Associations

AGS TO BUILD A NEW LAB FACILITY

Spurred by the runaway success of its three-year-old diamond grading lab, the American Gem Society is launching a $4 million expansion project at its Las Vegas headquarters. The lab will be transplanted from the main building into its own freestanding facility next door, and the headquarters itself will be enlarged. With 11,000 sq. ft. of space, the new lab will house more research equipment than the current lab and will include laser-inscription technology.

?We?re growing like crazy,? says lab director Peter Yantzer. ?We?re up 90% in volume from last year. We?ve had almost triple-digit growth every year now. We have 18 graders and just about as many support staff. We?ve taken over the entire front half of the building.? That expansion has obliged some AGS staffers to move to offices in a nearby building.

Both the new lab and the headquarters expansion are expected to get under way soon and should be completed sometime next year.?Larry Frederick and Gary Roskin, G.G., FGA

IDCA HOSTS GALA

The Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association will host its 16th annual gala event during The JCK Show in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 3, at Hotel Paris.

The evening will include a poolside cocktail reception followed by a musical show, ?Notre Dame de Paris.? IDCA will present its ?Retailer of the Year? award to Zale Corp. Zale president Pamela Romano; Shailesh Mehta, chairman and CEO of Providian Financial Corp.; and Mike Mitchell, general manager of Argyle Diamonds, are scheduled to speak. More than 1,200 exhibitors, buyers, and suppliers are expected to attend.

ESTATE JEWELERS? GROUP REORGANIZES

The Estate Jewelers Association of America has a new management team and is launching several new initiatives.

EJAA, founded in 1992 to promote education and communication between wholesalers and retailers, has named Ken Sitomer president and CEO. He has worked at several fashion-related businesses and been a consultant to Internet start-up companies. David Rieger, executive vice president and chief operating officer, has more than 15 years? experience in the jewelry industry. EJAA founder Dan Tenenbaum will remain as the chairman of the group?s advisory board.

The association has launched a password-protected Web site, www.ejaa.net, that provides members with a market for buying, selling, and trading inventory. The site offers inventory search tools trademarked by EJAA, chat rooms and forums for members of the trade to share views, daily industry news, searchable directories, and auction histories.

Other new projects include an authentication laboratory, a trading pavilion, and an auction pavilion. For information, contact EJAA at 608 Fifth Ave., Suite 410, New York, NY 10020; (212) 707-8104.

NEW ADDRESS FOR MJSA

Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America moved into its new headquarters on April 11. The new address is 45 Royal Little Dr., Providence, RI 02904. Telephone and fax numbers as well as e-mail addresses for the organization remain the same.

The move was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening festivities in early May.