Jewellery World Magazine - August 2020

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AUGUST <strong>2020</strong><br />



<strong>Jewellery</strong> <strong>World</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

ABN: 41 143 385 895<br />

ISSN: 2207-6751<br />

PO Box 54, Camden NSW 2570<br />

P: 0431 844 903<br />

Subscription: www.jewelleryworld.net.au<br />

Enquiries: info@jewelleryworld.net.au<br />

Web: www.jewelleryworld.net.au<br />

managing director<br />

Jeremy Keight 0431 844 903<br />

jeremy@jewelleryworld.net.au<br />

editor<br />

editor@jewelleryworld.net.au<br />

contributing writers<br />

Kirsten Ehrlich Davies<br />

Stefan Juengling<br />

Cheryl D Harty<br />

art<br />

design@jewelleryworld.net.au<br />

advertising sales<br />

sales@jewelleryworld.net.au<br />



6 News<br />

12 Palloys Points<br />

14 Trade Well with Rami Baron<br />

16 JAA News<br />

46 Keeping Skills Alive<br />

48 Directory<br />

50 New Products<br />


20 Here's why you should buy platinum<br />

This precious metal becomes more and more popular<br />

every year.<br />

24 Silver still in demand<br />

A U.S. study shows consumers are buying self-reward<br />

jewellery during lockdown.<br />

28 White diamonds<br />

Our indepth look at how white diamonds are faring<br />

in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

34 Profile: Unafraid of change<br />

Craig Miller of JC Jewels embraces the disruption of<br />

lab grown diamonds.<br />

36 Detecting lab grown diamonds<br />

A Perth-based company provides a comprehensive<br />

testing suite.<br />

20<br />

28<br />

36<br />

This publication may not be reproduced<br />

in whole or part without the written<br />

permission of the Publisher.<br />

Articles express the opinions of the<br />

authors and are not necessarily those of the<br />

Publisher or Editor. Mention of a product or<br />

service in this magazine does not indicate the<br />

Publisher’s endorsement.<br />

The Publisher excludes all liability for<br />

loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false<br />

or misleading statements that may appear<br />

in this publication.<br />

All information is copyright.<br />

40 Proactive consumer recruitment<br />

As the world changes, so do consumers. We need to<br />

know how to connect with them.<br />

42 Profile: Francesca Collections<br />

Two Hobart sisters have created a jewellery brand<br />

with a strong foundation in social justice.<br />


AUGUST <strong>2020</strong><br />



Ellani Collections<br />

www.ellanicollections.com.au<br />

4<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

All Silver is Rhodium Plated<br />

• Sydney AGHA Gift Fair - February 21-24, <strong>2020</strong> (Homebush)<br />

• International <strong>Jewellery</strong> Fair -September 12-14, <strong>2020</strong> (Darling Harbour)<br />


News<br />

Jewellers Podcast - back on the air!<br />

It’s been well over a year since the beloved Jewellers Podcast was on the air.<br />

Started by Linsey Houston from Social Story Tellers, the podcast talked to jewellers<br />

from all walks of life from all over Australia and released 24 episodes since its<br />

inception in July 2017.<br />

Now back for its first episode since June 2019, the podcast is getting a facelift and<br />

new hosts. Taking the reins are Laura Moore from Moore Events and the <strong>Jewellery</strong><br />

Industry Summit, and Brett Low from Young Jewellers Group and Deer Honey<br />

<strong>Jewellery</strong>. The pair is teaming up to bring back the podcast, bringing with them<br />

new guests and fresh eyes over the industry.<br />

Laura and Brett as the Jewellers Podcast hosts are excited to start bringing<br />

new stories of the jewellery industry to the podcast audience and hope that it<br />

continues to inspire and connect members of the jewellery industry.<br />

The Jewellers Podcast will be releasing its first episode on the 31st of July. The<br />

podcast can be found via your favourite podcast player.<br />

Serena Williams is unstoppable<br />

Tennis icon Serena Williams, who launched her own fine jewellery line in late<br />

2019, has now released a special edition jewellery capsule entitled Unstoppable,<br />

with 100% of proceeds benefitting the Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief<br />

Fund.<br />

This charity directly supports Black small<br />

business owners who have been impacted by<br />

the financial crisis caused by COVID-19.<br />

The jewellery capsule comprises a bracelet<br />

and necklace in sterling silver, each set with a<br />

single diamond, and engraved with the word<br />

Unstoppable. Williams says that the jewellery<br />

collection “represents serenity and unity,<br />

and is a reminder that your optimism and<br />

strength are unstoppable.”<br />

Hong Kong September fair postponed<br />

The <strong>Jewellery</strong> and Gem <strong>World</strong> Hong Kong (JGW) trade fair,<br />

also known as HK September has been postponed until<br />

9-13 November due to continuing travel restrictions and<br />

health concerns about COVID-19.<br />

JGW was originally scheduled for September in two<br />

venues: the loose precious metals exhibition was originally<br />

scheduled at AWE from 13-17 September, while finished<br />

jewellery and other related products was scheduled<br />

for 15-19 September at the Hong Kong Convention and<br />

Exhibition Centre. The decision to hold JGW in November<br />

is to be a one-off arrangement.<br />

Despite rumours that the event may still be cancelled<br />

this year, the organisers state they are committed to<br />

supporting industry stakeholders by holding the trade fair.<br />

“We recognise that the spate of show cancellations and<br />

postponements in the first half of the year makes the JGW<br />

sourcing experience more important than ever for our<br />

community,” trade show organisers said in a statement.“It<br />

is the last global sourcing event on the jewellery trade<br />

show calendar this year, with the heaviest peak selling<br />

season just around the corner.”<br />

ICA dazzles Instagram<br />

The International Coloured Gemstone Association has<br />

put its corona-downtime to positive use by revitalising its<br />

Instagram account - thoughtfully providing the rest of us<br />

with some dazzling gemstone viewing to help us through<br />

these trying times.<br />

The association<br />

is also welcoming<br />

collaboration from<br />

members with its<br />

Member Tuesday<br />

initiative on the<br />

account - so expect<br />

to see your favourite<br />

local gemstone<br />

dealers getting<br />

involved.<br />

If you’re an ICA member and want to get involved, contact<br />

Cecilia@gemstone.org for more info.<br />

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jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

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News<br />

US jeweller sets up treasure hunt after closing business<br />

A US jeweller is about to launch a massive treasure hunt, having buried a total of<br />

$1.4 million worth of jewellery, rare coins and other treasures in remote areas<br />

across the state of Michigan.<br />

After 23 years in business, Johnny Perri,<br />

owner of J&M Jewelers closed his store in<br />

the wake of pandemic lockdowns. Rather<br />

than selling up their stock, Perry and his<br />

wife Amy decided to create an adventure<br />

so they spent several months burying small<br />

piles of treasure in various locations in the<br />

wilderness.<br />

“We went through waterfalls, streams, we<br />

kayaked everywhere,” Mr Perri said.<br />

He is selling tickets for each Treasure Quest,<br />

with the first hunt set to launch on the<br />

first of <strong>August</strong>. The first treasure includes<br />

two 100oz bars of .999 pure silver with an<br />

estimated spot price value of US$7,000.<br />

The finder has the option of selling it back to Mr Perri for that amount or keeping<br />

the treasure.<br />

“I was going nuts at home with nothing to do pacing back and forth,” said Mr Perri.<br />

“Giving people adventure is giving them something to believe in again, besides this<br />

COVID crap.”<br />

Watch auction excels despite global<br />

crisis<br />

The recent Hong Kong Watch Auction X showed that<br />

not even a global crisis can dim enthusiasm for the<br />

vintage watch market.<br />

The July auction netted $14million and sales were<br />

led by a group of rare Patek Philippe watches.<br />

The top ten timepieces sold included five Patek<br />

Philippes, three Rolexes, a Richard Mille and a watch<br />

by A. Lange & Sohne.<br />

The auction was notable for the number of online bidders, with 93% of the lots<br />

receiving bids from online. Bidders from 50 countries were registered - some in<br />

person, some over the phone - but the majority online. A record total of 1,200<br />

individual bids were received via the internet - an interesting lesson.<br />

The top selling watch went for USD$607,590 - a 1982 18k yellow gold perpetual<br />

calendar chronograph Patek Philippe with moon phases.<br />

De Beers appoints Sarah Kuijlaars CFO<br />

Corporate veteran Sarah Kuijlaars has been appointed<br />

chief financial officer to De Beers Group where she<br />

will join the board and executive committee. Her<br />

appointment follows the resignation of Nimesh Patel.<br />

Kuijlaars is new to the world of diamonds. Her previous<br />

appointment was as CFO of Arcadis NV and, prior to<br />

that, deputy CFO of Rolls<br />

Royce Holdings. She has<br />

held several senior financial<br />

positions during a 25 year<br />

career at Royal Dutch Shell.<br />

Kuijlaars has a mathematics<br />

degree from Oxford University<br />

and has worked in several<br />

countries, including Russia, Brazil, Nigeria and in the<br />

Middle East.<br />

Celebrity engagement rings<br />

Brooklyn Beckham, 21-year-old son of David and<br />

Victoria Beckham, has proposed to actress girlfriend<br />

Nicola Peltz, presenting her with an engagement ring<br />

rumoured to have cost around £350k.<br />

The ring features a solitaire diamond in a classic<br />

emerald cut estimated to be approximately 5cts, set in<br />

a fine band of platinum or white gold. It’s unlikely that<br />

Beckham’s fiancée is daunted by the cost of the ring –<br />

Nicola’s father is US billionaire Nelson Peltz, who has<br />

set a budget of £4 million for his daughter’s upcoming<br />

wedding.<br />

And if Nicola loses enthusiasm for the sparkler, she<br />

can follow the example of her future mother-in-law<br />

who upgrades her engagement ring every few years.<br />

Victoria Beckham’s collection of 14 engagement<br />

rings includes the three-carat marquise-cut diamond<br />

engagement ring with a yellow gold band presented by<br />

David when he proposed in 1998, a pink champagne<br />

diamond ring in a halo setting, a pear cut 17-carat<br />

diamond set in a diamond pave band, and an emerald<br />

cut yellow diamond set in a yellow gold pave band.<br />

8<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

News<br />

The Queen Mary fringe tiara<br />

The Queen Mary fringe tiara has now been worn<br />

by three generations of British royal princesses,<br />

as Princess Beatrice wore it to her July 18<br />

wedding, following her grandmother Queen<br />

Elizabeth and her aunt Princess Anne. Yet the<br />

iconic diadem, designed by Queen Mary in 1919<br />

in the fringe design popularised by the Russian<br />

Romanovs, almost didn’t make it to the first<br />

royal wedding.<br />

When the then Princess Elizabeth was preparing<br />

for her 1948 wedding, she accidentally broke the<br />

tiara while trying to put it on.<br />

“The catch, which I didn’t know existed, it<br />

suddenly went,” the Queen explained in a 2011<br />

interview. “And I didn’t know it was a necklace,<br />

you see…I thought I’d broken it…we stuck it all<br />

together again, but I was rather alarmed…”<br />

Despite her mother’s assurances – “there<br />

are other tiaras” – Princess Elizabeth was<br />

determined to wear her grandmother’s fringe<br />

tiara, so a repairer from Garrard Jewellers was<br />

urgently summoned to the palace, and the tiara<br />

was hastily patched together so the bride could<br />

wear it.<br />

Queen Mary’s fringe tiara consists of 47<br />

diamond bars separated by smaller diamond<br />

spikes, and set in gold and silver. The diamonds<br />

were originally part of a tiara and necklace worn by Queen Mary on her own wedding<br />

