It’s in the bag: Temple Beth-El fundraiser sells purses, accessories for good …

September 1, 2014 Posted by admin

MUNSTER | Finding bargains on great accessories, such as purses and jewelry, now ranks among the most popular national pastimes, and has even spurred competitions among consumers to find the best at the lowest price.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9, The Original Smart Chicks and Old Bags fundraiser at Temple Beth-El brings together “a fabulous selection of preowned and gently worn purses and vintage jewelry for auction and sale,” says Lynn Mesirow, spokeswoman for the sponsoring Temple Beth-El Sisterhood.

This fifth annual event at Temple Beth-El, 10001 Columbia Ave., offers fun for women, those “Smart Chicks”, and men, who want to purchase something extravagant at a reasonable price for their loved ones, Mesirow says. There may also be briefcases available.

Designer and other distinctive purses will be auctioned off during the event with the witty assistance of auctioneer Jason Horn.

Michael Shaykin, “The Gold Man,” will be on hand to buy broken gold, gold pieces and gold jewelry.

“If you’re not wearing it, sell it!” Mesirow says.

Participants also can enjoy complimentary coffee and home-baked desserts while they browse and buy. All of this for just $3 a ticket, she says.

But hurry, Mesirow says. Only 200 tickets to the event will be sold and more than half already have been purchased.

Smart Chicks and Old Bags tickets can be purchased at the Temple Beth-El office, located immediately south of Fitness Pointe. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Temple Beth-El Sisterhood is an organization of women of the synagogue that provides a number of programs and social services for the congregation and the community.

The congregational activities include providing childcare for young families during services, donating to the Religious School art program and providing gifts for B’nai Mitzvah students.

The sisterhood also has purchased clothing and blankets for premature infants in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit of Methodist Hospitals and supported the Catherine McAuley Clinic in Hammond to help women who cannot afford medical care. Proceeds from the Original Smart Chicks and Old Bags fundraiser benefit the sisterhood’s programs.

For more information about tickets, call (219) 934-9600.

Article source: http://www.nwitimes.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/it-s-in-the-bag-temple-beth-el-fundraiser-sells/article_b96473d5-7773-5f53-9bc5-fd2c990820a3.html

Stolen jewelry creates bad blood between neighbors

August 31, 2014 Posted by admin

SHEBOYGAN (WITI) — A typical case of neighbors not getting along. But after years of bad blood, things take a turn for the worse.

“One of the residents of Bains trailer park came home one day she was gone at a conference and she found that quite a bit of her jewelry was stolen,” said Sheboygan County Assistant District Attorney, Alexandra Smathers.

The jewelry stolen was not just trivial trinkets either, FOX6 News is told the jewelry was valued at close to $6,000 dollars.

“All 14 carat gold, very sentimental value to this woman,” said Smathers.

The woman lives next door to the park manager. When she found her jewelry gone, she pointed her finger at the manager’s step-son, 44-year-old Dutcher Matyjasik.

“He has a history of stealing from individuals at this Bains trailer park so that was immediately who she thought it was,” said Smathers.

Officers in the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department were able to search a website that tracks people who sell or pawn property.

“When they looked on this site they saw several different transactions that were conducted by the defendant by Dutcher and all of it was jewelry taken by from this woman’s trailer park,” said Smathers.

According to the criminal complaint, Matyjasik had sold the pieces to two Milwaukee area stores, and had received close $1,000 in return. Even though the mystery appeared to be solved, it still wasn’t a happy ending for the woman whose jewelry it was.

“Officers weren’t able to recover the jewelry because the jewelry shops had already melted down the items for gold,” Smathers said.

But Matyjasik appears to have helped build the case against himself, though perhaps by accident.

“He had a visit from his mother and then also called his mother from the jail all of this was recorded he was informed beforehand that all of this was recorded and he admitted in the jail calls and during his meeting with his mother that he did sell the items,” Said Smathers.

The criminal complaint says Matyjasik claims to have found the jewelry. That’s why he’s being charged with receiving stolen property. That’s a felony, and if convicted, he could spend up to 7 1/2 years in prison.

