In 1998, following a gathering of Armenian jewelers from all over the world, the Armenian Jewellers' Association (AJA) was founded. AJA is one of the first international trade and development associations. The Association’s aim is to unite Armenian jewelers in order to develop the country's jewelry industry. It has regional representatives in the United States (East & West coasts), Europe, the Middle East, and Armenia. AJA is one of the first international trade and development associations in Armenia.
The first meeting of the Armenian Jewellers' Association was attended by nearly 60 representatives from Armenia and the Diaspora. The participants included business people involved in jewelry, diamond manufacturing, trade, and fashion jewelry. Diasporean Armenians from countries such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iran, Syria and the Unites States were in attendance. Also present were representatives from other related Associations and Organizations.
Pierre Akkelian and Vartkess Knadjian meet in Tokyo during the Japanese Jewelry event and expand on their vision of uniting Armenian jewelers for the benefit of Armenia.
Under the auspices of the Minister of Industry of Trade Karnig Nanauglian, a group of diasporean Armenian jewelers meet with jewelers from Armenia. Under the Honorary Chairmanship of Haik Arslanian, the group decides to form the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA) with the objective of unifying Armenian jewelers in the Diaspora in order to galvanize the industry in Armenia.
The First Assembly of Armenian Jewelers is held in Basel as well as its first elections: Djanik Oskanian becomes Honorary President, Haik Arslanian and Gagik Abrahamian become Co-Presidents of AJA. The Board begins preparing its Statutes, Mission Statement and Goals.
The First Board Meeting is held in Antwerp. The Statutes are discussed and approved by the Board to present to the General Assembly.
The Second Assembly is held in Yerevan, Armenia. Statutes are adopted and numerous business initiatives are launched by AJA members.
AJA Chapters are created in the following cities/countries:
Los Angeles (West Coast USA), New York City (East Coast USA), Vancouver (Canada), Sydney, Paris, Antwerp, Geneva, Greece, Italy and Beirut.
In additions, there were members representing Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Dubai, Egypt and Syria.
In Armenia, the Jewelers of Armenia form their own Association and begin participating in AJA’s meetings through their representatives.
The Association’s 14th Assembly is held in Basel. The Board approves statutes, creating new membership categories and launches an initiative to hold the first International Jewelry Exhibition in Yerevan slated for November of 2010.
During AJA’s 15th board meeting in Basel on March 26, members proceed to elect a new board and chairman. Shant Haytayan, one of the most respected board members, accepts the candidacy of Gagik Gevorkyan and recommends the board to elect Mr. Gevorkyan.
JCK Las Vegas is the leading jewelry event in North America for retail jewelers and wholesalers. This year for the first time, AJA had a booth at the JCK show which began June 3rd and lasted 3 days.
AJA’s holds its first exhibition in Yerevan, Armenia from September 21 to 23. The event’s dates are timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence.
During the three days, visitors at the Yerevan Show browse through a huge variety of jewelry made from precious and semi-precious stones. Famous Armenian jewelers from countries such as the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Russia, France, Italy, Thailand and Lebanon participate in the exhibition.
On November 5, a ceremonial dinner is held at the Grand Hotel in Paris in honor of AJA President Gagik Gevorkyan.