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Forevermark Carat Club Members Visit De Beers Victor Mine

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Forevermark Carat Club members and Forevermark, De Beers, and HRA/Crossworks executives at the De Beers Victor Mine.

(Press Release)
STAMFORD, Connecticut – On Aug. 17, the inaugural members of the 2016 Forevermark Carat Club embarked on an expedition to the De Beers Victor mine in Northern Ontario, Canada, where they experienced the journey of a Forevermark diamond first-hand. Launched in 2015, the Forevermark Carat Club recognizes the top Forevermark sales ambassadors annually from across the United States. The 17 inaugural Carat Club members sold in excess of 20 carats of one-carat and above Forevermark diamonds in 2015, earning them a seat on the voyage to Ontario’s first diamond mine.

"We are delighted to honor our inaugural members of the Forevermark Carat Club with the opportunity to visit our Victor mine," said Charles Stanley, President of Forevermark U.S. "Our core values of quality, integrity, and commitment to responsible sourcing begin at the mining level, the birthplace of a Forevermark diamond, and the world-class operation at Victor is a shining example."

During the visit, Carat Club members received training on the mine’s rigorous safety standards, which recently earned it the John T. Ryan National Safety Award, Canada’s most celebrated award for mine safety. Following training, the group experienced the sheer magnitude of the effort that it takes to bring one of nature’s treasures to life as they toured the open-pit mine site and process plant where more than 5.6 million carats have been recovered since the mine opened in 2008. The tour ended with a viewing of some of Victor’s run-of-mine rough diamonds.

"I have been in this industry over 40 years, and as a gemologist, I know what goes into bringing the beauty of a diamond to life, but to experience it in person is truly awakening," said Carat Club achiever Paul Minton, of B.C. Clark Jewelers in Oklahoma City, OK. "From the Forevermark standpoint, the enthusiasm is infectious. To visit Victor and see the passion that everyone has from the safety of their employees, to overall quality, integrity, and environmental standards provides a sense of pride and ownership in this magnificent process, which we will pass onto our staff and clientele in our stores."

As part of De Beers’ commitment to sustainable development in local communities, approximately 35 percent of the employees at Victor, including De Beers and long-term service contractor employees, are from local First Nation communities. Ceremonial Shabatowans, or traditional teepees, were built on-site at Victor so aboriginal employees can celebrate their heritage with traditional cultural ceremonies. Carat Club members also visited a site where the Victor mine environmental team recently planted saplings indigenous to the area, as part of Victor’s rehabilitation program following the mine’s eventual closure. These activities are examples of Forevermark’s commitment to the protection of nature and support of local communities as part of the De Beers Group of Companies.

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Following the trip to Victor mine, Carat Club achievers flew to Sudbury, where they visited Forevermark Diamantaire Crossworks Manufacturing’s state-of-the-art cutting and polishing factory. Here, they experienced the next steps following the mine in the life of a Forevermark diamond. While Crossworks’ expert craftsmen cut and polished diamonds, some fresh out of Victor mine, Carat Club members learned about the rigorous process of cutting and polishing a diamond to exacting Forevermark standards. Carat Club members also got to try their hands at the polishing wheel and feel what it takes to achieve the perfect combination of touch, angle, and rhythm to polish a facet on a diamond.

"The team at Crossworks really provided us with a clear understanding of where the beauty of a diamond comes from and what it takes to unlock that beauty," said Robert Fontenot, Carat Club achiever of Diamond District in Estero, FL said of the experience. "Most of the master craftsmen employed at Crossworks have a minimum of 20 years of experience expertly cutting and polishing by hand. This level of expertise, care, and precision is essential to meet the beauty standards of a Forevermark diamond."

In addition to the trip, Carat Club Members were also presented with a Forevermark diamond pin presented by Charles Stanley and Stephen Lussier, Forevermark CEO and De Beers Group EVP, during the induction ceremony held this past April at Forevermark’s Annual Forum in Phoenix, AZ.

The 2017 Carat Club incentive program will run through the end of this year, and sales ambassadors will be required to sell 35 carats or more of one-carat plus Forevermark diamonds. The top 20 achievers will receive an exclusive trip to London to visit the Forevermark headquarters. They will also visit the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels as well as experience an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Forevermark Diamond Institute in Antwerp, Belgium.

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GJEPC Announces Special Rate Benefits for IIJS Signature 2020 & IIJS Premiere 2020 for Exhibitors

This is to promote exports of diamond jewelry and gold jewelry from India.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MUMBAI — The Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has announced a series of measures to promote exports of diamond jewelry and gold jewelry from India. One of the latest being the special rate benefits for IIJS Signature 2020 & IIJS Premiere 2020 for exhibitors.

IIJS Signature 2020 & IIJS Premiere 2020 – In view of the current precarious state of the gem & jewelry industry, GJEPC has announced Rate Benefit to IIJS Signature and IIJS Premiere Participants as follows: Ordinary & Ordinary+ MSME Members: 15%; MSME Members: 10%; Associate Members: 5%. To avail this exclusive benefit, application with 50% advance for IIJS Signature 2020 and 10% Advance for IIJS Premiere 2020 should be applied by 20th November 2019.

