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Industry News: Stephen Webster To Emcee GEM Awards; JFC Adds Directors; JSA Warns Of Rise In Attacks November 15, 2016 (0 comments)


Stephen Webster To Host The 2017 GEM Awards

New York, NY—Acclaimed British jewelry designer Stephen Webster will host the 15th Annual GEM Awards on Friday, January 13, 2017, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. Sponsored by Jewelers of America (JA), the GEM Awards recognize the achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches.

“We are thrilled that Stephen Webster has agreed to host the awards,” says GEM Award chair Norman Miller. “After Stephen presented the GEM Award for Jewelry Design last year, there was immediate consensus with the committee that he would be a terrific host for our milestone event.”

English eccentricity and American iconography, wildlife, the high life, literature, theatre and pop culture, the ocean and the animal kingdom are some of the inspirations that fuel Webster’s designs. With a workshop and design studio in Mayfair, London, a flagship store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and a salon on London’s super-chic Mount Street, Webster is widely considered one of most accomplished and exciting designers of the global jewelry world. In recent years his company has expanded globally, with close to 200 points of sale worldwide including the United Kingdom, United States, Russia, Dubai, Japan and Hong Kong.

“Despite carrying the burden of a funny accent and a warped sense of unfiltered humor, the powers that be have asked me to host this year’s GEM awards. I'm honored and looking forward to it. My wife is equally dreading it but wouldn't miss it,” chuckled Webster. “Accepting that the engagement comes with responsibilities, the values of the awards committee and the nominees will be respected at all times. My name is Stephen Webster, and I endorse this message.”

The 2017 GEM Awards will also honor Jim Rosenheim, chairman of Tiny Jewel Box, with the prestigious GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement award and present GEM Awards in other categories including Jewelry Design, Marketing and Communications, Media Excellence and Watch Excellence.

Portions of the GEM Awards program will be available via Facebook Live on the GEM Awards Facebook Page. For more information about GEM Awards, to order tickets, reserve a sponsorship, or to secure an advertisement in the GEM Awards Journal, please visit


Jewelers for Children Welcomes New Directors

New York, NY—Jewelers for Children elected 14 industry leaders to its board of directors, effective October 1. The board also re-elected the current executive committee to an additional one-year term and added one member. Re-elected are Dennis Ulrich, Richline Group, chairman; Mark Light, Signet Jewelers, Inc., vice president of charity programs; Pamela Mortensen, J.C. Penney, vice president of fundraising; John White of Fossil, Inc., vice president of marketing and public relations; Debra Puzio, Star Luxe, LLC, vice president of special programs; Howard Hauben of Centurion Jewelry Shows, secretary; and Alan Zimmer, Reeds Jewelers, treasurer. Ruth Batson of AGS will continue as immediate past chair and will chair the nominating committee.

“I’m humbled to be elected to a second term as chairman," said Ulrich. Working with a group of such dedicated individuals who are so committed to helping children is an honor."

The 14 new directors are Evan Berkley, Jacmel Jewelry, Inc.; Katy Briggs, Hallmark Jewelry; Caryl Capeci, Hearts On Fire; Rudy Chavez, Cartier; Cora Lee Colaizzi, Quality Gold; Dan Dean, Asurion; Jake Duneier, Clyde Duneier; Sebastian Hobbs, Signet Jewelers, Inc.; Howard Hauben, Centurion Jewelry Shows; Howard Hurwitz, Howard’s Jewelry Center; Scott Key, Alex & Ani; Anna Martin, Gemological Institute of America; Scott Saunders, London Jewelers; and Trina Woldt, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

Three current directors were elected to a second three-year term: R. Andrew Johnson, the Diamond Cellar; Moshe Klein, Julius Klein; and Charles Stanley, Forevermark.

