The Jewelry Information Center elected Gary Gordon chairman at its annual board meeting in July. Gordon is president of Samuel Gordon Jewelers, Oklahoma City, Okla.

In his address to the board, Gordon recognized the difficulty of raising money while looking for new ways to serve the industry. He vowed to work toward a more positive environment for fine jewelry sales.

Gordon has served on the JIC board for four years and was vice chairman for the past two years. He is active in the Gemological Institute of America’s Career Day and annual fundraising campaign. He also won JCK Excellence in Marketing Awards in 1991 and 1994, was named to the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame in 1988 and was named Honorary Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma for Overall Community Involvement in 1995.


“Some Enchanted Weekend!” is the theme of the 1996 Florida State Watchmakers Association Convention, to be held Oct. 25-27 at the Vero Beach Inn in Vero Beach, Fla.

Scheduled seminars include “Advanced Quartz Watch Repair” with Robert Bishop, “Tricks of the Trade” with August Cornell, “Clock Repivoting” with Tony Montefusco and “How to Sell Yourself and Make Money” with Tony Genovese. Attendees also may participate in an auction and several social activities, including a flower arranging course, a shopping outing, and a cookout and magic show.

Florida State Watchmakers Association, 11812-A N. 56 St., Tampa, FL 33617; (813) 988-0737; fax (813) 988-5837.


The Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America has joined the World Wide Web on Polygon, an Internet service provider for the jewelry industry.

Each MJSA member will receive a free World Wide Web site displaying company name, address and type of business. E-mail will be provided also. Members can then request upgrades to include company logos, detailed product and services information, photographs, multimedia displays and on-line ordering capability.

The site — accessed at — includes information about membership benefits, trade shows, a searchable version of the MJSA Buyers’ Guide and a link to a discussion channel on Polygon.

The approximately 2,000 industry members who subscribe to Polygon will have access to MJSA and member sites. The pages will be protected against use by non-industry members with a pass code and user identification.

Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America, One State St., Providence, RI 02908-5035; (800) 444-MJSA or (401) 274-3840, fax (401) 274-0265.


Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. elected John Michaels to its board of directors in July.

Michaels is chairman and chief executive officer of Michaels Enterprises in Waterbury, Conn., a holding company that includes 12 retail jewelry stores, a jewelry importer/distributor and a data service bureau.

He has served as director, treasurer and teaching fellow of the Jewelers Education Foundation of the American Gem Society and chairman of the AGS Grievance and Review Committee. Michaels also has served with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and is the recipient of the AGS Lifetime Service Robert Shipley Award.

Reelected to the board were Robert Bridge of Ben Bridge Jewelers in Seattle, Wash.; Charles Lasker of Lasker Jewelers in Eau Claire, Wis.; and Ronald Harder, president and chief executive officer of Jewelers Mutual. Executive Vice President William McGinnis was appointed chief operations officer in addition to his established position, and Thomas Adelmann was elected an officer of the company and appointed assistant vice president of personal lines.

In the president’s report, Harder announced a $3.6 million dividend to be paid to policyholders. He also promoted the company’s new loss-prevention video, Robbery: Anytime, Anywhere. The video reenacts three robberies; more than 2,300 copies have been sold since its premiere in January 1996.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., P.O. Box 468, Neenah, WI 54957-0468; (800) 558-6411 or (414) 725-4326, fax (414) 725-9401.


The Jewelry Industry’s New Leadership Committee of the National Conference of Christians and Jews recently held a dinner cruise to raise money for a youth leadership program. The four-hour cruise aboard The Royal Princess in New York, N.Y., attracted more than 165 people to raise a record total of $117,000.

The money will fund a leadership training program for the 162nd Street Youth League in Washington Heights, N.Y.

The National Conference is a human relations organization dedicated to education about racism and bigotry and promoting cooperation and understanding among all races, religions and cultures. The New Leadership Committee involves 24 representatives of the jewelry industry and trade and consumer press.

National Conference of Christians and Jews, 71 Fifth Ave., Suite 1150, New York, NY 10003; (212) 807-8440, fax (212) 727-0166.


Looks can be deceiving, appraisers across the country are finding. With an increase in the number of realistic reproductions and forgeries in circulation, the Appraisers Association of America decided to focus on the issue at its national conference, scheduled Nov. 15-17 in New York, N.Y.

Estate jewelry and jade will be topics in a series of specialized workshops to teach appraisers how to detect and value fakes.

Special travel packages for the conference will be offered through United Airlines. Appraisers Association of America Inc., 386 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016; (212) 889-5404, fax (212) 889-5503.


Richard A. Southern was named president of the American Society of Appraisers at the organization’s International Appraisal Conference, held this summer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Other officers are John E. Bakken, senior vice president; Richard-Raymond J. Alasko, vice president; James T. Job, vice president; Richard C. Amoling, treasurer; Michael L. Austin, secretary; Max G. Koeper, immediate past president; and Richard A. Kaufman, past president.

During the conference, ASA’s Gems and Jewelry Committee passed a resolution concerning the use of the certification mark “Master Gemologist Appraiser,” a title achieved through ASA accreditation. Under the resolution, qualified appraisers may use the mark “Master Gemologist Appraiser” on business cards, letterhead or other advertising of appraisal services. The mark must be set apart from the appraiser’s name, not positioned immediately following the appraiser’s name nor positioned on the same line as the appraiser’s title, printed in a typeface that distinguishes it from the appraiser’s name and title, and used with the registered trademark symbol (®#-82#) immediately following the mark.


Dale Perelman began his second year as president of Jewelers of America during the summer JA International Jewelry Show, held in July in New York, N.Y. Perelman is president of Kings Jewelry in New Castle, Pa.

Serving with him are Stanley Pollack of G.M. Pollack & Sons, Scarborough, Maine, president-elect; Edward Bridge of Ben Bridge, Seattle, Wash., vice president; Lex Harrison of Harrison’s Jewelers, Chubbuck, Idaho, secretary; and Sidney Kamm of Aldora, Honolulu, Hawaii, treasurer.

New board members are John Cohen of Carlyle & Co., Greensboro, N.C.; Marc Fink of Fink’s Jewelers, Roanoke, Va.; Susan Jacques of Borsheim Jewelers, Omaha, Neb.; William Merkley of Merkley-Kendrick Jewelers, Louisville, Ky.; and Troy Vinson of Troy Vinson Jewelers, Fort Worth, Texas. Allen Hron of Allen Hron Jeweler, West Bend, Wis., Edward Bridge and Stanley Pollack were re-elected to the board.


The Virginia Jewelers Association will hold its annual convention Oct. 4-6 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Va.

Debbie Hiss-Odell of the Gemological Institute of America will teach “Detecting Synthetic Diamonds,” “Identifying Challenging Synthetics” and “Penlight Techniques.” Mark Ebert will discuss the designer nature of estate jewelry from Victorian through Retro periods. A session on “Customer Client Assessment” with David Holland will help jewelers to understand and improve their verbal communication and body language. Preston Foy of the Diamond Promotion Service will explain the 1996 De Beers Solitaire Campaign Marketing Strategy.

Association members will be able to browse and buy in the VJA Discovery Room. Also planned are a Presidential Banquet and design contest.

Virginia Jewelers Association, P.O. Box 165, Forked River, NJ 08731; (800) 852-1022 or (609) 693-6221, fax (609) 693-2641.


The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors joined forces with other national business-related organizations to form The Coalition: Americans Working for Real Change to support an advertising campaign against the AFL-CIO.

The AFL-CIO recently released a series of television and radio ads claiming that freshmen members of Congress voted to raise Congressional pay and cut Medicare. The coalition responded with a campaign challenging those claims.

According to a report provided by the NAW, Republican representatives in the House (including most of the freshmen members of Congress) voted almost unanimously for HR 2425, a bill that proposed to cut $270 billion from Medicare over seven years. The coalition says this still would keep Medicare spending per senior ahead of inflation.

NAW also cites many freshmen members’ support of HR 2492, which provides for a decrease in the 1996 budget of the legislative branch, as proof that they support a freeze in Congressional pay.

The Coalition is made up of NAW, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Restaurant Association and the National Association of Manufacturers. The coalition provides support for pro-business members of Congress but does not support or oppose any political party. It is funded by companies and trade associations.

The Coalition, c/o NAW, 1725 K St. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 872-0885; fax (202) 785-0586.