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 Overall Winner. Jonathan Smiddy of Acori Diamonds & Design in Friendswood, Texas, won the competition’s CAD and Render Challenge.
The American Gem Society in Las Vegas will honor Myriam Gumuchian, among other leaders in the jewelry industry, at its annual Circle of Distinction dinner in July. Gumuchian, co-owner of Gumuchian in New York City, will be awarded the distinctive AGS Triple Zero Award for her accomplishments and dedication to the fine jewelry industry.
B9Creations in Rapid City, South Dakota, has been nominated for Best Personal 3D Printer of the Year in 3D Printing Industry’s first annual 3D Printing Industry Awards. Voting is currently underway on the company’s website (3dprintingindustry.com), and winners will be announced at an awards dinner in London on May 20.
Signet Jewelers in Akron, Ohio, is planning to open a testing laboratory for synthetic diamond detectors. The company has been working with United Laboratories (UL) for the last nine months to create a facility for vetting the synthetic diamond testing machines. Signet will use devices from the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research, GIA, and HRD Antwerp. In time, Signet and UL will create a benchmark for judging detection machines from around the world.
Hoover & Strong sales director, Larry Bock, presented a seminar on Sourcing Precious Metals & Gemstones Responsibly at the annual Polygon Conclave & Trade Event held April 1st through 3rd in Chicago. This event featured a unique combination of education, networking, and business opportunities, that bring together jewelry industry professionals from around the world. Other seminars included discussion of Synthetic Diamonds: What You Need to Know and Colored Stones Market Trends.
Aucoin Hart Jewelers in Metairie, Louisiana, won a 2017 CASE Award for a pair of diamond and sapphire earrings designed by David White. The earrings, which featured two 8.5 mm pearls, round sapphires, and round brilliant cut diamonds set in 18k white gold, competed in the Jewelry $2,001 to $5,000 category.
Tiffany Stevens has been appointed president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in New York City. She succeeds Cecilia Gardner, who served in the position for 18 years. Prior to joining the JVC, Stevens served as the chief operating officer at the Sohn Conference Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research and medical fellowships. She previously held leadership roles at nonprofits and foundations focused on the environment, education, and the arts. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, she is an active board member of several not-for-profit organizations.
Barbara Wheat has been appointed chief executive officer and president of the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS) in Bangkok. She most recently served as executive vice president of the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) in New York City. Wheat and AIGS will continue to support NCDIA through educational programs and in developing grading standards for natural color diamonds through the AIGS Lab.
Gumuchian in New York City has been awarded the Made in NY certification, which highlights manufacturers who have shown a commitment to local production and innovation.
Color Merchants Inc., a New York City–based supplier of diamond and colored gemstone jewelry, recently joined The Plumb Club, a coalition of "best in class" manufacturers spanning all sectors of the jewelry, diamond, and watch industries.
The New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has launched a new trilogy course to teach business essentials for budding designers. The three courses, spread throughout the year, are: Jewelry Marketing and Branding, Increase Your Jewelry Sales, and the Business of Jewelry Design. For more information about the courses, contact NYJDI 212-777-5393 (JEWEL) or email email@example.com.
The Cultured Pearl Association of America has announced the following members as winners of its 7th annual International Pearl Design Contest:
Orient Award: “Orbital,” Brenda Smith, Woodstock, GA
The Fashion Award: “Skeletal Pearl Collar,” Chelsea Knights, Long Beach, CA
The United States Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA) appointed Jerry Ehrenwald, G.G., A.S.A, president and CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), to its Board of Directors.
Kathryn Sieman joined the executive leadership team of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, assuming the role of chief financial officer and treasurer. She brings more than 20 years of insurance industry experience to her new role, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at SECURA Insurance.
Stuller Inc. will be holding its annual Bench Jewelers Workshop March 24-27 at its headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. The workshop will feature a number of hands-on demonstrations and educational seminars, including working with digitally grown assets, laser training, working with platinum, and polishing and plating. The event will also feature the second annual Battle of the Benches competition.
