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Bergman, VanderLinden, Fischer & Geolat Join Zillion’s Jewelry Innovation Council

Members have chaired industry boards and organizations.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Zillion, the jewelry insurer that offers 1-Click insurance at point of sale, has formed the Zillion Jewelry Innovation Council with venerable jewelry industry leaders Phyllis Bergman, Ronnie VanderLinden, Jeff Fischer and Patti Geolat, as its founding members. Members have served on, and in most cases chaired, industry boards and organizations such as the Jewelers Board of Trade, American Gem Society, 24 Karat Club of NY, Women’s Jewelers Assoc., U.S. Jewelry Council, and the World Diamond Council.

The purpose of Zillion’s Jewelry Innovation Council is to bring industry experts together to discuss opportunities and overcome challenges to providing more transparency and value-added services to the jewelry industry. With its primary focus on better serving the end customer, the council seeks to help the industry create differentiation and better experiences for consumers.

“We are excited about the approach Zillion has taken to provide increased transparency to customers” said Ronnie VanderLinden, president of Diamond Manufacturers & Importers of America. “The industry is ready to expand consumer education, and provide new solutions to an ever changing customer”.

“Council members are interested in promoting the industry they love and to create customer delight in partnership with jewelers and industry stakeholders,” said Adam Black, co-founder and managing director of Zillion. “We are aligned and overjoyed to be in partnership with four industry experts who have dedicated their careers to bettering the jewelry industry.” Phyllis Bergman, former CEO of Mercury Ring added, “We have always been at the forefront of change, and we look to continue our efforts to exceed customer expectations”.

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CIBJO President Delivers Keynote Address on Traceability Standards at Jewelry Summit

It specifically focused on their significance for the growth of the business in China.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has delivered the keynote address at the International Jewelry Standardization Summit in Shanghai on November 8, 2019, which was held in parallel with the Second China International Import Expo that is taking place in the city. In his presentation, he focused on the importance of origin traceability standards for the future of the jewelry sector, focusing specifically on their significance for the growth of the business in China.

The summit was co-organized by the China Gem & Jade Exchange, which recently joined CIBJO as a national association member. It was one a number of conferences being held during the China International Import Expo, in which the Chinese government is seeking to promote the opening of the giant Chinese market to the international trade.

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers
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Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting

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Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

Full traceability is very difficult in the jewelry sector, and is generally limited to a small number of companies that control the full range of production, from the mine through retail, the CIBJO president said. There are also a growing number of technological solutions, many of them using blockchain, where every time a gemstone, jewelry component or full item of jewelry changes hands, the transfer of ownership or custody is recorded.

“These are all exciting developments, but currently they are effective with only a small number of the materials flowing through the chain of distribution,” Dr. Cavalieri said. “Consequently, if we are going to talk about systems that encompass the bulk of materials that we handle, we have to look for administrative solutions. This means creating paper trails, or more appropriately for the world in which the live, digital trails.”

“What we essentially are talking about is doing due diligence. In other words, carrying out a series of acts that essentially verify that all the parties supplying you have also done the appropriate due diligence,” he continued.

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri being recognized by Simon Chen, executive vice president of the China Gems & Jade Exchange, during the International Jewelry Standardization Summit in Shanghai on November 8, 2019.
Describing a number of the existing due diligence systems being used in the industry, including those mandated by law, like the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, national Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regimes, the Dodd Frank Act the European Union’s conflict minerals regulations, as well other industry enforced systems, some of which require third-party auditing, Dr. Cavalieri introduced CIBJO’s new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book of standards and guidelines, which was approved at the beginning of this year.

“Like the other CIBJO Blue Books, the standards and guidelines contained in the proposed CIBJO Responsible Sourcing document are recommendations, as opposed to conditions of membership,” he stated. “However, they should come to serve as benchmarks for responsible sourcing systems developed and applied by industry organizations and commercial bodies worldwide, and by governments.”

“An operating principle of the Responsible Sourcing document is that it will be inclusive, meaning that there is an expectation that the standards, guidelines and systems that it describes can reasonably be applied by all members of the industry, irrespective of size or financial capacity, Dr. Cavalieri stressed.

“Does this trace every component in an item of jewelry back to that specific part of the world in which it was sourced?” Dr. Cavalieri asked.

