Gold: Vortex, Virtues, and Values

IAC’s 8th Precious Substances Conference
April 12 – 13, 2018

Bohemian National Hall, New York City

We live in an Age of Uncertainty. But just the most recent: uncertainty was a defining characteristic of the human condition, a perverse constant in everything we experienced as we teetered at the edge of the vortex. This brought us to gold, another constant, one that never dulls and which, perhaps counterintuitively, continuously evolves.

The 2018 conference explored the totality of this powerful and fascinating metal. We started with value, how that value reflects gold’s place as a repository of our hopes and fears and, more practically, how market value is established and assured. We also considered value-added, specifically by the extraordinary jewelers, goldsmiths, craftsmen, and artisans who transform elemental gold into jewelry.

Other topics included responsible and ethical business practices across the worldwide supply chain and new trends in jewelry manufacturing and technology. The importance of education, apprenticeship, and the preservation of traditional artisanal skills were central to our discussion. New frontiers in sales and marketing, social media, and government and legal affairs were considered.

IAC’s annual Gold Conference brings together representatives from all communities and disciplines to engage in a multi-faceted exploration of the power and meaning of gold.

Richline and Signet were Lead Sponsors at the Patron Level. Riva Precision was a sponsor at the Partner Level. Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and Hoover & Strong were sponsors at the Donor Level. Au Enterprises and Diamond Manufacturers & Importers of America (DMIA) were sponsors at the Supporter Level. ANZA Gems was the sponsor of the champagne reception for the evening, “Celebration of Women in the Jewelry World.” Society of North American Goldsmiths was a media sponsor.

Program agenda

Thursday, April 12, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and coffee
9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Opening remarks. Mark Hanna (Chief Marketing Officer, Richline Group, Inc.).
9:15 – 9:25 a.m. Introduction. Lisa Koenigsberg (Founder and President, Initiatives in Art and Culture).
9:25 – 10:05 a.m. Valuing Gold in an Age of Uncertainty: Anatomy of an Asset. Jeffrey M. Christian (Founder & Managing Director, CPM Group).
10:10 – 11:10 a.m. Washington Update. Linus Drogs (Owner & President, Au Enterprises); Mark Hanna; Elizabeth Orlando (Economic Officer, Bureau of Economic Affairs, Office of Threat Finance and Countermeasures, US Department of State); Tiffany Stevens (President and CEO, JVC); Susan Thea Posnock (Director, Public Affairs and Education, JA); moderator: Peggy Jo Donahue (Writer and owner, Peggy Jo Donahue).
11:10 – 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Digital Dimensions: Technology in Transforming Behavior. Andrea Hill (Owner, Hill Management Group, LLC)
12:15 – 1:00 p.m. Crafting the Exquisite: The Archeology of Creativity. Alexandra Mor (Haute joaillerie designer) in conversation with Brandee Dallow
1:00 – 2:15 p.m Lunch (on your own) and book-signing
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Sustainable Beauty: The Pursuit of Ethical Jewelry. Blair Lauren Brown (Jewelry designer); Nina Farran (Founder & CEO, Fashionkind); Robert Goodman (Co-founder & co-owner, Robert Goodman Jewelers); Stewart Grice (Vice President, Mill Products, Hoover & Strong); Monica Stephenson (Writer, jewelry expert, & entrepreneur; founder, idazzle); Wing Yau (Jewelry designer); moderator: Christina Miller (Christina T. Miller Sustainable Jewelry Consulting).
3:15 – 3:30 p.m Break
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Optimizing Consumer Experience: Technological Approaches to Personalization. Jean-Jacques Grimaud (Director, Sales, SolidWorks SELL, Dassault Systèmes).
4:05 – 5:05 p.m. Blockchain Technology Is Here. Mark Hanna, Marla Beck Hedworth (Member, Business Development and Innovations Team, UL); Catherine Malkova (IBM Partner, Blockchain and Strategy Labs Leader, Global Business Services ).
5:15 – 7:30 p.m. Celebrating Women in the Jewelry World
5:15 – 6:15 p.m Champagne reception
6:15 – 6:30 p.m Opening Remarks. Lisa Koenigsberg and Ronnie Vanderlinden (President, Diamex Inc.)
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. A Rising Tide: Women and the Jewelry Industry. Wendy Brandes (Jewelry designer); Brandee Dallow; Jenny Luker (President, Platinum Guild International USA); Barbara Palumbo (Founder,; moderator: Hedda Schupak (Editor, The Centurion Newsletter).

Friday, April 13, 2018

9:00 – 9:40 a.m. Moda Operandi: A New Business Model for Jewelry. Deborah Nicodemus (CEO, Moda Operandi) in conversation with Mickey Alam Khan (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Luxury Daily).
9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Full Steam Ahead: The Journey Towards Ethical Sourcing, Transparency, and Responsible Practice. David Bouffard (Signet Vice President, Corporate Affairs); Aimée Boulanger (Coordinator, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance); Tiguidanke Camara (Chairman & CEO, Tigui Mining Group and Camara Diamond & Gold Trading Network); Elizabeth Orlando; Tiffany Stevens; moderator: Rob Bates (Senior Editor, JCK).
10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break and book signings
11:00 – 11:55 a.m. Collaboration and Innovation: The Work of Leo and Ginnie de Vroomen. Leo de Vroomen (Goldsmith) & Ginnie de Vroomen (Artist/designer).
12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Artistry and Variety: The Glories of Enamel. Jane Short (Enameller).
12:45 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own) and book signings
2:00 – 2:55 p.m. Casting: Transforming the World. A Conversation. Lin Stanionis (Metalsmith); Jen Townsend (Jeweler & co-author, Cast: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process); Renée Zettle–Sterling (Metalsmith & co-author, Cast: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process).
3:00 – 3:55 p.m. Industrial Revolution 4.0: Cultivating and Perpetuating Old World Skills. Ann Cahoon (Department Head, Jewelry Making and Repair, North Bennet Street School, Boston, Massachusetts); Ted Doudak (Founder & CEO, Riva Precision Manufacturing Inc.); Patricia Madeja (Studio jeweler, goldsmith & educator); Rich Youmans (Chief Communications Officer, MJSA); Katrin Zimmermann (Jewelry designer & founder, Ex Ovo); moderator: Andrea Hill.
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Who’s Got the Power? Influencers,
Ethics, and the Regulation of Social Media. Wendy Brandes; Barbara Palumbo; Monica Stephenson; Sara Yood (Deputy General Counsel, Jewelers Vigilance Committee); moderator: Peggy Jo Donahue.