George Holmes, longtime editor of JCK, dies at 93
George W. Holmes, longtime editor of JCK magazine, died June 20.
He was 93 years old.
According to his obituary:JCK magazine, during Holmes’ tenure, covered all the significant issues facing jewelers, from soaring gold and diamond prices in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to extremely high crime rates high during the same period. Award-winning investigative articles on jewelry fencing, shoddy appraisal practices, the near collapse of the Swiss watch industry (and its rebirth), and undisclosed gemstone treatments also appeared in his pages. At the same time, the magazine has made a significant contribution to service journalism, providing useful, practical and expert advice to working jewelers, as well as regular updates of statistical and marketing data.
He retired in 1996.
Holmes died in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife, Deborah.
Holmes was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1928. He moved permanently to the United States in the late 1950s, to pursue a career in journalism.
Holmes’ father was a Captain in the British Army during World War I (1914-18) and was a victim of chemical warfare on the Western Front. He returned home to Dublin and started a family, which eventually included three sons. Holmes was the youngest, but his father died of pneumonia before he was born, leaving his mother to raise the children.
Holmes and his brothers won the right to be educated in a school for children from families of limited means. The headmaster of his school, recognizing that young George was gifted, worked to ensure that Holmes was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, still considered one of the highest ranked universities in the world. He majored in modern languages and graduated in 1950. He also traveled extensively through war-torn Europe, still recovering from World War II.
Committed to becoming a journalist, Holmes repeatedly applied for a job to the editor of The Irish Times, who eventually said yes. One of his first stories, when assigned a leisurely pace on Sundays, was about a hen raising pigeons like his own. Written in a funny and ironic style, the story made headlines and her career was launched.
In 1954, Holmes was one of only two foreign journalists to win a journalism scholarship from the University of Michigan. He traveled a lot in the United States during his school holidays. He spent the second year of his fellowship writing for three Michigan newspapers. Holmes also wrote a series of articles for The Irish Times, chronicling his impressions of post-war America.
Back in Europe, he settled in England to work at the Manchester goalkeeper. He then returned to North America, where he worked for the Detroit Timesthe Globe and Mail in Toronto, and the the wall street journal.
Feeling like a cog in those big newspapers, Holmes took a job in 1963 with a business and trade magazine covering the jewelry industry, called (at the time) Jewelers Circular Keystone (JCK), based in Philadelphia, where he rose to the rank of editor.
Leaving in 1968, he and several associates founded Focus, a Philadelphia regional business weekly, the first publication that covered in-depth business news from the Philadelphia area. But when personnel disputes broke out the team in 1974, Holmes and his friend Charles Bond were drawn to JCK as editor and publisher. Deborah Holmes, his wife, was already there as editor and, eventually, managing editor. The couple married in 1971.
During Holmes’ years of leadership, JCK became the leading international jewelry publication in its field, bringing its editors 16 Neal and Holmes Awards and a Crain Award for Distinguished Editorial Achievement, all from American Business Press, at the time the leading business-to-business magazine organization. Holmes was also a member of the group that launched the JCK Show in Las Vegas in 1991; it quickly became one of the biggest jewelry events in the world.
JCK magazine, during Holmes’ tenure, covered all the significant issues facing jewelers, from soaring gold and diamond prices in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to extremely high crime rates high during the same period. Award-winning investigative articles on jewelry fencing, shoddy appraisal practices, the near collapse of the Swiss watch industry (and its rebirth), and undisclosed gemstone treatments also appeared in his pages. At the same time, the magazine has made a significant contribution to service journalism, providing useful, practical and expert advice to working jewelers, as well as regular updates of statistical and marketing data.
After moving to Downingtown in 1979, the Holmes retired there in 1996. They helped found and served on the open space committee of East Brandywine and delivered for Meals on Wheels in Chester County for many years. many years. George Holmes handled consumer inquiries at the Lancaster office of the Better Business Bureau for two years and reported and wrote the Township of East Brandywine newsletter, The milestonefor 12 years.
Along with his wife, Holmes was an avid reader, gardener, and hiker. The couple returned several times to their favorite national parks, including Banff and Yoho in Canada, Acadia in Maine and Saguaro and Chiricahua in Arizona.
There will be no public funeral, but a memorial gathering is planned.
Those wishing to make donations in memory of George Holmes can do so for:
Brandywine Valley SPCA https://bvspca.org/donate/
Chester County Habitat for Humanity https://hfhcc.org/
Chester County Food Bank https://chestercountyfoodbank.org/.