Classes & Courses


More than 350 people attended the premier of Platinum Day, a technical symposium designed to show jewelry professionals how to work more efficiently with the world’s most precious metal.

Manufacturers, retailers, jewelry designers, wholesalers and trade casters attended the event, held at the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza, New York, N.Y. The symposium was sponsored by the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America and the Platinum Guild International. “Platinum Day received tremendous response from the manufacturing community, demonstrated by the number and quality of companies who attended and their commitment to stay throughout the entire day’s program,” said MJSA President Matthew Runci.

Topics and speakers were “Platinum Mill Products and Brazing,” presented by Torrance Hoover of Hoover & Strong, Richmond, Va.; “Choosing Platinum Alloys to Maximize Production Efficiency,” James Huckle of Johnson Matthey, New York, N.Y.; “Platinum Fabrication,” Malcolm Warren of Heraeus, Alden, N.Y.; “Designing Jewelry to Be Manufactured in Platinum,” Mark Lauer of Mark Michael Designs, Minneapolis, Minn.; “Platinum Casting Techniques,” Richard Atkin of Lou Atkin Castings, New York, N.Y.; and “Platinum Finishing Technique,” Greg Todd of Stuller, Lafayette, La.

Many of the participants said they attended the event to get a sense of what others in the platinum industry are doing. “I wanted to know what is going on in platinum and to find ways to make our current operations better,” said Bob Lynn of Lynn’s Jewelry, Ventura, Cal. “The seminar really addressed the nuts and bolts of working in platinum.”

Added Fred Gruber of Valjean Manufacturing Inc., Van Nuys, Cal., “We’ve been working with platinum for quite some time and our staff is very experienced. At Platinum Day, we learned about new alloys on the market and polishing compounds that we have already introduced to our staff.”

Christopher Cart, manager of technical education for PGI-USA, reflected on the growth of interest in platinum jewelry in the past few years. “Three years ago, we had 25 people attend a single platinum seminar,” he said. “This dramatic increase in such a short period reaffirms our belief that there is truly a desire and a need in the industry for knowing how to work with platinum.”

In addition to the technical seminars, participants had a chance to see platinum jewelry modeled during lunch and to enter a drawing for 10 platinum polishing kits donated by Gesswein and a grand prize of one ounce of platinum donated by Imperial Smelting.

Platinum Guild International is the marketing arm of the worldwide platinum jewelry industry. Domestic platinum consumption for jewelry has increased 300% in the past three years.


The Jewelers of America Center for Business Studies will present a conference for members in the Southeast June 2-5 in Orlando, Fla. The event will be held at the Radisson Twin Towers, giving jewelers a chance to mix business with family pleasure.

“Not only will we offer a varied menu of courses relevant to different segments of the jewelry business, we also will conduct a leadership meeting with state affiliate presidents and presidents-elect,” says JA Chairman Michael D. Roman.

June 2 will feature a review class and exam in the Certified Store Manager program during the day and a cocktail reception in the evening.

Classes on June 3 include: “How to Promote Your Store Image,” presented by James Porte of the Jewelry Marketing Institute, New York, N.Y.; “Design Techniques for the Non-Designer,” Judith Reiss, professor of jewelry design at Pratt Institute, New York; “Promotions – What Works and How to Make It Better; What Doesn’t Work and How to Fix It,” James Porte; and “How to Create Matching Bands for Semimountscopyright,” Chuck Bowman, director of design at Stuller Settings, Lafayette, La. The final workshop of the day, “How to Breathe Life into This Old Store,” will feature Andrew Macaulay, director of advertising and communications at Chippenhook, Lewisville, Tex.; Ruth Mellergaard, a partner in Grid International, New York; Brian Viger, vice president of marketing at Trinity Engineering, Rohnert Park, Cal.; and Tim Sullivan, director of marketing at Applications Systems Corp., Boston, Mass.

On June 4, the schedule features the following workshops and seminars: “How to Buy & Sell Estate Jewelry,” Stephen L. Singer, president of Stephen L. Singer Inc., New York; “Colored Gemstones & Their Lore,” Michael Coan, a professor of jewelry, gemology and appraisal at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; “How to Set Up & Run a Casting Department for Limited Production,” Robert Streppone, president and instructor at the Studio Jewelers Technical School, New York; “How to Use Real Jewelry Month & Other Great Promotions,” Eileen Farrell, director of communications for JA; “Selling Up and Adding On” and “Selling More Diamonds Over One Carat,” jewelry sales trainer Shane Decker; “Advertising on a Small Budget or No Budget at All,” Nan Kochanski, president of NK Creations, Lansdowne, Pa.; “Channel Setting Made Easy,” Ulla Raus, an instructor at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology/Paris Junior College, Paris, Tex.; “Critical Profit Margins,” Joseph Romano, president of Scull & Co., Union City, N.J.; and “Polishing Up Sales Skills,” jewelry sales trainer Vince Spinosa.

The leadership conference for affiliate presidents and presidents-elect will be held the final day.

Cohosts of the conference are JA affiliates in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

For discount travel rates, call Worldtek Travel at (800) 243-1723. For special hotel rates, call the Radisson Twin Towers at (800) 327-2110. Jewelers of America, 1185 Ave. of the Americas, 30th Fl., New York, N.Y. 10036; (800) 223-0637 or (212) 768-8777, fax (212) 768-8087.


The Gemological Institute of America Europe will sponsor GemFest Europa June 12 during the VicenzaOro 2 jewelry trade show.

