01192017Thu
Last updateTue, 17 Jan 2017 8pm
How will Trump’s election affect retail jewelers?

How will Trump’s election affect retail jewelers?

President-elect Donald Trump has been in the publi...

Retailer Roundtable: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?

Retailer Roundtable: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?

Q: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?  

“...

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

The Southern Jewelers Guild takes a look at the exp...

Greg Lynn discovers art in the midst of struggle

Greg Lynn discovers art in the midst of struggle

When Greg Lynn’s parents were transferred from Nor...

Leading the state in estate jewelry

Leading the state in estate jewelry

Levy’s capitalizing on estate jewelry popularity

Es...

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Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

(NEW YORK) - Citizen Watch Company, Ltd., parent of Bulova Corporation and Citizen Watch Company of America has completed the integration of the two companies into one organization, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. The company will do business i...

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Industry Events

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

Alumni party, colored stone services, unique exhibits, expert talks and more

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s not-to-miss activities and services will enrich the visitor experience at the 2017 Tucson Shows, including an out-of-this-world alumni event, show s...

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On The Move

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

Jim Rosenheim receives Lifetime Achievement and Grace Fuller, Kay® Jewelers, Lucia Silvestri for BVLGARI and Patek Philippe win

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, h...

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What's New

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

Voyager Brands’ new line targets customers from teens to grandmothers

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Something new, different, random, abstract - that’s Voyager Brands’ new Love Universe collection of earrings, rings, pendants, small necklaces and bracelets. It’s fu...

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Featured Articles

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

There are many paths to finding the right career. Most are predictable, but sometimes the path becomes clear only through adversity. Richard Branson, whose net worth of $4.9 billion makes him nearly 10 times wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II, dropped...

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Latest News

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

1 DAY AGO
Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

(NEW YORK) - Citizen Watch Company, Ltd., parent of Bulova Corporation and Citizen Watch Company of America has completed the integration of the two companies into one organization, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. The company will do business in the Trade as Citizen Watch America.

Readmore

Jewelers of Louisiana opens application for funds to benefit jewelers impacted by Louisiana floods

1 DAY AGO
Jewelers of Louisiana opens application for funds to benefit jewelers impacted by Louisiana floods

(NEW ORLEANS) - Over 100 people employed in the jewelry industry were impacted by the August floods in South Louisiana. Jewelers of Louisiana, a statewide organization representing over 1,500 employees, has established a fund to help anyone in the jewelry industry affected by the floods. Over $3,700 ...

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GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

1 DAY AGO
GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

Alumni party, colored stone services, unique exhibits, expert talks and more

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s not-to-miss activities and services will enrich the visitor experience at the 2017 Tucson Shows, including an out-of-this-world alumni event, show service laboratory, fascinating exhibits, expert ta...

Readmore

Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair coming in February

15 DAYS AGO
Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair coming in February

The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), the Ministry of Commerce of the Royal Thai government has extended an invitation for U.S. jewelers to visit the upcoming 59th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair 2017. The Fair will be held February 22-26, 2017 at the IMPACT Exhibition & Conven...

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JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

1 DAY AGO
JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

Jim Rosenheim receives Lifetime Achievement and Grace Fuller, Kay® Jewelers, Lucia Silvestri for BVLGARI and Patek Philippe win

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, held their 15th annual GEM Awards on Friday, Januar...

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Stuller commits to promoting health and wellness in Louisiana

7 DAYS AGO
Stuller commits to promoting health and wellness in Louisiana

Company designated as a top-level WellSpot

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller is proud to announce that they have been named a level one WellSpot by Well-Ahead Louisiana, an initiative started by the Louisiana Department of Health.

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New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

1 DAY AGO
New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

Voyager Brands’ new line targets customers from teens to grandmothers

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Something new, different, random, abstract - that’s Voyager Brands’ new Love Universe collection of earrings, rings, pendants, small necklaces and bracelets. It’s fun and enticing to women of all ages.

Retail prices ...

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MJSA launches Council of Custom Jewelers as part of new Custom Design program

7 DAYS AGO
MJSA launches Council of Custom Jewelers as part of new Custom Design program

MJSA, a trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has introduced the MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers as part of a wide-ranging program to advance the art and consumer appreciation of custom jewelry design.

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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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