AGTA NewsFlash 

March 2009



Oscar's Colors
With eight Oscars to its credit Slumdog Millionaire's rise as top dog at the 81st Annual Academy Awards signals our longing to break from news of financial obscurity for something more happy and hopeful. In kind, celebrity divas put their own positive spin on the occasion by parading the red carpet in bright, colorful frocks and jewels.

Trends in gowns embrace architectural looks, with pleats and folds resembling origami. Interesting textural combinations, metallics, and beaded embellishment also are important with various shades of red, as well as white, blush and creamy taupe colors popular. And, formal's new black comes in deep purples and blues.

Strapless and one-shoulder designs continue to resonate as prime choices with today's stars, opening up the neck to amazing shoulder sweeping drop and chandelier earrings, as well as bib-style necklaces. Among the most stunning jewels of the night was a pair of vivid green Colombian emerald drop earrings (115 carats total), and a 65 carat Colombian emerald ring by Lorraine Schwartz that nominee Angelina Jolie popped against her black strapless Elie Saab.

Another fan of Lorraine Schwartz, the lovely, statuesque Heidi Klum adorned her asymmetrical crimson colored Roland Mouret gown in coral and diamond platinum earrings, bangles and rings worth almost a cool million.

Also sporting coral jewels, the young, fresh Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame, wore long luscious drops in diamond-accented platinum earrings, by Cathy Waterman, the perfect complement to her black strapless Marchesa tulle and feather detailed gown.

Perhaps the jeweler most worn by Oscar's highly celebrated actresses of the evening was Fred Leighton, with a statement piece of FL vintage gracing the neck of nominee Amy Adams. Atop her red Carolina Herrera bustier dress with black silk piping was a stunning 1950s bib-style necklace clustering 630 carats of emeralds, rubies and sapphires, and 39 carats of diamonds.

Other Fred Fans: Meryl Streep wore 19th century agate cameo pendant earrings and moonstone ring (c.1915); Taraji Henson chose a 19th century pink topaz ring; Viola Davis selected a 10 carat Colombian emerald ring; and Melissa Leo picked Colombian emerald drop and diamond line pendant earrings, 1920's emerald and diamond link platinum bracelet; and diamond snake and emerald bead ring.

Undoubtedly Oscar worthy, The Big Three in gems showed up on Hollywood’s biggest stars. Nominee Marisa Tomei adorned her white pleated Atelier Versace in vintage Van Cleef & Arpels-1941 estate sapphire and diamond gold bracelet (sapphires total over 51 carats, and 5 carats of diamonds); and 1973 estate earrings with carved lapis lazuli (total 28 carats). Past Oscar winner Marion Cotillard wore Chopard blue sapphire necklace of 125 carats and 13-carat blue sapphire ring with emerald cabochon against her black and cobalt Dior. And, in Fred Leighton: Tina Fey flashed a 1930's sapphire and diamond platinum ring; and past Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg decked out in a ruby ram's head cuff, Art Nouveau ruby ring and 24 carat cushion-cut alexandrite ring.

Although rubies, emeralds and sapphires evoked many an "Oh My!" other gemmy designs captured the moment. Matching her plum Armani Privé strapless chiffon number, Alicia Keys wore a 19th century amethyst ring by Fred Leighton, who also accessorized Phoebe Cates in 19th century garnet and ruby bracelets.

Unlike other awards shows, the Academy Awards satellite parties get as much notoriety as Oscar's red carpet. At Elton John's 17th Annual AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, British TV personality Katie Price caught eyes in tanzanite earrings and tanzanite and pink sapphire ring; and Perla, wife of legendary rock star Slash, shone in citrine and pink spinel ring, and South Sea drop earrings-all by Hollywood designer and AGTA member Erica Courtney. While singer Natasha Bedingfield, rocked the house in green beryl and diamond 18K gold jewelry by New York designer and AGTA member Tamir. At the coveted Vanity Fair After Party, singer Gwen Stefani flaunted a nearly 38-carat rubellite ring by AGTA member Bulgari; and Naomi Watts sparkled in amethyst gold bracelet, earrings, and rings by Neil Lane.

So, remember fashionistas, if a Slumdog can become a Millionaire, you can certainly look like a million bucks by Adding More Color to Your Life!



AGTA GemFair Seminars Available on DVD
The AGTA recorded the GemFair Seminar Program in Tucson for the first time this year using a new technology that combines audio recording synched with the speaker's PowerPoint presentation. The Association is distributing complimentary copies of the 25-seminar DVD-Rom to every member company and is making the recordings available to non-members for a nominal fee.

