Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Signature Engraving Systems announces winners in second annual engraving and personalization contest.

Signature Engraving Systems recently announced the winners of their second annual Engraving Contest. Signature customers from around the county were invited to submit their most creative layout, most unique engraving, most profitable job and best story behind a special personalization.

The competition was designed to inspire customers to expand beyond traditional engraving pursuits and showcase unique ways to show off their Signature engraving skills and services. Submissions were collected and arranged in to the four categories.

“We received lots of fantastic entries from customers who were able to engrave some very unique items,” says Dawn Stevenson, Director of Operations for Signature Selections, a division of Signature Engraving Systems. “It was great to see how the machines are being used in ways we didn’t even anticipate. It was difficult to pick the winners because every entry was so impressive!”

Twelve contest winners were selected from a large pool of entries by Signature’s board of Directors. “I love to see our customers utilizing the incredible potential of our engraving systems,” says Chris Parent, President and CEO of Signature Engraving Systems. “This contest is great because it helps showcase how versatile our machines really are, and we get to recognize our customers’ engraving talents!”

Winners were officially announced June 4, 2010 at the JCK Show in Las Vegas. The grand prize, second place and third place winners will receive gift certificates good towards Signature Selections products. All entrants will receive a coupon good for 15% off their next Signature Selections giftware purchase.

Grand prize winners

Best Story Behind Engraving – Dana's Fine Jewelry - Newton, North Carolina
Created as a Christmas gift for the Grandmother who has everything, a photo album was personalized by adding her grandchildren’s scanned signatures in silver foil and filled with photos of the family.

Best Layout – Taylor's Gold-n-Stones, Inc. - Fairbanks, Alaska
Photographs of actual airplanes were scanned in, outlined and engraved on a rifle as a gift to an employee of the flight service. The gift brought a tear to his eyes.

Most Unique Engraving – Cher Lineberger - Newton, North Carolina
Embellished leather boots were personalized with gold foil to be a one of a kind accessory for a very pleased customer. “People love my boots and they always ask where I got them!”

Most Profitable Engraving Job – Grabados Monterrey- Laredo, Texas
To celebrate a distributor reaching one million dollars in sales, a commemorative award was engraved with a sliced faucet and the MOEN company logo, and mounted on a cherry wood plaque.

Royal Chain Group Unveils Dramatic New Catalog

Royal Chain Group, long regarded as the premier manufacturer and designer of precious metal jewelry has just introduced its new catalog — boasting 300 pages of brands in varied segments of the jewelry marketplace.

Royal Chain Group has evolved from its leadership role in the design and manufacture of 14K gold jewelry to a myriad of products — ranging from a notable collection of Sterling Silver, striking two tone products, an eclectic range of brilliant products for every retail jeweler's needs.

The catalog also features the collection from designer Phillip Gavriel, who has crafted innovative and eclectic jewelry including the Byzantine Filigree Collection — which offers a museum-like quality that is both proprietary and dramatically fashion forward. Further, Phillip Gavriel incorporates the Fleur de Lis into other aspects of the Phillip Gavriel brand collection to include Sterling Silver keys with Sapphires, Rubies, Diamonds, and more. The catalog is an essential and vital tool for jewelers, looking for immediate delivery of the brands depicted with the guarantees and terms that have made Royal Chain Group the premier purveyor of fine jewelry. Call 800-622-0960 or visit www.royalchain.com

WDC Calls for Continued Dialogue and Cooperation

Speaking on behalf of the diamond industry, the World Diamond Council (WDC) today called for all parties involved in the Kimberley Process to continue productive dialogue and co-operation.

Since its inception in 2003, the Kimberley Process (KP) has played a key role in the effort to eliminate the scourge of conflict diamonds from the global diamond trade.

At this year's Kimberley Process intersessional meeting in Tel Aviv, the Israel government hosted civil society, diamond industry and government representatives to discuss and address issues currently facing the international trade in diamonds.

There was disappointment that consensus agreement could not be reached regarding the status of exports from the Marange region of Zimbabwe. However, the World Diamond Council called for all Kimberley Process stakeholders to redouble their efforts to bring about a solution acceptable to all.

In recognition of the need for the Kimberley Process to evolve and improve, a one-day seminar was jointly convened by the diamond industry and Civil Society. The seminar, which included the participation of government members, concluded with an agreement to develop reforms that will further enhance the KP's ability to address challenges and opportunity in the future.

Another seminar took place to discuss more effective co-operation between the Kimberley Process and other sectors of government, including customs, security and border controls.

Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, said "the diamond industry welcomes these developments and has long been calling for sensible and appropriate reforms and greater co-operation within and between governments."

New York State To Provide Fund for Mortgages in International Gem Tower

Empire State Development announced today that New York State will make available up to $100 million in mortgage financing for purchasers of offices in the International Gem Tower through its Job Development Authority program.

“The International Gem Tower will further establish New York as the center of the international trade,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “Once completed, the Tower will rival leading competitors across the globe with its state-of-the-art technology, services and Foreign-Trade Zone designation. The International Gem Tower will also be instrumental in fostering economic activity abroad and expand the State’s presence around the world.”

