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Retail Jeweler’s Organization’s Synergy Shines in Schaumburg

It enjoys record-breaking sales and launches exclusive new products and programs.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SCHAUMBURG, IL — The Retail Jewelers Organization held its 2019 Summer Celebration Buying Show in Schaumburg, Illinois this July.

More than 1100 retail members and vendors attended the four-day event. The Summer Buying Show was highlighted by educational opportunities, multiple awards, valuable networking connections and record-breaking sales. Educational Seminars included industry experts such as David Geller JewelerProfit, Grant Mobley, Diamond Producers Association, Kate Peterson, Performance Concepts, and Matthew Ego, Guild and Facet. Keynote speaker and NCAA Referee Randy Fox inspired and motivated RJO members to get off the sidelines and enjoy the game.

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“Every year there is much anticipation for our buying shows,” says RJO CEO Sarah Streb. “Each person has a different goal for their buying show experience. Through educational programming, networking opportunities and our incredible partnerships we truly hope we help our attendees meet those goals. The synergy created when our members and vendors come together gives us fuel to continue to raise the bar of excellence in our industry and I think that is what makes RJO so incredible.”

One of the beneficiaries of this synergy was The RJO Foundation. Through fundraising efforts including a bags tournament, chocolate sales, t-shirts and the “Fill Your Bucket” campaign, RJO members raised nearly $4,000 to support the RJO Foundation. “We are thrilled so many members generously gave to an organization that supports industry advancement through education,” says Mike Pribyl, president of the RJO Foundation.

RJO also launched two new exclusive programs to the retail membership in Schaumburg. In partnership with IDD, RJO proudly announced the launch of the RJO exclusive diamond, Legacy 81. With 81 facets, Legacy 81 is a distinctive diamond allowing the independent retailer to differentiate themselves in their marketplace. “We chose RJO for this partnership primarily because of our shared values. Both RJO and IDD work extremely hard to provide assets that will empower retailers to reach maximum success. Additionally, having over 1000 retail members, RJO offered the best platform in the industry to distribute this extraordinary diamond. Having partnered with RJO for over a decade, we know RJO is very much about offering their membership programs tailored for them. They worked hand in hand with us to customize a marketing package that will meet the specific needs of the RJO retailer,” stated Alok Mehta, president of IDD.

The exclusive RJO platform, Repair.Jewelry, was also launched in Schaumburg. RJO retailers were given exclusive access to a platform created as a direct response to online systems promoting jewelry repair service direct to consumer (DTC). These current systems create a direct and immediate threat to jewelry store owners and platform creator Andrew Boundy, VRB Internet Solutions, wanted to find a way to combat this threat for the independent retailer. In partnership with RJO Vendor of the Year winner in the Service/Specialty Goods category, Jewel-Craft, Inc., Boundy states, “Repair.Jewery takes the online repair shoppers and points them to their local RJO store instead of an online facility. We promote the advantages of the physical store model, places for repair, quick connections, estimates and more.” The system is free to the consumer and subscription-based for all RJO retail stores.

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RJO’s Vendor of The Year awards, were also presented in the following categories: Loose Goods- RDI Diamonds Inc, Watches/Clocks- Citizen, Service and Specialty Goods- Jewel-Craft, Inc. The Finished Goods category produced a three-way tie between Diamond Expressions, Allison-Kaufman, and Stuller. “These awards are selected and voted on by the retail members themselves. We truly have an incredible group of the industry’s best vendors and are always thrilled to recognize the service and support they provide to our members.” said Streb. A very special RJO Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Eugene “Jiggs” Jorgenson, from Box Brokers acknowledging his contributions to RJO and the industry.

With the success of the 2019 Summer Buying Show, the RJO staff is already working on the 2020 Winter Buying Show in January to take place in Houston, Texas. According to Streb, “RJO is continually building momentum, but we aren’t resting on our laurels. We will continue to listen to the needs of our members, support the partnerships we have created with our vendors and work hard every day to build upon our success.”

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Press Releases

NAJA Offers Scholarship for Gemology Students

Deadline for submission is November 1, 2019.

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The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) announces that it will award an ACE It Appraisal Conference Scholarship to a deserving gemology student. NAJA invites GIA, FGA, FGAA, FGG, FCGmA, RGA students to apply for this scholarship for the 53rd Annual ACE It Winter Educational Conference scheduled on February 2 – 3, 2020 in Tucson AZ.

This opportunity gives the gemology student a first hand experience of networking with appraisal professionals by attending the highly regarded NAJA educational experience during a time when Tucson devotes itself to gems, jewelry, and minerals. The scholarship, which covers the conference fee only, requires a resume, photo and an essay explaining the reason why the gemology student would choose to become a gems and jewelry appraiser. NAJA believes that becoming a gems and jewelry professional appraiser is a viable career option for gemological students.

Applications can be obtained at http://najaappraisers.com/ScholarshipApp2019.pdf. Deadline for submission is November 1, 2019 and the final selection by the NAJA Scholarship Advisory Board will be announced December 1, 2019.

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Press Releases

CIBJO Releases Marketing and Education Special Report, Analyzes ‘Next Great Jewelry-Buying Generation’

Generation Z ‘is coming to our markets very soon if it has not already arrived in reality.’

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With fewer than 10 weeks to go until the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on Nov. 18, the first of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Marketing & Education Commission, headed by Jonathan Kendall, the report returns to what has been defined as the next great jewelry-consuming group, Generation Z, providing a breakdown of what the industry needs to consider if it is to ensure that jewelry remains a favored purchase.

Generation Z refers to consumers who currently are 15 to 25 years of age.

“Gen Z is coming to our markets very soon if it has not already arrived in reality,” writes Kendall. “Its members are forecast to spend a whopping $143 billion this year alone. So we better get them on our side if we want to enjoy a rosy future. In fact, the future success of the jewelry industry will depend on our understanding the needs and wants of Generation Z. Get this right and we can all look forward to strong profitable years moving forward. Get it wrong and we could be destined for the scrap heap – not overnight maybe, but ultimately.”

Communicating largely via social media, Generation Z is more environmentally conscious and gender neutral than any generation that preceded it, studies show. It celebrates authenticity, diversity and human imperfection. It is more likely to heed the advice of a friend rather than a celebrity.

“Gen Z is prepared to splurge, but it must be worth it. The more added value the better, and that can come from its environmental credentials or its social value,” says Kendall.

To download a copy of the CIBJO Market & Education Commission’s special report, click here.

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Press Releases

Gem Legacy Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

It launched in September 2018.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROYAL OAK, MI – Gem Legacy is celebrating the successes of its 1 year anniversary after launching in September 2018 by founder Roger Dery. Gem Legacy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit supporting education, vocational training, and local economies in East African colored gemstone mining communities.

The first year has boasted many successes, thanks to industry partners and donors. Roger Dery, founder and executive director of Gem Legacy looks back on the first year: “Lives are deeply affected because we’re ensuring that a group of widowed miners will find Tsavorite Garnet, 28 orphans will get a full education, kids are getting full nights of sleep on new mattresses, and young adults are entering the gem industry with knowledge in gemology and gem faceting. They have hope because we, the jewelry industry, are saying ‘we see you and we believe in you.’”

Other highlights from Gem Legacy’s first year include the formation of its advisory board (Christina Clover-Field, Ben Smithee, and Monica Stephenson) and its Leadership Council (Omi Gems and Parle Jewelry Designs). The leadership council is growing to be a consortium of the industry’s top leaders dedicated to sharing Gem Legacy’s mission and activating a united industry-wide effort to support the mining communities in Africa.

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