Southern Jewelry News Digital Magazine

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Austin Jewelry Line Offers a ‘Very Texan’ Style

Textures and colors from the dramatic desert landscape around Texas provide all the inspiration needed for the design team at Austin-based fine jewelry brand Jamie Turner.

Ahead of the brand’s debut at Couture, Master Jeweler and co-owner Patrick Dobbs talked about the new line and what sets it apart. Dobbs, who creates the collection in collaboration with Robert Turner, says Jamie Turner - named for his business partner’s daughter - has begun to sell at locations of Texas-based retailer Neiman Marcus after its online launch in November 2022. A

booth at this year’s Couture show in Las Vegas promised exposure to a host of other retailers around the country.

All the pieces in the collection are made with solid 18K gold and unique stones collected from around the world by Turner.

The story of how the line came about is a wandering one, starting with a high school shop class in Sonora, Texas, and winding through junior college, travels to Japan and England, work in North Carolina and Arkansas, a Stuller’s Battle of the Benches award, and the accumulation of a motley skill set that prepared Dobbs for this unique Austinbased partnership.

“I had a school teacher who was making jewelry in his spare time and teaching welding and such, and he offered me a job. … His name was Lee Bloodworth, and I helped make rodeo belt buckles with him. That’s how I was introduced to jewelry making.”

At Bloodworth’s recommendation, Dobbs pursued his future in Paris, Texas, at Paris Junior College, which was one of the only schools in the country to offer a degree program in Jewelry Technology.

“I’m president of their advisory board now,” he says. Thanks to that position, he meets and

Please see Austin page 2

Downeast Trading, Jewelers’

Link in Chains

Chain necklaces rank among the “10 Classic Jewelry Essentials Every Wardrobe Needs,” as Vogue proclaimed in a recent article. The iconic fashion magazine hailed chain a “staple in everyone’s wardrobe - whether gold or silver, curb or paperclip, long or short - a great addition to everyday outfits and perfect for power dressing.”

Highly versatile, chain necklaces in a variety of precious metals can be worn a la carte or layered, adorned with pendants and charms, dressed up or down. Chains are the finishing touch to any outfit and style statement.

Every jewelry store needs chain, and for nearly five decades Downeast Trading Co. of Middlebury, Vermont has brought to independent retail jewelers, goldsmiths, silversmiths, and designers in North and South America impeccable quality jewelry chain in platinum, 18K gold, 14K gold, and sterling silver.

Among its best sellers are round cable, diamond-cut cable, wheat, franco, snake, round, octagonal box, and paper clip. Adjustable chains with slider clasps or additional rings are extremely popular, shares Rick Winslow, founder and proprietor

of Downeast Trading. Popular men’s chain options include curb, Cuban-link, heavy rounded box, and franco.

Downeast sources chain from the finest manufacturers in Italy and Germany. Some sterling silver chains are now sourced from an Indian manufacturer. A purveyor of metals, the company focuses on the basics, chains that work well with pendants.

Taking a Shine to the Rough

Colored stones are a fascinating ancient treasure that collectors still covet today. And unlike the complex methods used for harvesting diamonds, many colored stones are the domain of artisanal miners who find nearby areas they can claim and start digging with rudimentary tools. These sparkling gems are usually found in exotic regions where most foreigners will never visit.

Sri Lanka’s Wealth of Gems

One such gem-rich locale is the island nation of Sri Lanka, once called Ceylon. It happens to be the world’s largest sapphire producer, exporting a wide array of blue and fancy color sapphires including the rare Padparadschas. But other stones turn up there too, like alexandrite, spinel, topaz, garnet and more.

A Voice for the People

Sri Lankan native and gem dealer Zion De Silva has a unique perspective on the trade that he happily shares. He’s been dealing with Sri Lankan gems for a decade now, starting out as Mount Zion Gems & Jewellery. Over time, Mount Zion has expanded its reach throughout the globe.

Metals Market

That reality couldn’t be more evident than at the Tucson gem shows. “People looking for beautiful colored stones need fine chain necklaces as beautiful as the stones they want to display on them,” says Winslow, noting that gold sales during the first five months of the year to Mother’s Day were very strong.

By 2023 Ceylon Gems International (CGI) was established to answer the call for precision lapidary services supplying our trade. The idea actually took shape following the height of the global pandemic. “After the COVID-19 era waned in 2022,” De Silva explains, “Sri Lanka faced a huge economic crisis leading our country to experience its highest rate of inflation. This downturn caused many lapidaries in Sri Lanka to shut down their operations, resulting in a higher unemployment rate in the gem and jewelry sector.”

By 2023, with the pandemic in sharp decline, De Silva saw an increased demand for precision lapidary services from his wholesale clientele. “Our management realized the need for establishing a

Precision cut spinel
Rick Winslow, founder and proprietor of Downeast Trading, with his son, Jefferson.
Jamie Turner co-owners Master Jeweler Patrick Dobbs (l) and Robert Turner.


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hires most of his staff of artisanjewelers from the college.

In the mid-1990s, Dobbs traveled for work and spent time in Japan, where he expanded his skills in hand fabrication, and in England, where he developed his wax carving skills. Back in the States in the early 2000s, he worked as a bench jeweler for Schiffman’s in Greensboro, N.C., and later for Sissy’s Log Cabin jewelry store in Arkansas.

“When I was working at Sissy’s, it was an old-world style of

20” Sonora Chrysocolla Bead Necklace with Turquoise Clasp - 14mm Chrysocolla beads and a 34x44mm Kingman Turquoise clasp.

making jewelry … lots of custom designs, handmade clasps. … I was introduced at a show to Computer Aided Design, and I learned to use Matrix around 2004,” Dobbs recalls.

For a time, he worked for Matrix creators Jeff and Diane High.

“With all my experience, I ended up with an odd set of skills,” Dobbs says. “I understood CAD extremely well, I did a lot more bench work than CAD users typically do, and I did CAD differently. I got into 3-D printing, had a background in stone setting … so I had this strange set of skills that set me apart.”

When he won Stuller’s Battle of the Benches competition in 2018, Dobbs already knew Turner, and Turner had asked Dobbs to

teach him CAD.

“He came to me and said, ‘We should start our own business and line of jewelry,” Dobbs says. They talked it over for two or three months and came to an agreement.

“We wanted to make nice, high-end jewelry, something like what typically comes out of Italy. But we wanted an Austin, Texas brand.”

The Texas inspiration blossomed as the two experimented with CAD.

“When we started the process of teaching CAD, we’d play around with patterns, using math, or we’d make a curve and then make the curve reverse,” Dobbs says. “Robert’s a modern art collector, and there were a lot of ideas he pulled from his art collection.

There were different patterns and textures - we noticed a lot of colors and patterns that reminded us of the Texas landscape.”

Ultimately, the team developed a “secret sauce” that informs their very Texan designs with unusual how-do-they-do-it effects such as casting two metals in the same flask.

During the creative gestation, which began around 2018, Turner’s then-teenage daughter

proved integral to the process.

“She would come into the studio, and we’d ask her, ‘Hey, what do you think of this?’ She helped us a lot. So, when it came to naming the company, it made sense to name it after her.”

Now 25, Jamie Turner still visits the studio to give creative input.

The enterprise went through a few struggles - during the Covid shutdown in 2020, they designed

a great deal, and then had an overabundance of designs that needed to be culled.

Dobbs has two daughters who are interested in jewelry making. While his younger daughter, 17, is interning, elder daughter Isabella, 20, has a background in art and is a “terrific” designer - but Dobbs says he has advised her to learn to make jewelry first.

“I tell her that trying to design jewelry when you don’t know how to make it is like trying to cook without taste,” he says.

As Jamie Turner introduces itself to retail partners, Dobbs says he is open to having a retail space too.

The partners work with ten jewelers in their current 4,500-square-foot studio and are building a 9,000-square-foot space across the highway, where they’ll have room for twenty-two jewelers.

“Robert always says we will never have a retail store, and I always remind him that every time he says we’ll never do something we end up doing it.”

Editor, Bill Newnam

Publisher, Chris Smith

Administration and classified advertising

Martha Osswald

Staff Writers

Wanda Freeman

Paul Holewa

Diana Jarrett

Deborah Yonick

Vice President Sales

Elesa B. Dillon

Contributing Writers

Diana Jarrett

Larry Johnson

Mia Katrin

Chuck Koehler

Joel McFadden

George Prout

Southern Jewelry News

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Any views or opinions presented in this

Rings featuring Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Moonstone, Tanzanite, Pink Moonstone, and Rubellite stones from Jamie Turner’s Aurora Suite, Curve Suite, Eclipse Suite, and Sierra Suite.
Handset diamonds and solid 18k gold pieces from Jamie Turner’s River Suite, Eclipse Suite, and Canyon Suite of designs.
Master Jeweler Patrick Dobbs at the bench.

Industry Events

Atlanta Jewelry Show announces Bench Fusion by AJS New event focused

(ATLANTA) - The Atlanta Jewelry Show is pleased to announce the launch of Bench Fusion by AJS, a pioneering event dedicated to professional jewelry artisans and bench jewelers. Scheduled to run from August 2426, 2024, alongside the renowned Atlanta Jewelry Show, this event promises to redefine the landscape of jewelry craftsmanship, connection, and education.

Bench Fusion by AJS will address the growing demand for skilled bench jewelers. This event aims to provide artisans access to cutting-edge techniques, practical

skills, and invaluable networking opportunities - all within a dynamic and engaging environment - and the opportunity to meet with their peers.

Event Highlights Include:

• Hands-On Workshops: Participants will refine their skills through interactive sessions led by industry experts.

• Inspiring Presentations: Gain insights from leading professionals with live and virtual demonstrations.

• Interactive Events: Engage in collaborative events that foster innovation and community.

on bench jewelers and artisans

Featured Instructors:

• Joel McFadden, Designer & Owner, Joel McFadden Designs

• Gary Dawson, Owner of Gary Dawson Designs

• Tira and Rob Mitchell, Owners of

• Jason Chandler, Founder and Instructor, Portland Jewelry Academy

Special Guests & Presenters:

• Danny & Sheri Hansen, Fine Hand Crafted Jewelry, Owners of Crafty Celts

• Jordan Mantzke, Owner of Modern Goldsmith, YouTube Influencer

• Melissa Muir, Metalsmith & YouTube Influencer

This groundbreaking event is set in a dedicated exhibition hall adjacent to the Atlanta Jewelry Show, allowing qualified attendees to experience both events seamlessly. Bench Fusion by AJS is not just an event, it’s a movement towards elevating the craft of professional jewelry making and fostering the next generation of jewelers.

