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Industry News: JFC Holiday Cards; DEF Scholarships In Canada; AGS Gold Help; GIA Pink Diamond Tester September 18, 2019 (0 comments)


Jewelers for Children Announces 2019 Holiday Card Program

New York, NY—Jewelers for Children, has unveiled its 2019 Hope for the Holidays program, centered on holiday greeting cards designed by patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of JFC’s beneficiary partners. (Left: "Beach Snowman" designed by Kimberly S., a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.)

For the third year, Hallmark has donated all the printing for the cards. The card designs feature original children’s artwork and include the Hallmark logo on the back of every card and embossed on the envelope flaps. This year there are three different designs to choose from, all drawn by children who were either patients at the hospital, or a sibling.  JFC has supported St. Jude since 1999 with more than $ 12 million in donations that have been used to fund research projects, including a bone marrow transplant clinic.  

"I Love St. Jude bear" card designed by Adrienne M. is another design in the 2019 holiday card package.

There are also contribution recognition cards that can be purchased with a donation to JFC and contribution card inserts are available as an option for use with any holiday card.

A number of companies in the jewelry industry run an honor donation program every year, sending letters to customers and suppliers asking that in lieu of holiday gifts, a donation be made in their honor to JFC. JFC provides suggested language for a letter and customized donation forms.

Information on purchasing the holiday cards, contribution cards and inserts, and the honor donation program can be found here or by calling (212) 687-2949.


D.E.F. Awards Scholarships To Canadian Students: Announces Second Proposal Contest

Yellowknife, NT, Canada—Five students from Canada's Northwest Territories have been chosen to receive scholarships from the Diamond Empowerment Fund. The program is the result of a partnership between The Mine Training Society, and the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.), announced last April by D.E.F. executive director Nancy Orem Lyman and Northwest Territories Minister Wally Schumann. 

The scholarships were granted to youth living in the area near Canada’s diamond mines, who plan to pursue either trades training or post-secondary education in business, management, STEM, health care or mental health fields. All of Canada’s diamond mining takes place in the Northwest Territories.

The Mine Training Society, which connects Northerners to careers in mining, led the selection of candidates. The following five youth were selected to be the inaugural recipients of the D.E.F Scholarships, each worth $5,000:

D.E.F.'s focus on the Northwest Territories’ diamond industry continues: for the second year of its ‘Real Diamonds/Real Impact’ consumer proposal contest, winners of the contest will travel to the Northwest Territories to meet with D.E.F’s scholarship recipients and experience the beauty and adventure of the country.  Last year’s winners received a trip to Botswana. For more on this year’s contest, click here

Related video: D.E.F. 'My Proposal' Contest Winner


AGS Sends Dirty Gold Talking Points To Members

Las Vegas, NV—In light of the recent TV exposés about criminal activity and environmental devastation in the gold-mining sector, the American Gem Society—with help from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee—last week sent out a list of talking points to help member jewelers address consumer concerns at the sales counter.

AGS also has created an Industry Information Center with articles, abstracts, and other reference materials about this and other issues jewelers are likely to face at the counter. Topics included are lab-grown diamonds, conflict diamonds and metals, a crisis communication plan, and more.

To learn more, click here or contact


GIA Tester Now Can Screen Pink, Brown, And Blue-Green Diamonds

Carlsbad, CA—GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has released a software upgrade for the GIA iD100® gem testing device, giving the instrument the ability to distinguish natural pink diamonds from laboratory-grown (HPHT and CVD) diamonds and diamond simulants. The new software is available to purchase as a download for $249 for current GIA iD100 owners, and will be pre-installed on new devices.

The GIA iD100® gem testing device can now screen pink diamonds with the purchase of the GIA iD100 Pink Diamond Software Upgrade. The free software update can now screen blue-to-green and brown diamonds.

GIA also released a free update to the existing GIA iD100 software, with the expanded capability to screen blue-to-green and brown diamonds. The free update will need to be installed before the pink diamond software upgrade can be added. 

The GIA iD100 Pink Diamond Software Upgrade leverages advanced spectroscopic technology, combined with GIA's decades of research into pink diamonds. “These two significant improvements make proper identification of laboratory-grown diamonds more easily accessible to retailers and manufacturers around the world by expanding capabilities of the GIA iD100,” said Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer. “This is part of our mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry.”

