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Beyond the Wow! Humanized High Tech at JCK Las Vegas




Technology vendors are ubiquitous at retail trade shows, but the presentation at JCK Las Vegas was anything but common. Top tech vendors were gathered together in the Plumb Club’s new Retail Innovation and Education Center and in the Retail Innovation area (downstairs at JCK) to introduce and demonstrate new ways to interact with customers.

Visitors entered via the Planetarium that rocketed attendees from the typical trade show environment into a new, imaginative realm that was truly stellar. The “Radiant Universe” collection of “celestial jewelry” was projected on the purpose-built planetarium dome in a way that made the idea of innovation real and intriguing.

Once inside the exhibit space, you could explore jewelry designs, resources, and find educational offerings. With technology permeating every aspect of retail, JCK offered a variety of innovations to service, support, close sales and stay connected, with customers in and out of the store. A key theme was the human side of the Internet of Things (IoT), tagging and tracking, “smart” fixtures, and other technology. You could meet IBM’s Watson Robot named “Pepper,” and interact with GemFind’s jewelry design platform.

PM Screen a dramatic example of in-store multimedia innovations. Their holographic diamond-cutting video was fascinating—just imagine what you could float in your window at night! Immersive, high-touch technology like this is what is fueling interpersonal engagement and facilitates relationships that transcend transactions.


Converge Retail harnesses the mobile and multimedia trend with a simulated jewelry showcase you can explore on your iPad or tablet. In a time when retailing includes “tap, touch and blink,” customers can use this technology to zoom in on product details and information. It works seamlessly with the human element, with the sales associate concentrating on the customer experience of examining pieces of interest, trying them on, and ultimately buying.

The award-winning company JGA has made its mark integrating technology into retail environments to create dynamic, interactive collaboration with customers and high-end jewelry retailers. They understand the dynamics of shopping (exploring, experimenting, and learning) versus buying (the process of locating and purchasing a product already wanted with the intent to purchase), and the importance of an engaging experience throughout. You can see their strategies at work at James Allen, James Avery and the newly designed Spense diamonds presentation. Learn about other categories from JGA at

AUGMENTes puts augmented reality to work for retailers that want to give their customers the ability to virtually try on your jewelry in their own environments on themselves. A customer can, for example, use their cell phone to take a picture of their hand, then through AUGMENTes technology, see how rings and bracelets might look on themselves. For customers looking for something personal, the AUGMENTes visualization capabilities are built into its bracelet builder tool, allowing the user to interactively build their own bracelet. In addition to product visualization and personalization tools, AUGMENTes provides fully customized mobile applications and comprehensive omni-channel shopping platforms with a complete managed service. Shoppers can select materials and position components, then place the order. The visualization tool can also be used to design necklaces, watches, rings, and more.

Leaving the main pavilion, but adjacent to the Plumb Club were some of the up-and-comers in the retail technology space:


Glass-Media Inc. transforms physical locations with digital activations that create dynamic environments that capture attention, entertain, and create a memorable brand experience. I was intrigued with the window they created for Fossil’s smartwatch with faces that change to demonstrate Glass Media capabilities. The company brings together the online and the physical for a compelling integrated channel retail experience.

HERO is a platform for connecting online shoppers with live sales associates in your stores. The technology is in the background as your brand connects with customer, and as sales associates guide customers along the purchasing journey, no matter where they might physically be. If you have heard of the “BAGA” trend—Buy Anywhere Get Anywhere—this technology helps you build relationships across any channel.

JCK Las Vegas presented technology and tech-driven trends that are much in the headlines in a dramatic and engaging way. But beyond the “wow,” exhibitors provided a practical and very human angle with the potential to impact bottom lines.


Pam Levine, president of Levine Luxury Branding, is an expert at harnessing the senses and the emotionally complex — often silent — drivers of purchase decisions in stores and online. Contact her at



Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler Gets Kicked Out of the Studio

In the latest episode (#42) of Gene the Jeweler, Gene is going about his business, recording a new episode. But that doesn’t last long. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl leading rusher Ahman Green walks in, and Gene finds that his time in the studio is over — whether he likes it or not. (See more Gene the Jeweler episodes at

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Power-Cutting Burglars Target Jewelry Stores in Northeast

The trend has spread to New Jersey and Connecticut.




The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that power-cutting thieves have been targeting jewelry stores in the Northeast.

