Christopher Designs Draws Winner For Original Oil Painting
Las Vegas, NV—Rhonda Jacobson of Cumberland Diamond Exchange, Smyrna, GA, was the lucky winner of an original painting by Christopher Slowinski, founder and owner of New York-based Christopher Designs. The 30 by 30 inch painting, titled “New York State of Mind,” is an homage to lower Manhattan in New York City, depicting a juxtaposition of the old and new. It shows the architectural details of the storied Brooklyn Bridge next to the recently completed One World Trade Center. Slowinski used a painterly technique in pastel shades of yellow, pink and blue.
In response to her win, Rhonda gushed, “In my opinion, when you obtain an original piece of art, you also receive a piece of the artist’s soul, a true treasure. That is the greatest gift of all! I knew Christopher was a talented jewelry designer, but I’m amazed at what a gifted artist he is as well. I can’t wait to hang this gorgeous New York skyline in our store and share the Christopher Designs story with all of our customers that come in.”
Christopher Slowinsky, center, with Rhonda and Mark Jacobson of Cumberland Diamond Exchange.
The drawing—open to all retailers attending the JCK Show who made and kept their appointment with the designer brand—took place June 2 at the Christopher Designs booth. The painting was shipped to Jacobson.
GN Diamond Offers In-Store Training Videos With Shane Decker
Philadelphia, PA—GN Diamond has teamed with renowned industry sales trainer Shane Decker to create useful videos with sales tips geared for storeowners and the entire staff. Clienteling, store floor awareness, and value-added statements are some of the topics Decker covers in the series. He also discusses the importance of wowing the client and having them hold a diamond that is larger than one carat, which more than 90% of buyers have never done.
The videos are featured on a new platform GN recently launched with interactive tools to easily explain the 4 Cs of diamond buying to consumers. This provides a unique buying experience to help jewelers sell more diamonds.
“GN Diamond is passionate about selling diamonds and diamond jewelry,” said Asaf Herskovitz, CEO. “We understand the hurdles our customers go through on a daily basis and are delighted to share these new videos and the new platform. The enthusiasm is easily visible within these videos and our hope is they will bring much success to our retail partners.
The new GN Diamond platform was introduced at the JCK Las Vegas Show. GN reports the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, as jewelers view this as an easy means of explaining the 4Cs, and to view over $70M of diamond inventory with a mark-up of their choice to give customers a mine-to-counter life experience.
Related: GN Diamond To Launch VR Program
The retail salesperson is empowered to use as much of this platform as they desire, dependent upon the age and the interest of the end consumer.
“This tool helps close the gap when the customer negotiates with you,” added Herskovitz. Visit www.gndiamond.com or call 800-724-8810 for more information.
ASHI Debuts Holiday Wishbook And Smaller Brochure Options
New York, NY—ASHI has launched its 32-page 2019 Holiday Wish Book, including exclusive pieces from its Lovebright and I DO Bridal Collections, as well as the latest trends in diamond and gemstone jewelry.
Also available is an eight-page Holiday Gift Book, with bestselling classics and top trends of the year, and a four-page Holiday Treasures flyer with competitively priced pieces.
The 32-page version, above, suitable for direct mail or in-store use, brings together classic styles along with the year’s most popular trends and designs. Jewelers have the option to customize the front, back, and inside covers of the book along with an “About Us” page that makes a personal connection with customers and community and allows retailers to brand their store with the upscale, value driven holiday book. Jewelers also can include other designer jewelry or watch brands they carry, add a print and digital discount e-coupon, and a social media Sweepstakes banner.
The eight-page Holiday Gift Book brochure features best-selling classic styles as well as the trendiest looks of the year. Jewelers can customize this with their store logo and information, along with a digital e-coupon at the back.
Lastly, the four-page Holiday Treasureflyer features selected pieces competitively priced to help ASHI retail partners maximize their sales, profits, margins and inventory turns.
Program features include:
Tom Heyman, Others Win MJSA Vision Awards
Attleboro, MA—Tom Heyman of Oscar Heyman Brothers, New York City, was honored recently by MJSA, as one of 14 outstanding jewelry designers taking prizes in its 2019 Vision Awards competition. The Vision Awards are an annual event celebrating creativity, craftsmanship, and technological prowess in jewelry making. The competition is open to both long-term and recent professionals, as well as jewelry students, in several categories.
Heyman was awarded first place in Custom Design Distinction for his “Seven Heirs Suite.” Composed of platinum and 18k gold with multiple gems, jackets, and ornaments, the convertible collection was commissioned with the intent that the pieces would eventually be split among the client’s heirs. Built around four white diamonds, a fancy intense yellow diamond, a sapphire, and a pink sapphire, the collection can become a necklace with two front pieces, two rings, a pendant, and a brooch. All of the parts were made in the designer’s New York City workshop, as were the custom screwdrivers required for assembly.