Article source: http://fox6now.com/2014/08/28/stolen-jewelry-creates-bad-blood-between-neighbors/

With Intensive Swim Lessons, a Man Attacks His Fear of Water

August 30, 2014 Posted by admin

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Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/nyregion/with-intensive-swim-lessons-a-man-attacks-his-fear-of-water.html

Rare items from Pennsylvania to be auctioned off this weekend in Lancaster …

August 29, 2014 Posted by admin

 

DENVER, Pa. (WPMT)-Diamond jewelry, designer watches, rare coins – hundreds of items that have been unclaimed for years will soon be up for bid at an auction conducted by Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA, State Treasurer Rob McCord announced today.

It is part of Treasury’s ongoing effort to maximize revenues to the Commonwealth from property that is unlikely to be claimed.

“Our ongoing partnership with Morphy Auctions has proved incredibly valuable, with items from the Pennsylvania Treasury fetching $459,161 over five separate auctions,” Treasurer McCord said. “Valuable not only for the Commonwealth, because these proceeds help generate revenue for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians, but also valuable for the property owner or heir should they ever come forward because they will be entitled to the proceeds the item earned at auction.”

Morphy Auctions will include 554 items in a fine and decorative arts auction on Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 31. Notable items to be sold include a platinum filigree ring with diamonds, an eagle gold piece dated 1912, a Tiffany Co. gold and platinum diamond-encrusted crescent pin, and a 1968 Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan rookie card.

All of the items included in the sale have been unclaimed for more than three years and have undergone the required due diligence and advertising, which makes them eligible for auction under Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law.

“Treasury must auction the oldest tangible items to make way for the new items we receive each year,” Treasurer McCord said. “This partnership leaves the evaluation, pricing and sale of these items to Morphy Auctions, a Pennsylvania auction house with a worldwide customer base and impeccable reputation, and allows us to focus on our core mission of returning unclaimed property to the rightful owner or heir.”

Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property receives tangible items each year from police departments, banks and credit unions, hospitals, nursing homes, educational facilities, correctional institutions, and other holders. These items often include jewelry, collectible coins, and medals, among other items, which are stored in the department’s vault.

Treasury undertakes a number of due diligence measures to identify the rightful owner of property in its possession, including letters and advertising. If after three years those numerous attempts to locate the owner prove unsuccessful, Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law authorizes Treasury to appraise the items and sell them to the highest bidder. Proceeds of the auction are then maintained in perpetuity for the owner or heirs to claim.

Since 2001, Treasury has also sold tangible unclaimed property via its eBay auction site, which has generated more than $5 million in sales for the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania was the first state to have a continuous eBay unclaimed property auction.

To learn more about the unclaimed property program, visit www.patreasury.gov.

For more information on Morphy Auctions or the upcoming auction, including live bidding online, visit www.morphyauctions.com.

 

Article source: http://fox43.com/2014/08/28/rare-items-from-pennsylvania-to-be-auctioned-off-this-weekend-in-lancaster-county/

Five Steps to Get the Most Money Selling Your Jewelry

August 28, 2014 Posted by admin

One of the most common ways to make money selling gold or silver is through jewelry. It’s one of those items that accumulates over time. Sometimes, the jewelry goes out of fashion, or an earring gets lost. Whatever your reason for selling, if you want to get the most money for your jewelry, just follow these simple steps.

1. Research Your Jewelry

The first step in getting the most for your jewelry is knowing what it is that you have. Sometimes items are handed down to you with a colorful family tale. Your great aunt Beatrice may have been telling you what she thought was the truth when she said that was a genuine Art Deco white gold and diamond ring. Not to say anything bad about aunt Beatrice, but sometimes what one thinks is the truth, isn’t. Especially when it comes to family heirlooms.

So do your research. Test the metal to make sure it’s genuine gold. This can be done cheaply and easily. You can buy a metal test online for less than $20. In addition to testing, find out everything you can about the piece. You will typically find stamps on jewelry that indicate the brand, metal purity, and even the age. All of this will help you determine its value more accurately.