The latest incidents took place in New Jersey and Connecticut. The pattern has played out in many states, with burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems, but previously had occurred mainly in the West, Midwest and South.

These are the incidents the JSA reported in a bulletin to retailers:

Morris Plains, NJ, July 27

At 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening two males and one female cut the power to a retail jewelry store, but police reported they left without trying to get inside the store. The same gang was reported to have done the same thing at jewelry stores in Sparta, NJ, on July 26, 2019, and in Bedminster, NJ.

Darien, CT, Aug. 8

At 11:20 p.m. suspects turned the power off at a downtown jewelry store at the outside electrical box. The power interruption tripped the burglar alarm, and the suspects waited for the police response. On Saturday, August 10, the same suspects returned at 6:20 p.m. and again turned the power off. It is believed that the suspects again waited to observe police response, and to wait for the back-up battery to be exhausted. However, no entry was made to the store. 

Fairfield, CT, Aug. 11

Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 11, a retail jeweler received a call from his alarm company regarding the loss of power to his store. The jeweler discovered the electrical meter cover had been pried off the box. The police responded and no suspects were observed.

JSA reported in June that it was aware of over 50 cases in which burglars had cut power lines.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.


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Tiffany Rolls Out Men’s Jewelry Collection

The line is ‘centered on craftsmanship as the foundation of our company.’




Tiffany & Co. announced the launch of its Tiffany Men’s collections, including jewelry, watches and home and accessories products.

Tiffany Men’s includes two collections: Tiffany 1837 Makers and Diamond Point.

These pieces are from the Tiffany & Co.’s men’s collection. Photo: Roe Etheridge

“Tiffany Men’s is centered on craftsmanship as the foundation of our company,” said Reed Krakoff, chief artistic officer for Tiffany. “Tiffany 1837 Makers is a nod to the workmanship and time-honored techniques used in creating jewelry — the idea that there’s a person behind each object.”

According to a press release:

Embodying Tiffany’s craftsmanship heritage, the Tiffany 1837 Makers collection is inspired by the jeweler’s hollowware workshop and its tradition of handcrafting sports trophies. Designers experimented with concave and convex forms, flat edges and motifs evocative of utilitarian hardware when creating jewelry, barware and more. Stamped with symbols like “T & CO MAKERS,” “NY” and “AG925,” Tiffany 1837 Makers honors Tiffany’s silversmithing legacy and the fact that the luxury house set the U.S. standard for sterling silver (925 per 1,000 parts silver). The made-to-order Tiffany 1837 Makers trophy ring honors Tiffany’s 160-history of making sports trophies by hand and makes a bold statement and adds edge to any outfit.

Diamond Point, on the other hand, “represents the elevated, classic end of the style spectrum with a strong, graphic pattern.”

The company states:

This motif appears as a subtle accent or a prominent overlay on jewelry and Home & Accessories pieces like the Diamond Point rectangle pendant in sterling silver, cuff in sterling silver and cocktail mixer in lead crystal and sterling silver. Most of the Diamond Point jewelry designs are die struck and hand polished to achieve the distinctive textured motif.

Diamond Point takes a more modern and graphic approach, utilizing a pattern inspired by a diamond’s culet that ties back to our diamond authority.

The New York Post reports that the launch is “part of the Tiffany’s strategy to attract younger shoppers and pump up sales.”

In all, Tiffany Men’s includes about 100 pieces. Jewelry rices range from $200 to $15,000.

Among the accessories items on offer are ice tongs and cocktail shakers.

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Jeweler Sentenced for Theft, Ordered to Pay $85,000 in Restitution

He’ll have to serve 4 years of probation.




A Colorado jeweler who was accused with stealing gold, jewelry and money from customers has been ordered to pay restitution and serve a probationary sentence.

David Kushnir, who operated D & D Jewelers in Thornton, pleaded guilty to theft, KMGH-TV reports. He was accused of stealing from nine customers, according to the news outlet.

The court ordered Kushnir to pay about $85,000 in restitution and serve four years of economic crime supervised probation.

In January, authorities accused Kushnir of defrauding customers after they brought their diamonds, watches and other jewelry to him for repair or consignment sale at his business. It was also alleged that he sold fake diamonds to three victims.

The Sentinel newspaper reported in January that in one case, he was accused of removing a movement piece worth $40,000 from a Rolex watch he was asked to repair and then substituting “a Chinese piece.”

Read more at KMGH-TV

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