Empire State Development Chairman Dennis M. Mullen explained, “The International Gem Tower is a transformational project, which will distinguish New York State, give us a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, and affirm New York State’s role as a leader in international trade and investment.”

“We are immensely proud of this project, and what it means to the City of New York,” said Gary Barnett, President of Extell Development. “The International Gem Tower is a wonder of state-of-the-art technology that will put New York at the heart of the world diamond and gem industry. The overall benefits and economic impact of this project will reverberate for decades.“

On May 27, the Foreign-Trade Zones Board of the United States Department of Commerce announced the approval of the International Gem Tower as a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ). “As a result, businesses located in the Tower will be permitted to import foreign merchandise without Customs entry or the payment of United States duties until the goods are sold. No duty will be payable on re-exported goods,” explained Raizy Haas. “We are offering complementary consultations with our FTZ consultant to interested diamond, gem and jewelry business owners who wish to understand exactly how much they can save by operating in a Foreign Trade Zone.”

When completed in 2012, the 34-story office tower on West 47th Street in the heart of New York's Diamond District will be an ultra-modern industry center designed exclusively for the international gem and jewelry trade. Wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers will be able to benefit from all of the features that the tower has to offer, which includes state-of-the-art security and vault operations, valet parking, restaurants, a full service executive club, and an on-site health and fitness center.

No Resolution of Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting

The Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP), presided over by
Israel as Chair of the KP, has concluded today June 24th. On the agenda of the meeting
were a number of initiatives relating to the on-going work of the KP and to the
consolidation of the process such the creation of an office for administration and support and the establishment of a Working Group on Trade Facilitation. The center of attention, however, was the KP minimum standards implementation in the Marange diamond
fields in Zimbabwe.

The meeting convened in light of the second report of the KP monitor to Zimbabwe. In
question was the continued implementation of the Joint Work Plan (JWP), agreed upon
at the Plenary meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia in November 2009. The meeting was
clouded by the arrest of NGO activist Farai Mguwu by the Zimbabwean authorities three
weeks earlier and the reports of his condition.

The Intersessional could not reach consensus regarding the implementation of the JWP
and the work carried out by the KP Monitor to Marange. As such, the meeting ended at
an impasse. The KP Chair, Mr. Boaz Hirsch, has declared an impasse after night long
discussions through the morning and called for another a meeting to attempt to resolve
the differences followed by an extension to the Intersessional.

Mr. Hirsch, along with the Chair of the Working-Group on Monitoring, Mr. Stephane
Chardon and Mr. Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), played a
pivotal role in attempting to breach the gap between the sides. "This situation is
unprecedented in the Kimberley Process meeting," declared the Chair, "but all parties
are committed to further engagement. The KP is based on a partnership between
governments, the diamond industry and the civil society. I am committed to that end and
I have asked Mr. Izhakoff to jointly convene within the WDC Annual Meeting coming
July 14th-15th, in St. Petersburg, a mini-summit of the KP major stakeholders.
Deliberations will continue in order to find a consensus based resolution."

Israel will host the Plenary meeting in Jerusalem between the 1st and 4th of November of this year.

2010 JCK Toronto Enhances the Retailer Experience

Canada's passion for fine jewellery will be quite evident at the upcoming JCK Toronto Show, Sun. Aug. 8 - Tues. Aug. 10 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's North Building. Created exclusively for the Canadian marketplace, JCK Toronto has begun a renewal process to enhance the Canadian retailer experience with innovation, increased networking opportunities, timely educational opportunities and the presence of over 150 designers, manufacturers and suppliers.

"The JCK Toronto team solicited and then incorporated feedback from both suppliers and retailers to create a new experience for the Canadian marketplace," said John Tierney, Event Director. "Some of the big changes that have occurred as a result of retailers' feedback include: The return to the August 8-10 timeframe; the preferred venue in the North Hall; and the visible presence of the educational sessions on the exhibition floor. This change makes it more efficient to learn from industry experts in an educational session and be able to participate in the many networking events while not cutting into retailers' buying time."

This year's educational sessions begin with an opening keynote by Shane Decker, from Ex-SELL-Ence, on "Advanced Strategies to Increase Closing Ratios." The sessions continue with educational tracks on the show floor organized into the following business-building categories: Business; Merchandising & Technology; Marketing; Color & Fashion; Manufacturing.

JCK Toronto's educational sessions will also tap into other hot demographic issues such as attracting the female self-purchaser, social media and using video for social media engagement with consumers and a fresh look at generational marketing.

This year, JCK Toronto will debut the Canadian Diamond Showcase, a dedicated focus to the robust Canadian Diamond sector. Retailers can preview the latest developments in the Canadian diamond industry and learn how embracing its many 'facets' can positively impact their business.

The HRA Group of Companies, including Crossworks Manufacturing and SGI, will host a diamond polishing event at JCK Toronto that will give a first hand view of the polishing of diamonds that are mined, cut and polished in Ontario. Showcasing the importance and excitement for diamonds a 70cts necklace made up of 25 rough diamonds will be on display. Designed by Reena Ahluwalia and manufactured by Jeff Miller, the piece was commissioned by the HRA Group of Companies to celebrate diamonds that originated from the De Beers Canada Victor Mine and the development of a secondary diamond industry in Ontario.

