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MJSA Education Foundation Awards $10,000 in Student Scholarships

(Press Release) The MJSA Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to advancing professional skills in jewelry making and design, recently awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships to four students who show exceptional talent and promise for successful careers.

The four students are:

  • Emily Jerome ($5,000 scholarship) of Constableville, NY, who will begin studying jewelry and metalsmithing at the Maine College of Art this year. Jerome says she started making jewelry in fifth grade, creating "my own joy in the times of hardship, taking on a more loving meaning of the old saying about the 'tortured artist.'" She is eager to explore novel genres and learn "new ways to see the beauty in this world." She plans to graduate in 2020 with a BFA.
  • Molly Robinson ($2,000 scholarship) of Fort Worth, TX, is working toward an associate's degree in jewelry technology, as well as a graduate degree in gemological sciences and CAD/CAM certification at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology at Paris Junior College in Paris, TX. Her previous experience includes selling jewelry in various galleries and at trade shows, as well as operating an online jewelry store. After graduation, she intends to work as a bench jeweler and to continue her gemological education. She hopes eventually to become a "professional gem hunter." She plans to complete her programs in December 2017.
  • Sidnee Tyree ($2,000 scholarship) of Eau Claire, MI, is enrolled in the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI, where she is entering her junior year in the metals and jewelry design program. She began creating wire jewelry as a hobby a few years ago, then taught herself basic metalsmithing; her love for the craft soon led her to pursue further education. Tyree hopes to apply her own style with wire to other mediums and materials, creating "inimitable adornments that make people feel unique and special," and to open a program one day where underprivileged and troubled youth can learn and practice an art form of their choice. She anticipates graduating with a BFA in metal and jewelry design in spring 2019.
  • Jasmine Chan ($1,000 scholarship) of Alhambra, CA, will begin her studies this year in the graduate jeweler program at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. She "dreams of expressing new artistic forms in jewelry and of taking [her] designs globally." Her designs have already received recognition, including division and best of show awards at the 2013 Orange County Fair, and she was a finalist in the 2015 Swarovski Crystal contest sponsored by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. Ultimately, she would like to work as a bench jeweler for a company while selling her jewelry online. Chan expects to complete her certification in May 2017.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit subsidiary of MJSA (the trade association dedicated to professional jewelry making and design), the MJSA Education Foundation develops and supports programs that help to ensure the jewelry industry maintains a qualified, competitive workforce. It has given over $190,000 in scholarship funding since 1997. Funds for the scholarships are generated through the foundation's Scholarship Group, which consists of six permanent endowment funds managed by the Rhode Island Community Foundation on behalf of MJSA and the Foundation.

Any student enrolled in a jewelry program, whether through a university or trade school, who intends to pursue a career in the jewelry industry, and who can demonstrate financial need, is eligible to apply for an MJSA Education Foundation scholarship. Applicants are assessed on the basis of course of study, academics, career plans, recommendations, and industry experience. Students must be U.S. citizens.

To learn more about the MJSA Education Foundation and various educational and professional opportunities, visit

IJL 2016 Showcases Award-Winning Designer Brands

(Press Release) The Designer Brands showcase at IJL 2016 will feature a record number of 17 designers within an expanded area of the show, displaying both silver and fine jewelry. Elite designers from the U.K., alongside those from Sweden, Australia and Brazil, will present fine and contemporary jewelry with the launch of new collections as well as acclaimed signature pieces.

"This year's Designer Brands showcase is a wonderful celebration of the best in creative flair and innovative talent," said Sam Willoughby, IJL event director. "Inspiringly beautiful pieces, from both new and established designers drawn from around the world, are guaranteed to excite buyers from every sector."

IJL 2016 runs Sept. 4-6 at Olympia Grand, London.

The Designer Brands at this year's IJL are:

Sarah Ho

Sarah Ho London will be launching new designs for her award-winning Numerati Collection. Numerati captures the number as a hidden secret known only to the wearer, and the new diamond version uses the shapes of different diamond cuts to enhance the numbers in an eye-catching way. The silver version for the rings has been designed to appeal to both men and women, and the concept has been also translated into pendants and cuffs. Ho will also be unveiling new stunning 'high jewelry' designs, which received considerable praise from customers and press during a recent tour of Asia. Some of these pieces will be on display at IJL 2016.

