Jewelry Industry News Wire

Gemologue’s Liza Urla Offers 5 Tips to Photograph Pearls Like a Pro

London. March 15, 2021. As the jewelry industry tried to master a digital retail landscape during pandemic lockdowns, gemologist and Gemologue blogger Liza Urla came up with an idea to help: Gem Photo School by Gem Kreatives. (Gem Kreatives is Urla’s branding development agency.)

As a seasoned creative in jewelry—renowned for her Pearl Face look at trade shows and beautiful professional photography on her Instagram feed—Urla teamed up with friend and professional jewelry photographer Julia Flit to teach others how to best shoot jewelry and pearls (her fave!).

“Now more than ever, pearl jewelry photography needs to be unique, eye-catching, and above all, creative,” Urla explains. “We want to teach every jewelry professional and designer the technical skills and expertise to produce high-quality jewelry content for their social media.”

Courses within Gem Photo School are online and can be taken at your own pace. Below, Urla offers a peek at some of the education on offer. Bonus: These tips, a sampling from her Jewellery Photography for Social Media Course, can all be utilized with a smart phone. Check out all of the courses available from GEM Photo School by GEM Kreatives online.

1. Minimize light sources to prevent multiple reflections.

2. When shooting in a casual environment, set up next to a window and turn off ambient light.

3. When shooting in a studio environment, control light with a light box or black-and-white cardboard or plastic sheets. Remember that too much contrast makes pearls look metallic, while no contrast at all makes them look dull.

4. Use a white background for e-commerce photography (simple product shots on white) and experiment with the colors for still life photography. Keep in mind that black backgrounds aren’t necessarily the best choice.

5. Edit your photos. If you want to show the actual colors of your pearls, use the eyedropper tool to correct the white balance and avoid an excessive use of contrast and brightness tools.

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Jewelry Industry News Wire

Atlanta Jewelry Show Offers Sales, Hope, Safety

Atlanta. March 11, 2021. How was the Atlanta Jewelry Show, held March 5–7 at the Cobb Galleria? According to stone dealer and jeweler Kimberly Collins of the eponymous firm, “Phenomenal!”

A store owner from Mississippi thrust eight mountings into Collins’ hands during the fair and instructed her to “Fill them up.” The new account, an independent store that primarily sells diamonds, bought eight stones total. The move was a highlight for Collins, a dealer who is renowned within the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) for her top-quality colored stones and finished jewelry. Since a Tucson fair didn’t happen this year, Collins secured a booth during the March edition of the Atlanta show. She also exhibited in October 2020 at an edition that would normally occur in late August.

“Energy levels were fantastic, and sales were gangbusters,” she says of the recent show. “People kept their masks on, there were hand-sanitizing stations everywhere, and people were excited and happy to be out.”

A New Normal for Shows?

For sure, many in the industry are tiring of lockdowns and not having any trade shows to shop or sell at. As one of the few U.S. trade shows that continues to host events despite the pandemic, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look at this organizer’s efforts. These include temperature checks at entrances, enforced mask mandates (exhibitors witnessed security staff approaching anyone who pulled down their masks), ample hand-sanitizing stations, socially distanced spaces for exhibitors and educational seminars, and limits on the number of participants—including exhibitors. “We had vendors we couldn’t place,” observes Libby Brown, executive director of the show. “We had wait lists for booth space and for seminars. We had to expand both the show floor (four times!) and the ballroom size for education.”

Those in attendance felt safe. Stacey Sears of Holland Jewelers in Apex, N.C., didn’t mind waiting his turn to shop (there were lines at many booths); he was grateful to attend his first trade show in a year. “They took your temperature every day,” he says. Mike Romanella of Commercial Mineral Co. (CMC) agrees. “There’s no question we felt safe. If every show does things the way Atlanta did, we’ll all be just fine.”

While it’s good to acknowledge a show and experience that is positive during this global pandemic, it’s important to remember the coronavirus—and its new strains—still lingers. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there have been nearly 29 million cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and, at press time, 526,213 American deaths. Nearly 96 million doses of vaccines have been administered. Medical professionals maintain that the sooner the nation reaches herd immunity—when a large part of a population achieves immunity to a disease—the sooner the country can safely resume normal activities.