"The Future of the Diamond Industry will be explored in a featured keynote panel discussion moderated by Bhushan Vora, Gem Star Inc. and Diamond Bourse of Toronto," said Tierney. "In addition, we have a session on enhanced colorless, pink and yellow diamonds and how to identify them. There's a lot of interest in diamonds right now, particularly in Canada, and the bridal category remains healthy which is good for retailers."

Staying connected is a benefit to the overall experience at JCK Toronto. Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook and join us on LinkedIn.

"JCK Toronto offers an effective buying experience for our members and we are proud to be the supporting association. Reed Exhibitions has created JCK Toronto with the Canadian market in mind, and we look forward to experiencing the best 'gold standard' aspects of JCK in Toronto this August," said Ken Mulhall, President & CEO, Canadian Jewellers Association.

For unique and one-of-a-kind product offerings, JCK Toronto will present the Design Centre. The Design Centre at JCK Toronto will provide a warm, inviting environment for a small selection of designer-owned companies with similar artistic, product and marketing missions. The goal is to offer retail buyers an organized and varied assortment of inspired, designer collections and designs.

JCK Toronto is part of the global network of JCK Events and is supported by the Canadian Jewellers Association with additional support from these media partners: Business magazine, Canadian Jeweller and JCK magazine.

"We are particularly excited about this year's event," said Tierney. "We want to encourage Canadian retailers to experience JCK Toronto as a great opportunity to enhance their businesses through educational programming, networking and special events. We look forward to seeing everyone in Toronto this August."

Richmond Hill, Ont.-based Beverly Hills Jewellery Welcomes New Reps

Beverly Hills Jewellery MFG. Ltd. of Richmond Hill, Ontario, is pleased to announce that two new representatives have joined our growing sales team. David Finlay will be anchoring the East Coast and Vern Schwarz will be covering Manitoba/Saskatchewan. Both of these gentlemen are no strangers to the industry and it is an honour
to have them both on board.

OMEGA opens a glamorous new boutique in Via Condotti

OMEGA celebrated the opening of its new boutique at Via Condotti 38-40, one of the world’s most glamorous shopping avenues. The new boutique, OMEGA’s second in Italy, was officially opened by Stephen Urquhart, president of OMEGA, who commented on the event, “We are very happy to have found such a prestigious location for our boutique in Rome. The new space in Via Condotti is the ideal setting for our brand and is the perfect complement to the other great OMEGA Boutiques in the world including those in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai.”

Joining him for the ribbon cutting were actress and OMEGA brand ambassador Caterina Murino, Laura Petrini, Manager of Swatch Group Italy and Andrea Nunziata, Brand Manager of Omega Italy.

The Boutique, with a total floor space of 240 square metres over three levels, has a uniquely Roman blend of elements – it is at once historic and contemporary. It is located in an 18th century building which is also home to the beautiful Church of Santissima Trinità. In fact, some of the Boutique’s windows look directly into the church’s garden. It is OMEGA’s 60th corporate flagship boutique.

Celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and sport posed on the red carpet for OMEGA and included Margherita Bui, Enrico Lo Verso, Carolina Crescentini and Milly Carlucci along with Antonio Rossi, Pietro Mennea and Massimiliano Rosolino with his partner Natalia Titov.

The celebrities were joined by 300 invited guests at the opening ceremony which began at 7 p.m.

Following the opening at the Boutique, the festivities continued at the Casina Valadier, with the Co-Axial Cocktail Party, which was attended by customers, journalists, actors and celebrities who welcomed OMEGA to the Eternal City. OMEGA is one of the world’s best-known watch brands with global reputation based on its conquest in space (including all six lunar landings), its 162-year history of watchmaking innovation and its role as Official Timekeeper at 24 Olympic Games.

Tradeshow Award Helps New Artists Launch Their Businesses

The Buyers Market of American Craft tradeshow has granted Merit Awards to six promising artists, to help them sell their work to the nation’s galleries and gift shops.

The winners – including Laura Cardwell of SilverSong Jewelry in Asheville, N.C. – receive assistance with exhibiting their artwork at the tradeshow, coming August 23-25, 2010, to the Baltimore Convention Center.

For newcomers to the wholesale market, the Merit Award can be a career-making prize. The Buyers Market of American Craft is the nation’s largest wholesale show of handmade jewelry, home furnishings and fashion accessories by U.S. and Canadian artists.

Laura Cardwell began creating jewelry as a hobby after the birth of her first child, selling beaded works at music festivals where her husband’s band would play. After her second child was born, the former writer and photographer turned to metalsmithing fulltime. “Art jewelry took my breath away and has yet to give it back,” she explains.

After studying with renowned metalsmith Bill Churlik and mastering the craft, she opened SilverSong Jewelry. Her current work includes fusing, forging, raising and stone setting in Argentium silver, sterling silver, 14kt rose gold and copper. Cardwell’s techniques allow each piece to be its own completely unique work of art.

Cardwell applied for the Merit Award with the goal of marketing her products to professional buyers from museum gift stores, art and craft galleries and home decor boutiques.

