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WJA Announces 2019 Awards for Excellence Honorees

Annual gala set for Monday, July 29, during New York’s summer jewelry trade show week.

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Stellene Volandes, Mark Hanna, Carol Pennelli

(PRESS RELEASE) The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has announced its 2019 honorees for the association’s annual Awards for Excellence gala, to be held Monday, July 29, 2019. The gala will once again take place at Pier 60 on the Chelsea Piers in New York City, and will continue its new Visionary format and event design for the second year.

“The Visionary Awards’ revamped program was an incredible success for WJA last year and we’re thrilled to continue this new tradition with our truly remarkable honorees in 2019,” said Jenny Luker, WJA board president. “Our Visionary Awards will go to women who have been trailblazers and the driving forces of leadership in their companies. Our Cindy Edelstein Mentorship Award will go to a man who provides exemplary support and mentorship to women.”

The two individual WJA Visionary Awards will be bestowed on Carol Pennelli, president, David Yurman; and Stellene Volandes, editor in chief, Town & Country magazine. Previous Visionary Award recipients are Mercedes Abramo, Cartier; Caryl Capeci, Hearts On Fire; Nadja Swarovski, Swarovski; and the partnership between De Beers Group & UN Women.

Mark Hanna, chief marketing officer, Richline Group, will be presented with the Cindy Edelstein Mentorship Award. Hanna is the fourth recipient of the award which was established in 2016 after the passing of Cindy Edelstein, a longtime WJA member who dedicated her life’s work to the development, encouragement, and enrichment of the lives of women in the jewelry industry. This is the first time the award recipient has been announced before the event. Previous winners of the mentorship award are Bev Hori (2018), Peggy Jo Donahue (2017), and Cindy Edelstein (posthumously in 2016).

Pennelli is the president of David Yurman, overseeing all functions outside of design and creative. She reports directly to David Yurman, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the brand. Pennelli joined the company in 2002 as chief commercial officer, where she oversaw all aspects of David Yurman’s commercial channels, profit and loss, and general performance, including retail, wholesale, digital, and outlet businesses. Prior to joining David Yurman, she served as senior vice president of sales, education, and global special events at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

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Volandes was named editor-in-chief of Town & Country magazine in 2016. Before her appointment, Volandes had been style director at the magazine since March 2012, and before that she was jewelry & accessories director. Previous to her work at Town & Country, Volandes was style editor for Departures magazine starting in 2003. Volandes is a graduate of Vassar College, and holds a master’s degree in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. Her book, “Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design,” was published in 2016 by Rizzoli.

Hanna is chief marketing officer of Richline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. He chairs Berkshire Hathaway’s Sustainability Leadership Committee and is an active speaker and advocate on responsible issues at events such as the UL Responsible Sourcing Summit, MJSA Expo, Pure Earth, and the Jewelry Industry Summit. He serves on various boards including the Mercury-Free Mining Challenge, the Responsible Jewellery Council, the Special Olympics, and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. The CMO Club named Hanna the 2015 and 2018 CMO of Year, Corporate Social Responsibility.

“WJA congratulates our honorees for their distinguished achievements. The elevated event experience we’ve been able to present through the Visionary Awards program runs parallel with the strides WJA is making programmatically for its members. We’re leading the charge for progress in areas that matter most to women in the industry: mentorship, gender equality, financial support through scholarships and grants, and making connections,” said WJA Executive Director Bernadette Mack.

At its annual Awards for Excellence gala, WJA brings together industry leaders for a social evening that also raises money for its scholarships and grants for women. A silent auction will again be mounted to raise additional funds for these important causes. Sponsorships for the gala are currently available. Please contact WJA Executive Director Bernadette McGovern Mack at: bernadette@womensjewelryassociation.com. Tickets to the awards gala will go on sale later this month.

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Vibrant Gemstones Make a Splash in Gems & Gemology

Summer issue features chart of inclusions in natural, treated, imitation and laboratory-grown opal.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – Dive into the Summer 2019 Gems & Gemology (G&G), GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) quarterly professional journal, for insights into Mozambique ruby, Madagascar sapphire, black nephrite from China, pearls and opal inclusions. The latest G&G is available in print by subscription and in the GIA Store, and digitally – at no cost – on GIA.edu.

GIA field gemologist Wim Vertriest and senior manager of identification Sudarat Saeseaw open the issue with a review of ruby from Mozambique that explores a decade of production, distribution, gemological characterization and the most common treatment processes applied to material from this locality. Billie Hughes of Lotus Gemology and Rosey Perkins with Fura Gems present their findings of low-temperature heat treatment experiments on sapphire from Madagascar and the means for separating unheated from heated stones. Also, lead author and PhD student of mineralogy at Tongji University Qian Zhong shares the study of black nephrite jade from Guangxi, southern China that appears to be part of a large-scale jade formation belt in the region.