The full lineup of 2019 Vision Award winners are:
Distinctions were awarded in several categories: laser, custom design, responsible practices and, new this year, enamel.
The Vision Awards also include students, something relatively few industry competitions do. The student category, called Future of the Industry, honored the following:
Winners received cash awards, gift certificates for tools and supplies and, for the students, scholarship funds. Winners will be profiled in the August issue of MJSA Journal and winning entries will be on display at the 2020 MJSA Expo at the Javits Center in New York City.
Awards sponsors were Century Casting, LaserStar Technologies, Rio Grande, Richline Group/LeachGarner, the MJSA Education Foundation, and InStore, The Retail Jeweler, and Metalsmith magazines. For more information and to view the winning pieces, go to www.MJSA.org.
Gumuchian Celebrates 40 Years of Women Designing Luxury Jewelry for Women
New York, NY--Gumuchian, the women-owned and operated jewelry brand is celebrating 40 years of designing luxury jewelry for women. To celebrate, the brand premiered an array of important new pieces at COUTURE Las Vegas Show.
Featured were a romantic capsule collection of 18k gold hair jewels that includes a diamond-set butterfly barrette. Butterflies are especially significant for marking the company’s 40th anniversary, as they universally symbolize metamorphosis, beauty and freedom, say Patricia and Myriam Gumuchian, daughters of company founder Anita Gumuchian. Other pieces Gumuchiandebuted were convertible necklaces and jewels with vivid pops of color.
The Gumuchians’ ancestors were master jewelers and gem dealers, infusing gemological expertise, design ingenuity, and artisanship into brand’s DNA. Gumuchian received the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) Award for Excellence in Design in the 1990’s, and its female-centric staff and mentorship of designers resulted in the WJA Hall of Fame Corporate Award, annually bestowed to companies that demonstrate ongoing, substantial support of women in the jewelry industry. In 2017, Gumuchian received the highly coveted ‘Made in NY’ distinction label, becoming only the second jewelry company in New York to receive this rare distinction. Myriam Gumuchian also is only the second woman to serve as president of the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York since the Club’s founding in 1902.
Gumuchian also creates timely philanthropic jewelry lines: its 18k and diamond “B” collection honors and supports survival of the honeybee, which directly or indirectly pollinates one in every three bites of food consumed in the United States. Gumuchiandonates a share of profits from “B” sales to the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad non-profit research program. The “Tiny Hearts” collection in 18k and diamonds, meanwhile, honors the Babies Heart Fund, which benefits the Pediatric Cardiology Department at New York City’s Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
To mark its four-decade anniversary, Gumuchian will be hosting special events with select retail partners. The kickoff event is a two-week pop-up in the Belle Cose At Home boutique in Jackson Hole, WY, from June 15 - June 30. Each customer who purchases Gumuchian jewelry at this pop-up will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a Gumuchian diamond necklace valued at $1,400.
Jewelers Mutual Policyholders To Vote On $500K In Charity Donations
Neenah, WI—Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group is asking policyholders to help steer its 2019 charitable efforts. The organization has earmarked $500,000 in donations to go to Feeding America, Kids In Need Foundation, and Special Olympics. Each charity will receive a minimum $100,000 donation, with the remaining $200,000 distributed based on the percentage of policyholder votes tallied at the end of 2019.
JM policyholders will be able to vote for one of the three organizations through an online voting platform after they receive or renew their jewelry insurance policy. The three charities were selected based on policyholder and employee surveys and charity rating data.
“Jewelers Mutual is committed to supporting organizations that make a difference in our community and across the nation,” said Scott Murphy, president and CEO. “We are excited to kick off a new way to give back that includes our policyholders. We care about what matters to them, and I’d like to personally thank our policyholders for contributing by submitting votes to help us help people in need.”
In addition to all monetary donations, Jewelers Mutual will donate time through volunteer efforts with each nonprofit organization at a local level. The Neenah-based organization’s employees already took part in the 2019 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin, and in service work with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, with plans to participate in the Kids In Need Foundation throughout 2019.
Jewelers Mutual employees at the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin, above, and in service with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, below.
In 2020, Jewelers Mutual will again identify charities of choice and empower policyholders to help determine the donation recipients. Learn more at www.JewelersMutual.com.
Will You Marry Me? And While You’re At It, Please Pick Up Paper Towels?
Bentonville, AR—Sam’s Club, the membership-based warehouse chain owned by Walmart, has announced it will add engagement rings and eternity bands to its in-house jewelry line. A company announcement and blog post said the firm’s signature “S Collection” will now include bridal jewelry priced from $3,000 to $6,000. Its website calls it “great bling for less cha-ching.”
While picking up an engagement ring along with bulk paper towels and ketchup might not be the most memorable or romantic of shopping experiences, it’s not unique to Sam’s. Costco recently sold a $400,000+ diamond ring, while warehouse club BJ’s also offers bridal jewelry—for much less cha-ching. A quick look on its website turned up engagement rings starting in the low hundreds.
Read more here.