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How to Boost Your Bottom Line’s Potential
June 7th, 2024

Margin Makeover To maximize margins, focus on products with higher markups By Andrea Hill (Originally Published May 2024) Show me a business owner who is laying it all on the line—putting in the hours, the creativity, and the discipline—and still struggling, and much of the time, margin erosion is to blame. Usually, the erosion is […]

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Tips for Simplifying Tool and Equipment Care
June 7th, 2024

Protect Your Investment Extending the lives of your tools and equipment By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published May 2024) Maintaining jewelry manufacturing equipment was a lot simpler in the days when wax carvers, torches, and hand tools were the industry standard. For much of the industry today, however, casting machines, kilns, vacuum machines, 3-D printers, […]

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How Robotics Are Being Used in the Jewelry Industry
May 22nd, 2024

Domo Arigato, Roboto-san Discover how robots are speeding up jewelry finishing and diamond cutting By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published March 2024) In science fiction, robots are heroes or villains, friends or foes. But in the world of jewelry manufacturing, they are tools that can increase speed, efficiency, and accuracy of production. They can help […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: March 2024
May 22nd, 2024

Industry Snapshot: March 2024 Jewelers need to stay agile in a rapidly changing environment By Harold Dupuy, FGA, Stuller Inc. (Originally Published March 2024) Quick Links: Retail Market Sales • Jewelry Industry Overview • The Diamond Quandry • The Economy • In Closing The past year presented several challenges, yet the jewelry industry, on the […]

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How Jewelers Can Benefit from the Barbie Buzz
December 5th, 2023

Tickled Pink The jewelry industry is well positioned to make the most of the buzz surrounding fashion icon Barbie and her timeless jewelry styles By Deborah A. Yonick (Originally Published September 2023) It might feel like the attack of the 50-foot woman with Barbie larger than life in our pop culture today. The iconic doll, […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: September 2023
December 5th, 2023

Industry Snapshot: September 2023 This year’s peak season will likely bring numerous challenges to the industry By Harold Dupuy, FGA, Stuller Inc. (Originally Published September 2023) Quick Links: Retail Market Sales • Jewelry Industry Overview • The Diamond Dilemma • Bridal • The Economy • In Closing Retail Market Sales After a 34-month streak of […]

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Picking the Right Refining Partner
December 5th, 2023

For Richer Returns To ensure a successful partnership with a refiner, first consider your wants and needs By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published October 2023) Choosing a refiner is a bit like getting engaged: It’s the beginning of a (hopefully) long-term relationship. After all, these are the people you will trust to turn your scrap […]

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Tips for Delivering Great In-Store Customer Service
September 5th, 2023

Shining Bright Jewelry retailers share their ideas for improving customer engagement By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published August 2023) If you’ve run a retail business for any length of time—and certainly if you made it through the worst of the pandemic shutdowns—you know how to keep your customers happy and give them what they want. […]

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Achieve Better Results with a Process Control System
September 5th, 2023

The Process:Profit Paradigm Process control systems are critical for optimizing profits By Andrea Hill (Originally Published August 2023) I became a process geek out of necessity. I started my career and parenthood at the same time. My most precious commodity was time, and I couldn’t figure out how to juggle a baby, full-time job, preparing […]

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Increased Demand for Recycled Gold Has Led to a Growing Crisis
August 10th, 2023

Looking Beyond Reusing With demand for 100 percent recycled gold growing, suppliers are struggling to keep up By Rafael Amador (Originally Published July 2023) The jewelry industry is facing a metals crisis that many jewelers may not even realize exists. As consumer interest in responsibly sourced products has risen, many jewelers have responded by creating […]

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Customization Fuels Migration to 3-D Printing & AI Tools
August 10th, 2023

The Future Is In Progress How new technologies allow skilled jewelers to focus more on creativity, artistry, and quality control By Deborah A. Yonick (Originally Published July 2023) Fine jewelry manufacturing is evolving in the 21st century at an exciting rate. Computers and machines are replacing much of the handwork involved in the creation of […]

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Keep Your Staff by Upping Your Management Game
July 20th, 2023

It’s Not Always About the Money To keep your staff, offer a future and up your management game By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published June 2023) Hiring good staff is a challenge. You spend time and money advertising, interviewing, and training people. It’s frustrating when those people turn around and leave, whether it’s after months […]

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Increase Customer Quality to Increase Profit Margins
July 20th, 2023

