Mystery Box" Raffle Raises Over $1,700 for MJSA Education Foundation

March 27, 2013

“Mystery Box” Raffle Raises Over $1,700

for MJSA Education Foundation

In addition to an eclectic set of materials (including niobium discs, spiny oyster shells, and colored ribbons), the jewelry created for MJSA Journal’s “Mystery Box Challenge” shared two traits. First, the pieces were all expertly made. Second, they all ultimately contributed to the mission of the MJSA Education Foundation, raising $1,745 in raffle sales during MJSA’s Expo New York trade show (March 10-12 at the Hilton New York).
Michelle Pajak-Reynolds, Stow, Ohio
The Journal–MJSA’s monthly magazine dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design–annually sponsors the “Mystery Box Challenge,” which has become a reader favorite since its debut in 2012. Inspired by the “Chopped” cooking show, it presents jewelry designers with eclectic, unfamiliar materials (all donated by industry suppliers) and asks them to create original jewelry pieces in four weeks’ time. The results, published in the magazine, have been case studies of the creative process in action.
This year, five of the “Mystery Box Masterpieces” were displayed at Expo New York, and tickets were sold for a raffle conducted after the show. The participating designers were:Gregoré Morin, Santa Barbara, California; Michelle Pajak-Reynolds, Stow, Ohio; Geoffrey Giles, Asheville, North Carolina; Erik Stewart, Tucson, Arizona; and Ryan Roberts/Robin Waynee, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (A sixth piece, made by Davina Romansky, had been previously sold and was unavailable.)
Erik Stewart, Tucson, Arizona
The raffle winners are:
Steven Adler, A3DM (Ryan Roberts/Robin Waynee ring)
Alan Bell, Rio Grande (Geoffrey Giles ring)
Andy Holwell, Johnson Matthey (Erik Stewart domed earrings)
Yvonne Padilla, Rio Grande (Michelle Pajak-Reynolds necklace)
Scott Raskin, Kemp Metals (Gregoré Morin drop earrings)
The suppliers that donated materials are:
Boston Gems, Boston, 
(moonstone cabochon)
Downeast Trading, Middlebury, Vermont,
(6-inch length of silver link chain)
Findings Inc./Leach Garner, Keene, New Hampshire,
(a pair of leverbacks, a lobster claw, and a toggle clasp, all sterling silver)
Hoover & Strong, Richmond, Virginia,
(18 gauge sheet of 4-inch-square TruSilver)
National Chain Group, Warwick, Rhode Island,
(18-inch sterling silver round box chain)
Reactive Metals Studio, Clarkdale, Arizona,
(purple and blue niobium discs, blue and purple niobium wire)
Rings & Things, Spokane, Washington,
(Heishi spiny oyster shell beads; 12 round amethyst beads; 12 faceted amethyst beads)
Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico,
(2 mm silk cords in different colors; 6 mm silver and black mesh ribbon; #3 Stringth bead cord in different colors)
United Precious Metal Refining, Alden, New York,
(1-mm-thick sheet of 4-inch square Sterlium Plus silver)
Proceeds will be used to fund student scholarships offered by the MJSA Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports programs developed to enhance the skills of current workers and develop the next generation of jewelry makers and designers.
To learn more about MJSA Journal and “The Mystery Box Challenge,” including articles about the creation of the pieces, go to
Ryan Roberts and Robin Waynee, Santa Fe, New Mexico

About MJSA
MJSA is the U.S. trade association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It provides the resources to achieve professional excellence and maintain a competitive edge. For more information, call MJSA at 1-800-444-6572 or visit

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White Diamond to Lead Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels April Auction

March 26, 2013

Sotheby’s to Offer Most Valuable White Diamond Ever to Appear In a New York Auction

Sotheby’s annual spring auction of Magnificent Jewels on 17 April 2013 will offer 400 lots, together estimated in excess of $35 million. The centerpiece of the sale is an exceptional pear-shaped diamond of nearly 75 carats, estimated at $9/12 million*, which marks the most important white diamond ever to appear at auction in the Americas. The stone is one of very few pear-shaped diamonds of D color over 50 carats to be offered in recent decades – its remarkable size and pure color position it in the company of named diamonds such as the Star of the Season, 100.10 carats, sold by Sotheby’s in 1995 for a then-record-breaking $16.5 million.

Lisa Hubbard, Chairman, North & South America, Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, commented:
“This truly exceptional stone exemplifies the strength of the white diamond market over the last decade. It was acquired by the present owner in 2001 for $4.3 million, and today we have estimated it conservatively at $120,000 per carat. The stone has universal appeal, and we anticipate that it will draw attention from both the diamond industry and discerning private collectors alike.”

Lisa Hubbard continued: “Recognizing that the strength of the jewelry market at this moment lies in pieces that have emerged from private collections – most recently evidenced by the success of jewels owned by Mrs. Charles Wrightsman and Estée and Evelyn H. Lauder – we have curated the April auction to include a wealth of wonderful, fresh-to-the-market pieces, such as rare colored stones from the Gould family and iconic styles including Cartier’s ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet and panther brooch.”

Highlights from the sale will be on view in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center from 3–7 April before returning to New York for exhibition on 13 April, alongside a selection of pieces from the upcoming Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels.


Six jewels from the family of financier and railroad magnate Jay Gould offer a glimpse into the past – a time when diamonds and fine colored stones were integral to fashion, society and one’s family legacy. Acquired in the first half of the 20th century, today it is a rare occasion to find a selection of important jewels at auction that have remained in the same distinguished family for decades.


Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids in real-time from anywhere in the world. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art department, as well as Sotheby’s Diamonds and Sotheby’s Wine. Sotheby’s has a global network of 90 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

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Results – Napoleon and Josephine Engagement Ring

March 25, 2013
The results are in…$949,000, almost 50 times the $20,000 Osenat had expected to bring in. 

“In my wildest dreams, I did not think we would outsell the estimate by more than 47 times,” said Osenat’s Emily Villane, who led today’s auction. “We based the estimates in our catalog on the actual market value of the ring, minus Napoleon and Josephine provenance. It is not our job to tell bidders how much they should pay for the historical premium.”

So why would someone pay 50 x what an item is worth?  …the notoriety of a previous owner of the object is one reason that we have witnessed in auctions like the fairly recent Elizabeth Taylor Auctions.

The everything Dolce & Gabbana site Swide describes the auction as…

The catalogue is full of incredible mementos like first editions of the Napoleonic Code, canes used by the Emperor himself, portraits of him and his family including a very special one depicting Napoléon François Joseph Charles, Napoleon’s only son and heir. “

I think all of this would however be great news to Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Born an aristocrat…Died defeated, exiled to St Helena. Yet, there is a definite romance to his story.  Interesting because before Napoleon you probably don’t have descriptions of daily life and items that can be purchased with the monarch’s image.  Considered to be the  first of the nobility to promote his image, Napoleon had china, pots, hammers, spades, fire pokers and candle holders produced with his likeness on them. 

BUT…Napoleon knew the importance of lineage and the Emperor (he promoted his title to Emperor of France in 1804 and King of Italy the following year) needed an heir.  So, a true marketer, his childless marriage to Josephine was dissolved in 1809 and one year later he married Marie Louise, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, in April 1810. She bore him a son, Napoleon II, March 1811.

Following the divorce they remained friendly, Josephine was allowed to retain her title as Empress, and was moved to the elaborate La Malmaison, near Paris, where she had a dignified retirement and maintained a friendly relationship with Napoleon. So we know that this ring was a true declaration of love from the 27 year old Brigadier General, to a woman he pursued for two years, the widow of Viscount Alexandre Beauharnais who was 7 years his senior!

Just an aside – it is truly telling just how much the concept of attractiveness has changed when you hear the descriptions of the Josephine that Napoleon fell head over heels with following a brief meeting in 1788.  

She accepted the seven-year-younger groom as a convenience as she was a well-used lady with sexual experience that belied her unattractive appearance; teeth that were black stumps and heavy makeup, appearing shopworn. “

Or, more politely…

“Joséphine was described as being of average height, svelte, shapely, with silky, chestnut-brown hair, hazel eyes, and a rather sallow complexion. Her nose was small and straight, and her mouth was well-formed; however she kept it closed most of the time so as not to reveal her bad teeth. She was praised for her elegance, style, and low, “silvery”, beautifully modulated voice”

both quotes are from Wikipedia.
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The Daily Jewel 2013-03-25 08:28:00

March 25, 2013

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Modeling the Future: GIA Transforms Jewelry Education

March 23, 2013

Modeling the Future: GIA Transforms Jewelry Education
Design and manufacturing courses updated for jewelers of the future
Students at GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) campus in Carlsbad, Calif. now have access to the most cutting-edge technology in jewelery design and manufacturing education through the completely revamped Jewelry Manufacturing Arts program. The Institute’s Graduate Jeweler (GJ) and Jewelry Design & Technology (JDT) courses have been fully updated, with redesigned classrooms outfitted with high-tech manufacturing and learning tools for efficient, visual and interactive education geared to today’s jewelry industry.

