Google+ The Daily Jewel: 7/28/13 - 8/4/13


Saturday, August 3, 2013

GIA Working With the Nelson Mandela Foundation to Provide Libraries to Elementary Schools

GIA Collaborates with the Nelson Mandela Foundation
to Provide Libraries to Elementary Schools
Gem institute supports foundation’s work in Africa

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and GIA (Gemological Institute of America)  have signed a Memo of Understanding (MoU) to provide four elementary schools in South Africa with Mandela Day Libraries.

The MoU supports the legacy of Nelson Mandela to ensure sustainability through transformative democracy. The collaboration will support literacy as an empowerment tool and one of the single most important skills for children, providing them with access to further education and life opportunities.

Susan M. Jacques, chair of the GIA Board of Governors, and Sello K. Hatang, Chief Executive  of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, met in Carlsbad, CA last month to enact the agreement.

Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Susan Jacques, chair of the GIA Board of Governors, sign a Memorandum of Understanding between GIA and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The Mandela Day libraries project began in 2011 with the goal of bridging the gap in literacy and reading proficiency in schools throughout South Africa. By bringing libraries to schools without reading facilities, children gain access to appropriate reading material in their own languages. Librarians are trained to manage the facilities and inspire a love of reading among South Africa’s youth. GIA will provide libraries to two schools in 2013 and two more in 2014.

The Mandela Day Container Libraries are created from large shipping containers that have been recycled and retrofitted with new flooring, insulation, electricity and book shelves. The Institute will also provide a selection of books for each library. Breadline Africa, a nongovernmental organization and internationally registered South African-based charity, is the main partner of the container program.

“We are excited about our new collaboration with GIA. It will present many pupils with an opportunity to improve their literacy and ultimately their lives. Literacy remains an enormous challenge in  Africa and is a key priority on the youth agenda,” added Hatang.

Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, right, speaks with Bev Hori, GIA’s chief learning officer and vice president of education during a special luncheon last month.
 “We’re looking forward to growing our relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The first phase of this collaboration will establish libraries in towns where children are underprivileged,” said Bev Hori, GIA’s chief learning officer and vice president of education. “This will be the first time some of these students have had access to books. The Mandela Day Container Libraries are an excellent step in bettering the education, and in turn the lives, of children in Africa.”

GIA has developed education programs in Africa over the past decade to help bring more value from the global trade of diamonds to the countries that are the source of so many gems. GIA’s Junior Gemologist Program™, which gives 10-15-year-old students the opportunity to discover the world of gemology through hands-on, practical training, was introduced in Africa in 2012. The Institute also introduced more than 1,000 African students to gem and jewelry education opportunities at the Career Indaba trade show in Johannesburg in June as part of the seventh annual Africa Education Week

Elizabeth Bokaba, GIA's manager of Alumni and Client Relations in South Africa, speaks during a luncheon for Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
About The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory delivers the core-work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 to support its Founder’s ongoing engagement in worthy causes on his retirement as President of South Africa. The Foundation is registered as a trust, with its board of trustees comprising prominent South Africans selected by the Founder.

To learn more about the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related Mandela Day activities visit

More information about the Mandela Day Libraries is at

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

To learn more about GIA’s activities in Africa, email or

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lawsuit Against DeBeers Concludes, DMIA Comments

Thought you would all like to know...

News Release
DMIA welcomes conclusion of suit against De Beers
New York, New York, USA - August 1, 2013: The Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA) said it is pleased to report that the payments to companies that purchased directly from Diamdel and its competitors, which are the result of the settlement of a class action suit against De Beers, were mailed Friday, July 26, 2013.

"Matters like these take a long time to be resolved," DMIA president Ronnie VanderLinden said. "Although it took a while, those that had the claims approved are happy to receive the funds. It also signifies the end of an era!"

Ronald Friedman, DMIA Past President said: "The DMIA had played a significant role in bringing the suit to a successful conclusion by filing papers in favor of the settlement in the appeal by objectors".

