Gomelsky Wins Jewelers Press Award

The Jewelry Information Center (JIC) honored Victoria Gomelsky for exceptional coverage of the fine-jewelry and watch industries at a luncheon held on Tuesday in conjunction with the JA New York Summer Show.

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Victoria Gomelsky

Editor since 2004 of Couture International Jeweler, and with a Master’s Degree in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, Gomelsky was previously the diamond and gemstone editor for National Jeweler. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Escape, The Sun and an anthology called Waking Up American: Coming of Age Biculturally.

Congrats Victoria! LOVE those earings !!!

Bedat Celebrates 10 Years..Shh!!

I’m not sure why I forgot to mention this right after the recent watch show in Basel..but one of my favorite luxury watch companies celebrated its 10th birthday this year!!

Yes, it is Bedat!

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I know I haven’t exactly been faithful to you this year Bedat (I currently sport the classic Ebel wave watch in two tone on my wrist), but I am still one of your biggest fans!

In conjuction with its milestone birthday, Bedat has launched a new advertising campaign called ‘Shh!’, which features models Carmen Kass and Andoni Anastasse with fingers to their lips in the universal ‘Shh!’ sign.

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The campaign tag line reads “Very famous amongst very few people”. This marketing strategy, IMO is a very cool and effective way to bring an already respected and established luxury watch brand to the broader public. The marketing strategy and idea came from the famous Paris based advertising agency Pascal & Thierry.

Here is to the next 10 years!!

Want Your Diamond To Sparkle? Keep It Clean!

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One of the biggest mistakes women make is not cleaning their diamond rings.

Diamonds have a tremendous affinity to the oils of our skin. They are also the center of gravity for the collection of every piece of dirt and grime a woman will come across during her daily routine.

Any time you cook, eat, wash dishes, handle food, etc. the dirt will get trapped in your diamond engagement ring and cake up the stone.

Very soon, you will find that the beautiful and sparkly diamond you purchased will appear dull and lifeless.

How could that be?

Very simple.

Think of the following analogy:

You take a transparent window that has the potential to let sunlight stream into a room, illuminating it beautifully. Now you pull a shade over the window, effectively blocking all sunlight from entering the room. Is there something wrong with the window? Did something happen to it? Of course not! You are simply preventing it from letting in the light.

It is exactly the same with your diamond engagement ring, just in reverse!

A perfectly cut Ideal diamond engagement ring, will refract maximum light entering the stone back out to the eye in a dazzling display of brilliance. However, if the stone is caked with dirt and grime, you are literally “pulling a shade’ over the diamond and preventing the stone from refracting the light properly and effectively.

As a result, the diamond will “appear” dull and lifeless until you bother to clean it, bringing back its original beauty and brilliancy.

So how do you clean your diamond ring? Well, my Dad blogged on this some time ago over here.

How about the “no-no’s” when it comes to properly maintaining the hygiene of your diamond engagement ring..;-)??

Are there any specific activities you ought to avoid?

Well, I just saw a really cute posting by Sean Dunn of J.R. Dunn Jewelers, with a list of items to avoid when attempting to keep your diamond ring clean!

Check it out!

Irradiated Blue Topaz: Be Very Careful!

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has called for the checking of irradiated blue topaz and for members to consider temporarily suspending imports of these gemstones.

Recently the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) stepped up enforcement of irradiated gemstones, which resulted in some retailers pulling these goods from the shelves.

AGTA said that while there hadn’t been a confirmed report of cancer or radiation poisoning as a result of irradiated gemstones to their knowledge, increase care in handling was prudent. “We have no reason to believe that any significant quantity of dangerous gemstones [exist] in the market today. However, since there have been a handful of sightings over [the past few decades] of gemstones with potentially harmful radiation, we are taking the prudent step of reminding all AGTA members that if they handle deep blue topaz, they should do their own radiation checks”.

Government rules affect darker color blue topaz, as some light blue topaz is LINAC (linear accelerator) treated and had been exempt from the rules. NRC rules apply to treated gemstones. In coming months however, LINAC treated gems will face there own regulations including having an NRC license for the importation of blue topaz, red tourmalines, many beryls (except emerald,) kunzite and irradiated diamonds.

AGTA concluded that since blue topaz generates more than $1 billion in sales each year, expanded regulations increase the amount of business risk.

NRC rules require documentation of all irradiated gems, including a paper trail of sources, and AGTA members are encouraged to identify inventories by vendor and date of import. Older stock will have had radioactive decay, AGTA mentioned, and could be easier to sell or document as safe.

All new imports must be clearly identified by vendor and date, as should sales to manufacturers and retailers AGTA concluded. AGTA urged its membership to temporarily suspend importing such stones until the status and safety could be clarified.

We advise that you check with your Jeweler before purchasing.

Tax & Spend Rangel Wants Your Diamond Engagement Ring Money!

U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel received enthusiastic applause as he opened the Jewelers Association New York Summer Show on Sunday with a message of support for the Brick & Mortar Jewelers on the issue of taxing online diamond retailers.

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House Ways & Means Chairman Charles Rangel at the Podium.

Rangel, the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, indicated his support for brick-and-mortar jewelers. In particular, he touched on legislation in the current session of Congress that would allow individual states to collect sales tax from Internet retailers.

