Jeweller - July 2019

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VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY

JULY 2019

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THE

WHITE DIAMOND CATEGORY

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THE TRENDS SHAKING UP

ENGAGEMENT AND BRIDAL JEWELLERY

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THE LATEST AND GREATEST WATCH

MODELS FOR THE NEW SEASON


Colour is our Passion.

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Ph: +61 (0) 3 9654 5200 / Interstate Orders 1300 843 141 E: sales@oagems.com www.oagems.com


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A CLOSER LOOK AT THE

WHITE DIAMOND CATEGORY

VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY

THE TRENDS SHAKING UP

ENGAGEMENT AND BRIDAL JEWELLERY

JULY 2019

THE LATEST AND GREATEST WATCH

MODELS FOR THE NEW SEASON

CONTENTS

JULY 2019

17/

25/

29/

FEATURES REGULARS BUSINESS

17/ WITH THIS RING

How to get the best out of the

engagement and bridal category

as it continues to evolve.

25/ ICE AGE

Are diamonds really in the rough?

Jeweller takes a look at the many

facets of this competitive sector.

29/ TIMED RELEASE

Post-Baselworld, the leading watch

brands debut exciting models for the

new season.

7/ Editorial

8/ Upfront

10/ News

14/ ARA

15/ New Products

33/ Gems

Organic Gems Part IV: ammolite

41/ My Store

42/ 10 Years Ago

43/ Calendar

44/ My Bench

46/ Soapbox

Dennis Coleman levels criticism

at watch brands for their attitude

to repairs and spare parts.

35/ Business feature

Should you use SEO or SEM?

Laura Dawson reviews the

pros and cons.

37/ Selling

Gretchen Gordon explores a very

common trap for sales leaders.

38/ Management

Part one of Doug Fleener’s guide to

achieving goals and beating stress.

39/ Marketing

Companies should put customer

service first, writes Barry Urquhart.

40/ Logged On

Graham Jones explains why short

beats long in content marketing.

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Time zone

Front cover description:

Engagements and weddings are

the entry point into a lifetime

of memories and moments

celebrated with jewellery.

July 2019 Jeweller 5


With a pool of $20,000 and crowning rights to the winner of

each category, who and what piece do you think will win?

The 2019 Jewellery Design Awards has more than $20,000 in cash and prizes on offer with every category being

enthusiastically sponsored by the industry. As anticipation grows, industry suppliers have thrown their support

behind the Awards with a common theme of celebrating creativity, passion, and skill.

AWARD CATEGORIES

• 1st & 2nd Year Apprentice/Student Award SPONSORED BY BRINKS

• 3rd & 4th Year Apprentice/Student Award SPONSORED BY BRINKS • Australian Opal Award SPONSORED BY OPALS AUSTRALIA

• Bridal Award SPONSORED BY REINE JEWELS • CAD/CAM/Cast Award SPONSORED BY CHEMGOLD

• Coloured Gemstone Award SPONSORED BY MARK McASKILL • Diamond Award SPONSORED BY SAMS GROUP AUSTRALIA

• Innovative Timepiece Award SPONSORED BY ADINA • Men’s Accessories & Jewellery SPONSORED BY TBA

• Pearl Award SPONSORED BY IKECHO • Precious Metal Award SPONSORED BY PALLION

INTERNATIONAL

J E W ELLERY & WATCH FAIR

AUGUST 24 > 26, 2019

ICC Sydney I Exhibition Centre I Darling Harbour

Organised by

For further information regarding the awards, including full terms and

conditions, please visit www.jewelleryfair.com.au or give our

team a call on 02 9452 7513


EDITORIAL

PANDORA – THE CHARM BEFORE THE STORM?

Pandora has announced another round of

sackings, and this time the job losses will be at

its Australian distribution centre.

It’s probably no surprise given that only two

months ago, Pandora International’s chief

financial officer, Anders Boyer, said: “The first

quarter was characterised by continued weak

like-for-like [figures], further burdened by our

deliberate commercial reset.”

At the time, he announced that 1,200 Pandora

staff at its Thai manufacturing facility would

lose their jobs – and that came after 700

workers were dismissed in February.

Pandora’s “reset” (otherwise known as costcutting)

includes closing 50 ‘concept stores’

over the next year and, perhaps as a sign of

Pandora’s woes, only eight concept stores

were opened in the first quarter of 2019

compared to 39 during that period in 2018.

Hence the announcement from Phil

McNutt – Pandora Australia’s new CEO – on

17 June that the Sydney distribution centre

would be closed in favour of handing over

the company’s important customer service

department to an external operation.

McNutt, who joined Pandora in January, said

the decision came after a six-month review.

He advised independent stockists via email

that the services performed by the in-house

Pandora distribution centre “will be transferred

to alternate suppliers in a phased approach

from now until January next year.”

Pandora International has been undergoing

a massive restructure after a long period of

disappointing financial results. In mid-May

Boyer warned, “I see very significant costsaving

opportunities. If revenues continue to

decline, then you have to revisit the situation.”

At the time Pandora reported worrying results;

global sales fell by six per cent and net profit

fell 31 per cent – from DKK1.15 billion to only

DKK797 million.

It was only a year ago, in June 2018, when

McNutt’s predecessor at the Australian

operation, Mikael Kruse Jensen, announced

the closure of 100 retail accounts. The

company sent emails to the affected stockists

and then immediately attempted to allay the

fears of remaining stockists.

That episode caused a public relations

nightmare, with many retailers telling me that

they were making plans to ‘dump the brand

before they got dumped’.

Kruse Jensen’s email attempted to explain

the reasoning, advising the spared stores: “It

is important to note that this announcement

does not change the nature of our relation

and will have no impact on your account.”

The problem for Pandora was that no-one

believed a word of it!

Now, more than 12 months on, I know

many stores are continuing to move away

from Pandora and their fears will only be

heightened with McNutt’s latest staff sackings.

IN AN

INSENSITIVE

DISPLAY OF

CORPORATE

SPEAK, MCNUTT

REFERRED TO THE

STAFF ABOUT

TO LOSE THEIR

JOBS AS “FAMILY

MEMBERS”; BUT

THAT DIDN’T

MATTER, THEY

WOULD BE

SACKED ANYWAY

I have written in the past that there are

two words that I hear consistently used in

conjunction with Pandora: arrogant and

conceited. Sadly, McNutt’s handling of the

recent “review” of the Australian operation is

not likely to change that opinion.

In an insensitive display of ‘corporate speak’,

McNutt referred to the staff about to lose

their jobs as “family members”; but that didn’t

matter, they would be sacked anyway!

Worse, he said, “The Pandora distribution

centre and its staff have been a critical

and extremely successful member of the

Pandora family and value chain, and we

will be disappointed to see them and their

contribution leave the business.”

I am not sure I have seen a better example

of ‘corporate speak’ and nonsensical jargon

– words and phrases used to avoid being

forthright, or said to make someone believe

something that is not true. Firstly, the staff

are not “leaving” – they are being sacked.

And if they are “critical and extremely

successful” and are part of your “family”,

then why is the centre being closed?

It’s corporate speak gone mad – apparently,

your critical and extremely successful staff

should be sacked! If this is how “family

members” are treated, then one wonders

what Pandora has planned for its remaining

retail “partners”?

Coleby Nicholson

Managing Editor

July 2019 Jeweller 7


UPFRONT

BULLETIN BOARD

n COSTLY PURCHASE

Recently announced sales figures

from Costco have revealed that one

customer purchased a $400,000

engagement ring from the discountbulk

retailer! The sparkler, purchased

online and picked up at a secure

Costco store locker, is believed to be

a platinum solitaire featuring a round

brilliant 10.3-carat diamond.

n FINE TOON

In other ring news, a Japanese retailer

is now offering Pokémon-themed

engagement and wedding rings! Two

matching sets are available, with each

design based on a different loveable

critter – either Pikachu or Mew. There’s

also a limited edition Pokéball case

available. What better way for fans to

say, ‘I choose you’?

n WATCH OUT!

A pre-owned watch dealer has

revealed what is believed to be the

most convincing fake Rolex of all

time. Watchfinder & Co examined a

replica Rolex Daytona, valued at £1,000

(AU$1,830), which had a steel case

and bracelet, ceramic bezel, locking

mechanism and – crucially – a calibre

seemingly identical to the real thing.

RUBY

JULY BIRTHSTONE:

DID YOU KNOW?

Large rubies are more precious and valuable

than diamonds, so it’s no wonder they were

known as ratnaraj – “the king of jewels” –

in Sanskrit. Prized by royalty throughout

history, their deep red colour naturally

symbolises fire, passion, courage and

energy. In the past, rubies were thought to

increase vitality and wealth, as well as bring

success in love and battle.

DIGITAL

BRAINWAVE

WHO SAID?

“In the last 20 years there has

been far more effort put into

the economic, social and

environmental impacts

associated with our business.”

Turn to page 25 to find out. >

GOING MOBILE

As of July 1, Google has announced that mobile-first

indexing will be the default for all new web domains.

This means that when you register a new website,

Google’s bots will scan the page for mobile-friendly

content. Even more important for business owners is

that Google will use mobile-friendly content to index

pages, understand the data on the page, and show snippets of content in users’ search

results. Put simply, the more mobile-friendly content you have, the better your ranking

will be on Google. This change has come about because the majority of Google users

search on their mobile devices. There are plenty of online tools to check if a site is

mobile-friendly – and there’s never been a better time than now to make sure!

TOP PRODUCT

The Bohemia Chain Drop Mini Hoops from

Ania Haie feature delicate draping chains

embellished with cubic zirconia. These

earrings are the perfect addition to any

bohemian-inspired wardrobe. Available in

925 sterling silver with rhodium plating or

925 sterling silver with 14-carat gold plating.

Distributed by Duraflex Group Australia.

VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN

JEWELLERY INDUSTRY

jewellermagazine.com

Publisher & Editor

Coleby Nicholson

Associate Publisher

Angela Han

angela.han@gunnamattamedia.com

Journalist

Arabella Roden

arabella.roden@jewellermagazine.com

Production Manager

& Graphic Design

Jo De Bono

art@gunnamattamedia.com

Accounts

Paul Blewitt

finance@gunnamattamedia.com

Subscriptions

info@jewellermagazine.com

Jeweller is published by:

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Copyright: All material appearing

in Jeweller is subject to copyright.

Reproduction in whole or in part is

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consent of the publisher.

Gunnamatta Media Pty Ltd strives to

report accurately and fairly and it is

our policy to correct significant errors

of fact and misleading statements in

the next available issue. All statements

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relating to subjective opinions should

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8 Jeweller July 2019


S


NEWS

NEWS

Football star wins $70K from Bensimon

A business associated with Ron Bensimon,

also known as Ronnie Ben-Simon, is facing

legal complications over a missing diamond

belonging to AFL player Joel Selwood.

Bensimon Online, trading as Bensimon

Bespoke Diamond Atelier, has been ordered

to pay Selwood, the captain of the Geelong

Cats, more than $69,000 after the business

lost his fiancée’s engagement ring.

The company is owned by Ron Bensimon’s

wife, Kate, but promotes him as leading its

diamond sourcing operations.

Selwood, 31, purchased a custom-designed

3.21-carat round brilliant diamond ring,

valued at $66,000, from the company in July

2018. It was sent back for resizing in October

but was never returned, according to legal

documents. In addition, the promised GIA

Certificate for the centre stone was not

delivered to Selwood.

In a statement, the company claimed the

footballer was fully refunded in February this

year – a claim repeated by Ron Bensimon to

The Age last month.

However, Selwood countered that he had

only received $6,000.

Representatives for Bensimon Online did

not attend the hearing at the Magistrates’

Court of Victoria and a default judgment was

More job losses at Pandora

Following a six-month review, Pandora

Australia has confirmed it will close its inhouse

distribution early next year.

The news came after Pandora International

decided to overhaul its Pacific region

infrastructure, in the wake of the company’s

restructuring following disappointing

financial results.

In an email dated 17 June to Pandora

stockists, Phil McNutt, managing director

Pandora Australia and New Zealand, said,

“The services performed by the PDC

[Pandora distribution centre] will be

transferred to alternate suppliers in a phased

approach from now until January next year.”

“The PDC and its staff have been a critical

JOEL SELWOOD, HIS FIANCEE AND THE MISSING RING

entered against it, upholding an earlier order

for Selwood to be repaid the value of the ring

plus interest and legal costs.

Selwood’s counsel Sarah Galbally, of LOD

Legal, told The Age, “The money owed to

Joel Selwood has not been refunded by

Kate Bensimon or the company. We are still

awaiting Kate Bensimon or her company to

make the payment to meet the orders made

by the court, by way of a judgment debt. The

next step is for enforcement proceedings.”

As reported in Jeweller, Ron Bensimon’s

previous business, Bensimon Retail Group

– which included Bensimon Diamonds

within the Crown complex in Melbourne

– was placed into liquidation in 2016

owing $7 million.

Ron and Kate Bensimon later relocated to

Sydney, where she established the onlineonly

Atelier business.

and extremely successful member of

the Pandora family and value chain, and

we will be disappointed to see them and

their contribution leave the business,”

he added.

“The PDC staff are currently working through

the proposed changes with HR over the next

short period.”

Jeweller attempted to clarify with McNutt

the exact number of job losses and whether

the decision would mean that, in the future,

Pandora stockists would have to deal

directly with the outsourced distribution

company on returns, faults and repairs.

At the time of publication he had not

provided answers.

PANDORA IS

CLOSING ITS LOCAL

DISTRIBUTION

CENTRE

Prizes announced

for Jewellery

Design Awards

Organisers Expertise Events have

announced the prize list for this year’s

Jewellery Design Awards (JDA), which

will take place on August 25 as part of

the International Jewellery and Watch

Fair (IJWF) in Sydney.

