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Artist Will Make $2M Diamond Disappear Into a ‘Flat Black Spot’

She’ll use technology that mimics the visual effects of a black hole.

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UTILIZING STATE-OF-THE-ART technology that mimics the visual effects of a black hole, artist Diemut Strebe plans to make a $2 million, 16.78-carat yellow diamond disappear at the New York Stock Exchange on September 13.

The normally colorful and reflective diamond will be reduced to a flat black spot.

To pull off her stunning illusion, Strebe has teamed up with scientist Brian Wardle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Strebe is the artist-in-residence. Wardle is credited with developing a substance made of carbon nanotubes that absorbs 99.965% of light, creating the blackest black material on earth.

With the diamond shrouded in this material, it will cast no shadows and lose dimensionality — rendering it virtually invisible to the naked eye. It’s the closest thing to experiencing a black hole on earth. With no light reflected back from the object, one’s brain paints it as pure black.

Interestingly, the diamond and its nanotube shroud are both composed of the same element — carbon — but present the opposite extremes when exposed to light. Diamonds are extraordinarily reflective, while the carbon nanotubes are unusually light-absorptive.

A few years ago, “Vantablack” made news when it was introduced as a carbon nanotube-based material that absorbed 99.6% of light.The sole right to use Vantablack was acquired by British sculptor Anish Kapoor, which sparked a controversy among other artists who wished to work with it. Since then, Wardle developed a different composition of carbon nanotubes, which will be available for any artist to use.

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Strebe’s art installation, called “The Redemption of Vanity,” will be on view at the New York Stock Exchange from September 13 to November 25. It will be presented in coordination with the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the MIT necstlab.

See CNN’s November 2017 coverage of the “darkest thing on Earth” below:

Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, hscohen60@gmail.com. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

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David Brown

Why You Need to Talk to Your CPA ASAP

A conversation and some planning today can minimize your tax burden tomorrow.

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A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CPA now can help minimize your tax burden later.

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, now is a good time to start thinking about your end-of-year financial results. No one wants to pay tax, and certainly no one wants to pay any more than they must. Tax evasion is a criminal act that will see you finish up in court. Tax minimization, however, is a perfectly legitimate way of keeping your tax to the most you’re required to pay.

Too often businesses wait until the financial year has ended, determine their financial result, then wonder how they can reduce their tax bill. This can be a little like closing the gate after the horse has bolted. Many tax minimization strategies can be implemented before the end of the financial year, and now is a good time to talk to your CPA about some possible approaches.

Much of this strategy can revolve around the expenses you might be planning to claim. Larger investments in assets can often have their cost apportioned over several years, and there can be an advantage, if you are planning to make this investment, in undertaking it before the end of the financial year.

Another aspect to discuss with your CPA is how income is allocated. It’s important to take advantage of different tax rates for owners and partners in a business. Again, this decision sometimes needs to be made before the financial year has ended to avoid making retrospective decisions that may be frowned upon by the IRS.

Before you talk to your CPA, try to have a handle on how your financial year is going, as this will make a difference to what they may recommend. Your accountant will want to know how the year is tracking and what performance you are budgeting on for the last month of the year. Obviously, some constructive estimating, especially around the busy December period, will be needed. Your CPA will then be able to best advise you of what actions will help your financial year-end before the 31st of December.

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Shane Decker

The Most Important Part of Your Sales Presentation Happens After the Sale

Go the extra mile for your client if you want to see them again.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL about a movie that ends poorly? No matter how good it was before then, a weak finish leaves you feeling dissatisfied.

Jewelry presentations are the same way. Clients tend to remember the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds more than the middle of your presentation. And yet, all too often after the purchase is made (or repair taken in), the salesperson turns and walks to the back, allowing the client to leave the store on their own.

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The way out is as important as the way in. We have to treat the client as a guest who is coming into our home for one of the most important events of their lives. Not only that, but the client should feel even more important walking out than they did when they came into the store.

When everything is done, always walk the client to the door. Open the door for them, give them two of your business cards, and ask them to give one to a friend.

Even when you have other clients waiting for you, always walk each one out. Others will see this service and expect the same. Many times as you’re walking the client out, they will stop and look into a case they didn’t look into on the way in. This allows you to start another presentation, put something on a wish list, plant a seed for a later purchase or even put something on layaway.

Selling on the way out is easy. The client is now in a spending mood, and obviously they love you or they wouldn’t have given you their money already. It also allows you to give suggestions about service and other events you have coming up.

Sometimes, the client may have other important things they want to talk about on the way to the door. They’ll start by saying, “By the way…” This allows you to build rapport, get information that allows you to do more effective clienteling, and become even more of a friend.

So make the client feel that your store is the most awesome place to shop. Not just because of the merchandise, but because there is not any other place to shop in their area that compares to the professionalism, politeness and experience that your team delivers.

People get ho-hum service everywhere — but don’t let it happen in your store. It’s up to us to break the cycle. Make the exit even more awesome than the entrance. And remember: Always thank them for coming in!

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How to Make Your Social Media SEO-Friendly

These three tips can help drive more traffic to your website.

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LET’S FACE IT, attracting customers today is not just about advertising. It’s a combination of many things, including social media and driving traffic to your website and your store. SEO is as important in attracting and driving traffic as is your ad copy and where you place your ads. Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interaction play an important part in your website’s search rankings. Basically, SEO is all about optimizing content, whether it’s on your website or on a social media platform—to appear higher in search rankings.

1. Optimize your social media profiles. The key to an SEO-friendly social media profile is to be as descriptive as possible.  Always fill out the “About” or “Information” sections of any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and are also terms individuals would use to search for your business. For example, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is important to include your address, city, state and zip. Always include links from your social channels back to your business’s website (and links from your website to your social channels). The “Category” field is often overlooked on Facebook Pages, but is important for Facebook mobile searches. Check to make sure your business is listed as the correct category while editing your basic information.

2. Optimize your social media content/updates. To optimize your social content, always include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets on Twitter, pin descriptions on Pinterest, etc. It’s important to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost. Use your business’s name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business’s name.

3. Build links by making your content shareable. A key factor in SEO is link building. Simply put, this means having good website-to-website relationships through links. When you have more quality sites linking to your website (inbound) and you are linking to other quality websites (outbound), Google will determine your website to be more authoritative.

“Likes,” comments, repins, retweets, etc., all play into the weight given to your links. If you create content people want to share, you can create more inbound links. Content doesn’t always have to be a new blog post; content can refer to tweets or Facebook posts as well. By posting engaging social content, you’re improving your SEO value.  Another way to increase shares is to add social share buttons to individual pieces of content on your website or blog.

Keep in mind that improving your SEO takes time, and changes don’t happen overnight. Always be as descriptive as you can and keep your information up to date.

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