By Maria Doulton
You really have to hand it to the Americans when it comes to organizing jewelry awards as the biggest and best of them all is the GEM Awards, held each year in New York. Described as the "Academy Awards of the Jewelry Industry", the event is hosted by the Jewelers of America, an industry body that aims to increase consumer confidence and responsible, ethical and environmental standards in its field.
The annual GEM Awards are described as the "premier accolade gala that recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches." And I am proud to say that I am one of the three nominees for the Media Excellence award.
On Friday 9 January the best and the brightest of America's jewelers will gather at Cipriani 42nd Street to find out which of the nominees is to receive the coveted awards. My fellow nominees include W Magazine Accessories and Jewelry Director Claudia Mata and Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief of Revolution Magazine USA and author of the book Cartier Time Art. The Design nominees are Alexis Bittar from New York, Todd Reed of Boulder, Colorado, known for his easy-to-wear and highly original handmade jewels, and Stephen Webster from London, UK, who brings his fresh and edgy look to fine jewelry.
The GEM Awards 2015 Marketing and Communications nominees are Forevermark from the De Beers Group of Companies, Shinola, the enterprising newcomer to spring up in Detroit bringing the world Made in America luxury, and Tudor watches, the sister company of Rolex founded in 1926. Larry Pelzel, who rose from Sales Associate at Neiman Marcus to vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Precious for this prestigious retailer, will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement award for his work in the jewelry industry over the past 34 years.
All eyes will be on the podium on Friday night as the envelopes are opened and the famous words "and the winner is" are pronounced. In the meantime, I am wondering, what on earth should I wear?