Supplier News: Week of Jan. 25

GJEPC holds India Diamond Week, Mi9 Retail acquires ASC

GJEPC Holds Fourth India Diamond Week in New York

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) held the fourth edition of its India Diamond Week at the Diamond Dealers Club in New York City Jan.18–21. The event served as a platform for Indian diamantaires to connect with American buyers.

“The USA is a significant market for our industry and now has started showing signs of positive economic growth,” said GJEPC chairman, Praveenshankar Pandya, in a press release. “Although the year 2015 had been a difficult time for the gem and jewelry industry, the only market that showed consistent performance was the U.S.”

Apart from India Diamond Week, the council has been proactively creating opportunities to connect the two markets, such as the Indo-US Jewelry Business Development Conference, which took place in Chicago in  2015, and at JCK Las Vegas, where GJEPC presented the India Pavilion.

For more information, visit


Pranda Group Gets Royal Appointment

Golden Butter Lamp, Bhutan

Thailand-based jewelry manufacturer Pranda Group announced that it has been appointed by Her Majesty the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, to select and set the gemstones to the ceremonial Golden Butter Lamp, a four-and-a-half-foot tall intricate silver stand (pictured, above).

Enshrined at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple, a monastery in Bhutan, the lamp is fueled by clarified butter, per tradition, and burns an “eternal flame of gratitude.” For decoration, Pranda Group chose turquoise; lapis; chrysoprase; rhodonite; blue lace, red, and green agate; red jasper; amethyst, citrine; and garnet and will advise in the process of setting the stones to the lamp. While Pranda feels honored to be chosen for this task, it’s also a sign of the long-lasting relationship between Thailand and Bhutan.

For more information on Pranda Group, visit


Mi9 Retail Acquires ASC, Forms Retail Software Jewelry Group

Retail solutions provider Mi9 Retail has announced its acquisition of Applications Systems Corp. (ASC), a software solutions developer. The addition of ASC serves to reinforce Mi9 Retail’s position in the industry as a provider of retail technology solutions and now as a group devoted exclusively to jewelry retailers. ASC’s user group, including more than 100 independent jewelers, with join Mi9 Retail’s existing customer base.

“I am excited to partner up with Mi9 Retail to help our devoted customers improve their operations with modern, innovative retail software solutions,” said ASC executive Barry Kraft, who is set to lead the Mi9 Retail Jewelry group as general manager. The combined company shares the same philosophy that customers play an important role in determining the enhancements that are delivered with each new release of software. “ASC has been a great resource for the ASCUS group,” said ASCUS president Joe Lasker in a press release. “ASC developed many valuable software enhancements and reports based on the software requirements delivered by the group’s participating jewelers. On behalf of our retail jeweler consortium, we are very excited to join forces with Mi9 Retail’s existing retail jeweler customers and customers at large.”

Mi9 Retail delivers merchandise management, retail analytics, and store operations software, along with retail-specific customer-centric applications including mobile point-of-sale, mobile inventory management, CRM, and mobile clienteling solutions designed to enhance how associates engage shoppers with real-time visibility into product and customer data across all channels. “Mi9 Retail’s acquisition of ASC is a smart move designed to accelerate growth and expand into new retail markets,” said editor-in-chief of RIS News, Joe Skorupa. “ASC’s client base, composed of independent and multi-store jewelers, will benefit from Mi9 Retail’s ability to meet or exceed customer expectations for specialty and midsize retailers, as demonstrated in the recent 2016 RIS Software LeaderBoard report.”

For more information, visit


Arch Crown Releases Its 2016 Tags & Labels Catalog

Arch Crown 2016 Tags 7 Labels catalog

Recently released for 2016 is Arch Crown’s 48-page Tags & Labels plus Bar Code Technology catalog, featuring tags and labels, printing supplies, and a full line of bar code technology products.

Notable items include the new Honeywell wireless, battery-free Voyager barcode scanner; the popular Datamax-O’Neil E-Class Mark III A-Advanced printer; and more than 100 styles of stock, preprinted, and custom-printed tags and labels, including eco-friendly options. Starter packages are available and include everything needed to print tags using a home, office, or store computer. Retailers will also find new Poly-Lam thermal transfer computer string and barbell style tags available in a variety of colors, with custom color matching available for brand identity. Arch Crown can also create custom tags and labels with the brand’s name and logo.

For more information and to get the new catalog, visit


Amazing Race Winner Proposes With a Kirk Kara Engagement Ring

Amazing Race winners' proposal photo with Kirk Kara diamond engagement ring

Joey Buttitta and Kelsey Gerckens (pictured, above), winners of CBS’ popular Amazing Race, made their visit to the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family series a memorable one with a surprise proposal. Using a handcrafted Kirk Kara engagement ring, Buttitta popped the question to his love and cowinner, Gerckens. The ring featured a 1 ct. diamond, provided by jewelry retailer Bailey Banks & Biddle, in a two-tone, hand-engraved Kirk Kara setting.

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