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Jewelers of America Political Action Committee Raises $26K in 2015


(Press Release) NEW YORK, NY – The Jewelers of America Political Action Committee (JAPAC), the only PAC that supports the fine jewelry industry in Washington, D.C., raised $26,680 in 2015. Through JAPAC, individual Jewelers of America members can join with other jewelry businesses in contributing to candidates for office at the federal level, who understand the interests of the jewelry industry.

JAPAC received a huge boost of financial support from JA Board members when – in response to a fundraising challenge – they raised $16,450 at the July Board of Directors meeting. It was the biggest single day of fundraising in JAPAC’s history.

“I applaud JA’s Board of Directors, who came together to give JAPAC a critical boost,” says David J. Bonaparte, JA’s president and CEO. “With key issues like sales tax fairness being considered by Congress, jewelers’ voices must be heard on Capitol Hill.”

“JAPAC gives the jewelry industry a platform to have a collective voice on issues,” says Jenny Caro, JAPAC chair and co-owner of Jewelry By Designs in Woodbridge, VA. “These funds are an important tool in preparing JAPAC for the essential 2016 election year.” Caro has served on JA’s Board since 2013.

For more information about JAPAC as well as key legislative issues that Jewelers of America is tracking, visit

Shmuel Schnitzer Elected Chairman of Israel Diamond Institute


(Press Release) ANTWERP BELGIUM – Shmuel Schnitzer has been elected the new chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI).

Afterwards, WFDB President Ernie Blom said it is critical in challenging times for the diamond industry’s major global organizations to be led by experienced industry figures.

"I would like to congratulate Shmuel not only on his election, but also for his willingness to continue to provide his vast knowledge and experience of our industry for the benefit of the trade," says Blom. "Shmuel has only just finished his fourth term overall as president of the Israel Diamond Exchange and has also served as WFDB president.”

Blom added: "He is now serving as the chairman of the WFDB's Trade and Business Committee, and his knowledge of the issues is invaluable. It is not always easy to find the time to serve the industry, but Shmuel has the concept of public service built into him and has always been willing to help the Israeli and global diamond trade.

"It is all the more important for diamond industry figures like Shmuel to continue to play a role as head of a trade body due to the challenging conditions facing the diamond business. There is no shortage of issues facing us, and having input from experienced leaders is critical in enabling us to take our industry forward and to find solutions. I look forward to being able to call on Shmuel's assistance in the coming years, and I applaud him for taking on another big industry challenge. The Israeli diamond industry will benefit hugely from having him as head of the IDI."

Tapper’s Diamonds Raises $23K for Local Charities


Dr. Barnes presenting the first $1,000 check from Tappers to SONS' at its Talented TENTH session Saturday.

(Press Release) WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI – Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry has announced Save Our Neighborhood and Streets (SONS) will receive an additional $2,500 donation for winning the popular vote in its third-annual campaign, Jewelry Stars Give Back. Jewelry Stars Give Back is a charitable giving program that recognizes a group of metro Detroiters and their favorite charitable organizations. The 2015 contest concluded on Dec. 31, 2015, raising a total of $23,740 for the 14 local non-profit organizations.

Among the Stars – including Annette Barnes-Grain, Courtney Bomier-Szucs, Jim Dunn, Scott Ferguson, Shelby Glazer, Renee Godin, Roxana Han, Emily Ishbia, Gregory Kelser, Laurie Lyall, Marie Molnar, Ayisha Mumin, Siraj Mumin, and Cheryl Sopha – it was Barnes-Grain’s SONS that collected the most votes.

“I am a firm believer in the impact of this organization and its work with at-risk youth,” says Barnes-Grain. “I’ve seen the positive impact on families and the community through SONS' programs and activities that help cultivate spiritual, social, cultural and academic growth and development. I was honored to be named a Tapper’s Jewelry Star and I’m thrilled this terrific organization will benefit from the generosity of Tapper’s.”

SONS helps more than 4,000 youth annually in the Blue Water Area with programs such as, The Talented TENTH Leadership Development program, the Dream Camp summer elementary outreach, after-school programs, recreational sports leagues, Manhood and Sister Circle mentoring and U R Luv’d school-wide assemblies. To learn more and support SONS, visit, or call 810.334.6710Call: 810.334.6710Inline image 2.

Tapper’s donated funds to each organization but let the public decide which would receive the extra gift by voting for their favorite at Tapper’s stores.

To find out more about Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Novi, Troy and West Bloomfield, visit, or call 248.932.7700Call: 248.932.7700Inline image 5.

Other recipients in the 2015 campaign included:

  • Clarkston SCAMP,, 248.623.8089
  • Kids Gala, a David C. McKnight Foundation,, 248.886.0631
  • National Kidney Foundation of Michigan,, 734.222.9800
  • The Polo Fields Foundation of Michigan benefiting North Star Reach,, 248.355.6810
  • Grace Centers of Hope,, 248.334.2187
  • Beaumont Children’s Hospital,, 248.551.3607
  • Share A Smile,, 248.792.9406
  • Winning Futures,, 586.294.8449
  • Cornerstone Schools Association,, 313.892.1860
  • Manresa Jesuit Retreat House,, 248.644.4933
  • Young Survival Coalition,, 317.288.5203
  • American Association of Blacks in Energy,, 313.366.8535
  • Ele’s Place,, 517.482.1315

Jewelry Industry Summit Announces Speaker Lineup


(Press Release) NEW YORK – The Jewelry Industry Summit, an open forum on sustainability and responsible sourcing, has announced speakers and planned poster sessions, as well as additional sponsors for the event. The forum is taking place at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City from March 11-13 with an opening reception on the evening of March 10.

The Summit is organized to be an interactive working meeting, with large and small discussion groups assisted by professional facilitators, rather than a full agenda of speakers. The format's central purpose remains attendee participation. However, conference planners have invited a few speakers to share information to help the group gain insight on what constitutes a responsible sourcing program at the current time.

Speakers scheduled to speak so far include Anna Bario, co-owner of designer jewelry brand Bario-Neal, and Stewart Grice, vice president of the supplier Hoover and Strong, which boasts a long-established Harmony brand of recycled and fair trade metals and gems. A representative from sustainable designer brand Melissa Joy Manning will also speak. Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) Executive Director Dorothée Gizenga will address attendees; as will Eric Jens, CEO of ABN AMRO Bank's International Diamond & Jewelry Group. Maria Gorsuch-Kennedy, principal program manager, global products operations sustainability for Dell, the international computer and technology firm, will speak about driving social and environmental responsibility throughout the computer hardware product lifecycle. Gorsuch-Kennedy will also address Dell's membership in the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative, one of the most utilized and respected resources for companies that want to avoid sourcing minerals and metals that fuel conflict.

"For industry members who feel that their views have been ignored, for those who are frustrated and angry about current responsible sourcing systems – this is your chance to speak up and be heard," says colored gemstone expert Edward Boehm, president and CEO of Rare Source, who is a member of the Jewelry Industry Summit Planning Committee. "Our collaborative approach to this topic makes it different from other meetings you may have attended. We want to hear from new voices."

"The Summit is organized to hear all viewpoints, from miners to retailers," adds Barbara Wheat, executive vice president of the Natural Color Diamond Association, also a member of the Jewelry Industry Summit Planning Committee. "Our committee, which is made up of companies representing all products, from diamonds, colored gemstones, and precious metals to finished jewelry and timepieces, recognizes that though there are a number of excellent responsible sourcing programs out there, there's never been an industry-wide consensus on what constitutes a vision all stakeholders can support."

