Jeweller - May 2021

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MAY 2021

Prime time



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MAY 2021



MAY 2021


This Month

Industry Facets

14 Editor’s Desk



Time Machine: May 2011

15 Upfront



John Franich Jewellers

17 News



Percy Marks

23 Product Spotlight





Heavy metal

37 Jewellers Showcase




David Hollanders


Rikki McAndrew

4CALLUM GLENNEN explores recent

developments in casting and refining, including

precious metal prices and advanced technology.






Reset and refine


Watching the clock


All things bright and beautiful

Better Your Business



Community is critical to retail success, write RICH KIZER and GEORGANNE BENDER.


Primary colours

4Bold designs and vibrant hues




SUE BARRETT reveals the three principles that should guide your sales strategy.


BRIAN WALKER explores the role intuition plays in running a successful business.

Springboard forward and together

unify the industry!

give coloured gemstones the edge,





CHRIS PETERSEN explains why the second sale is more valuable than the first.


Revisit old blog posts to boost your search-engine rankings, advises BETH WALKER.



Real fair go

Prime time

Full spectrum Precious metal



by Expertise Events

AUGUST 28 – 30, 2021

Organised by


reviews the state of the

Swiss fairs following this

year’s Watches & Wonders

Geneva and Shanghai.


Colonial Gemstones brings

you premium, ethically-mined

emeralds and emerald jewellery

direct from the world-famous

mines of Colombia.


ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour

Est. 1990

May 2021 | 12

Editor’s Desk

One part water, one part soil and sharp scissors

Recognising root rot is the first step towards saving a plant or tree, and just like gardening,

a ‘dying’ business can often be saved by a repot and a solid prune. ANGELA HAN shares her experiences.

Leaders and numbers

have one thing in common...

They both speak for themsel ves !









1 Jeweller 66,094 25:31 14 Australia

2 JCK 73,914 02:03 1.6 USA

3 National Jeweller 118,273 01:49 1.8 USA


Jewellery Net Asia 136,914 07:11 6.7 Hong Kong

5 Rapaport Magazine 145,914 01:57 1.6 USA

* Alexa Global Ranking statistics as at 30 March 2021

Jeweller been the leading voice of the Australian and New

Zealand jewellery industries for more than two decades.

Today we rank #1 in the world.

Alexa, the independent global ranking system for measuring

website traffi c and readership, now ranks jewellermagazine.com

as the most widely read industry publication in the world.

Better still, the daily time spent on jewellermagazine.com averages

25 minutes, which far exceeds all other industry titles that average

only 2–3 minutes per visitor, while Jeweller’s social media presence

dominates and our eMags boast over 12.1 million reads.

It’s clear, the numbers speak for themselves -

follow the leader, and follow the readers too!

Being a gardening enthusiast, I have a

predilection for rescuing dying plants. As

long as the roots are still healthy, there is

always a chance it can be saved with some

attention and care. While not all survive,

it’s immensely edifying when they do.

One of my proudest ‘rescues’ is a Hindu

rope plant that I bought for a few dollars.

Looking more dead than alive, I should have

thought better than to take something home

that may introduce new pests into my miniecosystem,

but still took the risk knowing it

was a rare find.

I was told that the clusters of gem-like

petals smelled of dark chocolate, which

would intensify as the sun went down.

Armed with hope and a bag of dirt, I was

determined to save it. Having done some

research, I knew it would need to be tightly

root-bound in arid soil with a few hours of

indirect sun each day – and given the rot in

its roots, even more care would be needed.

Because it takes Hindu rope plants anywhere

between five and seven years to mature

and finally flower, there was not a second to

waste if I wanted to nurse it back to health

and see it blossom!

Caring for plants teaches the limitations

of what is, and isn’t, within my control,

especially having to work at the pace of

Mother Nature and Father Time.

Of the many lessons that the natural world

reveals, here are the most important:

A time to love, a time to hold back

It doesn’t take long to discover each plants’

particularities, with some being more ‘needy’

than others. Tropical Calatheas can develop

brown edges around the vibrant leaves if you

so much as look at it the wrong way, while

the hardy Zamioculcas thrives on neglect.

Either way, it’s commonplace to kill

houseplants with kindness, especially when

you’re trying to rescue one.

Similarly, our professional and work lives

require varying degrees of attention in order

to succeed, and excessive time spent serving

the wrong needs can have destructive


For example, spending too much time

watching the bottom-line could be detrimental

to your creative output; if the soul of your

business suffers, at a certain point there will

be no bottom-line left to manage.

Inversely, spending too much time on

creativity and neglecting the bottom-line

could lead to cost blow-outs and wasted

energy, whittling away the profit margin on

even the most perfect product.

To have a flourishing business, it’s imperative

to regularly assess which areas need more –

or less – attention and adjust your behaviour

to address problems before it’s too late.

Good ideas, and new businesses, are most

fragile at conception; close monitoring

is necessary but care must be taken not

to ‘overwater’ or ‘over feed’. You can only

expect to yield results under the right

conditions (controllable) at the right time


Fine-tuning small things each day can

make a vast difference to ensure your

business thrives.

A time to prune, a time to harvest

Ruthless pruning at the right time, and

in the right place, is the golden rule of

green-thumbed people; roses bloom with

a vengeance after a good pruning, and

peaches are sweetest after they’ve blushed.

Like an untended garden, it’s easy to

let innocent overgrowth consume your

income and unclipped branches choke the

business. However, making the right cuts

will yield immediate changes and can turn

a malnourished business into one that is

robust and ready for growth.

“Is there a need to finally address dead

stock and throw away the tired old window


“Do I need to sever ties with non-paying

clients or deal with toxic staff members?”

“Have I reviewed unnecessary business

expenses that have grown out of control,

like weeds?”

Pruning can sometimes feel ruthless when

you’re staring at a barebone branch, but

patience is always rewarded in time with a

more bountiful harvest.

Pruning can

sometimes feel

ruthless when

you’re staring

at a barebone

branch, but


is always

rewarded in

time with a

more bountiful


A time for life, a time for death

It’s easy to feel like a failure when you’re

holding a dead plant over a rubbish or

compost bin.

“What could I have done differently?” is a

question that has haunted anyone who has

failed to bring their vision to fruition.

Yet, even after doing everything right, there

are some projects that will fail for reasons

beyond comprehension.

Luckily, as it turns out, death isn’t the

opposite of life – but a critical part of it.

In fact, many cultures believe that death

completes and fuels the next cycle of life.

In between the two points of existence,

we simply learn to accept the storm, and

cooperate with the wind and sun.

So, remove dead matter, learn from your

mistakes and prepare the ground for new

endeavours. With the change in seasons

comes a sequence of opportunities that

can become a gift to nurture resilience

and strength.

A high school teacher, who was an avid

gardener herself, once told me her daily

prayer: “Lord, grant me the serenity to

accept the things I cannot change, courage

to change the things I can, and wisdom to

know the difference.”

For those wondering, my Hindu rope

plant flourished and flowered within three

years, and has continued to multiply

each year since. The more clippings I

share with friends and colleagues, the

more it seems to grow. Six years on, this

overachieving ex-runt thrives on neglect

and boasts ropes of dark glossy leaves

draping to the floor.

And yes, the rumour was true; through

the nights of spring and summer, the pink

flowers of the Hindu rope plant exude a

rich chocolate perfume that comes alive

when the sun goes down.

Now if you’d excuse me, I have some

pruning to do!

Angela Han



May 2021 | 14


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Aurora Australis Opal

4Discovered at Lightning Ridge, NSW in 1938, the 180-carat Aurora

Australis is believed to be the world’s most valuable black opal, with

an estimated value of $1 million. Miner Charlie Dunstan recovered the

gemstone which displays a harlequin pattern and vibrant red, green, and

blue play of colours.

It was sold to opal specialists Altmann + Cherny,

who cut, polished, and renamed it The Aurora

Australis after the ‘southern lights’ – the

southern-hemisphere equivalent to the

Aurora Borealis, or ‘northern lights’.

The opal is on permanent

display at the Altmann + Cherny

showroom in Sydney.

Celebrity Style

4Writer-director Emerald Fennell

(above) attended the virtual British

Academy Film & Television Awards

(BAFTAs) – where her feature Promising

Young Woman won Best British Film –

wearing a selection of green tourmaline

and diamond cocktail rings (inset)

designed by her father, acclaimed

jeweller Theo Fennell.

Image credit: Tiffany & Co. Image credit: Zoe McConnell

Stranger Things

Weird, wacky and wonderful

jewellery news from around the world

A rail honest guy

4A New York train conductor

has been honoured by the

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)

for discovering and turning in

36 diamond engagement rings,

which had been left on an evening

rush hour train. Valued at

$US107,000, the find is believed to

be one of the LIRR’s most expensive

lost property cases. Thanks to the

conductor’s honesty, the rings were

soon reunited with their owner – a

jeweller who had forgotten them on

his train ride home!

Gift fit for a Khaleesi

4To celebrate the 10th

anniversary of the Game Of

Thrones TV show, Fabergé has

designed a limited-edition

themed version of its iconic Egg

objet d’art, in collaboration with

Thrones costume designer Michele

Clapton. The enamel Egg opens

in three sections and features

18-carat white gold dragons, pink

sapphires, white diamonds, and a

hidden ruby crown.

French luxury


Kering has now

trained 400 staff

in 16 countries to

conduct ‘distance

sales’ using

digital means.

Digital Brainwave

4European luxury brands have begun

to embrace ‘distance sales’ during the

COVID-19 pandemic, with Italian jeweller

Gismondi 1754 revealing it recently sold

a €300,000 10-carat diamond ring via

WhatsApp and video chat.

Massimo Gismondi, CEO Gismondi 1754,

said, “I was on the phone chatting with the

lady who is buying it, and it came up that this

was the dream of a lifetime for her.”

Gismondi assisted the customer to find

the perfect ring via video, which was then

delivered to her home in Switzerland.

Campaign Watch

4Tiffany & Co. has announced

Roseanne ‘Rosé’ Park (above, in the

new Tiffany HardWear campaign), from

girl group Blackpink, as its new global

‘ambassador’. New Zealand-born,

Australian-raised Park said, “I’ve worn

Tiffany jewellery since I was in high

school... I’m very honoured and excited.”

Weapon of choice

4US jewellery brand Amulet By

D has released a ‘self-defence’

collection, with pieces that can be

quickly converted into weapons

such as diamond-studded sterling

silver knuckle dusters and necklaces

with functional whistles and spiked

clasps. Founder Doris Chou Durfee

– who is an experienced martial arts

practitioner – said the designs were

inspired by her experiences as an

Asian-American woman, including

witnessing recent hate crimes

in the US.


Published by Befindan Media Pty Ltd

Locked Bag 26, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 AUSTRALIA | ABN 66 638 077 648 | Phone: +61 3 9696 7200 | Subscriptions & Enquiries: info@jewellermagazine.com

Publisher Angela Han angela.han@jewellermagazine.com • Editor Arabella Roden arabella.roden@jewellermagazine.com • Production Assistant Lauren McKinnon art@befindanmedia.com

Digital Co-ordinator Trish Bucheli-Preece trish@jewellermagazine.com • Advertising Toli Podolak toli.podolak@jewellermagazine.com • Accounts Paul Blewitt finance@befindanmedia.com

Copyright All material appearing in Jeweller is subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly forbidden without prior written consent of the publisher. Befindan Media Pty Ltd

strives to report accurately and fairly and it is our policy to correct significant errors of fact and misleading statements in the next available issue. All statements made, although based on information

believed to be reliable and accurate at the time, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission. Any comment relating to subjective opinions should be addressed to

the editor. Advertising The publisher reserves the right to omit or alter any advertisement to comply with Australian law and the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher for all damages or liabilities

arising from the published material.


jewellery + watches

p +61 (0)8 8221 5580

sales@timesupply.com.au | timesupply.com.au

exclusive distributor AU & NZ


News In Brief

GIA recalls fancy


4 The Gemological Institute of America

(GIA) has withdrawn the grading reports

for a number of fancy colour diamonds

analysed between January and June

2020, over concerns an as-yet unidentified

treatment could have gone undetected.

The diamonds in question were issued with

a “green or greenish” colour grade. The

GIA removed the diamonds from its Report

Check service and offered free re-testing.

COVID-19 impacts Indian

diamond industry

4 A second wave of the COVID-19

pandemic in India may lead to polished

diamond shortages, as one in four

workers stay home and companies shift

resources towards higher-value stones,

Rapaport News reports. Diamond

manufacturing in India – where more

than 90 per cent of the world’s diamonds

are cut – has reportedly fallen 30–40 per

cent in recent weeks.

Diamond ring breaks

Aussie auction record

4 Auction house Leonard Joel has

sold the largest and most expensive

diamond ring ever auctioned in

Australia, for $1.125 million. The

platinum ring features a square

emerald-cut 25.02-carat centre stone.

Hamish Sharma, head of Leonard Joel’s

Important Jewels division, said, “If you’re

judging it from a point of view of beauty,

it’s unparalleled.”

Management shuffle

at Seiko

4Shinji Hattori – great-grandson of

Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori – has

stepped down as CEO of Seiko Watch

Corporation (SWC) after 17 years.

Meanwhile, SWC president Shuji

Takahashi has been promoted to

another role within the Seiko group.

Akio Naito – a long-term SWC executive

who has held leadership roles in both

Australia and Japan – has been named

as the new president.

Baume & Mercier releases revamped

Riviera watch collection

The Baume & Mercier Riviera Collection retains the

original’s unusual 12-sided bezel.

Swiss watch brand Baume & Mercier has

launched the latest version of its historic Riviera

timepiece, which was originally released in 1973.

The Riviera was named for the iconic French

coastline, with the unusual design representing

“freedom and renewal” as well as “offbeat


Unveiled during the recent Watches &

Wonders Geneva virtual event, the new

Riviera collection features self-winding models

for men and women in case sizes from 36mm

to 42mm, as well as a model housing the

brand’s signature Baumatic calibre, which

provides a five-day power reserve.

All the timepieces feature the Riviera’s

Casting, refining and fabricated alloys firm

opens Melbourne office

Chemgold has opened a new location in Melbourne

as it celebrates 35 years in the jewellery industry.

Sydney-based casting, refining, and fabricated

alloys firm Chemgold has opened a new location in

Melbourne’s CBD, in order to serve the Victorian

jewellery retail and manufacturing market.

