Associations

AGS MARKS 60th CONCLAVE

During its anniversary, the American Gem Society looks at the challenges of today and tomorrow

Education. Sharing challenges and solutions. Promoting ethics, excellence and service. This was the recipe for the first American Gem Society Conclave, held at the Palmer House in Chicago in 1937. The same was true for the 60th AGS Conclave, held at the same hotel this April.

While the AGS mission hasn’t changed in the past 60 years, the missionaries and their strategies have. Today’s AGS members face new gems, new synthetics, new treatments and new competition. To keep abreast of these changes, members who attended this year’s conclave took advantage of an intensive seminar program, one-on-one sessions with industry leaders, a buying show and social activities where they freely exchanged ideas on how to improve business. Here’s a closer look at a few of the addresses, seminars and news from the conclave.

Diamonds and AGS

The growth of AGS and of the diamond industry in the past 60 years were compared in an opening-ceremony address by Michael Grantham, a retired director of De Beers.

Sixty years ago, he said, world diamond production totaled 9.6 million carats (21% suitable for polishing) as the world began to recover from the Great Depression. Jewelry manufacturers used better-quality white diamonds, while the browns, yellows and lower qualities were relegated to industrial use. (By comparison, production now totals 118 million carats annually, 50% of it suitable for polishing. And many of the browns, yellows and lower qualities are used in jewelry.) There were no synthetic diamonds and no low-cost cutting industries in India and China.

More importantly, he said, there was a small consumer market that knew little about diamonds. De Beers executives decided to remedy the situation by launching their first campaign in the U.S., consulting with AGS founder Robert Shipley on the preparation of ads that appeared in JCK. “In fact, Robert Shipley apparently claimed to have coined the term the 4Cs for carat, cut, clarity and color, although it may have been just three Cs initially, probably without cut,” said Grantham.

In the next several years, De Beers and AGS (and the Gemological Institute of America, also founded by Shipley and once formally linked with AGS) set about educating consumers, retailers and manufacturers about diamonds. The scope of their chore grew rapidly after World War II as GIs returned home and started to marry, creating a huge demand for diamonds and diamond information. Together, De Beers and AGS developed master diamond sets, color grading aids and other professional products and programs, he said.

Today, De Beers continues to pro-spect for the quality diamonds that have become the mark of AGS and other top retailers, said Grantham. And it conducts intensive research (working closely with GIA and other labs around the world) to uncover information these retailers can use to promote and protect themselves in the age of diamond synthetics, treatments and intense competition.

Also at the opening ceremony, Lynn Diamond, director of the Diamond Promotion Service, presented a slide show to illustrate how De Beers’ ads have changed to reflect the consumer market in the past 60 years. The ads focused on romance and diamonds in general in the early years, value during World War II and the right to happiness after the war. They ads turned saucy and sassy in the me-generation ’70s and early ’80s before returning to romance and rewards in the late 1980s and 1990s. Along the way, DPS added the signature phrase “A diamond is forever” (which copywriter Frances Gerety created 50 years ago this year) and started to include ads for specific product categories (tennis bracelets, solitaire necklaces, etc.) and ads that educate (copy-intensive ads introduced in 1995 answer questions that men have about buying diamonds).

JEF training

A long-awaited home-study course on personal property appraising will be available this summer from the Jewelers Education Foundation of AGS. The “Advanced Personal Property Appraising Program” is designed for anyone who practices or is interested in practicing the appraisal of jewelry and other personal property. Subjects include insurance, estate settlement, trusts, tax liability, criminal and civil litigations, bankruptcy, appraiser liability and dissolution of marriage.

“The philosophy here is the science of research and following the value of the item in the marketplace – not just your showcase,” said JEF President David Rotenberg of David Craig Jewelers Ltd., Langhorne, Pa.

The course was developed by Cos Altobelli of Altobelli Jewelers, North Hollywood, Cal., president of the AGS Appraisals Committee, and William Hoefer, an appraiser and paralegal in San Jose, Cal. Students will submit lessons and tests to JEF for instruction and grading via mail. The program consists of three sections and costs $450 per section, though special pricing is available for prepayment.