Smarter Selling Innovate your sales method to increase profit margins By Andrea Hill (Originally Published June 2023) No matter what happens with a recession in 2023—shallow or deep, long or short—one thing is likely to be true: We must begin to sell smarter and harder. Most B2B sales organizations tend to focus on selling new […]

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Creating a Social Media Marketing Game Plan
July 20th, 2023

Connecting Socially How to create an effective social media marketing strategy for your business By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published May 2023) Social media. Love it or hate it, it’s a necessary part of doing business these days. For jewelry makers, it serves as a combination of advertising, content marketing, satisfied customer referrals, and good […]

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Business Automation for Every Size of Business
July 20th, 2023

Bring On the Robots Learn how automation can increase efficiency, productivity, and accuracy in your business By Andrea Hill (Originally Published April 2023) If you’re not taking advantage of business automation, you’re missing out on essential efficiency and quality tools that will make your business more competitive. Business automation is the use of technology to […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: April 2023
July 20th, 2023

Industry Snapshot: April 2023 A look at the latest industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA, Stuller Inc. (Originally Published April 2023) Quick Links: Retail Market Sales • Jewelry Industry Overview • Economy • In Closing Change is looming. After the massive growth of the 2021 recovery, 2022 provided an unexpected sequel with revenue increases for […]

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The Price Is Right – Andrew Bugher
April 4th, 2023

Andrew Bugher of Andrew Bugher Design in Minneapolis…come on down! Bugher’s Pricing Breakdown DiamondsBugher considers the quality of the diamond when setting a price. “I broke it out because there were two different grades of diamonds,” he explains. In this case, he assigned a per carat cost of $730 for the H color diamonds, and […]

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The Price Is Right – Robin Waynee
April 4th, 2023

Robin Waynee of Robin Waynee Jeweler in Santa Fe, New Mexico…come on down! Waynee’s Pricing Breakdown DiamondsFor the diamond types used in this piece, Waynee estimates that she would charge based on approximately $735 per carat, which includes a small markup over what she pays her diamond supplier. GemstonesWaynee based her cost on the original […]

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The Price Is Right – Lydia Tutunjian
April 4th, 2023

Lydia Tutunjian of Alishan in Tustin, California…come on down! Tutunjian’s Pricing Breakdown DiamondsWhen pricing diamonds, Tutunjian automatically adds 20 percent to her cost. “It’s a precaution against chipping the stone and to cover the cost of postage and shipping, depending on where we buy the stone,” she explains. GemstonesUnlike with diamonds, Tutunjian doesn’t add a […]

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The Price Is Right
April 4th, 2023

The Price Is Right Three jewelers come on down to demonstrate how personal pricing is By Shawna Kulpa Welcome to another round of MJSA Journal’s “Price Is Right” Game!Whether you’re just getting started or have been making and selling jewelry for decades, the issue of pricing likely continues to confound. Price a piece too high, […]

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Preventing Frugality from Interfering with Business Growth
April 4th, 2023

The Bootstrapping Conundrum Why being too risk-averse can actively interfere with making good investment decisions By Andrea Hill In technical terms, bootstrapping means building a business from scratch using one’s own money and reinvesting organic cash flow to grow instead of seeking outside capital. In practical terms, bootstrapping has come to mean using an incredibly […]

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Tips for Outfitting a Small Shop on a Budget
April 4th, 2023

Don’t Break the Bank Budget-conscious buying for small shops By Sharon Elaine Thompson For many bench jewelers, there’s no such thing as too many tools. Of course, there is such a thing as not having the money to afford all those tools nor the space to accommodate them. Instead, most jewelers have to make do […]

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Increase Efficiency and Profit by Streamlining Production
February 9th, 2023

Slimming Down How to identify and overcome production inefficiencies By Sharon Elaine Thompson The phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is as common in business as it is in other aspects of our lives. If something is working—whether it’s a routine or a manufacturing process—it’s easier to continue doing it than trying to […]

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The Practical Path to Employee Motivation and Engagement
February 9th, 2023

Great Expectations How to create work environments that engage and motivate employees By Andrea Hill If you’re like most people, you’re feeling trepidation as we head into this new year. Will it be a fourth year of challenging-to-deal-with changes, or will we experience a bit of deserved calm after the storm? Prognostication is risky work, […]

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Video – MJSA Journal Live: 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes
January 9th, 2023