The Women’s Jewelry Association presented the following members with awards of excellence in the following categories:
Retail (fewer than 15 doors): Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale, Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City
Sales: Maren Rosen, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana
LeachGarner has announced the following structural changes: Joe White has resigned as president effective February 9, 2017. Dennis Ulrich and Dave Meleski are interim co-presidents. Beverly Mouttet has been promoted to senior vice president of Finance and Admin. Joe Esposito took on the position of executive vice president.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announced the publication of Oscar Heyman: The Jewelers’ Jeweler, an illustrated history of Oscar Heyman & Brothers, a firm that has designed memorable jewelry since 1912. It features photography of vintage and contemporary pieces, as well as design drawings, highlighting Oscar Heyman’s vital contribution to the industry. The book will be available on April 1, 2017.
Riva Precision Manufacturing unveiled a new website and logo—the antlers of a stag that represent wisdom. A diamond is formed from the negative space created between the ten-point antlers. The logo reinforces the company’s dependability and craftsmanship. Riva’s new website, rivaprecision.com, has been revamped with a modern parallax design, providing an easy to navigate overview of the company’s PD and manufacturing capabilities, company culture, and core values. Riva will also present its new look at the MJSA Expo, which runs from March 12-14.
New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has hired an internationally recognized fine jewelry designer, Kristin Hanson, to teach a four-session course. Hanson’s class will help identify the source of inspiration needed to make a trademark style. Through concept development, by means of art, structure and form, the lessons will explore the design process. The course will focus on finding the right materials, defining inspiration, and storytelling through a portfolio. Create Your Own Signature Collection will take place every Tuesday from March 28 through April 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Rona Fisher, of Rona Fisher Jewelry Design in Philadelphia, PA, will be exhibiting at the JCK Tucson for the first time. The show takes place at the JW Marriott Star Pass Resort, February 1-4, 2017. Fisher’s contemporary jewelry is inspired by nature with complex layers and textures, and characterized by asymmetry use to create balance. She will display her latest collections within JCK Tucson’s Arizona Ballroom at Booth 403.
ROCKET, an industry leader in innovative packaging and display for the retail fine jewelry market, moved its New York City office to a new and expanded business facility at 375 Executive Boulevard, Elmsford, New York in Westchester County. ROCKET, with offices also in California and China, is confident that the new facility will offer their retailers and wholesale jewelry clients an even more efficient and expanded buying experience.
New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has hired a visionary artist and photographer, Janusz Kawa, to teach a two-day workshop intended specifically for jewelry designers. Kawa will instruct how to make jewelry stand out in photos, producing a digital product that will appeal to higher-end clients. The lessons will not only develop a designer’s technical skills with a camera and image manipulation in Photoshop and Lightroom, but also enhance their abilities to showcase their designs and creativity in an affordable, yet professional manner. Kawa’s Photography for Jewelry workshop will take place on March 25-26, 2017.
Grunberger Diamonds, the world’s largest producer of Ideal cut melee, is equipped to immediately detect synthetic and man-made diamonds. The diamonds they manufacture will be screened using the latest technology—the HRD M-Screen Plus, starting January 2017. The M-Screen Plus automatically feeds, screens, and then sorts each diamond into two trays, one for natural diamonds and the other for potential lab grown/HPHT color-treated diamonds and stimulants.
Clients can now submit round D-to-Z melee-size diamonds for GIA’s Melee Analysis Service, which separates natural, untreated diamonds from simulants and potentially synthetic or treated diamonds, and sorts the screened diamonds by color range. The cost of the service ranges from 8 to 40 cents (U.S.) per stone based on diameter, with a minimum of 500 pieces in each parcel. Once sorted, the melee is sealed in secure packaging for shipment directly to a third party or back to the submitting client.
