VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY
THE FULL INTERNATIONAL
JEWELLERY & WATCH FAIR REPORT
THE GEMSTONE CATEGORY OFFERS
A RAINBOW OF POSSIBILITIES
WHY DEMAND IS SPIKING FOR
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FEATURES REGULARS BUSINESS
17/ FAIR GO
Jeweller explores this year’s
International Jewellery & Watch Fair.
21/ DESIGN TRIUMPH
Discover which pieces took home
the top prizes at the 2019 Jewellery
25/ BROAD SPECTRUM
Why the coloured gemstone category
is going from strength to strength –
and how retailers can take advantage.
31/ TEAL THE SHOW
Consumers are falling for the charms
of Australian sapphires.
35/ INDIAN SUMMER
Preparation and positivity prevailed at
the IIJS Premier event in Mumbai.
16/ New Products
Garnet: Gem of Many Colours – Part I
45/ My Store
46/ 10 Years Ago
47/ My Bench
48/ My Bench
Benn Harvey-Walker says it’s past
time for jewellers to embrace
39/ Business feature
Bernadette McClelland shares what
she’s learnt as an entrepreneur.
Focus on solving customers’
problems to win business, advises
Good help is hard to find, writes
Forget the 4P’s and embrace a new
paradigm, says Chris Petersen.
44/ Logged On
Alisa Meredith reveals why Pinterest
is the key to your website’s success.
Front cover description:
World Shiner is a leading diamond
and jewellery wholesale company
with international prestige and
three decades of experience.
October 2019 Jeweller 5
• Genuine Argyle Authenticity cards
• Argyle Origin Certificates
• ADV Authenticity Cards
• 9ct Gold Australian diamond jewellery
• Lifetime Guarantee
• Rare Argyle loose diamonds
• Argyle Whites, Pinks, Cognac Colours
• Complete Packaging and Stands
MELEE MALAISE: IS MARKETING THE SOLUTION?
Does anyone have the answer to rectify the
current malaise in the diamond industry?
Before you can fix something you need to
know the exact cause of the problem. I only
state the bleeding obvious because there are
calls for a new, $US1 billion global marketing
campaign promoting natural diamonds, and
especially engagement rings.
Martin Rapaport is on the record as saying
that current generic marketing efforts need
to improve and miners, supported by brands,
must step up to the plate to reach consumers.
Few would disagree with such a concept –
but where do the funds come from?
De Beers supported the industry for decades
with its worldwide generic advertising
campaigns. Indeed, it could be argued
De Beers created the diamond industry, as
we know it today, when it began using the
slogan, ‘A diamond is forever’.
It was so powerful and successful that in 1999
the iconic US magazine AdAge awarded it
the title of best marketing slogan of the 20th
Century. So, 20 years later, and in a radically
different market, who and where would
the money come from to create an equally
successful worldwide marketing campaign?
One suggestion is from small contributions
from all diamond exports, including: a 0.05
per cent levy on all diamond exports (rough
and polished) from non-mining countries;
0.5 per cent fee on all polished exports and
1 per cent on rough exports from mining
countries; and a 2 per cent levy on all exports
by the diamond-mining companies. It has
been estimated that this would garner around
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA)
has the mission to ‘protect and promote
the integrity and reputation of diamonds’.
Its marketing budget increased from $US40
million in 2017 to $US70 million last year.
Meanwhile, according to De Beers, the
international diamond jewellery market was
valued at more than $US80 billion in 2017.
If all of these figures are reasonably accurate,
it means that currently, around 1 per cent of
consumer sales revenue is being spent on
marketing to consumers by the DPA.
A 1 per cent marketing budget is clearly not
enough, especially in the digital age where
the internet has created a world of small
tribes, rather than one large, more easily
reached ‘homogeneous’ market.
But back to the problem – or problems –
which need to be tackled. What are they?
It’s all too easy to blame the natural diamond
malaise on the rise of synthetic stones. Yes, the
man-made diamond suppliers have a loud
voice in the consumer media, but I wonder
whether the ‘noise’ equates to sales.
I think the narrative of synthetic stones
hampering and harming the natural market
is simply a convenient excuse.
There are other factors in play; people have
A 1 PER CENT
CLEARLY ACIETURIS NOT
ENOUGH, AUT EXERITAS
ESPECIALLY AUTATIS ADIO IN
THE CULLABO. DIGITAL
AGE ITASSIM WHERE
HAS ET, ADI CREATED ALIQUI
A VELIAM WORLD ERUM OF
SMALL NEST UNTUR TRIBES,
RATHER ARIBUS THAN QUI
ONE CONSEQUE LARGE,
been getting married later in life. The ‘arrival’
of man-made stones has also coincided with
a new generation, Millennials, reaching the
age of marriage. It is often said they are more
focused on sustainability and see mining as
unappealing and even morally outrageous.
Other theories suggest younger people
don’t view diamonds as a display of love, as
their parents once did. Some also suggest
that Millennials have more difficulty meeting
everyday needs, when compared to their
parents, because of the higher cost of living;
they prefer to save money for other life goals.
Another change is an increasing trend
for colour diamonds and gemstones in
On the industry side, the malaise has also
been caused, or at least not helped, by the
US-China trade war. That’s inarguable – but
the sales decline has in fact been in progress
for some time. There has also been an oversupply
of rough, while some suggest that
poor quality melees and cheap stones have
contributed to consumes’ loss of confidence.
There’s no doubt a concerted marketing
effort can address some of these problems.
But another catchy slogan won’t fix the
underlying structural issues. For that, everyone
in the supply chain will have to do more than
throw money at the different problem(s); they
will need to show vision and leadership.
October 2019 Jeweller 9
■ TOUCH POINT
A British jeweller has found a unique
way to encode a secret message in a
diamond ring: by setting the stones
point-up to spell out a message in
Braille. The inverted diamond design
has been named ‘Feel the Love’, and
caters to both the blind community
and those wanting a discreetly
personalised jewellery piece.
■ GOLD LEAF
An Australian company is using tree
leaves to detect gold deposits. Mining
business Marmota analysed foliage
from plants in South Australia to
successfully identify a gold vein 44m
underground. The method works
because tree roots bring up mineralrich
water from deep below the
surface. The basis for the technique was
first developed by the CSIRO.
■ GIN WITH ICE
A UK-based liquor company has
commissioned a jeweller to set a
1-carat diamond inside a bottle of gin.
The stone features petal-like facets and
is designed to highlight the purity of
the gin. The 1-litre bottle is valued at
£10,000 ($AU18,000) and will be given
as the prize in a competition.
DID YOU KNOW?
Opals are Australia’s national gemstone and
the country produces 95 per cent of the
world’s supply, but Europeans only discovered
them here in 1849. Before then, only one opal
mine was known – in Slovakia. The ancient
Romans considered the gem a good luck
charm that could make its wearer invisible.
Its name comes from the Latin word opalus,
meaning ‘precious stone’.
“Unlike diamonds, coloured gemstones
have not been commoditised. Retailers
can provide an almost infinite gem
colour palette and a bespoke jewellery
purchasing experience, all of which
translates to much better margins.”
Turn to page 25 to find out >
PINTEREST CALLS AUSTRALIA HOME
Pinterest has opened its first Australian office in Sydney, NSW, amid strong results from
the Asia-Pacific region. According to the company, Australian and New Zealand Pinners
save almost 4 million Pins each day. The number of Pinterest users in the region has
more than doubled over the past year. In a statement on the company’s Newsroom
blog, Carin Lee-Skelton, Australia and New Zealand country manager Pinterest, said,
“I’m excited to work closely with businesses of all sizes in Australia and New Zealand to
help them reach their audiences on Pinterest.” Pinners are one of the most shoppingengaged
audiences on social media, with 90 per cent of weekly users using the app to
make purchase decisions.
O’Neils Affiliated has a new range of blue zircons just in
time for summer. Available in shades of cerulean, reminiscent
of the Mediterranean Sea, blue zircon will mesmerise with its
brilliance and intensity. In stock and online now.
VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN
Publisher & Editor
& Graphic Design
Jo De Bono
Jeweller is published by:
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consent of the publisher.
Gunnamatta Media Pty Ltd strives to
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Advertising: The publisher reserves
the right to omit or alter any
advertisement to comply with
Australian law and the advertiser
agrees to indemnify the publisher for
all damages or liabilities arising from
the published material.
10 Jeweller October 2019
Fresh Nomination campaign goes live
Italian jewellery brand Nomination has
unveiled a new marketing campaign called
“One for me, one for you”. The full video
and artwork were uploaded to the official
Nomination social media channels after
being revealed at the Vicenzaoro trade show
The Nomination Australia and New Zealand
Instagram and Facebook channels were
updated on Monday 9 September, in line
with the global campaign launch date.
Nomination stockists have been invited to
share the video to their own Facebook and
“One for me, one for you” promotes
Nomination’s signature links in a fresh way,
emphasising the shareable, personalised feel
of the jewellery. Friends, love, animals, travel
and family are explored in the campaign.
The collection includes more than 2,000 links
featuring engraving, gemstones, enamel,
cubic zirconia and natural diamonds. The
stainless steel base comes with 18-carat gold,
9-carat rose gold or sterling silver plating.
New York-based production designer
Giovanni Bianco – former creative director of
Vogue Italia – was behind the energetic and
diverse campaign, and directed the video
clip. Bianco’s agency, GB65, has created video
content for Rihanna’s Fenty brand as well as
Italian fashion houses Marni and Missoni.
As the campaign went live, Ken Abbott,
managing director of Nomination distributor
Timesupply, said: “Nomination Composable
is unisex, multigenerational, and original. It
celebrates the gift of sharing and connecting
with people – the people we love. What a
campaign, what an opportunity.”
Olivia Burton gets new distributor
GDL Accessories has acquired the Australian
and New Zealand distribution rights for Olivia
Burton watches. The UK-based brand joins
several other high-profile fashion watches in
the GDL portfolio.
ABC Bullion brings
Independent bullion dealer ABC Bullion,
part of the Pallion group of companies,
has been appointed Presenting
Partner for the Australian leg of the
exhibition ‘Tutankhamun: Treasures
of the Golden Pharaoh’.
The six-month exhibition is part of a
10-city world tour to mark the centenary
of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb
by British archaeologist Howard Carter.
‘Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’ includes
150 objects from the New Kingdom
ruler’s gravesite, of which 60 have never
before left Egypt.
The recently renovated Australian
Museum, in Sydney, will host the
event in partnership with ABC Bullion,
entertainment company IMG, Destination
NSW and the Egyptian Ministry of
Antiquities. It is scheduled for 2021.
Andrew Cochineas, CEO Pallion, said, “We
are thrilled to be Presenting Partner of the
’Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden
Pharaoh’ exhibition and to provide
Australians with access to the golden
wonders of ancient Egypt. Only nine
other cities in the world will have this
once in a lifetime honour.”
The exhibition will include a brand new
detailed display dedicated to gold,
presented by ABC Bullion.
“Australia is the second-largest gold
producer in the world. This exhibition
shows that gold has always been an
important part of world civilisation... With
gold prices and demand at record highs,
it seems that the lustre of gold shows no
signs of decline,” Cochineas said.
The Sydney leg of the exhibition
follows record-breaking runs in Paris
and Los Angeles.
In a statement, GDL management said:
“Designed in London, Olivia Burton takes
inspiration from fashion, vintage and nature
to create unique and feminine accessories
that can’t be found anywhere else.”
West End Collection previously distributed
Olivia Burton and had done so since 2016.
Publicly listed watch conglomerate Movado
Group acquired Olivia Burton in 2017.
GDL ACCESSORIES IS NOW SUPPLING THE BRAND
Movado is also the parent company of
Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Lacoste and
MVMT watches, all of which are distributed
+ MORE BREAKING NEWS
EGYPTIAN TREASURES ARE HEADED TO OZ
12 Jeweller October 2019
Stella to distribute EPOS watches
Stella Timepieces has been appointed
exclusive distributor of EPOS Swiss watches,
effective from 27 August 2019.
EPOS is a heritage watch brand designed
and manufactured in Switzerland’s Jura
Mountains and Vallée de Joux. Each watch is
hand-assembled to ensure quality and live up
to the legacy of Swiss watchmaking.
“We have been in talks with EPOS for a while
now, and feel extremely fortunate to be able
to partner with a company of such prestige
and innovation in watchmaking,” Krzysztof
Jakubaszek, founder Stella Timepieces, said.
“The roots of the company date back to
1925. Building upon the long heritage and
knowledge embedded in the company,
EPOS has always focused on creating highly
sophisticated mechanical masterpieces at
affordable prices, staying true to the company
slogan: ‘Artistry in Watchmaking.’”
Stella Timepieces also distributes Swiss watch
brands Alfex, Tacs, Atlantic and Grovanna
Repairs and servicing will be conducted
through Stella Timepiece’s purpose-built
service centre, run by A.J Watch Repairs.
Michael Hill introduces lab-grown stones
As it celebrates its 40th anniversary,
Michael Hill International has released its
financial results for FY19 – revealing the
success of its turnaround efforts – as well
as its intention to enter the synthetic
The company’s net profits increased to $16.5
million in FY19 – up $14.9 million from FY18.
Meanwhile, same-store sales increased 0.7
per cent for the quarter, indicating that
momentum is picking up despite a 3.3 per
cent decline for the year. The biggest driver
of sales came from e-commerce, with online
purchases increasing by 43.6 per cent.
