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MJSA Member News

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

Michelle Pajak-Reynolds Showcases Designs on UN Nobel Prize Peace Boat

Michelle Pajak-Reynolds of Michelle Pajak-Reynolds Studios in Stow, Ohio, was one of a dozen designers selected to showcase her new fine jewelry collection, Voyageuse, on board the United Nations’ Nobel Prize–nominated Peace Boat. The showcase was part of the Conscious Fashion Campaign’s exhibition held in July during the U.N.’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Cultured Pearl Association Announces Winners of Ninth Annual International Pearl Design Competition

The Cultured Pearl Association of America recently announced the winners of its ninth annual International Pearl Design Competition, and several MJSA members were among the winners. Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Designs in Laguna Beach, California, won the President’s Trophy as well as the Wedding Day Pearls award. Mary Kay and Patrick Mohs of Patrick Mohs Jewelry in Wayzata, Minnesota, won the Fashion Award as well as honorable mention. In addition, several MJSA members won honorable mentions: Ashleigh Branstetter, Ashleigh Branstetter LLC, New Orleans; Gina Ferranti, Gigi Ferranti Jewelry, Brooklyn, New York; William Travis Kukovich, William Travis Jewelry, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, Greenville, South Carolina; and Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry LLC, Woodstock, Georgia.

Jewelers Mutual Introduces New Insurance Options for Jewelry Designers

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, one of MJSA’s endorsed providers, has introduced new, affordable insurance options customized for the specific needs of jewelry designers. Insurance offerings include coverage for jewelry stock, business personal property, and liability. Policies start at $500 annually. To learn more, click here.

Jewelers Mutual Announces Donation Program to Benefit Jewelers For Children

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group in Neenah, Wisconsin, has announced that it will donate $1 to Jewelers for Children in New York City for each item description submitted from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 by jewelers enrolled in its Jeweler’s Cut LINK program. The company’s goal is to raise $10,000 to help support children in need this holiday season. 

Richline Group and Partners Launch New Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Brand

Richline Group in New York City is partnering with JCPenney and Macy’s to launch Grown With Love, a new lab-grown diamond jewelry brand, this holiday season. Offering stones of up to 3 carats set in 10k and 14k white or yellow gold, the brand will feature both fashion and bridal designs that range in price from $500 to $10,000.  

John F. Allen & Son Inc. Launces Revamped E-Commerce Site

John F. Allen & Son Inc. in Warwick, Rhode Island, has redesigned its e-commerce website. The revamped site (jfallen.com) features a responsive design, advanced search functions that allow quick access to more than 45,000 items, and videos and downloadable content for the company’s manufacturing and design customers.  

Stuller Celebrates National Manufacturing Day

During the first week of October, Stuller Inc. in Lafayette, Louisiana, opened its doors to local students in celebration of National Manufacturing Day. Students from Lafayette, Iberia, and St. Martin Parishes toured Stuller’s global headquarters to get a firsthand look at jewelry manufacturing processes, including metal fabrication, computer-aided design and manufacturing, and stone setting. Stuller’s was one of nearly 3,000 U.S. businesses and organizations that participated in the annual celebration of manufacturing, which is produced by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Rio Grande Opens Registration for Santa Fe Symposium

Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has opened registration for the 33rd annual Santa Fe Symposium, to be held May 19-22, 2019. The event will feature 24 speakers from around the world sharing their experiments, research, and expertise on topics as wide-ranging as generative design, platinum casting, brazing and soldering, X-ray tomography, advanced jewelry repair/restoration, laser cutting, and more. For more information or to register, visit santafesymposium.org.

Hoover & Strong and Polygon’s myAuction Available to Polygon Retailers

Hoover & Strong Inc. in North Chesterfield, Virginia, and Polygon announced that their myAuction service is now available to all Polygon retail jewelers as part of their Polygon membership. Accessible on polygon.net, the service allows retailers to take in goods directly from customers, and include them in a professional diamond auction.

