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VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY MARCH 2019

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INSIDE THE UNUSUAL WORLD OF

MOKUME GANE JEWELLERY

VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY MARCH 2019

NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND

TECHNIQUES REINVENT A CLASSIC

oagems.com

INDIA’S DESIGN REVOLUTION

GOES ON SHOW

CONTENTS

MARCH 2019

15/

19/

26/

FEATURES REGULARS BUSINESS

15/ ALLOYED FORCES

Jewellery fans embrace the ancient

metal technique of mokume gane

19/ PEARL TALK

Take a deep dive into the pearl

industry as it overcomes challenges

with innovation

26/ INDIAN EXPRESS

Traditional techniques meet creativity

and modern minimalism at the India

International Jewellery Show

30/ WATCH & LEARN

Geneva’s Salon International de la

Haute Horlogerie steps up its game

ahead of Baselworld

9/ Editorial

10/ Upfront

11/ News

33/ Gems

Coloured quartz

41/ ARA

42/ 10 Years Ago

43/ Calendar

44/ My Bench

46/ Soapbox

Michael Oboler warns not enough

is being done to protect stores and

staff from robberies

35/ Business feature

Create a winning social-media

marketing strategy with

Alex York’s expert tips

37/ Selling

Bryan Pearson reveals what

retailers get right – and wrong

38/ Management

It’s crucial to build a dream

team if you want to succeed,

writes AmyK Hutchens

44/ Marketing

Lisa Masiello reveals why you

should track both customer

loyalty and customer satisfaction

45/ Logged On

There’s a simple, quick and effective

online tool to boost your local

sales, says Katie Bunch

Heavy metal

Pearl power

+ +

Hi, Mumbai

Front cover description:

O’Neils Affiliated stocks one-of-akind

baroque pearls. Other shapes

available include traditional round,

drop, pear and mabe pearls. For

more information on gems of all

kinds, visit: oagems.com

March 2019 Jeweller 5


Success is a journey,

not a destination

Closer buying group collaboration

Jewellery Design Awards

New hands-on education

TOGETHER IS ALWAYS BETTER


In challenging times it’s how an industry

comes together and works to support each other

which dictates how well they move forward

TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE

INTERNATIONAL

J E W ELLERY & WATCH FAIR

August 24 > 26, 2019

ICC Sydney > Exhibition Centre > Darling Harbour

WWW.JEWELLERYFAIR.COM.AU

Organised by


All brands officially distributed by

T. (02) 9417 0177 W. www.dgau.com.au


EDITORIAL

SYNTHETIC HEADLINES JUST GROW CONFUSION

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally

confused. Regular readers will know

that more often these days, I don’t know

whether I’m Arthur or Martha – or in this

age of gender equality, just ‘Ar’!

And what adds to my puzzlement and woe

is synthetic diamonds. You see, one day the

lab-grown market is booming and the next

it isn’t.

The media reports are all over the place –

not to mention contradictory.

Example: One media report last month

was headlined, “Here’s why more people

are buying lab-grown diamonds”. However,

the very next day, the headlines read:

“Wholesale prices for lab-grown diamonds

have fallen by 60 per cent, claims De Beers”.

Can we have so much change within a

24-hour period?

Now, I’m no economic expert and I’m sure

I’d flunk the exam to join the Economic

Society of Australia, but hear me out

– if more people are buying lab-grown

diamonds, the wholesale prices would not

be falling, would they?

Sure, the report of a 60 per cent decline

in prices came from De Beers, a company

with a vested interest in the market –

however, pretty much all articles on labgrown

diamonds are from people with

a vested interest!

That said, it would appear that the people

with the loudest voices at the moment are

those who are saying – or shouting – things

like: “Lab-grown diamonds: they’re real, and

they’re spectacular”, “Lab-grown diamonds

are here to stay”, “How ethical diamonds are

changing the industry” and “Lab diamonds

will be jewellers’ hot rock this Valentine’s

Day and beyond”.

The natural diamond producers are not

winning the PR war at the moment – they

are being out-shouted by the lab-grown

side. One reason for this is that synthetics

are the flavour of the month, which means

the media jumps on the bandwagon.

Moreover, in this digital, 24-hour news cycle

age, consumer media is always looking for

copy to fill webpages, regardless of the

accuracy or efficacy of the content. This

can, and often does, lead to spurious claims

about the benefits of lab-grown diamonds

going unchallenged.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no problem

with synthetic diamonds. After all, I started

writing about them in 2005, when I

suggested that De Beers should enter the

market. I asked, “Have you ever seen a game

won by a spectator?”

And while De Beers is no longer a spectator,

it is in the unusual position of playing on

both sides. The most important issue is

the future of the diamond category.

Are lab-grown diamonds a threat to natural

diamonds? Of course they are; it’s simply

NATURAL

DIAMOND

PRODUCERS ARE

NOT WINNING

THE PR WAR AT

THE MOMENT –

THEY ARE BEING

OUT-SHOUTED

BY THE LAB-

GROWN SIDE

how the market will be divided – and

expanded – in the years to come. They ain’t

going away, and nor should they – just like

Japanese quartz watches found their place

around the Swiss brands in the 1970s.

The current challenge lies on the side of

natural diamonds; they need more voice

right now as they are being out-promoted

by the synthetic side.

Yes, it’s a game, and while we are still

playing the first quarter, the A-team

needs to reconsider its offence for the

second quarter.

The new kids on the block – playing as

the underdogs – probably have the

crowd’s sympathy.

That will change; consumers are a fickle lot

and the lab-grown fanboys will lose their

enthusiasm. But the A-team seems to be

resting on past glories, perhaps not realising

to what extent the game has changed.

They are the old guard facing the upstarts

who are full of enthusiasm, and who finally

made it to the Big League.

It’s their showtime!

The natural diamond producers need a

stronger voice, a louder cheer and a much

larger promotional campaign. It’s time for

their PR experience to shine.

Coleby Nicholson

Managing Editor

March 2019 Jeweller 9


UPFRONT

BULLETIN BOARD

n SAVED BY JEWELLERY

A woman in Boston has been saved

by a jewellery charm after crashing her

car on a remote stretch of highway.

The woman was left stranded, with

no phone reception, but was luckily

wearing a piece of InvisaWear jewellery

embedded with a panic button. The

jewellery managed to send a signal to

emergency services.

n QUICK SMART

A new study has found that customers

are more impatient than ever when it

comes to shopping on their mobiles.

Visitors spent 30 per cent less time

on a mobile retail site than they did

when browsing on a computer – just

164 seconds! Retailers should focus on

optimising mobile e-commerce to make

it quick to find and purchase products.

n SAY WHAT?!

It’s one of the most recognisable brands

in the world, but has Ikea had a case

of mistaken identity? Swedish soccer

player Zlatan Ibrahimovic shocked

viewers of a US talk show recently when

he pronounced it ‘Ee-KAY-uh’ instead of

‘Eye-KEE-uh’. It goes to show that brand

identity is as much in the hands – and

mouths – of customers as it is in yours!

AQUAMARINE:

MARCH BIRTHSTONE

DID YOU KNOW?

Naturally, it was once believed to protect

sailors and guarantee a safe voyage. Some

also thought it had the power to prevent

poisoning, reconcile enemies, and renew old

love. In crystal healing, the aquamarine is said

to help create inner tranquillity and align the

physical and spiritual selves. The pure blue

colour suits all skin tones and is ideal to pair

with any metal, making this a versatile gem.

DIGITAL

BRAINWAVE

WHO SAID?

I got this advice from the fellow

who taught me, Peter Meier:

there are no shortcuts. If you

make a mistake, knuckle down

and re-do it until you get it right.

Turn to page 44 for more >

CHAT AND SHOP

Chinese social media company Tencent Smart

Retail is trialling a new form of retailing which

combines in-store experiences with a mobile

messaging app. Currently, the programme is

running at a beauty retailer and sees customers

enter the store to test and try on make-up. When

they leave, they stay in contact with staff via WeChat – similar to WhatsApp – and

keep shopping online, with products delivered to their door. When new stock comes

in, staff can immediately notify interested customers via WeChat, as well as offering

targeted discounts to boost conversion. Research has shown that customers will also

add friends to the chat to create a ‘shopping group’, boosting the sales base.

TOP PRODUCT

Qudo’s latest edition to its Interchangeable collection is this unique sparkling

Tondo Deluxe Black Patina ring top. Surrounded by black Swarovski Crystals and

available in polished stainless steel, rose gold ion plating and gold ion plating, it

fits all the Qudo Interchangeable ring designs. This highly collectable range taps

into the global trend for personalised jewellery. Distributed by TimeSupply.

VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN

JEWELLERY INDUSTRY

jewellermagazine.com

Publisher & Editor

Coleby Nicholson

Associate Publisher

Angela Han

angela.han@gunnamattamedia.com

Journalists

Arabella Roden

arabella.roden@jewellermagazine.com

Myles Hume

myles.hume@gunnamattamedia.com

Production Manager

& Graphic Design

Jo De Bono

art@gunnamattamedia.com

Accounts

Paul Blewitt

finance@gunnamattamedia.com

Subscriptions

info@jewellermagazine.com

Jeweller is published by:

Gunnamatta Media Pty Ltd

Locked Bag 26, South Melbourne,

VIC 3205 AUSTRALIA

ABN 64 930 790 434

Phone: +61 3 9696 7200

Fax: +61 3 9696 8313

info@gunnamattamedia.com

Copyright: All material appearing

in Jeweller is subject to copyright.

Reproduction in whole or in part is

strictly forbidden without prior written

consent of the publisher.

Gunnamatta Media Pty Ltd strives to

report accurately and fairly and it is

our policy to correct significant errors

of fact and misleading statements in

the next available issue. All statements

made, although based on information

believed to be reliable and accurate at

the time, cannot be guaranteed and

no fault or liability can be accepted

for error or omission. Any comment

relating to subjective opinions should

be addressed to the editor.

Advertising: The publisher reserves

the right to omit or alter any

advertisement to comply with

Australian law and the advertiser

agrees to indemnify the publisher for

all damages or liabilities arising from

the published material.

10 Jeweller March 2019


NEWS

NEWS

Buying groups unite for Sydney Fair

The 2019 International Jewellery & Watch

Fair will see Showcase Jewellers and

Leading Edge Jewellers return to the Sydney

tradeshow. In previous years, the two have

run separate events for members, while

Australia’s largest buying group, Nationwide

Jewellers, continued to exhibit at the Fair.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director at Expertise

Events, said that his staff have been working

behind the scenes to deliver a new-look fair.

Fittingly, it will be themed ‘Unity’.

“We know some retailers and distributors

are finding the market challenging, and we

are mindful of how we can best provide

value to both sides. My team is committed

to the ‘wow factor’ this year, and the theme

is something we take very seriously. Unity is

crucial in all industries to be successful and

we are committed to leading the charge.

“From here, we hope further initiatives can

be rolled out to make the Fair even stronger,”

Fitz-Roy said.

Major benefits to exhibitors include savings

on staffing costs and accommodation, less

time spent setting up show stands and

moving between venues, and broader

exposure to a wide range of retailers.

Carson Webb, general manager of Showcase

Jewellers, said: “I’m delighted to announce we

will be fully supporting the 2019 Fair... It was a

unanimous decision from our members, our

directors and suppliers to make it work.”

Director of business services at Leading Edge

Jewellers, Kate Levy, said it was a step forward

in bringing harmony back to the Australian

jewellery industry.

“It’s great we’ve been able to come together

as an industry and reduce the impact on our

suppliers during the busy conference period.

One-on-one contact between independent

retailers and suppliers is so valuable,

particularly for regional jewellery stores.”

Echoing the sentiments, Colin Pocklington,

managing director of Nationwide Jewellers,

said: “The three buying groups are certainly

doing their part to support and unify

the industry.”

Expertise Events announced “watch” has been

incorporated into the Fair name to also reflect

the all-encompassing industry approach. The

International Jewellery & Watch Fair will take

place from 24–26 August 2019 at the ICC

Sydney Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour.

West End relaunches Ice-Watch

Ice-Watch has found a new home in

Australia, with West End Collection taking

over the Australian and New Zealand

distribution of the colourful Belgian brand.

West End Collection general manager John

Rose said he has always been impressed

with the creativity and style that Ice-Watches

have brought to the watch industry.

