Stay up to date with the latest jewelry industry happenings with our roundup of news from suppliers, associations and other businesses. Send your news to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rio Tinto’s Red Diamond Coin Sells Within 48 Hours


(Press Release) Rio Tinto has announced the sale of The Perth Mint’s Kimberley Treasure, the world’s first coin to feature a rare red diamond from its Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Valued at $1 million, the Kimberley Treasure – which is crafted from one kilogram of 99.99 percent fine gold and features a radiant cut 0.54 carat Argyle red diamond – sold within 48 hours of its unveiling.

The Perth Mint has worked in collaboration with John Glajz, an authorized partner of Argyle Pink Diamonds, to create a number of special gold and pink diamond ingots and coins during the past five years.

Simon Trott, managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds says, “We are delighted with the sale of the Mint’s Kimberley Treasure. We have seen and continue to see strong demand from this high end of the luxury market. The coveted Kimberley Treasure speaks the language of exclusivity, desirability and collectability.”

The new owner of the collectible is Tiara Gems and Jewellery, a Dubai-based company specializing in rare and important fancy color diamonds, unique collectibles and heirloom pieces of jewelry.

Ashish Vijay Jain, founder and chairman of Tiara Gems and Jewellery, says, “We are excited and privileged to add the Kimberley Treasure to our international collection of one-of-a-kind pieces.”

The Kimberley Treasure will be exhibited at the Perth Mint until Aug. 14.

WJA Announces 2016 Female Veteran Grant Winner


Tara Hutchinson

(Press Release) NEW YORK, NY – The Women's Jewelry Association has awarded its 2016 Female Veteran Grant to Tara Hutchinson of Tara Hutch Fine Jewelry, San Antonio, TX. Each year, the merit-based grant, which is offered in partnership with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, goes to a deserving U.S. military veteran to use toward her professional growth within the jewelry and/or watch industries. The grant was established to lend support to women veterans who continue to serve their communities through their work in jewelry.

Hutchinson, who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, served a 10-year tour in the U.S. Army as a military police officer, retiring as a Sergeant First Class. While deployed in Iraq in 2006, an explosive device severed her right leg, causing a significant blood loss that left her with severe limb movement disorder, third-degree burns, permanent back injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite suffering from severe depression, the veteran decided to make jewelry after an occupational therapist suggested trying a hobby that might help her gain back some control in her hands.

At first, Hutchinson's dexterity was so compromised that stringing a large wooden bead onto a leather cord was almost insurmountable. "Nonetheless, I've never been one to give up, and a stubborn need to succeed demanded I keep moving until I mastered this task," she says. "This achievement ignited a spark for jewelry creation, and practically in a frenzy, I began teaching myself everything I could about the craft. I gradually built a library of materials and techniques, and eventually my garage turned into a fully furnished jeweler's studio. I began practicing all day, every day, and shockingly, within a year, my movement disorder had almost vanished." Today, she uses many techniques, including forging, soldering, stone setting, chasing, fusing and patinas.

Hutchinson sells her jewelry through her website and social media, as well as at juried shows, both local and national. She specializes in two finger rings, open-top rings and jewelry that incorporates organic shapes. The jeweler also creates jewelry that caters to women with swollen knuckles, or who have difficulty opening and closing clasps. "I am inspired by natural gemstones and those with a rough finish. I feel they are a good representation of myself, and what I want women to think about when they wear my work: rough around the edges and certainly not perfect, but still bearing something beautiful to give to the world."

Hutchinson plans to use her grant to create custom packaging and displays. She is expanding her business into the wholesale market, and one of her enduring aspirations is to be featured in Sundance Catalog. Other goals include opening a new climate-controlled location with more space that would allow her the option to teach. A much shorter-term goal is simply the need for an air conditioner in her present studio, located in high-temperature San Antonio. The jeweler also aspires to use a portion of the sales of her jewelry to give back to charities that help others who have suffered and survived like her. Since her injury, she has skied, sailed, white water rafted, kayaked and completed two-hand cycle marathons.

"This business has truly given me the phoenix rising that helped me rediscover the 'old' Tara's self-esteem and confidence," says Hutchinson. Her aim, she adds, is to help women with similar issues to become independent and self-reliant. "As each piece is created, I purposefully breathe this ethos into it, along with a pinch of courage, force of character and self- confidence. I truly thrive on giving back the beauty the world has shown me and reaching out to the people who have been in dark places like myself. I want to prove to them it's possible to move on after a devastating injury and that believing in yourself will never fail you."

The WJA Female Veteran Grant is administered by the WJA Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation. Applications were reviewed and the winner selected by WJA Foundation Veteran Grant Chair Isabel Cajulis, retailer account manager, JCK Tucson and JCK Las Vegas shows; Sheri Ihde, manager of industry relations and trade shows for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company; and WJA Foundation President Lisa Slovis Mandel, owner of Lisa Slovis Metalsmithing.

To raise funds for next year's WJA grants and scholarships, WJA is hosting its annual Awards for Excellence gala, on Monday, July 25 at a new location: the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, 311 W 34th St., New York, NY. In 2015, the event raised $60,000 for WJA grants and scholarships. A raffle will again be mounted in 2016 to raise additional funds for these awards, which invest in the future of the jewelry industry.

