Diane Flora Membership and Education Manager at AGTA

August 22, 2013

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) 
Names Diane Flora
Membership and Education Manager

DF Headshot
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced today that Diane Flora was named the Membership and Education Manager. She began her new role July 29.
Prior to joining AGTA, Flora was the Director of Education at the American Gem Society (AGS) for over 10 years, where she planned, directed, and coordinated the educational programs for the Society. And previous to AGS, she was an instructor for the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), teaching classes in gemology including diamonds, color gemstones, and pearls.
“Diane comes to AGTA with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience,” says Douglas Hucker, AGTA CEO. “Education is a core value that we, at AGTA, hold in the highest regard.  As we continue to focus on the importance of our Member benefits and grow our membership base we are thrilled to have someone of Diane’s stature on board!
Flora earned her Graduate Gemology diploma from the GIA in 1979 and the prestigious title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser, AGS, in 1992. In her role as Membership and Education Manager she will be responsible for member growth and focus on the enhancement and promotion of the benefits of membership in the AGTA.

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) is an association of United States and Canadian trade professionals dedicated to promoting the long term stability and integrity of the natural colored gemstone and Cultured Pearl industries. 

The Association pursues its goals through the combined use of educational programs, publicity, industry events, government and industry relations, and printed materials for both the trade and consumer. The AGTA is well-known in the gemstone and jewelry industries for maintaining the highest ethical standards.
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GIA Presents at the Japan Jewellery Fair

August 22, 2013
GIA Presents at the Japan Jewellery Fair
Experts discuss ruby, sapphire treatments and pearls
TOKYO – Aug. 15, 2013 – Members of the Japanese gem and jewelry trade will have the opportunity to learn about ruby and sapphire treatments and pearls on Aug. 27 and 28 during the Japan Jewellery Fair in Tokyo. Ahmadjan Abduriyim, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) senior research scientist and manager of Colored Stone Services, will share the latest details about treatments applied to two of the most sought after and fabled gems – ruby and sapphire. Nicholas Sturman, GIA manager of Pearl Identification, will discuss the colorful world of mollusks and their pearls.

The free GIA seminars will be held at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center. Representatives from GIA will also be available throughout the show at Booth E-40, Aug. 27-29, to answer questions about the Institute’s education programs. 
Abduriyim will discuss the latest updates on ruby and sapphire treatments. The demand for natural, untreated rubies and sapphires continues to grow, but treatment processes that enhance the appearance of the stone are often difficult to detect outside of a gemological laboratory. Abduriyim’s presentation, “Gemological Observation of Ruby and Sapphire Heat Treatment,” will discuss how the GIA laboratories determine if a ruby or sapphire has been treated to improve its color or clarity.
Mollusks come in a range of colors, and amazingly varied shapes, patterns and sizes.  From the world’s largest shell to the smallest, there are many reasons to appreciate these diverse creatures. One of their best attributes, however, is that they are able to produce pearls. Sturman will discuss important and frequently encountered pearl-producing mollusks, as well as some of the rarer ones. He will also cover topics related to their coloration, structure and optical characteristics.
Abduriyim received his doctorate in mineralogy from the Division of Earth and Planetary Science at Kyoto University in Japan. He has authored numerous gemological articles, including work on geographic origin determination of major gemstones and the applications of LA-ICP-MS in the gemological field, which have been published in major gemological periodicals such as Gems and Gemology.
With more than 23 years of experience, Sturman brings a unique perspective to the detailed examination of pearls. He obtained his Fellowship (FGA) and Diamond Membership (DGA) of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and spent more than 16 years studying pearls in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he served as the gemological advisor to the Bahrain Government’s Gem and Pearl Testing Laboratory. He has been with GIA since 2008.
Prospective students and other interested parties are encouraged to meet with representatives from GIA’s campuses in Tokyo and Osaka at Booth E-40. GIA is the worldwide leader in gemological education with 11 campuses around the world and a globally recognized eLearning program. For more information, visit www.gia.edu.

About GIA
An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit www.gia.edu.   
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Two Jewelry School Scholarship Opportunites….

