I recently returned to California—where I lived many years before moving East—for two weeks of industry events and visiting friends of JCK. First was GIA Symposium in San Diego, where more than 1,300 international attendees gathered to celebrate, network, and discuss the key issues facing the jewelry industry. The event kicked off with a fascinating speech by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, preceded by a standing ovation for retired former president of GIA, Bill Boyajian. That evening, GIA's 75th anniversary celebration took place, complete with fireworks and a performance by crooner Chris Isaak. The next two days were filled with impressive keynote addresses, enlightening business sessions, and heated debates. I'm always impressed by the passion and commitment the players in this business possess. The discussions at Symposium drove this point home. Emotions

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