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The Jewelry District

The Jewelry District


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

40 - Episode 38: Guest John Ferry
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  • 40 - Episode 38: Guest John Ferry

    In This EpisodeIn this edition of The Jewelry District, you'll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk with John Ferry, the founder and chief executive officer of Prosperity Earth. He'll tell us all about his mining efforts in Madagascar and the beautiful demantoid garnets found there. Show Notes00:30 Introducing John Ferry, founder and chief executive officer of Prosperity Earth.06:51 John explains how Prosperity Earth tries to give back to the local community08:17 Victoria asks John to explain the significance of demantoids.12:31 John tells us all about the mine.15:39 Rob questions if mining can have a positive impact on the community in which it occurs.19:03 A few more fun facts about Madagascar. Episode CreditsHosts: Rob Bates and Victoria GomelskyEditor: Olivia BrileyProducer and engineer: Natalie ChometPlugs: jckonline.com, @jckmagazine Show Recap Introducing John FerryWith most of the Tucson gem shows cancelled,  Victoria and Rob will be bringing a little bit of the gem world to you as they introduce their guest, John Ferry, the founder and chief executive officer of Prosperity Earth. John is based in Greenwich, Conn., while his mining company is based in Madagascar. Originally working on Wall Street, John later turned his entrepreneurial spirit to Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, which he's now visited around 65 times. Starting out with a chocolate and vanilla business, he soon turned his endeavors in Madagascar to mining. All About Giving BackJohn says creating prosperity is his No. 1 goal, hence the name of the company. And with that comes a component of giving back to the community. That's done by reinvesting in the people who work for his company and the community in which they work. But giving back also includes an environmental factor. There's a high level of interdependency between the people of Madagascar, the planet, community relations, and environmental development. What Are Demantoids?Victoria tells us that she's holding a demantoid garnet of John's and asks him to explain why it's so special. He tells us a demantoid garnet is 10,000 times rarer than a diamond. Its signature features are its fire and brilliance, which John believes make it the most beautiful of all the colored gems. Comparing Madagascan demantoids to ones from Russia, John believes his are better because of their sharp and clean crystallization. Victoria asks John about his deposit supplies in the mine, and Rob asks him about how he plans to get the word out about demantoids. Origins Of Madagascan DemantoidsRob asks John how he found out about the mine, how long it took him to get set up, and how deep it is. The mine has been around for about 10 years. John explains how he knew an Italian geologist, Dr. Federico Pezzotta, who stuck with the deposit to study it and establish the potential of the location. Right now, Prosperity Earth is only mining down about 15 to 18 meters-but it should eventually go down to around 200 to 300 meters. Madagascan demantoid is anywhere from 30 to 50% the cost of Russian demantoid. John says he wants to democratize demantoid, making it accessible to designers. The Impact Of MiningBeyond the mining level, Prosperity Earth has a 10-plus person gem-cutting team that does precision faceting. The gem-cutting process is responsible for job creation, making Madagascar not just the origin of the rough gem crystal, but also where the value addition takes place. Rob plays devil's advocate and asks if mining can really have a positive impact on local economies. John says yes. But he also differentiates between various types of mining operations.

    Tue, 16 Feb 2021 - 24min
  • 39 - Episode 37: JCK Show, Holiday Report, and De Beers

    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/) talk about the JCK Las Vegas and Luxury by JCK shows in August, Inauguration Day jewelry, and the De Beers Ten/Ten collection. Show Notes 00:30 JCK’s shows have been moved to August: What can we expect?03:20 Pearls are having a moment and really took the spotlight in January.06:58 Rob recaps the holiday reports.09:44 Victoria talks about e-commerce and fun ways to shop digitally in the future.13:56 De Beers recently released its Ten/Ten project, and Victoria dishes about her favorite rings in the collection.17:56 Something unexpected happened in the art deco world at the Paris haute couture showings. 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 New Dates for the JCK ShowVictoria and Rob recorded this podcast during the last week of January, and they talk about how long the month felt. They also discuss the overload of webinars and online events they’ve been seeing. Because of so many things being online, Victoria and Rob are viewing the JCK Las Vegas and Luxury by JCK shows now scheduled for August as a welcome break. Victoria predicts pearls will be the strongest category at the shows. Why Pearls?Pearls have taken the spotlight so far in 2021. They made a big splash at the inauguration, where Vice President Kamala Harris and many others were seen sporting the opulent beauties. Harris wore a pearl necklace by W.Rosado, but she’s also known to wear black pearls. There was even a Facebook group devoted to wearing pearls in the days before the inauguration. Rob reflects on what Barbara Bush and Nancy Pelosi did for pearls. Rob and Victoria also discuss the jewelry that Amanda Gorman was wearing, and the Rolex that Biden was wearing. Holiday ReportsVictoria asks Rob about what he makes of the holiday reports he's seen and what they mean for the state of the industry. There were mixed expectations, and mixed results, but overall Rob thinks the holiday season went pretty well. The season may not have been what retailers hoped for, but it was definitely promising, all things considered. They also reflect on which business practices are probably here to stay in 2021. E-commerce in 2021Victoria attended a virtual retail innovation conference by PSFK, a New York–based trend casting agency, and she fills us in on what she learned. One of the things Victoria took away from the conference was that retailers need to make things easier and more accessible for customers, especially at checkout. The conference hosts also spoke about how to get people just as excited to shop in stores as they are to shop online, and there are some interesting ways people have tried to replicate that experience. Rob and Victoria make the case for consumers having fewer choices when shopping versus having unlimited choice. De Beers and Ten/TenDe Beers worked with Blue Nile and a collection of 10 designers to create its newest project, Ten/Ten. The designers were chosen to create wedding jewelry that is now being sold on Blue Nile, in a limited collection of 10 rings per designer. All the rings are priced around $4,000, and all the diamonds used were from Botswana.

