The American Gem Society honored Peter Engel, Myriam Gumuchian, and Dr. James Shigley at its annual Circle of Distinction awards, held July 25 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Engel (pictured, right), the president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, won the organization’s Triple Zero award. He told the crowd that he learned to love jewelry early in his career.
“Each piece of jewelry can create an enduring legacy,” he said.
Gumuchian (below), co-owner of family company Gumuchian, also won a Triple Zero, and was introduced in an emotional speech by her daughter Romy. “Real winners like to see other people win, and that’s my mom,” Romy said.
In her speech, Gumuchian talked about being “born with a diamond spoon in her mouth,” and being tutored by her parents that the most important thing in the industry is your reputation.
“As far as I’m concerned, for the 35 years I’ve been involved in the family business, I feel I have never worked a day,” said Gumuchian. “I feel this industry has adopted me since the time I graduated college.”
Dr. James Shigley (below), the distinguished research fellow for the Gemological Institute of America, joked that he didn’t expect to win the AGS Lifetime Achievement Award, as he was “too young.”
“While you are recognizing me, this is really an award for the GIA staff that has served the industry for the past 85 years,” he said.
(Images courtesy of American Gem Society)