IPromise Jewelry Launches New Bracelet Line

Karen Rosengart, the diamond melee specialist behind IPromise Jewelry by KarenR, has formed a strategic partnership with the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation to help raise awareness for this childhood disease, which affects 15,000 children nationally.

IPromise Jewelry has developed a line of bracelets that the local chapters of the JDRF can partner with local jewelers in their area to purchase in fundraising events. IPromise will donate money to the JDRF.

The IPromise JDRF Blue Diamond Bracelet is set with four blue diamonds. Inside, the bracelet is engraved with the promise of “Peace, Hope, Cure.”

From each bracelet sold, $20 is donated to fund JDRF’s efforts to bring those living with T1D a continuous flow of life-changing therapies and, ultimately, a cure for the disease. IPromise we can work together to create a world without Type 1 Diabetes.

For each IPromise JDRF Leather Charm Bracelet bracelet sold, $5 is donated to fund JDRF’s efforts to bring those living with T1D a continuous flow of life-changing therapies and, ultimately, a cure for the disease. The JDRF and the IPromise logos’ are on the front of the charm and has the message “Peace, Hope, Cure” on the reverse.

The bracelets are made in the U.S. They will be featured and sold at http://www.IPromiseJewelry.com where you can also find the original 12 IPromise bracelets engraved with “I Promise” on the surface and unique meaningful sayings on the inside.

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SBA Names Minnesota Jewelers Among Small Business Persons of the Year

Jim Kruse, founder and Melissa Kelley, president, of J.F. Kruse Jewelers in Saint Cloud, MN, have been named the Minnesota Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Gail Ivers, vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and Barry Kirkhoff, executive director of the Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center (CMSBDC) at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, nominated Kruse and Kelley for this award.

As a teenager, Jim Kruse discovered a talent for sales while potting plants at a greenhouse in St. Paul. In 1979, he was hired at D.J. Bitzan Jewelers in St. Cloud as a bench jeweler and trained as a diamond setter. However he soon found himself in sales there as well. Jim made the decision to change careers due to unforeseen family struggles and turned to construction. But a workplace injury resulted in cracked ribs and the need to find another way to make a living for his family.

Jim returned to jewelry as a diamond setter but began making his own creations and selling them on the side. In 2000 he opened J. F. Kruse Jewelers at the urging of friends and customers. The store started with two full-time (Jim and his sister) and two part-time employees and did $200,000 in sales in its first quarter.

J. F. Kruse Jewelers made use of the SBA 7(a) program in the early years. From 2000 to 2003 it received three different loans to help with the start-up of their business. All of them have been paid off. They received assistance in 2011 and 2012 from the CMSBDC in St. Cloud with their expansion.

Customer service and the dedication to custom jewelry are two things that stand out about J. F. Kruse Jewelers. They are the only custom jewelry store in Central Minnesota that can create a piece in-house from start to finish and sell it retail.

Customers can walk into the store, talk to the staff about what they like, and the staff of artists can create the design, create a wax carving of it, make the piece and adjust it until the customer loves it.

In 2013, J. F. Kruse doubled its size with a new store on Waite Avenue in St. Cloud. Jim was joined in the business by his daughter, Melissa Kelley, 29, who started cleaning the toilets at the store while she was still in junior high school. Today she has a degree in business, is a graduate gemologist, and has taken over ownership of the business, while Jim retired in January.

J.F. Kruse Jewelers takes advantage of their focus on custom jewelry for special types of fundraising. One third of the profits from a special line of jewelry, known as the “Becoming” series, are donated to a revolving list of charities that help deal with crisis pregnancies.

Currently they are working with the St. Cloud Children’s Home to develop a similar philanthropic plan. The store often donates jewelry and gift certificates to raffles with a particular focus at raising money for sick individuals and families hit by disaster. In general, they make in-kind donations to local families and community organizations every week.

J.F. Kruse Jewelers started with nothing to supporting 17 employees and continues to increase their customer base every month. Sales have increased by 7 percent each year since opening the door.

J.F. Kruse Jewelers will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 7 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

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IDEX Online Polished Price Changes – April 16, 2015

by Danielle Max

We see mostly positive movement in diamond prices over the past seven days. Round goods saw some declines in sizes smaller than 0.50 cts, and moderate price gains in larger sizes. Fancy Cuts enjoyed mostly increased prices, apart from declines in the larger goods of 4-5 cts. Following are some of the main changes in this week's IDEX Online Diamond Price Report.

To receive a free copy of the full IDEX Online Diamond Price Report, contact prices@idexonline.com.