To purchase the pink diamond download, visit GIA customer service representatives will contact all GIA iD100 owners to assist with the free software update and, if the owners choose, the pink diamond upgrade purchase. Both the update and upgrade take less than two minutes each to install. 

Separately, GIA announces it has named a new mineral for its famed gemologist, John Koivula. 

Johnkoivulaite, discovered in Myanmar, is a member of the beryl family. GIA researchers, in collaboration with scientists from the California Institute of Technology, recently confirmed the new mineral species. A 1.16-carat crystal, accepted by the International Mineralogical Association as a new mineral species, was found in the Mogok Valley of Myanmar by local gemologist Nay Myo. GIA senior research scientist Aaron Palke will present the newly-named mineral at the Geological Society of America (GSA) conference on Sept. 25 in Phoenix, AZ.

“We are privileged to be able to name this mineral after John Koivula, who has contributed so much to science and the gem and jewelry industry as a prominent gemologist and innovator in photomicrography,” said Tom Moses. “Discoveries such as this remind us of the importance of our mission-based research and of the numerous important contributions John has made in his more than four decades of scientific work.” 

Johnkoivulaite has a hexagonal crystal structure very similar to beryl and other members of the beryl group. Standard gemological testing gave an RI of 1.608, with a birefringence too small to accurately measure, an SG of 3.01, a hardness of 7½, a conchoidal fracture, vitreous luster, and no reaction to long-wave or short-wave UV. This mineral is especially unique due to the strong pleochroism it shows from deep violet to nearly colorless when observed with polarized light. A specimen of the new mineral now resides in the GIA museum collection in Carlsbad, CA. 

John Koivula has more than 40 years of industry experience in research and photomicrograghy. In 1986, he and renowned gemologist Edward J. Gübelin authored the immensely popular Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones, followed by two additional volumes. Koivula also wrote The Microworld of Diamonds and co-authored Geologica with Robert Coenraads. He’s received AGS’s Robert M. Shipley Award, AGA’s Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, won first place in Nikon’s Small World Photomicrographic competition in 1984, and was named one of JCK magazine’s 64 Most Influential People in the Jewelry Industry in the 20th Century.


ALROSA Leads Mining Companies In Social Investments

Moscow, Russia—Mining giant ALROSA has reaffirmed its status as a leader among gold and diamond mining companies in investment in social programs, according to a new study conducted by PwC Advisory.

The study, which is based on the official reports of companies who mine precious metals and rough diamonds, covers the period from 2016 to 2018. It focuses on key aspects of sustainable development, including investments in social programs and environmental protection measures, energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and the number of female employees.   

Every year ALROSA allocates 3% of its revenue to social expenses and remains the industry leader in that regard. In 2018, the company allocated almost $168 million for social investments, including regional development programs, corporate social programs for employees and their families, as well as about 500 social and charitable projects.

ALROSA’s expenditures on environmental activities exceeded $76 million in 2018, which amounted to 2.2% of the company’s consolidated revenue. The company strives to minimize its environmental impact and is responsible for a wide range of measures, including investments in treatment facilities, land reclamation, financing of environmental studies, monitoring and other initiatives.

In accordance with GRI reporting standards, the disclosure of information about the personnel indicates that the company supports equal opportunities. According to a PwC research, ALROSA employs the highest percentage of women in the field, at 34% of the total number of employees.

ALROSA is also significantly ahead of other companies in share of recycled water supply and reused water in production processes; currently over 90% of its total water intake is recycled or reused. The company also continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every year, gradually converting mining and passenger transport from diesel and gasoline engines to gas-powered vehicles. As of 2018, 300 units of the company's transport are powered by natural gas, and greenhouse gas emissions in the CO2 equivalent have been reduced by half over the past five years.

In 2016-2018, ALROSA significantly reduced the share of carbon-intensive fuels in total energy consumption: coal decreased by 80%, diesel fuel by almost 90%, and crude oil by half. Its use of renewable energy exceeds 90% of the total amount of energy consumption.

"ALROSA is a company of regional significance in Yakutia, with about 50,000 people living in our mining areas today. We also contribute to the social and economic development of the Arkhangelsk region, where our subsidiary Severalmaz operates. These results achieved by ALROSA last year were made possible thanks to the efforts of all the company's employees," said Sergey Ivanov, CEO.

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