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Speaker Lineup for Chicago Creating 
Responsible Jewelry Conference Announced

The conference will be preceded on October 24 by a Responsible Gem & Jewelry Boutique.

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Conference CEO and Founder Susan Wheeler (left), with co-organizer Andrea Hill during a recent planning session.

(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO — The agenda for the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is nearly complete, and it promises to be an unprecedented gathering of industry, government, and NGOs; all focused on creating more responsible jewelry supply chains.

The conference will take place on October 25-26, 2019 at Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema at 1104 S. Wabash. Tickets are $350 for both days, or $175 for one-day access. Special rates are available for students, and members of several jewelry industry associations have access to discounts. Press passes are available for verified members of the press.

Some of the highlights of this year’s conference include discussions about deforestation with writer Paul Tullis from National Geographic; a panel on the impacts of illegal gold featuring the FBI, Google Earth, the Enough Project, and the US State Department; an exploration of sustainable pearl mining featuring Enrique Arizmendi of Cortez Pearls; and a presentation by the chiefs of the Amazonian Paiter-Surui Tribe.

The conference will also feature the US premiere of Shadow of Gold, a documentary that investigates the global gold trade from raw material to market, and explores its impact on human lives, economies, and the planet.

Breakout sessions will offer conference attendees opportunities to learn more about the Better Without Mercury initiative, Future US State Department Guidelines on Jewelry Material Sourcing, the Gemstones Glossary Project, and the Diamonds for Peace Project.

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The conference will be preceded on October 24 by a Responsible Gem & Jewelry Boutique. Currently 10 gem and jewelry companies are participating, all offering gemstones with clear provenance and verifiable responsible practices. The Responsible Gem & Jewelry Boutique will take place at 5 S. Wabash building on the 18th floor, from 10AM – 4PM. No tickets are required for this. MJSA will be providing a day of jewelry designer training, co-located with the Boutique. Tickets to that event will be available through MJSA, and will be discounted for Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference attendees.

This conference is the only US gathering (and one of only two international gatherings) that brings people together across the entire jewelry supply chain and engages governments, NGOs, and law-enforcement to discuss challenges and solutions to responsible jewelry supply chains. It has become a launchpad for exciting initiatives and is evolving as a highly engaged community.

To learn more about the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, please visit the website at http://crjc.info/2019.

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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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