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Industry News: GIA’s Gilbertson Honored, JVC Webinars; Americans And Brits Cheap, Study Says; More February 08, 2017 (0 comments)


GIA’s Al Gilbertson Receives 2017 Antonio C. Bonanno Award

Carlsbad, CA—Al Gilbertson (left), GIA project manager of cut research, was presented with the 2017 Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology. The award, by the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA), is presented to those who have made significant contributions to the field of gemology, to encourage ongoing research, education and public outreach. Gilbertson was honored during AGA’s gala dinner on Feb. 1 in Tucson, AZ. 

“I’m very humbled and honored to receive this recognition. I count myself lucky to work among individuals who share a passion to understand the various jewels we handle; to properly recognize their identity, provenance, quality and ultimately discern a studied value,” said Gilbertson. “I enjoy the challenge; the unravelling of these puzzles placed before us. And most of us, when we acquire some new insight, are eager to share that insight with our peers.” 

Gilbertson grew up in the lapidary business and is an accomplished gem cutter. His career includes contributions to appraisal science, color communication and cut research. He is also an inventor, with several patents pertaining to aspects of gem cutting and light performance. 

“Al has made substantial contributions to our understanding of diamond cut and the way diamonds interact with light. An integral part of GIA research for 17 years, we’re incredibly grateful to have him on our team. This award is well deserved indeed,” said Susan Jacques, president and CEO of GIA.

Gilbertson joined GIA in 2000 as part of the team to research and create GIA’s cut grading system for round brilliant diamonds. He has written several articles related to cut quality evaluation of colored stones (non-diamond), co-authored many articles about cut evaluation of diamonds. and presented lectures on cut quality evaluation. He is also the author of American Cut: The First 100 Years (2007). Gilbertson is currently studying the influence of proportions and other factors on the appearance of fancy shape diamonds, working towards a cut grading system for fancy-shaped diamonds.  


JVC Announces 2017 Informational Webinar Series

New York, NY—The Jewelers Vigilance Committee announces its 2017 live webinar series, designed to help members of our industry avoid legal risk and implement compliant business practices, will begin in March. Here are the topics, dates, and times of the webinars offered:

Getting It Right: Ensuring Quality Control And Legal Compliance To Lower Your Risk And Boost Your Bottom Line, Thursday, March, 16th, 2017 from 2:00 to 2:45 PM (EDT)This webinar will help you understand the internal procedures and practices for ensuring that your products meet all relevant legal requirements, and help you implement a program to ensure compliance and reduce your risk. Presented by JVC’s President, CEO & General Counsel, Cecilia L. Gardner

Beyond The Jewelry Guides: “Other” Claims Regulated By The FTC, Thursday, June 15th, 2017 from 2:00 to 2:45 PM (EDT). “Made in USA” “Eco-Friendly/Green”, “Wholesale”, dot-com, etc. This webinar will answer your questions about how to comply with the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Customs Service’s “Made in the USA” and country of origin standards, and delve into other claims commonly and incorrectly used in jewelry advertising. Presented by JVC’s Senior Counsel, Sara Yood.

But, That’s Not What You Said!”: Contracts 101 For Jewelers – How To Protect Your Customer And Your Business, Thursday, September 7th, 2017 from 2:00 to 2:45 PM (EDT). This webinar will delve into the nuts and bolts of contract law for jewelers, including what you    must disclose on a sales receipt, vendor agreements, and certain express or implied warranties commonly involved in jewelry transactions. Presented by JVC’s Assistant General Counsel, Miya Owens.

Make Your Mark!: All The Rules On Identifying Precious Metal Jewelry, Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 from 2:00 to 2:45 PM (EDT). This webinar will cover the basics of marking your precious metal jewelry to ensure compliance with federal law. Presented by JVC’s Senior Counsel, Sara Yood.

Webinars are free to JVC members. Non-member fee is $25. Click here for registration & details or call JVC, (212) 997-2002.


New Research Shows Americans Cheap, Brits Cheaper

New York, NY—A new study from Karus Chains shows Americans are a relatively cheap bunch when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifting—but our British compatriots are cheaper.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Karus set out to research the number of online searches for the most popular gifts leading up to the holiday. Using the location tool on Google’s forecast planner, Karus analyzed 11,338,807 searches in 110 countries for flowers, lingerie, and jewelry. (See Karus’s Research Methods for more details.)

