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Jewelers’ Crime Losses Drop 26% to Hit Record Lows

Losses declined to $53.4M.

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Dollar losses from crimes against U.S. jewelry firms decreased by 25.9% from 2017 to 2018, hitting record lows, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance’s 2018 Annual Crime Report.

Losses declined to $53.4 million in 2018 from $72.1 million in 2017. The 2018 figure represents a 75% decline in dollar losses since 1999 on an inflation-adjusted basis.

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“Due to support from the industry, JSA has been able to add substantial resources to its crime analysis and intelligence capability, its reward program and its crime information-sharing effectiveness,” said John Kennedy, JSA president. “In addition to informing the industry with frequent Crime Alerts, JSA shares detailed intelligence information regarding jewelry gangs, suspects and crime patterns with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, on a daily basis. JSA receives countless messages of thanks from law enforcement personnel for information that has helped in their investigations, and from jewelers who have prevented crimes.”

JSA’s Report indicated both the ups and downs of U.S. jewelry crime statistics for 2018:

  • The total number of crimes increased from 1,394 in 2017 to 1,441 in 2018.
  • Dollar losses from off-premises crimes (such as against traveling salespersons or losses at shows) decreased from $18.1 million in 2017 to $7.2 million in 2018, a record low since at least the 1980s.
  • Smash-and-grab robberies rose from 71 in 2017 to 129 in 2018, an increase of 81.6%, while arrests of smash-and-grab jewelry criminals increased from 28 in 2017 to 65 in 2018.
  • One jeweler was killed during a robbery in 2018, tied for a record low since 1980, compared to five in 2017.
  • Jewelers in mall locations experienced 66.4% of all on-premises crimes in 2018, compared to the crimes at all locations such as strip centers, downtown locations or standalone stores.
  • Grab-and-runs were the most frequently reported crime, with 641 cases.

Kennedy said, “A big advance in JSA’s work, and an important element in the reduction in crime, has been JSA’s growing ability to map crime patterns and target hot spots, and to work with multiple law enforcement agencies spanning many states and jurisdictions to coordinate information sharing on suspects and gangs. When JSA sees a crime pattern emerging, JSA is able to be all over it. Information goes out to JSA’s Members, to the broader industry, to the trade media, and a dialogue is opened with the relevant FBI or other law enforcement personnel, including agencies in other countries.”

Get a copy of the full report here.

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JSA is a non-profit trade association providing crime prevention information and services to the jewelry industry.

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The Big Survey 2019: Top Jewelry Brands Revealed

This year marks a three-peat.

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WE ASKED OUR 802 Big Survey respondents, “What are the three best performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?”, and these were the top 20 brands mentioned. Interestingly, Gabriel & Co. and Stuller made it a three-peat, claiming the top two spots in our rankings for the third year in a row. Allison-Kaufman moved up a spot from 4 to 3, and Simon G. was a big leaper, jumping all the way to number 5 from 20 in 2018. (Total votes included in parentheses)

2019 RANK / BRAND2018 RANKCHANGE IN RANK
1. Gabriel & Co. (64)1
2. Stuller (41)2
3. Allison-Kaufman (29)4up 1
4. Hearts On Fire (18)3down 1
5. Simon G. (15)20up 15
6 tie. Pandora (14)6
6 tie. Ostbye (14)10up 4
8 tie. John Hardy (13)9up 1
8 tie. Lashbrook (13)15up 7
10 tie. Benchmark (12)8down 2
10 tie. Frederic Duclos (12)11up 1
12 tie. Roberto Coin (11)23up 11
12 tie. Sylvie Collection (11)22up 10
12 tie. ASHI Diamonds (11)23up 11
15 tie. Berco (10)23up 8
15 tie. Tacori (10)outside top 25 
17 tie. ArtCarved (9)7down 10
17 tie. Le Vian (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. Officina Bernardi (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. SDC Creations (9)15down 2
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Jewelry Brand Opens 2 Brick-and-Mortar Stores Following $13M Investment Round

They’re located in New York.

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AUrate, a New York based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand, plans to use part of the $13 million that it recently raised to build a brick-and-mortar presence.

The company is opening two permanent stores in New York City, Women’s Wear Daily reports. They’ll be located in SoHo and on Madison Avenue.

They’ll “feature experiential technology that introduces consumers to the raw materials and production methods enlisted to create Aurate jewelry,” according to the report.

They were set to open Oct. 12.

AUrate announced in late June that it had completed a $13 million investment round. With the Series A funding, led by Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital, the company said it planned to expand its online and offline operations and direct investment in technology. Additional participants included Point King Capital, Arab Angel Fund and Drake Management.

AUrate soft-launched in 2015, when co-founders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn held full-time jobs at Goldman Sachs & Marc Jacobs, respectively.

The brand was officially launched in 2017, with both online and offline stores. The co-founders went on to raise $2.6M in a seed round.

Read more at Women’s Wear Daily

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De Beers Lab-Grown Diamonds to Make Brick-and-Mortar Debut

It’s a test run that will begin this month.

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Lab-grown diamonds from De Beers-owned Lightbox will soon be available at certain Bloomingdale’s and Reeds Jewelers stores.

It’s a test run that will begin this month, Forbes reports. The effort marks Lightbox’s brick-and-mortar debut.

Lightbox pieces are lab-grown diamonds set in accessibly priced fashion jewelry. They’ve been sold since September 2018 online and in pop-up shops.

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The pieces will be sold at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York and its San Francisco location store. And they’ll be available at 30 Reeds Jewelers, primarily in the Southeast, Forbes reports.

The trial is expected to last as long as six months.

Lightbox debuted in 2018 with products priced from $200 for a quarter-carat stone to $800 for a one-carat stone. It started with pink, blue and white lab-grown diamonds in a selection of earring and necklace designs, and the company later said it was expanding the line with bracelets and stackable rings.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, said last year that Lightbox would “transform the lab-grown diamond sector by offering consumers a lab-grown product they have told us they want but aren’t getting: affordable fashion jewelry that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now.”

The move to brick-and-mortar is no surprise. Lightbox Managing Director Steve Coe announced at the JCK Las Vegas show in June that he expected to begin market testing the brand in retail stores this year. After the company’s $94 million plant in Gresham, OR, goes online in 2020, production will increase and the brand will be offered to a broad range of retailers by 2021. Color offerings and jewelry-design styles will likely be expanded as well.

Coe said consumer research has backed up the De Beers belief that laboratory-grown diamonds work best as fashion accessories for everyday wear, and not for significant occasions, such as engagement, for which consumers say they prefer natural diamonds.

Read more at Forbes

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