The Summit has been coordinated by a group of industry companies (listed below) in every sector of the international trade, also representing all products. The planning committee includes: Ann Arnold, BIG – Buyers Intelligence Group; Lita Asscher, Royal Asscher; Anna Bario, Bario Neal; Robert Bentley, Robert Bentley Company; Mihir Bhansali, Firestar Diamond Inc.; Edward Boehm, Rare Source; David Bouffard, Signet Jewelers Ltd.; Eric Braunwart, Columbia Gem House, Inc.; Lisa Bridge, Ben Bridge Jeweler; Bruce Bridges, Bridges Tsavorite; Brad Brooks-Rubin, The Enough Project, Brandee Dallow, Rio Tinto Diamonds; Bill Farmer, Farmer’s Jewelry; Jeffrey Fischer, Fischer Diamonds, Inc.; Rebecca Foerster, Leo Schachter Diamonds, LLC; Karen Goracke, Borsheim’s; Stewart Grice, Hoover and Strong; Mark Hanna, Richline; Hayley Henning, True North Gems; Steve Hodgkins, Rolex USA; Christina Miller, Ethical Metalsmiths; and Barbara Wheat, Natural Color Diamond Association.

The Jewelry Industry Summit will also host poster sessions for the three-day event. Among those committed at press time (in alphabetical order): Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), Columbia Gem House, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Elevate, Ethical Metalsmiths, Hoover and Strong, Martello Risk, Responsible Jewellery Council, Richline Group, Underwriters Laboratories, and the United States Council for International Business.

New sponsors for the Jewelry Industry Summit include presenting sponsor Signet Jewelers and media sponsors: INSTORE, JCK, National Jeweler, The New Jeweller, Rapaport Magazine, and IDEXOnline. Among other sponsors (in alphabetical order): ABN AMRO Bank's International Diamond & Jewelry Group, AIGS Lab (Bangkok), CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, Friedman LLP, Neil Gibgot, managing partner of Gibgot, Willenbacher & Co., JA New York, The Plumb Club, Rough Diamond Traders, and the World Gold Council. A list of other contributors who made donations via the Jewelry Industry Summit's Indigogo campaign can be found at the donor page of To become a Summit Sponsor, contact Summit Administrator Suzan Flamm, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit

Summit registration includes free entry and badges to JA New York's spring show, which will also enable badge holders to visit MJSA Expo New York, a show for jewelry makers and designers, and Lueur, an antique jewelry show. All three shows commence on Sunday, March 13 in different parts of the Javits Center in New York City. Summit registration costs $400, with a $50 discount for members of a wide range of industry trade associations. Each association will give its members a promo code to activate the discount. Prospective attendees should confirm with their organizations about the codes before registering. The registration fee includes the cocktail reception on March 10 and all meals during the summit. It also includes an opening day lunch at JA New York.

To register, visit

Chamilia Supports Autism Awareness Month in April


(Press Release) CRANSTON, RI — During April 2016, in honor of Autism Awareness Month, jewelry designer Chamilia, a Swarovski Company, announced that it will continue to support its program to donate 5 percent of proceeds from its “Autism Puzzle Piece” charm to the Autism Research Institute.

The brand became interested in supporting these efforts after learning that in 2012 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that one in 68 people under the age of 21 living in the U.S. has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This number continues to increase, as a more recent CDC National Health Interview Survey suggests that one in 45 children, ages 3 through 17, now have been diagnosed with ASD.

“Everything we create at the Chamilia brand is supportive of women’s lives in some way, some items especially so,” says Catherine Ottaviano, Chamilia’s vice president of global merchandising and marketing. “Autism awareness is a cause we continue to support because the lives of so many people are impacted by this condition. We all need to be a part of the solution to serious issues.”

There are more than 400 exclusive charms available from the Chamilia brand. The line is made from sterling silver or 14 karat gold and features genuine Swarovski Crystals, Swarovski Zirconia or Murano Glass that is handmade using the finest ingredients. The brand follows strict Swarovski guidelines for quality and aesthetic standards.

The “Autism Puzzle Piece” charm from Chamilia is a sterling silver representation of a piece from a puzzle and retails for $35. The charm symbolizes the need to develop a greater understanding of the condition of autism and its impact on our society.

The Chamilia “Autism Puzzle Piece” charm will be available at the brand’s nearly 2,000 retail partners worldwide and on the Chamilia website,

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