Events & Awards

8 Things to Know About JCK Las Vegas 2018

Events & AwardsMay 22, 2018

8 Things to Know About JCK Las Vegas 2018

The jewelry trade show will include discussions on blockchain and lab-grown diamonds plus two presentations from a big industry CEO and magic in the mountains.

The 2018 edition of the JCK Las Vegas jewelry trade show kicks off Friday, June 1 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Las Vegas--It always seems a bit unbelievable that it’s time for Vegas again and yet here we are, a little more than a week away from the annual slate of jewelry events in the desert.

JCK Las Vegas is slated to start Friday, June 1 and run through Monday, June 4.

Read on for a list of events scheduled to take place at and around the jewelry trade show.

1. Signet’s new CEO is set to speak.

Signet Jewelers named Gina Drosos its new CEO in July 2017. She succeeded Mark Light to become the jewelry store chain’s first female CEO.

Though she has been on the Signet board since 2012, 2018 will mark her first Las Vegas as Signet’s CEO, and she’s set to make two presentations. 

On Thursday, May 31, the day before JCK Las Vegas opens, Drosos will be one of the speakers at a panel on responsible sourcing. The talk, “Responsible Sourcing and the New Realities,” is set to begin at 4 p.m., with a Q&A session (moderated by this author) including all speakers slated to start around 5:30 p.m.

On June 1, Drosos is slated to be the keynote speaker at JCK/JCK magazine’s first Industry Trends Breakfast in the South Seas Ballroom on level 3 of Mandalay Bay.

The breakfast is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. with networking, followed by the presentation of the Jewelers’ Choice Awards and a look at the first JCK Consumer Trend Report, with Drosos’ keynote presentation following.

Those who wish to attend are asked to email Jill Giambrone at

Calum Scott
2. A chart-topping singer is coming to Vegas for the JFC event.

Jewelers for Children’s annual Facets of Hope dinner is scheduled to take place Sunday, June 3 at Mandalay Bay.

At the after-party, singer Calum Scott, whose cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart, will perform a three-song set sponsored by Bulova.

The English-born singer, who made his breakthrough on “Britain’s Got Talent,” has a relationship with Bulova through the watch brand’s “Tune of Time” project, which shows the creative journeys of emerging artists through series of short videos.

All those attending Facets of Hope are welcome at the after-party. Those who just want to attend the after-party can buy a ticket via JFC for $150.

3. There are two panels on man-made diamonds.

Back in

February, National Jeweler reported that JCK Las Vegas was giving lab-grown diamonds their own section at the jewelry trade show this year. It is located on Bayside, level 1, neighboring bridge jewelry, the Design Center, the  JSA Security Pavilion and the new estate jewelry and watch section.

In addition, there are two seminars on man-made diamonds scheduled to take place, both of which are intended to be educational—not to sway jewelers one way or another on the stones—and are led by attorney Tiffany Stevens, who is the President and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

The first session, “Laboratory-Grown Diamonds: The Legal Dos and Don’ts,” is scheduled to take place Thursday, May 31 from 3 to 3:45 p.m. in Tradewinds C/D on the pool level.

Stevens will discuss jewelers’ responsibilities when it comes to advertising in print and online, how to ensure suppliers are providing proper disclosure, machine testing options and how to talk to customers about man-made diamonds.

The second session on lab-grown diamonds will cover the same ground and is scheduled for Friday, June 1 from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at The Showcase Stage, Bayside on level 1.

The icon for the “Lab-Grown” section of the JCK Las Vegas jewelry trade show, which will house about 30 exhibitors mostly selling loose man-made diamonds. The section will be located on Bayside, Level 1.

4. Rocks the Bowl is returning to Brooklyn Bowl.

Gone are the heady, wave-poolside days of Bruno Mars and Maroon 5.

For the second year in a row, there will be no rockin’ by the beach at Mandalay Bay. Instead, JCK show organizers are heading back to Brooklyn Bowl for the end-of-the-show party. Tickets are required for admission and guests must be 21 and over to enter.

JCK Rocks the Bowl is scheduled for 8 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, June 3. For more information, visit

5. There’s also a session on blockchain.

De Beers, Gübelin Gem Lab and a group of Berkshire Hathaway-owned jewelry companies are all working to track products using blockchain.

But, what is it, how does it work, and why it important to the future of the jewelry industry?

On Friday, June 1, writer and diamond industry expert Edahn Golan will lead a panel discussion dissecting blockchain and featuring Alrosa Head of International Relations Peter Karakchiev; Venus Jewel’s Managing Director Mahair Borhanjoo; Adriaan Olivier, Signet Jewelers’ senior vice president of strategic diamond sourcing; De Beers’ Tom Montgomery, senior vice president of strategic initiatives; and Deepak Gopalakrishna, director of Global Blockchain Projects for BCG Digital Ventures.

The blockchain discussion is scheduled to take place from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. in Tradewinds C/D on the pool level.

Seven Magic Mountains, a large-scale desert art installation by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, opened in May 2016 for a two-year run that has since been extended.

6. There’s still magic in the mountains.

For those overcome with excitement by all the talk of lab-grown diamonds, blockchain and responsible sourcing, there is still a chance to make a special desert escape.

Seven Magic Mountains is an installation by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone that is located in the desert just south of Las Vegas off I-15. The large-scale artwork consists of seven totems of brightly colored boulders stacked more than 30 feet high to “exhibit the presence of color and expression in the desert of the Ivanpah Valley.”

Installed two years ago, the Art Production Fund- and Nevada Art-backed project was originally supposed to be taken down this month but has been extended to run through the end of 2018.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Learn more about it at

If you haven’t seen it yet, take advantage of the extension—it’s not to miss.

For those who prefer an experience with some air conditioning, there’s a museum dedicated to neon within Vegas city limits.

The aptly named Neon Museum is located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North in downtown Las Vegas and houses more than 150 classic neon signs dating from the 1930s to present day.  

Tickets start at $19 for adults and $15 for students, seniors, veterans and Nevada residents. Book in advance on

7. Rapaport talks buying diamonds.

Martin Rapaport’s annual breakfast monologue is scheduled to take place Sunday, June 3 from 8 to 10 a.m. in the South Seas Ballroom on level 3 of Mandalay Bay.

This year’s presentation will be “State of the Diamond Industry—The Buy Side,” focusing on sourcing diamonds and buying better.

It is free and open to all who register. For more information, visit the JCK Las Vegas show website.

To register, go to Rapaport’s website,

8. This is (presumably) the last year for Mandalay Bay.

In 2019, the JCK show will return to its long-time home at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which was just renovated. Coming along with it will be JIS Exchange, which will be held at Mandalay Bay this year after two years at the Flamingo.

In other jewelry trade show news, the trade-only antique jewelry show organized by Emerald Expositions (the company that also owns Couture and the JA New York shows) is staying at the Las Vegas Convention Center after relocating there from the Paris Las Vegas in 2017.

The American Gem Trade Association, which currently holds its Las Vegas GemFair on the lower level of Mandalay Bay with JCK, will move to the convention center with the antique jewelry trade show in 2019.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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