Anthony Oppenheimer, president of the Central Selling Organisation, will present the opening address at GemFest. Other presentations are: “Diamonds to the Year 2000, an Independent Viewpoint,” by economist Carl Pearson; “Today’s Russian Diamond Industry,” Sergei A. Oulin, managing director of Almazi Rossi-Sakha, which oversees Russian diamond mining operations and markets new production; “GIA Research Update,” Dr. James Shigley, GIA director of research; and “Forgotten Terminology,” Gaby Tolkowsky, chairman of Diatrada, Antwerp, Belgium.

Other presentations: “Gemstones and Jewelry at Auction,” David Bennett, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s, London, England; “Luxury Retailing in Europe and Asia,” Robert Mouawad, chairman of Mouawad Group, Geneva and New York, N.Y.; and “An Overview of the World Market for Created Gems/Update on Russian Synthetic Diamonds,” Thomas Chatham, president of Chatham Created Gems, San Francisco, Cal.

The event will be emceed by Guido Giovannini-Torelli, editor of Diamond Insight and a member of the board of the GIA European Alumni Association.

GIA Europe, Via Vecchia Ferriers 70, 36100 Vicenza, Italy; (39-444) 964-250, fax (39-444) 964-240.


The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers will conduct two full-day seminars June 7-8 in Las Vegas, Nev.

The seminars are designed to appeal to a range of participants, from the novice to the knowledgeable gemologist, professional appraiser, jewelry store employee and private collector. And they are timed so participants can also attend the JCK International Jewelry Show, June 9-12.

The first seminar – “How to Write Insurance Replacement Appraisals” – will be presented June 7 and will cover such topics as general value theory and writing insurance replacement appraisals. Included will be an appraisal writing clinic and workshop and a panel discussion.

The second seminar – “How to Write Fair Market Value Appraisals” – will be presented June 8 and will cover such topics as general principles of fair market value, related court decisions and how to write donation, estate, gift and casualty loss/theft appraisals.

Instructors for the seminars are David Atlas, associate director of NAJA and a principal in D. Atlas & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; James Jolliff, executive director of NAJA and owner of JEI Gemological Laboratory, Annapolis, Md.; and Joseph Tenhagen, associate director of NAJA and president of J.W. Tenhagen Gemstones Inc., Miami, Fla.

The cost for the two-day program is $295 for NAJA members, $425 for non-members. For just one day, the cost is $150 for members, $275 for non-members. Anyone who decides to join the association will pay a reduced seminar/membership fee.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, P.O. Box 6558, Annapolis, Md. 21401-0558; (301) 261-8270.


Antoine Simonin, director of the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program, will teach a course on precision timing methods July 9-13 at the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The course will be the first one in AWI’s new $1.5 million headquarters, which houses two fully equipped training rooms, a studio for producing training videos, a horological library, a History of Time display room and AWI’s extensive repository of technical information.

Simonin graduated from the Bienne School of Watchmaking in Switzerland. Before becoming director of WOSTEP in 1976, he worked for Omega in Europe and Africa and served as a training coordinator for the Swiss Watch Federation.

American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, 3700 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45211; (513) 661-3838, fax (513) 661-3131.


The American Management Association has published a catalog of seminars it will conduct through December.

Seminars are listed by categories ranging from accounting and finance to communication skills, information systems, insurance, marketing and selling/sales. Details of what each seminar covers, dates, locations and costs are included.

American Management Association, P.O. Box 169, Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12983-9985; (800) 262-9699.


The Florida Society of Goldsmiths will conduct its ninth annual “Jewelry and Metalsmithing Workshop” Aug. 28 to Sept. 1.

Individual workshops and the artists who will present them: “Surface Embellishment,” John Cogswell; “Metal Fabrication Techniques,” Cathy Holt; “Creating by Forming Metal,” Betty Helen Longhi; “Hydraulic Press Forming,” Robert Pfuelb; “Cloisonn Enameling – Three-Dimensional Illusion,” Jean Stark; and “Bead Stringing,” Pam Nagot.

The $250 fee includes tuition, double-occupancy rooms, 11 meals, gratuities and group photograph. Contact Phil. London, 8424 Monarch Circle, Seminole, Fla. 34642; (813) 398-2900; or Darrell Jackson, 445 N. Harbor Dr., Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. 34635; (813) 595-5855.


The HRD Institute of Gemmology, the educational department of the Diamond High Council in Antwerp, Belgium, has expanded its curriculum of diamond grading, diamond sorting and gemology classes.

The school has added “Contemporary Diamond Jewellery Design” to its diamond program. The two-week course deals with the concept and creation of commercial and artistic jewelry and is available in Antwerp and abroad. Presentation techniques such as drawing and sketching make this course suited as an introduction to design for jewelers who want to offer more personalized service.

Diamond High Council, Public Relations Department, Hoveniersstraat 22, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium; (32-3) 222-0511, fax (32-3) 222-0724.


The Gemological Institute of America has developed a “Secure Your Future” seminar and brochure in conjunction with its new Planned Giving Program. The new seminar explains how integrating a planned gift to GIA into an estate plan can improve your financial and tax situation while furthering GIA’s mission, says Marcie Merz, GIA’s director of planned giving. The seminar will be presented at industry events in various locations this year. Gemological Institute of America Fund Development, P.O. Box 2110, Santa Monica, Cal. 90407-2110; (800) 421-7250 or (310) 829-2991, ext. 508; fax (310) 829-2269.