News about misc topics in the jewelry trade that relate to engagement rings.

19 06, 2014

Yes, Jewelers Can Be Held Legally Liable for Bad Lab Reports

June 19th, 2014|0 Comments

It seems like more and more jewelers are selling diamonds with reports from so-called lenient labs; some retailers have even adopted this as a business model. Yet, doing this might land you on shaky legal ground, according to Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) president and CEO Cecilia Gardner. One of the things that surprised attendees at the annual Rapaport certification conference at the JCK Las Vegas show was Gardner’s contention that retailers bear legal liability for everything they… …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks […]

Alex and Ani…at a Crossroads?

June 19th, 2014|0 Comments

Alex and Ani has always been an unconventional company built around unconventional people. Rhode Islander Carolyn Rafaelian had a nice business selling bangles to department stores when she recruited local politico and businessman Giovanni Feroce to be her company’s CEO. After some growing pains—Feroce reportedly fired just about every original employee—he turned the company into a juggernaut; he told me it’s a billion-dollar business. The odd-couple pairing of former military man Feroce and… …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – Diamond Industry News – Rob Bates

30 05, 2014

Is Zale a Fixer-Upper?

May 30th, 2014|0 Comments

The vote on Zale’s acquisition of Signet is set for Thursday. Given the repeated attacks on the buyout from 9.5 percent shareholder TIG advisors, I have no idea how it will go. But what’s fascinating is watching a subtle change in how the buyout has been portrayed. When it was first announced, we kept hearing how well Zale was doing, how successful its turnaround has been. That was the rationale for keeping Theo Killion and his team. But the dissident shareholders seized on that and used it… …read more

Source: JCK […]

Signet’s Acquisition of Zale Hits a Pretty Big Bump

May 21st, 2014|0 Comments

With TIG Advisors sending out almost-daily missives expressing opposition to Signet’s deal for Zale, it is clear that the purchase now faces a rockier road than it had in the past. The smart money still thinks that it will go through in at least some form; even TIG says it doesn’t oppose the acquisition, it just thinks it undervalues the company. (Its first presentation was titled “Right Deal, but the Wrong Price.”) But it’s worth looking at this in a larger context: These pre-deal headaches may… …read more


Online Might Be Taking Over Retail. But Not Necessarily Jewelry (for Now)

May 17th, 2014|0 Comments

Business Insider just came out with a slide show featuring a bunch of scary-sounding charts demonstrating the growth of e-commerce. “Let’s face it, the old retail model is dying fast,” it begins. “Hundreds of stores are closing, because sales are tanking.” It declares that e-commerce is driving nearly all U.S. retail growth.

But how about jewelry? While e-commerce has clearly roiled our industry—particularly by hurting retail margins for engagement rings—and many jewelers have indeed closed, our… …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – […]

Different Grading Lab Standards: Jewelers Strike Back

May 17th, 2014|1 Comment

Whether it strikes a nerve with consumers, the two-part TV story that ran this week on Genesis Diamonds in Nashville certainly found a responsive audience in our industry, given the number of times I’ve seen it posted, tweeted, and emailed. The story criticized the three-store chain for using what it calls “exaggerated” EGL International reports as the basis for comparison prices. One competitor said: “People think [the store is] comparing apples to apples. They think they’re getting a great… …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – Diamond […]

Swiss Manufacturers Should Be Scared of Smartwatches.

March 28th, 2014|0 Comments

With Baselworld here, various news sources have asked watchmakers their opinions of smartwatches. The answers are mostly the same. Here’s The New York Times, quoting Swatch CEO Nick Hayek:

[Smartwatches] raise several problems compared with traditional mechanical watches. The drawbacks, he said, include their limited battery life and the fact that they are “trackable” by the National Security Agency and other intelligence services. “People don’t want these complications,” Mr. Hayek…

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – Diamond Industry News – Rob Bates

25 03, 2014

The Extent of the Industry’s Shrinkage

March 25th, 2014|1 Comment

So the theme of the week has been industry consolidation, given the JBT’s year-end stats and Signet’s pending purchase of Zale. Yesterday, as an experiment, I looked up National Jeweler’s 2003 list of Top 40 jewelry chains.

