The Jewelry District show

The Jewelry District

Summary: A podcast by JCK Magazine and JCKonline about industry news, trends, interviews, weird stories, and more!

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 Episode 24: Guests Sarin Bachmann and Kate Youngstrom | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:24:40

In This EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief 

 Episode 23: Guest Oliver Smith | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:24:02

In This EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview Oliver Smith, owner of Oliver Smith Jeweler in Scottsdale, Ariz. He discusses the changes he’s made to his online presence that have helped his business during COVID-19. You'll also hear that how he recently opened up a new store in Aspen, Colo. Show Notes00:30 Introducing Oliver Smith, owner of Oliver Smith Jeweler06:58 Victoria asks about watches; Rob asks about jewelry11:30 Victoria asks about the Zoom auctions that Oliver has been running15:35 Oliver discusses the chat function he’s implemented on his website17:47 Oliver talks about opening up a new store during COVID-19 Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Katey Clifford and Kathy PasseroPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Introducing Oliver SmithOliver Smith is the owner of Oliver Smith Jeweler based in Scottsdale, Ariz. He’s been in the jewelry business since 1981 and talks about his experience, from his start outside of Philadelphia to California, to opening his store in Arizona. Oliver opened up a second location in Aspen, Colo., over the July 4th weekend. He covers what’s going on in Arizona due to COVID and how they’ve been running their store despite the back and forth on reopenings in the state. Watches, Jewelry and "Cars and Cigars"Victoria asks Oliver about his start in watches, the survival of the Swiss watch, and its impact on his business. Oliver expresses his love for the aesthetics of the jewelry industry and how it keeps him going. He recounts a heartwarming story about the origins of “Cars and Cigars,” which originally started as one client coming to pick up jewelry one Sunday before Christmas, and has evolved into a shopping event where his clients come around on the last Sunday before every Christmas to shop, talk cars, and of course, have a cigar. Making the Most of Zoom AuctionsOliver explains how he uses Zoom to interact with his clients and sell jewelry. In order to keep his business booming during this time, he sends out an auction invite to all of his clients, and they join him for a live auction over Zoom. He’s been using this platform to sell jewelry that he wasn’t selling otherwise, and now this has become a regular way for him to sell jewelry. You’ll also hear him give advice about how he does it and what he’d do differently in doing it again. Keeping Your Clients EngagedPodium offers a chat function that retailers can add to their website so clients can ask questions and get fast answers even when you aren’t in-store. Oliver explains how he has implemented this function on his site and uses one of his employees, Ryan, to man the chat. This allows him to complete transactions with people he never would have been able to otherwise. Opening a New StoreDespite the difficult times most everyone has been facing during the pandemic, Oliver continued on with his plans to open up a second location.

 The Jewelry District, Episode 22: The Industry Copes With COVID-19 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:20:21

In This EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) discussing this summer’s retail landscape as some states ease their COVID-19 restrictions. Show Notes00:50 Rob discusses statistics on the retail landscape.05:47 With an increase of COVID cases in some states, Rob wonders how long places can stay open.08:38 Victoria discusses some recent digital innovations in the watch industry.13:33 Rob and Victoria hope businesses maintain online aspects post–COVID-1917:05 Rob and Victoria wrap up by discussing some business's resistance to moving online. Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Katey Clifford and Kathy PasseroPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Retail Sales on the RiseRob talks about retail sales going up—the biggest one-month rebound in history. Forty million people lost their jobs—but personal income is up because of things like the stimulus check, unemployment, etc. What will happen when government-finance purchasing power ends? Wealthy consumer spending has gone down. More than 20% of luxury jewelry revenue comes from travel. Opening Up AmericaRob talks about how differently openings across America are happening. With an increase in COVID-19 cases, how long will reopenings last? Victoria emphasizes the importance of having an online presence and working e-commerce. Rob and Victoria discuss the importance of customers wearing masks. Digital InnovationVictoria talks about growing digital innovations. While some watch sites have launched e-commerce lately, there has been resistance to do so in the luxury market. Buyers still want to hold onto that touch-and-feel experience that you simply cannot get online. Victoria also mentions one of the recent innovations in the watch world—an augmented reality filter allowing for holographic viewing of a watch on your wrist. Victoria tells a story about a Zoom happy hour with clients. A New NormalVictoria hopes to maintain some of these online aspects once we all go back to normal. Nonetheless, people still love hearing from another person when they’re making large purchases, so a combination of an online and in-person presence works best. Resistance to ChangeThere is still resistance from businesses with regard to moving online. Victoria and Rob talk about Patek Philippe selling online for the first time ever—which they soon stopped in April, just a month after starting. While wrapping up, Rob expresses that he is hopeful for the future—as independent retailers are the backbone of communities across America and JCK.

