Author: Ruchi Singla

Ruchi is our trusted breaking news reporter, keeping you informed about the latest trends, launches, and significant events as they unfold. With a commitment to accuracy and a passion for adding a layer of insight, Ruchi creates informative and engaging content that shines a light across the world of jewelry.

Jewelers of America (JA) has introduced the Seymour & Evelyn Holtzman Bench Scholarship, a collaborative initiative with Seymour and Evelyn Holtzman designed to support aspiring bench jewelers. This scholarship provides financial aid between $2,000 and $5,000 to students currently enrolled in accredited bench jeweler or metalsmith education programs. “Evelyn and I are thrilled to partner with Jewelers of America to offer this Bench Scholarship. Our goal is to attract new talent and support the jewelry industry by strengthening the industry’s talent pool in bench jewelry,” says Seymour Holtzman. Eligibility and Application Process Candidates eligible for the Holtzman Bench Scholarship must…

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In a deeply distressing event last November, the jewelry industry lost one of our own, Peter Arguello. The owner of Peter Arguello Fine Jewelry & Antiques in What Ridge, Colorado, Peter was tragically killed in an incident that has left his community in mourning. Recent developments have led to the arrest of Michael McCormack, adding to the earlier detention of Charles Shay, with both facing serious charges related to this heinous act. Investigation and Arrests The investigation revealed associations between McCormack and Shay prior to the incident. Despite initially denying any illicit involvement, McCormack’s role was eventually confirmed. A pivotal…

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The Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) has announced new leadership appointments following its annual and board meetings on February 21, 2024, and March 20, 2024, respectively. New and Returning Leadership Brian D. Fleming from Carla Corporation has been elected as the new Chairman of the JBT. Fleming, who previously served as Treasurer and Executive Vice President at Carla Corporation, has been part of the JBT board since 1999. His experience in the industry positions him well to lead the board. Jeffery Corey from H. E. Murdock Company Inc. and Keven Peck from Color Merchants, Inc., have been appointed as First…

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In a recent attempted burglary at Casa Leon Jewelers in Lake Mary, Florida, the owner’s foresight in security measures effectively prevented the loss of valuable items. The incident, which unfolded late on a Saturday night, saw the suspect, Lenell Barnes III, attempting to loot the store but leaving empty-handed due to preemptive security protocols enacted by the store owner, Rene Barrios. Incident Details The burglary attempt occurred when the perpetrator, identified as Lenell Barnes III, drove his truck into the store’s glass door and entered with a sledgehammer. Surveillance video showed Barnes turning on the lights and realizing quickly that…

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The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has confirmed the appointment of Kristie Nicolosi as a new member of its International Board of Directors. Nicolosi, who brings a wealth of experience from her previous tenure on the board between 2011 and 2018, will rejoin WJA where she had roles such as Treasurer and Investment Committee Chair. Professional Background Kristie Nicolosi is currently the President and CEO of The Kingswood Company, renowned for being a leading provider of high-quality jewelry care products globally. Since assuming leadership in 2005, Nicolosi has steered the company to achieve significant growth, multiplying its size by sixteen times.…

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Platinum Guild International USA (PGI USA) is set to host its third annual COUTURE Platinum Spotlight Program where designers who traditionally work with yellow gold will venture into designing with platinum.  This year, four new designers are participating along with seven alumni from previous years, all tasked with crafting pieces using platinum. New and Returning Designers The 2024 program welcomes new designers Mike Joseph, Renato Cipullo, Selim Mouzannar, and Single Stone. They join returning participants Beck, Harwell Godfrey, Jade Ruzzo, Retrouvaí, Sorellina, Ten Thousand Things, and Walters Faith, collectively known as the COUTURE Platinum Spotlight Alumni. Their platinum designs will…

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In a significant consumer rights case that has captured widespread attention, Rogelio Villarreal, a 27-year-old doctor from Tamaulipas, Mexico, successfully purchased a pair of rose-gold, diamond-studded earrings valued at over $14,000 for just $14 due to a pricing error on Cartier’s website. This unusual transaction has spotlighted the enforcement of consumer protection laws in Mexico and their implications for international luxury retailers. Incident Details The earrings, typically priced at 237,000 Mexican pesos, were mistakenly listed for 237 pesos. Villarreal, intrigued by the drastic price difference while browsing through a social media advertisement, proceeded with the purchase. Upon realisation of the…

