s budget.

• Close a jump ring faster than solder!

• Quickly connect an earring post in seconds!

• Eliminate troublesome surfing and improve precision!

• Extend a prong without removing the stone!

Soldering Sucks! ™ ©2024 Sunstone Engineering LLC. Sunstone and Orion are registered trademarks; Orion PJ, Orion mPulse, and PJX are trademarks of Sunstone Engineering LLC. *mPulse as shown USD $2900. PJ as show USD $3,300. Pricing subject to change without notice. A-SJN MAY 2024
Less Soldering. More Creating! Call or text +1 801-658-0015 Orion mPulse™ For small studios or budgets! Starting at USD $2,400* Orion™ 100c More energy and capability! Starting at USD $4,500 Orion™ 150s Our best selling model! Starting at USD $5,900 Orion™ 200i For studios that want it all! Starting at USD $8,500 Orion PJ™ Perfect For Permanent Jewelry! Starting at USD $2,800*. Patent Pending. NEW! REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! The World’s Only Conference for Permanent Jewelry. Education • Networking • Marketplace JUNE 4-6, 2024 • PLANET HOLLYWOOD LAS VEGAS WWW.PJEXPO.ORG ™

Furry Friends on the Job! FF

Say hello to Liam! Liam is an 11-year-old Blonde Beagle/Long Haired Dachshund mix who has worked at Wilcox Jewelers in Sullivan, Missouri his entire life. He works alongside his mom, Heidi, as the store greeter at the 77-year-old family business. Liam loves welcoming customers by asking for belly rubs and back scratches. He gets treats from the mail carrier and the UPS guy no matter if he’s working that day or not. He shows up for work excited to be there, then goes and relaxes on his favorite chair to casually welcome visitors. The customers love Liam and many know him by name. He brings joy, love and peace to all around. Everyone is a dog lover when they visit Wilcox Jewelers!

Email: contact@pickensinc.com

480 E. Paces Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA. 30305

Meet Gemma. Gemma is a 12-year-old rescue with a unique genetic makeup - 41% Chow Chow and 59% eighteen other breeds. She plays an integral role at Everlee, a wholesale fashion jewelry brand based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her enthusiasm for work is contagious, each morning she squeals with excitement heading towards the car. As in many small businesses, team members at Everlee wear many hats, and Gemma is no exception. From processing orders, testing new designs for wearability to providing therapeutic support to the sales team, and indulging in handouts from everyone’s lunches, Gemma’s days are busy. Often, you will nd her taking well deserved naps under a desk. Despite her many talents, Gemma has yet to attend any trade shows - a missed opportunity given her undeniable charm. Her absence is deeply felt by her colleagues when she takes a rare day o , a testament to the joy she brings to the Everlee team.