“Graduates from these courses will enter the jewelry industry with up-to-date skills and unsurpassed experience,” said Mark Mann, GIA’s director of Global Jewelry Manufacturing Arts. “By incorporating the latest technologies like rapid prototyping of designs using wax mills and 3-D printers, we’re preparing students for how the industry works today, saving future employers time and money. GIA is at the forefront of teaching these real-world technologies.”

 All GJ course materials have been updated and moved onto iPads featuring high-quality video and hand illustrations that emphasize key points. GJ and JDT classrooms have also been reorganized and remodeled to accommodate the latest manufacturing technology for jewelry design, jewelry engineering, product development, custom orders, jewelry manufacturing, jewelry repair and quality assurance. Instruction methods have been updated to leverage this technology and to engage today’s students through interactive learning.

GIA’s JDT program teaches jewelry design and product development using computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. GIA’s GJ  program teaches bench jewelers techniques for making jewelry. Skills covered include stone setting, jewelry repair, fabrication, pre-finishing, polishing and buffing. All projects are taught using precious metals.
Both programs taken together provide a strong background in jewelry design, product development, manufacturing and production. Each program is 6 months in length. The first of the newly designed courses are  currently in session; the next GJ course will begin in Carlsbad on May 16, and the next JDT course on May 23. Students can apply now. Both programs will be offered at the Institute’s New York campus in 2014.
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
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Crystal Blue Persuasion – Dove’s Jewelry

March 22, 2013

From architecture, fashion, and nature, President and Chief Designer of Doves Jewelry, Doron Hakimian, is inspired by his surroundings and adventures. A former architect Doron combines his gift of drawing and eye for design to create exquisite col…

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Carnegie Museum of Natural History presents Garden of Light: Works by Paula Crevoshay

March 21, 2013

Carnegie Museum of Natural History presents
Garden of Light: Works by Paula Crevoshay
More than 60 fine art jewelry pieces inspired by nature

Midnight Seduction (ladyslipper orchid)
Sapphire, blue zircon, black diamond, 
coral, and abalone pearl pendant by 
Paula Crevoshay; photo by Chris Chavez
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Experience the beauty of nature through more than 60 original pieces by award-winning jewelry artist Paula Crevoshay in a new exhibition, Garden of Light: Works by Paula Crevoshay.
Featuring stunning jewelry depicting botanicals, insects, and more, the single-artist exhibition appeals to nature lovers as well as fans of lapidary art. Many of the pieces are shown juxtaposed with spectacular minerals and insects from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History collection as examples of the nature-created materials by which Crevoshay is so inspired. 
Opal, white gold, blackened chodium, 
black diamond, and black spinel brooch 
by Paula Crevoshay; photo by Chris Chavez
From a magnificent orchid pendant to a tiny spider pin, these one-of-a-kind pieces in Garden of Light celebrate the beauty and interdependencies of the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms. 

Garden of Light is on view at Carnegie Museum of Natural History April 13–August 11, 2013, in Wertz Gallery: Gems & Jewelry, part of Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. Garden of Light is supported locally by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.     
“It’s in our nature to mimic Nature,” says Crevoshay, and so she does with the skill of a sculptor and painter in her pieces which are as much fine art as jewelry. Crevoshay uses her work to further the beauty she sees everywhere in the world. “As an artist, I mirror back to nature that which it inspires in me, which in turn strikes a chord in my viewers.”
Luna Moth
Opal, chrysoprase, moonstone, and 
diamond brooch/pendant by Paula 
Crevoshay; photo by Chris Chavez
Highlights of the exhibition include:
  • Gold, opal, sapphire, and incredibly rare conch pearls, just a few of the materials that are incorporated into the pieces
  • Exhibits of “ecosystems” featuring pieces which reflect the biodiversity and important relationships between plants, insects, and the elements, such as water in the garden
    Moonstone, black diamond, opal, 
    and diamond brooch/pendant by 
    Paula Crevoshay; photo by Chris Chavez
  • A selection of gem-laden orchids by Crevoshay paired with specialized insects pulled from the museum’s invertebrate zoology collection that would pollinate the orchid species in nature
  • Natural mineral specimens showing the transformation that takes place from mineral to work of art at Crevoshay’s hand
  • The role of color—especially hues of green, blue, and red—in the garden ecosystem, explored and exemplified by the gems and minerals of the jewelry
  • Charming characters from sprites to nymphs, inspired by but not from nature, representing the long cultural history humans have of trying to capture the beauty, spirit, and essence of nature