“No, it does not, and given the structural complexities of an industry such as ours, it is unlikely that any such system, covering most if not all the jewelry in the value chain, will ever be created,” he said. “But what it does is help create system by which every participant becomes a link in a chain of trust. Together we provide the commitment to integrity that our consumers require. This will work on one condition, and that is we all play our part. And to that we need common standards, which apply in China, as they do in Italy, or in any other part of the world.”

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GIA Announces 2020 Classes

New to the 2020 schedule are expanded courses available in China.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – Aspiring gem and jewelry professionals interested in studying diamonds, colored stones, pearls, jewelry design or other specialties in the gem and jewelry industry can now view the Gemological Institute of America’s global 2020 class schedules. The schedules and other details, including tuition and fees by location, are available at GIA.edu/gem-education/campuses.

“GIA’s robust and experiential gemology and jewelry education prepares people starting a new career or looking for the next step in their profession for success in the gem and jewelry industry,” said Duncan Pay, GIA vice president and chief academic officer. “GIA diplomas and certificates are instantly recognized as world-class professional credentials.”

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers
Headlines

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales
Jimmy Degroot

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

New to the 2020 schedule are expanded courses available in China through Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and Peking University Resource College.

GIA schools are located in major gem and jewelry centers around the world, with many of the courses taught in local languages. Distance education courses are also available online. US$2 million in scholarships are available for on-campus and distance education courses. The next scholarship application period will begin Feb. 1, 2020. For more information visit GIA.edu/scholarships.

Over the course of GIA’s 88 years, the Institute has educated more than 365,000 professionals worldwide. The GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma program, which focuses on gem grading and identification, is the industry’s highest professional credential.

For press inquiries, contact Nellie Barnett at nbarnett@gia.edu or +1 760-603-4184.

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WJA Debuts Negotiable

The new benefit builds members’ ability to bargain effectively in the workplace.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has debuted a new benefit for its members, called Negotiable, in connection with WJA’s Gender Equality Project. The learning program offers a collection of resources – videos, assessments, worksheets, and more, which can help its members build their ability to negotiate a promotion, a better vendor contract, or higher sales.

Data shows that women make the vast majority of purchase decisions in the jewelry industry and that women’s increased involvement and leadership in every sector of the jewelry trade will lead to better consumer engagement and business outcomes.

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers
Headlines

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales
Jimmy Degroot

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

But earlier this year, the Gender Equality Project found in its survey on workplace practices that 30% of employee respondents (who were over 90% female) said they had been deprived of equal opportunities for advancement; and 38% said they have been affected by pay disparity.

To help members begin to bargain better for promotions and equal pay, or with vendors and in sales situations, WJA contracted with Negotiable, using funds from a 2019 JCK industry grant. Negotiable works to train members in the skills needed to work through problems, ask for what they need, and gain relevant professional development experience.

Negotiable’s videos teach basic bargaining skills, with assessments that help users leverage their strengths. Worksheets prepare them for a real-world negotiation, and include role plays they can practice with others. Users can also return to the learning platform to review and refresh the skills they learned for subsequent negotiations.

“We know that surveys of women in the U.S. show that, on average, women receive less training, mentoring, and advice on negotiating than men. WJA believes in the power of education to boost confidence in our members and to fuel positive career transformation,” says WJA Executive Director Jennifer Markas. “Negotiable’s good practices help women increase the likelihood they’ll be more successful in every facet of their careers, from promotions and equal pay, to better sales and vendor contracts.”

Negotiable notes that scholars have not found evidence to suggest that women are worse at negotiating than men. The learning platform’s own research also suggests that, with coaching, practice, and experience, women report just as much satisfaction and success with their negotiations.

“We’d like to once again thank the JCK Industry Fund for this very useful grant,” says WJA President Jenny Luker. “A key WJA goal is to help women in the jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally and this new benefit is central to our mission.”

WJA is providing access to Negotiable free to members on a first-come, first-served basis, in lieu of the normal $89.99 cost of a subscription. To learn more, go to https://www.womensjewelryassociation.com/negotiable, and view the introductory video about the service. If interested, members can log in, enter their names, email addresses, and chapter locations, and then receive instructions for access.

To join WJA, click here. For more information, contact Membership Coordinator Rachel Jurisz, rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

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