Southern Jewelry News Digital Magazine

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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SOUTHERN JEWELRY NEWS “A Newspaper Dedicated to the Southern Jewelry Industry”

The January 2024 issue is sponsored by

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024 www.gemstarco.com sales@gemstarco.com

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

“A Newspaper Dedicated to the Southern Jewelry Industry”

Vol 37 No. 1

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January 2024

Karina Brez: Cowgirl LUV Goes Beyond the Horse By Wanda Freeman Leading equestrian jeweler Karina Brez of Palm Beach, Florida, is off and running with a new line of jewelry that expands beyond her beloved horse motif. The new collection, Cowgirl LUV, pays tribute to the American West and strong, resilient women. Six stackable ring styles honor the Sierra Nevada, Denali, and Mount Whitney, and five hoop earring styles celebrate Montana, Aspen, Dakota, Sedona, and Dallas. Brez, 35, says she got the idea for the new collection during a trip to Las Vegas in 2021 for Cowboy Christmas, the official gift show for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Jewelry at that show centered on sterling silver. “I wanted to do high-end pieces, and I thought it would be fun to do my take on Western themes, with diamonds and sapphires and 18-karat gold,” she recalls.

Cowgirl LUV departs from the horse motifs Brez has developed in her 11 years designing jewelry. Those lines include Horse LUV, Huggable Hooves, Lucky Horseshoe, Bit of LUV, Horsea, and the collaborative Fearless Feathers by Dani G., with international show jumper Dani G. Waldman. “Cowgirl LUV is apart from that, but it’s still in the same realm,” she says. “I’m branching out to a more mainstream audience, to reach more people. Most people don’t have horses.” Introduced in September and October at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and the Washington International Horse Show, the new collection was a hit: “We sold out of all the yellow gold,” Brez says. A Ukrainian-American transplant, Brez came to the United States when she was a toddler. Her parents, Alex and Rimma Brez, struggled to make ends meet in Please see Brez page 4

Karina Brez in her recently opened flagship store on Worth Ave. in Palm Beach, FL.

Antique Jewelry Attracts Younger Ruby’s Retirement Consumers, Greater Profits By Diana Jarrett

News recently came through the jewelry trade that Greenland Ruby A/S mining operations were being suspended. While most mines do eventually close, this one seemed a bit premature, even by its own predictions. Prior to its discovery, Greenland was on nobody’s radar as a source for rubies. But other gem minerals were previously found there. Although this mining operation is relatively recent, corundum was discovered in Greenland decades ago. In 1966, gem quality ruby was recorded on a small island belonging to Greenland. Unnamed at the time, the frozen expanse was later called fittingly, Ruby Island. Frozen Gems The country of Greenland (an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark) is a fascinating locale, nonetheless. This immense land mass of over 2 million km is 81% covered in ice. The massive ancient terrain of mountains and fjords rife with volcanic eruptions boasted primitive life and previous ice ages. Amazingly, geological researchers say, Greenland’s story spans vast periods of time and myriad

By Deborah Yonick Antique and period jewelry offers fine jewelers valuable opportunities to expand their audience and their bottom line, guidance for which Dori and Tuvia Paul, owners of eFiligree, are eager to impart. For more than three decades the Morristown, New Jerseybased wholesaler has been a trusted supplier to fine jewelers across North America, many of which specialize in custom design and estate jewelry, as well as retailers who curate in their mix a special display of unique period pieces to delight customers. “These jewels were designed to be heirlooms,” Dori describes of the distinct design, style and craftsmanship of antique jewelry (100+ years old) and coveted period pieces (which may or may not be antique, but come from a defined, recognized and collectible era).

Tuvia and Dori Paul, owners of eFiligree. Among its offerings, eFiligree specializes in jewelry from the Georgian (1714-1837), Victorian (1837-1901), Edwardian (1901-1910), and Art Deco (1920-1940) periods, with mid

century (1950s and ‘60s) up and coming. The benefits of selling antique and period jewelry are compelling: Please see Antique page 30 Work went on 24/7 at the mines. Photo Greenland Ruby.

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events of continental drift. Geologists explain that Greenland journeyed from its original southern hemisphere through the tropics to its present polar position. This colossal upheaval resulted in Greenland’s mineral wealth and hydrocarbon potential. What Greenland Ruby production had going for it in addition to its exotic locale, was the cachet of Please see Ruby page 32


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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bReZ

“I was feeling a shipwreck coin washing up on New York, with second-gen- lington, as she watched a rider dismount the beach, and I started playing around with the eration jeweler Alex making and hug her horse. Continued from page 3 “I thought, what if a horse could word seahorse, and came up with Horsea.” and repairing jewelry at his The resulting design is a medallion pendant home bench for Tiffany & Co., and Rimma working as a hug you back?” Ultimately, she designed a line of bracelets and rings with a horse rearing toward a starlit sky. hairdresser. For the past year, Brez has traveled the The family landed by chance in Florida when they with two hooves overlapping in a horse circuit with a mobile unit called The Jewtook a vacation there, and 5-year-old Karina ran to a palm circle around the wrist or finger. Twelve years on, Brez has gone from eled Barn. The custom-designed tiny house tree, hugged it, and declared, “I want to live here.” is equestrian-themed and is equipped with a Her parents obliged, and Brez grew up watching her nearly no equestrian jewelry to mostly motion-sensor alarm, as well as solar panels, father as he built his still-going international jewelry ex- equestrian jewelry that she designed - about enabling her to operate off the grid wherever change and made jewelry while she drew and gave input 90 percent of the 500 pieces in her store. A she goes. on designs. She wore hand-me-downs and worked without portion of her equestrian jewelry sales goes to As each year ends and a new one begins, Brez pay as a teenager, helping with the books, reading lease Horses Healing Hearts. And, after a decade of operating turns to designing a new line of jewelry documents for her parents, and installing watch batteries “practically out of my garage,” Brez while growing her existing lines. The Cowand springs. Ring from Brez’s latest line “I wanted my own path,” she recalls. “I was always a opened her first year-round brick-and- Cowgirl LUV, a departure from girl LUV collection will have some new mortar store, Karina Brez Jewelry, necklaces, and she’s looking forward to designer, I wanted to make accessories. … I just knew I her usual horse motifs. on Worth Avenue in developing something talismanic and using was going to be in the industry.” Palm Beach. quartz and moonstone. Brez was still in high school - Dreyfoos “I didn’t want a store - for “I always steer away from what someone else is doSchool of the Arts, where she designed the 10 years I did pop-ups around the ing,” she says. set for a senior play as her required audicountry, and my Wellington poption to be admitted - and qualified to atup looks like an actual store. I spend tend the Gemological Institute of Amerfour months there and follow the horse ica. circuit.” “In order to go to GIA, you have to But she couldn’t help but laugh get a diploma or GED, and I was still in at herself working from her home school. But I did have extra credit, so my with a client buying a six-figure principal signed off on a letter confirming that piece. The cozy store - 140 square I was on track to graduate, and I got in!” feet - is just the right size for meeting After completing the GIA Graduate Gemoloclients by appointment. gist program, she opened her first business as an apBrez designed the Horsea praiser at 21. But before long, she grew bored. Nearby Wellington - the winter equestrian capi- Ring from the Fearless Feathers line in connection with that new by Dani G. collection. store. Resisting pressure to start tal of the world - provided an unexpected crea beach collection, she gravitated ative muse. toward a medallion design. Brez had become a volunteer with Horses Healing Hearts, a therapy program for children of addicted parents. The charity was founded by a friend who was the child of alcoholic parents, and another friend died at the hands of an alcoholic husband and left behind a child. “I volunteered every Saturday, and one weekend I was attending a horse show and had an ‘Aha!’ moment: I thought, I love horses! What if I could create something that would help?” Working out of makeshift space at home, Brez created her first equestrian collection, Horse LUV – rings, earrings, and pendants with a heart shape made of two horses’ heads nuzzling each other. Equestrian jeweler Karina Brez. Necklace from the Bit of LUV collection. The idea for Huggable Hooves came to her in Wel-

SJN MAJN Southern Jewelry News

Mid-America Jewelry News

Established 1988 Editor, Bill Newnam bill@southernjewelrynews.com Publisher, Chris Smith chris@southernjewelrynews.com Administration and classified advertising Martha Osswald martha@southernjewelrynews.com Staff Writers Wanda Freeman Paul Holewa Dianna Jarrett Deborah Yonick Vice President Sales Elesa B. Dillon elesa@southernjewelrynews.com

Contributing Writers Corkie Bolton David Brown Diana Jarrett Larry Johnson Mia Katrin Chuck Koehler Joel McFadden George Prout Southern Jewelry News 2006 New Garden Road - Suite 208 Greensboro, NC 27410 Phone: 336-389-1950 Fax: 336-389-1952 www.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.


Jewelry News • January 2024

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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The Story Behind the Stone

By Diana Jarrett

Gen Z’s Love for Zircon

First time bridal jewelry shoppers have more than enough choices to contemplate today, with price points all across the spectrum. Lab grown diamonds, shortened to LGD are now widely recognized by even the least knowledgeable consumers, so the younger clientele know this product and consider this option. That said, with plummeting LGD prices and its accompanying exposure, many Gen Z shoppers are shifting towards affordability in a ring plus bragging rights that their stone is all natural. LGD does afford lots of dazzle, so there is a robust market for this product to be sure. But

natural earth mined stones still hold great sway. We are witnessing many Gen Z shoppers - especially the first time bridal purchasers, leaning toward natural stones, researchers say. They can get that with earthmined diamonds, but they expect to be getting smaller, lower grade stones to match their budget. Zircon Finds a New Fan Base Now, it seems, zircons are finding a love match with this demographic in particular. But knowledgeable collectors have had zircon on their radar for eons. Multi-award winning gem designer-cutter John Dyer reveals his customers have been buy-

ing zircon for years. “The most popular thing about a zircon is its dispersion and sparkle. That’s the primary consideration. Color is secondary.” Early Fans Back in the Art Deco era, zircon wooed earlier jewelry collectors with its rapturous hues and over the top sparkle. In those days, soft brownish pink zircons found favor with the jewelry wearing set. Fast forward to now, and consumers have developed an appetite for the rare and costly Padparadscha sapphire. With some zircon’s soft peachy-

for instance. Nothing out-performs diamonds in the hardness category. Only a diamond can scratch another diamond. Ranking 10 on the Mohs scale, it is the hardest natural substance on earth. Zircons, on the other hand, have a Mohs hardness ranging anywhere from 6.5 to 7.5 which is on par with other color gemstones used for jewelry. So wearing zircons in rings requires the kind of care one would give to other fine gemstones like emeralds for example.