32 Jewelry News • May 2024
Do you have a furry friend that helps out in your store? Tell us about it and send a picture to bill@southernjewelrynews.com.
33 Jewelry News • May 2024 IGI Lab Cert# 620482917 611388307 623448668 579384835 617414997 623492677 559297512 608366674 617456975 598304232 615382483 603337548 547247803 608361253 623420031 596353525 615371135 618446474 623466533 618471848 561288397 561288364 607378101 621414352 620429091 617405143 597399096 611362956 611362999 615362163 610334225 610331251 605325934 607349767 626497872 626495246 617412646 614337656 618408459 598333650 616494112 Shape BR BR BR BR BR BR PR PR PR PR PS PS PS PS PS EM EM EM EM EM CU CU CU CU RAD RAD MQ MQ MQ MQ MQ HS HS HS HS AS AS OV OV OV OV Col/Clar G-VS2 G-VS2 G-VS2 G-VS1 F-VS1 E-VS1 E-VS1 F-VS2 E-VS1 E-VS1 G-VS1 F-VS1 G-VS1 G-VS2 G-VS2 G-VS1 G-VS1 G-VS1 D-VS2 E-VS2 F-VS1 E-VS1 F-VS1 F-VS1 G-SI1 G-VS2 G-VS1 G-VS1 H-VVS2 G-VS1 G-VS1 F-VS2 F-VS1 F-VS2 E-VS2 G-VS1 E-VS2 G-VS1 G-VS1 G-VS2 G-VS1 Cut ID EX ID ID EX ID Polish EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX Symmetry EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX EX Discount% -99.54 -99.54 -99.54 -99.52 -99.40 -99.00 -99.54 -99.52 -99.10 -98.75 -99.52 -99.58 -99.45 -99.10 -98.75 -99.50 -99.52 -99.58 -98.85 -98.85 -99.30 -99.50 -99.00 -98.75 -99.00 -98.75 -99.52 -99.54 -99.35 -99.05 -98.75 -99.30 -99.45 -99.45 -98.70 -99.05 -98.70 -99.52 -99.60 -99.54 -98.85 Depth% 61.9 63 60 61.3 62.6 61.8 67.9 69 71.2 71.7 59.7 65.1 63.9 65.6 57.5 63.6 63.1 65.8 69.1 67.6 66.1 62.6 66 64 67.4 66.8 58.1 60.9 61.4 63.4 61.8 59.9 59.2 58.7 61.4 68.1 63.9 61.2 62.1 62.8 62.8 Table% 57 56 59 59 56 57 66.5 70 71 69 62 59 60.5 59 59 65 69 63 64 62 64.5 67 58 63 67 64 63 59 59 58 60 63 60 66 64 61 65 60 61 59 58 Total$ $1356.26 $1186.25 $1074.19 $829.39 $600.60 $474.60 $1558.48 $1101.60 $836.64 $510.75 $1514.16 $1083.66 $683.70 $553.50 $353.50 $2027.25 $1905.12 $954.45 $549.41 $381.40 $2527.10 $1405.60 $752.50 $439.88 $540.00 $358.75 $1738.80 $1037.07 $744.38 $671.18 $428.19 $2564.10 $1702.33 $1244.92 $431.14 $656.21 $429.00 $1624.32 $1207.80 $887.27 $363.63 Weight 7.02 6.14 5.56 4.67 3.08 2.26 6.05 5.10 3.32 2.27 7.01 5.01 4.01 3.00 2.02 9.01 8.82 5.05 2.73 2.01 7.01 5.02 3.01 2.07 3.00 2.05 8.05 5.01 4.09 3.14 2.21 8.14 6.01 5.03 2.01 3.07 2.00 7.52 6.71 5.01 2.04 22 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036, USA Call: (212)-764-7841 | Email: sales@elgdiamonds.com Website: www.sanghavisolitaire.com/Home/DailySpecial
DIAMONDS AS LOW AS -99.60% OFF! Over 5000 diamonds on hand Short and long term memo programs available SCAN THE QR CODE TO SEE OUR INVENTORY

Stuller releases two new catalogs

Featuring company’s first Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Catalog

(LAFAYETTE, La.)Stuller is excited to announce the release of two new catalogs: Mountings 2024 - 2025 and LabGrown Diamond Jewelry 20242025.

Each of these catalogs contains a unique assortment of features designed to improve customers’ shopping experiences and provide jewelers with the best selection of products to meet their needs.

• More than 1,500 jewelry items along with more than 650 loose lab-grown diamond options.

• New expansions to essential items, such as stud earrings and line bracelets, to accommodate larger total carat weights.

• Flexible styles that allow for enhanced customization.

and your customers confidence is paramount.

“Stuller’s latest mountings catalog, featuring more than 750 new items, is more than just a catalog - it’s a journey of craftsmanship and innovation,” says Taylor Burgess, chief customer officer.

• New organization for eternity and anniversary bands based on stone count.

• Options for larger setting sizes.

“Lab-grown diamond jewelry has brought excitement and opportunity for consumers,” says Emily Graffagnino, executive director of merchandising. “This catalog is our first comprehensive look into our assortment of labgrown fine jewelry, bridal, findings, and loose diamond options.”

• New loose calibrated labgrown diamonds.

Highlights from LabGrown Diamond Jewelry 2024–2025 include:

• Educational materials that detail Stuller’s strict testing and screening processes and zero-tolerance policy for undisclosed labgrown diamonds. Protecting the supply chain, your reputations,

“With endless customization possibilities and the ability to set any stone in any Stuller mounting, personalization options are endless.”

Highlights from Mountings 2024–2025 include:

• Badges to notate new expansions on styles with new metal qualities and sizes.

To learn more about each of these catalogs and participate in Stuller’s catalog contests, visit www.Stuller.com/MountingsCatalog and www.Stuller.com/LabGrownCatalog.

Continued from page 12

new rough into these attractive shapes. They exude a charm not tainted by time. Even though they cannot match the scintillation of modern cuts, it’s a desirable trade-off, diamond fans say.

Modern collectors are rediscovering these early cuts which provide a more personalized appeal to their diamond ring - something that may be missing from modern cuts.

