The Jewelry District, Episode 3

In This Episode

In the latest installment of “The Jewelry District,” you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates recap their favorite moments from JCK Las Vegas 2019 and the highlights of its grand return to the Sands Expo.

You’ll also hear several interview snippets that Rob and Victoria captured live from the show floor with Jennifer Dawes, Rodger Kadet, Eddie LeVian, Charles Stanley, Iris Van der Veken, and more.

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Show Notes
00:49 Victoria Gomelsky and Rob Bates recap their favorite highlights from JCK Las Vegas 2019.
06:20 Victoria and Rob go over key takeaways from the show and
discuss some of the talks they attended on lab-grown diamonds, traceability, and sustainability.
11:33 Interview from show floor Ben Hakman from Diamond DNA.
15:02 Lightbox presentation recap: lab-grown diamonds.
20:10 Victoria interviews Omi Gems and Omi Privé’s Niveet Nagpal.
24:01 Victoria and Rob discuss the president of Botswana’s speech and the protester who made a brief appearance.
32:02 Rob covers the first lady of Botswana’s speech at the Forevermark breakfast.
32:56 Rob interviews Charles Stanley of Forevermark.
36:00 Select clips from Rob and Victoria’s interviews captured live from the show floor.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Guests: Jennifer Dawes, Ben Hakman, Rodger Kadet, Eddie LeVian, Niveet Nagpal, Charles Stanley, Iris Van der Veken, and Ronnie Vanderlinden
Engineer: Brett Fuchs
Editor: Levi Sharpe
Producer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs:, @jckmagazine,

Show Recap

The Talk of the Show
The mood at JCK Las Vegas 2019 was high, and people are thinking hard about ways to meet business challenges, including the launch of many new initiatives. Exhibitors and attendees alike were happy to make a triumphant return to the Sands. It wasn’t the most dramatic show, but in a positive sense. The new lab-grown pavilion shows acceptance of this product entering the market, and conversations about lab-grown diamonds are maturing. There’s less clash and controversy, rather a deepening of the sustainability and tracing conversations.

Interview Clip: Ben Hakman of Diamond DNA
Ben Hakman explains the way things have been evolving in different price points and categories of lab-grown diamonds. He believes the future is moving toward transparency regarding grow type, treatment type, and country of origin.

Thoughts on the Lightbox Presentation
Rob gives his reaction to the Lightbox presentation. Some thought that De Beers’ aggressive pricing last year was intended to push the lab-grown pricing down. Its perspective is that the pricing will come down anyway, and when it does, Lightbox will be well situated because it’s had a chance to build its brand. That said, Rob has heard some wildly different predictions for lab-grown over the past few years. Victoria comments on the progress since last year’s presentation.

Interview Clip: Niveet Nagpal of Omi Gems and Omi Privé
People are loving the colored stones, rarer gems, and edgier designs. People aren’t shying away from more interesting pieces that tell a story. Nagpal describes his inventive window display and the concept behind it, called “A Gemstone Journey.”

President Masisi of Botswana’s Speech
President Masisi emphasized the connection between American retailers and the mining countries and people involved in production. Victoria remarked on the feeling of awe and respect at hearing this dignitary speak. The protester who interjected to voice her displeasure at Botswana’s lifting of the ban on elephant hunting momentarily shifted the emphasis of President Masisi’s speech, but he navigated it with grace. Footage of the confrontation can be seen here.

Interview Clip: Charles Stanley of Forevermark
Charles Stanley speaks about the first lady of Botswana’s speech. He found it inspirational—the benefit diamonds have given to Botswana and importance of investing in their future. Forevermark has a new and timely bridal campaign that aims to be more relevant to the bridal consumer.

Interviews From the Show Floor
Ronnie Vanderlinden, president of Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association; United States Jewelry Council
Eddie LeVian, director and CEO of Le Vian
Iris Van der Veken, executive director of Responsible Jewellery Council
Rodger Kadet, owner and CEO of Rodger Kadet Ltd.
Jennifer Dawes, owner of Jennifer Dawes Design

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