“Whether it’s the Ways and Means Committee or whether it’s national policy, we have to concentrate on small retailers, making it possible for them to be able to play with a level playing field,” he said, referring to the legislation that would help achieve this goal.

From our vantage point, taxing Internet diamond and jewelry sales will not by itself level the playing field for B&M Jewelers as Internet prices will still be lower.

Gotta love those Polticians

Diamond Manufacturer Reaches Out To Same-Sex Couples

Well known diamond manufacturer, Fabrikant-Tara, has recently announced a new effort to reach out to same-sex couples.

In an effort to celebrate “love without boundaries”, they have released a new collection of cutting edge jewelry called the “LVOE” collection, which features a unique range of wedding bands and solitaires geared towards same-sex unions.

To view the collection, visit www.lvoehasnoboundaries.com

Gorgeous & Unique Jewelry by YVEL!

Well, as you all know, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting jewelry designs and creations for all of you jewelry lovers!

I always enjoy giving kudos and spreading love to the designers and manufacturers of unique and dazzling jewelry baubles and creations.

Enter Designs by YVEL.

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These guys caught my eye with their advertisement in a recent trade publication.

I took a look at their jewelry offerings and was quite impressed with the beauty and originality of their creations.

Their jewelry creations combine pearls, diamonds and precious gemstones in unique settings with a distinct look and a flair for the dramatic!

Check them out, I think you’re gonna love their stuff!

What Is Palladium? How Does It Compare With Platinum & Gold?

Given that we now offer all of our engagement rings in precious palladium, I thought it would be appropriate to briefly outline the properties of this metal in relation to gold and platinum.

Purity

Palladium is from the same precious metal family as platinum at significantly lower prices.
Palladium is 95% pure.

White

Palladium, (unlike yellow gold which has been rhodium plated to create “white gold”) is actually a naturally white metal (similar to platinum). It is hypo-allergenic, nickel free, and requires no rhodium plating.

Precious

Palladium is 30 times more rare than gold and shares the lustre of platinum (at a fraction of the price).

Strong

Palladium wears exceptionally well and does not suffer from porosity and prong failure.

Diamonds & Jewelry: Luxury or Commodity?

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With the explosion of Internet sales of diamonds and jewelry during the past several years, consumers have learned that the online diamond and jewelry marketplace is not only a source of in-depth information and education, it is also a place where you can often purchase high quality diamond engagement rings and jewelry at a fraction of the traditional jewelry store prices.

This powerful concept, together with burgeoning consumer confidence in the Internet marketplace as a viable medium for making expensive purchases, has led to an overall decline in retailer profits (profit margins) for the sale of loose diamonds and jewelry.

Diamond stores, regardless of whether they operate on the Internet or off, have been forced to recognize the power of the “Internet revolution” and have lowered prices on their merchandise in order to remain competitive.

In almost all instances, traditional retail jewelry stores are no longer able to command and expect significant profits on diamond and jewelry products that can be purchased on the Internet for a fraction of the price. Consumers either buy directly off the Internet, or they use the price point on the net to negotiate a better price (or a price match) with their local jeweler.

Indeed, the only way that jewelry stores continue to reap some of the “1980′s profits” on their diamonds and jewelry, is often by aligning themselves with a “brand” or a niche that gives them the ability to sell on their own terms, without fear of “watered down profits”.

The Hearts on Fire Signature Diamonds Brand, which has a registered trademark touting themselves as being “the world’s most perfectly cut diamond,” is a perfect example of some of these last “strongholds” of retailer “profit bonanzas”.

Hearts on Fire diamonds ™ is a company that manufactures beautiful Ideal Cut Diamonds which they market through authorized retail jewelers across the country. They do not sell their diamonds over the Internet..and for good reason.

Indeed, diamonds of similar quality, beauty, and ideal cut quality, can be purchased over the Internet at an absolute fraction of the Hearts on Fire diamonds prices.

Therefore, Hearts on Fire made a decision to market their diamonds exclusively within the framework of traditional “bricks & mortar” jewelry stores.

They are an excellent company, with a high quality product and amazing retailer support. The retailers who are authorized to carry the Hearts on Fire diamond brand, swear by the product, since it allows them to sell a beautiful “flagship” ideal cut diamond, at a huge markup and significant profits, per the “suggested price” structure mandated and enforced by the company and without fear of being undercut by Internet diamond stores.

However, aside for a few select “brands” like Hearts on Fire diamonds, most of the diamond and jewelry marketplace has been strongly affected by the Internet revolution, with an overall decline in profits due to the competitive nature of the Internet.

So the question is, has the Internet turned diamonds and jewelry from a luxury item into a commodity?

I have recently seen threads on this topic from a few different marketing and branding gurus including our friends and Janus Thinking.

Here is my own take:

Obviously, the old profits on diamonds and jewelry are gone forever. Consumers today are smart, savvy, and educated. However, the reality is that diamonds are still considered luxury items. These are not commodities like bread, butter and milk. Additionally. diamonds and jewelry are not intrinsic to our survival…(well at least for most people..;-).

Therefore, the reality is that you are still buying diamonds and jewelry with your discretionary income, regardless of the value and excellent price.

This simple fact, in my opinion, still qualifies diamonds and jewelry as being considered luxury items.