JEF also announced that its “Certified Sales Associate Course,” introduced for AGS members last year, is now available to non-members as the “Graduate Sales Associate Course.” The new course has 15 lessons covering product knowledge in all major categories and basic operational issues. It can be used for individual study or in store meetings. Janice Mack Talcott, director of education for AGS, says the course is not intimidating. “[Sales associates] are able to move through it quickly and can put solid product knowledge to work in just a few weeks,” she said.

Kate Peterson, sales trainer for Elangy Corp., Edison, N.J., said the program helps to build the confidence of newer employees and also gets a positive response from longer-term employees. The program also can help suppliers when working with sales associates, added Marcee Feinberg of Lazare Kaplan International, New York, N.Y.

Multiple enrollment discounts are available. For information on either program, call AGS at (702) 255-6500.

Honors, appointments

George R. Kaplan, vice chairman of Lazare Kaplan International, received the Robert M. Shipley Award. Named for the founder of AGS and the Gemological Institute of America, the award recognizes outstanding service to the society, contributions to the science of gemology or exemplifying the high purposes, objectives and ideals of AGS.

Kaplan graduated from Cornell University with a degree in psychology at age 19, but he quickly developed an interest in diamond production and joined his father, Lazare, in the family business. Early in his career, he worked at the company’s operation in Puerto Rico, developing workers’ skills so far that Lazare Kaplan International became the only company able to meet the government’s specifications for precision-cut diamonds during World War II.

Kaplan returned to New York City in 1947 and eventually took charge of the company’s production, technical and scientific matters – the primary responsibilities he holds today. Kaplan is an AGS registered jeweler, helped to establish the AGS Jewelers Education Foundation and is a past chairman of the GIA Board of Governors.

Also during the conclave, Eric Freedman of Freedman Jewelers, Huntingdon, N.Y., was installed as president of AGS. He succeeds C. Clayton Bromberg of Underwood Jewelers Corp., Jacksonville, Fla. Freedman said his goals include increasing the perceived value of AGS membership and aggressively going after jewelers who should be AGS members. “When I first took over my parents’ business and joined AGS, these people were my heroes,” he said. “Now they’re my friends. I can talk to some of the most successful people in the business and get their advice. That’s one of the great advantages of AGS membership.”

Serving with Freedman are Thomas Gorman of J.C.

Keppie/C.A. Kiger, Pittsburgh, Pa., president-elect; Ellen Lacy of Lacy & Co., El Paso, Tex., vice president; and Andrew Meyer of Andrew Meyer Jeweler, Fort Washington, Pa., secretary.

In other appointments and honors:

  • C. Clayton Bromberg was named to the JEF Board of Governors.

  • Executive Director Tom Dorman accepted an International Television and Video Association Award for The

  • Diamond of Your Dreams, an 11-minute video developed for AGS retailers by Nick Greve of Carl Greve Jewelers, Portland, Ore., chairman of the AGS Marketing Committee.

  • Charles Bond, publisher of the JCK Jewelry Group and director of the JCK Shows, was honored for his organization’s long-time support of the industry.

Platinum power

The growth of platinum jewelry sales was the topic of a seminar presented by Caroline Stanley of the Platinum Guild International. Platinum’s strongest advantages for retailers are its intrinsic value (“Customers know it’s a special metal,” she said), its potential for repeat sales (“Anyone who buys one piece of platinum wants more”) and a profit margin that’s higher than gold because of less price competition.

When selling platinum, PGI suggests:

  • Put similar pieces of jewelry made of platinum, white gold and sterling side by side to let customers see and feel the differences.

  • Stress that platinum is more durable than other metals.

  • Note that platinum is pure white (nothing is added to change the color) and hypoallergenic (the nickel used to color white gold affects some people’s skin).

  • Take advantage of the growing selection of styles and price points of platinum jewelry.