Here they are the first 10 names:

  • 1. Zale
  • 2. Sterling,
  • 3. Friedman’s
  • 4. Fred Meyer
  • 5. Whitehall
  • 6. Helzberg,
  • 7. Crescent,
  • 8. Samuels,
  • 9. Ultra,
  • 10. Reeds.

[Diamond Helpers Comment :: Not one of these companies pass our tests. I have not yet found a single large chain store that meets the criteria, and that is predictable for many reasons.]

These were the biggest companies 11 years ago. Assuming the Signet/Zale merger goes through, five […]

24 03, 2014

The New Landscape Following the Signet-Zale Merger

March 24th, 2014|1 Comment

Some thoughts about where the jewelry business stands now that Signet and Zale are tying the knot: It could be harder for competitors to get their names out. Every Christmas and Valentine’s Day, Signet runs a huge amount of commercials for Kay and Jared. Zale’s also airs plenty of ads but not as many as Signet. Now, Zale’s could have the same ad budget as Signet’s other brands. And with Kay, Jared, and Zale’s flooding the airwaves every holiday, that presents a challenge for other jewelers…
…read more


The Latest Twist in the Online Sales Tax Debate

March 22nd, 2014|1 Comment

The push for an online sales tax has taken a surprising new twist. The way most proposals, including the one that passed the Senate, work is that residents pay sales …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – Diamond Industry News – Rob Bates

22 03, 2014

Is the Diamond Benchmark Outdated?

March 22nd, 2014|1 Comment

This week brought news of a class-action lawsuit that charges the five banks overseeing the daily gold price fix with manipulating the market. For those unfamiliar, since 1919, London fix …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – Diamond Industry News – Rob Bates

22 03, 2014

Why Being a Mediocre Retailer Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

March 22nd, 2014|1 Comment

This week, RadioShack announced plans to shut 1,100 stores. This led to a slew of unpleasant headlines, even as its CEO talked about how the company would now offer a …read more

Source: JCK Online Cutting Remarks – Diamond Industry News – Rob Bates

13 03, 2014

Prices Soar as Supply Goes Down

March 13th, 2014|0 Comments

[Editor’s Note :: This article is for dealers attending the Tucson show, but it gives consumers a good idea of how things are going, and prices are rocketing this year, for some time now.]

February’s annual Arizona gathering of the world’s gem dealers, rock hounds, crystal sages, and purveyors of gems and minerals kicks off at the beginning of the month.

Prices are going up as mining declines and supply goes down, and fine goods get harder to find. As stock gets harder to replace, prices soar.

Besides the big story on ever-increasing gem prices, expect to encounter the same gemstone treatments that […]

5 03, 2014

Fashion at the Academy Awards

March 5th, 2014|0 Comments

On Sunday March 2nd, at the 86th annual Academy Awards, a lot of strong fashion placements on the nominees, winners, and presenters will influence the fashion trends we see in jewelers stores, and on the streets every day. Here is a huge list of who wore what on the Red Carpet...

20 11, 2013

Jeweler Gets Exposure in “Hunger Games” Movie

November 20th, 2013|Comments Off on Jeweler Gets Exposure in “Hunger Games” Movie

Designer Claudio Pino Catches Fire With ‘Hunger Games’ Jewelry

If you ask us, the Hunger Games films are as much about style as story. So when The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on Nov. 22, we’ll be obsessing over Trish Summerville’s amazingly detailed costume design—including, of course, the jewelry. Those oh-so-trendy pinky rings brandished by Stanley Tucci’s slick, purple-haired TV host, Caesar Flickerman? They were created by Claudio Pino, a specialist in sculptural, dynamic ring designs.

See the full article at JCK Online :: Designer Claudio Pino Catches Fire With ‘Hunger Games’ Jewelry


This […]