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MJSA Member News

MJSA members can send news items by e-mailing MJSA.

Inaugural Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Held in October

The brainchild of Susan Wheeler of Susan Wheeler Design in Chicago, and Andrea Hill of Hill Management Group in Chicago, the inaugural Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference was held Oct. 13-14 at Columbia College in Chicago. All sectors of the industry, including retailers, manufacturers, diamond dealers, designers, associations, and service providers, were in attendance, as well as representatives from the U.S. State Department, Pact (an international NGO), and Underwriters Laboratories. Participants received extensive education and resources, engaged in a discussion forum, brainstormed new initiatives, and set goals toward more responsible jewelry practices. The full conference was filmed, and individual sessions are available for sale on ethicalmetalsmiths.org. The next conference will be held Oct. 19-20; to learn more, visit chiresponsibleconference.com.

Stuller Announces Dates for Bench Jewelers Workshop

Stuller Inc. will be holding its annual Bench Jewelers Workshop March 23-25 at its headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. The workshop will feature a number of hands-on demonstrations and educational seminars, including basic diamond grading, fusion welder training, social media photography, increasing profits with repairs, and visual merchandising. The event will also feature the third annual Battle of the Benches competition. Contact: Stuller Inc., 1-800-877- 7777, ext. 4300, stuller.com.

Stuller Aquires B&D Sales Corp.

Stuller Inc. in Lafayette, Louisiana, recently announced the acquisition of B&D Sales Corp., a laser welder and engraver company located in Cranston, Rhode Island. The acquisition will pro- vide customers of both companies with an expanded offering of laser welders, engravers, and cutters. “Like Stuller, B&D Sales puts a huge focus on their customers’ success with its business models,” says Danny Clark, president of Stuller. “Partnering with the B&D team will allow us to expand our product line, broaden our equipment services, and meet our customers’ evolving needs.”

IGI Launches Site

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) in Antwerp, Belgium, has launched a website specifically for its Italy Alumni Association. Written in Italian and accessible through IGI’s web- site (igi.org), the new site provides gem-related course information, relevant articles, applicable networking opportunities, and upcoming events.

Signet to Open Testing Lab

Signet Jewelers in Akron, Ohio, is planning to open a testing laboratory for synthetic diamond detectors. The company has been working with United Laboratories (UL) for the last nine months to create a facility for vetting the synthetic diamond testing machines. Signet will use devices from the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research, GIA, and HRD Antwerp. In time, Signet and UL will create a benchmark for judging detection machines from around the world.

NYJDI Offers New Courses

New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) started 2018 with an entrepreneurial focus, providing professional development opportunities for those looking to jumpstart a career in jewelry design. This January, NYJDI offers five courses covering the institute’s Art, Business, and CAD (ABC) pillars. Jenine Lepera Izzi, creative director, explains, “The ABCs are an easy way to remember what the full program is about. Our course of studies is circular, not linear, so students can begin anywhere. There is no starting, or ending point.” For more information about the courses, contact NYJDI at 1-212-951-1314 or email info@nyjdi.com

Jewelers Mutual Earns Superior Financial Strength Rating

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company earned its 31st consecutive A Superior financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company. The insurer, headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, serves both commercial jewelry businesses and personal jewelry owners. "Jewelers Mutual is pleased that A.M. Best continues to recognize our sustained strength," said Scott Murphy, Jewelers Mutual’s president and CEO. “We are honored to be recognized for our stability and will continue to deliver the best customer service to keep our policyholders safe and secure," he concluded. 

RIVA Adds 3-D Printing Department

RIVA Precision Manufacturing, a vertically integrated fine jewelry manufacturing facility, has developed a comprehensive 3-D printing department for the trade. Resins are printed in high resolution, and with high surface output, ensuring excellence in surface quality. Cross technologies are also being integrated, complementing the work being done on new printers, with an emphasis on customer service accompanying technological advances. Jennifer Theokary, Manager of the 3D Print Department, says, “The technology we have purchased will help us run an effective printing service bureau.”

In related news, the company is expanding product development capabilities into new divisions, with Product Development Director, Jerry Taylor, at the helm. Prior to the new role, Taylor managed PD and casting at Hoover & Strong, managed jewelers and shop workers for repairs, and was a plant operation director for two companies. His expertise across tools, techniques, cost analysis, and manufacturability complements RIVA’s efforts for expanded specialty growth. CEO and Founder of RIVA Precision Manufacturing, Ted Doudak, says, “As we grow the services available to customers, we are strengthening our technical capabilities. Jerry knows the process, and has a good handle on the customer’s demand for attention and detail. We are glad to have him on board.”

Stuller hires Bryan Morgan

Bryan Morgan joins Stuller as chief systems and technology officer. He will oversee the global manufacturer and supplier’s IT infrastructure and Gemvision operations. Prior to joining Stuller, Bryan held a variety of executive positions at Signet Jewelers and management roles with The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and General Mills. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  

Garlan Chain relocates

Garlan Chain has settled into their new location in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. David Gariepy, owner, states, “With this move, I wanted to increase efficiency, expand production, and decrease lead times. Not only did we meet our goal, but we are in a more modern building and continue our commitment to green energy with a brand new solar installation.” The new address is: Garlan Chain, 417 John Dietsch Blvd., North Attleboro, MA 02763. 