A collection of no-heat pink rough zircon. Photo Indian Gems. Palladium Jewelers creates a trending blue zircon engagement ring. brownish pink hues still available, collectors are gravitating to the pinkish zircons popularized by the Deco era fans. Where it’s Found Known to other cultures for centuries, evidence suggests that zircon was an ornamental stone dating back some 2,000 years. Today however, commercial quantities of gem-grade zircon are produced in alluvial deposits from Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Dyer sheds light on an uncommon blue stone he recently cut (pictured top right). “This blue zircon is somewhat unusual in that it is from Malawi and not Cambodia. Malawi shows significant promise for blue zircon as it seems to be the most color stable material on the market.” He adds, “However it isn’t producing large quantities of this so far.” Where’d that Sparkle Come From? Zircon’s highly dispersive characteristic gives it a tremendous ability to break light up into its rainbow hues. Zircon owes this extra dazzle to a pronounced double refraction. Thus the eye can see what appears to be twice as many facets and that much more fire in the stone, too. There’s One Thing If there’s any caveat with this jewel, it would be that zircon wearers need to be a bit more careful with a zircon ring as contrasted to diamond ring wearers

Art Deco era 18K white gold and pink-orange zircon ring. Photo Estate Antique Jewelry. But the natural aspect to zircon keeps it on the short list for many young consumers or anyone seeking a genuine earth mined stone that’s attractive, scintillating, and ideal for personalization with its wide range of colors. Royal Precedent Royal watchers led the way for modern consumers to crave a more individualistic look for their engagement ring choices. The upper crust dating back many generations are admired for choosing stones other than diamonds for their engagement rings. Besides Princess Diana opting for an oval sapphire, followed by the Duchess of York’s impressive red ruby engagement ring, Sarah’s daughter followed suit by sporting a magnificent Padparadscha sapphire ring when she got engaged. Pick Your Color Zircon’s rainbow line-up of colors give loads of options to suit just about any preference a bride may have. She’ll say “I do” to a number of zircon’s gorgeous hues. What shoppers also appreciate are the stone’s transparency and their availability in larger sizes than their diamond budget might allow.

Diana Jarrett Seen in the Mall Mainstream mall-based jewelers have embraced this trending pattern and are currently showing blue zircon and diamond engagement rings in their latest collections.

4.59ct Blue Zircon Shield shape custom radiant style cut by John Dyer Gems. Photo Ozzie Campos. The Indie Advantage But independent retailers have a leg up on this trend by being able to create custom rings for customers and a much more personalized experience. With stylish semi-mounts you already have on hand, you can recommend a colorful bespoke ring option for the bride to be. Who doesn’t want something that no one else has? Pamper the Customer Your customer may simply require a bit of tutoring if they aren’t familiar with this stone and its attributes. The big selling point will be the staggeringly beautiful colors available, plus its appealing price point. A bride will make a big impression with her unique ring. And you can gain a loyal customer who values the jeweler who took the time to suggest something genuine, beautiful, and right on budget while looking like a million bucks. 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).


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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Successful Custom By Joel McFadden

The best employee I ever hired

I was running a one-man show. I did everything in my shop and it was a problem. It was hard to get anything done because I was running in several directions at the same time. I found myself doing bench work early in the morning because customers were taking up most of my day. And of course, I was worrying about every dime, and I wasn’t making much money. My consulting group was insisting that I needed to hire a salesperson, but I kept thinking it was a waste of money. I

also didn’t know how to find a good one. Woody and Joe, my consultants, insisted that a good salesperson easily paid their own salaries and made the business money. As a bench jeweler, I couldn’t see it. On a ski day trip to Mount Snow in Vermont I met this attractive young girl named Dee. She was wearing a boys ski jacket that dwarfed her, but she was bounding down the slopes with my group of friends. After we were done for the day we stopped at a bar. It turned out Dee had just moved back from Colorado and needed a job. Well, I had enjoyed

skiing with her and my friends all seemed to know her so why not hire her? And so I did. I had no idea what to expect, but the idea of a pretty girl standing at the counter chatting while I worked my but off was not what I wanted. And that was not what she wanted either. Dee genuinely enjoyed the opportunity. I gave her books on salesmanship to read and projects to work on. She worked every bit as hard as I did, writing thank you notes to every customer daily, organizing displays, helping with marketing, even walking around to people she knew handing out

business cards. Dee was a machine. By the end of the first year, we had doubled our sales and I was making money. By the end of the second year, Dee was generating ten times her salary in sales. I made Dee the sales manager and told her to hire more people like her. And she did. One after another she hired folks who followed her take on salesmanship. Active, presumptive selling. Not everyone worked out but most did because she set a pace and a standard that was clear and measurable. Every salesperson had a Rolodex with their custom-

Joel McFadden ers’ names and event dates. They kept wish lists at every price point and communicated frequently with their customers. This was a culture where salespeople developed relationships with their customers and brought people into the store. Not the culture of waiting for someone to walk in. It worked so well that we ended up, with six people working in a 600-squarefoot store at the end of a dead-end street, being one of the most successful stores in the entire downtown. The key to hiring good employees is to see them as an asset that will generate income and set clear expectations. Then offer them training and treat them very well. David Geller will remember Dee. I took her to one of his classes along with two other staff members. He seemed frustrated that they knew the answers to all his questions about selling. After the class, he told me that he had never met a staff that had taken his book and teachings to heart so well. They had because they knew that if they excelled I would reward them. I became so close to Dee that she was my daughter’s godmother. Unfortunately, she died very young of lung cancer. She had never smoked and was one of the fittest people I ever knew. She collapsed skiing one day and died a year later. I owe her much of my past success. Custom guru Joel McFadden is the owner of Joel McFadden Designs in Chapel Hill, NC. He developed pricing for custom jewelry and repairs for the IJO Prototype Store, opened a business which became a million-dollar store focusing on custom, was named MJSA’s first Mentor Jeweler, was the first director of the Council of Custom Jewelers, and is the creator of the Bench Jewelers Challenge. He is an industry writer and speaks at events. Available for CAD work, stone setting, and complete custom pieces for the trade. Contact Joel at MentorJeweler@gmail.com, 984-212-2217, JMDJewelry.com, Facebook and YouTube.


Jewelry News • January 2024

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Applied Marketing 101 The Perilous Ascent to the Top of Mount Stupid

By George Prout For many industry observers, 2023 will go down as the year that lab grown diamonds came of age. And as someone who had been forecasting this eventuality since 2016, I have enjoyed watching events occur that generally conform to my predictions made years ago. But I also find it fascinating that so many industry experts failed to properly anticipate what was going to happen, and so for this month’s article, let’s examine two fundamental psychological principals that when

applied in concert may account for their failure to see what was coming. You have probably heard the expression that someone “knows just enough to be dangerous”, an acknowledgement of the fact that people with a limited understanding of a specific topic may overestimate their competence in it. In the late 1990s, Cornell psychology professor David Dunning and his graduate student Justin Kruger conducted a series of studies examining scenarios in which poor performers in many social and intellectual domains seemed

Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

George Prout oblivious to deficiencies in their expertise, culminating in a landmark paper: “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1999. You can see the corresponding intellectual dynamics in the image: The Dunning-Kruger Effect Curve, which plots an individual’s feelings of Confidence versus actual Competence when learning a new subject. In the initial stages, the individual’s Confidence soars as they begin to understand rudimentary elements, culminating in the extremely dangerous scenario signifying their arrival at the top of “Mount Stupid”. Indeed, at this stage, while Confidence is at its zenith, actual Competence is still quite limited, especially if the topic is complex. And then suddenly, as a little more Competence is acquired, the individual realizes that they don’t know what they don’t know, precipitating a collapse into the “Valley of Despair”. At this stage, if the individual continues to study the topic and acquires higher levels of Competence, Confidence begins to be restored as they travel up the “Slope of Enlightenment” to arrive at a level of combined Competence/Confidence sufficient to allow them to hit the “Plateau of Sustainability”. At this stage, they may even achieve a “guru-like” level of understanding, where their knowledge of the subject matter enables them to infer answers intuitively, without discernible cognitive effort. The four sequential stages in this journey (each section delineated by dots on the curve) can be summarized as follows: Unconsciously Incompetent Consciously Incompetent Consciously Competent Unconsciously Competent So, how does the DunningKruger Effect inform us as to why so many incredibly savvy diamond experts failed to see lab coming? It’s because of the insidious impact of a second psychological principle: Transference. Transference occurs when an inPlease see Prout page 20


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On the Move Darci Aselage joins Box Brokers Group as Merchandising Designer

Jim Porterfield, CEO of Box Brokers Group, has announced that Darci Aselage has joined his team as lead merchandising designer. Box Brokers offers complete showcase display layout services at no charge for their customers wanting to incorporate proven principles into their presentation. Darci brings to her new position over 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry. Her background includes being Vice President and part owner of Harris Jewelers in Troy, Ohio and a business consultant for the Edge Retail Academy. In her new position, she works with retailers to create the optimum layout of their displays to increase their sales and profits. “Box Brokers is the only display provider that has introduced new innovative displays that solve so many of the shortcomings of old traditional displays. It is rewarding to work with our clients to layout those displays to help them sell more,” says Darci. Darci can be reached at 937-597-8100. Box Brokers can be contacted at www.boxbrokersgroup.com or 800-809-3868. Darci Aselage

Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

Susan Jacques to receive the 2024 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement (NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) and the GEM Awards Committee are proud to announce that Susan M. Jacques, President and CEO of GIA, will be the recipient of the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 22nd annual GEM Awards taking place on Friday, March 8, 2024, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The GEM Awards gala honors the outstanding achievements

of individuals or companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches. Jacques was selected by the GEM Awards Committee for her countless achievements, years of industry service, and her leadership over the course of her long career in the jewelry industry. “We are elated to be able to present the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement to Susan Jacques. Susan is a cherished member of the jewelry industry and her commitment to our industry’s success is unwavering. It has been a pleasure to serve alongside Susan throughout her career at Borsheim’s and now with GIA,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. Jacques was appointed GIA’s president and CEO in January 2014. Before joining GIA, she served as president and CEO of Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts in Omaha, Nebraska, for 20 years and reported directly to Warren Buffett. She served as the honorary chair of the Friends of Joel Mc the Diamond Development Initiative, as a trustee of the Ethical AlDe liance, as a member of the board of advisors to the Black In JewYears elry Coalition and50+ on the boardsExper of Jewelers of America, Jewelers Mentor Class Je for Children, Jewelers CreatorVigilance of the Trad Committee, the Omaha ChamBench Jewelers Ch ber of Commerce and Creighton University in Omaha. She is also a member of the 24 Karat Club of Serving Wholesa New York and JewelersOur of AmerCAD, High-End S ica. In addition Full to the GEM Serv Custom Award for Lifetime Achievement, Consultation Ser Jewelers of America will be anMentor nouncing the other&GEM AwardProgr categories and nominees in the coming weeks. JMDJewelry.c For details on the an(984) 212-221722nd MentorJewe nual GEM Awards, to purchase 1000 Novus Lane U sponsorships, tickets or to show Hill NC 2 your support for Chapel Susan through journal ads in the GEM Awards Journal, visit jewelers.org/gemawards. 4x5

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The Retailer’s Perspective

The joys of working with the public, Part II

By Chuck Koehler I had so much fun reminiscing last month about some of the super cool things that can happen when you’re open to the public I thought I’d share a few more that I didn’t have time for last month. Before I tell this first story, I’m just going to tell you upfront that this story is about Johnny and June Carter Cash and my multiple interactions with them both. A lot of people don’t realize that June Carter was as famous as Johnny Cash when they got mar-

ried. June was one of the funniest and most successful comedians on the circuit at that time, giving Minnie Pearl a run for her money every night. After she and Johnny got married, for some reason, she stopped performing comedy professionally. In the late 80s, right after moving to Nashville, I worked at a studio that owned thousands of hours of Grand Ole Opry footage from the 50s that had only been seen once, when it originally aired on TV in the 50s. The ownership of this footage had been

tied up in court for decades and the courts just declared the studio, where I worked, were the rightful owners and they could do with it as they pleased. We began to edit and package the footage and sold it as a 12 VHS set called, “The Grand Ole Opry Stars of the 50’s”. June Carter, who was married to Opry star Carl Smith at the time, was in a lot of the footage and I had the privilege of seeing hours and hours of her performing. All of the footage was cool because this was something that very few peo-

ple in the world had ever seen. We would bring in the old stars that were still alive and in the area and they’d sit in the edit bays and studio with us and tell us stories about what was happening on the set at the time. Now fast forward to the late 90s. My jewelry store was next door to a sushi bar called Samurai Sushi that was Johnny and June’s favorite, and they ate there several times a year. I don’t know why, but June always drove when she and Johnny came to Elliston

Ann nces

The New Year is upon us and everyone is making changes. Well, we are making changes too. We will soon have a new website with some additional features you have been asking for!

