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Industry News: GSI Accredited in Dubai; D.E.F. Proposal Contest Winner; Gem Education On JTV; More February 13, 2019 (0 comments)


GSI Announces Dubai Laboratory EIAC Accreditation

New York, NY--Gemological Science International (GSI)’s Dubai laboratory has received accreditation from the Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC). The accreditation is valid in all seven United Arab Emirates, not just in Dubai where the GSI lab is located. GSI is the first and the only international gemological laboratory to achieve this accreditation.

“This accreditation further proves our leadership as the gemological laboratory for today’s consumer,” said Debbie Azar (left), GSI founder and president. “Our state-of-the-art technology and processes enable us to provide dedicated, uncompromising accuracy, reliability and consistency worldwide.”

Gemological Science International (GSI) is an independent gemological organization that provides gemstone identification and grading services, gemological research, and a broad range of educational programs to all levels of the diamond, gemstone and jewelry trades. With 13 offices in North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa, GSI with its state-of-the-art hardware, software, magnification, optics, lighting, and other proprietary technology is committed to advancing industry innovation and quality of service.

“EIAC recognizes GSI’s unwavering pledge to offer its customers unmatched transparency and accuracy of service,” says Azar.


Diamond Empowerment Fund Announces Winners of Inaugural Millennial-Focused Proposal Contest

New York, NY—In recognition of Valentine’s Day, the Diamond Empowerment Fund  (D.E.F) today announced the winners of its Inaugural ‘Real Stories. Real Diamonds. Real Impact’ video proposal contest.

The winning couple of this year’s contest, Robyn and Austin, hail from Tampa, FL, and got engaged at a hot-air balloon feista in Albuquerque, NM.  “After six years together this ring represents our love and commitment, our promise to each other, and our promise of forever,” says Robyn.

View the winning video here or click on the image below.

That ‘forever’ will include a trip to Botswana, one of the largest producers of gem quality diamonds in the world, to see firsthand the impact that natural, mined diamonds have had on the country and to share their experiences through social media.

Videos were judged by digital media influencers @thediamondsgirl, @greenweddingshoes and @roamaroo with combined followers numbering over 1,200,000. 

Propelled by strong retailer engagement in promoting the contest, millennial engagement was high, spurring D.E.F. to plan for a second year of the contest, to be announced in later this year. “The contest is helping boost consumer understanding of the real, positive impact for communities of natural, mined diamonds” says executive committee member Rebecca Foerster, president of ALROSA USA.

D.E.F. president, Anna Martin, senior vice president of GIA, says, “Educating the younger generation on the good diamonds do and inviting them to engage in this narrative will help boost consumer understanding of and desire for diamonds.”

For more information, visit


Rolex Sales Director Kelly To Hodinkee

New York, NY—Hodinkee, the online site for watch enthusiasts, has tapped Rolex’s Russell Kelly as its first chief commercial officer. Hodinkee is looking to reaffirm its position as a retailer looking to evolve the way consumers purchase watches and accessories, according to reports.

Kelly’s pedigree includes sales management stints at Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin and Rolex’s Tudor brand. He will be responsible for all commercial and retail operations.

“I have seen the positive effect Hodinkee has had on the watch industry, opening it up to new demographics and creating a more democratic outlet to learn and discuss watches,” he said.


Eli Avidar Leaves Jewelry For Politics

Tel Aviv, Israel—Eli Avidar, former head of the Israel Diamond Exchange and the current vice president of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has resigned his position and announced plans to run for national political office during the upcoming parliamentary elections for the Israeli Knesset. Elections in Israel will take place April 9. 

Avidar originally came to the diamond industry from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, where he had served as a career diplomat.

"Five years ago I had the honor and the privilege to be invited to join the CIBJO Board of Directors by Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, and given the opportunity to serve as vice president. In 2007 I left the Israeli Foreign Ministry to join the diamond industry. Now 12 years later, I feel compelled to go back and serve my people, as an elected member of the Israeli Knesset."

"I greatly value my time in the industry, and in particular the period I served as a CIBJO officer," Avidar added.

Eli Avidar, left, with CIBJO director Gaetano Cavalieri.

"It is with regret that we accept Eli's resignation, but we applaud his reasons for doing so," said Cavalieri. "There is no higher calling than public office, and from our experience Eli has the commitment, knowledge, skills, talent and motivation to be a tremendous parliamentarian. Our loss will be his country's gain. We wish him the very best of luck."


