Holly McHone Jewelry, located in downtown Astoria, recently announced its membership in the Independent Jewelers Organization, an international buying group and educational organization of independent retail jewelers. Holly McHone Jewelry will be the area's exclusive Master IJO Jeweler member.

"We seek out one of the top two independent retail jewelers in a market area for exclusive membership in IJO," said Jeffrey Roberts, president and CEO

of the organization. "Our members share the international purchasing power of almost

900 members across the U.S., plus members in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia."

Roberts also added that the organization's educational, business, and marketing programs are unique in the jewelry industry.

"They are designed to put the local independent jeweler on an equal footing with the national chains they compete with today," Roberts said.

Holly McHone, owner of Holly McHone Jewelry, said the firm will be taking advantage of as many IJO membership benefits as possible.

Benefits include direct access to the international diamond markets of Antwerp, Belgium through the lJO Buying Office located there.

Holly McHone Jewelry is located at 1150 Commercial Street. For more information call (506) 325-8029.