Revere Academy names Tahitian pearl jewelry design contest winners

The Revere Academy of San Francisco announced the winners of its second Tahitian pearl jewelry design contest. The competition included a category for Revere instructors this year. Jurors selected winners on the basis of originality, design, marketability, and craftsmanship. Revere Academy, along with Black Market Pearls and Air Tahiti Nui, offered both student and instructor category grand prizes of round-trip airfare to Tahiti, as well as cash prizes. The winning pieces will be displayed in an exhibition at Sofia Gallery in Mill Valley, CA, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5. The Grand Prize in the student category was awarded to William Robertson of Cedarburg, WI for his piece "Tahitian Tides". The piece is a pendant featuring a 13mm grey semi-baroque Tahitian pearl, Akoya pearl, eighteen white diamonds, and five paraiba tourmalines. All are set in 18k yellow gold with 20k yellow gold accents. Jenny Reeves of San Francisco won the Grand Prize in the instructors’ category for her piece "Sun and Sea." The piece is a hollow form pendant in Argentium sterling silver, 18K, 22K, and 23K gold with Tahitian pearl, watermelon tourmaline and .07ct reclaimed white diamond (set on back) on stainless steel cables with handmade hook closure that adjusts from 16" - 18". 

Ti-Research promotes workshop safety

Ti-Research, a German supplier of casting-related machines, tools, and supplies, is teaming up with Buffalo, New York–based G-TEC Natural Gas Systems to promote workshop safety: Anyone who buys specified torch and casting equipment from Ti-Research can also purchase a G-TEC torch booster at a discount of up to 18 percent. The boosters aid the flow of natural gas from utility pipes, helping to prevent dangerous flashbacks and avoid the need to store natural-gas tanks. To learn more, go to http://www.ti-research.com/en/gs/Occupational-Safety-Initiative.html.

Saul Bell Design Award Accepting Entries

Entries are now being accepted for the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award. This year’s competition features nine categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, Emerging Jewelry Artist (with two tiers for those 18 years old and younger or 22 years old and younger), and Jewelry Collection. New for this year, the Jewelry Collection category invites designers to make a cohesive set of wearable pieces, and it features two categories: Couture/Fine and Fashion/Bridge. Deadline: Oct. 26. Contact: Rio Grande, 1-800-952-6222, saulbellaward.com.

PGI Receives Awards

Platinum Guild International (PGI) USA recently received several awards for its video series, “Behind the Scenes with Platinum Designer and Editor Series.” Produced by Elias World Media, the series was designed to raise awareness of the use of platinum and to educate consumers about the benefits of choosing platinum jewelry. The video series won three bronze Telly Awards for Videography/Cinematography, Editing, and a People’s Telly Award. In addition, PGI and Elias World Media were honored with two platinum Hermes Creative Awards in the Educational and Documentary categories.

Bill Taubner Honored by the Pelham Civic Association

Bill Taubner, an executive vice president of Ball Chain Mfg. Co. Inc. in Mount Vernon, New York, will be honored as the 2017 Person of the Year by the Pelham Civic Association at its 78th Annual Dinner Dance in late October. A lifelong resident of Pelham Manor, New York, and an active member of the association, Taubner is being honored for his years of community service. 

Signet Acquires R2Net

Signet Jewelers Ltd. in New York City has announced plans to acquire R2Net in New York City for $328 million. R2Net is the owner of online retailer JamesAllen.com as well as Segoma Imaging Technologies, which allows R2Net to deliver next-generation digital shopping experiences for jewelry. Following the acquisition, which is slated to be completed by the third quarter of 2017, R2Net brands will largely operate as an independent division of Signet and its current leadership team will remain intact.

Alchemy 9.2.5 Calls for Entries to the “LOVE” Design Challenge

Alchemy 9.2.5 the “LOVE” Design Challenge has announced a call for entries, asking U.S.–based artists to create a piece of wearable jewelry exploring the theme of love using the designated kit. An exhibition of 30 juried pieces will be on display at 48 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA, Feb 3–March 3. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Toolbox Initiative, toolboxinitiative.org. The deadline for entry submission is December 4. Send a document with name, email, phone number, and three photos of the finished piece via DropBox or email to info@alchemy925.com. The $39 application fee covers the challenge kit (assembled by Halstead) and shipping within the US. The kit can be purchased from August 1 to September 1 from alchemy925.com. The accepted entries must be for sale during the exhibition. Three winning artists will be given the opportunity to have a collection of their work featured in a future exhibition at ALCHEMY 9.2.5. in early 2019. For more information, contact info@alchemy925.com or call 617-484-9250.

Jewelers Mutual Makes Ward’s Top 50  

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has been named to the 2017 list of Ward’s 50 top-performing insurance companies for the seventh consecutive year. The award recognizes outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over a five-year period from 2012-2016. “Our team at Jewelers Mutual consistently strives to go above and beyond,” said Scott Murphy, president and CEO of Jewelers Mutual. “It is an honor for their efforts to come to fruition by being named to Ward’s Top 50 another year.”

