By Ashley Davis
Longtime jeweler Jim Rosenheim took home the 2017 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement. Rosenheim and his son Matthew own Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C., the jewelry store his mother and father opened in 1930. Zach Hilty/
New York--Cipriani 42nd Street was abuzz with jewelry industry executives, store owners, editors and designers Friday night when it played host to the 15th annual Gem Awards, organized by Jewelers of America.

Stephen Webster acted as this year’s emcee, and the gregarious designer proved himself a natural as presenters were called up on stage throughout the night to give out awards in four categories.

W Magazine’s Grace Fuller won the award for Media Excellence, Kay Jewelers took home the award for Marketing & Communications while Bulgari’s Lucia Silvestri won in the Jewelry Design category.

The Gem Award for Watch Excellence, meanwhile, went to Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe.

20170117 GemAwards StephenWebsterThe Gem Awards tapped British jewelry designer Stephen Webster to host this year’s ceremony.
Zach Hilty/

As previously announced, Jim Rosenheim, chairman of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C., was the evening’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and he took the stage last.

Rosenheim spoke of his trouble crafting his acceptance speech, joking that Meryl Streep had just plagiarized it at the Golden Globe Awards.

On a more serious note, the longtime jeweler thanked his late parents, who opened Tiny Jewel Box during the Great Depression, for always setting the business apart from competitors.

Rosenheim recounted a conversation he had in his youth with his father: “I asked him, ‘Why didn’t you do what everybody else did?’ He said to me, ‘I want people to come to me not because I’m convenient but because I’m special.’ That’s what’s driven me throughout my career.”

He went on to thank his many colleagues and his family but also let the audience know that this Lifetime Achievement award did not signal the end of an era.

“I want to assure you that this is not intended to be the final chapter of my career in the jewelry industry,” Rosenheim said. “I intend to be around a long time to keep my eye on you guys.”

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