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JA Fine Jewelry Preview Showcases Earth, Sky, Color and Nostalgia

It was sponsored by the Cultured Pearl Association of America and The Silver Promotion Service.




THE YEARLY JEWELERS of America Fine Jewelry Preview consistently brings emerging designers and established brands together in a presentation for editors and bloggers to discover trends, talent and new items. This year was no exception. The 2019 event was sponsored by The Cultured Pearl Association of America and The Silver Promotion Service who also featured pieces from their members.

The predominant trends at the event were earth, sky, color and nostalgia.


Mother Nature once again steps in and inspires jewelry designers in organic forms and gemstones. Leaves, butterflies, wings and flowers were in the mix as were stones such as leopard agate.

CAMPBELLIAN COLLECTION 18K white gold earrings featuring Mexican water opals surrounded by diamonds and demantoid garnets

ELIZABETH BLAIR PEARLS freshwater cultured coin pearl earrings with carved peridot flowers and moonstones set in 18K gold

FEDKO JEWELRY diamond wing earrings in 18K white gold with titanium

GIGI FERRANTI leopard agate point earrings in 14K yellow gold with black and white diamonds

GUMUCHIAN Butterfly hair jewel in 18K yellow gold with diamonds

JEAN JOAILLERIE 14K gold baroque freshwater pearl drop threader earrings

JUST JULES hoop earrings featuring fancy kite shape diamonds set in 14K yellow gold

STULLER 14K rose gold diamond bypass ring


E.L. DESIGNS BY ED LEVIN STUDIO sterling silver and 14K gold tropic earrings


The magic and the mystery of the evening sky, planets and outer space have been informing jewelry for a number of seasons and this trend continues to evolve in shapes, stars and moons and variations on constellations as well as the use of such heavenly gems as moonstones.

GABRIEL & CO. 14K yellow gold and diamond Bujukan bracelet

MARTHA SEELY DESIGN 14K rose gold constellation necklace with white sapphires

MASTOLONI Sorrento collection scattered teardrop hoops featuring freshwater pearls and diamonds set in 18K yellow gold

OMI PRIVE platinum ring featuring a 13.32-carat oval moonstone accented by sapphires and diamonds

VITAE ASCENDERE 18K yellow gold dodecahedron earrings

ADEL CHEFRIDI sterling silver night earrings with aquamarines



From multi-colored sapphires to bi-colored tourmalines, color in jewelry continues to grow as a category in jewelry from alternative engagement rings to statement pieces. The real message is in creating silhouettes that will highlight these gems, whether it be a rainbow of colors or one singular stone.

AG GEMS 5.27-carat radiant cut sapphire ring flanked by Cadillac-cut diamonds set in 18K white with rose gold

DILAMANI rainbow sapphire baguette long drop earrings set in 14K yellow gold

JANE TAYLOR channel set long matchstick necklaces in 14K yellow gold

TILGHMAN DESIGNS 8.09-carat indocolite tourmaline ring with diamonds set in 14K white gold

VIVAAN watermelon tourmaline ring accented with tsavorites, sapphires and diamonds set in 18K white gold

VIVAAN sapphire and diamond earrings set in 18K white gold

MARTHA SEELY DESIGN sterling silver earrings with tanzanite, sapphires and diamonds



From Victoria to Art Deco to vintage 70s, the past influences present day jewelry. Today’s designers draw inspiration and then create current interpretations based on antique and vintage silhouettes and styles such as talisman, good luck charms, fobs and geometric and linear forms.

ALEX WOO 14K yellow gold and diamond necklace with mini X Cross, X Blessed, X Feather and X Moon charms

BREVANI 14K yellow gold earrings with white topaz and diamonds

CHRISTOPHER DESIGNS memory cut bracelet with alternating L’Amour Crisscut diamonds and round diamonds set in 18K white gold

JULEZ BRYANT 14K yellow gold half circle with sunburst etching, diamonds and cabochon turquoise

PAMELA ZAMORE Star fob in 18K yellow gold with moonstone and diamonds

SANDY LEONG 18K recycled yellow gold morganite hinge choker

TODD REED earrings with emeralds and white brilliant cut diamonds in 18K yellow gold

GABRIEL & CO. @gabrielandco silver tassel Victorian necklace

Beth Bernstein is a published author of three books and jewelry and fashion expert with 18+ years experience. A broad knowledge of the history of jewelry and fashion coupled with a background in "the story", writing, trends, design concepts has earned Beth a proven track record.



Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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Eileen McClelland

2019 Big Survey: 10 Times When Jewelry Store Employees Left the Job in Dramatic Fashion

Results of the 2019 Big Survey have been rolling in. Here’s a sample.