“Retailers attend tradeshows looking for new products, but many talented artists lack the resources to exhibit at these shows,” said Christine Kloostra, director of the Buyers Market. The tradeshow is produced by The Rosen Group, a Baltimore-based arts marketing, publishing and advocacy firm. “With this award, beginners make their debut at the Buyers Market, where they can show work directly to professional buyers.”

Merit Award winners receive free business counseling and assistance with their promotions, plus tradeshow exhibit space at a fraction of cost.

The 2010 Merit Award winners of the Buyers Market of American Craft are:

· Melanie Walter of Pine Garden Baskets, Wilmington, N.C.

· Elise Bergeron, jewelry designer, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

· Jenn Bell, enamel artist, Scranton, Pa.

· Christopher Baumann and Stacey Stanhope of Clay Fetish Pottery, Alpharetta, Ga.

· Joshua Hershman, glass artist, Boulder, Colo.

· Laura Cardwell of SilverSong Jewelry, Asheville, N.C.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Israel to Hold Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting

As Chair of the Kimberley Process (KP) for 2010, Israel will hold the annual Intersessional Meeting from June 21 - 23, 2010 in Tel Aviv.

Boaz Hirsch is Chairman of the Kimberley Process on behalf of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. The Intersessional Meeting is being held in preparation for the Plenary Meeting, to be held November 1 – 4, 2010 in Jerusalem.

On the agenda of the Intersessional Meeting is the progress of the Joint Work Plan (JWP), agreed upon at the last Plenary Meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia in November 2009, for implementation of the KP minimum standards in the Marange area of Zimbabwe. A report by the special KP monitor to the Marange area, Mr. Abbey Chikane, founder Chair of the KP, is scheduled to be delivered during the meeting.

Israel is promoting additional topics aimed at consolidating and fortifying the efficiency of the KP. Led by Mr. Hirsch, the KP approached the World Customs Organization (WCO) in order to revive the cooperation between the two organizations in issues of enforcement. In a meeting between the KP Chair the Secretary General of the WCO, a joint team was established to draft a multi-annual work plan for collaboration between the two international bodies. A report on the progress of the joint team is scheduled to be presented at the Intersessional Meeting. In addition, a seminar on enforcement of border control will be held adjacent to the meeting. The seminar, an initiative of the USA, Canada and the Civil Society representatives, will be attended by customs representatives from various countries.

On Israel's agenda are also topics of more procedural and administrative natures. Among them, is the promotion of a professional team that will provide administrative support to the rotating position of Chair and will sustain the changes, which are inherent in the annual transfer of this role from country to country.

Reports from the Intersessional Meeting will be available daily during the meeting on the IDI portal site http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/english/index.aspx

Jovella to Feature High End Diamond Jewellery

The Jovella Jewelry Exhibition, the international jewellery trade exhibition to be held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on July 6 – 7, 2010, will for the first time feature high end diamond jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as jewelry set with huge precious stones.

This year a special VIP “boutique” section will be opened at Jovella, to accommodate this exclusive merchandise, all of it manufactured by Israeli diamond and jewellery companies. In this section, diamond jewelry manufacturers and designers will reveal their newest creations including jewelry valued at over $750,000 per piece.

Jovella will feature about 150 exhibitors from Israel and abroad, including Turgeman Diamonds, Alex Daniel Diamonds, Shaltiel Diamonds, y.b.soul Jewelry, Zaban Jewelry, IBB Tel Aviv, MANGO TREE and more). With over 11,000 jewellery professionals and buyers expected to attend, it provides both diamond and jewelry manufacturers and importers a significant venue to showcase their goods.

In addition to high end diamond jewelry Jovella will feature gold jewellery, gold jewellery set with precious and semi-precious stones, silver jewellery, fashion jewellery, Kabbalah jewellery, watches and more.

Scatola del Tempo honours De Niro

Scatola del Tempo, the prestigious Italian company and creator of rotating watch holders, has recognized actor Robert De Niro for his long and successful career. De Niro received the award in Taormina from Silvia Bizio, the US Consultant of Taormina Film Festival. In Taormina De Niro won the renowned Taormina Arte Award, the festival's top award for achievement in the cinema industry, given to outstanding members of the film community.

De Niro was one of five celebrities to receive the 2010 award from Taormina Film Fest, including Italian director Marco Bellocchio and British actor Colin Firth. An extraordinary icon of Hollywood, Robert De Niro, considered one of the greatest actors of his time, was born in
New York City in 1943.

Update on 7th Annual Meeting of World Diamond Council in St. Petersburg

Preparations are moving into high gear for the 7th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council (WDC), which will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 14 and 15, 2010. The event is being hosted by the Diamond Chamber of Russia.

Proceedings will begin at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, July 14, with a series of committee meetings at the Astoria Hotel, which is located on St. Isaac's Square in the St. Petersburg city center. An opening reception will be held that evening. The WDC Plenary Meeting will take place from 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. on Thursday, July 15, and the day will end with a gala dinner, attended by senior members of the Russian government and mining sector.

Several of St. Petersburg's most stunning landmarks will serve as venues for events of the WDC Annual Meeting. These include the Peter and Paul Fortress, which is where Peter the Great placed the first stone for the city's establishment in 1703; the Naryshkin Bastion, where on October 25, 1917, the signal marking start of the Russian Revolution was given; the Marble Palace, which was commissioned by Empress Catherine the Great and built between 1768 and 1785; and the Engineering Palace, which also is known as Mikhailovsky Castle.

