On June 15, Dave Meleski assumed the position of CEO of the Richline Group, succeeding Dennis Ulrich (who announced his retirement last month). In addition to his new position, Meleski will keep his role as president of the company. Richline also announced several other executive shifts: Bobby Kempler, the former CEO of Samuel Aaron Group (which was purchased by Richline in 2017), will lead the Richline Jewelry division as president, a newly created position. Ramona Genao-Archibald will become EVP for sales and merchandising for that division. And effective Sept. 1, Michael Schwartz will become president of Inverness, Richline’s ear-piercing and accessories division. He will take over from Alan Kaufman, who announced that he plans to retire effective Dec. 31.
Rio Grande in Albuequerque, New Mexico, recently announced Wolfgang Vaatz from Rio Rico, Arizona, as the first-place winner in the Jewelry Collection, Couture/Finecategory, of its 18th annual Saul Bell Design Awards Competition.
The 2018 COUTURE Design Awards honored Kuwayama from Tokyo, Japan, as the winner in the Best in Platinumcategory.
2018 JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards chose Lashbrook from Draper, Utah, as the winner in the Contemporary Metal Jewelry Over $500 category.
Lashbrook launched a new product line of dinosaur bone rings that are available in black, red, and tan and constructed as a mosaic inlay to add strength and ensure color consistency. In addition, Lashbrook also launched a new store training program, Lashbrook University. Designed for sales associates of partnered stores,
the email program allows them to earn points to win weekly prizes that include gift cards, free lunches, movie tickets, weekend getaways, and a $5,000 vacation.
At its 20th annual Facets of Hope event during the JCK Las Vegas show, Jewelers for Children (JFC) announced that it raised $1.95 million to support its charity partners in the coming year, bringing the cumulative total raised since 1999 for children in need to $55.5 million. The JFC will donate $425,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, $525,000 to Make-A-Wish America, $425,000 to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and $375,000 to the National CASA Association. In addition, the JFC has made a commitment of $75,000 to Make-A-Wish International, $50,000 to the Organization for Autism Research, and $25,000 to the Santa-America Fund. It has also set aside $50,000 to reward in local grants as part of a social media campaign to be launched later this year.
Melissa Clayton, CEO and founder of Tiny Tags in Acton, Massachusetts, received a semifinalist nomination for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 New England Regional Award, which is designed to recognize entrepreneurs who demon- strate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Clay- ton founded her company, which designs and creates personalized jewelry for mothers, after she was unable to find the perfect piece of jewelry to commemorate the birth of her second son.
National Chain Group in Warwick, Rhode Island, has published a 2018 catalog featuring its line of products, from chain and findings to mill products, as well as its contract services: casting, CAD/CAM design and manufacture, finishing, and stone setting. The 50-page catalog includes the company’s complete range of chain styles, from bar to zebra, with multiple variations available in most styles— more than 1,200 total. A free copy can be ordered by going to natchain.com and filling out a request or by calling National Chain at 1-401-732-6200.
De Beers Group recently announced the launch of Lightbox Jewelry, a new company that will begin marketing a new brand of lab-grown diamond jewelry later this year. The endeavor is designed to offer consumers high-quality, fashion jewelry designs at lower prices than existing lab-grown diamond offerings. Produced by Element Six, a De Beers subsidiary, Lightbox lab-grown diamonds will retail from $200 for a quarter-carat stone to $800 for a one-carat stone. The jewelry featuring the blue, pink, and white diamonds will be available in sterling silver, rose-gold-plated sterling silver, and 10k white gold.
De Beers has launched a new online store on Farfetch, an online marketplace for luxury fashion jewelry. Through the site, De Beers will sell a selec- tion of fine jewelry diamond creations, including designs from its Enchanted Lotus and Talisman collections. In addition, it will offer entry-price designs, as well as timeless classic pieces.
Signet Jewelers in Akron, Ohio, has become the first retailer to join the pilot program of Tracr, an end-to-end diamond blockchain being developed by De Beers Group in collaboration with the diamond industry. The system is designed so that each diamond registered on the platform will have a digital certificate with its key attributes and a record of transactions, enabling retailers to provide consumers with confidence that their diamond is natural, conflict-free, and has been tracked across the supply chain. A Signet project team will work alongside the Tracr team to ensure the platform meets the needs of the jewelry manufacturing and retail sectors, with the partnership initially focusing on the tracking of diamond jewelry and expanding the pilot’s scope to cater for smaller-sized goods.