2. Find a Buyer

Many gold buyers have little experience properly evaluating jewelry, and will simply quote you the price of gold, not taking into consideration the value of the gemstones. A good buyer should weigh the jewelry in front of you. Then they should be able to explain how much gold or silver is in the piece by subtracting the estimated weight of the stones—or anything else not made of gold or silver. They should tell you how much the stones are worth, if anything. And finally, they should know if there is any intrinsic value or collectibility to the piece. Good buyers are well established and have a long history of buying jewelry.

3. Know the Price of Gold and Silver

The more precious metal in the jewelry, the more the piece is worth. The current price of gold or silver is known as the spot price. No gold buyer is going to pay you the spot gold price. They will pay you the melt price—what it costs to melt the precious metal down to its purest form. And each gold buyer will take a small percentage as a commission. This commission and their ability to accurately estimate the jewelry’s value is why you will see evaluations of the same piece vary from buyer to buyer. It’s why you should do your homework and research buyers.

4. Be Realistic

It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your jewelry, especially if it has sentimental value to you. You need to understand that you’re not going to get retail value for your jewelry. If you’re unwilling to take anything less than retail for your jewelry, then maybe you’re not ready to let go of it yet. And that’s OK. It’s better to just be honest and wait until you are ready. Trying to shop around and get a price that’s not realistic will simply frustrate you.

5. How Buyers Make Money

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to get out there. Be sure to ask for a free evaluation and don’t let anyone pressure you into selling. Some businesses try to pay you more (and make less for themselves), but make up the difference in volume. Others will attempt to pay you less and make more on fewer transactions. Bellevue Rare Coins prefers the first approach.

Bellevue Rare Coins specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business located in Bellevue and Lynnwood. We also buy and sell silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.

Did you like this post? Share it, +1 on Google+, or Like on Facebook.

Bellevue Rare Coins | Located at 10541 NE 4th St, Bellevue, WA. | Phone: 425-454-1283. | http://bellevuerarecoins.com.

Article source: http://www.king5.com/story/life/shopping/gold-coins/2014/08/26/money-selling-jewelry-gold-buyers-bellevue-rare-coins/14596569/

Bensalem Man, Uncle, Stole Jewelry from Montgomery Twp. Home, Where They …

August 27, 2014 Posted by admin

A Bensalem man faces felony charges of theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy to commit theft after he allegedly conspired with his uncle to steal and sell more than $2,375 in stolen jewelry, taken from a Montgomery Township home where they were hired as painters, police said.

Michael Romano Jr., is free on $10,000 unsecured bail, and has a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 8 before District Judge Andrea Duffy, according to court records.

Romano’s uncle, James Wertz, 40, of Philadelphia, faces the same charges, but his case remains inactive, per court records.

On May 31, a theft of jewelry was reported by a resident on the 3000 block of Elizabeth’s Court, police said. The theft occurred between May 27 and May 30, and the resident was not home, due to extensive work being done to the interior of the home, including painting and modification of a fire suppression system, police said.

The resident told police that two pieces of jewelry were taken from her jewelry box in her bedroom: a princess cut, 14-karat, yellow gold, designer diamond ring, valued at $2,375, and a 14-karat gold rope chain, police said.

Police interviewed Romano Jr. on June 17, who worked at the home as a painter, police said, along with Wertz.

Romano was told he was free to leave at any time and did not have to answer questions, police said.

Romano made a statement to officers that they knew to be false, police said. When confronted with the false statement, Romano allegedly said he sold the two pieces of jewelry, police said. He told police Wertz stole the jewelry and asked him to sell it at a pawn shop, police said.

Romano Jr. allegedly sold the jewelry on May 28 at Philly Gold and Diamonds in Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, police said. He told police Wertz was with him when the jewelry was sold.

Romano told police he allegedly received $175 for the jewelry, which he gave to Wertz, police said. In turn, Wertz allegedly gave Romano $25 for the transaction, police said.