Alan Revere Puts the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts on the Market

The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts founder and teacher, Alan Revere, is retiring and looking for the right person to purchase the school, which offers 100 classes in traditional and contemporary jewelry-making skills each year. An award-winning jewelry designer and German-trained master goldsmith, Revere established the school in San Francisco in 1979 to bring European-style jewelry training to the Bay Area. He says, "With thousands of our graduates creating jewelry across the US and around the world, I feel satisfied that my efforts have been successful." The classes will continue as scheduled through the end of 2017.

Gannon & Scott Inc. Launches a TRu3Tec Thermal Deduction System

Metal refiner Gannon & Scott Inc. has launched a new TRu3Tec thermal deduction system that can recover precious metals from residual plating wastes with high efficiency. The new system at the company’s Cranston, Rhode Island, metals recovery facility can process combustible materials with a low percentage of precious metals such as ion exchange resins, plating filters, and rags. It operates at relatively low temperatures to dramatically reduce the formation of hazardous byproducts, and features advanced environmental controls to further reduce waste emissions. Pollution controls for the Tru3Tec system include quenching, cyclonic separation, wet scrubbing of exhaust gases, and dust collection.

Bill Taubner Honored as the Pelham Civic Association’s 2017 Person of the Year

The Pelham Civic Association, which assists the youth, the elderly, the financially needy, and the physically and mentally challenged, will honor Bill Taubner, executive vice president of Ball Chain Manufacturing in Mount Vernon, New York, as its 2017 Person of the Year at the 78th Annual Dinner Dance at The Fountainhead, in New Rochelle. Pelham Civic president, Ken Shirreffs, said, “We are extremely proud to be honoring Bill who has made a significant difference in enhancing the quality of life in Pelham… particularly with their exemplary efforts in helping those in need.”  

Members Win the 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards

The following members are winners of the 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards, which will be presented during the 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards Gala on February 3. It will take place during the 2018 AGTA GemFair Tucson, held on January 30 - February 4 at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Best Use of Platinum and Color: Eddie Sakamoto, Sakomoto Designs, Torrance, CA

Bridal Wear - 1st Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc., Los Angeles

Bridal Wear - Manufacturing Honors: Randy Coffin, Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers, Chandler, AZ

Bridal Wear - Entry Platinum Innovation: Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc., New York City

Business/Day Wear - 1st Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, CA

Business/Day Wear - 2nd Place: Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, Greenville, SC

Business/Day Wear - 3rd Place: Mimi Favre, Mimi Favre Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Business/Day Wear - Honorable Mention: Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc., New York City

Business/Day Wear - Honorable Mention: Omi Prive, West Covina, CA  

Business/Day Wear - Manufacturing Honors: Gregore Morin, Gregore & Jennifer-Rabe Jewelry, Santa Barbara, CA

Business/Day Wear - Entry Platinum Innovation: Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc., New York City

Classical - 2nd Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive, West Covina, CA  

Classical - 3rd Place: Oscar Heyman, Oscar Heyman, New York City

Classical - Honorable Mention: Oscar Heyman, Oscar Heyman, New York City

Classical - Manufacturing Honors: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc., Los Angeles

Evening Wear - 1st Place and Best Use of Platinum and Color: Eddie Sakamoto, Sakamoto Designs, Torrance, CA

Evening Wear - Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc., Los Angeles

Men’s Wear - 1st Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc., Los Angeles

Men’s Wear - 3rd Place: Dawn Muscio, D. Muscio Designs, Sandy Springs, GA

Men’s Wear - Honorable Mention and Platinum Honors: Randy Coffin, Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers, Chandler, AZ

Men’s Wear - Manufacturing Honors: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive, West Covina, CA

Objects of Art - 2nd Place: Susan Helmich, Susan Helmich Fine Jewelry, Colorado Springs, CO

Tahitian Peal Jewelry Contest Now Open to Instructors

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts announced a new category in its Tahitian Pearl Jewelry Contest, to be held for the second year in a row. The competition is now open to past and present Revere Academy instructors, as well as all current and former Revere students. Grand-prize winners in both categories will receive two round-trip tickets to Tahiti. In addition, cash prizes will be awarded in two categories: jewelry over $1,500 and jewelry under $1,500 retail. Student categories will have a first, second, and third-place cash prizes, while instructors will have first- and second-place cash prizes. Selection committee includes jewelry designer Sarah Graham and designer and President of the American Jewelry Design Council Barbara Heinrich. Revere students and instructors can submit entries at bit.ly/ReverePearlContestEntry. Deadline for submissions is August 28. Winners will be announced on Sept. 15. For more information, see revereacademy.com/Tahiti.

Ben Messer Wins Special Merit Award

Ben Messer of Facet Foundry Jewelry Studio in Gastonia, North Carolina, won the Award of Special Merit at the 2017 Jewelrythis “The Spotlight is on You” JCK 3D jewelry design competition. Jewlerythis is the online service that lets jewelers find, create, and manufacture CAD designs from a single platform.

Solidscape Launches New Site   

Solidscape launched a new website with a new URL: Solidscape.com. To ensure that you receive emails from their new email address, precision@solidscape.com, please add it to your safe senders list, your primary Gmail tab, or your address book.