The Richline Group, together with LeachGarner, Asahi Refining, and Helzberg Diamonds, have teamed up with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and IBM to launch the TrustChain Initiative, the first cross-industry enterprise to ensure the authenticity of finished jewelry by offering complete transparency of the supply chain. To start, the program will track three styles of 1-carat diamond engagement rings in 14k white and yellow gold. The first set of rings will be available from select Helzberg stores later this year, and consumers will receive a digital record of the ring’s recorded transactions throughout the supply chain.
The Richline Group has announced the retirement of its chief executive officer Dennis Ulrich. After getting his start in the industry in 1974 at his family’s jewelry business, Ulrich and his wife started Bel-Oro International, an importer of gold jewelry, in 1994. In 2007, Berkshire Hathaway acquired the company along with its then-competitor Aurafin. The newly combined company was named the Richline Group and Ulrich was appointed CEO. Under his leadership, the Richline Group has grown from a gold jewelry business to one that manufactures raw materials and findings, supplies packaging and tools, and deals with diamonds, gemstones, and pearls. Ulrich will stay on with the company until later this year to assist in the transition for his successor, David Meleski, who previously served as president of Richline.
Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, announced the following members as finalists of its 2018 Saul Bell Design Award competition:
Alternative Metals/Materials: Ricardo Basta, Los Angeles
During its annual Conclave in April, the American Gem Society (AGS) in Las Vegas honored David Sexton, vice president, loss prevention at the Jewelers Mutual Group in Neenah, Wisconsin, with the John J. Kennedy award for his work to improve industry security.
Nadja Swarovski, the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski, was chosen by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) as one of its three 2018 Visionary Award honorees. A fourth award will be given jointly to De Beers Group andUN Women. This year’s recipients will be honored at WJA’s Awards for Excellence gala in July.
The Taché Group of Companies has announced the renaming of its diamond and jewelry divisions into two distinct brands. Taché Diamonds will become Taché, the brand for its loose diamond operations. Taché USA, the company’s jewelry manufacturing and sales division, will revert back to its original name of Original Designs to better reflect its core capabilities of innovative products through design.
Stuller Inc. announced a strategic service arrangement with GIA to offer GIA’S Melee Analysis Service inside its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. Melee used at Stuller’s facility will be screened onsite by GIA staff independently operating the GIA-owned analytical instrumentation in a dedicated, secured space. Launched in 2016, GIA’s Melee Analysis Service can quickly separate natural, untreated diamonds from simulants, synthetics, and HPHT-treated natural diamonds, as well as sort natural, untreated diamonds by color range. It screens round, D-to-Z color melee from 0.9 mm to 4 mm.
Krohn Industries in Carlstadt, New Jersey, has acquired Cohler Enterprises in Baltimore. Following the closing of Cohler’s facilities, Krohn will produce the Cohler brand of rhodium, gold, and silver plating solutions, adhering to the Cohler formulas and selling them under the Cohler brand name. “We feel this is a natural fit for their customers and products as both companies are family-owned and -operated, sharing the same high standards of quality products and excellent service,” said Nicholas Krohn, president of Krohn Industries. “Both companies are working together to make this a seamless transition and will continue to deliver the same Cohler products you love and trust.”
Newly created company Jewelry Tag Solutions will be premiering its high quality tags, labels, ribbons, and corresponding hardware at JCK Las Vegas (Booth B61069). “I am confident that retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers alike will find our premium labels to be competitively priced and comprised of a quality which rivals or surpasses current tag suppliers,” said Joanne Slawitsky, vice president of business development.
The American Gem Society (AGS) will honor our two members at its annual Circle of Distinction dinner on July 17 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. David A. Bouffard, vice president, Corporate Affairs, Signet Jewelers Ltd., and Terry Chandler, president/CEO, DCA, will both be presented with the AGS Triple Zero Award for their accomplishments and dedication to the industry. Bouffard began in Field Operations in 1981, followed by management roles in merchandising, marketing, and public relations. In 2012, he was named to his current position, where he was responsible for developing and implementing the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability initiatives, managing Signet’s international Government, Civil Society, and Industry relationships, as well as Strategic Corporate Communications Planning and Corporate Giving initiatives. Since 2004, Bouffard has held the role of Signet spokesperson. Chandler assumed his position in 2001. He worked with Performance Concepts and other industry resources to update DCA’s Diamond and Colored Gemstone courses, and led a two-year project to gain re-accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Commission (DETC) in Washington, D.C., which was granted by DETC in January of 2005.
Jewelers of America (JA) promoted Annie Doresca from director of Finance and Administration to chief financial officer of Jewelers of America, National Jeweler, and Diamond Council of America (DCA). She is responsible for JA, DCA, and National Jeweler’s finance and accounting, office management, human resources, and IT functions. Prior to joining Jewelers of America, she worked for BTQ Financial, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Goldman Sachs Co.