It will offer casting, refining, fabricated alloys,

findings, bullion, mounts, laser engraving and

the full Chemgold design catalogue.

distinctive 12-sided stainless steel bezel,

updated for modern consumers with black,

blue, silver, and grey dials available, as well as

interchangeable rubber strap or steel bracelet.

A statement from Baume & Mercier read, “The

Riviera is making a comeback that strikes a

balance between its roots in avant-garde ‘70s

design and the sport-minded classicism of

today’s watches.

“More than any other, the Riviera collection

demonstrates the expertise of Baume & Mercier

in the field of unusually shaped watches.

Of the original model, the statement said,

“Known for its twelve-sided bezel reflecting the

twelve hours displayed on its dial, this unique

watch left an impression.

“The icon of a nonchalant generation, it

has always carried the Baume & Mercier

fundamentals in its genes: a love of design, a

regard for form, and a desire for boldness.”

The ‘revamped’ Riviera follows other Baume

& Mercier archival revivals, such as the Art

Deco-inspired Hampton Collection, which was

unveiled at the digital Watches & Wonders

Geneva event in 2020.

Darren Sher, director Chemgold, told Jeweller,

“We opened in Melbourne primarily to make

our products and services more accessible to

jewellers and retailers in Victoria,” adding that

“existing – and potential – customers have

requested we do this for years”.

“We feel there is an opportunity to offer our

quality products as well as our renowned

personalised service. The planning has been in

the pipeline for many years with the set up taking

place over the last few months,” Sher said.

The Melbourne office will also offer several

unique services, including the ability to collect

stockgauge, solder, findings, and selected bullion.

“Casting will still be based in Sydney, however

customers can collect orders and drop off

masters, waxes, or samples in Melbourne,”

Sher explained.

The new office opens as Chemgold celebrates

its 35th year in the jewellery trade, and is located

in the heart of Melbourne’s ‘jewellery district’,

Collins Street.

Spanish jewellery brand UNOde50 enters

Australian market

Timesupply has inked a deal to distribute Spanish jewellery brand UNOde50, which is known for its distinctive

designs and bold aesthetics. Image credit: UNOde50

Spanish jewellery brand UNOde50 is set

to enter the Australian and New Zealand

market, distributed by Timesupply.

As part of the deal, Timesupply will

take control of UNOde50 distribution

within Australia and New Zealand as

well as operating the local version of the

brand’s website.

Javier Gala, CEO UNOde50, said, “UNOde50

is proud to announce its strategic partnership

with Timesupply to service the Australian and

New Zealand markets.

“Until now, UNOde50 has had a limited

presence in the region. However, we are

confident that our brand’s unique jewellery

designs – timelessly fusing tradition with

modernity and handcrafted quality – have

great potential to appeal to a new group

of consumers.”

Ken Abbott, director Timesupply, told

Jeweller, “We first became aware of

UNOde50 in 2017 after seeing the brand

in many UK retailers.

“It was very eye-catching and obviously

hugely popular; we considered it would be

a great addition to our stable of brands.”

He added, “UNOde50 has a very unique

design DNA – it is difficult to mistake for any

other brand. It is bold and artistic and will

appeal not only to those who know the brand

from Europe but also to new customers, who

are always looking for something special.

“UNOde50 fits perfectly with Timesupply’s

mission to distribute unique, distinctively

designed jewellery with outstanding

quality and value.”

Founded in Madrid in the 1990s, UNOde50

jewellery is handcrafted in Spain and has an

existing retailer network spanning more than

45 countries.

While its largest market is Spain, followed

by the US, the brand has been pursuing

an expansion strategy to new territories,

including Ireland in November 2020.

“UNOde50 has a very unique design

DNA – it is difficult to mistake for any

other brand. It is bold and artistic and

will appeal not only to those who know

the brand from Europe, but also to

new customers”



Its signature pieces are bracelets, which

account for more than 45 per cent of sales,

followed by necklaces. While known for its

plated silver and leather designs, UNOde50’s

range also incorporates gold plating, natural

gemstones, and pearls.

It takes its name from the limited quantities

of its first jewellery collections – just 50 pieces

and its logo is a padlock, which represents the

‘protection of exclusive jewellery designs’.

In addition to its 500-piece core range,

UNOde50 releases two collections each year;

its most recent release for 2021 is the Glam

Collection, featuring animal motifs and ontrend

gold chains.

Timesupply currently distributes a number

of European brands, including Coeur de

Lion, Nomination, DANSK Copenhagen,

QUDO, and RAS.

17 | May 2021



Diamond organisation warned over advertising

The National Advertising Division (NAD) – the US

advertising industry’s self-regulation body – has

issued a warning to the Natural Diamond Council

(NDC) following a complaint from lab-created

diamond company Diamond Foundry.

In March, the NDC made its own complaint to the

NAD, challenging descriptions and nomenclature

used in digital marketing for Diamond Foundry and

its subsidiary, jewellery brand Vrai.

LVMH watch and jewellery division records 138 per

cent increase in revenue following Tiffany deal

The warning pertained to advertising that

compared natural mined diamonds with manmade

diamonds – also known as lab-grown, labcreated,

or synthetic diamonds – appearing on

the NDC’s website and in marketing assets made

available to retailers.

Diamond Foundry disputed the NDC’s claim that

natural diamond production generates ‘three

times less carbon emissions’ than lab-created

diamonds – a figure the NDC derived from a report

commissioned and published by its predecessor,

the Diamond Producers Association, in 2019.

In an April 22 statement, the NAD determined that

the NDC’s evidence for the ‘three times less carbon

emissions’ claim was “not sufficiently reliable”

and was “concerned that such claims conveyed

a broader implied message about the overall

environmental benefits of mined diamonds versus

man-made diamonds”.

NAD recommended NDC remove the claim,

alongside online advertising that referred to the

“scarcity of mined diamonds [and] the resale value

of mined diamonds versus man-made diamonds”.

“NAD recommended NDC remove the claim,

alongside online advertising that referred

to the ‘scarcity of mined diamonds [and] the

resale value of mined diamonds versus

man-made diamonds’”

NAD determined that “Diamond Foundry must,

consistent with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Jewelry Guides, make an effective disclosure that its

diamonds are man-made. NAD further found that,

consistent with the FTC Jewelry Guides and the

FTC Dot Com Disclosure publication, the advertiser

should distinguish its LGDs from mined diamonds”.

Formerly known as the Advertising Self-Regulatory

Council (ASRC), NAD is an independent non-profit

that monitors truth and accuracy in advertising.

While not an official regulator, it often refers cases

to the US Government’s Federal Trade Commission.

Frequently, its cases are established based on

challenges from competing businesses.

Tiffany & Co. has contributed to a 138 per cent increase in revenue for LVMH’s Watch & Jewelry division. Pictured:

New Tiffany & Co. celebrity spokesperson Anya Taylor-Joy. Image credit: Nolan Zangas/Tiffany & Co.

In its first financial update for 2021, French

luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis

Vuitton (LVMH) has reported revenue of €13.96

billion ($AU21.6 billion), an increase of 32 per

cent compared with the same period last year.

During the first quarter of 2021, €1.88 billion

($AU2.9 billion) came from LVMH’s Watches

& Jewelry division – up 138 per cent compared

with 2020.

US publication JCK Online reports Guiony as

saying, “Integrating Tiffany is very important to

us... [The company is] a big acquisition for us

[and] our number one priority.”

Guiony added, “It will take years to do what we

want to do with this brand, from a distribution,

merchandising, and marketing viewpoint. It is a

lot of work – we are committed to doing it.”

Innovative timepieces with

components of premium

quality, Classique watches

possess a distinctive and

unmistakable personality.


P 02 9290 2199

Michael Hill International reports positive

sales trends, continues COVID recovery

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Hill

International has recorded increased revenue and

same-store sales for the quarter ended 28 March 2021.

In its latest quarterly financial report for the

trading period ended 28 March 2021, Michael Hill

International (MHI), has recorded encouraging

results, including a 16.4 per cent increase in samestore

sales and revenue of $118.5 million, up 11.6

per cent compared with the same period last year.

Australia – MHI’s largest market – was a key

driver of revenue, recording sales of $70.3 million,

an increase of nearly 20 per cent. Canada, MHI’s

second-largest market by store count, recorded

revenue of $CAD17 million.

The results were significantly hampered by

temporary store closures due to the COVID-19

pandemic, with 134 of its 288-strong store network

forced to shut their doors.

Daniel Bracken, CEO MHI, said, “I’m delighted by

these results... Considering the ongoing challenges

of navigating COVID-19, particularly in Canada,

this result demonstrates the resilience of the

Michael Hill business and further validates our

transformation to a modern, differentiated, omnichannel

jewellery brand.

“I’ve never been more confident in our leadership

team, and with a clear plan for growth, we are

well-placed for continued strong results despite the

uncertain environment,” he added.

Online sales also continued to climb for the

jewellery chain, with e-commerce accounting for 5.6

per cent of total sales – an increase of 69.2 per cent

from the previous quarter and more than 90 per

cent higher than the same period in 2020.

The increase is largely attributed to the

acquisition of international jewellery company

Tiffany & Co., which was finalised in January.

Tiffany & Co.’s annual revenue – which totalled

$US4.4 billion ($AU6.8 billion) in 2019, the last

financial year for which figures are available

– is approximately equal to that of LVMH’s

existing Watches & Jewelry division, which

includes TAG Heuer, Bulgari, Hublot, Zenith,

Chaumet, and Fred.

A statement published on the LVMH website

noted, “The Watches & Jewelry business

group recorded organic revenue growth of 35

per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared

to the same period of 2020 and 1 per cent

compared to that of 2019. The quarter marked

the integration for the first time of the iconic

jewelry Maison, Tiffany & Co, which saw an

excellent start to the year.”

The company also noted that while the US and

Asian markets have improved significantly,

Europe remains hampered by temporary store

closures and travel restrictions as a result of

the COVID-19 pandemic.

While LVMH management described Tiffany

& Co.’s Q1 2021 performance as “excellent”,

its chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony

recently told investors that the company has

“tremendous” potential to expand.

“It will take years to do what we want

to do with this brand [Tiffany & Co.],

from a distribution, merchandising,

and marketing viewpoint. It is a lot of

work – we are committed to doing it”


Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH)

Alexandre Arnault, the 28-year-old son of

LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault and former

CEO of luggage brand Rimowa, was named

Tiffany’s executive vice-president of product

and communications in January..

Barely two months into Arnault’s tenure,

Tiffany & Co. cancelled its New York Times

print-edition ad, which had run on the third

page since 1896. Fashion publication Women’s

Wear Daily reports that Arnault has used

Instagram Stories to ask followers for input

into the future of Tiffany & Co., posting, “What

would you like to see us do at Tiffany?”

The company has also begun utilising a new

group of celebrity spokespeople, including

entertainer Jackson Yee, Roseanne ‘Rosé’

Park, of South Korean girl group Blackpink,

The Queen’s Gambit actress Anya Taylor-Joy

and male model Alton Mason.



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US sanctions Myanmar

gemstone company

Nirav Modi extradition approved by

UK government, appeal filed

A spokesperson confirmed Home Secretary Priti

Patel approved the extradition order on 15 April.

Under UK law, the decision can be appealed

within 14 days.

Modi sought permission to appeal both Goozee

and Patel’s decisions in an application received

on 28 April.

Former jewellery mogul Nirav Modi faces life imprisonment

in India if convicted on charges stemming from the $US1.8

billion PNB fraud.

Meanwhile, Indian media report that the extradition

of Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi, who has also been

charged in relation to the PNB fraud, could be

delayed by more than seven years.






Australia/New Zealand Distributor



Ph: (03) 6171 8005


Myanmar (Burma) is the world’s premier source of jade (pictured), as well as highquality


The US Department of the Treasury

(USDT) Office of Foreign Assets

Control has formally sanctioned

Myanmar (Burma)’s state-owned

gemstone trading company, Myanmar

Gems Enterprise (MGE).

The move follows a military coup in

the Asian nation which has led to

the deaths of more than 600 civilian


According to a statement from the

USDT dated 8 April, the sanctions are

designed to target a “key economic

resource for [the] Burmese military

regime that is violently repressing

pro-democracy protests in the

country and that is responsible for

the ongoing lethal attacks against the

people of Burma”.

MGE is a subdivision of the Myanmar

government’s Ministry of Mines,

which is “responsible for all

functions relating to gemstones”

including licensing, regulations,

collecting royalties, granting permits

to individuals and companies,

and organising gemstone sales

throughout the year.

The new restrictions prohibit US

citizens, US companies, or people

within the US from undertaking

any form of transaction with MGE;

earlier this year, the USDT sanctioned

three other companies it said were

connected to the Myanmar military –

Myanmar Ruby Enterprise, Myanmar

Imperial Jade Co., and Cancri (Gems

and Jewellery) Co.

Andrea Gacki, director, USDT

Office of Foreign Assets Control,

said, “[The new restriction] highlights

Treasury’s commitment to denying the

Burmese military sources of funding,

including from key state-owned

enterprises throughout Burma.”

From 2008 to 2013 the US banned

the importation of Myanmar rubies

and jade under the Tom Lantos Block

Burmese JADE Act; the ban was

extended by President Obama to 2016,

and separate sanctions were imposed

by President Trump two years later.

The coloured gemstone industry

plays a key role in Myanmar’s

economy, with the country supplying

approximately 90 per cent of

the world’s rubies and jade. In

2016-17, the Extractive Industries

Transparency Initiative estimated

that gemstones, pearls, and jade

accounted for 13 per cent of the

country’s natural resource revenue.

While exact figures are unavailable,

a 2017 report published by economic

group the Association of Southeast

Asian Nations (ASEAN) valued the

annual revenue from government

gemstone auctions at $US3.4 billion

($AU4.4 billion).

In addition, much of the gemstone

trade is comprised of clandestine

transactions, usually undertaken

with Thai or Chinese buyers. At the

time of publication, neither Thailand

nor China had imposed sanctions on


Disgraced jewellery mogul Nirav Modi has had his

extradition to India approved by the UK government’s

Home Office, following more than two years in prison.

Modi, 50, was arrested in London in March 2019

and faces a raft of charges in India related to the

$US1.8 billion ($AU2.3 billion) Punjab National

Bank (PNB) fraud, which is reported to have

occurred between 2011 and 2018.

On 25 February 2021, Westminster Magistrates

Court District Judge Samuel Goozee ruled in favour

of extradition and dismissed the defence’s claim

that Modi would not receive a fair trial in India and

was facing worsening mental health.