Douglas Menefee has joined Stuller as the vice president of business solutions. He will be responsible for the Gemvision and TDM Solutions’ development and support teams. Menefee previously held positions with Schumacher Group and Amazon Web Services. He has received multiple awards for his leadership and foresight, including being recognized among Technology Review’s Top 100 Technology Innovators, and has published articles in CIO Magazine and other notable publications.
The American Gem Society (AGS) has promoted Katherine Bodoh to chief executive officer, effective March 1. Currently the organization’s deputy executive director, Bodoh will succeed Ruth Batson, who will retire at the end of May. Prior to joining AGS, Bodoh was director of commercial lines marketing and industry relations at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.
Paul H. Gesswein & Co. Inc. has promoted Greg Gesswein to the position of president. He is the fourth generation of the Gesswein family to manage the business, replacing his father, Dwight W. Gesswein, who has served as the president since 1993. Dwight Gesswein will retain the position of vice chairman. He will, along with his brother Roger H. Gesswein Jr., Gesswein’s current chairman and CEO, continue to support the company in a broader advisory capacity.
Blue Nile has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group composed of funds managed by Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC. Unanimously approved by Blue Nile’s Board of Director’s, the all-cash deal is valued at approximately $500 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2017. Blue Nile will continue to be headquartered in Seattle, WA.
Richline Group has acquired home sales jewelry company Silpada and plans to refocus the brand around its sterling silver jewelry. The company will retain Silpada’s price points, which range from $30 to $300, and also plans to introduce a new line of jewelry. The founders will no longer be a part of Silpada, which will be operated out of Richline’s East Coast offices.
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has earned its 30th consecutive A Superior financial strength rating from A.M. Best Company, one of the world’s most respected insurance rating and information sources.
Stuller’s annual Bench Jeweler Workshop, featuring the second annual Battle of the Benches competition, will return to the company’s global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, on March 24-26, 2017. The two and a half-day workshop will also host hands-on demonstrations and educational seminars, including Working with Digitally Grown Assets, Diamond Market, Laser Training, Increase Profits with Repair, Working with Platinum, and Polishing and Plating.
Revere Academy announced the winners of Tahitian Pearl Jewelry Design Contest, which challenged graduates to come up with original designs. The contest featured jewelry over $1,000 and under $1,000 retail, with cash awards for the top three entries in each category. Veronica Eckert of Woodinville, WA, grand-prize winner, received a pair of round-trip Air Tahiti Nui tickets to attend the award ceremony in Papeete. Jurors selected winners on the basis of originality, design, marketability, and craftsmanship.
Jewelry over $1,000:
First place, William Robertson, Cedarburg, WI
Second place, Karen Keit, Princeville, HI
Third place, Julie Leyden, Encinitas, CA
Jewelry under $1,000:
First place, Melissa Skarsten, Park City, UT
Second place, Noriko Kawamoto, Cobb, CA
Third place, Cheryl Rouch, San Francisco
Stuller, Inc. is partnering with Dominion Diamond Corporation to introduce CanadaMark melee diamonds to the North American market. The supplier is the first to offer these stones in the U.S. Every batch of CanadaMark melee from Stuller is responsibly mined in Canada’s Northwest Territories, in full compliance with the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct, natural and untreated.
Belle Brooke Barer, owner and eponymous designer of the Belle Brooke jewelry collection, is opening a studio gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on November 5. Barer makes each piece of jewelry using her hands and traditional tools and techniques. Each piece is made with 100 percent recycled metals, and Barer sources all her gemstones and diamonds with concern for sustainability and responsibility. She is also fitting the space with reclaimed wood cases.
Kay Jewelers, Akron, OH, was nominated in the Marketing & Communications category, and Monica Rich Kosann, Fairfield County, CT, was nominated in the GEM Award for Jewelry Design category for the Jewelers of America (JA) GEM Award. The winners will be announced live during the 15th Annual GEM Awards on Friday, January 13, 2017, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.
Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale of Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City, were recently honored at the Women’s Jewelry Association’s annual Awards for Excellence gala in the category of Retail (fewer than 15 doors).