PGI Launches Catalog, Site

In honor of its 25th anniversary, Platinum Guild International (PGI) USA in New York City has launched an anniversary edition of its Platinum Edition Catalog, which showcases the work of platinum jewelry designers and will be distributed to retailers throughout the U.S. In addition to a new online training program for sales associates, PGI USA has launched a new website (platinumjewelry.com) to serve as a dynamic online destination for consumer education and inspiration about platinum jewelry.

Industry Mourns the Loss of Lee Marshall

Lee Marshall, best known as the inventor of the Knew Concepts red jeweler’s saws, and the Bonny Doon hydraulic presses, passed away in June at the age of 81 after a brief struggle with cancer.

When he was 12, he received a wrecked car from his father, who told him he could drive it if he could fix it. Two years later, he was tooling around town; this started his life-long love of cars. Marshall lost his left leg at 18 due to an oil-rig accident, but still became a race driver and a pit mechanic. He started his first business making gear for the auto racing industry, for which he received his first patents. Later, he worked for many years doing industrial process design in Colorado and southern California.

Deciding that Santa Cruz was more his style, Marshall moved to a house on a mountain in a redwood forest, and started a new job as head of engineering for a hot glue factory. Due to poor ventilation at the factory, he was exposed to chemical vapors that radically affected his memory and mental function. During rehab he took his first metalsmithing class, and was dismayed by the crude hydraulic presses. Marshall made a press with a better design, and Bonny Doon Engineering grew to dominate the market for hydraulic presses and tooling for jewelers. After many years and several awards, he retired and sold Bonny Doon.

Two weeks later, Marshall started a new company, Knew Concepts. He was the first person in at least 100 years to reconsider the design of jeweler’s saws. He improved the performance of the most fundamental jeweler’s tool, the saw frame. Marshall never lost his joy in making new things, and often joked about creativity requiring both “an open mind and a pile of junk” to mine for parts or inspiration.

Signet Appoints Virginia Drossos as CEO

Signet Jewelers Limited’s board of directors has appointed Virginia "Gina" C. Drosos, who has served as an independent director of the company’s board since 2012, as the new chief executive officer of Signet, effective August 1. Drosos has more than 29 years of executive leadership experience in the beauty and consumer goods industries. She previously served as president and CEO of Assurex Health and as a group president of Global Beauty Care at The Procter & Gamble Company.

Christina Malle Launches New Site

Christina Malle, New York-based fine jewelry designer, has launched christinamalle.com. The new website features a Cabinet of Curiosities section, inspired by the Kunstkammer, or theatre of the world, originating in the 16th century. A full shop is available online, searchable by type: earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, cufflinks, key rings, and silver. 

Rio Grande Recognizes Winners

Rio Grande honored the winners of its 17th annual Saul Bell Design Award at a celebration dinner held during the Santa Fe Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. First- and second-place winners were recognized in eight categories, as was an overall Best of Show winner. Winners can be found at saulbellaward.com.

Stuart Lee Retires

Signet Jewelers Limited has announced the retirement of Stuart Lee, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. Lee began his career at Signet as a Director of Gold in the Merchandising department in August 1996. He went on to become the Director of Jared Merchandising & Corporate Watches, helping grow the store brand. He was promoted to vice president of corporate merchandising and later to senior vice president of merchandising, general manager, and executive vice president of merchandising.

Adam Graham Receives Sallie Morton Award

Adam Graham, director of sales and marketing at Omi Gems in Huntington Beach, California, received the Sallie Morton Award, which recognizes the contribution of individuals who have gone over and above in their service to the American Gem Society, at the annual Conclave in Las Vegas.

AGS releases Only My Diamond

The American Gem Society Laboratories in Las Vegas released Only My Diamond, a new online interactive tool designed to provide consumers with information in an engaging way.

Virtual Diamond Boutique Rebrands

New York City–based Virtual Diamond Boutique has introduced a new logo that refers to the diversified offerings available through its "digital storefront" app: searchable diamond, colored gemstone, and jewelry inventories; an imaging system; and a virtual inventory management system.

Stuller Ensures Diamond Integrity

After establishing a Diamond Lab, Stuller has announced plans to incorporate the following machines to ensure diamond integrity: De Beers Automated Melee Screening Device 2, three advanced analytical spectrometers, the De Beers’ PhosView, the portable D-Screen machine from HRD Laboratories, and the Presidium screener.  

Stuller Releases Catalog

Stuller has released its newest tools catalog, Tools, Equipment, and Metals 2017-2018. This 600 page catalog includes more than 750 new products.

Hoover & Strong Adds Lab Grown Diamonds

Hoover & Strong announced the addition of certified Lab Grown diamonds to its product selection. All stones have a unique laser inscription on the girdle and are accompanied by a certificate.

Adam Neeley Chosen as Finalist of Saul Bell Design Awards

Adam Neeley, of Laguna Beach, CA, was one of the finalists of the 17th annual Saul Bell Design Awards organized by Rio Grande. His “Aqua Morgana” was chosen in the Gold/Platinum categoryof the international jewelry-making and hollowware competition. Winners will be announced at an awards dinner on May 21, in Albuquerque, NM.