Winners will share in more than $20,000

in prize money and category-specific

prizes, with each award sponsored by

the industry.

Joshua Zarb, general manager Expertise

Events, said, “We are so grateful for

the generosity from our sponsors to

give something back to designers to

recognise all the hard work that they

have put into their submissions.”

This year sees the Supreme and Fair

Visitor Choice categories replaced by the

Innovative Timepiece Award.

“This is an area that is still a large part

of the overall jewellery industry and we

are looking forward to seeing advances

in both design and technology in this

space,” Zarb explained.

Categories and sponsors:

• 1st & 2nd year Apprentice/Student

Sponsored by Brinks

• 3rd & 4th year Apprentice/Student

Sponsored by Brinks

• Australian Opal Award

Sponsored by Opals Australia

• Bridal Award

Sponsored by Reine Jewels

• CAD/CAM/Cast Award

Sponsored by Chemgold

• Coloured Gemstone Award

Sponsored by Mark McAskill

• Diamond Award

Sponsored by SAMS Group Australia

• Men’s Accessories & Jewellery

Sponsored by Peter W Beck

• Pearl Award

Sponsored by Ikecho

• Precious Metal Award

Sponsored by Pallion

• Innovative Timepiece Award

Sponsored by Adina

10 Jeweller July 2019


NEWS

A new celebrity face for Thomas Sabo

Duraflex Group Australia (DGA) has

announced that British pop star Rita Ora

will be the new face of Thomas Sabo

jewellery and watches.

The singer – who is also an actress, model

and TV presenter – follows in the footsteps

of previous brand ambassadors Katy

Perry, Poppy Delevingne and Georgia

May Jagger.

“Rita is the perfect face and association for

the brand with a broad target audience

that completely aligns with Thomas Sabo,”

Phil Edwards, managing director DGA, said.

“Rita will be pictured in all upcoming

marketing material and, in particular, all

in-store signage options,” he added.

The two-year partnership officially began

on July 1, with Ora making her debut as

the face of Thomas Sabo in the autumn/

winter 2019 collection.

As part of the marketing package, Ora

has begun promoting Thomas Sabo

through social media with the hashtag

#RITAORAxTS. Ora – who has 15 million

Instagram followers – first announced the

partnership by thanking the company for

providing her with custom-made jewellery

at the end of May.

So far, Ora has worn the Thomas Sabo

Black Cat ring from the Rebel At Heart

collection, star-themed earrings inspired

by the Kingdom of Dreams collection, and

a selection of silver chains.

“In addition to the social media

communication that will involve Rita,

it will be exciting to launch the new

season product with a fresh new face and

approach at the store level – in particular

with direct visuals to connect with

consumers,” Edwards said.

Opalised dinosaurs thrill scientists

A group of more than 60 fossils from

the Sheepyard opal field near Lightning

Ridge have been found to belong to a

new species of dinosaur. Among them is

also the world’s most complete opalised

dinosaur skeleton.

The fossils – which are mostly made up of

grey potch opal – were unearthed in the

1980s by miner Bob Foster, but have only

recently undergone a full examination by

palaeontologists after being donated to the

Australian Opal Centre.

Dr Phil Bell, lead researcher from the

University of New England, Armidale,

said, “We initially assumed it was a single

skeleton, but when I started looking at

some of the bones, I realised that we had

four scapulae [shoulder blades] all from

different sized animals.”

It’s believed the dinosaurs belonged to

a herd or family group. The species has

been named Fostoria dhimbangunmal,

referencing Foster and the words for ‘sheep’

RITA ORA IS NOW REPRESENTING THOMAS SABO

ONE OF THE OPALISED FOSSILS. PHOTO: ROBERT A.

SMITH, COURTESY AUSTRALIAN OPAL CENTRE

and ‘yard’ in the local Yuwaalaraay and

Yuwaalayaay languages.

It’s the second new dinosaur species to

be discovered in Lightning Ridge in eight

months. An opalised jawbone fossil from

the dog-sized Weewarrasaurus pobeni was

discovered in December last year.

Lightning Ridge is the only known

place where dinosaur bones routinely

turn to opal.

+ MORE BREAKING NEWS

JEWELLERMAGAZINE.COM

IN BRIEF

*

NEW MINERAL DISCOVERED

The International Mineralogical

Association has recognised carmeltazite

as a new mineral. An Israeli mining

company first discovered it earlier this

year near Mount Carmel. Its chemical

composition is similar to corundum,

and includes titanium, aluminium and

zirconium. It can appear dark brown to

dark green and is suitable for jewellery.

*

BRILLIANT BIRTHDAY

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre

celebrated the 100th anniversary of the

brilliant cut last month, marking a century

since local engineer Marcel Tolkowsky

developed it aged just 19. Tolkowsky

discovered how to maximise the amount

of light being refracted through the table

and crown of a diamond by cutting 57

precisely placed facets.

*

POE’S WATCH SOLD

An 18-carat gold key-wound pocket

watch once belonging to writer Edgar

Allan Poe has been sold at auction

for US$250,000. The piece – which is

engraved with his name – was sold as

part of the Christie’s Fine Printed Books

& Manuscripts Including Americana

Auction in New York last month.

*

$3 MILLION DIAMOND THEFT

An employee of Russian diamond

producer Alrosa has been detained by

authorities after being caught trying

to steal a batch of diamonds valued

at AU$340,000 from a sorting and

grading facility last month. A raid of

the employee’s home and that of two

accomplices turned up more than

AU$3 million in stolen diamonds.

*

MARCOS JEWELLERY AUCTIONED

The Philippines government has

authorised an auction of jewellery once

belonging to the family and friends of

dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The collection

– which was valued at US$19 million

(AU$27.8 million) in 2015 – includes a

25-carat diamond and a tiara belonging

to former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

July 2019 Jeweller 11


NEWS

Swarovski embraces natural diamonds

New GIA certificate

for fancy-colour

diamonds

As part of its push to improve traceability, the

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has

begun issuing country of origin reports for

natural fancy-colour diamonds.

Previously, Diamond Origin Reports were only

available for colourless diamonds. However,

the organisation has now approved processes

for identifying when a polished stone

matches a rough on file, thereby creating a

record of that diamond’s origin.

“In recent years, there has been a growing

demand for transparency and traceability in

the diamond industry. Consumers want to

know the origin of products and their socioeconomic

and environmental impact,” Susan

Jacques, GIA president and CEO, said.

Three years after launching its synthetic

diamond business, Swarovski has announced

that it will expand into natural diamonds

within the next 12 months.

The announcement was made during the

JCK Las Vegas trade show during a panel

discussion on sustainability.

Nadja Swarovski, head of corporate

communications and design services, said,

“We believe in the natural diamond story and

we want to tell the story of a product that

makes a positive contribution.”

The Austrian company, which was founded

in 1895, is still best known for its signature

glass crystals. It also sells natural gems,

synthetic stones, finished jewellery and

household goods.

The company has recently been promoting

its Atelier Swarovski fine jewellery collection

with Oscar-winning actress Penélope Cruz,

which is made entirely from synthetic

diamonds – which it markets as ‘Swarovski

Created Diamonds’.

During the trade show panel, Nadja Swarovski

reiterated the business’ commitment to being

environmentally and socially conscious,

confirming the natural diamonds would be

“sustainably sourced” and manufactured

rough to polished in Austria. Polished stones

from third-party suppliers will also be used in

future collections.

“The GIA Diamond Origin Report fits

perfectly with GIA’s mission of educating and

protecting the public, and ensuring their trust

in gems and jewellery.”

The process involves analysing, testing and

recording the characteristics of each rough

stone submitted for grading, and then

assigning an identification number.

When a polished stone is returned to the GIA

for grading, the laboratory will see if it has

an identification number matching a rough

stone on file.

If a match is found, the natural fancy-colour

diamond is then put through the same tests

and analysis as the rough was to confirm it’s

the same stone.

“If the data from the polished diamond and

the rough match, GIA will confirm the country

of origin provided by the mining company,

and include that information on the Diamond

Origin Report,” Tom Moses, GIA executive vice

president and chief laboratory and research

officer, said.

Duraflex lands Baume & Mercier

Swiss watch brand Baume & Mercier is now

exclusively distributed by Duraflex Group

Australia (DGA), it has been confirmed.

The partnership came into effect on 1 June.

Phil Edwards, managing director DGA, said:

“The addition of the Baume & Mercier brand

is another important development for the

planned growth of our business.

“The expansion into luxury watches adds

a new tier to our portfolio and we are

excited to be working with a brand of

such high calibre.”

DGA also distributes Swiss brands Luminox

and Mondaine, as well as TW Steel, Jag, Limit,

Police and the Thomas Sabo watch range.

“We are excited to partner with Duraflex

Group,” Romain Lambert, managing director

Baume & Mercier South-East Asia and

Oceania said. “It is clear that there is an

DGA NOW DISTRIBUTES THE SWISS WATCH BRAND

untapped opportunity to develop a stronger

retail network in order to service current and

potential Baume & Mercier customers.”

12 Jeweller July 2019


RETAIL

ARA

POLICY AND POLITICS MUST WORK TO HELP RETAILERS

As the retail industry faces economic

headwinds, the Australian Retailers

Association (ARA) believes decisions

from the Fair Work Commission and the

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will have

far-ranging implications for the sector.

Recently the Commission ruled to increase

the national minimum wage by 3 per cent,

to $19.49 per hour, starting from 1 July.

It also increased Modern Awards by 3 per

cent including the General Retail Industry

Award, which will rise to $21.41 per hour for

full- and part-time employees, and $26.76

per hour for casuals.

While the rise was in line with expectations,

retailers had hoped for a more modest

increase of 1.8 per cent, which would

have struck a balance between tough

conditions in the sector and the need for

employees to have their wages increase in

line with prices.

As it stands, the increase is more than

double the rate of inflation and also

outpaces GDP growth, which was at 2.3

per cent for the year to December 2018.

However, while the decision will make

it more expensive – and therefore more

difficult – for small businesses to hire extra

staff, it could also boost consumer spending

by putting more money in the pockets of

low-wage earners.

Also easing the squeeze is the RBA’s

decision to cut interest rates by 25 basis

points. This policy will aid struggling

retailers – who are experiencing the

lowest retail sales growth in 50 years – by

increasing consumers’ disposable income,

thereby stimulating spending.

BUSINESS

LEADERS HAVE

CHORUSED

THEIR SUPPORT

FOR MORE

INFRASTRUCTURE

SPENDING AND

REGULATORY

REFORM IN

ORDER TO

CONTINUE THE

COUNTRY’S

UNMATCHED

27-YEAR RUN

OF ECONOMIC

PROSPERITY

Trade figures for April showed an

unexpected deterioration from the March

numbers, leading to widespread conjecture

about the overall health of the $320 billion

retail sector.

In addition to the RBA’s decision,

stimulatory changes – including the

Morrison Government’s proposed tax cuts

– may well filter through in the coming

months, giving the industry a reprieve from

the challenging market conditions.

A TIME FOR ACTION

Indeed, Australia’s soft GDP figures,

released in June, have only added to calls

for government intervention to boost

the economy.

Business leaders have chorused their

support for more infrastructure spending

and regulatory reform in order to continue

the country’s unmatched 27-year run of

economic prosperity.

Following the reforms of the Hawke,

Keating and Howard Governments,

Australia saw major dividends – but the

last 10 years have seen a disappointing

lack of vision and action from both the

major parties.

The politicisation of tax changes and

the Canberra “blame game” have lead to

the country resting on its laurels instead

of adapting and evolving to meet the

challenges of today and tomorrow.

Even worse, Australia’s economic

reputation and prospects have been

damaged overseas.

Rather than accepting slowing global

conditions, it’s now time for state and

federal governments of all political stripes

to pro-actively identify and execute a

bold agenda.

The ARA supports a cut to the company

tax rate to 25 per cent, which would make

businesses more competitive, as well as

re-examining tax compliance structures

for businesses.

GST and PAYE are also overdue for review,

with states needing to align taxation to

give certainty and foster efficiency for

cross-state businesses.

While company tax cuts have been painted

as “handouts to billionaires”, the reality

is that lowering and simplifying taxes,

streamlining regulation and cutting red

tape for businesses – as well as undertaking

major infrastructure projects – would

generate much-needed jobs and boost

the economy.

RUSSELL ZIMMERMAN is

is the executive director

of the Australian Retailers

Association (ARA).

Email: info@retail.org.au

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

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

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

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

14 Jeweller July 2019


NEW PRODUCTS

NEW PRODUCTS

HERE, JEWELLER HAS COMPILED A SNAPSHOT OF THE LATEST PRODUCTS TO HIT THE MARKET.

COUTURE

KINGDOM

From the brand new Couture Kingdom collection

inspired by The Lion King, in cinemas this month,

come the Simba hoop earrings. The future king

of the Pridelands, as drawn by Rafiki in the film,

suspend delicately on these ultra-modern hoops.

Crafted with a high-shine finish and artistic

enamelling. Visit: couturekingdom.com

DANSK SMYKKEKUNST

Unique, fluid shapes inspired by nature feature in

the new Danish Urban Eve collection from Dansk

Smykkekunst. Necklaces and earrings available in gold,

silver or hematite tones. Visit: timesupply.com.au

+ MORE NEW PRODUCTS

JEWELLERMAGAZINE.COM

GEORGINI

ENGELSRUFER

This beautiful handmade bracelet

is made of rose-plated 925

sterling silver with a rose quartz

stone. With its variable length, it’s

ideal for very narrow wrists and

can be perfectly combined with

other jewellery. Visit: dgau.com.au

IKECHO

These sterling silver hook

earrings feature white 9–10mm

near round freshwater pearls,

combined with a chain tassel

element. A matching necklace is

also available. Visit: ikecho.com.au

The Mosaic collection features an

intricate collage of tiny princess

and baguette stones, delicately

placed to capture every angle

of light for maximum sparkle

and shine! The Mosaic gold ring

is perfect for every occasion.

