JCK 2024 scores high with IGI Rocks and industry players

year JCK Las Vegas is the premier jewelry trade show It’s a happy hunting ground and a five-day adventure in discovering new design trends, spotting emerging designers, and checking out new collections from legacy companies and other brands. Yet JCK offers unparalleled networking opportunities for those in the gemmology and jewelry trade. For five days, JCK shines with news and insights that consumers, retailers, designers, jewelery brands and journalists can use to validate and interpret the diversity of gemstones and jewellery, an international and sometimes wild term.

During JCK 2024, many roads were paved International Gemological Institute (IGI) booth, which offered a dynamic and non-stop program of enlightening talks, educational videos, daily cocktail hour and more. A Karungal Portfolio As a company, IGI operates 30 laboratories and 19 educational facilities in diamond and jewelery centers worldwide. „For nearly 50 years, IGI has been analyzing and verifying diamonds, colored gemstones and finished jewelry,” said Avi Levy, president of IGI North America. He noted, “Every year IGI screens millions of natural and lab-grown diamonds as more and more lab-grown diamonds enter the market. The IGI does this to verify that the industry, as well as gem and jewelry consumers, own or have received the type of diamond products they believe they are dealing with. As Levy describes, there are occasional wild surprises. „Last year, the IGI intervened and chose not to prepare dozens of reports because the information provided by the clients was incomplete,” he recalled. „The IGI issues a statement only when every fact has been verified and our gemologists know beyond doubt that a given gem or finished piece of jewelery has been thoroughly analyzed and verified.”

In addition to being more accessible to the entire supply chain throughout the year, Levy explained, “IGI sees JCK as an opportunity to ask customers face-to-face about their most compelling business needs and aspirations.” In addition to helping IGI further develop its market through the development and/or refinement of services, “this listening The sessions helped us develop solutions for market needs,” noted Levy. „Some of these are not yet recognized by many retailers, but we will be ready for them when they do,” he assured.

IGI’s pro-active pivoting has helped it operate ahead of the industry curve for decades. For example, in 2005, IGI began grading and verifying laboratory-grown diamonds (LGTs), two years before its main competitor, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). According to Levy, „IGI has risen to meet and master the LGD challenge as a pioneer in the standardization, identification, validation, interpretation and disclosure of LGDs.” Recently IGI’s foray into the field of LGDs has received thanks from Kolja Kiovski, general manager of Swarovski North America. As Kiowsky wrote in an email, “Swarovski created diamonds is the ultimate expression of the brand’s creativity and savoir-faire.” (It should be noted that Swarovski created diamonds are LGDs.]”Our partnership with IGI guarantees the quality of every stone in our Swarovski created diamonds collection, enhancing consumer trust and confidence.”

Another satisfied IGI customer this writer met at JCK Charles & ColwardTouted its collaboration with IGI on its booth signage. According to Don O’Connell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Charles & Colvard, “We believe our strategic alliance with IGI will bring moissanite buyers unparalleled transparency regarding the quality of the gemstones they are investing in. As the original creators of lab-grown moissanite, Charles & Colvard set the industry standard nearly three decades ago. We are proud to reinforce the superior quality of our moissanite with the evaluations and reports of IGI’s gemologists.

O’Connell said, “Our new moissanite reports will help hold other suppliers accountable for the quality of non-Charles & Colward moissanite gemstones. Our exclusive alliance with IGI ensures that only moissanite developed by Charles & Colwart is graded by them, thus strengthening consumer confidence in the quality and value of our brand. O’Connell hopes that the IGI’s standards statements will enhance moissanite’s consumer education efforts regarding its physical and optical properties. „Consumers familiar with the 4Cs of diamond grading can now use the IGI’s grading criteria to understand moissanite quality in a way they already understand.”

Across JCK, Levy said, „We engaged people through presentations that provided evidence-based information and brought many collaborators and clients from around the world face-to-face over a glass of champagne or wine.” Some of these collaborators competed in IGI’s high-spirited Gem & Jewelry Jeopardy, created by IGI’s Sales Executive, Kaylin Pandojas. The competition took place during the afternoon cocktail hour and thus drew increasingly large crowds each day. The events, hosted by Levy using a microphone, featured a live Jeopardy board on a flat-screen television and individual buzzers for each contestant. With the IGI Gem & Jewelery Jeopardy attracting dozens of visitors, the competition seems well-suited to JCK 2025’s Showcase Stage, which can accommodate a much larger audience.

The IGI booth attracted existing customers, jewelry designers and attendees from around the world with videos and talks delivered by John Pollard, IGI’s Senior Director of Education. For example, Pollard’s presentation on IGI’s new Diamond Light performance reports was a focus. Jewelers Mutual Groups Chief Content Officer Mark Smelzer and winner of IGI’s Gem & Jewelry Jeopardy Contest, Lisa Koenigsberg, founder and president of the nonprofit Arts and Cultural Initiatives (IAC), for nearly two decades, has been programming and presenting international conferences in New York on topics such as gold, diamonds, fine and applied arts. „IGI’s Avi Levy has participated in IAC conferences before and will be speaking at our July 2024 conference,” noted Koenigsberg.

IGI is currently collaborating with a Brazil-based company Cruise Mine, is the world’s largest responsibly sourced tourmaline mine and is renowned for its certified sustainable and ethical practices. According to Cruzeiro Mine CEO, Douglas Neves, “We first met with Avi Levy, president of IGI North America, in New York City [at an IAC conference] He then reunited with some influential industry players at a dinner party he hosted. This experience,” Neves continued, „is one of the benefits we see in working with IGI, including their approachability, strong sense of community and ability to run a business. These qualities are very important for a company like ours entering a new market. Regarding new markets and business goals, Levy noted, „IGI is currently working toward the goal of becoming a licensed gemmology school in the United States as we want to open our first person gemmology course to students in the near future.” Although IGI has been offering online gemmology courses since 2022, Levy said, „we are committed to improving the depth and quality of gemmology education in the United States.” Since IGI is a Blackstone portfolio company, Levy added, „we have strong and smart support from a solid source, and that’s going to help us.”

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