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Zales has initiated its 100th-anniversary celebrations with a new marketing campaign and the introduction of a custom 100-carat necklace. This milestone reflects the company’s longstanding presence in the jewelry industry, emphasising affordable and fashionable fine jewelry. New Campaign and Products The newly introduced marketing campaign is designed to celebrate the brand’s 100-year journey while setting the stage for its future trajectory. It features over 100 new jewelry items, including diamond and gold chains, earrings, rings, and bracelets targeted at style-conscious consumers. The range includes pieces priced below $1,000, designed to broaden the appeal of fashionable jewelry. Homage to a Storied…

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This year’s Mother’s Day is poised to witness near-record spending, with consumers in the United States projected to spend approximately $33.5 billion, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. This anticipated expenditure ranks as the second highest recorded, slightly trailing behind last year’s peak of $35.7 billion. An estimated 84% of U.S. adults are expected to participate in the celebrations, with an average outlay of $254.04 per person on gifts and related festivities. Notably, the demographic of 35 to 44-year-olds is predicted to be the most generous, budgeting around $345.75 for the occasion.…

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The Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) released its 2023 Annual Crime Report on April 23, 2024, detailing the criminal activities that affected U.S. jewelry firms last year. This article offers a breakdown of the key statistics and their implications for the jewelry industry. Overview of Crime Statistics In 2023, the total dollar losses from crimes against jewelry firms in the United States were reported at $133.2 million, a slight increase of 2.9% compared to $129.4 million in 2022. However, the total number of crimes saw a significant decrease, falling to 1,621 from 2,211 in 2022, which marks a 26.7% reduction. Types…

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Recently launched, JEMS Institute aims to offer independent retail jewelers a unified platform that consolidates educational resources, professional training, and comprehensive business management tools.  This initiative, named Jewelers Excellence Management Solutions (JEMS), aims to streamline various aspects of jewelry retailing including sales training, marketing, and overall management. Membership Model JEMS offers a lifetime membership, where members make a one-time payment to access all existing and future resources. This approach is designed to provide ongoing support for the diverse needs of jewelry retailers. Background of Founders Co-founders Jim Ackerman and Paul Furse, who have a combined experience of nearly three decades…

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The Strong and Precious Art Foundation recently held a private jewelry exhibition in Washington D.C., showcasing some of the finest example of Ukrainian jewelry.  This event took place at Ukraine House, a central venue for Ukrainian cultural events, displaying six unique pieces of jewelry that represent Ukrainian craftsmanship and cultural narratives and follows an earlier showing at NYC Jewelry Week. In a statement, Marianna Falkova, Executive Director of Ukraine House, and Ruslan Falkov, Director of International and Governmental Relations at Ukraine House, said “We express our gratitude to the Strong and Precious Art Foundation and the founder, Olga Oleksenko, for…

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Signet Jewelers has reached a new fundraising record with $8.75 million raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  This amount is the highest the company has raised in a single year, contributing towards its ongoing support for the hospital’s mission against childhood cancer and other serious diseases. “I’m so proud of our team members and thankful for our customers for enabling us to make another record-breaking contribution as we hit the ground running to tackle our commitment of raising another $100 million for St. Jude,” stated Virginia C. Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers. “Guided by our purpose of Inspiring Love,…

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Jewel360 has integrated a new feature into its cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) software that allows jewelry retailers to enable customers to round up their credit card payments to the nearest dollar for charitable donations. This feature is developed in collaboration with the non-profit organisation Jewelers for Children (JFC). “We’re excited to be partnering with Jewel360 to bring this integration to jewelry stores around the nation. Enabling consumers to have a direct way to donate, as they desire, is paramount to bringing more resources to the children,” states Sara Murphy, executive director at Jewelers for Children Modernising Charitable Donations The introduction of…

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In a preliminary ruling by a Pennsylvania state court, Joyce’s Jewelry of Uniontown has been allowed to continue its lawsuit against PNC Bank and several of its employees following a significant cyberattack. The jeweller lost over $1 million due to unauthorised wire transfers, raising important questions about the security responsibilities of banks. Incident Overview The cyberattack occurred on May 12, 2022, involving an employee of Joyce’s Jewelry who mistakenly entered login details on a fake website posing as PNC Bank’s. These credentials were used to make 11 wire transfers over a period of 20 hours, depleting the store’s bank accounts.…

