Alice Gallagher Mignatti, the mother of a good friend, used to say, “Self-praise stinks.” Mrs. Mignatti was absolutely right, but for once I feel compelled to ignore her sage advice.
That’s because I’m proud of the effort JCK magazine and The JCK Shows have made to provide support to a variety of industry associations. Over the past four years, The JCK Jewelry Industry Fund has contributed $1.6 million to address significant problems affecting the business, and to positively enhance the image of the industry.
The Gemological Institute of America received funding to research emerald filler materials and HPHT diamonds—two of the most pressing issues faced by an industry that is a regular target of the consumer media. While GIA has expended significant sums of its own money to address these matters, I am particularly gratified that JCK is helping GIA learn more about these problems.
The fund also provided money for the Jewelers Vigilance Committee to purchase equipment to test gold karating, an effort that can only improve the image of the industry. Twenty-five years ago, JVC embarked on a program to attack underkarating—and frankly, it was a convoluted and not very effective effort. Now, for the first time in its long-standing attempt to address this matter, JVC is making a significant impression on those who would cheat the public and harm the industry. Likewise, the American Gem Trade Association has received funds to purchase needed equipment and to research the effect of irradiating postal shipments to prevent the spread of anthrax.
The American Gem Society, too, has received significant dollars for its new facility in Las Vegas. The JCK Industry Fund also has provided funding to assist AGS in its efforts to develop a cut grade for fancy diamonds.
Jewelers’ Security Alliance, which has received grants every year since the Fund was established, has used the funds in a variety of efforts to provide a safer, more secure environment for retail jewelers and their suppliers.
The recipients of these grants regularly acknowledge JCK. They are grateful for the support that the magazine and The JCK Shows have provided to their efforts, which improve the image of this business (if not the reality) to those outside it. However, the best reward is the knowledge that we are doing something on a regular, sustained basis to improve that reality as well as the image of the business on which each of us is dependent.
Ultimately, Mrs. Mignatti was right. Talking about what you do and what you have done is really not very interesting. What you do says so much more than what you say. But the fact remains that JCK is a significant benefactor to important industry organizations year in and year out. From the very beginning, more than 130 years ago, JCK assumed a leadership role in motivating the industry to professionalism and to ethical behavior. The difference today is we are putting our money where our mouths are.