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Industry News: JBT, IAC Offer Conferences; Remembering Helen Buck; More October 31, 2018 (0 comments)


Jewelers Board Of Trade (JBT) Offers Free Financial Educational Webinar

Providence, RI—The Jewelers Board of Trade is offering a free financial education webinar for retail jewelers, titled “How To Develop An Annual Budget.” It’s being presented by Mariel Diaz (left), founder of Accounting For Jewelers, on Tuesday, November 6, from 2:00 to 3:00 EST.

A detailed and realistic budget identifies currently available capital, estimates expenditures, and anticipates revenues. Jewelers should continually refer to their business's budget as a way of measuring performance against expectations, as the jewelry industry relies on seasonal sales revenue. An effective budget will allow jewelers to plan ahead to distribute that revenue most effectively over their entire fiscal year.

“Our purpose is to inspire creativity for jewelry business owners by relieving stress and providing focus. We establish simple and efficient operations for bookkeeping that result in reliable and timely reporting, compliance and data-driven decisions for a better quality of life,” says Diaz.

Click here to register. For more information about the webinar or about the services JBT offers, call JBT at (401) 467-0055, visit, or email


‘Vortex: Day of Light’ Inaugural Diamond and Colored Gemstone Conference Set For November 12

New York, NY—Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC) is launching “Vortex: Day of Light,” a diamond and gemstone conference to supplement its upcoming two-day fashion conference. “Day of Light” will feature a wide range of prominent speakers from the diamond and gem industry, and will be held Monday, November 12, at the William and Anita Newman Conference Center of Baruch College, at 151 East 25 Street in New York City. (IAC’s 20th annual fashion conference, titled “Vortex: Paradox, Promise, and Possibility, is being held November 8-9 at the Museum of the City of New York; click here for more info on that event.) IAC produces the annual gold conference in April as well.

Vortex: Day of Light seeks to explore a range of topics, from branding initiatives, to color trends affecting design, to the importance of storytelling in customer engagement and experience. By exploring the bread and butter bridal market alongside bespoke, as well as issues impacting the colored gemstone industry, the program is set to immerse participants in thoughtful and engaging discussions around hot topics, better practices, and new approaches for customer connection. Kevin Lane, vice president business development for Forevermark USA, one of the event sponsors, says, “Forevermark is proud to join the other sponsors of Vortex: Day of Light. This event gives us all the opportunity to journey together into the fascinating world of diamonds and gemstones and challenge ourselves in this ever-changing industry.”

Lisa Koenigsberg, founder and president of IAC, says, “We have a deep commitment and interest in precious substances, metals, and jewels, as seen in our annual gold conference. Last year during the fashion + design conference, we had a ‘Blinded by the Light’ panel, as well as a panel on rings. Great enthusiasm was expressed about these two panels, and we were asked to create something specifically for diamonds and colored gemstones. Our hope is to make this an annual event; we are thrilled to be working with the many organizations and entities we have partnered with through the program. In particular, DMIA and IDCA have been involved with conceptualizing this day from the beginning, and we thank them and all of our supporters for making this diamond and colored gemstone event come to fruition.”

Speakers include: Lisa Koenigsberg, conference director and founder and president of IAC; Kevin Lane, vice president business development of Forevermark; Jeffrey Skaret, vice president of partner development, Forevermark; Christophe Allard, director sales & marketing North America, Brussels Air; Hedda Schupak, editor, The Centurion Newsletter; Hannah Becker (aka Diamondoodles), artist, gemologist, and digital strategy consultant; jewelry designer Wendy Brandes; Alan Bronstein, president, Natural Color Diamond Association; Brandee Dallow, North America business development consultant for the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC); Leatrice (Lee) Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute and founder, Eiseman Center for Color Information & Training; Severine Ferrari, founder and editor, Engagement 101; Edahn Golan, Founder, Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data; Sarah Gorvitz, strategic communications and insights lead, Diamond Producers Association (DPA); Michelle Graff, editor-in-chief, National Jeweler; Elle Hill, founder & CEO, Hill & Co.; Rob Bates, senior editor, JCK; Tracy Matthews, chief visionary officer and director, Flourish & Thrive Academy; Grant Mobley, trade lead, Diamond Producers Association (DPA); Jean Z. Poh, founder and CEO, Swoonery;; Nilesh Sheth, president, Forever Collections; Benjamin Smithee, CEO, The Smithee Group; Janice Mack Talcott, independent consultant, trainer, and staffing specialist; Ronnie Vanderlinden, president, Diamex Inc.; Richard Weisenfeld, president, Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT); Sara Yood, senior counsel, Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC); Benjamin Zucker, authority on precious stones, and Helena Krodel, brand strategist, seasoned publicist, and fine jewelry expert.

