Events & Awards

JCK Industry Fund Announces Grant Recipients

Events & AwardsMar 17, 2023

JCK Industry Fund Announces Grant Recipients

Here’s what the nine chosen organizations plan to do with the funds.

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The JCK Industry Fund Committee has announced the recipients of its annual grants, totaling $340,000.
Norwalk, Conn.—The JCK Industry Fund Committee has announced the recipients of its annual grants.

The $340,000 in funds will be shared with the following nine organizations.

The Black in Jewelry Coalition has received a grant to help increase diversity in the jewelry industry, provide funds for emerging Black designers, and fund travel for BIJC board members to attend events and trade shows.

Diamonds Do Good will use its funds to bolster consumer confidence through paid social media content and partner-sponsored posts that highlight diamonds’ positive impact on local communities.

Gem Legacy aims to create diverse and inclusive opportunities for children of small-scale artisanal colored gem mining communities. Its grant will go toward building another classroom at the Kitarini Primary School in Tanzania a school attended by local miners’ children, and provide desks, chairs, and electricity.

Jewelers of America, in partnership with BIJC, is planning to launch a new initiative to support diverse business owners in the jewelry industry.

The Emerging Jewelers Accelerator Program will provide these entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to launch or grow their businesses, including a support network.

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance will put its grant toward the digital edition of its “Manual of Jewelry Security,” making the guide available to more people while also offering a sustainable choice compared to the printed version. The group also will create a training video on loss prevention.

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee will use its grant to promote transparency and sustainability in the jewelry industry. The organization is currently working on suggesting revisions to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides.”

The grant also will help JVC update its consumer-facing “Buying Gemstones and Jewels with Confidence” guide.

MJSA will put its grant toward creating a “Why I Make Jewelry” promotional campaign, hoping to reach aspiring bench jewelers.

The campaign is geared toward students and professionals looking for a career change, and particularly those who are underrepresented in the industry.

“By offering new jewelry career paths to those who may have been unaware of them previously, the campaign—part of the MJSA Mentor & Apprenticeship Program—hopes to build a pool of prospective jewelers that will help the industry to advance and thrive,” said JCK.

Mercury Free Mining’s grant will further its goal of ending the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The funds also will help to advance its research and testing program.

The Women’s Jewelry Association will put its portion of the funds toward raising awareness around disability inclusion in the watch and jewelry industries. 

It also will help fund its second annual “Generating Community Impact in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Breakfast” event, held during JCK Las Vegas. 

The keynote presentation will cover a variety of topics, including designing, selling, and marketing jewelry and timepieces for people with disabilities; the business opportunities surrounding adaptive jewelry; best practices for hiring people with disabilities; and advice for shaping a business’ DE&I strategy.  

 Related stories will be right here … 

“For over 25 years, we have proudly supported the initiatives and important missions of esteemed organizations whose work benefits our industry, addressing commerce, development, diversity, equity and inclusions, sustainability, and more,” said Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of RX Jewelry Group and JCK Industry Fund committee chair.

The grants are funded mainly by JCK, but also by additional industry support via donations.

“We are deeply grateful to the JCK community that contributed to the fund to grow the $250,000 JCK donates into a larger sum once again this year and congratulate the well-deserved 2023 grant recipients.”

Since its founding in 1997, the fund has awarded more than $7 million toward program grants.

Its mission is to support the jewelry industry by awarding grants to organizations that can significantly improve the industry.

The committee that chose the winners was comprised of a number of industry leaders, including Bachmann; John Green, president and CEO of Lux Bond & Green; Michael Lerche, president of Goldstar Jewellery LLC; Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian; and Sam Sandberg, chairman of A.Jaffe.

For more information or to donate, visit the JCK website.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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