Pearls are the focus in two of the articles in the summer issue. Jean-Pierre Gauthier from the Gemological Research Center of Nantes and his coauthors characterize “flame structure” in 37 pearls from bivalves of the Tridacnidae family that revealed evidence of rotation during growth. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, and GIA’s New York and Bangkok laboratories share a pearl identification challenge, where two pearls could not be positively identified at any of these gemological laboratories.

In the final feature, GIA manager of colored stone identification Nathan Renfro and coauthors present a large and colorful opal inclusions chart that is also available as a laminated wall chart from the GIA Store online. Lab Notes includes a rough diamond with fake green “radiation stains,” a study on the separation of kornerupine and prismatine, and the first report of a color-change spessartine garnet examined by GIA.

The issue is rounded out with the regularly occurring features G&G Micro-World, Diamonds from the Deep and Gem News International.

This and every issue of G&G since 1934, including full articles, lab notes, photo galleries and exclusive video footage, is available at no cost on GIA’s website GIA.edu/gems-gemology.

Additional research articles are available at GIA.edu/gia-news-research.

Print subscriptions and copies of back issues are available at http://store.gia.edu/.

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Jewel-Craft Announces RJO Award for “Vendor of the Year”

Award comes less than one year after Jewel-Craft completed a very large expansion of their facility.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ERLANGER, KY – Jewel-Craft Inc, industry leaders in jewelry repair and manufacturing, have been named Vendor of the Year by RJO in the category of “Service/Specialty Goods.” The award comes less than one year after Jewel-Craft completed a very large expansion of their facility, introducing new technology, improved workflow efficiencies and new workspaces for their employees. Jewel-Craft is a proud member of RJO and the award comes as a true surprise. The RJO awards are selected by the retail membership and are given to draw attention to and award outstanding members for excellence in sales, service and support. This marks the second time in ten years Jewel-Craft has been given this recognition from RJO, the first being in 2009.

“We’re surrounded by the best in the industry in our category and we’re humbled to be among them. To win is just so exciting!” says Stefanie Wesdorp Hatfield of the Jewel-Craft founding family.

Jewel-Craft is not only proud to have won the award, but they are also proud of the independent jewelers who have contributed so much to their success. Their customers are more than just an important part of their business, they’re part of the family.

Although Jewel-Craft is known for jewelry repair and manufacturing, additional services also include setting, sizing, casting, appraisals, restringing, and more.

For more information about Jewel-Craft, Inc. or the company’s 70 plus year history, visit www.jewel-craft.com or call 859-282-2400 or 800-525-5482.

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Press Releases

GIA Jewelry Career Fair and Open House Returns to Carlsbad

It happens Friday, Oct. 11.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – Professionals and visitors looking to delve into the world of gems and jewelry are welcome to visit the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) World Headquarters in Carlsbad, California on Friday, Oct. 11, for the GIA Jewelry Career Fair and Open House. This free event has something for everyone – lively panel discussions, career coaching and recruiting for people new to the industry and professionals looking for a career change; classroom demonstrations for aspiring gemologists, jewelers and jewelry designers; and unique museum exhibits for anyone captivated by the splendor and beauty of gems. GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair and Open House is the one time of year when the public can visit without a prior appointment from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information and to register, visit GIA.edu/career-fair-carlsbad-day-at-a-glance.

The event kicks off with inspiring panel discussions featuring notable gem and jewelry leaders:

  • Job Success in Today’s Market 8:45-10:00 a.m.
    Moderated by Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA. Panelists include Mitchell Binder, King Baby; Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers; Douglas K. Hucker, American Gem Trade Association (AGTA); and Meghan Simmons, Omi Privé.
  • Creative Careers 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    Moderated by Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine and JCKonline.com. The conversation will focus on unique careers by panelists Baba Blumkin, Luxe Jewelry and Loan; Wade Clar, Julez Bryant; Alexandra Hart, Alexandra Hart; and Jenny Luker, Platinum Guild International USA.

Job seekers can connect with recruiters from all over the country who represent local and global brands – including Brilliant Earth, The Real Real and Diamonds Direct – looking for top talent in all areas of the industry. Employers interest in recruiting at this year’s event can sign-up atGIAevents.eventsair.com/career-fair-carlsbad/recruiter-registration/Site/Register.

Open house guests are invited to explore the many beautiful museum exhibits featuring more than 1,000 pieces – the newest exhibit, Jewels of Hollywood, showcases pieces linked to Hollywood royalty of decades past – and to visit the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center, the world’s largest for gem and jewelry, which includes the Cartier Rare Book Repository. There will also be classroom demonstrations of the many education courses offered on campus and the GemKids program that offers students ages 9 to 12 an engaging introduction into gemology.

GIA hosted its first Jewelry Career Fair in 1991 in Santa Monica, California, U.S. Since then, the event has expanded, linking gem and jewelry companies with future employees at more than 68 events in California, India, Las Vegas, London and New York. Follow @GIANews #JewelryJobs for updates.

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