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Last updateThu, 29 Sep 2016 11pm
NAJA offering a unique scholarship opportunity for gemology students

NAJA offering a unique scholarship opportunity for gemology students

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NA...

The partnership that produced a golden egg

The partnership that produced a golden egg

Based on a mutual respect and appreciation for eac...

Overnight’s Retailer Survival Guide for the changing market

Overnight’s Retailer Survival Guide for the changing market

We’ve all seen the statistics on the changing jewe...

Adventure awaits you in Cleveland with Bluestone Trading Co.

Adventure awaits you in Cleveland with Bluestone Trading Co.

Looking for adventure in Cleveland, Ohio? Blueston...

Preferred Jewelers International Network hosts Jewelry Spa Weekend

Preferred Jewelers International Network hosts Jewelry Spa Weekend

Preferred Jewelers International, the prestigious ...

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Woman receives mystery Rolex in the mail

Woman receives mystery Rolex in the mail

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — It came out of the blue, a Bay Area woman gets a Rolex watch in the mail.

The woman, Marie, thought it was strange that she had a package waiting for her at the post office. She said it was from an unknown sender. Then she ope...

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Industry Events

Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

The International School of Gemology (ISG) has announced a field trip to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This is a great opportunity to visit a real diamond mine and share knowledge and fun with ISG Global Network members...

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On The Move

Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

Global Fine Jewels (GFJ), a division of world dia­mond trade leader Jay Gems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Sadowsky as its new President. Sadowsky, a 48-year veteran of the jewelry industry, previously worked as Director of Acquisit...

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What's New

Montesino International Cyber Show to showcase new products

Montesino International reports the last decade has been full of successful, interesting and challenging business as well as the fact that customer spending habits have changed dramatically over the period of 2008 to the present. “As a whole…the indu...

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: What do you expect to be your holiday hot sellers?

Retailer Roundtable: What do you expect to be your holiday hot sellers?

Q:  What do you expect to be your holiday hot sellers?

“Two-stone rings haven’t performed real well for us, despite marketing the whiz out of it. Each holiday season we do very well with bridal. This year I’ve invested in Fire Polish to help increase ...

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Latest News

NAJA offering a unique scholarship opportunity for gemology students

15 HOURS AGO
NAJA offering a unique scholarship opportunity for gemology students

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) is pleased to announce that it will award an ACE© It Appraisal Conference Scholarship to a deserving gemology student. NAJA invites GIA, FGA, FGAA, FGG, FCGmA, RGA students to apply for this scholarship for the 447th Annual ACE© It Winter Educati...

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Woman receives mystery Rolex in the mail

2 DAYS AGO
Woman receives mystery Rolex in the mail

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — It came out of the blue, a Bay Area woman gets a Rolex watch in the mail.

The woman, Marie, thought it was strange that she had a package waiting for her at the post office. She said it was from an unknown sender. Then she opened it up and things got stranger.

Inside, a Rolex ...

Readmore

Preferred Jewelers International Network hosts Jewelry Spa Weekend

15 HOURS AGO
Preferred Jewelers International Network hosts Jewelry Spa Weekend

Preferred Jewelers International, the prestigious network of retail jewelers that offer a Lifetime, Nationwide Warranty program and “Experiences that last a Lifetime™” celebrated the successful promotion of Jewelry Spa Weekend throughout its organization in September.

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Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

15 DAYS AGO
Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

The International School of Gemology (ISG) has announced a field trip to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This is a great opportunity to visit a real diamond mine and share knowledge and fun with ISG Global Network members, and those thinking about joining.

Readmore

Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

9 DAYS AGO
Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

Global Fine Jewels (GFJ), a division of world dia­mond trade leader Jay Gems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Sadowsky as its new President. Sadowsky, a 48-year veteran of the jewelry industry, previously worked as Director of Acquisitions at GBC, Inc., and most recently as Vice Presi...

Readmore

Quality Gold acquires North American Jewelers, Inc.

15 DAYS AGO

(FAIRFIELD, Ohio) - Quality Gold has purchased North American Jewelers, Inc. (NAJ) the Chicago based supplier known for bridal and special occasion diamond jewelry. Along with NAJ, Quality Gold now owns Steckbeck Jewelry PVT LTD (STJPL), its wholly owned subsidiary and manufacturing facility opened i...

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Montesino International Cyber Show to showcase new products

13 HOURS AGO

Montesino International reports the last decade has been full of successful, interesting and challenging business as well as the fact that customer spending habits have changed dramatically over the period of 2008 to the present. “As a whole…the industry has experienced some of the same issues we ha...

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GRS Tools develops innovative ring holding fixture

13 HOURS AGO
GRS Tools develops innovative ring holding fixture

(EMPORIA, Kan.) - GRS Tools is pleased to announce the release of the Alexandre Sidorov Ring Fixture. Sidorov is a world-renowned diamond setter. This luxury set is produced using his exact design specifications and GRS quality manufacturing.