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Mr. Pramod Kumar Agrawal, chairman, GJEPC, said, “Globally, there’s a low demand for gems and jewelry. There are other factors that have affected the business domestically including the rise in import duty of gold. Our move to give rate benefits to exhibitors of IIJS Signature and IIJS Premiere is with the aim to give relief to our member exporters as this industry has been resilient to such situations in the past. This time at IIJS Signature 2020, we are adding a new Hall for Machinery and 100 New Stalls for Jewelry to accommodate participants in waitlist of last year. Special Buyer Promotion Program will create personalized and better experience to visitors. GJEPC will conduct Roadshows / Door to Door, in 100 plus cities. It will facilitate International connect in important countries to grow exports.”

Mr. Colin Shah, vice chairman, GJEPC Said, “Our vision is to grow India’s gem and jewelry exports to USD 75 billion and create additional 2 million employment in the sector by 2025. Over the last couple of years, the industry has been facing challenges which has resulted in decline in exports. GJEPC has been taking initiatives to address this situation and we have joined hands with Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and contributing rupees 14.2 crores towards DPA-led promotion of diamond jewelry in USA, China and India. We have also allocated rupees 5 crores for the promotion of gold jewelry in the Middle East market. GJEPC has been undertaking a series of initiatives for the sustainable development of the industry. Setting up Common Facility Centers (CFCs), Jewelry Parks, gem & jewelry institutes and promotional activities would help the industry to get back on a growth trajectory. GJEPC has started an employee health insurance scheme called Swasthya Ratna. The total number of lives covered till date are 5,21,659 under Swasthya Ratna. We have also launched Parichay Card for the benefit of the workers and so far we have received requests for 2,60,950 Parichay Cards from craftsmen and workers from the gem & jewelry sector. Parichay card holders would be eligible for various benefits and schemes offered by GJEPC.”

GJEPC has announced the dates for the 13th Edition IIJS Signature 2020. The show will be held in Mumbai’s Bombay Exhibition Centre (Goregaon) from 13th–to-16th February 2020. IIJS Signature, sees participation from over 700+ exhibitors. The focus is on product – jewelry of the highest standards of design, craftsmanship and finish. Just what you need to revitalize your inventory for the coming year. The show is compact enough to fully explore sourcing opportunities and, with a large number of new participants, it is the ideal platform to develop additional contacts.

Mr. Mansukh Kothari, convener-National Exhibitions Sub-Committee, GJEPC Said, “Our aim is to make IIJS amongst the top gem and jewelry shows in the world. Every year, based on the feedback from the buyers and exhibitors, we have been making the show better each year by adding new features and facilities. IIJS Premiere sees participation from over 1,300 exhibitors with 40,000 plus visitors from across cities pan India and 80 countries. IIJS today is reckoned as one of the world’s most preferred Gem and Jewelry Show by the gem and jewelry trade fraternity. Over 8,000 visitors have already pre-registered to participate in this event. The show is also available with navigation on the GJEPC App. I hope the rate benefits would be a relief to our members in this tough time.”

“For ease of retailers – Online visitor registration is open with special rate benefits in early registrations + multi show registration facilities (one show, 2 and 5 shows),” added Mansukh Kothari.

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CPAA Announces U.S. Finalists in 10th Annual IPDC

Winners will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 31.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) announces the finalists in the U.S. division of the 10th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC). Thirty-eight submissions were narrowed down to eighteen finalists after judges viewed images of all entries. The judges are Jean Francois Bibet, workshop and production director at Cartier; Nancy Schuring, owner of Devon Fine Jewelry (whose store will show and offer for sale the winning entries and the finalists of Schuring’s choice); Michelle Graff, editor in chief of NationalJeweler.com; and Hector Hassey, jewelry designer of his own same-name firm.

Finalists in the U.S. division are as follows. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 31, following a day of judging live pieces.

Chrysanthemum Fold Black Pearl earrings by Karin Jacobson

Pearl Empress earrings by Deborah Meyers of Deborah Meyers Experience

Black Diamond and Pearl earrings by Timo Krapf of TBK Jewelry

Polka Dots cuff by Alishan Halebian of Alishan

Glamorous Keshi Swing earrings by Dilly Kirby of Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls

Mandala ring by Paul Klecka of Paul Klecka Inspired Design

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Esther ring by Polly Baumgartner

Lydia Lighthouse Beacon ring by Lika Behar of Lika Behar Jewelry

Chimera pendant necklace by Brenda Smith of Brenda Smith Jewelry

Golden pearl strand with Wavy O interchangeable clasp by Llyn Strong of Llyn Strong Jewelry

The Kiss of the Spider Woman necklace by Martina Buck of Haute Metal

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Power of Pearl pendant by Kelly Charveaux of Scottsdale Bead Supply and Charveaux

South Sea Pearl Paisley ring by Assael

South Sea Pearl Fan earrings by Assael

Ocean Diva necklace by Jennifer Pusenkoff of Jennifer Pusenkoff Jewelry

Rocking Love ring by Jennifer Pusenkoff of Jennifer Pusenkoff Jewelry

Rocking Dandy lapel pin by Jennifer Pusenkoff of Jennifer Pusenkoff Jewelry

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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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