Rob Bates of JCK reports that their survey of jewelers from across the U.S. revealed that strong diamond sales formed the backbone of a solid holiday season. Designer lines, gemstones and silver also did well, and, "As usual, jewelers griped that the weather hurt sales - but this year the problem was good weather, as unseasonably warm temperatures dampened the holiday mood." A selection from the jewelers' comments: “The month of December was up by 16 percent. Just the month of December, though. The year is even.… People were less hesitant about purchasing. They didn’t buy a lot more, but they didn’t hem and haw over things; they didn’t ask for discounts.” - Chris Boillot, co-owner, Michael’s Creative Jewelry, Phoenix: “It’s like we have two separate businesses now: diamonds and everything else.” - Debbie Fox, owner, Fox Fine Jewelry, Ventura, Calif.: on the coming year, “We’re just going to hold tight and see how it goes. We are not expecting a big year, just hoping that it is marginally better than this year.” - Taylor Cowardin, co-owner, Cowardin’s Jewelers, Richmond, Va.