 Membership area  Wishlist submission ordering  Calibrated stone pricing  Finished jewelry selection Along with all the existing features you love! Check our site often so you can be one of the first to see our new look!

Chuck Koehler Place for dinner. It was always the same. They had this big long Black Mercedes Benz and Elliston Place, in front of my store, had parallel parking. It would take June 5 minutes to get the car parked. Johnny would get out and give her hand signals - come on back, turn the wheel, no the other way, go forward, come back. This always happened right in front of my store. The first time this happened, they couldn’t find parking meter change, and I reached in my pocket and pulled out a quarter and fed the meter for them. I then proceeded to ‘germ’ June (pronounced ‘ggrrr mmm’ and it’s a music industry term that means acting like a teenage school girl in the 60s meeting the Beatles backstage when they first came to America). I’d been a June Carter fan since I saw all of her videos from my studio days and I told her how funny I thought she was back then. Now realize, that most people when meeting Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash germ Johnny. I was germing June. June just looks at me and said: “What do you mean back then? Did you ever hear the joke about....” and she proceeded to put on a performance, just for me, for about 10 minutes until the sushi bar opened. She was still just as funny as she always was. Johnny just leaned against the fender and laughed along with me. After that, every time I’d look out and see the parking ritual begin, I’d grab a handful of quarters and go out and wait. And every time June would start digging in her purse, I’d feed the meter and she would start rattling off joke after joke. Johnny and I would just lean against the fender and laugh our butts off. Parking meter change: $0.25 Having June Carter Cash perform just for you: Priceless Many years later, on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, I was waiting on a customer and we were deep in conversation when another customer walked in. As we were wrapping up our conversation, I’m assuming it was about some Please see Chuck page 36


Jewelry News • January 2024

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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Product Training v Sales Training: It’s a game of two halves

By David Brown

As any sports team knows, winning is about committing to all aspects of play for the entire game. You’ll seldom win with a good first half if the second one doesn’t back it up. You’ll also struggle if you’re attack is great but the defense leaks like a sieve. Sales training is exactly the same. In the competitive landscape of the jewelry industry, the success of a store often hinges on the expertise and skill of its staff. Staff training is an invaluable investment that goes beyond merely imparting product knowledge and leaving the staff the task of deciding how they will deliver it. Likewise, the best sales training won’t

work if the product knowledge isn’t there to back it up. You need both aspects, working in tandem, to deliver the optimum outcome. Staff Training is essential for a number of reasons: • Enhanced Customer Experience: Staff training is a direct contributor to the overall customer experience. When your team are experts in both product knowledge and sales techniques, they can offer a more personalized and informative experience to customers. This not only builds trust but also increases the likelihood of making a sale. • Increased Sales and Revenue: Training is an investment that offers increased returns if done correctly. Well-trained staff

understand the art of selling, which goes beyond presenting product features. Sales training equips employees with the skills to identify customer needs, overcome objections, and ultimately close deals. This translates to increased sales and, consequently, higher revenue for the store. • Brand Consistency: Consistency is key in maintaining a strong brand image. When your staff are uniformly trained, they convey a consistent message about your brand, its values, and the quality of your products. This consistency helps in building brand trust among customers. • Adaptability to Industry Trends: The jewelry industry is dynamic, with trends evolving

rapidly. Staff product training ensures that your team is updated on the latest industry trends, emerging designers, and customer preferences. This adaptability positions your store as a trendsetter and keeps you ahead of the competition. • Employee Morale and Retention: Providing training opportunities demonstrates that you value your employees and are invested in their professional development. This contributes to higher job satisfaction, which, in turn, improves employee retention. A team that feels supported and knowledgeable is likely to be more engaged and motivated. It’s important to understand the difference between Sales

David Brown Training and Product Training and ensure you get the right balance of each. Product training centers on imparting knowledge about the items your store offers. This includes details about gemstones, metals, craftsmanship, and any unique features that set your products apart. The primary goal of product training is to ensure that your staff is well-informed about the merchandise as this knowledge forms the foundation for effective and meaningful customer interactions. Product training is often factual and can be delivered through manuals, workshops, and online courses. It provides employees with the technical information needed to answer customer queries accurately. Sales training, on the other hand, emphasizes the art of selling, as it is, indeed, an art! It encompasses various skills, including customer engagement, effective communication, objection handling, and closing techniques. The key objective of sales training is to empower your staff to turn potential customers into satisfied buyers. It’s about understanding customer needs, building rapport, and guiding them through the purchasing process. Sales training is often interactive and involves role-playing scenarios, workshops, and ongoing coaching. It focuses on developing soft skills that are crucial in customer-facing roles. Ultimately, both are essential. While product training provides the foundational knowledge, sales training is the catalyst that turns that knowledge into successful transactions. Together, they create a synergy that enhances the overall shopping experience for customers. Product knowledge instills confidence in customers, showcasing that your staff understands the intricacies of the product they are selling. Meanwhile, sales training ensures that this knowledge is communicated effectively, building trust and rapport with customers. Every customer inPlease see Brown page 20


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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Why Do We Use The Edge? It helped us reduce our aged inventory from 46% down to 15% over a year. The Edge is probably one of the greatest tools that we have for running our business. From the point of sale, to running inventory reports, to keeping customer data, everything is the click-of-a-button. Our inventory appraisal information and gemstone and metal information––it’s all super accessible, it’s all in one place. And then that integrates onto our website through Punchmark. It is all just a natural flow of information. We feel like sometimes The Edge could run our business for us. Which is not a bad thing. It makes it easy. And who doesn’t want easy? - Daniel and Kristi Widmar, Rasmussen Diamonds, Mount Pleasant, WI

Watch Retailers Edge Stories.

For a FREE demo, contact us at 1-855-TRY-EDGE or sales@ajsllc.com.

Where to see us in January: RJO & Centurion.


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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Exquisite....Luxurious...Trend setting

See us at CBG, RJO or Centurion trade shows or contact directly at info@gemsone.com


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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The New


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

20

Display Merchandising for Success

“You did that on purpose!” By Larry Johnson Years ago, my wife and I attended a very interesting and thought provoking seminar by Dr. Wayne Dyer on “The power of intention.” His point, know where you are going before you embark on your journey and keep your destination in mind as you go. What does this have to do with the displaying of jewelry? Lots, I think. As I visit more and more stores in my consulting practice, I see the lack of intention as perhaps the most significant oversight in retailers thinking. The goal of the day appears to be to just “Get it all into the case” not to “Present it to our customers in a way that will prompt them to buy it.”

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Continued from page 16 teraction is unique, and effective sales training equips your staff to adapt to different personalities and preferences. Combining this with a deep understanding of your products ensures that each customer receives a tailored experience. In the dynamic world of retail, the importance of staff training cannot be overstated. It is not merely about knowing the products but also about understanding the art of selling. By investing in both product training and sales training, store owners can create a team that is not only knowledgeable about their merchandise but also skilled in engaging customers and driving sales. This dual approach positions the store for sustained success, elevating its

In this new year, resolve to implement “Intention” in your showcases. Here are few steps to take to help you get on the right path. Display for what you want the store to become. Gandhi told us to be the change we wanted to see in the world. If you want to sell 25% more this year, make your displays look like a store that does 25% more than you did last year. Remember the old career advice of dressing for the job you wanted instead of the one you have? Same idea, just in your showcase. Set showcase sales goals. Calculate the average sales amount per running foot of showcase in your store to set your benchmark for current and future sales growth. Divide your an-

nual merchandise sales dollars by the total number of linear feet of showcase space you have in the store. This gives you an average sales per foot number. If your goal is to grow your store sales by 25% in 2024, try deciding how best to grow this sales per foot by 25%. Decide what you want most to sell in each case and display it so more people will see it. Identify the 3-6 items in each case you want most to sell and create a sign or other attraction that ensures everyone that looks in that case notices those items. Ask why? When you finish displaying your merchandise, step back and ask yourself or staff member, why a particular piece or tray or category is where it is in the case. Would it look better

elsewhere? Is this layout going to help or hinder my sales goal increases? Test alternative layouts until you find the right mix and then stick to it. With practice, your cases will change from being arranged by accident to examples of premeditated thought. When you review the sales increases that will surely result, you can confess that you did it on purpose! Good luck and let me know how it goes. 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

reputation and ensuring customer satisfaction in every interaction. David Brown is the President of Edge Retail Academy, the leading jewelry business consulting and data aggregation firm, that provides expert business improvement plans to help with all facets of your business including improved financials, healthier inventory, sales growth, increased staff performance, recruiting, and retirement/succession planning all custom-tailored to your store’s needs. They offer Edge Pulse, to better understand critical sales and inventory data, to improve business profitability, benchmark your store against 1200+ other Edge Users, and ensure you stay on top of market trends with $3 Billion+ of industry sales data. Contact David at 877-569-8657, ext. 001, Inquiries@EdgeRetailAcademy.com or www.EdgeRetailAcademy.com.

