Connect with us

Columns

Rainbows in the Desert: Centurion 2018 Combines Colorful People and Vibrant Jewels in One Venue

mm

Published

on

The show featured the right mix of everything.

What a difference a year makes.

The Centurion Show in Scottsdale, AZ, is considered a favorite by many retailers in the industry. The laid-back atmosphere, delectable lunches, calorie-worthy ice cream stations and end-of-night happy hours (with single-malt scotch!) only add to the beauty. But the best part that so many love about Centurion is that – unlike with Las Vegas – everything is relatively under one roof. The majority of the show’s buyers, exhibitors and press stay on premises, so at the end of the day, after the events/dinners/parties are over, the jewelry community gathers in one gorgeous, comfortable space, which is usually where most of the magic happens. This year, attendees and exhibitors alike seemed especially excited about the jewelry business in 2018, with many reporting strong holiday seasons.

The show is held in the ballrooms with bigger-name brands renting full-sized suites for their appointments. Forevermark had a gorgeous space with an outdoor seating area overlooking the grounds, which made for a pleasant appointment when it came time to see the new Jade Trau pieces for Forevermark. And brands like Michele Watches and Pesavento had plenty of space in their suites to house multiple appointments at once.

With Centurion being the first major American jewelry trade show of the year (Vicenzaoro in Vicenza, Italy, is the first international show), it’s often the place many retailers look for trends, and this year’s show was no exception. The trend most apparent would have to be multicolored and rainbow-inspired gemstone pieces, which we saw in the form of big, bold earrings at Goshwara, fun cluster rings at Effy, stackable bands at My Story and channel-set bracelets at Jane Taylor Jewelry. Another style statement was the use of clear or white center stones in big sizes or cool cuts that were not diamonds (think rock crystal, white sapphire and white topaz). Rose-cut gemstones – either diamond or otherwise – made a big-time comeback in the form of engagement rings by up-and-coming designer Shelly Purdy as well as in chunky cuff bracelets by Anzie. And leather combined with precious metals and gemstones was a hot look from brands like Luca Lorenzini for Henderson Collection and pearl jewelry icon Mizuki.

The show was attended by buyers from some of the most recognizable names in the independently owned jewelry retail arena (Tiny Jewel Box of Washington, DC, Lee Michaels of Baton Rouge, LA, London Jewelers of Manhasset, NY, and Ben Bridge Jewelers of Seattle, WA, just to name a few), but also by big box retailers such as Neiman Marcus, and overall, the attitudes toward the industry and where it’s headed seemed to be on the positive side.

As usual, Centurion also hosted education sessions and breakfast discussions starting on the Saturday night before the official opening of the show on Sunday and continuing throughout until the last day. Tuesday’s close of show ended on a high note – literally – with a dinner and private concert by recording artist Gavin DeGraw.

Advertisement

Centurion and those involved with it still do the trade show thing right. They have just the right mix of reputable retailers, popular brands, solid education, great meals and fine entertainment, and they found a beautifully serene place to make it all happen and continue to happen, year after year.


Colored gemstone and diamond stack rings by My Story Jewelry


Leather and diamond bracelet by Luca Lorenzini for Henderson Collection


Multi-colored gemstone and yellow gold cluster ring by Effy


Wide gold bangle with rose cut clear quartz and diamond starbursts by Anzie


Rose cut Canadian diamond and yellow gold engagement ring by Shelly Purdy

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Having a Moving Sale? Let Wilkerson Do the Heavy Lifting

For Jim Woodard, owner of Woodard’s Diamonds & Design in Tullahoma, Tenn., when it was time for a moving sale, there was only one company to help with the event: Wilkerson. “They brought in the right team for us,” he says, remarking about the sale’s extraordinary results, including a nearly 500% monthly sales increase compared to the previous year. “I wanted to have the best in the industry. And that’s the main reason why I contacted Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Columns

That Weird ‘Diamond in a Diamond’ Isn’t for Sale. It Will Go Here Instead …

Alrosa revealed the find in September.

mm

Published

on

RUSSIA’S ALROSA DIAMOND mining company announced Thursday that the curious “diamond in a diamond” revealed on social media in early September has been added to its collection of rare finds — and is not for sale.

In early September, Alrosa surprised its Instagram followers with a video that seemed to show a tiny rough diamond moving freely in the cavity of a larger one (pictured above). The caption read, “A diamond in a diamond? We couldn’t help but share this very special find with you.”

At the time, Alrosa wasn’t quite sure what to make of the phenomenon. Nobody at the mining company had ever seen anything like it. Five weeks later, Alrosa scientists confirmed that both the host and smaller crystal were diamonds.

They named the double-diamond “Matryoshka” because its strange configuration is reminiscent of the popular Russian nesting dolls. The specimen, which weighs only 0.62 carats, was discovered in Yakutia at Alrosa’s Nyurba mining and processing division.

Matryoshka joins Alrosa’s ever-growing collection of diamond wonders. These include crystals that resemble a soccer ball, a Valentine heart, a skull and a fish.

Interestingly, some of Alrosa’s most unusually shaped diamonds have come to light at the most opportune times.

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of Alrosa Diamonds and via Alrosa/Instagram. Soccer ball image by Pumbaa80 (Self-published work by Pumbaa80) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.

For instance, an Alrosa discovery in July of 2018 had us wondering out loud if Mother Nature was a World Cup soccer fan. Just three days prior to the Russian national soccer team’s exciting quarterfinal match against Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Alrosa discovered a diamond that looks amazingly like a soccer ball.

In February of 2019, Alrosa revealed a 65.7-carat rough diamond that had an uncanny resemblance to a Valentine heart.

“Diamonds of a distinctive shape that resemble some object or symbol are extremely rare in nature,” Alrosa’s deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said at the time. “Most rough diamonds are octahedron-shaped or do not have a particular shape at all. The appearance of a heart-shaped rough diamond, especially on the eve of Valentine’s Day, seems to be a symbolic gift of nature not only to our company, but also to all loving couples.”

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of Alrosa Diamonds and via Alrosa/Instagram.

Alrosa noted that a 24-carat, skull-shaped stone was unearthed prior to Halloween in 2018.

In August of 2019, the company posted to Instagram a photo of a rough stone resembling a fish. It had been discovered back in 2002, and was revisited to help promote the firm’s ecology efforts, which include releasing hundreds of thousands of fish into the rivers near its mining operation in Yakutia.

Continue Reading

Columns

Upping the Game: Why Dubai Watch Week is the Perfect Example of How to Run a Fair

A key factor: There’s no pressure to buy or sell.

mm

Published

on

WATCHMAKING CLASSES TAUGHT by Swiss masters. Luxury hotel rooms at the new Waldorf Astoria. Daily gourmet breakfasts. Seven limited-edition timepieces being released. Three-course lunches in a Cipriani pop-up. Thirteen education panels featuring world-renowned speakers. An international press squad representing over 45 media titles. And Jean-Claude Biver dropping knowledge and signing books. Any one of these would be enough to raise the level at most watch-related trade shows or fairs, but when you combine them and place them into a setting like Dubai, the result is almost unfathomable. Unless, of course, you lived it, which is exactly what I was privileged enough to do just over a week ago.

For the third year in a row, I was invited by the team at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and Dubai Watch Week to attend a horological event they were organizing. Two years ago, it was to visit the third edition of Dubai Watch Week in Dubai as a member of the press. Last year, it was an event they were holding in London in collaboration with Christie’s Auction House called “Horology Forum.” I was asked to be one of five panel moderators for that event; an honor which I never thought could be matched. That is, until this year when again I was invited by DWW to moderate the final panel, entitled “Hot Potato.” Each of my experiences has been extraordinary.

4 Dead After Jewelry-Store Robbery Leads to Police Chase and Shootout (Video)
Headlines

4 Dead After Jewelry-Store Robbery Leads to Police Chase and Shootout (Video)

Truck Slams Jewelry Store in $200,000 Burglary — Watch the Video
Headlines

Truck Slams Jewelry Store in $200,000 Burglary — Watch the Video

Video: How to Achieve a $100,000 Day in Your Jewelry Store
Headlines

Video: How to Achieve a $100,000 Day in Your Jewelry Store

The No. 1 characteristic that separates Dubai Watch Week from any other watch fair (or jewelry event, for that matter) is that there is no pressure to buy or sell. In the U.S., the closest we have to that experience is the American Gem Society Conclave, which I’ve often compared to Dubai Watch Week on an education level. But in terms of pulling in a worldwide audience that includes watch brands, retailers, collectors, journalists, scientists, speakers and skilled artisans, there is no other fair that can hold a candle to this one, and the other watch fairs know it.

