24 Karat Weekend: From the Queen of Soul to the Queen of JBT

24 Karat Club headliner Aretha Franklin asked if anyone could replace her lost marquise diamond ring

The industry again celebrated 24 Karat weekend, highlighted by a performance by Aretha Franklin.

– The Jewelers Vigilance Committee kicked things off on Jan. 8 with its annual luncheon. President and CEO Cecilia Gardner gave retiring Jewelers Board of Trade president Dione Kenyon its Stanley Schechter Award, which is bestowed on those who elevate the jewelry industry.

In her remarks, Kenyon called her job a “labor of love.”

Speaker Ariel Meyerstein, vice president of labor affairs, corporate responsibility, and governance for the U.S. Council for International Business, said that consumers are increasingly looking for assurances that products are produced ethically.

– On Jan. 9, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance presented its 11th annual industry service award to David J. Sexton, vice president for loss prevention consulting at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. The 17th Annual James B. White Law Enforcement Award went to senior special agent James K. Liscinsky of the U.S.  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for his work apprehending South American theft gangs.

JSA also announced that Stewart E.B. Wicht, CEO of Rolex Watch USA, is its new chairperson.

– Fresh off her Kennedy Center Honors performance, which brought President Obama to tears, Aretha Franklin (pictured, right) headlined the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York’s annual dinner on Jan. 9. The Queen of Soul delivered a solid hour of passionate renditions of her well-known hits and selections from her latest album, “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.

At one point, she announced she lost her marquise diamond ring at church and asked if anyone there had a replacement. Several audience members loudly answered yes.

Also, last weekend, Jewelers of America held its annual GEM Awards, covered here and here

(Photo courtesy of Brandee Dallow)

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