DEF “GOOD AWARDS” HONOREES ANNOUNCED

December 23, 2012

DIAMOND EMPOWERMENT FUND ANNOUNCES HONOREES FOR

2ND ANNUAL “GOOD AWARDS” JANUARY 10, 2013

Editor’s Note:  DEF recently announced that Noella Coursaris Musunka, international model and founder of the Georges Malaika Foundation would also be among the honorees at the “Good Awards” – info here.

Global luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. and Leo Schachter Diamonds will be honored for global leadership in helping empower people in Africa, at the second annual GOOD Awards on January 10, 2013.

The GOOD Awards, established by the Diamond Empowerment Fund in 2012, are the highest awards to recognize individuals and corporations in the diamond and jewelry industry for outstanding leadership in the areas of good corporate citizenship, sustainability, and promoting opportunity in Africa.

Tiffany & Co., a pillar of the diamond industry, has been in the forefront of promoting business practices and programs that benefit communities in which diamonds are sourced. Tiffany’s work in Botswana and other diamond producing countries highlights one of the many ways the company demonstrates accountability through best business practices resulting in employment, infrastructure improvements, and ultimately the empowerment of people in that region.

Leo Schachter Diamonds was one of the first diamond companies to establish a cutting factory in Botswana, employing hundreds of local Batswana. Additionally, Elliot Tannenbaum, principal of Leo Schachter Diamonds, in partnership with the government of Botswana, helped to establish the Botswana Top Achievers Program, a DEF beneficiary, that funds top students from the nation to study at the university of their choice worldwide.

Additional honorees will be announced soon. For more information on tickets, journal ads and sponsorship packages please visit www.goodawards.org.

 About the Diamond Empowerment Fund
The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a New York based non-profit organization (EIN# 20-5967103) that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations. Its beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, South Africa’s first non-profit university to offer a four-year business degree, the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa, and the Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development.  www.diamondempowerment.org

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GEMDIALOGUE® CELEBRATES THIRTY YEARS

December 21, 2012

GEMDIALOGUE® CELEBRATES THIRTY YEARS 

GemDialogue® takes pleasure in announcing a celebration of thirty years of continual service to the jewelry industry with its portable color memory system. Founded in 1982, GemDialogue® offers appraisers, dealers, jewelers and gemologists a repeatable and meaningful accurate color record for gemstones and colored diamonds. 

Howard Rubin, GG, inventor and founder of GemDialogue®, spent ten years developing the color system before offering it to the trade. GemDialogue® was engineered for the gem trade to supply portable, uniform color reference points in an affordable product. It offers a practical way to communicate with others in the gem trade, when talking about gemstone colors. 

The color communication system contains 21 basic transparent color charts showing ten different saturation levels for each color. A black to gray mask as well as a brown to light brown mask is also included. The charts and the color masks offer 60,000 color possibilities for matching. 


GemDialogue® allows grading color gemstones from transparent, translucent to opaque materials. Challenging variants such as dichroic, poorly cut, or zoned material are easily color graded. Rare material such as Paraiba, Burma and Kashmir poses no difficulty in color grading using GemDialogue®. 

Howard Rubin, who passed away early in 2012, leaves a legacy to the gemstone industry for the future. GemDialogue® is currently available and in addition to the Color Chart Manual it now contains the GemDialogue® Color ToolBox, Grading Manual, and an instructional CD. 

For further information, contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, GemDialogue® Systems, Inc., P. O. Box 18, Rego Park, NY 11374, 718.897.7305 fax 718.997.9057, gblevine@gmail.com, www.GemDialogue.com.
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DEF SUPPORTS FLAVIANA MATATA FOUNDATION

December 20, 2012

DIAMOND EMPOWERMENT FUND SUPPORTS

FLAVIANA MATATA FOUNDATION 

The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) has granted $10,000 to the Flaviana Matata Foundation (FMF), which empowers young orphan girls through education, skills training, and micro-finance projects in Tanzania.

