New York, NY - Jewelers of America, the national association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has announced that submissions are being accepted in five categories for the 15th Annual GEM Awards gala taking place on January 13, 2017, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. GEM Awards, the jewelry industryís premier accolade gala, honors the achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility of fine jewelry and watches. New for 2017: the GEM Award for Influencer of the Year, given to a blogger or social media personality who encourages consumer engagement and generates consumer desire for jewelry and watches through their high-quality content on social media platforms.

The GEM Awards Committee is now seeking suggestions for 2017 GEM Awards nominees in the categories of Influencer of the Year, Jewelry Design, Marketing & Communications, Media Excellence and Watch Excellence. Companies and individuals can submit themselves or others for consideration through June 30, 2016,

The GEM Awards Committee will review the submissions to determine the individuals who will be celebrated as 2017 GEM Awards Nominees in each category; a panel of industry experts will vote to determine the winner. An independent auditing firm tallies the votes to keep winners confidential until a live reveal during the ceremony on January 13, 2017. There are three nominees per category, with the exception of Lifetime Achievement, which is presented to a single honoree announced prior to the event.

ìWith the addition of a dedicated Watch category last year and the Influencer of the Year Award this year, the GEM Awards are evolving to include areas that greatly influence consumer awareness and desire for fine jewelry and watches. We have many exciting announcements to come and are looking forward to seeing the quality, diversity and depth of the nominations this year,î says GEM Awards Chair Norman Miller.

The GEM Awards Committee is made up of: Norman Miller, Chair; Sarin Bachmann, JCK Events; Hyla Bauer, Watch Journal; David Bonaparte, Jewelers of America; David Bouffard, Signet Jewelers; Gannon Brousseau, Couture; Caryl Capeci, Hearts On Fire; Carson Glover, Tiffany & Co.; Jenny Luker, Platinum Guild International; Giovanni Mattera, de Grisogono; Roberta Naas,; Russell Pagliughi, Atelier Swarovski; Todd Reed, Todd Reed; Nancy Robey, The Nancy Robey Partnership; Kara Ross, Kara Ross NY; Mark Smelzer, JCK; Olivier Stip, CHANEL.

About GEM Awards

GEM Awards is the fine jewelry and watch industryís premier accolade gala, hosted by Jewelers of America, that recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches. For more information on the history of GEM Awards, visit