Bench Fusion by AJS:

Forging Connections

August 24-26, 2024 Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, GA

All jewelry professionals are invited to register and participate in this transformative experience. Due to the exclusive and highly specialized educational content of the Bench Fusion event, there is a $99 entry fee for all attendees. For registration and more information, visit Bench Fusion by AJS at the-show/benchfusion.

From celebrity inspirations

to timeless classics:

JIS Fall 2024 to highlight top wedding jewelry trends

(NORWALK, Conn.)While June revels in the magic of weddings, the demand for jewelry that epitomizes the season of romance continues to soar. But the search for the perfect piece to symbolize couples’ love stories is a timeless pursuit. This year, JIS Fall is scheduled for October 69, 2024 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and is the premier one-stop opportunity to discover and secure inventory on the hottest wedding jewelry trends.

A Spotlight on Celebrity Inspiration

collection. Country music artist Lauren Alaina went for a delicate look and a vintage flair with her diamond and pearl necklace and pearl drop earrings, while Jennifer Goicoechea, on her wedding with Usher, chose a diamond rivière necklace and chandelier earrings to complement her emerald-cut diamond ring.

ibly exciting,” stated JIS Event Director Sara McDonough. “I’m sure attendees will be thrilled to explore the variety of styles and designs on display. These trends offer something for every bride, whether they prefer classic elegance or modern flair.”

High-profile engagements are gracing the headlines, with celebrity choices for engagement rings captivating global attention. A-list brides-to-be are seeking pieces that stand out, like bold, classic rings - echoed by Demi Lovato’s pear-shaped stones on a sleek band, or the unique, vintage-inspired engagement rings of Zooey Deschanel and Zoë Kravitz. Even timeless styles such as halos and side stones are being revamped for a fresh, fashion-forward look, as seen on Millie Bobby Brown and Olivia Culpo’s rings.

Beyond rings, 2024 has so far been a banner year for bridal jewelry. On her big day, supermodel Chanel Iman wore a stunning diamond necklace and matching earrings from Bvlgari’s Serpenti

These jewelry choices, along with countless others seen on brides and celebrities, showcase the increasing popularity of plays on design, cuts, and colors, creating statement pieces that complement the wedding gown and capture the bride’s personality.

Discover These Trends and More at JIS Fall 2024

At JIS Fall, attendees will have the opportunity to explore the latest trends firsthand and acquire the styles that are expected to dominate the market throughout the year. Leading bridal jewelry brands like ADA Jewelry, BA Gold, Costar Imports, Yashita Solitaire, Roman & Jules, Elan Jewels, G Panther and Paramount Gems will be showcasing their latest sample lines and finished merchandise, reflecting the trending styles and innovative designs that define the wedding jewelry scene.

“Being able to see the latest trends in wedding jewelry firsthand at JIS Fall 2024 is incred-

With over 600 exhibitors from renowned jewelry-producing regions such as Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, and Türkiye, JIS Fall serves as the ultimate destination for visitors to discover a comprehensive selection of engagement rings, wedding bands, and bridal sets, as well as the most coveted pieces for the wedding season and beyond.

What’s more, JIS Fall offers options for immediate merchandise or future deliveries, catering to every buyer’s purchasing needs. It is also strategically timed just before the holiday rush, allowing retailers to stock up on inventory and secure some of the best pricing specials of the year.

Stay Tuned for Exclusive Updates

Experience the magic of JIS Fall, taking place from October 6 to 9, 2024, in Miami Beach, Florida. Pre-register to be notified when the event registration opens and to receive other breaking infomation. For more information and to pre-register, visit jisshow. com.

Industry Events

NAJA announces 62nd ACE©IT Mid-Year Conference

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) has announced the 62nd ACE©IT Mid-Year Conference will be held August 10-12, 2024, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

Appraisal fundamentals, NAJA report writing standards, resolving and disclosing ethical considerations during appraisals, detecting fakes and misrepre-

sentations, resources and tips for conducting research of comparables, exploring current trends in the high-end watch market and more are topics that will be covered at the Conference.

The Mid-Year Conference has a major distinction from the association’s yearly Tucson event.

“Historically, the August Conference is where NAJA focuses on the “Appraise” in Appraiser, said

Stuart Robertson, Conference Chair. “The Tucson conference is more gem and gem market product focused, however, the MidYear program emphasizes the practical ‘how to’ of appraising gems and jewelry.”

For this program, NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine worked to forge a wonderful opportunity to organize the conference in connection with the

Instore Show. “We are excited to present this conference in connection during Instore. Access to Instore’s jewelry show provides an excellent opportunity for us to integrate mid-level market research into the conference agenda as well as for attendees to expand their network of established trade resources,” stated Levine.

NAJA is pleased to have both new, as well as a host of member

favorites, experts from the appraisal and related fields joining for the exchange of educational information and professional development. The weekend features hands-on workshops, presentations, exhibits, a mock auction at Heritage Auctions Chicago location, networking and relationship building opportunities as well as plenty of Q&A - all designed to achieve the conference goal: Provide new information and insights that support and enhance attendees in their professional appraisal practices.

Presentations include: Fakes, Counterfeits, Frauds, and Misrepresentation - Duncan Parker, FGA, Vice President and Jewellery Specialist at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers

NAJA’s Report Writing Standards: A Usage Guide - Deborah Finleon, GIA GG, CMA, DJF Appraisal Services

The Cost Approach: A Basic Tool - Dave Atlas, CSM, GIA GG, DGLA-DACO

Watching the Market: Current Trends in the Watch Industry - Reginald Brack, SVP, Head of Watch Department, Freeman’s Hindman Auctions

A Practical Approach to Building a Pricing Database During Trade Shows - Stuart Robertson, GIA GG, President, Gemworld International, Inc. Power Search Tips: Finding and Refining the Best Comps - Jessica DuBroc, GIA GG, Director of Fine Jewelry Heritage Auctions New York and Gina D’Onofrio, FGA, Director of Fine Jewelry, Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills

Deaccessioning a Collection: Preparing Your Client for Success - Vera Prather, GIA GG, Director of Fine Jewelry, Heritage Auctions New York and Ana Wroblaski, GIA GG, Director of Fine Jewelry, Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills

Driehaus Museum: A Jewel Box of a Museum - Lisa Key, Executive Director, Driehaus Museum

Review of Ethical Standards and Their Application in Our Daily Practices - Steve Turner, CSM, GIA GG, President, Gemcorp, Inc.

Appraisal Software Solutions: Exploring Their Use, Benefits and Limits - panelists include: Raphael Boivin, Instappraise, Richard Drucker, GAS, & Thom Underwood, QL2; moderators: Lance Nygaard, GIA GG & Stuart Robertson, GIA GG

Industry Events

Select Jewelry Show adds SELECT TECH to line up

Celebrating its 15th year, Select Jewelry Shows operate in leading market areas of the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South. Select Shows focus on better independent retailers and the vendors that supply them.

Jewelers enjoy Select’s manageable size and 2-day schedule that enables them to see top-tier brands without being away from their businesses for an extended period of time.

SELECT TECH at the Mohegan Sun Select Show will enable jewelry industry service providers - POS, website development, e-commerce, social media, marketing, and repair programs - to meet with and promote their services to attendees of the Select Show at the Mohegan Sun Resort (Northeast). SELECT TECH also provides its exhibitors the opportunity to invite their jewelry industry clients and prospects for face-to-face live demonstrations of their services.

The two events overlap by one day providing both with maximum exposure and exclusivity. Select Jewelry runs

Sunday and Monday, September 15-16 and SELECT TECH runs Monday and Tuesday, September 16-17.

Like Select Jewelry Shows, space at SELECT TECH is very limited to enable attendees adequate time to spend with the exhibitors.

Exhibitor space at SELECT TECH includes aisle frontage draped table top with draped partitions between each booth, chairs, and electric service are included. SELECT TECH exhibitors and their attendees are treated to breakfast and lunch and a cocktail reception on Monday evening and breakfast on Tuesday.

Security of exhibitors and attendees is of utmost importance to show organizers. For this reason, all invited attendees must be affiliated with the jewelry industry and preregister to attend.

For additional information email

Continued from page 6

Registration: NAJA Members $425 before July 15th and $525 after July 15th; New member plus conference $600; Nonmembers $650 before July 15th and $750 after July 15th; Vision screening $50 (Sunday only); Optional workshop $200 (Saturday only)

Optional Saturday Workshops:

Decoding the Intangible Value Factors of Colored Stones - Cigdem Lule, PhD, FGA NAJA Conference Exclusive: Baubles and Bubbly, Bids and Bites: An Evening at Heritage Auctions, Chicago.

The final program is subject to change. For more information or to register please contact the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, Gail Brett Levine, GIA GG, Executive Director, at 718-896-1536, or naja.appraisers@

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The Story Behind the Stone When Diamonds Become Celebrities

Massive diamonds tend to develop a life all their own, often in spite of their owner’s insistence on anonymity. One such rarity comes to mind. There is the Jonker diamond, so named for the South African prospector who found it, a Mr. Jacobus Jonker.

Stories vary a bit - as they often do with such splendid finds. Some reports claim the diamond was found at the Elandsfontein mine in South Africa. Other stories describe its discovery simply as from a farm near Pretoria, South Africa.

The Find of a Lifetime

The massive rough crystal was recovered as a 726 carat stone in 1934. Historical recollections of its discovery read like a mystery novel. It seems that Mr. Jonker was on the prowl for “the rest of the Cullinan diamond.”

You see, the legendary Cullinan diamond, found in 1905 was also discovered near Pretoria, South Africa at the Premiere 2 mine. That stone, aficionados know, weighed 3,106 carats. It was said to have one enormous telltale cleavage plane - a flat surface created by a separation from a different part of the same crystal.

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Jonker was looking for the rest of that almost mythical stone - and he may have found it in the Jonker. That crystal was also displaying a large cleavage plane indicating its separation from another large rough.

After about 18 years of looking for the ‘other part’ of the Cullinan rough, he hadn’t turned up much, that is until a hardy rainstorm unearthed the 726 carat Jonker. His youngest son is thought to be the first person to lay eyes on it. Sure enough, the stone had a very large flat plane, indicative of its being broken away from another part of a rough crystal.