In 2017, I left Dubai thinking to myself that I had just left the most organized event I’d ever attended. In my mind it was flawless, leaving very little room for improvement, and yet when I stepped onto the impeccably pristine grounds of the DIFC this year I was flabbergasted. It was not just grander from a visual standpoint, but the program itself read like perfection. Panel topics at the “Horology Forum” covered everything from how smart watches are affecting today’s watch sales, to what really happens when you’re put on a waiting list for a watch, to how women come to power in fields largely dominated by men, to how industry outsiders (like award-winning actor Aldis Hodge and quantum physicist Michael Biercuk) are finding their place in the watch community. Attendees were also treated to events held in the “Creative Hub,” where several watch brands discussed their histories and where some even released new limited-edition timepieces in conjunction with Dubai Watch Week. Watchmaking classes were taught in a separate pop-up venue, as well as classes on watch design, dial painting, engraving and more. Christie’s even had its own auction room on premises where one could attend talks on topics such as the restoration of timepieces and why vintage Patek Philippes are so sought after. And, because DWW gets it, there was a children’s program. Yes … an actual children’s program! Because let’s face it, kids will eventually determine the success of the watch industry, both as future buyers and as future artisans, so why not teach them how special watchmaking is now, right?

As the days turned into nights, the festivities didn’t slow down. There were cocktail events by Tudor, Grand Seiko, Ulysse Nardin, HYT, Bell & Ross, Roger Dubuis, Girard Perregaux and others. Oh, and if you tired of any of those, Chopard pretty much had its own nightclub set up, complete with a well-known Dubai D. J. and plenty of industry personalities.

These days, as an almost-47-year-old woman, I feel that the older I get the harder I am to impress. I’ve done a lot in my life, and I’ve seen even more, so when something comes along that is special – truly special – I sit up and take notice, and often will do my best to tell the world about it. This is exactly what Dubai Watch Week makes me want to do. Everyone from their smiling security guards, to their wonderful public relations and press teams, all the way up to Hind Seddiqi – the director general of Dubai Watch Week – went out of their way to make sure that every person in attendance was taken care of, and that everyone had an experience unlike any other. Hind and her entire team succeeded in accomplishing that, yet again, which makes me wonder how the 2021 edition could possibly get any better. Although, seeing what the DWW organizers have been capable of so far, I’m sure it will be otherworldly.

PHOTO GALLERY (6 Images)
{{gallery_holder}}
Continue Reading

Editor's Note

For Jewelry Retailers, Being With Family Often Means Being At Work

But most say they enjoy spending so much time with relatives.

Published

on

FOR MOST PEOPLE, the holiday season means spending time with family. For most independent jewelry retailers, the holiday season means spending a whole whole lot of time with family.

That’s because being in the jewelry business frequently means being in the family business, with retail stores passed on from generation to generation. Brothers, sisters, cousins, in-laws, parents and grandparents all work together on a daily basis.

The average layperson might think that these jewelry families would be at each other’s throats since they’re around each other so often. But we’ve found that most in jewelry retail say they not only work well with family members, they enjoy it.

That’s why we thought it would be fun (and instructive) to do a photo essay on jewelry retailers who work with family members. Now, the story is not exhaustive by any means! After all, since you’re reading this, there’s a decent chance that you work with at least one relative yourself. But in reading about other families who work together in a small business like your own, we hope you’ll see yourself in them — and hopefully pick up some tips to improve relations in your own store along the way.

Being part of a family isn’t always easy. But being part of a family that also works together can be especially stressful — although many of you make it look easy. We hope your family has a fabulous holiday season, and we’ll see you on the other side of the new year!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

 

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

1. Launch three new Pinterest pages: Last-minute gift ideas for her; Last-minute gift ideas for him; Gift ideas under $100. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
2. Post photos of two best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook each day, one when you open and the other around 3 p.m. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
3. Limit the number of pieces that can be presented to a customer to between one and three pieces of jewelry or watches at a time, and post signage of this policy. (Ask INSTORE, p. 52)
4. Add one or two new descriptive words to your sales presentation, and then add more as you become comfortable with them. (Ask INSTORE, p. 54)
5. Always include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your social media posts. (Maccaroni, p. 53)

Continue Reading

Most Popular