 The Jewelry District, Episode 21: Guest David Kellie | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:23:16

In This EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview guest David Kellie, chief executive officer of the Natural Diamond Council (previously the Diamond Producers Association). David discusses the company's rebranding, his thoughts on the lab-grown diamond industry, and diversity in the industry. Show Notes00:52 Rob and Victoria introduce David Kellie, CEO of the Natural Diamond Council05:54 David discusses the rebranding of Diamond Producers Association to the Natural Diamond Council10:27 Victoria asks about stores reopening, and Rob asks about weddings, engagements, and lab-grown diamonds14:43 Rob asks about opportunities in the diamond industry, and Victoria asks about the Jeweler Support Network18:08 Rob asks about the logistics of Natural Diamond Council’s upcoming campaigns20:58 Victoria asks about the Natural Diamond Council's new website, and Rob asks about diversity in the industry Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Katey Clifford and Kathy PasseroPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Introducing David KellieRob and Victoria introduce their guest David Kellie, CEO of the Natural Diamond Council. David was previously with Watches of Switzerland Group and helped with its marketing and communications. Before that he was with the Ralph Lauren Corp. for 15 years, which helped him transition to his career in the luxury sector. Rob asks David about the difference in how outsiders see the diamond industry versus how it is on the inside. David says he wants to downgrade the challenges in the diamond industry—and that there are great opportunities ahead. Rebranding to Natural Diamond CouncilDavid tells Rob that the Natural Diamond Council will do its best to fill the void in marketing and advertising that has existed for the past 10 years. Victoria asks about the company name change, and David says with an audience that consists mostly of millennials who get all of their information online, more time and money needs to be invested there. David says he wants to build strong digital platforms around the world. Engagements, Weddings, and Lab-Grown DiamondsDespite all of the store closings in the last few months due to COVID-19, David feels consumers will return to stores once they feel safe to do so. Rob asks about engagements and weddings, and David explains how he feels about the rest of this year. When Rob asks about lab-grown diamonds, David says lab-growns will have a place in the market in the future, but it will remain small compared to natural diamonds. He’s ready to promote anything that is exciting in the industry. Millennial AudiencesRob asks David where big opportunities are, and what we are underserving as an industry. David says everyone has not been the best at digital—which effects the millennial audience. David believes that it will be all about connections, relationships, friendships, and celebration coming out of this pandemic, as well as reminding consumers about diamonds in the context of all of those occasions.

 The Jewelry District, Episode 20: Guest Kate Peterson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:23:44

