Events & Awards

Here Are the Winners of BIJC’s Inaugural ‘Rock the Jewels’ Awards

Events & AwardsNov 21, 2023

Here Are the Winners of BIJC’s Inaugural ‘Rock the Jewels’ Awards

The organization recognized outstanding industry players at its celebratory event.

2023 Rock the Jewels Awards winners
The winners of the 2023 Rock the Jewels Awards were, from top left, Jeffery Bolling, recipient of the BIJC Lifetime Achievement Award; Simone I. Smith, recipient of the “Rock the Jewels” Award; Sarin Bachmann representing JCK, winner of the “Shining Together” Award – Company; Jessenia Landrum, winner of the “Rising Star” Award; Grace Barretti, winner of the “Behind the Shine” Award; and Kecia Caffie, winner of the “Shining Together” Award – Individual.
Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication to correct Kecia Caffie’s title. She is president of Zales, a Signet-owned company.

New York—The Black In Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) has announced the winners of its first “Rock the Jewels” Awards, which were presented last week at its inaugural Rock the Jewels event. 

The event took place at Elise Rooftop in Manhattan during New York City Jewelry Week and celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Here are the winners.

Jeffery Bolling, district manager of Signet Jewelers, was honored with the BIJC Lifetime Achievement Award, which celebrates a lifetime dedicated to excellence and innovation.

Bolling was chosen for this honor for his “exceptional” contributions to the industry over the past 30 years, BIJC said.

After his service in the U.S. Army in 1986, Bolling began a career in the jewelry industry that spanned retail sales, jewelry design, and founding his store, Jeffery B Jewelers, in Denver, Colorado. 

The organization said Bolling was a trailblazer who has “left an indelible mark on the industry,” noting that he continues to foster inclusivity and pave the way for coming generations. 

“Bolling's legacy continues to inspire and uplift, setting the standard for excellence in our industry,” BIJC said. 

Grace Barretti, senior marketing manager at Greenwich St. Jewelers, received the “Behind the Shine” Award for her contributions behind the scenes in support of BIJC. 

Barretti has participated in the BIJC Together By Design competition for the past two years and has served as a key member of the BIJC communications team since March 2022. 

The organization said her creativity and tenacity have been instrumental in bringing BIJC's mission to life. 

JCK received the “Shining Together” Award – Company for its uplifting and inclusive initiatives within the industry. 

JCK’s continuous support of BIJC, including providing access and opportunities to Black jewelry and gem professionals through its JCK Las Vegas shows, has been transformative, BIJC said. 

Kecia Caffie, president of Signet-owned Zales, received the “Shining Together” Award – Individual for her commitment to supporting BIJC and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

BIJC said Caffie played a pivotal role in creating initiatives such as the Banter Designer Competition and the Zales Designer Competition. 

Caffie has also supported BIJC through the Black Lives Matter and Juneteenth pendants.

“Her participation in the IDEA Panel on Diversity further underscores her dedication to making a positive impact in the industry,” the organization said.

The BIJC "Rock the Jewels" Award was given to Simone I. Smith, a designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and cancer survivor. 

“Simone’s exceptional contributions to the jewelry industry, her resilience, philanthropic endeavors, and unwavering support of the Black community have earned her this prestigious award,” BIJC said. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

Up-and-coming designer Jessenia Landrum was recognized with the “Rising Star” Award, acknowledging her as a designer “making waves in the industry” with her brand, Jevela, which includes designs inspired by a transformative three-month backpacking journey through Southeast Asia. 

Landrum was also part of NDC’s Emerging Designers Diamonds Initiative.

New York City Jewelry Week’s “Here We Are” Awards also were presented at Rock the Jewels.

The “Exhibition” Award went to Angely Martinez; the “Emerging Entrepreneur Award NYC” was presented to Ariana Embirikos, founder of Embirikos; and the “Emerging Entrepreneur Award USA” was presented to Tiffany Vanderhoop, founder of Huckleberry Woman. 

“As we reflect on the last three years of BIJC’s existence, we can’t help but marvel at the milestones we’ve achieved together,” said BIJC President Annie Doresca.

“The 50th anniversary of hip-hop served as the perfect backdrop to celebrate the cultural phenomenon but also to honor BIJC's unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the jewelry industry. That is precisely what the award winners reflect, and we are so proud of the impact each of them have made.” 

For more information about the organization and its initiatives, please visit BIJC’s website

The Latest

De Beers CEO Al Cook
EditorsJun 17, 2024
Q&A: Al Cook on the Future of De Beers

The De Beers CEO discussed the Anglo American situation, natural diamond marketing, and why the future of lab-grown diamonds is technology.

Thomas Markle Jewelers interior
IndependentsJun 17, 2024
Thomas Markle Jewelers to Relocate

The Houston-based family jeweler is relocating its flagship just across the street.

Bernd Munsteiner
SourcingJun 17, 2024
Fantasy Cut Inventor Bernd Munsteiner Dies at 81

Known to many as the “Picasso of gems" who modernized the gem cutting field, he is remembered by his family as going through life with open eyes.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Weekly QuizJun 13, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

Charles & Colvard moissanite ring
GradingJun 12, 2024
IGI to Grade Charles & Colvard Moissanite

The partnership follows the launch of the jewelry company’s B2B moissanite platform.

Bruce Cleaver
SourcingJun 12, 2024
Bruce Cleaver Is Gemfields’ New Chair

The former De Beers CEO will step into the role next month.

Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingJun 12, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

Edward Arthur Jewelers logo
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Edward Arthur Jewelers to Close After 53 Years

Owner Randy Brooks, whose brother opened the Maryland jewelry store in 1971, is retiring.

Greenwich St jewelers pride raffle
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Greenwich St. Jewelers Is Hosting a Pride Month Raffle

Tickets to win a ring are for sale until June 13, with proceeds going to a trans care nonprofit.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsJun 11, 2024
Vegas Musings: Equal Parts Noise and Inspiration

Fresh off Jewelry Market Week 2024, Peter Smith separates the positive—retail and product innovation—from the positively annoying.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsJun 10, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Van Cleef & Arpels 1929 tie necklace
AuctionsJun 10, 2024
Van Cleef & Arpels Necklace From 1929 Sells for $3.6M at Auction

The rare piece went home with a Sotheby’s executive.

Woman shopping
SurveysJun 10, 2024
Consumer Confidence Rises in May Despite Anxiety About the Future

Expectations of a recession rose for the second consecutive month.

Sotheby’s watch executives Sam Hines and Geoff Hess
WatchesJun 10, 2024
Sotheby’s Makes Changes at Top of Watch Division

Sam Hines returns to the auction house as chairman, watches, while Geoff Hess moves up to the role of global head of watches.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingJun 10, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Seymour Holtzman
IndependentsJun 07, 2024
Seymour Holtzman of CD Peacock Dies at 88

He was remembered by loved ones as “an authentic, original American entrepreneur.”

45 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 07, 2024
Phillips to Auction 45-Carat Yellow Diamond

The stone features rare step-cut faceting and is estimated to sell for up to $3.5 million.

Tabayer Oera ‘Unity’ Ring
CollectionsJun 07, 2024
Piece of the Week: Tabayer’s Oera ‘Unity’ Ring

Crafted in Fairmined gold with a rainbow of agate, the ring is a joyful symbol of inclusivity, diversity, and solidarity.


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