Rounds

  • 0.18-0.22 cts D-E / IF-VVS1, down 2-4%
  • 0.23-0.29 cts G / IF and I / VVS1, down 2-3%
  • 0.30-0.39 cts changes including D-E / VVS2-SI2 up 2-4%
  • 0.40-0.44 cts changes including D / SI3 down 2.5% and J / VS2-SI1 up 2-3%
  • 0.45-0.49 cts changes including D-F / SI3-I1, down 2-3%
  • 0.50-0.69 cts changes including D-E / VS2-SI2 up 2-3.5%
  • 0.70-0.79 cts changes including D-F / VS2 and I-K / VVS2 up 1-3%
  • 0.80-0.89 cts G / IF up 3% and K-L / I2 down 4-5%
  • 0.90-0.99 cts changes including D-E / VVS2-VS1 up 2-3%,  G-I / IF-VVS1 up 1.5-3%
  • 1.00-1.24 cts changes including D-E / VS1 up 2-3%
  • 1.25-1.49 cts I-J / I1 up 2-3%
  • 1.50-1.99 cts changes including E / VS1-SI1 up 2-3%
  • 2 cts G-H / IF-VVS2 up 2-3%
  • 3 cts E / SI1 down 3%, G-H / VVS1 up 2-3%
  • 4 cts F / VS2 and E / SI1 down 3% and I / VVS2-VS1 up 2-3%
  • 5 cts H / VS2 and K / SI1 up 3%

Fancy Cuts

  • 0.18-0.22 cts D / VVS2 down 3%
  • 0.23-0.29 cts F-G / SI2 up 4-5%
  • 0.30-0.39 cts D-F / IF up 1.5-2.5%
  • 0.40-0.44 cts changes including D / IF and H / VVS1 up 2.5%
  • 0.45-0.49 no changes
  • 0.50-0.69 cts D-G / VS1+ up 2-3%
  • 0.70-0.79 cts E-G / VVS2 up 1-3%
  • 0.80-0.89 cts changes including F / VVS2 up 3%
  • 0.90-0.99 cts changes including E-H / VVS1-VS1 up 1.5-3%
  • 1.00-1.24 cts F-H / VS1+ up 2-3%
  • 1.25-1.49 cts changes including IJK / IF-VVS2 up 2-4% and I / I1 down 3%
  • 1.50-1.99 cts changes including G-H / IF-VVS2 up 2-3%
  • 2 cts changes including  G-H / VVS up 2.5-3% and M / SI1 down 3%
  • 3 cts D / VVS2 and H / VVS1 down 0.5%
  • 4 cts D-F / IF-VVS1 and F / I1-2 down 3%
  • 5 cts D-F / VS2-SI1 down 3%
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JA Offers Certification Exams at SMART Show, Three Others

Jewelers of America will be offering JA Sales and Management Professional Certification exams at four upcoming trade shows.

The prestigious certifications – open to all jewelry professionals – can advance the careers of jewelry sales associates and managers, differentiate the retail store from competitors and enhance fine jewelry customers’ trust in the jewelry professional.

“In today’s competitive landscape, we are striving to make it easier for jewelers to get the valuable tools they need to gain consumer confidence and keep the jewelry industry vibrant and healthy,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “I strongly encourage retailers to get their staff certified. The benefits from Jewelers of America Professional Certification will far exceed the minimal amount of time and small monetary commitment put into the exam.”  

The Jewelers of America Professional Certification program establishes national standards with two-hour exams that evaluate the proficiency of jewelry professionals at two levels. There is no studying required for the exams in both jewelry sales and management – the certification attests to the existing expertise of the sales or management professional. Those who register in advance to any of the exams listed below save $10 off the exam fee of $35 for JA members and $55 for non-members. Register here.

EXAMS OFFERED ONSITE

  • JA Certified Sales Professional (CSP) – First Level
  • JA Certified Senior Sales Professional (CSSP) – Second Level
  • JA Certified Management Professional (CMP) – First Level
  • JA Certified Senior Management Professional (CSMP) – Second Level

UPCOMING EXAM SESSIONS

SMART SHOW CHICAGO

  • Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
  • Friday, April 17; 10AM-12PM    
  • Friday, April 17; 2:30-4:30PM    

OKLAHOMA JEWELERS CONVENTION

  • Embassy Suites Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Sunday, April 19; Time 1:30-3:30PM

JCK SHOW

  • Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
  • Thursday, May 28; 10:00AM-12:00PM
  • Thursday, May 28; 2:00-4:00PM
  • Friday, May 29; 10:00AM-12:00PM

JA NEW YORK SUMMER SHOW

  • Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY
  • Sunday, July 26; 10:00AM-12:00PM
  • Sunday, July 26; 2:00-4:00PM

Those not able to attend the on-site certification exams can take the exams at any time and at a location convenient to them by registering for a proctored exam.

Jewelers of America led an industry task force, including representatives from all types of retail jewelry stores nationwide, to establish the Jewelers of America Professional Certification program in the late 1990s with the goal of raising the level of professionalism throughout the jewelry industry. Jewelry professionals who successfully complete the nationally recognized certification program receive acknowledgment from Jewelers of America that enhances their standing among colleagues and consumers.

The Jewelers of America Professional Certification program also offers certification for bench professionals in four levels of expertise. For more information on the Jewelers of America Professional Certification program, visit https://www.jewelers.org/benefits/education/certification/ or contact Jewelers of America at 800-223-0673 extensions 8007.

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