Quite a Break

Geologists explain that these cleavage breaks can happen as the crystal travels up through the earth via violent upheavals like a volcanic eruption.

In GIA’s 2006 Gems & Gemology report, The Cullinan Diamond Centennial, the Cullinan diamond is stated to be D color and potentially Flawless. Other diamond specialists point out that the Jonker diamond is also a D color with VVS2 clarity.

Geologists tell us that such super-sized stones form deeper within the earth from a period of a billion years back. “As you get these larger and larger diamonds, they tend to form deeper and deeper in the Earth. And that’s not always 100% true, but it mostly holds true for the vast majority of

just had to see this colossal stone with its exquisite clarity. By June 1935, the Jonker made its way to New York City followed by considerable fanfare. The stone had been the subject of numerous media write-ups announcing its coming.

The Big Reveal

Once it arrived, the Jonker was sent to the American Museum of Natural History for a covert unwrapping of the pack-

Diana Jarrett

ceedings, however, it looked for all the world like a piece of the camphor ice the old-fashioned housewife used to keep on the bathroom shelf, and it was about the size of one of the pieces of coal in the same housewife’s kitchen coal scuttle.”

Clever Marketing

Famed jeweler Harry Winston paid $750,000 for the rough and soon after sent it off on a press tour. During its marketing junket, popular film stars like Claudette Colbert and Shirley Temple were photographed admiring the crystal.

diamonds. So we’re talking like 300 miles, [a distance] from Los Angeles to Phoenix. That’s the depth that we’re talking,” says Dr. Aaron Celestian, curator of Mineralogy at Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

The discovery of the Jonker diamond created a sensation throughout the world. Everyone

age. A New York Times article on June 12, 1935 said, “50 reporters, photographers and newsreel men were notified secretly. Museum employees all wore revolvers.”

But when the rough diamond was removed from its box it may have underwhelmed those attending the historical moment. “To most of those watching the pro-

Harry Winston was more than a diamond expert; he was a master marketer who knew how to create a craving for his unusual diamond. While the stone toured, Winston received at least two offers for the Jonker, and one was for a million dollars. In today’s money, that works out to be nearly $23M. So he must have had tremendous foresight to reject that sizable offer.

When Winston bought the Jonker, he pinned the United States on the global map of important diamond buyers. “No American was buying, cutting and selling rough diamonds like Harry,” recalled Angela Hedges, jewelry consultant and former Harry Winston Archivist. “He alone put the United States, and his name, at the forefront of the global diamond market.”

A Proper Cut

After the Jonker tour ended, Winston sent it off to be cut and polished in New York at Lazare

The Jonker I diamond. Photo Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles
Child star Shirley Temple inspects the Jonker rough. Photo Gold and Time
Lazare Kaplan cuts the Jonker. Photo Lazare Kaplan

The Retailer’s Perspective

e Changing World of the Bench Jeweler

I don’t think this will be a big shocker for anyone who’s read my columns through the years, but I’m not really an inventory heavy store. My operation is mostly based in the service end of our industry spectrum. There are not many people left in the world that does the kind of work that I, and other bench jewelers, do. Plus, I like it better than working the showroom.

In all reality, I’ve never been very good at the front of the house aspect of this business. I wish that

wasn’t the case, but I didn’t make that decision. My DNA made that decision. That being said, I may not be able to offer you wisdom on the latest trends or sage advice on stock balancing, but I can speak on the custom and repair side of the business with the best of them.

In the old days, like 30 years ago, there were plenty of trade shops. So many in fact that trade shops had to compete against one another. Today, that’s just not the case. For every new shop that opens, many more close forever. There’s just not enough people

stepping forward and joining that side of the business. And, as a ‘benchie’ at heart, that’s the best part. I get to catch expensive things on fire and then hit them with hammers. What’s not to love about that?

In the last 20 years or so, a few new technologies have changed the shop environment. Among those technologies is CAD-CAM and 3D printing. Let’s look at how this has changed the shop.


If it’s in a jewelry catalog, fashion magazine, or showcase

today, it was designed by CADCAM. CAD, which stands for Computer Aided Design, is so integrated into the industry now, that a hand-carved wax, or an injection wax from a rubber mold, is the outlier anymore. Twenty five years ago, that was 95% of the market. Now, CAD created jewelry is around 95% of the marketplace. But, how does that impact the jewelry shop environment and the bench jewelers that work back there?

CAD programs are very complex and very complicated to master. It’s basically a full time

computer programing job to design in CAD, but it’s not necessarily a bench jeweler’s job. Back when we carved waxes and ‘shot rubber molds’, that was a function that was performed in the shop by a bench jeweler. CAD can now be done sitting in an office in the front of the store - not in the shop! I use CAD at my store for a few things, but for the most part I farm it out. CAD, in my humble opinion, is a front of the house skill. And, as I stated before, I suck up there.

3D Printing

This technology is the evil step-brother of CAD. 3D printing is the CAM part of the CAD-CAM equation. CAD is the design phase of the process, whereas CAM, computer aided manufacturing, is the ‘production of the model’ phase of the process. Notice I said ‘the production of the model’, not the production of the piece of jewelry. Instead of carving or injecting a wax in the shop, you now grow them in a box with microchips and sensors in an office environment, usually right next to the CAD computer. 3D printing has really improved through the years and I really like the technology, but if I need it done, I farm it out. Let me explain why.

In today’s world, the modeling portion of the bench jeweler’s job has transitioned from the back of the house to the front of the house. That process used to be done 100% in the shop, now, not so much. But regardless of how, or where, the model is created, every process beyond that has to be done in the shop. Whoop Whoop! We’re still back there, alive and kicking. But, let me do a brief overview of another technology that’s changed the life of the bench jeweler.

The Laser Welder

No, it’s not a magic jewelry maker. It’s just a piece of equipment that joins two pieces of metal together. The laser welder converts light energy into thermal energy, whereas the jeweler’s torch converts propane and oxygen into thermal energy. Both Please see Chuck page 36

Chuck Koehler

Successful Custom e Customers View

How many times have you hopped in the car and started off on that drive to or from work and suddenly realized you were almost there? You navigated your way through most of the route almost oblivious to it. It’s so familiar. You do it so frequently. You don’t have to think about it, you just do it. It’s easy to become so accustomed to things we do every day that we don’t pay attention to little changes. Sometimes, those little changes keep adding up into something much more than we realized.

I was consulting for one store that had developed some problems with their sales and

customer engagement. The store was beautiful. The owner had been thorough, thoughtful, and meticulous in preparing his store to service his customers.

On the back of every case was a calculator and a pen. He has stations with loupes and ring sizers spaced throughout the store. His inventory control was flawless. His store was nicely decorated but not pretentious. His staff and process were positively admirable.

The problem, however, was apparent the moment I walked in the door. The stench was nearly nauseating, but the owner and sales staff didn’t smell it. I asked

some of the customers who had come in what they thought about the store. Everyone stated how much they loved doing business with them, and how great the staff was, but the smell was awful enough to make them get in and out as fast as possible.

The foul smell had developed slowly over a period of time. The owner and staff had simply become so accustomed to the smell that they didn’t even notice it or how bad it had become. Eventually, the source was discovered and immediately removed. The customers were much happier and willing to spend more time in the store.

It is worth taking the time and effort to step back and try to look at your store the way your customer sees it. When you pull up to the parking lot, does the entrance look inviting? Does the parking area, entrance area, and doorway look clean and wellmaintained or is it full of litter, lawn debris and cobwebs? When the customer walks in that door, what do they see, hear, smell? Are the display cases empty because you didn’t feel like or didn’t get around to getting the stuff out to fill them? Have the shelves been dusted and cleaned or do they make the customer want to wash their hands after touching some-

thing? Is the background music playing something that will make them feel comfortable and welcome or is the explicit lyrics of the vulgar rap blasting to the ear bleed volume going to make every customer with a child in hand or strong religious convictions immediately turn around and leave the store? Is there a lingering odor in your store?

Sometimes it’s difficult to see (or smell) what is right in front of you. Store owners get so buried with so many other things that it’s easy to forget to check on what first impression you’re setting for your customer. However, first impressions have a huge impact on your business. Don’t take them for granted. Don’t be afraid to ask the opinion of someone you trust who doesn’t work in the store to give you their feedback. It’s not all just about the first impression. The impression you are giving your customers every time they come in is just as important.

One of the discussions we had after opening our new shop was about a problem I had encountered years ago. One of a set of identical twins had dropped off a ring for repairs. After a bitter argument with her sister, the other twin came in and picked up her sister’s ring as an act of spiteful revenge. The headache that followed for me to negotiate a truce between the two and get the ring returned, led to the policy that EVERYONE had to show an ID to pick up anything.

The customers always hated the policy and felt like they shouldn’t have to do that. Especially those who had been coming to me for years. I recognized them by sight and was on a firstname basis. Why should they have to show me their ID?

After this discussion, Bonnie came up with a solution. It’s not about the customer being required to show their ID, it’s about the impression we give them as to why they should.

Requiring it simply because it’s store policy is like telling the customer, “The owner makes me do this so you can’t sue us.” Bon-

Joel McFadden

Applied Marketing 101


As I write this, I’m located in seat 1A on an American flight from Las Vegas to Dallas, the first leg of my return home from a surprisingly robust JCK Show. I’ve been reviewing notes from over ninety meetings during the main show as well as CBG, and I’m struck by similarities in what I saw to events that began in March of 2012 as I spent my annual week at the March Hong Kong Show. During that fateful week, I discovered something so extraordinary that it was to have a profound impact on the subse-

quent trajectory of the company for which I was working, its customers, as well as on my career. Since the similarities in my experience at the 2024 JCK Show are so striking, I thought I might share the two experiences with you in this month’s article.

As I walked the Hong Kong Show that year, an action I always take prior to the subsequent four days of appointments, I saw one booth that was totally slammed, often a sign that this might be an important new supplier to visit. It was a Japanese company - Crossfor - and the excitement at their booth was being caused by a new

patented mounting that allowed a diamond to continuously move within a frame, creating an interesting - perhaps even exciting - optical effect. And then several days later, I discovered during a meeting with a major sightholder (Signet’s largest diamond jewelry supplier) that they had created over 600 sample designs using this mounting, and I would get a chance to select from this assortment to allocate sku’s for my upcoming Christmas flyer program. Even better, they handed me a couple of samples to take home. And I must tell you, I was pretty excited to take this idea to market.

