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Eighth Annual Forevermark Forum Addresses Key Issues of Now to Build a Forever Future

It gathered together over 400 Forevermark retail jeweler, manufacturer and diamantaire partners.

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(Left) Charles Stanley, President, Forevermark US; (Right) Forevermark Forum 2019 Show Floor

(PRESS RELEASE) PALM DESERT, CA — The eighth annual Forevermark Forum took place at the JW Marriott Desert Springs, in Palm Desert, CA from March 25-27, drawing together over 400 Forevermark retail jeweler, manufacturer and diamantaire partners. The theme of the conference, “Now, Forever,” focused on what Forevermark is doing in the present to build a lasting future for its jewelers’ diamond businesses and the diamond industry at large.

“The idea of forever is changing for our consumers. Today, every choice, action and milestone a couple makes, individually and together, is about building their forever. This is the same for Forevermark. It is what we do now and into the future – both the small and bold things – that will define our success. I am confident that, together, we can lead change within the market to reinvigorate the bridal diamond category and grow Forevermark sales to secure our now and forever.” said Charles Stanley, president, Forevermark US during his welcome address.

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Stanley went on to introduce Forevermark’s jewelers to the brand’s new bridal initiative, aimed at addressing changing consumer attitudes about love, marriage and engagement. The Forevermark Engagement and Commitment Collection and accompanying creative campaign will be the first time the De Beers Group has advertised with a bridal-specific campaign in almost two decades. Forevermark’s bridal collection and campaign concept will be formally unveiled at JCK with the national campaign launching in mid-summer.

Over the three days of the Forum, the show floor buzzed with Forevermark partners networking, conducting business with one another, sharing sales strategies, and participating in seminars and talks from Forevermark and De Beers executives and guest speakers that focused on key industry challenges and opportunities as well improving their overall diamond business.

Ryan Estis, former chief strategy officer and certified human capital strategist for McCann Worldgroup delivered the keynote address and shared valuable insights on how technology and social connectedness are influencing consumers’ thinking, and how retailers can shift their thinking and deliver a better brand experience for consumers. Other guest speakers included Michael McNamara, senior principal for Mastercard SpendingPulse and Sarah Willersdorf, partner and managing director of The Boston Consulting Group, who shared trends and insights into overall consumer spending, the luxury retail sector, and global and US diamond jewelry trends.

One of Forevermark’s differentiating brand pillars, responsible sourcing, was a key focus of the Forum with seminars on the brand’s commitment to standing with women and girls and De Beers’ latest animal conservation efforts. Dinal Limbachia, UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 program manager explained the importance of De Beers’ ongoing partnership with UN Women, which launched in 2017, and aims to support the advancement of women throughout the company, in diamond producing communities and across De Beers consumer brands, including Forevermark. Kester Vickery, elephant relocation expert and Co-Founder of Conservation Solutions shared details on De Beers’ Moving Giants project, a partnership with Peace Parks Foundation which will translocate 200 elephants a staggering 1,000 miles from the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa to Mozambique to help restore Mozambique’s elephant population.

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Forevermark also held a dinner to honor its 2018 Carat Club achievers and who each sold in excess of 45 diamonds of .90 carats of above throughout 2018. The 2018 achievers will have the opportunity to witness first-hand the good that Forevermark diamonds do in their producing communities when they visit the Jwaneng mine and De Beers De Beers sorting facilities in Botswana later this year. For 2019, sales associates must meet the same requirements to qualify for the Carat Club and the top 10 sales associates will be awarded a trip to tour the Gacho Kué Mine in Northwest Territories, Canada and the De Beers Headquarters in Calgary in 2020.

Throughout the Forum, Forevermark conducted a series of fundraising activities including a Tribute 5K run/walk, raffle, and live auction, and raised more than $20,000 in support of Jeweler’s for Children.

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GIA Commits $1.3M to Artisanal Mining Education Project

It’s a four-year commitment.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – Building on a successful pilot and feedback from small-scale colored gemstone miners in Tanzania, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will expand distribution of its innovative gem guide for artisanal miners to other communities and countries in Africa. Speaking at the ICA Congress in Bangkok on Oct. 15, GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques announced a four-year, $1.3 million commitment, funded from the GIA endowment, to expand the program in Tanzania to Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. Working withPact, a Washington D.C.-based international development nonprofit organization with expertise in the region, GIA plans to reach 10,000 miners with relevant information on how to evaluate the quality of the rough they mine.

“This is a tremendous step forward in our efforts to bring information directly to artisanal miners right at the beginning of the gem and jewelry supply chain,” said Jacques. “We know that this investment will bring an invaluable benefit to miners, their families and the communities in which they live.”