"This normalizes business for De Beers in America," David Prager, De Beers' director of communications, was quoted in the July 2013 issue of JCK Magazine. "If you think about the past century, this is a milestone moment." Prager noted that a lot of the past restrictions that De Beers had had previously were now gone. "We have clearly not jumped into America with both feet, and we have resisted contracting with American companies. When you have normalized business in the States, a lot of those things fall away and you have a lot more opportunities."

According to the court order approving the distribution of the settlement; the settlement covers a number of class action lawsuits filed around the country, all alleging that "De Beers had monopolized the rough diamond market, charging anti-competitive prices and advertising in a false and misleading way."

The order reported that plaintiffs in those cases claimed those that bought diamonds from De Beers between 1994 and 2006 have paid higher prices than they would have in a truly competitive market. Jared Stamell lead counsel said: "I am happy that this cash distribution is being made to members of the industry, many who are DMIA members and the most injured by the anti-competive conduct."
About the DMIA
The Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA), established in 1931, is the leading organization of America's premier diamond manufacturers, importers and dealers. Its mission is to promote the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and professionalism in the American marketplace. DMIA is among the leaders in addressing domestic and world diamond industry issues, and acts as a representative of the American diamond industry with other industry organizations and government bodies. DMIA is dedicated to the advancement and assurance of consumer confidence in diamonds and diamond jewelry.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

30th Annual WJA Awards of Excellence and Hall of Fame Winners Announced

30th Annual WJA Awards of Excellence and Hall of Fame Winners Announced

A Celebration of the Deserving Women and Men in the Jewelry Industry 

Spirits were high at Chelsea Piers’s PIER 60, as a record number of industry insiders celebrated the 30th Annual WJA Awards for Excellence on Monday, July 29th. The evening’s top honors, Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award went to Candy Udell, president of London Jewelers (pictured left); Standard Chartered Bank accepted the Corporate Hall of Fame Award and Darwin Copeman, of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, (pictured below) was honored with The Ben Kaiser Award, an honor bestowed on industry men who show extraordinary support of women in the business.
Attending the evening were over 700 industry members and leaders such as Varda Shine 
of De Beers, Helene Fortunoff, David and Sybil Yurman, principals and representatives of the world’s top luxury brands such as Barbara Cirkva, VP of Chanel Fashion, Watches and Fine Jewelry Group.
The evening opened with a buzzing cocktail reception, a “Chance Auction,” and an  opportunity to bid on items available through, including an African Safari with a private Diamond Cutting Facility Tour, a one-of-a-kind experience that only this industry can provide (donated by Julius Klein Group). All proceeds from the auction benefit the WJA’s Scholarship Fund, which supports the educational and professional development of young talent at many levels of the industry. This year the WJA is awarding over $30,000 in honor of the organization’s 30th Anniversary.
After the cocktail reception, guests proceeded to the main ballroom for a three-course gourmet dinner and the official program, where Hall of Fame recipients accepted their awards and category winners were announced. On hand for the presentation of the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award to Mrs. Udell was Nassau County District Attorney and NY State rising political star Kathleen Rice.
“The honor for me is to stand among each of you tonight and call you my colleagues and 
friends,” noted Mrs. Udell from the stage. “London Jewelers still operates with that mom 
and pop mentality. We are more than just purveyors; we are purveyors of memories. I couldn’t be more thankful for that every day.” She later went on to quip, “Jewelry is a woman’s best insurance policy; when the going gets tough, put on your jewels and smile.”
WJA also presented Awards for Excellence in retail, design, manufacturing/ supplier, 
sales, marketing and communications, editorial/reporting/publishing, and special services.
“I have the luckiest job in the world,” enthused Irene Neuwirth, whose jewelry has been 
seen on A-list celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron and who accepted the Award for Excellence in Design. “I get to wake up and create something new every day. I am so grateful to do what I do and grateful to be recognized by the Women’s Jewelry Association.”
“We honored and celebrated the extraordinary women and men who continually serve and impact the jewelry industry,” stated Tryna Kochanek, president of the Women’s Jewelry Association. “The Awards for Excellence Gala has become one of the industry’s premier events, where long-time industry veterans can mingle with young stars of tomorrow. At this year’s gala, we congratulated the deserving individuals and organizations honored, and celebrated the rich history of WJA’s first 30 years by presenting special Swarovski-commissioned trophies to all our past and current presidents.”
Happy 30th Birthday to the Women's Jewelry Associat
Festivities continued into the late hours as guests danced to upbeat tunes spun by a special guest DJ and sampled desserts during the “after party,” a novelty at this year’s event designed to celebrate the special anniversary, and likely to become a new tradition.