"We are really looking forward to IJL and are confident that 2016 will be a good year for us," Ho said. "The show is a focus for launching new products, and this year we have a number of new designs on display. It gives us the opportunity to meet both existing and potential new clients."

Linda Macdonald Jewelry

Linda Macdonald Jewelry introduces Moondance for autumn/winter 2016. This statement piece is made in silver with solid 9 carat gold detail and is designed to mark the brand's 20th anniversary in 2016. This pendant celebrates the evocative romantic imagery featured in many of her designs.

"London Olympia is the perfect location to showcase our products to a wide variety of existing and potential customers, both from the U.K. and export markets," Macdonald said.

Alex Monroe

Alex Monroe showcases the Bon Voyage collection at IJL. This represents a look back to the golden age of travel, taking the wearer on a global tour, starting from Monroe's home county in Suffolk. His inspiration varies from the Orient Express to Tin Tin, although it was an antique charm bracelet belonging to a friend that really sparked his imagination. Reigniting the tradition of collecting charms as unique souvenirs from places visited, to be added to and passed down to future generations, this collection evokes travel by hot air balloon, seaplane, even camel -- and collecting tickets and luggage labels along the way. Bon Voyage is available in silver, yellow gold vermeil, rose gold vermeil and mixed metal finishes and will be available in stores from September 2016.

"IJL is where we will also be previewing the new additions to our fine jewelry line, Goldcrest," said Emma Burgin, Alex Monroe chief operating officer. "It is the only U.K. trade event where we will be unveiling the range. Exclusive to the show, the new Goldcrest story will be under embargo until the event, but I can reveal that it is a very pretty, extremely feminine collection, offering a new direction for us -- whilst still being signature. After our return to IJL in 2015, we found that the show formed a great point in the season for us to launch a new bridal range. IJL provides a fantastic platform for us to preview all of our collections to the U.K. industry and take orders for the Christmas season."

Lucy Quartermaine

Lucy Quartermaine's new Icicle collection will be launching at IJL 2016. Featuring simple but chic designs, inspired by the extraordinary large icicles Lucy saw on a recent holiday, this solid sterling silver jewelry is tactile, organic and fluid in its shape, and works for both day and nighttime looks.

"With my new Icicle collection, I've revisited my original influences of water and organic forms," Quartermaine said. "I was particularly inspired by the huge icicles, hanging from the eaves and windows, I saw on holiday last winter. IJL is the ideal event to launch new collections and pieces, as there are so many high caliber exhibitors and retail buyers in attendance. It's the 'must-attend' trade show for the Lucy Quartermaine brand."

Astley Clarke

Debuting at IJL this year, Astley Clarke -- the British fine jewelry brand established by Bec Astley Clarke, MBE -- will be unveiling its latest collections, all designed in its London studio. These include Interstellar in both diamonds and sapphires, Setting Sun, and Biography stud earrings, with the emphasis this season on the use of more colored gemstones, mismatched earrings and layered necklaces. Astley Clarke's approach is relaxed luxury, created to inspire women to wear fine jewelry every day.

"As our U.K. and international wholesale channel continues to grow, we are thrilled to be able to showcase our collections to a wide audience of some of the most prestigious global jewelry retailers, and IJL offers a great platform on which to do so," said Bec Astley Clarke, MBE, founder and chairman.

Rachel Galley

Rachel will be launching her new Misto collection at IJL. Made in amethyst or topaz, with graduating colors of these gemstones set into silver, the design features a hint of her signature latticework.

"IJL has always been a really good show for me," Galley said. "The event is at the right time of year, and now at Olympia it provides a really bright and airy creative environment. I am looking forward to seeing my customers and showing them the many new lines we are launching."

Collette Waudby

Collette Waudby has a 20-year history of exhibiting at IJL, and the show is the highlight of her calendar. Unveiling her new collections at the event, this award-winning British artisan designer of contemporary jewelry, created in the heart of Birmingham's historic jewelry quarter, is inspired by a fusion of nature, history and travel, combined with the technical exploration of archaic metal forging and forming techniques. This year's show will see new items and refinement across all of her four collections, along with a new collection that is the result of botanical sketches of the Phormium plant.

"Since my first IJL 20 years ago I have seen it as the perfect place to launch all new work," Waudby said. "It attracts the perfect customer for me. I am still working with some I met back in 1996!"

