By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
New York—The coronavirus pandemic has forced nonessential businesses nationwide to close and people to stay at home as much as possible in order to flatten the curve.

Those cooped up at home who are, blessedly, still healthy are looking for information on how to get help for their businesses, as well as resources to help them and their employees stay connected and educated.

Industry organizations and associations are responding to this need.

Many are conducting webinars, offering discounted or free online education, or have developed new member benefits and compiled resource lists to help the industry.

This includes the just-launched Jeweler Support Network, a resource spearheaded by the Diamond Producers Association and supported by 10 other trade organizations that’s meant to help independent jewelers specifically.

Here’s a list of what organizations from AGS to WJA are doing to help keep the industry educated and engaged during the COVID-19 crisis.

Editor’s note: This story originally ran on March 30, but National Jeweler will update it regularly as more resources become available. Have something you want included? Reach out to the author at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*Updated 3/31: This story was amended to add to the GIA section and to include new information from the De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds and the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences. 


*Updated 4/6: This story was amended to include new information from the Responsible Jewellery Council and InStore magazine. 

*Updated 4/9: This story was amended to add information to the AGS and GIA sections and to include the following new sections: ASA, AWCI, ISG and The Plumb Club. 

*Updated 4/17: This story was amended to add information to the WJA section as well as to include new sections for 92nd Street Y, CIBJO and Gem-A. 

*Updated 4/24: This story was amended to add information to the GIA section about its Continuing Education Recognition Program and to include new information from Gübelin Gem Lab and Jewelers Mutual Group.

*Updated 5/4: This story was amended to add information about CIBJO’s webinar series and jewelry website design firm Punchmark’s podcast about how businesses are surviving the pandemic.

Updated 5/11: This story was amended to add education offers from AGTA, an online leadership program from the NRF and a look at some events coming up from WJA and its chapters.

92nd Street Y
92Y has moved most of its studio classes online and continues to add new virtual classes for adults, teens and children, designed to be done at home and with few supplies. 

Its Jewelry Center specifically has classes for students at all levels, with offerings like gold leaf, goldsmithing and jewelry art history. More can be found on its website

There are also fine arts classes for adults include drawing, calligraphy, sculpture and cartooning, among many others, while fine arts classes for the younger crowd cover topics like botanical drawing, cursive handwriting, printmaking and family drawing nights. 

American Gem Society
AGS is offering its Certified Sales Associate program free to all members until April 7, as well as free webinars for members on a variety of topics covering sales, marketing and business management. The organization said it’s aiming to offer one or two sessions a week.

AGS also developed a COVID-19 Resource Page, with a variety of information including templates to use for communications with staff and customers.

Meanwhile, the organization said its members-only group on Facebook has become a “hub of engagement,” as many are at home and want to stay connected with the community. Members are posting daily, most often sharing videos, articles or offering words of encouragement, providing a source of positivity during a difficult time.

The American Gem Society also announced it would hold a two-day, online-only version of Conclave on Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28. It will be free and open to all members. 

AGS has more projects in the works, including a redesigned and optimized online center with members, and will release details in the coming weeks.

American Gem Trade Association
The AGTA has made its GemFair Tucson educational seminars available online for free.

This includes sessions from 2018, 2019 and 2020, comprising almost 80 educational classes covering topics like how to sell colored gemstones, the latest in gemological news around the world and marketing tips from top experts, among other things.

They can be accessed online at AGTA.org/Resources/.

AGTA also has developed a “Marketing During COVID-19” series to help companies strengthen their online business and social media strategies and is creating a webinar series with additional educational opportunities.

American Society of Appraisers
The ASA is offering free membership to gem and jewelry appraisers impacted by COVID-19. 

Eligible appraisers can receive up to eight months of its Ally member program free of charge through Dec. 31; the offer is limited to new memebrs only.

Benefits include savings on classes and webinars, COVID-19 resources, a subscription to ASA publications, partner savings programs, and more. 

Professionals can apply online at Appraisers.org or call 800-272-8258.

American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute
The AWCI has announced several upcoming webinars. Most are free for AWCI members, and all are open to clockmakers, watchmakers, jewelers and anyone with an interest in horology. 

See all of the full schedule online

Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences
The AIGS School will hold a series of free weekly webinars for gemstone aficionados.

The first will highlight the history of emeralds and the challenges of origin determination from Lisbon-based gemologist Rui Galopim de Carvalho on Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. Bangkok time.

Those interested in the one-hour “AIGS Gem Tips” webinars can register online

They will be held in April and beyond as the restrictions, shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders remain in place. AIGS will update its social media channels with topics and schedules as they progress. 

CIBJO
CIBJO is now offering downloads of its Blue Book series of industry standards and nomenclature for free. 

