RIP Jerry Sisk – You Will Be Missed

January 16, 2013

JTV Photo – Jerry Sisk, JTV Co-Founder, greeting well wishers in Arusha Tanzania.
From the Jewelry Television Blog:

Gerald D. Sisk, Jr., Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Jewelry Television®, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning, January 13, 2013. His death was unexpected. Jerry Sisk, 59 years old, is survived by his wife Karen, his mother, a sister and several other relatives. 

Jerry Sisk was a Graduate Gemologist (G.I.A.), a member of the International Colored Gemstone Association, and served as a Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference committee member. 

A frequent guest speaker, he was honored to be chosen as one of the five most powerful people in the world of gems and gemology on the JCK 2012 Power List. 

His book, Guide to Gems & Jewelry, has sold more than 15,000 copies and is in its second printing.  

Please visit our memorial page for Jerry to share your thoughts and remembrances for his family and friends. “

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jerry’s name to Beads of Courage

From the Beads of Courage Jerry Sisk Memorial Page:

Jerry was a tremendous supporter and friend to Beads of Courage and we are humbled to receive donations in his honor.”

The on – air announcement was made during Scott & Casey’s Show….

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Some Of The Biggest Diamond Events of 2012

January 13, 2013

Sharon Sussman has returned to write another blog post…FUN!!

The Biggest Diamond and Gemstone Events of 2012

Diamonds are supposed to be forever, but the reality is that economic and environmental factors influence their presence in our lives. 2012 was a year that was punctuated with jewelry highs and lows, but trade experts agree that it was an exciting year indeed for the business and for people who simply love jewelry. Let’s take a look at some of the more significant diamond and gemstone events of the past year.

The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair

If there is anything that 2012 showed to the world, it’s that Asiahas firmly established itself as a formidable force in the jewelry industry. Hong Kong had this annual jewelry and gem fair in September, and guests were pleased to find the A-Zs of precious stones (from amber to zircon) were available on display. Chinastands at the forefront of this boom in the jewelry trade given its economic growth, but other Asian nations such as Indonesiaand Indiahave also contributed to satisfying results in the region’s trade shows and fairs. Many economists attribute this to the swelling of the middle class in many Asian countries, and the resulting desire to accumulate luxury items as investment.

Hong Kong has always been a busy place for the jewelry trade because of its lenient duty regulations. The result is that serious jewelry shoppers go to Hong Kongto get the best value for their money, and jewelry trade shows offer the best opportunities to do so.    

“The Perfect Diamond” auctioned at Christie’s

In April of 2012, Christie’s held its “Magnificent Jewels” auction. Easily one of the most anticipated jewelry auctions, many collectors had their sights set on a remarkable stone dubbed “the Perfect Diamond”. The Clark Pink, a very rare and valuable 9-carat pink diamond set in a ring, has been hidden away in a bank vault since the 1940s and was included only last year in a Clarkfamily estate sale. It was part of the collection of the family’s heiress along with 16 other jewelry pieces, which were speculated to fetch no less than $12 million.    

Discovery of “The Diamond Planet”

Science fiction made it possible for us to suspend our disbelief and dream of planets made of platinum, gold, and diamonds. Last year, the discovery of 55 Cancri, a planet twice the size of our own and with perfect conditions for creating diamonds, made these dreams more probable to realize. The planet’s chemical makeup includes surface temperatures of up to 2,150 degrees Celsius and an abundance of diamond’s most important ingredient: carbon. While this discovery may not necessarily make a significant impact in the jewelry industry, scientists are nevertheless excited over the possibility of an entire planetary system that is carbon-rich, unlike ours. (Also, further studies on 55 Cancri can contribute to the study on synthetic diamonds).

The unexpected appeal of non-traditional engagement rings and wedding bands

Round emerald and diamond engagement ring on white gold from Brilliance

Diamonds on engagement rings and wedding bands held sway for many decades. Last year, however, couples became more emboldened to wear colored gemstones denoting birthdays, anniversaries, and other special dates on their bridal finger bling. Reasons ranged from sentimental (birthstones have their own meaning and traits) to practical (engagement and wedding anniversaries are easier to remember with colored stones). 2012 definitely saw plenty of non-traditional rings on brides and engaged couples. The trend was mostly evident in diamond and birthstone combinations, but there were also a lot of rings which used colored gems as the central stone.

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 TouroCollege, 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 can be reached at


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Weekend Designer Spotlight – Two New Collections from Miseno

January 11, 2013

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Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair Launches Facebook Page

January 10, 2013

Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair launches Facebook page  Antwerp, Belgium – January 8, 2012: The organizers of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair have launched the fair’s own Facebook page ahead of the fourth edition of the event which t…

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Designer Spotlight on Bavna!