While 10 new stores were opened, 11 were
closed, leaving a total of 306 spread across
Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
After announcing the financial results, CEO
Daniel Bracken revealed that Michael Hill
has started selling synthetic diamonds
at a Queensland location in order to test
“It’s a new product category and growth
opportunity,” the Australian Financial Review
quoted Bracken as saying. “It’s the newest
thing in the jewellery world and being the
first to market is another demonstration of us
making sure we’re completely relevant to the
Jeweller contacted Michael Hill International
for more information on its synthetic
diamond product line. However, a
representative for the company was unable
to comment at the time.
Boulder Opal Awards reward jewellers
The Queen of Gems International Jewellery
Design Awards have recognised leading
jewellers specialising in boulder opal. Hosted
by the Queensland Boulder Opal Association,
the awards took place in July at the annual
Opal Festival in Winton, Queensland.
Angela Hampton of Hampton Fine Jewellery
& Design in Queensland’s Redland Bay was
the night’s big winner. She took home the
Professional Category – Jewellery Design
trophy, as well as the People’s Choice Award
for her armband ‘Paradise Blue’ featuring
boulder opal, sapphire and tsavorite garnet.
Lilo Stadler, committee member of the
annual awards, said, “Congratulations to all of
‘PARADISE BLUE’ BY ANGELA HAMPTON
our entrants for their passion to the Boulder
Opal industry, and for once again showcasing
and sharing their design ideas with us all.”
First place winners in the Professional
Jewellers category received $2,000 in cash,
while other categories had a $1,000 prize.
Introducing a stylish collection of lockets
and petite charms, finely handcrafted from
solid gold, rose gold, sterling silver and
Exclusive to fine jewellery stores in
Australia and New Zealand.
+64 7 281 1509
Argyle’s new pink diamond collection
JEWELLERY COMPETITION OPEN
India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion
Council (GJEPC) has announced that
entries are open for the Artisan Jewellery
Design Awards 2020. The competition’s
theme is ‘Architectural Gems’, with
categories of Art Deco, Islamic Arabesque
and Neo-Futurism. The deadline for
submissions is 31 October 2019. For
details, visit: www.theartisanawards.com.
PINK DIAMOND DETECTOR
The Gemological Institute of America
(GIA) has announced that its iD100
Diamond Detector can now distinguish
natural pinks from synthetics
manufactured using both HPHT and
CVD methods. Jewellers can access
the new capability by downloading
a software update, priced $US249
($AU362.52), for the machine.
ALROSA’S NEW APPROACH
Russian mining giant Alrosa has set
November as the sale date for the
largest-ever Russian pink diamond. The
14.83-carat stone, named ‘Spirit of the
Rose’ is expected to fetch $US60 million.
The mining company also put up 200
natural fancy colour diamonds for sale
at its True Colors auction in Hong Kong
last month and has announced plans
to market high-fluorescence diamonds
under the brand ‘Luminous Diamonds’.
The Guinness World Record for the
most diamonds set in one ring has
been broken. A team of 14 people from
Lakshikaa Jewels in Mumbai created the
Lotus Temple Ring, an 18-carat gold ring
encrusted with 7,777 white diamonds,
inspired by Delhi’s Lotus Temple. It is
valued at $US4.9 million ($AU7.1 million).
CORRECTION TO MY BENCH
The September edition of Jeweller
featured a My Bench profile of Gary
Thyregod. Due to a production error,
the profile ran next to a photo of Gary
Mouradjallian. Both jewellers are profiled
in this issue with the correct photos.
Turn to page 47.
+ MORE BREAKING NEWS
With the world’s
premier source of
natural pink diamonds,
the Argyle Mine in
Western Australia, set
to close next year,
parent company Rio
Tinto has announced a
new auction of smaller
material to complement
the annual Argyle
While the Tender –
which is this year named ‘The Quest for the
Absolute’ – brings together the largest and
most intensely coloured pink diamonds
extracted from the mine, the new ‘Argyle Pink
Everlastings Collection’ features diamonds
of 0.14 carats or less, with colours across the
The stones are divided into 64 lots, totalling
211.21 carats. Each lot carries a Certificate of
Authenticity from Rio Tinto.
The Everlastings Collection will tour Perth,
Singapore, London and New York alongside
the 2019 Argyle Tender, with bids closing on
THE ARGYLE PINK EVERLASTINGS COLLECTION.
IMAGE CREDIT: RIO TINTO
Alan Chirgwin, vice-president of sales and
marketing, Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds, said
in a statement, “We are delighted to offer for
the first time ever this unique collection of
rare Argyle pink diamonds, destined to be in
strong demand by the world’s finest jewellers.
“The accumulation of these diamonds from
a certifiable source in various shapes, sizes
and colours is the result of a painstaking
endeavour, unlikely to be ever repeated.”
Less than 100 carats of equivalent pink
diamonds are expected to be produced by
the Argyle site before its 2020 closure.
New direction for Pandora Jewellery
Pandora Jewellery’s fresh global marketing
campaign, initiated by new CEO Alexander
Lacik, commenced on 28 August with a
celebrity- and media-focused outdoor party
in Los Angeles.
The DowntownLA event space was painted
pink – the company’s new ‘signature colour’
– for the celebration and included sculptures
by female street artist C.Finley. The new, softer
Pandora logo also debuted at the event,
alongside the autumn 2019 collection.
The company has since launched pinkthemed
experiential marketing initiatives in
Sydney’s Pitt Street shopping district and in
London’s Piccadilly Circus.
Emphasising the brand’s efforts to recapture
the attention of younger consumers,
six celebrity spokeswomen have been
announced, joining Stranger Things star Millie
Bobby Brown who has signed on to promote
Pandora for the next two years.
The women – dubbed the ‘Pandora Muses’
– are: Game Of Thrones actress Nathalie
Emmanuel, model Halima Aden, dancer
Larsen Thompson, artist Tasya van Ree,
writer and photographer Margaret Zhang
and model Georgia May Jagger, who was
previously the celebrity face of Thomas Sabo.
They boast a combined social media reach
of more than 9 million followers and have
already begun promoting the brand online.
In the lead up to Christmas, Pandora is also
targeting the youth market with Harry Potter
and Disney collections.
On 5 September, Pandora also confirmed
a three-year partnership with UNICEF, the
United Nations’ Children’s Fund, to support
child survival, education and protection
initiatives. A special edition collection of
jewellery will launch on 20 November –
World Children’s Day – with all profits going
14 Jeweller October 2019
DISAPPOINTING RESULTS DO NOT A RECESSION MAKE
Despite the Morrison Government’s tax
cuts beginning to take effect, retailspending
figures for July published
by the Australian Bureau of Statistics
have fallen well short of expectations.
However, while the data confirm that
retailers are facing tough trading
conditions, the Australian Retailers
Association (ARA) notes that news of a
‘retail recession’ has been exaggerated.
Passed by Parliament in June, the tax
package put up to $1,080 in the pocket
of working Australians.
Not all taxpayers received the refund in July,
but predictions were widely made that
a boost in spending would flow through
to retailers as the first wave of payments
arrived in bank accounts.
Coupled with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s
two successive cuts to interest rates in June
and July, and the increase to the minimum
wage that took effect on July 1, a modest
recovery was expected in the sector as more
money was flowing into the economy.
Yet the month-on-month retail spending
figures for July showed a surprising and
disappointing result – a contraction of
0.13 per cent, following the 0.4 per cent
rise in June.
The figures are sobering, given that the
‘election effect’ – the depressive impact of
the May Federal election on retail spending
– is well and truly over.
Throughout the year, retail trade has been
patchy and certain sectors are facing
structural change and diminishing returns
– particularly department stores. That may
be dragging down the overall figures.
THE ARA IS
AND NOT TO BE
Notably, the clothing, footwear and
personal accessory category – of which
jewellery is part – declined by 1.36 per cent
in July after June’s 1.95 per cent increase.
Those gains were likely buoyed by endof-financial-year
sales. Indeed, the end of
the financial year could also have played
a part in the July figures, as consumers
reviewed their spending and planned their
household budgets for the next 12 months.
The continuing impact of the drought
and the shift to online shopping should
also be stated as significant factors
impacting retail performance.
The lack of willingness to spend
discretionary income was reflected in a 0.73
per cent fall in the cafés, restaurants and
takeaway food category, while household
goods and food retailing – which includes
household groceries – saw a slight uptick.
But while the figures are dispiriting for the
hard-hit retail trade, the ARA rejects talk of
a ‘retail recession’.
The definition of a recession is two quarters
of negative growth, rather than one month
of anaemic trade. With the bulk of tax
refunds arriving in August, the next round
of figures are likely to show improvement.
Meanwhile, annual retail sector growth is at
2.36 per cent, with improving conditions in
Western Australia and Tasmania as well as
steady results in Victoria and Queensland,
the two states that together make up
44 per cent of Australia’s population.
In order to stave off recession, the
ARA is calling for consumers to ignore
sensationalist and alarmist headlines,
and not to be discouraged from making
big purchases due to unfounded
Consumers should feel confident enough
to spend their tax cuts on products and
services at local retail businesses – for
example, a piece of jewellery they
have been window shopping for months.
This will provide a welcome boost to
With retail being Australia’s largest
private-sector employer and the bedrock
of the Australian economy, it is vital that
consumer confidence is allowed to flourish.
To that end, the ARA also calls on
policymakers on both sides of Parliament
to explore all stimulatory measures possible
in order to get growth going again. i
RUSSELL ZIMMERMAN is
is the executive director
of the Australian Retailers
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the largest association representing the country’s
$310 billion retail sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. Providing expert advice
across multiple disciplines including leasing and wage rates, the ARA’s mission is to ensure
retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for members.
October 2019 Jeweller 15
HERE, JEWELLER HAS COMPILED A SNAPSHOT OF THE LATEST PRODUCTS TO HIT THE MARKET.
Ikecho Australia introduces the sterling silver,
white button 5.5-6mm freshwater pearl and
14-carat, 3-micron plated cubic zirconia hook
earrings with matching 7-7.5mm freshwater
pearl pendant. Visit: ikecho.com.au
Renowned for its high-quality designs and innovation, watch brand Maurice Lacroix has worked the Swissmade
AIKON model to give it finishings of unparalleled perceived value. Visit: westendcollection.com.
The new addition to the Les Georgettes by
Altesse collection is the Garden cuff 25mm in rose
gold, with coral/taupe reversible leather insert.
This Oval Adjustable Ring from Bronzallure features
a certified natural amazonite stone and the brand’s
signature Golden Rosé metal alloy. 100 per cent
made in Italy. Visit: dgau.com.au
This 925 sterling silver
spin ring pendant
and comes with a
65cm chain with
4cm extension. Visit:
Cluse introduces new special edition
gift sets for men and women: the Rose
Gold Triomphe & Bracelet Gift Set and
the Aravis Mens Silver/Grey/Black
Watch & Silver Mesh Strap Gift Set.
Leading on from the trends
in the US and Europe,
the Maria collection is
a celebration of colour!
Precious stones – including
peridot, citrine, amethyst,
apatite and sapphire – are
hand-wired with sterling
silver to create feminine
pieces of art. Visit:
16 Jeweller October 2019
INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY & WATCH FAIR
DARREN, JENNY AND LARRY SHER
LEANNE HOLME, PETER BECK, JENNIFER VAN DEN BROEK
AND OLIVIA BAIRD
JOHN ROSE AND GINA SCHAEFER
unifies jewellery industry
THIS YEAR’S INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY & WATCH FAIR HAS BEEN PRAISED FOR
BRINGING TOGETHER RETAILERS, BUYING GROUPS AND SUPPLIERS
t’s appropriate that the theme of the 2019 International Jewellery & Watch
Fair (IJWF) was ‘Unity’ as the event brought together Nationwide Jewellers,
Showcase Jewellers and Leading Edge Jewellers’ buying days under one
roof for the first time.
Amid tough trading conditions, exhibitors and visitors welcomed the decision
to create a single buying event for the industry, which relieved some of the
pressure on suppliers and boosted foot traffic.
Expertise Events general manager Joshua Zarb described the overall
atmosphere throughout the event as “overwhelmingly positive”. “It was so nice
to see everyone really pull together; it made for a relaxed but still exciting show,”
Duraflex Group Australia managing director Phil Edwards agreed, saying, “My
impression of the fair was very positive. It had a good vide and, as always, was
well organised by Expertise Events.”
Edwards praised the decision to have all three groups buying at the fair as
“excellent and about time”, adding, “It is essential for the trade that this type of
Chris Worth, business development manager at Worth & Douglas, said the fair
seemed “more positive on the floor and the numbers seemed good as well”,
adding that he preferred this year to the 2018 event.
Steve der Bedrossian, CEO of SAMS Group Australia, echoed the sentiments of
unity, saying, “It’s nice to see everyone in the same place; it was a lot easier, that’s
for sure. More efficient and the numbers seem to be good as well.”
The presence of all three buying groups unequivocally helped visitor numbers,
according to Ken Abbott, managing director of Timesupply.
“It’s been a great fair, as usual. We are seeing more people coming through who
probably would have gone to buying days,” he said. “It’s good having all three
[buying groups] under one roof.”
At the West End Collection booth, business was bustling.
“We were very successful this year; we had a lot of new brands to offer and
exclusive new releases to show,” managing director John Rose said. “When you’re
giving the retailers something exciting and meaningful, it makes it better for
them and better for us as well.”
While Rose said numbers were about the same as the 2018 show, he did notice
that the consolidated show “drew a lot more of the buying-group members
along, which was definitely a good thing”.