It might surprise you to learn that not too long ago jewelers were recutting these older diamonds to modern standards. What was gained in recuttingwhile losing carat weight - was the latest cutting standards that unleashed brilliance and scintillation never displayed in that stone.

But history and charm was also swept away with the diamond dust at the cutter’s wheel.

Antique Cuts Redux

Nowadays, jewelers and consumers appreciate the story found in an Old Miner or Euro cut. Let’s leave them as they are and enjoy their singular beauty from another era.

This mindset has become so attractive to contemporary shoppers, that cutters are manufacturing new-old cutting styles. Yes, indeed. They have such a growing fan base that moissanite and lab-grown diamond manufacturers are creating stones with Old Mine and European shapes. That has to be the ultimate compliment for the old timey diamonds.

Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (AIJV). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, her blog: Color-n-Ice, and www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com. Contact her at diana@dianajarrett.com, visit her website at www.dianajarrett.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).

34 Jewelry News • May 2024

Explore an array of vibrant gemstones meticulously curated to inspire and captivate. But it’s not just about beauty – at the AGTA GemFair Las Vegas, our exhibitors uphold the highest ethical standards in the industry, ensuring that every gemstone tells a story of transparency and social sustainability.

Whether you are a longtime buyer or a passionate enthusiast, you will want to make plans to #MeetUsInVegas!


Jewelry News • May 2024

Instappraise partners with NAJA to announce two new scholarships for aspiring jewelry appraisers

(NEW YORK) - Instappraise, a leading provider of cutting-edge jewelry appraisal software solutions, has announced its collaboration with the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) to introduce scholarships aimed at supporting aspiring and established jewelry appraisers. The scholarships foster the growth and development of professionals within the trade, providing financial assistance and educational opportunities to individuals committed to advancing their skills in the field of jewelry appraisal.

With a shared dedication to excellence and innovation, Instappraise and NAJA aim to empower those seeking to meet career goals while contributing to the advancement of the trade. Under this collaboration, two distinct scholarships are being offered to eligible candidates, one for non-NAJA members, and one for current NAJA members.

Instappraise, established in 2019, has been working with various organizations to equip appraisers with tools to standardize and streamline the appraisal process, aiding them in developing high quality jewelry appraisal reports.

“Teaming up with NAJA to sponsor two new scholarships represents an exciting new milestone for us. Our mission at Instappraise has always been to elevate the industry by providing the right tools to the right people and it all starts with education,” says Raphael Boivin, Founder, Instappraise. “NAJA is at the forefront of appraisal education and plays a major leadership role in training the next generation of professional jewelry appraisers. We hope the new scholarships will help increase awareness in the jewelry appraisal field and make advanced appraisal education more accessible to more individuals. We look forward to supporting students and working with the next generation of professionals.”

The inaugural Instappraise NAJA Non-Member Scholarship encompasses a comprehensive package including a one-year NAJA membership fee, lessons 1-5 of the NAJA Appraisal Studies Course, and a one-year subscription to the Instappraise.com appraisal software platform. The total value amounts to $2,070, providing the recipient with essential resources to kickstart their journey towards becoming proficient in the appraisal field.

Designed specifically for existing NAJA members, the Instappraise NAJA Member Scholarship includes a one-year NAJA membership fee, lessons 6-18 of the NAJA Appraisal Studies Course, and a one-year subscription to Instappraise.com appraisal software platform. With a total scholarship value of $1,775, it offers additional opportunities for professional development and advancement.

Applicants for both scholarships are required to meet specific eligibility criteria and adhere to outlined conditions. Among

these requirements, candidates must submit a compelling essay detailing their reasons for deserving the scholarship, and how it will impact their professionalism and career aspirations. Additionally, applicants must provide supporting documentation of their gemological qualifications (GG, FGA, FGAA, FGG, FCGmA, or RGA) and ensure timely completion of coursework within specified time frames (five months for non-members to complete lessons 1-5, or twelve months for members to complete the NAJA Certified Master Appraiser, or

ceptance of the sample appraisal report.