Pandora Jewelry records promising

first-quarter results

Despite widespread store closures, Pandora has

recorded positive revenue and sales results.

Pandora Jewelry has released its Q1 2021 financial

update, recording revenue of DKK4.5 billion

($AU935 million) amid continued store closures

due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue was 13 per cent higher than the same

period in 2020, when the company recorded

DKK4.17 billion ($AU867.3 million); sales also

increased by 13 per cent. However, in Q1 2020,

approximately 90 per cent of Pandora stores were

temporarily closed – starting with its Chinese

Choksi has resided in the Caribbean nation of

Antigua and Barbuda since 2017 and claimed

Antiguan citizenship in January 2018.

While it was previously reported that Choksi’s

citizenship had been revoked, a senior official within

the Antiguan government has now clarified that the

case is currently before the country’s High Court.

Lionel Hurst, chief of staff to Antigua and Barbuda

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, told India Today,

“[Choksi] has entered a lawsuit in the High Court of

Antigua and Barbuda. This matter will take about

seven years to be resolved. With enough money to

pursue these legal challenges, 2027 is the earliest

for a final resolution.”

locations from 22 January. The next market to close

stores was Italy on 11 March, closely followed by

France and the US on 14 and 15 March respectively.

By Q1 2021, approximately 30 per cent of the

Pandora international store network was

temporarily closed, rising to 35 per cent at the end

of March.

Compared with Q1 2019, when its full store network

was open, the company’s revenue decreased 6.2

per cent and sales declined 3 per cent.

The company estimates a quarter of its network

will be temporarily closed during the first six

months of 2021, but that these closures will have a

‘limited impact’ in the second half of the year.

An aide de memoire accompanying the Q1 update

noted, “While we haven’t fully turned around, we

clearly see that the brand is turning around.”

The aide de memoire also stated that the Chinese

market would “remain a drag on total revenue

growth in 2021 and that revenue in China for the

year will be well below 2019.”

On The Market

1 2 3






Jeweller’s special

snapshot of the latest

watches to hit the market.

6 7


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premium features. 2 CLASSIQUE | Sams Group Australia Treasure the new Classique Premier Slimline, designed for comfort with elevated style. It is available set with 76 diamonds for an extra touch of

luxury. 3 JAG | Duraflex Group Australia JAG’s new seasonal fashion watch collection offers an affordable range of timeless styles that combine casual appeal with an urban feel. 4 BAUME & MERCIER |

Duraflex Group Australia The Riviera Collection from Baume & Mercier revamps a 1970s icon for men and women. All the timepieces feature the original Riviera’s distinctive 12-sided stainless steel bezel.

5 SEIKO The Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-creation brings the iconic 1959 Alpinist back to life in every detail, with the high functionality that characterises the Prospex collection. Available in August 2021,

limited to 1,959 pieces. 6 AMELIA AUSTIN | Heart & Grace Designed for the stylish woman, the Amelia Austin Bamboo Rose Gold Mesh fitness tracker is a fashion-forward accessory for all occasions.

7 LUMINOX | Duraflex Group Australia Luminox presents the new Bear Grylls Survival Air with three time-zone display, bi-directional bezel, and ultra-durable Carbonox case. 8 MASERATI | West End

Collection The Maserati Sfida 44mm Gold Chronograph watch combines sporty rigour with elegance, featuring a gold-plated stainless steel case, tachymeter bezel, and modern dégradé dial.

Quartz movement, Small steel case

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10 Years Ago

Time Machine: May 2011

A snapshot of the industry events making headlines this time 10 years ago in Jeweller.

Historic Headlines

4 Romance and nature dominate Basel jewellery

4 Tuskc launches e-tail site with a twist

4 Skagen wins Red Dot design award

4 Pandora attributes revenue dip to GFC

4 Sir Richard Branson new face of Bulova

Stores urged to review

insurance cover

Jewellery stores are leaving themselves open

to risk by not taking out insurance for ‘business

interruption’, it has emerged.

While standard insurance policies cover material

damage, may do not compensate jewellers for loss

of earnings if they are forced to close their store for

a period of time –even if it is due to circumstances

beyond their control.

Michael Ballinger, senior general adjuster,

Crawford & Company which works with Marsh

Insurance, said, “Most other commercial

businesses recognise the importance of that

coverage. At the end of the day, material damage

is not going to change –it is what it is. But business

interruption can have a long tail to it.”

Financial compensation for the time a store is

closed also allows jewellers to keep valuable

members of staff they would be in danger of losing

if they were unable to pay them for the time the

store is closed.

May 2011


Editors’ Desk

4I Wish We Had More Beetles!: “‘Sales

101’ taught me there are two ways to

handle an objection – ignore it, or brag

about it. The VW Beetle wasn’t the

most attractive car, was it? In fact, it

was small and ugly – so what did the

marketers do?

They called a spade a spade and

bragged about the objection. The

early VW ad campaigns proudly

announced, ‘Ugly is only skin deep’

and my favourite, ‘It makes your house

look bigger!’ Too often, people see the

lemon and not the lemonade.”


Why Gen Y Likes Silver:

They’re cashed-up, fashion conscious,

and cyber-savvy. Silver appeals to them

because it’s relatively affordable and

offers ever-changing designs, allowing

them to keep up with the trends, drip

with brands, and impress their peers.

Who are they? Generation Y. And they’re

an important customer base for silver

jewellery suppliers and retailers.

Global watch market could be

rocked by Japan traumas

The spate of disasters in Japan could have

ramifications for the global watch industry,

although many Australian distributors are not yet

certain how operations will be affected.

Japanese movements are common in many watch

brands distributed in Australia.

Nils Rasmussen, managing director of Skagen

Denmark distributor Jarass, believes the

Japanese disasters will have widespread

ramifications:“The problem is not that the

factories have been destroyed but that to

manufacture a movement, a consistent 24-houra-day

electricity supply needs to be maintained.”

New lease of life for

men’s jewellery?



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Independent jewellers

triumph over chain stores

Exemplary customer service and unique designs

have helped three independent jewellery stores

outrank many of Australia’s largest chains in a

vote to find the nation’s ‘favourite jewellery store’.

Love and Hatred and Trilby Phoenix in Sydney as

well as e.g. etal in Melbourne were announced as

finalists in the jewellery store category of Grazia’s

inaugural Shopping Awards, alongside international

giants like Tiffany & Co. and Cartier.

Chains such as Prouds, Angus & Coote, and

Michael Hill were notable by their absence among

the top 10.


4The Real Cost of Valuation: “The days

of over-inflated jewellery valuations

are over – or at least they should be.

But I have come to realise much of the

industry doesn’t realise it.

“In my short year as a valuer I have

valued for trade, almost all of whom

will no longer deal with my company

because my valuations are too ‘low’

and I value diamonds at today’s price

rather than that listed on Rapaport.”

– Giselle McKenna, principal

GeoGem Consulants

A raft of men’s jewellery launches and

increasing interest from retailers at Brisbane’s

March jewellery fair suggests the category

may be about to take off in a big way.

Several new men’s lines made their debut at

the Brisbane fair. Pendants Australia launched

its first men’s line of sterling silver pendants

based on tribal motifs, Cudworth Enterprises

showcased German Brand Cai Men’s, and a

completely new concept called Speed Jewellery

also exhibited at the show.

Cudworth Enterprises director Darren Roberts

said, “We’re seeing a return in the strength of

silver [for men’s jewellery]. It is more prestigious

– there’s an elegance to silver, whereas with

steel it’s a little bit more relaxed.”


+ 6 1 3 437 3 42 8 1 • contact@colonialgemstones.com

25 | May 2021



My Store


Now & Then

John Franich Jewellers

AUCKLAND, NZ with John and Jenni Franich, directors • SPACE COMPLETED 2016

Percy Marks

Celebrating 122 Years • SYDNEY, NSW • A moment with Cameron Marks, managing director



Percy Marks, a student at

Sydney Technical College,

is apprenticed to jeweller

Richard (R.H) Jenkins


At the age of 20, Marks

opens his namesake

jewellery store on Market

Street in the Sydney CBD


After developing a

fascination with Australian

‘dark opal’, Marks travels to

the NSW town of Lightning

L to R Percy Marks is escorted by police as he carries jewellery from one store to another; inside the Percy Marks

store at 49 Castlereagh Street in the Sydney CBD.

Ridge to fossick and

purchase the gemstones

Above: Percy ‘The Opal King’ Marks holds the

then-largest ever South Australian opal rough.

4Who is the target market and how did

they influence the store design?

Our target market is everyone who shares

our passion for quality jewellery products and

enjoys purchasing fine and fashion jewellery

from a store that stands apart from the rest.

We offer those traditional core values of a

family-owned business, and our store reflects

that through its bright, open design.

4With the relationship between store

ambience and consumer purchasing in

mind, which features encourage sales?

A great deal of attention, time and care is

taken to create visual marketing that has that

‘X factor’ which both encourages and draws

customers inside for more.

The black-and-white theme runs throughout

the store, and strategic lighting has been

incorporated into the shape of the reflective,

chrome-like ceiling bulkhead. This lighting

provides the shop with a touch of class and

creates a smart and modern, yet timeless look.

4What is the store design’s wow factor?

The ‘wow factor’ is the black-and-white theme,

including the feature carpeting which has a

geometric design reminiscent of diamond

facets. This presents the public with a store that

appears spacious, bright and welcoming, as well

as reflecting the quality and style they

can expect in-store – both in

terms of the jewellery and

the services we offer.

The store presentation

is the start of the

‘wow factor’ we aim

to provide to every


Percy Marks was established in Sydney

in 1899 and is one of Australia’s most

respected family jewellery businesses,

with four generations of the Marks

family standing behind it.

Its founder, the jewellery designer Percy

Marks, played a singular role in the

acceptance of Australian opal as the

country’s national gemstone.

Percy Marks came from a family of

jewellers, whose origins were in New

Zealand and the UK.

He was enrolled in the Sydney Technical

College as early as 1894 and apprenticed

to the Sydney jeweller Richard (R.H.)

Jenkins of Market Street. Five years

later, Marks opened his first shop on the

same street.

He became a public figure – occasionally

described as ‘The Opal King’ – through his

promotion of what he called ‘dark opal’,

that is, opal with a dark body colour such

as black, grey, blue, or green.

Marks explained in an interview that he

first become aware of ‘dark opal’ in 1900;

however he did not actively work with the

gemstone until 1907 when he went to

Lightning Ridge and returned “with two

suitcases packed with the most glorious

opal I have ever seen in one lot”.

Opal was not a popular gemstone at the

turn of the century and Marks candidly

stated, “My problem was to find a market.”

Promoting it as Australia’s national

gemstone, he discounted the superstition

that opal was unlucky, and made a

collection for public display.

His genius in marketing is perhaps his

greatest legacy to Australia’s jewellery

design history.

Marks designed and distributed opal

jewellery and opal exotica to a roll

call of international visitors and major

and minor aristocracy, as well as

Australian celebrities.

Among those gifted Percy Marks’

opal jewellery were the likes of ballerina

Anna Pavlova and opera singer Dame

Nellie Melba.

One magnificent bracelet – presented

to Alice Rawson, daughter of former

NSW Governor Vice-Admiral Sir Harry

Holdsworth Rawson, in 1909 – was

acquired by Sydney’s Powerhouse

Museum in 2020 and is described as one

of the finest surviving Australian-made

jewellery pieces of the early 20th Century.

By 1935, Australian opal was celebrated

in poetry and dance as well as in jewellery

settings. At his most energetic, it seemed

no Sydney visitor was safe from a Percy

Marks opal presentation!

In 1919, the NSW State Government

commissioned him to inquire into the

marketing of opals in Europe and

North America.

He exhibited his collection at the Foire

Internationale de Lyon and in Paris,

France, and presented collections of rough

and cut opal to eight French museums

and mining schools.

In 1925 the French government appointed

him Officier d’Instruction Publique.

Believing the opal trade was being


As Vice-Regal Jeweller,

Percy Marks presents Alice

Rawson – daughter of the

then-NSW Governor – with

a striking bracelet


With his reputation as

‘The Opal King’ cemented,

Marks is tasked by the

NSW government to

promote Australian

opals in Europe and

North America


Percy Marks passes away

and his sons Percy Jr and

Rolf take over the business


The jewellery store moves

to make way for the MLC

Centre and in the ensuing

17 years, several more

locations are opened and

closed in the Sydney CBD


The remaining Percy

Marks store moves to

Elizabeth Street


Cameron Marks, Percy

Marks’ great-grandson,

takes over the business

as managing director


The Percy Marks business

celebrates its 120th

anniversary with a

special collection


The Alice Rawson bracelet

is identified after 111

years in the possession

of a British family, and

purchased by Sydney’s

Powerhouse Museum

hampered by miners demanding

excessive prices, he suggested in his

report that a small advisory board be

appointed by the government to protect

and harmonise the respective interests

of miners, jewellers and the public.

Toward the end of his life, Marks

seemed to sense his mortality and the

jeweller’s munificence grew.

In 1933, he proposed to make a white

marble, opal-set monument as a gift for

the Prime Minister to accept on behalf

of the Commonwealth.

However, the monument proposal’s fate

is unknown, and he died two years later.

Ultimately, Percy Marks’ opal campaign

was wildly successful. The prominence

that he gave opal was embraced and

extended by other jewellers.

Today, the Percy Marks jewellery

business is run by myself, Cameron

Marks, Percy’s great-grandson.

Our expertise extends from being

the first purveyor of Australian

black opals to all the rare and

magnificent gems that are unique

to Australia – from lustrous South

Sea pearls to the rare and most

highly-prized Argyle pink diamonds.

Percy Marks collections feature an

extensive range of gemstones and

fully certified diamonds, each

individually selected for their

outstanding beauty and quality.

Read the full length interview

on Jewellermagazine.com

27 | May 2021

May 2021 | 28



Behind every gemstone,

there is a fascinating story

waiting to delight clients

around the world. Studying

with GAA brings the

expertise, networking and

confidence to build a solid

career in a multimilliondollar

industry. Joining

one of the most supportive

and passionate professional

communities of gemmologists

in Australia was one of the

best decision I ever made.

Gina Barreto FGAA DipDT

Gemmologist and Diamond Technologist





Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts

and consumers about gemstones

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Gem-Ed Australia


The magic of moonstone

The aptly named moonstone has been

associated with the moon across various

cultures throughout history. In Hindu

mythology, moonstone is believed to be made

of solidified moonbeams.

