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Big Tickets Save Christmas

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See the results of our latest Holiday Season Mini-Survey.

The verdict is in: It was a surprisingly merry holiday season for most jewelers, thanks often to a few big-ticket sales.

The upbeat numbers that we’d been seeing since the Black Friday weekend ticked up higher in the last week before Christmas. One in three jewelers, or 33 percent, described the season as better than expected and a further 13 percent labeled it flat-out “terrific”. Thirty-one percent said it was in line with their expectations, while for 23 percent of jewelers it was disappointing or “dismal.” While foot traffic remained down compared to last year, average ticket edged higher in the last week: 48 percent of jewelers said their average transaction value was over $350, while 43 percent said it was up over last year.Final Survey

“We moved a couple of very large pieces that allowed us to realize a 22 percent increase over last year’s number. But we’re feeling the Internet bite,” said David Abrams, owner of Grand Jewelers in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, in a comment that was typical of many of our Brain Squad members.

We’ll publish a more detailed report online at instoremag.com as soon as we gather a few more responses. In the meantime, you can see more charts and all the Brain Squad’s comments about the holiday season online.

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A Packed Store Like the Day Before Christmas? Wilkerson Makes It Happen

Deb Schulman says once she and her husband, Ron, decided to retire, she could feel “the stress start to leave.” The owners of B. Alsohns Jewelers in Palm Desert, California, the Schulmans had heard about Wilkerson over the years and contacted them when the time was right. Wilkerson provided the personalized service, experience and manpower it took to organize their GOB sale. “We are so impressed with the way Wilkerson performed for us,” says Ron Schulman, “I’d send high accolades to anyone who was interested.”

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Video: Jewelry Store Owner Hits Robbers With Jars of Pickles

3 suspects have been arrested.

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A jeweler in Sandy Springs, GA, fought off robbers by using pickle jars, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The owner and witnesses managed to subdue two suspects, holiding them until police arrived on the scene. The robbery happened late Saturday afternoon at a store on Abernathy Road close to Roswell Road, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Police said three people have been arrested: 40-year-old Antonio Collier, 17-year-old Antwan DeKarlos Robinson a 16-year-old suspect. They’re charged with several crimes, including armed robbery as well as battery.

A fourth suspect is being sought.

A witness said that when the robbers entered the store, “they had hammers and were breaking everything and grabbed Rolexes.”

The owner reportedly struck the suspects with a bag of pickle jars, hitting them in the face and head.

Two of the suspects got away, resulting in a police chase and car crash, authorities said. One of the suspects in the car was arrested and the other ran away.

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Jewelry Store Was Going Out of Business … But a Former Employee Had Other Ideas (Video)

Stan and Mary Sherwin operated the store for 40 years but decided to retire.

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A jewelry store in Atascadero, CA, was about to close for good as its owners retired.

But a former employee had other ideas.

Stan and Mary Sherwin operated K. Jons Diamonds and Gems for 40 years and were set to cease operations in early January, The Tribune reports.

But then Lindsay Jane Chatham, who began working for the store as a teenager and continued for several years, decided to move back to town with her husband, Greg, and take over the business.

“We found out they were retiring, and so many things had to fall into place. It was crazy,” she was quoted saying.

The store will operate as K. Jons Jewelry Co., according to The Tribune.

The Chathams, both of whom are gemologists, will lease the store space from the Sherwins. They’ll keep most of K. Jons’s employees.

One thing they aren’t buying from the Sherwins is inventory. Most of that was purchased in a going-out-of-business sale.

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Louis Vuitton to Sell Jewelry Made From World’s Second-Largest Diamond

The deal follows LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

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LVMH Sewelo Diamon

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has entered a deal to sell jewelry made from the world’s second-largest diamond, known as the Sewelo diamond.

It’s a 1,758 carat gem that’s the size of a tennis ball.

Lucara Diamond Corp. announced a deal with LVMH and the HB Co., a diamond manufacturer from Antwerp, that will see the diamond cut into pieces and made into Louis Vuitton jewelry.

Bloomberg reports that LVMH “will likely create several extremely high-end pieces  to establish a sense of exclusivity.”

A price tag for the Sewelo has not been revealed. Yahoo Finance notes that it sold for $53 million in 2017.

The acquisition is further evidence of LVMH’s plans to grow its jewelry business, according to Bloomberg. It follows the company’s nearly $16 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

The diamond was recovered from Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana in April 2019.

According to a press release from Lucara:

Lucara will receive an up front non-material payment for the Sewelô and retain a 50% interest in the individual polished diamonds that result.

Further, 5% of all of the retail sales proceeds generated from this historic collection will be invested directly back into Botswana on community-based initiatives undertaken by Lucara.

Lucara CEO Eira Thomas said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury House, to transform the historic, 1,758 carat Sewelô, Botswana’s largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewellery that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana.”

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