Members Achieve RJC Certification

Bazar Group (dba Imperial-Deltah) and Swarovski for Professionals/Crystals & Jewelry Solutions Business have achieved the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) certification by meeting the highest ethical, human rights, social, and environmental standards.

Stuller Announces Bridge Conferences

Stuller’s 2017 Bridge conferences will take place June 25-27, July 16-18, Aug. 20-22, Sept. 10-12, and Oct. 15-17. Held at Stuller’s headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, the conference will feature classes highlighting issues such as understanding industry trends, business planning essentials, inventory management, customer experience, customization technology, and branding and marketing.

Cindy Edelstein Memorial Charity Auction to Go Live

Contemporary Jewelry Design Group (CJDG) in association with the COUTURE Show, announced that the inaugural Cindy Edelstein Memorial Charity Auction will go live beginning May 15. This online auction of jewelry donated by CJDG members, auction.cjdg.jewelry, will be open until 4 p.m. on June 3, when the winning bids will be announced at the Wynn Resort. Proceeds will be donated to Jewelers For Children and to the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Cindy Edelstein Scholarship Fund.

Adam Graham Honored at AGC’s Conclave

Adam Graham, director of sales and marketing at Omi Gems in Huntington Beach, California, was honored at the American Gem Society (AGS) annual Conclave, which was held in April in Las Vegas. He was awarded the Sallie Morton Award that recognizes the contribution of individuals who have gone over and above in their service to the AGS. 

Sapphires of Montana by Columbia Gem House Formed

Columbia Gem House in Vancouver, Washington, and Sapphires of Montana have united, resulting in Sapphires of Montana by Columbia Gem House. “Since Sapphires of Montana was modeled on the Fair Trade, mine-to-market principals of Columbia Gem House, uniting the brands is a positive next step,” said Lisa Brooks-Pike, co-owner and vice president of sales and marketing for Sapphires of Montana, who will continue with Columbia Gem House as marketing director.

Ann S. Arnold and Michael Pelto Elected to The Jewelers Board of Trade

The Jewelers Board of Trade in Warwick, Rhode Island, has announced the election of its board of directors. Ann S. Arnold of Arnold Advisory Group LLC in Norwood, New Jersey, was elected second vice-chairman. Michael Pelto of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. in Neenah, Wisconsin; was newly elected as director and will serve a two-year term.

Stuller Hosts Bench Jeweler Workshop

Stuller Inc. in Lafayette, Louisiana, recently hosted its annual Bench Jeweler Workshop, welcoming more than 200 jewelers from across the country to its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. The event featured the second annual Battle of the Benches competition, which pitted four jewelers against each other in a head-to-head contest. Jyothi Forman of Georgies Fine Jewellery in Batemans Bay, Australia, won the Parts and Pieces Challenge and Polishing and Finishing Challenge; she was declared the Overall Winner. Jonathan Smiddy of Acori Diamonds & Design in Friendswood, Texas, won the competition’s CAD and Render Challenge.

Myriam Gumuchian Honored at the AGS Circle of Distinction Dinner

The American Gem Society in Las Vegas will honor Myriam Gumuchian, among other leaders in the jewelry industry, at its annual Circle of Distinction dinner in July. Gumuchian, co-owner of Gumuchian in New York City, will be awarded the distinctive AGS Triple Zero Award for her accomplishments and dedication to the fine jewelry industry.

B9Creations Nominated for Best Personal 3D Printer

B9Creations in Rapid City, South Dakota, has been nominated for Best Personal 3D Printer of the Year in 3D Printing Industry’s first annual 3D Printing Industry Awards. Voting is currently underway on the company’s website (3dprintingindustry.com), and winners will be announced at an awards dinner in London on May 20.

Signet Jewelers to Open Testing Laboratory

Signet Jewelers in Akron, Ohio, is planning to open a testing laboratory for synthetic diamond detectors. The company has been working with United Laboratories (UL) for the last nine months to create a facility for vetting the synthetic diamond testing machines. Signet will use devices from the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research, GIA, and HRD Antwerp. In time, Signet and UL will create a benchmark for judging detection machines from around the world.  

Hoover & Strong Presents at Polygon Conclave & Trade Event

Hoover & Strong sales director, Larry Bock, presented a seminar on Sourcing Precious Metals & Gemstones Responsibly at the annual Polygon Conclave & Trade Event held April 1st through 3rd in Chicago. This event featured a unique combination of education, networking, and business opportunities, that bring together jewelry industry professionals from around the world. Other seminars included discussion of Synthetic Diamonds: What You Need to Know and Colored Stones Market Trends.

Aucoin Hart Jewelers Wins at 2017 CASE Awards

Aucoin Hart Jewelers in Metairie, Louisiana, won a 2017 CASE Award for a pair of diamond and sapphire earrings designed by David White. The earrings, which featured two 8.5 mm pearls, round sapphires, and round brilliant cut diamonds set in 18k white gold, competed in the Jewelry $2,001 to $5,000 category.  

JVC Appoints President

Tiffany Stevens has been appointed president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in New York City. She succeeds Cecilia Gardner, who served in the position for 18 years. Prior to joining the JVC, Stevens served as the chief operating officer at the Sohn Conference Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research and medical fellowships. She previously held leadership roles at nonprofits and foundations focused on the environment, education, and the arts. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, she is an active board member of several not-for-profit organizations.

