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Photographer Annie Griffiths Highlights Forevermark’s Responsible Sourcing Efforts at Philanthropy Summit

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Annie Griffiths at Town & Country’s 2016 Philanthropy Summit

(Press Release)
NEW YORK, NY – Photographer Annie Griffiths shared her first-hand experience of the journey of a Forevermark diamond, highlighting the brand’s conservation efforts and support of the advancement of women at Town & Country’s third annual Philanthropy Summit on May 10. The summit, which took place at the New York Historical Society in New York City, brought together nearly 300 thought leaders, entrepreneurs, entertainers and influencers who are advocates of social change.

Griffiths, who is currently featured in “The T&C 50: The Top Philanthropists of 2016,” shared stories from her recent trip to Africa with Forevermark, where she visited The De Beers Group’s’ Orapa and Venetia diamond mines. There, she documented the wildlife and natural habitats protected at the conservation sites surrounding the mines. She also met several of the women who benefit from a series of enterprise development funds, including De Beers’ Zimele fund beneficiaries Sophia Mphuthi, an entrepreneur who started her own driving school in Kimberley, and Mercy Sithagu, a farmer who provides quality produce for her small village in Nwanedi in South Africa.

"On this trip I realized that there is a connection between diamonds and conservation. I also realized how much diamonds benefit local communities. The best investment anyone can make is in the future of women and girls," Griffiths said during her spotlight presentation.

Griffiths was one of the first women photographers at National Geographic and has photographed in more than 150 countries during her career. In addition to her editorial work, she is committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world. She is the founder and executive director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document the programs that are empowering women and girls throughout the developing world, especially as they deal with the effects of climate change.

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“When we came across Annie Griffiths’ work, we loved the way she captures wildlife and nature and celebrates the beauty of women and their important contribution in local economies. It was the perfect collaboration for celebrating our promise of responsible sourcing,” says Charles Stanley, president of Forevermark US.

Forevermark also debuted its first national responsible sourcing print ad in Town & Country’s June issue focused on philanthropy. The ad is part of the brand’s recently announced responsible sourcing-focused marketing campaign, which will feature print and digital creative, and will also highlight Forevermark’s initiatives that give back to the communities from which its diamonds come. A responsible sourcing toolkit is available to all Forevermark jewelers, enabling them to take advantage of this content in their local campaigns, on jeweler websites, and in-store.

Watch Forevermark’s short film Behind the Lens with Annie Griffiths here.

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New Governors Add Expertise to GIA Board

They will help steer the Institute’s mission and strategic initiatives.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – GIA (Gemological Institute of America) welcomed two new members to the Institute’s Board of Governors at its regularly scheduled meeting in Carlsbad, CA. The new Governors, Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, research geologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and Tammy Storino, a finance and operations executive with experience in global consumer brands, will – with 15 other GIA Governors – help steer the Institute’s mission and strategic initiatives. The board bid farewell to Governor Thomas T. Yang, managing director and partner at PrimeGenesis, who completed his term with nine years of service.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have these two dynamic leaders join the GIA Board of Governors. Their expertise will be an invaluable asset to GIA’s consumer protection mission, helping to ensure that the Institute remains a leader in research and innovation while delivering excellence in education and laboratory services,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO.

Post is the curator-in-charge for the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In addition, during his more than 35 years at the Smithsonian, he served as chairman of the department of mineral sciences and lead curator for the renovation of the geology, gems and minerals exhibit. Before joining the Smithsonian, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of geological sciences at Harvard University. Post’s many accolades include the Carnegie Mineralogical Award, Jewelers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and Mineralogical Society of America Public Service Medal.

Storino has extensive experience as a global operations and finance leader focused on growth and business results in global consumer brands. Her career spans more than 25 years with companies such as Walt Disney in California and Hong Kong, St. John Knits International Inc. and Too Faced Cosmetics. Storino is a Certified Public Accountant and received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University.

The week before the Board meeting, nearly 60 experts – including GIA staff (more than 20 with doctoral degrees); GIA Governors Barbara Dutrow, Jeffrey Post and John Valley, who are all recognized for their academic research; and specialized outside experts – gathered at the Institute’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California, for the 13th annual research meeting. During the three-day meeting, researchers reviewed the latest discoveries in diamonds, colored stones, pearls, laboratory-grown diamonds and instruments. Topics included advances in diamond, colored stone and pearl identification; the scientific matching that supports GIA’s new Diamond Origin Report service; detection of advanced treatments and other aspects of GIA’s extensive research program.

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Jewelry Store Closing After 45 Years in Business

He said he’ll miss his customers who have become members of his extended family.

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(PRESS RELEASE) JOHNSTOWN, PA – Dennis Petimezas recalls a chance visit to a Gordons Jewelry Store in 1974 for a pen refill. He was told about a job opening and agreed to an interview.

“After a “flukishly” successful interview in Houston, I was hired,” said Petimezas, who quickly rose up the ranks into management where he opened and supervised stores in the northeast.

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He decided to branch off on his own, buying Watchmakers Shop in 1975 and renaming it Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry. Despite no signs the business is slowing down, Petimezas said he’s taking a cue from legends including Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld in deciding to retire this year.

