Local jeweler, John Green appointed to International Position
By Lisa Lelas
Photography by Jane and Michael Shauck, Iris Photography
John Green, of Lux, Bond & Green, appears to have gemstones in his DNA. He is a certified gemologist appraiser and now embraces yet another prestigious title, as he is named the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of
America. As one of the country’s leading experts in the field of diamonds and colored stones, his selection really comes as no surprise.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is a non-profit worldwide organization, known as the leading source for education, research and laboratory services for gemstones. Established in 1931, the GIA is considered the authority on diamonds, colored stones and pearls.
“It’s the number one source in the world for rating a gemstone,” John explains, “Any gem you see auctioned at Christies or Sotheby’s is usually accompanied by an official GIA report.”
World headquartered in Carlsbad, California, the GIA has other offices throughout the world, including New York City and Hong Kong.
“Not all jewelers are gemologists, although many of the better ones are,” he says, “Like in any profession, the more knowledge you have the better you can help clients. Most of us in the jewelry profession understand the need and took correspondence or residency programs offered through the GIA to become a gemologist.”
The GIA offers Graduate Gemologists degrees, as well as individual courses of study, such as learning about diamonds or colored stones. After college, John went to California to take classes, full time at GIA. Even today, as a certified gemologist, he is required to take annual exams to keep up with changes, since there are always new discoveries and new gemstone treatments.
John has been a member of the GIA board since 2008. There are 16 board members, from all over the world, such as Hong Kong, Israel and Dubai. He is only one of three retailers on the board…the rest are comprised of other experts in the industry as well as experts in the fields of compliance, finance, education and research.
“We have two in-person board meetings each year. One is always held in Carlsbad and the other in various locations around the world. This year we met in Botswana, Africa…the largest diamond producing country in the world.”
John was born and raised in this profession. “We are the fourth generation in our family business. In 1898, my great-grandfather, known as M.A. Green, opened up our first storefront in Waterbury. Interestingly, in years prior to that, he originally started in the business selling jewelry from a horse and cart!”
The second generation of Greens came to Hartford in 1932 and took over a company called, at the time, Lux Bond & Lux Jewelers. In 1933 it became Lux Bond & Green, and in the 1960’s, after John’s dad bought a store called Philip H. Stevens (sellers of fine china, glass and jewelry) and merged the two stores into one, it became ‘Lux Bond
Green & Stevens’, located on Pratt Street, eventually turning into Lux Bond & Green.
“I was always intrigued with jewelry and gemstones,” he explains, “at 7 years old, I started out as a gift wrapper in the family’s store. If I wasn’t in school, I was helping out at the store.”
Currently Lux Bond & Green stores are in 8 locations, six in Connecticut and two in the Boston area (they are the official jewelry sponsor of the Boston Red Sox). Their flagship store is on LaSalle Road in West Hartford center.
“Even with 8 stores, we like being a ‘family business serving a local community’,” he says. John and his wife, Norma Jean, have four kids, Dan, Debbie, Allie and Charlie.
“Our company and our family have been leaders in the jewelry industry. We are passionate about it and are lucky enough that the industry has recognized us for what we do. We are helping the world, one community at a time,” he says referring too much of the world profits from the diamond mining industry given right back to the people of Africa. “A lot of good happens with profits made from diamonds, whether here in our own community or around the world.”
So, what’s trending for this year’s holiday season? John says colored stones are very much back this year. “A woman wearing reds, pinks, greens or blues…it’s very much a part of her fashion wardrobe.” But, there are some jewelry items that are forever timeless. Lux Bond & Green is the #1 diamond engagement store in all of New England. “We always keep a full supply of good quality diamonds and settings. While we do have bigger inventory during the holiday season, we are pretty consistent throughout the year.”
Also, this month, you’ll find many special holiday gift items, such as Santa cuff links and many specials under $100 celebrating the season.
“The old slogan of my great-grandfather was ‘M.A. Green-Famous for Diamonds’. We continue to keep that tradition!”
Tips to help you shop this season…
• Gold is a perfect metal in jewelry because it will never rust, tarnish, or corrode, and it is very strong. Furthermore, gold is extremely malleable, allowing it to be made into virtually any shape. Because of this, gold jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes.
• Platinum is pure, an expression of integrity, a reflection of inner truth. Platinum’s purity endows it with a brilliant white luster. Due to this luster, platinum helps to reflect the true radiance of diamonds.
• Pure silver, also called fine silver, is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product.
• Each setting has its own personality. Knowing your way around these selections will help you determine which setting suits your personal style and tastes. Find out more about settings at: http://lbgreen.com/Education/Settings
“Our company and our family have been leaders in the jewelry industry. We are passionate about it and are lucky enough that the industry has recognized us for what we do.”