Police then interviewed Wertz, who was told he was not under arrest and could leave at any time. Wertz denied involvement in the theft, police said. During the interview, Wertz was asked if he had ever pawned jewelry at Philly Gold and Diamonds, or if he had been present when any jewelry was sold at that location, police said. Wertz then abruptly stood up, and said, “I want to leave,” and then left the station, police said.

On June 19, officers visited the pawn shop and obtained paperwork, which indicated Romano Jr. sold a gold chain and ring for $175 on May 28, police said. Police took possession of the chain and ring.

The alleged victim identified the jewelry as the items stolen from her home, police said.

Article source: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/bensalem-man-uncle-stole-jewelry-from-montgomer

Bensalem Man, Uncle, Stole Jewelry from Montgomery Twp. Home, Where They …

August 27, 2014 Posted by admin

A Bensalem man faces felony charges of theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy to commit theft after he allegedly conspired with his uncle to steal and sell more than $2,375 in stolen jewelry, taken from a Montgomery Township home where they were hired as painters, police said.

Michael Romano Jr., is free on $10,000 unsecured bail, and has a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 8 before District Judge Andrea Duffy, according to court records.

Romano’s uncle, James Wertz, 40, of Philadelphia, faces the same charges, but his case remains inactive, per court records.

On May 31, a theft of jewelry was reported by a resident on the 3000 block of Elizabeth’s Court, police said. The theft occurred between May 27 and May 30, and the resident was not home, due to extensive work being done to the interior of the home, including painting and modification of a fire suppression system, police said.

The resident told police that two pieces of jewelry were taken from her jewelry box in her bedroom: a princess cut, 14-karat, yellow gold, designer diamond ring, valued at $2,375, and a 14-karat gold rope chain, police said.

Police interviewed Romano Jr. on June 17, who worked at the home as a painter, police said, along with Wertz.

Romano was told he was free to leave at any time and did not have to answer questions, police said.

Romano made a statement to officers that they knew to be false, police said. When confronted with the false statement, Romano allegedly said he sold the two pieces of jewelry, police said. He told police Wertz stole the jewelry and asked him to sell it at a pawn shop, police said.

Romano Jr. allegedly sold the jewelry on May 28 at Philly Gold and Diamonds in Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, police said. He told police Wertz was with him when the jewelry was sold.

Romano told police he allegedly received $175 for the jewelry, which he gave to Wertz, police said. In turn, Wertz allegedly gave Romano $25 for the transaction, police said.

Police then interviewed Wertz, who was told he was not under arrest and could leave at any time. Wertz denied involvement in the theft, police said. During the interview, Wertz was asked if he had ever pawned jewelry at Philly Gold and Diamonds, or if he had been present when any jewelry was sold at that location, police said. Wertz then abruptly stood up, and said, “I want to leave,” and then left the station, police said.

On June 19, officers visited the pawn shop and obtained paperwork, which indicated Romano Jr. sold a gold chain and ring for $175 on May 28, police said. Police took possession of the chain and ring.

The alleged victim identified the jewelry as the items stolen from her home, police said.

Article source: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/bensalem-man-uncle-stole-jewelry-from-montgomer

Five Steps to Get the Most Money Selling Your Jewelry

August 25, 2014 Posted by admin

One of the most common ways to make money selling gold or silver is through jewelry. It’s one of those items that accumulates over time. Sometimes, the jewelry goes out of fashion, or an earring gets lost. Whatever your reason for selling, if you want to get the most money for your jewelry, just follow these simple steps.

1. Research Your Jewelry
The first step in getting the most for your jewelry is knowing what it is that you have. Sometimes items are handed down to you with a colorful family tale. Your great aunt Beatrice may have been telling you what she thought was the truth when she said that was a genuine Art Deco white gold and diamond ring. Not to say anything bad about aunt Beatrice, but sometimes what one thinks is the truth, isn’t. Especially when it comes to family heirlooms.
So do your research. Test the metal to make sure it’s genuine gold. This can be done cheaply and easily. You can buy a metal test online for less than $20. In addition to testing, find out everything you can about the piece. You will typically find stamps on jewelry that indicate the brand, metal purity, and even the age. All of this will help you determine its value more accurately.