Jewelers for Children Announces Local Grants Contest

Jewelers for Children (JFC) has announced the 2018 edition of its Local Grants contest. The JFC has set aside $50,000 to be used for 10 $5,000 grants to local organizations. Independent jewelers will have an opportunity to nominate a local organization, and that jeweler will then be responsible for motivating its constituents to vote for their charity through a Facebook-based campaign on JFC’s page. Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 24. The voting process will begin on Nov. 5, and conclude on Nov. 16. Visit jewelersforchildren.org for more information. 

Jewelers of America to Launch Consumer Marketing Program

Jewelers of America (JA) will coordinate the launch of a consumer marketing program in 2019. The campaign will be an industry-wide collaboration to increase consumer desire for jewelry and drive sales by promoting the emotional aspects of jewelry ownership. JA is raising funds for a hyper-targeted, digitally based test campaign that will allow the industry to see the creative in real time and gather key learnings. To raise funding, JA has established a “Pioneer Program.” The following MJSA members are joining it: American Gem Society, GIA, Gumuchian,and Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group. To learn more, visit jewelers.org/ja/marketing/consumercampaign.

Jewelers MutualAdds Marianne Marck and Robert Reeg to Board of Directors

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group recently added two new members to its board of directors: Marianne Marck, CIO at Vancouver-based Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, and Robert Reeg, principal of RWReeg Consulting LLC in St. Louis.

Jewelers for Children to Honor Judy Fisher and David Bonaparte at Facets of Hope

Jewelers for Children (JFC) has announced that Judy Fisher, senior vice president of Merchandising for Reeds Jewelers and David Bonaparte, president and CEO of Jewelers of America Inc., will be the honorees at next year’s Facets of Hope dinner at JCK Las Vegas. Details and participation forms are available on jewelersforchildren.org.  

Stewart Grice to Speak at Jewelry Industry Summit

Stewart Grice of Hoover and Strong in North Chesterfield, Virginia, will address the use of Fairmined gold in jewelry making at the Los Angeles Jewelry Industry Summit, which will provide practical steps for jewelers to engage in responsible actions. Sponsored by GIA and David Yurman, the event will take place Sept. 28 in Pasadena, California.

Jewelry Industry Summit Elects Board Members

The Jewelry Industry Summit has elected Sara Yood of JVC as corporate secretary, while Robert Bentley of New York City; Susan Wheeler Geraghty of Chicago; Mark Hanna of the Richline Group in Providence; and Kevin Reilly of Platinum Guild International in New York City were chosen directors.

Signet Jewelers to Open James Allen Concept Store

Signet Jewelers in Akron, Ohio, has announced plans to open a Washington, D.C.–based James Allen concept store, featuring advances in digital technology and a millennial-inspired shopping experience. Signet also announced the departure of Michele Santana, who joined the company in 2010 as senior vice president and controller. She was promoted to CFO in 2014. Santana will remain CFO until her successor is appointed.

Hill, Fryé, Aithal to Speak at Portland Jewelry Symposium

Andrea Hill, CEO of Hill Management Group; Teresa Fryé, president of TechForm; and Shankar (Shan) Aithal, corporate metallurgist for Stuller Inc., are among the featured speakers at the 11th annual Portland Jewelry Symposium in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Ann Cahoon from the North Bennet Street School will perform bench demonstrations.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group Aquires TransGuardian Inc.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group in Neenah, Wisconsin, purchased the assets of TransGuardian Inc., a shipping logistics software company. All current TransGuardian employees are being welcomed onto the Jewelers Mutual team. TransGuardian’s customer-facing service centers in New York City and Los Angeles will continue operations uninterrupted as part of the Jewelers Mutual Group.

Schofer Now Offering Personalization

Schofer of Pforzheim, Germany, now offers various options to personalize chains with a brand name or logo: either by precise automated laser engraving or by rolling the wire. The branding can also be done on the clasp. Additionally little logo plates in various shapes and sizes contribute to the personalization. The company will be present at the following shows: VicenzaOro, GJX Tucson, PremièreVision Paris, IJS Hong Kong, Baselworld, JCK Las Vegas, and JGF Hong Kong.

