Mort Abelson, former director of JA International Jewelry Shows, died March 28 in Fairfield, N.J. He was 87.
Abelson was born into a jewelry industry family. After returning from his tour of duty in the U.S. Army in 1945, he served on the board of Retail Jewelers of America (now Jewelers of America), and acted as president of the trade association. In the early 1970s, his business, Abelson's, was sold to Zale Corp.
In 1973, Abelson began working as the JA International Jewelry Show's director. He introduced the New Designer Gallery showcase at the JA shows in 1977 that helped launch the careers of hundreds of jewelry designers.
Abelson also assisted in the development of the Women’s Jewelry Association by giving it space at the JA shows to hold early meetings.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, and son-in-law. A son, Michael, pre-deceased him. An online guest book can be seen here.
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