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Gemological Laboratory Opens in Manhattan

It’s located in the International Gem Tower on 47th Street.

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(PRESS RELEASE) — SGL International, headquartered in London, with 15 diamond certifying laboratories worldwide, has opened its 16th lab and only location in the U.S. The facility is located in the International Gem Tower on 47th Street in Manhattan’s diamond district.

“Opening a new lab in the competitive US market, especially in New York City, we knew it was essential to distinguish SGL from all other labs,” said Shirin Bandukwalla, co-director, SGL Worldwide. “We needed to do more than merely provide services to the industry. It was critically important to identify and create solutions for jewelry retailers, while at the same time provide the ultimate assurance and confidence for the end consumer.”

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SGL is able to assure consistent and accurate quality certification to its customers by having all 16 labs use the same technology, methodology and protocols for detection, grading, authentication and certification. This high standard international grading system practiced across the SGL network, separates them from all other gemological laboratories worldwide. And now the New York lab, with this exclusive range of specialized solutions that have already benefited retailers and manufacturers all over the world, will help the U.S. market overcome the logistical challenges often found when dealing with existing laboratories.

SGL Launches First-Ever Mobile Lab Service
SGL has launched the first-ever mobile lab service in the U.S., allowing retailers to have a team of SGL professionals visit their store(s) to screen, grade and certify finished diamond jewelry on-site. A new and unique alternative to shipping jewelry to the lab, the mobile lab is easy and convenient, providing retailers with an excellent opportunity to have more or all of their products certified at once. This service also includes the screening for lab grown vs natural diamonds.

SGL Introduces Lab Grown Diamond Screening and Identification Equipment
As part of its New York laboratory launch, SGL has also announced the introduction of “Dia Screen,” its laboratory grown diamond screening instrument. The unique machine screens for both CVD and HPHT lab grown diamonds, and natural diamonds. But it also isolates and identifies moisannite and cubic zirconia.

“We can’t underestimate the significance of separating HTHP from CVD lab grown diamonds,” said Chirag Soni, co-director, SGL Worldwide. “It’s no longer simply lab grown vs. natural. The growing price distinction alone will make it critically important for the industry to separate HPHT from CVD lab grown.” SGL believes this is the first, and perhaps only, machine that does this. Dia Screen is offered in two sizes (with identical technology), and currently available for sale at SGL New York. It will soon be launched across the laboratory’s worldwide network.

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“I’m very excited to see the New York laboratory open. It further demonstrates SGL’s commitment to growth and expansion,” said Soni. “At SGL, we believe that successfully providing full-service solutions for our clients requires more than just knowledge and expertise. Our commitment to excellence, combined with our mission to deliver outstanding service, has earned our company the reputation it holds today.”

SGL Exhibiting In Vegas
Contact Steve Feldman at SGL New York to schedule an appointment to visit the SGL booth at JCK in Las Vegas – Booth 3094 in the Diamond Pavilion – for a demonstration of the “Dia Screen” instrument. Or visit the lab in Manhattan for a demonstration – 929 390 5252, or steve.feldman@solitaire-labs.com

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Leaders Honored at JNA Awards 2019

16 were honored as recipients across 11 award categories.

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(PRESS RELEASE) HONG KONG – The eighth annual JNA Awards ended on a high note and was well attended by industry dignitaries and trade leaders in Hong Kong on 17 September.

Organized by Informa Markets, the awards celebrates and recognizes entrepreneurs and companies that set high standards for excellence, innovation, and outstanding business performance. A total of 45 Honorees were feted this evening for their notable accomplishments in the past year. Among them, 16 were honored as recipients across 11 award categories by a highly-respected and experienced panel of judges.

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Three outstanding leaders from the retail sector, Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, Hung Ming Li and Wang Chun Li are the recipients of this year’s highest accolade, the Lifetime Achievement Award. These are exceptional leaders well-known for their instrumental roles in transforming and shaping the retail landscape in their respective field and region.

The 16 Award Recipients across 11 categories are:

Brand of the Year – Retail
Shenzhen Sunfeel Jewelry Co Ltd – China

Supplier of the Year
Kapu Gems – India

Industry Innovation of the Year
3a. Industry Innovation of the Year – Diamond Identification
Diamond Services Ltd – Hong Kong

3b. Industry Innovation of the Year – Jewelry Manufacturing Technology
3D Kaiente Jewelry Co Ltd – China

3c. Industry Innovation of the Year – Production Technology
Sahajanand Technologies Pvt Ltd – India
Shenzhen Future Wisdom Jewelry Co Ltd – China

Manufacturer of the Year – Cutting & Polishing – Creativity & Innovation
China Stone Co Ltd – Thailand

Manufacturer of the Year – Jewelry
Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group Ltd – Hong Kong

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – China
DECENT Gold Group Co Ltd – China

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – Countries/Regions outside of China and India
FRANK & co – Indonesia

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – India
H.K. Designs – India

Retailer of the Year
Luk Fook Holdings (International) Limited – Hong Kong
Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company – Vietnam

Sustainability Initiative of the Year
Shenzhen Xingguangda Jewelry Industrial Co Ltd – China

Young Entrepreneur of the Year (age 40 and below)
Abhay Chordia, Ashok Jewels – India
Angelina Lau, SK Jewelry Group – Singapore

Letitia Chow, chairperson of the JNA Awards, and director of business development – Jewelry Group at Informa Markets, said, “Tonight, we are celebrating a milestone in the jewelry and gemstone trade. These companies have demonstrated that with perseverance and forward-thinking, even in times of challenges, our industry can adapt, transform and continue to make positive impacts to the growth of the business. For that, they truly deserve our sincere congratulations and applause.”

Commented on the 2019 JNA Awards, James Courage, one of the principal judges of the awards remarked, “With increased interest in the Awards, the quality and scope of the entries have increased; hence the judges endeavor to follow up with submissions and clarify, where appropriate, on paper and in-person to ensure comprehension and understanding of the joint judging process and a clear insight into each entry.”

Albert Cheng, one of the principal judges of the awards shared, “It was proven to me, during this year’s due diligence visits to the Awards’ entrants, that the passion of the founders and the way they communicate their visions to their customers via their staff and products or services determine the successes of the brands and companies. I am very proud to honor and recognize these successful entrepreneurs through the JNA Awards.”

Kent Wong, managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group remarked, “This year marks the 90th anniversary of Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group, as well as our eighth consecutive year as a Headline Partner of the JNA Awards. Throughout these years, we are honored to have grown with the JNA Awards and witnessed the continuous breakthroughs in the industry.”

Lin Qiang, president & managing director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange and one of the awards judges shared, “With the JNA Awards gaining increasing recognition and influence since its inception, the 2019 JNA Awards has reached an unprecedented high. To be able to stand out as an Honoree among the entrants is no easy feat, and to eventually become a Recipient shows that one is indeed the cream of the crop. All of them have achieved great accomplishments and I am sincerely happy for them.”

Kenneth Scarratt, CEO of DANAT concluded, “It is a tremendous honor for DANAT to be involved with the JNA Awards once again in 2019; a celebration of all that is great with our amazing gem and jewelry industry. Indeed, we are at awe, once again, with the organization that goes into the preparations, the determination that goes into the judging, and the extraordinary quality of the Recipients.”

In addition to Headline Partners Chow Tai Fook, Shanghai Diamond Exchange and DANAT, the JNA Awards is supported by Honored Partners KGK Group, China Gems & Jade Exchange, and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited.

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Jewelers of America Announces Recipient of the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement

It will be held on January 10, 2020.

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Ed Bridge

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, and the GEM Awards Committee have announced that Ed Bridge, chairman emeritus of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Inc., will be the recipient of the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 18th annual GEM Awards on Friday, January 10, 2020, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The GEM Awards gala honors the outstanding achievements of individuals or companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches. Bridge is receiving the 2020 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement for his dedication to Ben Bridge and the jewelry industry throughout the course of his career.

“Ed has undoubtedly increased the professionalism for the jewelry industry. His commitment to his family business is unwavering and his leadership on the boards of so many jewelry industry associations has been immensely appreciated by all those who benefit from his contributions,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “It is a privilege to be able to present this GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement to everyone’s friend, Mr. Ed Bridge.”

Ed Bridge is the Chairman Emeritus of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Inc., a family managed retail jewelry business founded in Seattle in 1912. The company has over 90 stores throughout the Western United States and Canada. Ed was President / Co-CEO from 1990 – 2017 and Chairman / CEO from 2018 – 2019. Ben Bridge Jeweler was sold to Warren Buffett in 2000 and remains part of Berkshire Hathaway. Ed has served on many industry boards, including Jewelers for Children (Past Board Chair), Jewelers of America (Past Board Chair), Jewelers Vigilance Committee & Jewelry Information Center. He was inducted into the National Jeweler “Retailer Hall of Fame” in 2003 and was awarded the American Gem Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, along with the Bridge family.

In addition to the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement, Jeweler of America will be announcing the other GEM Award Nominees soon. For details on GEM Awards, to purchase tickets, or to show your support for Ed Bridge through sponsorships and the GEM Awards Journal, visit www.jewelers.org/gemawards.

