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Industry News: Christies Sells Top Pink; PGI Trains To Sell To Millennials; AGS Speakers Set, More October 22, 2013 (0 comments)


How To Reach Millennial Consumers: PGI USA Launches New Online Training Module

New York, NY—Extensive market research commissioned by Platinum Guild USA since 2010 has identified the attitudinal and behavioral patterns of the Millennial consumer in the bridal jewelry market place.  As a result, PGI has launched a new retail training module, Selling to the Millennial Consumer, to help retailers convert loyal customers this bridal season. 

The program, hosted on, is a comprehensive resource of platinum education designed to give retailers an edge in selling platinum. Training includes testimonials from platinum sales experts about their own experiences and success tips, as well as how to best handle objections. The new module focuses on Millennial-age couples and their mindsets when shopping for bridal jewelry, knowledge that is imperative for platinum salespeople to become fluent in, since the majority of bridal consumers fall into this category. 

“Retailer training is crucial in order for a salesperson to have the correct information to sell platinum,” says David Gardner of David Gardner’s Jewelers in College Station, TX. “There is an increase in our platinum sales every time we have a training, whether in person or online, because our salespeople are armed with the knowledge of platinum’s attributes and the confidence to offer it as the ideal metal for bridal jewelry.  As a jeweler in a college town, we are especially thrilled to take advantage of the new online module that will provide a better understanding of the millennial as our customer.”  

In addition to increasing sales, becoming a platinum sales expert has another advantage; those who complete the new module will be entered for one in five chances to win $250.  The incentive runs through November 15. More information about online training as well as other PGI trade support programs will be presented at PGI USA’s annual trade breakfasts, held on November 8 at Maloney & Porcelli in New York and on November 22 at Patina in Los Angeles.  These breakfasts offer a chance for the platinum industry to learn about PGI’s innovative activities in marketing, public relations, education and sales support that continue to inspire platinum innovation.  Please RSVP to Jillian Moynihan at


Synthetics Now Regularly Appearing Undisclosed In Melee Parcels

Merrick, NY--It was barely 18 months ago that the trade was first alerted to a huge batch of undisclosed synthetic diamonds mixed into a parcel of melee in Belgium. Since then, the problem has not only not been stopped, it's growing. Now, at least two industry watchdog sources, Rapaport and Diamond Intelligence Briefs, report that synthetic diamonds are being mixed into parcels of melee on a somewhat regular basis, especially in parcels coming from Asia.

It's a particular problem for luxury jewelers, Indeed, a panel discussion at Centurion Scottsdale 2013 titled "Dealing With The New Hair-Raising Diamond & Gem Fakes Coming into Your Market," addressed the issue of non-disclosure in both synthetics and treated natural stones. Both are equally harmful to a jeweler's reputation, said panelists.

Rapaport in his recent warning urged all diamond buyers to know their supply chain and insist on the words "natural, untreated diamonds" be included on all invoices. At the Centurion presentation, retailer James Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC, said, "Tell your vendors, ‘We will do random testing,’ because all it takes is one problem, one customer years from now who gets an appraisal when there is a black box available, and it comes back ‘synthetic.' It will be a mess for you. So if a vendor isn’t willing to provide a warranty, get a new vendor!” 


Christie’s Fall Jewelry Auction Tops $46M

New York, NY—The sale of New York Magnificent Jewels at Christie’s realized $46,675,125, selling 75% by lot and 84% by value, according to the auction house. The top lot was a rectangular-cut fancy intense pink VVS1 diamond of 8.77 carats, which sold for $6,325,000 to Moussaieff Jewellers.

Colored diamonds were the prime attention-getters of this auction, said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas & Switzerland. The second-to-top lot also was a colored diamond, a fancy vivid blue rectangular cut, 3.81 cts., that sold for $3,973,000, or $1,042,700 per carat. A 15.88 ct. cushion cut Kashmir sapphire also was among the top 10 lots.

“Colored diamonds kicked off the first major jewelry sale of the season at Christie’s New York. The collections of Diana Dollar Knowles and The Estate of the Honorable Noreen Stonor Drexel performed very well, with some of the finest examples of vintage David Webb jewels.”

Eva Perón’s Argentine Flag Brooch was offered for the second time at Christie’s, after fifteen years, and was acquired by an Argentinean collector for $461,000. The auction house continues its fall sales in Geneva where it will offer “The Orange,” the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world.


In Memoriam: JVC's Amy Greenbaum

New York, NY--Amy Greenbaum, the longtime marketing director of the Jewelers' Vigilance Committee, has died following a lengthy battle with cancer, JCK reports. Cecilia Gardner, president of JVC, said Greenbaum's contributions to the organization are immeasurable, with the success of its annual luncheon and campaign direclty attributable to Greenbaum's efforts.

Memorial donations may be made to Fred's Team, which raises money for research at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, or to the ASPCA, as Greenbaum was a passionate animal lover. 

She is survived by her husband, Neal Kushner.


AGS Announces Conclave 2014 Speaker Lineup

Las Vegas, NV—The American Gem Society recently announced that Magic Johnson will be the opening speaker for the 2014 Conclave, and last week announced the rest of the keynote and featured speaker lineup for the event next spring.

In addition to Johnson, there are three other keynotes:

Other featured notables include Adam Markel, CEO of Peak Potentials, a company that offers business coaching to professionals. Markel will teach “Increasing Sales Through Innovation.” James Spellos will deliver advice on the latest retail technologies with, “Hot Technologies 2014: It’s Mobile, Social & Local.”