“From their launch in 2007, Ice-Watches

transformed the watch industry by

introducing colourful, fun, well-priced

timepieces to the international market,”

Rose said.

West End Collection was approached by

Ice-Watch in September 2018 at the Watch

& Clock Fair in Hong Kong. Ice-Watch has

experienced strong growth globally over

the past three years, with a focus on exciting

new designs and a strong marketing push.

Rose said customers in Australia and New

Zealand appreciate Ice-Watch’s high quality

and water resistance, stylish look, and

achievable price point. “This segment of

the market is uniquely dominated by Ice-

Watch, making it the perfect addition to our

portfolio,” he said.

As part of West End’s takeover, Ice-Watch

stockists will have the latest models and

fresh displays in every store.

The Ice-Watch contract follows West End’s

addition of German watch and jewellery

company Paul Hewitt to its stable of brands

late last year, after its deal with Daniel

Wellington came to an end.

Ice-Watch was previously distributed in

Australia by Bolt International.

ICE-WATCH WILL NOW

BE DISTRIBUTED IN

AUSTRALIA AND NEW

ZEALAND BY WEST

END COLLECTION

Questions about

Lion Brands

warranties go

unanswered

Following the sudden closure of Lion

Brands, questions remain about the

servicing of its high-profile Swiss watch

brands including Bell & Ross, Alpina,

Frederique Constant, Corumm, Edox,

Wenger, and Victorinox.

Retailers have been left high and dry with

no communication from Lion Brands

director Anthony Hoffman. Jeweller has

received a number of telephone calls

from jewellers who returned watches to

the company for repair and servicing.

Nationwide Jewellers managing director

Colin Pocklington said many of his

members are affected by the closure: “We

had several members on our Facebook

group asking why no-one was answering

the phones at Lion Brands, prior to

becoming aware of Jeweller’s report that

they have closed their doors.”

“The members were asking what

will happen with warranty repairs on

Luminox, Victorinox and Christian Bernard

watches,” Pocklington added.

Jewellery and watch suppliers have

legal obligations surrounding product

warranty under Australian Consumer Law.

“On 6 February I wrote to Anthony

Hoffman, the director of Lion Brands,

asking what arrangements they have

made for warranty work on the brands

that they distributed,” said Pocklington,

confirming that Hoffman had not replied

at the time of publication.

There is no indication or notification

of the business’s closure on the

company website.

Graeme Goldman, a former managing

director of The Swatch Group Australia,

established Lion Brands in 2011 and was a

director until late last year.

The company’s two retail stores, located

in Melbourne and the Gold Coast and

operating under the name 8th Avenue

Watch Co, closed on 28 February.

March 2019 Jeweller 11


NEWS

IN BRIEF

*

DE BEERS POSTS BIG PROFITS

The world’s leading diamond company, De

Beers, has announced its year-on-year profits

have risen by 4 per cent to US$6.1 billion, up

from $5.7 billion in 2017.

The boost came on the back of increased

consumer demand for diamond jewellery

– particularly high-end jewellery – as well

as a small increase in the rough diamond

price index.

However, the good news was tempered by

warnings that further deterioration in US-

China relations, exchange rate volatility, and

the Chinese government’s economic policy

changes could impact future profits.

*

NEW ‘BUY YOUR OWN DIAMOND’

CAMPAIGN FOR WOMEN

The US-based Diamond Producers

Association (DPA) launched the next phase

of its flagship ‘Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond’

campaign on Oscars night, 24 February.

Titled ‘For Me, From Me’, the strategy is

targeted at the natural diamond industry’s

strongest growth market, women’s selfpurchase.

In the US, this sector accounts for

a third of all diamond jewellery sales and is

worth US$43 billion.

*

RAPNET ADDS FINE JEWELLERY

The world’s largest online diamond trading

platform, RapNet, has added fine jewellery

to its offering, with members now able to

purchase finished products – including

bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces and

cufflinks – alongside unset stones from

suppliers all over the world.

RapNet CEO Saville Stern said in a statement,

“The RapNet network now provides one

platform that meets all [our members’]

jewellery and diamond trading needs.”

*

ISRAELI DIAMOND EXCHANGE

HEADS TO CHINA

The first China-Israel Diamond Week is set to

take place from 2–4 April in Shenzhen, China,

held in conjunction with the Shanghai and

Israel Diamond Exchanges.

The event’s Sales Meet will see Chinese

buyers able to view products from a range of

Israeli exhibitors. IDE President Yoram Dvash

said, “It is an excellent opportunity to gain

exposure in this most important market.”

Design Awards return to IJWF 2019

The Jewellery Design Awards are returning

to the International Jewellery & Watch Fair

(IJWF), with entries open from late March.

The biennial awards, held in conjunction with

IJWF, recognise Australian and New Zealand

design and manufacture across jewellers,

apprentices and students. The competition

has 10 categories including awards for

diamond, opal and pearl jewellery, as well as

men’s and bridal jewellery.

As usual, an expert panel will whittle down

the finalists in a blind judging process,

marking them on theme, use of materials,

retail presentation and commercial viability.

These finalists will then have the opportunity

to showcase their work with an interactive

display at the IJWF 2019.

The winners will be announced on Sunday 25

August with a canapé reception at the trade

show, which is set to take place at the ICC

Sydney Exhibition Centre.

While the prize list is yet to be announced,

the previous awards – held in 2017 –

‘UNDERGROWTH’, ONE OF THE 2017 WINNERS

boasted a prize pool of $80,000, including

business-class flights to Basel and four nights’

accommodation in the Swiss city to attend

Baselworld.

At the time of publication the Jewellers

Association of Australia (JAA) did not or

could not confirm whether its biennial

design awards, the JAA Australasian Jewellery

Awards, will proceed this year. The 2017

ceremony was held during Showcase

Jewellers’ annual members’ dinner, with prizes

including a $10,000 education grant and a

trip to Hong Kong.

New leader for Pandora international

Pandora has appointed Swedish executive

Alexander Lacik as its new president and

CEO, amid a challenging time for the world’s

largest jewellery brand.

The group posted a 3 per cent decline in

revenue at the end of last year, and has

been off to a slow start in 2019; its previous

CEO, Anders Colding Friis, stepped down in

August 2018.

Lacik joins Pandora after a short stint as CEO

of Britax Childcare. He previously spent 12

years at UK personal goods manufacturer

Reckitt Benckiser, concluding his tenure as

its president of North American operations.

In that role, he oversaw major growth in

the company’s largest market, with revenue

totalling US$3.5 billion.

“I am honoured and excited to join Pandora,”

said Lacik in a press release. “I am encouraged

by the current direction with a strong focus

on brand re-ignition to restore growth.”

Describing himself as a “turnaround architect”,

Lacik’s background has focused on marketing,

sales and retail partnering. While he joins

Pandora with no prior experience in the

jewellery industry, Peder Tuborgh, Pandora’s

ALEXANDER LACIK IS THE NEW CEO OF PANDORA

Chairman of the Board of Directors, calls

him a “strong match” for the company’s new

strategic direction.

“Alexander is a brilliant marketer and brand

architect and has throughout his career

shown himself as a great leader and a highly

effective executor. His skills and experience

will be key to revitalising the Pandora brand,”

Tuborgh added.

As previously reported in Jeweller, Pandora

Australia has also undergone a change in

leadership. Sunglass Hut Asia Pacific president

Phil McNutt is set to take over as managing

director from Mikael Kruse, who will helm

Pandora’s Northern Europe operations.

12 Jeweller March 2019


NEWS

Baselworld parent announces new CEO

Just weeks before Baselworld 2019 is set to

begin, the trade show’s parent company,

MCH Group, has announced a new CEO.

Bernd Stadlwieser, who has 20 years of

experience in the watch, jewellery and art

industries, is set to take over from interim CEO

Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard later this year.

Austrian-born Stadlwieser rose through

the ranks as an executive at Swarovski

before joining Thomas Sabo Group in 2003,

becoming CEO in 2006. He has since served

as CEO of Berlin-based art gallery and printing

technology company Avenso, and Swiss

watch manufacturer Mondaine Group.

Intriguingly, Mondaine sat out Baselworld

last year.

Baselworld has come under fire in recent

years after experiencing losses of CHF110

million in 2017, before shedding half its

exhibitors in 2018 – including the loss of

Hermès and Ulysse Nardin to the rival Salon

International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH)

in Geneva.

But the most damaging departure was that

of Swatch Group; the loss of Swatch last July

saw MCH’s previous long-time CEO, René

Kamm – who had been at the helm since

2003 – hand in his resignation just three

weeks later.

Australian mining company Lucapa has

secured a whopping AU$22.9 million

following the tender of seven diamonds from

its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola.

Lulo has produced 11 diamonds with

100 carats or more, and is said to be the

richest dollar-per-carat alluvial diamond

mine in the world.

The tender – conducted by electronic transfer

and involving bidders from eight countries

– marked the first sale of diamonds under a

new market policy introduced by Angolan

president Joao Lourenco, which is designed

to increase transparency in the local trade.

Previously, diamond producers in the

southern African nation had to sell stones

to a network of regional middlemen, at well

below international prices.

SODIAM, a state-owned company responsible

MCH GROUP’S INCOMING CEO, BERND STADLWIESER

At the time, the company said, “The time

has come for a change in the operational

leadership of MCH Group in view of the

fundamental transformation phase in

business operations.”

In a statement, Stadlwieser said he was

“looking forward” to taking on the role,

adding: “The company is facing major

challenges and opportunities. I have seen

for myself that the necessary transformation

and innovation process has already been

launched and that, together with the

employees, key steps have been taken to

realign the business for the future.”

For more on Baselworld, SIHH and the Swiss

luxury watch market, turn to page 30.

Australian miner pockets $22.9 million

A 7.5-CARAT FANCY PURPLE PINK DIAMOND FROM

LUCAPA’S LULO MINE. IMAGE: LUCAPA.

for the trading of Angolan diamonds,

organised the Lucapa direct sale.

Its board chairman, Eugénio Bravo da Rosa,

said of the new policy: “This commitment is

necessary for the sustainable development

of the national diamond industry, so that

foreign investors look at the Angolan market

and its agents as credible partners for the

development of new projects.”

Aussie gems

impress in London

As reported by the ABC, Australian

opals have made a splash at London

Fashion Week.

A masterclass held in the UK capital

by Australian ethical gem supplier Ian

Bone, of Capricorn Gems, informed

British designers and international

buyers about how the gemstones are

extracted, mined and cut.

Bone also brought along unheated,

un-treated sapphires and zircon,

which his company sources from

selected producers in the area west

of Emerald, along the Tropic of

Capricorn in Queensland.

“Central Queensland gems are second

to none,” Bone told the ABC. “Our

boulder opals in particular can only

be found in western Queensland,

with sapphires being well known

internationally as high in quality.”

Building on the consumer trend for

ethical and sustainable gemstones,

Bone emphasised Capricorn’s ability

to trace every gemstone back to its

origin mine.

“It’s a movement that is taking effect

in London and the UK, with the

message to consumers being they

need to hold the jewellery industry

accountable in regard to where a

product has been mined.”

As Jeweller reported back in

November (‘Coloured Gemstones:

A Spectrum Of Opportunities’),

Australian coloured gems are seeing

an increase in demand as consumers

become more adventurous.

The sector also presents an opportunity

for better margins than in the more

competitive diamond industry.

AN OPAL PIECE FROM CAPRICORN GEMS

March 2019 Jeweller 13


NEWS

India pushes youth

toward jewellery

tech jobs

A new initiative has begun in India’s

gem and jewellery heartland, Gujarat,

to encourage young people to enter

the industry.

The ‘Pratibha: Bridging The Gap’

programme – developed by India’s

Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion

Council (GJEPC) – was officially launched

on 15 February at the College of

Engineering and Technology Campus

in Surat, Gujarat’s centre for diamond

cutting and polishing.

The event involved presentations, panel

discussions and case studies, with a

focus on technology.

Among those involved were B.Virani

& Co director Chirag Virani – who

discussed the zero-inventory model

he’s developed for his online jewellery

shopping platform – Janak Mistry, CEO

of diamond technology company Lexus

Softmac, Ankit Gems director Pravin

Shah, and Sanjay Jaiswal, director and

partner of Jewel Goldi (India).

