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 World Gold Council Names Sally Morrison To Executive PR Post

New York, NY—The World Gold Council announces the appointment of Sally Morrison, left, to a newly created position as head of jewelry public relations. She will report directly to David Lamb, managing director of jewelry for the World Gold Council, headquartered in London. Morrison will be based in the Council’s New York office.

Morrison’s career spans more than 25 years in luxury, fashion, and entertainment, most recently the chief marketing officer of Forevermark, where she developed and implemented the strategic communications plan to launch the brand in the United States. Prior to that, she was a senior vice president at J. Walter Thompson, heading the Diamond Information Center, and also worked with the late Elizabeth Taylor and held an executive position with Miramax Studios.

Morrison will drive the World Gold Council’s vision and priorities for PR activity within the U.S. jewelry market.

“The goal of the World Gold Council is to reinvigorate and reinforce gold as the ultimate expression of preciousness,” said Lamb. “We are delighted to welcome Sally to the organization. She will be a vital part of our mission to realize this vision.”

Morrison also is deeply committed to a variety of social issues and has a special aptitude for drawing high-profile talent to support non-profit causes. One of her most distinguished partnerships was with Elizabeth Taylor on behalf of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR). While at JWT, together with musician/entrepreneur Russell Simmons, she was instrumental in the founding of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, which funds education initiatives in diamond-producing nations in Africa. She still sits on the DEF governing board.

“The opportunity to work with the World Gold Council was irresistible,” says Morrison. “Gold is at an all-time high from an emotional, iconic, and intrinsic perspective. I am incredibly excited to join such an imaginative and creative team at the World Gold Council at this important time.”


Ritani and PGI Provide Rings For Wedding During Country Music Awards

ENCINO, CA—Platinum Guild International and Ritani will be part of the festivities when a couple is married live onstage during the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards April 1.

Country music star Martina McBride and Train frontman Pat Monahan, will perform a duet of her new single, "Marry Me" during the live televised ceremony, the first in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards and, likely, any awards show history. The couple will exchange platinum wedding bands by Ritani, below.

McBride personally selected the lucky recipients of the onstage nuptials. Couple Christina Davidson and Frank Tucci thought they would never find love again. In July 2009, Tucci lost his wife, Danielle, to thyroid cancer and in that same year, Davidson lost her husband, Paul, in a tragic drowning accident. As a way to deal with the grief of being a young widow raising two sons on her own, Christina started a support group for young widows and widowers in Washington Township, NJ, where she and Tucci met. Slowly their friendship blossomed into love as they bonded over their shared views about the challenges of single parenthood and the struggles to keep the memories of their spouses alive.

The wedding will mark a new chapter in their lives, and fans can follow the couple’s journey here.


From Hair to Eternity: Michael Bondanza’s New Jeweled Barrettes

New York, NY—Designer Michael Bondanza has introduced a new collection of gold, diamond, and gemstone barrettes. The hair ornaments measure approximately 10mm wide by 27mm long, says Geri Bondanza Wolf, spokesperson for the company.

“We’ve gotten great reaction at bridal shows on the road,” she says. The clips stay put through unique hairpin mechanism with a safety clip.

Above, a white gold, diamond, and sapphire barrette from Michael Bondanza; below, a pink gold version with white and champagne diamonds.


Forevermark Hosts Inaugural Partner Forum

Boca Raton, FL—Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers group of companies, hosted its first annual Forevermark Partner Forum for diamantaires, manufacturers, and retailers last week. The event introduced new product and marketing initiatives, new collections, and offered both industry expertise and an opportunity to share ideas and strengthen Forevermark partnerships with global and U.S. brand representatives.

Training seminars covered merchandising, digital marketing, public relations, grading and inscription, and supply, and were held alongside a Forevermark supplier product exhibition.

At the closing dinner, Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier gave the keynote address. "Over the past few days we have discussed achievements and business opportunities with our select group of partners," he said. "Our goal is to offer U.S. consumers unbeatable assurances through Forevermark's promise of beauty, rarity, and responsible sourcing. The Forum has allowed for unique partnerships to be cultivated, leading to a stronger future and success for the brand and our partners."

De Beers CEO Phillipe Mellier also commented, "While the days of generic advertising are behind us, we believe Forevermark can play an important role for (De Beers) going forward." Mellier said De Beers' success is contingent upon "full support and commitment" from Forevermark partners.

New initiatives launched during the event include: Forevermark Online Trading Network (FMX), an online sourcing platform for partner jewelers and manufacturers to efficiently access diamonds; e-learning online for all Forevermark jewelers to learn selling language and messaging for new product on demand and reinforce core Forevermark messaging; and a preview of several new product initiatives to be launched in the United States this year, including the Forevermark Setting collection and Millemoi, both of which have already successfully launched in other markets.

Forevermark worked with industry designers to create one-of-a-kind pieces to adorn celebrities during the 2012 awards season, and, expanding upon their red carpet designs, these designers will create exclusive capsule collections for Forevermark partners.


MJSA Expo New York Traffic Jumps 10 Percent

Attleboro Falls, MA—Attendance at the 2012 MJSA Expo New York jumped 10% percent from 2011, signaling to many that the industry’s recovery from recession is strengthening.