At the annual gala, WJA will also present three honorees with awards: Sissy Jones, owner of Sissy's Log Cabin will receive the WJA Lifetime Achievement Award; Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, will receive the Ben Kaiser Award; and Ben Bridge will receive the Corporate Award.

In addition, WJA will bestow Awards for Excellence in 10 categories including Design; Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier; Retail – 15 Doors or More; Retail – Fewer Than 15 Doors; Retail – Non-Traditional; Sales and Merchandising; Marketing & Communications; Editorial Media; Special Services; and Watches. Once again, the nominees for these awards will only discover if they won on the evening of the gala.

To purchase sponsorships or tickets for the Gala visit

For more information about WJA member grant opportunities, visit

American Gem Society to Recognize Three Industry Leaders at Circle of Distinction Dinner


(Press Release) LAS VEGAS – The American Gem Society (AGS) announces the outstanding support received thus far by the industry’s professionals toward the Society’s 16th annual Circle of Distinction Dinner, of which there are a limited number of tickets still available.

The Circle of Distinction Dinner will be held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on July 26. The Society will recognize three leaders in the jewelry industry:

  • Dione Kenyon, the past president of the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). Kenyon will receive the Society’s Lifetime Achievement award, an honor given to individuals that have made significant contributions to the industry throughout their career.
  • Stewart Wicht, CEO and president of Rolex Watch USA, and Hank Siegel, president of Hamilton Jeweler. Both men will receive the AGS Triple Zero Award, symbolizing the highest grade in the AGS Diamond Grading Standards.

The Circle of Distinction event will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, followed by a three-course dinner and the awards presentation at 7:30 p.m.

To order dinner tickets, contact Lauren Ruggeroli at 866-805-6500 x1005 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To learn more about American Gem Society or its previous Circle of Distinction honorees, visit

GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair Set to Kick Off


(Press Release) GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair, a recruiting event for the gem and jewelry industry, will take place on Monday, July 25 at the Javits Center in New York.

Nearly 50 companies will be looking for hundreds of talented candidates to fill positions ranging from retail and human resources to design and manufacturing. Well-known global brands, startup companies and family-owned businesses will be looking to hire talent. The event is event is free for job seekers and open to the public; anyone with an interest in jewelry is encouraged to register prior to the event.

Monday, July 25
8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* Recruiting begins at 10:15 a.m.

Javits Center
1E Hall
655 West 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

Event highlights:

  • Nearly 50 gem and jewelry companies, including international brands, top design houses and innovative startups, will be looking to hire hundreds of professionals.
  • The opening panel presentation “Job Success in Today’s Market” will feature Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry for Christie’s; Steven Lagos, founder and chief creative director for LAGOS; Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group; Natalie Tjaden, recent GIA graduate and merchandising assistant for Jewelry Television; and Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president of Reed Jewelry Group.
  • The event is free for job seekers and open to the public. Anyone interested in attending is urged to register prior to the event.

For general information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit The event is sponsored by JA New York.

Jewelers International Showcase Relocates Amid Renovations to Miami Beach Convention Center


(Press Release) NORWALK, CT – Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) provides the jewelry industry with three buying and selling opportunities each year at the Miami Beach Convention Center: JIS Miami January, JIS Miami April and JIS Miami October.

The Miami Beach Convention Center is in the midst of a $596 million remodel to expand and renovate the venue. Home to JIS, Art Basel, Maison&Objet and other events, the project will add 290,000 square feet to the 1.2 million square foot convention center, including a 60,000-square-foot grand ballroom. However, during the first half of 2017, the entire building must be closed for construction requiring JIS to relocate its January 2017 (Jan. 27-29) and April 2017 (April 8-10) events from Miami Beach to the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center just 30 miles north of Miami Beach. The JIS October 2017 show is scheduled to remain at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Jordan Tuchband, industry vice president of JIS, is excited about the temporary move for the first two JIS events of the 2017 calendar year.

"Miami Beach will always be home to JIS, but the change to Fort Lauderdale for these two shows will be considerably appealing and convenient for our customers, he says. “The Fort Lauderdale Convention Center is a modern venue in a great location, easy to travel to, with a number of nearby hotels, and large enough to handle these two JIS shows. It is well known for consistently exceeding visitors' expectations with its five-star food service, upgraded technology, customer service, and is only five minutes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Like Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale is also internationally recognized for its beaches, shopping and restaurants. In 2017, attendees and exhibitors should definitely plan to enjoy these amenities while in town for JIS."

The Fort Lauderdale Convention Center's regional general manager/SMG, Mark Gatley, and his team are also looking forward to hosting JIS and its customers.

"As SMG's longtime general manager here at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, both the team I represent and myself are thrilled to play host to two such high profile jewelry trade events in our facility in the early months of 2017. Further, hosting any Reed Exhibitions event is truly an honor for our SMG team and our destination, as well. Our facility here in Broward County has hosted well over 6,500 events from all facets of business since our Convention Center venue opened in late September of 1991. We firmly believe that our exciting destination and our beautiful venue being located so centrally between Palm Beach and Miami will act as an extraordinary drawing card to the many, many interested businesses, and we look forward to serving them all."

In 2017, the JIS October Show – JIS' flagship event of the year – will take place back at the Miami Beach Convention Center. For more information about JIS, visit or contact JIS Customer Service directly at 1-800-840-5612.

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