In this EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview guest Kate Peterson, president and CEO of Performance Concepts. They'll discuss stores reopening around the country, changes in consumer behavior, and educational resources to help your business come out of this crisis prepared. Show Notes00:25 Introduction of Kate Peterson, president and CEO of Performance Concepts.03:08 Rob asks Kate what she’s hearing about reopenings around the country.09:10 Kate explains what companies have to do when reopening.14:20 Kate discusses employee-employer relations.17:40 Kate explains the best way for people to educate themselves during this time. Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Katey Clifford and Kathy PasseroPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Introducing Kate PetersonKate Peterson is president and CEO of Performance Concepts and is based in an old stomping ground of Victoria’s—Montgomery Village, Md. The state of Maryland has begun to reopen, but the area immediately surrounding Washington, D.C., is still closed. Kate started out in the jewelry industry working in a store at just 16. She was director of training at the original Kay Jewelers in Alexandria, Va., and training director of Sterling, as well as vice president of training for Littman Jewelers. This was all before she decided to branch off on her own with a business partner in the late 1990s to create Performance Concepts. Now they work with trade organizations; design training programs for retailers; and work with retailers directly to provide training services, organizational design, management development, and general consulting. Changing Consumer BehaviorRob asks Kate what they’re hearing as far as reopening and sales, and Kate says she sees no real consistency across the country. She is, however, seeing some pent-up demand as stores reopen—but that seems to fizzle out after a week. Those who are most successful are those who have put time in over the last two months figuring out what they had to do differently. You’ll hear Kate talk about the biggest changes in consumer behavior and how to prepare for dealing with those changes. Handling the ReopeningRob asks Kate how most people are handling the reopenings, and Kate emphasizes that no matter what companies do they must be consistent. Companies must take a stand on their procedures and stick to them—for instance, if they're requiring people wear a mask. Another helpful hint is to tell people what you can do, not what you can’t—and to think of ways you can present yourself positively to your customers. Employee-Employer RelationsThere are restrictions across the country about how many people are allowed to be in a store at one time—and that includes yourself, your employees, and customers. With such limitations, it’s possible not all of your employees can return to business as usual. Kate suggests if you’re paying your employee to stay at home, you can tell them to volunteer their time toward their community,

 The Jewelry District, Episode 19: Guest Bruce Cleaver | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:27:21

In This EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) conduct their first intercontinental podcast as they interview Bruce Cleaver, chief executive officer of the De Beers Group. You’ll hear them discuss what's going on in the diamond industry, including production, supply and demand, and sustainability. Show Notes00:30 Introduction of Bruce Cleaver, CEO of the De Beers Group03:55 Rob asks how the diamond industry is doing in the face of COVID-1909:54 Rob asks what we can expect regarding production this year, and Bruce recaps the enormous relief efforts De Beers has provided to countries of mining communities15:41 Rob asks about supply and demand19:17 Vic asks about Lightbox and how stores in the United States can begin to reopen22:51 Rob asks about new sustainability projects such as Tracr and reducing carbon footprint Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Katey Clifford and Kathy PasseroPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Bruce Cleaver, CEO of the De Beers GroupBruce Cleaver has been with De Beers since 2005. He has been a board director since 2008 and CEO since 2016. He was born in South Africa, but now lives just outside of London, making him the first intercontinental guest The Jewelry District has seen, as Rob and Victoria chat from the United States. Bruce explains his background and how he came into the diamond mining industry. Diamond Sales During COVID-19Rob asks if diamonds are being sold despite the global affects COVID-19 has had on all industries—and Bruce says yes. China has bounced back well, and sales are improving. The rest of the world hasn’t seen as high of a demand, however. You’ll also hear Rob ask about how business is doing on a wholesale level rather than just retail. The diamond industry is a global, interconnected one, and where there is demand, De Beers is determined to service it. Diamond Production and COVID-19 ReliefYou’ll hear Rob ask what we can expect regarding production this year. Bruce says that all of the mines are in slightly different places, and the company wants to start things back up when the time comes in the safest way possible. In better news—De Beers has made significant contribution to COVID-19 relief across South Africa and Canada. It's working to keep mines open and working with governments to step up health care, set countries up with top of the line testing, and other health supplies such as thermometers and food donations. It has also donated $200,000 through UN Women for gender-based violence relief. Supply and DemandYou’ll hear Bruce talk about supply and demand in the diamond industry, including how last year we saw production peak, so we’re likely to see less production toward the end of the crisis than there was before it began. De Beers spent $170 million in advertising last year, and it's committed to driving demand. Coming Out of the Crisis and Lab-Grown DiamondsVictoria asks Bruce about Lightbox and the demand for lab-grown diamonds,

 The Jewelry District, Episode 18: Guest Rhett Outten | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:22:13

In this EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victor...