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complex, IFR, and twin-engine ratings, only to buy a Baron, and then fly it into the side of a mountain. Sadly, these low time pilots, who had extraordinary skills in the operating room, assumed that their Competence as surgeons would transfer to the flight deck. But as every student pilot learns, there are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots. And just as these doctors reached a level of transferred Confidence corresponding to the apex of Mount Stupid, their lack of actual Competence in the air led to tragedy. So let’s put ourselves in the mind of an expert in mined diamonds, perhaps even possessing guru status. It’s 2016, and you start hearing about these new lab grown diamonds, and you even hear a few people suggesting that lab is likely to inalterably change the jewelry business, and potentially become the greatest disruptor of our lifetimes. And since you have tremendous Competence in the mined diamond arena, you believe that your knowledge transfers to this new lab phenomenon, which provides the Confidence

Continued from page 10 dividual mistakenly assumes that their high degree of competence in one arena automatically transfers to another. I actually learned about this “Transference Effect” while getting my private and commercial pilot ratings back in the 80s. I had begun flying sailplanes to cure a fear of heights and had a series of terrific adventures flying with the owner of the Gliderport (who was also an FAA Examiner) where I worked (hence the requirement for the Commercial rating) as the pilot flying Mile High rides for two on weekends. These adventures included a number of trips getting flight time in his Beechcraft Baron, a light twin engine airplane that was fast, comfortable, and easy to fly. But I also learned early on that Beechcraft Barons had a regrettable universal nickname: The Doctor Killer. Why? Because frequently, young surgeons who discovered the joys of flying raced through obtaining their private,

Larry Johnson 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.

needed to summarily dismiss lab as a silly idea that will never sell. And as events unfold, you remain steadfast in this belief, regardless of innumerable subsequent data points to the contrary. Oops. The problem, of course, is that lab is not mined. It is a completely different animal, playing by a completely different set of rules. It may even be useful to recognize that thus far, the lab business hasn’t even started yet, because for the most part, the only lab sales occurring have been essentially cannibalization of mined diamond sales. I submit that in 2024, you will start to see sales that are actually lab-driven, by which I mean that rather than cannibalizing what would have been a mined diamond sale, you will start to see the first sales of lab grown diamonds that actually take advantage of lab’s unique properties. And this is when the real fun will start. Class Dismissed! George Prout is about to celebrate his 50th year in the jewelry business, having sold his first engagement ring as a 17 year-old sales associate working at Kay Jewelers in 1974. In each of the past 4 decades, he has worked for companies that rose to top three status nationally in sales volume to Independent Jewelry stores, and is Divisional 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.


Jewelry News • January 2024

2024 Trade Show Guide

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your guide to trade shows and events throughout the year

JANUARY January 11-15 The Original Miami Beach Antique Jewelry Show Miami Beach, FL - Miami Convention Center https://originalmiamibeachantiqueshow.com/ January 22-24 Continental Buying Group (CBG) Orlando, FL- Hyatt Grand Cypress 305-868-9004 https://www.cbgbuzz.com January 24-February 4 J.O.G.S. Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show Tucson, AZ Tucson Expo Center 213.629.3030 https://jogsshow.com January 27-30 Ethical Gem Suppliers Gem Fair Tucson, AZ Scottish Rite Cathedral http://www.ethicagemsuppliers.com January 27-29 Retail Jewelers Organization Spring Buying Show (RJO) Palm Springs, CA-Renaissance Palm Springs 800.247.1774 https://www.rjomembers.com January 27-31 Centurion Jewelry Show Phoenix, AZ-Arizona Biltmore Resort 516.331.5586 https://centurionjewelry.com January 27-February 4 G&LW Show Tucson, AZ - Holiday InnPalo Verde/Holidome 601.879.8832 https://glwshows.com/shows/ January 27-February 4 G&LW Show Tucson, AZ - The GEM Mall 601.879.8832 https://glwshows.com/shows January 28-29 61st ACE It Annual WinterConference Tucson, AZ- Tucson Convention Center 718.893.1536 https://najaappraisers.com January 30-February 4 AGTA Gem Fair Tucson Tucson, AZ Tucson Convention Center 214.742.4367 https://agta.org/agta-gem-fairtucson/

January 30-February 4 GJX Gem and Jewelry Show Tucson, AZ - GJX Pavilion 214.742.4367 https://www.gjx.rocks January 31st AGA Tucson Conference and Gala Dinner Tucson, AZ - University Marriott 844.288.4367 https://accreditedgemologists. org/ MARCH March 2-4 Southeastern Jewelers Org. (SJO) Charlotte, NC - The Ballantyne 877.996.9850 https://www.sjorg.com March 9-12 Independent Jewelers Org.(IJO) Dallas, TX - The Hilton Anatole 203.846.4215 https://www.ijo.com March 10-12 JA New York Winter Show New York, NY - Javits Convention Center 646.654.4983 https://ja-newyork.com March 10-12 MJSA Expo New York New York, NY- Jacob Javits Convention Center 800.444.6572 https://www.mjsa.org March 16-17 AJS Atlanta Jewelry Show Atlanta, GA - Cobb Galleria 800.241.0399 https://www.atlantajewelryshow.com March 17-19 Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) Miami, FL - Miami Beach Convention Center 800.840.5612 https://www.jisshow.com APRIL April 12-14 Alambama Jewelers Association Mountain Brook, AL Grand Bohemian Hotel 205-526-5710 https://alabamajewelers.us/ April 15-17 AGS Conclave Austin, TX - Hilton Austin 702.255.6500 https://www.americangemsociety.org

MAY

AUGUST

May 18-21 The Jewelry Symposium Detroit, MI - Detroit Marriott Troy https://www.thejewelrysymposium.com

August 3-5 RJO Fall Buying Show St. Louis, MO - Marriott St. Louis Grande 800.247.1774 https://www.rjomembers.com

May 27-30 Continental Buying Group (CBG) Las Vegas, NV- Caesar’s Palace 305-868-9004 https://www.cbgbuzz.com May 29-June 3 Luxury By JCK Las Vegas, NV - The Venetian & Sands Expo Center 800.257.3626 https://luxury.jckonline.com May 30-June 2 Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show Las Vegas, NV -Wynn Las Vegas 864-342-6261 https://lasvegasantiquejewelryandwatchshow.com/ May 30-June 3 AGTA GemFair at JCK Las Vegas, NV - Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall 800.257.3626 https://agta.org/welcome May 30-June 2 Couture 2023 Show Las Vegas, NV - Wynn Las Vegas 646 668 3711 https://thecoutureshow.com May 31- June 3 JCK Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV - The Venetian & Sands Expo Center 800.257.3626 https://lasvegas.jckonline.com

JUNE June 4-6 Permanent Jewelry Expo (PJS) Las Vegas, NV - Planet Hollywood 646 668 3711 https://sunstone.regfox.com/ pj-expo-2024

JULY July 13-16 Independent Jewelers Org.(IJO) Chicago, IL - Marriott Marquis 203.846.4215 https://www.ijo.com

August 11-12 The INSTORE SHOW Rosemont, IL- Donald E Stephens Convention Center https://theinstoreshow.com August 11-12 62nd ACE It Mid-Year Education Conference Rosemont, IL- Donald E Stephens Convention Center 718.896.1536 https://najaappraisers.com August 18-20 Centurion Jewelry Show Sea Island, GA-The Sea Island Resort 516.331.5586 https://centurionjewelry.com August 26-27 August 24-26 AJS Atlanta Jewelry Show Atlanta, GA - Cobb Galleria 800.241.0399 https://www.atlantajewelryshow.com SEPTEMBER September 8-9 The Select Jewelry Show Dallas, TX-Ritz Carlton Hotel 646.216.9290 https://selectjewelryshow.com September 9-11 Continental Buying Group (CBG) Nashville, TN-Grand Hyatt 305-868-9004 https://www.cbgbuzz.com September 12-15 AGTA GemFair-Denver Denver, CO 800.257.3626 https://agta.org/agta-gemfairdenver September 12-15 Hard Rock Summit Denver, CO - Hotel Westin Westminister 303.946.7965 https://hardrocksummit.com September 15-16 The Select Jewelry Show Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino 646.216.9290 https://selectjewelryshow.com September 29-30 The Select Jewelry Show Washington, DC-Ritz Carlton Hotel 646.216.9290 https://selectjewelryshow.com

OCTOBER October 6-9 Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) Miami Beach FL - Miami Beach Convention Center 800.840.5612 https://www.jisshow.com October 24-27 New York City Jewelry & Watch Show New York, NY - Metropolitan Pavilion 561.822.5440 https://www.nycjaws.com October 2024 date TBD JA N.Y. Special Delivery New York, NY - Jacob Javits Convention Center 646.654.4983 https://ja-newyork.com

Please visit Southern and Mid-America Jewelry News at the following shows: RJO, AGTA, AJS, JCK, JIS, The Instore Show *Other shows may be added throughout the year. Shows that did not have a date set at time of printing: *JA New York Fall Show *Southeastern Jewelers Organization(SJO) Fall Show Visit our website for the most up to date 2024 schedule Editors note: All information was provided by show organizers and is subject to change. Before making plans to attend a show, check with the show’s organizers using the contact information listed.


2024 Trade Show Guide

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

MJSA Expo: Offering More in 2024

The Hub for Jewelry Manufacturers, Designers, and Trade Suppliers MJSA EXPO March 10-12, 2024 Javits Center, NYC For more than half a century, MJSA Expo has been where jewelers go to “play” - to find the latest jewelry-making tools, technologies, supplies, and services from the industry’s most respected vendors. Those vendors will again be at the 2024 show, which will return to the Javits Center on March 10 (24 Karat Weekend) and continue for three days alongside the JA New York Show. However, don’t expect Expo to be the same. Ever evolving, the 2024 Expo has created more ways for buyers to connect with cuttingedge expertise and gear - and more opportunities for exhibitors to connect with customers. Among the new features for 2024:

The AI Zone: Buyers can experience the latest software for creating targeted marketing copy, developing precise technical manuals, and optimizing standard operating procedures. Tool Testing & Techniques Zone: Buyers can handle, inspect, test, and “play” with tools to their heart’s content, and live bench demos will offer plenty of tips and best practices. MJSA Café: Where buyers and exhibitors can connect in a relaxed setting. It will also be

the site of two new exciting presentations: Pitch Tank, in which Expo exhibitors will have 7 minutes to pitch one of their newest tools or services, and Shop Talks, 15-minute hits of practical advice and ideas. For exhibitors, Expo will debut its Featured Product Network, enabling buyers to easily see what’s new and exciting. It includes: • Expo Online Store: A new feature on MJSAExpo.org where buyers can discover new products

Breakthroughs. ConFAB’s mix of sessions will range from 15-minute “short takes” to indepth explorations and interactive games. Together, they will show how to establish a firm foundation in everything from strategic planning and staffing to product development and promotion, as well as how to create pathways that lead to business breakthroughs and ultimate success. Topics include artificial intelligence, hiring and retention, marketing and sales, growth strategies, innovation, and smart production. Tickets for ConFAB start at $149 and are available now; those who register before Jan. 15 will receive a 15 percent discount. To learn more and register, go to MJSAExpo.org or MJSA. info/ConFAB. To learn more about exhibiting, contact Sales Director Lucy Ferreira at 1-800444-MJSA (6572), ext. 3020, lucy.ferreira@mjsa.org.

the Hub

MJSA EXPO

for Jewelry Manufacturers, Designers and Trade Suppliers

March 10-12, 2024 Javits Center, NYC

Co-located with JA New York

being featured at Expo. • Guide to Expo Products: A special digital publication emailed to the greater MJSA community (12,000+ strong). • Expo Product Posts: MJSA will promote its exhibitors’ featured products on all of its social media channels every week leading up to Expo, and for a full month after Expo. • Streaming from the Show Floor: Exhibitors can set a scheduled time to talk to the MJSA team about their new products and show them to a global online audience. • Meter Boards on the Show Floor: Positioned throughout the show floor, these boards will highlight featured products, with QR codes for more info. Plus, MJSA ConFAB will debut March 9 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, with the unique FAB template for business success: Foundations, Actions,

AI Zone

Tool Testing & Techniques Zone

Pitch Tank Custom Services

Shop Talks

New Tech & Equipment

Make it. Register Today mjsaexpo.com

it's free!


