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Industry News: PGI Turns 25; D.E.F. Donates $130,000 To African School; AGS Mentoring; More September 28, 2016 (0 comments)


Platinum Guild International USA Celebrates 25th Anniversary in 2017

New York, NY—Platinum Guild International USA turns 25 years old next year. In 1992, PGI—already active in Europe and Asia—expanded to the USA to introduce the metal to a new generation in an exciting new way.  Throughout its history, PGI USA has worked with companies and individuals at all levels of the industry to provide information, education and marketing support with the mission of creating and nurturing consumer demand for platinum jewelry.

PGI is planning to honor this milestone anniversary with a series of exciting new initiatives.  In response to numerous requests over the last several years, PGI will be bringing back a very successful, perennial favorite, the Platinum Edition Catalog.  Plans for the catalog are underway and will kick off the anniversary celebration.  Participation in the catalog will be by invitation only and will feature images of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and their platinum jewelry creations.  The elegant print catalog will be distributed to 7,500 retailers, and a digital version will be supplied to all invited participants.

In addition to the Platinum Edition Catalog, PGI USA will unveil other exciting projects to support the industry, including an all new online training program for sales associates, inspiring and dynamic consumer-facing content on, red carpet jewelry placement opportunities at Hollywood’s major awards presentations, and a 25th Anniversary Soiree in Las Vegas during 2017 market week.

PGI continues to be a leader in jewelry consumer research and looks forward to sharing results that point to profitable new business opportunities early in 2017. For more information about these initiatives and to take advantage of PGI USA’s marketing and retailer support offerings, contact Kevin Reilly, vice president,


Diamond Empowerment Fund Awards $130,000 To African Leadership Academy

New York, NY--The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) last week presented a check for $130,000 to continue the support of African Leadership Academy (ALA). This brings total support to date of just over $750,000 to help educate the next generation of leaders in Africa. ALA, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, cultivates outstanding young students through a two-year program to prepare them for college. It stresses leadership, entrepreneurship, and African studies.  Students return to their home countries after college graduation to apply what they’ve learned to building and improving their own communities.

D.E.F.’s check was presented to ALA co-founder Chris Bradford, chairman of the board Liz Gips, and executive director Tim McChristian, at the Yale Club in New York City.  Witnessing D.E.F.’s donation was CNN International Anchor and Correspondent Robyn Curnow, who moderated a discussion on opportunities for entrepreneurship in Africa with Zimbabwean businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa, founder of international telecommunications group Econet Wireless, and several ALA graduates, including Bradley Opere from Kenya, current student body president of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

From Left: Tim McChristian, Executive Director ALA; Bradley Opere, ALA Graduate and current student body president of University of North Carolina; Robyn Curnow, CNN; Liz Gips, chair ALF; Phyllis Bergman, president D.E.F; Nicola Breytenback, D.E.F board member, Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director D.E.F; Raven Carey-James, Program and Events Associate D.E.F; Chris Bradley, co-founder, CEO ALA

Says D.E.F president Phyllis Bergman, CEO of Mercury Ring, "These bright young students are a shining example of Africa’s future. D.E.F is proud to support these emerging leaders who represent our ‘Diamonds Do Good’ mission of supporting transformative initiatives in global diamond communities.”

D.E.F.’s support of ALA and other programs in diamond communities is made possible through fundraising efforts such as the annual Diamonds Do Good Awards Gala, held in June in Las Vegas in conjunction with the JCK Show.


Jewelers for Children Announces 2016 Local Grants Contest

New York, NY--Jewelers for Children has announced the 2016 edition of its Local Grants contest.  JFC has set aside $ 50,000 to be used for 10 grants of $ 5,000 each, to be given to local organizations chosen by independent jewelers. 

From October 3 through October 28, independent jewelers will have an opportunity to nominate their favorite local charitable organization to receive one of these grants.  Once a final list of nominated charities is compiled, an online voting process will begin on November 7, concluding November 18.  The top 10 vote getters will be announced November 21, and grants will be made prior to December 31, 2016. 

It will be up to the jeweler and the nominated charities to generate interest in their organization and secure votes through their own social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email blasts, and any other advertising opportunities available.  JFC provides sample language for use on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as press releases that can be used to generate votes for their nominated charity. 

Each of the 10 jewelers who nominate the winning charities will be able to present the grant from JFC directly to the charity, on behalf of the jewelry industry. JFC will announce the winners and jewelers to the trade and will be supplying a press release template for each jeweler to secure local (and possibly, national) recognition for their success in their own market.

Details on how to participate in the program and the requirements for nominated charities can be found on JFC's website at, under the Happenings section.  A nomination form to print out, complete and return to JFC to nominate a charity for consideration is available.


American Gem Society Announces Mentoring Program Launch

Las Vegas, NV—The American Gem Society (AGS) has launched a unique mentoring program designed to foster professional growth and personal development for the membership.

The program provides an opportunity for experienced members of the AGS to give back and assist in the professional development of other members. It gives those being mentored the chance to build their profesional network, define career goals, and overcome obstacles in obtaining those goals.

As every mentoring relationship is unique and may take on different forms, the AGS has created resources to help guide participants through the process.  Mentors are selected based on the ability to match with a mentee that is looking to acquire the skills or aptitude that the members have to offer.

“The AGS Mentoring Program can make a real difference to our industry.  The launch of the Young Titleholders Program, back in the 1980s, fostered a new generation of industry leaders, who are now continuing the important work of passing on the wisdom they received,” said Georgie Gleim, senior advisor to the AGS board of directors.  “The mentors in this program are the connecting thread between the leaders who built this industry (Robert M. Shipley, Dick Liddicoat, Bob Crowninshield, Mike Roman, and Al Woodill, to name a few) and the industry’s leaders of tomorrow.”

“The Young Titleholders are excited to help introduce the new AGS mentoring program,” said Denise Chislett, chair of the Young Titleholders Steering Committee. “This program goes hand in hand with our mission of connecting the next generation of our industry to the current leaders. Without my mentors I would not be where I am today. It is my hope that this program will make strong connections and lasting friendships, and that both the mentor and mentee can mutually benefit from their professional association.”

AGS Members who would like to learn more about the Society’s mentoring program, or who would like to apply either as a mentor or mentee, should visit Space is limited for both mentors and mentees.

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