MJA Seminars

Upcoming Seminars


MJA Fall Seminar

Wilderness Resort - Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm - MJA Board Meeting

8:00 pm - 9:30 pm - “Meet Your MJA Board of Directors”

Sunday, September 15, 2019

9:30 am Registration

10:00 am “Fine-tuning your Repair Department to Maximize Profits” - David Geller, JewelerProfit Are you getting the results you want from this important part of your business? In this session you will learn proven strategies for developing both your custom and repair departments.

Over the Counter: Current best practice protocols for take-ins

“It’s going to cost WHAT?”: Answering customer price concerns effectively--without discounting your labor

Scheduling: The Art of the Flow

Finger on the Pulse: Analyzing your shop operation in QB

11:30 am 2019 MJA Design Competition Pieces on Display - VOTE FOR JEWELERS’S CHOICE

12:15 pm Lunch – JA Presentation on Cost of Doing Business Survey and JA Partnership

1:00 pm “Team Building for the Holidays” - Nick Failla, Collected Concepts When the curtain comes up on the holiday selling season, make sure your sales team is ready to rock every opportunity! In this interactive seminar, Nick will show you how to better manage sales behaviors to achieve better outcomes. You’ll learn how to use the Eight Steps of the Sale to guide your team to an outstanding 2019 fourth quarter.


Past Seminars


21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested & Valued

Thermo Fisher Scientific - Madison, WI.

Description of Presentation:

Jadeite and nephrite prices are continuing to reach record highs at jewelry auctions. Before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, nephrite was viewed more as a trinket than as a worthy jewelry material. However, that changed when the Olympic medals were inlaid with nephrite and people learned that nephrite jade was the original Chinese “stone of heaven.” Since then, jade prices have risen rapidly and the allure of nephrite jade in China has soared. Well known designers in the West like Todd Reed and Roberto Coin are using nephrite jade in high-end jewelry.

When gem materials go up in value and popularity, the desire to imitate and treat them increases. Some fakes are obvious, while others aren’t. In addition, treated jade, may be worth less than some fakes. In her presentation to our club, Newman will give practical tips on how to distinguish fake and treated jade from natural jade using examples of modern jade jewelry and carvings. Her presentation will help you:

  • Understand why jade is so prized

  • Tell the difference between jadeite and nephrite

  • Determine which types of jadeite and nephrite are most valued. Their value factors are not the same.

  • Detect fake jade using visual, tactile and auditory non-technical clues

  • Recognize when to be suspicious that jade has been treated with chemicals

  • Appreciate contemporary jade.

Renée will be available before and after her presentation to autograph books. Bring cash or a check if you would like to purchase copies of them. Her Exotic Gems: Volume 4 book is the fourth in a series that explores the history, lore, evaluation, geographic sources and identifying properties of non-traditional gems. It describes with text and photos how to evaluate jade quality and detect imitations and dyed jade. Information about the book is available at

Speaker Bio:


Renée Newman became passionately interested in gems in the early 1980's while conducting tours to Asia, South America and the South Pacific. Her passengers wanted to know how to judge the quality of the gems they saw. After searching in bookstores and libraries for this information, Renée discovered that little had been written on the subject of gem quality evaluation, so she decided it would be worth creating books with photos that showed how to judge gem quality.

After receiving a graduate gemologist diploma from the GIA, she was hired as a gemologist at a wholesale firm in downtown Los Angeles. It provided hands-on experience grading diamonds and selecting colored gems and pearls for their jewelry. Armed with trade experience and gemological credentials, Renée decided to create books that showed readers how to visually evaluate the quality of gems. Her first book, the Diamond Ring Buying Guide, was published in 1989. Since that time, she has written twelve more books on gems and jewelry. They are used as gemology course textbooks, sales training tools, appraisal references and consumer guides. For more information about Renée and her books go to




Jewelers Mutual - Neenah, WI

Midwest Jewelers Association and GIA Wisconsin invite you to this interactive discussion on October 16, 2017. Through interactive, guided discussion led by GIA instructor Shelly Verwymeren, this seminar will present information on HPHT and CVD-grown synthetic diamonds and how to separate them from natural diamond.


Identifying Gemstone Treatments

Jewelers Mutual - Neenah, WI

The gemstone treatment topic has always been a hot one for our industry. Do you know how to identify if a gemstone has been treated? Come learn all the tricks from, GIA Instructor, Shelly Verwymeren as she presents on the following:

  • Various treatment processes in the market

  • Most commonly treated gemstones

  • How to identify treatments


Fall Seminar and a Round of Golf

Kalahari Resort - Wisconsin Dells, WI.

For you golf enthusiasts, play a round in an area carved by glaciers, with the scenic Wisconsin Dells countryside as you canvas. Two-time U.S. Open Champion Andy North and world renowned golf course designer Roger Packard have created what many consider to be the ultimate type of course.

SHANE DECKER presents “The Weakest Part of the Presentation: Closing Skills”.

Geared to get everyone “staff ready” for the upcoming holiday season, his presentation will cover: How to close all the way through; 8 types of closes; What to do when a client says “no” and Review of sales profiles.

DOUG HUCKER, AGTA CEO presents “Success in the Color Gemstone Revolution: Passion and a Plan”.

Colored gemstone jewelry is rapidly evolving from just a fashion staple to one of the primary sources of growth in revenue and margins in the retail industry. This seminar will address the marketplace, the trends and the issues that are impacting your success with this exciting and challenging product. Jewelry Retailers have opportunities to make extraordinary margins in their colored gemstone and culture pearl departments. Successful growth in sales requires a dedicated and planned approach. Doug will share proven strategies to get your staff and your merchandise prepared for the customer of today and the approaching holiday season.