Google+ The Daily Jewel: 2/21/10 - 2/28/10


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

JCK Industry Fund Awards Diamond Development Initiative

Diamond Development Initiative, Jewelers of America, Womens Jewelry Association, American Gem Society, Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the Jewelers Security Alliance received part of the $400,000 that is granted every year to individuals, groups, or associations who work towards the betterment of the overall industry.

The JCK Industry Fund aims to address problems and challenges facing the jewelry industry, and to assist organizations and associations in developing training materials for its membership and the industry at large.

"We are thrilled that the JCK Fund has supported the initiative. The positive impact at the source of the diamond pipeline will, in time, be enormous." said DDII Board Chair Ian Smillie following the announcement that they have been awarded a grant from the JCK Industry Fund.

The JCK award will assist DDII in its effort to develop and create ‘Development Diamond Standards’, a verifiable certification system for artisanally mined diamonds. DDS will be a tool for addressing development issues and formalizing the artisanal diamond mining sector, and will be a foundation for enhancing the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process regulatory mechanism.

The standards will enable artisanal diamond miners to play an active role as change agents in their own communities, changing a legacy of chaos and victimization with a proactive tool for positive development. The grant will also help DDII tell the development diamond story to the wider jewelry industry.

Dorothee Gizenga, DDII’s Executive Director, said, "The confidence that the JCK Fund is showing in DDII is an important signal to the people we work with at the grass roots, that the industry is concerned about them. It is also an important signal to the governments and civil society organizations that we work with – and the others we hope to attract to our aims and objectives – that the industry is a valued and necessary player in this joint approach to some of the most basic problems in the alluvial diamond fields of Africa and South America."

There are an estimated 1.3 million artisanal diamond diggers across Africa, serving as the primary breadwinner for families that total as many as 10 million people. These diggers earn, on average, about a dollar a day, and there are tens of thousands like them in South America. Historically, governments have treated them as criminals and have attempted to drive them away. After 75 years, this is clearly not the solution.

Regulation and the rule of law are important, but DDII believes that economic problems and the poverty that lures people to the diamond fields also require economic and development solutions. The creation of verifiable standards for ‘development diamonds’ is one step in this direction.

Mission Statement
To gather all interested parties into a process that will address, in a comprehensive way, the political, social and economic challenges facing the artisanal diamond mining sector in order to optimize the beneficial development impact of artisanal diamond mining to miners and their communities within the countries in which the diamonds are mined.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2009 George A. Schuetz Jewelry Design Contest - WINNERS!

One of the great things about "Show Season" in the Jewelery & Gem Industries are all the Design Contests. Participating in a contest can do a lot of great things for your business - the secret is finding the right contest for your work...but that is another post all together and I will look at this topic soon on my Business of Craft blog. I am still catching up with the posts lost when my computer crashed in Tucson but expect a flurry of writing on all my blogs shortly!

First up - the winners of the 2009 George A. Schuetz Jewelry Design Contest!

This is an annual jewelry design contest offered by GIA, the Gemological Institute of America. Named in honor of the late men’s jewelry designer George A. Schuetz Sr., the international competition recognizes the best original men’s jewelry and accessories designs. It is open to all designers.

The first place winner was Sung Woo Hong, of Seoul, Korea, for a tie tack and cuff links set made of emerald cut and tapered sapphires and radiant and princess cut diamonds in 18 karat yellow gold. The first prize award is $500 and a crystal trophy.

“I am very honored,” Hong said. “Receiving this recognition gave me much energy and confidence. I like giving people joy by designing jewelry and I hope they will always remember my pieces.”

The second place award went to Joana Miranda of Glendale, Wisconsin for her “Dog Tags with Hidden Pico Drive.”

Her design uses polished white metal, channel-set rubies and black onyx inlay. Hidden inside the flip-top compartment is a Pico Drive. The Pico, or thumb drive, the smallest external computer drive on the market, is waterproof and equivalent to the size of a U.S. quarter. The dog tags are strung on a platinum bead chain. Miranda received a crystal trophy as recognition of her achievement.

“I am delighted to have won second place and I am grateful to GIA for sponsoring a competition that has inspired me to try to design in elegant and stylish ways for men,” said Miranda, who also won a prize in last year’s George A. Schuetz Design Contest. “Because this was my first Computer-Aided Design (CAD) submission in a design contest, this honor took on unique significance for me. I am continuing my design work with both CAD and hand-drawn renderings.”

Amit B. Kurdekar, of Mumbai, India, came in third place with a men’s ring made of enamel and 24 karat white and yellow gold.

“The Schuetz Contest is an excellent opportunity for young designers to express their creative vision and exercise their many talents,” said Phillip Weeks, manager of GIA’s Student Financial Assistance department and coordinator of the contest. “Contestants may submit one original color design rendering that has not been previously exhibited or ordered for sale.”

Each entry is judged by an independent panel of industry experts who evaluate it based on design, wearability, manufacturability and appeal. The time period to enter a rendering in the competition is from April 15 to June 15. No fee is charged to enter the contest.

Entries for the 2010 Schuetz Design Contest should be mailed according to the instructions on the 2010 entry form, which will be available beginning April 15 on the GIA web site at, under Library Resources, Design Contests.

The George A. Schuetz Design Contest was established in 1973 by friends and family of Schuetz. The winners of the first contest were announced in 1974. GIA hosts and manages the competition.

Photos courtesy of the GIA via JCK Online story at:


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