Immediately upon my return to the states, I met with the ownership team at my employer to review the various trends that I had identified in Hong Kong and the actions I intended to take in final product selection for the flyer programs. And while they were actually not initially impressed with the new Crossfor mounting, as it struck them as a bit gimmicky, we agreed to put together an assortment for the upcoming Chicago Instore Show in early April to gauge retailer interest.

As I recall, we had thirty-two meetings at the Chicago Show which produced an astonishing

thirty-one orders for our new branded collection, to which I had given the name “Rhythm of Love” with the tagline “powered by her heartbeat”. The retailers loved it. And as I watched them react to the samples, I witnessed a fascinating, segmented response pattern between male and female meeting attendees.

The vast majority of our meetings were with married couples, and I watched as dollar signs flickered in the eyes of the males, predictably reacting as business owners sensing a new trend item. But the women reacted as consumers, rather than business owners, and I detected a magnetic attraction to this new product for themselves, often signified by a decision to self-purchase. These women were entranced by the visual elements of the product, as well as the concept, a precursor indication of likely consumer response.

Armed with this information, I loaded the front and back covers of my Christmas flyers and catalogs with Rhythm of Love sku’s. And as the summer 2021 selling season progressed, and we started to ship flyer product orders, a new scenario occurred.

Normally when we shipped seasonal flyer orders, we wouldn’t see reorders until early November, when retailers received counter copies and suddenly realized that significant portions of their initial product orders had already sold through. But with Rhythm of Love, we saw immediate reorders, owing to the fact that the product was turning instantly, and retailers were highly motivated to replenish. The end result was a 3-year avalanche of business, resulting in an exponential increase in sales, customer base, and income levels, as well as a wonderful increase in sales and market share for over one thousand Rhythm of Love dealers.

Now let’s fast forward to JCK 2024. I knew going in that attendance would be markedly reduced, owing to a general slowdown that was occurring in the market. And the precipitous decline in LGD prices during the past 6 months was causing buyer

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Winslow recognizes that retailers have a hard time in this market of $2,400 per ounce gold prices. He quotes JP Morgan, “Gold is money. Everything else is credit,” to underscore that gold is a true measure of value, immediately redeemable into currency. As such, jewelers must manage their precious metals as a source of profit.

“In an era when diamond values are in flux, precious metal management has become critical,” Winslow shares. “Jewelers recycling gold jewelry should offer their customers a fair return on investment to instill confidence in the intrinsic value of the metal. What other consumer item can one purchase and enjoy, and eventually recover some of its value when no longer in fashion or useful?”

Downeast Trading has withstood the many ups and downs of the gold market over the past half century - the $875 per ounce peak of 1981, the eventual demise of many big players in the chain industry, S&L collapse, Y2K, tech bubble, 9/11, subprime bubble, COVID - and the company remains a small but steady force in the market. “Each economic crisis has shaken out major players in the chain industry,” Winslow says, “and we are proud of our 48 years of continued growth.”

With platinum prices at less than half the current price of gold, interest in platinum chain is rising. “Platinum chains have been very strong for us,” Winslow says. Despite the large difference in metal prices though, platinum chains are not as inexpensive as one might think. Platinum (95% pure) is denser than 18K gold (75% pure) or 14k gold (58.3% pure) and harder to work. So, while the metal is less expensive, the finished product may be more expensive based on the heavier weight.

Silver chain can be a big profit center for jewelers, with Downeast stocking a wide variety of finishes: rhodium-plate, ruthenium (black rhodium) plate, gold-plate, rose gold-plate, oxidized, and gunmetal finishes are all trending. Winslow says that the brushed gray color of the gunmetal finish is especially popular with men.

While Downeast stocks many basic earring, bangle and bracelet styles, chain is the lion’s share of its product line. “From the beginning, we aspired to be the ‘everything in chain’ company,” Winslow notes, incorporating such lower-demand items as platinum, rose gold, and rhodiumplated silver. “We stock all popular lengths from 16 to 36 inches to fill all needs. It is not necessary for retail jewelers to maintain a big inventory of chain when it’s possible to get fast delivery. Most of our orders ship same day.”

Quality First

Winslow describes Downeast Trading as a “quality first” organization. “We understand that we can never be the biggest wholesaler of chains, we only want to be




Prime, Centurion Sea Island, AJS, CBG

the best,” he underscores. “Every chain we sell is made in our factories in Italy and Germany. All products are trademarked to guarantee quality and provenance. We aspire to consistency, so each

time you purchase a favorite item it will be always the same.”

on a sale; we profit on a relationship.”

MJSA endorses FedEx as its new shipping partner Chain

A socially responsible and environmentally conscious supplier, Downeast Trading believes in interacting with the world on a commercial and societal level that is non-polluting and nonexploitational. “Our suppliers are chosen for their sound and ethical business practices,” explains Winslow, noting that all its suppliers are members of the Responsible Jewelry Council, including the Italian refinery that supplies its metal. “Our goal is to offer the finest quality gold, silver, and platinum chains available to the trade.”

Winslow looks at business symbiotically, where each party is profitable. “We aim to be an asset to our customers. We don’t profit

While living in Ogunquit, Maine in 1975, Winslow founded the company to “fund his surfing lifestyle.” In the early years, he tells of peddling silver and turquoise jewelry, beads, stones, and pearls to shops in the New England area. The company evolved from a hobby to a job to an obsession for Winslow, particularly after he moved to Vermont. But a trip to Italy in 1978 to explore importing fine gold and silver chains, roped him into the category.

The name Downeast reflects Winslow’s love for the Coast of Maine, a term derived in colonial times to describe ships sailing from Boston downwind toward the eastern curve of the coastline.

The company’s growth, Winslow says, would not be possible without the team at the core of this family business. “Megan, my daughter, is the heart and soul of the company, helping at trade shows from the age of 12. She is our everything person, doing inventory, banking, payables, website development, sales, customer relations. My son, Jefferson, is our artistic director, working on advertising and media relations. Carol Ford is our bookkeeper and resident mom, keeping cooler heads when things get crazy, and her son, Andrew oversees shipping and logistics. We could not operate without these people!”

For more information about the products and services

Downeast Trading has to offer, visit

Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, is partnering with FedEx to provide its members with secure, reliable shipping options and significant savings. Thanks to the new alliance, MJSA Premier members can now get discounts of up to 50 percent on FedEx Express shipping and up to 75 percent on LTL freight services. They’ll also receive steep surcharge reductions on high-value shipments.

“MJSA’s partnership with FedEx will ensure our members receive maximum value on all their shipping needs,” says MJSA President/CEO David W. Cochran. “In addition to offering exceptional reliability, FedEx will provide quarterly reports detailing the savings our members accumulate. It’s a robust program, and we’re proud to be able to offer it through this alliance.”

FedEx will offer Premier MJSA members discounts off standard list rates on the following services:

• 50 percent off FedEx Express

• 50 percent off FedEx Express international services

• 20 percent off FedEx Ground

• 75 percent off LTL Freight shipping

• 25 percent off Delivery Area Surcharges

• 25 percent off Residential Area Surcharges

MJSA members will also receive special discounts in the FedEx Declared Value Advantage (DVA) service, which enables shippers to declare a value of up to $100,000 per shipment on jewelry, gemstones, and precious metals.

• 75 percent off surcharge on domestic FedEx Express DVA shipments

• 60 percent off surcharge international FedEx Express DVA shipments

To learn more, go to mjsa. info/fedex or contact MJSA Member Services Director Betty Costa at 800-444-MJSA (6572), ext. 3050 or betty.costa@mjsa. org.

One of the greatest things about The Edge is the reports. We use them on a daily basis. We can look at our top 100 customers and email them. We can make reports when we’re having trunk shows of who we need to call and can look at wish lists. It’s wonderful to have all that information so accessible.

We have two store locations. The Edge separates them when we’re doing inventory but they communicate back and forth instantaneously. If we need to transfer merchandise from one store to the other it’s no problem. We can look up sales receipts from either location, keep track of all the customers in one database, see who dropped something off at one location, who’s picking something up at the other location. It’s a seamless operation.

- Jill & Todd Ferrante, Park Place Jewelers, Ocean City, Maryland See Our Story

lapidary to provide these custom cutting services,” he discovered. This new venture has continued expanding since it opened a year ago.

Ratnapura’s Importance

Customers traveling to Sri Lanka will find both Mount Zion Gems & Jewellery and Ceylon Gems International (CGI) located in Ratnapura, a name which means city of gems. In ancient times, the entire island was so associated with gems, that it was known as Ratna Dweepa, or island of gems. Ratnapura is not only the hub for gemstone transactions, but the finest gems are known to be mined in the region too.

While Ratnapura has its roots in ancient times, it remains a vital center for the gem industry today, providing employment to thousands of miners, cutters, polishers, traders and designers.

What might be lesser known to outsiders is the bio-diversity of this nation. Sri Lanka earns top honors for “having the most number of waterfalls in comparison to the land area,” De Silva points out.

This backdrop of natural beauty creates an ideal setting for gemstone cutters to perfect their skill.

High Standards Identify the Brand

In most gem producing locales around the globe, rough is routinely exported to be cut and polished elsewhere. But if the cutting can be done as expertly as it will be in other parts of the world, all the better. This establishes a more vigorous revenue stream for the local economy. Trouble is, most stones still leave their place of origin to be cut elsewhere.

De Silva understands the need for gemstones to be cut to high standards to be competitive around the world. He explains that CGI also requires demanding expertise with its staff. “Some of our qualified cutters were trained through the National Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute, the premier national body for gemological education.” But other cutters receive their training directly through CGI lapidary.

CGI employs twenty individuals who serve in various capacities at the lapidary. “Their positions range from management and administration, supervision, cutting and polishing, and also sourcing,” De Silva says.

While social media seems to be the most effective way of promoting the sale of finished goods, De Silva says they are currently planning to redesign their website for a better user experience and to engage with new clients.

Any new business faces unique challenges, De Silva agrees. “But today, after the eco-

cutters,” De Silva recalls. See for Yourselves

Because gem dealers abroad crave a more holistic approach to gaining in-depth knowledge about gemstones, CGI now promotes gem trips for those who would like to experience sourcing, and mining while exploring the beauty of Sri Lanka first-hand.

Keeping it Local

“At CGI, our team of skilled cutters and designers create unique and creative gemstone cuts,” De Silva discloses. “Besides our precision lapidary services, the gemstones we offer are

nomic crisis Sri Lanka faced, things are gradually improving. Overall the government has been providing some support in uplifting the local gemological education and trade. However, the government and the National Gem and Jewellery Authority could do more to support the international trade, exports and imports.”