A cultural program has been organized for people accompanying delegates to the WDC Annual Meeting. It will include visits to the State Hermitage, one of the world's most celebrated museums, and the Peterhof, which is a complex of palaces and fountains that is often referred to as the "Russian Versailles,"

Registration for the WDC Annual Meeting is underway on a dedicated mini-website at
www.diamond-chamber.ru/wdceng.htm. Registration forms can be downloaded in PDF format from the website, and once completed must be returned to the official agent of the meeting, the Restec Exhibition Company. Information about hotel accommodation in St. Petersburg is included in the registration documents.

Delegates to the WDC Meeting must register officially via the website in order to be able to attend the plenary session, the organizers stress. This includes those who will be traveling to St. Petersburg from Moscow, where they would have been attending the World Diamond Congress of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).

CJA News: JETS Students - WIN a $2,000 Travel Voucher

CJA would like to remind you of our new partnership with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. By completing the JETS modules and exam between January 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011, your contact information will automatically be entered in a draw for the chance to win a $2,000 Travel Voucher. Get to your next great escape sooner with a $2,000 travel credit.

Upon completion of the JETS course and successfully passing the final exam, you will receive the CJA-Graduate Jeweller (CJA-GJ) designation, a certificate and Graduate Jeweller pin. As an added bonus, our friends at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will provide you with a congratulatory leather wrapped pen.

As you are probably aware, more and more consumers are researching jewellers’ credibility prior to entering a store. Therefore, it is more important than ever for you to be educated and fully qualified in the industry.

If you have any questions regarding JETS, please contact Maria Garcia, CJA’s Education Coordinator, at maria (at) canadianjewellers (dot) com or at 416-368-7616/1-800-580-0942 x222.

UN Institute for Training & Research invites CIBJO to participate in CSR events at Shanghai World Expo

The United Nation's Institute for Training and Research has invited CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, to participate in UNITAR Week, which will take place in the United Nations Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo from September 19-26. On behalf the world jewellery industry, CIBJO will assume a key role in a Corporate Social Responsibility programme being organised in Shanghai by UNITAR to emphasise the responsibility of the business community in helping meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

The invitation to CIBJO was formally issued in Antwerp by Jocelyn Fenard, chief of Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation at UNITAR, on the final day of the first Executive Course in CSR organised by the World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation. WJCEF was established by CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, in December 2008 with the purpose of instilling the principle of Corporate Social Responsibility in the international jewellery industry and trade.

During the UNITAR Week at the UN pavilion in Shanghai, senior Chinese government officials, UN officials, business leaders and other influential figures will be invited to discuss social and economic development issues. CIBJO will participate in several programmes during the week, sharing the experience of the jewellery and gemstone sector over the past decade in meeting ethical and social challenges, and then developing a strategy by which the sector could raise its involvement in development programmes.

"We are looking forward to welcoming the World Jewellery Confederation in Shanghai for joint events where the business community, academics and civil society will share knowledge and experiences on corporate social responsibility as a way to address global issues," said Mr. Fenard.

"We are delighted to play a role in the UNITAR Week, because we know that the jewellery industry has a fascinating story to tell," said Gaetano Cavalieri. "Ten years ago we reacted to the conflict diamond crisis in Africa by assisting government and civil society in the implementation of the Kimberley Process. This week we were in Antwerp at the start of an industry-wide education programme dedicated to teaching our community the principles of both social responsibility and social investment. This continues to be a transformational journey, and it is one that we are proud to share with others."

NICHE Show Plans 2011 Return to Vegas

When Buyers Market of American Craft organizers gambled on launching a luxury tradeshow in Las Vegas this month, they produced a winner. Based on their success, plans are being made for a 2011 show.

Described by visitors as a “jewel box” and a “boutique show,” NICHE: The Show presented a carefully juried selection of handmade fine gold, silver and gemstone jewelry, plus glass, wood, ceramic and metal art objects suitable for wedding gifts or store display.

During the three-day debut of NICHE: The Show at Bally’s Grand Ballroom June 6-8, nearly 2,600 art, jewelry and home furnishings retailers visited the booths of 90 studio artists from the United States and Canada.

By the show’s final day, impressive sales had convinced more than half of the artists to sign contracts to return to Las Vegas for NICHE: The Show next year.

In 2011, NICHE: The Show will take place the first weekend of June, during Las Vegas Jewelry Week, in Planet Hollywood’s Celebrity Ballroom.

Participating in a new wholesale tradeshow during a still-uncertain economy was a gamble that paid off for many of the exhibiting artists.

“I participated in this show because I believe that my business must expand to include more jewelry stores in addition to galleries of fine craft,” said Sydney Lynch of Lincoln, Neb., who designs jewelry in 18kt and 22kt gold, silver and gemstones. “The buyers are here, including many from stores located in Western states, who don’t usually attend the East Coast shows. I’m pleased with the orders that have been written here, and with the exposure that my work has received.”