January 9, 2013

Bavna jewelry was created in 2008 by designer Sunny Jain. The essence of his line is deep rooted in the ancient language of Sanskrit where its meaning gives rise to many forms of development. Development of mind, body, and soul. It is in this profound connotation that Sunny’s philosophy for design resonates.

Bavna features 18 K gold, raw diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other various gemstones that manifest into a beautiful piece of art. Each piece is handcrafted capturing an ageless aura of exquisite craftsmanship interpreted for a modern lifestyle. His pieces are worn by confident women who express their individual style through fresh and exciting jewelry that will last a lifetime.

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Michael O’Connor Predicts Golden Globes Jewelry Trends

January 8, 2013

Michael O’Connor Hosts Jewelry Style Event for Show Nominees and Presenters
Los Angeles, CA (January 7, 2013) –This week Michael O’Connor, leading style expert and host of MovieStyle with Michael O’Connor on Reelz Channel,will host StyleLab’s jewelry event for Golden Globe Award nominees, presenters and stylists at a private venue in Los Angeles. O’Connor has curated a selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces from world-renowned designers for celebrities to borrow for the red carpetFrom ornate cuff bracelets to black diamond cufflinks, O’Connor will accessorize Hollywood’s leading stars with the most exquisite, highest quality jewelry.
O’Connor sees an overall fascination with colored gemstones and intricate designs this year – both modern and vintage styles. As the Golden Globe Awards quickly approach, O’Connor offers the following trend predictions:
Emerald Green
It’s the Pantone Color of the Year and gorgeous on red heads like Amy Adams – so expect to see a lot of emerald green on the red carpet. A breathtaking pair of tassel earrings from Abellan New York includes over 71 carats of emeralds that will make everyone green with envy. Beverly Hills designer Dena Kemp will unveil a one-of-a-kind emerald cocktail ring surrounded by diamonds. Trendsetting jewelry brand Just Jules will highlight a pair of rose-cut diamond and emerald slice chandelier earrings that will make a major statement. We will also see emeralds featured in a captivating necklace by Takat. This $145,000 design includes over 85 carats of Zambian emeralds in pear and oval cabochon cuts, and more than 15 carats of diamonds, all set in platinum and 18k yellow gold.

Drop Earrings and Vintage Pendants
While chandelier earrings are a classic, the latest styles are drops in all shapes and sizes. Bellarri’s linear drop earrings include over 26 carats of amethyst and diamonds. Jewelry By Gail’s “Staircase to Royalty” linear drop earrings also feature amethyst, however hers include a long vine-swirl French wire design, making them perfect for the lovely French actress Marion Cotillard. American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) designer Campbellian’s Bella Campbell designed a pair of round drop earrings that feature royal blue moonstones surrounded by diamonds. Since all of these baubles will draw attention to the jawbone, they will look perfect with plum colored lips! Be on the lookout for the return of pendant necklaces. Trendsetting stars like Sienna Miller or Zooey Deschanel will fall in love with AGTA’s My Blue Heaven designer Cara Lichtenstein’s black enamel pendant brooch set in platinum, featuring a 41 carat black opal accented with white diamonds…very vintage-inspired.
Cuff Bracelets
Whether they are worn as the sole piece of jewelry or stacked on both arms, cuffs remain in vogue on the red carpet. We’ll see more intricate metalwork like Canadian designer Mark Lash’s flexible mesh bangle bracelet with a diamond clasp, set in yellow gold. Silver Promotion Service (SPS) designer Slane will feature a sterling silver cuff bracelet with a sequence of ribbed and smooth rows along a diamond studded hinged closure. SPS designer Thistle & Bee’s thick sterling silver cuff looks like a stunning piece of modern art.

Men’s Jewelry
Hollywood’s most stylish men including Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper and Leonardo DiCaprio understand the importance of modern men’s jewelry. Traditional square cufflinks and chains are taking a backseat to styles with interesting patterns and materials. Designer Edward Mirell launched a cufflink and bracelet collection featuring black diamonds, textured leather, and cable. 
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January 7, 2013

