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Jewelry Independent Summit Returns to New York

It’s set for Feb. 3.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The Jewelry Independent Summit announces that its third conference will be returning to New York City on Feb. 3.

The Jewelry Independent Summit has gained recognition in the jewelry industry for bridging the gap between “creativity and business” for modern jewelry designers. February’s event will serve as a curated crash-course in all things jewelry for those currently considering or working within the industry.

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While the summit is open to everyone in the business (including editors, retailers and influencers), its chief goal is to provide insight and support as designers turn what they love into something that is marketable and profitable.

During every summit, speakers delve into topics that create the largest learning curves for designers, such as retailing, social media, accounting and branding. When it comes to assembling experts, it’s important to coordinators that the candidates represent the diversity of the market, which is why pioneers like Jade Trau (Designer), Gurki Basra (Barneys Senior Fine Jewelry Buyer), Angela Koh (Senior Market Editor NYT Style Mag) and Nicole Wegman (Ring Concierge) were so important to align with early on.

The summit will take on a new format, with one-on-one discussions rather than group panels. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge they need to chart their own course and make decisions based on facts, not emotions.

The third installment welcomes speakers Stephanie Gottlieb (fine jewelry influencer and bridal consultant), Polly Wales (international fine jewelry designer), Laura Kitsos (owner, Gem Jewelry Boutique), Katherine Jetter (gemstone expert and retailer), Alain Simic (jewelry photographer), Manon Crespi (jewelry editor, Elitetraveler.com), Vincent Perugini (boutique owner, Vincent’s Fine Jewelry), Sofia Ajram (Canadian fine jewelry designer), Mariel Diaz (Accounting for Jewelers founder), Beth Bernstein (author, journalist, consultant), John Massad (associate buyer, fine jewelry, Barneys NYC), Benjamin Guttery (Graduate Gemologist, jewelry consultant, social media pro) and Jessica Goldfond (founder, The Shiny Squirrel PR). Moderators will include fine jewelry consultant and writer Jackie LeBental and former WJA Colorado President and former Senior Retail Buyer for David Yurman Nan Lung Palmer.

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Those in the audience will have an opportunity to network with speakers, and for those who can’t make it on Feb. 3, a streaming option is available.

To date, over 300 jewelry brands, insiders and enthusiasts from China to New Zealand, Houston to Montreal, have registered for this convenient option. Streaming allows registrants to tune in live and/or watch and rewind as many times as they like for up to 30 days after the summit. Audience members receive a link to rewatch also.

Tickets for the summit can be purchased at www.jewelryindependent.com.

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Press Releases

CJDG Announces New President

Judi Powers takes the position.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The executive board of the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group (CJDG) announces that Judi Powers, Judi Powers Jewelry, has become the new president of the association.

Judi takes over from Julie Romanenko, Just Jules Jewelry, who completed her term as president as of June 1, 2019. As she completes her term, Julie says “for the past 3 years, as President of the CJDG, I have the privilege to work with some of the most creative and amazing designers in our industry. I now have a lifelong friend in Marylouise, the director, someone I knew but not well. Working with her was effortless and I am so proud of what we accomplished”.

“When I became President, I wanted to do more than to self promote the group’s talents but also figure out a way to also give back to the industry I have loved for many years. The CJDG Cindy Edelstein Auction was something I am really proud of and hope it continues, after this year’s hiatus. I am looking forward to watching our new President, Judi Powers, move into the position and the amazing things she will accomplish. Thank you to all the members”.

Judi Powers says “what I love most about CJDG is our community. Our members are dynamic, engaged, generous, and fiercely committed to outstanding jewelry design and they push and challenge boundaries in exciting and artful ways. When I became a member, I felt like I’d found my people and it’s that feeling that I hope to engender among our membership during my term as President of the CJDG Executive Board”.

Powers continued: “My goals are to deepen our communication, provide even greater service to our members, and build relevant partnerships that will help our businesses grow and thrive. I’ve got big shoes to fill and I’m honored to be working side by side with Marylouise Lugosch, Erika Winters, Dana Bronfman, and Elizabeth & Jack Gualtieri (Zaffiro Jewelry), as well as past executive board members, as I step into this special role”.

CJDG is a national organization dedicated to the promotion of creative jewelry design and committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethics in business and in design. The CJDG is a non-profit, 501c-3 organization.

For further information, please contact Marylouise Sirignano Lugosch, the executive director, marylouise@cjdg.jewelry

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Press Releases

Royal Chain Launches The Gold Book

This is in response to last year’s 40th Anniversary book.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Royal Chain introduced a new concept, called The Gold Book 2019, and if you are a lover of gold, you will not want to miss this.

