So Long, Farewell, 2010!

Mark Smelzer, Publisher

I’ve just returned from a wonderful break in the California desert to a New York in full holiday swing.

The past month has been a very exciting time here at JCK. In a hopeful sign of economic recovery, our advertising revenues are up 31 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter. Many thanks to our supporters who are upping their marketing commitments in 2011 and to those who are returning to the pages of the magazine and our website after this tough economic period. As always, you have our commitment to creating world-class product that informs and engages our readers in order to maximize your investment with our brand.

Michael Barlerin, director of the Silver Institute; JCK’s November cover model, Millen Magese; and JCK’s Mark Smelzer

The fall season began with a great week in Southern California, including the GIA Career Fair and the Southern California 24 Karat Club dinner dance. This was my sixth Career Fair, and I had a fantastic time. It’s a great opportunity to be around youthful energy and ambition and to share our love of this industry with the next generation. Congrats to Kathryn Kimmel and Sarah Hatfield on a terrific day.

I returned to New York in time to catch the AGTA’s Spectrum Awards display in the Westbeth Building, an architectural landmark on the Hudson River on the far side of the West Village. The event, as always, featured an eye-popping array of gemstone jewels. Kudos to Doug Hucker on another successful edition of the awards.

Speaking of awards, the JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards are in the voting stage, and at the halfway mark, we have more than 7,000 votes! The voting continues through the end of December, so if you’re reading this in time, log on to to let your voice be heard (and see a lot of great jewelry along the way).

Desiree Hanson, director of industry development, JCK Events, and president-elect, WJA metro chapter; Michele Kwiat Siegel, immediate past president, WJA metro chapter; and Kendra Bridel Weinman, WJA president

The holiday season officially kicked off with the Women’s Jewelry Association Holiday Party at the Yale Club. I’ve written many times that I’m particularly fond of the WJA (and the awesome women in this business), and this year was no exception.

Earlier that evening, I attended the Silver Institute’s Silver Industry Dinner as the guest of director Michael Barlerin. I was delighted that the Silver Institute invited Millen Magese, the model who graced the cover of JCK’s November silver-themed issue, to showcase the best new designs from the institute’s membership.

Finally, we were ecstatic to receive our first award for the “new” JCK. Every year, the Custom Content Council honors publications with its Pearl Awards, and JCK won the Gold Award for Best New Launch or Relaunch. Many congrats to our editors, designers, contributors, and photographers on the win.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and here’s looking forward to a spectacular 2011!