Barbara Wheat Appointed CEO and President to AIGS

Barbara Wheat has been appointed chief executive officer and president of the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS) in Bangkok. She most recently served as executive vice president of the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) in New York City. Wheat and AIGS will continue to support NCDIA through educational programs and in developing grading standards for natural color diamonds through the AIGS Lab.

Gumuchian Awarded Made in NY Certification

Gumuchian in New York City has been awarded the Made in NY certification, which highlights manufacturers who have shown a commitment to local production and innovation.

Color Merchants Joins the Plumb Club

Color Merchants Inc., a New York City–based supplier of diamond and colored gemstone jewelry, recently joined The Plumb Club, a coalition of "best in class" manufacturers spanning all sectors of the jewelry, diamond, and watch industries.

NYJDI Brings Designer Trilogy Course to NYC

The New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has launched a new trilogy course to teach business essentials for budding designers. The three courses, spread throughout the year, are: Jewelry Marketing and Branding, Increase Your Jewelry Sales, and the Business of Jewelry Design. For more information about the courses, contact NYJDI 212-777-5393 (JEWEL) or email info@nyjdi.com.

CPAA Awards MJSA Members

The Cultured Pearl Association of America has announced the following members as winners of its 7th annual International Pearl Design Contest:

Orient Award: “Orbital,” Brenda Smith, Woodstock, GA

The Fashion Award: “Skeletal Pearl Collar,” Chelsea Knights, Long Beach, CA

Commendation Winners: Barbara Heinrich, Pittsford, NY; Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, CA

Jerry Ehrenwald Joins USKPA Board

The United States Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA) appointed Jerry Ehrenwald, G.G., A.S.A, president and CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), to its Board of Directors. 

JM Hires Kathryn Sieman

Kathryn Sieman joined the executive leadership team of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, assuming the role of chief financial officer and treasurer. She brings more than 20 years of insurance industry experience to her new role, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at SECURA Insurance.

Stuller to hold Bench Jewelers Workshop

Stuller Inc. will be holding its annual Bench Jewelers Workshop March 24-27 at its headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. The workshop will feature a number of hands-on demonstrations and educational seminars, including working with digitally grown assets, laser training, working with platinum, and polishing and plating. The event will also feature the second annual Battle of the Benches competition.

Greenwich St. Jewelers and Stuller Win WJA Awards

The Women’s Jewelry Association presented the following members with awards of excellence in the following categories:

Retail (fewer than 15 doors): Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale, Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City

Sales: Maren Rosen, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana

LeachGarner Restructures

LeachGarner has announced the following structural changes: Joe White has resigned as president effective February 9, 2017. Dennis Ulrich and Dave Meleski are interim co-presidents. Beverly Mouttet has been promoted to senior vice president of Finance and Admin. Joe Esposito took on the position of executive vice president.

MFA Publishes Oscar Heyman: The Jewelers’ Jeweler

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announced the publication of Oscar Heyman: The Jewelers’ Jeweler, an illustrated history of Oscar Heyman & Brothers, a firm that has designed memorable jewelry since 1912. It features photography of vintage and contemporary pieces, as well as design drawings, highlighting Oscar Heyman’s vital contribution to the industry. The book will be available on April 1, 2017.

Riva Precision Manufacturing Rebrands

Riva Precision Manufacturing unveiled a new website and logo—the antlers of a stag that represent wisdom. A diamond is formed from the negative space created between the ten-point antlers. The logo reinforces the company’s dependability and craftsmanship. Riva’s new website, rivaprecision.com, has been revamped with a modern parallax design, providing an easy to navigate overview of the company’s PD and manufacturing capabilities, company culture, and core values. Riva will also present its new look at the MJSA Expo, which runs from March 12-14.

Kristin Hanson to Teach at NYJDI

New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has hired an internationally recognized fine jewelry designer, Kristin Hanson, to teach a four-session course. Hanson’s class will help identify the source of inspiration needed to make a trademark style. Through concept development, by means of art, structure and form, the lessons will explore the design process. The course will focus on finding the right materials, defining inspiration, and storytelling through a portfolio. Create Your Own Signature Collection will take place every Tuesday from March 28 through April 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Rona Fisher’s Jewelry at JCK Tucson

Rona Fisher, of Rona Fisher Jewelry Design in Philadelphia, PA, will be exhibiting at the JCK Tucson for the first time. The show takes place at the JW Marriott Star Pass Resort, February 1-4, 2017. Fisher’s contemporary jewelry is inspired by nature with complex layers and textures, and characterized by asymmetry use to create balance. She will display her latest collections within JCK Tucson’s Arizona Ballroom at Booth 403.

ROCKET moves office

ROCKET, an industry leader in innovative packaging and display for the retail fine jewelry market, moved its New York City office to a new and expanded business facility at 375 Executive Boulevard, Elmsford, New York in Westchester County. ROCKET, with offices also in California and China, is confident that the new facility will offer their retailers and wholesale jewelry clients an even more efficient and expanded buying experience.

