Courses And Classes


The fourth annual Jewelry Career Symposium, sponsored by the Jewelers of America Center for Business Studies, was held Oct. 15 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City. It attracted almost 400 people and more than 30 recruiting companies.

“We had people attending from as far away as California,” said Gina DeHaan, JA director of education. Main attractions included the CBS Student Design Competition, which attracted 44 entries, and two new workshops designed to teach newcomers how to set up their portfolios and create rèsumès.

Six days later, nearly 1,000 people and 100 industry leaders showed up for the fifth annual CareerFair at the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, Cal. It offered seminars, career counseling and job interviews.

“Every panel was packed and there was standing room only,” reported Kathryn Kimmel, who chaired the event. Panels covered jewelry design, sales, manufacturing, appraising and selling diamonds and colored stones. Most were scheduled twice during the day, with extra sessions held to accommodate the crowd.

A popular feature was one-on-one counseling, where students and job candidates lined up to talk with some 70 industry representatives about job prospects and what the industry has to offer. “It was great to see so many young faces all anxious to find out about the jewelry industry,” said Lenny Friedman of Crescent Jewelers, Los Angeles, president-elect of the California Jewelers Association. A new counseling topic this year was business start-up and entrepreneurship, with a team of bankers, accountants, attorneys and chief executive officers offering advice.

Meanwhile, representatives of more than two dozen retail jewelry chains, department stores, manufacturers and industry organizations talked with prospective employees, handed out applications and made appointments for interviews. Are jobs likely to result?

“We track this as carefully as we can,” said Kimmel, “and we found that 152 people got jobs from last year’s fair. Not all happened immediately, because sometimes it can take as much as six months. But a lot of people were helped.”

CareerFair is the creation of GIA and the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California. The JCK International Jewelry Show, Vicenza Trade Fair Board and J.C. Penney Co. are prime sponsors. D. Swarovski is a cosponsor, and The Johnson Family’s Diamond Cellar and Diamond Promotion Service are affiliate sponsors.


The Gemological Institute of America introduces “Insurance Replacement Appraisal” as its newest distance education course.

The course covers the preparation of insurance documentation, the precise descriptions for gemstones and mountings, and the determination of replacement prices that satisfy customers and their insurance companies. Other topics included in the nine-assignment course cover methods of determining value, record keeping and the key tools for appraising.

Each assignment comes with a video summary. Students may contact an instructor with a toll-free telephone call and complete questionnaires and get scores back via computer. All GIA distance education courses are fully accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.

GIA Education Services, Dept. PR51K, P.O. Box 2110, Santa Monica, Cal. 90507-2110; (800) 421-7250 or (310) 829-2991, ext. 292; fax (310) 829-6589.


The London Guildhall University has released its schedule of Easter and summer vacation courses in silversmithing and jewelry.

The Easter courses, to be held April 1-3, will cover engraving, jewelry design, jewelry repair and wax modeling. The five-day summer courses, to be held in July and August, cover such topics as casting, jewelry making, jewelry design, objet design, gem setting, enameling, chasing and silversmithing.

London Guildhall University, 41 Commercial Rd., London, E1 1LA, United Kingdom; (44-171) 320-1817, fax (44-171) 320-1830.


Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., Neenah, Wis., and Assael International, New York, N.Y., have established scholarship funds at the Gemological Institute of America.

JMI set up two scholarships to honor Richard Kern and William Argo, who have served the jewelry industry through service on the JMI Board of Directors. Each scholarship fund will issue $500 awards twice a year for five years. The scholarships can be applied to any GIA gemology program.

“We are pleased that we can support GIA in this way,” says Ronald R. Harder, chief executive officer of JMI. “And we are proud of the service, time and contribution both of these men have made.”

Assael made a three-year commitment for scholarships for students enrolled in GIA’s “Pearls” program. “This funding will allow deserving students to receive the type of specialized training they will need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace while also ensuring that our trade will have access to a steady supply of talented professionals,” says President Salvadore Assael.

GIA’s learn-at-home “Pearls” course teaches students how to buy and sell pearls, GIA’s grading system for cultured pearls, how to relate beauty and quality to value and how to boost sales of cultured pearls by explaining these factors to retail customers.

Scholarship applications are available by contacting

GIA Financial Aid, P.O. Box 2110, Santa Monica, Cal. 90407-2110; (310) 829-2991, ext. 355; fax (310) 828-6589


Highline Community College will offer a two-day workshop and two new classes in its winter Jewelry/Goldsmithing Technology Program.

The workshop, titled “Introduction to Hydraulic Press Forming,” will be held Feb. 4 and 11. Students will learn how to use a 20-ton hydraulic press for forming and texturing metal. Those with some metals experience will be able to make a simple jewelry item in the workshop. The $97 fee includes all materials.

The new classes are “Wax Design II” and “Advanced Design and Rendering.” For fee and other information on these and other classes, contact

Highline Community College, P.O. Box 98000, Des Moines, Wash. 98198-9800; (206) 878-3710


The Jewelers Education Foundation of the American Gem Society recently presented “How to Use Direct Mail to Your Advantage” at a meeting of the Mississippi Jewelers Association. The speaker was David Rotenberg, president of JEF and owner of David Craig Jewelers Ltd. in Langhorne, Pa.