2. Find a Buyer
Many gold buyers have little experience properly evaluating jewelry, and will simply quote you the price of gold, not taking into consideration the value of the gemstones. A good buyer should weigh the jewelry in front of you. Then they should be able to explain how much gold or silver is in the piece by subtracting the estimated weight of the stones—or anything else not made of gold or silver. They should tell you how much the stones are worth, if anything. And finally, they should know if there is any intrinsic value or collectibility to the piece. Good buyers are well established and have a long history of buying jewelry.

3. Know the Price of Gold and Silver
The more precious metal in the jewelry, the more the piece is worth. The current price of gold or silver is known as the spot price. No gold buyer is going to pay you the spot gold price. They will pay you the melt price—what it costs to melt the precious metal down to its purest form. And each gold buyer will take a small percentage as a commission. This commission and their ability to accurately estimate the jewelry’s value is why you will see evaluations of the same piece vary from buyer to buyer.  It’s why you should do your homework and research buyers. 

4. Be Realistic
It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your jewelry, especially if it has sentimental value to you. You need to understand that you’re not going to get retail value for your jewelry. If you’re unwilling to take anything less than retail for your jewelry, then maybe you’re not ready to let go of it yet. And that’s OK. It’s better to just be honest and wait until you are ready. Trying to shop around and get a price that’s not realistic will simply frustrate you.

5. How Buyers Make Money
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to get out there. Be sure to ask for a free evaluation and don’t let anyone pressure you into selling. Some businesses try to pay you more (and make less for themselves), but make up the difference in volume. Others will attempt to pay you less and make more on fewer transactions. Bellevue Rare Coins prefers the first approach.

Bellevue Rare Coins specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business located in Bellevue and Lynnwood. We also buy and sell silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation. 
Did you like this post? Share it, +1 on Google+, or Like on Facebook.

Article source: http://www.kirotv.com/news/lifestyles/shopping/five-steps-get-most-money-selling-your-jewelry/ng8hY/

Vineland Police for Aug. 24

August 24, 2014 Posted by admin

• Rafael Valentin, 48, of the 300 block of North Eighth Street was arrested Friday on charges of burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. Police were dispatched to St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church on the 100 block of West Wood Street after an anonymous caller reported someone walked behind the church. Police found Valentin in a shed behind the church. The shed had been forced open by Valentin, using a screwdriver, police said. Nothing was stolen from the shed, and Valentin told police he he was going to sleep in it until the morning. Once morning came, he planned to steal a piece of lawn equipment and sell it, he told police. Valentin, who also was sought in Atlantic County, was turned over to Cumberland County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

• Three men were charged with drug possession Aug. 16 after police found a bag of suspected cocaine in a vehicle that crashed early that morning near South Brewster Road and Franklin Drive. The men are Darious E. Negron, 23, of the 2700 block of East Chestnut Avenue; Isaiah S. Cisrow, 24, of the 800 block of East Chestnut Avenue; and Michael Cisrow, 22, of the first block of Suncrest Avenue, Bridgeton.

• Christina L. Rose, 24, of Laurel Springs was arrested about 4 p.m. Saturday and charged with shoplifting at Walmart on West Landis Avenue. Police said she stole four packages of hair dye, one package of eye makeup, three containers of lip gloss, one container of nail enamel, two pairs of women’s shorts, a gold key ring and a set of razor blades. A store loss prevention employee tried to stop Rose, but she fled in her vehicle. Police located Rose and arrested her.

• A 2001 Gas Gas brand yellow motorcycle, valued at $2,500, was reported stolen Thursday from the bed of a pickup truck in the Hampton Inn parking lot on the 2100 block of West Landis Avenue. The thief cut nylon straps holding the dirt bike and cut a steel cable lock securing it to the truck.

