By  on February 5, 2007

NEW YORK — The jewelry industry's major players honored their peers at the annual Jewelry Information Center's Gem Awards.

This year's recipients were Jack Heuer, who received a Lifetime Achievement award; the Kwiat family-owned diamond company, which was cited for Enduring Achievement, and jewelry writer Jill Newman, who got the award for Excellence in Journalism.

Heuer received the award from Tag Heuer's new president and chief executive officer, Ulrich Wohn, and toasted his father, who "more or less dragged me into the watch industry 50 years ago," he said.

"Our worldwide ceo and president, Jean-Christophe Babin described Jack's role the best," Wohn said during the award ceremonies Friday at Cipriani here. "Jack Heuer built our roots. He connects our past and our future — knowing what we stand for and knowing where we're going."

Four generations of the Kwiat family — 11 members — marched onto the stage to accept their award. This was the first year the honor was presented, coinciding with diamond jewelry firm Kwiat's celebration of 100 years in the business.

"I know my father [David] never expected to be rewarded for doing the right thing or for living up to his own high standards,'' said co-president Lowell Kwiat. "But I do know that he feels good to be here at this moment, receiving well-deserved recognition for his life's work."

Michael J. Kowalski, president and ceo of Tiffany & Co., presented Newman with her award, saying that early in his career, "It became obvious to me that the Jill Newman byline was synonymous with fairness, accuracy, insight and, most importantly, a profound understanding of our industry."

Newman has spent her 20-year career focusing on the jewelry and watch industry — a genre that has taken her from WWD to W magazine to her current post as contributing editor at the Robb Report. "As a journalism major, I never expected that one topic could take me to so many places in the world and could fulfill so many stories and so many great ideas,'' Newman said. "It's so gratifying to be acknowledged for something you truly enjoy doing."

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