JSA Offers $10K Reward For Vegas Watch Thieves
Las Vegas, NV—Five men carried out a violent smash-and-grab robbery at the Rolex store in the Caesars Forum Shops on May 19, making out with approximately 20 to 30 watches, according to a local news report.
In a Crime Alert released last week, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the five men, who pistol-whipped a security guard, smashed the cases, and ran. The guard sustained non-life threatening injuries.
The suspects are described as black males age 18-20 years old, ranging in height from 5’6” to 5’10” and all relatively slender builds, from 140 to 180 pounds.
JSA also warned in its Crime Alert that jewelers are at a greatly increased risk, especially stores in California and Nevada. Read more here.
Security-cam footage of the five suspects that hit the Rolex store in the Caesars Forum Shops in Las Vegas last week.
JBT’s Red Book Now Available On Flash Drive
Warwick, RI—As technology evolves so does the well-known Jewelers Board of Trade Red Book. Initially a thick printed reference book with a red cover, it next evolved to CD and now JBT announces that future copies of the publication will be distributed on a flash drive.
“We want the Red Book to be as easy to use as possible for our valued members,” says JBT president Anthony J. Capuano. “The transition to a flash drive offers our members access to searchable data on today’s computers.”
The JBT Red Book is published annually with over 29,000 jewelry industry listings by geography, including phone numbers and credit ratings. JBT also offers the Sectional Red Book in hard copy format, and a mobile app that conveniently puts searchable data on a smart device. The Red Book is available to members. For information on the Red Book and/or membership, contact JBT at (401) 467-0055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
JA Offers Certification Exams at JCK Las Vegas; Seeks GEM Nominees
New York, NY—Jewelers of America (JA) is offering its sales and management professional certification exams at the JCK Show. The JA Certification Program establishes national standards with two-hour exams that evaluate the proficiency of jewelry professionals at two levels. The exams that will be offered onsite at the show include:
Jewelers of America led an industry task force, including representatives from all types of retail jewelry stores nationwide, to establish the Jewelers of America Professional Certification program in the late 1990s, with the goal of raising the level of professionalism throughout the jewelry industry. Jewelry professionals who successfully complete the nationally recognized certification program receive acknowledgment from Jewelers of America that enhances their standing among colleagues and consumers.
“All jewelry sales associates and managers attending the shows in Las Vegas should strongly consider taking the time to certify their expertise with JA’s exams,” says JA president and CEO David J. Bonaparte. “By conducting certification at the shows, we are making it simple for jewelers to achieve this important designation and inspire greater trust from today’s customers.”
In 2015, the number of jewelry professionals who completed JA Professional Certification increased 100% over 2014. Benefits of certification include career advancement, differentiating the retail store from competitors, and enhancing fine jewelry customers’ trust in the jewelry professional, says the association. Certifications are open to all jewelry professionals with no studying required as the exams validate existing skills and knowledge.
Those who register in advance to any of the exams listed below save $10 off the exam fee of $55 for JA Members and $75 for non-members. Those not able to attend the on-site certification exams can take the exams at any time and at a location convenient to them by registering for a proctored exam. Click here to register.
The Jewelers of America Professional Certification program also offers certification for bench professionals in four levels of expertise. For more information on the Jewelers of America Professional Certification program, click here or contact Jewelers of America’s membership representative Dahlia Fyffe, (800) 223-0673, ext. 8007.
Separately, JA announced it is taking nominations for the 2017 GEM Awards. Submissions are being accepted in five categories for the 15th Annual GEM Awards gala taking place on January 13, 2017. New for 2017 is the GEM Award for Influencer of the Year, given to a blogger or social media personality who encourages consumer engagement and generates consumer desire for jewelry and watches through their high-quality content on social media platforms. The other categories are Jewelry Design, Marketing & Communications, Media Excellence, and Watch Excellence. Companies and individuals can submit themselves or others for consideration through June 30, 2016 to www.jewelers.org/gemawards.
AGS Laboratories Introduces Natural Diamond Verification Services
Las Vegas, NV—The American Gem Society Laboratories (AGS Laboratories) announces the launch of its new Natural Diamond Verification Service to identify natural from synthetic diamonds. It also will identify whether a diamond has been HPHT treated.
The affordable service, which will begin in June, offers retailers a 48-hour turnaround time. For diamonds that pass the test as natural, retailers will have the option to proceed with full diamond grading and get the fee for the Natural Diamond Verification Service waived.
