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Disaster Strikes Japan
The recent earthquake followed by the tsunami that struck Japan and the nuclear catastrophe have taken a huge toll of that country, lets take a look at the broader picture briefly asseses the likely impact on the gems and jewellery industry.
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 2 2011 2:53PM
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Reference: 5955  

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While the global gems and jewellery industry can take heart in the fact that the Japanese disasters have not made a major dent in its business, the people of Japan and its economy which has been struggling for years will definitely take time to recover from this traumatic experiences. Towards this they have both the sympathy and support of the entire world. And even as various governments have come forward to help Japan’s rebuilding efforts, the gems and jewellery industry is also contributing its mite for the people of Japan, at various levels.

U.S. Jewellers Do Their Bit

Jewellers in the United States have quickly organised themselves to contribute towards relief measures in crisis ridden Japan.

“Jewelers For Japan”, has been set up as a fundraising organisation to provide help to the victims of Japan’s twin natural calamities. The effort has been launched by a group of individuals and organisations in the jewellery industry. The Jewelers for Japan is co-chaired by Julianne Paulsen CEO of Viaggio Bracelet and retail store "Rocks the Jewelers," and online jewellery industry pioneer Jacques Voorhees, of VeriChannel, LLC.

In a departure from most other such efforts, the group has appealed to jewellers and consumers around the country to donate scrap gold and silver jewellery, in lieu of cash. The organization has made an arrangement with refiner Rio Grande, for scrap gold and silver collected from such donations to be refined and converted to cash without a refining fee. Under the agreement, Rio Grande will send the money directly to the American Red Cross, to help in its Japan relief effort.

The organization has also planned an outreach programme and its website provides advice on how jewellers can arrange donations from their local community, taking in donations through local stores.

"It's heartbreaking for all of us to watch those images of people suffering, coming across the TV every night," said Paulsen. "This is something our industry can do that will make a difference.”

"We're hoping the campaign goes viral," said Voorhees. "To make it happen, we'll be harnessing online social media with Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In campaigns to spread the word. We hope to reach 80% of retail jewelry stores in the U.S. within two weeks."

Interestingly, the group's tagline reads: "Mother nature is powerful. But so are we."

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