 The Jewelry District, Episode 17: Guest Abe Sherman | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:29:47

In this EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview Abe Sherman, founder and CEO of the Buyers Intelligence Group. You’ll hear Abe talk about why it is so important for jewelry retailers to carefully manage their inventory and balance sheets during the COVID-19 crisis. Show Notes 00:30 Introduction of Abe Sherman3:24 Rob asks Abe if there is anything he knows now that he wishes he knew earlier7:44 Victoria asks how our current situation is impacted by the COVID-19 crisis12:28 Rob asks about operational cost cuts, Victoria asks about what Abe says to suppliers, Rob asks about reserve funds21:03 They discuss what will happen post-COVID-19, what jewelry will be popular, how to best advertise, and getting your online presence in order Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Katey Clifford and Kathy PasseroPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Abe Sherman, Founder and CEO of Buyers Intelligence GroupAbe started working for his father at their family jewelry store in 1968, when he was just 10 years old. Over his years in the jewelry industry, he has become quite the expert. His company, Buyers Intelligence Group, started as a buying group, and now they do financial and inventory benchmarking. Abe explains that his company helps jewelers take the numbers from the income statement of their balance sheet and explains how to use those numbers to help their businesses. The Jewelry Business Is Tough. The Family Jewelry Business Is TougherRob asks Abe if there’s anything that he knows now that he wishes he knew when he was first starting out. Abe gives a bit of background on his family business. Inventory planning, inventory management, marketing, and positioning were all things they didn’t completely understand back in the '60s and '70s, but are more important now than ever—especially with the internet connecting us all globally. Additionally, Abe argues the jewelry industry operates different than any other—and this added complication is something he helps companies to work through. Looking Ahead to a Post-COVID-19 WorldVictoria asks Abe how our current situation is impacted by the pandemic. Abe says that going forward, cash flow is going to be a challenge. Jewelry doesn’t have an expiration date like other industries, like food or car industries—so jewelers tend to hold on to their inventory. Abe stresses and explains how re-merchandising can be the answer to some problems people are having with getting older and nonperforming inventory out the door—and how this could help get cash back into the pockets of jewelers. What to Do on the Operational Side?Everyone is trying to figure out how to get out on the other side of this crisis in the best position they can. Abe suggests starting by visiting your  CPA to study your reports line by line for every expense that comes into the company.

 The Jewelry District, Episode 16: Guest Sherry Smith | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:29:40

In this EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates interview Sherry Smith, director of business development at The Edge Retail Academy, sister company to The Edge. Sherry gives tips and guidance for jewelry retailers on how to navigate owning a retail business during COVID-19. Episode Credits Hosts: Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) and Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/)Editor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Natalie ChometPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap00:30 Rob and Victoria introduce guest Sherry Smith03:18 Rob asks what her clients have been asking most these past few weeks10:30 Victoria asks what is the best course of action regarding employees13:21 Rob asks about what retailer’s online and social media presence should look like15:05 Rob and Sherry discuss the dangers of operating a business during this time23:18 Victoria asks what our retail world will look like on the other side of this crisis Show Recap Sherry Smith, Director of Business DevelopmentRob and Victoria introduce their guest Sherry Smith, director of business development for The Edge Retail Academy. She mentors around 200 companies about best retail practices, and she has received an increased volume of retailers who need help navigating their businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Before joining The Edge Retail Academy, Sherry owned and operated a jewelry retail store and has hands-on experience running a store during both steady economic times and periods of recession. What Should Companies Do Right Now?Rob asks Sherry what the most common questions she has received from the companies she mentors are—and Sherry tells us she gets a lot of questions about what retailers should do with their employees and their bills. There is a little bit of nervousness during this time, and people are unsure of how to proceed. Victoria then asks what the most important things retailers should do right now, and Sherry weighs in about the best ways companies can be proactive. What to Do About Your Employees?Sherry reports that a minority of retailers have their employees on paid leave. That means many are either being laid off or furloughed—but being laid off means that employees can apply for unemployment benefits. Sherry reminds us that retailers must look at where they want to be on the other side of this crisis and at what actions can be taken to get them there. Your Online and Social Presence MattersOnline presence always matters, whether it be on social media or a retailer’s website—but it matters now more than ever since face-to-face communications have slowed across the country. Sherry gives recommendations about how to keep up with your customer base during this time in a way that is authentic and helpful to your customers. Security RisksMany jewelers are conducting business out of their homes, and some are even going into their stores to keep up with business as best they can. There are security concerns with bringing jewelry home, as that could make jewelers' homes a target for crime.