Robert Weldon, GIA director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Library and Information Center, pictured with an artisanal miner from Tunduru, Tanzania.

The gem guide project began shortly after GIA Distinguished Research Fellow Dr. James Shigley saw the difficult working conditions of artisanal miners during a 2008 trip to Kenya and Tanzania. Dr. Shigley and Dona Dirlam, then-director of the GIA library, working with GIA research and library staff, created the booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners.” First developed in English and later translated into Swahili, the photo-rich booklet has images of the gemstones found in East Africa and illustrations of how to examine and evaluate rough gems. The booklet is waterproof and comes with a durable plastic tray that can be used to sort gems and do basic gemological evaluations. GIA piloted the program in 2016, working with Pact.

“We found that for every dollar invested, there was a 12-fold social return that will last years into the future,” said Cristina M. Villegas, technical program manager for Pact’s Mines to Markets program. “With their new knowledge, miners improve their income, send their children to school, invest in their mines and their communities.”

GIA staff, including Robert Weldon, current director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center at GIA and a major contributor to the development and content of the guide, trained more than 1,000 artisanal miners on how to use the guide and tray during a two-week period earlier this year in Tanzania. GIA’s initial efforts to provide information to small scale, artisanal miners came full circle when the GIA team visited the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners (TAWOMA), who participated in the very first training session for the guide.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the reaction of the miners as they learn the material – you instantly see that you’ve positively made a change in someone’s life,” said Weldon. “These transcendent moments make us so proud that we can provide artisanal miners with a gem guide that gives them the confidence to know their value in the market.”

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Brooklyn Jewelers Launches Newest Line

It’s called “Neighborhoods Collection”.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn Jewelers announces the official launch of its newest line, the new “Neighborhoods Collection”. Taking inspiration from the art and fashion trends of Brooklyn, this collection is designed with millennials in mind. All of our jewelry is available in castings with select styles offered finished (in white, yellow, rose, 14K, 18K, palladium, and platinum).

For more information, contact: info@brooklynjewelers.com or call (718) 534-4408

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Check out our website: brooklynjewelers.com

We are also on Facebook and Instagram: @brooklynjewelers

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David Sexton of Jewelers Mutual Group Retires

He retires after 39 years with Jewelers Mutual.

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David Sexton

(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI – Earlier this week, Jewelers Mutual Group announced the retirement of longtime vice president of Loss Prevention and Consulting, David Sexton, CPCU.

Sexton began his association with Jewelers Mutual in 1980 as an Underwriting Assistant and enhanced his career through roles in commercial lines customer service, CL underwriting, and specialty account management, becoming vice president of Loss Prevention and Consulting in 2004.

In this critical loss prevention leadership role, Sexton was responsible for the development, recommendation and implementation of Jewelers Mutual’s loss prevention policy. He is credited with building key relationships between Jewelers Mutual with the jewelry, alarm, and law enforcement communities, to effectively promote comprehensive loss prevention strategies to reduce jewelry exposures to loss.

“It was never about me, it was always about us,” Sexton said.

Sexton will officially retire from Jewelers Mutual on December 31, 2019, however he plans to remain involved with the company for the foreseeable future through engagement with Jewelers Mutual associates, jewelry associations at industry events, and collaborations with agents/brokers. He will continue to work with the Jewelers Mutual executive team to ensure key relationships and partnerships he has helped forge remain strong.

“I will always treasure the relationships I have made during my association with Jewelers Mutual,” Sexton said. “My retirement is not an end, but rather a beginning. The leadership of Jewelers Mutual has a clear path for continuing our vital loss prevention mission to provide innovative risk management solutions for the industry we serve, not just insurance.”

Sexton, a member of the 24 Karat Club of New York, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, a nonprofit association devoted to reducing crimes against the jewelry industry, as well as the Canadian Jewellers Association. In 2016, Sexton was the recipient of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance Industry Service Award and in 2018 he received the American Gem Society’s John J. Kennedy Law Enforcement Award.

Sexton has served on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Security Systems Council, formerly known as the Burglary Protection Council, since 1994 and also serves as a corporate member of UL in the insurance category. He served on the Central Station Alarm Association’s Insurance Liaison Committee, which assisted in the development of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) burglar alarm modular certificate program and remains active on several UL/ULC Standard Technical Panels through which UL/ULC develops and maintain their standards for safety.

“You’re known by the company you keep,” Sexton said. “It’s all about the people. Working with people to help them solve their risk management challenges has really been the most rewarding aspect of my insurance career.”

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