An industrywide coalition led by the Jewelers’ Security Alliance has started several projects to combat crime.

  • It picked a Washington, D.C., law firm to lobby Congress for better protection for the industry and set up a fund-raising committee to cover the expense. (Lobbying in Washington costs $10,000 to $50,000 a month.) Several firms have already pledged $125,000. Rolex alone pledged $50,000.

  • It declared a “Jewelry Crime Awareness Week” for Nov. 1-7. During the week, members of JSA and other jewelry groups will contact Congress to urge stepped-up law enforcement for the industry. Special mail stickers will also be used.

  • It launched a vigorous public relations effort to raise awareness of the crime problem. It’s already paid off. The Sept. 6 issue of Newsweek ran a story that JSA president John Kennedy calls “the most important piece on jewelry crime to appear in the consumer press in many years.” Important articles are also running in major newspapers around the country.

  • It called for a “Washington, D.C. Day” next year when coalition members will lobby Congress. The date hasn’t yet been set.

The coalition includes top officials of jewelry chains, trunk show companies, insurance firms, watch distributors, diamond dealers, manufacturers, and trade groups. It was organized to combat rising thefts and violence by South American gangs against traveling salespeople, trunk shows, and jewelers. During the first seven months of this year, more than $43 million in jewelry and watches was stolen (50% more than in the same period in 1998), and two guards were killed. Jewelry thefts now average $300,000, says JSA, compared with $3,000 for bank thefts.

The situation is “so dangerous [jewelry firms] may stop putting people on the road,” and some trunk shows won’t survive, warns Kennedy. Walter Fischer, president and CEO of Rolex Watch USA Inc., says Rolex will reduce its in-store shows and may stop them if the problem continues.

For information on any of the coalition activities, contact JSA at (800) 537-0067 or (212) 687-0328.—William George Shuster


The Canadian Gemmological Association has scheduled its 10th annual gem conference Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24, at Hart House, University of Toronto.

The keynote speaker will be mineralogist and educator John I. Koivula, G.G., C.G., FGA. His talk is entitled “Probing the Depths.” Other lectures and workshops will focus on inclusions, synthetic moissanite, jewelry design, antique jewelry, jewelry appraisals, and enameling in jewelry. Guests and nonmembers are invited.

For information, contact Mary Ellis at the CGA office at (416) 785-0962, fax (416) 785-9043.


The Georgia Jewelers Association will hold its annual convention Oct. 1-3 at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga.

The event will kick off with a welcome reception on Friday, Oct. 1. The GJA Golf Scramble is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2. A Saturday-evening event, “Night in the Country,” will include dinner, music, hay rides, carriage rides, and a petting zoo. An educational seminar will conclude the meeting on Sunday, Oct. 3.

For information, contact the Georgia Jewelers Association at 11812-A N. 56th St., Tampa, FL 33617; (813) 988-0737, fax (813) 988-5837.


The Gemological Institute of America’s 1999 League of Honor Dinner, to be held Oct. 18 at the Plaza Hotel in New York, will honor donors who have given at least $100,000 to GIA’s Vision 2000 or New World Headquarters campaigns.

Howard Herzog, president of International Jewelers Block & Fine Arts Insurance Services, Newport Beach, Calif., and Randy McCullough, president and chief executive officer of Samuels Jewelers Inc., Austin, Texas, have been named cochairmen of the dinner.

The first Campus Laureates of GIA’s New World Headquarters campaign will be honored at the event. Herzog will be among the laureates feted. The others are Robert Mouawad, The Mouawad Group; Salvador J. Assael, Assael International Inc.; Robert F. Wan, Tahiti Perles; Toyohiko Mikimoto, K. Mikimoto & Co. Ltd.; Ronald Harder, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.; Wanthani Inkatanuvat, Premier Gems Trading Co. Inc.; Albert and Jean Boghossian, Boghossian S.A.; Abdalah and Marc Chatila, Joallerie-Horlogerie du Rhone; Francois Curiel, Christie’s; Helene Fortunoff, Fortunoff; Jacques Roisen, Symon Ferman, and Michal Ferman, Roisen & Ferman Inc.; and Simon Critchell and Ralph Destino, Cartier.