“We showed 15 different brands at the fair and it’s much nicer for us to show our
products in a big beautiful display,” Rose added. “At buying days, we don’t have
enough room and time to show them all so it’s hard to tell the full story of the
brand you’re representing.”
At the Peter W Beck booth, the sentiment was equally upbeat. “It feels livelier
and there’s a better vibe in general, more positive,” marketing co-ordinator Olivia
Baird said. “There are more people around and I think having all three buying
groups is a massive reason why. It was a great move.”
Some exhibitors did find it more challenging. “I think it’s brilliant [to have all three
buying groups at the fair] but we did expect, having normally done three buying
days in advance, there would be a greater spend [at the fair],” Helen Thompson-
Carter, managing director of New Zealand-based Fabuleux Vous, said.
Fabuleux Vous had a bumper event in 2018 but Thompson-Carter said this year
was quieter, adding that Australian retailers seemed more apprehensive due to
depressed retail conditions, especially in the drought-affected regional areas.
Der Bedrossian also noted the impact of the drought: “A lot of the people here
are from regional areas; a lot of our business comes from mum-and-pop stores
there and the drought really affects them. I think the industry has turned a
corner and there’s more of a positive attitude – as long as we get some rain in
the country areas, where the strength is.”
Edwards said of DGA’s results, “I felt overall numbers were down from previous
years but for those that did attend, I felt they were positive and willing to be
pro-active for their business in the current difficult retail environment.”
October 2019 Jeweller 17
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Meanwhile Darren Roberts, managing director Cudworth Enterprises,
said this year’s event “was not too bad – about the same as
last year”. “While it’s pleasing that we’re all together, we [suppliers]
need support from the retailers now that we’re all under one roof,”
Results were also steady for Moda Group. “The fair was different
to last year; this year we picked up on the second day,” managing
director Trent McKean told Jeweller. “I’d say sales are quite similar and
we did bring a different mix of our brands to last year.
“Having all three buying groups here was much better for us,”
he added. ”For us as wholesalers, not doing all the other buying
meetings beforehand lets us be more organised for the Fair.”
Hampar Erdogan, CEO Golden Mile Jewellery, noticed a similar
pattern of traffic: “It started off quite slowly on the Saturday then
picked up quite quickly. It was better than last year – last year was
The buzz on the floor on the opening day was excellent as visitors
streamed in early in the morning and a steady flow continued
throughout the day. Most exhibitors said the show was more upbeat
than expected and they’d seen improved business from last year.
One of them was David Paterson, managing director Paterson Fine
Jewellery: “I’ve been very impressed – last year we were okay, and
this year has definitely exceeded last year,” he said.
Nick Hoogwerf, representing New Zealand supplier Kagi Jewellery,
told Jeweller the IJWF made a great first impression: “It’s been really
good. We’ve been able to connect with new customers and other
suppliers, which is fantastic,” he said, adding that the next 12 months
should see the industry become “more aligned so everybody can
work together and grow together”.
The buying groups also reported positive results. Colin Pocklington,
managing director Nationwide Jewellers, said 90 per cent of the
suppliers he spoke to were very happy with the results, which
were aided by having all of the group members present: “One large
supplier said his only problem was not enough staff to handle all of
Erdogan also believes suppliers may have struggled to see everyone,
especially clients they would’ve previously met with at the traditional
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INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY & WATCH FAIR
“There are a lot more people as a result; however, we used to get
quite a few orders on the buying days. Only having four sales reps
here means we have seen clients walk past and not be able to
place their orders. They leave messages for the reps to come and
see them in store but normally we’d be getting those orders here,”
Pocklington added that numbers were good: “We had 182 stores
here, up on last year’s 160 stores, and our comprehensive program
had something for everyone, which no doubt contributed to the
“We also had more major initiatives to launch this year – in particular
our new digital platform, which has been embraced by members.
There has also been strong interest in our new shop-insurance
scheme, which will deliver significant savings to members.”
Carson Webb, managing director Showcase Jewellers, had an equally
positive outlook on merging the buying days into the fair.
“We really had to all come together and give it a real go for success
this year. It is tough out there and this certainly made things easier
for our suppliers to see everyone in one location,” he told Jeweller.
“We had a great event – each of our training days, member and
supplier dinners sold out! It was one of our best conferences to date
and we were about 25 per cent up in member attendance.”
For Webb, there was “no comparison” between 2018 and 2019: “This
year was much better. It’s tough retailing at present for all of us and
it’s not down to suppliers or event organisers; it’s just really difficult.
“We are all feeling the domino effect of what retailers are going
through at store level. This fair was a fabulous event and I commend
the hard work put in by Expertise Events to create a great
atmosphere for us,” Webb added.
“I’m sure there’ll still be some tweaks as we trade through uncertain
times; however, everything seems to be pointing towards a more
positive 2020 ahead for retail.”
Looking ahead to the challenges of the next 12 months, it is
clear that the IJWF in Sydney provided a much-needed sense of
community and purpose in the jewellery industry.
Looking ahead, retailers, suppliers and buying groups must
continue to embrace new strategies, positive thinking and forward
momentum in order to overcome tough conditions. i
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INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY & WATCH FAIR
WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS
Fair organisers Expertise Events ensured
education was a priority at this year’s Fair,
offering workshops and seminars under
the IJWF Create and IJWF Talks banners.
Retailers looking to boost both online
and in-store traffic were well served by
an in-depth presentation from Podium’s
Taylor Cutler. The session focused on
managing reviews and boosting your
business’ Google presence when potential
customers search ‘best’ and ‘near me’.
Ian Cunningham from retail designers
ID Solutions brought fresh insights to
bricks-and-mortar retailing. Cunningham
stressed the importance of creating a
“unique, branded experience” in store
as well as online.
He described the retail jewellery store of
the future as a “sanctuary” that seeks to
foster customer connection through tactile
elements, emotional imagery and a design
that funnels people through the store.
One of the most popular of the IJWF Talks
series was a special question-and-answer
session on promoting manufacturing
and custom design. Panellists included
Vince Bonfa from Janai Jewels, Pallion’s
Chris Botha, Lester Brand, Georgina Staley
of Georgies Fine Jewellery, Bolton Gems
founder Brett Bolton, Podium Australia’s
Steven Garcia, Greg Lilly from Diamond &
Co in New Zealand and Romel Santos of
Attendees were given insights into
challenges like the sales spiral, internet
price-matching, creating enriched
experiences, margin erosion and turning
customers into ‘super endorsers’.
Finally, the topic of lab-grown diamonds
sparked lively debate. “I particularly liked
that education was offered in various
forms, aimed at people improving their
business,” Staley told Jeweller.
“Lab-grown diamonds will be a
controversial topic for a while to come
until they find their place in our market.
The best thing a jeweller can do is educate
yourself about them, then decide if they
are right for your business.”
Several members of the panel
recommended buying a diamond detector.
THE PANEL TAKES QUESTIONS AT THE ‘MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR MANUFACTURING JEWELLERS’
Meanwhile, the IJWF Create workshops
were a popular addition to the fair.
Samantha Kelly, who taught the sketching
sessions, told Jeweller, “Every attendee did
a really amazing job and I was beyond
impressed. It was incredible to see the
different ways people visualise designs.”
Meanwhile George Palos, who presented
the coloured gemstones workshop, said
they were “very well attended, with the
Saturday session full and the Monday
The watch-repair workshop hosted by
Grant Menzies was also a success.
The 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup was a hit
at the Pallion stand. Crowds gathered for a
photo opportunity with what is arguably
the nation’s most iconic trophy. The
‘Loving Cup’ design is celebrating its 100th
anniversary this year and is produced by
Pallion subsidiary ABC Bullion.
Finally, the second edition of the Jewellery
Design Awards were also held during the
fair, giving recognition to the most creative
designs from the nation’s professional
jewellers and apprentices.
For a full list of the winners turn to page 22.
THE JEWELLERY DESIGN AWARDS WAS
ONE OF THE MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED
EVENTS AT THIS YEAR’S INTERNATIONAL
JEWELLERY & WATCH FAIR. READ ON TO
DISCOVER THE SUCCESSFUL COMPETITORS,
INCLUDING SOME FAMILIAR FACES AND
PROMISING YOUNG TALENTS
ith its second edition, the Jewellery Design Awards (JDA)
cemented its reputation as a highlight of the International
Jewellery & Watch Fair in 2019. The ceremony took place on
Sunday 25 August on the show floor at the ICC Exhibition
Centre in Darling Harbour, with a full crowd gathering for the
prize giving and canapé reception.
Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise Events, hosted the awards,
introducing the 44 finalists across the 10 categories. Meanwhile jewellery
industry veteran Lester Brand – one of the three judges, alongside David Ole and
Brett Low – was on hand to welcome everyone to the event.
Brand told Jeweller he found it hardest to select a winner for the Diamond
Award, which eventually went to the night’s only double success: Matthew Ely,
of Matthew Ely Jewellers in Sydney’s Woollahra.
He won with ‘Ballare’, a pink and white diamond dress ring inspired by the tutu
of a ballerina, which was aimed at “challenging the traditional cluster with pear
shape diamonds making the outer skirt”. “The underside of this cluster is directly
inspired by a Gothic cathedral in the hand-carved basket,” Ely added.
He also took home the Pearl Award for his ‘Chinese Fan South Sea Pearl Ring’
featuring a magnificent Autore South Sea pearl from a million-dollar strand, set
in 18-carat white gold. The piece was “inspired by the folding arms of a Chinese
fan while cupping the pearl like a shell. Clean and simple lines were designed to
showcase the pearl at its best.”
Ely told Jeweller: “It is always an honour to be a finalist for any award, let alone
win. I was absolutely thrilled to have two pieces win.”
Meanwhile, judge Ole praised the quality of all this year’s entrants, saying, “The
standard of creativity and workmanship was very high.” For him, the Coloured
Gemstone category was the hardest to choose a winner from, due to the
innovative designs presented.
Low agreed, telling Jeweller, “The colour gemstone categories [at jewellery
competitions] are always my favourite and also the hardest to judge. It is great to
see more coloured gems being used in the Australian market.”
He added that this year’s competition entries showed “some clear standout
pieces using both handmade and CAD methods of manufacturing.”
The Coloured Gemstone Award eventually went to Mindika Haddagoda for ‘Tulips’,
a pendant featuring Ceylon blue, yellow and pink sapphire, ruby and diamond.
“I am humbled, grateful and very happy about it,” Haddagoda said of his win,
adding that the main challenge of creating a winning coloured gemstone piece
was “to get the colours to contrast stylishly. I also wanted to create a pendant that
can be worn in many different ways to give maximum benefit to the consumer.”
Haddagoda previously took out the CAD/CAM/Cast Award in the 2017 edition
of the competition. Looking ahead to the next JDA, the jeweller revealed, “I will
try to win [again]. I think the Jewellery Design Awards are a wonderful event
for the jewellery industry in Australia and New Zealand. I would like to take this
opportunity say thank you in every possible way to all the staff of Expertise
Events and Jeweller magazine for all their hard work.”
Jason Ree was also a repeat winner. After triumphing in the Precious Metal
and Fair Visitor Choice sections two years ago, he took out the Men’s Jewellery
& Accessories category with ‘Kikkou’ – a ring featuring an Australian bi-colour
sapphire and the mokume gane metalworking technique.
When it came to selecting the winners across the categories, Ole revealed the
judges agreed on “95 per cent” of the top choices, with Low adding that they
“generally had a similar top two or three pieces. We then would discuss our
opinions until a clear winner was chosen.”
This year’s awards boasted a $20,000 prize pool including cash, equipment and
gemstones. Representatives from the sponsors of each category were invited
to announce the winners and present them with their prizes. The next JDA is
scheduled to take place in 2021. i
Turn the page to see the winning pieces and their creators.
October 2019 Jeweller 21
1ST & 2ND YEAR
3RD & 4TH YEAR
Presented by: Basky Narayanan
Winner: Bradley Pike, ‘Griffin’
Materials used: Sterling silver,
petrified wood, citrine
Presented by: Basky Narayanan
Eileen Leahy, ‘Transformation of a Moth’
9-carat yellow gold, sterling silver,
AUSTRALIAN OPAL AWARD
Presented by: Clayton Peer
Winner: Cindy Xu, ‘Icy Conversation’
Materials used: 18-carat gold, boulder opal,
mother of pearl, diamond
Presented by: Craig Miller
Winner: Ben Tracy, ‘Diamond Fantasie’
Materials used: Platinum, diamond
22 Jeweller October 2019
COLOURED GEMSTONE AWARD
Presented by: Jenny Sher
Winner: Matt Sime, ‘The Cathedral of Vasily
the Blessed’; accepted by Natalie Corke
Materials used: 9-carat yellow gold
Presented by: Mark McAskill
Winner: Mindika Haddagoda, ‘Tulips’
Materials used: 18-carat white and yellow gold,
Ceylon blue, pink and yellow sapphire, ruby, diamond
DELICATE PINK TONE OF
ARGYLE PINK DIAMONDS
Steve der Bedrossian
Winner: Matthew Ely, ‘Ballare’
Materials used: 18-carat white and rose gold, pink
and white diamond
Winner: Matthew Ely, ‘Chinese Fan South Sea Pearl Ring’
Materials used: 18-carat white gold, South Sea pearl,
MEN’S JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES AWARD
Presented by: Grant Menzies
Winner: Jason Ree, ‘Kikkou’
Materials used: 18-carat green
and yellow gold, 14-carat red gold,
platinum, Australian bi-colour
PRECIOUS METAL AWARD
Presented by: Lester Brand
Winner: Paul Amey, ‘Pink Mist’’
Materials used: 18-carat yellow gold, platinum,
pink and white diamond, Keshi pearl
P 02 9290 2199
CRACKING THE COLOUR CODE
COLOURED GEMSTONES ARE FIRING UP THE JEWELLERY INDUSTRY.
