Jeweller - June 2021

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JUNE 2021

By design



Dreaming in colour



Chasing rainbows







Helping you shine

yesterday, today

& tomorrow.




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To schedule an appointment, please contact us:

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Info@LJWestDiamonds.com | www.LJWestDiamonds.com | www.ScottWestDiamonds.com

JUNE 2021


This Month

Industry Facets

17 Editor’s Desk

18 Upfront

20 News

36 Jewellers Showcase








Time Machine: June 2011


Wrights Jewellers




Anthea Plug


Robyn Sparke


Feeling fancy

4Breath-taking colour and endless creative

possibilities make fancy diamonds a compelling

category, writes ARABELLA RODEN.





Natural selection


Designing the future


The rainbow connection


Digital dream

Better Your Business

Leaders and numbers

have one thing in common...

They both speak for themsel ves !


charts the evolution of

computer-assisted design

and manufacture and how

it continues to shape the

jewellery trade.





Be more productive – and healthy – by doing less, writes DAVID BROWN.


In sales, it pays to sweat the small stuff, advises JEANNIE WALTERS.


GREG GLADMAN explains how to get results training staff with a coaching approach.



DENYSE DRUMMOND-DUNN has five key questions for your marketing plan.









1 Jeweller 66,094 25:31 14 Australia

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.



Understand how customers shop online with the funnel model, writes ALEX FETANAT.

2 JCK 73,914 02:03 1.6 USA

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.

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

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!


Colour play

4In the second edition of Gem

Quarter, Jeweller explores

the phenomena that create

fascinating multi-colour and

colour change gemstones.

FRONT COVER As one of the world’s

leading fancy colour diamond suppliers,

Kunming Diamonds offers a sensational

array of high-quality stones across the

colour spectrum. A multi-generational

family business, Kunming Diamonds

is committed to excellence, providing

first-class service to our customers in

Australia and across the world.


June 2021 | 15

Editor’s Desk

What it’s really worth

The recent auction of the Sakura Diamond at Christie’s was reported to be both ‘disappointing’ and ‘record-breaking’

– so which was it? ARABELLA RODEN explores the complex factors that determine value.

Fancy colour diamonds are one of the

jewellery industry’s most fascinating

categories. Like a work of art, their appeal

is undeniable – yet entirely subjective.

One person’s dream champagne diamond

engagement ring is another’s cheap

brown stone.

A wise person once told me that things are

only “worth” what someone else is willing

to pay; that’s as true for diamonds as it is

for Australian houses!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so

is value.

Nowhere was that subjectivity more

obvious than in the headlines surrounding

the auction of a particular pink diamond

last month.

In May, a fancy vivid purple-pink stone,

poetically named the ‘Sakura Diamond’

after its cherry blossom hue, was

auctioned at Christie’s in Hong Kong.

An exceptional diamond, internally flawless

and weighing in at 15.81 carats, breathless

headlines predicted the Sakura could sell

for $US38 million, amid feverish demand

for pink stones that has eclipsed even the

Sydney housing market.

The hype was – as they say – real.

Yet, the bidding opened at $US20.6 million

and rose to a paltry $US29.3 million when

the auctioneer’s hammer finally fell – a

king’s ransom to some, but well shy of

expectations and/or predictions.

Still, the result comfortably eclipsed

the $US26.6 million record for the most

expensive purple-pink diamond ever sold at

auction; that title was previously held by the

Spirit Of the Rose, a 14.83-carat specimen

sold by Sotheby’s in November 2020.

Dutifully, the headlines proclaimed the

exciting news of a record broken; hailing it

is as further proof of the robust health of

the fancy colour diamond market.

Yet, on the very same day, other headlines

declared the result “disappointing”.

Why? It’s all a matter of perspective.

Those who used the benchmark of the

previous record were overjoyed, viewing

the result as confirmation demand for pink

diamonds – and ultra-luxury jewellery –

remains strong, despite a challenging year.

Meanwhile, those whose expectations were

shaped by hype and high estimates – the

latter often being used to generate the

former – were left underwhelmed.

Some even speculated that the COVID-19

pandemic had “seriously weakened” the

fancy diamond category overall.

There are several lessons to be learnt from

this tale.

The first is that auction prices have never

been a particularly accurate yardstick for

the health of any jewellery category, and

especially not fancy colour diamonds.

The types of stones that end up under

the hammer at Christie’s and Sotheby’s

are in a category of their own, with very

few available each year, and purchased

by a select handful of collectors and

jewellery houses.

As much as tech billionaire Mike

Cannon-Brookes snapping up Point

Piper’s Fairwater estate – once owned

by Lady Mary Fairfax – for $100 million

tells us nothing about the average

Australian mortgage, or housing

affordability in general.

It’s a trap often seen in the art world,

where journalists will measure the

‘strength’ or ‘weakness’ of the auction

season by comparing the aggregate

of final sales prices against aggregate

pre-sale estimates.

If the sales match or exceed the estimates,

the market is declared robust; conversely

if they are at the lower end or below

estimates, the market is in decline.

Yet auction estimates are not tethered

to external economic factors, but rather

calculated based on the reserve, or what the

seller is willing to accept.

Some of this can be a product of careful

market analysis, but it may be equally

A wise person

once told me

that things are

only “worth”

what someone

else is willing

to pay; that’s

as true for

diamonds as it

is for Australian

houses! Beauty

is in the eye of

the beholder,

and so is value.

weighted by psychology and intuition.

Competition from other businesses

can also incentivise auction houses to

inflate the estimate in the hope of

winning the account. However, a higher

range can discourage potential bidders.

Lower estimates entice bargain hunters

into the fray – and any resulting bidding war

could push the final sale price far higher

than the estimate, which makes the auction

house seem more impressive.

For these reasons, it’s impossible to

say whether the Sakura Diamond was

‘overvalued’, as ‘value’ by its very nature

is subjective.

The second lesson is that those

who manage their expectations are

rarely disappointed.

Healthy anticipation is all well and good,

but when expectations are formed based

on assumptions, emotions, and opinions

– rather than facts – it’s easy to be caught

off-guard when things don’t go as planned.

And when expectations aren’t met, we

can be led to the wrong conclusion.

To combat the ‘expectation gap’, it’s

important to utilise perspective; no

situation occurs in a vacuum, and

understanding context is key.

Yet perspective is often the first casualty

of hype, especially when stuck in a bubble

or echo chamber, when it can be difficult

to separate the factual from the fanciful.

In the case of the Sakura Diamond,

reading all the headlines provided the

necessary perspective to contextualise

the result.

When it comes to unique gemstones,

rather than beauty being in the eye of the

beholder, perhaps we should say beauty

is in the eye of the believer – after all,

people’s hearts tell them what to believe,

not what to do!

Arabella Roden


June 2021 | 17


#Instagram hashtags to follow


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The Logan Sapphire

4Mined in Sri Lanka, the 422.98-carat Logan

Sapphire is one of the world’s largest faceted

blue sapphires. Set in a diamond brooch,

it was gifted to socialite Rebecca “Polly”

Guggenheim from her philandering first

husband, Robert M Guggenheim, in 1952.

Robert purchased the sapphire from

Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon, 3rd Baronet of

Bombay, who allegedly acquired it from an

Indian Maharajah. Polly – who remarried

John Logan – formally donated the the

sapphire to the Smithsonian museum in

1960, a year after Robert’s death, because it

reminded her of his indiscretions!

Trend Spotting

4Bold, creative, and subversive, camp

jewellery – inspired by the aesthetic of

early ’90s fashion design – has emerged

as a trend in recent months, driven

largely by Gen Z. A defining piece is the

so-called ‘TikTok necklace’, Vivienne

Westwood’s Bas Relief Choker (inset).

Making its debut in 1992, the necklace

was most recently seen on singer Dua

Lipa (above) at the BRIT Awards in May.

Image credit: Getty Images

Stranger Things

Weird, wacky and wonderful

jewellery news from around the world

Love bites

4Actress Nicola Peltz has

crafted an unusual gift for

her fiancé Brooklyn Beckham,

the photographer son of A-list

celebrities Victoria and David

Beckham. As a birthday present,

Peltz had one of Beckham’s newlyremoved

wisdom teeth – and one

of her own – plated in gold and

made into pendants, courtesy

of US jeweller Anita Ko. “He

wears mine and I wear his,” Peltz

explained. “[It’s] all of our wisdom,

stuck in a tooth!”

Dirty money

4Four US men have been

sentenced to jail for an $US8

million telemarketing scam that

convinced investors they could

recover “miscroscopic particles

of gold” from dirt. The men said

they owned an 80-acre (32 hectare)

mining claim and could achieve

“20 times the yield of traditional

mining at a fraction of the cost”,

in an environmentally-friendly

manner using nanotechnology.

The DES also

includes changes

to how businesses

can claim


of intellectual

property and inhouse


Digital Brainwave

4The Federal Budget for 2021–2022 has

earmarked $1.2 billion in funding for the

government’s Digital Economy Strategy

(DES), of which approximately $500 million

will be spent in the next 18 months.

It includes a $12.7 million expansion of the

Australian Small Business Advisory Service,

and $15.3 million to drive business uptake of

e-invoicing. Prime Minister Scott Morrison

said, “Every business in Australia is now a

digital business... We must keep our foot

on the digital accelerator to secure our

economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Top Product

4True to the unique UNOde50 boho

style, this original bracelet with

UNOde50 logo engraving offers an

organic textured design. It also features

a brown leather adjustable belt detail,

providing a bold and modern look.

Handmade in Spain.

Distributed by Timesupply.

Buried treasure

4Russian police have retrieved

a cache of jewellery, valued

at RUB160 million ($AU2.8 million),

that was stolen during the

2018 Soccer World Cup and

buried in plastic bags in a forest.

A Colombian citizen – believed to have

entered the country when its strict

visa conditions were relaxed for World

Cup tourists – confessed to having

stolen the pieces from the suitcase

of a jewellery store employee who

was en route to an exhibition in the

city of Kazan.


Published by Befindan Media Pty Ltd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

arising from the published material.

Supplying Australia Since 1974

News In Brief

New deal to promote

diamonds in China

4 The Natural Diamond Council has

entered an agreement with the Chow Tai

Fook jewellery chain to promote natural

diamond jewellery in China. Headquartered

in Hong Kong, Chow Tai Fook is the world’s

largest jewellery retailer by store count,

with approximately 4,500 locations. The

deal will include “significant investment

in marketing, advertising, visual

merchandising and sales [training]”.

Tiffany & Co. unveils

unusual pop-up store

4 As part of a new marketing strategy,

Tiffany & Co. has debuted an all-yellow

‘pop-up’ concept. The store on Rodeo

Drive in LA had a ‘Yellow Diamond Café’

installed and the canary Tiffany Diamond

on display. The pop-up will travel to

more locations worldwide and follows an

April Fool’s Day joke, in which Tiffany

declared it would switch its iconic

robin’s egg blue branding for yellow.

Jewellery sales rise

more than 250 per cent

4 A jewellery sales report compiled

by Retail Edge Consultants revealed

that sales in dollars for April 2021

increased 252 per cent compared with

the same period last year – when retail

was significantly depressed by the

COVID-19 pandemic – and 40 per cent

when compared with April 2019. Michael

Dyer, sales manager at Retail Edge, told

Jeweller the figures were “heartening”.

Sotheby’s tiara fetches

right royal price

4 A diamond and pearl tiara that

could be virtually ‘tried on’ via the

Sotheby’s Instagram account has sold

at auction for $US1.6 million ($AU2.06

million) – above its high estimate. The

piece became Sotheby’s most popular

filter on the social media app, being

used more than 22,000 times. “[This

tiara] has captured the imagination of

collectors and Instagram users alike,”

said Sotheby’s Benoit Repellin.

Buying groups to unite in support

of Sydney fair, celebrate milestones

Three buying groups will mark significant milestones

at this year’s International Jewellery & Watch Fair.

Independent Jewellers Collective (IJC),

Nationwide Jewellers, and Showcase Jewellers

have confirmed their attendance at this year’s

International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF) as

well as a range of member functions to coincide

with the event.

All three buying groups are reaching milestones in

2021, with IJC marking its first year of operation,

Nationwide celebrating 30 years in the industry,

and Showcase toasting its 40th anniversary.

In a joint statement, Josh Zarb, CEO IJC, Colin

Pocklington, managing director Nationwide, and

Showcase Jewellers COO Nicola Adams and CEO

of finance and administration Jorge Joaquim, said,

“With 130 exhibitors already booked, the IJWF

Australian diamond mine revived with new

deal following previous owner’s liquidation

Australia’s largest diamond –a 104-carat stone – was

recovered from the Merlin site. Image credit: Lucapa

Lucapa Diamond Company (Lucapa) has begun the

process of acquiring the Merlin Mine in the

Northern Territory from the liquidators of its

previous owner in an $8.5 million deal.

The mining company, which is headquartered

in Perth, has entered into a binding Asset Sale

Agreement to acquire the mining lease and

in Sydney is the major industry event for 2021.

We look forward to reconnecting and seeing our

members and suppliers at this event.”

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director of Expertise

Events, which organises the IJWF, said, “We are

pleased to see the three supporting buying groups

all celebrating milestone birthdays, which also

link to the fair itself celebrating 30 years!”

The 2020 IJWF was cancelled due to the ongoing

COVID-19 pandemic, with Fitz-Roy calling the

2021 edition, “Without a doubt one of the most

important in the fair’s history as the industry

reunites and celebrates.

“It is also appropriate to note the home of the fair

in Sydney, NSW provides the best track record for

safety and the commercial approach to getting on

with business.”

Fitz-Roy said Expertise Events was “good to go”

in running the IJWF this August, following the

success of its five state-based Trade Days in

February, March, and April.

The fourth buying group, Leading Edge Group

Jewellers (LEGJ), also intends to attend the

IJWF, a spokesperson told Jeweller.

The IJWF will be held at the ICC Exhibition Centre

in Darling Harbour from 28–30 August 2021.

exploration tenement – located approximately

720km southeast of Darwin – as well as equipment

and assets, from Merlin Operations, a whollyowned

subsidiary of the mine’s previous owner,

Merlin Diamonds Ltd.

In a statement to the Australian Securities

Exchange (ASX), Stephen Wetherall, managing

director Lucapa, said, “This is a strategic

acquisition for Lucapa which represents a valueaccretive

and logical step in Lucapa’s production


“We look forward to getting on the ground,

completing the work to deliver the various studies

and bringing Merlin into production as soon as

possible,” he added.

The site has an estimated diamond resource of

4.4 million carats; Australia’s largest diamond, a

104-carat white Type IIa stone, was recovered there

in 2003, as well as rare green diamonds.

Lucapa currently operates the Lulo and Mothae

Mines in Angola and Lesotho, respectively, which

are known for producing large white diamonds.

Final Argyle Tender diamonds

unveiled; most stones since 2012

The 2021 Argyle Tender has been named ‘The Journey Beyond’ and features six ‘hero’ stones – (from left) Argyle Stella,

Argyle Lumiere, Argyle Eclipse, Argyle Solaris, and Argyle Boheme. Source: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has revealed details of its final Argyle

Tender of pink, red, and blue diamonds with 70

stones weighing 81.63 carats on offer.

Including a record number of diamonds above

1 carat, it is also among the largest Tenders in

Argyle history, equalling the 2012 Tender and

second only to the 1987 Tender, which featured

83 stones.

Five ‘hero’ stones – exceptional diamonds

given special names – will be included,

headlined by the largest fancy intense pink

diamond ever offered at the Tender, the

3.47-carat Argyle Eclipse.