Grant Mobley says, “The DPA is proud to be among other great industry organizations participating in this year’s Vortex event. This has been a very positive year in the diamond industry and there are many exciting things ahead. We look forward to amplifying that positivity with attendees and doing our part to make this industry the best it can be.” 

Register for "Vortex: Day of Light" directly on Eventbrite by clicking here. Centurion attendees receive a 25% discount, from $200 to $150; enter code CENTURION upon registration. To learn more about Initiatives in Art and Culture, inquire about sponsorship opportunities for Vortex, visit, call 646-485-1952, or email


In Memoriam: Helen M. Buck, Jewelers’ Security Alliance

Dobbs Ferry, NY—Helen M. Buck (nee McInerney), a 37-year employee of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, died October 25 after battling cancer. She was 82.

Helen Buck was a familiar face in the industry for 37 years, at both Jewelers' Security Alliance and 24 Karat Club events.

Buck was born in the Bronx in 1936, the youngest of four children. An independent and strong woman, she enjoyed a successful career, first at Allstate Insurance Company where she met her husband, Peter Buck. After marrying and raising two children, she returned to professional life working at Jeweler's Security Alliance until her retirement in 2017. At the Jewelers’ Security Alliance annual luncheon in January 2017, Buck’s last before her retirement, JSA president John Kennedy praised her dedication and skill, joking that she was the glue that kept everyone in line. She also helped with various tasks for the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York.

Buck enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, and watching sports. An avid football and basketball enthusiast, she was a passionate fan of the New York Giants, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, New York Yankees, and Providence Friars. She treasured her Irish heritage and enjoyed anything Irish, especially Irish music. Her sense of humor, quick wit and gentle smile will be greatly missed.

Buck was predeceased by her husband, Peter, her brother John, and sisters Rose and Betty. She is survived by her two children, Karen Buck and Michael Buck (Deirdre), two grandchildren, Rowan and Connor, as well as many nieces and nephews.


Diamond Empowerment Fund Announces Millennial-Focused Proposal Contest; Winners Go To Botswana 

New York, NY--The Diamond Empowerment Fund  (D.E.F,) announces the launch of its ‘Real Stories. Real Diamonds. Real Impact’ proposal contest targeting Millennials. The winning couple will be flown to Botswana, one of the largest producers of gem quality diamonds in the world, to see firsthand the impact diamonds have had on the country, and to share their experiences through social media.

With the aim to educate the public on the positive stories behind diamonds, entrants are asked to submit a video (maximum 60 seconds) of their proposal story and what their diamond means to them. Videos will be judged by digital media influencers @thediamondsgirl, @greenweddingshoes and @roamaroo, with combined followers numbering over 1,200,000.  In addition to the three digital influencers, communication of the contest will be made through brands’, retailers’ and the DiamondsDoGood social media channels. 

D.E.F. president Anna Martin, also 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 confidence and ultimately demand for diamonds.”

The ‘Real Stories. Real Diamonds. Real Impact’ contest was made possible through a grant from the JCK Industry Fund. Contest details can be found on and industry members are encouraged to share the contest link with their customers. 


Gemfields Finds 5,655-Carat Emerald

Zambia—Gemfields recovered a 5,655-carat rough emerald from its Kagem mine in early October. National Jeweler reports that geologist Debapriya Rakshit and emerald miner Richard Kapeta discovered the stone in the eastern part of the mine on October 2. Gemfields says that part of the mine is especially fertile, with miners recovering a number of significant crystals there.

That's a lotta green. Image: National Jeweler

Read more here.


Court Protects Memo Vendors In Sears Bankruptcy

New York, NY—An interim court order will protect diamond vendors from losing memo merchandise in the process of the Sears Holdings Chapter 11 bankruptcy, JCK reports.

When a store declares bankruptcy, it’s not uncommon for memo goods in the store at the time to get counted as potential assets for repayment of debts, which forces the vendors into costly and often lengthy litigation to recover their consigned goods.

But following negotiations and a hearing, the Sears court order, filed October 26, declares, “All parties’ rights as to the priority of any security interest or other interest in consignment merchandise and the proceeds thereof are preserved.”

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