The books provide a set of grading standards and nomenclature for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, coral, precious metals and gemological laboratories, as well as responsible sourcing practices. 

They are updated constantly by the various CIBJO commissions. 

All seven Blue Books can be downloaded at no cost now from the CIBJO website

CIBJO launched a “Jewellery Industry Voices” webinar series, looking at the impact and implications of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis on the trade from the perspective of various industry figures, as well as a “Home Gemmology” series covering a variety of gem and diamond topics.

For more information and the lineup, visit CIBJO.org/webinars.

Cultured Pearl Association of America
The CPAA’s “Pearls As One” online course—designed to increase awareness and appreciation of all cultured pearl varieties—is still free to anyone interested; the coupon code “TahitiFree” can be used to take the class.

The association is also staying active through Instagram Live interviews between Executive Director Jennifer Heebner and CPAA members to talk about new offerings, future plans and more.

The association will continue to post articles on its website and newsletter.

De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds
The De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds is providing free access to its online-only Diamond Foundation Course. 

The four-month beginner’s course aims to provide an interactive and flexible learning experience, requiring no additional resources or reading materials and able to be finished according to each participant’s schedule.

The course offers an overview of the diamond pipeline, from diamond exploration and rough diamond sorting to retail and laboratory-grown diamond detection.

It is usually priced at $250 but will be made available to all employees of key partners and members of trade associations so retailers, designers, sales professionals and business owners may enhance their knowledge and stay focused during the crisis. 

Interested companies should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Diamond Council of America
DCA is offering a member education discount. Through May 1, all courses are buy-one, get-one free, for up to 10 courses.

Classes are all done online at each student’s own pace.

For more information, contact Kristen Scheetz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Diamond Producers Association
DPA is providing access to its trade portal, which contains the free content and educational materials the association produces including videos, commercials, social media content, e-learning and more.

DPA also led the launch of the aforementioned Jeweler Support Network.

Designed to provide support and resources to local jewelers, as well as information for consumers, it includes a consumer website and a trade website with many free assets and resources for the industry.

And, as retailers eventually start to reopen for business, a key initiative will be creating an advertising campaign to reinforce the important of local jewelers in their communities; retail jewelers will be invited to submit stories of how they’re innovating to serve their customers.

For more information and the full list of organizations involved, visit JewelerSupportNetwork.com.

Gemmological Association of Great Britain
Gem-A launched a series of webinars to be held on Wednesdays, covering various gemological topics. 

Follow its Facebook page for updates on sessions. For those who are unable to attend, Gem-A will post the “Gem-A Live” videos to its YouTube channel

Gemological Institute of America
GIA continues to enroll students in its distance education program

Additionally, its 2020 Continuing Education Recognition Program is now free for those who enroll by June 30. The only prerequisite is having a GIA Graduate Gemologist or Gemologist Diploma.


It features a new assignment each month from now through September about the gem and jewelry industry. Enroll on GIA.edu.

There are also plenty of articles and other gemological content for free on GIA.edu, including back issues of Gems & GemologyGem Encyclopedia, important titles on gemology minerology, gems and jewelry in the digital collection of rare and historic books from the Cartier Rare Book Repository and Archives.

GIA also rolled out its a “Knowledge Session” webinars, in which field gemologists, scientists and educators will cover pressing and interesting topics in gemology. It kicked off Thursday (April 9) on “The Unique Story of Natural Diamond.”

GIA is currently building a web page for its Knowledge Sessions. In the meantime, follow GIA on Facebook to be updated on session information. 

Gübelin Gem Lab
The Gübelin Gem Lab is providing a new pricing structure for the gem and jewelry industry to help those who might be struggling right now. Until May 31, it is offering a pay-what-you-can campaign, allowing clients to decide how much they will pay for a gemological report.

The lab has confirmed there is no minimum amount.

For those who pay more than the standard fee, Gübelin will donate the extra amount—and match it—to Doctors Without Borders.

The lab also will issue an accompanying gemological profile—a customized booklet that gives background information on the specific stone and is valued at $1,000—free of charge for any client who pays more than the standard fee, gemstone type and/or origin permitting.

An idea of standard prices for the reports can be found on GubelinGemLab.com.

Those interested in having Gübelin test a stone at one of its labs can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to the “Pay-What-You-Can” campaign and tell the lab how many stones are to be tested and the price that can be paid.

InStore Magazine
InStore has launched a webinar series to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on retail jewelers. All will include important steps retailers can take to preserve their businesses.

The full schedule can be found on InStoreMag.com.

International School of Gemology
ISG is providing educational mini-courses on various gemological topics for free every week. 

Additionally, for a limited time the school has lowered its full individual course tuition rate for four gemology courses by 50 percent to $195 each, including the diamond, colored gemstone, gemology tools and techniques, and the created and treated gemstones courses.

