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JCK Supports Advancement of Industry Through Grant Program




(press release) NORWALK, CT – JCK announces the five recipients of its Industry Fund grants for 2018 – Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Jewelers of America (JA), Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) and the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). Each of these organizations will receive grant monies to advance specific projects that will benefit the industry as a whole by improving commerce and enhancing the jewelry industry’s overall image in the eyes of the consumer. The grants, with a grand total of $240,000, were awarded in the first quarter of 2018, and the winners will be recognized at JCK Las Vegas 2018 show at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in early June. 

“We are pleased to support such impactful, important programs as female self-purchase marketing, positive diamond messaging and the “Diamonds do Good” campaign, gender equality education, lab-grown diamond legal education and cybercrime prevention,” says Yancy Weinrich, Senior Vice President, Reed Jewelry Group. “This year’s JCK Industry Fund recipients are proactively addressing this wide array of challenges and opportunities that will ultimately benefit and lift the entire industry over time. Their leadership will enhance business and help ensure productivity, as well as positivity, for the next generation of industry professionals and their customers.”

Now in its twentieth year, the JCK Industry Fund was established in 1997 to enhance the image of the jewelry industry and to foster development and research of programs that would benefit the industry. To date, the fund has generated over 6 million dollars in grant awards. The 2018 recipients have each developed educational content or programs that exhibit synergy with the Fund’s core goals and address serious problems faced by the jewelry industry.

2018 Winning Projects

The 2018 recipients will receive a grand total of $240,000 to support the following marketing and educational programs designed to make a profound impact on addressing jewelry industry and/or consumer concerns: 

  • Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), whose “Diamonds Do Good” positive messaging campaign continues to build consumer confidence, reaching over 3 million millennials to-date
  • Jewelers of America (JA), whose research supports a jewelry marketing campaign, seeks funding from the broader industry to launch in the future 
  • Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), in support of Cybercrime Prevention Training and Information for the diamond, jewelry, and watch industry
  • Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in support of its new Lab-Grown Diamond Legal Education program and its continuing Industry Protection Program related to legal matters arising from the Patriots Act, Bank Secrecy Act, etc.
  • Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) in support of educational resources and professional development opportunities for its Gender Equality Project

The JCK Industry Fund Committee consists of Yancy Weinrich (Senior Vice President, Reed Jewelry Group), Mark Smelzer (Publisher, JCK Magazine), Joel Schechter (CEO, Honora), John Green (President & CEO, Lux Bond & Green), Eddie Levian (CEO, Le Vian) and Michael Lerche (President, Goldstar Jewellery LLC). This year, during the JCK Las Vegas Show, the Committee will be unveiling its new mission statement for the Industry Fund, as well as the launch of a new public relations campaign to support it. 

Donations to the JCK Industry Fund will be collected at registration desks throughout the JCK Las Vegas Show, which runs from June 1st through June 4th, 2018 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

For more information on the JCK Industry Fund, please visit here. For more information on JCK Las Vegas or to register for the show, please visit or call (203) 840-5684. 



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson: “They Feel Like Family”

Newton’s Jewelers in Fort Smith, Ark., was a true institution. But after being at the helm for most of his life, owner (and descendent of the original founder) Kelly Newton decided it was time to retire. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale. “I’ve known the owners of Wilkerson for a long, long time. I felt at home with them,” he says. The final retirement sale was just a “blast” and the Wilkerson sales team made it so very simple and straightforward, says Newton. Would he recommend Wilkerson to others? Absolutely. “They’ve done incredible work,” says Newton. “They feel like family.”

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