Founded by international fashion model and former Miss Universe Tanzania, Flaviana Matata, the FMF (flavianamatatafoundation.org) seeks to create a future through education and improve livelihoods among the youth in Tanzania.  When you empower a girl, you empower an entire community,says Matata. Providing opportunity for these young girls will encourage others to stay in school and vastly improve their chances for employment and productive livelihoods.

Matata recently received the Face of Africa award in recognition for her outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the African community, at the African Diaspora Awards on December 8th in NYC.

Join the Diamond Empowerment Fund at its upcoming GOOD Awards on January 10thin New York, as it recognizes other leaders making a difference in Africa. Your participation will help DEFs mission to empower the next generation of leaders in Africa (goodawards.org).

About the Diamond Empowerment Fund

The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a New York based non-profit organization (EIN# 20-5967103) that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations. Its beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, South Africas first non-profit university to offer a four-year business degree, the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa, the Flaviana Matata Foundation, based in Tanzania, and supporting young girls and women with grants to cover education, including vocational training,  micro-finance and entrepreneurial activities and the Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development.  www.diamondempowerment.org.

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Jadeite SMOKED Skinner’s Recent Fine Jewelry Auction

December 19, 2012

Skinner, Inc. announced strong results for its recent Fine Jewelry sale held on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. The highly successful sale grossed $3,693,963.00 including buyer’s premium, surpassing the pre-auction estimate high.Jadeite, Art Deco & Colo…

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Fashion Designer Kevan Hall’s 2013 Spring Collection Presented by AGTA

December 19, 2012


Fashion Designer Kevan Hall’s 2013 
Spring Collection Presented by AGTA
Los Angeles-based designer Kevan Hall unveiled his Spring 2013 collection December 5th with an intimate runway production at his atelier, presented by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), harkening back to the salon presentations of the 1950’s.  Celebrities including Estelle, Teri Hatcher, who made it a mother-daughter date night with daughter Emerson Rose Tenney, Virginia Madsen, Mayim Bialik, Alfre Woodard, Twilight’s Christian Serratos and more were in attendance to take in the drama on the runway.  

Front row (from left to right): Erica Courtney, Alfre Woodard (True Blood), Annika Marks (The Sessions), Virginia Madsen (The Magic of Belle Isle), Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives), Emerson Rose Tenney, Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory).



Known for his modern take on glamour, Hall’s Spring 2013 collection derives inspiration from the strong colors of Fauve landscapes.  Ribbons and bows co-exist with structured silhouettes, accented with patent leather, creating an exuberant collection aimed at awakening the senses and returning to a feminine moment in fashion.  The runway presentation consisted of ready-to-wear as well as red carpet-worthy eveningwear and culminated in a passage of bridal gowns from Kevan Hall’s new White Label collection. The designer, who once helmed iconic fashion house Halston, has enjoyed success as a perennial Red Carpet favorite, dressing many of Hollywood’s leading ladies including Katherine Heigl, Vanessa Williams, Jordin Sparks, Debra Messing, First Lady Michelle Obama plus countless others.


The show was presented by The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Collection™ featuring fine jewelry by Erica Courtney, Baggins, Mark Schneider Designs, Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection and Yael Designs. “With Kevan’s obvious love of color in his designs, we thought this was a great opportunity to promote colored gemstones and pearls,” stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA’s CEO.  “We were able to bring together a wide variety of jewelry to accessorize Kevan’s looks from a group of AGTA Member designers, all of whom have won multiple AGTA Spectrum Awards™.”

The AGTA Collection (from left to right): Adam Graham (AGTA), Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games), Erica Courtney (Erica Courtney, Inc.), Jacqueline Emerson (Hunger Games), Yehouda Saketkhou (Yael Designs), Anil Maloo (Baggins Pearls), and Mark Schneider (Mark Schneider Designs).


It was an evening of fun and fabulous fashion – but we were thinking that we would like to see the Jewelry Designers take the spotlight.  We didn’t forget Erica Courtney check out the feature on Erica at the event – you can find that here.