Gemvision Releases MatrixGold Essentials Software

Gemvision announced the release of MatrixGold Essentials, which provides a simplified interface and runs on Rhinoceros 6 CAD engine. “With the speed of technology improvements in today’s world, we know we have to continue to stay at the forefront of software development,” said Bryan Morgan, Stuller’s chief operating officer. “We are very excited to introduce a completely new software to the industry,” said Gemvision’s programming director, Albert Oldfield. “Customization is more important than ever, and we will continue to offer innovative tools and solutions that will help jewelry professionals grow their businesses.” 

AGTA Names Spectrum Awards Winners

Congratulations to the following MJSA members, who have won AGTA 2018 Spectrum Awards: Belle Brooke Barer of Belle Brooke in Santa Fe, New Mexico, won the WJA Gem Diva Award in the Business/Day Wear division. Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg in Los Angeles won Best Use of Color and second place in the Bridal Wear division. Erica Courtney of Erica Courtney in Los Angeles won first place in the Best Business/Daywear division, and manufacturing honors and honorable mention in the Evening Wear category. Gina Ferranti of GiGi Ferranti in Brooklyn, New York, won the WJA Gem Diva Award in the Evening Wear division. Susan Helmich of Susan Helmich Design Inc. in Monument, Colorado, won second place in the Evening Wear division. Paul Klecka of Paul Klecka Design in Cumming, Georgia, won platinum honors in the Evening Wear division. Klaus Kutter of A Jour Jewelry in Bristol, Rhode Island, won honorable mention in the Men’s Wear division. Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé in Los Angeles won first place in the Classical division, third place and manufacturing honors in the Bridal Wear division, second place in the Business/Day Wear category, and platinum honors in the Men’s Wear division. Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry in Laguna Beach, California, won manufacturing honors in the Men’s Wear division. Swapna Pinnamaneni of Dream Choice Jewelry in Tarzana, California, won third place in the Classical division and second place in the Carving division. Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Design in Long Beach, California, won second place in the Men’s Wear division.

David Farnum Promoted to Advanced Chemical Co. President and CEO  

David Farnum has been promoted to president and chief operation officer of Advanced Chemical Co. in Warwick, Rhode Island. Farnum previously served as director of sales, where he instituted dynamic systems to support the sales team, including customer relationship management and expense management solutions, defined and instituted a stronger sales force structure, and created a culture of success and achievement.

Mitch Horowitz Named Roseco’s Director of Sales and Marketing  

Mitch Horowitz has been named director of sales and marketing of Roseco in Dallas. An industry veteran with 30 years of industry knowledge and sales experience, Horowitz previously worked with industry publications JCKNational Jeweler, and Modern Jeweler, and with MJSA as vice president of sales. In his new position, Horowitz will be responsible for driving sales, creating new business opportunities, and helping the company’s existing customer base increase their revenue base.

Plumb Club Elects A.J. Tosyali as Vice President

The Plumb Club recently elected A.J. Tosyali of Benchmark in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as vice president.

Jewelers Mutual Named to Ward’s Top 50

For the eighth consecutive year, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group in Neenah, Wisconsin, has been named to the 2018 list of Ward’s 50 top performing insurance companies. The award recognizes outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over the five-year period from 2013-2017.

Jewelers for Children to Celebrate First JFC Day

Jewelers for Children (JFC) will celebrate its first annual JFC Day Sept. 29. The day was created as a way for all supporters of JFC to celebrate the success of the industry’s support for children in need and raise visibility and funds for the charity. JFC is asking its retail supporters to reach out to their customer base to educate them about the organization and invite them to participate in whatever event the retailer has planned for that day.

