NEW YORK — The brisk weather that followed the chill in holiday sales didn’t stop jewelry executives from coming out en masse Friday night to the first Gem Awards presented by the Jewelers Information Center.

A crowd of more than 700 industry members attended the black-tie dinner and awards event held at Cipriani’s 42nd Street here and hosted by TV personality Deborah Norville. The awards were established by the JIC, the public relations arm of the fine jewelry industry, to honor members of the media who have given "superior coverage to the world of gems and jewelry." This year’s honorees were Marion Fasel and Penny Proddow of In Style magazine, Sibby Christensen of the Associated Press and Vivienne Becker of Harper & Queen.

In addition, Tiffany & Co. was honored with the Corporate Communications Award and Gedalio "Gerry" Grinberg, the chairman of Movado Group Inc., received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael Kowalski, Tiffany’s president and chief executive officer, on accepting the award, said: "Making Tiffany magically irresistible is the goal of all our communications. Through compelling messages on many levels, from publicity and advertising to catalogs, books, Web sites, community affairs, even investor relations, we have tried to establish a deep connection with our customers based on trust, integrity and that greater meaning that Tiffany brings to life’s most important occasions."

In his speech, Grinberg spoke movingly of how he came to America from Cuba in 1960 and worked his way up through the watch industry, eventually acquiring Movado in 1983. He is credited with building Movado into a world-recognized brand and is also known for his generous patronage of the arts.

"This reward is about more than an individual," Grinberg told the crowd. "It’s about a country and a system that gives opportunities for success to those who try harder, are committed and play by the rules."

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