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Gem Expert Jim Fiebig Dies

Adventure traveler was a champion for colored gemstones.

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Jim Fiebig, one of the industry’s most prominent champions of colored gemstones, has died after losing his battle with cancer. Fiebig, who was an occasional columnist for INSTORE and an ever-ready source of information about ways to market what he saw as an inexplicably neglected part of the jewelry trade, was 60 years old.

Fiebig was born on Oct. 3, 1956, in Hillsdale, MI, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 with a BA in music composition. While music would be a constant passion in his life, it was another love, colored gemstones, that guided his career choices. While managing Fiebig Jewelers in Sturgis, MI, he traveled to Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya, Zanzibar, South Africa and Madagascar to get as close as he could to the source of these natural wonders.

In 2005, Fiebig and his wife, JoAnn, sold Fiebig Jewelers and began guiding other jewelry professionals to explore gemstone opportunities in Madagascar. Clients included the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, the LA County Natural History Museum and the BBC. He also worked with GemsTV in the UK and U.S., Zultanite Gems, Jewelry Television and Parle’ Gemstones, lecturing and writing extensively about colored gemstone marketing.

In 2011, Fiebig accepted an offer to become sales manager of Josephs Jewelers in West Des Moines, IA. While with Josephs, he was awarded a coveted Fellowship in the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, prompting him and JoAnn to return to their home in North Carolina.

View Jim’s columns for INSTORE.

Fiebig also wrote a series of tips on how to market birthstones for our Calendar page in 2013.

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