Home » Rough Cut Podcasters Present Smart Jewelry News And Insightful Views

Rough Cut Podcasters Present Smart Jewelry News And Insightful Views

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ROUGH CUT is one of the jewelry world’s most radiant podcasts because of its colorful programming and dynamically well-informed hosts. ROUGH CUT was created by JB Jones, founder of the annual New York City Jewelry Week, along with jewelry and style photographer Alain Simić, as part of New York City Jewelry Week’s outreach. In spring 2024, ROUGH CUT relaunched as an independent entity, with a refocused point of view and two additional hosts, noted gemstone and jewelry industry journalists Amy Elliott, a contributing editor at JCK magazine, and Emili Vesilind, the Senior Content Editor at Jewelers Mutual Group and Editor-in-Chief of Gem + Jewel.

Those who tune in to ROUGH CUT will enjoy long-form reportage; compelling tales from jewelry history, along with witty and occasionally controversial commentary on material and design trends. Individuals who contribute to the betterment of the industry in terms of sourcing, design and ethics, plus economic and cultural forces that affect the jewelry industry, will also be covered. What’s more, listeners will get an earful of sparkling and irreverent gemstone and jewelry advice, along with tips on designers to follow, jewels to invest in and wear with passion. This writer caught up via email with the ROUGH CUT Gang of Four in advance of 2024’s editions of JCK Las Vegas and COUTURE Las Vegas. The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Kyle Roderick: Please name a few people whom you have interviewed on the podcast before, and topics you discussed.

Rough Cut co-founder Alain Simic and his three associates feature important industry leaders, … [+] emerging designers, plus other noteworthy jewelry-related individuals.

Alain Simic

Alain Simic: OnROUGH CUT, we like to feature important and thoughtful industry leaders, emerging designers, plus other noteworthy jewelry-related individuals we believe our listeners should absolutely know more about. ROUGH CUT’s co-founder JB Jones has a gift for discovering fresh and important talent. I think that’s her superpower, and ROUGH CUT is better for it.

On ROUGH CUT, we’ve interviewed the designer Emmanuel Tarpin, who ruminates about finding intriguing materials to create his highly artistic jewels. Tarpin has zero interest in being “commercial”, which makes him highly original. Jennifer Gandia of New York’s Greenwich St. Jewelers is an immensely thoughtful and spiritual person. Jennifer cares deeply about the state of the world and her ethical philosophy informs everything she does, including how she and her sister, Christina Gambale, run their business. New York-based designer Lorraine West, a.k.a. “the Legend” West, has also been on ROUGH CUT to discuss process, creativity, and all the blood, sweat, and tears that go into building compelling, beautiful and inspiring jewelry.

We also had an enlightening chat with Tiffany Stevens, President and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) who educates our audience about their legal obligations. Tiffany is someone who cares about doing the right thing and is guided by her profound moral clarity.

One of our most recent interviews features designer Marie Lichtenberg, who is a strong talent and rising star. Marie is changing the design landscape with her high taste level and sense of humor. She is an inspiring and radically self-possessed human. Listen to this episode here.Last but not least, I love our chat with Severine Ferrari, founder of the website, Instagram feed and media company Engagement 101, because she is very outspoken about LGBTQ representation in the bridal space.

For Rough Cut, Emili Vesilind is shaping episodes around the return of white silver and platinum, … [+] the rise of high quality costume jewelry; lab-grown diamond jewelry and trends spotted at 2024’s JCK Las Vegas Couture shows.

Emili Vesilind

Kyle Roderick: What are some of the most important jewelry design trends you are going to explore in upcoming ROUGH CUT podcasts?

Emili Vesilind: I’m shaping episodes around the return of white silver and platinum (white metals); the rise of high quality costume jewelry; lab-grown diamond jewelry that’s fashion-forward rather than traditional or “classic”; plus design, material and technical trends in evidence at JCK Las Vegas and the Couture Show

Amy Elliott: In addition to covering jewelry trends with sharp eyes, ROUGH CUT will always surf the cool and wild waves that are cresting in our culture. For example, TV shows, Taylor Swift, the demise of Roe v Wade, expensive groceries, AI— and we will discuss how these waves and currents affect the jewelry industry. Being professionally immersed in the jewelry business requires us to pay close attention to how fashion, global economies, social and humanitarian issues, and other external forces impact so many aspects of our business. For example, how do all of the above factors affect a designer setting prices for her newest pieces? How do these factors affect the viability of a brick and mortar store when so many transactions are happening online or on our phones?

JB Jones: I’m interested in documenting and discussing individuality and individual design visions and how people wear jewelry. Jewelry and fashion are becoming more and more individualized and I’m here for that! I’m excited to dig into the designers playing into that and I will report on how consumers are seeking out unique, artist-driven work.

As Amy Elliott noted, “Being professionally immersed in the jewelry business requires us to pay … [+] close attention to how fashion, global economies, social and humanitarian issues, and other external forces impact our industry.”

Amy Elliott

Kyle Roderick: What are some of your key reasons for participating in ROUGH CUT?

Emili Veslind: I think it’s crucial that the fine jewelry industry has a forum where honest conversations can and do happen—untethered from corporate interests—and ROUGH CUT is now a completely independent entity that welcomes jewelry professionals to turn over topics that are interesting, sticky, challenging, or just very entertaining.

Amy Elliott: I am excited to join this podcast after being a devoted listener in its original incarnation. I loved hearing smart colleagues, some of whom were also friends, talk about their jewelry career paths, loves, and frustrations with honesty. I loved the irreverence and straight talk. I’d like to see ROUGH CUT become a platform for dismantling the artifice and conceit that some of the industry trades on. Someone needs to bring the levity—and bring the heat. I think we will champion the disruptors; I know we will educate and inspire. Hopefully we will be inspiring with laughter rather than triggering eye rolls, and hopefully we will be inspiring listeners to think of jewelry and feel jewelry as a vehicle for joy. Because that’s what it is for me.

Rough Cut co-founder JB Jones focuses on highlighting designers and consumers who embody unique, … [+] artist-driven work.

JB Jones

JB Jones: I love this industry, but it needs more honest, fun, and fearless conversations. And that’s why Alain and I decided to bring ROUGH CUT back and expand the conversation with Emili and Amy’s involvement. Our audience is so devoted, and I think it’s because we relate to them, we listen to them, and we articulate observations and ideas that are largely absent from most jewelry media. I’m talking about individual points of view and the voices of jewelry lovers.

Kyle Roderick: Are all four of you attending the Vegas jewelry shows this year?

Emili Vesilind: Amy, Alain and I are going to the shows this year. It will be my 13th consecutive year attending, and this year I’ll be on the hunt for new and interesting brands to cover for Gem + Jewel and to feature on ROUGH CUT. I am always trying to get a handle on emerging trends. The jewelry industry is saturated with marvelous brands, yet there’s a lot of sameness when it comes to design. We need a few more Marie Lichtenbergs and Bea Bongiascas, designers who create and come to market with a distinct point of view. I’m always hoping to be stopped in my tracks at the shows! And maybe this year, for the first year, I’ll find an hour to sit by the pool? One can hope…

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