MJSA Journal Live: Expo 2022 Time to Recharge: 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes Business leaders and technical experts from throughout the jewelry industry offer their best ideas (in a minute or less) for finding success in today’s market. This whirlwind round robin will revitalize your batteries in no time. Moderator:Rich Youmans, MJSA (mjsa.org). Panelists:Ann Arnold, […]

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Video – MJSA Journal Live: Industry Snapshot
January 9th, 2023

MJSA Journal Live: Expo 2022 Industry Snapshot: Where We Are and What’s Ahead During the pandemic, consumers indulged their love for jewelry and sales skyrocketed. But jewelry manufacturers and designers still face a host of challenges—inflation, the growth of imports, the comeback of travel and services to lure discretionary dollars—as well as opportunities (especially online). […]

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Video – MJSA Journal Live: Hire Logic
January 9th, 2023

MJSA Journal Live: Expo 2022 Hire Logic: An Idea Generator for Finding, Choosing, and Retaining Workers Finding needed workers remains one of the biggest challenges facing the jewelry industry today. This panel discussion will bring together leaders in hiring, career development, and human resource management—and then invite audience members onstage to join the conversation and […]

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State of the Industry: Jewelry Trends to Watch
January 6th, 2023

Planning Ahead A look at the products, colors, and styles expected to trend in 2023 Although the economy is in flux, many consumers are still comfortable spending money and some of it will be on jewelry. What will they be looking for? MJSA Journal recently checked in with Amy Elliott, a contributing editor at JCK […]

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State of the Industry: Precious Metals Forecasting
January 6th, 2023

Precious Forecasting Experts predict 2023 could be a volatile year for precious metals markets By Shawna Kulpa With inflation rates high worldwide and the possibility of a global recession looming in 2023, many experts are predicting that precious metals markets will have a volatile year. However, they also expect things to become less rocky as […]

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State of the Industry – The Need for Sustainability
January 6th, 2023

The Need for Sustainability Despite a slowing economy, focusing on sustainable efforts can create value and build resilience Even with the threat of a slowing economy in the new year, should companies still prioritize investments in sustainability? According to a recent McKinsey report, the answer is a resounding yes. The report notes that even “in […]

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State of the Industry – Let’s Get Phygital
January 6th, 2023

Let’s Get Phygital Creating a unified shopping experience across physical and digital channels You are likely familiar with the term omnichannel, but do you know what a phygital experience is? It’s a term to describe the essence of omnichannel: Phygital emphasizes the blurring of the line between physical and digital channels to create one consistent […]

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State of the Industry – Dealing with the Labor Shortage
January 6th, 2023

Dealing with the Labor Shortage Why attracting, developing and retaining talent should be a top agenda item for business owners in 2023 “No one wants to work anymore” is the oft-used refrain heard from some businesses struggling to find and keep employees. But we know that that’s not actually true, as evidenced by the continued […]

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State of the Industry – Preparing for a Possible Recession
January 6th, 2023

Preparing for a Possible Recession Keeping a close eye on cash flow is critical to navigating economic uncertainty Whether the country falls into a recession next year or not, forecasters expect 2023 to be a challenge—which is all the more reason to prepare for a recession. That way, “you’ll have a game plan if it […]

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State of the Industry 2022
January 6th, 2023

A Look Ahead Where we stand and where we go from here By Shawna Kulpa Ask anyone in business what they think about these days, and the Jan-Brady-esque reply will likely be either “Inflation, inflation, inflation” or “Recession, recession, recession.” In 2021, as the U.S. emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns and the economy rebounded, jewelry sales […]

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Why and How Multitasking Is Killing You
October 31st, 2022

Less Is More Why shaking the multitasking habit can leave you happier and more productive By Andrea Hill (Originally published October 2022) I used to be the queen of multitasking. I thought I didn’t have a choice—raising children while running a business doesn’t lend itself to focusing on one thing at a time. Unfortunately, I […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: October 2022
October 31st, 2022

Industry Snapshot Industry resilience will be tested as the year comes to a close By Harold Dupuy, FGA, Stuller Inc. (Originally published October 2022) Quick Links: The Recovery Is Over • Jewelry Sales Overview • Metal Markets • Diamond Industry • In Closing The first half of 2022 jewelry industry performance was robust but with […]

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Upending Everything to Get Ahead
October 1st, 2022

