We are in the midst of a period of tremendous social change. Have you noticed?

It has long been on my to-do list to chat with designer Michelle Pajak-Reynolds, who not only has a fabulous first name but also creates beautiful, unique pieces.

A couple weeks ago, I participated in the Bored and Brilliant project from public radio station WNYC, which challenged participants to log the time they spend per day on their smartphones and then see how much that time drops, and their creativity goes up, when they are issued a series of phone-less challenges.

This year marked my first trip to Vicenza, Italy for the Vicenzaoro show and, I must say, it was the most fun I’ve had at a trade show in a long time.

I have been doing something scary lately: I’ve been leaving the house without my phone. Not for long periods of time--say, an entire 8-hour span--but rather just a stretch of a few hours, on a weekend afternoon or on those rare workdays when I escape my office for a bit at lunch.

Earlier this year, it would have been hard to believe that anything could top the consolidation of the industry’s two largest players, Zale Corp. and Signet Jewelers Ltd., in terms of news for 2014.

I’ll start off this blog with a short confessional but not the scary, priest-behind-the-screen, say-10-Hail-Marys-type from my youth.

I am, admittedly, a bit late in coming around to my second word of the year for 2014, as it’s already been done.

On Tuesday, Oxford Dictionaries named its 2014 “Word of the Year,” the orderly amassing of letters that, according to the professional wordsmiths at Oxford, has “attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date.”

Last week, I had a fleeting thought that I should just ignore the latest diamond industry spat--a survey that led a group of eight organizations to skip the World Diamond Council meeting altogether.

I am not proud to admit it now, but I was the kind of little girl who wanted to quit games in the middle if it looked like I wasn’t going to win, a trait for which my mom, like any good mother should, always admonished me.

Last week I had the chance to talk with Dorothée Gizenga, executive director of the Diamond Development Initiative, about how the Ebola outbreak is impacting the lives and livelihoods of the artisanal diamond diggers the organization aids.

A few weeks ago, the prologue to the über-popular podcast This American Life featured the story of an 11-year-old girl from west Detroit named Asia Newson who owns her own company, SuperBusinessGirl, and is known as the city’s youngest entrepreneur.

Last week another laboratory, EGL Platinum, issued a statement speaking out against the over-grading of diamonds while seeking to separate themselves from the EGL labs associated with this practice, a statement issued in the wake of the Rapaport Group’s move to quit listing diamonds graded by any EGL lab on RapNet.

On Monday, NPR aired a story on why many jewelry stores choose to tuck away their price tags rather than display them.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.