day in 1893 to the future George V, then the Duke of York.<br />

Tanzanite miner becomes overnight<br />

millionaire<br />

A small-scale tanzanite miner in Tanzania recently sold<br />

two rough tanzanite stones - the biggest ever found in<br />

the country - and became an overnight millionaire.<br />

Saniniu Laizer scored $3.4m from the sale. The two<br />

rocks had a combined weight of 15kg.<br />

“There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer told BBC<br />

reporters.<br />

Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania and is one<br />

of the rarest gemstones on Earth. It is estimated that<br />

the entire<br />

supply will<br />

be depleted<br />

within the<br />

next 20 years.<br />

Laizer, a<br />

father of 30<br />

children and<br />

husband to<br />

four wives, said he planned to invest in this community<br />

in the Simanijiro district in Manyara.<br />

"I want to build a shopping mall and a school. I want<br />

to build this school near my home. There are many<br />

poor people around here who can't afford to take their<br />

children to school," he said.<br />

The miner didn’t expect his windfall to change is<br />

lifestyle and planned to continue farming his 2,000<br />

cows. Small-scale miners like Laizer need to acquire<br />

government licences to prospect for tanzanite and he<br />

sold the stones to the country’s mining<br />

ministry.<br />

Gold price passes USD$1,800<br />

The second week of July saw the spot price of gold smash through the USD$1,800 per ounce barrier for the first time<br />

since 2011. At time of printing, the price is heading tentatively toward USD$1,900 - close to the all-time record of<br />

USD$1,923.70 which it hit in September 2011.<br />

Gold might be the only thing that has had an impressive year so far in <strong>2020</strong>. It’s risen 20 percent in price since January, though not<br />

as quickly or as steadily as some analysts predicted.<br />

“Fears of further increases in infections and related lockdown fears have been driving demand and thus prices,” Carsten Menke, an<br />

analyst with Swiss bank Julius Baer, told the Financial Times. “This suggests that short-term price risks remain skewed to the upside as<br />

long as the virus does not come under control.”<br />

Analysts at Bloomberg believe that a record close to the USD$2,000 is highly likely.<br />

“We now think that it is a matter of when, not if, gold may set a new record high,” said Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. economist Howie Lee,<br />

according to the news service. “The previous record close of $1,900 is now in plain sight and we suspect gold might even attempt $2,000 before<br />

the end of <strong>2020</strong> if the number of U.S. [COVID-19] cases does not abate.”<br />

10<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

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Chris Botha,<br />

Operations Manager, <strong>Jewellery</strong> Division<br />

Palloys<br />




What is driving the new unprecedented historic high gold price?<br />

For six years gold languished below<br />

US$1,375 but lately, it broke through and<br />

since then it has staged a remarkable<br />

recovery that has not shown any signs of<br />

slowing down. A falling Australian dollar has<br />

added to the rise, resulting in the Australian<br />

gold price increasing over $A2,760 per ounce.<br />

The current upward trend in the gold price has<br />

shown no sign in slowing, further compounded<br />

by the COVID-19 outbreak and gold and other<br />

precious metals beings observed as a safe<br />

haven. Professional investors seeking gold as a<br />

potential safe-haven have been the main force<br />

but ABC Bullion has seen a surge of interest by<br />

individual investors as well.<br />

The price of gold is primarily set in the London<br />

and US gold markets where huge transactions<br />

between corporations, institutions,<br />

governments, and individuals occur. The<br />

resulting gold price balances demand from<br />

buyers with supply from sellers.<br />

The price relationship between a piece of fine<br />

gold jewellery and gold market prices generally<br />

aren’t so clear cut. Gold jewellery, for the most<br />

part, is priced for the creativity, workmanship,<br />

and exclusivity of an item. Stock items such as<br />

engagement rings, earrings mountings, etc.<br />

reflect gold ounce prices most.<br />

The jewellery industry operates on a “gold<br />

price on date of delivery” model. That means<br />

that manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers,<br />

don’t know one day to the next what their gold<br />

purchases – or unfilled orders - are going to<br />

cost. When the order is filled from a supplier,<br />

the daily gold price is consulted, and the metal<br />

is priced accordingly.<br />

The last time that gold was trading at over<br />

$1800 an ounce, jewellery manufacturers<br />

started to move predominantly into the silver<br />

and stainless-steel ranges in order to still be<br />

able to appeal to customers at the lower price<br />

point. Lately our office has experienced a trend<br />

in increased sales in platinum alloy, due to the<br />

increasing price of gold, also there has been an<br />

increase in phone calls asking for the price of<br />

gold for the day.<br />

At Palloys, we have remained open throughout<br />

the crisis, ensuring we are there to service<br />

the industry. Palloys have been invested<br />

heavily into streamlining our systems with our<br />

sister company ABC Refinery, to ensure that<br />

any precious metal product, whether it be<br />

fabricated metal, findings, Casting or Finished<br />

jewellery, is offered at the best precious metal<br />

price.<br />

12<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

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I am in the diamond business.<br />

I am in the jewellery business.<br />

I sell expensive watches.<br />

Is this you?<br />

I'd like to use a quote that I wrote in another<br />

article many years ago.<br />

A marketing guru was having dinner with the<br />

chairman of Rolex. A friend of his stopped by<br />

the table to say hello. The friend turned to the<br />

chairman of Rolex whom he recognised and<br />

asked, “How is the watch business going?”.<br />

His response was “I do not know.” There was<br />

a pause and clear awkwardness at the table.<br />

How could the head of the most successful<br />

watch company in the world not know how<br />

the market was? The chairman smiled and<br />

said, “Rolex is not in the watch business. We<br />

are in the luxury business.”<br />

Now, before you start shaking your head<br />

thinking ‘well of course Rolex can say that,’ I<br />

know and you know that you're not Rolex and<br />

you probably never will be. So how relevant is<br />

this quote to you?<br />

Humour me and you will see where I'm going<br />

with this.<br />

You don't have to be Rolex to learn from Rolex.<br />

You don't have to be Amazon to learn from<br />

Amazon, nor do you have to be the most<br />

sophisticated store in your city to learn from<br />

them.<br />

If today you were to walk into your<br />

establishment and ask yourself<br />

how do you want your customer<br />

to feel when they walk into your<br />

store, workshop or showroom,<br />

what would the answer be?<br />

If you're not sure what I mean,<br />

then I suggest you go for a<br />

walk into Tiffany's or an LVMH<br />

boutique. As soon as you enter,<br />

stop and ask yourself how have<br />

they made you feel? Maybe<br />

nothing, but then I think you are<br />

missing the point. You're focusing<br />

on the fixtures and fittings and not<br />

the overall ambiance, atmosphere<br />

and experience.<br />

I was sitting and talking with a guy<br />

from Amazon. He was explaining<br />

to me how everyone who works<br />

there focuses on what they call<br />

the ‘flywheel.’ This is a concept<br />

where every employee is expected<br />

to think about what benefits they<br />

can bring to their customers. But<br />

he also brought to my attention<br />

that Amazon never looks to get<br />

into niche markets. The reason<br />

is very simple: they cannot scale.<br />

14<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Rami Baron<br />

President, Diamond Dealers Club of Australia<br />

rami@ddca.org.au<br />

They need to get into a market where they can<br />

use their sheer size to grow. A niche market<br />

is specialist and they stay away from those<br />

because they understand that the resources<br />

it takes to capture market in this space is<br />

disproportional for a large business. Amazon is<br />

not going to come after the smaller operator<br />

and Amazon is not going after luxury. Amazon<br />

is focused on price, and that’s a game you can<br />

never win.<br />

Let's refocus the lens.What does the luxury<br />

business even mean to you?<br />

In my view, when it comes to jewellery, the<br />

luxury business means the ability to evoke an<br />

emotion in our customers which creates the<br />

desire to want to both experience it and own<br />

at least a small piece of it. Luxury is something<br />

we strive for. It is a feeling of being pampered,<br />

respected, looked up to. Yes, deep down we're<br />

touching on someone's ego that they are able<br />

to participate in this rarefied atmosphere.<br />

I will ask you to stop for a moment to<br />

appreciate that luxury in the world that<br />

we live in today does not necessarily mean<br />

velvet lounges and gold edged mirrors. Your<br />

environment could be minimalist. I might<br />

need to enter three security doors just to<br />

get in. Your showroom might be in a hidden<br />

away location with the customer being sent a<br />

passcode that they must use to enter the front<br />

door.<br />

Ask yourself what would your customers<br />

consider being luxurious? Maybe the word is<br />

not luxurious. Maybe it's Dope, Lit (amazing<br />

cool or exciting) or GOAT (greatest of all time).<br />

Your definition of what luxury is may be very<br />

different to your customers’ definition.<br />

Is your offering luxurious in the eyes of your<br />

customers?<br />

What could you do to make it luxurious?<br />

What if I said to you that fresh strawberries<br />

are a luxury in winter, to some people?<br />

We all know what a luxurious hotel looks like,<br />

or do we? It is different depending on your<br />

age and your mindset.If you stayed in a four<br />

star hotel, but they put chocolates on your<br />

pillow, fresh flowers in the room, fresh milk in<br />

the fridge and few pieces of fruit with a little<br />

handwritten card welcoming you by name on<br />

the table, I would consider that luxurious.<br />

I feel that we are in a luxury business, and<br />

it’s all about how you make your customer<br />

feel. The product, the diamond ring, can only<br />

be re-invented so many times. Today, your<br />

customer does so much homework before<br />

they even come to see you.They often know<br />

what they want, give or take, before they walk<br />

in the door.<br />

We talk about the experience, but to what<br />

extent do you take that? Are you consistent<br />

with this experience every time? So many<br />

jewellers start off with great ambitions,<br />

like the champagne bottle at pick up, but<br />

a month later they forgot to refill the stock<br />

and stop doing it. They didn’t have time to<br />

write the handwritten note or call a week<br />

later, with excuses like they were busy, or<br />

‘do we really need to spend that additional<br />

$50?’<br />

A true luxury hotel does not drop the ball,<br />

and if they do, they overcompensate to<br />

exceed your expectations. Imagine one<br />

customer gets the champagne, but not the<br />

next one who was told about it, but you ran<br />

out. You won’t hear about it, but you also<br />

won’t get their referral.<br />

Luxury is all the above and more.<br />

Consistency is a key element.<br />

What do you do? Or should I really ask,<br />

what does the luxury business mean to you?<br />

and stay healthy<br />

Trade well,,, Rami Baron.<br />

^<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 15



Jo Tory<br />

As I write this, it has been confirmed that Australia is in its first recession in 29 years, as the full<br />