Pratibha aims to change the perception

of the industry among the youth and

highlight job opportunities in the

sector, ranging from e-commerce and

diamond technology to laboratory

testing and marketing, as well as

jewellery manufacturing.

Dinesh Navadiya, GJPEC regional

chairman for Gujarat, said: “Youngsters

have a misconception about the

diamond and jewellery sector; they

believe that it is all about cutting

and polishing diamonds and setting

jewellery in gold. We want to change

the misconception by introducing

the young blood to the vast career

opportunities available.”

The next phase of the Pratibha

initiative will see the GJEPC conduct

more awareness campaigns throughout

Gujarat. Those wishing to enter the

industry will then be guided and trained

by the Indian Diamond Institute.

INTEREST-FREE

DEALS AND IN-

STORE FINANCING

COULD BE AT RISK

New breakthrough in ruby sorting

Gemfields has completed a state-of-the-art

ruby sorting house at its Montepuez mine in

northern Mozambique – the first of its kind

in the world.

The US$15 million facility automates the

sorting process, using UV light and an

optical sensor to separate washed rubies.

They are then directed into separate

channels for grading.

According to Gemfields, the process is faster

and more efficient than the human eye and

allows the identification of finer material. It

brings ruby sorting on par with diamond

sorting facilities.

In a press release, Kaung San, ruby grading

supervisor at Gemfields, said, “Previously the

sorting of rubies was largely manual, but it is

very exciting to now introduce automated

sorting… Our productive capacity will

increase exponentially.”

Gemfields claims that, as the automated

sorting requires a greater throughput of raw

material, its current mining area will expand,

and its workforce will increase.

Categorisation and grading will remain

the purview of highly skilled employees,

with Montepuez training the first group of

Mozambican gemmologists specialised in

the selection and classification of rubies.

Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, stated,

“We are proud of our pioneering approach

and leadership position within the sector.”

Disappointment for Cullinan Mine

The world-famous Cullinan Mine in South

Africa is facing a rocky path to profitability,

as owner Petra has revealed it could take

up to ten years to clear the US$420 million

debt it took on to finance construction of a

new section.

London-listed Petra – which owns four other

African mines – acquired the 116-year-old

mine from De Beers for US$80 million in 2008.

While it says the mine has been profitable

every year since acquisition, construction

delays and strikes have meant Cullinan is

yet to generate free cash flow to pay down

Petra’s debts.

Famous for producing the largest rough

gem diamond ever found and being the

premium source for rare blue diamonds,

Cullinan yields have also so far performed

below expectations; the only large diamonds

produced from the new section have been

low quality, murky brown stones.

Weak demand for smaller diamonds has also

put pressure on Petra’s bottom line, with the

average price of Cullinan stones recently

slipping to US$96 per carat – the lowest since

2010. Indeed, diamond prices have wilted

across the market.

However, Petra’s executives remain optimistic,

with general manager Juan Kemp saying: “We

expect a large stone at some point.”

Jewellers may be hit by banking regs

The Royal Commission into Misconduct

in the Banking Industry has taken an

unexpected turn, with new credit licensing

recommendations likely to impact jewellers.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report

recommended abolishing the ‘point-of-sale

exemption’ in the National Consumer Credit

Protection Act (2009), making retailers liable

for responsible lending on financing deals.

Currently, retailers are able to offer payment

plans, including interest-free deals, in store.

External lenders are responsible for issuing

and approving customers’ applications, with

the retailer having no legal obligations to

ensure the customer can afford the terms.

Under the new rules, retailers would need to

hold a credit licence, the cost of which begins

at $2,055 for non-individuals. Staff would also

need to be specifically trained in responsible

lending, and businesses would have to pay to

join the external dispute resolution scheme

and take on financial insurance.

14 Jeweller March 2019


MIXED METAL

Gaining interest:

the MOKUME

momentum gane

AS CONSUMERS BECOME MORE AND MORE INTRIGUED BY NICHE JEWELLERY

FINISHES, THE ANCIENT CRAFT OF MOKUME GANE HAS RECENTLY FOUND

POPULARITY. LUCY JOHNSON EXPLORES THE APPEAL OF THIS STRIKING

TECHNIQUE AND SPEAKS TO ITS DEVOTED CRAFTSMEN

okume gane is a technique derived from ancient Japanese

metalsmith work that follows on from the creation of Damascus

steel. The craft involves the bonding and forging of different

alloyed metals to create a variety of patterns.

Traditionally these patterns showcased organic and

woodgrain-like swirls but recent advancements have led to uniformity and

tessellating pattern production.

Specialising in mokume gane and Damascus silver, Steven Midgett is a modern

pioneer of the craft and one of the earliest metalsmiths to incorporate platinum

into his billets – prior to this, mokume gane primarily utilised copper, silver and

gold metals. With son Jacob, Midgett operates two studios in the US under the

name Steven Jacob.

“I first started working with mokume gane during my apprenticeship in 1973. I

was working with a Cranbrook Academy master metalsmith and he taught me

how to solder bond silver and copper alloys to make a laminate,” he says.

March 2019 Jeweller 15


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“When the traditional Japanese forge-fired

method was revealed [to me], I began to

experiment with small torch-fired fusing

kilns that I could use to make small billets

for my jewellery. I have continued to

experiment and grow my knowledge of

metals, bonding and patterning techniques

ever since.”

On the local scene, Hobart jeweller Metal

Urges has been producing mokume gane

wedding bands for clients who often

become repeat customers after falling in

love with the traditional woodgrain-textured

appearance. Manager Chris Hood says it

took much trial and error to perfect the

craft, which required great monetary

investment to master the soldering of

different alloys in billets.

“First, you need a decent jewellery workshop

and a sharp mind to work through the

process. Secondly, you need to have

disposable income and the will to spend it

on learning. If things go well, you get some

of it back eventually,” he says.

“We went straight in the deep end using

18-carat gold and platinum group metals.

The education we got was more expensive

than most but also the quality of our skills

and recipe improved quickly.”

Hood says the tricky part about mokume

gane production is the forging of different

metals to create quality billets for jewellery

production and says producing billets

without side effects takes time and patience.

“Our first billets where fire-fused and were

rubbish quality with lots of de-lamination –

we were dropping 20 to 50 grams of gold

and platinum into refining every two days.

Fortunately, once everything was running

smoothly with a decent rig and process in

place, consistent high-performance billets

helped us to win back past losses,” he says.

Midgett agrees that consumer interest

makes up for the losses incurred when

learning the technique but warns that

much raw material is inevitably lost in the

laminating process.

“Since almost all mokume billets start out as

a flat, parallel-layered laminate, much of the

metal needs to be cut away to expose an


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interesting pattern,” he explains. “It is

not unusual to grind and carve away 50

to 70 per cent of the raw metal with which

you started.”

For this reason, Midgett believes jewellers

need to commit themselves fully to the style

to make it work: “Not only does mokume

gane require an investment in materials

but it is also not a technique that can be

used casually. There are so many things

that can go wrong or degrade the final

product if care is not taken so you have to

spend the time to educate yourself and

practice your skills.”

Midgett says there are suppliers who

produce laminated mokume sheet, wire

and plate that can be purchased and then

patterned in-house. While this doesn’t offer

jewellers an opportunity to hone their

billeting skills, it does provide an entry point

for pattern production.

Jewellers can create original

designs but don’t have to

invest all the time to learn

how to make their own

billets. Ultimately, making

one’s own billets gives

a craftsman the most

control over the

final product

but it requires

the largest

commitment as

well,” he explains.

Hood agrees

there is more

than one way

to get involved

in producing

mokume gane jewellery and emphasises

that there are manufacturers willing to share

their techniques to market the small field.

“We went with the ‘How hard can it be?’

model and taught ourselves the process

but there are all sorts of books and videos

available,” Hood says, adding, “We took

and tested the ideas we thought best and

then built our own custom ‘Frankenstein’

rig and process.”

Hood says it is possible to purchase a US

rig; however, with prices sitting around

$100,000, this is another expense for

manufacturers. While it is a hefty investment,

Hood believes a rig does result in more

consistently-successful billet production.

“A quality rig and skills all equal fewer

variables and a higher success rate. It has

been over a hundred billets since we had a

problem,” he says.

When asked why mokume gane customers

often return to purchase more of the

product, Hood believes it stems from

a primal desire for natural-looking patterns

in jewellery.

“It seems that we are drawn to organic

patterns, which is something that mokume

gane can do in spades. We have a solid

mokume gane client list and our repeat

offenders really push us to create more

and more unusual and challenging

wpieces,” he says.

Certainly, the uniqueness of each

finished piece is also particularly

appealing to consumers.

“No two rings are identical,” Hood adds. “We

all love something unique and just for us.” i


PEARL JEWELLERY

pearl

New

order

THEY’VE HAD A TURBULENT

DECADE FOLLOWING THE GLOBAL

FINANCIAL CRISIS, BUT AFTER

A RETURN TO POPULARITY AND

TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGHS,

PEARLS ARE BACK ON TOP – CAN

THEY STAY THERE? ARABELLA

RODEN TAKES A CLOSER LOOK

t’s an interesting time to be in the pearl business. One of just a

handful of organic gemstones in the world, pearls have come back

into fashion in a big way in the past five years, and this resurgent

popularity shows no sign of slowing down.

Emma Kerley, senior brand manager at West Australian pearl house

Kailis, says the “timeless and classic” gemstones are having a “huge

fashion moment”, adding: “You can’t open a fashion magazine these

days without seeing pearls across the pages.”

Yet the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 took its toll on the industry, which

is far smaller than the mined gem market. Even some of Australia’s

most recognisable and high-end pearl companies, like Kailis, weren’t

immune, calling it a “challenging time” that forced them to evolve.

Now, with another economic downturn on the horizon, it’s an

appropriate time to find out how the pearl trade weathered the stormy

ATLAS PEARLS

March 2019 Jeweller 19


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seas, and if they can do it again – with the added challenge of

climate change.

Here, Jeweller explores the enduring appeal of pearls, discovers which

trends are captivating consumers, and what the future holds.

TIMELESS APPEAL, MODERN TWIST

From a design perspective, the pearl can be all things to all people.

Available in colours from darkest black to purest white, these ethereal

objects lend themselves to fabrication with diverse materials. Stainless

steel, gold, platinum, silver – even leather and wool – all complement

the glorious pearl.

Ken Abbott, managing director of distributor TimeSupply, says his

brands Nomination, Coeur de Lion and Dansk Smykkekunst are

embracing new techniques to best show off pearls: “Instead of just

a string of round pearls, as is traditional, they are intermixed with a

variety of other striking finishes and materials, which highlight the

lustre of the pearl finish. Pearls lend a touch of prestige to any design.”

OPALS

DOUBLETS & BOULDER

In a first for an Australian pearl designer, Kailis combined its natural

South Sea pearls with Guilloché fire enamel – the same used in

Fabergé eggs – and also invented a new gem setting technique for

cabochon-cut gems.

“Careful research and perseverance allowed our team to blend

hand-cut precious gems with our pearls, creating a unique

combination of colours representing the sun setting over the West

Australian landscape,” Kerley explains.

Pierre Fallourd, managing director of Atlas

Pearls, reveals that “creative farmers have

experimented using nuclei of different

origins, including precious and semiprecious

stones which would be

exposed via carving the nacre at

harvest time.”

Pearls can be as modern or as timeless

as the woman wearing them; and

understandably it’s women that

make up the vast majority of pearl

consumers. Male jewellery featuring

pearls is negligible in the market.

The largest trend for retailers who want to

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appeal to female consumers is adaptability

and multi-use jewellery.

“Modern women run very active lives

where the lines between family, work

and personal time are often blurred,” says

Fallourd, whose company sources silver

and white South Sea Pearls from the

Indonesian archipelago. “The split between

evening and daywear is disappearing,

and designs suitable for all occasions are

becoming more and more popular.

“Simple, bold, uncluttered designs are

gaining momentum. The other feature we

emphasise is the ability to cross and connect

collections. Compatible clasp systems and

complementary designs allow our clients to

customise [their pieces].”

Over at Kailis, Kerley agrees that pieces

should feel good to wear every day. “A more

fashion-forward look can be achieved by

wearing jewellery stacked on top of one

another, mixing metals, contrasting old

pieces and new pieces, and wearing them

as a statement every day – not keeping

these treasures in a jewellery box, only to

be worn on special occasions,” she explains.

