Rapaport Magazine

Take Note

August 2008

By Rapaport
RAPAPORT... Digby Jones, the U.K.’s minister for trade and investment, will chair “The Great Debate,” to be held at the International Jewellery London show on September 3, 2008. The motion of this year’s debate, which will be staged by the Birmingham Assay Office, is “This house believes that the global jewellery industry will deliver an ethically responsible supply chain in line with consumer demand.” To apply for free tickets, call 0121.236.6951.

Jewelry Information Center (JIC), a public relations and marketing firm serving the fine jewelry and watch industry, promoted engagement rings and wedding bands with a multimedia campaign. The June media tour centered on what bridal jewelry celebrities were wearing. The tour hit 25 morning shows nationwide, as well as radio stations, and included a bridal trends article in newspapers. The television segments and a complete list of the featured jewelry are available at JIC’s website, www.jic.org.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and the Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders Association (TGJTA) signed an agreement making TGJTA the first affiliate member of the Dubai Gems Club (DGC). The DGC is a strategic initiative of the Coloured Stones and Pearls Division at DMCC. Under the terms of the agreement, TGJTA members will access DGC’s network of local and international markets. In addition, TGJTA will also have access to the dedicated trading facilities of the DGC located at Almas Tower.

The Women’s Jewelry Association’s (WJA) member grant program awarded a total of $6,000 to 12 members across the country, providing ongoing education for women in the jewelry, watch and related industries. Grants are available in amounts up to $500 to all WJA members who submit an application. The 2008 recipients included Cynthia Silwa, Donna Lynn Richards, Jodi Bronstein, Beverly Strom, Shelia Netti, Charlotte Stieren, Michelle Anne Flynn, Julia Behrends, Constance Berry and Kristin Novinger. In addition, Judy Colbert and Vickie Riggs received grants from their San Diego chapter. Funds for the grants are raised via contributions from companies and individuals and through WJA’s silent auction, held during its annual “Awards for Excellence” gala.

Malca-Amit, an international freight carrier and custom house brokerage, received the “Customs Broker of the Year” award for specialty merchandise and the “Airfreight Forwarder of the Year” award from Wal-Mart. The awards were presented at Wal-Mart’s Annual Import Summit, held at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Founded in 1978, Malca-Amit has over 54 offices in 23 countries.

Jewelers of America (JA) appointed Annie E. Doresca to the newly created position of director of finance and administration. Doresca will have overall responsibility for the association’s finance and accounting, office management, human resources and IT functions. Most recently, Doresca served as client manager and chief financial officer (CFO) for BTQ Financial, an outsourcing provider of financial services to nonprofit organizations.
Petra Diamonds appointed Gregory Stephenson diamond marketing manager. Stephenson formerly worked in a variety of departments at De Beers, including the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the firm’s rough diamond distribution and sales division, and established his own diamond trading business in Johannesburg.

Peregrine Diamonds added Robert Boyd, chair of True North Gems, to its board of directors. Boyd has over 30 years of experience in exploration, corporate governance and finance and executive-level management. He also serves on the boards of Condor Resources Inc. and Endurance Gold Corporation and is a director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AMEBC). Bernard Poznanski, who Boyd replaced, will continue to serve as legal counsel to Peregrine Diamonds and Metals.

Pangea Diamondfields appointed Brett Thompson its chief executive officer (CEO) to replace Rob Still, who will serve as deputy chairman. Thompson, who has served as Pangea’s chief operating officer since May 2006, has over 24 years experience in the mining sector, including 12 years in diamonds. He has worked with a number of diamond mines, including De Beers Kimberley mines, where he served as assistant general manager. Pangea has eight diamond projects in its portfolio and plans to develop three operating mines by the end of 2009.

The Silver Institute announced that it will launch a consumer-marketing element as part of its wide range of industry programs. This Silver Marketing Initiative (SMI) will combine a media and grassroots campaign to increase awareness and encourage consumer purchases of sterling silver jewelry. It will also educate the consumer and trade presses on sterling silver and serve as a source of market information and product news.

