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Industry News: JFC Holiday Cards; Diamond Prices Slide Again; GEM Honors Debra Messing; More September 06, 2017 (0 comments)


Hallmark Joins Jewelers for Children In 2016 Hope for the Holidays Card Program

New York, NY—Jewelers for Children, the industry’s charity, has unveiled its 2016 Hope for the Holidays program, featuring holiday greeting cards produced by famed greeting card company Hallmark, from the designs of children representing Make-A-Wish America. The program also includes an honor donation program, and contribution cards and inserts.

Hallmark has donated all the printing for this year’s cards, which are custom Hallmark cards. The card designs feature original children’s artwork and include the Hallmark logo on back of every card and embossed on the envelope flaps. At left: A reindeer drawn by Danielle Bartlett

“It is such a natural for Hallmark to be providing the holiday cards for Jewelers for Children,” said Katy Briggs, jewelry category manager for Hallmark Global Brand Licensing and a JFC board member. Holiday cards have always been at the heart of our core business and it’s an honor for us to sponsor the jewelry industry’s charity.”

In lieu of traditional holiday greetings, members of the jewelry industry can send holiday cards showing their support for the charity. There are also contribution recognition cards that can be purchased with a donation to JFC and sent to special contacts on everyone’s holiday list. Contribution card inserts are available as an option for use with any holiday card. This year there are three different designs to choose from, all drawn by children who had a wish granted. JFC has supported Make-A-Wish America since 1999 with more than $ 11 million in donations and has helped to grant over 1,800 wishes.

Honor donation programs are conducted by many companies in the industry who send letters to their customers and suppliers asking that in lieu of holiday gifts, a donation be made in their honor to JFC. The honor donation program can be used by anyone in the industry to easily complete their gift giving for the season and support children in need. JFC provides suggested language for a letter and customized donation forms.

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

The other JFC card features snowmen drawn by Elsa Harmon.

Separately, JFC announced its board for the upcoming two years. On October 1, Pamela Mortensen, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for fashion, fine jewelry and watches at J,C, Penney will assume the chair for the board of directors. Mortensen takes the reigns from Dennis Ulrich of the Richline Group, who concludes a two-year term on September 30. 

Other officers elected include Debra Puzio of Starluxe, LLC as vice president of fundraising, Jeffrey Cohen of Citizen Watch America as vice president of charity programs, John White of the Fossil Group as vice president of special programs, Howard Hauben of H2 Exhibits/Centurion Jewelry Shows as vice president of marketing and public relations, Alan Zimmer of Reeds Jewelers as treasurer, and Sebastian Hobbs of Signet Jewelers, Ltd., as secretary. Ulrich assumes the role of immediate past chair.

Twelve new directors have been elected to the board and will begin three-year terms on October 1: Debbie Azar, Gemological Science International; Chad Berg, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; Katherine Bodoh, American Gem Society; Jack Gabriel, Gabriel & Co.; Mark Goldberg, Rolex Watch USA; Kari Gray-Hoff, Blue Nile; Steven Kaiser, Kaiser Time; Sally Morrision, Gemfields; Birain Parikh, Rosy Blue; Matthew Rosenheim, Tiny Jewel Box; Steven Vardi, Vardi Company; and Steven Velasquez, Bailey, Banks & Biddle. 

Six directors were also re-elected to a second, three-year term: Benny Hematian, B.H. Multi Corp/Effy Group; Ezriel Rapaport, Rapaport; Ashok Kumar Sancheti, Pioneer Gems; Elliot Tannenbaum, Leo Schachter Diamonds; Rhonda Violet, Assurant; and Eric Zuckerman, Pac Team Group.

Nine directors also concluded their terms on the board: Ruth Batson, American Gem Society; Jim DeMattei, Viewpoint Sales and Marketing; Ellen Fruchtman, Fruchtman Marketing; Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile; Joel Schechter, Honora; Hank Siegel, Hamilton Jewelers; Laura Stanley, Laura Stanley Personal Jeweler; Stewart Wicht, Rolex Watch USA; and Ulrich Wohn.