Millennials, she adds, “like to add their

own twist to this traditionally elegant

accessory” including wearing mismatched or

single earrings.

Fallourd says younger women are also

“enticed” by “less traditional, off-round shapes”

like baroque pearls.

Other brands have embraced that trend.

“The new Dansk Smykkekunst Audrey

Collection showcases natural baroque

freshwater pearls, which suit this

cosmopolitan range,” Abbott says.

On the supplier side, Brendan McCreesh,

managing director of O’Neils Affiliated, says

baroque drop pearls “move very quickly”

because they are in “limited supply” – which

reflects the broader jewellery trend for

individual, unusual and hard-to-find pieces.

“We have built strong relationships with

our suppliers which enables us to inspect

and hand-select each pearl. The time and

attention we give to this selection enables

our customers to design and create their own

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Norwegian

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AUSTRALIA

unique pieces,” McCreesh says.

For wholesaler Vibeke Henriksen of Tahitian

Pearls Australia, the relative scarcity and

unusual dark hue of Tahitian pearls is what

makes them so appealing – but prices are at a

premium for the same reason.

“The high-end quality is harder to source [so]

many shops sell dyed freshwater pearls – they

don’t stock real Tahitian pearls,” says Henriksen,

adding that potential customers in the

middle of the market are missing out because

they simply have “never been introduced” to

the real thing.

A NEW MARKET

Meanwhile, faux pearls are leaving consumers

hungry for more. Italian brand Nomination

and Germany’s Coeur de Lion have embraced

Swarovski Crystal Pearls; “They offer the

tradition of the lustrous pearl finish in a

variety of colours combined with other

striking finishes, creating truly unique and

intriguing jewels,” Abbott says.

These colours include natural black, rose gold

and cream finishes, as well as blues and reds

not seen in nature.

Swarovski ‘pearl’ beads are formed by coating

a drilled crystal with a special finish that

mimics the ‘lit-from-within’ glow of a true

pearl, as well as its weight and warmth. For

retailers, crystal pearls are a great way to

tempt customers who love the look and feel

of pearls and the durability of crystal.

Crystal pearls are not as susceptible to

damage from light, perfume and hairspray,

which can erode the colour and texture of

pearl nacre. They are also attractively priced in

the mid-range, like cultured freshwater pearls.

“All of our ranges – Coeur de Lion,

Nomination and Dansk – are extremely well

priced, making them excellent sellers in this

current economic climate. Utilising Swarovski

Crystal Pearls and natural freshwater pearls

in the designs allows consumers to have the

pearl look without the expense of traditional

pearls,” Abbott says.

However, the real thing is no longer as far out

of reach as it once was – and this is another

strength of the pearl market.

It’s critical for retailers and suppliers to

understand the Millennial and Generation

Z markets; and what attracts younger

customers, perhaps even more than an

affordable price, is sustainability. Fallourd

explains that new tracking technology means

buyers – and therefore customers – can trace

the provenance of their pearls, guaranteeing

a “farm-to-consumer seamless supply chain”.

“Traceability and transparency are gaining

a lot of momentum in the jewellery market

place and are very palatable to Millennial

consumers,” he adds.

“Diamonds have always been at the forefront,

however pearls are a growing popular choice,”

says Kerley, adding, “New exciting designs and

influences are bringing new pearl purchasers

to the market.”

With Millennials approaching their thirties

and ‘growing into pearls’, and Generation Z

searching for meaningful and sustainable

jewellery, now is a prime opportunity to

promote pearls.

LESSONS LEARNED

Ten years ago, the Global Financial Crisis hit

retailers hard – and the jewellery industry

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was no exception. The pearl industry was slugged twice over, with a

squeeze on producers; in Western Australia, the number shrunk to just

three. Then, stocks were hit by oyster oedema disease – animal health

being a factor no other gem industry has to consider.

While wholesale prices fell, demand held fairly steady in some markets.

“As a Western Australia-based business, with retail stores in Perth,

Fremantle and Broome, we were lucky that the WA market continued

to be buoyant due to the mining and infrastructure boom,” Kerley says,

adding, “[However] this period did highlight the benefits of diversifying

our business across product, geography and customer.”

Fallourd believes the industry has come a long way since the GFC: “A

lot of consolidation happened at production level and only the fittest

survived. The other major trend is the overwhelming influence of

Chinese end consumers, who overtook the USA as prime clients for

pearls in all categories.”

“DESIGNS SUITABLE FOR

ALL OCCASIONS ARE

BECOMING MORE AND

MORE POPULAR”

PIERRE FALLOURD, ATLAS PEARLS

INTERCHANGEABLE

GERMANY

INTO THE FUTURE

When it comes to the future of pearls, Kerley emphasises targeting a

range of customers. “While retail can be a tough environment – and

jewellery to a further extent as we are competing for spend with many

other offerings – customers are always looking to celebrate.”

She adds “Ensuring that we have well-designed product across a range

of price points makes our product a great investment, regardless of the

market sentiment.”

Fallourd, too, is cautiously optimistic. “Ongoing ocean acidification

and a shortage of plankton as a result of global warming will naturally

regulate the ability to produce quality pearls, and actually make supply

relatively scarce. I am, as a result, confident South Sea pearls and

jewellery as a category have a bright future and will hold their value,

especially in light of the trending appetite for gems of sustainable and

eco-responsible origin.”

Ultimately, the key to the pearl’s survival may well be a simple one –

and it’s the same quality that allows businesses to make it through,

even thrive, in tough times: versatility. i

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MUMBAI REPORT

TOP ROW FROM LEFT: PALLAVI FOLEY, ZAABEL, MISHO, SECOND ROW FROM LEFT: A-STAR, SPHERE, SYNA

MUGHAL TO MILLENNIAL:

IIJS Signature ushers in a

design revolution

IN INDIA, ANCIENT

HANDCRAFTING SKILLS ARE

FUSING WITH TECHNOLOGY TO

MEET MILLENNIALS’ DEMANDS.

ANGELA HAN TALKS TO SKILLED

VETERANS AND CONTEMPORARY

DESIGNERS TO FIND OUT MORE

ewellery design is in the midst of a revolution in India. With a booming

middle-class and an increase in domestic consumption of gold and

diamonds, the industry is ripe for innovation and expansion.

Last month, the 12th India International Jewellery Show’s (IIJS) Signature

event in Mumbai featured 750 exhibitors across 1,400 booths to create a platform

for local jewellery designers and manufacturers. The boutique trade show attracted

more than 12,500 visitors across four days and showcased India’s finest designers

across all segments, including bridal, religious and demi-fine jewellery.

With a strong focus on promoting local design and manufacturing, the Gem and

Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) launched the ‘Brand India’ initiative in

26 Jeweller March 2019


order to place India amongst the likes of Italy and France when it comes to

value in provenance.

GJEPC chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal celebrated India’s gem and jewellery

heritage, highlighting the importance of this industry. He noted, “Our gem and

jewellery industry has a history of more than 5,000 years. We have a tradition of

passing this skill from one generation to another and have the advantage of highly

skilled artisans when catering to global markets.”

POWERFUL LEGACY, BRIGHT FUTURE

India’s gem and jewellery manufacturing industry remains one of the oldest in the

world, with a legacy going back to the Bronze Age. From the famous Golconda

diamonds, such as the Kohinoor and Hope, to Kashmiri sapphires, India was the

largest manufacturer and exporter of gems for more than 2,000 years.

Today India accounts for 90 per cent of global polished diamond manufacturing

by value and remains the world’s fourth largest jewellery supplier with a combined

export and domestic market valued at US$75 billion dollars, which is forecast

to reach US$100 billion by 2025. With a booming middle-class, India currently

represents 29 per cent of global jewellery consumption, with its local market

consumption estimated to be around US$13 billion.

Chairman Agrawal explained that gem and jewellery exports will continue to

grow, as it currently accounted for US$42 billion annually, contributing seven

per cent of GDP and 15 per cent to India’s total merchandise exports.

The sector employs more than 4.6 million workers, which is anticipated to grow to

8.2 million by 2022. Initiatives are in place to continue expanding the industry via

vocational training institutes dedicated to gem and jewellery manufacturing all

around the country.

Leading up to the show, the GJEPC signed an MoU with Maharashtra Industrial

Development Corporation, agreeing to invest US$2.09 billion to build India’s

largest jewellery park on a 25-acre site in Mumbai. The project is set to attract over

3 million extra jobs and strengthen the value of Brand India across the gem and

jewellery sector. The development is anticipated to further stimulate tourism and

local spending.

INITIATING INSPIRATION

In terms of local industry support, designers and suppliers were quick to mention

the GJEPC’s active role in creating new policies and initiatives. Respected veteran

MOKSH

PAVALLI FOLEY

jeweller Anand Shah highlights, “India is a huge jewellery hub, and our industry

– be it the GJEPC or GJC [the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council] –

works in tandem with the government to review policies on a regular basis. In

fact, very soon, a comprehensive gold policy will be released to help the industry

move forward.”

Currently the GJEPC is working with the government to introduce policy support

for a gold monetisation scheme, which would enable individuals, trusts and

mutual funds to deposit gold with banks and earn interest.

Priyanshu Shah, executive director of A-Star a supplier of demi-fine

jewellery, agrees that there is plenty of support from local industry bodies,

including the GJEPC.

“The GJEPC organises regular competitions for designers and artisans to inspire

higher levels of art, creativity and innovation by honouring the best talent

in jewellery design. It also arranges seminars and workshops by renowned

international designers, which provides local designers with the opportunity to

understand and engage with international jewellery trends,” says Shah.

Milan Chokshi, the GJEPC’s convenor of marketing and business development

and executive director of fine jewellery company Moksh, listed programs at the

recent show that served to encourage young and upcoming designers.

“The GJEPC has several initiatives that would help [them] learn and achieve

HOW CAN INDIAN JEWELLERY DESIGNERS APPEAL TO A GLOBAL CUSTOMER BASE?

“The demand for

simpler designs is

growing, but only

when they are

rooted in truth and

real stories. It makes

me immensely

happy to see people celebrate each other’s

cultures through design.”

PALLAVI FOLEY, PALLAVI FOLEY

BOUTIQUE JEWELS

“India is not a

simple massmanufacturing

country only, but

also has a strong

design heritage

[and] we can cater

to the modern international consumer...

We have to take into account international

trends without losing our Indian roots

while creating contemporary pieces.”

HARSHAD AJOOMAL, H.AJOOMAL

“We need to strike

a balance between

contemporary

designing and

indigenous

craftsmanship.

The global market

was besotted with minimalism for the

past decade, but we are seeing a shift

towards a preference for feminine and

delicate designs.”

SOORYIA THARAYIL, ZAABEL

March 2019 Jeweller 27


success in the international market. At this recent IIJS Signature show,

we had the Artisan Design Awards, the Design Inspiration Seminars

and the launch of Aatman, our trend book,” Chokshi said.

Aatman - Inspirations 2020 is a book compiled by trend analyst

Paola de Luca in conjunction with the GJEPC and was one of two

milestone publications launched at the show to help support and

inspire designers. It was launched at the Design Inspiration seminars

at the show, while Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of GIA India and

Middle East, presided over the launch of the Designers Of India book,

by India’s Women’s Jewellery Association.

Anand Shah reaffirms the importance of remaining connected to

the larger industry as creatives to ensure they are in touch with the

people. “No designer can work in isolation. We all have to keep our

ears to the ground and understand the consumer psychographics,

which keeps changing and evolving with every fashion cycle.”

In relation to the changing local consumer and increase in spending

power, A-star’s Shah explained to Jeweller about the gradual

evolution of local design. “As more Indian women join the workforce

and are financially empowered, self-purchase is on the rise,” he said.

“As a result, jewellery is no longer confined to festive or special

occasions, but has taken on the role of every day adornment. This

has created a growing need for minimalistic, lightweight designs.”

Chokshi agrees that there is a growing demand in simpler designs

locally. “With the increased penetration of fashion and luxury imagery

due to social media and smartphones, there is a convergence of

trends globally. Additionally, the younger Indian is more exposed to a

globalised Western aesthetic, which may lend itself to simpler forms –

which are omnipresent.”