ARABELLA RODEN EXPLORES THE RAINBOW OF OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED
BY THIS INCREASINGLY POPULAR CATEGORY
ith the diamond category facing tumultuous times, some in
the jewellery industry are looking to coloured gemstones
where product can provide better margins, reduced
competition, creative design and, crucially, enthusiastic
consumers at every price point.
Terry Coldham, patron of the Gemmological Association of Australia, believes
coloured gemstones are “more popular than ever”.
“There is more material available in an ever-increasing variety of types, qualities
and cuts,” he says. “Retailers are increasing sales and meeting those demands for
something special by stocking an interesting range of coloured gemstones.”
The most recent edition of the Knight Frank Luxury Investments Index, compiled
by the London-based consultancy, found that coloured gemstones had
significantly outperformed the rest of the jewellery industry over the past 10 years.
“A decade ago, diamonds were widely perceived by consumers to be the most
prestigious of gems. Today, the swing toward precious coloured gemstones is
overwhelming,” Sean Gilbertson, CEO Gemfields, says. “The last decade has seen
the world record prices for an emerald and a ruby surpass that of a colourless
diamond on a per carat basis.”
He adds, “People often forget that the well-known laws of supply and demand
apply to ‘efficient markets’ – a term that cannot yet be used for the coloured
gemstone sector. Gemfields’ Kagem emerald mine in Zambia is a case in point:
over the last decade its gemstone production has tripled, while the prices received
have increased more than six-fold.”
O’Neils Affiliated director Brendan McCreesh explains: “A 2-carat ruby, for example,
has the ability to increase in value exponentially over the years – far greater than
the increase in value of diamond. This can be utilised as a selling tactic to increase
McCreesh notes that the trend is currently for
teal and pink sapphire and tourmaline,
morganite, and yellow gemstones. “The
demand for custom-designed jewellery
requiring larger coloured stones is also
at an all-time high,” he adds.
“We are seeing a global trend of vibrancy and colour, using semi-precious
and precious stones, with a combination of metals – anything goes,” agrees
Helen Thompson-Carter, director Fabuleux Vous. As a result, the New Zealandbased
supplier’s latest collection, Maria, features sapphire, ruby, citrine, peridot,
tourmaline and apatite combined with baroque and freshwater pearls.
George Palos, managing director Facets Australia and the presenter of the
Appreciating Coloured Gemstones workshop at this year’s International Jewellery
& Watch Fair, says coloured gems also create a point of difference.
“JEWELLERS KEENLY UNDERSTAND THAT
DIAMONDS ARE THEIR BREAD AND BUTTER,
HOWEVER COLOURED GEMSTONES NOT ONLY
MAKE DISPLAYS MORE VISUALLY EXCITING BUT
ALSO OFFER HIGHER MARGINS.”
“The reason coloured stones are very much in fashion with retailers at the
moment is that it is next to impossible to draw comparisons with stones offered
by competitors,” he explains, adding that retailers are looking to coloured gems to
supplement shrinking diamond margins.
Moving into the coloured gemstones category has paid off for Ikecho Australia,
which added an opal collection to its pearl-focused jewellery line in early 2018.
“It started a bit slow in the beginning but once we got feedback from our
customers and incorporated that feedback for future designs, the response has
been great and customers want more,” founder Erica Miller says.
Indeed, coloured gemstones represent a world of potential that’s waiting to be
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Unlike diamonds, coloured gemstones cannot be easily valued by a Rapaport-style
price list. Instead, diverse factors determine their value such as colour and intensity,
size, country of origin and rarity.
BRENDAN MCCREESH, O’NEILS AFFILIATED
October 2019 Jeweller 25
“Jewellers keenly understand that diamonds are their bread and butter,
however coloured stones not only make displays more visually exciting
but also offer higher margins,” McCreesh explains. “Stocking a good
range of coloured stones is always going to provide a stimulating point
of difference for a business.”
Damien Cody, co-director of Cody Opal and vice-president of the
International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA), adds, “Unlike
diamonds, coloured gemstones have not been commoditised.
Retailers can provide an almost infinite gem colour palette and a
bespoke jewellery purchasing experience, all of which translates to
much better margins.”
Smaller rough stones have become a significant niche for some
manufacturing jewellers as they create a unique finished effect.
Charles Lawson, director of Lawson Gems in Brisbane, says there is a
“steady flow of customers seeking out small rough gems, usually in
sapphire or ruby, for use as rough in jewellery – often more specifically
for ‘casting in place’.”
Classic and Elegance that will last a lifetime.
He adds that the market demand for ‘smalls’ that would otherwise be
considered excess is a positive outcome.
That’s the case at Fabuleux Vous, with Thompson-Carter telling Jeweller,
“One of the greatest appeals of coloured gemstones is the ability to
create something unique, to be bold, without having to use larger
stones. I love the way gemstones come in so many different shapes,
sizes and cuts, and they are affordable.”
Indeed, in an increasingly polarised market, coloured gemstones offer
retail jewellers the opportunity to sell at both ends of the market. The
combination of stagnant wage growth and internet price-matching
has driven some consumers to seek out cheaper jewellery. In general,
these customers are less concerned with quality but are still seeking
aesthetically-pleasing and interesting pieces.
To satisfy this market, more abundant natural gems like quartz, agate,
onyx and turquoise are an attractive option for jewellers.
Doron Berger, director Blue Turtles, tells Jeweller, “Semi-precious gems
are a huge category that knows no bounds. There are a large variety of
gems that are always in high demand, regardless of fashion or seasonal
trends: rainbow moonstone, amethyst, moldavite and Herkimer
diamond [a type of double-terminated quartz], for example.
“There are myriad gems that aren’t diamonds, emeralds, sapphires or
rubies but their beauty is astounding,” he adds.
Creatively, coloured gemstones offer great potential for manufacturing
jewellers to show their skills; rainbow rings, gradient designs, clusters
and pendants have all become fashionable in recent years. These gems
also have a compelling emotional connection. “For many people, the
process of purchasing a fine coloured gemstone is filled with a sense
of discovery – one that is truly thrilling,” McCreesh explains.
+61 2 9266 0636 +61 2 9266 0969
Gemfields gemmologist Elena Basaglia agrees, saying, “No other gems
quite channel the mystery and magic of centuries of kings, maharajas,
pashas, queens and tsars in the same way as ‘the big three’.”
As the coloured gemstone category has
matured, jewellers have increased their
knowledge of coloured gemstones. However,
with the rise of the internet, consumers are
also more informed – and misinformed – than
ever, meaning continuing education for retail
jewellers is crucial.
“Our experienced team of gemmologists
at O’Neils Affiliated is always here to assist
with the more complex queries; however,
experienced sales staff with a gemmological
understanding within a retail environment
are also essential to assist the discerning
customer,” director Brendan McCreesh advises.
When it comes to the public, he points to two
key areas of confusion: scarcity and hardness.
“The concept of rarity is often misunderstood,
largely due to the term being so subjective.
Are diamonds rare? It depends on your point
of view,” he explains. “In comparison, it would
be fair to say that rubies are certainly far rarer
– ruby mines are dwindling due to material
depletion; many have shut down in the past
20 years yet many new diamond deposits
have been discovered.”
Additionally, McCreesh says it’s important to
understand that hardness and durability are
not the same. “A misconception regarding
hardness and durability has caused many
a retail sale for fall through,” he says. ”
There is a vast world of jaw-droppingly
beautiful gemstones out there that people
unnecessarily dismiss due to some misguided
and unfounded concept of hardness. There
are many jewellery purchases where there is
no need for hardness to be front-of-mind.”
Indeed, Charles Lawson, director of Lawson
Gems in Brisbane, has also faced the challenge
of correcting misconceptions about hardness.
“Some stones get a bad rap for being soft or
brittle, for example, apatite, kyanite, zircon
and opal,” he says. “When compared to
corundum or diamond they are exponentially
softer; however, when compared to pearl
– one of the most popular gems – they are
exponentially harder, yet they are overlooked.”
Another misperception is that all treatments
are undesirable. “Heat-treating has been
around for the last 500 years or so and is a
completely stable treatment when done
properly,” Lawson explains. “The problem
occurs when disclosure is not given.”
Finally, the misguided
idea that coloured
gemstones represent an
similar to natural
continues to persist.
FROM TOP: FACETS
“It would be akin to
investing in art with no idea of what you are
doing,” Lawson says. He recommends studying
with gemmological associations in Australia
(GAA), the UK (Gem-A) or the USA (GIA).
GAA patron Terry Coldham also advises
retailers to consider undertaking a
gemmology course: “A course of study
will provide retailers with the background
information on a very wide variety of
gemstones: where they come from, their
properties and most importantly their stories.
In the customer’s eyes, you are not then just a
sales assistant but an expert advisor.”
Meanwhile, Damien Cody, co-director of Cody
Opal and vice-president of the International
Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA)
emphasises the role of the ICA in promoting
the coloured-gemstone industry through
awareness and education. Its biannual
Congress is scheduled to take place this
month in Bangkok, Thailand.
The event, which runs from 12–15 October, is
themed ‘Ruby: Eternal Love’ and will include
presentations from “a broad spectrum of
industry experts from around the globe,
covering topics including mining, cutting,
marketing, distribution, ethics, design and
gemmology. There will be a strong focus on
artisanal mining,” Cody reveals.
Closer to home, the new Australian Opal
Centre (AOC) project at Lightning Ridge is
already taking shape, having secured
$17 million in state and federal funding
earlier this year.
“The AOC is the most important development
the Australian gemstone industry has
ever undertaken,” says Coldham, who is a
foundation member of the centre.
“The AOC will certainly create more interest
in opal with local consumers and significantly
increase visitor numbers to the opal fields.
More importantly the AOC will become a
symbol for the Australian opal industry and a
tool for promotion of our opals internationally.”
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A delicious range of natural precious gemstone
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However, she hastens to add, “Perhaps the biggest misconception is
that rubies, emeralds and sapphires have to be expensive gemstones.
There are countless shades and colour variations, meaning there are
myriad options for each of us. The trade traditionally values certain
colours of ruby, sapphire, or emerald, yet the phrase ‘beauty is in the
eye of the beholder’ is never more applicable than when selecting
Coldham notes that “beauty, rarity and durability” are often attributed
as the main purchasing drivers of coloured gemstones; however, he
believes the consumer’s “perception of the story behind the stone and
what it means to them personally” is far more important.
“Some will choose a garnet because it is their birthstone, some an
amethyst because it reminds them of a favourite grandma, some
wanted to possess a large, heart-shaped blue stone after seeing the
movie Titanic,” Coldham explains. “The wonderful thing about coloured
gems is each usually symbolises something important to the wearer.”
For Samantha Kelly of Adelaide’s Samantha Kelly Jewellery there’s
another unique quality. “Besides the price difference, individuality seems
to be key; people want something that no-one else has,” she says.
This makes coloured gemstones particularly appealing for Millennial
and Gen Z shoppers, known to covet unique jewellery. Lilo Stadler, of
opal supplier Bolda, notes that Queensland boulder opal plays directly
to that desire.
“There is a trend toward larger stones that make a statement – boulder
opals admirably fit that bill and do not carry exorbitant price tags.
The statement made by wearing a big opal is one of character, not
a demonstration of worth. Boulder opals are for trendsetters, not
followers,” she says.
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With Millennials now aged between 23 and 38, they make up the
largest segment of current and future engagement-ring customers.
Notably, coloured gemstones are popular in this category. “Not every
engagement ring stone must be a diamond,” McCreesh says. “Having a
coloured gemstone alternative at hand is very important.”
At Melbourne’s Temelli Jewellery, aquamarine, morganite and
tanzanite have had “significant increases in popularity”, according to
marketing manager James Temelli.
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“We’ve been commissioned to create a lot of custom rings and
engagement rings using these gemstones. As of late, we have also
noticed clients interested in emerald-cut coloured gemstones,
whether it be ruby, aquamarine or sapphire.”
Temelli adds that coloured gemstones increase a jewellers’ ability to
cater to different clientele, who aren’t interested in a diamond ring.
The movement toward ethical consumption has been gaining traction
across all retail sectors, and many in the jewellery industry are already
THE TEN MOST IN-DEMAND
OF THE LAST 12 MONTHS,
ACCORDING TO JEWELLERS
Teal tops the list,
followed by pink
All colours of this
are popular, but
demand are soft
and pretty pink
The pink trend
and boulder opal
The watery blue
of aquamarine has
Indeed, ocean hues
across all gemstones
Grey, grey-blue and
have been noted
as popular spinel
have been winning
with their vibrant
The deep, vibrant
blue shade of
An enduring classic,
consumers still love
the deep green
The final gem of the ‘big three’, ruby
rounds out the top 10 list.
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A COLLECTION OF FINE BLACK OPALS FROM LIGHTNING RIDGE, COURTESY CODY OPAL; TEMELLI JEWELLERY; BLUE TURTLES; ADRIAN CROSBIE HANDMADE
JEWELLERY, COURTESY LAWSON GEMS; LAWSON GEMS; BLUE TURTLES.
taking steps toward responsible practices. “More of today’s jewellery consumers
are asking whether the gemstone and precious metal they are buying has been
ethically sourced,” Cody explains. “The ICA has been working very closely with
CIBJO, AGTA [American Gem Trade Association] and the OECD over a number of
years to better understand the supply chains for the various coloured gems.”