Amidst the complexities of setting up the new lapidary space and its facilities came the trials facing the entire economy of the country. “But, our dearest clients were our main pillars in supporting us with constant work for our

primarily sourced from smaller local mining communities.”

He considers small scale mining and local mining communities to be the backbone of Sri Lanka’s gemstone industry. “The gems we supply are a force for sustainability, ensuring the uplifting of smaller mining communities,” he finds. “Also, our location of the lapidary is situated just a few meters from the local market which allows for a good interactive environment with which we can engage in sourcing from these small scale miners.”

Tracing Origins

The traceability issue is of top concern to both Mount Zion Gems and CGI. “We engage in traceable sourcing practices, which reveals the beautiful story of the stone all the way from the source to being cut into a beautiful jewel,” De Silva explains. Doing this, he finds, creates a unique experience for the wearer of the jewel, and deepens their appreciation for the piece.

What’s Ahead

“Our long term vision is to be positioned as a global leader of sustainably sourced precision cut gemstones,” De Silva projects.

But he knows there’s lots to do to make that happen. “For this to become a reality, we’ll need to expand our capacity of precision lapidary services and sourcing methods through ongoing learning and development, and to expand our client network as well.

“As we focus on the value of sustainable sourcing practices, We’ll work to uplift the small mining communities and their standards of living too.”

Collection of various color rough spinel
Cutters working at CGI, Sri Lanka
Small pit miners near paddy fields, Badulla
Sri Lankan elephants in natural habitat

How to make your store customer-centric

Joel McFadden Design

50+ Years Experience Mentor Class Jeweler

Ever visit a website in search of a solution or to make a purchase and after a few minutes of difficulty finally just give up because the site is so confusing, cluttered or just poorly designed that it just isn’t worth the trouble? Why does it have to be so complicated? Why can’t I just find …?

Creator of the Tradeshows Bench Jewelers Challenge

Serving Our Wholesale Clients

CAD, High-End Setting, Full Custom Services, Consultation Services & Mentor Programs

Is there a chance that customers entering your store have the same confusing experience? Do any of them just leave without making a purchase because they are flustered by their shopping experience?

customer base. Researchers tell us that people make decisions in a very linear way. They get to a decision through a progression of predictable steps. (Dan Areily’s books “Predictably Irrational” and “The Upside of Irrationality” are the best references I’ve read on this topic)

Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your staff to determine what improvements can be made to help nurture your customer through their shopping experience. (984) 212-2217 1000 Novus Lane Unit 534 Chapel Hill NC 27514

A recurring trait I see as I visit stores in my consulting practice is a lack of appreciation for the thought processes of the

Joel McFadden Design

Serving Our Wholesale Clients

CAD, High-End Setting, Full Custom Services, Consultation Services & Mentor Programs (984) 212-2217

1) Think like your customer, not like a shopkeeper. Make your guide questions like, “How does our customer shop for this category of merchandise?” Example: Many people shop for colored stone jewelry by color more than exact stone type. They may say sapphire but what they often want is blue. Put all your blue palette merchandise together in a single area. You’ll find customers opting for a tanzanite when they came in looking for sapphire.

Joel McFadden Design

50+ Years Experience Mentor Class Jeweler

2) Organize your bridal merchandise by style of ring, not by vendor. Except for a few brands of highly promoted bridal

merchandise, most brands mean nothing to your customer. (You don’t organize your clothes closet at home by the store from which you got the item, you likely have the closet arranged by the sequence in which you dress each day) Organize your bridal merchandise by style of ring regardless of where you got the individual ring.

3) Get rid of all the distractions and clutter in the store and in the showcases. You know the stuff. The plaque you got in 1998 from the Chamber of Commerce, the rack with free handouts from the local high school on the top of the counter, the acrylic top of counter unit (with the earrings that don’t sell) that blocks the light in the case below it. Take the cluttering trim out of the showcases. Less is much more. The jewelry is the star of the case. Don’t hide it with plastic flowers or ceramic angels. Think clear, uncluttered, open, inviting and organized.

Creator of the Tradeshows Bench Jewelers Challenge

4) Organize each showcase in the store to match how your staff sells - after you have

Serving Our Wholesale Clients CAD, High-End Setting, Full Custom Services, Consultation Services & Mentor Programs

coordinated your sales teams approach. Your showcases are a “workbench” for the sales team. They need to be organized to match the team’s sales procedure. Since the case can only be organized in a single way, your sales team needs to follow a “generally similar” approach in their sales presentation. Example: If one of your bridal sales team starts each of their sales presentations with the diamond, while another talks price or date the ring is needed, your showcase will never work right. Get your team on the same sequence of sales and then organize your case layout to support that presentation

5) Get rid of signs in both the store and cases that do not say anything useful. My favorite is “We offer financing from XYZ Financing Company”, who doesn’t? Replace it with a sign that tells your customer what they really want to know; “If I buy this ring for $7000, what will my monthly payments be?” Make the sign match the price points in the showcase. Pick a term time frame like 18 months and leave off the (984) 212-2217

1000 Novus Lane Unit 534 Chapel Hill NC 27514

Often customers walk into a jewelry store and the first retort they have is, “I’m just looking.” Nowadays, it is very few and far between that a customer is just looking. And if they are just looking there is something in your store that intrigued them to come inside as opposed to pass by.

Thus, the opportunity for a sale lies in the hands of the sales associate. The following are some key ingredients to help create a sale.

Engaging a customer and making them feel comfortable communicating with you is one of the key ingredients that may lead to a future sale. Sometimes, the more casual the better. It will increase the likelihood that they’ll spend money with you. It can also help you learn more about their wants and possible needs, which will help channel your sales strategy towards one particular line of jewelry versus another.

Know your inventory. If the customer is looking for loose diamonds, it is important to know sizes, shapes, colors and cost. Never underestimate the budget of a customer, it is always easier to start high and then go down

pennies. Put a sign in each showcase to answer this often unasked question.

Making a customer-centric store begins with an analytic review of the questions and comments you hear from your clients. Anytime you hear a customer ask, “where”, “how”, “why” or “do you….”, it should prompt you to modify your store’s presentation to answer such questions without being asked. Your customer will feel more comfortable, informed and vested in the decisions they make in your store. They will reward you for your efforts to make the store a great place to shop with their repeated purchases. I have seen it happen in countless of my clients’ stores. If you’d like help achieving

Please see Johnson page 32

Engaging conversations with customers are sure to help boost bottom line sales

versus the reverse strategy. Create confidence and popularity with a certain product line, so that a customer may think, “I want that, too!” Listen for feedback!

Give the customer time to react to what you are selling before saying too much or moving on to another product. Speaking about too many product lines may be overwhelming or cause overall disinterest. It is important to get the first yes. Has the customer come in before? Are they coming in to pick up a repair?

Don’t forget the add-on sale in which many of the strategies listed above hold true! Plant seeds for future sales while the customer is waiting or paying. It is suggested to choose only one add-on product.

Be subtle, not pushy. Try to assume the sale as an add on if the conversation steers you in that direction.

The Power of Wowing! Be enthusiastic and Wow everyone. Remember, you never know what they will tell their friends about how they were wowed by a certain sales associate.

Creating sales is challenging and unfortunately there is not 1 magical strategy that will ensure a 100% closing rate, but many of these points certainly can’t hurt! Selling a luxury item like loose diamonds and diamond jewelry is exciting, it’s celebratory, it’s exhilarating and most of all make it fun and enjoyable for everyone!

As a great reference, listen to some of the wonderful webinars by Shane Decker, President of Ex-sellence Academy and Asaf Herskovitz, CEO - GN Diamond. They can be found on Instore magazine’s file of past webinars.

Larry Johnson

On the Move

Charles & Colvard forges strategic alliance with IGI to supply moissanite grading reports

(RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) - Charles & Colvard, Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTHR) (the “Company”), a globally recognized fine jewelry company that specializes in moissanite and lab grown diamonds, is pleased to announce an exclusive strategic alliance with the International Gemological Institute (IGI), introducing comprehensive grading reports for moissanite gemstones and jewelry.

“Not all moissanite is created equal,” says Don O’Connell, President and CEO of Charles &

Colvard. “The new collaboration with IGI emphasizes our commitment to maintaining brand integrity in a market increasingly saturated with false information and counterfeit products.”

The grading reports, with unique identifiers tying back to each individual laser-inscribed gemstone, are designed to boost consumer confidence by providing standardized measures for loose Forever One™ moissanite gems, ensuring a reliable standard of quality and authenticity for purchasers.

Expert gemologists will rigorously evaluate and authenticate each moissanite gemstone and provide comprehensive certification reports detailing its quality characteristics.

Consumers will recognize the standard 4Cs used in diamond grading - cut, clarity, carat, and color - in the grading report, along with Charles & Colvard moissanite-specific grading measures.

“Moissanite has long been celebrated for its brilliance and durability, but until now, consum-

ers have not had access to moissanite gemstones with grading reports backed by an industry leader in the space. We believe our collaboration with IGI will be a significant turning point in the lab-grown industry. This strategic alliance will bring unparalleled transparency and accountability regarding the quality of moissanite gemstones. We believe our new certifications will allow consumers, retailers, and distributors to further validate the quality and value of our gems while helping to safeguard customers against

misinformation and false claims made by other moissanite providers,” continued O’Connell.

“This development underscores IGI’s commitment to supporting our industry with detailed, accurate assessments,” added Avi Levy, President of IGI North America. “It demonstrates our dedication to reinforcing consumer trust in all of the gemstone products they purchase.”

Forever One™ moissanite gemstone reports will be available exclusively to the trade beginning in a limited capacity for the launch. IGI will scale to meet the demand for the reports as their experts continue to grade Charles & Colvard’s moissanite gemstone inventory. Later this year, consumers will also be able to purchase finished jewelry mounted with IGI-certified gemstones from Charles & Colvard.

To learn more about IGI, visit

Continued from page 14

nie turned it around and made it all about the customer. “As a customer, you are so valuable to us that we want to make absolutely certain your items are not going back out the door with anyone but you. Even if I recognize you when you come in the door. I don’t want there to be any chance that you secretly have some evil twin who’s stepped in to impersonate you and steal your things. As ridiculous and unlikely as that sounds, it’s happened!”