Disrupting Ourselves Make disruption analysis a critical part of your planning strategy By Andrea Hill When you hear the term business disruption, do you smile or do you cringe? Do those words stimulate your imagination or cause you to assume a defensive posture? Even among people who aren’t really clear on what the theory of […]

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The CEO as Conductor
September 2nd, 2022

What’s Your Score? Business leaders should take a cue from conductors By Andrea Hill When I embarked on a career in business it surprised everyone who knew me, including me. I had spent most of my childhood through early adulthood in classical training as a musician, with brief forays into blues and jazz to pay […]

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Tips for Preventing and Surviving a Cyberattack
August 4th, 2022

Play it Safe How to safeguard your business against cybercrime By Sharon Elaine Thompson It’s said that there are two kinds of businesses: those that have been hacked and those that will be. It was probably predictable that, with so many vendors and buyers moving online in the last two years, cyberattacks would increase across […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: July 2022
August 4th, 2022

Industry Snapshot Despite a challenging economy, moderate growth is possible By Harold Dupuy, FGA Quick Links: Jewelry Sales Overview • The Economy • Diamond Industry • In Closing In the first quarter of 2022, jewelry industry sales continued the above-average growth experienced last year. That is the good news. On the other side of the […]

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Challenge Your Assumptions When Faced with New Ideas
August 4th, 2022

Let Question Be Your Co-Pilot Evaluate new ideas and make better decisions by challenging your assumptions By Andrea Hill My son recently purchased his first commercial property. It was his first real estate purchase, and as anyone who has purchased real estate knows, the experience can be unsettling, particularly the first time. After the transaction […]

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How to Love Your Jewelry Castings
July 28th, 2022

13 Ways Jewelers Can Work with Their Casters… from sharing information to keeping it clean to standing, for a moment, in their shoes By Shawna Kulpa As a jewelry designer, you may find it difficult to entrust someone else with bringing your designs to life. But you likely recognize that no one person can do […]

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Using Technology to Lighten Your Load
July 5th, 2022

Stacking the Deck Build a technology stack uniquely suited to your business By Andrea Hill If you feel like you’re doing more than ever before—with less people—you’re not alone. The most recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses survey paints a picture of business owners facing burnout. Fifty percent of small businesses report that their most […]

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Podcast: Tips for Keeping Jewelry Businesses Safe with John Kennedy
June 29th, 2022

Tips for Keeping Jewelry Businesses Safe with John Kennedy Airdate: July 1, 2022 While cybercriminals and scammers continue to target jewelry businesses, a recent uptick in brutal robberies and thefts point toward a frightening trend. In this episode, John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, shares what jewelers need to know about the recent rise […]

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A Leader’s Guide to Getting Good Results
June 17th, 2022

Play the Same Game The key to being a better leader is to get better results By Andrea Hill Leadership is a lot of things, but it’s mostly results. Good leaders get results. Not just one-time results, not just the occasional slam dunk or home run, but consistent, always-progressing-in-the-right-direction results. So when executives ask me […]

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Using Technology to Sell Custom
June 17th, 2022

Conversation Starter How Greg Stopka adapted to offering his custom services online By Shawna Kulpa Last year, COVID-19 forced many businesses to temporarily close. Among them was JewelSmiths, a small design and service studio with locations in Pleasant Hill and San Ramon, California. President and Chief Designer Greg Stopka continued going to work every day, […]

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Gem Dealers Go Digital
June 17th, 2022

Vested in Virtual Gem dealers go digital due to pandemic postponements By Deborah A. Yonick With the cancellation this year of the major gem and mineral shows that annually take place in Tucson, many gem dealers took to holding their own virtual events during this time. The Vancouver, Washington-based Columbia Gem House (CGH) conducted its […]

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Tips for Being an Environmentally Responsible Jeweler
June 16th, 2022

Going Green Tips for small shop changes that can make a global difference By Shawna Kulpa What does it mean to be an environmentally responsible jeweler? Is it knowing the origin of the precious metals and gemstones used in your work and ensuring that they were sourced responsibly? Is it recycling all of your metal […]

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Zoom Meetings a Boon for Jewelry Sales
June 16th, 2022

Ready for a Close-up Video-conferencing offers jewelers a new tool for driving sales Deborah A. Yonick Looking your best from the waist up has been the dress code for many of us navigating our professional and social lives via video conferencing during this past year. While we await widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, our […]

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Simple Tools to Plan Through Projects
June 16th, 2022