 The Jewelry District, Episode 15: Interview with Ruediger Albers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:22:26

Note: This episode was taped on March 2, and does not reflect the latest news regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). In this EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview Ruediger Albers, watch expert and president of Wempe Jewelers. You’ll hear Victoria and Rob chat with Rudy about watches, retail, and what’s going on with the spring watch shows. Show Notes 00:50 Introduction of Rudy Albers05:59 Rob asks about the viability of multibrand stores. Victoria asks about trends10:53 Rob asks what the fascination with watches is16:24 Cancellation of spring watch shows, including Baselworld19:32 Wempe’s jewelry and celebrity clientele Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Natalie ChometPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Ruediger Albers, President of Wempe WatchesRudy is the president of Wempe Jewelers and has been a member of the Wempe staff for 32 years. The son of a German watchmaker, Rudy followed in his father’s footsteps, working at his father's shop before becoming a master watchmaker for Wempe. Are Multibrand Stores Viable?Rob talks to Rudy about the viability of multibrand stores. Wempe Jewelers expanded their Fifth Aveune location in 2016, and they hold 20 of the finest brands. Rob wonders if watches appeal to millennial buyers, and, apparently, they’re an acquired taste. Many people have smartwatches now, which aren’t as big a seller at Wempe as some of its others, but Rudy believes both traditional and smartwatches can coexist peacefully in the same market. Trendy Watches and High DemandThere are certain watch brands that are in incredibly high demand. Two of which are Rolex and Patek Philippe. Rudy jokes that a reason his hair is going gray is because people come in  and ask to purchase a watch and don't realize there are incredibly long wait lists for some of the popular styles. The demand for watches is huge—but that also means some people are going to have competing prices, and others are going to attempt to create counterfeits. Show CancellationsBaselworld is one of the biggest shows to have been canceled this year. (It's been rescheduled for January 2021.) Rudy has been going for 32 years, and this will be the first one he’s missed. Watches & Wonders Geneva has also been canceled for this year. For Rudy, there’s nothing quite like going to the shows in person and getting to see and feel watches up close—so these events will surely be missed. Wempe Jewelers, Beyond the WatchesWempe Jewelers is, of course, known for selling watches, but it's more than just that. Wempe also sells jewelry. Recently, Mariah Carey performed“ All I Want For Christmas Is You” for her 25th-anniversary event and wore a $500,000 necklace from Wempe. You’ll also hear Rudy tell a few stories of other celebrity clientele, including Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro. (Image courtesy of Wempe Jewelers)

 The Jewelry District, Episode 14: Coronavirus, Spiking Gold Prices, and Fashion Week | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:15:18

Note: This episode was taped on March 2, and does not reflect the latest news regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). In This Episode In this episode of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk about the visible effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their hometowns in New York and California and what effects it continues to have on the jewelry industry at large. You’ll also hear them talk about how the international scene has affected gold prices and what’s trendy at fashion week. Rob and Victoria wrap up with a Weird Story of the Week.   Show Notes 00:30 Rob and Victoria discuss the effects of COVID-19 08:55 Rob brings up how we’re seeing a spike in gold prices 10:33 Victoria discusses the trends we’ve been seeing throughout fashion week 12:03 Weird Story of the Week   Episode Credits Hosts: Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) and Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) Editor: Olivia Briley Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet Plugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/)   Show Recap Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands In early March, everyone was beginning to grow a little fearful of COVID-19, colloquially known as coronavirus. Rob has noticed an increase of people with face masks walking around and an abundance of Purell in the office. COVID-19 has caused the cancellations of both Baselworld and SIHH—and you'll hear what that could mean for those shows in the future. Gold Prices Spike COVID-19 isn’t the only international event that’s having an effect on the jewelry industry. New hostilities in the Middle East are causing the price of gold to spike at $1,600. In 2018, the average price for the year was just below $1,300—and this year people are predicting the average will be at $1,500. Hear what that means for people who own a bit of gold! Trends of Fashion Week Fashion week pushed on regardless of coronavirus-induced panic. Victoria notes the trendiest things to hit the runway were pearls, fringe, feathers, and solid gold links. If you’re not at fashion week—what can you do? Stay home and support your local businesses! Weird Story of the Week: Toilet Edition Rob tells another Weird Story of the Week—and this one’s a trip. A Dubai, United Arab Emirates, museum and art gallery has revealed a diamond-encrusted toilet, introduced by Coronet, an Aaron Shum jewelry brand. With 4,815 diamonds (334 cts. t.w.) valued at $1.28 million, it could make anyone’s trip to the restroom sparkle. The jeweled throne even set a Guinness World Record for the greatest number of diamonds set on a toilet bowl.