August 21, 2013

A couple Scholarship opportunities via the MJSA Newsletter:

Jewelry Studies International Accepting Scholarship ApplicationsJewelry Studies International, in collaboration with Vision Numeric 3Design, is accepting applications for a scholarship for classes in beginning and advanced CAD. Valued at $1,900, the scholarship will cover 10 days of instruction in 3Design CAD and includes a six-month student license for the software. (Travel and lodging expenses are not included.) Students must have a laptop with the required specifications to run 3Design CAD. Deadline: Oct. 1. 

Jewelry Studies International, 
321 W. Ben White Blvd., #204, 
                      Austin, TX 78704; 

Gemological Institute of America Accepting Scholarship Applications
Gemological Institute of America(GIA) is accepting scholarship applications for its 2014 Gemology and Jewelry Manufacturing Arts programs, courses, and lab classes. Scholarships are available for its distance education eLearning courses and for classes at GIA’s campuses in Bangkok, Thailand; Carlsbad, California; Hong Kong; London; Mumbai, India; New York City; and Taiwan, as well as at the GIA branch in Dubai. Additional scholarships are also available. Applications will be available through Oct. 31. Contact: GIA, 1-760-603-4131;scholarships@gia.edu; www.gia.edu.

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PGI Introduces "Hint Tool"!

August 21, 2013
New York, NY (August 9, 2013) – Every girl dreams of that magical day- her Prince Charming on bended knee professing his love with the perfect symbol of an everlasting relationship- a platinum engagement ring! But how does he know which setting is swoon-worthy? Platinum Guild International USA (PGI USA) has created a foolproof instrument to take the guesswork out of ring shopping, the new “Hint Tool.”
The Hint Tool lives on PGI-USA’s recently re-launched consumer website www.preciousplatinum.com. Users navigating the platinum design gallery can send a “hint” to that special someone indicating any piece of platinum jewelry from the site by simply clicking the “Hint This” link on any product page. This will prompt a customizable e-card that can be sent via email or social media or even printed for personal delivery. The addressee will then receive the relevant product info with the personalized message.  

“Surveys find that an overwhelming amount of brides-to-be desire a platinum setting,” says PGI USA President Huw Daniel. “The Hint Tool is a way for these brides, and anyone desiring platinum jewelry, to not only express a preference of design, but to distinguish the benefit of setting it in platinum.”
Platinum is naturally white and, unlike other white metals, will never change color or fade so it is the perfect choice for jewelry that symbolizes a lasting relationship. See more facts about platinum, platinum jewelry designs, retailer locations and much more on www.preciousplatinum.com. The website has recently been revamped to provide for a more user-friendly experience with an easy-to-navigate design gallery and accessible information and tools.
About Platinum Guild International (PGI):
Platinum Guild International is dedicated to promoting platinum and its pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade.PGI has offices in the US, China, Japan, India and London, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of platinum jewelry. For more information please visit
PGI-USA’s consumer site: www.preciousplatinum.com
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Introducing – ATHOMIE

August 20, 2013


[ A – THO – MEE ]


An international patent…in jewelry. A novel concept brought to life through Italian innovation and design.  Already a success in Europe and around world, Athomie is ready to make its mark in North America.
Athomie emerges akin to a space mission. Inspired by the fact that everything is comprised of atoms.  After all, nothing exists except atoms and empty space, everything else is opinion.
Typically we experience jewelry through only one sense, our sense of sight. Athomie aims to change the way we experience


These one of a kind pieces are not only beautiful to the eye, but to the touch as well. Patented technology of suspended sterling silver, diamond cut beads rotate 360 degrees to provide an addictive, sensory experience to the wearer.  The first generation features three distinct collections-classic, contemporary and innovative. With an array of 18k gold platings and finishes, the possibilities are truly infinite.
Italian jewelry house Dibi SpA in collaboration with designer Stefano Russo brings us Athomie. 
Russo spends his time between the fashion capitals of Milan and Paris; collaborating with prestigious brands such as Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and Prada. Fascinated and inspired by combining science with art, Russo applies these concepts to create the perfect balance Athomie ‘the sense of beauty”, is certain to make its mark in the industry.