Rose Carvalho

Rose Carvalho from Brazil is making her European debut at IJL 2016 with the launch of a new collection featuring precious Brazilian gemstones and gold, intricately carved as magnifying lenses with diamonds inside to capture the light and create an unusual perception of visual proportion. Rose's hand-crafted creations are inspired by the studies of Carl Jung, using archetypal images in the forms of mandalas and the universe. Her jewelry reflects an outstanding artistic personality, striving for perfection with particular attention given to finish.

"To be part of IJL in London is a great honor and a unique opportunity to present my work," Carvalho said. "I hope everyone will like my new collection and I will do good business. It's very inspiring to open a new market - and it's a challenge I can´t afford to miss!"

V Jewelry

For the first time in the Designer Brands area, V Jewelry will be showcasing its colorful, best-selling spring/summer 2016 collection, featuring rose and yellow gold plating, with an array of vibrant stones. V Jewelry will also be launching its highly anticipated, Eastern inspired collection, providing an exclusive preview of its Christmas offering. An exciting new venture for V, the autumn/winter range available from this September is a hybrid of fine and silver jewelry, featuring white sapphires and yellow gold plating, in conjunction with CZ and a sterling silver foundation.

Laura Vann comments: "We're very excited to be in the Designer Brands area at IJL 2016, and I think retailers and the press alike who have been monitoring our progress, will see how V has continued to go from strength to strength -- living up to our U.K. Jewelry Award winning status of the 'Brand to Watch'! The great thing about IJL is the mix of both brands and buyers that attend. The versatility of retailers who come to the show provides us with a wonderful opportunity to explore a multitude of avenues across the U.K. and beyond. And thanks to our success with the likes of Fortnum & Mason and Fenwick, we will be looking to expand sales with other department stores, as well as independent jewelers."

Alexis Dove

Celebrating her company's 10th anniversary this year, British jeweler Alexis Dove is launching her new English Rose Collection, reflecting her love of nature, at IJL 2016. Inspired by her best-selling debut collection, Wild Rose, the delicate and feminine new collection is crafted from sterling silver and yellow and rose gold vermeil, depicting the variety of shapes and colors of the iconic British rose. It is designed to mix and match with floaty summer dresses or crisp white shirts. Equally, the Rose Leaf branch necklace with the delicate Rose Bud pendant can be paired for a chic and on-trend layered necklace look.

"IJL is a must-attend show for us, as the quality of visiting retailers is always high and you get so many relevant buyers there," Dove said. " I am looking forward to launching my 10th anniversary English Rose collection to the industry at this year's show."

Sheila Fleet Jewelry

Sheila Fleet, OBE, is one of Scotland's leading designer-makers of precious jewelry, with an international following. Her distinctive jewelry, renowned for its vibrant enamel colors and fine hand finish, is designed and created in the Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. Sheila will be launching two new contemporary collections this year in sterling silver and enamel, Lunar and Brodgar Eye. Both are based on ancient stone carvings, possibly made at full moon 5,000 years ago at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney, using reticulation to recreate the peck-marks in rough rock with Sheila's newly-developed enamel colors reflecting rainwater gathering in the carvings.

"We have been at IJL now for over 20 years," said Martin Fleet, managing director of Sheila Fleet Jewelry. "It's an important date in the calendar for us and one we use to launch our new collections prior to Christmas. Based at the far north of the U.K. in Orkney, it's not always possible for us to visit our clients, so we welcome IJL as an excellent opportunity to meet our buyers, both existing customers and new. The show is really ideally placed to bring buyers and suppliers together, and we look forward to attending each year."

Sarah Jordan

Sarah Jordan is a multi-award winning designer now in her 29th year of business. Her design style has evolved into one of the most identifiable jewelry signatures in the U.K.. Inspired by nature, the jewelry is modern, desirable and the essence of subtle designer luxury. Jordan's collections include bridal, daywear, cocktail, bespoke and men's jewelry. She has recently embarked on several successful collaborations, and this year, together with British manufacturer Hockley Mint, won the coveted 2016 U.K.JA Bridal Collection of the year. At IJL 2016 Sarah is launching Cirrus, a collection of delicate shapes and swirling tendrils that curl around to make beautiful sweeping shapes. Made in silver and 18 carat gold, with diamonds used at key points to emphasize the sculptural aspects of the design, the Cirrus Collection is made up of pendants, earrings, bracelets, bangles and rings.