“This partnership with Instappraise is a continuation of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers’ commitment to appraisal education and supporting individuals in their pursuit of professional achievements,” says Gail Brett Levine, GIA GG, Executive Director, National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliance is essential for upholding public trust and en-

CMA). The scholarship recipient at the start of their career will commence with the bedrock of appraisal education - appraisal theory and methodology. Then, will soon advance through modules encompassing ethics, value theory, appraisal types, fair market value, and report writing, enhancing skills through quizzes, a final exam, and the completion of a final appraisal report. Designations are exclusively available to active NAJA members which are conferred based on a combination of education, experience points, successful exam results, and ac- Please see Scholarships page 38

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Continued from page 18

opened, it started to rain money, and month after month, Tom’s store set new records, ultimately climbing to an astonishing 3 million dollars in sales in 2023. But now, things are starting to feel a little weird. Tom has noticed that the costs of everything his store consumes, from payroll to rent to utilities to insurance, have all gone up dramatically. While simultaneously, far and away the important revenue stream in Tom’s store - diamonds - have actually declined in price, resulting from the dynamics of LGD. So as Tom’s best customers suddenly feel a reluctance to spend, and Tom’s average unit engagement ring sale drops by 30 percent, his company is starting to have cash flow problems.

These are all imaginary scenarios, but I am pretty confident that they reflect what’s actually happening in our country. So now, as the federal deficit increases by 1 trillion dollars every 90 days, the debt service exceeds 1 trillion dollars per year (an annual expense higher than the defense budget!), and over half of the 33 trillion dollars in federal debt has to be renewed in the next five years at dramatically higher rates because nobody thought to term it out while rates were still low, we have quite a mess on our hands.

It has been said that hard times make strong men, strong men make good times, good times make weak men, and weak men make bad times. What we’re seeing, I suspect, is the product of weak men in charge. And if you wonder just how catastrophic a hyperinflationary spiral can be, just ask the Germans who in-


Continued from page 37

suring the integrity of appraisal services. Jewelry appraisers who adhere to USPAP standards demonstrate their dedication to professionalism and ethics, instilling confidence in consumers and industry stakeholders. Instappraise offers a tailored software platform equipped with detailed item descriptions and flexible page management options, enabling appraisers to create USPAP-compliant reports efficiently and accurately. With regular updates and support, the company empowers appraisers to maintain professional standards while meeting evolving industry requirements - benefiting both consumers and the reputation of trade.

The application deadline for the scholarships is June 15th, 2024, and the recipients of the

stalled Hitler, or the Venezuelans who ate their pets when the food supply chain collapsed.

I originally wrote a version of this article about the origins of the macroeconomic mess, but upon reading it thought its tone might be a little too professorial, so I rewrote it using the imaginary examples above for illustration. But since the original article does offer an intellectually honest historical appraisal of the root causes, I’m including a QR code so you can access it if you would like a review of the events leading up to this mess. And a word of warning: if you’re likely to be triggered by a conservative view of monetary policy, this one might not be something you’ll want to read.

Class Dismissed!

George Prout is a 50-year veteran in the jewelry business, having sold his first engagement ring as a 17 year-old sales associate working at Kay Jewelers in 1974. Since then he has worked for companies that rose to top three status nationally in sales volume to Independent Jewelry stores. Currently he is President of JB Bhanderi, the world’s largest CVD grower and maker of the Surreal Diamond brand. He can be reached at george@surrealdiamond.com.

scholarships will be announced at NAJA’s 62nd Annual ACE It© Mid-Year Education Conference, which will be held from August 10 - 12, 2024. Instappraise and the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers remain steadfast in their commitment to fostering excellence and innovation within the jewelry appraisal industry, and these scholarships represent a significant milestone in their shared mission to empower and support professionals in their career journeys.

To apply for either of the scholarships, visit: instappraise. com/NAJA-scholarships

For more information on Instappraise, visit instappraise. com, call 866-351-5566 or email info@instappraise.com.

To learn about NAJA, visit najaappraisers.com or contact Gail Brett Levine at naja.appraisers@netzero.net.

Continued from page 10

me that in the natural diamond market, their prices are usually only adjusted every 8-10 months, whereas lab-grown prices are adjusted almost weekly. And it’s always adjusted down.

While at the Atlanta Jewelry Show recently, I asked an exhibitor that sold lab-grown diamonds about this and he had an unexpected answer for me. He told me that yes, the hard copy of the Rap sheet might only be adjusted once a year or so, but with the flood of lab-grown diamonds on the market, the discount rate off of the Rap sheet changes frequently. In a nutshell, they said; “Are you buying natural diamonds at full Rap? No. You’re buying them at a percentage back of Rap, and that is changing constantly.” I’d never thought about it like that before, but I do now. And since I had to hear it, you have to hear it too. I would be interested to hear some feedback about this from my readers.