Here are a few of the Red Carpet Jewelry looks from the evening…

Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection  –   Scottsdale, AZ                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Matched pair of cushion cut smoky topaz equaling a total of 30ct. Surrounded with 384 bead set white diamonds equaling 1.95ct. 6 round brilliant cut head set diamonds equal a total of.36ct. White gold is finished in black rhodium.
Anil Maloo Baggins, Inc.  –   Los Angeles, CA                                                                                                                                                                                                                 14K white gold earrings featuring 8.5mm Akoya Pearls, 9mm white South Sea Pearls, 10-11mm Tahitian Pearls and accented with Diamonds (2.42 ctw.).  These were this year’s Best Use of Pearl winners in the Spectrum Competition
























Yehouda Saketkhou – Yael Designs – San Francisco, CA Pacifica tanzanite (10.15 ctw) and diamond (5.29 ctw.) earrings
Mark Schneider  –  Mark Schneider Design  –  Long Beach , CA                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Platinum earrings featuring 8 freshwater Pearls accented with Diamonds (.30 ctw.). 
Platinum Entry Innovation in Business/Day Wear at the Spectrum Awards this year.
Thanks for paying attention to the jewels for a moment and now, the 2013 Spring Collection from Atelier Kevan Hall…

Kevan Hall Spring 2013 AGTA


The AGTA Collection™ participates in many events throughout the year.  Upcoming 2013 events include the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards®, the AGS Conclave, the JIC Annual Jewelry Preview and the Primetime Emmys.  All AGTA Members are eligible to participate.  If you would like more information on participating in the AGTA Collection, please contact Adam Graham (adam@agta.org) or Danielle Pelletiere (Danielle@agta.org) at the AGTA office – 214-742-4367.

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The Ten Most Outrageous Jewelry Pieces of 2012

December 18, 2012


Welcome Sharon Sussman, Dir. of Products at Brilliance…
Who says jewelry design can’t look fab without a touch of eccentricity?

Jewelry expresses our innermost feelings and intentions. A precious gem can symbolize undying love, perhaps, or mark an important milestone. It can also reveal the wearer’s own personality and eccentricity. It’s no surprise, then, that more and more people are getting their inner freaks on via some outrageous pieces of bling.

This year, we’ve seen even non-jewelry objects get encrusted with diamonds, plated with gold, and generally made to look glamorous even if their original purposes were fairly mundane.

As you may have guessed, when it comes to outrageous pieces of jewelry, the rule seems to be the bigger the better, and preferably with references copped from popular culture, geography, and historical events. Many such pieces are unique and memorable enough to command top dollar in major auction houses.

Below are my top ten jewelry pieces from 2012 that stretch the boundaries of creativity and glamour.

10. The Izmir Necklace



Encrusted with round baguette-cut and pear-shaped diamonds, mandarin garnet beads, opal beads, amethysts, rubellites, citrines, pink and purple spinels, topaz and one 50.79-carat cushion yellow sapphire set in pink gold, the necklace is a study in luxurious excess. The piece, which took hundreds of hours to compete, pays homage to the Oriental Ball and the Arabian Nights. All that adds up to one awe-inspiring piece.

9. The Dentelle Opale d’Orient Bracelet



 

Jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane went all out with the precious stone color palette to come up this brilliant piece for the Dear Dior line. It is primarily inspired by travels to the exotic and mystic Orient. It features a rich opalescent center radiating with meticulously set clusters of diamonds, rubies, tanzanites, garnets, spinelles, and spessartites set in platinum and yellow gold.

The Dentelle Opale d’Orient Bracelet is a far cry from the designer’s previous work for the My Dior collection, which featured a predominantly minimalist style.

8. The Wave Necklace



Imagine a vortex of glamour resting on your chest. Designer Harry Winston worked with a gorgeous cascade of diamonds, so that anyone wearing the Wave necklace seems to be dripping with liquid brilliance.  Featuring a jaw-dropping 60.4-carat pear shaped stone pendant, it is widely considered to be one of the more memorable pieces featured in the  Biennale des Antiquaires 2012.