Crafted in 925 sterling silver and

plated in 18-carat gold. Visit:

westendcollection.com.au

FABULEUX VOUS

PASTICHE

Inspired by the water lily, the Aurelia

Earrings and Necklace are a bold

design with a light filigree finish.

Crafted in stainless steel ion-plated

with yellow gold, these pieces are

from the Night Sky Collection for

winter 2019. Visit: pastiche.com.au

The new Areeya collection from Fabuleux Vous features beautiful freshwater pearls, in

both natural colours and dyed to make a fashion statement, mixed with crystal and beads

hand threaded onto silk wire with stainless steel findings. Visit: fabuleuxvous.com

July 2019 Jeweller 15


ENGAGEMENT AND BRIDAL

Love

All for

NEW TRENDS ARE SHAKING

UP THE ENGAGEMENT-RING

SECTOR. ARABELLA RODEN

DISCOVERS HOW JEWELLERS

ARE ADAPTING TO THE

CHANGING TASTES AND

BUDGETS OF CONSUMERS

diamond is forever is one of the most-effective

marketing campaigns of all time. Seven decades

since De Beers launched its 1948 sales pitch, more

than 70 per cent of engagement rings still feature a

classic white diamond.

The trend seems to be turning, however, as more couples opt

for fancy-colour diamonds, unusual gems and fancy shapes in

order to tell their unique love story.

“The bridal market is changing and the bridal consumer is

changing,” Stephen Lussier, chairman of consumer products at

De Beers, recently told JCK.

SAMS Group CEO Steve der Bedrossian, whose company

distributes Pink Kimberley and Blush Pink Diamonds, agrees:

“Couples are looking at different options to style up their

engagement rings,” he says. “Due to social media, clients are

shown far more styles than what they would in a jewellery

store, which influences every detail in a design.”

At the same time, retail jewellers are evolving their design

processes and sales techniques in order to accommodate the

changing desires, expectations and budgets of this category’s

July 2019 Jeweller 17


ENGAGEMENT AND BRIDAL

information – from design to ring size. That way they both get to enjoy the right

ring and the surprise element. Win-win!”

THE COLOUR OF LOVE

When it comes to selecting a standout stone, Der Bedrossian believes nothing is

more unique than pink.

KAILIS

largest group of current and future shoppers: Millennials and Gen Z. These

consumers combine their desire for unique retail experiences with strong demand

for unique, personalised pieces that both attract attention and tell a story.

Jewellers are turning to unusual engagement rings to satisfy these needs

and capitalise on this critical category, which can be the first chance to form

relationships with customers that can last years; buying an engagement ring is

often the first step in the life journey of a customer, who will go on to purchase

wedding jewellery, anniversary gifts, push presents and more.

CULTURAL SHIFT

DELIQA GEMS

The way consumers think about and purchase engagement rings has changed

in recent years. Younger generations take a less-traditional view of marriage but

there’s still a strong connection between love and rings, whether promise rings,

commitment rings or engagement rings.

“Millennials are really looking for uniqueness,” explains Yseult de Crombrugghe,

project manager Langerman Diamonds, which exclusively deals in fancy-colour

diamonds. “They want a symbol of their love that reflects their story. Future

brides are looking for rings that come off the beaten path whilst having the same

sentimental value ​as traditional rings.”

Kelly Safarewicz, retail leader at Pieces of Eight gallery in Melbourne, agrees:

“For many, an emotional connection to a piece is enough to win them over

and I find more people are searching for a unique stone that reflects their

unique relationship.”

Marriages are also taking place later. The median age of marriage has been steadily

increasing since 1950 and is now 32 for men and 30 for women, according to the

Australian Bureau of Statistics. The nature of proposing has changed and so has

the ring-buying process.

Justin Linney, creative director at Linneys jewellers in Perth, says the engagement

ring is now more likely to be a “combined decision”. “Culturally, roles are evolving.

More couples are designing the ring together these days,” he says, adding that this

is a trend popular in same-sex marriages.

“For our same-sex couples, it is a mix of making a ring for the proposal or having

the couple come in together and make matching rings or different designs to suit

their individual styles.”

That said, traditional proposals aren’t finished yet: “The surprise proposal is alive

and well so there are still some romantics out there,” Linney says.

Jacqueline Fowler, jewellery consultant, Holdsworth Bros in Victoria, says, “Many

times couples will come in together to get an idea of what they like and we make

notes. When the time is right, the partner will come back and we have all the

“Pink diamonds are extremely rare so they add a touch of class,” he says. “Blush Pink

jewellery takes the lighter hues of the Argyle pink diamond and arranges them

in a design to maximise their colour and radiance – most are pave or cluster-style

designs. Pink Kimberley jewellery, on the other hand, uses larger, darker Argyle

pink diamonds to achieve a boutique-style masterpiece.”

De Crombrugghe says the demand for fancy-colour diamonds has “exploded over

the last couple of years”, which she puts down to celebrity engagement rings,

scene-stealing red-carpet jewellery and record-breaking auctions. She also notes

that fancy-colour diamonds are harder than other coloured gems, making them

ideal for everyday wear.

“Uniqueness and custom-makes are very important for couples today and colour

is a great way to personalise a ring,” de Crombrugghe says, adding, “One of our

customers asked for a diamond matching the eye colour of her life partner. We

found the perfect match with a beautiful fancy greenish-brown diamond.”

Linney says custom-makes with yellow, champagne and black diamonds are

popular for clients wanting something “different to what their friends might have”,

adding that pink diamonds are also highly sought after: “We enjoy using pink

diamonds either as side stones, centre stones or as halos to frame a stunning

white diamond.”

Fowler has also noticed a demand for Argyle pinks and chocolate diamonds, as

well as yellow-diamond halo rings.

“Sapphires are a very popular choice at the moment; however, we also have

couples that choose aquamarines and rubies,” she says, adding, “Tanzanites have

also become popular in recent times.”

The demand for sapphire engagement rings in particular has seen an uptick after

receiving royal approval. Princess Eugenie of York made headlines around the

world in 2018 when her fiancé proposed with an oval-cut Padparadscha sapphire

from Sri Lanka, estimated to be 3 carats.

Sasha Gammampila is founder of Deliqa Gems, which deals exclusively in

sapphires of all colours. She says the demand has been “consistent” and the royal

ring “certainly sparked a trend in sapphires”.

Katherine Kovacs, director K&K Export Import, agrees:

“In the last year or two, we have noticed a significant

spike in calls requesting colour gemstones for use in

engagement rings.

“Top of the list for us is sapphire; Sri Lankan (Ceylon)

sapphire dominates but demand for Australian

sapphire is growing – particularly in blue, green and

teal colours – often with clients specifically requesting

that the stone is Australian.”

Kovacs says that sapphire and ruby are both from the

corundum family and have the suitable hardness and

toughness for everyday wear.

“Spinel is also great choice for wearability,” she adds.

SAMS GROUP AUSTRALIA

18 Jeweller July 2019


ENGAGEMENT AND BRIDAL

Linneys has also had requests for pearl engagement rings, though the jeweller

advises customers that pearl engagement rings will wear differently to a diamond

engagement ring due to the fragility and softness of pearls.

Similarly, gems such as amethyst, emerald and aquamarine do not share the

same hardness as diamonds, sapphires or rubies. These gems have become more

popular in the revival of the birthstone engagement ring, which was the tradition

before white diamonds.

HOLDSWORTH BROS

LANGERMAN NATURAL COLOR DIAMONDS

Another growing trend is the ‘salt-and-pepper’ or ‘galaxy’ diamond – white

diamonds filled with dark inclusions that give the stone the appearance of the

night sky or stormy seas.

Safarewicz says Pieces of Eight clients are “drawn to their [galaxy diamonds]

individuality and distinct look. There is certainly a trend of young couples in their

twenties and thirties looking at these stones to feature in their engagement rings.”

Heavily-included and tinted diamonds can also appeal to price-sensitive

consumers, according to Safarewicz, who says they “allow clients with a more

modest budget to purchase a diamond while still appealing to their desire for a

unique ring”.

Pearls, too, are becoming more popular in engagement rings – so much so

that West Australian pearl jewellery company Kailis has launched a bespoke

engagement-ring design service.

“We have seen great demand from Kailis customers who wanted a bespoke

engagement ring,” Julian Power, Kailis head of design, says. “Australian South

Sea pearls are the rarest in the world; it comes down to couples and individuals

wanting to express their individuality and have a beautiful ring that is customised

to their taste.”

Birthstones have a bold look and add a beautiful sentimental element to the

ring – some couples choose a combination of their own birthstones or even the

birthstones of their children. Yet the softness of some birthstones means they are

only suited to use as small accent stones or channel-set into the band to minimise

the risk of chips and scratches.

SHAPE REMAINS SOLID

Coloured gemstones may be giving engagement rings a modern look but where

shape is concerned, Fowler says it’s all about tradition.

“Couples are still looking for the classic round-brilliant in a claw setting,” she reveals.

“Halos are really popular at the moment combined with fancy shapes like pear,

oval and marquise centres.”

De Crombrugghe agrees, saying, “Round diamonds are still the most popular but

they are not always the best choice for fancy-colour diamonds as the roundbrilliant

cut has been designed to enhance the whiteness of a colourless diamond.”

Linney says oval-cut diamonds have been trending over the past 12 months,

adding, “We have also noticed more requests for 18-carat yellow gold.”

Meanwhile, Der Bedrossian notes that pave-style clusters in pink are proving

popular, as are pink-diamond halos around a white diamond centre stone.

“White gold is still the king of all metals for engagement rings,” he adds.

The most-popular searches on apps like Instagram and Pinterest reflect these

trends, where oval stones, petal-effect halos and half-halos, sunbursts – a marquise

Selling the dream

– retailers talk engagement sales

LINNEYS

“We have many families who have been

shopping with us for generations and are

more like friends than customers – they love

the attention to detail that they receive with

us; they trust us and we are always honest with

our customers. More often, clients want to

know all about diamond quality and they are

definitely expecting the best service.”

– Jacqueline Fowler, jewellery consultant,

Holdsworth Bros

“Engagement ring buyers are doing a lot of

research online before buying now, which

can have some positive and some negative

effects, given not all the information they

read is correct. From a design perspective,

customers are flooded with different design

options online and I think they feel pressured

to know what they want before they visit our

showroom. Once they actually try rings on

their hand or view our designs in reality, they

quickly realise what they like and don’t like.”

– Justin Linney, creative director, Linneys

“We encourage a dialogue with our clients

about their jewellery: what their expectations

are and what styles and materials will be

most suitable. We want the client to feel

confident in their purchase but we also

respect that purchasing or creating a

special piece of jewellery can often carry

a lot of emotion with it.”

- Kelly Safarewicz, retail leader,

Pieces of Eight Gallery

20 Jeweller July 2019


or pear-cut diamond with a round-diamond

halo – and gold bands have topped consumers’

wish lists.

EYES ON THE PRICE

ANDREW BARCHAM/

PIECES OF EIGHT

According to the New York Times, a broad survey of US adults listed

the median payment for an engagement ring at about US$2,000, with

just seven per cent spending over US$10,000. Another US poll found

that 68 per cent of Millennials expected to pay US$2,500 or less for an

engagement ring.

In contrast, the average price of engagement rings in Australia

is $5,000, according to the 2018 Australian Wedding Industry

Report (AWIR), a survey of more than 4,000 couples conducted by

Easy Weddings.

This gap presents a marked challenge for jewellers but, as with any

jewellery purchase, a thorough understanding of one’s customer and

the value of the product is the key to successful sales.

An engagement ring is a deeply-personal purchase. With more and

more young couples now living together and saving for their home

deposit or paying off a mortgage, splashing cash on a huge diamond

is no longer feasible.

“Clients are telling us that the type of consumer that requests a

coloured-gemstone engagement ring likes to have something unique

but is often driven by price – you can usually get a bigger ring for

fewer dollars with a colour gemstone than you can with a diamond,”

Kovacs explains.

Even at the higher end of the market, Linney says price is still a

factor. The key is to find the perfect ring for the customer’s budget:

“About $10,000 seems to be a common figure that guys and girls are

prepared to spend on an engagement ring,” he explains. “Purchasing

an engagement ring is one of the most important financial decisions

couples will ever make so it is important that they are well-informed

and make the right choice.”

For this reason, couples are often shopping for their engagement rings

together, discussing exactly what they want and what they can afford.

“Often couples come in just knowing their budget,” Fowler confirms.

“Others come in with a design including the exact diamond size and

quality they would like.”

Social media has enhanced the proposal, making

it more public. As a result, the story of choosing

the ring, the significance of the personal

design elements and the unique, photogenic

appearance of the finished product are all

major selling points.

“Deciding what to spend on

an engagement ring is a very

personal decision,” Fowler says.

“What our clients end up spending

is based on a combination of

many different things. But

ultimately the significance of

continued page 23

PETER W BECK

New collections

‘Bohemian Dream’, ‘Fringe Appeal’

and ‘Mineral Glow’ now available

with more releases coming soon

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02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au


ENGAGEMENT AND BRIDAL

Going the

aisle

After “Yes” comes “I do”, which is another opportunity for jewellers to create the memory

of a lifetime by selling the wedding ring, the bridal jewellery and the wedding-party jewellery

WORTH &

DOUGLAS

Wedding rings are priced lower than engagement rings and don’t have

the same fanfare, but there’s no reason this jewellery purchase should be

an afterthought.