The group appointed Michael Barlerin Associates as its consultant in the development and rollout of the program. The Silver Institute is an international industry association that increases public understanding of the many uses and value of silver and works to increase global silver demand. The institute publishes the World Silver Survey, an annual publication on the global silver industry.

Diamond Trading Company (DTC) broker house H. Goldie & Co. announced that Mike Aggett will leave his position as DTC’s head of client management to join its team effective June 2009. Mark Boston, H. Goldie’s chairman, said Aggett would play a decisive leadership role in taking the company forward by working closely with its clients. H. Goldie has offices in London and Mumbai.

Sarin Technologies Ltd., a diamond development, manufacturing and marketing firm, appointed David Wexler its new marketing director. Wexler, who brings 15 years of marketing experience to Sarin, will handle the firm’s global marketing strategy and programs, replacing Udi Lederer. He most recently served as director of corporate marketing at Magic Software Enterprises.

Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for retail jewelers, launched a free online “Thriving in 2008” program designed to give retailers five tips a week to help build their businesses. The program can be accessed at http://tips.jewelers.org. Jewelers can also view past tips grouped by topic to meet different needs. A weekly e-newsletter delivers the week’s five tips to jewelers’ inboxes every Friday. The tips cull advice from a variety of sources, including David Peters, director of education for JA, the Diamond Promotion Service (DPS), the World Gold Council (WGC), JA’s annual “Cost of Doing Business” survey, Jewelry Information Center’s (JIC) Public Relations Handbook and others. The program will continue through the end of the year. JA has 11,000 member stores.

Rio Tinto Diamonds, the diamond sales and marketing division of the Rio Tinto Group, appointed Vikram Merchant to head its Mumbai, India office. Merchant joins Rio Tinto after serving as business development manager of the Hindustan Diamond Company, an India-based supplier of rough diamonds to small and medium manufacturers. His appointment at Rio Tinto Diamonds took effect July 14.

The gemstone marking technique developed by David Benderly, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of PhotoScribe, received patent number 7.398.658 from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on July 15. The techique entails a step-by-step process in which diamonds are marked, coated and heated using radiant energy instead of stencils.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced the Irving Getz Scholarship, specially created by the Getz family to honor his contributions to the jewelry industry. The scholarship has been set up for any course or program offered by GIA, including on-campus education, distance education or lab classes.

Irving Getz, an icon within the jewelry industry, passed away at the age of 84 on May 27 in Miami, Florida. He began working in the field at Mayor’s Jewelers, his father’s jewelry store in Miami, which he expanded into a fine jewelry retail chain.

Getz was president of the Jewelers of America (JA), a board member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a member of the New York Diamond Dealers Club and the first-ever inductee into the National Jewelers Hall of Fame. Getz emphasized the importance of knowledge about gems and jewelry and funded many of his employees’ GIA educations. He was considered by many in the industry to be a leader, teacher, mentor and brilliant businessman. For more information about the Irving Getz Scholarship or to make a donation, please contact Bev Berthoty, manager of Institute Relations, at 760.603.4120.

The Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA) honored eight industry veterans at its annual Israel Diamond Industry Dignitary award ceremony in Tel Aviv.

The recipients of the 2008 award were Eliahu Cohen, chief executive officer (CEO) and director of IDB Development Corp.; Chaim Even-Zohar, principal of Tacy Ltd.; Josef Herskovits of Josef Herkovits & Co.; Uri Kaner; Simcha Lustig, former Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) chairman; Yuval Meiri of Exotech Israel Ltd.; Efraim Raviv, former managing director at IDI; and Eliezer Rott.

This year’s awards were presented by Moti Ganz, chairman of the IsDMA; Avi Paz, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB); and Itzhak Herzog, Israel’s minister of social welfare. IsDMA established the award in 1989 to recognize outstanding members of the Israeli diamond industry, as well as global associates, who have contributed to the industry over an extended period of time.

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