The Alexandre Sidorov Ring Fixture is the result of decades...

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The Gem Gallery - starting a good habit

Sherry Frantz began her retail jewelry business years ago when she rented some space in a boutique. Her fledgling business was directed toward women shoppers and self purchase. So when, years later, she got a call from a local hospital with a request involving women and their health, Sherry listened. The hospital had been approached by an oncology nurse who wondered if they could attract and entice more women to get an annual mammogram with the promise of a pearl. The nurse was familiar with programs offered by jewelers to sell one pearl at a time to grow to a bracelet or necklace. Would women respond to a free pearl every year?

Gem-Sherry-Dec
Sherry Frantz, owner of Roanoke, Virginia-based The Gem Gallery.
Started just one year ago, Pearls of Hope is already a hit at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia. The program, born out of a hospital system wanting to promote their mammography services, has already touched many people.

“When I fist contacted Sherry at The Gem Gallery, I had no idea it would grow so fast,” says Hayden Barnes, senior marketing advisor in charge of strategic development at Carilion. “Sherry and I agreed she would order 10,000 pearls, and she offered to sell them to us at cost to get us started.”  Hayden and her team planned to give one pearl to each woman after getting an annual mammogram at the non-profit hospital’s many local mammography locations. An ad was created and word started to get out.

Sherry did not sell the first order at cost, but instead The Gem Gallery underwrote the cost of the pearls. “My sister-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and recently I lost another family member to breast cancer, so the cause is near and dear to me,” says Frantz who had contacted pearl supplier Tracy Pearl’s owner Rebecca Shemwell about the order. “Rebecca jumped on board immediately and offered to get the first order at a special price.” The 10,000 5mm fresh water pearls were ordered in bags of 100 and delivered to the Gem Gallery who in turn delivered them to the hospital.

Barnes dispersed the bags of 100 to the various mammography sites where the staff bags each pearl in an organza bag imprinted with the hospital’s logo along with a pillow of tulle netting and a card. The card is a reminder of the date to call for the next year’s appointment to be noted when the Pearl of Hope is presented to the patient. When the new year started, Carilion was running low on pearls and ordered another 20,000 pearls from Tracy Pearls.

Gem-interior-Dec
An interior shot of The Gem Gallery in Roanoke, Virginia.
This fall returning patients will receive their second pearl and Carilion hopes a tradition will begin. “We hope that our pearl gift will encourage women to come back to us to get an annual screening every year,” says Barnes.

Tracy Pearl’s Shemwell couldn’t help but wonder what they were doing with all these pearls. “I guess when you only think about your own single mammogram a year, you can’t imagine the thousands of exams done at multiple locations adding up so quickly.” What is really wonderful is that Tracy Pearls has just received a third order from the Gem Gallery for a year’s worth of pearls: 40,000! That is a lot of mammograms! Frantz and Shemwell both take great pride in being involved in such a worthwhile cause for women.

The Gem Gallery today is a much different business than when Frantz started with the space in a boutique 15 years ago. “I did not set out to be a jeweler, but working in first a J E Caldwell store and then for an independent jeweler while going to college gave me the bug.”

After graduating from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA with an electrical engineering degree, she worked in her field for one year and then quit to work in a store in Roanoke for a year before starting her business. While she knew she loved jewelry and the business of selling it, she knew nothing about running a business. With $13,000 to buy showcases, a safe and inventory, she worked 6 days a week for three years. She started out going to the JA New York Jewelry Show and “scoured every booth and bought single pieces based on the design’s merit, spending maybe $3000 on a trip.” The hotel she stayed at in Manhattan was so tiny, “I could not open my suit case on the floor between the bed and the door.”

“I couldn’t afford to make mistakes in the beginning, but I did!”

 

Gem-pearl
The Gem Gallery’s Pearls of Hope program entices women to get an annual mammogram with the offer of a free pearl.
After a year and a half in the boutique, Frantz moved to an office location and then her own space in a shopping center and stayed there for eight years. She has been in her current location for five years. Today The Gem Gallery carries a wide assortment of jewelry and has a full time jeweler, a full time watch maker and a staff of 5 part timers. Frantz has a 3 1/2 year old daughter, so she is trying to work part time six days a week.

One of the best things she thinks she has recently done was to hire a twenty something year old woman who lacked jewelry skills, but makes up for it in on line social networking skills. The store now has a Facebook page and is using Constant Contact and Twitter to reach out to new customers while staying in touch with the existing ones. Frantz feels like this is directing her business into a new era and has seen positive results.

The store is holding their first ever Ladies Night this fall and plans to network with a local plastic surgeon that advertises extensively to the female market. “We are starting to do business a new way and it is very exciting to see results and new sales patterns.”

Something tells us Sherry Frantz is an open minded business woman who is not afraid to try something new.


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