    Tue, 02 Feb 2021 - 20min
  • 38 - Episode 36: Guest Jeffrey Cohen

    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/) talk with Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch America. He’ll tell us how he got into the watch industry; highlight the importance of innovation and a digital-first, data-driven movement; and give his thoughts on the watch industry going into 2021. Show Notes00:25 Victoria and Rob introduce their guest, Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch America.03:34 Jeffrey drives home the importance of the brand itself over country of origin.05:50 2020 forced Jeffrey to become even more digital-first with his brands than ever before.11:17 Disney, Marvel, Frank Sinatra, and the Grammy Awards: Jeffrey shares watch news on all.14:53 Jeffrey reveals what Citizen Watch America's data is saying about its watch brands.19:16 Victoria wonders if trade shows will be returning in the future. 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 Introducing Jeffrey CohenVictoria and Rob introduce their guest, Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch America. He’s been in that role for over a decade now, and he oversees not just Citizen Watch America but a total of five brands, including Bulova, Accutron, Alpina, and Frederique Constant. His father owned a high-end luxury retail store, which first got him interested in watches, and in 1982, he became a regional sales rep at Movado. In 2010, he joined Citizen. What’s In A Name? Rob asks about the name Citizen, and Jeffrey explains its importance: having a watch for all people to enjoy. Rob asks if working for a Japanese company is any different from working for an American one. Jeffery says no and emphasizes the importance of the brand over country of origin. He most greatly values innovation, and tells the JCK editors about a watch’s movement that was just 1 mm thick and the innovation that went into creating it. Digital-First OperationsJeffrey says that his consumers easily transitioned to online purchasing, but also explains what his company needed more of to make its website work. Victoria also asks about Jeffrey’s direct-to-consumer ambitions, and Jeffrey explains how Citizen has become a digital-first brand. The terminology it uses is "Citizen First," where its consumers get the best experience possible. Jeffrey then explains how he keeps his brands separate. Collaboration With Disney and MarvelVictoria asked how the Swiss brands Alpena and Frederique Constant are doing, and Jeffery explains how Alpena and Frederique Constant's independent retailers did very well during the holiday season. Victoria also asks what we can expect to see from Citizen this year. Jeffrey talks about its collaborations with Disney and Marvel, as well as innovation coming out of the Bulova brand and its Frank Sinatra collection. He also discusses the upcoming 2021 Grammy Awards and Citizen's involvement. Data, Data, DataJeffrey says Citizen has been using data for years now, but that the pandemic really pushed it to become a digital-first company. CRM is what it primarily uses to create additional sales for the company. Jeffrey says the watch industry's consumer is getting younger, and for Bulova,

    Thu, 21 Jan 2021 - 24min
  • 37 - Episode 35: Jewelry Industry Predictions for 2021

    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/)talk about the trends in 2020 that will continue into 2021. E-commerce? Probably here to stay. They’ll also be covering a Weird Story of the Week. Show Notes 00:30 Rob and Victoria wish listeners a Happy New Year and pick out what business strategies worked last year that might be here to stay in 2021.03:33 E-commerce looks like it’s here to stay.07:14 Victoria believes jewelry will join watches in the circular economy.13:07 Rob gives us a little insight to the new defense appropriations bill and what it means for the jewelry industry.16:10 Victoria touches on Pantone's Colors of the Year.20:05 This episode’s Weird Story of the Week will make you happy as a clam. 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 What We Accomplished in 2020 Happy New Year! While we're facing plenty of uncertainties going into the new year, Victoria and Rob are hopeful. They acknowledge that we have all learned to embrace e-commerce and digital initiatives, and learned to work on the fly. Our Digital Future People think the adoption of e-commerce is here to stay. While we likely won't continue to do everything on Zoom, we will certainly keep some operations online, as we’ve learned to adapt to this new technology. Victoria says the circular economy is on her mind as we go into this new year—especially for gold and watches. She anticipates the circular economy will become more looped into e-commerce initiatives. The Circular Economy While watches have already been a part of the circular economy for some time now, Victoria believes jewelry will be added into the mix soon. Victoria tells us about Omnique, a jewelry site specializing in antique and vintage jewels that's already connecting old jewels to new owners. Rob mentions De Beers experimented with a trade-in service, but ultimately decided that the way to get best value for diamonds was to let consumers auction them online. A Move Toward Greater Transparency According to the new defense appropriations bill, financial institutions will be required to make their ultimate beneficial owner public. Rob has been listening to podcasts that differentiate the underground or shadow economy from our economy, but he points out that the underground economy is really just a part of our overall economy. Hopefully with this new legislation, there will be more transparency in the jewelry industry. Pantone Colors of the Year Victoria talks about the Pantone Colors of the Year: Ultimate Grey and Illuminating. While perhaps not the most obvious colors for the jewelry industry, they are bright and optimistic. Victoria ponders how these colors will be incorporated this year, and she suggests a few stones that may hit the mark. On that note, the JCK editors mourn Tucson not being held in 2021. Weird Story of the Week 2020 has come to a close. But don't worry, there's still plenty of weird to go around, and Rob supplies it with a new Weird Story of the Week. Gosman's Fish Market in Montauk, N.Y., offers a great cup of chowder, but you won’t believe what came out of a batch of clams.

    Tue, 05 Jan 2021 - 22min
  • 36 - Episode 34: Guest Matt Stuller

    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

    Tue, 22 Dec 2020 - 22min
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