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Jewelers of America Announces 2016 GEM Awards Winners




LEFT: Rob Bates, RIGHT: Mercedes Abramo

(Press Release)
New York, NY – Jewelers of America (JA), a national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, held its 14th annual GEM Awards on Friday, Jan. 8 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. The winners in the categories of Jewelry Design, Media Excellence and Watch Design were revealed live to an audience of more than 450 people. Joe Thompson, editor-in-chief of WatchTime magazine, was the recipient of the 2016 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The GEM Award for Media Excellence was given to Rob Bates, news director of JCK, who has more than 20 years of experience writing about the diamond and jewelry industries. Claudia Mata, accessories and jewelry director of W and the 2015 GEM Award for Media Excellence winner, presented the award. The other Media Excellence nominees were Kyle Anderson and Rachel Garrahan.

Cartier received the GEM Award for Watch Design. Mercedes Abramo, president and CEO of Cartier North America, accepted the award for the Maison who is an inventor of an iconic and universal style while constantly pioneering new ground. The other nominees for Watch Design were Piaget and Roger Dubuis. The award was presented by Olivier Stip, SVP Chanel Watches & Fine Jewelry.

LEFT: Temple St. Clair, RIGHT: Joe Thompson

Temple St. Clair received the GEM Award for Jewelry Design. Temple St. Clair’s design achievements in 2015 included the launch of her Wings of Desire and the debut of Mythical Creatures at Les Art Decoratifs of the Lourve. The other nominees in the Jewelry Design category were Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard and Sevan Bicakci. The award was presented by Stephen Webster, the 2015 GEM Award for Jewelry Design winner.


The evening concluded with a tribute to Joe Thompson as he received the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement. The room filled with more than 450 leading jewelers, media and watch brands rose to their feet to celebrate the contributions that Joe Thompson has given to the watch industry throughout his career.

“People in my line of work normally do not get and do not expect to get a wonderful honor like this,” Thompson said. “This is for the people we cover, not for the scribblers who cover them.” In his tribute video, he added, “I need to write, it’s something that is in me, so I will write until I can’t write anymore. I hope that day is still far off. The watch thing for sure still remains imminently interesting. … There are more people interested in watches today than there ever has been in my entire career. So yes, I hope to still write about this subject until I can’t write anymore.”

The award was presented by Efraim Grinberg, Chairman and CEO of Movado Group Inc., whose father received the first GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2002.

GEM Awards – including red carpet coverage, the awards program and a sampling of “GEM Awards Moments” from past GEM Awards – was broadcast live on The program is available for reviewing for the next year.



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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