See the Forest and the Trees Make planning easier with a rubric and plotter approach By Andrea Hill There’s a meme making the rounds about how parents everywhere are sad that the end of the pandemic will mean a return to elementary school science fairs, and all the tears and tantrums that are part of […]

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Creating and Telling a Responsible Story
June 13th, 2022

Doing Good Is Good Business The path toward a socially responsibly business By Andrea Hill Most of us agree that being a responsible parent or adult is important, and, if asked, I imagine that every person reading this could articulate the elements of responsibility: Telling the truth, demonstrating good character, modeling good behavior and values, […]

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Toward a More Diverse and Inclusive Industry
June 10th, 2022

Building a Better Industry Why diversity and inclusion matter By Deborah A. Yonick The national discussion about race that was raised following the murder of George Floyd last May reverberated through every industry, ours included. Although things were a long time coming, the jewelry industry and the individual organizations that comprise it have started having […]

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When to Outsource Production
June 10th, 2022

Contracting Conundrum How to determine when outsourcing would be better for yourself and your bottom line By Shawna Kulpa Jewelry business owners often wear a lot of hats, especially when they’re sole proprietors. They’re designers, bench jewelers, CAD modelers, polishers, stone setters, photographers, marketers, salespeople, shippers, and even janitors sometimes. But as their businesses grow […]

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21 Ideas for Advancing Your Business Goals
June 9th, 2022

21 Ideas for 2021 (and Beyond) Tips for starting off the new year right By Andrea Hill The beginning of each new year is always an exciting time. Even the change averse get swept up in the potential and energy of a new beginning. And 2021, perhaps more than any other new year in recent […]

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Tool Adaptations to Make Bench Work Easier
June 1st, 2022

The Outsiders Finding tools beyond the jewelry industry By Shawna Kulpa Every jeweler faces it at some point. Despite a plethora of tools designed specifically for jewelry makers, sometimes you just can’t find the exact tool you need. In times like that, many jewelers look beyond the industry to find what they need—and then take […]

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Is 3-D Scanning Right for Your Business?
June 1st, 2022

Planning for Scanning A look at the benefits and cost of investing in 3-D scanning capabilities By John Shanahan (Originally Published May 2022) “A typical jewelry piece is everything 3-D scanning does not like,” says Srdjan Urosev, found-er and CEO of eLUXE3D in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “It’s small, detail-rich, and reflective.” Despite this, the technology, […]

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The Need for Getting Involved
June 1st, 2022

Make Change Participation is essential to developing responsible sourcing solutions By Andrea Hill Three of the most challenging aspects of engaging in jewelry industry responsible supply chain activities are how opaque jewelry supply chains continue to be, how many problems remain to be solved, and the moral dilemmas around many of our materials. The truth […]

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Adopting 5S in the Small Shop or Studio
May 5th, 2022

New Order Small shops can implement the 5S component of lean manufacturing to improve efficiency and organization By Carol McCarthy (First published in May 2008 MJSA Journal) As a small shop owner, you may wonder what lean manufacturing has to do with you. Most of what you read about the process is geared toward large […]

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Implementing a 5S Program
May 5th, 2022

Clean Sweep Good organization brings many rewards when a jewelry manufacturing company implements a 5S program By Andrea Hill Imagine for a moment that you are stepping into a jewelry manufacturing operation. The floors are gleaming. There are no boxes or miscellaneous items on the floor around the edges of the room. There is no […]

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Understanding the Need for Certification Standards
May 3rd, 2022

Making a Difference Adopting standards are a business necessity, not an option By Andrea Hill The world woke up on February 24 to the news that Russia had begun a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. During the week that followed, as extraordinary international sanctions were implemented and the UN Security Council and General Assembly censured Russia, […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: April 2022
May 3rd, 2022

Industry Snapshot Early sales figures set the stage for continued growth By Harold Dupuy, FGA Quick Links: Jewelry Sales Overview • The Economy • The Metal Markets • U.S. Consumers • Diamond Industry • In Closing There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. While the Omicron variant rapidly appeared, it is now […]

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How Sustainability Is Driving Diamond Sales
May 3rd, 2022

For Good Reason Sustainability is key in sustaining diamond sales By Deborah A. Yonick Next to food and clothing, fine jewelry ranks as the third most frequently purchased category based on sustainability considerations among consumers. In fact, sustainability considerations are on par with price and design for jewelry consumers worldwide, according to De Beers’ 2021 […]