“The appeal of wedding rings is because of tradition and ceremony – a wedding

ring is something worn by a wide range of people with a wide range of budgets,”

Olivia Baird, marketing co-ordinator at Peter W Beck, says. “A basic lightweight,

9-carat, yellow-gold wedding ring can be purchased at retail for as low as $150 but

those people with a higher budget will spend many thousands of dollars on their

wedding rings.”

These rings are another chance for a couple to commemorate their love with

personal or matching pieces that show off their flair for design. “Over the last

12 months we have seen continued popularity of our zirconium range in men’s

wedding rings,” Baird says. “The striking black offers a modern twist on our classic

styles, while our zirconium-and-gold styles make for a sophisticated combination

of materials in a wedding ring.”

Chris Scanlan is manager at RJ Scanlan & Co, which distributes Dora wedding rings

for men. He agrees that black has been a trend, especially contrasted with yellow

gold or even rose gold, and that carbon fibre also has a strong following.

Chris Worth, of Worth & Douglas, has observed the same trend, noting, “Twotone

with a textured finish is still a popular choice for men’s rings. While we’re still

finding the choices to be more on the conservative side, men are stepping away

from the traditional look and we’ve seen this particularly with the black ‘ZiRO’ rings.”

Scanlan says the average price for a wedding ring has dropped considerably,

maybe by as much as 25 per cent in five years, but adds, “There is still a large

market out there that does want to wear something of quality and of value on

their fingers.”

Similarly, in the women’s market, Baird says platinum has been growing in

popularity due to a recent price fall, while designs have been trending towards

“very dainty widths of 2–3mm”.

IKECHO

Worth confirms that “diamond-set rings in white gold or platinum” are still

very popular for ladies’ rings, while there are growing trends for claw-set

wedding rings and a shift back to yellow gold for both men and women.

One trend across both engagement and everyday jewellery

is stacking rings. Otherwise known as ‘the Triple’, the

engagement ring is worn between the wedding ring and

an eternity ring that is often given either on a wedding

anniversary or on the birth of the couple’s first child.

We offer a wide range of unique engagement-ring

designs and always ensure they can be perfectly

coupled with a specially-designed wedding ring as a

set,” Worth says.

Meanwhile Baird confirms, “We are seeing a resurgence

in the popularity of wedding rings designed with a curve

to fit perfectly against the engagement ring.”

For retailers, stocking a variety of men and women’s styles is also essential.

“In Germany and Scandinavia, nearly all couples will go in and buy matching hisand-hers

wedding bands,” Scanlan explains. “This doesn’t really happen in Australia.

More often, you’ll have a woman buying a wedding band to suit her engagement

ring, while her fiancé will buy a wedding band to suit his style.”

Baird says couples still purchase wedding bands together, despite a preference for

differing styles.

“Couples will often choose wedding bands where one element of the set is

matching – the material, finish or profile perhaps. Matching one of these elements

means the rings fit together but still give the couple the opportunity to highlight

their personal style,” she explains.

Scanlan also points out that many men and women are not able to wear a

wedding ring at work for safety reasons. In this case, the ring could come with a

chain so it can be worn under clothes or alternatively come in a secure display box

so it can be kept safe when not worn.

HERE COMES THE BRIDE – AND BRIDESMAIDS

Wedding jewellery doesn’t stop with the rings; brides also consider earrings,

necklaces, bracelets and decorative pieces for their hair or veil. The Australian

Wedding Industry Report (AWIR) found that the average couple has seven to

10 people in their wedding party, providing ample opportunity for jewellers to

suggest matching jewellery for bridesmaids and cufflinks for groomsmen.

A classic choice of adornment for many brides and their bridal parties is pearls,

which traditionally symbolise femininity, purity and loyalty.

“We create modern pearl jewellery at affordable prices for the bride and

bridesmaids that look classic and on trend,” Ikecho founder and director Erica Miller

says. “Brides like to feel special with some extra bling, while they tend to choose a

more classic style for their bridesmaids.”

The soft lustre of pearls and their range of colours, including black, pink, cream,

gold and pure white, complement all skin tones as well as different metals.

“Pearls are timeless and elegant, which is often their appeal brides and mothersof-the-bride.

They complement almost every outfit, including the white tones

in a wedding gown,” Kailis head of design Julian Power explains. “Kailis offers

many different ranges to appeal to different tastes, including the Classics and

Contemporary collections, an Art Deco-inspired range called the Charlston and

the Kailis silver collection, which offers perfect gifts for the bridal party.”

When it comes to selecting bridal jewellery, Power reveals that Kailis’ new flagship

boutique in Perth – opening in August – will have a fitting room for brides to try

on jewellery with their wedding gowns. Ikecho also offers marketing support

to retailers, specifically-oriented towards helping brides select the perfect pearl

jewellery for their big day.

22 Jeweller July 2019


RJ SCANLAN

continued from page 21

the ring and enjoyment from wearing it

and showing it off continues long after the

purchase price is forgotten.”

Safarewicz agrees, saying, “Clients can

often be swayed to go beyond their initial

price range by a spectacular stone or to

buy something bigger than what they had

planned; however, there is almost always a

budget and it remains an important factor

for clients.

“We never push people to a pricier option; we

always look to find a beautiful stone that is

within the budget,” she says.

Consumer research recently conducted by

the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

found that 69 per cent of US bridal customers

‘prefer a diamond with an origin story’. This

is one area where natural diamonds and

other gems have an edge over materials like

synthetic moissanite and cubic zirconia.

While fancy-colour diamonds have a

reputation as being more expensive than

other diamonds and gems, de Crombrugghe

stresses, “A natural, fancy-colour diamond

doesn’t need to be big to be stunning. Also,

pure colours are more expensive so why not

offer a colour diamond with a secondary hue?

This will often be even more charming and

hypnotic than a straight colour. Subtle fancy

light colours are also far less pricey than fancy

intense or fancy vivid colours.”

She adds, “Nobody will ever notice very small

inclusions without magnification.

What really matters is the energy and the

beauty that will be there every single day on

the finger of their life partner. The lucky owner

of this fabulous stone will be the only one to

know that all these small grading deviations

are nature’s signature of that

unique diamond.”

Der Bedrossian notes

that pink-diamond

halos and accent

stones have

become more

popular as

“premium

customisations”

for engagement

rings, as large

pink diamonds

are too expensive for

most consumers.

Another way around

the difficult price

question is to offer

financing. Online retailers

have embraced the practice and

Blue Nile and James Allen both tout interestfree

financing either through a payment plan

or an ‘in-store’ credit card.

Buy now-pay later services like Afterpay

and ZipPay have also been adopted by

parts of the jewellery industry, though they

are not always suited to smaller retailers or

large purchases.

Another rising trend is the ‘placeholder ring’ or

‘loaner ring’. Generally priced at $500 or less,

they suit a groom-to-be who hasn’t settled

on a design, can’t afford the dream ring yet

or does not want to risk travelling to the

proposal location with the real thing.

The placeholder ring can be inscribed with

a unique proposal message and kept as a

sentimental token of love, or act as a deposit

and be swapped at a later date when

the couple is ready to choose the bride’s

engagement ring.

In the US, Helzberg Diamonds conducted

market research and found that 60 per

cent of men listed ‘selecting the ring’ as the

hardest part of proposing. A similar number

felt it important to involve their partners in

choosing the ring.

“I’d have to say that buying an engagement

ring is one of the scariest – and most

rewarding – experiences for most men. You

want to be excited with them and share the

special experience,” Fowler says.

The placeholder means the romantic

proposal tradition can continue – without

the stress – and it gives the jeweller the

opportunity to create another beautiful

memory for the couple when they come in to

design their dream ring together.

Above all, the engagement ring signals the

start of something, in both the literal and

emotional sense. Combining modernity and

tradition, this piece of jewellery is a symbol of

love, hope and happy memories – one of the

most meaningful purchase decisions people

will ever conduct. It’s the jeweller’s privilege

to help make the moment unforgettable. i

K & K

EXPORT

IMPORT

FEATURING THE

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Each piece is crafted using natural

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NATURAL DIAMONDS

The

white diamond

report

THE BACKBONE OF THE

JEWELLERY INDUSTRY IS THE

DIAMOND. ARABELLA RODEN

DISCOVERS HOW THE CATEGORY

IS ADAPTING TO NEW TRENDS

AND OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

here’s no question the diamond industry is facing challenges. The world’s

largest producers have seen sales of both rough and polished stones

slump in recent months – De Beers reported its worst sales results in two

years in May, while Alrosa confirmed an 8 per cent year-on-year decline.

At major buying fairs across the globe, the sentiment has been mixed and slow

trade recorded. “The diamond market is still suffering and most categories are not

doing well globally,” Yehuda Diamond Company president Dror Yehuda says.

The problem is not oversupply but weakening consumer demand, both for the

diamond category and across the retail industry in general. In recent years, a large

number of jewellery retailers have closed their doors, struggling to cope with a

downturn in consumer spending and the changing nature of shopping itself.

Even at the luxury end, publicly-listed retailers Tiffany & Co and Signet have posted

losses for the first quarter of 2019.

At the recent JCK Las Vegas trade show, buyer numbers were estimated to be

down by as much as 25 per cent. While some blamed the downturn on moving

the show from weekend to mid-week, panels still focused on how to turn the tide.

“Demand has become very narrow and very specific in terms of what people

are looking for,” Rapaport senior analyst and news editor Avi Krawitz said at one

seminar, adding that some parts of the industry have been slow to adapt to the

“tremendous change” that has occurred over the past few years.

July 2019 Jeweller 25


NATURAL DIAMONDS

TRADING INSIGHTS

Like other luxury goods, diamond prices are highly elastic, which means any changes

in price have a direct impact on demand. Vipul Sutariya, director Dharmanandan

Diamonds, explains, “White diamonds are always in demand because of their rarity

and beauty but the micro and macro economy play a vital role in the price point of

jewellery. During a particularly challenging time, the lower colour grades will attract

more consumers who are looking for something affordable.”

Sutariya says 0.5 to 2 carats are “moving decently” – an observation echoed by Royal

Gem Australia’s David Karakai. “The smaller sizes, up to 1 carat, are very competitive,”

he says. “However, we specialise in larger sizes so we are seeing a lot of demand

in the 2 to 3-carat range as well as 5 carats. Clients are always price sensitive

and looking for the best deal.”

Meanwhile Yehuda lists various colours and clarities in 1 to 2 carats as performing

better, noting a “big shortage” in G-I colour VS1-VS2 diamonds over 2 carats.

In terms of cut, he says ovals have done well over the past year, particularly in the US.

Pear and emerald cuts are also in demand.

UNCERTAIN TIMES

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, consumer spending has been

on a downward trend since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 with consumers

reluctant to spend on discretionary luxuries like jewellery. Spiralling debt,

LEFT AND RIGHT: THE SIRIUS STAR CUT FROM DHARMANANDAN DIAMONDS

a softening property market and stagnant wages have all given many

shoppers pause.

The effect on the retail industry has been stark and National Australia Bank

economists declared the sector “clearly in recession” following the May edition

of the bank’s Monthly Business Survey.

For the diamond category, the answer has been to re-orient the product

to include women’s self-purchase jewellery and not just once-in-a-lifetime

engagement rings.

“The women’s self-purchase market has been the growth engine of the sector

over the past few years,” Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers

Association (DPA), says. “In the US, about one-third of diamond jewellery sales are

women purchasing for themselves and the price points have grown to be similar

to those for gifts, at between $US1,000 and $US1,500 for the median price.”

Jonathan Kendall, president, De Beers Group global industry services, confirms:

“The self-purchase sector has been growing over the past 20-plus years and

today it represents up to 40 per cent of purchases in some markets. So yes, it’s

important and slowly trending upwards.”

Lieberherr explains that the change has come about due to a cultural shift.

“Historically, many women have not seen diamond jewellery as a self-purchase

option as the idea of a diamond as a gift of love or symbol of commitment has

dominated,” he says.

“At the same time, the branded-accessory market has been growing,

with women as the primary purchasers, pointing to a lost opportunity for

diamond jewellery.”

Today, Lieberherr says women are looking to purchase diamond jewellery for

themselves “to celebrate important milestones, reward themselves or simply

because they can and it makes them proud,” which means retailers need to

market and sell directly to women. He points to the DPA’s ‘For Me, From Me’

campaign, which gives retailers the resources both in-store and online to

capitalise on this market.

Diamonds also appeal as gifts to mark various milestones.

“We see diamond gifting at christenings and other religious ceremonies,

graduations and 21st birthdays, as well as silver and gold wedding anniversaries,”

Kendall explains. “As populations age, we are also seeing a trend for eternity rings

as partners show their love and appreciation, and brooches and necklaces are

popular gifts for the older generation.”

Lieberherr calls the process “diversifying purchase motivations”. Rather than

pivoting away from engagement and bridal, which still represent about 30 per


cent of diamond sales, the trade is adding occasions to celebrate with

a diamond.

SYNTHETIC VERSUS AUTHENTIC

Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are attracted to authentic and ecofriendly

businesses and are willing to pay more for these attributes,

according to consumer research company Nielsen.

“More consumers are looking for sustainable products,” Sutariya says.

“They are concerned about how and where their jewellery comes from

– is it responsibly sourced?”

S E CUR E

E A RRI NG B ACK S

P r o u dly d e sig n e d a n d

m a n u fac t u r e d in the U K

Producers of lab-grown diamonds have touted their alleged

sustainable and ethical credentials, striking a chord with younger

consumers; however, these claims have been criticised as capitalising

on consumer ignorance of how synthetic diamonds are manufactured,

as well as the lack of knowledge about the true environmental and

social impact of diamond mining.