  • Remember that though Baby Boomers like platinum because of its lasting value, Generation Xers should be a prime target also because they’re open to education by retailers (having virtually grown up in shopping malls) and now comprise the biggest share of the bridal market.

To support platinum jewelry sales, PGI advertises in bridal magazines (the bridal market accounts for the most platinum jewelry units sold) with a toll-free telephone number consumers may call for the name of a nearby platinum jeweler. PGI also has an Internet site that can be hyperlinked to a retailer’s site, and it offers sales training and product catalogs.

Regarding 585 platinum jewelry (where pure platinum is reduced with the addition of other platinum-group metals to cut costs), Stanley called attention to the Federal Trade Commissions recent guides (see JCK, May 1997, p. 27) delineating how platinum jewelry can be described. She also said PGI won’t use 585 platinum pieces in its catalogs.

Golden opportunities

Increasing gold jewelry sales was the focus of “Golden Opportunities,” presented by Michelle Gravelle for the World Gold Council and by Michael Coan, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, N.Y.

Gold jewelry sales rose 5% to $12.3 billion in 1996, with independent jewelers accounting for almost 25% of the market, according to WGC figures. Independents may find the recent in-roads by electronic retailers discouraging, Gravelle said, but the electronic segment reported only a 4% increase in the value of gold jewelry sales last year and a 20% decrease in the price paid per piece. “That leaves a big segment of fine quality, higher-end gold jewelry for independents to sell.”

Toward that goal, Gravelle encouraged jewelers to help customers develop a wardrobe concept about gold jewelry. “How many women would put on a gold bangle and not another piece of jewelry?” she asked.

Gravelle and Coan also discussed how displays can help to capture consumers’ attention. Their tips:

  • Use windows to tell a story (back to school, welcome to summer, etc.), and carry the theme throughout the store.

  • Use movement or even neon to catch people’s attention – if it fits with your style.

  • Change your window displays every week or two (WGC research shows passers-by stop looking at windows with displays that are three weeks or more old.)

  • Add a daily feature: a quote, a question, a riddle,

  • something that will cause customers to stop in front of the window and possibly come into the store.

  • If you sell giftware, use it to display jewelry.

  • Clean your windows and showcases often.

  • Cross-promote with other retailers and service organizations.

Coan also noted five basic premises of design:

  1. Line (your eye follows the different levels of a design). Vary the line for interest, but keep all angles the same, otherwise the eye automatically tries to adjust the angles.

  2. Repetition. If you have five rings, for example, make the display interesting by using proportion (display them from the biggest to the smallest, for example).

  3. Props shouldn’t distract from the jewelry.

  4. Relate pieces of the display. Show a piece of gold jewelry grouped with a small sign that says “18k gold” and a card with your store’s name.

  5. Positive and negative space. Cluster elements of the design so the eye knows where to look (at the clusters of jewelry) and where to rest (the empty space between the clusters). If you arrange the elements evenly for a particular effect, leave space around the edges.

Pearl primer

The current wave of popularity of pearl jewelry is good news to pearl farmers, dealers and retailers. But are you as prepared as you should be to talk about today’s pearls with today’s educated consumers?

Terry D’Elia, whose company, B. D’Elia & Son of New York City, was acquired in January by Tasaki Shinju of Japan, a leading producer and processor of cultured pearls, addressed the basics as well as the changing pearl world during “All Kinds of Cultured Pearls.” First, a quick review of what to look for in pearls:

  • Luster, a function of nacre coating. “The water in Japan is fairly polluted, so they leave pearl oysters in 12 to 18 months instead of two to three years like they did 10 or 15 years ago,” he said. The less time the oyster is in the water, the thinner and less lustrous the nacre.

  • Spots, which can occur the longer the oyster is left in polluted water. “It’s better to have a few spots and thicker nacre,” said D’Elia.

  • Color, a matter of personal taste. The color comprises two factors: body tone (white, pink, cream, etc.) and the overtone (rosé or bluish).