Many developing nations mine coloured gemstones, including Zambia,
Mozambique, Myanmar, Colombia and Madagascar. Other gemstone-producing
areas have experienced unrest in recent times, as in Sri Lanka, Mexico and Brazil.
Cody says the “vast majority” of coloured gemstones are supplied by artisanal and
small enterprises, and the ICA is committed to developing procedures to help
them become more responsible and sustainable. The organisation has endorsed
the new CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Guidelines and “is encouraging all players
in the supply chain to be more aware of the potential issues” he says, adding, “ICA
members already agree to adhere to a strict code of ethics.”
At O’Neils Affiliated, responsible sourcing is taken seriously. “For us as a company,
whilst price is important, it does not outweigh our priority to source gemstones as
ethically as possible,” McCreesh says. “I personally endeavour to do business with
people we know to have high professional and ethical standards.”
He adds that O’Neils Affiliated has been able to build strong links in its 70-year
history with reputable miners and cutters to ensure high standards are met.
At Gemfields’ mines in Mozambique and Zambia, responsible practices encompass
environmental management, safety and community engagement. “We typically
invest more than $US1 million each year into local education, agriculture, health
and conservation projects,” Jack Cunningham, sustainability, policy and risk
director, Gemfields, says, adding that the company also sells gemstones via its own
auction platform to ensure transparency.
Meanwhile, Lawson acknowledges the complexity of responsible sourcing, telling
Jeweller that “there is no simple way to source an ethical gemstone”. He points to
the difficulty of exporting gems legally out of developing nations and forming
sustainable business relationships in unstable countries.
“The term is now a buzz phrase often used by unethical gem and jewellery traders
to sell goods – how do you trust those claims?” he asks, adding that one advantage
of opal and sapphire is that they can be sourced locally in Australia.
Stadler confirms that buyers of boulder opal frequently express the desire for
ethically-mined and produced gemstones. Indeed, Ikecho’s Miller sources boulder
opal from her own father’s mines in Lightning Ridge and Queensland. “He has
the largest range of opals in Australia so I have a lot of variety to choose from,” she
On an international level, Palos points out that there is no equivalent to the
diamond industry’s Kimberley Process in the coloured gemstone market. As a
result, the responsibility falls to suppliers. “I firmly believe most wholesalers in
Australia, or indeed around the world, do their utmost to guarantee their product
is ethically sourced,” he says.
Ensuring complete trust and transparency with suppliers is key for Kelly. “It can
be difficult, but I have built up relationships with my suppliers so I trust they will
disclose further information if required. It’s extremely rare that I will purchase any
gemstones from new suppliers,” she explains.
Temelli Jewellery takes a similar approach. “We align with gemstone suppliers
who have the same ethical sourcing procedure as we do,” Temelli says. “As well
as lab-certified coloured gems, we also assess the origin and, if possible, the
mine of origin when sourcing specific gems so that we can understand how the
gemstones are mined, cut and polished.”
As with many aspects of the jewellery industry, trust is crucial when it comes to
coloured gemstones. Equally critical are creative flair, an ability to capitalise on the
emotional connection to colour and an understanding of consumers who desire a
true point of difference. i
30 Jeweller October 2019
THE BEAUTY OF
ARABELLA RODEN DISCOVERS WHY THESE LOCAL GEMS ARE CAPTURING THE
IMAGINATIONS – AND HEARTS – OF CONSUMERS IN EVER-INCREASING NUMBERS
cross the world, sapphire has enjoyed a storied position as one of the
most coveted gemstones for centuries. The ancient rulers of Greece
and Rome adorned themselves in sapphire jewellery and, as the
September birthstone, they have enjoyed ongoing popularity with
Many still associate sapphire with Kashmir – renowned for its vivid blue gems
with silk – and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The latter’s orangey-pink Padparadscha gems
have long been admired by collectors. Madagascar has also become an important
source of sapphire since deposits were first found there in the late 1990s.
Yet one of the rising trends in the local market is for the gems in our own backyard:
Australian sapphire. Sapphire has been mined here for more than a century and
the country was the world’s leading producer by volume from 1965 to 1985. Major
deposits are concentrated around the east coast, particularly in northern NSW and
Queensland where colours range from deep midnight blue to green, teal, particolour
and yellow, with rare instances of purple, orange, peach and colour-change.
Before the year 2000, much of the Australian supply was sold to foreign buyers
who then marketed it as being of Thai, Burmese and even Sri Lankan origin. Today,
consumer awareness of the high-quality local material has grown exponentially.
“Sapphire has always been a popular
gemstone within the jewellery industry
due to its durability and interesting array
of colours but, for the past year, we have
certainly noticed an increase in requests for
Australian sapphire,” Amelia Chafer, marketing
manager Coolamon Sapphires, says.
Katherine Kovacs, director of K&K Export Import, agrees, saying, “There has
been an increased demand over the last 12 months for bright, well-cut Australian
sapphire in blue and teal – and we’re expecting further growth.”
The wide variety of colours, coupled with sustainable sourcing and competitive
pricing, makes Australian sapphire a compelling category for jewellers – especially
those looking to appeal to Millennial and Gen Z customers.
BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES
As one of the most durable gemstones with a hardness of nine on Mohs’ scale,
sapphires are ideal for everyday wear and can be set in any material, from platinum
to 18-carat gold. As a result, they are a popular choice for engagement rings, often
accented with white diamonds.
October 2019 Jeweller 31
“We have seen a strong demand for Australian
sapphires coming back into the market, mainly for
engagement rings for our younger clientele under 35.
“They are a little more adventurous and want to include
colour into their engagement rings,” says Simon West,
of Simon West Jewellery in Melbourne, who sources sapphire from
Gemfields in Queensland as well as Inverell and Reddestone Creek
K&K EXPORT IMPORT
top grades very different to when I started,” she says, adding,
“Many people still think of sapphire as only blue and are quite
surprised to discover the range of colours it can occur in.”
Chafer agrees: “The most common misconception about
sapphire is that it is only blue but it actually exists in all colours of
the rainbow. In our Central Queensland mines, the dominant colours
are blue, blue/yellow parti-colour, all shades of yellow, and green. The
pinks, oranges and purples are very rare but they bob up now and then.”
West’s customers have embraced unusual colours. “Blue sapphires are still going
strong with 40 per cent of all sapphire sales, but that’s opposed to 10 years ago
when 80 per cent of sapphire sales were blue,” West reveals.
The same trend has been evident at Coolamon, with Chafer telling Jeweller,
“There is always a strong demand for a ‘good blue’, although there is no doubt
that ‘teal’ has been the colour in fashion for some time, while parti-colour – yellow
and blue in the same stone – is just as desirable for its uniqueness.”
Sydney jeweller Victoria Buckley has also noticed an increase in demand for
sapphires for engagement and dress rings but notes there’s still a widespread
misconception about the colours available.
“I have certainly noticed much more interest for Australian sapphires and I’m
glad to see appreciation for our beautiful gems, even if it makes the prices for the
This offers both a challenge and an opportunity for jewellers. Overcoming
preconceptions and educating consumers on the wide variety of local sapphires
can be tricky. Yet they have a strong selling point, particularly for engagement
shoppers: these versatile gems offer an affordable, natural and durable alternative
to more expensive stones, like yellow or pink diamond, and can give the ring a
similar look until the customer is ready to upgrade.
However, retail jewellers are quick to point out that their customers fall in love with
sapphires on their own unique merits, not because they can pass for other gems.
“Australian parti-colour sapphires have always been something I’ve loved working
with; they have such interesting and unique colours and effects,” Buckley says. West
points to their “lustre and colour variation” as the main appeal.
The gems are a perfect fit for creative designs. Indeed, their vibrant hues mean
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these gems stand out at any size. “Using smaller stones gives the jeweller the
choice of a vast colour range, greater ease of matching, and options for intricate
designs using calibrated shapes,” Chafer says. “Smaller stones are ideal for cluster
settings, shoulder stones, colour runs, encircling fine-solitaire settings and
complete jewellery sets. The possibilities are limitless.”
One drawback of sapphire’s popularity for engagement rings is the limitations
on the shapes available. “Cushion shapes are still popular and difficult-to-source
shapes such as round and octagonal tend to get snapped up pretty fast,” Kovacs
says. Meanwhile, Chafer reveals the trends for shapes change as often as for colour,
noting hexagons and emerald cuts are currently popular.
AN ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE
Three in four Millennial and Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for a product
that has been sustainably and ethically produced, according to research from
Nielsen. When it comes to jewellery, the concerns of consumers tend to coalesce
around country of origin and the environmental impacts of mining. On both
counts, Australian sapphires have a marketable edge as the local industry is tightly
regulated with strict environmental and labour controls.
“Jewellers that we have been working with have been doing a brilliant job at
promoting Australian sapphire as an ethically sourced, ‘home-grown’ product,”
Kovacs says. Chafer adds: “There’s an assurance our sapphires are ethically mined
and are authentic natural gemstones.”
When it comes to treatments, disclosure is standard practice among
Australian suppliers, while gems sourced overseas have fewer guarantees
of accurate labelling.
At Coolamon Sapphires, the process of mining is also low impact. “The sapphires
are recovered from the alluvial deposits by a washing process which uses no
chemicals and produces no noxious products,” Chafer explains.
This operation is dependent on having sufficient water and has been heavily
restricted in recent months due to the ongoing drought. Those looking to acquire
existing stock not only support the local industry, but also businesses stricken by
lack of rain.
Perhaps reflecting the rising demand for this responsibly-sourced gems, Canadian
mining company Fura Gems recently entered an options agreement with Richland
Resources for its Queensland sapphire mining permits and licenses.
Fura, which bills itself as “a progressive and imaginative company” aiming to set “a
new precedent for best practices in the gemstone industry”, already mines ruby in
Mozambique and emerald in Colombia and the Australian acquisition rounds out
the group’s ‘big three’.
Sapphire is an enduring favourite of the jewellery industry and Australian sapphires
in particular are winning over jewellers and consumers with not only their beauty,
but also their ethical and sustainable credentials. i
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INDIA SHOW REPORT
GAUGING THE MOOD IN MUMBAI
DISRUPTIONS IN THE DIAMOND AND GOLD MARKETS HAVE BEEN KEENLY FELT
IN INDIA – YET THE RECENT INDIA INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY SHOW WAS
FIRMLY FOCUSED ON SOLUTIONS, COLEBY NICHOLSON REPORTS
y the time the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) closed on
12 August in Mumbai, the organisers reported that visitor attendance
had been better than expected, given it was held during what they
called a “depressed market”.
More than 32,000 local buyers and 1,100 international visitors attended the 36th
edition of IIJS, which would have been pleasing to the organisers given that the
Indian show regularly sees 35,000–40,000 buyers attend.
This year, 1,300 exhibitors displayed their wares in the expanded Bombay
Exhibition Centre. The booths comprised 10 clearly defined sections: Couture,
Mass Produced, Plain Gold, Loose Stones, International Pavilions, Synthetics &
Simulants, Laboratories & Education, Allied, Hall of Innovation and Special Clusters
(Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector).
The Indian jewellery industry is facing many challenges including the high
gold price – largely a result of the US-China trade war – and an oversupply of
diamond. The latter has caused many diamond suppliers to reduce prices as they
grapple with cashflow to accommodate local banks, which have been pressuring
manufacturers over lending facilities.
Some of the issues are self-inflicted, given the recent high-profile fraud and
corruption charges on Indian diamond and jewellery businesses.
According to one diamond manufacturer at IIJS, a decline in Chinese demand
has also affected India’s diamond exports in the past year, particularly for 0.20- to
0.60-carat goods, which are popular in that market.
The past year had seen an 18 per cent decline in cut and polished diamond
exports to $US1.5 billion; while gold jewellery exports fell by more than by 5 per
cent to $US963 million.
These pressures are among the reasons the Indian jewellery sector experienced a
10 per cent year-over-year decline in overall exports in July 2019 to $US2.22 billion,
according to India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
Faced with these local problems, the industry, led by the GJEPC, is not standing
still and has predicted that global exports will reach $US70 billion per year, up from
$US41 billion per year in 2018.
The industry is trying to boost diamond demand among Indian consumers
to complement the strong gold jewellery tradition in the country. Pramod
October 2019 Jeweller 35
INDIA SHOW REPORT
Kumar Agrawal, chairman GJEPC, recently told a news conference that the
Indian jewellery industry needs to adapt to the changing world economic and
“India is well placed in this changing world order. With the US putting a 10 per cent
duty on Chinese exports of gems and jewellery, India has a potential opportunity
to grab market share – a $US6 billion opportunity,” he explained, adding, “On
one side, India is engaged in trade negotiations with the Eastern world and we
are on the way to sign bilateral and multilateral trade deals with [the] Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which controls one-third of the world
trade, and includes China, the Indo-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) and the Indo-Korea EPA.”
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership consists of ten ASEAN
member countries as well as its free trade agreement partners: India, China,
Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan.
“Our vision is to increase gem and jewellery exports to $US75 billion and create an
additional 2 million jobs by 2025,” Agrawal said.
He explained that the sector is facing challenges globally and sustaining demand
for the product is most important; meanwhile, the GJEPC will focus on promoting
small jewellery exporters.
“We are happy that, post our meetings and representation, De Beers is investing
around $US175 million globally and Alrosa is also adding funds through the
Diamond Producers’ Association and their individual offices too,” Agrawal added.