 Episode 13: John J. Kennedy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:21:19

In This EpisodeIn this episode of The Jewelry District, you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview John J. Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, otherwise known as JSA. Kennedy, with his background in criminal law, crime prevention, and law enforcement, talks about how JSA works to prevent jewelry crime. You’ll hear about what goes on in the minds of criminals, whether guns are a good preventative measure, and what mistakes jewelers often make that could jeopardize the safety of their company. Show Notes 00:30 Victoria and Rob introduce their guest John J. Kennedy04:47 Rob asks about the founding and mission of JSA09:50 How jewelry crime happens12:37 Discussion of different types of crime, including cybercrime15:18 Rob asks Kennedy his opinion of jewelers having guns in their stores18:01 Rob asks about security mistakes jewelers make and preventative measures they can take Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Natalie ChometPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com/), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap John Kennedy, The Man Behind JSARob and Victoria introduce their guest, John Kennedy. He is the president of JSA, and he’s been in that role for the past 28 years. Kennedy has an extensive legal background, serving at different points of his career as an attorney, the assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, and the chairman of the New York City Department of Criminal Justice. All of these skills have prepared him for working alongside his team at JSA to prevent jewelry crime, and you’ll hear about his daily workflow that helps to make the industry safer. The Jewelers' Security Alliance Founding and FunctionThe JSA is nearly as old as JCK. Since it was founded in 1883, it has only had four full-time presidents, including Kennedy. That’s some serious dedication. During nearly a century and a half, Kennedy says the mission has not changed—it's focused on preventing crime in the jewelry industry. You’ll hear Kennedy talk about why he’s so dedicated to the position, and why the association is so valuable—especially when zero jewelers were killed during the commission of a crime last year, which is a first since record keeping began in the early '80s. How Does Crime Happen?Kennedy has accumulated much knowledge on jewelry-related crime. You’ll hear how crime is organized by gangs, who is helping these people, and the ways in which criminals follow jewelry trends to make themselves aware of what’s hot—for the taking. All Kinds of CrimeCybercrime isn’t something that JSA focuses on in the way one might think. The cybercrime that JSA is involved with is performed with some human contact, through phone and emails. You’ll hear how criminals build up relationships and establish social connections with jewelers before committing fraud. And those outside of the industry aren’t the only ones committing crimes. Some jewelers get themselves wrapped up in fraudulent ways as well. Insurance—More Valuable Than Guns?

 Episode 12: The Oscars, Tucson Gem Shows, and De Grisogono | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:22:17

