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New ‘WTF?! Award’ Will Recognize Horrible Jewelry

The program is part of the COUTURE Show.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The COUTURE Show recently announced a new inaugural design competition, the WTF?! Award. The organization is inviting current COUTURE exhibitors to enter an image of the worst piece of jewelry they’ve ever designed, and submissions will be voted on by the COUTURE community. The “winner” of this competition will be announced at COUTURE’s Opening Night Event on Thursday, May 30, on the Sunset Terrace.

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“We’re really excited to introduce the WTF?! Award,” said Gannon Brousseau, COUTURE director and SVP of Emerald Expositions. “The idea for this competition was born out of conversations that several of our veteran COUTURE designers had during the Tucson gem shows. We loved the idea and thought it was a great way to infuse some humor into our event, as well as highlight how the creative process, even among established designers, can have its ups and downs.”

Along with asking for a picture of a “design disaster” in any stage of production, COUTURE is also asking its brands to complete the thought, “So what I was thinking was … .” Touting the competition as a “celebration of imperfection,” COUTURE is hopeful that this newly introduced component will effectively showcase the vibrancy and wit of its artists and brands.

Submissions for the WTF?! Award opened on Thursday, April 25, and are being accepted through May 15, at which point online voting will be open to the entire COUTURE community through May 29. At the Opening Night Event, the winner will be announced and will receive an intentionally gaudy “WTF?!” medallion that they will be encouraged to wear throughout the second day of the show. The medallion will be passed on to the winners in subsequent years.

COUTURE is being held May 30 to June 3 at the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas.

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CIBJO Releases Marketing & Education Special Report, Analyzes Next Great Jewelry-Buying Generation

Report returns to what has been defined as the next great jewelry-consuming group, Generation Z.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With fewer than 10 weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the first of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Marketing & Education Commission, headed by Jonathan Kendall, the report returns to what has been defined as the next great jewelry-consuming group, Generation Z, providing a breakdown of what the industry needs to consider if it is to ensure that jewelry remains a favored purchase.

Generation Z refers to young consumers, who currently are 15 to 25 years of age.

“Gen Z is coming to our markets very soon if it has not already arrived in reality,” writes Mr. Kendall. “Its members are forecast to spend a whopping $143 billion this year alone. So we better get them on our side if we want to enjoy a rosy future. In fact, the future success of the jewelry industry will depend on our understanding the needs and wants of Generation Z. Get this right and we can all look forward to strong profitable years moving forward. Get it wrong and we could be destined for the scrap heap – not overnight maybe, but ultimately.”

Communicating predominantly via the social media, studies show that Generation Z is more environmentally conscious and gender neutral than any generation that preceded it. It celebrates authenticity, diversity and human imperfection. It is more likely to heed the advice of a friend, rather than a celebrity.

“Gen Z is prepared to splurge but it must be worth it. The more added value the better, and that can come from its environmental credentials or its social value,” notes Mr. Kendall.

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Market & Education Commission’s special report, click here.

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Gem Legacy Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

It launched in September 2018.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROYAL OAK, MI – Gem Legacy is celebrating the successes of its 1 year anniversary after launching in September 2018 by founder Roger Dery. Gem Legacy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit supporting education, vocational training, and local economies in East African colored gemstone mining communities.

The first year has boasted many successes, thanks to industry partners and donors. Roger Dery, founder and executive director of Gem Legacy looks back on the first year: “Lives are deeply affected because we’re ensuring that a group of widowed miners will find Tsavorite Garnet, 28 orphans will get a full education, kids are getting full nights of sleep on new mattresses, and young adults are entering the gem industry with knowledge in gemology and gem faceting. They have hope because we, the jewelry industry, are saying ‘we see you and we believe in you.’”

Other highlights from Gem Legacy’s first year include the formation of its advisory board (Christina Clover-Field, Ben Smithee, and Monica Stephenson) and its Leadership Council (Omi Gems and Parle Jewelry Designs). The leadership council is growing to be a consortium of the industry’s top leaders dedicated to sharing Gem Legacy’s mission and activating a united industry-wide effort to support the mining communities in Africa.

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Technological Solutions for Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Spotlighted at CIBJO-IEG Seminar

Seminar marked the 10th year of cooperation between CIBJO and IEG.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With members of the jewelry and gemstone sectors under growing pressure to actively demonstrate that they are conducting their businesses in a sustainable manner, including verifying that the items they purchase, process and sell have been sourced responsibly, a range of technological solutions are currently being developed to help them comply with the due diligence requirements. These came under the spotlight during a seminar on September 9, 2019, at the VICENZAORO show in Vicenza, Italy, organized by CIBJO and hosted by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG).

The seminar was the latest edition in a series of educational programs organized by the two bodies, which is endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), to support corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the jewelry sector. As Marco Carniello, director of IEG’s jewelry and fashion division pointed out, the seminar this September marked the 10th year of cooperation between CIBJO and Italy’s leading jewelry trade show organizer.

A growing percentage of the jewelry, gemstone and precious metals industries have taken steps in recent years to implement sustainable and responsible sourcing principles in their businesses, with more than 1,300 worldwide already certified by compliance organizations, after undergoing monitoring by independent auditors. But in an industry that is dominated by small and medium-sized companies, many participants find it challenging to follow suit and consequently could experience difficulty in gaining access to chains of supply. The technologies discussed at the seminar are largely being developed to address these challenges.

“CIBJO is committed to the development of an ethical and sustainable jewelry industry, which sources its raw materials in both a responsible and transparent manner,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, opening the seminar. “As we reiterated in the new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book which was approved earlier this year, we believe that all participants should do due diligence to the best of their ability. At the same time, we also insist that no ethical members of our community be discriminated against because they currently lack the resources necessary to implement a full compliance system. It is for this reason that we view the development of technological solutions as being so important.”

The panel of speakers, which was moderated by Erik Jens, vice president of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, represented a cross section of this growing industry service sector, providing solutions to industry participants at all stages of the chain of distribution, from the mine to the retailer.

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