In keeping with their long-standing tradition, the North Carolina Jewelers Association and South Carolina Jewelers Association recently held their premier annual event, the 2017 NCJA SCJA Annual Conference, at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Jewelers and vendors took the opportunity to have a relaxing, yet fun and education-filled time meeting new customers, catching up with long-standing colleagues and discovering solutions to industry challenges.
With both associations dedicated to hosting a conference in an effort to enhance the success and education of its members, the choice to host the conference in Charleston, SC added additional layers of advantages, including the fact that in 2016, Travel & Leisure Magazine rated Charleston as the best city in the world based on its sights and landmarks, arts and culture, restaurants, friendliness and shopping.
Networking activities were planned throughout the conference, beginning with a social mingle on Friday evening in the resort’s hospitality suite with breathtaking views overlooking the resort beach, swimming pools, Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter, the USS Yorktown, and the historical Charleston skyline.
On Saturday morning Association Presidents, Brad Padgett of NCJA and Mitch Embler of SCJA thanked all of the sponsors for their generosity in supporting the Associations and gave an overview of the seminar presenters and their topics. Conference speakers were selected for their expertise in educating participants on industry trends, challenges and solutions that are shaping the jewelry industry.
Gail Levine, Executive Director National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, presented a virtual time travel to the past, present and future of appraisals, including detailed information on constructing an appraisal document that is compliant with today’s legal, ethical, and USPAP requirements.
Stuller, Inc. Executives, Tanya Sanders and Suzanne Guglielmo, wrapped up the morning’s educational seminars with an entertaining and informative presentation about the latest trends in the industry including a strong focus on marketing to the millennial population.
The Associations offered a number of afternoon activities, including a crisis management presentation by public relations specialist Stacy Sneed, a golf tournament at Patriots Point, as well as an excursion organized by SCJA President, Mitch Embler, to Middleton Place Plantation. The Garden Club of America has called the 65 acres, “the most important and most interesting garden in America.” Many people spent the evening touring, shopping and dining in historic Charleston, home to some of the best restaurants in the country.
On Sunday morning, Shelly Verwymeren led two interactive, guided discussions. The first, “Identifying Synthetic Diamonds”, presented information on HPHT and CVD-grown synthetic diamonds, and how to separate them from natural diamonds. The second, “Fluorescence in Diamonds”, generated vivid discussion with regard to its effect on appearance and value. The presentation explained the effect of fluorescence by reviewing diamond value factors and provided an overview of fluorescence in diamonds.
Throughout the two days of seminars a silent auction (which included contributions from many conference participants), organized by NCJA Board member Carolyn Woltz Lennon, successfully raised nearly $1500 for Jewelers for Children.
Conference Sponsors included Elite Diamond: Stuller, Inc.; Platinum: Jewelers of America, Atlanta Jewelry Show, and Federated Insurance; Gold: Gems One, JCK Las Vegas, Jewelry Designer Showcase, JIS Show, and Quality Gold; Silver: Camelot Bridal, Cargo Hold, Charles Frey & Co., Color Merchants, Equity Diamond Brokers, ES Nacht, Gabriel & Co., Henderson Designs, I. Morgenstein, Jewelers Mutual, Kovel Collection, Ostbye, Prayer Flags Bracelets and Southeastern Findings/Namano.