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Industry News: GIA’s New CMO; JSA Says Beware Of Masked Robbers; New Jewelry Book; More October 30, 2019 (0 comments)


GIA Names New SVP and Chief Marketing Officer

Carlsbad, CA—Mark Bunz, left, an experienced media and entertainment marketer, has been tapped to drive the future of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) brand. He fills the position recently vacated by longtime CMO Kathryn Kimmel, who retired in August after 30 years with GIA. Bunz, whose title issenior vice president and chief marketing officer, will lead all GIA global marketing efforts. He also will support the expansion of GIA’s education, laboratory services – including the new GIA Diamond Origin Report – and instruments business into new markets, and extend GIA’s 4Cs of Diamond Quality consumer outreach program.  

Related: Kathryn Kimmel Retires

“Mark brings invaluable expertise with leading companies which have reached pinnacles of success in their fields,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO. “He is a proven innovator and a passionate storyteller who, with his enthusiasm and new perspective, will help advance GIA’s initiatives to connect with consumers and the gem and jewelry industry.”

Buntz has more than 20 years’ experience in media, entertainment, and sports marketing. He comes to GIA from TaylorMade Golf Company, where he was vice president of global brand marketing. He also held leadership positions with prominent mass media and digital companies, including ESPN, NBCUniversal, and Hulu, and has experience in global brand marketing, advertising, communications, sales, and broadcasting.

“GIA is an iconic institution with a powerful story to tell,” said Buntz. “I am thrilled to join a talented team and distinguished brand with a tradition of industry leadership and innovation. The opportunity to shape the future of the Institute together is truly exciting.”

Buntz is based at GIA’s headquarters in Carlsbad, CA, and reports to Jacques.


No Trick Or Treat: JSA Says Two Masked Suspects Rob Jewelry Store

New York, NY—Two suspects wearing masksentered a New Hampshire retail jewelry store, and one suspect displayed a handgun during the robbery, reports the Jewelers Security Alliance. The suspects took merchandise from several showcases before fleeing, reportedly in a dark blue or black Mercedes S Class with New York plates. One suspect was described as a black male, 62, with a medium build. The second suspect was described as a white male, 58, with a medium to stocky build. A third black male suspect in the car was the getaway driver. Anyone with information should contact Detective Andrew Courter at (603) 742-4646, or JSA at (212) 687-0328, or

Two other incidents occurred in the last year in which suspects wore similar masks. A lone male carried out a gunpoint robbery at a jewelry store in Pennsylvania on 11/02/18, and two males were reported to have cased a jewelry store in Miami, FL on 06/29/19, but did not carry out a crime.


New Coffee Table Tome Addresses Ethical High Jewelry 

New York, NY—Bejeweled: The World Of Ethical Jewelry, by Kyle Roderick, is the first book to cover the subject of how jewelry is morphing into an environmentally responsible luxury business and sustainable applied art form. 

In the wake of Charles Leavitt’s insightful 2006 movie Blood Diamond, buying and wearing ethically sourced and sustainably mined jewelry has become a must for discerning luxury consumers. Bejeweled celebrates how jewelry, long associated with indulgence and wealth, is moving toward social enterprise business models and philanthropic values. The author, Kyle Roderick, is a jewelry journalist for and her Instagram gallery, @bijouxreview, have established her as a leading authority on design-driven, ethical jewelry. 

Defining important design trends and upmarket consumer preferences, Bejeweled explores how ethical jewelry is becoming an exponentially important luxury goods niche. 

As designer Hutton Wilkinson of the jewelry brand Tony Duquette states in the foreword, "Industry studies indicate that the people who are driving the growth in ethically-sourced jewelry are environmentally and socially conscious Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. Many of today’s jewelry lovers want to know the origin stories behind their jewelry. Bejeweled is an irresistibly timely book that documents the how and why behind the many positive and sustainable changes that are reducing the environmental footprints of the jewelry and mining industries.” 

In Bejeweled, Roderick profiles 15 designers; the first book to highlight how international designers, artisanal miners, non-profit organizations plus mining companies, retailers and consumers are powering the 21st century ethical revolution--sustainable mining or growing practices and fair, safe and humane conditions for workers--in the business of adornment. 