"Being part of the Designer Brands is so important, as together we are a like-minded creative group," Jordan said." IJL's Designer Brands area provides the right atmosphere and ambience to showcase our new collections to customers in a relaxed and stylish environment."

Dower & Hall

British jewelry design duo Dower & Hall this year celebrates over 25 years in business. New collections to be launched at IJL include their stunning Wild Rose Collection in sterling silver.

Nicola West, wholesale coordinator, comments: "From valuable recognition and exposure, increasing brand awareness and highlighting new collections, exhibiting at IJL for over 20 years has always been valuable to Dower & Hall."

Fei Liu

U.K.JA Designer of the Year 2016, Fei Liu will be showcasing three collections at IJL. Shooting Star, the new silver range, is inspired by the movement of the shooting star in the atmosphere and plays with yin yang, and cool and warm tones – with two color combinations of topaz/rhodium and citrine/yellow gold vermeil. The Snowdrop collection will introduce new pieces in rose gold, while the Snowflake collection will not only feature new pieces but also attractive hair accessories.

"Being part of IJL is always a fantastic experience," Fei Liu said. "As a brand, we are always looking to expand and build relationships, as well as forecast the future of the jewelry industry. Knowing the reaction of the audience is important and can help dictate the next path for the brand. This is evident in our recent collections, Snowflake and Snowdrop, where we have kept to our fine jewelry roots but with a more accessible price point."

Andrew Geoghegan

Based in the south of France, Andrew Geoghegan will launch a number of new pieces for autumn/winter 2016.

There are four key ranges. The hexagon is featured in the Chapiteau collection, with a cocktail ring along with engagement and wedding rings. The delicate Cannelé Bracelet addition to the brand's best-selling collection features the signature Cannelé fluting on the setting and within other elements of the piece, and is available in an all diamond version or a choice of other beautiful stones, including chocolate diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The diamond-set Clair de Lune Earrings reflect the lunar crescent theme. And the Clair de Lune Couleur range features sapphires with aquamarine, rubies with pink sapphires and chocolate and yellow diamonds with orange sapphires.

"IJL is the only industry show platform in the U.K. for the AG brand," Geoghegan said. "The attendance of almost all U.K. retailers is the main reason and the promise of an increase in international retailers is a further string to its bow."

Grew & Co

Established in 2006, Grew & Co is an Australian family business designing and crafting all their work in their Sydney studio. As well as working with non-traditional jewelry materials, the company specializes in the ancient Japanese technique of Mokume Gane - a decorative layering of colored precious metal resembling wood grain. Every stage of production is carried out in house with an emphasis on quality, execution and customer satisfaction as the key cornerstones of the business. New to the U.K. and IJL, Grew & Co will emphasize their

wedding bands, reflecting warm color tones and textured surfaces.

"Our aim is to bring finely crafted Australian-made product to the U.K. and Europe, offering fresh design and material alternatives to the bridal and wedding ring market," Gabrielle Grew said.

Lola Rose

Designed by Nicola Gewirtz, Lola Rose specializes in bold, colourful statement jewelry, hand-crafted using beautiful semi-precious stones. Collections include beaded and stone necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.

For further information, visit

Free online visitor registration for IJL 2016 is open at Register in advance online for the chance to win either an exclusive Champneys Pamper Spa Day for two or an Aston Martin Thrill Day at a famous motor race circuit.

Free MJSA Designer Collaborative Brings Members Together

(Press Release) MJSA announces the new MJSA Designer Collaborative, a new membership community available only to MJSA members, free of charge. Through it, members can share ideas, discover inspiration and find the support they need to improve their businesses. The collaborative is facilitated by MJSA Designer Advocate Andrea Hill, who has a long association with the jewelry design community. As CEO of the Hill Management Group, a position in which she will continue, she provides strategic consulting and marketing services to many small and mid-sized jewelry businesses. She also initiated various designer-related events and competitions while CEO of industry supplier Rio Grande, and worked closely with the late Cindy Edelstein on many designer-related projects (including the first-ever Future of Design Business Incubator to jumpstart fledgling careers).