impact of the coronavirus-related shutdowns affect Australia’s GDP. Economists widely define a<br />

recession as two consecutive quarters of economic decline, the last being in Australia in March<br />

and June 1991. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that Australia’s economy recorded its<br />

slowest annual growth in more than a decade, though not all COVID related.<br />

Given the Treasury had expected the<br />

GDP to fall some 4% and instead<br />

declined by 0.3% shows how resilient<br />

the Australian economy has been, with not<br />

only the early stages of a pandemic but a<br />

summer devastated bybushfires and drought.<br />

Many other countries have reported negative<br />

growth by up to 9.8%.<br />

A recession can hit all industries hard, the<br />

jewellery industry being no exception. I have<br />

spoken to many industry colleagues in the<br />

last few months, retailers, suppliers and<br />

manufacturers. Some have reported that<br />

there has been little change to their business,<br />

some have been significantly impacted, such<br />

as those who largely rely on tourism or are<br />

located in CBD areas, and others have seen<br />

an increase in their sales, particularly online<br />

and in manufacturing. Perhaps this is because<br />

expenditure is staying in Australia, perhaps<br />

because JobKeeper cash has been made<br />

available as a business lifesaver as well as a<br />

stimulus to the economy. It is hard to quantify.<br />

Trading in the luxury goods market during<br />

a recession can be daunting. There are a<br />

range of strategies and approaches that can<br />

minimise the impact on your business and<br />

allow you to continue to trade profitably in a<br />

weakened market.<br />

Reviewing your expenses and re-assessing<br />

your customer demographic are probably the<br />

first considerations, and are a given. These are<br />

of utmost importance. Other key components<br />

may include retraining you or your staff on<br />

objectives. Most buyers will now be priceconscious<br />

so learning how to deal with a<br />

price objection firstly signals their interest to<br />

buy. This opens the conversation to hit the<br />

emotional spot where the real trigger lies. It<br />

is probably good to reassure your staff to use<br />

these slow times to build relationships with<br />

potential customers and to strengthen their<br />

sales tools.<br />

Closely managing inventory is always a given,<br />

but it is critical now. Increasing the depth<br />

of bestsellers gives greater opportunity for<br />

sales and carrying a leaner inventory will<br />

give greater flexibility to adapt to changing<br />

markets.<br />

Advertising and PR are usually the first things<br />

to be cut in a recession. But consider that<br />

your competitor may have the same mindset<br />

and could leave a void in the market. A strong<br />

advertising focus could create an opportunity<br />

for you to gain a bigger voice, and therefore<br />

market share. So, monitor your competitors<br />

and seriously consider increasing your<br />

advertising budget, whether it be digital or<br />

print.<br />

Irrespective of a difficult economic period, you<br />

must always have thorough understanding of<br />

your financials and projections for the future.<br />

In a recession you will most likely find yourself<br />

forced to cut costs in a short period of time<br />

such as days or weeks, instead of months or<br />

quarters. Being vigilant and knowing where<br />

you stand financially will avoid any hasty<br />

errors. But keep your mind on the future. It<br />

will change, and there are opportunities to be<br />

had.<br />

The most important thing is to capitalise on<br />

what you do best, and to communicate that.<br />

Look for the challenges, not the threats,<br />

andmost importantly, always remain positive.<br />

16<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

J A A<br />

D E S I G N<br />

R E N D E R<br />

A drawing competition celebrating Australia and New<br />

Zealand's jewellery design and sketching skills. The<br />

Competition honours the diverse talent of local artisans<br />

by showcasing their original and distinguished talents<br />

in hand and digital drawing. Great prizes to be won.<br />

E N T R I E S N O W O P E N<br />

J A A . C O M . A U / S K E T C H<br />


COVID REPORT – AUGUST <strong>2020</strong><br />

In March <strong>2020</strong>, Australia changed. COVID-19 put a halt to the way we operate. International<br />

borders were closed, state borders were closed, entire industries were shut down overnight and<br />

other industries were brought to a standstill due to the population being urged to stay at home.<br />