NYJDI hires Kawa to teach workshop

New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has hired a visionary artist and photographer, Janusz Kawa, to teach a two-day workshop intended specifically for jewelry designers. Kawa will instruct how to make jewelry stand out in photos, producing a digital product that will appeal to higher-end clients. The lessons will not only develop a designer’s technical skills with a camera and image manipulation in Photoshop and Lightroom, but also enhance their abilities to showcase their designs and creativity in an affordable, yet professional manner. Kawa’s Photography for Jewelry workshop will take place on March 25-26, 2017.

Grunberger Diamonds Detects Synthetic Diamonds in Melee

Grunberger Diamonds, the world’s largest producer of Ideal cut melee, is equipped to immediately detect synthetic and man-made diamonds. The diamonds they manufacture will be screened using the latest technology—the HRD M-Screen Plus, starting January 2017. The M-Screen Plus automatically feeds, screens, and then sorts each diamond into two trays, one for natural diamonds and the other for potential lab grown/HPHT color-treated diamonds and stimulants. 

GIA offers Melee Analysis Service

Clients can now submit round D-to-Z melee-size diamonds for GIA’s Melee Analysis Service, which separates natural, untreated diamonds from simulants and potentially synthetic or treated diamonds, and sorts the screened diamonds by color range. The cost of the service ranges from 8 to 40 cents (U.S.) per stone based on diameter, with a minimum of 500 pieces in each parcel. Once sorted, the melee is sealed in secure packaging for shipment directly to a third party or back to the submitting client.

Stuller appoints VP

Douglas Menefee has joined Stuller as the vice president of business solutions. He will be responsible for the Gemvision and TDM Solutions’ development and support teams. Menefee previously held positions with Schumacher Group and Amazon Web Services. He has received multiple awards for his leadership and foresight, including being recognized among Technology Review’s Top 100 Technology Innovators, and has published articles in CIO Magazine and other notable publications.

AGS chooses CEO

The American Gem Society (AGS) has promoted Katherine Bodoh to chief executive officer, effective March 1. Currently the organization’s deputy executive director, Bodoh will succeed Ruth Batson, who will retire at the end of May. Prior to joining AGS, Bodoh was director of commercial lines marketing and industry relations at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

Gesswein Names New President

Paul H. Gesswein & Co. Inc. has promoted Greg Gesswein to the position of president. He is the fourth generation of the Gesswein family to manage the business, replacing his father, Dwight W. Gesswein, who has served as the president since 1993. Dwight Gesswein will retain the position of vice chairman. He will, along with his brother Roger H. Gesswein Jr., Gesswein’s current chairman and CEO, continue to support the company in a broader advisory capacity.

Blue Nile to be acquired by an investor group

Blue Nile has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group composed of funds managed by Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC. Unanimously approved by Blue Nile’s Board of Director’s, the all-cash deal is valued at approximately $500 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2017. Blue Nile will continue to be headquartered in Seattle, WA.

Richline Group acquires Silpada

Richline Group has acquired home sales jewelry company Silpada and plans to refocus the brand around its sterling silver jewelry. The company will retain Silpada’s price points, which range from $30 to $300, and also plans to introduce a new line of jewelry. The founders will no longer be a part of Silpada, which will be operated out of Richline’s East Coast offices.

JM receives A Superior financial strength rating  

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has earned its 30th consecutive A Superior financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company, one of the world’s most respected insurance rating and information sources.

Stuller’s Bench Jeweler Workshop to return to Louisiana in March

Stuller’s annual Bench Jeweler Workshop, featuring the second annual Battle of the Benches competition, will return to the company’s global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, on March 24-26, 2017. The two and a half-day workshop will also host hands-on demonstrations and educational seminars, including Working with Digitally Grown Assets, Diamond Market, Laser Training, Increase Profits with Repair, Working with Platinum, and Polishing and Plating.

Revere Academy awards winners in Tahitian Pearl Jewelry Contest

Revere Academy announced the winners of Tahitian Pearl Jewelry Design Contest, which challenged graduates to come up with original designs. The contest featured jewelry over $1,000 and under $1,000 retail, with cash awards for the top three entries in each category. Veronica Eckert of Woodinville, WA, grand-prize winner, received a pair of round-trip Air Tahiti Nui tickets to attend the award ceremony in Papeete. Jurors selected winners on the basis of originality, design, marketability, and craftsmanship.

Jewelry over $1,000:

First place, William Robertson, Cedarburg, WI

Second place, Karen Keit, Princeville, HI

Third place, Julie Leyden, Encinitas, CA

Jewelry under $1,000:

First place, Melissa Skarsten, Park City, UT

Second place, Noriko Kawamoto, Cobb, CA

Third place, Cheryl Rouch, San Francisco 

Stuller and Dominion Diamond Corporation introduce CanadaMark

Stuller, Inc. is partnering with Dominion Diamond Corporation to introduce CanadaMark melee diamonds to the North American market. The supplier is the first to offer these stones in the U.S. Every batch of CanadaMark melee from Stuller is responsibly mined in Canada’s Northwest Territories, in full compliance with the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct, natural and untreated.