Another interesting thing about these stones is how long they’d been around before we


Continued from page 22

Try a different sales presentation. Try anything new that proves to work better than what you did before.

Break out of your comfort zone and try something new if for no other reason than “I said so.” Good luck and let me know if I can help.

BTW - I am creating a new website with a collection of visual merchandising ideas, hints, videos and articles. It will contain a display planning calendar and lots of free information for your store. The address will be www. EffectiveJewelryDisplay.com. I am also adding content to a Facebook page with the same name. Check them out.

Larry is the founder of Larry Johnson Consulting Group, a world-wide jewelry merchandising and marketing advisory firm based in Colleyville, Texas. He is the author of “The Complete Guide to Effective Jewelry Display” and a frequent speaker at jewelry events. His firm has worked with hundreds of independent retailers to improve their sales through better display merchandising. He is the holder of 6 US patents for his display products. He can be reached at Larry@LarryJohnsonConsulting. com or 817-980-2135. His website is www.LarryJohnsonConsulting.com.

knew about them. Yes, I’ve been hearing about them for probably 15 years or more, but it was no big deal because they could only grow small stones, not big ones, a process that has now been perfected. But, ask yourself this, ‘what did they do with all of those small diamonds they produced in the beginning? Where did they all end up?’

Once the industry was forced to develop technology to differentiate between natural and lab grown diamonds, we started seeing overwhelming evidence about where all of that melee ended upin our normal supply chains. That was quite a shock to stores that claim they would never sell lab grown diamonds. Sadly, they had to change that stance to ‘We will never knowingly sell lab grown diamonds’. Fortunately, the testing equipment has now caught up and we can now easily identify lab grown melee from natural diamond melee. So the balance of the universe has been restored.

As our industry is dealing with this new product on the market, many people are on the fence, and many people are firmly planted on one side or the other.

But remember this, we all thought the world was going to end when cubic zirconia hit the market, it didn’t. We thought our industry would collapse when Moissanite was introduced, it didn’t. We had these same challenges when Yehuda came on the scene. We lived through laser drilled and fractured filled diamonds as well. And yes, we’ll all live through lab grown diamonds. But think about this; a lot of people made a fortune selling all of those new diamond products listed above when they first came out, and some people will make a fortune selling the newest ‘latest thing’, which is lab grown diamonds. I just hope it’s me!

Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. If you would like to contact Chuck or need a speaker or instructor for your next conference/event he can be reached at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to info@ southernjewelrynews.com.

38 Jewelry News • May 2024
eNews Sign up for FREE at: southernjewelrynews.com • midamericajewelrynews.com SJN MAJN Southern Jewelry News Mid-America Jewelry News Prout

The jewelry trade's most important global gathering


Friday, May 31 – Monday, June 3, 2024


MAY 30




Safe, Laser, and Berg Rolling Case Available for Sale

• Small T30 double safe for sale. 25” / 24” / 48” tall. $1,500.00

• Berg Rolling Case: 36” / 19” / 40” as new condition, many shelves. $2,500.00

• LaserStar Welder in perfect working condition. Recently serviced $15,000.00

• Miscellaneous shop equipment for sale, inquire for details.

Please contact: The Family Jeweler at 941-907-3418 for details & more information




Allison Kaufman....................21

Americas Gold.......................33 Ashi..............................3

Box Brokers.......................12,13

Cargo Hold............................22


CMK & Company....................38



Essential Lab Grown.........31

Gal Interiors.......................4


Gems One........................18,19

GN Diamond...........Bellywrap

HH Gold, Inc.........................23

Hoover and Strong.................17

IDD Jewelry......................11


Inox Men’s Jewelry.........10

J.B. Bhanderi..........................9

JCK Show.........................37


Joel McFadden Designs.........14

Kim International...............7

Larry Johnson Consulting.....28

Metal Marketplace Int’l........35

Mia Katrin...........................26



Noble Pack & Gifts..................16

Pearls of Wisdom..................36


Quality Gold.........................27

Rembrandt Charms............24





The Edge..........................15

Tim Roark.......................22





Established 45 Years, located in SW Florida Gulf Coast City. Located on the busiest corner in thriving Downtown area.

• $500,000 Sales Price w/ 50% Financing

• Gross 1M+, Net $400,000+ per year

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2000 sq. ft store w/40 showcases. Shop on premises/Jewelers on piece work.

