05232017Tue
Last updateTue, 16 May 2017 10pm
JCK Vendor/Supplier Roundtable

JCK Vendor/Supplier Roundtable

This month rather than our usual Retailer Roundtab...

GIA’s M2M app helps retailers tell a diamond’s story

GIA’s M2M app helps retailers tell a diamond’s story

As the creator of the 4Cs, GIA (Gemological Instit...

Other News

Southern Jewelers Guild reviews popular industry Facebook groups

Southern Jewelers Guild reviews popular industry Facebook groups

It’s been about 6 months since I first wrote about the industry-only, closed Facebook group named Jewelers Helping Jewelers. In the last 6 months, it has been my pleasure to watch this group continue to flourish, and grow from the 3500 members it had...

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Industry Events

GIA seminars on synthetic diamonds and diamond treatments announced for August Atlanta Jewelry Show

GIA seminars on synthetic diamonds and diamond treatments announced for August Atlanta Jewelry Show

(ATLANTA, Ga.) - For the first time at the Atlanta Jewelry Show, GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) will offer two seminars focused on identifying synthetic diamonds and diamond treatments. The seminars will be offered on Sunday, August 13 dur...

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On The Move

Finalists and judges announced for 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards

Finalists and judges announced for 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards

Rio Grande, the organizer of the Saul Bell Design Awards ( www.saulbellaward.com ), is pleased to announce the finalists of the 17th annual international jewelry-making and hollowware competition, as well as the two panels of experts tasked with judgin...

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What's New

Hoover & Strong introduces certified lab grown diamond selection

Hoover & Strong introduces certified lab grown diamond selection

Hoover & Strong has announced the addition of certified lab grown diamonds to their product selection.

“Hoover & Strong continues to lead the ethical jewelry movement with its newest addition of Harmony Lab Grown Diamonds. We have always felt ...

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Featured Articles

GA jeweler fosters, develops jewelry designing talent

GA jeweler fosters, develops jewelry designing talent

When Douglas Meadows was looking to phase out PANDORA last summer, his bench jeweler with jewelry designing skills and sales prowess stepped in to fill the inventory vacuum with in-house, hand-fabricated mainly sterling silver fashion jewelry. At sim...

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Latest News

Southern Jewelers Guild reviews popular industry Facebook groups

6 DAYS AGO
Southern Jewelers Guild reviews popular industry Facebook groups

It’s been about 6 months since I first wrote about the industry-only, closed Facebook group named Jewelers Helping Jewelers. In the last 6 months, it has been my pleasure to watch this group continue to flourish, and grow from the 3500 members it had when I first wrote about it, to where it stands n...

Readmore

Artist donates paintings to benefit Jewelers for Children

13 DAYS AGO
Artist donates paintings to benefit Jewelers for Children

Noted jewelry designer and artist Reena Ahluwalia has donated two original, museum quality paintings to be auctioned at the Jewelers for Children (JFC) Facets of Hope event in Las Vegas. The paintings, Portal of Empowerment and Brilliance Pink Diamond, show highly nuanced, hyper-realistic diamonds w...

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GIA seminars on synthetic diamonds and diamond treatments announced for August Atlanta Jewelry Show

6 DAYS AGO
GIA seminars on synthetic diamonds and diamond treatments announced for August Atlanta Jewelry Show

(ATLANTA, Ga.) - For the first time at the Atlanta Jewelry Show, GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) will offer two seminars focused on identifying synthetic diamonds and diamond treatments. The seminars will be offered on Sunday, August 13 during the Fall Show, held August 12 - 14, 2017 at th...

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JA to host events and Certification exams at JCK Las Vegas

6 DAYS AGO
JA to host events and Certification exams at JCK Las Vegas

Member-only cocktail party, JA Sales and Management Professional Certification exams included

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, is offering a variety of events, promotions and certification opportunities during La...

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Finalists and judges announced for 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards

13 DAYS AGO
Finalists and judges announced for 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards

Rio Grande, the organizer of the Saul Bell Design Awards ( www.saulbellaward.com ), is pleased to announce the finalists of the 17th annual international jewelry-making and hollowware competition, as well as the two panels of experts tasked with judging the finalists’ work.

Readmore

ASHI Diamonds appoints Al Minor as National Director of Sales

20 DAYS AGO
ASHI Diamonds appoints Al Minor as National Director of Sales

(NEW YORK) - ASHI Diamonds is pleased to announce the appointment of Al Minor as their National Director of Sales. Al’s appointment is part of ASHI’s marketing and expansion strategy that will enable it to better service independent jewelers in the United States.

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Hoover & Strong introduces certified lab grown diamond selection

6 DAYS AGO
Hoover & Strong introduces certified lab grown diamond selection

Hoover & Strong has announced the addition of certified lab grown diamonds to their product selection.

“Hoover & Strong continues to lead the ethical jewelry movement with its newest addition of Harmony Lab Grown Diamonds. We have always felt that lab grown diamonds are the ultimate ethical a...

Readmore

Stuller releases Tools, Equipment, and Metals 2017-2018 catalog

6 DAYS AGO
Stuller releases Tools, Equipment, and Metals 2017-2018 catalog

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Prime manufacturer and global distributor, Stuller has announced the release of its newest tools catalog, Tools, Equipment, and Metals 2017-2018.

