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Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz Announce the 2023 Class of Emerging Jewelry Designers

The designers will officially kick off their luxury retail partnerships beginning on September 27th with Moda Operandi.




From left to right: Amina Sorel, Bernard James, Gwen Beloti, Jessenia Landrum, Symoné Currie, Rosario Navia PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of NDC
From left to right: Amina Sorel, Bernard James, Gwen Beloti, Jessenia Landrum, Symoné Currie, Rosario Navia. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of NDC

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Natural Diamond Council (NDC) in partnership with celebrated jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz present the new diamond jewelry collections from the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI) class of 2023.

This year’s EDDI class includes Amina Sorel of Amina Sorel Fine Jewelry, Bernard James of Bernard James, Gwen Beloti of Gwen Beloti Collection, Symoné Currie of Metal X Wire, Jessenia Landrum of Jevela, and Rosario Navia of Rosario Navia. The group of six designers debuted their diamond collections for the first time at the JCK trade show in Las Vegas, this past May.

The designers will officially kick off their luxury retail partnerships beginning on September 27th with Moda Operandi. A curated selection from each of the designers will also be available on 1stDibs starting October 11th. 1stDibs donated a grant that will be distributed equally among the six designers to help with their design and production needs and will be carrying a year-long storefront dedicated to each designer. Prominent independent retailer Greenwich St. Jewelers will launch on October 14th, and Marissa Collections to follow, mid-October. The collections will be available to purchase through each designer’s online stores mid-October and later this fall at The Jewelry Edit’s pop-up shop in New York. The designers will also be showcasing their new collections to select press and retailers on October 17th at Sutton Tower in New York.

The EDDI program launched in January 2021 with $1 million dollars of diamond credit dedicated to supporting emerging Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) jewelry designers. The initiative was created to build a more equitable future for the diamond jewelry industry by providing opportunities, removing barriers to entry, and offering unparalleled access to industry education and resources.

Under the stewardship of NDC experts, Lorraine Schwartz, and select luxury retailers, designers received a $20,000 diamond credit at cost, retail opportunities and selling support, press opportunities, diamond education, funding for production, CADs, and sampling as well as in-depth mentorship alongside industry experts. Additionally, each designer is paired with a diamantaire to establish a line of credit in their own name and personally selected diamonds that spoke to them in varying cuts, colors, and shapes.

“The Natural Diamond Council is immensely proud to be partnering with this extraordinary group of talent,” says Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director & CMO, at Natural Diamond Council. “Following the success of the past two years of our EDDI program, we are committed to continually evolving the initiative to meet the needs of designers while providing them with the essential tools, mentorship, and network required to achieve a sustainably growing business. We are thrilled to have top luxury retail partnerships joining us in launching the 2023 collections. This type of barrier breaking initiative is what brings progress and innovation to the industry.”


“The EDDI class of 2023 should be so proud of all that they have achieved,” says celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz. “Their collections are unique and beautiful and showcase the designers’ personalities. It is thrilling to see the wide range of retailers supporting the designers and the EDDI program and embracing the next generation of fine jewelry designers.”



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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