This gemstone has the ability to interact

with light in such a way that it resembles

moonlight shining across the ocean or

through a veil of clouds. Historically,

legends tell of moonstone bringing its

wearer good luck.

The captivating gem is generally semitransparent

to translucent, displaying a

milky, silvery white sheen through to the

more desirable blue sheen.

This blue, in a more transparent stone, is

the most valuable, sought-after, and difficult

to source form of moonstone. Other colours

include beige, brown, yellow, reddishbrown,

greenish, orange, and grey.

Moonstone is generally readily available,

including the cat’s eye (chatoyant) variety,

but is scarcer in higher quality material and

larger sizes.

An interesting and characteristic feature

that may be found in these specimens is an

inclusion called centipedes – long, minute

tension cracks with shorter perpendicular

cracks overlapping.

Moonstone is a member of the feldspar

mineral group, specifically being composed

of two feldspars – orthoclase and albite.

These two varieties grow parallel to each

other within the stone, causing light to

scatter and reflect off the multiple layers

producing the silvery white phenomenon

known as ‘adularescence’ or ‘schiller’.

When these layers of orthoclase and albite

are thinner and consistently spaced, the

adularescence effect is progressively bluer.

This adularescence gives moonstone its

prized ‘glowing’ appearance, which rolls

over the stone as you move it and change

the angle of view. This makes it ideal for a

cabochon cut – particularly with dimensions

uniform and not too flat – as this enhances

and highlights this sheen.

The word adularescence comes from the

gemstone’s original name, ‘adularia’, after

Mount Adular in Switzerland where the first

high-quality material was found.

Today, gem-quality moonstone is found

in locations including Madagascar and

Tanzania, with the finest in Sri Lanka,

southern India, and Myanmar (Burma) in

limited supply.

When cut correctly en cabochon, this multitalented

stone may also exhibit chatoyancy,

including asterism, with a four-rayed

star caused by the same layered feldspar

structure that causes the adularescence.

Other cutting techniques include faceting,

which offers increased brilliance, and

carving, such as a face representing the


With a hardness of 6–6.5 on Mohs’ scale,

and cleavage – a plane of weakness – in

two directions, this gem is better suited to

L to R: Anna Hu brooch; Fred Leighton necklace; Neha Dani bracelet

Below: Mvee ring; Nicole Mera ring


Named for its


sheen; originally named

adularia for Mount

Adular in Switzerland

Colour: Blue, green,

white, yellow, pink,

purple, orange, grey,

and brown

Found in: Sri Lanka,

India, Madagascar,

Tanzania, Myanmar

Mohs Hardness: 6–6.5

Class: Feldspar

Lustre: Vitreous

pendants, earrings, and brooches rather

than rings.

To care for moonstone, it’s best to steer

clear of ultrasonics and steam cleaners

and opt for warm soapy water instead. It is

susceptible to damage when exposed to a

sudden shift in temperature, high heat, or

hydrofluoric acid.

This gemstone was a popular choice among

jewellery artisans of the Art Nouveau era,

including Louis Comfort Tiffany and René

Lalique. The stone can be found featured

in notable works such as special, singular

commission carvings by Fabergé and

oriental-inspired Art Deco clocks by Cartier.

Like many gemstones, imitants are available

on the market, either intentionally designed

to fool or coincidentally resembling

moonstone. Some of these include synthetic

white spinel heat-treated to give the

adularescence effect, opalescent glass,

chalcedony with a milky consistency, and

even heat-treated amethyst.

To this day, this beautiful gemstone

offers jewellery design with the same

romanticism and mysticism we associate

with moonlight.

Mikaelah Egan FGAA Dip DT

began her career in 2015 with an

independent manufacturing jeweller.

She now balances her role as a

gemmologist and design consultant

at Vault Valuations in Brisbane with

pursuing studies in geology. Visit


May 2021 | 30


Casting and Refining



Precious Metal


The process of casting and refining may be

restricted by the laws of physics, but that

doesn’t mean innovation is impossible.

New technologies are opening up new

possibilities, writes CALLUM GLENNEN.

Molten gold is poured. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK


he COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted

countless industries, but consumer interest

in jewellery has fared surprisingly well.

Data from Retail Edge Consultants released late

last year revealed November sales figures across

the jewellery industry were as much as 20 per cent

higher than what was seen during the same period

in 2019.

Unable to travel, a significant portion of the public’s

discretionary spending appears to have shifted towards

luxury goods; and with Australia still months – if not a full

year – away from fully resuming international travel, this

increased interest in luxury purchases could be expected

to continue for some time.

To fully capitalise on this, casters and refiners are

developing new services and systems to be even more

responsive to the needs of jewellers.

Chris Botha, operations manager at Palloys – part of the

Pallion Group of companies – says, “Palloys has extensively

increased its casting and refining capacity to handle the

additional volume in the past year, and has also doubled

its CAD and CAM printing capability to better manage the

increased demand and casting capacity.”

Richard Hayes, CEO The Perth Mint – which refines the

majority of the gold produced in Australia – has noted

similar trends, “The vast bulk of Australian gold producers

continue to entrust their refining needs to The Perth Mint.

“Additional refining and casting capacity has been

commissioned over the last 12 months.”

With the increased demand from customers, combined

with unpredictable metal prices, making use of every

resource available will be crucial for making the most

of current opportunities.

The gold standard

A sudden jump in the price of precious metals has

made every piece of scrap, lemel, and sweep all the

more valuable, highlighting the value of efficient casting

and refining.

“The combination of precious metal prices and COVID-

19’s effects on business, particularly within the jewellery

industry, has significantly increased the demand for

Palloys’ refining services,” Botha tells Jeweller.

“Palloys refining jobs and scrap metal buyback numbers

have increased over the past six months. As a result,

Palloys now offers very competitive pricing and faster


He adds, “Our sister company, ABC Refinery, completes

all Palloys metals and refining services. In this way, from

our casting alloys to our fabricated metal supply Palloys is

the only jewellery manufacturer that can trace its precious


increase in

consumer demand

for gold in the three

months to 31 March

World Gold Council


forecast increase

in platinum supply

in 2021

World Platinum

Investment Council


forecast demand

for silver jewellery

in 2021, an

increase of 24%

Metals Focus and The Silver

Institute, ‘World Silver

Survey 2021


increase in

palladium price

per ounce in US

dollars, March

2020 to April 2021



average silver

price per ounce

in US dollars,

2020 – a sevenyear


Metals Focus and The

Silver Institute, ‘World

Silver Survey 2021

metals supply directly to its primary source.”

Thanks to commodities being viewed as a safe store

of wealth during uncertain times, the price of gold

skyrocketed in 2020. After a record-breaking peak of over

$US2,000 per ounce in August, its price has since fallen by

approximately 15 per cent.

Hayes explains, “Precious metals have risen in price

over the last 18 months due to a range of global macroeconomic

factors and geopolitical issues.

“These include massive amounts of fiscal stimulus

– especially by the US government – inverted and/or

historically low bond yields and interest rates, Chinese

territorial and economic expansionism, and COVID-19.”

He adds, “The world has become a less certain place and

investors have sought to manage their risk and exposure

to more traditional asset classes, by diverting investment

flows into precious metals.

A sudden jump in the price of

precious metals has made every

piece of scrap, lemel, and sweep all

the more valuable, highlighting the

value of efficient casting and refining

“The rises in precious metals prices over the last 18

months have sparked renewed interest in precious metals

as a store of wealth and a vehicle for wealth management

for investors large and small.”

While still well above pre-pandemic levels, the sudden

changes in direction have had a substantial effect on

gold’s availability, which will impact supply for the

foreseeable future.

“Currently, we are experiencing gold, and other precious

metals, showing extreme highs followed by price

contractions within a relatively short period of time,” Peter

Beck, director Peter W Beck – which includes a Precious

Metal Services division – told Jeweller.

“As a result, refiners are feeling the expected impacts

of the price of gold both rising and falling. This in turn

is having an effect on the supply and demand of

precious metals.”

Hayes observes, “The increase in the gold price has made

marginal gold deposits viable, which has increased refining

volumes globally.”

Likewise, silver has also recorded a remarkable surge;

its price increased 137 per cent during 2020, compared

with gold’s 38 per cent. According to international

industry association The Silver Institute, the precious

metal is expected to hit its highest level of demand in

six years in 2021.

31 | May 2021

May 2021 | 32


Silver’s supply is also

expected to increase,

however growing

demand from investors

is expected to push its

price higher”

Left: ABC Bullion

As restrictions on production – due to COVID-19 – are

gradually removed, silver’s supply is also expected to

increase, however growing demand from investors is

expected to push its price higher.

Other precious metals are also being affected.

According to Platinum Guild International, US platinum

unit sales saw a 14 per cent increase in Q4 2020,

compared with Q4 2019.

Likewise, China saw a 14 per cent increase of platinum

jewellery fabrication over the previous year for the same

period. A global oversupply of the metal, largely due

to the decline of car manufacturing, has also kept its

prices low.

Platinum’s higher margins – and the ability to drive

incremental sales for jewellers – makes platinum

products an effective value-add for many retailers.

US platinum unit sales saw a 14

per cent increase in Q4 2020,

compared with Q4 2019. Likewise,

China saw a 14 per cent increase

of platinum jewellery fabrication

over the previous year”

Palladium, on the other hand, has skyrocketed in price,

nearly doubling from its March 2020 low, owing to its

application in reducing the carbon emissions of fossil

fuel engines.

Post-COVID, as the market begins to become more

predictable, some in the industry are beginning to see a

return to normalcy.

According to Darren Sher, director Chemgold, demand

for refining services is beginning to stabilise.

“Whilst there was a huge spike at the beginning of the

pandemic and overall increased demand for majority of

2020, we have found that the demand has stabilised in

the last three to six months,” Sher said.

“We have found an increasing amount of our clients

are after their return as fabricated alloys or Chemgoldbranded



Notable Trends

We’re experiencing gold

and other precious metals

showing extreme highs

followed by price contractions

within a relatively short

period of time”

Peter Beck

Peter W Beck

The combination of

precious metal prices

and COVID-19’s effects

on business, particularly

within the jewellery

industry, has significantly

increased the demand for

Palloys’ refining services”

Chris Botha


Whilst there was a huge

spike at the beginning of

the pandemic and overall

increased demand for

majority of 2020, we have

found that the demand

has stabilised in the last

three to six months”

Darren Sher


Additionally, this highly uncertain environment has

shown the importance of recovering as much waste

as possible. Adam Van Sambeek, treasury manager

Morris & Watson, said this is critical even during the

best of times.

“[Morris & Watson] not having a minimum refining

quantity removes a barrier for the need for frequent

turnover of precious waste. Customers tend to regularly

recycle their lemel and waste back into cash or reusable

semi-fabricated metal, partially offsetting metal cost in a

rising market,” he explains.

At Pallion, Botha says, “ABC Refinery is Australia’s only

independent London Bullion Market Association (LBMA),

Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) and COMEX [part of the

New York Commodity Exchange]-accredited refinery.

“Our ABC Refinery accreditations and reputation of a

high-quality service has enabled us to increase our

market share to 30 per cent of gold and 70 per cent for

silver in the Australian market.

“We are now refining 100 tonnes of gold and more than

500 tonnes of silver per annum.”

As the major refiner for Australian mines, The Perth Mint

is the only refinery to be fully accredited for both gold

and silver with the LBMA, and is also accredited by SGE,

COMEX, the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) and

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

Old science, new technology

Whatever new demands are placed on the industry, there

are some factors that are simply impossible to change.

Says Hayes, “While a number of ‘new’ refining

technologies marketed today show good promise, there

still remain drawbacks.

“For example, one such process is unable to remove

copper from ore, necessitating a secondary refining

process, negating some environmental benefit claims.

However, some of these technologies will undoubtedly

evolve into sustainable future solutions.”

Beck explains, “Gold, silver, platinum and palladium

refining, and the techniques used revolve around

electrowinning and chemistry. Electrowinning and its

behaviour are governed by the laws of physics, chemistry

is likewise governed by the laws of chemistry.”

33 | May 2021



NEW ZEALAND | 0800 500 654

AUSTRALIA | 1800 469 088



Top Tech

L to R: ABC Bullion; Peter W Beck

ABC Refinery is

the benchmark in

Australian ecofriendly


In 2021, it invested in

an additional 175kg

acidless separation

refining technology

to service the valueadded



While electrowinning – the process of separating

metals from impurities – may not have drastically

changed from its discovery in the 1800s, there are

new efficiencies to be had.

“Efficiencies can be gained by good material

management and procedural management,” Beck

adds. “The art of a refiner is to take the timeless

principles of electrowinning and chemistry and by

using the best equipment and practices, to make

the process as efficient as possible.”

There are some exciting developments in this

space. Van Sambeek said Morris & Watson has

invested in more environmentally friendly

processes in order to recover 80 per cent of

the nitric acid from the fume stream before it

reaches the chemical scrubbers.

“This dramatically reduces the workload on

scrubbers, eliminating potential environmental

contaminates and recovers acid that can now be

recycled,” Van Sambeek said.

“We are expanding the use of this technology to

recycle even more chemicals.

“We’ve also invested in a state-of-the-art furnace

for burning sweeps. This world leading furnace

technology results in a cleaner more efficient

use of energy.”

Van Sambeek said these solutions are economically

responsible – both financially prudent and better for

the environment.

“Over the past two years we’ve been upgrading our

refining facility with the latest European technology.

“There are improved processes, reducing

handling of harmful chemicals and a much cleaner

and efficient output. It’s safer for staff and the

environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Botha says, “ABC Refinery is the largest

independent precious metals refining facility in

Australasia. ABC Refinery is the benchmark in

Australian eco-friendly refining.

“In 2021, it invested in an additional 175kg acidless

separation (ALS) refining technology to service the

value-added demand.”

He added, “ALS is the world’s most environmentally

safe refining technology and produces no noxious

residue. ABC Refinery is the only Australian

refinery that employs this technology.”

In addition, ABC Refinery’s technology is – uniquely

– accredited by the National Association of

Testing Authorities, International Organization for

Standardization, Commission Électrotechnique

Internationale, Australian Standards and

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation.

The Perth Mint has also made strides in

its environmental policy, appointing a chief

sustainability officer and “actively participating” in

the West Australian government’s “carbon neutral

future” strategy.

