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IJO Announces Design Contest Winners

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Member retailers and vendors served as judges.

(Press Release) The Independent Jewelers Organization has announced the winners of its annual Jewelry Design Contest.

The contest was held at the organization’s semi-annual conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, TX.

Submissions were from IJO retailers, but were judged by both member retailers and vendors.

“There were more than 60 spectacular, truly creative pieces submitted to this contest, and only options for 12 winners,” said Erin Horvath, IJO contest coordinator. “However, all were worthy of honors.”

One winner was Lori Blagg of Faye’s Diamond Mine in Clinton, AR.

“This is so very special to me,” Blagg said, “as all those who voted were my peers, many who are designers like myself. I feel very honored to have had my design chosen from among so many outstanding pieces.”

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IJO will be in Seattle, WA, Aug. 5-8. For information on membership, call Penny Palmer, IJO’s director of member services, at 800-624-9252. 

 

IMAGE GALLERY (12 PHOTOS)

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Think Like a Millennial to Sell to a Millennial: GN Diamond’s In-Store Selling Platform Offers Advantage Over Internet Sites

It’s time to take this demographic seriously.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Millennials may be undervalued as jewelry and gemstone customers, but as the largest living generation in the U.S., with $600 billion in annual spending, it’s time to take this demographic seriously.

Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials came of age alongside computers, digital technologies and social media. These tech-savvy shoppers love to research and purchase online, so it’s crucial that diamond sellers can meet them in-store with technologically advanced, interactive online sales tools.

Convert Millennial Browsers into Buyers with an Innovative Selling Tool

Diamond Hunt, the new GN Diamond platform, is an interactive selling tool that addresses millennials’ pain points with technology conveniently at their fingertips. The online loose diamond database mimics what consumers see on internet sites, only with powerful added value.

Here’s how the platform answers the key questions held by 20- and 30-something shoppers in their native digital language.

Light Performance Millennials are skeptical as to how two seemingly similar diamonds can have up to a 70% price difference. The GN Diamond platform utilizes a third party to objectively grade the brilliancy and brightness of a diamond, clearly demonstrating why one SI2 is better than another.

V360 Views Smart-phone-loving millennials easily gain a 360 degree view of the loose diamond and its natural birthmarks without the cumbersome use of a loupe and tweezers. The fully transparent views surpass the typical videos and images used by online retailers.

Gemprint The world’s most sophisticated, non-invasive, positive identification technology records the unique optical “fingerprint” of each diamond. Gemprint is recognized by most insurance companies, some of whom offer 10% off of annual insurance premiums once registered.

GN Gives You an Advantage with Millennials

The GN Diamond platform revolutionizes the way millennial consumers buy diamonds in-store, and it’s as easy as scanning a QR code. Learn more at www.gndiamond.com, and shop over $70 million of loose diamonds certified by GIA, AGS and EGL USA, all with the Gemprint ID.

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GN Diamond Offers Earring Size Simulator on Easy-to-Use Retailer Platform

The APP offers a visual simulation of what a diamond stud looks like on the earlobe.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The 2019 holiday season through January has been one of the strongest periods for diamond stud sales.

Bread-and-butter studs from 1/4 ct up to 1 1/2 carat have always been most popular, but GN has seen larger studs from 2 carats to 6 carats becoming additional hot sellers. The company believes it will continue to see an uptick in sales through Valentine’s Day and the spring bridal season.

Simplistically beautiful, studs should produce up to 12% of a retail store’s annual revenue. Diamond studs are a great add-on to any bridal sale. In the words of Shane Decker, “Never stop selling until the customer tells you to stop.”

GN’s new APP offers a visual simulation of what a diamond stud looks like on the earlobe from ¼ carat to 2 carats.  The consumer can easily see the difference between martini set or four-prong set in all different sizes that reflect their own taste and budget.

In addition, GN Diamond creates a point of distinction for the retail jeweler and offers a light brilliancy score on all of its diamond studs. Each pair is sent to a third-party independent laboratory to evaluate brightness and sparkle. GN’s studs are proven to score in the top 96% of the world’s brightest diamonds. Furthermore, each pair is Gemprinted providing a unique fingerprint of each diamond which will offer the end consumer up to a 10% discount on annual insurance premiums. There is such a competitive market with diamond studs that these
features may help retailers gain the edge over their competition and overcome common objections and obstacles that salespeople face on a daily basis.

GN Diamond is open seven days a week at www.gndiamond.com, striving every day to help jewelers sell more diamonds.

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AGA Adds Robert Weldon to Tucson Conference Line-Up

The conference is set for Feb. 5.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The Accredited Gemologists Association has announced the addition of Robert Weldon to the list of presenters at the annual AGA Tucson conference on Feb. 5 at the Marriot University Park hotel.

Weldon, who will be receiving this year’s AGA Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, is to discuss the ongoing project of educating artisanal miners of East Africa about the stones they recover. Through GIA funding and a contract with Pact, a Washington, DC, non-governmental development organization with offices in Tanzania, the program has put valuable information into the hands of the people whose livelihood depends on mining gemstones.

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Started over a decade ago through the inspiration of fellow Bonanno Award winner Dr. James Shigley, a GIA Distinguished Research Fellow, the program features a book with descriptive text in Swahili and numerous photographs of the gems being recovered. An inspection tray and instructions in cleaning and examination teaches the miners to recognize stone quality of their rough material. After the first class was presented to the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners, it has spread through Tanzania with the intent of reaching 10,000 miners across East African nations.

Weldon, director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center at GIA, co-wrote the manual and with the GIA staff, has seen immediate results for the over 1.000 miners already trained. Miners are now able to bargain better with their buyers and return more money to their families and communities. The social impact of the project has been enormous and exposure to the supply chain has opened up other opportunities for miners, such as gem cutting and jewelry manufacture.

The AGA conference is a day of gemological insights and discoveries, with Weldon being joined by presentations from Dr. Jeffrey Post, Dr. Laurent Cartier, Dr. Aaron Palke, Richard Hughes and workshops with Eric Fritz, Samantha Lloyd and Claire Scragg. The evening gala and presentation of the Bonanno Award is included with the conference registration and may also be purchased separately.

Conference registration includes continental breakfast, light lunch & the AGA Annual Gala & Dinner featuring great networking opportunities, music, dance floor & the presentation of the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology to Robert Weldon. Early registration fees through Jan. 28 provide substantial savings online at www.accreditedgemologists.org.

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