Policies & Issues

Barbara Wheat Named Executive Director of Ethical Metalsmiths

Policies & IssuesMay 26, 2022

Barbara Wheat Named Executive Director of Ethical Metalsmiths

She has nearly 30 years’ experience in the gem and jewelry industry and a background in nonprofit management.

Ethical Metalsmiths has named industry veteran Barbara Wheat its new executive director.
New York—Ethical Metalsmiths has named industry veteran Barbara Wheat its new executive director. 
 
She succeeds jewelry designer and goldsmith Alexandra Hart in the role, and is based in Fort Myers, Florida. 
 
Founded in 2004, Ethical Metalsmiths comprises buyers, jewelers, designers, and suppliers committed to transparent and responsible practices in all sectors of the industry. 
 
Wheat has been a member since 2015. 
 
Her career in the gem and jewelry industry spans nearly three decades, beginning in Bangkok, Thailand as managing director of the Ho Group, publishing magazines covering the Thai gem and jewelry export market. 
 
While she lived in Thailand, she started her own consulting and public relations company, gaining the Thai Gem & Jewelry Traders Association as her main client. 
 
Wheat also worked with the Thai Department of Export Promotion and the Ministry of Commerce to promote the country as a gem and jewelry hub. 
 
She moved to New York in 2005 when the International Colored Gemstone Association appointed her as its executive director; she held the role for eight years. 
 
Wheat then returned to consulting in 2012, opening Gemalytics LLC. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
She also has served as executive vice president of the Natural Color Diamond Association and president of the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences.
 
In 2018, she became the vice president of international relations and business development for the Ho Group, where she helped create the website Gem Legends & Luminaries, featuring prominent figures in the gem and jewelry sector. 
 
Wheat currently is a partner with Joseph Menzie in Gemstone Expeditions, a company that organizes gemstone mine tours around the world. 
 
She has also contributed to many international publications, including Trends & Colours, JQ International, The Jewelry Book, Jewelry Showcase, The New Jeweller, and TNJ Colors.
 
Wheat earned a master’s degree in sustainability management from Columbia University in 2015 and is an accredited gemologist with a diploma from the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences.
 
“The appointment as executive director with Ethical Metalsmiths means so much to me as I’m already a member, and it’s wonderful working with an organization that I already support wholeheartedly,” she said. 
 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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