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Jewelry Industry Summit to Provide Open Forum on Sourcing and Sustainability



Jewelry Industry Summit to Provide Open Forum on Sourcing and Sustainability

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, INDESIGN did a story on how to “green” your jewelry operation – but the story came out just as the country was slipping into recession. After that, most jewelry retailers had to worry more about making ends meet than sourcing and sustainability. But today, those issues are more important to your customers (and potential customers) than ever.

Next March 10-13, The Jewelry Industry Summit will take place in New York just ahead of the JA NY Show; it will be an interactive and facilitated discussion on sustainability and responsible sourcing.  The goal is to create awareness of supply chain challenges and develop tools to take actions to mutually benefit the jewelry industry and create business opportunities and new sources of value for suppliers and the consumer to ensure that the jewelry industry will thrive in the 21st century. Participants will have the opportunity to shape the outcome of the discussions and will include members of the diamond, colored gem and precious metal industries, trade associations, financial institutions, as well as those in the international communities.  JA NY will provide registration services for attendees at the Summit and the use of its discounted hotel block to Summit attendees.

The time is right for an event like The Jewelry Summit.  People need more reasons to buy jewelry and feel good about it; responsible sourcing and sustainable practices do that.  And, the result could be a sea change in the jewelry industry – a permanent transformation in the way precious materials are sourced.

I contacted Cecilia Gardner, president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, who is acting as secretary for the Jewelry Industry Summit planning committee.  Here is what she had to say about why American jewelry retailers need to attend the summit and how they can get involved.

1) Why is this event important to US jewelry retailers?  


“Consumers (especially Millennials) are increasingly interested in how a product comes to market — and what impact it had on the society and environment where it was extracted.  The summit will highlight efforts in the space of responsible sourcing already underway in our industry, and will allow more and more businesses to engage in these issues to satisfy the retailers’ need to engage this subject with their customers.”

2) Why do jewelry retailers need to be working on better sourcing and sustainability now?

“The story of how our products get to market, the sustainability of the market, the people these products impact — the good they do in the communities that are lucky enough to have these resources — is a positive story that can drive sales!  This initiative is truly for the 21st century, meant to increase customer satisfaction in their jewelry purchase!”

3) How can they participate in the summit, and what do the summit’s organizers hope that it will accomplish?

“Retailers can register between now and July 15 – and get a $50 discount  – by using the indiegogo link:







By attending the summit, they can contribute to its success – which would come in the form of greater awareness, and the development of a very accessible set of guiding principles for responsible sourcing and transparent business practices that will improve our business.  Retailers must be present to ensure their voices are heard to meet their consumer’s expectations about the path these products took to market.”

Learn more about The Jewelry Industry Summit at

The planning committee members for the Jewelry Industry Summit are Ann Arnold, BIG – Buyers Intelligence Group; Lita Asscher, Royal Asscher; Anna Bario, Bario Neal; Robert Bentley, Robert Bentley Company; Mihir Bhansali, Firestar Diamond Inc.; Edward Boehm, Rare Source; David Bouffard, Signet Jewelers Ltd.; Eric Braunwart, Columbia Gem House, Inc.; Lisa Bridge, Ben Bridge Jeweler; Bruce Bridges, Bridges Tsavorite; Brandee Dallow, Rio Tinto Diamonds; Bill Farmer, Farmer’s Jewelry; Jeffrey Fischer, Fischer Diamonds, Inc.; Rebecca Foerster, Leo Schachter Diamonds, LLC; Karen Goracke, Borsheim’s; Stewart Grice, Hoover and Strong; Mark Hanna, Richline; Hayley Henning, True North Gems; and Steve Hodgkins, Rolex USA.


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