The American Gem Society offers an educational video titled “How to Buy a Diamond,” custom-produced for each store to show to consumers. The eight-minute video explains the 4 C’s — cut, clarity, color and carat weight — and what to look for when shopping for a diamond.

Fifteen-second openings and closings feature the member’s store logo and explain the advantages of buying from an AGS store.

For the $2,500 purchase price, the AGS promises the video won’t be sold to another member in the community or 20-mile area for a minimum of one year.

AGS also is accepting entries for the Al Woodill Conclave Scholarship. Two winners will be chosen from a random drawing to win free registrations for the AGS Diamond Jubilee Conclave April 16-20 in Chicago, Ill.

American Gem Society, 8881 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89117; (702) 255-6500, fax (702) 255-7420.


The Jewelry Information Center, in cooperation with the Jewelry Design Department of the Fashion Institute of Technology, will sponsor an industry event to celebrate the publication of a new book on jewelry titled Diamonds: A Century of Spectacular Jewels. The event, to be held 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 12, will be held at F.I.T.’s Pomerantz Art & Design Center.

Penny Proddow and Marion Fasel, who wrote the book, will attend. They previously collaborated on the book Hollywood Jewels. Both books are published by Harry N. Abrams Inc., New York, N.Y.

Diamonds is the first book to focus exclusively on the history and design of diamond jewelry. The authors begin their story in 1887 and trace the history of diamond jewelry decade by decade, linking the changes in public taste to the impact of trend-setters such as Marjorie Merriweather Post, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Madonna. Award-winning diamond designs are featured also.

JIC initiated the event to “celebrate a major consumer book on fine jewelry and provide a stimulating networking opportunity for the industry that will remind us why we are in this business,” says Lynn Ramsey, president and chief executive officer of JIC. “Penny Proddow is one of the most impassioned and knowledgeable speakers on fine jewelry I’ve ever heard,” she says. “When you listen to Penny and Marion Fasel spin their tales of fantastic jewelry lore, you will fall in love all over again with jewelry and gems.”

Tickets are $30 ($20 for JIC members) and are available through the JIC at 19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036; (212) 398-2319. Copies of Diamonds: A Century of Spectacular Jewels signed by the authors will be available at the event at a discounted price.


While any other time of the year it remains a devilish indulgence, a shopping spree during United Jewish Appeal’s Fashion Rescue will be a good deed for the holiday season.

The sixth annual event, to be held Nov. 24-Dec. 1 at the Sheraton New York Hotel in New York City, has raised more than $5.8 million in the past five years. Fashion Rescue is a brand-name sale of clothing and fashion accessories, discounted by up to 75% off the retail price. UJA will donate 25% of all profits to the HIV-AIDS Peer Prevention Program and the SHARE project for women with breast or ovarian cancer. The remainder will be allocated to social service programs in New York City.

UJA is expecting 25,000 shoppers this year and is shooting for a goal of $2 million. Fashion Rescue is made possible by more than 700 contributing companies, volunteers, designers and sponsors in the fashion industry. Members of the jewelry industry are encouraged to contribute single items of fine jewelry for the silent auction or to donate multiple pieces of costume jewelry for the sales floor. (Multiple pieces of fine jewelry are discouraged because of security concerns.) Organizers emphasize that “no donation is too small.”

Jewelers who are interested in making a donation should contact Debbie Prince, coordinator of Fashion Rescue, at (212) 836-1692, fax (212) 836-1331.


Eleven members of the Independent Jewelers Organization received IJO/GIA Title Awards at the IJO Seminar/Buying Show in July in Toronto, Canada.

The title program, offered by IJO in conjunction with the Gemological Institute of America, incorporates home study with IJO show presentations to teach courses on diamonds, pearls, colored stones and business. Titles have been given to 51 IJO members since the program began in 1994.

The Master Graduate Gemologist Appraiser title is the highest award. Recipients are Michael L. Harrington, Toenniges Jewelers, Naperville, Ill.; Sue Melton, The Diamond Den, Macomb, Ill.; Hedy Blinderman, Jewelers of Maitland, Maitland, Fla.;

James Ralph Smith, Smith Jewelry, Brookhaven, Mo.; David G. Spalding, Timmreck & McNicol, McMinnville, Ore.; Gary Coyle, Coyle’s Jewellery, Windsor, Ontario, Canada; Nola Doubet Hendry, Carl A. Doubet, Jr., Jewelers, Wilmington, Del.; Daniel G. Hacker, Hacker Jewelers, Tecumseh, Mich.; Ben Gordon, Dia-Gem Jewelers, Houston, Tex.; and Linda Brantley, Trein’s Jewelry, Dixon, Ill. Joseph L. Koester, Herzog Jewelers, Ft. Mitchell, Ky., received a Master Graduate Gemologist title.


The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers will hold its 14th annual educational conference Jan. 30-31 in Tucson, Ariz.

A one-day seminar will address “Appraising for Insurance…Beyond the Books,” with appraiser and consultant William D. Hoefer Jr., and appraiser Ralph S. Joseph, author of The Jeweler’s Guide to Effective Insurance Appraising. The seminar will study proper take-in procedures, service contract considerations, the principle of indemnity, markets and research, legal considerations and the documentation of jewelry.

Other sessions during the two-day conference will look at Southwestern American Indian jewelry, signatures and trademarks, American silver flatware and the occurrence, crystal structure and cutting properties of diamonds, as well as some interesting diamond facts.

NAJA members took a vacation from their summer vacation to attend the summer educational conference inAugust in Orlando, Fla. About 40 members attended sessions on opal grading and appraising and how to establish, maintain and grow a gem and jewelry appraising business. National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, P.O. Box 6558, Annapolis, MD 21401-0558; (301) 261-8270.