In this EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District, you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) discuss all the noteworthy jewelry seen at this year's Oscars. You’ll also hear them talk about Victoria’s trip to the Tucson gem shows and the focus on sustainability practices there. Rob gives us the rundown on all things involving the bankruptcy of de Grisogono USA and then lightens the mood with a Domino’s-themed Weird Story of the Week. Show Notes00:30 Victoria gives the scoop on the Oscars and jewelry07:53 Victoria talks about her trip to the Tucson gem shows and sustainability practices15:13 Rob discusses the bankruptcy of fine jeweler de Grisogono19:00 Weird Story of the Week Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Natalie ChometPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap White Diamonds at the OscarsVictoria arrived home from the Tucson gem shows just in time for the Oscars. This year, as in recent years past, colored gemstones took a backseat while white diamonds stole the spotlight. There were big stars in big diamonds, as large statement pieces were a common theme. Hear Rob talk about how important product placement is in shows like these. Tucson Gem Shows and Sustainability Victoria talks about her stay in Arizona for February's Tucson gem shows. You’ll hear what the mood of the shows were and whether the recent outbreak of the coronavirus had any effect on attendance. You’ll also hear Rob and Victoria talk about the continued importance of sustainability in the jewelry industry. De Grisogono: Leaked Files and BankruptcyFine jeweler de Grisogono was recently in hot water over the case of some leaked files connected to stakeholder Isabel dos Santos. De Grisogono USA has now declared bankruptcy following the bankruptcy of their Swiss division—and dos Santos, along with husband Sindika Dokolo, now face criminal charges. Hear what Rob and Victoria think of the details leading up to the downfall of de Grisogono USA and what consumers should consider when choosing the companies they engage with. Weird Story of the Week: A Conversation “Pizza”Rob tells us a new Weird Story of the Week, and this time it’s all about pizza! Domino’s Australia is holding a contest—just submit a video of how you’d use Domino’s in your engagement to your beloved. Rob reveals the prize: Not only will Domino’s bring your engagement plan to life, and cater your wedding with pizza, but you’ll also win an 18k pizza-shape ring worth more than $9,000, featuring ruby pepperoni and diamond cheese.

 Episode 11: Guests Hayley Henning and Erik Jens | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:41:35

In this Episode In this edition of “The Jewelry District,” you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/victoria-gomelsky/) and news director Rob Bates (https://www.jckonline.com/writer/rob-bates/) interview a couple for the first time. Hayley Henning, who is an expert in colored gems and is also vice president of sales and marketing at Greenland Ruby, and husband Erik Jens, an expert in diamond industry financing and a strategic partner for companies in the luxury industry, talk about their respective companies, climate change, and JCK Tucson. Show Notes00:31 Rob and Victoria introduce Hayley Henning and Erik Jens11:20 Henning discusses Greenland Ruby15:04 Jens compares the colored gem industry to the diamond industry17:38 Rob and Victoria ask Henning about Greenland and climate change24:56 All things JCK Tucson26:23 Rob asks Jens about his background at ABN AMRO31:13 Rob asks Jens what he sees as the biggest problems in the industry Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Levi SharpeProducer and engineer: Natalie ChometPlugs: jckonline.com (https://www.jckonline.com), @jckmagazine (https://www.instagram.com/jckmagazine/) Show Recap Introducing the Power DuoRob and Victoria introduce their guests Hayley Henning and Erik Jens, a couple in the jewelry industry who have been married for three years. You’ll hear the story of how they met at a conference in Moscow and became industry friends, which soon turned to more. Since they met at a conference, they also discuss conferences in general. They question whether conferences really add value and make a difference at all in the face of things such as sustainability. Colored Gemstones Are a Diamond’s Best FriendHenning talks about her experience in the colored stone world. You’ll hear all about Greenland Ruby, where she is the vice president of sales and marketing. She’s fascinated by the originality of the location of gemstones and the process by which these stones go from Greenland to the market. She makes sure to not leave her diamond-industry expert husband out of the mix, as she notes how colored gemstones really are a diamond’s best friend. Jens expands on this. Climate Change and Greenland, the Untapped ResourceRob asks Henning about the independent and autonomous country of Greenland. What Henning finds so interesting about Greenland is the fact that it sits atop one of the world's biggest and richest mineral deposits. It’s an untapped resource that has been under ice and snow for millions, if not billions, of years. Rob also asks about climate change and what that means for the Arctic region. The Pink Polar Bear Piñata PartyVictoria is excited for JCK Tucson and asks the couple if they’ll be making an appearance. Henning and Jens say yes—as they will be hosting the Pink Polar Bear Piñata Party (say that three times fast!). The Pink Polar Bear is a foundation, not for polar bear research, as the title may suggest, but for international polar research, to help all species affected by climate change. Erik Jens: Finance Extraordinaire Jens talks about his background in, and passion for, the world of finance. Jens has experience in banking,

 Episode 10: JCK Tucson, the Golden Globes, and Tiffany | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 0:25:34

In This Episode In this edition of “The Jewelry District,” you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief 

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