Additionally, Indian authorities are taking steps to differentiate synthetic and
natural diamonds – a key concern of diamond producers and retailers.
“The Indian government has introduced a separate 8-Digit HS [Harmonized
System] Code for lab-grown/synthetic diamonds, making India one of the early
adopters of distinct HS Codes for both rough and polished synthetic diamonds,
which is a consumer-friendly and trade-friendly initiative that enhances the ease of
doing business,” Agrawal explained.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as the
HS, is an internationally standardised system of names and numbers to classify
traded products. It came into effect in 1988 and has since been developed and
maintained by the World Customs Organisation.
Paul Rowley, executive vice president diamond trading and distribution, De Beers
Group, also addressed the media at the IIJS. He said, “India is the pulse and the
heartbeat of the global gem and jewellery trade. Within a few years, two-thirds
of the Millennial population of the world will be in India. IIJS Premiere 2019 will
jumpstart the shift to a new order in the global gem and jewellery trade.”
De Beers was also a sponsor of the GJEPC’s corporate social responsibility
initiative Jewellers For Hope. At a charity dinner during the IIJS, Rowley said,
“Diamonds are the ultimate symbol of love and these miracles of nature have
given hope to so many people across world. The diamond industry in India
has been doing tremendous work in education, health and uplifting the
marginalised sections of the society. De Beers has always been committed to
the welfare of its stakeholders and society.
“We are happy to partner with GJEPC for the charity event that gives hope
to the underprivileged and empowers children, women and people in
a great manner.”
Another initiative promoted by GJEPC at the show is the creation of a Gem Bourse
at Jaipur. It’s envisioned that the Gem Bourse will house more than 2,000 coloured
gemstone manufacturers and traders along with the offices of customs, banks, and
other service providers at one place.
With the Indian gem and jewellery industry facing significant difficulties as well as
opportunities, and so many artisanal producers relying on it for their livelihood, it’s
critical that the GJEPC takes action. Through the IIJS show and its other initiatives,
the organisation is taking a pro-active approach to ensuring the sector’s future
remains secure. i
COLEBY NICHOLSON attended the India International Jewellery Show as a guest of the
GJEPC as an accredited media representative.
36 Jeweller October 2019
GARNET – GEM OF MANY COLOURS: PART I
greens. There is also a colour change garnet,
which shows blue-green in daylight, shifting
to purple-red under incandescent light.
Why does garnet have so many colours?
The answer relates to chemical processes as
the garnet crystal is forming. Simply put –
because the chemistry of the garnet family is
complex – in some garnets, oxides of metals
such as iron, chromium and magnesium are
inherent to the crystal, thus creating specific
In other garnets, trace elements are included
as the gem form, thus creating a different
range of colours.
FIGURE 1. CORROSION TUBES
FIGURE 2. LAMELLAR TWINNING
The garnet family is an extensive one,
with 20 members. In the jewellery world,
five members are of importance, namely:
pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular and
andradite. Each of these will be considered
next month in Part II of the Garnet – Gem Of
Many Colours series.
Long an indicator of wealth and status,
deep red garnet was coveted by monarchs
and nobles across many ancient cultures.
The Romans used carved garnets in seals
to mark their official documents, the
ancient Britons decorated their weapons
with the gems, and Egyptian pharaohs
were buried with strings of garnets.
The name garnet comes from the Latin word
granatus or granum meaning “seed”, as red
garnet in its rough state is similar in colour
and shape to the seed of the pomegranate.
Garnet has a long history of use as a
decorative as well as a practical item. Its
hardness of 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale,
durability and vibrant colour palette make it
ideal for use in jewellery as well as a range of
ceremonial regalia such as crowns, chalices
Hardness and durability, key properties
valued by jewellers and artisans for
millennia, also make garnet an ideal modern
industrial resource. Originating in volcanic
and metamorphic environments and thus
subjected to extreme heat and pressure,
garnet can withstand similar extremes in an
Today, industrial grade garnet is widely
used as an abrasive, in high-pressure water
jet cutting tools, as a component of wear
resistant road paints and in rechargeable
batteries. Australia is a leading supplier
of industrial grade garnet, with mines in
Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Gem quality garnet is typically viewed as
a red gemstone, with colour variations of
brownish red to reddish pink. However, this is
only one part of the gem’s colour story.
Many customers are surprised to learn that
this affordable gemstone comes in a rainbow
of hues, including colourless, blue, black,
orange and yellow, purple and a range of
PROCESSES AS THE
SIMPLY PUT –
CHEMISTRY OF THE
Colour aside, garnet can also display the rare
optical effects of chatoyancy (cat’s-eye effect)
and asterism (star effect). Such garnets are
highly sought after. Some garnets may also
contain iron, giving these gems magnetic
properties. In addition to its colour range,
garnet has a bright vitreous lustre.
One garnet type, the vibrant green
demantoid, has a dispersion value greater
than diamond, adding to this garnet’s
gemmological and jewellery value.
Gem quality garnets are found across the
world, including in Brazil, Australia, Myanmar,
Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka and Namibia.
SUSAN HARTWIG FGAA came late to the world
of gemmology after a long career in corporate
training and project management. She
combines her love for writing with a passion
for gems and jewellery. Susan writes regularly
for her gemmology blog ellysiagems.com. For
more information on gemmology courses and
gemstones, visit: gem.org.au
October 2019 Jeweller 37
Completing my Diploma in
Gemmology has benefited
me as a jeweller in more
ways than I ever expected.
I have always had an interest
in gemstones and found
the course was not only
informative and challenging
but immensely rewarding.
Studying with the GAA has also
allowed me to meet like-minded
people from many facets of the
jewellery industry and grants me access
to resources that I will continue to use
throughout my professional career.
Emma Meakes FGAA
Jeweller, John Miller Design - WA
Enrolments now open
For more information
1300 436 338
ADELAIDE BRISBANE HOBART MELBOURNE PERTH SYDNEY
Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts
and consumers about gemstones
LESSONS FROM LEAVING THE CORPORATE WORLD
One of the hardest decisions is to
leave the safety of a nine-to-five job.
BERNADETTE MCCLELLAND shares her
insights into striking out alone and
succeeding on one’s own terms.
Nearly two decades ago, as everyone
was preparing for the Y2K bug to close
down the world, I was closing up my
files, picking up my bag and saying my
goodbyes to a company I had called
home for some 20 years.
I’d joined the business at a time that
pre-dated mobile phones and when
messages were delivered via wooden
The first plain-paper fax machine I sold
was for $20,000 and the sales floor was a
boys’ club with few women.
It was an environment and an era that
taught me a million lessons.
It was also a time where my company
was the leader in its field until temporarily
losing pole position when moving the
goal posts from analogue to digital.
We bounced back with strategies that
included leadership through quality,
customer delight and world-class
I was truly fortunate to be part of a tribe,
albeit one that frustrated the living
daylights out of me. Whilst it gave me
a sense of family however, something
Something that said, “There is more to
work and even more to you.”
A NEW PARADIGM OF WORK
Today, with the gig economy hitting
its straps, an increasing number of people
are escaping their corporate cubicles.
They are going in search of roles that
align with their lifestyle, purpose and
growth, and they are leveraging powerful
new technology to do so.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
says approximately 2.5 million people in
Australia have swapped their offices for
corner cafés and it’s a cultural shift that’s
expected to continue.
WHILST YOU WILL
BE EXCITED ABOUT
OF GROWTH AND
YOU LEAVE YOUR
YOU WILL LOSE
WHO ARE NO
And as I reflect on nearly two decades of
freelancing and entrepreneurial ventures
in the gig economy, these are the biggest
lessons I have taken away:
Don’t expect people to understand – Whilst
you will be excited about the prospect
of growth and trying new things when
you leave your office job, you will lose
commonality with those who are no
longer in your world.
Some will be supportive but some might be
sceptical, even laughing and mocking you
for being a ‘dreamer’.
There is a natural human reaction for
others to want you to stay where they
are, especially if they see you are on a
growth trajectory. At a biological level, our
brain distrusts difference and when you
branch out on your own, you are set apart
from the pack.
Find a group of people who ‘get it’ –
Acclaimed businessman and author Seth
Godin got it right when he said, “A group
needs only two things to be a tribe: a
shared interest and a way to communicate.”
October 2019 Jeweller 39
Finding groups along your path that
understand you is critical. This is not just
for support but also for sharing ideas – and
the latter will always lead to growth.
Get used to moments of self-doubt – Enjoy
the highs that come with your new venture
but don’t walk away from the lows.
The biggest mistake I made was walking
away from a venture after only two years
and taking an eight-year detour because
I didn’t think I had what it took.
Be mindful of those winters as spring
and summer will always follow.
Recognise the important people – This
means your family. Why? Because stepping
out on your own crosses both personal and
professional boundaries, not necessarily in
Having great kids and a supportive
husband has been my biggest blessing
in life. My partner truly believes that his
wife has commercial value as well as
personal value and he is not be threatened
by that at all.
Customers won’t come just because you
have a dream – I remember someone
asking me early on, “So how are you going
to market yourself?“ It didn’t take me
long to realise that marketing is the
number-one priority over and above
what you actually do.
With that came my first book then my
second, a website when the Internet was
fairly new and a newsletter at a time when
personalisation was novel.
It also meant doing free speaking gigs to
get testimonials and brought a feeling
of uncertainty of what to charge when
nobody would give me a straight answer.
I look at freelancers, entrepreneurs and
even small businesses now focusing so
much on their product and not enough on
marketing and I think, ‘Flip it, flip it!’
Qualify those coffee meetings – Everybody
wants to have a quick meeting or a coffee
chat to ‘pick your brains’. A brilliant learning
for me was to ask why.
If their answer didn’t align with my
own goal for the meeting then I would
postpone it. Minding your time is critical
and qualification is not just about
prospecting; it’s about protecting your
time as well.
Always invest in yourself – I have been
fortunate to work as the Asia-Pacific lead
coach for Tony Robbins, one of the world’s
best-known life and business coaches,
all because I was ‘coachable’ and open
to being brave.
I am grateful for the learning and leverage I
attained from that experience.
I have also invested in one-on-one
mentoring with leadership expert Matt
Church, who introduced me to models
and commercial thinking that I can now
incorporate into my training, keynotes
I have been fortunate enough to invest
in travelling to different parts of the world
to hang out with like-minded people and
I have now shared my message across
I’m not suggesting everyone needs to
do what I do but picking up a book,
listening to a podcast, asking for feedback
and having a conversation with a mentor
or person you admire and want to
emulate are all ways of investing in
yourself and your growth.
Trust your gut – I always wondered
if the answer I was seeking was outside
Ultimately, we often know the right
course of action and we need to own
For example, the right course of action
could mean saying no to clients that aren’t
a good fit; refusing to discount your price
because you know your value; distancing
yourself from people who do not align with
It’s about doing what you love and
listening to those internal messages you
hear but may not always trust.
Winners, high-achievers and go-getters
have more than belief – they have faith.
They know that everything will be okay,
and that taking both leaps and baby
steps, forwards and backwards, in the
pursuit of change is always about growth
– SHIFTING UP
YOUR CIRCLE OF
WILL LIVING BY
THAT THERE IS
NO RIGHT OR
The opposite of faith is disbelief and fear.
When you live by rules that confine you
to the way you’ve always done things, you
are operating out of fear – you are simply
trying to stay safe, or protect your ego with
With this mentality, you stop yourself from
pushing boundaries, colouring outside
the lines, challenging the status quo and
Know that you are where you are supposed
to be – What you are doing today may not
be the right thing for the future but it is the
right thing right now.
There will always be a reason why you
are doing what you are doing, so don’t
beat yourself up if it is not all it is cracked
up to be.
If it’s not a fit then make a decision – do it
for a reason or don’t do it at all. If it is exactly
where you want it to be then be grateful
and pay something forward.
Do not play the comparison game – ever!
You have way too much value to offer and
it’s a game you will always lose.
None of us know what tomorrow will bring;
however, changing your environment
always has its benefits.
Shifting up your circle of influence will also
produce positive outcomes, as will living by
the mantra that there is no right or wrong.
I hope these nine personal truths
can help you get your head around a
change of direction and motivate you to
stay the course.
In the words of the rapper Eminem, “If
people take anything from my music, it
should be motivation to know that anything
is possible as long as you keep working at it
and don’t back down.”
Keep working at it. i
MCCLELLAND is a keynote
speaker, executive sales
coach, and published author.
40 Jeweller October 2019
FALL IN LOVE WITH CUSTOMERS’ PAIN POINTS
A SURE-FIRE WAY TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS IS TO CREATE A SOLUTION TO AN EXISTING PROBLEM. TO DO THIS, BUSINESSES
MUST HAVE A THOROUGH UNDERSTAND THE PAIN POINTS OF THEIR CUSTOMERS. MICHAEL HINSHAW REPORTS.
It’s human nature to fall in love with your
own solutions but it’s also one of the most
common pitfalls for business leaders,
entrepreneurs and those responsible for
improving customer experiences, so don’t
Why? Because the implications of this mindset
Remember New Coke? It’s probably the
most famous example of well-intentioned
company leaders betting on a solution to a
problem they didn’t fully understand.
Other examples include the Amazon Fire
phone, the Google+ social network and
These are perfect examples of falling in love
with a solution and it’s possible none of
these failures would’ve happened at all if the
companies had spent even a small portion of
energy and resources on understanding their
customers’ pain points.
Consumers want products and services that
improve their lives, so it follows that few
consumers will care about a solution when it
misses the mark, even if you’re trying to solve
the right problem.
