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American Gem Society Awards Honorees, Elects New Board Members at Conclave 2019

All of the awards honor excellence, professionalism, and a commitment to ethics and consumer protection.

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(PRESS RELEASE)SEATTLE, WA – The American Gem Society (AGS) presented a number of prestigious awards at their annual Conclave in Seattle, WA (April 8-10). All of the awards honor excellence, professionalism, and a commitment to ethics and consumer protection.

At the Titleholders Luncheon held on April 9, Marc Nanasi, RS, chair of the Young Titleholders Steering Committee, presented Meredith Schlessinger, CG, with the Young Titleholder of the Year Award.

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“Since she joined the Young Titleholders, Meredith brought with her enthusiasm, energy, and great ideas. She is perhaps more passionate than any of us when it comes to building a warm and welcoming community,” said Mr. Nanasi.

Additionally, Lisa Bridge, CG, was presented with a special plaque for her instrumental efforts in reigniting the Young Titleholders. “Lisa helped take our community from an idea to a thriving and growing part of AGS. She is a leader who embodies the values and mentorship that we all expect from AGS members,” Mr. Nanasi noted.

Also at the Titleholders Luncheon, Marc Altman, CGA, Chair of the International Guilds Council, presented three awards. The Guild of the Year Award went to the Michigan Guild. “The Michigan Guild President, Susan Barnett of Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, spent countless hours calling stores throughout her region, eventually developing one of the Society’s most successful Guilds,” said Mr. Altman. “Additionally, the Guild has been instrumental in adding many fine firms to the American Gem Society membership.”

The Sallie Morton Award was presented to Phillip Bosen, CG. This award recognizes the contribution of individuals who have gone over and above in their service to the AGS Guilds each year. “Mr. Bosen was charged with Guild communications, creating many meeting notices, and establishing an online ticketing sales tool for the meetings. Without any guidance, he created a process to systematically produce our meeting notices for over 52 Guilds,” said Mr. Altman.

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The John J. Kennedy Award went to Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI, Steve Gonzalez. Mr. Altman noted, “Special Agent Gonzalez voluntarily stepped into the role of ensuring the FBI’s partnership with AGS, and through his extensive network, the Guilds are assured outstanding meetings on security for years to come, as well as meetings at FBI facilities.”

At the Society’s annual Membership Breakfast on Wednesday, April 10, the membership confirmed the Board of Directors for 2019/2020. Niveet Nagpal of Omi Gems and Caryl Capeci of Chow Tai Fook, North America, were elected as Directors-at-Large. Beryl Raff of Helzberg Diamonds, and Yancy Weinrich of JCK Events, were the outgoing Board members, having served their terms fully.

“I would like to thank Yancy Weinrich and Beryl Raff for their years of service to the American Gem Society Board of Directors,” said John Carter, President of the AGS Board of Directors. “The soul of the Society is in the volunteerism of our membership and the countless hours they contribute to the advancement of our mission. Yancy and Beryl served their fellow AGS members tirelessly and we are a better organization because of men and women like them. In this same spirit, I am honored to welcome Caryl and Niveet to our Board. I look forward to serving with them and learning from their years of expertise in this industry.”

The 2019/2020 American Gem Society Board of Directors is as follows:

President: John Carter, CGA
President-Elect: Michael Richards, CG
Secretary: Lisa Bridge, CG
Sr. Advisor: Georgie Gleim, CG
Treasurer: Larry Rickert

Director-at-Large: Caryl Capeci
Director-at-Large: Mitchell Clark, CG
Director-at-Large: Amanda Coleman-Phelps, CGA
Director-at-Large: Scott Murphy
Director-at-Large: Niveet Nagpal
Director-at-Large: Scott Udell
Director-at-Large: Ronnie VanderLinden
Director-at-Large: Stewart Wicht

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Chair: Conclave Subcommittee Alexis Padis, CGA
Chair: International Guilds Council Marc Altman, CGA
Chair: Gemological Sciences Committee Bryan Moeller, CGA
Chair: Education Committee Sarah Person, CG
Chair: Membership & Grievance Committee Kelly Newton, CGA
Chair: AGS Laboratories Advisory Committee Clayton Bromberg, CG
Chair: Finance, Audit & Legal Committee Larry Rickert
Chair: Young Titleholders Committee Marc Nanasi, RS

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Live Presentation with Instagram Secrets for Jewelers – Quickly Grow from 0 to 5000 Followers

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(PRESS RELEASE) Following the highly successful Social Media presentation by EMD’s Brian Plante at the famed Jewelry Show in Pittsburgh, EMD has decided to go LIVE on the Facebook group, Jewelers Conquering the Digital World, for all jewelers to benefit from. Entering the social media realm has become a must for small businesses – including jewelry stores – in order to compete against the online giants.

The free presentation tackles issues most jewelers are facing regarding online marketing and what it takes to succeed on social media. From ‘How to Get More Instagram Followers’ to ‘DIY Instagram Hacks’, Brian has found the sweet spot that addresses what jewelers want to know.

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In the diamond business from 1979, EMD has become one of the leading diamond manufacturers, focusing largely in the North American market. Seeing the change in direction the industry has taken since the explosion of social media, they knew that helping local jewelers succeed in the online world was extremely important. This is what led to the beginning of their Facebook group, Jewelers Conquering the Digital World, a safe place for jewelers to come and network with other jewelers about all things social.

The group has grown tremendously in a short amount of time and has become the go-to place for tips and conversations about social media. With no vendors allowed, the group consists only of jewelers who want to conduct open and honest chats on digital marketing and how to succeed.