Success arrived early in the show for Perry Holbrook of KopperWood in Asheville, N.C., maker of glass-topped, handcarved ring boxes. He began turning away buyers the second day of the show.

“I have received so many orders here that I am nearly booked through the rest of the year with the work necessary to fill my orders,” Holbrook said. “I knew that it might be a gamble to come because this is a first-time show, but I understood that it would also be a worthwhile investment. The response has been far better than I ever expected.”

Many buyers who shopped NICHE: The Show praised its mission to present luxury products reflecting superior workmanship and cutting-edge design. Several noted that although the show was small, it glittered with high-end handmade creations available at low minimums and in limited editions.

“Refreshing, exclusive and intimate: those are the buzzwords that I heard from buyers on the show floor,” said Rebecca Mercado, NICHE: The Show's jewelry manager. “We have plans to grow in 2011, but we want to maintain the atmosphere of luxury and the excitement of discovering new designs and new artists.” Among all the lessons learned, organizers were encouraged to keep aiming high.

“What a wonderful show,” Joanne Hildt of Pinnacle Gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz., wrote in a note to show organizers this week. “It is the first show in about two years that had a positive attitude about sales, and the artists were so happy to be there. The show was beautifully displayed and having it in Las Vegas is so fun for everyone. This show is a winner from all angles and I hope it will get bigger in the future.”

For more information, call 800-432-7238, ext. 218.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Plumb Club Debuts Its State of The Art Pavilion at JCK Las Vegas 2010

You may have noticed a new look for the Plumb Club Pavilion at JCK Las Vegas this year.  The state of the art pavilion encompassed 66,000 square feet.  The clean new look featured sleek lines using white walls, black and chrome showcases, and hi-tech light boxes to make a statement that was uniform from booth to booth, but allowed for individuality from member to member. 

The café area was spectacular with black hardwood floor and canopied serving station that gave the center of the pavilion a wow factor that drew retailers in to have complimentary refreshments and provided an area to sit, meet, schedule, or just take a moments break from the days appointments. 

Taking things to the next level was the Clubs Gala event on Saturday night at The Mirage.  Retail guests and their Plumb Club hosts enjoyed a lavish evening of cocktails and dinner, followed by an exclusive sold out performance of “Terry Fator and His Cast of Thousands”. Mr. Fator, winner of America’s Got Talent, exceeded all expectations. More than a few said that it was one of the best Plumb Club events they had been to in years, if not the best.

President, Victor Weinman was quoted “What you saw this year was only the first phase of our new pavilion build.  For next year, we have quite a few more additions planned that will make The Plumb Club Pavilion the place to be at Mandalay Bay”.

Executive Director, Lawrence Hess commented “After over a year of planning, the Pavilion came out better than we could have ever imagined. Couple that with an event that had our members and guests leaving the theatre with tears of laughter, our challenge will be how to make it even better for Mandalay Bay.  But don’t worry, we have a few surprises up our sleeves”.  

Davidson's Jewellers Raises Over $3000 for JDRF

The first annual Davidson’s Jewellers Diamond Dash took place on May 8 in Ottawa. Over 500 participants braved the inclement weather for the chance to win a $15,000 Simon G. engagement ring in support of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

The Diamond Dash was a high-tech scavenger hunt played entirely from the participants’ cell phones. It sent teams running around downtown Ottawa, solving riddles and answering challenges. “It was a great success, and created a lot of buzz,” says Shawn Watson, the store’s general manager.

While only one couple could ultimately walk away with the diamond ring, it was the JDRF that really came out on top. The Diamond Dash raised $3,022.86 for JDRF.

JDRF is the leading charitable fundraiser and advocate of Type 1 diabetes worldwide. Its mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.

As part of the National Jewellers Charity Program, Canadian Jewellers Association will match the contributions raised by its members to a maximum of $10,000. JDRF will then allocate the donations back to the participating members’ local chapter across the country.

CJA would like to thank Davidson’s Jewellers for its innovative and exciting approach to fundraising. We look forward to the 2011 Diamond Dash. It’s sure to be another tremendous success!

For more information on JDRF and CJA’s National Jewellers Charity Program, please visit http://www.canadianjewellers.com/about-us-info-pages.asp?contentid=27519

Ernst Benz partners with Chef Mario Batali

Swiss watch manufacturer Ernst Benz has partnered with iconic chef and restaurateur Mario Batali to create a limited edition series of timepieces to benefit the Food Bank For New York City.

The Mario Batali Limited Edition Ernst Benz Great Circle Automatic is an enhanced version of the original design, featuring accents in Batali’s standout signature orange color. Mario Batali has personally collaborated with Leonid Khankin, Managing Director and Chief Creative Officer of the Ernst Benz brand, to design and produce the exclusive collection of timepieces. “My partnership with Ernst Benz is borne out of my love to celebrate life with simple things of the highest quality, this new watch created by my friend Leonid Khankin is exactly that. To bring art and public service together is a privilege I will never squander, the opportunity to help the Food Bank For New York City provide food for over a quarter million meals A DAY in NYC is a joyous part of my celebration,” says Batali.

This special series of timepieces will be made available in three Great Circle sizes: 36mm, 40mm and 47mm, each size limited and numbered to 250.

