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‘World’s Oldest’ Pearl to Go on Display for First Time

It was carbon dated to 5,800-5,600 BC, during the Neolithic period.

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THE 8,000-YEAR-OLD “Abu Dhabi Pearl” will be making its world debut on October 30 at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the new UAE outpost of the famous Paris museum. The natural pearl — which is said to be the world’s oldest — will headline a special exhibition called “10,000 Years of Luxury.”

The iridescent gem was carbon dated to 5,800-5,600 BC, during the Neolithic period. It was discovered during excavations at Marawah Island, located 62 miles west of the capital city. Despite being privately owned, the island is rich in archeological sites. In 2004, a 7,500-year-old skeleton was found among the ruins of Neolithic buildings, along with 200 flint tools.

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“The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory,” said Mohamed Al-Muabarak, the chairman of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Archaeologists believe that pearls from the region were held in high esteem and traded for ceramics and other goods with merchants from Mesopotamia.

A spokesperson for the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism noted the Venetian jewel merchant Gasparo Balbi, who traveled through the region, mentioned the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi as a source of pearls in the 16th century.

Natural pearls continued to underpin the economy of the region until the 1930s. The local pearl trade would eventually collapse due to a number of factors, including the advent of cultured pearls and conflicts that disrupted global economies.

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Interestingly, the “Abu Dhabi Pearl” was loaned to the Louvre Abu Dhabi by the Zayed National Museum collection. The Zayed National Museum is scheduled to open in 2020 and is located just 3 km from the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated in November 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron, United Arab Emirates Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, hscohen60@gmail.com. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

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Dave Richardson

Here’s Why Having a Mirror on Your Counter Is So Critical

It’s not just vanity.

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WHY IT IS TRUE: This gives her an opportunity to immediately see how the beautiful piece of jewelry looks on her.

PLAN OF ACTION: Take this opportunity to observe her reaction, ask open-ended questions to reveal her feelings, and move for the close accordingly.

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David Brown

Why You Need to Talk to Your CPA ASAP

A conversation and some planning today can minimize your tax burden tomorrow.

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A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CPA now can help minimize your tax burden later.

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, now is a good time to start thinking about your end-of-year financial results. No one wants to pay tax, and certainly no one wants to pay any more than they must. Tax evasion is a criminal act that will see you finish up in court. Tax minimization, however, is a perfectly legitimate way of keeping your tax to the most you’re required to pay.

Too often businesses wait until the financial year has ended, determine their financial result, then wonder how they can reduce their tax bill. This can be a little like closing the gate after the horse has bolted. Many tax minimization strategies can be implemented before the end of the financial year, and now is a good time to talk to your CPA about some possible approaches.

Much of this strategy can revolve around the expenses you might be planning to claim. Larger investments in assets can often have their cost apportioned over several years, and there can be an advantage, if you are planning to make this investment, in undertaking it before the end of the financial year.

Another aspect to discuss with your CPA is how income is allocated. It’s important to take advantage of different tax rates for owners and partners in a business. Again, this decision sometimes needs to be made before the financial year has ended to avoid making retrospective decisions that may be frowned upon by the IRS.

Before you talk to your CPA, try to have a handle on how your financial year is going, as this will make a difference to what they may recommend. Your accountant will want to know how the year is tracking and what performance you are budgeting on for the last month of the year. Obviously, some constructive estimating, especially around the busy December period, will be needed. Your CPA will then be able to best advise you of what actions will help your financial year-end before the 31st of December.

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Shane Decker

The Most Important Part of Your Sales Presentation Happens After the Sale

Go the extra mile for your client if you want to see them again.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL about a movie that ends poorly? No matter how good it was before then, a weak finish leaves you feeling dissatisfied.

Jewelry presentations are the same way. Clients tend to remember the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds more than the middle of your presentation. And yet, all too often after the purchase is made (or repair taken in), the salesperson turns and walks to the back, allowing the client to leave the store on their own.

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The way out is as important as the way in. We have to treat the client as a guest who is coming into our home for one of the most important events of their lives. Not only that, but the client should feel even more important walking out than they did when they came into the store.

When everything is done, always walk the client to the door. Open the door for them, give them two of your business cards, and ask them to give one to a friend.

Even when you have other clients waiting for you, always walk each one out. Others will see this service and expect the same. Many times as you’re walking the client out, they will stop and look into a case they didn’t look into on the way in. This allows you to start another presentation, put something on a wish list, plant a seed for a later purchase or even put something on layaway.

Selling on the way out is easy. The client is now in a spending mood, and obviously they love you or they wouldn’t have given you their money already. It also allows you to give suggestions about service and other events you have coming up.

Sometimes, the client may have other important things they want to talk about on the way to the door. They’ll start by saying, “By the way…” This allows you to build rapport, get information that allows you to do more effective clienteling, and become even more of a friend.

So make the client feel that your store is the most awesome place to shop. Not just because of the merchandise, but because there is not any other place to shop in their area that compares to the professionalism, politeness and experience that your team delivers.

People get ho-hum service everywhere — but don’t let it happen in your store. It’s up to us to break the cycle. Make the exit even more awesome than the entrance. And remember: Always thank them for coming in!

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