  • Drilling, bleaching, dyeing. Drilling can be more than part of the mounting or stringing process; it also can be used to eliminate spots. Once they are drilled, pearls are bleached to lighten or even the color. Then they can be dyed.

  • Shape and size. These don’t affect the quality of the pearl, though a round pearl will cost more than an off-round one. Japanese pearls now run about 6.5mm to 9.5mm.

The biggest news in pearls is the growing quantity and quality of akoya pearls from China and consumer demand for black Tahitian pearls. The Chinese akoyas are generally smaller than their Japanese counterparts (about 5mm to 7mm) and the quality, while improving, still isn’t as good, said D’Elia. “The highest-quality Chinese pearls are probably equal to medium-quality Japanese pearls,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll ever get the real good luster the Japanese pearls have, but their processing skills are improving.”

Is Japan doing anything to improve its water pollution? “Pearling isn’t as important to the Japanese economy as it used to be, so cleaning the water isn’t a priority. However, Tasaki’s research facility is studying the matter.

Regarding South Sea pearls, promotion and availability have made black Tahitian pearls from 9mm to 15mm the most popular, he said. They range from light gray to peacock (greenish) and are not bleached or dyed. They are left in the water up to four years, so the nacre is 3mm to 6mm, compared with 2mm to 4mm for a Japanese akoya.

Treatments and synthetics

Jewelers got a first-hand look at gem treatments and synthetics that could pose challenges in two clinics taught by John Koivula, chief gemologist at GIA, and Jim Shigley, director of research at GIA. “The technology for producing these things gets better and better,” said Koivula. “As long as there are a few dollars to be made by producing something for a minimal amount and selling it for a large amount, you’ll continue to see these kinds of things.”

Koivula’s what-to-watch-for list includes:

  • Copal resin from South America and Africa that masquerades as amber. It has the same types of inclusions as amber but isn’t as durable, is more easily damaged by perfume and is sprayed with a clear acrylic coating because otherwise it would melt during the polishing process.

  • Detection: It looks wet under a microscope, the coating traps dust fibers that react to polarized light and it can feel slightly tacky.

  • Natural colorless beryl triplets sold as natural emeralds. “This is absolutely the best imitation of emerald I’ve ever seen,” he said. The color comes from a green cement between two pieces of beryl (or one piece each of beryl and quartz) that are chosen to show natural inclusions.

  • Detection: Layers are visible and there are small silvery bubbles in the color layer.

  • Sapphire doublet with natural crown and flame-fusion synthetic pavilion. “There are thousands of carats of these, some as large as 40 carats. The natural component is chosen to show natural fingerprint inclusions.

Detection: The crown is greenish when viewed from the side, there is curved color zoning and sometimes gas bubbles appear in the pavilion.

  • Natural sapphire and flame-fusion synthetic ruby doublet.

Detection: Natural fingerprint inclusions, color and growth zoning in the crown and sometimes there are curved striae and gas bubbles. The pavilion usually will fluoresce bright red in longwave ultraviolet radiation.

  • Palm-oiled rough and cut emerald. Though the name suggests a natural material, palm oil is a synthetic with a refractive index just slightly less than emerald’s. This is the most common emerald treatment method in Colombia.

Detection: The treatment shows flash effects under darkfield illumination and is known to leak out of stones or turn yellow over time.

  • Russian flux-grown rough green YAG. The rough material has been sold as demantoid garnet.

Detection: Typical flux inclusions are visible through a microscope.

  • Russian flux-grown synthetic alexandrite.

Detection: Overhead oblique illumination shows hexagonal platinum plate inclusions.

  • Lechleitner flux overgrowth on flame-fusion and Czochralski-pulled synthetic ruby and sapphire. “It looks like someone overgrew a preform or faceted stone,” he said.

Detection: Fingerprint inclusions, curved color banding, curved striae, misty dislocations associated with Czochralski-pulled synthetics (use fiber-optic light to locate).

  • Russian hydrothermal synthetic ruby.

