The GEM Awards is the fine jewelry industry’s premier accolade gala held by Jewelry Information Center, the consumer education arm of Jewelers of America. GEM Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches.
The 11th Annual GEM Awards were held on Friday, January 11, 2013 in New York, and honored jewelry designer Ippolita; Stellene Volandes, Style Director of Town & Country magazine; and Matthew A. Runci, Jewelers of America's former President & CEO. The evening was hosted by Lara Spencer of ABC's "Good Morning America" and featured Hollywood and jewelry icons. Check out the highlights below.
GEM AWARDS 2013 HONOREES
Each year, GEM Awards honors a selection of fine jewelry retailers, manufacturers and/or media who meet the stringent criteria to be leaders in their field. The 2013 GEM Awards honorees are:
Lifetime Achievement: MATTHEW A. RUNCI
Matthew A. Runci's career in the jewelry industry spans four decades, during which time he served as CEO of Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America and then as JA's President & CEO. His career is marked by a dedication to responsible business practices, with a strong commitment to improving supply chain transparency and consumer confidence in the fine jewelry industry and its products. His achievements in this realm are vast including: his involvement in the establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme; his role as founding chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council and his support of its efforts to introduce best practices in the industry from mine to retail; and the development of JA's Professional Certification Program and its political action committee, JAPAC.
JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE: STELLENE VOLANDES
Stellene Volandes is Style Director of Town & Country magazine, whose consistent excellence in her fine jewelry and watch reporting has increased consumer awareness of fine jewelry trends and brands. Volandes joined Town & Country as the Jewelry & Accessories Director in 2011. Since becoming the Style Director in March of 2012, Volandes oversees all coverage of jewelry and accessories including the jewelry-rich "Style Spy" and "Sourcebook" sections of the magazine. Prior to her time at Town & Country, she covered fashion and jewelry as Style Editor for Departures magazine, where she conceived "Glitterati," a column dedicated to jewelry trends.
Ippolita's extraordinary design aesthetic is shaping the future of jewelry design. Her commitment to creativity, originality and craftsmanship means that every piece of her jewelry is made by hand. Prior to launching her collection in 1999 at Bergdorf Goodman, Ippolita spent several months developing an exclusive color of gold, whose glowing hue is especially flattering to skin tones. The open-link chains in her earrings and necklaces are formed and soldered by hand, and every gemstone is hand-cut. "I wish to create handcrafted jewelry that women want to wear all the time, that's easy and that makes you feel good," Ippolita says. "Not intimidating, simply transforming."