Technology breakthroughs

in the field of casting are

creating new opportunities

for jewellers, including designs

previously thought to be


In addition, Hayes says, “Capital investment at the

Mint’s refinery has amounted to $36 million over

the past 10 years, with $17 million of this being

invested over the last four years.

“Spend has been spread across new equipment,

increased capacity and improved environmental


He adds, “A new assay laboratory was

commissioned a few years ago, equipped with the

latest state of the art equipment and technology

to ensure its assays and return of metal to

customers is of the highest accuracy.

Additionally, “Automation is regularly adopted

to ensure repetitive or potentially dangerous

tasks are performed by machines, minimising or

eliminating the risk of injury to employees.”

Beyond the human hand

From the design side of jewellery production,

technology breakthroughs in the field of casting

are creating new opportunities for jewellers,

including designs previously thought to be


This is being driven by improvements in 3D

printing; a technology that has had a dramatic

effect on the industry over the past 10 years. The

fall in cost of the average 3D printer, alongside

the increasing detail now possible in prints, is

leading to significant achievements.

One example is the ‘arms race’ in breaking the

world record for the most diamonds set in a ring.

Hallmark Jewellers, based in Hyderabad, India,

unveiled ‘The Divine’ in September last year,

which features 7,801 set diamonds, arranged

in a flower design.

However, they did not hold on to the record

very long, with Renani Jewels, from Meerut,

India, displaying ‘Marigold’ just a few months

later, set with 12,638 diamonds – demolishing

the previous record.

These feats have been possible largely thanks

to advances in 3D printing. Imaginarium, an

Indian 3D printing service, played a critical role

in creating the mould from which ‘The Divine’

was cast.

The company is working to push the limits of

what can be achieved in casting, and producing

moulds that would be impossible to do by hand.

“The sheer amount of design freedom that 3D

printing brings with it is incredible, so much

that complexity of a design is no longer a factor

in manufacturing,” Kamlesh Parekh, founder

Imaginarium, recently wrote.

“Designers now have options to experiment

with abstract patterns and shapes that make for

visually striking pieces of jewellery.

“If a designer can produce it on a computer, the

3D printer will print it, no questions asked.”

Jewellers closer to home can take advantage of

more practical and realistic benefits offered by

3D printing, with several casting houses offering

the service.

In October last year Palloys, AGS, PJW, Regentco

Chris Botha


[The Perth Mint’s

assay laboratory is

equipped with] the

latest state of the

art equipment and

technology to ensure

its assays and return

of metal to customers

is of the highest


Richard Hayes

The Perth Mint

Over the past two

years we’ve been

upgrading our

refining facility with

the latest European


It’s safer for staff and

the environment”

Adam Van


Morris & Watson

The sheer amount

of design freedom

that 3D printing

[casting moulds]

brings with it is

incredible, so much

that complexity

of a design is no

longer a factor in





and A&E Metals – all part of the Pallion

group of companies – launched a new all in

one platform that allows jewellers to place

customised 3D print orders.

The platform, which took two years to design

and implement, allows jewellers to upload

a CAD file and receive an instant quote for

a finished piece, including everything from

print to mould, casting and finishing.

“The instant quoting for CAD files, casting

from their own mould library, fabricated

metals and diamonds allows jewellers to

enjoy accurate and instant quotes they

can pass onto their customers, giving the

jewellers an instant competitive advantage,”

Alison Habbal, assistant operations manager

– jewellery at Palloys told Jeweller at

the time.

Botha adds, “Palloys.com is significantly

outperforming the previous website and has

already exceeded expectations within the

business and industry.

“Palloys’ customers can now order a

customised piece, including certified

diamonds, online and receive them as a

raw cast, semi-finished or fully finished.

“We also offer desprue and tumble options

for castings which have been very popular

since launching the website.

We have seen online orders for the jewellery

division more than double in the new year as

more people adopt the platform.”

Elsewhere, Botha notes that the Palloys

research and development department has

also been working on “direct metal printing

for the bullion and jewellery sector, and

adding subtractive prototyping back into our

manufacturing processes.”

Unstable metal prices have emphasised

the important of efficient and effective

refining, and new technologies are allowing

jewellers to customise pieces to a level that

was previously impossible. Both of these

developments will be important to meet the

needs of customers in 2021 and beyond.

3D Print

& Cast in

Four Days

*STL file(s) must be received by 12pm AEST. Lead time excludes other

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More Than Four Decades of Casting

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35 | May 2021

Refining | Bullion | Fabrication | CAD/CAM | Casting | Chain


Local Talent


Chrysoprase Earrings


Green and Blue Green

Tourmaline Dress Ring


Leaf Pendant

Metal: Yellow Gold

Barrie Lander

Busselton, WA

Metal: 18-carat rose gold

Gemstones: Chrysoprase,

black opal

Fealofani Elisara

Sydney, NSW

Metals: 9-carat and


18-carat white gold

Gemstones: Bicolour

tourmaline, bluegreen


demantoid garnet

Carla Maxine Germann

Noosa, QLD



Pearl & Diamond


Metals: 18-carat white

and yellow gold

Gemstones: South

Sea pearl, diamond

William Holland


Adelaide, SA




Dentritic Agate


Metal: 9-carat

yellow gold


Dentritic agate

Anna Seelye

Hamilton, NZ


The Island Sculpture

Metal: Sterling silver,

24-carat gold

Gemstones: Paua

shell, Motherof-pearl

Other: Marble,




Paul Amey


Heads, QLD



La Sirene Earrings

Metal: Yellow gold

Gemstones: Garnet,

amethyst, freshwater

pearl, enamel.

Olivia Cummings

Melbourne, VIC



Mauresque Cuff

Metal: 18-carat yellow gold

Natalie Barney

Sydney, NSW

Australia and New Zealand are not only home to some of the

rarest gemstones in the world, but also the most talented jewellers.

Jeweller showcases a tapestry of local masterpieces that have been

meticulously crafted with great artisanship, right here on home soil


Puzzle Rings

Metal: 9-carat white and yellow gold

Gemstones: Sapphire, amethyst

Maria Stavreas

Canberra, ACT


Rose Bud Drop Earrings

Metals: 18-carat white

and yellow gold

Gemstones: White

diamond, pink sapphire,

ruby, tsavorite garnet

Alice Herald

Wanaka, NZ



Diamond Ring

Metals: Platinum,

rose gold

Gemstones: White and

pink diamond

Ben Tracy

Gold Coast, QLD


White Bee Ring & Riverbed Ring

Metals: (Left) palladium; (right)

palladium, 18-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: (Left) blue sapphire,

white and green diamond; (right)

yellow sapphire, white diamond

Eva Martin

Sunshine Coast, QLD

37 | May 2021 May 2021 | 38


Watch Industry Review

WATCH INDUSTRY REVIEW | Watching the Clock


Show Data




The hybrid Watches & Wonders trade event – presented digitally

in Geneva followed by a physical Shanghai show – has rekindled

optimism for the Swiss watch industry, reports MARTIN FOSTER.


Far right: Baume & Mercier.

Below: A Lange & Söhne movement

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic focused the

world’s attention on large trade fair gatherings,

declaring them off-limits for health and safety

reasons. Yet even before this, what those within the

watch industry regarded as ‘normal’ was already

facing considerable challenge.

As we know, the previous annual cycle of trade fairs –

Baselworld, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie

(SIHH), Inhorgenta Münich, the Hong Kong Watch & Clock

Fair, et al – was already in disarray, primarily related to

uncontained costs.

The history of defections from Baselworld and, to a lesser

extent, SIHH reached a crisis point two years ago, and was

a result of ever-higher exhibitor costs and fair management


The history of the decaying Swiss industry loyalty is

well chronicled and does not need further exposure or

examination, but it has informed the current state of affairs.

In late 2019, SIHH was re-branded as Watches & Wonders

(W&W) Geneva, with a new format incorporating a new

experiential ‘In The City’ component that was intended to

promote the culture and lifestyle of Geneva.

W&W was then converted into a digital

platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

and considered a success – within the

limitations of an online event.

However, an organised week-long

online presentation such as W&W

is not a trade fair and to be

perfectly frank, there is quite

simply no comparison.

Experienced journalists

reporting digital presentations

are degraded to ‘influencers’

by removing any possibility of

genuine review.

Handling the actual product in

the company of the brand and

watch brands

presenting digitally

at Watches &

Wonders Geneva



watch brands


physically at

Watches & Wonders

Shanghai 2021


guests invited* to

attend the digital

event – the same as

SIHH’s record 2019


*Actual attendance data



cost of smallest

exhibition space at

HourUniverse 2021


proportion of


attendance cost

attributed to booth

rental, for an average


other industry journalists is a very different scenario to

sitting in the office staring at a computer screen while

studio images cruise by with a smooth brand commentary.

For the press, which has provided decades of reader and

buyer access to new products and informed, in-depth

industry coverage, constructing a reliable review with only

digital imagery adds a considerable degree of difficulty.

Of course, the highly developed physical trade fair

format primarily incorporates brand presentations and

commentary, and also digital components – but it is not

reliant on these.

Physical shows also provide the benefit of footfall to the

newer and smaller exhibitors – it should be noted that such

exhibitors were conspicuously absent for the seven days

of the digital W&W, and their selling platform was simply


For the 2021 edition, W&W was split into two parts, starting

with a digital format in Geneva, then over to Shanghai for an

in-person salon.

Thus, for more than 10 days, the eyes of the world were on

the creativity and expertise of the most prestigious names

in watchmaking.

The Geneva digital component focused on a well-organised

succession of brand and discussion forums during the

second week of April.

There were approximately 500 press conferences,

more than 40 keynote addresses, a daily live Morning

Show, six expert-led panels and a wealth of exceptional

horological creations revealed by the 38 prestigious

participating brands.

Industry heavyweights, including those that deserted

Baselworld, participated. Some new brands have recently

joined, such as the LVMH Group’s watchmaking division, as

well as Oris, Carl F. Bucherer, Maurice Lacroix and Nomos.

Most of the historic brands which were part of the

SIHH – and are largely owned by luxury conglomerate

Richemont – were still present, together with the big,

well-established independents Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe,

Chopard and Chanel.

May 2021 | 40

Watching the Clock | WATCH INDUSTRY REVIEW

Watches & Wonders

was split into two

parts, starting with

a digital format in

Geneva, then over

to Shanghai for an

in-person salon.”

EST. 1981



L to R: Rolex; Watches & Wonders Geneva was immediately followed by Watches & Wonders Shanghai (facing page);

Chopard movement (center)












(07) 3876 7481


FAX: (07) 3368 3100


Overall, 38 brands presented at the

Geneva W&W via the digital platform.

A few days later, 19 brands exhibited

in a physical format at the invitation-only

Shanghai show.

Media representatives, retailers, and

selected watch enthusiasts were able

to handle watches presented at W&W

Geneva, as well as new models created

especially for the Chinese market, and

coveted heritage pieces.

The list included new models from Rolex,

Tudor, Chopard, Baume & Mercier and

Ulysse Nardin.

In addition, the dedicated auditorium space

saw expert panels discussing topics including

digitalisation in business, the impact of the

secondary market in China, 2021 trends,

iconic watches and watchmaking’s grand

complications. The panels were also livestreamed

and broadcast via social media.

Building more anticipation and excitement

for the event, attendees were teased with

the promise of celebrity ambassadors,

influencers, and a 15,000-drone light

show on the closing evening.

Swatch Group digs in

Matthias Breschan, who was appointed

CEO of Longines in July 2020, recently

reaffirmed that Swatch Group will not be

returning to the normal form of trade fair,

such as HourUniverse, successor to the

now-defunct Baselworld.


Key Points



Online trade fairs

are no replacement

for physical, but

they have served

a purpose during




The physical

shows offer


and value to smaller,


watch brands

Change is

in the air


new summer dates,

pricing structure,

and attractions may

prove advantageous

The former CEO of Rado told UK-based

industry publication WatchPro, “The whole way

Baselworld was conducted was obsolete.

“We need new ways to present novelties

throughout the year and in different countries.

We need to be flexible.”

While it is assuredly true that it is beneficial

for watch brands to present their innovations

throughout the year and in different countries,

Breschan’s Baselworld assertion is

simplistic nonsense.

Baselworld certainly had its problems, but

those problems had nothing whatever to do

with obsolescence.

A primary release and presentation at

a physical event creates opportunities for

media, suppliers, retailers, and the public

to interact with the new products and build

relationships with the brand, as well as

networking with other industry players.

As has been noted by other analysts, a single

release is more cost-effective for smaller

brands which may lack the resources to hold

several presentations in different locations

throughout each year.

In a statement released in February,

Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director

HourUniverse, said, “Our ongoing discussions

with industry stakeholders have clearly

demonstrated that the demand from the wider

community for a large annual gathering in

Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, is now

stronger than ever.

“We are working to make HourUniverse not

only the best business platform, but also a

superb experience for our visitors.”

He added, “The pleasure of all being together,

seeing clients and the press again, discovering

and creating new opportunities, facilitating

transparency, openness and conviviality

are at the heart of our endeavours.”

For its part, the organiser of HourUniverse –

the Switzerland-based MCH Group – says the

entire on-site reception structure has been

redesigned to address exhibitor concerns.

The pricing policy has been drastically adjusted

to allow exhibitors a better return on their

investment, adapted to their business’ size,

scope, expectations and needs.

Similarly, the accommodation offered for

exhibitors, media representatives, and visitors

alike will be at guaranteed competitive prices.

Outdoor catering and public entertainment

areas are also planned; these are promising

steps in the right direction.

In February, MCH Group published a statement

confirming the show – initially scheduled

for April, to coincide with Geneva W&W

– would instead be postponed to the Northern

Hemisphere summer (June to August).

It remains to be seen if the new Swiss show

can live up to the Baselworld trade fair legacy,

but the industry exhibitors should at least give

it a try.

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Coloured Gemstones

L to R: Anna Hu brooch and necklace; Van Cleef & Arpels brooch


The popularity of coloured gemstones continues to offer jewellers

a spectrum of possibilities – and new innovations in supply

chain transparency are making the sector even more desirable,



There is no denying the appeal of coloured

gemstones. From the high jewellery of Paris

Couture Fashion Week to Tiffany & Co.’s

Blue Book Collection – the centrepiece of its annual

design calendar – the spotlight in 2021 has been

firmly focused on vibrant, vivid gemstones in every

colour of the rainbow.