Actress Debra Messing to Receive 2018 GEM Award for Jewelry Style

New York, NY--Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing will be honored by Jewelers of America (JA) at the 16th annual GEM Awards on Friday, January 19, 2018, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.  Messing will be receiving the GEM Award for Jewelry Style to honor her personal style that inspires and encourages consumer desire for fine jewelry.

The GEM Awards gala honors the outstanding achievements of individuals or companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches. Past Jewelry Style honorees include Madeleine K. Albright, Russell Simmons and The Honorable Daphne Guinness.

Messing comes from a jewelry-manufacturing family. "Jewelry has been a passion of mine since my father produced the Tiffany heart in his factory in the '70s. My father taught me that jewelry is wearable art and I have spent countless hours learning about the evolution of design,” says Messing. “A piece of jewelry can make me feel strong, feminine, royal, edgy, demure -- I can transform. Every day. My love for jewelry is deep and true and I am beyond honored to be acknowledged in this way. " Her jewelry style is marked by bold designs, statement pieces and a love for color. Through her exquisite accessory choices, she communicates that jewelry is wearable art and introduces the public to independent designers, acknowledging them freely.

“Jewelers of America is delighted to present the GEM Award for Jewelry Style to Debra Messing. Debra has undoubtedly inspired women to seek out specific jewelry styles and explore how jewelry can make them feel beautiful, strong and confident. Her passion for jewelry and eye for jewelry style has been showcased on red carpets around the globe, at her personal appearances and throughout her widely followed Instagram,” says JA director of PR & Events Amanda Gizzi.   

Messing is best known for her role as Grace Adler on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series Will & Grace. This fall, Messing is reprising her role on the show’s revival with the entire original creative team, premiering September 28. 


Diamond Prices Slide in August 
New York, NY—Diamond prices remained under pressure with slow trading during the August vacation period. Liquidity and profitability tightened during the summer, but suppliers are hoping trading will improve ahead of the fourth-quarter holiday season. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for one-carat diamonds fell 0.6% in August; it has declined 3.8% since January 1.

As the Rapaport Monthly Report – September 2017 notes, polished inventory is rising, with steady manufacturing and sluggish demand as dealers prepare for the holiday season. Liquidity concerns deepened following reported defaults by manufacturer InterJewel and wholesaler Ankur Diamonds. Manufacturers are under pressure, as rough prices rose an estimated 3% in the first half of 2017 and polished inventory levels continue to rise. The number of diamonds listed on RapNet has risen 22% since January to 1.44 million on September 1.

Rough trading slowed in August after a robust first half, with De Beers boxes selling at low average premiums on the secondary market. Rough demand is expected to slow in the coming month due to the tight manufacturing profit margins and possible oversupply of polished. Indian cutters brought forward their pre-Diwali purchases, since the October 19 festival is earlier than usual this year.

Suppliers are hoping the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair will spur stronger polished trading. Chinese buyers are pushing for higher discounts as they prepare for the October 1 National Day. Dealers are trying to hold prices firm in anticipation of stronger demand as retailers purchase their holiday inventory.

Improved earnings at Signet Jewelers and Tiffany & Co., along with increased industry marketing budgets, have raised expectations for the holiday season. Attention is focused on De Beers’ branding and the Diamond Producers Association’s generic campaigns to stimulate demand and higher polished prices.The Rapaport Monthly Report can be purchased at


Registration Open For November CIBJO Congress

Bangkok, Thailand—The 2017 CIBJO Congress will take place November 5-7 here, with pre-Congress meetings starting November 2. The main venue and hotel for the event is the Shangri-La Bangkok.

CIBJO Congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s Assembly of Delegates, and are the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organization’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, colored stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals and coral, known as the Blue Books. Congresses are also where the program of World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF) and CIBJO’s ongoing cooperation with the United Nations is reported on.

Hosting the CIBJO Congress 2017 are the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) and the Gem and Jewellery Institute of Thailand (GIT), both of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Thai Ministry of Commerce. This year’s Congress will be held in conjunction with the World Ruby Forum at the Shangri-La Bangkok on November 4.

Click here to register.

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