The Canadian Gemmological Association’s ninth annual conference will take place Oct. 24-25 at the Montreal Board of Trade. This is the first time that the conference is being held in Montreal.

The subject of the conference will be the emerald, including production, cutting, marketing, and treatments. Other topics to be addressed are Canadian diamonds and Tahitian cultured pearls.

Guest speakers will include Ken Scarratt, FGA, director of the American Gem Trade Association laboratory in New York; Arthur Groom, chairman of Groom-Gematrat, a specialist in emerald treatments; Henry Hanni, FGA, of the Swiss Institute of Gemmology, a specialist in the identification of filling materials in a laboratory setting; and Jean-Pierre Riendeau of the École Polytechnique in Montreal, who studies artificial light sources.

Workshops on the identification of emerald treatments will be offered. The workshops will be either bilingual (English and French) or held consecutively in English and French. A reception will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel on Saturday evening, Oct. 24.

For information, contact François Longère at (514) 844-3873.


The Jewelry Information Center, the public relations arm of the fine jewelry industry, will receive a donation of $50,000 from Jewelers of America as a result of JIC’s recent dollar-matching membership campaign. The $50,000 is in addition to JA’s annual $200,000 donation to JIC, which was committed one year ago, when the two groups allied to expand consumer public relations on behalf of the industry.

The additional donation was contingent on JA’s collection of a minimum of $250,000 in membership dues in the first year of the alliance. Every dollar in excess of $200,000 was matched by JA.

JIC membership dues fund efforts to educate consumers about jewelry products. In addition, JIC has spearheaded an Industry Image Task Force to address industry practices that contribute to negative publicity. According to Lynn Ramsey, JIC’s president and CEO, JIC’s campaign for the second half of 1998 includes positive placements in national magazines; syndicated television coverage on new fine jewelry trends, which was scheduled to air in 158 markets the week of Sept. 14; a special event for consumer magazine fashion editors; a syndicated newspaper story on how to build a fine jewelry wardrobe; a monthly newspaper column on birthstones; and newspaper and radio stories on how and where to buy fine jewelry.

In the first half of 1998, JIC reached more than 316 million consumers with positive messages about fine jewelry, exceeding the total consumer audience reach for all of 1997, according to Ramsey.


The Women’s Jewelry Association’s annual awards dinner, held at Tavern on the Green during the Jewelers of America summer show in New York, drew a crowd of nearly 500 WJA members and their guests.

At the dinner, Laurie Hudson of Platinum Guild International USA was named to WJA’s Hall of Fame. Honored with Awards of Excellence were Judith Conway for design; Miriam Galli and Irene Vitau, Gemveto Jewelry Co. Inc., for manufacturing; Myra Goldstein, Simon Sobie & Co. Inc., for sales; Jeanne Hancock-Larson, The Collector Fine Jewelry, for retail; Robyn Lewis, Italian Jewelry Guild, for marketing; Alice Keller, Gemological Institute of America, for editorial; and Caroline Stanley, Platinum Guild International USA, for special services. In keeping with tradition, the winners were introduced by last year’s award recipients.

More than 100 items, including jewelry, watches, luxury goods, and services, were offered for sale at a silent auction during the event.

Also during the JA show, WJA hosted a breakfast featuring designer Robert Lee Morris as guest speaker. Morris spoke about “Being Hip in the New Millennium” to a standing-room-only audience of 175 WJA members and guests.


The Southern California Guild of the American Gem Society honored Ben Bridge Jewelers vice president Mary Todd-McGinnis and raised more than $9,400 for Junior Achievement at a dinner and auction May 20.

Todd-McGinnis, who was instrumental in developing the Los Angeles market for Ben Bridge, received the 1998 Distinguished Service Award, given to an individual in the Southern California area with an outstanding record of service in the jewelry industry. She serves on the national AGS board and is a volunteer for Junior Achievement, which she selected as the recipient of the proceeds from live and silent auctions held during the evening. More than 100 items were offered for sale; the amount raised set a record for the Southern California Guild.

