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Vicki and Howard Cunningham are strong advocates of promoting ethics and corporate social responsibility within the jewelry industry. Their retail store, Cunningham Fine Jewelry, was a leader in the retail jewelry world for proactive store policies and its support in the eradication of conflict diamonds and responsible gold mining practices for 25 years. In 2008 Cunningham Fine Jewelry was named as one of Americas Best Jewelers and in 2009 was named to the National Jeweler Hall of Fame. Oklahoma Magazine has featured Cunningham Fine Jewelry as one of Oklahoma’s top 3 jewelry stores 10 of the past 12 years. In March 2013 they closed their retail operation at 41st & Yale and moved their business to an office where they continue to serve their clients with appraisals, jewelry repair, special orders and as always beautiful diamonds.
Vicki Cunningham, GIA, GG, CMA, NAJA
A jewelry industry icon, Vicki Cunningham has served on the Board of Directors of the Responsible Jewelry Council , Jewelers of America, and Diamond Council of America and on the board for Jewelers for Children. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Jewelers Association. In 2006, Vicki Cunningham was recognized as Southwest Star of Oklahoma for her contributions to the jewelry industry. In 2008 Cunningham Fine Jewelry was named as one of America’s Best Jewelers and in 2009 was named to the National Jeweler Hall of Fame. Vicki achieved the coveted title of Certified Master Appraiser with the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers in 2016. Cunningham Fine Jewelry was named one of Oklahoma’s Top 3 Jewelry Stores ten of the past 11 years. In 2011 the Oklahoma Jewelers Association presented Vicki with the Lifetime Achievement Award and induction in the Oklahoma Jewelers Hall of Fame.
Howard began his career in the jewelry industry traveling on the road with Norvell Marcum in 1967. Following that he represented Keepsake Diamonds, a premier diamond and engagement ring company, and was a member of Keepsake’s Million Dollar Club. In 1982 Howard joined one of the top diamond companies based in New York and Israel as their National Sales Manager. H. Cunningham Inc., a diamond importing company, was formed in 1985. In 2004 the Oklahoma Jewelers Association presented Howard with the Lifetime Achievement Award and induction in the Oklahoma Jewelers Hall of Fame. Additionally Howard as served on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Jewelers Association, Jewelry Information Center, and the Southwest 24kt Club. Howard has been certified in diamonds from the Diamond Council of America and has achieved the level of Senior Management Professional from Jewelers of America.
Ethics & Responsible Jewelry Practices
Vicki and Howard Cunningham are strong advocates of promoting ethics and corporate social responsibility within the jewelry industry. Their retail store, Cunningham Fine Jewelry, has been a leader in the retail jewelry world for proactive store policies and its support in the eradication of conflict diamonds and responsible gold mining practices.
In March of 2007, Vicki Cunningham was honored by the Jeweler’s Association of America with an invitation to speak before an international audience at the World Jewellery Confederation Congress in Cape Town, South Africa (CIBJO) on the topic of corporate social responsibility within the industry. Here she joined forces with industry leader Sir Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of the De Beers Group, as well as government leaders such as South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka and representatives from the United Nations.
“I was honored to be asked by the Jewelers of America to represent U.S. retailer jewelers’ support for responsible business practices at CIBJO,” says Cunningham. “It is extremely important that our supply partners understand retailers, who are the face of the jewelry industry to the public and take these matters seriously.” In her discussion, she shared the store’s policies and her efforts to educate the trade on corporate social responsibility.
Following the Congress, in May 2007 Mrs. Cunningham was awarded a position on the Board of Directors of the Council of Responsible Jewelry Practices (CRJP), which is a worldwide organization that is committed to promoting responsible business practices throughout the industry. From monitoring the mining process to educating employees and the public on corporate responsibility, the CRJP is a strong presence within the industry and maintains a strict code of ethics that its members must follow. Mrs. Cunningham served in that position with the Council of Responsible Jewelry for 6 years.
For more information on the Jewelers Association of America, please visit www.jewelers.org.