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Using Process Management to Ensure Business Success
April 3rd, 2022

Replaceable You Why process management is key to ensuring your business’s health By Andrea Hill At least once each week I receive a message from a business owner ready to throw in the towel. Their desperation is rarely due to lack of sales or business failure. They just can’t keep up. What started out as […]

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Choosing the Best Welding System to Meet Your Needs
April 3rd, 2022

The Passing of the Torch How to choose between pulse-arc welders and laser welders By Shawna Kulpa Tired of your torch? While torch soldering remains a great, low-cost and effective way to weld metals at the jeweler’s bench, you may be interested in upgrading to a faster method that requires less cleanup. As a jeweler, […]

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Podcast: Tips for Buying, Selling, & Marketing Lab-Grown Diamonds with Rob Bates
February 7th, 2022

Tips for Buying, Selling, & Marketing Lab-Grown Diamonds with Rob Bates Airdate: February 11, 2022 The market for lab-grown diamonds continues to grow, prices continue to drop, and growers are working around the clock to meet demand. In this episode, JCK News Director Rob Bates explores what buyers and sellers should consider regarding lab-grown diamonds, including […]

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How Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Made
February 7th, 2022

Making a Diamond in the Lab There are two primary ways in which lab-grown diamonds are grown: High Pressure/High Temperature (HPHT) Used since the 1950’s, this traditional technique subjects a diamond seed crystal to high pressure and high temperature to initiate growth of a diamond. Initially the technology primarily produced yellow or brownish yellow diamonds […]

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Buying and Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds
February 7th, 2022

The Allure of Lab-Grown Diamonds Interest in lab-grown diamonds continues to grow. Are you ready? By Shawna Kulpa They’re here and they’re not going anywhere. Lab-grown diamonds have been around since the 1950s, but with the technology today having advanced to the point where gem-quality stones can be readily produced, they’ve taken the jewelry industry […]

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Working with Your Refiner
November 4th, 2021

Shipping A Refining Lot Advice to help jewelers get the best return (Originally published October 2021) Note: This primer on when and how to send in a refining lot is adapted from the digital publication A Refined Approach: Tips for Capturing Precious Metals, Choosing a Refiner, and Maximizing Returns (MJSA Press, 2021). The book offers […]

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Preventing Production Challenges
November 4th, 2021

The Root of the Problem Keep production running smoothly from the start. Sponsored by: By Andrea Hill Several years ago, I was asked to visit a large jewelry manufacturing plant to help solve quality problems that persisted despite many efforts to solve them. The production manager—a very capable person—had tried everything he could think of, […]

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Avoiding Production Delays
November 4th, 2021

An Ounce of Prevention How jewelry manufacturers avoid production delays By Shawna Kulpa From supply issues to machine breakdowns, production problems can occur at any time. And while some may be unavoidable (such as a global pandemic), many can be prevented by taking precautionary steps. This month we take a look at two manufacturers who […]

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Organizational Aids for Jewelers
November 4th, 2021

A Little Place for Your Stuff Jewelers share their favorite organizational aids By Shawna Kulpa To quote the late comedian George Carlin, “All you need in life is a little place for your stuff.” Of course, he used that line to kick off a five-minute routine about how people have too much stuff, but he […]

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A Guide to Sales Prospecting in the Digital Age
November 4th, 2021

Stop Waiting for the Phone to Ring Tools and techniques to kick your prospecting game into high gear By Andrea Hill Prospecting is the act of searching for new qualified customers. The definition alone tells you how important it is, yet in most businesses, prospecting is neglected. Part of the problem is that people tend […]

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Podcast: 5 Tips for Sourcing Responsibly
October 26th, 2021

5 Tips for Sourcing Responsibly with Christina Malle Airdate: October 12, 2021 A goldsmith, graduate gemologist, and former human rights attorney, Christina Malle is committed to sourcing responsibly. A board member of Ethical Metalsmiths, she always uses Fairmined or certified recycled gold in her work, and she always sources gems from known, reliable vendors. In this […]

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Avoiding Production Delays
October 19th, 2021

An Ounce of Prevention How jewelry manufacturers avoid production delays By Shawna Kulpa From supply issues to machine breakdowns, production problems can occur at any time. And while some may be unavoidable (such as a global pandemic), many can be prevented by taking precautionary steps. This month we take a look at two manufacturers who […]