Gem-A Expands To USA; Launches Education Via Jewelry Television

Knoxville, TN—Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain) has established an independent, non-profit entity in the United States, called Gem-A USA, with 501 (c)(3) status, designed to facilitate gemological education in the American market. Gem-A USA was formally unveiled at Gem-A’s Big Gem Bash, a meeting of Gem-A members in Tucson, AZ.

Gem-A USA has announced that JTV (Jewelry Television) will be the first to offer its Gemmology Foundation, Gemmology Diploma, and Diamond Diploma courses, as an Accredited Teaching Centre (ATC).

Accredited Teaching Centres are carefully-selected institutions that provide access to Gem-A courses in all corners of the world in a broad range of languages. As a major retailer of jewelry and gemstones in the United States, JTV has brought gemological knowledge and inspiration to more than 85 million American homes, says a statement from Gem-A. The Knoxville, TN-based TV retailer is a long-standing partner of Gem-A and sponsors its annual Gem-A Conference. 

Gem-A CEO Alan Hart, FGA DGA, said, “With fantastic partnerships across Asia and Europe, we believe now is the perfect time for Gem-A to expand its reach with Gem-A USA. We are also thrilled to welcome JTV as the first ATC for Gem-A USA. In the coming months, we look forward to welcoming more institutions, schools and colleges who share our passion for gemology and nurturing the next generation of gemstone and jewelry professionals.”

Tim Matthews, president and CEO of JTV added, “JTV is proud to become the first US Accredited Teaching Centre. JTV is well equipped to deliver an exceptional learning environment for those looking to further their gemological education in the US.”

For more information, contact or


Emerald Miner Fura Pilots Blockchain In Colored Gemstone Industry

Toronto, ON—Fura Gems Inc. has launched Provenance Proof Blockchain for the colored gemstone industry. Designed to promote industry transparency, it is available free to stakeholders across the colored gemstone supply chain.

Provenance Proof Blockchain is the first blockchain to be tried in the colored gem sector. It was launched at the Tucson gem shows last week by Swiss-based Gübelin Gem Lab, together with Everledger. It uses free software that is accessible on a smartphone and is open to everyone in the gemstone industry.  

Emeralds from Fura’s Coscuez emerald mine were used to test the technology, which already has been successfully applied to the diamond industry. Fura officials say this offers a significant opportunity for Colombia, which as an emerald source sets a new precedent for best practices and responsibly-sourced emeralds globally.

Dev Shetty, president and CEO of Fura, believes the technology will promote consumer confidence by providing consumers more knowledge about the chain of custody; and raise standards within the industry as both consumers and jewelers will be able to select companies whose core values align with their own.  

For Fura itself, the blockchain initiative is part of a wider strategy to provide a consistent and transparent supply of colored gemstones to the market. The company will combine blockchain technology with nanoparticles of the Emerald Paternity Test, which act as physical tracers.

Applying the physical tracers to Fura’s sample emerald rough from the Coscuez Emerald Mine.


Merchandise Buyback; Lower Sell-In Key To Pandora Turnaround

Copenhagen, Denmark—Pandora, the beleaguered Danish beadmaker, is working hard to redefine itself amid slipping sales, National Jeweler reports. The firm, which posted a 4% decline in worldwide sales and a 5% decline in U.S. sales last year, is struggling to find its footing now that its core bead product is no longer exciting to consumers.

The brand plans to initiate a merchandise buy-back program in selected markets, will cut back on non-holiday promotions, and reduce the size of its buy-in by 20% to 30%, says NJ. Additionally, new Pandora USA CEO Sid Keswani walked back earlier plans to focus on running its own stores and eliminating retailers.


Plumb Club Adds Three New Members

Englewood, NJ—The Plumb Club, a coalition of leading responsible suppliers spanning all facets of the jewelry, diamond, and watch industries, has added three new members: Carl K. Gumpert, Inc., Indigo Jewelry, Inc. and iStar Group. The new additions join the Club’s nearly 50 existing members. A full list of members can be found here.

Carl K. Gumpert is a Los Angeles-based manufacturer and diamond supplier, offering a variety of classic wedding sets, bands, fashion pendants, earrings, necklaces, and more for over 70 years.

Indigo Jewelry is part of the S. Vinodkumar Group of companies, is a large global organization that offers both fine diamond jewelry and loose diamonds. Offices are in New York, Mumbai, Antwerp, Dubai, and Hong Kong.

Based in Pine Brook, NJ, IStar Group is comprised of Stanley Creations, Candela Jewelry, and Roman and Sunstone. The companies have been in operation collectively for over 100 years.

All three companies will exhibit in the Plumb Club pavilion at the JCK Show in Las Vegas. For information, contact Lawrence Hess, Plumb Club executive director, (201) 816-8881, or visit

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