You all know this as you have lived through it.<br />

The JAA wanted to know how your<br />

business has fared in this extraordinary<br />

time. So, we have undertaken two<br />

surveys of our members to understand the<br />

impact that COVID-19 has had on our industry.<br />

The first survey was undertaken at the end<br />

of March. It focused on the main concerns<br />

of our members at the present time and the<br />

assistance that the JAA could provide.<br />

The main concerns were around health<br />

and the risk to oneself, family or staff being<br />

diagnosed with COVID-19. Cashflow to pay<br />

rent, staff and ongoing expenses was a major<br />

concern, as well as the lack of customers<br />

and the length of restrictions that would<br />

impact the jewellery industry. Of course,<br />

the economic impact on the survival of the<br />

business was on everyone’s mind.<br />

In terms of requiring immediate assistance,<br />

the majority of respondents named financial<br />

relief through rent and wages, loan options<br />

and tax exemptions. Understanding employee<br />

entitlements during a pandemic was also top<br />

priority.<br />

Given the overwhelming<br />

amount of information<br />

circulating, as well as the<br />

unknown outcomes of<br />

the situation, it was not<br />

surprising to learn that 78%<br />

of respondents reported<br />

that their employee’s mental<br />

health, as well as their own,<br />

was being adversely affected.<br />

Our follow up survey in June<br />

reported that this number had<br />

decreased to 47%. A testament<br />

to the actions taken by the government.<br />

When it came to navigating employees’ pay<br />

and leave entitlements, 59% of respondents<br />

reported that they were aware and could<br />

manage, with 28% saying they felt at the<br />

present time they had not been able to reach<br />

out to anyone for advice or assistance. The<br />

remaining 72% stated that they received<br />

advice from their accountant, landlord, bank,<br />

lawyer, HR adviser, as well as government<br />

bodies.<br />

Graph 1. Percentage of members and their employees<br />

reporting their mental health was adversely affected<br />

The JAA was quick to act in response to COVID,<br />

assisting members with phone calls and emails<br />

relating to employer obligations in standing<br />

down staff, conditions in which a business<br />

may temporarily close, as well as rental relief<br />

questions. Further to this, over a period of two<br />

months the JAA has sent its members a variety<br />

of support information covering hygiene<br />

and safety practices within a business, rental<br />

reduction templates, mental health resources,<br />

Graph 2. In the early stages’ members received<br />

advice from a range of sources.<br />

JobKeeper and other financial support<br />

options available from State and Territory<br />

governments. As well as information related<br />

to pivoting a business through marketing<br />

and productivity and free industry resources<br />

released as a result of the pandemic.<br />

Our follow up survey, conducted at the end<br />

of June, demonstrated that most businesses<br />

had re-opened or never closed, or now<br />

operate with restricted trading hours or<br />

by appointment only. Those that have not<br />

18<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

LUXURY pearl AND opal JEWELLERY<br />

reopened are<br />

located in<br />

high tourist<br />

precincts or<br />

areas in which<br />

customers<br />

had not yet<br />

returned,<br />

such as CBD<br />

locations.<br />

Since April,<br />

87% of survey<br />

Graph 3. Since April, 87% of respondents reported<br />

respondents<br />

a decrease in revenue between 21%-100%<br />

reported a decrease in revenue between 21%-100%,<br />

with 21-40% the highest reported bracket. Furthermore,<br />

69% expect revenue to remain the same or increase in<br />

the coming months.<br />

Sixteen percent of respondents reported that they had<br />

not been able to access rental relief and 13% expect to<br />

lay off casual staff in the coming months when JobKeeper<br />

ends.<br />

In a drastically changing business environment,<br />

innovations are essential. Our member’s survey<br />

showed that the most common reaction was to focus<br />

on e-commerce channels, by either opening a new<br />

website or expanding an existing one. Close behind this<br />

was expanding social media presence. This was equally<br />

followed by increased digital advertising and promotions,<br />

moving or expanding into new markets and collaborating<br />

with other businesses. Eleven percent of respondents<br />

reported that they have made no changes.<br />

The JAA is working very closely with members and<br />

industry bodies to ensure it brings benefits to its<br />

members and the wider industry during this difficult<br />

time. Work has begun to engage with government and<br />

enhance member offering, which will only continue as<br />

we work towards a brighter industry.<br />


Ikecho launched Solid Opal <strong>Jewellery</strong> range in<br />

2017, and has been a huge success. Opal is the<br />

national gemstone of Australia and is now very<br />

popular within the Australian market.<br />

Ikecho mix together solid opal and pearl into their<br />

designs. Opals are extremely unique which makes<br />

them extra special and distinctive as its very<br />

difficult to find two opals exactly the same.<br />

www.ikecho.com.au | enquiries@ikecho.com.au<br />

Tel: (02) 9266 0636


Director, Chemgold<br />

www.chemgold.com<br />



Many of today’s buyers are interested<br />

in purity and sustainability. Rather<br />

than valuing material goods, these<br />

consumers prefer sentimental stories and<br />

memories that they can pass down to their<br />

children and grandchildren. Platinum pieces<br />

pair perfectly with the aspirations of young<br />

couples and with the idea of purity within<br />

long-term relationships. As a result, platinum<br />

is becoming increasingly popular.<br />

Another reason for platinum’s continued<br />

popularity is with its price at record lows. The<br />

spot ASK price of platinum is approximately<br />

$40 per gram. Although the global pandemic<br />

might be behind some of the recent drops<br />

in prices, there are several other factors that<br />

drive these lower prices. For instance, unlike<br />

gold, platinum does not carry monetary<br />

value, but instead industrial value. Up until<br />

recent years, platinum was used in car<br />

manufacturing but has been replaced by<br />

palladium. This frees up more platinum for<br />

jewellers to purchase and sell, rather than<br />

having to compete with other industries that<br />

need the precious metal.<br />

A major selling point for platinum is that it has<br />

a natural white colour and will not fade over<br />

the years. Today’s consumers are more likely<br />

to consider goods that are more natural with<br />

less processing and find themselves attracted<br />

to the purity and beauty of platinum.<br />

It is important to<br />

educate buyers<br />

on the differences<br />

between white<br />

gold and platinum.<br />

White gold is only<br />

achieved through<br />

bleaching. Nickel and<br />

palladium are the<br />

main bleachers of<br />

gold followed by zinc,<br />

silver, gallium and<br />

indium. Palladium is<br />

preferred as typically<br />

most skin allergy<br />

reactions occur with metals that contain<br />

nickel.<br />

Selling platinum to a satisfied customer is an<br />

amazing feeling because it is a product that<br />

will endure. With proper care, platinum can<br />

last and protect precious stones for a lifetime.<br />

The difference is that gold will wear down,<br />

whilst platinum will be displaced making<br />

a stone more secure in a platinum setting.<br />

This feature appeals to buyers that imagine<br />

beginning new traditions and passing down<br />

family heirlooms.<br />

Jewellers looking to take advantage of low<br />

platinum prices and stock their inventory<br />

should take care to find the highest quality<br />

casting and fabricated alloys. Chemgold’s<br />

platinum has incomparable qualities,<br />

innovative material properties, outstanding<br />

workability and a brilliant white colour. With<br />

their platinum, jewellers can be confident<br />

of its quality and zero allergenic alloys like<br />

cobalt. With state-of-the-art platinum,<br />

jewellers can cultivate the next generation of<br />

platinum buyers that will be satisfied for years<br />

on end.<br />

20<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

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Best Selling Gold <strong>Jewellery</strong> Suppliers in<br />

Australia and NZ, as voted by retailers.<br />




A U.S. study indicates strong purchase intention for silver jewellery despite the pandemic.<br />

Breuning Silver - Osjag<br />

The Silver Promotion Service, an initiative<br />

of the U.S.-based Silver Institute, recently<br />

revealed the results of a consumer research<br />

study showing pent-up demand for jewellery, as<br />

well as intent to buy silver jewellery following the<br />

COVID-19 pendemic and quarantine.<br />

Of the jewellery consumers surveyed, 64 percent<br />

indicated that they still plan to purchase the<br />

jewellery gifts and self-rewards that they needed<br />

or wanted during quarantine and 50 percent of<br />

those intending to buy “just because” indicated<br />

that the jewellery purchased would be silver.<br />

across a variety of occasions (just because, birthday, self-love, etc.).<br />

In commenting on the research, SPS Director Michael Barlerin said, “The<br />

Silver Promotion Service was pleased by the quantification of pent-up<br />

demand for jewellery purchases and obviously by the emphasis on<br />

silver jewellery. Perhaps the survey reflected the ‘Silver Lining’ for U.S.<br />

retailers as our industry moves forward during these complex times.”<br />

The Silver Institute is a nonprofit international industry association<br />

headquartered in Washington, D.C. Established in 1971, the Institute’s<br />

members include leading silver producers, prominent silver refiners,<br />

manufacturers and dealers. The Institute serves as the industry’s voice in<br />

increasing public understanding of the value and the many uses of silver.<br />

The study focused on U.S. jewellery consumers<br />

mainly 25-40 years of age who have purchased fine<br />

jewellery valued over $200 in the past two years.<br />

Highlights from the mid-June <strong>2020</strong> consumer survey include:<br />

Breuning Silver - Osjag<br />

• The study completed by 511 U.S. jewellery consumers confirmed<br />

pent-up demand for fine jewellery buying, particularly for respondents<br />

who were somewhat or very affected by COVID-19, with a significant<br />

percentage of these consumers indicating that they plan to purchase<br />

between 1 – 4 pieces of jewellery.<br />

• 64% of the consumers surveyed indicated intent to purchase the<br />

jewellery that they were unable to purchase during quarantine.<br />

• 50% of those planning to buy fine jewellery “just because” indicated<br />

intent to purchase silver jewellery.<br />

• Key characteristics when selecting silver jewellery were identified by<br />

respondents as versatility, affordability, design and elegance.<br />

• There is a high likelihood of self-purchase for silver jewellery indicated<br />

24<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

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KL Diamonds<br />

By Stefan Juengling<br />




In the midst of a global pandemic that’s wrought huge travel restrictions, massive unemployment<br />

and business closures, the white diamond industry has understandably been affected with cutting<br />

centres closed, order delays, and weddings and trade fairs postponed. With input from four<br />

prominent experts, we look at the state of the white diamond industry, and the issues affecting it.<br />

Pandemic makes waves in diamond<br />

sales and investments<br />

While most our respondents reported<br />

some impact to their white diamond sales<br />

and investments compared to last year, KL<br />

Diamonds is one brand where business has<br />

remained strong. Head of KL Diamonds Kalleh<br />

Levonian said their current demand is for<br />

diamonds around a carat and above.<br />

“Engagement ring sales are still strong with<br />

couples that have put their plans on hold now<br />

ramping up to go ahead while the window of<br />

opportunity to have their wedding is open,”<br />

he said.<br />

“We’ve also had customers<br />

come in bringing their current<br />

diamond to ‘upgrade’ and<br />

purchase a bigger, better stone.”<br />

He said this trend has gone<br />

against the current pessimist<br />

sentiment, but KL Diamonds<br />

Engagement ring sales are<br />

still strong with couples<br />

that have put their plans<br />

on hold now ramping up to<br />

go ahead while the window<br />

of opportunity to have<br />

their wedding is open<br />

Kalleh Levonian<br />

has happily experienced the same level of<br />

activity as their pre-pandemic sales.<br />

Managing director of Bolton Gems Brett<br />

Bolton said that sales of larger investment<br />

stones have slowed down during<br />

the pandemic, but they found<br />

an increase in sales of large<br />

stones which will be worn as<br />

everyday rings.<br />

“Up to 2.5 carat stones are still moving well as<br />

the prices have come down,” he said.<br />

Owner of Affection Diamonds Nirav Shah said<br />

that diamond sales have dropped compared<br />

to last year but investment has comparatively<br />

increased.<br />

“Since June, demand for diamonds are greater<br />

compared to June/July last year, due to the<br />

variety of stock available to us,” he said.<br />

Vipul Sutariya is Director of Sales and<br />

Marketing at Dharmanandan Diamonds, and<br />

he said that business is slow compared to last<br />

year due to the pandemic.<br />

KL Diamonds<br />

KL Diamonds<br />

28<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Dharmanandan Diamonds<br />

