David Michael Trout, founding partner of Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers, Chandler, Ariz., died suddenly on March 15 while hiking. He was 51. Trout and his friend of nearly 30 years, Randy Coffin, founded Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers in 1984. Over the years, Trout’s designs garnered numerous design awards, including nine AGTA Spectrum awards.

Israeli diamond leaders gathered with family and friends of Moshe Schnitzer in Tel Aviv to view an exhibition of photos from the recently published biography of the doyen of the Israeli diamond industry. The book, The Diamantaire– Moshe Schnitzer, Founding Father of the Israeli Diamond Industry, was published in Hebrew by the Israel Diamond Institute to mark the first anniversary of his passing.


Phyllis M. Bergman, president of Mercury Ring Corp., has been elected chairperson of the Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York for 2009. Bergman is the first woman to hold this position in the 107-year history of the organization.

David A. Petersen, 51, has been promoted to chief executive officer of Salt Lake City jeweler O.C. Tanner, the local press reported. He previously served as president and chief operating officer. He replaces Kent Murdock, who accepted a Latter-Day-Saints Church assignment.

Jerry Hammond has been appointed director of international sales for Color Craft, in New York. He previously served in sales management roles at Sunstone Inc., Hot Diamonds USA, and most recently at Colibri Group.


Platinum Guild International has named the winners of the 2008 Platinum Sellers Contest. For the third consecutive year, both Richard Wubnig, of Michael C. Fina, New York, and Lisa Binder, of Mervis Diamond Importers, Tysons Corner, Va., secured first and second place by selling the most platinum pieces.

At its annual dinner at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas, the Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association will honor Navratan Kothari, chairman of the KGK Group, with its Pioneer Award, and Vasantbhai Sanghavi, chairman of Sanghavi Exports, with its Lifetime Achievement award. Peter Engel, CEO of Fred Meyer Jewelers, will accept the Retailer of the Year award.

Dr. James Shigley, Gemological Institute of America’s distinguished research fellow, recently gave two presentations on diamond gemology to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s 2009 convention.