Batali, regarded as one the world most innovative and inspiring chefs, owns fifteen restaurants across North America – nine in New York City, three in Las Vegas and three in Los Angeles. He is also a regular on the the wildly popular Food Network series, “Iron Chef America.”

The bestselling author of Italian Grill and Molto Italiano delivers a gorgeous collection of mouthwatering recipes to bring some Italian favorites home. In his latest book, Molto Gusto, Batali’s zest for life infuses the casual Italian fare that has made his restaurant Otto Enoteca Pizzeria in New York City a perennially popular destination.

Triton Introduces New Men’s Jewellery Line

Men’s jewellery company Triton, a division of Frederick Goldman Inc., has introduced White Tungsten Carbide, a new collection of men’s wedding bands. Made from Tungsten Carbide, the rings are subjected to a three-stage finishing process that gives the rings a bright white colour. Each ring in the White Tungsten Carbide collection is covered by the FOREVER Fit Limited Warranty that promises to resize or replace the ring if the original owner’s ring size should change, at no additional charge.

HKCEC Atrium Link Expansion Takes Grand Award in Biennial Building Competition

The Atrium Link Extension of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) was named Grand Award Winner in the Hong Kong Non-Residential Category of the Quality Building Award (QBA) 2010. The awards presentation banquet took place 11 June at the Conrad Hong Kong.

A biennial award founded in 2001, the QBA honours buildings of outstanding quality and excellent project teamwork. The theme for the 2010 QBA was “Quality Transcends Time,” chosen to recognise the contribution of outstanding buildings in creating a better future. The Non-Residential Category was one of six QBA 2010 categories.

Complex Project
Of the award-winning HKCEC expansion, the QBA jury members noted that it was “a complex project with extremely difficult site constraints. It was necessary to build over the existing water channel and busy roads with a long-span, mega-hanging structural truss system. This extension enlarges the exhibition facility by nearly half the current functional area, and its design approach successfully achieves a coherent and seamless connection between the two phases.” The jury added that, because of the expansion, “the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s exhibition and conference facilities is upheld and maximised.”

Carrie Lam, QBA 2010 Honorary Patron and Secretary for Development of the Development Bureau, said she was “particularly impressed by the comprehensive judging criteria” used. “A holistic approach was adopted in assessing a wide range of key areas of activities, including innovation and practicality of the building designs, whole-life value of the built environment and post-occupancy evaluation.”

Trade Fair Capital
Thanking the jury members, the QBA organisers and its 2010 Honorary Patron Carrie Lam, HKTDC Director, Corporate Development, Christopher Jackson said the HKTDC was honoured to receive the award. “We are delighted with the response to the HKCEC expansion from exhibitors and buyers from Hong Kong and all over the world.”

“Our vision,” said HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam, “is to develop Hong Kong as the trade fair capital of Asia.” The expansion project, completed in April 2009, is helping to do that, he said. “After the expansion was opened, many public and trade shows have been able to record phenomenal growth despite a rough economic climate.” These included last year’s HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and the 2009 Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, both of which became the world’s largest fairs of their kind following the expansion.

World-Class Engineering
“Our new space is just at the right time in the right place to help Hong Kong capture Asia’s new economic boom,” said Mr Lam. “I think this project is a good example of Hong Kong’s can-do spirit, professionalism and, above all, world-class engineering capability.”

The QBA 2010 was jointly organised by nine professional organisations:
The Hong Kong Institute of Housing; the Hong Kong Construction Association; the Hong Kong Institute of Architects; the Hong Kong Institute of Construction Managers; the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors; the Hong Kong Chapter of International Facility Management Association; the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency; and the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong.

Chopard Celebrates Anniversary With Animal-Themed Collection

Luxury watch and jewellery manufacturer Chopard is celebrating their its 150th anniversary with a 150-piece animal-themed Haute Joaillerie collection called Animal World. The animal theme was chosen by Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, the Geneva-based company’s co-President president and artistic director, and . It features unexpected animals – including hippopotamuses, seahorses and rats –- and gemstones like such as kunzites, moonstones, Paraiba tourmalines, pearls, quartz. One standout piece, a bib necklace called The Clown fish, took 750 hours to complete and is set with 2,160 stones including diamonds, aquamarines, moonstones, quartz, topaz and sapphires.

Agent Provocateur To Continue Fine Jewellery Endeavour

Fast on the heels of the success of their first fine jewellery collection luxury lingerie designer Agent Provocateur has created a fall/winter 2010 collection. The newest collection, which will be available in Agent Provocateur stores in August, is a celebration of iconic female protagonists. Comprised of six different collections – Dark Fairytale, Latin/Graffiti, Shackle, Harem Nights, Bullet and Military Cross – the latest collection will be priced between £50 and £260. Agent will also open a store in Toronto's Yorkdale mall come this August.

Laurion Mineral To Begin Sturgeon Property Diamond Drilling

Laurion Mineral Exploration Inc. is set to begin the 2010 diamond drill and exploration program on its Sturgeon River Property. Laurion is also planning to complete comprehensive sampling of the waste rock pile on the property and a program of hollow auger sampling in order to extract the contained ounces of gold. The Sturgeon Property is located in the Irwin, Pifher, Walters and Elmhirst Townships of the Beardmore-Geraldton Gold Camp, in Ontario.