About the Artist
Paula Crevoshay has been a jewelry designer for more than 30 years. Her artistry focuses on original, one-of-a-kind pieces. Her work combines her love of art, history, and nature. She is considered one of the foremost jewelry designers of our time.  
Opal brooch/pendant by Paula Crevoshay; 
photo by Peter Hurst Photography

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country and is redefining what it means to be a 21st-century natural history museum. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Through four new Centers, Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,
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Auction brings successful US/International Diamond Week to a close

March 21, 2013

The closing day of the March-17-20 US/International Diamond Week at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) ended with an exceptionally well-attended auction of spectacular white and colored diamonds and gemstone jewelry by Tzoffey’s 1818. Reportedly, more t…

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JCK Events Announces 2013 Design Center Rising Stars

March 21, 2013

JCK Events Announces 2013 Design Center Rising Stars

Cornelia Goldsmith
JCK Events revealed its anticipated ‘Rising Star’ roster this month, energizing the fresh crop of designer talent weeks before JCK Las Vegas. 
Jason Dow Jewelry
Each will exhibit in the Design Center at JCK, held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, May 31-June 3.
The JCK Rising Star program identifies emerging artists whose noteworthy jewelry design and manufacturing techniques are deserving of recognition in the current marketplace. 
Patrick Mohs Jewelry
This select group is invited to exhibit at JCK Las Vegas, in the Design Center, which specifically features a group of innovative, artisan-quality jewelers and up and coming brands. 
Previous Rising Stars, including Chris PloofFern Freeman and Heather Moore, have gone on to achieve wider recognition and success.
Bibi van der Velden
“The Rising Stars are so important to the JCK portfolio because they infuse originality and innovation into the mix of products featured, both in the Design Center and, of course, the larger Show floor,” says Lars Parker-Myers from JCK. “Their pieces are fresh and unique. It’s great for retailers to get a glimpse at future design stars and to purchase something truly new and undiscovered for their customers.”

Naomi Blumenthal Studio

The collections of Bibi van der VeldenCornelia GoldsmithJason Dow JewelryNaomi Blumenthal Studio and Patrick Mohs Jewelry can be viewed at the Design Center at JCK, May 31-June 3, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
JCK is a trusted partner connecting jewelry retailers and manufacturers/suppliers with trends, news, products, education and partners to build business. Whether attending face-to-face events, building inventory with online and onsite sourcing or obtaining authoritative news and insights from JCK, the leading industry magazine in print & online, JCK offers a suite of tools, events and information to deliver sound solutions, innovative opportunities and essential information. Mark your calendars as JCK Events presents its portfolio of upcoming buying opportunities:

– LUXURY and Elite Enclave: May 28 – 30, 2013, by invitation only, and then continues as the events open their doors to all JCK retailers May 31- June 3, 2013 – Four Seasons, THEhotel, Mandalay Bay
– Swiss Watch: May 31 – June 3, 2013 – THEhotel, Mandalay Bay, Mandarin Oriental
– JCK Las Vegas: May 31 – June 3, 2013 – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
– LUXURY Privé New York: July 29 – 31, 2013 – New York, The Pierre Hotel, Fifth Avenue
– LUXURY Privé Panama: August 26 – 28, 2013 – Panama City, Panama, Westin Playa Bonita

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MJSA Expo Exhibitors – Buyers Acquired Machinery, Tools, and Services

March 21, 2013

MJSA Expo Exhibitors Say Wallets Were Open, as Buyers Acquired Machinery, Tools, and Services
Over 3,000 jewelry makers and designers streamed through the doors of the 2013 MJSA Expo New York, March 10-12 at the Hilton New York. And their wallets were open, reported the buyers who filled the aisles.
“I met a potential customer from Florida, I placed an order for a rapid prototyping machine, and I shook hands with at least 40 from the best of the jewelry industry. Where can you do this except at MJSA Expo?” said show attendee Ted Doudak, CEO of Riva Precision Manufacturing Inc. in the New York City area.
“There was lots of new machinery at the show. I saw three new rapid prototyping systems on display that looked good and in an excellent price range. This is a show well worth going to every year,” said attendee Daniel Grandi, president and owner of Racecar Jewelry Co. Inc. in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Exhibitors echoed the enthusiasm of buyers.
The 2013 MJSA Expo “was the best I have seen in five or so years,” said Darrell Warren, vice president merchandising at Stuller Inc. in Lafayette, Louisiana. “There were also more qualified buyers at the show than I have seen in as many years.  My congratulations to all of the MJSA organization on a job well done.”

