Events & Awards

Gem Awards Celebrate 20 Years With One Big Happy Party

Events & AwardsMar 22, 2022

Gem Awards Celebrate 20 Years With One Big Happy Party

The annual jewelry industry gala took place Friday night in New York, in person for the first time since 2020.

Lorraine Schwartz heads to the stage to accept the 2022 Gem Award for Jewelry Style. Held Friday night at Cipriani 42nd in New York, the Gem Awards celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. (Photo credit: Bart Gorin)
New York—For the first time since 2020, the Gem Awards, the annual gala likened to the Oscars of the jewelry industry, was held live and everyone was dressed to do more than just impress.

Held Friday night at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York, the 2022 Gem Awards attracted more than 500 guests, including Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connolly, who is starring in the upcoming “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick;” British singer Lily Allen, “Queer Eye” star Antoni Porowski; Tina Knowles, a fashion designer and mother of Beyoncé; and Blake Lively, who made a late red carpet entrance to introduce the evening’s first honoree—Lorraine Schwartz.

Schwartz, a third-generation diamond dealer and jewelry designer, received the Gem Award for Jewelry Style for her years of designing show-stopping jewels that are often the most talked about pieces worn on the red carpet.

A video shown prior to Schwartz’s acceptance speech included plenty of celebrities—Heidi Klum, Pharrell, Kim Kardashian and Tina Knowles among them—but also paid homage to her family.

In the video, Schwartz talked about the support and love she her received from her mother—the chicest woman she’s ever known, she said—and her father—who taught her the diamond business—as well as her sister, Ofira, who is also a jewelry designer and attended the Gem Awards.

The video also detailed Schwartz’s efforts to welcome and highlight the work of Black and Brown designers through the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, or EDDI, organized in concert with the Natural Diamond Council.

The industry’s ongoing efforts to diversify were evident on Friday night, as the Gem Awards welcomed what was undoubtedly the most diverse crowd in its 20-year history and the most diverse slate of winners, with Black women taking home two of the evening’s three live awards.

“I am really so grateful to the industry,” Schwartz said on stage after accepting her award from Lively. “We really do have a lot to say, and we can do so much for the future generation.”

Gem Award for Jewelry Style winner Lorraine Schwartz with presenter Blake Lively, who wore an incredible suite of pieces designed by Schwartz at Friday night’s Gem Awards (Photo credit: Bart Gorin)
Gem Award for Jewelry Style winner Lorraine Schwartz with presenter Blake Lively, who wore an incredible suite of pieces designed by Schwartz at Friday night’s Gem Awards (Photo credit: Bart Gorin)

While Schwartz’s honor was announced prior to the gala, the winners of three other awards—the Gem Award for Media Excellence, Retail Excellence and Jewelry Design—were unveiled live on Friday night.

Melanie Grant won the Media Excellence Award, beating out Daisy Shaw-Ellis and Annabel Davidson.

A journalist with more than two decades of experience, Grant is currently the luxury and photo editor at The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, the author of a book on jewelry as art titled “Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewelry,” a frequent guest lecturer, and curator of “Brilliant & Black: A Jewelry Renaissance,” an exhibition and sale highlighting the work of Black jewelry designers held at Sotheby’s in fall 2021.

The Gem Award for Retail Excellence went to Marissa Collections, which topped Muse and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Jay Hartington, who brought fine jewelry into the clothing store parents Marissa and Burt Hartington opened in 1975, accepted the award on behalf of the Palm Beach and Naples, Florida retailer.

The final, and perhaps most anticipated, live award of the night was the Gem Award for Jewelry Design.

The winner was Lauren Harwell Godfrey, of Harwell Godfrey, who beat out fellow For Future Reference-represented designer Brent Neale Winston and Foundrae’s Beth Bugdaycay.


Friday night’s celebration capped off with the presentation of the Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement to longtime De Beers executive Stephen Lussier, who is retiring this spring after a 37-year career marketing diamonds at De Beers.

Welcomed on stage by fellow De Beers executive and friend Charles Stanley, Lussier evoked President John F. Kennedy when he brought up “passing the torch,” meaning, in his case, handing over responsibility for diamond marketing to the next generation at De Beers. 

“Consumers want to associate with the categories of products and brands that share their values,” Lussier said on stage. “That to me is the new part of the diamond dream.”

 Related stories will be right here … 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

CrimeOct 03, 2022
Delaware Jeweler Viciously Attacked During Robbery

The jeweler was left in critical condition after a suspect pistol-whipped and beat him before stealing jewelry out of the display cases.

CollectionsOct 03, 2022
Vrai, Brides Magazine Partner on Lab-Grown Diamond Collection

Readers are taking a “strong interest” in lab-grown jewelry, said Brides’ editorial director.