Jewelry News • January 2024

23

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2024 Trade Show Guide

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

Explore Emerging Jewelry Trends and Innovative Technology Among 300+ Premier Suppliers at JIS Spring 2024 ing companies in an easy-to-navigate show floor layout,” states Sara McDonough, the JIS Show Director. Beyond business, JIS Spring participants can immerse themselves in a diverse cultural scene, luxury shopping, exciting night-

JIS MIAMI March 17-19, 2024 Miami, FL (NORWALK, Conn.) - JIS, the premier event for immediate and seasonal at-show jewelry delivery, invites the jewelry industry to their upcoming event, JIS Spring, happening March 17-19, 2024, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida. Registration will be open for JIS Spring early in the New Year! JIS Spring is strategically timed to allow retailers to discover new products and emerging trends while restocking inventory ahead of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, wedding season, graduations, and other significant milestones their customers will

soon be shopping for. The 2024 show will feature 300+ exhibitors across four specialty pavilions offering everything from fine and silver jewelry to the latest innovations in technology. Notable exhibitors include America’s Gold, AV Diamonds, Ken Craft, Para-

life, world-renowned beaches and restaurants in Miami Beach, all within walking distance from the Convention Center. To be notified of when event registration goes live, visit www. jisshow.com.

mount Gems and Simplex. “As a well-timed seasonal buying and stocking event, we look forward to being the place for buyers from across the globe to conveniently and productively connect to experience a wide assortment of products and exhibit-

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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2024 Trade Show Guide

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Jewelry News • January 2024

Atlanta Jewelry Show’s SOHO Experience 2024: Elevating Education, Immersive Experiences, and Unmatched Southern Hospitality ATLANTA JEWELRY SHOW March 16-17, 2024 August 24-26, 2024 Atlanta, GA

Scheduled for March 16–17, 2024, from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, with extended education offered Friday – Monday, the spring edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show will feature insider knowledge from industry experts - SOHO PROS, a lineup of quality vendors, and unmatched Southern Hospitality. This unique event

is perfectly timed for buyers to rejuvenate their businesses. The SOHO Experience distinguishes itself from standard industry events by offering immersive experiences, making it a mustattend event. Education Tracks: This year’s program delves into cutting-edge topics with sessions on AI Technology, Watches, Retail Strategies, Security Protocols, and Diamonds. AJS is excited to host The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute Mobile Bus on the show floor. Event Schedule: Friday, March 15th, 2024:

1:00 pm - 5:45 pm: Exclusive education sessions Saturday & Sunday, March 16th - 17th, 2024: 8:00 am - 9:15 am: Pre-show presentations, followed by the SOHO Experience 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Monday, March 18th, 2024: Full day of workshops Buyers enjoy a $10 lunch buffet without ever leaving the show floor. The popular AJS Kids Jewelry Camp for ages 6 - 16 will continue to educate our youth in jewelry making! Experience vibrant nightlife and social gatherings at the Atlanta Jewelry Show! Kick off

The NAJA announces dates for the 61st ACE©IT Winter Conference in Tucson NAJA ACE©IT January 28-29, 2024 Tucson, AZ For decades, hundreds of thousands of gemstone professionals and hobbyists have made the trip to the Tucson Gem Shows, often spending weeks, to discover the latest gemological news, market trends, inspirational jewelers, marketing tips, appraisal dos and don’ts and to research prices. This year’s NAJA Tucson Conference features all that and more in one event. Tucson 2024 marks NAJA’s 61st ACE©IT Conference, which

will be held January 28 and 29th at the Tucson Convention Center. The conference follows the optional practical hands-on workshops Saturday, January 27, 2024, and features two full days of presentations and hands-on sessions. The robust line-up of experts was invited to present on topics of timely interest for NAJA members. For the 2024 Tucson Conference, NAJA has tapped some longtime favorites of the association and also some new stars to provide attendees with relevant information through hands-on workshops, presentations and plenty of Q&A, that each member can take back and employ immediately in their business practices. Here’s a quick look at what’s on tap for Tucson: • Heading Towards A Century: Art Deco Jewels, Duncan Parker, Vice President and jewellery specialist at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers • Update of GIA Activities with Artisanal Mining Guide, Robert Weldon, Library Director, GIA • William Ruser: The Jeweler Who Charmed Hollywood, Judy Colbert, Manager of Visual Resources in the GIA Library • Collateral Loan Valuation: Luxury Market Considerations, Caitlin St. John, SVP of Operations at New York Loan by Luxury Asset Capital • Paraiba Tourmaline, Roland Schluessel, Pillar & Stone International

• Identifying Jade: A Hands On Workshop, Richard Hughes, Founder of Lotus Gemology, Bangkok, Thailand • From Appraiser to Influencer: Content Creation 101, Chris James, T. Boehner, Owner, Chris James Appraisals • Looking for Clues in All the Right Places, Teri Brossmer, Owner, Gem Appraisals Unlimited • Gemological Minds: Gemstone profiling to catch the “offenders”! Kerry Gregory, Founder of GemmologyRocks.com • Turquoise 101, Jacob Lowry, Executive Director, Turquoise Museum • Assessing Comparables: The How, Why and When of Research, Deborah Finleon, Owner of DJF Appraisal Services and Stuart Robertson, President of Gemworld International, Inc. Registrations: NAJA Members: $425; Nonmembers: $650 Optional Saturday January 27th Workshops: • There’s Black, and Then There’s Jet Black 10:00AM to Noon. $50 • The Eyes Have It! 1:00PM to 4:00PM, $100.00 Final program is subject to change. Registration is now open at najaappraisers.com For more information call 718-896-1536, visit the NAJA website najaappraisers.com or email office@NAJAappraisers. com.

your weekend with the Friday night Icebreaker, a perfect opportunity to mingle with friends, both new and old. Stay tuned for exciting details about Saturday and Sunday night events that will

provide a fantastic chance to immerse yourself in the lively and welcoming atmosphere of the AJS community. About the Atlanta Jewelry Show: The Atlanta Jewelry Show has been in existence since 1950 and is managed and produced by the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), a non-profit trade show association, the nation’s oldest association for independent jewelry representatives. For information about the Atlanta Jewelry Show, visit www. atlantajewelryshow.com or call 800-241-0399.

Retail Jewelers Organization

The Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) holds two buying shows each year, strategically timed for members to get an early look at new merchandise and to build inventory for the busiest seasons. While RJO may call them buying shows, their take on them is much more comprehensive than offering members the latest mer-

support organization that serves more than 1,100 members while staying true to the original tenets of friendship and support. In addition to highly discounted merchandise, each show offers members many opportunities to learn and grow their businesses. One of the most popular is each show’s slate of free seminars conducted by leading figures in the industry and experts in their field, covering a broad range of practical topics. Each seminar delves into topics of high importance to the independent retail jeweler. Buying shows also feature a number of meetings and receptions featuring information on

chandise. Camaraderie is at the core of RJO, so each show falls somewhere between a reunion, a vacation and a business trip. This makes sense, as RJO was founded back in 1966 by a handful of noncompetitive central Iowa jewelers who were looking for a more economical way to buy merchandise. Now, a half century later, RJO has blossomed into a national jeweler

RJO-sponsored foreign buying expeditions and how to leverage them, jewelry system updates, PR opportunities and nationallyknown keynote speakers. There also are moderated sessions to share what is working for member retailers in the areas of marketing, personnel, jewelry and more, leading to new ways of Please see RJO page 38

RJO February 27-29, 2024 Palm Springs, CA August 3-5, 2024 St. Louis, MO


Jewelry News • January 2024

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Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

28

Surat’s Lab Grown Diamonds - The Inside Scoop!

By Mia Katrin

Lab grown diamond sales shot up 38% from 2021 to 2022, according to CNN, who coined 2023 the “Year of the Lab Grown Diamond.” Lab growns accounted for $1 billion in sales in 2016. In 2022 that figure ballooned to $12 billion, or 17% of the overall diamond market. Love them or hate them, they’re a force to be reckoned with. In October 2023 I coordinated a group of US jewelers hosted by the Indian government’s nonprofit Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to go “straight to the horse’s mouth” and visit Surat, India, the center of the world-wide lab grown dia-

Conclusion of one of the factory tours with “souvenirs” as gifts. mond industry, to get the inside scoop. Surat is currently the manufacturing hub of the world-wide diamond industry, producing 90% of the world’s cut and polished diamonds. Until recently, most of the subsequent diamond trading

has been handled in nearby Mumbai. Mumbai’s Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) is the world’s largest diamond exchange. All that is changing. In December 2023 Surat opened its own Diamond Bourse

in a brand new 7.1 million square foot office building, the largest office building in the world, accommodating 4200 offices, conference halls, restaurants, banks and retail shops. Composed of 9 towers, each 15 stories, it’s a Platinum Standard World Green Building, minimizing environmental impact through features such as solar power and rainwater harvesting. It’s designed to connect with the nearby “smart” DREAM (Diamond Research and Mercantile) City, to expedite trading within the diamond industry. Our enthusiastic group of US jewelers - retailers, wholesalers, designers, manufacturers - had just completed GJEPC’s Mumbai Buyer Seller Meet, conven-

Mia Katrin ing with some of India’s largest and most prestigious diamond manufacturers and suppliers - and wanted to see firsthand what Surat had to offer. Almost all of the group attending Mumbai opted to continue on to Surat. Our wonderfully friendly, positive and cohesive group all connected on What’s App and shared our daily experiences, impressions and tips. We boarded a luxury coach for the 5 hour journey of 185 miles from Mumbai to Surat (too short a distance for regular airline service), with packed lunches including pastries and treats, over surprisingly modern expressways, arriving at the beautiful 5 star Marriott Surat hotel with spa and pool. A small band immediately headed out on arrival via taxi scooter to the local market, returning with colorful dresses and souvenirs! The next two days were filled with a whirlwind of personalized in depth tours of local factories, including the prestigious Green Lab, source of the 7.5 carat diamond recently presented by Prime Minister Modi to US First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Green Lab is a beautiful showplace of architecture, focused on environmentally friendly design and practices, such as solar. It is currently producing 2.4 million carats of diamonds per year, with 1200 reactors, using CVD - chemical vapor deposition - technology. Starting with small square diamond “slices”, these diamond “seeds” are incubated at high temperatures around 3000 degrees - and pressure, growing into large rough diamonds, which are then cut and polished into Excellent or Ideal cuts, available with or without certification. 1-2 carat diamonds take about 30 days to grow. Green Lab, having produced some of the largest diamonds in the world, is now expanding into colored diamonds, especially pink, yellow and blue. Diamonds can be cut into many shapes, including crescents, shields, animals (turtles and horses) even monogram initials, and can be custom made to order. They are then expertly set in house into finished jewelry. Green Lab currently employs 1500 on site. Please see Mia page 36


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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Jewelry News • January 2024

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Antique

Continued from page 3 • It’s a good profit center with more attractive markups for jewelers, as it’s difficult to price shop bespoke jewelry, allowing retailers to shine as the expert in their community.

