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[Biz talk] Canadaian trade recession?

Okay, is it me or with the dollar reaching parity has the entire
Industry crawled under their benches put their fingers in their ears
and started wimpering?

I was supposed to start a part time job at a casting company today
and was told that within the last little while all the work has dried
up so sorry we’ll call you. Individual artists seem to be doing fine
but anyone bigger are quaking in their boots. How real is this? What
are your projections?



I know you’re in Canada but I think you’re probably in the same boat
as the US. Business has been quiet everywhere this summer, at least
rising inflation (yes I know that they keep saying it’s under
control, but with gas staying at $3/gallon, that’s just hogwash),
rising metal prices, stagnant wages coupled with severely rising
health care costs (at least here in the US), people worried about
the environment, the economy and the war in Iraq I believe the retail
business has become stagnant. That translates to less wholesale
orders, which yes translates to less jobs. It doesn’t have to be a
disaster for everyone if you stay on your toes and adjust quickly to
the changing market conditions, but I’m not expecting much growth
for the next couple of years.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Okay, this is one time when I will argue with the editing done to my
subject line (I do understand the reasoning). I will leave it as such
but I didn’t call it a recession as I don’t think it is a recession;
I do want to know how wide spread the “parity panic” is however, is
it just manufacturing? Is the business going to the states? Are
people just waiting to see if it will crash again? What do people
think is happening?

Also I can actually spell Canadian, not many other words I’ll grant
you, but Canadian is on the short list of words I get right pretty
much all the time. so :stuck_out_tongue:

Norah Kerr


Things are not quite the same boat here, every body is talking about
how strong the economy is, the Canadian dollar is up, not only
against the US dollar but against the Pound and the Euro. The price
of metal is up even more and is the price of oil, but that’s what is
driving our country as we have lots of holes in the ground to pull
the stuff out of. Gas is still about a $1 a litre but food is getting
cheaper, only industry making loud complaints in the news is auto
manufacturers as those jobs are all going south of the boarder now*.
Yes jobs have been slowly draining away to Asia for a while, but I
don’t know, something just seems off so I was wondering what
everybody else was seeing here.

Norah Kerr

Being Canadian I look around me and all I see are jobs advertised.
Things are getting desperate here and there is nobody to fill the
jobs. Restaurants are having to close at 5 pm because they have no
one to work the dinner hours. It is sad that some business owners
have gone to Mexico to bring people up to Canada to work. What is
happening??? I know a few oil drillers and workers for the crew and
they can work all year round if they like, there is that much oil -
so why do we pay through the nose for it? Gold has once again been
discovered in new mines in Northern B.C. and Alberta - but there is
nobody to mine it? So why is it so expensive to purchase it? The
Swiss have not helped in any way but they do have to get rid of
$500,000 million dollars of gold within the next few years. Does that
mean we are going to be getting it cheaper? Nope it means the price
is still going to go up. Since our dollar has been getting stronger I
thought that I might purchase some items from across the line. Well
it turns out the Master Card hasn’t heard about the dollar rising or
they are just not willing to let the cash cow go. The economy will
only stand for so much and then it crashes. Is that what we are in
for? I make 18K gold necklaces, original, one of a kind pieces yet
the people are still wavering over a 18K plated necklace from China.
You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Guess I will have
to try to find a part time job now.

Hi Norah,

Here in rural Ontario business keeps muddling along. I’m a special
order jeweller and I make a living making ring that are not in the
catalogues. I specialize in diamond setting and engraving. So there
enough work to keep me busy. I hear form the store owner that the
travelers come in crying the blues about sales. There giving great
terms on anything you want to give them post dated checks for. This
is not the robust industry of days gone by. If you have a bricks and
motor business, your holding your breath to see if you can meet this
months rent. It’s really been like this for about 5 years. Store
still remain in business and some store still do really well. It
really depends on how good of a salesman you are. It come down to
service and if you know most of customers personally. Just coming
out in a business suit and smiling just doesn’t cut it. You have
actually know what your talking about. Not just having a diploma for
GIA on Diamond grading. You’re now required to have a sense of style
and artistic flair to be able to design a ring or at least know if
ring matches a dress a customer is wearing. How many Canadians want
to work that hard in this industry, or know where to look for the
There are some and they are doing okay.

The industry is demanding more knowledge of the people that wish to
work in it. The problems where do you get trained in Canada. I know
where, do you?


Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair

I absolutely agree to Jim. I think finally jewelry too has come to be
a “buyer’s market” like the rest of fashion & luxury segment. I think
the biggest mistake historically has been, treating jewelry as
"commodity". The “romance and desire” side has been totally
neglected. Hence we find a situation where a mobile hand set can be
easily sold for $300 without anyone batting an eyelid (although it’s
plastic / fiber and some electronic chips) and consumers tend to
weigh the gold value and diamond value against an equally priced
jewelry piece. The only people who can and are making money are in
the luxury segments who have romanticized jewelry “branded” it.

For smaller folks like us, I think the way forward is to have a
"niche". It could be anything from selling to manufacturing.
Else… time to fold up.


I agree. A common thing I hear is how most jewellery on the market
today has a mass-produced appeal. Finding or creating a niche is
essential (afterall, no one really needs a Rolex).

Here’s an article I found a couple of years ago that’s quite

Small Adventurers in the High-End Jewel Trade By GUY TREBAY

Alex Rose LLC