“This is my first year at Expo New York, and I’ve really been impressed,” said Robert Knupfer of New York City–based Knupfer International Gems Inc. and the website “I’ve made great contacts with buyers, not only in the New York area, but also from places like Minnesota, North Carolina, and Ohio.”
Produced by MJSA, the association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers, Expo New York takes place annually in March at the Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan, a convenient location for buyers. The show features not only the latest bench tools, laser welders, casting machines, alloys, CAD/CAM systems, gemstones, and component parts, but also subcontracting and business services related to jewelry making and design.
The association also hosts a variety of seminars and classes at the event. “The seminars were just terrific,” said Expo attendee Eric Toczko of, an online consumer marketplace for custom services, including those for jewelry. “I learned so much about the jewelry industry, and it was great to meet the thought leaders within it.”

Alan Bell (left), president of Rio Grande, a Berkshire Hathaway company, demonstrates the benefits of a hydraulic press during MJSA Expo New York, March 10-12 at the Hilton New York.

The program this year included a return of the popular “Critique My Website, Please” seminar, in which Rio Grande Marketing Manager Eugene Brill updated attendees on the crucial elements of a good online strategy. (He critiqued attendee websites via a live internet connection.) Attendees also learned how to best integrate technology into their operations, thanks to a session conducted by J. Tyler Teague, a consultant to the trade and owner of JETT Research and Precious Metal Casting Consultants in Johnson City, Tennessee. In addition, trend forecaster Barbara Raleigh, president of International Design Source Ltd. in the New York City area, offered an overview of the latest fashion trends and how to apply them to jewelry in all price ranges.

Expo also presented MJSA’s signature At the Bench Live. In this year’s session, Arthur Skuratowicz, director of education at the Jewelry Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shared favorite tools and tricks of the trade, many gleaned from the MJSA Press book Secret Shop Weapons.
The next day, Skuratowicz and Teague took part in a panel discussion moderated by business consultant Andrea Hill of StrategyWerx. Called “Generation Next: The Future of Jewelry Making & Design,” it examined how the next generation of jewelry makers and designers are being prepared with both the basic skills and the technological savvy needed for the 21st century. Patricia Madeja, jewelry coordinator of the Pratt Institute of Fine Arts in Brooklyn, also participated.

The industry’s latest technologies for jewelry making and design were on display during MJSA Expo New York, March 10-12 at the Hilton New York.

Monday afternoon, MJSA offered a fee-based series called “Jewelry 101: The Foundation of Quality Work.” Sponsored by the MJSA Education Foundation, the courses taught basic jewelry making skills, such as bezel and prong setting, engraving, and wax carving. Expert instructors included Joel McFadden of Joel McFadden Designs in Red Bank, New Jersey, and Tira Mitchell of Tira Mitchell Custom Engraving in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Jewelry 101 was a particularly popular choice for attendees:
“Thank you, MJSA, for sponsoring Jewelry 101!” said Blanca Schusterman of Jewelry by Blanca in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “Joel is an experienced and successful jeweler/artisan who was very generous with his expertise while engaging his audience throughout his sessions. His materials were well organized; he was direct and to the point, made sure all of our questions were answered, and has a great sense of humor! I look forward to the next MJSA conference.”
“I thought the Jewelry 101 sessions were fantastic—I’m chomping at the bit to go back, they were that good,” said Beth Jessup, owner of Colorful Creations LLC in Laytonsville, Maryland, a studio specializing in handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and photography. “I’ve been poring through the handouts, especially those about engraving, and I’m already making my own tools the way they showed me—it’s excellent!” 
MJSA President/CEO David Cochran (far right) congratulates the winners of the Future of Design “business incubator” competition: (from left) partners Mihran Guler, Esin Guler, and Vahé Ghararian of G&G Creations in Boston.

On Tuesday, March 12, MJSA Expo New York once again hosted the finale of the Future of Design Contest. Developed by the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau and StrategyWerx, the contest allows three finalists to deliver 10-minute presentations before a live Expo audience and the Future of Design judges, after which they field questions from both groups. The Future of Design evaluates jewelry designers’ business strategy skills, as well as their design talent. G & G Creations of Boston was voted the winner this year, and the company will receive a prize package of business services and promotional opportunities worth $250,000.

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