Soothing yet magnetic hues of blue and green, captured in

aquamarine and emerald, were emphasised at Tasaki and

David Morris, while Bucherer painted a perfect pastel picture

with soft pink and purple spinel and sapphire.

Inspired by the natural world, Tiffany’s Blue Book – themed

‘Colors of Nature’ – teemed with tanzanite, tourmaline,

and garnet.

Beyond pure creativity, the collections also reflect consumers’

– and the wider jewellery industry’s – increasing desire for a

varied palette of colour.

“Coloured gemstones become more and more important and

sought-after; they express individuality, style, connoisseurship

and add colour to your life,” says Raphael Gübelin, president

of the House of Gübelin – including Gübelin Jewellery as well

as the Gübelin Gem Lab, which specialises in the scientific

analysis of coloured gemstones.

He adds, “We recognised that people are looking for the

so-called ‘big three’ of ruby, emerald, and sapphire, and are

also interested in gems such as Paraíba tourmalines and

Padparadscha sapphires.

“In our latest Gübelin Jewellery creations you will find rubies,

emeralds and sapphires – especially fancy coloured sapphires

– often in a sophisticated combination of colours and cuts.”

Mauro Carvajal, director Colonial Gemstones – which

sources emeralds exclusively from Colombia – told Jeweller,

“Emeralds have definitely increased in popularity, and it is

getting more and more common to wear an emerald ring for

weddings and anniversaries.

Jewellery Theatre

Harry Winston

“Emerald can be sourced from different places like Zambia,

Brazil, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe and Colombia – though

Colombian emeralds are famous for their quality.”

Katherine Kovacs, director K&K Export Import, has observed

strong demand for a wide variety of gemstones: “Tealcoloured

gemstones have been a strong trend for the

past year or two and this shows no signs of slowing down,

with sales of blue zircon from Cambodia, tourmalines and

particularly Australian sapphire seeing high demand.

“I’m also personally pleased to see Australian opal of all

types enjoying a spike in popularity in the domestic market

the likes of which we haven’t seen for a number of years.”

Recent Gemfields auction results have also reflected this

increased demand.

“Coloured gemstones become more and more

important and sought-after; they express

individuality, style, connoisseurship and

add colour to your life”


House of Gübelin

Adrian Banks, managing director of product and sales, told

Jeweller that Kagem – Gemfields’ emerald mining subsidiary,

based in Zambia – had recently recorded its highest auction

revenue since March 2016.

“We were very pleased to see such strong demand and

pricing. Because operations were suspended at Kagem in

March 2020, the world’s largest emerald mine produced no

new emeralds for more than a year.”

He added, “Kagem has already surpassed the aggregate

auction revenues achieved in the whole of 2020, which stood

at just $US22.4 million ($AU28.8 million) as a result of the

fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gemfields also operates Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) in


May 2021 | 44

All Things Bright and Beautiful | COLOURED GEMSTONE FEATURE

L to R: Van Cleef & Arpels brooches; Tasaki earrings

Carolina Bucci



Many factors inform the demand for particular coloured gemstones;

fashion – inspired by celebrities, high jewellery collections from

the likes of Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Dior, and media – as well

as affordability and consumer preferences for locally or ethicallysourced

products all influence purchasing patterns.

In the past 12 months, suppliers tell Jeweller the most notable

trend has been the ongoing popularity of Australian teal sapphire,

which now commands far higher prices given the increased demand

and more limited supply.

Peach gemstones, deep pink rubellite and sapphire, emeralds, and

tourmaline also remain desirable to consumers, while Australian

opal has seen a resurgence.



Meanings &



will love!

Mozambique. Banks notes recent results from seven “sequential

mini-auctions” had “yielded the third-highest revenue figure of

the 14 auctions which MRM has run since June 2014”.

“We are very encouraged by the strong appetite from our clients

and by the prices realised,” Banks added.

Outside the ‘big three’, Charles Lawson, director of retailer and

supplier Lawson Gems, tells Jeweller, “In the last 12-18 months,

we saw demand spread across our whole range of stock rather

than our usual bestsellers of Australian sapphire and opal.

“Coloured gemstones appear to be on an ever upward climb

in popularity, especially as public knowledge about coloured

gemstones beyond the big three increases,” he added.

COVID recovery

Alongside increasing consumer demand, the COVID-19

pandemic has undeniably impacted the gemstone market.

Notes Kovacs, “We’re fortunate that, having been in the

gemstone business for more than 50 years, we have a number

of long-standing suppliers overseas who are working with us to

continue to supply goods.

“Obviously we can’t travel internationally to select goods in

person because of COVID-19, so we are very fortunate to have a

strong buying network that we can trust to assist with sourcing.”

Lawson observes, “Our biggest issue has been the lack of

international travel, as without being able to visit our suppliers

and miners and purchase gemstones first-hand, it has made our

purchasing procedures much more difficult,” adding, “Shipments

of any sort were obviously going to be delayed during COVID-19

restrictions and we did struggle more than usual getting our

gemstones from the small mining communities that were hit

hard by COVID-19.”

Colonial Gemstones’ Carvajal called 2020 an “unremarkable

year” but said his business had largely returned to normal

in recent months: “The impact during COVID-19 on Colonial

Gemstones was proportional to the rest of the industry, but we

still exist – and we are stronger than ever.”

For primary producers like Gemfields, mines were forced to

temporarily close or operate at a maintenance – rather than

45 | May 2021

Henn Gems

productive – level, while auctions were not permitted to proceed

for more than a year.

“As a result of the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, this

auction was also our first since December 2019, meaning we

realised no sales at all for some 15 months,” Banks says of

Gemfields’ ruby division.

“Because operations were suspended at MRM in April 2020, the

world’s largest ruby mine produced no new rubies for almost a

year... MRM is only now commencing mining for its next mixedquality

ruby auction, which we hope will occur late this year.

“Emeralds have definitely increased in popularity,

and it is getting more and more common to wear

an emerald ring for weddings and anniversaries”


Colonial Gemstones

Adds Banks, “Gemfields is excited to be back in business after

the lengthy pause in both mining and sales and – as always –

we extend our sincere thanks to our hard-working teams, to

our host governments in Mozambique and Zambia, and to our

customers for their ongoing support.”

With the situation far from certain as the pandemic continues,

many of Gemfields’ regular clients viewed the early 2021 auctions

as a “vital opportunity” to purchase rubies and emeralds.

Driving progress

As many analysts have noted, there is an ongoing consumer

trend toward ethical purchasing – and indeed, the gemstone

industry is making significant strides toward transparent

supply chains.

Says Gübelin, “Transparency is key when it comes to

sustainability and provenance, and transparency is a

‘mega trend’, becoming more and more important.”

Lawson notes, “The last 12 to 18 months have seen some major

moments in the battles for both human rights and environmental


In particular demand for engagement rings,

Australian teal sapphires continue to captivate

consumers – as they have done for the past few years.


There has been a surge in demand for emeralds

– particularly premium Colombian specimens in

classic emerald cut, sizes 2–5 carats. Tsavorite and

demantoid garnet and green sapphire have also made

it into many high jewellery collections.


Consumers and jewellery designers alike are

thinking pink, with bold, saturated pink sapphires,

rubellite tourmaline, and ruby making a statement in

chandelier earrings and pendant necklaces.


Demand for Australia’s iconic opals has increased,

with local consumers and international jewellery

houses entranced by its multi-hued play of colour.


The dazzling sky-blue shades of Cambodian zircon

and Paraìba tourmaline are captivating jewellers and

consumers. Cornflower-blue sapphires and tanzanite

have also been seen in many designer collections.


The peach colour trend – combining softer shades

of orange and pink – continues, with Padparadscha

sapphire and orange tourmaline at the forefront.

Australia/New Zealand Distributor



Ph: (03) 6171 8005


May 2021 | 46


All Things Bright and Beautiful | COLOURED GEMSTONE FEATURE

L to R: Van Cleef & Arpels brooch; Bulgari necklace Sicis ring L to R: Jewellery Theatre brooch; Chopard necklace; Frédéric Mané earrings

policy. This is really driving people to start demanding that

their gemstones, just like their coffee and their cotton, have

been sourced in a responsible manner.”

He adds, “The plight of artisanal miners in developing

nations did receive much more publicity due to the impact

of COVID-19 on these communities, which has thankfully

inspired more consumers to ask the question of how their

gemstones were sourced and helped increase the demand

for responsibly-sourced coloured gemstones.”

At Colonial Gemstones, emeralds are sourced directly from

the Muzo, Coscuez, Chivor, and Gachala Mines.

Says Carvajal, “Colonial Gemstones is involved in every

stage of the emerald’s life, from the moment it is extracted

from the mine. Our emeralds are cut, polished, and graded

in Colombia and then again at their final destination

country, if necessary.

“Our customers can have confidence knowing that Colonial

Gemstones is involved every step of the way, ensuring that

the final product is completely authentic and delivered with

care and professionalism.”

Kovacs observes that locally-sourced gemstones have

been given an edge, as their provenance can be more easily

traced: “Consumers are increasingly conscious of ethical

supply chains and I believe that is driving the demand for

Australian gemstones across the board,” she says.

The vast majority of the world’s coloured gemstones are

mined artisanally, in contrast to the large-scale, regulated

mining that dominates the diamond market. This can

present challenges when it comes to ensuring an ethical

supply chain – or even a traceable one.

“Our industry was struggling [with transparency] because

the supply chain is very long, fragmented and complex,” Dr

Daniel Nyfeler, managing director Gübelin Gem Lab, told

CNA Luxury late last year.

As a gemstone-rich country – from which tanzanite, ruby,

sapphire, garnet and tourmaline, among others, are

sourced – Tanzania has become a focus for transparency

Having been in the gemstone

business for more than 50 years,

we have a number of long-standing

suppliers overseas... We can’t travel

internationally to select goods in

person because of COVID-19, so we

are very fortunate to have a strong

buying network that we can trust.”

Katherine Kovacs

K&K Export Import

The plight of artisanal miners in

developing nations did receive much

more publicity due to the impact of

COVID-19 on these communities,

which has thankfully inspired more

consumers to ask the question of

how their gemstones were sourced.”

Charles Lawson

Lawson Gems

Today, three out of five jewellery

brands we speak with are asking to

know the provenance of gemstones

and to learn more about the story

behind them.”

Victoria Favoroso


initiatives; it is estimated that approximately 1 million

people are employed in its artisanal mining sector.

The Moyo Gems project was established in 2019 between

international development organisation Pact, suppliers

Anza Gems and Nineteen48, and the Tanzania Women

Miners Association (TAWOMA).

“We call Moyo Gems a responsible sourcing initiative,”

Cristina Villegas, Pact’s director of mines to markets,

explained in a recent webinar. “What we’ve done is

establish traceability down to the miner and the broker.”

Participation in the Moyo Gems project involves four

components for miners: membership to one of six preselected

villages, completion of Gemological Institute of

America (GIA) training – which can be provided by Moyo

Gems – membership of TAWOMA, which is open to both

men and women, and finally, proof of work at a licenced

mine, or written permission to mine the concession of a

licence-holder with Tanzania’s Ministry of Mines.

High-quality gemstones are then selected and sold to

Anza Gems and Nineteen48 at regulated Market Days

within Tanzania; the project claims miners receive more

than triple the value per gemstone selling through Moyo

than they would have at a village or regional city market.

Technology of traceability

The increasing emphasis on sustainable and secure

sourcing has also led to an influx of technologybased


“In 2017, we launched Provenance Proof to enable more

transparency to the entire gemstone and jewellery trade,”

Raphael Gübelin explains.

It comprises a range of technological services, including

the Emerald Paternity Test and the Provenance Proof

blockchain platform.

According to Gübelin, it is the first free blockchain platform

for coloured gemstones, open to the entire gemstone and

jewellery industry: “Our overall aim is to offer a broad

and comprehensive range of information that allows the

buyer to make a conscious purchasing decision based on

reliable data from a trustworthy source,” he says.

The Emerald Paternity Test involves applying

nanoparticle ‘labels’ directly to emerald rough at the

mine, allowing the material to be traced even after

cleaning, cutting and polishing.

The blockchain platform was developed with technology

startup Everledger, which also pioneered blockchain

solutions for the diamond sector.

“Responsible sourcing for Gemfields

means implementing industry-leading

policies and practices across operations,

transparency in our auction sales process,

[and] an active role in working groups to

modernise the sector ”



Leanne Kemp, CEO Everledger, added, “[The blockchain

platform] allows consumers to take pride in that the

gemstone in their necklace comes from a certain part of,

say, Zambia or Tanzania, safe in the knowledge that the

person who mined it was properly compensated.

“As a more ethical and sustainable capitalism rises

to the very top of the agenda among Millennials and

Gen Z, transparency is surely becoming a commercial


Dr Nyfeler added, “Jewellers embrace these

transparency technologies because it gives them a rich

source of data for their storytelling.”

Gemfields has adopted the Provenance Proof Blockchain,

in addition to a number of other initiatives and policies.

Jack Cunningham, Gemfields’ director of sustainability,

John Dyer

Chris Wolfsberg

Naomi Sarna

policy, and risk, says, “Our goal is to operate in a way

that contributes positively to national economies, takes

a leading role in modernising the coloured gemstone

sector and builds lasting livelihoods for the communities

around our mines.

He adds, “Responsible sourcing for Gemfields means

implementing industry-leading policies and practices

across operations, transparency in our auction sales

process, an active role in working groups to modernise

the sector, projects to improve health, education and

livelihoods for the communities around our mines

and conservation efforts [for] Africa’s wildlife and


Further up the supply chain, online B2B gemstone

trading platform Gemolith recently introduced a

traceability section to specifically cater to the desire for

transparently-sourced material, with Greenland Ruby as

its first featured producer.

Victoria Favoroso, CEO of Gemolith’s parent company

GemCloud, said in a statement, “Today, three out of five

jewellery brands we speak with are asking to know the

provenance of gemstones and to learn more about the

story behind them.”

In April 2021, another online gemstone trading

platform, Gembridge – which touts itself as a ‘strictly

regulated global digital platform for the transparent

trade of colored gemstones, pearls, and jewellery’

– was launched.

The business allows verified members to ‘buy, sell

and consign, using a secure and insured door-to-door

service’. Based in Singapore, it is compliant with that

country’s strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-

Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

Indeed, while it will always be the captivating colour that

draws consumers to coloured gemstones, provenance

and supply chain transparency offer another selling point

for jewellers, providing a compelling story of origin as

well as appealing to the desire for ethical products.

