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Carat+ Unveils 2018 Lineup of Speakers and Seminars




(PRESS RELEASE) Diamond event CARAT+ has unveiled further details about the CARAT+ Conference 2018, a series of talks and seminars hosted by leading industry experts taking place at Antwerp Expo from May 6-8. 

This follows the recent announcement that Gemological Institute of America Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer Tom Moses will speak at a GIA GemFest during CARAT+ on Monday, May 7, at 16:00. More information about the GemFest talk will be available prior to the show. 

For the second edition, CARAT+ has refocused its efforts to create a concise seminar schedule that tackles industry issues and broader topics. Every session contributes to CARAT+’s reputation as a destination for diamond-focused conversation, networking and buying opportunities. 

Jonathan Chippindale, co-founder and chief executive of augmented retail solutions and software provider Holition, will get the seminar schedule off to a vibrant start at 15:00 on Sunday, May 6, with a talk called “Digital Storytelling: How Brands Use Technology to Innovate.” 

Based in London and the Netherlands, Holition is creative studio specializing in premium digital experiences, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. It is affiliated with diamond-broking and consultancy firm in the Bonas Group, with fifth-generation broker Charles Bonas serving as Holition’s Chairman. 

Its technology projects bring audiences closer to brands, connecting digital to retail by delivering memorable retail experiences online, in-store and through mobile. Its clients include Richemont, LVMH, Swatch Group and Kering Group, among others. 


Prior to establishing Holition some 10 years ago, Chippindale worked for the De Beers Group as a managing director and had responsibility for global marketing activities with a focus on China, India and the Gulf. He has also held senior positions at luxury British brands, Asprey, Garrard and Mappin & Webb. 

Also on Sunday, May 6, at 16:00, CARAT+ Main Partner AWDC (Antwerp World Diamond Centre) and innovation strategy and business consultancy firm Junction will give the final six teams participating in the inaugural Hack4Diamonds event (Friday, May 4, to Sunday, May 6) the chance to present their ideas to CARAT+ exhibitors and visitors. Don’t miss your chance to see how pioneering minds specializing in computer science, marketing, business management, blockchain and artificial intelligence propose to combat challenges in the diamond sector. 

On the second day of the show, Monday, May 7, at 11:00, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) will offer an update on its activities and address current issues and challenges in the diamond trade. Speakers will include RJC Executive Director Andrew Bone and Director of Business Development Edward Johnson. 

Later on Monday, May 7, at 14:00, Avi Krawitz, senior analyst and news editor at Rapaport, will host a talk called “Unstuck From the Rock and the Hard Place” focusing on the squeeze on the diamond trade and how to “navigate a market where the only constant is change.” His insightful presentation will offer an overview of the issues impacting diamond dealers and manufacturers, while exploring solutions for businesses in the midstream to grow in today’s difficult environment. 

On the final day of CARAT+, Tuesday, May 8, at 11:00, Katrien De Corte, chief officer of education at diamond grading specialist HRD Antwerp, will present on new solutions for the identification of synthetic diamonds, including the company’s new “D-Tect” device that will be launched at CARAT+. De Corte’s session will also centre on “Diamonds under Black Light,” a detailed study of the fluorescence grades of 1 million diamonds analysed at the HRD Antwerp Diamond Lab. Those interested in the relationship between fluorescence and color, as well as the influence of nitrogen content, size, viewing conditions and light sources on fluorescence, are encouraged to attend. 

CARAT+ has ambitions to become the reference in diamonds, offering an annual meeting place for buying, networking and debating the future of the diamond industry. Launched in 2017, the event attracted more than 3,000 visitors and 130 exhibitors in its first year alone. 


Partners and sponsors that have joined CARAT+ for the 2018 edition include Main Partner Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Diamond Partners ABN AMRO Belgium; security expert Brinks; insurance broker Driesassur; the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses (FBDB); the world’s foremost authority in gemology, GIA (Gemological Institute of America); industry media specialist Rapaport, and Event Partners motor company, Bentley; Brussels Airlines; champagne house Laurent-Perrier; Porsche Center Antwerp, and mobile camera security specialists, TowerEye. 

CARAT+ takes place on May 6, 7 and 8 at Antwerp Expo in Antwerp, Belgium. For more information, visit 

To secure your entrance pass to the event, register today via the website or email   



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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