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Last updateTue, 12 Dec 2017 7pm

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Virginia jewelers’ passion lies in the beauty of the Bay

For Karen Burke, inspiration comes in waves - gentle, peaceful waves from the breathtaking waters that surround her home and family-owned coastal jewelry business.

Karen is the designer for Burke's Jewelers and its Bay-Gems Collection, which she operates with her husband Fred in the tiny, picturesque town of Kilmarnock, Va. It's an idyllic setting lying between the Chesapeake Bay and Rappahannock River.


Gator Championship boosts RellerGold sales

(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) - Another winning season for the University of Florida Gators has put smiles on the faces of the Gainesville-based RellerGold crew in more ways than one.

Producing the officially licensed UF logo and Gator Jewelry Collection - SwampGoldTM - has been a labor of love for Gator alumnus, Bernard Reller. But the boost in sales that comes with the Gator's National Championship is not lost on him either. "What started as a fun sideline to my Nautical and Treasure Jewelry has turned into a major revenue source in recent years!" commented a beaming Bernard. "We even produce award jewelry for UF's Athletic Association!"

Reller-March
Enameled in the orange and blue of the Florida Gators, RellerGold's sterling silver "Spirit BeadsTM"
retail for $45 each. The beads are compatible with all popular bead bracelet systems.

A surprise bonus came when Reller was asked by some local jewelers to produce a collection of UF logo bracelet beads. The instant success of his Gator "Spirit BeadsTM" pointed to a need for souvenir collections targeting special interests of bead collectors. This new direction has led to a line that now includes over a thousand beads in Nautical, SeaLife and Nature themes produced in sterling, 14K and fused glass - "all made in the USA," Reller hastens to add.

For more information contact RellerGold at (800) 233-4820 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

JSA BULLETIN: Reducing Internal Theft

While every business faces the threat of employee theft, jewelers are especially vulnerable due to the high value of the merchandise involved. While the vast majority of employees are honest, the small percentage who will attempt to steal can inflict very serious damage on a jewelry firm. The ingenuity of dishonest employees has no limits and ranges from simple acts like secretly removing goods from the premises, or removing cash from the cash drawer, to more complex schemes.

NRF forecasts 0.5% decline in retail sales for 2009

Deep Recession Should Finally Give Way to Second Half Growth

(WASHINGTON) - The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its 2009 economic forecast, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will decrease 0.5% from last year. According to its quarterly Retail Sales Outlook report, NRF sees more challenges ahead as consumers continue to shift their spending priorities.

Sterling Reputation trademarks “Silver... The New Gold™”

(SUNRISE, Fla.) - What do you do when gold rises to $1,000 an ounce but you sell silver? The smart jewelry manufacturer selling silver tries to find a way to promote their merchandise. Sterling Reputation, located in Sunrise, Florida did just that with a new marketing campaign directed at jewelry stores. Sterling Reputation's new tagline, "Silver...The New GoldTM", is being used in all their advertisements and marketing pieces.

The campaign is not to discredit the value of gold, but to remind consumers that silver is a great metal that can produce beautiful jewelry. Steve Berkowitz, owner of Sterling Reputation stated, "We wanted to let our stores know that we offer a high quality product that customers will want to wear."

The cost of gold rose to over $1,000 an ounce in early 2008 and published reports stated that the economy was forcing customers to cut back on discretionary spending. Sterling Reputation started to make customer service calls to accounts to find out how their businesses were doing. "We were hearing from our customers that sales have been down in their stores in regards to gold and higher ticket items, but that our jewelry was still selling. We found that our stores were still looking for high quality jewelry that wasn't expensive and we had the right product," said Berkowitz.

Feeling that this was something that they could benefit from, the phrase, "Silver... The New GoldTM" was born. "We also wanted to change the perception in retailer's minds about silver, and it should be offered to customers as an option while shopping," he added.

Because Sterling Reputation prides itself in offering sterling silver jewelry with a rhodium finish, the collection has become a great alternative for stores that would like to complement their showcases with an affordable line. Sterling Reputation hopes to continue on this trend with a recently launched 2009 supplement offering 50 new styles.

Sterling Reputation is a truly unique jewelry company specializing in fine .925 sterling silver with a rhodium finish that resembles platinum and virtually eliminates tarnishing. To learn more about Sterling Reputation, please visit the company website at www.sterlingreputation.com or call (954) 578-1880.

GIA launches new eLearning Accredited Jewelry Professional Program

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has unveiled a new, online, multimedia format for its distance learning courses in gemology and jewelry sales. GIA is offering this advanced education technology, known as "eLearning," to students effective immediately for its Accredited Jewelry Professional (A.J.P.) diploma program.

GIA unveils re-designed 2009 Education Catalog

GIA-catalog-MarchNew education catalog contains all information in one booklet for improved look, accessibility, ease of understanding

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced that the Institute's 2009 Education Catalog is now available and has been entirely re-designed to better meet the needs of students. The catalog is also accessible online, making information about a GIA education more obtainable worldwide.

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