VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY MARCH 2019
INSIDE THE UNUSUAL WORLD OF
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NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND
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GOES ON SHOW
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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
INDIA’S DESIGN REVOLUTION
GOES ON SHOW
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
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
42/ 10 Years Ago
44/ My Bench
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
Bryan Pearson reveals what
retailers get right – and wrong
It’s crucial to build a dream
team if you want to succeed,
writes AmyK Hutchens
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
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
J E W ELLERY & WATCH FAIR
August 24 > 26, 2019
ICC Sydney > Exhibition Centre > Darling Harbour
All brands officially distributed by
T. (02) 9417 0177 W. www.dgau.com.au
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
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
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
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
THE PR WAR AT
THE MOMENT –
THEY ARE BEING
BY THE LAB-
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
The new kids on the block – playing as
the underdogs – probably have the
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.
March 2019 Jeweller 9
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
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!
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.
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.
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
Publisher & Editor
& Graphic Design
Jo De Bono
Jeweller is published by:
Gunnamatta Media Pty Ltd
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all damages or liabilities arising from
the published material.
10 Jeweller March 2019
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,”
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
“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
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,”
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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,”
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
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
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)
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
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
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.”
impress in London
As reported by the ABC, Australian
opals have made a splash at London
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
“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
India pushes youth
A new initiative has begun in India’s
gem and jewellery heartland, Gujarat,
to encourage young people to enter
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
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
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.
DEALS AND IN-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
but it requires
well,” he explains.
there is more
than one way
to get involved
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
“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
THEY’VE HAD A TURBULENT
DECADE FOLLOWING THE GLOBAL
FINANCIAL CRISIS, BUT AFTER
A RETURN TO POPULARITY AND
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
March 2019 Jeweller 19
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SOUTH SEA SAPPHIRE RINGS
ALLURE SOUTH SEA PEARLS
seas, and if they can do it again – with the added challenge of
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.”
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
“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
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
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
Exciting new colour combinations
for the original and beloved
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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
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
PIERRE FALLOURD, ATLAS PEARLS
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
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
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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TOP ROW FROM LEFT: PALLAVI FOLEY, ZAABEL, MISHO, SECOND ROW FROM LEFT: A-STAR, SPHERE, SYNA
MUGHAL TO MILLENNIAL:
IIJS Signature ushers in a
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
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
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
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
happy to see people celebrate each other’s
cultures through design.”
PALLAVI FOLEY, PALLAVI FOLEY
“India is not a
country only, but
also has a strong
[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
The global market
was besotted with minimalism for the
past decade, but we are seeing a shift
towards a preference for feminine and
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.”
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.”
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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OPENING DAY RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY BY
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
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
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
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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
In 2020, the 30th Geneva Salon will take place 26–29 April, followed
immediately by Baselworld to form what some are calling the ‘Swiss
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.
Discover new charming surprises
concealed with a style
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,
meenal m: +61 402 88 77 33 | lachhman m: +61 433 20 43 85
Jewellery for the Super Stylish you !
sai imports pty ltd
4 anselm street, strathfield south, sydney, nsw - 2136
Keep informed and up to date with the GAA
Proudly Australian, the GAA runs
internationally recognised courses
which grow and adapt to the needs of
We are all very busy but we do need to take time
to invest in ourselves and our education.
The GAA works with the trade at a local level.
We know the questions your customers are
asking and have a variety of specialised diamond
courses to meet your training requirements.
Whether it is a one day training course in the
basics, or a course to put you ahead of the field
as a Diamond Technologist, we have courses for
everyone in the industry.
Choose a course or courses
to suit your needs and
sign up today. Please note
that course sizes are
Retail Diamond Consultant
1 day course
A must for anyone selling diamonds, it covers all the
basics and a little more.
• Take a look into the fascinating world of diamonds
so you can answer your customer’s questions
with confidence and turn this into more sales.
• The course covers the basics:
- The Four C’s
- Diamond shapes and cuts
- Physical properties
- Fancy-coloured diamonds
- Diamond mine localities
- Common diamond imitations
- Synthetic diamond
- Colour and clarity enhancements
- ‘Blood diamonds’ and the Kimberley Process
- Caring for your diamond jewellery
• Certificate of attendance awarded.
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’.
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
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
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-
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
Advanced Practical Diamond Grading
2 day course
Pre-requisite: Practical Diamond Grading
This course builds on the skills gained in Practical Diamond Grading
and takes your knowledge to the next level.
• Assess old cut and damaged diamond for recut and salvage.
• Learn techniques to assist in cut grading fancy cut diamonds
• Learn about grading fancy colour diamonds.
• Learn considerations so you can grade set stones.
• Practical experience in visually estimating crown
angle, pavilion depth and table percentage – learn to
evaluate the cut grade or make of the stone.
• Evaluate brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.
• Cover all the latest treatments/enhancements
of natural and synthetic diamonds both HTHP and
CVD detection methods.
• Theory and practical assessment leading to GAA
Certificate of Competency.