GOING GLOBAL

Harshad Ajoomal, exhibitor and owner of luxury jewellery brand

H.Ajoomal, has launched a separate jewellery range to cater to the

growing international interest in his designs. “I feel a lot more has to

be done to change the mindset of the consumers and buyers in our

target export markets, educating them that India is not a simple massmanufacturing

country only, but also has a strong design heritage

[and] that we can cater to the modern international consumer.”

Sharing her idea of what simplicity means for the modern consumer,

award-winning Indian designer Pallavi Foley told Jeweller, “The demand

for simpler designs is growing, but only when they are rooted in truth

and real stories. It makes me immensely happy to see people celebrate

each other’s cultures through design.”

Timesupply

jewellery + watches

A-Star’s Shah believes in the potential for local design to go global,

saying, “Indian jewellery designers and manufacturers have a deep

rooted knowledge of jewellery, which is part of our heritage. When we

merge this know how with our growing Western sensibilities, we are

able to portray a confluence of East and West in our jewellery designs.

When we leverage our aesthetics with cost-effective manufacturing,

our designs definitely get an audience in the global market.”

Simple is always in demand – particularly for the modern consumer, as

Sonali Shah Sheth, head designer of jewellery brand Sphere, believes. “I

think the most important reason why simple designs connect with the

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consumer much more today is because life

has become so complex, people are looking

to declutter and increase focus. Also, simple

things often look much more sophisticated.

But simple things are, in fact, much more

complex to make!”

When asked about what his Australian clients

look for, A-Star’s Shah said: “We see definite

receptiveness from the Australian buyers.

We believe they are looking for commercially

viable products that are in the low and

mid-price points.”

Ajoomal believes that the time is now for

locals to start making changes to their

designs, while keeping their heritage alive.

“We have to take into account international

trends without losing our Indian roots while

creating contemporary pieces,” he says.

Zaabel’s designer and co-owner, Sooryia

Tharayil, discusses the nature of translating

the grandeur of traditional designs to a

simpler form. “The discerning millennial

demands differentiation from designers. The

DESIGNERS OF INDIA LAUNCH AT INAUGURATION

CEREMONY

size of the design canvas might be smaller,

with the emphasis on wearable pieces of

jewellery. Conceptual designing can be

quite complicated and challenging.”

Tharayil believes in the importance of

retaining local craftsmanship, as the demand

for demi-fine jewellery will only grow.

“We need to strike a balance between

contemporary designing and indigenous

craftsmanship. The global market was

besotted with minimalism for the past

decade, but we are seeing a shift towards a

preference for feminine and delicate designs.”

From the elaborate designs and handcrafting

skills obtained during the Mughal rule, to

diverse, simplified interpretations – and

reinterpretations – of its design today

through technology, the local Indian jewellery

industry is ushering in a design revolution

and offering a point of manufacturing

difference in the larger global market. i

*Angela Han attended the fair courtesy of

GJEPC.

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RIGHT ON TIME

WATCH OUT, BASELWORLD:

Geneva Salon goes from

strength to strength

AMID TURBULENT TIMES FOR THE

SWISS LUXURY WATCH INDUSTRY –

AND THE NEWS THAT THE GENEVA

SHOW IS SET TO SYNCHRONISE

WITH BASEL IN 2020 – MARTIN

FOSTER REPORTS ON THE LATEST

FROM THIS YEAR’S SIHH

he Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), known as

the ‘Geneva Salon’, is behind us for another year – but with a

difference. It has closed for the last time as a January event, and

will move to April next year in a bid to consolidate the Swiss

watch industry.

In 2020, the 30th Geneva Salon will take place 26–29 April, followed

immediately by Baselworld to form what some are calling the ‘Swiss

Shows Week’.

Fabienne Lupo, CEO of the SIHH, explained the choice in her opening address

at this year’s Salon, saying, “Our one objective must be to serve the greater

good of the industry, and this decision is proof of that. We and the Baselworld

executive agreed on the importance of coordinating our two events, which will

be held back-to-back starting in April 2020 and for five editions.”

The two shows were originally held back-to-back until 10 years ago, when

January was adopted by SIHH following wedging of dates between Baselworld,

Easter and availability of Geneva’s Palexpo convention centre.

The decision comes at a time of upheaval for the Swiss luxury watch industry,

which has seen high-profile defections from both trade fairs. Baselworld was

30 Jeweller March 2019


shaken last year by the departure of half its exhibitors, including the Swatch

Group, which some called “the end of an era”.

This has left just four of the ‘Big Five’ – Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard and

LVMH – exhibiting at Baselworld, and Breitling looking increasingly shaky.

However, Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has still publicly backed the

Basel show, saying: “I am very happy with Baselworld,” adding, “It will not go

out of business.”

Movado, Hermès and Ulysse Nardin left Baselworld in 2018 and the latter

two joined the Geneva Salon in 2019. The SIHH itself has had a notable

departure, with Audemars Piguet, one of the founding five members, leaving

the Salon from next year and eschewing exhibition traditions altogether.

Richard Mille is also set to forego the event in 2020.

However, insiders say the SIHH is still on solid ground, and returned

excellent results for its 35 exhibitors in 2019. These were primarily made

up of Richemont luxury brands – including Cartier, Baume & Mercier, IWC

Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget – with

some selected independent brands also invited to join the event, like

H.Moser, Panerai and this year’s new edition, Bovet.

While the Swiss have virtually taken control of the global luxury watch

sector, its target market of high net-worth individuals remains vulnerable

to global politics. Broadly, the mood at the Geneva Salon was optimism

tempered by the political instabilities of the US, China, Russia and the UK.

blogs and online magazines, reaching almost 260 million people. One Chinese

influencer had as many as 1.2 million people following his live stream.

It’s been observed before that the SIHH is not a forum of conservatism, and with

this year’s innovations, it was refreshing to see some inventive thinking in an

industry where everything has been done before. i

MARTIN FOSTER is a freelance journalist and Jeweller’s resident

watch ‘guru’. Based in Sydney, Martin attends major international

exhibitions covering the watch and timepieces categories.

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Still, the 29th Salon final report revealed it had a highly successful four

days with more than 23,000 visitors – up 15 per cent on 2018. In contrast,

Baselworld 2018 saw 106,000 visitors – a fall of 30 per cent from its highest

attendance in 2014 – despite having 20 times the

number of exhibitors as its competitor.

The report also stated the Salon had

“millions of views across social

media, new audiences, fabulous

watches and a packed program

of keynotes and panels”.

Committing itself to its

evolution, the 30 presentations

in the auditorium were all

streamed live. The #SIHH2019

hashtag featured in no fewer

than 380,000 posts on websites,

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GEMS

COLOUR INVESTIGATION: QUARTZ

colourless pale yellow, to deep orange-yellow

and brownish-yellow. Naturally occurring

citrine is rare, with the majority of stones on

the market resulting from the heat treatment

of amethyst, or sometimes heat-treated

smoky (brown) quartz. This is a generally

accepted treatment as the process does not

add anything to the stone and only mimics

what can occur in nature.

Whilst most amethyst is heated to produce

citrine, a very small number of amethyst

deposits contain material that turns a

yellow-green to green colour, turning it into

prasiolite. This pale green mineral can form by

natural heating processes, but most available

material on the market is treated amethyst

and incorrectly named ‘green amethyst’.

CITRINE

From the grandeur of large geodes to

the colourful and unusually patterned

agate and jasper varieties, quartz is one

of the most abundant, widely studied and

adored mineral groups, popular amongst

gem collectors and jewellers alike.

STACEY LIM explores the continuing

love and admiration for its coloured

crystalline varieties.

The quartz group is home to a diverse range

of minerals including the crystalline varieties

of amethyst, citrine and rose quartz, which

are prized for their attractive hues, plentiful

sources and relative affordability compared to

other similarly-coloured gemstones.

Quartz is an allochromatic mineral that owes

its colour to trace impurities rather than

its own constituent elements. Rock crystal

or ‘clear quartz’ is colourless and the most

chemically pure form of quartz, which is

silicon dioxide. Other varieties are coloured

AMETHYST

by different impurities in the crystal structure.

These trace impurities resonate in light and

absorb specific parts of the spectrum. The

remaining light transmitted or reflected to

the eye gives colour to the gemstone.

Amethyst, the purple variety of quartz, ranges

from the palest of lavender hues through

to a deep vivid violet, with the finest colour

being a strongly saturated bluish-purple with

red flashes – typical of top quality Brazilian,

Zambian and Uruguayan stones. Amethyst

often displays colour banding or zoning,

sometimes seen as a chevron ‘zig-zag’ pattern,

due to an internal twinned structure.

Whilst the actual cause of colour in amethyst

is still uncertain, a popular theory suggests

that the presence of iron within the

crystal lattice, paired with irradiation from

surrounding rock masses, is responsible.

Citrine, the golden yellow variety of crystalline

quartz, has colours ranging from a near-

COLOURED

QUARTZ IS

POPULAR AND

PLENTIFUL,

MAKING THESE

PLAYFUL STONES

IDEAL FOR

CARVINGS, LARGE

CENTREPIECE

GEMS AND

IN GRADIENT

COLOUR

SETTINGS

Rose quartz is named after its delicate pink

hue. The soft translucence of this stone is

due to tiny inclusions, giving it a cloudy

appearance. Colours range from pale whitishpink,

purplish-pink through to deep pink,

said to be caused by traces of either titanium

oxide or manganese. Stones with a clear

transparency and deep colour are considered

fine quality and are often faceted.

Madagascar reigns supreme as a source for

high-grade rose quartz, with deep pink tones

and extraordinary ‘star rose quartz’ specimens.

These ‘star’ stones exhibit an asterism – a

six-pointed star – caused by fine needles of

rutile arranged in parallel layers, oriented at

120 degrees to one another. As incident light

reflects off the inclusions, a bright star appears

to glow on the surface!

Coloured quartz is popular and plentiful,

making these playful stones ideal for carvings,

large centrepiece gems and in gradient colour

settings for statement jewellery designs. 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: gem.org.au

March 2019 Jeweller 33


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BUSINESS

HOW TO ACE SOCIAL-MEDIA MARKETING

Social-media marketing may seem like a

costly drain on resources for those new

to it, but ALEX YORK explains how an

effective social-media campaign can help

brands capitalise on sales.

Just a few years ago, businesses could get

away with constructing their social-media

marketing (SMM) strategies on the fly. As

long as they were visible online, they were

doing more than their competitors, right?

Today, around 30 per cent of millennials say

they engage with a brand on social media

at least once a month, so businesses can no

longer afford to just exist online. Brands must

be fully invested in their SMM strategies and

focus on engagement, or they risk losing out

on real customers – which means serious

effects on their bottom line.

Here are seven steps to create a winning

social-media marketing strategy.

CREATE GOALS

SMM isn’t about flipping a switch and calling

it a day. Creating goals is the critical first part

of any social-media strategy, and these goals

must be attainable – asking for one million

new Instagram followers in two months

is unrealistic. With achievable goals,

businesses are more likely to stick to

their plan, taking on new objectives as

they complete old ones.

This is the same reason why retailers should

avoid committing to too many social-media

platforms; instead, they should select only

those channels that are most closely aligned

with their business’ marketing goals.

It is vital to document social-media goals.

Not only does it improve the chances of

achieving them, but documentation also

allows businesses to chart their progress.

Avoid overcomplicating any strategy by

installing too many targets and objectives,

however – simplicity goes a long way!

Goals may be established to reach any

number of objectives, including:

• Increasing brand awareness by

publishing meaningful content and

creating a strong brand personality

through social channels

BRANDS MUST BE

FULLY INVESTED

IN THEIR

SOCIAL-MEDIA

MARKETING

STRATEGIES

AND FOCUS ON

ENGAGEMENT, OR

THEY RISK LOSING

OUT ON REAL

CUSTOMERS

• Achieving higher-quality sales through

efficient social-media targeting

• Driving in-person sales by alerting

customers to what’s occurring in store

• Improving ROI by performing socialmedia

channel audits to ensure the costs

of labour, advertisements and design stay

on track

• Creating a loyal fan base by building a

positive brand persona online

• Staying informed of industry changes and

gleaning tips from competitors that can

be used to improve results

RESEARCH THE TARGET AUDIENCE

A thorough understanding of your target

audience will inform your social-media

strategy, and vice versa. Approximately 79 per

cent of adults use Facebook, but this doesn’t

mean they are engaging with brands there.