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GJEPC Organizes First India-USA Jewelry Buyer-Seller Meet

Over 32 leading jewelry buyers from the US, Germany, UK, Ireland, Spain and New Zealand explore sourcing from Indian jewelry exporters at the meet in Mumbai.

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M(PRESS RELEASE) UMBAI — The first India-US Jewelry Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) was inaugurated by Mr. Colin Shah, vice chairman, Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) along with Mr. Sabyasachi Ray, ED, GJEPC. Leading Indian jewelry exporters interacted with a delegation of over 32 topmost jewelry buyers i.e. 23 from United States and 9 from New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany – comprising a mix of jewelry retailers, wholesalers and distributors as representatives of merchandising/ buying groups and best practice groups of independent retailer jewelers as well as VP merchandising and buyers from large and small regional chains. America is the largest (by value) jewelry market in the world. Over 23 prominent export houses are exhibiting their products at the three-day business matching program.

India’s total exports of gem & jewelry to the US grew 16% to USD 10.48 bn in FY19 from USD 9.064 bn in FY16. Exports to the US (USD 10.48 bn) accounted for 26.3% of the total gem & jewelry exports of USD 39.76 bn in FY19. India’s exports of gold jewelry studded with diamonds to the US were USD 1.37 bn while those of plain gold jewelry and other studded gold jewelry in FY19 were USD 290.62 mn. India’s exports of Cut & Polished diamonds to the US were USD 8.31 bn in FY19 (up 26% from FY16).

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Mr. Pramod Agrawal, chairman, GJPEC said, “We want to introduce American buyers to India, wherein the love for jewelry is as old as existence of jewelry itself and where the ebullient art of jewelry designing and making has left the world spellbound. The fire to create stunning pieces has been honed and passed over the generations. We want US buyers to discover the intrinsically crafted pieces woven out of tales of romance, creativity, heritage, charisma & elegance to say the least. GJEPC’s member exporters will showcase some of the finest contemporary jewelry pieces resonating our country’s forte in curating and crafting fine jewelry.”

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Shah said, “India’s Jewelry exports of around $10 billion is highest compared to the cumulative exports from China, Singapore and Hong Kong to the US market. India offers a value proposition to the US buyers with its unmatched heritage and cultural world class jewelry designs. Craftsmanship, which is the backbone of the Indian Jewelry industry as there are millions of workforce working since generations and they carry forward the exquisite art of Jewelry making. Indian manufacturers adheres to requisite ethical standards, compliances and promotes responsible sourcing of diamonds and jewelry. Members of GJEPC are Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) certified. India is KP chair this year and is active participant along with all the diamond producing nations of KP to source stones from the diamond chain of custody.”

Mr Shah, briefly introduced the Indian jewelry industry to the visitors, and said, “It was about 50 years since the country took its first step into the export market. In these few decades, India has become a significant force in the global arena and today is a bigger jewelry exporter than China, HK and Singapore. He attributed India’s success to its ability to “produce a world class product, offer competitive prices and ensure on schedule deliveries”. The growth of the industry has been facilitated by different initiatives taken up by GJEPC, which ensured an enabling policy framework, international networking opportunities, global promotions as well as development of a skilled workforce.

BSMs have helped Indian companies reach out to new segments. They are an ideal way to connect with the buyers in a focused business setting.

Indian gem and Jewelry manufacturers have been catering to the most demanding customers across the globe. Indian Gem & Jewelry Industry has invested heavily in its 5 million plus workforce and ensured sustainable development through socio-economic benefits such as, medical facilities, employment generation and second-to-none training institutes for workers amongst others. Their ability to satiate any kind of jewelry requirements has amazed the world. This has been possible due to Industry’s willingness to embrace and adopt the latest technology.

The prime activity of GJEPC is to promote the Gem & Jewelry products in the International markets. Over the years, it has been involved in organizing a number of important trade shows held in the country like the India International Jewelry Show (IIJS), IIJS Signature, India Gem & Jewelry Machinery Expo (IGJME). The GJEPC also organizes India Pavilions – participation of a number of companies under the GJEPC banner – at various leading international shows like JCK Las Vegas, Basel, and several others worldwide. Various product-specific Buyer-Seller Meets, sending and hosting trade delegations and sustained image building exercises through advertisements abroad, publications and audio-visuals are some of the other trade promotion activities undertaken by the Council.

Apart from its constant endeavor to develop its gem and jewelry industry through infrastructure and skill development, the Indian industry has been following ethical business practices and complying to world business standards which has made India the ideal destination for sourcing quality gems and jewelry.

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