“You go out while you’re on top,” said Petimezas, whose store has received a dozen business recognition awards over the years. “It’s 45 a wonderful years – I’m blessed with a booming economy and a positive business trajectory.”

Large Sale in the Works

Shoppers looking for bargains on high-quality jewelry should mark November 7th on their calendars. That’s when Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry will start a huge store-wide retirement sale. Expect to find special deals on jewelry- including engagement rings, anniversary bands, gemstones and estate jewelry.

Interested in Jewelry at an Early Age

Petimezas recalls going to an F.W. Woolworth department store at age 5 in 1955 and buying a 25-cent pair of plastic rose earrings for his mother’s birthday.

“She still has them today and continues to wear them for special occasions,” he said of his mother May, who is 100 years old.

As a child, he always had an interest in plastic rings and jewelry and also collected rocks when he was young. He would later embark on a career where certain kinds of rocks¬–the ones that have diamonds–are prized, and his journeys for them took him to 4 continents.

Building a Career That Values Customers

As an adult just starting out in the business, a meeting in 1974 with the late Harry B. Gordon, son of the founder of Gordon’s Jewelers, would leave a lasting impression.

“He said ‘jewelry is the only thing you can give that conveys an emotion, you can wear it and it has continuing value.’ Think about the last gift you received that hit all those key values.”

Petimezas was also struck by Gordon’s affable, unassuming demeanor. At one point Gordon told him he could sit in his chair and put his feet up on his desk during some light-hearted banter in his office.

“I was so impressed by him,” Petimezas said. Petimezas himself would devote his career to providing excellent customer service with a smile, and treating everyone with respect no matter their station in life.

“A boy who’s 16 or 17 years old and wants to get his prom date something, well that’s the most important piece of jewelry in the world to him,” he said. “To somebody who is celebrating his 60th anniversary and has an unlimited budget, that’s an important piece of jewelry for him as well. At my store, my staff and I are going to give them the same level of friendly, quality customer service.”

Fostering a warm and inviting atmosphere has helped Petimezas and his devoted staff develop a growing pool of loyal customers.

“The staff–my business partners as I call them–have been with me for 25 and 30 years with some even longer,” he said. “It’s the same faces, the same people, and customers love that. And I think what people who have never bought here will find is a wealth of experience and people who enjoy what they’re doing because that’s all they’ve done for their entire career.”

Thanks to a steadily growing number of customers, Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry was running out of space. In 2002, Petimezas relocated from The Galleria Mall to its current location on Scalp Avenue: A free-standing commercial building that’s triple in size.

Giving Back

Petimezas has given to a variety of causes over the years, including contributing toward Reverend Sam Childers’ work with orphans in the Sudan. He’s struck up friendship with the former gang biker, otherwise known as the “machine gun preacher.” A movie about his life was made in 2011.

“He does a lot of good work in the Sudan resisting the insurgents, building orphanages, and rescuing children conscripted into the rebel army” he said. “I try to help when I can, and plan to visit him there after this last Christmas season”.

Setting a New Chapter in His Life

Petimezas is exploring his options in retirement while his wife Dee Dee, who he met in 1996 plans to continue operating her beauty salon and enjoying their two children, a safety engineer and an RN emergency room nurse.

“This has been a great year,” “I turned 69 this year, and it was time to execute a plan we had in the works for several years. Go out while you’re on top and pursue whatever endeavors are there”.

He said he’ll miss his customers who have become members of his extended family.

“I’m grateful to the entire community of Johnstown whose support has made our success possible,” he said. “And a great thanks to my loyal and dedicated staff for their long tenures and hard work which made everything happen. They became part of my family.”

Want to go?

  • What: Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry Retirement Sale
  • When: Begins November 7th, 2019
  • Where: 1252 Scalp Ave., Suite 2, Johnstown, Pa. 15904
  • Store hours: 10am. to 6:00pm. Monday through Saturday. After Thanksgiving open Sundays too, 12 to 5pm.
  • More info.: Visit mywatchmakers.com, call 814-266-9653 or email mywatchmakers@gmail.com Follow on Facebook
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Take the Risk Out of Buying Diamonds and Finished Jewelry for Stock with GN Diamond’s 100% Guarantee

Stores that buy for stock sell 60% more than stores who do not.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Welcome to GN Diamond’s new 100% guarantee when buying diamonds and finished jewelry for stock. GN Diamond recognizes that retailers may sometimes be reluctant to buy loose diamonds for stock. Why buy when I can get diamonds on memo? While this may be true, it is also true that 80% of end consumers want to buy diamonds and diamond jewelry the same day they shop. It is also said that sometimes the diamonds that are left on long term memo may not always be fast sellers nor the cream of the crop. It is, therefore, critical that retailers make sure all of their “bread and butter” holes are filled in especially during the holiday season. With GN Diamond’s new 100% trade in policy customers may now feel comfortable buying diamonds for stock – if any do not sell they be switched out for other diamonds that may have a higher turnover percentage. The same holds true for finished jewelry.

Visit them 24/7 at www.gndiamond.com. Email at sales@gndiamond.com or call at (800) 724-8810. They are open 7 days a week with free shipping.

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