Detection: Wavy growth pattern. Some also have tiny blue crystals that contain copper. It’s not known whether these are on purpose or caused by contamination from the copper lining in a crucible.

  • Russian flux-grown synthetic red and blue spinel.

Detection: Fern-like dendritic metallic inclusions.

  • Coatings, primarily colorless quartz and topaz on nearly any gem, including diamonds.

Detection: Chips around the drill hole, iridescence from the coating in reflected light, little spots and imperfections in the coating itself.

  • Turquoise treated by a proprietary process called the Zacharia treatment.

Detection: “We don’t know exactly how it’s done – the chemical, structural analysis and gemological testing all show turquoise,” said Koivula. “But they seem to have scattered darker blue veins.

  • Synthetic moissanite. The synthetic version of natural moissanite has been grown for years, he said. It’s also called silicon carbide and carborundum.

Detection: Dark blue-green to light green or yellowish brown to near colorless; nearly all of it has a greenish cast. It can contain gas bubbles and is doubly refractive, but it can be cut so the optic axis is straight down and you see only the single refractive direction. When you rock it back and forth, you see double refraction. “All the ones we’ve seen are horribly polished,” he said. “I don’t think its any better than cubic zirconia, though it’s harder (9.5 on the Mohs scale). If they can manufacture it to be singly refractive and improve the polish, then they’ve got a product that’s a little more fearsome.”

Shigley spoke about synthetic and fracture-filled diamonds, though he said the latter is more of an immediate concern than the former. “I don’t believe synthetic diamonds are in the trade in any substantive quantity,” he said. “But we’ve seen fracture-filled diamonds ranging from 10 carats down to 2 points.

He said no one has yet developed an instrument to quickly and simply detect fracture-filled stones. But he noted the standard way to detect fracture filling is to find a flash effect with fiber optic light. He also cautioned that manufacturers are trying to eliminate the flash.

Quality diamonds

AGS members learned how to sell better-quality diamonds in a seminar presented by Diane Warga-Arias and Karen Kelly of the Diamond Promotion Service.

First, the figures. A recent survey found that 76% of married women ages 25-44 want higher-quality diamond jewelry, an equal percentage say quality is more important than size of a diamond and 57% say they would spend more for a “near perfect” diamond. That’s good news for a market whose sales rose 7% in 1996.

But how do retailers communicate this concept of quality to consumers? “Sales associates need to be skilled in attaching the unique and rare factors of a diamond with the unique and rare characteristics of the person who will receive it,” said Warga-Arias.

In addition, she said, sales associates should consider the concept of selling down – not in the sense of persuading customers to spend less than they planned, rather in showing the very highest-quality diamond first and relating it to value, then finding the price/quality level that suits the consumer. “This technique helps sales associates to feel comfortable showing the highest-priced diamonds without pressure to buy.

“We’ve been trying to teach sales associates for 20 years how to sell up. You can’t do it. You can’t romance a beautiful diamond and tell a customer its the best diamond ever and then try to sell up.”

DPS will help retailers with the concept with a brand-new countertop tool – a pyramid that shows a single top-quality diamond on top, then smaller and lower qualities on lower levels. The sales associate can use the pyramid to explain the rarity of diamonds (see “DPS Promotes Quality Through New Program,” JCK, May 1997, p. 24).

The pyramid program includes a video, self-study guides, skill practice, posters and more.

Staffing for results

The objectives are simple: identify your staffing needs and recruit to fill those needs. The steps to realizing these objectives were outlined by Dan Askew of GIA’s Advanced Retail Management System.

Askew compared a store owner or manager’s job with that of a coach. “Your job is to identify areas in your team and put people in the right place to maximize their attributes so they make more sales.” First, you establish your game plan, then you tell employees what you expect of them so they can meet those expectations.

How can you become a better coach?

  • Set realistic goals.

  • Observe sales performance

  • Track sales performance.

  • Train individually and as a team.

  • Give feedback (praise in public, criticize in private).

  • Put the right product in the showcase so your staff has a legitimate chance to sell it.

