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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Las Vegas Jewelry Week Begins with JCK Luxury

The view inside JCK Luxury

The first of the major jewelry shows in Las Vegas opened Tuesday with JCK Luxury. This is the first of five shows that I will be attending during a seven-day period. The event begins following two weeks worth of good news for the U.S. jewelry industry as independent jewelers and several large chains have reported strong sales growth for the first quarter of 2013 along with several reports showing marked improvement in the U.S. economy. It’s the largest streak of positive news I’ve seen in the industry since at least 2008.

Rio Tinto has been marketing its diamonds throughout the jewelry industry supply chain and finally to consumers. This display being shown at JCK Luxury and JCK Las Vegas represents that effort.

This is the time of year where U.S. jewelry retailers buy for the all-important Christmas season. The invitation-only event for luxury retailers kicks off the week. The floors appeared calm and quiet but it is deceiving since all of the invited luxury retailers have appointments. It’s too early to tell whether the positive reports has resulted in stronger business. However, there were interesting things to see. Among them:

The 14k white gold and diamond Anneliese Engagement set starts at $2,750 (not including center stone).

* Bridal jewelry company Jeff Cooper Designs presented a number of rings with the geometric shapes and ornamentation that defines the Art Deco style. It was timed to take advantage of the push toward designs of that period through the movie, The Great Gatsby. The elaborate grill-like design of the Anneliese engagement set (pictured) is finished with touches of round diamonds.

* Chandelier diamond earrings from Supreme Jewelry (pictured above).

* Coast Diamond introduced a number of jewelry pieces using a variety of statement colored gemstones, including this group of rings pictured above.

* Jewelry designer Sethi Couture unveiled several new collections of colorful designs using a variety of materials. Pictured below is one of the company's newest pieces, the "Grace" earrings.

* Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy colored diamonds, introduced a collection of 18k gold jewelry utilizing its inventory of the precious gems (pictured above).

* Big, bold Indonesian Jewelry by Robert Manse, handcrafted in Bali (pictured above).

* Berlin Gothic-Style jewelry by Jessica Kagan Cushman created with oxidized silver and 18k gold (pictured above).

A selection of colored jewelry created with diamonds from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Australia.

* Mining giant Rio Tinto is trying to create excitement throughout the diamond supply chain with manufacturers and retailers for its diamonds by commissioning designers to create pieces from its Argyle and Diavik mines that are manufactured by Rio Tinto's select diamantaires. Pictured above and below highlight some of the pieces being shown in the exhibit.

The “Canoe” diamond necklace created by jewelry designer Reena Ahluwalia made with diamonds from the Diavik mine.

Diamonds in their natural state from the Diavik mine in Northwest Canada are paired with 18k gold that take on the same shapes as the gold. The pieces are by Casa Gi of Belgium.

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