“There is nothing sustainable about lab-grown diamonds. They require

heating up reactors at [extreme] temperatures, which require millions

of gallons of water to cool off,” Lieberherr says, adding, “None of today’s

lab-grown diamond producers make use of renewable energy, despite

what some claim, and most of the volume comes from regions of the

world where electricity is produced with coal and fossil fuels.”

For natural diamonds, the challenge is emphasising the industry’s

long-term commitment to transparency, traceability and energy

efficient technology.

S A F E

S ECU R E

NON-S LIP

H YPO-A LLERGE NIC

C OMFOR T ABLE

Both De Beers and Alrosa have recently announced their own

traceability initiatives. Tracr, an end-to-end blockchain platform

developed by De Beers in collaboration with the diamond industry,

will launch its beta version in the next few months and aims to build

consumer confidence while making industry practices more efficient.

Signet and China’s Chow Tai Fook have already pledged their support

for the initiative.

Alrosa, meanwhile, has announced ‘electronic passports’ for each of

its diamonds, including details on each stone’s age, origin and date of

extraction. The passports will also note the time and place where the

diamond was cut and the cutter’s name and background.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has also begun issuing

Diamond Origin Reports.

In terms of environmental impact, the DPA has recently released

the results of an independent investigation into diamond mining

conducted by third-party evaluator Trucost.

It found that natural diamonds emit three times less carbon dioxide

per polished carat than synthetics; however, mining still has a

significant environmental cost.

“The report points to the undeniable, negative environmental impact

of diamond mining – carbon emissions account for the bulk of that

impact, as diamond mines have a limited physical footprint and make

limited use of chemicals,” Lieberherr notes. “It is important for the

sector to look at ways to reduce its carbon footprint through energy

conservation, greater access to renewable sources and ambitious

carbon-absorption programmes.”

Proudly distributed by

02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au


SAMS GROUP

AUSTRALIA

LEFT AND RIGHT: ROYAL GEM AUSTRALIA

Precious Gemstone & Diamond Set Jewellery

Ruby, Sapphire, Paraiba & Emerald with Argyle Pink Diamonds

A delicious range of natural precious gemstone

jewellery set with sparkling white diamonds,

available in every colour of the rainbow!

Beautifully crafted in 18ct gold.

E pink@samsgroup.com.au

W samsgroup.com.au

P 02 9290 2199

Kendall believes the industry has come a

long way – further than outdated consumer

stereotypes might suggest.

“The real diamond industry has a broad

sustainability approach,” he says. “In the last

20 years there has been far more effort put

into the economic, social and environmental

impacts associated with our business.

Sustainability is paramount to any business

success and our industry is progressing well

in this regard. Operating responsibly, creating

healthy workplaces, supporting employees,

their families and local communities, and

protecting the environment are all a real focus

in the modern diamond industry.”

He references De Beers’ Project Minerva,

which supports groundbreaking research

into carbon-neutral mining as well as the

group’s partnership with UN Women and its

strict environmental measures and ambitious

carbon-reduction targets. Kendall says De

Beers “has reduced its carbon footprint

significantly in the last five years with

excellent initiatives such as the first solarpowered

grading lab in Surat, India”.

In terms of social benefits, Trucost determined

that large-scale diamond mining generates

US$16 billion in net benefits every year,

of which more than 80 per cent flow to

local communities around mines. These

benefits include employment, services,

taxes and royalties, as well as infrastructure

and redevelopment.

Still, Rapaport Group chairman Martin

Rapaport recently delivered a stern warning

to the industry at JCK Las Vegas: “The

diamond trade is not profitable enough to

support a sustainable supply chain,” he said.

“If the trade does not change its business

practices and adapt to new realities, the

diamond industry will suffer extreme financial

and regulatory disruption.”

Lieberherr predicts a backlash against

synthetic diamonds, claiming consumers will

realise their lack of inherent or resale value –

but Yehuda says retailers should cater to the

current demand for synthetics.

“If you really wish to stand out and have

the courage to do it, go into lab-grown

diamonds. This category is doing extremely

well in the US,” he says. “Despite all the

controversy around the lab-grown diamond

sector, it’s a product that can help your

bottom line. You just need to be honest and

passionate about the product you are selling.”

Still, Lieberherr urges caution, saying the

synthetics category jeopardises diamond

retailers’ premium positioning.

Sutariya believes the best solution for retailers

is to add value to natural diamonds through

technology. “At present, certification is very

common; the same certificate with the same

colour and clarity is available at a cheaper

price at an online store,” he explains. To help

retailers stand out, Dharmanandan exclusively

offers Sirius Star diamonds in its Love Facets

Collection, which are uniquely cut to optimise

light return.

Billed as the ‘brightest diamonds in the world’,

Sutariya claims stocking the collection “makes

competition irrelevant” because there’s no

way other retailers can mimic the effect and

undercut the price.

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

There’s no way to predict the challenges the

diamond industry could face in the future but

it’s certain that, like all industries, evolution

will be necessary.

In the meantime, better marketing,

technological innovation, catering to

consumer trends and streamlining supply

chains are some tools that can help the

diamond industry keep shining. i


NEW SEASON WATCHES

What’s

new

in the

watch market?

ICE-WATCH 015604 ICE LO MALIBU

WHILE MANY COMPANIES HAVE WITHDRAWN

FROM BASELWORLD, THE SWISS TRADE SHOW

STILL MARKS THE START OF THE NEW WATCH-

BUYING SEASON. ARABELLA RODEN DISCOVERS

THE LATEST MODELS FROM LEADING BRANDS

ust a few short years ago Baselworld was king of the watch industry.

The luxury trade fair once attracted more than 2,000 exhibitors and

150,000 visitors.

Held in March, at the end of the Northern Hemisphere winter, it was

a time of excitement, renewal, and growth – the ideal place to launch new

watches and timepieces ahead of the summer shopping season. Some industry

commentators even likened it to an awe-inspiring ‘pilgrimage’.

Unfortunately, the once-great show fell into a slow pattern of decline.

Predatory local businesses charged higher and higher prices for meals and

accommodation, leading to lower visitor numbers. Booth prices soared, making

exhibiting prohibitively expensive for many brands; at the same time, a redesign

of the main Hall 1 venue in 2013 softened numbers due to reduced floor space.

Meanwhile, falling Swiss watch exports in 2015 – the end of the so-called

‘China watch boom’ – saw further contraction. By 2017, the show had shed 600

exhibitors and was in dire financial straits, reporting losses of CHF110 million.

As a result, long-term managing director Sylvie Ritter, director of sales Martin

Fergusson and marketing and communications director Loraine Stantzos left the

show’s parent company MCH Group.

Yet Baselworld had still not hit rock bottom; that came a year later with the

departure of industry juggernaut Swatch Group, parent of Breguet, Longines,

Tissot, Omega, Hamilton and Rado, among many others.

Its CEO Nicolas Hayek Jr publicly criticised MCH’s management, claiming they’d

ignored complaints and refused to adapt the format to attract more buyers,

before abruptly pulling out of the show.

René Kamm, who had been CEO of MCH Group for 15 years, resigned shortly

after – but the decision could not prevent a further exodus of high-profile

manufacturers, some of which had supported the show for more than 60 years.

Maurice Lacroix, Corum and Raymond Weil quickly announced their decision to

stop exhibiting at Baselworld.

Yet there were glimmers of hope following the 2019 edition, under the fresh

leadership of MCH Group’s new managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff.

Industry commentators acknowledged that while exhibitor numbers were still

hovering at the 600 mark and attendees around 80,000, there was a willingness

to embrace change and at least some vision of what the future would hold.

With new MCH Group CEO Bernd Stadlwieser also coming in to breathe new life

into the venerable trade show – which marked its 102nd anniversary in 2019

there’s a sense that, with the right strategy and enough time to implement it, the

challenges can be met.

While Baselworld is not what it once was in terms of exhibitors, visitors and

industry support, it still marks the natural time for brands and suppliers to debut

current and upcoming releases, as well as get retailers informed and enthused

about the latest products.

Its timing makes it the focal point of the buying year, and even in its present form,

there is no other watch industry trade fair of its calibre in terms of reputation,

recognition and reach.

Whether participating at Baselworld or debuting fresh stock on their own terms,

here’s what leading brands and suppliers have in store for retailers.

July 2019 Jeweller 29


NEW SEASON WATCHES

THOMAS SABO

TWA0342 CODE TS

Seiko

SSA393J PRESAGE

Seiko’s Prospex Collection is an adventure

series of watches purposely built for land,

sea and sky. The two new additions are

from the Sea series, and are 200m water

resistant with rotating bezels and stainless

steel cases. Meanwhile, the latest models

from the Presage Collection display the finest

mechanical watchmaking from Japan.

SRPD25K PROSPEX

Duraflex Group Australia

Thomas Sabo’s Code TS watch is characterised by the brand’s

distinctive aesthetic, mixing modern and traditional influences.

At Mondaine, MS1.32110.LD is the latest addition to the

sustainable Essence collection. Meanwhile, the rugged Luminox

XL.1201 is part of the ICE-SAR Arctic 1200 Series, designed for

Icelandic search and rescue teams.

SNJ025P PROSPEX

SSA397J PRESAGE

MONDAINE

MS1.32110.LD

ESSENCE

LUMINOX XL.1201

ICE-SAR ARCTIC

1200

Heart & Grace

Aravis is the first Cluse collection for men. These

sophisticated and stylish watches are leading

Cluse to a whole new audience. Meanwhile, the

latest models from Pierre Lannier continue the

company’s 40-year legacy of elegant, quality

watches at affordable prices, designed and

made in France.

CLUSE

CW0101502004

ARAVIS

PIERRE LANNIER

076G598

LIBERTY

PIERRE LANNIER

224G169 CAPITAL

30 Jeweller July 2019


PIERRE CARDIN

6003 CHARLOTTE

InStyle Watches

Pierre Cardin’s new releases feature

beautiful design and function. The

masculine, multifunction Ryan comes

with a sturdy stainless steel band, while

the Mila and Charlotte have mop dials

and floating crystals for an elegant

finish. Perfect for daily wear and

special occasions alike.

PIERRE CARDIN

5985 MILA

PIERRE CARDIN

6014 RYAN

SEVENFRIDAY P1C/01

MAD & Associates

The MeisterSinger Bronze Line No 3

features a brushed bronze case with

striking galvanic blue dial. A single

hand indicates time, doing away

with redundant minutes and

seconds. Meanwhile, the Zürichdesigned

SEVENFRIDAY P1C/01

– the third instalment in the White

Series – features a Corian case, a unique

and non-traditional material.

MEISTERSINGER AM917BR

BRONZE LINE NO 3

Christian Paul

SYDNEY


NEW SEASON WATCHES

CITIZEN BN2036-

14E PROMASTER

MARINE

JOWISSA J5.545.L

FACET WATCH

Citizen

The Promaster series releases new models

designed for travel and adventure across

mountains, oceans and time zones, with water

resistance, accuracy and rugged construction

at their heart. At Bulova, the world’s first curved

chronograph movement makes its debut.

CITIZEN

JY8088-83L

PROMASTER

SKY

Swisstime

This season sees the relaunch of the Glycine Airman, which

dates back to 1953 and was famously worn by US Air Force

pilots and NASA astronauts. Another watch brand with

US military pedigree, Traser, debuts a new model: the OdP

Evolution, which features the brand’s self-powered illumination

technology. And finally, Jowissa offers the chic J5.545.L Facet

Watch, ‘a piece of jewellery that tells the time’.

BULOVA 96B309

CLASSIC

TRASER

109046_P96

ODP EVOLUTION

BULOVA 96A205

CURVED

GLYCINE GL0054

AIRMAN

West End

Collection

From the classic design of Bering and Paul

Hewitt to the cool and colourful Ice-Watch,

the new releases are all about playing to

each watch’s strengths. The most recent

edition to West End’s distribution portfolio,

Claude Bernard, brings Swiss-made quality

to designs for both men and women.

PAUL HEWITT

PH-C-B-BSR-1M

32 Jeweller July 2019

ICE-WATCH 016977

DUO CHIC CALIFORNIA

CLAUDE BERNARD

10216_3_APN2

DRESS CODE

BERING 11739-797

TITANIUM


GEMS

ORGANIC GEMS PART IV: AMMOLITE

desired and collectable form of these

ancient creatures.

The vivid iridescent sheen of ammolite is

caused by an interference effect, when white

light is refracted and reflected back from the

layered aragonite platelets within the gem’s

structure. The thicker these layers, the more

red and green hues are seen; when layers are

thinner, violet and blue hues dominate.

The pattern, intensity and range of colour

all contribute to the overall value of an

ammolite gem. Green and red are the most

common colours, with blue and violet being

rarer, and therefore more valuable.

Ammolite may be described as either

fractured or sheet. Sheet ammolite is

unbroken, with a continuous movement of

colour across its surface. Fractured ammolite

may have various different patterns and

some have been described with terms such

as ‘dragon skin’, ‘cobblestone’, ‘moonglow’ and

‘paint brush’.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, the

Earth was very different. Little did the

creatures of our planet know, they

would not only be a stepping-stone in

the evolution of life, but also provide

the humans of the future with fabulous

jewellery gems in the form of ammolite.

The process begins with ammonites, marine

invertebrate animals that are now extinct.

They thrived in tropical seas during the

Devonian geological period, beginning

about 400 million years ago, to the close of

the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago.

Ammolite forms when the fossilised shell

of the ammonite is preserved and the

cavities that originally held its soft body

are filled with aragonite – the same mineral

that is responsible for the nacre of pearl

oyster shells.

The resulting organic gem – which

resembles an opal in some ways – is

beautifully coloured, with a wonderful

iridescent sheen.