Instead of the multitude of complaints I used to get about customers showing their ID, I hear about how much they appreciate the value we place on them as a customer.

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, 984-212-2217,, Facebook and YouTube.

Acres of Diamonds

Discover wealth in your own backyard

There once lived in ancient India a wealthy Persian by the name of Al Hafed, who owned a large farm with orchards, gardens and grain fields. He met an old priest who told him, “A diamond is a congealed drop of sunlight. They are so rare and valuable, with a handful of them, you could purchase a whole country. With a diamond mine, you could place your children upon thrones through the power of their wealth.”

Al Hafed’s newly aroused desire for diamonds became so all consuming he sold his farm and travelled throughout the world, searching for his elusive diamond mine. Ultimately unsuccessful, impoverished and in despair, he drowned himself.

So begins the compelling parable told by American Baptist minister and founder of Temple University Russell Conwell, a tale so compelling the orator delivered it more than 6000 times. In 1870 travelling down the Tigris River, Conwell hired a guide at Bagdad who recounted to him the legend of the ill-fated diamond seeker.

Al Hafed’s successor, who had bought his farm, one day no-

ticed a curious flash of light from the sands of the shallow stream on his land. Reaching in the water, he pulled out “a black stone having an eye of light that reflected all the colors of the rainbow.”

Taking it home, he put the curious pebble on his mantel.

A few days later, the same old priest who had originally inspired

Al Hafed visited his home, and seeing the flash of light from the mantel, marveled, “Here is a diamond! I know a diamond when I see it.”

Together they rushed to the white sands of the stream and digging with their fingers, found more beautiful diamonds, each more valuable than the first. “And

Jewelers for Children holds

2024 Facets of Hope event

On Sunday June 2, 2024 Jewelers for Children welcomed over 600 guests to the Murano and San Polo ballrooms at the Venetian hotel to honor Brad Hampton of Helzberg Diamonds and the Corey Family of Day’s Jewelers. The evening included eating, drinking, networking and a special appearance by Make-AWish® recipient, Jayden.

Jewelers for Children (JFC) also announced donations of over $1 million to 6 nonprofit partners. Some of these partners have been grantees of JFC for 25 years, and received over $14 million dollars each since JFC began. This brings JFC’s total giving for the last 26 years to $62 million.

A highlight of the night was Emcee Nick Di Nieri interviewing 11-year-old Jayden, who last year had his wish to become an actor come to life. Jayden reminded the audience that sometimes we all have bad days, but we have good days too, and that is what his wish day was. JFC funds

thus,” Conwell recounts, “said the guide to me, were discovered the diamond mines of Golconda, the most magnificent diamond mines in all the history of mankind. The great Kohinoor diamond in England’s crown jewels came from that mine. Had Al Hafed remained at home and dug in his own garden, instead of poverty and death in a strange land, he would have had ‘acres of diamonds.’”

The actual Golconda mines, now depleted, were for close to 2000 years the only known source of diamonds in the world.

Producing some of the world’s most magnificent gems, such as the famed Hope Diamond and Kohinoor, India’s legendary Golconda diamonds are characterized by their incredible size and purity. They are extremely rare type IIa, formed of pure carbon, with exceptional transparency, sometimes described as “pure water” or “first water.”

Fable or true story? Either way, it conveys a powerful message. Dorothy in the beloved classic the Wizard of Oz seeks fulfillment, answers to her life’s

15 wishes a year.

The event was made possible by 27 underwriters, jewelry industry donors who donated $35,000 or more.

Next year’s event will take place on June 8th in Las Vegas, and more info can be found at the JFC website, Options for all different levels of donations are available, including tribute ads and tickets to the event.

Jewelers for Children was founded in 1999 by the U.S. jewelry industry with the mission of enriching the lives of children. Since its inception, JFC has raised more than $62 million for programs enhancing the lives of children through charity partners St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Make-A-Wish® America, and the National CASA Association. JFC also provides support to Make-AWish® International and the Organization for Autism Research.

questions, in a magical cavalcade of dazzling adventures, only to discover that she always had all the power within her to satisfy all her desires, that “there’s no place like home.”

Look again. Wealth is all around us, within us. Blinded by myopia, we may not see the treasure that is right in front of us. Is what we seek right in our own backyard? Perhaps infinite resources are all around, if only we open ourselves to them.

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 A recognized industry spokesperson, Mia also writes for several jewelry magazines and often is invited to speak at major national trade events. She recently launched a new marketing agency to help you sell online,

Mia Katrin
The Hope Diamond. Photo Smithsonian Magazine,

Furry Friends on the Job!

Say hello to Finn! Finn is a 1-year-old Havanese that works at Cooper Fine Jewelers in Texarkana, Texas. He has been working as the greeter at the store, alongside his human, storeowner Diane Cooper, since March 2023 when he was just a pup. From the beginning he has greeted everyone with a kiss and tail wag. He loves to go for walks and kids come in and play ball with him. Finn is sure to be a valuable asset at Cooper Fine Jewelers for years to come.


Continued from page 16

hesitation, as well as frustration over a decline in average unit bridal retails. But like the Crossfor mounting that powered sales a dozen years prior, I came to the Show armed with something I suspected was similarly amazing: Legacy.

The idea behind Legacy is simple. I had been searching for a way to inject a romantic element into LGD, while simultaneously finding a way to “gently” increase average unit bridal retails. And then in discussions this spring with the Chairman of JB Bhanderi, we experienced a collaborative epiphany and arrived at an extraordinary solution: Why just sell a diamond, when you can also provide its seed? It’s a revo-

Do you have a furry friend that helps out in your store? Tell us about it and send a picture to

lutionary concept, but how would retailers - and consumers - respond to the idea?

We got our answer when I first expressed it during a presentation at the Tuesday morning retailer meeting at the CBG Show, prior to JCK. The traffic my presentation produced was extremely encouraging, as we saw not only existing dealers but also a number of new retailers - some very smart ones, in fact - who I had never met before visiting our booth to sign up.

Then at our ballroom at JCK, the concept received overwhelmingly positive reviews. And just as I had seen twelve years before with the Crossfor mounting, I witnessed the same segmented response pattern. The male reaction to the idea was instant acceptance, a good sign. But most important-

Introducing Misty! A 14-year-old Terrier/Chihuahua, Misty serves as greeter and security guard at The Jewelry Factory in North Hollywood, California. The company, led by Misty’s humans Bruce and Zeda Spiegel, started out as a manufacturer in the ‘70s and in the ‘80s transformed into the appointment based jewelry studio it is today. Clients love her and often mention her in customer reviews. The “5 lb. bundle of cuteness” looks stylish in her custom collar studded with tiger eye cabochons.

ly, female jewelry store owners listening to the story reacted as consumers, and as I explained the potential use of the accompanying seed in growing a diamond for an as-yet-unborn child who at some future point would be getting engaged, I watched their eyes as their hearts melted. In constructing an entirely new way of thinking about lab grown diamonds, we had struck a powerful emotional chord producing precisely the effect I intended.

Mark Twain once said that history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme, and the historical rhyme I saw in Las Vegas was invigorating. I’m already pretty busy, but I suspect after witnessing responses to the diamond seed time capsule in Las Vegas, I’m going to have an extremely busy sum-

mer, and create lots of new dealers. Watch for these segmented response patterns as you speak with consumers in your store, and I think you’ll similarly discover triggers that produce desirable buying responses.

Class dismissed!

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


owner of Jewelry Website Designers www. regularly fields inquiries from members of the jewelry industry. The questions provide insight into what we should be doing to keep our online presence relevant and present our brand competitively.

There’s no one size fits all - and not every jeweler needs to start completely fresh when it comes to taking a hard look at their website. But there comes a time when one finds it jarring to discover just how long it’s been since the original website was launched.

Time Flies When You’re Selling Jewelry

“Clients come to us with websites that were created 10 to 15 years ago that are no longer working for them,” Murphy says. And there’s a lot more to it than simply discovering the front-end design looking dated. “Web technology is constantly evolving.” That’s really the crux of it all, she believes. “15 years ago browsers were very limited. Today they are able to display countless formats for engaging interaction with site visitors.”

That said, her perspective is, “Refreshing your site doesn’t necessarily mean throwing the old site away and starting from scratch. That is - unless its technology is so outdated it can’t even go on life support.”

Keeping Shoppers Engaged

What most jewelers can keep is their logo and branding colors, Murphy claims. This maintains an appearance of continuity and allows your customers to keep an uninterrupted visual impression of your brand.

But jewelers should consider inserting contemporary and useful functionality like:

• Live Chat

• 360 degree view of products

• Special effects like image swapping or animation

• Videos

These show your visitors you are up to date and want to engage with them in ways they’ve come to expect today.

According to Murphy, your website - much like your wardrobe - should be given a critical review every 3 to 5 years. In most cases, you’ll see the need for change when you give it a hard look.

Vital Data on the Back-end

Not every key aspect of a high performing website happens to its front-end. Take a pro-active

Renew, Refresh or Start Over

approach to the back-end of your site to optimize its health. “If your website traffic is dropping off,” she asserts, “it could be because it’s outdated or does not include

the now important behind the scenes coding to guide Google’s search results and improve your ranking.”

There are some things you

can do yourself. The first thing is to check your Google Analytics for traffic trends.

The next recommendation might surprise you - but be sure to conduct this self-check soon and often.

“Test that your website displays and functions well on various types of mobile devices.” The reason, Murphy says, is “Older websites do not adapt to mobile devices which are now the dominant viewing and purchasing vehicles for shoppers.”

How Shoppers Purchase Today

About a third of U.S. adults (32%) say they use a smartphone to buy things online at least on a

weekly basis, while 21% of shoppers say the same for desktop or laptop computers.

This shopping behavior is not exclusively an American trait Murphy reveals.

Nearly 80% of consumers worldwide visit a retailer’s website from their smartphone, while still shopping in-store. And 74% of shoppers utilize a retailer’s app, according to a March 2023 study by, an online data-driven research group offering valuable insight to businesses operating online and with a physical presence.

“Your website is a valuable sales tool,” Murphy reminds. “Keep it up to date and sharp.”


International School of Gemology offering Registered Gemologist Program

The International School of Gemology’s (ISG) Registered Gemologist 2024 Program consists of 4 modules with 39 sections. These modules cover all aspects of diamonds, colored gemstones, created and treated gemstones, and getting the most out of gemological tools. The Registered Gemologist Diploma Program is presented through written courses, photographs, videos, graphics, and practice quizzes to assist the student with learning the material most efficiently. The ISG offers certified

courses, certified instructors with the industry’s highest credentials, and a program listed as one of the top gemological education organizations by many industry leaders.