"A large part of AGTA's mission is keeping our members, and the industry as a whole, informed about current issues, trends and better ways of doing business," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "This series of seminars accomplishes all of these things by providing an incredible wealth of information by the most knowledgeable presenters in our industry and beyond."

The single DVD-Rom contains subjects ranging from gemology to estate jewelry to color trends to sales, marketing and buying tips. Speakers include Richard Drucker, Kate Peterson, Terry Sisco, Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute, and Betty Sue King. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company presents a session on safe shipping that can be used in any industry business. Cecilia Gardner of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee is also featured presenting the newest information on Memo Transactions and, in conjunction with Douglas Hucker of the AGTA and Peggy Jo Donahue of JA, the Burma Ruby and Jadeite ban.

A full list of the seminars and an order form can be found on the AGTA's website at or can be requested by emailing

All AGTA Members will receive their copy by mid-March.


AGTA Promotes Garcia to Membership Manager
AGTA announced the promotion of Joshua Garcia from Membership Administrator to Membership Manager.

"Josh has been a key member of our staff since joining the AGTA in 2005," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "His efforts, and results, in the membership department made it easy for us to promote him to the Membership Manager position."

Garcia’s primary responsibility is the recruitment and retention of AGTA members. He is also actively involved in the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition and the production of AGTA's PRISM magazine. He had previously held positions with Verizon and Six Flags.


AGTA Passes New Constitution and By-Laws
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced that a new constitution and set of by-laws has been voted on and approved by the membership.

"There was a need to streamline the constitution and establish a set of by-laws to help the organization run more efficiently," said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "With these governing documents in place, the AGTA will be a more dynamic entity, better equipped to react in this ever-changing business environment."

Since 1981, when the AGTA was formed, the Association has been governed by a constitution that didn't address key operational issues. Through the diligent work of the Constitution Committee, lead by Chair Glenn Lehrer and Past President Barbara Lawrence, the revised documents were presented to AGTA members for a vote in January. The new constitution and by-laws passed by a wide margin.

In essence, the AGTA Constitution remains the governing document for the Association and its principals, and can only be changed by a majority vote of the voting Membership. The AGTA By-Laws are an operating document for the administration of the Association and is an evolving set of procedures that can be changed by a vote of the Board of Directors.



Booth Availability at the INSTORE SHOW
The AGTA Colored Gemstones and Cultured Pearl Pavilion at the inaugural INSTORE SHOW is quickly approaching. The event will be held April 19-21, 2009 at the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.

The AGTA Pavilion will be comprised of AGTA Members selling loose colored gemstones and pearls along with designers and manufacturers of colored gemstone and cultured pearl intensive jewelry. Retailers can shop with confidence knowing that AGTA Members are bound to a code of ethics and providing complete disclosure.

This three-day national-level event is expected to draw approximately 400 booths and will offer special educational opportunities aimed at addressing the most essential purchasing, marketing and management questions independent jewelers face today.

A few booths are still available. Contact the AGTA office now at 800-972-1162 and ask for Mary Lou or Patti to reserve your booth today!




AGTA GemFair Las Vegas Update and Webinar
The AGTA GemFair™ Cultured Pearl & Jewelry Pavilion is the best venue to buy colored gemstones, cultured pearls and see the latest trends in jewelry. The AGTA booth (#34700) will showcase a variety of colored gemstone and cultured pearl-related products and services.

Visit the AGTA booth to learn more about the following:

Point of Sale Products
Add More Color To Your Life Brochures
AGTA Stock Photography Program
Affinity Programs

Show dates and hours for the AGTA Pavilion are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm-Friday, May 29; 9:30 am to 6:00 pm-Saturday, May 30 – Monday, June 1; and 9:30 am to 4:00 pm-Tuesday,
June 2.

We open a day earlier than JCK Las Vegas for Gem Day. is in the final stages of production before it will be launched to retailers in late March. If you haven't already loaded your products on the site, NOW is the time to do so. JCK will be holding a Webinar Demonstration of the site on Tuesday, March 10th at 2:00pm. This Webinar will show you exactly how to setup your online storefront and start loading products.

Frequently asked questions, which will be covered in the Webinar include:

  • What size should my images be?
  • Can I upload more than 1 product at a time?
  • Where do I upload my company banner?
  • What retailers will have access to the site?

And many more

Remember, is a FREE marketing tool provided by JCK Las Vegas. If you don't load your products, you will be missing out on exposure to the thousands of JCK retailers who will have access to the site in a few short weeks.

To register for the Webinar, simply click the link below:
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)
Register For this Session Here



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