7. A Drop Into the Ocean Necklace



Further inspiration from nature can be gleaned in this Wallace Chan-designed necklace.  The poetic name for this beautiful piece of jewelry does justice to the superbly crafted 379.21-carat aquamarine pendant, plus diamonds and sapphires done in streaming rivulets. The designer takes inspiration from Eastern philosophies and aesthetics, and is the only Asian to be featured in the 2012 Biennale des Antiquaires.

6.  The Boucheron Mosaique Delilah Necklace



This is a mosaic neck piece made up of an astounding 26.89-carat pink pear-shaped morganite, 112.88-carat 921 pink sapphires, 50-carat 409 princess-cut diamonds, 16.26 carats of 132 orange sapphires, and 15-carats of 118 yellow sapphires. Outrageous in its overall value and weight but decidedly sedate in design, the Boucheron Mosaique Delilah necklace is a study in carefully-executed, tasteful jewelry craftsmanship.

5.   The Cartier Platinum Panther Ring



Jewelry with a bite seems to be the Cartier premise with this fine, feline finger adornment. The almost whimsical design is set with 24.46-carat cushion cut sapphires from Sri Lanka for the panther’s “spots”. Its fur is made of encrusted diamonds; it also features the occasional onyx spots, emeralds for eyes, and an onyx nose. Definitely a roaring ring for the adventurous set!

4. The Piaget Hand-Knitted Cuff Watch with Diamonds


Piaget puts forward the kind of craftsmanship and design it has become famous and much sought-after for with this stunning piece. The painstakingly hand-twisted and knitted watch cuff features an 18k white-gold mesh, taking inspiration from, and paying homage to a similar design done in the 1970s. Set with 69 brilliant-cut diamonds and over 300 more diamonds on its face, the watch case itself is something to behold.

3. The Van Cleef & Arpels Aquarius Clip with Sapphires


The Van Cleef & Arpels trademark for seamless jewelry craftsmanship is highly evident in this piece from the company’s Zodiac line. Quirky yet professionally done, the Aquarius symbolism of the bearer of water is unmistakable, and will definitely add glamor to anyone born under this sign. Featuring clusters of diamonds, five star sapphires with a total weight of 18.28 carats, and smaller sapphires done in the Van Cleef & Arpels “Mystery Set” method, this clip is surely a better alternative to the usual birth stone jewelry.  

2. The Gangnam Celebrity Diamond Pendant



The irony of what could arguably be the most popular non-English language song of 2012, which criticizes excessive consumerist culture, might be lost on whoever commissioned this Gangnam-style diamond pendant from the Brilliance jewelry company. 6 ¼ carats of diamonds embellish this wacky piece featuring the now-famous horse-riding stance. It is a great conversation-starter piece, and a fitting, though pseudo-satirical, statement done in precious stones and set in 18k white and yellow gold.   

1. The Gollum Creature Ring


As far as geek jewelry goes, Lord of the Rings pieces are some of the most desirable. While most people would expect The One Ring to be the most noteworthy, that honor this year belongs to Badali Jewelry’s Gollum-inspired ring. The ring is available in both sterling silver and 14k gold. Gollum’s spindly arms and legs curve form the ring’s band.

Definitely an unusual, yet precious, piece.


________________________________________________

Guest author Sharon Sussman is currently the Director of Products at Brilliance, a jewelry company which specializes in certified loose diamonds, engagement rings and custom-made jewelry. A graduate of Touro College, she is also a gemologist and jeweler whose articles and advice columns have been published on notable fashion and finance blogs and sites. She can also be found on Google + and reached at sharon.sussman@brilliance.com.

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ANGLO AMERICAN GROUP FOUNDATION SUPPORTS DDI

December 17, 2012

ANGLO AMERICAN GROUP FOUNDATION
SUPPORTS DIAMOND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE 
                        “Enabling positive development for artisanal diamond miners and their communities”                            

The Anglo American Group Foundation (“the Foundation”) and The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) announce that the Foundation has made a financial contribution to DDI’s work in the field of artisanal diamond production.

