By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
This week’s announcement that the Gem Awards is moving to July means none of the usual industry event will take place in New York in January 2021. Pictured here is a shot from the 2020 Gem Awards, where Ed Bridge (center) was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
New York—It will be a quiet January in New York City for the jewelry industry, with all the usual start-of-the-year galas and luncheons canceled, postponed or happening online only in 2021.

Earlier this week, Jewelers of America said it was moving the 2021 Gem Awards from January to July in the hopes people will be able to safely gather indoors in large numbers by the summer.

The announcement followed news from the 24 Karat Club of New York City and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee about the status of their annual January events.

Early last month, the 24 Karat Club announced that for only the third time in its 118-year history, it was canceling its annual banquet because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The only other cancelations came during times of war, in 1918 and 1943.

Chairman Jeffrey Fischer said while the club was “incredibly disappointed” to have to cancel, it did so out of respect for the health and safety of members and guests.

“The club’s board looked at a variety of options, including a scaled-back event, but it was clear that canceling it altogether was the only responsible choice,” he said.

The 24 Karat Club also canceled its spring and summer events, including the Summer Celebration and Golf Outing, a first for the club, and will be holding its fall membership meetings virtually, also a first.

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee said in late August it was planning on a virtual event to replace its annual in-person luncheon in January.


The event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, and will include the announcement of several new initiatives designed to support the industry.

“The annual event provides the opportunity for JVC to raise funds for the important industry initiatives we bring to our members and help continue our mission of encouraging ethics and integrity within our industry,” President and CEO Tiffany Stevens said.

“We’re excited to offer an event that will allow attendees to join together for an afternoon of celebration and networking as well as to honor someone deserving from our industry with our Stanley Schechter award.”

The JVC said registration details are forthcoming.

In addition, Jewelers’ Security Alliance President John J. Kennedy confirmed to National Jeweler his organization’s annual luncheon also will be virtual in 2021.

The usual awards will be presented—for law enforcement and for industry service—and there also will be one or more brief presentations on the state of crime against the industry.


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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.