The California Jewelers Association recently sponsored a series of daylong seminars for retailers, manufacturers, and designers. Nearly 100 people attended the Education 2000 programs in Berkeley (Northern California) and Los Angeles (Southern California).

Participants took part in either of two tracks. A VisionQuest Workshop was held for owners and managers under the sponsorship of Jewelers of America and Stuller Settings. Platinum Guild International conducted a session that offered bench tips on working with platinum and hints on selling platinum jewelry. JA’s newly revised Jewelry 101 course was presented to sales associates.

Both groups joined for a seminar on diamond topics presented by the Gemological Institute of America. The program provided the latest information about topics such as synthetic diamonds, diamond simulants, treated diamonds, and identification of GE/POL processed diamonds.

Another subject was “conflict diamonds,” stones seized and sold by rebel forces to fund civil wars in Angola, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Attendees were advised to obtain information from JA and schedule a store meeting to train employees to handle customers’ concerns.