Victorian Ring • It brings in new customers, particularly younger consumers attracted to products that offer recycled and sustainable solutions, and good value for original design. • It also inspires storytelling about the construction of a piece and the key styles that define desirable jewelry design periods.

Addicted to Antiques Dori is the third generation in the business. Her grandfather David Kordansky began buying watchbands to sell for scrap in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. He later added jew-

Dori, who has a degree in finance, and her husband Tuvia, possessing a degree in early childhood education, decided to leave their respective professions and join the family jewelry business in 1991, as their own family was growing. A natural fit as buyer for the company, Dori grew up in antique jewelry, joining her parents on buying trips and visits with customers. While Tuvia’s experience in education complemented his focus on sales, developing trusted relationships with retailers and inspiring enthusiasm for antique and period jewelry. They both find this industry to be fascinating and fun, and see

Georgian Gold/Silver Rose Cut Diamond Set

Victorian Citrine Fly Pendant elry findings and other interesting pieces. After Dori’s parents married in 1945, her father Jerry Kordansky took to the road like his dad. Also entrepreneurial, Jerry evolved the business to where it was exclusively selling antique jewelry by the time Dori was born.

Victorian Agate Ring

Victorian Watch Chain themselves as treasure hunters for busy jewelry stores. Among the biggest trends at play in this profitable niche market, Victorian jewelry is particularly popular, Dori shares, most notably yellow gold, long chains, charms, fobs, and rings, with de-

sire for pins and cameos on the rise. “Jewelers who sell online are reaching a much younger clientele who are bringing back certain things, which is so exciting,” cheers Dori, who sees that younger consumers value antique and

period jewelry. “The audience has grown from women aged 40+, to now attracting customers in their 20s, who are comfortable buying from a picture online.” Partners for Success Successful retailers who work with antique and period jewelry do their share of buying off the street. But they know that much of what comes through the door is destined to be melted, and recognize the advantage of working with a trusted supplier to fill in their inventory, as well as entice customers with unique finds. Forging strategic partnerships with suppliers like eFiligree offers jewelers the education, services, and stock they can lean on to keep their inventory fresh and customers engaged. eFiligree helps jewelers move product via memo opportunities, trunks shows, marketing tools, and an online catalogue listing current inventory in retail prices for retailers to show their clients. “We always have something new and exciting that your customers will fall in love with,” promises Dori. “Because our inventory is one-of-a-kind, jewelers are excited to see our latest acquisitions.” In fact, retailers can visit eFiligree at the upcoming Original Miami Beach Antique Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Jan. 11-15, 2024, closed Jan. 13, Booth #1205. The company also will be at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show at the Wynn Las Vegas, May 30 - June 2, 2024, closed June 1, Booth #713. For further information, explore www.efiligree.com.


Jewelry News • January 2024

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Marsden Brothers Promotions THINKING ABOUT Retirement? Going Out of Business? Moving? Transferring Ownership?

LET US HELP We saw Marsden Brothers Promotions at the RJO shows and spoke with Joe Marsden there. We also spoke with two competitor companies. We spoke to other store owners that had just had a sale and had been in the industry a long time. Marsden Brothers Promotions came highly recommended from every single one of them. When it came to our decision that it was time to close our store, we chose MBP over the others. - Rich Bennett

“ You could not ask for more than what MBP did for our sale! In 10 weeks our sale did MORE than our BEST EVER ANNUAL VOLUME!”

I don’t know how MBP did so well on advertising/marketing, but it worked. Every promotion brought in a good number of people we had never seen before and even our regular customers came in time and time again. Everything about the sale was done extremely well and was very organized. MBP’s advertising strategy was one of the main reasons we chose them over their competitors and it proved to be the right choice. - Rich Bennett Peggy & Rich Bennett

www.marsdenbrotherspromotions.com

208.523.0792


Jewelry News • January 2024

32

Ruby

ration has identified two other sites that we will be able to go into after that.” While early pundits commented that the initial ruby coming from the mine was “fractured and of smaller sizes”, later production proved to produce a very competitive product. From a collectability standpoint, the ruby offered other selling points like sustainability and traceability. Strategic Sales However Greenland Ruby’s distinctive marketing strategy may have stymied its longevity. In GIA’s G&G report, Greenland Ruby Update, in the Spring of 2019, “Greenland Ruby works with preferred partners rather than selling goods directly to the public. These partners are jewelry brands that want access to a reliable supplier operating with a transparent supply chain, something many clients currently demand.” Consultant and field gemologist Vincent Pardieu shares his observations on their market-

ing. “Their best customer was a jeweler from Copenhagen who was trying to buy all the good stones from the mine. For him, rubies from Greenland have a ‘great value’ as he is selling to the Scandinavian market.” But looking at the broader picture, Pardieu added, “But a jeweler in India may not have the same opinion on what ‘good value’ means.” Where are Rubies Found? Before the Greenland discovery, ruby had already been one of the most favored colored gemstones ever produced. Arguably, top-quality ruby comes from Burma (now Myanmar). But it’s also mined in the United States to some extent. Commercial production can be found in Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its vivid red tint and exceptional durability have made it the go-to stone for high jewelry. And it enjoys the status of being July’s birthstone. According to educator

IGS (International Gem Society) “Large, gem-quality rubies can be more valuable than comparably sized diamonds and certainly rarer.” Why Mines Close The decision to shutter a mine can be as varied as the mines themselves. Sometimes the harvest-v-production costs have declined to such an extent that it’s no longer viable. There are instances when a deposit still yields quality stones in quantity. But accessing those deeper supplies become untenable after decades (or more) of recovery. For those two situations, the decision to close is purely economic. Finally, gemstone mining is a costly venture whose funds may become depleted prior to a deposit being mined out. In the case of Greenland Ruby, the latter appears to be true. Sermitsiaq AG, Greenland’s newspaper, reports that the mine had laid off 30 workers at the beginning of 2023. Its remaining seven now dismissed, leaving the mine with a debt of about $73 million. It further reported that Thailand holds a very large stock of Greenland Ruby goods, but sales have been low. A Story Not Over Greenland Ruby chief sales & merchandising officer Michele Billam also reportedly revealed, “We have also been conducting exploratory mining at two other sites in Greenland which we hold the license for. We have loose stone inventory well stocked, and we have rough material still to process.”

RJO

run Merchandise Review Committee, and the prices are prenegotiated to eliminate haggling and potential animosity between jewelers and vendors. RJO’s vendors include internationally-known brands and are the most trusted manufacturers and suppliers in the jewelry industry. The vendor membership carries merchandise in all styles, metals, stones and price ranges for every demographic. The buying floor also is called home to a diverse range of support service companies, including financial services, operational systems, Web services, marketing services, insurance, and assorted supplies from boxes to tools. RJO works to cover all retail jeweler needs through its vendors, thereby offering opportunities to maximize their members’ annual dividends. Dividends? Yes, dividends. RJO is unique among jewelry retailer groups in that it is a co-operative, with each member being an owner and shareholder. The board is selected among its membership by its membership. As a

co-operative, member/owners receive annual dividends based on the amount of merchandise purchased throughout the year from RJO’s roster of vendors, composed of well-known national and international brands and suppliers. Putting the most money back into the pockets of its owners drives many strategic decisions of the organization. Members typically receive purchase vouchers at each show to reduce prices an additional 1-3 percent, based on their previous year’s vendor purchase total. Each show also offers contests and opportunities to win cash prizes. As perquisites, attending, qualified members receive travel discounts to the shows, and hotel nights paid by RJO during the event. Inquire about attending the exclusive, member-only RJO buying shows or apply for membership with full privileges by completing and submitting the form found at RJOmembers.com or by calling the RJO corporate office at 800-247-1774.

Continued from page 3 having fully traceable products, which is a big deal to contemporary consumers. Selling more competitively than ruby produced elsewhere made this region’s corundum attractive. Sustainable, responsibly sourced, Greenland’s ruby had a lot to offer. The mine situated in Aappaluttoq is pristinely isolated some 155 km (less than 100 miles) south of Greenland’s capital,

Miners show crystals recently recovered. Photo Greenland Ruby.

Drone footage captures the mining site. Photo Greenland Ruby. Nuuk. Greenland Ruby acquired a mining license in 2017 after its previous owner, True North Gems encountered financial woes. Limited Lifespan Recovery efforts produced ruby and pink sapphire crystals, both corundum, from primary

type deposits, meaning the stones were extracted from hard rock. In a 2017 interview, Hayley Henning, VP of sales and marketing for Greenland Ruby opened up about the company’s vision. “For this particular deposit, we’re looking at nine years, and explo-

Gemologist Vincent Pardieu examines ruby. Photo Vincent Pardieu.

Continued from page 26 thinking and important takeaways to implement at members’ stores. All of the products and services at each show are reviewed and approved by RJO’s member-

-Certified Courses -Affordable Program -After Graduation Support -Supports Home Town Jewelers

https://Gemology.pro info@gemology.pro


Jewelry News • January 2024

33

SCAN THE QR CODE TO SEE OUR INVENTORY

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BR BR BR BR BR BR PR PR PS PS PS PS PS PS EM EM CU CU CU CU CU MQ MQ MQ MQ MQ HS HS HS AS AS OV OV OV OV OV OV OV OV

7.16 6.06 5.33 4.31 2.06 1.58 6.03 5.42 7.40 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.05 2.53 2.54 1.64 7.05 5.02 2.20 2.00 1.57 8.60 7.07 6.18 5.07 4.01 6.02 5.06 2.64 5.51 2.01 8.42 7.01 6.01 5.01 4.02 3.13 2.05 1.51

G-VS1 F-VS2 F-VS2 G-VS1 G-VS2 D-VS2 E-VS1 E-VS1 F-VS1 G-VS2 F-VS2 G-VS1 H-VS1 F-SI1 H-VS2 E-SI1 F-VS1 E-VS1 G-VS1 E-SI1 D-VS1 H-VS1 G-VS1 F-VS1 F-VS1 G-VS1 G-VS1 F-VS2 G-VS1 G-VVS2 H-VS2 H-VS2 G-VS1 F-VS2 F-VS2 G-VS2 F-SI1 G-VS1 G-VS1

ID ID ID ID 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

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Table%

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-99.15 -99.35 -99.35 -99.25 -98.50 -98.00 -98.70 -99.15 -99.25 -99.30 -99.30 -99.25 -99.05 -98.60 -98.70 -98.45 -99.05 -99.25 -98.70 -98.80 -98.50 -99.05 -99.15 -99.15 -99.25 -99.15 -99.15 -99.15 -98.60 -98.50 -98.55 -99.05 -99.20 -99.25 -99.30 -99.15 -98.75 -98.25 -97.75

58 58 59 56 59 55 69 69 59 58 56 62 61 63 62 65.5 63 66 62 61.5 66 63 64 62 58 56.5 62.5 62 66 66 64 58 64 57 58 62 60.9 59 58