For more information, visit SchoolofGemology.com.

Jewelers Mutual Group
Jewelers Mutual has made its safety and security education once reserved for policyholders only available to all, effective immediately.

The online learning platform, called JM University, features several structured courses for jewelry business owners, managers and sales staff.

Each of the 10 courses focuses on a different area, like preventing theft and staying safe during a robbery, safety of traveling salespeople, and cybersecurity for those working from home or engaging in e-commerce.

Through the program, managers can assign specific courses to staff and monitor their progress.

Many of the courses have built-in quiz modules to reinforce the learning and provide feedback if more attention is needed in a certain area.

Visit JMUniversity.com for more information or sign in.

Jewelers of America
JA is offering free membership through Dec. 31, allowing companies access to its member-exclusive benefits—like shipping, credit card processing and health care—and its webinar series, including a recently launched series focused on recovery during the pandemic.

It also has released a Coronavirus Resource Guide, available on Jewelers.org.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee
JVC created a COVID-19 resource page, free and open to all, with information to help businesses navigate through this unprecedented time.

The site includes blogs on various subjects and resources grouped by topic, such as employment, insurance and relief.

MJSA
MJSA launched an online resource page with guidance and updates on the coronavirus crisis.

It includes updates on related legislation, links to pertinent articles from the MJSA Journal, initiatives from other industry associations, links to national organizations and guidelines, loan assistance and links to each state’s current directives regarding the virus.

MJSA also has opened its full article and video library to the industry.

National Retail Federation
The NRF launched the “Retail Leadership Series,” a live online program offering conversations between NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and various retail executives about leading in times of crisis, the state of retail and how the industry can move forward.

It will kick off today (May 11) at 11 a.m. EST with guest Mike George, president and CEO of Qurate Retail and chairman of the NRF board of directors.

Other upcoming guests will include Brian Cornell of Target, Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s, John Furner of Walmart U.S., Jeff Gennette of Macy’s Inc., Neela Montgomery of Crate and Barrel and Sonia Syngal of Gap Inc., among many others.

For more information or to register, visit NRF.com.

Platinum Guild International
PGI has a free online learning site, the Platinum Resource Center, with sales training and technical education courses as well as a page with downloads for website and social content and tips.

The Plumb Club

The Plumb Club launched a new series of podcasts to provide retailers with information and insights across various disciplines. The subjects will be introduced monthly. 

The first two are available on The Plumb Club website now: The New Bridal Consumer–How You Can Best Help!” by Severine Ferrari, editor-in-chief and founder of Engagement 101; and “Cracking The Code on Customer Experience With Platinum” with Kevin Reilly, vice president of Platinum Guild International USA.

Future podcasts will cover such topics as visual merchandising, relationship marketing, content creation, advertising myths, PR and social media. 

Punchmark
Punchmark, which provides web design, branding and data solutions to jewelry businesses, has a podcast called “The Jeweler’s Survival Kit,” created as a platform for retailers and manufacturers to share best practices and outlooks for surviving the pandemic.

Topics have included employment and store safety, digital presence and consumer outreach, plans for reopening and more.

Visit Punchmark.com for episodes.

Responsible Jewellery Council
The RJC has created a COVID-19 resource page on its website, including numerous pertinent links to help guide the industry through this time.

Women’s Jewelry Association
WJA launched an online Chapter Communities thread on WJA Connect for members to share resources, post queries and schedule virtual hangouts.

The organization also will engage chapters and support members through “member Monday” profiles, and will share already created content, such as a webinar a member has hosted.

It also is still offering its Negotiable benefit to members, designed to help them master the art of bargaining for promotions, equal pay, sales, better vendor contracts and more.

Starting in May, WJA in collaboration with The Jewelry Library launched “Sneak Peek: Stories from the Archives,” where jewelry historians and writers share their latest research finds in short sound-bytes.⁠

It will kick off May 14 with Toni Greenbaum on her new monograph, Sam Kramer: Jeweler on the Edge⁠, free for members and non-members. 

Local chapters also continue to hold virtual sessions and events of interest to the trade.

NY Metro, for example, will host a “Yoga for Creativity” session as well as a “Soul Sync Meditation,” while the Los Angeles chapter hosts Wellness Wednesday events regularly.

WJA Seattle will hold a “Marketing Yourself, Your Jewelry and Your Design Business” event this month with Marlene Richey and WJA Ohio/Kentucky will host the Smithsonian’s Jeffrey Post for a virtual viewing of the museum’s latest acquisitions.

For the full calendar, visit WomensJewelryAssociation.com.

The association also has a COVID-19 resources page on its website.

Additionally, for the spring, WJA has announced aLucky 13” membership offer. 

From now through May 31, new members who purchase an annual membership will receive a 13th month for free. Current members who refer a new member will also receive an extra month on their membership.


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