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Know It All: November 2015

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Independents’ Share of Diamond Jewelry Market Falls

1 Single-store independents remain the biggest sales channel for diamond jewelry in the U.S., accounting for 35 percent of the market. But national chains (31 percent) and online players (7 to 13 percent) are eating into their piece of the pie, according to De Beers’ latest Market Insight Report. In 2007, independents accounted for 56 percent of U.S. diamond sales. — INSTORE, 9/24/15


Yelp! Reveals Name of Reviewer who Savaged Boston Jeweler

2
A Massachusetts jeweler has prevailed in his fight to have Yelp! reveal the identity of a customer who left a nasty review of his store. The court ruled in favor of the owner of Pageo Jewelers, George Pelz, after he produced evidence indicating the review was based on experiences that never happened. — Tech Times, 10/1/15

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ADB May Have Been Sacrificed in Coverup

3 According to an investigation by veteran industry journalist Chaim Even-Zohar, senior figures at KBC Bank, the Belgian financial house that owned Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB), may have intentionally sabotaged its sale and allowed it to die to cover up massive wrongdoing. Around the time it was shuttered last year, ADB had about $1.85 billion in outstanding loans to diamond manufacturers and traders, and its demise is being blamed for much of the financial squeeze currently afflicting the industry. — GEM KONNECT, 9/14/15; for the full story, read instr.us/11155


White Diamonds Still Rule Against Alternative Engagement Rings

4 Despite all the talk about colored stones and other alternatives, the standard-issue diamond solitaire engagement ring is still king, having given up only 2 percent market share to alternative pretenders in the last two years, according to data from The Knot — NY Post, 9/23/15

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Court rules in favor of Tiffany in its suit against Costco

5 A Manhattan federal judge ruled that Costco, the largest U.S. warehouse club chain, had infringed Tiffany & Co’s trademarks by selling counterfeit diamond engagement rings bearing the luxury retailer’s name. It further ruled that “Tiffany setting” is not a generic term, and that Costco must face a jury trial to assess damages. — — Wall Street Journal, 9/9/15.


GIA to Grow Synthetic Diamonds for Research Purposes

6 The battle to prevent synthetic diamonds entering the jewelry market undetected just got serious. GIA has announced that it will open a research lab in January for growing its own. The New Jersey facility is intended for the study of synthetics as their quality increases, in order to maintain strict differentiation from the real thing. — Rapaport 9/8/15

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Here Comes Generation Z

7 Think you’ve finally got millennials figured out? You may not be happy to hear that truly forward-thinking retailers are turning their attention from Generation Y— ho-hum — to Generation Z. “These tweens and teens of today,” reports the New York Times, are “the next big retail disrupter.” There are 60 million of them out there, and they’re starting to shop. — New York Times, 9/20/15



Wages Rise as Good Workers “Becoming Hard to Find”

8 As small businesses find it increasingly hard to find capable employees, a new survey suggests that competition for good workers will continue to push wages upward. The National Federation of Independent Businesses says that 23 percent of firms in August reported they increased compensation in the past three months, while a seasonally adjusted 13 percent plan to raise compensation in the coming months. — Business Insider, 9/9/15


Apple, Hermès Team up for New Luxury Smartwatch

9 Apple has announced a new partnership with French luxury brand Hermès to produce a co-branded version of its Apple Watch amid signs luxury groups are moving to more fully embrace digital developments in both product design and merchandising. — New York Times, 9/10/15


Vacheron Constantin’s Reference 57260 has 57 complications and more than 2,800 components.

vacheron Constantin Watch Sets Record
for Complications

10 Vacheron Constantin’s new Reference 57260 pocketwatch is officially the most complicated mechanical watch ever made, reports CNET. The previous titleholder, the 2010 Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4, had a paltry 36 complications; the Reference 57260 has 57. And more than 2,800 components. Which is why it took eight years to make. — CNET, 9/21/15

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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