American Gem Society Launches Digital Badging for Members
Las Vegas, NV—The American Gem Society (AGS) announces the launch of “digital badging” credentials for AGS members. The badges are the first of its kind in the jewelry industry.
A digital badge is a graphic icon that indicates the AGS members’ credentials and accomplishments. It is displayed, accessed, and verified online, and can be added to their email signature, website, or social media.
The badge is different than a simple logo. If consumers click on the member’s badge, it takes them to an online source that goes into further detail about why they have earned that badge, the methods they took to achieve it, and how they are working to maintain their AGS credentials.
“As a titleholder, our members have pledged to uphold the AGS mission of maintaining and promoting strong business ethics, continuing education, and protecting the consumer. In their stores, our members proudly display their certificates, but they cannot do that online or in emails. "Digital badging acts as that virtual wall behind their desk or counter where they can proudly display their hard-earned certificates,” says Katherine Bodoh, RJ, CEO of the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories. “It’s one more way we can let consumers know about the importance of shopping with an AGS jeweler, and is a point of differentiation for the jeweler.”
Geopolitical Tensions, Global Trade Threats Push Gold To Highest Levels In Six Years
London, UK—The price of gold hit a six-and-a-half year high in Q3 2019, driven by investor sentiment and macroeconomic factors.
These findings were reported in the most recent Refinitiv GFMS Gold Survey, released Tuesday. Gold rose 12% in Q3 compared to Q2 2019, and 22% year-on-year, to an average of $1,472 an ounce. It also hit is 2019 high of $1,546 an ounce in September.
Cameron Alexander, director of precious metals research for Refinitiv commented, “Renewed economic concerns, geopolitical tensions, and rising threat to the global trade outlook amidst the prolonged trade disputes between the United States and its major trade partners all contributed to this hike in value.”
Investors also are fleeing back to gold amidst a more accommodating monetary policy shift among the world’s key central banks, he said. Q3 saw interest rates cuts by the U.S. Fed and European Central Bank, as well as various stimulus measures implemented by central banks in emerging markets including China, India, and Russia.
Global gold jewelry fabrication slumped 26% in the third quarter, with the high gold prices putting pressure on price-sensitive Asian markets. Indian demand fell 60% for the period as a weak domestic currency drove gold in rupee terms to a record high, making gold items unaffordable for many consumers. Chinese and European offtake was down by 13% and 12% respectively, as the economic uncertainty and higher gold prices put pressure on consumer spending. Only in North America was gold jewelry demand stable year-on-year.
Alexander commented that ongoing economic and political tensions—particularly any escalation in the U.S.-China trade conflict—will keep prices up, as will ongoing fears of an economic downturn and continued aggressive monetary measures by central banks. By contrast, a strong U.S. dollar would drag gold prices down, he said. Overall, Refinitiv predicts an average of about $1,455 an ounce in 2020, edging up to over $1,500 in 2021, but with a possibility to soar over $1,650.
DPA Appoints London-based Head of External Affairs and Industry Relations
New York, NY—The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has appointed Raluca Anghel to head external affairs and industry relations, effective November 1. Anghel will be based in London and report to DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr.
The new position is in charge of leading the development and implementation of DPA’s external engagement strategy in close collaboration with its members. She will lead DPA’s global public affairs agenda in the areas of terminology and nomenclature, and take responsibility for DPA’s industry programs, including ASSURE. She also will lead DPA’s communication activities in Europe. Prior to joining DPA, Anghel held positions with Microsoft Europe and more recently with the European Parliament.
Lieberherr said, “There is a great need and opportunity for all major industry organizations to work closely together on progressing a joint agenda. Raluca’s collaborative style and strong communications background will make her an important asset not only to the DPA but to the industry as a whole. We are delighted to welcome Raluca to our team.”
Added Anghel, “I look forward to working with key stakeholders in promoting the reputation and integrity of the diamond industry, as well as ensuring its long-term sustainability in times of profound social and economic changes.”
GIA Announces 2020 Global Schedule Of Classes
Carlsbad, CA--GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) global 2020 class schedules are now online, along with other details like tuition and fees by location. The roster is available at GIA.edu/gem-education/campuses. New to the 2020 schedule are expanded courses available in China through Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and Peking University Resource College.
“GIA’s robust and experiential gemology and jewelry education prepares people starting a new career or looking for the next step in their profession for success in the gem and jewelry industry,” said Duncan Pay, GIA vice president and chief academic officer. “GIA diplomas and certificates are instantly recognized as world-class professional credentials.” The GIA Graduate Gemologist™ diploma program, which focuses on gem grading and identification, is the industry’s highest professional credential.
GIA schools are located in major gem and jewelry centers around the world, with many of the courses taught in local languages. Distance education courses are also available online. US$2 million in scholarships are available for on-campus and distance education courses. The next scholarship application period will begin Feb. 1, 2020. For more information visit GIA.edu/scholarships.
JCK Industry Fund 2020 Application Deadline Is November 22
New York, NY--Submissions are now open for the 2020 JCK Industry Fund application process. Since 1997, the fund has awarded over $6 million towards program grants to benefit the jewelry industry at large. For 2019, the JCK Industry Fund was pleased to award a total of $265,500 in grants to five deserving recipients: Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA), Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) and the Women's Jewelry Association (WJA). Each of these five organizations received grant monies in the first quarter of 2019 to advance specific projects that will benefit the industry as a whole.
Submission deadline for the 2020 JCK Industry Fund application process is November 22, 2019. For additional information on the JCK Industry Fund, and to submit your 2020 application, please visit www.jckonline.com/industryfund or email firstname.lastname@example.org.