While the global diamond industry experienced major declines during the year, Israel saw a steady improvement in its diamond trade in the third and fourth quarters of the year, according to Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai, who published figures for Israel’s diamond imports and exports during 2012.
Israel’s net polished diamond exports stood at $5.6 billion for the year, compared to $7.2 billion for the same period last year, a decline of 23%.
Mordechai said that Israel’s diamond trade seems likely to continue to improve in 2013 and return to levels of 2011, which was a record year.
Israel’s net rough diamond exports totaled $2.8 billion in 2012, compared to $3.5 billion in 2011, a 20% decrease.
Net imports of polished diamonds were $4.27 billion, compared to $5.68 billion for the year, a 25% drop.
Net rough imports stood at $3.8 billion, 13 % less than in 2011, when they totaled $4.4 billon.
The United States continued to be Israel’s major market for polished diamonds, accounting for 36% of the market. Hong Kong was the next largest market with 28% of exports, with Belgium accounting for 8%, Switzerland 5%, U.K. 5% and the rest of the world 18%.
Moti Ganz, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) said that he was confident that the Israeli Diamond Industry was back on track to renewed growth. “While the economic challenges of 2012 affected the entire diamond industry, we saw a marked recovery in Israel’s diamond trade from mid-year. This year we look forward to continuing this positive trend and even to beating our record of 2011,” Ganz said.
IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar said, “We are upbeat about Israel’s diamond trade in the coming year. The US economy is showing improvement, and so is Europe. The Israeli Diamond Industry has weathered the economic difficulties of 2012 and has emerged on a growth path. We’re proud to say that our industry is an island of stability.” Avidar added that the Israeli Diamond Industry continues to be a key factor in markets worldwide. “As a result of our members’ demand, IDI will organize industry participation in more trade shows and in additional markets during 2013,” he added.
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Minabea Brings Boho Vibe to Golden Globes Celebrity Gift Lounge

January 7, 2013

Minabea Jewelry’s Moroccan Boho Earrings Bring Exotic Vibe to GBK’S 2013 Golden Globes Celebrity Gift Lounge

Minabea Jewelry’s Moroccan Boho Earrings bring an exotic vibe to GBK’s Luxury Gift Lounge in Honor of the 2013 Golden Globe Awards. The earrings will be included in The Artisan Group’s coveted swag bag. The Gift Lounge takes place January 11-12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.

Los Angeles-based Minabea Jewelry ( is pleased to announce that its “Moroccan Boho Earrings” will be included in The Artisan Group’s coveted swag bag, to be gifted to celebrities stopping by its exhibit at GBK’s Luxury Gift Lounge in honor of the 2013 Golden Globes Nominees and Presenters. The Gift Lounge takes place January 11-12, 2013, at an exclusive location in Beverly Hills, California.

Quote startThe models with their center parted hair and low ponytails gave me the idea to create an earthy but dramatic earring with an architectural edge. The earrings also have a nomadic, spirited vibe that is pure Boho.Quote end
Christi Schimpke, designer/owner, Minabea Jewelry, says the “Arabian Nights” intrigue of fashion designers like Naeem Kahn and her passion for Moorish architecture were the inspirations for these earrings.
“Kahn’s looks for the spring 2013 runway were evocative of the past but modern too; which as a former art historian, I can’t help but love,” smiled Schimpke. “The models with their center parted hair and low ponytails gave me the idea to create an earthy but dramatic earring with an architectural edge. The earrings also have a nomadic, spirited vibe that is pure Boho.”
View the Minabea 2013 Golden Globe Awards slideshow video to see the Moroccan Boho earrings and other Minabea jewelry designs.
Schimpke forged and formed the earrings out of rich yellow brass to which she gave a shimmering, hammered finish. Each earring is accented with wire wrapped briolette drops in olive green or dark navy blue and elongated “dagger” beads of blue chalcedony or cherry quartz. The earrings are available for sale to the public as a limited edition and can be purchased on the Minabea website.
Schimpke notes that she procured the main brass component for the earrings from Laura’s Jewelry Workshop. This small community workshop, located in central Mexico, is dedicated to lifting Latina women out of poverty by teaching them jewelry making skills. “Laura is amazing and I’m happy to support her cause,” remarked Schimpke.
Besides creating a mind-blowing 100 pairs of earrings for the Golden Globes, Schimpke is finalizing a deal with Los Angeles jewelry rep Daren Kirk and putting the finishing touches on “Crash by Minabea,” a collection ofupcycled jewelry created from the salvage of late model crashed Mercedes Benz automobiles. Schimpke just returned from a Palm Springs fashion shoot, where Maëlle Andre photographed her pieces on models Madison Cook and Madi McQueen (granddaughter of Steve McQueen).
On the celebrity gifting front, Minabea’s “Silver and Howlite Spiral Dagger Pendant” was recently included in a gift bag put together by The Artisan Group for Leigh Leverett, wardrobe stylist for the CW’s popular teen drama, “The Vampire Diaries” and its “Rhodochrosite and African Brass Bead Necklace” is with Dorothy Amos, long time personal stylist for Jennifer Love Hewitt and wardrobe stylist for Lifetime’s hit show “The Client List.” Both pieces are being considered for use in upcoming episodes.
Schimpke is also preparing for GBK’s 2013 Academy Awards Gift Lounge and an upcoming Earth Day 2013 Gift Bag that will go to eco-conscious celebrities including Hayden Panettiere, Ginnifer Goodwin, Edward Norton, Adrian Grenier, Kate Bosworth, P!nk, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rachel McAdams and Emily VanCamp, among others.
“It’s been a busy fall/winter season,” laughed Schimpke, “but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
To learn more about Minabea Jewelry or its participation in The Artisan Group’s celebrity gifting initiatives visit itswebsite . follow it on Twitter (@minabea) or become a fan on Facebook. Press with inquiries about The Artisan Group can visit The Artisan Group website.
Minabea Jewelry ( is owned by jewelry designer and former art historian Christi Schimpke. Founded in 2010, the company specializes in hand-fabricated, one-of-a-kind and custom jewelry created with sterling and fine silver, gold and fair-trade semi-precious gemstones. Minabea is a proud member of The Artisan Group, an exclusive, by invitation only group of artisans who collectively provide their handcrafted products to celebrities at Hollywood’s elite award show gift lounges.
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Weekend Emerging Designer Spotlight on "little h" by Hisano Takei

