Skip to main content Navigation

Articles and News

Editorial: Transitions |  February 22, 2022 (0 comments)


"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, Of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings." Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872.

Merrick, NY—The jewelry industry is famous for its ability to talk of many things. Though we typically don’t converse with walruses, industry leaders spend a great deal of time flying (or Zooming) around the world to various conferences and panels to try and resolve some of the key issues of our time. 

One key issue that more and more jewelers are facing is that of transition, both in and of their businesses. In 2018, I addressed this issue when I was invited to speak at AGS Conclave in Nashville, TN. My presentation was titled “Too Young to Retire, Too Old To Start Over. What Now?”

How many stories have you read about successful, industry-renowned jewelers either closing shop or transitioning their business and talent to something entirely different? Ellen and Charles LacyKevin and Kathi MainGary ThrappLaura Stanley. Inexplicable as it might seem to some of their peers, all these jewelers made the decision to pivot while they were running a highly successful retail business. 

But that’s when it makes the most sense—not when you’re so over it that you feel like you can barely crawl through another day. It’s better to be Tom Brady than Steve Carlton. The legendary left-handed pitcher was 36 when he led the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series championship--but he still kept playing for far too many seasons after his famous arm lost its power. 

The number of retail jewelry stores continues to slowly decrease but JBT statistics consistently show that very few jewelers go bankrupt. Most simply decide it’s time to either sell or close the store. 

Back to 2018. As Dan Pharr of Pharr Valuations observed at a great Centurion session that year, someday you are going to leave your business. “You’ll either walk out the door or you’ll go out feet first, but go you will,” he said. 

That was long before the Great Resignation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the frustrations of the pandemic are many, there have also been benefits, not least of which is a chance to reassess one’s priorities, something workers at every level of employment are doing.

Something else we’ve learned through this pandemic is that there are many more options than we thought. Just look at how many new business models have emerged. Who would have thought so much could be accomplished from the dining rooms and basements of America? It doesn’t have to be one or the other: we can work and still have time to enjoy our families. We don’t have to define our identities by our careers. And when we feel it’s time, we can carve out a different role for ourselves, both as jewelers and as people.

This brings me to my own career retrospective: it’s time.

My husband and I have always planned to retire early. Of course, nobody ever truly leaves the jewelry industry, so while he is fully retiring from his career in banking, after 36 years as an editor in the trade—over 23 at JCK and over 12 at Centurion—I am going to semi-retire.

Effective March 4, I will start scaling back my role at The Centurion Newsletter while I help publisher Howard Hauben search for and transition to a new editor. I’m still going to be a contributor to the newsletter, doing periodic special reports and industry analyses, as well as helping provide some routine content and filling in during key crunch times, but we are actively searching for a qualified individual to take over my responsibilities of daily editorship. (Potential candidates can contact either Howard Hauben,, or email me at, for more info.)

George Holmes, the legendary JCK editor and mentor who brought me into this business in 1986, once said that an editor has 10 years to shape a publication. Since 2010 I’ve been proud to help build The Centurion into the industry’s premier go-to information source for luxury jewelers, and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have another great mentor in Howard Hauben, my longtime dear friend and most capable publisher.

I’ll still be attending industry events to keep up with trends, find information luxury jewelers need, and, of course, see friends. I’ll still be a member of the 24 Karat Club and the President’s Council of the Diamond Empowerment Fund. I’ll still take on occasional special projects in the industry, and I will continue to support the Centurion team in any way that I can. I’m confident The Centurion Newsletter will continue to grow and thrive and serve the needs of luxury jewelers through whatever changes the market faces in the coming years. 

Top image: Pixabay

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Human Check