Preliminary figures show 900 retailers registered for the March show, while an estimated 800 attended. There were 200 exhibitors, with about 35 coming from the Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO), which took part in this March edition at Atlanta’s invitation. The October edition saw 115 exhibitors and roughly 800 registered stores, with 600 in attendance. According to Brown, few were present last weekend to just kick tires. “People were really interested in taking product back with them. With no one traveling and holidays still happening … this is helping industry. Many are telling me they’ve had their best year in decades.”

What People Bought

Specifically, fancy-color sapphires, bridal or commitment ring lines, Montana sapphires, and more. At the booth of AGTA member firm Tim Roark, one longtime customer spent his Saturday with Malinda Daniel and Jessica Dillard of the brand, snapping up about 20 stones. “He shops hard,” confirms Daniel, adding that she saw a number of customers she would ordinarily see at the AGTA GemFair Tucson. The result of this pent-up demand? Pretty good. “We had our best Atlanta show ever since we started doing the show 30 years ago,” says Daniel.

It was Romanella’s first time exhibiting at the show, but it won’t be his last; he took part in it as an RJO member exhibitor and likes this time of year for a fair. He sold some colored stones and finished jewelry, but mainly moved estate goods, including an oversize Tiffany & Co. gold cuff bracelet. “Many of our buyers were from Florida,” he observes.

Sears, meanwhile, picked up a new bridal line, a wedding band line for men, and gemstone jewelry for his single-store operation. Sales have been steady for the merchant. “Many customers come in and say they were planning to take a trip, but since they can’t, they’ll get a nice piece of jewelry instead,” he reveals.

For sure, a lack of travel is boosting sales. Daniel’s customers tell her they had good Christmas seasons and need to restock. “The year ended strong for many,” she says about her retail clients. “Without travel, people wanted to create special experiences that included jewelry. Hopefully, as life starts to return to normal, they’ll have room for both.”

Tim Roark sapphires

Matched sapphires weighing 2.76 cts. t.w. that sold during the Atlanta jewelry show; from Tim Roark

Photo by Orasa Weldon

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Jewelry Industry News Wire

PGI Debuts Platinum Business Development Grant Program

New York City. March 11, 2021. Platinum Guild International (PGI) USA has unveiled a Platinum Business Development Grant program that will award up to $500,000 in a three-year program to one or more selected manufacturers, designers, or retailers who submit a qualifying proposal. The move aims to drive an ongoing demand for platinum in jewelry.

Eligibility requirements include a U.S.-based or U.S.-focused business, knowledge of designing and manufacturing in platinum, and making a long-term commitment to designing, manufacturing, and/or selling platinum products.

PGI USA knows consumers place an increased value on symbolic items, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, based on market research conducted last year.

“Prior to the pandemic, the platinum jewelry sector of the industry had grown consistently for the past seven years, increasing more than 60 percent since 2013,” says Kevin Reilly, PGI USA’s vice president. “To continue this trajectory, we believe this newly established program will allow for continued growth, taking platinum jewelry sales to never before seen levels.”

For more information and to apply for the Platinum Business Development Grant, click here. The deadline for applicants is April 30, 2021.

Jewelry Industry News Wire

Novell Global’s Spring/Summer Jewelry E-Catalog Is Available

Rahway, N.J. March 11, 2021. Novell Global’s 2021 Spring/Summer jewelry e-catalog is available and features myriad bridal or commitment ring designs as well as fashion styles, most deliverable within 24 hours. Items can be shipped to your store or drop-shipped directly to consumers in your brand packaging. The digital catalog can be embedded on your website as a custom landing page, emailed to your customer list, or printed as a PDF.

View the private label eBook sample here.

Some of the benefits of offering Novell jewelry include:

• 24-hour delivery on most items

• Flash sale option

• Paid social media and support

• E-blast support

• Specialized in-store marketing and display materials

• Consumer referrals

• Sales rebates

• And more

Forty-five-year-old Novell merged with Continental Jewellery (MFG) Ltd., in 2019 to grow its manufacturing capabilities as well as its portfolio of designs. Novell is known for wedding jewelry, private jewelry brands, drop-ship programs for major e-tailers, and more. Interested retailers can contact Novell directly at or call 888-668-3551 (ext. 2).