In preparation for hiring or reassigning duties, do a team assessment. List the strengths of each employee. Then make a list of skills needed to improve your team, developing this into the characteristics of someone you would like to hire. Recruit someone with these characteristics by checking with professional organizations, colleges and even other retailers or service organizations. “Everywhere I go I look for good people,” he said. “Shop, observe, evaluate the quality of their presentation and then make contact with them.”

Metalsmiths convene in southwest

Respect, mutual admiration and friendship brought 500 metalsmiths and jewelry designers to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in April.

Amid sunny and dry weather, the artists and businesspeople spent four days trading tips, sharing ideas and discussing their place in the world as metalsmiths. “Everybody had a wonderful time,” says Ivan Barnett, one of the three conference cochairs. “There was really a harmony and balance of fun and good content that people could come away with.” There were about 100 new attendees at the conference, which was widely attended by students, educators and veteran tradespeople.

The conference began with the annual SNAG pin swap, for which members prepare dozens of handmade pins to trade with old friends and new faces. Seminars kicked off the next morning with a keynote address by artist Tom Joyce, who discussed the entanglement of the artistic process with nature and community.

Three “talking circles” added the practical element to the artistically focused conference. “Makers and Sellers” was made up of six designer and jewelry gallery owners, who discussed the perks and drawbacks of running a business while remaining an artist. Editors from trade magazines American Craft, Ornament, Lapidary Journal, Metalsmith, The Crafts Report and JCK spoke in “Typecast” on how to best submit work for publication, tips on getting published, and the readership and focus of their magazines. Finally, six educators in the field of metalsmithing discussed their programs and other opportunities for expanding education and knowledge in the panel “Pathways of Learning.”

Well-known artists lectured on a variety of topics concerning artistic processes in several smaller sessions. Among the popular sessions was a talk and slide presentation by Marilynn Nicholson on the use of design and

hidden mechanisms and embellishments on the backs of contemporary metalwork. Barnett, one of the co-chairs, showed slides coordinated with recorded interviews with three well-known artists – Carrie Adell, Peter Renzetti and Chris Darway – on their ongoing processes as makers. David McFadden, executive director of Millicent Rogers Museum of Northern New Mexico in Taos, presented a well-attended slide presentation and talk on “A Testament to Diversity: Jewelry and Metals in New Mexico Today.”

Other seminars covered the history of Mexican metals, issues involved with forming a regional metalsmiths association, traditional Andean Indian silver, stone setting, glass beads in metal, and artists as healers and spiritual leaders in cultures of New Guinea and Borneo. One afternoon, the work of North American metalsmithing students was shown in a slide presentation outside the meeting rooms.

The New Mexico art community welcomed the SNAG conference by opening the doors of its galleries and a well-known jewelry company. Members took a tour of Rio Grande, the findings and machine supplier in Albuquerque, to see how their orders are processed, their catalogs written and photographed, and their machinery made. The company featured a special products room with exhibits of its equipment set up for members to view.

Members also traveled to Santa Fe, N.M., to visit dozens of jewelry and art galleries. A reception followed at the Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art.

Throughout the conference, a Suppliers Room featured some 25 vendors selling stones, findings, equipment, marketing services, books and educational programs.

Next year’s SNAG conference will be held March 25-28 in Seattle, Wash. SNAG, 5009 Londonderry Drive, Tampa, FL 33647-1336; (813) 977-5326, fax (813) 977-8462.

IGI selected as sears partner

The International Gemological Institute, New York, N.Y., was named a Sears Partner in Progress in March.

“The Partners in Progress program recognizes sources who made significant contributions in 1996 to advance our company’s strategies of making Sears a compelling place to shop, work and invest,” says Arthur C. Martinez, chairman of Sears Roebuck & Co. More than 10,000 companies competed for the award.

Sears uses IGI’s quality control inspection and certification services for the diamonds it buys from suppliers and includes IGI reports with the diamonds it sells.

IGI also announced the U.S. Army now requests IGI reports for diamond solitaire rings sold through the U.S. Army Post Exchanges. The U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard have used IGI services for several years.

