FRESH INDUSTRY NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES

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IJM/Morris & David Joins GemFind’s JewelCloud

(Press Release) Leading jewelry industry technology provider GemFind has announced that New York-based IJM/Morris & David is the latest vendor to add their products to the industry’s fastest growing social product network, JewelCloud.

IJM’s designs join more than 100,000 products from hundreds of the most trusted vendors in the industry including Tacori, Simon G. and Gem Platinum and many others. GemFind is proud to feature IJM’s vast variety of different categories and price points along with their trademarked designer label Morris & David.

JewelCloud is part of an innovative lineup of tools including Diamond Link, Ring Builder, Stud Builder, Pendant Builder and Retail Locator.

Visit gemfind.com for more information on JewelCloud and morrisdavid.com for more information about IJM/Morris & David.

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Swarovski Will Unveil Kerr-Designed Line on Monday

(Press Release) Swarovski will unveil its new jewelry collection designed in collaboration with brand muse Miranda Kerr at Swarovski boutiques and on Swarovski.com on Monday, July 27th, with prices ranging from $69 to $299.

Miranda has been the face of Swarovski since 2013. The pieces in the collection represent values that are meaningful to Miranda including Brilliance, Love, Joy, Spirit, Strength, and Grace. “Every symbol in the collection is very important and personal to me,” says Miranda Kerr.

Miranda’s designs embody her feminine and delicate aesthetic. The collection is made up of two families: Duo and Diapason. The Duo pieces feature delicate symbols and are perfect for layering while the Diapason family is inspired by frosty icicles and waterfalls.

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Jewelers Equality Alliance Counsels on Selling to Same-Sex Couples

(Press Release) Jewelers Equality Alliance, Inc. has formed as a new organization with the mission of teaching jewelers how to create an inclusive shopping experience for same-sex couples – without alienating a jeweler's long standing heterosexual customers.

The JEA will also provide every participating jeweler with certifications, advertising material, and assistance in choosing relevant advertising venues that cater to same-sex couples.

"Jewelers provide special help to people while they take that critical first step of declaring unconditionally their love for each other," says Matthew A. Perosi-Doughty, JEA President & CEO.

"That first step is a moment of fear, a moment of excitement – a life-changing moment. But it's also a moment of extreme vulnerability, when a person is acknowledging that he or she truly loves someone enough to get married. Same-sex couples carry an extra burden of dread and fear about the initial reaction a jeweler might have when they first reveal themselves to be a member of the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender). Our mission is to help jewelers offer a welcoming environment."

Among the first goals of the new organization is to raise consciousness among jewelers that they need to replace the term "bridal jewelry" with "wedding jewelry" to attract same sex couples. "Today, all wedding jewelry is simply that – and should be marketed as such," says Perosi-Doughty, known to many jewelers as a consultant and educator. He has been assisting jewelers with website development, search engine optimization (SEO), jewelry photography, and other marketing services since 2003. His Totawa, NJ-based consulting company is called Sapphire Collaborative.

JEA, which has been in the planning stages for a year, will hold its first seminar at the JA NY Show, as part of Jewelers of America's education program. "The New Reality of Weddings: LGBT & Your Wedding Business" will be held on Monday, Jul 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm.

"The timing for this new organization is completely coincidental, yet it couldn't be more perfect with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that same-sex marriage is an equal right for all Americans," says Perosi-Doughty.

But attracting this new customer demographic into a jewelry store won't be easy. Many LGBT consumers want to shop in inclusive environments where they feel welcomed. And that's a nuanced message to convey – in a jewelry industry that, for generations, has been taught to market a diamond engagement ring for the bride, and wedding bands for the bride and groom.

"Many common jewelry ads and seemingly innocuous questions that sales associates ask are insulting or dismissive to same-sex couples," says Perosi-Doughty. "Our materials will help jewelers change their language and advertising to avoid that."

Participation in JEA requires a yearly program fee for retail jewelers, jewelry designers, and manufacturers. The fee includes continuing education to keep jewelers informed of the latest wedding news, issues, and trends that are of importance to same-sex couples.

Training for individual employees and sales associates will be provided via professional development classes and courses. The associated course fees are for individuals only -- they will be issued certificates upon completion of courses. Education will cover topics needed to gain the trust of same-sex couples and turn them into lifetime, repeat clients. The classes will be delivered through seminars, webinars, and website training. Further information is available on JEAlliance.com.

JEA participant companies, as well as individuals who have completed JEA professional development classes, will be listed on RingOutForEquality.com, a consumer facing website designed to direct same-sex couples towards inclusive retail jewelers and jewelry designers.

JEA is also building a photo library of all types of wedding day couples, which will reflect the diversity of races and religions. Clever and imaginative wedding day wardrobe combinations – a passion among many same sex couples – will also be reflected in advertising. JEA will be producing targeted and relevant ads that would otherwise be very expensive for an individual jeweler to create. It will also assist all participating jewelers in identifying and understanding their local media buys related to LGBT advertising potential.

The new organization will also make recommendations to retail jewelers for the most appealing and appropriate jewelry to carry for same sex couples – whose preferences are wide ranging and ever changing. JEA will follow trends and fashions and report the latest that appeal to the LGBT community. In addition, it will research the willingness of jewelry designers and vendors to be included in the ads JEA is creating. Jewelry designers and vendors with personal or religious conflicts about same-sex marriage will not be included in any of the JEA-prepared ads.

