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GemBesties Races for Jewelers for Children

It’s happening onMarch 9th and 10th.

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(PRESS RELEASE) A small team of industry veterans (and friends) is embarking on a 24-hour endurance car race to spread the love of colored gems and give back to the jewelry industry’s incredible charity organization — Jewelers for Children. Their race car has a black opal theme with a matched pair of emerald cut red spinels wrapped on the aerodynamically functional rear wing. The race takes place at the Sonoma Raceway this Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th.

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He Thought It Was a Great Time to Retire — So He Called Wilkerson!

As David Kiselstein, owner of J. Albert Johnson Jewelers in Fairfield, CT says, it was a perfect time to close the store he’d owned for 45 years. “I’m 72-years old, the lease came due and I thought it would be a great time to retire.” A savvy businessman and one of the founders of the Continental Buying Group, Kiselstein urges others who want to conduct a retirement sale to pick up the phone and call Rick Hayes at Wilkerson. “He’ll talk you through it. He’ll help you understand it. He’ll give you the confidence you need to go through such a big experience.”

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Forbes Afrique Names WDC Executive Director One of Africa’s 100 Most Influential Women

She’s been praised for her talent, experience and commitment.

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Marie-Chantal Kaninda

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – The May edition of Forbes Afrique, the French-language version of the influential economic periodical that focuses specifically on African affairs, has listed Marie-Chantal Kaninda, executive director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), as one the continent’s 100 most influential women.

“With this fifth edition of Africa’s 100 Most Influential Women ranking, the presence of African women at the highest levels in all sectors is no longer a shadow of a doubt,” wrote Nadia Mensah-Acogny, the Forbes Afrique journalist who has been compiling the list since 2013. “But despite this, gender equality still leaves something to be desired and the finding is bitter. African women are still under-represented in the private sector. Like everywhere in the world, diversity remains a challenge for women in Africa. However, there is no need to despair, because beautiful energies are set up to get things done faster.”

Mentioning Kaninda’s work to further the interests of individuals and communities involved in Africa’s mining sector, Forbes Afrique also cited other aspects of her career. These included the establishment of the MCKM Foundation, which focuses on education for girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); serving as a vice president of the DRC’s National Committee for Women’s Soccer; chairperson of the British Congo Business Group (BCBG); and chairperson of an Anti-Corruption Working Group for the private sector in the DRC.

A native of the DRC, Kaninda has served as WDC executive director since March 1, 2017. Immediately prior to joining the WDC, she was the chief advisor for external affairs, Africa, at Rio Tinto Corp., a position she held from 2012.

Before joining Rio Tinto, she served in administrative, communications and external affairs roles with other international mining companies, including Ashanti Goldfields, AngloGold Ashanti and De Beers. She has also consulted on community development projects in Africa, including successfully relocating a community in Angola, and implemented several stakeholder engagement strategic plans. She furthermore has served as a board member of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).

“We are exceedingly proud of Marie-Chantal’s being recognized by Forbes Afrique, and privileged to have a person of her talent, experience and commitment at the head of WDC’s management team,” said Stephane Fischler, WDC president. “Throughout her long career, she has worked to improve the lives of Africa’s disadvantaged people, be they women, artisanal miners or individuals impacted by ongoing violence. Her belief that a country’s natural resources can fuel the development of all its people essentially embodies what we strive for in the WDC.”

“It is of course a great honor to have been selected by Forbes Afrique, and even more of a privilege to be mentioned alongside so many awe-inspiring people, who are changing Africa and showing by personal example that women deserve an equal place in politics, public affairs, business, culture, sports and the media,” said Ms. Kaninda. “I am also proud to be part of an organization like WDC, which not only advocates for an ethical diamond industry, but also shows that equal opportunity begins at home.”

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Call for Entries Opens Saul Bell Design Award Competition

The submission deadline Oct. 25.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Rio Grande announces its call for entries for the 2020 Saul Bell Design Award competition. This world renowned competition, launched by Rio Grande in 2001, honors Saul Bell, founder of Rio Grande and a jeweler, teacher and friend whose love of jewelry making and respect for jewelry makers knew no bounds. For its 20th anniversary, this premier event for jewelry designers renews the challenge for jewelers and metal smiths to push their creativity in new and exciting directions, to seize their moments to forge new pathways with their artistry.

“My father would have had so much admiration for every metalsmith who has ever entered this competition,” says Molly Bell, Rio Grande executive vice president and daughter of Saul Bell. “The spirit of the competition embodies not only his passion for making jewelry and his appreciation for the creativity and technical challenges of the work these artists do but also his respect for those striving to learn more, pushing past obstacles, and thriving in doing what they love. He was so generous with his knowledge and always had time for any bench or technical question.”

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Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry

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One of the most prestigious design events within the jewelry industry, the Saul Bell Design Award competition is unique for its intensive judging process. Two panels, comprising a combined total of 10 jewelers and industry leaders who are masters of their craft, assess and rank entries through two rounds of rigorous judging. In the initial round, five judges look for originality of design, proposed use of materials, and aesthetics to select finalists. In the final round, a second panel of five judges examines completed finalist pieces up close, in the hand, and on model, looking for successful incorporation of materials, wearability (except in the Hollowware category) and quality of workmanship.