The ammonites that form ammolite

specifically inhabited a prehistoric inland

subtropical sea that bordered the Rocky

Mountains of northwest America.

As the sea receded, layers of sediment

preserved the shells.

Ammonite shells comprise a number of

minerals including small aragonite platelets,

and depending on the conditions of

deposition, these are often replaced by

pyrite or calcite.

The result is a pseudomorph of the original

shell shape, which may contain beautiful

cavities of crystalline material throughout

the shell‘s structure. Thus ammonites

themselves can make beautiful and

interesting pieces of jewellery.

But it is the ammolite that is the most

THE PATTERN,

INTENSITY AND

RANGE OF COLOUR

ALL CONTRIBUTE

TO THE OVERALL

VALUE OF AN

AMMOLITE GEM.

GREEN AND

RED ARE THE

MOST COMMON

COLOURS, WITH

BLUE AND VIOLET

BEING RARER, AND

THEREFORE MORE

VALUABLE

Because the ammolite layer of the shell is

usually mere fractions of a millimetre in

thickness, most ammolite gems are in fact

composite stones, generally in the form of a

doublet or triplet. The ammolite is adhered

to a dark backing material, usually its matrix

or mother rock.

As the ammolite is thin and fragile, a second

layer, generally a polymer, is added to protect

and stabilise the stone. To enhance the optical

display, a piece of synthetic spinel, quartz or

glass-type material may be placed on top.

Ammolite is a magnificent gemstone with an

incredible history of creation over millions of

years. It is one of the most rare and beautiful

organic minerals for use in jewellery. 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

July 2019 Jeweller 33


Behind every gemstone,

there is a fascinating story

waiting to delight clients

around the world. Studying

with GAA brings the

expertise, networking and

confidence to build a solid

career in a multimilliondollar

industry. Joining

one of the most supportive

and passionate professional

communities of gemmologists

in Australia was one of the

best decision I ever made.

Gina Barreto FGAA DipDT

Gemmologist and Diamond Technologist

Diamond

Courses

Practical Diamond Grading &

Diploma in Diamond Technology

Enrolments now open

For more information

1300 436 338

learn@gem.org.au

www.gem.org.au

Be

Confident

Gem-Ed Australia

ADELAIDE BRISBANE HOBART MELBOURNE PERTH SYDNEY

Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts

and consumers about gemstones


BUSINESS

SEO OR SEM: WHICH IS BETTER FOR BUSINESS?

Every business knows the power of

appearing on the first page of Google

search results. LAURA DAWSON explores

which method is best for improving

page rank and converting sales.

When looking to grow, businesses will

almost always invest money into some

kind of online marketing. This often

involves improving a business’ position in

Google searches, which can be done with

either SEO or SEM.

Search-engine optimisation (SEO) is a

process to improve a page’s rank on

Google’s search results by tweaking the

page itself.

SEO may include improving a page’s

loading speed, enhancing the content,

working with images and ensuring it is

optimised for mobile browsing.

SEO is not a paid service per se but,

depending on the competitiveness of

one’s market, a professional company

may be enlisted to get the best results.

This approach is often referred to as

organic search.

Search-engine marketing (SEM), is a form

of advertising and also known as pay per

click marketing, or ‘PPC’. SEM is usually

conducted through Google AdWords and

is the number-one way to immediately

rank first on Google.

SEM requires a strong strategy and ongoing

attention to achieve success without

wasting one’s advertising budget.

Which is better? Well, as with so many

things, it depends. By learning the key

differences between the two, businesses

can make up their own minds and allocate

resources accordingly.

THE BENEFITS OF SEO

Increases website traffic – Think about the

way people conduct online searches ; when

they see a business on the front page, they

probably click on it, right? If one navigates

to the third or fourth page of results, for

example, they might not feel as confident

about the quality of the businesses there.

The point is that when businesses rank

higher on Google, they get more trust from

WHEN

BUSINESSES

RANK HIGHER ON

GOOGLE, THEY

GET MORE TRUST

FROM VISITORS

– A LONG-TERM

SEO STRATEGY

IS GOING TO

DO A LOT MORE

THAN PROVIDE

LEADS; IT’LL

ALSO IMPROVE

A BUSINESS’

REPUTATION

visitors. This increases business credibility.

A long-term SEO strategy is going to do

a lot more than provide leads; it’ll also

improve a business’ reputation.

Improves your website – When using an

SEO strategy, a business is attempting to

make a website the best it possibly can be

so that when Google’s automated search

bots crawl the site and the backlinks, they

find the content to be genuine and useful

for searchers.

If all of the content on a page is keywordrich,

which involves including terms that

people are likely to use when searching,

then Google will rank a page higher in

the results.

Great ROI – when an SEO campaign is

successful and a business occupies that

hallowed first, second or third position

on Google’s search results, there’s no

requirement to pay extra money (advertise)

to maintain that rank. That business will

need to keep up SEO efforts and content

creation but won’t have to pay for every

click to the website.

July 2019 Jeweller 35


BUSINESS

Broad reach – All the customer research in

the world still won’t predict all of the things

that users will type into a search engine

to find a business or product. Google

gets more than six billion searches a day

and SEO helps pages to rank higher for a

broader range of topics.

Less expensive – A focused SEO strategy is

an ongoing monthly investment but the

costs are far cheaper than an ongoing SEM

strategy. Not to say that SEM doesn’t have

a place in an online strategy as well, but

SEO is cheaper in the long run and provides

lasting results.

THE DRAWBACKS OF SEO

Slow to see results – While it would be

lovely if SEO were effective overnight,

the fact is that it takes time – and effort.

Businesses need to improve their websites,

write content, create valuable backlinks

and develop the kind of web pages that

really perform. Then they have to wait for

Google to recognise this, which can take

weeks or even months.

Very competitive space – Depending on

the industry, there may be many other

companies that are looking for higher page

rankings. Businesses need to be aware

of this and make sure they are adjusting

keywords and maintaining their websites,

or at least employing professionals to

assess their SEO strengths and weaknesses.

Needs a content strategy – One of the

largest elements of successful SEO is

content. Publish regularly and ensure

content is well-written and targeted to a

particular topic. This can be challenging for

smaller businesses but it is not impossible.

Needs regular backlinks – It used to be

possible to go and backlink any old page

to get better SEO results. Google got wise

to that and now requires pages to have

trusted backlinks. Quality is everything.

THE POSITIVES OF SEM

Top Google instantly – The great thing

about paid ads is that they sit above the

organic search results. SEM ads appear

right at the top of the page, and this is

achievable simply by bidding in the PPC

auctions for chosen keywords. When users

search for these keywords, they’ll see the

winning business first.

Next is a map from Google called a

‘Local Pack’. This is an unpaid section and

businesses can appear here if they are

strong in SEO.

Lots of control – SEM means businesses

must create their own ads, which then

go on to appear in Google’s search results.

This gives them a chance to test, tweak and

adjust every detail to get the best results

before launching.

Businesses can also easily adjust the total

amount they want to spend on Google

AdWords and set budgets and limits for

daily spends. They can then cancel at

any time.

Show off your goods – Appearing

organically on page one of Google’s

search results is an advantage but the

listing is still restricted to just text and a

page link. An SEM listing allows businesses

to use Google’s visual product-listing ads

to show off products and services. People

are drawn to colours and imagery, which

means SEM may lead to better results and

more conversions.

Increase your visibility online – New

businesses and those trying to compete in

an established market with new products

or services will need to build awareness

quickly. While an SEO strategy will

broadcast your message over time, SEM

can ensure that people see a business right

now. SEM brings results much faster.

Target like never before – Businesses that

have done their research and, for example,

analysed that their target market is online

mostly between the hours of 7.30pm and

9pm, based in Townsville and searching in

French, on mobile phones, are in luck.

SEM allows marketers to target many

elements via AdWords, including the

location, time, language and demographic

of a preferred audience. Any business

with marketing that is relevant to a

particular time or location will love this

element of SEM.

Split testing for the best ROI – Businesses

can monitor and manage every element of

a campaign with split testing to quickly and

easily find out which ad is more successful.

A PPC campaign will give great results

within a matter of weeks using this testing.

SURE, INVESTING

IN SEM IS A

NO-BRAINER

WHEN GETTING

GOOD RESULTS

BUT SOMETIMES

IT CAN FEEL

LIKE NON-STOP

EXPENDITURE

– THAT’S WHY

CAMPAIGN

MANAGEMENT

IS VITAL

Low-cost leads – The cost of leads always

depends on a range of factors but SEM

provides high quality and low cost leads

to businesses that have organised their

campaigns and honed their messages.

THE CASE AGAINST SEM

Can be very expensive – Businesses that

are not investing sufficient effort into ads

may find that, over time, their AdWords

spend creeps up and up. Also, if they’re

not prudent with keywords – and negative

keywords – costs can escalate with very

little to show for it.

Ongoing investment required – SEM

requires businesses to keep feeding the

beast. Sure, investing in SEM is a no-brainer

when getting good results but sometimes

it can feel like non-stop expenditure. That’s

why campaign management is vital.

Competition can review your campaign

– A final downside of SEM is that any

competitor at any time can reproduce

or steal ad copy from a business, reaping

the benefits of that hard work.

It won’t take much for any cunning

competitor to work out what a business is

doing to fill its sales funnel, especially when

ads are so publicly displayed online.

WHEN BOTH ARE BEST

The simple answer to the question of

whether SEO or SEM is best, is that any

successful online marketing strategy should

use both. However, if there is only budget

for one, then SEM can be a great choice to

begin a campaign – with a view to investing

in SEO after a business has grown some

initial awareness.

SEM is great for giving businesses quick

results and leads. SEO, on the other

hand, is great for building long-term

credibility and for sustaining a business

in the online landscape.

Perhaps the best way to consider these

two important strategies is to think of

SEO as a marathon and SEM as a sprint. i

LAURA DAWSON is

a content specialist at

Kymodo Digital Marketing.

Kymodo.com.au

36 Jeweller July 2019


SELLING

THE MARSHMALLOW OR THE MEANIE PANTS?

SALES MANAGERS OFTEN FALL INTO ONE OF TWO ROLES: MARSHMALLOW OR MEANIE PANTS. GRETCHEN GORDON REVEALS

HOW TO AVOID THIS TRAP BY NEVER LOSING SIGHT OF THE MAIN GOAL – GETTING THE ABSOLUTE BEST OUT OF EMPLOYEES.

There is one over-arching thought any leader

of a sales team should keep in mind: it is

your responsibility to push your staff to

greater heights than they would achieve

on their own. If you can’t do this, you are

excess cost.

When it comes to driving employees to

a higher level of performance, too many

times sales leaders are extreme; they either

want to be their salespeople’s friend – the

‘marshmallow’ – or they feel like they have to

be drill sergeants – the ‘meanie pants’.

I recently conducted a webinar for a group

of both new and experienced sales leaders

on this topic. The focus was on accountability

and, as is true with most everything, it taught

that balance is the key; however, I recognise

that it can be difficult to achieve that balance

when it comes to managing people.

There are two ways sales leaders can maintain

balance and avoid being marshmallows

or meanie pants. Firstly, they can set

expectations and secondly, they can become

accountability partners.

HOW TO SET EXPECTATIONS

If everyone knows explicitly what is expected

of them then there won’t be any frustration or

misunderstanding when those expectations

aren’t met. It’s crucial that sales leaders set

expectations about behaviours and activities

early and communicate these effectively,

instead of just focusing on outcomes.

Too often there is a laser focus on outcomes

– that is, the sales numbers generated by

employees – instead of setting in place a plan

of activity that will produce those outcomes.

Set expectations for everything and it will

make your job a lot easier.

This doesn’t mean you have to bark at your

sales reps and dictate every little thing – this

would turn you into a meanie pants. Sales

leaders will have a far greater impact if they

provide guidance about the actions that

employees themselves indicate they are

going to do.

IF EVERYONE KNOWS

EXPLICITLY WHAT

IS EXPECTED OF

THEM THEN THERE

WON’T BE ANY

FRUSTRATION OR

MISUNDERSTANDING

WHEN THOSE

EXPECTATIONS

AREN’T MET

BEING TOO TOUGH DEMORALISES WORKERS

If you have a completely predictable process

and you know what the exact metrics are,

then you can certainly indicate the required

activity to produce the expected result.

If you don’t know for sure what those metrics

are, or should be, then it can be

a collaborative thing.

However, don’t fall into the marshmallow

mentality. If the level of activity isn’t

measurable and precise, or seems too low

or too high, then it is your obligation to veto

it and ask the employee to go back to the

drawing board.

CREATING ACCOUNTABILITY

Rather than being the all-knowing dictator,

position yourself as a loving but fair uncle or

aunt. This way, you will hold your employees

to their plans and goals and you will inspire

them to be better than they would be

without you.

If you refer back to the first key above –

setting expectations – tell employees that

this is your role. Even if they are seasoned

professionals, it is still your job to push them.

If you have done a good job of setting

expectations with regard to outcomes,

behaviours and activities then you will have

your roadmap for being an accountability

partner. Simply hold their feet to the fire to

ensure they deliver on what they said they

would do.

Remember the old adage: what gets

inspected gets respected. Keep it simple and

focus on the items that will impact outcomes.

The key traits of a leader, as it pertains to

accountability, are simple: your beliefs must

support accountability; you mustn’t seek or

need approval from your employees; you

must be willing to ask questions; and you

shouldn’t accept mediocrity.

Taking responsibility and managing both the

pipeline and behaviour are important but less

significant than the above traits.

OVERSIGHT IS NOT A DIRTY WORD

Seasoned staff both want and need oversight.

While you may have total confidence in

them and may default to just letting them do

whatever they choose, recall the mantra that

it is your responsibility to push your sales staff

to greater heights than they would achieve

on their own.