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Precious Resources: A Revolutionary Gem Marketing Tool

August 20, 2013

Teofilo Otoni, Brazil 20th August 2013 – David Stanley Epstein of Brazil-based colored gemstone buying agency, Precious Resources, today announces the launch of an innovative sales tool aimed to help custom jewelers and designer-makers further differentiate themselves from the competition.

Consisting of an emailable video of between three and 15 minutes duration, the sales tool is designed to be shared with the friends and family of jewelers´ customers. The video will follow the order arriving at Precious Resources´ buying office in Brazil´s world famous Minas Gerais (meaning General Mines) state; including the search for the ideal rough gem material in Teofilo Otoni´s open air gem plaza or to the mine if necessary; through the cutting of the stone in Precious Resources´ ethical gem cutting workshop.

The finished gem is presented on a turntable with the size, weight, region – and when known – the mine. The jeweler´s and client´s names will feature prominently throughout; presenting the jeweler with a strong branding opportunity – and the customer a living testament to the occasion and the emotion behind the piece.

If desired the jeweler or goldsmith can add onto the video the production of the piece and its presentation to the customer.

“We´ve been buying in Brazil for over 30 years, so we´ve seen numerous changes in the needs of our diverse clients – and the expectations of their own customers.

As more and more jewelers seek to differentiate themselves from mass-marketers by offering custom design services on premises, we want to offer the opportunity to “romance their customers´ stones” as an additional differentiator that research suggests will help close more sales,” said Epstein today.

Submitted – August 19th by David Epstein
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UP Your Influence – Leading Jewelers Guild

August 18, 2013
If you have been following this blog awhile then you know that I have a soft spot for “the local jeweler”.  You know the ones, the independent jewelry shop on the corner that half the neighborhood has used for generations. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the meeting for The Leading Jewelers Guild.

LJG is what happens when a group of Independent Jewelry Retailers (across the country) get together and combine their buying power…their influence becomes National.

Mission Statement from their website:

Leading Jewelers Guild is a strategic alliance of independent jewelers that develops competitive advantages for its members.

Leading Jewelers Guild, an organization completely owned by its member jewelers, through its strategic relationships and collective buying power, offers their retail membership the opportunity to lower overall operating costs and increase buying power in a strong, relationship driven environment.

A full service merchandising and strategic planning operation, Leading Jewelers Guild is an invaluable marketing, catalog production and advertising resource dedicated to the overall business needs of the family-owned independent jeweler.

Their influence is obvious when you see the Brands that flock to their meeting. Most of you have attended a JCK Show or JA  but the really nice thing about this show is the size – smaller – more intimate.  You not only get a chance to see and touch, but you can have a conversation with the vendor and in some cases with the designer.

So what kind of brands does this show attract?

Straight from the JCK show floor – Sylvie Collection


…a Bridal favorite Leiberfarb (with the always delightful Anne Arnold) was there with their new yellow diamond collection that extends to pendants and earrings!


…and my show favorite – this two finger stunner from Hearts On Fire!!!


Since Bridal is a huge portion of a Jewelry Retailer’s business as you can imagine the show had several Bridal Companies represented…



and last but certainly not least these stunning Meteor Cut Diamonds from Lili…


That being said there was no shortage of great Fashion Jewelry…


Estelle Hedaya was onsite with the great new collections from World Trade Jewelry – Hershey Kisses and Scrabble…


…and now their NBA Collection…


Leiberfarb’s yellow diamond initials were just the perfect size to stack with the “petite letter 
pieces” that are so on trend today!

Variety Gem’s aptly named “Candy Collection”!


…I especially liked the blackened metal with the Blue Chalcedony…

While we’re talking candy, we can’t forget the Chocolatier…LeVian!


The ever popular Chamilia…



LOVED these Meteorite pieces from Fable…




Honora Pearl did what they do best…pearls in every color…



The stunning color of these Morganite pieces from Quality Color stopped me in my tracks…


…and while we are talking color…


For me the “Fashion Star” of the show was EFFY!  Two new collections were on view from the Celebrity favorite…


So – if you are a brick & mortar Jeweler looking to increase your ability to carry some of the major brands…and more importantly a support system that only a network of businesses can provide, check into one of the Jeweler’s Groups in your area.