Produced by MJSA, Expo New York drew more than 3,100 buyers over the show's three-day run, March 11-13 at the Hilton New York. Some exhibitors had been concerned about Expo running concurrent with BaselWorld in Switzerland, but those fears proved unfounded.

Education highlights included a discussion of how compelling stories and messages can drive sales, with representatives from top brands Alex Woo, Chamilia, Gurhan, and Robin Haley Jewelry. Designer Alishan Halebian demonstrated, via live music and other means, how he invokes his muse; and industry web experts Michael Schechter of Honora Pearls, Jennifer Gandia and Kathy Maurella of Greenwich Jewelers, and moderator Eugene Brill of Rio Grande critiqued audience members' websites in an interactive session.

Also featured was the Future of Design Live finale. The competition, developed by the Jeweler's Resource Bureau and StrategyWerx, evaluates jewelry designers' business strategy skills as well as their design talent. Designer Bree Richey won the prize package of business services and promotional opportunities valued at $250,000.

Winners of Johnson Matthey's Sustainable Design Awards contest also were honored for new talent in platinum and palladium design. MJSA was a sponsor of the competition.

For more information about MJSA Expo New York for 2013, go to or call (800) 444-MJSA (6572).


NYSJA Reinstitutes Education Program

NEW YORK, NY--The New York State Jewelers Association (NYSJA), has reinstated its educational meetings about key industry topics.

"NYSJA is able to bring nationally known speakers to our members," says Mike Wilson of Wilson and Son Jewelers in Scarsdale and Mt. Kisco, NY, and NYSJA's new president. "We know how much a good speaker can help jewelers improve their businesses and profitability."

The group held its first educational meeting recently in Albany, New York, at which sales expert and diamond educator Shane Decker of Ex-Sell-Ence in Monument, CO, discussed ways to improve closing ratios.

Wilson traveled to Albany for the meeting and spoke to participants, along with fellow members of the 2012 NYSJA Board, including: Alberto Petochi, 1884 Collection; Jeff Weiss, Glennpeter Jewelers; Marc Solomon, Solomon Jewelers; and Mike Zwas, Insurance Marketplace. Eric Kane, representing Cool Insuring Agency, was also present to discuss the new healthcare insurance programs available to NYSJA members, which are managed by his firm.

The next session is slated for the end of May and will be held in the Westchester, New York, area. Details will be forthcoming, but all members and non-members are welcome. For more information or to inquire about the event, contact Barbara Keefe at NYSJA, (212) 290-1555 or


CIBJO President Addresses UN, Calls for Collaboration

VIENNA, AUSTRIA—CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri spoke to the United Nations' Private Sector Focal Points Meeting, being held this week in Vienna, Austria. In his presentation, he expressed the commitment of the world jewelry industry to working together with the international body and its agencies, with the objective of advancing the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The Private Sector Focal Points Meeting aims to enhance collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector, creating what the UN refers to as "transformational relationships" to advance humanitarian and development objectives. The meetings are attended by senior UN officials and executives from major corporations from across the globe. Cavalieri, representing the jewelry industry, emphasized the industry’s long chain of distribution and the fact that it is made up predominantly of small companies. From mining to retail, he said the jewelry sector employs 15 to 20 million workers, with more than 90% working in micro, small, or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). He suggested the most effective way to collaborate with the industry is for the UN to work with umbrella organizations like CIBJO, which can in turn engage members of the industry.


DDI Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign

Ottawa, Canada—The Diamond Development  Initiative  International (DDI  International)  announces the launch  of  its Friends  of  DDI fundraising campaign. Retailers who sign  on  for  the  program  receive  the  Retailers  Friendship  Kit,  which  includes a certificate  of  recognition,  counter  displays,  information  postcards,  and  gift  box  insert  cards  imprinted  with  the  donor’s  name, to distribute to  customers  and  constituents.    Membership in  Friends  of  DDI  conveys  to  consumers  a  jeweler’s  concern  for  the  estimated  15% of diamond workers who labor under challenging artisanal mining conditions.

DDI brings  the  jewelry  and  the  diamond  industry,  non‐governmental  organizations  and  governments  together  in  a  common  effort  to  ensure  that  diamonds  are  an  engine  for  positive  economic  and  social  development in communities where diamonds are sourced in both Africa and South America.

Susan Jacques, CEO of Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts, is the honorary chair of the Friends of DDI campaign. Palladium Alliance International also is a Millennium Star level contributor, and various other industry leaders and organizations also have pledged support.

“DDI’s Retailer Friendship  Kit  gives  concrete  tools  that  retailers  can  use  to  respond  to  growing consumer preference for ethical jewelry consumption,” says Jacques. “I encourage all members of the jewelry industry that truly  want  to  make  a  positive  impact  on  the  lives  of  the  most disadvantaged members of the supply chain to support Friends of DDI.”  

Frank McAllister, director  of  Palladium  Alliance  International  and  CEO  of  Stillwater  Mining,  said,  “DDI’s  work  is  critical  to  building  consumer  confidence  in  the  entire  jewelry  industry.  We’re proud to  support  their valuable contribution to the most marginalized sector of the diamond pipeline. To support Friends  of  DDI  and  receive  a Retailer  Friendship  Kit,  contact  Patricia  Syvrud  at  (760) 525‐9393 or 







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