Rob Bates, senior editor of JCK, will return as emcee. “We are excited about having him and our entire lineup of speakers,” said Ruth Batson CEO. “Because it is our 80th anniversary, we wanted this to be extraordinary in every sense of the word. With a little help from the talent we’ve picked, we feel confident it will be a success.” 

For more information on Conclave, contact the membership department at 866.805.6500 or email


MJSA ConFab Slated for Nov. 3 at FIT

Attleboro Falls, MA—MJSA will present its second annual MJSA ConFab conference Nov. 3 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. 

Offering a full-day of “profit lessons” for jewelry makers and designers, MJSA ConFab features some of the industry’s top designers, marketers, contractors, and consultants, offering insights to run a successful business. Among the topics and presenters for the 2013 conference:

The day will end with the ConFab Connect, in which attendees will have the chance to speak with the presenters and sponsors face-to-face, and network with each other. The $125 registration fee also includes full access to the ConFab Online Extras, a collection of articles, videos and other resources exclusive to ConFab attendees. For more information or to register, go to or e-mail


Goldsmiths’ Hall Fair Closes To Success 

London, UK—The talents, skills and creativity of British goldsmiths and silversmiths were on display at the recent Goldsmiths’ Fair in London. Attendance was roughly on a par with 2012 and buying remains confident and informed. Buyers come from all over the world, and although the Fair is very much a consumer event, it also attracts trade buyers. The Fair continues to be an excellent hunting ground for engagement rings and indeed a marriage proposal took place in front of designer William Cheshire’s stand. To everyone’s relief it was accepted, to a round of applause.

Silversmith Rebecca Hill was chosen for the ‘Best New Design Award, for the first week of the fair and was presented to HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, who described Rebecca’s work as “elegant, original and fun.” Jewellery duo Shimell and Madden took the Week Two ‘Best New Design Award’ for their debut fine collection ‘Symmetry,’ which combines richly textured 18k gold with prismatic colored gemstones.

The 2014 fair Week One is September 22 to September 28; the fair is closed Monday, September 29, and Week Two is September 30 to October 5.


Swiss Labs Achieve Major Breakthrough in Pearl DNA Fingerprinting and Age Dating   

Basel, SwitzerlandResearchers at the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich ETHZ have successfully extracted oyster DNA from pearls, allowing them to trace and fingerprint pearls from different origins. This is the first report of oyster DNA extraction from a pearl and the researchers' results have been published in the international open-access journal PLoS ONE, and the technology is currently being patented. 

The team was able to recover minute amounts of DNA from a wide range of pearls. The amount was sufficient to identify the mother oyster species of studied pearls. The sampled pearls came from Pinctada maxima, Pinctada margaritifera and Akoya oysters, which are the most important species in the trade of natural and cultured marine pearls. Samples also included Pinctada radiata pearls from the Arabian/Persian Gulf, Pinctada maxima from both Australia and Indonesia and Pinctada margaritifera from Fiji and French Polynesia.

By collaborating with the Institute of Integrative Biology (IBZ) of ETH Zurich, the research team had access to extensive DNA extraction expertise and technology. This two-year research project’s goal was to advance knowledge about pearls and to investigate the possibility of using DNA to carry out geographic origin determination of pearls. An important part of this project was the development of a practically non-destructive technique to extract DNA so as to preserve the commercial value of tested historic and modern pearls. In one sample, 10 mg of drilled sample powder was sufficient to successfully identify the pearl-oyster species based on extracted DNA material. It builds upon another pearl research project, showing that the age of a pearl can be determined. That research was recently published in the international journal Radiocarbon, and further research is currently underway on a larger number of pearl samples of different ages. Combining DNA fingerprinting and age determination will improve traceability in the pearl industry and offer new ways of documenting the provenance of both cultured and natural pearls.

Pearls are drilled in a practically non-destructive manner to extract material that contains oyster DNA

Robert Bridel & Associates Named Official Sale Representative for GLDA Las Vegas

ROCKVILLE, MD, October 16, 2013/ Intergem/GLDA announced today that it has contracted with Robert
Bridel and Robert Bridel & Associates (RB&A) as the “Official Sales” Representative of GLDA Las Vegas”.
“Robert brings extensive experience and relationships to GLDA Las Vegas and we are very happy to have
RB&A conduct our sales of exhibit booths effective immediately”; says Arnold Duke, President of
Intergem/GLDA. “Our goal is to expand GLDA Las Vegas to the next level and we believe with RB&A will
help us to achieve that”

Robert Bridel has served as President of Gordon’s Jewelers, Inc., President & CEO of Barry’s Jewelers, Inc.
(now Samuels Jewelers) and Executive Director & CEO of the American Gem Society. Bridel started Robert
Bridel & Associates in 2002 which managed the Prestige Promenade, a Pavilion in the JCK
Show from 2002 to 2012. “I am very excited to be representing GLDA Las Vegas and look forward to
expanding the number of quality exhibitors and attracting more buyers of fine gems & jewelry”; says Bridel.
“GLDA Las Vegas is perfectly positioned as both a major attraction to fine retailer jewelry buyers and as an
expanded opportunity for jewelry designers and manufacturers seeking to get more high return selling time in
Las Vegas during Jewelry Show Week in Las Vegas”. The GLDA Las Vegas Show will be held at the Mirage
Hotel & Casino May 26-29, 2014. Robert Bridel can be reached at 702-256-2872 or email at







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