Furthermore, even fewer consumers will care
if you’re solving a problem that doesn’t exist!
DON’T JUMP TO SOLUTIONS
When it comes to addressing the issues
at hand, jumping to solutions is never a
How many times have you seen companies
– maybe even yours – make ill-advised
investments in technology, systems,
products or services that actually make
problems worse because they lack a deep
understanding of the problem being solved?
Rarely does a solution fail because it wasn’t
built as designed or intended.
Rather, it fails because it doesn’t solve the
right customer pain point. Once a company
follows a hypothesis instead of a fact-based
AND WHAT THEY
ARE TRYING TO
– AND SHOULD –
LEAD TO A LOVE
FOR THE PROBLEM
THEY NEED YOU
SOLVING A CUSTOMERS’ PROBLEM IS KEY
solution, the ramifications amplify across
the product lifecycle, often altering the
Resources are then needed to fix the
solution, which all could have been avoided
by understanding the original problem.
In the world of design, this is akin to running
experiments that validate what you expect
to happen rather than revealing what is
Consider what happens when you show
a website or user-interface prototype to a
customer and ask how they like it.
Normally, they’ll give you honest and direct
feedback – “I don’t like the colour”, “The menu
is confusing”, “Can you make the font bigger?”
What they can’t tell you is how well this
solves their problem.
If you use your time with customers to
discover the problem then come back and
test multiple solutions, you’ll learn firstly
if you’re solving the right problem and,
secondly, which are the best solutions.
In a corporate environment, the pressure to
come to the table quickly with fully-formed
solutions is high.
Initial solutions are arrived at without much
customer feedback and, by the time they
reach an executive audience, those solutions
are under far more scrutiny than the
problems they’re trying to solve.
In other words, start with the problem.
HELP CUSTOMERS TO DO THEIR JOBS
Your customers have specific tasks they’re
trying to accomplish when they interact
with your products. They desire dependable,
predictable outcomes that make it easier to
achieve these tasks. Any solution that doesn’t
make it easier to do this is no solution at all.
By observing and chatting with customers,
you can establish what job they’re trying to
complete and how your business is making it
hard for them to do so. Understanding your
customer’s goals and pain points is what
leads to building better solutions.
Understanding problems comes from
understanding customers and right solutions
only result from solving the right problems.
Don’t seek solutions until you truly
understand what you’re solving and
remember that it will be necessary to test
multiple solutions in order to succeed. Don’t
be afraid to fail fast and often, and don’t fall
in love with your solution.
Deeply empathise with your customers and
what they are trying to accomplish. This
empathy can – and should – lead to a love
for the problem they need you to solve.
When that occurs, you’ll develop solutions
that your customers will love.
When you’re improving your customers’ lives,
that’s when the magic happens. By using
your solution, your customers will begin to
succeed and when this happens, you’ll also
begin to succeed. i
is president of McorpCX,
which focuses on customer
October 2019 Jeweller 41
THE CHALLENGE OF RETAINING GREAT STAFF
AN ENTERPRISE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS PEOPLE. SEEKING EXCEPTIONAL WORKERS WILL NOT ONLY IMPROVE
OUTCOMES BUT ALSO INFLUENCE OTHER STAFF TO ELEVATE THE COMPANY CULTURE, WRITES BARRY URQUHART.
Great people are attractive, appealing and
valuable assets to any business. They are also
like magnets in that they attract other great
workers and great customers as well; however,
great people can be hard to find and even
harder to retain.
The adjective ‘great’ is an emotional term;
it’s difficult to quantify. There are plenty of
questions about how to measure greatness
and much subjectivity in the assessment. How
accurate was the title of Alexander the Great
really, for example?
When recruiting, greatness can only be
properly understood and applied in a context
that is relevant to the culture of the enterprise
as a whole.
Consequently, the search for great people
is typically random and inefficient. Any
attempt to identify them through networking
can be compromised by mateship and the
questionable values and motives applied by
mutual associates. Only occasionally does
networking lead to a “meeting of the minds”.
SEARCHING FOR GREATNESS
It takes considerable time, money and
resources to sift through job applications
and business leaders need to assess whether
they are getting value from this distribution
of resources, especially when new employees
prove to be unsuccessful.
The presence of greatness is not conspicuous
in a CV. There is no university course that
teaches students how to be great and what
referee – or applicant, for that matter – would
be so bold as to use the term as a descriptor?!
Far too often, those identified as possessing
the potential for greatness fail to live up to
expectations because greatness is not an
aptitude with pre-determined dimensions.
Rather, greatness is an attitude, a self-belief
which is articulated in so many ways, often
non-verbal and subtle.
People can often sense when they have
been or are in the presence of greatness.
NEED RULES AND
POLICING TO ENSURE
– FOR THEM,
GREAT PEOPLE ATTRACT OTHER HIGH ACHIEVERS
It is a good feeling and promotes a desire to
remain in their company.
Yet no-one knows better the presence and
quality of greatness than the individual; selfimage
is a key and fundamental component
In employment advertisements, one strategy
is to refocus from the position to the person.
The bold and challenging declaration that an
entity is seeking a special person triggers an
intriguing process: in the first instance, there
is a fall in the number of applications and, at
the same time, there is a rise in the overall
quality of those applicants.
Typically, the resulting interviews and
interactions are interesting and challenging.
After all, great people want to work for, and
with, great businesses, bosses and peers.
Individually and collectively, great people
have a presence. They also generate a sense
of energy and urgency. The resultant culture
and ambience are, well, great!
KEEPING GREAT PEOPLE
Expectations of and by great people
are high, generally dynamic and very
personal. Recognition of, and respect for,
the individual is imperative. Elitism
is not desirable nor typically functional
and therefore great should be the norm, not
Moreover, great people are inclined to
attract other great people, so highachievement
becomes a benchmark in
the company culture.
Great people often don’t need rules
and policing to ensure compliance or
conformity. For them, those factors simply
limit their maximum potential.
The positive alternative is to provide
parameters within which people strive
for and achieve their consistent optimal
performance. Explanations of ‘why we do
the things we do’ promote and facilitate
understanding and commitment.
Ongoing, prompt and genuine recognition
and reinforcement are valued by all and
contribute to cohesion and malleability.
These elements ensure dynamism, growth,
Like many things in life, the essential
component is the context rather than the
content. Managers seek to control processes
and they can find it difficult to exercise
control over great people.
Meanwhile, leaders focus more on
influencing and enhancing values – but they
also must facilitate individual and collective
growth. Each is an integral component of the
art of retaining great people.
Above all, whether they accept or embrace
the tag of ‘great’, high achievers have much to
contribute. Ensuring their involvement in key
elements of the business is fundamental for
retaining a culture of greatness and attracting
even more great people. i
is managing director of
Marketing Focus and an
international keynote speaker.
42 Jeweller October 2019
MARKETING & PR
FORGET THE 4P’S OF MARKETING – MEET THE 4E’S
EXTRAORDINARY TIMES CALL FOR ADAPTIVE RETAILING SOLUTIONS. CHRIS PETERSEN REVEALS THE NEW PARADIGM FOR SELLING
IN THE OMNICHANNEL AGE – AND HOW YOU CAN MAXIMISE YOUR RESULTS BY SHIFTING TO A DIFFERENT SERVICE FRAMEWORK.
There has been much discussion about the
changing face of retail. Omnichannel has
become the new normal. It is no longer a
question of online versus bricks-and-mortar
stores; today, consumers can shop anytime
and everywhere, and no longer need to
separate physical retail from digital.
Shopping has become a seamless experience
of which time, location and method are no
longer barriers. In this new era of retail,
traditional marketing is dead.
Retailing has transformed from a product/
place business to a people-based business
where today’s customers are focused on the
The traditional 4P’s of marketing – product,
price, promotion and place – are dead.
Successful retailers are now differentiating
through the 4E’s – experience, everywhere,
exchange and evangelism.
So, what’s changed?
DAWN OF A NEW ERA
In the age before online shopping, retail
was about location: customers had to visit
stores in order to purchase. Retailers could
differentiate by carrying a different selection
of products, and pricing and promotion were
instrumental in attracting customers and
driving store traffic.
Today, it would be considered almost
impossible for an individual retailer to
differentiate successfully on product or
The real reason the 4P’s are dead, however,
is changes in consumer behaviour
and expectation. Today’s omnichannel
consumers shop anytime and everywhere.
They expect unlimited product selection
and the ability to price-compare, all from
the convenience of their smartphones.
This isn’t the first time the industry has
suggested replacing the 4P’s. In 1990,
advertising academic Bob Lauterborn
suggested 4C’s, which he identified as:
WHAT IS EMERGING
IS A VERY CLEAR
DO FAR MORE
THAN SELL ITEMS
AT A PRICE. RETAIL
TO A TRULY
THE NEW PRODUCT IS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
consumer wants and needs, cost to satisfy,
convenience to buy and communication.
While these 4C’s do shift the focus from
product to customer, they don’t adequately
capture the expectations of today’s
Shoppers are now voting with their wallets
for retailers that fulfil their own 4C’s:
• Connections – Consumers expect to
connect with brands at any time, especially
on their smartphones.
• Choice – Today’s consumers are not limited
by what they can find in a store or even the
goods they find in their own country.
• Convenience – Consumers are increasingly
looking for the convenience of how they
purchase and also how they choose to
receive their goods, such as via overnight
delivery, nominated-day delivery or clickand-collect.
• Conversation – Consumers are more likely
to begin their buying journeys on social
media where they seek conversations
about products and, most importantly,
What’s wrong with these 4C’s? Nothing;
however, they are primarily focused
on consumer expectations and do not
adequately address what retailers must
do to pro-actively change their strategies.
EVOLVING TO THE 4E’S
Despite unprecedented store closures, the
retail apocalypse isn’t here yet. What we are
witnessing is traditional retailers struggling
to transform in an age of disruption.
Marketing expert Pamela Danziger says a
pivotal issue for retailers today is that they
may not be selling what customers want.
While business owners cling to the 4P’s
because they can control them, Danziger says
retailers must align with today’s experiencedriven
customers by focusing on the 4E’s:
• Experience – The sum of the customer’s
experience is the new ‘product’.
• Exchange – The customer doesn’t just want
a catalogue of products at a price; they
want an exchange of ideas, information and
value, beyond price.
• Evangelism – Promotion is not enough and
customers are tired of being bombarded
with deals. Evangelism means engagement
that is personalised on the customer’s
terms, lifestyle and values.
• Everyplace – Stores have been replaced by
‘everywhere’ and communication must now
be everywhere as well.
Some marketers have argued for even more
E’s: emotions, execution and engagement.
What is emerging is a very clear picture
that retailers must do far more than sell
items at a price. Retail success requires
transformation to a truly customer-centric,
The very best retailers have transformed from
selling products using the 4P’s to engaging
customers via the 4E’s, and they’ve done so
in ways that build lasting relationships that
create lifetime value. i
CHRIS PETERSEN is
founder and CEO of retail
Marketing Solutions (IMS).
MONTH 2019 Jeweller 43
INCREASE WEBSITE TRAFFIC WITH PINTEREST
OF ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS, PINTEREST IS ONE OF THE BEST FOR DRIVING POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS TO YOUR
WEBSITE. ALISA MEREDITH EXPLAINS WHY RETAILERS SHOULDN’T OVERLOOK THIS CRUCIAL DIGITAL TOOL.
In the quest for more website traffic,
you’ve likely investigated SEO, advertising,
Instagram, Facebook, blogging, link building
and more – but this may be the first
time you’ve considered the traffic-driving
potential of Pinterest.
If so, you’re not alone.
According to a study conducted by Social
Media Examiner in 2018, only 27 per cent of
marketers are using Pinterest. What?!
Is it true when they say Pinterest only works
for wedding planners and cupcake recipes
– or have 27 per cent of marketers realised
something the others haven’t, namely that
Pinterest wants to send traffic to your site?
Pinterest exists to inspire people to get out
and do, and it works. Research has shown
that 90 per cent of ‘Pinners’ get ideas on
what to buy from the platform and with
265 million monthly users, that’s a lot of
people looking to buy.
For a long time, Pinterest was the
number-two driver of social referral traffic
after Facebook; however, in the past
year, Pinterest traffic has overtaken
Facebook traffic. It can take some time
Pinning consistently to see substantial results
but the time you spend on Pinterest pays off
for months years to come.
Did you know that a Facebook post starts
losing effectiveness after about 24 minutes
and will disappear from newsfeeds forever in
under 12 hours? By comparison, a Pin can stay
relevant for up to 3.5 months. Given that you
can re-share content at sensible intervals, it’s
possible to make a Pin last forever.
To drive traffic from Pinterest to your site,
you must figure out how your products or
services can improve the lives of potential
consumers in a meaningful way.
Here are some key strategies:
Use keywords wisely – The words you use
on Pinterest can be as powerful as the
images you share. Pinterest uses language
to determine how to distribute your Pin.
Keywords are particularly relevant but
planning keywords for Pinterest is different
On Google, people are more likely to be ready
to act right away so “wicker patio dining set”
makes perfect sense. For Pinterest, they may
be seeking ideas so “patio inspiration” might
be a good angle to try.
Hashtags can also help your content surface
more quickly so in this example, you would
include #patioinspiration in the description.
Save content to relevant boards – Save your
content to all relevant boards but tell Pinterest
what is most representative of the content
with that very first Pin.
Choose quality over quantity – Scheduling
a few quality Pins each day with a focus on
compelling images, keyword-rich descriptions
and a strong call to action is always better
than 100 hastily-Pinned images.
