Rapaport Magazine

Take Note

Matthew A. Runci, the president of Jewelers of America (JA) for more than
17 years, retired on December 31, 2012.
David J. Bonaparte, formerly the vice president of JCK Brands for Reed Exhibitions, assumed the helm of the national jewelry trade association effective January 1. Among his many career achievements, Runci took a lead role in the establishment of the Kimberley Process (KP) and the Clean Diamond Trade Act and helped found the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which positioned the fine jewelry industry as a pioneer of supply chain transparency. Runci received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Jewelry Information Center’s (JIC) annual GEM Awards on January 11.

• Ruth Batson, CEO of American Gem Society (AGS), was also appointed CEO of AGS Laboratories. Batson joined the AGS in 1993 and became CEO in 2002. In June, AGS Laboratories became a wholly owned subsidiary of the AGS.

• The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) appointed Jasmin Greene as its marketing and development associate. Greene will focus on marketing, membership and special projects, including new JVC Essential Guides.

• Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) of Botswana announced the appointment of its executive team to drive operations when commercial rough diamond sales are launched in mid-year. The appointments are as follows: Marcus ter Haar, the former head of sales and marketing at the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), as deputy managing director and Susanne Swaniker-Tettey, currently chief financial officer at Boteti Mining Company, as CFO. Toby Frears was appointed managing director in August 2012.

• The Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) reappointed Eli Avidar as its managing director last month, six months after he left the position to join the private sector. Avidar previously served as IDI managing director from 2006 to 2012 when he was appointed CEO of Azura Consulting.

• Karen Seaman was appointed vice president of Sylvie Collection, the bridal and fashion fine jewelry house, and parent company Spectrum Diamonds. Seaman, who has over 35 years experience in the fine jewelry and watch industry, came out of retirement to assume this new, dual position.

• John Orrico joined Frederick Goldman Inc. as executive vice president of operations. Prior to joining Frederick Goldman, Orrico served as senior vice president
at Birks & Mayor’s and previously was head of the merchandising supply chain at
Tiffany & Co.

• Robert Frank, who served the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) for more than
20 years, retired as the group’s vice president.
Scott F. Guginsky will succeed him. Guginsky retired as the commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Organized Theft Squad, which specializes in the jewelry and retail industry.

• Gemological Institute of America (GIA) opened its ninth global laboratory in Tokyo. The new lab will initially offer Diamond Dossier and Diamond Grading Report services for D to Z diamonds up to 2.99 carats and will take in colored stones and pearls for any other GIA services.

• The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) approved the trademark
“Perfekt Brilliance’’ for Jewelex New York Ltd.
While color is not claimed as a
feature of Perfekt Brilliance, the words are stylized in cursive font with the word “Perfekt” appearing on top and in smaller-size font than “Brilliance.” The trademark, registration number 4254511, covers jewelry products in a variety of metal settings that feature diamonds, precious stones and semiprecious stones.

   The USPTO also issued the trademark “Los Angeles Diamond Factory’’ to the
Los Angeles Diamond Factory LLC in California. The trademark was assigned with the registration number 4260383. The company listed its services as an online wholesale store for jewelry and diamond jewelry.

   The trademark “Hamra Jewelers’’ was issued to Hamra Jewelers Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona, with registration number 4260421. Hamra Jewelers sells bracelets and brooches, diamond and gemstone jewelry, rings and watches.
   The trademark “Emerald Cut Princess” was given to Quadamas Inc. of Los Angeles, California. Quadamas noted the trademark, registration number 4265908, would apply to diamonds and gemstone jewelry.

• Stuller Inc. announced its third season Bridge conference series that will focus on three main themes: customization, in-store experience and retail challenges and opportunities. The 2013 Bridge conference dates are as follows: April 7-9; May 20-22; June 17-19; June 23-25; August 4-6; September 22-24; September 29-October 1 and October 7-9. For more information on the series and to request an invitation, go to Stuller.com/Bridge or call Stuller’s Innovation Hotline at 1.866.751.5692.