Outgoing directors include Nabil Abdallah, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company; Debbie Azar, Gemological Science International; Scott Berg, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; Patrick Drummond; Rebecca Foerster, Leo Schachter Diamonds; Russell Kwiat, Kwiat; Michael Langhammer, Quality Gold, Inc.; Dipu Mehta, Rosy Blue; Carol Pennelli, David Yurman; Mark Udell, London Jewelers; Steve Velasquez, Bailey, Banks & Biddle; Joshua Weinman, Firestar; and Bobby Wilkerson, Wilkerson.


JSA Warns Of Uptick In Attacks Against Jewelers And Salespeople

New York, NY—There were four attacks against traveling jewelry salespeople and five off-premises attacks against jewelry retailers in October, according to the Jewelers Security Alliance.

The attacks against traveling salespeople—including one where the robbers cut off the salesperson’s car in front and rammed it from behind with a second vehicle—occurred near Seattle, WA, Lexington, KY, Las Vegas, NV, and Chattanooga, TN.

Off-premise attacks against jewelers occurred in Roswell and Lilburn, GA, Gulfport, MS, Thousand Oaks, CA, and Naples, FL. The Lilburn attack occurred in the jeweler’s garage at home; the others occurred after the jeweler left the store but before arriving at home.

JSA offers these tips to both jewelers and traveling salespeople:

  1. Never resist a robbery. Your merchandise can be replaced; your life can’t.
  2. Traveling salespeople should drive evasively after every sales call and before returning to their hotel, home or office. Be hyper-aware of surroundings including vehicles following you and be especially cautious around entrance and exit ramps on highways.
  3. Park as close to the destination store as possible, do not enter by a rear or secluded entrance, and don’t stay in the car before or after sales calls.
  4. Do not leave jewelry in an unattended vehicle.
  5. If jewelers or traveling salespeople think they are being followed, call 911 and tell the dispatcher you are about to be the victim of an armed robbery. If possible, make the call obvious because criminals are less likely to pursue if they think their intended victim has called police.
  6. Assume any car trouble—locks, keys, tires, radiator leak, etc.—means you have been targeted for a hit; likewise if you are bumped by another vehicle. Get to a safe place immediately.
  7. Jewelers should not take jewelry home. Indeed, anyone carrying a bag into a jewelry store may be mistaken for a traveling salesperson and targeted.
  8. Regularly check under both your own and any rental car for stick-on GPS devices.
  9. Return your rental car without refueling. The added cost of letting the rental company fill it is worth avoiding the risk of being hit at a gas station.
  10. Keep travel plans confidential and don’t post on social media.


Swiss Gem Lab Now Can Test Gem Origins

Basel, Switzerland—The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) introduces the ground-breaking GemTOF instrument, which conducts chemical analysis through laser ablation to provide more information about the origin of a variety of gems, as well precisely identifying a range of other elements in colored gemstones, diamonds, and pearls. SSEF is the first lab in the world to offer the service. 

Considered a next-generation elemental analytical device, the GemTOF instrument uses Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-TOF-MS) to conduct chemical analyses of gemstones and pearls. Like other laser-ablation based systems, it extracts chemical information from a few tiny laser-ablated pits, usually restricted to the girdles of gemstones. But unlike the other laser-ablation systems currently in use, GemTOF's technology allows almost all isotopes to be measured simultaneously, rather than analyzing one after the other. It also creates very shallow pits with the diameter of a single human hair, that do not affect the weight of a stone.

GemTOF's technique offers new possibilities for origin determination of colored gemstones, notably emerald, ruby, sapphire, spinel, alexandrite, tourmaline, and garnet. Other applications include age dating, analysis of inclusions and chemical zoning in colored gemstones, diamonds and pearls.

Detailed information about GemTOF technology has been published in the most recent issues of the Journal of Gemmology and InColor. For a video on GemTOF and more background information visit 

A technician places sapphires for analysis in the GemTOF instrument. The system, which precisely identifies chemical components in gemstones, expands the ability of experts to address a gem's origin.

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