The complete list of nominees and winners is listed below, winners are highlighted.

DESIGN– Fine Jewelry & Watches
1. Coomi –Coomi
2. Pamela Froman –Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry
3. Irene Neuwirth –Irene Neuwirth, Inc.
4. Alex Woo –Alex Woo

1. Lita Asscher –Royal Asscher
2. Danielle Ingwer Cohen –Leo Ingwer, Inc.
3. Laurie Watt –Mayer & Watt

RETAIL –15 Doors or More1. Linda Bridgewater –Fred Meyer
2. Vida Farwana –Saks Fifth Avenue
3. Patricia Watkins—Western Stone/Shane
RETAIL –Fewer than 15 Doors
1. Shannon Daly –Robbins Bros.
2. Cynthia Gould –Gould’s Diamonds and Jewelry
3. Ellen Lacy –Lacy’s
4. Joanne Teichman –Ylang23

RETAIL –Non-Traditional
1. Jessica Herrin –Stella & Dot
2. Angelina Chen –Circa
3. Amy Jain & Daniella Yacobovsky –Bauble Bar 
4. Lauren Santo Domingo –Moda Operandi
1. Candace Edelman –Alex Sepkus, Inc.
2. Andrea Galella –Hermes of Paris
3. Amy Jackson –Fragments
4. Jennifer O. Calleri –MJ Christensen 
5. Abigail Huhtanen – Bergdorf Goodman
1. Caryl Capeci –Hearts On Fire
2. Amanda Gizzi –Jewelers of America
3. Rebecca Moskal –CommuniqueLA

MEDIA1. Melissa Colgan –Martha Stewart Weddings
2. Michelle Graff –National Jeweler
3. Claudia Mata –W Magazine
4. Monica Stephenson –idazzle
1. Brenda Gamba –Jewelers Board of Trade
2. Debbie Hiss –Training Consultant
3. Kristie Nicolosi –The Kingswood Company items, the proceeds of which will benefit the WJA Scholarship Fund, will be available online until August 9 through this link.
Established in 1984, the WJA Annual Awards for Excellence gala is one of the most well 
attended and highly anticipated events in the jewelry industry each year. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

H.Stern Creates Key to the City Presented To Pope Francis

H.Stern creates Key to the City 
named Pope Francisco

During his visit to Brazil during the World Youth Day in July 2013, the Pope was presented by Francisco City Hall with the key to the city, made by H. Stern.

The creative team was inspired by H.Stern cross - the ultimate symbol of the Catholic religion and icon WYD - to create a large silver key to symbolize the occasion.

Crosses with medieval style elements appear in drawings leaked in the core center and bottom of the key, which also carries an inscription engraved on his body registering homage to Pope Francisco.
The Pope receives the symbolic key to the city from Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes
Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
While in Rio de Janeiro Pope Francis blessed the Olympic flag, joining a long list of popes who have shown an interest in the positive role sport can play in society. Francis greeted some of Brazil's Olympic athletes during a brief visit to Rio's City Palace on Thursday. From the balcony, he blessed the Olympic flag with holy water and imparted a blessing on those gathered. Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 2016 Summer Games.

Pope Francis blesses the Olympic flag in Rio de Janerio's City Palace. Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
However the visit of this Pope was key and his insistence on visiting not just Rio but the slums on the outskirts of the city - was history in the making.

Pope Francis brought a message of hope to residents of one of Rio de Janeiro's slums, telling them not to be discouraged even in the face of corruption by their leaders.  Clearly a reference to the violent protests that paralyzed parts of Brazil in recent weeks by residents furious over rampant corruption and inefficiency within Brazil's political class.

In Varghina shantytown, Francis blasted the "culture of selfishness and individualism" that persists in the world and encouraged efforts in Brazil to end hunger and poverty.


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