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The US jewelry sector has experienced an accelerated rate of closures in the first quarter of 2024, signaling continuing challenges within the industry, according to the latest figures from the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). This downturn has affected all areas of the industry, from retail to manufacturing, with closures primarily attributed to bankruptcies. Industry Overview During the first quarter, 563 jewelry retailers ceased operations, which represents 3.1% of the nation’s 28,000 retailers. This marks an increase from the 2.2% closure rate at the beginning of the previous year, showcasing a steady rise over consecutive quarters. The total active companies…

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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecasted a steadier economic environment for the remainder of the year. NRF’s Chief Economist, Jack Kleinhenz, outlined the expectations for economic and retail growth in the April issue of NRF’s Monthly Economic Review, predicting a more tempered pace in the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) and retail sales. Economic Forecast and Retail Sales Growth According to NRF’s analysis, retail sales are anticipated to increase by between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2024. This projection indicates a slowdown from the sharp growth rates experienced post-pandemic but aligns closely with the 10-year average growth rate of…

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A well-known family-run jewelry store in Oakland faced a harrowing armed robbery, marking the most severe incident in its over four-decade history. Phuong Jewelry, located in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown, was targeted by eight armed individuals in a midday heist that left the store severely depleted of its inventory. The Incident Unfolded Surveillance footage captured the chilling moment when eight suspects shattered almost every display case in the store. Diana Trinh, aged 69, was seen taking cover and screaming for assistance as the robbery unfolded. Compounding the lack of in-store security at the time, her 76-year-old husband intervened, brandishing…

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Ben Bridge Jeweler has established the Lonia Tate Scholarship to support diversity in the gemology sector.  Named in honour of the pioneering Lonia Tate, the first Black President of the Seattle Chapter of Executive Women International, the scholarship aims to support minority students pursuing a career in gemology. The scholarship is set at $10,000 and is tailored specifically for high school graduates looking to further their education in this specialised field. Scholarship Details and Benefits The Lonia Tate Scholarship offers a comprehensive package to aid students in their education. It covers the costs associated with the Graduate Gemologist program offered…

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Stuller has expanded its product offerings with the release of four catalogues—Mountings 2024 – 2025, Findings & Metals 2024-2025, Chain & Components 2024-2025 and for the first time Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry 2024 – 2025,  The catalogues offer a variety of products and enhancements aimed at improving the jewelry crafting process and customer experience. The Mountings and new Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry catalogues collectively feature over 1,500 jewelry items and more than 650 loose lab-grown diamonds. They include expanded options for key items like stud earrings and line bracelets to accommodate larger carat weights and offer increased customization options. “Lab-grown diamond jewelry…

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The NYC Spring Jewelry and Object Show, organised by KIL Promotions, is scheduled from April 18th to April 21st, 2024, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City.  This year’s show introduces a contemporary designer section alongside its traditional showcase of antique and estate jewelry, offering a comprehensive experience for collectors and enthusiasts. A Harmonious Display of Heritage and Innovation The event presents a diverse array of offerings from esteemed antique, vintage, watch, and estate dealers such as Duvenay, Alpha & Omega, and Jewels by Grace, alongside contemporary designers like KIL N.Y.C., Heavenly Vices, and Erica Molinari. This setup is…

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The Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC), in collaboration with Jewelers Mutual Group and the Brooklyn STEAM Center, has inaugurated the first jewelry-focused education program, named “The Future Jewelers Academy”.  This initiative aims to prepare high school students for careers in jewelry and gemology, signalling a forward-thinking approach to nurturing talent in the gem and jewelry sector. Program Overview and Curriculum Developed with input from Professor Frank Fraley, a renowned jewelry designer and the program’s lead instructor, the 2023/2024 curriculum encompasses a comprehensive range of subjects including design, gem-setting, materials, and laser repair techniques. The program also introduces students to the…