JEA will also provide a monthly photography grant to same-sex couples to pay for their wedding photos. The goal of the "Memories Made Here" grant is to provide same-sex couples with a worry-free situation with a wedding photographer. The grant application will be submitted through participating retail jewelers. JEA and the participating retail jewelry store will develop associations with local wedding photographers to fulfill the requirements of the grant.

Jewelers Equality Alliance, Inc. is registered as a Not-for-Profit corporation in New Jersey and is filing for status as an IRS recognized Not-For-Profit 501(c)3 tax exempt company. Donations to JEA are not tax deductible at this time, but will be retroactively tax deductible once the 501(c)3 status is approved.

For further information contact Matthew Perosi-Doughty, matt@jealliance.com 973-498-8966.

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Jewelers Mutual Warns of Honeymoon Curse

(Press Release) Short of becoming stranded on a desert island, losing a new wedding ring can cast a shadow on your customers’ once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, notes Jewelers Mutual.

According to recent posts on The Knot and Wedding Bee, the fear of loss is real. The Knot posted an online survey asking if readers would wear a “placeholder” ring – a less expensive ring worn instead of an engagement or wedding ring – while traveling. The results revealed that more than 56% thought it was a good idea.

On another board, The Wedding Bee, that topic yielded quite a bit of online discussion, where the opinions were likewise evenly split.

It’s not surprising that wedding and engagement rings are often lost on honeymoons. These rings are new, may need a size adjustment, and their wearers may not be used to wearing them yet. They have a habit of taking the ring off to wash their hands, sleep, or relax on the beach. Summer weddings, honeymoons, and travel translate to more opportunities to educate customers on jewelry safety and the importance of protecting their ring from loss, theft, or damage, by having the rings insured through a personal jewelry insurance policy from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

The good news is that both the bride and groom want their rings protected. According to The Knot, nearly 80 percent of brides and grooms recently surveyed plan to have the ring insured and more than half said they received information about protecting their rings from their jeweler.

“Jewelers have tremendous influence on their customers’ decisions on how to keep their jewelry safe, especially new brides and grooms whose engagement and wedding rings may be the first piece of valuable jewelry they own and care for,” said Trina Woldt, Chief Marketing Officer at Jewelers Mutual. “Young couples look to their jewelers as experts for information on ways to protect their rings.”

With personal jewelry insurance from Jewelers Mutual, insured customers have the flexibility to work with their jeweler of choice to replace lost or stolen jewelry and repair damaged pieces with the same kind and quality as the original, especially important for brand name and custom rings.

“Being able to go right back to the trusted jeweler they purchased the rings from and not have to work within a jeweler network or get multiple estimates — that’s when our policyholders breathe a sigh of relief,” said Woldt. “Certainly this is a benefit to the jeweler as well since we bring business back to them. It’s an amazing experience and opportunity; when both the jeweler and insurance company work together to help restore a couple’s happiness and the freedom to wear their jewelry without worry.”
For jewelers looking to extend their service beyond the sale, Woldt mentioned that jewelers are finding helpful content to share with their customers from Jewelers Mutual’s award-winning consumer blog, The Jewelry Box. Jewelers may subscribe to the blog and use the tips found there to help educate their customers on jewelry care and safety.

“One recent blog article focused on the five hazards to avoid when traveling with jewelry. It’s a reference jewelers might wish to pass along to customers planning their honeymoons to avoid the honeymoon curse,” said Woldt.

For more information about jewelry insurance for your customers and Jewelers Mutual programs for jewelers, visit JewelersMutual.com, contact a Jewelers Mutual sales manager at 800-558-6411, ext. 2118 or Marketing-PJ@jminsure.com.

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White Pine Trading Celebrates JA New York with VIP Buying Event for Retailers

(Press Release) White Pine Trading has announced that to celebrate this month's JA Show in New York, it is hosting a luxury VIP buying event for retailers pre-show, on July 25th from 12pm-5pm.

The event will take place at the company's new expanded offices, totaling 13,500 square feet, on the 11th floor of 535 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY.

The VIP event offers a private, five-star experience for retailers who will have an opportunity to shop White Pine's vast, ever-changing inventory of fine, branded, signed, antique, and estate jewelry.

Attending retailers will also receive first-choice selection ahead of the JA Show, where White Pine's inventory will be limited to lines carried by select sales consultants. First-class food and champagne will be offered throughout the VIP event and each guest will part with a special gift.

"We are delighted to host retailers in town for the JA Show at our new state-of-the-art offices, which provide the perfect venue for a personalized, luxury experience. Our regional sales consultants will hand-select merchandise, with individual store aesthetics and price points in mind," says White Pine CEO Benjamin Burne.

White Pine offers retailers one of America's most diverse selections of fine jewelry, as well as a suite of consulting and trading solutions. The company trades fine jewelry and luxury watches, as well as certified and loose diamonds of every size and quality. White Pine traded over $100 million in merchandise in 2014.

The VIP buying event is open to verified retailers in the trade. Appointments are encouraged.

For more information on White Pine or appointments, contact Lauren Kennedy at LKennedy@whitepinediamonds.com or call (845) 667-1150.

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