By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
New York--This year was another one full of activity for the industry, with the most-clicked-upon stories including those detailing acquisitions, lawsuits, investigations and trends in jewelry design.

Here are the 10 most popular stories on National Jeweler in 2014 by number of pageviews.

Happy New Year to all.  

1. After designer’s death, Scott Kay Inc. to carry on
Scott Kay, one of the industry’s most well-known designers, died of a heart attack in New York on Dec. 4 at the age of 57. His eponymous jewelry company closed the following day in memoriam as the news was released. Though the business opened again just days later, with the Kay family saying that the company will “forge on,” as he would have wanted, the industry continued to remember and honor the industry pioneer.

2. Jeweler admits to selling fakes for last 16 years
After an investigation into Williamsville, N.Y. jeweler Paul Blarr earlier this year found that he was selling diamond simulants as real stones and plated gold as karat gold, Blarr, 47, pleaded guilty in May to the charges brought against him. In total, the charges encompassed 89 victims who lost $630,000. He now faces up to 50 years in state prison, and is expected to be sentenced in January.

3. The top 10 mistakes made in displaying merchandise
This story was reported live from American Gem Society Conclave held in San Diego in April. Larry Johnson of Larry Johnson Consulting held a seminar on opening day about the most common mistakes that jewelers make with their showcases and how they can fix the problems with correct display techniques, signage and by generating new ideas.

4. The ongoing debate over old cuts
This story details the continuing conversation between antique diamond dealers and the GIA regarding the application of modern grading standards to diamonds that were cut decades ago.

5. Brand co. buys Judith Ripka in $22M deal
In April, jewelry company Judith Ripka was sold to Xcel Brands Inc., a New York-based brand management company that also owns Isaac Mizrahi New York and Liz Claiborne New York. Xcel acquired the jewelry brand and its intellectual property for approximately $22.5 million, and it was announced at the time of the deal that Ripka would remain with the company as the brand’s chief designer.

6. Trends from Tucson: Cool colors dominate
This story highlights the top trends seen at the trade shows in Tucson in February. A number of industry experts helped National Jeweler identify the gemstones and colors that were trending across the city, finding that many colors on the cool end of the spectrum were prevalent.

7. Pantone announces the shades of spring
In September, color institute Pantone released the second of its Fashion Color Reports for 2014, announcing the 10 hues that will be prominent in design in spring 2015. The top colors, as defined by Pantone, include Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green, Classic Blue and Toasted Almond.

8. Alor battles Charriol in court, reverts to ‘Alor’
In February, Alor made an announcement that it was “returning to its roots” and no longer would be selling Charriol jewelry in the United States. It would, instead, go back to selling Alor-branded jewelry. Underlying the announcement, National Jeweler found, was a legal battle between the two companies that had begun in the spring of 2013.

9. Signet-Zale: The culmination of consolidation
In February, Signet Jewelers Ltd. and Zale Corp. announced that Signet, parent company of Sterling Jewelers, would acquire Zale in a deal valued at $1.4 billion. After the news was released, National Jeweler analyzed the price tag on the deal, what it would mean for the jewelry industry as a whole and what the real “pickup” of the acquisition was for Signet.

10. Cartier sues former exec for trade secret theft
Cartier filed a lawsuit in July against its former director of off-line advertising. In the suit, Cartier parent company Richemont claimed that Melissa Pordy asked a co-worker to download confidential information about advertising plans, then tried to entice that same employee to follow her to competitor Tiffany & Co. The company sought unspecified damages in the case, the return of the $28,889 in allegedly unearned wages, and the return and/or destruction of any confidential information in her possession.




Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.