• A handbag was stolen from a shopping cart after its owner accidentally left it behind Thursday in the Walmart parking lot on West Landis Avenue. Police described the suspect as a heavyset black man in his early 30s who is about 5 feet inches tall and weighs 225 to 245 pounds. He drove a green or silver Dodge pickup and was wearing a white T-shirt, brown or black shorts that went down to his knees, a necklace with a cross, a blue bandanna and glasses.

• A pack of Newport cigarettes and a Samsung Galaxy Exhibit cellphone were reported stolen Friday morning from a home on the 600 block of South Second Street. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair; he wore black pants, a blue polo shirt, a black and red baseball hat with red lettering, and had his hair in a ponytail.

• The word “Purge was scratched into it the trunk of a black Ford Focus on the 800 block of Timberbrook Drive. The crime was reported Saturday.

• Five rings and other jewelry with a total estimated value of $6,000 were reported stolen Saturday from a home on the 700 block of East Plum Street.

• Copper pipe was cut and stolen from air conditioner units at Heat Wave Salon on the 200 block of South Delsea Drive. The crime was reported Thursday.

• Spark plugs and paperwork were reported stolen from a vehicle, whose window was damaged, on Wednesday in an alley on the 700 block of East Landis Avenue.

• A stereo was reported stolen Thursday from a vehicle in the ShopRite parking lot on East Landis Avenue.

• Cash, a radio, two cellphones, a passport and a wallet were reported stolen Thursday from a pickup truck at Lucca Freezers on the 2300 block of Industrial Way. A window on the truck was broken.

• A Weber propane grill was reported stolen Friday from a carport on the first block of North Valley Avenue.

• Registration and insurance cards were reported stolen Friday from a pickup truck on the 1100 block of New Pear Street.

• Alfredo Figueroa III, 26, of the 800 block of Foster Avenue was arrested Tuesday on a a warrant for failure to appear in Vineland Municipal Court.

• Marrisa Maven, 23, of the 800 block of West Forest Grove Road was arrested Wednesday on a Vineland Municipal Court warrant.

• A weed trimmer and two aluminum ramps were reported stolen Thursday from a shed on the first block of South State Street. The door of the shed had been kicked in.

• Diane Fentress, 40, of the 500 block of Irving Avenue, Bridgeton, was arrested Friday on a Vineland Municipal Court warrant and held on $1,001 bail in Cumberland County Jail.

• A Northwood Drive man reported he received an email Saturday indicating his brother was stranded in the Philippines and needed $2,450 wired to him so he could leave. The man called his brother and learned he was fine and had not traveled to the Philippines.

• Roy J. Henry, 43, of Foster Avenue was arrested Thursday on warrants from Cumberland County Superior Court and Vineland Municipal Court. He was held on $4,252 bail in the county jail.

• Richard B. Pierce, 41, of West Peach Street was arrested late Friday night and charged with shoplifting a cellphone and razor blades at Walmart on West Landis Avenue.

• Marcos Rivera, 32, of South Rogers Avenue was arrested Wednesday and charged with shoplifting a pressure washer at Home Depot at Cumberland Mall.

• Douglas Dwight, 52, of Palermo Avenue was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with shoplifting flowers valued at $9.71 at ShopRite on West Landis Avenue. He also was charged with resisting arrest.

Article source: http://www.thedailyjournal.com/story/news/crime/2014/08/24/vineland-police-aug/14534609/

Jewelry Leaders and CEOs Join Enough Project in Conflict Gold Solutions Forum

August 23, 2014 Posted by admin

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog was written by Enough Project intern Irina Balytsky.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the Great Lakes Region of Africa has been entrenched in conflict for nearly 20 years. Militias control artisanal mines and minerals, specifically tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, and profit when minerals are sold into the global supply chain through illegal networks.

In July 27, 2014, CEOs and trade leaders met with experts in New York City for one of the first-ever public events addressing conflict-free gold sourcing to be hosted by the jewelry industry. The event centered on the value of responsible sourcing, industry experiences, and tools to help build upon current initiatives. 