DDI, founded in 2007, is a non-profit charitable organisation working to improve the lives of Africa’s 1.5 million artisanal diamond diggers and their families. The alluvial diamond fields of Africa are where conflict diamonds began, and while the Kimberley Process has done much to regulate the rough diamond trade, its mandate does not extend to the development problems facing artisanal diamond diggers. DDI is working with African governments, the Kimberley Process, African civil society and the diamond industry to bring artisanal miners into the formal economies of their countries, establish fair prices and safe working conditions, end child labour and promote human rights at the grass roots of the diamond pipeline.

The Anglo American Group Foundation aims to create sustainable livelihoods, targeting communities in a holistic way to tackle multiple issues bearing in mind long term strategies and goals. In addition, the Foundation seeks collaboration with other organisations to maximiZe the impact of donations. The trustees of the Foundation include Anglo American employees who have, as a clear objective, serving the Foundation and its beneficiaries as an entity independent of the Anglo American Group.

Charlotte Edgeworth, Manager of the Foundation, commented: “Our support for the Diamond Development Initiative fits very well with our purpose to partner with leading development organisations and we are delighted to be working together.”

Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI, commented: “Support from the Anglo American Group Foundation is very important to us. We believe that our objectives mirror those of the Foundation and that together we can bring real development to forgotten communities in Africa. The ‘fit’ for us is absolutely terrific.”

The Anglo American Group Foundation is a charitable grant giving organisation solely funded by Anglo American, a leading global mining company. 

About DDI: The Diamond Development Initiative is registered as a non-profit charitable organization in both Canada and the United States. Our charitable registration number in Canada is 84188 3606 RR0001. Our US 501(c)(3) Tax ID EIN number is 51-0616171. DDI’s executive office is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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Vendor Spotlight: Samantha Louise Designs

December 17, 2012

Today the Spotlight Shines on Samantha Louise Designshttp://samanthalouisedesign.comThis would be a GREAT Spring gift line for any Jewelry Store or Boutique …can’t you see these pieces on a Spring or Summer Bride? Beach Wedding friendly ;)CONTACT IN…

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NAJA ANNOUNCES 2012 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER

December 15, 2012

NAJA ANNOUNCES 2012 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) announces the winner of the 2012 ACE© It Conference Scholarship to attend the 39th Annual ACE© It Winter Educational Conference scheduled on February 3 – 4 , 2012, Tucson AZ.                                         
                        

Ms. Kim Pascarella, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, is the 2012 winner of the annual scholarship.  Ms. Pascarella is a current home study student at the Gemological Institute of America.  Her jewelry journey started as a retail sales associate with a large corporate company.  She is currently General Manager at Joe DiMaggio Jewelers with a rich variety of responsibilities.  Ms. Pascarella says that “I love this job.  I’m passionate about our clients and this trade.” 


The NAJA Scholarship gives a gemology student a first hand experience of networking with appraisal professionals by attending the highly regarded NAJA educational experience during a time when Tucson devotes itself to gems, jewelry, and minerals.  NAJA believes that appraising is a viable career option for students of gemology.


The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers is the largest membership association specializing exclusively in gem and jewelry appraising and related appraisal issues.  It offers education and networking opportunities with knowledgeable appraisal professionals.  

For further information on becoming a member of NAJA, attending NAJA’s Tucson education conference or the 2013 Conference Scholarship please contact: 
Gail Brett Levine, GG, Executive Director
The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
P. O. Box 18, Rego Park, NY 11374
718.896.1536  fax 718.997.9057
naja.appraisers@netzero.net 
 www.NAJAappraisers.com.



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KP Approval Crucial to Panama’s Diamond Trade

December 13, 2012

Kimberley Process approval a critical step to Panama’s developmentas regional diamond trade center, says Minister of Commerce and IndustryPanama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ricardo Quijano, has welcomed the recent unanimous decision by th…

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