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At a catwalk held by family-owned jeweler Le Vian on June 2 in Las Vegas, a billionaire and a waiter became the unexpected stars of the show.

At the company’s 20th anniversary Chocolate Diamonds catwalk fundraiser, Le Vian CEO Eddie LeVian announced that his company would be matching donations for children’s and cancer charities up to $175,000. One donor pledged the full $175,000.

LeVian then invited other smaller donations which came from the floor, with each donor being gifted a balloon and a rose as a thank you.

A waiter, whom the Daily Mail identified as Diego Mario Galietti, suddenly took the roving microphone. Through tears, he explained that he was a single dad and pledged $200 in honor of his father, Luis DaSilva, who had died of cancer at age 55, and in honor of his daughter, who is 7. The 500-strong audience erupted into a standing ovation.

The total raised for charities on the night was $450,000, with Le Vian and a billionaire donor ultimately both raising their donations to $200,000 each.

The billionaire top donor has now offered the waiter a job in his property company. The billionaire donor himself was orphaned at a young age and built himself up from troubled beginnings to become a plumber, a builder and now a property mogul in the U.S. market.

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Charities supported by the fundraiser were Jewelers for Children, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Rafa Foundation.

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Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Scarlett Johansson Shows Off Distinctive Engagement Ring

She’s engaged to Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live fame.

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Scarlett Johansson

Actress Scarlett Johansson unveiled her eye-catching new engagement ring recently at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA.

British Vogue described it as “a jaw-dropping yellow pear-shaped stone on a black band.”

There’s no word on how much the ring might have cost.

The name of the designer also hasn’t been revealed, but Vogue noted that the sparkler looks remarkably like one featured late last month on the Instagram feed of New York-based Taffin (see below). That brand was founded by French designer James de Givenchy.

The ring appeared with the description “11 cts light brown diamond, type 2A.”

Johansson, 34, was at Comic-Con in support of her upcoming movie Black Widow. She is engaged to Saturday Night Live star and writer Colin Jost.

 

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11 cts light brown diamond, type 2A.

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This Strange Jewelry Thwarts Facial-Recognition Technology

It managed to confound Facebook’s algorithms.

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It can be a bit unsettling when Facebook recognizes the people in your photos and makes tag suggestions.

It’s as if no one can escape the social media platform’s knowing eye.

But Ewa Nowak, co-founder of the industrial design firm NOMA, might have a way to fly under the radar, Fast Company reports.

A concept she describes as “face jewelry” includes “two brass circles that hang down from the cheekbones and an additional long piece of brass that stretches up the forehead,” according to Fast Company. You wear it from your ears like eyeglasses.

The jewelry managed to  confound Facebook’s algorithms when Nowak uploaded photos to a gallery on the site.

For now, Nowak views the design as art rather than a product. In fact, the work, which recently earned the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival, can be thought of as a statement.

Nowak, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, submitted the face jewelry for an exhibition at the national museum in China. Although a couple of her other projects made the cut, this one did not.

“After two weeks, a reply came that they can’t accept it for political reasons,” she told Fast Company. “It was a very firm refusal.”

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135 US Jewelry Retailers Closed in the Second Quarter

The pace of closures has slowed recently.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reported that 135 U.S. jewelry retailers closed their doors in the second quarter of 2019.

That number represented a decrease from 195 closings in the second quarter of 2018.

The total included 105 retailers in the category of “ceased operations” as well as 24 “consolidations (sale/merger)” and six bankruptcies.

The total number of U.S. jewelry businesses that closed, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 185. That was a decrease from 234 in the second quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, JBT reported that 56 new retailers opened their doors in the U.S., down from 63 in the second quarter of 2018.

The total number of new jewelry businesses, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 68. That was down from 71 new businesses in the year-ago quarter.

JBT listed a total of 18,893 jewelry retailers in the U.S. as of the second quarter of 2019, down from 19,357 in the same quarter a year ago.

The group listed 24,966 jewelry businesses in all, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. That was down from 25,607 in the second quarter of 2018.

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