WE ASKED SURVEY respondents to share the most epic ways they’d seen someone quit or be fired. Dealing with employees on their way out can be touchy. Sometimes these unfortunate encounters even culminate in award-winning dramatic performances. Read on for the most memorable ways employees have parted ways with jewelry stores:

Top 10 Countdown

The award for best dramatic performance goes to the employees who:

10. Screamed at the top of their lungs, “I QUIT”

9. Showed up in pajamas, had a breakdown, then quit and walked out.

8. Threw rings at the boss while asking for a raise, then quit.

7. Threw a crystal piece through a showcase shelf.

6. Hit the jeweler in the head with a bag of bananas.

5. Threw his key at me.

4. Came in wielding a pipe wrench screaming that we were liars.

3. Ran out of the shop, arms raised in the air, saying “he’s trying to kill me.”

2. Got drunk at a charity event we were sponsoring, hit on one of the ladies and pulled her skirt up. Police were called.

And the No. 1 best dramatic performance goes to:

1. The employee who hired a marching band to quit.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 North American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

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Wow Your Customers with This Video Messaging App

Jewelers can make online experiences feel a lot more like in-person experiences.




DO YOU REMEMBER the last time a business did something unexpected for you? Something you truly appreciated? Of course, you do. Those are the moments that imprint themselves on our memories. For me, it was with a video messaging app called Bonjoro.

My Wow Moment

When I signed up for their free trial, I expected to get a video message from them. That’s what they do. And they told me I would. What I didn’t expect was to get a video answer about a tech issue I was having minutes after I emailed them about it. That blew me away.

In the jewelry industry, we pride ourselves on our in-store service and fret about our online marketing. Gone are the glory days with greater foot traffic. Now everyone wants to kick the tires online before they commit to coming in. But what if you could bring your amazing customer service to customers before they ever stepped foot in the store?

Bonjoro to the Rescue

That’s exactly what Bonjoro allows you to do. Bonjoro is an easy to use video to email messaging app for businesses. They make recording and emailing a personalized video to customers almost effortless. And you can even send these videos when they’ll have the biggest impact, like right after they fill out a contact form on your site.

Imagine a prospective customer visits your site. They fill out a contact form with some details about the type of engagement ring they’re looking for. After they press submit, someone on your sales team gets a notification. Once they have a free minute, they pull out their phone and record and send a video in less time than it would take them to respond to the email.

“Hi, Jim! I know exactly the style that you’re looking for, and we have some great options for you. You can see a few of them in the case behind me, but I have a few more that I’d like to pull out and show you. You mentioned that you have a lunch break at noon. Why don’t you stop by tomorrow, and I’ll have them all ready for you? In the meantime, there’s a link to our website’s engagement ring gallery in this window. If you see anything else you like, you can write me a quick message, and I’ll be sure to add it. See you soon!”

An Experience Like No Other

This is an experience most jewelers aren’t going to offer. The enthusiasm and confidence communicated in a video are hard to match in an email response. And the customer has likely never received a response like this from a jewelry store. Just the thought that someone took the time to personally address them with a video will make them more likely to stop in. Plus, they already feel like they know you.

Almost Face-to-Face

Bonjoro is a way to send quick, personalized videos to customers. They’re meant to be mixed into the daily routine and workflow of your sales team. This isn’t the time for high-quality video production or perfect angles. This is much more personal and organic than that.

People online aren’t used to being addressed personally by video. It gives them a personal touch that usually only happens in the store. When you use Bonjoro, the most important thing is to press the record button and talk to the customer like they’re right there in front of you. What a wonderful way to wow your customers!

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Commentary: The Business

Customer Fired for Cause

Her phone manners left something to be desired.




Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery says her daughter Heidi, now 15, is not afraid to answer the phone despite what happened and calls it “a learning experience.”

WHILE VISITING A great friend and store owner, Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery in Alberta, Canada, we were commiserating over coffee. I have always loved hearing her stories about community involvement or win/win sales interactions. This time, she had a real doozy.

A customer had recently purchased a $300 ring for her daughter and had sent her back to the store for a free sizing. The young girl had decided it was not going to be on her third finger but the much larger first. That meant the ring needed to be sized from 5 to 10. For this, there would be a charge. The girl left the ring.

Laurelle’s daughter, Heidi, was answering phones as her mom finished closing the store. It was the last call before locking up. Heidi asked how she could re-direct the caller and then, holding the phone to her chest, asked her mom if she wanted to take the call. Mom assured her she was doing fine. It brought a smile to her face when she heard her daughter tell the caller that she would pass the message along to their HR manager.

But later at home, the true story emerged. The call had been from the original purchaser of the size 5 ring, and using a long string of vulgarities, she had demanded a full refund. The next day, typically affable Laurelle left a message requesting a return call. When the return call came, Laurelle informed the customer that the swearing she had done over the phone had been directed at her 13-year-old daughter. She added that she would not allow that treatment of any of her staff. After informing the customer that she would process a full refund, she asked for her mailing address so she could mail it. Laurelle calmly informed the customer that she was not to come back to her store.

But the story was not over. The customer ignored the request to not return to the store and instead brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a neatly written card. She wanted to personally deliver them to the 13-year-old child who had listened so intently to her vulgar language. This customer knew that the depth of her apology could only be appreciated by a face-to-face meeting between an embarrassed adult and precocious child!

If there are lessons here, they are written between the lines.

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