New York, NY – Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, held the 17th annual GEM Awards on Friday, January 11, 2019, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. Stewart Wicht, received the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement and the GEM Award for Marketing & Communications went to Tiffany & Co. The winners in the categories of Jewelry Design, Media Excellence and Retail Excellence were revealed live to an audience of nearly 600 press and jewelry industry elite.

Fernando Jorge won the GEM Award for Jewelry Design. The other nominees in the Jewelry Design category were Valérie Messika and Silvia Furmanovich. The award was presented by 2018 GEM Award for Jewelry Design winner Irene Neuwirth.

The GEM Award for Media Excellence was given to Will Kahn of Town & Country, presented by 2018 GEM Award winner Marion Fasel of The Adventurine. The other Media Excellence nominees were Brecken Branstrator of National Jeweler and Michael Thompson of International Watch.

Threads took home the award for GEM Award for Retail Excellence. The other nominees for Retail Innovation were Broken English and Cellini. The award was presented by 2017 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement winner Jim Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box.

Rapper A$AP Ferg presented the GEM Award for Marketing & Communications to a captivated audience saying, “Holly Golightly and this boy from Harlem have more in common than you might think. When I was growing up, I’d sometimes walk past Tiffany on my way to Art and Design High School on Second Avenue. I’d stand at the Tiffany window and say to myself, Someday.” Andrea Davey, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, accepted the award for Tiffany & Co., saying in part, “Tiffany’s story is more than 180 years old but forever young. It is exquisite beauty in everyday luxury. It is witty, natural, effortless elegance. It is New York and all her youthful energy. In 2018, we loved finding new ways -- and new voices -- for telling that story while staying true to the company’s heritage. We are delighted that, with this prestigious award, you seem to have loved it too.”

Stewart Wicht was honored with the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement for his efforts to enhance the jewelry and watch industry's image and set a standard of excellence that inspired industry colleagues throughout the course of his four-decade career at Rolex. In 2011, Stewart was appointed President & CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. Stewart retired in December of 2018, but remains on the board of directors of Rolex Watch U.S.A. After receiving a standing ovation from the crowd, he poignantly thanked his Rolex team and explained his philosophy on work by saying, “I always say, ‘you can go faster alone but you can go further together.’”

GEM Awards Chair Olivier Stip of CHANEL hosted the evening. Sponsors of the 2019 GEM Awards included: Cornerstone Sponsors – CHANEL and Synchrony Financial; Premier Sponsors – Rolex and Signet Jewelers; Patron Sponsors – David Yurman, DeBeers Group, Hearts On Fire™, Tourneau and Wempe; Benefactor Sponsors – Cellini Jewelers, COUTURE, JCK Events, Luxury Jewelers Resource Group, Movado Group Inc., Tiffany & Co., Timeless Distributions and Unique Settings New York.

High Resolution Photos:
Photo Credits: Benjamin Lozovsky/

About Jewelers of America and GEM Awards: 
Jewelers of America (JA) is the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, with the primary purpose of improving consumer confidence in the jewelry industry. Visit for more information.

GEM Awards is the fine jewelry industry’s premier accolade gala, which recognizes the achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry & watches. Proceeds from GEM Awards directly benefit valuable industry programs that enhance JA’s mission to improve consumer confidence in jewelry and watches. Visit