Sophia Hu, whose entry, “Origami—Window with a View Collection,” received the 2018 Saul Bell Award Best of Show distinction impressed judges yet again in 2019 with her incredible “Helices” collection to garner the 1st Place honors in the Collections category (Couture/Fine division). “I really appreciate the two rounds of judges in the competition,” she says, “they have the eyes and tastes to see deeper, to identify and appreciate all the design efforts I put into each design in this collection.”

The 2020 competition features seven categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, Jewelry Collections, and two categories of Emerging Jewelry Artist that encompass two age ranges: 18 years old and younger (high school age) and 22 years old and younger (college age); age is determined as of Oct. 25, 2019. Enameled pieces should be submitted into the above categories, as appropriate.

The Jewelry Collection category invites designers to create a cohesive set of wearable pieces (such as a coordinated necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings) representing either a line of luxury jewelry (formerly Couture/Fine) or a line of trend-setting jewelry (formerly Fashion/Bridge).

Entrants enjoy discounted early-bird fees of $75 per entry for work submitted through September 16, or may choose the regular $125 fee for work submitted prior to the final deadline. The fee for each Emerging Jewelry Artist submission is $25.

Final submission deadline for all entries is Oct. 25, 2019. Finalist pieces are due by Jan. 24, 2020. The entry form and detailed information about the competition, including submission guidelines and information about each of the categories, are available at saulbellaward.com.

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GJEPC Organizes India Pavilion for the 16th Consecutive Year

It will be with 40 leading G & J players.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The leading jewelry event in North America, JCK Las Vegas will witness India Pavilion organized by Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) for the 16th consecutive year. This year, 40 gem and jewelry exporters participating at the “India Pavilion” will be showcasing a wide variety of trendy, unique and innovative jewelry made especially for the US market. The India Pavilion is located at JCK’s Passport & Diamond Plaza.

Mr. Pramod Agrawal, chairman, GJEPC said, “USA is a significant market for the Indian gem and jewelry industry. India exported US$ 10.58 billion worth of Gem & Jewelry products to the US in 2018. The rising GDP growth, employment rate and private consumption expenditure in the US have contributed to the rise in India’s exports of gems and jewelry to the market. It is believed that this momentum of US demand will continue further, and this is a good sign for Indian gems and jewelry exports. USA alone is expected to shell out $5.2 billion on the jewelry category this year, a whopping 31% increase over last year, as reported in its annual survey by NRF (National Retail Federation), with Mother’s Day estimated to see record spends and the good news is that India caters to over 19% of the US market’s jewelry demand.”

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry
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Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry

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Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’

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For India JCK Las Vegas has been a significant platform to further strengthen its network and improve its exports to the USA. It is also an opportunity for Indian exporters to understand the latest trends in the market which helps them to come back every year with trendy and innovative products for the buyers here. With top manufacturers participating at India Pavilion, buyers here will get to see products of the highest quality including loose diamonds, loose colored gemstones, plain gold jewelry, pearl jewelry, silver jewelry as well as diamond and colored stone studded jewelry.

Introducing the India Design Gallery

This year, the India Pavilion at JCK has some special attractions. It will feature an exclusive India Design Gallery, showcasing some of the most magnificent jewelry pieces created for the U.S market. The theme is COSMOS, a representation of U.S. consumer trends in 2020. The jewelry features a variety of cosmic elements in intricately crafted rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and more. You can find India Design Gallery within India Pavilion at booth no. 44063/61, 45062/60.

“The India Design Gallery highlights some of the finest contemporary jewelry available from India today. The jewelry, designed and manufactured in different parts of India, has one thing in common— it is timeless jewelry for the world. Indian jewelers and craftsmen cater to the most demanding customers across the globe. India’s ability to satiate any kind of jewelry requirements has always amazed the world. This has been possible due to Industry’s willingness to embrace and adopt the latest technology,” Says Colin Shah, vice chairman, GJEPC

The jewelry at India Design Gallery at JCK have been designed by the Designers of Artisan Awards, a design led initiative by GJEPC. Artisan Awards recognizes and rewards the best in jewelry design and celebrates highest level of artistry, innovation and individuality, elevating jewelry designers to their rightful status of artists.

Talking about the Jewelry pieces showcased at the India Design gallery, Milan Chokshi, convener promotions & marketing GJEPC said, “ Every jewel piece at the India Design Gallery is a manifestation of designer’s vision . The Artisan Awards is a carefully crafted and curated intellectual property of GJEPC that gives Indian designers an opportunity to unleash their sheer talent and shine. As part of the design galleries across the world, these pieces will be a showcase of India’s ascent as a dominant player in the world of jewelry design.”

Today, the Indian gem & jewelry industry is at its pinnacle. India’s overall gem & jewelry exports for the year 2018 accounted for US$ 39461.07 million. All thanks to its 5 million workforce. For this industry, ethical business practices precede any other practice. ‘Business with Conscience’ has been their mantra for decades now and it indeed reflects in the efforts taken by the industry to adopt measures for the wellbeing of not only its workforce but also initiating several other programs for the greater good.

Indian G & J Industry and GJEPC have invested heavily in its workforce by adopting high standards of modernization, safety, cleanliness and other socio-economic benefits such as, medical facilities, employment generation and second-to-none training programs for workers amongst others.

“We as an industry and also the apex gem & jewelry body of the country strongly believe that our greatest resource is our talented workforce. We continuously strive to upgrade their lives through several socio-economic benefits for them as well as their families,” added Colin Shah.

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