47 | May 2021

May 2021 | 48



Business Strategy

Does your store have ‘community charisma’?

Today’s consumers want to feel connected to the businesses they purchase from – and being part of the local

community goes a long way towards earning their trust and confidence, write RICH KIZER and GEORGANNE BENDER.

Much of our time each year is spent

visiting retailers, interacting with

shoppers, and perusing stores. In our

31 years together we’ve seen the good,

the bad and the really ugly. The retailers

we meet can be placed in one of three

categories – those who ‘get it’, those who

don’t yet, and those who never will.

Retailers who ‘get it’ always find a way to

thrill shoppers.

Those in the second category can evolve into

category one, but the ones who never will

are the retailers who take to social media

to complain about the lack of sales, about

customers who annoy them, suppliers

that cheese them off, and the things their

community won’t do for them.

Sadly, most of these retailers won’t survive

in the long run.

Connecting with community

When we started our business, we decided

we’d need an office. We got a map of the

area and put a pin in the dead centre

between the two towns we lived in, and St

Charles, Illinois became our new home. St

Charles has a strong sense of community

and an active Business Alliance that plans

year-round events that draw thousands of

people from all over region.

While most businesses embrace these

events, some don’t – and that’s their

first mistake.

What these businesses lack is ‘community

charisma’; they feel separated from the

people who should make up the majority

of their customer base and don’t generate

much customer loyalty or goodwill.

Terri King, owner of gift store My Secret

Garden in Michigan, is one of the retailers

we have visited over the years.

She suggests retailers jump into community

events with both feet, saying, “When there

is a festival in my town, we throw the doors

open. We drag things out on the footpath,

create photo ops, dress in costume and

have a blast with all the energy.”

The only opportunities you’ll miss are the

ones you don’t take.

You can’t win if you don’t play

One example of a great community event

is the annual Scarecrow Festival. Over

The next time

your community

has an event,

or another

local business


a crosspromotion,

look at it as an


to engage


three days, more than 150 hand-crafted

scarecrows made by local businesses are

displayed in the town park.

The festival also features live entertainment,

food, rides, kids’ activities, an arts and

crafts show, plus special deals from local

businesses – there’s a lot to do.

The town is jam-packed with people (or it

was, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and

will be again in the future).

What is frustrating is the stores that decide

to close during the festival while there are

tens of thousands of potential customers

walking past!

This decision is justified by the limited

parking available, because people will

ask to use the store’s restroom, or because

the store owner thinks shoplifting will be

an issue.

All of these concerns are understandable,

but closing the store serves no benefit.

The retailer could have stood in front of

the store and told passersby about their

business, perhaps holding a raffle to collect

email addresses, and hand out coupons for

special offers.

The bottom line is that people notice when

a business doesn’t participate in a

community event, and there are real

benefits to participating.

Assess your charisma

We have developed an exercise called

‘Circles of Excellence’ that we recommend

business owners carry out every quarter.

Begin by drawing a circle and inside list

all of the things that are essential to serve

your customers – such as staff who have

excellent product knowledge, a clear,

informative, and functional website, and

parking close to the store.

Next, draw a larger circle around the first

one; this outer circle represents the extra

things that you offer, for example free gift

wrapping, classes and other in-store events,

spontaneous sales, and social media


It’s most important to focus on the outer

circle – these are the factors that make your

store stand out and create your ‘community

charisma’. However, once customers get

used to the perks in the outer circle, they

get relegated to the inner circle.

This is why it’s so important to do this

exercise at least once a quarter and before

each community event.

The power of participation

So, what can you do to jumpstart your

community charisma? Here are some ideas

from our recent travels to help you get the

ideas flowing:

Harness the power of selfies – People of

all ages today practice ‘lifestyle marketing’,

sharing where they are and what they are

doing on social media. For that reason,

‘selfie stations’ with props are an easy way

to make your store a part of their story.

Sometimes all you need is a cardboard

frame to make a selfie special. It should

include your business’ name, address and


Alternatively, you can increase your

business’ local exposure by hosting a selfie

contest. Your post might read: “Take a selfie

in our store and receive 10 per cent off your

next purchase! Visit us between (date) and

(date), take a selfie in the store and post it

on Instagram. Tag us, include the hashtag,

and you could win (prize)”.

Change your selfie station and/or props

seasonally to encourage shoppers to share

photos often.

Make your signage work harder – A survey

commissioned by courier service FedEx

found that 68 per cent of customers said

they had made a purchase after a sign

caught their attention.

Every smart retailer knows that signs on

that sales floor encourage purchases, so

why are so many stores ‘under-signed’?

And when displays are signed, why are

those signs so boring?

It’s okay to have fun with your in-store

signage; express your personality!

Chalk on the footpath is another option for

signage as it stops foot traffic right outside

your storefront, takes advantage of unused

space, and is free.

Many retailers have embraced easel signs

too because they give a store ‘street level’

exposure and they are easy to change. Use

them to highlight events going on in-store

or to give your customers a laugh.

Another way to build good-will and

community charisma is to put up signs

celebrating your employees.

This helps build a rapport with your

potential customers, improves your staff

morale, and makes your business feel more

relatable and friendly.

Try out cross-promotions – Something that

always stands out is when retailers support

one another, and cross-promotion can be

a very effective and affordable strategy for

increasing the visibility of your store.

Repetition is a key part of advertising

because it helps customers recall your

business, and cross-promotion means

shoppers will be reminded several times.

Large companies that own multiple

businesses often use cross-promotion to

their advantage. In the US, Disney owns the

television network ABC, so advertisements

for Disney films are regularly played in the

commercial breaks of ABC shows.

Another example is airlines cross-



Local events

Make sure

your business

is an active

participant in

local events that

attract footfall

Online meets




and fun signage

can get extra

traction via

social media




with other local

businesses to

attract new


promoting with hotels and car-rental

companies. Product placement in movies

and TV shows is yet another form of crosspromotion.

On a local level, cross-promotions between

small businesses can be even more creative.

One example we encountered during a

holiday season was a dance school that

began providing ‘living window displays’ to

stores all over town.

The dancers would interact with shoppers

and perform in the window, enticing them

inside, while the businesses cross-promoted

the school’s presentation of The Nutcracker.

While this cross-promotion may seem a

little unexpected at first, it is to a retailer’s

advantage to choose a cross-promotion

partner without many shared customers to

reach new and untapped markets.

The ice-cream parlour next-door isn’t a

great fit because you probably have many

customers in common simply by proximity

– but the hairdresser or nail salon down the

street could be perfect.

Find businesses with customers who would

be interested in what you sell and exchange

ideas on how to promote one another.

The bottom line

Community is important to today’s

customers; you attract positive reviews for

being a good corporate citizen, protecting

the environment, recycling, producing

sustainable goods, and supporting charity.

You also earn their loyalty by weaving

yourself into the fabric of your local


So, the next time your community has an

event, or another local business proposes

a cross-promotion, look at it as an

opportunity to engage shoppers and meet

potential new customers.

And if someone uses your restroom without

purchasing anything? You’ll survive!


BENDER are retail strategists,

authors and consultants. Visit:


49 | May 2021

May 2021 | 50





The virtues that business leaders should use

to inform their sales strategy right now

SUE BARRETT explains how sales performance and management can be improved by implementing

a new strategy that is driven by three key values of trustworthiness, co-operation, and gratitude.

Relying on gut instinct is not enough

when building your retail strategy

BRIAN WALKER explores the powers – and limitations – of intuition when

it comes to managing a retail business and how experience interacts with data.

In September 2019, I wrote an article

advising of the strategies business

leaders could implement immediately

to improve their sales results in a

challenging market.

Given the advent of COVID-19 and the many

lessons learnt since, it is now important to

revisit that advice while emphasising three

extra virtues as guiding principles.

These virtues are trustworthiness,

co-operation, and gratitude, which all

underpin good business.

Many people’s perspectives and priorities

have shifted in the last year beyond the

mere matter of making money; they are

closely examining their relationship to

work, career, others, and themselves.

They are focusing on what really matters

to our ongoing collective wellbeing

and prosperity.

As a result, trustworthiness, co-operation,

and gratitude are particularly relevant to

business leaders’ interactions with them

as customers – and staff.


Trustworthiness is the foundation

of both business agreements and

personal promises.

When trustworthy people give their

word, they stand by it and through their

actions they keep their promises and

commitments. They display consistency,

constancy, and loyalty.

When a person or a business is worthy of

trust, they attract abundance and create

lasting success.


Co-operation means working together

for the good of all. Co-operators seek

common goals in service of a unified vision

and combine their abilities with other team

members to create something none could

achieve alone.

Particularly in times of difficulty, cooperation

is critical as it allows groups

to share the load. Co-operative people

Build your sales strategy on a solid foundation of virtuous values.

willingly do tasks others ask of them and

look for ways to be helpful, as well as

asking for help when it is needed.

This quality is the one that can turn a

dream or vision into a reality and is as

essential for business leaders as it is

for individual staff members within a


As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast,

go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”


Gratitude is a constant attitude and

expression of thankfulness and

appreciation for life as it unfolds.

Operating from a basis of gratitude

allows business owners to notice the

small graces and blessings that take place

each day and to understand, accept, and

learn freely.

Gratitude is the essence of happiness and

a continual celebration of life; it makes

business leaders more resilient and

resourceful, improves morale, and creates

stronger relationships with customers.

Applying values to sales

Taking into account these three virtues,

as well as the experience of COVID-19,

here are seven strategies to improve sales

operations immediately:

• Define a clear, relevant, and compelling

reason for customers to buy from your

business, rather than a competitor

In times of



is critical as it

allows groups to

share the load.


people willingly

do tasks others

ask of them and

look for ways

to be helpful, as

well as asking

for help when it

is needed

• Link each staff member’s role to service

• Shift away from the attitude that sales

are solely for achieving financial goals, and

instead view sales as providing a solution

to customers’ problems or a method to

help them achieve their goals

• Reward salespeople by removing nonsales

related activities from their role

• Automate any critical non-revenue

generating activities in sales

• Employ and develop salespeople with

the right character and attitude, rather

than hiring purely on sales or technical


• Give sales managers the freedom to be

leaders and coaches rather than simply

increasing their sales targets.

In implementing these steps, reviewing,

and developing the existing sales strategy

is essential.

Start by analysing the target market,

undertaking targeted segmentation to find

viable market segments, sub segments

and even micro segments.

Next, audit sales processes and protocols.

When it comes to existing staff members,

assess the knowledge, skills, and mindset

of the sales team so they are able improve

specific areas of their performance.

It’s also important to train managers

and salespeople regularly, focusing on

‘bite-sized’ learning – easy to understand,

simple, and short – that is relevant

and has clear applications to everyday


Instead of falling into the old trap of relying

on a ‘point solution’ – the panacea that

promises to fix everything and sounds

too good to be true, because it is – take a

more holistic approach to managing your

sales team.

SUE BARRETT is founder and CEO of

innovative and forward-thinking sales

advisory and education firm Barrett.

Visit: barrett.com.au

The late economist, businessman, and

governor of the US Federal Reserve

Robert Heller had a saying, “Never

ignore a gut feeling, but never believe

that it’s enough.”

Recently, I witnessed a senior retail

business leader talking through their

business’ strategy, its positioning and

product deployment, describing how this

had been conceived from the ‘gut’ – this

individual’s intuition.

In other words, it was their experience

and instincts that led them to deliver such

a well–crafted set of opinions, as well as

the company’s operating strategy over a

three–year timespan.

The comment made me wonder about how

reliable gut instinct really is in decisionmaking

– and, in this retail business

leader’s case, very important decisions!

These decisions often require investment

capital, intensive use of resources, and

more often than not, radical approaches.

How could a company’s board of directors

endorse a strategy formed without

independent insights, research and

counterbalance? I wasn’t sure, although

many have and still do.

Over the years, retail CEOs have had to

navigate a minefield of critical decisions;

many of them ‘felt’ right, but were

strategically flammable.

Think of the department store that

expanded its bricks-and-mortar presence

when the world was fast discovering

internet, or the retail group that spent too

much on acquisitions of other businesses

and exploded its balance sheet.

Naturally, what comes next is to ask, in this

rapidly changing landscape, how we can

rely on our ‘gut’ to predict the future.

Searching for a strategy

In his book Intuition At Work, author

Gary Klein expresses the common – and

probably flawed – wisdom that intuition

is “at the centre of the decision-making

process” and that analysis is, at best,

A decision may ‘feel’ right, but it can’t be made without a factual basis.

“a supporting tool for making intuitive


Detached from rigorous analysis, intuition

is a fickle and undependable guide; it is as

likely to lead to disaster as to success.

And while some have argued that intuition

becomes more valuable in highly complex

and changeable environments, the

opposite is actually true.

Making great decisions ‘from the gut’ has

been emblematic of leaders in the past

– there are business fables assigned to

these moments – yet the reality is that they

are very much few and far between.

In fact, exceptional instinct is a superpower

that only superheroes truly possess.

As Ralph Lauren, former CEO

of international pharmaceutical

conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, said,

“Very often, people will do a brilliant job up

through the middle management levels,

where it’s very heavily quantitative in terms

of the decision-making.

“But then they reach senior management,

where the problems get more complex

and ambiguous, and we discover that

their judgment or intuition is not what it

should be.”

Complexity and ambiguity are absolutely

the hallmarks of the environment we live in

today, and the human brain is “wired to see

patterns in the information our senses take

The reason





those that have

been in their

industries for a

long time, are

often known

to have great

instincts is

because they

simply have a

deeper well of

experience to

draw from

in,” explains US biology professor

Jeanne Hardy.

Hardy observes that most of this takes

place in the subconscious, which forms

“95 per cent of our brain activity”.

“When we subconsciously process

patterns, our body produces

neurochemicals that trigger both the

brain and gut. This is how our intuition is

formed and why we get the sensation that

something ‘feels’ right or wrong,” she says.

According to Hardy, intuition is formed

from two aspects – current senses, or

the information our brain is processing

when the ‘gut feeling’ kicks in, as well as

memories stored in the brain.

She posits that the reason successful,

creative entrepreneurs, particularly those

that have been in their industries for a

long time, are often known to have great

instincts is because they simply have a

deeper well of experience to draw from.

This sums up determining the role of

the ‘limbic’ – or instinctive – approach to

strategy formation and the insights that

years of experience bring to the table.

Similarly, on the consumer side, intuition

isn’t just a random collection of feelings

that happen when you’re exposed to a

particular product or brand.