Pinterest looks for signals from followers to
decide how much distribution a Pin will get,
so share only content that is relevant to your
audience and always focus on your own
content first. It’s nice to support others but
that won’t help your traffic!
Tweak and plan your content for Pinterest
– Use in built Pinterest tools to tweak your
content so that it is encouraging and
empowering to your followers.
Visit Analytics > Profile in the main menu then
click on “Link clicks” to see the Pins that get
the most clicks.
If you’re Pinning other people’s content, you’ll
get a great idea of what’s popular. Is there a
topic that you haven’t covered that appears
over and over?
Make it easy for others to Pin – Every blog post
and product page on your site should have
a great image and Pinterest’s ‘Save’ widget to
make it easy for people to share your content
with just one click.
A STRONG PINTEREST STRATEGY WILL PAY OFF IN THE LONG TERM
FOR A LONG TIME,
TWO DRIVER OF
THE PAST YEAR,
Design Pins specifically for more traffic –
Pinterest looked at 25 elements of 21,000
Pins to learn what goes into Pins that drive
discovery/awareness, email sign-ups, online
sales and offline sales. The most traffic-driving
Pins included tasteful logo placement, clear
use of text overlay and striking visuals. They
also called out unique features where relevant,
like ‘new’, focused directly on the product or
service and clearly showed how to use the
product or service. Finally, images used a
vertical format (2:3 ratio or 600×900 pixels).
These specific features can improve your Pin
results; however, there’s always going to be an
element of art to creating great Pins.
A Pin that resonates emotionally with Pinners
and feels relevant to the brand is the one that
In conclusion, if Pinterest isn’t yet part of your
traffic-building plan, you’re missing out.
By tapping into the desire of Pinners to be
inspired, you can massively increase your
website traffic – so get started today. i
ALISA MEREDITH is a
nerd’ and content marketing
manager at Tailwind.
44 Jeweller October 2019
LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia
NAME: Ellinor Mazza
When was the space completed? Our
space is constantly evolving! The most
recent configuration was completed
between late 2018 and early 2019 with the
addition of some custom-built furniture
by a local maker, Nick Leong, and includes
the addition of my studio to the front
window. I previously had a separate space
in the Melbourne CBD, but decided to
consolidate and move into the store.
Something that is really important to me
is that the space can change as we need
it to. There is nothing fixed to the ground
– except my roller stand – and there is
always the option to rotate furniture.
Who is the target market and how
did they influence the store design?
Our target market is very broad, but
the common factor is that they value
handmade, quality pieces, along with our
strong approach to customer care. We aim
to create a warm, inviting and comfortable
space; the use of lots of wood in our
cabinets and also in our displays definitely
helps with this. The addition of a working
studio space to the store has been part of
the customers feeling a connection – they
don’t see the space as purely “sales” but
also a place where pieces are produced.
With the relationship between store
ambience and consumer purchasing
in mind, which features in the store
encourage sales? Visual merchandising
and our curation of the pieces in store.
Each collection is a real standalone and fills
a style within the greater picture. Recently
we have been working closely with
individual jewellers who are stocked in
the store to make a cohesive and visually
pleasing display, sometimes removing
one piece that throws off the look of the
collection. The results have been worth
that extra effort.
What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?
Our large pegboard is the most striking
thing in the store as it allows us to display
our leather goods, but also add some
details like vintage tools to help tell the
story of what we are about. i
October 2019 Jeweller 45
10 YEARS AGO
WHAT WAS MAKING NEWS 10 YEARS AGO?
A SNAPSHOT OF THE INDUSTRY EVENTS THAT MADE NEWS HEADLINES IN THE OCTOBER 2009 ISSUE OF JEWELLER.
The story: Two major buying groups – Nationwide
Jewellers and Showcase Jewellers – held their
annual members’ events and awards during the
International Jewellery Fair last month.
The Nationwide event saw 320 members and
suppliers attend The Ivy function venue.
The Australian members of the year were Georgina
Staley and David O’Brien from Georgies Fine
Jewellers in Narooma, NSW. The 2009 Supplier
of the Year was The Jewellery Centre, a previous
Big success for IJF
The story: Last month’s JAA International
Jewellery Fair has received resoundingly
positive reviews. Improved booths, an
extensive seminar program, and better
economic sentiment all contributed to the
event’s success. “There was a bit of uncertainty
as to how the market would react this
year but the feedback we’ve had has been
exceptionally positive,” said Gary Fitz-Roy,
managing director Expertise Events.
Approximately 6,500 buyers – an 11 per cent
increase from 2008 – walked through the
Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
from August 30 to September 1.
Meanwhile the Showcase
awards dinner was held
at the Star City Casino
and attracted just under 300 guests, including
members, suppliers and staff.
The Showcase Jewellers Member of the Year
award was won by Stephen McCosker of Mystique
Jewellers who operates seven stores in Queensland,
while Supplier of the Year was won by Pandora.
The Member Recognition Award was received by
Robert and Helen Ely of York Jewellers.
JEWELLERY MAGAZINE IN
The story: Questions have been
raised about the relationship between
a leading industry supplier and
the fledgling industry magazine
Jewellers Trade, including rumours
one of its co-owners, Jeremy Keight,
is associated with an advertiser, Euro
The August issue of Jewellers Trade
featured an article on Euro Mounts
Australia titled, “The Best of British
Hallmark Available in Australia”,
which appeared under the banner
“Manufacturing”. The glowing
endorsement of the company
was written in the first person but,
curiously, the article does not identify
Jeweller contacted the magazine’s
editor Noel Lowry and Euro Mounts
managing director Andrew Pitcairn for
clarification over whether the piece
was a story or an advertisement, and
if it would be considered in breach
of the Australian Press Council’s
Keight was also contacted directly
for comment on his involvement
with both magazine and supplier.
No responses were received.
Skagen celebrates 20 years with cocktail party
The story: A celebration to mark the 20th
anniversary of Skagen watches in Australia took
place on 31 August at the Consulate General of
Denmark in Sydney.
It was attended by more than 70 guests,
including Skagen retailers and staff, along
with representatives of the media and Skagen
founder Charlotte Jorst, who had flown in from
The limited-edition Skagen Swiss Movement
collection was unveiled on the evening, with each
guest receiving one as a gift.
Jorst delivered an entertaining speech, praising
Australians’ “zest for life”: “I have never met
so many positive lovely people in one place, ever,”
Guests sipped champagne with elderflower cordial
– a traditional Danish summer drink – and nibble
Danish canapés including dill cured salmon, pink
roast beef with caramelised onions and chocolate
dipped almond and marzipan short bread.
46 Jeweller October 2019
WORKS AT: Gary
YEARS IN TRADE: 40
Technical College, four-year
FIRST JOB: Henning
Certificate IV Training &
Assessment; I have been a parttime
teacher at TAFE for the last
Diamond. It’s intriguing and the
more you work with diamonds,
the more you appreciate them
– especially when they have a
Favourite metal: Platinum,
because it’s so malleable with
a beautiful whiteness, and
Favourite tool: Hammer,
because it feels good to use.
Best new tool discovery:
A laser welder! It makes the
impossible repairs possible.
Best part of job: Most of
the work I do is for private
clientele, which includes
one-off designs, remodelling
of old jewellery and repairs, so
it would be when you finally
finish a piece of jewellery, and
you are satisfied, and the client
is extremely satisfied with
the piece. Also, sharing your
knowledge with others.
Best tip to a jeweller:
Experiment as much as you can
with different techniques to
develop your own design.
What frustrates me most
about the industry is… There
is not enough appreciation
for jewellery in this country.
A lot of jewellery retailed here is
imported. We have some of the
world’s most talented jewellers,
who are not recognised
because of lack of exposure
and public awareness. There
needs to be a lot more
promotion done. i
WORKS AT: King Street
YEARS IN TRADE: 39
TRAINING: Six months
at TAFE, then dropped
out. The rest self-taught
FIRST JOB: Started King Street
Design with my brother Alan.
Favourite gemstone: Opal –
every piece is interesting and
unique. Especially boulder
opals, because they’re often
delicate and naturally colourful.
Favourite metal: Platinum.
It’s hard to work with but
Favourite tool: My file as it
does the job for lots of things.
Best new tool discovery:
Laser machine; it makes my
job easier for small things and
gives me time to work on more
Best part of job: Finishing
challenging and different
pieces every week, dealing with
clients, and receiving ongoing
referrals from clients.
Worst part of job: When a job
is not working out correctly.
Best tip from a jeweller: Sit
down and watch and learn.
Most of all, practise as much as
you can outside of work hours.
Best tip to a jeweller: Be
patient and give yourself time
to finish the piece.
Biggest benefit to being
mostly self-taught? Learning
everything the hard way,
which can be frustrating but
Is your work mostly custom
makes or repairs?
Custom makes, however in this
trade it pays to look after your
customers with repairs.
Love jewellery because:
It’s challenging and creative
and I make something new
every day. i
THE RACE TOWARDS AN ETHICAL FUTURE
To put it bluntly, the Australian jewellery
industry isn’t playing catch-up when it
comes to ethics. The truth is, we’ve barely
left the starting line – and we really need
to pick up the pace.
As an advocate for improving the ethical
performance of the jewellery industry, I spend
a lot of time researching what’s going on in
jewellery-related supply chains.
This means I keep an eye on what’s
happening in the precious metals sector –
small- and large-scale mining and recycling –
and the evolution of the lab-created diamond
industry and its impacts on the jewellery
industry. I also watch what’s going on in
gemstone mining, diamond and gem cutting
and biogenic materials.
Undeniably, there’s a steady shift towards
greater transparency and responsibility in the
jewellery trade. Not only in wealthy countries
in Asia, Europe and the Americas, but also in
many developing nations such as Tanzania,
Colombia, Nigeria and Ghana.
In my experience, Australian industry
professionals remain conspicuously absent
when it comes to participating in that
dialogue at an international level. It feels like
we’re in some quiet little backwater and the
rest of the world is passing us by.
And nowhere is this more apparent than
when you examine our local retail jewellery
and bespoke manufacturing sectors. Apart
from a very small number of jewellery
business operators – such as Megan Webb,
Zoë Pook, Utopian Creations and a handful of
others, including the company I co-founded,
Ethical Jewellery Australia, the subjects of
responsible sourcing and ethics rarely get a
mention in mainstream media.
In the words of the late physics professor
Julius Sumner Miller, you might ask, “Why
is it so?” In my opinion it’s simply because
our customers aren’t penalising us for not
being more socially and environmentally
responsible – not yet, anyway.
Of course, it’s reasonable to ask, if jewellery
customers don’t care, why should we?
But there’s a simple answer – and this is where
I get up on my soapbox – because, people, it’s
the right thing to do. No more. No less.
The harsh reality is the demand for jewellerymaking
materials around the world fuels a lot
of issues we see in the news: conflict funding,
mercury pollution, habitat destruction,
exploitation, child labour, greenhouse gas
emissions, money laundering and all the rest.
We, as an industry, need to take responsibility
for the harm we cause. Because when the tide
turns here in Australia, and it will, do you really
want to have to explain to your customers
why you don’t care about these things? That’s
assuming you even get opportunity to justify
your position – more likely, they’ll just go and
spend their money elsewhere.
It’s not as difficult as you may think. You can
buy recycled precious metals, gemstones
and diamonds. You can get Fair Trade
gemstones and gold easily enough. You can
source traceable diamonds, and you can buy
lab-created whatever if you choose to take a
position against mining.
It’s all doable. You just have to care enough to
want to do it.
OF COURSE, IT’S
ASK, IF JEWELLERY
DON’T CARE, WHY
SHOULD WE? BUT
THERE’S A SIMPLE
ANSWER – AND THIS
IS WHERE I GET UP
ON MY SOAPBOX –
IT’S THE RIGHT
THING TO DO
Not convinced? Don’t take my word for it. Just
open your eyes and look around.
Look at Chopard’s commitment to ethical
gold and Tiffany & Co.’s commitment to
traceable sourcing and sustainability. Consider
De Beers’ efforts to develop traceability
technologies and the rapid evolution of
blockchain in the jewellery space.
Look at the initiatives undertaken by Diamond
Foundry, Lark & Berry, Spencer Diamonds,
MiaDonna, Swarovski and others in the ethical
jewellery space internationally. All these
companies and many more have jumped on
the ethical bandwagon because, at the very
least, they’ve recognised the shifting mood of
These are astute people – industry leaders.
They’re not doing it for giggles.
The future of your business lies in the hands
of Millennials and Gen Z. These generations
are smack-bang in the middle of the marrying
age. They’re educated, they’re open-minded
and they’re buying engagement rings,
wedding rings, commitment rings. They’re
buying anniversary gifts, push presents and
more – and they’re taking strong cues from
the sustainable fashion movement.
My point is, if you haven’t been paying
attention to any of this jewellery ethics ‘stuff’,
you need to get on board now. Otherwise,
you’ll get left behind.
Name: Benn Harvey-Walker
Company: Ethical Jewellery Australia
Location: Sherwood, Brisbane
Years in Industry: 12
50 Jeweller October 2019
J E W ELLERY & WATCH FAIR
It’s time to act for 2020.
The International Jewellery & Watch Fair is the perfect
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your customer base.
Book now to secure your premium location at the International
Jewellery & Watch Fair and be seen, be remembered and be
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September 12 – 14, 2020
ICC Sydney > Exhibition Centre > Darling Harbour
Contact Mary-Anne Brown
phone: +61 2 9452 7513
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