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AGTA & JCOC announce Consumer’s Choice Honors Awards winners

(PASO ROBLES, Calif.) - As a part of this year's AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM, AGTA, in conjunction with MVI Marketing's Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) division, introduced the new Consumer's Choice Honors awards and the results are in. The JCOC created and deployed a consumer market research study to select the winning choices for the Consumer's Choice Honors awards. One winning style, selected by JCOC consumer panel members, was identified in the five categories of the traditional AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM.

NAJA announces 2008 Scholarship winner

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2008 Ace© It Conference Scholarship to attend the 31st Annual Ace© It Winter Educational Conference scheduled on February 2-3, 2009 in Tucson, AZ.

Ms. Valerie Arteman, Madison, WI, is the 2008 winner of the annual Scholarship. Ms. Arteman is a current home study student with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Her jewelry journey started as a Fine Jewelry Coordinator for Sears Roebuck. She continued her career with various sales associate positions at many retail fine jewelry stores. Ms. Arteman observes that "as school with GIA winds down, I realize that my career is just beginning with the excitement of becoming an independent appraiser."

The NAJA Scholarship gives a gemology student a first hand experience of networking with appraisal professionals by attending the highly regarded NAJA educational experience during a time when Tucson devotes itself to gems, jewelry and minerals. NAJA believes that appraising is a viable career option for students of gemology.

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers is the largest membership association specializing exclusively in gem and jewelry appraising and related appraisal issues. It offers education and networking opportunities with knowledgeable appraisal professionals. For further information on becoming a member of NAJA, attending NAJA's Tucson Education Conference or the 2009 Conference Scholarship please contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, Executive Director, NAJA, at PO Box 18, Rego Park, NY 11374, 718-896-1536 , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.najaappraisers.com.

Boston Jewelers Club elects its first woman President

(WARWICK, R.I.) - Dione D. Kenyon, President of The Jewelers Board of Trade, was elected to serve as the 54th president of the Boston Jewelers Club (BJC). She is the Club's first woman president, and was inducted at the 120th Annual Membership Dinner Meeting at the Union Club of Boston on November 6.

According to Kenyon, "It is an honor to lead this distinguished group of industry professionals and I very much look forward to working with them to strengthen the profile of the club in the months and years ahead."

Other newly elected officers of the BJC include Ed Rigano of Stern/Leach, Inc. as Vice President and Sandy Brown of Association Services Ltd. as Secretary/ Treasurer.

Jewelers Mutual increases free Registered Mail™ coverage to $100,000

(NEENAH, Wisc.) - Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has enhanced one of its most popular policyholder benefits by increasing its free, automatic Registered Mail limit to $100,000. In addition, the company increased the free, automatic travel coverage to and from the post office to $125,000. The coverage increases became effective Dec. 1, 2008, for all United States commercial insureds with Jewelers Block, Jewelers Standard, or Pak policies.

Jewelers of America promotes jewelry careers to students

JA looks to broaden industry diversity through targeted distribution of a comprehensive guide to jewelry careers.

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail marketplace, has sent "Careers in the Jewelry Industry," a comprehensive guide to occupations in the jewelry industry, to 1,000 high schools in 48 states plus the District of Columbia.

PGI expands technical education offerings due to high industry demand in 2008

(NEW YORK) - In 2008, Platinum Guild International USA (PGI) expanded its technical education courses and resources due to increased interest and its continued effort to support bench jewelers, retailers and manufacturers working with platinum.

urgen Maerz, master metalergist and Director of Technical Education for PGI, spent the year traveling the world educating jewelers and manufacturers on how to polish their expertise. Maerz also documented his training sessions online so that even more jewelers could learn from his lessons.

Maerz has developed a series of 11 online technical presentations on working with platinum featuring himself alongside other master jewelers (www.benchtelevision.com/affiliates/pgi/index.html). Recent statistics reveal an increased interest in the videos with the webisodes viewed more than 300 times in the past nine months.

PGI-JanSeveral of these technical videos were also added to YouTube, such as "Platinum Fabrication Techniques" and "Fabricating a 3 Stone Platinum Ring," which were rated 5 out of 5 and watched by more than 570 viewers from around the world.

"We are proud and excited that these videos have been viewed by so many people from around the world," said Maerz. "Technical support in the jewelry industry is growing in popularity and demand because jewelers are seeing direct results as they learn new and creative ways to grow their business."
(PHOTO LEFT:Jurgen Maerz, master metalergist and Director of Technical Education for PGI.)

The year's most exciting technical development is PGI's collaboration with Brad Simon of Bench magazine, a quarterly publication for bench jewelers, to create a new channel on the Bench Television Network - www.benchtelevision.com/affiliates/pgi/index.html.

The "Technical Support" section is the most popular section on PGI's comprehensive website, which features more than 30 informational resources and includes the following tools and tips:

  • A Technical "Question and Answer" Forum hosted by Maerz where jewelers can submit questions or read the most frequently asked questions, from platinum casting to sizing and stamping. This page is one of the top ten most visited pages on PGI's website. Maerz personally answers all questions within 24 hours.
  • A toll free technical number so that jewelers can speak directly with Maerz and ask their specific questions - (888) 961-7111 .
  • A Technical Tip Card Series where jewelers can order a laminated set or download quick-reference tip cards directly onto their computers.
  • Technical Instructional videos featuring lessons on working with platinum.
  • Technical Articles - a PDF database featuring articles on a wide range of subjects, such as alloys, bench techniques and

manufacturing. The most popular article is currently "Machines, Hands, and Wedding Bands."

Throughout 2008, Maerz also trained 185 bench jewelers at Stuller, Inc., and taught at the 5th annual Bench Jewelers Convention & Expo as well as at the Platinum Technical Road Show.

Courtney Genise and senior goldsmith, Frank Forney, from Mountz Jewelers attended an Advanced Level Bench Seminar and were thrilled with the results. "Maerz and Brad Simon are very knowledgeable, work well together and found interactive ways to maintain our attention and focus. Both of us came away yearning to impart the myriad of tips and techniques to the other jewelers in the company."

PGI plans to expand its technical resources even further in 2009 by including online training for ring sizing, which will offer a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

Take advantage of PGI's wide array of technical offerings by visiting www.platinumguild.com/output/page8.asp, or call Maerz directly at (888) 961-7111 .

For further information please visit www.platinumguild.com.

Jewelry store burglaries escalating - time for precaution is critical

Outbreaks of burglary attacks against jewelry stores are affecting several Jewelers Mutual policyholders. In particular, two types of crimes - smash, grab, and run; and safe/vault burglaries - are rising, resulting in significant losses as well as mental trauma. To prevent crime from happening to you, please review these important, sometimes life-saving, precautionary measures.