The Social Media Presentation will go LIVE on Facebook for all the jewelers in the JCDW group on Monday, August the 26th 11 am est, so interested jewelers still have time to join before then. It’s already being called the “Social Media Gamechanger” by jewelers who have implemented Brian’s winning strategies and are doubling their social media following.

If you are a jeweler interested in participating in the group and receiving access to the LIVE stream, you can join here: Jewelers Conquering the Digital World.

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Press Releases

IJO/GIA GemKids Was a ‘Huge Hit’

75% of members was in attendance.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SOUTHPORT, CT — The Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) held its semi-annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA July 19-23, with close to 75% of members in attendance. IJO was in the process of putting together a Kids’ Program when GIA stepped up and offered to present their GemKids class. Forty of IJO’s “Next-Next Gen” signed up, ranging in age from 5 to mid-teens.

“Seeing these children discover the beauty of gemstones first-hand is an experience I will keep in my heart,” said GIA’s Supervisor of Guest Services and class instructor Linda Chudomelka. “Their eyes really lit up when they realized how much fun gemology can be. All of the children were eager to learn, even the little ones who were not able to spell yet.”

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“This program has never been taught in the U.S. outside of the Carlsbad campus, and we thank GIA for bringing this 90-minute educational experience to us,” stated Penny Palmer, IJO’s Director of Member Services. “The hands-on class covered a wide range of subjects from ‘What is a Rock?’ to ‘What is a Mineral?’ to ‘What is a Gem?’, Mohs scale, inclusions, phenomena, tools, birthstones and much, much more.”

According to Jacob Walton, age 5 (Hudson Valley Goldsmith, New Paltz, NY), “My favorite part was when we got to look at the rocks with a flashlight. There were secrets in them, one was all white and when you looked at it with the flashlight, you could see a rainbow.”

Lucca Montoya (Montoya Jewelry Designs, Windsor, CA), also 5, loves to travel and was interested in seeing where various rocks come from. Her favorite stones are rubies. “But the best part was I got to meet Harley!” Lucca’s mom Annie said the class was so interesting she was able to brush-up her own training.

Suzanne Faske from J.H. Faske Jewelers in Brenham, TX brought two of her children. “One thing is for sure — they LOVED it!! We had so many laughs that evening listening to them talking about what they learned.”

“I really enjoyed learning about Amber. It is pretty cool that leaves, bugs, and tree bark can be trapped inside of Amber. I also liked learning about the hardness scale of gemstones. It was fun to scratch the stones together and see which gemstone is harder.” — Caleb Faske, age 7

“One of my favorite parts of the class was using the flashlight to see the different things in a gem. We saw a rainbow, a star, a cloud, glitter and light. It was also fun to see and feel the different textures of rocks.” — Sophia Faske, age 8

“IJO will continue to investigate a varied array of programs to present to our kids”, Palmer added, “with the hope that these classes will inspire them to attain a love of gemology and perhaps one day carry on the family tradition!”

“GemKids is a beautiful example of how we are giving back to the community, giving children around the world a first look at the fascinating science behind all we do,” said GIA Director of Institute Relations Shahdeh Ammadi. “This is part of our mission; Our commitment to educate and ignite passion for gemology reaches far beyond the trade.”

For information on IJO membership contact Penny Palmer at 800.624.9252.

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Vibrant Gemstones Make a Splash in Gems & Gemology

Summer issue features chart of inclusions in natural, treated, imitation and laboratory-grown opal.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – Dive into the Summer 2019 Gems & Gemology (G&G), GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) quarterly professional journal, for insights into Mozambique ruby, Madagascar sapphire, black nephrite from China, pearls and opal inclusions. The latest G&G is available in print by subscription and in the GIA Store, and digitally – at no cost – on GIA.edu.

GIA field gemologist Wim Vertriest and senior manager of identification Sudarat Saeseaw open the issue with a review of ruby from Mozambique that explores a decade of production, distribution, gemological characterization and the most common treatment processes applied to material from this locality. Billie Hughes of Lotus Gemology and Rosey Perkins with Fura Gems present their findings of low-temperature heat treatment experiments on sapphire from Madagascar and the means for separating unheated from heated stones. Also, lead author and PhD student of mineralogy at Tongji University Qian Zhong shares the study of black nephrite jade from Guangxi, southern China that appears to be part of a large-scale jade formation belt in the region.

Pearls are the focus in two of the articles in the summer issue. Jean-Pierre Gauthier from the Gemological Research Center of Nantes and his coauthors characterize “flame structure” in 37 pearls from bivalves of the Tridacnidae family that revealed evidence of rotation during growth. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, and GIA’s New York and Bangkok laboratories share a pearl identification challenge, where two pearls could not be positively identified at any of these gemological laboratories.

In the final feature, GIA manager of colored stone identification Nathan Renfro and coauthors present a large and colorful opal inclusions chart that is also available as a laminated wall chart from the GIA Store online. Lab Notes includes a rough diamond with fake green “radiation stains,” a study on the separation of kornerupine and prismatine, and the first report of a color-change spessartine garnet examined by GIA.

The issue is rounded out with the regularly occurring features G&G Micro-World, Diamonds from the Deep and Gem News International.

This and every issue of G&G since 1934, including full articles, lab notes, photo galleries and exclusive video footage, is available at no cost on GIA’s website GIA.edu/gems-gemology.

Additional research articles are available at GIA.edu/gia-news-research.

Print subscriptions and copies of back issues are available at http://store.gia.edu/.

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