Understanding a brand’s target audience is

necessary to learn who buys the products,

which age group is toughest to sell and

which income levels make up the majority of

returning customers.

March 2019 Jeweller 35


BUSINESS

The best marketers don’t sleep until they

have a good idea of their audience and

segmentation strategy. To discover and track

key customer demographics, an all-in-one

analytics solution is critical and businesses

often use some form of social-media

dashboard that can provide an overview

of who’s following them and how these

followers interact with the brand.

ESTABLISH IMPORTANT METRICS

Businesses need to follow the right socialmedia

metrics to avoid veering off the

path. Vanity metrics like follower count

and number of ‘likes’ are good to measure

but they don’t necessarily tell the business

anything about the audience.

Engagement metrics can paint a more

complete picture; some metrics worth

tracking include reach, clicks, hashtag

performance, sentiment and organic

engagement. Reach is the number of unique

users who saw a post – it’s useful for tracking

how far content spreads across social media

and determining if it’s reaching users’ feeds.

Clicks covers the number of interactions on

a piece of content, like an Instagram image

or a Facebook post. Link clicks – that is, links

that take users away from your social-media

post to another location, such as your

website – are critical for understanding how

users move through the marketing funnel.

Tracking clicks per campaign is essential

to understand what drives curiosity or

encourages people to buy.

Engagement refers to the total number of

social interactions divided by the number of

impressions; it’s about seeing who interacted

with your brand and if this is a good ratio out

of the total reach. Engagement sheds light

on how well an audience perceives a brand

and its willingness to interact with them.

Comparing organic likes to paid likes is called

organic engagement. For channels such as

Facebook, organic engagement is much

harder to gain, which is why many brands

turn to Facebook Ads; however, earning

organic likes on Instagram isn’t as difficult.

Analysing hashtags is one way to track how

audiences engaged with specific content.

Finally, bringing all the above elements

together is sentiment, which is the measure

of how users react to content, branding or

a hashtag – it’s always better to dig deeper

and find out what people are saying.

RESEARCH THE SOCIAL LANDSCAPE

Before creating social-media content,

businesses should investigate their

competitors. This doesn’t mean stealing

competitors’ ideas, but instead learning

from them and improving based on their

successes and failures. Firstly, establish

which competitors are active on social

media. Exclude the major retailers and

only search for those who show up in the

same specific industry.

If a company has an active social presence,

it means it’s a great candidate to track.

After gathering a handful of industry

competitors, it’s smart to use a competitive

analysis tool for social media, like Sprout

Social. This gives a breakdown of what

competitors are doing to drive the most

engagement. Dig through the analysis to

get valuable insights into what your

potential customers are seeking out.

BUILD AND CURATE CONTENT

Social-media content is extremely important,

and can be tricky to get right. For starters,

you should create content that fits with

your brand’s identity; this means avoiding

things like reaching out to unpopular

demographics. It’s also necessary to find the

perfect balance between targeted content

and promotion – 46 per cent of users say

they’ll unfollow a brand if there are too

many promotional messages. Additionally,

41 per cent of users say they would

unfollow a brand that shared too much

irrelevant content.

Video content is also extremely important in

social-media marketing. Approximately 90

per cent of online shoppers believe videos

help them make a purchasing decision.

Additionally, 37 per cent of those will watch

an online video in its entirety. Brands can

reach users through Instagram Stories,

Facebook Live and other in-the-moment

video platforms.

Highly visual content is also extremely

important to marketers and their target

audience. Building content themes is a

great approach to sectioning out content.

US fashion brand Anthropologie does an

amazing job at keeping its Instagram feed

IT’S NECESSARY

TO FIND THE

PERFECT

BALANCE

BETWEEN

TARGETED

CONTENT AND

PROMOTION

consistent, colourful and eye-popping. By

using content themes, brands can ensure

there is a consistent schedule of excellent

content to publish.

ENGAGE WITH THE AUDIENCE

Social-media channels are built as networks;

their main purpose is to be a space to

converse, discuss topics and share content.

Brands can’t forget these core elements of

networking and it takes effort to ensure

conversations or engagement opportunities

aren’t left unattended.

A brand’s average response time is around

10 hours even though users generally believe

brands should respond to messages within

four hours. With all the updated algorithms,

organic content has a tough time reaching

the majority of the audience, so don’t ignore

those who engage and lose out on sending

more down the marketing funnel!

Through social media, companies gain

respect just by being present and talking to

their audience – that’s why social customer

care is so important for brands seeking to

increase audience awareness.

Always ensure social media managers are

available and ready to answer any product

questions or concerns whenever a tweet or

post is made – what’s the point of posting at

a time when no one is around to back it up?

Designating teams to specific tasks can help

staff run like a well-oiled machine, whether it’s

a group of two or 100.

TRACK ALL EFFORTS

Without continuously analysing its efforts, a

brand will never know why one campaign

succeeded over another. Having a bird’s-eye

view of social-media activity helps put things

into perspective, so make sure you refer

back to your metrics and tailor your content

accordingly. Marketers are always looking for

the perfect connection, yet 46 per cent of B2B

marketers are unsure if their social strategy

actually created revenue for their brand. The

most commonly used metric – favoured by

80 per cent of marketers – is engagement. i

ALEX YORK is a writer and

Content & SEO Marketing

Manager at PowerReviews

in Chicago. powerreviews.com

36 Jeweller March 2019


SELLING

NEW TIMES CALL FOR NEW MODELS

AS THE RETAIL INDUSTRY ADAPTS AND EVOLVES TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF THE CONSUMER, BRYAN PEARSON

DISCUSSES WHAT TODAY’S RETAILERS ARE DOING RIGHT – AND WHAT THEY’RE STILL GETTING WRONG.

Ask global retail consultant Wendy Liebmann

to name the retail industry’s person of the

year and she’ll say it’s the one holding the

credit card. The way she sees it, retail is

shifting to a shopper-based model and

those merchants that cling to the retailbased

model of operations not only fail

to view their stores through the eyes of

their customers, but risk not seeing any

customers at all.

“When people have so many places to

shop, retailers cannot afford to just look at

themselves in the mirror,” says Liebmann,

founder and CEO of consultancy firm WSL

Strategic Retail, based in New York. “They

really have to build their proposition around,

‘What does that person who buys from me

want from me?’”

Liebmann provided a familiar example – the

placement of milk at the supermarket. By

tradition, it sits in the farthest corner of the

store so shoppers are forced to pass through

several product-laden aisles.

“The last thing the mother wants to do with

two kids, one screaming, is walk to the back

of the store,” Liebmann says.

Fortunately for that mother, there are

other options such as grabbing milk at the

convenience store. Translation: retailers can

no longer get away with the model upon

which they built their empires.

What will separate the retail victors from the

others comes down to a few key practices.

Liebmann categorises them under three

activities retailers are doing right, and three

they are still doing wrong.

WHAT RETAILERS ARE DOING RIGHT

Putting away the operational mirror –

retailers that stop examining their own needs

and instead view their businesses through

the eyes of their shoppers will pull ahead,

according to Liebmann. They do this by

determining how their retail proposition is

meeting the needs of the shopper, rather

than how it fulfils their own operational

RETAILERS THAT

STOP EXAMINING

THEIR OWN

NEEDS AND

INSTEAD VIEW

THEIR BUSINESSES

THROUGH THE

EYES OF THEIR

SHOPPERS WILL

PULL AHEAD

EMBRACE OMNICHANNEL RETAILING

needs. In short, they think about the

shopper’s life first and foremost, and then

apply that to the operational model.

Removing the seams – this means giving

shoppers more than one way to shop. It’s

called omnichannel retailing and it requires

a great deal of agility. Good retailers cater

to the consumer, whether she wants to

buy in-store, shop online or order first and

pick up later.

“If you don’t allow her to shop at 11 o’clock

at night when the kids have gone to bed,

that can be the point at which she chooses

another merchant,” Liebmann says.

Investing in people – a key to retail

success is ensuring the best-suited staff are

appointed for each customer touch point.

This means physically, by phone or online.

“That personal connection… that’s the

hidden juice that makes [retail brands] really

successful,” Liebmann says.

WHAT RETAILERS ARE DOING WRONG

Opening more stores – there are too many

retail stores and outlets are no longer

necessary for growth.

“I remember when we were talking about

the ‘Gapification’ of America,” Liebmann

says. “It was like the commodification of

retail. Digital is a great way to reach people

without having to open more real estate.”

Placing efficiency above necessity – while

retail does require efficiency, merchants

should not focus solely on being efficient.

“If all I’m doing is putting the merchandise

where it is most efficient for me so it can

be restocked, and having so many registers

open or so many staff on the floor because it

is more efficient, then I lose today,” Liebmann

says. Sales held on the US public holiday of

Thanksgiving are a good example, because

they don’t actually address an expressed

customer need.

Not breathing humanity into digital –

online interactions should be as human as

those that occur in the store. Unfortunately,

Liebmann says, some retailers still think they

can get digital right with far too few people.

Online employees are still expected to

answer questions and fill orders – she points

to the model of US online-only fashion

retailer Zappos.com, which gives staff the

training and freedom necessary to talk to

customers as long as needed. In return, the

brand benefits from unconditional loyalty.

“You are investing in happiness but really

you are investing in the people you have,”

Liebmann says.

When it comes down to what shoppers

really want in these post-recession years,

it is happiness.

“We’re seeing this very different kind of

yearning for stability, less stress, greater

well-being,” Liebmann concludes. “The

competitive environment has changed –

it’s not just about the other guy selling

things against you; it’s about the other guy

selling a set of values.” i

BRYAN PEARSON is

president and CEO of

LoyaltyOne and a retail

contributor to Forbes.

pearson4loyalty.com

March 2019 Jeweller 37


MANAGEMENT

PROFIT FROM A BUSINESS POSSE

STRONG LEADERS KNOW THEY NEED A SUPPORTIVE, CAPABLE TEAM AROUND THEM IF THEY ARE GOING TO HIT ALL

OF THEIR GOALS. SELECTING THAT TEAM IS A SKILL IN ITSELF. AMYK HUTCHENS REPORTS.

Successful people get to where they are

because they surround themselves with a

highly-capable posse, both personally and

professionally. Okay, so occasionally a leader

might get there by stepping on others, but

amazing leaders usually rise to great heights

because they choose their trusted advisors

carefully, listen to their advice and take

decisive action.

and still give you one heck of a kick

when needed.

Come on, you know there are times when

you’ve been too whiny, too tyrannical or too

nonsensical. You’re human, which is why

your posse should grab you by the collar

and get you to refocus.

DON’T FORGET TO THANK THEM

The right posse is made up of not one, but

several bright, creative minds who might

not otherwise be connected if not for their

link to the leader in the centre.

Put these people together and look out!

BUILD THE PERFECT PROFESSIONAL POSSE

It is much more fun to go through life with

friends and colleagues who believe in you

and believe that helping you is a rewarding

and enriching opportunity for them…

so thank them!

Building a posse requires discipline and

strategy. Here are four questions that

can help retail leaders build the perfect

professional and personal posse.

ARE THEY COOL UNDER PRESSURE?

Do they blow up when something goes

slightly askew? Do they hold grudges or

harbour resentment towards co-workers

or customers?

The ideal posse member keeps a cool head

and can balance long-term strategy with

short-term gain. They also reflect, evaluate

and predict before blurting out rash

comments that might be insensitive

or judgmental.

Happy, well-adjusted folk are better brainstormers

and problem-solvers. When the

stress is high, posse members should be the

first to say, “You can so handle this but if

you can’t, we’re here to help.”

DO THEY HAVE THE SKILLS?

Good leaders let go of their own egos and

let others shine. They identify any business

or life skill they need to improve and recruit

experts in those areas to their posse. Leaders

then help these new recruits to channel

their talents into a focused, constructive

mindset that helps everyone – but especially

the leader – to meet and exceed their

biggest goals.

GOOD LEADERS

LET GO OF THEIR

OWN EGOS AND

LET OTHERS

SHINE. THEY

IDENTIFY ANY

BUSINESS OR LIFE

SKILL THEY NEED

TO IMPROVE AND

RECRUIT EXPERTS

IN THOSE AREAS

TO THEIR POSSE

Whether crushing the competition, finding

a best friend, surviving your kids’ teen years

or expanding your business, there is always

someone whose perspective and ideas can

spark you to play bigger, better and bolder.