“This 600+ page catalog is the resour

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Conducting chaos

For six years my son played the up-right bass in his school’s orchestra. Ms. Lansue, an incredible woman, was his conductor. She never failed to amaze me, as I sat in the audience, watching and listing to 60+ children produce the most wonderful sound. Sometimes they produced more than just a sound; sometimes they electrified the air and caused goose bumps to appear on the arms of those around me.

I have always had a deep seeded admiration for her. The hours of rehearsal, lost sheet music, forgotten resin, broken instruments, sick students must make for some serious craziness. I find it hard to understand the hours, days and weeks of preparation that go into a 1 hour performance.

Then comes the performance – the long awaited heavily prepared for performance – and the spot light is on her. She stands before for the crowd. Her name is forever printed on the program – she is the “one” – the conductor. Her success or failure now depends on the next 60 minutes.

Will it be a success? That answer depends on two things – the students and the audience. WAIT – her success is in the hands of the students and the audience – how is that? How is it that her own success really has nothing to do with her? Now you’re beginning to see why I have such a deep seeded respect for her. What drives a person to an end goal to which the failure or success is still beyond their control?

I am drawn to music because it epitomized the word TEAM. It takes a group of musicians playing their PART exceptionally for a combined pleasing sound. They must enter the song at an exact moment with the correct tempo and strength of sound. They must exit on cue and await their next opportunity to shine. I cannot read or play music, myself, and I still do not know for certain what Ms. Lansue does as a conductor, but I can certainly identify with her.

As a custom jewelry designer I am the conductor of a team that drives for that one grand moment when we deliver that long awaited, imagined piece of jewelry that a client has chosen us to produce. As the conductor I will interface with the client. It is my name clearly and permanently printed on the door. I will do all the stone work and appraisal work, but most importantly I will assure that each of my teammates play their part flawlessly (or at least that is what the client will think).

To take a piece of jewelry from imagination to a finished piece involves several experts doing their part perfectly. As the conductor I have attempted to find the best of the best to be part of my orchestra. I have hunted the best wax carver and or CAD/CAM designers, the best casters, the best jeweler, the best bead stringers, the best photographers, the best packaging and I always stand accountable to doing my best gemological work possible and most importantly it is my responsibility to listen and work with the client to set the correct expectations.

Just like Ms. Lansue, I will suffer the excuses. I will suffer the excuses the exceptionally talented computer person will give for the CAD design not accommodating the characteristics and capabilities of the metal and gemstone requirements. I will suffer equipment failures of the casting firm and the mood swings of a gifted and creative jeweler. I will endure the hours of selection, arrangement, and stringing that the stringer requires. I will tolerate the perfection of the photographer that requires perfection when working with a dynamic subject such as gemstones. I will stress over the appropriate packaging that will enhance the grand presentation without distracting from the piece, and I will work diligently to assure that the paperwork is in order to ensure the wearer of the piece can wear it confidently, knowing that it is protected by the appropriate documentation and insurance.

Although there are several similarities to the job that Ms. Lansue and I do, there are some differences. I work with adults, and with adults come egos. My casting firm knows that they are good and shove me around with the, “you are a small fry” attitude. My jeweler knows that without him I would not have a business because few people purchase gemstones to carry them around in papers. My CAD guy fails to understand that just because the computer says that it is possible doesn’t always mean it will work.

I also feel that Ms. Lansue has a huge advantage over me – peer pressure. Imagine the looks that a bass player will give the violist who cannot join in on cue; or the tongue lashing the cello’s will give the bass players when they cannot keep a steady beat because they are having an off day.

I am currently working on a piece for a client that will be entered in a design competition. Due to organization and equipment problems with my casting firm I am 4 1⁄2 weeks behind in my project. Not only is the client unhappy, but now my jeweler, stringer, photographer and I have been seriously impacted. Our time with the piece has now been cut in half.

At this point I would love to have the ability to put them all in a room together and allow them the opportunity to tell the casting firm exactly what they think of the performance of their PART of this production. I would love to hear how the casting firm is going to make it right with the stringer that has 20 hours of work ahead of her and only 2 days in which to do it. Will they come and feed her family dinner and tuck her children into bed while she burns the midnight oil? Or do I have to accept less than her best work? Today it is the casting firm that has marched to their own tune, tomorrow I am sure one of my other teammates will fall short of an exceptional performance.

I cannot speak for Ms. Lansue, but I think I understand what drives me. It is the opportunity to do what nobody else will or can do. I am also driven to that one moment in time when I deliver to the client and the client is thrilled. I think I am a “challenge junkie.” Some might say I am a glutton for punishment.

On another note, I think if you look hard enough you will find that whether you do custom work or not, whether you sell jewelry or not, there is a team in any store that operates. If the person taking in a repair does not do it correctly, the jeweler has been set up for failure. No matter the position, it is a link in a long chain that eventually ends in success or failure; and no matter the chain there is always a single person who’s name and reputation rides on the performance of their team.

Today, I hope my team and I make beautiful music.

Tammy L. Williams, Graduate Gemologist of GIA, also prizes her membership in AGTA. She is President of J D Jewelers, a salon private jewelry business located in Suwanee, Georgia and the Southeastern Rep for Global Diamonds. Tammy is very active as a speaker and authority on Gemstones and Diamonds. Whether in her laboratory at J D Jewelers, on the lecture circuit or writing about her experiences in business, her love and passion for gemstones becomes contagious. If you’d like to contact Tammy, please e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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