6 months ago

Jeweller - April Issue 2018


DURAFLEX - THOMAS SABO ISAAC JEWELLERY STONES & SILVER PANDORA style and sensibility, as well as mark the moments and milestones in their lives. The broad spread of pricing also appeals to many consumers, therefore price is not a barrier,” he explains. For the quiet achiever to become that winning formula, visibility is crucial, Edwards explains. “The concept of collectability is key, and effectively marketing this is critical,” he says. “This is why with Thomas Sabo, the launch of Generation Charm Club is accompanied by a comprehensive marketing concept to support local retailpartner marketing strategies. This includes a new generation Charm Club logo, unique POS presentation, advertising campaign, value-adding promotions, staff training portal, social media support and more.” Atakliyan says charms lend themselves perfectly to today’s online sales climate. “Charms are playful and full of meaning, and as marketing ingredients, they are easily conveyed in today’s world of social media,” she says. “Charm material can be presented with any occasion, memory or message you wish to pass on to your clientele.” For Abbott, personally helping the customer make the first step is key. “Be interested in you customer, listen and ask questions, to be able to help them build a story in iconic links that resonates emotionally,” he suggests. GETTING BANG FOR BUCK Charms don’t have to be limited to the bracelet domain either, Edwards says. In addition to the Thomas Sabo Generation Charm Club, Duraflex also carries the popular Nikki Lissoni range, which includes collectible charm bangles. “They are essentially similar, but also provide options for interchanging, personalisation and wearing more charms, further driving the passion for collecting and sales,” Edwards says. Even better, Atakliyan says retailers can benefit without blowing out the budget. “Small collections of charms will benefit stores as customers will be attracted to them. Once the offer is there as a choice, retailers can order on an as-needed basis without committing a huge part of their yearly budget. They will stay relevant with the current market demand, instead of missing out,” she explains. “We have found the Australian consumer loves Australian quality products. The messages ‘We are Australian’ and ‘Hand-made in Australia’ helps with successful sales,” she adds. A CHARMING FUTURE The popularity of charms has exploded worldwide and the local market is no different. “Sell-through from existing Composable stockists has been strong, with consistent reorders,” says Abbott. “And since the new distribution arrangement that started in January, with a refocus on Composable Links, we have 25 new retail partners.” Edwards says: “Both Thomas Sabo and Nikki Lissoni continue to be strong jewellery brands in both the Australian and New Zealand markets. The Thomas Sabo Charm Club is the strongest-selling range in Australia, closely followed by the sterling silver jewellery range. “For Nikki Lissoni, the charm products are an excellent addition to the core concept of interchangeable coins, which are the best sellers here locally.” Atakliyan also says the Isaac charm collections “have performed very well since our initial launch of the Surreal brand in 2008.” She puts it down to being an Australian product, with a quality that inspires consumers to choose Isaac over other brands. With the trend still going strong, suppliers are hard at work keeping it new and fresh. “We are launching ‘Illuminate’, our new range of charms and jewellery with luminous gems and diamonds, which are collectable items,” Atakliyan adds. “The sky is the limit for mixing jewellery with charms; there is always room for marvellous creations.” Thomas Sabo also has an extensive new range of offerings. “With around 260 restyled, high-quality charm designs, including extra-large charms, single earrings and a wealth of different carriers such as necklaces, bracelets and hinged hoops, the new collection is a completely new and modern offering,” Edwards says. “Generation Charm Club now addresses all Thomas Sabo target groups, above and beyond the loyal fans of the collection. This is by means of the new alignment of the collection, new pricing and combination options, and the addition of the unisex ‘Vintage Rebel’ designs.” As Atakliyan puts it, “Charm jewellery has been in our lives and will be part of it for many centuries to come.” If history is anything to go by, she may be right, and retailers can be the ones to help turn it into a reality. i 28 Jeweller April 2018 NOMINATION

GEMS COLOUR INVESTIGATION: RUBY African supplies have traditionally produced darker stones, however the new mines produce colours that bridge the gap between those from the classic sources of Myanmar (low iron, strong fluorescence) and Thailand/ Cambodia (high iron, low fluorescence) suiting a range of different markets. A ruby’s value is determined not only by colour, but its clarity, cut and carat size. Consumers must be aware of the multitude of treatments and synthetics. Heat treatment is common practice as it parallels what can happen in nature. The heating process removes silk inclusions, enhancing clarity and richness of colour. Although it does affect the price, if heat treatment does not add anything artificial to the stone, it is an accepted treatment amongst gemmologists. INTERPRETATION OF COLOUR IS SUBJECTIVE Desire for ruby today is great as ever. With fluctuating quality and supply, and a high demand for stones over one carat, this blazing beauty can demand the highest price per carat of any coloured gemstone. Once thought to have held the power of life due to its likeness in colour to blood, rubies are still a highly coveted gemstone, signifying wealth, success, love and passion. Ruby is the red variety of corundum, a crystalline form of aluminium oxide. Colourless in its purest state, corundum is ‘allochromatic’ – meaning it relies on trace impurities to influence its colour. For ruby, chromic oxide replaces some of the alumina in the crystal structure. The amount of chromium present determines the strength of ruby’s red, while the presence of other elements, such as iron, influence tone and hue. Other than the orange-red through to strong purplish red stones, which are called ruby, gem quality corundum is known as sapphire, prefixed by its colour. Paler reds or pinks are thus appropriately named pink sapphire. The finest, rarest quality rich-red Burmese rubies come from the Mogok (old source) or Mong Hsu (new source) mines. These chromium-rich crystals form in a white marble and because they contain no iron, the result is vivid pinky-red stones that can show fluorescence in sunlight, adding to their intensity and value. In comparison, the rubies of Cambodia and Thailand originate in iron-rich basalt and are typically darker. These stones have an orangered colouring because the iron impurities diminish the vividness caused by chromium. In the past eight years, Mozambique – a location of recent ruby discoveries – have become a dominant source of commercial quantities of varying quality and colour. THE DOMINANCE OF TREATED STONES ON THE MARKET MEANS THAT CONSUMERS SHOULD TRUST THEIR LOCAL GEMMOLOGIST OR REGISTERED NCJV VALUER TO ASCERTAIN THEIR TRUE IDENTITY In more recent years glass has been used to fill fractures in rubies, but while the stone is made more attractive, the glass fill can dramatically decrease its durability. Sometimes called ‘composite rubies’ – but more accurately ‘glass fracture-filled natural ruby’ – the nature of such stones should be explained and priced accordingly. Interpretation of colour may be subjective, but there is no denying the beauty of an intense red ruby. The dominance of treated stones on the market however, means that consumers should trust their local Gemmologist or Registered NCJV valuer to ascertain their true identity. i STACEY LIM FGAA BA Design, is a qualified gemmologist and gemmology teacher/assistant. She is a jewellery designer, marketing manager and passionate communicator on gemmology. For information on gemstones, visit: April 2018 Jeweller 29