Xstrata Workers Reach Tentative Labour Agreement

Unionized workers at Xstrata’s metal refinery in Montreal have reached a tentative three-year labour contract agreement with the international mining group just three days before their current contract was due to expire. The refinery produces nearly one-million ounces of gold a year as well as some silver, and receives feed from Xstrata smelters in Canada, Chile and Vale’s Canadian Operations. The last round of talks, which took place in 2007, broke down and resulted in a one-month strike.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Antwerp diamond bourse announces election results


Lili Diamonds buys office space in International Gem Tower


RJC announces first accredited auditing firm


Sienna Miller Tapped As New Face For Piaget Collection

Sienna Miller has been tapped as the new face of the Piaget Possession gold collection, a range of gold and diamond jewellery. The Possession collection – which features bracelets, chains and rings made from yellow gold – is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with the release of a series of images featuring the British actress wearing pieces from the collection.

Top female Golfer Suzann Petterson joins TAG Heuer as brand ambassador

A long-time friend of the Swiss brand, the Norwegian golf champion Suzann Pettersen has recently joined the power pool of ambassadors proudly embodying TAG Heuer.

A determined woman of 29 and currently the No. 3 women’s golf player in the world, Suzann Pettersen feels strongly associated with TAG Heuer’s values: mainly those of quality, performance, and environmental responsibilities.

Suzann Pettersen considers herself passionate and hardworking, which contributes to her confidence and latest wins. Now one of the leading female golf figures worldwide, she has already accomplished many career feats, like the Canadian Championship 2009. Having started playing at 6 years old and having been a professional for seven years, she represents TAG Heuer’s winning spirit. The thrill of winning majors is driving her and she thrives for the best; she wishes to earn the leading position on the official LPGA Money List, as she now is second.

Alike TAG Heuer’s other female ambassador, the tennis superstar Maria Sharapova, she recognizes herself in the sporty yet sophisticated message the brand wants to convey. For Suzann, “a watch is a necessary piece of jewellery and an expression of who you are”. A fan of the brand for many years, she enjoys wearing her Link model with diamonds, as much as her Lady Aquaracer steel and gold.

As for TAG Heuer, supporting talented women echoes the increased success the women’s collection has encountered. It has also become a strong focus: to create genuinely reliable timepieces that are neither too plain nor too precious. To reach the perfect balance of casual elegance.

WFDB shocked by raid on home of NGO activist in Zimbabwe

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses is concerned and shocked about the raid on the home of Farai Maguwu, the director of the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) and the arrest of a member of his family. The raid occurred on May 27.

"The NGO is a recognized and respected entity and any harm inflicted upon any of its members or their family or their possessions would be seen by the WFDB as a serious threat to its ability to carry out its work unhindered, and would question the standing of Zimbabwe as a KP partner," WFDB president Avi Paz stated in a public letter.

The WFDB supports the dedicated work of the NGOs, condemns any attempt to harass them. The WFDB expects the immediate release of the arrested family member, together with the assurance that the NGOs van continue their work without interruption, Paz wrote.

Versace Releases 18k Gold Phone

Luxury Italian fashion label Versace has released a mobile phone with an 18-karat gold finish. Called the Versace Unique, the hand-assembled mobile phone was created in collaboration with Modelabs. The 3G phone includes a three-inch touchscreen finished with sapphire glass, a purple leather back featuring the design houses’ Medusa logo, a five megapixel camera, email, media player and Dolby Mobile surround sound.

EQC Welcomes First Member In France

The European Quality Circle (EQC) has accepted its first member from France. Jewellery retail company Verhoeven Jewellers in Dunkerque, France was issued a membership by the EQC, a consumer-oriented organization aimed at assisting those within the jewellery industry with market success. Family run Verhoeven Jewellers is also part of the Cercle International de Joailllerie, a group of high-end French jewellers, where the firm’s principal Eric Verhoeven serves as president.

Damiani And John Galliano To Collaborate?

Italian fine jewellery brand Damiani and British designer John Galliano are in talks to create a namesake jewellery line together for the eccentric designer. The jewellery company’s CEO Guido Damiani has confirmed the talks but said that nothing is official. The Italian fine jewellery brand already produces collections for Jil Sander, Gianfranco Ferré, Martin Margiela, Ferrari and Ducati and many others.

NOTE: CONTACT Design featured in "Lights, Camera, Action, Jewellery" article in June/July issue

The June/July issue of Canadian Jeweller is now online!

We'd like to point out that all the images used in the "Lights, Camera, Action, Jewellery" design feature on page 77 are courtesy of Cary James at CONTACT Design in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

Click here to view the issue and read the rest of the issue.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kylie Minogue to front TOUS 2010 collection


Movado Announces Plans to Close Retail Boutique Division


Zale Is No Diamond In The Rough


Bulgari and Luxottica Renew Global Eyewear Agreement


More customers 'want customised gold jewellery'


Gold outshines estimates at Christie's auction


China’s polished diamond imports grows 127% in Q1


Trade upbeat on China market


New CEO for troubled jewellery retailer Damas