The new introduction is in response to last year’s 40th Anniversary book, which took the best new designs for 2018 and put them in a standalone book all by themselves. After an overwhelming response to the presentation, the company decided to continue the story into 2019. Company Vice President of Design and Marketing, Phillip Gabriel Maroof, who conceptualized the book, said “Gold is so versatile, there is so much you can do with it, and it is important for retailers to see how innovative gold artisans can be. This book highlights that in the most relevant way to retailers and consumers alike.”

Indeed the collection is vast in terms of size and also styling and price points. It highlights styles buried deep in the archives, updated classics, fashion trend stories, and designs exclusive from places never before seen. This time, men’s jewelry will also be in focus because of rising interest in the category.

The Gold Book leaves no room for mystery, declaring its status as THE reference for everything gold related.

Royal Chain introduced the collection during Las Vegas Jewelry week and will have it on display throughout the summer show season.

For more information about the new release, visit Royal Chain’s website or call 800.622.0960.

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WDC Urges That Consumers’ Concern for Product Integrity Be Addressed

Kimberley Process considers options for strengthening KPCS.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – As the 2019 Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP) wrapped up on June 21 in the Indian city of Mumbai, WDC President Stephane Fischler expressed confidence that progress has been made in the effort to reach consensus on the review and reform of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). He called on participants to agree on the measures necessary for strengthening the KPCS’s impact, both in improving the lives and prospects of communities in the mining areas, and also in meeting the expectations of consumers in the jewelry markets.

“What is essential is that, together, we send a clear signal to the outside world, including consumers, that the Kimberley Process remains a vitally relevant institution, which is able to evolve and adapt according to changing conditions. This must be the case at the upstream end of the chain of value, as it is at the downstream end,” he stated.

WDC President Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda intervening during a session of 2019 KP Intersessional Meeting in Mumbai, India.

At the same time, said the WDC President, recognition of the need to reform should never detract from the very significant achievements the KP has achieved to date. Indeed, he stated, the WDC itself has been remiss in highlighting that developmental programs for artisanal miners that its members are currently involved in launching in places like Sierra Leone, Guinea, DRC and others would have been impossible were it not for the role of the KPSC in returning peace to these areas.

The WDC remains committed to developing such programs, he said, but they are undermined when acts of violence bring the integrity of the diamond into question. “We will continue to stand on the front lines, highlighting our concerns and advancing and promoting solutions, he said. “To do that, we require the understanding, cooperation and support of all players in the chain of value. If we see consumers turning away, our market share shrinks, revenues fall, and all of us will feel the pain.”

While, as the diamond and jewelry industry’s representative in the tripartite KP the WDC has non-voting observer status, its 11-person team at the KP Intersessional, led by Mr. Fischler and WDC Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda, played key roles in various sessions of the plenary and working groups, and in particular Peter Karakchiev, a WDC Board member from Alrosa, who chairs the Working Group of Diamond Experts (WGDE) and the subcommittee on the creation of a permanent KP Secretariat.

Mr. Karakchiev also organized and moderated a Special Forum at the meeting in Mumbai on June 19, which delved into the promotion of the Diamond Terminology Guidelines that were adopted as KP Best Practices last year. Most speakers in that forum were representatives of WDC member bodies. They included Karla Basselier, of the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC); Sanjay Shah, of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC); David Bouffard of Signet Jewelers; and Elodie Daguzan of Rubel & Ménasché.

The WDC members spoke about efforts being taken by the industry to bridge the expectations of stakeholders in the diamond producing countries and the growing demand by Millennial and Generation Z jewelry buyers that the products they buy have ethical and social value.“We cannot afford to have our competitors in the marketplace using the perceived shortcomings of the Kimberley Process to sell their own products,” said Mr. Bouffard during the Special Forum on diamond terminology.

A second Special Forum on June 19 looked at grass-roots programs being operated in diamond industry communities. It featured Feriel Zerouki, of WDC member De Beers Group, who presented the GemFair initiative in Sierra Leone, which is working to formalize and support artisanal miners in the diamond value chain; and Sabyasachi Ray of GJEPC, who outlined the Swasthya Ratna Policy, a heavily-subsidized health care plan created by his organization for workers in the Indian jewelry sector and their families, which eventually could provide comprehensive coverage to more than 5 million people.

To download a full copy of the WDC President’s speech to the Closing Session of the 2019 KP Intersessional Meeting, please click here.

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