CAN THEY GET STUFF DONE?

Too many bar-sitting bloviators claim

to have solved all the world’s crises and

invented all the coolest stuff first. Two of

their favourite mentally-truncated mantras

are, “If I was in charge, I’d nuke the whole lot

of them,” and “I thought of that first; he’s just

lucky because he knows somebody.”

Instead of sitting around wishing your

dreams were coming true, start making

them happen. Once the strategic brainstorming

and critical thinking has been

done, the goals have been clearly

articulated, and the action steps charted,

a professional posse member will step up

and accept full responsibility for meeting

and exceeding any objectives assigned to

them. Any action is acceptable if it leads to

completion of an action item.

WILL THEY CALL YOU OUT?

Your posse should be your biggest, most

ardent fans. They should cheer loudly at

your achievements, hand you a tissue when

needed, provide words of encouragement

Show your gratitude with actions like

writing a note, giving an HR-appropriate

hug, bestowing a gift or even taking your

posse out for fine food and wine – or the

highest quality teas, if that’s your thing. How

you express your gratitude is less important

than making sure you express it.

Most brilliant leaders at one time or another

have done really stupid things. Certainly,

everyone can benefit from having a strong

team around them who can step in and

remind us that we’re about to make a

mistake or help us steady the ship if we’ve

already made that mistake. Just remember

that building a posse also goes both ways.

When was the last time you helped a

colleague, friend or family member cross

something off their list? If you can’t think

of at least a few actions you’ve taken in the

last month to help another achieve one of

their dreams, I suggest you get off your

cute derriere, dust off that cape and take

some action. i

AMYK HUTCHENS is

CEO of AmyK International,

an executive development

and training consultancy.

amyk.com

38 Jeweller March 2019


MARKETING & PR

DATA MATTERS – SATISFACTION VERSUS LOYALTY

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IS NOT THE SAME AS CUSTOMER LOYALTY BUT IF CUSTOMERS ARE HAPPY, DOES IT MATTER

WHAT RETAILERS CALL IT? YES, SAYS LISA MASIELLO, WHO ARGUES THAT THE TERMS AREN’T INTERCHANGEABLE.

Customer satisfaction is simply how satisfied

a customer is with a company’s products and

services. It takes into account all interactions

that customer has had with the company

and how that customer has been treated

along the journey.

Customer satisfaction is normally based on

data collected in surveys, as it is dependent

upon customer feedback. For this reason,

customer satisfaction can be fleeting and

fickle – a customer can be satisfied today

and unsatisfied tomorrow. This is because

customers re-evaluate their satisfaction after

every individual interaction they have. An

online experience may be great but a later

phone conversation may be horrible, which

changes their response to the question of

whether they are satisfied.

Customer satisfaction can also provide a false

sense of security to your company.

For example, cable television customers

who have only one service provider in their

area may say they are satisfied; however, they

might also switch providers if a competitor

enters the market with a lower price.

DEFINING CUSTOMER LOYALTY

Customer loyalty refers to how likely a

customer is to buy additional products

and services from a company. It should be

included as one of a company’s metrics,

showing how much an existing customer has

purchased and over what period of time. It

should include the specific items purchased,

the sale price of those items, potential future

value and more.

Customer loyalty is not subjective, nor is

it reliant on feedback. It can be measured

with real numbers and actually helps drive

revenue and company growth.

Those Facebook ‘likes’ that companies love

so much are not a measurement of customer

loyalty. In fact, marketers refer to Facebook

likes as a ‘vanity’ metric. There is no guarantee

a customer who likes your page will buy

more in the future.

CUSTOMER

LOYALTY IS NOT

SUBJECTIVE, NOR

IS IT RELIANT ON

FEEDBACK. IT CAN

BE MEASURED

WITH REAL

NUMBERS AND

ACTUALLY HELPS

DRIVE REVENUE

AND COMPANY

GROWTH

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CAN BE FLEETING

BENDING THE DATA

Since customer satisfaction is often measured

by sending out surveys, months can pass

in between each input of data. A quarterly

survey distributed in January might return

a very high satisfaction rating but a drop

in customer service in February might not

reveal itself until the next survey in April, if at

all. Meanwhile, dissatisfied customers went

to competitors in February and March and

no-one knew why.

This doesn’t mean surveys are useless.

When completed after specific personal

interactions, they can be very insightful. One

example is immediately after an interaction

with a technical-support person or customercare

representative, when satisfaction

surveys give immediate insight into service

expectations and delivery.

One key benefit of more tailored or

customised surveys is that positive changes

to business operations can be identified and

made more quickly.

BOTTOM-LINE IMPORTANCE

Customer loyalty is more important to a

company’s bottom line than customer

satisfaction. Firstly, loyal customers are

not only willing to buy more but also

tend to be less price sensitive, so they

are more likely to pay full price because

they understand the additional value they

receive from your company.

Secondly, acquiring new customers is more

expensive than keeping existing ones. Selling

more to existing customers increases revenue

and decreases acquisition costs.

Thirdly, long-term customers don’t just

recommend businesses to their friends

and family; they become brand advocates,

influencing much larger circles of shoppers

via social media.

Finally, long-term customers understand

the ins and outs of your business and your

products. Long-term customers reach out

less frequently and put fewer demands on

customer care and billing departments.

Since customer loyalty is measured

by looking at the purchasing habits of

individuals, it is easy to use this data to

create a profile of your most profitable

customers. This can then be used to develop

focused marketing programs to prospects

who are more likely to become customers,

remain customers longer and buy higherpriced

products.

THE LAST WORD

Understanding the differences between

satisfaction and loyalty is important.

Customer satisfaction can provide high level

insights into the health of a business and,

when used strategically, can identify specific

areas of the business that are doing well and

areas that could be improved.

Customer loyalty data, including actual

purchase and revenue numbers, is critical for

knowing where a business stands today and

where it will likely be in the future. i

LISA MASIELLO is an

award-winning marketing

strategist, start-up advisor and

founder of TECHmarc Labs.

techmarclabs.com

March 2019 Jeweller 39


LOGGED ON

DOES GOOGLE KNOW YOU’RE IN BUSINESS?

IT’S CRITICAL FOR ANY SMALL BUSINESS THAT YOU ENSURE CUSTOMERS CAN FIND YOU ONLINE AND IN PERSON.

THIS SIMPLE ONLINE TOOL MAKES IT EASIER THAN EVER. KATIE BUNCH EXPLAINS HOW.

Are you looking for digital marketing

success? Google My Business (GMB) is

a tool that can help prospective customers

find you online and in person. One of

the best things about GMB is that it is

free to set up and maintain, and helps

you manage your online presence while

allowing you to seek greater exposure in

your local area. Read on to find out how

it works, and why it can help you grow

your business.

THE FUNDAMENTALS

Whether you are a bit of a digital marketing

pro or if this is your first foray into online

marketing, it’s important to go over the

basics of GMB.

GMB is a free listing that provides you with

a public identity and presence in Google’s

search results.

The information you provide about

your business will appear in both

Google Search and as a local listing

on Google Maps. Google reports that

up to 97 per cent of users search for local

products and services, but only 37 per cent

of businesses have claimed a GMB local

business listing.

Getting started with GMB is straightforward

and simple; you can simply search on

Google to see if your business is listed

already. If your business has been around

for a few years, it is likely that you have a

GMB listing — all you need to do is claim it.

SET UP YOUR LISTING

If you’re not sure if you have a GMB listing,

visit google.com/business and enter your

business information. If you have a listing,

you will be notified of this.

If you need to set up a new business listing,

then you can go through the steps to fill

out your details. Choose the right category

for your business and select whether you

offer goods or services to customers in your

local area.

If you are serving customers in local

areas, choose “yes” next to the “I deliver

goods and services to my customers

at their locations” option. Select the

box next to “I serve customers at my

business address” to ensure that your

complete address appears on Google.

It’s also important to make sure your

business’ stated hours are correct and

that your business location is staffed and

able to receive customers during those

times. Once you have submitted your

business information, you will need to

verify your listing.

VERIFY YOUR LISTING

It is simple to verify your Google listing by

using your mailing address. Google will

send you a postcard to the address you

supplied with a code on it. Use this code to

confirm your listing and get your listing live!

It’s likely that you will have verified your

business within a week.

IMPROVING YOUR GOOGLE RANKING

Several factors determine where you

rank online – but some of the most

important include the proximity of your

business to the person searching, the

relevance of your ad and the prominence

of your listing.

Proximity is key because you want to

appear in the searches people are doing

in their local area. While Google’s exact

algorithms are still a bit of a mystery, it’s

fair to say that if you are located in a

certain area, are creating local content,

and getting reviews from people in

that area, Google will display your

listing higher.

Keeping your listing relevant means

displaying clear, correct and specific

information; your business description

should be up to date. This is pretty

straightforward and ensures that when

people click on your listing that they get

the right information.

UP TO 97 PER CENT OF USERS SEARCH FOR LOCAL PRODUCTS ON GOOGLE

ENCOURAGE

YOUR USERS TO

REVIEW YOUR

BUSINESS AND

RESPOND TO

THEIR FEEDBACK

ONLINE – DON’T

JUST “SET AND

FORGET” YOUR

LISTING!

Finally, prominence is about ensuring that

you have customer reviews, local events,

local content and information that shows

you are committed to being a business

in your local area.

It’s always possible to improve your ranking

and listing; as anyone who has done

some SEO or digital marketing before

will know, the process is one of continual

improvement. Use details and keywords

in your business description like the

suburb or area you service, and ensure

that your phone number and opening

hours are accurate!

Next, add some great high-quality photos

of your business; images should look

professional and show up clearly on all

devices, from desktop computers to iPads

and mobiles.

Finally, encourage your users to review

your business and respond to their

feedback online – don’t just “set and forget”

your listing! i

KATIE BUNCH is a digital

marketing specialist and

Google AdWords team leader

at Kymodo Digital Marketing.

kymodo.com.au

40 Jeweller March 2019


RETAIL

ARA

PARLIAMENT PLAYS GAMES WITH CASUAL EMPLOYEES

The Australian Retailers Association

(ARA) condemns moves by opposition

parties in the Australian Senate to

rollback regulations defining the

entitlements of casual workers.

Changing the regulations would not only

put casual employees’ pay rates at risk, but

also leave business owners liable for huge

sums in alleged back-pay.

on-year numbers, which more accurately

reflect the seasonality of retail trading.

It’s important to note that there are a

variety of factors that have contributed to

these softer figures, including the decrease

in consumer sentiment caused by rising

household costs and low wage growth –

which continues to plague the industry

and overall economy.

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has

indicated it will pressure independents

on the crossbench to repeal the Fair Work

Amendment (Casual Loading Offset)

Regulations 2018 when Parliament

reconvenes on April 2.

The regulations were put in place in

December and designed to clarify which

workers are classified as casual and their

entitlements, after the Federal Court’s

decision in the Workpac v Skene case

caused some confusion.

Without the regulations, retailers could be

liable for millions of dollars in back-pay to

casuals who were never entitled to annual

leave or sick pay.

These regulations are crucial to providing

certainty to retailers and their casual

employees, and without them, the

confusion around entitlements will only get

worse and small and family-run retailers will

be crippled by the financial cost.

The ALP will destroy casual employment

by making it completely insecure, with

businesses being forced to cut shifts or shut

their doors entirely.

Retailers really care about their casual

employees and want to provide them with

WITHOUT THE

REGULATIONS,

RETAILERS COULD

BE LIABLE FOR

MILLIONS OF

DOLLARS IN

BACK-PAY TO

CASUALS WHO

WERE NEVER

ENTITLED TO

ANNUAL LEAVE

OR SICK PAY

the best opportunities that they can.

However, constantly shifting the goalposts

and adding millions of dollars to the

industry’s wage bill means many retailers

may have to make the heartbreaking

decision to say goodbye to casual

employees who rely on their jobs.

A MODEST CHRISTMAS

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

has released its official trade figures

from December, reporting a solid

Christmas trade with 2.75 per cent total

year-on-year growth in 2018, compared

to 2.49 per cent in 2017.

