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AGA Adds Robert Weldon to Tucson Conference Line-Up

The conference is set for Feb. 5.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The Accredited Gemologists Association has announced the addition of Robert Weldon to the list of presenters at the annual AGA Tucson conference on Feb. 5 at the Marriot University Park hotel.

Weldon, who will be receiving this year’s AGA Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, is to discuss the ongoing project of educating artisanal miners of East Africa about the stones they recover. Through GIA funding and a contract with Pact, a Washington, DC, non-governmental development organization with offices in Tanzania, the program has put valuable information into the hands of the people whose livelihood depends on mining gemstones.

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Started over a decade ago through the inspiration of fellow Bonanno Award winner Dr. James Shigley, a GIA Distinguished Research Fellow, the program features a book with descriptive text in Swahili and numerous photographs of the gems being recovered. An inspection tray and instructions in cleaning and examination teaches the miners to recognize stone quality of their rough material. After the first class was presented to the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners, it has spread through Tanzania with the intent of reaching 10,000 miners across East African nations.

Weldon, director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center at GIA, co-wrote the manual and with the GIA staff, has seen immediate results for the over 1.000 miners already trained. Miners are now able to bargain better with their buyers and return more money to their families and communities. The social impact of the project has been enormous and exposure to the supply chain has opened up other opportunities for miners, such as gem cutting and jewelry manufacture.

The AGA conference is a day of gemological insights and discoveries, with Weldon being joined by presentations from Dr. Jeffrey Post, Dr. Laurent Cartier, Dr. Aaron Palke, Richard Hughes and workshops with Eric Fritz, Samantha Lloyd and Claire Scragg. The evening gala and presentation of the Bonanno Award is included with the conference registration and may also be purchased separately.

Conference registration includes continental breakfast, light lunch & the AGA Annual Gala & Dinner featuring great networking opportunities, music, dance floor & the presentation of the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology to Robert Weldon. Early registration fees through Jan. 28 provide substantial savings online at www.accreditedgemologists.org.

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Royal Chain Releases New Spring 2020 Collection

New release highlights the highly sought-after paperclip chain.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Fresh for the new year comes Royal Chain’s Spring 2020 Collection, featuring a litany of new products in gold.

Riding the wave of a strong holiday season for gold, Royal Chain is making some new additions to gold that they hope will help bump up sales just in time for Valentines and Mother’s Day.

The new release highlights the highly sought-after paperclip chain. These chains are available in several gauges, lengths, and colors, including gold & silver. The company has been holding off on releasing this chain, after numerous requests before and during the holiday season because they sought to create a proprietary version. They forecast it will quickly become a best seller. Other updates include a new “mirrored” chain, vintage inspired looks, as well a “southwest” themed collection.

The retail prices start at $95 in gold and $30 in silver, perfect for this time of year and all year round.

The collection is debuting this month at the CBG and RJO’s shows, and will continue to be sold throughout the year. Retailers who wish to access it sooner can call the company to place orders – 800.622.0960. Preordering is also available on their website, and inventory will be shipped the third week in January.

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Gem Legacy Taps Craig Selimotic Danforth for Advisory Board

He brings his 25-plus years of training, sales, marketing, and finance experience.

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Craig Danforth

(PRESS RELEASE) ROYAL OAK, MI — Gem Legacy, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to colored gemstone mining communities, announces Craig Selimotic Danforth has been added to its Advisory Board.

Danforth is vice president of client solutions for Jewelers Mutual Group, where he helps enhance the company’s core offerings, and expand its emerging businesses and services to strengthen and grow the jewelry industry. He is passionate about building relationships and also brings his 25-plus years of training, sales, marketing, and finance experience to his position on the board of directors of the Women’s Jewelry Association. Danforth is a member of the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California, and the 24 Karat Club of the Southeastern United States, sitting on the latter’s scholarship committee. He also actively supports several local charities in his hometown of Charlotte, NC.

Gem Legacy’s Advisory Board guides Executive Director Roger Dery on communications, public relations, and initiative planning. Danforth will join Chris Clover of Field’s Jewelers; Peggy Jo Donahue of Peggy Jo Donahue, Writer; Ben Smithee of The Smithee Group; and Monica Stephenson of Anza Gems and idazzle, on the board.

“We’ve asked Craig to join us because his varied experiences and deep understanding of the many aspects of our industry make him a priceless asset to our mission,” says Dery. “We are thankful to have him working on our Advisory Board to add his wisdom and perspective to Gem Legacy’s mission. We are confident that their collective passion, drive, and vision will give Gem Legacy exponential growth in 2020 and beyond.”

“I’m honored to join the Advisory Board of Gem Legacy, champion its philanthropic mission, and further expand awareness of its vision,” said Danforth. “It is exciting to be a part of an organization dedicated to fundamentally changing the lives of the often overlooked, yet extremely hard working individuals (and their families) who are so critical to the success of our industry. I’m also grateful to Jewelers Mutual for supporting me in advocating worthy causes I’m passionate about. Giving back has been at Jewelers Mutual’s core for over 100 years.”

For more information or to donate, please email info@gemlegacy.org or visit gemlegacy.org. To learn more, follow Gem Legacy on Instagram @thegemlegacy and on Facebook @thegemlegacy.

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Centurion Announces Free Tucson Gem Educational Event for Sunday, February 2, 2020

Begin your Tucson 2020 with a detailed market update.

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Featured Speakers: (Left to right, top to bottom) Edward Boehm, Rare Source, Chattanooga, TN; Eric Braunwart, Columbia Gem House, Vancouver, WA; Evan Caplan, Evan Caplan, Los Angeles, CA; Jonathan Farnsworth, Idaho Opal & Gem, Pocatello, ID; Joseph Menzie, Joseph Menzie, Inc., New York, NY; Jaimeen Shah, Prima Gem, New York, NY; Shekhar Shah, Real Gems, New York, NY; Monte Zajicek, Equatorial Imports, Dallas, TX.

(PRESS RELEASE) TUCSON, AZ — For those who are coming in for the Tucson Gem Shows, CENTURION has collaborated with eight major gemstone experts to create a special “Gem Market Update” educational event:

10:00 AM-3:30 PM — AC By Marriott Tucson Downtown (lunch and refreshments provided) — A gemstone market update from some of the brightest minds in the gemstone business. Colored gemstones are an important part of your business. And what better way to begin your Tucson 2020 expedition than to experience a detailed market update from a fantastic group of experts on many of the key gemstone categories you will be shopping while in town.

Here are the topics to be covered:

• Very high end & exotic gemstone market update
• East africa gemstone market update
• Emerald market update
• Ruby market update
• Sapphire market update
• Designer gemstone market update

Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, click here or follow the web address below.

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