Published by Rizzoli New York, the hardcover book is 9” by 11” with 224 pages and 200 color photographs and contains a foreword by Hutton Wilkinson. $65.00 U.S. / ISBN: 978-0-847-86588-8 

© Bejeweled: The World of Ethical Jewelry by Kyle Roderick, Rizzoli New York, 2019. 


CIBJO Addresses Sustainability At Tech Seminar

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri offered an overview of sustainability in the jewelry industry during the 6th Seminar on Technology in the Jewellery Industry. Sustainability was the theme of this year’s seminar, an issue of critical importance in Brazil. As the world’s ninth-largest economy, the country holds massive reserves of biodiversity and, home to 60% of the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, it is known as the earth’s lungs. Brazil is also one of the largest suppliers of coloured gemstones globally.

“Can we consider the mining of diamonds, colored gemstones, jade, and precious metals like gold, silver and platinum, as sustainable? After all, once they are removed from the earth they do not return,” asked Cavalieri, who explained that an industry it has been necessary to view sustainability from a somewhat broader perspective.

“For minerals, we have defined sustainability as the generation of sustainable grass-roots economic and social opportunities in the countries and regions in which they are located. And here we refer to opportunities both in the mineral extraction and the jewelry industries, and also in other economic sectors, which are secondary beneficiaries of the investments made in and revenues generated by precious gems and minerals,” he continued.

But there also are parts of the industry where not only economic activity is sustainable, but so is the product, environmentally as well as socially and economically. 

“These most often these involve biogenic materials in a marine environment, where sustainability is made possible through aquafarming, such as with cultured pearls, or controlled harvesting, as with precious coral,” he explained.

Sustainability in a luxury product industry like jewelry will not be achieved through a single undertaking, but rather through a multitude, he said. This requires adoption of uniform standards against which some companies are audited and certified. CIBJO, he said, has been working hard to provide solutions, especially in the more fragile sectors of the jewelry business

“When consumers buy jewelry, they should feel that they are not only doing something for themselves and their loved ones, but for the world and society as well,” he said. 


IAC Announces 21st Fashion Conference, Blue, With Jewelry Discussion

New York, NY—From Thursday, November 14 through Saturday, November 16, Initiatives in Art and Culture will host its 21st fashion, jewelry and design conference, titled “Blue,” celebrating the hue, at Parsons The New School in New York City.

Lisa Koenigsberg, president, Initiatives in Art and Culture, says, "Like music experienced directly and requiring no translator, color is one the most powerful signifiers producing visceral responses embedded deeply within us. For this reason, blue, one of the most elemental colors, is the focus of Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC)'s 21st Annual Fashion, Jewels + Design Conference." 

The conference begins Thursday evening with a talk by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, fashion historian, journalist, and author of Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History. Cameron Silver, director, Halston, and founder, Decades, a vintage couture boutique in Los Angeles, follows in conversation with celebrity stylist, Andrew Gelwicks, in “It’s Chic to Repeat.” 

Mined from the earth, and beloved as jewels, vibrant blue gemstones set into jewelry also captivate. Grant Mobley of the Diamond Producers Association, will explore the wonder and uniqueness of natural blue diamonds. Michael Peters, CEO, Trusted Gems & founder, Panjshir Valley Emeralds, and Elle Hill, CEO, Hill & Co. Fine Jewelry Launch and Growth Experts, discuss the extraction and transformation of precious blue substances, as well as their translation into treasures to be worn. 

Sustainability also will be a key focus of the conference, with discussions on all aspects of fashion and jewelry and attendees will view “The Protagonist,” an exhibition of sustainable fine jewelry organized by Vogue Italia, held at the Park Avenue Armory. A dazzling array of gemstone pieces created with better stewardship of our planet in mind will be on view; attendees will be welcomed by remarks from creative director and haute joaillerie designer Alexandra Mor.

Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Luxury Daily, says, "IAC's Blue conference promises a feast of ideas, insights and inspiration on fashion, jewelry and design. This 21st edition, like its predecessors, stands out for its stellar lineup of speakers, all of whom are subject-matter experts and industry observers without parallel. This is a must-attend event for those involved in the worlds of fashion, jewelry and design." 

See the full conference brochure here. Register directly on Eventbrite here. To learn more about IAC or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit, call 646-485-1952, or email

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