Members of the MJSA Designer Collaborative have access to:

  • MJSA Jewelry Designer Network: This exclusive online social community enables jewelry designers to share information, solicit ideas and feedback, and test new business models and opportunities.
  • MJSA Design Insights E-Newsletter: This quarterly publication features news and updates of interest to jewelry designers (e.g., contest announcements and deadlines, educational programs). It also offers pricing strategies from consultant Marlene Richey, author of the award-winning MJSA Press book "Profiting by Design: A Jewelry Maker's Guide to Business Success."
  • MJSA Design Article Library: Members can access MJSA's members-only online library of free design-related articles; all were originally published in MJSA Journal, the association's award-winning monthly magazine. Starting with the January 2017 issue, the journal will launch a new "Behind the Design" section featuring case studies, interviews and practical tips related to jewelry design.
  • ConFab Creative: Scheduled to debut as part of the 2017 MJSA Expo, this one-day conference will supplement the "profit lessons for designers" offered in the current MJSA ConFab conference (which in 2016 will take place Oct. 30 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City). ConFab Creative will focus on ways to find design inspiration and insights, and provide technical guidance for transforming design concepts into completed pieces. Members of the MJSA Designer Collaborative will receive a significant discount off the regular registration fee.
  • MentorWerx Discounts: Members receive a 50 percent discount on all videos, webinars, books, podcasts and other educational materials produced under Hill's MentorWerx brand.

To register as a member of the MJSA Designer Collaborative, click here and fill out the form.

Brilliant Earth Provides Funding for Second Year of Brilliant Mobile School

(Press Release) OTTAWA - The Diamond Development Initiative announces a grant from jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth for the mobile schooling program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The contribution will support the second year of programming for one class of students, as well as the addition of a new group of children to form another class.

The Brilliant Mobile School, one of two launched in 2015, offers a two-year remedial curriculum, in order to prepare children for national exams and the opportunity to progress on to high school.

DDI established its mobile schooling program, Sending Schools to Kids, in response to a need expressed by artisanal diamond mining communities. Schools are often far away from the mining villages, and children who miss out on formal education may end up working in the mining fields. Finding a way to get them back to school is the top priority of their parents.

DDI, with support from Brilliant Earth, has provided a facility, uniforms, school materials and daily meals for the students, as well as training teachers and sending them into the community. Villagers have participated in the project through construction, furniture building, security and maintenance.

According to Dorothée Gizenga, executive director of DDI, the early results of the mobile schooling program are a clear indicator of the benefits of the program, and the enormous need. "This small group of children is receiving high quality education that could enable them to break the cycle of poverty," she says. "But there are hundreds, even thousands of children like them in artisanal mining communities in Africa. We call on local and international partners to do more to respond to this need."

"Through this donation, Brilliant Earth is ensuring continuity and showing the example."

Beth Gerstein, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Earth says, "The work of DDI to improve the conditions of artisanal diamond miners and their families aligns with our own mission to provide jewelry that consumers can be proud to wear. We are happy to invest in the lives of these students and offer them a better future."

The Diamond Development Initiative works to transform artisanal and small-scale diamond mining into a source of sustainable socio-economic development.

Brilliant Earth is a U.S.-based jeweler committed to building a brighter future for diamond mining communities.

Preferred Jewelers International Network Presents Jewelry Spa Weekend

(Press Release) Preferred Jewelers International, the network of retail jewelers that offers a lifetime, nationwide warranty program and experiences that last a lifetime, is promoting Jewelry Spa Weekend throughout its organization, Sept. 22-24.

During the event, consumers are invited to come into a participating Preferred Jewelers Retail stores with up to five pieces of jewelry for complimentary cleaning and checking.

Consumers who participate are encouraged to take photographs of their pieces and post on Instagram with the hashtag of the store they visited, as well as the tags, #wearepreferred and #preferredspaday.

Tagged photos will be automatically entered for a chance to win a Preferred 105 round diamond halo pendant worth a $5,000 retail value.

Jewelry Spa Day is designed to promote awareness of the Preferred Jewelers International brand, as well as to help participating retailers increase their individual store following on social media feeds.

To date, more than 150 Preferred Jewelers International retail store members have signed up to participate in the event.

For more information on the Preferred Jewelers International Jewelry Spa Day event, or the Preferred Jewelers International Network, visit the Preferred Jewelers International website at or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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