Industry & People



COMINGS AND GOINGS

>>?The Gemological Institute of America appointed Jennifer A. Josef director of education for the New York City campus Jan. 3. Josef will develop educational outreach to the trade as well as the general public. Prior to joining GIA, Josef was the director of public education and interpretation at the New York Botanical Garden.

>>Tiffany & Co. president James E. Quinn will retire in early 2012. Quinn, 58, joined Tiffany in 1986 and has been president since 2003.

>>?Ashi Diamonds has added Tom Congleton as its sales representative and marketing consultant for the southeast region of the United States.

Ellen Haddigan

>>?Ellen Haddigan has left her position as founding executive director and vice president of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, the industry charity created by Russell Simmons. Haddigan has accepted the post of executive director of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A search is on for her successor.

>>?Neiman Marcus reshuffled its buyers responsible for jewelry. Ann Stordahl will oversee precious and designer jewelry. Lisa Kazor, previously in charge of those departments, will handle bridge sportswear and other apparel.

>>?John Wohlwend, longtime CEO and chairman of Jack Lewis Fine Jewelry in Bloomington, Ill., will retire and transfer his position to president John Carter. Wohlwend purchased the company from the Lewis Family Trust in 1993. 

>>?On Jan. 20, veteran gem expert ­Patricia Syvrud launched Joia Consulting. Joia services will include jewelry collection cataloging and valuation, collection risk management, capitalization plans for liquidation or estate transition, and sales consulting.

>>?Famed 220-year-old jeweler Asprey has named Paddy Byng managing director of Asprey Holdings, effective Feb. 1. Byng was CEO of Smythson.

OPENINGS

>>James Avery opened its 60th store in Little Rock, Ark., in February, increasing its presence in the southeastern United States. Avery’s growth strategy involves opening five to eight new stores annually over the next five years.

>>Target plans to open 21 stores in 2011, the company announced. The openings include five stores in California, a fourth store in Hawaii, and a SuperTarget in Minnesota.

CLOSINGS

>>?JCPenney announced Jan. 24 that it will close six underperforming stores in 2011. The company is closing locations in Morrow, Ga.; West Dundee, Ill.; Des Moines, Iowa; High Point, N.C.; and Culpeper, Va.; as well as one JCPenney Home Store in Duluth, Ga.

>>?Robbins Diamonds, a longtime Pennsylvania retailer owned by the famously diamond-bearded Jerry Robbins, is closing its flagship in Philadelphia and its Allentown, Pa., store. The sole remaining Robbins store is located in Newark, Del. The company filed for Chapter 11 in 2009.

CRIME

>>?More than $7 million in ­jewelry and other items was stolen from Provident Jewelry in Jupiter, Fla., sometime between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25. Jupiter Police sergeant Scott Pascarella says the thief or thieves entered the store from an adjacent unit.

MOVING

Gold Lady Jewelers

>>?Gold Lady Jewelers in Wickford, R.I., relocated to a former bank Dec. 14. Store manager Lisa Malin says the new location includes a “wonderful walk-in vault” and took five years to renovate.

LEGAL

>>Tiffany & Co. filed suit in December asking that a group of sites with sound-alike names be enjoined from operating. Defendants Ge Wang, King Wang, Ning Zhou, and numerous John Does are charged with founding sites like TiffanyMall.us and ­TiffanyShop.org, which Tiffany claims carry counterfeit goods.

REMEMBERED

David Goldsmith

>>?David Goldsmith, 41, longtime store manager of Manfredi Jewels in Greenwich, Conn., died Jan. 7 in Greenwich after a four-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Judy Sugar, his mother, Carol Goldsmith, and his younger sister, Lainey Larrivee.

AWARDS

>>?GIA announced the winners of the annual George A. Schuetz Jewelry Design Contest on Jan. 7. Karl Williams of Wellington, New Zealand, captured first place with a ring comprising a 1.5 ct. center-cut diamond offset by eight 0.25 ct. side diamonds. Second place went to Clarrie Yap of Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Elena Lorenzi of Ventimiglia, Italy, claimed third place.

Karl Williams’ first-place winner

>>?FOLIO: honored JCK at the 2010 Eddie and Ozzie Awards on Jan. 25 in New York City. JCK’s June magazine won a gold Eddie for B-to-B, Retail, Full Issue; the issue also won a bronze Ozzie for Best Redesign, B-to-B.

COMPANIES

>>?Richline International has agreed to acquire the assets of Italian manufacturer Rosato, the two companies announced Jan. 14. At press time, the transaction was expected to conclude by the end of February.

>>?L.L.D. Diamonds, owned by Israeli businessman Lev Leviev, topped the annual list of Israel’s 25 largest polished diamond exporters for the 10th consecutive year with exports of $366 million in 2010—52 percent higher than exports in 2009. Leo Schachter followed with $359 million, and M.I.D. Diamonds was third with $160 million.

EVENTS

>>?The Jewelry Information Center held its Ninth Annual GEM Awards gala Jan. 7 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Academy Award and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson presented the GEM Award for Jewelry Style to celebrity jeweler Neil Lane. Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon presented the Award for Journalistic Excellence to Marie Claire editor in chief Joanna Coles. Breitling USA president Marie Bodman received the GEM Award for Corporate Communications from former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason via video. And finally, ­Jewelers of America president and CEO Matthew A. Runci presented Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, curator of the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, with the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement.

HONORS

Erez Daleyot (left) at the DTC

>>?For the first time in history, De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co. let a sightholder open the first allocation of 2011, a ceremonial function to inaugurate the year’s first sight. Erez Daleyot, group CEO of DD Manufacturing, won the opportunity at last November’s Diamond Empowerment Fund auction in London.

(Additional reporting by Lindsey Wojcik)