Belle Brooke Barer to open a studio gallery

Belle Brooke Barer, owner and eponymous designer of the Belle Brooke jewelry collection, is opening a studio gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on November 5. Barer makes each piece of jewelry using her hands and traditional tools and techniques. Each piece is made with 100 percent recycled metals, and Barer sources all her gemstones and diamonds with concern for sustainability and responsibility. She is also fitting the space with reclaimed wood cases.

Kay Jewelers and Monica Rich Kosann nominated for the GEM Award

Kay Jewelers, Akron, OH, was nominated in the Marketing & Communications category, and Monica Rich Kosann, Fairfield County, CT, was nominated in the GEM Award for Jewelry Design category for the Jewelers of America (JA) GEM Award. The winners will be announced live during the 15th Annual GEM Awards on Friday, January 13, 2017, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale honored at WJA gala

Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale of Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City, were recently honored at the Women’s Jewelry Association’s annual Awards for Excellence gala in the category of Retail (fewer than 15 doors).

Jewelers Mutual donates $2 million 

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company’s $2 million donation campaign, "Band Together," came to an end on July 31. The company invited its policyholders and the general public to vote for their favorite cause. On Aug. 1, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received the Jewelers Mutual $1 million top donation. Habitat for Humanity will receive a donation of $700,000, followed by Feeding America/Food Banks Canada to share $300,000.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee seeks president/CEO

The Board of Directors of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee has convened a search committee to identify and hire a president/CEO/general counsel to replace Cecilia Gardner, who will step down from the position in 2017. JVC is seeking an attorney with a minimum of ten years of experience to lead and oversee the membership organization with programs focused on legal compliance.  

2016 Women’s Jewelry Association’s (WJA) Awards for Excellence Winners:

Retail <15 Doors: Jennifer Gandia & Christina Gandia Gambale, co-owners, Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City

Sales: Maren Rosen, vice president, merchandising, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, LA

Frank Stankus, the husband and business partner of the late Cindy Edelstein, who owned Jeweler’s Resource Bureau and was a member of WJA’s Board of Directors, and Remy Stankus, their daughter, were named the first recipients of a new WJA Cindy Edelstein Mentorship Award.

Stuller’s Transform Tours return for the Fall 2016 season

Stuller professionals address the challenges independent jewelers around the U.S. face and suggest meaningful choices for their customers. Attendees also get a firsthand look at a variety of products and Stuller’s software options. The fall event schedule includes stops in Minneapolis, MN, on Sept. 25; Seattle, WA, on Oct.  9; and New Orleans, LA, on Oct. 23.

Allan A. Goldman Inc. launches an ecommerce catalog

Stonemangems.com, a catalogue for the trade only, allows clients to access a full range of diversified colored gemstones.

John F. Allen & Son sponsors Kent Stetson

John F. Allen & Son, a wholesale distributor of rhinestones, beads and components to the fashion and craft industries, is sponsoring Rhode Island-based artist Kent Stetson in conjunction with his solo exhibit, "The Art of Handbags," at the Esse Purse Museum in Little Rock, AR. The company has supplied Czech crystal rhinestones the designer used to embellish the one-of-a-kind bag, "Leiberaci."

Barbara Heinrich, Pascal Lacroix Appointed to AJDC’s Executive Board

Barbara Heinrich of Barbara Heinrich Studio in Pittsford, New York, was elected to another term as president of The American Jewelry Design Council’s new executive board. Pascal Lacroix of Pascal Lacroix Designs in Nevada City, California, was elected vice president.

The American Gem Trade Association’s Spectrum Awards Winners:

Bridal Wear, Manufacturing Honors: Dennis deJonghe, deJonghe Original Jewelry, Saratoga Springs, New York

Business/Day Wear, Manufacturing Honors: Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, Greenville, South Carolina

Classical, First Place and Second Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems Inc., West Covina, California

Evening Wear, Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc., Los Angeles

Evening Wear, Manufacturing Honors: Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, Greenville, South Carolina

Men’s Wear, First Place and Platinum Honors: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design, Long Beach, California

Jewelers Mutual Among Ward’s Top 50

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. in Neenah, Wisconsin, has been named to the 2016 list of Ward’s 50 top performing insurance companies for the sixth consecutive year. The award recognizes outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over a five-year period from 2011-2015.

Guild and Facet Launched

Matthew Ego has launched Guild and Facet, a new fine jewelry manufacturing facility positioned to cater to independent retailers. Core items will include designer white label bridal jewelry, custom jewelry, and a cost-effective diamond stud and solitaire program. Based in North Bergen, New Jersey, the company is offering delivery within three business days, while some core items will be available for same-day distribution.

JA Appoints Marketing Coordinator and Public Relations and Events Coordinator

Summer Gu has been appointed marketing coordinator of Jewelers of America (JA) in New York City. She will coordinate promotion of JA member benefit programs, events, advocacy, and publications, and assist in member recruitment and engagement efforts. “We are excited to welcome Summer Gu to Jewelers of America,” says David J. Bonaparte, president and CEO. “Her role will help JA better engage with members and keep them, and the industry, aware of JA’s ongoing initiatives.”

In related news, Lauren Kalma has been promoted to public relations and events coordinator of JA. Formerly public relations and marketing coordinator, Kalma will work with JA’s director of public relations and events on the company’s event production, social media, and consumer and trade public relations activities.

JVC Announces Webinar Series Lineup

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