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company’s $2 million donation campaign, "Band Together," came to an end on July 31. The company invited its policyholders and the general public to vote for their favorite cause. On Aug. 1, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received the Jewelers Mutual $1 million top donation. Habitat for Humanity will receive a donation of $700,000, followed by Feeding America/Food Banks Canada to share $300,000.
The Board of Directors of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee has convened a search committee to identify and hire a president/CEO/general counsel to replace Cecilia Gardner, who will step down from the position in 2017. JVC is seeking an attorney with a minimum of ten years of experience to lead and oversee the membership organization with programs focused on legal compliance.
Retail <15 Doors: Jennifer Gandia & Christina Gandia Gambale, co-owners, Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City
Sales: Maren Rosen, vice president, merchandising, Stuller Inc., Lafayette, LA
Frank Stankus, the husband and business partner of the late Cindy Edelstein, who owned Jeweler’s Resource Bureau and was a member of WJA’s Board of Directors, and Remy Stankus, their daughter, were named the first recipients of a new WJA Cindy Edelstein Mentorship Award.
Stuller professionals address the challenges independent jewelers around the U.S. face and suggest meaningful choices for their customers. Attendees also get a firsthand look at a variety of products and Stuller’s software options. The fall event schedule includes stops in Minneapolis, MN, on Sept. 25; Seattle, WA, on Oct. 9; and New Orleans, LA, on Oct. 23.
Stonemangems.com, a catalogue for the trade only, allows clients to access a full range of diversified colored gemstones.
John F. Allen & Son, a wholesale distributor of rhinestones, beads and components to the fashion and craft industries, is sponsoring Rhode Island-based artist Kent Stetson in conjunction with his solo exhibit, "The Art of Handbags," at the Esse Purse Museum in Little Rock, AR. The company has supplied Czech crystal rhinestones the designer used to embellish the one-of-a-kind bag, "Leiberaci."
Barbara Heinrich of Barbara Heinrich Studio in Pittsford, New York, was elected to another term as president of The American Jewelry Design Council’s new executive board. Pascal Lacroix of Pascal Lacroix Designs in Nevada City, California, was elected vice president.
Evening Wear, Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc., Los Angeles
Men’s Wear, First Place and Platinum Honors: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design, Long Beach, California
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. in Neenah, Wisconsin, has been named to the 2016 list of Ward’s 50 top performing insurance companies for the sixth consecutive year. The award recognizes outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over a five-year period from 2011-2015.
Matthew Ego has launched Guild and Facet, a new fine jewelry manufacturing facility positioned to cater to independent retailers. Core items will include designer white label bridal jewelry, custom jewelry, and a cost-effective diamond stud and solitaire program. Based in North Bergen, New Jersey, the company is offering delivery within three business days, while some core items will be available for same-day distribution.
Summer Gu has been appointed marketing coordinator of Jewelers of America (JA) in New York City. She will coordinate promotion of JA member benefit programs, events, advocacy, and publications, and assist in member recruitment and engagement efforts. “We are excited to welcome Summer Gu to Jewelers of America,” says David J. Bonaparte, president and CEO. “Her role will help JA better engage with members and keep them, and the industry, aware of JA’s ongoing initiatives.”
In related news, Lauren Kalma has been promoted to public relations and events coordinator of JA. Formerly public relations and marketing coordinator, Kalma will work with JA’s director of public relations and events on the company’s event production, social media, and consumer and trade public relations activities.
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee in New York City has announced the lineup of its JVC Webinar Series: FTC Revisions Explained: Part 2, Sept. 21; Employment Law, Oct. 19; and AML Refresher, Nov. 10. All webinars are free to JVC members; non-members pay $25 per session. Contact: JVC, 1-212-997-2002; jvclegal.org.
Kuwayama, Tokyo, won Best in Platinum award at the 2016 Couture Design Awards. The Couture Design Awards recognizes the finest work in jewelry and timepiece design.