Diamond supply outstripping<br />

demand?<br />

According to a recent article published in<br />

Business Insider Australia, billions of dollars<br />

of unsold diamonds are piling up around the<br />

world because no one wants to buy jewels in<br />

the middle of a pandemic, and most jewellery<br />

stores have had to shut down at some stage,<br />

meaning that a key avenue of diamond sales<br />

has been temporarily shut. Our respondents’<br />

experiences were mixed when probed on<br />

this issue. Vipul said that in Surat city, where<br />

more than 95% of the world’s diamonds are<br />

cut and polished, work<br />

has been halted due to<br />

the pandemic (which is<br />

preventing stones being<br />

brought to the market). On<br />

the other hand, Vipul said that<br />

almost 95% of retail stores in China<br />

have reopened, and there are similar<br />

reopenings happening around the world.<br />

“Every major centre is opening up and trading<br />

is slow but gradually increasing,” he said. “I<br />

don’t believe polished stock is piling up.”<br />

He also believes in a few months we may see<br />

some diamond shortages reported in the<br />

media.<br />

Dharmanandan Diamonds<br />

KL Diamonds<br />

Brett reported a similar problem, stating that<br />

sales have slowed, but a lot of the cutting<br />

factories have also closed, which is holding<br />

up a lot of the stones from being sold in the<br />

market.<br />

“We are also having trouble moving the large<br />

stones due to flight issues and delays,” he said.<br />

“This delay is also affecting sales as most<br />

consumers are happy to wait for the ring to be<br />

made, but want the diamond asap.”<br />

02 - 92690991

Fortunately for KL Diamonds, even if the<br />

oversupply problem were evident in other<br />

parts of the world, Kalleh said they would be<br />

immune to it anyway as they primarily retail in<br />

Argyle diamonds, which are not in abundant<br />

supply.<br />

“(We) have thankfully<br />

kept very busy during<br />

this time, only slowing<br />

down for Easter<br />

holidays,” he said.<br />

Affection Diamonds<br />

felt that lab created diamonds have not had<br />

or will not have any lasting impact on either<br />

prices of diamonds as a whole, or sales of<br />

natural diamonds.<br />

Kalleh said that prices for lab grown diamonds<br />

are trending down, at approximately a tenth<br />

of natural diamonds.<br />

“With companies<br />

such as Swarovski<br />

launching lab grown<br />

diamonds, there<br />

could be permanent<br />

alignment of lab<br />

grown with fashion<br />

jewellery in the<br />

future,” he said.<br />

Affection Diamonds<br />

Similarly, Vipul doesn’t believe lab created<br />

diamonds will have any effect on natural<br />

diamonds.<br />

“People who buy natural diamonds are of<br />

different a class, and their inclination toward<br />

natural, rare and precious factors will always<br />

be there and remain there,” he said.<br />

Nirav was blunt in his assessment of lab<br />

created diamonds.<br />

“I think lab created diamonds will have a<br />

small share in the market for now, and once<br />

their real values come down then they will<br />

With companies such<br />

as Swarovski launching<br />

lab grown diamonds,<br />

there could be permanent<br />

alignment of lab grown<br />

with fashion jewellery<br />

in the future<br />

KL Diamonds<br />

become substantial low prices, similar to<br />

luxury products in high brands and their fake<br />

counterparts,” he said.<br />

In contrast, Brett conceded that lab created<br />

diamonds have had a very large impact on<br />

Bolton Gems in the i1/i2 price point market.<br />

“I feel this new market will continue to grow<br />

and expand for consumers looking for a<br />

fashion item of jewellery,” he said.<br />

“Personally, I feel this will not affect the<br />

engagement ring market, and the lab grown<br />

diamonds will take more market share from<br />

other luxury products from the fashion<br />

industry.”<br />

“We’ve had many<br />

enquiries for whites<br />

and specifically for<br />

Argyle whites with full<br />

documentation.”<br />

Affection Diamonds<br />

Unfazed by lab created diamonds<br />

The advent of lab created diamonds has<br />

arguably been one of the biggest disruptors to<br />

the diamond industry, posing at times as both<br />

a competitor to their natural counterparts,<br />

and a catalyst for growing the diamond market<br />

as a whole. However, most of our contributors<br />

Dharmanandan Diamonds<br />

30<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

KL Diamonds<br />

Local buyers should be<br />

confident to buy from us<br />

and we will try our best to<br />

fulfil their demands in the<br />

best possible value<br />

Affection Diamonds<br />

Advice for buyers looking for<br />

diamond stock<br />

The pandemic has brought its fair share<br />

of disruption to international trade and<br />

events, with major events such as the Hong<br />

Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl<br />

Show <strong>2020</strong> being postponed until 2021,<br />

forcing many buyers to look local for stock.<br />

However, all of our respondents embraced the<br />

opportunity to supply and source locally. Vipul<br />

said that in the<br />

current situation<br />

where travel is<br />

restricted, it will be<br />

great opportunity<br />

for local jewellers,<br />

manufacturers and<br />

suppliers.<br />

Dharmanandan Diamonds<br />

“We have arranged almost 24x7 customer<br />

care units to cater for all small and large<br />

demands from all jewellers as well as local<br />

wholesalers and suppliers,” he said.<br />

Brett assured all buyers that Bolton Gems<br />

is there to help in many more ways than<br />

just supplying stock, with services such as<br />

jewellery CAD and CAM, repairs, marketing,<br />

plus sourcing of stones not held in stock.<br />

“As we have a full-time staff member overseas,<br />

we have the ability to view the stones before<br />

they arrive in Australia,” he said.<br />

“This ensures stones are looked at through<br />

buyers eyes and not just sellers.”<br />

Nirav said that since many fairs will not be<br />

going ahead in many parts of the world, it’s<br />

the best time for Affection Diamonds to supply<br />

locally.<br />

“Local buyers should be confident to buy<br />

from us and we will try our best to fulfil their<br />

demands in the best possible value,” he said.<br />

Kalleh said it’s an exciting time because his<br />

team at KL Diamonds are realising that most<br />

beautiful things can be sourced locally, and in<br />

doing so, they can support local businesses.<br />

“We offer full service from making and setting,<br />

to polishing and plating, all from our Sydney<br />

workshop," he said.<br />

"Keeping it local also offers our customers<br />

shorter turnaround times and higher quality.<br />

We’ve always believed that local businesses<br />

need to thrive so that’s why we’re keeping our<br />

prices as low as possible.”<br />

He advises their retailers to keep their<br />

customer base enthusiastic about buying<br />

locally and discovering Australian gemstones,<br />

whether that be Argyle pink, champagne and<br />

white diamonds, Aussie sapphires and pearls.<br />

Affection Diamonds<br />

32<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

By Kirsten Ehrlich Davies<br />


Craig Miller has cut the anchor of tradition free and stepped boldly into the<br />

world of lab-grown diamonds. Holding onto tradition is important, he admits,<br />

but it can also be dangerous in the new world - because, today, the only constant<br />

is change and things change every day.<br />

As a second generation diamantaire,<br />

Craig Miller has a unique insight into<br />

what is essentially a family-oriented<br />

industry. The diamond industry has a closeknit<br />

inter-generational structure, based on<br />

handing down knowledge and skills through<br />

the generations. Yet, this structure also means<br />

the industry is heavily steeped in tradition and<br />

it can be difficult for the younger generations<br />

to spearhead change.<br />

“The diamond industry has always been<br />

traditional and generational, often with two<br />

or three generations working side by side,”<br />

said Craig. “My peers and I would experience<br />

some frustration as we had our seniors at<br />

the helm, usually our fathers. Parents tend to<br />

pass on their life experiences with the best<br />

intentions. Their goal is to protect us, to limit<br />

our risk through their own experience. Life<br />

doesn’t always work like that and we need to<br />

learn from our own experiences.”<br />

Yet it can be difficult to strike out<br />

independently, when everything you know<br />

and love about the industry has evolved from<br />

your own family. Growing up in South Africa,<br />

Craig loved spending time at his father’s<br />

diamond cutting factory, watching the cutters<br />

transform rough stones into beautiful shining<br />

objects.<br />

“The shine and sparkle fascinated me,” Craig<br />

said. “This is where my passion for diamonds<br />

and their beauty began.”<br />

It was a foregone conclusion that Craig would<br />

eventually work for the family business. But<br />

his first day on the job was not quite how he<br />

had imagined it.<br />

“I purchased an expensive suit for my first day<br />

at work,” Craig said. “What was I thinking?<br />

My father took one look and suggested I take<br />

the suit back to the store. He handed me a<br />

blue overall bearing the company logo and<br />

directed me to a bench at the back corner<br />

of the factory. That was where I spent the<br />

next two years, doing my diamond cutting<br />

apprenticeship.”<br />

Over those two years, Craig learned all the<br />

processes involved in transforming a rough<br />

stone into a spectacular polished gem.<br />

“I learned marking,<br />

sawing, cleaving, cross<br />

working, cutting and<br />

brillianteering, and in<br />

the process, I became<br />

obsessed with the<br />

relevance of cut. I<br />

always say that colour,<br />

clarity and carat might<br />

determine the price of<br />

a diamond, but the cut<br />

determines its beauty.<br />

The cut is what creates the sparkle that<br />

catches your eye.”<br />

Next, Craig moved into the role of trading in<br />

rough diamonds, often travelling overseas on<br />

behalf of his father’s business.<br />

“I had the privilege of working with some<br />

exceptional diamonds, some rare gems I<br />

doubt I would see twice in one lifetime.<br />

There is a little rush of excitement, opening<br />

a parcel and seeing that one stone that will<br />

make you money, the one stone that has the<br />

opportunity to yield something even more<br />

beautiful than anyone has seen from beneath<br />

its skin.”<br />

In the late 1990s, Craig moved with his family<br />

to Australia, establishing the family business<br />

Miller Diamonds with his father and brothers.<br />

Craig’s role was to travel around Australia,<br />

selling the company’s polished diamonds from<br />

34<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

coast to coast<br />

in almost every<br />

town, building<br />

his network of<br />

industry contacts<br />

along the way.<br />

“In 2001, I<br />

channelled<br />

my obsession<br />

for well-cut<br />

diamonds<br />

by perfecting the precision of the cut. We<br />

created possibly the first white diamond<br />

brand in Australia – Passion8 Diamonds. Every<br />

stone was cut to such exact mathematical<br />

proportions, only 1% of the diamonds in the<br />

world were cut to that standard at the time,<br />

so this was a first to market.”<br />

As the global diamond industry experienced<br />

major transitions, the Miller family closed<br />

Miller Diamonds in 2014, and Craig spent the<br />

next four years developing and growing the<br />

diamond business through Showcase buying<br />

group.<br />

When he concluded with Showcase in 2019,<br />

Craig could see that the market landscape had<br />

completely transformed, and that he needed<br />

to change with it. “Reflecting on my past and<br />

looking at my future before starting a new<br />

business, I saw a landscape today that was<br />

completely different,” he said.<br />

And it was then that he realised how much<br />

courage is needed - not merely to start a<br />

new business venture - but to stand up as<br />

a member of the younger generation and<br />

create change and spearhead disruption in<br />

an industry still dominated by traditional<br />

attitudes. A challenge compounded by the<br />

fact that, for many younger diamantaires, it<br />

is older parents and family members who are<br />

still holding the reins.<br />

For Craig, it was meeting and establishing<br />

a close friendship with Rami Baron, a thirdgeneration<br />

jeweller who is well known in the<br />

Australian and international trade, that helped<br />

him navigate the generational changes and<br />

see the opportunities.<br />

“Rami was able to provide me with insights<br />

from his own experience on how to evaluate<br />

technology, innovation and disruption<br />

which are untapped opportunities for my<br />

generation,” Craig said. “I also realised that<br />

one can carry both product ranges, natural<br />

and lab grown, and there is no conflict, they<br />

are merely options. As long as there is full<br />

disclosure, who are we to limit a consumer’s<br />

choice?”<br />

“Together<br />

with my<br />

partners, we<br />

have launched<br />

JC Jewels, a<br />

more modern<br />

diamond<br />

merchant or,<br />

what I call,<br />

a tech diamond company. We introduced<br />

technology and disruption. JC Jewels<br />

embraces lab grown diamonds – the disruptor.<br />

My partners and I have brainstormed all the<br />

untapped areas we could develop, so we can<br />

ultimately help jewellers, evolve, grow their<br />

own margins and utilise technology to sell<br />

more. In a way, I like to think of JC Jewels as<br />

a tech start-up – we use technology to assist<br />

our clients, the retailers, to convert more sales<br />

and achieve a higher margin, by speeding up<br />

the process through technology, and creating<br />

a better presentation for their own clients.<br />

Every day, I ask my clients what tech we can<br />

build to make their selling easier.”<br />

Yet not everybody approved of this innovative<br />

business model.<br />

“My father was my mentor and teacher. He<br />

achieved almost every accomplishment in<br />

the South African diamond industry,”<br />

said Craig. “When I first walked into<br />

my father’s house with a lab grown<br />

diamond, I was told to take it out of<br />

his house and never to show him a<br />

lab grown diamond again.”<br />

Despite his father’s distrust of lab<br />

grown diamonds, Craig was committed<br />

to innovation.<br />

“I chose to be open-minded, and took my<br />

opinion from the consumer reaction, so I was<br />

directed by demand rather than emotional<br />

attachment to tradition.”<br />

JC Jewels places technology and innovation<br />

into the jeweller’s hands, offering lab<br />

grown, mined and Argyle pink diamonds in<br />

all sizes and mined diamonds.<br />

“We are a global office for ALTR created<br />

diamonds, the world’s leading lab grown<br />

diamond brand. Recently we added the<br />

diamonds with origin reports – these are<br />

diamonds which are blockchain enabled all<br />

the way from rough to polish. We also offer<br />

the service of Sarine Diamond Journey, with<br />

a replica of the diamond as it was found<br />

in the rough before cutting and polishing,<br />

so customers have a sense of how mined<br />

diamonds evolve from nature.”<br />

As customers have become more<br />

discerning, it is important for jewellers<br />

to be able to provide comprehensive<br />

information and a range of options.<br />

“With every purchase, there are choices.<br />

We can help jewellers present their<br />

customers with all the options and facts,<br />

along with the information to answer<br />

all their questions, so they can make an<br />

educated decision and the jewellers still<br />

make a sale.”<br />

And it’s not just the customers who are<br />

expanding their horizons and exploring<br />

new options. “When De Beers launched<br />

lab grown diamonds, my father called me<br />

to say: ‘Son, bring one of your lab grown<br />

diamonds over, so I can have a look at these<br />

stones.’ He realised that if De Beers was<br />

doing it, I must have been onto<br />

something.”<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 35

John Chapman<br />

Gemetrix Pty Ltd<br />

Director<br />



with instruments made by an Australian company<br />

Advances in the commercial production of gem-quality diamonds grown artificially (also<br />

known as synthetic, laboratory-grown, man-made, etc) over the past decade have seen<br />

numerous instrument manufacturers develop equipment to detect such diamonds. The<br />

demands of the equipment depend on the business of the user. Some users require high<br />

processing rates for melee-size near-colourless loose diamonds, some need an instrument<br />

to detect mounted diamonds, while others might need a unit that can detect lab-grown or<br />

treated diamonds of any colour. Besides capability, cost is also usually a factor.<br />