For more info about the Leading Jewelers Guild
contact Jimmy West (jimmywest828 at gmail.com)

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#JWLV – Yael Designs and The Best Things About Industry Tradeshows…

August 8, 2013

In some industries people dread the dreary Tradeshows and endless mind numbing lectures and rubber chicken dinners at Award Shows….

BUT – in the Jewelry Industry the upcoming Show is the Designers’ “Call To Action”…the Retailers may have the only dread -the dreaded finding room in your “open to buy”, but only because they know they will see far more beauty than they will ever be able to afford.

…and then we come to the Press covering these events – and I have tell you I would much rather be covering a Jewelry Tradeshow than a small appliances event – though I have to say Electronics would be fun also.

Now we come to the Yael Designs part of this post…this is a Designer that steps up their game for EVERY show – introducing a NEW piece or collection at each event!


Award-winning fine jewelry design house Yael Designs debuts Serendipity Collection for Fall 2013 at JCK Luxury Las Vegas.
Highlighting vibrant, vintage-inspired rose cut faceted emeralds of rare quality, Serendipity Collection includes earrings, cocktail rings and pendants set in 18K white and yellow gold and accented with diamonds.
Since visiting emerald museums in Colombia two years ago, CEO of Yael Designs Yehouda Saketkhou has been inspired to create an emerald collection and has been searching for a source of high quality emeralds that could be cut into slices without compromising the stone’s look.
“I was about to give up my search when Pantone announced emerald as the color of 2013,” said Saketkhou. “And right then, I suddenly came across my emerald source. It was so serendipitous that we immediately knew how to name this collection.”
The emeralds in Serendipity Collection have good clarity and rich green color that is offset by lustrous diamonds and gold setting to give the pieces an organic, yet luxurious feel.
“We shared our early designs with our fans on Facebook and received a tremendously positive response,” said Yael Designs’ marketing director Stefan Patashvili. “We’re very excited to bring this fashion collection to life.”
Debuting at JCK Las Vegas in June, the Serendipity Collection features bold, sophisticated statement pieces that will work well with blacks, greys and jewel tones trending for Fall 2013.
“We wanted to bring emerald slice jewelry to luxury buyers looking to add this beautiful, high fashion stone to their collections,” said Saketkhou.
The price for Serendipity Collection starts at $3,000. Photos of the collection can be found on http://www.yaeldesigns.com/collections/serendipity

For JA New York

It was this stunning 36 carat Ametrine piece – don’t you love the touch of whimsy in what would traditionally be a serious classic piece of jewelry?

…and at most shows they are displaying some of my favorite pieces…one of my personal favorites are the incredible dancing yellow diamonds in the Luna Collection

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what this amazing company brings to the rest of the shows this year – looks like Chicago is next on Yael’s calendar!

One more thing about Yael Designs – they aren’t afraid to show jewelry from other Designers – it takes a lot of experience for a Designer to realize that your customer shops other names and to be secure enough to show the work of other Designers…confident in the knowledge that your goods stand up next to them…for an eyeful of gorgeous things from Yael and many more, follow the Facebook page of this amazing Designer  https://www.facebook.com/YaelDesigns

So go out and discover new designs – new designers – new beauty – go to an Industry Tradeshow.

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#JWLV – 5 Favorites from the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

August 7, 2013

Your Wednesday dose of major jewelry – in this case Antique Jewelry!!!My top 5 (in no specific order) from the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show….Contact info accompanies each photo!This Demantoid stunner stopped me in my tracksGorgeous piec…

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Beyond Bollywood – Manish Arora for Amrapali

August 6, 2013

As a worldwide phenomenon on the fashion runway this year, Manish Arora for Amrapali enthralled audiences with its innovation and craftsmanship. Revitalizing its archive of traditional tribal jewelry from India, the Manish Arora for Amrapali exclu…

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