The ARA and Roy Morgan predicted a 2.9

per cent increase in pre-Christmas sales

from November 9 to December 24, 2018,

so the year-on-year figures released today

are broadly in line with our estimates.

While the ABS recorded clothing, footwear

and personal accessories were down -2.36

per cent month-to-month, the sector was

up 2.38 per cent year-on-year.

Retailers are better off focusing on the year-

Across the country, Tasmania, the Australian

Capital Territory and Victoria led the charge

with the strongest year-on-year growth –

which was consistent throughout 2018.

In other good news, Western Australia

showed its strongest growth in December

2018 since July 2017, which is a promising

preview for trade into 2019.

And on an even brighter note, the broader

retail industry recorded an average yearon-year

growth of 3 per cent for the 2018

calendar year, compared to 2.76 per cent

for the previous year – despite the ominous

commentary announced by multiple

media outlets.

The consumer-led nature of the Australian

retail sector signals the importance of

strong, accurate leadership and the ARA

is the only retail association constantly

working to move retail forward. i

RUSSELL ZIMMERMAN is

is the executive director

of the Australian Retailers

Association (ARA).

Email: info@retail.org.au

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the largest association representing the country’s

$310 billion retail sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. Providing expert advice

across multiple disciplines including leasing and wage rates, the ARA’s mission is to ensure

retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for members.

March 2019 Jeweller 41


10 YEARS AGO

WHAT WAS MAKING NEWS 10 YEARS AGO?

A SNAPSHOT OF THE INDUSTRY EVENTS THAT MADE NEWS HEADLINES IN THE MARCH 2009 ISSUE OF JEWELLER.

AGS Metals and Palloys looks north

The story: Coinciding with the 2009 JAA Australian

Jewellery Fair in Brisbane, the AGS Metals and

Palloys Group has opened a new branch in the city.

”We have seen consistent growth in demand

in the Queensland and Northern NSW market

and the opening of this office reflects the

importance of that market,” said managing

director Andrew Cochineas.

The office will stock a comprehensive range of

fine and alloyed precious metals in granulated

and fabricated form, along with solder and plating

solutions and a range of wedding rings in fully and

A bumper

Christmas for

buying groups

The story: After shaky results in October

and November, December saw the

jewellery market rebound significantly,

with all three buying groups reporting

that Christmas trading was not only good;

it exceeded 2007 results.

Colin Pocklington, managing director of

Nationwide Jewellers, Australia’s largest

buying group, said: “We had our best

Christmas ever. Our average store was up

26 per cent on December last year.”

semi-finished form. Clients can also drop off their

metals for refining and assaying at the new facility,

located on Level 15, 141 Queen Street Brisbane.

ISRAEL DIAMOND

EXPORTS DROP

The story: The Israeli diamond

industry has reported a drop in its

2008 polished and rough diamond

exports, blaming the world financial

crisis for its diminished production.

According to figures issued by the

Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and

Labor, net polished-diamond exports

declined 11.8 per cent in 2008 to

$US6.24 billion, compared with

$US7.07 billion in 2007.

Net rough-diamond exports totalled

$US3.31 billion in 2008, a 2 per cent

decline from 2007.

Israel’s top diamond export markets

include the US, consuming 43 per

cent, Hong Kong consuming 23

per cent, Belgium at 9 per cent, and

Switzerland at 8 per cent.

Despite the drop in demand, industry

members have remained optimistic.

“We know that the industry will

rally and return to its former growth

rates,” said Moti Ganz, chairman of

the Israel Diamond Institute Group

of Companies (IDI) and president of

the Israel Diamond Manufacturers

Association and the International

Diamond Manufacturers Association. “

Aus diamonds are in the pink

The story: Australian pink diamonds glittered on the

red carpet at the recent G’Day USA Australia Week

showcase in New York City, with Rio Tinto’s Argyle

mine – the world’s largest producer of pink diamonds,

and a supporting sponsor of Australia Week –

dressing celebrities for the event’s Black Tie Gala.

Queensland-born supermodel Kristy Hinze and Oscarwinning

costume designer Catherine Martin – wife

of famed director Baz Luhrmann – donned Argyle

jewellery by L.J West, while Australian actress Ursula

Yovich wore Calleija’s “Kimberly Rose” necklace, valued

at around $US1 million.

“Argyle Pink Diamonds are both symbolic, culturally,

and highly prized, globally,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr,

general manager of Rio Tinto’s diamond sales

and marketing.

42 Jeweller March 2019


EVENTS

JEWELLERY AND WATCH CALENDAR

A GUIDE TO THE LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY AND WATCH EVENTS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE IN THE YEAR AHEAD.

MARCH 2019

COOBER PEDY

GEM TRADE SHOW

JULY 2019

PALAKISS VICENZA

SUMMER SHOW

Coober Pedy, South Australia

Vicenza, Italy

BASELWORLD

Basel, Switzerland

April 20 – 21

cooberpedygemtradeshow.com.au

WINTON OPAL TRADESHOW

Winton, Australia

September 7 – 11

palakisstore.com

March 21 – 26

baselworld.com

ISTANBUL JEWELRY SHOW

Istanbul, Turkey

March 21 – 24

march.istanbuljewelryshow.com

NATIONWIDE

JEWELLERS ANTWERP

March 31 – April 5

nationwidejewellers.com.au

APRIL 2019

OROAREZZO

Italy

April 6 – 9

oroarezzo.it

KOLKATA JEWELLERY

AND GEM FAIR

Kolkata, India

April 6 – 9

kolkata.jewelleryfair.in/

CHINA INTERNATIONAL

GOLD, JEWELLERY & GEM

FAIR SHENZHEN

Shenzhen, China

April 19 – 22

shenzhenjewelleryfair.com

MAY 2019

PALAKISS VICENZA

SPRING SHOW

Vicenza, Italy

May 10 – 12

palakisstore.com

INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY KOBE

Kobe, Japan

May 16 – 18

ijk-fair.jp/en

JCK LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas, US

May 31 – June 3

lasvegas.jckonline.com

JUNE 2019

HONG KONG JEWELLERY

& GEM FAIR

Hong Kong

June 20 – 23

exhibitions.jewellerynet.com

July 12 – 13

qboa.com.au

LIGHTNING RIDGE OPAL &

GEM FESTIVAL

Lightning Ridge, Australia

July 24 – 27

lightningridgeopalfestival.com.au

AUGUST 2019

INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY FAIR

Sydney, Australia

August 24 – 26

jewelleryfair.com.au

JAPAN JEWELLERY FAIR

Tokyo, Japan

August 28 – 30

japanjewelleryfair.com

INDIA INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY SHOW

Mumbai, India

TBA

iijs.org

SEPTEMBER 2019

VICENZAORO

Vicenza, Italy

SHENZHEN

INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY FAIR

Shenzhen, China

September 12 – 16

shenzhenjewelleryfair.com

ASIAWORLD EXPO

Hong Kong

September 16 – 29

exhibitions.jewellerynet.com

OCTOBER 2019

JEWELLERY ASIA

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

October 10 –12

jewelleryasia.com.my

BHARAT DIAMOND WEEK

Mumbai, India

14 – 16 October

bharatdiamondweek.com

NOVEMBER 2019

CHINA INTERNATIONAL

GOLD, JEWELLERY & GEM

FAIR SHANGHAI

Shanghai, China

November 28 – December 1

September 7 – 11

vicenzaoro.com/en

March 2019 Jeweller 43


MY BENCH

Budj Jones

WORKS AT:

Brinkhaus Jewellers, Perth

AGE: 60

YEARS IN TRADE: 30

TRAINING: On-the-job

training.

FIRST JOB: Peter Meier

Goldsmith in 1988.

Favourite gemstone:

Tsavorite garnet. That

vivid green held me

straight away!

Favourite metal:

18-carat yellow gold. It’s

quite a forgiving metal.

Favourite tool:

Starrett dividers for

precision measuring.

I seldom make

mistakes with it!

Best new tool discovery:

The laser welder. It creates

seamless joins for resizes

and gives you the ability

to re-set stones, in their

mounts, without damaging

the stones.

Best part of job:

Stone setting; you’re a step

away and the job’s done.

Worst part of job:

Polishing. If you’ve got an

apprentice, that’s their job!

Best tip from a jeweller:

I got this advice from the

fellow who taught me,

Peter Meier: there are no

shortcuts. If you make a

mistake, knuckle down and

re-do it until you get it right.

Best tip to a jeweller:

Stand up and stretch!

Biggest health concern

on the bench:

The polishing dust.

Love jewellery because…

In this industry, we’re

catering to future promises.

You agree to make

something beautiful for

the client and to see their

joy [when it’s finished],

that’s wonderful. i


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®


SOAPBOX

WE CAN’T AFFORD TO GET

COMPLACENT ABOUT SECURITY

Over the past few years, I’ve visited and

spoken to many jewellery retailers who

have been the victims of crime – ranging

from theft to break-ins and armed

robberies. I’ve seen too many simple

security steps overlooked, ignored or

neglected. Jewellery businesses need to

take security seriously and continually

budget for upgrades and improvements.

When it comes to physical steps to increase

security, look at getting your local council

involved in putting an attractive barrier

in front of your store – such as a bench or

flower unit – that prevents people from

doing a ram raid.

More and more councils will do it if you

agree to pay for part of the bench or flower

unit; you can even get a plaque with your

name on it – that’s advertising!

The next most critical thing is assessing

your CCTV. There are too many situations

where the camera only records the tops

of the crooks’ heads! Have one camera at

a lower level dedicated to the faces of the

people coming into the store.

Don’t rely on cheap kits and older analogue

systems either. New electronic equipment

is no longer expensive. Refer to the police

CCTV standards, which are available online,

and ensure you meet them.

Make sure you have Mylar security film

over the glass of your store front, and on

your cabinets too if they aren’t made from

laminated glass. This is such a quick, lowcost

and effective step, yet a lot of stores

still haven’t done it.

The next weak link is pull-down security

grilles; chain links can be easily broken.

The grille needs to be reinforced by having

microswitches monitoring whether the links

have been disturbed.

Coupled with that is the fact that a lot of

retailers are still not packing all their goods

away at night. They think, ‘I’m not going to

worry about the silver or watches,’ or that

just covering them up is enough, because

those are not their most high-value pieces.

But often for $1,000 worth of goods that

have been left out and then stolen in a

break-in, the retailer will be left with $10,000

worth of damage to the store.

There should always be a place you and

your staff can retreat to in case someone

comes in with a weapon; many country

stores have put CrimSafe doors on their

workshops for this reason.

Next, consider a ‘closed door’ policy. Admit

people in limited quantities so you don’t

have a gang of five coming in, which is

typically used for distraction techniques.

When it comes to dealing with suspicious

customers, there’s a tip that’s often ignored:

only show one piece at a time. If someone

wants to see two pieces, hold the second

one in your hand and hold it up next

to them; if they end up running, your

loss is limited.

Spread out your high-value items

throughout your store and ask for ID before

you show one to a customer. Hang on to

the customer’s ID until you get the item

back – you can simply explain that it’s a

requirement of your insurance policy.

THERE SHOULD

ALWAYS BE A

PLACE YOU AND

YOUR STAFF CAN

RETREAT TO IN

CASE SOMEONE

COMES IN WITH A

WEAPON

And speaking of insurance, make absolutely

sure you have a jeweller’s block policy, as

a regular business policy won’t cover all

your needs.

Perhaps the most ignored cost-free security

measure is code words. If you become

concerned when dealing with a customer,

you need to alert other staff. You might

say: “Georgina, Mrs Brown’s coming in

to pick up her ring today, can you get it

out?” That would be a phrase that your

staff member recognises to mean there’s

a problem.

Finally, have weekly meetings with staff to

discuss security and record all suspicious

incidents. Then, crucially, share these

incidents with other members of the trade!

The Victorian branch of the JAA has created

WhatsApp groups for jewellery retailers so

that they can warn each other immediately

if there are incidents going on in their

local area.

These are now active in Victoria, South

Australia and the ACT but I strongly urge

others to get involved and really make this

a nationwide effort. You don’t need to be a

JAA member to be part of it. i

Name: Michael Oboler

Business: Oblo Jewellery

Position: Director

Location: Box Hill North, Victoria

Years in the industry: 45, including 30 in Australia

Michael is a past chairman of the JAA and its

Victorian branch.

46 Jeweller March 2019


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