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Brand And Industry News: Tara Pearls To Shift Business Focus; New Online Appraisal Course; More January 08, 2020 (0 comments)


TARA Pearls Announces 2020 Business Change to Benefit Retailers 

New York, NY—TARA Pearls has announced it will be changing up its business strategy effective January 2020. (Left, a golden South Seas pearl necklace.) The company is eliminating its fashion-forward pearl and diamond jewelry categories to focus on the highest-end pearls and pearl jewelry available. To facilitate this move, Tara will be selling off its fashion-forward line at highly discounted prices at both the upcoming Centurion Scottsdale show in from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, and also at the AGTA GemFair Tucson, Feb. 4–9 at the Tucson Convention Center. 

“We will be focusing our strengths on finding the finest pearls on the planet, including conch, Melo, and South Seas, and continuing our classic Japanese Akoya line of pearls,” explains Sonny Sethi, CEO. For retailers, Sethi says this change means deep discounts on both timeless and trendy looks. The extensive closeout merchandise will be priced below cost to move it quickly, and he urges retailers to come early for the best selection. 

“We hope to see you at either event to take advantage of this great opportunity!” he says. Retailers traveling to New York City this weekend for the GEM Awards on January 10 or the 24 Karat Club banquet on January 11 are also invited to visit TARA at its showroom. Appointments are needed for the Showroom and suggested for trade show visits. Contact or call (212) 575-8191 to schedule.


WJA To Launch Marketing Initiative For Female Jewelry Self-Purchase 

New York, NY—The Women’s Jewelry Association has developed a new consumer-facing marketing campaign designed to encourage women to buy fine jewelry for themselves. Named March is Me Month, this first-of-its-kind campaign kicks off March 1 ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, and will run with support from jewelry and watch retailers and brands nationwide. 

Th+6e campaign was developed by over 30 members of WJA Women’s Executive Leadership Forum. One of the Forum’s goals includes building purposeful and strong partnerships across the jewelry and watch industries to prepare for the future of jewelry retail and the rise of the female self-purchaser. One of the initiatives this group of C-suite female jewelry executives developed was this annual nationwide campaign. Its goal is to empower women to celebrate themselves, visit a retail jeweler, and treat themselves to a piece of fine jewelry.   

“The Women’s Jewelry Association is thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with retailers and brands across the industry to bring this campaign to life and to inspire thousands of women to celebrate themselves,” said Jennifer Markas, executive director of WJA. 

Jenny Luker, outgoing WJA international president, added “It’s been a remarkable achievement to bring women leaders representing every facet of our industry together to develop and support this campaign.”

WJA will offer a March is Me Month original logo and several taglines, including a brand guide with appropriate colors for the campaign, for the entire jewelry and watch supply chain to use in their March advertising campaigns. Following research conducted on the concept, the group decided that any fine jewelry product--either presently in showcase or newly developed, as well as a company’s own brand message--can be included with the logo. All marketing materials were created gratis by the Richline Group. 

The only requirement to participate in March is Me Month is to become a WJA corporate member. Current members can receive the materials as part of their corporate membership. All marketing collateral will be available for download on WJA’s website. 

March is Me Month is more than just an opportunity to promote the self-purchasing of fine jewelry; it is about empowering women to have a voice at the table, use that voice, and be a part of the conversation about doing things for ourselves,” said Ramona Genao-Archibald, executive vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing at Richline and the March is Me Month campaign executive leader. “In that vein, the task force behind the campaign does not represent one woman’s or one company’s voice but all of our voices collectively. We hope our efforts will support everyone in the jewelry community and pave the road for others to follow.” 

To participate in March is Me Month, use this link to join WJA as a corporate member: For additional information, please contact Jennifer Markas, WJA Executive Director, at


NAJA Offers Expanded, Updated Online Appraisal Studies Course

Rego Park, NY—The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) is pleased to announce the updated and expanded online Appraisal Studies Course (ASC). The online course makes the curriculum more accessible while offering more varied learning experiences.

Over the course of individual lessons, the ASC material encompasses a wide range of topics from appraisal theory and methodology to jewelry history, with a quiz at the end of each lesson. There are also brief interactive sections within each lesson, as well as supplemental videos and external links to enhance understanding. Students can view and save their progress at every step along the way. They may go back to review previously completed sections as frequently as necessary.

An online studies platform allows updated content for all students in real time. Students are alerted when such content has been added or altered. Students will receive instant results on all quizzes and exams, including feedback as to the correct answers and the locations where those answers may be found in the text.

The Appraisal Studies Course is available to both NAJA members and non-members. To enroll, click here.

NAJA is the largest membership association specializing exclusively in gem and jewelry appraising and related appraisal issues. It offers education and networking opportunities with knowledgeable appraisal professionals. For further information, contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, executive director, at (718) 896.1536, or, or Deborah Finleon, GG, chair of education, at (703)994.9001 or


In Memoriam: Russian Diamantaire Sergey Oulin

Antwerp, Belgium—The World Federation of Diamond Bourses mourns the passing of former member Sergey Oulin, who died December 31 at age 69. Although Oulin retired in 2014, he had previously served as the president of the Diamond Chamber of Russia and former member of the WFDB executive committee.

Born in Moscow in 1950, Oulin graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After serving as the deputy chairman of the USSR Youth Organizations Committee, specializing in world economics and international relations, he became associated with the diamond industry in 1990. From 1990-92, he served as deputy chief of the State Repository for Precious Metals and Gems (Gokhran of Russia). He was appointed vice president of ALROSA in 1995, and remained with that organization until retiring in 2010.

WFDB president Ernie Blom said, “Sergey Oulin was a long-standing colleague at the WFDB and a member of its Executive Committee. He contributed immensely to the growth of the international diamond industry through the years he was associated with the industry, particularly in his role as the vice chairman of the World Diamond Council (WDC) during the early days of the Kimberley Process.”

Oulin was closely associated with the diamond industry in Russia for nearly two decades, holding many different positions of responsibility in industry bodies both within the country and internationally.

“Sergey played a key role in developing the system of checks and balances that ensured that conflict diamonds did not enter the diamond pipeline, and was closely associated with the establishment of the KP mechanism within his country,” Blom added. 

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