“In today’s marketplace, transparency is more important than ever,” said Ruth Batson, CEO of the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories. “The Natural Diamond Verification Service will help communicate the scientific facts, clearly and effectively, providing retailers with one less concern as a business person.” Given the growing concern in the industry over the sale and resale of synthetic diamonds and the potential risks involved with undisclosed treated diamonds, AGS Laboratories is offering the service to give retailers assurance should they buyback, upgrade or purchase diamonds from customers. With tech savvy, highly-informed consumers, this type of testing creates confidence and validates the quality and the pricing of the diamonds.
The Natural Diamond Verification Service also helps suppliers provide added confidence to their retail customers by ensuring that a team of diamond grading professionals, using state-of-the-art equipment, have verified if a diamond is natural or synthetic.
The new service is available via standard diamond testing protocol. Services for melee (0.1 to 0.18 cts.) will be available in the future. Visit AGS during JCK Luxury and JCK Las Vegas at its booths, LUX500 and L103, to learn more.
Rapaport Town Hall Meeting In Las Vegas Will Debate Synthetic Diamonds
Las Vegas, NV—Rapaport will sponsor a town hall meeting for members of the jewelry trade to respectfully debate the pros and cons of synthetic diamonds in an open forum. The meeting is free and open to all. It will be held in the Banyan Room of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Monday, June 6, from 8:00-10:00 am. Registration is not required but space is limited and registered guests will be provided priority access. To register please email email@example.com or visit diamonds.net/jck16.
Dione Kenyon Joins Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company’s Board of Directors
Neenah, WI—Dione Kenyon, recently retired as president of the Jewelers Board of Trade, has been tapped to sit on the Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company’s board of directors.
Kenyon has more than 35 years of financial services experience, including consumer and commercial lending and credit services focused on the diamond, precious metals and jewelry industries.
“When considering new board members, we look for someone who would complement our board’s talent and experience, and we found that in Dione,” said Mark Fiebrink, chairman of the Jewelers Mutual Board of Directors. “Being deeply rooted in the jewelry industry and with her financial services experience, she will provide a positive impact on Jewelers Mutual.”
“It is an honor to have Dione join our Board of Directors,” said Scott Murphy, President and CEO of Jewelers Mutual. “Her knowledge and experience within the jewelry industry combined with her overall business experience is exceptional. We are fortunate to have her expertise available to us as Jewelers Mutual continues to aggressively grow and evolve.”
Kenyon is a member of the Gemological Institute of America board of governors, where she chairs the finance committee; is past president and director of the Boston Jewelers Club; and a member of the 24 Karat Clubs of New York and Southern California. She also serves on the boards of American Student Assistance, Boston, MA, a non-profit assisting in education loan default prevention; and on the Distribution Committee for The Champlin Foundations, based in Rhode Island.
Andrey Polyakov Succeeds Edward Asscher as World Diamond Council President
Dubai, United Arab Emirates—Andrey Polyakov (below) has been elected president of the World Diamond Council, succeeding outgoing president Edward Asscher at the conclusion of his two-year term.
“I am honored to have been elected by my peers to this important position,” says Polyakov. “I look forward to working closely with the board of directors and the membership of the WDC through the WDC’s critical role of representing the industry at the Kimberley Process. I am confident that joint efforts and a willingness to dialogue among all parties will enable us to achieve success in strengthening our industry’s reputation.”
The WDC is a collective of members representing the entire international diamond industry supply chain, from mining through retail. The group represents the diamond industry in the development and implementation of regulatory and voluntary systems developed by the United Nations and the Kimberley Process to eradicate the trade of conflict diamonds.
As the most senior executive officer of the WDC, Mr. Polyakov’s role will be to continue the mission of the organization and to further protect the integrity and reputation of the Kimberley Process. Polyakov has a 12-year tenure at ALROSA, the largest diamond producer in the world, and a member company of the WDC since 2000. Polyakov also acted as one of the initiators of the creation of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), and is now a founding member of the DPA Board.
Separately, the biennial meeting of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), also in Dubai, addressed issues affecting the global diamond sector under the theme of “Transparency, Responsibility, Sustainability.”
WFDB president Ernie Blom said, "It is critical that we hear global perspectives and the views of all members of the diamond pipeline and feed them into our comprehensive implementation program. The WFDB in its working sessions also enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the factors that are impacting our bourse members, including financing, price lists, synthetics, the policy of producers, tenders and much more.
“We are proud that the global diamond business is one of the best regulated industries in the world, and we have been at the forefront in proactively seeking to ensure that this continues. Our members work according to wide- ranging rules and regulations that ensure that diamonds are totally free of any possible suspicion, including U.N. resolutions, the Kimberley Process national legislation, anti- money laundering regulations, Know Your Customer programmes and the WFDB Code of Conduct and chain of warranties requirements."