The event featured presentations by Enough Project Policy Associate Holly Dranginis and Signet Jewelers Vice President of Corporate Affairs David Bouffard, followed by a panel discussion. The panel included Anna Bario, co-founder of the independent jeweler Bario Neal; David Bouffard; Holly Dranginis; John Green, President and CEO of Lux Bond Green; and Scott Wanstrath, CEO of Continental Jewelry USA. David Bonaparte, President and CEO of Jewelers of America (JA), gave opening remarks, and Jennifer Peyser, Senior Mediator at Resolve, facilitated the discussion.  

“We were thrilled to be invited onto the jewelry industry’s home turf to present and share opportunities with retailers and refiners about how they can become leaders in a growing global movement to end the trade of conflict gold from Congo,” says Dranginis. “Company representatives were really engaged and interested in finding out more about the situation in Congo and the practical steps they could take to support peace there.”

In addition to addressing challenges in the Great Lakes Region, participants learned about and discussed resources available for companies to address conflict minerals in their supply chains and opportunities to support responsible sourcing and development in the region. Participants also highlighted the need for jewelry industries, civil society, and government to cooperate in order to foster improved responsible gold sourcing.

In her presentation, Holly Dranginis informed participants of the conflict in the Great Lakes Region, stressed the significance of jewelry industry engagement in sourcing gold responsibly, and “identified opportunities for the industry to contribute to solutions.” Ms. Dranginis emphasized that efforts to exercise due diligence in the DRC have enabled traceable minerals to sell at higher prices than non-traceable minerals, thereby reducing significant funding sources to armed groups who terrorize civilians. However, in spite of these successes, gold is now the most lucrative mineral and remains a major driver of conflict in the DRC. As such, she presented three examples of ways the jewelry industry can help end conflict gold trade in the DRC: 1) by developing and participating in supply chain due diligence protocols, 2) by supporting strategic community development initiatives, and 3) by investing in conflict-free gold mines in the Great Lakes Region to give companies opportunities to source directly from DRC and contribute to economic development locally. 

David Bouffard emphasized Signet Jewelers’ commitment to responsible sourcing and described the company’s approach. Signet has been a major leader in the jewelry industry on supply chain due diligence and helping end the conflict gold trade. Signet believes that “a responsible supply chain is fundamental to the reputation of the jewelry industry and has been active in the development of industry-wide standards.” Signet developed a set of guidelines for its gold suppliers with input from civil society and government partners, called the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols (SRSP), under which suppliers must authenticate, endorse, and audit gold from all sources utilized. In building a responsible sourcing policy, the company learned that its gold supply chain is complex, comprised of at least 1,000 distinct chains. Signet has also learned that international coalition support of responsible sourcing procedures will advance global awareness and compliance. Finally, the company has discovered that if the standards used to audit suppliers were harmonized across the industry, the burden on suppliers would be reduced.

Some key themes emerged from the panel conversation. Mr. Wanstrath and Ms. Bario specifically discussed their experiences with and support of responsible sourcing. To highlight positive change, the panelists noted that sharing stories that champion positive activities to make industry-wide change can help bring about beneficial responses from the public. The government plays an important role, and Ashley Orbach, Senior Advisor on Conflict Minerals and Precious Stones in the U.S. Department of State, talked about the government’s work with U.S.-based companies to understand the impacts of government initiatives and work together to break the link between conflict minerals and natural resources. 

Looking ahead, participants noted a need for tangible advice for jewelry and retail companies. Roundtable organizers offered their assistance and voiced interest in planning future events to disseminate information amongst partners in the jewelry and retail industries, civil society, and government. Enough was thrilled to be invited by JA to be part of the conversation and looks forward to even more positive engagement with diverse stakeholders in the gold industry.

For more details about the event and helpful additional resources for companies, NGOs, and consumers, see the full summary.

Article source: http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/jewelry-leaders-and-ceos-join-enough-project-conflict-gold-solutions-forum