“A direct mail piece should include a cover letter, a brochure describing your offer, a packaging device that compels the recipient to open the piece and a dynamic call to action,” said Rotenberg. “Even if you do this well, your direct mail piece goes nowhere unless you have a clean, targeted mailing list.”

To create a mailing list, start with your store’s customer base, he said. Glean customer mailing information from checks, credit cards and over-the-counter contact. Maintain data such as customers’ previous purchases and buying trends to help you formulate your marketing strategy. This will enable you to send direct mail pieces to the appropriate segment of your market.

Other JEF presentations include “How to Develop Effective Promotions,” “How to Create a Million Dollar Store,” “Staff Compensation” and “From New Hire to Team Player. As of August, more than 2,000 jewelers had attended JEF seminars at trade shows and state association meetings.

Jewelers Education Foundation, 8881 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, Nev. 89117; (702) 255-6500, fax (702) 255-7420


The 13th annual National Association of Jewelry Appraisers Educational Conference will be held Feb. 1-2 in the Embassy Suites Hotel/Airport in Tucson, Ariz. The theme is “All You Need to Know About Emeralds and Emerald Treatments.”

Seminars scheduled the first day are “Emerald Treatment Techniques I,” 8:30 a.m.; “Emeralds, Origin to Treatment,” 10:45 a.m.; “Emerald Treatment Techniques II,” 1:30 p.m.; “Entenmann vs. U.S. Case Review,” 2:15 p.m.; “How to Appraise Seals, Intaglios and Judaic Jewelry,” 3:30 p.m.; and “Emerald Treatment Techniques III,” 5:10 p.m.

Scheduled the second day are: “Emerald Treatment IV,” 7:30 a.m.; “GemDialogue Color System Workshop,” 8:30 a.m.; “Munsell Color Book System Workshop,” 10:15 a.m.; “Emerald Treatment V,” 1:15 p.m.; “United Services Automobile Association Insurance Co. Concepts on Insuring Jewelry,” 2:15 p.m.; and “Emerald Treatment VI,” 3:10 p.m.

Speakers will include Stuart Bassin of Silver Spring, Md., an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division; James Lytle of Tucson, Ariz., president and owner of J&H Ltd., an emerald treatment source; Gloria Lieberman of Boston, Mass., vice president and director of the antique jewelry department at Skinner Inc.; Joseph Tenhagen of Miami, Fla., associate director of NAJA and president of J.W. Tenhagen Gemstones Inc.; Ann Johnson, manager of the United Services Automobile Association Insurance Co.’s Claims Replacement Service and a former faculty member at the Gemological Institute of America; Howard Rubin of Bayside, N.Y., president of GemDialogue Systems; and Thomas Tashey of Los Angeles, Cal., director of the European Gemological Laboratory.

Social activities will include a networking dinner Feb. 1 and a banquet Feb. 2.

For discount travel rates, call American Airlines at (800) 433-1790 and refer to account #2816AC. For special room rates and other information, contact the

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


The popular “Gold” seminar developed by the World Gold Council and the Gemological Institute of America is now available as an interactive multimedia presentation.

The three-hour seminar is aimed at sales personnel and managers and covers such topics as alloying, gold testing theory, karat stamping, care and cleaning, history and uses of gold and the four methods of jewelry manufacturing.

“We developed the seminar out of our acknowledgement that jewelry salespeople need to know more about gold in order to sell it effectively,” says Debbie Hiss-Odell, GIA public relations manager. “We cover customers’ commonly asked questions, using customer motivations to close sales and turning gold features into customer benefits. We want participants to come away with the ability to recommend the right type of jewelry for a customer’s needs.”

World Gold Council, 900 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022; (212) 688-0005, fax (212) 371-5466


The German Gemmological Association will offer its 1996 English-language gemology diploma course from July 29 to Dec. 6.

The components of the program are “Gemmology Diploma Course,” July 29-Oct. 25; “Pearls/Organic Substances,” Oct. 28-Nov. 1; “Diamond Diploma Course,” Nov. 4-29; and “Commercial Gemmology,” Dec. 2-6.

German Gemmological Association, P.O. Box 12 22 60,55714 Idar-Oberstein, Germany; (49-6781) 43011, fax (49-6781)41616


Larry D. Phillips and Thom Underwood, members of the American Society of Appraisers, recently presented “Introduction to Insurance Documentation for the Retail Jeweler” at seminars in Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; and Anaheim, Cal.

Phillips also is preparing a correspondence course version of the seminar on behalf of the ASA’s Gems and Jewelry Committee.


The Jewelers of America Center for Business Studies presented the Great Lakes Regional Education Conference Oct. 7-9 in Bloomington, Minn. Jewelers attended from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Tennessee and Iowa.

Among the seminars were “Advertising on a Small Budget” by promotions authority Nan Kochanski and “Selling More Diamonds Over 1 Carat” by sales trainer Shane Decker. Participants also heard presentations by several JA officials, including Executive Director Matthew Runci, President Dale Perelman, Education Director Gina DeHaan and Public Relations Director Eileen Farrell.