The 1999 Florida Jewelers Association’s annual convention will take place Oct. 8-10 at the Radisson Resort in St. Augustine, Fla.

The meeting will begin with a welcome reception. The association’s annual golf tournament will be held Saturday, Oct. 9. Educational seminars are planned for Sunday, Oct. 10.

For information, contact the Florida Jewelers Association at 11812-A N. 56th St., Tampa, FL 33617; (813) 988-0737, fax (813) 988-5837.


Joseph Sherwood of Sherwood Management Corp. (doing business as Daniel’s Jewelers) has been selected to receive the “Excellence in Service Award” from the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California. The award, the club’s highest honor, will be presented at its 55th annual fall dinner dance on Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

A portion of the proceeds from the dinner dance will be donated to City of Hope, which funds research on and treatment of cancer, childhood leukemia, diabetes, AIDS, and other diseases.

The event will follow the Gemological Institute of America/24 Karat Club Career Fair-West, which will take place Friday, Oct. 15 at the GIA campus in Carlsbad, Calif. On Monday, Oct. 18, the 24 Karat Club’s annual golf outing will be held in Pasadena, Calif.

For information, contact Alberta Hultman, the club’s executive director, at (213) 623-5722, fax (213) 623-5742.


The Appraisers Association of America will hold its National Conference Nov. 4-7 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel. The theme is “Crossroads: The Art and Technology of Appraising.” The conference will focus on how advances in Internet technology can enhance appraisers’ skills.

Programs include a panel discussion featuring representatives from the leading Internet auction sites and those aspiring to be major players, a discussion of the World Wide Web as a research tool for appraisers, a presentation by a panel of lawyers focusing on legal issues related to appraising and e-commerce, and workshops on “Household Silver,” “Everyday Jewelry,” and “Appraisal Report Writing.”

For information, contact the association at (212) 889-5404, fax (212) 889-5503, e-mail:


The Consolidated Jewelers Association of Greater New York has scheduled its 43rd annual banquet for Saturday, Oct. 16, at Terrace on the Park, Flushing Meadow Park, N.Y., the site of the 1964 World’s Fair.

This marks the 12th year that the association is dedicating its banquet to the youngsters served by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of critically ill children. A raffle at the banquet will benefit the foundation.

For information, call (516) 364-3939.


The American Craft Council has entered cyberspace with a new Web sire,

The site provides information and resources for the craft world and the general public. Included are information on ACC’s principal programs, American Craft magazine, a schedule of juried retail and wholesale markets, a calendar of craft-related exhibits and events, and a list of relevant links. Perspectives on the concept of craft are offered in a section called “About Craft.”


Robert Linder of Lindeau Gems Inc. has been appointed to the American Gem Trade Association’s board of directors. He will complete the term previously held by Serena Toy Lau of Korite Mineral Ltd., who resigned from the board.

Linder became a natural gemstone dealer after working as a commodities trader for Merrill Lynch and an international banker with Citibank. While working for Citibank in Brazil, he became interested in natural gemstones. He established his own gemstone trading company in 1982.

His term on the AGTA board will expire in February.


At the recent Jewelers of America Show in New York City, four new members were inducted into the JA 100 Club, which is restricted to member retailers who’ve been in business for at least a century. The new members are Hauser’s Jewelers of Hampton, Va., founded in 1898; Kuhn’s Jewelers, Salisbury, Md., founded in 1853; Potter and Mellen Inc., Cleveland, founded in 1899; and Wilshire Jewelers, New Hampton, Iowa, founded in 1870.

The JA 100 Club recognizes those members that have set an example of high professional distinction through several generations. The first group of jewelry stores was inducted in 1995, and the four added this year bring the total number of members to 68.

In other association news, JA members elected its board of directors. Most of the 24 directors were re-elected; two new directors were added: Beryl Raff of Zale Corp., who was named to a three-year term, and John Green of Lux, Bond & Green in West Hartford, Conn., named to fill a vacancy. The board chairman is also new. He’s Edward Bridge of Ben Bridge Jewelers in Seattle. He replaces Stanley Pollock, of G.M. Pollock in Scarsborough, Maine, who completed his two-year term.

JA, headquartered in New York, represents more than 10,000 jewelers nationwide and has 42 state and regional affiliates.

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