The general principles of the available<br />

instruments are based on one or more<br />

of: UV transparency, luminescence<br />

(fluorescence, phosphorescence) or<br />

spectroscopy.<br />

A company in Perth, Gemetrix, has been<br />

developing and manufacturing instruments to<br />

assist gemmologists, jewellers and valuers to<br />

identify if a diamond (or other gem) has been<br />

grown artificially or has been colour treated.<br />

The company’s director, John Chapman, is<br />

a scientist and optical engineer who had<br />

formerly worked at Rio Tinto Diamonds<br />

developing systems to better extract, sort or<br />

grade diamonds. A few years ago he directed<br />

his attention towards a low-cost instrument<br />

suitable for those in the trade wishing to<br />

detect synthetic or treated diamonds and<br />

who do not need high processing rates or<br />

automation. Gemetrix’s first product was a<br />

PL Inspector that is a small compact model<br />

primarily for examining single stones. It<br />

incorporates UV at a short-wavelength (255<br />

nm) and a long wave-length (365 nm) with a<br />

magnifying lens for viewing.<br />

To test if a near-colourless (D-M) diamond is<br />

natural, the intensity of fluorescence at LW<br />

will be stronger than the SW. This provides<br />

an effective screening technique and over<br />

time a user can become familiar with the<br />

distribution of intensities and colours of LW<br />

fluorescence among a general population<br />

of natural diamonds and be able to make a<br />

quick assessment without the need for SW<br />

comparison.<br />

A general guide to the fluorescence reaction of colourless<br />

natural, CVD- and HPHT-grown diamonds for which<br />

natural diamonds have a more intense reaction to LWUV.<br />

SW also provides the ability to examine<br />

phosphorescence. Diamonds that have<br />

been grown using a high pressure and<br />

high temperature (HPHT) method usually<br />

phosphoresce. This characteristic is very useful<br />

for examining melee diamonds, because such<br />

diamonds are almost exclusively HPHT-grown.<br />

A ring showing phosphorescing diamonds alerts<br />

to the presence of HPHT-grown diamonds<br />

With a demand for examining parcels of<br />

diamonds and pieces of jewellery featuring<br />

multiple gems, a larger inspection unit was<br />

developed by Gemetrix.<br />

Called a ‘<strong>Jewellery</strong> Inspector’ it has a viewing<br />

area of 50 x 50 mm. When multiple gems<br />

are in a single view it can become difficult to<br />

mentally compare the LW and SW images for<br />

each stone. To address this issue, Gemetrix<br />

developed a smartphone app that allows<br />

capture of the LW and SW images and an<br />

ability to scan across the combined images<br />

comparing the LW and SW responses.<br />

36<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

This model also has a special tray for examining small parcels of loose diamonds, particularly<br />

melee sizes among which salting with artificial diamonds is notable. As mentioned above these<br />

artificial diamonds will phosphoresce, providing a quick and simple test. For users who only wish<br />

to examine melee diamonds and do not want the confusion of SW and LW, Gemetrix also offers a<br />

‘Melee Inspector’ that only features SW.<br />

For coloured diamonds and those having tints beyond around J, most automatic instruments are<br />

unsuitable. For example, an M-coloured artificial diamond will be deemed natural by instruments<br />

based on UV transparency. Most fancy coloured diamonds exhibit characteristic signatures if they<br />

are either artificial or have been colour treated. For example, a pink diamond that fluoresces<br />

bright orange is strongly indicative of colour treatment.<br />

A ‘<strong>Jewellery</strong> Inspector’ viewing the fluorescence of a<br />

collection of loose diamonds viewed with a smartphone<br />

app that allows comparison of SW and LW images<br />

While fluorescence can provide a good tool to identify growth method and treatments, it<br />

is limited by the eye’s response in that does not extend into the near infra-red nor can it<br />

identify spectral emission or absorption lines. Additionally, many diamonds may not fluoresce<br />

on account of high levels of a particular nitrogen defect that quenches fluorescence. Optical<br />

spectroscopy provides a more detailed analysis of either the fluorescence (PL) or light absorption<br />

characteristics. Where the fluorescence excitation is a laser, the resulting spectrum is commonly<br />

referred to as Raman. Besides the fluorescence emissions, a sharp emission (Raman) line will be<br />

present at a specific wavelength that corresponds to the nature of the crystal lattice. Such line<br />

can be used to confirm the identity of a gem as a diamond.<br />

The Perth company has recently developed a spectrometer<br />

system that combines both the capability of Raman/fluorescence<br />

and absorption spectroscopy. With some gems, an absorption<br />

spectrum is more useful than a PL one. Even with diamond, in<br />

some instances the PL spectrum may not show a 415 nm peak,<br />

however in absorption it will be conspicuous. Features such as<br />

those that indicate irradiation, are present as absorption (at 741<br />

nm) rather than PL emission. The Inspectrum system is unique in<br />

combining the PL and absorption in a single system and additionally<br />

it can record the absorption spectra with mounted goods, a useful<br />

feature for valuers. This optical configuration is also suited for<br />

analysing the reflection spectra of opaque stones such as jade.<br />

Gemetrix has further instruments under development hoping to<br />

release them during the coming year. Meanwhile, more artificial<br />

diamonds and treatments are coming onto the market, demanding<br />

greater vigilance by gem traders, jewellers and valuers.<br />

For further enquiries about Gemetrix’s products visit<br />

www.gemetrix.com.au<br />

+61 2 8065 8533<br />

info@sovereigngems.com<br />

Suite 5, Level 1<br />

428 George Street<br />

Sydney NSW 2000<br />

A PL spectrum of a light brown diamond<br />

revealing numerous defects (labelled) related<br />

to nitrogen (N) and vacancies (V).


Sixty years ago, the Edox Delfin set the benchmark for dive watches.<br />

In the 1960s, the Delfin<br />

was known as the water<br />

champion of the watch<br />

industry, a timepiece<br />

tough enough to run like<br />

clockwork at crushing<br />

depths of 300m.<br />

Now, with the new Delfin<br />

Mecano, boutique Swiss<br />

watchmaker brings a 21st century twist to this legendary wristwatch.<br />

The Delfin Mecano is forged from the same DNA as its brilliant 1960s<br />

predecessor, able to function perfectly at up to 200m deep, thanks to<br />

the Double O-ring ‘seals’ and the screw-down crown. Edox has given<br />

the watch face an eye-catching makeover with a skeletonised dial and<br />

movement exposing some of the intricate motions of the automatic<br />

Calibre 853.<br />

Whatever the lighting – or however deep you may be under the<br />

waves – the Delfin Mecano’s display is always crystal clear, thanks to<br />

the SuperLuminova coating on the hands. The<br />

transparent case back reveals even more<br />

of the magical world of mechanical<br />

watches and this 43mm diameter<br />

timepiece provides up to 42 hours<br />

of power reserve. The 12-sided<br />

bezel which beautifully frames<br />

the skeletonised dial reflects the<br />

shape of Delfin watch bezels from<br />

the 1970s and is a reminder that<br />

while Edox continually pushes the<br />

boundaries of watchmaking it<br />

never forgets its heritage.<br />

Searay<br />

Pty Ltd<br />

www.searay.net.au - info@searay.net.au - (03) 9095 6070

Over the past 125 years, Swarovski has always lived by the values of their<br />

founder Daniel Swarovski, and this includes offering a customer experience<br />

equal to the brilliance of their stones. The Swarovski Created Diamond<br />

program is your guarantee of this same spirit, trust, and quality.<br />

Introducing the Swarovski Created Diamonds Retail Program<br />

Showcase Jewellers introduces the Swarovski Created Diamonds Retail Program which allows you to<br />

present this product offering in an exclusive way, while at the same time providing education to the<br />

end consumer as well as giving them a choice of beautifully crafted Swarovski Created Diamonds.<br />

Materials and resources to help you promote, educate and sell Swarovski Created Diamonds:<br />

Laser engraving on 0.10ct and larger, visible under 20x magnification<br />

Assortment six classic diamond shapes and 16 astonishing fancy colours<br />

Pioneering Technology CVD (chemical vapor deposition) growing technology<br />

Lab Report 0.70ct and larger are accompanied by a lab report from IGI<br />

Quality Certificate and Packaging the consumers guarantee of authenticity<br />

Presentation Tray professionally present selected Swarovski Created Diamonds to your client<br />

100 Percent Diamonds “Lab-created diamonds are cultivated in a laboratory, but their quality, strength,<br />

optical finish, and overall physical and chemical properties are absolutely identical to those of mined<br />

diamonds, which grow over millions of years beneath the earth.<br />

Swarovski Created Diamonds have all the characteristics of mined diamonds.“<br />

IGI - International Gemological Institute, 2016<br />

Swarovski Created Diamonds is exclusive to the Showcase Jewellers Group.<br />

For more information on how to become a member so you can offer this unparalleled Lab Created Diamonds brand to<br />

your clients and to learn about other exclusive benefits of being a Showcase Jewellers Member contact us via<br />

Email: enquiries@jimaco.com | Phone: (02) 8566 1800 | Visit: www.showcasejewellers.com.au

Laura Moore<br />

Moore Events<br />

Director<br />



When the world is changing around us, to stay still is to be left behind. As an industry, we need<br />

to consider and act on global and consumer changes, to survive and thrive into the future.<br />

