New York--Cindy Edelstein, a fierce force in multiple facets of the jewelry industry for decades, died unexpectedly Sunday at the age of 51. The cause of death was heart failure. 

Cindy EdelsteinCindy EdelsteinA native of New York City, Edelstein started what would become a lifelong career in the jewelry industry as the fashion editor at JCK magazine.

Her position brought her into contact with many jewelry designers, and soon she came to realize her true passion--working with, and helping to nurture, the industry’s artisans. 

In 1991, she and her husband Frank Stankus started the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau, a company dedicated to highlighting the work of designers. 

Over the next 25 years, Edelstein worked in many roles supporting designers, including as a trade show consultant for JA New York, Couture, JCK and shows operated by the American Gem Trade Association. She also launched her own designer-centric show, globalDESIGN.

Along the way Edelstein never quit writing, penning stories for nearly every jewelry trade publication including National Jeweler, to which she contributed Cindy’s TrendTracker, a weekly roundup of micro-trends in design. 

She also wrote a book with her husband, Frank, called Brilliance! Masterpieces from the American Jewelry Design Council, the first printing of which sold out. 

Edelstein won numerous awards over the years, including the American Jewelry Design Council’s Benne Award in 1995 and the Contemporary Design Group’s Best Designer Advocate Award in 1996.

She was a long-serving Women’s Jewelry Association board member and picked up two prestigious awards from that organization as well, Editorial Excellence (1990) and Excellence in Marketing (2001). 

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Edelstein went to school on Staten Island. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan and earned her bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University.

She is survived by her husband, Frank; one daughter, Remy Sasha Stankus; one stepson, Byron David Stankus; one brother, Philip Edelstein; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and other family members.

Details on services will be shared as soon as they are finalized. 

A more detailed story covering Edelstein’s contributions to the jewelry industry will appear in the Tuesday edition of National Jeweler’s Daily newsletter. Those with memories they would like to share are encouraged to contact Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff at 212-687-2758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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.