No dues or memberships are required. Successful completion of this program awards the student the ISG Registered Gemologist title and listing in the Insurance Registry of Gemologists and Appraisers.

The program includes all modules, hands-on practicals, fi-

nal exams and a free gem equipment package. Complete tuition is $1,495, including Gem Lab.

The ISG is part of the Global Claims Associates, state licensed insurance adjusting, investigation, education, and litigation consultants on high value jewelry claims. Member: National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters.

To view a lesson preview or for more information, visit

(TUSCANY, Italy) - ALISA®, producers of exclusive fine jewelry in sterling silver, 18 karat gold, earth-mined diamonds, and colored gemstones, proudly announces the Bellatini collection. Available in interchangeable, vari-tip ends with over a dozen natural color gemstones and precious metals.

The Bellatini bracelets are available in ALISA®’s signature Traversa basketweave texture and the traditional twisted cable.

Manufactured in Tuscany, Italy, since 1995, Adam Staub, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, highlights the significance of handcrafted Italian designs.

Staub states: “Retailers have been selling rare, earth-minded diamonds and fine Swiss watches since their grandparents’ day. Shouldn’t your 18-karat gold and rhodium-plated 925 sterling silver jewelry be handcrafted by the generations of Italian artisans at ALISA®? With our branded displays, consumer warranties, cooperative advertising, and associate incentive programs, fine jewelry retailers will be well positioned to drive high-end consumer traffic to their stores.”

 Tank Capacity: 33⁄8 quarts.

x 4” deep.

 0.8 Amp, 95 Watts, w/Heat 150 Watts.

Peak Output 270 Watts, 43Khz.

230.140 L&R Q140 Ultrasonic w/ Timer & Heater

3.48 Quart Best Built

President Marci Staub commented: “We take pride in our products and the selected group of authorized retailers featuring the ALISA® brand. Our company is dedicated to providing the finest product to the many consumers who enjoy wearing the exclusive jewelry creations of ALISA®.”

Visit ALISA® at IJO, InStore, and the Select Shows this summer.

For more information, visit their website www.alisadesigns. com email marci@alisadesigns. com, or call 786-999-3735, toll free at 833-MY-ALISA.


Continued from page 26

these changes, send me a few images of your showcases and store interior for a free critique. No obligation or cost. You might just be pleasantly surprised with the result. I’m sure your customers will notice.

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

JIS Fall offers a unique opportunity to connect with leading suppliers from around the globe, ensuring your showcases are stocked with the finest inventory ahead of the holiday rush. From timeless classics to cutting-edge designs, discover a diverse range of wholesale products including gold, diamonds, silver, fashion pieces, loose stones, and much more. Join us to cultivate meaningful connections, transact business seamlessly, and stay ahead of industry trends within the supportive atmosphere of the JIS community.

ASHI launches 2024 Holiday Marketing Program - Winter Wonderland Edition

As the holiday season approaches, ASHI has announced the launch of their 2024 Holiday Marketing Program - Winter Wonderland Edition. “Prepare to embark on a captivating journey filled with enchanting surprises and an extraordinary selection of fine jewelry,” says Mr. Pandya, partner at ASHI.

ASHI invites you to “step into the magical realm, where every detail is embellished with festive imagery and vibrant designs crafted to captivate and delight.” Featuring over 225 new exclusive jewelry designs, ASHI’s collection captures the spirit of the season, offering a range from timeless classics to modern marvels.

Jewelry trends are everevolving, influenced by fashion, culture, and innovation. ASHI takes pride in its ability to stay ahead of industry trends, ensuring that customers always have access to the latest designs. By closely monitoring industry shifts and anticipating future styles, ASHI continuously refreshes its collections to reflect the most current and desirable looks.

ASHI’s jewelry products stand as a testament to their commitment to both quality and style. Customers are invited to discover the elegance of their Diamond Essentials, Lovebright Diamonds, Fusion Styles, and East West Designs. Additionally, ASHI’s latest creations include Bezel Collection, Fluted Designs, Pearl Jewelry, Layers of Diamonds, Ribbed Jewelry, Layered Necklaces, Petite Collection - Fancy Bezel, Fusion Bezel, Petite Cluster, Petite Halo, Bold Silver and more.

“Each piece in ASHI’s collection is infused with the spirit of

the holidays, poised to evoke wonder and delight in those who receive them,” said Pandya. “Customers are invited to join ASHI on this magical marketing journey, crafting experiences that will be cherished forever.”

“At ASHI, we are dedicated to providing retailers with a comprehensive marketing strategy that seamlessly blends the allure of exquisite jewelry with the enchantment of the festive season. Leverage the power of print and digital marketing to grow your business and strengthen your brand!”

Holiday Gift Book

The 32-page in-store/direct mail Holiday Gift Book brings together classic styles with this year’s most popular trends and designs. With this premium Book, you can brand your store, and personalize the front, back, and inside covers, as well as an “About Us” page to make a personal connection with your customers. You can also include additional designer jewelry and watch brands you carry, as well as a print and digital e-coupon. Participating retailers will receive 1,000 free books with a $25,000 purchase made in 5 equal payments.

Holiday Wish Book

The 16-page Holiday Wish Book features best-selling classic designs as well as this year’s hottest trends. The style options in this Book were selected to excite your customers and help them in sharing the spirit of this holiday season. You can personalize it with your store’s logo and information, jewelry and watch

brands, as well as a digital e-coupon. Participating retailers will receive 2,000 free books with a $20,000 purchase made in 4 equal payments.

Holiday Gift Guide

The 8-page Holiday Gift Guide features the industry’s latest trends. Assist customers in being trendsetters and creating memories with their loved ones that will last a lifetime. Products chosen for this flyer have been priced competitively to increase their sales, profitability, margins, and inventory turns. Participating retailers will receive 2,500 free flyers with a $15,000 purchase made in 3 equal payments.

Holiday 2024 Program -

Marketing Highlights

• USPS EDDM and Direct Mail: All Holiday Books & Flyers can be mailed via discounted direct mail to your existing and potential customers.

• Advertising CO-OP Subsidy: Receive a 4% advertising subsidy against net asset purchases to offset the cost of the Holiday Marketing Program. Get free Books or Flyers with a $25,000 Purchase from the 32-page, $20,000 from

the 16-page, and $15,000 from the 8-page along with extended terms. This makes the program nearly cost-free as an in-store handout to every prospective customer or a direct mailer. Subsidy applies only to ASHI products.

• In-Stock Program & 5-Day Preview Program: No-obligation 5-day Invoice-Memo, to preview and close the sale, on most styles featured in the Holiday Books & Flyers. This 5-day Preview Program has a proven 40% sell-through rate. Most styles are stocked for overnight delivery.

• Branding Your Store Name: Store logo on the front and back covers along with an “About Us” page with your store and staff pictures and a brief history on the inside of the 32-page Holiday Gift Book.

• Brand Customization: Option of customizing 2 to 6 pages in the 32-page & 16-page Holiday books with your jewelry and watch brands to obtain CO-OP from other lines that perform well in your store (i.e. Forevermark, Tacori, Hearts on Fire, Simon G, David Yurman, John Hardy, Tag Heuer, etc.).

• Custom Print & Digital E-Coupon: Attract more customers to your store by offering a discount coupon at the back of the book.

• Digital Assets for Free: An extensive library of beautiful lifestyle and webready images and videos to post on all social media platforms. High-resolution style images, body-view images, website banners, email blasts, and videos can be utilized for print, digital and website marketing.

• Advanced Digital Flipbook: A mobile-ready, digital flipbook with drill-down technology that can be placed on your website, Facebook and Instagram enabling consumers to browse your catalogs.

• Television Commercials and In-Store Marketing Visuals: TV and print advertising materials in high-resolution images optimized for websites or localized advertising purposes. In-store DVD loops, duratrans, window clings, and POS displays. Highresolution images are available for ad creation, billboards, additional print material, website, and social media content.

“If you are interested in working with a supplier that is committed to promoting you as the brand in your market, rather than themselves, please see why hundreds of the top retailers across North America partner with ASHI to become the premier jewelry brand in their market,” says Pandya.

For more information contact your regional ASHI sales representative or call 800-622-ASHI (2744).

Gemvision, A Stuller Company, introduces MatrixGold® 3.8 Smarter,

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Gemvision is excited to unveil the latest software update, MatrixGold 3.8, which is now seamlessly compatible with Rhino 8, the newest iteration of that software. This integration introduces a range of supplementary features aimed at enriching your design journey.

“The new update, MatrixGold 3.8, is a significant leap forward in user experience and performance,” says Oriol Collelldemont, product director for Gemvision.

Some notable enhancements in Rhino 8 include:

• ShrinkWrap - simplifying the process of preparing designs for 3D printing, ensuring efficiency without com-

Faster and More Flexible

promising quality.

• Auto Cplane - auto-aligns to a selected curve, surface, mesh face, or sub-object, facilitating a seamless design workflow.

• Monochrome View - offers a clean, minimal display mode, providing clarity and focus to your design endeavors.

This latest update is also provided at no additional cost to users who already own licenses for MatrixGold 3 and Rhino 8. To learn more, visit

Rembrandt Charms introduces Personalization Collection

Custom Engraved, Custom Painted, and Photoart Charms

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) - Rembrandt Charms has announced the launch of its highly anticipated Personalization Collection, featuring an array of exclusive charms that can be personalized for the charm collector. Rembrandt’s Custom Engraved Charms, Custom Painted Charms, and Photoart Charms, allow customers to create one-of-a-kind pieces that capture their unique stories and cherished memories.

With a legacy spanning over five decades, Rembrandt Charms has been dedicated to crafting exquisite jewelry that celebrates life’s most sentimental moments. The Personalization Collection represents the brand’s commitment to innovation and personal expression, offering customers the opportunity to design jewelry that speaks to their individual style and sentimentality.

Rembrandt’s new state of the art technology allows paint to be applied in high resolution with extraordinary durability to flat charms. This new process has been carried over to improve the quality and durability of Rembrandt’s Photoart Charms as well. New and upgraded laser engraving machines have also been added to Rembrandt’s Buffalobased headquarters.