Each generation moves and shifts -<br />

adapting to technology, growing our<br />

understanding of culture and the world,<br />

and changing based on developments in<br />

research and understanding of each other and<br />

ourselves.<br />

These shifts take many different forms,<br />

from the more widespread acceptance of<br />

personalisation and individuality to awareness<br />

and, therefore, action in response to the<br />

changes we are making to our world and its<br />

survival.<br />

Generational changes are happening quicker<br />

than ever before, with the ability to see and<br />

react to not only the situations that directly<br />

affect us but also the ones that affect strangers<br />

from across the globe. In recent years and<br />

months, we have seen these situations play<br />

out before our very eyes, with some very real<br />

and very established global issues and some<br />

new ones, such as health pandemics we could<br />

never have predicted.<br />

Having these issues surround us daily, we<br />

slowly but surely change our fundamental<br />

needs and wants. Many of us are becoming<br />

more aware of how our actions and choices<br />

affect those around us and our planet.<br />

In particular, we are seeing younger<br />

generations taking action - and very seriously.<br />

They are changing their lives to ensure that<br />

they are the solution, not the problem, to the<br />

world's issues.<br />

These shifts in human<br />

behaviour and interest<br />

need to be understood<br />

and recognised as we<br />

develop and grow the<br />

jewellery industry.<br />

As consumers adapt<br />

to new a normal and<br />

their wants and needs<br />

change as a result, the<br />

way they buy and their<br />

receptiveness to brands and products will also<br />

change dramatically.<br />

As an industry, we need to not only be aware<br />

of these changes but also adapt ourselves<br />

to ensure that we are ready to respond to<br />

new consumer demands in the face of these<br />

changes.<br />

This requirement to understand our consumer<br />

goes hand in hand with our work on recruiting<br />

the next generation of buyer into the jewellery<br />

industry.<br />

Recruiting<br />

As this consumer - currently not old enough to<br />

purchase high-end jewellery - grows to an age<br />

where they want to mark a milestone like a<br />

relationship with something special, they may<br />

feel quite differently about purchases that the<br />

jewellery industry has historically been quite<br />

reliant on.<br />

For example, a 15-year-old girl growing up now<br />

in an age where issues such as climate change,<br />

gender equality, race issues and class systems<br />

are being challenged, and the traditional norms<br />

of a relationship are becoming the minority,<br />

may not feel comfortable buying or accepting<br />

a diamond ring if she is unsure of where its<br />

elements were mined, how it affected the<br />

environment and who was part of the process<br />

when making her piece.<br />

So how do we speak to her? How do we<br />

modify our message, our supply chain and our<br />

processes to ensure that when she is ready to<br />

buy jewellery, she will want to?<br />

40<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Equality<br />

We have seen in recent years major brands<br />

such as Tiffany and Co, shift their campaign<br />

message to include all types of love. Their<br />

‘My kind of Love’ campaign released in 2015<br />

depicted their first gay and lesbian couple,<br />

strongly aligning the brand to support the<br />

LGBTQ community which at the time was<br />

forming to advocate for same sex marriage.<br />

The brand shifted their traditional message to<br />

include and support their evolving consumer,<br />

and it paid off.<br />

Further reactions to the Marriage Equality<br />

debate of 2016-2017 came from Michael<br />

Hill and a plethora of other brands. Including<br />

Australia’s Peter W Beck whose same sex<br />

marriage campaign was released in 2013 after<br />

recognising the shift in trend and demand for<br />

‘His and His’ wedding bands.<br />

But it’s not just the changes in relationship<br />

status that require the jewellery industry<br />

to sit up and take notice. Major jewellery<br />

brands have adjusted their models to factor in<br />

environmental causes and equality.<br />

production. The company is now also focusing<br />

on conservation of the environment and<br />

wildlife.<br />

In March 2018, Breitling launched a<br />

partnership with Ocean Conservancy, teaming<br />

up on a mission to clean, protect and conserve<br />

oceans and beaches.<br />

Watch brand TIVC -<br />

Time IV Change - is a<br />

vegan friendly brand,<br />

clearly targeting<br />

the significant<br />

shift in clean and<br />

environmentally<br />

neutral eating.<br />

What will be the<br />

next humanitarian<br />

shift that will require the jewellery industry<br />

to react? And perhaps rather than react,<br />

why don’t we act? Brands and businesses<br />

that actively stand for humanitarian and<br />

environmental causes are shown to gain more<br />

trust from their consumer, especially younger<br />

generations who are actively seeking out<br />

brands who stand for something.<br />

What do we do?<br />

As participants in this industry, large or small,<br />

it is not only our responsibility to make good<br />

choices for our consumer, but to convey that<br />

message and intention when recruiting new<br />

customers.<br />

As consumers continue to be more aware<br />

of their impact on the environment and the<br />

world around them, they will seek to change<br />

their behaviour to ensure that whatever<br />

their actions, that they will have a neutral or<br />

positive effect on the world.<br />

Proactive<br />

behaviour<br />

on our part,<br />

sourcing<br />

Australian<br />

product,<br />

reducing<br />

waste, and<br />

manufacturing locally, means that when that<br />

15-year-old is ready to buy jewellery, she will<br />

not only want to, she will be proud to!<br />

The Environment<br />

Over many decades, De Beers has led the way<br />

in changing the way the diamond industry<br />

sources stones and minimises its involvement<br />

in conflict diamonds. Partnering with the<br />

<strong>World</strong> Diamond Council and supporting the<br />

Kimberly process, De Beers continues to be<br />

a leader, pushing the industry to be more<br />

mindful and to take action around diamond<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 41

By Cheryl D. Harty<br />




Two sisters have created a jewellery label that appeals not only<br />

through its contemporary aesthetic and bespoke individuality, but<br />

an empowering ‘giving back’ purpose. A core tenet of the Francesca<br />

Collections brand is that “success means nothing unless you are giving back.” Over the past<br />

four years, the company has donated over $350,000 to charities Australia-wide.<br />