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Achieving Success with Social Commerce
October 15th, 2021

Another Tool in the Sales Chest How to take advantage of the lateset social commerce tools By Andrea Hill Until 20 years ago, small to medium-sized businesses chose one distribution channel, and that was enough. Adding additional channels represented significant risks related to marketing and sales investment as well as related logistics and operations challenges—risks […]

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Advice for Finding and Buying Tools
October 15th, 2021

Tool Up Jewelers share details about their tool buying habits Sponsored by: By Shawna Kulpa There’s no denying it: Jewelers love tools. But the process of filling a workshop with the tools and equipment needed to make jewelry day-in, day-out can be intimidating. How do you learn about the tools out there and what they […]

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The FTC and “Made in the USA”
October 15th, 2021

Claim Check FTC makes it “Made in USA” guidance into rule—with penalties By Sara Yood, Esq. If you make your jewelry in the U.S., you can label it as “Made in the USA,” right? Not likely, at least according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). On July 1, after multiple hearings and consideration by its […]

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Jewelry Industry Snapshot: Sept. 2021
October 15th, 2021

A look at the industry’s post-pandemic recovery progress By Harold Dupuy Quick Links:COVID-19 • The Economy • Precious Metals • Jewelry Sales • Online Sales • Jewelry Imports • Inflation • In Closing The post-pandemic recovery has exceeded most expectations. Many factors assisted the rapid recovery: the federal government stimulus programs, increasing personal income, increasing […]

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Embracing the Four Practices of Entrepreneurship
September 27th, 2021

Imagine That The importance of innovation, vision, organization, and risk in your business By Andrea Hill When my children were very young, I encouraged them to have fantasies about themselves. They could tell me they were anything—astronaut, police officer, king, or a rutabaga—and I just went with it. By the time they became teenagers, though, […]

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The State of the Industry: 2020
September 26th, 2021

Where we stand and where we go from here By Shawna Kulpa Quick Links: How the Industry is Faring • Connectivity Continues to be Key • The Metals Market • Lab Grown Diamonds • Diversity in the Jewelry Industry • Where Do We Go From Here The year started out so promising. Gross domestic product […]

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Get Smart
September 2nd, 2021

Business owners need to embrace digital intelligence By Andrea Hill I remember reading Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” clearly. It was 1995, I was president of an apparel firm with nearly 1,000 employees, and I frequently dealt with problems caused by managers who had low emotional intelligence (EQ). […]

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Snapshot: October 2020
August 18th, 2021

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, DPA The saying “we live in unprecedented times” has never been more appropriate. Three months ago, I erroneously thought that COVID-19 would be a thing of the past by now. However, I and many others were wrong. On the flip side, some positive business […]

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Attitude Adjustment
August 18th, 2021

Having the right mindset is critical for surviving times of duress By Andrea Hill Increasingly, economists are using the word “depression” to describe the international economy, and there is a growing consensus that it will take five years to return to the economic performance we enjoyed at the beginning of 2020. Stop for a moment […]

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Change Your Mind
August 2nd, 2021

An adaptive mindset is key for today’s leaders By Andrea Hill While LVMH is out painting Tiffany stores lemon-yellow—a smart response to post-pandemic vaxxed-and-ready-to-shop optimism—business owners are starting to hunker down for what is likely to be a period of inflation and supply chain challenges. At the same time, new technologies and new ideas continue […]

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Stop, Thief!
July 1st, 2021

A look at how jewelers can prevent intellectual property theft By Sara E. Yood, Esq. Imagine, for a moment, that you finally nailed it—the perfect jewelry design, the one that both identifies your brand and speaks directly to your consumer. Years of work went into this design; hundreds of different iterations left on the literal […]

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Cut It Loose
July 1st, 2021

Sometimes subtraction is the best thing for your business By Andrea Hill I recently read an article about the genius of balance bikes, which are a toddler bike alternative that teaches children to balance on two wheels by pushing along with their feet rather than learning to pedal with training wheels. The author was pointing […]

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Industry Snapshot: June 2021
July 1st, 2021

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA Quick Links: Aftermath of COVID • Precious Metals • Jewelry Sales • Online Sales • Jewelry Imports • The Diamond Market • In Closing While the COVID-19 pandemic lasted longer than anyone expected, we can see the light at the end of the […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science
September 24th, 2020

