Nov. 1-7 has been set as the first “Jewelry Industry Crime Awareness Week” by a coalition of major jewelry industry firms, associations, and publications. Industry members are requested to write their legislators during the week to request more help from federal law-enforcement agencies.

Richard M. Kern of Churchill’s Jewelers in Santa Barbara, Calif., developed the idea and spearheaded the effort to organize a special week dedicated to seeking increased law enforcement. Kern is a member of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance board of directors, a past president and current board member of the California Jewelers Association, and a former board chairman of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.

In another crime-prevention effort, more than 75 representatives of the jewelry industry in Los Angeles and surrounding areas recently met with representatives of the Los Angeles Police Department to discuss crime against the industry. Detective Mike Woodings, a key player in the police effort to combat South American gangs, spoke at the meeting. He noted that because most of the merchandise stolen in the western United States ends up in Los Angeles, his department has become crucial for other law-enforcement agencies investigating jewelry robberies in the region.

Participants learned crime statistics, received information on criminal behavior patterns of South American jewelry thieves, and received tips on how to avoid being a target of such crimes. Among the advice was to be aware of your surroundings at all times, carry a cell phone, thoroughly inspect your vehicle inside and out before driving, and assume you have been targeted if anything happens to your car.


Southern Jewelry Travelers Association, sponsors of the Atlanta Jewelry Show, has elected new members to its board of directors.

Rhett Hartzog, Carla Corp., is president. Sidney Blase, Harold Freeman Inc., is executive vice president. Keely Grice, Grice Showcase, is vice president. Joe Pinson, Downs Safe & Lock Co., is secretary-treasurer.

Other board members are Steve Binder, Aurafin Corp.; Julie Cohen, Diamond Promotion Service; Doron Franco, Crown Diamond; Jerry Marcus, JK Findings; Bob Roth, Erica Jewelry; Rebecca Shemwell, Baumell Pearl; Jeff Unger, B&N Inc.; Dennis Williams, A&Z Hayward; and Ralph Williams, Gabriel Inc.


The Women’s Jewelry Association’s gala awards dinner, held at the Chelsea Piers in New York, drew 650 attendees.

Award winners were Yuri Ichihashi, Yuri Ichihashi Inc., for design; WJA president Phyllis Bergman, Mercury Ring Corp., for manufacturing; Susan Jacques, Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry & Gifts, for retail; Linda Kloner, Vanity Fair magazine, for sales; Sande Finkel, London Jewelers, for marketing; Peggy Jo Donahue, Professional Jeweler magazine, for publishing; and Anna Martin, ABN AMBRO Bank, for special services. Retiring Cartier chairman Ralph Destino received the Ben Kaiser award.


The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America recently presented Education Foundation Scholarships to Song Hee Lee and Amie Plante of Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I.; Sachiki Okawa of the State University of New York-New Paltz; and Sara Lalik of Nazareth College, Rochester, N.Y. Each student received $1,000.

Scholarships are presented to students enrolled in a jewelry-related program at a U.S. college, university, or technical school. Applicants submitted slides of their work, financial-need information, and essays on their qualifications and goals. Since 1979, MJSA has granted more than $75,000 in scholarships. MJSA Education Foundation Scholarships are awarded annually by the Rhode Island Community Foundation, which oversees more than 600 endowments.


The American Gem Society has changed the eligibility standards for the Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser firm designations. Under the new standards, an independent appraisal firm can apply for AGS membership. During the election and membership process, the firm’s principal is required to obtain the prerequisite education and AGS educational designations. Upon completion and election, the firm is granted ICGA designation.

Previously, an individual appraiser earned the Certified Gemologist Appraiser designation while with an AGS retail firm. After an independent appraisal firm had been established for two years, the firm was allowed to apply for ICGA designation.

For more information, call AGS’s membership department at (702) 255-6500.