The main findings are as follows:

The UK tops the lists for highest number of searches for “cheap jewelry”, “cheap flowers” and “cheap lingerie,” but though cheap, Brits are most romantic as it led in number of searches for “jewelry” and “flowers.”

New Zealanders came in second position for “cheap jewelry” and “cheap flowers,” while their down-under neighbors in Australia had other things on their minds with the highest number of searches per capita for “lingerie.”

Singapore came in second place in searches for “flowers” and third place in searches for "jewelry."

The United States came in fifth place in the number of searches for cheap jewelry, and second in searches just for “jewelry” without the cheap modifier. The USA came in fourth place in the number of searches for both cheap flowers and cheap lingerie, but not at all in the top five countries when it came to searching for non-cheap flowers and lingerie.

Read the full study here.


Jewelers of America Opens 2017 Scholarship Enrollment

New York, NY—Jewelers of America (JA) has opened the 2017 enrollment period for its scholarship program, for its industry diploma, professional development, and certification programs. JA awards scholarships to members during the enrollment period from February 1, 2017, through September 30, 2017.

“Scholarships offer JA members the opportunity to enhance the level of professionalism on their staff through some of the top education providers in the industry,” says JA director of public affairs and education Susan Thea Posnock. “We believe jewelry education is a key element to our mission of ensuring consumer trust in jewelry.”

Exclusive JA scholarships are available for the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Diamond Council of America (DCA) and Jewelers Education Foundation of American Gem Society (JEF). Scholarships are also available for Jewelers of America’s Bench Professional Certification program.

Applicants must be an employee at a JA member store and at least 18 years of age. They must have at least one year’s experience in a JA member store or two years’ experience in the jewelry industry. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information and to download the application, click here or contact JA Member Services at (800) 223-0673.


Plumb Club To Admit New Members; Reveals Strategic Plan For Growth

Englewood, NJ—The Plumb Club announces a new strategic plan designed to expand the organization’s reach year-round, broaden its retail community, and increase its influence in helping to shape the future of the fine jewelry industry.

Founded in 1983, The Plumb Club is a coalition of suppliers spanning all facets of the jewelry, diamond, and watch industries. Its members account for a significant percentage of the domestic fine jewelry market. In order to elevate its relevance in a shifting marketplace, The Plumb Club has developed a strategic plan that will guide its future, based on its core strengths, which are captured in its new purpose and vision statements:

Purpose: “The Plumb Club is a supplier organization whose purpose is to connect its members and their customers and help shape the future of the jewelry industry.”

Vision: “The Plumb Club is a responsible supply side organization recognized for leadership, adding value, and positively impacting the jewelry industry.”

The Club’s three-year plan includes such initiatives as expanding its membership, trade show involvement, member branding opportunities, industry leadership roles, responsible sourcing and best business practices, and marketing and communications to enhance The Plumb Club brand.

A key change is opening its membership of important industry companies beyond the trade show arena to include non-exhibiting members. This will grow the organization’s influence, ensure that all product categories are represented, and generate added support for ongoing activities that connect with the retailer on multiple levels of engagement. Suppliers interested in becoming Plumb Club members can contact Lawrence Hess, executive director, at 201-816-8881 or via 

Another critical part of the Plumb Club’s plan is to increase the group’s leadership role as the Industry’s preeminent supply side organization. Not only will The Plumb Club seek to establish representation on the boards of select industry non-profits, it also will require members to comply with responsible sourcing principles by either completing Responsible Jewellery Council certification or its own internal compliance requirements.

“What’s remarkable about The Plumb Club is that it’s the only U.S. trade association of important jewelry, diamond and watch suppliers whose members pool their resources and knowledge to improve our business environment by connecting with retailers, doing business responsibly, and helping to determine policies that will positively impact the future of the jewelry industry,” says Jonathan Goodman Cohen, president of The Plumb Club. “Our members have exceptional expertise and experience in product development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. In an evolving and increasingly challenging marketplace, we know that we can all benefit by working together. It’s a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ philosophy and we invite other important suppliers to join us.”

For more information, contact Lawrence Hess, executive director, (201) 816-8881 or visit

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