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Industry News: The Biggest Crime Threat To Jewelers; Learning Sessions For New FTC Rules; More August 22, 2018 (0 comments)

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Smash-And-Grab Is Jewelers’ Biggest Crime Threat, Says JSA

New York, NY—Smash-and-grab robberies are the number-one crime threat to retail jewelers, says the Jewelers’ Security Alliance. There have been 15 such incidents nationwide since July 1 of this summer, says JSA. Left: A suspect wanted for an August 9 smash-and-grab in Atlanta, GA wears earbuds to communicate with accomplices outside.

A smash-and-grab is exactly what it sounds like: criminals smash one or more showcases with sledgehammers, grab handfuls of merchandise, and escape in less than a minute. They’re typically done by organized gangs who have the process perfected. JSA offers the following recommendations to guard against smash-and-grab crime:

  1. Do not resist in a smash and grab robbery. In addition to sledgehammers and other dangerous tools, the suspects may be armed with guns.
  2. Showcases with burglary-resistant, laminated glass and special frames can withstand many blows with a hammer and can prevent or reduce large losses. JSA has not seen robbers take retaliatory action when laminated glass is used and robbers are unable to enter a showcase or are able to take only a small amount of merchandise from a small hole. Furthermore, robbers frequently cut themselves on small holes and leave behind valuable DNA evidence from blood.
  3. Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
  4. Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police. Ceiling cameras too often capture useless photos of the top of heads or hats.  
  5. Spreading high end watch and diamond merchandise among several showcases, and not concentrated in one or two showcases, can reduce the dollar crime loss in a smash and grab robbery.
  6. Hiring armed, off-duty police officers in the store is a deterrent to smash and grab robbers.
  7. Keeping a log book of suspicious incidents, and putting aside and saving surveillance video of suspicious incidents, or saving it in the cloud or remotely, can be a great help in subsequent investigations.
  8. Sharing information and photos among local jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.

JSA also warns jewelers to look up for their security as well—two rooftop burglaries have occurred this month, one in Oklahoma and one in Texas. Here are tips to help prevent rooftop entry:

  1. Jewelers should confirm with their alarm company that their alarm set-up will provide protection from entry from the roof, side walls, and all possible points of entry, in addition to doors and windows.
  2. All jewelry premises need adequate line security for their alarm system, and need to test their system from time to time.
  3. Police and jewelers must respond to all alarm signals promptly, and examination of only the ground floor doors and windows is not sufficient. The roof, sidewalls and all possible points of entry must be examined, including through neighboring premises. Rooftop burglars have come through the roof in mall locations as well as in other types of locations, and many jewelry stores have been entered by breaking through sidewalls after gaining entry to an adjacent store from the roof of that adjacent store.
  4. Make sure your firm’s alarm company call list is up-to-date, with adequate responders even during vacation periods, holidays and weekends. Jewelry personnel should never enter the jewelry premises alone in response to an alarm signal, but should await to be accompanied by police.
  5. Do not position a safe on an outside wall or a wall of a neighboring office or store that would allow burglars to break through a wall and penetrate the safe without even entering the jeweler’s premises.
  6. TL-15x6 and TL-30x6 rated safes are not adequate protection from today’s burglars, who can purchase inexpensive cutting devices from Home Depot or Lowe’s that can cut into and penetrate these safes.
  7. Burglars will often remove camera surveillance equipment when leaving the store. It is recommended to have your surveillance images also sent and stored in the cloud or to a remote location in addition to the images saved at the store.
  8. Don’t leave merchandise out at night in showcases. Leaving inexpensive merchandise in showcases encourages break-ins. Even if all merchandise will not fit in a safe, try to lock low-end merchandise away and out of sight. If burglars break through walls and windows, and smash showcases, the damage to the store and possible business interruption can be more costly than the loss of the low-end merchandise. Furthermore, burglars often take enough low-end merchandise that is left out overnight to amount to a significant loss. 
  9. Don't cover showcases when closed with cloth or other material. It is safer when potential burglars case your store to see empty, exposed showcases rather than covered showcases.

Visit JSA’s website for more information on crime against jewelers or to post your own crime information.

 

JVC Offers Webinar Education On New FTC Jewelry Guides

New York, NY—The Jewelers Vigilance Committee is offering a series of webinars to help the jewelry industry better understand the newly revised FTC Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries (aka “Jewelry Guides,”) released July 24 after years of preparation.

“JVC exists to translate legal compliance issues for the trade, there are currently a lot of misconceptions circulating and we want you to have the accurate information. With the release of the new Jewelry Guides, JVC will educate every level of the jewelry supply chain on how these changes actually affect their business,” says the organization.

Related: Revised FTC Guidelines Remove “Natural” From Definition of Diamond

Three webinars will help educate the industry fully understand these important changes and correct misinformation. The first one was held last week, but copies are available by calling JVC at (212) 997-2002. The next two are as follows:

Monday, September 17, from 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm EDT. Registration details can be accessed on JVC’s website here or by calling (212) 997-2002. JVC webinars are free to members. The non-member fee is $25.

Wednesday, October 3, from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT. Key Changes to the FTC Jewelry Guides – a webinar presentation to Jewelers of America members. Details here: www.jewelers.org/ja/events-news/webinars

To recap, here are the top five facts of the new FTC Jewelry Guides:

1. “Diamond” still means diamond. In an advertisement/marketing piece in print or online, the word “diamond” alone still means a natural diamond from the earth.

2. The words “real” “genuine” “natural” “semi-precious” and “precious” can only be used to describe diamonds and colored stones from the earth; these words cannot be used to describe manufactured or artificially produced products.

3. The 10-karat minimum on gold has been eliminated. There is no floor on what can be called “gold” so long as the fineness is disclosed.

4. All rhodium plating must now be disclosed.

5. Although these Guides are not law, they do have to be followed. The Guides are based on the Federal Trade Commission Act-a very real federal law that empowers the FTC to take action against you.  In addition, a consumer or a group of consumers (in a class action) can take action against you for failure to follow the Guides and deceiving consumers, and a competitor can sue you for false or misleading advertising under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.

For more information, call (212) 997-2002 or visit JVC’s website.

 

Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Confirms Lineup of Speakers

Chicago, IL—The second annual Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference will take place October 19 – 20, 2018 at Columbia College in Chicago. The CRJ is an international jewelry industry conference with a mission to further the movement of responsible jewelry, presented in partnership between Susan Wheeler and Ethical Metalsmiths.

Keynote speaker will be Mark Hanna, chief marketing officer, Richline Group (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) and a responsible sourcing industry leader. He believes in an inclusive path to jewelry industry responsibility that focuses on collaboration of effort between both larger corporations and individuals in our field.

“Richline Group’s objective is to share with and learn from others throughout industry, with the goal of increasing transparency and responsible sourcing and ultimately growing consumer confidence in all industry products,” he said. “I’m happy to support initiatives like the CRJ which bring together a community of like-minded industry players eager to make a positive difference.”

Other confirmed speakers/presenters to date include representatives from NGOs such as IMPACT and PactWorld; jewelry industry organizations including GIA, RJC, Fairmined, and FairLux; industry responsible sourcing consultants and resources such as The Dragonfly Initiative and UL, and government representatives from the US Department of State and academics from the University of Delaware’s Minerals, Materials and Society program. Representatives from gemstone companies that focus on responsibly and ethically sourced stones will also be presenting. Gem explorer and responsible sourcing advocate Yianni Melas will close the conference. 

New to this year’s conference will be invited, vetted vendors onsite with responsible gemstones and diamonds for sale to the trade. Click here to register. Early bird registration (before September 1) is $240 for both days; single day passes also are available. For information or to become a sponsor, contact Susan Wheeler, susanwheelerdesign@me.com or (+1 312) 968-6643.

 

CIBJO, Focused On Sustainability, Pays Tribute To Kofi Annan; Launches Metals

Milan, Italy—CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, lauds the late Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations who died August 18 in Switzerland. Annan was 80.

CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri described him as "giant among men, whose legacy will be measured by the millions of people he helped save from abject poverty and hopelessness." The Ghanaian diplomat formulated the UN Millennium Development Goals and established the UN Global Compact, both of which can be credited for lifting millions from poverty. In 2015, after making substantial progress on almost all fronts, they were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals. Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his role in revitalizing the United Nations.

"Kofi Annan's belief was that we have a collective responsibility for the welfare of all humanity, and that our long-term wellbeing will depend on our ability to improve the lives and futures of the world's most downtrodden. It was an understanding that expanded the mission of CIBJO, and I would argue of the jewellery industry in general," said Cavalieri.

In 2006, CIBJO obtained special consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council, committing the jewelry and gem industry to fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals. Also in 2006, CIBJO joined the UN Global Compact, an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies. First proposed by Annan in 1999, it is the world's largest corporate social responsibility initiative.

"For the past 12 years, CIBJO has worked tirelessly to promoting our societal mission and introducing programs that underscore our commitment to serving the welfare of all stakeholders in the global jewelry and gemstone sectors, and especially those living in underdeveloped areas," said Cavalieri. "We, as members of a business community, should be considered by the greater society as being part of the solution. It is a doctrine that largely can be credited to the life and work of Kofi Annan."

Separately, CIBJO has released its Precious Metals Special Report in advance of the 2018 Congress, starting October 15 in

Bogotá, Colombia. Prepared by the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission, headed by Platinum Guild International CEO Huw Daniel, the report examines the influence on the sector by outside forces, whether political, regulatory, or the result of decisions by the International Standards Organisation.

"Unlike diamonds and other gemstones, where prices are almost exclusively a function of supply and demand in the jewelry markets, precious metals are also safe haven assets, and as such are subject to forces that simultaneously are driven by both psychology and economics," writes Daniel. The special report specifically looks at the difficulties encountered in predicting the trajectory of precious metals prices because they tend to be influenced by outside political events, and also outlines changes affecting the sector that appear in the recently released Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

"The process underlined the very valuable role that CIBJO can take as an official observer at ISO, working in concert with leading industry associations," writes Mr. Daniel. "Its position is greatly enhanced because it is seen as being non-partisan, with its primary goal being to defend the interests of consumers."

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Market & Education Commission's special report, click here.

 

WFDB Opens Registration For 2018 World Diamond Congress

Antwerp, Belgium—The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has opened registration for the 2018 World Diamond Congress. The biannual meeting of the WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) will take place in Mumbai, India, from October 23 to 25. The Bharat Diamond Bourse is hosting the 2018 Congress.

WFDB president Ernie Blom said, “We have faced a number of deep-seated changes and challenges this year, so it's vital that the industry come together to discuss them. It will be fascinating to hear members' views on the decision by De Beers to introduce its lab-grown diamond jewelry line, as well as the issues surrounding the revised U.S. FTC Jewelry Guides. There certainly won't be a shortage of topics on the agenda."

Blom also urged attendees to register and book hotel accommodation as soon as possible, via the dedicated website created for the World Diamond Congress by the Bharat Diamond Bourse. Click here to go to the registration page.

 

Jewelry Artist Wallace Chan To Speak at Gem-A Conference 2018

London, UK—Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain) welcomes internationally recognized jewelry artist Wallace Chan as the keynote speaker for its annual two-day Gem-A Conference opening November 3. The event gathers leading gemologists, mining specialists, geologists, jewelry collectors, gemstone cutters, and jewelry historians to London for a range of insightful talks and workshops. 

Gem-A marketing and events manager Elaine Ruddie, FGA DGA, says, “We are delighted to welcome Wallace Chan to London. The Gem-A Conference is a destination for qualified gemologists and gemstone enthusiasts alike, and I know that Mr. Chan’s 45-year career will offer the ideal dose of inspiration to open our first day.”

Other speakers at the Gem-A Conference 2018 will include experts in pearls, gems, and social media. Event highlights include field trips to the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, the V&A and the Natural History Museum, and workshops hosted by Gemworld International and MAGILABS. The opening night will feature a river cruise on the Thames. 

For more information, visit the Gem-A website at gem-a.com/event/conference.

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