By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Carlsbad, Calif.—After nearly 20 years at the Gemological Institute of America, Senior Industry Analyst Russ Shor is moving on.

In an interview with National Jeweler last week, the jewelry industry veteran confirmed his retirement from GIA after 19 years at the lab’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California.

2020 Russ ShorRuss ShorBut, it is not retirement in the golfing and cocktails-every-day-at-4 sense of the word; it’s a transition to working for himself.

“I just felt like it was time to do something on my own,” Shor said. “I didn’t feel like working full-time anymore.”

He is starting a communications consultancy, writing articles, blogs and news for clients, and advising on sustainability and diamond and gemstone supply chain issues while also working with Roshem Ventures.

Roshem has offices in the United States and Canada and does investing and consulting on supply chain transparency and traceability, which includes technology like blockchain, mainly in agriculture.

The company is looking to gain a foothold in the jewelry industry, and Shor will serve as an expert consultant. 

He said he sees the role an opportunity to use his experience and understanding of the jewelry industry to help smaller producers, dealers and retailers sell sustainability sourced materials.

“I know what’s possible, what can be done, what can’t be done,” Shor said, noting that he has first-hand experience along the entire supply chain, from visiting diamond and gemstone mines worldwide to getting behind the counter at retail stores. 

He will remain based in Carlsbad.

Shor started his career in the jewelry industry exactly 40 years ago, joining the staff of JCK magazine as an editor in early 1980.

He had worked as a newspaper reporter before but decided it wasn’t a career he wanted to pursue long term, so he went back to school to study international relations.

Shor was just finishing up his graduate program when a friend told him about a job opening at a “diamond magazine”—JCK.

He went to the interview somewhat on a lark, he said, and was offered the job on the spot.

It was a job he ended up keeping for the next 19 years, leaving in 1999. He did consulting work for De Beers and the Mouawad Group before going full-time with GIA in August 2001.

He stayed at GIA for another 19 years, initially helping the lab to expand its business globally.

In 2011, in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, Shor moved into more of a public relations role, becoming GIA’s senior industry analyst.

“In his nearly 20 years at GIA, and many more as a well-known and respected journalist and analyst, Russ Shor helped so many people understand the global gem and jewelry trade,” GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques said.

“His vast knowledge, insight, deft writing and good humor served his readers—and GIA—well.”

Shor’s new website, www.russellshor.com, went live this week. Those looking to contact Shor can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“I’m welcoming it,” he said of the change, while noting, “I’d feel a little freer if we weren’t all quarantined and locked down.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication to note that RussellShor.com is now live.





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