Diploma in Diamond Technology
Show your clients you’re serious about Diamonds.
Students who successfully complete this course obtain
the post-nominal Dip DT.
• Offered part-time over one year.
• Genesis and formation. Chemical and physical
properties are covered in depth.
• The process of exploration, mining and recovery.
• Learn in detail the progress of a diamond’s journey
from mine to marketplace.
• Properties of simulants, synthetics and their
• Covers all manner of diamond treatments and their
• Independent research into a field of your choice.
• Practical Diamond Grading and Advanced Practical Diamond
Grading forms the practical labwork component.
Theory and practical assessment leading to GAA Diploma
in Diamond Technology and the post-nominal Dip DT.
Practical Diamond Grading
5 full days or equivalent
The GAA’s Practical Diamond Grading Course is the
essential asset for all businesses that sell diamonds.
Learn to grade diamonds to international standards for
better buying and selling decisions.
• Flexible teaching times (week courses, weekend
courses and night courses - State variations).
This course also forms the practical component
of the Diploma in Diamond Technology.
• Learn about the different internationally recognised
diamond grading systems including GIA, CIBJO, IDC
and HRD for greater appreciation of their similarities
• Classes cover both theory and practical lab work
• Learn how to estimate the weight and adjustment
• Make visual estimations of proportions of cut
diamonds; state the make of diamonds with correct
terminology; learn to accurately predict the measured
values of the different parts of a diamond that are
listed on certificates using only a 10x loupe and back
them up using instrumentation.
• Colour grade with master sets and standard lighting,
Clarity grade with 10x loupe and/or microscope.
• Considerations when grading a set stone.
• Students also receive theoretical and practical
experience in detection and identification of
synthetic diamonds, diamond simulants and
diamond treatments - fracture-filled diamonds,
laser-drilled diamonds plus all the latest treatments/
enhancements and detection methods.
• Practical assessment leading to a GAA Statement
For more information
1300 436 338
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.gem.org.au
ADELAIDE BRISBANE HOBART MELBOURNE PERTH SYDNEY
Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts
and consumers about gemstones
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.
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
AND FOCUS ON
THEY RISK LOSING
OUT ON REAL
• 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
• 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
March 2019 Jeweller 35
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
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
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
TO FIND THE
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
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
EYES OF THEIR
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
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,”
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.
March 2019 Jeweller 37
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
and still give you one heck of a kick
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
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
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
LET GO OF THEIR
OWN EGOS AND
BUSINESS OR LIFE
SKILL THEY NEED
TO IMPROVE AND
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.
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.
LOYALTY IS NOT
IS IT RELIANT ON
FEEDBACK. IT CAN
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.
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
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
strategist, start-up advisor and
founder of TECHmarc Labs.
March 2019 Jeweller 39
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
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
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
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
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
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
YOUR USERS TO
ONLINE – DON’T
JUST “SET AND
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
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.
40 Jeweller March 2019
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
BE LIABLE FOR
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
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
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
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.
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
42 Jeweller March 2019
JEWELLERY AND WATCH CALENDAR
A GUIDE TO THE LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY AND WATCH EVENTS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE IN THE YEAR AHEAD.
GEM TRADE SHOW
Coober Pedy, South Australia
April 20 – 21
WINTON OPAL TRADESHOW
September 7 – 11
March 21 – 26
ISTANBUL JEWELRY SHOW
March 21 – 24
March 31 – April 5
April 6 – 9
AND GEM FAIR
April 6 – 9
GOLD, JEWELLERY & GEM
April 19 – 22
May 10 – 12
May 16 – 18
JCK LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas, US
May 31 – June 3
HONG KONG JEWELLERY
& GEM FAIR
June 20 – 23
July 12 – 13
LIGHTNING RIDGE OPAL &
Lightning Ridge, Australia
July 24 – 27
August 24 – 26
JAPAN JEWELLERY FAIR
August 28 – 30
September 12 – 16
September 16 – 29
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
October 10 –12
BHARAT DIAMOND WEEK
14 – 16 October
GOLD, JEWELLERY & GEM
November 28 – December 1
September 7 – 11
March 2019 Jeweller 43
Brinkhaus Jewellers, Perth
YEARS IN TRADE: 30
FIRST JOB: Peter Meier
Goldsmith in 1988.
Tsavorite garnet. That
vivid green held me
18-carat yellow gold. It’s
quite a forgiving metal.
Starrett dividers for
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
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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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.
ALWAYS BE A
PLACE YOU AND
YOUR STAFF CAN
RETREAT TO IN
COMES IN WITH A
And speaking of insurance, make absolutely
sure you have a jeweller’s block policy, as
a regular business policy won’t cover all
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
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
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
Location: Box Hill North, Victoria
Years in the industry: 45, including 30 in Australia
Michael is a past chairman of the JAA and its
46 Jeweller March 2019
WE’RE IN THE
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We’re ready when you are. So if you think it’s time to get serious about where you’re going, email us today.
Our team will be happy to show you how we can grow your business together.
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