The other hero stones are:

• Lot 2: Argyle Stella – 1.79 carat, square

radiant fancy vivid purplish pink

• Lot 3: Argyle Lumiere – 2.03 carat, square

radiant fancy deep pink

• Lot 4: Argyle Solaris – 2.05 carat, radiant

fancy intense pink

• Lot 5: Argyle Bohème – 1.01 carat, radiant

fancy red

Titled ‘The Journey Beyond’, the Tender marks

the concluding chapter in the Argyle Mine’s

nearly four-decade history; located in the remote

Kimberley region of Western Australia, ceased

operations on 3 November 2020.

Sinead Kaufman, chief executive – Rio Tinto

Minerals, said, “I am delighted to launch this

historic collection of extraordinary diamonds, a

testament to the amazing Argyle ore body and

the men and women who have worked so hard to

bring these diamonds to market.”

First held in 1985, the Argyle Tender is one of the

world’s most anticipated diamond sales.

Patrick Coppens, general manager – sales

and marketing for Rio Tinto diamonds, said,

“The final Tender collection of these beyond

rare diamonds will be keenly sought after

as heritage gemstones of the future, coveted

by collectors and connoisseurs from around

the world.”

Offered alongside the main Tender is the ‘Once

In A Blue Moon’ collection; 41 lots of blue and

violet diamonds weighing 24.88 carats in total.

It is the third ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ collection

in Argyle’s history and the first in nearly a


“The final Tender collection of these

beyond rare diamonds will be keenly

sought after as heritage gemstones

of the future”


Rio Tinto

The inaugural Argyle ‘Once In A Blue Moon’

collection of blue and violet stones – made

up of 16 lots – was offered alongside the 2009

Tender; the second, comprising 19 lots, was

offered in 2012.

The 2021 Argyle Tender will be showcased in

Perth, Antwerp, Singapore and Sydney, subject to

COVID-19 protocols. Bids close on

1 September 2021.

Notably, the 2020 Argyle Tender achieved

“record-breaking” prices according to Rio Tinto,

despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic

and travel restrictions preventing many from

viewing the stones in person.









Commemorating the the Argyle Argyle Mine’s


Commemorating legacy, these limited-edition the the Argyle objets Mine’s


legacy, d’art are these are highly limited-edition collectible. Three



carats d’art are of are of Argyle highly pink collectible. pink diamonds Three



carats delicately of of Argyle within the pink the hourglass, diamonds gently

float gently

delicately falling within time. the the Only Only hourglass, fifteen have



been falling produced with time. worldwide, Only fifteen with with have each


been one produced one sequentially worldwide, numbered.

with each

one one sequentially numbered.



20 | June 2021


SAMS W E W samsgroup.com.au

SAMS GROUP samsgroup.com.au




P P02 02 9290 2199




E E pink@samsgroup.com.au




P02 samsgroup.com.au

02 9290 2199

P P02 02 9290 2199

Natural diamond organisations

protest Pandora statement

Mining company forms marketing council for coloured gemstones

we reviewed the research data, it became very clear

that there is a tremendous underserved consumer

market for colourred gemstone jewellery.”

Fura Gems mines ruby, sapphire, and emerald –

collectively known as the ‘big three’ of coloured

gemstones – in Mozambique, Australia, and

Colombia, respectively.

The council will provide funding, education, and marketing materials to expand the coloured gemstone market.

“North America, India, and Australia

will be the initial focus of the FMC’s

retailer activities, expanding to other

markets in 2022”

A statement announcing the new Pandora Brilliance lab-created diamond range has

been criticised as “misleading” by a range of diamond and jewellery associations.

Image credit: Pandora

Several diamond and jewellery

industry associations have demanded

Pandora Jewelry retract elements of

a recent statement regarding

its decision to stop stocking

natural diamonds.

The groups claim it promotes the

“false and misleading narrative”

that lab-created diamonds are “an

ethical choice” when compared with

natural diamonds.

In a joint statement, the Natural

Diamond Council (NDC), CIBJO,

the World Diamond Council (WDC),

the Responsible Jewellery Council

(IJC), and the International Diamond

Manufacturers Association (IDMA)

objected to the messaging in

Pandora’s announcement of its

new lab-created diamond range,

Pandora Brilliance.

diamonds are “expected to be made

using 100 per cent renewable energy”

by 2022 and confirmed it would no

longer use natural mined diamonds

across any of its product lines.

In response, the NDC, CIBJO, WDC,

IJC, and IDMA pointed out that

Pandora’s product range has not

traditionally used diamonds.

They asserted, “The misleading

narrative created by the Pandora

announcement implying the natural

diamond industry is both less

ethical and the impetus behind

Pandora’s move to lab-grown

diamonds, particularly given the

inconsequential amount of diamonds

Pandora features in its collections,

can have unintended but substantial

consequences on communities in

developing nations.”

Fura Gems has launched the Fura Marketing

Council (FMC), an initiative designed to promote

coloured gemstones worldwide.

FMC members will receive advertising funds,

sales training, and promotional materials, as well

as marketing support from The MVEye, formerly

known as MVI Marketing. The FMC was developed

following a research study conducted by The MVEye

across North America last year.

Dev Shetty, CEO Fura Gems, told Jeweller, “The

research found that 93 per cent of jewellery

shoppers love/like emerald, ruby and sapphire,

with 46 per cent saying they are likely to purchase

precious coloured gems in the next two years.

“Yet even though dealers, jewellery manufacturers

and retailers said they all make more margin from

coloured gemstones than diamonds, they were not

investing in training, promotion and inventory to

grow this category.”

Liz Chatelain, president The MVEye, added, “When

Jewellery with Meaning

It has pledged $US2 million ($AU2.6 million) to

fund the FMC’s first year, with membership open

to its direct rough-buying customers, as well as

“all other cutters, loose stone dealers, jewellery

manufacturers and retailers that are working with

Fura’s product,” Shetty said.

North America, India, and Australia will be

the initial focus of the FMC’s retailer activities,

expanding to other markets in 2022.

In the announcement, Alexander

Lacik, CEO Pandora, said that labcreated

diamonds are “as much

a symbol of innovation and progress

as they are of enduring beauty

and stand as a testament to

[Pandora’s] ongoing and ambitious

sustainability agenda.”

Pandora Brilliance products are

set with lab-created diamonds

manufactured by a third-party

supplier using the chemical vapour

deposition method and powered by 60

per cent renewable energy sources,

with the remaining 40 per cent

subject to carbon-offsetting.

Pandora noted that the lab-created

The New York Times reports that

natural diamonds were set in

approximately 50,000 – or a fraction

of 1 per cent – of the 85 million

pieces produced by Pandora in 2020.

According to a 2019 report

commissioned by the NDC’s

predecessor organisation, the

Diamond Producers Association,

the top-seven diamond producing

companies generate approximately

$US16 billion annually for local

communities, largely in developing


A spokesperson for Pandora

had no comment when approached

by Jeweller.


www.pridebrands.com.au Ph: (03) 6171 8005 sales@pridebrands.com.au

De Beers re-brands Forevermark diamond jewellery

Jewellery Trade Days to return in 2022;

registrations open for 2021 Sydney Fair

Tempt Your


The world’s second-largest diamond producer by

volume, De Beers, has renamed its Forevermark

jewellery brand to De Beers Forevermark as part of

a wider marketing effort.

As part of the strategy, the brand’s website will

be merged with that of the group’s retail chain

De Beers Jewellers, which operates approximately

33 stores worldwide across the US, Europe,

UK, and Asia.

“We think there’s an opportunity to bring

the De Beers name and its fame to a new

generation of consumers”


De Beers Forevermark

De Beers Jewellers and Forevermark already share

a chairman in Stephen Lussier, who is also De

Beers Group’s vice-president of consumer markets.

Charles Stanley, president of Forevermark’s US

division, told JCK Online, “[The name change is]

part of a wider transformation that’s going on

within De Beers, to make it a brand-led company.

From a brand recognition standpoint, we were not

leveraging our primary asset – our name – as much

as we could. We were spending our marketing

budget promotion on two different names. It didn’t

make sense.”

He added, “The De Beers name, for those that

are aware of it, is generally recognised by older

consumers as a leader in diamonds and diamond

expertise generally. We think there’s an opportunity

to bring the De Beers name and its fame to a new

generation of consumers.”

The De Beers brand has attracted negative

consumer perceptions – largely due to the

inaccurate assumption that the business holds a

monopoly over the international diamond trade

– though Lussier previously dismissed this as a

minority view.

As part of the marketing strategy, the ‘A diamond is

forever’ slogan will also reportedly be revived.

In Australia, Forevermark jewellery is stocked by

the Mazzucchelli’s chain and Sydney’s Musson

Jewellers, while De Beers Jewellers products are

only available online.

According to media reports, De Beers Group plans

to expand the channels through which Forevermark

jewellery is sold.

Following the success of the 2021 Jewellery

Industry Trade Days, organiser Expertise

Events has announced the state-based buying

events will return to South Australia and

Western Australia next year.

The Trade Days will be held in Perth from

Sunday 13 to Monday 14 March 2022, followed

by Adelaide on 20–21 March.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise

Events, said, “We are pleased to announce

we will return to South Australia and Western

Australia in 2022.

As industry events are often east coastfocused,

retailers in other markets miss out

– and it was clear from this year’s Trade Days

that a local event allows the industry a costeffective

way to connect.”

Until the 2021 Trade Days, Expertise Events

had never held a trade event in South or

Western Australia – but both the Perth and

Adelaide editions were very positively received.

“This year we started to establish a database

and baseline – and it’s the right thing for us to

come back and keep building,” Fitz-Roy said.

“East coast retailers have a number of events

to serve their needs. By going to South and

Western Australia, we are connecting the

whole industry, across the country.”

The 2022 Trade Days will maintain the same

‘all-inclusive’ approach for exhibitors, with

back walls, tables and chairs, daily lunch,

and networking drinks provided.

However, the schedule will shift from a

weekend format to a Sunday-Monday format

to better serve retailers: “In both states, city

stores are generally closed on Sundays, and

country retailers are generally busier on

weekends, so find it easier to visit the Trade

Days on a Monday,” Fitz-Roy explained.

“This format provides the best result for all.”

Meanwhile, Expertise Events has also

opened visitor registrations for the

International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF)

several months ahead of schedule, due to

increased retailer demand.

Fitz-Roy said interest in registrations had

spiked following the Trade Days.


• Perth – 13 - 14 March 2022 (Sun - Mon)

• Adeldaide – 20 - 21 March 2022 (Sun - Mon)

Diamond jewellery competition cancelled

presentation in October. However, executive officer

Melissa James recently confirmed to Jeweller that

the delayed 2020 awards will no longer go ahead.

The next Diamond Guild Australia Jewellery Awards will

take place in 2022, following its usual biennial schedule.

“We have taken this difficult decision due to the

ongoing uncertainty with sudden border closures

between states,” James said.

“We have also had feedback from within the

industry that many manufacturing jewellers

are currently heavily committed to an increased

workload of remodelling, repairs and new makes

– which is a good thing!” she added.

Instead, the competition will revert to its regular

biennial schedule.






The Diamond Guild Australia has cancelled its

2020 Jewellery Awards after postponing the

ceremony twice. Registrations were first opened in

February last year – with a presentation ceremony

initially scheduled for October 2020.

“We have now firmly rescheduled the next

Diamond Guild Australia Jewellery Awards to

2022, which will align with our normal biennial

program that runs alternate years with other

awards events,” James explained.

Australia/New Zealand Distributor



Ph: (03) 6171 8005


However, the competition was quickly delayed to

March 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards were postponed indefinitely in January

2021 amid a succession of ‘snap’ lockdowns in

NSW, Victoria, and Queensland.

The Diamond Guild had tentatively planned to

hold the competition in August and a winners’

She told Jeweller the gala winners’ presentation will

be held earlier than previous years, in September

2022. Registrations for expressions of interest

opened via the Diamond Guild Australia website in

May, with the deadline for entries has been extended

to 30 June 2022. Category details, prizes, and the

judging panel are yet to be confirmed.

Harper & Rowe sources only

the best freshwater pearls. Our

contemporary designs also

incorporate crystals, semiprecious

stones, sterling silver,

gold and leather.

Connect with us




(07) 3876 7481


FAX: (07) 3368 3100



10 Years Ago


My Store

Wrights Jewellers

AUCKLAND, NZ with Rhian Wright and Ben Paul, owners • SPACE COMPLETED July 2019

Time Machine: June 2011

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

Historic Headlines


4 Gold jewellery production drops off

4 Showcase lands US diamond expert

4 Zamels woes continue

4 Iconic Jewellery takes on silver brand

4 Timesupply stock minimums cause stir

Australia set for three

jewellery trade fairs next year

Brave New Man’s World:

Less conservative than previous

generations, and inspired by a wealth

of ideas and information found online,

the modern Australian man is slowly

but surely growing more accustomed to

accessorising... There is a perception that

men are more comfortable going into

men’s fashion stores to buy jewellery into

traditional jewellery stores..



Dates have already been confirmed for next

year’s Melbourne jewellery fair– the country’s

third, in addition to Sydney and Brisbane – which

will be held earlier in the year and switched to a

Sunday/Monday format following an encouraging

inaugural event.

The show was hailed for its friendly atmosphere

and beautiful venue. However, many exhibitors

complained about slow trade on the opening day

(Saturday 30 April), attributing the lack of traffic to

jewellers having to man their stores that day.

The decision to shift the timing of the Melbourne

fair mirrors a change in format for the 2012

Brisbane show after a survey indicated that

65 per cent of exhibitors would favour a change t

o Sunday/Monday.

The Melbourne event will shift to earlier in the year,

taking place from 4–5 March 2012 – just two weeks

before the Brisbane event, which is to run on 25–26

March 2012.

Gold jewellery production

drops off

Australia’s gold mine production soared 16 per

cent in 2010, yet very little of what was mined

went towards domestic gold jewellery production,

according to precious metals consultancy GFMS.

For the second year running, Australia was

the second highest gold-producing country in

the world, after China, producing 261 tonnes

of the precious metal. However, GFMS’ 2011

World Gold Survey revealed that Australian gold

jewellery production was 3.2 tonnes last year

– the same as 2009. The statistic indicates that

Australian jewellery manufacturing continues to

move overseas.

June 2011


Editors’ Desk

4A Group to Unite, Not Divide: “I made

what I considered to be a relatively

harmless and inoffensive call for young

people in the jewellery industry to unite

and form a new informal group.

Research shows that 54 per cent of JAA

members are 45 or older, and there

are no members under 25. Regardless

of the politics, we are going to give it a

shot. Was it Chairman Mao or Confucius

who said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles

begins with a single step?’”


4When The Going Gets Tough, The

Tough Get Creative: “I still believe two

issues, somewhat related, stifle the

industry in Australia: the narrow

(safe) focus of what is produced for

the market; and the fact that the

demographics of those in the industry

are getting older.

To once again capture the challenged

attention of a more discerning public,

there surely has to be more choice

than mass-produced product that is

seen time and time again?”

– Melissa Harris, director, Melissa

Harris Jewellery

Unisex jewellery the

next big thing?

First there was the ‘boyfriend watch’ – now

it seems women are clamouring to snap up

pieces of men’s jewellery too.

French men’s fashion jewellery brand Guy

Laroche has observed this growing trend. “The

feedback we have received is there are also

women purchasing the pieces for themselves,”

says Rachael Abbott, of distributor Timesupply.

Urban brand Tuskc experiments with unisex

designs – and stockists have found this appeals

to customers. “There’s a lot both sexes will buy,”

says Theresa Mexom, business manager at two

Leading Edge stores in WA.

Cutting edge pearl brand

eyes Australia

A California-based pearl jewellery company

credited with the biggest innovation in the pearl

market in the past 10 years has set its sights on

the Australian market.

Hailed as a revolutionary figure in the jewellery

industry, Chi Huynh founded Galatea: Jewelry by

Artist in 1992 after becoming the first person in

the world to culture a pearl using a gemstone.

Huynh is set to launch his Diamond in a Pearl,

Galatea Pearl, DavinHuynh Cut and Queen Bead

collections in Australia in 2011.

Said Huynh, “We think Australians and Americans

are very much ‘cut from the same cloth’ – being a

land of people from other nations, we’re open to

what’s new and different.”

4Who is the target market and how did they

influence the store design?

Wrights Jewellers is a long-established family

business, first opening in Pukekohe, Auckland, in

1912, so we have a very broad customer base.

Some families have shopped with us for

generations and others are new to the area and

discovering our store for the first time.

Our target market is lovers of high-quality fine

jewellery – ‘forever’ pieces which are different

from mass-produced jewellery that you would find

in a chain store.

Timber joinery and polished brass accents are

used to reflect our store’s history, paired with a

soft colour palette to create a fresh, stylish, and

inviting setting – traditional, yet modern. We

wanted our customers to know that they were

somewhere special and unique, and the store

design reflects this.

It was also important that the look of the store

suggested the high quality of our products.

4With the relationship between store

ambience and consumer purchasing in mind,

which features encourage sales?

The warm, soft hues of the interior create a

relaxing environment for our customers to take

their time when they visit us. We have jazz music

playing softly in the background to encourage

customers to feel at home.

Jewellery display counters are designed open

underneath to increase the sense of space in the

store while decreasing the separation between

staff and customer.

The clean, open store layout is easy for customers

to navigate, and the cabinets have been designed

to display the product in a way which really

highlights it and draws the customer in.

A seating area provides an intimate space for

consultations, and highlights the customer

experience by making them feel special, cared for,

and knowing that they have our full attention.

4What is the store design’s wow factor?

Hopefully the overall feel you get when you walk

in the store! Particular favourites are our dried

flower installations and the brass cabinetry.

26 | June 2021

June 2021 | 27

Behind every gemstone,

there is a fascinating story

waiting to delight clients

around the world. Studying

with GAA brings the

expertise, networking and

confidence to build a solid

career in a multimilliondollar

industry. Joining

one of the most supportive

and passionate professional

communities of gemmologists

in Australia was one of the

best decision I ever made.

Gina Barreto FGAA DipDT

Gemmologist and Diamond Technologist



Practical Diamond Grading

Advanced Practical Diamond Grading

Diploma in Diamond Technology

Enrolments now open

For more information

1300 436 338









Gem-Ed Australia

Certified by





Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts

and consumers about gemstones





The discovery of the Argyle Mine in the remote Kimberley region

of Western Australia opened up the source of approximately 90

per cent of the world’s supply of pink diamonds.

Their unique, intense and vivid colour tones made them desirable

to international jewellers, collectors, investors and connoisseurs.

It is of little surprise that terms such as “iconic”, “nature’s gift”,

“magical” and “mystical” have been used to describe their

appearance. Due to their rarity and escalating price over three

decades, they have been referred to as the most concentrated

form of wealth on Earth.


This special Collector’s Edition report has been created in order to

independently grade and verify the origin of natural pink and other

fancy colour diamonds from Australia’s Argyle Mine.

The story of these diamonds is unique. They were discovered in 1979

on an anthill in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia

and continue to be coveted by jewellers, collectors and investors

throughout the world.

They have often been referred to as “Earth’s magic”.

The internationally accepted gemological standards used in the

Collector’s Edition grading process enables us to preserve the legacy

of these rare diamonds, even years after the Mine’s closure in 2020.




With the Argyle Mine now closed, The Collector’s Edition

will secure the legacy of these rare and iconic diamonds,

whilst maintaining the independence and integrity of the

grading and origin identification process.

The predominant use of smaller diamonds in the Collector’s

Edition enables the product to be more attainable to a

broader customer market segment.



Certified by









Pretty in pink: Kunzite

L to R: Buccellati ring; Cartier necklace; David Webb earrings

Below: Judith Ripka ring; Margot McKinney ring






















© IGI 2020 • International Gemological Institute www.igi.org

Kunzite, a variety of spodumene, is a

relatively lesser-known gem in the world

of jewellery – yet its beautiful pink-toviolet

colouring, owed to the presence of

manganese, continues to attract a growing

number of admirers and collectors.

Although other varieties of spodumene

have been known since the 1800s, kunzite

was first discovered just over a century ago,

making it a relatively new addition to the

world of gemstones.

It received its name in honour of Tiffany

& Co.’s then-head gemmologist, George

Frederick Kunz.

Mostly occurring in various shades of pale

pink, kunzite may also be violet to vivid

purple in colour. A stand-out feature of this

gemstone is its trichroic nature, where

different colours may be seen from different

crystallographic directions.

This is of particular importance in the

cutting process. Because the most intense

colour is seen in the direction of the c-axis

(the length of the crystal), the stone should

be cut with its table facet perpendicular to

the c-axis to achieve the best colour.

Kunzite is generally a fairly clean, inclusionfree

stone, and is cut deep for maximum

colour. However, kunzite has two directions

of cleavage – where the stone can split

perfectly with the right amount of pressure

– making it difficult to cut.

It is also known to be brittle and

unpredictable. As a result, many skilful and

experienced cutters enjoy the challenge

of kunzite, producing beautiful fantasy-cut

stones of all kinds.

Another challenging cutting factor is the

incredible size of some kunzite crystals.

One notable example is the 3,051-carat

specimen named ‘Fragility of the

Eternal’ – a fantasy-cut by Victor

Tuzlukov, which is believed to be the

world’s largest cut kunzite.

Given the fragile nature of this gemstone,

it is important to know its best uses in

jewellery and suitable cleaning methods.

With a hardness of only 6.5–7 on Mohs’

scale, and its cleavage affecting its

durability, kunzite is best suited to jewellery

that is less exposed in everyday wear, such

as pendants and earrings.

Kunzite is also susceptible to breakage

when exposed to a sudden change in

temperature and is prone to lose colour

when exposed to heat or intense light for

long periods of time.

For jewellers, this means avoiding

showcasing kunzite in brilliantly lit display

cases for too long. To clean this gemstone,

warm soapy water is best – avoid the

ultrasonic and steam cleaning, and dilute

acids when working with this stone.

The best advice when dealing with kunzite is

simply to treat it delicately!

Kunzite is often found together with quartz,

beryl, and tourmaline, in countries like

Brazil, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Myanmar

(Burma), Pakistan, and the US. Generally,


Named for George

Frederick Kunz, former

head gemmologist at

Tiffany & Co.

Colour: Pink to

violetish purple,

rarely blue

Found in: Afghanistan,

Brazil, Madagascar,

US, Myanmar

(Burma), Pakistan

Mohs Hardness: 6.5–7

Class: Spodumene

Lustre: Vitreous

Formula: LiAlSi 2

O 6

it is less available than better-known

gemstones and more likely to be sourced

from specialty suppliers.

A particularly interesting gemmological

feature is its fluorescence – a strong

yellow-pink to orange colour under long

wave ultraviolet light.

To enhance its colour, kunzite may be

heat treated or irradiated. This greatly

affects the trichroism, resulting in three

very similar colours. Kunzite will even

change to a bluish green colour after X-ray

irradiation, but will revert to its natural

colour after only a few hours spent in strong

sunlight or being heated to 200°C.

Although synthetic kunzite has been

produced, it is not commercially available.

Stones that may imitate kunzite include

synthetic pink spinel, paste, amethyst,

pink topaz, and diopside, all of which

can be easily separated by a discerning


Keeping in mind that caution needs to be

taken with this stone, kunzite is a great

option for a special piece, with an appealing

colour and price point suited to a large

range of clientele.

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


June 2021 | 35


Local Talent


Hinged Bangle

Metal: Sterling silver,

9-carat rose gold,

18-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Morganite

Karen & David Russ

Halls Gap, VIC



Tapestry Ring

Metal: 18-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Malaya garnet,

ruby, pink sapphire,

tourmaline, rhodolite

garnet and champagne




Eclectus Parrot


Metals: 18-carat

white gold

Gemstones: Black and

yellow diamond, agate,

blue sapphire, ruby,

tsavorite garnet

Troy O’Brien

Sydney NSW




Little Steps


Metals: 9-carat

white gold





diamond, ruby

Melanie Katsalidis

Melbourne, VIC



Floral Scroll

Bangle with


Metal: 18-carat

yellow gold


White diamond

Victoria Buckley

Sydney, NSW

Fiona Fitzgerald

Melbourne, VIC



Ultraviolet Earrings

Metal: 9-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Agate,

boulder opal

Anita Crowther

Melbourne, VIC



Fleur de Jardin Ring

Metal: 18-carat yellow

and red gold, platinum

Gemstones: Hessonite

garnet, white diamond,

yellow diamond, coral

Kristy Pilimon

Auckland, NZ


Peacock Feather Brooch

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

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

Jeweller showcases a tapestry of local masterpieces that have been

meticulously crafted with great artisanship, right here on home soil

Metal: 18-carat white gold

Gemstone: Opal, sapphire,

ruby, diamond, emerald,


Venetia Major

Canberra, ACT


Dragonfly Brooch

Metal: 18-carat gold, palladium

Gemstones: Diamond,

various gemstones

Gerard Wollaston

Sydney, NSW


Mandarin & Tsavorite

Garnet Earrings

Metals: Gold

Gemstones: Mandarin and

tsavorite garnet

Nicky Burles

Sydney, NSW


Diamond Ring

Metals: Platinum,

18-carat rose gold

Gemstones: Diamond,


Zoe Pook

Sydney, NSW


Palacio Ring

Metals: 18-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Burmese ruby

Kate Higgins

Melbourne, VIC

36 | June 2021

June 2021 | 37


Colour Diamonds

From top: David Morris; De Beers; Harry Winston (ring, above)



While a relatively niche category, the creative appeal and attractive margins

of fancy colour diamonds mean they continue to punch above their weight

for jewellers, writes ARABELLA RODEN.



hat is the essence of luxury? Today, mere

exclusivity is not enough; only the truly

unique and personal products epitomise

beauty and status. On all counts, fancy colour

diamonds exceed the criteria.

Imbued with breath-taking hues in every colour of the

rainbow, these rare treasures are as captivating to consumers

as they are to jewellers. As a conduit for creativity and

flair, with no two exactly alike, they reflect the wearer’s

style in an inimitable way.

“It’s ultimately an expression of a person’s individuality and

taste – you’re saying, ‘This colour resonates with me.’ It’s a

way of standing out from the crowd,” says Olivar Musson, of

Sydney’s Musson Jewellers, which is an Argyle Select Atelier.

“I think you have to be confident in your own style and

individuality to wear coloured diamonds, and that in itself says

something about the wearer.”

That unique quality has made fancy colour diamonds

particularly appealing to consumers in recent years, alongside

the rise of custom-makes.

Harsh Maheshwari, director Kunming Diamonds, explains,

“Fancy colour diamonds are a demand-driven sector, and with

the rarity and beauty elements, consumers are becoming more

conscious of their preferences, sustaining the industry overall.”

Alan Bronstein, president of the Natural Color Diamond

Association (NCDIA), believes jewellery design excellence plays

a central role in the fancy colour category: “Where you compete

is original designer jewellery – that’s what elevates these

diamonds. It’s the jewellery in which the diamond is set, and

the story you create around that jewellery,” he says.

Chris Soklich, director, Ellendale Diamonds, explains, “Each

coloured diamond is so unique – this lends itself to endless

options of personalisation of created jewellery pieces.

“This gives jewellers an exciting opportunity to engage with the

consumer, presenting a plethora of different designs, colours

and shapes. For example, some fancy colour diamonds do not

lend themselves to the traditional round brilliant cut as it does

De Beers

David Michael

not show off the tonal properties to their full potential – this

is an opportunity to introduce the customer to consider fancy

cuts such as a radiant or pear.”

He adds, “Creativity is boundless and it can be used to

capture the customer’s own unique qualities.”

Indeed, Musson tells Jeweller, “My preference for colour is

based on how the stone suits the design, rather than loving

one colour more than another. For me, it’s about engaging

with an individual as a designer and creating something

unique and beautiful that suits their taste and the brief.”

It is estimated that less than 2 per cent of diamonds display

noticeable colour; of those that do, the vast majority are

yellow, followed by brown – branded as ‘chocolate’, ‘cognac’,

and ‘champagne’. Far rarer hues include orange, blue, green,

violet/purple, pink, and red.

As a result, the market is far smaller than that of white

(colourless) diamonds, yet the attractive margins –

particularly for yellow and brown diamonds – make it a

worthwhile category for jewellers.

Maulin Shah, director World Shiner, notes several other

advantages of the category for jewellers: “As every colour

diamond is unique, it’s very hard to match exact pairs – and

find a comparable diamond at a different store.

“In general and depending on the colour, fancy colours offer

higher margins and higher profit than white diamonds, which

provides jewellers with an extra avenue for income.

“And because there is a travel ban in Australia, consumers

are not spending money overseas; they are spending on

luxury items here in Australia,” Shah explains.

He adds, “It is a good time for local jewellers to try out a

colour diamond range.”

Shah names yellow, champagne, cognac, and black

diamonds as in-demand colours with excellent margins and

creative potential.

Leibish Polnauer, director Leibish, has also observed strong

sales for “intense yellows in the 1 to 2-carat size, due to their

unique colour, lustre and price point”.

June 2021 | 39


According to Miri Chen, CEO of the Fancy

Color Research Foundation (FCRF), which

tracks fancy colour diamond prices internationally,

yellow diamonds have seen an increase in

popularity over the past 18 months due to

the “affordable price-per-carat as compared to

previous years”.

She explains, “Due to the overall slowdown in

economic activity globally during the pandemic,

fewer diamonds in circulation means increased

demand for market favourites, with yellow being

the most affordable.”

However, at the retail level, Bronstein cautions

jewellers against marketing yellow diamonds, or

any fancy colour, based on price.

“Price is not a point of differentiation; the key is

the jewellery and the romance of the stone – and

when you have a truly exceptional stone, it sells

itself,” he explains.

“The first impression should be one of excitement.

Design work is key to broadening the market

for fancy colour diamonds, and it’s the biggest

opportunity,” he adds.

Examining the supply chain

L to R:

Sotheby’s; De Beers;

Harry Winston;

Leibish; Kunming

The COVID-19 pandemic not only impacted colour

diamond prices, but also the supply chain.

Says Chen, “In the first three months of 2020, the

industry saw a near complete standstill in both

mining and mobility of diamonds.

“As activity slowly returned to the industry, with

mines reopening in Canada, Russia and Africa,

trade mobility due to air travel restrictions

continues to be challenging.”

Meanwhile, Arthur Langerman, founder of

Langerman Diamonds, observes, “Countries

shutting down and re-opening at different

paces, closures – or significant reduction of

workers – in mines and polishing centres,

meant the movement of color diamonds

As a conduit for

creativity and flair,

with no two exactly

alike, they express the

wearer’s style in an

inimitable way.”

was greatly reduced through the supply

chain, reducing the volume available in the market.

“This resulted in a significant increase in the price

of rough diamonds over the past few months and a

similar scenario is predicted for polished diamonds

during the next quarters.”

Says Maheshwari, “The diamond industry’s

supply chain has been broken and disrupted

heavily due to COVID-19. Logistical issues,

lockdowns, and business closures really rocked

the market. Luckily, consumer interests have

remained strong.”

Scott West, vice-president LJ West Diamonds,

has also observed strong demand but “a hesitation

to meet in person to see the stones, along with

much higher transportation costs because of

COVID-19, which has held back the market”.

“Once people feel more comfortable travelling

and meeting each other we think the market

will lift significantly.”

Natural Coloured


l o S t r i v e r d i A m o n d S i S A n A u S t r A l i A n o W n e d b u S i n e S S S u p p ly i n g

C o l o u r e d d i A m o n d S t o l o C A l j e W e l l e r S f o r o v e r 3 0 y e A r S .

S u p p l i e r o f :

A r g y l e C e r t i f i e d p i n k d i A m o n d S | r i o C e r t i f i e d C h A m pA g n e d i A m o n d S | r i o C e r t i f i e d W h i t e d i A m o n d S

n At u r A l C o l o u r e d d i A m o n d S - y e l l o W , o r A n g e , g r e e n | W h i t e m e l e e | u n i q u e C o l o u r e d d i A m o n d j e W e l l e r y

40 | April 2021

3 / 1 0 5 S t g e o r g e S t C e , p e rt h WA 6 0 0 0 | 0 8 9 4 8 1 0 5 2 6 | troy@lostriverdiamonds.com | www.lostriverdiamonds.com

Natural Selection

L to R: Bulgari; David Morris; Amrapali

West notes that macroeconomic factors have also had an impact

on the fancy diamond market: “The ease of money in all major

currencies has contributed to the idea of alternative stores of

value, as well as the possibility of inflation, which we believe will

increase the value of these rare diamonds,” he explains.

The FCRF predicts a “return to normal in the very near future”,

with Chen adding, “We are looking optimistically toward a

revitalised market in 2022.”

However, with the third wave of the pandemic raging across India

– the centre of the world’s diamond cutting and polishing industry

– uncertainty still lingers.

With the third wave of the pandemic

raging across India – the centre of the

world’s diamond cutting and polishing

industry – uncertainty still lingers

Says Polnauer, “The pandemic hit the whole world, and in India,

it interrupted the supply of coloured diamonds from Surat, the

largest diamond manufacturing centre in the world. As the

diamond consumption is increasing worldwide, the supply is

substantially less and therefore will lead to price increase in the

short and medium-term.”

Langerman adds, “We have yet to see how the new COVID-19

wave hitting India will impact the country’s diamond production.

The current scenario could lead to a challenge in meeting their

current demand and a possible shortage

in the future.”

Shah has already observed shortages in certain categories:

“Most colour diamonds are manufactured in India and the

situation with COVID-19 has been crazy, so the factories are

working at a lesser capacity – 15–40 per cent staff capacity. The

high-quality material, in terms of colour, clarity, and size, are

selling out quickly and there is a shortage of that material.”

Predicting how the situation will impact the supply chain in the

remainder of 2021 and 2022, Shah says, “It all depends on the

COVID-19 situation overseas. It’s all up to the manufacturing.

We are still getting a consistent supply, but we are not sure

about the future.”

Ellendale Diamonds has also maintained consistent supply via

a “substantial inventory of fancy-coloured loose diamonds and

exquisite jewellery pieces made in Australia,” Soklich says.

Notably, the Ellendale Mine itself – which had lain largely dormant

42 | June 2021

Alan Bronstein


“Price is not a point of

differentiation; the key

is the jewellery and

the romance of the

stone – and when you

have a truly exceptional

stone, it sells itself...

Design work is key

to broadening the

market for fancy colour

diamonds, and it’s the

biggest opportunity.”

Miri Chen


“Due to the overall

slowdown in economic

activity globally during

the pandemic, fewer

diamonds in circulation

means increased demand

for market favourites,

with yellow being the

most affordable.”

Harsh Maheshwari

Kunming Diamonds

“Fancy colour diamonds

are a demand-driven

sector, and with the rarity

and beauty elements,

consumers are becoming

more conscious of their

preferences, sustaining

the industry overall.”

for more than five years – was recently acquired by Burgundy

Diamond Mines, which plans to revitalise the site.

“Burgundy believes there is significant potential for the new

Ellendale leases to deliver a profitable diamond mining operation,

with the intention of becoming Australia’s next diamond producer

within the next 24 months,” a statement from the company read.

“Burgundy is currently planning an in-house marketing, cutting

and polishing operation, to take full advantage of the remaining

iconic and rare fancy yellow Western Australian, Ellendale stones.”

Argyle impacts

Another key factor impacting the fancy colour category is, of

course, the closure of the Argyle Mine.

Located in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, the

world’s premier source of pink diamonds ceased operations in

November 2020 after nearly four decades of production.

The popularity of Argyle’s vivid stones – and the associated

marketing, via media coverage, promotions, and the annual Argyle

Tender – raised considerable awareness for the broader fancy

colour category.

“The popularity of fancy colour diamonds has grown over the

last few decades; the clever marketing of Argyle in the 1980s

led to a major surge in the demand for coloured diamonds,”

Soklich explains.

While famous for its pinks, Argyle was also a major source of

brown diamonds, which it marketed with creative descriptors such

as ‘chocolate’, ‘cognac’, and ‘champagne’.

At Langerman Diamonds, Langerman notes, “We have identified

an increase in demand for brown diamonds, varying from

champagne to chocolate hues. Brown stones have a strong colour,

which you can see clearly from afar, and more people are learning

to appreciate its beauty and uniqueness.

“I believe this will continue as the value of brown diamonds is

likely to increase as a consequence of reduced supply, following

the recent closure of the Argyle Mine.”

The final Argyle Tender was announced in May, with bids closing

on 1 September; without new material from the mine, suppliers

are looking elsewhere to source fancy stones.

Russian mining conglomerate Alrosa is one such source.

Langerman notes, “[Alrosa] has been the world’s largest producer

of rough diamonds for the past few years and has announced its

aspiration of assuming the leading position as supplier of fancy

colour diamonds.



Loose Diamonds Wholesaler


Loose Yellows

Diamonds Argyle


Loose Diamonds Wholesaler Pinks Blues

Ellendale Champagnes

Yellows Yellows

Argyle Pinks Whites

| Blues

Ellendale Yellows & Argyle Pinks | Blues

Champagnes | Yellows | Whites

Champagnes | Yellows | Whites

Ph: 08 6180 1562 | E: sales@ellendalediamonds.com.au


Ph: Ph: 08 086180 1562 | E: E: sales@ellendalediamonds.com.au

Ph: 08 6180 1562 | E: sales@ellendalediamonds.com.au


www.ellendalediamonds.com.au | @ellendalediamonds @ellendalediamonds

www.ellendalediamonds.com.au | @ellendalediamonds @ellendalediamonds




L to R: Creations Jewellers; Jewellery Theatre; Picchiotti

“Fancy colour diamonds currently account for less than 0.1 per

cent of Alrosa’s total output, so only time will tell if their intention

of becoming the world’s greatest supplier of fancy colour stones

will actually be achieved, or continue to be an aspirational goal.”

He adds, “Colour diamonds found in Russia are usually pinkish

purple, yellowish gray, brown and olive. They tend to have an

octahedral crystalline structure and a large cleavage.

“The pink stones sometimes have two distinct colours – one

part of the stone is brown, and the other is pink, which allows

skilled cutters to divide the stone obtaining two diamonds,

each with its own colour.”

Says West, “Alrosa has a range of colours. Their pinks

have, on average, more purple tones, giving them a lilac

appearance. They also have a range of other colours including

purples and strong yellows.

“The best of their fancy colours are true specimen diamonds.

With Argyle closing, we see collectors looking to Alrosa and South

African mines to find the next rare colour diamond.”

In addition to dramatically reducing the supply of pink diamonds

and, to a lesser extent, high-quality browns, Argyle’s closure has

also left something of a ‘marketing vacuum’.

Without the compelling narrative of the mine itself, nor the

glamour of the annual Tender, the jewellery industry must explore

other avenues for promoting fancy colours.

The NCDIA’s Bronstein has called for greater investment into

marketing and education about fancy diamonds of all colours in

the wake of Argyle’s closure.

“The market cannot be the same – and will not be the same –

without the halo effect from the marketing of the pink diamonds,

from Argyle directly. That was very important. Individual

companies can create some publicity for their own products, but

it won’t have the same impact.”

In July 2020, the NCDIA appointed four new international

‘ambassadors’ – bringing its total to six – in order to increase the

promotional reach and education about fancy-colour diamonds

across global markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore,

Switzerland, and Italy.

Marco Pocaterra, NCDIA’s Italian ‘ambassador’, noted at the time,

“From my experience, Italy remains fertile for education and sales

of fancy natural colour diamonds... Their beauty and desirability

are strongly underexposed to the public.

“The consequence is that Italian jewellers do not create

revenues with these extraordinary and incomparable gems. I am

committed to help them inspire their customers and take the

opportunity to have new attractive sales conversations.”

44 | June 2021

Maulin Shah

World Shiner

“In general and

depending on the

colour, fancy colours

offer higher margins

and higher profit

than white diamonds,

which provides

jewellers with an extra

avenue for income.”

Chris Soklich

Ellendale Diamonds

“Each coloured diamond

is so unique – this lends

itself to endless options

of personalisation of

created jewellery pieces...

Creativity is boundless

and it can be used to

capture the customer’s

own unique qualities.”

Scott West

LJ West Diamonds

“The best of [Alrosa’s]

fancy colours are true

specimen diamonds.

With Argyle closing,

we see collectors

looking to Alrosa and

South African mines

to find the next rare

colour diamond.”

Kunming’s Maheshwari also emphasises the need for jewellers

to take an active role: “Jewellers need to educate, promote,

and make consumers aware that they are well-versed in this

category,” he says.

He suggests hosting in-store events and focusing on educating

customers about the wide variety of colours available, as well as

the unique attributes of each one.

Soklich says education is key for both jewellers and retail staff to

create “confidence when designing jewellery pieces, which in turn

leads to successful sales”.

The appeal of fancy colour diamonds

largely lies in their ability to captivate

the individual; beyond a trend, they are

designed to be treasured – and it is up to

jewellers to complement their natural

beauty by setting them within equally

breath-taking jewellery.

Musson says, “Many fancy-coloured diamonds are so rare and

valuable, that more significant care must be taken when working

with them. Some may have attributes that may make them more

susceptible to damage, such as inclusions.

“Or, a variation in cutting has led to a thin girdle or fine corner to

maximise carat weight. These nuances may jeopardise durability

and present challenges when setting them.”

Ellendale Diamonds stones and jewellery are marketed not only

based on beauty and quality, but on guaranteed Australian origin:

“The provenance of coloured diamonds is at the core of our ethos,

and we proudly promote that our diamonds are sourced from the

Argyle and Ellendale Mines,” Soklich explains.

This provides another marketing avenue for jewellers – although

provenance cannot always be guaranteed.

Polnauer predicts virtual custom design, based on the customer’s

specific “vision” for the piece – a trend that rose to prominence

during the pandemic – will continue to feature as a key part of

jewellers’ sales strategies.

Indeed, the appeal of fancy colour diamonds largely lies in

their ability to captivate the individual; beyond a trend, they

are designed to be treasured – and it is up to jewellers to

complement their natural beauty by setting them within

equally breath-taking jewellery.

Earlier this year, the Gemological Institute of

America (GIA) recalled an unspecified number of

green diamonds it had graded between January

and June 2020. The recall related to a potential

new colour treatment of green stones.

Alan Bronstein, president of the Natural

Color Diamond Association, said, “It is already

challenging to assess green diamonds because

both natural and treated green stones achieve

their colour the same way – through radiation

– as opposed to, say, pink diamonds.”

Natural pink diamonds achieve their colour

through geological phenomena which cannot be

replicated, whereas manufacturers can imbue labcreated

or natural white diamonds with pink colour

through irradiation and/or annealing, making

differentiation very simple.


Bronstein added, “The challenge of 100 per

cent differentiation [of green diamonds]

remains elusive.”

Several diamonds owned by Leibish were

recalled. Director Leibish Polnauer told

Jeweller, “Our gemmologist, Shmulik

Polnauer, was consulted by [GIA

Australian leading wholesaler, specialising in manufacturing

9ct 9ct and and 18ct 18ct yellow gold, gold, rose rose gold gold and and white white gold. gold.

Machine made made and and hand hand made, any any kind, kind, chains and and bracelets,

bangles and and findings. Suppliers to to retailers and and wholesalers.

technical advisor] Thomas Gelb on this matter. We

have a small number of stones that the GIA rechecked,

but all returned as having natural colour.”

Leibish believes that the recall will have a positive

effect, explaining, “It will disable the few players who

are making questionable manipulations on green

diamonds. Luckily, at Leibish, we did not conduct

business with such vendors as we sell only natural

colours without gimmicks and manipulations.”

Arthur Langerman, founder of Langerman Diamonds,

lamented the “unethical people in the industry…

attempting to forge fancy natural colour diamonds”,

predicting the process of certifying green diamonds

will become “stricter and more challenging.”

He added, “While it is possible that this recall leads to

a bit of distrust and scepticism from new customers,

those who are searching for green natural colour

diamonds will just have to be extra attentive about

which companies to trust.

“Integrity, knowledge and long-term experience

working with natural color diamonds allows

companies, such as Langerman Diamonds, to

guarantee clients the origin, authenticity and the

quality of the green natural colour diamonds.”

From top:

De Beers;




De Beers


P: P: 03 03 9650 9650 5955 5955 | E: | E: sales@millenniumchain.com.au





CAD/CAM Report

Perhaps the most significant change in the

jewellery industry in recent decades has been

the adoption of CAD/CAM – computer-aided

design and computer-aided manufacturing.



Computer-aided design and manufacturing have become an almost intrinsic part of the jewellery industry

– especially given the demand for custom makes and personalisation, writes ARABELLA RODEN.

Once, the words ‘CounterSketch’ and ‘3D printer’ might have

been met with a confused or dismissive look. Indeed, when

Jeweller published its first CAD/CAM Guide in 2012, it asked

the question, ‘Is CAD/CAM here to stay?’

Today, nearly a decade later, the answer is assuredly yes.

By the time Jeweller published its 2014 Report, the “CAD/

CAM revolution” had well and truly begun, and four years

later, the technology was “synonymous with jewellery design”,

while 3D printers had entered the market.

The financial limitations that once confined CAD/CAM to

larger companies rapidly fell away as technology evolved,

and new, jewellery-specific products and programs entered

the marketplace, leading jewellers of all stripes – the

pure retailers, outsourced-manufacturing, and in-house

manufacturing – to embrace the benefits.

Chris Botha, operations manager at Palloys – part of the

Pallion Group – was a vocal early proponent of CAD/CAM.

Reflecting on the evolution of the technology, he tells

Jeweller, “CAD and CAM technology has evolved from a

volume production tool to a fundamental production tool

in any sized jewellery business. Only a few years ago, CAD

required extensive training and practice.




number of

minutes to 3D

scan a piece

of jewellery


estimated cost

of a 3D printer

in 2009


increase in

Palloys’ casting

cycle that is

CAD material

over the past

three years

“Now there are many more user-friendly, lower-cost options

available for users.”

Botha notes that the upward trajectory of CAD/CAM has gathered

pace since Jeweller’s last CAD/CAM Report, more than three

years ago: “There has been a substantial increase in jewellers

using CAD and CAM technology since 2018,” he explains.

“We have seen a shift in our casting cycle, from approximately

30 per cent CAD and 70 percent wax injections or customersupplied

material. Now, CAD is up to almost 45 per cent. It’s

incredible to see, and to see it happening so quickly.”

Larry Sher, director Chemgold, points to the increasing

number of jewellers and retailers investing in CAD software

for ‘in-house’ use, explaining that Chemgold’s customers

“take advantage of CAD-based libraries they can order, such

as our JewelMount collection.”

To account for the increasing demand for its manufacturing

services, Chemgold has significantly invested in staff training

and customer service systems over the past three years.

David Gabriel, director Lenrose, says the CAD/CAM sector is

expanding “exponentially almost by the month”.

“The number of jewellers that are now using CAD is massive; it’s

probably easier to put a figure on those who are not using CAD –

I’d say that fewer than 10 per cent of jewellers are not using it.”

He adds, “Many have jumped all the way in and are doing

their own design, have purchased small resin printers and

send their resins to us for casting.


“Others are doing their own CAD and then sending the files

to us for printing and casting, while others simply brief us

and allow our team to do the design, print and cast.

“So it very much depends on the individual jeweller.”

Abraham Tok, operations manager at Tok Bros, estimates “at

least 75 per cent of the industry is using CAD/CAM in some

way, shape or form”.

“Our feedback shows that there are relatively few jewellers

still hand-making pieces out there compared with the past.

However, the skills of the master jeweller are still needed –

they are just utilised differently and at different stages.

“That’s why we say that a bench jeweller makes the best CAD

designer, because they can visualise how a piece is to be

made before clicking away at the software,” Tok explains.

Similarly, at Chemgold, Larry Sher observes, “It’s interesting

to note handmade jewellery is still going strong as our

stockgauge and solder sales have increased.

“For Chemgold, it’s fantastic to see traditional bench and

new technology being used side by side.

He adds, “Handmade will always have a place, but it is

important to utilise advances in technology. Jewellers benefit by

viewing CAD/CAM as another tool at their disposal to save time,

money and simplify the process in manufacturing.”

Changing attitudes

Indeed, it appears CAD/CAM has largely overcome

many of the early prejudices which hampered its

adoption both in Australia and overseas.

Where CAD/CAM costs were once prohibitively high, they

have since fallen to manageable levels for most businesses.

These costs are also offset by reducing the labour involved

in manufacturing each piece.

Additionally, CAD/CAM expedites the design and prototype

process so that consumers can receive an accurate model of

their future piece, as well as allowing jewellers more creativity

and flexibility – leading to increased sales conversions.

Shawn Montgomery, executive director of business

development – global software and CAD/CAM services

at Stuller, says, “Everything from software to hardware

is becoming more user-friendly and it is now easier to

successfully cast, prep, set and polish jewellery.

“Digital manufacturing is not just at the large

manufacturers level, it’s now at the independent

jeweller level – just like carved waxes were executed

in the ’80s and ’90s.”

He adds, “On the CAD side – those that choose to let

someone else manufacture the CAD file – we are seeing

an even more rapid acceleration in jewellery stores, [custom]

jewellers and e-commerce-only jewellers use this technology

to enhance the shopping experience.”

Larry Sher notes, “Overall, the attitude toward the technology

has improved and become more positive as it continues to

become more mainstream.

“With custom fine jewellery being a continued trend,

jewellers and jewellery retailers are increasingly seeing CAD/

CAM as a tool they can utilise to improve their business.”

Adds Tok, “Our customers were understandably hesitant at

first as it was new technology.

“But once they saw how it works, the accuracy, the cost

savings and the elimination of guess work thanks to ‘photoreal’

3D renders, the acceptance of CAD/CAM has been

widespread and in our view it is seen as the ‘new norm’ for

manufacturing high-quality custom-made jewellery.”

Gabriel echoes that sentiment, telling Jeweller, “CAD is the

future. We have said that for many years now, but as time goes

on it becomes more entrenched in the everyday life of a jeweller.”

He adds, “It is a very competitive market and jewellers only

have two hands, so they have realised that CAD/CAM is an

amazingly cost-effective way for them to increase their own

production and grow their business.”

However, some CAD files can be difficult to cast – and if there

are problems and multiple casts are made, costs can

creep up. One solution is to select a casting house with a

high level of expertise.

“Our team of precious metal specialists and engineers use

the most advanced technology and experience to review the

integrity of the file and ensure it has every chance of printing

and casting the first time,” says Chemgold’s Larry Sher.

“We understand that quality, personalised service, consistency

and attention to detail are the most important factors when

meeting the needs of jewellery production from CAD/CAM.”

Palloys’ Botha adds, “The Design & Print team at Palloys

has grown considerably and is proficient in all major CAD

applications, and we can work with your files created

in MatrixGold, RhinoGold, 3Design and JewelCAD.

“We can also work from a PDF, sketch, photo or logo for the

most streamlined, efficient CAD service.”

The Palloys.com platform – relaunched in 2020 – also

includes an STL file uploader and can provide instant

quotes based on the CAD design, ensuring costs are

manageable for the jeweller and customer.

Technology innovations

As CAD/CAM technology has matured, innovations have

been incremental, centred on making software interfaces

more accessible, as well as improving the affordability,

accuracy, and efficiency of existing products, rather

thandrastic change.

46 | June 2021 June 2021 | 47



Design Possibilities

As the accuracy,

precision, and

quality of CAD/

CAM technology

continues to improve,

the potential for

incredible jewellery

design expands.

Below is an example

from US jeweller

Tom Mathis of

Symmetry Jewelers,

who recreated his

handmade ‘fantasy

piece’ Alice In

Wonderland from

1970 using CAD/CAM.





Once, the words


and ‘3D printer’

might have

been met with

a confused or

dismissive look.”

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A selection of resins from Formlabs.

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48 | April 2021


Chris Botha





David Gabriel


“CAD and CAM

technology has

evolved from a volume

production tool to a

fundamental production

tool in any sized

jewellery business... Now

there are many more

user-friendly, lower-cost

options available.”

Jewellers are becoming

increasingly aware

of the quality we can

produce from CAD.

Our leading technology

resin and wax printers

ensure customers

receive the absolute

best surface finish from

their CAD files.”

“It is a very competitive

market and jewellers

only have two hands,

so they have realised

that CAD/CAM is

an amazingly costeffective

way for them

to increase their own

production and grow

their business.”

Jewellers are becoming increasingly aware of

the quality we can produce from CAD. Our leading

technology resin and wax printers ensure customers

receive the absolute best surface finish from their

CAD files, along with the highest quality castings,”

explains Darren Sher.

Says Tok, “[At Tok Bros] since 2018, we have updated our

fleet of 3D printers and fine-tuned the resins that we use

to achieve a smoother print and cast surface finish.

“We have also improved the quality of our rendered

images to eliminate as much guesswork as possible

– these images are then used by jewellers with their

customers and on their social media accounts.”

Gabriel has observed a “proliferation of much smaller –

and therefore more affordable – resin printing machines”

which have enabled jewellers to produce their own

high-quality resin prints; “Previously, we needed hugely

expensive machines to achieve this quality,” he adds.

Meanwhile, improvements in resins have also become

a focus for the sector.

In January 2021, Formlabs – a 3D printing technology

developer and manufacturer based in the US –

introduced Castable Wax 40 Resin, which was developed

with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and

international jewellery findings, tools, and equipment

supplier Rio Grande.

Formlabs noted in a statement, “The introduction of

Castable Wax 40 Resin further demonstrates that the

next era of 3D printing won’t be driven by hardware,

but by materials.”

David Lakatos, chief product officer at Formlabs, added,

“The advancements happening in material science are

At Palloys, we pride ourselves on casting from responsibly sourced

and accredited Australian gold.

Coupled with superior quality and utilising the latest technologies,

Palloys casts daily.

Receive instant online quotes at palloys.com today.

It all comes together at Palloys

1300 886 108 | AUSTRALIA WIDE



NEW ZEALAND | 0800 500 654

AUSTRALIA | 1800 469 088

Designing the future | 2021 CAD/CAM REPORT



2021 CAD/CAM REPORT | Designing the future

utility and versatility. When revolutionary materials are combined

with the unique structures 3D printers can create, the end products

better meet the needs and expectations of consumers.”

Castable Wax 40 Resin – a 40 per cent wax-filled material – is

designed to produce results “similar to blue carving wax, the

traditional material used in lost wax casting,” according to Formlabs.

Gabriel has observed an “explosion in availability” of different resins:

“Most resin suppliers are searching for the ‘Holy Grail’ of a material

that behaves like a resin when printing and like a wax when casting.

“This is an ongoing quest and the results are varied; it becomes the

problem of the casting house to work out how to best cast these

various new materials.”

One relatively recent innovation in the CAD/CAM sector is 3D

scanning. The scanner creates a digital 3D model of a real-world

object which can then be used as the basis for future designs.

David Gabriel, director Lenrose, explains the process: “We apply a

non-reflective coating to the object that is to be scanned that does not

damage the piece. This allows the scanner to register and scan the

surface. The scanner uses a very soft light source to scan, and there is

no damage at all to jewellery or gemstones.

“In general any piece of jewellery or gemstone can be scanned but as

with every process there are size and geometry limitations.”

Gabriel says preparing pieces for scanning usually takes longer than

the scanning process itself, which he estimates is about 15 to 20

minutes per piece.

Right: Moulds of

wax cast designs.

Below: Computeraided

design in

action. Image

credits: Palloys

As CAD/CAM technology has matured,

innovations have been incremental,

centred on making software interfaces

more accessible, as well as improving

the affordability, accuracy, and

efficiency of existing products, rather

than drastic change

“We started scanning about three years ago,” he continues. “The benefit

to our customers is that we can better produce CAD models to their exact

specifications. Many gemstones have unusual shapes, so we scan the

gems and then produce CAD models that fit the gemstones exactly.”

He adds, “When fitted wedding bands are required it is much easier to

scan the engagement ring and simply CAD the fitted band to suit – you

just know it is going to fit perfectly every time. There are so many varied

applications; it really makes life for everyone so much easier. It has

really been a tremendous advantage to us and allowed us to take on

more complex jobs that otherwise would have been impossible to do.”

At Chemgold, Darren Sher notes, “Improved technology in printing

allows finer and more intricate pieces to be printed and cast easily,

when using the correct software and machine.




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“An increased number of lower-priced 3D printers are entering the

market, which are suited to jewellery businesses that want to view

the prototype before production or be able to print the wax or resin

themselves and send to us for casting.”

However, the majority of Chemgold’s customers still prefer to send

CAD files for printing.

Larry Sher explains, “In the last three years we have purchased

numerous wax jetting printers which have a better surface finish and

are faster in production, allowing us to have more throughput.

“We have also purchased many more DLP [digital light processing]

printers, which enable us to print a wider range of materials. This

has made us far more versatile where we have all the technologies

for 3D printing jewellery, including SLA [stereolithography].”

At Palloys, Botha says 3D printing is now “much more accessible and

convenient for all users”, explaining, “We have seen advancement

from FDM [fused deposition modelling] to DLP printers, and

now LCD [liquid crystal display] printers are available, and more

importantly, affordable.

“More and more jewellers are experienced with the technology, it is

fantastic seeing the industry progress digitally.”

In addition to resin and wax printers, Lenrose also makes “extensive

use of 3D scanning to further enhance the quality of CAD designs”.

Best-known for its use in motion-capture for films and TV, as well

as medical prosthetics manufacturing and robotics, 3D scanning is

increasingly being applied to jewellery in order to generate digital

models of real-world pieces.

Some of the most common applications include scanning unusual

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Designing the future | 2021 CAD/CAM REPORT




Envisiontec Easy

Cast 2.0 wax has

a 90 per cent

liquid wax content

and is developed

exclusively for

use in Envisiontec

3D printers.

SLA, DLP, FDM – what does it all mean? While 3D

printing is not new, it can be confusing. With the

technology now ubiquitous in the jewellery industry,

it’s important for jewellers to be familiar with the

terms used.










Who dazzled with this

opal ring?

Turn the page to find out.


4Stereolithography (SLA or SLS)

SLA is printing technology developed by 3D Systems

that builds jewellery parts layer by layer. A laser beam

bounces light onto a galvanometer, which traces the

outline of the object and then fills it with castable

photopolymer resin layers, which are laser-cured.

It generally has the highest resolution print quality, but

requires additional support structures to avoid collapse.

4Digital light processing (DLP)

DLP printers are part of the SLA category. The printer

shines light onto a DLP chip, which then projects the

entire image of the object to be printed in one part.

4Liquid crystal display (LCD)

DLP and LCD printers bear many similarities,

however instead of projecting onto a chip, LCD

printers allow ultraviolet light through a mask

displayed on the LCD itself.

Because of their affordability, many jewellers purchase

LCD printers, which can print a wide variety of resins.

However, there are some pitfalls: each type of resin

acts differently and must be treated in a specific way,

which can pose problems for a casting house.

4Extrusion Wax

Extrusion wax printers are commonly used in

the jewellery industry and offer slightly different

fidelity (surface finish) but require no support

structures, making them better-suited to more

intricate designs. They also have a higher casting

success rate and speed, can print hundreds of

rings overnight.

4Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

Less commonly used are household FDM printers

that extrude plastics, which are castable but at

very low fidelity.

52 | June 2021

Wax extrusion printer. Image credit: Palloys

engagement rings to design a perfectly flush wedding

band, creating accurate settings for fancy-cut gemstones,

and replications of existing jewellery.

The technology is also useful for jewellers who wish to

keep 3D files of stock for insurance, record-keeping, and

valuation purposes, or to identicaly replicate a customer’s

jewellery, should the original be lost or stolen.

In terms of design, Stuller’s Montgomery names

MatrixGold as the “mainstream CAD software for the

serious CAD designer worldwide”, calling it “the most

effective jewellery design software on the market”,

suitable for designing completely custom pieces ready for

printing and casting.

At Palloys, jewellers can create a custom design from

scratch via the Palloys.com platform or upload an STL file

with their design. The Palloys Design team is also able

to create custom renders for jewellers to use as a sales

feature: “Bringing a life-like element to the design is an

imminent part of the selling process. Rendering in the

modern age is of such a quality, it could almost pass as

life-like,” says Botha.

Looking to the future of CAD/CAM, Tok believes small

improvements will likely continue until the next “giant

leap forward” – direct 3D printing in precious metals.

Chemgold’s Larry Sher agrees, noting, “We are constantly

looking at new technology such as direct-metal printing.

This could also be an option in the near future if it

becomes economically viable. Currently the machines are

extremely expensive to run and the quality is not at the

standards required.”

From the days of sketches and handmade models to 3D

scanning and direct metal printing, CAD/CAM reflects the

changing nature of the jewellery trade as well as the rapid

pace of change across all industries and ways of life.


Key Points


Widepsread use


Technology has

become essential




Fewer large

technical leaps,

focus on refining

and improving

rather than change




Exact digital

models offer

benefits for


insurance, and



Sales benefits

Faster custom

design and


give jewellers a

competitive edge


The rainbow connection

Jeweller explores how various gemmological phenomena

create the stunning visual effects of colour-change and

multi-colour gemstones.

Parti-Colour & Colour

Change Sapphire





















French parti, meaning to divide


1.76 - 1.78

Occasionally heat

Yellow-green, blue-green, blue-yellow


Named after Tzar Alexander II


1.75 - 1.76

Rarely oil fracture-filling

Bluish green and purplish red

Parti-Colour Tourmaline







Sinhalese toramalli, meaning gems

of mixed colours

7 - 7.5

1.62 - 1.64

Occasionally heat


Colour Change Garnet


Latin granatus, meaning grain

6.5 - 7.5

1.71- 1.89

Greyish green or greenish yellow

and purplish red or orange-red

in incandescent light


8 Popular



& Colour





• Andalusite

• Bi-Colour Zoisite/


• Bi-Colour Topaz

• Bi-Colour Beryl

• Fluorite

• Mother of Pearl

• Sunstone





Dive into gem trivia


The rainbow connection


Be dazzled by this month’s colours






























Combination of amethyst

and citrine


1.54 - 1.55

Heat, dye

Orange yellow-purple


From the Ottoman Turkish title sultan




Yellowish green, light gold, and

purplish pink

Hydrated Silica

Latin opalus, meaning precious stone

5 - 6.5

1.37 - 1.47

Occasionally polymer, sugar-acid,

dye, smoking (some types)



From the animal ammonite, the

shells inside of which it forms

3.5 - 4.5

1.52 - 1.68





Colour Investigation


Colour Investigation





Parti-Colour &

Colour Change












Sri Lanka





Ammolite is formed from the

fossilised shells of extinct

ancient molluscs known as


Alexandrite was found in Russia’s

Ural Mountains in 1834 and named

after Tzar Alexander II; its red and

green colours matched that of the

Russian military uniform

$AU2.5 million

The world’s largest gemquality

opal, the 17,000-carat

Olympic Australis, was

valued at $AU2.5 million

in 1997 – the equivalent of

$AU4.4 million today

Carla Maxine



54 | June 2021

• Parti-Colour & Colour

Change Sapphire

• Colour Change Garnet

• Parti-Colour Tourmaline


PACIFIC• Alexandrite


• Bi-Colour Topaz

• Parti-Colour Tourmaline

• Bi-Colour Beryl

“As an opal

changes its

colours and

its fire to

match the

nature of a

day, so do I”


While watermelon

tourmaline is the

best-known, particolour


can occur in virtually

any colour combination





• Colour Change Garnet

• Parti-Colour Tourmaline

In the opal you shall

see the burning fire of

the carbuncle or ruby,

the glorious purple

of the amethyst,

the green sea of

the emerald and all

glittering together,

mixed after an

incredible manner


• Bi-Colour Zoisite/Tanzanite

• Colour Change Garnet

• Parti-Colour Tourmaline

Sri Lanka

According to legend, the

world’s only source of

ametrine – the Anahi

Mine in Bolivia – is named

after a princess of the

Ayoreo tribe who fell in

love with a Conquistador

122,400 CARATS







• Alexandrite OCEAN

• Parti-Colour Tourmaline

• Colour Change Garnet

Mark Antony

– the lover of

Cleopatra – was

said to be obsessed

with opals and

banished a Roman

senator who

refused to sell him

an opal ring






Parti-Colour Sapphire

Bi-Colour Zoisite/










Australia’s opal fields are

larger than all the opal fields in

the rest of the world combined

Zultanite is a trade name

given to a type of diaspore

found only in the Ilbir

Mountains of Turkey

Colour Change




Sri Lanka









Sri Lanka







Napoleon Bonaparte is

believed to have gifted his

beloved wife Josephine with

a 700-carat black opal

named ‘The Burning of Troy’




Multi-colour and colour-change gemstones are among the most unique and beautiful of all jewellery crystals.

Here, Jeweller discovers the gemmological phenomena that create eye-catching rainbow hues.

Awe and wonder surround the spectacular phenomenon

of colour change in gemstones. The fascination of seeing

colours shift before one’s eyes can leave consumers

speechless with utter disbelief.

These rarities are chameleons of the gemstone world,

coveted for their ability to change colours in different light.

The human eye perceives light in the visible spectrum,

comprised of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet

wavelengths. Colour change gemstones have two

transmission windows in the visible spectrum of roughly

equal size, and the nature of the illumination dictates the

perceived colour.

Alexandrite is a fine example of this magical effect, with

superior quality material producing a dramatic shift that is

sometimes described as ‘emerald by day and ruby by night’;

fittingly, the ‘magician’ in this extraordinary colour play is

none other than chromium, the element responsible for the

rich red of rubies and the vivid green in emeralds.

A member of the chrysoberyl family, alexandrite contains

traces of chromium +3 ions. These ions react to light and

absorb specific parts of the light spectrum giving the

resulting colour.

Natural daylight or fluorescent light contains higher

proportions of blue and green wavelengths and will cause

the gemstone to appear to be green whereas incandescent

lighting, such as an electric globe that contains a higher

proportion of red wavelengths, will cause the gemstone to

appear red.

This mineral’s light-absorbing quality doesn’t end

with colour change; alexandrite also exhibits strong

trichroism, showing different colours when viewed

from different directions.


The Rainbow Connection




Lydia Courteille




of the world’s

opal is sourced

from Australia


number of

locations where


ammolite, and

Zultanite are



value of

the world’s

largest faceted


The gemstone was first discovered in Russia’s Ural

Mountains in the 1830s, but current sources include Sri

Lanka, East Africa, India and Brazil.

The attractive gemstones produced from Russian deposits

in the 19th century are still considered to be the most

distinctive, displaying vivid hues and bold colour changes.

Modern sources of alexandrite tend to exhibit muddier

tones with a less-precise colour change.

Garnet, sapphire and spinel

Rare colour change sapphires exist, with the varying

colours dependent on the colouring agents. The more

commonly seen and popular gemstones are from Sri

Lanka, and shift from purple under incandescent light to

bluish violet in daylight.

A well-kept secret is Australian colour change sapphires

from the central Queensland gemstone fields that display

some unusual colour changes – brown to green, yellow to

pink, or golden orange to orangey-green.

Rivalling alexandrite and sapphire for hardness and

durability is colour change spinel. This chameleon can

change from blue to purple or from light bluish-violet to

light pink, resembling colour change sapphire without the

hefty price tag.

Colour change garnets are another rare occurrence, with

limited deposits in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Madagascar.

Fine quality gemstones can produce a strong and attractive

red to green colour change, rivalling that of alexandrite.

Colour change garnet is usually either pyrope type or a

mixture of pyrope and spessartite varieties.

The presence of varying amounts of chromium and/

or vanadium can produce a colour change that flashes

June 2021 | 55

Colour Investigation | MULTI-COLOUR & COLOUR CHANGE



from reddish-purple to a steely blue, green or greyish tone. Other

possible colour combinations are reddish-orange to red, greenishyellow

to pinkish-red, light-red to purplish-red and bluish-green to

light violet-purple.






Rounding out the top colour-change gemstones is colour-change

diaspore; called “a true Turkish delight” by the International

Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), gem-quality specimens were

discovered in the Turkish Anatolian Mountains in the 1970s at

heights of more than 1,200m (4,000 feet).


Coober Pedy


Natural and untreated, high-quality colour-change diaspore

has been sold under various trade names, all referencing the

Sultans, Tsars and Ottomans of Turkey – these names include

zultanite, csarite and ottomanite.

Irene Neuwirth





Lightning Ridge

A well-kept secret is Australian colour

change sapphires from the central

Queensland gemstone fields that

display some unusual colour changes

– brown to green, yellow to pink, or

golden orange to orangey-green




Tiffany & Co.; John Dyer

Suite 5, Level 1, 428 George Street SYDNEY NSW 2000

P +61 2 8065 8533 E info@sovereigngems.com


Precious opal is composed of minute uniform spheres of silica,

which are arranged together in an orderly three-dimensional grid.

The spaces between these spheres contain silica in solution. White

light passes through the transparent spheres directly, but when it


reaches the silica in solution, it is deflected at angles.

These diffracted beams of light may show all the colours of the

spectrum, or particular colours may predominate. The colour from

the opal is dependent on the size of the spheres, which determine

the wavelengths.

For instance, blue colours are evident where the spheres are

smaller and, at the other end of the spectrum, orange and red will

be evident where the spheres are larger. The intensity and brilliance

of the colours are a result of the degree of uniformity of size and

regularity of the grid.

The value of an opal is determined by the type of opal, the

predominant colours it exhibits, the clarity or brilliance

of these colours, and the patterns in which the colours

are arrayed. Good patterns of diffracted colours have an

enormous impact on the value of the opal. Pinfire and small

type patterns are more common, and thus less expensive

than broad patterns.

The major outcrops of opal in Australia occur along the shoreline

of what was once The Great Inland Sea. The Queensland fields are

spread across 1,000km and produce almost all the world‘s supply of

boulder opal.

Lightning Ridge produces almost all of Australia’s sensational black

opals and, despite a recent decline in production, it is still the largest

producer of opal by value.

The bulk of the world’s light seam opal has been mined at Coober

Pedy. By 2008 Coober Pedy’s production had fallen to 15 per cent of

its heyday but this dusty, hot outback town remains home to more

than 4,000 people.

Source: Cody Opal



Diaspore’s first patented trade name, zultanite, was registered in

2005 by Turkish jeweller Murat Akgun in honour of the 36 sultans

who ruled the Ottoman empire from 1299 to 1923.

Regal associations are certainly befitting this exotic, pastel-toned

gemstone coloured by manganese. Traces of chromium in the

presence of iron causes colour changes depending on the light.

What appears as kiwi green with flashes of yellow in sunlight

might seem raspberry or brownish pink under candlelight,

champagne in incandescent light, and something else entirely

in other light sources.

Another feather in diaspore’s cap is a property known as

trichroism. These colours – brownish pink, yellowish green

and sometimes violet blue – are distinct and contribute towards

its colour-change effect.

A factor impacting the value and availability of colour-change

diaspore is its tendency to cleave, which presents a challenge for

the cutter. Yield rates are notoriously low and can be as little

as 2 per cent for eye-clean material and 10 per cent for larger

sizes; consequently, large, clean and well-cut gemstones are

extremely rare and expensive.

Opal and ammolite

Like colour-change diaspore, ammolite is also exclusively found in

one location – a region in the Rocky Mountains of North America.

Ammolite forms when the fossilised shell of ammonites – nowextinct

marine invertebrate animals – are preserved and the cavities

that originally held the soft body are filled with aragonite, the same

mineral that is responsible for the nacre of pearl oyster shells.

The ammonites that form ammolite specifically inhabited a

prehistoric inland subtropical sea that bordered the Rocky

Mountains; as the sea receded, layers of sediment preserved

the shells.

Lydia Courteille


Van Cleef & Arpels

Featuring the

delicate pink tone of

Argyle Featuring pink diamonds the

delicate pink tone of

Argyle pink diamonds



E pink@samsgroup.com.au

W samsgroup.com.au


02 pink@samsgroup.com.au

9290 2199

W samsgroup.com.au

Colour Investigation | MULTI-COLOUR & COLOUR CHANGE

that have one colour in the core of the crystal

encircled by differently coloured layers.

Such stones are often cut as slices with perhaps the

most desirable being watermelon tourmaline, which

has a pink core and a green rim.

The captivating

magic of colour

change and



will far outlive

any show.”

L to R: Paolo Costagli;

Katherine Jetter

The resulting organic gem – which resembles an opal in

some ways – is beautifully coloured, with a wonderfully vivid

iridescent sheen. This sheen is caused by an interference

effect, when white light is refracted and reflected back from

the layered aragonite platelets within the gem’s structure.

The thicker these layers, the more red and green hues

are seen; when layers are thinner, violet and blue

hues dominate.

Like colour-change diaspore,

ammolite is also exclusively

found in one location – a region

in the Rocky Mountains of

North America

The pattern, intensity and range of colour all contribute to

the overall value of an ammolite gem. Green and red are the

most common colours, with blue and violet being rarer, and

therefore more valuable.

Ammolite may be described as either fractured or sheet.

Sheet ammolite is unbroken, with a continuous movement

of colour across its surface. Fractured ammolite may have

various different patterns and some have been described

with terms such as ‘dragon skin’, ‘cobblestone’, ‘moonglow’

and ‘paint brush’.

Opal – Australia’s national gemstone – also displays

patterns and play-of-colour, but for different

gemmological reasons.



Ammolite is an

iridescent nacreous

layer that is extracted

from the fossilised

shells of ammonite, a

prehistoric creature

Ammolite and pearl

are both composed of

the mineral aragonite

The iridescence

comes from the

interference of light

that reflects off the

thin microscopic

platelet layers in the

ammonite shell; the

more layers, the more

colours are visible

L to R: David Morris; Daniel Gibbings; John Hardy; Irene Neuwirth

water and leaving the silica particles to merge together

into a solid state in the form of microscopic silica spheres.

When conditions are ideal, the silica spheres are uniform

in size and appear in a stacked structure that is orderly

and symmetrical. Small voids occur between the spheres

to create an environment where white light can be

reflected and diffracted as it enters the opal into different


This results in playful, kaleidoscopic flares known as

opal’s play-of-colour.

Although opal’s play-of-colour means the gemstone can

produce every hue of the rainbow, this is not always the

case. Silica spheres of different sizes result in different

colours and violet, blue and green are the most commonly

occurring. Rarer and most enticing is red or any opal

displaying a full spectral range.

The body colour of opal is caused by trace elements that

are present during formation. Iron and titanium oxides

typically cause brown-black tones while nickel and

chromium can produce green. Other colours include white,

yellow, pink, red and blue.

In the end, it is the hue, brightness, pattern and

directionality of an opal’s play-of-colour that determines

the gemstone’s quality and desirability.

Finding material that displays play-of-colour is rare and

this distinctive attribute has made precious opal a highlysought


Multi-hued and parti-colour

Parti-colour sapphires are similarly desirable.

Primarily found in Australia, the most common

combination is bright yellow and green.

More rarely, blue, purple, or lavender shades can

be found, which usually originate from the famous

sapphire mines of Montana in the US.

Kenyan parti-colour sapphires are also highly

valued, and usually display more greenish tones,

rather than yellow.

The hues in a parti-colour sapphire develop based

on the chemical elements present in the crystal;

iron imparts a yellow colour, while blue and green

are the result of different ratios of titanium and iron.

Green-blue parti-colour sapphires can be

differentiated from teal sapphires by the distinctive

colour zoning, rather than a blended body colour.

Gemstones that display two truly distinct colours

in good proportion to each other are rare and are

greatly desired by collectors.

Another gemstone displaying dual-colour distinction

is ametrine, which marries two well-known

gemstones: amethyst and citrine.

Both varieties belong to the quartz family and are

coloured by the slight presence of iron impurities.

However, the marked difference in the colours of

ametrine reflects the dramatic temperature change

that occurs during the gemstone’s formation.

Similarly, rare specimens of bi-colour beryl – usually

a combination of aquamarine and morganite – have

been found, largely in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Even more rare is bi-colour topaz. Like sapphire and

tourmaline, topaz is available in a variety of different

natural colours, including blue, brown, orange,

green, white (colourless), pink and red.

However, some bi-colour specimens have been

found in limited quantities; Brazilian bi-colour

topaz tends to show a gradient of pink to orange

or deep orange to pale orange, while Russian and

Ukrainian bi-colour topaz may show natural blue

and tan hues.

The captivating magic of colour change and multicolour

gemstones will far outlive any show, and as

prices of conventional gemstones in fine qualities

are rising, these exotics present alternatives for

those who demand unique, collectible gemstones.

Opal is a form of hydrated silica containing up to

21 per cent water existing as free water within the

opal or bonded to other atoms in the structure.

Millenia ago, water carrying weathered particles of

silica in saturated solutions soaked through the

sandstone ground rock, infilling cracks and cavities

left behind from geological movement deep in the

ancient bedrock.

The landscape dried as the climate shifted, evaporating

Last but certainly not least are polychromic gemstones

– those that display multiple body colours due to crystalline

structural changes during the growth process caused

by exposure to different chemical elements, radiation, or

heat. The most well-known are parti-colour sapphires,

ametrine, and watermelon tourmaline.

Tourmaline occurs in a seemingly endless variety of hues

and may also be found with different colours in different

parts of the crystal. Some gem deposits produce crystals

58 | June 2021


Red Carpet Collection


Gemstones in the Spotlight

The A-list have given their seal of approval to statement gems – be inspired by these colourful jewellery pieces worn on the red carpet.



Beautiful diamonds without

harming the environment

Irene Neuwirth


Paulson, ‘Ocean’s 8’ Premiere 2018

4 These one-of-akind

flower and leaf

chandelier earrings, by US

jeweller Irene Neuwirth,

feature carved bi-colour

tourmaline leaves and

flowers, faceted pink

tourmaline, and diamonds

set in 18-carat white

and pink gold

Daniel Gibbings


Imagen Awards 2014

Jacqui Aiche


Lively, Aviation Gin Event, 2018


BLACK OPAL – Helen Mirren, ‘Catherine

The Great’ Premiere, 2019

4 From Chopard’s 2017

Red Carpet Collection, this

necklace features marquise

and brilliant cut diamonds,

pear-shaped tourmalines and

oval black opals, set in white

gold, with matching earrings




Art & Film Gala, 2019



Hudgens, ‘Spring Breakers’ Premiere 2016


WHITE OPAL – Cate Blanchett,

Academy Awards 2015

Irene Neuwirth


Leslie Mann, Golden Globes 2016

18ct yellow, rose or white gold

solitaire ring featuring a 0.50ct

promotional quality Biron

Laboratory Grown Diamond ring



4 This Cartier High

Jewellery ring, from the [Sur]

naturel Collection, includes

a 15.52-carat parti-colour

tourmaline and white diamond

ring, set in 18-carat white

and yellow gold, with

matching earrings

*Code: 3076. Limited availability. Price in AU$.

Mention this ad to receive this special offer.

Direct account only. No further discounts.

Phone 1800 777 413 or email


Irene Neuwirth

BLACK OPAL – Iman, Gordon Parks

Foundation Awards Dinner 2011

60 | June 2021



Mulligan, Academy Awards 2021

Irene Neuwirth

BLACK OPAL – Joanna Newsome,

Academy Awards 2020

Irene Neuwirth


Dewan, Golden Globes 2012


Available from

Stars shine in colour | GEMSTONES IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Red Carpet ‘Gemstones in the Spotlight’ continued...

Image credit: Arjuna Irsurtti





BLACK OPAL – Zhang Ziyi, Cannes

Film Festival 2019

4 The centre gemstone of

this ring – from Chopard’s

2015 capsule collection

Fleurs d’Opales – is a

24.30-carat black opal, set

in 18-carat white gold and

titanium and surrounded by

purple sapphires, amethysts,

and tsavorite garnets

Irene Neuwirth

BLACK OPAL – Busy Phillips, Academy

Awards 2012

José Maria Goñi

AMETRINE – Lilly Singh, Met Gala 2019

Crafted by Chilean

jewellery designer José

Maria Goñi, the Pentagono

necklace is inspired by

modern architecture, and

features an ametrine as well

as nearly 10 carats of white

diamonds, set in 18-carat

rose gold, with matching ring

From Cartier’s 2019

high-jewelry collection, this

necklace features brilliant cut

diamonds, cabochon emeralds

and oval and round black

opals, set in white gold, with a

matching ring

Lorraine Schwartz

BLACK OPAL – Taylor Swift, Golden

Globes 2020

Jacqui Aiche


Alisha Boe, MTV Movie Awards 2018

David Webb

WHITE OPAL – Emilia Clarke,

Emmy Awards 2019

Kimberly McDonald

BLACK OPAL – Emily Ratajkowski,

Met Gala 2017


BLACK OPAL – Golshifteh Farahani,

Cannes Film Festival 2019

4 Part of Stephen Webster’s

Zultanite Collection, this

bracelet and cuff earring set

features elongated pear-shape

zultanites (colour-change

diaspore) with white diamonds,

set in 18-carat white gold

4 These Sutra Jewels

earrings feature 18.01

carats of Paraíba

tourmaline, with 20.06

carats white opal

and diamonds, set in

18-carat white gold


PO Box 3168 Yeronga

Queensland 4104


Tiffany & Co.


Gadot, Golden Globes 2021

62 | June 2021

Stephen Webster


Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2013

Sutra Jewels

WHITE OPAL – Elle Fanning, ‘Maleficent:

Mistress of Evil’ Premiere 2019





Business Strategy

Each year, the highlight of the

Hollywood awards season is the Oscars,

and the most prestigious award each

night goes to Best Picture.

Among the other awards handed out on

the night is Best Film Editing. Although

not given the attention of Best Picture,

there is an extraordinarily strong

correlation between the two.

In fact, between 1981 and 2013 there

wasn’t a single Best Picture winner that

hadn’t also been nominated for Best

Film Editing; two-thirds of the Best Film

Editing winners went on to receive the

Best Picture award too.

Clearly, good editing is an important part

of delivering a quality final product – and

the same is true in business.

As Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple,

once said, “I’m actually as proud of the

things we haven’t done as the things I

have done. Innovation is saying no to a

thousand things.”

The ability to cut through to the essential

is a pre-requisite to achieving optimal

results and profit for your business.

The art of the essential: doing

less and achieving more

The key to managing a business – and a life – is balance, and that means identifying which tasks to

prioritise and which to delegate, or abandon altogether, writes DAVID BROWN.

Like a good film editor, an effective

manager has an ability to remove the

noise and clutter that can so often

distract from gaining the optimum results

and allow the focus to be on the things

that matter.

Cut it out

Despite knowing this, we can at times

allow ourselves to be distracted by the

urgent and the unplanned.

We can be guilty of considering several

different things our ‘number-one’ priority

which, by definition, is impossible.

We tend to impose too many choices on

ourselves, our staff, and our customers,

to the detriment of all – when the real

solution is fewer things done better.

Fortunately, there are several steps

managers can take that will help

eliminate the problem – and it lies in

cutting through to the essential:

• Reduce job descriptions – Asking staff to

perform unnecessary tasks serves as a

distraction and stops them understanding

your core objectives.

Research has

shown that

less choice can

lead to quicker

decisions, as

opposed to the


that can occur

when people are

presented with

an abundance of


Look at who is doing what and how they

are delivering; for those tasks that need

to be done, are they in the hands of the

right person? You can only proceed at the

pace of the slowest hiker so make sure

that each person is given the right jobs

for the skills they possess.

Additionally, ask your staff what tasks they

feel they do that are unnecessary. The

answers may be very revealing!

• Reduce customer options – The most

effective place to demonstrate a ‘less is

more’ policy is in the choices you offer

your customers.

Contrary to what you might think, more

choice does not lead to more sales.

In fact, research has shown that less

choice can lead to quicker decisions,

as opposed to the ‘overwhelm’ that can

occur when people are presented with an

abundance of alternatives.

Do we really need to see 23 different

brands of sauce before we make

a choice?

With this level of selection, we’re more

likely to just give up – as are your

customers if you present them with too

many options.

• Remove bottlenecks and time constraints

– Eliminating the unnecessary steps from

your systems and procedures will speed

up processes and prevent costly delays.

Simply put, a process with 15 steps is

more likely to be abandoned than one

with three.

Once you have focused on these areas,

it’s time to reflect on your own role and

management style.

Refocusing energy

Having more than one priority – at a

time – will, frequently, lead to nothing

being achieved.

As a business owner, what does your job

description say? Do you even have one?

Perhaps you are guilty of taking on too

much or unsuccessfully trying to multitask

various things you assume to be

essential, without really asking yourself if

they are necessary at all.

If there’s one trend that doesn’t appear to

be diminishing, it’s the tendency for more

and more hours to be spent on the job.

A recent study by Harvard Business

School showed that more than 90 per

cent of professionals spend more than 50

hours at work, with approximately 50 per

cent spending more than 65 hours per

week doing their job.

The trend for business owners is unlikely

to be any different – after all, the buck

stops with the person who leaves last.

With ever-more demanding work

schedules, it becomes increasingly

difficult for many business owners to

drop out of business mode.

Even weekends at home are spent

dealing with phone calls or thinking

about problems waiting at the office.

Over time this can start to take a toll on

mind-set, productivity, and health.

The problem necessitates cutting away

the unnecessary in order to focus energy

on the necessary; as Abraham Lincoln

famously said, “Give me an hour to chop a

tree and I will spend the first 45 minutes

sharpening the axe.”

In order to be an effective leader while

looking after your health, you must

sharpen and oil your metaphorical axe on

a regular basis.

The first step is to stop trying to achieve

perfection. No matter how hard you try,

things will never be perfect and expecting

it can lead to frustration and stress.

In business owners, perfectionism often

presents itself as a tendency to take on

everything or personally oversee all

tasks – a guaranteed way to overload

the working day, for only incrementally

better results.

Often, someone else getting things

80 or 90 per cent right is better than

you wasting your energy getting to

100 per cent.

Hands-off management

Another way to prevent overload is to

make yourself less available.

It may sound counter-intuitive, yet easy

access often leads to lazy questions from

people who already know the answers

but expect you to tell them.

Likewise, when you’re not at work,

unplug yourself from the system.

Have allocated periods where you will

turn your phone off and don’t check

emails. Contrary to what you might

think, the world won’t end if you

disappear for a while!

Similarly, ask yourself when you took

your last holiday – or even a sabbatical.

If the thought of taking three months

away from your business terrifies you,

don’t be so quick to dismiss it.

I know of business owners who have

taken six months off and returned to

find the business still standing and in

perfectly good working order.

If you were hit by a bus tomorrow and

had to spend three months in hospital,

your business would have to survive

without you.

Why wait for such an unfortunate



Keep it


Too much

choice hampers


– make it as

easy as possible

Trust and




clear and

empower staff to

make decisions


Take a break

Manage your

own stress levels

and recognise

when to step


experience to enjoy the benefits? You

should have a plan in place so your

business can keep working if you can’t.

Healthy and wise

Next, ensure you carve out time for

yourself and use it wisely – movement

can be a great de-stressor, yet we’re often

guilty of neglecting it.

The average person sits for approximately

10 hours per day, with special vulnerability

existing for those who

have desk jobs.

A short walk can do wonders for your

mood and stress levels. Meditation has

also been shown to improve mental

health and vitality.

Alongside exercise, business owners

also tend to neglect their hobbies

and other interests – particularly

during busy periods.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

When did you last do it?

Now may be a good time to renew your

membership in clubs and groups you have

been neglecting.

Spending time with your nearest and

dearest is another effective way to

improve your health and peace of mind.

Human beings are social animals – so, do

you arrange regular catchups with friends

and family? If not, why not?

The answer is generally that we are too

busy with work.

But, as demonstrated above, there are

often work tasks that aren’t necessary for

the business owner to do personally – or

aren’t necessary at all.

Sharpen your axe, trim the fat,

and refocus your energy on what

really matters.

DAVID BROWN is co-founder and

business mentor with Retail Edge

Consultants. Visit: retailedge


64 | June 2021

June 2021 | 65





The importance of ‘micro-moments’ – or, why you

should sweat the small stuff

When it comes to customer service, the smallest details can be the difference

between making the sale and losing a customer, writes JEANNIE WALTERS.

How to assess, train, and support sales staff to

achieve their true potential

Retail managers often take on the role of coach, writes GREG GLADMAN, who advises they employ a

strategic, individual approach when training each member of their sales team.

All day long, we are interacting – with each

other, with our environment, with devices

– and those small moments of interaction

affect how we perceive people, brands,

products and experiences.

So, what happens if you don’t pay attention

to the details of the experience customers

are having with your brand whether it be

your store, staff, website, or social media?

As an example, what would you think if

there was a spelling mistake in a sign

outside your child’s school? It is an honest

mistake, and it doesn’t necessarily mean

your kids aren’t getting a good education.

But it does indicate that somebody didn’t

care enough about the details – which

can lead you to wonder what else the

school may be overlooking. Your trust

has been eroded.

Similarly, a poor experience with a brand

is not likely to ruin somebody’s day, but it

can be enough to, at best, lose the sale, or

at worst make a customer lose faith in

your business.

The tiny details aren’t just about obvious

issues like spelling; they can also be

subtle. For example, one day, I went to

withdraw some money from an ATM.

When I put my card in, the screen flashed

the message, ‘WE ARE DEALING WITH


I have no doubt that this was written

with the intention of being direct and

descriptive, but when you combine the

tone of the language and the all-capitals

typography, the effect wasn’t positive. I was

dealing with a negative ‘micro-moment’.

Micro-moments matter

You may think that these examples are tiny

and insignificant. I’d agree with you on the

first point but not the second.

Have you ever had one of those days that

starts poorly and keeps getting worse?

At the end of the day, you recount to

your spouse an inventory of micromoments

– little things that accumulated

to ruin your day.

The smallest moments can have a large impact on sales success.

When working with businesses, I ask

managers and sales staff to imagine their

customer going through each step of their

purchasing journey on their worst day.

Anyone can have a good experience

when everything is going right – but what

about when they’re feeling distracted,

overwhelmed, or frustrated?

When a customer goes into a sales

interaction with negative momentum,

businesses must create a positive

experience to counteract it, or at the very

least halt the negative pattern.

Let’s look at another example. Not long

ago, I tried to sign up for a brand’s mailing

list –but when I filled out the form, I was

met with the message, “There was an

error. Please try again.”

What was the error? They left it to me to

figure that out.

It’s all too common to see technology

acknowledge there’s a problem, but

neglect to offer any information on how to

fix it. After a few minutes of trying to edit

different fields of the form, I gave up.

I walked away feeling frustrated, and the

business missed out on a potential repeat

purchaser and brand advocate – the most

valuable type of customer. Yet they were

never even aware that an opportunity was


Anyone can

have a good



everything is

going right

– but what

about when

they’re feeling


overwhelmed, or


How many sales opportunities is your

organisation missing without even

realising –not just through technology, but

through other ways customers interact

with your brand?

Creating positive micro-moments

Now that you’ve seen examples of

negative micro-moments, it’s time to

look at the positive.

If you’ve ever typed in the wrong address

when trying to access a website, you’ve

probably landed on a 404 page.

A 404 error essentially tells you that the

webpage you were trying to visit does not

exist. You’re looking for something, you’ve

hit a dead-end, and that’s frustrating.

And no matter how well-designed a site

is, 404 errors will happen. One solution is

to make the 404 error page helpful, with a

search bar or links to pages people most

commonly look for.

It can even be made fun, as Google does

with its Chrome browser; by pressing the

space bar or tapping their phone’s screen,

the user can play a minigame with the

‘error dinosaur’.

Every micro-moment is a chance to

smooth the sales process while increasing

customer loyalty and brand value.

My business’ logo is a paper crane, which

was inspired by a man I once met who

loved origami. He would gift paper cranes

to strangers to brighten their day.

While it may mean very little in the grand

scheme of things, receiving a paper

crane can be the difference between a

terrible day and a good one. Everyone who

encountered that man remembered him

and remembered him fondly.

It’s proof that tiny gestures – micromoments

– count.

JEANNIE WALTERS is founder and

CEO of Experience Investigators. Learn

more: experienceinvestigators.com

When managers set out to improve their

sales team’s performance, they must first

understand three factors about each staff

member – sales mind-set, sales skills,

and hidden weaknesses.

Once these factors are defined, the

manager can ensure that the time they

spend training each person is focused on

that staff member’s individual attributes,

rather than taking a generic approach.

Training is about unlocking the potential

of each person on the team; without a

customised approach, behavioural change

is very unlikely to occur and there is little

gained for the manager’s time and effort.

Assessing sales staff

We have assessed more than 2 million

employees across 32,000 companies,

which has provided insights into the

attributes of top-performing salespeople.

In terms of sales mind-set, the best

staff display:

• Desire to be the top-performing


• Commitment to do what it takes to close

the sale, within the values of the company

• Motivation to leave their comfort zone

and complete difficult tasks

• Positivity about themselves, the

company and the products they are selling

• A sense of responsibility for results, or

lack thereof

In addition to mind-set, sales skills are

critical to the success of top performers.

In retail, there are five that make all

the difference:

• The ability to quickly build rapport and

trust with the customer

• Practicing ‘consultative selling’ – that

is, establishing what the customer wants

and what is important to them

• Selling on value and quality, rather than

price, and the ability to move customers

from price shopping to value shopping

Take a coaching approach to training your sales team.

• The ability to spot a ‘tyre kicker’ or

window shopper, versus someone that’s

in-store to buy

• Closing – that is, overcoming

customers’ reservations or delay tactics

Finally, top performers overcome many of

the hidden weaknesses that are common

among salespeople, namely:

• Need for approval – The best sales staff

are comfortable asking tough questions of


• Emotional reactivity – Top performers

‘stay in the moment’ and actively listen to

customers, without letting their emotions

distract them from their objective

• Self-limiting beliefs – There are many

salespeople that display self-limiting

beliefs, such as, “I am not a natural

salesperson”, “I am annoying/a nuisance

to customers”, or “I can’t say no to

unreasonable customer requests”

• Negative expectations – In comparison

to self-limiting beliefs, top performers

have confidence they will close the sale

and are less likely to simply let customers

walk out the door

• Fear of money – Effective salespeople

are not afraid to talk about the price of the

product or ask for the customer’s budget

• Inability to handle rejection – Top sales

To train staff


a manager

first needs

to suspend

judgment and

assist the team

member to


which parts

of the sales

process they

are doing well,

and which

areas could be


performers don’t get ‘down and out’ when

they fail; they do not let rejection impact

their ability to close the next sale

These insights into the best salespeople’s

attributes provide managers with a clear

framework for how to train their staff.

Training tips

To train staff effectively, a manager first

needs to suspend judgment and assist the

team member to understand which parts

of the sales process they are doing well,

and which areas could be developed.

Focus on asking questions that lead

the staff member to reflect and

provide opportunities for them to

verbalise solutions to problems they

have encountered.

When we tell someone what they must

do, we are often met with a simple,

“Yes” or nod of the head, but this sort

of superficial commitment is not going

to change behaviour.

In contrast, if they are allowed to articulate

what it is they need to do, they are far

more likely to do it.

Other ways to achieve results include

consistency through weekly one-on-one

reviews, encouragement through group

sales meetings in which staff share in

team achievements, and support through

role-playing sales scenarios with fellow

team members.

Most importantly, managers should not

expect overnight miracles; behavioural

changes occur gradually but lead to longlasting


By investing time in coaching according

to these principles every week, your team

will learn and grow consistently – and

so will their sales success.

GREG GLADMAN is CEO of Objective

Assessment and founder of Sales &

Leadership Performance, an Australian

sales development organisation focused

on customised transformation programs.

Visit: saleslp.com

66 | June 2021

June 2021 | 67


Marketing & PR


Logged On

Five questions your marketing plan

should be able to answer

Writing a marketing plan is easy – writing an effective marketing plan can be a much trickier proposition,

explains DENYSE DRUMMOND-DUNN, who advises taking a question-based approach to the task.

Understanding the marketing funnel

for selling jewellery online

ALEX FETANAT explains the benefits of structuring your e-commerce strategy using

the funnel model – and how to improve it by using automation.

A marketing plan is an essential document

when it comes to putting together a

winning strategy for increasing sales,

revenue, and brand value.

Whether you are writing a fresh marketing

plan for the new financial year or assessing

your existing plan, ask the following

questions to evaluate whether your plan

has enough detail and easily accessible

information to inform your marketing

strategies and goals.

Who are the business’ customers?

To answer this question, more information

is needed than simply age and gender.

Write out a description – often called a

persona or avatar – of a typical customer.

Use the same details you would use

to describe a friend, from job to family

to wants and needs. Don’t forget to

update your customer personas as new

information comes in.

Good answer: “Our typical customer is a

middle-aged woman whose children are

in their late teens or early twenties. She

shops in local supermarkets and gets

advice from friends on Facebook about the

best brands to buy and what’s on offer.

“She’s been buying our brand for more

than two years because it satisfies her

children’s hunger when they get home.

That makes them happy, and she then feels

proud as a mum. We call her Patty.”

How much is the average customer

worth to us?

Besides an average lifetime value for

your customers, you should also be able

to provide information about how they

perceive your brand.

This information will come from attributes

ascribed to your brand during market

research, such as “worth the price” or

“more valuable than other brands”.

You can also include statistics from your

market research and comparisons with

competitors and category leaders.

Good answer: “On average, each customer

spends about $XX each year on our brand,

Ensure your marketing plan covers all the necessary bases.

which is about $XX over 10 years (average

lifetime value).

“Our current average price in-store is $YY,

but BB per cent of our customers think

we’re actually worth more than that. This

compares to $ZZ for the category leader.”

What is the return on investment of our

marketing budget?

While return on investment is not always

the best measure of a marketing strategy’s

impact, it is still important.

Take a simple approach – list what your

total budget is, how much you spent

on advertising, communications, and

promotions, and what impact that had

on total sales.

Good answer: “Our total annual budget is

$XX, of which $YY is spent on marketing

communications and promotions.

Annually, our sales increased to ZZ, or

AA per cent.”

What is the business’ projected market

share for the end of the financial year?

Your marketing plan should include

current market share to enable year-toyear

comparisons, as well as a projection

for the end of the financial year.

However, the answer to this question goes

beyond a simple percentage; it is important

to know how your business’ market share

Include the

objective behind

the launch of

new product

lines or line

extensions, and

any new theme

or direction the

brand is taking.


the objective

provides a

clear basis for

the marketing


compares to competitors, the category as

a whole, and the trend over time.

Good answer: “We are expecting an RR

per cent increase in sales this year, to

UUU units. This is the highest rate in the

category, so our share will increase by PP

points to MM per cent market share – the

highest market share in 10 years.”

What innovations are planned for

the business?

The answer to this question could be a

long list of new additions to your business’

product assortment, but a better answer

adds context.

Include the objective behind the launch of

new product lines or line extensions, and

any new theme or direction the brand is

taking. Articulating the objective provides a

clear basis for the marketing decisions.

Good answer: “We will be launching CC

new variants in our new organic range,

which we expect to add MM per cent points

to our total market share. We will also be

eliminating FF units that are not delivering

on expectations and contain too much

sugar for today’s customer preferences.”

What is the competition doing?

Every marketing plan should include

details about the business’ competitors.

To make comparisons simpler, include

a selection of metrics and address any

challenging market conditions.

Good answer: “Our major competitors

are XXX, YYY, and ZZZ. We are the

category leader, with MM per cent

market share, however we are facing

increased competition from YYY which

has recently invested AAA in a renovation,

digital marketing campaign, and in-store



more than 30 years’ management

experience. She runs C3Centricity

consultancy. Visit: c3centricity.com

Most business owners are familiar with

the concept of the marketing funnel, a

model which illustrates consumers’ ‘buying

journey’ from awareness to opinion forming,

consideration, preference, and finally

purchase of the product. Fewer consumers

progress to each stage of the funnel.

In e-commerce, the marketing funnel is often

called the ‘conversion funnel’ and has two

extra steps – traffic sources at the start of

the funnel, and re-engagement at the end.

The marketing funnel is an efficient way

to structure your online sales strategy

and can help to quickly identify areas for


Directing traffic

The basis of any great marketing funnel is a

great website. Put simply, your strategy won’t

lead to sales conversions if your website is

not designed to attract users or rank highly in

search engine results.

For this reason, traffic sources – the first

stage of the funnel – are largely based on

search engine optimisation (SEO) and payper-click


There have been many articles on improving

your website’s SEO, so this one will focus on

the next stages – starting with connecting

your products to various shopping ‘feeds’.

This roughly correlates with the ‘awareness’

stage of the traditional marketing funnel.

Feeding awareness

Shopping feeds allow your website visitors to

browse your jewellery products on sites like

Facebook or Google’s Shopping tab. These

feeds then direct users to your website.

Another example is setting up an Instagram

Shop through your business account.

It is a particularly useful channel for

jewellery retailers as many people enjoy

browsing and brainstorming different ideas

on the app – especially engagement rings.

Similar principles apply to Pinterest.

Connecting your business to Google

Shopping and e-commerce-enabled social

media apps helps potential customers

Use the e-commerce ‘funnel’ to make your digital strategy more efficient.

find and engage with your brand. Once

customers click through to your website,

they enter the middle of the funnel, or

‘consideration’ stage.

Encouraging purchase

Optimising your website for e-commerce

is critical at the consideration stage, when

potential customers are weighing the pros

and cons of your product.

To progress customers to the next stage

– preference – websites should make

purchasing as easy as possible, with few


Shoppers must be able to find products

quickly, whether through direct linking

from a social media app, fast page load

times, or website navigation and search.

Once a potential customer has landed on

the product page, they are a single step

away from purchase.

Some of the most powerful tools to

encourage conversion at this point are

positive, genuine reviews and accurate,

detailed product descriptions and photos.

The actual process of purchase – filling

in details and clicking ‘place order’ – is

the penultimate stage of the e-commerce

funnel; it goes without saying that this

should be as fast and simple as possible.

While the traditional marketing funnel

ends once a purchase has been made,

Shopping feeds

allow your

website visitors

to browse

your jewellery

products on

sites like


or Google’s

Shopping tab.

These feeds

then direct

users to your


the e-commerce funnel continues to a final

step of re-engagement,, which includes

techniques to recover lost sales through retargeting

and email marketing.

Automating the funnel

Of course, all of these steps sound like a

huge digital marketing undertaking on top of

your existing to-do list – but not to worry.

Much of the process can be automated to

increase both the volume of people entering

the funnel and moving through it, focusing on

the first stage (traffic sources) and final stage


Leverage paid search-engine advertising –

Google Ads and Google Shopping Campaigns

increase the number of people entering your


Install a tracking pixel on your website – A

tracking pixel allows Google and Facebook

to show users the same products they were

viewing on shopping feeds on your website.

The pixel also allows for ‘dynamic retargeting’

– that is, showing ads for the

products users were viewing on your site

when they visit other sites.

Use Facebook Business more efficiently

– Improve your sales conversion by retargeting

receptive potential customers.

Once you have an audience generated on

Facebook, create a Lookalike Audience that

matches the same buying patterns as the

users on your re-targeting list..

Set up automated email campaigns –

Encourage visitors who are browsing your

website for the first time to sign up to your

email list and use apps and services to create

targeted campaigns.

Of course, all of these tips take time to set

up, but once complete, you can utilise them

again and again to increase the effectiveness

of your funnel.

ALEX FETANAT is founder and CEO

of the GemFind Network, a US-based

digital marketing firm for the jewellery

industry. Visit: gemfind.com

68 | June 2021

June 2021 | 69

My Bench

Anthea Plug

Smales Jewellers, Perth WA

Age 28 • Years in Trade 8 • Training Perth TAFE Apprenticeship • First job Nina’s Jewellery Store, 2012–2018 Other Qualifications Certificate IV in Visual Arts




This piece was created for the Smales Jewellers Gold Nugget

Heritage Collection. The tiara is the signature piece of the

collection, named after the famous Hannan Street in Kalgoorlie

where Smales Jewellers originated more than 70 years

ago. I designed the Hannan tiara with help from my partner

on-site at Smales Jewellers’ Subiaco, Perth workshop. It

features yellow gold and hand-picked natural gold nuggets

sourced by local prospectors from the West Australian

goldfields. Set within the tiara are keshi pearls, selected to be

distinctive, making this pendant rare and unique and reflecting

the heritage of Smales Jewellers.

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE The amazing watermelon

tourmaline must be my favourite gemstone! The pink

and green colours have an unparalleled beauty.

4FAVOURITE METAL Platinum is my favourite

metal due to its colour and weight. It evokes the

senses like no other metal as it can be felt by

the wearer.

When other metals such as gold are worn there is

no difference in weight, but this piece of jewellery

has a point of difference in the fact that the owner

really knows they have it on.

4FAVOURITE TOOL The hammer is my favourite

tool; you can forge so much with it – and not

just jewellery. You can have fun with it and create

organic shapes and pieces, such as a metal spoon.

4BEST NEW TOOL DISCOVERY The laser machine.

It is so helpful in reducing the ‘make’ time when

assembling pieces together.

4BEST PART OF THE JOB Seeing the reaction of

customers when they receive their special creation,

having their dream come to life.


fingerprints are left from either filing or polishing.


mentors would always remind me, “Don’t let

mistakes get the better of you!” This is important, as

mistakes can flow on to your next piece.

You always need to start every job fresh.

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Keep a creative flow

going. Never stop creating as you do not know what

you may be able to discover.


Slicing my fingers when cutting.


personally wear jewellery, I find so much joy in seeing

the pleasure jewellery creations can bring

to others.

70 | June 2021



The unexpected challenges of running

a business in rural Australia

ROBYN SPARKE turns the focus towards jewellery retail in regional and rural areas,

where population demographics impact businesses very differently than in major cities.

In our regional jewellery business,

Stephen Sparke Jewellers, one of the

most significant challenges we readily

face is that of diversification. Our business

consists of two store locations in rural

areas – one in the Queensland border

town of Goondiwindi, and the other in

Moree, in northwest NSW.

There is approximately 126km between

the locations; but despite this relatively

limited distance, and the fact that they

have roughly the same population size,

they are very different – both in terms

of the demographics and the customer

product choice.

However, as they are both regional towns,

they share similar challenges.

Moree and Goondiwindi have a ‘transient’

population; professionals in the police

force, education departments, employment

agencies, and medical and legal fields

frequently choosing to work in our

rural region for the purpose of acquiring

special contracts or government

stimulus packages.

Once these contracts have been fulfilled,

they then leave the community to further

their careers on the east coast.

This makes the acquisition of staff and

provision of career planning in our

business challenging.

The transient population provides us with

choice and diversity in our employees.

It also hinders investment in upskilling,

training staff and future career progression

in the business, as all of these are impeded

by the length of time individuals can commit

to employment when they – and/or their

partners – are climbing the career ladder.

At the same time, we encourage our local

youth to aspire to, and attain, qualifications,

which sees them leave the community for

secondary and higher education – either

boarding school or university.

Accordingly, our junior staff often leave

just after we have them trained and skilled

in customer service, product knowledge

and point of sale.

This transition to further education also

sees parents frequently visiting their

children and therefore making jewellery

purchases outside the district, in larger

metropolitan areas.

As a result of these factors, the majority

of our staff are in the semi-retired age

group with aspirations of slowing down and

spending time with grandchildren.

They have limited intention to further

progress in the jewellery industry or seek

roles in areas of management, marketing

or production, which could provide further

value to our business.

Despite this, our staff are our ‘business

family’ who are extremely loyal, proud and

hardworking and value their employment in

our small country communities.

The last three years have also seen us

employ one of our young staff members

under the Supported Wage Scheme, which

has proven to be extremely successful.

This scheme sees the employee’s wage

partially paid by the government based on

a regular productivity assessment.

The National Inland Rail Project has

attracted more people to our region, adding

to the diversity of the local population and

bringing the potential of more customers –

however, it has not delivered more potential

employees for our business.

Local employers cannot compete with

We encourage

our local youth

to aspire to,

and attain,


which sees

them leave the


for secondary

and higher



our junior staff

often leave just

after we have

them trained

and skilled

government wages and once again,

this development is short term with the

intended project to be completed within

three years.

While as a community we revel in this

current economic and employment

injection, it too may be unsustainable once

infrastructure has been established and

a local workforce is no longer required.

With such diversity and transience in

the population, purchasing of stock can

be challenging – especially ‘on-trend’

products. It usually takes some time for

customers to recognise that we sell

these products, despite social media

and marketing promotions!

This is likened to the real-estate market,

where the ‘wave’ of demand hits the

east coast first and it can take up to

six months before an impact is noticed

in the rural areas.

It would be lovely to focus on a niche

market or reposition as a boutique store;

however, with these challenges and

diversities we need to ensure that we can

supply and service a wide customer base.

Like any regional or rural business, we

must also provide competitive exclusivity

for the out-of-town shoppers who view

cities such as Sydney or Brisbane as

their go-to shopping destination, while

making sure that we are providing a

price point that is suitable for our local

customers – especially in competition

with online purchases.

Name: Robyn Sparke

Business: Stephen Sparke Jewellers

Position: Co-owner

Location: Goondiwindi, QLD; Moree, NSW

Years in the industry: 15

years,collectively with my husband

72 | June 2021



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