$2951.71 $1930.11 $1697.60 $1196.02 $448.05 $413.96 $4389.84 $2579.92 $2858.25 $1617.00 $1575.00 $930.00 $579.50 $449.83 $396.24 $226.24 $3449.21 $2108.40 $443.30 $324.00 $320.28 $2900.35 $2704.28 $2705.30 $1958.29 $1056.64 $2302.65 $1935.45 $572.88 $3925.88 $349.74 $2519.68 $2523.60 $2028.38 $1578.15 $939.68 $762.94 $556.06 $380.52

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

22 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036, USA Call: (212)-764-7841 | Email: sales@elgdiamonds.com Website: www.sanghavisolitaire.com/Home/DailySpecial

61.5 61.7 62.2 62.3 59.8 63.1 71.1 68.3 64.6 63.6 62 63.5 63.1 59.4 69.5 68.3 67.1 63.4 67.9 64 69.4 58.6 60.2 58.3 63.7 63.4 60.3 55.4 61.3 66.7 66.1 64.7 61 64.4 63.8 65.3 58 60.1 62.9


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Sparks of Innovation: A journey into pulse arc welding in jewelry craftsmanship

By Corkie Bolton My experience as a jeweler has been a traditional one. I attended Pratt Institute and received a BFA in Jewelry, worked as a bench jeweler for other artists, and then opened my own jewelry business many years ago. I am a bench jeweler and I specialize in working in gold, engraving, and stone setting. As a small business, where I am the sole person designing and fabricating all the jewelry, I am always open to tools and techniques that help me be more ef-

ficient, which is how I was first introduced to pulse arc welding. I found myself at a conference where I was able to watch a live demo of a Sunstone pulse arc welder. I was immediately in awe of how this machine could fuse metal. It seemed like sorcery! I decided to incorporate pulse arc welding into my jewelry making process because it allowed me to do things that traditional soldering cannot: Fusing a delicate gold finding onto a chain with no risk of melting and no clean up. Anyone familiar with soldering knows you can spend a

Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

Corkie Bolton lot of time just setting up a piece if there are multiple components. My welder allows me to tack parts of my pieces together prior to soldering. For example, a bail can be tack welded first, which then makes soldering a breeze. I can also make sure components are centered where I need them to be prior to soldering. Being the creative person that I am, I then started to experiment with how this equipment could expand my design possibilities. For example, I could have an opal that had already been set and be able to fuse chain to the setting. Or, I could use the machine to ball wires that were threaded through fragile gemstones. I could even fuse different chains together, mixing silver and gold. Jewelers are often problem solvers and the welder certainly helps me find solutions. One of the most popular uses for a pulse arc welder is permanent jewelry. Many stores now provide this service and many independent jewelers, like me, offer this service at markets or in pop-ups at a local store. Permanent jewelry is a chain bracelet, anklet or necklace that is fused onto the customer using the pulse arc welder. Since there is no clasp, it is permanent until the customer removes it. However, it is so much more than that! It is an experience - it is two best friends coming in and getting matching bracelets. Or, someone celebrating an anniversary or birth. It’s a mom and her daughter sharing an experience together. I recently organized my firstever permanent jewelry event, and it was an amazing experience. I collaborated with a local luxury eyewear store, and I set up a table for clients to get permanent jewelry. What struck me is that this welder was now getting me out in the world connecting with customers! It was an opportunity for folks to see me working and they shared the same awe I had when I first saw the welder in action. I was able to network, to add new customers to my email list and share the rest of my gold jewelry with them. Their bracelets became a talking point amongst Please see Sparks page 39


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

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Jewelry News • January 2024

36

Chuck

Continued from page 14 major current event that was happening somewhere in the world, I noticed my new customer was listening intently. At some point, he joined in the conversation and the three of us spent the next 10 or 15 minutes discussing whatever it was, I can’t remember now. As this discussion was happening, my new customer had very detailed information about whatever we were discussing at the time. Now, I’d never met this person before, but he had a very serious, very commanding presence. He appeared to be in his mid to late 50s, a perfect salt and pepper haircut, very physically fit, very well dressed, and very well spoken.

At some point, I asked him how he knew so much about whatever subject we were discussing. His answer blew me away. He introduced himself as the commander of the largest, and most deadly, nuclear submarine in the U.S. Navy fleet, thus, the largest and most deadly nuclear submarine in the world! Whatever conversation we were having, he had commanded his sub in that particular theatre for the last 6 or 8 months. The situation overseas was now more stable and his sub and his crew were back at their U.S. base for a few months of R&R, and he was in Nashville visiting family. The three of us spent the next 30 or 45 minutes talking about his adventures as a ‘submariner’ and all of the crazy things that happen

on submarines. We learned how long they can stay underwater, how deep they can go, what it’s like living underwater for months on end. I regret not writing about this at the time because I’ve now forgotten his name, but I looked him up as soon as he left and he definitely wasn’t lying to us about who he was. One more: a young man comes in one Saturday afternoon and asks me if I can change the battery on his Tag Heuer watch. I told him I could. While I was changing the battery, he told me he had inherited the watch from his late father-in-law who had perished on 9/11. He told me his father-in-law had been an avid watch collector and had left this particular watch to him, but he didn’t know much about it.

As I was working on it, I told him that it was a really, really, nice watch. I showed him how it was an aviation watch, not a dive watch because the bezel on the watch moves back and forth, not just in one direction. I explained that dive watch bezels only move in one direction, because, if it gets bumped or moved during a dive, the worst case scenario is you surface earlier, with more air in your tank, than you planned. During our conversation, I asked him if his father in law had been in New York on 9/11. What he said next brought the gravity of the situation home. He said, “No, he was the Captain on the plane that hit the Pentagon.” Damn! Okay, I lied - just one more, but it’s quick. I was standing on the sidewalk in front of my

store around lunchtime, leaning on a parking meter talking on the phone. A tour bus pulls up, and stops with the door right in front of my face. Tour buses were common on Elliston Place so I didn’t think anything about it and continued my conversation on the phone. Suddenly, the doors opened with a swoosh, and a bare midriff and belly button was right at my eye level and staring me in the face. I looked up and said, “Hey Shania.” Working with the public has many challenges. But it also has many rewards and treasures. If you’ve got a good story about something that has happened to you in your store, write to me and we’ll publish a few of them. Happy New Year to everyone, and here’s to a bright and prosperous 2024! 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.

Mia Continued from page 28 After two days of back-toback on sight factory meetings, evening banquets, and some quick sightseeing tucked in, we boarded our luxury coach, returning to Mumbai and headed back to our respective homes. The verdict? Everyone was very impressed with the emerging technology, the size and scope of the industry expansion, the friendliness and support of all the vendors. Several manufacturers have US offices to handle US business connections. Some of our US jewelers immediately began business relationships with particular factories that best suited their needs. Some have kept their contacts and details on file, and may use going forward for custom or other work, such as clients’ special requests. Everyone was excited and appreciative of the experience and knowledge gained, and had a great time. Our Surat show’s What’s App group is still intact and active, and almost everyone has signed up for GJEPC’s next hosted US trip - Jaipur in April 2024! Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 100 stores nationally. To become a Jewel Couture LLC retailer, contact www.jeweljewel. com, 828-406-1105 or mia@jeweljewel.com.


Jewelry News • JaNuary 2024

Furry Friends on the Job!

37

Do you have a furry friend that helps out in your store? Tell us about it and send a picture to bill@southernjewelrynews.com. Salutations from Sierra! Sierra is the sunshine of Argo & Lehne Jewelers. She greets guests at the door with a smile and a wag, brightening everyone’s day. Argo’s “golden girl” Sierra is a trendsetter who likes to model the store’s newest gems. The guests at Argo & Lehne love to try on gold with a Golden Retriever. When not charming clients, Sierra is usually found sleeping in a cozy corner or by her Mom’s desk - the store’s Director of Operations. Guests stop in to see Sierra’s constant smile and stay to tour Argo & Lehne Jewelers’ lovely collection of treasures.

Say hello to Great Dane jewelers, Pinot & Moon Pie. Pinot is a 5-year-old male mantle (black & white color) and Moon Pie is a nearly 1-year-old blue fawn harlequin. The duo work with Roz and Paul Potenza at Design One Jewelers in Clearwater, Florida. Dogs have been a big part of Design One for over 30 years. They even have a Wall of Fame with pictures of all the store dogs over the years. The Potenza’s Furry Friends are featured in their advertising and have brought in many new dog loving clients. They’ve also been featured in the Stuller Blog. While very large, Great Danes are great with people and known as gentle giants. One special little girl who is sight impaired loves to visit Moon Pie & Pinot with her grandmother. “We are a very relaxed shop and fur and drool are a part of our daily cleaning,” says Roz. “We joke that you can’t get that at those fancier jewelry stores!”

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What’s New

38

ASHI announces comprehensive offering of Digital Marketing Assets In the last few years, the jewelry industry has come to understand the significance of digital marketing. As technology advances and consumer behavior evolves, the role of marketing has become increasingly crucial for brick-and-mortar stores. In this digital age, one strategy has emerged as the preferred choice for the majority of retailers: Content Marketing. Content marketing is not merely a trend but an enduring and effective approach to engaging with today’s tech-savvy and information-hungry consumers. It offers retailers the opportunity to connect with their audience on a profound level, providing valuable insights, education, and entertainment, all while showcasing the unique qualities of their brand. However, not every retailer has the resources or expertise to execute an effective content marketing strategy. That’s where ASHI’s Retail Partner Network comes in. When retailers join ASHI’s network, they gain access to their Exclusive Marketing Support, and it comes at no additional cost. Best of all, it can be customized with the retailer’s store information. ASHI’s comprehensive Marketing Support encompasses a wide array of tools and resources designed to elevate retailers’ visibility and attractiveness. From ready-made Social Media Images and Videos/Reels to compelling Product Emailers, Informative Blogs, eye-catching Billboards, and Posters, as well as captivating Web Banners, TV Commercials, Engaging Sweepstakes, and enlightening Manufacturing Videos, they provide it all. Retailers can directly download all content needed straight from the ASHI B2B website. By incorporating all of these marketing, e-commerce, and merchandising strategies, retailers will be taking essential steps toward establishing their stores as the premier jewelry destinations in their market. ASHI’s Retailer Network not only recognizes the importance of digital marketing but also equips you with the tools to thrive in this dynamic, digital age. Social Media Images Quality images allow businesses to establish their brand, connect with the target audience, and prove credibility. ASHI provides high-quality images of ASHI’s

collections, product emailers, daily social media postings and marketing program content. Retailers can directly download and share product and lifestyle images from the ASHI B2B website on their social media platforms. Social Media Videos/Reels - In the fast-scrolling world of social media, these short, engaging clips stand out, drawing viewers into your content. ASHI offers pre-made videos and reels that can be incorporated into social media platforms to captivate and engage viewers. Retailers can directly download and share videos and reels from the ASHI B2B website on social media platforms. Product Emailers - Provide information on the latest collections and new styles. Share these Product Emailers on social media platforms or emailing lists to engage customers. Blogs - ASHI’s Blog section provides information on latest collections, new launches, jewelry education, and trending topics. Share these blogs with customers on social media platforms, websites, or email lists. Sweepstakes - ASHI’s JewelSweep - the first vertically integrated social media sweepstakes technology platform for the jewelry industry - offers a one-of-akind marketing opportunity to broaden the retailer’s client base with the help of global and custom sweepstakes. Capitalize on this powerful sweepstakes platform to grow your email database, generate more leads, and increase sales. Billboards & Posters - Access to exclusive content with billboards and posters that can be downloaded for promotional uses. Billboards and posters can be customized with your store information and logo. ASHI’s in-house design team has the experience, imagination, and vision to deliver eye-catching and innovative designs to promote your brand and increase your store’s foot traffic.