WatchesOct 03, 2022
‘Unicorn’ Cartier Cheich Watch Sells for $1.1M

One of only four in existence, it more than doubled its pre-sale estimate at the Sotheby’s Paris auction.

Brought to you by
Sarine’s Second Generation AI-Based Diamond Grading

The diamond industry is dramatically evolving from manual to AI-based 4Cs grading. Stay up-to-date and discover the new AI-powered advances.

IndependentsOct 03, 2022
Day’s Jewelers Names New VP of Marketing

Long-time employee Nikia Levesque takes on the role as former owner Jeff Corey retires.

Weekly QuizSep 29, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
AuctionsSep 30, 2022
Red Diamond Earns $1.8M at Auction

The final hammer price blew the pre-sale estimate out of the water.

EditorsSep 30, 2022
The Best of Betty White’s Jewelry Sold at Auction

Michelle Graff recaps the cats, fortune cookies, and charm bracelets that caught her eye while covering the late actress’ estate sale.

Brought to you by
6 Steps to Start a Dynamic Company Culture

Learn how to better serve your employees, customers and community by having a dynamic and supportive company culture.

Policies & IssuesSep 30, 2022
Voting Is Open for the Fairmined 100 Challenge’s Best Collection

The winners, picked by a group of judges and voted as the public’s favorite, will be announced in a webinar on Oct. 11.

CollectionsSep 30, 2022
Piece of the Week: Fewer Finer’s ‘Family Bracelet’

The engravable piece is a perfect family heirloom.

GradingSep 30, 2022
GSI India Names Ramit Kapur Managing Director

Kapur has spent nearly two decades working in the gemological labs sector of the jewelry industry.

Supplier BulletinSep 29, 2022
How to Create an Engaging Experience and a Sparkling Reputation

Sponsored by Synchrony

SourcingSep 29, 2022
Q&A: Constantin Wild Celebrates 175 Years in the Colored Stone Business

The family business’ fourth-generation eponymous owner reflects on the milestone and the market today.

AuctionsSep 29, 2022
See the Top Lots in Christie’s Upcoming Rare Watch Sale

According to Christie’s, the auction is its most important single-owner watch collection ever.

CollectionsSep 29, 2022
Trove Has a New Proposal: Ring Boxes

The jewelry box brand is expanding with both single and double ring boxes in red, mint green, and white.

SourcingSep 29, 2022
AGTA Names Jennifer Heebner Editor-in-Chief of its Publications

The association has also hired a new marketing manager and announced two staff transitions.

Policies & IssuesSep 29, 2022
JA Members Return to Capitol Hill to Voice Jewelers’ Concerns

The topics up for discussion with lawmakers included inflation, rising interest rates, hiring challenges, and crime.

AuctionsSep 28, 2022
The 18-Carat ‘Fortune Pink’ Diamond Could Sell for $35M

The pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond will lead the Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on Nov. 8.

SurveysSep 28, 2022
Consumer Confidence Rises in September

U.S. consumer confidence rose for the second consecutive month as gas prices fell.

MajorsSep 28, 2022
Artistry’s 2023 Catalog Is Out Now

The jewelry catalog features an updated layout and 160 pages of product.

MajorsSep 28, 2022
JFC’s 2022 ‘Hope for the Holidays’ Program Is an Adorable Menagerie

There are three designs to choose from this year, all featuring animals drawn by kids who have had wishes granted through Make-A-Wish.

AuctionsSep 27, 2022
In Betty White’s Blockbuster Estate Sale, Jewelry Held Its Own

Fine jewelry comprised three of the auction’s top 10 lots, though it could not top her director’s chair or scripts from “The Golden Girls.”

CrimeSep 27, 2022
3 Suspects in Beverly Hills Smash-and-Grab Robbery Arrested

A total of four suspects are now in custody with police still on the lookout for the remaining two.

ColumnistsSep 27, 2022
Creative Connecting: Fun Ideas for Holiday 2022 In-Store Events

From a “whodunnit” murder mystery to a permanent jewelry party, Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams share a wealth of suggestions.

MajorsSep 27, 2022
Stuller Releases 2 Updated Catalogs Ahead of the Holiday Season

“Mountings 2023-2024” and “Diamonds & Gemstones 2023-2024” offer a vast selection of options to create custom pieces.

IndependentsSep 26, 2022
Roberson’s Fine Jewelry to Close After 42 Years

The store’s liquidation sale will showcase the mix of classic and unique jewels it’s known for stocking.

CollectionsSep 26, 2022
Go ‘Inside the Dream’ of Bulgari Via a New Documentary on Amazon Prime

It follows Creative Director Lucia Silvestri as she crafts the brand’s high jewelry collections.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy