Jeweller - May 2021
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VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY
WHY THE SWISS WATCH INDUSTRY
NEEDS PHYSICAL TRADE SHOWS
COLOURED GEMSTONES TAKE CENTRE STAGE
FOR JEWELLERS AND CONSUMERS
INNOVATIONS AND TRENDS IN THE
CASTING AND REFINING SECTOR
Helping you shine
Baumatic self-winding calibre, 40mm steel case
Proudly distributed by
(02) 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au
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WHY THE SWISS WATCH INDUSTRY
NEEDS PHYSICAL TRADE SHOWS
VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY
COLOURED GEMSTONES TAKE CENTRE STAGE
FOR JEWELLERS AND CONSUMERS
INNOVATIONS AND TRENDS IN THE
CASTING AND REFINING SECTOR
14 Editor’s Desk
10 YEARS AGO
Time Machine: May 2011
John Franich Jewellers
NOW & THEN
23 Product Spotlight
LEARN ABOUT GEMS
31 CASTING & REFINING FEATURE
37 Jewellers Showcase
4CALLUM GLENNEN explores recent
developments in casting and refining, including
precious metal prices and advanced technology.
CASTING & REFINING FEATURE
Reset and refine
WATCH TRADE REVIEW
Watching the clock
COLOURED GEMSTONES FEATURE
All things bright and beautiful
Better Your Business
Community is critical to retail success, write RICH KIZER and GEORGANNE BENDER.
43 GEMSTONES FEATURE
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,
writes ARABELLA RODEN.
MARKETING & PR
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.
BUY • LEARN • BE INSPIRED • NETWORK • BELONG
39 WATCH TRADE REVIEW
Real fair go
Full spectrum Precious metal
J E W ELLERY & WATCH FAIR
by Expertise Events
AUGUST 28 – 30, 2021
4 MARTIN FOSTER
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
May 2021 | 12
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
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,
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.
at a barebone
time with a
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
“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
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
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!
May 2021 | 14
#Instagram hashtags to follow
47,130 + POSTS
1.1 MILLION POSTS
3.4 MILLION POSTS
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.
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
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.
Kering has now
trained 400 staff
in 16 countries to
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.
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.
VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY
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jewellery + watches
p +61 (0)8 8221 5580
email@example.com | 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
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,
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
“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,”
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’,
Spanish jewellery brand UNOde50 enters
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.
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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
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
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
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
snapshot of the latest
watches to hit the market.
1 REFLEX ACTIVE | Heart & Grace Reflex Active affordable smartwatches don’t compromise on style or functionality. The Series 5 combines a sleek, gold-toned case and generous 1.3-inch display with
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.
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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.
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
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.
ON THE COVER Najo
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
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.”
STILL RELEVANT 10 YEARS ON
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
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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
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.”
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25 | May 2021
Now & Then
John Franich Jewellers
AUCKLAND, NZ with John and Jenni Franich, directors • SPACE COMPLETED 2016
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
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
Marks designed and distributed opal
jewellery and opal exotica to a roll
call of international visitors and major
and minor aristocracy, as well as
Among those gifted Percy Marks’
opal jewellery were the likes of ballerina
Anna Pavlova and opera singer Dame
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
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
opals in Europe and
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
Cameron Marks, Percy
takes over the business
as managing director
The Percy Marks business
celebrates its 120th
anniversary with a
The Alice Rawson bracelet
is identified after 111
years in the possession
of a British family, and
purchased by Sydney’s
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
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
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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Advanced Practical Diamond Grading
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1300 436 338
ADELAIDE BRISBANE HOBART MELBOURNE PERTH SYDNEY
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
An interesting and characteristic feature
that may be found in these specimens is an
inclusion called centipedes – long, minute
tension cracks with shorter perpendicular
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
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,
Found in: Sri Lanka,
Mohs Hardness: 6–6.5
pendants, earrings, and brooches rather
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
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
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
CASTING AND REFINING FEATURE | Reset & Refine
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
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
“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
for gold in the three
months to 31 March
World Gold Council
in platinum supply
for silver jewellery
in 2021, an
increase of 24%
Metals Focus and The Silver
Institute, ‘World Silver
per ounce in US
2020 to April 2021
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
“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
Hayes observes, “The increase in the gold price has made
marginal gold deposits viable, which has increased refining
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
Reset & Refine | CASTING AND REFINING FEATURE
Silver’s supply is also
expected to increase,
demand from investors
is expected to push its
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
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
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
We’re experiencing gold
and other precious metals
showing extreme highs
followed by price contractions
within a relatively short
period of time”
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”
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”
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
Reset & Refine | CASTING AND REFINING FEATURE
NEW ZEALAND | 0800 500 654
AUSTRALIA | 1800 469 088
L to R: ABC Bullion; Peter W Beck
ABC Refinery is
the benchmark in
In 2021, it invested in
an additional 175kg
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
“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
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
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’
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
In October last year Palloys, AGS, PJW, Regentco
[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
The Perth Mint
Over the past two
years we’ve been
refining facility with
the latest European
It’s safer for staff and
Morris & Watson
The sheer amount
of design freedom
that 3D printing
brings with it is
incredible, so much
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
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
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.
& Cast in
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35 | May 2021
Refining | Bullion | Fabrication | CAD/CAM | Casting | Chain
Green and Blue Green
Tourmaline Dress Ring
Metal: Yellow Gold
Metal: 18-carat rose gold
Metals: 9-carat and
18-carat white gold
Carla Maxine Germann
Pearl & Diamond
Metals: 18-carat white
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Metal: Sterling silver,
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Metal: Yellow gold
Metal: 18-carat yellow gold
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MARIE JEANETTE DESIGNS
Metal: 9-carat white and yellow gold
Gemstones: Sapphire, amethyst
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Metals: 18-carat white
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diamond, pink sapphire,
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Gemstones: White and
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EVA MARTIN JEWELRY
White Bee Ring & Riverbed Ring
Metals: (Left) palladium; (right)
palladium, 18-carat yellow gold
Gemstones: (Left) blue sapphire,
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yellow sapphire, white diamond
Sunshine Coast, QLD
37 | May 2021 May 2021 | 38
Watch Industry Review
WATCH INDUSTRY REVIEW | Watching the Clock
BY THE NUMBERS
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.
GREUBEL FORSEY CAMPAIGN
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
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.
reporting digital presentations
are degraded to ‘influencers’
by removing any possibility of
Handling the actual product in
the company of the brand and
at Watches &
Watches & Wonders
guests invited* to
attend the digital
event – the same as
SIHH’s record 2019
*Actual attendance data
cost of smallest
exhibition space at
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
Thus, for more than 10 days, the eyes of the world were on
the creativity and expertise of the most prestigious names
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
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
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L to R: Rolex; Watches & Wonders Geneva was immediately followed by Watches & Wonders Shanghai (facing page);
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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
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
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
IN SUMM ARY
Online trade fairs
are no replacement
for physical, but
they have served
a purpose during
and value to smaller,
in the air
new summer dates,
and attractions may
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
Baselworld certainly had its problems, but
those problems had nothing whatever to do
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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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,
writes ARABELLA RODEN.
GÜBELIN CAMPAIGN; CHOPARD BROOCH
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,
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
“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.
“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
“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
GEMSTONE COLOUR TRENDS
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.
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.
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
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”
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.
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
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.
PRETTY IN PEACH
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.”
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.”
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
has an event,
look at it as an
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
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
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
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
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
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-
is an active
local events that
and fun signage
can get extra
with other local
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!
RICH KIZER and GEORGANNE
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
• 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.
do tasks others
ask of them and
look for ways
to be helpful, as
well as asking
for help when it
• 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
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
SUE BARRETT is founder and CEO of
innovative and forward-thinking sales
advisory and education firm Barrett.
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
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
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
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
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
those that have
been in their
industries for a
long time, are
to have great
simply have a
deeper well of
in,” explains US biology professor
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,
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.
51 | May 2021
May 2021 | 52
Marketing & PR
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
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
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
are failing to
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
• 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
Amazon has mastered using data
to convert multiple sales and build
relationships through its Prime
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
There is no single model for success;
however, measuring and managing
the second sale is a critical metric for
changing the paradigm from acquisition
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
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
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
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
Even when you incorporate text into ta blog
post, your audience will likely skim your
words as their eyes are drawn to images
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
links to recently
they reflect the
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
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
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
GOLD AND DIAMOND BANGLE
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!
4BEST NEW TOOL DISCOVERY A few years ago,
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
4BEST PART OF THE JOB Pleasing people.
4WORST PART OF THE JOB Quoting.
4BEST TIP FROM A JEWELLER Do it once,
do it right.
4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Do it once, do it right!
4BIGGEST HEALTH CONCERN ON THE BENCH
Dust is the biggest concern.
4LOVE JEWELLERY BECAUSE It never stops
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
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
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
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
today must have
and a full
– which are
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
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
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
Location: Melbourne, VIC
Years in Industry: 48
57 | May 2021
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