Stuller announced the winners of the 3rd annual Battle of the Benches, held during its annual Bench Jeweler Workshop in Lafayette, Louisiana. The competition consisted of three challenges – Polishing and Finishing with Swarovski gemstones™, Parts and Pieces, and CAD and Rendering. The winners are: Polishing and Finishing: Craig Farley, Farley’s Jewelers, Hanover, PA; Parts and Pieces: Patrick Dobbs, P. Dobbs Jewelry, Austin, TX; CAD and Render: Patrick Dobbs, P. Dobbs Jewelry, Austin, TX; Overall Winner: Patrick Dobbs, P. Dobbs Jewelry, Austin, TX.
CLIQ has developed a sizing set, complete with an upscale presentation case, that takes the guesswork out of sizing beyond the knuckle for CLIQ custom-fit rings or any other hinged shank. It determines the true finger size—the size behind the knuckle. This is the first sizing set that has been designed to be elegant enough for front of store presentations. The sizers range from size 2 to size 13.5 in half size increments.
Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC) will present its inaugural Responsible Practice in Jewelry Leadership Award to Toby Pomeroy, Corvallis, Oregon. The new award, which will be given annually, recognizes a member of the jewelry industry or jewelry-focused organization that has made a transformational contribution to ethical sourcing and responsible practices in the worldwide gem and jewelry industry. Pomeroy will receive the award at IAC’s Eighth Annual International Gold Conference, Gold: Vortex, Virtues, and Values, during the April 12-13 event at Bohemian National Hall in New York City. The chairs of the award’s selection committee, Lisa Koenigsberg and Christina Miller, said, “Toby epitomizes the kind of person for whom we created the award, and we are honored and delighted to be conferring it on him at the event.
Duncan Pay has been named vice president and chief academic officer of GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Previously senior director of gemology content strategy, Pay will now oversee GIA’s global education courses in gemology and jewelry design and manufacturing following the decision by Bev Hori, GIA senior vice president and chief learning officer, to retire in May 2018. Pay will remain editor-in-chief of Gems & Gemology (G&G).
Stuller is now accepting designs for the sixth annual March Bridal Madness competition, hosted via social media. To enter by March 16, jewelers can email any engagement ring or wedding band they have created to email@example.com. All submitted designs will be posted onto Stuller’s Facebook page for fan favorite voting that will take place from March 18th to 30th. The top three designs—those with the most likes/reactions—will be announced on April 2; they will move onto the final round of judging. The grand prizewinner will be be announced on April 13th and will receive a $1,000 Stuller account credit.
Jewelers for Children has selected Jeffrey Cohen of Citizen Watch America in New York City and Bill Luth Of Signet Jewelers Ltd. in Akron, Ohio, to serve as honorees at its annual Facets of Hope event June 3 at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. Cohen and Luth have agreed to serve as guests of honor at the event held to help the JFC raise funds to benefit children who are the victims of catastrophic illness or life-threatening abuse and neglect.
The following members were announced as the winners of the Centurion Design Awards at the Centurion Scottsdale Show in January:
Casual Fashion Jewelry Under $1,500 Retail: Asher Jewelry, New York City
Casual Fashion Jewelry Over $5,000: Omi Prive, West Covina, CA
Nadja Swarovski, the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski, will be one of the three WJA Visionary Awards honorees at the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) annual Awards for Excellence gala on July 16. The gala will take place at Pier 60 on the Chelsea Piers in New York City, and will mark WJA’s 35th anniversary in the jewelry industry.
Tiffany & Co. in Milan, Italy, was selected as the best jewelry flagship store in the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards, which took place Jan. 19 at the VicenzaOro jewelry show in Vicenza, Italy. The competition honored both emerging designers and icons of the jewelry industry.
Lashbrook, award-winning men’s wedding ring manufacturer and designer, unveiled a completely redesigned website at lashbrookdesigns.com. The website will provide users with an opportunity to design a ring with hundreds of millions of options. Created with the user experience in mind, the site includes many new features, such as Ring Builder, Store Login, Real-time Pricing, New Information about the materials, and Improved Store Locator. In addition, users can share products and pages that interest them with others across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google , and email.
A3DM Technologies and TRUMPF have entered into a collaboration agreement for the development of specialty metal powders and laser parameters. A3DM Technologies will have a TRUMPF TruPrint 1000 installed at their research facility located in Burlington, VT. “The TruPrint 1000 platform will allow A3DM the flexibility to perfect a broad range of materials while providing a stable path for our future needs in larger AM production systems,“ said Steven Adler, CEO of A3DM Technologies in Burlington VT.