Often, these emotional responses are

informed by previous experiences, ideas,

and memories.

In summary, a seasoned executive who

has worked in the same sector for many

years, and has therefore acquired ingrained

learnings, experiences and relevant

thinking, can largely rely on their instincts –

so long as this is supported by data.

Trust me, I have an intuition for these


BRIAN WALKER is the founder and

managing director of Retail Doctor

Group, a retail consulting company.

Visit: retaildoctor.com.au

51 | May 2021

May 2021 | 52


Marketing & PR


Logged On

Why second is better than first

when it comes to sales

A customer’s second purchase with your business is the most critical part of the buying journey –

and this should be the focus of your marketing strategy, writes CHRIS PETERSEN.

Overlooked blogging strategies that can

improve your digital marketing results

BETH WALKER discusses simple ways to update and upgrade your blog content to make it more

effective at attracting readers, improving your search-engine ranking, and appealing to your audience.

Retail has a legacy of focusing on

immediate results. Historically, the

results that counted were the POS tickets

and total sales at the end of the day. The

better retailers measured store traffic and

calculated the conversion rates.

Even with the launch of ecommerce, core

metrics of success still focused on traffic –

acquiring customers, conversion rate, and

average order volume.

This is important because the metrics that

are measured are the ones that can be

managed and improved.

Studies repeatedly show that secondtime

buyers are more valuable and more

profitable than new customers, yet many

retailers are failing to measure the second

sale and track the related customer

variables, which in turn build lasting

relationships that create lifetime value.

So, why do so many retailers focus so

heavily on the first purchase and fail to

measure the key performance indicators

(KPIs) of the ‘second sale’?

Buy twice, buy for life

In 2018, retail marketing company

Bluecore analysed purchases from

16 clothing businesses. The results

underscored the importance and dynamics

of the second sale:

• Although customer value increased with

each purchase, the biggest jump in value

was between the first and second purchase

• Second-time buyers were far more

likely to become repeat buyers

• Approximately 60 per cent of second

purchases occur within 100 days of the first

• After 100 days, the chances of a second

purchase drop below 10 per cent

Yet, Bluecore also found that 80 per cent

of post-purchase messaging from the 16

clothing businesses focused on acquiring

new customers.

In the past, retailers have utilised mass

marketing and mass media. The goal of

the marketing strategy was reach and

Marketing efforts should focus on a customer’s second purchase.

frequency; that is, acquiring customers

and getting them into the store.

The focus, measurement and metrics

were on product sales today, not customer

relationships tomorrow.

Today, e-commerce retailers like

Amazon understand the potential of the

second sales, and how to leverage them.

E-commerce systems were designed from

the beginning to be individual customerfocused,

tracking when you visit, what you

view and what you purchase.

Then algorithms kick in to repeat-message

first time buyers for add-on sales and

second purchases, while tracking all the

corresponding data from the messages,

offers and future sales.

Yet bricks-and-mortar retailers often miss

the second sale because:

• Legacy systems are focused on sales

transactions, not customers

• Useful data is difficult to access

• Metrics are focused on transactions and

year-over-year results, not relationships

• Many lack integrated customer

relationship management (CRM) systems

to re-market and message customers.

How to nail the second sale

The future of retail and profitability lies

in retention and optimising relationships.


buyers are more

valuable and

more profitable

than new

customers, yet

many retailers

are failing to

measure the

second sale and

track the related



In order to do that, retailers must think

and analyse from a customer relationship

perspective, not transaction sales.

This will require CRM and tracking that

enables retailers to answer key questions:

• What categories and products did the

customer shop from?

• What category did the customer make

their second purchase from?

• How long was it before they made the

second purchase?

• What marketing messages did they

receive, and what impact did they have on


• What categories and products were the

second purchase from?

• How does that compare to other

customers purchasing similar products?

• What is the “basket of core products”

that create the lifetime value for the


Having the ability to answer questions

about individual customers creates

a path to retention and profitable

lifetime relationships.

Amazon has mastered using data

to convert multiple sales and build

relationships through its Prime

delivery service.

Traditional retailers have built their

customer relationships over decades

through talented sales staff – but the

key to continued success lies in CRM and

a focus on turning one-time shoppers into

lifetime customers.

There is no single model for success;

however, measuring and managing

the second sale is a critical metric for

changing the paradigm from acquisition

to retention.

CHRIS PETERSEN is founder and

CEO of retail consultancy Integrated

Marketing Solutions (IMS). Visit:


Content marketing takes more effort than

simply publishing one blog post on a subject;

it requires you to think outside the box and

look for opportunities to be creative.

Yet as you build a ‘library’ of content, you will

eventually encounter a different challenge:

writer’s block, which will convince you that you

don’t have anything new to say.

While it’s unlikely you’ve written everything

on one subject, revisiting and optimising

your previous posts is one way to overcome

impediments to your creative flow.

This structured approach means your

existing posts will reach a wider audience

and your website will climb the searchengine

rankings while you think of ideas for

new content.

Below are three methods to optimise your

blog that are often overlooked but can quickly

improve your digital marketing results.

Update old blog posts

There are a few different strategies for

updating old content. The first step is to

identify which posts you should update first;

this will depend on the keywords users are

searching to find your business.

You can identify these keywords by looking

at the terms you rank highest for on search

engines like Google, the top keywords that

draw people to your site from your Google My

Business page, and the hashtags that attract

the most interactions on social media.

Try the below ideas and compare the

analytics to see which one helps improve the

search-engine rankings for your keywords:

• SEO optimisation – Look at your most

popular blog posts and review them for

on-page SEO (search engine optimisation)

opportunities. One of the best ways to do this

is by using an SEO ‘checker’ tool, which you

can download.

These tools will do a lot of the heavy lifting

when it comes to analysing your posts and

offering suggestions for improvement.

• Update images – Fresh photos should be

added to your posts. Ensure each element

Revitalising your business’ blog is an effective way to boost your Google ranking.

is titled and described using the correct


• Add new information – Visit the earliest

posts on your blog and read the content.

Ask yourself if the article still aligns with

your business philosophy, current offers,

services, and products. If it doesn’t,

‘unpublish’ it and redirect the link to

prevent any errors from occurring.

If your blog post is still relevant, optimise

it to get more clicks by adding internal

links to recently published content, update

any external links to recently published

content, and update any statistics so they

reflect the current year.

Rewrite content to support the new

statistics, and adjust the wording in the

headers to incorporate ‘long-tail’ keywords

– that is, keywords that are longer and

more specific.

Add infographics or video

If you’re explaining more technical

concepts to your audience, your points will

be clearer when you show – rather than tell

– information.

Even when you incorporate text into ta blog

post, your audience will likely skim your

words as their eyes are drawn to images

or videos.

Social media analytics firm HubSpot found

that in 2020, 81 per cent of businesses used

video as part of their marketing strategy –

up almost 20 per cent in one year.

If your blog post

is still relevant,

optimise it to

get more clicks

by adding

internal links

to recently


content, update

any external

links to recently


content, and

update any

statistics so

they reflect the

current year

According to Google, six out of 10 people

would rather watch online videos than

television and YouTube is the second-most

viewed website on the Internet, after the

Google search homepage.

What’s more, viewers retain 95 per cent of

a message when they watch it in a video,

compared to 10 per cent when reading,

according to Insivia.

Adding infographics and video to your blog

posts makes them more engaging for

readers and will improve the ‘bounce rate’ –

how quickly users click away from a page.

Cracking the code

Finally, one of the best things you can do to

improve your search engine ranking is to

make the context of your content as easy

for Google’s AI to identify as possible –

essentially, ensuring Google’s bots do not get

confused and misclassify your website.

In addition to classic SEO techniques, like

incorporating headers and bulleted lists, you

can add a schema markup and structured

data – elements that a digital marketing

professional can assist in implementing.

Schema markup is simply a code that you

put on your website to help search engines

return more informative results for users.

Meanwhile, structured data refers to highly

organised information. When information is

highly structured and predictable, search

engines can more easily organise and display

it in creative ways. Again, this is an element

that is part of your website’s code, rather

than information your readers will see.

Once you’ve updated your blog content you

will have new information to promote on

social media and through email marketing.

If you’re facing writer’s block, don’t give

up! Rather than a new blog post, look into

your archives and incorporate one or all of

these strategies.

BETH WALKER writes for US-based

SMA Marketing, which specialises

in digital marketing strategies for

businesses. Visit: smamarketing.net

53 | May 2021

May 2021 | 54

My Bench

David Hollanders

Wild Trout Designer Jewellers, Sydney, NSW

Age 53 • Years in Trade 37 • Training Diploma in Jewellery Manufacture from Bradford & Ilkley College, Yorkshire • First job Goldsmithing apprenticeship at

Roy’s Jewellers, Lancashire in 1983 • Other Qualifications City & Guilds Jewellery Manufacture certification, Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great

Britain, and Diamond Setting Diploma from Sir John Cass College, London




This bangle was a labour of love for a special lady who had

recently been bereaved, losing the love of her life. The recycled

gold used was hers, and the diamonds came from a variety of

jewellery pieces that either belonged to her husband or were

bought for her by him. I separated the diamonds by colour and

pavé set them in sections. She wears it all day, every day and we

recently made something similar for her daughter.

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE I can’t go past the

vibrancy of a beautiful ruby.

4FAVOURITE METAL 18-carat yellow gold. What’s

not to love about a simple alloy that is both a

pleasing colour and is very accommodating?

4FAVOURITE TOOL Burnishers – how pleasing

it is that two metals rubbed together can give a

beautiful reflective finish!


I discovered computer-assisted design (CAD). To

start with it was difficult to learn, but over the

years I’ve adapted my traditional skills to this

modern medium.

4BEST PART OF THE JOB Pleasing people.



do it right.

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Do it once, do it right!


Dust is the biggest concern.


surprising me. I started my apprenticeship in

goldsmithing at the age of 16, but I wasn’t ready

for the discipline required for the role – and I

was given the boot after less than a year! After

trying a couple of other jobs, including a trainee

stonemason, I decided that I really wanted to

pursue my passion in jewellery making.

After graduating from college in 1986, I landed

a job at the Diamond Boutique in Maidenhead,

Berkshire as a jobbing jeweller, progressing to

mounter. Then, under the guidance of Anthony

Hilbourne, I gained qualifications in gemmology,

diamond grading and diamond setting.

Even today, there is always something new

to discover – even though in a busy modern

workshop, we rarely get time to step back

and reflect!

55 | May 2021



Dispelling the myths and misconceptions

about jewellery valuations

RIKKI MCANDREW explores how jewellery valuations have evolved over time and

what jewellers and consumers can expect from a modern valuation.

As with most industries, jewellery

valuation has been affected by the

advances in technology in recent years

and valuers have had to learn a host of new

skills – to the benefit of jewellers and their

customers alike.

In days now long gone, producing valuations

was a very different proposition. We didn’t

have access to the technology we do today

– including computers and digital cameras –

so many older valuations are simply written

documents without images.

What’s more, the descriptions in these older

valuations often lack detail, leaving too much

room for misinterpretation and guesswork.

The terminology used could be quite

confusing to the layman, if not the trade;

an old valuation might include a diamond

colour described as ‘Jager’, ‘river’, ‘(top)

Wesselton’ or ‘(top) cape’, rather than the

alphabetical system in use today.

However, since the foundation of the

National Council of Jewellery Valuers

(NCJV), a system of standardisation is in

place and continuously being improved.

All jewellery valuations today must have a

photograph and a full description, including

weights and measurements – which are also

frequently missing from old valuations!

In terms of implementing these standards,

the NCJV was the first jewellery valuer

organisation in the world to develop its own

accredited valuer course.

Valuations are a critical source of

information when it comes to identifying

lost and stolen jewellery, especially

when there is a dispute of provenance or

ownership, or a police investigation.

It is hard to argue against anything unique to

an item such as a hallmark, an engraving,

a chip, or anything else that the valuer

observes and notes in the valuation.

Of course, while valuations have come a long

way, there are still limitations; for example,

a set diamond can’t be graded higher than

a G colour, therefore it may be necessary to

remove the diamond for a more accurate

grading as this could significantly impact the

value of the overall piece.

For this reason, it is necessary to educate

consumers on this point and advocate for it

to be done routinely.

As retailers are often the ‘middleman’

between consumers and valuers, the trade

should also take these factors into account

when advising their customers.

There are a few other misconceptions that

aren’t immediately obvious, but should be.

Firstly, a valuer can’t simply look at a piece

of jewellery and give a dollar value – nor can

a professional valuation determine a piece’s

previous retail value or its guaranteed

second-hand/resale value.

Valuations act as a reliable source of

information which can then be interpreted

as the basis for determining a second-hand

value. Put simply, a seller must know and

understand the market for the piece; the

valuation simply tells them exactly what it is

they are selling!

A retail price can then be developed that

includes a standard mark-up – something

that is not taken into account in a valuation.

Valuations of the same piece by different

valuers almost certainly won’t have the

same dollar value.

Another important point is that valuers

rarely have an advertised price list. One of

the main reasons for this is variation – each

valuation is unique, and while an average

All jewellery


today must have

a photograph

and a full



weights and


– which are

also frequently

missing from

old valuations!

valuation takes one hour to complete, some

can take eight hours or more!

For more complex valuations, a piece of

jewellery may also need to be shown to

other valuers, wholesalers or antiques

dealers for a second opinion.

As a result, the NCJV does not monitor

prices nor recommend a price range to its

registered valuers.

Still, it’s a question often asked, by jewellers

and consumers alike: how much should a

valuation cost? It’s similar to asking, how

long is a piece of string?

When developing their price structure,

valuers will take into account the cost

of purchasing and maintaining their

gemmological equipment, indemnity

insurance, continuing professional

development, subscriptions to price

guides and sales realisations, and NCJV

membership fees.

NCJV-registered valuers are professionally

trained, and they deal in facts, not hopes

or wishes. At the end of the day, the valuer

signs a document which can be admitted to

court; they can’t take into account what the

client believes to be true, or what they were

told when they bought a jewellery piece.

There are still some in the jewellery

industry who lack knowledge or experience

with valuations, and this is where problems

regularly arise. But there is no excuse

for ignorance – and that’s what jewellery

valuations are designed to prevent.

Name: Rikki McAndrew FGAA Dip DT

Company: McAndrew Jewellery, and

Australian Jewellery Valuers

Position: Director

Location: Melbourne, VIC

Years in Industry: 48

57 | May 2021



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