Experienced writer and editor with a background in public relations and corporate communications, specializing in nonprofits, education, and the global gem and jewelry industry.
The rigors and often-harrowing conditions of gemology field expeditions are no match for 30-year Marine veteran with a love of gems.
"Show me your rings." It's a simple request − and it's got jewelers and designers around the country lining up to show off their best pieces for Danielle Miele, the GIA alumna behind the exuberant style blog, Gem Gossip. It probably doesn't hurt that Miele, a graduate gemologist based in Nashville, has more than 55,000 followers on Instagram.
Bands and athletic teams have their booster clubs and public radio its donor circles, but few organizations can claim a supporter as engaged and encouraging as the "Pearl Goddess" Betty Sue King. King, founder of the wholesale firm King's Ransom and a former board member of the American Gem Trade Association, is a longtime supporter of the GIA Alumni Association.
"Adventure is in my blood," says Robert Gessner, a GIA Graduate Gemologist (GG) and Cape Town-born geologist who is the owner of Gessner Gems, a sourcing and curatorship firm for colored stones. Gessner's parents are of European descent - his maternal grandparents were Dutch diplomats who retired in South Africa, and his father's family came from Germany before settling in Mozambique.
"For the first Christmas in 50 years, there is no intricate, shimmering picture woven of hundreds of gemstones to decorate the holiday display window of the jewelry store at 37 S. High Street on the ground floor of the Neil House.
The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, designer Niki Grandics' early life was a study in cultural and visual contrasts. Her family's frequent world travels laid a foundation of creative experimentation, design inspiration and social responsibility for Grandics, whose forward-thinking designs and ethical business plan were recently recognized with a Halstead Grant.
GIA grad Sean Dunn successfully launched an e-commerce plan for his family's luxury retail jewelry store, J.R. Dunn Jewelers in Florida.
The rich tapestry of Brazil − from its dances, music and Carnival festivals to its native plants, animals and fruits − finds its way into each piece of designer Karyna Sena's jewelry. "I try to explore the Brazilian 'way' in my pieces," says Sena, a GIA GG born in Salvador, capital of the gemstone-rich state of Bahia.
Alethe Fatherley, executive director of Jewelers for Water, hasn't always tried to link social justice with the jewelry industry - in fact, the idea of encouraging an industry that's both responsible and profitable has only crystallized for the East Coast-based gemologist in the last several years.
Designer Erik Stewart may have debuted in the wholesale world as a JCK Rising Star in Las Vegas two years ago, but his first real foray into the industry goes much further back. As a child, Stewart tagged along with his mother to the jewelry design classes she taught in the parks and recreation department in the family's hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
Plenty of customers step up to the counter to purchase diamonds every year, but when Shmulik Polnauer does, it often earns him headlines. To be fair, Polnauer is not exactly the average jewelry consumer - he's a GIA Graduate Gemologist and the 33-year-old chief diamond buyer for Israel's Leibish & Co.
Ron Ringsrud's three decades as a wholesale emerald importer − and his eventual ascent to operations and sales director at Muzo International, which sources emeralds from Colombia's Muzo mine − are a heady mix of international business, golden opportunity, old-fashioned good timing and an entrepreneur's hustle.
This year may prove to be one of Niveet Nagpal's most memorable, as the president and head designer of Omi Privé continues to garner trade and consumer accolades for a particularly colorful 18K yellow gold and black opal ring. In March, JCK and W magazines honored Nagpal, a GIA Graduate Gemologist, for the ring, which features a 4.33-carat (ct.)
There's one question that keeps award-winning jeweler and gem cutter Derek Katzenbach motivated to "push the boundaries" of his own skills: "How did you do that?" Katzenbach, a GIA GJG, asks it of the artists he admires, and he hopes his designs can pique a similar curiosity.
Dr. Çiğdem Lüle's work day is no typical 9-5 shift: the mineralogist and GIA Graduate Gemologist could as easily find herself on an archaeological excavation site as in front of a classroom. Lüle, a jet-setting researcher, educator and recipient of the 2016 Antonio C.
Most gemologists are accustomed to fielding questions on the fly about gemstones, but not many do it under the bright lights and across the broad reach of live television. For Nancy Hornback, a popular program host at QVC who specializes in gems and jewelry segments, every day is a televised pop quiz in gem knowledge.
Designer Dana al-Nafisi knows the importance of a premier brand: she's been building hers since family and friends started buzzing about the handmade thread and leather bracelets she created for them as a child.
Maggie Nelson, who moved from her rural Minnesota hometown as a young girl in 1971 to study gemology at GIA in the Los Angeles beach community of Santa Monica, couldn't have known that her cross-country adventure would begin a family legacy.
Michelle Rahm is many things: an accomplished business owner, a seasoned gemologist, an Internet jewelry sales pioneer and an award-winning leader in the GIA Alumni Association. But when Rahm visited Madagascar in 2014 to learn about its mineralogy and tour mining localities, she didn't expect to also become an advocate for the nation's children.
News and Features
A woman walks out of a big-city, high-end jewelry store. She and her husband have just made a remarkable purchase: a platinum ring featuring a 22-carat (ct), GIA-graded diamond center stone. She proceeds across town, often admiring the sparkle on her finger, as she continues with her day.
"Sometimes the truth don't rhyme." Brad Brooks-Rubin, GIA's global director of development and beneficiation, invoked lyrics from hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper as he welcomed GIA students, staff and invited guests to a panel discussion on responsible sourcing at the Institute's Carlsbad campus in April.
Robert Downey Jr. presents an Iron Man-inspired, prosthetic 3-D-printed arm to a young fan. The "Pancake Bot" prints intricate, customized breakfast treats directly onto a griddle. Chinese construction company WinSun creates a five-story apartment building in Shanghai with a 500-foot long 3-D printer.
The GIA museum's glittering "Dreams of Diamonds" exhibit drew a record-breaking number of guests to the Institute's Carlsbad campus for two weeks in May 2015, with more than 1,000 members of the public, trade and press attending the once-in-a-lifetime display.
When it comes to selling colored stones, a retailer's supply-chain knowledge has tangible benefits at the counter - or wherever the point of sale happens to be. That's what Andy Lucas, GIA's education manager of field gemology, and Dr. Tao Hsu, technical editor and research specialist for Gems & Gemology, told local GIA alumni and Women's Jewelry Association members at GIA's Carlsbad campus on Jan.
Equipped with a 10× jeweler's loupe, a millimeter measuring gauge and a standard calculator, artisanal miners around the world have everything they need to determine realistic - and profitable - values of the diamond rough they mine by hand.
A gem "fingerprint." That's what Vincent Pardieu, senior manager of field gemology for GIA in Bangkok, and his six-person team are looking for as they traverse the globe - and log hours in the lab - finding, analyzing and cataloging colored stones for GIA's Colored Stone Identification and Origin Report reference collection.
Guest Blog Written by Jaime Kautsky; Escondido-based Public Relations Guru, Beer Enthusiast & Superstar Mom. Twitter: @jlkautsky In the two years since Offbeat Brewing Company first rolled-up its doors in an unassuming North San Diego County industrial complex, it has built a loyal, diverse, and decidedly local fan base - human and canine patrons alike - that keep coming back for signature beers with off-kilter names like Caticorn, Girafficopter, and Bear Arms Brown.
Joni Mitchell's 1970 hit "Big Yellow Taxi" reminds us that sometimes "you don't know what you've got till it's gone." Mitchell was begging people to preserve nature, but the principle - that there is often great value in everyday things we don't stop to consider or appreciate - applies to many areas of life.