Changing your approach to the process of discovery By Andrea Hill I hated science fairs. I hated them when I was a child, and I hated them even more as a parent. It’s not that I hate science, but science fairs…ugh! The cardboard format (literally and figuratively), the rigidity, and the schedule all conspired to […]

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Snapshot: July 2020
September 24th, 2020

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA What can anyone say that hasn’t already been said about the COVID-19 pandemic? For the most part, Americans are growing weary of the lockdown, desperately wanting to resume some sort of modified normalcy…whatever that means. While 2020 began with a strong overall retail […]

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Podcast: Today & Tomorrow: Industry Analysis
September 24th, 2020

May 12, 2020Guest: Erich JacobsPresident, Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) The global shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and it’s changing the jewelry industry on many levels. Companies of all sizes are facing serious economic disruptions, as business owners struggle to navigate through the uncertainty. In this episode, available in both audio and […]

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Podcast: Paths to Provenance
September 24th, 2020

May 6, 2020Guest: Daniel Nyfeler, Gübelin Gem Lab Despite recent efforts by the jewelry industry to address transparency and tracing issues across the global supply chain, the conditions under which colored gemstones are sourced remain highly opaque and lack reliable independent verification.  In this episode, Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director of Gübelin Gem Lab, discusses his company’s Provenance Proof […]

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Podcast: Succession Planning
September 24th, 2020

March 26, 2020Guest: Dan Pharr, Pharr Valuation Successfully transitioning your business requires careful planning at every stage. Determining a realistic, market-based value is also critical. Dan Pharr, president of Pharr Valuation in Richmond, Virginia, specializes in business valuations of closely held and family owned businesses. A Certified Valuation Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant, Pharr has a 30-year […]

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Podcast: Keeping Compliant
September 24th, 2020

  December 10, 2019Guest: Sara Yood, Esq., Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC)  Our guest on this episode, Sara Yood, senior counsel at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), has made a career out of helping businesses wade through the myriad guidelines, regulations, and laws that apply to making and selling jewelry. It’s not easy staying up to […]

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Podcast: Building Chains of Trust
September 24th, 2020

October 18, 2019Guest: Susan Wheeler, Susan Wheeler Design/Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Responsible sourcing and transparent supply chains are key topics within the jewelry trade and they have become more important than ever to jewelry consumers. Across the industry, companies of all types and sizes are embracing, and in some cases creating their own, transparent sourcing […]

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Podcast: Lab-Grown Diamonds Update
September 24th, 2020

June 3, 2019Guest: Marty Hurwitz, MVI Marketing While lab-grown diamonds have been around for decades, recent improvements in technology have finally made the production of high-quality stones possible. Despite some initial hesitation in the industry to add them into the mix, lab-grown stones have evolved into a hot new product category. More and more retailers […]

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Podcast: The Next Generation of Jewelers
September 24th, 2020

September 12, 2019 Guest: Nanz Aalund, Nanz Aalund Art Jewelry With the current generation of master craftspeople aging out of the jewelry industry, demand for professionally skilled workers is high. But a number of barriers stand in the way of developing an effective education-to-employment pipeline for prospective jewelers, including issues such as pay scale disparities, […]

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All Good Things
September 24th, 2020

Paying tribute to the Santa Fe Symposium By Rebecca Oster Bach As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” It’s certainly a sentiment that now applies to the Santa Fe Symposium. When it was announced late last year that the next symposium would also be the last, many in the industry […]

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The Jewelry Supply Chain of Tomorrow
September 23rd, 2020

What’s next for jewelry industry supply chains? By Andrea Hill If you’re wondering how supply chains in general, and your up-and-downstream supply partnerships in particular, will change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. The past 12 months have delivered a series of supply chain shocks. Across all industries, the dynamics of […]

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Stop and Think: Process Mapping
September 23rd, 2020

Stop and Think Process mapping can improve every aspect of your business By Andrea Hill Your business is a collection of processes. Selling, marketing, making things, accounting, purchasing, hiring, training…all these things are accomplished by executing a series of processes. The better you do those processes, the better your results will be. An entire philosophy, […]

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Telling a Different Story
September 23rd, 2020

Profiles of two of the industry’s leaders in responsible sourcing Click here to read part one: Eric Braunwart’s Responsible Story Rising to the Challenge Toby Pomeroy on his mission to banish mercury from mining Jewelry designer Toby Pomeroy was born and raised to do good. The son of missionaries, Pomeroy grew up among the “poor […]

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