The Women’s Jewelry Association’s 2016 Awards for Excellence are given to female professionals in the jewelry and/or watch industries who have demonstrated significant achievements throughout their careers. The following members were nominated:
Retail, 15 or More Doors: Jamie Singleton, Signet Jewelers, San Francisco
Retail, 15 or Fewer Doors: Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale, Greenwich St. Jewelers, New York City
The following members received grants from JCK’s 18th annual Industry Fund:
Diamond Council of America in Nashville, Tennessee
Jewelers of America in New York City
Jewelers Security Alliance in New York City
Jewelers Vigilance Committee in New York City
The grants are awarded to individuals, groups, or associations whose work results in the betterment of the overall jewelry industry.
Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) selected Black Forest as recipient of a 2016 Supplier Star Award. The award brings annual recognition to supplier members for excelling in communication, service, and quality as voted on by PPAI member distributors. Based in Owatonna, Minnesota, Black Forest is a manufacturer of recognition jewelry such as rings, lapel pins, charms, and cufflinks.
The Jewelers Board of Trade in Warwick, Rhode Island, has announced that future copies of its Red Book will be distributed on a flash drive. “We want the Red Book to be as easy to use as possible for our valued members,” said Anthony J. Capuano, president. “The transition to a flash drive offers our members access to searchable data on today’s computers.”
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) recently announced that jewelry inscription service PhotoScribe will operate solely from the Institute’s New York City laboratory. “IGI consistently evaluates opportunities to empower jewelry buyers with knowledge and confidence, and strives to deliver added benefits for consumers,” said IGI President Jerry Ehrenwald. “We believe the operational move of PhotoScribe to IGI’s New York lab will further enhance our state-of-the-art offerings.”
Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has announced the introduction of flat-rate shipping. The company is now offering customers a flat rate of $7.99 for UPS Ground orders weighing up to 5 lbs. and being delivered within the contiguous United States.
The American Gem Society (AGS) in Las Vegas is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Diamond Grading Standards. Created in 1966, the Standards were published to support the AGS mission of fine jewelry consumer protection by clarifying certain aspects of diamond quality and value. They were also designed to serve as a tool for the jeweler to use at the sales counter.
Kwiat and William Goldberg of New York City have announced a strategic alliance. Under the arrangement, Kwiat will be the U.S. distributor of Goldberg’s proprietary diamond brand, the Ashoka. They will be designing and producing a collection of Ashoka diamond jewelry for the U.S. market that will be sold exclusively through Kwiat and select luxury independent jewelers that carry Kwiat nationwide.
The Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) has announced a new Prime Marketing Lists resource that offers more targeted identification of jewelry market segments, adding demographic attributes to its suite of marketing lists and custom research products. The JBT can now layer in deeper filtering (based on U.S. Census data) for members to more accurately and economically reach existing and potential customer segments throughout the jewelry industry in North America.
Jewelers of America, which established the modern birthstone list in 1912, will lead a public relations and marketing campaign in July to promote the news of THE American Gem Trade Association’s announcement that it is adding spinel to the official list of birthstones for the month of August.
Hologem, a 3-D holographic product developed by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. and Excelion Partners, won the JCK Think Tank competition at the 2016 JCK Las Vegas show in June. Modeled after the hit ABC series "Shark Tank," Think Tank allowed five technology providers to pitch their latest innovations to the JCK crowd, which then voted for their favorite product. The Hologem technology enables retailers to share virtual jewelry designs on mobile devices and tablets, creating an experience in which customers can interact with the holographic image. Other Think Tank contenders included two other MJSA members, Galatea: Jewelry by Artist and eLuxe 3D, as well as Jewelfie: Powered by Prorigo Software, Megasoft, and NanoRosetta.
To bolster its stable of "wearable technologies," the Berkshire Hathaway–owned Richline Group recently acquired Viawear, a San Francisco–based manufacturer of smart accessories that filter and deliver notifications and alerts from mobile devices.
Riva Precision Manufacturing in New York City recently appointed Richard Weisenfeld director of sales. Weisenfeld has more than 40 year