IGI, 579 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10017; (212) 753-7100, fax (212) 753-7759.

Ohio jewelers elect directors

The Ohio Jewelers Association elected its 1997 officers and directors in February. Officers are President Stuart Palestrant of Wendel’s Jewelers, Lancaster; Vice President Jack Seibert of Jack Seibert Goldsmiths, Columbus; Secretary Alan Rodriguez of House of Stones, New Philadelphia; and Treasurer James Schwartz of Schwartz Jewelers, Cincinnati.

Directors are Timothy Smith of Smith and Co. Jewelers, Boardman; Craig Forcell of Martin Jewelers, Wooster; Daniel Pugh of Pugh Jewelers, Zanesville; Larry Hall of Baker and Baker Jewelers, Marietta; Carl Hofstetter of Karl’s Jewelers, Middlefield; Michael Myers of Myers and Pugh, Newark; Robert Argo of Argo & Lehne Jewelers, Columbus; Richard Bacovin of Bacovin Jewelers, Cincinnati; Glenn Kelsey of Kelsey Jewelers, Cincinnati; Tom Laudick of Leo Alfred Jewelers, Dublin; Lee Krombholz of Krombholz Jewelers, Cincinnati; Harley Jones of Jones Jewelers, Celina, past president; Jack Yeager of Yeager Jewelers, Cleveland, past president; and Adriana Sfalcin, executive director of OJA and manager of the Columbus Jewelry Show.

Louisiana jewelers plan convention

Jewelers of Louisiana Inc. will hold its annual convention July 11-13 in Lafayette, La. Conference topics will include Gemological Institute of America workshops on colored stones and synthetic/clarity-enhanced diamonds and lectures by Leonard Zell, Pat Henneberry, Randy Lowrey and more. Conference attendees can tour Stuller Settings and take the Jewelers of America Bench Certification test.

Jewelers of Louisiana, 2423 Old South Plaza, Abbeville, LA 70510; (318) 893-1900, fax (318) 364-1784.

Intermountain Jewelers to Meet

The Intermountain Jewelers Association will hold its annual convention Sept. 11-14 at the Elkhorn Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference program will include gemological workshops and sales and management training. Registration materials will be sent to members in August.

IJA, 1575 West 2000 S., Rexburg, ID 83440; (208) 356-6085, fax (208) 356-3243.

JA launches Image campaign

Jewelers of America presented its new image and goals in a trade magazine advertising campaign this spring.

Three two-page advertisements, the first of which appeared in the March issue of JCK, explain the value of JA membership, the association’s dedication to ethical industry standards, the benefits of JA’s new professional certification programs and the association’s commitment to education. Ads also appeared in National Jeweler and Modern Jeweler.

Jewelers of America Inc., 1185 Avenue of the Americas, 30th Fl., New York, NY 10036; (800) 223-0673 or (212) 768-8777, fax (212) 768-8087, e-mail jewelersam@aol.com.

ASA directory lists appraisers

The American Society of Appraisers has created a directory of more than 3,100 accredited ASA members with cross-references by last name, geographic location and type of property appraised. Appraisers of gems, jewelry, antiques and collectibles are among the listed members.

For a copy, send $12 to ASA, P.O. Box 17265, Washington, DC 20041.

CIBJO TO hold congress in vegas

The International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls and Stones (known as CIBJO, the abbreviation for its European name) will hold its annual congress June 3-6 at the Treasure Island Resort in Las Vegas.

The congress begins with a cocktail party June 3, followed by meetings and breakout sessions June 4-6. Also planned are a dinner-dance and a night at the theater to attend a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère.

MJSA-CIBJO, One State St., Providence, RI 02908-5035; (800) 444-6572 or (401) 274-3840, fax (401) 273-0265.

Regional association moves

The Massachusetts and Rhode Island Jewelers Association has moved. Contact the association at P.O. Box 704, York, ME 03909-0704; (207) 363-6311; fax (207) 363-7655.