Web Banners - Exclusive web banners that can be downloaded and customized for websites. Created by ASHI’s in-house design team. Manufacturing Videos Thorough and simple films of the jewelry-making process walks viewers through pencil and paper design, digital design in CAD, goldsmithing, stone setting, polishing, rigorous inspection, and quality assurance. Perfect for in store large-screen video loops, these videos can be customized with store’s company name, logo, and URL. These videos help your customers fully understand the intriguing process and technique of jewelry-making. TV Commercials - Beautiful TV commercials customized with your store information, prices, and voice-over, for local advertising purposes or in-store display. Digital Flipbook - ASHI converts print catalogs to online digital flipbooks, available for viewing 24/7 on websites or social media platforms. ASHI’s latest flipbooks are responsive and have several new features and functionalities for increased usability. Consumers can drill down and place orders directly from the flipbook. ASHI is a part of several buying groups and jewelry trade organizations, allowing them to network and meet with their retail partners to discuss their requirements and showcase their latest jewelry products and digital offerings. Learn more about ASHI by visiting their News & Events and Press Releases at www.ashidiamonds.com/PressReleases For more information on ASHI’s Marketing Support, visit www.ashidiamonds.com, reach out to Amy Bremser at 979-5332373 or email digitalmarketing@ ashidiamonds.com. Follow ASHI on social media to be the first to know about the newest releases and trending products.

Jewelry News • January 2024

Box Brokers Group introduces new SmartPro Corner Risers Darci Aselage, Box Brokers Display Designer has announced the introduction of new triangular risers to be used in clip-corner and other irregular showcase spaces. “These new platforms allow retailers to put those oddshaped corners to work selling merchandise,” said Darci. The risers are designed to fit nicely in showcase corners, wall cases and window spaces. They have removable tops that make accessing the jewelry easy for setup and put away. Box Brokers stocks the new risers in their LA warehouse in Paradiso, Palladium, Luna, Pecan Shell and Celestial Blue leatherette. For more information contact Box Brokers at www.boxbrokersgroup.com or 800-809-3868.

CG Creations presents comprehensive Gold & Silver Almanac 2024 New catalog packed with ready-to-ship styles at every popular price point

(PEARL RIVER, N.Y.) - The latest curated collection of CG Creations’ bestsellers and trendsetters is fresh off the presses. The Gold & Silver Almanac 2023-2024 features hundreds of new styles and timeless classics including chain, charms, pendants, anklets, toe rings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. Most items are in stock for immediate delivery. Notable brands from the longestablished wholesaler include Gold Horizons® Karat Gold, Franco Stellari® Italian Sterling and Stellari Gold™ 18K Bonded Sterling, Lancello® Men’s Stainless & Alternative Metals, ZABLE® Sterling Silver Beads & Charms, and Wind & Fire® Eco-Sustainable Jewelry. CG Creations’ president, Frank Fiasconaro, says that his recent focus is on providing the highest quality at lower prices, in addition to helping retailers maximize turnover with reduced inventories. One standout is an extensive new collection of Adjustable Chain, allowing retailers to save money and valuable counter space on the basics. “It’s especially important these days to roll with the marketplace, and the economy in general,” Fiasconaro says. “We’ve always made it our number-one priority to help our customers stay positioned for longlasting success.” Stellari Gold™ is also selling well and generating repeat orders, says Fiasconaro. “We’ve really seen a strong response to our Stellari Gold™ line, and our lifetime guarantee is a great way to instill confidence in this new gold bonding technology.” CG Creations has been reliably serving the jewelry industry for nearly 50 years, visit cgcreations.com for further information. To request your copy of this catalog, email sales@cgcreations.com or call 800-431-1606 to chat with CG Creations’ friendly U.S.-based staff.


What’s New

Jewelry News • January 2024

GN Diamond launches new easy to use and time saving website GN Diamond has created a new website with the goal of being as easy to use and userfriendly to navigate as possible. Features on the new site greatly

reduce the time it takes for diamond searches. The new website features a saved diamond search that will save all your common criteria that you repeatedly enter. The search is saved to your favorites and updated daily. In addition, there is a saved search category for customers or prospective customers to easily reference for future searches. It may be labeled by customer name and saved indefinitely - an easy way to store customers’ wish lists.

Sparks

Continued from page 34 their friends, and it brought in referrals for others wanting a bracelet. With my first pop-up under my belt, I hosted another event in my studio for three generations of women getting bracelets together. I felt so honored to share that experience with them. Profitability must be mentioned as well - these events are lucrative. If you take the average cost of a 14k yellow gold cable chain bracelet at about $50 - $65, that bracelet would retail for $175 - $190 resulting in a $100 margin. So, while a pulse arc welder itself is an investment, it’s money-making potential is significant. Just as important is to remember that permanent jewelry is not going away. If anything, the popularity will continue to rise. Since there are quite a few companies offering this service, I have considered the possibilities of how I can set myself apart with permanent jewelry. My own cus-

Additionally, the new website provides customers with marketing tools, exclusive training support, coupons, current specials and tutorials. Lastly, a brand new

GN Diamond App that is mobile compatible on an iPhone or android has been created. “This is the easiest mobile and desktop search for diamonds and finished jewelry,” said Herskovitz. “Save searches based upon your favorite criteria and see previous searches. We have compiled a list of recommendations from our valued customers on how to improve our website and we have implemented these suggestions and appreciate everyone’s input. Now stores can easily share information with retail contom charms and castings? A marriage of metals between silver and gold? As an artisan jeweler I can envision going beyond just a simple fuse, utilizing bench skills to create unique permanent jewelry. While my welder has not replaced my traditional jewelry making techniques, it has enhanced my ability to do certain things. When I think of the time it takes to solder a jump ring onto a chain - setting it up, how soldering affects the temper of the metal, the oxidation challenges - and I compare it to the two seconds it takes on the pulse arc welder, I know there are endless time sav-

sumers via text and WhatsApp. In addition, simplify your diamond presentation with light brilliancy to close more sales when being shopped.” Here is the link for GN Diamond’s new APP:

Scan to download now. https://link-to.app/gndiamond If this is your first time logging in, simply follow the link above (these instructions do not apply if you have already logged in): Tap the above link Go to gndiamond.com, Login Enter your username (typically your email address) An email will be sent with a link to reset your password. Open email and enter a minimum of 8-character password, inclusive of 1 number. Accept terms, and you are all set! GN Diamond is open 7 days a week at sales@gndiamond.com or 800-724-8810.

ing ways to utilize this machine in jewelry making. And I will continue to explore! Corkie Bolton began making jewelry in high school, and graduated from Pratt Institute with a degree in metalsmithing in 2007. She launched Corkie Bolton Jewelry in 2016 and the Metalsmith Society (https://www. instagram.com/metalsmithsociety/), an Instagram community where jewelers can share information, ask questions, and learn, in early 2018. Contact her at corkieboltonjewelry.com or via Instagram at instagram.com/ corkieboltonjewelry.

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39

J. Frank Golden and Associates unveils new website

J. Frank Golden and Associates, long-time suppliers of loosecolored gemstones, announced the launch of its new website. The website is slated to launch on January 1, 2024, and will showcase a curated selection of gem-

vides mobile and desktop functionality. Our database of colored stones is easy to search and has stunning images. We’re always updating it with new information. The user-friendly database helps identify, authenticate, or buy col-

stones and colored stone jewelry in a featured gallery. It will also feature a user-friendly navigation system to quickly browse the inventory, generate memo orders, and place them directly through the website. J. Frank Golden is all about connecting with retailers over the phone and ensuring the popular “Golden Girls” give jewelers exactly what they need. “We have made the new website user-friendly with a wide range of products and information to enhance the customer service experience,” stated Dena Tanner, owner of J. Frank Golden. “The new site pro-

ored gemstones, and we are excited to launch the new site.” For more information about J. Frank Golden and Associates, visit the new site at jfrankgolden. com or call 800-241-2165.


Jewelry News • January 2024

Jewelry News Classifieds

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Jewelry News • January 2024

Jewelry News Classifieds

GOODS FOR SALE

POSITIONS AVAILABLE Art of Luxe and Elegance, LLC is looking for a seasoned sales executive with a book of business calling on luxury retailers and jewelry stores. You must be a go getter and have an entrepreneur spirt. Our brands are all out of Italy. Email: maynon@artofluxeandelegance.com

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Advertisers Index Ashi..............................3 Atlanta Jewelry Show.............21 Box Brokers.........................13 C.G. Creations....................35 Casker.................................14 Darling Imports.....................27 Downeast..............................32 E-filigree..........................2 Essential Lab Grown.........31 Gal Interiors.......................4 GemStar...........................5 Gems One........................16,17 GN Diamond...........Bellywrap IDD Jewelry......................11 Int’l School of Gemology(ISG).30 J.B. Bhanderi..........................9 J. Frank Golden & Assoc.......12 J.I.S.......................................23 JewelryStoreMarketers......34 Kim International..................7 Larry Johnson Consulting.....18 Marsden Brothers............29 Mia Katrin...........................18 MJSA...................................20 NAJA.................................24 Namano...........................28 Pearls of Wisdom.............36,38 Pickens.................................37 Romanoff...........................8 SoutheasternFindings..........30 Stuller..............................40 Sunstone...............................33 Tim Roark.............................28 The Edge.............................15 The JCK Show......................22 UPMR.......................10 Variety Gems.......................26 WFN Enterprise....................25 Wilkerson..........................6

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We are experiencing exceptional growth and are looking for someone who is eager to not only repair jewelry but also help design and create beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces. The quality of what comes off your bench and out of our doors is top priority for the entire team. All tools provided. Option of a 4 or 5 day work week with great store hours! Work with amazing colored gemstones, tourmaline, sapphire, tanzanite, etc. We love color! Excellent opportunities for bonuses. Vacation time and health insurance, $60,000-$80,000 yearly. Responsibilities include: Repair and create gold, silver, and platinum jewelry. Ability to set and design with all types of precious and semi-precious stones. Interact with team members with a professional and friendly attitude. Good time management skills. Maintain a clean and organized workspace. We are a fun professional studio that prides itself on an exceptional customer experience from the smallest of repairs to high-end custom designs. If you want to spread your creative wings and be a part of a store that loves what they do - contact us and let’s talk! To apply, please send your resume, work history, and/or cover letter to Erica Kissack. Bench test required. yourelegantkreations@gmail.com We look forward to your application!

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Jewelry News • January 2024

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