Think about how weird it would be if you

weren’t having regular accountability

meetings with a high-performing salesperson

and then they stumbled. Suddenly they

aren’t producing per usual and you have no

idea why. Wouldn’t it be awkward to start

providing oversight when you hadn’t before?

In reality, not providing oversight and

assuming they’ll “snap out of it” is being a

marshmallow. Consistency and balance on

this point, as well as the others, is key.

You’ll avoid falling into the marshmallowmeanie

pants trap and not only boost

your business but get the most out of your

employees, pushing them beyond their

own expectations. i

GRETCHEN GORDON

owns Braveheart Sales

Performance, a company

helping clients to improve sales.

braveheartsales.com

July 2019 Jeweller 37


MANAGEMENT

HAPPIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE LEADERSHIP

SCALING UP A BUSINESS CAN TAKE ITS TOLL ON ONE’S WELLBEING. IN PART ONE OF THIS TWO-PART SERIES, DOUG FLEENER

DETAILS HOW TO CHANGE MINDSET AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO BEAT STRESS AND IMPROVE OUTCOMES.

Over the years, I’ve worked with various

stressed-out owners and managers. Usually

they are smart and dedicated people who

couldn’t work any harder if they tried but

they always feel like they’re getting less

done and falling further behind.

Does this sound familiar?

Chances are there was a time you felt you

had everything under control. It almost

seemed as if your store or company was on

autopilot. For some people, this may not

have been too long ago – while for others

it may be a distant memory.

Everything was all good... and then

something changed. You added more

lines, more stores, more employees or

perhaps fewer employees; your socialmedia

exploded; your foot traffic fell away

or increased and so on.

Change is the one constant in business.

Change is rarely the result of a single

event; it’s instead an evolution driven

by alterations in technology, buying

behaviour, competition and countless

other external and internal forces.

So, are all of these changes the reason

things no longer feel in control?

Not really. It’s not the evolution of your

business that causes you to feel stressed

and overwhelmed; it’s the lack of evolution

in the way you work.

You can’t run a four-store chain the way

you ran a single store

You can’t manage a business that has an

revenue of $2.5 million in the same way

you ran a store with only $500,000 revenue.

Also, you can’t run your business like you

did three years ago.

Too much has changed and if you’re feeling

overwhelmed then there’s a good chance

that you haven’t changed with it. The

good news is that you can jumpstart that

evolution right now.

FOUR WAYS TO CHANGE

Let’s look at four key areas that can

help you be a more productive and

happier leader.

Accept that your work will rarely be

done – Let’s agree that it is nearly

impossible to get everything done in

this always-on, always-wired, 24/7 world.

I always joke that I became more successful

when I started keeping a ‘to-don’t’ list

instead of a ‘to-do’ list.

At the end of the day, we just have to

accept that some things will have to carry

over to be done at another time or maybe

they’ll never get done at all.

Time management is neither the problem

nor the solution – Unless you’ve got a

time machine in your office, just take time

management off the table.

Of course, if you do have a time

machine, please let me know because

I have a few things that happened in

my twenties that I’d like to go back and

change... but I digress.

There can be no blaming a lack of time for

being overwhelmed. We all have the same

number of hours in a day.

What you have to manage is not time,

but priorities – It’s about making the right

choices regarding where you focus your

energy and effort. Managers can make two

mistakes when it comes to this.

The first is doing what they want to do,

not what they need to do. It’s human

nature to gravitate to the things we like

or do well and sometimes these are

aligned with our priorities, but sometimes

they’re not.

The second is letting employees and

outside forces dictate priorities.

This happens more than people realise.

Leaders have to manage priorities like a

full-back holds on to a football.

MANAGING PRIORITIES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MANAGING TIME

IT IS NEARLY

IMPOSSIBLE TO

GET EVERYTHING

DONE IN

THIS ALWAYS-ON,

ALWAYS-WIRED,

24/7 WORLD –

I ALWAYS

JOKE THAT I

BECAME MORE

SUCCESSFUL

WHEN I STARTED

KEEPING A ‘TO-

DON’T’ LIST

It doesn’t mean you’re not available when

needed but you should be the one who

decides when something else should take

precedence over your priorities.

Delegating isn’t enough – Although most

managers and owners could increase

delegation to their staff, this is not the

cure-all that most people think it is.

I can’t tell you how many times an owner

or manager has told me he or she needs

to delegate more, which always makes me

think, ‘So do it!’

I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to distribute

some of the tasks you’re doing that are

keeping you from your priorities but the

biggest reason to delegate is to have

more engaged staff.

It really isn’t going to have much impact on

your own levels of stress.

There’s a fifth critical element I’ll explore

next month. In the meantime, think about

the actions you can take now that will result

in a more productive and happier you. i

DOUG FLEENER is

president and managing

partner of Sixth Star

Consulting. dougfleener.com

38 Jeweller July 2019


MARKETING & PR

WHEN CUSTOMER SERVICE IS UNSHACKLED

IT’S NOT ENOUGH FOR A BUSINESS TO OFFER CUSTOMER SERVICE – IT SHOULD BE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC FROM THE TOP DOWN.

BARRY URQUHART EXPLORES HOW CORPORATE CULTURE MUST EVOLVE TO PUT CUSTOMER-SERVICE SKILLS FIRST.

Customer service skills are easy to master

but they are impeded and compromised in

many instances by inadequate, superficial and

narrowly-focused corporate cultures.

Delegating authority improves morale,

contributes to staff loyalty, stabilises team

compositions and reassures customers that

they are dealing with people who have the

Well-scripted mission statements and brand

philosophies on office walls are insufficient

and often misleading. This is because they

seldom articulate the underlying driving force

that makes things happen in a business.

capacity to resolve issues to their satisfaction.

The manner and speed in which product

returns take place, and in which quality

issues and service deficiencies are addressed,

are key indicators of the degree to which a

Considerable resources and funds are

channelled into processes that reduce costs

and enhance internal efficiency – at the

expense of customer and client satisfaction.

IN RETAIL, CUSTOMER SERVICE COMES FIRST

service-oriented corporate culture prevails.

For some, following up with customers is

time-consuming and does not necessarily

generate additional revenue.

Under-utilised customer skills often remain

unrecognised; employees go unsupported

and improvements are not implemented.

Frequently, the importance of customer

service may be appreciated on a superficial

level – but it often remains unrealised, to the

dismay of front-line service providers.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH

Customer and client satisfaction is determined

by, and measured against, expectations, as

well as first impressions.

Automated telephone systems remain a

source of frustration and dissatisfaction,

mostly because there’s no way to bypass prerecorded

messages and get access to actual

service professionals.

By the time a customer reaches a person, it

can be difficult for staff to recover from the

anxiety and frustration that customer feels.

The ability of staff to neutralise such emotions

is important but this falls a long way short

of creating customer satisfaction – let

alone delight. A case in point is the recent

declaration by Centrelink that telephone waittimes

have been significantly reduced... to ‘just’

17 minutes!

Against the benchmark of service excellence

– when incoming calls are answered within

three rings – it is little wonder that customers

are reluctant to call.

HAVING HIGHLY-

TRAINED, QUALIFIED

TEAM MEMBERS

WHO POSSESS

GREAT PRODUCT

KNOWLEDGE

COUNTS FOR

LITTLE IF THEY ARE

INSUFFICIENT IN

NUMBERS AND

CAN’T READILY BE

FOUND ON THE

SHOP FLOOR

SERVICE BEGETS PERFORMANCE

Even if staff have excellent service skills,

an inadequate corporate culture will

compromise customer-service standards.

Department stores throughout Australia are

reporting losses in sales, profits and market

share. The response from senior management

has been to declare a commitment to

customer-focused endeavours, including

increased training in customer service.

Such utterances again fall well short, as

do the number of available and accessible

service providers.

The consumer perception of the Australian

department-store sector is that it is difficult

to find staff when visiting stores. Having

highly-trained, qualified team members who

possess great product knowledge counts for

little if they are insufficient in numbers and

can’t readily be found on the shop floor.

There is a universal need for all seniorexecutive

and non-executive ranks to

champion customer service delivery.

ONE TOUCH ONLY

A need for staff to refer matters to another

person or department mars the customer

experience and diminishes the chances of

them becoming a long-term advocate of

the business.

Moreover, businesses are frequently reluctant

to expose themselves to expressions of

dissatisfaction from customers – but some

things are better to know first-hand. Thirdparty

complaints are difficult to manage and

impossible to contain.

It remains true that open, two-way

communication is a key characteristic for

sustaining client satisfaction and loyalty.

DON’T COMPROMISE COMMITMENT

With service excellence there is no place

to hide. Training should involve senior

management and board members, and

active participation is essential.

At the very least, participants should be

able to present considered action plans to

senior executives and non-executives at the

conclusion of the training programme. They

will feel rewarded and be reassured that they

have been heard.

In the new retail environment, customerservice

initiatives are particularly relevant and

businesses should ensure all endeavours are

universally embraced and applied. i

BARRY URQUHART

is managing director of

Marketing Focus and an

international keynote speaker.

marketinginfocus.net.au

July 2019 Jeweller 39


LOGGED ON

BIGGER ISN’T BETTER IN CONTENT MARKETING

WRITING FOR THE WEB IS ALL ABOUT USING ACCESSIBLE LANGUAGE. GRAHAM JONES WARNS RETAILERS NOT TO GET BOGGED

DOWN IN BUSINESS SPEAK WHEN CREATING THEIR DIGITAL CONTENT, EVEN IF THEY THINK IT SOUNDS IMPRESSIVE TO READERS.

If Little Red Riding Hood were reading

much of the material on the web these

days, she’d say, “My goodness Grandma,

what big words you’re using!”

Wherever you look, the internet contains

massive words. Why? Business writing

makes up the bulk of content marketing

and the language of corporations is formal,

stuffy and full of long words.

There exists a belief that corporate writing

appears more professional and that

anything else could make a business seem

low-key and less important.

and straightforward, it is easier to follow.

That’s the same with writing.

Evidence shows that short sentences are

easier to grasp than long sentences. Short

paragraphs make a piece flow better and

short words are easier to understand than

long ones.

However, businesses still believe that being

formal is an important brand value as it

shows how serious they are. In fact, it has

the opposite effect; it can cause people to

abandon what they are reading, sometimes

because they find the author showy.

USING APPROACHABLE LANGUAGE HELPS CONNECT WITH READERS

The problem is that readers slow down

when they see big words. This can lead to

misunderstanding or failure to absorb the

content and messages – even if readers

make it through to the end of the article.

Mostly, people just give up when they

see long words; they can’t be bothered to

waste their time.

It’s not just big words that dominate the

internet but long sentences too. Again,

businesses seem to think that long

sentences with plenty of sub-clauses will

make them appear more professional. This

is also true of poor writers.

Inevitably, the opposite perception is

formed whereby readers might think that

people who use long words are distant and

not very clever – just trying to impress.

A study completed more than ten years

ago at Princeton University showed us that

the unnecessary use of long words created

more problems than it solved.

The researchers found that readers

believed a writer was smarter if the writing

was simple than when the words were

unnecessarily long and complicated.

KISS YOUR READERS

‘Keep it simple, stupid’ (KISS) is one of

the most popular acronyms in marketing. It

is the idea that if something is simple

Here are five things you can do to make sure

your content grabs readers and keeps them

believing in your business:

Write as you speak – Forget those clunky

rules about grammar. When we talk, we tend

to use simpler words, shorter sentences and

we regularly break grammar rules.

This doesn’t mean you should ignore correct

grammar but it means you can bend the

rules without worrying too much. If you use

a service like Grammarly, be sure to set the

style to ‘informal’ and the domain to ‘casual’.

This helps you connect with your readers.

Read your content out loud – When you’ve

finished writing your content, reading it

aloud will help you to concentrate and spot

mistakes more easily. If you struggle to read

it aloud or stumble, then it’s clear that the

writing is too complicated. Change it!

Check the reading age of your content – Use

your computer’s grammar-checking tool to

calculate the reading score of your writing.

Alternatively, go to the Readability Test Tool

online and paste in your text. Look for the

figure shown as the Flesch-Kincaid score.

Add five to that score – this is the age at

which a child can read what you have

written. Aim for a Flesch-Kincaid score of

between five and seven, which means your

writing is suitable for readers aged 10 to 12

and higher.

RESEARCHERS

FOUND THAT

READERS

BELIEVED A

WRITER WAS

SMARTER IF

THE WRITING

WAS SIMPLE

THAN WHEN THE

WORDS WERE

UNNECESSARILY

LONG AND

COMPLICATED

Research shows this is the score most

suitable for quick reading, which everyone

does on online. You are not dumbing it down

– you’re making your writing more accessible.

Just go with it – Set aside the notion that

verbose writing is more professional. Use

short words and engage more readers. You’ll

communicate your messages more clearly

and encourage more interaction, such as

extra sharing on social media. Eventually,

you’ll realise that you are achieving more by

being ‘less professional’ in your writing.

Read more – Read the most popular blogs in

your sector, then read the online version of a

popular newspaper. These top publications

all use simple language. If you read them

regularly, you’ll start to write like them.

The best content on the web uses simple,

approachable language consisting of short

words and sentences. If you insist that you

must use ‘business speak’, you risk making

your content inaccessible and also risk readers

switching off, which is the exact opposite of

what we’re trying to do online. i

GRAHAM JONES studies

online behaviour and

consumer psychology to help

businesses improve website

success. grahamjones.co.uk

40 Jeweller July 2019


MY STORE

THE WEARER

LOCATION: London, UK

NAME: Rachel Richards

POSITION: Owner

When was the space completed? Three

years ago, in May 2016.