AGS Honors Terry Chandler

The American Gem Society (AGS) in Las Vegas honored Terry Chandler, president/chief executive officer of the Diamond Council of America in New York City, at its annual Circle of Distinction dinner in July. Chandler was one of the industry leaders who were awarded the distinctive AGS Triple Zero Award for their accomplishments and dedication to the fine jewelry industry.

WJA Awards Swarovski, De Beers Group

Nadja Swarovski, the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski, was announced as one of the three 2018 Visionary Award honorees by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). In addition, De Beers Group and UN Women were joint recipients of the fourth award. In 2017, De Beers Group announced a partnership with UN Women to accelerate the advancement of women across its organization.

Lashbrook Launches Lashbrook University

Lashbrook, a men’s wedding ring manufacturer and designer in Draper, Utah, has announced the launch of Lashbrook University, a training and incentive program designed for sales associates of partnered stores. Participants in the e-mail style course will receive weekly tips and tricks for selling the Lashbrook brands as well as basic product knowledge.

JM Inducts Thomas and Hayn to Agent Hall of Fame

During JM Summit, Meredith Thomas of CJB Insurance Services and Don Hayn of Associated Agencies were named to Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group’s Agent Hall of Fame in recognition of their experience in jewelers block insurance and collaboration with JM. “Jewelers Mutual agents are the leading jewelers block insurance experts, and this year’s Hall of Fame inductees are two of our most experienced agents,” said Scott Murphy, JM president and CEO. 

Richline Group Announces Management Succession

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.

Wolfgang Vaatz Receives Saul Bell Design Award

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.

Kuwayama Honored at COUTURE Design Awards

The 2018 COUTURE Design Awards honored Kuwayama from Tokyo, Japan, as the winner in the Best in Platinumcategory.

Lashbrook Wins 2018 JCK Jewelers’ Choice Award

2018 JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards chose Lashbrook from Draper, Utah, as the winner in the Contemporary Metal Jewelry Over $500 category.

Lashbrook Launches Line of Dinosaur Bone Rings

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.

Jewelers for Children Raises $1.95 Million

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 Nominated for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the 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 Publishes 2018 Catalog

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 Launches Lightbox Jewelry

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 Launches New Online Store

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 Joins Pilot Program of Tracr

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.

Richline, LeachGarner team up with UL and IBM to Launch TrustChain

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.

Dennis Ulrich Retires

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. 

Basta, Vaatz, Hubley Named as Saul Bell Award Finalists

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

Jewelry Collection Couture/Fine: Wolfgang Vaatz, Rio Rico, Arizona; Kathleen Hubley, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada

AGS Honors David Sexton

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. 

WJA Awards Swarovski, De Beers Group

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. 

Taché Group Renames Divisions

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 to Offer GIA’s Melee Analysis Service

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 Acquires Cohler Enterprises

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.”

Jewelry Tag Solutions to Introduce Products at JCK Las Vegas

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.

AGS Honors David A. Bouffard and Terry Chandler

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.

Annie Doresca Promoted to CFO at JA

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 Announces Battle of the Benches Winners

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 Unveils Upscale Sizing Set

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. 

Toby Pomeroy Receives Responsible Practice in Jewelry Leadership Award

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.

GIA appoints Duncan Pay as vice president and chief academic officer

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 accepting entries for March Bridal Madness

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 stuller@stuller.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 announces honorees for Facets of Hope

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.

Asher Jewelry and Omi Prive are among Centurion winners

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 selected as a WJA Visionary Awards honoree

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. chosen as the best jewelry flagship store

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 unveils redesigned website

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 collaborate on development

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 introduces JM Care Plan, launches JM Shipping Solution

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.

Superfit Inc. rebrands as CLIQ

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 marissa@cliqjewelry.com or call 1-800-765-7111.

Ricardo Basta Wins CASE Award

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.  

E.A. Dion celebrates 50th anniversary

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. selected as best flagship store

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.

WJA Announces 2018 International Board of Directors

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.

Murray, Becker to leave Signet

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 partners with Polygon

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.

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

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