Stephen Webster, pictured here, hosted the 2017 Gem Awards.
New York--Jewelers of America now is accepting submissions for its 16th annual Gem Awards gala, including a new category added for the 2018 event.

The Gem Awards honor the achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility of fine jewelry and watches.

There will be three nominees each in the categories of Jewelry Design, Marketing & Communications, Media Excellence and a new one for 2018: Retail Innovation.

The award for Retail Innovation will be given to a retailer--online or brick-and-mortar--that specializes in selling fine jewelry and/or watches, recognizing the companies using innovative strategies to bring about change in how jewelry and/or watches are sold. The retailer may be recognized for their excellence in e-commerce, technological advancements, in-store experience, digital applications or a combination of factors. 

“Consumer shopping habits are evolving at lightning speed,” JA Director of PR & Events Amanda Gizzi said. “We look forward to celebrating the leaders in our industry who are pushing the innovation envelope. Our new Gem Award for Retail Innovation will bring those leaders in retail into the spotlight.”

The Retail Innovation Award replaces the Watch Excellence Award for 2018, though watch companies still may be nominated in the other categories like Marketing & Communications.

Companies and individuals can submit themselves or others for consideration through June 30 at

The awards committee will review the submissions and select the nominees.

After the nominees are announced, a panel of industry experts then will vote to decide the winner in each category; an independent auditing firm counts the votes to keep the winners confidential until the ceremony’s live reveal.

In addition to the four categories of awards, JA also will give a Lifetime Achievement award at the event, which is presented to a single honoree announced before the gala.

The 2018 Gem Awards will take place on Jan. 19 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

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