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Victor Velyan Incorporates Greenland Rubies Into His Eponymous Collection of Jewelry

He is inspired by gemstones’ origins and longevity.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LOS ANGELES — Celebrated artist, Victor Velyan, is incorporating rubies from Greenland into his prolific collection of fine jewelry. Greenlandic rubies and pink sapphires are thought to be nearly 3 billion years old, which is at least twice as old as other deposits, and for Velyan, this was part of their appeal, “Whenever I’m designing with gemstones, I’m mindful of the source of the stone,” explains Velyan about his design process. “The fact that these are the oldest corundum available was very exciting to me. And the visual contrast of these deep, blood-red stones and the stark white glaciers under which they’re created filled me with inspiration; I knew I wanted to develop collections that feature these unique gems.”

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When European scientists embarked on Greenland over 200 years ago, they found that the native population was intimately familiar with these pink and red stones. It wasn’t until 1966 that the first official geological survey was conducted, and gem quality ruby was recorded on a small island in a lake, now known as Ruby Island. Greenland Ruby A/S officially opened its mining operation in May of 2017, and quickly sought preferred partners with whom to work, including an exclusive list of world-recognized designers.

“When we first began discussing our strategy for bringing these incredible gems to market, we were immediately intrigued by the possibility of working with some hand-selected designers who we were confident could do the stones justice,” said Hayley Henning, V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Greenland Ruby. “With Victor’s bold and edgy designs, coupled with his proprietary metallurgical techniques, we knew he’d come up with designs that really highlight the unique beauty specific to the Greenlandic rubies; the designs he’s created with our gems have exceeded our expectations, and we’re excited to see what else is on the horizon!”

To date, Velyan has created an earring, ring and cuff suite with Greenland rubies. These deeply red stones are all cabochon cut, set in 18k gold and accented with white diamonds, an homage to the visual contrast that initially attracted Velyan to the stones. The artists plans to continue to utilize these rare gems in several future designs but, as with all of his work, it is difficult for Velyan to put a timeline on his creations. “I really have to live with stones for a while and let them tell me what they want to become,” he elaborates. “Finding inspiration within these particular stones is not difficult however, every time I touch them, my mind immediately travels to the utter beauty of extreme arctic conditions and my creativity just flows!”

For more information about Victor Velyan’s work with Greenland Rubies, or to obtain high-resolution images, please contact Michelle Orman at (646) 302-5521 or via email at Michelle@LastWordComm.com.

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Press Releases

Chairman Elected for JSA Board

He is replacing Stewart Wicht of Rolex.

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Steven Kaiser

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – On Jan. 12, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance held its annual meeting and luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in New York for 170 supporters, law enforcement personnel and industry leaders. At the luncheon it was announced that Steven Kaiser of Kaiser Time had been elected chairperson of JSA for a three-year term, replacing Stewart Wicht of Rolex, who had completed his term.

John Kennedy, president of JSA , began the luncheon with a moment of silence for Helen Buck, who worked for JSA for 37 years and passed away in October 2018, and a moment of silence for the one jeweler who was killed in the U.S. in 2018 during a
robbery.

Kennedy said that in contrast to one jeweler killed in 2018, there were 37 U.S. jewelers killed in 1992, indicating a remarkable decline. He also said that in almost every year since 2000 the total dollar losses from crime against the U.S. jewelry industry hit new lows. He attributed this decline to a powerful War on Jewelry Crime that JSA has helped organize, encourage and promote, and which now includes a network of 3,000 law enforcement personnel and broad representation of the jewelry industry.

He stated that JSA’s network of over 21,000 industry members and supporters extended from the behemoths of the industry like Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., GIA, JCK, Rolex and Signet, to manufacturers, chains, independents, security firms and mom-and-pop jewelers coast-to-coast.

Newly elected to the JSA Board was Alan Zimmer, CEO of Reeds Jewelers, a chain of 60 fine jewelry stores. Re-elected to three-year terms were: Patti Geo lat of the Geolat Cos.; Chris Hackler of Signet Jewelers; Mark Smelzer of JCK; and David Tearle of GIA. Continuing in their terms on the JSA Board are: Chad Berg of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; David Bonaparte of Jewelers of America; Marc Green of Lux, Bond & Green; Adam Heyman of Oscar Heyman & Bros.; David Sexton of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.; Mark Udell of London Jewelers; Stewart Wicht of Rolex; and Stanley Zale of Stuller.