“Rembrandt’s Custom Engraved and Custom Painted Charms typically ship in 1-2 days after the proof has been approved. Categories and items that we often see engraved or painted on our charms are, fingerprints, logos, heartbeats, schools, sports teams, athletes, paw prints, footprints, handprints, handwriting, drawings, landmarks, clubs, groups/organizations, and more. Each piece is meticulously crafted to preserve the beauty and intricacy of the design while adding a personal touch,” states Eric Lux, President, Rembrandt Charms.

“We are thrilled to unveil our Personalization Collection, offering our customers a new level of creativity and individuality in their jewelry,” said Audre Johnston, Director of Customization, Rembrandt Charms. “Our mission has always been to manufacture jewelry that reflects life’s most meaningful moments, and with our new Collection, customers can now create truly personalized pieces that tell their unique stories.” Personalization Collection brochures and other digital and print marketing resources are available. For more information, visit

Wind & Fire unveils new gold-filled wrap bracelets


- Wind & Fire®, the trailblazing brand known for its artfully eco-sustainable jewelry, has announced the latest addition to its Spectrum of Color® line: 14-karat gold-filled bead wrap bracelets, selectively accentuated

with high-quality, natural mineral gemstones and freshwater cultured pearls, as well as birthstone crystals, all meticulously handcrafted in the USA.

As always, Wind & Fire’s commitment to the environment goes into the making of these wraps. Made from reclaimed and recycled materials, they’re

a testament to conscious luxury.

These beads don’t just sparkle, they glow - the 14-karat goldfilled composition ensures lasting radiance and fills a much-needed popular price point for retailers. Since 2013, Wind & Fire continues to give back - it’s charity with a side of glamour. Accessories can be more than just fashion statements when we support our local communities. A portion

of the proceeds from every sale goes to charities that enhance the lives of children with special needs. “It’s like wearing kindness

Stuller releases new Packaging & Displays catalog New options to elevate your brand

(LAFAYETTE, La.)Stuller has proudly released their latest catalog, Packaging & Displays 2024–2025. This catalog introduces new items in complementary colors and finishes that will help jewelers build their brand, make a lasting first impression, and elevate the beauty of your jewelry.

“Our new packaging and display catalog isn’t just about presentation; it’s about storytelling,” says Tori Olivier, packaging and display manager. “Each box and display reflect the heart of your brand, inviting customers into a world of luxury.”

Highlights from the catalog include

• NEW badges indicating new products and expanded offerings showing new colors and styles.

• More than 2,400 items

• Coordinate your full pack-

aging story with easy bundles that go well with featured collections.

• Tips on how to merchandise the perfect display case.

• An online shopping guide. To learn more about the new packaging & display catalog and participate in Stuller’s catalog contest, visit PackagingAndDisplaysCatalog.

Sign up at

on your wrist!” says Vice President of Merchandising, Lance Fiasconaro.

Wind & Fire President Frank Fiasconaro stated: “We wanted to offer a higher quality alternative to those popular stretch bracelets, something a little more sophisticated. These use our one-size-fitsmost memory wire, which is obviously more durable and secure, and even more comfortable to wear. Our dealers constantly tell me, ‘It’s jewelry, not juvenile.’”

“Consumers are loving the ability to sleep, shower and sweat in our gold-filled collection,” added Fiasconaro. “It’s the closest thing you can get to true karatgold jewelry without breaking the bank. Affordable luxuries are a must-have in today’s economy.”

Wind & Fire is a member of the brand family at CG Creations, reliably serving the fine gold and silver jewelry industry for nearly 50 years. For more information and a free sample, email sales@ or call 800-4311606.


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


Continued from page 12

methods marry two pieces of metal together. But, here’s what was so important about the introduction of the laser welder.

The ability to control the thermal energy coming out of the end of a torch is harder than it looks. Joining pieces of metal together is usually the first step in the process of custom and repair jobs. No matter how good a jeweler is at all of the other steps involved, if that part kicks your butt every time, right from the beginning, then the rest of the job suffers. Soldering was the downfall of many bench jewelers. The laser welder has now replaced that part of the process with technology. I have a laser welder, but tend to use my torch more than my welder, but that’s just me. I’m better with a torch than I am with a laser.

So, all of that being said, let me tell you about a trend I’m seeing in the world of trade shops, technologies, and bench jewelers in general. For the first time that I can recall, we’re allowed to specialize. That’s a new thing. I’m one of those old school ‘utility’ jewelers. I can set diamonds, carve waxes, make rubber molds, size rings, reweave hollow rope

chains, and change the battery in your watch. But jewelers like that are becoming harder to find. So what’s happening?

Customers come in with a vision for their engagement ring. Whether you do, or don’t do CAD-CAM in house, once you have a model, you then need to hire a specialist to cast your model. Once cast, that project will be handed off to the next specialist to clean, polish, and prepare the piece for setting. Next, you need a stone setter to set all of the gemstones in the ring - all 162 of them

Once finished, you deliver it to your customer and they are ecstatic. “It’s so beautiful,” they will say. You quietly think to yourself, ‘Yes, it is beautiful. I’m such a great designer.’ Then, let’s fast forward 13 months. Your customer’s world has been shattered. They bring their ring in because 3 of the ½ pointers have fallen out of their ring. Hah, they didn’t fall out, they were knocked out!!!

Now you need another specialist. The people that did the CAD don’t do repairs. The people that cast the ring don’t do repairs. The polishers and setters don’t do repairs. Whatever is a store to do?

You now realize you need another specialist in your orbit; A repair jeweler! Someone that just repairs your customer’s bro-

ken jewelry and heirlooms. And yes, those specialists are becoming fewer and farther between as well.

As a general rule with bench jewelers, they either like to only do custom, or they only like to do repairs. Very few like to do both. Most CAN do both, but their heart is really only on one side of the fence or the other. Me personally, I like the repair side. I’d rather work on 30 different things in a day, than spend the entire day working on one thing, but that’s just me.

So, to all my fellow bench jewelers out there, write me a note and let me know which side of the fence you fall on - repair or custom. Also, what do you like to do the most, and what do you like to do the least, like soldering 23 sterling silver charms on an already overcrowded silver charm bracelet.

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, or send e-mail to


Continued from page 10

Kaplan, a top notch diamond cutting firm. It was the first time such an important diamond was cut in the US.

But not so fast. One does not immediately saw into such a rarity. It took an entire year of intense studying of the Jonker before a single cut was made. While Kaplan studied the stone, he made more than 1,000 plaster casts and 161 lead models of the Jonker to ensure his first cut produced the best outcome. Due to its massive size, Kaplan had to make special tools to polish this diamond.

After spending all that time locating the exact starting point to cleave the diamond, Kaplan was ready to go. When he finally did cleave it, it broke into 3 pieces as planned. He made some interesting observations about the Jonker. There were no internal flaws, he said, merely some on the skin of the diamond which could easily be polished away. The rough, Kaplan said, was about the size of a hen’s egg and weighed a half troy pound - or 6.58 ounces.

Learning the Details

After cutting and polishing the Jonker diamond, it yielded twelve gems, reported Harry Winston’s archival records. Some records claim that the Jonker actually produced a “lucky thirteen” gems. The eventual weight of these cut diamonds was 375-carats (down from 726 original carats). The rest of the carats were lost to diamond dust during its polishing.

The Jonker I, the largest of the yield weighed 143-carats and contrasted with the other stones which were under 50-carats. The diamonds were all shaped into emerald cuts except for one marquise shape stone.

Changing Hands Privately

Egyptian King Farouk acquired The Jonker I in 1949. When he was deposed a few years later the Jonker was “lost”, reports claimed. But it popped

up a decade later in 1959 when it was seen being worn by Nepal’s Queen Ratna.

By the 1970s, the Jonker I made its way to auction in Hong Kong where it sold for $4 million. (Some reports place its auction earnings at less than $4 million)

Most recently, The Jonker I is said to be owned by Saudi billionaire Ibrahim Al-Rashid, who loaned the diamond to National History Museum in Los Angeles for an exhibition in 2024. According to the museum, this renowned jewel has passed through the hands of global royalty and Hollywood celebrities. But it’s not been on public display at a museum for over eight decades. Actually, the museum points out, the public has not seen this diamond since it was bought by a private collector in 1977. A stone like the Jonker gathers its own celebrity status along the way - and develops a unique life of its own. 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 Contact her at, visit her website at, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).

King Farouk. Photo Wikipedia

Luxury Timepiece Sales Associate

Great opportunity to work in a thriving market.

Min of 2 yrs of luxury retail store experience.

$65,000/year DOE

Benefits include health insurance & PTO.

Email your resume to


Sales Representative AL, KY, MS & TN

For 120 years, Boston-based GBC has been considered the nation’s largest buyer and wholesaler of fine jewelry surpluses and closeouts. The available position is an opportunity to join our team with responsibilities involving selling existing accounts, developing and maintaining customer relations, and establishing new accounts. GBC’s offerings are ever-changing and value oriented, with prices consistently below market ranging from $50 to $50,000. Sales are generated on a “delivery” basis, with product carried to the customers who select and take delivery during the sales call. Email resume’ to:


Nation’s Largest Restyle Event Company Seeks Experienced Jewelry Sales Representatives and Bench Jewelers who are free to travel and ready for the financial success that working for a great company offers. Salary plus commissions $80K to $120K+. Set schedule; no cold calls. 34 weeks per year travel required, security provided. Benefits include bonuses, 401K, and profit-sharing plans, dental, paid health and life insurance, commuting allowance, paid travel expenses and vacation.

Fax resume to 770.499.8974 or email



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

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

• Gross 1M+, Net $400,000+ per year

• Sales increase every year

2000 sq. ft store w/40 showcases.

Shop on premises/Jewelers on piece work.

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

Subject Line: Florida Jewelry Store


Jewelry Store Equipment for Sale

Showcases • Roller Mill • New Hermes Engraving machine with fonts • Variety of Engraving Awards

• Wedding Ring Sizer • Polishing Machines • Electric Steam Cleaner

• 2 safes • Entire of Stock of Merchandise available for purchase

Please contact at 843-549-7212; 843-909-0165; 843-364-4555 or email for more details and information.

Pro table small jewelry store for sale

Located in mountain city out west, in busy strip mall 900 square feet (60% production space, 40% sales oor)

Email to request an NDA to be able to receive more info

Perfect for a jeweler and 1 sales person. Great sales and repairs. Everything $70,000. Without inventory $40,000.

Jewelry News Classifieds

The Beauty of Luxurious Love

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