AGS executive director Robert Bridel and 1998 AGS Shipley Award winner Orley Solomon spoke at the event.


John A. Michaels has been appointed to the American Gem Society’s board of trustees and elected as the trustees’ chief financial officer.

Michaels, the chief executive officer of Michaels Jewelers in Waterbury, Conn., has more then 30 years of jewelry industry and business experience and holds the AGS title of Registered Jeweler. A former AGS president, he has chaired various AGS committees and served on the society’s board of directors. In 1995, he received the Robert M. Shipley Award for service in the industry and his community.

Michaels succeeds Cos Altobelli, whose seven-year term as AGS CFO ended at this year’s Anaheim Conclave.


More than 1,200 recruiters, industry leaders, and job seekers attended the Gemological Institute of America’s Jewelry Career Fair ’98, the largest attendance in the eight-year history of the event. The fair was held July 17 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

More than 90 speakers, panelists, and one-on-one career counselors participated. Fifty-four companies, seeking to fill hundreds of national and international positions, sent representatives.

Job seekers attended a variety of seminars, workshops, and panel sessions at the fair. The day closed with a debate on “The Ingredients for Success in the 21st Century.” Participating in the discussion were GIA president William E. Boyajian; Helene Fortunoff, principal of Fortunoff; Francois Curiel, president of Christie’s; Ban Janowski, president of Janos Consultants Inc.; Matt Stuller, CEO of Stuller Settings Inc.; and Martin Rapaport, president of Rapaport Information Systems.

Career Fair, developed by Kathryn Kimmel, GIA’s vice president of marketing and public relations, was founded in 1991 in collaboration with the 24 Karat Club of Southern California.


The Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America Education Foundation has awarded scholarships to seven students, aiding them in enrolling in jewelry-related programs this fall.

Criteria considered in the awards decisions were course of study, career objectives, financial need, samples of work, academic achievement, recommendations, and jewelry industry experience.

Scholarships were awarded to the following students:

Staci L. Kerman of Clarkston, Mich., who received $2,000 to study jewelry design in the University of Michigan’s master’s program;

Mi-Sook Hur of Madison, Wis., who was given $1,750 for her final year in the MFA program in metalsmithing and jewelry design at the University of Wisconsin;

Sean E. Doyle of Iowa City, Iowa, who was presented with $1,000 for MFA studies in metalsmithing and jewelry at the University of Iowa;

Brandon C. Blevins of Baltimore, who received $750 toward studies in jewlery making and design at the Maryland Institute College of Art;

Miel M. Paredes of Oakland, Calif., who was given $750 toward her junior year in jewelry and metal arts at the California College of Arts;

Sara E. Lalik of Penfield, N.Y., who was presented with $500 toward her sophomore year in studio art and metalsmithing at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.; and

Amy B. Hoffman of Owings Mill, Md., who received $500 toward studies in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

The MJSA Education Foundation has granted more than $25,000 in scholarships to 27 students since 1990. Since 1989, the endowment has been managed by the Rhode Island Foundation, one of the largest and oldest charitable organizations in the United States. The 1,600-member MJSA is the national trade association representing the U.S. jewelry manufacturing industry.


Kathryn Kimmel, vice president of marketing and public relations at the Gemological Institute of America, has been elected to the board of directors of the Jewelry Information Center. JIC, based in New York, is the public relations arm of the U.S. fine jewelry industry.

Kimmel began her career at GIA in 1990 as director of marketing and was named to her current position in 1995. Her responsibilities include spearheading the institute’s worldwide marketing efforts as well as developing its public relations department. She established GIA’s Career Fair and has mobilized wide-ranging industry participation in the event.

Her background in the jewelry industry includes experience as managing director for a retail jeweler as well as vice president of marketing and sales for a design and manufacturing company. She is a founding mamber of the Women’s Jewelry Association and past president of its Los Angeles Chapter. She also serves on the board of the 24 Karat Club of Southern California.