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JCK Industry Fund Opens 2020 Grant Application Submissions and Announces Recipients from 2019

The submission deadline is November 22, 2019.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NORWALK, CT — JCK has opened submissions for the 2020 JCK Industry Fund application process. Since 1997, the fund has awarded over $6 million to date towards program grants to benefit the jewelry industry at large.

In 2019, JCK Industry Fund was pleased to award a grand total of $265,500 in grants to five deserving recipients: Canadian Jewelers Association (CJA), Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) and the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). Each of these five organizations received grant monies in the first quarter of 2019 to advance specific projects that will benefit the industry as a whole.

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The JCK Industry Fund Committee chooses recipients based upon their synergy with the overall core goals of the Fund. Goals include: improving commerce and the image within the jewelry industry in the eyes of the consumer, aiding in addressing serious problems faced within the jewelry industry and assisting in developing educational content that can make a profound impact on addressing jewelry industry and consumer concerns.

The JCK Industry Fund Committee consists of Yancy Weinrich (senior vice president, Reed Jewelry Group), Joel Schechter (CEO, Honora), John Green (president & CEO, Lux Bond & Green), Eddie Levian (CEO, Le Vian) and Michael Lerche (president, Goldstar Jewelry LLC).

Donations are collected year round and allocated annually. More recently, JCK engaged the industry at-large to support the Fund’s mission by accepting donations from JCK customers. For the past two years, JCK exhibitors have contributed while attending customers have had the opportunity to donate when registering for the show.

“As global leaders in the jewelry industry, JCK strongly believes that it is an essential element and part of our corporate responsibility to give back and continue to nurture an industry that has given so much to so many,” states Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president, Reed Jewelry Group. “As the fund increases in size and scope, monies are directed to where they are needed the most, and where significant impacts can be achieved. The 2019 recipients embody our mission of giving back to the community with relevant and important causes for the health of our industry and we look forward to reviewing submissions for 2020.”

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Submissions for the 2020 JCK Industry Fund application process are now open. The submission deadline is November 22, 2019. For additional information on the JCK Industry Fund, and to submit your 2020 application, please visit www.jckonline.com/industryfund or contact jckindustryfund@reedexpo.com.

2019 Grant Recipients:

The 2019 recipients received a grand total of $265,500, over $25,000 more than last year.

  • Canadian Jewelers Association (CJA)received funds in support of an Organized Crime Conference to inform law enforcement of non-violent crimes in the jewelry and watch industry and to facilitate networking and communication among law enforcement in North America.

    “The Canadian Jewelers Association (CJA) is appreciative of the 2019 grant from the JCK Industry Fund that will assist us in raising the visibility and awareness of jewelry crimes to North American law enforcement,” says Marco Miserendino, 2019 CJA chairman. “The grant will enable us to host a special conference for police investigators, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges our industry faces when it comes to jewelry crime. The conference will also facilitate networking and communication among various police agencies as crimes perpetrated by roaming gangs across our shared borders present particular hurdles for police.”

  • Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) received funds in support of their “Diamonds Do Good” positive messaging campaign that will continue to connect the millennial consumer to the stories behind diamonds by experiencing and contributing to the real diamond/real impact narrative.

    “The JCK Industry Fund’s grant has enabled the Diamond Empowerment Fund to champion, through real stories, the positive impact natural diamonds have on communities around the world,” says Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director. “Last year alone we reached 25 million millennials with the industry’s ‘Diamonds Do Good’ stories. Never has there been a more important time to keep fostering this positive narrative and ensure the sustainability of natural diamonds.”

  • Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA)funds will go towards evaluating and recommending new and innovative security technologies for jewelry firms.

    “The grants received from the JCK Industry Fund have allowed JSA to pursue a wide variety of innovative products that have helped make the diamond, jewelry and watch industry safer,” says John J. Kennedy, president. “JSA has been able to pursue projects such as, developing a program of rewards for providing information on criminals, training FBI agents and local police on jewelry crime, developing a stolen jewelry database, and promoting local crime prevention networks of jewelers and police. Many of these start-up projects have now been incorporated as an important and ongoing part of JSA’s activities.”

  • Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) funds will support its new Designer Education and Empowerment initiative, as well as its ongoing efforts to educate the jewelry industry on the new FTC guidelines and Jewelry Guides.

    “We at the JVC are honored and grateful that the JCK Industry Fund included us among this year’s portfolio of awardees,” says Tiffany Stevens, CEO + president of JVC. “With this grant, we will be able to deliver on our mission of ethics, integrity and compliance and spread our messaging to a wider audience than ever before. We will also be able to tackle new areas of legal ethics and regulation because of the grant, hopefully to the benefit of the entire industry. The work of the JVC helps protect the businesses of our industry and enables their thriving futures.”

  • Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) funds will support educational resources and professional development opportunities to increase women’s influence in the jewelry industry and to continue its Gender Equality Project.

    “With support from the JCK Industry fund, the Women’s Jewelry Association is able to continue advancing its efforts to promote greater gender equality in the jewelry industry. Our JCK Industry Fund grant supports the work of WJA’s Gender Equality Project, an initiative for empowering our members through effective tools and programs that contribute to the overall health and positive image of the industry,” says Jennifer Markas, executive director.