Hannah and Rachel Vasicek grew up in<br />

a small coastal town in NSW, where<br />

Francesca owner and co-founder,<br />

Hannah, attended beading classes and taught<br />

herself different techniques as a teen. As her<br />

younger sibling by five years, Rachel watched<br />

her as she made pieces and learned from<br />

Hannah the craft of making jewellery.<br />

A family move to Tasmania followed and<br />

in 2011, 16 year old Hannah began selling<br />

various pieces under the brand ‘Handmade<br />

by Hannah’ every Saturday at the popular<br />

waterfront Salamanca Market in Hobart.<br />

The jewellery stall was a creative sideline for<br />

Hannah as she studied Science and Law at<br />

university.<br />

Once her schooling<br />

was completed,<br />

Rachel joined her<br />

sister in 2013 and<br />

together they<br />

worked full-time<br />

on the jewellery<br />

business. Hannah<br />

took care of the<br />

business side of<br />

the brand while Rachel handled the creative<br />

aspect. As demand for the jewellery grew,<br />

Hannah rebranded the range, Francesca<br />

Collections, with the range including<br />

handmade bracelets and classic inspired<br />

pieces for mid 40 plus women.<br />

The growth of the business saw Hannah<br />

Vasicek win a Global Student Entrepreneur<br />

Award for Australia in 2013. It marked a<br />

turning point that saw her realise that her<br />

jewellery passion could be a serious career,<br />

and she put her legal ambitions aside.<br />

The Francesca brand is a fusion of both sisters’<br />

contrasting styles using gold, sterling silver<br />

and natural stones. Combining design with<br />

an empowering<br />

purpose and<br />

emotional<br />

connection, the<br />

brand’s designs<br />

have evolved to<br />

be a lot more<br />

conceptual<br />

and fashion<br />

focused since<br />

its beginnings.<br />

Included in the Francesca offer today are<br />

necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, bridal<br />

jewellery, engagement rings and watches.<br />

The popular bracelet stacks - known as Franc<br />

Stacks - are handmade in the Hobart studio<br />

using natural gemstones that have unique<br />

42<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

healing properties, such as Agate, the stone<br />

of strength and Moonstone, the stone of<br />

hope. Pearls also used and the bracelets have<br />

findings of rose gold, yellow gold, and silver.<br />

Stack bracelets are purchased and worn alone<br />

or in varied combinations and have been a<br />

popular line for the brand.<br />

Three years ago, the sisters decided to focus<br />

on more meaning in their pieces and this<br />

led to the inception of the Francesca Create<br />

collection. This collection enables customers<br />

to design a piece of jewellery themselves<br />

through an extensive charm collection, with<br />

each design holding a unique quote meaning.<br />

“Since introducing this collection the brand<br />

has seen exponential growth, with a very loyal<br />

customer base who collect the pieces for their<br />

meaning. Our Firenze Collection has definitely<br />

been one of our most striking collections.<br />

When you look at the statement earrings<br />

from that collection and connect the design<br />

features with the architecture of the Duomo,<br />

it is very special,” Francesca Collections<br />

Creative Director, Rachel Vasicek said.<br />

She pointed out the release of collections in<br />

the past two years has been slowed down a<br />

lot to allow the brand to design a single standout<br />

range for the year, accompanied by lots of<br />

smaller capsule collections. Last year's hero<br />

collection was ‘Firenze,’ which showcased<br />

designs inspired by the Duomo in Florence,<br />

and recreated family heirlooms.<br />

The sisters believe in Francesca keeping its<br />

price point fair for its customers. “We only<br />

work with solid sterling silver, gold filled or<br />

18k gold plating at 3 microns thickness, so<br />

considering the quality we are very reasonably<br />

priced,” Rachel said.<br />

Quality, unique design and desire to give<br />

meaning is Francesca’s greatest point of<br />

difference, she noted. “Our brand identity has<br />

become a lot clearer and so have the values<br />

the brand stands for. We have evolved mostly<br />

in the public eye as being a brand that is more<br />

than just a company that sells jewellery.<br />

Fifty per cent of Francesca jewellery is<br />

made in the Hobart studio and is comprised<br />

mainly of its iconic semi-precious stacking<br />

bracelets. “We love that we have been able to<br />

modernise the love we have for natural stones<br />

by creating this range,” Rachel said.<br />

Among the brand’s latest innovations is a<br />

patented charm design that allows customers<br />

to easily connect and interchange their charm<br />

to a bracelet or necklace without needing<br />

pliers.<br />

We have evolved<br />

mostly in the public<br />

eye as being a brand<br />

that is more than<br />

just a company that<br />

sells jewellery.<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 43

Success means<br />

nothing unless you<br />

are giving back.<br />

Francesca currently has 40 employees<br />

ranging from retail staff to online dispatch,<br />

creatives and jewellery makers. “From the<br />

very beginning we have been passionate<br />

about keeping a lot of what we do in-house<br />

rather than outsourcing skills, allowing our<br />

team to constantly upskill. So everything from<br />

our product photography, website, dispatch<br />

and graphics, is all done in our Hobart<br />

headquarters.”<br />

An online store has seen exponential growth<br />

for the brand in the last few years and has<br />

enabled the designers to connect with new<br />

customers on a global scale. The bricks<br />

and mortar retail presence has also grown<br />

stronger with the opening of the Francesca<br />

flagship store in the Cat & Fiddle Arcade,<br />

Hobart in 2017, four years after the brand’s<br />

first tiny retail outlet opened on the outskirts<br />

of the city.<br />

In 2016, a store opened in Melbourne<br />

Central and has since undergone a major<br />

refurbishment. Following the refresh, the<br />

store reopened as another flagship store<br />

for the brand in 2019. The brand is also sold<br />

through pop ups from time to time. “We<br />

absolutely love connecting with our customers<br />

and our stores give them the Francesca<br />

experience that can often be hard to convey<br />

online,” Rachel, who has driven the digital<br />

marketing, design and operations of the<br />

business as it has expanded across Australia,<br />

said.<br />

Self-taught, Rachel educated herself in<br />

branding and marketing out of necessity<br />

during Francesca’s early days. Since then, she<br />

has grown her skillset across other business<br />

functions, including project management and<br />

growth strategy. In recent years, the Francesca<br />

brand has employed a team of non-English<br />

speaking refugee women and will soon shoot<br />

its first international campaign.<br />

The “success means nothing unless you are<br />

giving back” ethos has been a fundamental<br />

value for Hannah and Rachel personally. “It<br />

was crucial that our business had an avenue<br />

for giving back. Four years ago we launched<br />

our ‘Awareness Bracelet’ that donates and<br />

creates awareness for a different charity every<br />

month. In that time we have donated over<br />

$350k to charities Australia wide with our<br />

largest donation being $100,000 in January<br />

for the Australian bushfire crisis,” Rachel<br />

explained.<br />

Telstra, the nation’s leading<br />

telecommunication company, has<br />

acknowledged the business acumen of the<br />

Vasicek sisters and their jewellery brand. In<br />

2014, Hannah was a Telstra Micro Business of<br />

the Year finalist and the following<br />

year, Francesca Collections was<br />

named the 2015 Tasmanian Telstra<br />

Business of the Year. In May, Rachel<br />

won the <strong>2020</strong> Telstra Tasmanian<br />

Business Women’s Emerging Leader<br />

Award.<br />

“The awards are an incredible<br />

opportunity to reflect on what<br />

you have achieved and are a nice<br />

form of recognition. It can often<br />

be lonely when you’re at the top<br />

of the business driving the brand's<br />

development, and there’s not<br />

often someone there to give you<br />

a pat on the back. The awards are<br />

a really nice reflection of time and<br />

achievements,” Rachel commented.<br />

Both sisters attend the world<br />

jewellery fair every year in Hong<br />

Kong to find suppliers for their<br />

casted designs and packaging as well<br />

as hand selecting a year's worth of<br />

stones. In recent times, however,<br />

they found that some of their manufacturers<br />

in Hong Kong had closed their studios.<br />

“This didn’t impact us a great deal as we<br />

focused a lot more on designs we could make<br />

and release from our Hobart studio. It was a<br />

time for me as the designer to get a lot more<br />

creative and I adapted designs we already<br />

had to make them new again. This was a very<br />

refreshing process and inspired us to continue<br />

to innovate here in Australia more,” Rachel<br />

said.<br />

In their continued quest to give meaning<br />

to jewellery, the Vasicek sisters want the<br />

Francesca brand to focus more on sharing<br />

stories. “We often have customers share their<br />

personal stories with us and why they chose<br />

certain pieces and we think that is a really<br />

powerful avenue to focus on,” Rachel said.<br />

“Our big dream is to create the ‘Francesca<br />

Foundation’ as our direct charitable route.”<br />

44<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

<strong>Jewellery</strong> Centre<br />

www.jewellerycentreaustralia.com<br />

ITALIAN sterling silver<br />


More styles available<br />

Osjag | PO Box 4420 | North Rocks, NSW 2151 | +61 2 9630 6619<br />

admin@osjag.com | www.osjag.com<br />

07 3221 3838<br />

sales@jcentre.com.au<br />

Wholesale & Fine <strong>Jewellery</strong><br />

Importers Brisbane, AUSTRALIA


How to make a Traditional Solitaire Ring<br />

This tutorial demonstrates how to make a classic Solitaire Ring.<br />

This project has been used as an apprentice bench test for<br />

over 50 years and many old school goldsmiths will recognise<br />

this as a benchmark test for apprentices. The skills are still<br />

essential for today’s jeweller and requires advanced soldering<br />

and fabrication skills making it an ideal test for advanced<br />

apprentices and online learners.<br />

1The materials needed for this project<br />

are 6.5mm round CZ and 30mm x<br />

4.5mm x 4.5mm stock gauge sterling<br />

silver. Roll the silver to 3mm square and<br />

cut off a 20mm section to form the setting.<br />

Roll through the flat rolls to 1.1mm thick<br />

making sure that the width is no less than<br />

6mm. This will require some creative angle<br />

and width rolling.<br />

2Calculate the length required for the<br />

setting. Cut and square off the ends.<br />

Anneal the strip and form into a round<br />

bezel. You can use round nose pliers<br />

and parallel pliers to bring the ends together.<br />

Hammer the bezel into your 17° bezel block.<br />

Do not use the punch at this stage. Turn it<br />

over and hammer the other end until the<br />

joint tightens. The bezel may look deformed,<br />

but final shaping will be done once it is<br />

soldered.<br />

3To ensure you have a clean tight joint,<br />

you may need to cut through with a<br />

saw blade and re-tighten in the block<br />

before hard soldering.<br />

Hammer the bezel into the 9mm hole and<br />

once the bezel top is flush with the top of<br />

the block insert the punch and finish off the<br />

forming. You will need to be forceful. You<br />

will also notice that silver flashing will form<br />

around the outer edge. Cut this off, anneal<br />

and check that your stone sits on the inside<br />

edge of the setting without dropping in.<br />

4<br />

The top and sides of the setting will be<br />

angled perfectly but the bottom of the<br />

setting will have become distorted,<br />

so carefully file it flat, making sure it<br />

is perfectly parallel to the top. The height of<br />

the setting should be around 8mm. If not,<br />

perform more aggressive hammering in the<br />

block, then cut off 2mm from the bottom.<br />

This will become the under bezel later.<br />

Mark on the top of the bezel for 6 x 2mm<br />

wide perfectly positioned claws.<br />

5Mark a guideline halfway down the<br />

setting and use a 4/0 or 5/0 blade to<br />

cut down from the claw markings. Cut<br />

at a 45°angle until you contact the<br />

guideline, then angle cut across to take the<br />

sections between the claws out. Use a round<br />

needle file to shape the bottom of the drape<br />

cut. You could also use a round bur but try to<br />

use traditional skills. The old-school way to<br />

hold the setting as you work is to use shellac<br />

on a piece of wood doweling or a pencil.<br />

6<br />

Now turn the setting over. Line your<br />

saw blade up with the centre of<br />

the claws and cut from the bottom<br />

at 45° to the halfway mark. Use a<br />

three-square needle file to open the cut at<br />

the bottom. This creates the classic organ pipe<br />

effect once it has been rounded off.<br />

Remove all the scratches and tool marks with<br />

emery paper and use a bush mop to polish<br />

the bottom of the setting ready for the under<br />

bezel attachment.<br />

46<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

7<br />

The small bezel that you prepared<br />

earlier will need to be formed further<br />

in the bezel block to make it a little<br />

higher and thinner. Prepare the top<br />

surfacefor polishing, then solder it to the<br />

bottom of the setting. Ensure it is positioned<br />

perfectly and use minimal solder, otherwise<br />

you may flood the triangular gaps. Pickle to<br />

remove the oxides.<br />

Now you can turn your attention to the<br />

ring shank. Roll the remaining silver to<br />

approximately 2.8mm x 2mm and cut it down<br />

to 50mm.<br />

8<br />

Anneal the strip and bend it into a ring<br />

shape. The ring finger size will be very<br />

small, but it will increase in size later.<br />

Solder, using hard grade.<br />

Start the forging by hammering the opposite<br />

side to the solder joint. Reduce the thickness<br />

to around 1.8mm and the width to 3mm.<br />

Forge the joint side on a flat stake to reduce<br />

the width and build up the thicknessat the top<br />

to approximately 2.7mm thick x 2mm wide.<br />

The dimension will reduce a little more once<br />

you have filled and emery cleaned off the<br />

dents and tool marks.<br />

9<br />

Set your dividers to just over 1mm<br />

and scribe a 10mm line from the inside<br />

edge of the top of the ring. The solder<br />

joint should be in the middle.<br />

Cut from the solder joint on top of the ring<br />

down to the line and carefully turn the saw<br />

cut 90° to cut along the scribe line. Cut both<br />

sides ensuring that your saw cutting stays<br />

directly on the scribe line.<br />

10<br />

Prise the shoulders open with<br />

a pen knife until you can grab<br />

them with your chain nose<br />

pliers. Bend the shoulders up<br />

into a nice sweeping curve, making sure they<br />

are symmetrical. Place the setting against the<br />

ring and mark off along the under bezel. Cut<br />

out the rail section so that the setting fits into<br />

the gap. You may need to trim off parts of the<br />

shoulder ends so that the four joints all make<br />

contact and the setting is lined up perfectly.<br />

11components together. Flux and use<br />

Once the setting fits and is lined<br />

up perfectly with no joint gaps,<br />

use binding wire to hold the two<br />

the minimum amount of medium grade solder<br />

on the joints. It is recommended that you<br />

solder one joint first, allow to cool, then check<br />

that the components are correctly lined up<br />

before finishing the solder operation.<br />

The traditional way to dress open shoulders is<br />

to solder a small section of chenier tube into<br />

them. Use the remaining silver to make the<br />

tube (instructions are in the video).<br />

12<br />

tube shoulder joints.<br />

Use a minimal amount of solder<br />

to ensure all the decorative<br />

detail is kept. Pickle, and trim<br />

off any excess solder around the<br />

Polish all surfaces including the inside of the<br />

settings. The ring is now finished and ready<br />

for assessment before stone setting.<br />

Peter Keep is a<br />

master jeweller<br />

and teacher. He<br />

offers structured<br />

online courses<br />

that have helped<br />

thousands of<br />

students around<br />

the world improve<br />

their skills.<br />

This online course includes six videos with<br />

detailed instructions.<br />

www.jewellerytrainingsolutions.com.au/<br />

courses/traditional-solitaire-ring<br />

<strong>Jewellery</strong> Training Solutions is helping to train the next generation of jewellers<br />

and offers a comprehensive online training service for including the popular<br />

industry recognised Ten Stage Apprenticeship Course.<br />

Check out all the courses and options.<br />

www.jewellerytrainingsolutions.com.au<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 47

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48<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

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50<br />

jewellery world - <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

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