The Gem Awards 2024 Celebrates the Passion of Jewelry With Cynthia Erivo

While the Oscars may have taken place this weekend in Los Angeles, it was the 22nd Gem awards, colloquially dubbed the “Academy Awards of the Jewelry Industry” that illuminated bright Friday night in New York. “The jewelry here tonight rivals, if not bests, any red carpet,” Marion Fasel, Gem awards committee member, author and expert of the category said, kicking off the festive night.

The Jewelers of America led event honored designers, retailers, editors and executives for their contributions to the jewelry industry over the last year. Winners included Cynthia Erivo for Jewelry Style, Susan M. Jacques, president and chief executive officer of GIA with a Lifetime Achievement honor as well as awards for jewelry design, media excellence and retail excellence.

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“I’m actually quite overwhelmed,” Erivo said of her award. She spoke to the sold-out room about her childhood and seeing her mother finishing each outfit with jewelry, remarking that it “always felt somewhat magical to me.” She shared gratitude for the people in the room who helped her mark moments in her life with “adornment.”

Erivo’s passion reverberated throughout the event, where care, kindness and support flowed through the tight-knit jewelry community. The excitement in the room was palpable.

The Award for Jewelry Design went Marla Aaron, presented by last year’s winner, Anita Ko. “I’m not supposed to be here. I have made so many mistakes personally and professionally it’s just a miracle that I’m standing in front of you with this award,” Aaron said. “But somehow out of this relentless method, making some useful and beautiful. Jewelry came to be there.”

”I have one request. And that is to see how as an industry, we can do a better job of protecting our work,” Aaron said.

Ben Bridge Jeweler took home the Award for Retail Excellence, and the Award for Media Excellence went to Tanya Dukes. “I love talking about incredible pieces of jewelry and watches and just telling your stories,” Dukes said to a swell of applause. “I just do my best to translate the passion of the artistry that you have and bring it to people so that they understand it.”

Aimee Song presented Tiffany & Co. with a Special Recognition Award for its historic and newly transformed flagship on 57th Street and Fifth Avenue: The Landmark, and the night was capped off with the award for Lifetime Achievement, presented to Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA.

“We are in the emotion business of celebrations, love and joy, happiness and gratitude,” Jacques said, accepting the award for her 45-plus years in the business with stints at GIA and Borsheims. “How blessed are we all to be a part of such an inspiring industry helping people to celebrate the milestones of their lives with rare treasures of Mother Nature crafted by talented designers and artists into exquisite jewelry.”

Launch Gallery: Inside the 2024 Gem Awards

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