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Jewelry-Store Robbery ‘Rampage’ Unfolds in 2 States

The incidents took place in Colorado and California.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance has reported a “rampage” of jewelry-store robberies taking place in Colorado and California.

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Three gunpoint robberies occurred in Colorado Springs, CO, over a five-day period, according to JSA. The incidents:

  • Jan. 29: “Five masked men entered the store shortly after opening, and one of them fired a shot into the building. The suspects smashed five showcases and took merchandise, and also took merchandise from the safe.”
  • Jan. 25: “At noon, two suspects entered a retail jewelry store, and one hit an employee on the head. The suspects grabbed jewelry and ran off.”
  • Jan. 25: “Later in the afternoon, four suspects entered a jewelry store, two with handguns. They ordered sales associates and customers to the floor, and smashed numerous showcases, leaving within 30 seconds.”

The Gazette newspaper in Colorado reports that on Jan. 29, a robbery occurred at Glenn’s Jewelry and Loans and involved “four men, one of whom might have had a handgun.” On Jan. 25, robberies took place at Moretti Jewelers and Jared, according to the newspaper.

Eight smash-and-grab incidents took place in California over a 10-day period, according to JSA.

  • Jan. 22, Artesia: “5 suspects.”
  • Jan. 21, Cerritos: “7 suspects. The suspects ordered sales associates and customers to the floor and began smashing showcases. Suspects fled in two vehicles.”
  • Jan. 20, San Bernardino: “3 suspects armed with pepper spray.”
  • Jan. 19, San Diego: “3 masked suspects.”
  • Jan. 18, Los Angeles: “4 suspects (1 female). Suspects assaulted owner with hammer. Escaped in silver Lexus.”
  • Jan. 18, Pico Rivera: “3 masked suspects. Escaped in silver Hyundai Sonata.”
  • Jan. 15, Whittier: “3 suspects.”
  • Jan. 12, San Diego: “2 masked suspects.”

JSA offers these tips related to smash-and-grab robberies:

  • Do not resist. In addition to sledgehammers and other dangerous tools, the suspects may be armed with guns.
  • Hiring armed, off-duty police officers in the store is a deterrent to smash-and-grab robbers.
  • Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
  • Showcases with burglary-resistant, laminated glass and special frames can withstand many blows with a hammer and can prevent or reduce large losses. JSA has not seen robbers take retaliatory action when laminated glass is used and robbers are unable to enter a showcase or are able to take only a small amount of merchandise from a small hole. Furthermore, robbers frequently cut themselves on small holes and leave behind valuable DNA evidence from blood.
  • Having a audible glass breakage alarm on your showcases can scare smash-and-grab robbers away.
  • Spreading high-end watch and diamond merchandise among several showcases, and not concentrated in one showcase, can reduce the amount of the loss in a smash and grab robbery.
  • Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police. Ceiling cameras too often capture useless photos of the top of heads or hats.
  • Keeping a log book of suspicious incidents, and putting aside and saving surveillance video of suspicious incidents, can be a great help in subsequent investigations.
  • Sharing information and photos among local jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.

 

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World’s Largest Diamond Mine to Close ⁠— Here’s What That Could Mean

The mine is known for producing pink and red diamonds.

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Rio Tinto Group plans to close its Argyle mine in western Australia, and that could bring a rise in the price of pink diamonds.

The mine is well-known for producing pink and red diamonds, Bloomberg reports.

In fact, 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds come from the mine, although such stones are only a tiny percentage of Argyle’s total production. The majority of its production consists of brown diamonds, which are less valuable.

The mine is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by volume.

Arnaud Soirat, head of copper and diamonds for Rio, told Bloomberg that operations will be shut down in late 2020. By then it’s expected that its supply of economically viable stones will have been exhausted.

Pat Godin, CEO of Stornoway Diamond Corp., has predicted that with the closure, “The rational offset between supply and demand should lead to price growth.”

He told Bloomberg that the effect could be “even more dramatic” for pink diamonds.

“You can imagine the laws of supply and demand will apply, and you can imagine the impact that will have on those very rare pink, red, blue and purple diamonds,” Godin said.

Read more at Bloomberg

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Fashion Jewelry Chain to Close All 261 Stores

3,000 employees could lose their jobs.

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Jewelry and accessories retailer Charming Charlie is closing all of its 261 stores in connection with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed July 11.

Bloomberg reports that over 3,000 full- and -part-time workers could lose their jobs.

The bankruptcy filing is Charming Charlie’s second in the past two year, Bloomberg reports.

Store closing sales are being conducted by a joint venture consisting of Hilco Merchant Resources and SB360 Capital Partners, according to a press release.

Charming Charlie operates in 38 states. A full list of closing stores is available here.

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The liquidation is expected to take two months.

The company’s debt totals $82 million, according to Bloomberg. Its cash on hand amounted to only $6,000  as of the bankruptcy filing.

Charming Charlie is a Houston-based specialty retailer focused on fashion jewelry, handbags, apparel, gifts and beauty products.

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Serena Williams Wears the Most Unusual Ear Jewelry in Harper’s Bazaar Feature

Can you even call it an earring?

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A new Serena Williams feature in Harper’s Bazaar is sure to attract attention.

The tennis player insisted that the photos be unretouched, and the cover shot features her mostly exposed backside.

But what might be most interesting to jewelers is the unique ear ornament she wore in one of the photos. We’re not even sure you can call this Gucci accessory an earring.

Could this over-the-ear look catch on?

INSTORE style writer Becky Stone doesn’t think so, although she likes the concept.

“I can hear the siren song of this piece! It takes the concept of jewelry adorning the body and elevates it by having the jewel actually become the body,” Stone said. “The look is surprising, sensual, and playful – an appealing combination. Serena looks like she might be a golden robot from the future, and I’m into it.

“That being said, I think there are a lot of practical barriers to the gilded ear’s mainstream appeal. Can she hear? Is her ear sweaty? How does that thing even stay on? I imagine it would have to be custom fitted, which is probably enough to price it out of the possibility of true street style success. I’d be very interested to see a scaled down version: maybe a smaller cuff that fits over just the upper cartilage, or a closely fitted lobe piece that’s anchored with a post for wearability.”

Beth Bernstein, also an INSTORE style writer, also felt the look was unlikely to take off.

“It might work for an editorial shoot or a runway show, but I don’t believe it will ever make it as a trend for even the high-end,” she said. “It kind of looks like the ‘Joker’s Mask’ for the ear.”

Jewelry professionals posting in our INSTORE Community group on Facebook had a variety of reactions.

Deirdre Crosse of Cipher Gems wrote, “Serena Williams requires an extraordinary design for it to register with the viewer. It’s a bold choice of adornment for strong subject.”

Deric Metzger, owner of DeMer Jewelry, commented, “This is the ear climber trend taken to its maximum natural conclusion and it’s every bit as unpleasant as I imagined.”

Other jewelry that Williams wore for the photoshoot included Cartier earrings, a Bulgari bracelet, a David Yurman bracelet and chain and an Audemars Piguet watch.

The photos appear with an essay penned by Williams about standing up for herself and becoming the strong woman, athlete and mother she is today. The issue will be available on newsstands July 23.

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