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Moissanite pioneer Charles & Colvard has unveiled its new venture, CharlesandColvardDirect.com, marking a pivotal change from its traditional business approach.  The initiative, aimed at fostering growth, enables approved retailers and independent jewellers to directly access and purchase from the full range of Charles & Colvard moissanite products. This move, according to Don O’Connell, President and CEO, is set to energise the company’s growth trajectory. “We are excited to formally announce the launch of Charles & Colvard Direct, which, we believe, will be a catalyst for future growth based on this significant shift in our Company’s traditional business model,” expressed Don O’Connell,…

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Authorities are investigating a sophisticated burglary at a jewelry store located in a mall in New Jersey, where thieves managed to steal merchandise estimated to be worth around $1 million. The incident occurred at Venzio Jewelers, highlighting a growing concern over security measures within the jewelry retail sector. Burglary Details The theft was carried out with considerable planning. Thieves accessed Venzio Jewelers by first entering an adjacent vacant storefront. They then cut through the wall to enter the jeweler’s back office. To ensure their activities remained undetected, the burglars took several measures, including cutting the store’s phone and alarm cables…

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Jewelers Mutual Group, in partnership with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), has announced the introduction of the Ron Harder Gemological Scholarship which aims to support GIA students in advancing their education and skills in gemology. With a fund of $50,000, the scholarship will be distributed over the next five years, offering an annual award of $10,000 to aid aspiring jewelers. Honouring Industry Legacy Named after Ron Harder, Jewelers Mutual’s CEO from 1982 to 2007, the scholarship pays tribute to his significant contributions to the jewelry industry, emphasizing excellence, innovation, and education. Harder’s dedication to supporting industry associations, including the…

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In an audacious attempt to burglarize Denny Lesser Jewelry located at Topanga Canyon Plaza, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, burglars endeavored to tunnel through adjacent businesses in the early hours of March 25. Despite the elaborate preparation, the heist was foiled by the jewelry store’s owner, who was present and swiftly alerted the authorities, leading to the burglars’ retreat without any loot. Ambitious Plan Foiuled The would-be thieves embarked on their ill-fated heist around 2 a.m., initiating their operation by cutting through a fence to enter an adjoining martial arts studio. Their plan involved tunneling through the walls of several businesses with…

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The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) has introduced a Mentor & Apprenticeship Program, aimed at fostering traditional apprenticeship routes in the jewelry sector. Launched in the spring of 2023, the initiative facilitates the sharing of knowledge from experienced jewelers to newcomers, providing a structured career path in the industry. Program Uptake and Official Recognition The initiative has been welcomed by various professionals in the field, including designers, manufacturers, and retailers, all looking to enhance their bench operations. It has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Office as a National Guidelines Standard (NGS), marking it as…

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Mercury Free Mining (MFM) has announced Bernadette Mack’s appointment as its Managing Director. This strategic recruitment is part of MFM’s ambitious plan to enhance its programming and extend its outreach, specifically targeting areas adversely affected by mercury pollution. Background in Nonprofit and Jewelry Bernadette Mack brings to MFM a distinguished career in both the nonprofit sector and the jewelry industry, notably serving as the executive director of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). With over two decades of experience, Mack has honed her expertise in operations management, fundraising, marketing, and communication.  Pioneering a Mercury-Free Future The induction of Mack comes at…

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Diamonds Do Good (DDG) has announced its latest initiative titled “April = Diamonds Do Good Month”, which aims  to foster a deeper understanding among consumers regarding the significant, positive impact of purchasing natural diamonds.  “We believe that every natural diamond has a story to tell, and Diamonds Do Good Month provides an opportunity to amplify these stories and educate consumers about the positive impact of their purchase,” remarked Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director of Diamonds Do Good. Educational Resources and Collaboration DDG plans to assist retailers in their educational efforts by providing a comprehensive package of assets, including: “We’re thrilled…

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Instappraise has partnered with the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) to introduce two scholarships for aspiring and established jewelry appraisers. This initiative is set to provide substantial support to individuals keen on advancing their appraisal skills, offering both financial aid and educational opportunities. This collaboration brings forth two scholarships tailored for different membership statuses within NAJA, underscoring the partners’ dedication to excellence and innovation in the field. “Teaming up with NAJA to sponsor two new scholarships represents an exciting new milestone for us. Our mission at Instappraise has always been to elevate the industry by providing the right tools…

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