Who is the target market and how did

they influence the store design? My

customers tend to be those that really

value independent design, so I wanted

to create quite a minimal space and let

the jewellery do the talking – although

my limited budget had a lot to do with

that choice too! I went for a very pared

back look, using clean plywood tabletops

and copper piping details. Jewellery is

displayed on raw, cut marble blocks. It

has quite a youthful appeal and the fitout

makes it a welcoming space where

customers don’t feel too nervous to

browse. Although some items are under

glass, we leave a lot of our jewellery where

it can be picked up and tried on. This made

me feel anxious at first but it’s the easiest

way to start a conversation and ultimately

convert sales.

With the relationship between store

ambience and consumer purchasing

in mind, which features in the store

encourage sales? Because of the tiny

size of the store, the ambience is really

driven between the staff member and

customer. There is always only one of us

in at a time. Any more, and we wouldn’t

fit the customers in too! The key thing is,

we’re all jewellery addicts and can talk

enthusiastically about each if the designers

in the shop. I curated the selection myself

and it’s important to me to have personal

relationships with each of the designers

we work with. Karina and Sarah, who work

with me in the store, are designer-makers

and we stock their designs. It really helps

our customer fall in love with the product

when you have that level of understanding

of the creative process behind each piece.

What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?

The ‘wow’ factor is being discovered! The

store is so teeny and we’re tucked away

down a side street. Often a new customer

will stumble across us by chance. It’s that

palpable expression of delight that I love;

their excitement at finding this little gem of

a jewellery box! i

July 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 JULY 2009 ISSUE OF JEWELLER.

JWNZ says money “intact”

The story: The Jewellers and Watchmakers of New

Zealand (JWNZ) has confirmed that nearly $20,000

raised eight months ago to assist local apprentices will

remain in a term deposit and will not be distributed

because of the global financial crisis.

In a letter received in response to last month’s

story; ‘Kiwis say, “Show me the money”,’ JWNZ

executive secretary Craig Anderson wrote, “Due

to the present economic climate and interest rates,

the JWNZ National Council was unanimous in its

decision to keep the funds raised intact. Placed on

term deposit last October the principal and interest

Pandora HQ buys

stake in Aussie arm

The story: Danish company Pandora

Holdings A/S will acquire a 60 per cent stake

in Australian distributor Pandora Jewelry after

nearly five years of incredible growth.

Karin Adcock – who established the Australian

agency for Pandora Jewelry in Australia

alongside her husband Brook in 2004 –

stressed that day-to-day operations would not

change as a result of the sale.

“The existing management teams will actually

be empowered with additional benefits,”

Adcock said.

received has since

been reinvested.”

Anderson denied

rumours of misuse

but confirmed the money had not been placed in a

Trust. JWNZ is yet to clarify if or when the funds will

be spent, nor addressed the assertion that it hadn’t

submitted its 2008 statutory annual return.

When Jeweller contacted JWNZ President Susi

Chinnery-Brown for further clarification, she

challenged Jeweller’s right to report on the matter, and

hung up the phone.

SWATCH ANGER CONTINUES

The story: Swatch has responded to a

chorus of criticism from retail jewellers

over its “arrogance”, lack of service and

sub-standard support.

The controversy was sparked when

Dennis Coleman from Balwyn Jewellers

in Melbourne went public about

his dissatisfaction with Swatch in a

previous issue of Jeweller.

Shain Forth, of Leon Baker Jewellers in

Geraldton, WA, has since revealed he is

ceasing to sell Tissot due to problems

with repairs, while Scott Godfrey from

House of Fraser in Castle Hill, NSW,

added: “Their customer service is

appalling and the communication is

almost non-existent.”

Megan Parker, managing director

Swatch Australia, defended the

organisation, telling Jeweller, “I was

disappointed to read the letters

published so far... We certainly

want to offer exceptional customer

service whether it relates to the

way that we sell watches through

jewellers, or in particular related to

the after sale service.”

She added, “I would like to say that

I hope that moving forward we look

after every customer in the best

possible way.”

Ascot Four (Zamel’s) appeal dismissed

The story: The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal

made by Ascot Four, the former owners of the Zamel’s

jewellery chain, against 11 charges brought by the

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

(ACCC) in December 2006. According to a release from

the ACCC, the Full Court unanimously dismissed the

appeal on May 26, 2009 and ordered Ascot Four to pay

the ACCC’s costs.

Ascot Four was found to have falsely represented that

the purchase of 11 items advertised in the Zamel’s

Christmas 2005 catalogue would have resulted in a

saving of the difference between the sale price and the

strike-through price. This breached section 75AZC(1)(g)

of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which prohibits false or

misleading representations being made in relation to

the price of goods.

42 Jeweller July 2019


EVENTS

JEWELLERY AND WATCH CALENDAR

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

JULY 2019

WINTON OPAL TRADESHOW

Winton, Australia

July 12 – 13

qboa.com.au

SEPTEMBER 2019

INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY LONDON

London, UK

September 1 – 3

jewellerylondon.com

HONG KONG JEWELLERY

& GEM FAIR

Hong Kong, China

September 16 – 29

exhibitions.jewellerynet.com

OCTOBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

VIETNAM INTERNATIONAL

JEWELRY FAIR

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

November 14–18

Learn more: vietnamjewelryfair.com/en

LIGHTNING RIDGE OPAL

& GEM FESTIVAL

Lightning Ridge, Australia

July 24 – 27

lightningridgeopalfestival.com.au

HONG KONG WATCH

& CLOCK FAIR

Hong Kong, China

September 3 – 7

m.hktdc.com/fair/hkwatchfair-en/

SHANGHAI WORLD JEWELRY

EXPO 2019

Shanghai, China

October 10 – 13

Learn more: newayfairs.com/EN

CHINA INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY FAIR

Beijing, China

November 14–18

Learn more: newayfairs.com/EN

AUGUST 2019

w

AUSTRALIAN OPAL

EXHIBITION

Gold Coast, QLD

August 1 – 2

austopalexpo.com.au

INDIA INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY SHOW

Mumbai, India

August 9 – 12

iijs.org

INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY FAIR

Sydney, Australia

August 24 – 26

jewelleryfair.com.au

JAPAN JEWELLERY FAIR

BIJORHCA PARIS

Paris, France

September 6 – 9

bijorhca.com

VICENZAORO

Vicenza, Italy

September 7 – 11

vicenzaoro.com/en

PALAKISS VICENZA

SUMMER SHOW

Vicenza, Italy

September 7 – 11

palakisstore.com

BANGKOK GEMS

& JEWELRY FAIR

Bangkok, Thailand

September 10 – 12

bkkgems.com

BHARAT DIAMOND WEEK

Mumbai, India

October 14 – 16

bharatdiamondweek.com

INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY

TOKYO AUTUMN

Yokohama, Japan

October 23 – 25

ijt-aki.jp

INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY & WATCH

SHOW

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

October 26–30

Learn more: jws.ae

MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY FESTIVAL

Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia

November 15 – 18

Learn more: mij.com.my

CHINA INTERNATIONAL

GOLD, JEWELLERY & GEM

FAIR SHANGHAI

Shanghai, China

November 28 – December 1

Tokyo, Japan

August 28 – 30

japanjewelleryfair.com/en

SHENZHEN INTERNATIONAL

JEWELLERY FAIR

Shenzhen, China

September 12 – 16

newayfairs.com/EN

July 2019 Jeweller 43


MY BENCH

Stephen Dickins

WORKS AT: London

Court, Perth

AGE: 56

YEARS IN TRADE: 40

TRAINING: 4.5-year

apprenticeship, 1st, 2nd, and

3rd year Trade Certificate.

FIRST JOB: Max Wilson

Jewellers in Palmerston North,

New Zealand.

Favourite gemstone: I have

no real favourite, but I like a

top-quality Tanzanite because

of the rarity and colour depth.

Plus you can get them in a

large size. They’re a setter’s

nightmare, but worth it!

Favourite metal: Platinum,

because even thought it is the

most difficult metal to handmake

with, it pre-polishes

brilliantly. You can use hard

platinum solder throughout

the make.

Favourite tool: The PUK

welding machine. It allows

you to set up, move and re-set

up pieces knowing they won’t

move when soldering.

Best part of job: The final

polishing after many hours

of working.

Worst part of job: It really

depends; melting the metal,

rolling, soldering, filling,

shaping, emering and

polishing all have their

own obstacles!

Best tip to a jeweller: Just

because you haven’t been

shown how to do something,

it doesn’t mean you can’t do

it. I’m self-taught in a lot of

things, and I’m always asking

questions to improve my skills.

Biggest health concern on

the bench: Eyes. I increase the

focus by having many visor

headsets available.

Love jewellery because: The

satisfaction I get when I make

a close to perfect piece of

jewellery. It makes the client

happy knowing they will have

something that will be passed

down through their family. i


SOAPBOX

ACCESSING SPARE PARTS IS THE WORST

PART OF THE WATCH INDUSTRY

The big brands want us watchmakers

to repair their watches, but they make

getting the necessary spare parts

maddeningly difficult, prohibitively

expensive, or completely impossible.

I’ve been repairing watches since I was 15,

and in those days you could repair virtually

any watch that came in the shop, because

there were multiple spare parts retailers with

a full range, and everyone was happy to sell

you parts.

Today, the likes of Omega and Rolex won’t

sell parts to anyone who’s not a stockist. Even

Swatch has this policy. For example, if my

customer wants a replacement watchband,

Swatch won’t even sell me a plastic one

because I’m not a stockist!

There’s a reason policies like this were

introduced. Rolex was one of the first to insist

that in order to get spare parts, you had to

exchange the old ones. That was there to

show them you weren’t repairing fake Rolexes.

Omega kept on changing the ground rules;

first you couldn’t go in and buy spare parts

over the counter, then you had to fax your

order in, then they said parts couldn’t be

picked up and had to be posted out to you.

Then they brought in a minimum charge

of $25 for every spare parts order – it didn’t

matter if it was a dollar, $10 or $10,000. Now,

they won’t sell anything.

Again, I can see why they’ve made these

changes – they can see that there are only

a handful of watchmakers left, and they’re

worried that amateurs will get access to

their parts.

Other brands make the prices so high that it’s

not worth it for independent watchmakers

to do the repair. Even when the parts are

available, they are only for the newer models.

In reality, big brands want the watches sent

back to them for repair. But that too is a

problem; Omega has the option to send your

watch overseas – sometimes to Switzerland,

sometimes to Hong Kong – for repair. Often,

the customer doesn’t know that.

When a watch is sent in, the big

manufacturers have a policy that if the

luminosity on the hands is a bit off-colour, the

hands need to be changed; every time you

open the watch, the back seal needs to be

changed; every time you service the watch

you need to change the crown or the seal.

They’d argue that the work is needed to bring

the watch back to new standard, but the

customers that come into my store with their

vintage watches don’t want these changes!

On the more common models, the big brands

will rip the inside out and put a whole new

movement inside, so in reality the customer

doesn’t really get their own watch back.

The consumer loses out on price, too. I’ve

seen people come in with a repairs quote

from Omega for $2,000. Even a basic service

can be $1,000, whereas an independent

watchmaker might charge $300 or $400

and the customer can decide exactly what

needs to be fixed or changed. The customer

deserves the option of paying a less ridiculous

price, especially if the work isn’t needed.

There are other unintended consequences

too – one of which is the grey market online.

I HAVE TO FIND

SOURCES IN

SWITZERLAND OR

AMERICA, WHEN

IN REALITY IT

SHOULDN’T BE

THIS DIFFICULT FOR

AN EXPERIENCED,

QUALIFIED

WATCHMAKER

TO ACCESS THESE

SPARE PARTS

Admiring luxury watches is a huge hobby

these days, and there are collectors who will

buy spare parts on eBay and try to do the

repairs themselves.

Recently, a customer came in to have his Seiko

repaired; I contacted Seiko and they were

unable to supply the parts, as the model had

been discontinued. I gave my customer the

calibre number and he came in a week later

with the part. He’d bought it online from a

London seller for £20.

I’m often forced to order parts from overseas

myself; I have to find sources in Switzerland

or America, when in reality it shouldn’t be

this difficult for an experienced, qualified

watchmaker to access these spare parts.

Meanwhile, there are local authorised stockists

who on-sell parts to suppliers through the

back door, at a premium – then the suppliers

on-sell to watchmakers for double that price.

For the non-luxury and micro watch brands,

they don’t keep any spare parts at all and

there’s no support from the distributor. That

was a big problem with Lion Brands, who

have now closed. And don’t get me started on

watches that aren’t available in Australia!

Getting parts is a constant battle. Many

jewellers now don’t even take watch repairs,

and this is one of the big reasons: they just

don’t want the headache. Sadly, it stops

people wanting to become watchmakers. i

Name: Dennis Coleman

Business: Balwyn Jewellers

Position: Owner and watchmaker

Location: Balwyn, VIC

Years in the industry: 51 years

46 Jeweller July 2019


Where passion meets creativity

Immerse yourself in a world of spectacular, original jewellery at the 2019 International Jewellery & Watch Fair.

Be inspired by excellence in creativity of the latest designs and the passion in workmanship. See the latest global trends,

seek new business opportunities and gain knowledge from industry insights. Talk with the experts and select from

thousands of stunning pieces, just right for your business. Register to attend today at www.jewelleryfair.com.au.

INTERNATIONAL

J E W ELLERY & WATCH FAIR

August 24 > 26, 2019

ICC Sydney > Exhibition Centre > Darling Harbour

Organised by

WWW.JEWELLERYFAIR.COM.AU


PinkKimberley.com.au

E pink@samsgroup.com.au W samsgroup.com.au P 02 9290 2199

SAMS GROUP

AUSTRALIA

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