• The Richline Group Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., acquired Rio Grande, including Rio Grande’s Neutec branded equipment, from
The Bell Group Inc. as of January 1.
In October, the Richline Group acquired the assets of South African Manufacturing Jewelers (SAMJCO), a.k.a. Alan Mair Manufacturing Jewelers. In May, it purchased Inverness Corporation, previously a division of
Cookson Precious Metals/Material Products Group.

• Eden Rachminov, the owner and managing partner of fancy color diamond manufacturer Rachminov Diamonds 1891 Ltd., was presented with the first
Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) achievement award for education
and promotion of natural color diamonds.
Other award recipients at the NCDIA’s
first annual Night of Color Diamonds Gala in New York included Eddie Le Vian,
CEO of Le Vian, given the Excellence Award for marketing and promoting natural
color diamonds; Jordan Fine, vice president marketing and sales at Amgad, Inc. presented
with the Recognition Award for dedication and support for natural color diamonds; and Pratima Sethi of Sethi Couture, who was given the Designer Award for outstanding work with natural color diamonds.

• The Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) announced that Antoinette Matlins, an author and consultant, and publisher Richard Drucker, the president
of Gemworld International Inc., were elected to fellowship at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).
Both will be honored at the AGA’s Tucson conference on February 6, 2013.

• MID House of Diamonds will receive an outstanding exporter award for 2011, Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor reported. Owned by Benny and
Yossi Meirov, the company’s diamond exports rose 49 percent to $239 million in
2011, ranking it as Israel’s second-largest polished diamond exporter, according to
the ministry.

• The Dalumi Group received the “Exceptional Exporter Award” from the
Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce for its diamond exports to Asia.
This marks
the fifth time Dalumi received awards for excellence in exporting.

• President Seretse Ian Khama of Botswana praised the Jwaneng mine for
having “catapulted Botswana into an economic powerhouse.”
Speaking at an event that honored the mine for 30 years of diamond production, he also paid tribute to his predecessors who “prudently” used diamond revenue to improve the lives of the people
in the country.

• The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) announced that the Anglo American Group Foundation made a financial contribution to support its work in the field of artisanal diamond production. Founded in 2007, DDI seeks to improve the lives of Africa’s 1.5 million artisanal diamond diggers and their families. The Anglo American Group Foundation aims to create sustainable livelihoods.

• The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) announced that
Kim Pascarella of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan is the 2012 winner of its annual scholarship ACE© It Conference Scholarship.
She is currently a home-study student
at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and will attend the 39th Annual ACE© It Winter Educational Conference that is scheduled for February 3 to 4, 2013 in
Tucson, Arizona.

• Centurion announced that Jerry Greenfield, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s
and Mike Abrashoff, author of It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from
the Best Damn Ship In The Navy, will be the dual keynote speakers at the 2012 Centurion Show.
Centurion also plans to introduce its new limited edition retailer workshops at the show that will be held from February 2 to 6 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
For more information, go to www.centurionjewelry.com.

• Bulgari was inducted into the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style in Beverly Hills, California. Nicola Bulgari, the company’s vice chairman and third-generation family member, accepted the honor. Bulgari is the twentieth recipient of this recognition,
designed to recognize style legends for their contribution to the fashion world.

• UBM Asia created a scholarship fund and student grant in association with the Jewellery Institute of Guangzhou Panyu Polytechnic in China to foster education
for students with outstanding academic achievement.
The company created an annual $8,000 scholarship fund specifically for strong academic achievers and a $4,800 grant
for underprivileged students. Thirteen in each scholarship category were awarded in a
special ceremony.

• The board of directors for the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) honored Noella Coursaris Musunka, at the second annual GOOD Awards, on January 10 in New York. Musunka is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where she facilitates education for young girls through the Georges Malaika Foundation. The GOOD Awards also recognized Tiffany & Co. and Leo Schachter Diamonds for their corporate efforts to empower communities where diamonds originate in Africa.

• Joe Bernstein, the former senior vice president of Kay Jewelers, passed away. Bernstein’s career in the jewelry industry began in 1955 and spanned 40 years.
He joined Kay Jewelers in 1983 as senior vice president in charge of all
merchandising-related divisions. 

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - January 2013. To subscribe click here.

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