Terry Chandler vows that the Diamond Council of America will no longer be the industry’s “best-kept secret.”
Chandler has headed the group since the beginning of the year after serving for years on its board while running Michelson’s Jewelers in Paducah, Ky. He says the Nashville-based group will be more active in the industry. “Now, we go to the industry functions, we support the organizations,” he says. “We’re more a part of the industry now.”
The group has 80 members, many of whom represent major chains. Some 2,800 students are currently taking its “user-friendly” entry-level courses on diamonds and gems. “I call us ‘the community college of the industry,’ ” says Chandler, noting that many of its graduates go on to study at GIA. “We get the new hires that are just beginning to learn and prepare them for advanced course work. We provide information in a very comfortable way.”
The courses now will include biannual updates on hot topics in the industry, including conflict diamonds, treatments, and simulants such as moissanite. There’s also a handbook for store managers on how best to use the courses.
The group can be reached via its Web site at www.diamondcouncil.org.