Jewelers Mutual Group in Neenah, Wisconsin, has introduced JM Care Plan, a program designed to increase retail store revenue while strengthening service levels and jeweler-customer relationships. The program’s plans cover damage from normal wear on watch and jewelry items, providing benefits not included in a typical manufacturer’s warranty.
In related news, Jewelers Mutual Group has launched JM Shipping Solution. Available to all members of the U.S. jewelry industry, the program allows jewelers to compare and select shipping options on an easy-to-use platform that lets them take advantage of exclusive discounts and insurance options for their packages. Additional features will allow jewelers to queue and manage upcoming shipments, manage all aspects of return shipments, buy full or excess coverage when needed, and purchase anti-money-laundering compliance resources.
Philadelphia-based Superfit Inc. has rebranded its company and custom-fit ring hinge mechanisms. As of the beginning of the year, the company and the products it manufactures will carry the CLIQ brand name. The inspiration for the brand came from hearing customers refer to their product as “the ring that clicks.” “It indicated that our product was memorable, but the Superfit name was not,” said Eric Alulis, president. “CLIQ was logical for us to latch onto, as the name describes what the product does.”
In related news, CLIQ has developed a sizing set, complete with an upscale presentation case, that takes the guesswork out of sizing beyond the knuckle for CLIQ custom-fit rings or any other hinged shank. It determines the true finger size—the size behind the knuckle. The CLIQ sizing rings open and close on a hinge and securely wrap around the base of the finger with a strong closure. This is the first sizing set that has been designed to be elegant enough for front of store presentations. The sizers range from size 2 to size 13.5 in half size increments. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-765-7111.
Ricardo Basta of Ricardo Basta Fine Jewelry in Los Angeles, CA, was named as one of the winners of the 28th annual CASE Awards. His 18k yellow-gold hand-carved ring, featuring a center set natural golden rutilated quartz cabochon (21.18 ctw) and 92 round brilliant cut rhodium-plated diamonds (0.28 ctw), won in the Jewelry $2,001 to $5,000 category. The Jewelers of America national design competition recognizes JA retail members who exhibit creativity, artistry, style, and excellence in jewelry design.
Manufacturer of creative custom recognition, promotion, and motivation jewelry solutions, E.A. Dion is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The company was founded in 1968 when Edward A. Dion, Sr. began producing and marketing jewelry from the back room of a plumbing supply store. Now headquartered in a 30,000 square foot facility in Attleboro, Massachusetts, the company continues to maintain its reputation for creativity, quality, and reliability.
Tiffany & Co. in Milan, Italy, was selected as the best jewelry flagship store in the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards, which took place Jan. 19 at the VicenzaOro jewelry show in Vicenza, Italy. The competition honored both emerging designers and icons of the jewelry industry.
The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) elected Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International, as the new president of the WJA International Board of Directors. In addition, Sara Yood, senior counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, was elected treasurer of the 2018 WJA board’s executive committee. Molly Bell, executive vice president of Rio Grande, will serve as liaison to the board from the WJA Advisory Council; and Brenda Gamba, independent contractor at Brenda Gamba, will serve as the new president of the WJA Foundation board, which manages the grants and scholarships program as a separate 501(c)(3) organization.
George Murray, Signet’s chief retail insights and strategy officer, is leaving the company in May. Murray previously served as Signet’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, as well as president of the Zales division. Prior to that, he worked in the company’s marketing department. He joined Signet in 1992, serving a total of 26 years. Steven Becker, chief human resources officer, is also leaving the company in May. Becker joined the Sterling division in 2005 and has served in his current position since May 2014.
Hoover & Strong in North Chesterfield, Virginia, announced a new partnership with Polygon, a membership-based network that provides an online platform for vetted members of the industry to exchange products and information. Under the arrangement, Hoover & Strong will offer its Harmony Diamond Auctions through the Polygon platform. The auctions on Polygon will start Feb. 19. All items can be entered into the auctions directly through Polygon, where the sellers will be able to print their packing list and shipping label, and track their diamonds throughout the process.
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 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 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.”
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 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.
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 email@example.com.
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 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.”
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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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, 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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com or call 617-484-9250.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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
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 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 launched a new website with a new URL: Solidscape.com. To ensure that you receive emails from their new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, please add it to your safe senders list, your primary Gmail tab, or your address book.
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.
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 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, 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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 has released its newest tools catalog, Tools, Equipment, and Metals 2017-2018. This 600 page catalog includes more than 750 new products.
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, 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.
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’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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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 Overa