By Michelle Graff
New York--Jewelers of America is accepting submissions for potential 2016 Gem Award nominees in five different categories including Watch Design, which is new this year.

The new Gem Award for Watch Design will recognize either a well-established or emerging brand that has “an extraordinary design aesthetic and/or has made significant technological advancements in the field of watches,” JA said.

Companies and individuals also can submit themselves or others to be considered for awards in Jewelry Design, Lifetime Achievement, Marketing & Communications and Media Excellence.

The Gem Awards Committee will review submissions to select the final three nominees in each category with the exception of Lifetime Achievement, which is presented to a single winner.

Those who are selected as nominees for next year’s awards program will be judged by a panel of industry experts and influencers, whose ballots will be sent to an independent auditing firm that will keep the results confidential until the evening of the event.

The winners will be announced live at the Gem Awards gala, scheduled for Jan. 8, 2016 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. The Lifetime Achievement Award winner, however, will be pre-selected and announced in advance of the event.

Entries for the 2016 Gem Awards can be submitted on the JA website through June 30.

“There is still buzz about the 13th annual Gem Awards and the expanded awards categories for 2016 only add to the excitement,” Elite Traveler Publisher and Gem Awards Chair Norman Miller said. “Gem Awards has always been anchored by the support of watch brands, and it felt like the perfect time to add the Gem Award for Watch Design.”

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