Monthly Archives: June 2009

Stuller diamonds? There’s an app for that

The following is reprinted from National Jeweler

By Teresa Novellino

June 15, 2009

Stuller's "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" iPhone application allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

Stuller's "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" iPhone application allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

Las Vegas–Stuller has partnered with Gemvision Corp. on an iPhone application that allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

IPhone users can choose from among thousands of downloadable applications that allow them to use their phones while on the go to do everything from play video games to manage their money to get workout tips.

Soon to be added to the list is the diamond ring application unveiled by Stuller during the Las Vegas jewelry shows, which is called “Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds).” The application will be offered for free to iPhone users beginning in late summer via the iPhone store, said Kerry Hand, Stuller’s executive director of marketing services and public relations.

Hand and Ryan Koning, director of advertising, communications and events for Gemvision, demonstrated how the program will work.

The first step is to use the iPhone’s touch screen to go to the application, which then prompts a user to choose a diamond by carat size and shape, and then a mounting by precious-metal color, either white or yellow. There are a limited number of ring styles currently available through the application, but these include classic styles and additional choices that feature side stones.

After the user has made a diamond and precious-metal color selection, it’s time for the try on. The user then takes a picture of her hand using the iPhone camera. Then, using the iPhone’s touch screen, the user can position the ring onto the picture of the hand, adjusting for a perfect fit. The iPhone can also be held directly on the hand with the image tilted to enjoy the “sparkle” of the diamond image.

The image of the person’s hand, with the chosen ring, can now be e-mailed to friends and family, posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

At this point, the iPhone user can also track down where to find the ring through the “find a jeweler” function of the Live Diamond Try-On application, which uses the phone’s GPS function to pull up Google maps and place virtual pins on the nearest Red Box Diamond Jewelers, ranking each one selected based on proximity, Hand says.

“This is the beauty of the application. It drives consumers to dream big and them pushes them to spend big with Red Box Diamond retailers,” Hand says.

The new application is one of a number of new programs Stuller is offering that are designed to let jewelers take advantage of digital technologies to give consumers expanded options. During the JCK Las Vegas show, Stuller also unveiled the Virtual Diamond Selector program, which allows retail jewelers to go online with customers to choose from 10,000 diamonds by size, shape or color, and the Customized Earring Program, which provides retail jewelers with the chance to customize a pair of diamond earrings exactly the way the customer wants them.

Another new option, Stuller’s 3D Ring Engraver, allows retail jewelers to personalize a wedding band while sitting in the store with their customer, who can choose a unique message and a particular font, and then get a dynamic 3D preview of what the ring will look like once it is inscribed.

Jewelers who are interested in being part of the iPhone application must be Red Box Diamond jewelers. For details, contact Stuller via e-mail at or by calling (800) 877-7777.

Boyajian: Jewelers must change to survive

Bill BoyajianThe following article is a reprint of an article in the National Jeweler written By Teresa Novellino June 03, 2009

Las Vegas–The economic downturn, which has sent jewelry sales skidding downward for the last few quarters, will leave permanent marks on consumer behavior and the retail jewelry business going forward, an industry veteran told attendees of the JCK Las Vegas show.

“If you’re going to continue to do retail the way you’ve always done retail, you’re going to fail,” said Bill Boyajian, industry consultant and former Gemological Institute of America president, speaking at a breakfast keynote session on Saturday. “No one is going to emerge from this recession unchanged.”

Boyajian said he often hears jewelers say they wish things would get back to “normal,” but the reality is, they will have to adjust to a new normal. Late last week, developers placed the project he himself had spearheaded–the 2 million-square-foot World Jewelry Center in Las Vegas–on ice because of economic conditions, serving as yet another example of how the recession has cut across the industry, hurting both mom-and-pop operations and large-scale projects alike.

On the retail level, the economy has only intensified industry consolidation: Over the last several years, 500 to 700 jewelers have gone out of business annually. Last year, some 1,400 retailers closed their doors, and there are predictions that the figure will rise to 2,200 this year, Boyajian said.

Meanwhile, manufacturers are losing business because retailers aren’t buying, and a growing number might turn to retailing themselves to stay afloat.

“I predict the next wave of jewelry retailers will be designers and manufacturers,” Boyajian said.

Echoing a theme that emerged in numerous other seminars held during Jewelry Market Week in Las Vegas, Boyajian said retailers need to get a better handle on their stock through some type of inventory management system that will allow them to make smarter merchandise decisions and ramp up sales.

During the current economic downturn–and afterwards–jewelers should promote their custom and repair services, as well as the bridal category, deemed one of the most recession-resistant categories in tough times.

And although many more jewelers have created Web sites for their stores– evidenced by Boyajian’s informal polling of the audience–they also need to make sure their Web sites are up-to-date and reflective of the type of image they want for their stores, he said.

“The Internet has changed the way people think about purchasing,” Boyajian said, pointing out that younger people, especially, go online to do research before they buy anything.

Jewelers also need to provide leadership for their staffs and hold staff members up to higher standards. In a tough job market, there’s “never been a better time to hold people accountable,” he said.

Another way to distinguish your business is simply to keep a positive attitude.

“The number one hindrance to growth is a self-limiting mindset,” Boyajian said. “Never limit what you can be personally. You need a unique angle to succeed today. Differentiate yourself and your business.”

He also suggests taking advantage of this slower business period to do some networking at the local Rotary Club or Kiwanis Club.

Above all, the one thing that jewelers need to remember is that their product differs from other retail categories because it is often a symbol of celebration, and love.

“We’re selling happy things to happy people,” he said.