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Lark & Berry Launches Collaborative Collection in Design Partnership with HBO ‘Vikings’ Star, Alicia Agneson

It will debut a new 15-piece fine jewelry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — Disrupting cultured diamonds jewelry brand Lark & Berry is set to debut a new 15-piece fine jewelry range in design partnership with HBO ‘Vikings’ actress Alicia Agneson, aptly named ‘Alicia.’ Lark & Berry’s new Alicia Agneson designed range will feature jewelry crafted in 14k yellow gold, and 18k white gold with the brand’s signature cultured diamonds and sapphires. All new pieces will be available starting December 2019 online at larkandberry.com ,as well as in Lark & Berry’s flagship Marylebone, London location just steps away from Selfridge’s.

Agneson’s keen eye for detail and inventive design has yielded pieces that are sleek in style, with unusual cuts of stones and delicate cultured diamonds. As a compliment to Lark & Berry’s Veto Petals necklaces and earrings, the new Agneson-designed Alicia set also features inspiration from the natural environment, in the form of “leaves” hanging from diamond cut chains, creating a sense of movement.

“I made the decision a year back to be more environmentally conscious. It resulted in me taking the decision to never again wear newly made clothes. That led to Lark & Berry and me finding each other,” Agneson states. “With Lark & Berry, I share the same love for the smaller beauties in life but with a conscious mind along the way. Designing the Alicia collection has been a hugely exciting from start to end, with all the hours spent in the studio finding what represents both me and the brand. I’m proud over what we’ve accomplished, and I hope we can together open eyes to cultured stones. We can be beautiful and save the planet at the same time, bit by bit.”

Lark & Berry’s 3 new high-jewelry pieces are crafted in 18k white gold and feature beautiful, elongated cultured forest green quartz paired with grey cultured pearls. This includes is a unique new radiant pearl necklace with forest green quartz and diamond clasp, designed to give the wearer the option to self-style the piece in multiple ways.

The open cocktail ring from this range sits well alongside the 14K yellow gold cocktail rings, including a 11.4ct violet sapphire in an emerald cut with double talon claws and a 6.1ct burnt orange sapphire ring with stunning diamond set leaf detail in the setting.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have such a creative, prestige-actress as Alicia joining us to design a collection. Alicia’s love of nature and sustainable fashion inspired the naturalistic features of this new collection,” said Lark & Berry founder Laura Chavez.

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Gem Legacy Offers Year-End Giving Opportunities

Jewelers can demonstrate to clients their commitment to colored gem supply chain sustainability.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROYAL OAK, MI — Gem Legacy, a 501c3 nonprofit organization launched in 2018, and dedicated to supporting gem mining communities in East Africa, is offering members of the gem and jewelry industry a quantifiable and tangible avenue for making year-end charitable donations. Those who contribute will be supporting a cause that positively impacts small colored gem miners and their communities. Contributors will also be given pre-written materials to immediately announce their donations to their clients during the holiday giving season.

Year-end giving opportunities include:

  • A $750 sponsorship for young adults to receive a four-month training program in gem faceting, gemology, and gem identification
  • A $550 scholarship for secondary school fees for Kenyan orphans in gem sourcing communities
  • A $200 donation to adopt an in-need family in a gem sourcing community for the holidays

Industry members who make a donation to any of these initiatives will receive a pre-written message and photo they can use for email or social media posting. The materials will reference the gem mining location and initiative that will benefit.

Gem Legacy gives 100% of donations directly to its initiatives, which are located in Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi. All focus on entrepreneurship, education, and in-need children in gem mining locales. Other kinds of donations and fundraising ideas can be found on gemlegacy.org/partners and interested parties can create their own fundraising efforts from the templated materials.

“We are so excited to provide this opportunity to the global gem and jewelry trade: giving back to those who have given us the foundations of our businesses,” said Roger Dery, executive director of Gem Legacy. “Gem Legacy is committed to exponentially expanding the positive impact of gemstones on sourcing communities and sharing a public image of how gemstones are improving lives within these often challenged areas.”

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Alisa Announces New Ownership

It’s effective the beginning of 2020.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Alisa, best known for its versatile and affordable fine jewelry products in sterling silver, 18K gold and diamonds for 25 years, will be under new ownership effective the beginning of 2020. Industry veterans Marci and Adam Staub will head the company as its new principals. “We are delighted that the Alisa brand will continue to be available to our many loyal retailers through such highly talented people,” say current owners Lisa and Fred Morgan. “We know Marci and Adam very well for more than a decade. They are true professionals in our industry ̶ knowledgeable, innovative, energetic, and customer service oriented ̶ and they will be fabulous for the brand’s ongoing success.”

Marci and Adam have 35 years of extensive experience in the fine jewelry industry, including design, manufacturing, wholesale and retail. Adam is a Graduate Gemologist – GIA and a member of the 24K Club in the Southeast region. “Adam and I are excited to continue the tradition of Alisa’s well designed Italian-made fine jewelry while creatively expanding the product line as we go forward,” says Marci. “The company’s high quality exclusive jewelry, with its distinctive signature style, has a classic and timeless appeal for many U.S. retailers and their discriminating customers.”

The Morgans will be assisting Marci and Adam during the ownership transition, which is expected to be seamless. To find out more about Alisa and their fine jewelry products, log on to alisadesigns.com. For additional information regarding the change of ownership, please call 888.253.6600 or contact marci@alisadesigns.com or adam@alisadesigns.com.

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