At the luncheon, JSA presented the Annual Industry Service Award s to Michelle Graff, editor-in-chief of National Jeweler; and Rob Bates, news director of JCK.

Kennedy said that these two journalists had made a valuable contribution to the security of the jewelry industry by helping spread JSA’s information and advice to a wide audience.

JSA also presented the Annual James B. White Law Enforcement Awards to three officers with the Paramus, NJ, Police Department: Deputy Chief Robert M. Guidetti, Detective Lieutenant Frank Scott and Detective Nicholas Luciano. Kennedy stated that these officers had provided valuable service to the jewelry industry by investigating and arresting numerous suspects in over 100 crimes against jewelers totaling millions of dollars.

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Press Releases

GIA Alum Craig Danforth to Join Jewelers Mutual team

He will work closely with the leadership team.

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Craig Danforth

(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI – Craig Selimotic Danforth will join the leadership team of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group on Monday, January 28, assuming the role of vice president of client solutions.

Danforth has 25-plus years of sales, business development, marketing, training, and finance experience, most recently demonstrated as Director, Global Business and Development at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

“Craig’s experience in the industry makes him an ideal candidate for this role,” said Mike Alexander, senior vice president of commercial lines. “We will work together to enhance our current offerings and develop new opportunities to strengthen and grow the jewelry industry.”

As part of the Jewelers Mutual team, Danforth will work closely with the leadership team to shape the foundation, priorities, and vision of our key initiatives. His experiences at upcoming industry events and trade shows will offer Jewelers Mutual insights to further develop our core offerings and expand our emerging businesses.

Prior to his 10 years at GIA, Danforth held management roles at Cartier, David Yurman, and Ermenegildo Zegna.

Danforth completed his BA at Hamilton College, his MBA at ESSEC Business School in France, and has several diplomas from GIA including Graduate Diamonds, Graduate Pearls, and Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP).

He is on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA), a member of Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California, and also serves on the 24 Karat Club of Southeastern US’s scholarship committee.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group is seeking skilled and experienced employees to fill a variety of roles within the company. For a full list of employment opportunities, visit jewelersmutual.com/careers.

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Press Releases

Picchiotti Expands U.S. Team with Former Retail Executive Mark Mazzarese

He will help extend the Picchiotti presence across North America.

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                      Mark Mazzarese

(PRESS RELEASE) VALENZA, ITALY – Valenza based Italian jewelry brand Picchiotti is expanding its U.S. team effective February 1st with the addition of former retail executive Mark A. Mazzarese. Building upon the success of its patent-pending Xpandable Collection and its one-of-a-kind gemstone classics, Picchiotti will commence its 52nd year in business with the addition of a second U.S. sales representative. Mazzarese will join U.S. Chief Agent Barry Meyrowitz to help extend the Picchiotti presence across North America.

“My family and I are delighted to welcome Mark to the Picchiotti team,” says President and Founder Giuseppe Picchiotti. “His unique expertise and leadership skills, coupled with his lengthy experience in the fine jewelry industry, ensure that he will grow our business with the standard of excellence and customer service for which our brand is known.”

Mazzarese comes to Picchiotti with a life-long history of excellence and passion in the fine jewelry industry. A nationally recognized retail jewelry executive, he served as President of Mazzarese Fine Jewelry in Kansas City from 1998 to 2017. He has also served on the boards of such prestigious organizations as the FBI Citizens Academy and the Kansas City Zoo. He is a member of the Centurion Leadership Program of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Leawood Chamber of Commerce. Mark will bring a unique customer-service and retail-oriented approach to his work with Picchiotti and will take responsibility for the western portion of North America.

Mazzarese is a graduate of the University of Kansas and an alumnus of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Mazzarese or the Picchiottis, please contact Maria Carola Picchiotti (mariacarola@Picchiotti.it) or Luxury Brand Group (duvall@luxbrandgroup.com).

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