8 years left on below market lease. Store is open 40 hours/week. Closed all Holidays. Owner will train 3 mos., free.

Contact by email: martha@southernjewelrynews.com

Subject Line: Florida Jewelry Store

A Fine Jewelry Store in the North Atlanta area

We’ve been in business since 1995. 1800 sq ft jewelry store and repair shop. We sell gold, diamonds, sterling silver, stainless, tungsten jewelry & watches. We offer jewelry repair, full line of watch repair, engraving & custom designs on premises. Please contact Dan for details 770-380-1964.

20 year successful and established jewelry store for sale in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona Centrally located in North Phoenix. Owner is retiring. Loyal customer base. Retail, custom work, jewelry and watch repair. Call Keith 602-375-3400 or email: hjewelers@hotmail.com

Buy With Confidence



Scottsdale, AZ full-service jewelers looking to retire. Excellent opportunity to take over a growing thriving full service jewelry store in a highly sought-after LOCATION. Repair and custom shop fully staffed and equipped. Please send serious inquiries to martha@southernjewelrynews.com

Subject Line: Arizona

Have you ever thought of relocating to South Florida? Or opening a second location?

We are an established Jewelry Store located in NW Broward County, at this location 12 years within a growing community of wealthy young professionals. 1600sq ft store in a well established 100% occupied shopping center. Over 4400 customers in our data base. For more information send inquiries to Scottcook33473@gmail.com



Territories Available. Email your resume now to Vince@BercoCompany.com Or call 312-782-1050

include bonuses, 401K, and profit-sharing plans, dental, paid health and life insurance, commuting allowance, paid travel expenses and vacation.

Fax resume to 770.499.8974 or email careers@danaaugustineinc.com www.danaaugustineinc.com

40 Jewelry News • May 2024 Jewelry News Classifieds Look for us in 2024 at the following trade shows: RJO, AGTA, AJS - Spring & Fall, JCK, JIS Miami - October Show and The Instore Show Please support our advertisers who help make Southern & Mid-America Jewelry News FREE of charge to you! Chuck Koehler, Jeweler/Gemologist 992 Davidson Drive, Ste J Nashville,TN 37205 615-354-6361 www.CMKCompany.com When your company is in need of a reliable repair shop. Professional Bench Jeweler to the Trade GOODS FOR SALE Filings • Buffings • Bench Sweeps Polishings Floor Sweeps • Gold Filled Broken Watches Dental • Gold • Silver Diamonds • Platinum No Disappointments! The best service in the business! We process and purchase all uncastable materials. Dawn Light 248-761-4949 or 866-941-4566 dlightre ners.com “The Only Choice that Puts You in Control!” REFINERS We’ll help you get your store into its best possible shape. 877.569.8657 x1 EdgeRetailAcademy.com Visit our website & sign up for our eNews weekly newsletter. Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox! Advertise Here! Email martha@southernjewelrynews.com Get your ad in front of our 20,000 + readers EVERY MONTH! Want more info? POSITIONS AVAILABLE EXPANDING TOP PAY FINE JEWELRY COMPANY SALES BENCH JEWELERS GREAT BENEFITS MANAGERS EMAIL RESUME: HR@DUNKINSDIAMONDS.COM OR CALL: 614-406-5983 The Nation’s Largest Restyle Event Company Seeks Experienced Jewelry Sales Representatives and Bench Jewelers who are free to travel and ready for the financial success that working for a great company offers. Salary plus commissions $80K to $120K+. Set schedule; no cold calls. 34 weeks per year travel required, security provided. Benefits
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SJN MAJN Follow us on X @SJMAJewelry News Like and follow us on Facebook: Southern Jewelry News southernmidamericajewelrynews Find us on Instagram Get Social with us! Are you on social media? Paris Junior College’s Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology Jewelry Horology Gemology CAD/CAM www.parisjc.edu/tijt • 903-782-0380 OH# 96-04-1443T SCHOOLS/EDUCATION midwestjewelryacademy@gmail.com Contact us: 260-715-4164 Midwest Jewelry Academy • Jewelry Repair • Diamond & Gemstone Setting • Design and Production • Laser and Arc Welding • 1 week, 4 week, and 15 week Courses Courses offered: midwestjewelryacademy.com We would LOVE to have them in the paper on our furry friends page! Tell us about them and send a picture to bill@southernjewelrynews.com Do you have a furry friend who helps out in your store? We want to hear from YOU! FURRY FRIENDS WANTED!

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