December 30, 2012

The Spotlight is on: “little h” by Hisano Takei”I am attracted to the idea of jewelry taking different roles other than simply ornamentation.  Ideas such as jewelry suggesting garment, jewelry taking over the …

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2nd Annual "Future of Design" Business Incubator Contest for Jewelry Designers

December 29, 2012
ANNOUNCING: The Second Annual
Future of Design Business Incubator Contest for Jewelry Designers
Produced by
Jeweler’s Resource Bureau & StrategyWerx
Are you the worlds next sensation? A talented jewelry design’preneur
that is going to take our industry by storm?
This is the only competition evaluating both
your designs and business plan
 and offers you the opportunity to win a HUGE industry-wide prize package 


Described as a game changer, the Future of Design Business competition seeks to discover, promote and catapult the next great jewelry designer into the market.

Applications begin NOW and the winner will be selected during a “Shark Tank”-like live presentation at MJSA Expo New York in NYC on March 12, 2013. 

Submissions include our business plan-like application, marketing materials and visuals of your jewelry line. The application includes an in-depth questionnaire that teaches you about strategy and marketing planning along the way — and gives you plenty of time to compose your answers.

The deadline is January 21st — and you will need several days to complete your application, say last year’s finalists.
Applicants will be judged on their business concept, market feasibility, saleability and aesthetic impact. The winner will be the “total package” destined for greatness.

This is an unprecedented competition with a vast level of industry participation, unique judging process and a dream prize package.

Do you have what it takes?
Read more and learn about the application process

Every entrant gets feedback and advice from the judges

     Six semi-finalists win:

  • a mentoring date (by phone if in-person isn’t possible) with one of our Dream Team designers
  • a feature on

     Three finalists also win:

  • trip to NYC to participate in the finale

The winner also receives:

  •  sales training, consulting on strategy, financials and technology by StrategyWerx
  •  a booth in globalDESIGN showcase for execptional jewelers in Feb. in Philly
  •  a suite of marketing products from Jeweler’s Resource and free membership to JRB’s Inner Circle
  •  a booth in the Designer Showcase at the JA NY Show in July
  •  an ad campaign in INDESIGN magazine
  •  photography and ad campaign creation by RSP Media
  • Inclusion in a Jewelry Information Center media tour
  • JVC’s Patriot Act Compliance Kit and legal compliance coaching
  •  mentorship by all the judges
  •  promotion and publicity throughout the process
  •  more prizes to be added as new sponsors are secured!
  • Application process opens NOW
  • Application deadline is midnight PST January 21st
  • You can work on your online application in a stop-and-start fashion till Dec. 1
  • Winner selected March 12, 2013


    • It’s a business contest, not just a design contest
    • The application process walks you through critical business strategies
    • Every applicant gets a professional critique of/advice on his/her business plans
    • Winner gets hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods and services
    • Six semi-finalists get prizes and mentoring with a Dream Team member
    • Three finalists are flown to New York for final judging
    • Live finale, “Shark Tank”-style, at MJSA Expo New York in NYC on March 12, 2013
    • All are welcome to attend by registering for an MJSA EXPO show badge
    • Unique judging process:
    • Business plan submitted as well as designs 
    • In-depth business questionnaire akin to a marketing plan 
    • Judges interview six semi-finalists live via conference video 
    • Three finalists make live pitch in front of judges & audience in NYC 
    • Vast level of industry participation, probably unprecedented
    Many of these 2012 Mentoring Dream Team members will reprise their roll: 
    •  Gurhan
    •  Erica Courtney
    •  Todd Reed
    •  Lisa Jenks
    •  Robert Lee Morris
    •  Penny Preville


    •    Jeweler’s Resource Bureau
    •    StrategyWerx
    •    Fusion Jewelry
    •    MJSA
    •    JA NY Show
    •    National Jeweler
    •    INDESIGN magazine
    •    RSP Media 
    •    Jewelry Information Center
    •   Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee
                                         …… and more coming!

    See website for eligibility and to sign-up for future information from
    The Future of Design
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